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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  June 20, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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iraq. that all being said, this is very, very early stages. we don't yet have full details about what happened at the central station. we don't yet have full details in terms of this being an actual attack. >> we're working on getting them. i'm up against a wall, paul. thanks so much for calling in from brussels. we're going to let jake tapper take over. special live coverage happens right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we'll begin with breaking news in to cnn. you're looking at live shots of brussels there amid gunfire, after people in the city center ran in panic. that's a scene from inside the train station. we're seeing heavy police presence right there right now. belgian media is reporting that a possible suspect has been,
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quote, neutralized at the scene. let's go live now to cnn's erin mclaughlin who is in brussels. erin, what's the latest? >> reporter: hi, jake. well, it seems that the situation is under control. that according to the police. it unfolded about an hour ago at a grand central station, one of the main train stations here in brussels. you can see it's just down the road that way. eyewitnesses reporting seeing some sort of explosions, a couple pops, small explosions, and then, according to police, the suspect, a private individual, has been, quote, neutralized. unclear how they managed to neutralize the suspect in this case, but you can see that they are taking this incident extremely seriously, and they have cordoned off the street surrounding the train station, not letting traffic through. you can also see a very heavy military presence out on the street.
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this is a city under a heightened state of alert due to the terror threat that is persistent in this country. they are taking no chances here in brussels tonight, jake. >> erin mclaughlin, thank you so much. as we learn more information about what's going on in brussels, we will bring you that. but let's turn to our politics lead now. this afternoon, secretary sean spicer held an on-camera briefing and took reporters' questions. that is something that in and of itself should not be news, but in this case it is because the trump administrators have been keeping reporters at bay for more than a week. in many ways, the trump administration has been less transparent than its predecessors. even those who thought the obama administration never lived up to its ballyhooed image, president obama released his taxes and
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president trump has not released his. president trump shares literally nothing about who is coming to see him. president obama golfed quite a bit, as does president trump, but the obama house would tell the public when he was hitting the links and with whom. this white house, for whatever reason, keeps that information private. even the white house briefings are shorter with more non-answers, and a new trend of not allowing cameras or even audio recordings of what your white house is saying on any given day. people in power like to hide things from the public. we called it out under president obama and now it is i mpiricall. whether it's about tax reform or legislation, all of it. let's go to jim. it was out and then in today.
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>> secretary sean spicer appears to create some news of his own at today's briefing when, incredibly, he said he does not know whether the president believes russia interfered in the election, something that did happen according to u.s. intelligence agencies. it was lights, camera, action for white house press secretary sean spicer who held his first on-camera briefing in more than a week. but spicer declined to provide any real answers to a key question nagging this white house, whether the president believes russia interfered in the election. >> does president trump believe that the russian government interfered in the 2016 elections? >> i think -- i have not sat down and talked to him about that specifically. >> did the president say russia was fake news? >> the white house tried to deflect the issue over otto warmbier. the trump administration said the obama administration was liable. >> that should never have been
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allowed to happen. >> reporter: tputting pressure n north korea has failed. he said, while i greatly appreciate the efforts of president xi and china to help with north korea, it has not worked out. at least i know china tried. it includes at least 10 million americans in custody during the obama administration. it's apparent that otto warmbier was among them. president trump appears to blame the obama administration. >> the president believes had it happened sooner or quicker, potentially there might have been additional medical resources that could have been provided. orthopedic >> reporter: on the issue of health care reform, he says the republicans building on the bill behind closed doors is heartless. he appears to slam senate republicans for crafting their own version of the bill behind
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closed doors. >> president trump likes to end many of his tweets with one word, almost like punctuation. sad! unfair! wrong! well, it turns out that the president has one word to sum up his health care plan as well. "mean." for once on the topic of health care, i find myself greagreeing with the president. his health care bill is mean. >> reporter: even some republicans have had it. >> we used to complain like hell when democrats ran the affordable care act. now they're doing the same thing. >> as for spicer, he seemed to confirm that the white house was moving him out of the briefing room and into another role. >> i'm right here. we're always looking for a better way to articulate the president's agenda. >> one job someone mentioned as a successor doesn't snpt. >> i'm not sure the secretary
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thing is something i'm dying to do. >> reporter: there is still not an answer whether the president has recordings of gym comey hjie at the white house. the question still exists, where are the tapes? new questions about fired national security adviser michael flynn and trips he took in 2015. the very latest on the russia investigation, next. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> reporter: democrats want to know the details about michael flynn's trip to the middle east in the summer of 2015 and why he didn't disclose it on his security renewal form. they are demanding documents from michael flynn about the trip including russia and saudi arabia, and another one in 2015 when he disclosed but left off significant details. key member sheldon whitehouse speculates that flynn's silence so far could mean there is a deal in the works. >> all of the signals are suggesting that he's already cooperating with the fbi and may have been for some time. >> reporter: it's a possibility fired fbi director james comey alluded to during his testimony june 8. >> would closing out the flynn investigation have impeded the overall russian investigation? >> no. unlikely except to the extent -- there is always a possibility if you have a criminal case against someone and you bring it and
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squeeze them and they give you information about something else. >> reporter: but law enforcement services have not indicated if flynn is cooperating or not. house investigators don't know precisely when flynn traveled to the middle east, but they cite a discrepancy between this june 0 10, 2015 testimony he gave and the fact he listed a 2015 start date on the form he submitted after he was fired. reuters is claiming the fbi is also looking at flynn's business partner in its inquiry as to payments from flynn's clients to his consulting company were lawful. it was controlled by a turkish businessman that flynn failed to disclose. it's not clear if it's federal agents just trying to build a better understanding of how
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flynn's company operated. >> i'm not going to go into it. >> reporter: special counsel robert mueller is expected to meet with senior members of the judiciary committee and others on the hill this week to make sure there are no conflicts between his investigation and their own probes. meanwhile, the senate intelligence committee just found out they'll be getting daylig data access or access to data from the federal crimes unit. they said it's the best way for them to follow the money when it comes to digging into any potential ties between the trump campaign and russia financeirs. >> stay with us.
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welcome back to "the lead." sticking with politics and some negative numbers on the president's handling of the russia investigation. a new cbs news poll out today
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finds that just 28% of those polled approve with how president trump has handled the probe, and 63% disapprove. congressman, you rather heroically attended to congressman steve scalise after he was shot during that horrific attack at baseball practice last week. house speaker ryan said scalise is doing much better. what can you tell us about his condition? >> exactly what the speaker said. he is doing better. the family and the doctors there will give a full report at the appropriate time. it's normal for this situation, for a patient to have to undergo multiple procedures. you stage these things, and steve has come through them very well. we're very encouraged that through the grace of god he got blood in time to sustain his life and get him into care. we're grateful for that and for all the support we've seen
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across america for steve's well-being and the others that were injured. >> thank god for the police on capitol hill as well. you've been focused on the main purpose of the security committee investigation. with the president calling the probe a witch hunt and phony, with the white house now attacking special counsel, do you worry that the president is undermining these very serious investigations? >> what i worry about the most, it is a very serious investigation, but this is an american thing, it's not a republican or democrat thing. this has been going on since the soviet union where they tried to interfere with our system and our way of life, and they've done a pretty good job of it, to be honest with you. so our investigation, from my standpoint, is we want to get to the facts. what have they been able to do? they have a tremendous infrastructure and they stop at nothing. it's all about russia. so we need to find out where they've had influence, how they've done it and how we can stop it in the future. then if there was any misdeeds done on this side of the ocean, then we need to know about that,
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too. and that's where i think that we need to be headed, and i hope that we as a country will focus on what we can do to prevent it. >> i'll just try this one more time. would you prefer that the attacks on mueller and the attacks on the investigations from the white house, would you prefer that they stop? >> well, i haven't really been paying much attention to that, to be honest with you. i'm focused on what we need to do. i think that all i want to do get at the truth, whether it's mueller or whoever the case may be. i think we need to somehow develop some trust in our country, and hopefully this will be a way that we can do it. so i do think there needs to be an investigation. i don't see a need to attack unless i see a need to attack. so let's move forward with an investigation on our end and let mr. mueller do his job as well. i don't care to comment because i think he needs to have the opportunity to do his job.
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>> there was comments from the democratic committee about michael flynn traveling to the middle east in 2015, apparently to help negotiate a deal between the u.s. and russia. is flynn cooperating with your investigation and do you know if he's cooperating with the fbi investigation? >> i don't know the details of who he has spoken to. i have not had him in front of me personally in any of our briefs. if we feel the need to go there, i'm sure that we will. there is so much that we need to start looking into. you know, you have the whole situation of leaks taking place, which, you know, our country -- that's not good for our country. we're destroying ourselves from within. russia has a plan. right now i think they're winning. it's heads i win, tails you lose. no matter what, it seems what they do or what we do, we are divided amongst ourselves. let's get to facts. let's focus on what's taken place. if there is some wrongdoing, then let's be about truth, justice and the american way. but in the big picture, that's what we need to focus on and we need to protect ourtselves
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whether it's russia, china, korea or iran, anyone that wants to involve themselves and disrupt the american system. >> i know that otto warmbier, the american college student who fell into a coma while in north korean custody and died while at home yesterday, i know he was one of your constituents. his family suffering unimaginable pain. the president said this was a total disgrace and the u.s. will, quote, handle it. what do you think that means and how do you think the u.s. should respond? >> for one i am grateful that at least there is some type of closure for the family. otto was a good kid. as you might imagine, i heard from so many people who knew otto from the day he was born, and he is a good man with a tremendous amount of potential. there is a lot of evil in the world and we have to confront it, unfortunately. and otto has been a victim of that and his family has suffered greatly. i intend to go home and try and be with the family later this week, and hopefully we'll bring
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some solace to them. but i tell you, we have to, as a nation, decide how we're going to face all the evils that we're up against in this world. >> congressman brad weinstrup, thank you very much, and please give the condolences to otto's family. drooifiving through d.c. log for a bill. didn't the obama administration do the same thing? stay with us. you can see exactly when we'll arrive. mom: sure. bring it! tech: i'm micah with safelite. mom: thanks for coming, it's right over here. tech: giving you a few more minutes for what matters most. take care! family: bye! kids singing: safelite® repair, safelite® replace.
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welcome back to "the lead." you know you're on a need-to-know basis now, america. we took to facebook about the way the bill is being written by his senators, even though he's supposed to be a working member drafting the bill. >> i've not seen the bill.
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it's not being written by us. it's being written by a small amount of staffers. if you're frustrated by the lack of transparency in this process, i share your frustration. >> the secrecy in this process has been remarkable, and what's more remarkable is the democrats said the same thing a few years ago. for instance, this man. >> this massive piece of legislation that sets to restructure one-sixth of our economy is being written behind closed doors without input from anyone in an effort to jam it past not only the senate but the american people. >> now majority leader mitch mcconnell was one of countless republicans raging against the democrats in the early part of president obama's first term for ramming through the affordable care act. make no mistake, some shadey wheeling and dealing went on to pass that bill. not to mention mcconnell once had to speak on christmas eve
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2009 when the democrat-led senate passed obamacare, while everyone was paying close attention on christmas eve. they did face some debate, at least. the senate spent 13 days marking up the bill and then for 25 days. that process was not enough for then-congressman and, currently, the vice president mike pence who in early 2010 tweeted, it's simply wrong for legislation that will affect 100% of the american people to be negotiated behind closed doors. that was right, what congressman pence said. and it's right now. as was this from then-congressman, now secretary of department of interior services, quote, they're sacrificing the trust of the american people. or, for instance, senator ornach, who wrote back, quote, the real bill is currently being written behind closed doors in the dark corners of the capitol. i could do this all day,
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frankly. but what about today? what does hatch have to say today, for instance, this month when he was challenged about whether his committee would hold a public hearing? >> will there be a hearing? >> democrats have been invited to participate in this process and we are open to all ideas and suggestions. >> the only things that's changed is the party affiliation of those behind closed doors and those locked out. if you applied a principle only to your opponents, it's not a principle, it's just a cheap partisan attack. the bill could go to the budget office for an analysis as soon as this week. republicans want the bill before
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ceo ceos before a vote. is that enough time to vote on such an important piece of legislation? >> in the last week or so, a number of republicans have voiced their own unease in this process, acknowledging it's too secret, particularly rank and file members, have no idea where this is going to end up, despite the fact senator mcconnell said there would be a working draft done on thursday. there still are major issues that need to be resolved before thursday. first off, the frustration about the process, and second off, that they're not there yet. those things have yet to be resolved. >> when the affordable care act came through, obamacare, folks, give us a sense of that project. >> when you talk to people like senator john mccain, very frustrated with the process, very sarcastic with us all day,
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but not ready to acknowledge that they'll go forward with the process. if three out of 20 senators tell the majority leader, look, we need to slow down. we need to have full amounts of time to digest the bill or have a full hearing on this bill, then that's what would happen. you only need to get 50 senators in line. if three of them say no, you don't really have an option. no senator has actually come out and said that, and another key note here, they don't have the final word on some of these key issues. short of that, it's tough to know how they'll get 50 votes. nevertheless, they're moving forward. they expect to have a cbi score sometime next week, and they expect to vote on this as well. >> we haven't seen a draft of the legislation. for that we're no different than senator ed lee. but being considered are deeper medicaid cuts than the house bill. is that getting any pushback on capitol hill? >> no question about it.
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this is something the conservatives look very favorable toward, and it's how they would peg the growth rate. at least in the house legislation, it would be pegged to inflation -- medical inflation, essentially. what the senate is actually considering right now is pegging it to just inflation. the house bill, jake, would cut $810 billion over the next ten years. that has moderate senators concerned on their own. the senate bill, if they were to follow through on the proposal that's on the table right now, would cut it a lot more. you talk to sheli moore, they made it clear they would not discuss something like that. we're keeping an eye on democrats, too. you kind of highlighted their frustration through all of this. they don't have much of a role here. they can try not to draw attention. we had senator cory booker and
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other senators trying to track down the drafts of this legislation in order to get some sense of what's in the bill. they failed in that process, as just about everybody in the senate has up to this point, so i guess we'll have to wait until at least thursday morning what's actually in the bill. one of the democrats speaking out on the senate floor last night and again yesterday afternoon with senator morkum. in response to the senate majority leader, they said, quote, there would be ample time to read and amend the bill. your response? >> hi, jake, great to be with you. it's amazing what we're engaged in. i believe senator thune said we're welcome to the meetings. i've got my rsvp card here. i've already signed it, i just need to know what the date is
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and what the location is. because despite the limitation, so far i have no idea how to participate. this is the secret 13 holding these meetings and deciding what's going to happen in health kafr in america with absolutely no trade for the committee to weigh in. this is not the way legislature is supposed to operate in a "we, the people" make a mistake. >> why couldn't they have more open and dmob raees at the time the bill was written? >> let's not undercount. we had adopted over 100 republican amendments. we went to the floor with 25 days of debate. people held town halls back home. the public weighed in.
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it was about as lengthy a process as you've seen in modern day history. this is the opposite end. this is zero, zero, zero. >> isn't this an example of elections having consequences. the republicans control the senate, and it does seem that this is what. thank you for inviting me to join you. my group was in montana this week. they came out and are absolutely terrified of this process and what may become of their health care. whatever hair pulling there might have been in the past, right now the trumpcare is creating enormous anxiety and opposition at grassroots rural america. >> what do you think republicans could do that would satisfy you and your democratic colleagues? even if there were public hearings, you would still oppose
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their efforts to change obamacare or undermine obamacare on such a grand scale. >> there's so many ways that the current health care system can be improved. what i'd like to see at a minimum, one month for the public to weigh in, one month for the two committees to hold hearings and take expert testimony, one month for us to hold town halls and discussions among ourselves and offer amendments in those two committees. then bring it to the floor. that's not too much to ask. >> so there are problems with obamacare, you acknowledge, and as you must know, premiums are rising up to 30% in your home state of oregon. what changes would you make if you could make them right now? >> the first is that there has to be a lockdown on cost sharing. companies are bailing out of states because the president will not commit to cost share. that's the difference between a 70% and 30% rise in health care.
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they cannot work with a disproportionate share of individuals and the republicans destroyed the insurance program in obamacare. those are just two examples of ways that currenly the administration and my republican colleagues are undermining the exchanges. by the way, those exchanges were the republican idea for health care. marketplace where private companies compete, that was their idea. but they chose, on a completely partisan basis, to instead just try to undermine a presidency rather than do the responsible thing and work together to make health care that will serve affordable quality health care for every american. >> congressman, thank you very much. good luck with that i.d. card. >> thank you. health care is on everyone's mind and the most expensive house race in u.s. history. but will the results be a referendum for either party? stay with us. proof of less joint pain
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keira learner from the pro gre gre gress progressive think progress. they think they should rsvp for events. on the other side of the aisle, fact check jon ossoff's claim that he lives down the street from the district he doesn't currently live in. he, too, was blocked from entering an ossoff campaign
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event. the campaign claiming they did not see his press credentials. a grand display in georgia of bipartisan petulance of thin skin. whoever wins tonight, they barred a reporter from taking tough questions. if you can't take tough questions, maybe washington isn't the place for you. but their ability to deal with tough questions notwithstanding, one of these two will be elected to represent the northern george jornl s -- georgia suburbs. but who? there is no indication which way it will go tonight and many outsiders see this as a litmus test on national politics. even president trump has been weighing in today, but the candidates are are trying to keep the focus on themselves and their opponents. >> reporter: absolutely, the candidates are doing all that they can to say that this race is not about the other person.
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but voters are better out here on the streets and both sides of the alknow what's at stake here. it's decision day in the georgia election. democrat jon ossoff is hoping to gain his seat against president trump. >> for all the disarray and gridlock in washington, now more than ever we need fresh leadership rather than another career politics. >> reporter: republican challenger karen handel is counting on the district's conservative-leaning tilt to bring her victory. >> my husband and i have lived here over 30 years. that's more than my opponent has almost been alive. >> reporter: both candidates have been spending the final days of the campaign trying to focus on local issues. >> it's not about the national implications, it's about who is
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better suited to represent them in washington. >> i'm sure there will be implications. what those implications are, i'll leave to strategists and pundits. >> reporter: president trump is keeping an eye on the election, this morning saying, democrat jon ossoff who wants to raise your taxes to the highest level and is weak on crime and doesn't even live in the district. there is more than $50 million spent by the campaigns and outside groups. >> candidly, that's pretty obscene. >> reporter: this reporter says his vote was for handel. >> i think she believes what she says and i think she'll do what she says. >> reporter: >> reporter: this man used his vote to make a statement. i voted for ossoff just because i don't like who is sitting in the white house right now.
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no, jake, in order to pull out a win here, what each of them have to do is reach independents or moderates at this point. it's just unclear how successful either one of them have been to do that. the race is just too close to call. jake? >> thank you so much. just five feet. that's how close a russian fighter jet got to a u.s. spy plane. stick around, we'll have that story.
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welcome back to "the lead." the u.s. is facing new provocations by russia following the u.s. downing of a syrian jet. today we learned that an armed russian fighter jet flew dangerous close, within five feet, of an american reconnaisance plane near the baltic sea. russia, not surprisingly, blamed
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the u.s. >> it flew erratically and closely, making it very unsafe. most of the time they're routine, most of the time they're perfectly safe. but when it happens like this, it's a real problem. u.s. doesn't know what to expect and you never know when they're going there was a syrian drone t went dangerously close to u.s. troops. what do you have to say about that? >> flying close to where u.s. troops were, armed, not turning back, coming straight at them. so a u.s. war plane rolled in and did fire at that drone. it makes it the third shootdown in several days. a manned aircraft, two drones, a lot of questions about just how unsettled this area is and whether anybody is really able to control regime and militia forces there, jake.
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>> barbara, we have a shortage of hot spots to discuss. let's turn to north korea. you just learned that a satellite has discovered testing grounds. what do you make of that? >> satellites have detected fresh activity in north korea's underground nuclear test site, activity at tunnel entrances, the tunnels where underneath there might be a nuclear device for a sixth north korean nuclear test. what we also know is this is a real concern, because if there is a sixth test in the coming days, the worry is that this means the chinese diplomatic initiatives, although they're in their early stages, they're simply not working with the regime. kim jong-un is not paying attention. u.s. military commanders have updated military options if there is a nuclear test to present to president trump. we want to hasten to add, no
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indication that the president is about to order military action. it's always the same problem in north korea. can you really get to the target and what would north korea do? would it unleash against south korea and that is always one of the big stoppers in any potential idea of retaliating against the north. >> barbara, what might those options look like? >> well, the idea is that u.s. spy satellites have very closely been tracking the location of the underground test site, what ges on there, the location of where north korea is fabricating this missile material, missile construction sites, missile launchers. the idea would be to take out completely north korea's ability to build and field an intercontinental ballistic nuclear warhead. but that is problematic. you have to take it all out at once and you have to do something about north korea's ability to launch a barrage of
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artillery attacks against downtown seoul, south korea, jake. >> to say nothing of u.s. troops nearby. barbara starr, thank you so much. as north korea poses this growing threat, president trump tried to pressure north korea in a tweet a few minutes ago saying, quote, while i greatly appreciate the efforts of chinese president xi in china to help north korea, it has not worked out. at least i know china tried. this announcement comes just a day after american student otto warmbier died after being released from north korea. it has brought debate over how we should respond. >> it's a total disgrace what happened to otto. >> reporter: tonight pressure is building on the white house to hold north korean leader kim jong-un responsible for the death of otto warmbier. >> that should never, ever be allowed to happen, and frankly, if he were brought home sooner, i think the result would have been a lot different. >> reporter: the 22-year-old student seen here at his high school graduation --
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>> this is our season finale. this is the end of one great show. >> reporter: -- was sentenced to hard labor for allegedly pulling down a propaganda banter in a hotel. president trump is calling for action. a senator tweeting, otto warmbier should never have been in prison for tearing down a stupid banner and most certainly should not have been murdered for it. >> vice president pence couldn't describe how to respond. senior u.s. officials say the cost of military retaliation is too high. they fear for the safety of the three americans still being held by north korea. businessmen kim dong chul and professors tony kim and kim hok
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song. they fear the release of warmbier could pave the way for more dialogue. just last week, the president tried to sit down with kim. >> if it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, i would be honored to do it. >> the context in which he said that was if the right conditions presented themselves, clearly we're moving further away, not closer to, those conditions being intact. so i would not suggest that we're moving any closer. >> reporter: the tour company that brought otto warmbier to north korea now says it will stop trips to the country, and the state department is looking for ways to prevent americans from traveling there and putting themselves at risk, like an executive order or visa restriction. >> do not go to north korea. we can't get to you there. we have to rely on sweden, and you know what can happen. >> now, let's go back to that tweet from the president.
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when his efforts with north korea hadn't worked out, he seemed to have president trump putting the chinese on the defensive. the u.s. policy on north korea centers on putting pressure on north korea through china. that means using trade through china as a weapon, and if the president is saying president xi can influence north korea, china won't have a very strong bargaining position at the table. it's a message to the chinese we need to step it up, jake. >> thank you very much. dangerous weather in two parts of the u.s. temperatures are scorching the west at 119 today. airlines in phoenix canceled dozens of flights as a precaution. they need more space. it also doesn't stop the spread of wildfires. there is also tropical storm brett moving across the
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caribbean. this is the first time in four years two storms have been named simultaneously in the month of june. that's it for "the lead." you believe follow me, jake tapper, @theleadcnn. senate investigators say they'll start using banking records from the treasury's financial crimes unit to hunt for links between the trump campaign and russian financier. no records. the office of finance and budget says it has no records of recording equipment in the white house. when will president trump come clean that he may have made up that he had tapes from jim comey. the most expensive house race in georgia's sixth district, as