tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC March 19, 2017 10:30am-11:30am EDT
starting right now on "this week" with george stephanopoulos. >> wiretap covers a lot of different things. >> president trump defiant. >> i think you're going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront. >> refusing to apologize for his false claim. provoking conflict with america's closest allies. and, just 24 hours away from >> the battle is just beginning. >> this budget is really a slap in the face. >> is trump's agenda faltering? >> fake news, folks. a lot of fake. >> what will be the cost of this self-inflicted blow to white house credibility? tough questions ahead for one of the president's close friends, a key architect of the health care plan.
and the gop senator demanding changes to the bill. plus, key intelligence committee members investigating russia. from abc news, it's "this week" here now, chief anchor george stephanopoulos. >> good morning, it has been 15 days since president trump detonated that explosive charge with saturday morning tweets. that he was the victim of an illegal wiretap ordered by president obama. 15 days later, we know two things. the president's charge is untrue. and he knows it's not true. at least he should. his attorney general has not given him evidence to back up the claim. nor has the fbi direct, the cia director, or the director of national intelligence. trump may not have even asked them for the evidence. he did ask the house and senate intelligence committees to investigate. here's what the top members of the house said this week. >> i don't think there was an actual tap of trump tower. >> we have seen no basis for that whatsoever.
>> the leaders issued a joint statement -- we see no indications that trump tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the united states government either before or after election day 2016. no evidence the charge is true. overwhelming evidence it's false. which may be why only trump's true believers are standing by the claim. and one of his top allies in congress now says the president should apologize. >> president obama is owed an apology in that regard. because if he didn't do it, we shouldn't be reckless in accusations that he did. >> instead, at that awkward press conference with german chancellor angela merkel on friday, trump doubled down. joking about the fact that merkel had been spied on by our nsa. >> as far as wire-tapping, i guess, by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps. [ light laughter ] >> that look on merkel's face shows how well the joke landed. trump refused to disavow his
press secretary's embrace of a false report that trump was spid on by british intelligence. >> that was a statement made by a talented lawyer on fox. you shouldn't be talking to me. you should be talking to fox, okay? >> fox news quickly disavowed the report. the british called it utterly ridiculous. demanded an explanation from the national security adviser who promised it would not be repeated. so, 15 days after the first tweets, here's where things stand. two of america's closest allies upset. the president's agenda overshadowed. the credibility of his spokespeople in tatters. tomorrow, a public showdown. the fbi director, before congress, likely to defy the president and publicly testify that trump's claim is simply not true. how trump responds is anyone's guess. we asked the white house for a guest to address this topic. they declined. we're join bid -- we're joined by a close friend and ally of the president, christopher ruddy. he tweeted out this photo yesterday. he joins us now from west palm beach. thank you for joining us this morning.
it looks good down there. like you have a sunny day down there. you spent a lot of time in mar-a-lago. you meet with the president a lot. two weeks ago when the president put out those tweets, you wrote i haven't seen him this pissed off in a long time. when i mentioned obama's denials about the wiretaps, he shot back, this will be investigated. it will all come out. i will be proven right. 15 days later, quite the opposite. what is it going to take for the president to retract the statement? >> george, thank you for inviting me on. i want to make clear, i don't speak for the president. i run newsmax. i'm an independent news agency. but i do think the press has been very unfair. even the setup for me coming on. there have been so many things for the press to discuss. let's talk about the first 100 days of this presidency. the incredible record the president has had. a-plus cabinet. jobs. hoping to create tens of thousands of new jobs.
merkel, he had a really impressive meeting with her. probably got hundreds of billions in concessions from here. certainly an increase in the nato budget. and the health care plan is coming. when you come and say, oh, it's all about the wiretapping, et cetera, the president last night was with myself, briefly, and allen dershowitz. who, as you know, is not a supporter of the president. the president was discussing that all of these leaks have taken place. classified meetings, conversations he had with the president of mexico, the prime minister of australia. general flynn's private conversation was leaked. these are criminal acts. alan dershowitz said it was very, very serious stuff. but the press is not talking about that. >> we know he's upset. but wait a second, chris. i take your point about not being an official spokesperson for the president. the president sent out tweets that accused his predecessor of a felony. of doing something illegal. since then, as i pointed out. and i don't think you said -- you say what i said in the page two may have been unfair. i don't think i said anything
untrue. if you would like to suggest there is you can say that. let me finish the question. what is it going to take given all the evidence of what the president said is untrue, what is it going to take for him to retract and apologize? >> let's go back on the wiretapping. there were reports "the washington post." "the new york times" and and the mcclatchy papers. there were intercepts that the administration had been monitoring the trump campaign. the head of the administration said there was no collusion. there was an investigation. it would be hard to believe there was no surveillance whatsoever. >> wait, wait. that's not what the president -- i'm talking about what the president tweeted. the president accused president obama of illegally wiretapping. >> and the president said he wants to have an investigation. if you listen to what you said, it's pretty clear that there actually has never been an investigation of it.
and that neither the house or the senate committees have investigated. they just said, at this time, we don't have any evidence of it. but i think there's a -- >> after being briefed by the fbi director. chris, wait a second. you know that the president could simply ask his attorney general, ask his fbi director. he could ask the cia director. ask the director of national intelligence. everybody who has been briefed on this says there is no evidence. the president has not provided evidence. there's been overwhelming evidence to the contrary. i take it from your point, based on what you know right now, as far as you can tell, the president won't retract or apologize? >> well, i don't speak for the president. you're going to have to ask him what his plan is on that. i do think that the press is harping on this. look, there was a recent poll that showed 54% of americans believe that the press is too aggressive in their attacks on the president. we have never had a situation where the press has been part of an opposition political party. >> we have never had a situation where the president has accused his predecessor of a felony.
>> well, i think this is something that needs to be investigated. i'm waiting for the evidence just like you are on the allegation. i do think when you look at the broader scope, you're not talking about the president's achievements. we have never had a president this successful using just the bully pulpit, getting companies all over the world to bring jobs. he's getting nato countries to increase their budget. which would help save americans money. and the health care plan, he was willing to tackle one of the most serious problems we have in the country. yet we're always focused on one little tweet. or something like that. i don't think -- i think the american people in the heartland have a different view than the people in washington. >> that may be. that may be. it's one little tweet that accused his predecessor of a felony. the fbi director coming to capitol hill tomorrow. he'll publicly testify. we expect him to publicly challenge the president's tweet. how do you think the president will respond? >> well, i don't know what the fbi director is going to say.
but i definitely think that they said there was no collusion between the trump campaign and the russians. considering the amount of air time the press has given this story over the past four or five months, i think that that is a powerful statement. if the fbi director reaffirms that, it's a powerful -- how they came to that conclusion without ever doing any surveillance or intercepts. we know they did intercepts of general flynn with the russian ambassador. that was leaked. that was a highly classified conversation as was the president's other conversations that were leaked. and there's no talk about that being investigated by the press or congress. >> we talk about all those issues. let me ask you, do you believe that president obama ordered a wiretap? ordered an illegal wiretap of president trump? >> i have no idea what president obama did. i haven't investigated the thing myself. i do know there were press reports indicating there was surveillance and the administration was concerned about the -- the obama administration was concerned
about possible ties between the trump campaign and the russians and they found no evidence of it. if that was true, it suggests there might have been an investigation and there may have been surveillance. >> you're not willing to say right now whether you think it's true or not? >> well, again, i don't talk for the government of the united states. i think that -- this is a question for the administration and the white house to answer. >> let me ask a final question. you mentioned health care, as well. you have been at odds a bit with the president on health care. you wrote that donald trump staked out a high moral ground by calling for a feasible system of universal health care to replace obamacare. he shouldn't retreat from that no matter how much the gop dislikes it. you're saying he should work with democrats on a different kind of plan instead? >> i'm not at odds with the president that i know of. i believe that the president still wants universal health
care and good quality coverage for everyone. he told me yesterday that the health plan that he'll iron out with the house and senate will be positive and strong. i have a problem with the house plan first proposed by ryan. it looks like there's going to be serious amendments. a lot of conservatives. almost all of the conservative radio hosts have opposed or criticized the ryan plan. i have criticized it for its efforts to reduce the number of people on medicare and medicaid. the savings, medicaid costs about $4,000 a year per person. if those same people are pushed into private health insurance, their expenses go up to about $7,000 a year. that's a pretty big increase for about 10 million people that just joined the medicaid rolls. i'm sure these things are being worked out. i'm going, before i make a final comment on it, but i think the president's intent here, and i give him incredible amount of credit for tackling this issue, most politicians would run away
from this issue because it's such a hot potato. he decided to move on it first. >> chris ruddy, thank you for joining us this morning. >> thank you. and we're joined by two key members of the house intelligence committee holding the hearing with the fbi director tomorrow. democrat joaquin castro, republican will hurd. thank you both for joining us this morning. congressman hurd, let me begin with you on the question of the day. have you seen any evidence that president obama ordered an illegal wiretap of president trump? >> george, no. i haven't. thank you for having me on. i haven't seen that. and to quote my 85-year-old father, who, bob hurd who has given this advice to all of my friends when they got married, it never hurts to say you're sorry. >> so you think the president should say he's sorry? >> i think so. it helps with our allies. we have to all work together. we live in a dangerous world. we can't do this alone. when we have major ally. not just sorry to the president. but also to the uk.
for the claims, or the intimation that the uk was involved in this as well. it doesn't hurt. it takes away from the rest of his agenda. >> and congressman castro, i assume you agree with that right there. what do you expect from fbi director comey tomorrow? do you think he's prepared to address this publicly? >> on the wiretapping, i hope he will. you know, george. this will be an opportunity for us to have an open discussion about this investigation. i'm sure that we're not going to hear everything because we're not in a classified setting. there are a few things i'm hoping to hear. first, whether any americans are being investigated for cooperating or conspiring with the russian, who interfered with our election. second, the scope of the investigation. third, a timeline for resolving it. >> to follow up on something chris ruddy was saying. and the white house has talked about as well. we have the former director of intelligence saying he's seen no evidence of collusion with
people from the trump campaign and the russians. have you? >> it's my understanding that's exactly what's being investigated. he's stating there's a conclusion being reached. my understanding is that's being investigated. >> so up to now, you haven't seen any evidence? >> no conclusion one way or another. >> meanwhile, congressman hurd, how do you expect to go about this? and bottom line, do you think the house intelligence committee will get to the bottom of this? what is it going to take? >> i think it takes a bipartisan, thoughtful, thorough investigation. first, we have to allow federal law enforcement to continue to do their job. i think some folks will probably be frustrated on monday on not hearing certain answers because there may be an active investigation going on. criminal investigation. if there's an active criminal investigation, we need to allow
law enforcement in order to do their job. then the house and senate intelligence communities should be reviewing what law enforcement's responses have been. what the intelligence community is doing. i'm looking forward on monday to having the nsa director and the fbi director go through the time line, publicly, on the russian involvement in our -- in attempts to influence our elections. what was -- how did we respond? and also, part of this is, if we understand what they did to plot out how we defend against this in the future. and maybe be able to tell our allies like france and germany what they should be doing to inculcate themselves from russian attacks. >> congressman castro, how much damage do you think has been done to our intelligence relationships with great britain and perhaps germany as well? given what's happened in the last couple of days. they're some of our closest intelligence relationships. >> it's quite alarming, george. you think about our long standing relationship with the british. our relationship and information-sharing with the five eyes. and how hostile the president has been, not only to the cia and the fbi, our own
intelligence agencies. also to australia. now britain, certainly germany. these relationships work. and working together on things like counterterrorism is only successful if these nations and their intelligence agencies trust and have confidence in the united states. so when you hear these outlandish comments, what i keep thinking is that there's a real possibility that the president is undermining these relationships. >> as you know, congressman hurd, the president and his allies believe he's been undermined by people inside the intelligence community. you have worked at the cia. what do you make of the claims there's a so-called "deep state" working against president trump? >> i spent 9 1/2 years as an undercover officer. i was the dude in the back alleys at 4:00 in the morning collecting intelligence. to protect our homeland. you have professional intelligence folks. and you have the political intelligence folks. the men and the women in the cia, they do their job
regardless of who is in the white house. same for nsa. same for fbi. these men and women are putting themselves in harm's way. have to deal with difficult situations. and what i think -- grizzly step, this is how the intelligence community refers to the russian involvement in attempts attempts to manipulate our elections. it are go down in the history of mother russia as the greatest covert action. not because trump won. but because it created a wedge, real or perceived, between the white house, the intelligence community, and the american pluck. this investigation has to be bipartisan. thorough. and it has to be thoughtful. we're feeding into the covert action narrative that the russians are trying to create. >> thank you both for your time. >> thank you. when we come back, the
battle over health care. president trump claims he has the votes to get it through the house. cone serve actives call that wishful thinking. trump voters raise more questions about what the bill will mean for them. hhs secretary tom price and senator rand paul are next. ♪ like a human fingerprint, no two whale flukes are the same. because your needs are unique, pacific life has been delivering flexible retirement and life insurance solutions for more than 145 years. ask a financial advisor how you can tailor solutions from pacific life to help you reach your financial goals.
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we met with 12, pretty much nos in congress. you saw that a little while ago. they went from all nos to all yeses. and we have a lot of yeses coming in. it's all coming together. >> optimistic president trump there after meeting with a group of house conservatives. with a vote scheduled for later this week, a big question about whether the voters are there. plus more trouble in the senate. we'll be back with the point man on health care and one of the plan's most outspoken critics, gop senator rand paul. (vo) do not go gentle into that good night, old age should burn and rave at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light. do not go gentle into that good night. ♪
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over 90% of the counties in florida are losing obamacare. and they're losing the insurers that put obamacare there. we'll be terminating obamacare. and we'll be replacing it with so many different options. but you'll have great health care at a fraction, a fraction of the cost. and it will be great. >> there's donald trump in sarasota, right before the election with his signature promise to repeal and replace obamacare. the president back in florida this weekend. david wright checked in with voters to see what they think of the president's plans right now. >> the obamacare nightmare is about to end. >> reporter: this weekend in
florida, vice president pence was once again salesman in chief. >> the truth is, florida can't afford obamacare any more. >> reporter: what to keep and what to get rid of? that depends on whom you ask. >> i believe that it should simply be repealed. >> i don't think we need a 1200-page health care plan. it's ridiculous. >> what i'm seeing looks like -- it's not finished. it's a work in progress. >> reporter: sounds like you feel that obamacare needs serious reform. >> absolutely. needs reform. but the -- >> reporter: but this is not the way to go in your opinion? >> definitely not. [ chanting ] >> all: health care for all. he will care for all. >> reporter: congress members are getting an earful. >> if you're going to make us take the other health care, then i want you to take it as well. >> reporter: in sarasota, republican
representative vern buchanan faced a breast cancer survivor worried about losing her coverage. >> a high-risk pool is not a pool i want to jump into. will you commit to voting against the reintroduction of high-risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions so we can continue to afford care? >> we're in the third inning of a nine-inning game. >> reporter: those passionate concerns, one being reason about 22 republican congress members have yet to sign on to the bill. >> the irony of the new plan is the people that it's going to affect the most are the people that probably voted for donald trump. those on the lower or mid soc socioeconomic level are the ones to get hurt the most. >> if america is so great, why can't we take care of our people? >> reporter: some trump defenders have faith in the gop plan. >> if they open up the states to free competition, prices of health care will go down. >> it will not only ensure -- insure people.
in the long run, it will save money. >> it will come through. it's going to be great. >> reporter: for "this week." david wright, and, west palm beach. >> we're joined by the president's point man on health care, dr. tom price. thank you for joining thus -- us this morning. >> thank you, george. good to be with you. >> last week, you said no one would be worse off financially under president trump's plan. since then, we have seen the cbo report. saying that up to 24 million people over time won't be able to afford their health insurance. they say it will be a real double whammy on lower income, older americans. they're going to be charged higher premiums. get less in tax credits than they do now in subsidies. do you stand by that claim? >> i do. what the cbo was looking at, what they were charged to look at, was just one part of the plan. the overall plan is not the part before congress right now. it's an independent gral parteg. but it's the second phase of all
of this that is going on. the third phase, also ongoing as we speak, multiple other pieces of legislation that round out the plan and make it so it fulfills the president's promise of repealing and replacing obamacare and putting in place a patient-centered system where we get patients and families and doctors making medical decisions. >> you can see under this plan, the plan the house is expected to vote on this week, some americans will be worse off. >> that's not the plan. that is part of the plan. >> that's what they'll be voting on. >> you have to put in place the entire plan. and this is part of that plan. and it's an important part because what it does is repeal obamacare. the taxes of obamacare. provides flexibility. the medicaid system can work for patients in the system. it makes it so every single american will have the financial feasibility to gain access to the coverage they want for themselves and for their family, not the government forces them to buy.
it's an important part. it's a first step in this process. >> president seemed to concede in the interview with tucker carlson that some of his voters won't do as well as hillary clinton voters. under this plan. let's take a look. >> a bloomberg analysis shows that counties that voted for you middle class and working class counties -- would do far less well under this bill than the counties that voted for hillary. the more affluent counties. >> i know. >> it seems very inconsistent with the message of the last election. >> a lot of things are not consistent. but these are going to be negotiated. >> the president said he won't sign a bill that doesn't take care of his people. how does he plan to address the imbalance on the tax side? >> it's part of an entire plan. the changes we have put in place have begun. we have talked to multiple insurers. you know, george, there are one-third of the counties in this nation have one issuer in the insurance on the exchange. five states have one issuer. what that means is
people don't have a choice at all. >> but that's not going to affect the tax benefits. that's what the president was taking about right there. >> that means people won't be able to get the care that they need. this is not about washington politics. this is about people's health care. that's where it's important to keep the focus. that's why the administrative changes that we have already begun, we have had insurers tell us not only will we stay in the market, we'll get back into the market. that's what we need. we need choices for patients. competition to drive down costs so folks have greater opportunity to get the coverage they want for themselves and their families. >> you have republican senators like bill cassidy and john thune saying it will be harder for older americans to get insurance. under the house plan right now. they say you're going to have to beef up the tax credits and maybe slow down the changes in medicaid. >> and that may be the case. we're looking at it and working with our legislative colleagues to make certain we have the kind of plan that works for people in the real world.
something that the previous administration didn't do. if it needs more beefing up, as you say, for the folks that are low income, between 50 and 64 years of age, that's something we have talked about. something we have entertained. that may happen throughout the process. >> that's not what's happening right now. it appears they is have agreed to put a work requirement in for medicaid and allow states to block-grant medicaid, as well. is that enough to get majority in the house or do you need to do more to bring along members of the house freedom caucus. those conservatives as well? >> we have talked to so many people in the house of representatives. trying to see their comfort level. understanding it's part of the overall plan. the work requirements are important. they are something that is restorative to people's self-worth. sense of themselves.
about working when they're able to. we believe it's important for folks to have a job that they contribute not just to society but to their own well being. to provide states greater flexibility in the medicaid population. as i mentioned, whether it's a per capita cap or a block grant. that means to people in the real world that states will be the ones fashioning their medicaid program for their vulnerable populations so it's much more responsive. not a one size fits all from washington program. >> the house freedom caucus is still against the bill. they're saying you'll have to speed up the medicaid changes. do away with some of the mandates. are those changes on the table right now? >> the president said he's been talking to the house members and members of the senate, as well. we're working through this process. this is what tough legislation looks like. it's not unusual to have this give and take and this back and forth. i'm confident that as we move forward, we'll be able to move all portions of the plan, this reconciliation bill moving through congress right now. certainly the administrative changes we believe are important. you remember, all of the
regulations that the previous administration put in place. hundreds of them literally thousands of guidance letters. many of them were harmful to patients and drove up the cost of health coverage and drove people out of the ability to care for patients in the real world. we're going to look at every one of them and make certain we do the right thing. the third bucket, the legislation coming forth to make certain that the insurance changes will work for people. >> you'll need democratic votes for the third bucket. but in the meantime, aren't you caught in something of a squeeze play right here. the changes you're making to get conservatives in the house, speeding up the changes in medicaid, will cause more concern with the senators in the midwest, rural areas, saying their states are relying on the medicaid expansion. everything you do to get votes in the house is going to cost you votes in the senate, isn't it? >> it's a fine needle that needs to be thread. there's no doubt about it. you mentioned working with democrats on the third bucket. we sure hope so.
we have been reaching out to individuals in both the house and the senate on the other side of the aisle. and look forward to their ideas and hopefully, their input and support. they know that the current law doesn't work. that deductibles are sky-rocketing. a lot of people have health coverage but no health care because they can't afford the deductible. we're asking men and women of goodwill in the legislature and the legislative branch to come forward and work with us to solve the challenges that the american people see in their health care system. again, we get a health care system that works for them. not government but that works for people. >> democrats don't seem very willing right now. senator rand paul is coming right up. he says you should do a clean repeal like you did in 2015 and have a wide-open debate on how to replace obamacare. what's wrong with that proposal? >> it places vulnerable people at risk. it's not something the president is willing to do. it's not something that he said he would do.
he said repeal and replace need to take place at the same time, concurrently. that's what we're going with in the second phase. the second phase, the administrative changes. the third phase, the other pieces of legislation, they're being worked on as we speak. if your -- if you look at the plan in its entirety, senator paul would have to admit it includes the vast majority of the things he and others have been talking about that is important. to have a system that works for patients. >> finally, sir, on another subject, it was reported this week, preet bharara was said to have been investigating your stock trades when you were a member of congress. have you or your lawyers gotten any indication that you were the subject of investigation? >> no, no, know nothing about that whatsoever. >> thank you for clearing that up. thank you for joining us today. >> thank you. we're joined by senator rand paul. gop senator from kentucky. thank you, thank you for joining us this morning. you heard dr. price -- >> good morning. >> good morning. you heard dr. price. he said the plan you propose will put vulnerable people at risk.
>> i think it's sort of the opposite. the program they're putting forward, you know, obamacare lite. they're keeping half of what obamacare presented. they're not going to fix the fundamental problem. the fundamental problem of obamacare is the insurance mandates. when you mandate what has to be insurance, it elevates the price. when you tell people they can buy insurance after they are sick, they will. you get adverse selection. the death spiral that people are talking about, it will continue under the paul ryan plan. and, my fear is that a year from now, people will come back, we'll have all the same arguments again. >> you heard dr. price. he said it's not fair to look at the ryan plan, as you just called it, in isolation. you have to look at everything the administration is proposing. >> the problem is, we, as conservatives, ran on repeal of obamacare. i was elected in 2010, right after it came into place, to repeal it.
we never ran on replacement of obamacare lite. on making the entitlement subsidies permanent. on a individual mandate. keeping the taxes. keeping the medicaid expansion. so we didn't run on that. they're flat-out false in telling us you ran on this plan. none of us did. we ran on repealing obamacare because it doesn't work. they're going to repeal part of it and leave in place all of the stuff that causes your insurance rates to go through the roof. we have a plan, a replacement plan we would like to talk about at the same time that instead of subsidizing people's health care, actually forces prices down. forces the insurance companies to come to the table. under my plan, 37 million people who belong to aarp would be able to negotiate and buy a group policy of insurance. that would drive prices down, particularly for people leading right up to retirement and on into the retirement years. it's the only thing that would work to bring prices down. we're not talking about that at
all. that's a huge mistake by the republican party. now we're in a bidding war with democrats. we're going to offer half as much. federal subsidies as the democrats. we're never going to win that bidding war. it's a huge mistake. it's a public relations nightmare. they should scrap it all. start over. and let's have a real meaningful debate about how to fix this. >> have you convinced enough conservatives in the house to vote no? >> i talked to the house freedom caucus leadership over the weekend. they still believe that the conservatives in their caucus don't want obamacare lite. i believe the real negotiation begins when we stop them. you have to stop them. conservatives will only have a seat at the table if we have 21 votes in the house or 3 or 4 in the snenate. that's why i passed out "the art of the deal" on to all of them last week. because, we need to -- learn from the master. and let's make sure that we
increase our leverage by holding the line. >> so you don't believe it will pass? >> i don't believe so. enough conservative do not want obamacare lite. this is the biggest mistake of republicans not thinking about how this is going to look. they call it repeal and replace. when it doesn't fix the problems and you say you have fixed the problems, they're going to own it. i promise you in a year, the insurance markets will still be unraveling. the insurance companies will still be begging for more handouts. they have bailouts for insurance companies in the house plan. conservatives don't want that. we're for empowering the consumer to drive prices down to get better cost insurance. we're not for when you get sick, the taxpayer takes over the tab for the insurance company. it's a terrible situation. what you do is you socialize the insurance company losses but privatize the billions of dollars that they make. i'm not for a gift for the insurance companies. that's what this house plan does.
>> you're a member of the senate foreign relations committee. the president is standing by the claim about president obama. it's caused a rift with british intelligence over the weekend. how big of a problem is this? how does the president fix it? >> we know one thing for sure that the obama administration did spy on flynn. now, whether it was direct or indirect, somebody was reading and taking -- a transcript of his phone calls. they released it. it's very, very important that whoever released it go to jail. because you cannot have members of the intelligence community listening to the most private and highly classified information and then releasing that to "the new york times." there can only be a certain handful of people who did that. i would bring them all in. they would have to take lie detector tests. i would say, including the political people, some of them knew about this as well. we need to get to the bottom of who is releasing these highly classified conversations. if the president was surveilled. he probably wasn't the target. i don't know that he was or wasn't.
if he was, they probably targeted someone in a foreign government. but they listened to the conversation with americans. our government's talking to foreigners all the time. we can't allow people in the intelligence committee to release the contents of that information to the media. >> you don't believe -- >> we will get a deep state. you'll have an intelligence community that has enormous power if that happens. >> you don't believe president obama ordered an illegal wiretap of president trump? >> well, what happens is it's different than that. we target foreigners all the time. they talk to americans. they talk to the president. they talk to the national security advisers. they're supposed to be masked. there was something alarming the other day. general hayden admitted people down to some of the lowest analysts can unmask who the american is. so, someone unmasked general flynn and they're a low-level analyst, we need to be looking at their computer and finding out if they unmasked that conversation, and if they spoke
with "the new york times" you have to put those people in jail. you cannot allow this to happen or we'll have presidents being blackmailed or national security advisers being blackmailed. this is a huge, huge problem. bigger than anything else being discussed. private conversations from the intelligence community's perspective, are being leaked to the press. that's not like a leak that says, oh, the president watches tv in his bathrobe. this is important to national security. you can't let it happen. >> senator paul, thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you. we'll be right back with our "roundtable." ♪ ♪ ♪
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or, take mucinex. one pill fights congestion for 12 hours. guess i won't be seeing you for a while. why take medicines that only last 4 hours, when just one mucinex lasts 12 hours? let's end this. back now with our "roundtable." joined by terry moran. our chief foreign correspondent. also "new york times" white house correspondent, maggie haberman. roland martin. host and managing editor of news one now. and sara fagen. also contributes to cnbc. terry, you spend most of your time in london. the white house sending out the bomb to london this week as well, embracing the idea that british intelligence spied on president trump. what went down there? >> bewilderment and fury. it was incredible to cover on the british end. the first thing was this spook, this spy agency, which never speaks. not only did they speak. they spoke in the most undiplomatic terms. utter nonsense, ridiculous. don't believe it.
and then when they got the contrition calls, the apology calls that were not apologies from the white house from general mcmasters, that was strange. the first thing they did was call reporters up and say, they've apologized, we're moving on from here. like good allies should. an hour later, when the white house said, real men don't apologize and said, we're not apologizing, they had to change their story. >> maggie, you have been covering president trump for a long time. you know in trump world you do not apologize. you have a piece this morning talking about how the self-inflicted wounds are getting in the way of his movement. do you see any way -- if you were watching chris ruddy today, you don't, on how the president will get out from under this? >> no. we don't apologize. you're seeing that syndrome he has had as long as we have known him. which doesn't really work in the white house. it worked in the campaigns. does not translate to government. trump is very, very frustrated by the russia issue. the questions about the collusion. >> and the leaks.
>> and the leaks are driving him crazy. he's long enforced nondisclosure agreements on his own employees as a private businessman. obviously, can't do that with a larger government bureaucracy. he's used to being able to use his twitter feed to change the story and push people somewhere else. i think you're seeing he keeps trying to do that. but it's a boomerang that will come back and hit him in the head every time. >> if he's frustrated, stop lying. he said throughout, no business. no dealings there. his son says, millions pouring in. he then says, no, i didn't meet with anybody. we have proof he met with the russian ambassador. flynn, no, no talks. now, we have talks. he's been paid by turkey. $34,000 speech in russia. this is is very simple. mr. president, you and your team stop lying about russia. then folks might be able to move on. >> at a minimum, stop inflaming an issue that clearly the intelligence committee, no one in the intelligence community seems to believe the president on this topic.
stop inflaming it by furthering the story. focus on where there is there there. and senator rand paul is right. somebody leaked a transcript of general flynn's comments. that is a crime. somebody should go to jail for that. that's where they should be focused on. not -- >> the only way to do that. i think you can't move on to other issues in the absence of some kind of retraction, can you? >> no. you can't. and he will not do it. >> here's the point. he's not going to do it. he's not going to do it. he's not going to retract. he's not going to apologize. but at a minimum, stop repeating claims people now believe to be false. >> this is where i think his staff is not always serving him well. because essentially, you always have staff to be there to sort of protect the principle and find a way to sand down the edges. in this case, you have a press secretary whose role is you're not speaking for the president as his spokesman. you're seen as a spokesman for the country.
you're reading these things and claims like about british intelligence agencies and so forth, they sound like they are being made as policy. i think they have had trouble as a group shifting. because trump sits there and watches all the briefings and they're all doing things for this audience of one, as opposed to the broader world. >> meantime, you know angela merkel and teresa may want to get beyond it. >> totally. he as a disruptive agenda. they want to come to terms with it. he's season sent by the american people to change things. they're ready to do business with him. teresa may is similar. she's on that side of the ledger. it's like yik-yak, that high school social media app. i heard somebody said something about him, about her. they're lost in the weeds of the adolescence out of washington. so that the primary feeling is not we don't like the president's agenda. he's the president of the american people. we can't deal with this guy. >> i don't -- i mean, i think -- we'll see. i mean, the reality is, for all
the noise around his comments and his tweets, the treasury secretary, steve mnunchin is at a g-20 meeting and gets concessions from other countries in terms of the statement. it wasn't a big concession. >> on protectionism? >> yes. he had protectionism pulled from the language at the g-20. at a minimum, people recognize that the united states is the most powerful country in the world. most financially successful. and most importantly has the biggest military. >> there is a -- >> but people want to respect us. and when -- and i was raised to respect the presidency. it would be nice if donald trump could respect the presidency. we want the president to be truthful and people to go, i trust what he says. we can't trust him. >> i agree the president needs to be truthful. however, having lived through a white house where people said george w. bush makes the world -- the world doesn't respect the united states under george w. bush.
and the republicans said it under obama. people from the opposite party always say that. >> but the polls show -- that the sentiment is flipped. the white house is a laughing stock in the capitals of europe. >> this is the risk. that other countries, our allies, not even our allies, people are not going to want to deal with us. that's the phrase i have heard with, deal with the u.s. >> even though they have to? >> even though they have to. there's a risk in terms of the credibility potential crisis. these are all self-inflicted wounds. these are all of their own making. at some point, there will be some actual crisis. they'll need the public to believe them. and this is where it becomes a real risk. >> that is the key question. let me move on to health care. sara, you saw dr. tom price saying you have to look at the whole plan. they're hoping to get democrats on board. the problem is getting it through the house. they have to move in a way far in the opposite direction of where democrats want to go. >> here's the thing. necessity is the mother of invention.
republicans, after having campaigned for seven years on repealing and replacing obamacare have to come to terms with a bill that can get through the house and senate. >> to get it through the house, you have to do more medicaid cuts. speed up the changes in medicaid to get it through the senate, you have to put more money into medicaid. >> i think conservatives in the house, while having been strongly opposed to the bill are now saying the right things. which is, they're looking at it. they're -- they're looking at amendments. i think president trump deserves some props here. >> he's working hard. >> he's working it very hard. he's going to be in kentucky on monday. working behind the scenes. not commenting on individual provisions. i think ultimately, republicans have no choice. >> and that's the point. he's working it hard because they know the cost of losing in the house. the president can't lose this. >> and he can work as hard as he wants to.
as i'm watching the town halls. i'm thinking at malcolm x. you've been bamboozled, hood-winked. you've been led astray, run amok. to watch the white, working class voters saying, i voted for you. i'm going, we tried to tell you this is what the man said he was going to do. now they're faced with the backlash of, now they love the affordable care act. and now republicans are saying -- >> even though the numbers don't work, they want to believe the president. >> they do. they sent him. they sent him to change this. one of the things they wanted to change was obamacare. the republicans seem to want a political victory more than a policy victory. they'll do anything to get the repeal part. but it turns out they don't really have a replacement. >> if it gets through the house, it will be a long, long slog in the senate. >> it will be a really long slog in the senate. you have had a number of republican senators make clear that this is not as in current form, in the shifting form, is still not something they can be with. they're not going to get democratic votes on this. the democratic base is in no mood to compromise.
so this is very challenging. the president is working hard on this. he recognizes something has to get passed. he cannot lose. >> i wish we had more time, we don't. we'll be right back. he cannot lose. >> i wish we had more time, we don't. we'll be right back. we're still debating here. we'll be right bac
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>> moving and shaking in three big political races. let's get the inside story. ♪ good morning. good to see you. i'm matt o'donnell. it is sunday, march 19, 2017. it is time for "inside story." let's meet our panelists of the week -- george burrell, attorney and nonprofit executive. good morning, george. >> hi, matt. >> state gop chair val digiorgio. >> morning, matt. >> good morning, val. good to see you. and pedro ramos, attorney and nonprofit executive, a guest panelist, but has been on the show before. so welcome back, pedro. >> good morning, matt. >> and law professor jan ting. >> hey, matt. >> let's get in it. we have three races we're gonna start out here with. pennsylvania state senator scott wagner, who would like to be the next governor of pennsylvania, is starting to introduce himself to voters statewide as he prepares to run next year. he begins a campaign video, that he released on the internet, by saying he's very different than