tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN September 22, 2017 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
and starts 9:00 a.m. and noon eastern on sunday. that is it for "the lead" on this beautiful friday. i'm jake tapper i now turn you over to jim acosta he's in for wolf blitzer but he's still in the "the situation room." thanks for watching. i'll see you sunday. happening now breaking news two thumbs down after dooming the last republican health care bill, senator mccain reveals that he's ready to vote no again as the gnaw es gop attempt to repeal obamacare about to go down in flames. gangster versus mad man. president trump hurls a new insult on north korea leader battle with kim jong-un rare statement questioning mr. trump's authority and sanity. nuclear threat as tensions sword that it may test one of the powerful bombs on the planet. is it bluster or deadly serious warning? and call ing a hoax.
mr. trump is sharing doubts about russian ads on social media aimed on influencing election. as facebook turns over key evidence to investigate ors. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm jim acosta. you are in "the situation room." breaking news tonight senator john mccain says he's ready to do decisive vote. he says he can't support it without democrats. and estimate of the bills impact. one or no vote will kill the bill. and susan is expected to join. but tonight the white house says president trump is not ready to give up. earlier he tweeted thatny gop
that voted no would be known as republican that saved obamacare. also tonight u.s. is on alert that they may do weapons test as kim jong-un and trump trade bellicose threats. kim jong- . mr. trump is calling him mad man. this after said he would pay dearly. this war of words is raising fears of a real and potentially devastating military conflict with north korea upping the ante by claiming it might test a hydrogen bomb over the pacific. this hour i'll talk about those stories and more. . our correspondents, analysts and specialists standing by. let's talk about breaking news. mccain won't support the latest attempt to repeal obamacare.
on capitol hill now ryan it does not look good for the gop bill. >> reporter: that's right, jim. mccain announcement today doesn't kill the graham cassidy plan out ride but puts it on serious life support. if you've been paying attention how he's been handling the debate. his decision today should not be a surprise. tonight they are fading fast. senator john mccain one of the swing votes announced he would not support the graham cassidy plan. a huge set back that need 50 votes to pass the bill by september 30. in a statement released friday afternoon mccain said i cannot in good conscious vote for the graham cassidy proposal. i believe we can do better today, republicans and democrats, and have not yet really tried. mccain has been upset with the health care reform process from the beginning. he for shadowed today's move in
july. during his dramatic return to the senate floor after being diagnosed with brain cancer. he warned his colleagues then thatny attempt to reform health care outside the traditional process of committee votes would fail. >> let's trust each other. let's return to regular order. we have been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle. >> reporter: he subsequently voted no ultimately killing the bill. today's move with senator rand paul means republicans cannot afford to lose anymore votes. a seemingly impossible task. roughly ha dozen gop senators are undecided and two in particular, lisa murkowski of alaska and susan collins of maine have voiced their issues with the bill. >> there are many concerns i have about the graham cassidy
proposal. they include the fact that they make fundamental changes in the medicaid program for the first time in more than 50 years. >> reporter: as a result mccain's decision was viewed by obamacare supporters as final blow as a bipartisan repeal and replace of the obamacare act. and kimmel supported his support, writing thank you senator mccain for being a hero, again, again, and now again. mccain's decision is a blow to the trump white house which put its weight behind the plan. earlier in the day the president trump said those voting against would face political peril. but in this stage mccain he chose his instincts over political calculations despite the fact that one of his closest friends linzi graham coauthored the bill. in a statement mccain made it clear it was not an easy
decision. i take no pleasure in announcing my opposition, far from it. the bill author are my dear friends. and i know they are acting consistently with their believes and sense what is best for the country. so am i. >> reporter: and lindsey graham the coauthor of this piece of legislation and perhaps closest friend on capitol hill says he vows to press on in attempted go to get this piece of leg lays passed. he also says mccains doesn't impact their friendship at all. he said friendship is not based on votes but rather respect how he's lived his life and the person that he is. jim? >> the two amigo say they are still amigo. ryan nobody else thanks very much. this new threat as responds to personal attack from north korea dictator kim jong-un. let's go to cnn white house correspondent in new jersey theer the president's golf
resort. ny reaction to what senator mccain dealing a big blow to their hopes to repeal tg obamacare? >> reporter: it's a big blow indeed. and senior white house said it undeniably hurts the effort but still hoping to get to 50 votes saying the president sntd giving up after seven years of promises. says the president is going to be pushing senators on this repeal effort over the weekend. meanwhile we are seeing increasingly war of words between two leaders president trump and kim jong-un. trump calling kim rocket man and a mad man. and kim calling the president a rogue, a beggangster, and a dot which means an old senile lunatic. it's an escalating war of words with no end insight. president trump tweeting this morning, kim jong-un of north korea who is obviously a mad man, who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be
tested like never before. this after north korea supreme leader fired back at trump. the first time the regime has ever released a statement in his name. accusing the president of being a mentally deranged u.s. dotard. the extraordinary personal barbs coming at the president remark, where he did the nickname for the dictator. >> rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself. and for his regime. >> reporter: kim is warning that mr. trump would pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the dprk. >> the united states has great strength and patience. but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies we will have no choice but to totally destroy north korea. >> reporter: despite the apocalyptic rhetoric, secretary of state rex tillerson saying
today the u.s. has not given up find ago diplomatic solution. >> we will continue our efforts in the diplomate fik arena, but all of our military options is on the table. and once we can assess the nature of this threat, the president will make a decision regarding the appropriate actions. >> reporter: a mid the rising threat from north korea. >> russia is fake news. >> reporter: the president taking to twitter to reprize his long running complaints about the russia probe. writing the russia hoax continues. now it's ads on facebook. >> we'll continue our own investigation into what happened in facebook in this election. >> reporter: coming on news they will provide 3,000 russian ads investigating 2016 russian meddling. trump has eyes focused on another election. the republican runoff for an alabama senate seat. the race pits the establishment choice, recent appointee luther strange, whom trump also
supports, against judge roy moore, a conservative fire brand who is being backed by trump's former chief strategies chief ban ton. >> i don't think that god is just on your side. and i don't think that god is just on my side. i think he's on both of our sides. i think he's on the president's side. but one thing i do know the president is on my side. >> reporter: trump tweeting this morning. will be in alabama tonight. strange will be close. he loves alabama and so do i. and we'll be closely watching the president's speech tonight to see what kind of argument he makes for luther strange. and also to see if he continues to bash kim jong-un in what is likely to be a red filled speech in front of an enthusiastic crowd. >> plenty of fireworks i'm sure. let's turn back to north korea
the way president trump is being insulted by kim jong-un. let's bring in and talk about this. this statement from the leader himself from the dictator himself, that's pretty extraordinary. >> it really is. never before have we seen a north korean put a statement like this in his own name and go after someone in public way. tonight officials from white house to seoul are dissecting his words. and also a threat by the foreign minister about testing a hydrogen bomb. >> it's not just the harsh words coming out of pyongyang about donald trump that are extraordinary. analysts say but who is saying them. north korea kim jong-un in his own words. >> i've never seen anything like this where a north korea leader using his own name speaking first person making it so personal. >> reporter: among the personal insults leveled at president trump he says trump is unfit to
lead a country calling him twice dotard, meaning an old fool. and i'll make him pay dearly. in order to show country men that he won't back down, kim felt he had to speak personally made by trump at the u.n. this week. >> the united states has great strength and patience. but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy north korea. >> reporter: president trump's very temperate lang gave kim jong-un a wonderful gift. gave lima excuse, a pretext to claim that trump's lang convinced him of the need to continue his testing program. kim said as much saying convinced me rather than frightening me, and that is the one i have to follow to the last. kim also vowed to take a hard line counter measure. asked what his boss meant.
kim's foreign minister had a chilling response. >> translator: i think this could probably mean the strongest ever hydrogen bomb test on or above the pacific ocean. >> reporter: u.s. officials believe the last bomb they tested could have been a hydrogen bomb which would be a game changer. why? because the blast may have been nearly ten times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on hiroshima which killed an estimated 150,000 people th bombs use the same kind of energy in the sunny and are the most destructive bombs on the planet. >> you have a relatively small atomic bomb that is nen used to get a much greater explosive yield from the thermal nuclear material that's in this second stage. >> two bombs in one? >> that's right. >> reporter: experts say that this 30 something dictator never met another leader or traveled outside the country, likely has a hydrogen bomb something that
the five powers are declared to have is extraordinarily. >> this is a guy who has no care for the people of his country. now this guy who is one of the most powerful nuclear weapon in the world in this very exclusive club -- >> tonight weapons experts tell us they are skeptical that kim jong-un has the most advanced kind of hydrogen bomb and not sure he could test one fired into the pa certificate pick ocean. but warned he's build that quick quickly and next big move there be firing of nauintercontinenta ballistic missile that could be capable of striking the mainland. >> thanks. let's talk about the north korea threat and breaking news on health care on the foreign relations committee who is in here in the studio with us tonight. thanks for joining us, senator. >> thank you. >> first let's get to health care because it's pretty
remarkable and i want to get your sense of this because you've been in congress so long. you know senator mccain and graham. they are close friends. how difficult do you think this was for senator mccain at the end of the day to essentially torpedo his friends legislation? >> they are close friends and partnered together on policy issues. but i think this is a different issue. i think it goes to john mccain himself and what he believes is best for the country. what each american is entitled to in terms of access to health care. so i think on this one i think he made a personal decision. i think he decided that lindsey would have his trite have a position, but he believed that it was going to dramatically undermine the health care of millions of americans. >> and it was going to be difficult for senator mccain to vote for this piece of legislation when it hadn't gone through the process of regular order, as he's been calling for. he said this earlier in the summer. if this were not going through
regular order he couldn't support it. is regular order possible? i suppose it is. we have seen it happen before. but can it happen on health care do you think? >> it's the only wayny bill is ultimately ever going to pass. if you don't have hearings or experts, if you don't have witnesses, if you don't have patients, doctors, nurses, insurance executives, all there testifying as to what the impacts are going to be on every american, then no legislation ultimately can pass that will be sustainable. and that's all john mccain has been saying since the beginning. >> but you know republicans will say that's because democrats want to stretch this out so this process goes away. that it becomes impossible to do anything significant to change obamacare. fair statement? >> well, you know, john mccain is an institutional memory for the senate. and he is only reflecting the
way the senate has always operated. and it's done big things on medicare and social security and medicaid much less arms control, energy, every aspect. he's saying let's do it on health care as well. let's make sure that the result is what was intended. and right now if people vote for this bill, it's buying an opinion of pope. this is olympic political plastic surgery on the first bill, now they are bringing it out again with no examination what the impacts will be on the american people. >> and let's turn to north korea because we just heard brian todd report. it is building up to this doomsday nightmare scenario. obviously we don't want to even consider the possibilities that north korea could detonate a hydrogen bomb over the pacific, but that is what they are threatening. what do you make of that threat coming from the north koreans? do you think that is bluster? everything that we have seen this week between the president
and kim jong-un is it all bluster? or is there something serious here that americans should worry about? >> i think that we should be concerned. and i think that we should be concerned that this escalation of rhetoric between two leaders that has nuclear weapons is slipping very quickly that could be dangerous for the planet. and, again, if he detonates a hydrogen bomb, that's why we have the things set up, it's set in the winds and goes down into the ground, into the grass, cows eat the grass and goes into the milk of the children across the pln et. >> does u.s. have to consider nucle military option? >> there is none. if we take a strike at north korea it could quickly escalate into the deaths of hundreds of
thousands or millions of people in south korea and in other countries in that region. only answer is to go to final sanctions on north koreans. right now we are not cutting off the oil that goes from china into north korea. we are not cutting off revenues into north korea. the currency, bitcoin which they are using to supply funding for their economy, all of it should be shut off. we should have a closed business sign put on north korean economy. we haven't reached that point yet. we should go to final sanctions now. we should start out where we'll be forced to wind up. that will be the message we are sending. and a companying a message that we say to the north korean that we want to sit down with you. we don't want to decapitate your leadership. we don't want to change your regime but just want to put controls on your police tick missile and hydrogen plan.
okay. stand by. president trump called it a hoax once again. i want to get your take on that after we take a quick break. when you're close to the people you love, does psoriasis ever get in the way of a touching moment? if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, you can embrace the chance of completely clear skin with taltz. taltz is proven to give you a chance at completely clear skin. with taltz, up to 90% of patients had a significant improvement of their psoriasis plaques. in fact, 4 out of 10 even achieved completely clear skin. do not use if you are allergic to taltz. before starting you should be checked for tuberculosis. taltz may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you are being treated for an infection or have symptoms. or if you have received a vaccine or plan to. inflammatory bowel disease can happen with taltz.
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hillary referring to hillary clinton. what is your response? the president not only referring to the russia investigation that is happening in the special counsel's office but the fact that facebook wants to turn over ads to congress. he's calling that a hoax too. >> well the way you have communicated in this world has evolved, it was radio and television now it's facebook. hour campaigns are dependent on disclosure. it's the american people who have a right to know who was trying to influence our election. so anyone buying an ad on cnn or radio television station, that's disclosed, public can see who paid for it and see how much it cost. right now on facebook that has not been the case. this is a very dark world that needs to have the disinfected of public light that goes in so that people can actually understand who is buying these ads and for what purpose. and i think ultimately facebook has to be made accountable. and we are going to need laws
that require that kind of disclosure in the future. >> and do you want to see facebook's mark zuckerberg testify on capitol hill as part of this process? after all, it was his website that had this flood of fake news stories and ads coming in from russians and so on during the campaign. apparently had some kind of effect. who knows if it changed the outcome of the election, but it had effect, i think, on voters attitudes. >> i would think that if we were going to have hearings about public disclosure of people who are buying ads on facebook or other websites that it would be helpful to mark zuckerberg and other people testify. so it's a new era to open up to information on the web but intended to effect our elections. we've had those hearings for years with television he can
tifs a vision executives and radio executives. >> why do we not see many hearings in the russian investigation? we don't see many of them. witnesses are brought in behind closed doors, met with staffers. perhaps it would be more difficult for the president to call it a hoax if we saw hearings about this and the public were to watch these folks answer the questions about this investigation. >> i agree with you. i think that this is a huge pin add a where all of the information should be out in public display so the american people can understand what is happening in our country with regard to our elections, what was the influence of the russian government. now i understand that there are certain witnesses and an individual cases that necessarily perhaps have to be kept in secret. but i think for the the most part there should be more public hearings and public disclosure.
that's what we had during watergate and i think going forward we need the same kind of disclosure here. >> okay. thanks very much. we appreciate you coming in today. coming up more breaking news on the health care bill and impact of senator john mccain stunning no decision ton that piece of legislation. our correspondents are working their sources. stay with us. you're in "the situation room."
this hour breaking news pretty significant. senator john mccain announcing he won't support the republicans last ditch effort to support obamacare. let's go to our political specialist. was this unexpected, what john mccain did today? >> to some degree, yes. he obviously took a pretty good bold position in july when he came out and tanked the first effort, i guess second republican effort to repeal obamacare. he went on the floor of the senate and really made the dramatical remarks that he would not support doing anything that did not go through the regular process, through the committees, hearings, try to get bipartisan support. something that's carefully studied. but this graham cassidy bill came out of left field. done quietly. there was no analysis issued by the time of the vote next week.
so in some ways not unexpected because this is right in line with what he's been saying all along. but of course his best friend, lindsey graham had been pushing and thought he could convince john mccain to go for it. but mccain did not like being pushed and that's one reason he came out and said no. >> and i wonder if john mccain to some extent did mitch mcconnell a final and he didn't have to do thumbs down on the floor. nouns it on friday. go into the weekend hand maybe other opposition in the weekend and won't have to get to that point and have that public embarrassment. do you think we'll see more opposition come out this weekend? has mccain opened the flood gates? >> timing is definitely interesting. because timing by coming out on friday gives mitch mcconnell some time to deal with the fallout, perhaps they'll be announcing this as early as sunday, where susan collins is.
he's edging towards being a no vote. >> did mccain provide her coverage by doing so? >> perhaps. but maybe has put more pressure on them to be no votes to kill the bill. we don't know that. but donald trump has made a no vote against this is it a yes vote to keep obamacare. >> yeah, rebecca i don't want to be the press aids taking emails, a lot of incoming. how big of a roll did jimmy kimmel play in this do you think? as wrapping up and talking to senator, this was not on camera, he feels that does have an impact. they put a human face on this debate, which is really sort of lacked that quality over the last several months. >> sure. so many variables it's difficult to know for sure, of course. but no question it influenced the course of the debate. and because all this happened so suddenly and most democrats and republicans did not necessarily see us returning to this debate
at this time, everyone sort of thought that the health care debate was gone and dead and moving on to tax reform. jimmy kimmel filled a vacuum in the debate. and really steered it before republicans were able to wrest back control lan steand steer t debate themselves. so yes it had an impact. >> in trying to message the health care, not just on graham cassidy deal, but what they were trying to do over the summer, you did not see a real concerted messaging strategy about why this piece of legislation was great and needed to pass. nothing like that. no push from the outside to support it. in fact, the only push from the outside was to oppose it. and they made it very difficult other than to say obamacare is failing. that was their only over arching message but not what it should be replaced with and why. >> but the kimmel febeffect, it
really the pop culture coming together in hollywood. and different from kimmel and other hollywood types that come out here and testify on capitol hill, is that jimmy kimmel came from nothing. he was not a wealthy person. he comes across as blue collar person. and made it clear it doesn't fe affect him. he has the money but other people don't have the money to take care of their children. and this is what made it authentic. and i think that conveyed authenticity really did come across in his monologues. >> do you think president trump will be giving this speech in alabama tonight, down think it's a good idea for him to go after john mccain? >> well, donald trump has never unnecessarily looked at the strategy when he attacks people. it's usually more of an adviseral reaction fighting back when he feels he has been wronged. so we might see some of that
this evening from him if he does feel that mccain has derailed this important measure to him. but i think it's a certainty that donald trump tonight will come out and say something about the status of this health care debate. interestingly, vice president mike pence was in indiana today. and he was talking about this in a rosey way. we are working to get this done. i think we'll find a different tone from the president. >> mike pence on tone but the president not so much. >> or if the president tries to go after lisa murkowski, we fwhoe lisa murkowski does not like that. >> and interesting to note he went after that. stay sustained. i wanted to talk about kim jong-un. and north korea very big threat to detonate a hydrogen bomb over the pacific ocean.
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we're back with our political specialists. and as for things we did see coming, the president escalated war of words with kim jong-un on twitter this morning. show this on screen. kim jong-un of north korea who is obviously a mad man who doesn't mind starving or killing his people will be tested like never before this coming day after kim called the president rogue and gangster, a dotard which i guess was not a word that i was completely familiar
with. dotard, i keep mispronouncing it. anyway, what do we make of this escalation? i mean, is this just sort of par for the course? are we heading towards something that people need to worry about? >> i sure hope not. the unpredictability of north korea is intelligence officials as well. i do think though from a united states standpoint, trading barbs back and forth with the leader of north korea is very in effective. i think silence is devining in many ways. to try to second guess what our military options will be at the same time adding the sanctions in and really trying to put him in a strangle hold will be a more effective way to try to get what we need, the concessions we need out of them. at the same time, really pressuring china behind the
scenes to take a more leadership role in this. >> and manu, when you are up on the hill, do senators and congressman pull you a side what is the deal, what is going on with the president and kim jong-un? or do people regard this as bombastic stuff the president does whether it's with marco rubio during the campaign or hillary clinton after the campaign? >> they certainly see it that way. but they realize there is a real fear and concern and going this route with very unpredictable leader that has nuclear weapons. heav . even ted cruz i asked him about the fire and fury comments, he said that's not necessarily something i would say. that's the criticism you get on capitol hill. but look the president when he did say that fire and if you're, the north korea has done two missiles they filed over japan, now the threat of h bomb being
dropped on pacific ocean. the real concern is the president painted himself in ha corner here and has given kim jong-un an excuse to move forward in a way that he may not have had otherwise. >> right. and the president said in that august speech in phoenix that while he's glad that kim jong-un respects him, he'll give another political speech in alabama shortly. but let me turn to another story that caught everyone's tension in washington. and it's remarkable how things happen over and over again. cabinet sents finding out maybe it's not such a good idea to live high on the hog. now the inspector general is looking into his private jets. why do they not see this coming? why make that same mistake over and over again? >> and it's worth pointing out tom price is a unique case. we haven't seen anything like this to this extent.
he did this toeover and over ag at great expense to taxpayers, unlike devos pays for her jets. it's totally tone deaf. it's mind boggling really. how could anyone who has been in politics think that's a good idea? >> talking about taking away health care from potentially millions of americans. thanks very much. we'll talk about this in the next haour. also stay tuned with mark preston, there is he right there. listen tomorrow 5 people eastern on sunday. so tune in for that. that will be great. and coming up more on north korea threat to detonate hydrogen bomb over the pacific ocean. can anything be done to stop it? g ingredients are safe... to knowing they are.
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on twitter, what worries you the most? >> if i'm the head of a hostile or even friendly intelligence service, i got a new office over here, follow that account. tell me what this man is saying. it's tremendously revealing. we know the president's hot button. we know his vulnerables. we know what upsets him. we know what he demands from his subordinates. we even know his sleep spat terns based upon his twitter usage. that's a tremendous gift. >> all of those things someone like vladimir putin say take great pains to hide. >> of course, you don't want to advantage the other guy. >> bill joins us, tell us about this report. president trump's twitter has on just about everything these days. it's got to be hard to fit it into one hour. >> there are so many different strands. we start with so they seem so disposal, ethereal, they blow
through our phones, another one comes after you get over the last one. i thought what if we printed them out and had them leather bound. >> oh. wow. oh my goodness. >> that's up to a month-and-a-half ago. these are the words. single spasd. we didn't cheat this. >> i'd be afraid to put that on my coffee table, reenforcements would be necessary. >> these words will be studied in future century, not only as a sign of this man, our times, what was it about our culture in 2017 and this man and this message and this machine that leads to this? he's not the most popular guy on twitter by far. barack obama has almost two names as many followers than the iate realdonald trump. he averages six a day. there are so many different words. you heard michael hayden worry so much he is giving away. there are worries he may put himself in legal jeopardy by tweeting something that could be
used against him later or his words become so meaning less that a world leader doesn't take him seriously. we examine those and also his supporters. scott adam, the dilbettrt creat. it's perfect for him and his audience. >> which will be watching later on tonight. thank you so much. be sure to watch a special report twitter and trump at 9:00 eastern coming up, president trump and kim jong-un trade insults, the threats to detonate a hydrogen bomb. and bill mccain says he will vote against the latest republican plan to scrap obamacare.
>> happening now, breaking news, repeal, senator john mccain announces he will vote against the latest bill, with serious concerns about the measure, is the latest obama repeal effort doomed? president trump and kim jong-un, can their bickering boil over with north korea's most provocative test yet neighborhood, strange raid, a spain for recent senate appointee and establishment candidate luther australian him. he is running against a deeply conservative rival who also has a loyal gop following. can the president's clout tip the race neighborhood, and jet setter, more pri