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Police: 8 Arrests in Connection with London Attack; Interview with Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 23, 2017 - 06:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[06:30:01] MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Alex is exactly right. There are a lot of Republicans who are going to be asked to sort of walk the plank on a precarious vote for them, for something that may not end up. Let's say that that this does go to the Senate, what somebody who's working on the bill said to me last night is, well, you know, we're well aware there might be changes. If that is so, then you have asked people to vote on something for no reason, if it's going to end up looking entirely different and this is risky for a lot of people.

ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: And on the politics of it, you know, we heard from Mary Katharine the stories about, you know, the Republicans have been talking for a long time about what's wrong with Obamacare --

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And they're real. Sure.

BURNS: But whether or not a proposal they vote on in the House ever becomes law, those are the stories that you'll be hearing in campaign ads in 2018.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Got it. Panel, thank you very much. Thank you, Mary Katharine, for sharing your story as well.

Meanwhile, we just have so much news that we have to keep moving on here. Here's another obviously top story. There was terror in the heart of London. London police making arrests. They now say that the attack could be ISIS-inspired. We have all the latest developments for you, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: We do have some breaking news for you right now. Eight people have arrested in a series of raids across the U.K. following the terror attack in London.

[06:35:06] CNN'S Nic Robertson is live in Birmingham, England, with all of the breaking details.

Who are these people? Do we know, Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Alisyn, what we're hearing is that these raids, the six different locations that police raided leaving to those were intelligence lead. They believe that the attacker was ISIS inspired in the early hours of the morning. Armed police raided the building behind me using a battering ram to get into the building.

They arrested three people. The operation went on for an hour and a half in the middle of the night. We're in the city of Birmingham which is about an hour and a half stride from London. It's about a hundred miles from London, and what the police are saying is that the arrest they made and they're not being specific on numbers and specific locations, but between the arrests have been in London and Birmingham.

Now, what police are saying they're going to do today is a forensic search of the crime scene of the attack scene and follow up on the associates and motivations of the attacker they believe is working alone, ISIS inspired. That's what the police are telling us.

CUOMO: Nic, appreciate the early word. Thank you very much.

So, the House of Parliament is back open after yesterday's horrific attack. British Prime Minister Theresa May addressing lawmakers right now.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh live outside the House of Parliament where the attack happened.

What's the message?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As that speech gets underway behind me, Chris, we have helicopters in the air above me and as I walked through Whitehall behind me a couple of hours, a very grave silence there, compounded by the minute of silence held by parliamentarians and MPs, and this the heart of British democracy, as we slowly learn more about the victims of this horrific act.

The death toll, a rare piece of good news, adjusted down to now three victims. One of the names is Aysha Frade, a 43-year-old Spanish teacher who lived in London for some years and, of course, we also know that the policeman who bravely coasted the attacker as he went, tried to get into the House of Parliament, Keith Palmer, age 48, also lost his life at the scene there.

But at this point here, we are seeing London defiantly trying to get back to normal life here, despite these police cordons and coming to terms with a horrific attack which lead to that driven up on the curve as it went over Westminster Bridge, plowing into tourists South Koreans, French students before crashing into a nearby fence. The attacker -- one attacker is thought to be trying to make his way with a knife inside of parliament.

Back to you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you for all of that reporting and the updated death count. More news. We are just hours away from that critical health care vote

in the House. Can President Trump cut an 11th hour deal with the Freedom Caucus to get it passed? Well, we have a leading member of that group joining us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:41:21] CUOMO: President Trump working hard to get conservatives in the yes column and get the GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare through the House tonight. The chairman of the House Freedom Caucus says he is optimistic a deal could be reached now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARK MEADOWS (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I am really optimistic that we can get there. I mean, there's still a lot of details to work out, Sean. And so, to say that we've got a deal, that wouldn't be accurate.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Did you guys have a meeting of the mind? Agreement of principle?

MEADOWS: The president and I came to an agreement in principle. I think what we're trying to do now is to make sure that our agreement is actually something that can be executed in a way that passes the Senate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: So, is Meadows speaking for that Freedom Caucus? Is there progress? Will we see a vote tonight and will it get through?

Let's get a key member in here to this discussion right now, chairman emeritus of the House Freedom Caucus, Republican congressman from Ohio, Jim Jordan.

Always a pleasure to have you on the show, sir.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: Good to be with you.

CUOMO: Do you agree with what we're hearing from Meadows? Do you believe that you're close? Do you believe you can get it through?

JORDAN: Yes. We'll see. I mean, we've been clear from the get-go, our focus is to repeal Obamacare and bring down the cost of premiums for middle class families across this country. So, we want to bring back affordable insurance. That's what we're focused on doing.

I think there's progress being made but we'll see if we can get an agreement that's going to do what we've always had as the goal. And, frankly, as we said before with you, Chris, what the American people sent us here to accomplish which is to repeal it and bring down the cost of insurance.

CUOMO: One quick follow: do you think that some of the gives that were just put into the bill in the last couple of days to help with people like you, like making it not mandatory to cover certain conditions, do you think that could have a balanced effect? Helps with you, hurts with the so-called moderates?

JORDAN: No. I don't. I think what we're looking for and the language we want inserted into the legislation is going to bring down the cost of insurance. I mean, think about where we're at right now. People are paying unbelievably high premiums and if they can afford that, they probably can't afford the deductible that goes with it.

So, we want to change. You can't change that if you don't get after the mandates and regulations that are part of Obamacare. And that is the key to bringing down the cost. That's why we have been so focused on it throughout the debate.

CUOMO: All right. Caucus is meeting with the president we're told again today. Do you expect a vote tonight?

JORDAN: Well, again, we'll see. I mean, it's got to meet those requirements because -- I mean, I keep coming back to this -- that's what the American people elected us to do. That's what they sent us here to accomplish. That's what the campaign was about in 2010, 2014, 2016.

So, we have to deliver on that fundamental promise that fundamental contract with the American people. So, if it does that, we'll be for it. If it doesn't, we won't.

CUOMO: But is it worth it to you to compromise the president's self- described need for a win? If he doesn't get this vote or the vote doesn't go through, and this has to go further into recollection, it's a big loss for him. Is it worth it to you to give the president a loss?

JORDAN: No, that's not how we look at it. That's never been the focus. The focus is the American people. The focus is the families in the 4th district of Ohio who elected me to come do what I told them I was going to do.

That has always been our focus and objective. That has not changed. If we can get that agreement that accomplishes that simple objective, that basic objective, we'll be for it. If we can't, we won't. That's just how we look at it because that's consistent with what the American people elected Republicans to do.

CUOMO: Understood.

Other topic for you this morning, Congressman, Devin Nunes, he gets some intel that you could argue isn't revelatory and maybe not even new. But what he did was new and perhaps revelatory. He goes to the White House, skips over his own committee co-chair and the members and basically tries to help the White House spin its own narrative about what wiretapping means.

[06:45:07] Do you believe that he can lead what is supposed to be an independent investigation after that move? JORDAN: I do. I think he simply shared with the commander and chief

the fact that people in president Trump's transition team had information that was gathered when they were accomplishing their goal of transitioning to our new government.

I think the key thing to remember in this is information that the Congressman Gowdy unveiled at or in his analysis and questioning brought forward at the hearing earlier this week. There's a finite number of people who had access to unmasking American citizens information.

CUOMO: Right.

JORDAN: Finite number, and with his questioning with the FBI director, I think he pointed this out very clearly. What is -- who are the individuals and are you going to find out who, in fact, leaked American citizens' information to the press? That's a felony. Ten years in prison. Who in fact did this?

So, I think that's an important issue, as well as letting the commander and chief know, in fact, what happened during that transition time period.

CUOMO: But we don't know that the commander and chief didn't know. This isn't new information. We know Flynn was caught up in the surveillance of the Russian ambassador exactly this way, but what was done politically, Trey Gowdy is making his point, leaks always matter.

They matter more to you when you're hurt by them in your role there in politics --

JORDAN: They matter all the time because it's a crime, Chris.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Right, but I'm saying but politics only get loud and proud their selective outrage on this issue and we both know that, but let's put it to the side. What Nunes did, how do you see that as advancing this investigation independently as opposed to helping the White House give the president an ability to say I was right?

JORDAN: I think it's the chairman of an important committee who's doing a good job conveying important information to the president and to the American people. Plain and simple.

CUOMO: Have you ever heard of one doing this before? Have you heard of this happening before?

JORDAN: You ever heard of someone leaking important information about a crime and important people in the White House?

CUOMO: Yes.

JORDAN: Some of those same names that Mr. Gowdy brought forward?

CUOMO: Yes. JORDAN: Same names we dealt with on the Benghazi committee, like Susan Rice, like Ben Rhodes?

CUOMO: Yes.

JORDAN: That's important information too, and what Mr. Gowdy was trying to get at with the FBI director is, are you going to investigate those particular people and find out who in fact leaked this information.

CUOMO: OK. Congressman Jordan, you've got big things on your plate. Appreciate you coming on NEW DAY to discuss them. Have you back soon.

Alisyn?

JORDAN: All right. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right. More on the Russia investigation. Did House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes compromise his committee's ability to investigate by giving the president the info before his own colleagues? We're going to have a debate and hear both sides.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:50:33] CAMEROTA: Some important headlines for you now. The Senate Judiciary Committee today will hear from witnesses for both -- both for and against the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch emerging mostly unscathed after 20 hours of tough questioning from committee members over two days. Gorsuch frustrated Democrats by refusing to say how he might rule in the future. The committee is expected to vote on the nomination on April 3rd.

CUOMO: The Secret Service is asking for an extra $60 million for travel and protection of the first family. "The Washington Post" reporting half of that would go to protecting the president's family and their home in Trump Tower. The rest would cover travel costs incurred by the president, vice president and other visiting heads of state.

CAMEROTA: There's some new developments to tell you about in that Rockwell, Maryland, rape case involving an undocumented suspect. We're learning the chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee is asking immigration officials for more information about this 18-year- old Venezuelan suspect including how he was dealt with at the border. He and a 17-year-old boy are accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in their high school bathroom.

CUOMO: House Intel Chair Devin Nunes under fire for briefing President Trump and helping the White House spin a narrative of validation about wiretapping. Not even discussing with his own committee before he did it. He crossed the line. What will it mean, next?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes revealing to the media that the communications of President Donald Trump's associates may have been picked up on surveillance by U.S. intelligence. Congressman Nunes told the president and the press before telling his fellow committee members.

So, is that congressional investigation now compromised?

Let's bring in CNN political commentator and senior writer for "The Federalist," Mary Katharine Ham, and Phil Mudd, CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA counterterrorism official.

Mary Katharine, did Nunes compromise this information and can that committee still do their job?

[06:55:05] MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, that remains to be seen. I think it was an unconventional move. Whether it was unconventional because he thought this was a big deal which it seems like a big deal if the allegations are true.

(INAUDIBLE) are we all flip flopping on whether leaks are cool and whether -- look, it seems like we should have some questions about what this investigation was and why this information was distributed, I think the leak were is actually a really bad way to deal with this. I think he FBI investigation is the proper way to deal with it, because it's actually their job to do counterintelligence investigations.

But the fact that we had six months of some investigation and perhaps some surveillance of some kind and we have come up with not a conclusion I think is not great for democracy. I'm concerned I'm about both sides of the story, the Russia part and the leaking part.

CAMEROTA: So, Phil, what should -- how should Congressman Nunes have handled this if he had some special information that he thought should be shared with the president?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: This is pretty straightforward. Let's step back for a moment and take names out of it.

The legislative branch of this government in our system of checks and balances that protects all of us is having an investigation of the executive branch. We know the executive branch, in this case, some people affiliated with the White House are under not just an investigation but an FBI criminal investigation. The legislative branch should speak about that in silence, and in this case, we have somebody from that oversight committee going directly to the target of the investigation.

Can I tell you what's going to happen next time an FBI person goes behind closed doors and talks to that committee? If I were that FBI person and I talked to dozens of closed committees, I'd say how soon are you going to run down the street and reveal the secrets I just told you? This doesn't make sense to me, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: So, Mary Katharine, I mean, there you have it. That Phil Mudd is, along with Senator John McCain and others say it is compromised beyond repair. They cannot independently investigate this anymore when it appears that Nunes is on the side of the president.

HAM: Look, I think it's a problem for him. I also think that other things are problems. Like I don't understand why we can't have both of these conversations and the fact that we are dismissing the idea that there were these discussions disseminated throughout the intelligence community.

The other thing -- there were two debunkings in the Comey discussion the other day. One of the wiretapping allegation, which he said, there were no evidence for it.

CAMEROTA: Right.

HAM: And the other was of the media where he said a lot of these leaks, and he also said something that suggested perhaps some of the leaks didn't even exist were, quote, "dead wrong". So, there's two parts of this story. Both Nunes and the Russia --

(CROSSTALK)

CAMEROTA: So let's break it down for a second just so that we understand this because I don't know that Comey was incorrect. The wiretapping requires an actual FISA warrant and intentionally wiretapping Donald Trump's associates. We don't know that that happened because what has been suggested with Nunes's revelation is that they were caught up in some sort of dragnet if you were listening in to foreign conversations.

So, we actually don't know who it was or what they were saying that was caught up. So, given that, again, do you think that Nunes committee should now just recuse themselves or whatever the word is, and hand this off to an independent commission, because he's -- I mean, look, people say that he has acted as a stooge for the White House.

HAM: He has a problem. If you're investigating someone and you're also sending them back channel information, although he did go to the press first. But I think it's a problem.

CAMEROTA: Yes, Phil?

MUDD: He went to the press first. I mean, we have occasional humor in the national security business. Republicans are complaining about leaks and when someone sees highly classified information instead of discussing it in the committee, he runs to the press before talking to his partner in the committee, and you want to complain to be about leaks, 6:58 a.m., you have to be kidding me. This is the funniest moment I'll have all day.

HAM: What time am I allowed to complain about leaks that are illegal?

MUDD: 7:01.

HAM: OK, let's get there, we got two minutes, and I will get back to that.

CAMEROTA: I can wait.

HAM: Wait, wait, hold on. Can I say we give the federal government incredible power to surveil so that they can do things responsibly and with great power as we know comes great responsibility. And so when all of this is distributed in an improper manner, it does make people wonder, wait, what are these powers that they have and are they using them well? And I want to believe that they are. So, dealing with the leaking part is part of this discussion.

MUDD: That's not a fact. That's not a fact. You suggested that this information --

(CROSSTALK)

CAMEROTA: Hold on, Mary Katharine. What's not a fact, Phil?

MUDD: You suggest this information was, A, widely distributed across government, not a fact. B, they were distributed inappropriately not a fact. It was leaked. That's illegal. That does not suggest it was collected illegally, distributed widely --

(CROSSTALK)

HAM: I don't think it was collected illegally and I never alleged that, Nunes never alleged that.

MUDD: Excuse me?

HAM: Nunes did not allege it was collected illegally. I did not allege that it was collected illegally. The question is, if it's collected legally, and it's incidental, it can still be problematic.