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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  February 11, 2017 11:00am-11:31am PST

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hello again. thank you so much for joining us. i'm fredericka whitfield. name calling as obamacare defenders and opponents take on their representatives, their elected officials. you look at live pictures right now. one of the town halls outside of milwaukee. i shot a little shaky there, but it is happening. earlier today in new port richey, florida, affordable care act and many heated exchanges. >> here's the problems i have with the affordable health care act. number one, there is a provision in there that anyone over the age of 74 has to go before what is effectively a death panel. yes, they do. yes, they do. it's in there, folks. you're wrong.
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okay, children, all right, children. >> i am 77 years old and i think it's unconscionable for this politician to tell me that at 74, i will be facing death panels. wrong, wrong, wrong. >> i'm on your side. >> i deal with end of life issues on a regular basis. these are heart rending decisions and there's no such thing as a death panel. >> everyone here has had great points. we all want health care. our goal is all the same. health and affordable care. that's what we want. i don't care whether we call it aca or obamacare or if we say
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repeal, replace, fix, it doesn't matter. whatever it winds up being, is we need it to have all of the provisions we need to give us the coverage we're all talking about. so. >> thank you. >> my request to you is to rip obamacare bill the way it is now to shreds. okay. rip it to shreds. okay? i didn't say do the current bill that representative ryan has right now. there's a lot of points i think some of the people said today that make sense, okay? but it needs to be, there's plenty of people here who obviously like obamacare. there's a massive number who don't. okay? and the cost and other issues have been -- hold up, hold up. >> that's true. >> so my request to you is to
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repeal it completely and build in a new system that takes care of the needs that everybody wants in an appropriate way and in an affordable way. thank you. >> every american should have health care coverage. would you agree? okay. that preexisting condition should be covered. would you say? okay. if you are 26 years old or at least that, you should be able to be covered by your parents' insurance. would you agree? okay. mr. price, the cabinet member has said he's committed to those three things. yes. yes, yes. >> ladies and gentlemen. >> you need to find out the facts before you start complaining. >> all right. let's talk more about all that's been unfoldingment i want to bring back cnn presidential
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historian tim neftalneftali. can't help but notice that there are parallels here with the tea party movement. many people swarm town halls after obama got elected opposing the affordable care act and now the constituents are upset about potentially losing obamacare. what changed? >> when the american people see the social safety net expands, they don't want to retract it. they like the new benefits and securities that they get. the tea party developed out of a sense that the government couldn't be trusted. and the promises that were being made were going to make your situation in this country with regard to health care worse than it was before. so it was based on fear. and what has happened with obamacare for all of its problems, it's delivered on
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providing three things that in the town hall in florida, the trump supporter, praised. one, health care for all. or at least the availability of health care. two, anyone with a preexisting condition can get health care. and three, children up to age of 26 are covered by their parents' health care plans. those are popular. and i think that was the political bet that the obama administration made that as americans realize that the fears generated by the tea party about the effects of obamacare prove to be incorrect, that americans would embrace the benefits of it. now the debate is how to keep those benefits. >> it's interesting, because these are gop most lly orchestrated town halls. you heard from some of the people there who said they're republican and then there are many that we understand who are democrats who are part of particular initiatives or movements, so do you see
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democrats are using this forum to their advantage than to say, let's keep what's, you know, being credited by the obama administration? the obama white house? >> the tragedy is that this is a partisan issue when it should be an american issue. if you look at the expansion of our social safety net, it was bipartisan. social security. senators voted for social security. 81 republican members of the house voted for social security. in 1965, 70 republican congressmen voted for medicare. 13 republican senators voted for medicare. when you come to the affordable care act, no republicans either in the house or the senate voted for the expansion of the social safety net. part is due to changes in the republican party. part of that is a backlash to the great society and the sense among many americans that
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government can't deliver on its promises but what happened with the affordable care act that did not happen with social security or medicare is it became a straight down the line party vote. it's very partisan and the challenge for the republican party mnow is to deliver on the benefits americans seem to want while also maintaining some of the story, the narrative that they've been giving the american people about the fact that the affordable care act is just terrible in every respect. >> we'll leave it right there. tim neftali, thank you. appreciate it. the judge that halted the president's travel ban now giving the state and justice department more time to file legal briefs. attorneys on both sides now have a deadline of 3 p.m. eastern on monday. judge james robart said he wants more clarification from the parties on the ramifications of the ninth circuit court order. meanwhile, president trump and the first lady are hosting japan's prime minister and his
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wife in florida. melania and the prime minister's wife toured a delray beach museum and japanese inspired gardens there while the president and prime minister hit the links at mr. trump's golf club. cnn's athena jones. what's happening there? >> reporter: hi, fred. we just got a note from the press pool the two leaders wrapped up their round of golf at trump international at jupiter and headed to another activity. we know a few details about four hour round. the two were riding together in the same golf cart. ereny els, the south african pro golfer part of their group and he was making a make america great again hat part of establishing a strong personal relationship between the two leaders, president trump and prime minister abe, important to the japanese prime minister.
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that's why he was the first foreign head of state to visit with president-elect trump in november soon after he won the election but also made news on the trip down here, on air force one when he came back to the press cabin to show his wife, first lady melania trump, it was her first flight on air force. i asked about the immigration ban and these new security measures he's promising. he said he was certain that the administration would ultimately win any court battle but that could take a while. here's more of what he said. >> unfortunate part is it takes time, but we'll win that battle, but we also have a lot of other options including just filing a brand new order. >> is that your plan? >> could very well be, but i'd like to surprise you. we need speed for reasons of security. so it could very well be that we do that. >> so you heard him not really commit to a day but mentioned it
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could come monday or tuesday but saying he wanted to keep it a surprise. he asked what we might change about an executive order and he said very little and when it p comes to new security measures, there will be extreme vetting. one quick thing about this video getting so much buzz on social media, that 19 secondhand shake between the president and the prime minister yesterday in the oval office. some explanation from the foreign press pool, this is about translation. the two, the japanese press asked to shake hands this japanese, so the prime minister said, let's shake hands. shall we shake hands. 10 seconds into that handshake, the japanese press said, hey, guys, in japanese, can you look this way? president trump asked mr. abe what are they saying? the prime minister said, look at me. rather, a literal translation the president seemed to take literally and looked at him, smiled at him, patted his hand. the prime minister smiled back and pointed in the direction of the cameras.
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and long last 19 seconds or so, the handshake finally ended but i think it's useful for viewers to know, there's some background on that unusual exchange sf. >> but it's where the release of the handshake takes place and abe's expression was like, i don't know what that was. >> a picture is worth a thousand words. >> all right, athena jones, thank you so much. appreciate it. coming up, president trump said he plans to look into reports his national security advisor talks sanctions with russia's ambassador. the potential repercussions for michael flynn and u.s. russian relations, next. ♪ it's not just a car, it's your daily treat. ♪ go ahead, spoil yourself. the es and es hybrid.
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mattress firmness? enter sleep number... she likes the bed soft. he's more hardcore. you can both adjust the bed for the best sleep of your life. right now, save 50% on the ultimate limited edition bed. go to for a store near you. a u.s. official confirmed to cnn that michael flynn did speak with russia's ambassador about the u.s. sanctions against moscow. what flynn might have said is unclear. cnn's global affairs correspondent has the story. >> reporter: white house is troubled over back peddling over general mike flynn who now said he's unsure whether he spoke to
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the ambassador about sanctions on russia before president trump even took office, including a conversation on the same day that was imposed by president obama. a serious problem for vice president mike pence, one of several top officials who vouched for flynn including in this interview with cbs news last month. >> what i can confirm having spoken to him about it is that those conversations that happened to occur around the time that the united states took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions. >> the vice president said he was relying on flynn's assurance that sanctions never came up. and now, flynn has, quote, no recollection of discussing sanctions but, quote, couldn't be certain that the topic never came up and a senior white house advisor said pence believes that's a problem. >> you've got different people saying different things and that heads to a difficult place too.
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>> told cnn that investigators were monitoring calls between flynn and ambassador sergey k s kieslikok. it was concerning. at the same time, the u.s. was conducting a broader investigation of russian activities in the u.s. officials who spoke to cnn at the time stressed no determination of wrongdoing on flynn's part had been made. a u.s. official confirms flynn's communication with the russian ambassador included discussion of sanctions in at least one phone call first confirmed in the "washington post." the kremlin denied and calling the ninformation incorrect. a key question, whether flynn's communication with the ambassador influenced russian president vladimir putin's decision not to retaliate after the new sanctions were imposed. the obama administration also kicked out some 35 russian diplomats out of the country in response to russia's meddling in the 2016 election.
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>> after the obama administration went ahead with those sanctions, normally, you would expect russia to retaliate in kind. that's been past practice. and of course, president putin said no, i'm not going to do that and you have to wonder whether in fact he was told, hold off. don't do anything. because when we, the trump administrati administration, get in, we're going to revisit the whole thing. >> he said, great move on delay by v. putin. i always knew he was very smart. the question is whether during the phone calls, signaled to the ambassador that trump would lift sanctions against russia once in office. unclear. u.s. and european officials say flynn's been non-committal in his meetings about whether sanctions are still on the table and president trump said he's not aware of these report bus he'll look into them. >> thank you so much in dc. and we'll be right back. ooohh!!
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time for a little laughter. alec baldwin back tonight hosting "snl" for record 17th time. here's jeanne moos. >> reporter: fans are expecting -- >> i deeply apologize. >> reporter: a trump a-thon this weekend. >> wrong, wrong, wrong. >> reporter: alec wald win retu returning for a record 17 times. probably annoys him. >> this was my home. this was hi heartbeat, so i must return. i must find the strength. >> alec, you were here just like yesterday. not that big of a deal. >> it's a big deal. >> reporter: melissa mccarthy's portrayal of sean spicer. >> are you okay?
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>> politico reported what bothered the president most about the portrayal was the role of spicer was played by a woman. that made some women mad and sparked a push to draft rosie o'donnell to play steve bannon. these are the faces morphed together. rosie using this one as her twitter profile picture and on thursday, she tweeted this photo of bannon as a puppeteer with the president on his lap. since there's such bad blood between rosy and the president. >> rosy o'donnell is disgusting. >> hair looping. >> she's a slob. >> orange slug. >> figured it would drive the president nuts to see her play bannon. rosy tweeted, available if called, i will serve. "the huffington post" compiled an entire cast of women from ellen degeneres as mike session from betty white as sessions but
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sorry, rosie fans, a five word answer. she is not doing snl. unless, of course, the show invites her and she accepts at the last minute. when it comes to rosy and president trump. >> i'm building a wall. >> maybe the wall should separate them. >> living with this pig face. >> snake oiled salesman. >> oh, stay tuned. i'm fredericka whitfield. next is cnn special report, before the wall, a journey on the border, begins right after this. healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine. all seems beautiful to me.
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the following is a cnn special report.


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