many of his, you know, what happened when it came to the meeting with lawyers, potentially representing the russian government. he outlined his contact with russian officials. i think unpacking some of the things in his statement is going to be important, but this is the way investigations go. you get people in. you ask questions. you cross-examine them. you determine, you try to corroborate information, and so that's what we'll be doing this morning in these hearings. >> okay, congressman will hurd, thank you very much for taking the time to be on "new day." >> thank you. thanks to our international viewers for watching. for you "cnn newsroom" is next. for our u.s. viewers president trump is increasing attacks on attorney general jeff sessions. "new day" continues right now. >> after seven years of saying repeal and replace obamacare, we have a chance to now do it. they've got do it. >> the senators who vote on this
motion to proceed are going to be tarred with this vote. >> senator mccain's office says he is going to be on hand for that critical vote. >> we keep knocking on that door and being told you're not welcome. >>'president has lost faith in mr. sessions he should tell him that and ask for his resignation. >> growing signs the white house may be laying the groundwork to replace jeff sessions. >> if he cannot stop the investigation, he definitely wants to control the investigation. >> he's realizing that this is serious, and that the russia investigation is a real problem. >> this is "new day" with chris cuomo and alisyn camerota. >> good morning, welcome to your "new day." president trump is up early and we know exactly what is on his mind. he's calling for senate republicans to step up to the plate as they're set to vote to begin debating a repeal of obamacare. the president is also calling senator john mccain an american hero on word that the senator may be heading back to washington to cast what could be
a deciding vote on health care. >> meanwhile, the president is also slamming his attorney general jeff sessions, calling him weak and saying he should be investigating president trump's rival, hillary clinton, something that would be unprecedented. let's remember that mr. sessions was the first senator to support donald trump's bid for the white house and now it seems that the president is trying to push him out. we have it all covered for you. we begin with cnn's suzanne malveaux live on capitol hill. another busy day there, suzanne. >> reporter: it certainly is, alisyn and extraordinary turnaround for president trump to call senator john mccain a hero. in the campaign he denied him that, now tweeting he is in fact a hero because he will bored a plane, he's expected to get here in washington later today, this after less than a week of being diagnosed with brain cancer. he is going to be participating in that extraordinary critical senate health care vote. republican leadership hoping it will be one vote closer to pushing it forward but it is far from certain whether or not it
is going to be enough. senator john mccain's unexpected return to washington adding last minute momentum to the senate republicans ongoing push to dismantle obamacare. >> many of us have waited literally years for this moment to finally arrive, and at long last it has. >> reporter: the senate will vote to debate the health care bill that narrowly passed the house in may. if mcconnell secures the 50 votes needed to proceed, the senate will consider amendments to that legislation, although it's unclear what changes would be put forth, and how the republican party would come to an agreement after being unable to do so thus far. >> it's kind of hard to make a determination if you don't know what you're proceeding to. >> reporter: president trump ratcheting up the pressure, using the bully pulpit to warn fellow americans to get on board or risk paying a race to with voters. >> remember repeal and replace, repeal and replace. they kept saying it over and over again.
any senator who votes against starting debate is telling america that you are fine with the obamacare nightmare. >> reporter: the senate majority leader can only afford to lose the support of two republicans, even with mccain's expected yes vote. senator susan collins of maine has already said she remains a firm no and several others remain undecided. >> i can't say right now. i'm still very much no. >> reporter: president trump needling his health secretary about securing the vote at a boy scouts event in west virginia on monday night. >> you're going to get the votes? >> hope so. >> he better get 'em. he better get 'em. oh, he better, otherwise i'll say "tom, you're fired." >> reporter: the president insisting this event wasn't the place for political rhetoric. >> who the hell wants to speak about politics when i'm in front of the boy scouts? right? >> reporter: before launching into one attack after another,
blasting his predecessor. >> did president obama ever come to a jamboree? >> reporter: and his former rival, hillary clinton, again boast being his election win. >> that map was so red, it was unbelievable, and they didn't know what to say. we have a tremendous disadvantage in the electoral college. popular vote is much easier. >> reporter: and rehashing his favorite campaign lines. >> we ought to change it from the word swamp to the word cesspool or perhaps to the word sewer. >> reporter: so here's how the health care vote is expected to play out this afternoon. republicans will meet behind clos closed doors for their weekly lunch, where we expect rank and file members to make their final pitch to move this process forward and later in the afternoon there will be a procedural vote and the result of that procedural vote will determine whether or not the republicans' effort to overturn obamacare will live or die. chris? >> all right, suzanne, thank you very much. if the president were willing to unleash on the boy scouts, you
could imagine what he's doing on twitter this morning. he is intensifying attacks on his own attorney general, jeff sessions. remember, one of the first people to step up and support the president. he talked to those boy scouts about loyalty. no loyalty for jeff sessions. he called him beleaguered and he is accurate, the president, because he's the one beleague you aring jeff sessions causing him a lot of trouble. "the washington post" is reporting the president is weighing his options to replace sessions. cnn's senior washington correspondent joe johns live at the white house with more. i'm sure there would be a long line for that job. >> reporter: certainly seems like it, although it could be a challenge once you get it, quite frankly. look, the attorney general we're told was here at the white house yesterday meeting with the white house counsel, but we're also told he and the president did not meet and have not spoken since the president went after jeff sessions, in an interview last week with the "new york
times." the new communications director for his part would not answer a question about whether he thinks sessions ought to resign, according to the president's wishes, but he did say the two men need to sit down and talk about what the future looks like. >> mr. president, should jeff sessions resign? [ laughter ] >> reporter: attorney general jeff sessions' future at the justice department in question with "the washington post" reporting president trump and his advisers are discussing the possibility of replacing him, despite the fact that he has been one of the president's most loyal supporters. >> we could use some more loyalty. i will tell you that. >> reporter: the president publicly shamed his top law enforcement officer again monday, labeling him as beleaguered, and asking why he's not investigating hillary clinton. the dizzying escalation began last week in the president's interview with the "new york times." >> sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was
going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and i would have picked somebody else. >> reporter: despite this public rebuke, sessions insisted he has no plans to step down. >> we love this job. we love this department, and i plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate. >> reporter: texas senator ted cruz and former new york mayor rudy giuliani dismissing reports they are being considered as possible replacements, with giuliani expressing support for sessions' decision to recuse himself from the russia investigation. >> i believe that sessions made the right decision under the rules of the justice department. >> reporter: president trump lash out against his attorney general, who he blames for the russia investigation. it comes on the same day his son-in-law and senior adviser jared kushner met with congressional investigators for the first time, denying any collusion with russia, and defending the president. >> donald trump had a better message and ran a smarter campaign, and that is why he
won. suggesting otherwise ridicules suggesting other wisz ridicules those who voted for him. >> a whole series of tweets from the president of the united states this morning, mentioning the attorney general as well as the acting fbi director, attacking both of them, at least three tweets mentioning hillary clinton, the woman who the president defeated almost nine months ago in the election. >> joesons thank you very much. let's bring in cnn political panelist, david gregory, editor at large chris cillizza and political analyst and editor-in-chief of "the daily beast" john avalon. david gregory i think you whipped the president into a frenzy. we know he likes to watch the show. he unleashed on everyone. he started with the boy scouts last night "who the hell wants to talk about politics?" he did and in coarse form in front of those formative minds
but this morning the tweets have only gotten worse. what is going on here? >> well i think the president has a singular obsession. his only area of discipline is taking on this russia investigation, and everything associated with it, who he considers loyal, who he considers tough enough to stand up with him, to fight it. he is not concerned, doesn't care about our institutions of government, or democratic institutions generally, doesn't care about the independence of the department of justice or the rule of law. i mean he's making all of that very clear, because he made it clear at the outset that he was open for business, because he didn't consider the russians a real threat, and he would do anything to take down clinthill clinton and that continues. i think what he's after here is suggesting that sessions is weak. he wants to humiliate him with the hope he'll step aside so he can go ever farther toward controlling the investigation.
there's nothing stopping him from firing mueller. he fired comey. nobody thought he would take that step. i think he'd fire sessions and what he's not thinking about is that republicans may finally revolt over this, and say no, no, sessions is one of our guys, conservative, member of the senate club. this is a step too far. we haven't seen that yet, and i think trump feels like he could just keep barreling ahead. >> john avalon that's what congressman will hurd just suggested. >> yes. >> if he were to fire jeff sessions, that the next person, the replacement person would have a heck of a time getting through any sort of confirmation process, if he were to fire jeff sessions, who would be next? >> well, the names that have been bandied about, rudy giuliani had been mentioned. he was more focused on being secretary of state and said he's not in contention. chris christie had been in contention but has the difficult fact of firing, sorry imprisons, prosecuting jared kushner's father so that's a black mark in
that context and the other two names discussed in the original round were chris cobash, and pam bondi of florida, which has connections with trump. president talks about loyalty, loyalty is the oath he demands people take but loyalty being a one-way street. if he does this to his earliest supporter in the senate, right, publicly hounding him and humiliating him out of the office what message does that send for anyone who might want to take the job, let alone the implications for an independent judiciary and the russia investigation. but this is clearly the president's latest fixation, when he should be focusing on cheerleading the health care bill. he's trying to kneecap his own attorney general with the larger aim of kneecapping this investigation and it's transparentally what it is, a power grab. >> look, chris clillizza, you cn say the president is going off this morning, all over the place on his twitter. actually, i see a pattern that
the president believes, and this is a very smart guy, especially when it comes to media, works for him. these lawmakers, they're all in the sewer. not me. i'm not one of them. that's why you elected me. even sessions, got weak in the knees when it comes to hillary clinton. boy, they don't like going after their own. so he takes that path. on health care, not about me. it's all about them. he even talks about the republicans as a separate entity. >> yep. >> from him, even though he is the punitive head of their party. this works for him. the question is, why does it work for him, if it does, and does it get him where he wants to be, which is growing his base and getting things done? >> let me answer the second question first, no. it does not grow his base and it does not help him get things done. on the first question, why does he do it? he does it because he, like most politicians, likes to hear applause. it's why he does these events that he does. he likes to be cheered, but i
think he doesn't understand that his base is not as currently constituted big enough to get him reelected president, and his base, if it doesn't turn out for republicans in 2018, which is a possibility when you sort of say well republicans are over here and i'm over here, it could cause him to lose the house and the senate's harder but still possible and if he thinks it's difficult now in washington, with controlling the white house, the senate and the house t will be a lot worse for him in 2019, if democrats control one of those chambers. just one counter argument to you, chris. i do think there is strategy here to a point, but i also think this is someone who acts and then sometimes strategy is woven into the action. he says things and then we say, oh, well could he be strategizing here? no, he might be, but i think if past is prologue, there's as
much as much evidence to suggest he's just saying this stuff about sessions because he wants to get rid of sessions. >> right but there's another point, chris, too, which is that he knows one speed. he knows what's worked for him. >> that's right. >> he knows to cuomo's fight taking the fight to washington, to republicans to the sewer that's the one thing that's worked and in his mind, he may be right, he can fight this russia investigation and all comers, maybe he runs on this for re-election and maybe people who say yeah, we don't like all his bluster and all the stuff he says, but we need change, maybe he keeps that energy. what he's not done is conformed to governing, and this was a guy who said no, i can bring all this outside expertise and be a good president and make washington work. we've heard those promises before. i think the danger sign in all of this -- there are many, right, because the russia investigation could proceed in a way where we have a constitutional crisis or something bad could happen. america could be attacked. there could be a foreign policy
crisis and we're not talking about the fact his foreign policy team is not working together either and that's the test. all of this bluster in taking on everybody, can they handle it if something bad happens? they can't run the west wing. so can they handle it if something bad happens. that's something americans his critics and supporters alike will ask themselves at some point. >> i think that point which is that we've been dealing largely with self-inflicted crises not world imposed crises, but instead the reality show and a president who tries to blur his own impulses or lack of impulse control with a strategy, because it gets him attention, and that's gotten him the presidency so that's a pretty powerful self-reinforcing mechanism, but at the end of the day, this is transparency chaos. it's chaos at the heart of the office, of the leader of the free world, and his own party, you know, while many of them are focusing on the fact he's popular with his base certainly not building the base of pop
popularity, most members of congress did better in their district than donald trump did and that will sink in. if the president has two speeds, self-aggrandizement and self-gratification it has little to do with party and little concept with national interest. it's about self-interest, not th sustainable. >> he's had one tweet this morning where he mentioned health care where he calls out republicans they better deliver on their promise. he takes no responsibility for the policy or the process, and everything else has been about russia or his problems with the people around him. >> and so -- >> chris, sorry, just very quickly. the sessions thing i don't think is maybe as big a deal today as health care but i do think it is worth putting a pin in. look, this is a guy publicly bullying a subordinate. this is not the kind -- david said he's not comported to the rules of governance.
he's not comporting to the rules of common society. we should not treat people in this way, if he wants to get rid of him, he played adam kinsinger earlier from illinois in the open, fire him. don't shame and bully him publicly and not even sit down with him to have a one on one conversation. >> everyone needs a hobby. >> all right, panel, thank you very much for all of that. so as chris said, the senate vote on health care is just hours away today. but what exactly will they be voting on? senator angus king tells us what he knows, next. that's the family taking care of business. awesome notebook! check. but who takes care of them? office depot / office max. this week, these composition books are just 25 cents each. ♪ taking care of business
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president trump attacking his own attorney general, his earliest supporter in the senate jeff sessions. he's continuing that today. the president tweeted just this morning "attorney general jeff sessions has taken a very weak position on hillary clinton crimes. where he emails and dnc server and intel leakers?" why is the president doing this, when health care is the news of the day? joining us now is independent senator angus king of maine. senator, thanks so much for
being here. >> good morning, alisyn. >> what do you make of what president trump is doing to his own attorney general? yesterday he tweeted an eyebrow raising tweet, i'll read it "so why aren't the committees and investigators and of course our beleaguered a.g. looking into crooked hillary's crimes and russia relations?" then this morning, just in the past hour or so, he tweeted requests attorney general jeff sessions has taken a very weak position on hillary clinton crimes, where are emails and dnc server and intel leakers?" what do you make of this? >> i had an old professor in law school years ago, alisyn, who said when in doubt, read the statute, and jeff sessions, under department of justice regulations, had no choice but to recuse himself. i don't know whether the president has ever seen those regulations, whether anybody's ever read them to him but the regulations basically say no person can participate in an investigation of a campaign if they were involved in the campaign. it could have been written for
this situation. rudolph giuliani said said he had no choice but to recuse himself. >> right. >> as you mentioned in your opening, jeff sessions was donald trump's principal first supporter in the senate, and one of the loudest voices, campaigned with him, and he mentioned the word loyalty yesterday, in my world, loyalty is a two-way street. >> but what does it tell you about president trump's mind-set or his loyalty to his earliest supporters or who would take this job next if he were to get rid of jeff sessions? >> well, i think that's a legitimate question, and whether the senate would confirm someone under these circumstances particularly if there was some implication or understanding that the new attorney general would try to cut off the investigation by robert mueller, that the fbi is undertaking. for a guy who keeps saying -- >> senator, i just want to ask you about that, because thus far, we haven't seen wide scale republicans willing to go against something that president
trump wants. so are you feeling, as though this jeff sessions is a tipping point, and that if the president were to find some sort of other loyalist who would take the job, that republicans in congress would vote against that person? >> well, i think you're going to have to ask some leading members of the republican caucus. i think i noticed you'll have john cornyn on later this morning, you ought to ask him that question but it raises the question of, will they go along, and you got to remember, jeff sessions is a man of the senate. he gave up a safe senate seat. he'd been here 20-plus years and he has many friends. i didn't vote for him but he was confirmed, so i think the senators are going to be very skeptical about this when it particularly if there's an overt or subrosa understanding that the mueller investigation will go away as part of this. i think at that point everybody in the congress is going to say no, we can't tolerate this. my expectation is you'd see a
special prosecutor pass by veto proof majorities in both houses and the investigation would continue, but you know, who knows? nothing's predictable around here from one day to the next. >> true words never spoken. what plan are you voting on today for health care if. >> let me give you a quick snap sis of what i know about the bill that we're going to be voting on this afternoon. >> pblt! i'm taking notes. >> i'm serious, there is no one who knows. i talked to two senior republicans last thursday afternoon. i said what are we going to be voting on, on tuesday. they said we have no idea. i think it's going to be the house bill, but then there may be a substitute amendment, and i've never seen a process like this. no hearings, no discussion. this is really, to quote a famous american, complicated stuff, and to be talking about one-sixth of the u.s. economy
and tens of millions of people without any understanding of what the implications are, i just, i really don't understand it, and i think one of the dilemmas the republicans will have today they'll say okay, let's give them a vote to start the debate, but then it's one of these terrible bills and by the way, the best of the bills kicks 22 million people off of health insurance, that's the best one of the three, one goes up to 30 million, then they're going to have to maybe vote against it, and they're caught in the well, i voted for it and then i voted against it. that's a bad place to be, it seems to me, as this thing unfolds. >> why is mitch mcconnell put you in this position? why aren't you doing it the regular way? >> i think that they are just obsessed with this idea of we talked about repeal and replace for seven years, and now we have to deliver on it, but they've not been able to settle on an alternative that will garner a
majority, even within or an over 50 votes, and so they're just going to -- it's sort of throwing darts at the wall at this point, but we're talking about real people's lives. i'm talking about people, and thousands of people who are going to lose health insurance, the government's going to, the state's going to have to choose between disabled people and seniors because of the dramatic medicaid cuts. this is real people. we shouldn't be doing this on this kind of oh well, we made a promise five years ago. we ought to be talking about how do we fix it, how do we make it work and how do we protect people's lives. >> senator, i only have a few seconds left but we had senator bill cassidy on our program on friday. he said that he feet the graham-cassidy bill which is his of course and gives power back to governors to make health care decisions for their states, he felt that that had 50 votes. do you know anything about that plan? >> i don't. i don't know exactly how it would work but i think the big question is, how is it funded? if you're giving flexibility to
the states, but you're cutting medicaid by three-quarter of a tral dl trillion dollars over the next ten years is the false flexibility, the flexibility to choose as i said between the elderly, disabled and kids, or raise taxes. it's basically shifting cost from the federal government to the states. now i don't know how senator cassidy's bill fits within that category, but if it's still got the major medicaid cuts, then i think it's going to be very hard to get that majority of votes. >> senator angus king, we are on the edge of our seat to see what happens there with the vote, just as you are. thanks so much for being on "new day." >> thank you, alisyn. >> chris? all right, so you had the independent senator from maine. what about the republicans? how do they fear -- feel about what's going on with jeff sessions and this vote that seems somewhat of a mystery? we're going to ask one of them next. last year, he said he was going to dig a hole to china. at&t is working with farmers to improve irrigation techniques.
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cost and people thought it would be rewarded. the president said is he all about loyalty and sure neenough jeff sessions became the attorney general. now it seems that loyalty is gone. the president is bullying him in public, not talking to him face to face, by all accounts, but what is going on here? let's get some republican perspective. congressman chris stewart of utah serves on the house intel committee, yes, we're going to talk about jared kushner, yes, we're going to talk about the health care vote today, but as a leader who has constituents, you're supposed to be a moral standard for people, what do you make of what the president is doing to the attorney general? >> let me say first i quit reading the president's tweets quite a long time ago i don't pay that much attention to them and i recommend a whole lot of other people not pay attention to them as it's not policy. i like jeff sessions. i think he's been sincere, he's been loyal. he's proven himself very capable and i hope and i expect he'll continue as attorney general.
>> congressman, i understand that you want people to take situations at their best, but first of all, as you know, the white house has acknowledged that the president's tweets are official statements. he is the president of the united states. the idea that you would want people to ignore what he says is hard to understand. what do you mean don't read his tweets. he's telling us what he thinks about the people in power, what he thinks about the issues that matter most to the american people, and one of those is that he is bad mouthing and bullying his attorney general and you're saying igmore it, really? >> i'm not saying ignoring it. >> you just did. >> i wouldn't read too much into it. there's a lot of different ways we communicate with our constituents, some more serious and official than others. >> do you think he's jock being jeff sessions or do you think his bully something actual and legitimate? >> first i don't think he's bullying. i don't think you can bully jeff sessions. adults i don't feel bullied. i have people object to me and
chant at me and do all sorts of things to me. i don't feel bullied about it. if you were to ask jeff sessions i'm pretty sure he'd say i don't feel bullied by this either. you have to realize this president communicates differently than other presidents and every tweet isn't national policy and every tweet doesn't mean necessarily something as dramatic as it may sound. that's really all i'm saying. tut put it in context. >> what is the context iffers' talking about jeff sessions saying that he's weak and beleaguered which is accurate, because the president has been the one beleagueeuring in this situation, harsh criticism, constant, clearly sending indications that he does not have confidence in his stoeatto general, you saw the eye roll when he was asked about it with the interns. how else could people take it? why would you avoid it? >> i don't know what more to say about this. once again, if you want to read more into this than i'm willing to read right now, i guess that's okay. i can't really get into the president's mind.
i'm not going to say whether this is -- >> you don't think there's any chance he's thinking about replacing jeff sessions? >> i don't know. what i did say is that i hope not. as i said, i think jeff sessions has shown that he's loyal. i think he's shown he's very capable. you know, look, when i see his testimony, and my conversations with him, i think this is a good man. i think this is a very capable attorney general. so i hope that he continues to serve. now, we can go back and forth on how important or meritorious these tweets are and maybe we'll just agree to disagree. we just don't know what the president may be intending to do. all i can say is i hope that attorney general continues to serve as the attorney general. i think he's done a great job. >> do you think he did the right thing recusing himself from the investigation as a former member of the campaign? >> i think, under really the political context that we have at the moment, it was really the only thing that he could do. i do have to say this. when he's accused of being dishonest in his systtestimony don't think that's an accurate reflection at all of what i
believe his intention at the time. he was asked under the context did you have any political conversations with any russian officials and he answered no, and then later on reflecting, i did have this meeting, a chance encounter later on at the hotel and some other things, i don't think that's a dislongest, you know, recollection at all. i think that he was just answering it in the context of the political or the collusion. and so for those who say that he wasn't honest in that, and for those who say that that maybe was a necessity for him to be, you know, to be pushed out as attorney general, again, i just think that's nuts. >> do you feel similarly about jared kushner, and what you heard from his statement his 11-page statement, yesterday the president believes he did a great job showing that he did nothing wrong. do you believe that his statement removes any further questions from jared kushner? >> no, i mean look we're going to continue to ask questions on this and i haven't had a chance
to question him. all i've been able to do is hear press reports of what he said and a little bit of his own comments. i think that those of us on the house side want to have a chance to question him and really understand this. i would like to start with his presumption that is that you are innocent until proven guilty. i don't think we want to throw that idea out the window, and i don't think it's true of everyone except for those people who are named trump. so we'll give him the presumption of innocence until we talk to him and until we understand really more of the information that he has to give us. but i've said to you guys and to other people a thousand times, the american people deserve to have answers to these questions. >> sure. >> i'd love to do it as quickly as we can, and then frankly, move on. there are other very important issues we could be discussing as well. >> understood and certainly he should have the presumption of innocence if for no other reason there are no charges against him. >> yes. >> quickly today's vote. what do you think of the vote that's happening today on health care. >> you're talking in the senate
of course. >> yes, what do you think of it though? do you know what it's about? do you think it's the right move? >> i absolutely think it's the right move in the sense they have a vote. when we were struggling with this in the house i went to paul ryan you have to force the vote and have people put themselves on the record, i say the same thing to mitch mcconnell. thank you for having a vote. don't let people protect or hide behind this. i know you're going to disagree with this but republicans should be proud and i am proud of what we're trying to do with this health care legislation. we're trying to help people and make things better and sometimes the narrative is we want to expel millions from health care. we don't care about these americans. it's just not true. so let's have the vote, and let's go defend that vote and i think we can do that. >> understood and i agree with that position. >> thank you. >> congressman, and besides you know from me it's not agree or disagree, i test the ideas and i appreciate you coming on to do just that. thank you, sir. >> good to be with you, thank you, sir. >> be well. up next we have this cnn
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yeah, and i can watch thee bgame with directv now.? oh, sorry, most broadcast and sports channels aren't included. and you can only stream on two devices at once. this is fun, we're having fun. yeah, we are. no, you're not jimmy. don't let directv now limit your entertainment. xfinity gives you more to stream to more screens. all right we have a cnn exclusive for you. two in youly obtained videos suggestioning the russian government may be arming the taliban in afghanistan.
the weapons in question are believed to be used in the taliban's fight against isis, and that means against afghan troops. cnn's nick paton walsh live in kabul with the exclusive report. nick, what do we know? >> reporter: chris, it is remarkable, after 15 years of american presence here, the longest american engagement, that there may be a new threat potentially against them, that is taliban, better equipped because of what information we've received here and videos we've received here suggest weapons were actually supplied by the russian government. take a look at what we found. decades of war in afghanistan mean enemies have turned friends and back again, but one devastating alliance, risks redrawing the map here. the russians once fought the taliban here and called mujahadin. the loss brought down the soviet empire but moscow may be arming their old enemies the taliban according to american and afghan officials bolstered by exclusive
images obtained by cnn. this is a breakaway taliban group in the west, with what they say are russian government supplied weapons they've seized from a mainstream taliban group they defeated. "these were given to the fighters by the russians by iran" he says. the russians giving them these weapons to fight isis in afghanistan but using them against us, too. we captured six of them with these guns when they attacked." these weapons, too, the taliban fighter in the mosque claims were supplied free by the russians. "these pistols are brought to you recently, they're made in russia and are very good stuff." small arms experts told us there's nothing tying the guns to the russian state. they are new or rare. various markings missing or scratched off. even this chinese made scope is readily available online. but the american commander here was outspoken on the russian threat. >> but arming belligerence or e
legitimizing belligerence like we saw two days ago is not the best way forward to a peaceful reconciliation. >> to be clear you're not repeating that they're sending weapons to the taliban? >> i'm not refuting that. >> reporter: afghan suspect russian deliveries for at least two months. >> they say they maintain contact with the taliban but we have lots of other reports from people that they are arming the taliban. >> reporter: there's no smoke without fire, is there? >> absolutely. we believe there's no smoke without fire. >> reporter: these pictures are incontrovertible proof the russians will have tried to hide their tracks and in afghanistan war torn as it is, masked behind countless agendas but these picture also spark questions as to the true extent of moscow's involvement here, in a country where as the soviets they suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of american-backed fighters. russia said claims they're arming the taliban are "utterly false" and made to cover up for
american failure. they talked with the taliban purely to promote peace talks. they've denied to you that they are arming the taliban. >> absolutely they have denied that. the issue of contact with the taliban by the russians was something that really concerned us as well, so no contacts would be made with non-state groups. >> reporter: another new agenda, another new fuel, to afghanistan's endless fire. >> so, nick, help us understand this. if, in fact, it's true that they are arming the taliban, and you say there are all these different agendas, is it just to fight isis or what else were they doing? >> reporter: well, those advocates who say this is happening say that possibly russia's doing this because they think the best people on the battlefield to take on isis are the taliban themselves. now, the coalition say that's nonsense because more often than not the taliban are giving shelter or supporting isis although on occasion they fight over territory. that's slightly more complicated. the broader picture some people
look at and think this is perhaps moscow, putin with a chip he has on his shoulder for the fall of the soviet empire, perhaps looking at another way to dig away at washington and in the longest war supplying their enemy if that's actually happening could well be one way of doing that. alisyn, chris? >> nick, appreciate the reporting. thank you very much for putting yourself out there. well, here is another story that we want to tell you about. it's about ten years since the levinson family so you their father, robert, held hostage in ir iran. up next, who they say about how the white house is trying to get him home. last year, he said he was going to dig a hole to china. at&t is working with farmers to improve irrigation techniques. remote moisture sensors use a reliable network to tell them when and where to water. so that farmers like ray can compete in big ways. china.
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-- >> well that was the levinson family expressing their confidence on new day. well, today they're taking their fight to capitol hill to bring their father home. iran has held former fbi agent robert levinson for more than 10 years. last week the white house released a statement urging iran to release him saying the u.s. is prepared to propose sanctions. joining us now is dan levinson.
dan's brother doug will speak today. >> thank you for having me. >> do you still share your sister's confidence back in march where she said she was certain that president trump's deal making skills would allow to you get your father back. >> i do. i think the statement that the white house released on friday was a great first step. they're holding iranian's feet to the fire. we need to follow through and that they're going to keep bringing up my dad in any kind of engagement with the iranians. >> this is the statement that you're referring to. let me read it. the u.s. states hostage takers and nation that is continue to take hostages and retain our citizens without due cause. president trump urges iran to bring him home. unless all unjustly imprisoned
american citizens are released and returned. that is strong language, dan but what makes you think the white house is able to do something beyond issue strongly worded statements? >> we're hoping they do. it's going to take negotiation a deal. president trump has -- he's non as a deal maker. i think it's going to stake these negotiations, but it's going to take more than just asking for cooperation and help in locating him, which is what we've been hearing for 10 years. this more strongly word the statement comes with the sticks that need to accompany the carrots when it comes to dealing with iran. they only respond to pressure. we've learned this over 10 years. we're going to pressure our government to in turn pressure them as well. >> president trump made a promise on the campaign trail before he was elected when he was a candidate in 2015 about your dad. and i want to play this for you. >> if i win the presidency, i
guarantee you that those four prisoners are back in our country before i ever take office. i guarantee that. they will be back before i ever take office, because they know that's what has to happen. okay? if they don't know it, i'm telling them right now. >> so, dan, obviously that didn't happen. was president trump overly confident there? >> i guess so. he said a lot of things on the campaign trail, including that iran knows exactly where my dad is. so we're hoping he's going to talk about that and keep that pressure. all we can do is look forward and hope that president trump follows through on these things. that kind of talk, we're hoping he continues that as a president of the united states. iran, you're holding them. send them home or there will
be cons quinces. >> i guess my question is was he overly confident and is that helpful? in other words is he stoking your optimism and making promises that he's not going to be able to fulfill? >> of course we're always optimistic that things are going -- he's going to be home soon. i can't speak for -- all we can do is pressure them. we were at the white house last week. state department officials. we're reminding that he did say these things and he's still not home. >> of court, it's congress that will impose sanctions in fact there's a a bill with iran, north korea and russia that they're considering. what is your brother going to tell congress. >> my brother was 13 years old. -- we're seven kids. and the youngest one, 13 years old. he's grown over a foot since my dad was arrested. he's even taller than my dad now
and he wears his shoes to work these days. he's working on capitol hill. he's grown into an adult and wants to tell our story how much my dad's missed. weddings, grarnndchildren. he had seven kids for a reason. he loves babies and small i children. he's never going to get these years back. hope he gets home to be able to spend more time with his family and see the new grandchildren. he hasn't met five out of the six he has yet. >> we're keeping your family in our prayers and continuing to follow your story. >> thank you for keeping this in the press. >> absolutely. following a lot of news this morning. the let's get to it. any senator who votes against starting debate is telling america you are fine with the obamacare nightmare. >> showdown folks scheduled today on whether to begin debate on repealing obamacare.
>> we are finding most of our time fights this awful health care bill. >> having john mccain come back for no vote is a huge huge break. >> the president is slamming his attorney general, jeff sessions, calling him weak. >> what's really disturbing here is he's really torturing. >> president trump and his aides discussing possibly removing jeff sessions. >> that's absolutely wrong. cannot be tolerated. >> this is new day with chris cuomo and alison. >> good morning everyone welcome to new day. it is tuesday, july 25, 8:00 in the east. president trump making it clear what's on his mind this morning in an early morning tweet storm. call on senate republicans to step up to the plate as they vote today to begin debating a repeal of obamacare. this comes as senator john mccain makes a dramatic return to washington to cast what could be a deciding vote on health care. >> the president also continues
to publicly bully his attorney general jeff sessions. he called him out for having a very weak position on hillary clinton and saying he should be investigating his rival. why is the president attacking the first senator to his presidential campaign as a supporter? is mr. trump just trying to push him out. cnn politics reporter and ted for at large. and -- let's set the table here with this why he keeps talking about the election, talks about hillary. instead of just making it a statement. let's show the proof of the obsession. here's a montage. >> the question for every senator, democrat or republican is whether they will side with obamacare's -- myon