tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN June 21, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
>> reporter: and after the meltdown ended -- >> tonight at 10:00. >> reporter: actually, edwards' only sign of stress was his post news cast tweet. a double dragon ale, i think i'm going to enjoy that beauty, followed by cheers. jeanne moos, cnn. new york. >> a beauty. anderson's next. so with just six months to go until the iowa caucus, the president is in iowa for a campaign rally. good evening. i'm john berman in for anderson. the event is happening right now in cedar rapids. the president about to speak. when he does, we'll bring it to you live. he's on the road trying to extend the after glow of a pair of republicans in special congressional elections. much of it perhaps less
satisfying to the presidential soul. new questions from democrats on the house oversight committee about his fired national security adviser michael flynn, why he continued to get classified cia briefings for three weeks after the intelligence community and acting attorney general sally yates warned the white house he might be vulnerable to russian blackmail. democrats also asking similar questions now about jared kushner. also president obama's homeland security chief testified on capitol hill, the republican writing a health bill.inued - and democrats agonized over two big losses last night at the polls. a lot happening. the president's motorcade has just arrived in cedar rapids. jeff zeleny is there. jeff, any sense of what we expect the president to talk about tonight? >> reporter: john, there's no question, president trump is going to talk about georgia. yes, he's here in iowa. yes, he won this state in november by some ten percentage points. but the word on his mind, the thoughts on his mind tonight are
about that victory last night in georgia. we got a preview just a few moments ago when the president was acrosstown here in cedar rapids visiting a community college. he was supposed to be talking about jobs and agriculture, but he talked about that georgia congressional race. he bashed the media for its commentary on the race. and he said that look, he's now undefeated in these special congressional elections. so i have no doubt in my mind he'll start this speech and talk about his victory, the republican's victory in georgia last night. >> does it come in the first 30 seconds or the first 45 seconds of the address tonight? we are getting word in about a campaign fund-raiser scheduled for next week at a special place. what have we learned? >> reporter: on june 28th next week, president trump will be holding his first 2020 re-election fund-raiser, john, at the trump international hotel. this is extraordinarily early. but the rally we're at right
now, the president will be taking the stage here. this is also a re-election campaign rally. the president's re-election team is getting in gear. one of the reasons they are having a fund-raiser so early, john, i'm told they want to get some major republican donors on board. they want to ward off any potential republican primary and send a signal that the president is running again. they want to lock up donors early. so next week, the president, not surprisingly, at the trump international hotel, holding a first fund-raiser. and he is just drinking up this applause here. this is a state he turned from blue to red last fall. all good news here on donald trump's mind. that's why he's here. >> big campaign event in iowa. i'm new to this politics thing, but i would say he's running
again, jeff. the president going to the microphone. i think, soon. we're going to talk right up to the minute he speaks here. we did learn that the white house says we will get the tapes, if they exist, or we will learn if tapes exist this week of conversations with james comey, correct? >> reporter: that's correct. we still do not know if there are those tapes. they said they may be coming soon. of course -- [ applause ] [ inaudible ] -- this is something his staff believes the tapes don't exist. most of the administration officials i talked to said the tapes don't exist. but we have not heard from the president. so we'll see if he addresses that tonight. but he has three more days to do it if he wants to meet that deadline. >> let's listen in. [ cheers and applause ]
>> thank you, everybody. it is great to be back in the incredible, beautiful great state of iowa. [ applause ] home of the greatest wrestlers in the world. some of the great, great wrestlers of the world, right? we love those wrestlers. it's always terrific to be able to leave that washington swamp and spend time with the truly hardworking people, we call them american patriots. amazing people. [ applause ] i want to also extend our congratulations this evening to karen handel of georgia! [ applause ]
and we can't forget ralph norman in south carolina. he called me and i called him. [ applause ] he said, you know, last night i felt like the forgotten man. but he won and he won really beautifully, even though a lot of people didn't show up, because they thought he was going to win by so much. but he won very easily, and he is a terrific guy, and i'll tell you what, karen is going to be really incredible. she's going to be joining some wonderful people and doing some wonderful work, including major, major tax cuts and health care and lots of things. we'll be reducing crime and we're securing that second amendment. i told you about that. [ applause ] and that looks like it's in good
shape with judge gorsuch. that looks like it's in good shape. [ cheers and applause ] i would like to also take this moment to send our thoughts and prayers to our courageous friend. somebody that i've gotten to know very well. steve scalise and everyone recovering from the assault. [ crowd disturbance ] never fails. never fails. [ crowd chanting "usa" ]
[ crowd noise continues plen [ crowd booing ] >> thank you, thank you. and we love our police. we love our police. [ cheers and applause ] so to steve we say, and he's a great guy. he was in my office the day before, incredible. we're praying for you. we're pulling for you. you have our absolute support. and our deepest admiration.
and our gratitude goes out tonight as well to the capitol police officers who saved so many lives. you know, they ran from the outfield in. they were being hit by rifle fire. they only had handguns, and they were able to get him. it was an amazing show of talent and bravery. [ applause ] so we want to thank all of the police officers who so bravely serve and protect us. thank you very much. thank you. hopefully our nation emerges from this ordeal, it was an ordeal, terrible. more unified and more determined than ever before, and i can see it and we are indeed more unified. you can take a look at what's happening here, right? if we set aside the cynics and
the critics, we have a chance, and it's a great chance. it lies before us, to do extraordinary things for our country in the years ahead. history is written by the dreamers, not the doubters. [ applause ] so while we are here tonight to celebrate the amazing progress that we've already made, and we have made amazing progress. [ applause ] we're also here to lay out the next steps in our incredible movement to make america great again! [ cheers and applause ] >> all right, time now for us to bring in our panel. all-star panel as we watch this campaign event in iowa of all
places. kirsten powers, we were saying would it take 30 seconds, 45 seconds to mention karen handle. maybe a minute, minute and a half, but why not? the republicans did win this race, the most expensive house race in history. >> it's a republican district. so yes, he's going to take the credit for it and crow about it. but i think a lot of the response to it has been a little overblown. this is, after all, a republican district and usually republicans win republican districts. if you look at the four special elections that we've had, democrats have been outperforming their sort of base partisan level that they would normally get. and i think cook political report david wasserman krurvelgkrurvelg -- crunched the numbers. so democrats are doing better than people think about. i think donald trump can be reading a little too much into this. >> i'm going to let you trump
supporters respond to that in a moment. i want to stay on the trump speech in a moment. we don't know where he's going with this. but so far, he did talk about a message of unity. yes, you know, he congratulated republicans for the victory and talked about steve scalise who is in the hospital, praying for him, and talked about moving forward together in this country, uniting in some way. so far in his own way a message of unity. however, he's really still going to place where is he won. he hasn't gone anywhere yet that he hasn't won. >> that's right. this is unity of the base. when he goes and gives that speech in inner city detroit, we'll know he's going in a different direction. this is a president who needs to shore up some of his sagging approval ratings, who needs to consolidate his base and push back what he sees as fake news, which is a lot of the reporting being done with good reason about the russia investigation. he wants to change the
narrative. he wants to show himself being cheered by thousands of people, and saying to his base, your trust for me is not wasted. we're winning the local races. he's trying to settle down the base. >> though that base tonight as we sit here 24 hours after karen handle won, the base is feeling better than they were two days ago. >> there was a direct connection. you have the media focusing on the russian connection, and you've got folks out there in georgia in this case saying, we don't care about this. this is not relevant to us. and further more, we don't like what's going on here. and so they turn out and they elected president trump -- or karen handel as a way of saying, in part, you want to make this a referendum on president trump? so be it. so it's a referendum, they showed up and he won and i
wouldn't be surprised if you see her in the oval office very soon. >> you mean to visit? >> to visit. [ overlapping speakers ] >> paul begala, you responded to the -- >> in point of fact, trump was not litigated in that special election in georgia, perhaps he should have been. i talked to pollsters. he had a 52% approval rating in that very republican district. so they didn't debate russia. they didn't debate trump. they didn't even debate the republican health care bill, which is toxic. it's about as popular as a yellow jacket in an outhouse. what i do like about the speech, the president -- he not only won, his side won, he engaged. he's got low approval ratings, but he tweeted, he did robocalls. i loved president obama. he was very careful to husband his political capital, even
though it was much larger than donald trump. i give trump a lot of credit. he pushed it in front of the table and he won. he is due a victory lap. >> jen, i want to talk about what democrats are feeling tonight, and maybe some of the infighting that's existing. seth mollton wrote last night, the ossoff race better be a wakeup call for democrats. a lot of people are talking about the future of the democratic party, including people running for congress, saying nancy pelosi shouldn't be part of that future. your thoughts? >> i think a lot of what seth mollton had to say is right, and democrats should be listening to that. we should stop litigating 2016 and learn the lessons and apply them moving forward. nancy pelosi, there is no one better than getting a back room deal done. health care wouldn't exist without here. there is a strong argument bubbling up about the need for
new leadership. whether that's now or two years from now or four years from now is sort of the question they'll have to work through. the problem is that nobody is emerging to run against her. and there hasn't been a member who has come up and said, i'll take her on. tim ryan was not really a serious candidate. so that's a key part of really having new leadership, at least in the house in the party at this point. >> jason miller, you're among the republicans. facetiously you said we want nancy pelosi to stick around. the president, though, approval ratings at 37%. you know, it is an interesting thing. you had a 52% rating in this district, but 37% around the country. and stuck there it seems by and large. how can he get it up? >> it's important to keep in mind fundamentally elections are about choices. so you have a republican on the ballot and a democrat on the ballot. right now democrats are putting
out candidates who don't connect with the voters they're seeking to represent. democrats do well in certain -- in the coasts, more liberal areas but they're not connecting with middle america. we saw that in the georgia and south carolina race. michael moore came out and said the democratic party has no message, no plan, no leaders. those are very tough words. paul, i hope you get in there and help out nancy pelosi and get that political operation righted. [ overlapping speakers ] >> if there was a mt. rushmore for speakers, nancy pelosi would be on there. her negative is 50%. democrats need to put their big boy pants on and go after the republicans. the purpose of war is not to die for your country, it's the make the other s.o.b. die for his
country. >> we're going to take a break on patton. if you can come back with eisenhower or montgomery next break, we'll be fine. democrats are pressing the white house, not just on michael flynn and security concerns, but also on jared kushner. the question is, are the concerns they're raising getting any traction? and later, what the white house is being told about the details of the obamacare replacement bill. the one that's kind of a secret. advil liqui - gels work so fast you'll ask what bad back? what pulled hammy? advil liqui - gels make pain a distant memory nothing works faster stronger or longer what pain? advil. ♪ ♪
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and that's a par five, mind you. see how much you could save on car insurance. go to geico.com today. sgz >> a lot happening on capitol hill, much of it to do with the russia investigation and now jared kushner. democrats sought to highlight as what they see as his ongoing access to classified intelligence. fair or not, they're trying to make him a bigger part of this story. manu, the democratic members, what are they saying about former national security adviser michael flynn first? >> reporter: both flip and kushner may have -- should not have given security clearances or have been suspended as allegations whether or not they were fit to get classified intelligence were investigated. they were pointing specifically to regulations that they say show that someone needs to be fit and in order to get these
classified intelligence, particularly with these credible concerns are raised. as we know with michael flynn, after the sworn testimony of sally yates, the former acting attorney general, she warned that michael flynn could be susceptible to russian blackmail, john. after that warning, on multiple occasions, the white house officials, including don mcgahn, the white house counsel, michael flynn continued to serve in that capacity for 18 days, going to classified briefings, so the democrats want to know why that happened. they're asking for records from the white house about the decisions that went into that, and they're saying it could have been a violation of very clear practices and regulations. >> and now there are specific questions about the cia director, mike pompeo, what did he know about mike flynn at the time. >> as we know from that 18-day
period, mike pompeo, the cia director, did appear in some of those chasified settings with michael flynn and the president was not told specifically that from mike pompeo that he had any concerns about mr. flynn appearing with the president in the classified briefings, despite that warning from sally yates. it's unclear whether or not pompeo knew of the concerns raised by sally yates or didn't share those concerns. the cia did not comment about that story. people here on capitol hill still don't have an answer. >> in this letter, it includes jared kushner. it asks about his security clearance. what can you specifically tell us? >> reporter: they're saying he did not disclose his foreign contacts on his initial security clearance foreign as is required
by law, to list all of your contacts over the last seven years. he did not initially do that. there were at least four meetings with russian officials we know of during the transition period between jared kushner and the russian ambassador, serge gorkov, the head of a russian bank. they're saying he did not disclose that information at that time. he should have his security clearance suspended as this is being investigated. but tonight, no response yet from the white house. they're declining to comment. earlier, john, kushner's attorney said that initial security clearance form was submitted prematurely. they said it would be amended. they said there was nothing meeting with those officials because he served in a capacity which foreign dignitaries would reach out to him. >> thanks so much for this report.
on russia tonight, another reason to return something we made part of the program last night. are there tapes of the president's conversations with james comey? do humans contribute to global warming? does the president believe russia meddled in the election? did voter fraud give hillary clinton the popular vote victory? we promised to return to these questions when they were asked again or answered or asked and not answered. today, again, not. >> does the president believe that russia meddled in the presidential election? >> i would tell you that the president addressed that in january, and while many people are trying to look backwards, and we've even had a number of democratic senators and other major media outlets saying when you talk to the voters out there, this is not what they're focused on. >> keeping them honest, the president answered yes in january after answering no in january. by the end of april, he mansiag
to answer yes, no, and maybe. and then if the russians hacked. the new tactic is simply not to answer at all. it came up in hearings today. so did testimony in the scope of russian hacking. more on that from michelle kaczynski. >> reporter: special investigator robert mueller on capitol hill today, meeting with senators on the judiciary committee who are tackling potential obstruction of justice by the president. >> everything is on the table. >> reporter: the intelligence committees today, russian cyber meddling front and center. >> in 2016, the russian government, at the direction of vladamir putin himself, orchestrated cyber attacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election. that is a fact, plain and simple. >> well planned, well coordinated, multifaceted attack on our election process and democracy. >> reporter: homeland security
officials telling lawmakers the russians were aggressive and relentless, trying to target not only entities like the democratic national committee, but election related networks in 21 states. in illinois alone, the attackers were hitting five times per second, 24 hours a day. but just yesterday, white house spokesman sean spicer says he doesn't know if the president even believes this meddling happened. >> the one individual in america that still seems to not accept this basic fact is the president of the united states. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence agencies concluding, though, that the russians were never able to change votes, only gather data and release it to sew distrust and uncertainty. there are questions too for former homeland security official jeh johnson why the obama administration didn't alert the american public sooner. >> why did we wait from july to october to make that statement many >> one of the candidates, as you recall, was predicting that the election was going to be rigged
in some way. and so we were concerned that by making the statement, we might in and of itself be, uh, challenging the integrity of the election process. >> reporter: in the senate hearing, one member asked if donald trump was unwittingly acting as a russian agent by calling the election rigged. another asked if hillary clinton was by, as he put it, blaming her loss on things like hacking and fake news. >> michelle joins us now. as you mentioned before, we may finally at last perhaps get more information this week on whether these tapes exist or not. >> reporter: this has been one of the enduring mysteries, are there tapes or are there not tapes? the white house hasn't wanted to answer that with a yes or no question. even though it was the president himself who first alluded to this, seeming to say that there could be recordings of conversations between himself and fired fbi director james
comey. and it was comey, remember, who said lordy, i hope there are tapes. cnn has asked a number of government agencies if there's any evidence those recordings might exist. several so far have said they got nothing. the house intelligence committee asked the white house for the tapes and said if they exist, turn them over by this friday. well, tonight, john, a white house spokesperson tells reporters, and i quote, "i can tell you, there will be something this week." so now we have to wait and see what exactly the "something" will be. >> what is something, is it yes or no? michelle kaczynski for us, thanks so much. coming up, why the white house let michael flynn sit in on classified briefings. you'll hear what a key member says coming up. isn't this fun, living like the pioneers of olden times? i hate the outside.
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flynn and the president's adviser and son-in-law jared kushner were given security clearances despite allegations they could be a blackmail risk by russia. flynn, a blackmail risk by russia. the questions with jared kushner have to do with meetings and forms he filled out. earlier tonight, i spoke about all this and other things with senator mark warner, the ranking democrat, on the senate intelligence committee. senator warner, today it was reported that michael flynn had been inside classified briefings by the director of the cia after cia officials became aware that perhaps michael flynn had been compromised. should the cia be accountable for this? >> i'm very concerned. i've seen these press reports, but i think i owe it to cia director pompeo and other officials to ask them directly about the truth of those reports before i take a position. >> didn't you ask him directly when he testified in front of your committee and he would not
say whether he knew about the red flags raised about michael flynn? >> we did ask those questions. we'll have a chance to talk to director pompeo in the next couple of days and i hope to get some more clear answers. >> if he did know, and we frankly at this point do not know if he knew that, but if he did know and went on to brief the president with michael flynn in the room, would that cause you concern, would it shake your confidence in the cia director? >> listen, i am -- it would cause me concern that there seem to be a number of individuals who brought general flynn's challenges to the attention of the administration. i was disappointed it took the administration so long to act. and what we seen even since that time is not only do we have the case of general flynn in terms of not fully disclosing his contacts with the russians, but also it appears some of his financial payments from some of the turkish elements, as well as other countries have come to light. >> the former secretary, jeh
johnson, testified today under no uncertain terms that the russians hacked, and it was overseen by president vladamir putin. you know that the president has had varying responses in this, saying yeah, the russians hacked, sometimes he says if the russians hacked, sometimes he says yeah, but other people did too. is this a problem for the seriousness of the investigation, the president changing with varied tepid responses to this? >> absolutely. we have 100% agreement from the whole intelligence community. i don't know a single senator, democrat or republican, that doesn't acknowledge that the russians hacked in and tried to interfere massively in our elections. today before the senate intelligence committee, we had department of homeland security and fbi acknowledged that 21 states, that the russians either probed or tried to attack even the electoral system. they didn't change any of the voting totals, but they did probe voting systems and we've
got a lot of questions about that since many of the state election officials haven't been fully notified about those kind of attacks. and i'm not sure we're prepared for 2017, where we have elections in my state, 2018 nationally. so the fact that the only person in effect official washington that continues to deny this threat is the president of the united states, who continues to use terms like "witch hunt" and "fake news" is very concerning. >> there were questions how the democrats responded and the obama administration responded, questions today. jeh johnson suggested the dnc was not responsive to offers of help from dhs. and jeh johnson also said he was reluctant to come forward sooner and perhaps more clearly because of political ramifications. donald trump saying the election was rigged and he was nervous about how he would be received politically. do you think in retrospect that was a smart move, letting politics get in the way of
national security? >> i think there were -- they didn't fully connect all of the dots, even though jeh johnson and director clapper i believe on october 7 put out a letter saying that there was this possible russian intervention. but i don't think the intelligence community fully connected all the dots until after the election. >> senator, there's a deadline on friday given to the president to produce whatever recordings exist from the white house, recordings perhaps of james comey, the white house has said, or the president through his lawyer said it is possible he might give the answer this week. as you sit here this week, do you know if these tapes exist? >> i don't have the slightest idea. it is, again, we sometimes think things couldn't get stranger. but the notion that the president of the united states weeks and weeks ago, in his unprecedented firing of jim
comey, suggested that there might be tapes and were a month plus later, and we still don't know whether there's tapes. you can't make this up. >> senator warner, thank you for being with us. in a moment, we'll get the panel's take on what senator warner just said and more on what the cia director could and should have done about michael flynn. distinct chatter ] [ intense music playing ] it's here, but it's going by fast. the opportunity of the year is back: the mercedes-benz summer event. get to your dealer today for incredible once-a-season offers, and start firing up those grilles. lease the e300 for $569 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing.
breaking news from capitol hill. democrats demanding answers from the white house, specifically wanting to know why fired national security adviser michael flynn continued to receive classified cia briefings after the intelligence community and acting attorney general sally yates warned the white house that he was vulnerable perhaps to russian blackmail. just last moment, senator ron wideman asked the cia director directly about this.
>> did you have any indications, secondhand, any sense at all that the national security adviser might be vulnerable to blackmail by the russians? that is a yes or no question. >> it's actually not a yes or no question. i regret i'm unable to answer yes or no. >> it's a yes or no question. whether or not he chooses to answer is a separate issue. steve hall is joining the conversation. steve, i want to start with you, as someone who was in the cia, do you assume the cia director would have known at that point? you know, he had just been confirmed, but would he have known there were concerns in the intelligence community about michael flynn? >> well, to set aside one issue right off the top, it's been asked whether or not it's possible that the cia is an organization knew that perhaps the director did not know, that he wasn't told by his own people, i don't find that very convincing at all. it's difficult to imagine a situation that he would not have
had that information. but what are we talking about in terms of what do we know? there's a lot of loose language in terms of red flags and compromised. on the one side, the lighter side of it, you know, the meetings with the russian ambassador and what was that about and how many of those meetings were there? on the darker side of what might have happened, you know, was flynn -- this troubling pattern you have, going to russia, taking money from russia and other foreign governments perhaps, and not revealing it. so when you talk about what makes somebody blackmailable in the world of counterintelligence, it's nuanced. it depends on what pompeo knew, which is probably classified. >> again, he won't tell us. jason miller, if there were concerns inside the intelligence community, we know that sally yates, the acting attorney general, had this concern that she voiced. why would it be okay for michael flynn to be in the room to be part of these classified security briefings?
>> being not privy to some of these inside conversations, we do know that the issue was raised with the white house general counsel from the deputy director, the acting director, at the doj. but what we don't know is what other folks knew, if they knew anything at all, as you just raised a moment ago, whether it be with pompeo or sessions or other folks throughout the government. i think we've got to be careful that we don't leap to the assumption that these issues had been raised with them. and if all that was being brought to the white house was the fact that an obama political appointee, which criticized general flynn, i don't think that's grounds on its own to remove. >> but if don mcgahn was given these concerns from sally yates who was concerned he could be black mailed and if intelligence folks knew, sally yates at a minimum, if there were blackmail concerns, and don mcgahn, should he have stopped the classified
briefings? >> they were probably trying to figure out what was real, what wasn't. we have a political appointee bringing these issues to the white house and you have to flesh that out. when you talk about how everyone piled up and many members from this community were against the president and his campaign, i don't think you necessarily take that on face value. you have to figure that out and flesh it out before you can say hey, we're going to kick out the head of the nsa, a key person within the president's white house. >> kirsten powers, you have a different view? >> while you're trying to figure it out, you shouldn't have this person listening in. just out of an abundance of caution, you say we need you to step aside while we look into this. this wasn't sally yates' research. she got this information from people who knew what was going on. so she was reporting this to them. i think you're right, what you said, jason just hit on it, donald trump and the people around him don't trust the
people in the government. even the civil servants, set aside who they were appointed by. they just don't trust them. but they just need to show a little more responsibility, right, of saying we don't trust this. i think that's not the right call. but step aside while we figure it out. >> go ahead, jason. >> very important point, i wasn't disparaging ms. yates, but if they're a political appointee from a previous administration, and they're from a community that's been highly critical of the president, i do think they have to do their due diligence and go through it. they can't just take it at face value and throw somebody out. so it's more indicative, the fact that there are these deep state folks who have out to get the president -- >> i did not say there were deep state people out to get the president. i said the president thinks that. but i don't think that's actually necessarily accurate. >> i want to clear up one point.
phil mudd joining us. unlike pompeo, ultimately we're debating whether the white house should have stepped in to keep michael flynn out of the room at these classified briefings. the cia director, though, if he had known there were concerns about michael flynn, and michael flynn, the president still wanted michael anyone in the room, should pompeo stepped in and said i'm not going to do the briefing with him there, is that his decision, phil? >> hell, no. let's be clear about facts and suppositions. the defense department had a security clearance for general flynn for years. he's maintained that security clearance at a top secret level when he worked for president trump, and he had that security clearance during the briefings from mike pompeo who had been there for a matter of weeks. do you walk into the oval office and say your national security adviser still has a top secret clearance, but i'm not going to talk to him? the bottom line, john, this is not a decision for the white
house, but a decision for the defense department that holds the clearance for general flynn. if he maintains a clearance, he gets a briefing. if he doesn't, mike pompeo should say he should leave the room. he no longer has a clearance. this is not that complicated. >> if i could speech gears to how the president has responded whether or not he believes the russians meddled in the election. right now, i think we're at if, if the russians meddled in it. what is to be gained politically here? in january, he was at yes, they meddled. then he moved on. >> the overwhelming concern from the oval office seems to be, any acknowledgement of a problem creates political and legal problems for the president and his team. it creates political problems in the sense it casts doubts on the legitimacy of less election. no matter how no matter how many times you say the contrary to his supporters,
they don't feel he should be president, maybe it's justification that sooner or later the democrats will start beating him up about that. but secondly, there are legal issues. you've got this high-level probe going on. who knew what, when. and there's absolutely no reason to sort of give anything over to the other side, of a potential adversarial legal proceeding by saying that there was a problem that they knew about. we're talking tonight about, well, you knew something about flynn, 18 days went by, why didn't you take action? if you have to answer that question under oath, it may be better to say nothing right now. >> that may be a separate issue than just the russians tried to meddle in the election. i get your point. moments ago, white house staffers wrapped up a briefing on capitol hill to learn what is inside the as of now secretly republican health care plan. while many rank and file senators still have no clue, we'll have the latest ahead.
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mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. at short time ago, white house staffers wrapped up a briefing on capitol hill where they learned what is inside the senate republican health care bill. but most senators, even most rank and file republican senators are still in the dark about the legislation that affects tens of millions of americans. and it's that last part that could be political dynamite. who will pay more? who will lose coverage? who will pay less? the congressional budget office has yet to release its report on the bill. more now on how it's being put together and what we know about what's in it from cnn's ryan nobles. >> reporter: after weeks of meetings in secret, republicans in the senate are finally ready to unveil their plan to reform health care in america. >> a discussion draft will be made public tomorrow. every member of the senate will have it and it will be posted online for everyone to review. >> the bill has been crafted by a small group of senators. a group that does not include
any women or democrats and has had very little input from the white house. the process, done behind closed doors, has been criticized even by republicans, but those on the working group promise all those fears will go away on thursday. >> a working draft will be released tomorrow. i think all the concerns people have had about the process will evaporate, because i think there'll be unlimited opportunities for people to read it and understand what's in it and then debate it. >> but that unlimited time for review will be brief. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has promised the bill will be voted on before the fourth of july recess. >> and not a soul in america has seen it. >> reporter: leaving, at most, 11 days for debate and possible changes. the bill, based loosely off the framework of a version rammed through the house in may, will need to accomplish a number of goals. among them, mollifying concerns from moderates that popular provisions from obamacare, like coverage protections for pre-existing conditions, will remain in place, while at the same time building a framework
for a market-based health care system freed from the shackles of government regulation, a necessity to win over conservative house republicans. democrats, who have not participated in the process, remain skeptical that it will happen. >> this is very similar to the house bill, which president trump, of course, celebrated in the rose garden. but behind closed doors, described as mean. and republican senators have been behind closed doors. there's only one reason to try to keep this from the public, which is if this is just as mean, if not morphine. >> reporter: republicans need just 50 votes to get the bill passed. a task that may not be that difficult, but at this point, it is bobble to even begin counting votes, because most of the conference has yet to see the bill. >> are you satisfied with the process being undertaken right now? >> no. of course not. >> reporter: why not? >> for the obvious reason, that no one has been shared it. we used to complain like hell
when the democrats ran the affordable care act. now we're doing the same thing. >> ryan nobles joins us now. ryan, any sense as we sit here tonight about what might actually be inside this bill? >> reporter: well, john, this is going to be a pretty complicated bill, but we are getting some details as to what republicans are planning. among them, some of those key obamacare provisions that were taken out of the house bill. they will likely be back in the senate bill. and medicaid expansion, which was a big point of contention in the house bill, originally, their plan was to cut it off in 2020. now the plan will be to keep it fully in place through 2021, before beginning a gradual change. and john, you mentioned the fact that white house staffers were up here on capitol hill being briefed on the plan pip caught up with white house legislative director mark short as he left that meeting. i asked him directly if the president is prepared to endorse this bill. he stopped short of saying the president will, but he did say that he believes we are, as he put it, one step closer to
ending the nightmare that is obamacare. john? >> all right. ryan nobles, thanks so much. up next, more on how house democrats are demanding the white house explain how the president's son-in-law and senior adviser jared kushner got his security clearance and now fired national security adviser michael flynn kept his for so long. the future isn't silver suites and houses on mars.