tv Inside Politics CNN March 8, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PST
welcome to "inside pliksz. "thank you for sharing your day with us. i'm jim accosta in for john king. conservatives republicans in congress are calling it obama care light, and i don't think they mean it as a compliment. while president trump is warning of a bloodbath in the 2018 midterm elections if it fails.
right now two house committees are holding their markups on the new health care bill. the president has vowed his full support behind the effort and repeal and replace the affordable care act. >> i think really that we're going to have something that is much more understood and much more popular than people can even imagine. >> what the president may not have bargained for. the fierce opposition from his own party. >> this is not the repeal bill that we've been waiting for for all these years. this is a huge opportunity. it's been missed. >> president trump's stunning allegation that then president obama wiretapped his manhattan headquarters last year, but where is the proof? i asked sean spicer yesterday, and here's what he told me. >> it's not a question of new proof or less proof or whatever. the answer is the same. i think that there is a concern about what happened in the 2016 election. the house and senate
intelligence committee have the staff and the capabilities and the processes in place to look at this in a way that's objective, and that's where it should be done. with us to share their reporting and their insights, molly ball and ron brown, steve from the atlantic, cnn nia malika henderson and -- sources close to president obama said he was irked and exassperated by the claims. zoo ever heard of this before the allegation of the president? >> have you seen any evidence whatsoever that barack obama ordered any wiretapping on trump towers? >> i have seen no evidence of that, joe, but i would also say a lot of the anonymous sources in the media are stating things that are presis and not -- when, for instance, the president spokesman denies that. >> a couple of republicans saying we don't know what the
president is talking about either. now, i should point out we were able to confirm in the last hour or so from administration officials that the president may have shaken hands with the russian ambassador at that foreign policy speech last april. molly ball, let me ask you first. what do you think the president has been up to over these last 72 hours? i mean, you know, the white house press secretary told me yesterday they still have no evidence, no proof of any of this. what is going on here? donald trump believes a lot of things that aren't true. i think that has been abundantly clear since he began his campaign, and is he rather impervious to evidence about whether or not they are true, and the issue isn't whether his suspicion turns out to be true in the end. his issue is that he says things
that he has no evidence for. it reminds me very much of the illegal voters that he spent so much time talking about immediately after the inauguration, and you had sean spicer go out there with sort of i think commendable transparency and say this is a thing the president believes. this is a thing the president blooefds. >> are we on the dark side of the moon here? >> there will come a point -- there always comes a point where the president will need not only the country, but the world to believe what they are saying. tll will come a moment. >> like selling the replacement forment -- >> maybe something bigger on national security, on the national security. that is certainly very big on the domestic side, and, you know, you -- by systematically over and again saying things that you can't support or certainly going out before you have any evidence to support what you are saying, you are devaluing that coin. i mean, that is just simply -- look, in this particular case, i mean, the fundamental misconception is president obama could not unilaterally order the
wiretapping of anyone in the trump orbit. if there was a wiretap, it was because a fisa court presumably thought there was enough evidence to justify that. being right isn't better than being wrong here for president trump. >> there were a lot of striking reactions to all this up on capitol hill. i think one of the most striking responses was from devin nunez. republican who described the president as a neophyte in politics. let's play that, and i'll get you the comment on the other side. >> the president is a neo phyte to politics. he has been doing this a little over a year. i think a lot of the things that he says you guys sometimes take literally. sometimes he doesn't have 27 lawyers and staff looking at what he does, which is i think at times refreshing, and at times it can also lead us to have to be sitting in the press conference like this answering questions that you guys are asking.
>> is that a good excuse that the president is new at this? >> it's terrible this idea that he doesn't have 27 lawyers. apparently they just hired a bunch of lawyers at the white house. he could have 27 lawyers reviewing what he does. he could talk to folks and figure out what the deal is in terms of this wiretap. >> it needs the credibility of congress, the credibility of republicans on the hill to back up what he says, which is sort of an interesting place for the white house to be. that he, you know -- that what he says needs more backing. >> i think sean spicer is hoping, as you said yesterday, that this would be groundhog day every day, and people would get sick of it and maybe people wouldn't ask about it.
>> don't overlook the fact that this really indicates how much president trump relies on the conservative media for his information. when we asked on the very first, you know, morning after he tweeted these tweets where is he getting this from, an aide pointed us to the breitbart article and said did you read this? that's what we've been led to believe that this is the only place he is getting intel from. >> they're saying, well, breitpart talked about it. >> we believe trump watched levine or read the piece. he had enough faith in that that he was willing to spout off on twitter immediately. >> just think about how different this is than the usual process. first white house i covered was ronald reagan, and you think about it is process that goes through the asem blue line, the assembly belt that has to progress before a word comes out of the president's mouth. all the people usually involved in developing the policy and making sure all of the nuance, particularly on foreign policy
and then when you have donald trump. when he misspells unprecedented in a tweet about china, you can assume there are not a lot of people that are proof reading that and fact checking it, and so you have just this incredible process where they're almost beginning to treat it as it's disassociated from the actual policy making, you know, okay, that's just something that he is saying, but this is extraordinarily different, and the reason it's extraordinarily different is because what presidents say matters. >> i have been told that sometimes the president dictates those tweets to a staffer that puts it out. you have to wonder is the spell check working on the iphone or android, whatever device. let's play a little bit of what adam schif said yesterday. he had an interesting comment on all of this, and it tees up a question i want to ask. plea let's play that. >> the president has said that this is a scandal that dwarves watergate that his predecessor engaged in illegal wiretap of
his campaign. that is one potential scandal. the alternative is a different kind of a scandal, and that is a scandal of a sitting u.s. president alleging that his predecessor engaged in the most unscrupulous and unlawful conduct. that is also a scandal if those allegations prove to be false. >> he was saying let's bring it on. one thing i thought was interesting yesterday is that devin nunez says he plans to hold a hearing on all of thrk the former dni, james clapper will be there, john brennan will be there, the fbi director jim comey might be there. even sally yates who stepped down from being the actsing attorney general may be there. it strikes me as this might be something democrats are really going to be looking forward to
in a couple of weeks here. >> well, sure, but, i mean, we have -- >> the white house says, well, let the intelligence committees investigate this. do they really want public hearings where all these officials come in and say, no, mr. president, there was no wiretap. >> it's potentially very embarrassing for the white house. there were reports over the weekend about clashes between the fbi and the justice department, and we have seen quite a lot of willingness to speak independently, whether through leaks or independently on the top of part intelligence officials, top officials. they've been pretty clear when they have disagreed with the president and that it's been a lot. a hearing like this could expose a lot. >> because of this wikileaks dump that revealed all the sources and methods where the cia are using where i guess they can make their way into your phones and spy on you and
perhaps even your self-driving cars. here's what the fbi director said about what americans can expect in terms of their privacy. >> there is no such thing as absolute privacy in america. there is no place in america outside of judicial reach. >> that doesn't give me a great feeling. >> right. you know, i mean,ing he is right. he is saying that a court can compel you if there is reason to believe you know something about a crime or committed a crime. the court can compel you to tell them things, to let you -- let them into your house. in that way he is right. i do think that it is ironic that we find ourselves here, obviously, concerned about privacy, but americans are so willing to divulge all sorts of things about their lives, whether it's snap chat, instagram, facebook. pictures of their kids, what
they had for dinner, whatever it is. we seem to at this point be willing participants at this point in terms of giving -- >> one thing the white house has been worried about, jennifer, is that the president's security when it comes to his phone. >> just to connect this and the discussion we're having about potential wiretapping of trump tower, this is why people believe donald trump when they say things like that. because there is a feeling that surveillance is everywhere, that they're in your phone, they're in your house, they can hear everything you sigh, they can read all of your text messages. when trump says my phone is being tapped in trump tower, i think there's a lot of people who believe that because they feel like there is nothing that
our intelligence agency -- >> i have to take a quick break. i have to respect that process that we have here. up next, we're learning our one way the president could pay for that wall on the southern border. republican lawmakers aren't exactly excited about the idea. we'll talk about that on the other side.
welcome back. candidate trump promised a wall with our neighbor to the south. president trump may have the coast guard foot some of the bill. his budget would dramatically cut the services funding $1.3 billion worth of cuts. sources say that money would then be redirected to the department of homeland security. already some lawmakers on capitol hill say they're not happy with the idea. congressman duncan hunter, an early trump supporter, republican, wrote a letter to the president saying it would "severely undermine u.s. national security." that is not a ringing endorsement. we're seeing some republican
pushback on the president's priority here for building the wall. every time we talk about the wall and who is going to pay for it -- obviously mexico is out of the equation -- they're looking under the sofa cushions. >> majority of americans have said they oppose the wall. you've had a number of republicans on the 'lhill who he said this is not the most efficient way to do this. the problem itself is enormously different than it used to be. there is no net migration from mexico. there's net migration back to mexico. you had even republicans from texas and elsewhere saying do we want to spend all this money and go through all the eminent domain fights that may be necessary to build a wall? >> such an uncovered story. all the texas landowners are not going to want to give up their land to build a wall. >> yes, they are looking for ways to ultimately penalize
mexico, as you saw in one of the executive orders from the general kelly was about finding all of the payments, all the ways that we could squeeze mexico to ultimately kind of offset this in an accounting way, but if you have to come up with the dollars up front by taking away from other programs, i think given the doubts about the wall itself, both in public opinion and even among experts, that's going to be a big hill. >> president trump it said if they don't do obama care, there will be a bloodbath. can you imagine the fall of 2018 and there is not any construction done on the border for this wall? >> it was interesting that you brought up the infrastructure money and how they will pay for it with the coast guard money. it's interesting because infrastructure is a policy blackhole for trump. we're not sure where the money will come from, but what i can tell you is they're having a meeting right now. rick perry, the former governor of texas, who is, you know, theoretically an expert on the wall. they've been meeting for three and a half hours this morning. that just tells us one thing, and this is really important to trump given everything he has going on with obama care and everything else that he has
cooking with the russians and now the investigations. he has set aside three and a half hours, called in his cabinet secretaries, including rick perry, to talk about this for three and a half hours, and then they're going to lunch with the president today. i have a feeling the wall is going to be coming up. we'll be checking in on that later to see what details came out and whether they're advancing. >> he keeps referring to it as the great wall. sometimes the great, great wall. almost like he is thinking of the great wall of china when he thinks about it. you wonder if there's some sort of wall light where it's not quite a wall, it's more like a fence. it's not over the expanse of the border because eminent domain comes in. >> perhaps you could sign you are for obama care light at wall light. >> you are basically completing what bush wanted to do and hasn't been able to do 200, 300 miles of fencing, and whether or not that will satisfy donald trump, maybe not because he seems to envision something big,
beautiful even that's 40 feet tall that's concrete, and that's where you get all the expense. >> do conservatives take him at his word when he says there's going to be a great wall on the border? >> i think it depends which conservatives you're talking about. i think the bigger question here is how much is donald trump willing to compromise? how much are the hard line positions he has set out at the beginning negotiating positions that he will dial back because he did say in the campaign that everything is negotiable. we're going to get in the room and bang heads together and get to a place that we can all agree. is the wall -- if you are a good negotiator, you do take a really, stream stance early on so you can come back with it later. i recently did a real estate transaction, and it was the same thing. >> the art of the deal. >> the other thing he has sort of hinted that he likes to do is
bully people into submission, right? tweet at people who are obstructing him, get his followers who the vast majority of republican primary voters to go after whoever is getting in his way. just gets them to -- >> >> from texas to california. >> by the fall of next year, if there's a couple of miles of wall on that border with no any kind of plan in sight in ermz it of building the rest of it, how bad is that going to look? heading into 2020 -- >> they put a lot of stock on the idea of we are delivering on our promises, whether you like them or not. it reminds me of the bush 2004 argument. mark mckinnen saying can we not get to 50 plus one. they could get to 50 plus one by saying whether you agree with him or not, he is a strong leader. you see elements of that in what donald trump and their team are trying to, you know, position him as.
you may not agree with all of this, but he is not a typical politician. he is doing what he said. he is a man of action. he is getting things done. yes, in that context, getting -- having a piece of this done is important. i do think there's a lot of gray between the complete wall and no wall, and they may have well have enough to say -- >> i have to say, i was at almost every one of those rallies during the campaign, and to think that donald trump would settle for anything less than an actual physical wall that rises up from, you know, the land that stretches from texas to arizona in the tumble weeds, that to me would be the ultimate -- it would be read my lips, no new taxes all over again. if he does not have a wall, that is a promise broken. coming up next, after years of protests and promises, the repeal and replace battle officially begins on capitol hill.
right now on capitol hill the slashing and chopping and changing has begun on the newly released health care bill that ames to push out and replace obama care. two separate committees are marking up the proposal that they started this about two hours ago. house speaker paul ryan spoke to reporters a short time ago and said he is working hand in glove with the oval office and the health and human services secretary to make good on the promises they all made before election day. >> are we going to stay with obama care? are we going to just let this law collapse and whatever happens happens? or are we going to do what we said we would do? are we going to repeal and replace obama care with something better? this is the covenant that we made with the american people when we ran on a repeal and replace plan in 2016. this is what our bill does. >> not everybody feels so good about this. senator rand paul, the kentucky
republican, not as confident as the house speaker. he doesn't see the new proposal making it out of the house. here's what he had to say. >> i don't think they have the votes now, so i think there's going to be some head counting going on, and i think the bill as it stands really is dead on arrival. i don't think it's going to ever arrive in the senate. i think it's dead on arrival in the house. >> so is this bill dead on arrival? doa? say it ain't so. didn't this just start not 24 hours ago? >> we don't know. >> it started 24 hours ago. it has been very interesting to see the conservative uprising against this bill. that i think makes it clear how little consultation was done with the kinds of interest groups that really could lend crucial political support to this group. you know, groups like heritage and cato that are saying that this bill is not conservative and they will absolutely campaign against it, they are -- they could have been brought into the process. this could have been done in a different way. the decision was made to drop
the bill first and then do the negotiating. the sort of more normal process is first you do the negotiation, getting everybody in the room trying to cook the thing and then you serve it. >> i should point out that my colleagues sarah murray at the white house is saying she's hearing from administration officials who are already frustrated with the house republican effort. i talked to a congressional republican source earlier this morning who said we would appreciate a more full-throated effort from the white house, so the finger-pointing has already begun 24 hours into this. >> it really shows the power of facts on the ground, right? from the point of view of most democrats, even most americans, the biggest fact about the house republican bill is it takes away coverage maybe as many as ten million of the 20 million who got coverage under obama care, but if you are sitting from the point of view of a conservative in the house, you are now voting to create an entitlement that will provide coverage for ten million -- sustained coverage for ten million people. they never would have done that on their own. i mean, they never would have
gone out -- a unified house republican government would not have gone to do that. you can see the clash of perspectives. the history is -- you can think back maybe the clearest analog for me to this is the medicare part d. the prescription drug under medicare when there was a similar revolt among house conservatives, and ethwe'll tom delay, leaving the vote open the longest ever, they were able to get there. the history is usually they can find a way to cobble this through the house by moving it on to the right. then the question will be will the senate, more moderate or centrist senate republicans, hold firm in resisting some of the things that they have to do to get this out of the house. >> this has not been scored by the congressional budget office. yet, we do not know how many millions or billions of dollars this will add to the deficit. we are told by standard & poor's, there's an analysis done by standard & poor's saying six million to ten million people could lose coverage under what people are calling ryan care at this point. how is that going to sell? >> you know, you see the white house not wanting to talk about that at all really. they use phrases like innovation. they'll be able to ino vat or
freedom and choice and then, you know, empowerment. >> spicer was showing us how their bill was smaller. >> yeah. i think this is really going to test trump's power with his voters. he is still at 90% amongst republicans. it's ulcer agoing to test how much actual republican voters care about spending, how much stuff costs, how much they care about entitlement programs. it seems like they like entitlement programs as long as they feel like they are part of that entitlement, they are getting that entitlement. i think we're in for a real battle here to see how much power he has with those voters. >> jennifer, getting back to what i heard this morning from a congressional senior republican congressional source, that they would like to see more full-throated effort from the white house. >> where is that effort? when is the president going to
do this? >> i have mike pence, the big voice today. he is doing hannity, other radio, giving speeches, and, you know, yesterday, of course, we had tom price giving press briefing. you see them out there. the only thing we've really seen from the president today was that tweet at rand paul saying that i know my friend will get on board with this. >> they're friends? i didn't know. >> the congressional budget office's report will be out next week. paul ryan told us this morning. i think once that is out there, but i do know, like you were saying, it is a test of whether trump is able to rely on those nebz of congress. whether they will come through for him or whether he is willing to roll them. if this tanks, can he then, you know, just say, hey, i tried. listen, it was those weak knees in congress that defeated me. >> this is a pre-trump republican health care bill. in that, if you look at the budget that he put out -- >> it's ryan care. >> you look at the budget perimeters that president trump put out. he said we are going to increase defense spending, protect social security, and medicare which are
increasingly my voters. majority of donald trump's votes came from whites over 45. 80% of the senior population is white. we're going to focus all of the cuts on domestic discretionary programs, which are aimed at primarily the productivity of the next generation. education, infrastructure, science and research, so forth. this bill, on the other hand, is a more traditional argument of we're going to cut taxes on wealthy people. $600 billion in tax cuts. we're going to roll back the federal roll. in that s&p analysis and everything else that -- all the naltsz that's coming this week, the biggest losers in the changes they are going to provide are those same older working age people with big health care needs. >> wait until they see those numbers. when they see that the 20 and 30-year-olds get the better tax credit out of this and the people who are in their 50s and early 60s are seeing that obama care subsidies shrink by thousands of dollars. >> 30% increase in premiums for people in their -- older working age 40s, 50s, 60s by the estimate of the s&p. two others in that ballpark. as a result, the s&p estimate is
a majority of those who gain coverage under the aca in that age group, 45 to 64, which is now the core republican -- the core of the republican coalition, whites in that age group, a majority of them would lose coverage under this alternative. part of the problem he has in selling it is that it hits his own voters. >> molly, a little bit of breaking news. ted cruz, who has been a foe of donald trump as well -- he said to reporters who were tweeting this up on capitol hill, as drafted i do not believe this bill would pass the united states senate. what do you make of that? this is -- >> i think it's true. >> senator cruz saying i do not see this bill passing. i do not see it passing anywhere. >> i will not pass it in a box. i will not pass it with a fox. yes. cruz's famous filibuster when he read "green eggs and ham". i think it's correct, but it's the equivalent of my editor saying to me i will not publish this draft. it's a draft. it goes -- other people's
editors, i've heard, that have. the point is that, like, i see ted cruz is telling the truth. this bill would not pass as drafted. the question is what deals have to be made? what deals can be made? what can they tweak? what is untouchable? how much are these conservative members who were the, you know, heck no caucus under obama, how much are they going to be willing to comprise? >> senator cruz is having dinner with the president -- >> tonight. >> it's a sales job that's coming. >> in the end it will come down -- i think it will come down more on the other side of the republican party. the history is -- >> the moderates. >> the history is that the house republicans will find a way to get this through moving it just enough to the right to get the bare minimum coalition, and then the question will be will enough of the more moderate senate republicans accept whatever that process produces. that's where it will be. i this i that will be the crunch point in the end where. >> phase two and phase three. donald trump tweeted about that
and some of the different reforms. >> they can pass reconciliation, and tom price can do it and then whatever they can't do through budget reconciliation that they need 60 votes for. that will be phase three. >> congress keeps talking about it as a work in progress. >> let's move on. march marches, speeches, and protests to mark international women's day. will these marches even matter? that's coming up. remember when you said men are supeyeah...ivers? yeah, then how'd i get this... ...allstate safe driving bonus check? ...only allstate sends you a bonus check for every six months you're accident free. silence. it's good to be in, good hands.
>> you saw women and men and children for that matter marching to demonstrate against president trump and we're seeing some of that here today. we should also point out president trump did tweet this morning about international women's day. let's put this up on screen. i thought this was interesting. he said i have tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve. his daughter ivanka also tweeting this quote. today we celebrate women and our reminded of our collective voice and the powerful impact we have on our societies and economies. >> this is something, molly, that i think the president would do well by sitting back and just being an observer to all of this. just a hunch on my part.
>> much of this is directed at him. a reactive to him. >> this is a much more political international women's day. international women's day usually, like, is one of these days on the calendar where it's relatively nonpartisan. everybody can agree that women are wonderful, but. >> perhaps today is not the best example of this, but the women's marches we saw around the inaugural, and these other demonstrations that have been cropping up in recent weeks where it sort of feels like the reverse tea party is taking sha shape, do you see some of that there, and do you see perhaps the makings of a democratic party resurgence in some of the
demonstrations? >> you saw ivanka trump tweet there with a collective women's voice. there isn't a collective women's voice when it comes to politics. white women vote very differently than black women do than latino women do, than asian women do. i mean, even tensions around some of those marches, you know, there's african-american women wondering where they fit in to that. it is -- you have the tea party which was very much bound together by race and religion and in some ways class. these movements to think the identity of being a woman is enough to bind together this response and resistance. >> running against the first white woman nominee who ever won -- it was less than mitt romney won them by and more than --
>> there isn't a vote or voice, but the other part of this, i think, is maybe more relevant to 2018, which is just the sheer amount of energy that you are seeing not only in this march -- maybe not this march, but the marches immediately after the election. some of the town halls on health care. midterm elections are about motivation. far fewer people vote than in the presidential. tom davis, the former nrc chair said midterms are about the people that are the angriest. the people who strongly disapprove right now to donald trump do significantly outnumber the share that strongly approve of him, and you do have this energy at the base of the democratic party and beyond it that goes beyond i think what you usually see. >> jennifer, people mock the tea party, but in 2010 they took the house. they did lose in 2012. republicans lost in 2012, but in 2014 they took the senate. going to ron brownstein's point here, could -- is this something that the white house should be, you know, keeping their eye on?
>> yeah. absolutely. i think they do. if we're wondering how much this women's day has an affect on the president of the united states, there's probably one woman who has more affect than anyone else, and it's probably ivanka trump. we wonder what her role would be. just a month ago we were not sure what it would be. she doesn't have a official advisory role. we can tell from her twitter post that she has, you know -- she is there for everything. she's riding along with him in the motorcade on the way to his first address to congress. she's there on the museum tours. she's there on, you know, air force one flying with him. she's in the oval office for bill signings. she's right there at his side steering his thinking, encouraging him, stressing -- >> trying to be a moderating force. >> it's sort of about branding i've been ivanka trump too. there's a story that we had up by kate bennett that said ivanka trump is a walking billboard for ivanka trump. a lot of this stuff -- i mean, part of the idea have her -- >> chip off the old block, you might say.
>> if you look at some of the things that donald trump has done. i don't think you could call what they did on lgbtq rights moderate. i'm a little skeptical of this whole idea of ivanka trump is in there really having much influence. >> not toning down things too much. >> to go to your point, you look at the initial reactions to trump as president extending to trump as candidate, i think the divides are going to become even wietder. working class women that are for him, there's no occasion they're moving away. i think he is performing even more -- and certainly with minorities facing a lot of trouble as well. >> i think that is why the obama care argument is so important and how that plays out. i think those voters are really in play if if the president mishandles this. our reporters share from their notebooks, including could the gop's health care plan stick it to the same voters -- we've been talking about this -- who put donald trump in the white house? when we come back.
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okay, let's head around the inside politics table and ask our reporters to get you out ahead of the political news. molly ball? >> we remember governing by deadline, the constant crisis in the house that seemed to drive so much of the agenda in recent years. and it may be no different in the trump era. just next week is coming up the first debt ceiling deadline. >> oh, goodness. >> i know, it's so exciting. brings back such good memories. >> i'll put it in my pto request right now for that date. >> next wednesday the 15th. there are extraordinary measures the treasury can take to put the
offer several months. republicans didn't like those measures under obama. this makes a hypocrite of everybody. we'll see -- >> these are real things the president -- >> real things they have to take care of, like the debt ceiling. ron brownstein? >> president trump was talking about a blood bath if republicans don't repeal the affordable care act. you have more republicans i think beginning to focus on the question of whether they're lighting a fuse if they do. a majority of donald trump's votes came from whites over 45. 60% of the house republicans are in districts where the median age is older than the national average. every analysis that's come out this week has shown the big losers in the repeal and replace plan are older working age adults. three separate analysises showed people in their 50s and 60s the
bill would raise premiums by 30%. as a result, s&p estimates over half of everyone 45-64 would lose it under the replacement. midterms are about angry voters. those are voters that republicans now depend on. they may be the ones who are most directly in the line of fire. >> who didn't see this coming. >> they're principle complaint was it cost them too much. you saw in the "new york times" today a voter saying an older white voter saying they vote for trump because they thought they were bringing down their costs. >> ben carson, the newly installed secretary of housing and urban development had something of a rough rollout because of something he said about slavery, comparing slavery to immigration. he's going to go on a listening tour in midmarch. the itinerary is being worked out. it will be interesting to watch is how he's received given some of his past comments. and given, also, how we've seen
some of donald trump's other cabinet officials received. betsy devos had a rough rollout. that will be interesting to watch. it's a learning curve for ben carson in terms of what to do, you know, at h.u.d. it will be interesting to watch how he's received. another guy with a little bit of a controversial history. richard grunel is going to be the nato ambassador. he was a former u.n. spokesmen. if he's confirmed he'll be the highest ranking openly gay member of the trump administration. you might remember he was a spokesman for mitt romney. there was little bit of backlash because he's gay. he's less than diplomatic on twitter. >> rick is a little rough around the edges.
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hello i'm wolf blitzer in 1:00 p.m. eastern. wherever you're watching from, thanks for joining us. lots of news. the hike stakes health battle being waged on capitol hill. the house republican plan to repeal and replace obamacare is certain to be a focus of today's white house briefing this hour. take a look at some live pictures coming in from the briefing room. the press secretary, sean spicer will be taking reportseers' questions live. we'll bring it to you live. two key house commi