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President Trump Tweets A Video Bashing CNN; Health Care: Repeal Now, Replace Later; Trump and Putin Meet This Week; Children Might Be Hit By Medicaid Cuts; Iraqi-Christians Caught Up in ICE Raids. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired July 2, 2017 - 17:00   ET


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Boris Sanchez in New York in for Ana Cabrera who has the weekend off. We thank you so much for joining us. On this holiday weekend where we're celebrating our country's independence, the dominant narrative today surrounding the president of the United States

[17:00:00] has nothing to do with policy, with making or enforcing laws with our brave military men and women overseas, risking everything to protect our way of life.

Nor does it have to do with the health and well-being and security of 320 million Americans.

The president of the United States is choosing to spend his precious time putting this on the internet.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my god, what's going to happen?



SANCHEZ: This video is high on the president's twitter feed right now and it's the same twitter account that he's used for the past six straight days to lash out at journalists to call adult TV hosts school yard names and now to post badly photoshopped video clips of himself at a wrestling match 10 years ago. In CNN's opinion, that clip on twitter encourages violence against reporters. Remember that's something that the White House has insisted never happens.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence or anything, quite the contrary.


SANCHEZ: Shortly after that clip went live, CNN released this statement. "It is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters. Clearly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the president had never done so. Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he is instead involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his."

CNN's Brian Stelter who is our senior media correspondent, he joins us now. He's also the host of "Reliable Sources," the Sunday morning talk show. Brian, you dedicated much of the show this morning to talking about this tweet from President Trump. What was your initial reaction?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST: Well, there's no need to stoop to his low level. But I think CNN's statement at the end of it says it all. We're going to keep reporting and do our job, he should do his job. The debate is now of course ongoing all over twitter and facebook, is this presidential behavior from the president of the United States? Is this juvenile behavior? Could someone end up getting hurt when he's showing this kind of videos?

To be fair, this is not physical violence and he is not explicitly calling for violence instead, he's showing us all fantasy, right, where he is the strong man, he is the boss, taking down CNN, laying the smack down on what they would say on Wrestlemania. It is cartoonish. It is silly, but it can also be damaging, as one of my guest said this morning. Both can be true at the exact same time.

Now we've heard fro twitter in the past few minutes. We asked is this the kind of tweet that would be taken down as harassment or as incitement violence. Twitter's terms of service are very serious and twitter has had a big harassment problems. They've had to deal with this issue and as you can see on screen, they have a whole policy about this.

We've just heard back from twitter. They have concluded after hours of apparently of internal discussions that this tweet did not violate their own standards. But that continues to be a problem for the company, because of this president and because of his use of twitter. I think viewers might be wondering why do we care. Why do these tweets matter? It's because these tweets are a window into the president's thinking and that's why it matters when he's bashing the media on twitter or calling them or calling them across names or things like that.

We don't hear from him often times in interviews. He hasn't really given interviews lately. He hasn't held press conferences. So really all we have to go on sometimes are his tweets.

SANCHEZ: It's one of the few windows into his frame of mind specifically because there are fewer and fewer on-camera briefings.


SANCHEZ: He seems to only do interviews lately with Fox News. He won't answer direct questions from reporters during press briefings.

STELTER: Right. You know, if I could make just one more point. We heard from GOP Senator Ben Sasse this morning on "State of the Union" saying, Trump is weaponizing distrust.

SANCHEZ: I actually have that sound byte right now if you want to play it.


SEN. BEN SASSE (R), NEBRASKA: There's an important distinction to draw between bad stories or crappy coverage and the right that citizens have to argue about that and complain about that, and trying to weaponize distrust. The first amendment is the beating heart of the American experiment and you don't get to separate the freedoms that are in there.


SANCHEZ: Weaponizing distrust.

STELTER: That's why this matters. It's not just about CNN. Today CNN happens to be his target but it was the "New York Times," the "Washington Post" a few days ago. It was "Morning Joe." Who knows what outlet will be tomorrow. The president through all of these critiques and attacks is trying to cause more and more distrust of the media. That to say to his fans, you can only trust me, you can't trust fake news reporters.

Well, there are a lot of real reporters trying to report the truth, trying to be fair to this president. I just had a statement from the "New York Times" executive editor Dean Baquet. The "Times" and CNN, you know, they're rivals, friendly rivals. But today Baquet, he's supporting the "Times" saying, "I think it is unseemly that the president would attack journalists for doing their jobs and encourage such anger at the media."

I think that's why these kinds of videos matter. It's because it encourages anger and even hatred of the press. That's why some of our colleagues

[17:05:00] are worried about their safety and security when they see a video like this. Even if it's just a joke, even if people laugh at the video, who knows what some sort of unstable mind could take away from it.

SANCHEZ: It would be funny if there wasn't so many serious important things happening in the world.


SANCHEZ: Brian Stelter, we appreciate the time, we're going to have you back in a couple minutes. Thank you again.

STELTER: Thanks.

SANCHEZ: Let's discuss further with our panel. Joining me now is CNN political commentator and assistant editor for the "Washington Post" David Swerdlick and CNN political commentator and former Reagan White House official, Jeffrey Lord. Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us. During an interview earlier today, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was asked about the president's recent twitter attacks, I want you to listen to how he responded.


TOM PRICE, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: This is really remarkable. You have incredible challenges across this nation, incredible challenges around the world, the challenge that I've been given is to address the health care issues, and your program, a program with the incredible history of "Meet the Press" and that's what you want to talk about.


PRICE: Let me just suggest to you that the American people, why talk about the challenges and even suggestions that the American people want.

TODD: I'm asking you why the president of the United States -- Mr. Secretary, with all due respect, you're blaming me for what the president of the United States has spent his entire week focused on.

PRICE: No, listen to me. With all due respect, the American people are concerned about a health care system that is not providing choices, where premiums are going up, where their insurance companies is vacating markets all across this land, that's what they want us to concentrate on, and that's what they want us to fix and that's what I and the president are working on.


SANCHEZ: Jeffrey, if the American people want to talk about health care then why are the majority of the president's recent tweets, which the White House says are official statements, not about health care and tweets about wrestling videos.

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well the White House put out a statement, I believe it was yesterday or the day before, in which they said they counted out the tweets and some two thirds of them were policy oriented. And I think that Secretary Price has a point. The president can tweet whatever he wants. The news media gets to choose what it wants to focus on, there's a lot going on out there. There's a lot going on in health care and all this.

I was stopped by a woman in the grocery store today, who was complaining about the media and why they don't focus on big issues and why they keep going after the president when we should be focusing on the kind of things that Dr. Price is talking about. I do think that's a problem here and I would just respectfully say to my friend Brian, I do think it was a joke. I do think it was funny.

But if we're going to go down that road when you have papers like the "Washington Post" and David is there comparing the president to Adolf Hitler, this goes in the other direction as well.

SANCHEZ: David, I want to get your response to that. DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. So, two things for

Jeffrey, one, is that he's right. The president can tweet or say what he wants but to the statement that Congressman Price or rather Secretary Price made, bluster and braggadocio and you know, comical tweets on twitter are not going to bring people's premiums down, they're not going to pay people's student loans, they're not going to solve the situation in Syria.

So if the president of the United States wants to sort of persist on that trajectory, that's his prerogative I suppose, but that's not resolving any of the situations for the voters that supported him, Jeffrey, and I think that is the point of a lot of the criticism. The other thing I just wanted to say about, you know, look, if you want to take the tweet as a joke, that's fine. I personally am not bothered by it, but that's easy for me to say, right? I sit at a desk all day.

We have colleagues, you know, our journalistic colleagues who are out reporting stories every day and this is no longer a hypothetical. Just a few weeks ago, you had Congressman Gianforte pled guilty to a misdemeanor for essentially sucker punching Ben Jacobs from "The Guardian." So, I'm not saying this is going to lead to an avalanche of violence. I agree with the assessments that this wasn't a call for violence, but I think we're past the point of this just being brushed aside as purely a joke.

SANCHEZ: Jeffrey, the last time the president tweeted about health care was on Friday, when he said that senators should first repeal Obamacare and replace it later. He's tweeted 14 times this weekend, more than half have been about the media or his own twitter habits. This time he specifically put the logo of CNN -- superimposed on a wrestler that he was beating up. We're not supposed to talk about that?

LORD: Well, I -- you know, Rush Limbaugh has said for years that liberals long ago lost their sense of humor. I mean --

SANCHEZ: Jeffrey, OK, this might have been intended as a joke but this is the same person that told supporters at a rally to punch people in the crowd and that he would pay their legal fees.

LORD: Boris, Boris,

[17:10:00] do you know how many Trump supporters have been savagely beaten by the American left. Good lord, we just had somebody from the American left shoot a United States congressman, a Republican.

SANCHEZ: And no one else condones that.

LORD: I mean, do you ever stop to think Boris that this is --

SANCHEZ: So specifically because of that.

LORD: -- the picture the media paints of President Trump.

SANCHEZ: Jeffrey, specifically because the rhetoric is so heated right now, shouldn't the president be the one setting the standard and cooling the temperature of the room?

LORD: Well, humor is a good coolant.

SANCHEZ: I mean, this is not necessarily funny when you consider that as you said, people are getting shot over political rhetoric. It doesn't matter if it's left or right. People are getting shot because of policy.

LORD: It does matter, Boris. Boris, Boris, I'm sorry, I disagree. It matters exactly. There is violence in the DNA of the American left and always has been. Whether they were sporting the Ku Klux Klan in the 1800s or labor violence or the Weather Underground or occupy Wall Street. This is a philosophy that carries with it a gene of violence and they do this all the time so yes, it does make a very distinct difference.

SANCHEZ: Does it make a difference, David?

SWERDLICK: Look, Jeffrey, my brother, you know I love you like a play step cousin, but come on, we are talking about what the president of the United States --

LORD: That's good, David.

SWERDLICK: We are talking about what the president of the United States tweeted today, and tweeted for the last several days, let's focus on that. If the word presidential has any meaning left in it, he so far has not met that standard, maybe he will in the future, but -- you know, you're talking -- there is violence that comes from the left, and that should be condemned, that I think people on the left, so many people on the Democratic Party have condemned it. There was violence that comes from -- there was violence toward Republican congressmen.

I don't know any reasonable person who in anyway would condone that. That was reprehensible. Obviously a tragedy. Wait, one more point, but look Jeffrey, you worked for Ronald Reagan. You're a conservative, Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater have to be rolling over in their graves right now, that this -- that President Trump with this behavior is carrying the flag for the conservative movement or the Republican Party or however you want to characterize it. This is not presidential.

Again, one tweet does not change everything. And by the way, I acknowledge, I think I said yesterday that this is still popular with his supporters, right? Eighty percent of Republicans still support the president in approval polls but that doesn't mean it's presidential, and that doesn't mean that he's -- this is helping anybody solve the many challenges that are facing the people that voted for him.

LORD: Well, I think he is doing that. I think he's going, I mean the tweet that Boris just read from Friday is quite clearly he is working on this. I mean, I don't know --

SANCHEZ: We have to leave it there, gentlemen. We still have plenty to discuss but we hope you will stick around and join us later on tonight. Brian, rather Jeffrey Lord and David Swerdlick, thank you so much for the time. Appreciate it.

LORD: Thanks Boris.

SANCHEZ: Coming up, repeal now, replace later, the president now doubling back on his own words, the latest on the GOP fight to roll back Obamacare. You are live in the "CNN Newsroom."


SANCHEZ: With Republican senators struggling to gain support for their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, a new message has surfaced, repeal now and replace later. President Trump tweeted this out on Friday writing, "If Republican senators aren't able to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately repeal and then replace at a later date."

GOP senator Ben Sasse first suggested the option in a letter to the president on Thursday. He actually spoke about this with Jake Tapper regarding his suggestion to the president on "State of the Union" this morning.


SASSE: I think the most important thing to say is Republicans ran on repeal and on replace. The president ran on repeal and replace. We've been working on that for about four months and if leader McConnell can get us across in a combined repeal and replace, I'd like to see that happen. It needs to be a good replace.

But if we can do a combined repeal and replace over the next week, that's great. If we can't though, then there's no reason to walk away. We should do a repeal with a delay, let's be clear, I don't want to see anybody thrown off the coverage they have now. I would want to delay so that we could get straight to work.

And then I think the president should call on the Senate to cancel our August state work period. It's important to work in your state. It's important to travel. It's important to listen to your constituents, but I think we should get straight to work, get around the clock hearings on the replace plan.


SANCHEZ: Connecticut governor Dan Malloy joins me now from Hartford. Governor, thank you so much for joining us. If Republicans can't agree on an Obamacare replacement plan now what's going to change in August?

GOV. DAN MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: Well, nothing's going to change. I mean, the plan they have will take insurance away from 23 million people. Thirteen of them will be Medicaid covered. They're breaking promise after promise after promise. The president said repeal and replace at the same time. Now we have a senator saying well, just repeal which actually means we'll instantly take 23 million people out of insurance.

It doesn't make any sense. You know, "Despicable 3" is the number one movie. Quite frankly, despicable is what we have in the White House right now. No one is telling the truth. No one's being honest with the American people on health care or quite frankly on any other issue you want to talk about.

They're not getting things done. They're not filling jobs. They're not moving our nation forward. In fact, they're dividing our nation. When the president of the United States puts out a video, the likes of which he put out earlier today, what that is, is an invitation

[17:20:00:] for violence. It's an invitation to say that no one's telling the truth except the president, when just the opposite is the case.

SANCHEZ: The president again tweeted out Friday saying that if the Senate can't get this repeal and replace through then let's repeal and replace later. It does contradict something what he said on the campaign trail there. I want you to listen to this.


LESLEY STAHL, CBS NEWS HOST: There's going to be a period if you repeal it and before you replace it where millions of people could lose --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, we're going to do it simultaneously, it will be just fine. That's what I do, I do a good job. You know, I mean, I know how to do this thing. We're going to repeal and replace it and we're not going to have like a two-day period and we're not going to have a two-year period where there's nothing. It will be repealed and replace, and we'll know, and it will be great health care for much less.


SANCHEZ: To be fair he said that when he was president-elect, not yet president. Now as president, do you think he's recognizing how difficult this health care overhaul is going to be?

MALLOY: Are you asking me whether I think he's embarrassed because the answer is no. There's nothing this man has done that will ever embarrass him. He talks about touching women's genitals, he tells people that they're stupid or that they're bleeding. Are you actually asking me whether he feels bad about the promises that he's made and that he has no intention of keeping? Of course he doesn't have any feelings about that.

SANCHEZ: Sir, as a Democrat, your party is somewhat sidelined in this process, is there anything other than rhetoric that you can use to get involved in fixing Obamacare as it starts to cause more and more problems for people?

MALLOY: I don't think we're sidelined. You know in my state, we're down to 3.8 percent of our population doesn't have coverage. Under the president's plan, 12 to 14 percent of our population will not have coverage. If that's what you want then you should call your Republican congressman and you republican senators and you should say we want 12 or 13 or 20 percent or 26 percent of our brothers and sisters, our cousins, our neighbors, our mothers and fathers to be without health insurance because that's what they're promising to deliver to you.

They're telling you -- when they actually tell you that they want to cut these things, when they actually tell you they want to eliminate them, listen to those folks, do not listen to the president of the United States because he's not telling you the truth. He does want to repeal. He wants to give billions, trillions of dollars in tax relief to his richest friends. That's what this is all about ladies and gentlemen of the United States.

Pay attention to what's going on, not to his twitter account, which he uses to take us in another direction. But rather, there is an agenda and the agenda is to hurt the American people. Poor individuals, middle class individuals will not benefit under these plans and he's absolutely telling you what he wants to do.

SANCHEZ: The former governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, thinks that health care is ultimately a problem for states to solve. Listen to what he said on Fox News recently.


MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ARKANSAS: I got a big idea for this. Turn most of these decisions over to the individual states. Block grant Medicaid completely with total flexibility for each state. Take some of the other components, all of these pieces and say to the individual states, I mean, leave out the tenth amendment for once, and say, we don't have a federal solution. One size does not fit all. Medicaid in Mississippi looks really different than it does in Massachusetts, so let's recognize that and let's not try to fix it, because we're not that smart.


SANCHEZ: Wouldn't that be helpful for your state governor? Is that a viable solution?

MALLOY: You are joking? You heard when he said, let's take the constitution out of this. Let's put that aside and do it this way. The reality is, is that every American deserves decent health care and certainly every person in poverty deserves a chance to live, to be cured of their illness, to have access to reasonable health care for themselves, for their children, for their parents.

The American people have already decided this. Let me say about the debate we're having. This is the first time in American history that we're actually talking about taking something away from the American people that we know has worked. I know you have a lot of talking heads and some of them paid by folks to appear on your station and talk about how health care is failing. The reason it's failing is it's under attack by Republicans.

When the president says that we won't enforce the law, then of course that upsets the insurance market. Of course, companies who are writing policies in state after state say, well gee, if the president is now saying he's not going to reimburse us

[17:25:00] for that subsidy, well maybe we should pull out of this. This is a wholly owned mistake by the Republican Party, but it's intentional. It really isn't a mistake. They want to do away with health care for millions of Americans. Don't listen to Dan Malloy from Connecticut. Listen to the CBO, 23 million people under the Senate plan, 24 million people under the House plan if that's the America you want.

If we want to say to 24 or 23 million Americans that you're not going to have health care anymore, that you're going to end up going to the most expensive health care, which is the emergency room, that you're not going to be examined on a review basis or a diagnostic basis for various cancers, if that's the America you want then you got the president you deserve. I have to tell you that.

And he tweets about this stuff constantly on an ongoing basis. My grandmother used to say, she was born in Ireland she used to say, what should you expect from a pig but a grunt. There's been a lot of grunting going on in Washington and we need to have a conversation and the conversation should be about how do we keep 24 million Americans with health coverage so that they can get well.

SANCHEZ: All right, Governor Dan Malloy of the great state of Connecticut, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much for joining us governor.

MALLOY: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Coming up, as the president heads to the G20 to meet Vladimir Putin face to face, many are wondering what can we expect from their first meeting. Stay with us. You're live in the "CNN Newsroom."


SANCHEZ: This week, President Trump will come face to face with the man who tried to meddle with the U.S. election, President Vladimir Putin. Officials confirmed the two will meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany. When they do it, it could be a public relations mine field. The investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign is looming large, and of course tensions in Syria are heating up. With me to discuss, CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott. Elise, what is the White House hoping to get out of this meeting?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well Boris, they haven't really said much about the meeting. Obviously this will be the first meeting between the two leaders especially since President Trump has taken office. But his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster has said there is no agenda. It will kind of just be based on what the president wants to talk to at the time.

You can bet that President Putin will want to come out of this meeting with a real sense that the relationship is back on track. I think both leaders want to do that. President Trump has certainly said he wants better relations with Russia. And so I think that's what they're both coming out looking for good optics of the meeting, there's not a lot of preparation it seems going into the White House as President Trump takes a meeting, but Vladimir Putin is undoubtedly preparing for this very carefully, and so I think he goes into this meeting with a little bit of the upper hand.

SANCHEZ: Yes, the president met with the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador in the Oval Office earlier this year, they looked like they were pretty chummy. They were getting along. There were reports that potentially some secret information, sensitive information was revealed to them. Is Trump expected to be tough in his meeting with Putin, confront him perhaps about election meddling or are we going to see maybe a hug or something a bit chummier?

LABOTT: Well the White House hasn't said whether he's going to talk about any potential about that issue in the meeting. I would suspect that he won't because he wants to put that relationship with President Putin back on track. They have a lot of other important issues to discuss, Syria, Ukraine, North Korea, nuclear issues so, I mean, I think everyone would like him to bring up the election meddling, kind of a warning to President Putin not to think about doing anything like that again.

But I think the body language in this meeting is going to be so interesting because as you said, President Trump is kind of a hugger, is kind of a real chummy guy. President Putin is not like that and I think President Trump wants to show that the who men are getting along, and I think President Putin wants to show that President Trump respects him. So I think the body language in that handshake, if it's their photo op or whatever, is going to be the most interesting thing.

SANCHEZ: Yes, President Trump certainly known for his enthusiastic handshakes. Elise, we have to leave it there. Elise Labott reporting from Washington. Thank you.

Coming up, we bring you the story of a special needs child who could be one of those most affected by the Republican health care bill. But first, the original Chinatown in America is deep in the heart of San Francisco. On the next "United Shades Of America," W. Kamau Bell walks the streets to see how and why people are choosing to honor their original Chinese heritage in the face of racist stereotypes. That's tonight at 10:00.


W. KAMAU BELL, HOST: San Francisco is the first Chinatown and it seems like the identity of the city.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly. But years ago is a country like it's another country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People began to have these fears of Chinese- Americans.

BELL: Chinese people in Chinatown had to stay in Chinatown.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. BELL: That's a history people really don't talk about. People like to

promote San Francisco as an all accepting and welcoming place, but that's not always true.

How important was it to you to grow up owning your Chinese-American identity?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my go, you have opened such a can worms.

BELL: Is it important that Chinese-Americans retain this culture?

I've seen the hyper sexualization of the Asian female.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's something we've had to deal with all of our lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With Asian male masculinity, it's perceived inferiority at a genetic level.



SANCHEZ: Opponents of the latest Republican health care plan say that children could be the hardest hit if proposed cuts to Medicaid go through. Some 30 million kids and their families rely on the program for their coverage. CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has the story of this one brave special needs child who depends on Medicaid and her fight to stay alive.


ELIABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Charlie Wood was born three months early. She weighed just 1 pound 12 ounces.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was afraid she wasn't going to survive. It terrified me, that that was it. That she would pass away.

COHEN: But not only did Charlie survive, she thrived. Now her mother, Rebecca, is terrified of something else. The Republican health care reform plans. Rebecca says one of the reasons Charlie has done so well is Medicaid. The government health care program

[17:40:00] helps pay for her care to the tune of about $12,000 a year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's your birthday soon, how old are you going to be?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Show me where it goes.

COHEN: Charlie relies on a feeding tube and see seven different doctors for various complications of her extreme prematurity. Rebecca remembers the very moment she heard the news that the House had passed its bill. It calls for $834 billion in cuts in Medicaid over 10 years. Charlie was napping on her shoulder at the time.

REBECCA WOOD, MOTHER: It's kind of a punch in the gut, like, wow! They're stealing her chance. She's sleeping on me, they're stealing her chance.

COHEN: How angry are you that your representative voted for the American Health Care Act?

WOOD: I'm furious. I feel betrayed. I feel like his job as a representative is to speak out in the best interest of his people, and I don't feel as if that was done.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we are going in here.

COHEN: Rebecca paid a visit to that congressman, Virginia Republican Tom Garrett. She confronted Garrett and an aid about the House bill known by its acronym AHCA.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not going to sit here and say the AHCA is the best plan of all time.

REP. TOM GARRETT (R), VIRGINIA: No. Generally, there's a lot of stuff I'd like to do differently.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we're going to do stuff outside of it long term to fight to make the system as good as --

R. WOOD: Well, them, why did you vote for a plan that you weren't happy with?

GARRETT: Well, when you get 870 percent of something and it's better than what you've got, you get with it.

R. WODD: It's not good.

GARRETT: It is better.


COHEN: Garrett says cuts to Medicaid don't necessarily mean cuts in care.

GARRETT: The reality is, that sometimes you can move money and still get a good outcomes.

COHEN: Rebecca doesn't buy it. She fears for Charlie and the nearly five million children on Medicaid with special health care needs.

R. WOOD: She started at 1 pound 12 ounces, nobody was really sure that she was going to live. Yet here she is in front of us, bright, joyful, determined. It breaks my heart that after all that, bad policy can just snatch it from her.

COHEN: Rebecca wants Garrett and all lawmakers to know that families like hers work hard. Her husband has a job with insurance. But she said even so, they need help from Medicaid because Charlie's medical bills are astronomical. Back to you.


SANCHEZ: Thank you Elizabeth. Coming up, the fight over health care and the dilemma for Republicans, should they repeal if they can't replace? That story next. You're live in the "CNN Newsroom."


SANCHEZ: Republican senators are in a bind, back home for a short recess, and bracing for constituents reactions to the Senate health care bill. Right now, it's a bill that doesn't even have enough support from Republicans to pass. So will the GOP switch gears and try to repeal Obamacare now and then replace it later as President Trump suggested on Friday.

Some Republicans appear to be warming to that idea. Big supporters include Senators Rand Paul and Ben Sasse of Nebraska. Let's discuss with "Washington Post" columnist Josh Rogin and "Time" magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle. Josh, let's start with you, repeal now, replace later, is that a political gamble for the Republican Party?

JOSH ROGIN, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: It's a gamble either way, if they go for the big bill that they have on the table right now and if they somehow pass it. That's a gamble. It's a hugely unpopular vote, you know, when the Democrats did the similar thing in 2010, they lost a whlel bunch of seats and control of Congress. So, that's a gamble.

Now, if they try to repeal and replace, that's logistically very complicated. Nobody has any idea how that's going to happen. So that's a gamble for a different set of reasons, what I keep hearing from lawmakers and officials on Capitol Hill is a third option. It's a scaled down piecemeal version of the bill. It's not a repeal and then a replace. It's more of a let's take the parts of this health care bill that have brought popularity, that aren't too drastic and peel them off in the big bill and pass them one by one.

Stabilize the markets, reduce the taxes, get rid of the mandate without doing all of the unpopular stuff. That's the sort of, you know, goldilocks solution between doing nothing and doing everything which -- neither of which are good options.

SANCHEZ: David, to you, independent senator Bernie Sanders tells CNN that he is rejecting the idea we should repeal now and replace later. Listen to this.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: This Congressional Budget Office indicated that if you simply repeal the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, you will throw 32 million Americans off of health insurance, 10 percent of the population of the United States. For seven years, the Republicans have been talking about a repeal mechanism, they haven't agreed yet.

If you throw, Jake, 32 million people off of health insurance, what doctors who have studied this issue say, that tens of thousands of people every single year will die.


SANCHEZ: That was on "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper. Sanders obviously not a middle of the road guy, David, but there are some centrist Democrats out there that Republicans might be willing to reach out to in case they decide to repeal now and replace later. How would those Democrats take that? Would they listen?

DAVID VON DREHLE, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, TIME MAGAZINE: I think it's a very unlikely thing that the Republicans are going to be bailed out of the mess they're in right now by Democrats. The Democrats are already looking forward to 2018 and I think they're going to give the Republicans about as much help as the Republicans gave them in the same situation seven years ago, which is zero.

SANCHEZ: Josh, back to you. The man in charge of the Senate basically, Mitch McConnell, he's not in favor of repealing now and replacing later.

[17:50:00] He's interested in the bill that they have on their plate right now. Does the idea of repealing now and replacing later stand chance without him on board?

ROGIN: No. He's actually been delegated the management of this policy initiative and this whole repeal and replace idea that was floated by the president last week, again, you know, not for the first time. Sort of throw a wrench into his own party's strategy. In the end, what we've seen and what's been consistent is that the president and his team although they are involved, right, they're not in the weeds of the details, OK, and they're not actually ensconced in the mechanics of getting this done.

They are just generally trying to push people to support whatever the plan is. It's Mitch McConnell who actually has to take this thing over the finish line and he's got a very clear thought about the way he wants to do that. And it's not repeal and replace. He recognizes that not only would that be a whole new strategy, which he'd had to develop almost fr scratch, that it's not likely to work, OK, and he knows that what he is doing now even though it is not pretty. It has the best chance of actually making it through the process. So I'm sure that's what he wants to stick with.

SANCHEZ: David, this idea of repeal now and replace later is something that Trump himself when he was president-elect said that he did not want to do. He wanted an immediate replacement. How does this switch now potentially affect the people that voted for Republicans to redo or get rid of Obamacare?

VON DREHLE: Yes, it's a real mess and this idea of repealing the Affordable Care Act with nothing to put in its place is a recipe for chaos in the health delivery industries, the hospitals, the insurance companies, the doctors, everybody -- how are they going to get paid? Who are their patients going to be? What's the mix? I can't picture these industries going to their senators and saying, yes, that's a great idea. Why don't you just upend the legal framework for health care in America, one-seventh of the economy and leave us with nothing and you'll get around to it at some later date.

So, I think this is a case of the president trying to reframe this conversation to his advantage. He is kind of on the ropes with the health care promises which as he has discovered, this is a complicated issue, very difficult to legislate. It can't be done overnight and he is trying to I think move the conversation a little bit but I don't think he is serious about this alternative.

SANCHEZ: David Don Drehle and Josh Rogin, we have to leave it there. Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us this Sunday evening.

Coming up, Iraqi Christians are caught up in ICE raids and fearing for their lives. Why they say deportation means a death sentence for them. You're live in the "CNN Newsroom."


SANCHEZ: Some 200 Iraqi nationals have been caught up in raids by immigration and customs enforcement agents since May and some of them are in fear for their lives. Many are Christians and their families fear that deportation to Iraq means a death sentence at the hands of ISIS. A federal judge temporarily blocked the deportation of over 100 Iraqis in Michigan but its 14-day stay of removal expires this week. And in a harsh twist of irony many in this community voted for Donald Trump. CNN's Kyung Lah reports.



KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENTS: A daughter screaming for her father. He has just been detained by immigration and customs enforcement, among nearly 200 here targeted for deportation since May. But the difference with some of these detainees say families whose waved to their loved ones from behind the gate is a country they fear they will be sent to, Iraq. A war zone where ISIS terrorizes civilians, executing all those who resist, people like Konja.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody here like they're scared to death.

LAH: He's on the phone calling his brother from an ICE facility in Youngstown, Ohio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please don't send us to Iraq because you are sending us to our deaths.

LAH: He is terrified because he's a Christian. In Iraq, they're an ethnic minority known as Chaldeans. ISIS has targeted the Chaldeans marking their homes with this red Arabic letter proclaiming them a target, undergoing what human rights groups call genocide. Konja emigrated to the U.S. from Iraq with his parents when he was 15, four decades ago. At age 21, he was convicted of drug conspiracy charges and served 20 years in prison.

Since his release, he's opened this business, paid his taxes and hasn't been in trouble, not even a single traffic ticket says his brother. The federal government just two days before this ICE sweep agreed to reopen Konja case to obtain a green card due to the possibility he'd be tortured in Iraq.

SHOKI KONJA, BROTHER OF ICE DETAINEE: Is this the United States? Is this what this country is about?

LAH: Most painful for him like many other Christian Iraqis he knows in Michigan, he voted for Donald Trump.

KONJA: We saw there picking up some hardcore criminals. We they're not going to try to, you know, the innocent people or the hard -- people who are turning their life around.


SANCHEZ: That was Kyung Lah reporting. The next hour of "CNN Newsroom" starts right now.

It is the top of the hour. You are live in the "CNN Newsroom." I'm Boris Sanchez in New York in for Ana Cabrera.

[18:00:00] Thank you so much for joining us this weekend as we celebrate our nation's independence. The thing that's grabbing everyone's attention this weekend is the oxygen problem at the White House.