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Trump: Obama Knew About Russia Hack, "Did Nothing"; "USS Fitzgerald" Collision Not Reported Until Almost 1 Hour Later; Senate Health Care Bill Losing Support; Hillary Clinton: GOP is "Death Party" If Bill Passes; Trump & Putin May Meet at G-20 Talks; Bill Clinton to Address Conference of Mayors; Cosby to Hold Town Halls on Avoiding Sexual Assault Charges as Jurors Give Mixed Stories. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired June 24, 2017 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:53] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now in the NEWSROOM --
SANCHEZ: CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
Hey, there. I'm Boris Sanchez. Fredricka Whitfield has the day off.
We thank you so much for joining us on this CNN NEWSROOM as we take a look at live pictures from Miami Beach where former President Bill Clinton is set to address mayors from across the country who have gathered for their annual conference. We'll bring you those remarks live as soon as he takes the podium.
First, he has called Russia's interference in the 2016 election a hoax and a scam, but now President Trump is responding to a report from "The Washington Post" that claims President Obama knew Vladimir Putin was directly involved in Russia's meddling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In other words, the question is, if he had the information, why didn't he do something about it? He should have done something about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: "The Post" also details how the Obama White House decided to strike back against Russia's meddling using sanctions and expulsions, even though some former White House officials admit to "The Washington Post" that those sanctions were largely symbolic.
CNN White House correspondent, Athena Jones, joins me now.
Athena, just this week, the president was calling the claims of Russian meddling a hoax. Did he just contradict himself? Is he acknowledging that the hack happened? ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Boris. He certainly
seems to be contradicting himself. The president has been calling this story about Russian meddling in the 2016 election a hoax, a phony story, various other pejorative terms. But in this tweet put out last night, he seems to acknowledge that it did ham and is now putting the blame on former President Barack Obama. Here's what he said, "Just out: the Obama administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. Why?"
Now he seems to be embracing the fact this is true that Russia did meddle and now putting the blame on Obama.
I should tell you, though, it isn't as though the Obama administration did nothing. Then-CIA Director John Brennan gave a warning to Russian intelligence in august. In September, the president himself spoke with Vladimir Putin about this on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in China. In October, we saw the initial statement put out by the government pointing to Russian activities in this election. And Susan Rice, then national security adviser, handled a note to Ambassador Kislyak, Sergey Kislyak, of Russia, to give to Putin. Of course, after the election, there were the sanction, the expulsion of diplomats and the closing of those compounds. It isn't as though the Obama administration did nothing, but critics say they didn't act strongly or swiftly or publicly enough -- Boris?
SANCHEZ: Athena, we have to ask, it's the second time this week that Trump has seemingly given some insight into the Russia collusion and perhaps obstruction investigation on Twitter. Earlier this week, he confirmed that he didn't record his conversations with FBI Director James Comey. What can you tell us about that?
JONES: It came a day before the deadline set by the House Intelligence Committee to hand over any tapes if they exist. The president said he does not have and did not make any recordings.
Well, Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was not satisfied by that tweet. We know the White House has called those tweets presidential statements, but Schiff wanted a broader response in writing that didn't just refer to the president himself but the broader White House, since the president is only speaking for himself. That is not what Schiff got. In a letter sent to the committee, this is what the White House said: "In response to the committee's inquiry, we refer you to the president's tweet, President Trump's June 22, 2017, statement" -- the tweet, regarding this matter, and then they quote the tweet verbatim -- "With all the recently reported electronics, intercepts, unmasking, and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are tapes of conversations with James Comey, but I did not make or have any such recordings."
That is what the White House wrote in that letter. Hard to imagine Congressman Schiff will be satisfied by that response.
[13:05:44] SANCHEZ: The president leaving the door open, Athena, for the possibility that someone else may have recorded their conversations. Athena Jones, at the White House, thank you.
Let's discuss more about this revealing "Washington Post" with our panel.
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden gave insight into how he believes the Obama administration and Washington, as a whole, could have better handled the investigation from the start. I want the panel to listen first before we bring them in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL HAYDEN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: The saddest chapter in that long narrative yesterday was when the administration sent the experts up to the Hill to brief the senior leadership of American Congress seeking some sort of bipartisan statement with regard to this, and they couldn't get it. The Republicans, particularly, backed away, speculating here, because they felt joining that kind of consensus might have hurt their candidate's chances. I don't know. But coming out of that meeting, you now have the administration pulling back, not being as forceful as I've suggested they should have been, again, to avoid the appearances that they were partisan and they were trying to rig the election. This was not our finest hour.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Not our finest hour.
Now we get to bring in the panel to expand the conversation. CNN political analyst, Julian Zelizer, historian and professor at Princeton University; and CNN contributor, Salena Zito, reporter for "The Washington Examiner"; and CNN law enforcement analyst, James Gagliano, a retired FBI supervisor special agent.
Julian, let's start with you. Your reaction to Hayden's analysis?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think many people agree, this was not the finest hour for President Obama. My guess is former President Obama would agree with that. The article is kind of stunning. It reveals with great clarity the concerns that were in the White House. In the end, the administration hesitated towards moving with some of the toughest responses because of the potential political implications, also because they couldn't receive much support from Republicans on Capitol Hill. In the history books, I think people will look back on this a critical moment when the administration did not act forcefully enough.
SANCHEZ: Salena, do you agree this is a stain on President Obama's legacy?
SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It is certainly a mark on his presidency. It's like an HBO movie where you see all these people not agreeing and ultimately not making a decision based on image and the political impact it may or may not have. Hopefully, we learn from this, especially the lack of communication between our intelligence organizations. That still seems to be a problem. And to the level of trust among all of them within the White House and within the leadership of Congress, you see this measure of distrust that is now trickling down within the country. And I think that's something that we really need to work on and learn from.
SANCHEZ: James, I want to read you something that an Obama administration official involved in crafting response to the Russian hacking told "The Washington Post." he said, quote, "It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend. I feel like we sort of choked." with the way we've seen things unfold in the past year."
James, did the Obama administration choke?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Boris, I have to say, I'm impressed with that because you don't get a lot of honesty like that and clarity from former administration officials. They want to remain loyal to their former boss.
Look, I've been highly critical of the Obama administration for the events that led up to the FBI director's unprecedented need to step forward on July 5th and make that statement, which basically was the catalyst to bring us to where we are right now with all the recusals and the collusion assertions. I've been very critical. But I think this is unfair. It's almost disingenuous argument and it smacks of sophistry, because every administration understands that it is highly impactful on our democracy for the current incoming president to have his finger on the scales by making any type of statements that'll sway the electorate one way or the other. I believe President Obama was being fair here. I believe he was concerned about it. I believe he knew that sanctions were the appropriate course to go. But I think he felt concerned that any kind of over-gesture from the administration currently in office was going to have folks on the other side looking at it and saying he was attempting to influence the election.
[13:10:31] SANCHEZ: Sure.
Julian, I want you to listen to how one of the writers of the piece described a bombshell moment. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM ENTOUS, REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: It's very rare for the CIA despite a popular perception that they are -- that they have information on everything, it's very hard for them to get Putin himself, him providing an instruction. That is as close to a bombshell internal coup, if you will, for an intelligence service and for the CIA as ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: This is a direct indication that Vladimir Putin ordered this meddling in the U.S. election last year. How does President Trump now move forward when he's supposed to be meeting Vladimir Putin in just a couple weeks at the G-20 talks?
ZELIZER: Well, I find it difficult to see how the president can ignore what we've learned. I mean, the story is not simply about what did President Obama, former President Obama, do wrong or not do wrong. It's about this intervention into our democratic system, which was directly connected to Putin. And so at this point, when those efforts are continuing, according to everything we know for future elections, I think President Trump can't simply ignore this and has to come back to the same kinds of questions that President Obama was facing at the end of his term.
SANCHEZ: And, Salena, it's very interesting, perhaps the most important person in all of this, especially how we move forward, is kind of murky as to whether or not Russia actually interfered in the election. The president on Twitter just two days ago writes, "Why did the Democratic National Committee turn down the DHS offer to protect against hacks long prior to the election!" it's all a big Democratic hoax." He also tweeted, "It's all a big Democratic scam and an excuse for losing the election."
Does consistency matter at all here? He's just sending mixed messages on this. Do you think he has to come out and clarify his belief and how we move forward from this to prevent it from happening again?
ZITO: Well, here's the problem. This thing from the very beginning has been very complicate, at least from his point of view. And from the point of view of a lot of his supporters. So when he first won the election there was all sorts of talk about he didn't win the popular vote, he's not legitimate because he didn't win all of America. Then it started to get overlaid with more and more things about Russia. And I think for the administration and for the president and for a lot of his supporters, they have felt that both of those moments have sort of collided and not given -- the president hasn't allowed that to give him the oxygen to say the things that he should say, right? He should be saying, look, what Russia did was wrong and they are not going to do it again. We're going to take care of that. Having said that, their impact, I won this presidency legitimately without collusion and, you know, that's the end of that discussion as well. I think he need to make two clarifying statements, and he doesn't. What he does is say, one day, and a different thing the dire so his message becomes clouded and it isn't as clear I suspect as not only he wants to get across but also that his voters want to hear from him.
SANCHEZ: Now, James, to you, the big question here is, how do we deter Russia from doing this? President Obama enacting some economic sanctions against Russian intelligence agencies, kicking out those 30- odd diplomats from Russia, closing down those two compounds, one of them which may be opened again, have we done enough already to deter Russia from doing this again? And if not, what should we be doing?
GAGLIANO: Well, Boris, first of all, we have to understand as the former FBI director pointed out a number of months ago at a cyber conference, Russia's not the only bad state actor that does this. We deal with this from the federal end with China, with Iran, with North Korea. Those are state sponsors of these types of operations to try to get into our democratic processes. And if they can't affect the actual vote tally itself, at least sow enough dissent and confusion and cause folks to have less than confidence in the system that we have here.
The other piece of that is, it's not just state sponsors for this. You have a number of hackers out there that want to do the same thing. How can we do this? How can we prevent that from happening? Well, it's impossible. We live in a free and open society. We want to be able to get 21st century technology, speak to somebody in real time, or get a thought out in real time, it's impossible to do that. You've got spearfishing operations that are employed here and was the case with the Democratic National Committee, and it would be the same if it was the RNC. There is a resistance from victims of these hacks to cooperate.
And, listen, I'm not casting aspersions on any person or entity. But in 25 years in the FBI, and in the last five or six years where the FBI's cyber division got involved in this at a high level, most victims of these types of intrusions are concerned with law enforcement taking a look at their databases. It's a problem. I don't know how we get past that. People are concerned about losing some of their intellectual property or having things leaked or maybe concerned about the language they use in their own private conversations, but it's definitely something we need to look at and figure out a response to.
[13:16:09] SANCHEZ: Some fascinating insight, especially considering the DNC ultimately went to CrowdStrike, a private cyber security firm, to handle the hacking.
We are out of time. James Gagliano, Salena Zito, Julian Zelizer, thanks for joining this Saturday.
ZELIZER: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Still ahead, former presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, is calling the GOP a death party if their health care bill passes. Will her husband say the same thing? We're keeping an eye on an event in Miami Beach where the former president is set to speak at any moment. Stay with us. We'll bring that event live when it happens.
[13:20:47] SANCHEZ: It's been one week since the "USS Fitzgerald" collided with a Japanese cargo ship killing seven American sailors. Many questions remain, including why the crew didn't see the other vessel coming.
Pentagon reporter, Ryan Browne, joins us.
Ryan, what have you learned from the investigation?
RYAN BROWNE, CNN PENTAGTON CORRSEPODNENT: Boris, there are several investigations going on right now, one conducted by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as Japanese authorities. Again, Navy officials are stressing this is all preliminary, but a picture is beginning to emerge as to exactly what happened. It looks like the cargo ship struck the "Fitzgerald" on its starboard side directly in the berthing area, which is kind of where the sailors were bedded down. That's what likely led to at least five of the sailors being incapacitated almost instantly upon that collision.
It was also where the communications node on the ship was based, so disrupting the communications which prevented the sailors aboard the "Fitzgerald" from immediately kind of radioing in for support. They had to rely on satellite cell phones to actually call that in, so there was a bit of a delay in terms of when to kind of headquarters was notified of the collision.
Of course, the cargo ship that struck the "Fitzgerald" itself wasn't aware of what had happened until sometime later, radioing that in about an hour later. So there were definitely some issues.
Again, one thing they're reviewing is radar data from the aegis weapons system aboard the "Fitzgerald," very sophisticated, looking through that to understand how that cargo ship was not detected prior to that collision. Similarly, officials are looking at the radar data aboard the cargo ship to see what happened there. Was it on auto pilot, was there someone manning the bridge?
So, again, everything very preliminary. The investigators are going to take their time but definitely a lot to look at here.
SANCHEZ: All right. Ryan Browne, reporting from Washington, D.C. Thank you.
BROWNE: You bet.
SANCHEZ: Ahead, more Republican Senators are lining up against their party's newest health care bill. Is this a bad sign for the president and his campaign promises or can Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, round up some needed votes? We'll discuss that and lay out the sticking points in the bill, next.
[13:27:05] SANCHEZ: A fifth GOP lawmaker has come out against the Republican health care plan. Senator Dean Heller is the latest to oppose the health care bill in its current form. There's five on the left opposed. Three other Senate Republicans on the right have expressed some concerns and say they will spend the weekend looking it over. But since majority leader, Mitch McConnell, can only lose two members of his 52-Senator caucus, the math may prove challenging. President Trump recognizes that but says he's confident it is going to pass. His one and only tweet today focusing on health care. He wrote this morning, quote, "Democrats slam GOP health care proposal as Obamacare premiums and deductibles increase by over 100 percent. Remember, keep your doctor, keep your plan?"
I'm joined by CNN congressional reporter, Lauren Fox. She is in Washington.
Lauren, what everyone wants to know is ultimately what does this mean for me? So for starters, in this GOP plan, what happens to Medicaid?
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: So if you remember, under the Affordable Care Act, states were given the opportunity to expand Medicaid. And remember that the House bill cut off that Medicaid expansion. That means the federal money that was flowing to states in 2020. The Senate bill gives states a little more time to phase out their Medicaid expansion program, but still over time it would slow the growth of Medicaid and eventually give states less money to have -- to protect those individuals who are lower income in their states.
SANCHEZ: Now, we know five GOP Senators are opposed to the bill in its current form. Three others still reviewing it and have concerns. Ultimately, how do they find common ground?
FOX: Well, this is Mitch McConnell's biggest problem. This is one of the toughest climbs over the next five days, and is going to be interesting to watch. The moderates and the Republicans want two very separate things. Moderates want to make sure that Medicaid has more money in it. They also want to make sure that opioid treatment has more money, so that those who are addicted have treatment options to look forward to. Conservatives, on the other hand, they want a fuller repeal of the Affordable Care Act. They want to make sure that more Obamacare-era regulations are repealed. And they also want to make sure that there is a rollback of Medicaid funding. They want to make that program smaller over time. So obviously, two major differences here.
SANCHEZ: Quite a gap to bridge.
Lauren Fox, thank you for your reporting.
Now, Democrats say the Senate version is even meaner than the House's version of a repeal and replacement of Obamacare. Hillary Clinton tweeting this out, quote, "Forget death panels, if Republicans pass this bill, they are the death party."
Let's talk more about this bill and more with Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown.
Senator, thanks for joining us.
[13:30:00] A lot of critics have argued that this repeal and replacement bill was crafted in secret. It was finally leased Thursday. I want to get your initial thoughts after taking a look at it.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D), OHIO: Sure. Thank you, Boris.
The fact is this was done in secret. It was done with very few Senators in the room. I've heard lots of Republican Senators complain about that. Add to that the fact there were drug company lobbyists and insurance company lobbyists and medical device company lobbyists in the room writing this bill and you end up with a bill, one, we talked about opioid treatment, a few moments ago, this takes away the number-one tool for states to deal with this terrible epidemic. To my state alone, 200,000 people right now, 200,000 people are getting opioid treatment because they have insurance from the Affordable Care Act. And if this bill passes and anything close to the form it's in, it will pull that treatment away from them. And where do they go? What happens to these families that have already been turned upside down because of the addiction in their family and this just maybes it worse.
SANCHEZ: You actually wrote part of that in a statement you released, "This bill takes away the number one tool we have in the fight against opioids, Medicaid treatment. We cannot allow Washington to rip the rug out from under Ohio communities."
I should point out your Republican counterpart in Ohio, Rob Portman, also said he cannot support a bill that does not contain opioid funding.
This problem has grown exponentially over the last decade. There is no doubt this is a crisis. I believe this year alone more Americans are going to die from opioid overdoses than Americans that were killed in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan combined. Why is that? What more could have been done to prevent us from getting here?
BROWN: Well, that's a much more complicated question. There's no question that our society department see this coming to the degree it has. It's in part -- there's a whole host of reasons. One is levels of unemployment and hopelessness in lots of communities. We've seen it hit the hardest mostly where the unemployment levels are hardest and wages have been stagnant. We saw too many case where is doctors and pharmacists would prescribe too many of these. And people were pharmacy shopping and doctor shopping. We saw the drug companies peddle these without -- not always honest about how addictive some of these substances were. There's a whole host of reasons. But the last thing we should do is a bunch of elected officials who have insurance themselves voting to pull insurance away from these 200,000 people in my state. Many of them have jobs. They just have jobs without insurance. They're $8, $10, $12 an hour, don't have insurance, have nowhere to go except to get this treatment, the counseling, the medication-assisted therapy, all of that. I ask people to come to my website, sherrodbrown.com, sign up to preserve our health care. This is just unbelievable to me that this many politicians who have health insurance provided by taxpayers would take it away from so many others.
SANCHEZ: Senator, the argument from the other side is that this is ultimately a law enforcement problem, not a health issue, and the belief of many of your political opponents is that this is for lack of a better phrase a personal problem. How do you convince them and taxpayers that they should pay to help people that are abusing drugs?
BROWN: Well, first of all, the law enforcement people I talk to say -- I was with the head of the fraternal Order of Police in Cincinnati. I watched a hearing that Senator Portman and Senator carper di did -- I believe it was Senator Carp we are Senator Portman where a police chief from Cincinnati was in the corner and Cleveland was testifying. They all said you can't take Medicaid away. It's the only chance to help people. Our society, this is too widespread to point fingers and say, well, somebody lacks character or somebody else is weak. This is a public health issue. We've never seen anything like it. There are 200,000 people, as I said, right now in Ohio getting opioid treatment, getting medication-assisted therapy, getting counseling, getting prevention and other kind of help. It happens to people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. It happens to people, younger people more, but people of all ages. And for this Congress to turn its back on this public health crisis is damn near criminal.
SANCHEZ: Now, sir, Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, is trying to get this vote done before the July 4th recess. Do you think he first off makes the vote happen and do you think he gets the votes?
BROWN: I have no idea. I know that Senator McConnell is enlisting his drug company lobbyists, insurance lobbyists, the people that helped write the bill. I know he's getting them to put pressure on members of Congress. And I know -- you keep in mind, McConnell did this in secret. The reason he did it in secret in these back rooms, back in his office with these lobbyists was he knows the more light that shines on this bill, the more sunshine in the room and people understand what's in it, the public understands what's in it, when Congress actually has a chance to read it, if we have enough time to do that and debate it and have hearings, the more people that won't like it. That's why he's trying to jam this so quickly. We've never seen anything like this when any important issue like this where there's no hearings, there's little debate, lobbyists wrote in the back room, almost no Senators and no Democrats were involved and only a very small handful of Republicans. Even Republicans that were advertised as being in this group of 12 or 13, some of them told me they didn't have any real input and they didn't really know what it was. Because it was written by drug lobbyists and insurance companies and people who will get tax breaks. Don't forget, this is a bill that's got an $800 billion tax cut in it, mostly for the wealthiest people in the country and those interest groups. For instance, the 400 richest families in this country will get a $7 million each tax cut. At the same time, they're taking insurance away from people making $12 and $15 an hour that are struggling, but don't have insurance through their employer. What kind of country -- what kind of people would do that in Congress?
[13:36:24] SANCHEZ: We will certainly keep a close eye on the Senate floor this week, not just for a potential vote but also to see if this bill will address the opioid epidemic.
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, thanks for joining us.
BROWN: Good to be with you, Boris. Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Tomorrow on "State of the Union," Jake Tapper will talk about health care and the opioids crisis with Ohio Governor John Kasich. That's tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. eastern right here on CNN.
We'll be right back.
[13:41:05] SANCHEZ: In two weeks, President Donald Trump could come face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both men will attend G-20 talks in Germany next month, but so far, there are no plans for them to meet on the sidelines. Looming over any meeting would be the dark cloud of Russian election meddling. Despite that, the White House says President Trump is looking for areas of cooperation with Moscow.
Former CNN Moscow bureau chief, Jill Dougherty, joins us.
Jill, what are the odds we see a meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, both sides, Boris, are saying pretty much the same thing that they're not ruling it out, that there's a possibility, et cetera, but nobody has really gotten together and defined when exactly it might be under what circumstances would they just kind of have a pull-aside, would they meet in a corridor, et cetera. The expectation is they probably will. But what they're going to talk about is at least from the American side being kind of downplayed. Certainly, there's no expectation that they would talk, at least we don't think, about the hacking and interference in the election. The White House did say that the likely subject would be fighting terrorism, and that's something that President Putin has talked about and also Donald Trump, reviving this idea that may be there is something that they could do on Syria. But even there, there's a lot of downplaying of expectations, the White House saying it would have to be in the United States' interests in order to have a firm discussion on that. So we will have to see how it works. But it is down to the wire. That meeting will be taking place, the G-20 in I think it's the 7th and 8th of July, so coming up pretty soon.
SANCHEZ: Jill, what kind of reaction are you hearing from the Kremlin about what "Washington Post" report that says Vladimir Putin directly ordered interference in the U.S. election?
DOUGHERTY: Nothing coming from the Kremlin so far. The foreign ministry did kind of brush it off with a comment saying the show must go on. But essentially, what they're saying, and President Putin has said this many times, that it is political schizophrenia, it is a circus, what's going on in the United States, they would say, and so they pretty much ignored the details. And I would have to say, Boris, that among average Russians, yes, they were interested during the campaign, they were interested in Donald Trump as kind of a colorful person. They've never seen anything quite like that. Now the expectations that the relationship would substantively change are pretty much nil. So there's not a lot of interest in those hearings back in the United States.
SANCHEZ: Now, Jill, very quickly, I want to get your thoughts on any reaction to this clip. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, THE LATE SHOW: To the beautiful and friendly --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
COLBERT: -- I don't understand --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
COLBERT: -- why no members of the Trump administration can --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: He got some laughs for that one. He didn't get quite as many laughs for another joke that he made.
DOUGHERTY: Well, you know, he was talking about running for president, too, and that was pretty funny. Actually, he said if you want to work on my campaign, Russian people, just tell me. And then the Russian host raised a toast and said, we'll do everything in our power to make sure you become president. So it's a very popular show. It's Ivan Ergon (ph), and he has pretty much an American format talk show, late night, and it went over pretty well.
[13:45:00] SANCHEZ: Stephen Colbert making fans all across the globe.
Jill Dougherty, in Moscow, thank you for your reporting.
Still ahead, former presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, is calling the GOP a death party if the health care bill passes. Will her husband, former President Bill Clinton, say the same thing? We're keeping an eye on an event in Miami Beach where the former president is set to speak at any moment. We'll take you there as soon as he takes the podium. Stay with us.
SANCHEZ: All afternoon, we've been keeping an eye on an event in Miami Beach where, any minute now, former President Bill Clinton is going to address more than 250 of the nation's mayors. You're looking at live pictures of the event in Miami Beach, the U.S. conference of mayors 85th annual meeting.
CNN's Rosa Flores joins us from Miami Beach.
Rosa, what can we expect to hear?
[13:49:58] ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, this is the livability luncheon. This is where we expect former President Bill Clinton to speak before these more than 250 mayors from across the country, from large cities as well as small cities.
Now, we're expecting him to talk about some of the successes of these cities because during this luncheon several cities have been recognized including Los Angeles for improving the quality of life of their residents. And so we're expecting President Bill Clinton to speak about some of those successes, but also about some of the challenges that many of the cities across the country have been facing.
Now, I talked to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh about some of those challenges, immigration, of course, being one of them. Sanctuary cities being one of them, in the line of immigration. And he said right now what they're trying to do is really incorporate the immigrant community, but he says one of the challenges is the fear in the community. Take a listen.
MARTY WALSH, BOSTON MAYOR: We have families seeing in family health centers families aren't going for health care, and they're afraid to go. That's not a good sign. These young people are being taught in our schools, so to have that type of fear isn't good for the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FLORES: Now, health care, of course, being another one of those hot buzz words, especially as these mayors talk about the looming vote of the health care bill next week.
Marty Walsh, the mayor of Boston, mentioning that in Massachusetts alone about 300,000 people would lose coverage. That of course, one big worry.
And then, of course, the other buzz word here is President Trump and all of his policies. So I asked Boston Mayor Marty Walsh what his message to the White House would be in 140 characters. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALSH: Act responsible. You're the president of America. People are watching you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: And of course, all the mayors here will be watching what President Bill Clinton will be saying and what his message is. And we will, of course, bring you that when we have it -- Boris?
SANCHEZ: All right. Rosa Flores, reporting from Miami Beach. Thank you.
We're going to keep an eye on President Clinton, go to him live as soon as he takes the podium.
Stay with us. We'll be right back.
[13:56:23] SANCHEZ: Not even one week after a mistrial in his sexual offense case and with a second criminal trial pending in the future, Bill Cosby's planning to host a series of town halls to teach young people about how to avoid sexual assault charges. A number of women's advocacy groups have criticized the idea, calling it outrageous and disgusting. This, as conflicting juror stories have started to emerge about what really happened inside that jury room.
Jean Casarez has more.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The male juror that spoke to CNN spoke anonymously but told us it was a 7-5, 5-7 split almost continually deadlocked from the beginning. And the issue was understanding the law. They didn't know how to define reckless behavior on the part of Cosby or unconsciousness on the part of Andrea Constand or unreasonableness. He said it was a small room and the emotions started to build. And near the end, there were a lot of tears. And then, of course, there was deliberation on the facts.
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UNIDENTIFIED JUROR: This thing was closed in '05. The district attorney over there was enough evidence that the incident supposedly happened in '04 with Andrea. It took her over a year to contact the hometown police up in Toronto. And then no wonder she wouldn't remember. And the fact that he supposedly gave her pills, which she took without asking any questions, an adult woman, 31 years old, unbelievable.
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CASAREZ: Trial testimony shows that Andrea Constand's good friend was beginning to sell bath salts and that's why she took them, at his request. And Cosby said in the past he liked incense and that's why she took it to him. She also said on the stand that her top showed a little bit of her midriff, and that allowed Cosby to tough her. And then she leaned forward so he couldn't go any farther.
And this juror says that a retrial is not worth the time or the money, that a lot of money was spent treating the jurors like royalty and the taxpayers just shouldn't have to pay for that again.
Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.
SANCHEZ: Thanks for that reporting, Jean.
The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
We are looking at live pictures out of Miami Beach where former President Bill Clinton is expected to take the podium and address mayors who have gathered for an annual conference. We're going to bring you those remarks as soon as he takes the stage.
Thanks so much for watching the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Boris Sanchez, in for Fredricka Whitfield.
We begin this hour with two big stories on our radar. First, something you rarely hear Team Trump talking about, Russia's interference in the 2016 election. So far, he's denied any obstruction or collusion, but now there's a different approach. He's blaming the previous president. Trump says President Obama knew about the Russia hack but did nothing.
Plus, in less than a week, the Senate will vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, but with a deep divide in the GOP, it may be an uphill climb to get precious votes.
We begin this hour with that climb. The growing list of Republican Senators saying no to the Senate health care bill growing. As it stands now, five Republican Senators oppose the bill in its current form, but they are open to negotiations. Nevada Senator Dean Heller, the latest to join that group. There are three other Senators on the righthand side planning to review it more over the weekend. They have expressed some concerns. A vote is set for next Thursday, but with the bill on shaky ground, President --