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Sen. Rand Paul's Scavenger Hunt for Hidden Republican Obamacare Bill; Pence Used Private E-mail While Indiana Governor; CNN's "Believer," Rituals, Peculiar Practices of Some Religious Sects in India. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired March 3, 2017 - 14:30   ET



[14:33:51] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is on a mission, anxious to find what he calls the secret GOP Obamacare bill, and accusing his party of keeping Republican lawmakers in the dark. Today, he tweeted this, he said, "The Obamacare replacement bill remains hidden from the public. What secret location will they meet in this weekend to work on it." Well, he decided to find out with a scavenger hunt. And he was joined by a Democratic leader in the House.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you concerned it's in a locked room?

SEN. RAND PAUL, (R), KENTUCKY: We're going to find out.


UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: You're not allowed to be in this area.


PAUL: I would like to read the Obamacare bill. This is being presented as if this were a national secret. I think there's a bill in there. It's the secret office for the secret bill.


PAUL: Now we have our own copy machine, too, but we didn't get the use it.


REP. STENY HOYER, (D), MARYLAND: I'm told that the Republicans have their ACA, Affordable Care Act, bill repeal somewhere in the capitol. We're going to look for it.


HOYER: It's not here.

(MUSIC) HOYER: Mr. Lincoln, I can't find the bill. I know, Mr. President, you are as upset with your party as I am.

Thank you, all.



[14:35:34] KEILAR: I want to bring in my panel now to talk about this, David Drucker, CNN political analyst and senior correspondent for "The Washington Examiner"; and Abby Phillip, a CNN political analyst and reporter for the "Washington Post."

Abby, I suppose there's a within why this is under lock and key. Tell us why?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Partly because it's not done yet and partly because all of these little successive leaks are proving to be big problems for Republican leadership and for the White House. They want to basically get the framework together, finish it, and then have people talk about it and pick it apart.

But Rand Paul does not like that idea and does not like that version of legislating. He's hoping he can see more of the bill partly because he's concerned that Republicans are working on a version that does something, including creating a tax credit that he is opposed so, similar to Obamacare, just a mechanism for helping to subsidize insurance for people that's a little bit different.

KEILAR: Some Republicans, David, say, if you don't get rid of that, you're not getting rid of the crux of Obamacare, you're really not getting rid of Obamacare.

DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Guess what, I don't think they're going to get rid of the crux of Obamacare, other than the mandate that you have to purchase insurance because they're going to keep the prohibition of denying insurance based on preexisting conditions, and keep allowing people to keep their kids on their insurance plans until they're adults, 26 years old, and keep a few other things.

Part of it is a really good stunt on Rand Paul's part. But when the House Republicans are ready to put out the bill, the House leadership, at the Energy and Commerce Committees, and Ways and Means, they will have to make it available a couple of days before a markup. I was talking to people on the Hill today. Energy and Commerce, the main committee that will be going through this bill, is going to hold a markup. And that means a couple of days before the markup, everybody gets to see the bill and throw popcorn at it, or tomatoes at it, whatever you want. So we're going to see this. There are a lot of Republicans that aren't going to like it because they don't think it goes far enough. President Trump, if he chooses to get involved, we don't know if he will yet, but if he cho0ses to get involved, he will get a lot of wayward Republicans in the House to get on board, even if they don't like it, because their voters like President Trump a lot more than the members of Congress. He could do a lot to bring unity to the process for Republicans.

KEILAR: He might be the whip for Republicans in the House if they want to get this through.

Guys, stand by. We have more to talk about.

We're going to switch gears, talk about Vice President Mike Pence, who accused of using a private e-mail account during his tenure as Indiana governor. It was hacked. And this report that came to us from the "Indianapolis Star," they broke this story. Listen to him.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Let's talk a little bit about why you decided to use your private e-mail for business.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We issued a statement on that. I'm very confident our e-mail practices were in full compliance with all Indiana laws. And my service as vice president will continue --


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Does it give you any sympathy or insight into the way that Secretary Hillary Clinton and her e-mails?

PENCE: No, there's no comparison whatsoever between Hillary Clinton's practice of having a private server and mishandling classified information, destroying e-mails when they were requested by Congress and by officials. We have fully complied with all Indiana's laws. We had outside counsel to review all of private e-mail records to identify any e-mails that ever referenced or mentioned business, state business- related activities. And as Indiana law requires, we transferred all of those to the state of Indiana subject to public access laws.



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Should all of - should the governor release all of the e-mails, and did Jeff Sessions tell you he met with the Russian ambassador?

[14:19:43] PENCE: No, I was not aware that Jeff Sessions met with the ambassador. The president and I have full confidence in the attorney general. He is a man of integrity. As the president said, he could have answered the question more clearly, but it was clearly unintentional. I think he has corrected the record appropriately. And we're just very confident in his ability to lead this agency, and respect his decision to recuse himself.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: When do we expect to see the bill?

[14:40:14] PENCE: Thank you, everybody.

Coming soon.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: By the end of month?

PENCE: I have to tell you, I'm very grateful to Senator McConnell and Speaker Ryan, and the hard work that Dr. Price is doing in his new role. And we expect, in a matter of days, you'll begin to see a brisk pace of activity. We're going to repeal and replace Obamacare. We'll do it at the same time. As I said today, we're going to replace Obamacare with the kind of solutions that will lower the cost of health insurance for every American. It will be an orderly transition to a new and better health care program and ensure we don't leave anyone behind, and give states the resources and flexibility to meet their needs to help the most vulnerable.

But we are working in collaboration with Speaker Ryan, with Senator McConnell, with members of House and Senate. And the American people are going to see. President Trump said this week that Congress is responding and we look forward to ending Obamacare and ushering in, at the same time, a health care system that will serve the needs of the American people in the long term.

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: And we expect you are going to give (INAUDIBLE) some business. I recommend the Carrie (ph) roles, Shepherd's Pie, or Good Friday fish fry.

Thank you, everybody.




KEILAR: That does sound good.

Mike Pence and Paul Ryan are standing next together. Clearly, the White House and on the Hill are on the same page.

I want to ask about the hacking part here. David, he said there's no comparison in regards to the e-mails. What do you think?

DRUCKER: I think he was largely correct. Hillary Clinton was trafficking a lot of information that was classified information. We don't know what kind of security protocols were in place. She dealt with a whole difficult type of information set than did the governor of Indiana. Mike Pence was governor of Indiana at the time. Now it's true that some of what was went through Mike Pence's personal e-mail account did relate to some Homeland Security updates and the FBI, so that is problematic but I don't think you can look at the two the same way.

KEILAR: The risk -- that's very clear, David, that the risk that Hillary Clinton and her team took far exceeds the risk when it comes to the type of information going through this e-mail account and, in her case, a server. But to this point, Abby, is part of this problem is perception here that it's not -- that Mike Pence might not really have a leg to stand on when he's been critical of Hillary Clinton?

PHILLIP: He's definitely facing some of those critical comments again now that it's been found out and I think the key part here is that his account was actually compromised. I think we would have a little bit different discussion about a private e-mail account which several people new and, several Indiana reporters were aware of the fact he had an AOL account. But we know whoever gained access to his contact list and sent spam e-mail to his contact lists is concerning we don't know what was in there, we know it probably wouldn't have been classified information, he doesn't have a clearance to view classified information like the secretary of state would. But that's why the state of Indiana in response to records questions hasn't released all them, but it's a different ball game. It's a much bigger deal dealing with national security issues as secretary of state than state issues as the governor of Indiana.

KEILAR: And when you have a server. That's a very important distinction that David made.

David, for those who don't have the mindset of governors, lawmakers or secretaries, you know, about the importance of preserving records, shouldn't that be on your mind when you think about what kind of e- mails you're using?

DRUCKER: In a sense, you're dealing with and the communication you're having no longer belongs to you elected officials need to be more cognizant of that, I talked to members of the House and Senate on the Hill and not all of them are up to speed or really think about this yet others are very aware to have fact that as public high-ranking public officials their communication communications matter. And I have some Senators tell me they will not use e-mail exempt for the most benign uses because they know they will try to be penetrated by foreign entities. And I still think it's strange that public officials have not gotten the idea of what it is to use e-mails what servers are you using and how sensitive is the information you're talking about.

[14:45:31] KEILAR: David Drucker, Abby Phillip, thank you to both of you.

Coming up, is a reset of Russian relations possible under the Trump administration? Former CIA Director David Petraeus sits down with CNN. We'll give you his candidate thoughts on Putin's motives and intentions. Does he really see the two countries working together?

Back in a moment.


[14:50:15] KEILAR: A powerful and fascinating new CNN original series is premiering tonight and it focuses on religions you have never heard of.

And CNN's Reza Aslan kicks it off by coming face-to-face with a cannibalistic sect in India.




Maybe I'll take this off right now and then -- just thank you. OK. Thank you. Thank you.

Why are people on that side of the river so afraid of the aghori?


ASLAN: I see.

Why --



ASLAN: Feels like a mistake. Maybe just somebody distracts him and I just leave.


ASLAN: I can be polite. I can be very polite.


KEILAR: OK, Reza, you were having that reaction because that man threatened to kill you if you were talking more, right?

ASLAN: He threatened to cut off my head, yes, that's correct, which I'm sure you hear all the time from your various interviewers.

KEILAR: I think you were afraid that was literal which might have been the thing. We saw, obviously, the head dress, but just explain the concept.

ASLAN: So they are a 500-year-old sect of Hinduism. It is just an illusion so to prove that belief these kind of holy men, gurus, will go around and take theatrical plays of, you see I'm covered in ashes of the dead. They will eat decaying corpses to suggest nothing can separate you from god. The idea is beautiful, but I think a way that a number of these holy men express it are problematic.

KEILAR: You ate something before. What did you eat?

ASLAN: I ate a piece of a brain, yeah.

KEILAR: From a corpse.

ASLAN: From a corpse.

KEILAR: Where was the corpse from?

ASLAN: A lot of them live in the cremation grounds along the banks of the river. They believe the lord will provide so a lot of what they eat is in the cremation ground. Some of that is left overs of cremated corpses.

But I want to point out something important here. This is one expression of the aghori faith. What I discover in my journey is that there are many others who have thrown off some of the more sort of these theatrical expressions by doing other things, for instance, like opening orphanages to take care outcast kids or caring for leprosy patients who are seen as polluted.

This show is all about the ways in which we may experience a different faith or religion that seems seem frightening and scary and foreign, but when you really break down into it, you find you have a lot more in common with these people than you actually think you did.

KEILAR: It's fascinating. You mention they take care of leprosy patients.

I have so many more questions, and that's as it should be.


So I'll tune in on Sunday night, Reza Aslan, and get those questions answered. I know it will be fascinating.

You can check it out. CNN original series, "Believer," with Reza Aslan, Sunday night, 10:00 eastern and pacific, right here on CNN?

Just in, Arnold Schwarzenegger with a major announcement about the future of "The Apprentice," the show he took over from now-President Trump. Details next.