tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN March 28, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
national security adviser, michael flynn, his conversations with the russians, sean spicer was asked about sally yates today. here is how he responded in the daley briefing. >> i know this would be a shocker. part of it is that i think we have been very clear. when you actually get to the bottom of the facts, every single person that's been briefed on this, they have been very clear there is no connection between the president or the staff here and anyone doing anything with russia. i think that the view here was great, go share what you know. thelers they published back up exactly what we are saying. she was asked about this information. her attorney asked the doj and they said she had to ask the white house. if you don't do this, we are going to go forward. we had no objection it her going
forward. >> let's go to manu raju in washington, our senior congressional correspondent. back up. these ac significanccusations te house wanted to block her testimony, where did that come from? >> it quam in the aftermacame ia surprising decision where sally yates was expected to testify as well as two other former intelligence officials, john brennan. among those and james clapper expected to go forward. nunez's decision to cancel the hearing was so they could hear privately from james comey and mike rogers, the head of the national security agency in a private briefing. this committee has broken down along partisan lines. they canceled that hearing. a lot of questions about why not have a public hearing and these
accusations that perhaps the justice department had concerns about yates going forward discussing private conversations that were occurring, specially at a time where she was warning about potential blackmail that michael flynn could be potentially blackmailed by the russians. the white house firmly denying that. was the white house involved. did they have any involvement whatsoever in asking for this hearing to be canceled? he did not deny it. take a listen. >> are you going to stay as chairman and run this investigation? >> why would i not? you guys need to go ask them why these things are being said. >> does this investigation continue with you as chairman? >> why would it not? aren't i briefing you guys continuously and keeping you up to speed? >> they are saying that it cannot run with you as chairman. >> you have to talk to them.
that sounds like their problem. my colleagues are perfectly fine. >> can you comment on the intel meetings? >> there is no -- everything is moving forward as is. i am not going to get into internal communications between us and the democrats. i would go ask them that question and let them tell you. the last part right there where he said, i will not say if this investigation was canceled at the request of the white house. later, his staff said it was not. nunes there clearly dodging the question on multiple occasions where he tried to get them to respond to that. also, not vowing to democratic calls for him to step aside, because they believe he is too compromised, too close to the white house. if he is going to move forward, the question, brook, is can this committee move forward? can it produce a bipartisan result? the senate intelligence committee moving forward. the chairman told me he is not
discussing this investigation with nunes. he is worried about his own inquiry. we are seeing one investigation move forward and one being bogged down bipartisan politics. >> can the committee move forward since they scrapped all meetings this week? just hearing from mr. nunes, go talk to democrats. we are about to bring in mike quigley, democratic member of the house intelligence committee. a pleasure to talk to you. welcome. >> thank you. >> you are a colleague, ranking member of your committee is openly questioning whether or not the white house blocked sally yates from testifying. do you believe that to be the case? >> absolutely. with the greatest respect, this isn't democrats or republicans. you can look at truth versus ab shut fantasy land. i don't know what mr. spicer is looking at. it is very obvious the white house wanted this open meeting
cancels. they did not want miss rogers, miss yates to speak. they didn't want a repeat of last week's disastrous first meeting in which director comey said there is an investigation. the russians attempted to help the trump campaign and hurt mrs. clinton. there was no truth in the fabrication that president obama wiretapped trump tower. those are facts we have ascertained. the fact that the white house has a two-prong attack is pretty obvious, obstruction and distraction. >> you say it is obvious. would you consider that move just to scrap the hearing with sally yates, do you consider that to be a cover-up at all? >> look. it is evidence of a cover-up. it is hard to read their minds but what it says by its action is we don't want that testimony. we don't want further political damage by others in the intelligence community telling them what happened here. there is no rational explanation
for the cancellation of that meeting. to say that there was a meeting already scheduled with mr. comey and mr. rogers is simply not true. the brutal fact is there is more than two hours in a day. it is what, 2:00, 3:00. we would be done by now. we can meet with more than one person in a day. >> wow. let me move on. congressman quigley, we haven't talked to you since the whole health care -- before i get on to that. this whole thing erupted. the secret rendezvous with mr. nunes on white house grounds, not difficult vvulging who cleao get into the skiff or what he saw. what are your thoughts on what devon nunes did that day? >> look, i take no great pressure in talking about the chairman this way. it is just facts. i thought the first two years he ran the committee i was a member he was very fair.
ever since mr. trump has become president trump it has been a different story. what he did was beyond the pale. it makes no sense after what mr. comey said, that the trump white house was part of this investigation, the trump campaign, to go to the white house with information completely but never mind the fact that he never shared that information and has still not shared that information with staff, with his fellow republicans, with the ranking member or any democrats and then to get this in some sort of bizarre late night excursion, it puts, i guess, ridge of spies to shame. it is cloak and dagger at a time when the american public should know exactly what took place. >> could you think he should recuse himself as ranking member, adam schiff, is suggesting? >> i suggest, keep your chairmanship. at this point, i don't know that you have the trust of the american public to complete this
investigation. recuse yourself. let someone else lead this and we'll move forward together. >> do you know congressman who would have cleared him to get over to the white house and cleared into that skiff last week? do you know that information? >> i certainly do not. i know as much as anybody who has read the newspapers or watched your programming. it's anybody's guess. it does not help the credibility of the investigation that it is all a great mystery. what are we trying to hide? what is the white house worried about with miss yates testimony? what are they worried about in having this public meet sng. >> do you think your committee is imploding, sir? >> we knew this was going to be a rough investigation on this side. when someone says, can you go forward? that's not the right question. we must go forward. how we do that is incumbent upon
us. all we can do is message and let the american public know what's taking place. it is that pressure that will make sure this investigation goes forward with credibility. >> congressman mike quigley, thank you very much for the time. we do have more breaking news. we are getting word the white house has quietly restarted health care talks days after that embarrassing failure from friday. we have details on how that is going to work next. plus, we are getting word how jared kushner will testify over the investigation into the campaign's potential ties to russia and cnn is on the front lines of the fight in iraq. there is arwa dam mon for us. what a top commander has said about who could be responsible for the deadly air attack that killed dozens of civilians. this is cnn.
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over russia. >> how does this administration try to revamp its image 2 1/2 months in? you have this yates story, russia, wiretapping. >> you know, we don't have that. >> on capitol hill. >> i said it from the day that i got here until whatever that there is no connection. you have got russia. if the president puts russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that is a russian connection. every single person -- i appreciate your agenda here. the reality is, hold on, at some point, report the facts. the facts are that every single person who has been briefed on this subject has come away with the same conclusion. republican, democrat, i'm sorry that that disgusts you. you are shaking your head. understand this, at some point, the facts are what they are. at some point, april, you are going to have to take no for an
answer. >> april ryan, the white house correspondent for american urban radio network. what was your takeaway from that exchange? >> i'm glad you played it, because i am looking intently at it. basically, my takeaway is what sean said. i'm a reporter. i just have to report it. i understand it's 2 1/2 months in. there is a frustration. there is something we've never seen before here at this white house. sean has to do what he has to do. he us the spokesperson for this white house. i'm a reporter. i cover all things presidential to include what is presidential, those investigations on the hill. it pertains to what is happening here. with everything that's going on, with everything that's going on, that was the question. how do you revamp the image of
this white house two months in, 2 1/2 months in. we have never seen this before. there was no agenda. i have no agenda. i have been covering white houses for a long time. i have had other press secretaries chime in today with me. it is a friendly adversarial relationship. i understand what sean has to do and what i have to do. we are reporters. we ask the questions. i'm going to continue to ask the questions. >> remember, april, you and i chatted. time is a blur. early on, when the president held that megabriefing and you had asked him, i think it was something about the congressional black caucus and whether or not he had met with congressman cummings and said no, something to the effect of, do you want to arrange that meet sng you are like, mr. president, i'm a journalist. i don't need to arrange meetings. i am asking the question. you point out you are covering multiple administrations. this is, again, something you have never experienced?
>> never, never ever. what i will say about it, this administration has come into a new world. donald trump is this mogul, this real estate mogul. he is a businessman. but he is now president, a president who has never had governance. he is finding his way and he is finding his way in ways that are hurtful to him and hopefully not hurtful to the country. he has a strong press secretary who is going to stand up for him. there is a strong press core that is going to ask the questions. we north going to be detoured and keep asking. >> did sean spicer say anything to you or ping you after the briefing, after that happened? >> no, no. what you saw today, brook, you know this as someone who covers the news. if they don't like something, a lot of times they will let us know they don't like something off-camera, behind the scenes.
people don't see that. today, you got a little bit of a taste of what happens behind the scenes sometimes. it was unfortunate but we move on. we keep moving ahead. there is work to be done. >> keep doing the do. april ryan, thanks so much. >> thanks, brook. take care. we're going to move on. breaking news, republicans not entirely finished with health care despite friday's implosion. there was nothing that happened. the white house restoring talks despite the president's readiness to move on. house republicans held a massive closed door meeting. they called the democrats celebration, quote, unquote, premature. with me now, margaret hoover, and bill press and alexis glick, former wall street executive. great to see all of you. to you, my friend, on this notion of talks restarting, the
president, according to our reporting, he is over it, patience worn thin. how did they move forward on this when we have tax reform and infrastructure hanging over their heads? >> typically n a republican administration where you have a republican president and congress, the republican president sets the agenda along with the congress. you can't have the congress saying, we are going to do one thing and the president saying we are going to do something else. the president went along with paul ryan and house of representatives. it didn't work. it is hard to see how they will get another chance at it. seven years, republicans have been running for fixing this bill. it is hard to imagine many of them are going to have to go back to their voters and say, we failed. you are going to face depressed turnout in the 2018 elections. that could be a real risk to the house of representatives. they are between a rock and a hard spot. they have to deliver something on health care. >> i disagree. i think they have to move away
as fast as they can. this is such a colossal disaster. they had seven years where they talked about it without coming up with a plan. donald trump trusted paul ryan. he should never have. paul ryan cannot deliver. he is a very weak leader. he couldn't even deliver. take control of the house, the senate and the white house. they couldn't get the votes. i think donald trump is very smart when he said he senses why this is a disaster for him and far the party. move on to something. get a win on something else. get out of health care. paul ryan is talking through his hat. >> on the weak leader, do you think he is a weak leader? >> paul ryan is a thoughtful, wongy, idealogical conservative. he doesn't have the experience john boehner had and some of the others at marshaling the votes and counting. i wouldn't call paul ryan a weak leader. i love paul ryan. everybody knows i love paul
ryan. i am a big fan of paul ryan. >> he has been there what, 18 years. >> we can all acknowledge that. >> stop making excuses for him. he was the advice presidential nominee. >> here is the bigger issue as they now move into tax reform and look at possibly coupling with infrastructure. all of these things are interrelated. they were talking about obama care. there was a big tax implication to what that might do certainly to the wealthiest americans. as they go down to the bargaining table right now, you have to recognize all of these things are interconnected. if i am a republican, i would be sitting down and thinking about, what is the next course of action. the other thing that became abundantly clear is the level of divisiveness within the republican party. the fact that they have this much control on the hard line right and that right now trump may actually need to go to blue
dog democrats to negotiate tax reform is a big deal for republicans. >> that's a question on strategy. what do they do? you have republicans going, maybe you should be looking more to moderates, maybe talk to democrats instead of directly negotiating and not with paul ryan but with the house freedom caucus. maybe that was not the smartest thing. what do you think strategy-wise. >> what's really interesting and i was shocked to hear it, a lot of republicans for a long time have been saying, maybe trump brings in this opportunity for realignment. >> what do you mean? >> maybe clearly you can't get all the republicans just because it is a republican bill. that's not news to any of us in the republican party. we have been looking at this since john boehner stepped in. >> it was an inter-party -- >> with white working class americans, you can get moderate democrats. >> three words of advice for donald trump. don't trust paul ryan. don't trust the freedom caucus.
if you want to get something done, work with the moderate democrats. that's the only way forward for him. this freedom caucus is against everything. >> i talked to mo brooks a little while ago. let's listen to what he told me on the notion of restarting talks. >> well, on friday, it appeared there was a swarm to create what i refer to as the surrender caucus. we are not going to deal with health care anymore. i think upon reflection over the weekend, calmer thoughts have come to mind. i'm fairly confidence now that we are going to continue to pursue some remedy to obamacare. is it going to be the repeal that i prefer? p wi with whatever replacement comes there after, i don't know. i hope it will not be a represent petition of what we saw over the last two or three weeks. >> now you have found clarity, purity, and purpose. now, you are going to give a
little and not make these purity contexts and litmus contests on the way to go. >> you had your chance. >> is this about promises versus what you can actually deliver now. >> as i look at the next stage, when you look at tax reform and infrastructure spending, who is going to lead that effort? is it going to be led through the treasury secretary or the national economic council? who is going to lead that discussion. one of the greatest failings i see is where the leadership divides, trump really didn't stand up with paul ryan. now, that is going to be something really to watch, where do they actually put their faith in to push the next piece of reform? >> can i just inject a note of reality in here. tax reform. you think health care is complicated. tax reform, 1986.
now, we are going to rush into tax reform and do that in 17 days. it ain't going to happen. they have to slow down here. again, they have got all the power and take the time to get it right. >> speaker ryan don't see eye to eye on that, tax reform. >> pretty and speaker ryan. >> they absolutely don't. there is a difference in opinion on corporate tax rates, individual tax rates and the biggest issue is that what speaker ryan is talking about is a border adjustment tax that would raise $1 trillion in revenue. by the way, the treasury secretary, not in support of it. the business round table, not in support of it. across the board, that is extremely controversial. >> they are going to get a big win with gorsuch. they are going to have a supreme court nominee that is going to get in and they are going to have some wind in their sails but they need to take their time. they do need to take their time
to get their ducks in a row for the next thing. speaker ryan had a plan, had a calendar. he had first health care reform and then tax reform and then maybe build a wall or whatever it is. >> you are giving ryan too much credit. he cannot deliver anything. he has not. he is overrated as a leader. he is proving he is not up to the job. >> we'll see who emerges as a leader coming out in this megafight. >> thank you all. next, feisty. i like it. senators are now saying that they will have a private interview with president trump's son-in-law, jared kushner, about his meeting with the russian banker and his close ties to president putin. until she got quickbooks. now she sends invoices, sees when they've been viewed and-ta-dah-paid twice as fast for free.
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free with xfinity on demand. president trump's son-in-law and trusted adviser, jared kushner, will face questions about a meeting with a russian banker. it will be a private interview likely under oath. today, the kremlin claimed it was, quote, unquote, not aware of this meeting. the white house trying to downplay the meeting sending this out, quote, jared attended the meeting in his capacity as a transition official, nothing of substance was discussed. there was no follow up. >> let's go to matthew chance. tell me more with who this russian banker is?
>> his name is sergei gorkov. he is close to vladmir putin, who picked him out as the man he wanted to head this important bank, veb, as it is called. to turn it around because it had so many outstanding loans. he was brought in to turn that around. a lot of the crisis and the problems of the bank have been caused by the economic sink shuns i sanctions imposed by the united states. mr. gerkov is a big advocate of getting those lifted and he has spoken about it on several occasions. the bank, itself, is controversial, because it has been sanctioned by the united states. it has been key in financing, industries in eastern ukraine where there is conflict and in industries in crimea which
russia annexed in 2014 it is seen as an extension. it was the veb bank that foot the bill for the sochi olympics which cost an estimated $50 billion. it is in the business of making true the dreams of the russian president. a top u.s. commander is now telling reporters there was a, quote, unquote, fair chance that that u.s. load coalition was responsible for the air strike that killed dozens of civilians in iraq. we will show you what's happening there on the ground. cnn is there.
breaking news out of iraq. the top u.s. commander says there is a fair chance that a u.s. air strike in west mosul killed civilians 11 days ago. we are learn thg as we are getting devastating new video into cnn showing all this destruction. iraqi officials say the bodies of 112 men, women, and children were pulled from the rubble. many hid in their homes following repeated instruction to stay put. cnn's arwa day man went into mosul near the neighborhood absolutely devastated by that strike. >> the destruction here in
western mosul appears to be significantly more vast and widespread than it was in the eastern side. you also see that there are a lot of these really narrow alleyways that winded deeper into the neighborhoods. this is one of the main challenges that the security forces are facing. >> you barely see any civilians but you do see the traces of the life that was, of how bustling these particular areas would have normally been. part of the challenge when it comes to trying to protect the civilian population is that even though the iraqi government encouraged people to stay put, if they wanted to leave, they wouldn't be able to, because isis would not allow them to leave. they were holding thaefrn lived across this city as human shields.
>> reporter: he is saying that isis really began to decrease its presence so at least this family felt that they could stay. the other reason why they couldn't go, obviously, because it is very difficult for them to try to flee. >> the day before this area was liberated, isis took her husband away. they had no food left. he went out to buy food and isis took him away. she is still here waiting for her husband, the little girl's uncle to come back. she is hoping somehow he is going to return home. people here are trying to get information as to which route may or may not be safe and where there are possible sniper positions. the sounds of battle are still all around. just in being in this one small part of western mosul, you begin
to get a little bit of appreciation for the intensity of the battle, how terrifying it must have been for those civilian that is were stuck here amidst all of this and how phenomenally massive the task of eventually rebuilding this city is going to be. >> arwa dam man, cnn, mosul, iraq. >> let me bring in barbara starr, who was in on this phone brief wg the general in charge. barbara, bha did he say? >> lieutenant general steven townsend wrapped up a lengthy phone call with pentagon press. he was very blunt. it is difficult to hear such candor from many. he made it very clear, the u.s. military was there in that neighborhood. listen to a bit of what he talked about. >> if we didn't strike in that area, i would be telling you it is unlikely. because we struck in that area, there is a fair chance that we
did it. my initial assessment is that we probably had a role in these casualties. here is what i don't know. what i don't know is were they gathered there by the enemy. we still have some assessments to do. i would say this. it sure looks like they were. the iraqis firmly believe that they were gathered there by the enemy. the people we're talking to say that they were gathered there. whether that was attempting to lure us deliberately or using them as human shields to protect their fighting position, we know they were fight frg that position, from that building. there were people you really can't account for in any other way why they would all be there unless they were forced there. that's my initial impression, the enemy had a hand in this. there is also a fair chance that
our strike had some role in it. >> so one of the working theories, if you will, is what actually brought the house down. where so many people were. they didn't use a bomb that should have devastated and brought down a whole building. the question may well turn out to be, was that house boobytrapped, were additional explosives set off by a u.s. air strike? all these things are things they are looking at. what kind of ammunition and what kind of explosive? they hope it will help them piece together all the puzzles of this terrible tragedy. >> on the point of boobytraps, let me ask my next guest, senior crisis adviser in mosul one day
before the air strike carrying outfield investigations on the civilian toll. thanks for calling in to cnn. on the human side, you talked to so many families there in mosul. >> one man whose 3-year-oldson was killed in an air strike. what did they tell you about isis, potential boobytraps in homes and snipers on the roofs? >> i spent the week in mosul and spoke to many families. none spoke of any boobytraps in the homes. these were families in their homes who loved their loved ones as a result of air strike. the iraqi government advised them to stay in their homes. they did by throwing that.
the homes were struck. they were killed when the houses were destroyed. in most of the cases where the snipers were on the roof. the families were extremely angry. whether the whole house was targeted and destroyed with the families inside. this is a series of attacks that could play in east mosul from as early as november through january. >> west mosul is something we have not yet investigated but we have investigated others that have occurred over the past several months.
>> i just saw a young child's glove in the rubble. >> you talked that when you were there, this one family, who literally shared the last glass of water they had. >> you talk to a family who told you about having to share, in terms and toll of war and struggle for resources. they had one last glass of water. >> it's okay. you are far away. i am just glad i could get you as long as i could. thank you so much, donatella rivera, amnesty international who had been in mosul recently. the senate majority leader says neil gorsuch will be confirmed next friday. will they have the votes?
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we now have heard that the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is saying that the senate will vote on supreme court nominee neil gores such next friday and he will be confirm. a lot of democrats though are planning to filibuster which means the senate republicans may invoke the nuclear option. republicans need 60 votes to block that expected filibuster which would require the support of at least eight democrats if they can't get there. that's when republicans may totally change senate rules invoking the so-called controversial nuclear option. that would require only a simple majority to confirm judge gorsuch. cnn's washington correspondent brianna keilar is covering that story for us. how is the road to 60 coming? >> reporter: not looking good and looking worse, brooke. keep in mind we still have some time to go before this key vote, so there is that. a lot of democrats are sitting on the fence who aren't necessarily committing to an answer, but the thought at first was that you had democrats who
were up for re-election here in a couple of years in states that donald trump won. they would go along with this get neil gores such to 60 votes. that's not quite looking that way and here's one of the data points. here's chuck schumer, the leader of the democrats in the senate today. >> you look at his history. he didn't answer questions. we know that. when you can't answer whether brown v. board was decided right which even judge roberts who is very rite sent didn't, something is really wrong, and you look at his history. you look at his early writings, and then you look apt how he got here so they are going to do the right thing, and it's going to be a real uphill climb for him to get those 60 votes. >> >> reporter: and it certainly is because you would need eight democrats or independents who go along generally with democrats in the senate, and right now today was a very busy day on capitol hill. i've been talking to democrats and republicans.
i've been talking to our team up there who really was canvassing all of the senators, and right now that's not looking great for 60 votes. >> how much of this, an you've touched on this, but the whole merrick garland issue and how democrats are still irked by what the republicans did not too long ago and how much of that is going to come back to bite them. >> reporter: they are burnt by merrick garland for sure. that's a really good point, and they generally just oppose donald trump, and a lot of their base doesn't want anything that would be good for donald trump to happen and then listening to some of these senators they actually have real misgivings about some. decisions that neil gorsuch has made from the bench, keeping in mind though he is someone who is seen as more of a centrist. this is someone who you will hear jurists say, look, this is -- this is the best really in terms of a nominee that democrats could hope for. he's not extreme. >> yeah, yeah, and i thought gloria made a whole point in this whole vote to keep sure we
keep in mind looking at the democrats in the red states where the president handily won to see where they go on this vote. brianna keilar, thank you very much. >> reporter: you bet. >> a new invitation to testify. chairman of the house intelligence committee devin nunes is directing fbi director james comb toe come back and testify before house investigators. nunes originally planned to have comey and nsa director mike rogers testify in private tuesday. that meeting was cancelled, and more on that in just a moment. and quickbooks automatically tracks those miles. she categorizes with a swipe and is ready for tax time. find more than $4000 in tax savings. visit quickbooks-dot-com.
the white house says if the president ordered russian dressing, somehow that would come off as a russian connection. now the house is investigating some guy named ruben. "the lead" starts right now. why should i? the chairman of the house intelligence committee refusing to step away from the investigation of the trump campaign in russia even after a
mysterious trip to white house grounds. he is the guy that the president goes to to get things done, so what did son-in-law jared kushner say to a russian banker? now a senate committee wants to know. plus, carnage in the battle to take a key iraqi city from isis. a u.s. official now says there's a fair chance a u.s. air strike killed dozens of civilians. all right. welcome to "the lead." i'm john berman in for jake tapper today and we do begin with the money lead. big news for the dow and the trump administration. as we approach the closing bell, the first time in nine days, the dow is closing up, and it had an eight-day losing streak, too. it was facing its longer slump since the carter administration. we're going to get the closing bell very shortly. while we wait let's go to cristina alesci on the floor. investors seem happy again.
>> reporter: yeah. they are clapping here and the mood here is quite actually great right now. we're up about 1770 points which is an amazing snap back after a couple of losses. three main reasons why this happened, john. one, any time you have downward pressure on the market for a couple of days, you're going to have bargain hunters coming in and looking for value, driving those prices up. two, we had positive economic news today. consumer confidence was actually up. people think they are going to get paid more. they think business conditions are going to be bert, and number three, the trump administration is going to pivot. it's going to turn to tax reform which is something that wall street really wants to see. the last nine days, i think we have a chart, obviously a very positive day today, but you cannot ignore the last eight days. those were down days, and if it had closed down today, if the dow had closed down today, that would have been the first time