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On the Threshold of Losing on Health Care; White House Says Assad Regime Planning Another Chemical Weapons Attack; Supreme Court Allowing Parts Travel Ban To Take Effect; Jared Kushner Hiring Big Time Criminal Defense Lawyer; Senator Heller Not to Be Influenced By Group's Ads on Nevada Television. Aired 11p-12amn ET

Aired June 26, 2017 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:18] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Breaking news, a White House official says they are right on the threshold of losing on health care.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Is the Senate GOP bill doomed?

Plus, 22 million Americans in danger of losing their health insurance, 22 million real life stories. I'm going to talk to two people whose lives could change if Trumpcare becomes the law of the land.

And one a pastor who says her daughter would have died without Obamacare. The other is a Trump voter who says he was uninsured for five years until Obamacare came along and he jumped at a chance to sign up. Does Trumpcare hurt Trumps voters? We will take a closer look.

A lot to discuss this hour. But I want to get back to CNN senior political analyst Mark Preston and CNN contributor Salena Zito.

Good evening to both of you.

Mark, tonight senators are against even bringing this senate health care bill to the floor. And a White House official conceded to Jim Acosta right on the threshold, he says, of losing on health care. Is this bill dying? What is going on?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, it is certainly on life support at this point, Don. Right now, Senate Republicans are looking just to get to 50 votes at this point. They had 52 votes to play with, 52 Republican votes.

Right now, as you said, four senators have come out and said they will not even agree to move forward and have this bill be debated on the Senate floor. Those include Senator Dean Heller from Nevada, Senator Susan Collins from Maine, Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin and Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky. Ironically, Senator Rand Paul also happens to represents the same state as Mitch McConnell, the senate Republican leader who is trying to get this done. But Don, we are focusing on those four people. However, there are

still others out there who have not been explicit publicly in their opposition to the bill. But you can be certainly guess that Lisa Murkowski from Maine is another Republican who will have issues with this bill as well as Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia Republican.

LEMON: Mark, the numbers are in. The nonpartisan congressional budget office says 22 million people will loss insurance by 2026 under the Senate plan, one million fewer than the House bill. So where is the heart? Will the President embrace that number, you think?

PRESTON: You know, really up to the year at this point. Because if you remember, when the House bill was passed, clearly passed, Donald Trump -- President Trump held a big Rose Garden ceremony for our viewers out there to really understand what that means. You only hold those Rose Garden ceremonies for very, very special occasions. Well, he thought that the House passage was a special occasion only to say a couple weeks later in private that he thought the House bill was mean.

So it's unclear what he will think about the Senate bill at this point and how much political capital he is willing to get behind. We do know that Mike Pence, the vice president, is meeting with four senators or did meet this evening in his residence to try to persuade them. But at some point Mitch McConnell has to make a decision about holding a vote or not holding a vote.

As you heard from Jim Acosta, they realize right now in the White House that it is on the brink of losing. Our own Manu Raju on Capitol Hill who is very plugged has been told just in the last half hour or so Mitch McConnell still looking for a vote before July 4th.

But really, a telling time, Don, will be tomorrow afternoon. That's when Senate Republicans all gather for a lunch. And they walk out of that lunch, we will have a better idea of --.

LEMON: All right. Let's talk about voters now, Salena, OK. So because many people who will lose under this bill. They are older, middle income Americans, subsidies for them would be less generous. That is according to the CBO. The premium for a 64-year-old with an income of $56,800 would go from $6,800 under the ACA to $20,500 for the silver plan under the Senate. I mean, that will be devastating to a lot of Trump supporters. What's going to happen in there? Is he in danger of losing some of his base if that happens?

SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, that remains to be seen. First of all, I think that it should be made a little more clear that of those 22 million people that are going to lose their coverage, they are not technically going to lose their coverage, not all of them. A lot of them -- that individual mandate is repealed, right, which was very unpopular. So this 22 million number is more people that might not just opt to get health care, you know.

And as far as Trump supporters, you know, many of them, you know, in my reporting out there before the election and since the election a lot of them were really heavily burdened by Obamacare. There were either not enough choices to make in terms of what was in the market place. You know, in some states like Tennessee, Kentucky and Iowa they were down to one provider. So they had no choices. They just had to take what was there.

And the other one, you know, small business people either employees of small business people or the small business person themselves also felt a big burden under Obamacare. And then there's people that benefited from it.

[23:05:25] LEMON: So then, the question is, is he danger when you look at those numbers? Because most people won't dig in to the numbers that way. And even if they are opting out, that still means they won't have healthcare.

ZITO: Right.

LEMON: So there are still a part of the 22 million because they are not having health care.

ZITO: Right. Because no one is taking it away from them.

LEMON: Yes. But still, they won't have health care. I mean, Salena. I know that we are parsing words here. But still, no one is taking away from them. But at the end of the day they are not going to have health care. So whether someone is taking it away or they are signing up for it. My question is, are Trump voters concerned about it or not concerned about it? Is he in danger of losing some of his supporters or no? It just it doesn't matter at this point.

ZITO: It remains to be seen, OK. I mean, that's the most honest answer I can give you. And that people don't know how this is going to impact their lives. They see all these numbers being thrown out there. They were unhappy with what they had. They don't know if they are going to be happy with what they get.

And the problem for the Republicans and for the Democrats going forward is once you have an entitlement, once you have this belief that you need -- the government needs to provide you -- provide something for you, a service for you, it's really hard to put that genie back in the bottle. And that's the hardest thing that the Republicans are facing right now, is that people expect the government to have some sort of part of their health care choice. And they have been unsatisfied with Obamacare. And I suspect they are going to be unsatisfied with whatever this health care ends up being called.

LEMON: Yes. Because nothing is perfect as they say.

ZITO: No, nothing is.

LEMON: Thank you, Salena. Thank you, Mark. I appreciate it.

Now I want to bring in two people who are living the reality of the health care battle. Pastor Janice Hill says her daughter would have died without Obamacare. And Bob Ruscoe is a Trump voter who signed up for Obamacare.

Thank you both for joining us this evening. So let's talk about this. This is (INAUDIBLE).

Pastor, you first. Your daughter, your daughter's name is Amy, had very rare cancer for four years now. How is she doing?

JANICE HILL, PASTOR, FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH, DISCIPLES OF CHRIST: Yes. She is hanging in there. Every treatment she has been on since her diagnosis four years ago has been experimental. So things will work for a while and then they will stop working and get something new. And something new has been added. And they are just learning all the time.

LEMON: So you confronted West Virginia senator Capito with your daughter's story. I want to watch that and then we will talk about it.


HILL: That's my daughter.


HILL: She is beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes she is beautiful.

HILL: She have doesn't take after her mom, but that's OK. I want you to see her in treatment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God. How old is she?

HILL: She is 41 years old. She has been fighting this cancer --.


HILL: Amy Elizabeth Steel. She has been fighting this cancer for four years very diligently. Maintained her job. Has got promotions. Has led teams as sick as she has been. She would not be alive today if it wasn't for the ACA.


LEMON: So pastor, you have shared those pictures with us that you were showing the senator in that video, the video before she got the cancer. You see there at the left. And then you see during the cancer fighting it. Do you think that she really understood your situation?

HILL: Understood, I'm not sure. I think she heard what I had to say. And I think she listened to what I had to say. But I don't -- that is not something that gives me a lot of comfort. I want her to act on it because it's not just my daughter. That's a face that I hope she will have in her mind when she is voting. But Amy is one of thousands and millions of people that this horrible, immoral bill is going to affect. LEMON: Bob, I'm going to bring you in now because you are a life-long

Republican, yet you and your wife are insured through the ACA, through Obamacare. What will happen to that insure if Obamacare is repealed?

BOB RUSCOE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: We probably won't be insured.


[23:10:01] RUSCOE: Yes. We won't be insured if Obamacare goes away. We won't be able to afford premiums.

LEMON: Do you know what it would cost you to get insure on an open market and could you afford that?

RUSCOE: I know we can't afford it. It's over $1,000 a month. So I don't know the exact number but it's -- please go ahead.

LEMON: I wanted you to finish your though, but that is fine. So it would be incredibly hard on you financially? That's what you are saying?

RUSCOE: Absolutely. We wouldn't be able to afford coverage without the affordable care act.

LEMON: So you voted for Donald Trump even though he promised to repeal the program you rely on. Why is that?

RUSCOE: Because I think that hopefully he will bring about something that will be fiscally sound and last. I do think that Obamacare does have problems. They do need to get fixed. I hope that there's something that will be in place that we can still have coverage for myself and a lot of others.

LEMON: So I want to ask you this because, you know, everything in Washington is politicized, right. The political capital of the world if you will. Do you think there is too much politics here? Do you care if Obamacare is repealed or replaced or do you just want a better health care system? Do you care what it's called and whose name is on it?

RUSCOE: That's a good question. I hope that there will be some kind of health care available to the public. I think it's important. It's important for quality of life. And it's just something I that I hope that they will evolves that will be long term that we can count on it and not worry about not being covered.

LEMON: Do you think they should slow down or are you OK with the timeline that they have set up? Because it appears that right now they don't have the votes. They may by the end of the week. Who knows? Mitch McConnell wants a vote by the 4th of July weekend. Do you see the rush?

RUSCOE: I'm not sure. I would like them to take the time to do the best they can do to try to put something in place where there would be still some help to people of my age bracket and to help others that need coverage as well. LEMON: Yes.

Pastor, do you think by talking with the senator and talking to other people, do you think that will help influence? Are you looking to help influence the vote? Do you think that will influence the vote?

HILL: You have no idea how desperate I am to get people to look at this bill, to see what's happened. Why was it done in such secret? Why is there such a rush to get it done? It doesn't make sense. And the very people that have voted our two senators, Senator Manchin and Senator Capito and are the ones that are going to be so desperately hurt.

We are in a very poor state. And when they take away Medicaid it's not only going to hurt my daughter because who is not on Medicaid now because she is working full time, but it's going to hurt the people in my state. It's going to hurt veterans which I'm a veteran. You know, 10 percent of the veterans are on Medicaid. It is going to hurt -- we are a rural state. And a pharmacist in one of my churches said, Janice, this is going to ruin hospitalization because little hospitals in a rural area will go out of business. That is going to hurt the employment rate. It's going to hurt people's access to health coverage. And so, of course, they are not going to go for any kind of preventive care. It's going to be critical when they do go. It's going to cost more money. This bill doesn't make sense.

LEMON: Pastor thank you. We wish your daughter the best.

Bob, thanks for coming on. We know it's not easy to come and share your stories like this to the world. We appreciate you coming up. Thank you so much.

RUSCOE: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come back breaking news out of Syria to tell you about possible preparations for another chemical attack by the Assad regime.

Plus, the Supreme Court takes on President Trump's travel ban. How the case could shake out with the President's newest justice on the bench.


[23:18:15] LEMON: We have breaking news on Syria tonight. The White House saying they have identified what they called potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime. The White House putting on a statement saying quote "the activities are similar to preparations the regime made before it is April 4th, 2017 in chemical weapons attack.

As we have previously stated, the United State is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria. If however Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack he and his military will pay a heavy price. Ambassador to United Nations Nikki Haley tweeting any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad but also on Russia and Iran who support him killing his own people. Now, I want to turn to the Supreme Court allowing parts of President

Trump's travel ban to take effect. Here to discuss now, CNN legal analyst Laura Coates and Matthew Whitaker, a former U.S. attorney and Brian Garner, editor in-chief of "Black's Law Dictionary" who co- authored two books with Justice Antonin Scalia.

Good evening. Thank you all for joining us.

Laura, I want to start with you by asking you about Jared Kushner. He is hiring Abby Loul to represent him in special counsel's probe to Russia and collusion possible financial dealings. Loul is a storied criminal defense attorney. What does that say to you?

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, again, you are in an area of unchartered territory. You are going to have really a six-headed hydra to combat whatever maybe coming up. The issue of collusion is a nebulous term. But I think it has left many people who may be targets or maybe a part of the investigation in some way grasping for straws and trying to figure out who they can use in order to address whatever is coming down the pipeline.

So you have somebody who is a storied attorney who may be taking over in that criminal context where you are seeing somebody as being proactive about what maybe before them. Remember, Kushner always said that he would be forthcoming and be willing to speak to whoever investigates the actual collusion investigation. And you are seeing that when you lawyer up maybe you are a little bit less forthcoming than you intended to be initially.

[23:20:19] LEMON: Matt, Kushner is keeping Jamie Gorlick who works for (INAUDIBLE), the same law firm that Robert Mueller comes from as well as three people Mueller hired to helped him investigate the whole Russia mess. Some in the Kushner camp were apparently worried about that. Should they be?

MATTHEW WHITAKER, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, I mean, if they are worried in hiring that powerful of counsel it's probably smart. Because as someone that counsels people under criminal investigation or even tangentially related to an investigation, you need to make sure that you are, your rights are protected. And you also need to make sure that you are making smart decisions of, you know, what you say, how you say it and that you are prepared for if and when they come knocking to interview.

LEMON: Bryan, the Supreme Court will take up the travel ban in October. In the meantime, the court is letting part of the ban go forward immediately. So I want to read what the court wrote about who can come and who can't come into the country.

So it says the ban may be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with the personal entity in the United States. But then it says foreign nationals who any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States are temporarily barred. Is this a victory for the President as he is claiming? BRYAN GARNER, EDITOR IN-CHIEF, BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY: Well, I think

it certainly is. It was a very clear repudiation of the circuit court opinion. This is was an unusual opinion. It was a per curium opinion, meaning by the court. It was unsigned. There were three justices concurring and descending - justices Thomas Gorsuch and Alito.

But as of this morning, we have an entirely new standard previously unknown to American law, credible claim of a bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States. That is likely to be litigated in future months and years even unless the Supreme Court in the fall in its full opinion after hearing argument somehow change it is standard.

LEMON: Do you agree with that, Laura?

COATES: Yes. I think the Supreme Court had the intention and knowing you would have further litigation on issue of trying to figure out what qualifies as bona fide. What is going to be that connection?

Remember the timing here is important. The Trump administration earlier in the month had a memo that said within 72 hours of whatever the ruling would be, they could implement certain portions of it. And now you have a 90-day period of vetting will take place.

So you count ahead, by October the issue may be moot. But here's how it will not be moot in front of the court. If there are other briefing coming forward to say we have an issue that still unresolved to give the clarity people need to have the vetting takes place properly.

But ultimately, you have a hat tip to what we all know to be true. And that is the President does have the prerogative to implement policies that benefit and promote national security. But the court is very clear this is not an overall constitutional victory or this statutory one. It simply allows you to do what the ninth circuit already said. You can go ahead and look at the vetting and evaluate that. We will talk about the real crux of the matter in October.

LEMON: Matthew, where does this go from here? Is there writing on the wall about how the court will look at this in October? What grounds will they consider?

WHITAKER: Well, it's going to be fully litigated. But as she points out, I think many of these issues could be moot. I think it is one of the things that is going to be very interesting for Supreme Court watchers is the new mix up with, you know, Gorsuch joining this dissenting in part and concurring in part. Saying essentially that we believe that the administration will win on the merits. I thought that was a very strong statement by three other justices to suggest that while they haven't heard the full argument or seen the full record that they really believe that the administration is well within its rights to do this procedure and to have this ban and try to figure out how to vet these candidates from these six countries.

LEMON: Bryan, Justice Gorsuch who took Justice Scalia's place on the court, he was among those who thought that the full ban should go forward. What do you make of this support and would Justice Scalia have been happy with it.

GARNER: Well, I think Justice Gorsuch is (INAUDIBLE) and he is an originalist. He is very much in Justice Scalia's mold. I don't want to keep commenting on what Justice Scalia would have made of this. But my own guess knowing his juries is that he would have been with Justice Thomas and the concurrence in this case.

You know, there is a very unusual aspect of the court's opinion that almost no commentator, at least no commentator that I know of has even mentioned and that is an unusual ambiguity. And that is the fourth circuit -- the U.S. Supreme Court says that the fourth circuit committed error by considering the President's campaign trail comments as oppose to the text of the executive order.

This comes in a paragraph about government allegations. The government alleges this, alleges that. And then the court drops a statement that the court of appeals clearly committed an error an error in considering what President Trump says on the campaign trail. It's very interesting ambiguity. And it could actually be an oversight, an unusual oversight in the U.S. Supreme Court opinion. But that could tell us how the court ultimately is likely to come out.

[23:26:09] LEMON: Bryan, Matt, Laura, thank you so much.

Is the Russian investigation turning into Watergate 2.0? My next guest says yes.


[23:30:43] LEMON: Word tonight that Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and top aide, is hiring a big time criminal defense lawyer bringing Abby Loul on to his legal team as the Russia investigation heats up. The President meanwhile upping his attacks on his predecessor tweeting President Obama did nothing about Russia's meddling accusing him of collusion and obstruction.

Joining me now is Frank Rich, a writer at-large for "New York" magazine.

Very interesting stuff here. Your piece is titled, just wait. Watergate didn't become Watergate overnight either. Why do you think that's where the Trump administration is heading?

FRANK RICH, WRITER AT-LARGE, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Because all the signs show he is making every mistakes that Nixon did and then some. But you know, essentially, witness the tweets you just discuss having a cover-up. Whatever the underlying crime is, if you obstruct justice you are obstructing justice. It seems that that's the way they are heading.

LEMON: Do you think all of this may be all smoke and no fire?

RICH: It's a hell of a lot of smoke. It's like a burning, you know, forest fire under control. I'm sure there are some things are being speculated really false, I'm sure. I'm also convinced there are other things we don't know about that only Robert Mueller is going to find out about because he is going to have the power of subpoena to get stuff that we can't see of the (INAUDIBLE) financial arrangements between from people and Jared Kushner and the Russians.

LEMON: I asked you because he has said all along. But he is saying that there is no evidence of collusion. So I'm just wondering if you could --.

RICH: If ever there is no evidence in collusion, he also said the whole thing was a hoax. The whole story was a hoax about Russian involvement in the election. Now he is saying maybe it's not a hoax because it must have been Obama's fault.

LEMON: Well, I mean, the former President got him to say it. It was an interesting way that Obama did that, right.

RICH: Yes.

LEMON: Got him to say that he believes that Russia did tamper with the election. But I mean, you are pretty blunt on your piece here. And here you write in part quote. You say "the skids of Trump's collapse are already being greased by some of the same factors that brought down his role model. Profound tailings of character, distain for the law. If the President does that means that it is not illegal. In Nixon's notorious post-resignation formulation to David Frost. And an inability to retain the loyalty of feuding White House aides who will lawyer up to save their own skin." Multiple members of the - of Trump's current team have lawyers now. Do you think that they are going to turn on a president, Frank?

RICH: I think the one who is most worried about is Flynn. Because Flynn was there when all this happened both before and after the inauguration for 25 days.

LEMON: And it is believed that he has been reported that he may be cooperating with the FBI.

RICH: Exactly, which is exactly the Watergate pattern. You have someone on the White House staff who is trading information for immunity and to stay out of jail and not be locked up. And so people are lawyering up for a reason because maybe they don't have their stories straight. There's been so many conflicting stories out this administration.

LEMON: You know that impeachment is political and the other things, obstruction or, you know, if you are covering something up. I mean, that's illegal. That would be different.

RICH: Right.

LEMON: Right. So if he has a Republican senate and Republican House, the chances of them drawing up articles of impeachment are little slim to none.

RICH: Slim to none. And keep in mind and even Nixon, it never got to impeachment. There was a vote in a committee but he resigned before it got to the floor. So my feeling this will all come to a boil a year from now when a lot of Republicans who are in contentious districts want to save themselves before the midterms.

LEMON: So you think that - do you think that he - you say he is going to implode you believe before?

RICH: I think -- my guess would simply a sort of psychological guess is if he is losing a lot, if he is losing people in his own party a year from now, if nothing is getting done, and look, the health care bill may be going down. That is not getting done. We don't know about tax reform. He may be tired of it. He may want to take his marbles and go back home to Mar-a-Lago and blame it on everyone else, which is very good at doing and say it was a conspiracy to get him.

LEMON: You said that Nixon, the difference is that Nixon knew how to pull levers of government and pile up on both foreign and domestic policy achievements.

[23:35:00] RICH: Right. He didn't just sign, you know, executive orders.

LEMON: But Trump - I mean, that helped him hold on to the presidency a little bit longer. But that is not sort of a forte of this President.

RICH: No. I mean, look, Nixon, whatever everyone one thinks of him, it's a very mixed bag. He negotiated, you know, historic arms control agreement. He opened up China. He started the environmental protection agency.

Trump is just signing executive orders. When you have seen his executive orders you sort of seen them all. That same (INAUDIBLE). If you remember to sign and before he walks up.

LEMON: That's why I'm so curious is why you think they will have the same fate because, you know, Nixon was a political animal. Donald Trump is not a political animal. He is populist. The people maybe with him longer than they were with Nixon.

RICH: My theory of the case is the solid base for Nixon very similar to the same populist base for Trump about a quarter of the country. That's about the number of people now strongly support Trump. Even when Nixon was basically about to go to prison if Ford hadn't pardoned him, he left with the White House for 24 approval rating. That's not base. But unfortunately, that is not enough to stay in-charge of the government. If you find in midterm elections, you are losing.

LEMON: I find a lot of people are wondering, when is he going to go? And that I think he is going to be there four years. But you've think he's going to go before?

RICH: I do. I don't think he is going to be gone tomorrow. But I really I feel this cannot sustain itself for a much more than another year, a year-and-a-half.

LEMON: Because? Just because he is --?

RICH: Because he is 71 years old. He is losing. He doesn't like to lose. And he is unpopular and he has become more unpopular. And he hasn't faced a real crisis yet, you know, a national, international crisis. All this is yet to be fall him and us.

LEMON: Thank you, Frank Rich.

RICH: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come back why a pro-Trump group is attacking one of their own on health care.


[23:41:17] LEMON: Here is our breaking news, a White House official saying tonight they believe they are right on the thresh hole of losing on health care. Meanwhile the pro-Trump group American First policies threatening to air TV aides against GOP senator Dean Heller over his opposition to the bill.

Let's discuss now. CNN political commentators Alice Stewart, Matt Lewis and Symone Sanders.

So hello to all of you.

Alice, particularly to you. Here is the ad that takes aim at the Nevada senator. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Heller made his opposition clear. That is unacceptable to us and the millions of Americans suffering under Obamacare. Heller is now standing with Pelosi. Unacceptable. If you are opposed to this bill we are opposed to you.


LEMON: So Alice, they haven't run this ads yet, but is intimidation the right thing? And is it going to work?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It is not the right thing. And certainly not the right thing in this case. Heller is not going to be influenced by group's ads on Nevada television.

Look. He is be holding to the constituents from Nevada. And he is not beholding to Washington. And his position is really no different than a lot of other Republicans who have come out in opposition to the Texas on the table right now. And that it doesn't go far enough and it doesn't lower costs and it doesn't address the Medicare issues that they campaigned and won on.

Look. He wants to come to yes. He wants to get to a point where he can go back to his constituents and say look, I'm bringing about the positive change that I promised. And look, he has got the most to lose of all this because he is in a very tight race. A poll just came out today with his Democratic challenger where they are someone who will be announcing. They are neck and neck race. He has got a lot to lose but he is not going to let an outside group's ad influence his campaign promises to the people of Nevada.

LEMON: And the state was won by Hillary Clinton. So again, you are right. He is in a, you know, he is in an interesting spot here.

Symone, Alice said she doesn't think he is going to be influenced. But a person involved in the group and this group told CNN that say it was investing $1.3 million on a television and radio and digital advertisements against the Nevada senator who is up for re-election as we stated. Again Hillary Clinton won in 2016 there. Does he have -- do you think he has toe the line even if it means he could lose his seat?

SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think he may toe the line and in fact probably lose his seat.

Look. Not only did Hillary Clinton just win in Nevada in 2016, Heller is the only Republican who is up for reelection in 2018 in a state where Hillary Clinton won. So the bar is high. This bill is disastrous. And this group whose ad has not gone on the air yet is not the only ad in play in Nevada. There are tons of ads. Everybody from both sides are up on the air and there's pressure on this senator.

Look. I think the red line for this senator was the Medicaid cuts. And unfortunately, this bill that has been put before the United States Senate or we have and that most people haven't just saw the bill. But this bill hasn't put for United States senate, it finances the billionaire tax cuts by curbing back and flashing Medicaid.

So I don't know if Heller be able to get to a yes on this. But if he does, it can and probably will cause him his seat.

LEMON: Matt, the vice President is going to have dinner with four Senators tomorrow night. Senator Lee who opposes the bill, Senator Langford, Sasse and Cotton who are still undecided. So dinner with the VP or intimidation adds in your state?

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, obviously, it's a different strategy for a different co-hort. These, Mike Pence who is very popular among what might be, you know, sort of the thoughtful Jack Kemp conservatives is having dinner with, you know, that sort of brand of conservative. And you know, catch more flies with honey in that case. That's the strategy.

Mike Pence, you got to do this for the team. Win one for the gripper. Help us out. And then Heller is getting the opposite treatment. He is getting the stick not the carrot.

But look, let me talk about Heller. I think that this helps Heller. Heller is a very shrewd politician. He managed to win in 2012, a tough year. He survived in Nevada along with Brian Sandoval, the governor. They do it differently out there. They are not affiliated with the Republican party of Washington, D.C. I think running ads talking about how he is not playing along with the

president helps him. It shows that he is independent. It shows he is willing to stand up to his own party. It might help him get elected. The problem is it makes it impossible for him to change his mind now and get to yes.

[23:45:54] LEMON: So Senator Bill Cassidy, a Republican from my home state of Louisiana who is also a doctor said that he wants legislation that passes the Jimmy Kimmel test. Kimmel tweeted this, this week and he said, reminder for Senator Bill Cassidy. Kimmel test is no family should be denied Medical care emergency or otherwise because they can't afford it.

So given what we know and the CBO score today, do you think the bill that passes the Kimmel test is a reality, Alice?

STEWART: I think it can get to that point. And keep in mind so many people are already assuming that what's on the table right now is going to be the final product. It's not. There's still a lot of negotiation to be had. Obviously, there is going to more tomorrow. And all of the senators and members of Congress campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare which would mean lower costs greater quality of care and better access. And they intend to keep those promises.

And look. The real negotiation is going to happen when we do get something passed all the Senate and they will have to go back the house and try and hash out something that will be fun by the president. So I think we are very far away from putting nail in the coffin on this thing because right now we are just still negotiating.

LEMON: All right. Stand by everyone. We are going to come back. And when we do President Trump attacking former President Obama in the way he -- the best way he knows best, and that is on twitter. But are his tweets tarnishing Obama's legacy or his own?


[23:51:13] LEMON: And we are back with the panel now. Another day, another tweet storm. Guess what President Trump is made about now? Back with my panel.

Hey, before we get onto President Obama what have you, I thought, Symone, that you might want to respond to something that Alice said earlier about the health care bill, did you?

SANDERS: Yes, that basically this bill is absolutely disastrous. And you talk about protecting people and insuring coverage and providing coverage, when the latest provision of this bill penalizes people who were not able to afford coverage in the first place. And doesn't allow them to get insurance for six months. So, I just think this is absolutely crazy. And I just wish we could be at a place where we can have a bipartisan health care bill that actually insures and helps people. That's not what we have today and that's not what we will have at the end of this week.

LEMON: Matt, I want to ask you, what's the rush here?

LEWIS: Well, look, the rush is artificial. Just like house, the first house bill that went down in flames. They had an artificial deadline. The rush is political. It's Mitch McConnell. The senate majority leader has decided, a, if this is not happening, he doesn't want to waste a lot of time on it. It will either happen or it won't. And b, I do think there's a fear that if Republicans go back home for the fourth of July, that they are going to be greeted by some constituents that are not happy and, so, if it doesn't pass before they leave, it is not going to pass. That's the rationale.

LEMON: But it shouldn't they be concern that there maybe be more constituents who are not happy because some people may be kicked off of health care or not able to afford it, Alice?

STEWART: They absolutely should be. And look, they campaigned on repealing and placing, but also to get it right. And that includes lowering the cost and addressing the Medicaid concerns that a lot of these states have.

LEMON: Do you think this deadline is artificial and they should maybe slow the roll of it or no?

STEWART: They absolutely should. It is better to get it right than right now. And you know, to put a rush on something like this that controls or fix the economy and affects millions of Americans I think is a huge mistake. And it is not necessary.


SANDERS: Don, I just want to make one quick note that Obamacare was discussed for 18 months, there were hearings, there were over 100 amendments. President Obama went on a tour. We haven't seen any of this.

LEMON: It's been four days since they released it and they want to have a vote on it for the Fourth of July weekend, which is this coming weekend.

Let's talk about Russia real quick because the President is tweeting about Russia and the former President, President Obama. I want to put the tweet up. The reason President Obama did nothing about Russia after being notified by the CIA of meddling is that he expected Clinton to win and did not want to rock the boat. He didn't choke. He colluded or obstructed and did the Dems and crooked Hillary no good. The real story is that President Obama did nothing about being informed in August about Russian meddling with four months looking at Russia. And he goes on.

I want to get your response before we run out of time. President Obama colluded or obstructed, Symone?

SANDERS: I can't even believe these are real tweets from the current President of the United States aka to former leader of the free world. This is what Donald Trump does. He is deflecting. He is deflecting and he doesn't want to own the issue. So he is continuing to talk about President Obama, instead of talking about what his administration is planning to do or is not doing to hold Russia accountable for what they -- cyber warfare basically, that's what this was, in the meddling of our election.

LEMON: Alice, listen. Do you think the Obama administration dropped the ball? But do you agree with the President that former -- the former President colluded and obstructed?

STEWART: Look, I agree with a lot of what top Democrats have said over the last several days here in Washington is that, yes, people feel like President Obama dropped the ball and yes, some do feel that there was some influence in their decision not to make an announcement or to push back on Russia, because they thought Hillary Clinton was going to win the election.

That being said, do I think the current President should be tweeting about it? Absolutely not. Look. He used twitter very effectively in the campaign. And it helped get his message out directly to the people. But he's President of the United States now and everything he says is an official statement by the President. And prodding and provoking his predecessor is not very Presidential. And I think he needs to stick on message. Focus on getting health care passed and push -- energy is the big topic this week. Let's talk about that. And I think he needs to be a lot more disciplined when it comes to twitter.

[23:55:35] LEMON: Matt, with all these tweets storms, do you think that the President is chipping away at the Obama legacy or his own?

LEWIS: I don't think it's going to impact the Obama legacy. I think that story was in "the Washington Post" and "The New York Times," whatever. The story that came out that pointed out that President Obama, you know, sort of sat on his hands and didn't do anything, that is going impact the Obama legacy.

And if President Trump wanted to impact the Obama legacy, and frankly, I think he has got enough to worry about. But if he wanted to, he should have surrogates do it. That's not what he ought to be spending his time doing. This is counterproductive.

The only thing I disagree with that's been said so far, it's not just deflecting. It's projecting. It's projection. Whatever he's accused of, he will accuse other people of.

LEMON: Thank you all. I appreciate that. Matt, Alice and Symone.

That's it for us. Thanks for watching. I will see you right back here tomorrow.

Good night.