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Report: President Is Proud of Healthcare Bill; Ryan Not Budging on Bill Despite Backlash; Steve King Makes New Comments on Race. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired March 14, 2017 - 15:30   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: We're back, you're watching CNN, I'm Brooke Baldwin, you are hearing this number, 24 million estimated to lose coverage under this new Republican health care plan, now figure this, some of the most loyal Trump voters could actually be the ones who are hurt the most. We've talked to Jeff Guo, a reporter with the "Washington Post", who wrote all about this in piece this morning, Jeff, so nice to see you.

JEFF GUO, REPORTER, "WASHINGTON POST": Thanks very having me.

BALDWIN: You provided all these great county, graphics and numbers, but flat out just explain why the Trump voters, the most loyal of loyal get hit the hardest under this plan?

GUO: Let's go back to what Obamacare did. One of the big things it did was set aside a lot of money to help people who couldn't get insurance from employers to go and buy it themselves. They got a subsidy, they got some money back in the form of tax credits and people were really taking advantage of this program. The new GOP plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it also has tax credits, but the problem is they don't adjust for the local cost of care. And that's a problem because in rural area that tend to vote Republican the cost of care is really, really high because you don't have that many doctors, less competition, so these people face really expensive health insurance costs and the new plan under the GOP doesn't do that much for them.

BALDWIN: Let me play you some sound. This is a woman who actually met with the President yesterday. Part of the health care listening session. Listen to this.


[15:35:00] CARRIE COUEY, CATTLE RANCHER: We're a small business owner, we are actually not a brick and mortar. We are cattle ranchers, we can't afford our equipment if we pay year after year, our food source is in jeopardy because of this health care law. That's my basic.


It's all right. Don't worry. Don't worry. This is what's happening. It's gone up three times then you have to pay if you don't want to use, you have to pay. That's the all-time beauty, you don't want to use it you have to pay.


BALDWIN: So, Carrie there, a cattle rancher says she can't afford insurance under Obamacare but what if heaven forbid she didn't have insurance and she got sick?

GUO: Right. Well the thing is -- a lot of these rural places where health insurance is really expensive, what Obamacare did was said we're not going to let you spend some small percentage of your income on health insurance and the rest the government will help fill that gap, we're going to give you that money and hopefully you can afford it. Some people still can't afford care under that system, but if we take away from them then it's going to be harder for them to afford health insurance. The other thing Obamacare did was had tax credits for small businesses to help them pay for health insurance for them and their employees.

BALDWIN: Thank you so much, Jeff Guo from the "Washington Post."

Joining me now David Urban, first to you, Sean Spicer, I counted four different times reporters were trying to ask this question on this healthcare bill, the then candidate, then nominee and now the President promising Americans you won't lose your coverage and keeping his promise and how does that square the with numbers I think I heard Sean Spicer say the President intends to keep his promise, what did you make of that?

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Brooke, I think this is an opening act in a long play, negotiations to get a house bill. You heard senator McConnell it will change and will look markedly different by the time he signs it. I think he will uphold his promise and everyone will get coverage.

BALDWIN: What do you think?

JASON KANDER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I don't think it's going to happen. This is a health care bill which fewer people have health care and that's probably a really bad idea.

URBAN: But broke, you heard seen talk about this. Fewer people under the current law people have access to health care but they don't have health care. There's a complete difference here. President Clinton called the Obamacare plan crazy, senator Schumer said we need to reform the plan. It's clearly not tenable, so the President is going to continue to work with it with the speaker and senator McConnell to craft a plan much better.

KANDER: What they should do is take what's there and improve it. That's what Americans want them to do, that's what you do in the work place, if it's not working as well, you improve upon it, what happens and proven by the CBO numbers the amount of people before they had health insurance they're going to go back and it will be fewer people have insurance than actually did at that time. URBAN: Brooke you heard talking about the CBO numbers before 2013 and

they were wildly off, CBO numbers are simply an estimate. A best guess by CBO.

BALDWIN: Paul Ryan is a huge piece of the conversation, essentially his bill in the weeds on this and you heard Sean Spicer talk about this saying talk to speaker Ryan and then you have Breitbart just a couple months ago, criticizing then nominee Trump. Here he was.


PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: His comments are not anywhere keeping with our party's principles and values. I am not going to defend Donald Trump not now, not in the future. You know the concerns I have of the nominee. I hope you appreciate I'm doing what's best for the members not me.


[15:40:00] BALDWIN: David, why -- conservatives, a lot of conservatives are not thrilled. This is the opening act of a long play, but still why make Paul Ryan the fall guy here?

URBAN: Because I believe the speaker told the administration certain things about this plan, made certain representations and it's his plan. I believe that he sold this plan to this administration probably told him he had 218 votes and they were going to get through and maybe that wasn't the case at the time. I don't know. But we'll have to see as Mark Preston said earlier, how long is the President going to stay with this plan, is it going to move forward? I think that's something to be seen. I think the Breitbart piece is right on point.

BALDWIN: Jason is this a Ryan care piece or a Trump care piece?

KANDER: I think it's pretty telling somebody who has been eager to put their name on everything ever in their life from steaks to universities that scams people wants to stay as far away now as possible.

URBAN: I disagree to his point about scamming people.

KANDER: I think clearly folks who settled their claim would disagree with you but it doesn't really matter because President Trump plastered his name on everything, now all a sudden they're doing everything they can to say it was the speaker's idea.

URBAN: Again, this is a legislative process guys, you cover Washington, work in Washington, this is the house, the Senate goes at it. Go back to schoolhouse rock if you don't know how it works.

KANDER: The way it works is you have a health care bill and provide health care to fewer people then you're probably not going to pass the bill.

URBAN: Again, do people get health care or do they have a card that says health care. Sean was clear on that and made a great distinction.

KANDER: I have a choice to get a membership at Mar-a-Lago, I however cannot afford one. People have the choice whether or not to get health care but doesn't do enough to help them afford it which is why 14 million people are going to lose health care right away.

BALDWIN: I feel like I'm watching ping-pong, ping-pong. Thank you very much.

All this talk of health and human services secretary Tom Price will be on CNN tomorrow night in a town hall. Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash will be moderating.

Iowa Congressman Steve King making headlines yet again about new provocative comments about race, what he has said now and how the white house is responding coming up.


BALDWIN: Two days in a row talking about Iowa Congressman Steve King and his comments on race, days after saying quote we can't restore our civil situation with somebody else's baby, now on radio.


REPORTER: Is there anything about the tweets over the weekend that you would change?

STEVE KING, IOWA CONGRESSMAN: Not at all, Dan, ail probably be putting more out here that will cause them to think about a little bit more and their effort is to be celebrating because the United States is moving toward becoming a minority, or majority according to --

REPORTER: If you would talk that way they would call you a racist.

KING: That's true. But what's their utopia, Jorge Ramos is trying to identifying wedges between race, race and ethnicities, and he's adding up Hispanics and blacks he predicts will be greater numbers than whites in America, I predict the Hispanics and blacks will be fighting before that happens.


[15:50:00] BALDWIN: Let me bring in political commentators, Mark Lamont Hill and Paris Dennard. Mark, let me begin with you, again he says I will predict Hispanics and blacks will be fighting each other before that happens. What do you think he is saying here?

MARK LAMONT HILL, CNN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, if he's talking about race war, talking about violence, talking about the inherit violent nature of blacks and Hispanics at the same time he's doubling down on white nationalism, speaking of our babies versus theirs, anti- black, anti-brown, I would like to hear party members disavow that.

PARIS DENNARD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What's important is to put things in context and listen to the totality of interviews and not just sound bites so I actually took the time to listen to the entire piece and what he did with another network to try to get a better understanding of what he was talking about and what is Congressman referring to. What I believe what I gleaned is the lack of cultural values we have in this country today, so his point is as I have gleaned is trying to get America back to a place where we are together as one where we're speaking English where people are assimilating to this society rather than having people coming from other countries. And not assimilating and being part of the American fabric which we all celebrate which is diverse that is African American, Latino, rather than having people coming from other countries and not assimilating and being part of the American fabric which we all celebrate which is diverse that is African American, Latino, Hispanic, but you have to come here and be a part of the American tapestry and I think that's what he is referring to.

HILL: That's a fascinating point. I would be curious to know what time period Paris is referring to where all people celebrated a singular American culture where all people learned English or woven into the quilt -- they were outcast. Cultures, different ethnicities, there is no singular culture.

DENNARD: He went on to say in another interview, if he could change that tweet more than 140 characters he would say somebody's baby unless we adopt them, meaning we have to take care of America and put America first. And to Mark's point, you're absolutely right. When Irish brothers and sisters, when our Jewish brothers and sisters and others came over here, they were isolated, but the difference is now, you can see the evolution of where they have come as a group of people. Assimilated into society, we have an Irish person become the President of the United States in John F. Kennedy. We had a catholic person become the President of the United States in John F. Kennedy and an African American President in Barack Obama. You can assimilate if you don't isolate. His narrative is that liberals and others are pitting each other -- pitting each group against each other. So, if they continue to go on that, we will be fighting because that's what liberals and others are doing, pitting each other against each.

HILL: I didn't mean to cut you off. Here's the issue. One, historically they didn't just assimilate. Assimilate suggests everybody gets molded into one thing, the melting pot. It's not a melting pot, but a salad bowl. Everybody comes in with their own ingredient and maintain individual it. People didn't come to America and become American. We're eating sushi and French fries. We're doing all the cultural stuff. We have to continue to do that to bring other people's stuff to make them feel welcome. You talk about the achievements of immigrants who came to America. Why we could do that is we didn't build a wall to stop them. We didn't say English only rule.

BALDWIN: Let me -- gentlemen, if I may, if I may. Hang on. Colonialism, 2017, let me bring it up to the last hour for a second if I may. I really appreciate just listening to both of you. But some people have said, well, yes, mark, you're right, a lot of Republicans have denounced this sort of language. We finally did hear from President Trump vis-a-vis Sean Spicer responding to Congressman king. Here it was. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: I asked you yesterday about the President's response to Steve King. Do you have anything on that?

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I don't -- I think the President believes that this is not a point of view that he shares. He believes he's the President for all Americans and so I'll leave it at that.


BALDWIN: Paris, do you agree, leave it at that, move on?

DENNARD: I do. I wish -- I think that's the appropriate statement from the white house and from the President. I wish that Congressman king would be talking about things that are really, really important such as this repeal and replace of Obamacare. I wish if he is so concerned about the different races and what's going on in this society, he would go and talk to senator Tim Scott, representative Mia Love and Congressman Will Hurd, go on a listening tour Ben Carson is going on. It's a distraction. He needs to focus on things that are really relevant today which is repealing and replacing Obamacare, focusing on how to get more jobs for his constituents in Iowa. Not these sidebar conversations about his warped view of race.

BALDWIN: Last word?

HILL: I think Mr. Trump has to say he's the President of all people. People attempting to come as immigrants are being left out precisely because he's thinking about people who are undocumented Americans. Finally, Donald Trump helped create this context. He's the one whose sort of policy initiatives as President and policy proposals as candidate have led to the type of environment where Steve King feels entirely comfortable saying these things and that's what is really dangerous.

BALDWIN: I know you disagree. We're out of time.

Coming up on who is Wayne Tracker if New York's Attorney General is to be believed it is a fake name used by someone important in the Trump cabinet, coming up next, we'll unmask this Wayne Tracker and look at what kind of business he may have been conducting under that e-mail alias.


BALDWIN: Wayne Tracker, that is the alias apparently adopted by secretary of state Rex Tillerson while he was still CEO over at Exxon/Mobil. New York Attorney General Eric Snyder man accusing Tillerson of using this secret account to discuss the risks posed by climate change. So, Michelle Kosinski is on this for us today. She's our CNN Senior Diplomatic Correspondent. Worth noting, Rex Tillerson's middle name is Wayne, but talk me through exactly what the New York A.G. says he's found. MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: It's a little

bit complicated. So, it turns out that Wayne Tracker was the separate e-mail identity used by Rex Tillerson for years while he was CEO of Exxon/Mobil and the company says, yes, he used that and it was because he wanted to more efficiently communicate with executives because his normal e-mail address, presumably that had his real name on it, was so full. So, there's nothing wrong with that.

You can have as many company e-mail address names as your company will allow, I guess, and he was the CEO. The problem, though, is the New York Attorney General says that Exxon/Mobil has been continuously delaying and trying to obstruct its investigation of whether Exxon/Mobil misled consumers and investors about climate change and its potential effect. And they say that nobody at Exxon/Mobil during this investigation ever told the AG's office that Rex Tillerson had this other e-mail, that he used it to discuss climate change and other topics. And they are now trying to get a judge to compel Exxon/Mobil to turnover these e-mails because they're saying that the company not only never told investigators about the separate address, but they never turned over all of them or possibly even preserved them. That's where this is a problem. Exxon/Mobil says, well, you know, we've been complying with the investigation and we'll continue to do so. Brooke?

BALDWIN: Stay on it for us, Michelle Kosinski, on Wayne Tracker, the e-mail alias. Thank you so very much. And just a quick reminder before I let you go, tomorrow night big night here on CNN, town hall with our HHS secretary, Tom Price. Tune in for that 9:00 eastern here on CNN. In the meantime, I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me. Let's go to Washington. "The Lead" starts now.