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EARLY START

Senate Republicans To Unveil Health Care Plan; Trump Takes Victory Lap At Iowa Rally; Some House Dems Wants Pelosi Out; U.S.: China Has "Shared Goal" Of Disarming North Korea. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 22, 2017 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:30:25] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, folks, Senate Republicans are just hours away from revealing their health care plan negotiated in secret. How does it affect you and how can it win over enough support to pass a vote in just a week's time?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look, I'll tell you about the Democrats. I am making it a little bit hard to get their support, but who cares?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump doesn't seem to mind the Democrats opposing him at every turn. The president taking quite a victory lap in Iowa after the Republicans win in the Georgia special election.

BRIGGS: That loss in Georgia has some Democrats revolting. Nancy Pelosi is hearing growing calls for change of leadership in the House. We'll talk to Chris Deaton from "The Weekly Standard" about that in just a couple of minutes.

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

KOSIK: Good morning, I'm Alison Kosik. It's 30 minutes past the hour and up first, Senate Republicans, they're going to be coming out of the shadows for their big reveal. They're going to unveil their plan for overhauling Obamacare. Until now, details of the GOP health care bill have been a closely guarded secret with a handful of senators working behind closed doors.

BRIGGS: So here's what we know about the plan we'll see later this morning -- 9:30, senators see the bill. It slows down the timeframe in the House measure for rolling back the Medicaid expansion. Also, improves tax credits for low-income and older Americans in the House version. Offers states more flexibility on waivers to opt out of Obamacare regulations, including essential health benefits.

KOSIK: It also defunds Planned Parenthood for a year and that move could violate Senate budget rules the GOP is using to pass their bill with only 51 votes. But several critical issues remain up on the air and those include a fund to fight opioid abuse, efforts to stabilize the market during the transition away from Obamacare, and the timing of the repeal of Obamacare taxes also still unclear -- the fate of coverage for preexisting conditions.

BRIGGS: That, of course, is key here --

KOSIK: It's huge.

BRIGGS: -- politically. Senate GOP leaders face a possible repeat of the House fight, trying to find a balance that satisfies both conservatives and moderates earning enough votes to pass.

KOSIK: All right. Joining us live this morning to talk more about this health care legislation, from Washington "Weekly Standard," reporter Chris Deaton. Welcome back.

CHRIS DEATON, REPORTER, WEEKLY STANDARD: Thanks, guys.

KOSIK: So, we've been saying it all morning and we've known this for a while how this legislation is really being hashed out in secret. Senator Lindsey Graham saying something funny -- saying, "We're going to know if it's a boy or a girl around 9:30 a.m. this morning." You know, even Republicans are in the dark about this. Let's go and put up these full screens again to try to walk through some of what we don't know, what we do know, and I want you to kind of roll through this for me, Chris, and figure out here what do you think stays, what do you think is going to be sacrificed.

DEATON: Well, the talking point around town so far has essentially been the Senate bill is going to resemble, in large measure, the House bill, but there are going to be some significant changes and they are the types of changes that could be considered sweeteners or make or break issues for a group of moderate senators and a group of conservative senators. And we have to remember that with such thin margins in the Senate with a 52 to 48 majority for the Republicans, those blocks of potential votes are key.

On the moderate side, I think that we talked about preexisting conditions and all that stuff a lot. We talked about the CBO scores that have come out the -- come out about the House bill a lot. We haven't talked nearly enough about Medicaid. Medicaid is a huge issue.

BRIGGS: Yes.

DEATON: It accounts for such a massive amount of spending. It accounts for -- it covers so many people who a lot of these moderate senators are -- count as constituents in their home states, and they come from Medicaid expansion states if you look at people like Rob Portman from Ohio. So what we have to look at here is that the Medicaid growth rate, on the one hand, might slow down. That might scare away some moderates. But if you delay the Medicaid expansion rollback for a few extra years compared to the House bill, that could be a pot sweetener. And there are still some plenty of things to look at on the conservative side as well that's going to be critical to try to determine whether or not they're going to be able to rope together the necessary amount of potential swing votes to get this thing across the finish line.

BRIGGS: Right, Chris, and, of course, we wish this morning -- we were talking about how many Americans will lose coverage, will this bring down the cost of health care, premiums, things like that, but we don't know. We haven't seen the bill and the CBO has certainly not scored it, so what we're talking about is a number, 50, and how they get there. And on one side you have Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, the conservatives. On the other you have Lisa Murkowski, you have Susan Collins. You almost have to say, if you're Mitch McConnell, I'm going to sacrifice one end of this. Who is it and can they cobble together 50?

[05:35:15] DEATON: That will all be in the eye of the beholder. It's a terrific question. There are going to be a lot of points of pressure I'm sure that both groups of senators will be applying to Senate leadership. Let's talk about some of those conservatives for a moment here because I find it interesting that in this supposed group of 13 Republican senators who have been part of this working group trying to hash out a deal, Mike Lee -- one of them -- a conservative senator from Utah, posted a video to his Facebook page on Tuesday and said guys, I agree that this process has not been transparent. I agree with your concerns that this needed to be more out in the open. I, myself, haven't even seen the bill and I'm part of the group that's supposedly providing input for a final draft here.

So that's a very fascinating thing to keep track of here. I mean, there's a lot of tension on the conservative side. I think a lot having to do with Obamacare regulations -- whether or not states are going to be able to have sufficient authority to opt out of some of those. The preexisting condition thing is one thing but there are some other provisions to keep an eye there on as well.

KOSIK: You know, President Trump, much to what senators wanted, stayed out of the -- stayed out of the process for this health care bill to be hashed out in the Senate, but he did bring it up last night at a campaign rally. He's kind of in his element. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: So we have a very slim -- 52 to 48. That means we basically can't lose anybody. And I think and I hope -- I can't guarantee anything but I hope we're going to surprise you with a really good plan. You know, I've been talking about a plan with heart. I said add some money to it. A plan with heart -- but Obamacare is dead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Chris, is he -- is he going to pull it off?

DEATON: I mean, by his "chinny-chin-chin,"I think a children's saying would go if they actually do get it across the finish line here. We have to keep in mind on this idea of getting to that magic number of 50, of course, Mike Pence, being the vice president, could cast a decisive 51st vote if necessary in favor of the Republicans. "The Washington Post" reported a couple of days ago -- earlier this week, that Rand Paul and Susan Collins, who kind of represent the ideological extremes in the Republican conference on the Senate side, are essentially being discounted as people who are going to be bankable yeses on this bill.

At that point, you have zero margin for error and if you have the Susan Collins, Rob Portman, Lisa Murkowski, Shelley Moore Capito, who is a West Virginia senator and has her own concerns about Medicaid -- if you have that group of moderate senators and their own basket of concerns, and then you have the Mike Lee types and the Ted Cruz types who are going to have their own themselves, these are senators with sway. These are --

BRIGGS: Yes.

DEATON: -- for political purposes, relatively household names. So it's going to be real, real fight trying to get this across the finish line, especially before July Fourth if that's the goal.

KOSIK: It certainly will be.

BRIGGS: All right. So, the president does have one thing and that is some momentum going for him right now, and that's because of these special elections, in particular what happened in the Georgia Sixth as Tim Ossoff (sic), you know, raised $23 million and still lost, so they have some momentum going. And on the flip side, Democrats are saying our brand is actually worse than Trump's, calling for new leadership -- listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON LEMON, HOST, "CNN TONIGHT": Do you think Nancy Pelosi is more toxic than Donald Trump?

REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: You know what, the honest answer is in some areas of the country yes, she is. As unfair as it is, there have been a lot of people that have spent a lot of money running negative ads against her and I think that in certain areas, like in some of these special election districts, it doesn't benefit our candidates to be tied to her. And it's not fair, but it is true and there's a reason why the Republicans are still using it.

REP. SETH MOULTON (D), MASSACHUSETTS: It's clear that I think across the board in the Democratic Party we need new leadership. It's time for a new generation of leadership in the party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Chris, you could add New York's Kathleen Rice in a list of those calling for new leadership. Do you think we'll hear those calls expand and how happy are Republicans across the country running against the image of Nancy Pelosi?

DEATON: I want to take your second question first. It's absolutely phenomenal. We talk so much about how rapidly Washington can change and yet we're going back to the well of running against Nancy Pelosi. It seems like this has been a House campaign tactic since Lyndon Johnson was president. It's unbelievable. There is demonstrable proof that this was effective -- the

Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC that played a very big part in helping Karen Handel get across the finish line down there in Georgia -- found in some of their own internal data. "The Washington Examiner" reported that Nancy Pelosi was still a very effective figure to run against. And if you listened to Handel, the Republican candidate who beat Ossoff in that race, on the stump she brought Pelosi up a ton. The same thing went for the advertising.

[05:40:10] So there's absolutely no question that the likes of Tim Ryan, who already mounted this kind of quixotic charge, I suppose, trying to take over Democratic leadership, that probably will only stand to expand. Washington does need to undergo change sometimes. I mean, we already say Speaker Boehner have his tenure end somewhat prematurely, perhaps, after being reelected by his caucus. Nancy Pelosi's days might be getting shorter than they are longer at this point just because of changes winds in her party.

BRIGGS: All right. Chris Deaton, from "The Weekly Standard," connecting the dots from LBJ to Nancy Pelosi to Donald Trump. Well done, sir.

KOSIK: Thanks, Chris.

BRIGGS: We always appreciate having you.

DEATON: Thanks, guys.

KOSIK: All right. The president has blasted Dodd-Frank, blaming the regulations for preventing banks from lending money to businesses, but U.S. banks have actually -- they've got more cash than ever. Banks actually raked in record profits last year and paid out $102 billion in dividends. That's just shy of an all-time high. Dividends are the money that companies pay their shareholders and the bank dividends crumbled during the financial crisis but they've grown since then, even after Congress passed Dodd-Frank in 2010.

Now, there's nothing evil about dividends. In fact, they're -- these payments are a good sign of financial health for the companies. But high dividends boost stock prices and the stock market is close to all-time highs, and that's why critics are accusing the banks of withholding money for lending so they can return it to shareholders. And despite the rhetoric that's happening on both sides, the reality is banks are lending. Commercial bank loans actually hit an all-time high last November.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, President Trump weighing in after high- level talks between the U.S. and China. Was there any movement on how to deal with the growing threat from North Korea? We're live in Shanghai, next on EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:46:15] KOSIK: The Trump administration says the U.S. and China share a common concern about the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear missile program. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hosting their Chinese counterparts to discuss the growing crisis. For months, the White House has been lobbying China to exert more influence over the Kim Jong Un regime.

BRIGGS: At his rally last night in Iowa, President Trump praised China's president but also sent a message that he expects more from Beijing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We've had a very good relationship with China, in all fairness, and I do like President Xi. I wish we would have a little more help with respect to North Korea from China, but that doesn't seem to be working out, but I do like the president a lot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The meeting with top Chinese officials comes just days after the death of Otto Warmbier. The American college student spent 17 months in hard labor in North Korea before he was sent home in a coma. Warmbier's funeral is today. CNN's Matt Rivers live from Shanghai with more on the high-level meetings and where the two go from here. Matt, the president says he'd like China to do more, then there's the question of what have they actually done to exert influence on North Korea?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, some people say they haven't done nearly as much as they could. In fact, that's been the argument from successive administrations going back well over 10 years, so this argument from the Trump administration is really nothing new that the North Koreans -- the North Koreans could be swayed by China's vast economic influence if it were truly brought to bare. But what China says every single time people bring up this criticism is that they are doing enough already. They've helped implement U.N. Security Council resolutions and sanctions against the Kim Jong Un regime and they can't really use any more influence.

Now, critics will say that China certainly uses loopholes in those sanctions and that it trades with North Korea in a major way, so it certainly could be doing more if it wanted to. One of the reasons it doesn't is the fact that it needs North Korea as a strategic buffer against the tens of thousands of U.S. troops that currently exist on the Korean Peninsula.

But the big question here moving forward, though, is if the Trump administration does turn to believe that the Chinese are not doing enough -- that they really can't rely on the Chinese to actually move forward and get the North Koreans to stop developing these nuclear weapons, well then what? What's the next step because that's been the strategy of the Trump administration so far? They've been very nice to China in other areas. Things like the South China Sea and currency manipulation, things President Trump brought up on the campaign trail, so how does this affect the broader overall relationship moving forward? That's the big question we don't have an answer to quite yet.

BRIGGS: It sure is, Matt. I mean, the president's hinted at doing more but military action is useless, so time will tell. Matt Rivers live for us in Shanghai. Thank you, sir.

KOSIK: Are you driving this summer? I've got good news for you. Gas prices are the cheapest in more than a decade and they're still falling. We're going to tell you why on CNN Money Stream, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:53:25] BRIGGS: U.S. officials denying a claim by ISIS that coalition forces blew up a Mosul mosque, considered the birthplace of the Islamic State's self-declared caliphate. U.S. officials say the ISIS claim is 1,000 percent false. Meantime, Iraq's prime -- Iraq's military, rather, putting the blame back on ISIS.

Senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh live for us in Beirut. Nick Paton Walsh, sir, tell me exactly why this mosque is so significant, symbolically.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For ISIS, it is really the sort of symbolic seat of their leader, Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi, from which he announced his leadership of what they call their "caliphate," the tranche (ph) of Iraq and Syria where they instilled their brutal regime. It was his only real public appearance and it, too, holds a very holy place in the Islamic faith, dating to the 12th century. It's actual destruction appears to have come on one of the holiest nights of the holy month of Ramadan in the Islamic faith.

Who's behind it? Well, the fog of war at play here certainly but, frankly, the preponderance of evidence suggests maybe ISIS did it themselves, in all truth, given the number of explosives that have been seen being moved around that compound in the past weeks or so and frankly, the unlikelihood of the U.S. choosing this particular moment and not one in the months past to deliver the airstrike they're accused of by ISIS. ISIS, too, having a pretty bad track record, frankly, in telling the truth.

Was does it mean for the terror group? Well, it's a phenomenal admission of defeat, frankly. The Iraqi prime minister saying this is announcements of their own defeat. It's, effectively, them engaging in a scorched earth policy, destroying their most valuable symbols to prevent them from falling into the hands of their enemies. Now this, too, a massive blow, frankly, for the relics and history of the Islamic faith in both Mosul and around the region, too, and perhaps a suggestion maybe that ISIS are beginning to feel themselves edging closer and closer to the end of their time in Iraq. Mosul is the last place that they hold control in the city and they're down to a matter of square miles there in the old city. A terrifying fight underway with tens of thousands of civilians caught in the crossfire there but also to the fight for their self-declared capital -- their caliphate, Raqqa, already underway, Dave.

[05:55:40] BRIGGS: All right. Nick Paton Walsh live for us in Beirut, thank you.

KOSIK: OK, let's get a check on CNN Money Stream this morning. Global markets are down this morning after Wall Street closed mostly lower. The S&P 500 fell after energy stocks dropped 1.6 percent, and that's because oil continues to decline. We're watching crude prices. They fell another two percent to their lowest level in 10 months, so that's still bear market territory. That's a 20 percent drop. We're seeing investors worried over a supply glut.

But that drop in oil prices means good news for drivers. Gas is the cheapest in 12 years. Prices have fallen every day since June 2nd. The average is now down 10 cents to $2.28 per gallon. We do actually see gas prices usually spike during the summer but low demand is driving prices down and experts think they'll just keep falling. They predict this weekend we're going to see the cheapest prices so far this year.

Home sales increasing in May. That's a rebound from April but sales have kind of see-sawed for months and months this year. The problem is high demand and low supply. The number of houses for sale is actually at a 20-year low but that is boosting prices. Median sale price hitting a new record in May. It's up almost six percent from last year.

Did you know that George Clooney doesn't only look good, he sold tequila? Well, he doesn't anymore because the actor is actually selling his tequila company for $1 billion. The buyer is the owner of brands you recognize, like Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff. Clooney launched his tequila company with two other partners in 2013 and, by golly, he says he's going to stay involved in it starting with a shot or two. How about that?

BRIGGS: Darn you, Clooney -- $700 million cash. It is fantastic tequila, Casamigos.

KOSIK: Congrats to him. All right, thank you for joining us. I'm Alison Kosik.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Obamacare is a disaster, it's over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you have a good bill you don't need to keep it secret.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A working draft will be released. All the concerns people have had will evaporate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Health care is personal, it's not political.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Russian government orchestrated cyberattacks for the purpose of influencing our election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not clear that President Trump takes this seriously as the assault on America that is it.

TRUMP: They have phony witch hunts going against me and you know what, all we do is win, win, win.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Thursday, June 22nd, 6:00 here in New York, and here's our starting line.

In just a few hours, Senate Republicans will unveil their, thus far, secret health care bill but they could be facing a revolt from within their own party. So we will tell you what we know about what is in the bill, what it means for you, and how it differs from the House plan.

Meanwhile, President Trump is back in campaign mode, taking a victory lap last night. The president touting old campaign promises and offering some new ones.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: He said something last night that I have never heard get applause from a supposedly blue-collar crowd before. We'll play it for you coming up. We also have a potentially explosive development in the Russia investigation. CNN has new details about the testimony from two top intel chiefs about their conversations with President Trump. We have the scoop on what they said behind closed doors.

And the Democrats are licking their wounds but are they learning after failing to make ground on the GOP in four straight races. Questions about changing the party leadership are now real. We'll get into them. We have it all covered. Let's begin with CNN's Suzanne Malveaux live on Capitol Hill. Good morning, Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Well, the Senate legislation, the health care legislation has been shrouded in secrecy much to the dismay of many Republicans, including those key votes. Well, 9:30 this morning they are finally going to get a chance to take a look at this and CNN has gotten a sneak peek which, of course, is subject to change.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRUMP: I hope we're going to surprise you with a really good plan.

MALVEAUX: Senate leadership hoping to appeal to both moderate and conservative Republicans with a bill that is expected to phase out Medicaid expansion starting in 2021, a year later than the House bill, and defund Planned Parenthood for one year which could be a deal- breaker for two key Republican senators. Republicans can only afford to lose two votes since no Democrat is expected to support the bill.