tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN March 26, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
you're live in the cnn newsroom, i'm ana cabrera in new york. greet to have you with us this weekend, we hope your weekend is finishing strong. tonight the blame game, as pointing the finger at the democrats, he feels there's more guilt to go around. this time his target republicans. democrats are smiling in d.c. that the freedom caucus have saved planned parenthood and o-care, we have learned that texas congressman ted poe has resigned from the freedom caucus for their opposition of the bill. a spokesman for speaker paul ryan said that he and the president spoke today and both are eager to get back on their agenda. while it has been a tough week for the president, there was a silver lining, perhaps, a strong
showing for his supreme court pick, neil gorsuch, a vote yet to come. we have a team of reporters and analysts, i want to begin with white house correspondent athena jones, athena, the president's chief of staff is trying to dispel any rumors that he holds ryan personally responsible for the failure of the health care bill. >> this is reince priebus speaking on fox news this sunday, he was asked if speaker ryan should step down. watch. >> does he want paul ryan to step down or not? >> no, he doesn't. he talked to paul ryan yesterday for about an hour, he believes what he said in the oval office on friday. he doesn't blame paul ryan, he thought paul ryan worked really hard, he enjoys his relationship with paul ryan, thinks paul ryan is a great speaker of the house. >> reporter: we have also heard the president himself say he believes the speaker is doing a good job, but the president is
catching some of the blame on the house freedom caucucaucus, 30 house republicans that didn't feel that this bill went far enough to repeal and replace obamacare, they're going to have to learn how to get along with moderate republicans, with the leadership and at the same time senate democrats. and the chief of staff was asked many times about their willingness to work across the aisle, their willingness to work with everyone. the problem is you have the president, whether it's in commentary to reporters or on twitter, blasting two of those groups, democrats and then the conservatives that he's going to need to get any of his letti legislative priorities through, and it's an open question what the white house is going to look like, speaker ryan said that doing big things is hard. doing big things also takes a coalition, and it's unclear what that coalition is going to look
like. >> let's turn to the third branch of government, i want to bring in court reporter, the vice president said yesterday gorsuch will be confirmed one way or another. what is the next step now in the process? >> reporter: well, anna, the senate jew dish area committee, they'll meet tomorrow, but we don't expect a vote for a couple of weeks. but last week, chuck schumer, a house democrat took to a fiery speech and said that he was going to vote no and he hopeda other democrats would follow sus. keep in mind, gorsuch needs 50 votes to get confirmed. and if the democrats filibuster, they could trigger the republicans to change the rules of the senate, that's something that hasn't been done before and that will allow supreme court nominees to get through with just a simple majority, that's a big deal for a traditional place like the senate. so next week we're going to go
into the week and see how many democrats want to signal that they want to join schumer, let's take a listen to senator sanders this morning. >> i am not for a filibuster. i am for the republicans obeying the rules that currently exist and not changing the rules and those rules right now for good reasons are 60 votes. >> so basically the democrats, some democrats say, do we really want to trigger this right now? because you're taking gorsuch, who's a conservative, and replacing -- and he's going to take the seat of antonin scalia, who's also a conservative. some say, look, the court is going to retain its status quo, let's not have this fight now. but ana, schumer, and as you saw, sanders, they're ready to fight now. they're furious that merrick garland never got a hearing, and in his testimony, they think
that gorsuch evaded their questions, and that's what's going to play out this week. >> let's bring in our panel now, senior political analyst and former advisor, david gergen and ryan lewis. i want to get your reaction congressman ted poe is now quitting the freedom caucus because of what happened on the health care bill, on the day that bill died, here what he tweeted, thanks for your leadership, at@donald trutrump @paulryan. is there anything that would have satisfied the demands of the freedom caucus? >> the white house certainly doesn't think so, they thought they made a major concession to the freedom caucus when they agreed that the essential
benefits of obamacare would go away and a lot of women, for example, would lose maternity care. the freedom caucus came back and wanted additional concessions and they split. one of the interesting questions is, i think for the president, and it comes up in the supreme court question, is can he build in fact a coalition by going with the freedom caucus? does that really alienate him from much of the country, because the freedom caucus is so conservative, and does that pull him way to the right? or if he tries to go to his left and pick up democrats, there's so much anger and resistance to democrats in general, and so ha unlikely to cooperate in any way with donald trump. we're going do see how opposed in the senate, even though
gorsuch as presented hymns as a kennedy type figure, the democrats are going to, i think, filibuster against him. and chuck schumer is basically promising that and it's going to be a mean fight. i think for the president to look to democrats right now in this environment, i'm not sure there's much there, ryan may disagree. >> ryan, what are your thoughts in terms of a strategy for the president? >> first let me say one thing on the freedom caucus. because it really is a new and kind of incredibly significant phenomenon in washington. think about it. since they officially organized themselves in 2013, they have been responsible for just about all of the biggest dramas in the house of representatives. they caused the government shutdown, they caused speaker boehner to resign, they were the essential block that allowed speaker paul ryan to become speaker, and now at the start of
the trump presidency, they are the most important political force, i think you would have to argue, in washington right now. and so the fact that trump and the people around him having watched the history of the last few years, didn't have a strategy to contain them, to bring them in, to figure them out, i think speaks very poorly of their understanding of washington. and i think you can criticize the freedom caucus's tactics and the sort of hard line negotiating they do, but you have to recognize their existence and their power. i think where trump goes? i don't know. he's -- his instincts this weekend is to lash out at the hard liners. the outside groups like heritage, and the club for growth. >> where does that get him? >> unless he can break the back of this group of republicans, i
don't see how he gets around them, right? or unless he decides to do what a couple of moderate republicans said this week, forget the freedom caucus and try to build a center-out coalition in the house of representatives, he needs them, right? and there's no way the center-out strategy, while i think a lot of observers would cheer that is very unlikely to happen. so he needs to figure out this bloc of voters, they're very strategic, they ban together and they have a unified opposition, and they can stop anything that's trying to go through the house of representatives to stop it. >> and that's only if you're relying on republicans to get it passed. i want to talk about the investigation into russian meddling. i want to show you what a house democrat told me a while ago.
>> i agree we should have an independent commission and clearly we need an independent prosecutor. >> have you seen more than circumstantial ed of possible collusion between russia and trump campaign associates? >> i think the best way for me to describe it as a former defense attorney, there's probable cause to believe that there was coordination. >> david, what's your reaction to that? >> well, probable cause suggests obvious ly that there's enough there to go to a grand jury in a criminal proceeding. we as the public, as outsiders, don't know, it's hard to assess. but the democrats are certainly raising the ante, and the ranking democratic member congressman schiff said that there was circumstantial evidence to such port these
investigations and then he raised it up to more than circumstantial, and going all the way to probable cause. they're casting a dark shadow over these investigations. i trust they know what they're talking about, because otherwise they're going to look like they've been out on a wild goose chase if this turns out to be not so much. >> partisanship really taking hold of this investigation, is that the way you see it? >> i think last week was a very bad week for that committee. it started off not so bad by washington standards on monday, that hearing, you had republicans focused on one side of issues and democrats focused on another. but they came at it not by attacking each other personally and the questions for comey and admiral rogers were respectful. but by the end of the week, with some of these shenanigans that went on with nunes going to the white house and nunes reaching
out to trump, i think it really raised questions as to what that committee can really get to the bottom of this. and just on representative quigley, his statement there, look, comey himself came very close to the probable cause threshold the in his testimony on monday, right, the fbi director said there is an fbi investigation into possible -- into possible criminal activity related to trump's associates. that's not a direct quote. >> but the nuance in all of those words matters, durpt it? >> absolutely. he didn't say, he wouldn't talk about specific targets of the investigation, but the fact that the fbi has enough evidence that they think there's possible criminality and he did use the phrase associates of donald trump, suggests, you know, that we're close to the probable cause. the one question that didn't get asked at that hearing which would have answered david's
excellent question, is has comey empanelled a grand jury? that would give us a piece of information as to how far down the road this investigation is. >> we are not getting the answers, politically can president trump move in regard with his agenda effect tiffly with this constant drip, drip, drip happening in the russia investigation. i certainly makes it harder. but he has to move forward, he can't be paralyzed now. he's got big things coming up. he's got to get the government to get an extension on money by the end of the month and he's going to run straight into the freedom caucus on that, they're going to ask for all sorts of concessions before doing that. >> another reason why they should filibuster gorsuch, because who knows if this is going to be a big investigation that breaks open and president trump ends up being impeached, essentially? >> well, i think that's putting -- we're a long way away
from there. i would point out, it does seem to me there's a difference between comey saying possible and quigley saying probable. in the law, that's a distinction. comey's stopping this side of probable, i think ryan would agree with that. >> that's absolutely right. and you're right got democrats using this investigation to say, wait a second, what if the worst of our fears or some democrats' assumptions about trump's relationships with russians or his associates relationships with russians, what if that comes out of this investigation and some democrats are using that as a reason to say, to just -- all of his nominations should be stopped. now as a factual matter, if they try and filibuster gorsuch, we know what's going to happen, right? republicans are going to trigger the so-called nuclear option and it's going to be the end of the filibuster for supreme court
nominees. and to tell you the truth, both sides have been talking about this for so long, it's sort of inevitable that that's going to happen anyway, and the only question is if it's going to happen with gorsuch or something later on in the trump presidency. but democrats are not going to stop this unless there's some major new information that comes out. >> gentlemen, thank you both, we appreciate it. coming up, paul ryan famously said he didn't want to be speaker of the house, and now after one of the biggest defeats of his career, what's next for him? and how much blame should he put on himself for the health bacar bill reform failure? # # it's unlimited without compromising reliability, on the lar, most advanced 4g lte network in america. (thud) uh... sorry, last thing. it's just $45 per line.
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. mr. speaker, you all swept the house with the promise to repeal obamacare, the senate with a promise to repeal obamacare. how do you spend -- sorry folks, we just can't figure it out? >> dana, that's a really good question, i wish i had a better answer for you. i wish that obamacare was a law that was working, it was designed in a fundamentally flawed away, we need to repeal and replace but we didn't have the consensus to get there. >> that was moments after it was announced that the republican bill to repeal and replace obamacare would die without a vote. the man who served as ryan's chief of staff, until just a couple of months ago, david huff. did ryan not say if this party is not going to be united behind me i do not want to be speaker? isn't that one of the things that he wanted to make sure of
before he replaced john bainer? >> it's the one thing that -- members came to him and said why don't you take this job? he said i don't want the job, i'm chairman of the house ways and means, this is my goal in congress and he had it for 10 months, but he went to all these groups and said we have got to start working together if we're going to do this. obviously, that's going to have problems. but i can tell you what speaker ryan is going to do, he's going to go back, try and work with his members and develop policies that will get through. that means more of these people from the freedom caucus that had the numbers to take this down, and got those people to work together along with other members, the broad range of republican members. so paul is going to go back to
what he knows best, likes best, and does best, which is policy, because that's what he wanteds to do with this. the key to this is to change from an ever growing government control over health care to a market-oriented new system of doctor-patient relationships controlled by the market. we haven't had that in the united states since at least 1940. >> ryan and trump have said that we're going to put the health care bill on hold. but i want to ask you, you're so close to the speaker, but the speaker promised that this would not occur as a condition of him taking the job? >> i wouldn't say promised, but they had a clear understanding of what he wanted to do and thought was important and becoming the speaker, which is now 18 months ago, and he had a sense of where they were going to go. no discussion one has in politics is forever, it simply
doesn't exist that way. so i think the speaker understands that, so one of the things that republicans are going to have to do, is take a step back, start moving forward to put together a bill. now understand the aca has two separate bills, it will have to be undone as more than one bril. all of the aca cannot be undone in reconciliation because all of it was not passed in reconciliation so it leaves it to those in the house. >> the opening statement from fox news host judge jeanine pirro. >> all ryan needs to step down as speaker of the house. the reason? he failed to deliver the votes on his health care bill. >> judge pirro aside, i had a
conservative trump supporter sitting right next to me yesterday who side repeal and replace paul ryan, that call is out there, how does he move past it? >> i'm sure there's people that want to say that, but there's a lot of, a significant majority of house republicans who know that paul is the one who has to be speaker right now, there really isn't anybody else who could do this job and everybody's going to have to figure out how they start to work together as a governing majority, does he have all the answers? he doesn't have all the answers. >> why do you think he was not effective in this particular case, given that this issue, repealing obamacare was something that republicans have wanted for seven years, have been talking about, have been campaigning on. >> i think they got into a situation where it was very difficult for the vehicle they were using, reconciliation to contain the changes that
everyone wanted. with that situation that was happening, they had to try to do everything they could to get things in reconciliation that just with respect going to stay there. and some members were concerned about that, so they need to step back and realize that it's going to make more than reconciliation to create something better than obamacare and a market driven health care system. >> do you think that he tried to give too much to the freedom caucus, instead of leaning and reaching out more toward the moderates? >> i these he was trying to write a bill that would gather enough votes from both of those factions within the caucus, as well as the broad middle of the caucus, and whenever you're doing that -- but you're also looking at the senate rules and what the senate rules will allow in reconciliation, you're always sort of second guessing yourself, so i think they have always tried to find a middle hot spot because it's not the house rules they're dealing
with. they're going to send something to the senate at some point, if they do it under reconciliation, the senate will rule on whether those things are allowed or not allowed to stay in a reconciliation bill. that's some of what the freedom caucus where are worried got and the tuesday caucus are going to have to get together and say how do we put this together. because they have to replace the aca because it's starting to fall apart. and if democrats in the senate and house want to do that, move to a market oriented system, there will be bipartisanship to do it. >> david, poppy, thank you for joining us. >>. coming up, chairman of the house intelligence committee is -- a look at the very public rift over undisclosed intelligence, next.
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the health care debate wasn't the only high drama in washington this week. the house intelligence committee is investigating russia's meddling in the american election and devin nunes is trying to choke off public information. take a listen to congressman mike quigley a member of the house intelligence committee talking to us earlier this evening. >> i think the best way for me to describe it as a former criminal defense attorney, look, there is probable cause to believe there was coordination. >> i want to bring in our political commentators, the contributor to the hill and the former south carolina state
representative. first chairman nunes draws some criticism by rushing to the white house with intel, not sharing it with the committee first, then he postpones tuesday's public hearing. he's getting a lot of criticism for this, how do you explain those actions? >> i agree with both congressman nunes's action and congressman peter king's defense of those actions. he said the president's name was caught up in surveillance between a foreign agent and a u.s. citizen, the name was unmasked, it appears to have no intelligence value, the person appears not to have been committing a crime which is the only reason why the person's name would be revealed and disseminated around government. if the president's name is caught up if it's unveiled, the president of the united states deserves to know what is going on in the intelligence community and that his name was caught up on it. so i entirely agree with nunes's decision to reveal that information to the president. >> how do you know for sure that
whoever's name was unmasked did nothing wrong? >> i don't know that and congressman nunes wants to know what wrong doing their committing, it doesn't appear from the conversations any crime was being committed. give him answers as to what crime was submitted. he deserves answers, there might be an explanation for it. but we don't know at this point, but congressman nunes, it's fair for him to ask for that intelligence as chairman of the intel yeps committee. >> i think anyone who's watching this understands that this has to be a nonpartisan committee that moves forward. i don't want to sit here and say that congressman nunes was wrong and not also blame congressman schiff and anyone else who has come out and said too much. what i want is a thorough investigation into russia's meddling into our presidential election, i want to understand whether or not there was collusion between the trump campaign and russia and i think
americans deserve the right to know that answer. there's a ton of smoke, and no one can deny that, the question is if where there's smoke there's fire. we need to let this play out. i have a sincere problem with congressman nunes, but i also think democrats have overplayed their hand as well. we need to let the investigation play out and see what happens. >> a leading democrat on the house intelligence committee, listen to how stone who is under investigation dismissed congressman schiff today during an appearance on abc. >> things that the gentleman from california whose largely full of schiff said are incorrect. >> is this an example of schiff maybe overplaying his hand? >> no, i think there is a point
in time when the investigation just has to play out. i do criminal defense work all the time and the last thing you want to do is get in front of the evidence. but even more importantly, what we all know, and i don't think this is a disputable fact. roger stone says things that are blatantly disrespect if not out and out ignorant, so i look forward to his testimony before the house committee on this issue, but you can't get concerned with some of these tangents that some of these people are going through, roger stone new about the wiretapping before anybody else did. instead of just prodding and prodding and prodding, we just need to give him enough rope. because people like roger stone will hang themselves. >> when we were talking to mike quigley earlier, he said he received no explanation from the chairman of the intel committee
devin nunes for canceling that hearing? >> i think that's a fair question, i think those hearings will happen and should what and from what i understand i know there was some shifting around of scheduling because they were going to i believe have a closed hearing with comey and others they wanted to bring back, whether that affected the schedule, i'm not entirely sure. i do think that's a fair question, and i do agree with roger stone too that we have seen adam schiff put forward this circumstantial evidence trying to put forth that there was collusion between the trump campaign and russia, there's no evidence of that, i can make the same case that there was circumstantial evidence of the clinton campaign colluding with russia because she sold uranium to russia, but that would be circumstantial evidence, and that would not be right of me to
present that because i have no evidence of that. >> i don't think it's exactly the same thing when the fbi is investigating the trump campaign. >> i just have to correct the record, that's actually podesta's brother, he has no interest in the firm. and people go down these paths all the time. and what we do know is that kaley and kellyanne and sarah huckabee sanders, all came out during the election season and said most of the proverbial indictments were against hillary clinton. what we now know is true that the trump campaign and his associates were under investigation and still are today. i think the american public, for me this is not a democrat or republican issue, this is an american issue and we had a foreign agent trying to subvert our democracy and we should stand up and say bring us a special prosecutor, an
independent committee, take the partisan politics out of it and if somebody goes to jail, so be it. >> let me put it this way, does the president and do republicans want answers when it comes to this investigation because the bottom line is if there's nothing to hide, shouldn't that be something that they are encouraging to clear their name? >> of course, yes, and they have encouraged this investigation. we do want to see this take place, an attack on the dnc, a cyber attack on the dnc is an attack on all americans so i want to be clear here,er associates of the trump campaign, people who were informal advisors or people who were on the campaign for only three or four months were under investigation, not the president himself. it's very distinct in my opinion to hillary clinton being under indictment for intelligence that
potentially made our country vulnerable to hackers. very different than an associate with a tangental relationship is being looked at. coming up, dozens of bodies pulled from the rubble in mosul. but was it an airstrike or the work of isis? we'll get a live report as the u.s. military launches a formal investigation. you are live in the cnn newsroom. not down. it's feeling up thinking up living up. it's being in motion... in body in spirit in the now. boost. it's not just nutrition. it's intelligent nutrition. with 26 vitamins and minerals and 10 grams of protein. all in 3 delicious flavors. it's choosing to go in one direction... up. boost. be up for it. various: (shouting) heigh! ho! ( ♪ ) it's off to work we go! woman: on the gulf coast, new exxonmobil projects
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civilian this is month. we got this from we are take -- cnn international correspondent is in iraq with more. >> reporter: the investigations are still ongoing, but what we have been able to at least preliminarily piece together is that on march 17, according to one of the local counter terrorism commanders, as the forces were advancing, there was a truck that they believe was laden with explosives, driven by a suicide bomber that was advancing, an air strike was called in, specifically. and the force of the explosion caused a number of homes to collapse. we spoke to an eyewitness who lived a few houses down who described a pretty horrific scene, as they were fleeing, he could hear people screaming,
we're alive, please save us. and he said in at least one of the homes there were around six families that were sheltering there because they believe that it was a fairly steady, sturdy structure. just the homeowner, himself, his family was made up of 17 individuals and it took the civil defense team, quite some time, days in fact to actually be able to reach the site because of the intensity of the fighting and according to the head of the civil defense team, at least 80 bodies were pulled out of the rubble. one of the iraqi generals who is the spokesman for the iraqi military, joint military command, he said that they believe in one house alone, there were 130 people. now the iraqis are saying that because of how densely populated this part of mosul is and because of these various reports of civilian casualties, they are going to be modifying their tactics, using less air strikes,
advancing more on foot, these are very narrow streets, using more drones, using more precision artillery but this is the ugliness of the battle that they're facing, isis is holding a civilian population hostage. and based on what we're told, if isis capturings them, they pull them back at gunpoint, they are using houses as fighting positions and this was one of the big concerns even before this battle even began, the fate of the civilian pop lags. >> just a horrific situation. coming up, terror in the digital age. a closer look at the first hacker in history deemed dangerous enough to kill in a drone strike.
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targeted drone strike and at one point was considered the third most dangerous member of isis. cnn's laurie stegall traveled to england to his family home to find out how someone goes from hacker to terrorist, in this week's episode of "mostly human." >> reporter: sorry, okay. okay. [ bleep ] okay. you guys, i don't think it's probably safe for us to go out there. >> laurie stegall is joining me now, what a teaser. were you kind of nervous doing this? i would be a little intimidated going to this this investigation. >> we wanted to understand who he was before joining isis and i was knocking on doors and i didn't feel safe at moments. but the one thing that's so
fascinating about the third most dangerous member of isis, he was a dorky kid who loved computers and he loved to hang out in these weird forums. i've been going to a cyber security conference called defcon for years. people that love the hacking community, they also went to las vegas to defcon, the feds actually went there to try to find out more information on him. so i really wanted to make that connection, how do you go from this loving community and hanging out with hackers. we're at one of the many defcon parties, so we're going to go party with hackers. >> reporter: many of these people hack to show security vulnerabilities, others are more in the kbra area. >> you have to be very careful
when people give you business cards, this thing will activate and it will basically own your android telephone. >> that's just a card someone's giving out here? >> yeah. >> reporter: the spirit of this group is curiosity, breaking things and putting it back together. this is the community where he found belonging. it's weird, it's interesting, but it's not the face of terror. john nicholls spent six years as a propaganda specialist for the u.s. government. he monitored trick and other terrorists online and watched how they used social media. what was it about his skills and his abilities that made him so dangerous? >> everybody loves a good propagandist.
his story was very compelling the someone who is interested in that. >> reporter: i can't get over someone who loved this community, anti-authority, not taking things at face value, i can't quite wrap my head around how you can go that extreme. >> isn't isis really, it's not just, isn't isis actually just a giant anti-authority organization? you don't have to be a front to back corroborative to buy into that narrative. >> the narrative appealed to people like trick, behind a scene looking for belonging, he encouraged his followers to take action and he was accessible and relatable to a western audience. what role do you think the internet played for him? >> the internet is full of people that are disaffected, and i got into commuters as a disaffected youth. i think that's true for a lot of hackers. >> not all hackers go to be the third most dangerous member of isis, so what divides you and
trick? >> the narrative is the answer, you shouldn't join isis because they chop off heads, and they go well i shouldn't join the west because there's decades of history of you is screwing us and you bombing our wedding parties from the sky. really from that perspective, which is the greater satan there? >> so interesting. >> you know, what was so fascinating, he was able from syria to tweet messages and incite violence all over the world, all these lone wolf attacks happening in the united states could be-that's first time someone was killed because of their ability to tweet. >> we'll be right back. to those who know
hello on this sunday, you are live in the cnn newsroom. i'm ana cabrera in new york. glad to have you with us. republicans a s in the house an senate are reeling after the failure of ryan's health care bill. president trump first targeted democrats now he's calling out conservatives, specifically the house freedom caucus directly on twitter. and in a late development today, one of the group's members has just stepped down abruptly, congressman tom poe has resigned from the freedom caucus, saying no is easy, leading the hard. all eyes are o