tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN July 19, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
o back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. good evening. the "new york times" just published an interview with the president. what he said is enough to fill the entire broadcast tonight. we begin with shocking news about senator and former presidential candidate john mccain. dr. sanjay gupta joins us now. sanjay, what have you learned? >> with senator mccain's permission, i spoke to his doctors at the mayo clinic earlier today, and they said the operation he had on friday revealed that he has a glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer. that was what was causing his problems, omting above his left eye. this is the type of primary brain cancer. they didn't know.
they just found this out after the pathologist looked under the microscope specifically at what was removed there from his brain. and that is what they found. as you point out, it's sad news. this is an aggressive type of brain cancer. and surprised everybody, anderson. >> what more can you tell us about this? a, just to repeat, this is -- you were given this information, or permission by the senator, by his family in order to broadcast this? >> yeah. with his permission, i spoke to the doctors. they asked that i talk to the doctors, get all this information about precisely what happened. we know that on friday morning, he went to the doctors basically for a scheduled annual physical exam. he was complaining a bit of fatigue and said he's been feeling tired over the last few months. he also had a bout of double vision. but because of those things, his doctors basically decided to order a cat scan of his brain. this is all friday that this happened.
and it was that cat scan and subsequent mri scan that revealed the abnormality. it was concerning enough that within the next couple of hours, the doctors took him to the operating room, they performed this incision as you heard, right in the left eyebrow area, removed some bone and removed this -- they believe they removed the entire tumor that they could see from that area of the left front of his brain. this is a glioblastoma. some people may have heard this term before. this is the same type of tumor that senator kennedy had several years ago, that bo biden that we heard about last year. it is an aggressive type of brain cancer. senator mccain and his family are just now dealing with this news and trying to decide next steps in terms of treatment and all of that. but he is at home, anderson. he was able to go home the next day after surgery. he had a very rapid recovery. the doctors told me after he woke up from the anesthesia, he was very alert, very sharp, was
able to tell you what year it was. he was making jokes with the recovery room staff. but again, it takes a few days for these diagnoses to come back, because the pathologist actually has to review it and this is what they found, anderson. >> what are the potential next steps? >> well, this is one of those types of tumors that is -- it doesn't have a particular cure. there's not a type of treatment that you can say is going to likely lead to a cure. the types of treatments typically are a combination of chemotherapy, and radiation. radiation to that part of his brain. this is a discussion that i'm sure senator mccain and his family are going to have with doctors as exactly how to proceed. and also, when to proceed. just recovering from this operation as you and i have talked about can take a couple of weeks. even to begin this sort of therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, they have to wait at least three or four weeks at least until after the operation. until after the operation. he had that operation in arizona. that is at the mayo clinic
there. that's likely where he's going to get his follow-up treatment. >> i'm sorry, this is a dumb question, but is this a tumor, or is it more than that? >> this is a tumor. it is a type of brain tumor. a tumor that comes from the brain as opposed to types of tumors that start somewhere else in the body and spread to the brain. this started in his brain. people were concerned about the melanoma having spread because he does have a history of melanoma. but this was not melanoma, this was a primary tumor of the brain. it is a type of cancer, a malignant cancer. what that means in this case is you operate on this, it needs to be treated as well with chemotherapy and radiation. the concern is that it will come back. that's the big concern with these types of tumors. and again, you know, in order to try and give him the best chance at that, it is likely he'll undergo further treatments over the next several weeks. >> sanjay, i want you to stay with us. joining us is x files host david
axelrod and dana bash and gloria borger. obviously, gloria, this is very devastating news for senator mccain and for his family. very tough news to hear. for everybody, really. he was first elected to the senate in 1986, which is more than 30 years ago. i mean, for the impact he has had, and continues to have on the senate is not to be overstated. >> it's remarkable. don't forget, he ran for the presidency twice. as he told me, he once came in second place, which wasn't good enough. and, you know, john mccain is a fighter. and i think we all know that, all of us tonight. and, you know, this is a man who survived the fire on the forest, shot out of a plane, was tortured five years in a p.o.w. camp, melanoma, two presidential campaigns. and dana and i have been talking to folks close to mccain who say he's been on the phone talking about his statements on health care, and continuing to work.
if i know john mccain, he's going to want to get back to work as soon as possible. and want to continue to do what he does best, which is represent the people of arizona. and be the lion that he is in the united states senate. >> dana, you covered capitol hill for a long time. talk about the influence that senator mccain has there, and within the republican party. and also just what he's like personally. i've interviewed him a number of times, he has a great sense of humor. >> yes, he does. >> and generally engaged in not just domestic issues, but internationally. >> the only people who can call people little jerks and mean that as a term of endearment, which he does, frequently, as a term of endearment. i just want to echo what gloria is saying. there is nobody who is the kind of fighter that john mccain is. never mind all of the things that he went through in vietnam. the melanoma that he had in 2000. but just even the extent to which he is going constantly, in
warp speed always. you mentioned the kind of impact he has in the senate. a huge impact. but he has a huge impact globally. my friend paul cain at the washington post just did a story about the miles that he logs. just this year alone, anderson, 75,000 miles, to more than 15 nations across three continents. i was just talking recently to chris coons of delaware, i think it was less than two months ago, talking about the fact that kunz who is about 30 years younger than john mccain, 81 at the end of august, he had to change his own schedule because he couldn't keep up with mccain. and the way that he said that mccain is revered by leaders across the country. even and especially in vietnam. which he said was really interesting. but covering mccain, anderson,
in the senate, and i covered his presidential campaign in 2008 from start to finish, he has a fighter pilot's mentality which is, you keep going and you keep going and you keep going and you don't look back, you don't worry about regrets, because we all have them, but he tries not to dwell on them but he keeps going. and that is his m.o. there's no question, you know, knowing him and the way that he likes to fight. he's probably also telling his dad jokes he told on the campaign trail like in the words of chairman mao, it's always darkest before it's black. >> david, anybody who can survive the hanoi hilton and survive what he did with his, you know, his brothers in arms in those difficult -- he spent years there under excruciating conditions. he's a fighter. he's also in so many ways the politician who transcends party lines. >> he surely does.
i spent an hour with him, the initial ax files with john mccain. and to hear him tell the story of his captivity, and those very, very dismal years, but the strength that he drew from that experience, and the lessons that he drew from that experience was incredibly moving. and yes, he's one of those people who has over the last 30 years found a way to walk -- work across party lines. on issues like immigration reform, on issues like climate change. it didn't always make him popular with the base of the republican party. but even on this health care issue, even as he laid in the hospital waiting for this diagnosis, he was issuing statements urging bipartisan action on health care. i think that's who john mccain is. you know, the thing when i sat here listening to you, and sanjay read that news, discuss that news, i thought of his friend ted kennedy, who eight
years ago, eight or nine years ago got a diagnosis like this, and continued to fight through it, work through it. but those two worked together on many, many issues. in fact, john mccain spoke at ted kennedy's memorial service. and there aren't that many giants left in the united states senate. john mccain is a giant. >> yeah. and he continues to be. and we certainly wish him and his family the best tonight. >> absolutely. >> there are a lot of people all across this country and a lot of people he's met around the world who are saying a prayer for him tonight. sanjay, thanks, dana, david and gloria, thank you as well. russian investigators, including special counsel mueller. this article just came out. all the breaking news from that next.
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it's a new kind of network designed to save you money. we just got the best look at what is on the president's mind right now on the russia probe. the man in charge of it, the attorney general had to recuse himself from it and a lot more. he spoke to "the new york times." it only hints at how much news he made. trump expressed anger at sessions and comey and warns mueller. this interview, it's something. i want to start with what he told you about attorney general sessions. what did he have to say? >> look, he was very clearly frustrated with jeff sessions. he very bluntly said he would not have appointed him if he had known he would recuse himself with anything russia related, he would have appointed somebody else. we know president trump has been very angry at jeff sessions for
quite some time. but it was a pretty remarkable statement for him to make on the record, for him to vent his ire that way and make clear that he considers what jeff sessions did, which was a recusal because he was concerned about a conflict, to be problematic. he faulted sessions for what he described as turning an easy question into a hard one at the senate confirmation hearing. actually a sentiment that a fair number of critics agree with. but it was a pretty remarkable statement. >> he also said if sessions hadn't recused himself there wouldn't have ended up being a special counsel, is that right? >> he did. baker and i wrote a couple of weeks ago that the president's anger with sessions was really at the root of what you were seeing about all the issues. that it all went back to sessions, that he believed if sessions had not recused himself from russia, there would be no rod rosenstein stepping up. there would be no special counsel appointed.
it is all the original sin from there. he was less specific about mueller, but he was very clear that he believes mueller has a number of conflicts of interest. one of which is something that trump's aides talked about for quite some time, although i'm not sure they had it on the record, that they say bob mueller interviewed for the interim fbi director the day before he was appointed special counsel. they consider that to be a mitt gating factor to put it mildly. the president refused to say, despite asking him repeatedly, what he would consider a violation of his charge on the part of bob mueller. he wouldn't answer it. but he said he believes mueller's charge is very narrowly focused on russia and he himself is not under investigation. >> he doesn't personally feel he's under investigation by mueller? >> that is what he said. >> he also had fascinating choice words for former fbi director comey. >> he sure did. and as we know, he's said a number of choice words, james comey for some time.
but he was very specific that he believed that comey was trying to essentially get leverage over him with that dossier, making all sorts of wild allegations about president trump. and his appearance in russia in 2013. you know, as we know, he was not happy with comey for quite some time. long before he actually fired him, there had been some belief he might even fire him immediately upon taking office. but i will say that his frustration was less trained on comey than on sessions. >> but the allegation against comey, this goes back to the meeting when u.s. intelligence officials at the time briefed then president-elect trump in trump tower, and to comey has testified, comey pulled him aside after the meeting and told him about the existence of this dossier, or the two-page summary of this dossier. the president is now saying he believes comey did that in order
to get leverage over him to keep his job? >> essentially that comey wanted to keep his job and that was the point in showing it to him. again, the president feels sort of vindicated as i think you've seen him say publicly that comey had to acknowledge under oath that he had told the president three times he was under investigation. he said he would not say that publicly because it might change. the president just doesn't accept that answer, and was very frustrated that comey wouldn't say it publicly. again, you know, i think his frustration with that dossier continues, and this was a piece of that. >> if memory serves me correctly, the white house went after cnn and others who reported that comey had -- that intelligence chiefs briefed the president about the two-page summary of the dossier. i remember having a conversation with kellyanne conway that they denied that it had happened, or
not remembering it happened. the president is confirming that that actually did occur. it's fascinating to hear his perspective of why he thinks that briefing took place by comey. i understand the second meeting with putin also came up. he said it only lasted 15 minutes, is that right? >> he said, i have to go back and check our transcript for what he said, because there's a lot -- >> i just read it, he said about 15 minutes. it's been reported by other people, sources who were there, that it was about an hour. >> yeah. look, he was adamant in that time frame, which is consistent with what white house officials said yesterday about this second get-together. he was clearly not defining it in his mind as an actual meeting. you know, he told a very long and elaborate story about sitting next to prime minister abe's wife of japan. she doesn't speak english. he got up to go see his own wife who was seated next to putin. they started talking. he did mention, this was interesting, he said the topic
of russian adoptions came up while he was talking to putin at the newer meeting. the topic of russian adoptions as you recall was the -- supposedly part of the subject of this meeting that the president's son, don junior, had with the russian lawyer on june 9th, 2016, one that was ultimately billed as, you know, ostensibly about dirt on hillary clinton. it was a little surprising that that came up. i have no reason to think it's other than a coincidence. but the russian adoptions has to do with sanctions. >> he said it came up. it sounds like he didn't mention it, it sounds like putin mentioned it. which if putin mentioned it, they're not talking about adoptions, they're talking about sanctions. >> that was my read. it was not clear and i don't want to get ahead of the president in his remarks. >> how did his demeanor seem like at the other times you've spoken to him? >> incredibly upbeat. when i contrast him to being on
air force one last week, and today, for whatever reason, he seems to be in a pretty good place. >> maggie haberman, fascinating reporting, thank you. >> thank you. >> one notable item from the interview, asked if mr. mueller's investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to go beyond his family's finances, he told the "times," i would say yes. he did not say what he would do about it. he said, look, this is about russia. i think this is a violation. also joining us is molly ball and matt lewis. gloria, have you ever heard of a time when the president of the united states says such things about the attorney general who he appointed, attorney general who was one of his earliest supporters and went out and campaign for him and is still attorney general? >> no. his earliest supporter in the united states senate, somebody who was with him every step of the way. and i think what you heard, in
hearing maggie, and in reading this remarkable piece in "the new york times," is that this is a president who's very angry at a lot of people who work for him. i made a list. jeff sessions, comey who used to work for him whom he fired, andrew mccabe, rod rosenstein, and of course, this special counsel mueller who he is not directly threatening, but saying, you know, you've got a lot of conflicts out there. this was kind of a list of grievances, even though he was upbeat in mood, i think that, you know, you could hear the grievance coming through in the quotes in "the new york times" piece. >> dana, what do you make of what maggie is reporting? >> this is something we've been told, i've certainly talked to people who talk regularly with the president for months, that this is something he will not let go. this being his anger and ire at jeff sessions for recusing
himself. and if you remember, if you go back to his sort of tweet, one of the first tweets that he sent that, you know, got him in big trouble as president, it was the sort of saturday morning, after jeff sessions recused himself, where the president tweeted that president obama was tapping trump tower. it was donald trump lashing out in fury, you know, maybe pointing his anger in the wrong direction. but that was where all of that came from. from jeff sessions recusing himself. and since then, as the president himself has now said in public on the record to "the new york times," so many bad things for him has stemmed from that recusal. having said all of that, it's one thing for us to hear about private conversations that the president has about his attorney general and how upset he is. it's another thing for him to throw jeff sessions under the bus and then put it in reverse and then come back and do it again, in "the new york times."
this isn't a former attorney general. this is his sitting attorney general. the person who he put in charge. as you said, anderson, maybe most importantly, a guy who went out on a very, very big limb to endorse donald trump when nobody else would go anywhere near him in the u.s. senate. that gave him credibility with the republican base back in the campaign. >> jeff, does this mean sessions needs to resign or something? >> i don't think so. donald trump operates by his own rules. jeff sessions is the attorney general. who i'm going to go see on friday. he's going to be giving a talk in philadelphia. he'll continue pushing for longer prison sentences, federal forfeiture. it's a bizarre session, no doubt about that, but he is still the attorney general, he'll continue what he's doing, advancing basically donald trump's agenda. but under this weird cloud. i don't think he has to resign. i don't think he will. >> i think he should resign.
first of all, i have to talk to maggie, i don't think it's in the report, but was this unsolicited? was it in response to the question? why is he talking about jeff sessions today? >> it's obviously -- >> my point is, why give this interview today? today of all days, where health care is obviously the thing, this interview is right after the lunch with the senators about health care? >> nobody ever stands up to donald trump. we had him humiliate senator heller at that lunch and then he does this. i would love to see jeff sessions walk away at this point. and make -- on principle walk away. >> what's the principle? >> well, i think -- i think one of the reasons he went after jeff sessions is he blames jeff sessions for the rabbit hole of the russia investigation as he sees it. >> he said jeff sessions' decision led to ultimately to
the special counsel. >> he's right. >> the one person who actually did the right thing. what sessions did was actually, in that moment, very honorable and credible. >> but if you look at it, and i agree with you, but if you look at it from the president's point of view, the point he made to the "times" is, if you wanted to recuse yourself and you knew all along you couldn't deal with russia, tell me before i made you attorney general. >> he thinks jeff sessions works for him. jeff sessions -- i mean -- >> exactly. i agree with you. i'm telling you, i'm channeling the president here as hard as that is. that's his point of view. >> i think that's exactly right. he thinks everybody works for him. and the white house is all about him. he's not focused on his agenda. he doesn't care about health care. he can have a nice little lunch and elbow people in the ribs, he doesn't care about the agenda that jeff sessions is impleme implementing as the head of the department of justice. he views him as his own personal lawyer. he clearly does not see the mueller investigation as an independent investigation. he wants mueller to know that he
retains the right to get rid of him, too, if he crosses a red line. he's very clearly -- say what you will about donald trump, you know exactly what's on his mind. he doesn't sugar coat it. >> he approaches it like a job interview. if you knew before he took the job that you were going to recuse yourself, you should have told me before i gave you the job. >> that's right. and there is a corner of what trump says that makes a certain amount of sense. what really led sessions to recuse himself was that extremely convoluted and basically false answer he gave -- >> which the president criticized him for. >> -- to al franken from minnesota, where he denied meeting any russians, which was clearly false, which put him, sessions, under the ambit of the russia investigation. which meant he really did have to recuse himself. there's no doubt that sessions made the right choice. the ethical choice in recusing himself.
but that led to the mueller investigation, which is plaguing donald trump. >> he was on the campaign. he was a surrogate for donald trump. and so even had that gaffe not happened, he probably should have recused himself from this case. i think sessions did the right thing. and he's being -- that's the thing he's being attacked for. >> it's also interesting, dana, that the president is accusing former democrat tor comey of basically trying to blackmail maybe is the wrong term, but leverage the dossier to try and keep his job. is there any evidence to suggest this actually happened other than the president leveling this accusation? >> no, we absolutely don't. >> because comey testified about this, explaining why he felt he should give the information to the president. that he worried that, if my memory serves me correct, down the road the president finds out about it and he thinks they kept it from him. that wouldn't be fair. >> that's exactly right. and that's what i was just thinking about when you were asking me that question about james comey's testimony on this
very issue, the very question about why he decided to, you know, pull the president-elect aside, because he wasn't yet the president, when they briefed him in trump tower and give him this information. and the fact is that the president -- then president-elect's reaction was so unbelievable that he had to run down to his car, pull out his laptop and write it in a way that he could remember and retain the contemporaneous notes, but do it in a way that wasn't classified. so, yeah, there's no question about that. >> if memory serves me correct, and i might be wrong about this, but that it was a decision by all the intelligence heads that comey would be the one to do this. >> right. >> i'm not sure it was comey saying, oh, i want to be the one to do it. because maybe this will give me leverage. >> that's true. now, at the time the intelligence heads, the others were obama appointees. he still wasn't president. so maybe it made the most sense because he was the guy who was
staying on because he had a tenured term. regardless of why it happened, comey said he did it for the right reasons, because he felt that if this is out there, that he wants the president to have a heads-up about it, and not because he was warning the president that if, you know, he fires james comey, it's going to get out there. it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. but having said that, i do think take a step back. this comey story, the jeff sessions story, and more recently mueller, you have such a sense in this interview about where the president's mind is. he is obsessing about these things. some of the things that he can't change that happened before. you know, really many months ago with comey about a guy he already fired, about feeling clearly betrayed by his current attorney general, and not having control over the current special prosecutors issue. what are we talking about now? we're talking about russia, and we're doing this to this extent
because it is the president of the united states who just blew a whole tank of oxygen into this story. >> you also get the sense that this is a president who believes that everybody is out to get him. and talking about mueller. look, he interviewed for fbi director. you know? i didn't give him that job. now he's got this. he's got democrats working for him. rosenstein comes from maryland. everybody knows there's not a lot of republicans in maryland. mccabe's wife gave money to the democratic party. it's not about mueller's qualifications to be special counsel, or rosenstein's qualifications, it's where they see them on the political spectrum. it's very black and white. either they're with me or against me. >> maggie said the president seemed upbeat and amiable, which is an important point. when you talk about obsessing and stuff, according to maggie, he seems, you know, in a good place. >> to add to that, that was certainly the report that i got
were in the health care meeting that he had with all republican senators, that he was jovial, trying to sort of tweak senators like rand paul saying, stop going after republicans on tv, maybe i should take you away golfing for three days to get you off tv. no question. i'm just talking about with this particular issue. he seizes on it and expands it and makes it a bigger story, in a way any political professional would stop talking about it. the white house efforts to downplay the second meeting with vladimir putin at the g20 summit. more on that ahead.
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just ahead tonight, white house efforts to downplay the presidential meeting with vladimir putin to make no effort to disclose. we break the news on the three other participants at trump tower last year billed as an opportunity for the campaign to obtain sensitive dirt on hillary clinton from the russian government. they all have dates to testify on capitol hill. and the dates are coming up soon. jessica schneider is joining us with the latest. >> donald trump jr. and paul manafort has been called before the senate judicial committee. that's on wednesday. manafort's spokesperson would only confirm he's been invited, hasn't confirmed he will definitely appear. we haven't heard from donald trump jr.'s representatives. but they expect both men to appear. >> i understand that the testimony by donald trump jr. as well as manafort, it will be in a public session, correct? >> it will. it will be the first time the
senators can drill into the june 2016 meeting set up between don junior and british publicist allegedly on behalf of the russian oligarch. members of the panel could also drill into why several other people were present, like the russian lawyer, russian-american lobbyist. several questions that could come from the senators if don junior and paul manafort appear. >> they wouldn't appear together? >> we have two different sessions. they're scheduled to appear in the second session. they would be one after the other and not at the same time. >> jared kushner testifying next week before another committee. >> jared kushner is a definite. but it's a closed session on monday before the senate intelligence committee. the questions there, although we won't see it play out in public, it will likely include what he knew about the june 2016 meeting at trump tower and what was discussed. senators, they'll probably also drill into why jared kushner has
amended his security clearance form at least twice now, to include the previously undisclosed meetings he had with the russian ambassador, the vep bank, and the most recent amendment that included that june 2016 meeting. so a lot of questions there. but again, that one, while it's definite, it will play out behind closed doors when jared kushner goes before the senate judiciary committee. >> the white house gave another one of their no cameras allowed press briefings today, to talk about the president's newly revealed meeting with vladimir putin after dinner at the g20 summit. it seemed silly said sarah huckabee sanders that this comes up about the dinner. it's now just one in a string of previously unknown contacts big and small between people in donald trump's circle and russians. last year's trump tower meeting,
with attorney general sessions, michael flynn's encounters which he lied to the vice president about. it goes on. we're focusing on the latest. it's important to point out that this is what presidents do, meet with foreign leaders. however, what they traditionally do afterwards is not conceal the existence of the meetings. what's also unusual given the reported length of the meeting, though the president tells "the new york times" it was only about 15 minutes. was that no other u.s. official was there, not even a u.s. interpreter was present. more from cnn's jeff zellany. it's a bold claim to make. >> in line with what the white house was trying to do all day, by essentially say this is a normal meeting, that was not a surprise. the reality is, that the white house only disclosed this last night, 11 days after that meeting, because it had already leaked out. it was not a normal meeting. they were having a dinner. but the fact that the president
was there having dinner, sitting next to the japanese prime minister, that's why the translator only spoke japanese. he was not intended to speak with the russian president that evening. they had spoken earlier in the day for some two hours and 15 minutes. all eyes in germany, i was there, were on that meeting. it seems they still had more to talk about in the evening. but this is what sarah sanders said at the press briefing today. >> they had a brief conversation, and i'm not going to get into the specifics of the conversation. but again, this was a social dinner, where the president spoke with many world leaders, as is the purpose. i think it would be incredibly awkward for them to all sit at a dinner and not speak to each other. i would imagine that all of you would agree with that. it seems silly that we would disclose a dinner that we had already announced he was participating in. >> it's not about disclosing the dinner. yes, we knew he was at dinner with the other world leaders at the g20 summit there, but it's the fact that he had a separate
conversation that drew the attention of other world leaders there who were watching this sort of in awe, that they were spending more time together at the exclusion of other allies here. but again, the white house would not say, anderson, what they talked about during that meeting. >> president trump revealed more about what he said was said in the meeting with president putin and put forth a new time line. basically saying it was much shorter. >> in the interview with "the new york times," he said the meeting was 15 minutes or so. last night i asked top administration official if the meeting was an hour long, because that's what we were hearing from people who broke this story. and they said it was nearly an hour. so the president saying 15 minutes, nearly an hour, we do know that they stayed at the venue, at that dinner until midnight or so, long after it was scheduled. so i'm not sure if the 15 minutes is accurate. we've seen story after story, not necessarily the real story in realtime, so regardless of the length of the meeting, the white house would not tell us today the length of the meeting. we asked sarah sanders about
that at the press briefing. she wouldn't say how long it was or what they talked about. the reason this makes a difference, anderson, there's no u.s. record of what happened at that meeting, what they talked about, and a translator. it was only by the russian government. the u.s., it's highly extraordinary, unusual to have a conversation like that between adversaries without at least having a translator from your own government there. to make sure things aren't mixed up, aren't confused. and that was not the case. >> jeff, appreciate the update. president of the yur ash a group that first revealed this meeting. ian, last night the white house released an official statement calling this a brief conversation minutes after that. senior white house official told jeff it was an hour. president trump said they spoke for 15 minutes. you had sources inside that room. do you know how long this was? >> yeah, look, the reason i found out about it is because a number of the g20 allies of the
united states who view russia as an antagonist of the u.s. were unnerved by the fact that trump's best meeting, best chemistry, closest relationship of all these countries was with putin. in front of all these people, it wasn't by himself, he's putting on display this very engaged, energetic, one-hour conversation that apparently the senior white house official also confirmed to you. trump saying 15 minutes is unfortunately just not credible, as we've seen on so many issues specifically around the u.s.-russia discussion. >> terms of other details, where in the room was it? other people were around, other world leaders were around watching this, you say? >> yeah. there were a lot of empty seats. a number of the leaders and their spouses who were supposed to be in attendance didn't actually come. so as a consequence, trudeau's
wife was seated by herself in the beginning, empty seats on both sides, and i believe there was an empty chair beside putin. the meal is about 3 1/2 hours long. trump goes over to putin, my understanding was it was either -- right at the table or right next to it, and was -- started engaging in this conversation, which now we hear is about adoption, and sanctions, and who knows what else. >> when you hear the details of this, there's a big difference between a 15-minute meeting in which pleasantries can be exchanged, and a discussion of nearly an hour. do you say that -- do you see a difference in that, or do you believe there is? >> i do, anderson. i think ian's made it very clear. my sense is that a conversation that long is probably half interpretation time, and half statements on each side. that's still a half hour. a half hour sa long time in
international conversation. and talking about critical subjects can consume a half an hour very easily. and i think we're now seeing some of the results of that. i understand that the syrian rebels are no longer going to be supported by the united states. one wonders where that came from, and how it fit in either to that context or perhaps other things that one way or another are part of the u.s.-russian dialogue. i think it's important not to in fact let the messenger here be the problem so much as understanding that it is important for putin and trump to talk. whether ally jealousies, i think it was unwise to do all this in front of allies, with all the comparisons. but ally jealousies aside on this kind of thing, the u.s. and russia have been in a deep hole. if putin and trump can dig us out in a serious way, fine. but it doesn't look like we have
the great deal maker at work here if we're in fact unilaterally ceasing something that was very much in our interest and part of our way of dealing with the syrian problem, was to support the opposition to assad who we would like to see gone. so those are important pieces to look at. and i think we don't know. we'll perhaps find out, we perhaps won't find out if there's no u.s. record. >> it's interesting in that president trump telling "the new york times" telling maggie haberman that the issue of adoptions came up. obviously on the russian side. saying it came up, i'm not sure if that means he brought it up or putin brought it up. if putin brought it up, adoptions for russia means sanctions. >> that's exactly right. putin has been talking about removing the sanctions for some time. in addition to the very appropriate one that tom just brought up, is that the russians have given the americans an ultimatum that they want these
two properties back. they're not going to do anything, engage in a deal to return them. in the last two days, we hear from the russians that indeed they're very close to an agreement with the trump administration to get these properties back. where they were engaging in illegal surveillance in the united states. one up in new york and one here near d.c. again, is there a quid for that quo? was this discussed between trump and putin privately? the russians are the only ones with the readout and maybe a tape recording of that conversation. i think all of that is deeply problematic for the united states and russia. and i think one of my big concerns is that trump gets played here. that he doesn't have his national security adviser or team. he doesn't have any expertise on this issue. and the same way that he was in saudi arabia, we saw the saudis and others hosting him very well, and then saying, you're a great guy, trump, and by the way, the evil iranians and qatar is supporting them. suddenly we have a move against
qatar by our allies. and tillerson and mattis has to clean it up. to what extent is trump acting by himself with a very savvy russian president ending up giving away the store. i think that has to be the concern here. >> have you ever heard anything like this before? i think people who like president trump will say, what's the big deal? he should talk to putin. others who are -- don't have confidence in president trump will be concerned about this. just, have you heard of something like this happening before where there's not someone from the u.s. present, or not talking points that the president has or anything? >> i don't know whether there were talking points or not, anderson. what i do think is unusual, not to have at least one interpreter from the u.s. side. now, it may have been that it was unplanned, and they had the japanese speaking interpreter, and he thought he had to go over there and do some business. but it was unwise to put himself in the hands of a situation where if there are any differences in interpretation, there are two russians who will
agree, and he will be out there alone. and i don't think putin wants to in a sense publicly nail him to the wall in a set of verbal arguments at the present time. it's not in putin's interests particularly if he's doing well. ian has pointed out that. i think it is extremely unusual to do that. i do know that in the oval office, there are often meetings with heads of state in which part of the meeting is a group meeting, and part of the meeting is a one-on-one with interpreters if that's necessary. and that's obviously to settle carefully prepared business, often worked up in advance, and very much part and parcel of a government clearance process in which it says, mr. president, we recommend you do this. the president usually says, yes, i agree, or i'm going to go do something else, go prepare that for me. but unprepared. and at this stage unverifiable. and very uncertain set of relationships with russia has its dangers. i think one needs to be concerned about that.
4 food fights, and the flood of '09. it's your paradise perfected with behr premium plus paint. the best you can buy starting under $25. only at the home depot. to our other breaking news. the cbo score of a straight obamacare repeal without a replacement plan. 32 million fewer people would be insured by 2026 and premiums would skyrocket. the report also reveals that it would decrease the deficit by $437 billion over a decade. this is likely a topic for a group of senators and white house staffers meeting on capitol hill. that's where we find ryan nobles with more. so what have you learned about tonight's meeting? >> there's certainly a broad group of senators in this meeting still taking place at this late hour on capitol hill. you had moderates like lisa murkowski of alaska and conservatives like ted cruz.
their goal would be to find a way around this impasse that divides the moderate and conservative wings of the party to move forward with a bill that would repeal and replace obamacare at the same time. the white house is involved, as well. we saw chief of staff reince priebus walk in not too long ago. but even though this meeting looks good, and even though we got a lot of happy talk today out of not just senators, but the white house as well, aides are cautioning us that these fundamental problems that exist between these two wings of the water still exist, and that they are a long, long away from cutting any sort of a deal. >> ryan, the cbo report saying that 32 million fewer people would have health care coverage. explain more what the report says. >> well, the cbo score was really devastating for the republicans on a number of levels. you talked earlier about how it will impact a number of people on insurance there was somewhat of a deficit decrease in that report. but the real problem was what it says is going to happen to premium costs. that's long been the argument
of republicans, that repeal would lead to lower premiums. republicans would only argue this is only about the repeal portion of their plan, and even if they only repeal, they have a plan to replace obamacare within two years. but it's important to keep in mind that some of these provisions would take place right away. so that is one of the big reasons while even though you heard talk of putting repeal on the table at first, it's really the desire of all republicans to do repeal and replace at the same time, the problem is they're having such a hard time coming up with an agreement that everyone can get on board with. >> ryan nobles, thank you very much. the white house just weighed in on the numbers saying the report's methodology is flawed because it doesn't take into account the president's full plan which is obamacare replacement. as for the president himself, he is blaming democrats for the republicans' failure for the failure to get health care reform done. >> the way we look at it is we have no democrat help at all.
they're obstructionists. that's all they're good at. they have no ideas. >> democrats are saying hey, wait, we do have our own plans, including senator joe manchin. senator, the cbo score, 32 million americans will lose coverage. premiums will also double by 2026 and. how much does that change the equation? >> from my point of view it doesn't, saying we're going to save $470 billion. that's a lot of money and we need to be as cost effective as we can. but i can tell you, anderson, the 32 million people that are going to lose their health care are going to be much more expensive than that. what happens to them when they go back to the way they were getting health care before? in west virginia, if you don't have health care, you go to the emergency room. if you're working and don't have health care at the workplace, you're going to claim worker's comp. so you're using health care at the most expensive level you can. >> that's money taxpayers are paying. >> that's exactly.
when i was governor, i had every hospital coming to me saying hey, governor, i need $10 million. i need $15 million. people came and couldn't pay. so i know the toll it takes in states. >> over the last 48 hours, president trump talked about repeal and replace, talked about just repealing to let it fail, now back to repeal and replace. what do you make of the president's approach and for you, what is the priority? is it the insurance networks and propping them up? >> i've tried to remind the president and the white house, the president got elected with a tremendous margin in west virginia. those were mostly democrats. these were people upset with the previous administration, who thought they wanted a change and unorthodox. they didn't think they were electing somebody partisan like it's been before. what they were upset about. so i would say to the president, there's a lot of democrats, a lot of people that are going to be hurt. there's not one demographic group in my state that won't be
affected, anderson. >> a lot of people talk about bipartisanship. i talked to governor kasich yesterday about it. do you believe that's possible? we're talking about washington, d.c., where there's a lot of politics involved and each side has a reason to not cooperate with the other. >> anderson, we have 11 former governors and united states senators right now. four republicans, six democrats and one independent. we started talking informally, nothing formal -- >> former governors in the senate? >> i'm a former governor for west virginia. we have former governors, 11 of us. we're recovering governors because it was the greatest job in the world. we could get things done. but we are used to in our work confinement as a governor of our state, bringing contentious legislators together, finding a purpose of moving forward, understanding the challenges every state has. we understand that. we think that we can add some clarity to this, and also some bipartisanship. that's what we're working on. so i've said if the governors
can't do it, nobody can. >> senate massachusetts minority leader chuck schumer yesterday said the democrats are open to working with the republicans, the door is open. he did seem to put several preconditions on that cooperation. should there be preconditions on getting democrats to sit at the table? >> the only precondition we need is we're not going to repeal it, and the other precondition we need is we're going to go through a regular order. we're going to sit down and be able to dissect the bill. anybody who has an idea and an amendment that comes before it goes through this process. that's the way this place is supposed to work. that's the way legislatures work. that's the way the united states senate should work. we haven't done that for quite some time. that's the only preconditions you should have. anybody else that has an idea good, bad or indifferent, should be discussed. >> can republicans who have campaigned for years on repeal and replace, can they go back to voters in 2018 or 2020 with a plan that hasn't done either, which has still kept obamacare in place and to your point,
tries to make it better and more efficient? >> anderson, i can't speak for anybody else. i can only tell you how i approach a process. if i said something and this is what my conditions were six or seven years ago, the facts have changed. the dynamics have changed. i said this, if you can't change your mind, you can't change anything. maybe repealing seven years ago is what they believed and wanted to do. now that they see an intricate in every framework of our economy and how we're delivering health care, and you have every group that's going to be harmed, from aarp all the way to every hospital group, american medical society, everybody, don't you think you maybe better look at the fax and say listen, things have changed. >> senator, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. we are at the top of another busy hour. the president launched about a half dozen headlines concerning the russian investigation and even had a warning for special counsel robert mueller and tough words for the fbi director.
he fired james comey. he also threw the sitting attorney general, his attorney general of the united states and one of his earliest political supporters under the proverbial bus. we'll have all of that shortly. but first, sad news that senator john mccain has brain cancer. our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta reports. he joins us now. sanjay, explain what you've learned. >> just over the last couple of hours, i've had a chance to hear exactly what transpired over the last several days. we heard that senator mccain went in the hospital on friday, had surgery, but are getting the details of what happened. take a listen. senator john mccain is recovering well after an operation last friday to remove a malignant brain tumor. known as glioblastoma. with senator mccain's permission, i spoke exclusively to two of his mayo clinic doctors about the details of his care. mccain had come in for a scheduled annual physical friday morning with no complaints except intermittent