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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
House Passes Bill To Dismantle Obamacare; Trump About To Speak On USS Intrepid; Trump Vows Premiums And Deductibles "Will Be Coming Down"; GOP Rep. Admits He Didn't Read Full Health Care Bill Before Voting. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired May 4, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT HOST: OutFront next, the breaking news. The president claiming victory on healthcare tonight but is the GOP bill headed for failure in the senate. Plus the FBI Jim Comey back on Capitol Hill today. What did he say about Trump associates and their links to Russia? And Trump heading to his golf club in New Jersey tonight right after appearing on intrepid right here in Manhattan, live this hour. Let's go OutFront.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight breaking news. President Trump claiming victory. His long-promised healthcare bill passing the house in a narrow vote and the president immediately capitalizing on the moment, busting republicans to the White House for a series of self-congratulatory speeches broadcast live from the Rose Garden. And the president made major promises to America.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, premiums will be coming down. Yes, deductibles will be coming down.
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BURNETT: Premiums down, deductibles down. Those are big promises. Those are words that will live on long past tonight and could make or break Trump's presidency. He also went on to make this pass.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We're going to get this passed through the senate. I feel so confident.
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BURNETT: Of course, without the senate voting, yes, today's victory will be very fleeting. Trump's healthcare push would be a massive failure in that case. And that's a big risk tonight. One leading republican on the chances that the bill survives as this said, "zero." And Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted, a bill finalized yesterday is not been scored, amendment not allowed and three hours of final debate should be viewed with caution. Another measure of bitterness over the bill tonight, school yard behavior from democrats, chanting to republicans that their yes votes will cost them their seats in the 2018 election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Chanting goodbye. And right now this is a live picture of the president about to appear this hour on the USS Intrepid. Trump arrived in New York a short time ago, returning to his hometown for the first time since inauguration. As you see him there getting off of Air Force One, protesters of course have been gathering across the street from the Intrepid in Manhattan. Jeff Zeleny is OutFront tonight at the Intrepid on the scene. And Jeff, obviously, this is a huge night for the president, his first trip back to New York on the heels of a victory lap in Washington this afternoon.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDNT: It is indeed, Erin. It's been about 107 days since he has been here in Manhattan. The longest stretch of time he's spent outside of the city in his entire life, if you can believe that. But he is coming back of course with that victory as he meets here this evening with the prime minister of Australia. But it's clear that he still has domestic politics on his mind. President trump savoring a victory tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bill is passed.
ZELENY: The first major legislative victory of his young presidency.
TRUMP: Make no mistake, this a repeal and replace of Obamacare. Make no mistake about it. Make no mistake. And I think most importantly, yes, premiums will be coming down, yes, deductibles will be coming down.
ZELENY: The president taking an impromptu victory lap in the Rose Garden surrounded by house republicans who narrowly pass the plan to remake America's healthcare system. A new air of confidence for the president and new promises to voters.
TRUMP: As far as I'm concerned, your premiums, they're going to start to come down. We're going to get this passed through the senate. I feel so confident.
ZELENY: Presidential promises on healthcare can be hard to keep. Just ask President Obama.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT ODF THE UNITED STATES: If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor under the reform proposals that we put forward. If you like your private health insurance plan, you can keep it.
ZELENY: Under his watch democrats lost control of the house and senate largely over healthcare. The healthcare debate now a mirror image from nearly eight years ago with republicans trying to make good on one of their biggest campaign ledges. The question ultimately facing voters, is Trumpcare better than Obamacare?
TRUMP: We suffered with Obamacare. And I went through two years of campaigning and I'm telling you, no matter where I went, people were suffering so badly with the ravages of Obamacare.
ZELENY: The president basking in the moment. Vindication from failing to pass the bill nor than a month earlier. He delayed a trip to New York for a few hours to meet with the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
TRUMP: How am I doing? Am I doing OK? I'm president. Hey, I'm president. Can you believe it, right? I don't know. It's - I thought you needed a little bit more time, they always told me. More time, but we didn't.
ZELENY: So it's clear that the president had a smile on his face, a bounce in his step there, but regardless of what happens with this healthcare bill, Erin, it is not a stretch to say the midterm elections of 2018 started right now. These promises he made in the Rose Garden, he's unsure if they'll be able to hold up to those or not but he is, you know, declaring victory in the Rose Garden. The first time I think I've ever seen have that type of a ceremony after a bill just passed one chamber of congress. Erin?
BURNETT: All right, Jeff. Thank you very much. And that's the big question just to make it clear. Yes. It's a big victory but if it doesn't pass the senate, it's dead and that's a big failure. So, Phil Mattingly is OutFront on Capitol Hill. And Phil, that is the big question of course for the president to be vindicated in what he did today with that big ceremony and big celebration, this must pass the senate. What will happen when it gets there?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's exactly right. There's no signing ceremony if we're only getting one-third of the way through the process. Look, it's a heavy lift, Erin, over in the senate. I say it's not because democratic opposition is there, it's there, and it's real but you only need 51 republicans to pass this vote - to pass this bill. Republicans hold 52 seats, however those same republicans have made very clear they are rewriting major portions, all of the central components of the house healthcare bill that was just sent over to their way. The Medicare expansion.
Senators making very clear, they want that to change. The structure of tax credits, that's going to change too. Erin, I think maybe most importantly, the agreement the deal that clinched the house bill, this MacArthur amendment, the provisions on that that allow states to opt out of two central Obamacare regulations. Those might not even be allowed in the senate. All of that could fall away, all of that could change and you still have a very, very difficult conference in the senate just amongst republicans trying to figure out the path forward.
So not only, Erin, do you have to worry about the senate where there's no clear path forward, then you have to worry about the house having to come back and vote on whatever the senate does. It's just -- it gets more complicated going forward clearly. Today, a very big win but just one step in a multi-step process that is really going to undo everything republicans fought so hard with one another over the course of the last weeks, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Phil Mattingly. And, you know, Phil mentioning the central aspect of the MacArthur amendment. OutFront now, Congressman Tom MacArthur, of course he votyed for the bull and his amendment is the major reason why it passed. And Congressman, I appreciate you're being with me tonight. Look, a lot of the credit for the bill passing goes to you. You're the one that came in and got this amendment, get the freedom caucus on board.
It gave states more ability to opt out of providing certain benefits and to have different premiums charged to people with pre-existing conditions. Are you worried that the senate is going throw that amendment out?
REP. TOM MACARTHUR, (Right?) VOTED "YES" ON HEALTHCARE BILL: Well, Hi. Good evening, Erin. I a focused first on getting the bill through the house and trying to fix what has been the essential problem here. The Obamacare marketplace is falling apart and if we don't fix it, then the millions of people that depend on it today will have nothing. We have 23 million people today that have no insurance. So, to me, it's just impossible to ignore the problem that's in front of us. The senate now is going to face the same questions that we faced. How do we keep our promise, protect the most vulnerable people and also bring the premiums down.
BURNETT: So let me ask you on that one crucial question because when you talk about protecting the most vulnerable, some of them of course, the people with pre-existing conditions, right? And my understanding is this amendment would allow, of course, they've got to be covered but it would allow insurers to charge them different premiums in which case definitionally many of them would not be able to afford coverage. So, is the reality not that under this bill with your amendment, some of the people, the most vulnerable among us will not be able to afford health insurance?
MACARTHUR: Well, I think you have to step back and realize that where we are today, markets are collapsing and people have less and less choices. Iowa announced today that 94 of their 99 counties have no choice, no choice. What do you do with pre-existing conditions then? The way I approach this, and I've -- and I've talked about this before publicly, but I have seen the effect of no insurance. I saw it in my own home when my mother died and my father had no insurance.
And it took him decades to pay off those bills. He didn't pay them off until I was in college. And I took that perspective with me every day. We have to provide an environment where people can afford insurance. And that's today's environment. Rates are skyrocketing. So, the only way that you can bring down premiums for some, for most, and care for people with pre-existing conditions is to cover the people with the - with the most serious medical needs in separate pools that are paid on the broader shoulders of the taxpayer, not by other policyholders. And that's basically what my amendment does.
BURNETT: So let me ask you because at the heart of this, right? The president said today in the Rose Garden in the celebration, you were all there, that premiums would come down and deductible would come down. And you're now saying the same thing but is that - is that true? Because again, it doesn't seem that it's going to be true for everybody. Just that's not how the math works, right? If you have a more open insurance market which is what you're creating, right? So, is he going to live to regret those words?
MACARTHUR: Well, I don't think so for this reason. If you consider why the premiums have skyrocket in over the last eight years, it's because of the structure that Obamacare created. What we said to the states was if you create a risk pool to help the very people, Erin, that you're talking about, people that have the worst situations, if you create that risk pool then we'll let you have this waiver. And what happens when people are covered in these risk pools and we - and we set aside $130 billion to help states do it, then they're taken care of and everyone else's premiums can come down then.
BURNETT: All right. So, obviously, you know, I mean, remember with Obamacare, right? CBO set up premiums would come down. Obviously we all know that they didn't, right? They went up an average of 24 percent. This is something of course that caused democrats to lose the house and senate. And they today were very quick to warn you and your colleagues that your votes could cost you your seat. The House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi went to the house floor and here's what she said.
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NANCY PELOSI, (D) MINTORITY LEADER: You have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead. You will glow in the dark on this one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And you heard democrats of course chanting goodbye on the floor, you were there, goodbye to your seats is what they meant. Are they right? Is that a risk you're willing to take?
MACARTHUR: I actually think it's a terribly inappropriate way to look at this. This is not a day for cheering or jeering in my mind. This is a day to realize we are facing a serious issue with healthcare in this country. And I for one will not allow myself to look at this through a political lens. Look, I represented swing district one of the few in this country. I'm certainly politically aware but this is much bigger issue than seats and politics. This is about people's lives and we have to do the right thing by them.
BURNETT: I hear what you're saying. I understand, you think you're doing that, people on the other side think you're doing the opposite and they're doing that. But the reality is is that the vote was not one single democrat voted for this. So did this did seem completely part to be partisan?
MACARTHUR: And that's unfortunate. To be honest I initially voted no when this whole process was set up. I was one of nine republicans to vote no back in January and that's the reasons I voted no. I thought it was a process that was being a bit rushed and I really didn't include democrats. But once the process went forward, everybody like me had a choice, are we going to be obstructionists or are we going to work to make this a better bill? And that's what I've chosen to focused on.
BURNETT: All right. Well, I very much appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
MACARTHUR: OK. Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, new details about FBI Director James Comey's testimony to congress, classified behind closed doors today. Details tonight OutFront. Plus the man who repeatedly slam Trump's character during the election. Why is he supporting him tonight? And Jeanne Moos on this politician who turned up it worked with a serious black eye. Why was Julia Louis Dreyfus to blame?
BURNETT: Breaking news. Donald Trump claiming the first major legislative victory of his presidency. The house passing a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. And right there on your screen, the president is there. That is the USS Intrepid in New York. He has just arrived there. He will be giving a speech tonight just moments after the house passed this healthcare bill. Trump promised that as good as the plan already is, it will get even better.
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TRUMP: This is a great plan. I actually think it will get even better and this is -- make no mistake, this is a repeal and a replace of Obamacare. Make no mistake about it. Make no mistake.
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BURNETT: So what exactly is in the plan? Jessica Schneider is OutFront front. And Jessica, this is the crucial question now. We are though this major legislative hurdle for the president, it goes to the senate. This could in some close form become the law of the land that affect every single person watching in this country. Insurers, they still can't deny people with pre-existing coverage under the plan but obviously there are big changes, right?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. There could be in fact big expensive changes for people with pre-existing condition, Erin. State in fact will now be able to get a waiver that would allow insurers to base premiums on medical history for those people who let their coverage laps. Those states will then have to setup high-risk polls. Now in addition, states could also seek waivers for many of the essential health benefits, including maternity, mental health, and substance abuse. Those were all benefits that were mandatory under Obamacare that might not now be included. Erin?
BURNETT: All right. So obviously, those could be big changes. There are some other aspects of Obamacare that are no more under the bill. You mentioned specifically, you know, the list of 10 things, including maternity that had to be covered. That obviously not in this bill. What else? SCHNEIDER: Yes. This bill also eliminates tax penalties for people
without health insurance. So, really, no more individual mandate and the companies with 50 employees or more, they no longer have to provide health insurance. In addition, tax credits will also be replacing Obamacare subsidies. That means there will be more subsidies based on your income and your premium cost, instead, the refundable tax credits will be based on age. And some of the credits will range for $2,000 for someone in their 20s to $4,000 for a person in their 60s, but interestingly, Erin, those tax credits, they'll be faced out the higher your income. Erin?
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jessica. So those are really crucial answers in there. Now, the former senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign, and senior economics analyst for us, Stephen Moore and president of the economic future group and democratic strategist Jonathan Tasini. So, Steve, you know, President Trump, it boil down to this and I - ahead at the very top of the program but I think this is going to be the most crucial thing, whether this is true or not. He made a promise to America today. Here is what it is.
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TRUMP: I think most importantly, yes, premiums will be coming down. Yes, deductibles will be coming down. But very importantly, it's a great plan and ultimately that's what it's all about.
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BURNETT: Premiums and deductibles coming down, Steve, is a big thing to say. OK?
STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Right.
BURNETT: Because that was what people were saying under Obamacare and they've gone up 24 percent, it cost the democrats to lose the house and the senate. These promises matter, is the president going to regret making this one?
MOORE: Maybe in the short term, Erin. It's going to be really difficult in the next year or two to get these escalating premiums down, you know, on a - on a sharp curb. It's going to take - in my opinion, a couple of years for you - before you see real improvements. I - look, in the medium and long term, yes. This is going to dramatically reduce premiums. They're not going to see, you know, 20, 25 percent premiums, and in some case a hundred percent premium increases. But it's going to take some time to get this new program in place. So, I wish he had just said, you know, after a couple years we're going to see improvement.
BURNETT: But Steve, just a - just a follow-up there quickly. You're talking about benchmark Obamacare plans which have seen the premiums surged 24 percent on average. But that was a bigger promise he made. Premiums for everybody had been rising at big companies and everywhere else. That promise to me, it was - it was an overarching blanket promise. MOORE: Lets me tell you one thing that is going to bring down costs.
I think fairly -- considerably, Erin and that is the -- a big elements of the republican bill is to allow people to buy insurance across state lines. I could never understand why democrats are against that idea. That instead of having, you know, one or two plans that you can choose from, you can have 50 or 100 plans. And just more competition as we know as economist brings prices down. So that's a big feature of the republican plan.
BURNETT: Jonathan, premiums, deductibles coming down.
JONATHAN TASINI, PRESIDENT, ECONOMIC FUTURE GROUP: Well, first thing I have to say that today the Republican Party guaranteed that many people will die and millions of people become sicker because of this plan. And I want go through tick off a few things. First of all, it's interesting to me, Erin, that they did not allow this plan to be scored by the CBO. And the reason they didn't want the CBO to score this and they wanted to shove it through without any hearings is because when you actually look at the cost and the hit to average of people, here's what you find, Medicaid cuts of $800 billion.
That's because republicans do not care about poor people and children. Medicare will be eviscerated or lose a lot more money and be a subject to a lot more cost because some of that money that was in the Obamacare came from higher taxes on the rich. This is one of the greatest transfers of money to the wealthy. This is in some way in concert with the tax cuts we're going to see. The republican mission is to rob the average American and give to the very wealthy, whether through eviscerating this health plan or through tax cuts. And that's the - that's the philosophy. Very clear.
MOORE: So, the big tax increases in the Obamacare bill where the big increases in business investment. And as you know, you cover this every day, Erin, I mean, we've got a huge slump in business investment in this country. So what the reason wages --
TASINI: But that's not true.
TASINI: Taxes were raised on people making over $200,000 a year in part to fund the protection of Medicare.
BURNETT: Jonathan, let Steve make his point then you can respond.
MOORE: I'm making the point that those tax increases really hurt the economy.
TASINI: Oh, that's rubbish. That's complete rubbish.
MOORE: And the seconds points is you never addressed my points about why in the world are democrats against more competition in healthcare plans. I mean, competition lowers cost.
RASINI: That's not true.
MOORE: And we saw that by the way with respect to Medicaid.
TASINI: That's not true.
MOORE: We have some experimental programs in Medicaid, Erin, where we have allowed states to have waivers so they -- we kept the amount they got but less regulations. And we found in states like Rhode Island --
BURNETT: It's an important point but I want Jonathan to give you a chance to responds to one other thing here that's really important. And I think we've got to take step back, right? Because now it's becoming the sort of Obamacare versus Trumpcare or Ryancare, whatever you want to calling it. The reality of this, Obamacare was broken, Jonathan. Premiums were surging. 22 percent from the average plan and it is getting out of Virginia this week that would leave one option for people in 2017 counties. Iowa, you could end up with no options. Right? Obamacare was not working. Would you acknowledge that?
TASINI: So let me - let me describe it in this way. There are three groups that we are talking about here. There's the republican plan which is about the free markets which is about killing people and making people more sick. There's the democrats --
TASINI: There's a democratic party which - the Democratic Party, Obamacare, which what it did very successfully was make sure that millions of people were covered who did not have coverage. It expanded Medicaid for the poorest and the weakest people. It made sure that you didn't have these pre-existing conditions. It did a lot of things but, Erin, and this is the important thing. When I defended Obamacare, I understood that it had flaws and the reason is because both republicans and democrats let the insurance company continue to suck us dry. The only solution is Medicare for all single payer healthcare. The same way --
MOORE: So -
TASINI: Excuse me, Steve. You had your time. The only way to solve this healthcare crisis is the way people do it all the way around the world. Australia, Europe have Medicare for all which operates two to three percent administrative cost. And don't let the insurance companies rob us and impoverish people. That is our crucial problem.
MOORE: Erin, I don't like insurance companies that much either. I - look, I -
TASINI: Let's embrace single payer. MOORE: No. But this a key point that this gentleman is making. I
mean, the democrats want a government-run health system. They always have. And they knew always -- they set up Obamacare knowing it wasn't going to work but that it would be a steppingstone to a government-run system. And so let's have that debate. The American people --
MOORE: -- want the government run our healthcare.
BURNETT: Thank you both (INAUDIBLE) on the healthcare discussion. I use the word the president likes to use. Next, live pictures from New York City. This is the USS Intrepid. The president is there about to appear live on the deck. Going to be speaking live tonight and then going to New Jersey and his golf club. We're going to tell you exactly what's going to happen when he gets there. And FBI Director James Comey, his testimony behind closed doors. What is he saying? The classified words about the Russia investigation.
[19:30:15] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news: a classified briefing. New confidential information has just been released to members of Congress regarding the Russia investigation. FBI Director James Comey just wrapping up a roughly two-hour classified hearing, publicly lawmakers calling it successful. Privately, though, there are questions.
Manu Raju is OUTFRONT.
And, Manu, what are you learning about the hearing?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, Erin, I can tell you that some members of the committee were not satisfied from what they heard in this private classified briefing, actually wanting to get more answers from James Comey about a lot of the questions that were raised in a public hearing before the House Intelligence Committee in March, when Comey announced that they were investigating, the FBI was looking into those Trump campaign contacts with Russian officials, but really did not reveal many more details than that.
Now, we are told from sources that the questions actually very similar to some of the questions that we had heard publicly, including whether from Republicans about those leaks that may have occurred of classified information and from Democrats asking for more information about those campaign contacts emerging from these briefings. Some of the members wanted to hear more from James Comey, but not everybody felt that way.
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, told Wolf Blitzer that there were questions asked, including about that Russian investigation and he felt that they were responsive to the request, Erin, but, of course, not everyone else feels this way, the House Intelligence Committee moving forward in its investigation, something that could take a long time, months and months to get answers to those questions -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Manu, thank you very much. And, obviously, it's significant that the House committee -- Intelligence Committee now is back on track. And you got the chairman and the top Democrat on the same page. Obviously, that's significant.
OUTFRONT now, Jason Miller, former senior communications advisor for the Trump campaign, and Juliette Kayyem, the former assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security.
Juliette, obviously, a two-hour meeting behind closed doors. This means the classified information. When we hear Director Comey, it's often no comment, no comment, no comment. He could answer questions today. How big of a deal is it?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think it's a big deal. I mean, one main purpose of this meeting today was to essentially to tell the United States that sort of the hot mess of Devin Nunes is over. I think the point of this was to show that the House Intel Committee hearing was moving forward.
I am not surprised that the members of the House Committee felt like they did not get enough from the FBI Director Comey. The reason why they won't get as much as they want, because this is an ongoing investigation. So, the fact that there was --
KAYYEM: -- some disagreement is not surprising to me.
BURNETT: Right, and, of course, they're always going to want everything and you can't get everything all at once.
I mean, Jason, Congressman Mike Conaway, Adam Schiff put a statement out after the meeting and it showed that they're making some real progress, right? They said, "We're currently sending out invitations for witnesses to testify and requests for pertinent documents."
Obviously, that's a significant statement. Does that sound to you that this investigation is now formally back on track?
JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think they're doing their due diligence, but I think it's also important to point out that, again, still, after eight months of supposedly Russian investigation and people looking into it, there still hasn't been one shred of evidence that's been put forward saying there's some sort of coordination between the campaign and some foreign entity.
I do hope, however, that one of these request letters goes out to Susan Rice who so far seems to be the only person who doesn't want to come in and testify voluntarily. And so, look, I think from the -- anyone involved in Trump world has nothing to hide and happy to come forward and speak. And I think at a certain point, we'll get done with this wild goose chase.
BURNETT: So, Juliette, let me ask you this point that Jason just brought about Susan Rice. So, the House Intelligence Committee, right, we now know, thanks in part to Director Comey today, they've got their list, they're sending out their full invitations. Susan Rice was asked, as part of the broader Russia investigation to testify, right, the former national security advisor for President Obama and she declined.
And the president tweeted about it this morning. He said, "Susan Rice, the former national security adviser to President Obama, is refusing to testify before Senate subcommittee next week on allegations of unmasking Trump transition officials. Not good."
Juliette, should Susan Rice testify?
KAYYEM: No, because it's not within the scope of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing and I find it odd that at the same time that people like Jason and Donald Trump are saying these investigations are going on too long and there's no proof of collusion. The question is, did the Russians impact our election?
Any good American should want our intelligence committees to find out, yes, so that they don't impact future elections. Susan Rice was invited, as we all know now under pretenses that suggested this was a committee invite. It was not. It was one senator's invite.
[19:35:00] And then, therefore, she declined.
KAYYEM: It seems to me, if a Republican were invited under false pretenses, if the Democrats were in the majority, they would probably do the same.
BURNETT: So, Juliette, let me just be clear here, the senator that invited her was Lindsey Graham. Cory Booker, obviously, on foreign relations, came on last night on this program, Democratic senator, and he told me, "I wish she would come and testify. Lindsey Graham is a straight shooter." So --
KAYYEM: Well, I think -- I think -- I think we have a political problem more than a substantive problem at this stage. I mean, in other words, because she is now a focus of Trump, I understand why Cory Booker would want her testify. But the idea that she would know something -- what I want to make clear to the viewers is, for 40 years, administrations have had rules regarding contacts between the national security staff or any staff, and an ongoing investigation.
And so, because there was an ongoing investigation and there was during the Obama administration, the idea that Susan Rice knows something about this, there's actually no proof of it. And so, that -- the idea that -- I understand the politics of wanting her to sort of testify. But in terms of substance, she's standing on very solid ground.
BURNETT: But, Jason, why wouldn't she just come out and if there really is nothing, if she did nothing wrong, she may be requested a name, she didn't leak it, then why wouldn't she come out and say so? MILLER: Well, I think with regard to Ms. Rice, I think the answer is
probably because her testimony would be chockfull of her taking the Fifth, and I think she doesn't wants that big PR nightmare. And so, look, I think it's pretty clear why she wouldn't want to come in.
But, look, at a certain point here, they do need to get through this, so we can move on. The president had a huge win today with health care. I think this is really what most Americans want to see health care reform, and tax reform, and get in to infrastructure. And, again, it's been eight months into this and not one shred of evidence. So, I think it's about time we put this behind us.
BURNETT: Put this behind us, Juliette, finally?
KAYYEM: Except the only evidence is that -- well, the evidence is that the Russians had influence and impact on the election. Jason, I'll agree with you, we're not at collusion yet. And the most effective thing that the House and Senate Intelligence Committees can do is determine how they did it so it doesn't happen again. I think Americans can also be united on that, even if we don't get to collusion.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks --
MILLER: But, Juliette, the final important I'd just say, is that, that we haven't gotten to collusion yet. I think that's the problem with too many in the media right now is that they think they want to --
KAYYEM: That's fair.
MILLER: -- get to an answer if there was collusion. And, look, if there was wrongdoing, then obviously, we need to find out. But the fact is, after eight months, there's absolutely nothing. I think it's really hurting us when too many people are trying to get to that final answer.
BURNETT: Of course, we haven't had the testimony and we're just starting the classified testimony. So, all of that is just beginning.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. I appreciate your time tonight.
And next, he called Donald Trump an awful candidate with serious moral problems. But now, evangelical leader Russell Moore is changing his tune and he's my guest OUTFRONT next.
And you're looking right now at the USS Intrepid. Live pictures of that ship here in New York. Trump expected to speak live there on deck any moment.
Plus, what do goats have to do with a tax break Trump is getting on his New Jersey golf club?
[19:41:57] BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump's new executive order on religious freedom under fire. Even some evangelical leaders are objecting. Basically the order calls for the IRS to ease up on restrictions that currently prohibit tax-exempt religious organizations for getting more political and getting involved explicitly in political campaigns.
OUTFRONT now, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Russell, good to have you back on the show. It's nice to see you. There has been a lot of mixed reaction to this executive order. Evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats today tweeted "This E.O.," executive order, "appears to be symbolic and a skeleton for religious liberty."
What do you think of it?
RUSSELL MOORE, PRESIDENT, SOUTHERN BAPTIST ETHICS & RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION: Well, I do think it's more symbolic than substantive. But symbols matter. And that's especially true after the past eight years where we've had to deal with hostility in terms of religious freedom from the White House in ways we never expected, I mean, to the point of nuns being coerced into paying for contraceptive drugs and devices.
And so the very fact that religious freedom is part of the conversation and religious freedom is being affirmed, I think, is a step in the right direction.
Now, obviously, if this is the end of the story, I'm really disappointed. But I think we ought to hold out the hope that this is just a beginning and that there are more steps to be made. And, frankly, the protections of religious freedom we need can't be made ultimately by executive order, anyway.
The Congress needs to step up and do its job and protect religious freedom for everyone.
BURNETT: All right. You were critical, of course, Russell, during the campaign of President Trump. Here's what you told me last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: This is someone who as recently as yesterday has said that he has nothing to seek forgiveness for, someone who has been involved in the casino gambling industry for all of his life, someone who has been using racially-charged rhetoric. I do want someone who has personal character.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: You were unafraid to say what you think. Have you changed your mind?
MOORE: No. I am the sort of person who's always going to tell any politician what I think, for good and for ill. And so I think we need to commend that which is commendable and rebuke that which is rebukable.
But in terms of political leadership, we have a president now. And so all of us, wherever we stand, need to be praying for the president to succeed in every good thing. And so right now we really don't need cheerleaders or rock-throwers.
We need Americans and especially Christians to be praying for wisdom and honor and discernment coming from the White House, and to be willing to be critical where we need to be critical, but to be hopeful and supportive where we can. So I'm not --
BURNETT: So, actually -- yes.
MOORE: I'm not a hundred percent for anybody but Jesus. And I'm a hundred percent opposed to anybody but the devil. Everybody else, I'm going to support where we can and critique where we have to.
BURNETT: So but it sounds like what you're saying is he's the president and so you want to give that due respect and celebrate what you want to celebrate and criticize what you want to criticize.
[19:45:00] But in terms of what you said, I want someone who has personal character. Obviously, what you were saying is Donald Trump does not. You haven't changed your mind on something like that?
MOORE: Well, no. But I think we have a president now and we need to make sure that we're hoping for him to succeed and to -- and the people who are critical ought to be hoping that they're surprised, and the people who are supportive ought to be hoping that they're vindicated.
And so, I mean, 2016 was a very difficult year for a lot of people. But we're in 2017 right now. And we don't have the luxury of sitting around and critiquing everything. We right now have to be the people who are saying --
BURNETT: So it's almost like character is --
MOORE: -- we in this country really need to move forward.
BURNETT: Character is almost beside the point.
Let me ask you one other thing. Evangelist Franklin Graham, I'm sorry, tweeted today something that I wanted to get your reaction (INAUDIBLE), Russell. He said, "I thank God that we have a POTUS who seeks the counsel of men and women of God."
Do you believe at this time that the president is a man of God?
MOORE: I don't think that that's matters right now. I think that what matters right now is that the president acts as president of the United States. If I were having a spiritual conversation with the president, it would be a different sort of conversation, the same way I would with anyone that I'm sitting down with.
But what I hope for right now is that the president discharges his responsibilities effectively as president, the same way I did with President Obama. And so although I was very concerned about President Obama in terms of policy, I was hopeful and ready to pray for him and to support him where I could.
With President Trump talking about religious freedom and putting religious freedom on the table, and at least signaling we're not going to have the kind of hostility that we've had over the past eight years, that's a good first step. And I think we ought to hope for more.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Russell, I appreciate it. Thanks for being with me.
MOORE: Thanks for having me.
BURNETT: Next, Donald Trump about to speak live in New York City, on board the USS Intrepid right there, up on that deck, with all of those airplanes arrayed. It is his first time to New York City since becoming president.
And then, how a Seinfeld star just sent a politician to the hospital. Jeanne Moos with the story.
[19:51:05] BURNETT: Breaking news. You're looking at live pictures on board the USS Intrepid. The president is about to speak there momentarily. We're monitoring that for you, the moment he starts.
Later tonight, he'll head to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. It's going to be his first weekend here and some residents are a little concerned.
Brynn Gingras is OUTFRONT.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tucked away in the country hills of Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump National Golf Club.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This has been a very special place right from day one.
GINGRAS: The 500-acre property has been a retreat for the Trump family since 2004, the location of Ivanka and Jared Kushner's wedding and what's expected to be the weekend White House for the president this summer.
The Secret Service spotted on the air and on the ground, a dramatic change for this sleepy town that has just 16 police officers. MAYOR STEVE PARKER (R), BEDMINSTER, NEW JERSEY: I think we're well-
prepared talking to people around town. They're kind of anxious and a little excited and a little wary, too, because we don't know what it's going to be, but we're taking a wait and see.
GINGRAS: Donald Trump's favorite meal at his go-to pizza joint.
ELISA PANNIA, BEDMINSTER PIZZA: He wants meatball and no cheese.
GINGRAS (on camera): How often does he come out?
PANNIA: He would come out a couple times a year in summer when he comes out and plays golf. He would come out. He will drive himself, come out, like a normal person.
GINGRAS (voice-over): But there's nothing normal about a presidential visit. This winter, the locals here got a test of what's coming when then-president-elect Trump interviewed cabinet members. But the costs surrounding his visits, that's the concerned for some of the town's 8,200 residents.
Mayor Steven Parker is asking Congress for $300,000 for the estimated expenses to protect Trump.
PARKER: We came up with a guess of about seven visits and thought it could cost as much as $300,000. Break that down, $40,000, $42,000 a visit. $42,000 is a half a percent on our budget.
GINGRAS: And some residents here not quick to forget this. A small herd of goats that roamed the Bedminster golf course helping Trump qualify for farmland tax break and get out of paying thousands of taxes.
Anne Choi, a business owner herself, moved here two years ago from a home near Camp David. This home is just a mile down the road from the golf course entrance.
ANNE CHOI, BEDMINSTER RESIDENT: The president has Secret Service agents or traffic, reporters, not that that's always a bad thing, but it's certainly not what we were looking for when we moved out here.
GINGRAS: Choi didn't vote for Trump. He lost this county in the 2016 election, but won the town of Bedminster by just eight votes. She plans to protest his visit simply by placing this sign on her front yard.
CHOI: It would be great if stayed in the White House where the president should be rather than going on weekend jaunts to his properties.
GINGRAS: And to give you more of an idea of how much Trump loves Bedminster, he once said he wanted to make it his final resting place. So, he drew up plans to convert some of his property into a cemetery. Just last year the town approved his plan and that cemetery will have 250 grave sites -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Brynn. Very interesting.
And next, a TV show that's a knockout, literally. Jeanne Moos, the one and only, has the story.
[19:57:43] BURNETT: And right now, you're looking at the stage on board the USS Intrepid, part of the Intrepid Museum on the ship, the aircraft carrier on the Hudson River here in New York.
President Trump is going to be speaking there in just a couple of moments. Here he is moments ago with the prime minister of Australia.
Sorry. There's no audio. I thought there was. As soon as we get that audio, you will hear it.
The president just moments as I said, appearing with the prime minister of Australia in a meeting before heading over to the USS Intrepid. He briefly discussed health care, which we're going to play for you. But what he said was the healthcare bill that just passed the House today could change a little bit when it gets through the Senate, which, of course, may be definitional but an important acknowledgement from the president who has put all of his political capital behind this.
He showed up late to this meeting by several hours with the prime minister of Australia to finish that vote process, to have all of the GOP from Congress come over to the Rose Garden for a celebration and series of speeches and then obviously leaving for New York late the first time in 107 days that he has actually been here in New York, as we pointed out the longest time in his entire life that he has actually not been in New York City.
Here tonight, a meeting with the prime minister of Australia, acknowledging that that healthcare bill could change. He's going to be speaking moments from now at the USS Intrepid and then he is going later tonight after that to one of his properties, not Mar-a-Lago, to Bedminster actually in northern New Jersey, where he is going to spend a long weekend. We don't yet know his full -- his full --
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
We're live from Washington for a second night where the cheers and jeer echo through the Capitol Hill today after the House passed the bill to replace Obamacare. Now, we do have a lot to get to tonight. The political matters, yes, but the practical as well, what's actually in this bill, what it could mean for average Americans, and what we still do not know about it.
For all the victory laps from the president and House Republicans today, this is not the end of the Trumpcare debate. It is only the beginning. The bill faces a number of big challenges going forward, including, of course, the Senate. Now, tonight, the president is back in New York for the first time
since he took office. He's at the Intrepid Museum with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.