tv Face the Nation CBS July 16, 2017 8:30am-9:30am PDT
captioning sponsored by cbs >> dickerson: today on "face the nation," fallou52i=5 trump campaign was eager to work with russians seeking to1%9 another setback for senaut republicans trying to get a healthcare bill passed. president trump left the washington heat behind, and spent the weekend enjoying golf at his club in new jersey after news that up-ended months of denials from trump officials about contacts with the russians during the presidential campaign. >> it's disgusting. it's so phony. >> dickerson: did anyone involvedj9the election? >> absolutely not. dickerson: did any advisor or anybody in the trump campaigz have any contact with the@fc 3 russians trying to meddle in the electrjzq >> dickerson: this week the presrt
released emails documenting tha3 he and other campaign officials& last summer, with the promise of receivrjnegative material about hillary clinton. >ñ r2 transparent about it. i'm more than happy to cooperate. >> as far as you know, this is everything? >> this is everything. >> this is everything? dickerson: well, not quite everything. as we later learned, a former member of who worked with cáeq thau meeting. the president defended his son's >> most people would have taken that meeting. it's called opposition research. >> dickerson: democrats said it provet the campaign had colluded with the russians, and the republican chairman of the house oversight p committee had advice. >> you should get everyone in a room, and from the moment you watch either "dr. zhivago" to the point you had a shot of liquor, with a guy in a furry hat, you need to disclose every
>> tk- investigators on both sides have questions for donald trump jr. and jared kushner. we'll talk to the top democrat1 mark warner, and hear from jay sekulow. and president trump ramps up the effort to t a br >> if they don't, i'll be angryh p>> dz,- tough sell. >> do you think the nqu version is better than tá old version? >> i think it's worse. dickerson: kentucky republican rand paul doesn't like the offering either. we johz mccain has undergone surgery and will be out for a week. plus, we'll take a look at a ne3 (jjz on apollo 8, the tj5eñ mission to the moon, a plenty of political analysis.
iurñ all coming up on "face the nation." >> dickerson':ç= morning. welcome to "face the nation.d i'm john dickerson. senator john mccain underwent surgery friday to remove a blood clot above his left eye. he's back at home with his family in arizona, but is not expected back in washington for a week. senate majority leader mcconnell needs his vote to pass hqp we'll be talking about tá impact of that in a moment, but we begin u ij-mq% election. for that we turn to the top democrat on the senate intelligence czáá warner, joining us from oak bluáy massachusetts.1 i advertised asking about with a how does that change what you're doing on the committee? >> john, this is the first time that the public has seen in black and whitqy on the email thrqp clear evidence that the russians, and particularly there
was a russian government eftjeeñ to try to undermine clinton, what was remarkable was, you saw not only willingness but actually glee from the president's son as u involvement of the campaign manager and the presidenurñ yes, bájj it on. very troubling. obviously moves our whole investigatrj1y >> dickerson: what is level? the president's son says, nothing came from the meeting, so no big deal. 3> how do we kn? the presiden5rñ son has not bee% at first it was an indication it was four people. it was actually many sju people. 3q that meeting until we t a chance to talk to all intj as eight people iz the meeujj9 so all of this constant refrain from the president's son, from
the president himself, that the whole tájj is a wru!5hunt. these fol)á thp yet over a year ago we know they had clear evidence as well that1 help trump. all of these denials over the past year are put in doubt as well. 3 >> dickerson: will you be calling the president's son to testify, and thq others who were in that meeting? >> i want to hear fros everyone in that meeting, and get their version of the story, as well as i think we may find ouu there may have been other meetings as well. we don't know that yet. but what we've seen is a constant effort to hide contacts wi we've át this pattern repeat itself. we saw general flynn lie abouu meetings and get fired. we saw the attorney geái recuse himself. we saw the president -- we saw the medication put ouu one@&h reason for tj !
the reason they fired cosqv was because of a russian thing. clearly thrj medication has not been tje know, when they knew it, in terms j russian involvement iz the electijje6 >> dickerson: is chairman burr on board with having those the committee work? >> listen, chairman burr and iú& bipartisan fashion. we've zti not only from the! james lane1 a jqáám of committee as well, saying we need to talk to these folks. i know we will. >> dicker. other meetings. is you have any evidence? >> yeah, i don't want to break news here.q that this whole group of individuals are not tj about their meetings with@& thq amend those forms. we now have jared kushner, three
separate times, where he conveniently forgot about i would tájjz if you had a meeting with agents of the russian government, where they were bringing information to discredit clinton, help their then candidate trump, i would think a ratioác person would1 want to question him and all thq meeting. >> dickerson: you mentioned jared kushner. this news came out in part becauá hrj security clearance. do you think he should still have secuá >> other members have weighed i. i'm going to give mr. kushner we get a chance to question him, but it does seem strange tz me that he didn't tju twice, but thrqq separate@& russian officials, p convenientlv forgot to put any of those on his initial filing. >> dickerson: another area that it appears you're interested in is the tq trump campaign, which jared
kushner was overseeing. 3 is that, again, ano some evidence for that inquiry? >> we do know that there was a series of russian trolls, paid individuals, who worked for the russian services, that were trying to interfere and put fake news out. we also know they created bots, in effect internet robots that could interfere as 5 the question we have, did they somehow get information fááz some of the trump campaign efforts to target that interference? we tonight know thpu for sure. what we do want to know is, i'd like to talk to the folks with@1 digital campaign. we do know as well that facebook denied responsibility during the election by the time the frenchq
spring, they literally took down 30,000 fake sites. so they haut in effect got religion about the need to police fake news. been reportqt that áz twitter accou so those accounts can be manipulated as well. i'd like to get -- not to relitigate 2016, bu platforms in terms of disseminating fake news is a policy question that we're going to have to address. >> dickerson: let me ask you a(z obstruction of justi( 3câ p report that you and chaiáá9 burr, after speaking to special counsel, not looking into an obstruction of justice, but burr was trying to get memos that james comey wrote. those memos are about obstruction. obstru(ujjz why do you want memos only about the question of >> obstruction of justice falls1
i've had a chance to read thoseh memos. my hope is that"! that the public will t to see some of them are claáájk there's been a strange actiu where some of them have been classified after the fact. i think it's important tz the fullest extent possible that the public get a chance to review this information. > tk[ obstruction? just to button it up, are you investigating obstruction? >> listen, obstruhujjz of that's for bob mueller to look into. we want to make sure we get p the facts out abáeñ the involvement of the trump campaign and the russians. it's unfortunately dribbling out.@& forthcoming, bu public realm.
>> dickerson: so thatrñ a no, you're not investigating > obstruction rj a criminal charge. that's for bob mueller to look into it. for us to get p 93=i5 responsibility. >> dickerson: okay, senator. we'll leave it there. thank you so much. 3 >> thank you, john. dickerson: we want to tuáz to the other big story this week, the new senate republican repeal the obamacare mandate to buy health insurpz funding for its medicaid expansion, but adds $45 million to tackle the opiod abuse, keeps some obamacare taxes on the rich, and includes senator ted cruz's proposal to allow insurers to offer a bare bones plan. votes and su kentucky senator rand paul says he's a no and joins us from@&h bowling green, kentucky. good mjek9 the bill has been delayedú@& surgery on friday. 3
how will that change this goes forward?â the bill is out there the more conservative republrhpjñ are going to discover that it's not repeal, and the more that that it keeps the fundamental flaw of obamacare. 3 that caused the prices to rise, which (zm out of the marketplace, and selection where you have a sicker and sicker insurance pool and the premiums keep rising through the roof.q for all the complaints abouu republicans about obamacare, we keep that fundamental law. 3 the reason republicans acknowledge this, they make a giant insurance fund to subsidize those prices. basicp the obamacare, they simply fix it with taxpayer money. i don't agrqq with that at all.
> idea, argue that to tá9 a free market a transr5jjji in this case you pav insurance people who are the sickest. >> well, insurance compaáám make about $15 billion in profit every year. i'm not tjñ any taxpayer money going to a company or an industry that mp)4j $15 billion. i think it's absolutely wrong.q conservative principles, free market principles, or being a republican.@& repeal. wq promised the voters for four elections, elected us to repeal obamacare, and we're going to keep the taxesy the regs, the subsidies, and create a bail-out superfund for the insurance@&h companies. i don't see it. >> tk-=9i á4áq=icruz and lee support ity conservatives, see things the way you do on many thingsi > they're trying to do what's
right, try to make it legal to sell other insuran(t policies that don't have it's done in a conclusion of keeping al regulatory scheme of obamacare. you still have the death spiral even with their amendment. their amq freedoms, but in the context of keeping most of the obamacare regulations you still have a@&h death spiral. even the cruz amendmen are saying we need more money in the insurance bail-out money bq(+m cost us a lot of taxpayer money = stabilize the insurance market. the bottom line is insurance companies have no problem with q to make it hones people sometájj the taxpayers shouldn't be buying insurance. >> dickerson: we talk about a death spiral, there's a j sick people out there, and it'se companies rush to cover the sickest people first, because they're quite expensive. how do you solve that problesñ
that's what a l attempts are trying to t >> exactly. i don't think any of them fix the problesy the death á i have a solution, going a long way to fixing this. the individual mar) is a terrible pá if you're a plumber, vá%ñ wife getá terrible place to be. i have great sympa when it's just them and their speaker of thspouse.@&h i'd like group planj be formed by anybody who wants to form them. chamber of commerce, farm bureau, credit unions, you nameq i'd let anybody form an 3 what would hapu9ñ almost everybody would flee the individual market because it'j a tejáj1 you know what also happen? the risk would be taken care out of the profit of the insurance companies, because everybody that wou rig companies have gamed tá system, getting enormous profit from the group plans, and lose money in
the individual plans, they whine, come to washington, write the bill, and get bailed out. it's a terrible situation. >> dickerson: the complaint about that is, healthier people, their premiusj will be low, and the sick people, their premiums will be high. >> actually no, one of the things written into the rules, p >> dickerson: is that a@fc >> yeah -- well, already the long time, since the '90s,@&h basically cover everybody. it does. so if you work for a comppáeñ you've got group insurance, they can't exclude you because you're sick. companies have had protections against pre-existing conditions, being áj-9 the sicker and sicker yáñ get, employed, and you're pushed into the market. the insurance comppáám get the healthy people, heap the health3
páj1+5m1 and if you get sick, lose employment, thqv gouge you. they say we want to he that are sick, but we'll do it if you subsidize our profits. they make $15 billion a year in profit. we shouldn't be giving them taxpayer money. >> dickerson: senator rand paul, you'll have another week to make your case.! us. we'll be back in one minute with our political panel. no, please, please, oh! ♪ (shrieks in terror) (heavy breathing and snorting) no, no. the running of the bulldogs? surprising. what's not surprising? how much money ale by switching to geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.
susan page is the washington bureau chief of "usa today." jeffrey goldberg is the divert in chief of atlantic. ed o'keefe covers politics for the cbs post, and ramesh ponnuru is the senior editor for the "national review." susan, you wrote about the don jr. revelations, smoke meets fire. >> i think in the history of this is written, this will turn out to have been, this past week, a pivotal week, a
watershed week, because this was not a report based on anonymous sources, based on democratic critics, people you don't know. these were emails released by donald trump jr. that showed the russian government trying to meddle in our election, and donald trump jr. eager to meet with them to see if he could get information from them. we don't know if collusion resulted, but we know there was an eagerness to collude, and it's impossible for the trump forces to say there isn't the material to make a legitimate investigation. it undercuts the denials we've been hearing. >> dickerson: that's right. ed, mark warner said, "gleeful." seems like the investigations have a new activity. he wants to talk to everybody in that meeting. >> yeah. it just shows you this is why it going to take so long because it's going to require extensive interviews, negotiations with these people to get them to come, either do it behind closed doors or in public. also the fact he said he wants to get the comeyy memos out there at some point and in some fashion signals that he's
clearly seen something that he thinks the public would find interesting, shedding more light on what was going on. the tricky thing there too is his committee is moving much more aggressively than other committees on the hill. they're the marquee event. the house oversight committee doing some work, and then the mueller investigation. how and what formal it come out remains to be seen, but we're closer to a point where one of these characters at the trump tower meeting explains themselves more. >> dickerson: interesting, on the comey memos, the white house doesn't want those coming back to obstruction of justice. >> and now that comey is out, he may not want them out. >> dickerson: we'll be talking to his agent. ramesh, when kellyanne conway
said no one talked to the russians, they had no idea what the president's son was doing, and does that put the white house in a tricky position, because they try to deny something and four new stages come out because the president's son wasn't forthcoming at first? >> i think it's very possible that not everybody in the white house, or allied to the white house, is up to speed on everything that's happened. it's possible that president trump himself was not aware of this meeting, or what was discussed in it, either beforehand or afterwards. the problem is they have been eating up any benefit of the doubt that people would give them based on each of them making statements. so many people from the administration, so many of its allies, are making statements that turn out to be false. earlier this week, for example, jay sekulow was saying that president trump had only the day before heard about these emails. well, then it turned out that actually he had okayed the release over last weekend about those emails.
>> dickerson: 40 seconds left. if there was collusion, wouldn't it have been more shipshape? this was an email that came from a music promoter? i mean, it was a chaotic affair. >> each day this week we saw -- it turns out there was another russian intelligence meeting. you're shoving more and more people into this room. yes and no. i mean, you can have collusion and it can be incompetent collusion as well. just because you can't execute collusion well doesn't mean it's not collusion. that's what we're seeing here. at this point, going to this issue of credibility, who knows what's going to come out next week. we don't have any idea. >> dickerson: all right. we'll leave it there. we've for the more. i'll ask the panel to stay right here. we'll be back to them later in the broadcast. next a look at some moments in
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>> dickerson: president trump said any person in a campaign would have done what his son and top advisors did -- meet with the person advertised as a russian government agent with dirt on an opponent. politics, the president said, is not the nicest business. it's not. in 1940, f.d.r. instructed aides to spread rumors about his opponent's affairs. in 1968, richard nixon worked with the south vietnamese to avoid peace talks that would have helped his opponent hubert humphrey. there are also examples of the opposite, people behaving morally when it was easier not to. in 1964, one of lindon johnson's top aides was arrested for lewd conduct. barry goldwater's staff wanted him to make an issue of it. goldwater said no, he didn't want to ruin the man. in 2000, a top aide to al gore received george w. bush's
private debate briefing book. he turned it over immediately to the authorities. in 2008, john mccain forbid his staff from using an ad that referred to barack obama's former pastor jeremiah wright, or to raise that issue in any other way. he believed it was a sneaky way to use obama's race against him. in 1968, lindon johnson's team had wiretaps that proved candidate nixon was working to block the vietnam peace talks, but they believed it immoral to use the covert information to expose nixon. said secretary of state dean rusk the moment we cross over that divide we're in a different kind of society. they were worried about something more than vising. victory. politics is not the nicest business, but there are still times when people do the right thing. we'll be back in a moment.
>> dickerson: welcome back to "face the nation." joining us now is jay sekulow, on the president's legal team. he's also chief counsel at the american center for law and justice. mr. sekulow, i want to start with this meeting with the president's son. the president said he didn't know about it. are you confident that the president knows everything about all the meetings his son may or may not have had with any russian? >> well, i know this -- the president was not aware about this meeting, did not participate in this meeting. as far as other meetings go, look, the president has said he wasn't aware of it, wasn't involved in it, and there's been no indication otherwise. so when you say "other meetings that took place," i'm sure they had conversations during the course of a campaign about meetings that were relevant to some kind of determination, but this one was not. most meetings were discussed with the president. that's normally how these go. the president was campaigning.
his staff was having meetings, and the president was not made aware of this, nor participated in this meeting. >> dickerson: is it possible, fair to say, that the president knows of no other meetings with his campaign staff and russia? >> obviously the president has been very clear on that. he said he has no -- had no meetings, was aware of no meetings with russians, was not aware of this one until really right before it all broke. and that's what the president said. in fact, there's been no information to the contrary. he's been very clear on that. >> dickerson: what would be the best thing as far as for the president -- as the president's lawyer what would be the best thing his son could do in terms of answering questions about this meeting? >> i think he did it -- donald trump jr. did it when he went on "sean hannity." he released them, discussed the nature of the meeting that -- it
was supposed to be on opposition research, and not being on that. the individuals that were involved in the meeting ended up going down to washington to still lobby on the magnitsky act. it was under a false pretense. donald trump jr. answered questions. i think it was very clear. >> dickerson: would it help the president's case if he testified in front of the senate intelligence committee and others who have asked for him to testify? >> look, that's a conversation that will take place between donald trump jr. and his lawyer. he said he's willing to talk about it. he's willing to testify. i'm not going to get into the particulars about what that testimony would involve. i'm not his lawyer. >> dickerson: it's said the president's son was given a portfolio of information. do you know anything about that? >> no, i don't. i don't know what information was allegedly left, if any, but the discussion was about the
maniac. he also said he didn't know the -- about the magnitsky act. i don't know if anything was left, but no knowledge of what that have been, but, again, the conversation was on the magnitsky act. >> dickerson: back in june of 2016, leaving aside, there was no question of collusion at that time in the public record, but meeting with somebody offered and advertised as an agent of the russian government, wouldn't that have been something, if you were advising the campaign, you would say, russia is an enemy of the united states, don't take this meeting? >> well, look, i wasn't their lawyer then. i didn't represent the campaign. i don't like to look at hindsight. donald trump jr. himself said he would do the meeting -- if he could do it all over again, he would do it differently. opposition research happens all the time.
you had the same things with the ukrainians and the democratic national committee and the clinton campaign. it was the middle of a campaign. again, i'm not their lawyer. i was not the campaign lawyer. i'm not the campaign lawyer. i represent the president. i need to be clear, the president's engagement was he was not aware and did not participate on that. i want to be clear on that. i appreciate you letting me say that. >> dickerson: absolutely. you wrote a book with sad vladimir putin on the cover. shouldn't it have raised red flags, just from a national security standpoint? >> look, i think don jr -- you know, i addressed that, saying if he was looking at it he would look at it differently now, handle it differently. again, in the heat of the campaign -- i'm the lawyer, he's not a lawyer. i deal with the legal issues. he was helping the campaign.
i understand exactly the question you're asking. look, the president went to vladimir putin at the g20 and talked about this. it not as if he's not addressing this. he's addressed it publicly about his concerns with russian engagement generally, and he asked putin about it twice. >> dickerson: when we last talked, you said the president is not under investigation. is that still the case, and how do you know the it to be the case? >> nothing has changed since james comey said to the president that he was under investigation. nothing to the contrary since then. >> dickerson: and nothing from any of the senate investigative committees that would suggest the president is under investigation? >> correct, nothing to the president at all. >> dickerson: jay sekulow, thank you so much for being with us. we'll be right back.
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>> dickerson: we're back with our panel. susan page of "usa today," jeffrey goldberg of "the atlantic," ed o'keefe of "the washington post," and ramesh ponnuru of "national review." susan, i want to start with you. before this revelation when we talked to white house officials about any connection with russia and trump officials, they said, almost how dare you ask the question, this is a smear to suggest anyone was connected at all. the vice president acted that way. so did kellyanne conway. for them it was out of bounds, the whole notion. now that there is proof that the president's son was anxious to go to a meeting with someone advertised as a russian agent, no big deal. seems hard to switch that
quickly. >> it's so hard to say that we did that, and now we did. it's a hard needle to thread. it puts mike pence in a terrible situation. nie about the position it puts congressional republicans in, who the white house wants to defend them on this issue and help them on other issues. even jay sekulow seems reluctant to get out very hard in responding to your questions, because no one is quite sure what's going to turn out next week. >> ramesh, the president said, "anyone would have taken this meeting." i would guess, kellyanne conway, sean spicer, i'm not sure they would have taken a meeting with someone advertised as a russian agent. >> you don't have republicans from previous campaigns saying this happens all the time,
because it's highly unusual. what you're not getting, interestingly, is a unified public line from the strong supporters of the president. some are saying, nothing to see here, no big deal, this is totally appropriate. some are saying, it was inappropriate, sure, but everybody does it. some are saying donald trump jr. was somehow set up. there's a complete cacophony. maybe they were trying to considered nate with the russians. they're not coordinating with one another. >> dickerson: jeffrey, it's interesting to see, it was mitt romney's position about the russians as far as back as last election, they were the number one geopolitical foe, and some people arguing, it's not that big of a deal, russians like the ukrainians, but they aren't. >> on the right, putin and russia has been reimagined as a stalwart christian nation opposing radical islam. that was not jay sekulow's viewpoint as of last year, by the way. but there is a counter movement in certain circles of the right
that says russia is our natural ally, and this obviously is in russia's best interest to have this argument. it is certainly not -- certainly has not been a mainstream republican argument, which is why most republicans would have said, really, you want meet to with a russian agent during a campaign? you got to be kidding. >> this is start to always for a among the voted republicans. while 60% of americans now think russia tried to influence the election, and 44% think trump benefited directly from that attempt. if you look at republicans, the number of them -- or republican-leaning independents who think the russians sought to influence the election, and that the trump team intentionally has helped has dropped to 9% of republicans. a majority of them now are on the president's side, think that all of this is designed to discredit him from a partisan perspective, while the rest of the country is this is a real problem. that's why jay sekulow can come
out and pull the full sekulow, show up on all the shows this morning, defending the president, say what he's saying, because he knows the president's base is still with him, and there's nothing -- nothing -- that's come out that will change that at all. >> dickerson: let's go back to policy, the things people care about in their daily lives, susan page, and that's this healthcare bail, delaye bill, d. is senator paul right, that this will drop off? >> senator mccain hasn't said he'll support the bill, or allow the debate to go further. that's what trouble this bill is in. it's not inconceivable that it would pass, but had bill, with this low of support, with the public, no major bill, has ever been enacted in u.s. history since we started polling. it's hard to get members of congress looking at their own re-election in many cases next year to put themselves on the line for a bill that is so unpopular, and unpopular, not
supported even by a maintai majf republicans. the bad news for president trump, this is his sweet spot politically. he still has the support of people that voted for him, still has republican control of the house and senate. in a year, that could be no longer the case. >> dickerson: ramesh, why is so hard? >> 60 democratic senators at the time obamacare passed. republicans have rushed it through, and they've found they need more time to get it through. because it's a cobbled-together piece of legislation nobody loves it. nobody out there is pushing back misrepresentations of it. >> it's an orphan bill. susan collins, this morning,
john mccain suggested it friday before this news came out, they want to see it go back to regular order, which means putting it back in the committees, letting them hash it out in public, drag it out. they've seen the failure of the affordable care act, the fact that it was put together by just democrats. there are democrats out there that want to work with republicans on this, and vice versa on prescription drug prices, on the access to this, allowing people to buy across state lines. there are proposals to do that, but they haven't been given the space, time, and authority to do it. >> dickerson: jeffrey, what's your assessment of the president's role here? he's our first marketer president -- that may not be true, but that's his key skill. >> he'd like you to say that. dickerson: he's been successful in private business. >> he's a marketer. this is one of the mysteries at the heart of this whole episode is this, why is he more or less
awol. i think it is a mystery. i don't think we understand everything about this. but i would say that there's a very good chance that he and his people don't want him out there isn't really good at talking about it, and would get trapped in the details. i think that's one. i also think -- this is again -- this is pure speculation, but i think that he's probably a ambivalent about this bill, and might believe the cbo scoring. his people officially don't believe it, but he might believe it, and it goes to the missed opportunities of the first six months of this administration, which is here's a man who's not really a republican, not a democrat either, can legislate, lead in a populist way, hasn't expanded medicare for people that voted for him. there's a lot of mysteries inside this mystery.
>> dickerson: pick up on that, susan. they put in the senate bill more money for the opiod crisis. the president campaigned on that, on the forgotten man he talked about in his inaugural address. we tried to talk to the president, but he kept coming back to the forgotten man. let's keep the focus on that. it seems the thing that brought him to washington is not his primary focus in terms of this legislation? >> i don't think his primary focus are the details and repercussions at all. i think he wants a bill to sign. he's said several times, i have my pen in hand, ready for them to send a bill to me and i'll sign it. not i have a bill that will fix the healthcare system. there are tradeoffs. if you're going to have equal treatment for people with pre-existing conditions, it means healthy people will pay more. that's the tradeoff that we
continue to have trouble with as a nation, figuring out exactly what we want to do. >> let me ask you a quick question about repercussions. if republicans don't repeal the affordable care act after seven years, isn't that something they have to worry about in terms of political backlash? >> it become demoralizing to republicans, even if republicans don't love, as i said, this bill, to hear the republicans haven't done anything on it. i think that the great danger they face going into the midterms -- any party does facing midterm elections when they're in power in the white house -- they have a demoralized base and the other side is revved up. >> dickerson: what about the rest of the republican agenda? is this a train, you can't go anywhere with the first car -- >> pretty much. it's incredible how one track-minded the congress has become. there's a defense bill, a spending plan. a lot of things to get done. by the end of september all of
these things come due. that's why part of why mcconnell extended the summer recess this week. john mccain is part of that. he wants his defense bill done as a way to demonstrate they're doing something. now because of his surgery they may have to stick around longer. >> dickerson: the president said he'll be angry if it doesn't pass. what do you think his reaction will be? >> he'll move on to make america great again. he'll find a way to blame the media, the democrats. i don't think his heart is in this. it is an amazing moment. i think this is where he will feel personally insulted and betrayed by the republicans. republican house, republican senate, cannot undo obamacare, he'll be judge as having a historically bad first year, put aside russia and everything else. >> dickerson: we'll leave it there. i want to thank our panel. we'll be back in a moment with a
riots and unrest plagued political conventions, and the assassinations of dr. martin luther king and robert f. kennedy shook an already weary nation to the core. the end of that year, though, gave reason to hope. >> three, two, one, zero. dickerson: nasa's apollo 8 mission successfully launched three astronauts into space, beating the soviets to become the first manned flight to leave the earth's orbit, circle the moon, and return safely. it was a breakthrough that stunned the world. joining us now is jeffrey kluger, the author of "apollo 8", looking back at that seminal mission. jeffrey, why is apollo 8 so important? >> it's important culturally, as we said at the beginning of the segment. this was the most tragically blood-soaked year in modern
human and global history. we had terrible events. there was the tet offensive. at the same time three american astronauts had been lost in a spacecraft fire just the year before, in 1967. white, grissom, and chafee. the space program which was our charm was moved out of reach. here we were in the summer of 1968. there was no plausible way we were going to make president kennedy's deadline of getting a man on the moon before 1970, and the guys at nasa said, you know what, you know our schedule, let's forget our schedule. let's kick-start this thing, let's put this spacecraft on top of this unproven rocket, and get three guys out to orbit the moon before the end of the year, on christmas eve no less. >> dickerson: it's amazing that after especially the accident -- >> that's right. dickerson: -- that they would not be risk averse.
>> that's right. dickerson: not only risk averse, but they sped up the mission. >> right. i think what was going on there -- you're absolutely right. they could not abide losing any other people, but they also had an intuitive faith of the men and women of nasa. we should remember the women, hidden figures reminds us of this, that they had the resolve, the wherewithal, the commitment to make these machines work and mission work. that says something about america then and america now. as president kennedy said, we choose to go to the moon. we simply elected to do a great transcendent thing and we do it. >> dickerson: break the component parts down for me in terms of that commitment. we'll bring it to the president in a moment. obviously the cold war added a spur to the movement. >> that's right. dickerson: what else was at play that created this sense of risk tolerance and big long shot they took?
>> i think it was that the cold war was in some way a kabuki war. it was all about symbolism. it was a way to plant our flag, to establish to the world, that a capitalist culture is able to do something preposterously wonderful. a deeply patriotic was out there to punch the russians in the nose. lovell was never as happy as he was in space. anders, the third guy, the rookie, he loved the machines. he loved the lunar cartography. he was there for the grandular work. it was the perfect combination of three guys. >> dickerson: give us a sense about the technology here. i mean, what it was like to -- compared to what we know today, where we have a world where
everything seems possible. what was the technology like that sent them there? >> we saw this in the movie "apollo 13." this was slide rule technology, sharpened pencil technology. the computer on board the spacecraft, one of the great selling points, was that it had a screen. the screen was capable of displaying 30 complete digits at a time. 30. that was state of the art. >> dickerson: not even a tweet. >> that's exactly right. probably 118 characters or something. they went on old school kind of sentence. jim lovell, the navigator, he navigated by the stars. he would take a rough alignment on three stars and slowly refine the alignment until they knew where they were going. >> dickerson: compare it to today, because the notion now is bureaucrats, how could they have reduced something like this, why do we go -- where is this innovation, this sense of risk-taking now in the government? >> well, that's what's
challenging. the government has become so partisan and dysfunctional that this kind of thing is impossible. it's important to remember that the lunar program spanned four presidencies. two democrats, two republicans. it spanned six congresses. yes, i think the democrats were in control of all of them, but the majorities changed. the few days were there. but the country was obsessively focused on this one nonpartisan, indeed uber -- or surpassing partisan goal to get to the moon before a certain deadline. and we did it. >> dickerson: jeffrey kluger, thank you so much. a fascinating, wonderful book. a fascinating, wonderful book. we appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you so much. dickerson: we'll be back in a moment. [burke] swan drive. seen it. covered it. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
the energy conscious whopeople among usle? say small actions can add up to something... humongous. a little thing here. a little thing there. starts to feel like a badge maybe millions can wear. who are all these caretakers, advocates too? turns out, it's californians it's me and it's you. don't stop now, it's easy to add to the routine. join energy upgrade california and do your thing. >> dickerson: that's it for us today. thanks for watching. keep us with the news of the week by subscribing to the "face
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