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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  July 18, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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with a chance of collusion. >> i know you are excited about that one. cloudy with a chance of collusion. anyway. pretty amazing right to come up with the names years in advance. g gives us some humor. ac 360 is next. >> mccain compares the russia story to a centipede. there's always another shoe to drop. one more piece of foot gear goes trump in the night. one more piece of breaking news. a surprise and a mystery. it's also now the case the white house disregarding advice today from the normally friendly wall street journal editorial panl to disclose everything russia related now all at once. instead we got confirmation of a second meeting at the g 20 summit between trump and putin. undisclosed by the white house until now.
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what have you learned about the second meeting? >> another undisclosed meeting. not out of god good graces but questioning from journalists. forced to say it happened because there were witnesses at the room. g 20 summit. a dinner where the leaders were present. the president got up from his table and went down sat next to putin the russian president and without a u.s. translator only the russian translator. there's no other witness to the conversation other than the russian president and his translator. and this of course follows the previous meeting between putin and trump the announced meeting between the two of them where you have the secretary of state. not only but there were no other witnesses to the conversation who could tell us what happened who didn't really have skin in the game. that's the key with these meetings and that's why often but by policy normally you have either career state department
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people, or something that give you a record of what happened there. this is what we don't have. >> was it just the three of them. were there other leaders around? >> it's a dinner party. multiple tables. as to who was privy to the conversation, it was just putin, trump and the russian translator. and this was not an incig nant pull aside which often happens. you shake hands and speak for five minutes. it lasted for one hour. >> one hour. so it wasn't just like hey how do you like the steak. >> welcome. so nice to see you. this is an hour. allowing time for significant conversation. the white house is explaning it as this. part of the president's duty. they released a statement a short time ago saying that this is not unusual, it is not p perfectly normal. it's part of a president duty to interact with world leaders. a world leaders that interfered in the election. two, this is one in which there
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is no other record of that conversation which is important. three, it was not disclosed previously. four i might note this, there are pull asides at a number of meetings like this, but when you have a pull aside when an adversary that is significant. think of the coverage we gave when president obama was thinking about a pull aside with the iranen president. which led to a nuclear deal. when you have countries with so many conflicts interests when you sit down for an hour without anyone else present. that's a conversation of consequence. and this is something the white house didn't reveal tonight until they were pressured to reveal. >> even though they revealed they talked about the other meeting. it would have been easy for them to say there was another meeting. >> multiple opportunities. >> thank you. late this evening i spoke with the democrat of connecticut who sits on the senate judiciary committee. >> do you have any kind of understanding of why we're just
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hearing about this other meeting that the president of the united states had with vladimir putin? >> there seems to be a pattern of reckless or willful concealment of contacts with the russians. involving jared kushner, other memps ot trump family. and the president of the united states. and maybe the president was embarrassed or in some way reluctant to disclose the fact that this meeting occurred with him alone, with a russian interpreter and vladimir putin. we have no idea what was discssed exactly. and this kind of private meeting is virtually inprecedented in the diplomatic world. >> i don't understand how the white house wouldn't think this story would get out at some point. and at least just get ahead of it and explain -- do you think the white house owes the american people a read out of
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the meeting. if it lasted a physical hour as it's reported. >> a full hour meeting. certainly merits a read out. the question is whether in fact the white house has enough background or material for a read out because the only source for that read out would be the president himself and he may not remember everything that was said. which is why staff always accompanies a meeting president going to a meeting of such importance. and it's kind of breaking one of the first rules of diplomatic contact. >> the judiciary committee was given the green light by mueller to have donald trump jr. and paul manafort testify in an open hearing. do you know the time tabl. and what you want answered? >> my hope is that kushner and trump and manafort will all come before the committee. in fact every one of the eight
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people in meeting should be called to testify for the committee. and i hope it will be soon, probably this month or september. but the sooner the better and has to be under oath. and full and fair open opportunity for questioning in public. and i think the american public deserves not only an explanation of the latest disclosed meeting between putin and trump the president. but also a full explanation for everybody being in this room. because clearly the prelude to the meeting indicated criminal intent of a conspiracy to receive information from the russians to collude with the russians in interfering with our elections and possibly other kinds of cyber hacking and criminal activity. >> also today we're learning the identity of the eighth person who attended the meeting between donald trump jr. and the russian
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lawyer. he works who initiated the meeting. his lawyer claims he only served as an interpreter. there was an interpreter there. i wonder how his attendance factors in. >> why that eighth person was at the meeting when he knew apparently that there would be an interpreter there. maybe only an hour beforehand. but the mystery of this meeting is in fact why there was such concealment of every one of the individuals. why continuing concealment, willful or reckless. a pattern of obstruction. in connection with the meeting and what other meetings there were. those kipds of questions are at the core of what needs to be disclosed at the judiciary committee hearing and i hope it will be soon. but this eighth individual who represented a family with
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potential financial or other ties to the russians is part of the pattern of concealment. beginning in june, but going through even the period before and after the election and the inauguration. >> i talked to the attorney for the two russians for the father and son, early last week and he was claiming that time that that the russian attorney was just an acquaintance of the pop star son and it was acting as a go between to help set up the meeting to make the introduction. but they had no real relationship. now not only does it seem like that's not the case but somebody who actually represents that family was in the meeting. so certainly a lot of questions to be answered. >> there are more questions than answers right now. and need to be answered by the special counsel bob mueller. and he is now aware of the meeting and investigating it. that's how we learned in fact of the identity of the eighth person because his lawyer came
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forward and said we have been dealing with mr. mueller. >> thanks for your time. perspective from pam la brown. dav . you made what i believe to be the first public mention of this other meeting on the program last night. it was the first we'd heard about it. what's your understanding of what occurred. >> there's only three people that know what was said in the meeting those are president trump, putin and russian interpreter. but the fact that is took so long, this was a one hour meeting. during my career i have seen plenty of five minute one on ones. to have a meeting of this length and then not to be transparent about it. that is of concern. obviously this provides a golden opportunity for president putin to press president trump on his agenda and spin things in his way. so we know during the meeting they talked about a cyber unit
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which at first president trump said it was a great idea and apparently wasn't such a great idea later. we don't know what was said in the meeting. there could have been all kinds of things proposed by the russian side. but the president may not have been briefed up on. this is a big deal actually. >> david the white house is saying it's not merely perfectly normal. it's part of a president duty to interact with world leaders. saying it was a brief conversation at the end of a dinner. if it's an hour long that doesn't seem like a brief conversation. and there's no official government record and they wouldn't even mention it. >> it is the president's duty to circulate and meet foreign leaders and informal pull aside well. it's inappropriate for a president to sit down in the way trump did with putin. if the president had brought his own interpreter so there were two people there, one in american one a russian interpreting. you have a record on the
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american side if the white house disclosed that. we would be saluting the president for having yet another hour with putin. but the way he in which he did it leaving the russian interpreter -- i can't remember a time when a new american president first meeting has allowed the interpreter from the other side from the russian side to be the only person in the room. there have been times in the past when american walter for example earned the trust of both sides and it was a rare thing that the russians allowed to have vernon walters interpret for both sides in presidential meetings. it just does not happen. it's ab normal and is not appropriate for duty and to not disclose it arouses further suspicion about what the heck is his obsession with putin and why won't he be straightforward. >> is it normal not to have a read out about it. >> it's ab normal. if they want to have a very
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private conversation, with interpreters there with the appropriate people in the room, that is regularly done. you don't have to have a read out of everything. sometimes the diploma si is best conducted behind doors. but you protect yourself as president by having other people with you from the american side and looking after our interests and not have the russians take advantage of a new president. >> from an intelligence standpoint does it concern you there's an hour long conversation with just the russian interpreter. >> i would be concerned in normal times, but we're living in anything but normal times. for the first time in my lifetime we're in enduring i would say a counter intelligence investigation launched by former fbi director about the president and his own people. so i say that that's what makes this definitely a newsworthy item and it's worth asking those questions that you have been posing to this panel. >> i want to bring in brown.
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in terms of the meeting between trump jr. and the russians at trump tower, i mention earlier the eighth person in the room has been identified. what's the latest on that? >> he's been identified. and he was born in the soviet union. he goes way back with the agalarov back to 1989 he worked for his company. agalarov the russian business associate of donald trump. and so in fact he appeared in a video exclusively obtained by cnn standing in the background next to donald trump. as well as agalarov's back in 2013. here's the video you can see him in the background in las vegas 2013. fast forward three years from that moment, and he's been thrust into the spotlight as an attendee of the meeting at trump tower with trump jr. and paul manafort and jared kushner ner as well as rob gold stone. the publicist representing them. promises don jr. incriminating information on hillary clinton.
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says his client attended a meeting a a representative of the agalarov family and thought he would be needed at a translator. he never had any involvement with the russian government he says. >> this guy was caught up in a money laundering case is that right? >> he was. in 2000 his actions as the head of a delaware company called international business creations caught the attention of congressional business looking at how russians and foreigners were able to launder large amounts of money through u.s. banks. there's a government report. that concluded it was easy for the foreigners to use shell companies to open u.s. bank accounts and route hidden money through the american financial system. and he was one of the people being looked at as part of the investigation. we should point out he wasn't charged and his attorney said there's no indication his client did anything wrong. >> how -- you talked about the drip drip of this.
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and become kind of a cliche. you said it's important to understand the context of each drip. the fact that now here we have another person who works for this russian family who earlier last week we were told by the attorney for that family they weren't really involved in this at all and this russian lawyer was an acquaintance of the young every son. it looks like they wanted a representative in the meeting. >> that's right. i think the ninth person in the room you might say has been reported today actually. is the mueller investigation in terms of looking at all of this body of information and developing the context which for me boils down to three critical questions. why wasn't this meeting reported and the full scope of the meeting with all the participants reported at the time and then after the fact as it was leaked originally why haven't all the people been named so we can get to the bottom of it. particularly if there's nothing to it which has been asserted by
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the trump team. what happened to this information that was reportedly provided at the meeting? has they be turned over to the fbi. if not why not? the information that was passed on alleged clinton donors. why wouldn't that have been turned over. the third question is who really backstopped this meeting? in other words in russia itself can we determine the identity of the person presumably in the kremlin that sent veselnitskaya to the meeting. who actually provided the cover and the backstopping and the information for this meeting. these will be the kind of questions that the mueller investigation has to come to terms with as they look into this meeting. >> a lot still not known. i want to thank everybody. former presidential candidate sanders joins us on the implosion of gop efforts to repeat and replace obamacare. ever wonder what steve bannon is
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busy night. there's more breaking news. saying he'll schedule a vote early next week on repealing but not replacing the affordable care act, obamacare. right now it lacks the support even with the the gop and follows last nights stinging defeat on legislation to repeal and replace. defeat which led the president of the united states to say this today. >> we're not going to own it i'm not going to own it. i can tell you the republicans are not going to own it. we'll let obamacare fail and democrats are going to come to us. >> not exactly the buck stops
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here nor the rye o observation as he accepted possibility for failed operation that defeat is an orphan. not even words of tough love. you efed up you trusted us. instead just this. >> we're not going to own it. im not going to own it i can tell you the republicans are not going to own it. >> the president wanting people to believe this is not his problem. not even a republican problem. kofrgt according to to the president the problem is no democrats came on board. he forgotten one of his most frequently repeated promises throughout the election. >> real change begins immediately with the repealing and replacing of the disaster known as obamacare. >> repeal it and replace it. repeal and replace. obamacare we're going to repeal it we're going to replace it. repeal it, replace it.
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get something great, we're going to kill it. let it die. we're going to come up with something much, much better. >> you're going to have such great healthcare at a tiny fraction of the cost and it's going to be so easy. >> now though the president says he favors repealing obamacare without a replacement. the senate will vote on next week. that's a big change from the campaign. he took pains to reassure those they wouldn't be left out in the cold. no repeal without a replacement. something better. >> we'll do it simultaneous. it will be just fine. we're not going to have a two day period and we're not going to have a two year period where there's nothing. it will be repealed and replaced and we'll know. it will be great healthcare for much less money. >> candidate trump had good reason to promise not to try for a straight are peel. he knew about the budget office is grim assessment of the repeal bill republicans had passed the year before which president obama vetoed.
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the estimated that 32 million people would lose coverage urnds that. you can agree or disagree with the assessment. you can say it's 32. million or 320,000 people losing coverage. now that he's president trump is responsible for what happens to each and every one. which he seemed to recognize back when he was trying to win their vote. less concerned saying he's not going own it. which is strange. which the house version passed this spring the president was eager to own that one. he threw a big victory celebration. he makes a big production out of signing ceremonies and proclamations. he's not going to own it now. four years ago as a citizen he said something different indeed. in a tweet in 2013, trump gave this piece of leadership wisdom. whatever happens you're responsible. if it doesn't happen you're responsible. what a difference four years can make. what is i'm wondering the mood in the white house tonight about the latest healthcare?
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>> this is a defeat that took them by surprise the president was having a dinner here last night with senators about healthcare. there are some in the white house who feel dejected by this. over all their backs have been up today. insisting this is not on them as you saw the president say. this is on the senate. this is their failure and the president seems content to sit by and watch obamacare collapse. >> is there any sense that going forward the president will be more engaged than he has been in the repeal and replace process? >> one of the things to keep in mind the president has wide latitude to sell the bill. he didn't use the bully pulpit. he didn't make the case to the american public that this was a good deal for them. he didn't do all that much feet of the democrats. h huckabee sanders on the podium.
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we haven't seen the out reach from the white house. as you were pointing out this does raise the question of how the president sees his role in all of this. it's one thing if you are a candidate to say we will standby and watch this collapse. the reality is he's the president now. people who voted for him are dealing with increasing premiums under obama's healthcare bill. dealing with insureers pulling out of the markets because of issues with former president's bill. the reason ta voted for president trump and elected him was to solve this problem. not to point his finger at the democrats and so far from this white house, we don't have a good sense of where this goes next. what the president would do next to fulfill his promise to voters. >> more on how first plan b and plan c collapsed. republicans are scrambling to figure out what comes next. what do you know about the vote senate majority leader is
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promising. >> scheduled next week. earlier in the day he promised that even though they're facing yet another set back, he is committed to finding a way forward on healthcare. take a listen. >> i believe we must continue to push forward now. i regret the effort to repeal an immediately replace the failures of obamacare will not be successful. that doesn't mean we should give up. we will try a different way to bring the american people relief from obamacare. i think we owe them at least that much. >> but the problem that he has now is that the votes just simply aren't there. there are at least four republicans senators who say they will not vote for the straight repeal. even so, mccon el seems content to put this bill on the vote for a vote at least to start the debate process.
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if that happens it will likely fail. >> what about support to make this a by partisan effort. does there seem much appetite of that from either side of the aisle? >> everybody talk abouts it. but nobody seems to be having any kind of conversation leading in that direction. today chuck shumer said the door is open. the senate minority leader. he wants to deal with republicans. but there's a fundamental problem here. republicans want to repeal obamacare and democrats do not. if they can't get passed that impasse there's no way the democrats are going to work with republicans and right now it seems as though both sides are unwilling to give on the central and important point. >> yeah. thanks very much. up next i speak to bernie sanders on his reaction. the senator is next. direct with and join the summer weekenders.
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before the break cnn laid out how the senate gop bill died today and how senate majority leader hoping a bill to repeal the law might pass next week. i spoke with someone who has been a critic of some aspects of obamacare. and sharper critic of plans to get rid of it. bernie sanders. >> senator sanders. president trump is saying his plan is to let obamacare fail in his words and that the democrats will then come back to him.
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what do you think of that? >> it's really beyond belief that we have a president of the united states who is working over time to sabotage the healthcare that millions of americans receive. the reason that this republican bill failed is because it is something that was a disaster that the american people overwhelmingly did not want. you don't throw 22 million people off of health insurance. raise premiums for older workers, defund planned parenthood, cut medicaid by 800 billion and give huge tax breaks to large corporations and wealthy people. that's the republican plan. instd oaf working to figure out a way to lower the cost of healthcare in american and provide healthcare to all people, take on the form suit k pharmaceutical industry and take on the prescription drugs.
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so what if millions of people suffer. that's really awful. >> will obamacare fail. if congress or the president don't take steps to fix it? >> no. i don't think it will fail. millions of people will be in impacted with higher premiums and some cases. this is what the insurance companies are saying. if we don't put money into the cost sharing program, if you don't enforce the individual mandate, substantial sums of money are not coming into the system. which make it harder for the insurance company. that's not me. that's what the insurance companies are saying. >> do you think you the democrats as lawmakers have a responsibility to try to work with republicans to fix the current system? >> the answer is absolutely. that's why there are many of us talking about ways to significantly improve the affordable care act. i don't think you'll hear anybody say that the affordable care act is perfect and doesn't need improvement. deductibles are too high, copayments are too high,
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premiums are too, prescription drug prices are off the wall. so what we need to do is at least three things. number one i happen to believe we need a public option in every state in the country. if people don't get the private insurance coverage that they like or they need, we should have a public option available. number two i believe that we should lower medicare eligibility from 65 to 55. number three i think we should substantially lowerle cost of prescription drugs by allowing pharmacists and distributor to import lower cost drugs from canada and other countries. also to have medicare negotiate prices with the pharmaceutical industry. those are three ways that we can improve the affordable care act. longer term, and i'm going to introduce legislation to do this, we have to join the rest of the industrialized world. and guarantee healthcare to all people as a right to a much more cost effective and simple system
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that i call medicare for all. >> you know in order to do anything you need republican support. i want to play you what minority leader said today about working with republicans. >> if republicans abandon cuts to medicaid, abandon tax breaks for the wealthy, and agree to go through the regular order, the door to by partisan ship is open right now. republicans only need to walk through it. >> a lot of republicans are saying that doesn't sound like by partisan ship. that sounds like setting conditions in order to get something done. >> the last poll that i saw on the republican proposal had the support of 12% of the american people. the american people do not agree about throwing millions off of medicaid in order to give tax breaks to the wealthy. i think all the senator is saying is stop talking about tax breaks for the rich, stop talking about mass i cuts to
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medicaid. let's see how we can improve the affordable care act, not destroy it. i think that is a reasonable starting point for any serious discussion. >> the other thing the president said is he's not going to own it. republicans are not going to own it. democrats you could say have engaged in the blame game. shouldn't people's healthcare take precedent over score lg political points? >> i certainly think that it should. but let us remember the political reality of today. last i heard the president was a republican, the republicans had majority in the house and senate. they control the united states government. >> do they own the -- >> those are just silly words. we should thot be worried about who is owning it. does enough blame to go around on both sides. >> appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> when we come back more on the collapse of the senate gop healthcare plan and who the president says is sto blame. fascinating details on steve
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i'm sure going to... i'm bringing forward a treatment for alzheimer's disease, yes, in my lifetime, i will make sure.
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healthcare quandary that republicans fine themselves in. as well as senator plan to bring his latest plan to a vote early next week. but right now that effort is dppt expected o fail because they don't have the support. all all a bad day for the white house. i want to bring in the panel. david, this notion of repeal without replacement is it realistic. are republicans hoping to be seen trying to do all they can before letting it go. >> it's more of an act of symbolism. they don't have the votes. the four senators who pose the replace and repeal and replace -- or repeat and delay. three are women. they stand firmly on this. i want to say earlier in the program the white house was instructing us on the duties of a president. especially over seas. it's really kind time the white house faced up to duties of the president here at home. and that is to be president of all the people, not just your
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base. that is to put the interest of the country first and not your own politics. and that is to stand up like a man and admit when you have come short and go back and try again. from my perspective on this issue when the president says he's going to let obamacare fail. he'll let a lot of americans suffer. from increased premiums if the federal government doesn't try to fix the flaws in obamacare. that ought to be a by partisan. if he fails to do that it will be a dereliction of duty. >> absolutely. i can't emphasize enough when the election is over you become president of all the time. you won with your base. your moral responsibility is look after the welfare of people. not to use their suffering as a political lever. that's what i think is a dereliction of duty.
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he's responsibility to all the people and the flaws in obamacare do need to be fixed and fixed on a by partisan basis. the premiums are going up today to a significant degree because the federal government is not paying the subsidies. that to keep to protect the americans who can't afford healthcare and that's what needs to be fixed, fixed now. he cannot afford to go through this and say let people suffer. and it will help the politics later on. that's a dereliction of duty. >> i spoke to governor casic today. he told me things the president doesn't really mean he'd let obamacare fail. he's not hung up on some fix that if congress were able to give him something to bring down cost. whatever form it took he would sign it. >> casic observed a lot about trump with when he ramp against him. you're not dealing with a president who has a fixed
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ideology flt he was raced in new york city where big government is the rule of the day. you have heard him say things about healthcare in the country but suggested that the government has an obligation to take care of people. there's a listening to him say we're going to let it die, let it fail. these are real people, millions of them. who are still on obamacare. covered under obamacare. and this is why when you implement an entightment program it's pretty hard to remove it. and he is discovering that. >> can you're the president of the senate conservative. which is a grew vowing to recruit, fund challengeers to run against a republican senator who oppose repeal. to republican senator shelly who said that i did not come to washington to hurt people. talking about why he's opposed to repealing. to her you say what? >> first of all the way the president is describing his view of this is consistent with the way he talks.
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it's consistent with a long term benefit for america. you heard bernie sanders admit that the amounts of americans have to pay under obamacare is too high. the deductibles are too high. what people are failing to do including on this show is point to the culprit. obamacare. and you don't start putting band aids. this is the washington problem. you don't fix a failure. you get rid of a failure for the benefit of the most americans possible. and that's the path we're on with repeal. it doesn't have to be immediate. it can be repeal by a date certain. and put the pressure on. it will get suddenly very by partisan about what other alternatives might take place once this complete failure of american healthcare that we call obamacare has been stripped aside. and a lot of these republicans have already voted to do this. in 2015 including om some of the people you're hearing saying no we're not going to do this now. you were lying then instead of lie now.
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last point. this is a real mitch mccon el failure. he's been caught lying to members of his own caucus. about not really shrinking medicaid and lets call it what it is. it's welfare. welfare exploded under obamacare and that is a central point that republicans for a long time have agreed to contain and shrink. >> does the president have a role in this. is this a presidential failure. >> i think that the success has many fathers kind of thing. failure has a lot of fathers too. it's hard once an entitlement is granted. rolling it back is difficult. i don't blame donald trump in the sense that people are saying he should have been selling it more. it might have been nice, clearly i think the problem is it's not that he should have been out there lobbying people more. instead fundamentally this was not an after thought. they thought they could do this
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quick. it was never a priority for donald trump or republicans. >> he talked about it a lot on the campaign trail. >> he out sourced this. this is not -- noun of the plans were trump in his world view about you're taking care of everybody. they weren't populous. this was paul ryan and mitch. and i think he basically out sourced it. it never came from him. and i think that's the fundamental set. >> should he have run by making the promises about repeal and replace and instantly and it's an immediate switch over. if he's not -- >> he should have known what was going on. and i think he was probably misled by. he was misled by some people around him. tom price should have known better. there are people who should have told him that actually this can't be done in a week or it can't be right when you come into office. we really don't have a plan. there are too many different
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ideas within the republican caucus. it's a highly dysfunctional caucus. it's not -- you have people who are absolutely not willing to compromise. it's not when you have the democrats who had a lot of disagreements. nancy was able to bring people around. and the republican side this doesn't happen. you have people like ran paul saying you do my way or i'm not going to support you. how do you get anything done like that. >> the conservatives had seven years to come up with a coherent policy that would work. and alternative to replace obama care. they did not do the work. and donald truch he did out source it to them. they weren't ready. remember he just ran for president sort of a year or two earlier. they had all this time. >> look, let's -- we're talking about promises. i'm hearing about promises. i agree if a bill hit the president's desk on this
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subject, i would be shocked if he didn't sign it. whether i like it or not he would sign it. that's what he promised to do by and large. republicans in congress for seven years have pounded the podium, have tossed the red meat and made a promise to the american people not just their base. to the american people. that they would repeal obamacare. that was what they stood for in these elections in 2010 when they took over the house in 2014 when they took over the senate. and you heard donald trump saying in 2016 as he won the presidency. this is a promise made and it needs to be a promise kept. >> thank everybody. up next the inside story the powerful partnership of president trump and steve bannon. the focus of an interesting new book. i'll talk to the author. the incredible details he uncovered from the campaign trail. and the idea of a wall on the border was actually born.
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so he even has the energy to take the long way home. keep it up, steve! dr. scholl's. born to move. a cockroach can survive submergede guy. underwater for 30 minutes. wow. yeah, wow. not getting in today.
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tonight we're learning new details from the president's chief strategist, steve bannon, who holds a lot of influence over the white house agenda. bannon, like the president, has his own share of critics. but the former campaign manager did help him get a victory, overseeing one of the biggest political upsets ever. bannon's own path to the white house is pretty incredible.
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the two men are the focus of a new book on the campaign trail and even on election night. steve bannon, donald trump and the storming of the presidency. i spoke to him earlier. so the narrative that surrounds bannon, i think on the cover of "time," he's called the great manipulator, that he's running the show there. how does that jibe with reality? >> bannon had a lot of influence. i don't think he was ever the puppet master he was portrayed as being. he was trump's idiot log and pitbull, but i do think he was in that portrayal and it enraged trump because eventually it cost bannon a seat. >> that's because of the public perception? >> trump doesn't want anybody co-starring beside him in his
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presidency, particularly someone who sees him as pulling his puppet strings. >> that sort of, oh, you're more famous than me. >> yeah. jar >> jared kushner seems to have survived so far. >> he married into the family. a little harder to get rid of. >> but they're from such different backgrounds. >> they are, but they have a lot of similarities. bannon was a wall street deal guy, he was a hollywood movie maker. he understood how to talk to big shot moguls. if you're a women's studies major at wellesley, steve bannon is not going to be your cup of tea, but if you're a big shot new york developer like trump is, then steve bannon speaks your language, and he had experience around people like ted turner and michael ovitz when he met him back in 2011, 2012 in a way that other people
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who knew trump didn't. >> he focuses on narrative truth rather than factual truth. >> there is a great quote from one of bannon's ex-employees, a guy named ben shapiro. had a falling out with him and left. but he really put his finger on t. he said bannon's allegiance is to narrative truth, not to actual truth. >> the actual facts. >> exactly. >> as long as you get this sort of narrative. >> the narrative, the attitude and that's really what bannon and breitbart were all about. that's true of trump also, and i think trump saw in bannon a guy who had a clear and coherent set of politics that meshed with trump's own impulses. a lot of times i think bannon may be the only guy in the white house who has a true north star. trump doesn't always follow his lead, doesn't do it near as much now as he did in the campaign, but bannon at least has an idea where he wants to steer trump. >> uyou have fascinating detail.
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election night in trump tower when trump found out that he had won. >> trump is so superstitious that he had not won a victory speech or a concession speech, which is traditionally what a president will do, staff will have it written ahead of time. bannon, steven miller, the guy in charge just never brought it up. bannon didn't think he would walk out on stage and concede formally if he lost. that didn't come into play, so they went upstairs to trump's penthouse and at about 11:00 p.m. they hashed out a speech that trump walked out and gave as president of the united states. >> there was also a hash with chris christie that night. >> there was. how does a guy like chris christie, a guy who majorly endorsed trump -- >> it's hard to remember how close they were during the campaign. >> how surprised they were when
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christie walked out and made an endorsement of trump. but christie had be i recollerkt of people in trump's campaign. he was smothering the president. christie somehow arranged with obama's people that if trump won, obama was supposed to call christie's cell phone and he would hand it to trump. trump didn't like the fact that, a, christie was exerting himself in this pivot ol momeal moment, he's a germophobe and didn't want to take the phone. that moment and in the days that followed, he wound up going from being in charge of the transition and maybe ticketed for a job like attorney general, some high-level job in the trump administration, to being completely on the outs, sent back to new jersey. >> also the wall which, you know, is such a huge part of the trump campaign.
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u you have fascinating details about the origin of the idea. >> the story about the wall is such a great story because it gives great insights into how trump operates as a politician. the idea of the wall didn't come from trump, it came from sam wahlberg and roger stone, advisers of trump, who back in 2011 wanted to keep his focus but they knew trump's attention always wandered. they came up with this idea of a wall just to keep trump focused and remind him to speak. if you can plant that seed in his mind, you can kind of riff on it. at first trump didn't seem that excited. he wound up going to iowa and made a speech, got a great response from the crowd and did what trump did best. i'm going to build a wall and nobody builds like trump. i'm going to build a wall and
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mexico is going to pay for it. he senses what works with his audience and he develops it further and further and further. by the end of the campaign, it was like a lynrd skynrd concert. we're talking this hour on consequence not disclosed until now. donald trump and vladimir putin had a second meeting, we're learning about now, and david gergen witnessed such meetings. donald trump jr. said, fake news story of secret dinner with putin is sick. all g20 leaders and spouses were invited to the