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Trump to Announce New Sanctions on North Korea Today; GOP scrambles for Health Care Support Ahead of Vote; Inside U.S. Fight to Liberate Afghanistan. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired September 21, 2017 - 10:30   ET


[10:30:01] ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: So I think the U.S. really has to figure out what North Korea would settle for in order to start having these talks. They're never going to give up their full nuclear program.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: It's hard to get into the mind, if not impossible, of Kim Jong-un and that regime.

Elise, thank you. Thank you for being here in all this breaking news. We appreciate it.

The president just moments ago speaking in this meeting with Petro Poroshenko but about the recovery relief efforts after Hurricane Maria specifically for the U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to start the process now with Puerto Rico. We'll have further updates on it. But it was one of the most serious storms anyone has ever seen. Thank you all very much. Thank you.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Will you visit Puerto Rico?

TRUMP: Yes, I will.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: More military aid from the United States? Do you need more military aid from the United States?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In cooperation with the United States and security and defense sector. Definitely. And we're very much satisfied with that.


HARLOW: All right. There you have the president talking about the destruction of Puerto Rico of Hurricane Maria, again more than 3 million U.S. citizens call that home. The president asked, will you go to Puerto Rico, and he said yes. This is a president who has already had to make a number of trips to hurricane ravaged parts of this country. Looks like potentially the next one will be Puerto Rico.

Meantime back in Washington, home base for the president, the pressure is on. Republicans racing to get the votes they need to pass their newest plan to repeal Obamacare. We'll take you live to the Hill next.


[10:35:31] HARLOW: Republicans scrambling to get the support they need to pass their latest Obamacare repeal bill.

Phil Mattingly on the Hill with more.

So McConnell is going to bring this to the floor next week. It's going to happen before there is a CBO score that tells us how many Americans may or may not lose coverage over this. And it sounds like the White House is relying on the personal relationship between two senators to get this thing done?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's exactly right. Look, if you look at what happened in July, Poppy, obviously the famous thumbs down from Senator John McCain. Well, the co-author of the current iteration of repeal and replace Republicans are considering is Lindsey Graham. Lindsey Graham and Senator McCain are the best of friends in the U.S. Senate.

They travel together, they go on codels together, and the hope, I'm told, from both senior Republicans here on Capitol Hill and administration officials is that Lindsey Graham is going to be the one to get John McCain to come around.

Now, Poppy, his issues aren't any different than they were in July. It's process, he doesn't like how this is happening, he doesn't like the compressed timetable, he doesn't like the way that this Senate is not working, how the Senate is supposed to work. But this is their last option. As you noted, they have until the end of next week to get this done.

This is what's moving. The big question now is between John McCain and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Can Republicans sweep them both? They need them both to move this forward. Can they do it? As of now the answer is not yes, it's still not no.

HARLOW: Chuck Grassley making some comments, obviously, a Republican, that is well respected, a lot of experience on the Hill. Chuck Grassley making comments on this in a quote that is quite telling.

MATTINGLY: Yes. Look, and he's well-respected on health care policy, too.


MATTINGLY: He knows it very well. He's worked on the issue a lot and his basic point was, and I'm going to paraphrase here, back home, was that there's about 10 things in this bill that I really don't like, but we've campaigned on it for seven years, we need to get the job done.

It's been surprising over the course of the last four or five days, Poppy, when you talk to senators that they're just openly acknowledging that hey, we said we were going to repeal Obamacare for seven years in a row. This does that, so I'm going to be a yes. They haven't quite gotten their heads around the policy yet. But this is a significant change, at least in moving from subsidies to block grants than anything they've considered in the past.

And yet, they're still willing to vote for this because it's against Obamacare. That's been one of the more interesting moments of all this. The big question, though, is, are enough of them willing to vote? We don't have that answer yet.

HARLOW: But even then, Phil, if it makes it through the Senate, what happens to this thing in the House? Because it doesn't get rid of a lot of those taxes that the Freedom Caucus and some of the other more conservative members are going to hate.

MATTINGLY: Yes, look, to finance the block grants it keeps the vast majority of the Obamacare taxes. These are the types of things that conservatives should be absolutely opposed to. Now conservatives like block grants. The taxes are an issue. But it's more than that. If you look at people who had problems with the pre-existing conditions piece of this, if you look at people from states like New York and California of which Republicans actually have a decent delegation over in the House, unlike the Senate, those states because they expanded Medicaid would be disproportionately hurt on the block grant side.

HARLOW: Right.

MATTINGLY: All of those people are going to have to get in line if they're going to pass this in the House because, Poppy, as you know well they can't change this after the Senate passes it because they won't be able to pass it on a simple majority if they send it back.

HARLOW: Right.

MATTINGLY: So whatever the Senate passes if they pass it next week the House is going to have to eat it whole. Speaker Paul Ryan, Poppy, has said we can get it through. Just get it to us. We can get it through.


MATTINGLY: There's no question to your point, both conservatives and moderates, they're going to have a lot of work to do in the House.

HARLOW: And we all remember what Paul Ryan said back in 2009 about Democrats voting on something before we know what's in it and have a full scoring of it. Shoe is on the other foot this time, I suppose.

Phil Mattingly, thank you very much. Joining me now, CNN political commentator John Philips, also KABC talk

radio show host, and Ana Navarro.

It is nice to have you both here. I appreciate it.

Ana, analyze the president's message on this for me, OK. Let's pull it up.

"I would not sign Graham-Cassidy if it did not include coverage of preexisting conditions. It does a. A great bill. Repeal and replace."

OK. It includes coverage of preexisting conditions if you can afford it.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it also includes a waiver for states and I think that's a big deal for a lot of people.

Look, this is not an easy nut to crack. I think that it's important that legislators, that Republicans, also Democrats, keep trying to fix this bill, to fix health care. We have got to accept as Americans that the current system has got tremendous problems, tremendous flaws, and cannot sustain itself the way it is. So it needs to be replaced. It needs to be fixed. Is this the perfect fix? Probably not.

[10:40:02] And I think it's very hard for a lot of Republicans to support it because of different reasons including the preexisting conditions which is huge for so many people. And the idea that states can exempt themselves out of that is scary because you don't know what your governor is going to do.

I don't know what my governor is going to do. And so, you know, it leaves a certain degree of uncertainty when it comes to preexisting conditions that I think can make many Americans, particularly those that need this type of coverage, feeling very nervous right now.

HARLOW: John, what about that quote that Phil and I just discussed from Chuck Grassley. You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons this bill shouldn't be considered, he said, but Republicans campaigned on this so often they have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign.

Is that a reason to rush something through that is so huge for so many Americans as their health care policy? Just so you can do it with a simple majority? And I'm very well aware that Republicans were not a yes vote on Obamacare and there are problems with Obamacare, perhaps as a result. It was not a bipartisan effort.

JOHN PHILIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. He's right. Because we're in the 11th hour right now and we're beyond this being an essay question. This is now a multiple choice test. And the Democrats tipped their hand earlier this week or last week when Bernie Sanders had that press conference with a bunch of people standing behind him, a bunch of U.S. senators, and it's not just the ghost of Christmas past standing there, there was the ghost of Christmas future. There were five potential Democrats who might be running for president in 2020 standing there signing on for single payer.

Here in the state of California, Gavin Newsom is leading in the polls. He has signed on to a single-payer plan. The California State Senate passed a single payer plan. This is where the Democrats are headed. So as Lindsey Graham said right now we have a choice. The choice is American federalism or socialism, and to me that's like choosing between ice cream and manure. It's an easy one.

HARLOW: Or you had, Ana, the bipartisan effort from Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray to fix the existing system.

NAVARRO: Look, I think this is going to end up being a bipartisan effort, if not now, later. We've already tried this as a, you know, one-party solution with Obamacare. It's got major flaws. We've seen the first attempt at fixing and replacing from the Republicans that failed because it was a one-party solution. It had major flaws.

This one also has major flaws. And I think a lot of Republicans are wrestling with what Chuck Grassley articulated there. And no, the fact that it is a campaign issue should be great motivation to keep working at it but really what they need to do is work at a real solution, at a bipartisan solution, at a compromise solution.

Giant crises, national crises, like health care, like immigration, require that bad C word compromise, require getting minds, getting the top minds on both parties to come in and bring their different angles to the table. One-party solutions are rarely the ones that work with something so major as health care.


PHILIPS: She's right. I'd bring Joe Manchin into the room right now and I'd put him at the table and I'd try to get his vote. The governor in the state of West Virginia just switched parties from Democrat to Republican. It's a state that Donald Trump won overwhelmingly. And right now, people like Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, they're feeling the heat because they don't want to have to sign on to single payer health care which is the direction that their party is going in. I would involve those people as much as humanly possible.

HARLOW: They've certainly been in talks, meetings, meals, on the plane, on Air Force One with the president, so we'll see if that happens. Thank you, John and Ana.

NAVARRO: Thank you.

HARLOW: Nice to have you both here.

PHILIPS: Thank you.

HARLOW: Ahead for us, American special forces face to face with the Taliban. You're going to hear how a handful of U.S. troops helped liberate Afghanistan immediately after 9/11. The first time coming together telling their story.


[10:48:22] HARLOW: Inside the fight to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan after 9/11. The new CNN film "Legion of Brothers" spotlights the elite teams of U.S. Special Forces secretly deployed to Afghanistan right after 9/11. They had tremendous success on their secret mission. Much of their story not known until now. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The mission statement was to kill or capture senior al Qaeda and Taliban leadership, stop, insert name, stop, inset location, stop. At our level, there's a big map there and the big map is synchronized by who is next, who's on first. OK. And then who's our first is a number and a pitcher and a little bit of background. Went into one room, there's total chaos, seven guys, machine guns, dodging bullets, shooting people hand to hand.

We run in the next room, guys are shooting out the back of the window, one guy. We went into the next room, a family. It was on-off, on- off, on-off, on-off, on, helicopter home.


HARLOW: Peter Bergen is with us, our national security analyst. Also the only western journalist to interview Osama bin Laden and now a producer on this film joins us.

These are extraordinary, extraordinary American heroes, the Green Berets. They played this pivotal role in this covert mission, but so many years later, what drew you to the story? What sticks with you the most?

PETER BERGEN, PRODUCER, LEGION OF BROTHERS: Poppy, thanks for having me on. You know, the producers of the film, including my wife, Tresha Mabile, and the director, Greg Barker, were very interested in the episode in our American history.

[10:50:08] I wrote an e-mail to Admiral McCraven who of course was the architect of the bin Laden raid almost four years ago saying, you know, would it be possible to get some kind of official permission to do this? That happened and then we went to CNN and said, are you interested, and they said yes, and we spent about six months sort of -- you know, basically signing up people about what they wanted to say or could say because obviously as a community of people that isn't in the habit of talking to the media and is quite skeptical of the media, to be frank.

And -- but this is, you know, this is probably the most successful, unconventional military operation in American history arguably where, you know, there's a 100 guys overthrowing the Taliban in a matter of weeks. We focus on that story. But we also, Poppy, look at, by implication, we're talking to people a decade and a half later, and these are people who've deployed many times.

HARLOW: Right.

BERGEN: The distress on their families. There's been tragedies, there's been triumphs, and we kind of encompass all of that.

HARLOW: There is also a cautionary tale in this film, right, about lessons learned and why this -- why we and their fellow men and women who served in the Armed Forces are still at war and are still fighting this fight in Afghanistan? I mean this week Secretary Mattis announced 3,000 more U.S. troops will be going to Afghanistan. What is that caution?

BERGEN: Well, I mean I think none of us in the -- you know, in the months after 9/11, including the U.S. Military and the whole political system, anticipated that we'd still be in Afghanistan 16 years later, that we'd be in Iraq, that we'd be fighting in Syria and to some degree in Yemen, in Pakistan, in Libya. These are all unanticipated.

But, you know, a very small number of Americans serve in the Armed Forces and an even smaller number serve in the Special Forces and some of them are deploying, you know, five, seven, 10 times. That puts a lot of strain on the force, certainly special operations command has gone to try to make the deployments more predictable, but it's not just the forces, it's also, of course, their families who didn't necessarily sign up for multiple deployments.

HARLOW: Right.

BERGEN: So we get into that a bit. But, you know, the film doesn't have a narrator so it's not telling the audience what to think. You can come away making your own judgments about a lot of these issues just by watching the film.

HARLOW: Peter Bergen, thank you for this. I can't wait to see it.

BERGEN: Thank you.

HARLOW: And it's important to bring these stories of veterans and all they've given to the fore because so few of us actually know them and they're not a part of our life, so thank you for this.

BERGEN: Thank you.

HARLOW: Peter Bergen, "Legion of Brothers" premieres Sunday right here at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Meantime, switching gears, a pretty scary moment at Yankee Stadium. A young girl struck in the face by a line drive.

Andy Scholes with more on this morning's "Bleacher Report." Is she OK?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, according to her father, she is doing all right. This is -- you know, this is like the worst thing that can happen at a ballpark to anyone. And it happened in the fifth inning yesterday at Yankee Stadium. Todd Frazier was at the plate and he just hit a screaming line drive right behind the visiting dugout. It was clocked at 105 miles per hour off the bat.

The ball ended up striking a young girl that was sitting with her grandfather. Everyone's attention as you can see immediately turned to whether the girl was OK. The game was stopped for about four minutes while paramedics attended to her.

According to the "New York Daily News" last night the girl's father did say that she was all right. And the paper added she remains in the hospital overnight.


TODD FRAZIER, NEW YORK YANKEE: I thought -- I thought of my kids, you know. I have two kids under 3 years old and I just hope she's all right. It was terrible. Shaken up a little bit. You know, I don't know really what happened. I hope she's all right. But it was just something that I wish never happened. It was tough. It was tough to watch and tough to be a part of.


SCHOLES: Teams are required to have protective netting to at least the start of the dugouts now. About a third of teams have extended the netting farther to cover all of the seats above dugouts. The Yankees are not one of those teams. However, last month, after a fan was hit, the club had said they were seriously exploring extending the netting for next season.

All right. Elsewhere in the sports world Tom Brady's book, "The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Pique Performance" came out this week. Yesterday Bill Belichick had a pretty awesome response to whether he was going to read his quarterback's book.


BILL BELICHIK, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS HEAD COACH: You know, I see Tom every day. I really don't feel like I need to read a book.


SCHOLES: Now the Patriots play the Texans on Sunday. J. J. Watt said that Brady donated $100,000 and Belichick gave $50,000 to his Hurricane Harvey relief fund. Watt said he was very thankful for both of those donations.

This "Bleacher Report," it was brought to you by the new 2018 Ford F- 150 -- Poppy.

HARLOW: It's just such a classic Belichick response, isn't it? Like, total dead pan.

[10:55:05] SCHOLES: "I see Tom every day."

HARLOW: "I see Tom every day."

SCHOLES: No need to read his book.

HARLOW: No big deal to me. Don't need to read his book, by the way.



HARLOW: Andy Scholes.

SCHOLES: I love it.


HARLOW: Thank you, my friend.

SCHOLES: All right.

HARLOW: All right. Absolutely obliterated, the words President Trump chose to use to describe what we're seeing in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Much more on those recovery efforts coming up. Stay with us.