tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 9, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST
battle over the bill. lawmakers crank up partisan politics over health care legislation that affects millions of americans. the investigation into donald trump's wiretap claims heats up. senior republicans in congress say they will subpoena intelligence agencies to get answers. and prospects for diplomacy with pyongyang looking dim after a top u.s. official describes north korea's leader as irrational. hello and welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm max foster, this is cnn
newsroom. ♪ ♪ we'll get to those stories in just a moment, first some breaking news out of hawaii. because now the first u.s. state is taking president trump to court over his new travel ban. it's asking for an emergency order to halt the ban, which would restrict travel from six muslim majority countries. it keeps from iran, libya, somalia, sudan and yemen from entering the u.s. for 90 days. all refugees will be banned for 120 days and the order is due to take effect on march 16th. now, it's after 3:00 in the morning in washington where two congressional committees are still meeting as republicans try to push through an ambitious bill to replace the affordable care act, also known as obamacare. the marathon sessions are happening in part because democrats are using procedural delays to slow down the process.
the controversial health care proposal unveiled on monday hasn't been a smash success, let's say. a number of high profile lawmakers have slammed it, including many conservatives. president trump is lobbying those opposed to the plan on wednesday night. he invited one group of republican critics to the white house, to go bowling. hoping to win them over. many republicans are framing the health care debate as one of fiscal responsibility, while some democrats say it's another case of pitting haves against have nots. take a listen. >> what we're saying is, we think we have a better path way. we think we've got something that is going to deal with pre-existing conditions. we think that we've got something that's going to mitigate costs. we think that something is going to take off burdensome mandates that have created pressures on employers who are begging for mercy in my district. we think we've got something that is going to be reasonable in its approach as it relates to cost and there's an invitation to do the right thing by a wide
range of people. >> this bill amounts to showering money on a remarkably small number of remarkably wealthy men and women in america, while taking away the health care, an increasing cost of millions of working families. >> republican leaders are brushing off dissent within their ranks as growing pains of being a majority party. fi phil mattingly has our report. >> reporter: house speaker paul ryan's not so subtle pitch to his still skeptical or even outright opposed members, was simple. this is exactly what you campaigned on. >> i have no doubt we'll pass this, because we're going to keep our promises. >> reporter: even as he acknowledged that despite those promises and the support of president trump, he still has problems inside his own party. >> what you're seeing is, we're going through the inevitable growing pains of being an
opposition party, to becoming a governing party. >> reporter: sources tell cnn gop leaders blitzed their members behind closed doors today with the house majority whip placing a slide on a screen of trump and house minority leader nancy pelosi. the question he asked, who's side are you on? but it will take more than that as conservatives threaten to sink the bill all-together. >> it's a lump of coal. ultimately that will result in the demise of our country or contribute to our debilitating insolvency and bankruptcy. >> reporter: among those who need persuading, senator ted cruz, who despite the accusation tying his father to the assassination of jfk. >> what was he doing with lee harvey oswald shortly before the death? before the shooting? >> reporter: and this about his wife, with some lobbying no doubt on the menu.
and with good reason. on the other side of the aisle -- >> mr. chairman, i'm asking for recognition with regard to a parliamentary inquiry. >> reporter: there is no help on the way, as democrats spent hours criticizing the bill. >> does it cover more americans? no. does it cut the deficit? no. >> reporter: mocking the process and the president at the same time. >> bad, sad. >> reporter: as well as the components for maintaining pre-existing condition protections, to allowing kids to stay on their parents' health care until the age of 26. >> there's a lot of plagiarism in this bill. >> reporter: the democratic efforts falling short of derailing any aspect of the gop plan. underscore. and from gop leaders from trump on down, the issue is their party, and they simply aren't there yet. >> look at what this does. this is a conservative wish list. >> so obviously now the big question is, can speaker ryan, can the white house get those wary conservatives on board? and the reality is, they've got
time. while the committees are moving forward right now, they still believe that there are opportunities to sway these members before it gets to the house floor. and frankly, they need to do just that. if they decide to vote against this bill as a bloc, to put it simply, it goes down. and that's why you've seen house republican leadership, the white house, the president himself, really start a full-court press. don't expect that to end anytime soon. instead, expect it to ramp up, when i talk to house leadership aides, and senior administration officials, they say, get ready. the president will be on a new campaign trail, he'll be making phone calls and also be meeting face-to-face with some of these skeptical or downright opposed members of congress. he believes he has the power, the bully pulpit to shift them around. phil mattingly, cnn, capitol hill. it's a complicated issue, that's clear. let's bring in director of the united center at the london school of economics. do you feel that this has been rushed out, a bit like the
travel ban was rushed out? >> yeah, it has that feeling right now. normally in a rollout like this, you'd have your party completely behind you, or at least most of the party on board. right now he's getting hammered in the senate. there's four senators who have come out, very uncomfortable with the medicaid provision that's in the proposed bill, and he's having problems with the conservative caucus inside the republican party and the house. so normally you'd have those folks lined up. you'd expect the opposition on the republican side. if the vote was held today, this bill would lose. he would not be able to get the 50 votes that he needs in the senate. now, these are early days and maybe, you know, he's able to cobble together the coalition. i think the big question here, is, how much political skin is donald trump prepared to put in. >> speaker ryan was suggesting these are are the early days of republicans in washington. they haven't been used to having a republican -- many of them
haven't got used to the idea of having a republican president. but is he also getting used to having to work with the senate and having chats with them before rushing these things out? >> yeah, i think one of the things that's unusual about the way this bill has been presented, normally it would be scored by the congressional budget office, like what's this going to cost average americans? that has not been done. and both speaker ryan and the house majority leader are trying to push this thing through as quickly as possible before the senate goes on recess, and the house. >> when you talk about the budget committee, is that based on the fact that it's very difficult to decide what you think of this bill if you don't know what it's going to cost? >> exactly. and so for lawmakers, especially those in the senate, who are worried or come from states that their voters could really get hurt by rolling back obamacare, they need to have it priced out.
they need to know what the range, different options, what it would cost. and that normally takes cbo a little while to work through. and so there's something of a pattern here. the travel ban was pushed out, the original one with -- it almost seemed like -- very little legal input. the pentagon budget, the 10% increase in pentagon spending came out before a strategy was in place for the allocation of it. and here's a case where you just haven't had the plan scored, which is unusual. >> this is the first test of whether he can get an agenda through congress as well, isn't it? >> so for him it's a big deal. i think he has a fair amount riding on this. this is the first legislative test. everything else has been executive orders. >> the suggestion also being that if trump has outlined a backup plan, and if it fails, you can blame the democrats. >> i think the democrats will take that deal. if obamacare is what's left
after all of this, right now, it's a majority of americans like obamacare. it's not an overwhelming majority. many republicans are opposed to it, but nevertheless, obamacare has gotten traction and i think that's really the dilemma for a lot of republicans. it's easy to repeal in the short run, but, you know, if the alternative proves to be very unpopular with their constituents, they'll pay for it in the mid terms. >> okay, peter, thank you very much indeed for joining us. >> good to be here. stay with the u.s., the cia is bracing for the possibility that wikileaks could share more of its secrets, seriously damaging its ability to protect against terrorism. officials tell cnn, documents appear to be authentic. wikileaks says the cia can spy on people through their phones, tablets and smart tvs, and those
hacking tools may have been stolen by criminals and foreign spies. >> he's extremely concerned about this, about these allegations, about this -- about the potential that something, if this were true, would have on our national security. >> now for some, that concern seems disingenuous. they say donald trump encouraged wikileaks when the information was damaging to hillary clinton. but one democrat says the president can't have it both ways. >> yes, there's a difference between the hacking and the leaking through wikileaks during the campaign. but both were wrong. both were serious injuries to our national security. in the one case, you had russia, a foreign adversarial power, stealing documents and publishing them to help donald trump and to hurt hillary clinton, and donald trump applauded wikileaks for doing that. applauded them for being either a willing partner, or as the
russians would call, a useful idiot, in their campaign to undermine our democracy. both are wrong, both should be condemned, and the president has a lot of explaining to do about why one, with russian involvement that helped is okay, but the other isn't. >> u.s. vice president mike pence is the latest white house official dodging questions about donald trump's claim that former president obama wiretapped him. senior republicans in congress say they're prepared to subpoena u.s. intelligence agencies to get answers. cnn's jessica schneider reports. >> reporter: members of the senate intelligence committee taking their search for evidence directly to cia headquarters to examine a trove of classified information. >> in many ways, we've got even more questions now. we've got more information we've got to get access to. >> reporter: democrat mark warner, vice chair of the committee, won't say if he's seen any evidence that president trump or his campaign colluded with the russians, but says he
did see details today of russian interference. >> a lot of what we saw today was the evidence underlying how russia manipulated the news, how it hacked into the dnc and john podesta and leaked out in favor of one candidate against another candidate. >> reporter: susan collins will examine the evidence next week. she also wants the president to prove his wiretapping claims. >> i would like him to turn over any evidence that he has supporting his tweet from this weekend about surveillance. i think that would be helpful to our investigation. >> reporter: the white house still offering no evidence, as press conference sean spicer continues to field questions about whether president trump is tied to the russian hacks. >> it is interesting how many times this fake narrative gets repeated over and over and over again. and yet no evidence has ever been suggested that shows that the president has anything to do with any of the things that are being -- it's a recycled story.
>> reporter: senators lindsey graham and sheldon whitehouse sending this letter, seeking copies of any warrant applications and court orders, related to wiretaps of president trump, the trump campaign, or trump tower. >> when it comes to surveilling an american citizen, the only way you can do it lawfully, any president, is obtain a warrant. if there is no warrant, then that checks that box. >> reporter: meanwhile, fbi director james comey, still refusing to publicly comment on trump's wiretap allegation, but he did allude to the high legal bar for securing a warrant at a cyber security conference in boston today. >> the government cannot invade our privacy without good reason, reviewable in court. that's the heart of america. >> reporter: sources tell cnn, comey was incredulous after president trump's tweets and directed his staff to ask the justice department to tamp down on the allegations. that hasn't happened. but comey believes his job is
secure. >> you're stuck with me for about another six and a half years. >> and fbi director comey, one of the notable names requested as a witness for a public hearing. republican senator susan collins also leaving the door open to the possibility of requesting president trump's tax returns as part of the senate committee's investigation. jessica schneider, cnn, washington. now the trump organization is leaving its mark on china again. up next, why trump insiders say their latest business move is part of a defense strategy. plus, the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. lashes out at north korea's leader after the country's latest provocations. what she said about kim jong-un. as the network it's on. and verizon has been ranked number one for the 7th time in a row by rootmetrics. (man) hey, uh, what's rootmetrics? it's the nation's largest independent study and it ranked verizon #1 in call, text, data, speed and reliability. (woman) do they get a trophy? not that i know of. but you get unlimited done right.
the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. is talking tough about north korea's missile launches and its erratic leader. nikki haley said dealing with kim jong-un isn't easy, and she explained the need for the thaad missile defense system being set up in south korea. >> tell me why we wouldn't do the thaad, in light of 24 ballistic missiles, in light of two nuclear tests? knowing that we're going to protect our allies, we are not going to leave south korea standing there, with the threat
of north korea facing them and not help. we have not seen any good will at all coming from north korea. i appreciate all of my counterparts wanting to talk about talks and negotiations. we are not dealing with a rational person. >> let's go to paula hancocks for the latest from seoul. this is off the back of a chinese idea that a deal could be done potentially between the u.s. and north korea. >> yeah, max, it is interesting, what the ambassador has said. it's a slight departure from what we've seen from previous u.s. ambassadors and u.s. officials. in the past, the u.s. has criticized the nuclear and missile program and what the country is doing as a whole. but this is a direct criticism of the north korean leader, kim jong-un. and that would not play well with north korean officials. the standing of the north korean leader within the country is one of a demigod. he is to be revered and it would
not go down well to see a u.s. official actually criticizing the north korean leader in this way. so that's an interesting point, and certainly i don't think we're going to see any kind of response like that from south korean officials, understanding that it is something that is simply not done with north korea. but it's also interesting to hear that she has suggested that negotiations are not on the table at this point. there has been much speculation as to whether or not a negotiation would be possible. quite frankly because the trump administration has not outlined its north korean policy yet. so people and experts still feel like they're guessing as to what exactly u.s. president trump will do about north korea. max? >> so how do you think china will react? they tried to get involved with this, tried to calm things down as they call it, and the americans basically saying this thaad system is going to go ahead, that's it.
>> well, certainly china is furious about thaad, the missile defense system that the u.s. has started to bring into south korea already. on monday night the first pieces of thaad arrived here in south korea. there's been a lot of regional resistance to thaad, not just in china, also in russia, clearly in north korea, and also some political opposition parties here in south korea. and obviously the residents who are going to be living next to this system as well. so it's not just china that's anti-thaad. but what we've heard from u.s. and south korean military in recent years at least, is that they believe they need this missile defense system to counter the threat of ballistic missiles from north korea, to be able to shoot down the short and medium-range that may potentially be flown from north korea to south korea in any potential conflict. >> okay, paula, thank you. we'll stay with china because the chinese government has granted preliminary approval for
35 trump-related trademarks. the trump organization says it filed for trademarks as a defensive measure. effectively preventing anyone else from opening business under the trump name. we're joined from beijing by matt rivers. the term conflict of interest is being bandied about. >> absolutely, max. we know that lawyers for donald j. trump filed in total 39 different trademark applications with the chinese government in april of 2016. as you just mentioned, 35 of those applications were granted preliminary approval. four of those applications were rejected, although the chinese government does not discuss why they were rejected publicly. the trademarks are for donald trump's name, his full name in english, his last name in english, and four different iterations of his name in chinese, translated into chinese. the trademarks apply in a wide variety of industries, max. some you would expect, like
construction, spas, caves, restaurants, bars. but some you might not expect, including animal training, bodyguard services, those are just two that stood out to us a little bit. and this does tend to happen here in china quite a bit. if you are a famous person, a company with a big brand, you file what's called protective trademark applications, to protect your intellectual property rights in china. that's not unusual. but donald trump is not your standard famous person. he is the president of the united states, which brings us to conflict of interest. ethics lawyers say by granting these approves, the chinese government could be interpreted as giving a gift to donald trump. that of course would be banned by the u.s. constitution. that's what ethics lawyers say could be a conflict of interest here. that said, the trump organization said this is just a continuation of a long-standing practice of their company to protect intellectual property rights here in china and that they're no different than any other company. so right now, moving forward,
there's a preliminary approval that's been granted. there's a 90-day period for these trademark applications to be objected to by people both here in china and around the world. but if no coulds aobjections ar, these trademarks will be certified in late may and early june. >> as you say, it's not uncommon. there's a lot of counterfeiting in the country. so businesses do tend to do this sort of thing, and perhaps the idea that he's a u.s. president is just a more pro-active way of responding to that sort of counterfeit measure, but there will be concern, won't there, in china, that perhaps he is getting favorable treatment. will there be any backlash within the country? >> well, in terms of here in china, i don't think there's going to be a lot of backlash within the chinese public, frankly, i don't think within the chinese public there's a lot of interest in it. where you see it play out is on capitol hill. democrats on capitol hill in the united states saying this is a clear case of conflict of interest. and you're going to hear donald
trump and the trump organization say this is just continuation of a long standing practice, and that they have the right as an organization to protect their intellectual property rights. this is a very, very complex legal argument that will take place, frankly with people who know a lot more about the legal system than you or i, max. but it really begs the question, this is going to have to be discussed and it's a very interesting question that is now raised. >> absolutely. matt in beijing, thank you. u.s. republicans keep pushing their health care bill meanwhile, but the opposition is growing, even within their own party. plus, donald trump's promise to repeal obamacare was a winning strump strategy, but some is trump supporters may possibly be having second thoughts about losing their health insurance.
welcome back to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm max foster. our top stories this hour, hawaii is the first u.s. state to file a legal challenge to president trump's revised travel ban, it restricts travel to the u.s. from six muslim majority countries. a federal judge will hear that
challenge on march 15th, just hours before the order is supposed to go into effect. the u.s. vice president mike pence is dodging questions about whether he believes barack obama wiretapped donald trump. mr. pence says it should be up to congressional committees to look into that matter. the vice president is on a growing list of republicans avoiding the question. iraqi troops got 300 meters into the old city of western mosul in an operation to capture a government complex. officials say they killed 139 isis fighters skpo destroyed car bombs, mortar launchers and anti-aircraft weapons. mosul is the last major isis stronghold in iraq. three days of mourning in guatemala for 21 people killed in a fire at a youth center. 19 of the dead were teenage girls. an official says the blaze started when residents set fire to a mattress. human rights groups criticized the center in the past, saying
it had poor living conditions. meetings are going on right now as republicans try to fast-track legislation to repeal and replace obamacare. the all-nighters are happening in part are using procedural delays to slow things down. the republicans proposal hasn't been a smash success. many conservative republicans say it doesn't go far enough to undo obamacare. but house speaker paul ryan says he's confident the legislation will be passed. >> this is a team sport, and this is something, i talked to the president twice yesterday. he had dozens of members down at the white house yesterday. we're working hand in glove with president trump vice president pence secretary price, this is all hands on deck. we all ran on repealing and replacing obamacare. we know if we do nothing, the system collapses. we know if we just repeal it, the system collapses. this is why we have to pass it with something better. >> i've been reviewing it monday night, tuesday night, today.
when you review it, it doesn't really make a lot of sense, because it's written in legislative jargon. so i'm working through all that, i think the two impressions i have right now, there are some good things in there for sure. one is, it doesn't really fully repeal obamacare, which we promised for six years we would do. and then two, i'm not seeing how it's going to drive down the costs so people can afford this coverage. >> well, repealing obamacare without an adequate replacement will impact countless americans, including some who voted for donald trump. our miguel marquez spoke with one trump supporter who survived cancer thanks to obamacare. >> it's the largest welfare program ever proposed by republicans. >> reporter: some republicans outright rejecting the plan to replace obamacare. democrats too. >> this is what you've come up with? this is a bad joke. >> reporter: the bill under fire from both sides, americans like tiffany carol --
>> you're a conservative republican? >> i am. >> reporter: not your typical republican, caught in the middle. >> could you have afforded to chemotherapy without medicaid, without being on that program? >> no. >> and it was only that expansion of medicaid that allowed you to be on that program? >> right. >> reporter: she doesn't like obamacare's individual mandates, she'd prefer market solutions to health care. >> we all want to thrive and make america great again, as he would say, but we can't do that if we're struggling to pay bills. >> reporter: three years ago she had employer-based insurance, then lost her job. she went on obamacare for $400 a month, then decided to take a chance. >> and i need your help. >> reporter: she ran for office -- and lost. then some really bad news. cancer. stage four, non-hodgkin's lymphoma. >> my prognosis was poor. i wasn't supposed to survive.
>> reporter: by that time, she couldn't afford insurance. >> was it difficult to rely on the government for health care? >> well, not necessarily. i -- it was life or death for me. >> reporter: the american cancer society estimates today there are some one and a half million americans with cancer, on medicaid. >> anyone who's in the medicaid expansion, who are really the lowest income expansions and many of them are cancer patients as well, including childhood cancer patients, are going to be losers. >> reporter: the center on budget and policy priorities estimates the gop plan will gut more than a half trillion dollars in federal medicaid spending over a decade. for people like tiffany with a pre-existing condition, her hillary clinton costs, already over a million dollars. >> people have to be able to get to their doctors. people have to be able to get their medicine.
and out of any country in the world, we should be doing it. we should be doing it right. >> miguel marquez, cnn, milwaukee, wisconsin. well, the leading hospital and doctor groups in the u.s. are lining up against the republicans' health care bill. the american medical association and children's hospital association are just a couple of the many groups who say they're worried that millions of the most vulnerable patients could lose their coverage. the republican bill would eliminate funding for expanding medicaid which provides health care for the lowest income families. when the white house spokesman was asked about the group's refusing to support the new plan, he suggested those organizations were getting paid off under obamacare. planned parenthood is also strongly opposing the bill. the republican plan would strip all federal funding for the group, despite its providing health care services like cancer and diabetes screening as well as birth control. anderson cooper spoke to planned parenthood president earlier. >> i know paul ryan said we're
being defunded. but we don't have a line item in this budget. what he's saying in this legislation is that the millions of folks who count on us now for preventive health care, birth control, cancer screenings at planned parenthood, would no longer be able to come to planned parenthood, and we wouldn't be reimbursed for that care. it's also important to understand from this legislation and remind folks that abortion services are not paid for by the federal government. so what they would be blocking women from getting from planned parenthood is the services that help prevent unintended pregnancy in the first place, which is birth control, which is our specialty. >> have you gotten any assurances from moderate republicans who plight might bed to planned parenthood's funding being tied to this bill? have they told you they would try to oppose it in its current form? >> absolutely. moderate republicans all across the country, and even traditional conservative republicans who believe that the government shouldn't be in the business of telling people where
they can and can't go to for health care, are in opposition to this bill. and that includes millions of our own patients. we see millions of people across the country, including many of the states where president trump has supporters. half of president trump's own supporters oppose defunding of planned parenthood. and this is what i think congress is missing. is that women's access to health care is not a partisan issue. women need it from all walks of life. and the real irony, anderson, and that we are now, because of the good work of planned parenthood, and a lot of others, we're at an all-time low for teenage pregnancy in this country. we're at a 30-year low for unintended pregnancy in america, because more women are getting access to family planning and good birth control, including at planned parenthood health centers and we need to double down on that progress and not roll back the opportunities for women in america. >> we continue to follow progress of the bill. now slavery is outlawed in every country, but up to 45
million people are held against their will around the world. just ahead, how you can fight against this crime, as we mark freedom day on march 14th. plus, hear what freedom means to so many people, like this student. >> freedom is the ability to fulfill your potential of owl your dreams, regardless of where they lead.
the battle to retake raqqah, syria, from isis could be just weeks away. u.s. officials say marines equipped with heavy artillery are being deployed to northern syria, which would add tremendous fire power to u.s. fighters edging stronger to the isis stronghold. one official said military intelligence indicates some isis leaders are trying to get out of the city ahead of the assault. antiquities, believed to be more than 2,000 years old have been found inside tunnels dug by isis in mosul. in iraq, meanwhile, the relics date back to the asyrian period in the 8th century b.c. inscriptions on walls, pottery
fragments and remains from a king's palace. part of the site was excavated in the 1990s, but it was covered over due to lack of resources and security threats as well. cnn is partnering with young people around the world for a student-led day of action against modern day slavery. driving my freedom day is a simple question -- what does freedom mean to you? >> freedom to me means the ability to write, read, and act and speak the way you want to without fear of being punished. >> freedom to me means the right to resources and tools we need to succeed. >> my definition of freedom is the ability to have independent thought. >> standing for people who can't do it for themselves. >> we want to hear what freedom means to you. post a photo or video with
the #my freedom day and we'll have a look. a new statue in new york is getting a lot of attention. it's named fearless girl and it's staring down the legendary symbol of wall street, the big grunting bull, which represents a profitable stock market. fearless girl was placed there as part of a campaign to increase the number of women on corporate boards. ♪ ♪ >> you know, we do need more women. we do need to acknowledge women's rights in the workplace, in government, in skod. >> i think by bringing in more diversity, whether it's racially or across gender, i think is going to be really good in leadership and in boards. >> it's really important to have something like that in the middle of all this, just showing
that women are here, women are capable of doing anything that a man can do. >> i think we've come a long way. america's come a long way, and we can do better, absolutely better. having more women on boards should not be a question we ask in 2017. >> i think it empowers women and young girls to say you can do anything you want. >> no matter how big that bull is, women can defy all odds. >> it didn't take long for life to imitate art, either. a photo of a 5-year-old girl posing near the statue has gone viral. represents everything the statue stands for, a confident young woman, ready to take on the world. now, massive grass fires are burning in the heart of the u.s. and they are moving so fast that a patrolman got caught right in the middle of one. incredible video still to come. an unlimited data plan is only as good
as the network it's on. and verizon has been ranked number one for the 7th time in a row by rootmetrics. (man) hey, uh, what's rootmetrics? it's the nation's largest independent study and it ranked verizon #1 in call, text, data, speed and reliability. (woman) do they get a trophy? not that i know of. but you get unlimited done right. (man 2) why don't they get a trophy? (man 3) they should get something. (woman 2) how about a plaque? i have to drop this. my arm's getting really tired. unlimited on verizon. 4 lines, just $45 per line.
the mayor says a chemical used in water treatment got into the public distribution lines. he said the main lines have been cleared now but advised people to flush out the colored water before taking a drink. in the heart of the u.s., kansas is dealing with the largest grass fire the state has ever seen. the governor has declared a state of emergency to help the affected areas. earlier this week, a kansas patrolman got this video on his dash cam, driving right through another fast-moving wildfire burning in the state. frightening situation. with more on that, let's go to pedram at the cnn weather service. >> great to see you, max. incredible to think how we moved away from what occurred in california a few years ago to now what's happening in the midwest and central united states. you take a look at parts of kansas, in particular, out of the comanche and clark counties, that is an historic fire,
consuming over 500,000 acres of land, 200,000 hectares of land. and when you combine kansas, it's a whole nother story. we've consumed over 650,000 acres of land in that state, almost the size of the entire state of rhode island, of how much land consumed because of the weather conditions prevalent in the region. you go up 22,000 miles into space, look down from the weather satellites, you can pick up the thermal signatures, the smoke going from one state to another. that being into oklahoma, into kansas as well. and the moisture content is increasing. that's excellent news. i always say the weather will always have the upper hand. firefighters can only do so much. if you have windy, dry conditions, the fire cannot be stopped. and at least we're getting some moisture into the forecast. some thermz popping up as well. a lot of this just east of where the biggest fires are, but anything is relief. and a forecast that brings your temperatures down 20 degrees is also a relief.
amarillo from the 80s to the 60s. oklahoma city, also a significant drop that brings them back down to normal temperatures. where we have had powerful winds is across the mid western u.s. some areas exceeding hurricane force winds. that delayed flights on wednesday afternoon. the pattern change now is going to be for much colder temperatures for the northern u.s. and it's been exceptionally mild for a long time around parts of the u.s., and it looks like it will get a shot of winter here for a lot of people going into this weekend. >> amazing. pedram, thank you very much. i want to bring you a story about the azor window of malta. it is no more. the limestone arch was in the first episode of the hbo series-gaserie series -game of thrones. it collapsed on wednesday into the city.
the prime minister posted a photo of what it looks like now and called the flattened scene heartbreaking. now melania trump has kept out of the spotlight lately, despite her somewhat low profile. her approval ratings have started to soar. jeanne moos has been looking into that. >> reporter: hail to the chief. hail to the chief's wife. >> melania! >> she's doing better than the chief in the polls. of course she's less visible, though she hosted an international women's day luncheon, the white house wouldn't let the press stay for her speech. >> right this way, guys. >> thank you. >> your excellenceys, esteemed representatives -- >> reporter: melania trump is held in high esteem by 52% of those polled by cnn/orc, compared to only 36% before the inauguration. tweeted one fan, she has given class, elegance and a reverence
for god back to this country. grumbled a critic, easy to have a great approval rating when no one ever sees you or hears you speak. >> our father who art in heaven -- >> reporter: though we've heard her pray and read dr. seuss at a children's hospital. >> reporter: we hear a lot about shoes full of melania's feet. as a former model, she's under a fashion microscope. oh, no she didn't! she wears one dress two days in a row. even her body language with her husband is microanalyzed, leading to calls to free melania, blink twice if you want us to save you. >> you know who i always look at for the truth, not melania, but look at her eyes. you can see in her eyes, she's like, you guys don't know what he's capable of. >> reporter: comedians take their shots, so do cartoonists. i will now be the first lady instead of the third wife.
but her approval still jumped 16 points. men favor her more than women, 58 to 46%. tweeted one guy, this just in, old white republican dudes approve of ex-model wives. but melania's climbing in the polls -- her way. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> the elusive first lady. thanks for watching. i'm max foster. "early start" is up next for everyo viewers in the united states. for everyone else, i'll be back with more news after this short break. you're watching cnn. . . . .
president trump ready to sell his health plan to washington, but a back up plan is emerging in the event leadership can't get this done. with few information about the wiretapping claims, some are dodging the questions. hear what the vice president had to say. good morning. thanks for getting an "early start" with us. i'm dave briggs. >> i'm christine romans. it is thursday, march 9th. 4:00. opposition to the new republican health plan