tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN June 21, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT
so with just six months to go until the iowa caucus, two years ago, the president is in iowa for a campaign rally. good evening, i'm john berman in for anderson. the event is happening right now in cedar rapids. the president about to speak. when he does we'll bring it to you live. he's on the road trying to extent the afterglow of a pair of republican victories in special congressional elections. he's not in washington, though, where a lot is happening. much of it, perhaps, less satisfying to the presidential
soul. new questions from democrats on the house oversight committee about his fired national security adviser michael flynn. specifically why he continued to get classified cia briefings for nearly three weeks after the intelligence community and acting attorney general sally ytes warned the white house he might be vulnerable to russian blackmail. democrats also asking similar yes now about jared kushner, also president obama's homeland security chief testified on capitol hill, the republican senate leadership continued writing a health care bill in near total secrecy and democrats agonized over two big losses last night at the polls. so as we said, a lot happening. the president's motorcade has just arrived in cedar rapids. cnn's jeff zeleny is there for us. jeff, any sense of what we expect the president to talk about tonight? >> reporter: there's no question, president trump is going to talk about georgia, yes, he's in iowa, he won this state back. no november by ten percentage points. the word on his mind, the
thoughts on his mind are, indeed, about the victory last night in georgia. we got a preview a few moments ago when the president was across town in cedar rapids visiting a community college. he was supposed to be talking about jobs and agriculture but talked about the georgia congressional race. he batched the media for, you know, itself commentary on the race. he said that, look, he is now undefeated in these special congressional elections. so i have no doubt in my mind he will start this speech and talk about his victory, republicans' victory last night in georgia. >> bigger question, does it come in the first 30 seconds or first 45 seconds of the address tonight? we're getting word in about a campaign fund-raiser scheduled for next week at a special place. what have we learned? >> reporter: right, on june 28th, next week, president trump will be hold iing his first 202 re-election fund-raiser, john, at the trump international hotel. this is extraordinarily early. but the rally we're at right
now, see the president will be taking the stage here. this sais also a re-election campaign rally. the president's re-election team is getting in gear. one of the reasons they're having a fund-raiser so early, john, i am told they want to get some major republican donors onboard. they want to ward off any potential republican primary. they want to send a signal the president is running again, they want to lock up donors early. so next week the president not surprisingly at the trump international hotel holding a first fund-raiser. as he takes the stage here, he's, you know, just drinking up this applause here, john. this is a state that he turned from blue to red last fall. so there will be no talking any bad news here tonight. all good news here in donald trump's mind. that's why he's here. >> yeah, big campaign event in iowa. fundraiser next week. i don't know, jeff, i'm new to this politics thing. i say he's running again in just a few years.
all right. the president going to the microphone. i think. soon. all right. we're going to talk up to the minute he speaks here, jeff. we also did learn that the white house says we will get the tapes if they exist. or we will learn whether tapes exist this week of conversations with jachmes comey. correct? >> reporter: that's correct. we still do not know if there are those tapes. they said they may be coming soon. of course, the president probably will not talk about it here. >> right. >> reporter: but we'll have to listen, john. when he begins to take the stage here. this is something that his staff actually believes the tapes don't exist. most administration officials i've talked to say the tapes don't exist. but we have not yet heard from the president, so we'll see if he addresses that tonight. but he has three more days to do it if he wants to meet that deadline of this week, john. >> let's listen in.
>> thank you, everybody. it is great to be back in the incredible, beautiful, great state of iowa. home of the great eest wrestler in the world including our friend, dan gable. some of the great, great wrestlers of the world, right? we love those wrestlers. it's always terrific to be able to leave that washington swamp and spend time with the truly hardworking people, we call them american patriots. amazing people. i want to also extend our congratulations this evening to
cai care karen handel of georgia. and we can't forget ralph norman in south carolina. he called me and i called him. he said last night i felt like the forgotten man, but he won and he won really beautifully even though most people, a lot of people didn't show up because they thought he was going to win by so much. it's always dangerous to have those big leads, but he won very easily and he is a terrific guy and i'll tell you what, karen is going to be really incredible. she's going to be joining some wonderful people and doing some wonderful work including major, major tax cuts and health care and lots of things. be reducing crime and we're see curing that 2nd amendment. i told you about that. and that looks like it's in good
shape with judge gorsuch. that looks like it's in good shape. i'd also like to take this moment to send our thoughts and prayers to our courageous friend, somebody that i've gotten to know very well. steve scalise. and everyone recovering from the assault. never fails. never fails. [ crowd chanting "usa" ]
and our gratitude goes out tonight as well to the capitol police officers who saved so many lives. they ran from the outfooeield i. they were being hit by rifle fire. they only had handguns. and they were able to get him. it was an amazing show of talent and bravery. so we want to thank all of the police officers who so bravely serve and protect us. thank you very much. thank you. hopefully our nation emerges from this ordeal, it was an ordeal. terrible. more unified and more determine ed than ever before and i can see it and we are, indeed, more unified in our own way than ever before. you just have to take a look at what's happening here, right? if we set aside the cynics and
the critics, we have a chance and it's a great chance, it lies before us to do extraordinary things for our country in the years ahead. history is written by the dreamers, not the doubters. so while we are here tonight to celebrate the amazing progress that we've already made, and we have made amazing progress, we're also here to lay out the next steps in our incredible movement to make america great again. >> all right. time now for us to bring in our panel. kirsten powers, errol lewis, jen psaki. all-star panel as we watch this
event in iowa of all places. kirsten powers, going to take 30 seconds, 45 seconds, to mention karen handel. the republicans did win this race, the most expensive house race in history. >> that's a republican district. i think, yes, he's going to take the credit for it and crow about it. but i think a lot of the response to it has been a little overblown. this is, after all, a republican district and usually republicans win republican districts. if you look at the four special elections that we've had, democrats have been outperforming their sort of base partisan level that they would normally get. and i think cook political report david wasserman crunched the numbers. it's about eight points, they're jou outperforming by about eight points. so, in fact, democrats are doing a little better than people are talking about. it doesn't mean it's not a time of reflection to think about what to do for the party moving forward. i think donald trump can be reading a little too much into this. >> i'm going to let you trump
supporters a moment. i want to stay on the trump speech, errol, we don't know where he's going with this. but so far, he did talk about a message of unity. yes, he congratulated the republicans for the victory last night, talked about steve scalise, house majority whip who's in the hospital, talked about steve scalise who is improving and talked about moving forward together in this country, uniting in some way. so far in his own way a message of unity. however, he's really still going to places where he won. he want gone anywhere yet that he hasn't won to preach that message. >> that's right. this is unity of the base. when he gives that speech in inner city detroit, we'll know he's going in a different direction. i don't expect to hear that speech any time soon. this is a president who needs to shore up some of his sagging approval ratings, who needs to consolidate his base and push back against what he sees as fake news which is a lot of the reporting that's being done with good reason. about the russia investigation. he wants to change the narrative. he wants to show himself being
cheered by thousands of people, and try and signal to his base that your trust in me, your vote for me was not wasted. i'm still a winner, we're still on top. we're winning the local races. the dems aren't going to get the congress back. basically trying to settle down a base that has reason to be worried about the last month or so. >> though that base tonight as we sit here 24 hours after karen handel won, the base, the base is feeling better than they did two days ago. >> john, there's a direct connection. some of the stories we saw tonight. you got the media focusing on the russian connection, and you've got folks out there in georgia in this case saying, we don't care about this. this is not relevant to us. and furthermore, we don't like what's going on here. and so they turn out and they elected president trump -- or karen handel as a way of saying, in part, you want to make this a referendum on president trump? so be it. so it's a referendum, they showed up and he won and i wouldn't be surprised if you see her in the oval office very soon.
>> you mean to visit? >> to visit. >> all right. >> i think the president's in iowa. he's running again. he's got a fund-raiser next week. >> i know as a woman candidate, kirsten, we'd love to see her in the oval office, right? >> paul begala, you the hand slam. >> in point of fact, trump was not litigated in that special election in georgia. perhaps he should have been. although he had -- i talked to pollsters who were working that race. he had a 52% approval rating in the very republican district as kirsten points out. they didn't debate russia, didn't debate trump, didn't debate the republican health care bill which is toxic. it's about popular as a yellow jacket in an outhouse. what i do like about the speech, let me start with something good. the president, his side won. he engaged. this is a guy, he's got pretty low approval rating. he tweeted. he did robocalls. i loved president obama. he was very careful to husband his political capital, even though it was much larger than donald trump. i give trump a lot of credit.
he didn't have very much capital but it was pushed in front of the capital and he won. he's due a victory lap. >> jen psaki, i want to bring you in and talk about what democrats are feeling. tonight, and maybe some of the infighting that's existing. seth mollton wrote last night, the ossoff race better be a wake-up call for democrats. a lot of people are talking about the future of the democratic party, including people running for congress, even a couple members saying nancy pelosi shouldn't be part of that future. your thoughts? >> well, i think a lot of what seth moulton had to say is right. democrats should be listening to that. we should stop litigating 2016. we should learn the lessons and start applying them moving forward. look, i think nancy pelosi, there's no one better at getting a backroom deal done. health care wouldn't exist without here. i think there's a strong argument bubbling up among the democrats you talk to on the
hill about the need for new leadership. whether that's now or two years from now or four years from now is sort of the question they'll have to work through. the problem, though, john, is nobody is emerging to run against her. and there hasn't been a member who has come up and said, i'll take her on. tim ryan was not really a serious candidate. so that's a key part of really having new leadership, at least in the house in the party at this point. >> jason miller, you're among the republicans. i think facetiously you said we want nancy pelosi to stick around. you like running against her in those races. i'm not even going to let you comment on that because i know that's what you would say. the president, though, approval rating is at 37%. it is something errol mentioned right now. it's an interesting thing. he had a 52% rating in this district but 32% around the country and stuck there it seems by in large. how can he get it up? >> it's important to keep in mind fundamentally elections are about choices. so you have a republican on the ballot and a democrat on the ballot and right now the democrats are putting up
candidate who don't connect with the voters they're seeking to represent. there's a cultural divide as jeffrey referenced, democrats seem to be doing well on the coast, more liberal areas but they're not connecting with middle america. we saw that i think in the georgia race, saw that in the south carolina race. heck, michael moore came out and said the democratic pear has aro message, no plans, no leaders. those are very tough words. paul, i hope you get in there and help out nancy pelosi and get that political operation righted so no one can come and knock her off. i'm sorry, john, i had to. >> if there was a mt. rushmore for speakers, nancy pelosi would be on it. she passed national health care. even franklin roosevelt could not do that. she is unpopular. her negative is 50%. quinnipiac poll. excuse me, paul ryan's is 54%. democrats need to put their big boy pants on, go after the doggone -- the purpose of war is not to die for the country, it's to make the other s.o.b. die for
his country. i want to put the republicans on trial instead of them attacking nancy pelosi -- >> we're going to take a break. if you can come back with eisenhower or montgomery next break, we'll be fine. much more ahead tonight, including democrats pressing the white house not just on michael flynn and security concerns surrounding him but now also on jared kushner. the question is, are the concerns they're raising getting any traction? and later, what the white house is being told about the details of the obamacare replacement bill. the one that's kind of a secret. i tried hard to quit smoking. but when we brought our daughter home,
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as we said, a lot happening on capitol hill. much of it to do with the russia investigation. michael flynn, to some extent now, jared kushner. today leading democrats sought to highlight what they see as concerns about his ongoing access to classified intelligence. fair or not, they're trying to make him a bigger part of this story. cnn's manu raju joins us with more. manu, the democratic members, what are they saying about former national security adviser michael flynn, first? >> reporter: they're saying both therein and kushner should not have been given security clearances, at least suspended as allegations over whether or not they were fit to get classified intelligence were investigated. they're pointing specifically to regulations that they say show that someone needs to be fit and in order to get these classified intelligence, particularly with these credible concerns are raised. as we know with michael flynn,
after the sworn testimony of sally yates, the former acting attorney general, she warned that michael flynn could be susceptible to russian blackmail, john. after that warning, on multiple occasions, the white house officials, including don mcgahn, the white house counsel, michael flynn continued to serve in that capacity for 18 days, going to classified briefings, had the classified security clearance. democrats want to know exactly why that happened. asking for records from the white house about the decisions that went into that and saying it would have been a violation of very clear practices and regulations. and ensuring that some people who should not be getting classified informations why was he getting classified information? >> there are specific questions about the cia director mike pompeo, what did he know or not know about mike flynn at the time, correct? >> reporter: from the 18-day period, mike pompeo, cia director, did appear in some of those classified settings with
michael flynn and according to "the new york times" the president was not told specifically from mike pompeo that he had any concerns about mr. flynn appearing with the president in the classified briefings. despite that warning from sally yates. it's unclear whether or not pompeo knew of the concerns raised by sally yates or if he did not share those concerns and didn't really bother him. the cia did not comment on that story to the "times," that's one story people here on capitol hill still don't have the answer to, either, john. >> manu, this letter also as we said includes jared kushner, asks about his security clearance. this is something some democrats have talked about for some time. they're putting it down on paper. what specifically can you tell us? >> reporter: they're saying he did not disclose his foreign contacts on his initial security clearance foreign as is required by law, to list really all of your contacts over the last zem seven years. he did not initially do that. there were at least four meetings with russian officials we know of during the transition
period between jared kushner and sergey kislyak, russian ambassador, sergey gorkov. the head of the russian bank. they're saying he did not disclose that information at that time. he should have his security clearance suspended as this is being investigated. tonight, john, no response tonight from the white house. they're declining to comment. earlier, john, kushner's attorney said that initial security clearance form was submitted prematurely. they're saying it would be amended in the future to list the contacts. they say there's nothing wrong with meeting with those officials because he said he served in a capacity in which foreign dignitaries would reach out to him during the campaign. >> meanwhile, he's in the mideast trying to negotiate mideast peace. manu raju, thanks for the report. on russia tonight, another reason to return something we made part of the program last night. we debuted this list of questions the white house refuses to answer or clarify.
are there tapes of the president's conversations with james comey? do humans contribute to global warming? does the president believe russia meddled in the election? did president obama wiretap president-elect trump? did voter fraud give hillary clinton the popular vote victory? we promised to return to these questions when they were asked again or when they were answered or asked and not answered. today, again, not. >> does the president believe that russia meddled in the presidential election? >> i would tell you that the president addressed that in january, and while many people are trying to look backwards, and we've even had a number of democratic senators and other major media outlets saying when you talk to the voters out there, this is not what they're focused on. >> keeping them honest, the president answered yes in january after answering no in december. by the end of april on cbs "face the nation" he managed to answer yes, no, and maybe in a single interview. and ton nbc, it was if, if the russians hacked.
the new tactic is simply not to answer at all. it came up in hearings today. so did testimony in the scope of russian hacking. more on that from cnn's michelle kosins kosinski. >> reporter: special investigator robert mueller on capitol hill today, meeting with senators on the judiciary committee who are tackling potential obstruction of justice by the president. >> everything is on the table. >> reporter: the intelligence committees today, russian cyber meddling front and center. >> in 2016, the russian government, at the direction of vladimir putin, himself, orchestrated cyber attacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election. that is a fact, plain and simple. >> well planned, well coordinated, multifaceted attack on our election process and democracy. >> reporter: homeland security officials telling lawmakers the russians were aggressive and relentless, trying to target not only entities like the democratic national committee, but election-related networks in 21 states.
in illinois, alone, the attackers were hitting five times per second 24 hours a day. but just yesterday, white house spokesman sean spicer says he doesn't know if the president even believes this meddling happened. >> the one individual in america that still seems to not accept this basic fact is the president of the united states. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence agencies concluding, though, that the russians were never able to change votes, only gather data and release it to sew distrust and uncertainty. there were plenty of questions, too, for former homeland security secretary jeh johnson on why the obama administration didn't alert the american public sooner once they detected russian activity last summer. >> why did we wait from july to october to make that statement? >> one of the candidates as you'll recall was predicting the election was going to be rigged in some way. and so we were concerned that by making the statement, we might in and of itself be challenging
the integrity of the election process. >> reporter: in the senate hearing, one member asked if donald trump was unwittingly acting as a russian agent by calling the election rigged. another asked if hillary clinton was by, as he put it, blaming her loss on things like hacking and fake news. >> michelle kosinski joins us now. as you mentioned before, we may finally at last perhaps get more information this week on whether these tapes exist or not. >> reporter: this has been one of the enduring mysteries, right, are there tapes or are there not tapes? the white house hasn't wanted to answer that with a yes or no question. even though it was the president, himself, remember, who first alluded to this, seeming to say that there could be recordings of conversations between himself and fired fbi director james comey. and it was comey, remember, who said, lordy, i hope there are tapes. cnn has asked a number of government agencies if there's
any evidence those recordings might exist. several so far have said they got nothing. the house intelligence committee asked the white house for the tapes and said if they exist, turn them over by this friday. well, tonight, john, a white house spokesperson tells reporters, and i quote, "i can tell you, there will be something this week." so now we have to wait and see what exactly the "something" will be. >> what is something, is it yes or no? which are easy words to say, i might add. michelle kosinski for us in washington. thanks so much. more to talk about next including why the white house let michael flynn sit in on classified briefings even after they were warned he was vulnerable to russian blackmail. you will hear what a key member of the senate intelligence committee has to say about all that, coming up. garfunkel (instrumental) is that good? yeah it's perfect. bees! bees! go! go! go!
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again, our breaking news there capitol hill, democrats are demanding answers from the white house in a strongly worded letter. they want to know why fired national security adviser michael flynn and the president's adviser and son-in-law jared kushner were given security clearances despite allegations they could be a blackmail risk by russia. flynn, a blackmail risk by russia. the questions with jared kushner have to do with meetings and forms he filled out. in the senate, there are similar questions. earlier tonight, i spoke about all this and other things russia related with senator mark warner, the ranking democrat on the senate intelligence committee. senator warner, today it was reported that michael flynn had been inside classified briefings by the director of the cia after cia officials became aware that, perhaps, michael flynn had been compromised. should the cia be accountable for this?
>> i'm very concerned. i've seen these press reports, but i think i owe it to cia director pompeo and other officials at the cia to ask them directly about the truth of those reports before i take a position. >> well, didn't you ask him directly what he testified in front of your committee and he would not say whether he knew about the red flags raised about michael flynn? >> we did ask those questions. we'll have a chance to talk to director pompeo in the next couple of days and i hope to get some more clear answers. >> if he did know, if the direct i did know, we frankly at this point do not know if he knew that, but if he tdid know and went on to brief the president with michael flynn in the room, would that cause you concern, would it shake your confidence in the cia director? >> listen, i am -- it would cause me concern that there seem to be a number of individuals who brought general flynn's challenges to the attention of the administration. i was disappointed it took the
administration so long to act. and what we've seen even since that time, not only do we have the case of general flynn in terms of not fully disclosing his contacts with the russians but also it appears some of his financial payments from some of the turkish elements as well as potentially other countries now come to light. >> the former secretary of the department of homeland security jeh johnson testified today under no uncertain terms that the russians hacked the election, it was oversooeen by president vladimir putin. you know that the president has had varying responses in this, saying yeah, the russians hacked, sometimes he says if the russians hacked, sometimes he said, yeah, bullet oat other pe did, too. is this a problem for the seriousness of the investigation, the president's changing very tip pepid respons from this? >> absolutely. we have 100% agreement from the whole intelligence community. i don't know a single senator, democrat or republican, that doesn't acknowledge that the
russians hacked in and tried to interfere massively in our elections. today before the senate intelligence committee, we had department of homeland security and fbi acknowledge that 21 states that the russians either probed or tried to attack the electoral systems. they didn't change any of the voting totals, but they did probe voting systems and we've got a lot of questions about that since many of the secretaries of state and state election officials haven't been fully notified about those kinds of attacks. and i'm not sure we're prepared for 2017, where we have elections in my state, 2018 nationally. so the fact that the only person in effect official washington that continues to deny this threat is the president of the united states, who continues to use terms like "witch hunt" and "fake news" is very concerning. >> there were questions how the democrats responded and the obama administration responded, to these reports from intelligence agencies. questions today. jeh johnson suggested the dnc was not responsive to offers of help from dhs.
and jeh johnson, former secretary, also said something interesting. he was reluctant to come forward sooner and perhaps more clearly because of political ramifications. donald trump as a candidate had been saying the election was rigged and he was nervous about how he would be received politic politically. do you think in retrospect that was a smart move, letting politics get in the way of what you perceive to be national security? >> i think there were -- they didn't fully connect all of the dots, even though jeh johnson and former odni director clapper, i believe on october 7th, put out a letter saying that there was this possible russian intervention. but i don't think the intelligence community fully connected all the dots until after the election. >> senator, there's a deadline on friday, the house intelligence committee and the senate intelligence committee has given to the president to produce whatever recordings exist from the white house. recordings perhaps of james comey. the white house said or the president through his lawyers said it's possible he might give the answer this week. as you sit here this week, if,
in fact, it's true, do you know if these tapes exist? >> i don't have the slightest idea. it is, again, we sometimes think things couldn't get stranger. but the notion that the president of the united states weeks and weeks ago, in his unprecedented firing of jim comey, suggested that there might be tapes and were a month plus later, and we still don't know whether there's tapes. you just can't make this stuff up. >> senator mark warner of virginia, thanks so much for being with us. >> thank you. in a moment we're going to get the panel's take on what senator warner just said. also more on just what the cia director could and should have done about michael flynn. bell r. ...it starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time and automatically deploying countermeasures.
breaking news from capitol hill. democrats demanding answers from the white house, specifically wanting to know why fired national security adviser michael flynn continued to receive classified cia briefings after the intelligence community and acting attorney general sally yates warned the white house that he was vulnerable perhaps to russian blackmail. just last month, senator ron wyden, democrat on the committee, asked the president's cia director about this. >> did you have any indications, secondhand, any sense at all that the national security adviser might be vulnerable to blackmail by the russians? that is a yes or no question. >> it's actually not a yes or no question, senator. i can't answer yes or no. i regret i'm unable to answer yes or no. >> it's a yes or no question. whether or not he chooses to answer is a separate issue. i want to get our panel's take on this.
steve hall is joining the conversation. steve, i want to start with you, as someone who was in the cia, do you assume the cia director would have known at that point? you know, he had just been confirmed, but would he have known whether or not there were concerns in the intelligence community about michael flynn? >> well, to set aside one issue right off the top, it's been asked whether or not it's possible that the cia as an organization knew that perhaps the director did not know, that he wasn't told by his own people, i don't find that very convincing at all. it's difficult to imagine a situation where pompeo would not have known that situation had the cia had it. but the problem is, what are we talking about in terms of what we know? there's a spectrum of possibilities of factual information information and a lot of loose language in terms of red flags and compromise. on the one side, the lighter side of it, you know, the meetings with the russian kislyak, how many were there? that's on the lighter side. on the darker side of what might have happened, you know, was flynn -- this troubling pattern
with mike flynn, going to russia, taking money from russia, taking money from other foreign governments and perhaps not revealing it. so when you talk about what makes somebody blackmailable in the world of counterintelligence, it's nuanced. it depends on what pompeo specifically knew which is probably classified. >> again, he won't tell us. jason miller, if there were concerns inside the intelligence community that michael flynn might be blackmailed, we know sally yates, the acting attorney general had those concerns and know she voiced those concerns. why would it be okay for michael flynn to be in the room to be part of these classified security briefings? >> being not privy to some of these inside conversations, we do know that the issue was raised with the white house general counsel from the deputy director, the acting director, at the doj. but what we don't know is what other folks knew, if they knew anything at all, as you just raised a moment ago, whether it be with pompepompeo, whether it
with sessions or other folks throughout the government. i think we've got to be careful that we don't leap to the assumption that these issues had been raised with them. and if all that was being brought to the white house was the fact that an obama political appointee which criticizing general flynn, i don't think that's grounds on its own to go to removal. >> but if don mcgahn was given these concerns from sally yates who was concerned he could be blackmailed and if intelligence folks knew, we don't know what they said or who they told it to, but sally yates at a minimum, if there were blackmail concerns and don mcgahn, should he have stopped it, should he have stopped these classified briefings? >> i think what they were probably doing is going through and running their own process of trying to figure out what was real and what wasn't. again, we have a political appoi appointee bringing these issues to the white house. when you talk about how everyone piled up and many members from this community were against the president and his campaign, i don't think you necessarily take that on face value. you have to figure that out and flesh it out before you can say hey, we're going to kick out the head of the nsa, a key person within the president's white
house. >> kirsten powers, you have a different view? >> i think the thing is, while you're trying to figure it out, you shouldn't have this person listening in. just out of an abundance of caution, you should say, look, we need you to step aside while we look into this and try to gather more information. sort of casting her as this political appointee who has some secret agenda. this wasn't her research. she got this information from people who knew what was going on so she was reporting this to them. i think the idea -- i think you're right. what you said, jason just hit on it is that donald trump and the people around him don't trust the people in the government. even the civil servants, set aside who they were appointed by. they just don't trust them. but i think if they're going to decide that's how they're going to handle it, they need to show a little more responsibility, right, of saying we don't trust this. i think that's not the right call. but step aside while we figure it out. >> i want to bring in phil -- go ahead, jason. >> very important point, i wasn't disparaging ms. yates,
in this instance, but i'm saying regardless of who it is, if they're a political appointee from a previous administration and they're from a community that has been highly critical of the president, i do think they have to do their due diligence and go through it. they can't just take it at face value and throw somebody out. so i think it's more indicative, as you pointed out, the fact there are these deep state folks who have been out to get the president. >> i did not say that. don't put words in my mouth. i did not say there were deep state people out to get the president. i said the president thinks that. but i don't think that's actually necessarily accurate. >> i want to clear up one point. phil mudd joining us right now. on mike pompeo, ultimately we're debating whether or not the white house should have stepped in to keep michael flynn out of the room at these classified briefings. the cia director, though, if he had known there were concerns about michael flynn, and michael flynn, the president still wanted michael flynn in the room. should mike pompeo have stepped in and said, hey, i'm not going to do the briefing with him
there, is that his decision, phil? >> hell, no. what do you mean concerns? let's be clear about facts and suppositions. the defense department had a security clearance for general flynn for years. he's maintained that security clearance at a top-secret level when he worked for president trump, and he had that security clearance during the briefings from mike pompeo who had been there for a matter of weeks. do you walk into the oval office and say your national security adviser still has a top-secret clearance, but i'm not going to talk to him? the bottom line, john berman, is very simple. this is not a decision for the white house. it's a decision for the defense department that holds the clearance for general flynn. if he maintains a clearance, he gets a briefing. if he doesn't, mike pompeo should say he should leave the room. he no longer has a clearance. this is not that complicated. >> errol louis, if i could switch gears to how the president has responded, changing, a shifting response, on whether or not he believes the russians meddled in the election. right now, i think we're at if, if the russians meddled in it.
actually the whois is refusing to answer whether or not the president thinks it right now. what's to be gained politically here? i mean, in january, he was at yes, they meddled. then he moved on. >> the overwhelming concern from the oval office seems to be, any acknowledgement of a problem creates political and legal problems for the president and his team. it creates political problems in the sense it casts doubts on the legitimacy of his election. no matter how many times you say to the contrary to trump supporters, you know, nobody's saying he shouldn't be president. they don't quite believe that. they feel that, you know, perhaps with some justification sooner or later the democrats would start beating them up about that. secondly, though, there are legal issues now. you've got this high-level probe going on, who knew what when. and there's absolutely no reason to sort of give anything over to the other side going on. who knew what, when. and there's absolutely no reason to sort of give anything over to the other side, of a potential adversarial legal proceeding by saying that there was a problem that they knew about. we're talking tonight about, well, you knew something about flynn, 18 days went by, why didn't you take action?
if you have to answer that question under oath, it may be better to say nothing right now. >> that may be a separate issue than just the russians tried to meddle in the election. i get your point. stick around. moments ago, white house staffers wrapped up a briefing on capitol hill to learn what is inside the as of now secretly republican health care plan. while many rank and file senators still have no clue, we'll have the latest ahead. here's to the safety first... i think i might burst... totally immersed weekenders. whatever kind of weekender you are, there's a hilton for you. book your weekend break direct with hilton.com and join the summer weekenders. ♪ ♪oh, my love ♪my darlin' ♪i've hungered for your touch papa, hola! ♪i've hungered for your touch no, no no, no no no! ♪i'll be coming home, wait for me♪
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at short time ago, white house staffers wrapped up a briefing on capitol hill where they learned what is inside the senate republican health care bill. but most senators, even most rank and file republican senators are still in the dark about the legislation that affects tens of millions of americans. and it's that last part that could be political dynamite. who will pay more? who will lose coverage? who will pay less? the congressional budget office has yet to release its report on the bill. more now on how it's being put together and what we know about what's in it from cnn's ryan nobles. >> reporter: after weeks of meetings in secret, republicans in the senate are finally ready to unveil their plan to reform health care in america. >> a discussion draft will be made public tomorrow. every member of the senate will have it and it will be posted
online for everyone to review. >> reporter: the bill has been crafted by a small group of senators. a group that does not include any women or democrats and has had very little input from the white house. the process, done behind closed doors, has been criticized even by republicans, but those on the working group promise all those fears will go away on thursday. >> a working draft will be released tomorrow. i think all the concerns people have had about the process will evaporate, because i think there'll be unlimited opportunities for people to read it and understand what's in it and then debate it. >> but that unlimited time for review will be brief. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has promised the bill will be voted on before the fourth of july recess. >> and not a soul in america has seen it. >> reporter: leaving, at most, 11 days for debate and possible changes. the bill, based loosely off the framework of a version rammed
through the house in may, will need to accomplish a number of goals. among them, mollifying concerns from moderates that popular provisions from obamacare, like coverage protections for pre-existing conditions, will remain in place, while at the same time building a framework for a market-based health care system freed from the shackles of government regulation, a necessity to win over conservative house republicans. democrats, who have not participated in the process, remain skeptical that it will happen. >> this is very similar to the house bill, which president trump, of course, celebrated in the rose garden. but behind closed doors, described as mean. and republican senators have been behind closed doors. there's only one reason to try to keep this from the public, which is if this is just as mean, if not meaner. >> reporter: republicans need just 50 votes to get the bill passed. a task that may not be that difficult, but at this point, it is bobble to even begin counting votes, because most of the conference has yet to see the bill. >> are you satisfied with the process being undertaken right
now? >> no. of course not. >> reporter: why not? >> for the obvious reason, that no one has been shared it. we used to complain like hell when the democrats ran the affordable care act. now we're doing the same thing. >> ryan nobles joins us now. ryan, any sense as we sit here tonight about what might actually be inside this bill? >> reporter: well, john, this is going to be a pretty complicated bill, but we are getting some details as to what republicans are planning. among them, some of those key obamacare provisions that were taken out of the house bill. they will likely be back in the senate bill. and medicaid expansion, which was a big point of contention in the house bill, originally, their plan was to cut it off in 2020. now the plan will be to keep it fully in place through 2021, before beginning a gradual change. and, john, you mentioned the fact that white house staffers were up here on capitol hill being briefed on the plan. i caught up with white house legislative director mark short as he left that meeting.
i asked him directly if the president is prepared to endorse this bill. he stopped short of saying the president will, but he did say that he believes we are, as he put it, one step closer to ending the nightmare that is obamacare. john? >> all right. ryan nobles, thanks so much. up next, more on how house democrats are demanding the white house explain how the president's son-in-law and senior adviser jared kushner got his security clearance and now fired national security adviser michael flynn kept his for so long. ...that had the power to whawaken something old...... ...or painfully dated... ...or something you simply thought was lost forever... ...because it could form a strong bond, regardless of age... if a paint could give any time-worn surface stunning new life... ...you have to wonder... is it still paint? regal select exterior from benjamin moore®. only available at independently owned paint and hardware stores. when itrust the brandtburn, doctors trust. nexium 24hr is the number one choice of doctors and pharmacists for their own frequent heartburn.
pg&e learned a tragic lesson we can never forget. this gas pipeline ruptured in san bruno. the explosion and fire killed eight people. pg&e was convicted of six felony charges including five violations of the u.s. pipeline safety act and obstructing an ntsb investigation. pg&e was fined, placed under an outside monitor, given five years of probation, and required to perform 10,000 hours of community service. we are deeply sorry. we failed our customers in san bruno. while an apology alone will never be enough, actions can make pg&e safer. and that's why we've replaced
hundreds of miles of gas pipeline, adopted new leak detection technology that is one-thousand times more sensitive, and built a state-of-the-art gas operations center. we can never forget what happened in san bruno. that's why we're working every day to make pg&e the safest energy company in the nation. all right. breaking news. we have new information tonight about a bloody airport attack that was certainly terrifying. whether or not the fbi calls it terrorism. for a police officer at bishop international airport in flint, michigan, it was very nearly deadly. he is recovering tonight from knife wounds. a suspect is in custody and the bureau is investigating as what happened as possible terrorism. ryan young joins us now with the latest. what are you learning? >> reporter: john, a scary attack and airport officials were nice enough to allow