Return to Transcripts main page


Arrests Made in London Attack; Make-or-Break Vote on Obamacare Repeal Friday; House Intelligence Ranking Member: New Evidence of Trump Campaign/Russia Collusion; Putin, Kremlin Blamed for Kremlin Critic's Death in Ukraine; California State Senator Ed Hernandez Talks Health Care; Google, YouTube Face Boycott for Profiting from Terror. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired March 24, 2017 - 02:00   ET



[02:00:16] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to this special edition of CNN NEWSROOM, L.A. I'm Isha Sesay.


We are learning more about the man who left a trail of death and carnage in London, killing four people and wounding dozens more. Khalid Masood is a 52-year-old British man with a record of violence and links to extremism. An ISIS news agency claims the terror group was behind Wednesday's attack. Khalid Masood was shot and killed by police.

SESAY: Police raided a number of locations in London, in Birmingham, England. At least eight people are under arrest. Still, police say they think Khalid Masood acted alone.

VAUSE: Meantime, Londoners are returning to their daily lives. Westminster Bridge, where the attack happened, reopened on Thursday.

Let's bring in CNN's Nina dos Santos, who joins us live from London.

Nina, the raids on Thursday. Several people taken into custody. What are we learning about them and the broader investigation?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Isha, good morning. So far, we don't know the identities of the individuals taken into custody. We know that one of them was a 39-year-old woman in east London. The majority of the other people were in Birmingham and another location across the U.K. Age ranges here from 21 years old to somebody in their mid 50s.

A number of these individuals were taken into custody and arrested under the Terrorism Act. That means that officers here at New Scotland Yard will have about 48 hours to question them before having a good enough reason to keep them. They can do so up to about 14 days without charge. In many of these cases, some of these people may be family members who have nothing to do with the situation but they can provide key information on the individual in question here, and key information on who he was interacting with as well. The other objective of officers is to be to try to preserve evidence

at some of the sites, whether it's physical evidence or cyber evidence in the form of his digital footprint online. Obviously, that has been a big part of similar attacks that we've seen in places, like Brussels, Nice, and also Berlin. The digital side of what these individuals have been engaging in, in the past, when it comes to Islamist terrorist attacks across Europe. All of that will be up for play.

SESAY: Nina, Masood has an extensive criminal record spanning two decades. Was once investigated for extremism. Do we know why he wasn't on the radar of British domestic intelligence?

DOS SANTOS: Remember, going back to figures dating back a year or so, about 3,000 people are said to be on the books of the security here in the United Kingdom, largely monitored for Islamist-related activities. Only about 500 of them are considered to be severe risk. It's understood that Masood was not on any of these particular lists. Theresa May was clear to say he was just a peripheral figure who had interacted with MI5, been investigated by MI5 many years ago in relation to extremist violence extremist activity, but that he had dropped off the radar and didn't seem to pose any specific risk in the near term.

So the big question for authorities is why did he drop off the list? One theory is he was investigated previously because al Qaeda and other Islamist groups were a bigger threat at the time. Since the Islamist threat is largely morphed into ISIS-related the activity, perhaps he fell off the list. These are questions we don't have answers to at this point. But it is something that investigators will have to look into.

And I should point out that authorities have come under scrutiny before, particularly MI5 after the London 7/7 bombings, and also in the aftermath of the murder of Lee Rigby, this soldier at the barracks. They had to come under parliamentary scrutiny, inquiries, and people were asked why didn't MI5 know more? That may all come up as a topic of conversation in the weeks to come -- Isha?

SESAY: Masood catching security services by surprise, but the British prime minister said the threat level will remain at severe. Are we getting any indication there are plans afoot to overhaul or put in place additional security measures there in the British capital and the country at large?

DOS SANTOS: In the aftermath of the attack, many hours after, we saw a great police force mobilized on to the streets of London. Many officers in high-visibility jackets, unarmed. We also have armed officers, extra officers deployed on to the streets of the British capital and elsewhere across the country. This is an effort to reassure the public that there's a greater police presence on the streets.

But remember that Theresa May was clear in parliament yesterday saying there is a present no need to escalate this state of alert here across this country from the current second-highest level of severe, because only when they have an idea of an attack that is imminent would they escalate it to the most severe level.

At the moment, they said they believe that this attacker was working alone and that there isn't another threat, so there's no need for a heightened, more heightened state of security across the country, but there are more police officers across all the streets of London, particularly in Westminster today.

[02:05:44] SESAY: Nina Dos Santos, joining us from London. Nine, appreciate it. Thank you so much.

VAUSE: For more, we're joined by CNN's military analyst, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona.

Colonel, this claim of responsibility by ISIS, it seems to follow the usual script, usual timing. Some have noted there's a lack of biographical information and details. We also have this from the International Center of Radicalization pointing out there's no mention of the London attack in the latest issue of the terror groups' newspaper. What, if anything, do you make of all that?

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yeah, and we didn't see the claim until later. There was a -- they give a rundown every day of their activities, and they left this out on the day you would normally have thought to see it. It almost looks like it was an afterthought. The perpetrator of this act does not fit the profile we normally see. He's a bit older. 52 years old isn't what we normally see in self-radicalized attacks. So let's see if there's more information that ties this to him. It will take a few days. It took a while in the San Bernardino case to see how the radicalization took place. Is this an empty claim? We don't know yet. But ISIS doesn't have a history of making these empty claims. There's something there, we'll find out what it is in a few days.

VAUSE: We have ISIS on the back foot in Iraq and Syria. And the concern, according to U.S. secretary of state, is that a digital caliphate must not flourish in the place of a physical one. But in many ways that seems to be exactly what's happening, isn't it?

FRANCONA: That's exactly what's happening. And you can see it in the writings of ISIS. They know that they're going to lose territory. They know that it's only a matter of time before they're defeated in Mosul and eventually before they're defeated in Raqqa. They're losing their capitals in both countries. They know they have to change their organization. It looks like they're planning to morph back into more of an insurgency. We see this in the recruiting. They stepped up their digital recruiting efforts and they believe Iraq is probably the most fertile ground. They believe the Sunnis are ripe for recruitment. Once ISIS is defeated, there's no one that they're telling people is there to stand up for the Sunnis. They believe the Sunnis perceive themselves to be at a mercy of a Shia-dominated government that's very influenced by Iran. That resonates with a lot of the population. We're starting to see recruitment efforts. Are they going to bear fruit? We don't know yet.

VAUSE: In Iraq, the fall of Mosul is only a matter of time. That doesn't mean ISIS will be gone from Iraq. There will be pockets of ISIS. They just released photos of the execution of two Iraqis they accused of spying. That happened less than 100 kilometers away from Baghdad, nowhere near Mosul.

FRANCONA: This is the province next to Baghdad, north and east. We've seen a lot of attacks in Shia areas perpetrated by ISIS. They've taken credit. Where do they come from? A lot of them originate in this province. But the Iraqi security forces who are charged with defending Baghdad are focused on the liberation of Mosul, they're stretched thin. We have pockets of ISIS that you talked about. There's pockets southwest of Kirkuk, and this group. The Iraqis are figuring they're going after the center of gravity in ISIS, take them down in Mosul, and then clean up the pockets. In the meantime, ISIS is not down and out. They're capable of not only beheading a few people here and there, but mounting car bombs, devastating attacks in Shia areas.

VAUSE: OK. Colonel, thank you so much. Colonel Rick Francona, appreciate it.


VAUSE: Thank you, sir.

Well, the Republican plan to roll back Obamacare heads for a make-or- break vote on Friday. Chances it will pass are looking slim. The vote was scheduled to happen on Thursday, to coincide with the seventh anniversary of Obamacare, but when Republicans couldn't guarantee majority support within their own party for their bill, the vote was delayed.

VAUSE: Defeat would be a blow to the president's prestige after he campaigned to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. After a day of intense negotiations -- that is an understatement -- the Trump White House and Republican leaders announced an ultimatum, they were done talking and would hold a vote on Friday.


[02:10:13] REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We have been promising the American people we will repeal and replace this broken law because it's collapsing and it's failing families. Tomorrow, it's proceeding.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have the votes? Do you have the votes?


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have the vote?


VAUSE: OK. Let's bring in our political analyst, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, author of "The End of Obamacare"; and Republican consultant, John Thomas, a favorite on the show.

Good to have you with us. A friend of the show. OK, John, the first move by the White House, part gamble, part threat,

part bluster? Is there also a calculation going on here that Republican lawmakers won't throw Trump under the bus this is a crucial test for his ability to get anything done when it comes to Congress?

JOHN THOMAS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: That might be a bridge too far. I think it's simply he's tried the carrot approach offering pork and whatever handouts he can give. That's not enough to give him the votes. Now he's using the stick. Whichever members vote no against Obamacare, they're at risk of being primaried as someone who didn't want to repeal and replace Obamacare.

SESAY: Earl, House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, is enjoying it. She called the GOP's decision to basically set a date for the vote before they had consensus a rookie error. Is she right?

EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON, POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think she's right in that sense, because my guess is there's going to be a vote. The White House has weighed in on that. Trump pushed that. They've lobbied all day, Paul Ryan, and the rest of them. But you're right, though. They are delighted in that. Because now you have a fight in the GOP House. Usually, the way it's framed in all these issues, especially the Affordable Care Act, and the new act, is the GOP versus is Democrat. In the GOP, we had the vote and power and unity. Now it seems you don't have any of those things. It's falling apart. Of course, Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats would have a big smile on their faces.

VAUSE: Even if this bill does manage to make it through the House, by some miracle, if it gets the support it needs, and it's short by at least 30 votes, I think, at least, then comes the Senator.

Here's Senator Lindsey Graham.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The process in place to produce a bill gives a Turkish bizarre a bad name.


What does this sound like? People are being threatened to vote yes. They're being bribed to vote yes. It sounds a lot like Obamacare to me. I have very little confidence the process I see playing out is going to produce a good result. And I promise you this, that if the bill comes to the Senate, we're not going to do it the way the House did. We'll be able to amend the bill and be able to read the bill and take a thoughtful approach to try to repeal and replace Obamacare.


VAUSE: John, at this point, politically, does it even matter what happens in the Senate in the House is obviously the big first crucial test.

THOMAS: One step at a time. If you get to the next step, Trump is thinking he can turn up the heat on Lindsey Graham.

VAUSE: And a bunch of others.

THOMAS: That's true.


THOMAS: But I think Senator Graham is over -- overstating - or understating how legislation is made. Handouts and favors are done all the time. That's how every bill gets passed. This is no different. The stakes are high.

SESAY: I hear you saying take it one step at a time. Those folks in the Freedom Caucus are making the point that if this does pass and gets to the Senate, and they do the kind of things Lindsey Graham is talking about changing it, when it comes back to the House, they'll kill it. Either way this thing is dead.

THOMAS: It's a tough go.


SESAY: He's not committing. He's passing.

HUTCHINSON: It's something else. Senator Graham, I'm almost him, saying it's almost dead on arrival. That bill that comes out of the House is not the bill we're going to look at.

SESAY: That's right. That's right. Exactly.

HUTCHINSON: We're going to put, by the time the Senate gets through talking it to death, amending it to death, it almost might look like Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act. Of course, that would be the horror of the House if that happens.

VAUSE: OK. One of the complaints about Trumpcare is that it won't bring down the cost of insurance premiums.


REP. MO BROOKS, (R), ALABAMA: We're supposed to be doing this in order to make health insurance and health care more affordable. Unfortunately, this legislation, this massive Republican welfare plan, does not do that. According to the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation, health insurance premiums, if this Republican health care plan passes, will go up 15 percent to 20 percent over the next two years.


VAUSE: OK. There's also a Congressional Budget Office showing savings of $150 billion over 10 years because of the changes they're making.

Again, John, the accusation here is that the changes right now, at least what Democrat are saying, is only making this bill worse. [02:15:12] THOMAS: I think the Democrats have to be careful.

They're getting more of what they want. They're getting more coverage, more things covered. You have to look at, this has to be Trump's baby. It's a make-or-break thing. If premiums go up, voters are going to hold them accountable. Also, Trump is saying the CBO has been wrong before, and they were with Obamacare estimates. Maybe they're wrong here.

SESAY: You're saying this is Trump's baby, but the other question is, who is going to be left carrying the can if it fails, will it be Trump or Speaker Ryan, Earl?

HUTCHINSON: I think the way things are stacking up now, it could be both. Let's face it, if, in fact, there is a vote or not -- and we don't know at this point because it's all speculation -- but let's say there is a vote, and then it's still voted down, at that point in time, President Trump has put all this political currency behind that, and it fails, Paul Ryan has put his political currency behind it and it fails, where does it leave them?

VAUSE: Ryan probably gets the vote because of the failing Congress.


VAUSE: OK, quickly, let's move on to the latest in the Intelligence Committee. According to the House Intelligence Committee, the ranking Democrat, there is new evidence of collusion between Russia and associates of Donald Trump.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D-CA), RANKING MEMBER, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: It's the kind of evidence that you would submit to a grand jury at the beginning of an investigation. It's not the kind of evidence you take to prove evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. But we're at the beginning of the investigation and, given the gravity of the subject matter, I think the evidence warrants us doing a thorough investigation.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Is there new evidence that you learned that makes you think it was more than just circumstantial?

SCHIFF: We have received additional evidence. And materials have been made available to the committee.


VAUSE: Earl, we should note the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, says he has not seen that evidence. He doesn't know anything about it.

At this point, can Congress complete this investigation? Are they capable of doing it?

(CROSSTALK) VAUSE: Should they hand it over to a special prosecutor?

HUTCHINSON: Republicans, at this point in time, they control the committee. They have the votes and numbers and chairmanship, the leadership of the committee. At this point in time, no matter what new evidence -- it would have to be very new and explosive, really compelling. And also, there's another component beyond Congress and the committee, what about the general public? What pressure needs to be put there, both the Republicans and the Democrats, their constituency? At this point in time, it doesn't look like it's going to go very far unless it's really a bombshell that can't be ignored.

THOMAS: Yeah, Adam Schiff is trying to revive the story or keep it going as long as he can. The point about the special prosecutor, no, they shouldn't. You have the FBI on the case. If there's something there, they'll find it. And you've got a House Intelligence Committee looking into it.

SESAY: I don't think you can see this is a case of Adam Schiff trying to keep the pressure off on the story. There are a lot of people in Congress perturbed by the way Nunes handled things by going to the president without even speaking to his colleagues on the committee.

THOMAS: Well, he had to do it because he didn't want the Democrats to step on his bounce.


SESAY: Had to do it, chose to do it.

VAUSE: Summoned to do it.



SESAY: Gentlemen, thank you.

Lively bunch.

VAUSE: They were fun.

We are going to take a quick break. And then, a Kremlin critic shot dead in Kiev. Who Ukraine's president says is behind the attack.

VAUSE: Also, this isn't the first time an opponent of Russia's president has met a mysterious end. More on that after the break.


[02:21:06] VAUSE: Ukraine's president is calling the murder of Kremlin critic a Russia terror act. The former lawmaker was shot and killed Thursday outside of a Kiev hotel.

SESAY: Our own Brian Todd reports this isn't the first suspicious death to befall an enemy of Russian President Vladimir Putin. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gunned down in broad daylight, Denis Voronenkov, a critic of Vladimir Putin, killed in Ukraine's capital, Kiev. His horrified wife has to identify his body on the street. Voronenkov was a former Russian lawmaker who fled to Ukraine last year.

Ukraine's president says his murder is, quote, "an act of Russian- state terrorism." A Ukrainian prosecutor calls this an execution of a witness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he gets to Ukraine, he begins to give evidence about the Russian connection to former Ukrainian President Yanukovych and possibly the Russian invasion of Crimea and annexation.

TODD: In an interview last month, Voronenkov said he wasn't worried for his safety.

DENIS VORONENKOV, FORMER RUSSIAN LAWMAKER (through translation): I believe that whatever will happen, will happen. I don't intend to hide.

TODD: Earlier this week, another man inconvenient to Vladimir Putin fell four floors from his Moscow apartment and was badly injured. It was not clear if attorney, Nikoli Gorkoff (ph) fell accidentally or was pushed. Russian news outlets said he fell while helping movers carry a hot tub to his apartment.

BILL BROWDER, FINANCIER: I think that foul play was involved.

TODD: Bill Browder is a finance person who ran the largest hedge fund in Russia. He was the boss of a Russian whistleblower named Sergei Magnitsky. Magnitsky died in Russian custody in 2009 after uncovering a massive fraud, which he and Browder alleged Russian officials committed against his firm.

The victim of the fall, Nikoli Gorkoff (ph), had represented Magnitsky

BROWDER: He was going to show up in Moscow court with a bunch of new evidence, which consisted of e-mails and WhatsApp? Messages, showing that Russian organized criminals were communicating directly with the Russian police to try to cover up the murder of Sergei Magnitsky and cover up the corruption crime that Sergei had exposed.

UNIDENTIFIED NEWS ANCHOR: The Russian Federation --

TODD: And another Putin critic, who has had some bad luck in recent weeks, Vladimir Kara-Murza, was in a coma last month then came out of it. The second time in two years he'd fallen into a coma after a suspected poisoning.

Kara-Murza is an activist calling for more open elections in Russia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think what's not coincidental is these people are swimming in dangerous shark-infested waters. The message is out, if you're going to oppose powerful interests in and around Russia, you're going to get hurt or you may get killed.


TODD: In 2015, prominent Putin critic, Boris Nemtsov, was shot in the back just steps away from the Kremlin. How does Putin escape blame?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It could be a nod of "get him," and then there are layers and layers and layers. And there's no specific order or time or any kind of crushing evidence that links him.

TODD (voice-over): We've been in touch with the Kremlin over all the cases, and through his spokesman, Vladimir Putin has denied all involvement in just about all of them. They call allegations they were involved in killing of Denis Voronenkov absurd. They deny connections to Vladimir Kara-Muzra's illnesses and Boris Nemtsov's killing. They wouldn't comment on the mysterious fall from the apartment of the lawyer this week, but they dismiss allegations that they were involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, the man that lawyer represented.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


SESAY: For more on this latest killing, CNN's Claire Sebastian joins us from Moscow.

Claire, the killing of Denis Voronenkov has led to finger pointing at the Kremlin by some in the West. How much attention is his death receiving in Moscow?

CLAIRE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's getting a lot of attention here. It was interesting, I was at the regular briefing at the Foreign Ministry yesterday, and before getting to the business of day-to-day today foreign policy, the spokeswoman talked about this killing, saying it brought all the hallmarks of a contract killing. And said that after the statement of President Poroshenko of Ukraine calling this a Russian state terrorist act, Moscow has serious doubts the Ukraine investigation will be impartial. She said they were shocked by the killing. The Kremlin calling it absurd, the allegations Moscow could be behind it.

This is playing highly against state media. The emphasis not on the fact that he was a Kremlin critic, but on whether or not Kiev could be behind it. Instead of listing Putin critics who died in mysterious circumstances, they listed Russians killed in Ukraine, including an investigative journalist who died in car bomb last year.

So this is an extremely big story. He's a former Russian member of parliament, but the emphasis definitely on whether or not Kiev could be behind his death.

[02:25:53] Claire, Voronenkov said he was cooperating with the Ukrainian prosecutors' treason case against the former President Viktor Yanukovych. You have to wonder what happens to that case now that he's dead. SEBASTIAN: Absolutely. We believe that it's still going ahead. The

prosecutor in that case released a statement on his Facebook page yesterday saying that while the evidence Voronenkov had was extremely important and calling this the killing of a key witness, he did say there are other prominent Russian witnesses in this case, and one of them we know is the politician who tweeted yesterday that Voronenkov was on his way to meet him when he was killed. So clearly, they were in close communications. Voronenkov also, living in Ukraine, a former Russian lawmaker. As far as we know, that case, that very political case in Ukraine continues to go ahead.

SESAY: Claire Sebastian, joining us from Moscow. Claire, appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Time for a short break. Up next, a look at exactly what we know about the man behind the London terror attack.

VAUSE: Also ahead, Google is facing a growing boycott from advertisers. We'll tell you why in a moment.


[02:30:18] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. I'm John Vause.


This is CNN NEWSROOM, Los Angeles.

The death toll not stands at four in the terror attack outside the British parliament. Investigators are combing scene looking for forensic evidence.

VAUSE: Not far away, the Westminster Bridge is open again. That's where the attacker drove his car into crowds of pedestrians. London's Mayor Sadiq Khan led a vigil in Trafalgar Square for the four people killed in the attack. Queen Elizabeth offered her prayers and sympathies.

SESAY: Meantime, police arrested eight people in connection with the terror attack. Investigators are revealing new information about the man behind the rampage.

CNN's Nic Robertson has the story.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Khalid Masood, 52 years old, with a three-decade history of violence, named by police as the terrorist believed to be responsible for the deadly carnage in London Wednesday.

According to police, he had several aliases, was born in Kent, just south of London, most recently living in the West Midlands.

Masood's most recent conviction in 2003 for possession of a knife, one of many brushes with law enforcement, including for radicalism.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: What I can confirm is that the man was British-born and that some years ago he was once investigated by MI5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism. He was a peripheral figure.

ROBERTSON: ISIS's propaganda wing claiming him as a soldier of ISIS, acting in response for appeals for attacks, but offered no evidence of a direct link.

Police say he was acting alone.

MARK ROWLEY, ACTING DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: It is still our belief which continues to be borne out by our investigation that this attacker acted alone.

ROBERTSON: Even so, in an armed raid in Birmingham in the West Midlands early Thursday morning, witnesses report police taking several people from this building.

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I see police arrest one lady and I see two, three people, but I don't know how many people arrest. But I see one lady and two, three people and police with gun outside waiting and that's it. I see these people. That's it. I never ever see these people before.

ROBERTSON: A mile away, at the Enterprise Car Rental Agency, the owners call polic3e to say their vehicle was used in the attack.

Birmingham, the once-fabled industrial heartland 100 miles from London, appears to be emerging as a center of gravity in the attack.

(on camera): Police say, of the eight people arrested Thursday, six of them, including those detained here, are all being held on suspicion of preparation of acts of terrorism. Police caution the investigation still has a long way to run.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Birmingham, England.


VAUSE: Officials are still not saying much about the motivation behind the London attack, offering so-called lone wolves have been radicalized online.

SESAY: Many have become emerged in extremist content easily found o the Internet. Now Google and YouTube are facing an advertiser boycott by more than 200 major companies after revelations their ads were appearing alongside videos created by supporters of white supremacist groups, hate groups and even terror group like ISIS.

VAUSE: For more, Hemu Nigam is with us now, an Internet security analyst and the CEO of SSP Blue.

Hemu, good to see you.

SESAY: Always good to have you here.


VAUSE: The issue is when there's a video on YouTube, before you get to the content, you have to watch an ad. You get a bug that says wait 15 seconds or something. Companies like Verizon, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, these big companies, they've just found out their ads are being played before offensive content, and they want it to stop.

NIGAM: What's happening is they not only found out they're playing on top of the video, but sometimes there are other ads running. Companies are saying is we're pulling not just out of YouTube, but those ads could appear in a bunch of other related sites that work with Google. It's a significant impact.

I'll tell you there is a positive in this. It's going to change the course of how advertisers work with platforms, and also affect what kind of content that may be available on sites like these.

SESAY: The heart isn't it the case that technology has outstripped the pace of advertising's checks and balances?

NIGAM: It's the same thing with television and the Internet showed up and nobody knew how to deal it. You see is more faster pace with the number of videos being uploaded. What's happening is advertisers are saying, wait, these are giants we're advertising on, but so are we. Maybe it's a balance to be struck on what kinds of ads appear and next to what kind of content. So there's a dialogue based on the revenue potential. That means there's a shared interest, which is a good thing.

[02:35:30] VAUSE: There are millions, tens, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue at stake. 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube. It explains why it's hard to do anything about. We heard from Erik Schmidt. He said he won't make any guarantees they can fix it. That's pretty telling.

NIGAM: It's a balance between how much technology can identify the continent in a video. For example, is it hate speech, is it a discussion about hate? That's the kind of things algorithms are currently inside of Google, created by Google engineers, are looking for if this is acceptable or not in their terms of use. What does the human mind think when it's making a statement? That's the challenge all algorithms have. That's why the CEO of Google is saying, I'll try my best, I'll put my best engineers on it, update the algorithms, but I can't guarantee it. You never know what somebody is really thinking and it's hard to determine that.

SESAY: Speaking of challenges, this is what one analyst said about efforts to fix the problem: "Google must walk a fine line between giving advertisers more control and alienating the massive community of content creators who have made the site a top destination for coveted young viewers."

Is that right? Is that the challenge here? NIGAM: That's right. The purpose of a platform is to say bring your

user-generated content. Put what you want on it. That generates where are viewers longer time on the site. That's what advertisers want. They want people to be on the site longer so they see their brand flashed in front of them. There's a very delicate balance not only for Google but also for advertisers. The more you push Google to say fix the ads or fix this content, the less usership happens, the less people see their own brands. That means that both sides get affected on the revenue stream.

VAUSE: As the boycott continues, Google shares have taken a hit. They lost more than $20 million, wiped out. That's an incentive for Google to get this fixed.

Hemu, thank you so much.


SESAY: Thank you.

Still ahead, an ultimatum from the Trump White House Republicans: Vote now to repeal Obamacare or suffer the consequences come election time.


[02:41:11] SESAY: Republicans are just hours away from a vote on their plan to roll back Obamacare. Chances for passing seem slim.

VAUSE: Some conservatives are digging in their heels because Trumpcare doesn't eliminate Obamacare outright.

Details now from Phil Mattingly.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meeting after meeting and lots of legislative wrangling, Republicans are still short of a health care deal. GOP lawmakers shuttling into closed door meetings on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Only politics. Because we have a great bill.

MATTINGLY: Underscoring a clear reality, despite the blitz from Trump and House leaders, they don't have the votes.

That comes in the wake of a moment of brief daylight as the White House and House leaders agreed to changes sought by the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Earlier today, you said you were confident of it passing. Do you still believe that?

UNIDENTIFIED REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Yes. Yes. If it puts us up for a vote, it will pass.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Why do you say that?

UNIDENTIFIED REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Becuase if you are a Republican, you have one choice, you are either going to vote with Donald Trump to repeal and replace Obamacare, or vote with Nancy Pelosi to beat the only bill that will repeal and replace Obamacare. That's a simple choice.

MATTINGLY: Even as members filed into the White House today and gave President Trump a standing occasion, still unwilling to commit to the bill.

REP. MARK MEADOWS, (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I am still unknown at this time. I'm trying to get to yes. And I think the president knows that. I told him that personally. I can say with all the freedom caucus, they are trying to get to yes. That's why we met for such a long time. It was at times a not contentious but I would say rigorous debate.

MATTINGLY: And the change they sought, to strip the essential health benefits required by Obamacare risked alienating the centrist faction. One who told CNN, quote, "This bill is collapsing."

A conundrum that led House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, who shepherded Obamacare to passage, to provide unsolicited advice of her own.

SEN. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: You build your consensus and caucus. When you're ready, you set the date to bring it to the floor. May be a great negotiator, rookies' error for bringing this up on a day when clearly you're not ready.

MATTINGLY (on camera): So here's where we stand. It is now do or die. It is the highest game stakes of chicken. The president made clear through his advisers, there would be no negotiating. He wants a vote. He's demanding a vote and he wants it on Friday, whether the like it or not, whether they have the votes or not. That's a crucial component. As it currently stands, they don't have the votes, which means they need something to change quickly. The president hopes backing the members that aren't with him right now, that will be the answer. Well, we'll see. On the House floor, it's about as dramatic as it's going to get.

Phil Mattingly, CNN, Capitol Hill.


VAUSE: Joining us now for more, California State Senator Ed Hernandez, also a medical doctor, with a lot of experience from the medical side and the political side when it comes to health care.


VAUSE: Let's just explain to our viewers all around the world why you're one of the many mysteries about health care in the United States. Why is it so closely tied to your job? You get a job, you get benefits, health insurance, you lose your job, you lose benefits. STATE SEN. ED HERNANDEZ, (D), CALIFORNIA & MEDICAL DOCTOR: If you

think about the history of health care, it dates back hundreds of years from the railroads to Montgomery Wards. I think what really started to tie into the jobs was under FDR when they froze wages, and we had a work force shortage.


VAUSE: During the war?

HERNANDEZ: During the war. What companies did to try to encourage and get the best labor they could because they couldn't increase wages, they offered health insurance. Did a couple things. Number one, the unions liked that. They want it employer-based. I think that's where the birth of the modern health care system came where the majority of employees have insurance here in this country.

[02:35:17] SESAY: As someone born in the U.K. and grew up there, one of the things I can't wrap my head around -- this is the same for many of your international viewers - why, in the country, there is a view that a social welfare system can't exist with capitalism.

HERNANDEZ: Unfortunately, ever since that point, every time we've had a health care discussion, it's a political system that we have in this country. The other thing is we have a for-profit health care system. It makes it difficult to marry the profits of the health care system with the dynamics of the political process, and then jobs as well.

SESAY: But it's not impossible to do?

HERNANDEZ: No, it's not impossible. I think what we have to do is move toward that way. If you think about this country, we're one of the richest countries in the world and we have some of the poorest outcome and some of the highest health care costs in the world. We have to do something to fix that.

VAUSE: Is comes to the question, is health care a right? A lot of countries, although, a lot of wealthy country say yes, in this country, that still seems to be an open question.

HERNANDEZ: I think it's a right, and whether we agree or disagree, if you think about it, if we don't have a health system where everyone is insured or close to it, we're going to pay for it anyway. They end up in the emergency room, we have to take care of them. It could be a public health problem. We have to make sure this country, that everyone has access to health care. It's something we have to do.

SESAY: And beyond the question of is health care a right, it goes even further back to what is the responsibility of government? That's at the heart of this debate that we see on Capitol Hill right now.

HERNANDEZ: If you look at the Obama administration when we had that health care bill, how controversial that was. You have the way left that wanted to have a government-run system and then the more moderates who wanted a market based system. That's the dilemma with the Republicans. You have the extreme right that wants to get rid of it. The moderates want to maintain what we have. The politics involved in the health care, we have to look past that. At the end of the day, the voters, they want health care. And we have to get rid of this partisan politics. Work together and solve this so everybody --


VAUSE: The politics, when you look at a political level, it comes down to how the Constitution is written and how Congress works. Essentially, compared to Europe and Japan where there's a central system where the majority rules, this country is not set up that way. This country is set up so the individual and the states dictate the terms. It's difficult to get a national policy passed.


HERNANDEZ: I don't disagree. But I think the Affordable Care Act is a good start. I hope we can move forward with that. I think what we need to do is -- we've heard the saying that states are beginnings of democracy and what we do is we are the Petri dishes of how we come up with ideas. Allow the states to be innovative. Make sure we have the federal dollars that come to us. More importantly, allow the states, let us -- California has done an incredible job. We've insured the most number of individuals, dropped the uninsured rate the most, and we've controlled health care costs than any other state. Let us do it.

Dr. Ed Hernandez, thank you so much.

SESAY: Thank you.

HERNANDEZ: Thank you very much. Thank you for having me. Appreciate it.

VAUSE: Still to come, an extraordinary interview from the U.S. president, and it's sparking an extraordinary stringing and fantastic response. Details in a moment.




[02:52:38] VAUSE: Occasionally, there's something good on social media, like this video. A man stepping between two teenagers squaring off to a fight. It's been viewed millions of times, even getting a retweet from Lebron James.

SESAY: It shows Ali Miller breaking up a street fight between two boys. Miller gets the boys to stop and shake hands. Witnesses are praising his actions.


UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: He came out the car. And stopped it. He didn't like that at all. He said I will not leave until you guys shake hands.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And this was not staged?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: Oh, no, sir. It was, I want to thank him a lot. If it wasn't for him, it could have probably went a different way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He made them shake hands, and they did that. I wish there was more people -- we need more Ali's out there.


SESAY: We all wish there were more people like that. Miller was honored by Atlantic City's council. He said these sorts of acts should be the norm.

VAUSE: Absolutely.

Well, U.S. President Donald Trump is defending some of the biggest truth-stretching claims of his political career.

SESAY: He told "Time" he has proof and fact about why he cannot be doing so badly. It all boils down to one short phrase.

Jeanne Moos reports.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Time's" cover, "Is Truth Dead" pays homage to a 1966 cover "Is God Dead." But you know what isn't dead? Donald Trump's ego. As we saw when he met with trucking CEOs, the president isn't shy about blowing --


MOOS: -- his own or anybody else's horn.

Consider how he ended the "Time" magazine interview on the question of his credibility: "I can't be doing so badly --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I'm president and you're not.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, INSIDE POLITICS: I'm president. You're not.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm president and you are not.

MOOS: The quote ignited Internet mockery. "I'm a narcissist and you're not." "I'm rubber and you're glue."

Some thought President Trump sounded positively Peewee Hermann-esque.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're an idiot.


(CROSSTALK) MOOS: But the president's supporters like a man who knows what he is.

"Alpha-male president," commented one. "Oh, Trump, this is why we love you."

(on camera): I'm president and you're not. Does that remind you of anyone?

[02:55:08]CHEVY CHASE, ACTOR & COMEDIAN: Good evening. I'm Chevy Chase, and you're not.

Good evening. I'm Chevy Chase --


MOOS (voice-over): One critic reacted to the "Time" interview by tweeting, "Days without embarrassing the U.S.? Zero."

Others brought up Obama's presidential pronouncement on a Jimmy Kimmel's mean-tweet segment. Back when it looked like Trump would lose, the then-Candidate tweeted, "President Obama will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States."

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: @realDonaldTrump. At least I will go down as a president.


MOOS: Well, we all know who got the last laugh.

Actress Sally Field captioned this photo "eastbound and demented."

But he's the trucker-in-chief and we're not.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --



MOOS: -- New York.


SESAY: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm not president, and neither are you. But I am John Vause.

The news continues with Max Foster. He's in London. Not president. And George Howell, Natalie Allen. Not president.


SESAY: Enough. Enough.

Good night. VAUSE: Bye.