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Health Care Is Dead: The Blame Game Begins; Russia May Be An Even Bigger Problem Than Health Care; White House Reeling Tonight From Historic Failure On Health Care; President Warns Bad Things are Going to Happen to Obamacare. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 24, 2017 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:17] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Health care is dead. The blame game begins.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Republicans control every branch of government, so who is President Trump blaming for the biggest loss of his administration? Democrats, of course. Now the President warns bad things are going to happen to Obamacare. But if the deal maker in chief couldn't get health care done, what will happen to the rest of his agenda?

Plus, the White House under a cloud from the Russian government. Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, current Russian investigation Roger Stone, Carter Page all volunteering to testify but that comes as chairman Devin Nunes cancels Monday's public hearing. A move top Democrat Adam Schiff charges is designed to distract. Will we ever get to truth without an independent commission? We will discuss all of that this hour.

Let's begin though with the President earlier today. Let's listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We were very close. It was a very, very tight margin. We had no Democrat support. We have no votes from the Democrats. We weren't going to give us a single vote so it's a very difficult thing to do. I have been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode. It is exploding right now. Many states have big problems, almost all states have big problems.

I was in Tennessee the other day and they lost half of their state in terms of insurer. They had no insurer. That is happening to many other places. I was in Kentucky the other day and similar things are happening. So Obamacare is exploding. With no Democrat support, we couldn't quite get there. We just - a very small number of votes short in terms of getting our bill passed. I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and chuck Schumer because now they own Obamacare. They owned it, 100 percent own it.

And this is not Republican health care. This is not anything but Democrat health care. And they have Obamacare for a little while longer until it ceases to exist, which it will at some point in the near future. And just remember this is not our bill, this is their bill. Everybody worked hard. I worked as team player and would have loved to have seen it passed. But again, I think you know, I was very there wasn't a speech I made or very few where I didn't mention that perhaps the best thing that can happen is exactly what happened today because we will end up with truly great health care bill in the future after this mess known as Obamacare explodes.

And I like speaker Ryan. He worked very, very hard. A lot of different groups. He has got a lot of factions. And there's been a long history of liking and disliking even within the Republican Party long before I got here. But I have had a great relationship with the Republican Party. It seems that both sides like Trump and that's good and you see that I guess more clearly than anybody. I'm not going to speak badly about anybody within the party. There's a big history --


LEMON: All right. Let's dig deeper on this. And let's bring in one of the sharpest political observers around Mark McKinnon, go creator and executive producer of "Showtime's The Circus" with show which I love. Thank you. I have waiting to get you on and what a perfect night to have you on.

So Mark, thank you. Who is to blame here? Speaker Nunes? The President? The House freedom caucus?

MARK MCKINNON, CO-CREATOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, SHOWTIME'S THE CIRCUS: Well, it is weeks like this and days like today, as you said, this is why we brought back the circus. This - we have never saw a campaign like we saw last year and we have never any administration like this.

And the one thing that Donald Trump is doing, he is galvanizing the country. There is like this huge civics lesson that is going on. Everybody is paying attention no matter where you are on the dial.

In terms of today, I think that the buck stops with the President. I think all Presidents should own - I think once you step in the oval office it's your baby. You have got the keys to the car. But I like the way that Paul Ryan today. He owned it. I mean, Paul Ryan came out and said, we screwed up. We have to do better.

And you know, what I hope that everybody will get out of this is that you take a step back, take a breath -- Democrats I talked to, they all think that Obamacare needs to be improved. The health care system needs to be improved. But this is not the way to do it.

I mean, George W. Bush and other Presidents, when they first come in, they want to figure out the way to build a coalition to show they are govern for all America. And to come in and take the most controversial legislation and try to ram through with only Republican votes, I think was the wrong way to go.

LEMON: Well, Mark, here is the interesting thing to me is this, you know, everyone was saying why now. I think they thought they needed this piece in order to get to the next piece, which was tax reform because he supposed to be negotiator in-chief. So how does this going to impact his ability to get other things done like he wants, like tax reform? Because I'm sure they were looking for some of the benefits from -- cost savings from this to go over to tax reform.

[23:05:19] MCKINNON: Well, you are right in that sense. I mean, fiscally and that's why it was sequenced the way it was for the tax saving. You are going to get from one piece of legislation to help to pay for the other.

LEMON: Is that smart?

MCKINNON: Well, I don't think so. Because I think this health care bill is way too complicated and trying to get it done way too quickly. But I do think that there is a possibility that even though it is more complex from a fiscal side, I think Republicans now are going to be desperate to get something passed and I think they are going to line up on taxes or something like that very quickly because they know that they are in trouble now.

LEMON: Well, he needs a win but they need - they need a win as well for the folks back home.

MCKINNON: Well, they do. And that's why I think tax reform is way to go or infrastructure. I mean, infrastructure is great place where Donald Trump can go and get Republican and Democratic votes. If you're for infrastructure bill, arguably, Donald Trump is only president that could get that done. A Republican president would never spend that much money and a Democratic President could never get the votes. Donald Trump could get that done.

LEMON: Yes. And you mentioned Paul Ryan. So you dais him taking ownership. Let's listen to what he had to say and then we will discuss further.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Moving from opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains and, well, we are feeling those growing things today. This is a setback, no two ways about it. But it is not the end of the story. Because I know that every man and woman in this conference is now motivated more than ever to step up our game, to deliver on our promises. I know that everyone is committed to seizing this incredible opportunity that we have. I sure am.

LEMON: You said they need a win. Folks back home need win. But do you think he said this motivates him, does it really motivate the base? I mean, what happens when these Republicans go home to their constituents?

MCKINNON: People want problems solved, you know. But there are point where it doesn't matter if you are -- they say I don't care if it's Democratic solution or Republican solution, we just want results. And they thought that's that what they were getting with Republican house, or Republican Senate and Republican President. And if you can't get it done when you all three branches of government, then you are in some big trouble.

LEMON: I think the question is though, everyone is asking how in the world do you have a Republican Senate, a Republican Congress and Republican White House, and run about this on repealing or replacing, and then you don't get it done?

MCKINNON: Well, that's the problem. And you know, and not only that, but you got really play - they came out with plan a and there was no plan b. And they should have been plan b and plan c. And they put all the chips on the table on one big massive complex piece of legislation but nobody really understood and they pulled vote way too quickly and now there's consequences. Hopefully it is a learning moment.

LEMON: Well, I want to ask you something because following this big, you know, influence and monumental embarrassment, President Trump said something that has a lot of people scratching their heads. Listen to this.


TRUMP: And I never said, I guess I'm here what, 64 days, I never said repeal and replace Obamacare. You have all heard my speeches. I never said repeal it and replace it within 64 days. (INAUDIBLE).


LEMON: OK. So Mark, that was today but look at this.


TRUMP: On my first day, I am going to ask Congress to send me a bill to immediately repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare.

Somebody said the other day, what's the first thing you are going to do? Well we are going to work immediately on repealing Obamacare.

From day one I have been talking about we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare.


LEMON: So Mark, it was a day one promise.

MCKINNON: Well, you just showed the tape. There it was. I mean, I don't think you manufactured that tape. I think that was - I think those were real facts and real words coming out of the President's mouth.

LEMON: That wasn't fake news?

MCKINNON: No, I don't believe that was fake news. So there it is. It is out there. And he made -- took a big gamble. You know, he said it was art of the deal. Well, it turned out to be art of the ordeal. And it didn't turn out well. So like I said, I hope tea to a moment. And Republicans take a step back and rally the troops and really get strategic now and figure what can they do, what can they get done and hopefully reach out to some Democrats and bring them on because that's what the country wants.

LEMON: We are talking about news and media and all that. But just from day one, President Trump has really rallied against the media and yet his first calls following defeat war to "the Washington Post," "New York Times," two of the papers that he attacks the most. I want this headline. It says hello Bob, President Trump called my cell phone to say that the health care bill was dead. So what does that tell you about President Trump and his real relationship with the media, Mark?

MCKINNON: Well, you know, I mean, he won because of the media. And I think that he won partly by attacking it but he also won because he got so much attention because he is a great performer and he understands how to get media and he understands consequences when it goes south on you. So, I mean, it is part of being in the big top. He is the ringmaster. He knows how this works. He is wheeling and dealing with the media. He attacks them which his base loves but he also knows that he needs them too.

[23:10:16] LEMON: You have been following this health care debacle for your show. You brought it back "the Circus" on Showtime. I want to play a clip and this is when the president was trying to wrangle the votes on Capitol Hill. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, what makes you think you're going to get the votes? Congressman, feel lucky or good?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President. How are you? How are you going to get the votes?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you get the votes Mr. President?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, how did that go?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wish move the bathroom somewhere else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you doing? What with as it like in there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just streaming his thoughts. Great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talked about a lot besides health care?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Converted anybody?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I think he is very persuasive.


LEMON: Mark, but nor persuasive enough.

MCKINNON: But nor persuasive enough. So of course, you know, we had tons of stuff in the show. We basically thought we had the show finished yesterday and we had to scrap all of it because now the whole show is going to be basically today.

LEMON: So, this is going to air Sunday?

MCKINNON: This will air Sunday. We shoot Monday through Saturday and try to keep right it up to the minute. And so much happened today that basically the show is going to be yesterday and today and scrapping everything on the show on Monday through Wednesday.

LEMON: Sunday night on Showtime, check your local listings.

Mark McKinnon, thank you. Always a pleasure.

MCKINNON: Kick it, Don. Thank you.

LEMON: When we come right back, did the President make a mistake tackling health care first and is Jared Kushner in the dog house over his aspen vacation this week?


[23:15:24] LEMON: President Trump's defeat on health care may leave him behind the eight ball on the rest of the agenda.

Let's discus now. Karine Jean-Pierre,, a former Obama White House staffer is with us. Bob Cusack, the editor in-chief of "the Hill." Bill Press, host of "the Bill Press Show." CNN political commentator Jason Miller. A former Trump senior communications advisor and talk radio host John Fredericks, a former co-chair to the Trump campaign in Virginia. They all join me now.

Thank you so much.

Bob, you first. Let's talk about this failed health care bill. You say today was historic day and historic failure.

BOB CUSACK, EDITOR IN-CHIEF, THE HILL: It was. I mean, we will look back to this day and say the first priority of the White House and speaker Ryan failed. And it didn't even get out of the House. And I mean, Democrats couldn't stop this bill and Republicans were the ones who torpedoed it. Now, maybe in the run this is a good thing for them. They can move on to something else and they are not taking current benefits away from people.

But going to be very messy because conservatives are going to say, well, let's go back to 2015 bill that passed the Republican Congress and was vetoed by Obama. The centrists don't want to vote for that bill right now. So this is very messy. And now they are going to a very difficult thing, tax reform which hasn't been done since 1986. This is going to be a major challenge and the odds are against them, honestly. I think they can cut taxes but reforming the tax code, odds against them.

LEMON: And certainly, you gives us something to talk about here.

So Karine, President Trump said if nothing is done Obamacare then it is going to explode. Democrats are going to have to shoulder the blame for that, he says. Are you worried that the president may be right about this? And should Democrats should be more careful about being so gleeful about this?

KARIN JEAN-PIERRE, SENIOR ADVISOR, MOVEON.ORG: No, not at all. I mean, the people spoke, right. I think that's what we saw. As anything, American people won. They came out with some of tons of energy and called their house members. They went to town halls and they made their voices very loud and clear.

I mean, one of the things that Republicans have been able to do in the last seven weeks that Democrats weren't able to do in seven years was make Obamacare popular. And Donald Trump had an opportunity to reach out to Democrats. He could have said, hey, you know what, I know Obamacare needs some tweaks. Let's get together. Let's try and fix this. But what he decided to do was to meet with the freedom caucus and get in bed with them.

I mean, he - the White house reported that they met with over 100 members, not one of them was a Democrat. So he can't put this at their feet of the Democrat. Republicans had seven years, and this is what they came up with? Something that took away - that was going to take away health care for 24 million people?


Hey, Bill, I have to ask you, because you speak to people all the time. And I have said this, I don't think, this is just me, I don't think that Democrats in former administration did a good enough job of explaining what the affordable care act was or touting the affordable care act. People have many misconceptions about it. And they did have help on the right with people who, you know, didn't like it. But it seems like, in my estimation, the public mood about Obamacare changed within the last couple of months. Is that so? And what happened?

BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think there's any doubt about that. But first, I can't agree with you more. I used to sit at the White House briefings and I was stunned by an operation that was so flawless during the campaign against Hillary Clinton with message machine, the Obamacare things. They miss a beat. And they got to the White House and in terms of explaining and selling their number one priority, they did a lousy job. And we remember the total screw up when they launched the sign-up, whatever they called it, Web site at the time. So the Democrats particularly Obama administration didn't do good enough job but still people signing up. They were signing up in the state exchanges. And I think one thing that we all learned is once people get a benefit like that and they start depending on it, they start using it, they see the value to their families, 22 million people, you can't take it away from them. And that's why once it was under attack and it looked like Republicans were going to take it away and replace it --

LEMON: The very people who voted for this President.

PRESS: Exactly. And leave them high and dry, they were saying whoa, wait a minute. Let's take a different approach. I think undermined their whole efforts.

LEMON: John Fredericks, I want to play something the President said today.


TRUMP: So what would be really good with no Democrat support if the Democrats when it explodes, which it will soon, if they got together with us and get a real health care bill. I would be totally open to that and I think that's going to happen.


[23:20:07] LEMON: So - listen. You are staunchest defender of this President and we have you on partly because of that. The President now saying that he can't wait to get together and work with the Democrats on a real bill to fix Obamacare. Are you looking forward to that? Do you think Republicans is going to end up regretting not passing this bill?

JOHN FREDERICKS, SYNDICATED TALK RADIO HOST: I got to tell you, Don, what a debacle, what a fiasco. You know, President Trump said in his statement today that he is a team player. Here is the problem. He got on a losing team. Paul Ryan is a losing team. The GOP feckless leadership is a losing team. They have -- President Trump talks about winning, this is gang, Don, that can't shoot straight. They on a 72 month consecutive losing streak.

Paul Ryan loses everything he does. He sold his President down the primrose path. He told the president that he could deliver that votes. He told the President that he had a plan they were working on for 72 months. They had nothing. They had a pile of garbage. This was a lousy bill. He sold it to the President. He said he could deliver it. He couldn't do it. You know what needs to be replaced? Paul Ryan needs to be replaced.


LEMON: Hold on, I thought we booked John Fredericks, not Joe Madison.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Feet to the fire.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jason, got to jump in here.

FREDERICKS: I had enough of these people. Just had enough. LEMON: He is fed up Jason. What do you say to him? And he is the

staunchest supporter of the President and a Republican supporter. What do you say to someone like John Fredericks?

JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, what I would say is look, I think the single biggest losers unfortunately today are the Americans who are going to see the premiums go skyrocketing again next year as well as have coverage plans go away. We have enough states as it is where you only have one plan.

LEMON: But Jason. Jason, hold on. Not to be rude but that's a talking point.


LEMON: It's very clear that people do not agree with what you are saying because they would have been a higher - there will be more people who wanted to repeal and replace Obamacare. This new bill, they didn't like it. So the voters have spoken.

MILLER: Exactly. And this was absolute malpractice that Speaker Ryan and the Republican leadership - no. This is absolutely malpractice that we didn't have a bill ready to go. Just full stop. That is just absolutely just no excuse for that.

But the other group that I think were the losers today, you have folks who were both this entire week, you have folks who are both in freedom caucus, you have folks who are in the Tuesday group that went running down Pennsylvania avenue to go talk to the President how are they going to help the bill and they went running back to the TV cameras to jump in front of it and mug it and ultimately then they walked away from it.

If you are going to go and work this much on the bill and get to the point and then abandon it, then, you know, I think that's pretty terrible. No one should be throwing them high fives this weekend for failing to repeal and replace Obamacare.

But here is the problem fundamentally, that this wasn't the President's bill. And I think as we look ahead to tax reform, as we look ahead to infrastructure, the president needs to be -- Donald Trump needs to be Donald Trump.

LEMON: Doesn't the buck stop at White House with the man in charge?

MILLER: Well, I think in my opinion I think the President was a little bit too trusting in this one, thinking that the folks who supposedly had the plans ready to go were ready to go.

LEMON: You think he did enough to sell it?

MILLER: I think he did. I think he worked hard. I think he is talking about the tax plans is coming out. Look, he got Steve Minuchin, Steve Miller, Wilbur Ross, Peter Nafari (ph). You got a lot of people there who are really smart who work on this task team.

LEMON: I want to stick to health care.


LEMON: Go ahead, Bill.

PRESS: Well, I just want to say, Don, you know what? It is interesting to me. This is the third President in a row who made this mistake of thinking health care has got to be number one. Bill Clinton did it. Barack Obama did it. Donald Trump did it.

He made two mistakes. Number one, he did that. I mean, this is a complicated matter as he himself discovered, right. And then, he also, I totally agree with everything that trusting Paul John said about Paul Ryan to number one craft a bill that he could sell. And number two, get the votes. He couldn't do either one.

But the idea that they are going to walk into tax reform as if it's going to be easy. For 30 years Presidents have been promising tax reform and they haven't been able to deliver and Donald Trump who doesn't -- I'm sure he didn't even read the damn health care bill. He is not going to get a deep dive into tax reform and deliver that in 18 days. They are kidding themselves. This undermine the real problem with Donald Trump's presidency on every issue.

LEMON: Let him respond. I got to get the others in. Quickly, Jason.

MILLER: Winning cures everything. And so, it get the win with Neil Gorsuch, you know, economy going, the tax cuts going to trade and that particularly --.

[23:25:05] LEMON: Let's stick with this? When that happens and Gorsuch was actually really good this week but let's stick to this. And I want to talk a bit. Speaking of this, Bob, where was Jared Kushner? I mean, CNN is reporting that he is upset with his son-in- law he wasn't there. Trump has said that his son-in-law and senior adviser was not around during this crucial week. What's your reaction? Should he have been there? Is he upset?

CUSACK: Well, it is a big week but at the same time you can't blame him because he wasn't around. I mean, I do think from a big picture the Republican Party is entering a new phase where Paul Ryan said today Obamacare is the law of the land until they can pass a new bill. They are moving on and he said they are going to repeal it.

LEMON: Should he have been there?

CUSACK: Well, listen. I think that it was big week and, you know, according to reports Trump was not pleased but would think Trump would also tell him, hey, why don't you ski another week? This is was a crucial week.

LEMON: Karine, if you're senior adviser, should you be away this week of all weeks?

JEAN-PIERRE: Look. Here is the thing, Don. He's a 70-year-old man. He had the wife. He is the president, right. So they have the White House, they have the House, they have the Senate. I mean, they have the majority. So it's amazing that they couldn't get it done anyway.

And look. I mean, the way that I see Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, they are not saviors, they enablers. And they were never going to save health care. It was dead on arrival. Quinnipiac poll showed only 17 percent of Americans actually liked the bill. I mean, it was disastrous. Twenty-four million people, cutting Medicaid, cutting maternity leave, cutting infant leave, I mean, this was a complete disaster.

LEMON: That will have to be the last word. Thank you all. Have a good weekend.


LEMON: When we come back, it is not just health care failure, the White House is also under a cloud on Russia. What will it take to get to the bottom of it?


[23:30:49] LEMON: The White House reeling tonight from historic failure on health care but Russia may be an even bigger problem and it's not going away anytime soon.

Let's discuss now, CNN global affairs analyst David Rohde is here. National security analyst Juliette Kayyem, Evan McMullin, the former CIA operative, senior political commentator Jason Miller and national security analyst Steve Hall, retired chief of CIA Russian operations.

I'm so glad to have all of you on.

David, I'm going to start with you. You say that the dark Russia cloud looming over the White House is a reflection of President Trump's inability to control his party and administration. Explain that.

DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, it is just this has been a really bad week. This is sort of not nearly as big as health care but for the House committee that has been leading this investigation into Russia. Devin Nunes, sort of first of hearing on Monday was a disaster. You had Comey announcing active investigation into the campaign. Then you had Nunes announcing some sort of new information that, you know, sort of backed this wiretap claim from Trump but then Nunes backed off of it and privately Democrats are sort saying that Nunes is mishandling all this.

LEMON: So you are there.


LEMON: Take me behind the scene. What is going on?

ROHDE: Well, I mean, it's all politics. So the Democrats are trying to prolong this investigation. The more this goes on, the better for them. Republicans are sort of trying to, you know, help it go away. That's why the latest thing from Nunes was suddenly he is postponing this hearing that was supposed to come early next week. You know, another round. And so, it is really confusing. But was strange was how little anyone knows what is actually happening. You know, we are speaking with one person and what are you looking at? Well, your stories.

LEMON: On the Intel committee?

ROHDE: Yes. And that's, you know, these are Democrats. You know, they are concerned that, you know, how far will the Republicans take these investigations? The Democrats are the minority, you know. It is going better with cooperation in the Senate side than the House side but it is definitely the sort of this tussle. Keeping to the spotlight for Democrats and make it go away Republicans.

LEMON: So, they are telling you to keep writing and Republicans are trying to make it go away.

ROHDE: Correct.

LEMON: So, does Devin Nunes, he was roundly criticized by Democrats and Republicans. Does he have any credibility?

ROHDE: Well --

LEMON: I mean in Washington among the Intel.

ROHDE: I don't know on the Intel people. I just know that it's seen that politically he is trying to sort of cover this up.

LEMON: And then what about Schiff?

ROHDE: You know, Schiff I think -- again, we are so divided politically. So Schiff has won points I think among Democrats who want this in the headlines. Nunes not had a good week.

LEMON: I want to get the behind the scenes from you. So David, thank you for that.

Evan, let me bring you in now. Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes canceled Tuesday's hearing. You heard David said that. That committee will no longer be hearing from the former director of the national intelligence James Clapper, the former CIA director John Brennan or former deputy attorney general Sally Yates.

He still hasn't share the information that he says shows incidental collection of the President's communications. What did you make of this move?

EVAN MCMULLIN, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Well, I think it's been bizarre the whole way through. I mean, you have hearing on Wednesday and Nunes claiming that he had information that had to be briefed to the President immediately. He held a couple of press conferences on Wednesday. He basically did this week in the last three days of the week embarked on a media blitz pushing information that in the end he backed off of today. Last night he admitted on FOX that he had done what he had done to

help relieve some political pressure that he thought was mounting on President Trump, which is what the whole effort appeared to be in the first place.

I think the take-away here is simply that Devin Nunes is not committed to this investigation, to say the least. He would like to (INAUDIBLE) the investigation. And I think if that's the case, he should allow someone else on the Republican side on the committee to take the reins of the investigation and move forward. Some senior Republican member Ilyana Ross Leighton, for example, or someone else. But he is doing a tremendous disservice to the American people by not allowing a real investigation to take place.

LEMON: I was actually surprised that he called another press conference. And David, I don't understand why after he apologized saying that, you know, maybe it wasn't the best decision to do originally.

But Congressman Adam Schiff is slamming Nunes for cancelling the hearings saying it is more fruit that he is bias. Watch this.


[23:35:07] REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: One of the profound take-aways of the last couple of days is we really do need an independent commission here because the public at end of the day needs to have confidence that someone has done a thorough investigation, untainted by political considerations.


LEMON: Steve, I know you agree with this. We have spoken. What do you think?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Don, there's no way at this point that this particular committee can go forward meaningfully. The good news is we do have, you know, hundreds of FBI people working on counterintelligence investigation which although I would agree there is a lot of politics involve but that's the really important piece is getting the investigation right. But you, I will go one further. You know, even if you already name another, you know, some other Republican, maybe another Democrat, however you wanted to restack things, it is not going to change. The politics is baked into this. You got the highest position in the country, the presidency. And questions is to how that election went and whether or not there was foreign power involved. That's not something politicians, you know, inside the system, Republicans and Democrats who battle for the presidency are going to be able to resolve amongst themselves. You to have some sort of independent commission, a 9/11 style something that is going to take as much as possible of the politics out of this.

MILLER: Don --

LEMON: Well, Jason, I want you to jump in. But I want you to after this. I want to watch this - you need to watch this interview and this interview on FOX raises a lot of eyebrows.


To me, it's clear that I would be concerned if I was the President. And that's why I wanted him to know. And I felt like I had a duty and obligation to tell him because as you know he has been taking a lot of heat in the news media. And I think to some degree there are some things that he should look and have to see whether in fact if he thinks the collection was proper or not.


LEMON: So, you are - Jason, my question is he, the president, is part of the investigation. The White House and President are under investigation. Why would he feel that it's his duty to inform the subject of an investigation about information on the investigation? Does that do more harm than good?

MILLER: Well, he didn't say that the President was under investigation. He said that his name was swept up in some of these reports and these collections. And this goes back to issue of why the heck that we not yet seen the list of Americans whose names were unmasks. Letters have been sent to the FBI and CIA and NSA --.

LEMON: Jason, that's another subject and legitimate but we are talking about the investigation or Nunes, why would he go to the President when the administration, when James Comey said that they are looking at possible coordination between folks in the Trump administration or the Trump campaign, and his name is Trump, that's his name? And -- with Russia.

MILLER: The President himself isn't under investigation. That's not accurate at all. And clearly, chairman Nunes saw something --

LEMON: You see no conflict here?

MILLER: He is a very cautious guy. He would - I mean, he must have really seen something that really disturbed him to go and alert the President. Obviously, we are not part of that conversation so we don't know exactly what was said. But again, this whole issue of, you know, data collection, Americans being swept up into this, you know, even this back door surveillance issue, and this is really problematic. And the one thing, again, that I'm most frustrated about, I wish we had some of this info for last Monday when we had the hearings, maybe it would have been a little bit more balanced.

LEMON: Interesting.

Juliette, and intelligence sources telling CNN that his move was a suicide bomb designed to destroy the Russian investigation. What do you say to that?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It certainly looks that way whether that was his intention or not. Because no one can look at this committee as formed as being objective. I'm going to agree with Mark, though. I mean, I have much more

confidence in the Senate investigation. They also have subpoena power. And then, of course, let's not forget there is an FBI investigation which doesn't have to, you know, align around politics which, you know, with 100 agents. That's a lot of agents looking into this information.

So the House will continue and it will unfortunately I think just given what Nunes did this week be difficult to take seriously. But there's another piece that came out today that Nunes said which for me was the jaw dropper, when he said that now Carter Page, Manafort and Roger Stone all agreeing to talk somewhere sometime to the committee. That may seem interesting. That's not bad interesting to me, because I don't think they will be under oath. But the name that's not mentioned, there is the name I mentioned often on the show, Mike Flynn, the former national security adviser. It is starting to look like from my sources and also from an open reporting that Mike Flynn is the one who may have a deal with the FBI and that's why we have not heard from him for some time.

LEMON: Interesting. Can I ask you something?

[23:40:00] KAYYEM: If that is true --

LEMON: Go on. Finish your thought. Let her finish. Finish your thought.

KAYYEM: No. That is true. I mean, just one has to look at. There's four names and three of them are willing to talk voluntarily, so. But if that is true, then there is someone who is high up in the team. He was not a mere volunteer and was national security adviser for some time whose dealings with Turkey at one stage and then of course with Russia have come under suspicion. And as I have said before on the show with Jason and others, there's a lot of dots. I'm not at collusion yet but on the scale from zero to ten, it is hard to be anywhere under six at this stage.

LEMON: Can I ask you something? Can I ask you something, Juliette? So I heard this during the - remember the Comey letter and the investigation and Hillary Clinton. Democrats would say Hillary Clinton is not under investigation. Jason is saying the President is not under investigation. Who is under investigation here? Is the President under investigation?

KAYYEM: I don't know where -- we've been told by the FBI --

MILLER: No answer.

LEMON: Let her answer.

KAYYEM: Jason. So we have been told by the FBI so far that the President isn't specifically under investigation. But wait, we have also been told by Comey, and this is what we know so far, so I'm not speculating here. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, that the investigation does involves people related to the Trump campaign, we don't know who those people are but we have all heard the same names and their potential dealings with the Russians leading up to the campaign including the most important thing which is of course the when was the release and if the Trump campaign know the release of the WikiLeaks emails.


MILLER: There's no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing.

KAYYEM: Jason, Jason, one second. As I said you don't have to be at collusion. It is just as an investigation unfolds over time, the national security investigation unfolds on time, it takes time. People who didn't talk at some stage will talk later on. And the problem with what Nunes is doing is, he is trying to get to the end before any of the investigators are there. That's all. I'm not at collusion. I'm not saying Trump should go to jail but just let it unfold.

LEMON: I got to get to the break. Jason. You will be first on the other side of the break. We will be right back.

MILLER: Thank you.


[23:46:11] LEMON: All right. We are back now with my panel. I promised Jason Miller the first word on the other side of the break. You were disagreeing with something Juliette Kayyem said.

MILLER: Yes. I think at certain point this is getting a little hysterical here, Don. I think to throw this allegations of supposed collusion when there has been nothing that has been put forward suggesting that anyone from the Trump campaign or the Trump orbit was in any way colluding with foreign officials I think is quite frankly dangerous when we are talking about the presidency here.

Look. The fact of the matter is we know that American names are being unmasked. We would clearly know that somehow general Flynn's conversation, the transcript to which was leaked, again, another incident of confidential information that was being put out. And I think at a certain point it is either got a put forth the evidence --

LEMON: The only thing I have to say to that, Jason, is that when WikiLeaks, when they were leaking things about - what's his name, Anthony Wiener, when they were looking things about Hillary Clinton, John Podesta's emails, all I heard was lock her up. I haven't heard one Democrat say lock him up. I have heard Democrat say investigate. But I didn't hear anyone on the other, you know, on the other side saying enough with the Hillary Clinton investigation.

MILLER: Well, the difference - I mean, Hillary Clinton, she had illegal secret server.

LEMON: Nobody said it was illegal.

MILLER: Her secret server was definitely illegal.

LEMON: It wasn't illegal.

MCMULLIN: Don, can I just jump in here?

LEMON: Shouldn't have had it, bad judgment but no one said she broke the law.

MCMULLIN: Look. There is FBI investigation into President Trump's campaign that may or may not include him. FBI doesn't go investigating these types of things. It is short staffed, unless it really sees a need. The fact there is an FBI investigation means that this is valid. There is a valid concern that there may have been collusion. This wouldn't just be happening for fun.

So I think when Jason tries to dismiss this staff from another people from Trump side try to dismiss this as nothing, I think, again, they are doing a major disservice to the country. The FBI sees reason to investigate collusion. That's what they are doing. That is a fact.

Now, I think I want to address another thing, too. People keep talking about an independent commission. We got to realize that independent commission can only be established by a law. So the President would have to sign that. Or there would have to be veto proof majorities in both chambers, both the House and the Senate. That isn't happening.

And so, as a result of that, the more realistic better case scenario is special select committee. It would be better if it were in the Senate. It could be joint committee, so bicameral. But we are not going to get independent commission. That's highly unlikely. The President never sign that into law.

LEMON: So Steve if you listen to what Evan is saying, I'm sure American people - people at home saying well then, what good is all of this? What can come out of this? Is there any recourse? Is anyone exposed?

HALL: Well, two things, Don. The first is with regard to special commission or independent commission, there are indeed a lot of regulations and laws that would have to go into, you know, looking and determining exactly what mechanism we would use. I'm little bit less concerned about specifically what mechanism it is but has to be as apolitical as possible.

But let me get back to something that Jason was alluding to. And there was a lot of hue and cry about if there were name masks or unmasks, and what about this. It the media wasn't wiretapping but perhaps it was some sort of surveillance. Fine. I'm all for, you know, as part of an investigation looking at seem what names came up and when were they unmasked.

But Evan made an important point. And the point is this. The FBI is not doing this just for fun. Likewise, when you are talking about surveillance or when you talking about listening to electronic communications, that has to be done with a FISA warrant which means that somebody was looking at a foreign power, probably Russians involved in this and as names become unmasked, what we see is - that mean that they were looking at Americans probably and it appears to be people who are associated with Trump talking as part of this incidental collection.

So when people say it just, you know, this was incidental collection and these names and everything, you have to understand that when we were looking at probably the Russians, other names were coming up and that's how the investigation continues. We need to see who those people are and what relationship they had with the Trump campaign. That's an important point, too.

[23:50:49] MILLER: That's why we have to get this list from the NSA, the CIA, and the FBI to find out who was getting swept up with this and if it's proven that there was surveillance of the President before the election, someone is in big trouble.

LEMON: There is absolutely no evidence of that. No one has ever said that they were saying they were surveilling foreign agents which happens all the time. And they were just caught up in it. That's collateral.

Thank you. We will be right back.


[23:55:06] LEMON: On the vast remote and sometimes frigid not on the reservation, supplies and services can be hours away. And not only elders often struggles alone.

This week's CNN hero has spent 30 years seeking them out, helping them to survive. Meet Linda Meyers.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You find elders without food. Many don't have running water or plumbing. One of our main goal is to keep the elders warm through the winter. It can get down to zero here at night.



They need fires going all the time. And if they don't, then there is a greater chance that they could freeze to death.


LEMON: To see how Linda is helping the Navajo nation go to And while you are there, nominate someone you think should be a 2017 CNN hero.

That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching.