tv Inside Politics CNN March 17, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PDT
healthcare. what will that look like? will it be true repeal, we don't know. but they have to do something. all the incentives are really aligned and i think the first test will be coming next week. >> first, of many of votes. but an important one. thank you guys so much. thank you for joining us. "inside politics" with dana bash today starts right now. welcome to "inside politics." i'm dana bash. john king is off. fridays tend to be sleepily here in washington, members of congress are home in their districts, the white house heads to mar-a-lago. but today on the trump administration on the healthcare front, they don't have the option of a quiet friday. they're trying to scramble to repeal and replace the
healthcare bill. tom price was on early this morning and the president himself is twisting arms in the oval office. president trump is planning another weekend at mar-a-lago, we should say, but first he's doing something very important as we speak. he is holding probably the most important meeting to date with a foalo world leader, the president is hosting angela merkel, you see her arriving at the white house. german chanceler angela merkel who had a simpatiko relationship with donald trump. during his presidential campaign he was not a merkel fan particularly when she beat him in 2015 for the honor he thought he deserved. he tweeted, i told you "time" magazine would never pick me as a person of the year, for the
record they did pick donald trump as person of the year in 2016. this broad hugely broad sides from the future president. >> the german people are going to riot, they're going to end up overthrowing this many would. i don't know what she's thinking. you watch what happens to angela merkel who i thought as a good leader. what went wrong? angela, what happened? hillary clinton wants to be america's angela merkel. >> now, the two will stand side by side for a news conference in a little over an hour. we'll see if he calls her angela or angela or chancellor, now that they're both world leaders. you'll see it live right here on cnn. here is our panel of reporters. jonathan martin, emily cook, molly ball, and our own manu
raju. it's an incredibly busy day. we talked about merkel arriving at the white house, the healthcare situation going on. but there is something that also happened. many people thought was really impossible. an apology. an apology from the white house. this one was to britain for a claim of fox news analyst that british intelligence might have spied on trump at the behest of president obama. the west wing continues to stick by the accusations that president obama had him surveilled, evidence-free claims. i want to talk about the white house and angela merkel being there. you've got nato, the refugee crisis, and a host of other problems with russia and asia and so forth. john, let me start with you. >> yeah. >> what do you think is the most critical part of this meeting right now?
>> well, it establishes some kind of a base line relationship with one of our key allies in europe, a country that you know, really sustains the eu economically at least. and hopefully some damage control from the comments you played from the president over the course of the last year. this is not ancient history, this was last year, last couple of years he was saying this about her. it creates an awkward spot for us to be in. and look, i -- you know, trump is somebody who is cursed and blessed by a short memory. so he is happy to move on from what he said last year. the question is, dana, will chancellor markell be able to move on and let bygones be bygones. >> the issue of immigration has been a problem for her, and the fact is she has a tough re-election coming up because of the blow back to the number of immigrants that were allowed into the country and we're
seeing it all through europe. in fact, she is, to your point about the linchpin of the eu, she's sort of the last vestige of what we consider the old world eu. as we're watching eu, what she represents right now, after brexit and after what we're seeing in france and the netherlands, et cetera. this is -- this is sort of -- this should be for the u.s. a one very key important ally in that region. >> and you mentioned her in terms of where she stands, and she is the last vestige of that kind of the leaders that we saw i guess we can say the last generation of leaders. >> yes. >> but there is also her as a personality, and i want to play for you something that the chairman of the munich security conference said about angela merkel ahead of this meeting. >> if there is one leader around who i think can deal with, can handle the new american
president, i think it's got to be angela merkel. if he wants to, you know, make america a better place, make america move forward, both economically and politically he can't do it with good partners. these partners are represented by angela merkel. >> okay. so there is the partnership that's one thing. i just want to focus on who she is. she's a tough cookie. do you think that maybe the president will meet his match with her? >> well, i'm going to be fascinated to hear what trump says today about the relationship with germany because in the view of people like steve bannon and the alt-right party, trump is one piece in a populist upricing and merkel is the last globalist. it is all about the refugee crisis and the number of refugees that germany has taken
in. that's why trump was criticizing her and comparing her to hillary clinton during the campaign. will they find a way to see eye to eye despite the different ideologies or will it be about practical are we friends? >> he tends to say what that person believes -- >> what they want to hear. >> he does that almost -- >> he comes out later -- >> he comes out later and says something different than what he says publicly. he does it with world leaders and members of congress and the like. i think it will be a cordial meeting and probably a cordial press conference. it will be interesting to see if he takes questions from people who will make them illuminate the differences on immigration or have him respond on wiretapping or if trump decides to pick from the american
questioners, on american issues. >> the wiretapping would be a timely question because, of course, the obama administration tapped merkel's phone not so long -- >> trump will bring that up. >> you know trump will bring that up, right? it will be a twofer for him. a dodge for his own issue but also an example of the last president wiretapping. >> to molly's point, it's important how he chooses to bring it up the fact that she's bringing with her economic people, that the debate is much more about the economic, look at all the jobs we bring to the u.s., we have bmw, seemence. we're all about making america great. that's where they want to have the conversation more so than let's make this a debate on immigration policy, populism, and nationalism. >> you talked about she is kind of the last person in leadership role in europe, at least one of
them. the biggest that is focused on globalization and is not in kind of the steve bannon frame of being more nationalistic. but that's not the only reason i think why she has been -- she has been somebody who has been on the tip of president trump's tone. i want to play something for you that he said about her, and about vladimir putin not that long ago. >> whom do you trust more if you talk to them? angela merkel or vladimir putin? >> well, i start off trusting both. then let's see how long that lasts. it may not last long at all. >> remember that when he said he basically sees them on equal footing? them, meaning vladimir putin and angela merkel, at the beginning. >> of course, merkel and putin have been starkly at odds over nato in particular and over the russian incursions into eastern
europe and ukraine. and to the point that putin supposedly found out that merkel was afraid of dogs and started to bring in dogs to their meeting as a result in an attempt to intimidate her. it will be very interesting to see if the russia relationship will become a dimension of the statement. >> she grew up behind the iron curtain in east germany which was the soviet union. >> will he reaffirm the united states support for nato or say what he said during the campaign that it's an obsolete organization and that other countries need to pay more. that's going to be a fascinating thing because you see members of trump's own administration saying that, of course, the united states stands firmly behind nato but the president of the united states himself not going as far as his cabinet members. what happens if a key ally or other reporters bring it up in the press conference. >> you bring in the immigration
and the refugee crisis and that has been a major point of criticism from president trump about angela merkel. let's listen to something that he said back in january. >> i have great respect for her. i felt she was a great, great leader. i think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of the illegals -- you know, taking all of the people from wherever they come from, and nobody knows where they really come from. >> so that's obviously his stance. it's interesting, given the fact that his own attempt to deal with that in this country has just been blocked for the second time by the federal court. >> well, it's not even a close comparison given the size of our country and the size of germany. they have absorbed far more refugees than we have. >> no question. >> it's a very different cultural question here than it is there. it's in trump's interest and the bannons of the world will blow
through the distinctions. they want to talk about the threat of radical islam and some of them the threat of islam in general and the west. and i think trump wants to sort of making it into an issue of his own domestic political reasons. >> it's a cultural debate as well. we saw it in the dutch election as well and we'll see it in germany as well. it's not about safety and security, it's about are you changing the identity of this country. we're seeing that throughout europe and that's what this debate is here. we spent the other day talking about steve king and his views on people coming into this country and intermarrying or whatever his view on that, however he described it ultimately. but fundamentally, are we changing who it is to be an american, and who we are as -- >> and as europeans. >> not to get too far into history books there is a reason germany is so focused on it because of what happened in world war ii where the concern
about the other turning into concentration camps. >> yes. just to go back to nato, the allies are concerned about what this administration plans to do. because you had trump trash talking nato to some extent during the campaign and this is the primary objective of may's visit. mike pence said good things. they have been saying good things but they say people need to hold their weight and more defense spending on nato. the question is if not, what are we going to do about it, what is the united states prepared to do about it if we don't get the commitments. >> great question. i don't know there is a real answer yet. hold those thoughts. up next we will talk about the fall-out from trump's wiretap claim that is impacting america's relationship with one
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simpatico. two white house officials today saying sorry to the british government. they're apologizing for these words yesterday from the white house press secretary. >> there has been a vast amount of reporting which i just detailed about activity that was going on in the 2016 election. there is no question that there was surveillance techniques used throughout this. i think by a variety of outlets that have reported this activity concluded. >> spicer was referring to reports that the british intelligence agency had spied on then-candidate donald trump. that prompted this response from downing street. we've made clear to the u.s. administration these claims are ridiculous and should be ignored we've received assurances that these allegations won't be repeated. that's from a spokesperson for
the british government. apology time. the white house press secretary came out and according to our sources both he and the national security adviser said to british officials by phone, including the uk's ambassador to the u.s. they were sorry and they reportedly described spicer's comment quote, unintentional. this is the president with angela merkel. >> send a good picture back to germany, please. make sure. >> how did your talks go, mr. president? >> very good. >> did you talk about nato? >> many things.
>> thank you. >> well, not a lot of comment coming from either of those leaders, but boy, body language really is telling. >> is it really -- >> he's hunched over. his face wasn't -- he wasn't all that relaxed i have to say. >> he's turning a little. >> how much longer are they going to be here for? >> it was telling. >> this is not somebody who has a good poker face. he is not as naturally in line with her as say nigel farage, for example. what do you think, amy? >> we didn't have the abe. that was really the best one, the handshake. >> the handshake, right, right.
>> they shook hands? do we know? >> not that we saw in this tape. >> the trump sort of pull-in handshake. >> hopefully for his sake there will be a nice picture sent to germany. >> yes, we hope. >> turn back to the apology and i have something i want to play for the viewers that, manu, you got on capitol hill from a republican congressman, tom cole. plez pl let's play it. >> i see no indication that that's true. it's not a charge i would have ever made and frankly, unless you can produce some pretty compelling proof, i think the president, you know -- president obama is owed an apology in that regard because if he didn't do it, we shouldn't be, you know, reckless in accusations that he did. >> it's apology friday i guess. >> yeah. >> before, and we're going to get back to talking about this, we were discussing the administration having to
apologize to great britain for repeating what apparently is false information from the white house podium. this is different. this is he's telling you the president should apologize to the predecessor. >> this is the first republican that i've heard this. i've asked a number of republicans and they would not go that far. it's a sign, dana, that republicans just want to move on. they don't understand why the president continues to dig in, they don't understand why spicer did what he did yesterday. there is a massive legislative agenda they're trying to get through, healthcare to get through. the president needs that political capital and another republican told me, charley dent, the moderate from pennsylvania, continuing to go down the rabbitity hole is sapping his capital and make it difficult for him to get things
done. that's why he hear people like tom cole saying apologize and move on. >> forget about the credibility he has here, what about the credibility abroad and the credibility of spokesman who clearly went through so many verbal gymnastics to try to claim. it got him in trouble. >> trump never apologizes, that is his brand, he never backs down and never apologizes certainly not to president obama whom he said so many things about. what you hear from these republicans on capitol hill is an increasing sense of frustration, the house intelligence committee, the senate intelligence committee, bipartisan committees absolutely knocking down trump on this, and feeling really frustrated as manu said that they keep having to chase things. of course, they don't have to. they have the ability to just ignore him. but that's a weird place to be. >> it's hard to ignore him.
>> they did on the illegal voters. mitch mcconnell was asked are you going to do an investigation into the election and the illegal votes and he just said no. they have a choice to ignore. >> go ahead, amy. >> it's one thing to say ignore one of the tweets. it's another thing are we going to see more and more of the case where he gets into hot water -- >> his escape hatch. >> speaking of tweets, thank you for the segue, amy. hillary clinton doesn't tweet very often. she just retweeted a tweet from a long what time aide philip, russian spy, diplomacy is exhausting and she retweeted, things i learned today. just leave you with that. house speaker paul ryan
winning is easy, governing is harder. lynn manuel miranda wrote those words for george washington to say in the broadway sensation "hamilton". as we speak paul ryan is living these words, governing is hard, very hard. with a fractured gop caucus with lots of different ideas and no consensus how to repeal and replace the obamacare. tom price was at capitol hill. meanwhile according to him the
house republicans he met with who were opposed to the healthcare plan are now on board. >> i want everyone to know i'm 100% behind this. i also want everyone to know that all of these nos or potential nos are all yess. every single person sitting in this room is now a yes. >> okay. just like that. jonathan. >> who was in the room, let's clarify. it's inside baseball. this is the freedom caucus, the hard liner caucus in the house. those are the folks who are the true holdouts. they relish voting no. he was talking to a different caucus within the house gop that is conservative but not rekals trant. not every folk in the door were nos. few of them were nos. so all of them -- a little spin on the baseball. >> not just that, if you want to get into this, you know, calling
out the reality here, our reporter walsh is reporteriing y did make changes to the bill, the house and the republican leadership dealing with medicaid issues but those changes were made before going into the oval office. they were agreed on last night and the president in some ways understandably but within his character took credit for it. >> yeah, and probably not a huge surprise. now, the changes that they're discussing right now are all around the margins, they're not at the heart of the concerns of a lot of these conservative members who want to either move up the deadline for getting rid of the medicaid expansion, either get rid of those tax credits to be given healthcare sore significantly shrink those which some conservatives views aan entitlement. if you were to do what the conservatives want, you'll loss the tuesday group, the centrist
group in the white house and caucus, is centrist. that is what paul ryan is dealing with. i mentioned charlie denton, he said you're going to lose the tuesday group and me if you do that. that's why when trump says these guys are voting yes, they a lot of times vote no. there is a chance it won't get out of the house unless they want to keep it going and want to keep the process going. >> this is before today's event but the feeling that he has and other members of the house freedom caucus have on the bill has not changed. this is raul labrador yesterday. >> most people are opposed to the bill, it's interesting because it's from the right and the left. there is no natural constituency for this bill, which is one of the most frustrating things about this bill because we're trying to figure out who exactly it's trying to appease because the left is really mad about t
the right is really mad about it, the middle is really mad about it. and so far it seems to be a constituency of one, which is washington insiders. >> that is revealing, by the way, because that shows right now that labrador's assumption it's ryancare, not trumpcare. he wants to run idaho. he is looking at a statewide campaign, looking at a primary. right now march 17 his assumption is the safe place to be in a conservative primary, in a conservative state is being against the bill that donald trump is for. the gop has got to rephrase this bill to make it trump's bill, otherwise i don't see how it will get out of congress. >> i think it's too late for that. molly, i want to hear from you on this. i want ta play something that paul ryan said, to make it not a constituency of one. >> he just worked with them and they're all on board because
they with the president and the rest of us have been talking about improvements to this bill. so those improvements are being made as we go through this process. it's basically more federalism, making sure that we respect the fact that states can experiment and tailor medicaid to meet their needs. >> the whole idea of is it ryancare, is it trumpcare, what you see conservative shows like breitbart trying to take trump out of it. trump saying, we had him on air say, i'm 100% behind the bill. he's not campaigned for it for why this bill, why house republicans should vote for it. and so there is a feeling that there is always a possibility if this thing gets too the who, the potato gets too hot or it becomes unpopular, trump may
drop it and leave ryan holding the bag. >> let me counter the notion that there is not a natural constituentsy for this. there is not a natural constituency for compromise. that's why you're taking parts of this and parts of that. it's called the art of legislating and go back to the beginning, governing. >> that is a great question and this is a fundamental issue in this new era. donald trump did not come from the party, he is not from the party. he is like a skin graft that you put on the body and right now in 2016 it's stuck, but we don't flow that it's going to stick. the fun udamental challenge is u don't have a guy who came from the establishment coming into an establishment that includes paul ryan, tuesday group, the fiscal conservatives and all of that -- that's the bigger challenge.
if it were just this one pot, that would be called legislating. now you're talking about fundamental differences in the world. >> this is the problem with paul ryan when he built the sort of better agenda to campaign on, but really what that was is a broad brush view, messaging document. but certainly people signed into it. but when you get to the legislation when it has an impact, people will revolt. and they cut this deal behind closed doors, a lot of people were excluded. >> as you're discussing that, it's one thing as a political document, he's dealing with a caucus that has -- the majority of them have never been in office when they've been in charge. >> a lot of these folks were not there when bush was president. all they've done is oppose. it's different to get things
done. you've got a gulf between an ideological free house, free market conservatives and a president who is nominally conservativeme conservative. he ran on national healthcare, he ran on taking care of our folks. he sounds more like candidate trump than president trump. when he's off the cuff on a different nest wotwork, he said not going to sign it. we are going to talk about the president's budget proposal which is sparking outrage. what programs could it take away? stand by for that. (man vo) it was may, when dad forgot how to brush his teeth. (woman vo) in march, my husband didn't recognize our grandson.
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its budget yesterday, and it does spend less on what's referred to in washington speak as discretionary domestic spending. in real terms, rel life, what does that mean. the budget would eliminate money designed to help programs designed to help to feed those who can not feed themselves. >> meals on wheels sound great. i cannot defend that, we cannot defend that. we're $23 trillion in debt. we're not going to spend money on programs that cannot show that they can defend the program. >> some programs designed to help kids get better grades. >> there is a program called the shine in rural counties of pennsylvania, that provide afterschool programs for individuals there. the state that helped propel president trump to the
white house. i'm curious what you tell those people, 800 will not, children, will not be getting the care they need. >> let's talk about afterschool programs generally, they're supposed to be educational programs, right? they're supposed to help kids who don't get fed at home get fed at school. there is no demonstrable evidence they're actually doing that. >> let's talk about it with our panel. let's say flat out that the president's budget is a political document. it is congress that does the money. >> it's an important point to make. >> very important. it's a political document with the president laying out what his priorities are. he is maybe a nationalist in a republican party but these are very much republican ideals to cut things that they don't think is a federal government's job to be involved in. >> right. overall big picture, more spending on defense, national
security, border security, deep cuts on domestic discretionary programs but once you get into the fine print, where are the cuts coming from? how deep with the cuts? that is what is making a lot of republicans uneasy, even a lot of people who sit on the -- who have influential, hal rogers, who sits on the appropriations committee, the former chairman, the chairman of the house appropriations committee and members of the senate, susan collins. >> we have a sound bite. it's a quote. he's going to say -- he said while we have a responsibility to reduce our federal deficit i'm disappointed that many of the reductions and eliminations proposed in the president's skinny budget are draconian, careless and counterproductive. we will certainly review but the budget has the power of the purse. >> his district which he's had
for almost 40 years it's the poor region of the state of kentucky. they voted for trump. those voters were not supportive of trump because they became free market conservatives. neither is trump. is the president himself -- does he know the degree to which his omb director does not reflect his own politics, that his own omb director is more of a libyan, conservative, this is not what trump ran on. i don't know how much trump knows this and the why the ins and outs are, and the cuts. this is not the kind of campaign that trump ran. and a lot of the voters supported him with the assumption that there will be some continued role. >> one thing the president know is new york city, and there have been -- the proposed cuts have gone deep in counterterrorism in new york city and so forth.
i want to put something on the screen, the new york news cover. it is a left-leaning publication. but wow, look at that. it is in his own hometown, a target in what has replaced the world trade center, saying, "madness." pretty stark. >> even if you go with the assumption that he ran as a nationalist, populist, he ran on government is so big, we reneed to reorder our priorities. he's doing a terrible job out there. he's allowing nick mulvaney go out there and cut meals on wheels and other programs rather than the president come out and say, this is what we stand for. this is the guy who is the master of marketing but they're letting it be designed on the terms here. >> find some blow in the pentagon -- what is the famous,
the golden toilet in the pentagon. >> right. >> we're cutting this stuff so you guys are okay. >> you're saying in the campaign he said what people wanted to hear without having a fully coherent policy where the numbers add up in the end. >> that is support for the government, right? >> to amy's point, he does know marketing. >> all of these programs have a popular constituency, right? hale rogers is from coal country, he's a former chairman of the appropriations committee, he's a republican who knows how to put budgets together. nick mulvaney is a real conservative. when the rubber hits the road and you have to cut things that people like including republicans that's the problem. >> they blame congress for increasing the deficit, they'll say we tried to decrease deficit. the white house may not believe in labels when it comes to the gop healthcare bill, but
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let's hit around the "inside politics" table and ask the panel to talk about what's coming up. >> the trump effect, there is new data that to me jumped off the page. lower income gop voters who were asked last year whether the government had a role in whether people received healthcare, said, pretty small numbers last year. that number has doubled for folks making under 70 grand a
year, who call themselves republicans. this is the change that trump has brought. there is an expectation that the federal government will have a role in healthcare, and the people who call themselves republicans who are modest income voters are just fine with that increase. >> trump voters. >> trump voters, yeah. >> we talked about this quickly a moment ago about what to call the new healthcare plan and there are many portions of the republican base especially on the far right, at breitbart right saying let's call it ryancare. we don't want trump's name on it. democrats are trying to decide what to call it, trying to undermine going into elections. it's a referen endumb. we've got to focus on the policies. so watching what democrats will call it, will be ultimately
interesting to watch. >> so interesting. molly. >> i am following how many of president trump's current critics within his own party are people who ran against him in 2016. lindsey graham, of course, never stopped, but you have marco rubio being critical of trump on foreign policy and russia. rand paul is leading the parade from the right on this healthcare bill. john casey has been critical of this and seems to be seeking his own way. ted cruz offered an op ed against trump's bill. you do hear whispering among republicans that trump could get a primary challenger or could not last out the term and people are getting ready. >> fascinating. >> dana, monday begins the supreme court hearing for neil gorsuch, the question will be which democrats will break rank
and support him on the floor. the republicans will need eight democrats to get the 60 votes to break a filibuster. at the heart of that are members up for will he elections, ten that represent trump states, five from deep red states. i spoke to a lot of them who want to be a pragmatic, supporting a conservative who may be well-qualified but by doing that it would anger their base voters who want to stop gorsuch at all costs, not give donald trump a nominee, they're going to be in a real bind in the coming weeks. >> it's interesting because we've understandably been focusing on republicans, but the democratic base, to your point, they are really fired up and trying to hold up their elected officials, their feet to the fire and there is a lot more threat of democratic primary contests than we've seen in recent years.
>> deja vu all over again. >> exactly. >> thank you all so much. you're the best. what a dream team. thank you for joining us on "inside politics." we are minutes away from the president's joint news conference with german chancellor angela merkel. and wolf blitzer will bring that to you live after a break.
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hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. in wash waington 6:00 p.m. in germany. wherever you're joining, welcome. as we keep our eye on the east room in the white house. in just a few minutes the american president and german chancellor will make a statement and the two met in the oval office just a moment ago. >> send a good picture back to