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Winter Storm Slams Northeast, Mid-Atlantic; Winter Storm Creates Hazardous Road Conditions; CBO: 24 Million More Uninsured by 2026 Under GOP Plan; DOJ Asks for More Time in Trump Wiretap Case. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired March 14, 2017 - 06:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

[05:58:36] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, March 14, 6 a.m. in the morning here in New York. Alisyn is off. Poppy Harlow, braving the blizzard to be here with me.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: I'm from Minnesota.

CUOMO: I know. This is nothing for you. She didn't even wear a coat this morning.

We do begin with the breaking news about the weather. It is a powerful winter storm that's slamming the northeast and mid-Atlantic states. Tens of millions are going to be in the path of this storm. You have eight states that are under blizzard warnings.

HARLOW: All right. That just gives you a sense of how broad this is. It's a huge nor'easter expected to dump as much as 1 to 2 feet of snow in some areas. Schools here in New York City closed. Schools closed in Boston and Philadelphia.

Whiteout conditions wreaking havoc for travelers. More than 5,000 flights already canceled.

Let's begin our complete coverage of this storm this morning with our meteorologist, Chad Myers, who is live in a beautiful, snowy, but Central Park is full of whipping winds. Good morning.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, beautiful is a relative term. Just depends on what you're thinking. And for you, Poppy, being from Minnesota, this is paradise. It's time to go ice fishing. But no, the ice isn't thick enough.

Anyway, this is what you need to think about this storm, at least remember. The storm is just winding up right now. It's just starting. It's just getting itself into the Atlantic Ocean. It's just starting to bomb out and get to that wind condition and get to the very heavy snow. We're not even there yet.

But this is the snow we already have. This is about a 6-foot pile of snow. And I can tell you by the consistency of this snow that this is probably still 10-to-1 snow. And I say that because we're going to get 2 inches of liquid. About 2 inches of liquid water. If it's a 10-to-1 snowfall the entire day, that means that we're going to have 20 inches of snow here. If it's a 7-to-1 snowfall, which is kind of the snowman kind of snow, we're going to have 14 inches of snow. And if we mix over to a little rain/snow mix somewhere around 2 p.m., which is possible, we'll have a lot less. We may only have 10 inches of snow.

But if you are in western Massachusetts, if you're in Connecticut, Hartford, Providence, all the way up into Worcester, for that matter, all the way to Allentown, the Poconos, Schenectady, down, down to the south, even to the Blue Ridge Parkway, you are 20-inch snowfall totals all day long. Because it's going to be cold enough there.

Boston, Long Island, especially eastern Long Island, south of Toms River, New Jersey, all the way down to Wilmington and east of Annapolis. T That's an all-rain storm, not cold enough to make any significant snow there.

But it's going to be 20 degrees tomorrow morning here. If we get a little bit of rain, that's going to make even more problems, Chris.

CUOMO: So what do you see as the sledding snowman, snowball factor so far, with the snow density?

MYERS: So far we're at about 8 to 10 inches per 1 inch of water. I think later today, we could get all the way down to 7, which means right here where I'm standing tomorrow morning, there will be 15 inches of snow on the ground.

CUOMO: That wasn't the most helpful answer, but thank you very much for the accumulation score. We'll be back with you in a little bit.

This massive nor'easter is forcing lots of schools to close. A lot of them made the decision yesterday, especially in major U.S. cities. The city of Philadelphia declaring a snow emergency as the storm makes getting around very, very treacherous.

CNN's Ryan Young live in Philly, where they could get more than a foot of snow. How's it feel?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Chris. So far, we're just dealing with sort of the ice needles at this point. The snow that you can see behind us on this side, that accumulated mostly overnight. At this point, it's really almost a rain event.

In fact, all the cars that have gone by have been slushing through this mess. The snowplows, not even having to put down the plow as they push in the area. In fact, I want to show you this. We've got the shovel that we thought we were going to be dealing with snow, but you're really just dealing with water. That's what's really left here at this point. Just this sloppy mess.

Cars have been out. Hey, there's a guy riding by on a bicycle in the last hour and a half. So people are really not worried about the actual snow at this point in this area. Of course, schools are closed. We've seen delays at the airport. 2,000 pieces of equipment on the roadways. So far as they drive by, they've been splashing us with more water than ice -- Poppy.

HARLOW: All right, Ryan Young, thank you very much. Try to stay warm out there.

You've got snow, you've got sleet, you've got these whiteout conditions creating quite a headache for anyone that is trying to drive or do a normal commute.

Our Alison Kosik is in northern New Jersey with more.

Hazardous road conditions. I know you're with a safe driver, obviously, but what does it look like? Are there any cars around?


You mentioned the cars around. It's 6 a.m. Eastern Time. This is prime-time for rush hour. Any other day but today, you would see the New Jersey turnpike, which I am on right now, you know, certainly plenty of traffic. Not seeing that today: kind of a ghost town, except for the delivery trucks making their way.

There are speed restrictions in place, though. 35 miles per hour is the max. I have not seen many cars actually heeding that warning. In fact, a short time ago, I saw a jackknifed tractor-trailer on the opposite side of the turnpike.

You know, there is a state of emergency in effect here in New Jersey. Really, the urgency here is to really keep people off the roads. Many -- many heeding that advice, though the ones we do see, certainly going a lot faster than 35 miles per hour -- Chris.

CUOMO: They have a very cool silhouette shot of you, Alison, that has, like, your face laid over the actual road. It's like you're the spirit of the highway.

KOSIK: It's amazing how I can do that, huh?

CUOMO: You did. You've got a lot of different tools in the box. Please keep us informed of what's going on out there.

We'll have much more on the winter storm throughout the snow. It's going to mean different things in different areas. And we'll give you all the coverage, all morning long.

All right. Let's turn to politics. Republican leaders are in damage control right now, because the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, came out with its scoring of this healthcare replacement plan, and it was blistering. Twenty-four million Americans will be uninsured over the next ten years if this plan goes into effect.

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty live on Capitol Hill with more.

Now, of course, removing the individual mandate means a lot of people won't choose, perhaps, to get insurance. That goes into this number, as well. But many were taken by surprise, why?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Chris, because frankly, Republicans leaders were not expecting such a tough report. And certainly, this bill already was facing a very tough slog ahead. But these new numbers certainly are devastating, potentially to the fate of the bill's chances up here in Congress.

Now, Republican leaders in the White House, they are shifting now into damage control mode, essentially trying to downplay the impact of this explosive new report on Capitol Hill.


SERFATY (voice-over): The Congressional Budget Office projecting 14 million Americans would lose their coverage next year, with 24 million people uninsured by 2026 under the Republican healthcare plan to replace Obamacare.

TOM PRICE, U.S. SECRETARY OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out.

SERFATY: The White House denouncing the findings.

PRICE: We believe that our plan will cover more individuals at a lower cost and give them the choices that they want for the coverage that they want.

SERFATY: Their strategy: attacking the non-partisan office throughout the week, even before seeing the numbers.

MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: If the CBO was right about Obamacare to begin with, there would be eight million more people on Obamacare today than there actually are. Sometimes we ask them to do stuff they're not capable of doing.

SERFATY: But the report does provide some good news for the GOP. The CBO also predicting their legislation would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over a decade. And though premiums are expected to increase by up to 20 percent over the next two years, the CBO anticipates they'll actually drop by an average of 10 percent by 2026.

MULVANEY: Something the CBO may have gotten right in this report, it's that the premiums are actually going to come down in cost.

SERFATY: But the hardest hit by those higher premiums, older, lower income Americans, shattering this promise by then-candidate Trump.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've got to take care of people that can't take care of themselves.

SERFATY: The report complicating the GOP's already-troubled efforts to pass their bill. House Speaker Paul Ryan trying to put a positive spin on what they call unreliable numbers.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I'm excited about this analysis. And yes, I think they sort of overestimate the uninsured number, just like they overestimated who would be insured by Obamacare. But I do believe that, if we're not going to force people to buy something they don't want to buy, they won't buy it.

SERFATY: But some Senate Republicans using this report as new ammunition against their own colleagues, demanding changes to the bill.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I don't think it's good news, even if it's half right. I think the responsible thing would be to look at the CBO report and can we find ways to deal with the issue they have raised?


SERFATY: Now, there are a lot of moving parts on all of this, this week. Today, President Trump has a phone call scheduled with Speaker Ryan and the House majority leader.

Vice President Pence will also be up here on Capitol Hill, later today. He'll be meeting with Senate Republicans at a time when many moderate Republicans simply are not onboard with this plan, just yet.

Then on Thursday, you have the House Budget Committee, who will begin marking up its portion of this bill. The goal of all of this, Chris and Poppy, is to have a full House vote on this bill, potentially as early as next week.

CUOMO: All right. Sunlen, thank you very much. If it were easy, anybody could do it. This is going to be hard. Let's see if the man who calls himself the great negotiator, Donald Trump, can get it done.

Let's bring in our panel of experts: CNN political analyst, deputy culture editor at "The New York Times," Patrick Healy; CNN political commentator and senior columnist at "The Daily Beast," Matt Lewis; and CNN political analyst and reporter for "The Washington Post," Abby Phillip.

So, Brother Healy, we start with you. The first line of attack is attack the CBO. How effective will that be? In fairness of fact, it was a mixed bag in the analysis of the ACA. Poppy was just taking me through it. It's not a perfect institution. But the man running it is an appointee of Price. He is put in by the administration. How much heat can they give the CBO and get away with it?

PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: They can give a lot of heat. And President Trump and the White House have the bully pulpit that's like no others in terms of going on the attack. And the reality is President Trump wasn't elected arguing dollars and cents and numbers and facts and figures and all of these details. He focused on repeal and replace Obamacare. Repeal and replace Obamacare.

If they continue that mantra, they can at least know that a lot of the Republican base, a lot of the folks who are going to be voting in 2018, who members in the House need to be concerned about, they just want that law repealed and replaced. That's what they want. And the issue is more in the Senate. That's where you get into much stickier, you know, area, because in part, a lot of members, some of the Republican members, don't have these same concerns politically.

HARLOW: And you know, what Tom Cotton said. "Look," he said, "we're going to lose the House if you guys vote for the bill the way it is." There was risk.

The thing is, the president can't argue with these numbers. I mean, let's just take a look at what the CBO says: 14 million more people uninsured by 2018 -- two years, less than two years away. Twenty-four million more people uninsured by 2026.

Premiums will go up over the next two years. Then they'll come down, Matt Lewis, but they're only going to come down for younger, healthier people. They're going to go way up, way up for people -- this is a stunning analysis. A 64-year-old making about $24,000 a year under this analysis would pay half of their income...


HARLOW: ... $14 plus thousand for health insurance.

LEWIS: No, it's...

[06:10:21] HARLOW: You can't argue with those numbers. That's the issue.

LEWIS: It's unbelievable. And look, I think he's right. You know, they're going to attack the messenger. That's what you do in politics. You want to discredit the CBO, because these numbers are damning.

I also agree, I don't think this hurts him with the conservative base, because he's going to do to the CBO what he said to the fake media and the failing "New York Times" and all that.

CUOMO: This is his guy.

LEWIS: Well, those are details -- those are details that people may not appreciate who aren't following this closely.

HARLOW: I don't know. There's a laundry list of tweets here where Trump was lauding the CBO, for years.

HEALY: But also...

LEWIS: Consistency...

HEALY: The 64-year-old gets that bill.

LEWIS: Right.

HEALY: A lot of these people are people who voted for Donald Trump, right? And I mean in Iowa and...

LEWIS: I think that's the point. I think Republicans would actually be better off if this thing fails rather than pushing it through. And I think you're right about the Senate. That's where things really

become different. Will Tom Cotton -- is it politically palatable to pass a bill that covers less people? I am dubious about that.

CUOMO: Well, that's why they keep saying access. But don't sleep on the House. I mean, you have a real division going on there.

Abby, let's bring you into this. Let's put in some of the numbers there that go to this -- this coverage bogeyman that people are afraid of. Before Obamacare, you had an estimate of about 41 million were without coverage. After Obamacare, 28.5 million without coverage. You know, that's an important note. The idea that the ACA was a panacea for our health problems is false. They still have big problems. It needed fixing.

Now you have 52 million. The numbers are daunting, Abby. But can anybody be surprised? If you're cutting the amount of money that the individual gets, whether you call it a subsidy or a tax credit, if you cut the amount of money that goes into Medicaid, whether you pass it onto the states or not, you're going to have less people getting covered, because the money won't be there.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's right. I mean, this bill is designed to sort of thread this needle between being too expensive and doing what it's supposed to do, which is stabilize the insurance market.

And what has happened is that it doesn't provide enough tax credits to incentivize people sufficiently, to get insurance. And it also makes it perhaps prohibitively expensive for older Americans to afford insurance under the plan. And maybe it accomplishes $337 billion in deficit savings over a decade.

But some of that deficit savings comes from the fact that the government will be outlaying less money to cover people under Medicaid and cover people and pay for some of these tax credits. So there's a little bit of a feedback loop here.

I mean, it's worth saying, though, the White House is saying, this doesn't take into consideration all the other stuff we're going to be doing down the road.

HARLOW: Right.

PHILLIP: The problem is that no one really knows what to make of that other stuff, because there's no paper. There's no text. There's no documentation.

HARLOW: So Paul Ryan was asked that. He said, look, this is part one of basically a three-step plan. And you know, part of it is going to be these -- buying insurance over state lines and what -- what Price is going to come out with at HHS.

But I just wonder, Patrick, is it too early to call this a win for Democrats? Because they have a plan, right now, Obamacare, which Aetna, big insurer, calls a death spiral, which Humana pulled out from. I mean, do Democrats have the answer?

HEALY: No, day don't. And to Matt's point, I mean, the best thing for Republicans may be to just let Obamacare stay in place; and two years from now, the degree to which the premiums are further up, the exchanges are -- let's say the bugs in the system are becoming even more apparent.

But this is -- but this is sort of classic opposition party politics. You're not going to have the Democrats sort of coming forward with their own bill, their own sort of like fix-it bill right now. Where they need to get into place is, if they get into -- you know, if they get into the Senate and the Democrats can start trying to build some kind of coalition with -- you know, with the Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski and they may be able to show what they can do.

HARLOW: Yes. Especially in those states that are depending on that Medicaid expansion...

HEALY: Right.

HARLOW: ... that they don't want to have to answer to those...

HEALY: Right. Ohio, Rob Portman could come through.

HARLOW: Oh, yes. Guys, thank you very much.

Coming up for us, President Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, is going to join us. That's in our 8 a.m. hour. He's going to react to all of these numbers. What does he have to say on behalf of the administration? How are they going to fight back?

CUOMO: And we'll test this idea of whether the ACA is in a death spiral or not. The economics don't create such a clear picture. Mr. Mulvaney is the perfect guy to make the case for this plan that we're seeing right now and against the ACA, so we'll test it.

Tomorrow night, you get to join Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash. A live town hall with the man of the moment. The job of redoing all this health care stuff, secretary Tom Price, HHS. He's going to have a town hall. He'll get to address people's concerns tomorrow night, 9 p.m. Eastern, only on CNN.

[06:15:05] So the White House trying to walk back President Trump's baseless wiretapping claim. They now say, "When we said wiretapping, we didn't mean wiretapping." What is going on with this? When can you trust what comes out of the White House? Next.


CUOMO: All right. The Justice Department is requesting more time to determine what, if any, evidence supports President Trump's wiretap claim. The new deadline is set for next Monday, the same day the House intel committee is going to hold its first public hearing into Russia's election meddling.

Now, it appears the administration is mow trying to walk back the president's allegations. CNN's Joe Johns live at the White House with more on this.

What do we know now, Joe?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, this appears to be just the beginning of an attempt to walk back that sensational claim made by the president on Twitter.

This morning, we're learning that, when the president wrote he was wiretapped, he didn't necessarily mean wiretapped. And when he said President Obama did it, he didn't mean that, either either.


[06:20:02] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump, any comments on the wiretapping?

JOHNS (voice-over): The Trump administration looking to buy time, failing to meet a congressional deadline to present evidence to back up the president's unsubstantiated claim that former President Obama wiretapped the phones at Trump Tower during the campaign.

The House Intelligence Committee agreeing to give the Justice Department until next Monday's hearing to provide proof, suggesting that they may subpoena the administration if their questions go unanswered.

This as the White House is now offering a new explanation for the president's baseless claim.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He doesn't really think that President Obama went up and tapped his phone, personally.

JOHNS: The press secretary's comments running contrary to President Trump's own tweets, in which he explicitly points his finger at Obama, going as far as calling his predecessor a "bad or sick guy."

Sean Spicer also asserting that Trump did not literally mean "wiretapped."

SPICER: The president used the word "wiretapped" in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities.

JOHNS: President Trump did put "wiretapping" in quotes, but only in two of the four tweets he fired off last Saturday.

Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the president, even suggested it went beyond that.

MIKE KELLY, "THE BERGEN COUNTY RECORD": Do you know whether Trump Tower was wiretapped?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO DONALD TRUMP: What I can say is, there are many ways to surveil each other. There was an article this week that talked about how you can surveil someone through their phones, through their -- certainly, through their television sets. Any number of different ways. And microwaves that turn into cameras, et cetera. JOHNS: Then attempted to walk back her statement on NEW DAY.

CONWAY: I was answering a question about surveillance techniques generally.

CUOMO: He didn't ask you about it generally, though. That's just true in the transcript. You may have answered it generally, but you were asked specifically.

CONWAY: Chris, I'm not Inspector Gadget. I don't believe people are using their microwave to spy on the Trump campaign.

However, I have -- I'm not in the job of having evidence. That's what investigations are for.

JOHNS: A bizarre reference to a 1980s cartoon to justify yet another unsubstantiated claim.

Moments after the NEW DAY interview, President Trump accusing journalists of being rude to his staffers.


JOHNS: We're not expecting to see President Trump in front of the cameras today. He was expected to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but that meeting has been pushed back until Friday because of the weather here in Washington -- Chris and Poppy.

HARLOW: All right. Joe Johns at the White House, thank you so much.

Let's bring back in our panel. Abby Phillip is with us, Patrick Healy and Matt Lewis.

All right, so -- so Spicer is saying, truly, that, because there were quotes used, Patrick Healy, that does not mean that we should take it literally. He had a long exchange with Peter Alexander of NBC about what we should take literally or not.

Let's just show a tweet sans quote, for a moment, because the president did not use quotation marks in this one. "How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process? This is Nixon Watergate. Bad or sick guy."

All right, so Spicer's explanation doesn't hold up there.

HEALY: No, I don't see any air quotes in that -- in that tweet. I mean, he -- you know, President Trump has been using Twitter for years to communicate. He thinks to communicate quite effectively, quite directly to voters and Americans. He was not, as near as we can tell, sort of suggesting that this was an iffy proposition. He had a clear accusation to make about wiretapping. He had a clear hit to make in calling President Obama a bad or sick guy.

What he didn't have was any kind of evidence to back up the use of the word "wiretapping." And you have to wonder, God, does President Trump sort of understand what the word "wiretapping" mean? The implications of that?

This is a dangerous path for the White House to go down. You see the press secretary using sort of air quotes, you know, at the podium. Do you want an air quote presidency? Where everything can be sloughed off by saying, "Well, you take him too literally. You take the president too literally." This is very dangerous politics to play.

I know that the White House sort of likes to sort of make the argument about sort of fake news and the failing "New York Times" and CNN and so forth. But how seriously can you take a presidency that just goes to kind of air quotes as an argument?

CUOMO: Well, look, don't discourage the attacking, because it's never done better for your subscription rate than right now. I mean, we see reaction formation to what the president says all the time. If he attacks something, brother Lewis, often people then wind up cottoning to it. You see it in "The Times" subscriptions. You see it in CNN's ratings. But that doesn't mean it's good for America.

We know what's going on here. They're trying to say, "Treat the wiretapping the way you are all these Russian connections." There's a fundamental difference, and that was the point of the conflict with Kellyanne. It wasn't personal; it wasn't about disqualifying the president. It was, you are a phone call away from answering this question. You can get the answer right away. You can declassify whatever information you get immediately. Nobody has more power to do that than the president. You're not doing it. And therefore, this is not as genuine a pursuit as those other things and it does play as a distraction. Is that just the truth?

[06:25:13] LEWIS: Not just -- I think you're right. It's not just a distraction, though. I think there are long-term consequences that could come from having a president that says things and Americans aren't sure if he really means them or not.

I mean, you know, when you are the president of the United States, your words have consequences. That's why diplomacy matters so much. That's why you sweat the details; you worry about precision. Is this the right word? Have we vetted this information before we put it out?

People can go to war, you know, over something that a president happens to just say. Right? So I think that this is irresponsible. That's an obvious point.

But when you say "wiretap," when you say the president did something, you either mean he literally did it or he ordered it. And so, in a tweet that has 140 characters, they're now walking away from two different parts of that -- you know, parts of their statement.

HARLOW: Look, and, you know, we haven't heard Paul Ryan or really any other big-name Republicans backing up the president's claim, evidence- free claim of wiretapping. This at the same time...

CUOMO: They're not shouting it down, either, by the way.

HEALY: They're asking for evidence, though. They're asking for -- you know, they've set these deadlines and asked for...

CUOMO: But even that's the middle road here, right? If this had been President Obama, if this were Hillary Clinton who put out something like this, they wouldn't be saying, "Let's wait and see, and see the evidence." They'd be all over it.

HARLOW: So Abby, I just wonder what you think the play is here for the -- you know, for the White House on this. And because come Monday, I mean, the House Intel Committee has extended this deadline for the Department of Justice to provide any evidence, but the deadline is Monday. Or they, you know, they can subpoena it, and they very well may, if there's anything there.

And you've got Comey, who's going to testify. He's going to be directly asked this question. So what's the play here for the White House?

PHILLIP: The White House wants this to go away. They want people to just forget this. I mean, part of the strategy, not just with this, but with other issues is to push things off to cloud the public record so that it becomes less clear what was said. There are more questions asked, and confusion abounds.

At the end of the day, they're hoping that everyone is distracted by something else that comes up, so that they're not always asking questions about this.

The problem is that this is a really big deal. The current president of the United States accusing the former president of breaking the law is a really big deal. And it's maybe an even bigger deal than any of the other unsubstantiated allegations that the president has made since taking office.

And so for that reason, you know, I actually find it hard to believe that this one is going to just fall off the radar. I mean, the very fact that there are congressional investigations and the fact that the White House themselves put Congress in a position of needing to have an investigation is problematic for them.

I mean, the best that they can hope for is that the Justice Department comes back and says, "You know, here's what we have." They hand over a couple of sheets of of paper, something fairly thin, and then, you know, we have a discussion about that and we move on, settling this as an issue, where they provided very little evidence, if any at all.

CUOMO: But a big part of the intrigue here is going to come down to how his party handles what the president says. And there's a piece of sound, in no small irony, Breitbart, OK, the fringe right of the conservative movement, put out a piece of sound from October.

CNN reported on this before, but we've never heard the sound. It's Paul Ryan back then, before the election, talking to members about his inability or lack of desire to defend Donald Trump. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RYAN: His comments are not anywhere in keeping with our party's principles and values. I am not going to defend Donald Trump. Not now, not in the future.

You guys know, I have real concerns with our nominee. I hope you appreciate that I'm doing what I think is best for you, the members, not what's best for me. And so I want to do what's best for our members. And I think this is the right thing to do. I'm going to focus my time on campaigning for House Republicans.

For everyone on this call, is it going to be a turbulent month? Many of you on this call are facing tough reelections. Some of you are not. But with respect to Donald Trump, I would encourage you to do what you think is best and do what you feel you need to do.


CUOMO: Now, what an interesting shift, Patrick, from that to now. Ryan has been as quiet as anyone in the face of whatever Donald Trump says, no matter how outrageous.

Breitbart is putting this out. They want to hurt Ryan, because they don't like this healthcare plan.

HEALY: Right.

CUOMO: They don't think it's conservative enough. Their legacy is Bannon. He probably doesn't like this but for completely different reasons. But either way, Ryan's in the sling.

HEALY: Yes, no, it's a complicated stew. I mean, the reality is that Paul Ryan was pretty clear throughout the general election that he was not going to defend President Trump when he went down, when President Trump went down these rabbit holes. These sort of, you know, not only the, you know, really offensive remarks that Donald Trump made on the -- on that...

CUOMO: That was right after the "Access Hollywood" tape came out.

HEALY: Right. Right after the "Access Hollywood" tape, when a lot of Republicans were...