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House Passed GOP Health Care Reform Bill Moves to Senate; Hacked Emails of French Presidential Candidate Macron Released; President Trump's Friendship with Rupert Murdoch May Affect Justice Department Investigation into FOX News; Donald Trump's Interview Style Examined; Kentucky Derby Previewed. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired May 6, 2017 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- will be more along the lines of severe vomiting when all the facts are eventually exposed regarding the steps taken by the U.S. government to influence the 2016 election." And the Senate Intel Committee doesn't want to hear just from Carter Page. They would also like to hear from former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and one-time Trump adviser Roger Stone. And the Senate Intel Chair Richard Burr, the Vice Chair Mark Warner, they have said that they're going to continue on with their inquiry. And sources tell CNN they are prepared to invoke their subpoena power if they have to to get access to these records. Of course, there is some thought that Carter Page was actually attempting to become an asset by the Russian intelligence agency. This is a charge, Fredricka, that he vehemently denies.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Is there any information as to why his demeanor has changed, why he's coming across a lot more combative and less cooperative?

NOBLES: That's a great question, Fredricka, because as you know, Carter Page has been a pretty open book up until this point in the investigation. He's done countless television interviews, many of which may have actually hurt his cause as opposed to helping him. So there has certainly been an abrupt turn in his demeanor as it relates to this investigation. We can't really guess exactly what that is, but there is no question that the posture that he has taken now is much different than it was even a week ago.

WHITFIELD: All right, thank you so much, Ryan Nobles, appreciate it.

Almost immediately after many House Republicans patted each other on the back for passing their health care bill, the backlash began. First with Republican senators promising to write their own bill, and then with many Americans, including these people at a town hall in Idaho. Worry over what's in and what's out is ensuring that the debate over replacing Obamacare is far from over.

CNN White House correspondent Athena Jones joining us from Branchburg, New Jersey, near the president's golf club where he is spending the weekend. So Athena, what changes can be expected in the Senate's version, any discussions while the president is there this weekend about how involved he will be in helping to shape it? ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. Well, it's hard to say

exactly what the Senate will do to change this bill, but we do know that there are a lot of Senate Republicans who have expressed concerns about the bill. The bill is facing some of the same challenges it faced in the House where you had conservatives who wanted it to do more to undo Obamacare and many other regulations in Obamacare, and then moderates concerned that it might be going too far.

There are some who have expressed concern that there's not enough help and not enough aid to help lower income people and seniors afford coverage due to the changes in this bill. There are other Republicans who have expressed concern about the cuts to Medicaid in this bill which, as you know, 31 states expanded Medicaid coverage. That expansion would be put on hold and there would be further cuts to Medicaid totals more than $800 billion over several years.

And then of course there's the issue of preexisting conditions which has raised concerns among Republicans. So there are a lot of things that could change in this bill. It is almost certain that there will be changes. We'll have to wait and see just what those changes look like. And also of course, will those changes then be acceptable if they can pass the Senate, will they be acceptable to House Republicans? That's another big question, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Then of course that CBO report, Congressional Budget Office, report and assessment, how important will it be in the reshaping of this bill?

JONES: This is very important to the Senate. As you know, the House did not wait for that score from the Congressional Budget Office which lets members know the expected impact of the legislation not just on the American people broadly but also on the deficit. That earlier CBO score of an earlier version of the bill said that 24 million people would be without health insurance coverage by 2026. Some are saying that this latest -- this new CBO score that's expected in the next couple of weeks could show that even more millions of Americans would lose health insurance coverage.

But the reason this is important for the Senate is that that CBO score will let them know the impact on the deficit, and the Senate is trying to pass their version of this bill with just 51 votes so they can rely on just Republicans, and to do so they have to meet certain budget reconciliation rules. I won't get into the weeds, but the bottom line is that the bill can't increase the deficit past the 10-year budget window. So that's why that score is so important.

Take a listen to what one Democratic member of the House, Adam Schiff, had to say about the CBO score.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: Very shortly I imagine that CBO analysis is going to come out and it's going to show likely tens of millions of Americans lose their health care under this plan. And the image of those Republican members celebrating that loss of coverage for millions may very well come back to haunt them.


[14:05:03] JONES: And so there you have a Democrat warning exactly that, that the CBO could find even more than 24 million Americans could be left without health insurance coverage, and so that will certainly present a challenge to passage of this Senate version.

WHITFIELD: And among the top concerns for many Americans, preexisting conditions, is that a priority too for these senators shaping their next proposal?

JONES: It is a priority for a lot of senators. I believe we have a graphic that has a long list of preexisting conditions. This is something that almost everyone can relate to because almost everyone knows someone who has -- whether it's a heart condition or asthma, diabetes or cancer, under the Republican plan states would be allowed to waive regulations under Obamacare and allow insurers to charge people with preexisting conditions more for coverage.

The concern is that those higher prices could put coverage out of reach for people with this -- with any number of ailments. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that nearly 30 percent of Americans under the age of 65 have some sort of preexisting conditions. So that's a lot of people that could see higher prices that could price them out. Fred?

WHITFIELD: All right, Athena Jones, thank you so much.

Tomorrow morning on "State of the Union" Jake Tapper will talk about the future of health care in America with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

The day before a critical election in France, and one presidential candidate's campaign says it has been hacked. Thousands of documents have been released online. Campaign officials are warning that some of what has been released is fake. Russian officials also quickly weighing in. A spokesman for the Kremlin telling CNN, quote, "These like other, similar accusations, are based on nothing and are pure slander," end quote. I want to bring in Isa Soares who is covering the campaign from northern France. How concerned are voters about this kind of information floating about?

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think on the whole people will be very worried in particular about the undecided voters because although the electoral commission has come out and basically asked the media, the press, to not talk about the content of those e-mails by which the press have actually abided by that, there is obviously a fear that with social media people can easily troll through those, download them, and then make up their minds.

But you know I am in northern France. This is French rust belt, this is Le Pen territory. Many people here basically said it doesn't really matter, we've already made up our mind and will vote for Marine Le Pen. Even a Macron voter said to me I don't pay attention to that. I am voting for Emmanuel Macron. So it's interesting this has come out in the last 24 hours because perhaps if there had been a bigger time difference in terms of a week or so, that may have had a bigger impact.

But the concern is real because we're talking about 14.5 gigabytes, Fredricka, of personal information from the Macron camp, and that is really worrying. Macron had just an hour to come out with a statement before the press could actually talk, before the reporting restrictions came in. This is what he said. "This operation is clearly meant to undermine democracy, just like happened in the U.S. during the last presidential campaign." Some of the e-mails, according to Macron's camp, are fake, some are real, and those have been mixed, he says, to add confusion and to sow doubt, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And does it come as a surprise to many there that the Kremlin would react so quickly?

SOARES: Not really, to be completely honest with you. You know, in April we heard from security experts saying that Macron and Macron campaign had been targeted by what they allege to be Russian hackers, something that Macron has spoken about frequently and, hence, why there's been so much finger pointing at Russia.

Also people here know that Marine Le Pen sees eye to eye on many problems with President Putin. She has gone to the Kremlin to visit him. She's also been funded by Moscow banks. And they see -- she believes -- she wants out of Europe. She wants to scale back some of the sanctions against Russia when it comes to annexation of Crimea, and she wants closer ties with Moscow. Hence why some people are worried and some people are pointing the fingers directly at Moscow. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: Isa Soares, thank you so much in northern France.

Straight ahead, as the U.S. Justice Department investigates Rupert Murdoch's FOX News, the network chairman's cozy relationship with President Donald Trump, that's in the focus. Will those close ties become a liability? Details next.


[14:13:46] WHITFIELD: The FCC is reviewing a string of anti-Trump comments made by late show host Stephen Colbert that shocked viewers and led to the hash-tag "fire Colbert" on Twitter. Listen.



STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Sir, you attract more skinheads than free Rogaine. You have more people marching against you than cancer. You talk like a sign language gorilla who got hit in the head. In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's --

(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: So the FCC chairman said his agency is investigating this complaint just as it does any other. There's no word yet on whether any action will be taken.

The president of the United States and the media mogul -- Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch have been friends for decades. Murdoch even introduced the president at a gala during the Australian prime minister's visit just this week. But as the Justice Department investigates FOX News over its handling of sexual harassment settlements, many are questioning that close relationship between the men. CNN's Brian Stelter reports.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Fred. It is not normal for the head of a news network to speak with the president of the United States almost every day, but Rupert Murdoch is no normal boss.

[14:15:03] Of course, the conservative billionaire owns many media properties from FOX News to "The Wall Street Journal," and it's his cozy relationship with P Trump that is now raising eyebrows.


RUPERT MURDOCH, CHAIRMAN, 21ST CENTURY FOX NEWS: The commander-in- chief and the president of the United States, my friend, Donald J. Trump.


STELTER: President Trump being introduced by 21st century FOX Chairman Rupert Murdoch on Thursday. Trump echoing those warm words.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you to my very good friend, Rupert Murdoch.

STELTER: The president also touting his past financial contributions to one of Murdoch's pet causes, the American Australian Association.

TRUMP: For years through Rupert, every year he would send me this letter, could you please give money. I'd say what do I have to do with that, Rupert? And I JUST keep sending him money and money. And now I realize that was money well spent, that's right. Right, Rupert?

STELTER: It's a line that might have gotten a laugh, but it's a relationship that's raising questions about possible conflicts. The U.S. Justice Department, which President Trump oversees, is investigating the Murdoch-owned FOX News, looking into settlement payments stemming from harassment complaints about former FOX News boss Roger Ailes. Could the close relationship between Trump and Murdoch stymie the pursuit of justice? The president loves FOX News. It's his favorite network, and he's a frequent guest.


TRUMP: It was great. STELTER: Murdoch's papers, like "The New York Post," helped to boost

Trump to celebrity status in the 1980s. Much later FOX's opinion shows helped to lay the seeds for Trump's election wins. Maggie Haberman of the "New York Times" says Trump and Murdoch now speak almost every day, even as the Justice Department investigates Murdoch's profit-making FOX News machine.

Thursday's high profile Trump/Murdoch meeting calling to mind another eyebrow raising meeting that Trump criticized heavily on the campaign trail. He blasted former president Bill Clinton's meeting with then Attorney General Loretta Lynch as the DOJ was investigating Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

TRUMP: So she met with him for 45 minutes in the back of an airline on the tarmac in Arizona. I think it's disgraceful. I think it's a disgrace.

STELTER: But now that Trump is president, it's his relationships that are raising questions.


STELTER: Now, this ongoing federal investigation of FOX News involves subpoenas and grand jury testimony and allegations of wrongdoing. The company says it is fully cooperating with the authorities, and no one knows what the outcome will be. In the meantime, Fred, this relationship between Rupert Murdoch and President Trump, it is one of the most mysterious relationships in all of media. Fred?

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Brian Stelter.

And President Trump is no stranger when it comes to being in the headlines, but when it comes to a line of questioning that he doesn't agree with and doesn't want to answer, well, sometimes he finds it easier to walk out. Here's CNN Jeanne Moos.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You can have your own opinions.

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What really made it more than enough.

TRUMP: That's enough.

MOOS: Was the dismissive wave, interview over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I want to know your opinion? You're the president of the United States.

TRUMP: It's enough. Thank you. Thank you very much.

MOOS: CBS's John Dickerson was thank you-ed right out the door. And 27 years earlier it was Donald Trump who walked out after tough questions from CNN about the financial health of his casinos.

TRUMP: Back to the negative.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back to the negative.

TRUMP: You know what, do this interview with somebody else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We talked about this yesterday on the phone.

TRUMP: Do the interview with somebody else, really. You don't need this. Do it with somebody else.

MOOS: Instead of "thank you," it was "good luck."

TRUMP: I think it's very unfair. Good luck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry you feel that way.

MOOS: Actually, Trump's walkouts are rare when you consider how many hundreds, even thousands of interviews he's done over the years. He's never come close to terminating me, though as a presidential candidate Trump walked off on two Ohio TV reporters in a single day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And 19 days out from the election you've been labeled a racist, you've been called a sexist.

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you respond to that?

TRUMP: I am the least racist person you've ever met.

MOOS: This after a woman came out accusing Trump of touching her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know the woman came out about you groped her, can you talk about allegations of that?

TRUMP: I know nothing about that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About the open allegations?

TRUMP: I don't know about that.

MOOS: Trump clearly knew nothing about fake rapper Ali G. when he sat down with Sacha Baron Cohen's character who asked him to invest in --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These ice cream gloves.

MOOS: Trump declined the request, did it without taking off the gloves.

TRUMP: Good luck, folks, it's been nice to see you. You take care of yourself, OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is you going to be in on that?

TRUMP: Well, it sounds like an interesting --

[14:20:00] MOOS: Trump tends to be harder on the microphone.

TRUMP: Do it with somebody else and have a good time.

MOOS: Than the interviewer.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --

TRUMP: That's enough.

MOOS: New York.


WHITFIELD: Up next, it's Derby Day in Kentucky. Hats are on, mint juleps are out as people get ready for the most exciting two minutes in racing. We're live from Churchill Downs next.


WHITFIELD: We're just hours away now from the most exciting two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby. Coy Wire is at Churchill Downs with a preview where it's all about the hats, there you go, the horses and the juleps. Give us a preview, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, I had to go find my hat because you asked about it the last time we spoke, so here it is.

Who's going to be the favorite today? That's a big question surrounding the derby. One of the favorites is a horse named classic empire. There were once very high hopes for last year's two year old champ but he had foot and back injuries. He refused to train for a while, too, Fred, but now he's back. He won his last race out, and the odds are currently eight to one for him to win the Derby.

[14:25:03] Just a bit ago I had the privilege to go into the locker room of the jockeys, and I spoke with Classic Empire's jockey, Julien Leparoux. He was showing CNN some love. Julian has been voted best jockey in the sport twice in his career but he's never won a Triple Crown race, never won the big one. So I wanted to know how he's feeling go into this and what a first ever Derby win would mean for him.


JULIEN LEPAROUX, CLASSIC EMPIRE JOCKEY: I've been very lucky during my career so far to win a lot of big races, but never won a derby yet. So that's my number one goal, and definitely be on top of any win I have so far.


WIRE: Now, a win here would mean a lot to Julien's entire family. He met his wife Shea because of racing. She's the daughter of a well- known trainer, Fred. So it would be a great victory for her and their son as well. WHITFIELD: So much excitement leading up to the big two minutes of

excitement. Coy Wire, thank you so much, appreciate it, looking very dapper there.

That's going to do it for me. Thanks so much for hanging out with me today, this Saturday. Straight ahead, Dr. Sanjay Gupta's "Vital Signs." I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We'll be right back.