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Crucial Week For Senate Health Care Bill; Senate GOP Bill Slashes Medicaid; Trump Pins Russia Problem On Obama; Intrigue Builds On Supreme Court's Last Day. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 26, 2017 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:00] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump now acknowledging that Russia meddled in the U.S. election and putting blame squarely on former President Barack Obama.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everybody. I'm Dave Briggs.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, I'm Alison Kosik. It's 30 minutes past the hour.

And coming as soon as today, the Congressional Budget Office assessment of the Senate health care bill, and that's the same CBO score or analysis that almost scuttled the House version of the Obamacare repeal and replace. And the Senate's 52 Republicans, they've got an even narrower path to victory than their House colleagues. Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can only lose two votes and at least five Republicans, they've already said they can't support the bill in its current form, and that's before the CBO analysis even comes out.

BRIGGS: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price making sweeping promises to help get this bill across the finish line. For example, he says these cuts to Medicaid you've heard all about, well not really cuts.


TOM PRICE, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: What I'm telling you is that the system -- the plan that we have would put in place -- would not allow individuals to fall through the cracks. Would not -- we would not pull the rug out from under anybody. We would not have individuals lose coverage that they -- that they want for themselves and for their family. We want to make certain that health care is available to all Americans.


BRIGGS: All right. For more, let's turn to White House correspondent Athena Jones.


ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alison and Dave. This could prove to be another monumental week in the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell determined to hold a vote on the Senate's version of this bill this week.

The problem is that at least, right now, there are enough Republican senators who have expressed opposition to the bill to effectively kill it. Several other Republican senators have also expressed concerns. Conservatives are worried that it doesn't go far enough to undo Obamacare. Meanwhile, more moderate senators are worried that it may go too far. That it could leave the most needy and the most vulnerable behind, particularly because of the changes to Medicaid -- the cuts to the Medicaid program that are included in this bill.

Now, we could see the score from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as soon as today. That will let senators know the impact of this bill. How much will it cost, how will it impact the deficit, how many Americans -- how many people could lose coverage under the Senate's proposal? Those numbers are going to be very important for senators trying to make a decision about the bill.

I should also mention that President Trump has been working the phones himself. He's spoken with Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul to try to get them on board. So a lot to watch this week as they try to get this bill -- this promise that Republicans have been running on for the last seven years -- they're going to try to get this bill across the finish line. We'll be watching closely to see what happens -- Alison, Dave.


KOSIK: OK, Athena Jones, thanks very much. And the president actually confirming Sunday, yes, he did call the House health care bill "mean" -- listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mean, that was my term becauseI want to see -- I want to see -- and I speak from the heart. That's what I want to see. I want to see a bill with heart.


KOSIK: However, some critics say the Senate bill also lacks heart and that's because it makes the deepest cut to Medicaid in 50 years. Medicaid is the nation's biggest health insurer. It covers more than 70 million low-income Americans and you look at the current proposal -- it slashes funding by at least $800 billion over the next 10 years. How does this do that? Well, a few ways here by ending the expansion program. It reduces the growth rate of funding and sending states a fixed amount of money instead of leaving it open-ended. Now, each state's funding will be based on its historical spending for each group, so that includes children, disabled adults, and the elderly.

Now, Republican lawmakers, they claim the current system encourages states to overspend on Medicaid, however, most Americans view the program quite favorably. And, President Trump promises that no one with Medicaid will lose coverage, however, the Congressional Budget Office estimate of the House bill found that 14 million Americans will. We have to look at the Senate version and see how that fares and we may get a peak of that today when the CBO is expected to come out with its analysis this week, possibly as early as today.

BRIGGS: And that may be the key for the future of health care. To help break it down let's bring in Zachary Wolf, digital director for "CNN POLITICS," live from Washington. Good to see you, sir.

KOSIK: Good morning, Zach.

BRIGGS: All right. So the president says there he wants this bill to have heart. Here's what counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway told George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: These are not cuts to Medicaid, George. This slows the rate for the future and allows governors more flexibility with Medicaid dollars because they're closest to the people in need. If you are currently in Medicaid, if you became a Medicaid recipient through the Obamacare expansion, you are grandfathered in. We're talking about in the future.


BRIGGS: So, Tom Price -- again, to reiterate, "We would not have individuals lose coverage they want for themselves and their family." How central are these arguments that they are now making to the future of the Senate health care plan, Zach?

[05:35:08] ZACHARY WOLF, DIGITAL DIRECTOR, CNN POLITICS: Well, you know, look, you talked earlier about the math and let's do the math. They can only lose two Republicans in the Senate. There are five who said they won't support this bill so this conversation is a little bit, you know, beside the point. They'd have to change this bill in some way to change minds -- to get people who are on -- you know, who have said that they will oppose it on board, and without doing that they won't pass it.

So that's one key issue to passing this bill is it's probably going to have to change in some way and that CBO score could help depending on what happens. But if you've had these senators get so far out in front of the ball and say we're not -- we're not supporting this thing, then you -- it's hard to find a way to fix it.

KOSIK: OK. So, clearly, the big focus -- or one of the big focuses on the Senate bill is Medicaid and this huge overhaul that senators are proposing here. You know, I went through some of the 142-page health care bill poolside over the weekend. I'm still going through it as I'm sure a lot of folks on the Hill are doing. I'm trying to flush out here why the White House says these are not spending cuts to Medicaid, where you have Democrats saying they are actually spending cuts. Can you flush it out for us?

BRIGGS: Republicans, too. Susan Collins --


BRIGGS: -- called them cuts -- KOSIK: Yes, absolutely.

BRIGGS: -- on ABC.

WOLF: That's right. Well, you know, you look at future spending. Is it a cut if you project future spending and you're saying you're going to fundamentally change the program and the future spending is going to get smaller? Democrats did the same thing with Medicare, by the way, and got hit for it big time --


WOLF: -- during the Obamacare passage some years ago so this is just putting the shoe on the other foot but, you know, it kind of depends on whether you support the bill or not. There -- I guess there -- if you disagree with the way we administer Medicaid now, then they're not cuts and if you do agree with the, then they are.

BRIGGS: Why the deadline of Friday, Zach?

WOLF: I think they want to get this done. You need a little pressure, otherwise they'll say oh, let's just change it a little bit. Let's -- you know, let's -- I'm still reading the bill. People on Capitol Hill, much like your middle school or high schoolers need a deadline and, you know, Friday is it. He's been talking for a while, Mitch McConnell, about getting it done by the July Fourth recess. There's a lot of other stuff they want to get to and they could eat up the entire term talking about health care so it's probably best for them, strategically, to put a deadline on it and try and -- try and make it happen.

KOSIK: OK. Russia's still the talk of the town over the weekend. Actually, the president acknowledging finally that Russia meddled in the U.S. election, putting blame right on President Barack Obama, according to "The Washington Post." The president tweeting this. "Since the Obama administration was told way before the 2016 election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not T." Talk to me about what you think is going through the president's mind. Why is he not maybe getting in front of a podium and maybe taking a stand on this, finally?

WOLF: Well, I think it's probably easier and a little bit less embarrassing to tweet something than stand in front of a podium. We haven't seen him do too much of that recently. But, you know, these investigations are clearly progressing. They have the open of -- you know, testimony last week from Jeh Johnson, the former Homeland Security secretary and you suddenly see Republicans talking more about well, why wasn't more done about this during the Obama administration. Then there was that blockbuster "Washington Post" report about how, you know, one Obama administration person told the "Post" that they choked, essentially, on Russia. So this is certainly a line of inquiry we're going to see more of from Republicans and President Trump, in particular, is probably interested in us pursuing it.

BRIGGS: Yes, but he's called it a hoax, said it was China, said it was 400 guy -- 400-pound guy in his bed, that it didn't happen. Now, isn't the obvious question, 'OK, now that you acknowledge it, what is the Trump administration going to do about it.'

WOLF: Well, that's a great question but, on the other hand, sort of, the election's over. The Intelligence Community has said that, you know, Russia didn't affect the outcome of the election as something else that they always talk about on the -- on the Trump side. So, you know, I think they probably want to put it behind us. But, obviously, Russia continues to do this --


WOLF: -- on a daily basis, you know, at the local level, at the state level, and at the national level so that's a great question and I don't think we've gotten an answer on that, certainly, from the administration.

BRIGGS: Yes. Kellyanne Conway talked about this voter integrity executive order but to anyone's knowledge that has nothing to do with Russian meddling in our election, but perhaps they are pivoting on that effort. Zach Wolf, we appreciate your analysis. Thank you.

KOSIK: Zach, thanks so much for getting up early.

WOLF: Thanks.

KOSIK: All right. Ivanka Trump heading to court. A federal judge is ordering the first daughter to testify in a lawsuit against her fashion label. What's the charge here? Plagiarism. Italian shoemaker Aquazzura claims Ivanka's brand copied its designs. You tell me. These are the shoes at the center of this lawsuit. Aquazzura says Ivanka's version resembles its own too closely. Ivanka's lawyers deny those allegations, saying Aquazzura shoe lacks the distinctiveness needed for intellectual property laws. They also say the suit is a publicity stunt.

[05:40:25] Now, Ivanka has, of course, stepped down as head of her company before her father took office and she currently serves in an unpaid role as a White House adviser, which is why her lawyers say she should be exempt from testifying, but a judge has disagreed. Ivanka's lawyers did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment. So, she will be deposed -- the judge wants her to be deposed before October.

BRIGGS: I'm no shoe expert. Those look awfully similar. All right, ahead, a crucial day for the Supreme Court. In a just a few hours we'll see whether the court is taking up President Trump's travel ban case and we might hear whether Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring and if Trump gets to make another appointment to the Supreme Court.

KOSIK: And check this out.


Terrifying moments for over 350 passengers. This is an international flight shaking violently, not for five minutes but for two hours throughout the flight. The cause of it, though, still a mystery. We're going to show you more of this video, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:45:30] BRIGGS: Intrigue building this morning as the Supreme Court reaches the last day of its current term. Two big questions looming. Will the high court take up President Trump's travel ban case and will 80-year-old Justice Anthony Kennedy retire changing, perhaps, the balance of the court? CNN's Ariane de Vogue has more.


ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: All eyes are on Justice Anthony Kennedy. Sources say he's seriously considering retirement but no one knows if it will come as early as this term. It would be a big change for the court and the country. He's played such a central role on the court. He's voted with liberals on abortion access, affirmative action. He's voted with conservatives on gun rights, campaign finance, Bush v. Gore. If President Trump gets this vacancy he would really solidify the conservative majority for years to come. He would replace a centrist with a conservative. That could really change the court.

Today we could also hear about the travel ban. Lower courts have blocked it. The administration is asking for two things. Allow it to go into effect immediately and hear arguments next term. We could hear about both these issues as early as this morning -- Alison, Dave.


KOSIK: OK, Ariane de Vogue, thanks very much.

I want to show you some terrifying video.


More than 350 passengers on this AirAsia X flight going from Perth, Australia to Malaysia, enduring this violent shaking for two whole hours. One passenger said there was a loud bang about an hour into the flight and the plane shuddered during the entire trip back to Perth. He also said the pilot asked them to pray twice and they were told to hold the brace position during landing. It's not clear what caused the issue with the jet's Rolls-Royce engines but I'll tell you what, I would be -- I would certainly be terrified. And they look calm, don't they?

BRIGGS: Yes, they look extremely calm. That's the third incident they've had regarding these issues since May.

All right. Time now for a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo joining us. Assuming we are talking health care, my friend. All right, I want to know your bet. Can they get it? Can they get 50 by Friday?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": I think that the chances are better than average, but can we just hold for a moment, my handsome young friends? Two hours of shaking and the pilot asked them to pray twice? BRIGGS: Yes.

KOSIK: I would be -- I think I may be jumping out the window at that point.

CUOMO: In that situation -- look, prayer is a good thing -- not bucking it, but don't you think that requires a little follow-up by the airline? Once you -- once you trigger this second request for prayer, Briggs, what do you think?

BRIGGS: That wouldn't calm you down?

CUOMO: The second request, I think that deserves some kind of review.

BRIGGS: Free cocktails.

CUOMO: All right, so here's what we're going to deal with today.

KOSIK: Absolutely.

CUOMO: We have the Senate Republican leaders. They're planning a vote. We do know, as Dave was referring, there are some senators who are asking for more time, even on the GOP side. It's not just a Democrat tactic. So we're going to look at these five senators that are in play. Would any of them really -- would they really put their vote where their mouth is right now? Now, a factor that will help this, the CBO score, OK? What is the impact of this bill, how is it different than the House bill, what will it mean for you? What about what Kellyanne Conway said? Is this spin out of the White House or is it the truth that this is just returning Medicaid to what it was, and if that is what it does is that a good thing?

Finally, President Trump acknowledging that Russia meddled in the election but with a twist, Dave and Alison. I'll give it back to you with this provocative question of the morning. The president is far more thoughtful about messaging than people give him credit for. Did he say yes, Russia hacked in order to do this pivot back to the Obama administration? And it's a legit question. If the Democrats want to say it's so urgent now, we need to do something, where was the urgency then?

BRIGGS: Yes, he absolutely did but now the attention is back on his plate. What are you going to do to prevent it from happening in the future, isn't it? If you're in that White House Press Corps that has to be your question.

CUOMO: And it is a good question. However, it's not a bad answer in politics to say boy, you sure are interested about what I'm doing now. You weren't so interested about what the Obama administration did then.

BRIGGS: It's a fair point.

KOSIK: Yes, all right. We'll be watching, Chris.

BRIGGS: Thanks, Chris. See you in a bit. KOSIK: Infamous former pharmaceutical exec Martin Shkreli finally having his day in court but it's not for raising the prices on lifesaving drugs. We're going to tell you why he's in court on CNN Money Stream, next.


[05:54:15] BRIGGS: All right.


Continuing now with the terrifying video theme, a teenaged girl on the mend after a frightening fall at a Six Flags amusement park in Upstate New York. Cell phone footage shows the 14-year-old dropping off a gondola ride on Saturday night. Lucky for her, some keen-eyed Good Samaritans spotted here dangling and sprung into action. They broke the girl's fall after she went plunging 25 feet down. The young lady not seriously injured. It's still unclear how she found herself in that precarious position. Local authorities say everything on the ride appeared to be in working order.

KOSIK: Oh, terrifying.

All right, let's a check on CNN Money Stream this morning. Looking like global stocks are in the green after Wall Street finished the week higher. The Nasdaq getting a boost from health care stocks. In fact, the health care sector, last week, was the biggest gainer of the week, growing 3.7 percent. Now, this week, investors will continue to keep an eye on health care, especially with the CBO analysis of the Senate health care bill.

[05:55:12] They're also going to be watching as India's prime minister visits the White House for the first time. The president's "America First" policy, it's really created some tension between the two countries, especially over the H1B visa program. This is used by many Indian engineers to come to work here in the U.S. for some of our biggest tech companies.

Big changes coming to Google. The company will no longer read your emails. To serve up personalized ads, the privacy advocates, they've long criticized the practice and the policy is going to change later this year. But, oh, it doesn't mean Google's going to stop with those annoying targeting ads. Instead, it's going to use data from other sources like, you know, the videos you watch on YouTube or what you search on Google.

SpaceX launching two successful missions to space just this weekend. That's the company's quickest turnaround yet. Elon Musk's private space outfit launching one rocket on Friday and another on Sunday, one of the East Coast, one on the West Coast, so that makes it nine so far just this year. This is the record for the most launches in a single year.

Infamous former pharmaceutical exec Martin Shkreli finally getting his day in court. Shkreli sparking outrage in 2015 for incredibly hiking the price of a lifesaving drug by more than 5,000 percent, but that controversy -- that's not what this criminal trial is about. Instead, Shkreli is facing charges for fraud because he allegedly cheated investors out of $11 million. If he's convicted, Shkreli could serve up to 20 years in prison. This is a guy that currently has his own YouTube channel. You can see him eating --

BRIGGS: Really?

KOSIK: Yes. He's playing guitar.

BRIGGS: I'll skip that.

KOSIK: He loves -- he loves getting his face out there. He -- actually, he says he hates the media but I don't think he's ever seen a camera he doesn't like.

BRIGGS: I think the feeling might be mutual.

KOSIK: All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Alison Kosik.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now, enjoy. We'll see you tomorrow.



TRUMP: Health care's a very complicated subject. Honestly, nobody can be totally happy.

SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: They promised too much. There's no way the Republican bill brings down premiums.

PRICE: The plan would not allow individuals to fall through the cracks. We would not pull the rug out from under anybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no way we should be going on this next week -- no way.

TRUMP: If he had the information why didn't he do something about it?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA: For Donald Trump to criticize Obama is a bit like someone knowingly receiving stolen property blaming the police for not stopping the theft.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE PASSENGER ON AIRASIA FLIGHT: There were lots of people crying, lots of people pulling out their life jackets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE PASSENGER ON AIRASIA FLIGHT: I thought the whole plane was just going to go plummeting down.

PILOT, AIRASIA FLIGHT: Please pay attention. Our survival depends on your cooperating.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota. CUOMO: That pilot asked people to pray twice. Why? We'll take you

through it. Welcome viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Monday, June 26th, 6:00 here in New York. Alisyn is off. The one and only Brianna Keilar joining me this morning. Good to have you.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Very good to be here.

CUOMO: Thank you. Here's our starting line. The Senate -- their health care bill is facing growing opposition. Party leaders are pushing for a vote this week. It comes as the Trump administration vows there won't be cuts to Medicaid. That is not true. We have the spin and the facts coming up. Now, a big helpful factor here will be the Congressional Budget Office release. It's going to have its analysis of the bill which could happen as early as today. What impact will it have?

KEILAR: And in the meantime, President Trump is blasting his predecessor, President Obama, for "doing nothing" about Russia's election interference, so what is Mr. Trump doing about the issue since taking office? And the president also lashing out at Hillary Clinton, accusing her of colluding with the Democratic Party to beat Bernie Sanders. We have all of this covered. Let's begin now with CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. She is live for us on Capitol Hill -- Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Brianna. Well, President Trump is throwing his support behind the Senate bill -- the legislative bill up for health care despite its uncertain future. And a key factor, of course, in all of this is the Congressional Budget Office's score which will predict how many people will lose their health care, what will happen with the premiums, and that score is expected as early as today.


TRUMP: I don't think they're that far off. You know, famous last words, right? But I think we're going to get there.

MALVEAUX: President Trump expressing confidence as Senate GOP leaders scramble to secure the 50 votes needed to pass their health care bill.

TRUMP: Health care is a very complicated subject from the standpoint that you move it this way and this group doesn't like it. You move it a little bit over here -- you have a very narrow path and honestly, nobody can be totally happy.

MALVEAUX: With all Democrats opposed to the legislation Republicans can only afford to lose two votes, but there are currently five GOP senators who say they can't support the bill as drafted.