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EARLY START

This Week's Health Care Battle; Trump-Russia Investigation; Supreme Court Reaches Last Day of Its Current Term; Martin Shkreli's Day in Court; Rescue Workers at Landslide in China's Southwest Sichuan Province; High-Rise Safety Concerns in UK. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 26, 2017 - 04:30   ET

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


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: There's no way in God's Earth that this bill should be passed this week.

[04:30:04] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We don't have too much of a choice because the alternative is the dead carcass of Obamacare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: The Republican Healthcare bill facing a critical week as Senate Republican leadership is pushing for a vote by Friday and as early as today, you could find out the true cause and effect of the Senate health plan.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump now acknowledging that Russia meddled in the U.S. Election and putting blame squarely on Former President Barack Obama. What an amazing story it was in the "Washington Post," telling of Russian interference in this election by Vladimir Putin having the Obama Administration acknowledge it and say that they "choked."

Good morning, everyone, welcome to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

KOSIK: Good morning, I'm Alison Kosik. Hope you had a good weekend. It is Monday, June 26th. It is 30 minutes past the hour.

and coming as soon as today, the Congressional Budget Office Assessment of the Senate Health Care Bill, that's the same CBO Score or Analysis, that nearly scuttled the house version of ObamaCare Repeal and Replace, talking about the house measure there.

Now, the Senate -- the Senate's 52 Republicans have an even narrower path to victory than their house colleagues. Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell can lose only two votes. At least five Republicans though, they've already said they can't support the bill in its current form, and that's before this analysis from the Congressional budget office even comes out.

BRIGGS: Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price is making sweeping promises to help get the bill across the finish line. For example, he says that a deep cut to Medicaid is not actually a cut.

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: All right. Let's turn now to White House Correspondent, Athena Jones for the latest.

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

The problem is that at least right now there are enough Republican Senators who have expressed opposition to the bill to effectively kill it. Several other Republican Senators have also expressed concerns. Conservatives are worried that it doesn't go far enough to undo ObamaCare.

Meanwhile, more Moderate Senators are worried that it may go too far, that it could leave the most needy and the most vulnerable behind particularly because of the changes to Medicaid, the cuts to the Medicaid program that are included in this bill.

Now, we could see the score from a nonpartisan Congressional budget office as soon as today, that will let Senators know the impact of this bill. How much will it cost, how will it impact the deficit? How many American -- how many people could lose coverage under the Senate's proposal?

Those numbers are going to be very important for Senators trying to make a decision about the bill. I should also mention that President Trump has been working the phones himself. He has spoken with Senators, Ted Cruz and Ryan Paul, to try to get them on-board.

So, a lot to watch this week as they try to get this bill -- this promise that Republicans have been running on for the last seven years. They're going to try to get this bill across the finish line. We'll be watching closely to see what happens. Alison, Dave?

KOSIK: OK, our thank you, Athena Jones for that. And yes, the president is confirming that he called the house health care bill mean.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Mean. That was my term because I want to see -- I want to see -- and I speak from the heart, that's what I want to see. I want to see a bill with heart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: OK. But, some critics say the Senate bill also lacks heart. And that's because it makes the deepest cut to Medicaid in 50 years. Now, Medicaid is the nation's biggest health care insurer. It covers more than 70 million low-income Americans and the current proposal slashes funding by at least $800 billion over the next 10 years.

So, it does this a few ways. It ends the expansion program. It reduces the growth rate of funding, and sending states a fixed amount of money instead of leaving it open-ended. Now, each state's funding will be based on its historical spending for each group so that includes children, disabled adults, and the elderly.

Republican lawmakers claim the current system encourages states to overspend on Medicaid. States get -- based in Fed, state will get dollar for-dollar on however most Americans view the program favourably and President Trump promises that no one with Medicaid will lose coverage.

However, the Congressional budget office estimate of the house bill found that 14 million Americans will. So, we still need to see how the Senate version will fare in the CBO's eyes. We're going to find out when the CBO releases its analysis this week, maybe today.

[04:35:00] BRIGGS: Hope so. All right, looks like President Trump has a new strategy to deal with claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election. He's now placing that blame squarely on Former President Obama. President Trump escalating his attacks on Mr. Obama over the weekend, seizing on a stunning "Washington Post" report that "a former Senior Obama Administration official" that unnamed official telling the "Post," "we sort of choked on blocking Russia's efforts to influence the U.S. Election."

KOSIK: President Trump tweeting over the weekend saying, "since the Obama Administration was told a way before the 2016 election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not T," for Trump.

CNN's Ryan Nobles has more on the president's new tactic for dealing with the Russian meddling claims.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alison and Dave. President Trump spent a lot of time during the campaign and after his election attempting to downplay Russia's role, intervening in the 2016 election.

But, now after this report in the "Washington Post" that details the Obama Administration's response to the intelligence community's assessment, he seems willing to admit Russia's efforts as long as he can blame President Obama for not doing enough.

But one former administration official concedes in the report that they could have been perhaps should have done more. On "STATE OF THE UNION," Adam Schiff, a Democrat and a ranking member on the intelligence committee agreed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: The American people needed to know and I didn't think it was enough to tell them after the election, but rather given the seriousness of this, I think the administration needed to call out Russia earlier, needed to act to deter and punish Russia earlier and I think that was a very serious mistake.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBLES: Now, Schiff, went on to say that even though President Obama could have been -- maybe should have done more that doesn't change the fact that Candidate Trump was part of the problem egging WikiLeaks and even Russia on, telling them in speeches to reveal more hacked ENC emails and emails from Hillary Clinton's private server.

It now appears that Trump is using Obama's inaction to deflect from the investigation into his campaign's possible collusion with Russia, which he has, of course, denied. Yesterday morning, Trump tweeting, "Hillary Clinton colluded with the Democratic Party in order to beat crazy Bernie Sanders. Is she allowed to so collude? Unfair to Bernie."

This, of course, all comes at a time where Special Counsel, Robert Muller continues his investigation and at least three different Congressional committees continue their probe into Russia's role in the 2016 election. Alison and Dave?

KOSIK: Ryan Nobles, thanks very much.

A busy day ahead at the White House as President Trump welcomes India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Modi represents one of the fastest growing economies in the world at a market U.S. Companies are eager to break into. But, there's a pretence backdrop to today's meeting.

India is nervous about Trump's plans to revamp the H1B visa Program. Indian workers get about 70 percent of H1Bs awarded each year in the U.S. and India now says it wants to join China leading the world to a more sustainable future after the U.S. pulled out of the Paris climate deal.

BRIGGS: Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson calling a list of demands from Arab countries, boycotting Qatar, "difficult to meet." But, Tillerson says the 13 demands provide a basis for ongoing dialogue. Those demands include shuttering Qatar's Al Jazeera News Network and weakening its diplomatic ties with Iran.

Qatar says the boycott is really about "limiting its sovereignty" and that claims that it supports terrorism are baseless. The U.S. and Kuwait are attempting to broker mediation effort between Qatar and its neighbors. The U.S. has some 11,000 troops stationed in Qatar.

KOSIK: So, it may have looked like a black tie cabinet meeting, but the kind of little get-together paired president and First Lady Melania Trump, the vice president and others was actually the wedding of Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin to Scottish Actress, Louise Linton. Vice-President, Pence officiated as the couple exchanged I do's before 300 guests at Washington this Saturday night. The newlyweds have experienced skirting conflicts of interests. Mnuchin apologized in March for appearing to promote a movie he had produced.

Linton resigned at the interim CEO of a film company in May that Mnuchin once headed and divested from after taking office.

Ivanka Trump heading to court has federal judges ordering the first daughter to testify in a lawsuit against her fashion label. What's the charge here? Plagiarism. Italian shoemaker, Aquazzura, claims Ivanka's brand copied its designs. At the center of the lawsuit is this shoe here -- take a look, which -- they look kind of very similar, don't they?

BRIGGS: Yes, a little bit.

(LAUGHTER)

[04:40:00] KOSIK: Well, of course, a judge is taking a very close look at these shoes, not to wear them. So, Ivanka's lawyers actually deny this allegation that they're too similar saying Aquazzura's shoe lacks the distinctive that's needed for intellectual property laws.

They also say the suit is a publicity stunt. Ivanka stepped down as head of her company before her father took office. She's currently serves in an unpaid role as a White House adviser, which is why her lawyers say she should be exempt from testifying, but a judge disagreeing.

Ivanka's lawyers did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment, so with the judge disagreeing she has to be deposed by October.

BRIGGS: You're the shoe expert. I'm not. Those were...

KOSIK: You know, what?

BRIGGS: ...carbon copies to this guy.

KOSIK: I've seen -- I've seen lots of shoe copies. I'm no expert by any stretch, but these shoemakers really make it so, they make -- they kind of skirt that line.

BRIGGS: OK.

KOSIK: I've seen it. I've worn them.

BRIGGS: We'll, see about that. Interesting. Up next, a crucial day for the Supreme Court. In just a few hours, we'll hear whether the court is taking up President Trump's travel ban case and we might find out if Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring.

KOSIK: And look at this, terrifying moments for 350 passengers, an international flight shaking violently, not just for a second or two, but for two hours. The cause is still a mystery. We're going to show you more of this video, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:45:00] BRIGGS: Boy, some intrigue building this morning as the Supreme Court reaches the last day of its current term to the questions looming. One, will the high court take up President Trump's travel ban case? Number two, will 80-year-old Justice Anthony Kennedy retire?

CNN's Ariane de Vogue has more.

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT CORRESPONDENT: All eyes are on Justice Anthony Kennedy. Sources say he's seriously considering retirement, but no one knows if it will come as early as this term. It would be a big change for the court and the country. He's played such a central role on the court.

He's voted with Liberals on abortion access, affirmative action. He's voted with Conservatives on gun rights, campaign finance, Bush V Gore. If President Trump gets this vacancy, he would really solidify the Conservative majority for years to come. He would replace a centrist with a Conservative that could really change the court.

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

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

I want to show you this terrifying video, more than 350 passengers on this Air Asia X Flight from Perth, Australia to Malaysia enduring this violent shaking, not for like five minutes, for two hours. This is going on for two hours.

One passenger said there was a loud bang about an hour into the flight even the plane shuddered during the entire trip back to Perth. He also said the pilot asked them to pray twice. Can you imagine the chills they felt when they heard that?

And they were told to hold the "brace" position during landing. It's not clear though at this point what caused the issue with the jet's Rolls Royce engines.

BRIGGS: Everyone is so calm on that flight. People freak...

KOSIK: Yes.

BRIGGS: ...out when they don't get peanuts and beverages...

(LAUGHTER)

BRIGGS: ...and look at everyone just seemingly so calm.

KOSIK: Yes. BRIGGS: All right, investigators now are looking to whether cell phones, cigarettes, or something else sparked a leaking fuel tanker in Eastern Pakistan, the death toll from the violent explosion and fire now up to at least 153 people.

Dozens more were injured in the inferno which happened after the tanker veered off the road when the driver lost control, and Pakistani media reporting people were caught in the explosion after they rushed to collect the leaking fuel in pots.

KOSIK: Rescue workers at the scene of a landslide in China's Southwest Sichuan Province. They've been evacuated from this site because of risk of a new landslide. Crews had been desperately searching for survivors of Saturday's deadly slide.

Close of 100 people are missing, dozens of homes buried. Local officials say 10 bodies have been recovered since the beginning of the rescue operation that began on Saturday, 15 people who were presumed dead were actually found safe.

There's been heavy rainfall there thought to be a possible cause of the initial landslide. A smaller one followed which police say made it even more difficult to get that heavy machinery to the scene, just incredible.

Infamous Former Pharmaceutical Exec, Martin Shkreli finally has his day in court, but it's not...

BRIGGS: The smirk.

KOSIK: ...but it's not for raising the prices on his lifesaving drugs. We're going to tell you why he's there on CNN Money, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:50:00] BRIGGS: A shocking number of high-rises across the UK failing fire safety test conducted in the wake of Britain's deadliest fire in decades. CNN has learned all 60 buildings inspected so far after London's Grenfell Tower tragedy have fire-resistant cladding deem to be unsafe.

Let's bring in CNN's Ian Lee with the latest on the drastic steps being taken to ensure resident safety. Good morning to you, Ian. Is evacuation the only way to fix this problem?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave and Alison. Right now, that seems to be the path that officials want to take. I'm here in Camden where they have five of these buildings, one of them right behind me, four of which have been evacuated. The other one they say, that a 24-hour monitoring by a fire marshal, is OK for now, but not all of the residents want to leave.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BELINDA BROWN, CHALCOTS ESTATE RESIDENT: I don't want to leave my flat because it's a big upheaval for all the tenants in there. And also I think this is a total kneejerk reaction. It's overreaction on behalf of the council, because we've been there in the flats since they did refurbishment since 2009.

And now, suddenly overnight, run safe. We've had the same cladding for all these years, so how come suddenly now we all have to be booted out, a great cost, a great inconvenience to all of us?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEE: Dave, 4,000 people right now are finding housing elsewhere. But, this isn't just these kinds of tower blocks. You also have hospitals, schools, shopping centers that also have this kind of cladding.

Now, the national health service and the department of education have told their administrators they need to find out if their buildings have this sort of cladding to make sure that a fire like that we saw in Grenfell does not happen to one of their properties.

But, expect this to cost millions and millions of dollars to fix in months.

BRIGGS: Any sense, you know, this is limited to the UK?

[04:55:00] LEE: You know, we've seen these sorts of fires before especially in the Gulf in Dubai where you would have this huge multi- story buildings, these skyscrapers and you would see flames just shoot up the side of them.

In the United States, this sort of cladding is illegal, so there's a lot of question here about why they were allowed to use this, a lot of angry residents because this just puts them out even longer.

They said they didn't like it when it was put on, and now they're dealing with it again.

BRIGGS: Yes, that fire climbs like a chimney. Ian thanks so much. Appreciate it.

KOSIK: A teenage girl on the mend after a terrifying fall at a six- flag amusement park. This is happening in Upstate New York. Look at this. This is a cell phone footage showing the 14-year-old dropping off the ride that she was on. This happened, once again Saturday night.

Lucky for her, everybody kind gathered under her. These Good Samaritans spotted her dangling, they sprang into action, they broke the girl's fall after she plunged 25 feet down.

Thankfully, the young lady not seriously injured though, it's still unclear exactly how she found herself in this precarious position. Local authorities say everything on the ride appeared to be in working order. That is just -- that is just terrifying.

BRIGGS: Nice effort by the folks below.

KOSIK: Absolutely. All right, high heat in the west contributing to a wildfire in Utah,

Meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri joining us now with more on that and the cooler temperature is ahead for the northeast. Good morning.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Dave and Alison. You know, when you think about this particular summer and watching areas around California get so much rainfall in recent months and this was the summer we thought maybe we can get away with some of the fire concerns, but of course, the heat building in the last several weeks and drier conditions also and some gusty winds have really exacerbated the problem around parts of Utah.

And, at least, some cooler temperature is expected as we go in towards later this week. If you noticed, that we do have a threat here with the red flag warnings issued because of these gusty winds that are still in the forecast in Southern Nevada into Southern Utah and eventually into Arizona and California as well.

And, when you look at the amount of rain necessary to at least stop the spread of fires, about half an inch is what it takes and you've got to bump that up to about two inches to completely put out any sort of significant flames and, unfortunately, that's not in the forecast.

So, we'll keep it dry. We'll keep it high with a little bit of a cooler trend in store in the northeast really where the action is as far as cooling those temperatures off to very comfortable readings into the upper 70s out of New York, lower 80s out of New York City, out of Washington and you noticed it does want to warm up later into the week.

But I wouldn't be surprised to see a few thunderstorms accompany this front coming in later on tonight, generally around interior portions of New England as we go into Monday evening. Guys?

KOSIK: All right, thanks Pedram.

Let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this morning. Global stocks are in the green this morning after Wall Street finished higher for the week. The Dow is not getting a boost from the health care stocks. The health care sector actually was the best gainer last week, growing 3.7 percent.

This week, though, investors will keep an eye on the upcoming CBO score of the Senate health care bill to see which direction they're going to trade those health care stocks. They're also going to be watching as India's Prime Minister visits the White House for the first time.

The President's, America First Policy, has created tension between the two countries, especially over the H1B Visa Program. It's used by many Indian engineers to come to work in the U.S. for some of the biggest companies, the biggest tech companies here in the U.S.

Big change is coming to Google. The company will no longer read your emails to serve up personalized ads. Privacy advocates have long criticized the practice, and the policy will change later this year. But alas it doesn't mean that Google is going to stop targeting those ads to you. Instead, it's going to use data from other sources like the YouTube videos that you watched or your Google searches.

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

Infamous Former Pharmaceutical Exec, Martin Shkreli, finally having his day in court. Shkreli sparked outrage in 2015 for hiking the price of a lifesaving drug by more than 5,000 percent. But, here's the thing, this controversy has nothing to do with the criminal trial that gets underway today.

Instead, Shkreli faces charges for fraud because he's accused of cheating investors out of $11 million. If convicted, Shkreli faces up to 20 years in prison. This is a guy who acts like he doesn't want to be in the media eye, but he -- I don't think he's ever met a camera he doesn't like.

BRIGGS: A smirk, this one that will never leave the minds...

KOSIK: Yes.

BRIGGS: ...of American people.

All right, EARLY START continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[05:00:00] SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: I don't have the feedback from constituencies who will not have had enough time to review the Senate bill. We should not be voting on this next week.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: They say they're going to fix health care, premiums are going to go down. There's no way the Republican bill brings down premiums.

SANDERS: There's no way in God's Earth that this bill should be passed this week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)