Return to Transcripts main page
Report: Trump Says Obama Did Nothing About Russian Meddling; Trump Demands Apology from Obama About Russia; Senate Health Bill in Jeopardy. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired June 26, 2017 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] PETE HOEKSTRA, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: They didn't act aggressively, because they didn't materially believe that the Russians would affect the vote. There was no meltdown of the election process on election day, and despite this the Obama focus in almost a Bin Laden raid type of environment, they found no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: That wasn't part of "The Washington Post" story. That part, the collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, that is part of the investigation. Again, we don't know whether there was any collusion.
HOEKSTRA: But it's been reported that Senator Feinstein, Senator Warner, Senator Graham, DNI Director Clapper have all stated that they have not seen any evidence of collusion, I've got to remember, the CIA and our intelligence community were aware of this for a year, they were watching if for a year, if they didn't find it in real time, I think what the President is now pointing out, this is much more a story about what the Obama administration did and did not do, and it also needs to get back to the focus of exactly what did the Russians do? This story is no longer about the Trump administration and the Trump campaign. If people want to look at it, great, let's look at what the Russians did and let's look at how Obama did or did not respond to the Russian actions.
CABRERA: Now, the response is completely separate though from the ongoing investigation --
HOEKSTRA: But there's no basis for the ongoing investigation if you look at "The Washington Post" story.
CABRERA: But we don't know there have not been any conclusions drawn by the intelligence community regarding that specific issue. That's why there's an investigation with the special prosecutor. The other think I just wanted to make sure we correct is that according to the "The Washington Post" story the former President Obama was aware of the Russia meddling in the election in August prior to the election. But David, what do you make of the current President now accusing the former President of collusion?
DAVID TAFURI, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: First of all, Congressman Hoekstra got a number of things wrong about "The Washington Post" story. I would encourage all the readers to read the story. It's fascinating. What the story says is the Obama administration knew about the interference by Russia, and it was hotly debating what its response should be. It made the public aware that this had happened, too. At the time, the Obama administration was debating what to do, Trump while campaigning for President, denied that it even happened. He multiple times said it could have been a 400-pound person on his couch as much as it could have been Russia. So, he downplayed it.
What Obama ultimately did is put in place sanctions in December. They were not strong enough. That's also one of the points of "The Washington Post" article. In fact, some of the Obama's inner circle also believed the reaction should have been stronger. What's also ironic is as meager as those sanctions are, Trump wants to roll those sanctioning back. He wants to do even less. So, it's quite on the that he's not criticizing Obama and claiming that he needs an apology. It's also very important to know that we have just started this special counsel investigation.
We don't know what the evidence is going to be, Pete Hoekstra doesn't know what the evidence will be. Trump doesn't know what the evidence is going to be. Only the FBI knows some of the evidence, and they haven't even collected all of the evidence. So, for Trump to say there's no evidence of collusion is incorrect. The fact is we don't know what the evidence is, and Sean Spicer also tried to do make this logical leap today in his press conference saying because the Obama administration knew about interference from Russia, therefore there was no collusion.
[15:35:00] No, there is an investigation and we have wait for the results of the investigation.
CABRERA: Pete, do you want to respond?
HOEKSTRA: Sure. What we do know is the intelligence community and law enforcement community was watching, because they knew the threat was out there. They knew -- they didn't identify anything. We know if a Congressman is targeted by the Russians or is targeted to be turned or influenced, we as the intelligence committee were briefed, and we would make a decision as to whether that member should be briefed on the fact that the Russians were targeting them or some other foreign power. The real question here is also, did the Obama administration fully brief the Trump and Clinton campaigns, the other relevant political committees? So, they would know they might be targeted by the Russian, and secondly, they could prepare the defenses and be on the lookout for suspicious activity. There's no evidence that Obama did anything to make the candidates, their campaigns or the political parties aware of the threat that was out there.
CABRERA: He did go to Congress, though. We have to leave it there. We have Senator Rand Paul. I got to intervene. I'm sorry to interrupt. Certainly, we'll have you back. Congressman Hoekstra and David, thank you.
Rand Paul says Republicans are making promises they can't keep in the current version of the Senate healthcare bill. He's going to join us from Capitol Hill as we await the Congressional Budget Office's score of the bill. Any moment now. Stay with us. [15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: I want to show you live pictures, as the President and the first lady are preparing to meet Prime Minister Modi. We'll bring you the highlights as they conduct their business.
In the meantime, there's a standoff over health care, putting the Republican bill in jeopardy as of right now, Republicans are very divided. Not only do five Senators oppose the Senate's version of the bill. Three more have expressed concerned. Mitch McConnell can only afford to lose two votes. This is not on their side. Senator John Cornyn wants it done before the August 1st deadline tweeting -- we need to do it this week, and there we see the President shaking hands with the Indian Prime Minister.
They plan to meet and will issue a joint statement following their meeting sometime later, we are also waiting this afternoon for the Congressional Budget Office to issue a score of the Senate version's health care bill, as the President talks foreign policy, we will be focusing on domestic policy. Those two things happening simultaneously.
One of the reps opposing the bill is joining us now. Senator Rand Paul -- we'll keep an eye on what is happening with the Indian Prime Minister. Of course, Senator Paul, you are a member on the committee of health, education and pensions. You have been thinking a lot about this. What does this bill need for you to vote yes?
SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KENTUCKY: The fundamental flaw of Obamacare is you can buy insurance after you get sick, but it also tells healthy young people your insurance will cost more because there are 12 regulations or mandates that every insurance policy has to have. When you mandate what insurance has to cover, you increase the price, you price out the young healthy people, and the only people left get sicker and sicker, what they call adverse.
My problem with the Senate bill is we don't fix that. We keep ten of 12 of the Obamacare regulations, we still keep the idea you can buy it after you get sick, so I'm concerned the death spiral of Obamacare may even get worse with the Republican version. I'm also concerned that the Republican version keeps most of the subsidies and creates a brand-new subsidy, called a stabilization fund. All of those things together make me very concerned we're not going to fix the problem here.
CABRERA: So, you see this as being too similar to Obamacare, what you see are problems. Let me show you the latest polling. Right now, 51 percent of those polled have a favorable view of Obama care. That's the highest number that the Kaiser Family Foundation has seen. Since they began keeping track, 79 polls since 2010. Meantime, you can see the GOP health care plan is just 30 percent. Obamacare is popular right now, Senator.
PAUL: If you're a plumber or a pest control guy and you're trying to buy insurance, in 50 percent of the country there's only one insurer. We now have many counties where there's no insurers, so I think without question Obamacare is a failure. It's getting worse. Premiums have gone up 105 percent since we got Obamacare. The insurance companies are pulling out, jacking up their premiums, so really the most important poll is, can you get insurance? For 50 percent, they're stuck with a monopoly, and it's spreading to where, in many parts of the country there won't be many insurance options. Obama care is failing in the visible market, but the best way to fix it is freedom. We should legalize inexpensive insurance. That means insurance without any rig laze, insurance that you can buy what you want at the price you want to pay. Right now, we have people with big heart who say it should cover everything, but they price poor people out of the marketplace. I know they're well intended. President Obama wanted to help people, but he priced poor working-class people out of the marketplace.
CABRERA: If you roll back some of those regulations, perhaps it does end up making health care coverage cheaper for people who are younger, healthier, but what happens to those people who have preexisting conditions, those people who are sixer, older, who may not be able to afford what insurance companies want to charge them?
PAUL: The best way to help people with preexisting conditions is to get them out of the individual market completely and let them get group insurance. I'll give you an example. If you worked for Toyota, your wife has multiple sclerosis, leukemia, breast cancers.
[15:45:00] Or vice versa, the woman works and the husband has these terrible problems. Group insurance covers all these things. The individual market is different. You they treat you in a pool by yourself, that's not fair. I'm saying let individual people join a group, join the chamber of commerce, AARP, farm bureau. Let them buy group insurance across the lines, a big part of the co-op, not that the government creates, but we let the market create. If you have confidence in capitalism, virtually everyone would get coverage through a group plan. There will be a few people who fall through the cracks, and I think that's what Medicaid is for.
CABRERA: What would be the incentive for insurance companies to offer people with preexisting conditions or?
PAUL: It's market leverage. For example, General Motors might have 200,000 workers, and they have some of them who are sick or whose spouses are sick. They sell the insurance, because the 200,000 workers. What if they say tomorrow we're no longer buying individual policies, you are going to an insurance company and see if we can get all of our business, but we want a group policy. I think they have the market leverage to do this. Imagine AARP. They have 33 million people. If they chose to negotiate for health insurance, who wouldn't want their business?
PAUL: Insurance companies couldn't afford not to turn them down.
CABRERA: I hear where you're going. So, President Trump gave you and a few others a phone call over the weekend. I'm curious, what did he ask you? And did you come to an agreement? PAUL: We had an extensive discussion about all the ramifications,
which way the leadership is taking it, which way the conservatives want to take it, the moderates. What I told him what would get me on board, and I think we had a very frank discussion. If we narrowed the focus, let's say we are going to fix -- in fact I don't think everything is fixable. Let's repeal as much as we can, and we'll work with the Democrats over the next six months to fix any remaining problems. Once it's no longer a debate about repeal, but it's a debate how to fix it, maybe there can be bipartisan coming together, but Obamacare is in such terrible straits, we should try to repeal as much as we can and see if we can patch up medicate until we can get to a position where we can fix it.
CABRERA: With all due respect, senator, you had seven years to come up with a plan. Do you think there's a vote this week before I let you go?
[15:50:00] PAUL: We still have disagreement. We have conservative members who still want to repeal it. That's what we're going to have to figure out in the next couple days.
CABRERA: Is it going to happen this week?
PAUL: We'll see. I think it's a lot to digest in one week, not only to read. Bill. We don't even have the CBO score until this afternoon. I think it's ambitious to think you can get it done. I'm trying to negotiate with the President, but really the President is going to have to tell letter they'll have to negotiate with some of us.
CABRERA: Senator Rand Paul, we appreciate your time. Thank you.
Up next, a father in California sues after he held a $20,000 funeral for his son, only to have his son show up at his door alive a few weeks later. We'll explain how this terrible mix-up happened.
CABRERA: Imagine this bizarre scenario. A loved one is declared dead, the family has a funeral only for the unthinkable to happen a few weeks later. He calls you, only to say he's alive. The man on the left is homeless, mentally ill. He was mistakenly identified as another man dead. Stephanie Elam is here. Stephanie, how did this happen?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You can imagine Frank Kerrigan Sr., 81 years old, burying his son, he believes, in the plot next to his wife who passed away almost a decade ago. Thinking you're burying your son, he's homeless, you're worried about him. Then two weeks later he shows up at one of the family friend's homes, one who was actually a pallbearer saying, hey, just checking in. This is what he tends to do, show up and check in with the family. Then they called his dad and said, are you sitting down? Frankie is still alive. Listen to what dad said. It was like learning his son was still alive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[15:55:00] FRANK KERRIGAN SR., FATHER OF SON WRONGLY DECLARED DEAD: I'm sorry, Mr. Kerrigan, to have to tell you this over the telephone. But your friend is deceased. And as soon as they said it was by his fingerprints, that was the dagger in my heart. They said, Mr. K., your son is alive. I said, oh, my god. Frank gets on the phone and says, hi, dad, how you doing? We're so happy for frank to be with us and we're joyous. At the same time, we still feel the pain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELAM: Of course, they feel the pain, as you might expect for this. The coroner's office is saying they IDed him through fingerprint fingerprints. They had a driver's license about 11 years old. They looked at the fingerprints and that's how they determined he was the right person there. But obviously something went wrong because the fingerprints did not match up when they ran it again. The other issue here, too, is the family feels like less care was paid attention to Frank because he is homeless. His sister says this was just blatant disregard because he was homeless. The family is suing for $2 million including $20,000 they spent on his funeral and he is very much alive.
CABRERA: Ivanka Trump says she tries to stay out of politics despite the fact she's an adviser to the President.
CABRERA: So, she admits being slightly biased, but Ivanka Trump just gave her dad an "A" grade for his performance as leader of the western world. The senior adviser of the President is also making headlines for what she told Fox News when asked if she ever gives advice to her dad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF PRESIDENT: I try to stay out of politics. You know, his political in stich instincts are phenomenal. He did something very few thought possible. I feel very blessed to be part of the ride from day one and before. He did something pretty remarkable but I don't profess to be a political savant. So, I leave the politics to other people and really lean into the issues that I care deeply about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Despite those comments about not being political, Ivanka Trump has been a leading voice in the administration on female entrepreneurship, paid parental leave and climate change.
That's going to do it for me. Thanks so much for joining us in the newsroom. Jim Sciutto and "The Lead" starts right now.