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Trump Questions Obama's Response To Russia Meddling; Doctors Debate The Future Of Health Care Programs. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired June 24, 2017 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:03] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, to find out how Amy is making this happen, go to And while you're there nominate someone who is changing the world to be a 2017 CNN hero.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A new report reveals Russian President Vladimir Putin gave direct orders to defeat Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump as president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is as close as a bomb shell internal coup if you will.

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election. And he did nothing about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not like we have an immediate clear snapshot of what the Russians were up to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no evidence of collision.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another Republican senator says he cannot support the Health care Bill.

SEN. DEAN HELLER (R), NEVADA: I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of American.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The cuts to Medicaid are very specific and they're the most dramatic.

TRUMP: I think they'll probably get there. We'll have to see.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Always grateful to have you with us. Thanks for being here.

President Trump fighting fires on several fronts this week after new allegations directly connecting the Kremlin to the Russian hacking.

Also, with signature Health care Bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. And about two weeks, the president could be standing face to face with Vladimir Putin. This is at the G20 meeting in Germany.

Now, this is a stunning "Washington Post" report that came out yesterday and explains just how much President Obama knew about Moscow's attempt to hack the U.S. elections, but did not do enough according to some to stop them.

Meanwhile, more skeptical senators are weighing on the Republican health care plan. But now, it doesn't look like it has enough votes to pass the Senate of fifth GOP senator. Dean Heller has now come out against it. Watch.


HELLER: I'm telling you right now, I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadas. If you have to protect Medicaid expansion states, that's what I want. Make sure that we're taken care up here in the State of Nevada.


BLACKWELL: And let us begin with CNN's Ryan Nobles that he is following the latest on the Russia investigation for us at the White House. So, Ryan good morning.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor good morning to you.

And President Trump, really ceasing on this bombshell "Washington Post" report as a way to lay blame on President Obama for not doing enough to stop the Russian hack of the 2016 presidential election. This report details how President Obama was given this assessment by the CIA of Russia's attempt to intervene in the American election.

And the report also details the response from one former administration official, who's felt that the administration sort of choked when it came to how they handled Russia. President Trump gave an interview view to "Fox News Channel" which will air tomorrow and not surprisingly he agrees with that assessment. Take a listen.


TRUMP: Well, I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election. And he did nothing about it. But nobody wants to talk about that, that the CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even, you know, before the election.

And I hardly see it. It's an amazing thing. To me, you know, 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.


NOLBES: But former Obama administration officials are pushing back on that criticism. They say that the president did take action and -- that he really found out too late to have a significant impact on the election that a lot of damage had already been done. They specifically point to the fact that the president confronted Vladimir Putin at a meeting of the G20 Summit back in September right before the election.

And it's also important to point out that Donald Trump himself has been very skeptical of Russia's involvement in the American election. He suggested that different times that maybe China was responsible or maybe a man in his pajamas sitting in his basement could have been responsible for it.

So, it's just recently that the administration has come around of the thinking that Russia was involved, and of course President Obama was also concern that if he took too dramatic of action that it may look like he was trying to help Hillary Clinton in the election and there were serious political ramifications for any decision that he made at that time. Victor?

BLACKWELL: All right. Ryan Nobles for us at the White House. Ryan, thank you.

PAUL: I want to bring in CNN political analyst and columnist for the "Washington Post" Josh Rogin and Washington bureau chief of "New York Post" Gabby Morrongiello. Thank you both for being with us.

Josh, I want to start with you. And just to reiterate, according to this Post report in early August, the CIA told President Obama that President Putin specifically directed election cyber hacking. We did Jeh Johnson, the former Homeland Security secretary talk about that with the House Intel Committee this week talking about why they didn't release that information. Let's listen together here.


[07:05:15] JEH JOHNSON, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: One of the candidates as you'll recall was predicting that the election was going to be rigged in some way. And so, we were concerned that by making the statement we might in and of itself be challenging the integrity of the election process itself.


PAUL: Is that explanation enough Josh Rogin or is there a point to what President Trump is saying that President Obama didn't do enough? Could things have been done differently?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think things could have been done differently. You know, how hindsight is 2020. And it's easy to criticize the Obama administration at this point. But, that doesn't mean that they deserve some criticism.

I personally interviewed Jeh Johnson on Thursday and press him on that exact point. Basically what he is saying is that they let political considerations factor into how they responded to what essentially a national security emergency, an attack on our democracy by a foreign power directed a foreign leader. Now, looking back, that doesn't look so good, OK. But, we are where we are. They did something. President Trump is not correct. They did do something. They didn't do enough to detour the Russians. But if President Trump is going to criticize them for not doing enough, that begs the question of what's he going to do, OK.

And he's had this sort of schizophrenic approach, right, either it's a hoax or it's a real thing and we need to do something. And if his new approach is that, it's a real thing. We need to do something. Well, then Trump administration has to lad exactly what that is.

And that what that should be is a robust plan to punish Russia, push back on Russian aggression and the Russian interference. And then come up with some way to deter these attacks of the future. And that's a big project. And I don't see any of that work actually really going on.

PAUL: OK, Gabby. Let's listen to Representative Will Hurd from Texas talking about just that. His concern over whether anything is being done toward future attacks from Russia.


REP. WILL HURD (R), TEXAS: An attack on the DNC is an attack on all of us. And this was a attempt, a covert influence operation. And we should be making sure that we're talking about how do we do a counter covert influence. This is something that we've shown that we're not prepared for and the Russians are going to do it again. They've been doing it for a couple of decades in Eastern Europe. They did in our election last time. And we should expect to see them again in '18.


PAUL: Is there any evidence Gabby from the White House that they are going to take action in some way?

GABBY MORRONGIELLO, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, NEW YORK POST: Well, look, I think Josh hit the nail on the head. I mean President Trump has tried to have it both ways for the most part of his administration so far in terms of, you know, on one point saying that the Russia narrative is a hoax and that Democrats are pursuing a witch hunt against him.

But then, on the other hand, admitting in his tweet yesterday that Russia did in fact meddle in the 2016 election. And I think Congressman Hurd makes an important point here. And I've heard a number of other Republican lawmakers including Senator Rubio make this point that if it was Democrats were targeted in 2016, it's likely to be Republican were targeted in 2018 or even 2020.

And so, for this administration to ignore that, I think it's really detrimental. It's not just to the American public and to the integrity of our elections but also to the party that President Trump supposedly represents. So, I really think that they do need to take this seriously. And I know that in this "Washington Post" report yesterday there was some information about possible plan to input cyber weapons into Russia's infrastructure, something that had started under the Obama administration and could in fact be implemented by the Trump administration if they choose to do so. So, I think that's a big question here whether or not they will follow through on that and complete that program.

PAUL: Well, I'm looking forward, Josh, you know, next month the G20 in Hamburg, a very good possibility that President Trump is going to come face to face with President Putin.

How does the president approach Putin? And will there be -- do you believe any substantial conversations about this, about Syria, about Ukraine?

ROGIN: Yes. I mean, I don't think the White House knows yet exactly if they're going Trump have a meeting and if so, what their strategy on that is going to be. They're sort of playing this day by day. I think that's pretty clear.

You know, what you would expect in this type of situation is for an American leader to go to Putin and to say, "OK. Here is exactly what we're going to do if this continues. And here's exactly why you're not going to want to do this again to us in the next election."

And that is not just about sort of cyber weapons. It's about a whole government approach. It's about, you know, diplomatic, political, military pressures that are organized in a deterrence frame work that you know, raises the price of this kind of nonsense for an actor like Russia to the point where Putin wouldn't actually want to do it.

[07:10:07] Now, again, I don't think the White House is doing that or at least I don't see any evidence at that all.

So, if they have this meeting, what we're likely to see is a lot of what we saw the last time President Trump met senior Russian leaders. That was at the White House with Lavrov and Kislyak. And that was a like a love feast. They just brought out for like two hours, OK.

And then, the president leaked a lot of top secret intelligence to the Russian leaders. And, you know, they didn't -- to talk about the stuff at all. So, if that's the mind set that they're in when the G20 comes up in Germany next month, that's a problem, all right. But, we'll have -- let's just wait and see if they change their tune in how many times between now and then.

PAUL: All right. Josh Rogin and Gabby Morrongiello, so grateful to have you both here, thank you.

ROGIN: Thank you.


BLACKWELL: All right, up next, and another senator to the list of Republicans saying no to the bill to replace Obamacare, this as a pro- Trump group now ready as an attack campaign on the GOP detectors.

PAUL: Also, a second misfile in a police shooting, the family calling for unity and a third trial for the officer involved.

BLACKWELL. Plus, look at your screen, more than 120 people are missing after a landslide in China and some of them could be under this mock, there's a desperate search right now for any survivors.


[07:15:26] PAUL: There's a desperate search underway right now in China where more than 120 people are missing after a landslide there. This thing started near at the top of the mountain and has buried part of the village in the central part of the country there. Emergency responses have been activated now.

The Chinese president calling for an all-out search, and you're looking at some of it right there, people trying to find those who may be buried there. Eight hundred rescuers and staff on the scene as you see, they are digging through all of that mud and rubble. The good news, they were able to save one couple as well as that couple's newborn baby. That happens just a few hours ago, but still trying working this hour to find others.

BLACKWELL: There's morning, there's a growing list of GOP senators who are opposing and therefore threatening to derail the Senates Republicans new bill to replace Obamacare.

There are now five GOP senators who say they cannot support it in its current form. You see there are also three there who say that they have some serious concerns.

Now, GOP leaders could only afford to lose two members of their caucus in order to pass the bill potentially next week. And the latest to voice opposition, Senator Dean Heller of Nevada, he's a blue state Republican, facing a tough reelection campaign in 2018. And he talked about these issues with the bill in a news conference. Watch this.


HELLER: I'm telling you right now I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and hundred of thousands of Nevadas. You have to protect Medicaid expansion stakes. That's what I want. Make sure that we're taken care up here in the State of Nevada.

Biggest lie in health care in the last ten years was if you like your doctor, you can keep them. That was the biggest lie in health care. Here's the second biggest lie. This bill passes, second biggest lies are premiums are going down. And there isn't anything in this piece of legislation that will lower these premiums.


BLACKWELL: Now, just hours after that announcement, a pro-Trump Super PAC told us they are launching a major television, radio and digital ad by against Heller. That's remarkable. Heller is a member of the president's own party. His seat is in danger in 2018. And they're willing to spend more than a million dollars to pressure him potentially to vote yes.

PAUL: And of course as Republican and Democrats try to fight this out on Capitol Hill, there are people on the front lines of health care in America, the doctors, the medical professionals, who say their voices are being ignored because they have something to say about how to fix health care.

BLACKWELL: CNN Correspondent Martin Savidge sat down with a group of doctors who say, it's time to put patience over politics and work together.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kitsap County, Washington State, an hour's drive west of Seattle. Like anywhere in America, a place where people need health care and a way to pay for it.

Kristan Guetenberg is a surgeon. Peter Lehmann, a primary care physician. And Niran Al-Agba, a pediatrician. Different doctors, different politics.


SAVIDEGE: The libertarian.

LEHMANN: The libertarian candidate.

DR. NIRAN AL-AGBA, PEDIATRICIAN: I voted for Donald Trump.


SAVIDGE: You might think there's little they agree on. Wrong. They all believe the current health care system is unsustainable.

LEHMANN: Can I say it's broken?

SAVIDGE: Yes, I know.

LEHMANN: Can I say it's unequivocally broken.


LEHMANN: Ask any patient.


LEHMANN: Do they think it's a system that serves their needs and that they're happy with?

SAVIDGE: Under programs dominated by health insurers, they say doctors are stressed to see more and more patients to make ends meet. Patients are frustrated because they can't get an appointment to see a doctor, and when they finally do, only get a few minutes. It's all about numbers.

GUETENBERG: We're kind of looking the wrong direction, I think. We need to be looking at how to provide quality care for patients without driving up price.

SAVIDGE: That's the Democrat doctor criticizing Obamacare, and the Trump doctor says the new GOP plan is just as bad and will cover fewer people.

AL-AGBA: Well, I don't think its better. I think we're probably on the wrong track.

SAVIDGE: Dr. Al-Agba even told Trump that in a letter she posted online begging, "Please go back to the drawing board and start again." The problem they say is not on the talk about which party's health care plan is better, is that Washington's having the wrong conversation.

We're spending too much time talking about how do we cover people with insurance rather than what?

AL-AGBA: Rather than talking with patients about the price for care and what is really -- what is the real cost.

[07:20:03] SAVIDGE: The skyrocketing cost of everything in health care they say is what makes it unaffordable, in their mind, inaccessible. And because they daily battle with cost versus care, doctors have a lot of good ideas on how to fix things. Except -- whenever Democrats or Republicans discuss health care reform, the doctors say there's always something missing, which they noticed again in a photo of Trump and his team.

LEHMANN: There were no physicians.


LEHMANN: Not one.

SAVIDGE: What about the doctor Trump appointed secretary of health? Tom Price, they say, has for a long time been more politician than physician.

Why wouldn't we come to you? I mean you all are on the front lines, so to speak.

AL-AGBA: Front line practicing physicians have a long history of not necessarily being at the table and I think it's a shame that we haven't been because if we had been more involved from the beginning we might be in a different position.

SAVIDGE: I should probably point out that these doctors don't want to come across this just dumping on health insurance. They believe that health insurance has a role to play. It's just not the whole solution.

And they want to be part of the active discussion because they say maybe more than anybody. They know that whether it's Obamacare or the latest Republican plan. When it comes to health care in America, we just can't keep going the way we're going.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Washington.


BLACKWELL: New reports say Vladimir Putin ordered the Russia hackings themselves but could the Kremlin really have anything to do with it? We'll ask a former KGB spy in a moment to give us a glimpse inside Putin's playbook.

PAUL: Plus, the second mistrial in a police shooting case. Will the prosecution try for a third time?


[07:26:00] BLACKWELL: President Trump is responding now to some blockbuster reporting about the allegations of who ordered the Russia hackings and they're inching closer to the Kremlin.

PAUL: Now, he is really focusing on President Obama questioning why he didn't act on the Russia hacking information.


TRUMP: Well, I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election. And he did nothing about it. But nobody wants to talk about that, that the CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even, you know, before the election.

And I hardly see it. It's an amazing thing. To me, you know, 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.


PAUL: With us now, Jack Barsky, the former KGB agent and author of "Deep Undercover: My Secret Life and Tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America."

So, Jack, first and foremost, based on this report reading from the "Washington Post" how likely that we would be able to find out that President Putin directed cyber hacking at the -- for this election?

JACK BARSKY, FORMER KBG AGENT: Not very, unless we have a bug in the Kremlin somehow. You've got to understand, this would have to be a very secret operation, right? We're talking about -- we're doing something here to destabilize another country. You want to keep that secret, that in and of itself is difficult.

And now, next is, you know, if you're talking about this collusion thing, now we're getting into -- my view, we're getting into the realm of movies, going the realm of fantasy because this is so hard to execute on. When you do work in secrecy, the fewer people that know about it, the better, you know. And in my case there were about five people that knew about my identity.

And the more people you involved and this kind of operation you have to have more people involved. The more likely it is that a real leak will come out and we don't have one yet. We have people saying, well, good belief, we think, its speculation. And I don't think that we will ever prove a collusion kind of thing.

BLACKWELL: And the collusion investigations a possibility there are still continuing. But I want to narrow in on something you talked about at keeping the circle small. What we learned kind of fleshed out in this "Washington Post" article was about the lengths that Vladimir Putin goes to keep things secret. And tell us a little bit more about that.

BARSKY: It's a very secretive society as suppose of United States, right. It has always been and it's still the same because, you know, what -- what you're trying to do if you're in a dictatorship and what we have there is close to a dictatorship. You know, you keep control as much as possible.

So, you know, he controls the media pr the most part. You know, he controls most everything, not specifically and directly and I doubt that Mr. Putin when he does -- has -- needs time for riding horses without his shirt on and playing ice hockey against professionals that he has time to specifically direct certain actions to be taken. He would sort of give direction. I don't think there's any way that he will ever trace this back to him having said or written down, do this.

PAUL: But how does technology today change the way things are kept secret say from back in the day when you were a spy?

BARSKY: It's actually --

PAUL: Does it make it more vulnerable in some way? It's actually harder, yes, that' is correct. Because if you think you keep things secret by using the internet you're mistaken. So, and then we use the internet as a means of communication much more often. And obviously, it can be hacked. And it's out there. It's out there. And it's out there. It's out there and it's vulnerable. My communication was the old way, was with mail and through the ether with shortwave radio. That is much easier to keep secret for sure.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, the "Post" reported for the first time that President Obama approved what would be these., I guess, digital bombs that we've placed into the Russian infrastructure. You're already smiling here.



BLACKWELL: He started the path. It's up to President Trump to actually detonate them. You still got contacts there in Moscow. What's been the reaction to that report?

BARSKY: I don't have contacts with Moscow. BLACKWELL: OK.

BARSKY: But I have contacts with -- you know, unofficial contacts within the American intelligence community. We do have these things. We don't want to explode them. We just want to have them in place just in case a cyber war breaks out. And the bottom line is, I've said this before, this is the more serious topic we should be talking about, cyber war and our vulnerabilities in that respect.

Yes, and if I -- if I were to bet, if it ever came to a cyber war exchange we would win. Historically the Russians and Soviets have always been behind technologically. Doesn't mean that -- you know, they're sophisticated in some areas, they can hack and all that, but overall, we are way ahead of them and have always been in technology.




BLACKWELL: Good question.

PAUL: Just double checking, Jack. Jack Barsky, we appreciate you being here. Thank you, sir.

BARSKY: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, sir.

PAUL: All right. A second trial and a second deadlocked jury in the case of the officers who shot and killed a man during a traffic stop. We're talking about former Officer Ray Tensing shot Samuel DuBose in July 2015, remember. It is one in a series of high profile officer- involved shooting that set off protests across the country.

Well, reporter Amanda Kelly of CNN affiliate WLWT explains what happened here.


AMANDA KELLY, REPORTER, WLWT: A second mistrial for Ray Tensing after 31 hours of jury deliberations. The former UC officer's body camera video shows Tensing shoot Sam DuBose during what started as a routine traffic stop. The 24 jurors over two trials could not come to a unanimous decision a crime was committed.

JAY CLARK, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think if there is going to be a third retrial it's going to have to be re-indicted and indicted the way it probably should have been initially with different charges that more appropriately fit the allegations and the facts.

KELLY: The jury was deadlocked. A few hours later no one was budging.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are almost evenly split regarding our votes toward a final verdict.

CLARK: I think it shows it was well tried by both and both sides have very valid positions and when that happens it's very likely to get a hung jury.

KELLY: Tempers flared outside the courthouse and at city hall. Many wondered if a third trial could yield a different outcome.

Cincinnati's police chief calls the mistrials and fatal officer shootings across the U.S. unsettling.

CHIEF ELLIOT ISAAC, CINCINNATI POLICE: This is something that nationally we're going to have to look at and really roll up our sleeves and look at it from a legal perspective as to how these cases should be charged.

KELLY: City leaders hoping Cincinnati waits peacefully to learn what happens next.

MAYOR JOHN CRANLEY, CINCINNATI: Just because we may not like the way things happened in this case today doesn't mean that Cincinnati is not going to move forward.


PAUL: And thanks to reporter Amanda Kelly from CNN affiliate WLWT there.

Samuel DuBose's mother thanked the community for its support, releasing this statement, quote, "We stand with the families of Terence Crutcher of Oklahoma, Philando Castile of Minnesota, Freddie Gray of Maryland, and Syville Smith of Wisconsin, and demand justice for all these men who have been murdered by police officers, who've escaped guilty verdicts," end quote.

BLACKWELL: Next, the future of the Democratic Party. Who is in charge and who should be.

PAUL: Also a CNN exclusive. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on why he's revamping Facebook's core mission.


[07:36:22] PAUL: Well, mortgage rates inched up this week. Here's your look.


BLACKWELL: Senator Bernie Sanders is hitting the road this weekend. He's headlining's "Don't Take Our Health Care" bus tour, challenging the new Senate health care bill. Sanders calls the plan, quote, "the most harmful piece of legislation" he's ever seen.

Meanwhile, top Democrats are weighing in. Former Vice President Joe Biden, you see a tweet here, says that the bill wasn't about health care but transferring wealth. Hillary Clinton said the GOP would be the death party if the bill passes.

So who is the leader of the Democratic Party? That's a question that several people are asking this week. Is it Clinton? Is it Biden? Bernie Sanders? President Obama? Who isn't actually a Democratic Party in the case of Sanders, one person many Democrats say should not be anymore is Nancy Pelosi.


REP. SETH MOULTON (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Whether he's the leader or not is up for the caucus to decide but this is something that we certainly have to discuss.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You think Nancy Pelosi is more toxic than Donald Trump?

REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: You know what? The honest answer is in some areas of the country, yes, she is.

REP. KATHLEEN RICE (D), NEW YORK: If you were talking about a country that was posting -- losing numbers, if you were talking about any sports team that was losing time and time again, you -- changes would be made. Right? The CEO would be out. The coach would be out.


BLACKWELL: Well, depends on which numbers you're focusing on. Democrats have lost seats nationally and locally but when it comes to fundraising Nancy is a powerhouse.

[07:40:01] Joining us now, Brent Budowsky, columnist at the "Hill" and Maria Cardona, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist.

Good morning to both of you.


BLACKWELL: Hey, Maria, let's start with what we heard from Congressman Tim Ryan there saying that in some respects in some parts of the country Nancy Pelosi is more toxic than Donald Trump. Your response to that?

CARDONA: Well, I agree with him that she is very toxic in ruby red states that are full of Republican supporters and the reason why they disliked her so much is because she is so effective. She has been an incredible legislator, she is the one who brought the Democrats to power the last time we were in control of Congress. She is an unparalleled fundraiser and what's ironic is that, you know, today what we should be talking about is the health care bill that Republicans want to take away health care from 24 million Americans who are in the fight of our lives not for Democrats but for the American people.

And the reason we're in that fight, Victor, is because Nancy Pelosi was instrumental in passing the Affordable Care Act that gave those millions of Americans the coverage that now Republicans want to take away and she was so effective at doing it that she became that lightning rod for Republicans and that's why they dislike her so much.

BLACKWELL: Brent, there were several ads, and I live here in Georgia so I saw all the Handel versus Ossoff ads here. And there were several ads from the Republican candidate calling him Pelosi's vote. I wonder if you could expound upon something you wrote for the "Hill" in talking about these fights as we lead up to 2018 and 2020.

You wrote in the "Hill" this week, "The biggest single problem for Democrats and what enrages so many Democrats outside Washington about Democrats inside Washington is that Republicans play politics like war while Democrats play politics like badminton." Explain that.

BRENT BUDOWSKY, COLUMNIST, THE HILL: Well, what I proposed in that column is that President Obama, Vice President Biden, former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former president Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry, the former secretary of state, should right now today raise $100 million which they can do if they put their mind to it now, put the money in an account now and use the money right now, first of all, to go into the states that Democrats can win in the 50 congressional districts that are most likely to turn over for Democrats in the 2020 Senate races, and play war.

Raise the money, go into those states and register voters and build a party. And use that money that those people can raise in a day if they choose to, the top Democrats in the country, and use it to attract the top Democrats to be recruited in districts and Senate seat and make a stand worthy of the existential crisis that America faces when democracy is under attack by Vladimir Putin in Russia in country after country.


BUDOWSKY: And the Republicans accused the Democrats of supporting the shooting of Republican congressmen. Now I do want to say real quick, this is a historic day on CNN. First we have -- Victor, we have the Senate Republican from Nevada accusing the Republican leader in the Senate and others of lying about lowering insurance premiums which they are lying about it, and now we have President Trump ended a year of lying apparently and said that the Russians really did try to elect him president.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and acknowledging -- questioning the work that President Obama did to try to stop it.

Maria, let me ask you about the potential that Nancy Pelosi will be -- will step down. Let's listen to what she said just a couple of days ago.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: I think I'm worth the trouble, quite frankly. I love the fray, I'm not -- I know I'm not disrespectful of people's views. I respect any opinion that my members have, but my decision about how long I stay is not up to them.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: And we can put up on the screen how much money she raised in 2016. $140 million plus. Any potential that there's going to be replacement for the Democratic leader?

CARDONA: Well, I think that that again is up to the Democratic caucus and if these members who are speaking up against her want to put their name into the ring to run against her, then God bless them. They should go do it.

Look, Victor, a healthy, emotional and passionate conversation about where the party needs to go moving forward is always a great thing. We should talk about messaging, we should talk about tactics. We should talk about whether our leadership is the right one moving forward. Those are always great things to talk about, but right now I think we should all be focusing on is this immoral health care bill that Republicans are trying to take away coverage from, you know, millions and millions of Americans.

And while this is a conversation that Democrats will continue to have, Nancy Pelosi has been a terrific leader.

[07:45:03] It is not her fault that Democrats lost these last four special elections which is what, you know, Republicans are trying to blame on her and even some Democrats.


CARDONA: These elections took place in ruby, ruby bright red states. She was not running those elections.

BLACKWELL: Yes, but --

CARDONA: And it's not even her fault that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016.

BLACKWELL: They certainly said in the advertisement.

CARDONA: Yes, sure.

BLACKWELL: And that's the point that Tim Ryan was making is that in parts of the country --

CARDONA: But that's -- it's because she's -- sure, but here's the point.

BLACKWELL: That she may be --

CARDONA: But here's the point, Victor.


CARDONA: Do you think that if she stepped down they would stop using her as that lightning rod? Republicans will use any tactic that they can.

BLACKWELL: All right. CARDONA: Because they are focused on, first of all, for her, how

effective she has been.

BLACKWELL: We got to wrap it there, Maria.

Brent Budowsky, Maria Cardona, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

CARDONA: Thanks, Victor.


PAUL: Still to come, our very own Laurie Segall asks Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg why he's changing the company's mission.


[07:50:10] PAUL: Well, for the first time in a decade Facebook is revamping their core mission. CEO Mark Zuckerberg says connecting online, it's just not enough anymore. So now he feels a responsibility to help bring communities together. What does that mean?

Well, our Laurie Segall has an exclusive interview here.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Victor. Hey, Christi. Well, Facebook is nearing two billion users. You know, think about the enormous reach this platform has. You know, one person actually thinking about that reach because we've all been asking some challenging questions of Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO. And he's done a lot of soul searching lately.

He's decided to completely overhaul the company's core mission. This is the first time he's done this. And it was all about being open and connected and now it's going to be more about connecting communities. So going from connecting individuals to connecting communities.

He sat down with me here in Chicago to tell me more about it. Take a listen.


SEGALL (voice-over): It's been a year of tough questions for Facebook. Fake news distributed across the platform. Terrorists spreading propaganda. And Mark Zuckerberg has been doing some soul searching.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO: I used to think that if we just work to give people a voice and help people connect that that was going to make the world all better by itself. But now I feel like we have a responsibility to do even more, all right. Because I mean today a lot of society is divided. Right? So it's pretty clear that just giving people a voice and connecting people isn't enough.

SEGALL: It's an admission by one of the most influential tech leaders that the world's most popular social media network needs to change. ZUCKERBERG: So today we're going to set a new mission to set our

course as a company for the next decade. And the full formal mission statement is going to be to give people the power to build community to bring the world closer together.


SEGALL: It's the first time Facebook has overhauled its core mission, shifting focus from connecting individuals to building communities.

Zuckerberg made the announcement at Facebook first community summit, a gathering of leaders and influential Facebookers.

Lola is the creator of a group called Female IN, A place for over a million women to connect.

LOLA OMOLOLA, FOUNDER OF FIN: We need tools to make sure people feel safe. And that was Facebook is providing now. These tools help us better manage our community.

ZUCKERBERG: And we're also going to help you remove bad actors and all their content from your Facebook.


SEGALL (on camera): What does that mean to you specifically?

OMOLOLA: Wow. It means trolls.


SEGALL (voice-over): The question, are we more connected or has technology driven us apart?

(On camera): Technology to a degree has always promised to help us discover and to help us learn. There's also the question of does it make us more insular and is, you know, information being hijacked and spread? So as you make the future of Facebook these communities, how do you make sure they remain a place for authenticity and for real discourse?

ZUCKERBERG: When you want to help people stay connected with the people they already know and care about but you want to make it so people get access to new people and new perspectives, too. So bringing people together and in creating these communities is I think a lot of what we can do to help create more civil and productive debate on some of the bigger issues, as well.


SEGALL: One of the things Mark talked about was giving these communities tools to help organize better. Whether it's artificial intelligence to help us discover groups where we have commonalities or giving these groups, you know, the way to actually get rid of bad actors. Those are the types of things he wants to do to help build what he called meaningful communities. Now I think if you put this in a context, think about the women's

march and how impactful the women's march was. That was a movement that started on Facebook and these groups. To get the idea that Mark wants to focus on that, you know, in a time when we are all wondering is Facebook dividing us? Are we living in our own filtered bubble? And this isn't a calculated thing.

You know, I'll say this, he's been traveling the country, sitting at dinner tables, talking to different types of families. Trying to kind of bridge that divide a little bit. He wrote a manifesto on the future of technology and democracy. You can tell that he understands the impact and the power of his algorithms and his power. And this is something he does want to take seriously and he believes is the future of Facebook -- Christi, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Laurie. Thank you so much.

You know, we're covering a lot this weekend. And every once in a while you just need a reason to smile. Maybe even laugh. Here it is.

You've probably seen this online. If you haven't, we've got it for you. It's a maniac on the floor. More moves next.



[07:59:10] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It's the stuff of nightmares for many of our veterans. Disrupting their sleep long after they come home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chronic recurrence. Traumatic nightmares. People become afraid to fall asleep/

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: To help them cope, the Department of Defense is using imagery rehearsing therapy, assisted by an app.

By rewriting grizzly dreams with less traumatic endings vets can reduce the impact of their nightmares until they finally go away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They just complete the mission without the IED exploding, or that the IED explodes but it's a narrow miss and that everybody in their convoy returns OK.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You don't have to be a veteran to be affected by trauma.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your hands out.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Domestic violence, rape, robbery, even witnessing a horrific car accident can result in dreadful dreams. If you suffer from nightmare rewriting them with the help of a therapist and maybe an app could ease your nightly fears and put you back to sleep.

(END VIDEOTAPE) PAUL: And you know what, sometimes on a Saturday, you just need to smile, need a little laugh. Here is yours for today.