tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 15, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
thanks for joining us. see you tomorrow night. anderson is next. good evening. coming to you from a town hall. secretary tom price is the special guest. final preparations are under way. begins an hour from now. we begin with breaking news and a lot of it. just hours before the president's new travel ban was set to take effect, a federal judge put the executive order on ice. quoting from the ruling, "the record before this court is unique. it includes significant and unrebutted evidence of religious
anim animus." part of an interview the ruling cites. >> i think islam hates us, but there is a tremendous hatred, and we have to be very vigilant, very careful, and we can't allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the united states. >> i guess the question is -- >> and of people that are not muslim. >> i guess the question is, is there a war between the west and radical islam or the west and islam? >> it's radical but it's hard to define and separate because you don't know who is who. >> the court cited that interview and statements made by steven miller on television comparing the new executive order to the old executive order. jessica schneider has more. what are you learning? >> we know this is once again a temporary restraining order putting that halt toe the second incarnation of the travel ban.
it was of course supposed to to into effect in about four hours, 12:01 a.m. this is the same recourse we saw on february 3rd from a seattle judge. this means the travel ban will not take effect. we're waiting to hear from the justice department about what the next legal moves might be for the trump administration. you touched on it. one of the main points from the opinion, the judge talking about the overall intent of the administration, saying that the motive was continually reiterated on the campaign trail by president trump's advisers wanting to institute a muslim ban. the judge citing rudy giuliani, how trump asked him how to put in a travel ban. one says this isn't religiously motivated because the six countries on this list and this
90-day ban, he said they have a muslim population in the high 90%. i'll read you some of the language, very strong, the judge points out. he says, "the ill logic of the government's contentions is palpable. the notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed." he continues to say, "the court declines to relegate its establishment clause analysis to a purely mathematical exercise." a lot of strong language in this opinion, but at the end of the day this temporary restraining order in place this travel ban will be blocked for now. we're waiting for next steps. >> just including next steps, this is out of hawaii but also washington state judge looking at this as well as elsewhere where. >> yeah. there have been a lot of lawsuits as you can imagine over the past few weeks since this ban was announced. we've seen hearings in maryland, also waiting for that ruling out of washington state where judge robart ruled back in february.
a lot ongoing but this is the one that takes precedent right now, and who knows what will happen with those others but for now, the travel ban halted. >> jessica, appreciate it. jeff zeleny is traveling with the president who will be speaking tonight from nashville, tennessee. running late. do you know if the delay has anything to do with the court ruling? any reaction from the administration? >> reporter: the president was informed about this shortly after the ruling was handled down and i'm told his aides and the entire white house counsel's office back in washington was poring over this ruling. as jessica was saying it includes so many of the president's own words from back in the campaign trail to his tweets and other things his advisers have said. we do believe he is going to address this tonight at the campaign rally. you can probably hear behind me lee greenwood singing "god bless
the usa." it feels like a campaign rally and is, and in some respectsitis back to the drawing board for this president. these are the major campaign pledges he made about the travel ban and this is going to start over. you can see the president entering this arena right now. he's entering to lee greenwood singing "god bless the usa." you can be sure he'll talk about this as soon as this song ends. this changes is moment of this ral rally. it certainly heightens the urgency for what the president must do now for one of his key campaign pledges. >> any idea what could be next from the white house? another rewrite of this executive order or, you know, president trump said i'll see you in court after the judge ruled the last time around. could they take this all the way? >> reporter: we do not know.
i'm sorry. it's loud in here. i'll turn this back over to you as we watch donald trump take the stage. anderson? >> jeff zeleny, thanks very much. we'll monitor what the president says if, in fact, he does talk about this. we'll bring you his comments. cnn legal analyst paul callan, jason miller, by phone alan dershowitz, also on the phone his former student, jeffrey toobin. professor, let me start with you. what do you make of the hawaii judge's ruling? >> i've read it and it raises a fundamental constitutional issue of first impression that will get to the supreme court and lead to a major decision, and that is can you take state aid during a political campaign and use them as a way of striking down a facially constitutional executive order? that would be a case of first
impression and it could go either way. there is a supreme court decision in a case down here in florida involving a religion in which the court did look at cases meat by members of the city council while they were serving in office. but here you have a judge who is finding statements made during a campaign. if you could take those statements into account, trump loses if the statements are devastating. but if the court rules that you can't take those statements into account and you have to look only at the text of the order, trump wins because the court is dead wrong when it says it's unconstitutional if it includes six countries, all of which are 90% muslim. that's perfectly constitutional, because that's what obama did. the court ruled if obama does it, it's constitutional, but if trump does it, it's unconstitutional because of what trump said during the campaign. that is a -- constitutional
issue. >> jeff, your reaction to what the professor said but also first to the ruling. >> i'm surprised. i -- the executive order would be enough to make a court uphold it. i think alan is exactly right, that it is unusual, unprecedented in my experience to take campaign statements from a president into consideration in evaluating the constitutionality of an executive order. i think frankly it will be vulnerable on appeal, this decision. but the sheer number of times donald trump says on your show, in speeches, that he wanted a muslim ban, that has come back to haunt him and that's why he lost this case, that it is all on donald trump. but that is just not how courts
operate, taking campaign statements into consideration. so we'll see what further appeals think about it. >> jeff, to your point, also interesting because the court referenced steven miller who's obviously an adviser in donald trump's white house. steven miller was talking on fox news about the new travel ban and i want to read what he said about the new one as compared to the old. he said, fundamentally you're still going to have the same basic policy outcome for the country but be responsive to technical issues brought up by the court and will be addressed. but those basic policies are still going to be in effect. it wasn't comments the president himself made as a candidate, this was why he was in the white house and now they're pointing the finger at steven miller. >> that's true. but if you listen to what steve. miller said, i don't think it's all that objectionable. he said we are protecting the
country and will do it the best way we can. the fact these countries are predominantly muslims is not what this case is about, the administration asserts, it's about protecting the country. obviously the judge thought that language was pretense, all about muslims, it wasn't about safety. but the president has broad authority in this area, and i just think courts are going to be very reluctant, other courts, to second-guess in these circumstances. >> jason, to that point, as jeff said, the president traditionally does have broad authority and what needs to be done to keep the country safe as opposed to courts in hawaii or washington or elsewhere. what's the next mover for the white house? >> we'll see. the president is speaking at this moment. while not a lawyer, there are a couple commonsense things. this appears to be very politicized ruling. even saw some of the question
marks being raised by jeff and with alan for the fact that the administration took their time, feel they got this right, put it out there with the ten-day period and for just tonight for this to be happening i think this reeks of political opportunism and playing political games. when you look at voters around the country, they want to see a president creating jobs and keeping the country safe. this is exactly what that's going to. to your point about what steven miller was saying, he was making the case of what the president and administration wanted to keep the country safe. this judge seems like an outlier to do this. i think it will backfire. when people are fed up and distrustful of our court system, they can point to this. >> paul, the judge said the illogic is palpable, animus toward any people by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed. this says it's not a muslim ban because it only targets people
from six countries. >> the entire focus of hawaiian judge's ruling was on the establishment clause. that is that this is religious-based discrimination against muslims. the decision reads like an angry decision by this judge. derek watson was appointed by president obama as a federal judge in 2013, something i'm sure mr. trump will bring up. >> but confirmed unanimously. >> yes. i think another argument that the trump administration will lodge against this is if you're going to discriminate against muslims why would you only apply this to six muslim countries? why not ban all muslims? they're foipg to say this is a limited targeted ban on countries that don't have a good vetting process for people who try to enter the united states. on the other hand, the most damaging thing in this opinion i think is rudolph giuliani's quotation saying ta trump asked him how do we do a legal muslim
ban? it sounds like this was planned to ban muslims as opposed to only potential terrorists. >> professor dershowitz, what options does the white house have here now? >> i don't think they can go back now and say we're going to do a third effort. i think they have to litigate and litigate hard. i think they're going to ask for an expedited appeal to the ninth circuit to try to get this case to the supreme court. they would like to get this to the supreme court after justice gorsuch is confirmed. but even without gorsuch on the court, i think they'll have a very substantial chance of winning even among eight just e justices, but the real risk is that the ninth circuit rules against them and it gets decided 4-4, they lose. that's why they'll wait until gorsuch is confirmed and that's why next week's hearings are going to be important, will the democrats try to delay gorsuch's confirmation so they don't have
a full complement of justices when it gets up there? it's very complicated at this point. >> professor desch wit, jeffrey toobin, paul callan, thank you very much. we'll bring you the president's remarks when he's talking about this. more breaking news tonight, the question about the allegations that president trump made about former president obama wiretapping his phones. the white house appears to be changing the meaning of the word wiretapping or trying to redefine it. we'll keep them honest. and wolf blitzer and dana bash hosting a town hall on health care and changes to the act. americans - 83% try to eat healthy. yet up 90% fall short in getting key nutrients from food alone. let's do more. add one a day women's complete with key nutrients we may need. plus it supports bone health
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more breaking news. no evidence that president obama wiretapped trump's phones at trump tower. it may be why the white house is trying to redefine what the president was accusing president obama of. the subject to of our "keeping them honest" report tonight. tucker carlson on fox, he was asked why he tweeted the allegations that president obama wiretapped him, allegations he has yet to produce any evidence of. here's what the president said. >> but wiretap covers a lot of different things. i think you're going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks. >> wiretap covers a lot of things. that's what the president is saying. if that sounds familiar it's because it's similar to shall we say gentle redefining of the world wiretap that white house press secretary sean spicer said two days ago.
>> he doesn't think that president obama went up and tapped his phone personally but no question that the obama administration, there were actions about surveillance and other activities in the 2016 election. >> spicer originally said the president's tweets speak for themselves, now he's spooking for them, redefining them. the new nary frif the white house. when the president was tweeting about president obama wiretapping his phones at trump tower he wasn't really. sean spicer has been pointing out the quotation marks the president used at times and didn't use other times. here are the original tweets. the first tweet was at 6:35 a.m. 11 days ago. then this -- then at 6:52 --
finally this at 7:02 -- was he accusing president obama of wiretapping his phones or as they now seem to suggest a vaguely defined general surveillance directed perhaps at then candidate trump or members of his campaign or company? you can decide for yourself. just for reference, here's how meriam webster defines ware tap -- to tap a telephone or telegraph wire in order to get information. or transitive verb, to tap the toll phone of. pretty specific. not broad. up with thing is clear, no matter how the white house now would like you to define wiretapping, president trump did repeatedly accuse the former president of the united states of ordering the tapping calling him a bad or sick guy like nixon, mccarthy.
and though president trump could release whatever information led him to this belief, e has not done that. maybe he has none or doesn't want to release it. he hasn't told the department of justice to release any information it has. could do that but he hasn't. the president has demanded congress investigate and plenty of news on that. jim sciutto is doing the reporting and joins us now. key members of the president's own party speaking out against this. >> confirming president trump is alone on wiretap island. his attorney general, a trump appointee and republican, jeff sessions, saying he gave the president no indication president obama ordered a wiretap of him. the republican chairman of the house intelligence committee saying today he's seen no evidence of that. we know james comey was one of the first challenge this saying he was amazed by this charge.
in light of those facts, they have to walk back the initial claim but the president was clear about what he was charging, that president obama himself wiretapped mr. trump himself. no evidence of that saying republican members of the house, the attorney general, et cetera, so when at he's talking about n is something different and that's crucial because there is evidence that the intelligence community was surveilling russians who were in touch with members of trump's campaign during the campaign. that is perfectly legal. these are russian officials and other russians known to u.s. intelligence as a matter of routine intelligence gathering. they're listened to, conversations are listened to. and sometimes americans are on the other end of that line. that's legal to do that. the question of course is why trumped a viers were on the err oend of that line and that's subject of continuing investigation. >> the fbi investigation into ties if any between russia and president trump's associates,
still a question whether this investigation actually exists. james comey was on the hill today. >> that's right. snoo senators, republican and democrat, were growing impatient and want an answer. is the fbi investigating these contacts which cnn has reported on based on the information we were given from multiple law enforcement and intelligence officials. we don't know what james comey said to lawmakers today. we know that was a question they certainly asked him. but there was an interesting moment today at that house intelligence committee perez briefing, nunes, the republican, saying he's seen no evidence of contacts between the trump campaign and russians during the campaign. he was interrupted by the ranking democratic member of the house intelligence committee, adam schiff, who said wait a second, we can't say that categorical categorically. you have a disagreement within that bipartisan hill investigation a to whether they have seen evidence of this. that will be a major and crucial line of inquiry in that
investigation. >> jim sciutto, appreciate the update. senator sheldon whitehouse serves on one of at least five subcommittees looking into this. he said yesterday fbi director james comey would confirm today whether an fbi investigation exists its ties between russia and trump associates. didn't happen in the way expected. i spoke with him earlier. you would hope that director comey would respond to your letter from last week asking for evidence to support president trump's claim he was wiretapped. have you received any response on that? >> no, we have not. and we'll probably hold. it's the chairman's call, not mine, pursuing further measures to try to get that information until we've had their explanation. but the fact of a warrant application which we've said they can redact the document as they please to protect ongoing investigations or intelligence sources and methods, but the
mere fact of the application ought not to be something that is classified, particularly not where the president has specifically called this in on himself and said congress should investigate. >> as you referenced, senator graham had indicated he had to issue subpoenas if the fbi didn't provide information. you're saying now you think the exit tee will wait on that until you have the meeting with comey even if it's next week. >> that will be senator graham's call. when we talked to the press after the hearing today he indicated he was leaning in favor of giving the director this chance to discuss it with us before e with moved on to potentially subpoenas. that's the chairman's call. >> earlier today president trump in an interview with fox news said that, quoting, wiretap covers a lot of different things. also said some interesting items will be coming to the forefront in the next two weeks. in your opinion, does wiretap cover a lot of different things?
the president had originally tweeted? and do you have any idea what interesting items he's talking about? >> not in law enforcement. in law enforcement a wiretap is a wiretap. and you need a warrant to get one and it lets you listen in on the substance of the conversation. and it's a term of art and one that we intend to run down. you have to apply for it and the applications are in writing unless it's a super emergency, then you have to follow up in writing so there actually would be documents that would leave a trail. >> do you think the white house is trying to back away from the president's tweets from last saturday? >> i think they're probably trying to find a decent way to back off but i think also they know this is a sparkly object that the media will chase and while they're watching the support for repeal and replace of obamacare fall apart and all the infighting happening between speaker ryan and the white house, i think this is a bit of a diversionary ak titactic as w.
>> both the house and senate intelligence committees are investigating russia ties. can you explain what you and senator graham can do with your sib xhet tee the other committees cannot do? >> we're acting publicly so that he we're going to be able to explain to the public what is going on. >> do you have a time line for your investigation? >> we're just going to continue going forward. chairman graham announced today that our next hearing would be on the subject of how you protect an ongoing investigation from white house political interference. i think that's going to be another fascinating topic and will help illuminate whether the folks doing the investigation have adequately defended it from the threat of political interference. >> do you believe there is political interference? >> too early to tell but i think it is important that the defenses be up so that you can tell when it happens and can fore stall it when it begins. >> senator sheldon whitehouse,
appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> president trump ha weighed in on tonight's court ruling. we'll bring you that next. actually, let's listen to it right now. >> so we have a lot of lawyers here. we also have a lot of smart people here. let me read to you directly from the federal statute. 212-f of the immigration and -- you know what i'm talking about, right? can i read this to you? listen to this. we're all smart people, we're all good students. some are bad students but even if you are, this is a real easy one, let pe tell you. ready? here's the statute, which they don't even want to quote when they overrule it. and it was put here for security of our country. and this goes beyond me because there will be other presidents and we need this and sometimes we need it very badly for
security. security of our country. it says -- listen how easy this is. whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or any class of aliens would be detrimental to the interests of the united states, he may by proclamation and for such period as he -- see it wasn't politically correct because it should have said he or she. today they'd say that. that's over. actually, that's the only mistake they made. as he shall deem necessary suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants or oppose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. in other words, if he thinks -- out there, he or she, whoever is president, can say i'm sorry,
folks, not now, please, we got enough problems. we're talking about the safety of our nation, the safety and security of our people. i know you're not skeptical people. nobody would be that way in tennessee. not tennessee. you don't think this was done by a judge for political reasons, do you? no. this ruling milwaukees us look week. which by the way we no longer are, believe me. just look at our borders. we're going to fight this terrible ruling. we're going to take our case as far as it needs to go including all the way up to the supreme
court. we're going to win. we're going to keep our citizens safe and regardless we're going to keep our citizens safe. believe me. even liberal democratic lawyer alan dershowitz, good lawyer, just said that we would win this case before the supreme court of the united states. remember this -- i wasn't thrilled but the lawyers all said, let's tailor it. this is a watered-down version of the first one. this is a watered-down version. and let me tell you something, i think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what i wanted to do in the first place. the danger is clear. the law is clear. the need for my executive order
is clear. i was elected to change our broken and dangerous system and thinking in government that has weakened and endangered our country and left our people defenseless. and i will not stop fighting for the safety of you and foyour families. believe me. not today. not ever. we're going the win it. we're going to win it. we're going to apply common sense. we're going to apply intelligence. and we're never quitting and we're never going away. and we're never, ever giving up. the best way to keep foreign terrorists or, as some people would say in certain instance, radical islamic terrorists from attacking our country is to stop
them from entering our country in the first place. we'll take it, but these are the problems we have. people are screaming break up the nine nith circuit court of appea appeals. i'll tell you why. take a look at how many times they have been overturned with their terrible decisions. take a look. and this is what we have to live with. finally i want to get to taxes. i want to cut the hell out of taxes. but -- but -- before i can do that, i would have loved to have put it first, i'll be honest. there is one more very important thing we have to do and we are going to repeal and replace horrible, disastrous obamacare.
if we leave obamacare in place, millions and millions of people will be forced off their plans. and your senators just told me that in your state you're down to practically no insurers. you could have nobody. you could have nobody. and this is true all over. the insurers are fleeing. the insurers are fleeing. it's a catastrophic situation. and there's nothing to compare it to because obamacare won't be around for a year or two. it's gone. so it's not like, oh, gee, they have this -- obamacare is gone. premiums will continue to soar double digits and even triple digits in many cases. it this drain our budget and destroy our jobs. remember all of the broken
promises? you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan? remember the wise guy that essentially said the american people, the so-called architect, the american people are stupid because they approved it? we're going to show them. those in congress who made these promises have no credibility whatsoever. and remember this, remember this, if we took -- i'm not just talking now with me. there was with obama weather bush, the level of hatred and divisiveness with the politicians. years ago i'd go to washington, always very politically active and democrats and republicans fight by day and go to dinner at night. today there's a level nobody's seen before. just remember this, if we submitted the democrats' plan,
drawn everything perfect for the democrats, we wouldn't get one vote from the democrats. that's the way it is. that's how much divisiveness and other things there are. so it's a problem. but we're going to get [ inaudible ]. so i've met with so many victims of obamacare, the people who have been so horribly hurt -- >> monitoring that to bring you president trump's comments about the judge's ruling in hawaii stopping his executive order. i want to bring in the political analysts. gloria borger, jeffrey lord, van jones, town hall tomorrow night, and alan dershowitz on the phone. professor dershowitz, you were referenced by president trump saying even you believe that they will win at the supreme court. is he right? how spried are you by the president's comments about the ninth circuit and going after
this judge in particular? >> i think the president makes a mistake going after judges. he quoted me correctly, i do think he'll win many the united states supreme court. it will be an important decision because it will be the first time a court has hand led political statements during the campaign used to strike down a facially constitutional statute. i hope the president doesn't misinterpret my statements to say i support the order. i don't support it. i'm opposed to it. there's a difference between not supporting an order on policy grounds and finding it up constitutional. i do not think it's unconstitution unconstitutional. i think the supreme court will uphold it even if gorsuch is not yet on the supreme court. if he does make it there in time then it will be a clearer victory for the trump administration in the supreme court. >> van jones, the judge in this case clearly pointing to
comments that candidate trump made on the trail and comments steven miller has made recently. >> an action can be ruled unconstitutional if it's on the face of it it looks like it's a good thing but there's an intent that's unconstitutional. there is clearly an unconstitution nal intent here. donald trump has said a gazillion and 50 times, i counted, he wanted a muslim ban. it's bizarre to expect a court to pretend what has happened hasn't happened and this piece of paper -- there's a discriminatory intent and it's clear. i am proud this judge responded to it. something else happened tonight which is wrong. you heard a veiled threat from the president of the united states to break um the ninth circuit because he didn't like a ruling. this is the kind of stuff that authoritarian blow hards do all
across the world, start threatening judges and the judicial branch. unacceptable. you have to recognize that you have a judge willing to look at reality and that is this is a discriminatory thing and unconstitutional. >> professor dershowitz, you argue it is constitutional. why do you disagree with van on the intent? and why is candidate trump's statements not important? >> that's the question that the supreme court will have to confront. if it does, it will have to decide that word in an order can be constitutional an issue with barack obama but the very same words unconstitutional when issued by donald trump. that makes it personal. after all, the selection of these countries, seven, was made by obama, well motivated not on the basis of a muslim ban, on the basis of a desire to protect the united states.
then president trump selects six of those same seven countries but that becomes unconstitutional because of what he said during the campaign. that's the issue the supreme court will have to confront. i think it's very difficult to predict how it will come out but i think that the law can at sh point support the conclusion that it's the statute on its face is constitutional that the statements made during his campaign do not term it unconstitutional. it could come out the other way but mymy prediction is it will come out in favor of the trump administration based on that logic and argument. >> van? >> i am no fool to get into a fistfight on national television professor dershowitz. but i have to say that what president obama was doing with those seven countries is not related to what donald trump is trying to do. the explanation that the trump administration is giving is completely arbitrary and irrational.
there are other countries that should be included under the rationale he's putting forward. the only thing that holds these countries together are majority muslim countries. no other criteria that holds up. >> name a country that's not muslim that would come under a ban at this time? >> france. how about france? >> the reason that you would name france is because there are extremist muslims who come from france. >> yes. >> you can't link the reality that the threat to the united states comes from radical muslim extremists. >> professor, i am risking my might have here and hope you'll show mercy for me. >> you don't need mercy. you're fine. >> let me tell you, just because fransz and denmark are in europe, if you're concerned about countries that have a history of extremism, there are european countries that do, yet
none of them are included. my point is this -- let me -- >> mechanism for dangerous people that these countries president obama said don't have the appropriate mechanism. i agree with you, this is a complex issue, and i agree that if they look at the statements made by president trump, he will lose. the question is, is that the jurisprudence that the supreme court will apply? that's a tough argument to make. >> interesting, jeffrey lord, earlier president trumped that iraq on this list. there are many places in iraq, you can't vet somebody's background or areas -- there's sunni, shia groups, members of militias, afghanistan is not on this list, a lot of areas in afghanistan which are not under the control of the central government. vetting is difficult. pakistan in which we've had people come from pakistan, the
wife who killed people in san bernardino came from pakistan. clearly you could say vetting is a problem there as well. >> anderson, i have to believe that the intelligence community, so-called, are vetting these countries all the time, that the intelligence mounts up every single day, and that they make these decisions based on a movable feast of intelligence at the moment. there's no point in talking tact hijackers from 9/11 because that was -- >> isle point out taliban doctor walked into a hospital in kabul just the other day and slaughtered people. it's an issue. >> it is. this is going to know go to the congress and the supreme court nominee and gorsuch's nominee, now going to become an issue when he goes to his hearings next week, and this hawaii judge took the president literally, which is the conversation we're going to continue to have. >> just ahead, you heard president trump touch on this a
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president trump just wrapped up a campaign-style rally in nashville. our jeff zeleny is there. the president making his first comes about the hawaii judge basically putting his order on ice. >> reporter: i was struck by the president saying it was a watered down version of the first ban. and he expressed some regret for doing it in the first place. he used president trump's own words in the ruling, so when this goes through the appeals process as well, his words tonight, saying that this was a watered down version of the first one stood out to me, but the president also vowed to fight this all the way to the supreme court if, if that's what it takes to win. he also selectively cited the
commentary of alan dershowitz, of course the liberal lawyer who believes that this may be constitutional. so the president was very fired up about this tonight. he had the crowd behind him here at a campaign rally, and anderson, it took me back to a year ago on the campaign trail, when he was talking about that. but the reality here now is so different. and his justice department, his white house counsel's office must figure out exactly what to do going forward. it's going to take far more than a campaign rally to do this, but the president also read from a statute, a federal statute, saying that he has the authority, in his view, to do this, to protect the american citizenry, and he put this all in the context of keeping america safe and national security. but anderson, beyond his words, beyond his rhetoric, we are still unclear at this hour what the legal strategy is here going forward. >> jeff zeleny there, they're even playing the same campaign
music, the rolling stones "you can't always get what you want." one of the president's cabinet officers will be with us at the top of the hour. he'll be taking questions about the republican plan to replace obamacare. the house had been expected to vote on the bill next week. when asked today, though, house speaker paul ryan would not give a timeline. >> reporter: the uphill climb is getting steeper by the day. >> i'm leaning no, because i don't think the current bill can pass in the senate. i think that the bill has to be strengthened. >> reporter: the house bill in its current form can only afford to lose 21 republican votes, already 19 house republicans have said no or are leaning that way. >> if it came up in the house this afternoon, it would pass in. >> it's not coming up this afternoon. >> reporter: and it gets even
harder for paul ryan's bill in the senate. >> i don't believe anyone thinks its current form would pass in the u.s. senate. >> reporter: they are encouraging the leadership to make more changes now, acknowledging it cannot pass in the senate. in an interview with jake tapper today, >> as far as the house is concerned, we have consensus, and we're fine tuning our consensus. >> reporter: speaker ryan trying to thread the needle. >> giving states better chances at more flexibility. those are the things that members are constantly giving us feedback and we're incorporating this feedback. >> reporter: by making it clear he's pushing ahead with his bill. >> the senate will take this baton when we hand it to them, and they can do things to this bill. they can amend this bill. >> reporter: building on comments earlier today from the gop's multi-step plan. >> this is why we have a three-step process. you can't put everything you want in that bill, like, say, interstate shopping across state
lines. >> reporter: republican lindsey graham crushing that promise to pass more legislation later on. >> you're not going to get 60 votes to buy across state lines. that is a fantasy in the nat. >> what are the terms of a vote next week? >> reporter: the plan is still to bring this to a house floor vote next week. but it was notable as you said that speaker of the house paul ryan said if he would commit to bringing it to a full vote next week, he largely deferred. he said, look, i'm going to let the house majority leader answer that. he's the one that sets the schedule here. so that comment certainly notable this evening >. the mechanics of inch along. if it gets out of that committee it goes to the rules committee. that will likely happen at some point next week.
and that's where these tweaks and changes that we keep hearing about from the administration and from now republican leadership, that's where those tweaks will potentially be made. so very clear, it's inching along very slowly, but also clear that there are some parts of, in some magnitude of this bill that need to be changed in order for loadersheadership to their votes. >> joining me is a congressman, we appreciate you being here. mark meadows just said a few minutes ago, he has the votes to block this bill in the house. do you agree with him in >> i'm quite confident that as it stands, leadership doesn't have the votes they need to get this bill as written through the house. >> and you would not vote for it if it was to be voted on today? >> no, and i want to vote for a bill. we're the same group that lambasted majority leader pelosi asking us to pass the bill so we
can see what's in it. the timeline is faster with the bill originally that we're trying to repeal. there are a couple sticking points that get to me where i can't get to yes. we're rewarding states who have exercised fiscal imprudence that have expanded medicaid. i come from a state where we held out. this rewards bad judgment. the second thing is, as the tax credits are structured, it's a solid argument that this is the largest entitlement program under a republican president and republican congress. we can get the americans what they want which is affordable care and market solutions. it will cut the deficit by a third of a trillion, they'll expand hsas, but i've never been in a negotiation where your
starting point was your final point. >> senator rand paul said, quote, i think paul ryan's selling him, meaning president trump, a bill of goods that he didn't explain to the president, and the grassroots doesn't want what ryan is selling. does the president not fully understand what's in the bill? is it at odds with what the president talked about during the campaign? >> what's at odds is the reports of where the administration is on this bill versus the reality of what we're hearing from the administration. and that is that the administration wants to make sure we don't just get a product but a product that bends the cost curve down, opens up marketplaces and gives america something closer to the world class health care we deserve. i don't think the speaker's selling the president a bill of goods. so i disagree with the rhetoric, but i do think there's negotiation afoot. and we're far from a finished product. but we'll get one.
>> 19 house republicans are leaning or voting no. the bill is dead. who would be to blame if the republicans can't get health care passed ? >> there's no impe tus to do this now. it's an impetus to do this right. if we don't get it right, it's the republican's blakme. we could let the wheels fall off the train wreck that is obamacare. that's not why we were elected. but i wasn't elected to abdicate my responsibility and take the first product as the final product. >> congressman tom garrett. >> anderson an honor, and god bless. sanjay, when you look at this bill, what do you see in terms of who gets covered in. >> the big concern is the
20-some million people who have insurance now and may not have it. >> from the cbo. >> from the congressional budget office. the big concern, obviously, if you cut this much money out of medicaid, expanding medicaid into those states no longer able to happen, those are the people who are likely to get hurt the most. it's important to point out that while people focus on that and the 4% or 5% of people who are on these exchanges, everybody's affected by this, right? the protection's even for you and me in terms of what our health care plans have to have for us. what they have to cover. and those sorts of protections, regardless of whether you're on medicaid or the exchanges affect everyone. those are the people most affected, but i don't think anyone's immune. >> did the republicans or president trump as a candidate promise too much? >> well, yes, as it turns out, he promised to repeal and replace very quickly, and he might be able to do that if he could take a little bit more time. and i think they made a decision
in the white house, what's important when you're a fnew administration is what do you do first, what do you do second. and inside the white house they made the decision, okay, we're going to go with paul ryan, and we're going to do hey, firalth first. because that's what we promised. >> it was interesting to hear him say sometimes i wish we had started with taxes. >> he could have started with taxes. he could have started with infrastructure and got and lot of democrats to vote for repairing bridges and our roads, but instead, they started with the most complicated, difficult intractable problem that republicans haven't agreed on for the last eight years. so now they assumed, okay, we're in charge, and we can suddenly get it done. but guess what, they can't, because they come from different parts of the country, there are moderate republicans, conservative republicans, paul ryan republicans and donald trump republicans who promised
universal care when he was running, and that's not what this is. >> sanjay, what are you going to be listening for from the town hall? >> that there's going to be more choices and lower costs ultimately. that's wh that's it is now. but how do you get to more choices and less cost? the quality of insurance that you have, you can buy health insurance that frankly doesn't cover a lot. that would be pretty cheap. but if you get sick, you get in a car accident or something like that, that's when people figure out for the first time how good their insurance is. you don't want these skinny plans or junk plans, i want commitments that that's not going to happen. >> sanjay, thanks very much, and gloria as well. the town hall with the head of
the health and human services secretary tom price is about to begin. it's moderated by wolf blitzer and day thna bash. let's go to them now. [ applause ] tonight, a cnn exclusive, president trump's point person on repealing and replacing obamacare takes your questions. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. >> and i'm dana bash, and we want to welcome dr. tom price. he practiced as an orthopedic surgeon for 20 years and is a former member of congress from georgia. he now serves as the secretary of the department of health and human services and is at the center of the health care debate in america. >> and secretary price, our audience is obviously very, very eager to hear