tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN April 10, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
thank you so much for being with me. let's go to washington. "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. evidence-free accusations that the trump campaign was improperly spied upon. and they're not coming from president trump. "the lead" starts right now. the new attorney general, bill barr, with a bombshell claim, saying he thinks spying did occur against the trump campaign under president obama. what did he mean? and is he going to ever show us any evidence of this? president trump insisting that he's the decision maker behind his hardline immigration policy, as reports say tactics could soon become much more merciless at the border. plus, it's the issue we could all be talking about in 2020. bernie sanders laying out his plan for medicare for all and ending the health insurance industry as we know it, but how's he going to pay for it? questions are going to have to wait. welcome to "the lead."
i'm jake tapper. we begin today with our politics lead. attorney general bill barr making the extraordinary claim before the senate today that, quote, spying did occur on the trump campaign by the intelligence community in 2016, when barack obama was president. and that barr is investigating whether the surveillance was, quote, unauthorized. the public has, of course, known for some time that the fbi investigated the trump campaign, prompted, we're told, by campaign aid george papadopoulos, talking about the russians having e-mails belonging to hillary clinton, but barr is talking about unauthorized surveillance, though he declined to explain or detail his allegation in any way. this comes as president trump earlier today unloaded on special counsel robert mueller's investigation, calling it illegal, calling it an attempted coup against his presidency, and again repeating the false suggestion that mueller's findings totally exonerate him on the matter of obstruction of justice, a matter for which mueller did not reach a conclusion.
cnn's sara murray kicks out of our coverage. >> i think spying did occur, yes. i think spying did occur. >> reporter: a stunning statement by attorney general william barr, claiming that the fbi, or intelligence agencies, during the obama administration may have spied on the 2016 trump campaign. >> i think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. it's a big deal. >> reporter: barr later tried to clarify his claim. >> i am not saying that improper surveillance occurred. i'm saying that i am concerned about it and looking into it. that's all. >> reporter: and while he stopped short of accusing anyone of breaking the rules -- >> i'm not suggesting that those rules were violated, but i think it's important to look at that. ad i'm not just -- i'm not talking about the fbi, necessarily, but intelligence agencies, more broadly. >> reporter: barr telling lawmakers he's looking into the origins of the fbi's investigation into possible ties
between donald trump's 2016 presidential campaign and the russian government. the investigation into the investigation already cause for celebration from the president. >> he's doing a great job getting started on going back to the or gigins of exactly where this all started. because this was an illegal witch hunt and everybody knew it. what they did was treason. what they did was terrible. >> reporter: but when it comes to special counsel robert mueller's report, the president may not be as pleased. barr tells lawmakers he will not sanitize it to protect trump. >> does that mean that you will redact information to protect the reputational interests of the president? >> no. i'm talking about people in private life. >> okay. not public office. >> reporter: still, barr faced another round of criticism for his decision to clear the president of obstruction of justice qub admitting he did not know if mueller wanted him to make that call. >> did he express any interest in leaving the obstruction decision to congress?
>> not that -- he didn't say that to me, no. >> so he said the obstruction decision should be up to you? >> he didn't say that either. >> but that's generally how the department of justice works. >> and he still doesn't know if mueller agrees with it. >> did bob mueller support your conclusion? >> i don't know whether bob mueller supported my conclusion. >> meantime, the president today claiming he doesn't care about the mueller report, because -- >> i've been totally exonerated. i have not seen the mueller report. i have not read the mueller report. i won! no collusion, no obstruction. i won. this was an attempted coup. this was an attempted takedown of a president. >> now, bill barr also said he will hopefully have a version of this report ready for congress and the public next week. but, of course, jake, that's going to be a report full of redactions and it's not going to be enough to satisfy the
democrats. so the battle will continue. >> all right. sara murray, thank you so much. joining me now to discuss this is senator chris van hollen, democrat from maryland, who is one of the democrats questioning attorney general bill barr today. senator, thanks so much for joining us. let's get your reaction to attorney general barr saying he's concerned about unauthorized surveillance of the trump campaign and that he has an obligation to investigate the conduct by the intelligence community. what did you think when he said that? and do you think he ever landed on a clear explanation of what he was exactly saying? >> no, he did not, jake. this was really a shameful moment for the attorney general, who was up before the committee and really not answering questions about why he was taking so long to provide the public with a report. really wouldn't talk about why he kplorexonerated the presiden the obstruction of justice charges, even when mueller did not exonerate the president. and while he wasn't answering those questions, he floated this whole thing, this surprise
statement, about spying, but then quickly said he didn't have any evidence that he would provide to the committee. so it looks like he's doing the political bidding of the president. this has been something the president has wanted for a long time, but the job of the attorney general is not to do the bidding of the president. the job of the attorney general is to pursue justice. >> take a listen to president trump. he has praised barr's decision to investigate the investigation, so to speak. >> hopefully the attorney general. he mentioned it yesterday. he's doing a great job getting started on going back to the origins of exactly where this all started. because this was an illegal witch hunt. and what they did was treason. what they did was terrible. what they did was against or constitution. >> what's your reaction, sir? >> well, clearly, barr was, you know, essentially doing what the president's been asking him to do, even when he refused to
provide any evidence to the committee. that sounds to me like political interference, rather than, you know, an unbiased look into this. it sounds like a fishing expedition based on what the president wants. as you know, jake, this has been well-plowed territory. there was surveillance pursuant to the fisa warrant and committees of congress have looked into this issue. so for barr to sort of spring this at the same time that he hasn't provided the mueller report to the public, again, just stinks of politics rather than justice and the rule of law. >> here's what barr had to say about the investigation into decisions by the fbi. >> to the extent there were any issues at the fbi, i do not view it as a problem that's endemic to the fbi. i think there was probably a failure among a group of leaders
there. >> do you agree that there were issues within the fbi's leadership at this time? >> look, i do not know all the details here. what i know is that barr throughout this bombshell, and at the same time refused to present any evidence of it. that is, in my view, reckless and clearly political, especially given the fact the president has been urging him to do this and now is celebrating the fact that he did. and it obviously took away a lot of attention from the fact that mueller has continued to stall in making the -- excuse me, the attorney general has stalled in making the mueller report public. and has refused to explain the basis for his, quote, exonerating the president when mueller expressly did not do so. >> here's what barr had to say about his concerns regarding possible abuse of fbi surveillance powers. take a listen.
>> there was a lot of, you know, people upset at the fbi, you know, spying on our surveilling civil rights groups or anti-war groups or part of my responsibility is to protect the civil liberties of the american people. and i think, i think something that is important is that the law enforcement and the intelligence agencies respect the limits on their powers. >> senator, i don't need to tell you that the fbi does have a long history of abusing their powers when it comes to surveillance. all intelligence agencies in this country at one point or another have come under fire. is it not possible that that happened here? >> look, jake. we don't know the facts. and that's why it was reckless of attorney general barr to throw this out there without providing the facts. as senator warner said earlier today, he's the ranking member,
the ranking democrat on the intelligence committee, we have looked at this, committees have looked at this, and they found no evidence of wrongdoing when it came to the fisa warrants that led to the surveillance. and so for barr to come before the committee, not provide any evidence, but make those kind of statements, in my view is grossly irresponsible. obviously, obviously, we want to make sure that law enforcement abides by the law and by the rules. but before you throw out public accusations, you would think you would at least provide some basis to the committee and some evidence, which he did not. >> obviously, for years now, president trump has been doing everything he could to undermine this investigation, especially in the court of public opinion. bad mouthing mueller, bad
mouthing comey, bad mouthing the people conducting the investigation. do you see wlapd today, the comment by attorney general barr, as part of that? because this mueller report will be released in some way, shape, or form with redactions, but it's 300, 400 plus pages that detail not great things. even if not criminal activities, not flattering activities by people in the president's orbit. >> well, i'm not sure i understand your question, but what we do know, jake, is this. that the mueller -- the mueller team in that report specifically said that there were difficult questions of fact and intent with respect to whether or not the president of the united states obstructed justice. they didn't find beyond a reasonable doubt that the president obstructed justice in a criminal way, but clearly, they saw a lot of evidence that
could lead to that conclusion. and instead of allowing the public to see the report and see what mueller's team has found, barr substituted his own judgment and his own conclusions for that of mueller and his team. as he's continued to stonewall the report. so, you know, the president, you know, continues to tweet out the top lines from the barr report, as if they were conclusions from the mueller report. but on obstruction of justice, that was not a mueller conclusion. and we heard today that barr doesn't know whether mueller would agree in any way to that. i doubt he would. because otherwise, he would have said so in his report. >> it doesn't sound like you have such high regard for the attorney general. >> i think every day that goes by, it's become clearer and clearer that the attorney general is doing the political bidding of the president. many of us were current about this when he wrote that about 14-page memo last year, that looked like a job application for the attorney general
position. that memo, if you recall, essentially said that the president could not be found guilty of obstruction of justice, if there was no sort of underlying crime, when, in fact, there were many possibilities of a president being involved in obstruction of justice. and so, the reality is that that memo that raised so many concerns during his confirmation hearing, in my view, was early proof that this attorney general is just doing the political bidding of president trump. >> all right. senator chris van hollen, democrat of maryland, thank you so much. you know who else was taken by surprise by the attorney general's spying claim? the vice chairman of the congressional committee looking into president trump for more than two years. then, new poll numbers out about former vice president joe biden and the claims by some women that he has made them uncomfortable. the results might surprise you. stay with us. fidelity is redefining value for investors.
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i... thought you kinda... and we're back with our politics lead today. the attorney general of the united states claimed he believes the trump campaign was spied on by the intelligence chunt under president obama. one of the senators who has spent the last two years investigating this matter, intelligence vice chair, mark warner, says he's never heard of it. >> i'm amazed that the attorney general would make that kind of statement. i think it is, in many ways, disrespectful to the men and women who work in the justice department. and it shows, i think, either a lack of understanding or willful ignorance of what goes into a counterintelligence investigation. >> let's chew over all of this. congresswoman mia love, what do you make of all of this? >> well, i certainly hope that if he's going to put that accusation out there, that he actually comes up with some evidence to provide some light
on this. if there is -- if that was happening, the american people still deserve to see what was going on and so, if he puts it out there, he should just make sure he puts all the evidence he possibly can to make the american people know what's going on. >> we should remind people, there's been a republican attorney general since 2017. it's interesting to think that like only now would the new attorney general provide this information. senator moran from kansas pressed the attorney general, trying to find out what he was talking about. take a listen. >> i'm now asking what the basis is or what the facts are that lead you to that thought? >> okay, i felt -- i am concerned about it and i was asked about whether there was any basis for it and i believe there is a basis for my concern, but i'm not going to discuss the basis. >> what do you think of that? >> well, look, i think what he said today is perfectly reasonable. he has a concern, he wants to look into it. he didn't make any allegations that anything improper had happened, but there are a heck of a lot of americans and certainly a lot of trump
supporters who believe something here happened that at a minimum needs to be looked at for the possibility of abuse. what is wrong with looking into something? i mean, for the last two years, we've been looking into this collusion lark. why isn't this a legitimate line of inquiry, too, to reassure people that there wasn't. if there's no abuse, let's reassure people there wasn't. >> i don't think there's anybody saying it shouldn't be looked into, but should you be saying at a congressional hearing "i think it happened" without any evidence? >> exactly. and i think that's where there is something very wrong with the way he's doing it. if he really thought that, jake, we all know this, he wouldn't have rolled it out this way. there would already be something ongoing in terms of, okay, let's find out more. there would be a team that would be focused on actually trying to figure out if there is any evidence to actually make that kind of accusation. there isn't! and so if there was, i think he would have said that yesterday. >> i actually think it's the opposite. i think he wouldn't say it unless he had something that's led him to believe to say it. he's going to be pushed to ask
for, what is the evidence. and i think -- i hope -- i certainly think that he does have something that is concerning him, that will come up later. but he did not want to mention what that was until he fully investigated it. >> look at the optics here. when you look at the optics of this president, who has lauded praise on vladimir putin, a foreign adversary, who has clearly tried to influence our elections, and now his hand-picked attorney general is deciding to investigate the investigators and spending a lot more energy on that, a foreign adversary is still trying to advocate our elections. it's like a saturd"saturday nig live" skit. >> jerry nadler responded to barr's comments by responding, quote, these comments directly contradict what the department of justice previously told us. i have asked the department of justice to brief us immediately. in the meantime, the attorney general still owes us the full mueller report. >> if barr really contradicted what the department of justice has previously said, what do you
make of that? >> look, i think we have never gotten a full accounting of how all of this started. we have never got an full accounting of all the people inside the fbi that were clearly concerned about the possibility that donald trump was going to get elected president. and we're still waiting to get a full accounting on the russian interference, as well. there is no reason that all of us this should not come out in a timely fashion. what i heard barr today say is, he's going to deliver the report and do an investigation on the other end. and i can't believe anybody would think we should look at one issue and not the other. >> frankly, i'm sick and tired of the whole thing. we are -- we've got members that are investigating members that are investigating the administration. in the meantime, the american people, i'm telling you right now, i heard a conversation about, just people so frustrated that all of this is going on and not one issue that is important to them, immigration reform, when it comes to health care, nub of that is being addressed by the current congress. it is not being addressed by the
current congress. immigration has been taken care of? >> it hasn't been taken care of. >> it's not a false narrative. >> it is a false narrative, to know that the democratic majority in particular in the house cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. certainly, there have been policy issues that are pushed out every single day in the house, that fall flat by a republican-controlled senate. and i don't understand how people who purport to be patriots are saying, wait, don't worry about the russian collusion, just focus on -- >> no, no, no. we've talked about the registration conclusion -- the russian issue a long time ago. if you remember -- >> we should still keep talking about it! >> -- it was mitt romney that was debating barack obama that warned the american people about the russian issue. >> tiffany -- >> let me finish for a second. and i was a member of congress. we sat there and we pushed immigration reform. we did everything we possibly could. not one vote on the democrat side that actually gave people a pathway to citizenship. so this is something that is not about -- >> well, that narrative -- >> all right, maria? >> it's about one side -- >> that narrative is not true. >> as a member of congress, you
should know that there are committees that are focused every single day on having hearings on issues of health care, on issues of border security, on issues of financial security, on every single issue that the american people care about, but the fact of the matter is, with this president in the white house, and every single bizarre, ridiculous that i think he says and comes out of his twitter account, and then you have an attorney general that is doing his bidding, of course that is what the media is going to focus on. but if you take a look at the 2020 candidates, what are they talking about? they aren't talking about health care. they are talking about border security. if the president is the one who is obsessed with this, than that is his issue. >> i just want to say this also, is that when you look at things, this is not what the american people are feeling. the american people are feeling like we are going back and forth with investigations and, trust me, i am not an apoll gist for the >> i agree with you on that. >> there are several things that have to be done that congress is
not worried about. it's more about the political battle and who's going to win the 2020 election. >> everyone, stick around. president trump in texas sharing horror stories he says he's heard about life along the border as he touts a controversial aide's growing role on all things immigration. stay with us. drama queen with serious root issues. she sees a bit of gray and thinks... (screams) luckily, there's magic root cover up from l'oreal. three seconds to flawless roots 3...2...1... done! the number one root concealer in the world. magic root cover up from l'oreal paris. - i like to plan my activities before i take trip,
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hour for impromptu remarks where he just went off about immigration. he said what's happening at the border is, quote, crazy. he recounted a story he was apparently told today by someone who lives near the border. take a listen. >> we find dead people from guatemala, honduras, from el salvador, from mexico, all over. many, many dead people. many. also, they come in and raid their houses. and it's very dangerous. and they're told never to leave their house at night. and at the day -- during the day, always carry a gun. >> cnn's kaitlan collins at the white house for us right now. kaitlan, the president painting a rather stark picture there. >> reporter: yeah, sharpening his message on immigration. and jake, as he was recounting those stories that he said he heard from the donors around him, the president said he wants to send more military to the southern border. now, we're told a formal request has not been made with the pentagon yet, but jake, that's coming amid another big fight in
washington. that one over the president's taxes. >> while i'm under audit, i won't do it. >> reporter: president trump holding the line. >> there's no law whatsoever. >> reporter: insisting he's still under audit on the day of a deadline set by house democrats for the irs to hand over six years of his tax returns. >> i'm not under audit, i would do it. i have no problem with it. but while i'm under audit, i would not give my taxes. >> the irs has made it a regular practice to audit every sitting president and vice president since the 1970s. >> people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. well, i'm not a crook. >> reporter: and both presidents barack obama and george w. bush released their returns while in office. >> no lawyer would tell you to release your tax returns while you're under audit. >> that fight brewing amid an upheaval at the department of homeland security. >> i think that the whole asylum rules, laws, and regulations
have been taken advantage of by people that are very bad people in many cases. >> it's kirstjen nielsen's last day on the job after being pushed out earlier this week. and the acting deputy secretary was forced to step down yesterday. but some are skeptical the changes in leadership will change anything. >> it's very important that the democrats in congress change these loopholes. >> reporter: today, trump praised the aide he recently put in charge of all immigration and border issues. >> stephen is an excellent guy. he's a wonderful person. >> reporter: the dhs purge has put stephen miller under a microscope. >> it's really problematic, it's really concerning. and he is a big driver of the president's xenophobic views. >> reporter: but today, trump made clear who's really in control. >> frankly, there's only one person who's running it. you know who that is? it's me. >> reporter: minutes after that, miller echoed the president's exact words, telling cnn in a
statement, only one person in this u.s. government runs immigration policy, president donald trump. now, jake, those big staffing changes at dhs are supposed to make way for more aggressive immigration tactics, but miller, while he has influence, is certainly not the only one working on immigration. we're also told that the president's son-in-law, jared kushner, is working on his own legal immigration reform, something the president said will be unveiled shortly and that he's excited about. >> kaitlan collins, thank you so much. let's talk about this. president trump again claiming today he cannot release his taxes, because he's under audit. take a listen. >> while i'm under audit, i won't do it. if i'm not under autdit, i woul do it. i have no problem with it. i would love to give them, but i'm not going to do it while i'm under audit. >> first of all, just as a factual matter, he's provided no evidence he's under audit. he's been saying this for a
long, long time. but even if you're under audit, you're allowed to release your returns. it hasn't stopped previous presidents. >> he could, and he could have released them in 2016. if he's thinking about it politically, he's like, i didn't do it before and i won, why would i do it again? there are a number of lines of inquiry into his taxes, state issues in new york and federal issues in washington. they need to be prepared to lose one of those lines of inquiry some time over the next two years and deal with it if they don't win out on this. i'm not really concerned about the polling, because i don't really think this is going to be material as to whether he gets recollected or not. if i was running, i would release my taxes. >> but he would love to do it! >> he would love to do it, jake. so i think somebody just needs to convince him that even though he's under audit, like every other president was under audit, when they put out their taxes, he can do it! because he would love to do it! >> and i don't really care about bernie sanders' taxes, either. what are we going to find out? these are rich guys -- >> we don't know. >> who have some real estate.
that's what we're going to find out. people already know that. >> this is a really good question, scott. because there is clearly something in there that he is dying for us not to know. or else he would have released it. what you see in somebody's taxes can be whether he's beholden to foreign governments, whether he's beholden to russian oligarchs. and a president who is beholden to foreigners of any type is a president who is compromised. >> you know, i'm not going to make a decision of what's in his taxes, because i haven't seen it. so i'm not going to assume whatever's in there. but i can tell you this. if you're thinking strictly politically, his supporters that voted him in do not care about it. and those who actually voted for him aren't going to look at this. and i don't think it's going to take any of his supporters away or bring people to come along. >> supporters are not the litmus test for what matters in the country. his spotter supporters don't ca a lot of things. i don't think that's the litmus test for him to release his taxes. i think there is demonstrable evidence that this president is compromised. we learned in the michael cohen plea deal that he had a
multi-million-dollar reason to laud all of this praise on vladimir putin. i want to know as a citizen, and i would hope my fellow patriots as citizens would want to know, why is he not releasing his tax returns? >> i'm not making the argument about whether we think he should -- i'm just saying, politically, he doesn't have -- there isn't anything that is forcing him to do it right now, so he's not going to do it. >> so kellyanne conway today defended her boss, the president, on cnn about his not releasing the tax returns. take a listen. >> he's under audit. if he wasn't under audit, maybe he would release them. but hep didn't release them during the campaign and he was elected anyway. everybody knew that people were asking about those tax returns. >> you know who was asking about those tax returns back in 2016? well, kellyanne conway. >> it's a completely transparent, donald trump's tax returns aren't. i would like to see those be transparent. >> that was, of course, before she joined the campaign. but there is a precedent here. and explain why it's important for people to see the returns.
67% of the american people, according to cnn's recent poll, think it's important. why? >> yeah, i think, first of all, we have seen evidence from this president of not being truthful. so, again, to the point that there is nothing stopping him from releasing his taxes, he said multiple times on the campaign trail, i'll release them when hillary rieleases her e-mails, i'll release them when i'm not under audit. i think it's important for a president to be transparent about his finances and his financial obligations. i think part of the reason, quite honestly, is his ego. i think perhaps he's not as wealthy as he's presented himself to be. i think he's presented himself to be this billionaire. perhaps we'll see that that's not quite true. >> yeah. i want to turn to immigration. the president today complimented his top aide, stephen miller, who's come under a lot of fire from the left and the center, but he also said this about his immigration policies. take a listen. >> frankly, there's only one person that's running it. you know who that is? it's me. >> you guys, i know, both support some sort of larger
immigration reform compromise and stephen miller is kind of in the way of that. >> this is an issue that i would rather be talking about this issue. this is something that is incredibly important to me. i am a daughter of parent who is emigrated to this country. i would like to see the immigration say something positive about good immigrants that have come to this country and have contributed to our great american democracy. my parents came with just $10 in their pockets. and i have to tell you, the greatest pride that my father has is the fact that he said, i wasn't willing to just take on the benefits. i was willing to take on the responsibilities and i raised a daughter to be the first plaque female republican in the house of representatives. and there's such great people that come into this country that want to contribute and there's really no way for them to do that. >> so as a latina immigrant myself, coming from one of th e those -- >> you're an immigrant yourself? >> i am. >> where are you from? >> colombia. >> i came over here at 2 years
old and my daughter had $10 in his pocket. this is all of our stories, when we look at where we came from. that's why this issue is so infuriating, not just to immigrants, but to people who understand this is about america's values. this is about the foundation of why and how we put this country together. i was at a gala for a latino civil rights group the other night and the president of the gala was lauding ronald reagan, because ronald reagan, the republican president that everybody admires, including donald trump, the the one who called this country a shining city on a hill. donald trump wants to abolish that shining city, wants to close it down, he has already said, there is no more room. and this is, i think, going to be a big issue going into 2020. >> scott, very quickly. there could be a big -- in the only nixon go to china kind of way, donald trump could have a big comprehensive immigration reform and get some stuff he wants as well as some stuff he doesn't want. is stephen miller the impediment or the trump base?
what's the problem? >> i don't think the trump base is an impediment. i think if the president were to bless a deal, big or small, the trump base would go along with it. we heard jared kushner is working on a deal to increase legal immigration, which would have to be part of a comprehensive plan. i totally agree with you. if donald trump puts it together and blesses it, the republicans will go with it. if he doesn't bless it, they won't be able to vote for it, because they don't trust the congressional leaders as much as -- >> we've got all of these good, comprehensive bills. he really doesn't have to rewrite the book. >> it's never going to happen. >> everyone, stick around. senator bernie sanders just unveiled a proposal that some of his 2020 rivals are signing on to. the white house is attacking it. that's next. t safelite autoglas, we really pride ourselves on making it easy to get your windshield fixed. with safelite, you can see exactly when we'll be there. saving you time for what you love most. >> kids: whoa! >> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ it's way day! yes.
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the 2020 lead now. vermont senator bernie sanders just pushed medicare for all front and center. four years ago, sanders' proposal was basically considered fringe in many of the democratic establishment. today, it's rather mainstream in the party, embraced by several other presidential candidates. sanders presented his plan today, but was not willing to stick around for questions for reporters afterwards. cnn's ryan nobles has the story. >> good morning, everybody. >> reporter: bernie sanders today doubling down on medicare for all. >> they want a health care system which will guarantee them freedom of choice in terms of the doctor or hospital they go to. >> reporter: the vermont senator today flanked by his 2020 rival, kirsten gillibrand, unveiling medicare for all, 2.0. >> the money, the greed, the corruption that surrounds our health care system today is what is in the way. >> reporter: the revamped proposal would add new provisions to cover long-term
care and premiums and co-pays. except for a potential $200 co-pay for brand name drugs. the sweeping overhaul of the country's health care system would effectively eliminate the private health insurance industry. >> the american people want and we are going to deliver a medicare for all single-payer system. >> reporter: the ambitious new plan, which does not come with an estimated price tag, raises the stakes for the rest of the 2020 field. four of sanders' rivals, gillibrand, kamala harris, elizabeth warren, and cory booker have signed on as co-sponsors, but each is still seeking to carve out their own path when it comes to health care policy. >> anybody who says those words "medicare for all" who's running for president, the next thing out of their mouth should be talking with people about, well, if we have a split congress, what are you going to actually do in your first year to make health care more accessible and affordable? >> reporter: but other 2020 rivals are taking a more measured approach. minnesota's amy klobuchar passed on the chance to cosponsor the
sanders' bill and argues the path forward requires a balance. >> i've made clear what i think i would like to do to get us to universal health care more quickly and to move more quickly. and that is, to first of all, put in a public option. >> reporter: for their part, republicans seem eager for this fight. white house press secretary sarah sanders claiming in a tweet the proposal, quote, confiscates every american's private health insurance, while adding, stand with president trump so america will never be a socialist country. and one thing we didn't get today was price tag for this plan. it will likely be expensive, but the sanders' team argues that the overruall savings to americ taxpayers will be much greater. offering up an even swap, whatever they save in taxes will be offset by the fact they don't have to pay anything for their health insurance. >> ryan nobles, thank you so much. speaker pelosi said last week, she believes fixes to obamacare are the best options for now. on medicare for all, she told "the washington post," quote,
i'm agnostic. show me how you think you can get there. this is going to be a fight, a debate in the democratic primaries. >> yeah, i agree with you. i think that this is going to be a very robust debate within the democratic primary. and that's what primaries are for. you're going to have, now, i think they're up to four candidates who have actually signed on to bernie's bill, so they are going to have to talk about this robustly in terms of what it is they support, how they're going to pay for it. but i'm telling you one thing, jake, i love that the debate and the conversation within the democratic party is how you actually try to give more people more access to the best health care, while the debate on the republican side starting from the president on down is we're going to take away your health care, america, and we have no plan to support that. >> i don't think that's fair. >> that's why i came to you. >> seriously, the whole issue with the affordable care act was how much it was going to cost. and remember, the whole idea is
you're going to be able to keep your doctor, you're going to be able to keep your health care insurance. i had story after story from people in my district, pregnant women that were like, look! i've been kicked off of my health care insurance, i think the american people have adjusted a little bit. >> they support it now. >> i think what they do really well, the american people are very good at adjusting to what's been given to them. can we make it better? absolutely. do i think that medicare for all is the answer? that's the big question. >> that's the debate. >> how do you do this? >> the american people didn't have to adjust, the republican party did. most members ran on it last election cycle. and when you say it's not fair, facts are not fair sometimes, but they're still facts. the republicans have no plan. >> the whole point -- >> but what's the alternative? donald trump is saying we are going to kick over 20 million people off their plan. and trust me, i have something better. forgive me if i don't trust him. >> wait a minute, wait a minute, again, you're tying the --
you're tying me or the republican party to donald trump. and this is -- hang on a second! >> hold on, one at a time. >> i have got my own set of principles and i believe that everyone should be held accountable to those principles and to the republican platform. that means holding the president accountable to those things also. it's not okay to say, i'm going to put out a plan and not tell people how you're going to sustain that plan. >> but it's -- >> to bring down the cost of health care, and thereby giving as many people as much access to health care. >> it's also not okay to say, we are going to take you off the health care system we have now, take you off it, and we have no plan to put in its place. >> scott, i want to run this sound for you. this is of bernie sanders. obviously, his bill would end private health insurance as we know it today. take a listen. >> under medicare for all, we cover all basic health care
needs. so they're not going to be there to do that. i suppose if you want to make yourself make a little bit more beautiful, work on your nose or your ears, they can do that. >> so basically blue cross/blue shield would be reduced to nose jobs? >> something like that. >> that's interesting. you can't tell people we're going to upend their whole health care. that's what he's doing! >> he's not the president! >> what i find amazing is -- >> he's definitely the front-runner. >> what i find amazing is, these democrats are running away from obamacare. and you've got bernie sanders trashing -- >> he's saying the ones that are embracing medicare for all. >> if you have embraced medicare for all, you're saying that health care is broken and we have to do something different. we currently have obamacare. i find this amazing. you have democrats arguing obamacare is great, and you have the front-runner for the nomination arguing that health care is failing and we have to throw it out and do something else. i think he is going to win the primary, at this moment -- >> you thought michael avenatti was going to be the -- >> well, he's coming back.
>> my fear is this. my fear is this. and mark my words, if this continues to be the conversation where there aren't any real plans for anything, the -- the president is going to win again. >> bring it on. >> be sure to tune into cnn tonight for a town hall with washington governor and democratic presidential candidate, jake inslee. my colleague and friend wolf blitzer will host the live event tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern. coming up, senator elizabeth warren agreeing with medicare for all as she runs a substance over style campaign, some say. it could be paying off. new reporting on warren's 2020 strategy, next. we want your sandwich to arrive freaky fresh®, so we only deliver within 5 minutes of our stores. and not... farther. ...he's new. order at jimmyjohns.com. because sandwich.
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our money lead now. moments ago, senator elizabeth warren released her first quarter fund-raising numbers. more than $6 million, which gives her a leg up over senators amy klobuchar and cory booker, but falls behind other 2020ers, such as mayor pete buttigieg, kamala harris, and bernie sanders. cnn's mj lee has more. >> reporter: senator elizabeth warren today announcing her first quarter fund-raising haul, more than $6 million. in an email to spoupporters, he campaign manager sharing these details. total number of donors, over $135,000. average donation, $28. cash on hand, $11.2 million.
warren's fund-raising total lagging behind a handful of her competitors, bernie sanders, kamala harris, beto o'rourke, and pete buttigieg, but ahead of fellow senators cory booker and amy klobuchar. but the number of donors who gave to warren this quarter rivaling some of those competitors. all of this coming after warren pledged she would not solicit high-dollar donations during the 2020 primary, including three fund-raisers. warren insisting to cnn last week that even a disappointing fund-raising number would not change her game plan. >> i'm running the campaign i want to run. and that is instead of spending time with millionaire donors, i've been now to 12 states and puerto rico. >> reporter: and today, new details about warren's long haul 2020 strategy. advisers telling cnn that the campaign now has more than 170 full-time paid staff, half of them in the early states of iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, and nevada. cnn has also learned that the warren campaign is pursuing a
50-state strategy. warren is traveling extensively, mapping out opportunities to pick up delegates in what could be a long slog to the democratic convention next summer. >> so we're going to get organized. we're going fight for working people. we're going to build a grassroots movement. and that is how i am going to be the first woman elected president of the united states of america. >> reporter: as she heads into the second quarter, warren pulling in single digits nationally, despite driving the conversation with numerous far-reaching policy ideas. he's proposed a wealth tax on the richest americans, a plan on universal child care, and called for breaking up big tech companies. and her latest proposal, ending the senate filibuster, jump-starting a debate in washington. >> when democrats next have power, we should be bold. we are done with two sets of rules! one for the republicans and one for the democrats! >> now, the campaign says it
spent $5.2 million of the $6 million that it raised in the first quarter, which is a pretty high burn rate, but it also said that it transferred more than $10 million from warren's senate campaign, so that's a pretty big cushion for now, jake. >> mj lee, thanks so much. our coverage on cnn continues right now. happening now. breaking news. spy claims. democratic lawmakers are demanding an explanation for the extraordinary claim by the attorney general william barr, who tells lawmakers he thinks government spying did occur against the trump campaign. he offers no proof, but says he's begun his own probe into how the fbi's trump/russia investigation got started. inner circle interviews. federal investigators have reportedly questioned two former trump aides, key members of his inner circle, digging up, and i'm quoting now, more evidence that was previously known about hush money payments. missed deadline.