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Russia Probe Widens; President Trump Backtracking on DACA?; North Korea Crisis; Interview With California Senator Dianne Feinstein; Interview With U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley; Trump On DACA, "We're Looking To Allowing People To Stay"; Will Health Care Debate Divide Democrats?; Trump Retweets Video Of Hitting Clinton With Golf Ball; Dinner, Dessert, And Deals At The White House. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired September 17, 2017 - 09:00   ET




DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Escalating threat. North Korea fires another missile over Japan, as the U.S. raises the stakes.

H.R. MCMASTER, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: There is a military option.

BASH: How will President Trump respond to this latest provocation?

Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is here.

And change of heart?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're talking about taking care of people.

BASH: After dining with Democrats, President Trump seems to backtrack on DACA. And his conservative base is not happy.


BASH: Plus, from Russia with bots? The special counsel and Congress zero in on Russian-linked Facebook ads.

SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: We saw the tip of the iceberg.

BASH: How does this change the investigations into Russian election meddling? We will ask the top Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee ahead.


BASH: Hello. I'm Dana Bash, in for Jake Tapper.

And the state of our union is hosting the world.

All eyes will be on President Trump this week, as he makes his first appearance before the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The debut will be closely watched, as the president takes his America- first message before dignitaries from 193 nations.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, offered a preview of the president's speech at the White House on Friday.




BASH: The speech comes as the U.S. searches for ways to rein in North Korea after over a month of escalating threats and provocations.

Overnight, President Trump spoke with his South Korean counterpart and agreed to stronger sanctions on North Korea.

The president tweeted this morning: "I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night, asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad."

The two leaders will meet again at the U.N. gathering this week.


BASH: Joining us now is the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.

Ambassador Haley, thank you so much for joining me this morning.

I want to start by looking forward to Tuesday. President Trump is going to speak to world leaders, his first every U.N. General Assembly meeting.

Now, during his campaign, he had some pretty harsh criticisms for the U.N.

Listen to what he told AIPAC last year.


TRUMP: The utter weakness and incompetency of the United Nations.

The United Nations is not a friend of democracy. It's not a friend to freedom. It's not a friend even to the United States of America, where, as you know, it has its home. And it surely is not a friend to Israel.


BASH: Will the president stick by his America-first message when he appears before the U.N. this coming week?

HALEY: Well, I think you have to look at the fact that what he said at the time was accurate.

I mean, I think we saw a United Nations where the United States was giving over 25 percent of the funding and was being utterly disrespected and a United Nations that was bashing Israel every chance they get, a United Nations that talked a lot, but didn't have a lot of action.

And now we can say, it is a new day at the U.N. What you are now seeing is the Israel -- the Israel-bashing has become more balanced. You've got a United Nations that's action-orientated.

We've passed two resolutions on North Korea just in the last month. And you also have a United Nations that is totally moving towards reform. You have a secretary-general who's come out with a massive reform package.

We said that we needed to get value for our dollar. And what we're finding is the international community is right there with us in support of reform. So, it is a new day at the U.N.

I think that the pleas that he made in terms of trying to see change at the United Nations have been heard. And I think what we'll do is see him respond to that come on Tuesday.

BASH: Let's talk about North Korea.

The U.N., as you well know, voted 15-0 on Monday to impose a new set of sanctions on North Korea. You said this will cut deep. But the president is not so sure.

Listen to what he said this week.


TRUMP: We think it's just another very small step, not a big deal. I don't know if it has any impact, but certainly it was nice to get a 15-0 vote. But those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen.



BASH: So, Ambassador Haley, what is the administration's position? Are the North Korea sanctions something that will cut deep, or not a big deal?

HALEY: Well, I think, you know, the facts are the facts.

So, you look at it. From the first sanctions bills that was the largest ever that we had done to North Korea was $1 billion, and was one that was really a punch in the gut to North Korea.

This one, which we passed in a week, was $1.3 billion. And that didn't count the reduction of 30 percent of the oil, which was made up of 55 percent reducing their diesel oil and their gasoline that they use to move the missiles, the trucks that go and move all of the equipment.

So, you take that with the elimination of joint ventures, the labors, which we consider modern-day slavery, all taken away. You look at all of those things, it totals -- 90 percent of North Korea's trade is being cut off.

So, we have economically strangled North Korea at this point. And they have said as much. I think what the president's saying is, look, we've done all this but we can do a whole lot more. And so...

BASH: But just -- just to be clear, what you just described, you don't agree that that's not a big deal?

HALEY: Oh, I think everybody in the international community sees what a big deal it is, but also we know the importance of enforcement.

And North Korea is already starting to feel the pinch. It's the reason you seeing them reacting the way they are. But I think this has not only been a kick to North Korea. This was a real hit to China. They had to take a real hit when it comes to the fact that they do 90 percent of trade with North Korea.

That's been reduced on their end, too, so a lot of people feeling this, a lot of countries feeling this, but the most important thing, 15-0, united, strong, and North Korea has been pretty much been cut off from the world.

BASH: The president said last month that North Korea would face fire and fury if it continues to threaten the U.S. and its allies. Well, since the president said that, North Korea has really done nothing but threaten the U.S. and its allies.

North Korea threatened Guam. North Korea fired two missiles over Japan and tested a hydrogen bomb.

So, was the president's fire and fury remark an empty threat?

HALEY: It was not an empty threat.

What we were doing was being responsible. Where North Korea is being irresponsible and reckless, we were being responsible by trying to use every diplomatic possibility that we could possibly do. We have pretty much exhausted all the things that we could do at the Security Council at this point.

Now, I said yesterday I am perfectly happy kicking this over to General Mattis, because he has plenty of military options.

So, I think that the fire and fury, while he says this is what we can do to North Korea, we wanted to be responsible and go through all diplomatic means to get their attention first.

If that doesn't work, General Mattis will take care of it.

BASH: Well, by saying General Mattis will take care of it, you're talking about the Pentagon and you're talking about a military option. Is that what fire and fury meant?

HALEY: You have to ask the president what fire and fury meant.

But I think we all know that, basically, if North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed. And we all know that. And none of us want that. None of us want war.

But we also have to look at the fact that you are dealing with someone who is being reckless, irresponsible and is continuing to give threats not only to the United States, but to all of their allies. So something is going to have to be done.

We're trying every other possibility that we have, but there's a whole lot of military options on the table.

BASH: Ambassador Haley, stick around.

HALEY: All right.

BASH: There's a lot more to talk to you about, including the president's tweets and whether they make her job harder.





BASH: And we're back with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Ambassador Haley, let's talk about the latest terror attack in London, this fifth attack in Great Britain this year.

President Trump responded to the attack with a tweet.

And here is what he said. He said: "Another attack in London by loser terrorists. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive."

As you saw, British Prime Minister Theresa May, she scolded the president for his response, saying it is never helpful for anybody to speculate about an ongoing investigation.

We know that British intelligence is reluctant to share information lately with the U.S. because of President Trump's conduct.

Do tweets like this make it harder for people like you to work with allies around the world on important issues?

HALEY: Well, I think that you have to understand that the president can communicate in any form that he wishes. And if he uses Twitter, I think what you saw was a reaction to the

fact that this was terrible and we cannot let terrorist attacks become part of our normal day.

And when you see the number of these, it makes the president more and more assured that he has to do everything he can -- can -- he can to keep Americans safe. And so he was concerned for the U.K. He's concerned for the terrorist attacks that keep happening all over Europe.

And he wanted to make sure that he has their back and that he was showing strength. And so I think, as they move forward, certainly, we're always going to be their allies. We're always going to have their backs, but we have to be very careful. We cannot allow terrorist attacks to be a part of our everyday life.

BASH: Do you wish that the president was more careful in suggesting information about the investigation that is ongoing? Obviously, the British prime minister wished he were -- wished he was.

HALEY: Well, I -- look, the president would not want to do any harm to the investigation. Let's be clear.

So, if he goes out and gets emotional and passionate about the fact that he's upset at what happened in the U.K., I mean, of course. That's what he put out there.

But there was no ill intent with that. I think it was the fact that he was just very concerned and very disturbed that these terrorist attacks keep happening in Great Britain.

BASH: Ambassador Haley, I want to ask you about immigration. President Trump recently rescinded DACA, which is the Obama era program that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. And President Trump wants a legislative solution.

Well, Senator Lindsey Graham, senior senator from your home state of South Carolina, is the co-author of what's known as the DREAM Act. And it would offer these young people a path to citizenship.

Do you believe that dreamers should get not just the right to stay in the U.S., but an actual path to citizenship?

HALEY: Well, first of all, I think that we have to remember that we all feel for dreamers.


We all feel for those that came here or were brought here without their willingness or without their understanding that this was going to happen. So, we all have a heavy heart for that.

But I also think we have to remember that the United States is a country of laws, and we have to always follow those laws. And I think what you're seeing is, the president is trying to work with Congress on what is a very difficult situation. There is no easy answer when it comes to things like this. And I

think the fact that they're having the back-and-forth, the fact that they're talking about it, I think, is important. And I think, at the end, there will be a resolution that they come together with on this as they go forward.

BASH: Ambassador Haley, before I let you go, I want to ask about a report on that my colleague Elise Labott did about you.

And in that, she reported that you were under consideration to become President Trump's secretary of state after the election, but you said no because you felt that at the time, as governor of South Carolina, you didn't have enough foreign policy experience.

Would you give the same answer today if asked to be secretary of state?

HALEY: Well, I'm not going to be asked, because Rex Tillerson is not going anywhere.

You know, at the time that I went to Trump Tower, they were asking me to come there to talk about secretary of state. And I just knew, at that time, he could find someone better. And so I took myself out of the running.

And I will tell you now that Secretary Tillerson continues to work hard. He's not going anywhere. And I continue to work well with him. So, we're going to keep doing it that way.

BASH: If he does go somewhere, would you want the job?

HALEY: He's not going anywhere, so I'm not going to think about it.



Ambassador Haley, thank you so much for your time this morning. Appreciate it.

HALEY: OK, thanks Dana.


BASH: Facebook hands over Russian-linked ads that ran during the campaign.

A question now, how did Russian bots know which social media users to target? That's next.

Plus, a new retweet this morning from the president showing a fake video of him hitting a golf ball that knocks over Hillary Clinton.


[09:21:11] BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Dana Bash.

President Trump this week surprised both parties by moving closer to an agreement with Democrats to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

And in a move that outraged his conservative base, the president said the border wall would -- quote -- "come later."

It's the second time President Trump has sided with Democrats this month.

Joining us now is Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat of California and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Thank you so much for coming in.


BASH: I want to ask about that -- that dinner that the president had, and on immigration.

You landed in a little bit of hot water with some on the left of your party recently by saying that President Trump could be a good president and that he can learn and change.

Do you feel vindicated this week?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I expressed a hope.

BASH: Yes.


BASH: And do you feel vindicated that -- now that this week he actually...

FEINSTEIN: This would be part of a hope.

BASH: ... sat down with Pelosi and Schumer?

FEINSTEIN: I mean, I would say, this is a start, because big bills have to be bipartisan.

I have learned that over 24 years. And people have to work together. And the -- in a two-party system, the president becomes a point of reconciliation between the two. And that's been the history of leaders going up, sitting down with the president, working something out.

So, this, to me, was a bit of regular order that might be able to produce something.

And we have in California at least a third of all of the dreamer, DACA population out there. I know a number of their stories, and they're heartrending. And they are so good.

They are so -- they are amazing young people, because they were young enough when they came here, for the most part, to be able to really grasp hold of the dream of America that, if you work hard, if you get yourself educated, you can do well.

BASH: Let me turn to Russia.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is now in possession of Russian-linked ads that ran on Facebook during the campaign.

Do you have any indication as to whether Jared Kushner's data operation during the Trump campaign had any role in selecting Facebook targets for the Russians?

FEINSTEIN: No, not at this time.

BASH: No indication or...

FEINSTEIN: We have just hired two investigators to work the Democratic side of the Judiciary investigation, which largely deals with obstruction of justice and the Russia-Trump connection, if there is one and if it rises to the level of collusion.

And so this will take a sustained effort. And I think everybody should be very cautious in what they say, because none of us want to be false in what we say. So, it means you have to wait until the evidence comes in.

BASH: These are new Democratic investigators? Are you working with -- in a bipartisan way as well with the Republican investigators?

FEINSTEIN: Well, we work in a bipartisan way in terms of the interviews.

The team, the staff just interviewed Donald Trump Jr. It was a five- hour interview. Republicans went first for an hour, and then Democratic staff questioned. And then -- I have just received the transcript. We will look at the transcript.

And I think it's Senator Grassley's intent and it's certainly my intent to have him before the committee in the open and be able to ask some questions under oath.

BASH: Do you have any idea when that's going to happen, that public testimony from Donald Trump Jr.?

FEINSTEIN: Well, it will be this fall. I know that for sure. Things keep changing, not by design, but by just the press of other business on the committee.


And I think people have to anticipate -- I know because, as I walk through the halls, there's a rush of press, you know, with question after question. It may take a long time. This could take a year, a year-and-a-half, if not more.

So, I think people have to be patient. The chairman and I work well together. If we have a difference, we work it out between us. I think the Democratic side is very constructive in how they work at this. And we will be able to solve some -- answer some questions. Let me put it that way.

BASH: One quick final question on Russia before we move on.

Your committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, is having trouble getting in touch with President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

When will you and Chairman Grassley decide send him a subpoena?

FEINSTEIN: We will likely do that, if he refuses to come before the committee.

And one of the things that we want to do before is some investigative work. And we now have the people aboard that can do that.

BASH: Let's turn to North Korea.

The Trump administration's position, as you well know, is no diplomatic talks before North Korea agrees to end its nuclear program.

Is that the right approach?

FEINSTEIN: I don't believe it is.

I have spent a lot of time on Intelligence looking at North Korea. I have read most, if not all, of the intelligence, and the real intelligence.

I think that North Korea is not going to give up its program with nothing on the table. I think that what could happen is that we could have reliable verification of a freeze of both the nuclear program and the missile arsenal, and that we could conceivably talk China into supporting that kind of a freeze, because it would carry with it no regime change and no war.

And my -- I have never been in greater -- in a state of greater concern about this nation and Korea, because there is a certain recklessness on the other side. They now have very powerful weapons. They have done six nuclear tests. They have big missiles. And they have missiles that can carry...

BASH: You are concerned about Korea.

FEINSTEIN: ... a nuclear threat.

BASH: And you said that you have read the -- you read a lot of the intelligence.

How concerned are you about the United States and the safety of the United States? FEINSTEIN: Well, I am concerned about the safety of the United


Our missile defense isn't perfect. It certainly leaves more to be desired. And it has to really be worked on to be improved. And we know that they can hit anywhere within the United States now.

And they have done this in a relatively short time. And this particular leader, over his father, has moved much more quickly. And it's been effective.

The science apparently is good, because they have been able put together tests that are successful.

BASH: I want to ask you about something that happened this past week.

A conservative group, in fact, several conservative groups are accusing you of being anti-Catholic, because you were questioning one of the president's judicial nominees, and you talked about the fact that dogma and law are two different things, but that dogma "lives loud -- loudly within you."

Can you explain what -- what happened?

FEINSTEIN: Well, first of all, let me say this. I'm a product of Catholic education, from the Convent of the Sacred Heart.

I sat in doctrine classes for four years five days a week. I think Catholicism is a great religion. I have great respect for it. I have known many of the archbishops that have been in my community. We have had dinner together. We have spoken together over many, many decades. And I have tried to be helpful to the church whenever I could.

Having said that, this is a woman that has no real trial or court experience. And, therefore, there is no record. Her -- she's a professor, which is fine. But all we have to look at are her writings.

And in her writings, she makes some statements which are questionable, which deserve questions. For example -- and this is pretty much a near quote -- it may well be that a Catholic judge cannot be independent. This is not a direct quote, because I don't have it in front of me.

But it was something to necessitate us to, I thought appropriately, ask about it.

[09:30:00] BASH: Senator Feinstein, you have a lot on your plate.

Are you -- are you up for another six years? You're going to...

FEINSTEIN: Well, we will see, won't we?

Thank you.

BASH: You are up for reelection in 2018. Are -- are you going to... FEINSTEIN: And I'm well aware of that.

Thank you very much.


Thank you so much, Senator.

FEINSTEIN: Thank you, Dana.

BASH: You are not going to declare here, I...

FEINSTEIN: I am not going to declare...



Thank you.

BASH: We -- we can try.

FEINSTEIN: Yes, you can try.

BASH: Thanks for your time this morning.

FEINSTEIN: Thank you. Bye.

BASH: Republicans are furious. Democrats making deals with the president and Washington is turned on its head. We're going to break it down next.



TRUMP: You are looking at allowing people to stay here. We're working with everybody --Republican. We're working with Democrat. And we're talking about taking care of people, people who were brought here, people who have done a job, and were not brought here of their own volition.



BASH: Lots to discuss with our panel. Welcome one and all.

I want to first start by talking about what the president was just discussing, striking at least the beginnings of a deal on the so- called Dreamers with the Democratic leaders. I want you guys to see what Steve King, conservative Republican House member from Iowa said.

He said the Trump base is blowing up. And then he said, "If AP is correct" -- I guess he was reading an AP story about it at the time. "Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible."

So, Senator Santorum, let me start with you, are you on the first plane to Iowa?

RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I'm not on the first plane to Iowa. Those days are over, but I think Steve King does realize that this is a big blow to a lot of folks that supported President Trump. And it shows that he, you know, backs down from a pretty central promise in this campaign about the issue of immigration.

And so I think it just reflects the frustration that the president has in trying to get something done, and the fact that he was able to get something done with Chuck and Nancy on the debt limit now he's just going back and say, well, if Republicans aren't going to get things done you know I'm going to -- he's a transactional person. And that's why it's vitally important for Republicans to get something done on health care, to get something done on taxes, because if you don't start getting things done and giving -- delivering things to President Trump, he's going to go someplace else.

BASH: And, David --


BASH: -- I'm sure you've seen and heard from your Republican friends, many of them say, you know, we're sorry but we don't care what the circumstances were of these Dreamers coming, it's amnesty (INAUDIBLE).

URBAN: So a couple things, right, this president was sent here to disrupt Washington. He is an action bias. The president wants to get things done.

He wants to accomplish things. And I don't think that talking about Dreamers and helping them stay here is necessarily amnesty. It's going to get -- look, the only thing that's tougher than health care is immigration to get done in this town.

Ana and I worked on this in the past, comprehensive immigration reform, any type of immigration reform is very, very difficult to get done. I think this president said to the Congress, we want to keep these folks, he'd like to keep them here, you get it done. And he is willing to get it done with whatever it takes, I think.

BASH: You had positive words for the president this week. How did that feel?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Strange. I'm glad you are sitting down so you don't topple over. Look --

URBAN: Ana -- say them again, Ana, because we would like to hear it.

NAVARRO: No, I will. Frankly listen I think, first of all, seeing Steve King have a meltdown it really is just a source of pleasure. Poor little thing, he almost sounds like one of those proverbial snowflakes they're always complaining about. Well, look, Donald Trump is a guy who is the author of "The Art of the Deal." So what I think what he is showing is the willingness to go out of the box and try to make a deal.

He tried working only with Republicans on health care and it was a failure. And if we want to be truthful as Republicans the Republican Party in Congress right now it's broken probably there is more ideological distance between the moderate Republican for Tuesday group and the freedom caucus than there is between main stream Democrats and moderate Republicans. So if he can get something done -- and he has done a lot this week.

I think Donald Trump has a unique opportunity here. He has got more political capital with his base and more ability to maneuver than any other Republican president would. If it had been George W. Bush or anybody else meeting with Chuck and Nancy, there would be explosions all over it.

Donald trump can do it because he has got a very loyal base -- use his capital.

BASH: Governor Granholm, you were Democratic chief executive. Do you think this is a good move?

JENNIFER GRANHOLM (D), FORMER MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: Well, I mean, you heard Dianne Feinstein say earlier that you need to have compromise, you need both sides at the table to do some big legislation.

But here is what I was amazed that Donald Trump actually had compassionate words for these Dreamers and that was encouraging. But on the Republican side, this notion of amnesty or preventing amnesty is deeply concerning.

There is this raised bill which the Republicans have introduced which Wharton, your great I think alma mater has said will cost 4.6 million jobs, that's number one, is that letting -- sending these Dreamers away, which is ridiculous, I what was brought here when I was four years old from Canada. I have, you know, pledged allegiance to this country.

I can't imagine having spent 20 years here them being sent back to a country they never know -- but in additional to that it's good for our nation, not just for them. This is the secret sauce that makes America great is that we draw people from all corners of the world.

I mean, Ana, when you were brought here as a young person, you were here under the Reagan amnesty program.


NAVARRO: -- here as an eight year old, brought when my parents fleeing communism. And I can tell you that I had nothing to do with their decision.


NAVARRO: I'm sure my parents would have made it even if they didn't have the resources because they want to bring me to freedom.


And that's why, you know, when I look at these Dreamer kids there but for the grace of God go I. There but for the grace of God go you.

GRANHOLM: Absolutely.

NAVARRO: These are the people that make America great. They want to be Americans. They love this country.

They are a class by themselves and they've got -- they have a lot of support from Republicans.

BASH: What do you say to that, Senator?

SANTORUM: Are we a nation of laws here? We are not a nation of laws.

I mean -- look, I understand all of the sympathy. I understand -- look --

GRANHOLM: So make a law that allows them to stay.

SANTORUM: -- I don't disagree that there is a sympathetic case to be made here but we have to be a nation of laws. So we take everybody --


GRANHOLM: So make that law, Rick, that allows them to stay.

SANTORUM: -- (INAUDIBLE) attempt to try to say, we need to adjust our legal immigration system to focus more on what benefits our country not have anybody who's relate to someone who's a fourth cousin end up in the United States because one person came --


NAVARRO: It's the pint I just made, right? There are Republicans like Rick, definitely, but there's also Republicans like Jeff Flake, like Lindsey Graham, like John McCain, like Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, like Paul Ryan who want to get a fix for these kids. And so if it means working with Democrats to be able get something that passes muster and gets the vote then let's do it.

GRANHOLM: Yes. I mean, that's what the DREAM Act is all about. The DREAM Act for these kids would take 13 years before they would even be eligible to apply for citizenship.

My question to those who don't agree with that is how long would anybody have to wait if they are one of these 700,000 under the RAISE Act under your -- would they never be allowed to vote in this country? URBAN: And, Governor, that's why comprehensive immigration reform is so difficult to get down in this town, right? Conceptually everybody wants the same thing. Getting it worked out -- right -- with the left, with the labor unions.

I disagree with you, Ana, in saying that that there is this great schism from the Republican Party from the right to the left. I mean, look at the Democratic Party with organized labor to the blue dogs. I mean, there is a Grand Canyon of a space --


NAVARRO: You don't think there is a great schism between the moderates and the Republican Party and the freedom caucus?

URBAN: It's my turn here.

So I think that on immigration reform and on Dreamers, everybody wants to see, you know, something nice and these folks to be taken care of. But --

GRANHOLM: Everybody --


URBAN: Listen, we need secure borders, we need the rule of law and how do you get there? Chain immigration, problem -- right -- for a lot of folks. How do you get there is the problem.

And unlike, you know, us sitting around this table, there are 535 folks that have to agree, 536 the president -- right? And so it's a tough thing to do, that's why it's taking so long.

BASH: No question.

URBAN: It's not going to get done tomorrow, in six months.

BASH: Everyone stand by. Stick around. We have a lot more to discuss including top Democrats this week taking sides in a major debate that could split the Democratic Party in two.

Plus, many of the biggest deals in Washington are made over dinner, the invite Democrats and Republicans can't resist ahead.




SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I want to say thank you to Bernie for all that you have done.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: I will be standing with Bernie.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: I am proud to co-sponsor it.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: This is a defining moment of the character of our country.

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D), OREGON: I'm all in on this. Thank you, Bernie.


BASH: And we are back with our panel. A slew of Democrats, Governor Granholm signing up for Bernie Sanders' Medicare for all plan. Is this the new litmus test if you're even thinking about -- thinking about running for the Democratic nomination in 2020?

GRANHOLM: Well, I do think a litmus test if you will will be Democrats who stand up for healthcare for all. So whether it's this particular bill or some variation on it where a public option is allowed, et cetera, will be a piece of it. Because I think Democrats pretty much uniformly believe that in the richest country in the world, we ought to be giving people access to health care or giving them, making sure they can get healed.

So if every other country can do it, why can't we? (INAUDIBLE) a stake in the ground, a flag in the grounds saying that.

BASH: Is that (INAUDIBLE) Democrat their (ph) problem (INAUDIBLE) some (ph) states (ph) like Pennsylvania?

URBAN: I love -- Governor, I love watching the parade, the potential nominees who are going to run as the president in 2020, I love logic.

So just keep it coming. Keep it going. I'm for it.


GRANHOLM: You don't like the idea of buying into Medicare?


URBAN: No, listen. I like -- listen, I like giving everybody a house, a car for free. I like everything. I like --


GRANHOLM: So buying into Medicare?

URBAN: -- for free. But somebody has got to pay for it.

GRANHOLM: Of course.

SANTORUM: So here's the story.

BASH: Go ahead.

SANTORUM: The Democrats have now admitted Obamacare is a failure.


GRANHOLM: No, the Democrats would love to fix Obamacare.

SANTORUM: You just said we should have a health care system that -- you said that eight years ago, that you had a health care system under Obamacare that was going to provide health care for everybody. It hasn't. It has failed.

Democrats now were saying it has failed, it doesn't work anymore.

GRANHOLM: It has not failed --


GRANHOLM: -- let's fix it then (ph).

SANTORUM: Why would Bernie Sanders and everybody up there saying we need a whole new system if it hasn't failed. Look, now the Democrats have come on board with us, it's a failure, here's your choice.

GRANHOLM: No. You do not say that, Rick. The Democrats have not come on board with you.

SANTORUM: Here's your choice America. Single payer health care system, which is what Bernie Sanders is talking about or we can have a system that says, let's get this money out to the states, closer to the people, which is what the Graham-Cassidy Bill does which is getting very close to being a reality.

BASH: Senator, you've been working hard on this.

SANTORUM: I've been working on this for six months.

BASH: This the key (ph) week. Is it going to happen or are you going to get 50 votes from Republicans?

SANTORUM: I think we are closing in. I can tell you that as of the last few days the White House fully -- and the president himself is fully engaged in this.

GRANHOLM: Is your governor supportive?

SANTORUM: Is my governor --


GRANHOLM: Is the governor of Pennsylvania supportive? No.

SANTORUM: The Democratic governor of Pennsylvania is not but --


GRANHOLM: But there are a lot of other Republicans governor who aren't supportive either.

SANTORUM: -- over 20 Republicans in favor of that. I wouldn't be surprised -- look, you're looking at Bill Nelson, the state of Florida gets about $3 billion under Obamacare because four states -- Massachusetts, California, New York and Maryland -- four states that comprise 20 percent of the population of the country get 40 percent of the money under Obamacare. So you have got states like Florida get $3 billion a year less, by the way, half of what Massachusetts gets and under -- and ask Bill Nelson whether he'll take $15 billion which is what the state of Florida is going to get.




NAVARRO: -- Bill Nelson. But look, here's the bottom line. We do have a system that needs to get fixed. It's not going to happen unilaterally by either party.

The Republicans tried and failed. This is a Democrat attempt, the Republicans are going to stand in unison against it. The good thing is that we are still talking about fixing health care because I think it's important that we don't let it go.

It has problems, it needs to be fixed, we need to solve what is a national crisis. And so once we get past the political posturing of my bill, and your bill, and this bill, Congress needs to get together. And, you know, I know that it's a shocking concept but maybe have bipartisan compromise on something that --


SANTORUM: -- trying to do a bipartisan compromise and Patti Murray is not negotiating in good faith. Is shutting down right now. There is no attempt on the other side.


NAVARRO: But that doesn't mean you give up on bipartisan compromise.


NAVARRO: -- give up on health care for millions.

BASH: An, let the governor in -- go ahead.

GRANHOLM: There is a reason why AARP hates this bill. It's because it cuts $290 billion out of health care from what is currently slated from current law.

SANTORUM: Why? Why? Do you know why it does?

GRANHOLM: OK. So you're admitting that it does.

SANTORUM: Let me tell you why it does.


SANTORUM: Because we get rid of the individual and employer mandate and those taxes go away.


GRANHOLM: Right. You're cutting all of that --


SANTORUM: America hates the individual mandate.

GRANHOLM: That means you will not be able to cover people.

SANTORUM: They hate the employer mandate.

GRANHOLM: That means 31 million people will be without health care.

SANTORUM: So we don't want to force people to buy insurance and that's the reason -- that's the reason why it's (ph) not there.

GRANHOLM: So let's see what the congressional -- let's just see what the congressional budget office says when it scores because according to the --

BASH: And that's going to be this week.

GRANHOLM: What I'm looking at here, $299 billion worth of cutting including $17 billion out of Florida, including $8 billion out of Pennsylvania.


BASH: We will see what happens when we get the information this week. Before we go, I have to show all of you this retweet by the president the morning.

He was very active on Twitter this morning. If you see there, there's no sound. It was -- it's an image of the president golfing, a golf ball hitting Hillary Clinton and knocking her down from the back.

David urban. I know how Senator Santorum feels about his tweets, is this appropriate?

URBAN: Look, the president speaks directly to the folks. I'm not going to judge what's appropriate and inappropriate with the president. Retweets do not equal endorsement. I think it says in the bottom of this tweet (INAUDIBLE).

BASH: Why is he so obsessed with Hillary Clinton still?

URBAN: I don't think he's obsessed with Hillary Clinton.

GRANHOLM: Oh, come on. He cannot let her go. (CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: This is the part that drives me crazy.

URBAN: -- fair and square.

NAVARRO: When decent people, decent Republicans who I knew -- I know would judge Democrats differently give and normalize what Donald Trump is doing.

We cannot normalize this kind of behavior from the president of the United States. He is still an example.

If your six-year-old son did this he would be punished and so this 71- year-old should not be accepted. This is he being a jerk and he's not being a president.

BASH: That's an interesting way to leave this morning's conversation.

GRANHOLM: Absolutely.

BASH: More in the green room.

Up next, he designed the menu, the venue, and the seating. President Trump's supper club is the place where deals are made. Some insight on the room where it happens.

Hint, it's all about Chinese food and chocolate pie.



BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Dana Bash.

Political foes or dinner dates? This week the White House had the hottest table in town and Wednesday evening President Trump dined with the top two Democrats, or Chuck and Nancy, as he likes to call them. It was the second meal of the week that he shared with Democrats and it seems presidential deal making all comes down to dinner.


BASH (voice-over): For President Trump, the art of the political deal begins with breaking bread.

TRUMP: I remember when Republicans and Democrats would fight like hell, then they go out have lunch together, have dinner together, go back, fight like hell and get a lot of things done.

BASH: From Chinese food and chocolate pie with top Democrats at the White House --

PELOSI: Really the atmospherics of the dinner were very friendly.

BASH: To a fancy treat from French President Emmanuel Macron in the City of Lights.

TRUMP: Dinner tonight at the Eiffel Tower. That will be something special.

BASH: The Trump approach is that a good meal served a la mode can be the best way to a politician's heart.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: Everybody says you get a scoop of ice cream. Well, there was a perfectly shaped egg and it was ice cream. And the president only got one too, he didn't get two. He got one.

BASH: Of course, not everybody wants to be wined and dined by the president.

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: He called me at my desk at lunchtime and asked me was I free for dinner. That night I said, whatever works for you, sir.

And then I hang up. And then I called my wife and break a date with her.

BASH: And as commander in chief, even the nicest of meals can go even awry.

TRUMP: We're now having dessert and we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you've ever seen. So what happens is I said we've just launched 59 missiles. This is during dessert.

BASH: White House guests can expect to be wooed with calligraphy and fine wine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you like fries with that?

BASH: But when it's just him, the billionaire's tastes are a lot more basic.

TRUMP: Fish Delight sometimes. The Big Macs are great, the Quarter Pounders with cheese. I mean, it's great stuff.


BASH: Thank you for spending your Sunday morning with us. I'm Dana Bash in Washington.

"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" starts right now.