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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  July 19, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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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 double
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vision and fatigue, which he attributed to an intense international travel schedule over the last several months. his doctors ordered a cat scan. to check for anything from a stroke. upon review, doctors called mccain, who left the hospital, and asked him to immediately return for an mri. the scans revealed a five centimeter blood clot above his left eye. which appeared to have been there for up to a week. the decision was made to perform an urgent operation. by 3:00 p.m. mccain was in the operating room undergoing a craniotomy to remove a tumor. doctors made an incision above his left eyebrow to remove a tumor. doctors bore a two centimeter hole to remove the clot and the tumor. a pathology report revealed a primary brain tumor. it's the most aggressive type of brain cancer, the same type that bo biden and ted kennedy had. with treatment, which usually includes radiation and chemotherapy, the median survival is 14 months. but it can be five years or even longer. this is not senator mccain's first health scare.
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in 2000, he was diagnosed with invasive malignant melanoma. >> i'm having a lot of exposure to the sun when i was very young and having fair skin. >> doctors removed a dime-sized melanoma from mccain's left temple. that was the most serious of several other bouts with skin cancer. when mccain was campaigning for president in 2008, i had a chance to review all of his medical records. details of his health since then have remained private, until just now. his doctors at the mayo clinic who have been treating him for several years said it was mccain's gut instinct, knowing that something just wasn't right. >> so just in terms of next steps for the senator and his family, what are they? >> yeah, well, they're just hearing this news now, anderson, as you might imagine. it's tough news, so they're processing but determining the type of treatment he'll likely get next, which is typically a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. that type of treatment typically
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can't start until his wounds have healed from this operation, three or four weeks. so he is going to be recovering. so he may be able to travel a little back and forth, but with this diagnosis, all attention is going to be on his treatment upcoming. >> sanjay, thank you very much for that. obviously our thoughts and prayers are with the senator and with his family and just getting to know him over the last several years, there's really nobody tougher than he is. so we wish him the best in this fight. president obama has just tweeted, john mccain is an american hero, one of the bravest fighters i've ever known. cancer doesn't know what it's up against. give it hell, john. now on to president trump's interview with "the new york times." maggie haberman is one of three times correspondents on the byline. the times posted a portion of it. in it the president weighs in not especially kindly on attorney general sessions. >> sessions gets the job. right after he gets the job, he
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recuses himself. >> is that a mistake? >> well, sessions should have never recused himself. and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and i would have picked somebody else. >> he gave you no hints at all? >> zero. so jeff sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself. i then have -- which frankly i think is very unfair to the president. how do you take a job and recuse yourself? if he would have recused himself before the job, i would have said thanks, jeff, but i'm not going to take you. it's extremely unfair, and that's a mild word to the president. so he recuses himself. i then end up with a second man, who is a deputy. >> that's a portion of the "times" interview. earlier in the evening i spoke to maggie haberman from "the new york times" about what the president told her about fired
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fbi director james comey. >> he was very clear that he believes that mueller has a number of conflicts of interest, one of which is something that trump's aides have talked about for quite some time, although i'm not sure they have on the record, which is that they say that bob mueller interviewed for interim fbi director the day before he was appointed special counsel. they consider that to be a mitigating factor, to put it mildly. the president refused to say, despite us 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 did say that he believes mueller's charge is very they're really focused on russia and that he's not under investigation. >> 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 as comey testified, comey pulled him aside after the meeting and told him about the existence of this dossier or a two-page summary of this dossier.
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the president is now saying he believes comey did that 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 you have seen him say publicly, that comey had to acknowledge under oath that he had told the president three times that he was not under investigation. he said he would not say that publicly because it might change. the president just doesn't accept that as an answer. >> we're going to have more from the interview shortly. let's get some quick impressions from my panel. paul begala, molly ball and jeffrey toobin. matt, you think jeff sessions should step down just out of dignity? >> i think so. this is not the first time that this has happened. remember, there were leaks that donald trump was undermining his attorney general, the media reported. some of those people think those stories aren't real --
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well, guess what? a couple of months later we always find out they are real. >> right. in fact there were plenty of people saying that's fake news. he has total confidence in jeff sessions. this is just again unnamed sources. >> and just a side note, since we're talking media, it's interesting that he gives this exclusive once again to the failing "new york times." but no, i do. i think that jeff sessions who was a really big endorsement for donald trump. by all rights, he should have been a ted cruz guy. when he supported donald trump, that really helped donald trump i think win the nomination. and he did the right thing when he recused himself. he actually did the right thing. and now he's being undermined by his boss. i think most people would quit their job if their boss did this. paul? or kirsten? >> i think the dignity ship has sailed. in the trump administration. i really do. i think most people have -- you have a lot of people who are there who have had to make peace with a lot of erratic behavior.
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i'm not sure why this would be the thing that would send jeff sessions over the edge when there's so many things that are problematic. >> the question to me, the news today is health care, right? the president's major push has been to repeal and replace obamacare. it is dead or dying. you'd think if he sat down with the -- by the way, maggie is now the president's psychologist. she should be paid on the health care plan, not by "the new york times" and cnn. >> i'm not sure the health care plan is going to cover it. we'll have to look at the cbo score. >> no real news about health care. no real news about taxes and other trump priority, no news about immigration, no news about the budget, no news about trade. everything about -- >> my initial question was going going instead of to matt was going to be jeff. and my question was going to be why on god's green earth did the president give this interview today of all days when the focus is supposed to be on health care, and this is also buy american week?
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>> brace yourself, anderson, i agree with you. >> what? wow! >> look, the story, as i was hearing it throughout the day, was this lunch with senators and this conversation. >> right. >> and that was a-plus. >> was our lead tonight. >> and jeff sessions aside, it's just another story that should have been a story for another day. that said, he is who he is. and this is part of his -- >> the grudges, the vengeance. >> that's the popeye defense. i yam what i yam. >> i am what i am. i'm a blunt spoken new yorker. >> it's not just being blunt. it's about thinking that anyone in your orbit, anyone who works for you is -- should be loyal to you, not to the job, not to the constitution, but to you. jeff sessions recused himself,
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not because -- what the president left out in what he was saying is that he recused himself because he answered a question from al franken in a senate committee hearing where he basically said a falsehood about his own contacts with russia, which implicated him in the investigation, which meant he had to recuse himself. >> it's fascinating to me that the president has the need to have this kind of interview to vent to maggie and others from "the times." >> here's the problem, if jeff sessions resigns. then you get into a new nominee for attorney general. there would be one heck of a battle, no matter who it is. >> what but who is going to resign? >> i don't think he's going to resign. he should resign. part of it is we need somebody to send a message to trump that there will be consequences. i think so far people are
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appeasing him and enabling him, his own team. >> and one extent, and i'll defend him to this extent. i do think this is a battle between an outsider and city full of insiders in both parties. and he's never going to become an insider like that in that fashion. so he's going to do things in his fashion, and we're going to being having conversations -- we've had conversations like this for the last two years, right? we're going to have another 3 1/2, 7 1/2 years of him. >> but he says he wants to move on from russia. right? he doesn't want us talking about russia, then he rolls out all this information in this interview that he didn't have to offer. >> it's also interesting, molly, on the one hand he seems, again, to kirsten's point, clearly russia is in his craw. maggie haberman said he came off, was very amiable, and seemed in a good place, kind of buoyant. >> and there's something we know about trump and his personality,
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having covered him for a while now is that he believes his own rationalizations. he's convinced himself that all these people are his enemies and they have partisan motivations or personal motivations and that's why he is making this argument. that's why he is saying these things, is because he has convinced himself. he is very happy with the argument he made to himself that he hasn't done anything wrong. therefore, he feels that must be convincing. to everybody else, and he wants to go out and tell us. >> he "the times" that he is not under investigation. >> as far as anyone can tell, it's not true. he is under investigation. >> that's not what comey said to him. >> it's not what comey said, but that was long ago. that was before mueller was appointed. >> for what? >> for obstruction of justice. >> look, we don't know that. he doesn't know. >> but nobody knows who mueller is looking into. >> also "the washington post" and "the new york times" have reported he is under investigation. why wouldn't he be under investigation? he fired the person who was investigating him. >> he has a legitimate grievance
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with mueller. mueller is hiring the whole hillary campaign or donors? >> that's just not true. hiring people, yes, who are very prominent attorneys, very well respected attorneys. >> some of whom -- >> the majority of the ones did give money to hillary clinton. >> did he hire people that gave to donald trump? >> i think one of them had given money to the rnc. or i'm not sure, to another republican. >> let's just say -- it's not just with him in the whole conservative world out there, there's a lot of people that think this is the insider liberal establishment on mueller's staff out to get him. >> a point sort of about cognitive dissidence, where he's affable and he is happy but he is also vengeful and bitter. this is actually the way he operates. if you look at the lunch today, he was doing a schtick and being funny as he was simultaneously intimidating various senators. >> the senator sitting next to
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him. >> sending them veiled threats under the cloak of the guise of being a joke. so i think that's always there. so it's hard to tell. >> "the art of the deal." >> he's such an interesting person. obviously he is the most powerful person in the world. he is so interesting. to my eyes. i'm a democrat. he's like the biggest liar that ever drew breath. he makes pd barnum look like mother teresa. and yet, there's an essential honestly about him. he's obsessed with russia. and that comes through in every sentence in this interview, even though his talking point is oh, the russia investigation is a nothing burger. it is not. it is one of those 72 ounce steaks at the big texan ranch on i-40 in amarillo. if you can eat the whole thing in one setting, you get it free, mr. president. >> the thing about the russia investigation is he can't control it. and that's why he is obsessed with it. he believes that he is entitled to control everything because he is the boss. he should be able to control his attorney general, the department of justice, the supposedly independent investigation.
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and so the fact is you can talk about oh, he is off message, he is stepping on his political message. that's bad for him politically. this isn't a communications problem for donald trump. this is an actual investigation. it's going to go where it goes no matter it's made in america week or not. >> we have to take a quick break and continue this conversation. the president has just put out a statement on john mccain. "senator john mccain has always been a fighter. melania and i send our thoughts and prayers to john mccain, cindy and their entire family." get well soon. we'll have more from maggie haberman on that remarkable interview the president just gave. and republican efforts go late into the evening to hammer out a deal among themselves for repealing and replacing obamacare. the answer to it all. ♪ we want to need each other. ♪
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people who were there that it was about an hour. >> yeah. i mean, 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. he told a very long and elaborate story about sitting next to prime minister abe's wife of japan. she doesn't speak english. she got up to see his own wife who was sitting next to putin and they started talking. this is interesting. he said the topic of russian adoption came up when he was talking to putin as this newer meeting. the topic of russian adoptions as you recall was the supposedly the subject of or part of the subject of this meeting that the president's son don jr. had with a russian lawyer on june 9th, 2016, one that was ultimately build as ostensibly about dirt against hillary clinton.
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so it was surprising that came up. i never believe in coincidence. the russian adoption issue also relates to sanctions. >> right. do you know if -- 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. >> right. that is my read, but it was not clear and i don't want to get ahead of what the president actually said in his remarks. >> just overall, how did his demeanor team compared to other times you have spoken with him? >> incredibly upbeat. when i contrast him when i saw him last week, for whatever reason, he seems to be in a pretty good place. >> back now with the panel. jeff, coming from the president or in answer to a question about the mueller investigation crossing a red line getting into finances other than russia, he said yes, it would. is he right? can't the mueller investigation go wherever it goes?
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>> he can. it is true that mueller can investigate anything that he feels is within his jurisdiction. and it is also true that donald trump can order his justice department to fire director mueller. and i don't think it is at all out of the question that mueller will get fired at some point. >> you really think the president might do that? >> absolutely. we all sat around here and said well, he'll never fire james comey. he'll never fire the fbi director that is investigating you. but he believes that this is an unfair investigation. he believes that the -- that anyone who works in the justice department works for him, not for any ideal of justice or the constitution. and i don't think it's at all out of the question that he's going direct rodrigo duterte -- rod rosenstein to fire mueller at some point which at some time if his definition of a red line gets crossed.
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>> jeff, is it appropriate for the president to be talking about robert mueller in this way with an active investigation? again, he's unlike other presidents, but in the past, i seem to recall anybody saying there's an ongoing investigation, i'm not going to comment on that. i'm going to let the investigation go where it goes. >> he's not other presidents. i just think, you know, there are gasps all over washington, i'm sure. g gasps about this sand saying exactly that, it's inappropriate, et cetera. to be candid, i don't think he cares. i think if he feels the need to make them, he'll make them. >> can i point out, again, he is probably the world's worst poker player. "don't investigate my finances." don't, don't do that! there is nothing there. this is a guy who wouldn't release his tax returns. the first time in 40 years a major presidential candidate didn't do so. so i don't know. maybe there is something in the personal finances, mr. mueller. mr. mueller has a lot smarter investigators working on this and jeffrey was a former
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prosecutor. if you had an investigation that said don't look there, what would you do? >> i would look there. >> i think so. >> the problem is, the criticism of special prosecutors is their mandate is to do this and it broadens. i mentioned. we got from a real estate investigation of the clintons to monica. how did that happen? >> did you see him go on tv and say don't look at extramarital affairs, whatever you do! i'm sorry, it's a total invitation. >> but it was at love invitation. >> i do think it's different. >> it's slightly different. >> i'm not sure. i sat in brother begala's office in the west wing where he used to denounce ken starr. >> history proved me right. >> that may be. but the difference is bill clinton under the law did not have the chance to fire ken starr. the independent counsel law, which no longer exists, took that opportunity away from bill clinton.
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donald trump, director mueller is not an independent counsel. he is a special counsel, who is answerable to the justice department which is answerable to donald trump. >> it's also interesting, kerstin to hear the president say my previously undisclosed meeting with president putin only lasted about 15 minutes when reporting from folks who were there said it was almost an hour, and the fact that even if it was just 15 minutes, that they never even disclosed it. and saying oh, the president saying the words of what's interesting -- he said it was interesting that the subject of adoptions came up, because that's what donald trump, jr. was talking about. >> it's just saying that they care about sanctions, which is what adoptions is about. it's not clear if he still doesn't understand that, or if he is suggesting they were talking about the little babies. and putin is so concerned about that. >> or trying to link that to
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what don jr. was meeting about as well. >> he's different, he does everything different is wearing very thin. there has to be some point where you would recognize you can't just do anything he wants. is there anything that he can do that you wouldn't respond and say he's just different and he just does it, even if it's completely inappropriate? even him accusing comey of basically trying to blackmail him sort of with this dossier. where does he even get that? that's something he seems to have made up. the only thing i can take from it is that's what donald trump would have done, maybe. so he's projecting and thinking if i had this information and didn't want to get fired, this is what i would do. >> this is the issue that the white house or all the spokes people that sean spicer, kellyanne conway went after cnn for reporting about for breaking the story that he was -- that the president-elect was briefed on the dossier and briefed by comey after that meeting. the white house went after cnn
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saying this is just fake news. how do you know that? heads are going to roll when you get this wrong. >> yeah. jeffrey, do you think maybe that's to sort of make this -- does he have any evidence whatsoever that this is what james comey was doing? >> i don't know. >> it's a pretty major accusation. >> i don't know. but i do think, listening to you and my friend paul here, that you guy, meaning in the clinton administration set the precedent for presidential allies, if not the president himself, to go out there and attack special counsel and whomever and fight back. i think that lesson has been ingested by not only the trump white house but people in talkradio land, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. >> was bill clinton going after ken starr publicly? >> he did on the night he gave his grand jury testimony. he criticized the investigation. but not often, actually. i did, every day. and i don't regret it at all. but if you think that which worked on ken starr, who was in his first prosecution. he should have never been given
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the job. he'd never prosecuted a traffic case. he was put in there by some very politicized judges. there was a republican prosecutor named robert fiske who was doing a perfectly adequate job, a very experienced guy out of new york. the judges, the republican judges fired him and put starr in there. and starr went on this witch-hunt for years and years and years. ultimately instead of looking at a land deal looked at extramarital affairs. if you think that's going to work again bob mueller like ken starr, you're wrong. >> this is '90s memory lane. can we talk about o.j.? no, i'm kidding. >> i believe that's tomorrow. we have a busy day tomorrow. that's all i can say. more on russia. also, details on that late-night meeting on capitol hill. republicans trying to agree on replacing obamacare. we'll talk about that ahead.
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yeah, and i can watch thee bgame with directv now.? oh, sorry, most broadcast and sports channels aren't included. and you can only stream on two devices at once. this is fun, we're having fun. yeah, we are. no, you're not jimmy. don't let directv now limit your entertainment. xfinity gives you more to stream to more screens. more now on the russia probe. the president's son, son-in-law and former campaign chairman are scheduled to testify next week. also today the white house reacted to the uproar over that second undisclosed putin-trump meeting we've been talking about by saying in so many words, nothing to see here, nothing unusual. for quick words on that, let's check in with cnn's jeff zeleny who is on the north lawn. what more do we know about these
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hearings next week? >> anderson, we know the senate judiciary committee would like to talk to paul manafort, the campaign chairman at the time and donald trump jr., the president's oldest son about that russia meeting in june of 2016. they have a hearing scheduled next wednesday for this to appear before the committee. they have not accepted the invitation just yet. lawyers for both men say they are reviewing the invitation, but that would be extraordinary, anderson. it's the first time someone from the president's inner circle would be called to publicly testify at something like this. and jared kushner kushner, who is also in on that meeting, he is scheduled and has agreed to appear before the senate intelligence committee on monday. that is going to be in a private session. the over two later in the week are scheduled, at least the hope is to be in a public session. but again, they have not accepted that invitation. and they aren't employees of the government, important to point out so it's essentially up to them. of course, they could be subpoenaed.
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but we're not to that point yet. >> in terms of the second newly disclosed meeting with president trump and vladamir putin, the president told "the new york times" it only lasted about 15 minutes. they exchanged, quote, pleasantries, end quote. he said surprisingly the issue of adoption came up. how did the white house characterize the meeting today? because a lot of the earlier reporting from sources in the room said it was almost an hour. >> right. there was definitely a discrepancy how long that meeting lasted. i talked to a top administration official last night who said it lasted nearly an hour. that's when there were reports out that it was an hour. the president telling the "new york times" it was about 15 minutes. i think that the credibility here, though, is a bit up in the air. the white house did not disclose this meeting at all until 11 days after the fact, after it had already leaked out. throughout the day, anderson, the white house was trying to say look, this was a normal meeting, a normal course of business. i mean, it was a dinner with world leaders, they just happened to speak. but the reality is other world leaders were sort of standing by
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and watching this extraordinary meeting apparently as it was happening here. and this came, of course, the same day they had already talked for two hours and 15 minutes, but clearly had more to talk about. >> jeff zeleny, thanks very much. back to the panel. it gets to the whole thing if there is nothing to hide, why are you hiding it? >> i think is it normal? his relationship with putin is a little unusual. putin is an adversary. but should presidents talk to adversaries? absolutely. but what you're saying is right. we should have some idea of what was discussed, usually it would be typical that you would give a readout, at least to the foreign policy reporters that cover the president so there would be some sort of accountability of what happened this that meeting. so i don't think people are necessarily saying you should never meet with putin or never talk to putin. the issue is tell us about it. >> the phrase the national security folks use is a sherpa.
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you send with 20. for political reasons, maybe you don't want to say you scheduled a meeting with the french president. the spanish prime minister. so you have a bilat pull aside. that's a good thing. but it's a bad thing to exclude any other american. you have your sherpa there for a reason. so that someone else from the american government knows what happened and has got your back and can execute on whatever it is that you have discussed. that's what is mind boggling. not just that he kept it secret. which is problematic. what's apalling is no one else from the government was there. he has the entire national security intelligence and defense apparatus behind him, and every american wants him to succeed. you can't without those people behind you. >> jeff, for the system for manafort, for donald trump jr. obviously and kushner, although we're told kushner is probably going to be behind closed doors, that's all under oath. so all the things that donald trump jr. has not answered to because sean hannity didn't ask,
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you know, was -- he theoretically can be asked and he has to answer? >> not theoretically. the happiest person in washington to hear this news is robert mueller. because here you have people who are at least subjects of your investigation testifying under oath where -- and they have not demanded immunity. they have not gotten immunity. so if they make any false statements, you don't have to worry about all the arguments we've been having, is this a crime, is that a crime. if they make false statements, that's perjury. >> how tough are these things for somebody who has never done them before? i think for donald trump jr., who has never gone through something like that? >> the good news for donald trump, jr., is the senators who ask questions are usually incredibly incompetent at asking questions. senators are much more used to giving speeches than they are to asking questions. my most vivid example of this is when john roberts testified to be justice, joseph biden was given 30 minutes to ask
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questions, and biden talked for 24 of the 30 minutes. that's how senators often ask questions. so there are not many senators who really know how to press a witness. but some of them may. and they better tell the truth because mueller is going to be listening very carefully. >> that's the thing. if anybody is expecting there to be fireworks next week, probably anti-climactic. the game is it's a long game, as we found out, not to go back to ken starr, but they could say something that sounds perfectly reasonable and plausible during this testimony that later on turns out to have been a lie. and then they're in hot water. >> if you are the lawyer for say paul manafort, jeff, do you let him go and testify under oath with risk of perjury if you haven't cut a deal with mueller? first thing you want to do is cop a plea. >> i'm very surprised that manafort would be testifying, because he doesn't have a political imperative to testify. obviously, donald trump, jr., jared kushner doesn't want to take the fifth.
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that would be politically incendiary. paul manafort is not a public official. >> and he believes he didn't do anything. >> that may be, and i suspect it is true. but a lawyer's job is to say you're under investigation, don't answer questions. but manafort apparently -- is going to answer questions. >> everyone stay put. several gop are in meetings. on capitol hill with white house staffers talking next steps on what's going to happen with health care. the latest on what's going on behind closed doors in a moment.
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more breaking news tonight. republican senators working late on capitol hill meeting with white house staffers, trying to come up with the next plan on health care. this comes as the cbo says that 32 million fewer people would be insured by 2026 and premiums would skyrocket if obamacare is repealed. the cbo also says the move would decrease the deficit by $473 billion over a decade. phil mattingly joins us now. so what's going on at this meeting tonight, what do we know about it? >> an interesting element, anderson, is most senators found out about senator mccain's diagnosis in this meeting. lindsey graham came in and told more than a dozen senators. senator langford led the group in a prayer and one senator said when it came to health care, this made things more difficult. this is a counting issue. this is a votes issue, and this
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is problematic. the big issue now is that the policy differences are very real. the point of this meeting, still going on, was to try and iron some of those out, trying to see if there was some path forward in the wake of that white house meeting. the dynamics haven't changed, anderson. we know where the medicaid expansion state senators are. we know where the conservative senator are on regulations. the question is, is there some new juice to try and get something done? there's new talks about more money being sent over to medicaid expansion states, and they do have billions of dollars to work with on that front. and perhaps changes through certain amendments through regulations. but as one senior aide told me before the meeting be, skeptical. be very skeptical. the dynamics have been the same. they are unchanged and there are very real differences and large gaps that need to be filled to get something done in order to bring replace, which had been discarded 48 hours ago, back on to the table. >> so they are back to repeal and replace, because they've been all over the map on this just in the last couple of days. turkey, a degree.
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it's certainly an option. it had been completely discarded. it was going to be repeal only, which is what cbo scored. but they recognize that there's no path forward even on the procedural vote to take up the bill if there's no replace option. several senators made clear that they simply won't do anything that. >> won't move forward on this if there is not a replace option there. so that is absolutely what they had been working on tonight. the interesting element of this, staff had one point been kicked out. white house staff, senate staff as well. it almost became a senator and administration official meeting only. it's really kind of down to brass tacks. trying to figure out if there is something there, anything to grab on to try and move forward. again, as i said, the votes at this point still aren't there. the path forward still not there. trying to figure out right now if one exists, if it ever would, anderson. >> phil mattingly, thanks very much. back now with the panel. i remember during the rnc -- during the convention, i think it was then that candidate trump at that point said i alone can
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fix it. i can't remember if he was talking about health care or just in general, but they've come a long way from i alone can fix it to they better do something. and they better not leave on vacation. >> he's not alone in this. you mentioned sean hannity earlier. today on his radio show, he spent a considerable amount of time looping these senators, these four senators who had said in 2015 that they wanted repeal and replace or wanted repeal, et cetera, and replaying their statement, and then giving out their -- i think he gave out their phone numbers and said call them. the depth of outrage i think among the conservative base here is pretty big. i mean, they're really upset. >> but yep set at folks on capitol hill. >> at republican senators. not at the president, right. which should send alarm bells here. because the your own side is willing to say why did we elect you? this is the biggest thing -- in one case they said this is the
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biggest gop promise since abolition and they're backing away from it. what incentive is there for republicans to go out and vote. >> instead of thomas jefferson and slave risks it's like having a wolf by the ears you. can't let go of it and you can't hold on. this is the problem they're in now. this is a quagmire. they can't give it up. remember said obamacare is the law of the land. we're going to move on. they cannot abandon it. i just wonder when i do doh they move on? will they ever do tax reform or infrastructure? >> oh, they'll get there, i'm sure. this is a president, within of his personal qualities is when people tell him no, he finds 17 others ways to make it a yes. >> they're going to be held accountable by voters. they can't just let it go. >> the president ran on this. >> this was never his top priority. this is not -- >> but wait -- talk about repeal and replace. >> he talked about a million
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things. this was never donald trump's brand. it was build the wall. >> do we have a montage? i know we have a montage of this. >> he doesn't believe this is his baby. >> it's not. >> he said the other day -- >> he was the one talking about it's going to be so easy. it's going to be repeal, replace, instantaneous. >> he wanted to do it easy. >> he was one of the big things he was talking about. ralgts had -- rates had just gone up. it was a huge talking point. >> it was a means to an end. >> when he consolidated the conservative base and got republicans behind him. >> but he was never -- it was it was never his vision. it was never important to him. >> he said it over and over again. >> here's what you're saying. he's having it both ways. on the one hand, he's demanding loyalty from these senators to do this for him or his base will turn on him. on the other hand, he's saying this isn't really my thing, and if it doesn't happen, it's not my fault. i don't own it. i was never -- [ overlapping speakers ]
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>> just so my head doesn't explode, let's just cue the montage. cue the montage. >> repeal it and replace it. repeal and replace. repeal and replace. obamacare, we're going to repeal it and replace it. we're going to get something good. repeal it, replace it, get something great! we're going to repeal and replace the horror that's known as obamacare. it is a horror. i will repeal and replace obamacare, which is a catastrophe. >> he said a lot of things he didn't really mean. >> true. >> what he promised is impossible and voters should have known it. the 63 million people who voted for him believed a lie on health care. >> the other republicans on the stage during the primary debates, they said that. they called it out. i think john kasich at within point said this is not -- >> it's not impossible. they could do it. >> not just repeal and replace, jeffrey. he promised it will cost less and we'll have better health care.
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we'll cover everybody and i won't cut medicare or medicaid. that's just a lie. i don't fault the people who believed the liar, i fault the liar. >> somebody like ted cruz, who has a lot of credibility on this, working his chops off behind the scene to get this. he's for the most lost his friend mike lee on this. he's working hard to bring him back. so there are a lot of people behind the scenes working to make this happen. >> we have to take a break. in a moment, i want to get everybody's take on president's claim that democrats have no ideas on how to fix health care. we'll be right back. where are we? about to see progressive's new home quote explorer. where you can compare multiple quote options online and choose what's right for you. woah. flo and jamie here to see hqx. flo and jamie request entry. slovakia. triceratops. tapioca. racquetball. staccato. me llamo jamie. pumpernickel. pudding. employee: hey, guys! home quote explorer. it's home insurance made easy.
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ready to of your back pain? new icyhot lidocaine patch. desensitizes aggravated nerves with the max strength lidocaine available. new icyhot lidocaine patch. back now talking about healthcare. the president's blaming democrats for the republicans failure to get anything done. >> the way i looked at it we have no democrat happ, their obstruction insists they're all they're good at is obstruction. they have no ideas. >> democrats of course disagree. should the is democrats be helping to dismantle obamacare is that what democrats were elected to do? >> well, i think if the president has a situation on his hands where basically they stop
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all engines and let the thing crash they're going to be begging to fix it. after all if i may say this, this is their mess. obamacare is what's at stake and the premiums are going through the roof, et cetera et cetera. >> so the president here allows -- didn't get anything passed and allowing everything to fail -- >> is democrats going to get the blame here -- i'll call this the dondy strategy. >> dondy was all about denying healthcare. >> yeah. >> he was all about pushing the books to crises. that's the strategy to push to crises. >> if i may press the point it was active resistance. the president is undermining obamacare, president trump is. he is pulling back advertising, try to get young people in. he's threatening to stop the c s
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r payments to insurance company. i just heard the president approved the next cost reduction payment which is a good thing for those of us who support obamacare. i will point out, it didn't make the news bauds that was like yesterday. democratic senator from new hampshire introduced the legislation she calls the marketplace certainty act. it's a small bill but it predicts one of the problems which is the cost sale reduction. she has legislation that will fix that. the republicans in the senate wouldn't let her bring that up. you get 50 votes out of 100 much more alicialy than you get 50 votes out of 52. >> one thing to keep in mind, the debt limit is beginning to be to be raised soon and it is going to be a certainty that they're going to need democratic
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votes to raise the debt limit. i think it's entirely possible the democrats are going to say, we are only going to fund, keep the government open if you, mr. president and the republican party agree to fund obamacare. and they're going to have some leverage. >> you mean a shut down threat? >> yeah. >> sounds very cruz like to me. >> when he said he's going to let it fail i think what he's meaning to say well, i'm going to sit back and nothing is going to happen. he's going to make it fail. that's the difference. the republicans have been invested in making sure obamacare fails whether or not it's not offering the funding that obamacare needs to function. but this is really kind of immorale. these are people lives that we're talking about. >> president trump is gundy like a weaving deal.
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>> one of the keys to this thing working is for young people to sign up for healthcare. under obamacare there's a mandate. the president has ordered the irs to stop enforcing that therefore stopping young people to get into the pool which is exactly what we need. i know young invincible people what they don't realize is one day they're going to be old. the first malitia act of 1790 mandated the project of a muster involved by every male in america. >> with healthcare it's not. >> totally constitutional. >> i think he was wrong on that. >> if the cbo back in 2010 i believe, said that by 2017 there would be 23 million people enrolled in obama care and i
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think the actually answer is nine. their accuracy in these matters is -- >> i just can't believe president trump would go -- this is the kind of thing you threaten to do in private. there's this amazing sound bite of him like, i hope it fails. so when something bad happens and people are herring, you got this t.v. commercial already produced of the president saying, we're going to let it fail. >> i want to thank everybody we'll be right back with more news ahead.
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we are out of time thanks for watching see you tomorrow night. time to hand thing over to don lemon, "cnn tonight" starts right now. have a good day night. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. breaking news tonight on two huge stories. this is cnn tonight item don lemon. president trump on fire about the russian investigation unloads on his own attorney general, the fbi director he fired and the special counsel investigating all. listen to what he tell "new york times" about jeff sessions. >> sessions should have never recused himself. if he was going to he should have told me before he took the job and i would have took somebody else. >> he gave you no evidence at all? >> zero. so jeff