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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  July 18, 2017 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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happening now, breaking news. flatlined. the senate gop plan to replace obamacare dies for lack of republican support. and a repeal only plan is flatlining for the same reason. so why is the white house blaming democrats? let it fail. president trump refuses to accept any blame or responsibility for the fate of millions of patients, saying republicans should just let obamacare fail and that he won't own it. the special counsel wants to question donald trump jr. and former campaign manager paul
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manafort. they have learned the identity of the eighth person. most wanted dead or alive. and if he's alive, where is he? allied forces now on the offensive. is he running out of places to hide? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. breaking news, another stunning failure for republicans. first a senate health care bill collapses and then three republicans pose a follow-up repeal only plan with republicans killing that as well. president trump says they should let obamacare fail, never minding the millions of patients who would be without care.
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one top republican saying the president was playing with a fire truck as the health care bill died. an administration official admits there was no real effort to sell the gop bill and democrats say they were locked out by the republicans. the defeat comes as the white house is now mired in the russia scandal. robert mueller has given the judiciary committee the all clear to have donald trump jr. and paul manafort testify publicly. they were at a meeting with the russian lawyer as was senior adviser jared kushner whose security clearance now may be in jeopardy. cnn identifies the eighth person of that meeting, a representative of the russian oligarch, who initiated it. he was previously tied to u.s. bank accounts that came under russia investigations for possible money laundering but he was never charged.
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i'll talk to the subcommittee and we'll get full coverage of today's top stories. let's begin with our congressional correspondent phil mattingly. republicans own both sides of penn avenue, so what went so wrong? >> they were faced with a diversion and toxic mix of policy differences and political differences, issues that have set them up for the brink of a failed vote and potentially a failed effort altogether. >> repealing and replacing obamacare! >> reporter: tonight, after seven years of campaign promises, six months of negotiations and despite control of the house, senate and white house, republicans have failed to repeal obamacare. >> this has been a very challenging experience for all of us.
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it's pretty obvious we don't have 50 members who can agree on a replacement. >> a moment marked by a chaotic moment. >> efforts to repeal and replace obamacare will not be successful. >> reporter: which was met by collapse of another, even as republican leaders still plan to press ahead with a vote now certain to fail. >> sometime in the near future we'll have a vote on repealing obamacare. there is a two-year delay. a two-year delay which would give us the opportunity to work out a complete reappalachianment on a bipartisan basis without democratic rounds. >> senate majority leader how knew were republican no votes and instead pushed for a repeal only vote, a repeat of a 2015
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bill that discarded large portions of obamacare and was encouraged by every gop senator. >> i'm encouraged that it loos s like the fact we're headed toward clean repeal. >> but they scuttled the backup plan before lunchtime. >> i'm concerned about something that would just repeal and its impact on cost and choices and health care. >> reporter: within hours, the new strategy had already imploded. senator susan collins a firm no vote, even taking up the bill. releasing a blistering statement that repeated the samt, close. he was told republicans could go back on the draurg board, 52-year-old starts, failures and
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rebirths collapse, something democrats, unanimous in their position, quickly seized off. >> now they can. and the door is open again. gop leaders, the president on down now left with a. we will have demonstrated that republicans by themselves are not prepared to do a replacement. i'm told by the senator gpa that they are trying to swing those senators coming out as no votes back into the yes category. again, that seems voters are more concrete. the question is.
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>> ill mat iting. an examocrat who had nothing to do with it, did not look in the mirror at all. >> that's right, wolf. this president did very little on this scene, but if they felt they should have done more, could have done more. the president is -- >> disappointed. i was disappointed. >> donald trump said the buck doesn't stop with him as he placed the blame for the failed health care bill squarely on the senate. >> trump suggesting the next step for health care reform is simply letting obamacare fail. >> we're not going to.
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. or how do we come up with a new plan? >> the president said there simply aren't enough people in washington to get things done. >> in 2018, we're going to have to get more people elected. we have to go out and get more people elected. >> and on repealing and replacing obamacare. >> we have to get this through on the senate. . a stage down approach by senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. >> president trump and i agreed
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on a bill that just grooves obamacare. and gives time, as the president said, to work on a new. with a new ongoing investigation on the trump campaign. the president had very little good men to spare. for the first time there is concern that western staffers and his son-in-law may not be able to get approvals. to add kablgt wicontact with dop last summer. that adds collusion between the trump administration and russia. on tuesday kushner's lawyer told cnn, mr. kushner has tried to be
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fully transparent and responsive in the background investment process. we have heard nothing from the fbi and i think we would hear about those concerns at this time. one thing he says. >> i think one thing will happen. stay tuned. >> reporter: she and the president are open to a bipartisan solution. little indication, though, that a bipartisan fix is in the mix. >> the senator of west virginia, he's a member of the signal intelligence committee. senator, thank you for joining us. >> yes, we do. what's your recollection to hear the president of the united
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states say. he's from 438. she voted for mr. trump. those are a lot of independents that used to sfroet. ment. supported that, they wanted a newman. they wanted a new start, if you would. i would say to the president, wv bv inl with the president pushing us in this direction, let's work on a bipartisan bill and repair it. we don't need to repeal it, it's not going to repeal. they know how hard it is to replace anything way toxic atmosphere. we can fix the parts we've identified and you can't let it
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fail on its own. the private market should not fall apart and that can be ex as operated if they don't pay for the csrs and the money they would stabilize this market. we can have responsibility on the expansion. a lot of things we can talk about and hopefully come to an agreement. >> you said you were working with the president from day one. listen to what he said. they have no idea. and think of it. so many good things, they didn't get one vote and now it failed. . many. >> what's your recollection when you hear the president talk like
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that? >> i think he knows that i'm not an obstructionist. i'm still willing to work and i put that offer out to work with him. i wasn't there when obamacare and the former ones that have been watched. i think they see how hard it is to unral like pest product produ product. we can work together and i'm willing to do that. we have 11 pormer governors tfot serve as senators today. we have six democrats and one independent. we've had to work through a contentious situation with our legislators. we know the difficulty and challenges. i think we could be a great
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sounding board working with the president and move forward. >> i've been hearing these lines from you for months and months you've been saying let's work together, let's compromise, let's come up with a bipartisan solution. when was the last time you heard from the president? when does he talk about and he. maybe a month or to remember tm. i told him at that time, i want to help you skpum repeeling and people that i work with every. he said we repeal and replace at the same time. they can't even get 50 republicans, so please, don't blame the democrats.
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a conservative democrat is willing to sit there and pull them to the table and have what we would accept, i think there is a wider range of things, wolf, that we'll be able to talk about. medical savings accounts, cross board of buying, there are so many things. and also looking at how do you get 20 million people health care and never give them one iota of instruction of how to use it in an effective and efficient manner? we haven't tried one thing except we're going to throw a million people off and there will be billions in cuts. i think there would be four to five billion in savings leaving them on there, getting them off of welfare to workfare. >> president chris christie said there is no bipartisanship on capitol hill. listen to this.
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>> there is no will in congress to work with each other. they all mouth it. you've been there. they all say nice things. joe has to say it because he's from west virginia. >> i want you to respond. he's throwing your name out there saying it's basically all mouth on the part of the democrats, no action in response. >> i've known chris, we work together as governors, and he knows that i'm sincere. he knows he can always talk to me and work together and we'll always try to find that middle. these sound bites are not helping anybody. i'm not chastising anybody, i'm not blaming anybody. it has gone the route it has gone. the republicans have given a yeoman's effort to do it by themselves. they have not succeeded. let's sit down and let the senate do what it does. go through the committee process, have input, have
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amendments. let's move this thing forward in a way that it's supposed to be done and it would be an honor for the people it would represent. that's all we're asking for. >> senator, there's more we need to discuss including the latest development in the russia investigation, the meddling in the u.s.-russia campaign. this week, all hp ink, buy one get one 30% off. ♪ taking care of business about to see progressive's new home quote explorer. where you can compare multiple quote options online and choose what's right for you. woah. flo and jamie here to see hqx. flo and jamie request entry. slovakia. triceratops. tapioca. racquetball. staccato. me llamo jamie. pumpernickel. pudding. employee: hey, guys! home quote explorer. it's home insurance made easy. password was "hey guys."
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moving developments in the scandal involving members of the trump team and a russian lawyer. a meeting embraced by donald trump jr. as a chance to gain negative information on hillary. cli all the people in the meeting have now been identified. our justice correspondent pamela
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brown is here. she's getting new investigation. pamela, what are you learning? >> once we learned the identity of the eighth person in the meeting in trump tower. he had worked with agalarav and someone who had previously worked with donald trump. this exclusive video appears to show ike in the background right next to donald trump in las vegas in june of 2013. he has now been thrust into the spotlight as the mystery eighth person at the meeting with donald trump jr., paul manafort and top adviser jared kushner. his attorney says he was there acting as a representative of agalarav. he said before the meeting, quote, some official documents
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a and information that would incriminate hillary and boost his father. in a meeting in 2016, kevin says he has a long history of working with the trump administration. >> translator: i've been working with this company since 1959. when i was just a little boy, i arrived and since then i've worked there. >> reporter: he holds responsibility for multiple elements of the company's russian development project. in 2000 he was linked to bank accounts for possible money laundering tied to russian brokers. at the time he denied any wrongdoing, calling it a witch hunt. his facebook page says he was born in the soviet union, studied in moscow before receiving an mba. he is now a u.s. citizen and
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works in the united states. >> reporter: we actively represented kroek -- crocus' interests. he worked alongside russian lawyer natalia veselnitskaya. that meeting now under scrutiny by robert mueller. his client is fully complying with investigators who have already reached out and he said his client never had anything to do with the russian government. those investigators seek information with kaviletske and others. they have given the all clear to interview donald trump jr. and paul manafort in a public session. >> we'll cover that. >> yes, i think we will.
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we'll bring back this person. this eighth immigrant working for this huge real estate development company doing russian development, that is at polls and confirmed to be at that meeting in trump tower a year ago. >> the meeting is growing every day, but i'll say this, wolf. the intelligence committee, our staff, is doing jobs they do every day looking into every -- a full committee. i trust the work that they're doing. i know the people of interest and everything that you know in an open source. there are things we're going to investigate if it has validity to it. >> the former white house chief of staff, dennis mcdonough, spoke to your chief of staff today. i assume he were there.
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what can you tell us about this meeting? what did you want specifically to hear from him? >> dennis did not speak to our intelligence committee today. and i can't confirm. i know that it's been reported, but that's not -- i can't confirm that. >> did he meet with members privately, with staff members of the committee, or maybe he didn't have a formal meeting but we were told he was up there? >> i cannot confirm that. . what about former observe own. sp he going to be -- is he going to be keeping it confidential? >> we need to let the staff do their job that they're entrusted to do. at the proper time, people who
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have information of interest or value, they will address the committee. >> when do you think don jr. or paul manafort, trump campaign chairman, will appear before your committee? is it a matter of days, weeks, months? >> i know you just reported of. the effort will be there to get this done as quickly as possible. there is no set time whatsoever, and again, the committee of intelligence in the senate works different than any committee i've ever been or any other committee. it goes through things piece by piece. they should come together to make sure they have the full picture. then we move from there. but they're doing their job. wolf, i would like to say one thing. you know, they've been asked about these meetings and they should have happened or shouldn't have happened, how many people were in meetings with russia. you know they're illegal, and
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everybody in the campaign, especially a senate or congress campaign or any campaign. we know it's illegal to take any financial contribution from any foreigner, from a foreign country. that is illegal under our campaign laws. it just tells you common sense that that is not legal. it's an illegal transaction. shouldn't it be illegal for us to have meetings with people for those same purposes? that's all that i would -- >> i think what you're referring to, senator, is what's called opposition research? i researched, spept a lot of money p. it's all done very legally. what you're suggesting if you get opposition research, not cash, but something from a foreign government, that would be illegal under campaign finance laws. is that what you're suggesting? >> first of all, do you know how much it costs to have opposition
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research done? when you're a cabin does. thaet a very expense. if we allow anyone running for office to take any contributions from someone who is not our country, even nato allies, that's not allowed. it just makes sense to me that i shouldn't be having these conversations that will influence my campaign for or against, they shouldn't be involved. >> i want to be precise on this, senator, that they committed some sort of illegal act? >> i'm not suggesting that because i think the facts will come out and someone will have to make that determination. i have all the confidence in mr. mueller, special investigator. he'll do his job very thoroughly. he'll come out with his findings and recommendations of what steps we take forward. >> senator manchan, thank you so
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much for joining us. >> thank you for having me. coming up, what's next in stabilizing the health care issue right now. the republicans won't own it. and is the leader of isis dead or alive? we're trying to get to the bottom of very conflicting reports. hi, i'm joan lunden with a place for mom
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people will blame the democrats, not him and the republicans. let's bring in our specialist. i want you to listen precisely about what the president of the united states said about letting obamacare fail. let it fail. >> let obamacare fail. it will be a lot easier. i think we're probably in that position where we'll just let obamacare fail. we're not going to own it, i'm not going to own it, i can tell you the republicans are not going to own it. we'll let obamacare fail and then the democrats are going to come to us and say how do we fix it, how do we fix it, or how do we come up with a new plan? >> david? >> i've been racking my brain the entire day since i heard a president say this, to think of a time when i heard a president of the united states say something as cynical as that. i can't think of one. no president in my lifetime can i think of that has offered something that cynical. this has nothing to do with what side of the aisle you're on. the reality is if indeed you
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just repeal and you have nothing to replace it with, i think the cbo score says that will take 30 million people with insurance out of having insurance. without any idea what to do with them, you are the president of the united states of america. you actually have command and control over the health care policy in this country. your own party is in charge of both houses of congress. this is not the time to say, i'm not going to own it. you're going to own it. you ran for the job that puts you in charge. he is going to own it. so he may want to try to deal with the politics of this, but from a policy point of view, this is real impact. so when he said it several times in the last several months, it could have been read as a threat. i'm threatening this but i'm really just trying to motivate republicans to get on board and vote it. now in this context, now that it failed, that's not a threat, that's just irresponsible leadership. >> remember during the campaign, you interviewed then-candidate
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trump, i interviewed him, and on the health care issue he would say over and over again, i'm not going to let people die in the streets. what he's saying now beyond the politics, beyond the policy that we discussed here in bawashingt, we're talking about actual human beings, americans, that when he says let obamacare fail, it means let the health care insurance system fail, and basically let people suffer in a very big way in the most personal, important way, their health and their health care. that is why it's not only cynical, it's sinister, frankly. beyond that, i just spent most of the day on capitol hill. as much as he says that as a political tactic, the reality is that the people who are going to be on the ballot, a third of the senate and all of the house, i think many of them, most of them understand that they can't do that to their constituents. whether or not they can get their act together and actually figure out a policy to replace obamacare or whether or not they can figure out how to, you know,
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break party ranks, reach across the aisle, work with democrats which more and more you're hearing about from key republicans today, unclear. but i think that they are going to try, and not, as the president said, let obamacare fail. because again, it's about real human beings. >> over the past year or two, jackie, the president as a candidate and as president-elect spoke a lot about repealing and replacing obamacare. listen to this. >> you're going to have such great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost, and it's going to be so easy. real change begins with immediately repealing and replacing the disaster known as obamacare. obamacare is dead. it's going to be repealed, it's going to be replaced. we're going to do it simultaneously, it will be just fine. we're not going to have a
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two-day period and we're not going to have a two-year period where there's nothing. it will be repealed and replaced. >> obamacare repeal and replace. i've been talking about repeeling ar repealirepeal ing and replacing obamacare for two years now. i didn't know it could be so complicated. >> he didn't know it could be so complicated. how badly did he underestimate the complexity of trying to repeal and replace obamacare. >> he also said he's going to fix it and now he's not going to own it. his statement there saying who knew it was hard, that is the ultimate underestimation of what he's dealing with. i would keep an eye on the governors, both republican and democratic governors. to dana's point, these are real people, and those governors more so than the members of congress deal with these things every day. the cost falls on them, and a lot of responsibility will fall
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on the state if congress fails. you've already seen some of them speaking out encouraging bipartisan communication and work on this. that is only going to get louder the closer we get to 2018. >> it's kind of sad that the governors are such a key here, and not only are they close to their constituents and they're trying to figure this out, many of them have a lot of influence with their senators who are here in washington. it's not just about the president and his failure, it is about the republican leadership in the united states senate. and that is actually leaving a lot of people pretty surprised, especially when the leader is mitch mcconnell who is sort of lauded historically for being a three-dimensional chess player. not this time. >> another thing president trump underestimated, his own voters. they put out a poll a few hours ago looking at counties won by donald trump and looking at his voters in those counties. only 25% of trump voters in the
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counties he won supported the health care plan that was being offered here as a replacement. so he never -- they were presenting something that even his core of support who is fe fervently supportive of him did not galvanize it in any way. sdp >> so what options does mitch mcconnell have now? >> he doesn't have a lot of good options. like i said, i spent the day on capitol hill and the tension and the concern is palpable about the fact they're smacking that reality in the face that he doesn't have a lot of good options. even his sort of hail mary strategy to just say, you know what, we're just going to repeal obamacare and we'll replace it later and it will be delayed for two years, even that doesn't have the votes, as phil mattingly reported earlier. even that doesn't have the votes right now. at this point what they're trying to do is try to force a
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vote, get people on record as being either before or against i it. probably it will fail, and i'm talking about a procedure measure to get on this bill. and the hope is once that happens, assuming that happens, everybody can take a breath and figure out if there is a plan not just b or c, it's basically a plan w or y at this point. >> let's turn to the russia investigation. we now know that meeting a year ago june was a lot bigger. we know the identity now of the eighth person in that meeting, a man known as ike kaveladze. there were several russians who were there, the president's son, the president's son-in-law and the campaign chairman at the time. >> look, i want to suggest to you that we're going to know the truth because people will come out and speak, but we know in 13 months, the participants won't. donald trump jr. and the "new york times" that came out with the report didn't tell the truth.
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i can tell you as someone who worked in the intel business what i think about this. one more person means nor data. that means more interviews, more cell phones, more e-mails. that's another person that i can see matches up with the story of jared kushner, paul manafort. i look at this and simply say that individual might offer a story that's different than the others, and i will step back and say, okay, that's helpful for an investigator but i don't believe we'll ever get the truth of the people in the meeting. sdplz this >> this is a u.s. citizen, too. the fbi, if they want to question him, will certainly have that opportunity. president trump had a previously undisclosed second meeting on july 7 in hamburg, germany. the national security council
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spokesman said they talked at the end of the dinner event. quote, there was a couples only social dinner at the end, the president spoke with putin then. no staffers were there. we're only learning about this now. >> do we know the dinner was just president putin, president trump and the two wives? >> yes, and we're seeing him next to putin. remember, we got a readout initially from rex tillerson, secretary of state, from a two hour and 15-minute meeting. that did not match up with how president trump described the meetingment meeting. he made a couple attempts to talk about the meeting and then
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he almost had a hip. i wonder if this was part of the add added. >> what was the content of that? >> jackie, why are we just blerng this conversation now. >> i can't believe the white house would keep something like this. >>. this white house is not trans painter and this is another example. why are they putting themselves in this position and having us wonder what they talk about? >> david, i think your question is an important one when you ask how long they speak. it was a social dinner.
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did they talk about crimea or did they talk about how the soup was? we don't know and that's critical. >> the fact there was no staff there, what does that say to you. >> it potentially tells me it was selfish and i don't understand the white house on this. you have republicans who say this is a good thing. as a national security guy, i look at this and say any conversation on a one-on-one bas basis. they're going to talk about things thick syria and ukraine. why is this a bad thing? why wouldn't you talk about this? there's a lot more we're coming right now, including his caliphate exhausting and whether the leader salman abedi is still
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what are you finding out? >> one analyst told us abedi is a ghost. a key u.s. ally is not. >> the shadowy man
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. >> we have information that he is alive. we believe 99% he is alive. lahor says intelligence believes baghdadi is in hiding which is increasingly being choked off by syria and arab kurdish forces. but last week the top commander in the fight against isis left some doubt. >> i don't have reason to believe he's alive, don't have proof of life. >> last month russian officials say they were investigating reports that baghdadi was killed in a russian airstrike. but cnn has learned that russian intelligence has concluded baghdadi was not there. >> he could be hiding in a safehouse, he could be hiding in
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almost plain sight if he changed his physical appearance and has members of isis aiding or a betting him in some way. >> baghdadi has been called the invisible shape because of obsession with his own security. he has been said to cover his own face when he meets with trusted tenets but they say he has an achilles heel. >> various sources might give the game away. for instance, baghdadi has kept a consortium of sex slaves. one at least has escaped his clutches as his own personal chattel. >> if he's alive, the isis leader could be running out of places to hide. cnn has recently reported firsthand from raqqa and mosul of the devastation left behind as isis has abandoned key positions in those cities. tonight u.s. military officials
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tell cnn there is more more oppression than ever before. and if he's alive, is baghdadi actually commanding isis forces? we're told he is not involved in any day to day work that they can see. >> how reliable is the kurdish intelligence service which just came out and said baghdadi is alive? >> analyst michael weiss tells us they have very good intelligence. they have former isis fighters in their detention facilities and they have interrogated many of those spiders for years. they have spies and informants on the ground, especially mosul, who have been feeding them information about the top isis leader. coming up, breaking news.
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a senate republican health care plan collapses for lack of republican support. president trump blaming everyone but himself and says time to let obamacare fail. but what about the millions of americans that depend on it? also breaking. we've just learned that president trump had a prooeviouy undisclosed meeting at the g20 summit. what did they talk about? we'll be right back
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happening now, breaking news. defeated, president trump's health care promises implode as the senate bill to repeal and replace obamacare collapses under the weight of republican opposition. tonight mr. trump is signaling
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his next move as gop leaders propose a back up plan that also appears to be dead on arrival. political pawns, the top senate democrat is accusing the president of playing games with the health of millions of americans. the white house pushing back, arguing democrats are to blame instead of the president's own divided party. coming before congress? donald trump, jr. may be a step closer to testifying under oath about his secret meeting with a russian lawyer. his special counsel now weighing in on whether it's okay for the president's son to be questioned in public. and the eighth person, cnn has learned the identity of a mystery man in that russia meeting. his connection to the trumps and why he previously raised suspicion on capitol hill. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn


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