republicans in georgia and in south carolina. "new day" continues right now. >> rather than demonizing each other, we find common ground to move forward. >> republicans avoiding a major upset in georgia's special election. >> we need to lift up this nation so we can find a more civil way to deal with our disagreements. >> we used to complain like hell when democrats rammed the affordable care act. now they're doing the same thing. >> i want to assure you, before this summer is over, we will repeal and replace obamacare. >> the american people have a right to know what is in this bill. it's a total disgrace what happened to otto. he should have been home a long time ago. i hope the president and his team get a lot tougher with china. >> this is "new day" with chris cuomo and alisyn camerota. >> good morning. welcome to your "new day." alisyn is off. brooke baldwin joins me.
republicans celebrating a big win in the most expensive house race in u.s. history. karen handel defeating democratic challenger jon ossoff to win the open seat in georgia's sixth congressional district. it's another deneat for the democrats, that's four in a row in these special elections since president trump was elected. >> democrats are 0 for 4 there. meantime on capitol hill senate republican leaders will take the wraps off their health care bill, unveiling a draft tomorrow after weeks of secrecy. some republicans are voicing their frustrations about the ro ses as well. we have it all covered for you. let's begin with my colleague jason carroll in the wake of this sixth congressional district, a big loss for democrats. >> reporter: back to the drawing board for democrats, major loss for democrats, especially after they poured so much effort and money into this race, $20
million -- more than $20 million for jon ossoff. major loss for him. he was not able to tap into enough moderates and independents here in the district to put him over the edge. but a big win for handel, a big win for the president. as you know, handel throughout much of the campaign tried to downplay the national implications of this race and in some ways tried to distance herself from the president. but at the end of the day, last night it was all about handel and trump. >> a special thanks to the president of the united states of america. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: major problems for the democrats and especially when you consider in the special elections they're 0 for 4 so
far. when you consider also, not just what happened here, but what happened in south carolina, democrats were unable to pick up a seat there. ralph norman was able to pick up the seat there, in a way by aligning himself to the president. once again, back to the drawing board for the democrats. >> they were close. this race in south carolina, this race in georgia, you could argue the democrats shouldn't have been close, but they went all in, they wanted the win and they didn't. what will this mean for that party? thank you very much jason carroll. white house press secretary sean spicer doesn't give straight answers often when asked about the president's beliefs on controversial issues, specifically russia's interference and hacking in the 2016 election. cnn's joe johns live at the white house with more. we haven't talked about it, is now a magical phrase. >> reporter: that's for sure, chris. sean spicer back in front of the
cameras just yesterday, but leaving a lot of questions unanswered including a seemingly subtle question about the role of russia in the last election, the type of subject matter likely to come up on capitol hill in a hearing today featuring last homeland security jeh johnson. five months in now the president's spokesman can't or won't say where the president stands. white house press secretary sean spicer refusing to say whether president trump believes russia interfered in the 2016 election. >> i think -- i have not sat down and talked to him about that specific thing. >> reporter: dismissing the unified assessment of the nation's intelligence community. >> it's very disturbing because this was a serious attack on our democracy, and at the top of the united states government, there ought to be a level of concern. >> reporter: spicer's refusal to answer this basic question, adding to the mounting
credibility issues facing the president's spokesman. >> i have not had an opportunity to have that discussion. >> i have not asked him. >> honestly, i haven't asked him. i'll get back to you. >> reporter: president trump addressed the issue with varying responses. >> as far as hacking, i think it was russia, but i think we also get hacked by other countries and other people. >> i'll go along with russia. could have been china. >> reporter: president trump doesn't appear too concerned given former fbi director james comey's testimony that the president never asked him about russian election meddling. attorney general jeff sessiontion reflectisessions reflecting this in testimony last week. >> i never received any detail briefing on how hacking occurred or how information was alleged to have influenced the campaign. >> meanwhile, "the new york times" raising questions about why the president's fired national security advisor general michael flynn continued to sit in for the almost daily intelligence briefings from cia director mike pompeo for three
weeks, despite concerns across government that he may have been compromised by the russians. >> we told them that we were giving them all this information so they could take action. >> reporter: pompeo who was appointed to his position by the president in january refused to answer questions about whether he knew his own agency's concerns last month. >> i can't answer yes or no. i regret i'm unable to do so. >> reporter: this as the white house faces growing pressure on how it will respond to the death of otto warmbier and new activity at north korea's nuclear testing site. >> it's a total disgrace what happened to otto. that should never, ever be allowed to happen. >> reporter: president trump implicitly casting blame on the obama administration. >> frankly, if he were brought home sooner, i think the result would have been a lot different. >> reporter: and tweeting without elaboration that china's efforts to help north korea have not worked out.
that tweet and the meaning of it almost certainly a topic of discussion today as the secretary of state rex tillerson sits down with his chinese counterpart for a meeting in washington. the president has an intelligence briefing on his schedule today, late tore fly off to iowa for a campaign-style rally. >> thanks joe. cnn political panelist john avlon, cnn senior political analyst ron brownstein and white house correspondent from bloomberg news, margaret talev. >> i know south carolina was very close, shouldn't have been that close. i know georgia's plus nine republican and been held by republicans for a long time. but the democrats need to win places like this, and they didn't. what do you see as the lesson for that party and its leadership? >> it's very frustrating i think for democrats and it's going to
create a lot of recriminations, particularly georgia six. you see the debate between the left and the center about whether ossoff is too moderate, to bland. it's hard to imagine a harder-edged message would have worked in this district. the most honest thing for democrats here is a reminder that tribal politics still work. what republicans were able to do in this republican-leaning dwrikt tom price, the inkurm bent had never loss more than 60% of the vote. more about partisan loyalty and essentially in the up-or-down referendum on whether you want republicans or democrats in control, they were able to hold enough republicans who were ambivalent about trump. on the other hand, chris, you have four special elections where the democrats have run much closer, including south carolina and georgia and montana than they did in the general election in 2016. what that says is that there is a lot of energy on the left.
and there are republican-leaning voters more open to voting democratic than usual because of president trump. don't forget we'll get another read this fall in new jersey and virginia governor races where donald trump's approval rating is significantly lower than in this district. in the end, the republican ran close to his approval rating. that's going to be a problem in some places and an asset in others. >> there was a tweet this morning from the president, john avlon -- i don't know if you've checked your twitter. democrats would do much better as a party if they got together with republicans on health care, tax cuts and security. he says obstruction doesn't work. >> oh, oh that's rich. look, i'm all in favor of national unity. that requires politics that are bipartisan. that hasn't happened both from the president's tone, direction and certainly legislation, health care done in such a closed door fashion that even members of the rack senate don't
have a clue what's in it. that's a lovely, superficially unifying message. words have to be followed by actions. that's an undiscovered country for this administration, unfortunately for really our national politics right now. >> also, margaret, we know that the president knows that this is just not the case. this is going on in secret. you have mike lee, mccain, cruz, paul, all republican senators all saying -- some of them on the working group saying i don't know what's in it either. this is a all being done behind closed doors. they're not wanting to work with anybody including the white house to a large degree. let's play some sound from what gop senators are saying about this health care process. >> i haven't seen the bill. it's not being written by us. it's apparently being written by a small handful of staffers who are members of the republican leadership in the senate. so if you're frustrated by the lack of transparency in this process, i share your frustration. >> for the obvious reason, no
one has shared it. he used to complain like hell when democrats ran the affordable care act. now they're doing the same thing. >> margaret, hypocrisy is nothing new. sadly the american people talk about it but don't demand anything better. we can hold them to account. here, that means the president knows this isn't about the democrats wanting to stretch across. they deserve their own blame for not fixing the aca and the problems. this process is unprecedented in its secrecy, is it not? >> as you saw, some of those republicans arguing this is similar to what president obama and democrats did back in 2010. but i think this is where the rubber meets the road in terms of the elections last night and the health care debate now, the take-away if democrats choose to see last night's losses as a gift, which you could, is that republicans are not just going to abandon the party because some of them may be dissatisfied
with president trump and that health care and tax reform and all these substantive issues really are a crucial pivot point for voters, particularly centrist or business-minded republicans. for republicans in the senate, getting a bill across the finish line is paramount in terms of their goals about being able to get things done. for democrats, probably the best thing they can hope for is some of these questions inside the republican party about secrecy or what's really in the bill gum up the wheels. >> they've got the self-imposed deadline, the limit mcconnell has put on to get this done hopefully before july 4th recess next thursday. the other big question that's now being replayed and replayed and replayeds is sean spicer being asked what the president has said, can the president say definitively that it was russia that meddled in the 2016 election. the response from spicer was, i haven't talked to the president about that. margaret knows, she's been in the briefings, ron. how many times can sean spic
spicer -- how does he not have an answer? >> well, i think even more remarkable is when the attorney general of the united states testified the other day that he has never sought a briefing on the underlying russian meddling. look, i think -- obviously for president trump this has become intertwined with the question of his legitimacy. hillary clinton won the popular vote. there are many people that don't respect his victory. he views any discussion of russia as a way of undermining the legitimacy of his presidency when, in fact, it is a clear and present national security danger based on not only what they did here, what they tried to do in france, what they may try to do in germany. when director comey is lost in his testimony, but when he said they will be back, i don't think there's anybody who disagrees with that. the issue of why the administration is refusing to take this more seriously, maybe there's a psychological explanation, as i'm saying, in terms of legitimacy, but there
really is no practical excuse for not mobilizing more effectively against what i think both parties on capitol hill recognize is a genuine threat to the democracy from a foreign actor that does not wish us well. >> because, john, could it be the case that every time the president hears what ron brownstein just said, all he hears is this is bad for me, and, therefore, he rejects any discussion of it which is the only thing that kind of makes sense. the president is a smart man. he knows when you have the intear intel community saying they did it, we've never seen anything like it before, it wasn't china, you don't doubt that on the merits because he doesn't know any better, but he does know that he doesn't like that conclusion. >> yeah, but if his emotions keep outweighing his intellect on that, that's a real problem for our republic. it's not about him at the end of the day, it's about the oath to uphold the constitution and to
protect the united states. this is a national security issue. the tone konls from the top. clearly the president is not sending the message, whether through his former fbi director or his attorney general that this inquiry needs to be taken seriously, despite the consensus of the intelligence community. if the press secretary can't answer definitively whether the president thinks it's a problem, that message comes through loud and clear. that's denial. it's dangerous. >> shame on him, but also is there shame on the democrats because they have fixated on the ancillary -- though still relevant questions about with whom did the russians do this? who helped, any potential collusion? is there too much energy on that by the democrats and not enough on the main russian interference. are they part of the problem? >> there's always enough shame to go around in washington. democrats are part of the problem in washington. democrats who are fixated on a particular outcome, some fantasy
of impeaching the president in short order, that's a fundamental mistake. this has got to be a search for the truth, bigger than partisan politics. >> john, margaret and ron, thank you very much. what does congress want to do about specifically this discussion about russian meddling after the 2016 election. the senate is taking up the specific topic today. we have senator angus king with some strong thoughts. we'll talk to him live next. ht , relieving pressure points from head to toe. so i sleep deeply but feel light. and wake up ready to perform. even with the weight of history on my shoulders. find your exclusive retailr at tempur-pedic.com
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xfinity mobile. . this morning the senate intelligence committee is holding a hearing on russian meddling in the 2016 election and how to prevent it from happening again. after months of investigation, where does the white house stand on this probe? >> does president trump believe the russian government interfered in the 2016 elections? >> i think -- i have not sat down and talked to him about that specifically. >> this conversation about russian interference in our elections, there's 16 intelligence agencies that say they did. the former fbi director said without a doubt -- >> i understand. i've seen the reports. >> does the president share those views? >> i have not sat down and asked him about a specific reaction to them. >> let's start there.
i have senator angus king joining me now, senator from maine live on capitol hill. he's an independent who sits on the senate intel committee. senator, great to see you again. >> great to see you. >> we played that exchange with sean spicer in the briefing room yesterday. i know you believe the notion of russian meddling is one of the biggest attacks on this country. why is the president, the spokesperson for the white house not acknowledging that? >> well, it's worrisome. i guess why is because they've gotten tangled up on whether the trump campaign was involved with the russians, and i understand the concern and the defensiveness about that, but that shouldn't change what the russians did and change the perception of what they did. it's very bother some to me -- i interviewed jim comey in the hearing the other day, and in nine interactions with the president before he was fired, the president never asked him. >> never asked about it. >> never asked about it, how did they do it? how do you know they did it? same thing with attorney general sessions. he said, i only know what i read
in the paper. that's really worrisome. this is serious stuff. they were trying to undermine our democracy. they're going to be back and we have to start figuring out what they did, how they did it and how do we prevent it. >> senator king, talking about holding this big hearing today at the senate today, specifically on the russian meddling. where are your expectations? what should the public also expect out of this? >> well, i consider today a very important hearing. one of the problems, brooke, is we've gotten all caught up in the drama of trump versus comey and who said what and obstruction of justice and all that. it's obscuring to some extent the underlying issue which is the russians trying to meddle and interfere in our elections. today is a hearing on a particular important aspect of it which was their efforts to penetrate state election systems. we're not talking about the democratic national committee e-mails or wikileaks or anything like that. we're talking about trying to get into state election systems. all the intelligence, by the
way, is that i didn't succeed in changing any votes. but they weren't doing it for fun. as james comey said a couple weeks ago, they'll be back. this is a pattern with them around the world, and it greatly concerns me. we've got to try to work with the states and the localities to ensure that the integrity of the elections is protected. >> so what's your key question? what should we be listening for? you always seem to make news with exactly what you're asking and sometimes the nonanswer answer. >> i think one of my key questions is how come we can't declassify more of this material? i want it declassified so the election officials and the public knows what's coming. we can't get the level of urgency i think this requires unless people understand what's going on. that's going to be one question. another is what do we do to prevent it like i think we ought to be talking about there always
should be a paperbackup. we should always have a way to have paper ballots. the dutch a couple weeks ago had an election. they counted all the votes by hand. >> old school, senator. >> old school, but back to the future, man. >> let me ask you about, we have both senators mark warner and sheldon whitejosing boe house s that they believe general michael flynn, former national security adviser, is cooperating with the fbi. do you believe that's the case? >> i don't have information to verify that. i know clearly michael flynn is a key figure in this whole thing, having been very active in the trump campaign, then national security adviser and we know had unannounced or unacknowledged contacts with the russians certainly during the period after the election and before the election. he's a key guy. i can't confirm whether he's cooperating with the fbi, but i
think he's going to have to cooperate eventually. >> let's talk briefly about the tragic death of otto warmbier this week. i keep thinking what the family, knowing they sent they son off to go study in asia and comes back comatose and passes away. what are the u.s. options? what should the president do? >> well, number one, it's an absolute tragedy. as a parent, it's sort of unimaginable. i'm sure his family was excited when he went off, he was going to learn a lot. to have this happen, it's inconceivable. what should the president do? i think you've got to keep going down the road of diplomacy. i think the chinese are the key to this. they're the ones -- they're the only ones that have real influence over the north koreas and and /* we have to continue to work with them. they have to decide the north koreans are more dangerous with
nuclear weapons and that overrides the korean peninsula. >> you've seen the president's tweet specifically on china saying he's tried to work with president xi and says, it hasn't worked out. at least i know china tried. so now what? >> well, i don't really understand what he was getting at there. diplomacy takes time. it's a long slog and it's two steps forward and one step back. the problem is there really aren't good options. we have to keep the threat of military force on the table. that is what makes the diplomacy work. but on the other hand, it's a very complicated situation in the sense that, let's say we wanted to do some kind of preemptive strike on north korea. seoul is far from new york city to newark. it's 26 miles away, 26 million
people. vulnerable to ar tilly, let alone missiles or rockets or bombs. it's a very difficult situation militarily. we have to have that on the table, but i continue to think we've got to keep working with china. >> there are three other americans, just quickly, three other americans still being held by north korea. do you think otto's death lessens the likelihood that we get them home? >> it's hard to speculate. no one can possibly get into the brain of kim jong-un and understand what his motivations are. i do think, frankly, that it would make sense for our country to say americans can't go there until we get this kind of thing resolved. there's just too much danger of pretext, they get tas en hostage and we're in this kind of dilemma. >> senator angus king, always a pleasure. thank you very much. >> thank you, brooke. >> so why are so many questions at white house press briefings answered with the phrase "i
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the chous press secretary has common answers in his press briefing. >> i have not asked the president since the last time we spoke about it. >> i haven't spoken to him about the reason. >> i haven't asked him about that specific reason. >> i said i have not had a discussion with them about the question. >> i haven't talked to the president specifically about that. >> i have not had an opportunity to have that discussion. >> i have not asked him. >> i have not asked the president. >> i haven't asked him. >> that was about a variety of different issues. let's discuss what's going on with republican utah congressman chris stewart, a member of the house intel committee conducting the investigation. that's the issue it focuses around, mr. it's this almost absurd invasion of whe absurd evasion.
we know hess the president has sideways about this from the beginning, or their insistence that mueller wouldn't be looking at the president for the circumstances surrounding the comey firing. what do you make of this aversi aversion? >> i don't know what questions he was asked in all those circumstances where he said he hadn't had a chance to discuss it with the president. the reality is, just big picture, we started out with accusations of collusion. i think most people have moved on from that. we recognize there isn't any evidence of that. we now hear a lot about some of the obstruction of justice or potential. we'll see where that goes. i think mr. mueller should pursue all of these questions and come back and report to the american people as well as the house and senate intelligence committees as well. >> i'm confused. if you think that mueller should look at these questions, how can you at the same time conclude that there's nothing there and we should move on which is what
we said first. >> i didn't say move on. >> you said the questions of collusion, you decided there's nothing there because you haven't seen any proof yet. >> i didn't say that, chris. i said we should investigate these and answer those questions. i would ask you, if you have evidence of collusion, come and share it with us. it's not just me. it's dianne feinstein, many other democratic leaders who have said we don't see evidence of that right now. we might. we might, and maybe some of that will come forward but right now we don't. >> that's the part of it i don't get. it's an ongoing investigation. mueller just started. you haven't seen any proof yet, but really, you guys keep saying we shouldn't know what they know, that this would be a closed process. but if it's not over yet, how can you conclude what you know? >> what i said was, and this is really simple. we don't have evidence yet of any collusion.
if you have evidence of that, come share it with us. but we don't. again, that's not just me saying that. i don't know why you're being contentious. >> i'm not. i'm saying if you want the process to go on. >> you're challenging the proposition. >> i'm challenging that you want something to go to its conclusion, but you want to conclude right now that one aspect of it will bear no fruit. that's what i don't get. >> this is pretty simple. we're saying we don't have evidence yet, but we will continue to investigate it. if anyone has evidence of that, bring it to us because, once again, it's not just me saying that. it's others who are saying that, democrats who are saying that which is why you don't hear much talk about collusion any longer. most of the conversation has shifted over to obstruction because at this time we don't have any evidence of collusion. >> look, i would argue, if i were coming from your perspective, that the reason you hear so much about it because there's a lot of partisanship injected into this. >> no doubt about it. >> a lot of democrats who want
there to be collusion, want grounds for impeachment. this is never going to come down to an indictment. yes, mueller has jurisdictional purview. you'd have to have impeachment before you have any criminal action by law. >> yeah, no doubt. >> i'm not pushing that ball here. that's not what i'm doing. what i'm saying is yuchb hear there is no proof of collusion, forget about that, but we should investigate this fully and let mueller do his job. those two notions don't go together. we don't know what he'll develop. we don't know what he has. we don't know what the fbi had on this or at least i don't. maybe you do. but those two notions can be inconsistent. >> i don't know that they are. we are saying at this moment in time we don't have evidence. we'll see what we learn. i don't think that's inconsistent. that's more a statement of fact. you and i agree on a couple things. one, i think we should pursue this. i think we owe it to the american people to get them
answers. the other thing, i agree with you completely, this has become so partisan. it's particularly discouraging for those of us on the intelligence committee because we have been a non-partisan committee. our work is done not in front of cameras, done in the skiff, the classified room. i think we do a better job when we do it that way. i think we do a better responsibility -- a better responsibility to the american people when we do it that way. we can agree there has been grandstanding, some partisanship involved in this, and i don't think it serves the process well. i don't think it serves the american people well when we do ha. >> do you share that concern when it comes to the president's talk about this, calling the people who investigating it bad and conflicted and sending out a lawyer to say he's not under investigation by mueller and that's wrong and dad. wouldn't you be shocked if mueller weren't looking at the circumstances surrounding
comey's firing? you if he said i'm going to be looking at it. >> once an accusation is made, mr. mueller has a responsibility to look into those. you and i agree on some of the partisanship. by the way, i haven't been hesitant to correct my president or criticize him if i feel like he's stepped over the line. i've done that on your channel before. i think all of us -- once again, all of us have a responsibility to try to be fair minded about this. we'll see where we are in a year. we'll see where we are when mr. mueller has his report -- by the way, i hope it doesn't take a year. i'm afraid it will. i think the american people want to hear something before that. >> also something you'll have to deal with is mueller's responsibility is not to me in the media, not to the mayameric people necessarily. it's to the ag. he doesn't have a duty to put out a public report. it will be interesting to see how his findings or lack thereof
is communicated to the american people. important question in terms of our understanding of russian interference. jeh johnson will be before you guys today. how important is he in understanding what the obama administration knew about russian interference and what they decided to do or not do about it? >> my heavens, that's such a great question and one of the central premises we've lost sight of in some ways. i went to moscow last august and came home and they're going to mess with our elections. we knew they were. it wasn't just me saying that. i suppose there were others as well. the central question is now, as you said, what did the administration know, what did they do to prepare for that? how effective were they at countering that? the russian kgb case officer who is responsible for this, he's probably been promoted from captain to four star general because this went way beyond their wildest dreams of success i think. by the way, they'll be able to do it again and they certainly plan on doing this again in the
united states, in france, germany, other western democracies. i think we have to look at these questions and say how do we counter that, because it's not healthy for us americans when we feel like a foreign entity, especially an adversary like russia, maybe had an enormous influence on our election. >> right. you don't believe the russian part is a maybe, right? >> no doubt about it. no doubt about that. >> we get a different message from the top on that. that's why i'm asking. congressman, you are always welcome on "new day" to make the case to the american people. appreciate it. >> thank you, sir. >> be well. brooke? >> disturbing satellite images out of north korea, what they show, why it could be cause for concern. live report from the pentagon ahead. and we're usaa members for life.
u.s. spy satellites are picking up activity at north korea's nuclear site. this comes as secretary of state rex tillerson and defense secretary mattis are meeting with their chinese counterparts this morning. cnn's barbara starr live at the pentagon with more. this on the heels of the president tweeting about the chinese need of their cooperation in north korea and saying he doesn't see it. >> well, that's right, chris. good morning. what we do know is u.s. spy satellites indeed recently picked up activity at north korea's underground nuclear test site. they picked up activity on the surface, people, vehicles, being seen at some of the tunnel
entrances. what does it mean? nobody knows for sure, of course. one of the pieces of analysis means it might mean they are conducting some sort of inspection before a test. if there was to be a sixth, now, underground nuclear test, this will be a matter of massive concern, because some elements in the u.s. intelligence community say it means that china's influence on north korea simply isn't working, that the north koreans are turning their back on china, going ahead and resuming nuclear testing. so at the same time what we also know is top u.s. military commanders have now updated military options to present to president trump for decision if there is a nuclear test. nobody is saying that the president is going to order military action, but these updated options are a signal of how seriously it would be taken if there is another test. the military wants to have options ready for the president
if he wants to make some decisions about this. chris? >> barbara, what is your sense of whether or not otto warmbier will come up in the meeting with the chinese delegation, again, especially in the context of what the president tweeted? >> well, this, again, goes back to the key point which really may underlie the president's tweet, china. the u.s. has been relying on china to pressure north korea on everything. will they pressure the chinese on the death of otto warmbier, this terrible incident, and try and get the chinese to pressure the north koreans on this question? we simply don't know the answer. >> barbara, appreciate it. thank you very much. at least 17 million people along the central gulf coast are under a tropical storm warning, bracing for flooding as tropical storm cindy bears down on them. cnn meteorologist chad myers has the very latest. chad, good morning. >> reporter: good morning,
brooke, nice to have you with us today. it will be a wet day across the gulf coast. this weather is brought to you by xyzal. tropical storm warnings all the way from mobile back to about galveston. that means wind of 40 or 50 miles per hour. we'll get waves one to three feet on top of a storm surge of one to three feet. some of these barrier islands getting overwashed, like dolphin island and the like. biloxi, a lot of rain coming onshore, a lot of wind and waves coming onshore. the key to this storm is hoe slow it will move, we are going to see inches, maybe a foot of rainfall in some spots. that will make flash flooding our biggest concern today. >> obviously there are a lot of different variables. you have to keep track of it. some 17 million potentially in harm's way. chad, we'll stick with you. thank you. the white house saying the president wants a health care bill with heart. will his party listen to him?
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what have you seen of the health care bill? >> i haven't seen it. >> is that a problem? >> never a problem, no. i always like to move forward with legislation i've never seen. >> john mccain, one of the gop's longest serving senators, deep in sarcasm because he doesn't know what is in his party's health care bill. what would it mean if republican leaders plan on a vote next thursday when people don't know what's in their plan. let's ask editor in chief of vox, ezra klein. and andy slavit. it is good to have you both here. ezra, let's start with the why. why do you believe the process is the way it is?
there is no question that the aca, for all its flaws and its forced vote, was a very open process in terms of debate, frustratingly so to people like us who were covering it. so what's going on this time? >> there is a very simple explanation for this. democrats had the belief that if people just knew what was in it, it would be popular. remember, president obama invited democrats and republicans to the blair house. for hour after hour we covered this of teleadvivised debate thf the american people just knew what was in that bill, they'd like it. the republicans believe the exact opposite. the core of what the bill does in both the house and senate form is it takes hundreds of billions of dollars being spent to give health insurance to poor people and moves to give tax cuts to rich people. a more open debate in which people know about it and hear
more about the coverage losses and hear about the places they won't be able to get coverage does not seem like a good movie to mitch mcconnell. when you see senator mccain make jokes about this, a lot of republicans in the senate are saying it is a terrible process, i share your frustration. three republicans can say we're not going to vote for this bill. until they put their money where their mouth is, i don't take these jokes as meaning much. >> how can this iteration of the senate bill survive if they're doing this all so secretly, if it's something thus far they haven't been able to talk about and defend. how would you respond to what he just laid out and do we even know anything about this bill? >> i spent a better part of the day with the senate yesterday. near as i could tell, the best way i could describe it is we're going to get something like a
fraccen stein monster of health care. this is going to be something very few could love. it is going to end medicaid as we know it, the question is only how quickly. in order to get a score out of the cbo, they'll try to make the tax credits look more like obamacare tax credits only without any money to do it. it will be a cheap version of obamacare. i think senator paul had it almost right yesterday saying every republican will hate it and more than half the democrats will hate it. it is a monstrosity the leaders are putting together to figure out how to get enough people to like it. >> ezra, go to the main proposition of those in favor. correct this premise. one prong is government should get out of it, it is too expensive. two is, they say this is going to bring down my premiums in the individual market so that's good for me.
let the poor people figure it out a different way. >> yeah, i agree with you that those are probably the two main prongs. the second one is the most interesting. few people philosophically do no the want government involved in health care for poor people. very few elected republicans will defend that proposition. some believe it, but it is not a big part of the support here. argument for a republican repeal and replace plan if you listen to republicans is four prong. it will bring down premiums, that deductibles in obamacare are too high and need to be brought down. co-pays in obamacare are too high. and too few people are covered. that's an excellent set of criticisms. i agree with every single one of them. the problem is nothing in the republican bill will fulfill any of them. if the sick and poor people have been driven out, it is possible
that you will be able to find a plan that covers less than the obamacare plan that also has a lower premium but that isn't what people mean when they say they want lower premiums. people actually understand what they want in health insurance. they want insurance that covers them, covers their loved ones and that has a reasonable cost. if they can't pay the cost the government gives them a bit of a hand so they are protected in the event of a medical emergency. you can't trick people about this. this isn't one of the things in politics that can ultimately get by with good press releases and messaging documents. either people can afford it or not and it covers them or it doesn't. >> what do you think when you hear the president say he wants something with more heart? >> yes. well, the problem is if you want more heart you need to get more piggy bank. they don't have more piggy bank. i think what the president's trying to do is he's trying to
get the american public not to compare the bill to the way people live today and people's reality today. he is trying to move the ball and compare the senate bill to the house bill. his hope is that he can make some improvements to make it look a little bit better and that people will say, that's a victory. unfortunately, though, all they can really afford is window dressing. so maybe they can afford to make the look of pre-existing conditions look a little bit differently. say that you have to cover people with pre-existing conditions, but at the same time not cover their actual conditions. so there will be some window dressing in order to move the needle, i think. but unless they are willing to cut back massive tax cuts that you spoke about and that ezra referred to, there is no possible way that this heart is going to have any substance to it. >> which is of course a window into why it is all being done so secretly. that's why we need gentlemen like you to put some light on the situation. then when the vote happens, then
comes the heat. thank you very much. appreciate it. all right, we're following a lot of news for you this morning. we're going to talk to one of the few senators who says they know what is in the health care bill. let's get after it. a special thanks to the president. karen handal. >> this is not the outcome any of us were hoping for but this is the beginning of something much bigger than us. >> the president has one word to sum up his health care plan -- mean. >> they are not interested in what we are trying to achieve. >> the american public has a right to know if their health care costs are going to go up. >> does president trump believe that the russian government interfered in the 2016 elections? >> i have not sat down and talked to him about that specifically. >> russia is going to do an even better job in 2018 if we don't have a white house that accepts that we were attacked.
>> this is "new day" with chris cuomo and allise allison camara. >> republicans are now 4-0. they won georgia's special election. they won south carolina's election. karen handel winning the most consequence house race in history. so the democrats failed. will they learn lessons from that? we will see. >> we will see. and also republican leaders in the senate plan to unveil their health care plan tomorrow. but how will they quell the frustrations being vocalized by some in their own party about the secretive nature of this entire process. plus, why won't the white house say whether president trump bel