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New Trump Poll Numbers; Dingell Comments on North Korea; Obama Speechwriter Criticizes Slogan; New Democratic Leaders; New Study on Health Care. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired August 10, 2017 - 09:30   ET



[09:34:15] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: A raid that, quote, rattled cages for some in the West Wing. Sources tell CNN, the FBI search of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort's home took some in the president's inner circle by surprise, to say the least. Maybe the administration should rethink how it is handling the probe all together say some.

A new CNN poll shows this morning that half -- over half of Americans, 59 percent, disapprove of the way the president is handling the Russian investigation.

Our senior political analyst Mark Preston is here with more from the poll.

I mean there's a lot that stands out, including to me, how many Americans think this Russia investigation is serious.

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, no doubt, Poppy. As you noted, 6 in 10 Americans -- nearly 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of how President Trump is handling the Russia investigation. But it is so complicated that there are so many questions to it.

[09:35:07] Let's look at the first one right now. Sixty percent, six in 10 Americans, see this Russia investigation as a serious matter. But when you break it down across the party lines, things are a little bit different.

Let's take a quick look at those numbers. If you see that, 87 percent of Democrats say that it's a serious matter. Seventy-three percent of Republicans, however, 7 in 10 Republicans, believe that this is an effort to discredit the Trump's presidency. We've, of course, heard this time and time again from President Trump on Twitter and in many speeches.

But when it comes to Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, who recused himself, there is a little bit of light there in the sense of people coming together. Sixty-seven percent, nearly 7 in 10 Americans, believe he did the right thing.

Moving on, though, about Robert Mueller, will he be able to conduct a thorough, independent investigation? This is a troubling number right there. Only 51 percent believe so. This might go to the idea, Poppy, that people do not have faith in our institutions.

And then, this is a big question that is coming up now, should Robert Mueller be able to investigate Trump's finances? Seven in 10 Americans say yes. If you recall, President Trump had threatened Robert Mueller that he better not go looking into his finances. But more than a majority of Americans believe that he should do to now.

Now, in addition to Robert Mueller, special counsel, who is investigating, Poppy, we should note, there are three Republican-led congressional committees who are also investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

HARLOW: That's a really interesting number, though, Mark, about how few Americans have sort of faith in the independence of the investigation.

Thank you very much. We appreciate it.

Another threat, a very detailed threat, coming from North Korea. No response yet from the president this morning as he meets with the vice president and his national security adviser this afternoon.


[09:41:01] HARLOW: We have not heard from the president yet this morning in the wake of North Korea's latest detailed threat. But even if the president did want to retaliate, is there any way for Congress to stop him? There are ways, but they would certainly have to change things.

Joining me now is Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan.

It's nice to have you here, congresswoman.

And let me just ask you about some of what your fellow Democrats have said. They have said that Congress should take the authority -- you'd have to have a vote and have it passed -- but to be able to weigh in on a preemptive strike from the president. Do you support that?

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D), MICHIGAN: I think the Congress needs to be consulted. I'm very worried about what we are witnessing right now. This is potential of nuclear war, nuclear buttons (ph), and we're playing it with Twitter. This isn't a game. So I am someone that thinks Congress needs to be consulted. We need to exercise the responsibility that we have.

We've got to be united. When it comes to national security, we can't be divided. We need to really know what's going on.

HARLOW: America's divided in terms of parties right now. It's just incredibly clear. And you see it playing out daily. You've been very candid about your own party, the Democratic Party. You told "The Washington Post," you don't know where you fit in. You said the Democratic Party is in disarray. That it doesn't understand what your constituents in Michigan want. What do you think broke the party? DINGELL: You know, the world is complicated. The constituents that I

have are complicated. I represent Ann Arbor, which is a very liberal base, but I have a lot of working men and women who aren't asking for a lot. They want to make enough money to live in a safe neighborhood, to be able to put food on the table, to go to the doctor when they need, to educate their kids and have a safe retirement. And I say to people in Ann Arbor who are very frustrated by the outcome of the election that, put yourself in their shoes. They worked a lifetime.


DINGELL: They put money into a pension. And now it's suddenly gone or not going to be there. We need to work together to help make sure every working man and woman and family in this country is being represented.

HARLOW: So the way -- the way that your party has suggested, or actually proposed, put on the table moving forward, is this "Better Deal" campaign launched a few weeks ago. Now, that was not embraced by some voices and some members of the party, saying this is no way to sell us as a party in 2018, 2020. It's just more of the same. You had speech writer Jon Lovett under President Obama saying fire every consultant involved. You had Jon Favreau, who also was a speech writer under President Obama saying, better get back to the drawing board. Are they right?

DINGELL: Well, they're certainly not right about my district. Although I want to say that people don't -- shouldn't have to have consultants tell them how to talk. If you're out there listening to your constituents, which I am, I'm in a union hall every week, but I'm also at the farmer's market in Ann Arbor every weekend. You know what your constituents are thinking. You know what they need. And you need to represent them. You need to understand how they feel and what they need and --

HARLOW: So you don't think does it. You don't think a "Better Deal" does that.

DINGELL: No, I don't disagree with a "Better Deal," but you need to be able to talk about a better deal. I can talk about it because I know what they mean. If you look at my "Washington Post" op-ed that I wrote in November, it's very close to what they've written because it's -- I've got it. That's what I talked about in November. And we didn't get last election.

HARLOW: So you're -- you predicted -- I mean you thought and you write about this that President Trump was going to take this election even before he did. You saw this and you saw what was happening in Michigan. You had Representative Seth Moulton, Democrat from Massachusetts, your fellow Democrat in Congress, saying he doesn't want the leadership, Pelosi and Schumer's name, on bumper stickers heading into 2018. He said they are not the future face of the party. Do you agree new leadership is need?

DINGELL: You know, why are we having this discussion? I represent my district. And in my district, it's my name that's on the bumper sticker.

HARLOW: Well, we're having the -- well, hold on, we're having the discussion because leadership is in charge of a lot of fund-raising and messaging and sort of the forward face of your party. It matters, right?

[09:45:04] DINGELL: See, I -- I don't think that that's the discussion that we need to be having right now.


DINGELL: And I won't have that discussion because I think it's people trying to divide us. And that's what people are trying to do every place, divide us with fear and hatred. I want to talk about the issues. And I'm going to talk about the issues. And I think it's a sheer distraction when we try to have these discussions. They're false discussions.

HARLOW: I am glad you're here. I wish we had more time. But come back and let's dig more into health care, which I wanted to do.

But guess what's next? An entire block only on the issues, only on health care, no politics involved, because we agree that matters for the American people.

Congresswoman, thank you very much. We'll be back with that.


[09:50:13] HARLOW: All right, so for a moment we are going to move beyond politics. That is right. For the next like six minutes, you're not going to hear anything about politics. We're just going to talk about the issues that matter most to you and your family. Critical among them, health care. A new Kaiser Family Foundation out this morning shows consumers will likely find fewer choices and higher premiums on their Obamacare exchanges next year.

Let's bring in the experts. Larry Levitt is here, he's senior vice president for special initiatives at the Kaiser Family Foundation, who came out with this study, and our chief business correspondent, Christine Romans.

Guys, thank you for being here.

And it's important for us to do this because it matters to millions of Americans.

So, Larry, just the top line from the study that you guys did, what stands out to you most that American families should be most concerned about as they head into the new year and their health care?

LARRY LEVITT, SENIOR VP FOR SPECIAL INITIATIVES, KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION: Well, the top line is that premiums are going up significantly in the Affordable Care Act exchanges for 2018 and some insurers are leaving the market entirely. But the main reason why that's happening is that there's a lot of uncertainty about how the Trump administration is approaching the health insurance market, whether it's going to make payments to insurers, whether it's going to enforcing the individual mandate. So it's that uncertainty that's really driving -- driving the premium.

HARLOW: OK. So, Christine, talk to us about those increases, meaning how much are they, where are they worse?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Right. And, well, look, there are a few places where you're not going to see much of an increase, but that's a minority. That's about, you know, maybe 20 percent of these markets you're not going to see any increases. Twenty-one percent of carriers. But if I show you how much these companies are raising premiums, you can see 43 percent of carriers, at least 20 percent, 36 percent of carriers, 10 to 20 percent. And then you can see, in maybe a fifth of the carriers, things are going OK.

So the whole -- the whole system isn't broken, but there are huge dislocations here and so many uncertainties. And Larry's absolutely right, will the government pay the subsidies to help people pay for their insurance? The president has called this a bailout, but that's money that goes to you, it goes to people who are paying for their subsidies. Will they enforce the mandate? And, you know, open enrollment is only in a couple months.


ROMANS: So will you see help from the government to help you figure out what your options are? Some are concerned you won't.

HARLOW: And even before open enrollment starts, Larry, there are some really key dates that are starting next week. There's an August 16th deadline, a September 27th deadline. These are points at which by these insurers need clarity, right? Need clarity on what policy is going to be.

LEVITT: That's right. I mean it's the dog days of August for many of us, but insurers are actually out there sweating bullets for different reasons. August 16th is when they have to finalize their premiums. I mean that's in just a week. And it's unlikely that things are going to settle down by then.

Then the third week in August, August 21st, is when the government is scheduled to make this next round of payments to insurers that total about $7 billion a year. And then the real drop dead date is September 27th, when insurers have to sign contracts for 2018.

So there's, you know, a lot of uncertainty out there and it's unclear whether it's all going to be settled by the time insurers have to sign on the dotted line.

HARLOW: Larry, before Christine goes through some of these states, and I want to get to that, I read something in your study that struck me. An average American making $30,000 a year would have to pay a little bit over $200 at least a month for health care. Is that what you're looking at or even higher? LEVITT: Yes, well, you know, what's interesting is, most of the

people buying insurance through these insurance exchanges are getting a subsidy from the federal government to help them pay their premiums.

HARLOW: Right. Right.

LEVITT: And they'll be shielded from these premium increases. I mean who these premium increases affect are people buying insurance on their own who aren't getting a subsidy. And the others people shielded are, you know, most Americans who get insurance through an employer, or through Medicare, or through Medicaid. I mean this is really just affecting a small sliver of the population buying their own coverage.

HARLOW: At the same time, though, it does -- I mean I see my cost went up this year and that's OK, I can afford that. But for a lot of Americans, they --

ROMANS: I mean the costs went up for everybody, you know.

HARLOW: I mean even if you get it through your employer --

ROMANS: Right.

HARLOW: But you're lucky to get it through your employer, there are these states where now there are -- like there's one option. You have no competition.

ROMANS: Yes. If you look at the states with counties with just one insurer, you can see just how widespread this is where you don't have the choice. There's just the one insurer. And that's about 2.7 million Americans will live someplace where they only have one option next year. But there's also something called bare counties. These are kind of with the risk of no insurers next year. We're talking about 17 counties in four states.

HARLOW: Really?

ROMANS: And mostly you were talking rural -- you know, rural consumers are the ones here who have the fewest options, particularly in rural --

HARLOW: So what do they -- if they have no options --

[09:55:01] ROMANS: That's what's so unclear to me. I mean we're in this moment where the administration, HHS, has incredible amount of leverage to fix this, if not fix it, at least stabilize it until Congress can get something together. And I know we're not talking about politics. But we need to know, how will the administration roll this out.


ROMANS: And it's that uncertainty that's at the core of this. We just don't know what the options are going to be for people.

HARLOW: Wow. Can you imagine, your family, your kids and you have no options? Wow.

Thank you. Christine Romans, appreciate it. Larry Levitt, thank you as well very much.

In just days, North Korea's plan they say could be ready to launch multiple missiles right at the waters off Guam, as President Trump and the White House are silent this morning, noticeably, on North Korea ahead of a meeting the president has today around lunchtime with his national security adviser and the vice president. We're on the latest developments.