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tv   CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow  CNN  July 14, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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ms chewy bites. fast relief in every bite. crunchy outside. chewy inside. tum tum tum tum new tums chewy bites. good morning. i'm pamela brown. nice to have you along with us on this friday morning. right now, president trump is in the air headed home to washington after a whirlwind trip to paris. he started the day with a parade, but now he is bracing for turbulence over that russia investigation and the new meeting between his son and a russian lawyer. sources tell cnn a white house aide and jared kushner's legal team began strategizing in late june about how he managed the disclosure of the e-mails they just discovered. another new report suggests the president's own own legal team
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knew about the e-mail chain more than three weeks ago. hours from now a former trump campaign advisor will be in the hot seat before he testifies behind closed doors before the house intelligence committee as lawmakers get ready to request for documents from jared kushner and trump junior. let's begin with jeff zeleny. >> reporter: good morning, pamela. president trump, as you said, has wrapped up his whirlwind 30-hour tour of paris. five or six hours of that were spent one-on-one with the new french president, emmanuel macron, during a meeting at the palace over dinner last night at the eiffel tower, and today during the parade. this was a new moment, new test of the relationship of the two leaders here. despite all of the respite from the russia investigation, that's exactly what's awaiting president trump when he returns back to the united states this afternoon. new questions about who knew
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what and when about the meeting between trump campaign associates and a russian lawyer and the e-mails that proved donald trump jr. thought he'd be getting dirt on hillary clinton from the kremlin. a source familiar with the process tells cnn that jared kushner and his legal team discovered the e-mails in mid-june. a person close to kushner says they discussed whether or not to immediately go public. that source adding that kushner told his lawyers he planned a sit-down with the president to discuss the june 2016 meeting. an interaction "the new york times" reports took place. all this raise doubt about the president's insistence that he only learned about the e-mails in the past few days. >> the president, by the way, never saw an e-mail, did not see the e-mail until it was seen today. >> it was such a nothing. there was nothing to tell. i wouldn't have even remembered it until you start scouring through the stuff. >> reporter: yahoo! news also reporting that sources tell them that two members of president trump's personal legal team were informed about the e-mails three weeks ago, despite this
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knowledge, the president's son only publicly acknowledged a meeting with the russian lawyer after he was approached by "the new york times" last weekend leaving the white house scrambling to craft a response and further drawing the president's closest aides into a crisis deepening by the day. >> we feel it is very important that we have all the appropriate information so we can ask the right questions. >> reporter: the top democrat on the senate intelligence committee tells cnn the panel will request additional documents from both trump junior and kushner. >> it seems strange to me those meetings were at least conveniently forgotten at least by mr. kushner. >> reporter: and republicans and democrats leading the senate judiciary committee confirm they will request trump junior's testimony. >> we're sending a letter to request his presence. >> reporter: the president appearing to support that idea in a conversation with reporters aboard air force one flying to paris. before issuing this staunch defense of his eldest son. >> as far as my son is concerned, my son is a wonderful
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young man. most people would have taken that meeting. it's called opposition research. >> reporter: so now the question here is, president trump defending his son obviously. but that is awaiting him. i do have to tell you, pamela, i was struck by a moment this morning earlier today here in paris at the bastille day parade which president trump was here which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the u.s. troops arriving here in france. take a look at this long handshake. this is quite a moment here. president trump, emmanuel macron not wanting to let go here as they are enjoying this moment after the parade. this is really the longest that president trump has spent with any world leader. of course, president macron is new on the stage, elected only about two months or so ago. they have many, many differences on climate change, trade, immigration. but clearly by inviting president trump here, he wanted to try and forge a veelgsship
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and perhaps also remind president trump of the hazards perhaps of some isolationist policies, giving a bit of a history lesson today of how the u.s. has plied suayed such a vi role in other parts of the world. >> seeing that video reminds you of another awkward handshake between president trump and macron. jeff zeleny, thank you very much for the latest from paris. as lawmakers press trump junior to testify, one big question they'll be looking at is whether there was a phone call between don junior and e n eminingemin ing agalarov. don junior responded, rob, could we speak now? goldstone writes let me track him down in moscow. what number should he call? don junior replies he can call his cell. goldstone says he's on stage in
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moscow but should be off in 20 minutes. that was 3:40 p.m. on june 6th. nearly an hour later don junior replies, rob, thanks for the help. 24 hours later goldstone sent another letter saying emin asked that i schedule a meeting with you and the russian government attorney. i believe you are aware of the meeting. ing a agalarov's lawyer -- >> i really can't speak to what rob goldstone was thinking. but i'll tell you again that that call didn't happen. i don't know if there was someone else who spoke to donald trump jr. about this prospective meeting, but it wasn't my client. again, i don't know where mr. goldstone got his information from but it is just categorically incorrect. >> the agalarov's attorney tells cnn emin and don junior did speak on the phone a few months prior to this meeting. let's discuss.
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a cnn political analyst and white house correspondent for politico joins us. page pate, cnn legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. great to have you all on. so much to discuss. the big question this morning, who knew what and when. a source telling cnn kushner and his legal team discovered the e-mails in mid-june and there was a discussion about whether to go public. yahoo! news also reports members of trump's legal team were informed about these e-mails three weeks ago. but the president said he didn't learn about the e-mails until just the past few days. steve, how crucial is this timeline and why will it matter to investigators? >> the timeline i think is critical, pamela, because we're trying to piece together what appears to be a very complicates russian operation, collection operation. we've already seen the influence piece, the multi-pronged media attacks, the hacking into the dnc servers and other servers as well. this is the latest piece that falls into place, the sort of human part of this operation
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where you have people who are probably connected to the russian government indirectly reaching out to members of the trump team. when that happened, what happens as a result of those meetings is all going to be really important from the counterintelligence and also i think from the legal part of the ongoing investigation. putting it all together is going to be challenging but of course critical. >> you can bet that the investigators on capitol hill, as well as part of the special probe will be looking at all of this. in light of this, tara, this is this peculiar moment from the campaign trail. this happened june of last year, four days after the e-mail promising dirt on clinton, and two days before the meeting took place. let's listen. >> i am going to give a major speech on probably monday of next week, and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the clintons. i think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting. >> so, knowing what we know now,
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that certainly raises questions about when president trump knew about this meeting. >> precisely. it actually really draws him even closer to the controversy, the fact that his son was involved, his son-in-law spoke with russian agents. and now you are hearing him hinting at the possibility of having even more information than what's already known about the clintons. obviously this speech never happened. perhaps there was some strategizing or perhaps they never really did get the information that they thought they were going to get. but at the end of the day it seems to appear that the president, from this promise is closer to the information than his lawyers would like him to be or he's even suggested in the past. >> all right. page, senator jelet's listen to. >> so is this meeting for you the smoking gun? >> this is absolutely,
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absolutely. i mean the defense is that we didn't actually get anything good out of this meeting. that's been the defense. that's not the question. the question is whether you were aware of an ongoing russian effort, which this e-mail lays out, whether you were meeting to obtain information, which they admit that they were, and so this is definitely the type of collaboration that other events made us think might exist but we hadn't seen it laid out so crisply. >> page, is he right? >> pamela, i think it is certainly a critical piece of evidence, though i don't think i would go so far as to call it a smoking gun. the meeting itself was not a crime. but what it does do, it allows prosecutors to see the intent of the trump campaign at this point. they were obviously very interested in working with people who represented the russian government to find out information about hillary clinton. that shows an intent to try to do whatever is necessary to get that information.
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so it is important to show that. it is also critically important because now we have all these inconsistent statements about what led up to the meeting, what was said in the meeting, and perhaps who was even in the meeting. so in that situation it can also become very important to prosecutors if later people who were there, who talked about it, say something inconsistent. so it is important, but maybe not the smoking gun. >> tara, on that note, have you some reporting about how jared kushner wants a more aggressive communication message when it comes to this meeting. tell us what you've learned. >> i've learned that jared kushner has really been putting a lot of pressure on the communications and press shop to have a more forceful response for the revelations of the meeting. the issue they're having right now is they're fearful about going on the record and trying to fight back against these stories. jared has suggested they try to
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change chirons on cable news. getting a lawyer could cause me close to $100,000. so there is really a conflict between the staff and those closely tied to this russia investigation. a lot of these people are saying less is baltimore, i don't want to know, and yet kushner seems to really want them because he sees the entire russia investigation affecting the president, therefore it should be the priority of the communications and press shop to defend him. >> it's interesting, too. our evan perez reported last night that some of the white house aides and the president crafted the initial statement which could make them witnesses in this ongoing russia probe. it sort of drags them into it. steve, trump was asked on air force one, would you invite putin to the white house? he replied, i would say yes, yeah, at the right time. i don't think this is the right time but the answer is yes, i
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would. your thoughts. >> you know, this is what the russians look for. this is what putin is all about. whenever you get -- want to try to get to the bottom of russia motivation, oftentimes it is nothing more than returning to great power status, to be treated as the soviet union used to be, to have a seat at the table. when you do things like get into the oval office, get into the white house, it allows putin and the russians to say, yeah, we're back, we're as important. when in reality when you look at the size of their economy and their relative geopolitical part, it is not as big as other countries. but that's what they play for so it doesn't surprise me putin would want to do that. >> it is important to keep that in perspective. i think the u.s. economy is ten times the size of russia's, and yet here we are talking about it every day. and now the president is open, it seems, down the road to inviting vladimir putin to the white house. very interesting. steve hall, page pate, tara, stick around. we have much more to talk about. thank you all so much.
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serious concerns, multiple undecideds and a couple of senators who are flat-out nos. that's the battle facing senate republicans in their own party and their latest attempt to repeal and replace obamacare. president trump acknowledging the challenge on his trip to paris telling reporters aboard air force one, "the only thing more difficult than peace between israels and palestinians is health care." this morning the president is turning to social media to underscore the emergency. stating, among other things, that he is at his desk with pen in hand ready to sign this bill into law, and that republicans, his words, must come through as they have promised. but will the new bill even make it to the senate floor for debate? we're on capitol hill tracking all of these developments. what's the late s? >> reporter: i think a lot of senate republicans would agree with president trump this week that health care reform is very, very difficult. the revised bill that was released yesterday drawing a mixed reaction at best. keep in mind that mitch
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mcconnell wants to try to have a vote on this bill some time next week. but already we have two senate republicans who have come out to say that they are opposed to the motion to proceed. that means that they don't even want to bring up the bill for a debate on the senate floor. those two senators of course are rand paul and susan collins, no the to mention the many others who are still undecided on how they would vote for this bill. now that means that one more "no" senate republican could mean that this bill could be tanked even before it comes up for debate. i have to note that all of these reservations are remaining within the conference despite the fact that mitch mcconnell agreed to make a number of changes to the original bill that was released last month. i just want to walk through a couple of the key changes that were made. first is the fact that insurance companies could offer cheaper and skimpier plans. that of course was an amendment that was offered by senator ted cruz. it was unclear even until the last minute if that would make it in. it is now in the bill.
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hsas, or health savings accounts, those could now go towards paying for premiums. that's something else that conservatives wanted. an extra $45 billion would now go towards opioid funding. and now the important part -- this bill would keep the very steep cuts to medicaid that a lot of moderates had issues about. that is going to be the key issue and the key debate to watch in the coming days for members like dean heller, shelly moore-capito, rob portman. they need to win over some of those senators. that's what all of the discussions will be all about in the next coming days. >> you will be tracking all of it, m.j. lee. just moments from now, house minority leader nancy pelosi is set to speak on the russia investigation. she's already called for jared kushner's security clearance to be revoked. so will she double down? i'll ask a republican
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congressman what he thinks should happen. plus, timeline questions. president trump says he learned about his son's meeting with the russian lawyer just a few days ago, but a new report says his lawyers have known for weeks. and the confession bombshell. a man who's already been behind bars reportedly confesses to his involvement in killing four men. but the search continues for three of their bodies.
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any moment now on capitol hill, top house democrat nancy pelosi will be speaking out. she's expected to call out house republican leaders for what she calls their, quote, failure to investigate trump and his administration when it comes to possible collusion with russia. pelosi now calling for an outside independent commission to look into the disruption of the u.s. election. we will monitor that and bring you the very latest. back with me now to discuss, tara palmieri. lynn sweet from the washingt"wa sun times." lynn, first to you. pelosi came out yesterday calling trump junior's meeting cold, hard evidence the trump family and his campaign colluded. what more can we expect to hear
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today? >> we'll probably hear her reinforce her call for independent counsel saying you need outside sources to look at connecting the dots to what happened. special counsel bob mueller is looking for crimes. he has a different mission. he might not care about knowing the details of the story. if he concludes that there was no crime, for example, in the meeting, he might not -- he might move on. an independent commission such as the 9/11 commission can put together their whole story from start to finish as much as we know about russian collusion and the trump campaign. that's what is important to know can be done. i think that's the trail that she is on in reinforcing it. and then she has the cold, hard evidence from the e-mails themselves. >> let's actually dip in and listen to what pelosi has to say. >> -- learned of former russian counterintelligence agent was also present at the trump meeting. members of congress take a sacred oath.
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"i do solemnly swear." and that is to uphold the constitution of the united states. it is what our responsibility is. the president also takes that oath. speaker ryan has avoided any response by the republicans, in he positive action to uphold the constitution of the united states in terms of our electoral system, our democracy. earlier this week i called upon him to give us a vote on an independent commission, outside independent commission, to investigate the ties to russia. what do the russians have politically, financially or personally on donald trump that he fawns over putin, questions sanctions, is reckless when it comes to article 5 of nato. the list goes on and on. the american people have a right
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to know. maybe they'll clear the air. maybe it will be exculpatory. maybe it won't. but we know one thing for sure, we have a responsibility, an oath of office, to make sure russia does not meddle in our elections again and that would be the pumps of such an investigation. i mentioned calling upon the speaker to give us a vote on an independent commission. i also call for the revoking of the security clearance for jared kushner. it's absolutely ridiculous that he should have that clearance. it's not justified in any way. the president could revoke it in a moment, and he should. but congress should call -- republicans in congress should stop hiding from the truth and stop hiding the truth from the american people. i think in light of the actions this week, the e-mails that we saw related to donald trump jr.'s meeting with the russians,
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now we know a counterintelligence person was in the meeting as well, that it is important that we see all electronic communication, whether it is direct messaging, twitter, e-mail, text, whatever it happens to be, among members of the trump family and within the trump administration. did he convey that message that -- the spirit of that message to the president. the american people have a right -- have a right -- to know. and so here we are, house democrats are not going to let the republicans off the hook for their complicity in this. today we announce a new effort to force votes to get answers for the american people. we will force republicans to take votes on the record to continue from hiding the facts from the american people. we will expose house republicans in action for their willful, shameful enabling. they have become enablers of the
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violation of our constitution, the attack on the integrity of our elections, the security of our country. the integrity of our democracy is at stake. house republicans will have to answer for their actions. and one of the questions they will have -- some of the questions they will have to answer will be posed by our colleagues, i'm pleased to yield to distinguished top democrat on the financial services committee, congresswoman maxine waters of california. >> thank you. thank you, leader pelosi, for organizing all of us today -- >> leader of the house democrats nancy pelosi calling for a vote on a commission saying republicans have become enablers with everything going on surrounding russia and the trump campaign and all the investigations. i want to bring our panel back to discuss this. david, as you heard, she really is focused on this notion of an independent commission. but there are investigations on capitol hill already under way looking in to the russia situation. you have the senate intelligence
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committee, the house intelligence committee, just to name a couple. what would an independent commission do that those investigations won't? >> well, pamela, i think, as lynn said, two give us the big picture. right? the mueller special counsel investigation is looking into specific crimes, and they may, as this proceeds and more e-mails are looked at, find things like inconsistent statements from the trump team to what was in their previous e-mails as we saw over the last several days which could lead to various smaller charges, if not broad collusion or espionage related crimes, whatever those may be. but a commission will look at the big picture of the relationship of russia to our election system, what, if any, meddling took place. i think it is pretty clear that meddling took place. but how it came about. what the united states response could be to that. like lynn said, a 9/11 commission. i do think what pelosi was doing was a political thing, a turning
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of the screw toward republicans to say stop slow-playing this, don't enable. it is a democratic line of attack. they don't have a lot of cards to play but there is a card they can play. >> how likely is it republicans will get on board and give the votes for an independent commission, david? >> well, we are starting to see some republicans slowly back away from trump. you saw senator grassley yesterday calling for kushner and manafort to testify. he sounded sort of reluctant, but yet i think he sounded like, yes, we've got to go forward with this. it is because republican members of congress -- maybe not the leadership yet, but rank and file members have their own credibility on the line here. again, i think this effort by pelosi is a way to put the pressure on them to move this forward. but i think it is still going to be a long process before we see republicans break wholesale from the president. >> it is interesting to see more republicans come out and really criticize the fact that this meeting happened. you have jeff flake yesterday talking to our manu raju saying
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he wouldn't attend a meeting like that. tara, to you know. another issue that nancy pelosi brought up once again is a call for kushner's -- jared kushner's security clearance to be pulled. would that be enough to satisfy democrats or is this just the beginning? >> i think, like you said, this is just the beginning. inside the white house, my sources tell me that there is basically a clock ticking for how long jared kushner will remain inside the white house. his presence is considered quite toxic at this point because he is the administration official who is closest tied to the russia investigation. they don't see it as sustainable. also with the pressure that he's putting on the comm shop and press people to defend him, his own spokesperson is inside basically spending all of his day defending him in the russia investigations. once he starts testifying i think it is going to be really difficult for him. if anything new comes out, i don't know how they can justify continuing to give him a security clearance. but if it is just nancy pelosi calling for it, we'll see.
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but once the republicans come along, then they're in some real trouble. >> i want to put this all in perspective. the fbi has been looking at this for a year now. it was last july, let's remember, that this investigation was opened. we've been talking about russia for months but this meeting that don junior took and jared kushner attended raises the bar. charl "the washington post" -- the evidence has now shown. this is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. in is an e-mail chain released by donald trump jr. it turned out to be incompetent collusion, amateur collusion, comically failed collusion. that does not erase the fact that three top trump campaign officials were ready to play. the evidence is damning." >> there is a significant part of the story. this is why these investigations take so long, because you start following the different strings of investigations.
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the part that the trump white house and president trump doesn't seem to have gotten is, if i walk into a bank and i say, this is a hold-up, it doesn't matter if i actually get the money and walk out with it. i've committed a crime. just by going in and announcing the hold-up. the significance of these e-mails that we know have been released by don junior, which should, to the people out there who are so skeptical of news and sourcing and documentation -- this was released by don junior, so that adds gravity to the story, too. this is harder to brush away, which then makes other people perhaps more willing to talk. in investigations like this, sometimes it takes time to convince people to pressure people to tell everything they know. >> right. it is interesting if you look back, months ago the white house strategy was to distance itself from some of the people that were under investigation as part of the russia probe, including paul manafort, including carter page, including roger stone. but now you have the president's
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son releasing this e-mail exchange about meeting with the russian lawyer and his son-in-law, jared kushner, who's current will i in the white house. we'll see how this continues to unfold. thank you all so much. appreciate it. scrutiny intensifies for the white house as new questions emerge regarding when members of the trump administration became aware of donald trump jr.'s meeting with the russian lawyer. what impact if any could it have on the president's agenda. a member of the house freedom caucus joins me next with his thoughts. it easy. booking.com gets it. and with their price match, i know i'm getting the best price every time. visit booking.com. booking.yeah!
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the white house is once again on the defense over russia this morning. as new revelations about the meeting between donald trump jr. and a russian lawyer and how to respond to it could open up more staffers to scrutiny by special
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counsel robert mueller. sources tell cnn that white house aides and the legal team for his son-in-law and top aide jared kushner began strategizing in late june over how to deal with disclosure of e-mails about that meeting. there's just one thing -- those sources also say president trump's lawyer was not involved. that news even as reports claim that the president himself approved don junior's statements on the matter. those statements would change multiple times in just a few days where according to a person close to jared kushner's legal team, quote, a public relations disaster. joining me now, dave bratt republican congressman from virginia and member of the house freedom caucus. thanks for coming on. >> you bet. >> nancy pelosi just said republicans are enablers. do you agree? >> i missed it. are neighbors? >> enablers. enablers. >> i don't know. she's doing politics. that's all right. i heard the last segment, the bank robbery analogy and someone drives a getaway car they're
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guilty. i'm an economist, not a lawyer. but what you got to do is just name the statute that's been violated. we're a nation under laws, not of men. so if there's proof that a statute's been violated, then there is an issue. if there's not, i think a couple issues have gotten conflated. there's been the russia messing around in our elections. i don't think anybody's denying that. obama knew about that a full year ago and didn't do much on it. now that's still in play. we have mueller investigating that. then the other issue is the democrats are upset president trump won the election. so they've been saying impeach, impeach since day one. that's obviously more political. you got to separate out the political. we got a probe going forward on the russia piece. on the political piece, if you find a statute that's been vial laid then you got it. my senators in virginia are getting apoplectic. mark warner's seeing smoke everywhere he goes like he's in a cheech and chong movie.
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kaine now thinks the son is worse than benedict arnold. it's gottenhysterical. >> people like charles kra krauthhammer say this may be amateur collusion but he's referring to this meeting between the president's son-in-law and his son and the russian attorney. for soms it seems to eems to be turning point. do you think republicans on capitol hill should be more outspoken about this? >> i mean there's collusion everywhere. but the question is whether a statute's been violated. there's collusion between cnn and the dccc and "the washington post." i don't complain about that. it is not illegal. i think it is unethical, but it is not illegal. we all wish the politics would fade away. so collusion -- i moo enthat's not in the statute book. so i just go back kind of the fundamentals -- >> if the campaign finance law, whether he accepted the solicitation of a contribution
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or something of value from a foreign government. that's where the big question -- >> if they cross the line there, they cross the line. then you follow the law. >> so we've heard these calls, including just moments ago from nancy pelosi, for kushner to lose his security clearance. others say that he should be fired. what do you think at a minimum should happen given these new revelations and the fact that he's had to update his security clearance form now three times? >> i don't know what the -- you just follow the standard protocols. i don't know what those are. i'm busy doing health care and the budget today and the debt ceiling and tax reform, et cetera. so i'll leave that to the lawyers. i'm an economist. i try to hang in the numbers realm. >> let me just ask you before we go to that. what would you advise the white house on how to handle this, the russia controversy? because clearly -- we've heard this from others on capitol hill, that if it had sort of taken away from the work that you're doing and what you are trying to focus on. but a lot of this is because of the way the white house has
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handled it, the conflicting statements over the meeting, the fact that they weren't transparent from the get-go. what would you advise? >> well, just be as open and transparent as you can. i think donald junior came out on tv on "hannity" and laid it out pretty raw for a half-hour. i mean that's pretty good to go on the record on camera. it is not easy doing this. right? i think that's a good thing. it shows the american people there's nothing to hide and if they have had a few little missteps on reporting stuff on forms, i mean -- this thing's been ongoing for a year. everyone's kind of worn out. there's been so many russians involved. >> that's part of the problem though. it's been going on for a year. now we find out about this new meeting between the president's -- >> it's always some new meeting though. none of it stuck for the past year. now there is a new meeting, we all get excited for another day. will it stick, we don't know.
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>> the meeting explicitly says in the e-mail it has to do with the russian government wanting to help the trump campaign. i with a'nt to move on to what you're very hard at work on, that's of course health care. repealing obamacare has been at the core of republican election campaigns. policy prescriptions and more -- for seven years really. what is the impact on your party if you can't get this done? >> oh, it's huge. not as huge as failing on tax reform. but it is huge. we voted 50 times to repeal the freedom caucus put in a bill with senator rand paul and on our side mark sanford to repeal fully. and the goal has always been to bring the price down. obamacare's in the ditch right now because it focused almost solely on coverage. so everyone's coverage but they can't use their coverage because they can't afford a deductible and prices are going up 25%. under the republican bills the prices keep going up, too. everyone longs for the day when they could just go out and a
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young person could go buy just a standard insurance policy out of college without going bankrupt. so we've got to focus more on the price piece and the democrats have good input. right? pharmaceutical prices are through the roof. there's good input. they can get in on this process. we can all work together on it. but the goal has to be to get the price down. i taught economics for 20 years. this all started after world war ii with the employer-provided piece. that incentivized overconsumption of health care. that's in econ101 books across the nation. it is not partisan. it wasn't a partisan deal. we're overconsuming health care and now we have a crisis and it is linked to every other issue, medicare and social security are insolvent in 2034. we have $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities. those are the pieces bumping up against our tax reform piece. that's the holy grail. that's the piece -- if we fail to get the rates down for corporations and individuals and put money back in their pocket and get their kids back in some
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jobs out of high school and college, the american people are rightly cranky right now. wages have been flat for 40 years because productivity's been flat. how do you fix productivity? no one appears to know the answer. it's fairly stunning. you have to incentivize business to be more productive. there's only one way to do that. that to me is the most important piece but we have a logjam with this health care piece and then erasing the debt ceiling these pieces are getting in the way of doing tax reform. that's the home run. >> it's all sort of complicated there. republican congressman dave brat of virginia, thanks very much. on that note, it could be a busy weekend for the president and senate republicans as they try to marshal votes for another shot at their repeal and replace effort as we are learning one more "no" vote could kill it again. copd makes it hard to breathe.
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a crucial weekend ahead as the senate gop works to garner
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support for its revised health care bill. two republican senators, rand paul of kentucky and susan collins of maine, say they'll vote against it. that means out of the remaining undecided senators, they can't afford one more vote to pass this bill. joining us, former senior economic advisor for the trump campaign. jonathan gruber economics professor at m.i.t. and one of the architects of obamacare. steven, i'll start with you. this new bill maintains parts of obamacare like taxes on the wealthy. is this a true repeal? >> well, no. the answer is no, it is not a clean repeal. i would have preferred that. but it gets rid of what's worse about obamacare. it is going to -- this republican bill -- by the way, pamela, i met with a number of the republican senators last night. they are getting very close. i think they're zbrg too get the 50 votes they need and the vice
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president will probably have to cast the tiebreaking vote here to the main feature is it's going to allow younger people to face lower premiums. that's a big deal. i think it will make it more affordable. you'll get wider coverage because the price will go down. >> how will it do that? >> great question. >> one of the most insidious features of obamacare is it required everybody to buy these plans with contraceptives, drug abuse that a lot of families don't need. for young people, healthy people, they can buy a stripped down plan to provide health insurance if something catastrophic happened to them and pay 30% to 40% less. people with pre-existing conditions are going to be harmed by that. there's a pool of money in this bill that will provide funding
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for people with pre-existing conditions. that's a phony argument. >> this amendment would allow insurers to offer cheaper, bare bones policies. how would that work n your view? >> one thing i like about stephen is he is more honest. he explained what happens, cheap insurance for younger people. the money that's put in, essentially, this bill creates high risk pools. it segments the older individuals in high risk pools. stephen is right, with enough money you can deal with that. there's not enough money. it's not nearly enough to make insurance affordable for the sick and older people. these are the people that spend the bulk of dollars on the health care. in theory, it might work. when a common talking point you hear from folks like stephen is
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we shouldn't make younger people have maternity coverage. remember the consequence. you are saying that people who want maternity coverage, mainly women and people who want mental health coverage should have to pay more for insurance. if you are willing to admit that, which i think stephen is, but a lot of politicians aren't. >> here is a point of agreement. there was a famous moment when obamacare was being debated when that women said, i was free contraceptives. the point we make as conservatives is there's no such thing as free contraceptives. somebody has to pay for it. one is personal responsible. this is the difference between the left and right. it's not just young people who will paloer premiums, it will be tens of millions of people that will pay lower premiums if they have a healthy lifestyle, if they don't smoke, if they eat
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right and don't do drugs. my opinion is, if you live a healthy lifestyle, why should you have to subsidize people that do overeat and don't exercise z. we want to encourage healthy lifestyles. a way to do that is through a well functioning system. if you smoke, you are going to pay higher premiums. >> before obamacare, nowhere in the country could smokers be charged more for health insurance. obamacare made that legal. obamacare was the first time insurers were allowed to charge smokers more. don't make it about smokers. >> what about people who overeat, who are obese? what about people who use drugs? what about those things? you can't charge -- it's illegal under obamacare for these insurance companies to reward people for healthy lifestyles. >> it's not illegal. stephen, that's absolutely wrong. obamacare made it legal to vary
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the precipitation. once again, the first time obamacare expanded how much premiums could vary. here is what it comes down to. if you think people should get to pay less because they are on wellness programs, that's in obamacare. if people should pay more because they are fat, hold on, let me finish, that's not allowed on obamacare. >> why? why isn't that allowed? >> it is an important debate to be had and will go on and on. thank you very much. >> you bet. a shocking confession by a pennsylvania man. an attorney says his client has confessed he was involved in the murders of four missing men. we have the newest details.
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good morning. i'm pamela brown. nice to have you along with us on this friday. right now, president trump is in the air, headed home to washington after a whirlwind trip to paris. he started the day with a parade, now bracing for tush lance over the russia investigation. this morning, new questions about who knew what and when. white house aides began strategize zing in late june about how to manage the disclosure of the e-mails they just discovered. the president's legal team knew about the e-mail chain three weeks ago. hours from now, a trump campaign organizer will be in the hot seat when he testifies behind
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closed doors. lawmakers get ready to request more documents from jared kushner and donald trump jr. we are covering all of this. let's begin with jeff zeleny. hi, jeff. >> reporter: good morning, pamela. president trump, as you said, wrapped up his whirlwind trip to paris after spending 30 hours or so here in paris. a lot was among white house staff and others, consumed with questions and wonder and worry in regards to the russia investigation, still looming and expanding in washington. we heard the president yesterday give a vigorous defense, a fatherly defense, if you will, of his son. he called him a good man, a, you know, young boy. the reality is, he is the exact same age as the french president, emanuel macron, so not a boy. this is a moment where there are more and

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