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New Report Indicates CIA has Proof of Russian Attempt to Interfere in 2016 Presidential Election; Interview with Kellyanne Conway; Trump Admits He doesn't have Tapes of Comey Talks; Four Republicans Oppose Senate Health Care Bill; Interview with Sen. Bill Cassidy. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired June 23, 2017 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] STEVE BESHEAR, (D) FORMER KENTUCKY GOVERNOR: -- about what's coming next.


BESHEAR: So create that certainty and we can move on with this.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Governor Steve Beshear, thank you very much for giving us your take on this new health care bill, great to see you.

BESHEAR: You're welcome.

CAMEROTA: Following a lot of news, including a live interview with President Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway. So let's get right to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

CAMEROTA: And good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. Chris is off this Friday. David Gregory joins me. Great to have you here. Busy Friday.

GREGORY: Very busy for Friday.

CAMEROTA: We do start with some breaking news. There is a baombshell report in "The Washington Post" this morning providing the most definitive proof yet that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the hacks on the U.S. election. The CIA capturing Putin's instructions to hurt Hillary Clinton and try to help Donald Trump win.

GREGORY: The "Post" also outlines in great detail why President Obama wrestled with just how to punish the Kremlin and his concerns about the impact the already contentious 2016 election would have, what impact that his potential involvement would have on the outcome of the race. Joining us now is one of the journalists that broke the story, "Washington Post" reporter Adam Entous. Adam, welcome back. Let's drill down on one of the really important aspects of this piece. Definitive proof according to your reporting that Russian President Putin wanted to influence the election, wanted to help Trump, wanted to hurt Hillary Clinton. Tell us more about how you know it. ADAM ENTOUS, STAFF WRITER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Yes. So the CIA

obtained from what it considers to be one of the most reliable sources of information, basically they captured the order itself from Putin to his, to his, you know, to his government to carry out this operation.

This is information that was so sensitive that the -- that the CIA had it couriered over to the White House so that Obama and his top advisers would be able to look at the intelligence, which at that point was what we considered to be largely raw. It had yet to the processed it was so newly obtained. And that led to a series of secretive meetings at the White House in the Situation Room that excluded most of the top members of the president's cabinet because they were so worried about leaks. And those deliberations continued basically until -- until after the election, which resulted in the sanctions which were imposed in December.

CAMEROTA: Now, this was weeks, or months, before the election. Why didn't President Obama do something more aggressive once he got this information?

ENTOUS: Yes. Basically Obama prioritized deterrence. He wanted to prevent the Russians from going to the next step, which might be actually trying to tamper with voter rolls and with voting machines on or before Election Day. So his first priority was basically to not have Russia go that far. So if they retaliated before the election, the fear is that Putin would go to the next step to actually interfere in the vote itself. So that was the number one priority for him.

And then after the election, the plan was then to go with the retaliation. And as we go into detail in the report, one of the undisclosed responses was basically finding a covert operation, which is still underway as we speak, after Obama left office, to basically plant little time bombs, if you will, in the cyber infrastructure in Russia to be able to retaliate in the future.

GREGORY: But was he hedging? Was the president hedging, counting on the fact that in his mind Hillary Clinton would be president and, therefore, she could respond? Because he'll face criticism based on this reporting that they identified an action, an attack, and failed to retaliate.

ENTOUS: I think it would be fair to say he was sort of, if you will, kind of a little bit paralyzed by concerns that no matter what he did, it would make matters worse. If he did something too soon, then it would feed into the narrative that Trump -- that then candidate Trump was basically saying, that this election was fixed against him. So if he did anything, no matter what it was, he was concerned. It would potentially be used by Trump to say that this election was somehow illegitimate and designed, those actions by Obama, would be designed to help Hillary Clinton win the election. So that was one of the concerns.

CAMEROTA: Adam, I know that you're being very circumspect because all of this is such sensitive information, including the sources and methods and you don't want to reveal too much, but why are you revealing this covert operation of these cyber time bombs to go off in Russia, if that's still covert?

ENTOUS: Obviously, you know, intelligence reporters like myself and those at CNN are always trying to find out what is going on on the covert side of the ledger. When it came to discussing the nature of the sourcing that the CIA had with regard to Putin's instruction, that is very sensitive and potentially, you know, could affect the ability of the U.S. government to continue to get that information.

[08:05:11] And we discussed with intelligence officials just, not disclosing certain pieces of information about that intelligence in order to protect those sources and methods. When it comes toed finding, the covert finding that was signed, we don't think after discussing that with intelligence officials, we don't see that there are any lives at risk basically by us disclosing there's this operation that's still under way to this day to basically plant these potential cyber bombs, if you will, in their networks.

CAMEROTA: OK. Very good to know.


CAMEROTA: Adam Entous, thank you very much for sharing all of your information with us. We appreciate it.

ENTOUS: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Joining us now, we want to get to the counselor to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway. Good morning, Kellyanne.


CAMEROTA: Thanks so much for being with us. This is a busy day.

CONWAY: My pleasure.

CAMEROTA: As it always is, lots of breaking news. I want to ask you about Adam Entous's reporting that he just shared from "The Washington Post" that this goes the furthest we've seen to connecting President Putin of Russia to actually giving the directive to interfere in the U.S. election and to try to hurt Hillary Clinton. What's the White House's response to this?

CONWAY: Well, the president has said previously, and we've got confirmation now from Jeh Johnson, from Adam Schiff, from Dan Coats, from Jim Comey, from Mike Rogers, that there's no evidence of collusion, number one. And number two, that this doesn't have an impact on the electoral result. And I think it's very important to show no nexus has been proven between what Russia or any other foreign government tried to do and the actual election result. The only person making that case prominently is Hillary Clinton. And you have everything saying that there is no nexus, that not a single vote changed, and we're going to stand by that. We know Donald Trump won fairly and squarely, 306 electoral votes, and it had nothing to do with interference.

CAMEROTA: We know that as well. But what about this new reporting that there are three dozen high-level officials that say they can connect President Putin with giving instructions to hack the DNC computers and to plant fake stories? What is the current White House doing about this?

CONWAY: Well, Alisyn, the president has said previously, and he stands by that, particularly as president-elect, that he would be concerned about anybody interfering in our democracy. We saw a lot of people interfering with our democracy by saying he couldn't win here at home.

But I really am struck by former homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson's testimony earlier this week which you covered extensively where he seemed very frustrated the DNC refused the help of the DHS because DHS knew that the DNC was vulnerable. The RNC I'm sure was vulnerable but had those safeguards and protections in place and had a different result. And so it's very clear that even the Obama administration, there was concern. There were actions trying to be taken. But the question for the DNC is, why were you so arrogant in not letting the homeland security of your own administration help you?

CAMEROTA: That's fine. But my question for you is, what is the White House, what is President Trump now doing from preventing Russia from doing this again?

CONWAY: This report is new and we'll discuss it with him later. But he's been very clear on the record he believes in any tie of numbers of measures to make sure that democracy flourishes and that our voter integrity intact.

CAMEROTA: Such as -- I mean, against Russia what is he doing specifically to try to stop this?

CONWAY: Alisyn, I realize that we just like to say the word "Russia, Russia" to mislead the voters. And I know that CNN is aiding and abating this nonsense as well. --

CAMEROTA: Kellyanne --

CONWAY: You've asked me the same question three times now --

CAMEROTA: You're not answering it, Kellyanne.

CONWAY: Yes I am.

CAMEROTA: And what's he doing?

CONWAY: He has said, he has said very clearly that he wants the voter integrity and the ballot integrity to be protected.

CAMEROTA: And what action is he taking?

CONWAY: -- any type of interference -- at this very moment, at this very second?

CAMEROTA: Yes. CONWAY: Oh, yes, because we have nothing to say about Russian

collusion affecting the electoral outcome. Those rabbit holes did not bear fruit.

CAMEROTA: Kellyanne, I don't understand what you're trying to do talking about collusion.

CONWAY: I've answered the question four times.

CAMEROTA: What action is the White House doing to stop Russian interference in elections?

CONWAY: The White House, the president has met with his national security team many times. He has an initiative on a commission on voter integrity, and he himself has used the power of the bully pulpit to express his resistance towards any type of outside interference. So again, I've answered the question several times in an ongoing process. You're dealing with a very new report. So we will look at that as well as we do all --

CAMEROTA: Yes, fair enough. This is a new report. But the idea Russia interfered has been obviously around since now we know before the election.

CONWAY: Yes. Jeh Johnson seemed very frustrated with his own DNC about it. I agree with you.

[08:10:00] CAMEROTA: And in fact said there was great concern that if they did anything openly that they would challenge the integrity of the election process itself. And, look, you've heard from this new report that President Obama was afraid that -- that Vladimir Putin would up the ante, would ratchet it up. But I understand. You haven't read the report yet. That's fine this morning. But, still, this has been going on for months. So the president talking about it, do you think that he's done enough to sending a signal to Russia to stop this?

CONWAY: I think the president has been very clear on how he feels about this issue and many others. Do you know, Alisyn, he also has a full roster. I know CNN and others don't want to cover it. He just last week opened up a $100 million investment in apprenticeship programs. And 90 percent of people who go through these skills, certification apprentice programs are employed in short order with an average of $60,000 salary. Where is the reporting on that? This week just back here, Secretary Price and I met with Obamacare victims. They're real. They're suffering. They've been left behind out of the Affordable Care Act. If you want the information, I'll provide it you can interview them.

CAMEROTA: I think that, Kellyanne --

CONWAY: The markets love this presidency. There's so much real people impact happening here that doesn't get covered on the altar of Russia.

CAMEROTA: Kellyanne, I think that a lot of people think that Russia trying to interfere in our democracy is a big story.

CONWAY: It is, but there are other stories. And I know we're all capable of covering many of them. You have a 24/7 cable news outlet that certainly can fill lots of are content. I'm giving you great story ideas because we hear from people every day. They want him, and certainly in these special elections, people rejected this Russia obsession because they like the fact there's job creation, regulation is being rolled back, health care is --

CAMEROTA: Yes, we do cover, obviously, the jobs report, Kellyanne. And I know everyone's a producer and everybody has ideas of what CNN should cover. But Kellyanne, I think that --

CONWAY: We're helping.

CONWAY: Thank you -- is that the president has not given a terribly full-throated announcement that he believes that Russia interfered. He says things like, they may have. It may have been China.

CONWAY: Alisyn, so we're just asking, we're having the same conversation through six different semantic differences. That's fine. It's your show. You can ask me what you want. But I will just remind you as politely as I can that this entire conversation was irrelevant to voters in these four special elections. Everybody tried hard as they could to make it something other than job creation, rollback of draconian, byzantine regulations, the unleashing of entrepreneurship, including if these small business owners, and I was one for over 20 years, gets a 15 percent to 20 percent tax bracket. That will be monumentally transformative in our country's economy. This is important things that people want to focus on. Yesterday the Senate released their health care legislation.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I'm glad you're bringing that up. Let's talk about that. I do want to talk about that. Let's move on to health care because you're right. That does affect every person in America and they're very interested in this. During the campaign, the president, then candidate Donald Trump said he would not touch Medicaid and Medicare. The latest CBO score which this new senate bill does not change, says that it actually would cut $800 billion from Medicare. How does the president explain that change?

CONWAY: What he's doing with Medicaid, what the Senate bill is doing with Medicaid, as I read it, is giving more flexibility to governors. And the states will have a choice. They can go for block grants or they can go for the current situation. And that will be a choice that they make based on what they know of their populations in their state.

CAMEROTA: Sure. What about his promise?

CONWAY: No work requirement can be forced, Alisyn, under Medicaid on the elderly, on pregnant, on the poor, on the non-able-bodied.

CAMEROTA: But what about his promise where he promised no money would come out of it?

CONWAY: But remember, you're calling a cut something that is being reorganized over time in a way that allows states more flexibility and still guarantees people the coverage that they are accustomed to.

CAMEROTA: Not really, Kellyanne. If you cut $800 billion out of it, then it doesn't mean the same coverage?

CONWAY: Alisyn, would you concede that the Affordable Care Act has not worked for all Americans, because I think we're forgetting why we're even doing this in the first place. What about the 20 million Americans just last year who opted out of this wonderful thing calmed Obamacare? Six-and-a-half million of them opted to pay the tax and penalty rather than get Obamacare.

CAMEROTA: Everyone knows that it's not perfect. That's true. And I won't fight you on that point. But about that --

CONWAY: It's not affordable, its' not sustainable, and you have insurance companies even this week, Anthem pulled out of Wisconsin and Indiana in most of the markets there.

CAMEROTA: I hear you. It's not perfect, and lots of Democrats say we should work on fixing --

CONWAY: It's not working.

CAMEROTA: -- fixing Obamacare. But what about the president's promise, what about that campaign promise about no cuts to Medicaid and Medicare? Now that's changed.

CONWAY: Which only in Washington would something like this be called a cut where over time there are protections in place for the disabled, for the elderly, for the poor, for the non-working poor, for pregnant women, and it's going to allow states to decide what they need to help those in need --

CAMEROTA: Sure. With less money.

CONWAY: -- in their states.

CAMEROTA: States will get less money.

CONWAY: Not necessarily. It depends. It really depends on the situation.

CAMEROTA: $800 billion cut out of it?

CONWAY: You keep on giving that one statistic without reading the entire bill. I read the bill. I'm not Nancy Pelosi. I decided to read it ahead of time before. And I'm sure the senators are before they vote on it.

CAMEROTA: And so $800 billion is being put into somewhere else?

CONWAY: No, Alisyn. What's going to happen is there are many different funding mechanisms at play here. What governors will do is they will have an opportunity to either get block grants or stick with the current situation. And as you remember, the house bill, late in the game there was an additional -- many billions of dollars infusion of cash to guarantee that very narrow slice of the population who went with 63 days on non-continuous coverage. And also happened to reside in a state where that state will opt out of that type of Medicaid funding.

So there are many different protections. Now, I just don't want everybody scaring people to think they're going to lose their benefits and their coverage about giving a full accounting of everything that this includes.

It includes very generous expansions of help savings accounts funding. Why is that important, because it gives people more control over health care spending. It even allows spells to do something called catch-up investment.

CAMEROTA: Yes. If they have money to put into them.

CONWAY: Well, this is very important. Those are employees and it could be employer-sponsored. You and I get employer sponsored benefits, 175 million Americans essentially do. Other people get government sponsor benefits and we're trying to help those who were left out of it. The plumbers, the hairdresser, the people who made -- the small business owners who need to pull together and assume shared the costs and shared the risks.

CAMEROTA: Understood. And Kellyanne, I appreciate al those points but I do -- I know that you're on a time, a tight time constraint. So I want to get to the next topic. And that is the tapes. The audiotapes that the president admitted yesterday didn't exist. Why did the president, 42 days, ago suggest that there might be audiotapes of his conversations with James Comey?

CONWAY: So the president made clear in his two tweets yesterday and in an interview that was aired early this morning, Alisyn, on Fox News. That he doesn't have tapes. He didn't make tapes, but --

CAMEROTA: But why did he suggest 42 days ago that he did?

CONAWAY: He left open the possibility that they may exist. There's so much surveillance and I'm asking in leaking as, you know, going on. There have been conversations he had early on in his administration with heads of state that were leaked by, who knows. I guess intelligence officials but we don't know for sure everybody should be concerned.

CAMEROTA: So the President thinks that he has competitions in the White House when he's having a one-on-one conversation with somebody that somebody might be taping that in the White House, he thinks?

CONWAY: Well, he is just left open the possibility base on his own words and based on what's happened in the past. But on the issue of James Comey, did he really need that extra push and incentive to be truthful?

What all we know from Comey's testimony is that he is a leaker. Is that he specifically gave an individual, a private citizen, information, his own memo, reporting of a private conversation he had with the president of the United States as FBI director.


CONWAY: And specifically leaked it to a friend with the expectation that it would trigger a special counsel.

CAMEROTA: Because of the president's tweets. It was the President's tweets that set this ball in motion. Why did the president. --

CONWAY: We don't know why it was. I don't know why James Comey testified untruthfully the week before that?

CAMEROTA: He said it was the tweet that so upset him. The idea that the president suggested that there were audiotapes. But, Kellyanne, my question is why didn't the president clear this up 41 days ago?

CONWAY: He cleared it up in due course. So I want to go back when you just said --

CAMEROTA: But why?

CONWAY: I think it's very important we should just send it on the FBI director.

CAMEROTA: Kellyanne, hold on. Just answer this question and then we can get to your point.

CONWAY: Why was a tweet like truth serum for him? That's very concerning. Is that what you're suggesting?

CAMEROTA: OK. But why did we live this charade for 41 days if there might be tapes or might not?

CONWAY: I didn't know any charade.

CAMEROTA: I mean so if there might be tapes or might not.

CONWAY: We don't need any charade here. We're busy creating jobs and rolling back regulations and stock market and the confidence numbers about it.

CAMEROTA: Answer definitively about whether there were audio tapes.

CONWAY: He answered definitively yesterday that he has not made such tapes. He didn't have such tapes, but there could be.

CAMEROTA: Why didn't he answer it sooner?

CONWAY: Why is he always on your timeline? In other words --

CAMEROTA: Because, Kellyanne, this gets back to exactly what you need talking about, Kellyanne.

CONWAY: Why didn't he tweet about this, why dildn't he say that, why is he always on your timeline? CAMEROTA: You're the person who said why does the media not want to talk about all the other things that we are engaged in? Has he the day after he tweeted that said, ok --

CONWAY: You want to cover the job creation and the regulation?

CAMEROTA: Kellyanne, you don't think that this is eclipsed some of the news cycle?

CONWAY: No I don't. I don't. I think everybody wakes up every morning and makes a choice as to what they're going to cover. And, look, if the media are not always going to acknowledge their responsibility to be fair and complete coverage, at least acknowledge your role.

Alisyn, you've a premiere position to help Americans understand what's going on here. You could be connective tissue with veterans so they know there's a new White House hot line they can access. They know that for the first time in decades, they are looked upon to sustain seamless patient to the department of defends and veterans affairs. The president today is expected to sign the V.A. accountability and whistle-blower protection act.

[08:20:14] I mean there's so much going on here that people need to know about. And we just appreciate and help.

CAMEROTA: I understood. And we actually just create a big important veterans story, which we've been out in front of on CNN. But, Kellyanne, I don't think that you're answering this question.

CONWAY: I have president.

CAMEROTA: That played a cat and mouse game for 41 days about, are there audiotapes or are there not audiotapes. And was that a good use of all of our time?

CONWAY: Well, you choose to spend your time on your show however you wish. He's busy doing many things here.

CAMEROTA: Well, but I think it is -- look --

CONWAY: He host a bilateral meetings --

CAMEROTA: Understood. And we've covered those. But this gets to the different question, are we supposed to take the president seriously when he tweets things?


CAMEROTA: Are those honest tweets?

CONWAY: Yes, of course. And first of all, he uses an entire social media platform to connect directly with the public. He cuts out the middleman and we know that the middleman doesn't always like that. But this is the democratization of information. People get all the information at the same time. But, Alisyn -- CAMEROTA: It's hard for us to know when to take him seriously if that

suggestion or that some people think it was a threat. He better hope that there's not audiotapes. If that wasn't a serious tweet, what do you make of that?

CONWAY: We should always take the president seriously. Just like too many Americans foolishly took seriously President Obama when he said look them in the eye and said if you like your plan, keep your plan, if you like your doctor, keep your doctor. That cost a lot of people, a ton of money, great angst and health care frankly, health coverage if not like.

CAMEROTA: Kellyanne, why are the press briefings not being covered on camera from the White House?

CONWAY: Some are. Some are covered off camera, as they've been in other administrations. I'm all for a full and fair access to the White House. I think that if there are people who want to make a name for themselves, increase their speaking fees by asking the same question 50 different times and never asking about job creation, never asking about how we're tackling the opioid crisis, never asking about what we're doing for veterans and military families and job seekers and creators --

CAMEROTA: So that's what you're worried about? You don't want to talking about --

CONWAY: I'm not worried about anything. I'm not worried about anything with respect to that, because this is a very, very busy, very accessible press shop. All day long, members of CNN and others ask this question. I'm not part of press and com but I just support their efforts. They are asked to provide information, to update information, and you have very hard working men and women in this press shop doing that all day long.

CAMEROTA: Understood. We're just used to it being on camera.

CONWAY: The press briefings don't need to be on camera to be useful to the public and to be useful to our press corps, Alisyn, why?


CONWAY: Because you'll get the same information. And, by the way, I find the richest points of the entire press briefings that Sean or Sarah or others do to be at the very beginning. When they are literally reading what the president and the cabinet secretaries are doing, the vice president that particular day it gets such falsity of coverage compared to the Q and A. So --

CAMEROTA: I think that one of the things is that when the press secretaries can't answer the questions about what the president's thinking or if he believes that Russia interfered, or what he's thinking about the tweets. When they say I haven't talked to the president about this, that is what is confusing. And frankly, there is accountability that then shows up to the American people on camera and it's helpful to hear what the press secretaries can and can't answer.

CONWAY: Well, they're being truthful when they say that. Perhaps they haven't had a specific conversation with the president that day on that issue. But I just answered your question. The president did say, I believe it's president-elect in January, when he read the report that's very concerning, and that he thinks other people hacked this country as well. Try to hack this country, hack into our system as well.

And that he, of course, I told you probably six different ways as best I could at the beginning of this conversation that the president himself has said he wants integrity of the ballot box, and -- but we also know. We just don't want to confuse the viewers today. Especially those who are detractors and love just to hear the word "Russia" for no good reason with not evidence to prove anything that -- nothing affected the election result.

CAMEROTA: You need not to talk about election today.

CONWAY: There's no effect on the election result. The 70,000 votes that people love to crow about in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, nothing. Nothing to do with Moscow, everything to do with Macomb County, Michigan.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And we would love to hear exactly what the president is doing to make sure that Russia never interferes in our democracy again.

CONWAY: I'll make you a deal. You'll see that over time and we would love more coverage on the opioid crisis, on job creation, on the regulatory rollback on entrepreneurship. How about some fantasy graphics on what the market thinks? How about the home builders --

CAMEROTA: Let's do it. I will make good on that. I'll make good on that right now, Kellyanne. Let's do it right now in our waning seconds, since I know you're being pulled away. What exactly is the president doing to fight opioid addiction?

CONWAY: So we -- several things. Here at the White House, he has put full force in effect. He and the vice president have established the White House in commission on opioid addiction and the drug crisis. It is headed by New Jersey governor Chris Christie. It's a bipartisan commission.

[08:25:09] CAMEROTA: Right. So we have a bipartisan commission. Yes and --

CONWAY: That includes Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who's been a very outspoken recovering addict who fights for mental parity here. We have North Carolina governor, democratic governor.

CAMEROTA: I understand you have an impressive commission. But the reason I ask because this GOP health care new bill actually does nothing to address the opioid.

CONWAY: That's not fair. That is so not fair. CAMEROTA: Trump also because rehabs say that they are very disheartened about what they see in this new bill and that it's not helping them.

CONWAY: Alisyn, it actually helps no one to peddle the false rumor that this health care bill does "nothing" to help, although we -- hold on.

CAMEROTA: So beyond the commission what do you do?

CONWAY: Hold on. Secretary of HHS Tom Price and I have traveled around talking to law enforcement, first responders, faith-based employers, that families who have suffered. The wonderful recovery stories of those who have successful undergone treatment, and he has also given out the financial grants close to half a billion dollars in financial grants to these -- to these different states. Every state received according to their need and their population figures.

There is funding to help combat this, but there has to be a combination of interdiction, of prevention and a treatment and recovery. And you don't hear a lot about treatment and recovery. You never hear the success stories. You could fill up every seat there in Yankee stadium, Alisyn, and that approximates the number of Americans who will succumb overdose this year.

CAMEROTA: We know. Every single person that I know has somebody connected to those struggling.

CONWAY: There is money, there is a tension, there is a multi-cabinet assault on this. It's DOJ, it's HHS, it's D.O.E. So we can educate our youth on this.

I mean, goodness, the opioid addiction has its' a gateway to heroin use, expansion of car fetanyl.

CAMEROTA: Understood.

CONWAY: We're just so happy that we have bipartisan juice behind this. We had a meeting with ten United State senators here recently. Six of them were Democrats and I'm just very, happy to see that.

CAMEROTA: We are happy to hear that. So, Kellyanne, we would love to talk more about this.

CONWAY: Thanks for the platform. I'll be back.

CAMEROTA: And we -- it's good. We would love to have you back to talk more about this. Thanks so much for being here in "New Day".

CONWAY: Thanks, Alisyn. Take care.

CAMEROTA: You, too. David?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN ANCHOR: Turning back now to the debate and battle over health care. Four GOP senators came have come out against the Senate GOP bill. Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana who is also opposition has said that the bill needs to meat Jimmy Kimmel test. He joins us now. Does he do that in your mind?

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R), LOUISIANA: I haven't finished reviewing but I think it has the potential. The challenge is how do your lower --

GREGORY: And remind people what that test is.

CASSIDY: Yes. Jimmy Kimmel's child was born. And as the child came out, they understood that child was going to die unless operated on quickly. So was the way to another hospital and had major surgery first day of life and will have surgeries throughout his life -- health care throughout his life.


CASSIDY: How do you make sure that you have enough coverage for your loved one when he or she is sick? So -- but you have to balance that with lower premiums. The good thing I can say about this bill, I have not finished reviewing, have not decided whether to vote for. But, good things, it lowers premiums immediately.

So that Middle-class family struggling with $20,000 and $30,000 and $40,000 premiums, they will be lowered. It does appear that if your love one has a catastrophic illness, that that care will be there, that resources, if you will, for that child. And that's also a good thing.

Now, David, I have not finished reviewing, but you have to acknowledge out for --

GREGORY: But let me get to the process question. Is this a way to run a rodeo? I is this the way to impact the sixth of the economy by doing it behind closed doors, leaving very little time to hash this out in public?

I mean, there's the politics, which are difficult. As you know, even a Republican they're difficult, but also trying to gage the impact on our health care system? Something you also know a lot about as doctor. It takes time to understand how this would be absorbed into the system?

CASSIDY: you have at least four things in that question. Let me hit them.


CASSIDY: First it doesn't address sixth of the economy. It is focused upon the individual market which is four percent and those ensure in Medicaid. It does not touch Medicare. It does not touch V.A. The employer sponsored insurance, which the most Americans are covered through.

But secondly, I don't defend the process. I would have preferred a better. But that said, if two Democrats walked in to Mitch McConnell's door right now and said we're here to deal, they would have incredible leverage. Now, women care about the process, but if the two Democrats walks in the doors -- GREGORY: Of course. That could have been said about Republicans they

never did when Democrat were designing the Obamacare bill to begin with.

CASSIDY: A little bit of -- I disagree. Because they had 60 votes, they did not need a Republican. And that is probably the weakness of Obamacare

So -- and I do think it should be bipartisan. Let me say the bill that Susan Collins and I put forward was a good faith effort to reach across the aisle, allowing blue states to do blue things and red states to go a different direction. And that was rejected by Chuck Schumer before he read the bill.

So, that said, two Democrats walk in Mitch McConnell's door right now --