hello, i'm wolf blitzer, it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington, it's 8:00 p.m. in raqqa, syria. thank you for joining us. up first, efforts to revive the senate republican health care bill. just a little while ago, president trump struck an optimistic tone. >> i think we're going to get it over the line, it was a great, great feeling in that room yesterday. and what also came out, is the fact that this health care would be so good, would be far better than obama care, we'll see what happens, we're working very hard, we're giving ourselves more time to make it perfect. that's what we want to do. >> lawmakers are back behind closed doors today, they're trying to find some sort of compromise. they' mitch mcconnell is trying to
delay the vote until after july 4. jim acosta standing by, phil mattingly is up on capitol hill. phil, what is it going to take for senate republicans to get together on this health care bill. >> it is going to take senate republicans who have very public, very concrete, set positions on this bill and on health care in general, kind of as an ideology to move off those positions. and that's not a small thing. over and over again, senate republicans have been -- to s.t.a.r.t. moving towards the senate, to start giving a little bit on their key issues. what yesterday underscored was the reality of they're not there yet, and they're not very close, if you look publicly, there are nine senatorin ings who oppose draft they were trying to move
forward yesterday, i'm told there are a lot more concerns from more members than are out there publicly. what they're trying to do is thread a needle between two ideological views. >> there at the white house, what do you expect from the president? what kind of role is he going to play in trying to get this bill through the senate? >> reporter: they're going to have to strike a careful balance here, what you're watching is several republican senators who did not allay their concerns. filled with former trump campaign staffers, even white house staffers, they try to drop the hammer on nevada republican dean heller, it backfired and they're going to have to recalibrate the strategy. i don't know how optimistic the
president is about this. when you heard his remarks at this energy round table, he said i think we're going to get it at least very close and i think we're going to get it over the line. that is not the same kind of rhetoric that we heard from president trump during the campaign, at a campaign event last year in sanford, florida saying this was all going to be easy and he's finding out it's far from easy, and we're going to hear from white house spokesman sean spicer within the hour. my guess is he's going to be peppered with questions from reporters about the white house strategy on this and how they can go about helping these republican senators to swallow what is legislatively dog food. a quinnipiac univeristy poll came out and said 12 first of american americans -- >> we already estimate at least
nine republican senators, at least right now, they're still a no, mitch mcconnell, the majority leader, he can only afford to lose two, if he loses three, it's over, since no democrats are going to support this senate legislation, the republican bill. they want to come up with some new compromise by friday so the congressional budget office request spend the july 4th recess assessing it and coming up with a new sco-- >> they want to give their members time to actually digest this they wanted to give the cbo time to score it. as we're speaking right now, lisa murkowski, as they try and figure out those paths in regard. this is really the states they're at right now. if you leek at the senators that are out right now.
we kind of have a lot of concerns too. they're going to be going member by member, state by state, to figure out what parochial issues matter. and what they can give them to get them on board. i think the question right now is can you do that in this short period of time and actually move it forward? >> let's get some perspective on where the fight over health care stands, where it's headed. joining us now is our chief political analyst gloria borger, and chris salizza who's with us. we have 52 republicans, 48 democrats, if they lose three, it's over. >> it's lard to know where to start in explaining why it's so difficult. first of all, they have never had to write a health care bill.
they have only had to oppose a health care bill. it's a lot harder to write a health care bill than it is to oppose it. they have spent seven years opposing obamacare. republicans have never agreed on health care legislation. these are large ideological differences. the moderates believe there should be more government involvement in health care and the conservatives believe there should not. you have a poll, as jim acosta was pointing out that now has this health care bill at 12% popularity. so you are trying to force feed these remembers something that is very difficult for these senators to defend in their states, on top of that, there are a lot of members who believe that donald trump would not go out there and defend them if
they walked a plank for him on this health care bill. so you put all that together, and it a really toxic brew for them to swallow. >> senate republicans don't seem to be very scared of the president. >> they're not very scared, because he's not that popular. but he's still popular enough among conservatives. this is a big problem with the health care bill, it's not a conservative piece of legislation. and republicans are trying to figure out what a governing philosophy is. the health care bill for republicans is they normally wouldn't be this much involved into the government reach into the health care system. they have to deal with the fact that it's the lawsuit of the land and it's tough to get a -- george will wrote this morning in the "washington post", some tweaking, declare victory and move on. i think that's what the president would like to do, he can't get in front of a television camera without saying how hard this is and how it may
not work. he's acknowledging that this thing may go down and this is one of the hardest most complicated issues to win on. winning is hardest. >> he has said if it goes down, it goes down. his statements on the health care bill was amazing. i hope it works and if it does it does, but if not, that will be okay tee. >> i think gloria makes a similar important point and one of the things members of congress never want to do anything that's hard in terms of votes, they like votes that are # 80% polling in their favor. certainly not 80% against them. they like to do things even less when the head of their party may not only campaign against them,
i keep returning to the donald trump the house bill was mean thing. if you're a house member in a swing district, and there were a fair number who voted for this. and the president of the united states, in your party says that was a mean bill? how do you have any faith that this is -- >> there's a golden opportunity for the president if he can seize it. if he can swoop in at the end and say let's do this the right way, work with the democrats, shore this up and declare that trump health care is better than obamacare ever was. we're a long way from that point. >> the tone that i think was supposed to be threatening to republicans, if we don't do this, we're going to have to sit down with chuck schumer, as if
that is the worst thing in the world that could happen. when in fact there are a lot of people in this country who have said fix obamacare, get some goodies for conservatives in there. work with schumer or some other democrat and actually get something done here. w458d be so awful about that. >> to your point, polling, which a lot of trump supporters dismiss ought of hand. but polling is what republicans really want. conservatives don't want to get rid of obamacare, really, tweak it, make it work better. >> mitch mcconnell said the democrats aren't interested in a reform of the market or medicaid. >> mitch mcconnell is at some level, when the score of let's say the washington nationals are winning in the sixth inning. the manager is not going to come out and say, well, we're going
to lose. so mcconnell is not going to do that. because then you give up your hand. gloria mentioned john boehner. john boehner acts like he's sitting there watching a movie about himself with mitch mcconnell playing the role of john boehner. >> the senator of pennsylvania and police, capitol hill police to remove them, they're angry about this health care bill. >> david mentions that you will see a deal that is bipartisan in some way. they will exhaust every other option for them. but that's what kept happening to john boehner, it's going to be better than any compromise. >> it will have to go back to the house, where conservative
republicans are in very ruby red districts. >> and have more sway. >> remember the protests at town halls and elsewhere. remember the summer of our discontent, in 2010. in obama care, that was tough, and they were facing so much incoming fire by not having the communications strategy down. because it was subject to so many protests out there. fundamentally, republicans aren't speaking with one voice on this, conservatives don't believe that government should be involved, in relation to taxes and whatnot. but you've got an entitlement and you're threatening to take it away from a lot of people. even in the name of efficiency. >> do you think that the opposition could actually grow during the recess? >> it could. the problem that republicans had is it had a message, repeal and replace, everyone campaigned on it, that was great. what's their message on this health care bill now, what are they trying to tell the american
public, you've got the cbo report that tells you you're going to have 20 million more people uncovered during the next decade. last the message of their health care bill. i haven't heard a message, have you? >> they're saying this is the best we can do. this is the best we can do doesn't satisfy conservatives. >> what about a message, we're going to get your premiums down. pick a message about premiums and about how we're going to help older people, which it doesn't, but let's say, how we're going to help uninsured, how we're going to phase out some parts of medicaid, but some parts we're going to strengthen, they just need a message for people who are worried about health care.
>> the complexity of this legislation, on top of understanding how it's going to work in the market. it's taking us years to really understand how implementation of obama care has created successes and failures and difficulties and higher prices and health care exchanges that don't work. i -- when my wife started her law firm. obamacare was a very frustrating process for us. and it is for so many americans trying to and a half gait that. >> they have been opposed to obamacare, for seven years, repeal and replace, they have had seven years to come up with an alternative to obamacare, and only in the last few weeks have they really focused in on it and they have tried to do it largely in secret. and it doesn't seem to be gaining the support, even from republicans that they need. >> no, i mean compared to president trump, it's hard. there is a reason that six presidents before barack obama tried to reform our health care
system and failed and barack obama succeeded only at the cost of massive seat losses in the house, seat losses in the senate, seat losses at the state legislative level. this does not come without a price because unlike deficit reduction, do you think the deficit should be smaller? most people say yes, but it's not, everybody around this table, and everybody watching has a story like this. someone you know or you is trying to figure this all out. health care touches people in a way that is not abstract. >> boris, you're there, where we saw some dramatic pictures of people gathering outside of senators' offices and capitol hill police showing up and carrying away some of those protesters, tell us what you're seeing. >> reporter: this whole thing started about 20 minutes ago, about a dozen protesters from pennsylvania went to senator pa
toomey's office, talking to some of his workers explaining who they were and why health care is such an important issue for them. one woman telling officials that she had been on dialysis for six years, at one point they started chanting, kill the bill, don't kill me. there are dozens of protesters that have been removed. we understand that these are pennsylvania voters, we're told some of them were supposed to be medical students, doctors, nurses, people that have preexisting conditions, they are being peaceful, they're being restrained and being led out of here, there were some tense moments but nothing got out of hand. we'll keep watching this and see if it does get out of hand. >> by the way, very, very important to all of our viewers here in the united states and around the world, if you love washington politics or you're
interested in washington politics, this is what you need to do. you can subscribe to chris's brand-new newsletter getting under way just this morning. it's called "thepoint" by chris salizza. it comes out every night. >> the check is in the mail. >> monday through friday. >> c nrks nrnn.com/thepoint. >> i screwed it up. >> i'm not the one who said it. >> you can subscribe even as we speak. >> you used to be able just read everything, now you have to subscribe. >> cnn.com/thepoint. how did the senate health care bill get delayed and why it will take at least 50 republican votes to pass it.
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senate intelligence meeting on capitol hill. a u.s. intelligence committee says that russia tried to influence the 2016 u.s. presidential election, and russia also tried to influence the u.s. intelligence community and also several other elections in europe. nicholas burns joins us. thank you for joining us. you testified before this panel, what was your bottom line on the cyber threat from russia? >> my bottom line is that we're seeing a systematic attempt by russians in the netherlands, germany and france in elections in summer, filling the air waves with untruthful lies about the candidates. president trump has not looked
at this, so it's time for congress to lead. 97-2, to impose very tough sanctions on russia. i testified this morning that congress needs to lead now, and we need tough sanctions on russia to respond to this. >> as you know, president trump has been very critical of president obama for not doing enough while he was in office to deal with this russian threat. what if anything, as far as you know, as president trump done since taking office, approaching six months in office. when sergey kislayak was in the white house did he raise this issue and stop it? >> reporter: there's not an indication that president trump has raised this with lavrov and kislayak.
we're in an extraordinary position, no american president in the past would allow the russians to engineer a massive cyber attack on the united states during the elections, they respond, they investigate, thaw pull the nato alliance they're looking for american leadership and i support a lot of things on the hill, in the senate, if they want to do something in the way of sanctions. >> what sanctions can the u.s. do on the russians for trying to interfere in u.s. elections, or germany or france or italy or elsewhere? >> senator coi think the uniteds to work with the allies to learn the elections where the russians have attempted to interfere so
that we can -- the french seem to have handled it best, they reacted very quickly to russian disinformation, and the french media also shouted down some of the prorussian disinformation attempts, so there are lessons for the media here, but also particularly for our government. >> i want to turn to syria for a moment at a house foreign relations hearing that just wrapped up. nikki haley said this about the threat of syria once again, using chemical weapons against civilians including children. >> i can tell you that due to the president's actions, we did not see an incident. what we did see before was all of the same activity that we had seen prior for the april 4th chemical weapons attack, so by the president calling out assad, by us continuing to remind iran
and russia that this is not something we're going to put up with, so i would like to say that the president saved many innocent men, women and children. >> so threats from the trump administration about more u.s. strikes against bashar al assad's regime of launching chemical weapons attacks? >> i think it's what we have to do and that's a significant statement by ambassador haley, and we have to upheld the international position on chemical weapons, so i think trump is right to warn them, but he has to have a larger strategy because we have seen this big power play by iran over the last couple of weeks, they're gaining territory, from the shiia groups in iran. they want to connect iran and syria and lebanon.
so the united states needs, i think, a more pronounced and tougher policy using our troops on the ground to try to counter act that. up next, deep divisions over health care here in the united states, i'll speak with one of the senate republicans who at least for now is a no vote, west virginia senator, i'll also try to find out why she's a no, what it would take for her to become a yes. stay with us. these days families want to be connected 24/7.
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that republicans couldn't afford to lose even one vote if they wanted to get it passed. but at last count here at cnn, there are now bills that could pass as written right now. you're still a no as we speak right now? >> yes, i am still a no. >> about 30% of the population of your home state of west virginia is on medicaid. > . and you don't like this projected growth of medicate. >> i am very disturbed by this growth of med care. 40% of the spending in that area goes for opiod abuse and drug issues, that's a major issue in our state, as it is in many states, and i'm totally unsatisfied with how this bill would keep coverage for those folks both in opiod and other areas of health care.
>> look for more money. it's critically important. we have done some research, not only for medicaid, it covers more than 70 million low income americans, four in ten american children, 50% of children born in the united states. 10 million americans depend on medicaid that provides additional treatment all around. the senate bill will reduce to growth of medicate over 10 years by $772 billion. what would it take for you to go ahead and say that i can live with a reduction in medicaid spending, how much would they have to improve that? >> i don't have a dollar figure
for you here, but what i can tell you is that it has to be sufficient. medicaid needs reform, i think there are areas that can be improved, i think there are state that can make their medicate dollars go furthermore creatively, in states that have done that, it can work. >> let's say they come up with a new plan, and it reduces the growth by about $500 billion over ten years. would that be acceptable to you? >> what i want to see is a growth rate that matches what we believe the growth rate will be. if you look statistically at the end of that 10-year period, we're looking at a growth rate that is sufficient -- >> they want to change the
growth rate to inflation. forget about the medical costs which are clearly increasing. >> and the house bill, i mean we came in under the house bill. the house bill has a special -- 70% of our west virginia seniors are on medicaid in nursing homes, this is important coverage for us. >> listen to what susan collins of maine said about the president's involvement. i know you were at that meeting yesterday, listen to this. >> it has been a challenge to him to learn how to interact with congress and how to push this agenda forward. the preside i wish the president would have started with infrastructure which has bipartisan support, instead of an intensely complex
issue like health care. >> do you agree? >> i think infrastructure will be something we can join together in, i can see why she's saying that, i thought yesterday the president was very engaged in, because i think he realized how different the factions are within our conference. and i think what we decided was if we put more money into the program to help people at the lower end of the spectrum. >> your republican colleagues don't want to put more money. they want to save money. >> he promised repeatedly during the campaign, there would be no cuts to social security, no cuts to medicaid, didn't somebody remind him you made a commitment to the american people, no cuts in medicaid, this legislation, according to the congressional budget office in the senate cuts the growth of medicate by $772
billion. >> that was part of the discussion. that's what he was saying, let's put more money into it. let's be sure that people who are moving off of or getting off of medicate are going to have sufficient resources to move forward. so i found him to be quite engaged, not into the details of every little thing. >> so bottom line, do you see yourself getting to yes? >> i can't say right now, i am still very much a no, i was a in last week, i had planned to come out no last week, i was going to do it after launch, and sort of got pushed off on that when they postponed the launch. but i wasn't alone because that came out yesterday. we're working hard on the opiod and the medicaid issue and also to make sure that those subsidies for people that really need them, i live in a rural
state, living in west virginia, being elderly hurts you. >> the capitol police are coming in, take a look at these pictures, you can see it right there, they're removing people who are deeply worried about these medicate cuts. you're heading back to 1/2 west virginia. after the break, chris mulholla mulholland, what can he do to get bipartisan support for health care reform, is it too late? we'll ask him.
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you're looking at live pictures, protesters have camped out inside the office of senator marco rubio of florida, these senators are meeting to try to revamp their stalled senate health care bill. we have seen these protesters and others being removed by capitol hill police outside various republican senators' offices, we'll continue to monitor this developing story up on capitol hill. meanwhile, republicans are working behind closed doors as they fry to move forward on a health care bill. democrats in the meantime are also weighing in. >> yogi berra said it's not over
until it's over. we need to fight even harder over the fourth of july until we bury this atroe justice bill. >> that was democratic senator chris van hollen. senator, thank you for joining us. so what do you think it's going to take to resolve this once and for all, whether or not the bill passes or fails? >> well, wolf, first of all, senate republicans need to put aside their effort to totally blow up the entire affordable care act. including many parts of it that are working really well, and then work with democrats to improve those parts of the affordable care act that need to be improved, specifically many of the exchanges, but right now their main focus has been on dramatic cuts to medicaid, even as you indicated during the
campaign, trump tweeted that he wasn't going to cut medicate at all. and the reason they want to cut medicaid my $770 million. warren buffett just said yesterday he was going to get something like a $80 million a year tax cut. by cutting those tax cuts, that has nothing to do with improving health care. so put that aside and let's focus on improving the exchanges and there are many practical things we can do in that regard. >> as far as buying cooperation between republicans and democrats, i want you to listen carefully to what republican senator mitch mcconnell has said in the last 24 hours.
>> republicans will agree to change the status quo or the markets will continue to collapse and we'll have to sit down with senator schumer and my suspicious is that any negotiation with the democrats would contain none of the reforms that we would like to make. >> i thinkitis a mistake, right away saying that we're going to do this partisan, that's where we're at, we'll do our partisan bill, democrats do theirs, we're not going to fix all those problems and maybe everyone will sit down and let's fix the health care system. let's start controlling the health care costs, but you don't do that with continued health care bills. >> the majority leader mitch mcconnell said it would be a waste of time to work with the democrats because you're not willing to reform the marketings or medicaid and those are two basic principles that the republicans have. >> well, that's nonsense that we're not willing to work with
republicans to improve those parts of the affordable care act that need improving, it's actually true that we're not going to join with the republicans in blowing up parts of the affordable care act that are working. it was the -- the current medicaid system allows lots of flexibility, including what we're using in our state of maryland, but with respect to the exchanges, we can address those, but we can't address them when donald trump on his first day in office lit a fuse to try to detonate them, in maryland and mitch mcconnell has talked about this, blue cross blue shield our largest insurer, is asking for a 50% premium hike, and that is due to the actions that president trump took in not
enforcing the individual mandate and the actions that republican took. if republicans would stop making the problem harder and work with us to fix it, there are common sense things we can do and i will say, you know, i heard i think it was senator johnson say he didn't want to do a public option, but a public option within the exchanges, number one guarantee insurance coverage anywhere in the country, number two, create more competition and drive down premiums and number three, the cbo says it will drive down the tax credits. >> are you suggesting you're moving closer to what senator bernie sanders has long proposed, what he calls that single payer option? >> i have always supported having a public option, medicare for all choice within the affordable care act exchanges,
and i actually think that can give us a good experience and idea as to whether he should expand it. we already have a public option for medicare for people over 65. we have a public option for medicaid, and it's everybody else in the middle that doesn't have employer covered insurance that gets squeezed. number one, let's improve the exchanges, let's introduce a public option and see how it works and go from there. but i think we need to be focused on 2018 and 2019 and that means fixing the exchanges and that's a practical idea for helping the exchanges. >> senator chris van hollen of maryland, thank you for joining us. a daring attack on the venezuelan supreme court, lobbing grenades on to the building, we have deet details and a live report. you really shouldn't leave their side. vita coco coconut water,
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ministry and dropping grenades. president maduro says no one was injured. let's go to our international correspondent, monitoring the situation from havana because cnn espanol has been -- repeatedly. we've been asking for visas, waivers to get into the country. patrick, do we know the name of the suspect and what prompted him to do this? >> reporter: yes, we do, wolf. his name is oscar perez. he's a police officer and even for the standards of venezuela, a country that has been racked by violent protests for weeks, the scene yesterday of a police officer in a helicopter bombing parts of the downtown caracas were shocking. called a coup attempt by venezuela's government, the attackers rained down grenades and gunfire on government buildings in the capital city of caracas. no one appeared to be injured by the aerial bombardment further unsettled a country already on
the brink. for roughly three months, protesters have clashed with police, enraged over the lack of food and medicine and the socialist government's refusal to call elections. at least 75 people have died in the unrest. some venezuelans have called for the country's military and security forces to step in and end the chaos in the oil-rich country. the government blames the attack on this man. before the attack, he took to social media and identified himself as oscar perez, a police officer and a pilot. he demanded that maduro step down. this combat is not with the rest of the state security forces, he says. it's against the impunity imposed by this government against the tyranny. following tuesday's attack, maduro vowed to respond to violence with violence. venezuela was plunged into chaos and violence, we would go to combat, he says. we would never give up, and that
couldn't be done with votes. we would do with weapons. we would liberate the fatherland with weapons. but some in venezuela's opposition wonder if the helicopter attack wasn't a set-up to justify a heavier hand from the government. among other things, pointing to the fact that no one was killed and the chopper circled the capital for about two hours and was not shot down. the man who identified himself as a pilot said he's not affiliated with any opposition group. but he frequently posts on instagram where he now has hundreds of thousands of followers. reportedly a trainer, in this view, perez jumps from a helicopter with a german shepherd strapped to his chest. in another, he uses a mirror meant to apply make-up to shoot out a target over his shoulder. and in 2015, perez even played the role of a hero cop in the movie, "suspended death." venezuelan officials have vowed to hunt him down. whatever his true motives, this would be revolutionary, he's now
starring in the role of a lifetime. and wolf, few expect the situation in venezuela to improve. add to that turmoil a nationwide manhunt for a rogue police officer and a stolen helicopter. wolf. >> pretty amazing stuff, patrick reporting for us from havana. thank you so much. that's it for me. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in the situation room for our international viewers, amanpour is coming up next. for our viewers in north america, "newsroom" with brooke baldwin starts right after this.
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hi there, i'm brooke baldwin, thank you for being with me on this wednesday. you're watching cnn. let me tell you what's happening right now. the white house daily briefing is underway. once again, the administration choosing not to let you see or hear it in realtime and once again, only audio recording is allowed. as the white house turns away the cameras, the president is working to turn the tide on the senate's plan to replace obamacare. the majority leader, mitch mcconnell, over on the senate side has decided to delay this vote, tuesday. you know the story. lack of support for this version of the bill. now aiming to form a new draft by this friday. in the meantime, even more republican senators have come out against the better care