tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN March 13, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
that means trees will come down. could have thousands without power. have enough food for three days because the storm hasn't even developed yet. it develops tonight, moves up as a classic nor'easter. coastal storm flooding. a lot of problems. will lose power and have about 5,000 cancelations, brooke. >> snow boot day tomorrow to say the least. tom sater. i'm brooke baldwin. "the lead" starts right now. kellyanne conway says she is not inspector gadget. this news cast will self-destruct in 60 minutes. "the lead" starts now. deadline day for the white house to provide proof that president trump did not make up that claim that president obama tapped his phone. could a microwave oven end up on the capitol steps before the day is done? health care reality check. what's the cost for you? what's the cost politically? republicans bracing for the budget estimate on their plan to replace obamacare. plus, more than 2 feet of
snow. a blizzard heading to the northeast. millions in the cross-hairs. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we're minutes away from the deadline for the trump administration to hand in any evidence of the wiretapping accusations president trump levelled against president obama two saturdays ago. the house intelligence committee requested the justice department provide them today with any proof at all backing up president trump's tweets from earlier this month. some of them, as you'll recall. terrible. just found out obama had my wires tapped in trump tower before the victory. nothing found. this is mccarthy-ism. is it legal for a sitting president to be wiretapping a race for president prior to an election? turned down by court earlier. a new low. how low has president obama gone to tap my phones during the sacred election process. this is nixon, watergate bad or sick guy. since the tweets nine days ago this charge by the president
has been called false by the director of the fbi, false by the former director of national intelligence, and not one credible, informed source that we can find in washington has said that the president's accusation is true. i am including vice president pence in the group. to say that members of the house intelligence committee are expecting reams of paper to prove the charge coming their way today, well, that would be doing a disservice to the members of the select committee. we as a nation have had to live in this farce for the last nine days. defenders of the president have twisted themselves to try to suggest the possibility that the tweets were not pre poposterous make it seem somewhere in the neighborhood of possible. >> i think there is no question that the obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election. that is a widely reported
activity that occurred back then. the president used the word "wiretap" in quotes to mean broadly surveillance and other activities. >> to break out white house press secretary sean spicer's trump to english dictionary. by obama, president trump meant the obama administration. by wiretap, he meant any kind of surveillance. and by surveillance of trump's phones at trump tower, he meant apparently surveillance of anyone who may have had any conversation with anyone who was part of the 2016 election. sometimes revisionism is so blatant it's just a complete rewrite. he didn't mean obama had his wires tapped at trump tower, he meant the obama administration may have conducted surveillance during the election of some people, including some who may have spoken to people on campaigns or having communications with those campaigns. those are two completely different things. one is false, and one is true. but other than the word "obama"
they have little in common. as with so many of the unfounded charges. 3 to 5 million illegal votes. highest murder rate in half a century and on and on. the white house is spending its energy and your tax dollars trying to change demonstrably false assertions into perfectly understandable beliefs tangentially related to the original lie. while doing so, they're squandering their own credibility and wasting time defending the indefensible instead of devoting time to improving your lives. jim acosta joins me now from the white house. the president is trying to move ahead on governing with a series of important meetings today. when he makes a charge like that, he makes governance different for himself. >> go go gadget back-pedal. the white house has yet to provide evidence to back up president trump's claims that he was wiretapped by former president obama. but there is plenty of proof around that white house officials still have not figured out how to put this episode behind them.
president trump had plenty to say about former president obama at this conversation on health care at the white house. >> when he left people liked him. when he was here people didn't like him so much. that's the way life goes. >> reporter: ask the president if he has any proof that his predecessor wiretapped the offices at trump tower, an allegation he made more than a week ago, and the room goes quiet. the answers don't get much better from top white house advisers. >> do you know whether trump tower was wiretapped? >> what i can say is there are many ways to surveil each other now. there was an aurrticle that tald about surveilling someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets. any number of different ways. and microwaves that turn into cameras, et cetera. >> reporter: on "new day," kellyanne conway insisted she wasn't suggesting that she had evidence that the president was being spied on through his appliances or otherwise. >> i was answering a question
about surveillance techniques generally. >> he didn't ask you about it generally. you may have answered it generally but you were answering it specifically. >> i don't believe people are using a microwave to spy on the trump campaign. i am not in the job of having answers. that's what investigations are for. >> the president tweeting, it is amazing how rude much of the media is to my hard-working representatives. be nice. you will do much better. even fellow republicans are demanding answers. on cnn's "state of the union," senator john mccain explained the president has two options. >> either retract or, to provide the information that the american people deserve because, if his predecessor violated the law, president obama violated the law, we've got a serious issue here. >> after meeting with fbi director james comey, house speaker paul ryan is still waiting to see the proof.
>> have you seen anything to suggest there are wiretaps? >> no. >> two things are important about what he said. recognizing that it's the -- he doesn't really think president obama went up and tapped his phone personally. >> reporter: democrats contend the president's wiretapping claims are more about what's bugging him. >> i say that this is all an intentional strategy, right, when the news starts to get bad for the trump administration, they, you know, very intentionally and consistently try to say something outrageous. >> reporter: in the meantime intelligence experts say americans shouldn't worry about hidden cameras in their kitchens. >> is the cia listening to me through my microwave oven and tv and cellphone? >> no. >> reporter: we're told the house intelligence committee says as of this hour it has not received any information from the trump administration to back up the president's claims. administration officials continue to say there were multiple reports about surveillance conducted during
the campaign but that's not the case. jake, we asked the white house to provide a list of press clippings on the surveillance activity that they are talking about but as of this hour we have not received that list, jake. >> jim acosta, thank you so much. any moment the congressional budget office is expected to release the analysis of the health care bill which has us bracing for the news that fewer americans will likely be covered under the new plan. phil mattingly, republicans trying to frame it not as a loss of coverage for millions of americans but, rather, more millions of americans getting a choice. >> reporter: exactly right, jake. they believe there is a flaw in the cbo models and they believe they were elected to repeal the individual mondayate aandate an expansion of medicaid. the number is expected to drop an anvil on the head of
republican plans that create another hurdle as they try to create the votes to move this forward. as republicans nervously await projections likely to show a major drop in insurance coverage, the president and his supporters trying to maintain a sense of urgency while making the case that the status quo is not working. >> the fact is obamacare is a disaster. and i say this to the republicans all the time. by repealing it, by getting rid of it, ending it, everyone is going to say, oh, it used to be so great. it wasn't great. >> reporter: president trump meeting with people today who say obamacare hurt them, acknowledging the process to repeal and replace won't be clean or easy. >> more competition, less regulation, to finally bring down the cost of care. unfortunately, it takes a while to get there. because you have to let that marketplace kick in. >> reporter: 24 hours after his point man made it sound much easier. >> i firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in
the process that we are going through, understanding that they'll have choices that they can select the kind of coverage they want for themselves and their family, not that the government forces them to buy. >> reporter: as gop leaders grapple with what's looming, congressional budget office projections sources tell cnn will show a drop in coverage for millions. >> good morning, everybody. >> reporter: paul ryan preemptively pushing back on the official non-partisan assessment. >> i'm certain cbo will say not as many people will get covered. you know why? this isn't a government mandate. this is not the government makes you buy what we say you should buy. >> reporter: gop sources tell cnn it's certain to create a problem with the more moderate members of the party. the reason? the provision to repeal obamacare's medicaid expansion, which the bill sets at 2020. conservatives say that's not soon enough. and a powerful outside group, heritage action, continues to push outright opposition to the bill. >> any conservative member of congress who stands strong and insists that we use this moment
to repeal the architecture of obamacare, to fully repeal it and replace it will never regret their stand. >> reporter: it's the moderates who may become the bigger centimeter. the cbo's coverage drop expected to be driven in large part by the removal of the medicaid expansion program. the continued splits driving some to call for house republicans to slow a train on its way to a full floor vote as soon as next week. >> i would say to my friends and the house of representatives with whom i serve, do not walk the plank and vote for a bill that cannot pass the senate and then have to face the consequences of that vote. >> reporter: jake, we are just getting the cbo numbers right now. i am reading through them. it just came out. top-line numbers that matter here. 24 million more would be uninsured by 2026. it would also include a $337 billion in budget savings under the deficit -- or under -- over the course of a decade. the latter number is important
going forward. to be able to move the bill through the senate under the budget reconciliation rules, the mechanism they are using here, it has to reduce the deficit. it does. it is bird rule compliant. it can move forward, but the top line number, 24 million uninsured by 2026. in talking with sources who have been working behind the scenes on this proposal over the course of the last couple of weeks, it's higher than they were estimating. that is a bad top-line number going forward. as you noted, the speaker, the trump administration have been kind of laying the table for this over the course of the last couple of days talking about why they don't believe the number will matter. i can tell you where it will matter. there are moderates in the house and senate, not the conservatives who are worried about the bill but moderates worried about their reelection. it's a large number. those will be the individuals to keep a close eye on going forward. it's tough to wash away 24 million over the course of a
ten-year period. that's what republican leaders will have to do in the days ahead, jake. >> phil, let's discuss the numbers for a second. speaker ryan and people who support the bill have been saying, look, we don't have an individual mandate. we don't require americans to buy insurance so by definition fewer americans will be covered under our plan. 14 million americans fewer having coverage by 2018, 24 million americans fewer having coverage by 2020. are these the kinds of numbers -- are these the kinds of headlines that can actually make moderate republicans and republican governors in the states say, hold on a second. this isn't choice. this is taking away the access that you were promising people would have access to health insurance. >> it's the big question. i have been talking to a lot of moderate republican members over the last couple of weeks in the house saying, what's your trigger? what keeps you on board here? this top-line number was
something that they continually referenced. primarily with the medicaid expansion in obamacare. expanded health insurance coverage for up to 11 million people. the house plan puts an end to that. they tried to put a transition period into place. they have it at 2020. you can continue to enroll in the expansion, the matching funds will be there until 2020. they did it to try to mollify the moderate republicans and mollify the governors in states like nevada, ohio, who took the expansion that don't want the enrollees to just fall off a cliff. the 10-year number is driven by the fact that this medicaid expansion program will come to an end. it's obviously been a big issue for conservatives who want to trim the number to 2017, 2018. now we'll shift focus to the moderates, whether or not waiting until 2020, that transition period, is long enough. the big question right now is, because of 2020, because of this number over the course of ten years, does that mean that the medicaid provision needs to be extended even longer in order to
try to get these moderates to stay on board with this? it's a question republicans will have to grapple with certainly in the house and probably more importantly in the senate where there are very conservative senators who come from the medicaid expansion states and have made it clear, if we feel like the people in our states who have been enrolled over the course of the program will fall off a cliff at some point we will not support the bill. the number at least on the top line seems to show that's exactly what will happen which means, jake, they have a lot more work to do on the bill going forward. >> phil mattingly, thank you so much. we'll have much more on the cbo report breaking this hour. wednesday night cnn hosts a special town hall about obamacare and its replacement with president trump's director, secretary of health and human services dr. tom price. wolf blitzer and dana bash will be the moderators. we'll have much more on the breaking news of the cost estimate of the republican obamacare repeal and replacement
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the executive branch. >> dollars being wasted that will not result in results for hard-working american taxpayers. this order requires a thorough examination of every executive department and agency to see where money is being wasted, how services can be improved and whether programs are truly serving american citizens. the director of office of management and budget will oversee the evaluation, working with experts inside and outside of the federal government as well as seeking input from the american people themselves. based on this input we will develop a detailed plan to make the federal government work better, reorganizing, consolidating and eliminating where necessary. in other words, making the federal government more efficient and very, very cost-productive. so we're going to do something i think very, very special.
it will never have been done to the extent that we're going to be able to do it. you're already seeing results. we will then work with congress to impliment these recommendations on behalf of the american people. so, with that, i want to thank everybody very much and i want to wish the cabinet good luck. i think we have some of the finest people ever assembled for a cabinet. we're going to do a great job for the american people. thank you very much. thank you very much. >> that's president trump's signing an executive order streamlining the executive branch. we'll find out more about that executive order later. let's talk about it and, of course, the breaking news on the president's health care bill with democratic senator of new jersey bob menendez. thank you for being here. before the break the congressional budget office, nonpartisan analysts of all things in washington and congress released their analysis of speaker ryan and the house republican leaders' health care
bill. 14 million more uninsured by 2018 than under current law. 28 million more by 2026 and $337 billion in deficit savings from 2017 to 2024. so, a lot of deficit saving there. but many, many million more americans without access or at least without health insurance. your response. >> well, an enormous blow to people getting average and having coverage. 24 million americans losing their health care coverage. and the deficit savings are because, at the end of the day, you're just so contracting medicaid and the tax credits that you're given. that's why the savings exist. it comes at the cost of 24 million people not having health care coverage which is critical to the quality of their lives, critical for them to be productive. and then the consequences to our health care system of people who go uninsured and then use the
emergency room as the vehicle for their primary care. this goes back to the system before the affordable care act that had insurance companies decide what coverage you would get. they were arbitrariy and capricious in denying people with millions without health care coverage. >> one of the things republicans say and president trump said today is that, without any sort of changes obamacare will, quote, implode itself off the map. there are a lot of criticisms. in new jersey there were five before and now there are two. plans are pulling off the exchanges. doesn't there need to be a major overall of obamacare? >> jake, we have always said that the affordable care act was not perfect. you don't have any type of sweeping legislation. dodd/frank or this, that is
perfect with that type of vast, encompassing legislation. every time we have sought to improve the legislation our colleagues sought to slay it. our opportunity to improve upon it haven't been there. the answer to that is not at the end of the day having people pay more, have less coverage, less people insured, and a body blow to so many of our states that ultimately expanded medicaid coverage and brought more people into the health insurance market as a result. >> one of the reasons why there is such inflation in health care, and one of the reasons so many americans are seeing their presu premiums rise is because of the pharmaceutical industry and the prices of the pharmaceutical industry, hospital stays and medical devices. those three things are the biggest drivers of health inflation. what did obamacare do for any of them? as i understand it, there really
weren't a lot of measures to contain costs. they certainly expanded coverage with the medicaid expansion and with stipends and the rest to help people get access to health insurance. but obamacare, they promised to bring down costs, and i didn't see a lot in the bill to do that. what would you do right now if you were king, what would you do to help bring down health insurance costs? >> look, first of all those entities put in a lot of money into the affordable care act in order to make it happen. i think it was appropriate for them to contribute to the health care system. at the end of the day part of my goal when i was sitting on the senate finance committee and drafting and voting for this was to move away from a disease-based health care system to one that's preventive. at the end of the day when we do that we save a a lot of money. it takes time to get there, but right now under the system that existed before the affordable care act, you waited largely until you were sick and then went to your doctor and got treated. we wanted to move to a
preventive-based system, to pay hospitals, for example, on outcomes, where there is less likely that, if you had to go into the hospital, you get re-admitted. to make sure that, if you are using prescription drugs, you are using it in a way that improves the person's health care and doesn't have them having to go back to another physician for another purpose. those are elements that we need to expand upon. we can create greater competition in the system as well. you know, it's ironic that under the affordable care act you can cross state lines and offer insurance, but insurance companies generally haven't sought that. that is supposedly going to be one of the things that the trumpcare seeks to do. the reality is, at the end of the day, that could be done right now under the affordable care act. so the question in my mind is not to go ahead and abolish the affordable care act, it's to work to improve upon it. and then we would actually improve the health care of people in this country, we would drive down costs, we would
create greater competition and we would end up with a better health care system and better health for people in america. >> the reason that 24 million americans more will be uninsured by 2024 under the repeal and replacement bill, a lot of those millions, i think the majority of it, is because of the end of medicaid expansion, medicaid obviously being health insurance for poor people and obamacare expanded it. new jersey is one of the states where a republican governor, chris christie agreed to go along with the medicaid expansion. 500,000 more new jerseyians this medicaid because he did that. what's to stop you, senator booker and governor christie from getting together and figuring out how to provide for the 500,000 within the state? there were plenty of states including indiana that did their own experimentation with medicaid expansion. why can't you do that? >> experimentation with medicaid expansion still implies
expansion. if you're going to cut the monies and basically undo medicaid as we know it -- which is where they are saying. >> you can increase taxes for whomever in new jersey and use it to pay for the people -- >> then you are putting a burden on a whole other group. expanding medicaid is not just about the poor. we expanded it to those individuals who are working but at very low incomes. so these are people who get up every day, work hard, play by the rules, but could not afford health insurance. nursing homes also, if you have a loved one in a nursing home, that's medicaid at the end of the day. we could tax another group of citizens to afford the opportunity for health care for these people. at the end of the day insurance is about spreading risk across a wider universe. with medicaid expansion we were covering more people who were going to an emergency room, ultimately for health care because before, if you qualified for medicaid before the
expansion, you already had health care coverage. the poorest of the poor had health care coverage. medicaid expansion took in the working group who couldn't afford health care but was working every day and wasn't poor in that context. secondly you ultimately created a system that, for example, in new jersey hospitals that faced millions and millions of dollars of uncompensated care, care they were delivering but nobody had insurance to pay for it. drove up the price -- >> everybody else who went to the hospital had to pay for it. two more questions. the senate intelligence committee is looking into the russian hacking. are you confident that the senate intelligence committee can pull off the inquiry that needs to be done? >> president trump suggests president obama wiretapped him to take off the attention of the
attorney general and others. i am for an independent commission. i respect the intelligence committee and the leadership on a bipartisan basis but that's one element of a broader set of circumstances. i want to make sure that when president trump is acting, he is acting in the interests of the american people, not in any interests he might have. that is broader than the intelligence elements, broader than the whole issue of our elections. it's a whole host of issues. i think a 9/11 independent type commission should do it. >> i should ask one of the four latinos in the senate about the comments made by steve king of iowa. he tweeted having something to do with a european election. culture and demographics are our destiny. we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies, he doubled down on the sentiment in an interview with cnn. take a listen. >> of course i meant exactly what i said as always is the case. if you go down the road a few generations or centuries with the inter-marriage.
i would like to see an america that's so homogeneous that we look a lot of same. this western civilization is a superior civilization, and we want to share it with everybody. >> i think it's pretty dispeckable. steve king is the leader of the make america white again movement. i guess the reality is somebody else's baby is somebody like me. born in the united states. parents fled from cuba. the greatest experiment in the history of mankind is the united states of america. part of that great experiment. part of american exceptionalism is the great diversity of people who have come to this country, fully embraced america and its values and ideals and ultimately contributed enormously, entrepreneurship, innovation, nobel prizes won. steve king just is from a kro
welcome back to "the lead." sticking with politics. lots to talk about with the panel. gentlemen, lady, thanks for being here. the cbo report, the congressional budget office, nonpartisan group of the republican health care plan, headlines, 14 million more uninsured by 2018. 24 million more uninsured by 2026. all compared to what would happen if obamacare stayed. and then a budget savings, deficit savings, $337 billion. bill, these numbers appear to be worse than what i think republicans were bracing for. >> yeah, i think they are worse. the key is the 14 million who cbo projects will not be on insurance, additional who won't
have insurance next year. 2018. the question is how many are young people who didn't want to buy insurance, were forced by the mandate to buy insurance and now will not have insurance. they're not worried about it. they can always get it. how many are older people who got bigger subsidies under obamacare. if the older people number is a larger number, those are voters, often republican voters, if some appreciable number of the 14 million with those people i think an awful lot of republican congressman and senators will get queasy. >> that's one of the reasons the refundable tax credit was given disproportionately to older people and wasn't means tested. >> earlier this month the aarp said, warned that in fact older people, people in their 50s would be in more four-figure
premium increases. that goes back to what bill was talking about. if older people, trump voters and the rest are hurt by the bill it will be enormously for republicans in congress and people in the white house to sit by it. >> republican governors. another number was 21 million in 2020. that's in another election year that trump will be looking at that number if he runs for reelection which we think he will. we're talking about basic electoral politics. if people don't feel like they're being covered and are dropped from their health care that will be a problem for the party in charge. >> donald trump. he is the key. the republican members of congress, i talked with a lot of them. they have a lot of stake in it. they'll go along with leadership. donald trump is the guy sitting in the white house thinking, wait a second, i have had a good run on the economy. good jobs numbers. deregulating. people like that in the job creating world. can't i ride that horse for a
while. we're getting beaten up with this health care thing. the voters will be penalized. i wonder if the next shoe to drop isn't trump saying, let's slow down and take a fresh look at this. >> highlighting the difference between paul ryan saying this is the bill or nothing. donald trump calls it a big, beautiful negotiation. those are not compatible views. >> president trump has been reluctant to call this trumpcare. he is not a man who is averse to putting his name on things. the moment he is fully behind it is the moment he starts calling it trumpcare. he promised to "60 minutes," everyone will have health insurance and if you can't afford it the government will pay for it. that isn't what this is. >> we heard tom price with a version of that saying few people will be hurt financially by this bill. >> no one will be worse off financially in the process we are going through. >> how can you possibly make that promise? we'll hear that over and over again in the mid-terms and possibly in a general election
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a blizzard. the mayor ordering all schools close the tomorrow. new york up to new england could get whiteout conditions. points south to the d.c. area could get a significant amount of snowfall. the midwest is getting its own round the snow. forecasters say that's nothing compared to what will come tonight. let's go to cnn meteorologist jennifer gray in the weather center. it's not just the snow but the intense wind that makes the storm so dangerous, right? >> you're right, jake. winds anywhere from 55 to 60 miles per hour. new york city, boston could see those. this is tuesday afternoon. you can see 34-mile-per-hour winds. close to 50 in boston by 3:00 p.m. 62-mile-per-hour winds in boston, 32 in new york. m montauk. gusting to 50 for boston through the evening hours. we are going to see the potential for downed trees, power lines, things of that
nature. so here is your winter storm threat. here are the winter warnings as well as the blizzard warnings. i want to zoom in on these because they're very close to the boston metro as well as philadelphia. some of the northern sides of the metro area of boston will be included in the blizzard warning as well as philly. of course, it does include new york and parts of long island as well. so let's take this into the future. as we go forward in time, it's going to -- the storm in the midwest will combine with a coastal low and basically produce this nor'easter and blizzard-like conditions. this is tuesday morning. you see getting into new york city. moving forward in time. getting into boston around 8:00, 9:00. we'll be in it for about 12 hours straight. for new york city as well as boston. looking on the floor, though. i want to show the potential for snowfall totals. d.c. could see from 2 to 5 inches of snowfall. as we go up to new york city, we could look anywhere from 18 to 20 inches of snow and then up in
boston we could see 12 to 14 inches. of course, this forecast is fluid. ever-changing. some of the models still disagreeing a little bit. jake, that's our best estimate as far as snowfall totals for the northeast. >> meteorologist jennifer gray. thanks so much. appreciate it. up next, widespread impact of the blizzard on travel across the country. stay with us. start saving for r. then we asked some older people when they actually did start saving. this gap between when we should start saving and when we actually do is one of the reasons why too many of us aren't prepared for retirement. just start as early as you can. it's going to pay off in the future. if we all start saving a little more today, we'll all be better prepared tomorrow. prudential. bring your challenges.
welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. the money lead now. the monster snowstorm stalling much of the travel industry across the country. some 1500 flights are already grounded with even more already canceled for tomorrow. let's go to cnn's rene marsh at reagan airport outside the capital. they're hoping to avoid crowds stranded tomorrow and are being proactive. >> you're right. the scene they don't want is the scene of the passenger who is stranded and sleeping in the airport. they don't want that. what the airlines are doing is getting ahead of the storm and canceling flights way before even the first sight of snow. we know tomorrow, four times as
many flights are canceled than we are seeing so far today. more than 4700 canceled. lots of people trying to get out before that storm actually hits the northeast. again, more than 4,000 flights canceled for tomorrow already. compare that to an average day where you see about 125 cancelations. we do know that some of the hardest hit airports will be the three airports in new york city as well as philadelphia and boston, logan airport will be hit pretty hard as well. of course, these storms means big costs for not only the airlines because it costs an airline about $6,000 just to cancel one flight, but it also costs the passengers. to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars because now they're dealing with additional lodging, additional meals. so costly all around, jake. we do also know, if you are going by rail, you will also run into issues as well tomorrow with this storm. amtrak telling us that they are
canceling service between new york city and boston for tuesday and modifying service between new york city and washington, d.c.. >> rene marsh at reagan national airport. thank you so much. a little boy dazed and bleeding after being pulled from the rubble in syria. turns out his story is not unique. a grim record for the youngest victims in war-torn syria. that story next.
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welcome back to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. topping the world lead, 2016 has been deemed the worst year on record for the suffering of syrian children. according to a new report from the united nations international children's emergency fund. or unicef. nearly 6 million syrian kids are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. more than two million have fled their homes. at least 650 children were killed last year. that's a 20% spike from 2015. more than 850 have been recruited to take up arms, some forced to serve as executioners, some forced to serve as suicide bombers. the statistics are painful and a powerful reminder that the six-year-old civil war in syria has no end in sight. the numbers are horrific. the photographs heartbreaking. unicef says the new report only
accounts for part of the plight of syrian children. many more families are suffering in inaccessible areas far from cameras and the aid they desperately need. according to unicef, more than a quarter million syrian children are currently living under siege. those who survive the near constant bombings risk disease and malnutrition, but they remain resilient. some teachers have transformed caves into make-shift classrooms. 255 school children killed in or near a school last year. 12,600 students crossed active conflict zones in syria to take their final exams. 16-year-old maya told unicef, quote, my dream is to become a journalist so i can talk to people and ask about their suffering. maya is just one of many young people fighting for a life beyond syria's desperate reality. >> someday we'll all be asked
what did we do to stop all that. follow me on facebook and twitter @jaketapper or tweet the show @theleadcnn. i'll turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news. health care score card. 14 million more americans could be without health insurance coverage next year under the obamacare replacement plan pushed by the gop leadership and the white house. that's the assessment of the non-partisan congressional budget office which says the number of uninsured could sky rocket in subsequent years. evidence deadline. today the trump administration must give congress evidence on the president's claim that he was wiretapped by president obama. now they say wiretapping doesn't necessarily mean wiretapng