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Russia Investigation Heating Up; Hillary Clinton Can't Get Over Yet; The Long Awaited Conversation; A Father's Plea. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired May 2, 2017 - 22:00   ET



[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey, that's it for us. Thanks for watching. Time to hand things over to Don Lemon. CNN Tonight starts right now. See you tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The breaking news tonight on the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's blistering critique of Moscow's election meddling.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

Sources telling CNN that Sally Yates, Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general will testify that she gave a forceful warning to the White House about Michael Flynn's Russia connection weeks before he was fired.

That, as Hillary Clinton in an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour says this.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If the election been on October 27th, I'd be your president.


LEMON: Plus, Jimmy Kimmel's emotional message on health care after his newborn son's surgery.


JIMMY KIMMEL, TV HOST: If your baby is going to die and he doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make. I think that's something now whether you're a republican or democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?


LEMON: We'll discuss that later on.

But I want to get right to our breaking news now on the Russia investigation. CNN's chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto has that for us. Jim, good evening.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN'S CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Don, Sources familiar with her account tell CNN that former acting Attorney General Sally Yates is prepared to testify before the Senate judiciary committee next week that she gave a forceful warning to the White House regarding then National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. This, nearly three weeks before he was fired, contradicting the administration's version of events.

In a private meeting on January 26, Yates told the White House Council, Don, again, that Flynn was lying when he denied in public and private that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia and conversations with the Russia's Ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.

His misleading comments, Yates explained, made him potentially vulnerable to being compromised by Russia. Yates began, meeting took place January 26th. On February 10, more than two weeks later, President Trump said he was unaware of reports on Flynn.

Three days after that on February 13th the Washington Post published a story that Flynn had lied to Vice President Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Flynn resigned that night. The next day on February 14th, Sean Spicer described the Yates meeting in January in far less serious terms.


SEAN SPICER, UNITED STATES WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: So just to be clear, the acting attorney general informed the White House counsel that they wanted to give a quote, "heads up" to us on comments that may have seemed in conflict with what he had sent the vice president out in particular.


SCIUTTO: Yates testimony on May 8th will be the first time the acting, the former acting attorney general will publicly speak about that White House meeting. A source familiar with the situation says that Yates will be limited on what she can tell the committee because maybe the details involving are still classified.

Yates previously scheduled appearance you may remember in front of the House intelligence committee that was canceled by chairman Devin Nunes. The news sparking outcry from the democrats at the time who believe he was trying to shield the White House, Don, from damaging new revelations.

LEMON: All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you very much. I appreciate that. Jim, stick around as a matter of fact.

I want to bring in now CNN's Mark Preston, and Nia-Malika Handerson, also Michael Moore, the former U.S. attorney for the middle district of Georgia. Good evening to you all.

Michael, I'm going to start with you. You know Sally Yates, you know her well. What's your reaction to this reporting?

MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: You know, I'm not surprised that she's going to testify. I think it's been long awaited. I think she's competent. I believe that. She's very protective of the department. She is protective of her profession and reputation and her integrity.

So I think everybody will look forward to her testimony. I agree that probably what she will give will be limited because there will be other information that will be classified so I don't think we're going to hear everything out in the public hearing.

But her information will, at the same time, likely be in the area of timing. It will tell us when people knew things of the sequence of events that happened, and I think that will be interesting. And frankly, I don't know that's going to help Mike Pence.

I just think it's unfathomable that this information was delivered to the White House by the acting attorney general and Mike Pence claiming to have no knowledge of it despite the fact that he was head of the transition during that time.

So there may be more things that come to light as that testimony and these hearings go on. But obviously, I have great respect for Sally and I can tell you this. I mean, you can put your mind on what she says.

LEMON: Well, people are already saying that she is an Obama appointee but republican, right.

MOORE: Right.

LEMON: Obama appointee, you know, democratic operative. What do you say to people who are questioning her integrity and her motivations?

MOORE: You know, I think that's a ridiculous argument for them to make. Sally's worked for the department more than 20 years, she served under presidents and attorneys general that have both republican and democrats.

[22:05:04] She's handled herself with great professionalism. And I really think that that argument -- if you think about this way. Jeff Sessions is a republican appointee. Does that mean that every time he looks at a case or his department makes about a decision about a case that might impact or indict someone who's a democrat hat we ought to look at skeptically?

You know, the lady justice, which is a figure that a lot of us see that hangs in the department of the statue there. Lady justices supposed to be blind, that looks, if you're a democrat, that looks if you're a republican.

And we count on the professionals who work for the Department of Justice every day to make decisions about moving forward with case and investigations regardless of the party, regardless of the person and regardless of personal feelings that the prosecutor may have about his or her political affiliation.

LEMON: Mark?

MOORE: I just think it matters at all.

LEMON: Mark Preston, the White House waited 18 days from when Yates warn the White House to when Flynn was fired. I remember we broke it here on the program. It was 18 days and there was this sort of drip, drip, drip and then the buildup. Is this the delay problematic for the White House?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: I think so. You know, we often talked, we haven't talked about it a whole lot because the Russian investigation has kind of gone still for the time being. But back when it was hot and heavy, we talked about the straw that's going to break the camel's back.

I think this is actually going to be the straw that breaks the back. But it's another straw that is being put on top of this came. And even starting tomorrow, Don, when we see FBI director James Comey come to Capitol Hill testify in public, which will show here live, I just think it's going to revive the whole investigation discussion around the Russian ties or alleged ties with those that close to President Trump.

So, look, I think that it's problematic. You really have to wonder when did Vice President Pence actually know and why did it take them 18 days.

LEMON: Yes, not to fictitious, seriously. I mean, but what does, you know, a forceful warning mean, what does mean, I gave you a stern warning, what does that mean in the whole scheme of things? What does that have to do with anything?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. That's what we don't know. I mean, some of the reports that came out were essentially saying that Yates told Don McGahn that Flynn would be open to blackmail because of the discrepancies in his testimony publicly on what he said privately with Kislyak, the Russian ambassador.

So we don't really know. And this is what we're going to find out. The public once again is going to know about this 18 day sort of gap in timing and what the president knew and when he knew it.

And I think Mark is exactly right. It's receded from kind of our discussions here and discussions on the Capitol Hill. But what we do know is that there are four separate investigations on the Hill into Russia. And then of course there's the FBI investigation as well.

I'm sure that the White House will come out and, you know, allies of this White House will say that, you know, Yates is sort of part of the deep states, she's an Obama hold over, and she was out to get -- out to get Trump and out to sink his administration.

She of course resigned or got fired later on. But the problem is they're sort of narrative and it's been only goes so far because these are investigations are still ongoing even as they try to say the White House essentially says there is no there-there.

LEMON: And Russia, I mean, it is a prevailing issue when it comes, not just in Washington but around the country. Everyone is talking about it. There's concern all over the world about it whether how Russia influence our election and if there's collusion.

And speaking of the election, right, I want to talk about Hillary Clinton, Nia. Her candid interview today. She is talking about what went wrong. I wonder if you guys agree. Here it is.


CLINTON: I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28th and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off as Nate Silver who, you know, he doesn't work for me, he is an independent analyst but one considered to be very reliable, you know, has concluded.

You know, if the election had been on October 27th, I'd be your president and it wasn't, it was October 28th and there was just a lot of funny business going on around that. And ask yourself this.

Within an hour or two of the Hollywood Access tape being made public, the Russian stuff of John Podesta's e-mails hit WikiLeaks. What a coincidence.

The reason I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days.


LEMON: OK. She is blaming herself too. In that -- in that sound bite you didn't hear but she said she had plenty of problems herself. But can she really say, can she lay this at the feet of Comey of the FBI and blame it on Comey and Russia?

HENDERSON: You know, I mean, I think she has certainly done this and she's done it time and time again and any of kind of public, kind of revelations about what she think went wrong, any of her aides are saying pretty much the same thing that they think Comey's action in this election in terms of coming out and saying that there is an investigation going on.

[22:10:03] A reopening investigation going on into Hillary Clinton's e-mails that that played a role in his inaction; right? In terms of not saying that there was also an investigation going on into Trump associates and whether or not there was any collusion there.

Again, this is going to come up tomorrow, democrats are going to hammer Comey and try to figure out why he broke with precedent here when it came to Hillary Clinton in terms of talking about an investigation publicly. But kept with precedent when it came with Donald Trump. LEMON: OK. Listen, I want to switch gears here and talk about

something, I think it was for me, the big story of the day because I wonder what the Kimmel effect will be on what's happening in Washington now, especially now that they're lobbying lawmakers to try to sign on for a third time to repeal and replace Obamacare, panel.

Jimmy Kimmel jumped into the conversation last night, he opened up about his newborn son's surgery and he made this emotional plea.


KIMMEL: Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there is a good chance you'd never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. You were born with a pre-existing condition and if your parents didn't have medical insurance, you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition.

If your baby is going to die and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make. I think that's something now whether you're a republican or democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?


LEMON: So Mark, here's this effects every person who's watching, right? Every American, right, this healthcare. Many, many people have to deal with what he's dealing with for themselves and for their children. Could this be something, is this the most effective thing so far you think in health care? Because it's relatable regardless if you're republican or democrat.

PRESTON: Right. Well, it's interesting about what Jimmy Kimmel did there is that he didn't call out a particular party, he wasn't critical of republicans, he wasn't critical of democrats. He was critical of both of them. He was critical of the system. He was critical of the dysfunction.

And he really spoke to an audience there, Don, that perhaps isn't always clued in to the news such as you and I are or Nia or Jim or anybody quite frankly, you know, who was tied into it. You have this cross now of pop culture in politics coming together and talking about an issue as to what you said is very, very important.

Do I think this is going to move the needle? Not necessarily. But I do think that it may have awoken some folks who haven't quite followed this healthcare debate as intensely as some of us have.

LEMON: Nia, I want to -- this is from New York magazine, they put it this way, "Jimmy Kimmel might have struck the final blow against the GOP health care plan." What do you think?

HENDERSON: Sure. I mean, maybe. I mean, this is pretty close to a final blow already before Jimmy Kimmel even talked. And I think we sometimes overestimate the kind of reach of people like Jimmy Kimmel. We live in a very partisan and divided country and people have made up their minds in terms of what they think the role that government should have in terms of healthcare.

We're way past the era of like Johnny Carson; right? When everyone tuned in to see what Johnny Carson was joking about on a given night. And so, I think, you know, this health care bill is so full of problems already and lots of moderate GOPiers on the House side, I think it's 22 at this point have said no. If they get to 23 it's over.

LEMON: Yes. But it's also the age of internet where this goes viral. Many more people saw that on the internet and they will see it played out on cable news in such. Many more people that would probably have watched Johnny Carson.

SCIUTTO: Son, and you know, just if I get out of thought there.


SCIUTTO: I know that Jimmy Kimmel he took a lot of grief today from some conservative columnists, et cetera, calling him elitist saying don't get involved in the politics. I'll just say this. You know, I've got three kids and I've been in the hospital for a couple of them not for anything nearly as serious as Jimmy Kimmel's face.

But I will say this, you can't fake emotion about your kids, right? So as I watched that last night, as a dad, you know, regardless of your position on the issue, for me, it wasn't a legislative issue. I listened to him and I said, that, you know, that makes me feel connected to this issue. And I just -- I thought it was, you know, as a fellow father watching him speak there it struck me as a very sincere emotion.

LEMON: It was very human and we wish the best for the Kimmel's and for his son of Jimmy and everyone. Thank you, all.

When we come back, President Trump's phone call with Vladimir Putin today, we're going to tell you what they talked about next.


LEMON: President Trump speaking today by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. I want to discuss now with Matthew Rojansky, he is the director of the Kennan Institute of the Wilson Center, and Julia Ioffe who is a staff writer for the Atlantic. good evening to both of you. Thank you for coming on.

Matthew, you first. For the third time now since taking office, President Trump spoke with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin on the phone this afternoon. We know they talked about a range of topics including Syria, North Korea. What details have you learned if any about this conversation?

MATTHEW ROJANSKY, WOODROW WILSON INTERNATIONAL CENTER DIRECTOR: So details are relatively thin on this, Don. The statement from the White House and the statement from the Kremlin, broadly speaking similar. You know, they talked about counterterrorism in the context of Syria, which is really about resolving the Syria crisis or at least managing it and keeping it under wrap. They talked a little bit about North Korea. And then the discrepancy comes in in Kremlin's statement which says and the two leaders talked about the urgent importance of them continuing to talk on the phone and also meeting face to face perhaps in July.

The White House statement doesn't mention that. And this I think is a reflection of the pretty urgent desire on the part of the Russians to get the kind of dignifying moment. This is valuable for Vladimir Putin of meeting with the President of the United States.

I think, you know, I was in Moscow last week. I heard it clearly from Russians. They want to have that meeting, they want contacts restored at all levels from the top down and I think the urgency of that is just less strongly felt on the American side.

LEMON: Hey, Julia, in the Atlantic today you wrote Putin's disappointing phone call. You call it, the Atlantic call it, it's called "Putin's disappointing phone call with Trump." What exactly was disappointing about this conversation today between the two leaders, for you?

[22:20:00] JULIA IOFFE, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Well, as Matthew say there, I was also in Moscow last week. Funny we didn't see each other. All the talk in the official Moscow or close to official Moscow is how quickly can we get Trump and Putin to meet because if they meet, hopefully the same thing will happen. That happened with Xi Jinping, the Chinese premier and with Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary General, Trump will feel some kind of warm personal connection and will flip 180 degrees his previous policy stance.

He'll decide he doesn't want to label China a currency manipulator anymore, he'll decide NATO is no longer obsolete, and maybe he'll once again, to unilaterally lift sanctions and will entangle himself from, you know, the kind of internal political mess in the U.S. where Russia hawks on both the left and the right are kind of holding him down.

But he didn't really get that in this phone call as Matthew correctly pointed out, it was not in the White House readout of the phone call that they agreed to meet. And furthermore, if you look at the Kremlin readout of the phone call, it just says they talked about maybe meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in July in Germany.

And everything I was hearing from Moscow was we got to get this meeting in before July. They got to meet one on one and have that, you know, real chemical connection and that's not going to happen. He's going to have to meet with him on the sidelines of this big conference just like everybody else. He's already short attention span is going to be pulled in all different directions. It's unclear how much impact a one-on-one meeting in that context with Putin will have.

LEMON: So, it makes you wonder where this relationship is now between Putin and President Trump and, you know, Russia and the United States. Because we're so far 103 days, I believe into this administration into Trump's presidency. How do Russians in the Kremlin and on the ground feel about him, are they still as excited as they were in January about this potential partnership between President Trump and Putin. Matthew, I'll ask you that.

ROJANSKY: So the sense I got from Russians recently was much more complacent. I wouldn't say it's negative. There are still guarded optimism, but much more complacent and sort of at peace with the notion that the U.S./Russian relationship is hostile, it's at a low point.

But frankly, there are some real domestic and political benefits to that, if you're Vladimir Putin, you're running for reelection in March of 2018. Look, it's not going to be a free and fair election but at the same time he's got to mobilize people, he's got to energize his base he's got to produce the turnout. I

And one way of doing that is the narrative that Americans are still out to get us. If he can have his cake and eat it too, which is he can appear to be having meetings at a high level with Chancellor Merkel, perhaps with President Trump and with other world leaders breaking the isolation that was imposed on him by the previous U.S. administration and its allies internationally.

But at the same time he can continue this narrative of look, the west's out to get us. We are the one supporting, you know, governance and stability in Syria, the west is trying to do regime change again. The west doesn't know what it's doing.

Then I think he can sustain that and maybe 10 months or 11 month get through the election and then deal with the actual geopolitical problems that Russians and Americans at the end of the day have got to work on together. And by the way, Syria is part of that so it's good that we're talking about Syria.

LEMON: So, Julia, you were there, you said you were in Russia as well. What are these relationships like are Russians still excited about the prospect of this relationship between the United States and Russia or Putin and Trump?

IOFFE: I think that Matthew is absolutely right in his characterization of Russian's thinking on this. What I will add to that is that Russians are trying to be understanding of Trump. They think that Trump -- you know, it's a similar way in which they see their own government.

That Putin is a good leader, he doesn't want all this corruption, he probably doesn't even know about all of it. But he's entrapped and surrounded on a sides by these kind of evil advisers who have ulterior motives and Trump, too, he wants to have a good relationship with Russia.

He respects and admires their president but he's entangled as one former colleague, a close colleague of the Russian foreign minister told me. He's like Gulliver tied down by the Lilliputians, by the American foreign policy establishment, by his own internally driven administration, by all this internal domestic factors that of course have nothing to do with Russia.

And that they're just waiting and when he's good and ready he's going to come to them they're going to have a great and beautiful relationship but first he has to get out of his own political mess in the states and that's what it all comes down to. They're trying to be understanding, trying to have a little bit of hope left that this relationship can be salvage and brought out of the depths in which it is now.

LEMON: In the short time we have left, Matthew, I want to ask you about Vladimir Putin's main opponent Alexie Navalny accusing the Kremlin of being involved in the green dye attack that he said it damage his cornea, Navalny.

[22:25:08] He has declared his intentions to run in Russia's presidential election next year by the way. Is this a taste of what it will be like to go up against Vladimir Putin?

ROJANSKY: That is exactly right. I think, Don, the lens for everything we're going to see over the next 10 or 11 months is going to be Putin dominating, controlling and minimizing risk going into what has to be not just an election but a coronation. This is now going to be his fourth term as president.

He's got to replace his Prime Minister, Dmitri Medvedev bring in effectively a successor unless he somehow changes the Constitution and extends himself indefinitely.

This is a supersensitive period, potentially dangerous. The Russian economy is not doing great. He is playing hard ball. And I think perhaps allowing an attack like this on one of his opponents. Don't forget the murder of Boris Nemtsov, another one of his outspoken opponents.

This is going to be a dangerous and scary time. And one of the challenges is how is the United States, how is Europe and how is the west going to respond? Right? Are we going to be seen to be meddling in Russian domestic politics?

LEMON: Yes. Thank you, Mathew. Thank you, Julia. See you again soon.

When we come back, republicans trying again to repeal and replace Obamacare. But do they have the votes.

Plus, CNN's exclusive interview with Hillary Clinton. Why she thinks she lost the election and what she says her role is now.


CLINTON: I'm back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance.



LEMON: You're going to hear her whole interview tonight.

[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) [22:30:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: President dialing up the pressure on House Republicans to pass a health care bill. I want to bring in Stephen Moore, CNN senior economics analyst, who is a former senior economic advisor to the Trump campaign. Also Austan Goolsbee, the former chairman of President Obama's Council on Economic Advisers. Good evening to both of you, gentleman. Good to see you.

Stephen, I'm going to start with you. Republicans are scrambling to get enough votes to repeal and replace Obamacare. White House says it's confident that the bill will pass. Here is our current web count here at CNN, 22 House Republicans against it.

That means if there is one more no vote, one more no, it's over, right? And not because they haven't voted yet, but one more no, it's over. How bad does it look for the president if they can't get health care through again?

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Well, you know, I was thinking that we went through this, Austan. We recall under Obama, you know, you remember, Austan, to get Obamacare passed, you had to twist some arms, you had to get to that 218th vote you need in the House and the number to get over the senate. I forget whether it was 60 or 51. But in any case, you're right.

The number you put on was 216, that's pretty close to the 218 they need. So there are some arm twisting. They need some negotiating to get some of those moderates on board. I'm gonna predict that this is going to happen. But I have to say, Don, I predicted this on your show about eight weeks ago and I was wrong. So, (inaudible).

LEMON: We were both wrong because I thought they would get it passed as well. Austan, quickly, before I move on, I want to ask you about pre-existing conditions. Do you think they're going to get this passed?

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S COUNCIL ON ECONOMIC ADVISERS: I think they're going to have a hard time because unlike Obamacare, it's true they had a scrum (ph) about getting Obamacare passed, but there were hundreds of hearings and lots of stuff in public.

They don't even have a score from the Congressional Budget Office of how may people will lose their insurance from this bill. So I think there are going to be a lot of Republicans that won't vote for it.

LEMON: A lot of this...

MOORE: One quick point about this. The reason I think it's going to happen, I don't know if it's going to happen this week, Don, or two or three or four weeks from now, but it is going to happen because the one thing all Republicans understand is they cannot run for reelection in 2018 without having repealed Obamacare. I mean, my goodness, this has been their central promise for seven years.

LEMON: A lot of those lawmakers are listening to the people at home.

GOOLSBEE: And yet they can't run having repealed it either. That's their problem.

MOORE: They've got to have a plan. They've got to have a plan that people can live with. But, look, we can't live with the current system. We've been having this debate not just in (inaudible) but all over the country about the Republican plan and are there some flaws with it?

Yes, but, my goodness, the entire insurance market is falling apart under Obamacare with people facing thousands of dollars increase in their insurance. I mean, that can't continue. We are not going to have anybody with insurance in this country.

LEMON: Okay. But I'm hearing also, it has been said also, if you look at the fact check, that is rhetoric. The insurance market will fall apart only if Republicans allow Obamacare, that they don't fund it, then the insurance markets will fall apart. So, Austan, do you want to respond to that?

GOOLSBEE: No, what you just said is exactly what I think the data shows.

LEMON: Okay. All of this is going to come out, a lot of it leads us to pre-existing conditions. And what we spoke about here in the lead block of our show was about the possibility of the Jimmy Kimmel effect who represents a lot of people around the country, talking about his son who was born with heart disease and had to have surgery right after being born.

Do you think that is affecting what lawmakers are hearing at home and is this going to have an effect on this bill? First, Austan.

GOOLSBEE: I do. And he's not alone. He's the most public. But with the first repeal and replace effort, you saw town halls all over the country where grandmas, aunts and uncles, and people (inaudible), they are coming there and saying, wait a minute, you can't get rid of the pre-existing condition.

If they start being able to charge us and exclude us for pre-existing conditions, we have 60/70 years of experience to know what the insurance companies are going to do if you let them do that. They are going to start taking away everyone's insurance. And I don't think that will pass.

LEMON: Stephen, same question.

MOORE: Well, you've got the right word on your screen, emotional. Because this is an obvious emotional issue with everyone. I have a couple of relatives with pre-existing conditions. And it's something that can bankrupt a family. So, obviously, any plan is going to have to provide coverage for people with this kind of condition whether it is some kind of childhood disease or whether it's cancer

[22:35:00] or something like that. But my point is that, look, what insurance is supposed to be about is when you're insuring against some unforeseen event. It's like saying if your house is on fire, you can call up the insurance company and say I want fire insurance. That's not what insurance is about. So what I would do and I think the Republicans...

LEMON: How can you foresee that your child is going to have a heart disease?

MOORE: I'm sorry, say that again.

LEMON: How can you foresee that your child is going to have a heart disease?

MOORE: That is not a pre-existing condition, Don. The point is once someone has that condition, then you have to put those groups of people in a public subsidy program where they are providing coverage, but you want a functioning insurance market for everyone else and that's my problem...


LEMON: Stephen, let me ask you. Do they remain in that pool their entire lives?



LEMON: Saying if you have a pre-existing condition, then you can't get insurance? You remain in this special pool?

GOOLSBEE: Correct. You would be in that high risk pool for the rest of your life.

MOORE: Not necessarily.

GOOLSBEE: That's the separate but equal plan. We've had that before. And what happened is it's massively more expensive and the governments say, we can't afford to do that, and they start...

MOORE: Austan, hold on. Don, let me make the alternative argument which is this. That when you put everybody with pre-existing conditions in the insurance pool, then we all know what happens, is healthy people drop out because their insurance premiums are higher. I'm not going to let you get away with this point, Don, where you said the thing is going to crumble only if Republicans allow it to crumble. Obamacare is crumbling because the costs are out of control.

The people are facing thousands and thousands of dollars of higher costs every year. They can't afford it, Don. I was in Arizona a few weeks ago. People are seeing a doubling of their insurance premiums. The middle class families, they are just going to do it without insurance. They can't afford it any longer.

GOOLSBEE: The facts don't bear that out. If you get rid of the subsidies and you get rid of the payment part of Obamacare, you could definitely light it on fire. But the Congressional Budget Office and the non-partisan people that are looking at those exchanges show that the overwhelming majority of Americans can get coverage for quite affordable rates.


MOORE: ... There is no competition in the markets today. You know, you got so many areas where the health insurance companies are just dropping out the markets. So I just don't think that the status quo we have right now with Obamacare is sustainable. In fact, you know, if you guys were right about this, why was Trump able to carry this issue over the goal line? It was one of the major reasons he won. It was one of his most popular...

LEMON: Most people did not understand...


LEMON: Hang on, Austan.

GOOLSBEE: What his plan would be and Donald Trump said in the campaign his plan was to replace it with something fabulous.

LEMON: Yeah.

GOOLSBEE: If you leave it at that level, everyone's for it.


LEMON: Stephen, I want to make it clear. I'm not making an assertion by just saying what the facts bear out. That's what I read and that's what the fact check is saying.

MOORE: No, I get that. I think it's a little bit unfair to say we can live with what we got. Because I don't we can.

LEMON: I think most people agree that it needs to be fixed but I'm not sure everyone thinks that needs to be...

MOORE: Well, let's start over and let's come up with something a lot better than Obamacare because the promise was, remember, Austan, eight years ago, you all said we're going to save $2500 a year in insurance and now it's costing thousands of dollars or more for their insurance.

LEMON: I got to go. Thank you.

GOOLSBEE: Donald Trump is more expensive and cuts people off.

LEMON: When we come back, is President Trump standing by his Civil War claims? We are going to speak to two historians who say he's not only wrong but is in need of a good history lesson.


LEMON: President Trump's comments about President Andrew Jackson and the civil war have a lot of people still scratching their heads. Other wondering if the 45th president could benefit from an American history lesson. Let's discuss now with two experts. Presidential historian, Timothy Naftali. And David Blight, American history professor at Yale University. Our time is short. I apologize. Guests went long. Tried to get in there. But here we are. So, Tim, I want to ask you about the president's curious comments on President Andrew Jackson and the Civil War. Here is what the president originally said.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn't have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. And he was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said there's no reason for this. People don't realize, you know, the Civil War...


TRUMP: If you think about it, why? People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?


LEMON: So we know the specifics.


LEMON: He died 16 years before the war even started. What do you think?

NAFTALI: What I do think about is rambling through history. I think that someone has argued to President Trump that he's like Andrew Jackson. He doesn't know very much about Andrew Jackson. And he mentioned Andrew Jackson in the middle of an interview. What's really interesting here is this is a reminder of how important it is for president to know a little history. Most of our presidents have studied history and they read it. They read biography.

LEMON: So what do you think he is getting this from? You are saying he is not...

NAFTALI: Maybe Bannon, I don't know. The fact of the matter is he did lead a populist movement. Andrew Jackson is noted for having lead a populist movement into the White House. I'll tell you one thing that's really interesting. Until Richard Nixon, Republicans didn't talk about Andrew Jackson. Andrew Jackson is a Democratic hero, he is not a Republican hero.

Richard Nixon starts that trend and it's Ronald Reagan who really talks about Andrew Jackson. So, what's interesting about this is Trump has embraced this man that for the most part presidents have not touched until the latter part of the 20th century.

[22:45:00] LEMON: David, why are you reacting the way you are?

DAVID BLIGHT, AMERICAN HISTORY PROFESSOR AT YALE UNIVERSITY: I think everything Tim says is right about Jackson. But to me, the important question about Trump's comments are not the substance of what he said about Jackson or said about the causes of the Civil War because it's mostly nonsense. The relevant question is is it dangerous when we have a president who doesn't have much historical knowledge?

If you are going to make history which presidents can do everyday, you should know some history first. All presidents will face major crisis, all kinds of crisis. But if they don't know anything about previous crisis, then how will they react? How will they know what to do?

LEMON: He double down tweeting this. He said President Andrew Jackson who died 16 years before the Civil War started saw it coming and was angry, would never let it happen. You said the president's comments are, you know, a little bit more specific here, are profoundly ignorant. And there are dangerous consequences. What are those consequences?

BLIGHT: Well, he didn't improve things with that late night response. Well, first of all, the idea that one strong man, president or otherwise could have somehow staved off the Civil War is historically absurd. All that really seems to represent is a belief in or an attraction to by President Trump to strong men political leaders in history or even today. The idea that somehow if Jackson had been there in the 1850s, good Lord, as Tim just pointed out, Andrew Jackson was a Democrat.

Andrew Jackson was a slave owner. Andrew Jackson would have thought the Republican Party which elected Lincoln was the biggest danger to the American union. There's no logic to how an Andrew Jackson could have staved off the Civil War had he even been alive. So we are really talking about essentially nonsense. The relevant problem is we have a president without historical knowledge.

NAFTALI: Here is what really worries me. We need him to negotiate. And in order to be a good negotiator, you have to know something. You have to know the details of the other person's position and your own position. You have to know your bottom line. You have to understand your national interests. You need details. When he talks like this about history, I get the sense that he doesn't retain anything.

That he talks without a basis for what he is saying. History aside, which David and I mentioned, it is very important. John F. Kennedy could not have managed the Cuban missile crisis without a sense of history. We also need a man who knows something so that when he negotiates with a foreign leader, he's not giving away the store.

LEMON: Let me get in here because we're almost out of time. Your fellow historian, Douglas Brinkley, I had him on last night. He described the president as having a confused mental state following his series of interviews. What do you think of that, David? Do you agree with that?

BLIGHT: Well, I don't know what his mental state is, but I do know that what we don't want to end up doing is somehow apologizing for or normalizing this kind of anti-historical approach. We don't want to normalize the idea that a good negotiator is just a strong man. A good negotiator is full of knowledge. And a president is going to face enumerable crisis.

And if he hasn't looked at other crisis before, that means he doesn't have a sense of history. And if you haven't looked at previous crisis, how will you know how to respond or react in future ones? What does President Trump actually know about Northern Asia if indeed he has to deal with a nuclear crisis with Korea?

What does he know about the history of that region? What does he know about the history of the Korean war for that matter? Is he somewhere or somehow getting some tutorials on this? One would hope.

LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it. When we come back, Jimmy Kimmel's emotional monologue about his newborn son's heart condition. Plus, Hillary Clinton speaking out about why she lost the election and what she thinks of President Trump.


LEMON: Breaking news to report. This is on health care, the health care bill. President Trump tonight called Congressman Billy Long, a Missouri Republican, who came out against the health care bill yesterday, a source with knowledge of the call told CNN. Long will go to the White House tomorrow to participate in negotiations on pre- existing conditions.

Congressman Long says and he and representative Fred Upton will meet with the president in the morning to negotiate a way to guarantee pre- existing conditions are covered. And we'll keep you posted. So let's discuss this more now.

Meanwhile, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel getting emotional on his show last night, revealing that his newborn son had emergency surgery for a life-threatening heart condition and making a plea on health care.


JIMMY KIMMEL, TELEVISION HOST, ABC: We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world. But until a few years ago, millions and millions of us had no access to any health insurance at all. You know, before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there is a good chance you wouldn't be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. You were born with a pre-existing condition.

If your parents didn't have medical insurance, you may not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition. If your baby is going to die and doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make. I think that's something now whether you're a Republican or Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right? I mean, we do.



LEMON: Joining me now is Virginia Sole-Smith, a freelance journalist who wrote for Slate about her daughter's heart condition and the millions of dollars in medical bills the family face. And Dr. David Hill, official spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics and he joins us via Skype. I'm so glad to have all of you here.

Virginia, just listening to that, you know, his voice cracking, talking about his newborn, your newborn had to endure this as well. Your daughter, Violet, also was born with a pre-existing heart condition. How do you feel about Jimmy's message?

VIRGINIA SOLE-SMITH, FREELANCE JOURNALIST, SLATE: I think what Jimmy said was wonderful. I think, you know, congenital heart disease happens in about 1 in 100 babies and yet

[22:55:00] most parents, you know, myself included, don't know what signs and symptoms to look for. You know, this is an issue that's not really discussed enough during pregnancy.

So to have him raising awareness about this and particularly at this time, and I especially give him credit because when you find out there's something wrong with your baby's heart, you are plunged into this alternate reality and it takes a long time to learn to live with that drama.

LEMON: Dr. Hill, the coverage for pre-existing conditions -- I mean, that's among the most popular parts of the original Obamacare law, the Affordable Care Act, as it was originally named. President Trump claims pre-existing coverage is in his bill and that he mandated it but the truth is that the states can opt out. So explain to us how this works.

DAVID HILL, OFFICIAL SPOKESMAN FOR THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: You bet. So before the Affordable Care Act, a child like Jimmy Kimmel's child, born with a congenital heart disease, could use up the entire lifetime limit for insurance coverage. Maybe in a week or two. I mean, these are the sorts of conditions that are not only treatable, but it's expensive to treat them. And you can go through hundreds of thousands of dollars in a matter of days or weeks.

So even somebody with the resources of Jimmy Kimmel could ultimately be bankrupted by a lifetime of care. What the limits used to say is, you know, you get $500,000, a million dollars and that's it from the time they are born until the time this plan no longer covers you. And, you know, for most people, that's great. But if you're one of those people for whom it's inadequate, then it's a quick path to bankruptcy.

LEMON: Virginia, let me put up. This is former President Obama's tweet. Essentially what he said is that -- what Jimmy Kimmel said, that's why they fought for the Affordable Care Act in the beginning. Do you think that what we heard from Jimmy Kimmel is going to impact this health care debate or should?

SOLE-SMITH: I hope so. I mean, you know, the fear of your child being denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, that's what keeps parents like Jimmy and I up at night. I mean, that is deep. We fight so hard to keep these babies alive in the first few years. To think that as their family help them to grow up and live a normal life, they may be denied coverage, is absolutely terrifying.

LEMON: Right. Thank you very much, Virginia. Thank you, Dr. Hill. I appreciate it.

HILL: You bet.

LEMON: We'll be right back.


LEMON: The Hillary Clinton interview in its entirety. This is "CNN Tonight." I'm Don Lemon. It's a former presidential candidate as you have never seen her before coming to terms with her stunning election defeat, blaming Russian meddling, James Comey, and herself for her lost to Donald Trump. She also points to misogyny as playing a role. And she says she is now,

[23:00:00} in her words, part of the resistance. It's an extraordinary sit down with CNN's Christiane Amanpour at the Women for Women event right here in New York City today.