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Trump Admin Negotiates Release of U.S. Prisoner in Egypt; ISIS Claims Responsibility for Paris Terror Attack; Trump Turns Up heat on Health Care Overhaul; Trump Turns Up heat on Health Care Overhaul; Interview with Rep. Dave Brat. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired April 21, 2017 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:01] MARY KATHERINE HAM, SENIOR WRITER, THE FEDERALIST: -- with this kind of inappropriate behavior was long ago on my first job. And I threw a flag on that stuff immediately the best I knew how as a 22- year-old. And there was risk and it was scary.

But maybe that's my story to tell to young women and to say, look, you can do this and you can move on with your career. And know what your limits are and you can call it inappropriate, inappropriate and trust your judgment. And you can still have a career. And I think that's perhaps what we're getting out of this.

You can tell the story and you can move on and that Gretchen can come forward and Megyn Kelly can have women's back when she comes forward. And that those people like can make something after that. And that that's the way it should be because you should not have to be subject to inappropriate behavior.


HAM: By the way, I hope that this culture is on its way to repairing because there are so many good friends and people who still work over there.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. We all feel that way and we are watching with very close attention to see what happens next there. Ladies, thank you very much, we'll continue to have this conversation.

Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, "CNN Newsroom" is next. For our U.S. viewers, can the GOP's knew healthcare plan pass? We had an answer from a member of the freedom caucus when "New Day" continues right now.


CAMEROTA: Good morning everyone, welcome to your "New Day." It is a race against the clock for President Trump and the GOP as they look for a legislative win in the first 100 days. The president is focused now on health care and he says that a revised plan to repeal and replace Obamacare is "getting better and better". The members of Congress do not know if it has the votes to make it through the house in the next eight days.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN NEW DAY ANCHOR: A lot of members of Congress aren't even sure what the president's talking about in complicating matters considerably is that a government shutdown is looming. And the health care push may affect the outcome.

The deadline to keep the government funded is just one week from today. Just one day before the President's 100th day in office. So, the clock is ticking as President Trump enters day 92. Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Joe Johns live at the White House.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Chris, the attempts continue to salvage a measure of legislative success for the Trump administration before the clock runs out on the first 100 days. The initial reaction to the effort given the last experience has been one of skepticism.


TRUMP: We have a good chance of getting it soon. I'd like to say next week.

JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump pushing hard for a legislative win before his 100th day in office next week. Reviving his health care effort that failed just weeks ago.

TRUMP: The plan gets better and better and better. And it's gotten really, really good. And a lot of people are liking it a lot.

JOHNS: Republicans want to help their president deliver on one of his key campaign promises as Democrats remain skeptical that a deal will be reached.

NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: You can put lipstick on a sow and call her Monique and she's still a pig. That's what this bill is. It's the same terrible bill.

JOHNS: A draft proposal published Thursday by politico maintains several provisions of Obamacare including the ban on rejecting patients with pre-existing conditions and guaranteed coverage for maternity care. But it will allow states to seek waivers from many of this mandates if they show it would be in the public interest. Concessions aimed at placating both moderates and conservatives.

PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: It's difficult to do. We're very close and it's basically make good on the promises that we're made.

JOHNS: This effort comes at the same time Congress faces a deadline next week to pass a massive spending bill to avert a government shutdown.

TRUMP: OK. I want to get both. Are you shocked to hear that? I think we want to keep the government open. Don't you agree? So, yes, I think we'll get both.

JOHNS: President Trump asking Congress to include $1.4 billion to begin building his controversial border wall. The Trump White House does have one victory they will celebrate today. The Washington post reporting that the Trump administration was instrumental in securing the release of an Egyptian-American aide worker in prison for three years on unproven charges, along with her husband and several other humanitarian workers. The news comes after Trump publicly embraced Egypt's president at the White House despite the history of human rights abuses.

TRUMP: We are very much behind president El-Sisi has done a fantastic job in a very different both situation.


[07:05:11] JOHNS: That freed Egyptian-American woman Aya Hijazi who was described just last month by the administration as one of the highest priorities is expected to be here at the White House with her husband to meet with the president as early as today according to the Washington Post. The president expected to spend this weekend, unlike many other weekend. And Washington trying to rack up some legislative victories before the firstb100 days is.

CAMEROTA: Right. The clock is ticking. Joe, thank you very much for all of that background.

President Trump has just tweeted this morning. And it is relevant. He says "no matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days and it has been a lot, including Supreme Court, media will kill."

Wait, what? He is likening us to nicotine. Let's discuss with our panel. CNN Political Analyst David Gregory, Reporter and Editor at large for CNN Politics Chris Cillizza, and CNN Political Analyst Abby Philip, she's a reporter at the Washington Post.

Great to have you all here. Look, I mean the 100 days standard is obviously an artificial timeline, but the president, David Gregory, feels the pressure of that. And that's why he's working overtime and trying to get something in the next week on health care.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. There's no question about it. Look, the legislative agenda is key part of this. Any new administration wants to come in and really get the ball rolling on Capitol Hill. And in this case, the Trump administration has really botched it. They had and have a big portfolio of things to accomplish. So much confidence that that can be done, look at the markets and now you see a tempering of the economic outlook because people are less certain that regulatory reform, tax reform, a big infrastructure bill, repealing of Obamacare that all those things can be accomplished in part because Obamacare came out of the gates and the president cannot unite his own party. That's then the problem and that's why he is returning into it.

So, that legislative agenda, the fact that there hasn't been much movement there even though the president has some areas where he can potentially work with Congress. I think that's really what's hanging overall of this. So the Supreme Court as a good accomplishment, the travel ban was really botched in his efforts. He may win that substantively. But the way the he rolled it out in his priorities were way, way off. And this emerging foreign policy where I think he's getting mixed reviews including some positive reviews and in very dangerous circumstances. All of that weighs on it too.

CUOMO: All right. So Cillizza, in Queens where the president and I grew up. That's called the two-step what he did about the 100 days standard. He said this is a stupid standard. But I'm going to do well, anyway, you know, he's given himself a hedge position. That's politics. That's fine. The concern is how he may go about it. And by he, I mean really the collective of the Republican leadership.


CUOMO: May go about this next week. What have you heard about the chances that they would connect this to the continuing resolution act to get the government funded? By that, I mean if you want to keep the government open, you will give me health care.

CILLIZZA: I mean I think that Donald Trump has candidly not a deep self understanding of how Congress and the Congressional the schedule works.

That's not going to happen. The government shutdown, you know, of course he should say honestly. He should say I want both in that clip you play. He should say I want health care and to keep the government open. But, just because you want it doesn't mean you can get it.

CUOMO: But do you think he can get Ryan to attach it --


CUOMO: -- to the shutdown funding?

CILLIZZA: Absolutely not. Remember and Donald Trump doesn't always remember this. There's a reason there are three parts of the federal government. There's a reason that there's an executive branch and a legislative branch.

If Donald Trump was at 90 percent popularity, he has got a little more leverage. He is not at 90 percent popularity. He's at 40 percent, 41 percent. So, I just saying that we've got a really, really, really good health care bill and it's really coming along and people like it.

There's not a lot of evidence there other than the freedom caucus and the Tuesday Group which is the Republican moderates. The leaders of those two have met. The full Republican Congress hasn't seen the bill yet. So, the idea they're going to circulate it on -- today or over the weekend and they're going to vote on it next week, doesn't that seem like the same problem that they got into with the bill in the first place?

I'm just very skeptical that he can dictate exactly what he wants at all times to Paul Ryan and the house conference.

CAMEROTA: I don't know, Abby, the idea that the house Freedom Caucus and the Tuesday Group -- the moderates -- are now meeting and trying to cobble something together, that is progress. I mean they're the ones who were dug in. So, maybe they are going to come up with something, you know, in the next few days that appeals to both of them.

[07:10:06] ABBY PHILIP: Well, you know, I mean I think they have been trying to meet. I mean sure, it's better than where they were a couple of weeks ago when things seem to really break down. But, it's going to actually take a lot more than those two groups meeting to get this bill across the finish line. And the changes that they make in private, we don't know if that has gotten the sort of buy-in of the entirety of both caucuses. Because what we've seen in the past is that sometimes when these deals are drafted up by individuals or small groups of people within the freedom caucus or within the Tuesday group or even at the White House or in the leadership. And then the full caucus hasn't seen it, it becomes a huge problem going down the road.

So, we should be cautious about that. And I really agree with Chris here. Like there is just no chance that these two trains are going to be attached to each other and go down the same path next week. Republicans have acknowledged they really need democratic votes to get the government funded even for a short-term continuing resolution. And they cannot do that with trying to do health care. It's just not possible in this political environment, especially considering the kinds of changes that they're looking at for the bill right now.

CUOMO: And David Gregory, how do you see this request for $1.4 billion or so for the border wall in the spending bill?

GREGORY: I don't see it going well. I mean this is the same request that was apparently going to be taken care of by Mexico to build the wall. So, we just want to remember that context of how this idea was born. But I think what Abby and Chris are saying too is important.

Now, they want to go back to repeal Obamacare and to cobble together some aspects of is that a popular with aspects that are unpopular. But really dial back those who would get covered especially the neediest people and use that as leverage to get Congress, to get Democrats to support border wall funding. I don't see how they do that. I think the Democrats want to be in a position to force their hand so that the administration doesn't preside over shutting down of the government which would hurt Congress, hurt the Democrats too. But I don't see them going along with that. So, we'll see how much leverage the administration can use.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Go ahead Chris for question.

CILLIZZA: I was just going to say to David's point. The problem here for Donald Trump here is political leverage tends to work on whether if you have sort of the high ground. He doesn't. He's the least popular president at this point in his presidency in the modern era. You need -- I mean I hate to say it but in some ways you need congress to be afraid of you coming to their district and saying I told them that they needed to vote for this and they didn't.

PHILIP: Yes. CILLIZZA: He -- number one, he doesn't -- he likes to be in Washington and Florida. Now as a home body myself, I'm not going to be critical of that. But, you know, he's not going to go that districts. And even if he did, you know, a lot of this swing districts, he's in the 30s. That's not going to convince a member of Congress.

You know what, I'm skeptical about this. I haven't really read the bill. Then seem like it's doing the right stuff. I think it could hurt me politically. Well, but Donald Trump says I have to be for it. That's not how the political process works.

CUOMO: But then he just threw him of a little but of a curve ball in terms of how he does things. It's all about tough talk, especially when it came with the early foreign policy.

And then, Abby, he does something Obama did not do. He had El-Sisi come here, made nice, showed respect, and got the release of an Egyptian-American. She's going to be there with her family at the White House this weekend. And he did it really in a way that he would have criticized probably during the campaign. Don't be nice to these people. Just tell them how it is. But he did it differently and he got it done.

PHILIP: Yes. It's -- this is a really interesting story. Because I mean we're seeing one part of the Trump apparatus here that is working. You have, you know, defense secretary James Mattis, Deana Paul heading over to the region and securing the freedom of this Egyptian-American and bringing her home on an American plane.

And you're seeing behind the scenes a process working to, and the president doing exactly what at least according to what we know right now. Doing exactly what they wanted him to do which was take the temperature down when El-Sisi came to Washington. Don't antagonize him and see if we can make progress here.

At this moment, it seems to have worked. But it's also worth cautioning on situations like this that when you flatter someone who is accused of human rights abuses, that tends to have externalities down the road. And we -- it's just important to be mindful but we don't know what consequences, if any, there will be of that. But, clearly in this particular moment, it worked.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean I think that you're right to give us context. But this morning, this goes in the big win category. This is a big win certainly for her family, she and her husband.

[07:15:02] She's 30 years old. After three years of wrong imprisonment in Egypt, not knowing if she was going to get out, something the Obama administration couldn't get done. This is by any definition a win today for the Trump administration. Panel, thank you very much for all of that.

We'll give you some breaking news right now. ISIS claims responsibility for an attack in Paris that left a police officer dead. Candidates in France's Presidential Election suspending their last day of campaigning, but one candidate is making strong statements after this attack. President Trump is tweeting that -- as well, that the attack, "Will have a big affect on the presidential election." CNN's Hala Gorani is live in Paris with all of the breaking details, Hala?

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Hi Alisyn, here is what we know. Yesterday at 8:50 p.m. just a few yards away from where I'm standing here on the Champs-Elysees, a police van was targeted. A man pulled up to the side of the van, exited emerged from the vehicle and started firing with an automatic weapon. He killed one police officer, injured two others. One of them is seriously, also lightly injured a passerby tourist. The attacker was then chased by police and killed on the Champs-Elysees.

Now, as you mentioned Alisyn, ISIS has the claimed the responsibility on its considered media communication website. But did not name the individual that Paris authorities are telling us was the attacker. Karim Cheurfi is the name we're getting from French authorities. But the ISIS media claim is in fact saying that someone named Abu Yousef al-Belgiki is the soldier of the caliphate who was involved in this attack. Now, we know one individual turned himself in in Antwerp, Belgium. We don't know if that individual is the al-Belgiki that was referred to on that ISIS media website.

But, as you mentioned, there is a very important political race going on, the election for the first round of the presidential race is on Sunday. And this has become obviously, yet again, terror of campaign issue in this country. Chris, back to you.

CUOMO: Right, Ms. Hala, as you know the politics of fear very much in play in that election. We'll be watching. Thanks for being with us.

All right. So it looks like take two on GOP health care reform. The freedom caucus would not get behind the first bill. We are hearing from the president things have changed. Is that true? What does a member of the caucus say, next.



[07:21:32] DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESIDENT: The plan gets better and better and better, and it's gotten really, really good. And a lot of people are liking it a lot. We have a good chance of getting it soon. I'd like to say next week, but it will be -- I believe we will get it, and whether it's next week or shortly thereafter.


CUOMO: This is turning into a little bit of a head scratcher. President Trump is saying there is this bill, it's getting better and better, and we were almost there. Can the GOP backed plan to change health care make it in just a week? That's just eight days from now with 100th day marker for the presidency and obviously that's relevant just from on optics perspective.

So, joining us now is House Freedom Caucus member and Republican Congressman Dave Brat of Virginia.

It's good to have you on the show, sir, help me with this. The idea that there is a new bill, there is a new plan and it's making its way through so quickly that it could come to a vote next week. Is that true?

REP. DAVID BRAT (R), VIRGINIA: Yes, well, it's not really a new bill. He's just saying a fundamental bill but a few pretty significant amendments to it that do two things. One, lower the price of health care, that was the major thing. Republican principles, is we always kind of like to rely on free market as much as we can.

So this is still a Federal Government structure, not totally happy with that outcome. But in at least, cracks the door open to states having some ability to opt out of some of the insurance regulations.

And then secondly, what Trump ran on and I ran at a couple years ago and the American people are demanding on both sides. Like Bernie, Trump, drain the swamp. Give the power out of Washington D.C. out of the special interest and let health care return back to the states. So you can go back to a day where young kid can go out by a policy that's affordable.

Right now they cannot do that. And that's kind of in tough case. Can a young person go out and buy and afford health care package or not. That's we're trying to get there.

CUOMO: But first let's deal with the process then we'll get to the policy. There is no -- so there's no new bill. You've just seen a list of punch points that if they wind up being put the correct way into a document, then you may be comfortable voting. Is that accurate?

BRAT: Yes, that's right. We're still waiting on the official text. But there is a main experiment then that --

CUOMO: You think they can get that done in a week?

BRAT: Yes. The main experiment has been very successful that made with folks with pre-existing conditions, lowering their premiums, expanding care and then giving the states some latitude. We have that language. It's not that hard to come up. It's just allow states to opt out of some of the rags to bring down price.

And so those are two with the big pieces, a couple a little pieces on the regulatory framework and then I think we can all get to, yes, then that's what the goal is.

President Trump was very good in the negotiating process. He said yes. We said yes to him. And then somehow something in the swamp said, no. So, we waited another couple weeks. Vice-president Pence came over met with all of us. He had a great compromise. That's what we're working on right now is the text of that of what he said. And if that goes into play, we're all a yes. And we got a better health care system. CUOMO: Well, when you say we all, you're really talking about the Caucus, right? Because when you say something came out of the swamp, you know, some of the Tuesday Group might take defense to that because they took offense to some of what was in there. You have a lot of members in your party, well not in your caucus, who didn't like the idea of the CBO score saying that 10 plus million people will be left without care.

And all of these states, these governors coming and saying, I can barely afford this now. You're going to take money from me and expect me to believe make Medicaid work? For the most vulnerable people, the people who put Trump in office, how do you get pass those problems in one week?

[07:25:08] BRAT: Yes, that's nothing -- none of the changes affect the groups and no one is talking about other groups up there. I'm friends with everybody, the Tuesday Group. We all get along fine. The press likes to try and put a wedge in there. But the swamp of special interests is what we're all talking about. And too often policies designed to appease them, first of all, instead of the American person.

And so we're trying to reduce premiums for the average person back home. The forgotten man that was key to this election. Both the right and the left should like this, it's about good policy. And you can tell, right --

CUOMO: Why would the left and right vote liking it. I mean that, look, this is a complex thing. Nobody's saying it.

BRAT: Yes.

CUMO: That's part of the reason that it's so surprising. You think you could get it done in a week. But the idea that it is just the forgotten man you're dealing with. There are a lot of forgotten men and women, and their kids, who get their health care from Medicaid as you know. I know you don't like Medicaid. I know what you want to do with Medicaid. But that's 10 million people at a none -- you know at a minimum. And there are a lot of people by your political strike and the Democrats who won't accept that.

BRAT: Right. Well, you know more than I do about myself, because I don't have problem with health and folks on Medicaid. And so you have putting words into my mouth and help look at this process right now. All I know is that medicare and social security are both installment in 2034, and they're won by the federal government. I know where 20 billion death --

CUOMO: So you're going to --

BRAT: We have $100 trillion. Let me just get this out one phrase. We have a $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities that are Medicare, social security, Medicaid interest on the dead. So that is what the swamp is. No one has shown any ability to try and fix these major problems we have in this country. And at least we're starting to get it going. Right, this is a historic opportunity. CUOMO: President Trump says he doesn't want to touch social security or Medicare. So let's just deal with the matter before us. What will you do on a Medicaid fees or health care that is so important to so many millions of Americans?

BRAT: Well, there are some good Medicaid reforms in this bill. But the primary illness here is fixing the system that's in the ditch. Right. Obamacare is in the death spiral Aetna's leaving, Humana's leaving, and now Anthem is threatening to leave some states, the blues, and then you may not have any health care. So it's in the ditch right now. We're trying to fix it.

CUOMO: That time he's got the other bill, right? You had people who dropped out. But the idea that the ACA is in a death spiral is controversial.

BRAT: It's not controversial that people's premiums have gone up 30 percent a year.

CUOMO: There is a population where that is true. It happens to be a very small population, a much bigger population. You will take coverage in the effort to repeal this bill. You own that reality, right?

BRAT: No, I don't. And that small population, you're talking about rates went up by 180. I'm talking at nationwide they're upset.

CUOMO: No. I'm saying you got over a million families that were affected by these premiums.


CUOMO: You've got over a million families that we re affected by premiums, right.

BRAT: Yes.

CUOMO: I don't deny the facts. What I'm saying is, you must also own --

BRAT: Right.

CUOMO: -- that what you want. And again, I haven't seen this bill, and frankly I'm not even sure one exists. But if the set of punch points is what you're referring to them as, what do you do about the 10 million you're going to cut off the Medicaid role? Do you still do that?

BRAT: It's not about cutting people off of roles. It is about making a product that's affordable so people can get insurance again. Right now, everyone may have Obamacare. And there's an $11,000 deductible on the bronze plan. The average American, according to every economic study, whether a PHG and economics, they have $400 in the bank in savings. So how does average American with $400 pay for an $11,000 deductible? They don't. So they don't have healthcare. They got this glitzy policy you're talking about, but they don't have any health care. We've ruined the health care market, we've ruined the banking market back 10 years going ahead of financial crisis by telling bankers, hey you can't do banking anymore. Throw all the risk on Fannie and Freddie, we have financial crisis.

Now we're telling insurance companies, hey, you can't do insurance. Guess how that's going to work out? It's not going to -- we're in the ditch right now. We got to fix that.

CUOMO: What about those 10 million? Are they still going to be in the ditch or can you promise the people who are watching right now that, no, that won't happen anymore? The next time the CBO scores this, it won't say that states will have to drop those millions of people off the roles?

BRAT: Right. We don't want to drop anybody. We -- our goal is to get every single person good health care, right? I went to seminars first, work at the World Bank on the poverty and the rest of the world. My goal is to help people. And free markets help people.

China and India are free markets, now, guess what's happen into 2.5 billion people on the planet. They can finally feed their people and provide some health care. Under central planning and central governments, they could not.

It's very simple, right. All the history is examples of what I'm talking about. And we can do much better for every single person and get everybody in the labor force, get everyone a high skilled job. Prepare everybody for a business career. Every young kid I want to be successful. And that's what we're fighting for.

CUOMO: Dave Brat, I appreciate you being on the show. The motivations will be clear when we actually see the bill. Thank you for making the case on "New Day."

BRAT: You got it.

CUOMO: Alisyn.

BRAT: You'll see it. Good, thank you, you bet.

CAMEROTA: OK. We'll look forward to that, meanwhile Attorney General Jeff Sessions making comments about a --