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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  March 30, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. we begin with breaking news, president trump threatening war against members of his own party and democrats as well, despite his very recent comments saying he wants to work with them all. this is what we're talking about right now. the president firing off a tweet this morning, and here it is. "the freedom caucus will hurt the entire republican agenda if they don't get on the team and fast. we must fight them and dems in 2018." fight them and democrats? is that a primary threat? just minutes from now, house speaker paul ryan will probably be asked just that when he speaks with reporters. we're going to bring you that live when it begins. so, let's go live right now to cnn's phil mattingly for much more on all of this.
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are you getting any reaction to the president's tweet and what it really could mean? >> reporter: yeah, so, that tweet wasn't subtle by any means, kate. >> no. >> reporter: but look, there was actually intent behind it and i think it's worth walking through what's happened the last couple days to lead to this point. the basic rationale here is between house leadership, between house leaders that kind of watched the health care bill just implode last week, and the white house who saw the same exact thing, there's a recognition, that basically, they need to figure out some way, somehow to get those freedom caucus members, those three dozen members who are kind of proudly intransigent on bills that they don't believe meet their conservative threshold to come into line. if you listen closely to speaker paul ryan this morning on an interview with cbs, kind of said the same thing. take a listen. >> that this republican congress allows the perfect to be the enemy of the good, i worry we'll push the president into working with democrats. he's been suggesting that as much. >> i mean, have you reached out to the democrats yet to work on this bill, pelosi?
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>> no. i'm trying to get this bill passed. nancy and i see things very, very differently. i don't want the government running health care. >> well, the president saying he's going to work with democrats on this. >> i don't want that, you know why? because i want a patient-centered system. i don't want government running health care. >> reporter: slightly different tact from the speaker, but the message is the same, and that is that they need to unify their conference. i'm told behind the scenes this is a deliberate campaign by both the speaker and the president to try to get everyone together. the speaker's threat basically, look, we have a president right now who's not ideologically tied to conservatism. he certainly wasn't a republican his entire life. the ideology doesn't necessarily flow through him, so perhaps it is a real threat that if this continues, he will turn his back and start to work with democrats. for a speaker in a conference that is very conservative, that won elections on conservatism, on repealing and replacing obamacare, that would be seen as problematic. i guess the president takes his own hard-edged way of maybe trying to interpret what that
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dual message is supposed to but i think it's an important one. it's an effort right now to almost spook the freedom caucus back into line as they try and attack what is a very ambitious agenda going forward, kate. >> phil, great reporting. thank you so much. let's get some reaction to this. joining me now is republican congressman from virginia, dave brat, a member of the house freedom caucus. congressman, thank you so much for joining me. >> you bet, kate. great to be on. >> thank you so much. you've seen the tweet. you heard phil mattingly's reporting. are you spooked by the president? >> no, i think whoever's advising him, has his ear right now -- we all ran in the freedom caucus on exactly what president trump ran on, right? cleaning the swamp, repealing obamacare. the bill in front of us doesn't fully repeal, so we can have that debate, but the polling for the bill right now is at 17% of the american people, right? we can do better than that, and we are all getting to yes for president trump on this bill, but we have to make it better. you have to lower prices. prices under our bill go up 15%
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to 20% through 2020. that's not good for the forgotten man back home. and when you have the federal government in charge of one-fifth of the economy, that's not draining the swamp. so, we all ran on exactly the themes the president ran on. we're with him, but someone's gotten into his ear. and yesterday, right, two days ago, the senate also -- i can't believe this wasn't covered by the news -- republican leadership in the senate said they're not going to repeal obamacare in this process. >> it was covered. it was covered. we covered it. i promise you we did. >> i know, but that's huge, right? >> let me ask you this -- all of this is huge. you say you're with him, you're with the president. >> yes. >> you read this tweet, congressman, it does not look like the president is with you. he says, "the freedom caucus is going to hurt the entire republican agenda if they don't get on the team and fast. we must fight them and democrats in 2018." do you take that as a threat? >> no, i don't take it as a threat. all the conservative commentators know this bill is polling at 17%.
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all of the public policy think tanks, et cetera. >> right, but the president did not mince any words. he didn't say -- >> i get it, i get it. >> he's not necessarily mentioning health care. he's very specifically mentioning 2018. >> no, i'm getting with you. and newt gingrich a couple days ago, everybody is saying we saved the republican conference. when you put a bill on the floor that's at 17% favorable with the american people, we can do better than that, right? we'd better -- that's what will botch it for the republican party. we're trying to help the republican party and the president by getting it right. the process was artificially short, right? three weeks to manage one-fifth of the economy. it's too short. >> you say you're working with the president. what is he missing here? because this does not look like a tweet written by anyone other than the president himself. >> right. he is not being told that our group is working with all of the other groups who, by the way, was a jailbreak, right? it's all that we were against the bill. they were more moderates breaking from the bill than the house freedom caucus. none of that's been covered, right? the good reporting has those
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numbers out there. and so, what he's missing is, if we bring the price down by negotiating between our groups, we can get him a great bill, and i don't think he's being told that's the case. >> so, fellow member of the freedom caucus, justin amosh, he had something to say in direct response to the president this morning. i want to lead you the tweet he put out. he wrote this -- "it didn't take long for the swamp to drain, donald trump. no shame, mr. president. almost everyone succumbs to d.c. establishment." do you agree with justin amash? >> i never get into the personal stuff. i just stick to policy. we can make the policy better here. it is true that it is very hard to drain the swamp, and when you start managing one-fifth of the economy and all that goes with it up here, right, it's very hard to drain the swamp when you take on one-fifth of the economy. and we're all okay, right, pre-existing conditions, the safety net piece, the $100 billion for high risk pools back home. the house freedom caucus is
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fine. there's been misinformation on that that i don't think has reached the president's ear. >> okay. >> we're being constructive, but the one thing we have to have is free markets in the insurance space, or you end up like with the financial crisis ten years ago. we let the federal government run housing. that resulted in a financial crisis, and we're still dealing with the repercussions. >> so, congressman, paul ryan said in an interview, which is pretty linked to what the president's tweeting, that he's worried if you guys don't get on board, that the president is just going to strike a deal with democrats to change obamacare. are you afraid of that? >> no, i'm not afraid of that. paul's got it right, but he can get us on board like this, right? we were within two points on insurance regs. if the speaker says yes to those couple things, we're a yes, right? but you have to have -- >> look, if you were that close, congressman, what happened friday never would have happened. let's be honest. >> say that again. >> if you were that close to striking a deal, what happened friday when you guys had been running on repealing and replacing obamacare for seven
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years, letting it fail like that as it did friday, if it was as close as you're saying right now, that never would have happened. let's be honest. >> logically speaking, you would be correct, but that is what happened. we were that close on the insurance regs. a few things tied together will lower prices. that was an offer of goodwill that was made in good faith to get to a yes. that package was not accepted because moderates were peeling off in the droves, right? and that is the underreported part of the story here. it's always the mainstream media, et cetera, likes to hit conservatives. i'm -- >> i promise you -- >> with james madison and -- >> i promise you, i'm talking to moderates as well. i've got to run, and i know you do, too. >> no, thank you, kate. >> how does it feel -- and i know you said you're not going to get into the personal, but let's talk personal, congressman. how does it feel to be lumped in with the democrats in an attack coming directly from a republican president of the united states? >> i don't care who i'm lumped in with. i love everybody, everybody knows that.
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we get along, it's just a matter of getting good policy. so, the personal stuff just confuses and gets in the way of good policy, which is what we've got to get to. >> congressman, thank you so much for your time. >> you bet. >> i love the dave brat perspective. everything is great up here. we are all getting along. i want to know what it looks like when you're not getting along if that's what it looks like, congressman. >> right, right. >> thanks for your time. i appreciate it. >> you bet. thanks, kate. >> all righty. also breaking news, cnn now learning that president trump is losing hope of striking a deal with russia as questions mount, of course, over the president's and his campaign's ties to moscow. russian president vladimir putin is weighing in, was weighing in just a short time ago, calling the u.s. meddling allegations lies. >> i just want to be very clear about this. you and the russian government did never try to influence the outcome of the u.s. presidential election, and there will be no evidence found.
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>> translator: ronald reagan once, debating about taxes and addressing americans, said watch my lips, he said no. watch my lips, no. >> of course, just a fact check of vladimir putin. of course, it was not ronald reagan it was president george h.w. bush who said, "read my lips, no new taxes," and then he did raise taxes, but i digress. white house correspondent sara murray has some important, new information on why, what's behind the president's kind of fading hopes of restarting this relationship with putin. what's going on? >> reporter: that's right, kate. we know president trump as a candidate had a rosy view of russia. >> right. >> reporter: he wanted a better relationship with russia. now we're told by administration officials that those hopes are beginning to fade. they were initially hoping for some kind of grand bargain to deal with ukraine, to deal with syria, to deal with combating isis, but now the president is sort of feeling a little bit more glum about the opportunity to do that.
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it's not necessarily because his view of vladimir putin has changed, but because he just feels that the climate is not favorable to actually accomplishing a good deal. he files like there is too much media scrutiny surrounding russia right now, combined with the house probe, the senate probe, the fbi looking into russia's meddling in the election, and also the trump campaign contacts with suspected russian officials. and so, that sort of takes them back to the drawing board. it doesn't mean it's off the table, that there won't ever be any kind of negotiations with russia, but we're told that's kind of on the back burner for now. it's also worth noting the president has not yet met face-to-face with vladimir putin. putin said today that he hoped maybe they could do that on the sidelines of the arctic conference coming up later this summer, but a senior administration official says they haven't even determined whether the president will attend that. and as of right now, there are no firm plans for when the two world leaders will be meeting face-to-face. >> hmm. arctic may be a fitting word for right now. great to see you, sara. thank you so much. under way right now, the first public hearing by the
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senate intelligence committee on the investigation into just this topic, russia's meddling into the election. and moments ago, a witness just told senator marco rubio he was a victim of russian hacking during the election. see how the senator responded. two become one.
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now, a moment of truth. house intelligence committee chairman devin nunes and the top democrat on the committee, adam schiff, they will be soon sitting together, sitting down together for the first time since the committee effectively broke down last week. can they resolve their trust issues and more over the trump/russia investigation and get the money back on track? while that's happening, a very different scene is playing out on the other side of the capitol. the heads of the senate intelligence committee -- the senate intelligence committee -- are standing side by side and vowing to work hand in hand as the committee today holds the first of its public hearings into russia's meddling into the election and any possible ties to the trump campaign. let me bring in right now, cnn senior congressional reporter manu raju for more on this. manu, it's been interesting already this morning and an interesting moment just moments ago involving senator marco rubio. >> reporter: yes, indeed. i mean, these witnesses have actually been saying, going into length about how russia has
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tried to foment unrest within the democratic process here in the united states, including potentially even impacting marco rubio, of course, who ran for president unsuccessfully, losing that republican primary against now president trump. now, one of the witnesses suggesting that perhaps marco rubio may have suffered anecdotally or as a result of what russia was trying do. that a listen. >> through the end of 2015 and start of 2016, the russian-influenced system began pushing themes and messages seeking to influence the outcome of the u.s. presidential election. russia's overt media outlets and covert trolls sought to sideline opponents on both sides of the political spekt rum with adversarial views towards the kremlin. they were in full swing during both the republican and democratic primary season and may have helped sink the hopes of candidates more hostile to russian interests long before the field narrowed. senator rubio, in my opinion, you anecdotally suffered from these efforts.
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>> now, that same witness, kate, also discussed how paul ryan may have actually suffered as well, saying that, perhaps that there was some russian activity to go after the health care legislation that failed, saying this past week we observed social media campaigns targeting paul ryan, helping to foment further unrest among the house. so, you know, this effort, kate, here in the senate intelligence committee to try to show they're trying to build a case, build the evidence on a bipartisan manner looking into how russia has impacted the elections. one thing is that there are flashpoints bound to come up in this investigation as they try to look into any of those alleged ties that could occur between the trump campaign and russian officials. take a listen to dianne feinstein, the democratic senator from california who sits on the committee, saying one thing they do need to look into those ties are donald trump's tax returns.
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how important is it to get donald trump's tax returns at this point? >> well, i think they actually become more and more relevant as you look for connections. i'm not going to use the word collusion, but it's really regretful that he didn't seek his way clear to put them out there so they could be explained before we got to this point. and now we're at this point, and i believe at some point it's going to be important to ask for those tax returns, and if we don't get an answer, subpoena them. >> reporter: so, the issue about subpoenas on this committee, actually, the minority party does have the power to subpoena those tax returns, but of course, that could create a partisan fight, and that's one thing actually john cornyn, the number two republican who sits on the committee, told me later, he said look, we don't want to go down this partisan road. let's keep on this bipartisan investigation. but as we know, as we start
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getting into some of the nature of these alleged contacts that occurred, we can perhaps see this partisan fight break out, and we'll see if it ever gets to the point where the house investigation right now is, where it's at a standstill, kate. >> i was going to say, they don't need to look very far to see if partisan politics bleed into their investigation, where it might lead them. all very interesting, though, and an important hearing is still under way. more to come. manu, great to see you. thanks so much. so, fbi director james comey doesn't care about political backlash, answering questions at a national security dinner last night. comey defended his agency's work taking on tough investigations like possible trump/russia ties and also, of course, hillary clinton's e-mails. comey insists his agency is a-a political. listen. >> we're not on anybody's side ever. we're not considering whose ox will be gored by this action or that action, whose fortunes will
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be helped by this or that. we just don't care, and we can't care. we only ask, so, what are the facts, what's the law, what's the right thing to do here? now, we're not fools. i know that when i make a hard decision, a storm's going to follow, but honestly, i don't care. >> joining me right now, ryan lizza, cnn contributor and washington correspondent for "the new yorker." great to see you, ryan. >> good to see you, kate. >> you have had important reporting this week that points to some evidence of coordination between the house intelligence chairman, devin nunes and the white house. can you tell me what you learned? >> the piece i wrote at newyorker.com, i think the news a lot of people seized on, is that on the morning of last monday's hearing, that was the hearing where comey made the bombshell announcement that the trump campaign and its associates were under investigation by the fbi. he confirmed that. we sort of knew it and had been since last july that i was
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talking to a white house official that morning and that white house official was giving me guidance about what to watch for at that hearing. and he essentially previewed nunes's strategy of i would put it changing the subject from what comey was going to talk about to the subject that the white house and republicans sort of blew up over the course of last week, which was this idea of incidental election, which is what has now been used as a fig leaf to justify trump's tweet that he was wiretapped by obama. so, i was told to watch the predicate that nunes sets. that was the language. and after watching last week's events, i think my interpretation is that this was clear evidence that nunes and the white house had a somewhat coordinated strategy on the events of last week, and that all helped blow up the house
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investigation that culminated in canceling the public hearings this week. so, that's the piece. and i lay all that out in an article at newyorker.com. >> i wonder what the white house, if you got any response from sean spicer, anyone from the white house on that. but also, ryan, weave it into this. because with that in mind, you have important reporting from sara murray that hopes are fading in the white house of the president being able to do what he had promised and hoped in terms of improving relations with russia. some of what she's pointing to, though, is continued scrutiny in the media. >> yeah, look, i think that the climate -- i was actually talking to an ambassador from -- western ambassador, i guess is the closest i could describe him as, who was arguing to me -- and this is an ambassador who was very worried about trump's reaching out to russia -- and he was arguing that he thinks because the climate in washington right now has become, frankly, so hostile towards russia, right, and there's so much intrigue about russian connections with the trump white
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house, that that has pushed the trump white house away from whatever their initial raproche ma strategy was going to be and may have the opposite effect. so, sara's reporting is confirmation that the white house is maybe starting to give up on any kind of reset with russia, and i think that's partly because of these investigations, because of all the inquiries from the press, and that they can no longer be seen as being overly friendly with russia, given all of the scrutiny. >> yeah, yeah. and -- >> you know, i was going to say, the danger, of course, could be going too far in the other direction, right? you know, there are some voices, you know, that -- there are some voices that want to go to war with russia over things like crimea or eastern ukraine. so you know, there's a balance here. i think the danger is going too far. >> yeah, and where really is the
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balance, the white house position not entirely clear, but we're getting some great, new insight from you as well as from sara. great to see you, ryan. thanks. >> thank you, kate. coming up for us, is the white house breaking antinepotism laws by officially having ivanka trump join the team? her new announcement and concerns about what she'll be doing. we'll discuss. plus, i'm old enough to remember, friends when paul ryan said we can trust president trump to push a conservative agenda, but now he says trump could turn to the democrats. we'll hear from speaker ryan live in a moment.
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it's official, ivanka trump will be joining the white house. her title, assistant to the president. she will be an unpaid federal employee, so what does this change, and does this satisfy the ongoing criticism that the president has made the white house a family affair and that they are going against conflict of interests and good governance laws? let me bring in larry noble, a cnn contributor, general counsel at the campaign legal center and former general counsel at the federal elections commission, and also kate bennett, cnn's white house reporter. great to see you both. so, larry, ivanka trump is now an official government employee. what does this change? >> well, it may not change a lot.
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i mean, what it does do is it makes her legally restricted by the government ethics laws, where before she said that she was just going to voluntarily comply with the government ethics laws. so, this does put some legal weight behind it. however, it doesn't address directly the conflicts of interest that she may still have. i'm not quite sure what laws she thinks she is going to be covered by, because the laws do vary depending on what level you are in the government. i'll give her the fit of the doubt and say she's going to be governed by the highest level of conflict of interest laws, which would involve public financial disclosure statements, and i think that is an important step in the right direction. but really, we started it at a major step backwards, where she wasn't even acknowledging -- the white house wasn't even acknowledging that she was working for the government. now we've moved into a situation where, okay, now that we know she's working for the government, what rules is she going to be complying with and what conflicts does she have? >> and larry touches on an important point. it was not so long ago, kate
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that ivanka trump said she would not be part of the administration. here she is from just after the election in november. listen. >> people think that you're going to be part of the administration, ivanka. >> i am -- no, i'm going to be a daughter, but i have said throughout the campaign that i am very passionate about certain issues and that i want to fight for them. so you know, there are a lot of things that i feel deeply strongly about, but not in a formal administrative capacity. >> what's changed from then to now, kate? >> now she feels really strongly about certain things, and there are a lot of things. i mean, i think many -- you know, getting inside the west wing, understanding her dad's administration. she's always been that person for the president who has been his eyes and ears. i think she wants to see that role more formal. he wants to see it more formal. i mean, she also said her main priority was moving to washington and getting her kids settled in schools and then thinking about work. maybe she's achieved that goal and now she's going back to work
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full time. but she does have -- you know, we've seen her with justin trudeau, with angela merkel. she's announced her first international trip next month. i mean, these are things that clearly show that ivanka's direction has changed. she's still an insider. now she just has the formal stamp of approval. >> and larry, you clearly still got questions out there of exactly what role, what level of oversight, you know, and what level of disclosure her new role will require, but should this satisfy some of the criticism coming at her? should this be applauded? >> well, it satisfies the criticism we and others asked that they recognize that she's a government employee and this kind of halfway space didn't really make any sense. but again, you know, we are stuck in a situation where the whole dynamics of the ethics rules have changed. and so, we are where you should be when somebody enters the government. what are the ethics rules to apply, what are the conflicts of interest? you know, the antinepotism
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rules. how is all this going to play out? and i hope what doesn't get lost in this discussion, when we do acknowledge that she has heard us, as she said, she's heard the concerns that have been expressed, but we don't lose the idea that, okay, now we have to make sure that she doesn't have conflicts and she follows those rules. >> yeah. it's an unusual arrangement in and of itself, but what does it mean going forward? i know, larry, you're going to be having your eye on that. kate, great to see you. thank you very much. i want to take us back over to capitol hill right now. house speaker paul ryan speaking with reporters, his weekly press conference. lots of questions coming at him. >> one-third of the jobs in coal country alone. combine our actions with the steps that the president has taken to jump start pipelines and reverse president obama's assault on affordable energy. these things will help get people back to work. and after years of sluggish growth, give a real boost to our economy. but with all of these measures, we are doing something very, very fundamental, and that's the point i think is really worth seeing here. for too long, we have had
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unaelected bureaucrats writing our laws. we had been having unelected bureaucrats dictating the rules that we have to live under, and the rest of government just goes along with it. but now we are turning power from washington back to states and communities and to the elected branch of government. we are giving people more control and more of a say in the decisions that are made in their classrooms, at their businesses, on their lands. this is good progress and we're going to make more in weeks to come. phil. >> -- not responding to all the president's tweets -- conference saying of the freedom caucus, we must fight them in 2018. sounds like he's calling for primaries or fights. do you agree that you need to fight the freedom caucus to move his agenda? >> i understand the president's frustration. i share frustration. about 90% of our conference is for this bill to repeal and replace obamacare, and about 10% are not. and that's not enough to pass a bill. we're close. what i am encouraging our members to do is keep talking with each other until we can get
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the consensus to pass this bill. but it's very understandable that the president is frustrated that we haven't gotten to where we need to go, because this is something we all said we would do. and so, he is just expressing his frustration. you all know that he does that in various forms, including twitter, and i understand his frustration. nau [ inaudible ] >> the russian investigation exposing the danger to america's democracy. they seem to be focusing more on the from president's tweets. is the house committee missing the bigger picture? >> i want the house committee to have a full and thorough bipartisan investigation, get everything out there, follow the facts wherever they go, and get to the truth. that's going to take some time, and i'm confident they're going to do that. i think you're right, this has gotten a little political. let's take a pause and let's just get all the evidence, all the documents, and find out what happened. and what i'm worried about with russia is, you've got elections
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coming online in europe, you know, this year. and so, the russians clearly are trying to meddle in other countries' elections. we have to help our allies prevent that from happening and uncover it. we have to find out what they tried to do here. we've got to make sure we get to the bottom of that, and wherever the facts go. but then we also, in my opinion, need to do more to help our allies guard against this invasion into their democracy from russia. >> a number of republicans i spoke to this week said you need the $880 billion from medicaid savings from the health care bill in order to lower the revenue baseline and achieve significant tax -- >> no, it's the other way around. it's not medicaid, it's the revenue. you know how this works, wong. you're a budget guy. >> do you agree that there is a direct correlation between the medicaid and -- >> no, there is not a direct correlation. that's not correct. so, if somebody's misunderstanding how baselines work around here. the medicaid savings, the spending based on it has nothing
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to do with tax reform. it's the revenue base line. it's the obamacare taxes that themselves affect tax reform. here's the way that the math works. if we repeal the obamacare taxes, then that is a revenue base line that we don't have to put into tax reform. if we don't repeal the obamacare taxes, it is my position that we're just going to have to leave those taxes over there with obamacare and reform the rest of the irs tax code. but it does make tax reform harder. it's all about the revenue base line, has nothing to do with the spending base line. >> explain this idea of not wanting the president to work with democrats. >> oh, yeah, sure. >> on the health care, but also when some of us just talked to chris collins, you know, a big trump ally, and he says, you know, the next time that the freedom caucus calls the tuesday group, we should hang up the phone. he says we're not going to hit health care again until 2019. you say you're close. why should anyone believe that? >> well, because about 90% of
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our congress is there and 10% are not. [ inaudible ] that's exactly right, but 95% does. that's why i say we're close, because we are. here's the point i'm making here. democrats aren't for repealing obamacare. we are. we work with democrats all the time. look, patty murray and i did a big budget agreement. so, we have long histories of working with democrats, but i don't think it's a stretch of the mind to suggest that the democrats disagree with us on repealing obamacare. they're not going to help us repeal obamacare. that's my point. and so, if we're going to do what we said we would do, which is repeal and replace obamacare and save the american health care system, something tells me the democrats aren't going to help us repeal obamacare. they're the ones who created it in the first place. yeah. >> -- a bill that goes to the house, will it fund the wall and will it contain -- >> the bill hasn't been completed yet. the appropriators are still
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negotiating, so it's premature to get into the contents of the bill. we've already done dods, so there's 11 other bills that we would pass. the question is, is it one bill, two bills? i think that's one for the senate to decide how they're going to package the bill. it's really about kind of their calendar and how they work, but our goal is to work on the rest of the bills, and that's what our appropriators are negotiating. those negotiations aren't done, so it would be premature to get into the contents of those bills. >> -- think that you're going to send them a spending -- >> yeah, i think that's right. we've already sent them dod and i anticipate we'll send them the rest. [ inaudible question ] >> would taking their cost-sharing reductions away destabilize the markets? >> well, yes, and -- are you all right over there, dan? that didn't sound too good. is he okay? yes. i think the answer's yes on your last part. but the lawsuit's going to take some time. this is a separation of powers
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issue, and i don't know when the loss is going to get wrapped up. i think it goes into may. if we end up going to court, that could take us months. so, it's just a continue -- it's currently an unresolved issue. [ inaudible question ] while the lawsuit is being litigated, then the administration funds these benefits. that's how they've been doing it, and i don't see any change in that. yeah. >> you just said that -- [ inaudible ] why not drop the lawsuit? why -- >> well, we don't want to drop the lawsuit because we believe in the separation of powers. we believe in congress retaining its lawmaking power. but this lawsuit has not seen -- hasn't run its full course. while this lawsuit is running its course, the administration is exercising their discretion with respect to csrs. our plan "a" here is to repeal and replace obamacare and have that transition occur where these markets are stabilized.
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and that's what we hope to achieve. yeah. >> so, your health bill seems to be a little bit in -- [ inaudible ] will you commit that there will be another vote on this bill or a similar bill? >> i'm not going to commit to when and what the vote's going to look like because it's my job to help make sure that house republicans can coalesce and come together and draw a consensus. what i'm encouraging our members to do is figure out what solutions get us to a bill that everybody can vote for and pass. that's the kind of conversations that are occurring. this is too big of an issue to not get right. and so, i'm not going to put some sort of artificial deadline on saving the american health care system from an ongoing collapse. i just think it's too important. let's forget about all of the beltway talk here and think about, there are families that are hurting, there are families that aren't getting the kind of health care they need. premiums are going up double digits. plans are pulling out of marketplaces. no one has a choice in a third
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of american counties. this is a problem. and the actuaries of the insurance companies are telling us it's just going to get worse. so, it's really important that we do something to fix this problem, and that's going to take us to continue to work to get consensus. and i'm not going to put a timeline on it because i just want to make sure we get this done right. thank you very much, everybody. appreciate it. >> all right, you're listening right there to house speaker paul ryan and his weekly press conference. i understand the president's frustration. that's one headline from this. let's discuss right now what we heard from house speaker paul ryan and what it means with my panel. political commentator jen stocky, former communications director under president obama, cnn commentator and republican strategist doug high is here and political reporter nia-malika henderson. so, nia, just to refresh for our viewers, this is what the president tweeted and this is what paul ryan is being asked about right now. here's what the president tweeted this morning -- "freedom caucus will hurt the entire
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republican agenda if they don't get on the team and fast. we must fight them and democrats in 2018." asked to respond to it, paul ryan says it's very understandable that the president is frustrated. he didn't really speak about the primary challenge element of it, but he did not contradict the president. nia, your take? >> yeah, i mean, this is where we are now. the president has moved from blaming democrats, calling chuck schumer losers. at some point, he also said he wanted to reach out to democrats. so here he is now fighting with his own party, especially saying that come 2018, some of the house freedom caucus folks can expect a primary challenge. i think the problem here is a lot of these sort of energy, conservative ideas about health care, money now, if you think about the koch brothers wanting to support a lot of these folks who stood up against this bill, i don't know how trump takes them on and also tries to get to a situation where they have enough votes to make this work in the house. it's not only the freedom
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caucus, it's also moderate republicans. it's also that that bill had a 17% approval rating. so, again, i mean, i think we're seeing this sort of hardball, dealmaking sort of strategy, but it seems like a lot of it is just, you know, kind of spinning their wheels and it's not sure there's going to really be any movement, more just like motion. >> yeah. i mean, doug, part of it -- we can talk about the math, but i also want to talk about -- so, i asked one of the members of the freedom caucus about this tweet, if he sees it -- i mean, i don't know of another way to read it, other than it is a threat. but according to dave brat of virginia, he does not see what the president is saying as a primary threat in any way. what is the play here? is the freedom caucus respond well to threats? if you look at any recent history? >> yeah, i've heard of dave brett. i worked to eric cantor, so dave brat is somebody i'm familiar with. >> we didn't need to go there, doug, but i did want to come to you with that question. >> the freedom caucus typically
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never responds well to threats, but those threats have usually come from congressional leadership. and we see outrage du jour created by freedom caucus members who say you can't threaten us, you can't take away our committee chairmanships or any of the mechanisms that congressional leadership has. what's new is that this is coming from president trump. and we'll see if primaries come from this. we'll see what happens with the bill. but donald trump is such a new dynamic in republican politics, and especially on capitol hill, that this kind of criticism coming from the president is what's really new to the freedom caucus, and it's why their response has been by and large pretty muted. if john boehner or eric cantor had made this, or paul ryan had made this kind of criticism, we would have seen the freedom caucus calling them rhinos. we would have seen outside groups sending out fund-raising e-mails, because there's a lot of profit in that. but the donald trump dynamic being so new, i think a lot of members are worried about how popular he is in their republican districts. >> they might actually be really worried about that threat. jen, i want your take on a different slice of this from the
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sweep this morning. the white house's response, when asked to clarify what the president's meaning is, the white house's response is the president's tweet speaks for itself. this has become -- this has become the singular response from the white house when asked to clarify or give any background to any of the president's tweets. what does that actually mean, the president's tweet speaks for itself? >> well, i think president trump has been using twitter as a means of sending messages and indicating his views on things. sometimes it's completely inaccurate, and sometimes it's an indication of where he's sitting politically. this may not have been a threat this morning. this may have been him sending a message -- listen, preefreedom caucus, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. i'll work with the moderates and work with them. i've been hearing from 2018 candidates who are up for election, from people who are worried about putting poison pills and riders on different bills, and i'm going to start to
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work with moderates. so, it could be as simple as that. >> dubs sound so simple, though, when you really try to look at how this is all going down. dave brat also said they were so close, they were like two bits away from getting a health care bill to the floor on friday. i found that kind of difficult to believe, but that's how it works. great to see you guys. thank you so much. a lot more to come. >> thank you. coming up for us, republicans threatening right now to go nuclear to confirm supreme court nominee neil gorsuch, but will they need to go that route? where do things stand right now? that is coming up. nally found or big idaho potato truck. it's been touring the country telling folks about our heart healthy idaho potatoes, america's favorite potatoes, and donating to local charities along the way. but now it's finally back home where it belongs. aw man. hey, wait up. where you goin'? here we go again.
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another big battle brewing on capitol hill. president trump supreme court nomin
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nominee. it could be a nuclear battle over judge gorsuch. threatening to change the rules in order to get him confirmed t. sounds inside baseball, but it is a big deal. the fallout over this battle could last for years. where does this stand? tom, what are you seeing? >> kate, this is a battle royal. if you ask the republicans, particularly if you ask mitch mcconnell who's leading the respects is neil gorsuch going to be confirmed and the vote happens in eight days, he says absolutely one way or the other and democrats need to know that you should change your mind if you're going to oppose him and join us in confirming. meanwhile, chuck schumer leading the democrats, he's saying hold o democrats, everybody stick together because yeah, if you have the vote right now and it breaks down on pure party lines, the republicans would win. 52-freig 52-48, he would be confirmed. they're saying we want to push
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the republicans to produce 60 votes to get the vote to the floor over gorsuch. a procedural thing. if they get a filibuster started, that means the republicans have to pig up eight democrats to stop the filibuster. eight democrats . it's not clear where they would get those people. all of these people we've highlighted have already spoken up and said they will vote against gorsuch. so what are the republicans doing? they're targeting all the other ones here, particularly those that are in states that donald trump handily won for president. their idea is to say in effect you can stick with this filibuster if you want, but you may not be a senator very long because the people in your state may not appreciate it. chuck schumer meanwhile is saying no, no, no. hang in there. make them change the candidate. in the end you mentioned the nuclear option. that may not be the result. mcconnell has suggested if he
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has to go with the nuclear option which is basically a rules change which the republicans could approve if they all stick together, then you go right back to where you were in the beginning and they don't need 60 votes. they can get past it and go directly to the vote itself. if that's the case, all they have to have the party advantage to do this. the democrats did this back in 2013 under harry reed. republicans were hugely critical of him then and the democrats have suffered for that rules change. but this time the republicans may do the same thing. that's why mitch mcconnell is saying confidently that gorsuch will be confirmed and they're under the hope that somehow they can force a change to a candidate they can like a little bit more. >> right now unclear entirely exactly how this is going to end up going down. great to see you, tom, thank you. president trump today laying down a new threat. threatening democrats and some republicans who don't get on -- if they don't get on board with the obama replacement plan. well, then he's going to come
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after you in the primary in 2018. let's talk more about this with democratic congresswoman barbara lee of california. thanks so much for joining me. >> my pleasure. >> the president said friday after the health care bill effort failure that he wanted to work with democrats to get it done. he even said so at the dinner with senates. today he's now threatening you all. what is your response? >> well, that's why, you know, the president really is continuing i think his campaign in terms of just plain old bullying. the president hates dissent. we saw this when he was a businessman. we saw this as a candidate and now we see this as president. it's outrageous. we don't know what he wants to do, but i know what the public wants and that is no repeal of the affordable care act because it's working and we're not going to allow him whatever threats he makes to take away health care from 24 million people. >> so additionally, speaker ryan
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says in an interview that he's worried if you don't get oh faux republicans don't get their act together that this may then push the president to work with democrats to fix obamacare. what do you say -- what do you say to the speaker on that one? do you think there is any chance that you will work with the president to fix obamacare? >> well, what i would say to the president and the speaker is listen to your constituents. listen to what the public said. they spoke very loud last week. they spoke clearly. no repeal. we do not want them to sabotage or undermine the accordable care act. to the speaker needs to understand that before we go any further, we have to come to agree that they will not repeal the affordable care act because the public knows the republicans want to take away their health care. that's a fact. >> congresswoman, i do remember you boycotted president trump's
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inauguration. it would not say that you have anything close to a good relationship with this president. do you think there is a chance that you would work with him to change obamacare? >> let me just say first of all, i have not heard the president say that he was solid with regard to not repealing the affordable care act. i did boycott the inauguration because i could not celebrate the inauguration of a president who denigrated women, who talked about muslims in terms of a muslim ban, who wants to build a wall, who really asked the african-american community what do you have to loss? well, we have a heck of a lot to lose. so i could not celebrate, while i respect the power of the office and the office of the presidency, there is no way that i'm going to celebrate this. i think we see this agenda evolving and minimally on the affordable care act, he's got to come forward and say as well as the house republicans and say we do not want to take away health
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care from 24 million people. >> i'll take that as a soft no in your working with the president on health care. you are on the appropriations and budget committee. i want to get your take. if you had to place a wager today, what are the chances that congress is going to be able to avoid a government shut down when funding runs out one month from today? >> of course no one wants a government shutdown. and i know democrats are very -- are working extremely hard to avoid that. yesterday on the appropriations committee secretary price came to the sub committee that funds health care and in fact we saw during this hearing the fact that they are trying actually to undermine health care through their budget cuts through what they're presenting as part of this what we call skinny budget. so in no way do we want a shutdown, but in no way are we going to let them sabotage and undermine the affordable care act.
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>> congresswoman barbara lee, thanks for your time. >> the senate intelligence committee is hearing their first hearing on russia meddling. senator marco rubio got a bit of a surprise. details on that next. think of all you'll share... like snoring. does your bed do that? the dual adjustability of a sleep number bed allows you each to choose the firmness and comfort you want. so every couple can get the best sleep ever. does your bed do that? only at a sleep number store, right now save $400 on our most popular mattresses. ends saturday! d committ
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. welcome to "inside politics" i'm john king. on capitol hill a hearing on russia's meddling election and a promise to be bipartisan those democrats to make clear. >> i will not prejudge the outcome of our investigation. we are seeking to determine if there is an actual fire, but there is clearly a lot of smoke. >> the fbi wants to answer that collusion question too and the director promises the unvarnished truth. >> we're not considering who's ox will be gored by this action

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