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INSIDE POLITICS

Trump Chides Senators To Support Senate Health Care Bill; Trump To GOP: No Health Care Plan; No Vacation; Trump On Macron: "He Does Love Holding My Hand"; Soon: Parole Board To Hear From O.J. Simpson. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired July 20, 2017 - 12:30   ET

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


[12:30:10] JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. The Obamacare repeal and replacement debate, well, it dominated the first six months of the Trump presidency. And those of you watching out there in the real America, getting little frustrated with this debate. And thinking maybe it's time, maybe it's time for the members of Congress to try a different approach.

Let's look at some new numbers in a brand new CNN poll. For starters, 35% of Americans say the Congress should abandon plans to repeal Obamacare. That's more than a third of the country saying, forget about it, stop trying to repeal.

Now, the third, 34% say repeal but only if you have a replacement. That's an important lesson to Republicans right now as some debate whether they should repeal now and then take a couple of years to debate replace. Eighteen percent say repeal even without replacement. These are the conservatives who say they want this law gone as promised by Republicans.

This is interesting, 77% of Americans say it's time to try for a bipartisan approach to this not Republican-only. Only 12% say continue with the Republican bill. That means a lot of Republicans are saying it's time to work with the Democrats and try to work out some sort of a fix to Obamacare. This is interesting about whether you think this is going to happen.

At the beginning of the Trump administration, 50% of Americans thought they would figure out how to repeal and replace Obamacare. By April, watching the debate here in Washington, can't blame you. That confidence that would happen dropped to 20%. Now, just 18% of Americans think it is very likely that the President will be able to repeal and replace Obamacare

A signature Trump promise which is one reason President called Republican senators down to the White House yesterday, told them try again. And in doing so, singled out one very vulnerable Republican senator from Nevada.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Any senator who votes against starting debate is really telling America that you're fine with Obamacare. You didn't go out there. This was the one we were worried about. You weren't there but you're going to be. You're going to be.

Look, he wants to remain a senator doesn't he? OK. And I think that the people of your state, which I know very well, I think they're going to appreciate what you hopefully will do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: It didn't work. But I do think for all the criticism of the President, people say he hasn't been hands on, he hasn't used his bully pulpit within the strategic or a tactical way in the health care debate. I think he gets points in the sense for calling them down and say, look, you promised this to the American people, you have to try again. But they did try again last night. They had late night meetings. None of the policy stuffs seems any closer to being done.

Calling out Dean Heller in the meeting there, smart or not so smart? Gentle or not so gentle? Carrot stick?

ABBY PHILLIP, THE WASHINGTON POST: You know, I think the meeting was fine. I think he was better than he has been on the subject. But it's already really late to be doing this sort of thing. It is far too late, and frankly, this is not where his strong suit is.

Next week, he's going to Youngstown, Ohio and is going to have a campaign rally. It remains to be seen -- I will be looking very carefully to see how much he talks about health care at that rally. Because these are the kinds of things that Republicans want him to do.

Some 30 -- 38% of Americans support Donald Trump after everything that has happened in the last six months. Half of those people support the Republican health care bill. So there's a huge gap between his support, support for this bill, and almost nothing has been done on that.

And just to point out, you know, Jay Marts' colleagues asked Trump about health care in this interview last night and he didn't even know when Mitch McConnell has scheduled the vote for. He didn't know what day it was schedule to be. So there is a problem here. And I don't think that this lunch on Tuesday is really going to fix it.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think you're right. I think it's definitely too late. But the fact of the matter is that he did yesterday what people have been begging him to do from inside the White House and from -- on Capitol Hill for a very long time which is show leadership. Use the bully pulpit, do it.

My understanding is that, people who have been around Washington a long time, Marc Short who is his legislative affairs aide and Kellyanne Conway sat down and wrote out remarks that you would write for, forgive me, a normal Republican president to give. You know, with all of the talking points. Substantive talking points selling the crooks (ph) and the meat of the legislation which they had failed to do and allowed their opponents to come in -- KING: And so, is that CYA so he can say for all the people for months

said where are you? That he did it? Too little too late or is he going to insist, is he going to now use it and say don't go home in August. I don't care you didn't work it out last night. Try again today, try again tomorrow. I'm going to lecture you until you figure this out.

SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And that's why I think what Abby was saying about, this Youngstown, Ohio -- I mean, this is a perfect spotlight. He's going to go to Youngstown, Ohio. OK, is he going to regurgitate the same stuff we heard on the campaign?

KING: By the way, the Republican governor and the Republican senator, they're at odds with him on health care.

[12:35:03] MURRAY: Well right. Well, he's going to go and say your premiums are going up, insurers are pulling out of the market. We need to repeal and replace Obamacare. By him out or if he's going to go in there and say, here is what we are going to do that's going to be better than what you have.

And I understand that your governor was concerned about this. I understand there is concern. We are not going to leave you out there high and dry. That's not what I campaigned on. I'm not going to let Republicans do that. Here is what our plan is. Here is why it's going to be good for your life.

KING: Interesting part is they had the meeting and the Republican senators in town all went down, they're out of respect for the President. Although almost every one of them said they didn't think their mind was going to be changed going in no matter were they were on the debate.

In the New York Times today, in Rochester (ph), a very smart Republican operative, I used to work with National Republicans Senatorial Committee which elects Republican senators. I was going to say, right now, nobody is afraid of Trump. And that's a real problem.

The truth is he hasn't really tried. That's the point we're just talking about. Where is he on local talk radio? Where is the trip to Kansas saying, hey Jerry, meaning, Jerry Moran. We're really close on this and could you use your help. It's what he does well, getting out there and making the case, I don't get why he hasn't been more engaged.

JONATHAN MARTIN, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, if you look at Dean Heller's reaction when Trump sort of cajoled him. He basically laughed at the President who is sitting next to him. He wasn't taking his threat seriously.

I talked yesterday to someone who might challenge Dean Heller in a primary, Danny Tarkanian, and he has not heard from the President. He has not heard from the administration. So it's not like there's an effort to really like target Heller by scaring him.

Look at who defied this President and basically broke the back of this bill. Shelley Moore Capito was the crucial law and saying, I'm not going to vote for this bill. Guess what, her state went for Donald Trump by 42 points last year. Do you know how many times Trump has going to that state to campaign for this health care bill or for anything? Zero. So they have no reason to be afraid of him.

When he goes to Ohio next week, is going to mention Rob Portman by name? We'll see. But he hasn't done that yet. And so, they're not scared of him, and they're not scared of somebody, and they don't feel like that that somebody has sort of political support that would make them want to help them.

KING: Right.

MARTIN: If you're a politician and you don't have those two emotions, you don't fear him and you don't want to help him because he's popular --

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: They did try the fear factor. They did try the shtick with the President's super pac releasing that ad --

MARTIN: Yanked it back.

BASH: -- seeing (ph) after them and they yanked it back, it didn't work.

KING: It was done in a horrible way. And again, the timing was weird on that one. That they've tried something that certain times you scratch your head for the timing of it and the strategy of it. The White House political operation, I would say, six months in, could use a reboot.

Up next, the President in his own words, he wants a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. Talks Hitler and Napoleon, and he wonders why the new President of France, yes, loves holding his hand.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:41:45] KING: Quick update on some new numbers just out of the Congressional Budget Office. They had scored meeting, taking a looked at reviewed and judged how much it would affect people the revised Senate Republican health care plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. That legislation at the moment does not have a pulse.

But as the senators try to revive it, the Congressional Budget Office saying, he would increased the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million by the year 2026, and reduce the deficit by $420 billion over 10 years. So that's CBO scoring now part of the debate as Republican senators meet and try yet again, to reach a compromise on their legislation. We'll keep track of those negotiations.

More for now from the President's colorful if not always factual conversation with the New York Times. Revealing his recent overseas travels, the President told the Times this, "I have had the best reviews on foreign land. So I go to Poland make a speech. Enemies of mine in the media, enemies of mine are saying it was the greatest speech ever made on foreign soil by a president." Never mind that. Ronald Reagan tear down that wall, Mr. Gorbachev, some others, never mind.

And then there's this about his relationship with the new French President, Emmanuel Macron. "He's great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand." Maggie Haberman at the Time said, "I've noticed ". And Donald Trump goes on, "People don't realize he loves holding my hand. And that's good, as far as that goes." OK, you're making this hard. "I mean, really, he's a very good person and a tough guy but, look, he has to be. I think he's going be to be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand."

Hey, this is a serious program. What's going on here? It's -- I mean, the pictures that --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Metaphor is somewhere.

KING: The pictures do tell the story, but --

MURRAY: It was a delight --

KING: Yes.

MURRAY: -- to witness the interactions between the two of them.

KING: He loves holding my hand and that's good as far as that goes.

MURRAY: Yes. It was great. They have this, like, really long -- another really long handshake, when they hugged in the middle, also hold hands. Yes. Just like, just kept going on and on and on. We are watching -- we're like, waiting to get in the motorcade to leave and everyone has been wondering like is there an end in sight to this?

But, they actually did seem to really enjoy each other's company at the parade. There was this moment where the band did a duff (ph) hand cover. And Macron is like, really enjoying it, he is getting into it. And I think Trump was just like, leaning over and they're like what they're really like, what is happening? What are we listening to?

MARTIN: We're watching this video. Look, far be it from me to say I'm the biggest expert on hold -- hand-holding in the world. But it looks to me like the President himself is also enjoying grabbing the hand of both the French President and his wife there quite a bit.

PHILLIP: I think hand- holding is a thing for this President.

MARTIN: The best story of journalism that sitting out there is, is to get the tape recording of the conversation of Macron and his wife when they get back in the car.

KING: They're with the President and first lady.

MARTIN: And hear what they say --

KING: To that point, you know, to the point, the President likes good reviews. He likes when people like him.

MARTIN: He does.

KING: So part of the affection from Macron, I think is Macron --

MARTIN: You pull that man.

KING: -- Macron invited them over for Bastille Day. There was a parade there. In the New York Times interview, Trump says, a bit, '"It was one of the most beautiful parades I've ever seen. And in fact, we should do that one day down Pennsylvania Avenue." And Maggie Haberman who knows the President, who know how this would go, says, "I wondered if you were going to say that." And Trump comes back, "I've always thought of that."

PHILLIP: That's true for his inauguration. He -- we know that he wanted to have troops marching down Pennsylvania Avenue for his inauguration day parade. And it couldn't happen for a number of reasons, because this is America.

[12:45:04] KING: Right.

PHILLIP: But this is the kind of thing that he really loves. And it's also one of the reasons why this trip was so smart on Macron's part. He knew exactly what would get Trump the light bulb to just go off in Trump head. This is the sort of thing --

KING: Right.

PHILLIP: -- that makes him very happy.

MURRAY: They actually had to explain to the President that if he try to drive the tank down the streets in Washington, it would destroy the streets in Washington and then you will have to rebuild them. But, Maggie was sitting right near me during this parade, and hope that she doesn't mind me divulging this conversation. But the entire time, we were like, the President has to be loving this. And wondering like, can he get this to happen in Washington? So I was personally take --

PHILLIP: But in fairness, who doesn't love a parade? What's not to love about that?

KING: And listen, if you promise me, they would actually fix the streets after they rolled those tanks in Washington D.C. then I'm with the President. He should get his parade.

Thanks for joining us on Inside Politics. We're just minutes away from O.J. Simpson's parole hearing in Nevada. Brianna Keilar in the chair, she will bring you that live coverage after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:50:12] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, I'm Brianna Keilar. Wolf Blitzer is on assignment. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thank you so much for joining us today. We're going to begin with our breaking news. O.J. Simpson's parole hearing just minutes from now. One of the most notorious defendants in American history steps back into the spotlight and once again, becomes the focus of a legal spectacle.

The pro football Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy winner, who turned 70 just days ago, will be asking a Nevada parole board to set him free. Simpson was convicted in 2007 on kidnapping and armed robbery charges pertaining to an event at a Las Vegas hotel. And he claimed that he was simply trying to retrieve personal memorabilia that was stolen from him and he did not know his associates had guns.

Simpson was sentenced to 9 to 33 years in prison. His legal team argued that the sentence was a form of payback for another verdict, the famous verdict in 1995.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury in the above entitled action find the defendant Orenthal James Simpson not guilty of the crime of murder in violation of Penal Code Section187A, a felony upon Nicole Brown Simpson, a human being as charged --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: More than two decades ago, a jury acquitted Simpson in the gruesome killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman. The so-called trial of the century gripped the nation. It cast a glaring light on issues of race, criminal justice, celebrity and also domestic violence.

And today's hearing for O.J. Simpson begins just minutes from now. Simpson will make his case to this parole board of commissioners in a video conference. We're going to be bringing that to you live.

And we have correspondent Jean Casarez in Carson City, Nevada. This is where the parole board is meeting right now. Jean, walk us through the hearing, what is sure to be a spectacle playing out on television. How is this going to unfold?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, there are cameras in this hearing so we will be able to watch it live. And what we do know is that O.J. Simpson will be allowed to make a statement to the parole board. He can say whatever he wants to say. He will probably talk about life in prison, what he has done. We do know he was on the waiting list to take some courses including commitment to change.

He will also possibly talk about life on the outside. What he wants for himself if granted parole. And he will talk about the crimes, the crimes he was committed of.

Now, today the focus is the conspiracy counts, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit robbery as well as assault with a deadly weapon. He was convicted of those counts. And this is his second time at the parole board, because the first time was four years ago on the counts of kidnapping and robbery, because at that time, those counts and convictions had been served concurrently.

The minimum was up so he was allowed to appear before them to plead his case. He was granted parole on those counts. But had to serve the counts that were to be served concurrently, at least the minimum amount due, and that would be October 1st of this year. So that's why they're doing these four months in advance.

Following that, he can have a relative testify. We know his sister is in attendance in Lovelock at the prison. He can have the victims testifying. We do know Bruce Fromong, the only living victim, is there. He has said he will testify to allow O.J. Simpson to be released. He can also have an attorney testify.

At that point, right here, in the room right behind me, the parole board will deliberate today to whether O.J. Simpson should be released on parole. They will come back. They will deliver their decision, Brianna. But as I told you, he will not be released until on or about, if allowed, October 1st of this year.

KEILAR: The fact that back in 2014, at that parole hearing that you referenced, that he was paroled on some of the charges, obviously, not all of them. Does that give us a sense of where the parole board may fall on this? Does that make us understand that they seem to think he might have reason to be released?

CASAREZ: Quite possibly, because they looked at aggravating factors, they looked at mitigating factors. Aggravating factors included the crime itself. But today, they're going to look at conspiracy.

I was in the courtroom in 2008. I saw the evidence. The evidence was that he conspired with a group of men to go into a hotel room where memorabilia dealers were expecting actual buyers. And he knew guns were coming in. He told two men, don't forget your heat.

And once they got in the room, O.J. was in charge. One of the other men pulled the gun. The property started being put in pillowcases and O.J. was in control of that room. They might ask him some questions about the aspect of conspiracy, talking and agreeing to commit a crime with those that you know, your friends.

[12:55:12] But saying that, there are mitigating factors, he has never been convicted of a crime before. That will help O.J. Simpson. That acquittal in California will help O.J. Simpson today.

KEILAR: All right, Jean Casarez there in Carson City.

I want to bring in correspondent Paul Vercammen. He is in Lovelock, Nevada, at the medium security prison where O.J. Simpson is being held. So Paul, prison officials say that O.J. Simpson has largely stayed out of trouble. What do we know about his time in prison?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in talking to two former guards and a former inmate, we have learned that O.J. Simpson has indeed, and the records show this as well, stayed completely out of trouble here, which is favorable for him in terms of getting paroled. They say that O.J. Simpson spent a lot of time here coaching softball, playing fantasy football and at times, he ballooned in his weight that he was on a bit of a junk food kick, several sources were telling us. Eating these 2,000 calorie buns, cinnamon rolls. But they say, lately, O.J. Simpson has trimmed down.

So the good news for his camp and his team is they have this grid in Nevada, the parole commissioners do, that they follow and the higher the score, the less the chances of getting paroled. By all accounts and calculations, O.J. Simpson, who is now 70 years old, by the way, will score very low on that risk assessment grid, Brianna.

KEILAR: All right, Paul Vercammen for us in Lovelock, Nevada. Thank you so much.

I want to bring in our panel now to take a closer look at the legal issues. And we are seeing here, this is his daughter, I believe, is that right? This is O.J. Simpson's daughter, Arnelle. They're in the parole board hearing room as they are waiting what we are expecting to be testimony from O.J. Simpson himself. So we're going to monitor these live pictures as this is going to get going here in just a matter of minutes.

With me here in Washington is trial Attorney, J. Wyndal Gordon, and in New York, we have CNN Senior Legal Analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. He's a former federal prosecutor. He's also the author of "The Run of His Life, The People Versus O.J. Simpson", really the definitive book on this.

Also, CNN Legal Analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney, Danny Cevallos, as well as CNN Legal Analyst and Defense Attorney, Paul Callan, who served as co-counsel for Nicole Brown Simpson's state in the civil case against O.J. Simpson, which, of course, O.J. Simpson lost. And joining us, from Los Angeles, Mark Geragos, he is a CNN Legal Analyst and Defense Attorney, along with CNN Legal Analyst and Civil Rights Lawyer, Areva Martin.

So Jeffrey, 13 years to the day after O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the double murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, the jury in Las Vegas found him guilty of armed robbery. And clearly, it seemed as if his acquittal, which many people thought was, you know, was wrong, it clearly that impacted the sentencing.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the judge very specifically said that she was not considering the acquittal in the murder case. I didn't believe her then. I don't believe her now. I think everything about the Las Vegas case was affected by the Los Angeles acquittals.

Remember, you know, the other people in that hotel room had guns, or at least a couple of them did, they got probation or they got very low sentences. O.J. Simpson didn't have a gun and he got this enormously long sentence.

I don't feel sorry for O.J. Simpson at all. I think he killed those two people, Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. I think he should be serving life without parole in California. But under the laws of Nevada, it seems very clear to me that he should be released today or ordered released today.

KEILAR: I just want to tell our viewers -- that's right, because it would be -- October would be the soonest --

TOOBIN: October.

KEILAR: -- that he would be released. What you're looking at here on our screen is four commissioners of the parole board, and as this plays out, they will have to be unanimous in their decision either grant or deny O.J. Simpson parole. If they are not unanimous, that's when they bring in other commissioners to get a majority vote out of seven commissioners. There were need to be four out of seven to either -- at least, four out of seven to either deny or grant O.J. Simpson parole.

Danny, in -- as we look at these commissioners here, and we've seen -- I think that certainly, there's one of them I've seen before. How are members here of the parole board going to decide whether O.J. Simpson should go free? What do they consider?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's a lot like the jury. There isn't really -- we don't know how they deliberate, but I can tell you, Nevada has a very, very well-defined system for deciding whether or not a parolee could be high risk or low risk.

And in this case, it's true.