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Senate Russia Election Hack Hearing; U.S. Appeals Court Hears Trump Travel Ban; President Obama Defends Obamacare; Senators Talk Of Starting Over On Health; Macron Vows To Unite France At Victory Rally. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired May 8, 2017 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And in France, political outsider Emmanuel Macron set to take the presidency in a full-throated rejection of far-right nationalism. Welcome back to EARLY START, I'm Christine Romans.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Dave Briggs. Imagine that -- the United States and France both led by political --

ROMANS: Novices.

BRIGGS: -- novices.

ROMANS: That's right, with different worldviews, though.

BRIGGS: Dramatically different worldviews. That may be the only thing they have in common. But first, the investigation into Russian meddling in the election is back in the spotlight today with long- awaited testimony from a key witness. A Senate Judiciary Committee hears this afternoon from former acting attorney general Sally Yates and former director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

ROMANS: Yates is set to contradict the White House story about the firing of then-national security adviser Michael Flynn. Sources telling us she'll tell the panel she warned the White House forcefully about then-national security adviser Flynn three weeks before he was fired. But there may be limits to how much Yates can reveal in this public hearing because much of the information is classified.

BRIGGS: Meanwhile, President Trump's travel ban goes before a federal appeals court today. The administration challenging a judge's ruling from March that blocked the president's travel ban -- the second version of that ban that barred visitors from six majority-Muslim countries. The Maryland federal judge relied on candidate Trump's own statements from the campaign to find anti-Muslim bias.

Let's bring in CNN justice reporter Laura Jarrett, live for us in our Washington bureau. Great to see you, Laura. What should we expect at today's hearing?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Good morning, Dave. So the crux of the issue in this case is likely going to come down to whether this federal appeals court agrees that the Maryland judge got the law right and that Trump's statements from the campaign matter in deciding whether the executive order was fueled by some sort of impermissiblediscriminatory purpose.

Now, of course, the Justice Department says look, immigration decisions like this fall squarely within the president's authority. The administration made a bunch of changes to that second executive order to address the judicial concerns last time around and what he said about Muslims during the campaign simply shouldn't matter because he wasn't president yet, Dave.

BRIGGS: Laura, the administration said early on it was urgent to get this travel ban enacted but here we are months later still held up in court. How does that impact the government's argument?

JARRETT: Yes. Early on, remember those tweets from the president about bad dudes rushing in the country and this urgent need for the travel ban? But the reality is that this executive order, the revised one, really never got off the ground because it was blocked by federal courts almost immediately. So from a legal standpoint, I wouldn't expect the judges to latch on to that since it was because of a court order that they couldn't do anything further, but the plaintiffs could certainly bring it up to show that this order wasn't genuinely about national security concerns and it was more about politics.

BRIGGS: All right. And now, lastly, the location being held in Virginia but it was a Virginia judge that sided with the White House on the travel ban. Is this a coincidence?

JARRETT: Yes. It's a bit curious that the one federal judge that actually sided with the Trump administration and refused to halt the ban sits in Virginia but that decision wasn't appealed and so the only case in front of the Fourth Circuit today is the challenge from the judge's ruling out of Maryland, Dave.

BRIGGS: All right. Laura Jarrett live in Washington. Great to have you this morning.

JARRETT: Thanks.

BRIGGS: Meanwhile, some new pushback on efforts to repeal Obamacare from President Obama, himself, in Boston to receive the John F. Kenney Profile in Courage Award. The former president urged members of Congress to have courage as well.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There was a reason why health care reform had not been accomplished before -- it was hard. And it is my fervent hope and the hope of millions that regardless of party such courage is still possible. That today's members of Congress, regardless of party, are willing to look at the facts and speak the truth even when it contradicts party positions.


ROMANS: This morning it's hard to find much excitement in the Senate about the health care bill sent over by the House last week. One key Republican vote, Maine moderate Susan Collins -- she says the Senate will start over.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: The House bill is not going to come before us. The Senate is starting from scratch. We're going to draft our own bills. I think we will do so and that we will come up with a whole new fresh approach that solves the legitimate flubs that do exist with the ACA. I would like to see us put together a bipartisan group to solve this problem.


[05:35:00] BRIGGS: We'll see about that. Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price defending the House bill. On CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," Price rejected the Congressional Budget Office estimate of huge cuts to Medicaid, claiming spending will actually increase. And, he says states will have more flexibility to care for Medicaid patients in a "better way."

ROMANS: House members, after voting for repeal, are now back home in their districts. Some already facing angry town halls, like Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador riling up constituents with this surprising comment.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are mandating people on Medicaid accept dying. You are making a mandate --

REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R), IDAHO: No one wants anybody to die. You know that line is so indefensible. Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care. (Booing)


ROMANS: Wow. I think that's a taste of what you're going to be hearing in some of these town halls, you know, from people who are upset one way or the other about health care reform.

BRIGGS: But "nobody dies for lack of access to health care." Yes, we'll likely see and hear that again.

ROMANS: Let's bring in political economist Greg Valliere, a chief strategist at Horizon Investments in Washington. Good morning. You heard that town hall. This -- I mean, some of these Congressmembers had to be pretty concerned about how this health care reform rolls out from here.

GREG VALLIERE, CHIEF STRATEGIST, HORIZON INVESTMENTS: This is really looking like deja vu seven or eight years ago where a similar protest erupted on the other side. So as we said in the previous segment, I do think both Houses will have a bill. We've already got one in the House. The Senate -- it may take many weeks -- will get its own bill. The problem will be to get those two versions to agree and I think the differences will be so great, odds are below 50 percent that we will get a replacement to Obamacare. BRIGGS: What particular issue do you think is so difficult to reconcile between the House and the Senate visions for health care in this country?

VALLIERE: Well, the bumper sticker one is preexisting conditions.


VALLIERE: I mean, that really angers a lot of people. The other one that's really affected a lot of moderate Republicans -- people like Rob Portman of Ohio -- is Medicaid reductions. That's an emotional issue that also is going to make it very tough to reconcile these two bills.

ROMANS: Well, now you've got people looking into the reductions in spending for opioid treatment and the like, and concerns about how that could resonate in some of these town halls.

VALLIERE: Yes. I was blown away when I saw it. It's a leak -- as Priebus said yesterday, it's just a leak -- but they're talking about dramatic cuts in drug treatment. This is still another example of a Trump proposal to slash spending that will never get through Congress.

BRIGGS: All right. I want to ask you about what's on the front page of every national paper here in the United States and that, of course, the French elections.

ROMANS: Oh, yes.

BRIGGS: Emmanuel Macron, easy win, 66 percent. Marine Le Pen, although a high for the national front party, still blown out in these elections. It means the E.U. stays together. What does it mean for the United States and the economy -- the global economy, really, this morning?

VALLIERE: Well, I think it's a good story. I mean, the fact that the euro is not going to fall apart is positive. We saw last Friday a really strong unemployment number in the U.S. We see a lot of new spending in the U.S. so I'm of the belief that interest rates are going to head higher. I think for stocks and the overall economy this news is quite good, but as Christine and I often talk about, the better the news gets, the higher interest rates go.

ROMANS: Right.

VALLIERE: That's the -- that's the ironic twist.

BRIGGS: Right.

ROMANS: I saw the euro go to, you know, a six-month high overnight but I'm not quite sure how American markets are going to react today because, you know, what it could mean -- what's happening domestically here and those higher interest rates that you're talking about. What's your guess for where markets go from here, Greg?

VALLIERE: I think the path of least resistance is higher. I've said for quite a while only two things could derail this market. One would be a clear sign that tax reform is dead -- I don't see that. Number two would be a really serious geopolitical issue and overnight the geopolitical outlook got better.

BRIGGS: Why do you say tax reform is dead?

VALLIERE: No, no, I don't. I'd say you would have to see that --


VALLIERE: -- for the markets to sell off. I think as long as there's still hope we'll get tax reform, and I think we do next year, the markets will be happy with that story.

ROMANS: You have to be so careful because the Democrats are going to try to -- I don't know, tell this narrative, right? To spin this narrative that you've got health care reform that's really tax cuts for the rich. Warren Buffett, this weekend, said --


ROMANS: -- health care reform as it stands right now is a big tax cut for the rich. And then you're going to give tax cuts to businesses and tax cuts on money that's sitting overseas, maybe even bigger than the tax cuts for the -- for the middle class. I mean, that's how the Democrats are really going to try to spin this, aren't they?

VALLIERE: Oh, absolutely. I think the difference is while the Republicans are pretty fractured, as we saw on health reform, I think on taxes -- while there might be some disagreements on a border tax, things like that, I think most Republicans agree with the premise that we do need fundamental reform.

BRIGGS: But again, Republicans assert, and they did on all the Sunday shows, that this health care bill --


BRIGGS: -- is about lower premiums and they will deliver them for the American people. That this is patient-centered health care. Which argument wins?

[05:40:00] ROMANS: Yes, I know. Let's listen to Tom Price on that.


ROMANS: He was talking about Medicaid cuts and this is what he told Jake Tapper. He was on our show.


JAKE TAPPER, HOST, CNN "STATE OF THE UNION": Are you actually saying that $880 billion in cuts, according to the CBO -- however you want to talk about that not being a cut -- the debt is actually not going to result in millions of Americans not getting Medicaid? TOM PRICE, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Absolutely not, and we believe strongly that the Medicaid population will be cared for in a better way under our program because it will be more responsive to them.



VALLIERE: Well, I've got to say this. Whichever party owns the issue of health care regrets it. It's an -- it's an albatross for the party in power. We've seen it for decades now. Just wait until the Congressional Budget Office score comes out --


VALLIERE: -- in the next two or three weeks. It's going to make this bill even less popular.

ROMANS: And Warren Buffett, this weekend, called health care costs a tapeworm for American economic competitiveness.

VALLIERE: That's right, yes.

BRIGGS: Graphic.

ROMANS: I just thought that really says it --


ROMANS: -- and, you know, he says this doesn't (INAUDIBLE) success.

BRIGGS: And Republicans say they won't move until they get that CBO score, to your point. Greg Valliere, great to have you, sir.

VALLIERE: You bet, yes.

ROMANS: Happy Monday, Greg.

BRIGGS: All right. Two elections and a hack attack not enough to stop Emmanuel Macron from becoming the next president of France. Reaction and what it means for France's role on the world stage and the spread of populism, next.


[05:45:35] ROMANS: The health care act repeal threatens one of the best sources of jobs growth in the U.S. -- health care. Look no further than the latest jobs report. Thirty-seven thousand jobs were added in April, alone. In fact, the health care sector has grown by more than 1.1 million jobs since the Obamacare exchanges opened in 2014. That's as many new jobs as in factories and construction sites combined during the same period.

The health care hiring trend started years before Obamacare but the 2010 bill sped up spending. In fact, the sector is adding jobs at three times the rate of the rest of the economy and hospitals are the largest private sector employers in many cities. They've been growing quite briskly because they have all of these new paying customers.

BRIGGS: Right.

ROMANS: People who have health insurance. Unlike retail, another growing industry, these are good-paying jobs. The average employee in health care earns about $28 an hour or $56,000 per year. The jobs are also mostly unionized and difficult to outsource in many cases. That's why experts worry that Republican plans to replace Obamacare will put a break on job growth or even lead to employment cuts.

And one of the world's richest men thinks rising health care costs won't just hurt workers but businesses as well. Speaking to investors Saturday, Warren Buffett said that the new bill's tax cuts would be a boon to the super rich like him. It would not help everyday Americans. And he says -- Warren Buffett says health care, not taxes, is the biggest threat to business growth.


WARREN BUFFETT, CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: Medical costs are the tapeworm of economic -- American economic competitiveness.


ROMANS: He was speaking, of course, to the annual -- to the -- you know, the annual convention of all of his investors and did -- you know, a tapeworm of American competitiveness, saying that health care costs are a bigger threat than tax cuts. When you talk to business leaders they want tax cuts -- they really want tax cuts. But he says health care costs are the big problem.

BRIGGS: Well, John Kasich was talking with Jake Tapper Sunday, saying he wishes part of the health care reform would give the government leverage against the pharmaceutical industry --


BRIGGS: -- to try to drive down --


BRIGGS: -- the price of pharmaceuticals. We rarely, if ever, hear about that. All right, Emmanuel Macron vowing to unite France after a decisive victory in the presidential election. The 39-year-old Macron crushing his right-wing rival Marine Le Pen with 66 percent of the vote and he did it without a traditional party affiliation, the first to do so in 60 years.

Let's go live to Paris and bring in CNN's Melissa Bell. Melissa, the French president-elect has no experience governing, takes over a deeply-divided country. Those two things sound very familiar. Of course, that may be where the similarities end between Macron and Trump. Good morning to you. MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in a sense, Dave, you're right to draw the parallel because what we've witnessed here in France over the course of this extraordinary election campaign is almost a continuation of the ideas that began being fought over during the American presidential race. The idea of whether one should have more globalization, more continuity with what went before or rather, a retreat -- a populous retreat behind one's borders.

And, Emmanuel Macron's victory really provides an answer to the kind of populous wave that we've seen with the Brexit victory in the United Kingdom, with Donald Trump's victory in the United States, by transcending left and right and the old party divisions in a sense. He is the first one to have provided a progressive kind of answer to that need for a change, rather than a populous one. And really, that populous wave came to an end last night here in France.

And that is also why, Dave, there is so much now on the shoulders of this man who's just made his -- carried out his first official engagement here as president-elect behind me at the Arc de Triomphe. It isn't just that he's going to have to assemble France together. You mentioned the euro and its fortunes, its historic -- its six-month high that it's reached as a result of Emmanuel Macron's victory.

He, as a pro-European, is now going to have to go ahead, gather Europe around him, reform it so that it can be a credible force in the world once again, and the represent globally in a world that has changed a great deal, that other face of what the world can be. Not one dominated or led by national interests but one based on common values. And that is a picture, that is an image, that is a message he's going to have to carry and hold up to presidents like Donald Trump, like Prime Minister Theresa May, like Vladimir Putin. There is an awful lot resting on the shoulders of this entirely untested French politician.

[05:50:00] BRIGGS: There is, indeed, and Donald Trump did tweet his congratulations to Macron. Will he call him after calling Recep Erdogan? One certainly would expect that. Melissa Bell, thank you so much. It is such a fascinating story.

ROMANS: It is. It really is.

BRIGGS: This young man -- a 64-year-old wife who has become a bit of an icon there -- his former teacher. We could talk about it for hours.

ROMANS: I know. The personal story is fascinating.


ROMANS: Really fascinating and tres Francais. America's most powerful economist has a solution for slow growth. I'll tell you what it is, next.


BRIGGS: On the eve of South Korea's presidential election, a surprise message from North Korea and state media calling for an end to the confrontation between North and South. This follows news that a fourth American is now being detained by Pyongyang. CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson has the latest from Seoul. He's live for us. Ivan, what do we know about this fourth American detained in Pyongyang?

[05:55:07] IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He is an academic -- a U.S. citizen who was teaching at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, and he's now the second American professor in just over two weeks who had been teaching there who's been detained by the North Koreans on suspicion of what they described as crimes against -- that are hostile against the North Korean regime.

The situation very serious for these American citizens because, of course, we've got a period of confrontation between Pyongyang and Washington over North Korea's nuclear program. Also, no formal diplomatic relations between the two governments, so the U.S. has to work through intermediaries to try to negotiate on these Americans' behalf. And based on the other two American citizens that we know are in North Korea's detention, both of them detained in 2015 and 2016 have been sentenced to 10 and 15 years of hard labor. So again, a very serious and precarious situation for these two Americans who've just been picked up in the last less than three weeks, Dave.

BRIGGS: All right, indeed. Also, we mentioned the olive branch of sorts from North Korean state media. What do you make of the timing of this announcement?

WATSON: It's on the eve of the election here and you can see police here. This is routine security in downtown Seoul because there are last-minute election campaigns from rival candidates taking place on the streets nearby me. Now, it's a crowded field -- some 13 candidates running for office -- but the frontrunner by a wide margin, according to the polls, is a liberal candidate known as Moon Jae-in. If he wins it would mark an end to a decade of conservative presidential rule of South Korea. Why is that a big deal? Conservatives traditionally take a hardline position against North Korea so Pyongyang would like to see a liberal who might want to take a more diplomatic approach to the northern neighbor here on the other size of the DMZ -- Dave.

BRIGGS: It's an aim to head towards diplomacy with Kim Jong-Un. Ivan Watson, thank you.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Money Stream this Monday morning for you. Global markets mixed after that French election. U.S. futures down after hitting a record high overnight. Investors really like the results but, you know, the reaction is muted because markets rose last week in anticipation of Macron's victory. Where it's not muted is the euro. A six-month high against the dollar overnight.

The U.S. economy would be five percent bigger if as many women worked full-time as men. That's according to Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen. Women's participation in the labor market is almost 15 percent lower than men and Yellen said in a speech Friday that better policies can break down the barriers women face to take on full-time careers or stay in them. Two examples, expanded parental leave and more affordable child care. Rare to hear a Fed chief come out so forcefully on that subject.

Actress Maggie Siff stars in Showtime's "Billions." Her character, a powerful woman in a fictional hedge fund world where, for her character at least, there is no glass ceiling. And like many women in real life, she tells me the arc of work and motherhood overlap.


MAGGIE SIFF, ACTRESS, SHOWTIME "BILLIONS": I talk about, like, privilege. I had just come off of a T.V. show that I'd been on for six years, "Sons of Anarchy," and so I was able to grant myself time, you know. I was like I'd put in a lot of time, I earned some money, I saved money, I have some time. I don't have to go back to work right away. And that just felt like, you know, the gift. And then, I was like -- and I -- and then once I had my child I was like I don't want to go back to work and I was just waiting for something that made me feel like oh, right, you know. It made me feel that part of myself again.


ROMANS: The full interview is online. Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now.


SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: There are so many questions here as to who knew what when.

BRIGGS: The investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election running into new challenges.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll continue to go through documents, we'll continue to go through witnesses. This will take several months.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From Donald Trump, we have seen someone who continues to try and obstruct an investigation.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We feel very confident that as all of this plays out it will land on the right side of where we are.

OBAMA: It does require some courage to champion the vulnerable, the sick, and the infirmed.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: We're proud of this. We're proud of this effort. It's us keeping our promises.

OBAMA: Courage means not simply doing what is politically expedient, but doing what they believe deep in their hearts is right.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Monday, May 8th, 6:00 here in New York.

And up first, after months of delays, Sally Yates, the woman who was attorney general for only 10 days, will finally testify today before a Senate hearing about Russia's attempt to interfere in the U.S. election and what she told the Trump White House about Michael Flynn.