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Interview with Congressman Michael Burgess of Texas; Dirk Nowitzki Scores 30,000 Career Points; WikiLeaks Claims to Reveal CIA Hacking Secrets. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 8, 2017 - 06:30   ET



[06:31:41] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The state of Hawaii is expected to file the first legal challenge today against President Donald Trump's new travel ban. Hawaii's attorney general tells CNN the new executive order still has the same constitutional problems as the previous order. The Justice Department has not commented on this. Civil liberties groups say more losses are likely.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: In a rare show of unity, you had all 100 senators sending a letter to the Trump administration asking for swift action against the rise in anti-Semitic threats across our country. A new wave of threats hit this Monday and Tuesday. The Jewish Federations of North America says there have been 98 incidents against Jewish centers and day schools at 81 locations in 33 states in just the first two months of this year.

CAMEROTA: So the Statue of Liberty suddenly went dark for about an hour Tuesday. Twitter lit up with colorful comments, some suggested she went off duty and supported a day without women, which is today.

It turns out the outage was not intentional. Officials say a portion of the lighting system experience as temporary outage. That's not a good story as the Statue of Liberty unplugged herself to go off duty.

CUOMO: The facts getting in the way of good story, an enduring theme these days.

CAMEROTA: I don't like when that happens, yes, right.

CUOMO: The Republican plan for replacing Obamacare is going to have a real uphill battle within the GOP and, then, of course, with the Democrats. Why is Paul Ryan smiling when so many people may lose their coverage?

We're going to talk to a Republican lawmaker who also happens to be a doctor? What's the take? Next.


[06:37:21] CAMEROTA: The White House throwing its support behind the House Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but critics say the bill could result in millions losing their coverage. It's also facing a serious conservative revolt.

So, joining us now is Texas Republican Representative Michael Burgess. He is the longest serving doctor in Congress and heads the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health which helped draft this bill.

Good morning, Congressman.

REP. MICHAEL BURGESS (R), TEXAS: Good morning. Thanks for having me on, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Great to have you here.

So, this was not perhaps the slam dunk that you were hoping for. We heard from the House.


CAMEROTA: Go ahead.

BURGESS: Yes, I never thought this would be a slam dunk. This was always going to be an arduous uphill struggle.

But I'm grateful to have the White House, to have the president talking favorably about the product they will be working on this morning. But make no mistake about it. This is a reconciliation bill. This is, by definition, an intensely partisan process.

It is important to take this as the first step. I do believe it is an important and good first step, but this is in no way was this ever going to be a light lift.

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, John Cornyn said he wants to vote on it right away, without the sorts of debates in the committee.

BURGESS: Well, the debate of the committee is important. I will respect my senior senator. Obviously, I have a lot affection for Senator Cornyn. But at least in our House committee, it is important that we have a chance for everyone to voice their feelings and their concerns, and those will be we heard today.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about what people don't like about it. The House Freedom Caucus thinks that it goes too far. They want a repeal. And then, there are a whole bunch of Republicans who think that it is going to leave millions of people, 10 million people uninsured.

What's your answer?

BURGESS: Well, of course the goal is no one should lose insurance and everyone should have access important to me on the physician's side of the ledger as currently, you have people who have coverage. They have a card. But they can't get care.

So, I think that disconnect also needs to be corrected. And I'm very grateful when people like Dr. Tom Price, who's now the secretary of health and human services, talks about a patient-centered approach. I think that's exactly on point and exactly where we should be headed.

But the fact is people should have the availability of coverage should they choose to seek it, but they should not have the Internal Revenue Service chasing them down, forcing them to buy something that they don't want or cannot afford.

[06:40:01] CAMEROTA: Yes, but access doesn't equal coverage and, in fact, the S&P global ratings estimates as many as 10 million people could lose their coverage under your GOP plan. That's half of 20 million who gained coverage under Obamacare. So, how do you in good conscience take away their coverage now?

BURGESS: The simple fact is that you're not. Of course, the Congressional Budget Office overestimated the number of people that would be covered under the Affordable Care Act, about half of the people that they said would be covered actually either paid the fine or sought some exclusionary exemption from the individual mandate. So, the coverage numbers were never where the Obama administration said they were going to be.

But, look, more importantly, again, to me, people have coverage without being able to get care. I talked to people all the time who have a deductible that is so high that they simply avoid seeking care.

I think former President Clinton said it very well in October when he said, we've got this crazy system, where people out there busting it. They're working two jobs, they're paying twice as much for half the care. That is a problem that needs to be resolved. That's a here and now problem that people are experiencing every day.

CAMEROTA: Yes, Congressman, we had Congressman Jason Chaffetz on NEW DAY yesterday, and he said something that raised some eyebrows. He talked about how lower income people are going to have to with this new plan make some very tough choices.

Here's what he said.


REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: We're getting rid of the individual mandate. We're getting rid of those things that people said they don't want. You know what, American versus choices, and they've got to make a choice, so maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care. They got to make those decisions themselves.


CAMEROTA: What do you think of that comment, Congressman?

BURGESS: I can't speak to that. I want them to have both, because you know, what in the future of health care, I felt it will be an integral part of your ability to interact with your doc --

CAMEROTA: There you go. That's why it raised eyebrows, he is suggesting --

BURGESS: Alisyn, we can have both. We can have both. That's what today is all about. We're going to be talking about those things that eliminates some of the difficulties people are having and increase the facility in which people can get care, increase the affordability which people can get care.

I'll tell you further, normally, you don't use the words exciting and health policy together in the sentence, but with three roundtables with governors now, since the first of the year, the governors are excited about what we're doing. They want the flexibility at their level to be able to take care of their people the way they know best and I'm grateful that we're going to be allowing that.

CAMEROTA: Congressman, very quickly, how can you have both? I mean, how can lower income people who are not going to be getting the subsidies as big as they have under Obamacare, how can they pay for their cell phone bill and their health bill without those subsidies?

BURGESS: Well, maybe -- now, the facts of the matter is that there are going to be, there is going to be help and on the ways of the inside, which is not a part of our discussion today with Energy and Congress, there is the concept of tax credits, it will be debated. People will have options. People will have choices they can make and my goal is to put it so we can trust the American people rather than trusting the government.

CAMEROTA: OK. Congressman Michael Burgess, we always appreciate you coming on.

BURGESS: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: And explaining your bill. We will see you again. Thank you.

BURGESS: Great, thank you.


CUOMO: You make the right point. If they don't have the same amount of money to spend on the health care and money is taken out of Medicaid, you're going to have people who lose coverage.

CAMEROTA: Look, the CBO hasn't scored it yet. So, that's a problem. But Kaiser Family Foundation has they showed it, it's less than half. So, they're going to have to make --

CUOMO: Especially, the poorer you go, the more people will lose coverage.

Another WikiLeaks bombshell, this time it's the CIA. And the claim from WikiLeaks is that their document shows our governments can use TVs, smartphones, even cars as tools for spying. Is this true? How did they get it? What does it mean for you? Just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [06:47:51] CUOMO: Mavs superstar Dirk Nowitzki going where few NBA players have gone before? Where?

We have Andy Scholes with this morning's "Bleacher Report" in the house.


CUOMO: That's how big this story is.

SCHOLES: It's only happened six times in NBA history, so I had to be here to report this story.

You know, I had the pleasure to cover Dirk Nowitzki for a couple of years in Dallas, one of the years being the one where he won the championship. I got to tell you, no superstar in this league is more humble than Dirk. And this is his 19th season with the Mavs.

And with this bucket right here, he became the sixth player in NBA history the first international player ever to reach a 30,000 point mark. And after a timeout, the 7-footer from Germany gets mobbed by Mavs owner Mark Cuban right there, the rest of his teammates, dirks said it was an emotional movement for him. He has a couple more bucks left before he end up riding off into the sunset.

Gonzaga officially punching their ticket to the NCAA tournament last night with the win over St. Mary's. And Zags finished the season with just one loss, likely going to earn a one seed for the second time in school's history when Sunday rolls around this weekend.

Yesterday here in New York, all of the broadcasters from Turner Sports and CBS who were going to be calling the tournament games, they were here for media day.

With Gonzaga being one of the favorites this year, I had a question. You now, their mascots the bulldogs, they call them the Zags. What is a Zag?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It gives you a lot of option. Play by play, got to mix it up a little bit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no idea. I have no idea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Opposite of a zig? I don't know. What is a Zag? Does anyone have an answer to that question?

SCHOLES: Not really.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're called Gonzaga. But everybody called them Gonzaga.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they changed the name to Zags so people say, oh, Gonzaga.

SCHOLES: To pronounce the name right?



SCHOLES: Guys, saying Gonzaga, but remember Zag, they're Gonzaga.

CAMEROTA: That's right. That made sense.

SCHOLES: Brilliant.

CAMEROTA: I like that.

CUOMO: It's true, all this philosophizing.

CAMEROTA: It's also a cool nickname, Zag.

SCHOLES: Yes, very unique.

CAMEROTA: Andy, thank you very much.

SCHOLES: No problem.

CAMEROTA: All right. Back to our top stories, WikiLeaks releasing a trove of alleged CIA hacking documents.

[06:50:02] Some experts say these are more damaging than the Snowden files.

What's inside those documents? That's next.


CAMEROTA: WikiLeaks releasing thousands of documents claiming to reveal sophisticated tools the CIA uses to break into smartphones, computers, even Internet-connected televisions.

CNN's Brian Todd has more on the huge document.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some of the CIA's most sophisticated and effective spying tools apparently pride open with the help of WikiLeaks. The anti-secrecy group says it's obtained thousands of files and lines of code from the CIA's massive hacking operation.

WikiLeaks says the documents show the CIA's team of hackers have developed malware to be able hack into almost a device people use and can remotely control iPhones, iPads, Android devices, taking video from their cameras, listening with their microphones.

ROSS SCHULMAN, OPEN TECHNOLOGY INST., NEW AMERICA: We should be worried if they're used against non-intelligence targets. TODD: The CIA is not allowed to spy on Americans inside the U.S.

[06:55:03] But privacy advocates worry other agencies may be using the same tools, WikiLeaks says there is one CIA hacking operation called Weeping Angel that can even tap into an enemy's Samsung smart TV.

(on camera): They can turn my TV into a spying device. What happens when I turn it off?

SCHULMAN: When you turn it off, it's not actually off. A lot of people remember the little red light.

TODD: Right.

SCHULMAN: That means there is a computer in there, it's listening for the remote to call back again to turn on. So, what the CIA can do is they can latch into that, even when the TV is off, they can still listen to the microphone that's in the television.

TODD (voice-over): WikiLeaks says CIA hackers can bypass encrypted messaging apps like Signal or Telegram just by cracking the phones themselves. According to WikiLeaks, the CIA explored the possibility of hack into the software of modern cars.

SCHULMAN: It can be accessed from outside and perhaps taken control of. And this can do a whole lot of things of playing the music to taking control of the car entirely and crashing it if you want to assassinate somebody.

TODD: WikiLeaks says the CIA uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, as a secret base, where CIA hackers spy on people in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The White House and the State Department wouldn't comment. The documents released by WikiLeaks have not been authenticated by independent experts and the CIA says it won't confirm their existence.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CUOMO: All right. Let's get some deep perspective on this. We have Phil Mudd, CNN counterterrorism analyst, former CIA counterterrorism official.

Two points of outrage. First point of outrage, how did the CIA get hacked? What's your take?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Boy, we're talking how American phones get hacked. If you are in the CIA this morning and I know that people who run this program, your first question isn't just who -- what we're revealing to the adversary, it's who did this? How did we get Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden now in the heart of the beast of the CIA? How does this happen?

I think the question they're going to have is did somebody from the outside hack into the agency? I doubt it. Or do you have somebody on the inside, whether it's a contractor or employee handing over the information.

This from a CIA's perspective is devastating and there's got to be a manhunt in that organization today to determine who did it, Chris. I don't know.

CUOMO: And now, what you just saw on Brian Todd's piece, what are you guys doing to find ways to use my TV to surveil me and my phone and finding ways to use a car against whoever is driving it. What do you make of those kind of programs?

MUDD: Well, Chris, first of all, I watched you last night sneak into the kitchen and crash the French fries. Don't do that stuff, brother. I didn't want to tell you, but now that's out in the open. Look --

CUOMO: Look, don't try to distract me from the main story, spook. What is it? What's going on with these programs? Why shouldn't people be outraged by this?

MUDD: I don't think they should be for a simple reason. Look, if you are in the 1970s and you're dealing cocaine, somebody is going to get on your land line on the wall in your kitchen and listen to your phone with the assistance of AT&T back in the day. They've got to go through a court order to get that.

I don't think Americans should be surprised that the CIA is trying to figure out tools to spy on terrorists overseas. The questions Americans should have is whether or not they are looking through your phone, looking your TV, do we have assurances partly through the congressional oversight process the CIA always goes to a court order to look at an American? I have seen nothing in these documents that suggest these tools are used in violation of law.

So, if you want to step back and say, wow, here's a new story. The spooks at the CIA spy on people -- not a surprise to me, Chris. They're just finding 21st century ways to do it.

CUOMO: So, it's not about their capabilities, it's about how they use them and whether they respect the rule of law when they do?

MUDD: That's right.

CUOMO: And you are saying that's what people need to think about when they look at these documents?

MUDD: Yes, yes, I am. I also think the American people need to look at this and say, what was just revealed offers an opportunity for someone at the ISIS stronghold in Raqqa, Syria, this morning to look through these documents and say, how do I beat them?

You might assume that the terrorists are highly sophisticated and they would know that kinds of information that are in these documents. We chased a lot of dummies when I was at the bureau and the agency. And even if the information isn't highly revealing to a technical expert in Silicon Valley, some of the people we chase didn't know a lot. They'll look at this stuff and say, wow, I didn't know they can do what with WhatsApp. I didn't know they could do that with Telegram.

What was revealed gives them an opportunity that might not be that might be a surprise to you, Chris, because a lot of them don't know a lot.

CUOMO: No, I hear you about that you know what people will think. If have you the ability to do something, you are probably going to use that ability. That's where the law comes in, respecting our rights.

MUDD: That's right.

CUOMO: This is going to put fuel on the fire.

Phil Mudd, thank you very much for your perspective, as always.

MUDD: Thank you.

CUOMO: Stay out of my kitchen.

Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM" is coming up right now.

For us here in the U.S., we have some real new information for you. Let's get after it.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I am intent on making sure that we fulfill our promises.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: The new House plan is a little bit more Obamacare light than I would like.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's going to be no more excuse by anybody.

SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: This is not the repeal bill that we've been waiting for.

TRUMP: I got elected based on the fact repeal and replace Obamacare.