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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump's Travel Ban Unblocked; Senate Health Care Bill Leaves 22 Million Uninsured; Philippines' War with ISIS Militants Comes at High Cost; Chinese Dissident Given Medical Parole; Trump Agenda: Destroy Obama Legacy; CBO Analysis: Mother: Health Care Bill "A Punch in Gut"; Spicer Ignores Questions on Off-Camera Briefing; Russia Ambassador Kislyak Returning to Moscow; Landslides, Flooding Hits China. Aired 2- 3a ET

Aired June 27, 2017 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[02:00:00]

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ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The Supreme Court unblocks part of President Trump's travel ban but not everyone is calling this a win for the White House. We will tell you why.

Also the Republican replacement for ObamaCare may be in trouble after a devastating Congressional Budget Office report.

And an exclusive look inside Raqqa, where ISIS is now fighting a battle for survival.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church at CNN Headquarters in Atlanta. And this is CNN NEWSROOM.

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CHURCH: We are following two developing stories out of Washington, the Trump administration is claiming victory for its controversial travel ban in the U.S. Supreme Court.

And trouble could be brewing for Senate Republican plans to overhaul the nation's health care system.

So let's start with the travel ban, where President Trump is proclaiming victory for national security. The Supreme Court has decided to allow part of his executive order to take effect. But legal analysts say the enforcement could cause chaos at the nation's airports and borders. CNN's Jessica Schneider reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the unsigned opinion, the court sided with the government in part, temporarily barring entry for foreign nationals who are unable to make a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. STEVE VLADECK, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think it's clear from today's decision that most of the justices think that the lower court decisions went a bit too far and that at least parts of the travel ban should be allowed to go into effect.

SCHNEIDER: But for those with family, business or educational ties to the U.S., the executive order will remain on hold. As long as those seeking a visa can prove a close familial relationship or a connection to a business or educational entity that is formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course, they may be considered for entry, people like students who have been accepted to universities or a worker with an offer at an American company.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: The court seems to thread a needle actually quite elegantly where they have dealt with the people who have the biggest hardships, the saddest stories, the people who have close relatives.

SCHNEIDER: Three conservative members on the court dissented in part, saying the decision didn't go far enough and should have allowed the full travel ban to go into effect. Justice Clarence Thomas argued that the peaceable approach may be unworkable, writing: "Today's compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding on peril of contempt whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country."

Justice Neil Gorsuch joined in that dissent as he starts to show his leanings as the newest member of the course. Gorsuch has already joined several times with Justice Thomas, the court's most conservative member and agreed the full travel ban should go into effect.

VLADECK: That's a pretty strong vote and it's a pretty strong show of support for the president by really his most important nominee to date.

SCHNEIDER: But this decision is only temporary. The court has not yet determined whether or not the ban is constitutional or whether it violates immigration law. The full court said today it will hear those critical arguments in the fall. Lawyers for those who challenge the ban are focused on the bigger fight ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will counting on the Supreme Court to affirm what the American people have made so clear, that there's no place in this country for any policy that attempts to discriminate or divide us based on how we pray, what we look like or where we come from.

SCHNEIDER: But for now, the Department of Homeland Security has declared it a win for the administration, saying the Supreme Court's decision restores to the executive branch crucial and long-held constitutional authority to defend our national borders. It was chaos at the nation's airports when the first travel took effect in January.

Now the administration has 72 hours to issue directives to begin implementation of the portions of the travel ban that are allowed to proceed and clarify how travelers can go about proving that they have a bona fide connection to people and entities in this country.

One thing missing from this opinion, the Supreme Court did not weigh in on the president's words. The lower courts had focused extensively on President Trump's tweets and his statements about this travel ban. It remains to be seen if the Supreme Court will factor those words in when the hear the full arguments next term -- Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Joining me now to talk more about this is CNN legal analyst Page Pate. He's also a constitutional lawyer.

Thanks so much for coming in to the studio. So there's a lot to unpack here. But we know now that the Supreme Court has weighed in for the first time into President Trump's travel ban. It's allowing portions of that or part of that to go into effect.

[02:05:00]

CHURCH: What will that mean exactly?

Who can come in, who can't and could this create travel chaos, as some have suggested?

PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, that's the big question here. The Supreme Court has finally agreed to accept the case. They're going to review the travel ban and determine if it's constitutional or not constitutional.

But in the meantime, before the court hears arguments in the fall, they're going to let part of the ban go into effect. They're going to let the administration prohibit anyone from these six countries who have no connection to the United States from coming in to the United States.

But they did leave open a very large door. They said if someone has a bona fide relationship with a U.S. individual or U.S. entity they can come in. But the question of determining who has a bona fide relationship and what that relationship is, we don't know who's going to make that determination yet.

CHURCH: Is this a win for President Trump?

And what could it perhaps mean for the rest of his travel ban, do you think?

PATE: Most people think it's a win for the administration. Obviously there's been nothing but losses for the administration up to this point. The travel ban was completely halted by two courts of appeal, not just one but every appellate court that heard about this ban did not like it. And they put a stop to it.

So to that extent you can call it a win because, for the first time, at least part of the ban will go into effect. But ultimately I don't think it makes that big of a difference because what the Supreme Court is doing here is, number one, it's not letting the full ban go into effect. It is effectively striking down the ban as written by the Trump administration. So that's a loss.

The other thing is I don't think the Supreme Court is giving as much deference to the administration's claims of national security interest here or they would have let the entire ban go into effect.

If they really believe what the administration is saying. So while it's a win, it's certainly not a big win.

CHURCH: Why do you think they didn't look at the tweets from Twitter coming from the president?

(CROSSTALK)

CHURCH: How significant is that?

PATE: That's a great question. Because both of the appellate courts that looked at this ban, they put a lot of emphasis on the tweets because they found that the president's comments, his campaign statements, the tweets he's been sending out, not just while he was a candidate but after being inaugurated and taking office show that the ban was really an attempt to discriminate against Muslims.

They found that the content of his statements showed the discriminatory intent of the actual ban. The Supreme Court didn't go there. I think the Supreme Court is more interested in determining whether or not there's this real national security threat.

They're going to put aside what Trump may have said before the election; they're going to put aside the tweets and they're going to give the administration the opportunity to come in and show this national security threat.

If they can show it, then they may get their ban.

CHURCH: Now we know at this point that three of the nine Supreme Court justices would allow the whole travel ban to go forward and so now six are in the position where they're allowing this part section of the travel ban to go forward.

What are they looking for to be in a situation where they would allow the whole thing to go forward?

Would there be that point?

Would they get to that point, do you think?

PATE: I think so. It's always dangerous to try to predict what the Supreme Court is going to do. But I think we can see from this order, there are three votes for the travel ban as written. They like the travel ban. They're OK with it; no constitutional problem.

There are probably three other justices who feel just as strongly on the other side that they have a problem with this ban as written, at least, as it applies to everyone. So I think the real swing justices here, the votes that are going to

be important will be Justice Roberts, the chief justice, and Justice Kennedy.

And will there be enough votes to allow part of this ban to go into effect or will ultimately the dissenters in this particular order win the day?

Will they be able to convince the other justices that there's enough of a national security threat here that we really need this ban?

That remains to be seen.

CHURCH: So what happens next, legally?

PATE: Well, the court has scheduled the case for the next term, which is in October of this year. So the court will issue a briefing order, requiring both sides to submit legal arguments to the court, written arguments, and then they will schedule an oral argument, where the lawyers come in and give a presentation.

Then it's up to the court how much time they take to consider it. I do not expect a decision in the fall; but one may come after the first of the year.

CHURCH: We'll wait and see what happens. Page Pate, always a pleasure to chat with you. Thank you very much.

PATE: Thank you.

CHURCH: And we turn now to the other big story we're following, the Republican effort to replace ObamaCare. A new Congressional Budget Office report says the bill would leave 22 million fewer insured by 2026.

The plan is also forecast to cut $772 billion from Medicaid over 10 years. On the plus side, the measure would reduce the deficit by $321 billion over the next decade. The CBO report is prompting some Republicans to back away from --

[02:10:00]

CHURCH: -- the plan and Democrats to fight for its rejection.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R): It makes me more concerned. I've been uncommitted and I remain uncommitted, I mean, just deadline uncommitted. But it certainly makes me more concerned and it makes me want to explore this more.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), N.Y.: Well, that's our first job, is to try and kill this bill, to try and just make sure this bill doesn't pass because it does such harm to the American people.

I said yesterday that I think it's about 50-50. I don't count Senator McConnell out. But this is such a bad bill that even his legislative wizardry is having a rough time here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And we have this statement from the White House.

"The CBO has consistently proven it cannot accurately predict how health care legislation will impact insurance coverage. This history of inaccuracy, as demonstrated by its flawed report on coverage, premiums and predicted deficit arising out of ObamaCare, reminds us that its analysis must not be trusted blindly."

Well, the chances of passing the U.S. Senate health care bill may be getting slimmer. Right now, it appears there are not enough votes to even begin Senate debate this week on the proposed legislation.

Tom Foreman breaks down the numbers from our virtual studio.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The headline in the CBO report that has Democrats howling and some Republicans hesitating is the idea that it will make the number of uninsured soar.

For example, the CBO says just eliminating the individual mandate, the rule that says you have to buy insurance, will cause 15 million more people to be uninsured next year and then it will go up from there.

Let's have a little context here. When ObamaCare was passed, around that time, look, we had about 18 percent of the population uninsured. That has been lowered down to about 10 percent.

If you want raw numbers, we can change it over and say from about 48 million uninsured down to 28 million. If the Senate plan goes through, the CBO says this number is going to come up here to about 49 million uninsured.

In other words, higher than where we started. Now that's talking about people who are not older citizens who are usually insured other ways.

But what about premiums?

One of the promises of ObamaCare was that it would make health care more affordable for all of us. Well, the growth of your premiums has slowed down a little bit. It's still going up.

The Kaiser Family Foundation says that's largely because of other market forces, not so much because of ObamaCare. Nonetheless, the CBO says under the Senate plan, here's what you would expect if you were buying one of the benchmark plans that we talk about, a type of average out there.

About 20 percent would be the cost next year, the increase on your benchmark plan as an individual. The year after that, it will also go up. Then it's going to drop about 30 percent if their predictions are right. And it will drop after that as well. But bear in mind you're not buying the same thing here as you were under ObamaCare. Look at some of the things that are being changed in the overall plan here as proposed by the Senate out there.

There's going to be cuts in funding. There'll be some money moved around. For example, less federal support of Medicaid. It would eliminate the ObamaCare taxes on the wealthy and insurers. It would defund Planned Parenthood for a year, it would lower the minimum income range for tax credits to help you with insurance.

In other words, there's a lot of math going on here. And for fiscal conservatives, the part they like is the bottom line. The CBO estimates $321 billion worth of savings, deficit reductions over the next 10 years.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Tom Foreman there.

Well, the White House fears Syria's president could be prepping for another chemical attack. It says there have been activities similar to those made before the gas attack in April, which killed dozens of people.

The White House warns President Bashar al-Assad and his military would pay a heavy price for another attack.

And U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley tweeted this, "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."

While President Trump met with India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, for the first time on Monday. They attended a working dinner at the White House. Both leaders praised each other and stressed the importance of the two countries' strong relationship.

Mr. Trump also thanked Mr. Modi for buying U.S.-made military equipment. Trade is a sore point, though; India has a $24 billion trade surplus with the U.S. President Trump urged the prime minister to relax trade barriers.

The Philippines' battle to drive out ISIS militants is taking its toll.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What do you think about ISIS right now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hate them.

WATSON: You hate them? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hate them.

CHURCH (voice-over): More ahead, for some of the people most affected by the fighting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH (voice-over): And an exclusive glimpse of the front line in the battle against ISIS. Undercover footage from inside the Syrian city of Raqqa, we're back in just a moment. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: There is a critical battle taking place in Syria in the very heart of the city ISIS calls its capital. CNN has exclusively obtained undercover video from Raqqa where U.S.-led forces are making new gains against the terror group. Nick Paton Walsh has the extraordinary footage and explains what it all means.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what a reign of terror looks like when it's in collapse. The traffic's normal, so is the market. But you can tell ISIS is losing here on the streets of Raqqa, the capital of their fast-shrinking caliphate from one thing: it's actually pretty easy to film them in secret.

Using a hidden body camera could be a death sentence for this activist but in these besieged streets, mined with sandbags, encircled by American-backed Syrian fighters, they just don't fear ISIS anymore.

So even this foreign fighter, Abu Isha (ph) from Belgium is a target as he makes a front-line fashion choice and, elsewhere, two Russian- speaking fighters appear to discuss airstrikes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): Here, Abu Lukman (ph), the Egyptian, looks for this military police for a Tunisian man, Abu Manian (ph). They don't find him.

Streets are covered with canopies meant to shelter ISIS fighters from prying coalition drones above. But despite the war, the market's brimming, even the wounded hobbling around.

Under siege, why is there so much food?

Well, it's shipped in from nearby regime-held areas, we're told, commerce alive and well in the caliphate. This shop even seems to offer to change dollars.

Sandbags give shelter from airstrikes but also defensive positions when street-to-street fighting reaches here. But some local have already made this hostile terrain. One activist from the group, Akrad al-Farat (ph), telling us how he pinned night letters, death threats to the doors of ISIS informants.

"We can only get to them," he says, "by leaving messages on their door, like, 'We know who you are.' This soon stops them.

[02:20:00]

WALSH (voice-over): "And some of our friends started writing the word 'free' on the walls of ISIS buildings.

"Then locals started, the elderly, writing it on walls and children on chalkboards, making ISIS wonder, 'Who are these people?'"

It's getting ugly for ISIS here. They've moved their prisons out. Top commanders have fled. Their lieutenants only drive around in low- profile, normal cars. Their enemy literally at the gates. ISIS' world vanishing fast and this may be among the last times we glimpse into their warped way of life -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Irbil, Northern Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Well, Philippine troops are battling with ISIS-linked militants to recapture a city partly taken by the militants more than a month ago. The deadly siege has come at high cost with at least 66 soldiers killed and scores more wounded.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes and CNN's Ivan Watson is in Hong Kong with all the details on this.

Ivan, what is it going to take contain and eventually eliminate ISIS from the Philippines?

Does the government think it can do this?

WATSON: Well, I think we've seen just how difficult this is, that the militants have been able to go toe-to-toe with the armed forces of the Philippines for more than a month in the city of Marawi, in what has essentially been a conventional military battle.

So according to some analysts, they've succeeded beyond expectations in that time. This is also an unprecedented coalition of Islamist insurgent groups in the Philippines, some of which have existed for decades.

But we've never seen cross ethnic and regional divides to unite like this under the black banner of ISIS before. It's has come down to essentially being the longest and deadliest urban battle that the national military has faced in generations.

CHURCH: It is certainly a concern.

How was it even possible for ISIS to get a foothold in the Philippines?

And is this perhaps a wake-up call for other Southeast Asian countries? WATSON: Absolutely. And you've seen signs of alarm coming from other countries in the region. In recent weeks, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines government have announced joint counterterror naval patrols because there's an awful lot of smuggling that's taking place in the archipelago of islands.

These borders are very porous and the militant groups have taken advantage of that, again, for decades, to move people around. It's possible that some of the fighters in Marawi, some of the foreign fighters, island-hopped their way there whereas some analysts have suggested maybe even took commercial flights to reach that location.

Serious challenges here. And the fact that -- I was at a recent defense summit in Singapore -- all of the top military commanders from the U.S.; the Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis; the Australian prime minister; everybody was invoking this battle in Marawi, saying it's a serious concern because it doesn't mean the fear is of fighters coming back from the Middle East, from Raqqa, from Mosul, to Southeast Asia, there are indigenous fighters that show sophistication and the ability to mount a serious logistical operation, all of this presenting serious challenges that could have ramifications far beyond the Philippines.

And we're already getting signs that the battle in Marawi is attracting other jihadis from the region that could try to come to the Southern Philippines island of Mindanao and try to make problems there.

It's potentially going to be a long-term security challenge for Philippines and the broader region.

CHURCH: Yes, it' is certainly alarming. We'll be watching to see how the Philippines copes with this. And of course the wider region.

Ivan Watson, many thanks to you bringing us that live report from Hong Kong, where it's nearly 2:25 in the afternoon. Many thanks.

Well, a Nobel Prize-winning Chinese dissident is out of prison after being diagnosed with cancer. Liu Xiaobo had been serving an 11-year sentence. He's now on medical parole and is receiving treatment for late stage liver cancer. And Matt Rivers is in Beijing. He joins us now live.

So Liu Xiaobo has received his medical parole.

But what does that mean exactly for him?

What happens to him now?

What treatment is he actually receiving for this cancer diagnosis?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, according to the government, he's being treated by oncologists in a city called Shenyang, which is in Northeastern China. He was released from prison under Chinese law, due to medical parole that he applied for and ultimately received.

[02:25:00]

RIVERS: Now let's tell our viewers who he is. This is probably the most high-profile political prisoner in China. His activism dates back to the days of Tiananmen Square. He'd been jailed several times throughout this last several decades, most recently in 2009, when he was given an 11-year prison sentence for, quote, "inciting subversion of state power," because of a manifesto, a pro-democracy, pro-human rights manifesto that he wrote that the Chinese government did not like.

And so he was in prison, critics will say wrongly. And they are not pointing to the fact that he didn't receive treatment in time. He now has late stage liver cancer and critics will say that the Chinese government should have treated him sooner.

And the fact that they only are releasing him just now after this diagnosis would mean that his chances of survival have gone down considerably, not to mention the fact that they would argue that he never should have been in prison in the first place.

So that's where things stand right now and we know that the United States has weighed in.

We contacted the embassy here and, in a statement that we can show you, a spokesperson said, "We call on to the Chinese authorities to not only release Mr. Liu but to allow his wife, Ms. Liu Xia, out of house arrest and provide them the protection and freedoms such as freedom of movement and access to medical care of his choosing, to which they are entitled under China's constitution and legal system and international commitments."

Now Liu's wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest since 2010. She's a poet and activist in her own right. And so you can just imagine what this family overall is going through, now that you add in the fact that there's late stage liver cancer to be dealt with as well.

CHURCH: Yes, that is right and of course the Norwegian Nobel Committee has invited the Nobel Peace Prize laureate to Oslo to receive the committee's tribute.

How likely is it that China would allow him to do this, is it even possible?

Or is his condition so diminished at this point that it wouldn't be possible?

RIVERS: It's probably not possible just from a health conference at this point -- or health standpoint at this point. But the Chinese government simply would not allow him to leave. It is incredibly sensitive here. He scares the Chinese government and we know that simply by the fact that the pictures you're seeing right now, that is the CNN signal here in mainland China as of this point. The second I started talking about this story, Rosemary, the Chinese censors immediately cut off CNN's signal here in the mainland. If you were trying to watch CNN in mainland China, you would all --

you would only be seeing the black screen that you see there. And that's simply because the Chinese government does not want its people to hear stories about men like Liu Xiaobo. They fear him. They fear that he can incite unrest and they do not want him to spread his radical ideas, as they would put it, to the rest of the population.

That doesn't mean certainly that we're not going to talk about it. But anytime we talk about something like this, the Chinese population, unless they've figured out some other way to watch CNN, could not see this report here in the mainland.

CHURCH: Yes, they're certainly watching our feed very closely and that is an important point indeed.

Matt Rivers joining us there from Beijing, where it is nearly 2:30 in the afternoon, many thanks.

Well, Donald Trump is leaning on U.S. senators to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Still to come, why some say he's dead-set on undoing his predecessor's legacy in other ways as well.

And you will hear from an American mother who is petrified at what proposed cuts to Medicaid could mean for her ill daughter.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:30:52] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: A very warm welcome back from our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.

Want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour.

(HEADLINES)

CHURCH: The U.S. Senate plan to overall the nation's health care system could be in jeopardy as more Republicans are coming out against the bill. The Congressional Budget Office says 22 million fewer people would have insurance by 2026 under the plan. Still President Trump is set on repealing and replacing Obamacare and undoing other key parts of Obama's legacy.

CNN's Jason Carroll reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It wasn't long ago when President Trump had some good things to say about his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a very strange phenomenon. We get along. I don't know if he'll admit this, but he likes me.

CARROLL: Those words may be hard to swallow among Trump and Obama supporters.

TRUMP: I inherited a mess.

CARROLL: Candidate Trump spent much of his campaign promising to undue much of President Obama's most important achievements. And now, six months into office,0 President Trump has made good on some of the promises, pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord.

TRUMP: The bottom line is that the Paris Accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States.

CARROLL: Obama, while not mentioning Trump by name, weighing in with a statement, "Even in the absence of American leadership, I'm confident that our states, cities and businesses will step up to do even more to lead the way."

Trump also kept his word and bowed out of the TransPacific Trade Partnership, which the Obama administration had negotiated.

TRUMP: I immediately withdrew the United States from the horrible, disastrous -- would have been another NAFTA but worse -- TransPacific Partnership.

(CHEERING)

CARROLL: And Trump has continued efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

TRUMP: At the core of this agenda is repealing and replacing the disaster known as Obamacare.

CARROLL: Trump has also rolled back the Obama administration's policy with Cuba, tightening restrictions with the Castro regime. And the president has threatened to tear up the nuclear agreement with Iran but, so far, only a threat.

It's not unusual for presidents wanting to change course from their predecessor. Franklin Delano Roosevelt wouldn't allow Hubert Hoover's name to be on what was then called the Boulder Dam. It was later changed the Hoover Dam by Congress. George W. Bush had what was commonly called the "anything but Clinton" policy. And Ronald Reagan removed those solar panels from the White House Jimmy Carter had installed.

But presidential historian, Doug Brinkley, says those changes pales in comparison to what Trump's doing.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: He's become a wrecking ball on Barack Obama's legacy. He's trying to score point after point with his base by anything Obama signed or did or signed or had his name attached to, Donald Trump wants to erase it from history.

[02:35:09] CARROLL: The question going forward, can Trump create a legacy of his own beyond destroying that of his predecessor?

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: And more now on the health care battle in the United States. The Senate bill does not appear to have enough votes to even be debated this week. Some Republican Senators are worried the plan will make gradual cuts to Medicaid, which is public health insurance for those with low incomes. The Congressional Budget Office says the Senate bill would leave 15 million fewer Americans covered by Medicaid in about a decade.

But listen to how the White House is defending the proposed changes to Medicaid.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISOR: We don't see them as cuts. It's slowing the rate of growth in the future and getting Medicaid back to where it was. Obamacare expanded the pool of Medicaid recipients beyond its original intentions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: The proposed changes to Medicaid have many people worried they could lose coverage.

Our Elizabeth Cohen spoke with a mother afraid of what the Senate plan could mean for her daughter's future.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Charley Wood was born three months early. She weighed just one pound, 12 ounces

REBECCA WOOD, MOTHER OF CHARLEY: I was afraid she wasn't going to survive. It terrified me that was it. That she would pass away.

COHEN: But not only did Charley survive, she thrived. Now her mother, Rebecca, is terrified of something else.

UNIDENTIFIED SENATOR: The bill is passed. And without objection, a motion to --

COHEN: The Republican health care reform plan.

Rebecca says one of the reasons Charley has done so well is Medicaid. The government health care program helps pay for her care to the tune of about $12,000 a year.

(on camera): It's your birthday soon. How old are you going to be?

CHARLEY WOOD, BORN WITH MEDICAL PROBLEMS: Five.

WOOD: Show me where it goes.

COHEN (voice-over): Charley relies on a feeding tube and sees seven different doctors for various complications of her extreme prematurity. Rebecca remembers the very moment she heard the nears that the House

had passed its bill. It calls for $834 billion in cuts in Medicaid over 10 years.

Charley was napping on her shoulder that time.

WOOD: It's kind of a punch in the gut. Like wow. They're stealing her chance. As she's sleeping on me, they're stealing her chance.

COHEN (on camera): How angry are you that your representative voted for the American Health Care Act?

WOOD: I'm furious. I feel betrayed. I feel like his job as a representative is to speak out in the best interest of his people. And I don't feel as if that was done.

We're going in here.

COHEN (voice-over): Rebecca paid a visit to that congressman, Virginia Republican Tom Garrett. She confronted Garrett and an aid about the House bill known by its acronym, AHCA.

(BEGIN AUDIO FEED)

REP. TOM GARRETT, (R), VIRGINIA: We're not going to sit here and say the AHCA is the best plan --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSIONAL AIDE: Not generally. There are a lot of stuff --

GARRETT: And we're going to ask to do some outside of it, long term, to try to make the system as good --

(CROSSTALK)

WOOD: Well, then, how do you -

(CROSSTALK)

GARRETT: Well, when you get 80 percent of something better than what you got, then --

WOOD: It's not better.

(CROSSTALK)

GARRETT: It is better.

(END AUDIO FEED)

COHEN: Garrett says cuts to Medicaid don't necessarily mean cuts in care.

GARRETT: The reality is that sometimes you can move money and still get good outcomes.

COHEN: Rebecca doesn't buy it. She fears for Charley and the nearly five million children on Medicaid with special health care needs.

WOOD: She started at one pound, 12 ounces. No one was sure she was going to live. Yet, here she is in front of us, bright, joyful, determined. It breaks my heart that after all that, bad policy can just snatch it from her.

COHEN: Rebecca wants Garrett and all law makers to know families like hers work hard. Her husband has a job with insurance, but she says, even so, they need help from Medicaid because Charley's medical bills are astronomical.

Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[02:39:09] CHURCH: Elizabeth Cohen there.

We'll take a short break here. But still to come, Sergey Kislyak is the man no one can recall meeting, and now Moscow is recalling the ambassador. Their reason, still to come

Plus, scores of people are still missing three days after a landslide buried a village in southwest China. A look at how the weather could affect any further rescue efforts.

We're back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: The White House is continuing its break with tradition and holding its press briefings off camera.

CNN's Jim Acosta was there, and repeatedly asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer why the cameras were turned off. Here's the audio of their exchange.

(BEGIN AUDIO FEED)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Sean, can you answer whether the president still believes the --

(CROSSTALK)

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There's no camera on, Jim.

(CROSSSTALK)

ACOSTA: Maybe we should turn the cameras on, Sean. Why don't we turn the cameras on?

SPICER: Jim.

ACOSTA: Why don't we turn the cameras on? SPICER: I'm sorry that you have to do -- Jen?

ACOSTA: Why not turn the cameras on, Sean? They're in the room. The lights are on.

(END AUDIO FEED)

CHURCH: Reporters also pressed Sean Spicer on President Trump's tweets Monday. Mr. Trump appeared to accuse former President Obama of collusion over his response to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

(BEGIN AUDIO FEED)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is that how that statement should be interpreted? Does he believe Russia interfered in the election?

SPICER: The statement he made in January is consistent with what he said the other day, which is that he believes that Russia probably was involved. Potentially, some other countries as well could have been involved or they could have been involved unequally. And he stands by the statements he made in January.

(END AUDIO FEED)

CHURCH: Another remarkable moment came when a reporter asked about then-Presidential Candidate Donald Trump's comments about the Hillary Clinton's e-mails. During the 2016 election, Mr. Trump's remarks drew criticism.

(BEGIN AUDIO FEED)

TRUMP: Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you'll probably be rewarded mightily by -

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How can you accuse President Obama of obstructing when he was egging Russia on?

SPICER: He was joking. We all know --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He was joking?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He said that as a candidate, and he was pressed during that press conference over and over again.

SPICER: I understand. And I think the idea was that you have Hillary Clinton with a secret server that was very clear about what she'd done to evade it.

(END AUDIO FEED)

CHURCH: Meantime, in the Russia investigation, one's name keeps coming up, Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He's now leaving his post, but Russia says the move was planned long ago and has nothing to do with his ties to President Trump or any of his staff.

CNN's Randi Kaye has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He trained as an engineer, but has long been thought to have a different skill set, that of a Russian spy. Russian Ambassador Sergey Kizlyar's web of intrigue dates back to last year, when then-Senator Jeff Sessions met with him during the Republican National Convention, a meeting Sessions failed to recall during his confirmation hearing for attorney general.

JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I did not have communications with the Russians.

KAYE: Then later, after explaining he did meet with Kislyak, Sessions promised to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

SESSIONS: I should not be involved investigating a campaign I had a role in.

KAYE: Months later, Sessions was also asked about another possible undisclosed meeting with Kislyak at Washington's Mayflower Hotel. Sessions and Kislyak were both there in April 2016 for Donald Trump's foreign policy speech. Sessions said he did not remember talking to Kislyak there, despite the ousted FBI director saying they intercepted Russian communications suggesting the two men had talked.

Kislyak, who has been ambassador for nine years, also met with Trump transition team member, General Michael Flynn. Flynn met with Kislyak in Trump Tower last December. Later, Flynn misrepresented the nature of his conversations with Kislyak to the White House, including the vice president.

[02:45:21] MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I talked to General Flynn yesterday, and the conversations that took place at that time were not in any way related to new U.S. sanctions.

KAYE: That wasn't true. Transcripts show Flynn did discuss sanctions with Kislyak. He was firing for miss leading the president.

(on camera): Joining Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak at their Trump Tower meeting was the president's son-in-law. Jared Kushner met with Kislyak just a month after his father-in-law was elected president. Taht meeting has put Kushner under intense scrutiny. A source telling CNN that Kushner was asking the Russian ambassador for back-channel communications with the Kremlin.

(voice-over): "The Washington Post" had reported that, in December, Kislyak told his superiors that Kushner wanted to use Russian diplomatic facilities for off-the-record communications to evade U.S. intelligence monitoring.

Even after all of this, not to mention unanimous agreement from intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, in May, President Trump welcomed Ambassador Kislyak not only to the White House but into the Oval Office. It was there, the president confided in Kislyak that firing FBI Director James Comey, who had been heading up the Russia investigation, had relieved great pressure.

Kislyak once said in response to claims that Russia meddled in the U.S. election, quote, "We have become collateral damage in the fight between the two parties."

As he heads out, he now may be part of it.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Also in Russia, a verdict could be reached in the murder trial of an opposition lawmaker. Boris Nimtsov was a vocal critic of the Kremlin's handling of the Ukraine crisis. A court hearing is said to begin soon with several hours of procedure expected before any decision is announced. Now, Boris Nimtsov was a former deputy prime minister, a popular opposition leader, and one of Vladimir Putin's most vocal critics. He was gunned down just steps from the Kremlin in February 2015. Five suspects, all ethnic Chechnyans, were arrested and charged with Nimtsov's murder. They've been on trial in Moscow since October. All have pleaded not guilty. Another former Chechnyan security official is accused of organizing the killing. He's at large and has been charged in abstentia.

It has been almost three days since a landslide flattened a village in southwest China. Now rescuers have been ordered to evacuate the area over concerns of a second landslide. And villagers are mourning their loved ones. At least 93 remain missing, 10 are confirmed death. The landslide swept down a mountain Saturday morning in a remote valley. Experts say it was triggered by heavy rain and damage from a massive earthquake in 2008.

We'll more than 1500 kilometers away in eastern China, millions are dealing with massive floods at the moment.

Our Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now from the International Weather Center with the details.

Pedram, a lot happening in China right now --

PEDRAM JAVAJERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yeah.

CHURCH: -- for a lot of people there.

JAVAERHI: It's happening in a short time period, Rosemary. And this is more than 1,000 kilometers away. You look at the pattern here, you kind of see a linearity, a straight line here when it comes to the thunderstorm activity. And that's the front across this area. this is the time of year, millions of people, the most important crops in the world, being rice there, and millions are either harvesting or cultivating rice. And the story developing across eastern portions of China where the heaviest rainfall is, it's now impacting more than three and a half million people. The direct economic losses associated with this, over $350 million, and we know about a thousand hectares of land destroyed. It includes different provinces. And you can see the straight line right across the bottom portion of the screen where the front and the thunderstorms have been in place.

I want to show you the geographical set up. You can see pin here highlighting the area that, Rosemary, was talking about with the floods and the landslides. The recent areas of interest where I want to show you video out of this region. Here's what it looks like across the area. You note the perspective in this region, very substantive region. We've had significant flooding take place in this area. This is an area where we know thousands of people have been displaced and millions impacted. And you see some of the buildings crumbling underneath the weight of the tremendous rainfall that has come down across this region. And we saw that aerial perspective with the bridge across this region. Going for a closer look. And clearly pick out some of the structures here. Anytime you have some kind of confluence of rivers or the rivers coming together, it is a problematic scenario, especially with the amount of rainfall we've seen across parts of southern and eastern China.

Now, when you talk about what has been happening here and the pattern that set up shop, the is the monsoon season, or just a direct translation, it is what is known as the plum rains. I want to show you a three-dimensional perspective. The plum rains, something that sets up shop every year this time of year. You see the warm, moist air coming from the southern portion, the cooler, dryer from the north. Where they meet, that's where you have a funnel boundary set up, a semi-permanent front that produces the heaviest rainfall anywhere across this region directly over that area. That's what we're seeing here. In fact, thousands of years ago, the ancient Chinese would tell you all about this, plum rain, because they knew that for about 40 to 50 days we'd get heavy rainfall across this region, Rosemary. Within about the 40-day period, it would be the perfect time to harvest the plums. Of course, it's also called the mold rains, for obvious reasons. So this is a pattern you see every single day, every single year. But this has impacted so many people, it is problematic.

[02:51:29] CHURCH: Yes, it certainly does. Appreciate the background there.

Thank you so much, Pedram.

JAVAHERI: Thanks, Rosemary.

CHURCH: We'll take a short break here. But still to come, grab your wands and wizarding robes. Harry Potter turns 20 years old. We'll take you to London where fans celebrated two decades of magic.

Plus, call it a fortnight, two weeks or even 14 days. Donald Trump likes the same of that target, even if it's just a guide. A look at the president's missed deadline, coming your way in just a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: 20 years ago, the wizarding world of Harry Potter first captivated the imaginations of readers around the globe. Monday marked two decades since the release of the first book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone." With wands in tow, fans celebrated at this London book store by voting for their favorite house and characters. Many of them had stories about why Harry Potter means so much to them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the beginning, I hated reading. And then the book came out. And at that time, a second book came out, I started -- I ripped it out of her hands and read it by myself. And that's the whole reason I started reading.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The writing is so much. It creates this whole world of characters you can sort of relate to. I just liked that those things happen. And they just touched people. They really connected to people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Incredible impact there. J.K. Rowling's series of seven novels has sold almost sold a billion copies and spawned a blockbuster film franchise.

A legendary artist and a stunning demand. A court in Spain says the remains of Salvador Dali should be dug up to help settle a paternity suit. The court has been looking at a case filed by a woman claiming to be the painter's daughter. She says her mother had an affair with the artist back in the '50s. The Salvador Dali Foundation says it will fight the court order allowing for his exhumation.

President Donald Trump has a habit of promising things will come in two weeks. But so far, he's not the best at meeting his own deadlines.

Here's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[02:55:32] JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Waiting for something coming out of the White House? Just give it two weeks.

To get something mythical about wiretaps.

TRUMP: To the forefront over the next two weeks.

MOOS: A decision on the Paris Climate Accords.

TRUMP: Over the next two weeks.

MOOS: A plan for cutting taxes. TRUMP: Two or three weeks. It will be phenomenal.

MOOS: Except it ended up being more than 11 weeks before a one-page outline of tax plan came out.

The president sounds like a contractor in "In the Money Pit."

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: How long will it take to put this place together?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Two weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: How will take to put this place together?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Two weeks.

Two weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Two weeks? You sound like a parakeet there. Two weeks, two weeks.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS: It was "Bloomberg News" that first noticed the president parroting two weeks.

TRUMP: Sometime over the next two weeks.

MOOS: Want to know how well the U.S. is doing against ISIS?

TRUMP: We're going to be having a news conference in about two weeks.

MOOS (on camera): Three weeks later, still no ISIS press conference. So what did the president do? He said it again.

TRUMP: We're going to be having a news conference in two weeks on that fight and you'll see numbers that you would not have believed.

MOOS (voice-over): The number not to believe is two weeks.

And to think Donald Trump once made a cameo in a movie called "Two- Weeks' Notice," in which Hugh Grant wore a tie so long he looked like a Trump caricature.

TRUMP: I hear Kelson finally dumped you.

HUGH GRANT, ACTOR: Not exactly, no.

MOOS (on camera): The president may have trouble sticking to a calendar but that doesn't prevent his face from being plastered on a few.

(voice-over): From the "Out of Office Countdown Calendar" showing how throng Trump administration has to go, to "Donald Trump's Greatest Quotes Calendar.

TRUMP: Part of the beauty of me is that I'm very rich. MOOS: Very rich, but not very punctual.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --

TRUMP: In the next two weeks.

MOOS: -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: There you have it.

Thanks for joining us this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter, @rosemaryCNN. Want to hear from you.

I'll be back with another hour of CNN NEWSROOM right after this short break. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:00:14] CHURCH: The White House has put --