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GOP Senators Poised To Vote On Health Care; The Future For Sessions; Donald Trump's Political Jamboree; Israel Removes Metal Detectors As Tensions Simmer. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 25, 2017 - 05:30   ET



[05:30:48] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's been enough talk and no action. Now is the time for action.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The Senate is ready to vote on health care but what health care plan are they voting on? No one seems sure. Will John McCain's return make a difference?


TRUMP: A scout is trustworthy, loyal. We could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Was that the president taking a shot at his attorney general? Growing questions about whether the president wants Jeff Sessions to stay on the job.

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to EARLY START.

It sure appeared a shot at Jeff Sessions --

ROMANS: Loyalty.

BRIGGS: -- a veiled one. Jeff Sessions' absence was felt there --

ROMANS: An Eagle Scout, by the way.

BRIGGS: -- in West Virginia.

ROMANS: That's right.


ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. Thirty-one minutes past the hour.

We'll get to that in a moment. A make or break day for Senate Republicans on health care today. A showdown vote scheduled today on whether to begin debate on repealing Obamacare.

Chief among the many obstacles, still no clear word what GOP leaders have in store if senators vote to move forward, and that is very much in doubt.

BRIGGS: Indeed. President Trump raising the stakes and the pressure on fellow Republicans to keep their promise to repeal and replace the health care law.

The president driving the point home while speaking to the Boy Scouts Jamboree in West Virginia. The speech being widely criticized for its political tone, including this, what some feel is a threat to Health Secretary Tom Price.


TRUMP: By the way, you going to get the votes?


TRUMP: He better get them. He better get them. Oh, he better, otherwise I'll say Tom, you're fired. I'll get somebody.


BRIGGS: Meantime, we've learned Sen. John McCain will return to the Senate for today's crucial health care vote. McCain's first time back at the Capitol since his brain cancer diagnosis was made public.

We get more now from CNN's Jeff Zeleny at the White House.



All eyes in Washington today from here at the White House over to Capitol Hill are focusing on that critical vote in the Senate on health care. The Senate is scheduled to vote this afternoon on proceeding to debate on the actual bill so it's a bit of a two-step process.

But yesterday, here at the White House, we saw President Trump engaged in this issue, engaged in this matter more so than ever before, using the power of the presidency, that unique megaphone, to make the case for why Republicans, he says, should vote for this bill.


TRUMP: For the last seven years Republicans have been united in standing up for Obamacare's victims. Remember repeal and replace, repeal and replace? They kept saying it over and over again. Every Republican running for office promised immediate relief from

this disastrous law. We as a party must fulfill that solemn promise to the voters.

ZELENY: President Trump engaged and his Vice President Pence engaged as well.

And we received late word Monday evening that Sen. John McCain will be flying back to Washington and will be on hand today in the United States Senate to also cast a vote in this. Of course, he is recovering and, in fact, in treatment for an aggressive type of brain cancer but his vote is needed on this.

If Republicans get enough votes to go forward on this the White House, indeed, will get something of a win here, a much-needed win. But this health care bill and the outcome will say a lot about President Trump's agenda and the Republican Party's agenda going forward.

Christine and Dave --


ROMANS: Thanks, Jeff. Jeff Zeleny at the White House.

BRIGGS: All right, let's bring in David Drucker, CNN political analyst and senior congressional correspondent for the "Washington Examiner." Good morning to you, sir.

ROMANS: Morning.


BRIGGS: This feel like Bill Belichick arriving at Super Bowl Sunday without a game plan of how he's going to go attack the Atlanta Falcons -- unthinkable. Sorry for the sports analogy. That's what I do.

DRUCKER: I like sports analogies.

ROMANS: You're forgiven.

BRIGGS: But, "The Wall Street Journal" said the larger stakes in the Obamacare fight are whether Republicans can be a governing party. Can they?

[05:35:00] DRUCKER: Well, we're going to find out.

These are problems that House Republicans have. And we remember famously, earlier this year when their Obamacare repeal bill came crashing down. A partial repeal, really, not a full repeal. It was dead for six weeks but they kept talking and eventually they got a bill passed.

So now, the Republican bill has been dead for about a week. They've continued to talk and we're going to find out if they can get something done over the next few days. Now look, I wouldn't say, especially since I love analogies, that it's Belichick arriving without any game plan. I think it's Belichick arriving at the game --

BRIGGS: Or 17 game plans.

DRUCKER: -- with a couple of game plans.

The first game plan is kick the ball off.

ROMANS: Right.

DRUCKER: So they're going to kick the ball off and I think they're going to have the votes for that on this procedural vote. And then it's going to be a matter of which amendments they vote for. In other words, which repeal and replace bill do they vote for.

And there may be multiple votes in order to satisfy Republican members who, as a condition of voting to open the debate, want the chance to lay down a marker of where they stand. So I could see them voting on the straight repeal bill from 2015.

Somebody like Rand Paul votes for it, it fails, then they go to the latest phase of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which is their repeal and partial -- and their partial repeal and replace bill. I think that's the only bill in whatever final form it takes that has a chance to pass.

ROMANS: Let's torture this analogy some more and talk about all the many quarterbacks.

You've got the president yesterday trying to -- trying to push Republican senators to move in this direction and you have a very important Republican senator coming home from Arizona back to Washington who you think -- John McCain -- will vote to move this thing forward.

DRUCKER: I think that he will vote to open debate on the health care bill.

And I do love your analogy because that's the deal with Congress, you know. It's everybody's a quarterback. Everybody has their own idea about what should be done and they all answer to the voters and so we can kind of understand why they feel that way.

But they're going to have to compromise among themselves -- the Republicans will -- because they're not going to be any Democratic votes for this. Republicans have never sought any Democratic votes for this.

And for them it's all going to come down to Medicaid, right?

So if all the disagreements that we've seen in the House and the Senate this year among Republicans and the difficulty they've had with repealing Obamacare which, you know, maybe some people would have thought would have been a very easy thing to do, because Republicans, since Obamacare was passed seven years ago, now have very different diverse views on Medicaid and the Medicaid expansion passed under the Affordable Care Act. Some of them want to keep it, some of them don't.

BRIGGS: Well, one guy we're not sure if the president wants on his team any longer is Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, after tweeting that he is the beleaguered attorney general and telling "The New York Times" a couple of days that if he had known he'd recuse himself from the Russia investigation he wouldn't have picked him.

Well, here's a couple of conservatives who weighed in.

Newt Gingrich saying he strongly opposes firing Sessions. He thinks the base likes him.

A guy named Rush Limbaugh says it's a little bit discomforting. Unseemly for Trump to go after such a loyal supporter this way.

Steve King, the Iowa congressman. "No one in America can match the excellence of Jeff Sessions as A.G."

I could go on and on with conservatives standing up for Jeff Sessions.

What would it mean if the president fired him and what's his future?

DRUCKER: I think that if the president fired Jeff Sessions or if Jeff Sessions resigned after this beleaguered sort of treatment, if you will, that you'd have Republicans on the Hill, number one, that would be petrified that Mueller was next. That what the president was really doing was trying to find a way to get to Robert Mueller, the special counsel.

Number one, they don't want to have anything to do with this investigation and Robert Mueller gives them cover. It's a way for them even though you have a House --

ROMANS: Right.

DRUCKER: -- and Senate Intelligence Committee investigation in each house, they don't really have to deal with this. It's Mueller's issue.

The minute Mueller's fired or Mueller's pushed out, all of a sudden people are going to be looking at Republicans and they're going to say what do you plan to do about this, and that is not a position they want to be in.

ROMANS: Let's talk about the Boy Scouts. The president, yesterday in front of the jamboree in West Virginia, and he went off script, clearly, and he talked about personal politics -- listen.


TRUMP: You want to achieve your dreams. I said, who the hell wants to speak about politics when I'm in front of the Boy Scouts?

We ought to change it from the word swamp to the word cesspool or, perhaps, to the word sewer, but it's not good, not good.

Did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?

Do you remember that incredible night with the maps and the Republicans are red and the Democrats are blue and that map was so red it was unbelievable?

And, you know, we have a tremendous disadvantage in the Electoral College. The popular vote is much easier.


ROMANS: And he bashed the media and the President of the United States who, by the way, did appear via teleconference in 20 -- you know, video in 2010.

[05:40:06] This is what the Boys Scouts said after this.

The Boy Scouts of America is wholly nonpartisan. It does not promote any one position, produce, service, political candidate or philosophy. The invitation for the sitting U.S. president to visit the National Jamboree is a longstanding tradition. It is no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies.

DRUCKER: I think this was Trump being on script.


DRUCKER: Everybody talks about Trump being off script but this is what Trump does. He did this in the campaign. These are the rallies he gave.

This is what the voters responded to on the Republican side and I think, in part you know, the president sees this as part of his political magic. And so I think any chance he gets to do this, this is where he's most comfortable.

And the crowd to him and the setting is really immaterial to him. The message --

ROMANS: And the people are the oxygen, right.

DRUCKER: Yes. And look, you have a bunch of kids and here's a famous guy.

And, I -- I mean, I saw this a little bit in California when Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor. He'd show up for a political rally and, you know, people would just be like hey, there's the movie star.

ROMANS: Right.

DRUCKER: And, I mean -- he did the gives kids now a civics lesson the Electoral College so there's some value in that, I suppose.

ROMANS: And in six years the youngest of those attendees can go vote.

BRIGGS: Right.

ROMANS: Those are like 12-year-olds in the crowd.

BRIGGS: Yes. It had the feel of a WWE event and I've been to one of those. It felt similar from the crowd just waiting for the low-lying fruit, but let us know what you think about it.

The president in Ohio today with Rob Portman. Shelley Moore Capito was there last night.

David, thank you.

DRUCKER: Thank you.

ROMANS: Nice to see you this morning.

All right, stocks. The stock market once again ignoring the turmoil in Washington -- oblivious to the turmoil in Washington.

The Nasdaq hitting a record high. The Dow and the S&P 500, they're down slightly, you know, but they're still very close to record highs and I'll tell you why in a few minutes.

But first to housing because a really fascinating number in the housing market. Existing home sales fell in June as prices hit record highs. Sales of previously owned homes, they've basically been flat since March.

The problem here, simple supply and demand. Demand is surging due to a strong economy, improving job market, new millennial homebuyers, but there just isn't supply. Inventory hasn't caught up, sending the median sales price up 6.5 percent to $263,800. That is a record high.

Now, many homeowners are staying put as prices rise so first-time homebuyers are not finding affordably priced homes, which means more people are renting.

In fact, a new study finds more than -- that more U.S. households are renting now than at any point since 1965. Hello, American dream of home ownership. A majority cite financial reasons.

Isn't that really interesting?

BRIGGS: Yes. You hear about some of these markets. Denver, where I'm from, people have to pay cash --


BRIGGS: -- just to get the home they want.

ROMANS: Denver is a red-hot market. So is Dallas, actually.

BRIGGS: Indeed. All right.

Ahead, protests now slowing down this morning despite Israel's decision to remove metal detectors from a holy site. We're live in Jerusalem, ahead on EARLY START.


[05:47:05] BRIGGS: All right. Time for a look what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Our friend Alisyn Camerota is joining us if we could pull her away from her intriguing novel.


BRIGGS: Good morning.

ROMANS: Her summer beach read. She can't put it down.

CAMEROTA: I can't put it down. This is out today. The new novel, "Amanda Wakes Up." Oh my gosh.

BRIGGS: We're excited.

ROMANS: We're so excited for you.

BRIGGS: We have our copies.

CAMEROTA: You do? OK, well --

BRIGGS: Yes, we do.


CAMEROTA: -- feel free to order in bulk --


CAMEROTA: -- as well --

BRIGGS: Will do.

CAMEROTA: -- for all your friends and loved ones.

BRIGGS: Will do.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, guys.

BRIGGS: We're excited.

CAMEROTA: So, I'll be talking to Brian Stelter about my new novel. That will be coming up in the program.

Also, a lot of news.

We'll be talking to a slew of lawmakers about how they plan to vote on health care -- the all-important health care vote that is coming up, as well as Russian sanctions. And then, they'll share with us what Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, said behind closed doors.

So join Chris and me at the top of the hour.

ROMANS: Congratulations. I'm really happy for you for the novel.


ROMANS: That's really --

CAMEROTA: Thanks so much. It's an exciting time.


CAMEROTA: Thank you, guys.

BRIGGS: All right, my friend. See you in a bit.

ROMANS: Google stock has taken a rare hit and it's not because of sales. We'll tell you why on "CNN Money Stream," next.


[05:52:19] BRIGGS: Israel has now decided to remove recently installed metal detectors from the entrance to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Those metal detectors triggering protests and violence over the past two weeks in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Let's go live to Jerusalem and bring in CNN's Ian Lee.

Ian, it looks like protests have not slowed down despite the move to remove these metal detectors. Good morning to you.


And yes, you can see there are people who are gathered here outside that holy complex known as the Temple Mount, also known as the Noble Sanctuary.

It is midday prayer so people have been coming here. They're in the streets, they're filling the alleyways to pray outside that complex. That's because they are still not satisfied by the measures that have been taken.

Now, early last night -- or late last night, rather, those metal detectors were removed and Israel's security cabinet said that they're going to have new, sophisticated technologies to scan the people. What that exactly means we don't know at this time.

But a little while ago Islamic leaders here in Jerusalem met. They talked about the situation. They say that that's just not an acceptable move by Israel. They say they're going to reject it until they figure out more what happens, but also they say that they want it to go back to the way it was, Dave.

BRIGGS: The situation far from resolved there. Ian Lee, thank you so much.

It will be a heartbreaking end to the short but notable life of baby Charlie Gard. The parents of the terminally ill British boy giving up their legal fight for experimental treatment here in the U.S. Their lawyer telling the U.K.'s high court the window of opportunity to save the child no longer exists. Charlie's mother and father left devastated.


CHRIS GARD, CHARLIE GARD'S FATHER: Our son, who is an absolute warrior and we could not be prouder of him and we will miss him terribly. We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son, Charlie. Unfortunately, he won't make his first birthday in just under two weeks' time.


BRIGGS: Charlie's parents expressing frustration with the legal process, saying it delayed treatment that could have helped their son survive.

A London hospital is expected to take Charlie off life support shortly.

ROMANS: All right, 54 minutes past the hour.

Let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this morning.

Forget about the turmoil in Washington. Global stock markets higher after the Nasdaq hit a record high. It's up nearly 20 percent this year.

The Dow and the S&P 500 fell slightly to start the week but, you know, they're very close to record highs as well. That's because we have a Goldilocks economy at the moment, one that's just right for investors.

Moderate economic growth and improving jobs market, low inflation, and most important, solid corporate earnings. Companies are making boatloads of money and that's what drives stock markets higher.

[05:55:08] Speaking of earnings, the week is the busiest of the season. Today we'll hear from McDonald's, GM, Chipotle, and AT&T.

It's a rare event -- Google profits declining. Parent company Alphabet reported earnings and profit fell 28 percent because of a record $2.7 billion fine from European regulators.

Now, the E.U. claims Google uses its search engine to unfairly steer consumers to its own shopping platform. Google is weighing whether to file an appeal.

Otherwise, Alphabet, the parent company, had a strong quarter thanks to its ad business. Overall sales grew 21 percent -- $26 billion.

The Girl Scouts want to see more women in STEM careers -- science, technology, engineering, math. The Girl Scouts adding 23 new badges related to STEM. Scouts can earn these badges through activities like programming robots, designing model cars, writing code. The Girls Scouts says this move is to address the lack of exposure many girls have to STEM. Only about 25 percent of workers in the STEM fields are women.

As we know, however, these girls have been fantastic entrepreneurs for years. They can go out there and shake you down for a lot of money for those cookies.

Last year I went to a robotics -- underwater robotics championship -- a competition with some Girl Scouts --


ROMANS: -- in northern New Jersey. It was amazing some of the stuff that they were doing and, you know, they can get a badge for that.

BRIGGS: It's fantastic. But your Girl Scout cookie of choice is?

ROMANS: All of them.

BRIGGS: All of them? Samoas and Thin Mints.

ROMANS: I know. But it's usually -- those girls are -- they're business leaders and it's fantastic to see what kind of things are ahead.

BRIGGS: Doing great things, indeed.

ROMANS: All right. Thanks for joining us this morning. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.

The Senate votes on health care and rumors about a new attorney general and criticism after the president's politically-charged speech to the Boy Scouts. Just another Tuesday in July, folks.

"NEW DAY" starts right now. We'll see you tomorrow.


TRUMP: Any senator who votes against starting debate is telling America you are fine with the Obamacare nightmare.

ROMANS: A showdown vote scheduled today on whether to begin debate on repealing Obamacare.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: We are spending most of our time fighting this awful health care bill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having John McCain come back for this vote is a huge, huge break for Mitch McConnell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump and his aides have been discussing possibly removing Jeff Sessions.

TRUMP: We could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, what's really disturbing here is that he's really torturing him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump's trying to interfere with the independence of the attorney general. That's absolutely wrong and should not be tolerated.


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

CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, July 25th, 6:00 here in New York.

Here's our "Starting Line."

Up first, a crucial vote today in the Senate to begin debating a repeal of Obamacare. Senator John McCain, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, will head back to Washington to cast what could be a deciding vote.

Next, President Trump's public feud with Attorney General Jeff Sessions intensifies. "The Washington Post" reports that the president and his advisers are discussing the possibility of replacing Sessions, who Mr. Trump called beleaguered.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: House investigators are set to meet with Jared Kushner today after he denied any collusion with Russia in meetings with the Senate investigators Monday, as the House is going to get together today for a vote on tough sanctions bills against Russia. The question is will President Trump sign that measure into law even though it limits his influence?

And, the president is vowing to steer clear of politics when he gave this Boy Scouts speech last night.


And I'm laughing because he did not steer clear of politics. He gave them an earful.

The president's speech was filled with attacks on his predecessor, his one-time rival, and of course, the media. Remember, he was talking to the Boy Scouts.

CNN has it all covered. Let's begin with CNN national correspondent Suzanne Malveaux live on Capitol Hill -- Suzanne.


Well, this is an extraordinary effort. Senator John McCain is going to be boarding a plane later this morning. He's going to head back to Washington to participate in that critical health care vote despite his brain cancer diagnosis just less than a week ago. Now, his presence is really meant to bolster the Republican leadership's effort to get one step closer to passage but is far from certain whether or not it's going to be enough.


MALVEAUX (voice-over): Senator John McCain's unexpected return to Washington, adding last minute momentum to the Senate Republicans' ongoing push to dismantle Obamacare.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: I know many of us have waited literally years for this moment to finally arrive and at long last it has.

MALVEAUX: The Senate will vote today to begin debating the health care bill that narrowly passed the House in May. If McConnell secures the 50 votes needed to proceed, the Senate will then begin concerning amendments to that legislation.