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New Footage Emerges in Michael Brown Case; Price Tag Expected on Obamacare Replacement Bill; Trump Fires "The Sheriff of Wall Street"; Lawmakers Want Wiretapping Evidence Monday; Interview with Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky; President Trump Ducks Reporter Questions Again. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired March 12, 2017 - 07:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His name is Jonathan Tran and he is 26 years old and from California.

[07:00:02] He was walking close to the exterior wall of the White House mansion. The suspect was carrying two cans of mace, one of which was inside his jacket pocket.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And for us to seize this opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare once and for all, we need every Republican in Congress and we're counting on Kentucky.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This week, Republicans made their best effort to unite the country by presenting a health care plan that everybody could hate together.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: It came a little early for you this morning, didn't it?


PAUL: Yes, an hour earlier.

We are so glad that you are with us. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: Yes, set that clock an hour ahead for Daylight Savings Time. I'm Victor Blackwell.

We are on the cusp of a major week of politics, the White House obviously putting its plan to repeal and replace Obamacare front and center. We're going to break it all down for you this hour.

But, first, new this morning, the new video in the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown raising some important questions, particularly about what happened in the hours before the shooting and his death.

Last night, at South by Southwest, the documentary "Stranger Fruit" showcased this never-before-seen surveillance video of Brown. The documentary claims the video you see here shows him giving a small bag of marijuana, you see him put on the counter there to store employees and then receiving the boxes of cigarillos as part of some kind of negotiated deal.

Now, the steward there denies any such deal happened. A St. Louis County police say they did not release this video at the time because they did not believe it was relevant to the investigation. That video that was released you'll remember indicated that Brown attempted a strong arm robbery of those cigarillos.

So, let's talk about this and bring in our panel. We have with us, Joey Jackson, CNN legal analyst and defense attorney, and Symone Sanders, CNN political commentator.

And, Symone, I want to start with you because during the campaign, during your work as the spokesperson for Bernie Sanders' campaign, you made a really impassioned plea about Mike Brown and what you were seeing there in Ferguson. Tell us about what your reaction is to what you are seeing here.

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I am -- I am shocked, not as shocked, but I am definitely shocked and concerned. And this just -- this just goes towards -- to fuel that narrative, that the police department in Ferguson was definitely wrought with lots of problems and issues. While we were out, in my first day on the campaign trail was the anniversary of Michael Brown's death on August 7th of 2015.

And I spoke throughout the campaign and after the campaign and even now about young people that took to the streets due to this grave injustice that happened, and how the movement has continued. And I think regardless if -- I know some people say, oh, he was selling marijuana, and regardless if he was selling marijuana or whatever it was, Michael Brown did not deserve to die. He did not there to be killed and I don't think that could be said enough.

BLACKWELL: So, Joey, this changes the narrative that what happened later that day, in the afternoon was not a strong armed robbery but it was coming back to get payment. How could this have changed the case, and why are we seeing this now, 2 1/2 years later, instead of when the police first got it?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good morning, Victor, and good morning, Symone.

You know, I think it's compelling and it's important and it speaks not necessarily to the legal issue, but it speaks to the overall issue of how these investigations are done, and if we can put faith or reliance in a police department. The fact is, is that any matter involving a shooting should be handled independently, and, you know, there are calls throughout the country, if you want to build trust and build respect between police and communities, and if you want to foster relationships where it could be relied upon, police could be relied upon, grand jury investigations could be relied upon, everything needs to come out. And so, I think, from a legal perspective, what you will hear from police moving forward is just that. Well, it happened earlier, it's not so much relevant to the events as they occurred, why should we have released it? Of course you need to release it, everything is relevant in an investigation, because it explains exactly what happened in the store.

It's not about otherwise protecting the police, it's not about protecting Michael Brown, it's about giving the community and more specifically, a grand jury information that would -- they could rely upon in making a decision. And so, why to your question, Victor, are we seeing it now, you can't answer that. We should have seen it then, because it goes to precisely what happened. And everyone has a right to know what happened.

And again, it fuels the broader narrative of how these investigations should be handled moving forward, and to the extent we are seeing it now, it raises problems in our ability to trust, respect and otherwise buy into whatever verdict a grand jury reaches or the police reach investigating matters such as this moving forward.

[07:05:05] BLACKWELL: Symone, as the city of Ferguson and St. Louis County -- I mean, they started down the path of trying to make some major changes, some at the urging of the federal government, the Department of Justice, but how will this inform that effort in trying to reconcile some of the disparities in the community?

SANDERS: Look, I think old wounds are definitely going to be opened with this video and the city of Ferguson and St. Louis at large is still healing. So, I think this is important because folks need to remember, just because the Ferguson report was issued, that damning report by the Obama administration's Department of Justice, it doesn't mean the work is done. The work has to continue and I think this is a jarring reminder to young folks on the ground, those Ferguson activists, Ferguson protesters who are still in the streets, who are still marching and organizing in their communities, that their work is more important than ever.

So, I -- again, I am shocked but not shocked because we know how the system is, but that doesn't mean we can't work to change it and I think those folks on the ground in St. Louis and in Ferguson know that more than anything and are committed to doing the work.

BLACKWELL: All right. Again, this was from August of 2014, we're now seeing it for this time, courtesy of this documentary, "Stranger Fruit."

We've got to wrap it there. Joey and Symone, thanks so much.

SANDERS: Thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you, Victor.


PAUL: We're learning more this morning about the man who jumped the White House fence and made it past several layers of security hoping, apparently, to meet with the president.

Twenty-six-year-old Jonathan Tran is his name. He'll be arraigned in federal court tomorrow. He appeared in D.C. Superior Court yesterday afternoon and we are told the Secret Service officer discovered Tran near the south entrance of the White House grounds. He was found with two cans of mace, a letter for Trump, and a copy of one of the president's book.

His brother says that Tran recently had been laid off from work and was living in his car, but a former Secret Service agent for President Obama says the amount of ground that Tran was able to cover before being caught is what's so disturbing here.


JONATHAN WACKROW, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA: There are multiple points much failure. By the fact that he came in from the northwest courtyard of the Treasury Building, he had to not go over just a fence, he had to go over multiple fences to get into the south grounds. And then, also, he circumvented a lot of the intrusion detection alarms that were at the White House, both on the Treasury side and White House complex side.

So, this is actually very, very disturbing. And I think it's important to note, I think it's been reported that the White House elevated to condition orange, which is one of the highest levels of security at the White House, however, it should be noted, they didn't elevate until after the individual was confronted. So, they didn't even know he was there until he came across the uniformed division officer on the south ground. So, this entire situation is very disturbing.


BLACKWELL: All right. A looming deadline for the Trump administration after claims of what amounts to political espionage. Top lawmakers on Capitol Hill now demanding proof from the White House that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign as the president asserted via Twitter a week ago.

PAUL: Plus, a phone call from President Trump to one of New York's top prosecutors the day before getting caught in a purge of U.S. attorneys by the Justice Department. Why the man you are looking at there refused to step down.

BLACKWELL: And "Saturday Night Live" comes out swinging and holds nothing back when it comes to the GOP's new health care plan.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This week, Republicans made their best effort to unite the country by presenting a new health care plan that everybody could hate together.



[07:12:55] BLACKWELL: Well, after a scandal that led to her impeachment and deadly protests, the former president now of South Korea arrived at her private home early today after leaving the president complex for the final time. A court upheld the impeachment of Park Geun-hye Friday over alleged corruption. And now, she could face charges. A new presidential election is planned for May 9th.

PAUL: It could be a big week ahead for -- in politics, I should say, in the political arena. Republicans plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Tomorrow, we could learn the price tag connected to that, and how many millions of people stand to either gain or potentially lose health care coverage.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the Congressional Budget Office is expected to release its report on the GOP bill. That's Monday, and it comes after Vice President Mike Pence puts some subtle pressure on conservatives like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who's considering fighting the president on health care.


PENCE: But, folks, let me be clear: this is going to be a battle in Washington, D.C. And for us to seize this opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare once and for all, we need every Republican in Congress and we are counting on Kentucky.


BLACKWELL: New this morning, a senior White House official says, quote, "It doesn't know" if the administration will have proof of former President Obama wiretapping Trump Tower by Monday. That's the deadline set by the House Intel Committee for any relevant documents of alleged wiretaps. You'll remember that the president tweeted that assertion about a week ago.

PAUL: We are also learning President Trump through an assistant attempted to call now former U.S. attorney, Preet Bharara, the day before the Justice Department announced the firings of dozens of other U.S. attorneys.

CNN's Ryan Nobles, CNN political reporter Eugene Scott and political reporter for "The Huffington Post", Amanda Terkel, all with us now.

Good to see all of you. Thank you for being here.

Ryan, I do want to start with you. What do we know about this call?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christi. This is an interesting development in this whole drama surrounding Preet Bharara in his removal from that very influential post in the U.S. attorney's office. Bharara, we're told through sources, our Jake Tapper confirming this, that Bharara received a phone call from the president's assistant around Thursday asking him to call the president. [07:15:07] Now, Bharara said that -- called the assistant back and

said it was inappropriate for him to call the president and talk to the president. That's a violation of protocol in the attorney general's office. He also called the chief of staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and told him he was not going to talk to the president. It was the next day that it was made known that these 46 U.S. attorneys from across the country were going to be removed from their post immediately, that there wasn't going to be any sort of a transition, and Bharara was among that group.

And Bharara stood his ground said that he was not going to resign, that it was going to be the president who had to actually ask him to leave essentially fire him, and then Bharara received a phone call from Dana Boente, who is the deputy attorney general who did say he was going to be removed from his post. And, of course, Bharara, perhaps the most well known U.S. attorney in the country, standing his ground and, you know, really mounting a public war with the president of the United States after being told in November that he was going to remain in his post.

PAUL: Yes, that's one of the things that is very curious about this.

And let's talk about his popularity here. This is a man who was characterized by some as a rock star, known as the sheriff of Wall Street. Eugene, he racked up millions in settlements with Wall Street companies. He was on the cover of "TIME" magazine at one point, with this caption, I think we have it here, this man is busting Wall Street.

Now, look, the White House contends uniformity is why they asked him to step down. How plausible is it though that his policing of Wall Street may have played a role here?

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: That certainly may have played a role, but I quite frankly think what to pay closer attention to is the declining relationship between President Donald Trump and Chuck Schumer. Supposedly Bharara was asked to stay on at the urging of Chuck Schumer to President Donald Trump. But as we have seen, tensions between those two had just become increasingly more strained since November, add other concerns from lawmakers who favored Donald Trump about the role of previous people affiliated with the Obama administration that they could be playing in this current administration and making things challenging for Trump to carry out his agenda. I think that just raised further concerns.

PAUL: OK. Let's talk about. Senator Chuck Schumer had this to say about the White House decision to oust Bharara. He said, "It is interrupting ongoing cases and investigations and hindering the administration of justice."

So, when we look at the big picture and the consequence of all of this, Amanda, what legal risk is present here with possibly the cases that are just sitting on his desk now?

AMANDA TERKEL, HUFFINGTON POST: Sure. I mean, it's not unusual for presidents to dismiss U.S. attorneys and say I want to put in my own people, but the problem here is the way that Trump went about it. You don't usually just say, "hey, you have 24 hours to clean out your desk, you need to be out of here by midnight," which is essentially what Donald Trump did. Usually, they say, "Look, we are going to be replacing you with someone else, we're going to, you know, phase you out, try to find your replacement."

But the way Trump did it with all of these dozens of U.S. attorneys, some of whom didn't find out that they were getting fired until they heard it in media reports. Bharara actually found out in advance, but not everyone was so lucky. That is incredibly disruptive for all these cases that are going on all around the country.

PAUL: The thing is, I want to get back to what Ryan said, that back in November, the president allegedly went to Bharara and asked him to stay on. Eugene, what changed?

SCOTT: Well, I think a lot. I mean, literally, if it's true that President Trump asked him to stay on because of Senator Schumer, I think if you pay close attention to the relationship between Schumer and President Trump, as well as Democrats as a whole and President Trump, I could see that he had decreased confidence that the agenda that he would like to see carried out in the courts in this country could be accomplished by people who were advocated for by other Democrats, especially those who were appointed by President Barack Obama.

PAUL: Well, Bharara, of course, went to Twitter himself, saying, "Look, I was fired, I didn't step down, I was fired here". He said he did not resign moments ago, "I was fired being the U.S. attorney in SDNY", of course, the southern district of New York, "will forever be the greatest honor of by professional life."

Do we expect, Ryan, that there will be a White House response to this, because it seems a though, Bharara, he is not going to go quietly?

NOBLES: You know, it's one of these things where you probably have to get the president in a captive moment where you ask him a direct question and see if he responds. Often, he cannot refuse to take that bait. At this point, the White House deferred all questions to the Department of Justice, which is not commenting on the Bharara situation specifically.

[07:20:07] But when you talk about these pending cases that Bharara was working on, some serious ones, he has a pretty big investigation into the mayor of New York City right now, Bill de Blasio, who we should point out is a Democrat. There's also an investigation into FOX News and the sexual harassment claims that happened there over the past year. So, there was a lot on the table that Bharara was dealing with, one of the reasons that he wanted to stay on in that post.

And he's been an equal opportunity offender. He's gone after Republicans and Democrats, toppling one of the most powerful Democrats in New York politics, Sheldon Silver. So, it is peculiar that at this time, the White House decided to make this move.

PAUL: Amanda, ten seconds, you've got the last word. TERKEL: Sure. I mean, you know, Bharara is not some shrinking

violet. So, he is going to be speaking out more, I think, and I think Donald Trump has now made a sort of high profile powerful foe. And now that he's not U.S. attorney, you could -- you know, there have been rumors that he could run for office. So, I don't think he's going to be going away anytime soon.

PAUL: All righty. Ryan Nobles, Amanda Terkel, Eugene Scott, always good to get your perspectives -- thank you.

SCOTT: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: In Port St. Lucie, Florida, a man tried to set fire to a convenient store because he thought the owners were Muslim. And the store was closed at a time, and the fire caused very little damage. Now, authorities say that Richard Lloyd said he wanted to -- and this is a quote -- "run the Arabs out of the country." They will now decide whether or not to charge Richard Lloyd with hate crimes. The deputy say the owners of the store were actually of Indian descent.


BLACKWELL: A classic there, but Joni Sledge was found dead Friday in her home there in Phoenix, Arizona. She was one of the founding members of that group, Sister Sledge. She was 60 years old. Her publicist says the cause of death is not yet known. He says it was a shock to the family because she was not sick.

PAUL: A deadline is fast approaching for evidence to support President Trump's wiretapping accusation against President Obama. New word from a White House official as to whether anything could turn out.

BLACKWELL: Plus, the president and the administration's recent dodging and ducking of reporters raising some important questions. We'll get into that next.


[07:26:37] BLACKWELL: New this morning, a senior White House official, quote, "doesn't know" if the administration will have proof of former President Obama wiretapping Trump Tower by Monday.

PAUL: That is the deadline tomorrow, set by the House Intel Committee, for any relevant documents about alleged wiretaps. Now, President Trump leveled that explosive accusation, remember, just a little over a week ago and has yet to provide any evidence for it.

CNN political reporter, Eugene Scott, and political reporter for "The Huffington Post", Amanda Terkel, both back with us.

Thanks for sticking around, guys.

Eugene, the big question of the hour -- if no evidence is produced tomorrow, what happens? SCOTT: Well, I think what we have seen from Adam Schiff, who is one

of the top Democrats on the committee, has said that he wants the lack of evidence, if there is no evidence, to be made clear to expose, he said, President Donald Trump so that he could see the full weight of the responsibility of making statements like this without having information to back them up. How the White House would respond to that is not yet clear, but he certainly wants to make it clear that this is something that you cannot say without there being consequences.

PAUL: OK. And let's talk about that. Congressman Adam Schiff, I have that sound for you here, let's listen to him.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), RANKING MEMBER, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I think what Sean Spicer and the president wanted was to take this spurious claim and try to bury it in a closed hearing in the intelligence committee, we're not going to allow that to happen and we are going to air this publicly. And if the president is going to make outlandish claims like this in the future, he needs to know he will be exposed, and high ranking people within the U.S. government, like the director of our intelligence agencies and the FBI, will be forced to say the president wasn't telling the truth.


PAUL: Now, he is ranking member of the House Intel Committee. At some point, Amanda, will President Trump be forced to address this?

TERKEL: I mean, right now, he's avoiding the media. So, you know, it's clear that he is doing that because he doesn't want any questions because that's obviously the first question that reporters will ask him, is what is your evidence that Obama was wiretapping Trump Tower?

I mean, this is bad for President Trump no matter what happens, either he is lying and just putting this out here or he was being -- his calls were being listened to because an intelligence court, not President Obama, signed off on it and found that there was a legitimate reason to be investigating perhaps for, you know, the collaboration with Russia and the U.S. elections. I mean, this isn't good for President Trump either way. So, you know, Democrats, I think, are going to continue to make a big stink about it and they're not bury it, as you heard Congressman Schiff say.

PAUL: OK. So, let me ask you this, Eugene -- was it a misstep or was it strategic to talk about this? I mean, this is a man who comes from the entertainment industry, and that's an industry where you can probably make some allegations every so often without being held to them and without having to produce your resources. Is it possible he has not transitioned to the political arena now? Is it strategic? Or is it strategic, I guess I should say, to distract from everything else we have been talking about with Russia and Obamacare?

SCOTT: Well, I don't know if it's quite strategic or not, but if it's true that President Trump got the idea from the conservative media outlets that he trusts more often than he does more mainstream outlets, he really believed that he was getting valid information.

[07:30:00] I think what becomes necessary at this point, these people that he's close to, that he's listening to, he's going to need to see where they got that information from and ask them to help him produce the evidence if it actually exists and it's going to force him to look as if he is trusting people who really should not be trusted and that's a great concern for all of the American people.

PAUL: So, let me throw this out there. What if -- the fact is Director Comey has not said anything about this himself yet, does that indicate the FBI has found something and they're just waiting to get through the investigation, Amanda?

TERKEL: Well, apparently, the FBI has asked the Justice Department to jump in and sort of tamp this down and they haven't done so yet. But, you know, I mean, what the intelligence community is asking for is very -- you know, it's very straightforward. Donald Trump is the only one besides these conservative media outlets who have said that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. So, obviously, if you're asked to investigate that, the first question is, what's your evidence?

And so far, you know, the administration has pointed to "New York Times" and other articles that actually don't give evidence for that, and he said, look, the president has more intelligence and he knows more things than we do, but if he wants the intelligence committee to look into it, he has to give his evidence first, otherwise he's just putting things out there, just conspiracy things out there that he so often pedals in.

PAUL: Well, the deadline is tomorrow, we will see what happens.

Amanda, Eugene, thanks for sticking around.

SCOTT: Thank you.

TERKEL: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Next, his state saw more and more people, thousands upon thousands get health care under Obamacare. So, why is Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky against it? And why does he say the GOP's replacement plan so far isn't good enough either. We'll ask him when he joins us live to talk about what he sees as the solution to the nation's health care challenge.

PAUL: Also, "Saturday Night Live," you know they don't hold anything back when it comes to taking on the Trump administration.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump introduced his revised travel ban this week, though it's probably not great that it's just a bunch of round color watches.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:36:05] BLACKWELL: Republican lawmakers are bracing for news on their replacement plan for Obamacare.

PAUL: In fact, tomorrow, the Congressional Budget Office is expected to score the GOP bill and this is a bill that's already making its way through Congress despite not yet receiving a score by the CBO. A recent S&P Global Report though predicts as many as 10 million people will lose coverage under this.

BLACKWELL: Vice President Mike Pence is working to sell the plan to skeptical Republicans, Republican-led states that were able to ensure more people under Obamacare. One of those states, Kentucky. Now, on Friday, the state's governor, Matt Bevin, said he was not impressed with the GOP version of this law.


GOVERNOR MATT BEVIN (R), KENTUCKY: Senator Paul has ideas of things he thinks it needs to be a lot stronger. He is not as impressed with what has currently been offered as some who currently offered it. Truth be told, I'm not either. So, I'm with him, I think there are things that need to be done. We don't need another version of the same thing.


BLACKWELL: Well, hours later, Governor Bevin released this statement, and it reads in part, here's the quote, I just finished a highly encouraging conversation with the White House during which we discussed additional flexibilities that can be given to states in addition to what is currently included in the repeal and replace reconciliation bill.

So, post-Pence, what does the governor think of this plan? Well, let's ask him. Governor Bevin is with us now.

Good morning to you.

BEVIN: Good morning to you as well.

BLACKWELL: So, after the governor, where are you on the bill?


BLACKWELL: Oh, after the visit from the vice president, my apologies. Go ahead.

BEVIN: Yes, I mean, absolutely. You and I both have that issue. I'm delighted that he is now the vice president.

I'll tell you this, I'm at the same place that I was before, and that is this, that initial comment was taken very much out of context. What I said is that is the beauty of the democratic process. Of course, there are differences as to what the exact details should look like. There is 100 percent agreement, however, among Republicans, that we need to repeal Obamacare, 100 percent agreement, 100 percent unanimity.

BLACKWELL: So, when you say --

BEVIN: So to that end, the key is where are the differences and how are we going to accomplish those reconciling those parts between now and when this is done? The reconciliation process, the companion legislation and then administrative regulations and procedures, those are the three parts to getting to the end solution -- I think we're well on track.

BLACKWELL: But, Governor, both you and Senator Paul were aware that this was a three-pronged approach, and when you say that, quote, things need to be a lot stronger, what do you think needs to be as you characterize it, a lot stronger?

BEVIN: Sure. First of all, we've got to make sure that we repeal and replace at the same time because states need flexibility as it relates to handling the Medicaid portion. In Kentucky alone, nearly one-third of Kentuckians are on Medicaid. So, it's a significant impact on our budget and in our population.

We want at the end of the day to not compromise health care outcomes. Coverage is not the point. Simply giving people a plastic card is not the point. The point is to create a healthier population and better health outcomes. That must be the focus.

So, what would I like to see? I'd like to see more flexibility at the state level. I'd love to see governors being given more autonomy over what they do regulatorily and as it relates to what percentages of the federal poverty level they might be able to go up to while having either expanded or unexpanded Medicaid. These types of things have got to be done.

I'd like to see also this requirement to have compliance, not to be given to 50 different states. To me, that's irresponsible. And the idea that every state would develop their own I.T. module funded by the federal dollar is silly. Come up with a single set at the federal level and allow states to use those tools, a single set of tools that they could use, simple things like this.

We're not far apart. It does need to go. Obamacare is a failure. Everyone has agreed on that, including in Kentucky where I can assure you with absolute no doubt, that this is not working in Kentucky, it's an abject failure.

[07:40:08] BLACKWELL: All right. Governor, let's talk about the timing of this. Senator Cotton this week said that this all moving a little too quickly. Let's remind people of the time line of the passage of Obamacare, a plan introduced in July of 2009. CBO released its score three months later in October.

We are less than a week into this and we're expecting it to be released tomorrow. House approved it in November, Senate in December, and the president signed it in March of 2010.

Do you agree with Senator Cotton that this is moving too quickly? BEVIN: Number one, I appreciate the sense of urgency. It's not as if

we didn't know this wasn't coming. I mean, the reality is, we have been talking about this for years and years and years. There have been proposals and conversations going on for years and years. Now, those conversations are being reconciled and brought to the forefront.

So, I'm not concerned that this is going too quickly. If you remember, when it was done under the timeline you just described, nobody saw it. Nobody saw it.

BLACKWELL: But if Republicans --

BEVIN: Nancy Pelosi famously said we needed to pass it -- we needed to pass it to see what was in it. So, this is much more transparent.

BLACKWELL: Forgive me, Governor, but if Republicans knew -- if Republicans knew that this was coming, why is it taking such -- why is it such a heavy lift to get Republicans onboard to the same proposal?

BEVIN: Because this is a transparent process, unlike the last time when it was done in a back room and people thought they needed to pass it to see what was in it. This is transparent and when you have 435 representatives in the House and 100 senators on the other side, and 300-and-some-odd million American people all being able to weigh in and give their two cents worth, of course, there's going to be differences of agreement.

But again, on the Republican side, there's absolute agreement that Obamacare is a failure and it needs to be repealed and it needs to be replaced. It needs to be gone. So --


BLACKWELL: Understood. The what next is the question that needs to be answered.

I want you to response what a fellow governor out of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, said -- what he said to our Ana Cabrera last night here on CNN.



GOV. DANNEL MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: It will take insurance away from millions of people. It will gut Medicaid. It will cause people to lose their lives. It will cause hospitals to close. It will close other clinics to close.

I'm in my 60s, if I was to go to the marketplace under this plan, I would have to pay probably about $8,000 more for my coverage. That's what we're doing, folks. Everyone wake up and understand that this is repeal and replace with the emphasis on repeal and really not replace. What they're going to do is make you sicker.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: In addition to what we heard from the governor, the AMA, the American Medical Association, AARP, several other organizations have come out against this bill. You say to them what?

BEVIN: A couple things. Number one, stop the drama. Stop the misrepresentation of reality.

This argument that suddenly if you were to replace this, the costs are going to go up. Like what, they have not been of late?

I mean, let's think about this -- we were lied to and told that costs were going to go down, people can keep their health care providers and doctors. The exact opposite has happened.

And now, to pretend if we were to go back to some variation of what we had or even something better that costs are going to go up, that's the reason? That's nonsense.

Number two, the idea that people are going to die in the streets and they all -- I don't think he used in the streets, that's essentially what he is implying -- is that suddenly, there's going to be, you know, health care mayhem in America, nonsense. Only half the counties in Kentucky even have a single provider at this point, and we have huge players like Humana and Aetna and others that are frankly leaving the exchange, as United and others have done so.

The fact is the system is failing. And this idea that somehow that keeping this broken system is the only solution is absolutely not correct.

BLACKWELL: All right. Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky -- thanks for being with us on NEW DAY.

BEVIN: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Two leaders of Congress coming up later this morning on Jake Tapper -- "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper. John McCain on the show to talk about his next step to take on the president over Russia, and Cory Booker, senators both, to talk about the Democrats' plan to challenge the new health care proposal. That's "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper today at 9:00, right here on CNN.

PAUL: And still to come, the Trump administration's officials shielding the president from questions from the media. Why the president's recent dodging and ducking of reporters is raising some new concerns.

Stay close.


[07:48:42] BLACKWELL: OK. So, this is not breaking news that the president has, let's call it, a testy relationship with the media, but this recent ducking and dodging tactic with reporters, it's really raised new concerns. President Trump boxed out the media by canceling two open press events this week and administration officials shouted down reporters as they tried to ask questions.

Watch this.


REPORTER: The document dump from WikiLeaks -- any thoughts?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tthank you all very much. We're going to get to work. Thank you.

REPORTER: Mr. President, any proof of the wiretapping?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, guys. Thank you. Thank you, press. Thank you, press. Thank you. Thank you.


PAUL: All righty. President Trump isn't the only one, it seems. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier this week ignored questions from reporters as well and he's decided to travel to Asia next week without the press pool. That's an unprecedented move for a secretary of state.

[07:50:00] BLACKWELL: Let's bring in CNN's senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES", Brian Stelter.

All right. Brian, the president ducking the press on these key concerns. The House Intelligence Committee is expecting evidence of his wiretapping claims by tomorrow. He's going to have to, or someone in the White House, is going to have to say something soon, right?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Perhaps. You know, watching that video clip, guys, I was thinking about sitting here 15 seconds silently and not answering that question at all. I mean, it's an awkward situation where the reporters try to ask the president and the president is choosing very carefully not to address it, to pretend like he's not hearing the question at all.

It makes for the awkward on-camera exchange. But we can see what the president is trying to do here. And normally throughout the campaign and early on in his presidency, he was frequently responding to shouted questions, answering reporters' questions, trying to engage in various ways.

This week, this has been a market change. You can see it on camera again here, ABC's Jon Karl is a reporter close to the camera trying to get an answer on wiretapping and the president is not engaging. Now, that is his prerogative. He's certainly trying to stay on message.

I will point out in his Twitter feed, uncharacteristically quiet this weekend. Only one post about health care, nothing else. No shocks, no surprises this weekend.

Maybe the president is trying to improve his own grade. Remember, he said a couple weeks ago, he gave himself a "C" for messaging and "A" for achievement, suggesting he sees room for improvement on the messaging front. Maybe he's trying harder now to stay on message.

PAUL: What about Rex Tillerson and the fact that he's not taking a press pool with him to Asia?

STELTER: This is really intriguing. And normally for decades, when secretaries of state travel anywhere, they have a group of reporters with them. And for very good reason, those reporters can share what the U.S. and foreign policy is, share how the secretary of state is viewing the world. Essentially, helping to understand how foreign policy is shaped.

Well, Tillerson is traveling without a press corps. He says he's taking a smaller plane. However, he's got bigger planes if he wanted to bring the press along. So, it's a break from tradition.

Later on "RELIABLE SOURCES", I'll have a former State Department official who is very concerned about this. What our colleagues and folks at other networks will do instead is try to follow along taking their own planes, trying to chase Tillerson, basically. But it goes to show Tillerson is being very low key, very quiet in his role as secretary of state. Not flexing his muscles yet in this very important job.

PAUL: All righty. Brian Stelter, always appreciate it. Thank you so much.

STELTER: Thanks.

PAUL: And don't worry, folks. He's not going anywhere. You can catch him on "RELIABLE SOURCES" at 11:00 a.m. Eastern today, right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: "Saturday Night Live" once again taking on the Trump administration and finding material to work with this week.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Real quick, can we turn up the audio and hear the kids' reaction to Trump? Can we hear that? Nothing says my presidency is going well like the screams of children.




[07:57:21] ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, HUFFINGTON POST: Being exhausted has become the new normal. I was in my office, I hit my head on my desk and broke my cheekbone.

I went from doctor to doctor trying to find out what was wrong with me. The diagnosis really was burnout. I had bought in to their collective delusion that in order to succeed,

in order to achieve, you have to burnout. You have to sacrifice your health, sacrifice your sleep. It's just not true.

When we are sleep deprived, when we are exhausted, we make bad decisions. The vast majority of us need seven to nine hours. And it simply requires prioritizing it. Setting boundaries is key. Not sleeping with our phones by our bed, having a period of a digital detox.

Remembering to be grateful makes it easier for us to deal with challenges. When I put my own oxygen mask first, as they say on airplanes, and prioritize my health and well being, I'm a better leader, I make better decisions.


BLACKWELL: Well, the cast of "Saturday Night Live", you know, they have not shied away from taking on the Trump administration.

PAUL: No. Last night, Alec Baldwin was back reprising his role as President Trump. But let's take a look here at what -- who were doing on the weekend update.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This week, Republicans made their best effort unite the country by presenting a new health care plan that everybody could hate together.

The White House is officially calling the bill the American Health Care Act. And not as many people in the media have been calling it Trumpcare. Or as they probably should be calling it, don't care.

Are you old and poor and losing your coverage? Don't care. How bad does something have to be for Trump not to want to put his name on it? This guy once put his name on a Ponzi scheme.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump introduced his revised travel ban this week, though it's probably not great that it's just a bunch of brown color swatches.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The new travel ban will go into effect on March 16th and then on March 17th we showcase the type of upstanding immigrant this is country wants.


PAUL: You just never know what you're going to get with them. But the cleverness continues.

BLACKWELL: A surprise every week.

PAUL: Uh-huh. Well, we are going to be watching what is happening tomorrow. A lot of things on the agenda for Monday. Will there be any proof of -- thank you.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the president's assertion that the previous president wiretapped on him, wiretapped his building.

Thanks for watching.