tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN March 24, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PDT
going to happen. and no one over at the white house knows either. can a republican party that is divided pass a health care bill by sundown? if they can't, who is to blame? the president this morning already tweeting, pointing fingers, saying the irony is that the freedom caucus, which is very pro-life and against planned parenthood, allows planned parenthood to continue if they stop this plan. >> the white house is telling cnn the president is making calls this morning, determined to get the bill passed. a different official says they have seen some movement this morning toward the bill. the question, is it enough? that's a pretty big question. >> the essential question. >> the essential question. if it was enough, we would know already. our reporters are covering all the facts and moving developments. phil mattingly on the hill, what are you hearing? >> reporter: according to a number of aides i'm talking to,
what i'm told is they've noticed some softening of some conservatives in the wake of what the president said last night. they're unsure if it's enough and it's not yet clear if that softening will lead to yes. one aide texted me, "trump needs to close, period." it is up to the president now, over the course of the next couple of hours to try to get the freedom caucus members on board. another key component, where are the moderates? if you think about the deal that was put out to try to bring those conservatives on board, it's problematic to the moderates, stripping essential health benefits from obamacare. i asked about that and two aides made clear there were concessions added last night to try to bring some of those wary members back on board including an addition of $15 billion to the bill to address some of the issues like drug rehabilitation, maternity care, things like
that. that was a direct request from one of those members. that could actually bring them back aboard. to your broader point, we don't know yet. that's an open question. when will we first start to get an idea? there is a house vote on the rule moving through right now. expect that to be when leaders start to get a hard count, a hard idea of where they actually are numbers-wise and if they're on a good path forward. until then, guys, anyone's guess, basically. >> they'll take this to a vote before the white house knows what will happen and the white house will find out when we find out. phil mattingly, thank you. let's go to the white house,our jeff zeleny is. jeff, the president is making these calls this morning, this is all in for him. >> reporter: it is all in. but it's unclear how much he loves this bill. i can tell you, john and poppy, stepping back from this, eight years ago when the affordable care act was being passed and signed by president obama, he had spent time writing the bill, was into the bill, was fully invested in the bill.
that is not the sense i'm getting from president trump or his administration. we're already seeing some blame going on. you know, was this the right idea to put the bill forward, who is responsible for this. administration officials are talking on background to a lot of reporters in this town, blaming speaker ryan for this. but the reality is, president trump decided to bring on as his health and human services secretary tom price, a long time author of this. this is not only a test of the president's ability to bring something over the finish line. this is also a test of whether he can escape blame for something if it doesn't pass. it is too early to say it's not going to pass by any stretch. as phil was saying, they are definitely still working to get people on board here. but let's talk about the substance of this bill for one second. one of the reasons that house freedom caucus members, the most conservative members, some of them may be changing their mind, are because of changes made to the bill. but it is also a big problem for moderates.
and we're talking about some key provisions that have been taken out of this now that really strike at the heart of obamacare, the affordable care act. and that is to require insurers to provide maternity coverage, to provide birth control coverage and mental health coverage. these are these essential health benefits we talked so much about. that's what it means. they basically say the states can decide this. that's why this is so controversial. as we do the politics of this, the substance so important to all of this. but at this hour, the president now starting to change the subject. he'll be talking shortly about the keystone pipeline. he'll be having lunch with the treasury secretary talking about tax reform. guys, all of this is is incumbent, hinges on what happens today here with this health care bill, john and poppy. >> jeff zeleny at the white house. again, live pictures from the house floor where they're debating the rule for the bill to repeal and replace obamacare.
is it trumpcare or ryancare? >> it depends if they get it passed. >> exactly. new jersey congressman tom mccarthy, you are a no vote, you switched to yes on wednesday after getting some assurances on medicaid issues and concerns you had about the elderly. but there were new changes added last night, stripping out the so-called essential benefits guarantees from the coverage there. are you still a yes vote? >> good morning, john and poppy. i moved over the weekend, like with any negotiation, there is sort of a life cycle to it. i learned that in business. i'm only in my second term here, and i had the privilege of running a company. i started just as a trainee in business with $13,000 a year and became a ceo. so i had a lot of experience negotiating deals. and i don't think that's -- what
you're seeing now is nothing more than people wanting to work through what matters to them. i got to yes over the weekend for a few reasons. one, i was concerned about the elderly and the disabled and medicaid. we got a $65 billion investment in that group of people. i was also concerned about the people from 50 to 64 years old in the tax credits. and we were able to get a very significant 50% increase, $90 billion for that group. and i think with anything you have to negotiate in good faith and you have to realize when something is at a point where it's worth supporting. we cannot continue the way it is. we have 23 million americans today that get zero benefit from the affordable care act. they either pay a penalty or they get a waiver -- >> but congressman? >> yes? >> on that point, it's poppy
here, you talk about these 23 million americans. the new cbo score that came out maintains that 24 million americans more would not have coverage under this bill at all by 2026. and you said in a recent interview with "the new jersey star ledger," quote, no american should be without insurance and i'm not talking about access, i'm talking about insurance. how do you square the two, sir? >> what we've done with this bill, and let me say, as i've said before, no bill is perfect, no bill. the current system is far from perfect. we have to fix it. but when i look at all of the different groups, those in medicaid, those even before medicaid, the 23 million i mentioned that are getting no benefit, the people in the tax credit groups, i believe every single one of them will have the ability to buy insurance. >> that's antithetical, sir, to what you said in this interview.
you said "i'm not talking about access, i'm talking about insurance." the fact is this would mean more people uninsured. how do you square those two things? >> poppy, i do square them because of this. when i say "access," i'm not talking about access to health care. i'm talking about access to insurance. i do believe that. as i've shared before, i went through what it's like to struggle with health care bills. my oldest daughter had over $1 million of medical bills in her 11 years of life. and i fought with insurance companies and health care providers. i have lived this. there is a lot of noise about this bill and i know there's a lot of fear. i know that. but when you really look at the bill and you look at the cbo score, and i've read it, they are assuming that when there's no mandate, millions of people won't buy insurance. that's not what i see in the bill. i see that every single american, every single american will have an advanceable tax credit, they don't have to wait
for it when they file their -- >> congressman? >> -- they will be able to get it up front and buy insurance. >> your majority leader, kevin mccarthy, just told our reporter sunlen serfaty that he's feeling very good about this. he just said to our sunlen serfaty that it will get through today. that is from your majority leader. i'm not sure if that's posturing or a genuine optimistic feeling they're now getting. i want to push it a little bit more on the essential benefits that have been included in obamacare, that's guarantees of maternity care, mental health care, substance abuse coverage. those guarantees are out, right? and are you comfortable with that? do you think it's a better bill, do you think it provides better care to your constituents without those guarantees? >> first, i support essential health benefits. i'm very fortunate to be in a state, new jersey, that takes really good care of our people, especially for opioid addiction. i'm the chairman of the heroin
task force here in congress, and our governor and our legislature passed really groundbreaking legislation that gives people six months of coverage for dealing with opioid issues. >> but that's out. that's out now at the federal level, the guarantee, from the federal bill. i know states can choose to do differently. again, is it a better bill in your mind without that in there now? >> i think you have to step back and look at the bigger picture. the essential health benefit doesn't apply to the vast majority of plans today. you're talking about less than 10% in the individual market that this essential health benefit is dictated by the federal government. it doesn't include any employer sponsored group plans or self insured plans. doesn't affect medicare or medicaid or va care or military tricare. the federal government is only dictating health benefits for a
very small band. and all this does is says, you know what, the states do this everywhere else, you can do it for the individual health plans too. so i don't believe this is going to hurt people in the way that all this noise is suggesting. >> before we go, you did meet with the president yesterday. what did he tell you? >> i've been really thrilled with the president's response. he's obviously very engaged. but he's treating the legislature as a co-equal branch of government, which i haven't seen in quite some time. he's engaging with us, but he's not trying to dictate this legislation. he's trying to help bring people together. and so i think he's been helpful to the process. and my part, i'm one of the co-chairs of the tuesday group, the moderate group, and we are in discussions with our leadership, with the white house, with our friends and colleagues in the other caucuses here in the republican congress,
and we're working it out. this is like any negotiation. everyone has to be heard and you have to find ways to get to yes. we need 216 votes. >> congressman, you are hearing and painting a much more kumbaya picture than we're hearing from others. thank you very much for being with us, congressman. >> i'm a realist, not an optimist. >> clearly an optimist. we'll be watching, thank you. the president is attacking the freedom caucus this morning. >> he is. again, our breaking news, house majority leader kevin mccarthy says he's feeling optimistic that they're going to get it done today. it is all going on right now. we'll hear from a key democrat in all this. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me,
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obamacare that may be voted on later today. no surprise that democrats are against it. 100% of house democrats are against it, which complicates matters for house republicans. right now we do not know if the bill will pass or not. house majority leader kevin mccarthy told our sunlen serfaty that he is feeling great, he said we're going to get it done today. joining us, mark preston, aaron lewis, van jones, and alice stuart, a republican strategist who worked for ted cruz during the election for a little bit. mark prestopreston, kevin mccar telling sunlen serfaty that he's feeling great.
>> if he had the votes, he would be feeling excellent. that's his job. he told dana bash last night that he felt good about it. this is problematic for republicans. we talk about the inexperience of the white house and their inability to try to get votes on capitol hill. this is a very young congress right now. they came here on ideological terms. they don't feel invested. they haven't been through, you know, really, really big fights. if you're a republican, a lot of these folks didn't have the house, the senate, and the white house. they don't know how to win right now. in many ways this vote today should have been cast by the white house in the republican leadership as the first of many votes. don't deal the president a losing hand on his first major legislative accomplishment, because you're going to have an opportunity to vote against it anyway if you don't like it. >> alice stuart, an interesting tweet from a member of the freedom caucus. here is what he tweets. if the executive branch tells the legislative branch when to vote and how to vote, with an it
will be allowed to work on if the vote fails, is that a republic? your take? >> look, clearly the house freedom caucus is not going to go down easily on this. they're standing firm on this. look, while they're getting a lot of these last minute calls and conversations and meetings with those in the white house, they're also getting messages and calls and e-mails from their constituents that are saying, please stand firm, please don't give in. look, they promised their constituents throughout this campaign, and won their campaigns on lower premiums, greater access to health care, and that's what they want. they don't see that in this current bill. they'll continue to stand firm regardless of the pushback from the white house. here's the rub. we saw the tweet earlier where president trump reminded those in the house freedom caucus who are very strong conservatives that are, many of them, certainly pro-life, pro faith, pro family, he reminded them that obamacare doesn't defund
the nation's largest abortion provider, planned parenthood. ank kellyanne conway will reach out to them and remind them of that. do they want to go back to their constituents and say they don't want to defund planned parenthood? that's the wedge they'll use to drive these noes to yeses today. >> even though as you and most voters know, the hyde amendment blocks any money from actually going to abortion services. but i hear your argument, big picture. >> van jones, you're sort of the democratic prophet of don't underestimate this guy when it comes to president trump. it's 10:21 on the east coast, this vote may happen at 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon. did he have what it takes, this art of the deal stuff, will he be able to put it together and get it over the finish line by this afternoon? >> listen, as somebody who was able to defy convention on the campaign trail, i saw donald trump as a major, major threat.
i tried to warn democrats, they wouldn't listen. when it's time for him to communicate, liberals don't understand his appeal. but i have been shocked and appalled by the complete inability this guy has shown to be an executive leader. you see a betrayal of his core voters with a lot of this stuff. the opioid crisis is a major, major crisis. i've been in west virginia. i've been in ohio. i've been in pennsylvania. to have a bill that actually goes in reverse, essential benefits in reverse on substance abuse is a major betrayal. to punish, with this age tax, the older votes who came out to him, is a betrayal. so i don't know if he's going to be able to prove us all wrong again. but i have to say, talking to trump voters, i'm one of the few democrats, i was talking to them during the campaign, after the election, still doing it, i think there's a little bit of a bewilderment, they're starting to feel like they took a big
leap of faith that this guy was going to repeal and replace with something better and by the way they were going to get a bunch of jobs so they could get their own health care. they don't see jobs, they don't see a jobs bill, they don't see a tax bill, they don't see infrastructure. he may be in trouble. don't count him out, but it's hard to see how he squares the circle with that. >> this is a guy who in his last two big rallies which he thrives on these, he spent like five minutes talking about health care. was that a miss for him? >> it was an opportunity to rile up his base and sort of make some arguments. but we're at a point now where you have to pick and choose. it's not enough to throw out slogans. we heard seven years of slogans from republicans. now you have to decide, will there or won't there be coverage of maternity services and so on.
they have a contemplatmplicateds they have to work. they don't know if this bill will go anywhere in the senate. they may have to fly blind but hope these services are not removed from their constituents and walk sort of a fine line. >> we have a little touch of breaking news right now on a different subject. house intelligence chair devin nunes, we're just learning he's going to hold a news conference at 10:30, six minutes from now. we don't know what he's going to talk about. suffice it to say, chairman nunes has been in the news a little bit this last week with claims he has made about trump team members being picked up in incidental collection and whatnot. i guess let's tie this all together right now, if we can. we have this house bill that's hanging in the balance. you have a president, the fbi is investigating whether or not there are connections between trump associates and the russians during the election. you have democrats now saying they're going to filibuster his supreme court nominee.
does this paint a picture of a president who is weakened or bargaining from a position of strength in all of this, including health care? >> a couple of things. one, i think no matter who is in the white house, you would have this chaos, given all of these big issues that are coming up. if it was democrats that were in chart of the white house and they were putting up a supreme court nominee, you would hear republicans saying, you know, we're going to filibuster. much like they did with merrick garland anyway, they didn't even give that guy a vote. there is that. donald trump thrives on chaos. in some ways he probably thinks this is normally, this is how you operate. but this isn't private business, this is government. this is slower, clunkier. when we talk about the art of the deal and him able to cut deals, he would probably cut a deal with me to you or me to you or me to you. now he's got to cut deals with 535 elected members of congress who all believe, by the way, they could be president themselves. it's a lot more complicated. if he loses this vote today,
he's absolutely weakened. that's why he's probably got a 51% chance of getting it through. >> what's the best place for democrats in all of this? a lot of them are saying, steny hoyer said last night, we're just sitting back and watching this play out. should they sit back, eat popcorn, watch their twitter feeds? or should there be more here that democrats are doing to leverage their advantage as much as they can? >> well, right now the democrats, when you're talking about the house, there's no more of a powerless position in washington, dc than to be in the minority in the house. at least if you're in the might not in the senate, you can filibuster. you don't even have that. there's not that much the democrats can do in the house except to continue to point out basic facts. here is a basic fact. planned parenthood remains one of the most popular organizations, one of the most beloved organizations in the united states, despite this relentless media offensive against them by conservatives. the majority of republicans actually, when you poll them, have good feelings about planned
parenthood. so you need to stick up for planned parenthood. you need to stick up for the fact that some of the things that the republicans are now afraid to touch are things that obama put in place. listen, when obama came on the scene, republicans were perfectly happy having young people thrown off their plans, they were perfectly happy having preexisting conditions not covered for your whole life. obama permanently moved the goalpost. everybody is playing on obama's playing field whether they like it or not. democrats have a lot to be proud of and preserve. republicans can get in their own little, you know, bubble there, and wind up causing problems. >> one second, guys. has devin nunes started? what we're going to do right now is take a quick break because we are waiting to hear from the house intelligence chair devin
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all right. house intelligence chair devin nunes holding a news conference right now. i believe we have a camera there. the shot is a little bit iffy. can we put it up? >> there we go. >> let's see what he says. >> it's possible we receive documents today from the nsa as we requested. the original deadline was on march 15th. but i want to caution that i don't expect the entirety of everything that we need today. so i would hope that by early next week we'll have a better accounting of what the nsa is able to provide us. so i'm telling you that just so you know that you're not going to -- we're not going to have any more information on those today. lastly, and fourthly, yesterday
the counsel for paul manafort contacted the committee yesterday to offer the committee the opportunity to interview his client. we thank mr. manafort for volunteering and encourage others with knowledge of these issues to voluntarily interview the committee. and so those are the four things i wanted to alert you of this morning. so stay tuned for more. >> reporter: congressman, does paul manafort's name appear -- >> and so stay tuned for more. yes. >> reporter: congressman, does paul manafort's name appear in the new file that you have received? >> no. no. the documents that i viewed this week, no. >> reporter: are you recalling director comey because you say he was not forthcoming in his earlier testimony based on the new documents? >> it has nothing to do with the documents that i've seen.
i will say that i think there are just questions that we have for director comey and admiral rogers probably that they just couldn't answer in a public setting. but it's necessary to get both of them back down here before we can move on to other interviews. >> reporter: i want to be clear on this. you are recalling them not on the basis of the new documents? >> that is correct. not on the basis of the documents that i've seen and that i'm hoping to get today or over the weekend or first part of next week from nsa and other agencies. [ inaudible question ] we don't know that. he voluntarily offered to come to the committee. we will work it out. our lawyers, republicans and democrats, will work with his lawyers to see what exactly he wants to do. if he wants to come out in public and have a public hearing, he's more than welcome to do that. if he wants to do it in a closed setting, that's also fine with me.
>> reporter: last night on sean hannity you said one reason you briefed the president is because he's been taking a lot of heat in the news media. what did you mean by that? >> i'm stating the obvious. maybe you can ask me more questions today. >> reporter: in the documents that you reviewed, how many names were unmasked? >> i don't know that yet. so i'm aware of, just so i can be perfectly clear, there was additional unmasking that was done in the documents that i read the other day. i don't know who asked -- i don't know who asked for them to be unmasked. i just know that there are more. now, just so you know, i was aware of the unmasking before i read the documents. >> reporter: mr. schiff has suggested it might just be one or that the unmasking might have been done for appropriate reasons. >> everybody's -- look, i think i'm the only one that's seen the documents as far as i know and i can tell you we have -- i knew about the unmasking before i
read the documents. i'll just leave it at that. >> reporter: does this square with what you knew about the unmasking before you saw the documents? >> i did. [ inaudible question ] as you know, and i've said this several times, we don't talk about sources at this committee. we want more people to come forward. the good thing is we have continued to have people come forward voluntarily to this committee and we want to continue that. and i will tell you that that will not happen if we tell you who our sources are and people who come to the committee. >> reporter: as far as the situation in terms of a whistleblower or is this someone who wants to be hidden for -- >> i'm not going to get into that. we want people to come forward. and we will protect the identity of those people at all costs. >> reporter: are you going to
brief adam schiff on the full extent of what you've seen? >> i was hoping to get the documents today, it doesn't sound like we'll get a full accounting of those. i'm hoping will get those by early in the week. the ones that were due on march 15th. >> reporter: the ones that your source gave you. >> the letter actually should encompass everything that i've seen. >> reporter: was president trump surveilled directly and do you believe that what you have uncovered is validation of the tweets he released a couple of weeks ago? >> no, i think i've been very clear, as a matter of fact i've been very clear on this for many, many weeks now, there was no wiretapping of trump tower. that didn't happen. >> reporter: was he surveilled? >> reporter: members of congress have suggested on the record that your wednesday press conference might have been orchestrated by the white house. can you say categorically, can you deny that? >> yes, i can, because it was
exactly as i told you, were you here on wednesday? >> reporter: i was. >> okay. so i came out here and told you all that i was going to go to the white house. i had talked to the white house, my staff had talked to the white house earlier that day to request a meeting with the president. and i had not talked to the president before that. [ inaudible question ] we don't know, we won't know that until we actually receive all of the documentation. it's hard to know where the information came from until you get the reports and have time to go through them and see all the sourcing of the documents. i'm not going to speculate until we get them all. it was dozens of reports. >> reporter: mr. schiff, since the information you saw does not involve russia, will you start a separate investigation? >> i don't know about that yet. it's all in the scope of what we're looking at in terms of
unmasking of names, leaks. it's all in that same body. if we have to section it off and look at it a different way, we will. but we haven't got to that point yet. >> reporter: are there legislate reasons for intelligence agencies to unmask names of trump transition officials? for example, incidental collection could refer to chatter between fisa targets, presumably intelligence agencies want to know what is being discussed. are there legitimate reasons to un-mmask some of these names? >> so there are reasons to unmask names. i can tell you without question, at least some of what i've seen, i don't know what that reason would be. maybe someone has a good reason for it. but not from what i've been able to read. a couple of more questions. >> reporter: mr. schiff thinks it's baffling that you did not brief him, and he also said it's
baffling that he could not rule out that the white house was the source behind the documents. can you categorically say -- >> you've asked this question many, many times. and i will continue to say the same thing. you can ask me every single name that exists on the planet and i'm still not going to tell you who our sources are. >> reporter: is there any decision that there was reverse surveillance going on, looking to surveil a trump associate but doing so through -- >> no. as i said the other day, it appears like this was all legal, okay? it looks like it was all legal surveillance, from what i can tell, but until we get the documents, i won't know for sure. >> reporter: who would have the authority to pull the trigger on the creation of these intelligence reports? >> they look like -- for the most part i think these reports that i read for the most part
are valuable intelligence. however, i think there are just questions in those reports that i wonder does reach that threshold of foreign intelligence. then you have to ask why were names unmasked. >> reporter: just a followup, so if this does not seem out of the ordinary to you, is what's striking the fact that it was so widely disseminated? >> no, i think there's two issues here. there's some information in those documents that concern me in the reports that i read that i don't think belong there. it would make me uncomfortable. and that's why i wanted to inform the president of it. that's one issue. secondly, there is the issue of unmasking, additional unmasking. that's of most concern to me. >> reporter: it's been a very big week for the committee, the hearing on monday, the reports, your trip to the white house. can you summarize what you think
the committee accomplished this week and your role in it? >> yeah, look, as you know, this is not an easy process. because there's politics on both sides of this and i'm trying to navigate as best as i can. i would say that what we've been very successful at is, we have people that continue to come forward to provide us with information. and we want that to continue. and the only way we can do that, as long as we provide an avenue that the public or others can come to the committee that want to offer information on this investigation. so we would still encourage whistleblowers to come forward, people who have information about this, whether it's top secret or not, or anyone who has read their name in any press article, they're welcome to come forward and be interviewed. as i said, we heard from mr. manafort yesterday. >> reporter: how would you evaluate the job you've done as chairman? >> that's not for me to do.
>> reporter: you cannot tell whether the communications directly involved a trump associate? or was it two foreigners communicating? >> i won't get into the specifics of what i saw other than it was mr. trump and the transition team. >> reporter: you said yesterday you heard from mr. manafort. will you call them to testify publicly such as paul manafort, roger stone, will the american people hear from them publicly? >> if they want to. i don't know that yet. we have to work that out really with mr. manafort's legal counsel. we will allow people to come forward in whatever manner that they want to come forward, we'll work with them, especially if they're willing to come in freely. as for the other names, there's many names that have been mentioned by several members of congress and all of you. as i've said before, we won't get into a neo-mccarthyism era here where we start bringing in
americans because they were mentioned in a press story. i'm highly concerned about that. if people want to come in freely, we'll do that. as for additional witnesses, i will work with mr. schiff. i'm sure i will have witnesses i will want to bring in. mr. schiff will have witnesses. i know our staffs and lawyers are trying to talk to -- yesterday and today as to how we move into phase ii of this investigation. once the lawyers agree on it, mr. schiff and i will sign off on it. i have to get back up to vote. [ inaudible question ] we are asking mr. comey and mr. rogers to come back in. until we can get them in in a closed session, it's not going to worth it to have the open session. that time slot, we're hopeful that mr. rogers and mr. comey will be able to come in next tuesday. and that time slot, so all the members have a chance to interview them and hold a hearing in closed session. >> reporter: it's not because the last hearing may not have gone so well? >> no, it's exactly for what i said.
[ inaudible question ] that's nice. >> reporter: on wednesday, mr. schiff said that actually only one unmasked name, and it had nothing to do with the trump team. is he wrong in saying that? >> i'm not going to get into the specifics of that. but i can tell you -- >> reporter: the response team, were they or weren't they? >> we'll find out. we'll find out when we get the information. i am quite sure that i'm very uncomfortable with it and i'll leave it at that. >> reporter: mr. brennan, mr. clapper, ms. yates -- >> it has nothing to do with them, as far as i know they're still going to come forward and we encourage others to come forward freely. i have to run up and vote. thank you. >> all right. there you have it. the chair of the house intelligence committee, devin nunes, taking -- let's keep listening. >> mr. manafort agreed to come in voluntarily. thank you.
>> all right. take two. a lot of headlines out of the house intel chair, devin nunes there. four major headlines for you. he said that they have asked the committee, the intel committee, in a closed session, for the head of the fbi, director comey, and nsa director admiral mike rogers, to come back and to speak with them next tuesday, they're hoping, to answer some questions. such important questions, they say, to be answered before they can move on with other folks. the second headline of this is that paul manafort, the former campaign chairman for president trump's campaign, his lawyer reached out to the committee yesterday, has offered for his client paul manafort to come in and testify. this allows him, as mark preston just pointed out to us, to avoid a subpoena. >> we're waiting on president trump, who just spoke on the key spoken pipeline which he has authorized construction of, and the health care debate that's going on. in ten seconds or less, mark preston, paul manafort coming to be interviewed by the house intel committee, big development. >> i'm not a lawyer, it's
strategically smart. perhaps he can do it in private now, but he's given the opportunity to do it in private. >> we'll listen to the president. >> peter is a fantastic governor, he's done a great job, i'll call him today. so thank you all very much, we appreciate it. >> reporter: what will you do if your health care bill fails? mr. president, what will you do if your health care bill fails? >> we'll have to see. >> reporter: do you think it's going to pass? >> we'll see what happens. >> reporter: should paul ryan stay speaker if it fails, sir? >> yes. >> there is the president. he was talking about approving the keystone pipeline but more importantly, at least for today, talking about the health care bill, did you rush it, no, he said, did it pass, we'll have to wait and see, do you think paul
ryan should continue as speaker, he said yes. that was all on top of the news we got from devin nunes who just told us that paul manafort has agreed to testify or be interviewed, i don't even know if the word is testify under oath. van jones, you, sir, are a lawyer. the significance of paul manafort agreeing to come speak to the committee. >> it's like agreeing to the sun coming up. he was going to have to speak to the committee. while it's fine for him to volunteer to do that, that train had already left the station. i think the bigger picture for most americans is that you have a situation in which confidence is beginning to sink in the ability of this chairperson to do a fair job. it seems to a lot of people that you've got somebody who got information, maybe it was disturbing, maybe it wasn't, but rather than dealing with it inside of that committee he decides to take it upon himself to run over to president trump
who is under investigation by the fbi and spill the beans. that creates a crisis of confidence. and part of the problem you have right now, we aren't even done with the first hundred days, but the termites are all over american confidence. you have so many things that are going on where confidence is going down, down, down, in the basic competence of washington, dc, of the trump administration, to get things done and tell the truth. at some point when you have this much chaos, when a real crisis comings, will the country be able to rally around, will it even recognize a real threat? so listen, paul manafort, he's going to be there next week, it's going to be big news, but this guy was going to have to come anyway, he's basically agreed that the sun will come up on tuesday. >> alice stewart, there are a lot of questions nunes faced about unmasking and how many people were unmasked in the documents that he read that have not been more broadly shared
yet, as we understand, with the committee. your take? >> first of all, i hope he got sign-off from his democratic colleagues in the intel committee before having that press conference. that's an unnecessary headache for him when he does this. i agree with van, there are serious concerns coming out of all of this. what's gotten lost is all of this originated with concerns over russian influence in the election and whether or not it impacted the outcome of the election. then we come to the next stem, whether there was collusion between the trump campaign and the russians. as we peel back the layers, there appears to be more and more serious concerns for the american people. the issue of leaks, information coming from the intelligence community that should be classified information. as nunes has pointed out repeatedly, his biggest concern, it appears, with this latest information, is the unmasking of american names, when people are identified in some collection of intelligence, that their names should be not disclosed and the fact that they're being unmasked
is a big concern. so i think we're getting a lot caught up in whether or not nunes talked about the president first or the press or the democrats. i think the big picture here is certainly the influence of russia and leaks as well as what's happening with the unmasking of classified information and identities. >> all right, guys, stick around for one moment. our senior white house correspondent jeff zeleny is at the white house. jeff, we just heard president trump at the end of his statement about the keystone pipeline, he was asked flat out about house speaker paul ryan, whether or not he should stay on. and this has to do with have they been working well together or not on the health care plan, his response? >> reporter: he says yes, he should stay on. and of course this comes on a morning where there is a lot of uncertainty here in washington at the white house, certainly on capitol hill, on the surveillance issue, but certainly the health care bill as well. there are a lot of undercurrents of blame happening here, a lot of whispering that it's paul ryan's fault or that it's the
president's fault. the reality is they locked arms and they locked hands on this so everyone will share some of the blame. you did hear the president right there say in the oval office that paul ryan, the speaker of the house, should stay on. of course that's not the president's decision. he doesn't get a vote in this. a speaker is voted by his fellow republicans. but it is far too early to say what the health of speaker ryan here is. i mean, the reality here is, yes, this is his plan. but everyone sort of owns it. interestingly, the president at the end of that, as his aides were trying to get reporters out of the oval office, the pool reporters were asking questions about health care. and the president says, we'll see what happens if this fails. but he also, interestingly, was asked if this was rushed too much, and he said no, it was not. >> jeff, stand by, we're going to go back into the white house, the president is announcing some new measures with this xl keystone pipeline. >> they're spouses of people who are ready and itching to get to work, we have a lot of work to
do in the field. as you pointed out, this is the safest and most reliable way to move our products to market. we're going to use the best technology. it will create thousands of jobs. and tax, important tax revenues in local communities, something else that's overlooked in projects like this, local communities benefit great from these projects. it gives them tax revenues, they can invest in schools, hospitals, roads, teachers, nurses, all of those things. >> all right. this was a tape we showed you a moment ago, it wasn't at the end of this tape that president trump was asked about the health care vote today. he basically said we'll see what happens. he was also asked about speaker ryan, whether or not he should stay on, and the answer was yes. and we have jeff zeleny back with us, senior white house correspondent. jeff, we've been talking about the back and forth today on will this bill pass. by the way, it might still. there's still a few hours to go. if this bill passes in the next few hours, people aren't going to be talking about who is to
blame. >> exactly. and i can promise you that the president, if there is victory today, will accept that, no question. >> right. >> reporter: these votes, it is fr too early to say if it is going to fail or not. but interestingly, you do not want to be the last person to either say yes or no to this. you want to sort of get on before the end of that. we learned that, we saw that in the first obamacare debate some eight years ago. ben nelson, a democratic senator from nebraska, my home state i should say, was one of the last democrats to sign onto it. that ended up sinking his election next time. these votes have consequences. you're going to see a flurry of people make up their minds if they haven't already. our lauren fox is reporting this morning from capitol hill, we should look along regional lines, look to pennsylvania, new jersey, and new york, to see some specifics coming out of that. this is not just party-specific. yes, it's all in the republican party. but look to where some of these
republicans are going to vote there. leonard lance, a moderate from new jersey, says he is still a no because he believes some of these essential health benefits we've been talking about all morning simply go too far here. at the end of the day, no one is loving this bill here. the question is will they go forward and give the president a moderate convivictory here. >> we have 30 seconds left in the show, but we do want your take on paul manafort volunteering to come to the committee next week. the white house, sean spicer, have been distancing themselves as much as they can from the guy who ran the campaign for five months. >> reporter: sean spicer said he was the campaign manager, he corrected himself, but this ensures this is going to continue to be a story. if he testifies in open committee or answers questions behind closed doors, this continues, that this russian investigation in the house, the senate, and indeed the fbi, is still going to continue here. this paul manafort has been not with the campaign, with the
trump organization, officially for months but his shadow still hangs over this white house in every way, john and poppy. >> jeff zeleny, something tells me you're not going to sleep much this friday, you'll be on top of it all from the white house, thank you for the great reporting as always. just hours to go, can the gop get the votes it needs to get this president his first legislative win? we'll be on top of this all day. >> stick with us. the way news is breaking today, you don't want to miss it during the break. don't go anywhere. only tylenol® rapid release gels have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast, for fast pain relief. tylenol® whether you're after supreme performance... ...advanced intelligence...
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without harming a single blade of grass. it's a great day to be a lawn. draw the line with roundup for lawns. and for weeds in other spaces, turn to roundup weed & grass killer products. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. hello, everyone, i'm kate bolduan. two breaking stories on what could be the most conventional day of the trump presidency so far. a vote expected in hours on the fate of the republican health care bill. and this just in, the president's former campaign chairman now volunteering to be interviewed by the house intelligence committee over his ties to russia. listen to what the republican chair of that committee just said about this investigation. >> the counsel for paul manafort contacted the committee yesterday to offer the committee the opportunity to