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Donald Trump, Jr. In Trouble After Reportedly Lying on Russia Meetings; Some Senators Want to Question All Involved in Russia Meeting; Senator McCain Surgery Delays Health Care Vote; Trump Organization in Legal Battle Over Golf Course Taxes; Kid Rock to Run for Senate? Aired 2-3p ET
Aired July 16, 2017 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me, I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Just moments ago, CNN learned that the Congressional Budget Office is delaying the release of its score on the impact and cost of the Republican health care bill. The CBO report was scheduled to come out tomorrow. All of this comes as brand-new polls out today show the Trump administration is clearly taking a hit with voters.
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WHITFIELD: The president's job approval rating is at just 36 percent according to a new ABC/"Washington Post" poll, that's the lowest at six months of any U.S. president in 70 years. The president responding today on Twitter saying the poll numbers aren't that bad and questioning the poll's reliability.
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WHITFIELD: Also, offering a fresh defense of his son's meeting with the Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign saying, quote, from Trump --
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TEXT: "Hillary Clinton can illegally get the questions to the debate and delete 33,000 E-mails but my son Don is being scorned by the fake news media."
WHITFIELD: The president's attorney made the rounds on all of the networks today insisting nothing illegal happened.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: What other details about this meeting have not been disclosed?
JAY SEKULOW, LAWYER: What I want to say again that I represent the president. And Donald Trump Jr. said he disclosed everything about the meeting but I represent -- I'm one of the counsel for the president of the United States who was not involved in the meeting and not aware of the meeting. So from our perspective, that my answer stands, and that is, the
president was not engaged in this, was not aware of it. Donald Trump Jr. made statements about, that this was everything. He said that on the air, on Sean Hannity's broadcast. And I think, again, it speaks for itself.
TAPPER: So you're saying that when the president says witch-hunt, he is talking about Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation, that is part of this so-called witch-hunt?
SEKULOW: Yes. When he calls it a witch-hunt, when talks about the scope and nature of the investigation, he's concerned about the nature of what's going on here. I mean, there are a host of issues that as lawyers we deal with in cases like that, potential conflicts of interest, how would, for instance, James Comey be a witness in a situation when he has this relationship -- not just with the special counsel but the way in which he testified.
But let's not also forget that it was James Comey that said three times and he acknowledge this under oath to the president that he was not under investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Let's get more now from CNN's Boris Sanchez who is where the president is, in New Jersey. Boris, what are people saying about this 2016 meeting in poll numbers, et cetera?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN REPORTER: Yes, Fred. Part of the poll was a really interesting insight into how people feel about this meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lobbyist and Russian attorney inside Trump tower in June of last year.
The ABC/"Washington Post" poll asked people if they thought the meeting was inappropriate. Sixty-three percent of people say that that meeting was inappropriate. Only 26 percent think that it was OK for Donald Trump Jr. to solicit information, negative to Hillary Clinton's campaign, from the Russian government.
The story's clearly damaging the president's popularity and it is likely not going away anytime soon. Also, aside from Jay Sekulow this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION", we heard from two senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee, a Republican and a Democrat, asking for those in the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Donald Trump Jr. himself to testify under oath. Listen --
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SEN. MARK WARNER (D], VIRGINIA: I would like to hear from all of these individuals whether we will be able to get the Russian nationals to come over and testify is an open question, with those people that our committee has jurisdiction over, the Americans, I sure as heck want to talk to all of them.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: We need to get to the bottom of this. But the only way that we're going to do it is to talk not just to Donald Trump, Jr. who has offered to cooperate, for which I give him credit, but to everyone who is at that meeting and to was involved in setting up that meeting.
That may be difficult in the case of the Russian nationals but we certainly ought to try. We should also ask for all documents, not just the E-mails that have been released but all the documents that are related to any contacts that President Trump's campaign had with the Russian government or its emissaries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: You heard from Susan Collins and Mark Warner there. Mark Warner is going on to say that he would love to get this testimony under way as soon as possible but that it will take some time to collect pertinent documents to know specifically what questions to ask those people that were in that meeting at Trump tower.
[14:05:00] The president is enjoying the rest of his weekend here in New Jersey before heading back to D.C. later tonight. He's going to take part in several events tomorrow and during the week as part of a themed week, it's "Made in America" week to highlight companies and products that are made here in the United States and focus on the American worker.
Fred, likely another themed week that will be overshadowed by the continuing probe into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
WHITFIELD: All right. Boris Sanchez, we will check back with you in New Jersey, thank you so much.
All right. The Trump administration has repeatedly said Donald Trump, Jr. meeting was legal. So, when one of the president's lawyers, Jay Sekulow, appeared on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION", Jake Tapper asked about the ethical questions as well. Here's part of that interview.
TAPPER: You're talking about the legality and I understand you're a lawyer but you're also a man of faith. Isn't it kind of important whether or not what Donald Trump, Jr. and Manafort and Kushner did, isn't it also important whether or not it's legal, whether or not it's wrong, whether or not it's ethical?
SEKULOW: So, you're conflating, Jake, three perspectives here. The legality, was the meeting and what took place legal or not? We, of course, as almost every legal expert says it's not illegal. And then you're trying to put a moral, ethical aspect to it and it's easy to do that in 20/20 hindsight but not when you're in the middle of a campaign.
And again, I'm not the campaign lawyer -- I wasn't a campaign lawyer but meetings were taking place as Donald Trump, Jr. said, 15, 20 minutes apart. This one went even shorter. So I think everybody that's looking backwards and say, would have, should have, could have, and Donald Trump, Jr. said he would've done some things differently. But to go back a year later and say this is what should've happened
when the meeting itself was 20 minutes and a series of meetings that took place for days and days and months, I don't think that's fair to Donald Trump, Jr., to Jared Kushner or to Manafort for that matter because no one was in a situation of that kind of campaigning, in the middle of a presidential election.
There's a lot of meetings and a lot of discussions about opposition research coming on all sides, Republican, Democrat and independent, that was the nature of the --
TAPPER: Not with the governments of hostile foreign powers, Jay. I mean, that's not normal. You can talk about opposition research all you want. But the Russian government attorney, that's what this has billed at, with high-level intelligence on Hillary Clinton, I mean, for all Don Jr. knew, that was coming from the FSB, the successor to the KGB. that was coming from human intelligence or signals intelligence. He had no idea where it was coming from. It's not norm oppo. Normal oppo is legally obtained.
Donald Trump, Jr. was asked this week if he met with anyone else from Russia. This is his answer, take a listen.
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DONALD TRUMP, JR., PRESIDENTIAL SON: I've probably met with other people from Russia but certainly not in the context of actual, a formalized meeting or anything like that. Because, why would I?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Don Jr. saying, I've probably met with other people from Russia. What other meetings or communications with Russians have not been disclosed yet?
SEKULOW: None that I know of. But I represent the president of the United States, but Donald Trump, Jr. said not in the context of formal meetings. He said he may have met with Russian people as a lot of people meet with Russian people, that's not unusual. What he said that relates to the meeting --
TAPPER: Back in March he said that there were no meetings at all in the auspices of the campaign. Now we know that's not to be true.
SEKULOW: Yes. And I thought about that because you and I talked about that the other day on your weekday broadcast. I thought about that. And again, I go back to and look at, Jake, in the context of a meeting, and the meetings and the series of meetings that were taking place during the campaigns, there were dozens of meetings every day, hundreds of meetings every week.
This meeting lasted what, they're saying 15 minutes? It was short. Nothing was produced. It never went any further, and so, it wasn't ever discussed again. But let me say one thing that's important here.
The president, and this has been uncontroverted, was not aware of the meeting, he did not attend the meeting. So I want to be clear on that. But with regard to Donald Trump, Jr. did say he may have met with other Russian people but not in the context of a formal meeting.
TAPPER: But you don't know who they are. We now know that there were at least eight people in that meeting, including a Russian-American lobbyist with alleged ties to Russian intelligence, just the latest in what Trey Gowdy, not exactly a leader of the resistance, is calling the drip of information about this controversy. What other details about this meeting have not been disclosed?
SEKULOW: What I want to say again that I represent the president. And Donald Trump, Jr. said he disclosed everything about the meeting but I represent, I'm one of the counsel for the president of the United States who was not involved in the meeting and not aware of the meeting, so from our perspective, my answer stands.
WHITFIELD: All right. More on that exchange and others still ahead.
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WHITFIELD: A renewed call by Democrats to revoke Jared Kushner's security clearance after learning he attended Donald Trump, Jr.'s [14:10:00] meeting with a Russian lawyer coming up. We hear from Senator Mark Warner who says he wants to talk to everyone at that meeting.
WARNER: I'm trying to give these people the benefit of the doubt but it is very bothersome to me that Jared Kushner has forgotten not once, not twice, but three times to put down this information.
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WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Our top story this morning, the president defending his son in a tweet and the president's attorney in interviews this morning insisting there nothing illegal going on in that 2016 meeting --
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WHITFIELD: -- that seems to keep growing, involving a Russian lawyer, the president's son, and son-in-law and campaign chairman at the time. Along with new details of this meeting, last week we [14:15:00] learned that the Trump reelection campaign paid $50,000 to Trump Jr.'s lawyer at the end of June. Jake Tapper asked the president's attorney about those campaign funds being used to pay legal bills.
TAPPER: Is that an acknowledgement that the meeting with the Russian lawyer that he thought was with the Russian government was official campaign business, the fact that the Trump campaign paid $50,000 to Trump Jr.'s attorney?
SEKULOW: Well, look, I'm not involved in the discussions with the lawyers on who paid what entity and I certainly don't represent Donald Trump, Jr. But look, in a situation like this, this is not an unusual situation where the individual that's being questioned or subject to questioning, Donald Trump Jr., retains counsel. It involved an incident that involved an E-mail campaign in a meeting when he was working, doing work for the campaign so that to me is not an unusual scenario or unusual setup at all.
But, look, I don't know the final determination of who's paying what bills to whom. I mean, I think, that's still in process.
TAPPER: I think a lot of people who give money to the Trump campaign will be surprised that they're paying for the legal bills for Donald Trump, Jr.
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WHITFIELD: All right. Joining me right now, Michael Zeldin, CNN legal analyst who was special counsel to then-Assistant Attorney General Robert Mueller. Good to see you.
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Nice to see you.
WHITFIELD: Okay. So is it legal to pay legal bills such as these with campaign contributions, re-election or otherwise?
ZELDIN: Yes, if they are related to the campaign. So, you can pay for lawyers relating to the response to that part of the investigation, which relates to official campaign business.
So, for example, with respect to the question that Jake Tapper asked Jay Sekulow, when he said, was this an acknowledgement, this was part of official campaign business? The answer sort of has to be yes, in order for there to be a lawful payment from the campaign of that attorney's fees. So, yes, it was lawful if it was related to the campaign.
WHITFIELD: All right. And this morning the top Democrats on both the house and senate intelligence committees responding to the president's lawyer this way, listen.
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REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D], CALIFORNIA: If they went into that meeting and hear they want something, they want information from the Russians; the Russians want something, they want repeal of the sanctions law, Magnitsky law, if there's any kind of an understanding that comes out of that meeting, you get us the dirt, you start leaking dirt on Hillary Clinton and we will look favorably on repealing the Magnitsky act, that is a very serious crime.
WARNER: What we do know is Donald Trump, Jr. did not tell the truth a variety of times. At first, he said this meeting was only about Russia immigration policies and adoptions. Then he said there were only three or four people. Now we know there's many more people.
We know this was a meeting that was specifically about, in black and white, a part of the Russian government's effort to discredit Clinton and help Trump. So, I'm not sure why we take anybody in this senior level of the Trump administration at their word, that's why it's so important that we're going to get a chance to question these individuals.
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WHITFIELD: All right. So Michael, do you agree with Congressman Schiff, particularly, that there could be very serious crime here because even talking about adoptions, also means, it's related to talking about sanctions?
ZELDIN: Right. So there are a couple of things that are all boiled up together here. First is, it's illegal to solicit a campaign contribution from a foreign national. There's a specific provision in the United States code that prohibits it.
The act of the solicitation is itself a crime. It doesn't matter whether or not anything was received in response to that solicitation, and you can conspire to violate that law and you can aid and abet the violation of that law.
So theoretically, just the act of soliciting the information from the Russian intermediary on the dirt on Hillary Clinton violates that statute. Then, if this is tied to sanctions and as you set it up that, we will give you dirt when you're, therefore, elected, you will help us remove this Magnitsky act sanctions thing, that makes it even more complicated because you cannot do sanctions busting sort of work.
This is what we saw Michael Flynn getting in trouble for. And so, you've got these two things that are riding along simultaneously that both present the potential of legal jeopardy for Donald Jr. and others involved in that meeting.
WHITFIELD: So, particularly for Donald Jr, he doesn't work in the White House but at the time, he was working for the campaign. So, if he were to be faced with charges or ramifications, unless you are able to place someone who's currently in the White House, there are still some distance between the citizen Donald Trump, Jr. and government officials in the White House, right?
ZELDIN: Well, except that the meeting took place before the election, and so nobody is part of the White House. And the meeting [14:20:00] took place with Manafort and Kushner and Donald Jr.
WHITFIELD: Who is now a government official, right.
ZELDIN: Yes. And Kushner is now a government official. So Kushner has the separate issue of potential liability if he was untruthful on his SF-86 security form and all of these guys are potentially in danger if they are asked to testify under oath and they are not truthful.
Donald Jr. hasn't gotten a story together yet that he's sticking to. And that's problematic if you ever going to into an interview where you have to be under oath and stick to the story that you started with.
WHITFIELD: All right. Meantime, talking about kind of beefing up the legal defense, President Donald Trump now has appointed Ty Cobb or at least brought on Ty Cobb, a former federal prosecutor as a special White House counsel to oversee the legal, the immediate response to the Russia investigation. So what do you know about Ty Cobb and what do you think is instructive about this move?
ZELDIN: So Ty is a well-known white-collar lawyer in Washington. He was a longtime assistant of the United States' Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's office in Baltimore primarily. He's well liked, he's well regarded and he's experienced. And so, bringing him into the White House so that the White House counsel can focus on the regular brick and mortar, blocking and tackling stuff that the White House Council is empowered to do. And Ty can run the war room.
First, he's a very smart separation of powers between the two. And two, you're bringing in a seasoned lawyer who has prior experience in doing exactly this. Whether he's successful is going to depend on the willingness of his clients to listen to him and we will see how that plays out. But I think the selection in and of itself on paper is a very smart and I think, Ty will do a very nice job for them if they listen to him.
WHITFIELD: All right. Michael Zeldin, thanks so much. Good to see you.
ZELDIN: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Next, in his --
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WHITFIELD: -- twisting path to 50 votes, Mitch McConnell hits pause on the health care bill until fellow Republican John McCain recovers from surgery. This as several GOP-ers are still withholding support.
COLLINS: They are about eight to 10 Republican senators who have serious concerns about this bill. And so at the end of the day, I don't know whether it will pass.
WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Senator John McCain is recovering this afternoon after having a blood clot removed from just above his left eye. In response, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has delayed a critical health care vote that was scheduled for later this week.
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WHITFIELD: The 80-year-old Arizona senator's office releasing a statement saying the surgery went very well and that he is resting at home. The clot was noticed during a routine physical. CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- (END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: -- had a chance to look at senator McCain's full medical records during the 2008 presidential race. And Sanjay is joining us right now on the phone. So perhaps, Sanjay, you know his health better than just about anyone else. But give us an idea, what does this mean, a blood clot just above the left eye? How was it detected, even though now the outcome he's got a glowing report?
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DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (on the phone]: Yes, it's interesting. What the procedure was, was something known as the eyebrow craniotomy. And what that mean, basically, it's an incision made in the eyebrow. So you will not see a scar or anything.
But the bone, right underneath the eyebrow, you can feel the bone there, right as you touch the top of your eye, the underneath the eyebrow, that bone was removed and that's where this abnormality was taken out. So, it's in and around the brain that this abnormality seemed to exist.
And they call it a blood clot. What we also know is that they're waiting to see what the pathologist actually finds as they look at this under the microscope to see what it actually is. It may just be a blood collection, it may be something else, that takes several days to figure out.
As you said, the operation seems to have gone well. But one thing is worth noting is that, you know, Senator McCain has had a history of melanoma, including melanoma in and around that area, in his left temple, in the past. Back in 2000, he had that.
So that may be one of the reasons they're sort of doing these routine checkups to see if there's any evidence of spread of the melanoma or if this is something else. The final pathologist report should be able to answer that question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And so Sanjay, what are the range of possibilities? I know you mentioned melanoma being a potential cause or association with this blood clot, but what are the other range of possibilities that would bring this on, that would --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: -- cause something like this?
GUPTA: Yes. Well, they called it a blood clot. They said it's a five-centimeters in size, which is a pretty good size if you think about it. Sometimes, if somebody has had a trauma, even bumped their head, even at some point in the past, you know, a few days or a few weeks ago, that could cause a blood collection to form.
Physically, it would cause headaches or a little bit of discomfort. Something that would make somebody go in and get checked out. Again, as you pointed out, this was a routine physical. So that kind of argues against some sort of trauma being the cause of this.
It could be this melanoma that has spread as we pointed out, it could be some other sort of abnormality, it's just really hard to speculate. But it was concerning enough, I guess, that the doctors said, hey, look, we need to take a look at this. We need to remove it and figure out what it is. It may not be, by any means, a spread of melanoma, it may not even be anything at all concerning or needs any follow-up treatment but that's part of the reason you remove this and check to be sure.
WHITFIELD: And he's in an incredible, life journey. John McCain. Those who don't know or, you know, need a little reminder, he was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War and you mentioned, you know, any kind of, you know, physical trauma, that, too, could be under the range of possibilities as to when he could have potentially experienced anything like that.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, appreciate it. Thank you so much.
All right. McCain's surgery means there will not be a vote on the GOP health care bill that had been scheduled for this week, and CNN has just learned a much anticipated CBO score -- the Congressional Budget Office score -- of this bill has also been delayed.
McCain had expressed reservations about the bill, which needs 50 of the 52 Republican senators to pass, and this morning majority whip John Cornyn said he expected a vote on the bill as soon as McCain returns. But at least two GOP senators thus far are still opposed.
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SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), MAJORITY WHIP: I think Republicans have made repeated promises in elections leading up to now that we would, and we could, do better. And I believe we will do better. This bill actually I think has gotten much better as a result of the discussions we've had amongst ourselves, and I think it's something that once we agree to, that we can sell to the American people as a better choice than the failures of Obamacare.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: There are about eight to 10 Republican senators who have serious concerns about this bill. And so at the end of the day, I don't know whether it will pass, but I do know this. We should not be making fundamental changes in a vital safety net program that's been on the books for 50 years, the Medicaid program, without having a single hearing to evaluate what the consequences are going to be.
That doesn't mean that there aren't problems with the Medicaid program that need to be addressed. It doesn't mean that the ACA doesn't have serious flaws. It does, but that's why we need to go through the normal committee process and get input from people on both sides of the aisle.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I think the longer the bill's out there, the more conservative Republicans are going to discover that it's not repeal and the more that everybody's going to discover that it keeps the fundamental flaw of Obamacare. It keeps the insurance mandates that cause the prices to rise which chase young, healthy people out of the marketplace, and leads to what people call adverse selection where you have a sicker and sicker insurance pool and the premiums keep rising through the roof.
I mean, we promised the voters for four elections. They elected us to repeal Obamacare and now we're going to keep most of the taxes, keep the regs, keep the subsidies and create a giant bailout superfund for the insurance companies. I just don't see it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Let's discuss this now with CNN political commentator Jack Kingston who is also a former senior adviser to the Trump campaign. And Maria Cardona, a CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist.
Good to see both of you.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey, Fred. How are you?
WHITFIELD: I'm good. So, Jack, you first. Senator Collins says, you know, eight to 10 Republican senators have serious concerns about this bill. You just heard her spelled out the many reasons why she is, you know, very reticent about it. It only takes three no votes to kill the bill. So in your view, is it likely to be dead?
JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think they're going to get there. I think whenever -- and I've watched it for many, many years. When the senators are circling the pool, as they in this, eventually they're going to get in it. And that just -- I don't -- the Senate wouldn't be coming this close to the edge if they weren't going to move it through. With Senator McCain being out that does buy time and both sides will take advantage of that time to push it further one way or the other, but I believe that they're going to get there.
And again I want to say, as Rand Paul and many, many others have said, and as a Republican who ran on repeal and replace many, many times, and voted for it many, many times we have to do it. Maria will agree with me. We Republicans have promised this to the people and if we don't do it then we're not showing any difference in voting Republican or voting Democrat.
WHITFIELD: Well, a couple of things on that. And everyone is wishing, you know, John McCain the best in his recovery, you know, post his procedure, but just Thursday John McCain said the revised -- I'm quoting now, "The revised Senate health care bill released today does not include the measures I have been advocating for on behalf of the people of Arizona."
So even if this is delayed until he is to return, if he's already said, Jack, that he's not onboard, is this delay less of the fact that John McCain is unavailable and more of the fact that they need more time to get more people onboard?
KINGSTON: Well, you know, I've been thinking what would happen if a Democrat was out? I think that would change the math in a different direction and Mr. McConnell might move the bill forward, but it does give time to address what Mr. McCain's issues are, just as they had addressed Rob Portman's issues with opioids, and other members who have issues on Medicaid expansion, or subsidies for the young people who will be losing the mandate.
[14:35:13] You know, I think you just have to address it one by one. That's what Paul Ryan did in the House. But anytime you pick up one senator, you might lose another one, because it's moved to the left or moved to the right or in some direction that they don't like.
WHITFIELD: And so, Maria, we don't know what the CBO score is. No one does. But we do know now that it's going to be delayed. It was to be released tomorrow. Is that in step with perhaps the reasoning behind this delay for Mitch McConnell's vote?
CARDONA: Well, we'll see, and what we have seen from the previous CBO scores is that they are horrible for the prospects of this bill passing because if eight to 10 senators, as Senator Collins mentioned, are still very concerned about what this bill does, then I don't think they're going to get there.
Now, you know, I am not going to underestimate McConnell. He's very good at this. So I'm not going to say it won't get there, but if there are still massive concerns from these senators, and by the way, we haven't heard from one of the senators who is up next year in a blue state to which is Senator Dean Heller, whose Republican governor does not like this bill because they frankly know what -- how detrimental it will be to the low-income constituents of that state and frankly, the low-income constituents of every state where this will be.
And I don't agree with my friend Jack that you have to do this, because you promised it. You don't have to do this in this way, Jack. And, in fact, what this bill is showing country-wide is that at 12 percent, maybe 17 percent popularity, is that it is at a third of popularity of what Obamacare is today.
I think what you do have to do, and what you did promise the constituents is that you would fix the health care system to make sure that it was going to be able to deliver good, quality health care at the lowest prices possible. Democrats are ready and willing to work with the GOP on this. That does not mean repealing Obamacare and decimating Medicaid taking $800 billion away and taking coverage away from millions and millions of low-income and middle-income Americans.
WHITFIELD: And to your point about, you know, popularity of this Republican plan, at least according to the latest Gallup poll, you know, six in 10 Democrats and a third of independents strongly prefer Obamacare.
CARDONA: Yes. WHITFIELD: Only 43 percent of Republicans strongly prefer the party's
proposal. So, Jack, I mean, just to get it done for the sake of getting done is not fulfilling the total promise.
WHITFIELD: Part of the promise was replacing it with something better. So if it's not better, then is that really a victory?
KINGSTON: Well, I think there's actually a lot of base Republican voters who would love to see it repealed, period, and not replaced because when you replace it, you are putting in more government subsidies and you still have a major role of the government. So a lot of us free market Republicans would be happy just to have a repeal vote, but what we do know is that right now one-third of the counties in America only have one exchange.
We know that insurance companies still are flocking out of these exchanges all over the country. We know instead of premiums going down, $2500 per family as Barack Obama promised have gone up. In one case --
WHITFIELD: But isn't that part of the challenge? How do you improve that scenario?
KINGSTON: Well, I think that anything that gets more competition in it, which is what we're trying to do, and another thing I want to say. Remember, this is just one leg of a three-pronged stool, because what we want to do is do this on the reconciliation process, but then come back with things like across state lines selling, which is a legislative package, which, by the way, Maria, I haven't seen one Democrat yet who's offered an amendment, who's really taken a serious role and said, here I want to work with you on this. But -- and I understand.
CARDONA: Because Democrats haven't been invited to the table, Jack.
KINGSTON: They absolutely have.
CARDONA: No, they have not.
KINGSTON: And you know, they were invited the day they were elected. There's not some selection. If you remember the --
WHITFIELD: I feel really redundant in --
KINGSTON: You are invited to the table.
WHITFIELD: I feel really redundant, though, because I feel like whenever that comes up we also have to remind and we heard it so many times from Democrats who said we're not onboard, you know, with repealing but we are on board with helping to fix it.
CARDONA: That's right.
KINGSTON: But where is that bill?
CARDONA: That's right.
WHITFIELD: That's why we have this kind of impasse, it seems.
CARDONA: But you know what, Fred?
KINGSTON: But they haven't offered anything.
CARDONA: I want to address something that my friend Jack brings up. And it is a constant Republican talking point about how insurers are fleeing the market. Let's ask insurers, CEOs --
KINGSTON: It's because it's the reality. That's why it's a talking point.
CARDONA: Let's ask insurer CEOs why they are fleeing the market and they will tell you, because of the Trump administration's complete mishandling of this whole health care issue.
[14:40:04] Because of the instability in the marketplace today that they --
KINGSTON: Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Maria. Not one law has been changed yet.
CARDONA: Hang on. Hang on. Hang on. That they blame --
KINGSTON: Not one law has been changed.
WHITFIELD: Let Maria finish, and then Jack.
CARDONA: Hang on, Jack. That they blame the Trump administration for. And no law has to be changed to inject instability in this, Jack, when you --
KINGSTON: Maria, let's talk about --
CARDONA: Wait, hang on. Let me finish. When you do not enforce the individual mandate. When you refuse to advertise about the exchanges, and when you refuse to give the insurers the low-income subsidies that they were promised so that they can charge lower premiums, then of course you're going to have insurers fleeing the market. You have your own Republican --
KINGSTON: None of that has changed. WHITFIELD: All right. Let's go up against a break.
WHITFIELD: Quick, Jack, we need you to respond to that and then we got to roll.
CARDONA: It's the trump administration's fault.
KINGSTON: OK. Let me say this. Here's what we do know, and it will get back to CBO in a minute. That they had predicted that 4 million small businesses would enroll. 233,000 have. They said that on the risk quarters, the subsidy for the insurance companies, that the federal government would net $8 billion. Instead the federal government has lost $8 billion.
WHITFIELD: All right.
KINGSTON: They said that -- they said that 24 or 23 million would enroll. Only 10 million have. That's all under existing Obamacare law. That's why they're getting out of the market because of --
CARDONA: They also said -- they also said that up to 90 percent of people --
WHITFIELD: All right. I really apologize, Maria and Jack.
CARDONA: -- would be insured and they are.
WHITFIELD: I wish we had more time. We -- at least for the segment right now. We are going to talk about it again because it's not over yet.
But, Jack and Maria, we'll have you back and we'll pick it up right where we left off. Thank you so much for now. And we'll be right back.
[14:45:40] WHITFIELD: President Trump is spending the weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey, the location of one of 12 golf resorts he owns in the United States. And right now his business is waging a war in the courts over the taxes on those resorts.
Here's CNN's Kyung Lah.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over]: Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter, a 285-acre luxury state-of-the-art property, good enough for the president to host Japan's prime minister. Later golfing on the lush course.
In federal election filings just last month, the Trump Organization claims its value is more than $50 million. But in the lawsuit filed Thursday against Palm Beach County, Trump's lawyers argue it's worth far less that what the country assess it at. $18.4 million. In 2014, Trump's lawyers claimed it's worth no more than $5 million. Why?
(On camera]: If you lower the value --
PROF. DAVID HERZIG, VALPARAISO LAW SCHOOL: If you lower the value, you pay less taxes.
LAH: So it's about how much you pay the town?
HERZIG: Yes, it's about how much you pay the state of Florida and the city of Palm Beach. Yes.
LAH (voice-over]: It's a years-long pattern repeated practically every year. Public records show Trump has fought the tax assessments on all 12 of his U.S. golf courses, except the one in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he gets a farmland tax break for having goats on the property.
The Trump Organization is also suing the small town of Ossining, New York, population 40,000, to lower his taxes on his Westchester golf course. Touting a 101-foot water fall at the 13th hole, Trump National claims it's the most expensive golf hole ever constructed. In campaign filings, Trump says the course is worth more than $50 billion.
But in 2015, his attorneys argued the course was worth far less, only $1.35 million. The tax difference between those two values is about $427,000 a year.
DANA LEVENBERG, TOWN SUPERVISOR, OSSINING, NEW YORK: It's just so unfair. I mean, who is going to be paying the difference? Except for the people of Ossining.
LAH: Trump's lawyers are also fighting the people of Rancho Palace Verde, south of Los Angeles, home to another luxury golf resort. Public tax documents obtained by CNN show in 2007 the course was worth $67 million. But year after year, Trump filed hundreds of appeals to drop the value of the golf course by tens of millions of dollars. All those appeals have dropped the value to $27.7 million, down $40 million in nine years.
Multiple tax experts tell CNN that Trump is not alone in what he's doing. Many wealthy people have attorneys fighting to lower their tax burden. But there's an important difference with Donald Trump now.
(On camera]: Do you find anything overall problematic since the person we're talking about is the president of the United States?
HERZIG: If you think the system is easily manipulated, why should the average person have to pay taxes or value property properly or pay their fair share?
LAH: CNN did reach out to the Trump Organization for comment on the Jupiter property, as well as the other Trump golf properties. We did not receive a response.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.
WHITFIELD: All right. Coming up next, Kid Rock goes to Washington. The rocker says he is running for U.S. Senate, and lawmakers are not amused.
[14:53:29] WHITFIELD: All right. No joke. That's what powerful Senate Democrats including Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren are saying about the threat that a Trump-loving, whiskey swinging rock god could be joining their ranks.
It's this week's "State of the Cartoon-ion."
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over]: Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan might face some interesting competition in her Senate race next year.
That's right. Kid Rock seems to have adjusted his ambitions. Now he says, I want to be a senator, baby, maybe.
Kid Rock isn't completely new to politics. Some of his songs were used as campaign anthems for his fellow Michigander, Mitt Romney.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm happy to introduce a son of Detroit, a friend, a guy who makes great music, Kid Rock.
TAPPER: And he popped up recently next to President Trump at a White House visit with pals Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent.
So will Kid Rock be bringing the "Bawitdaba" to the campaign trail? Will he be able to assemble a willing coalition? Does Michigan have enough midnight glancers and topless dancers and cans of freaks and cars packed with speakers and G's with the 40s or chicks with beepers?
Senator Stabenow for one, she sounds worried. Warning supporters, quote, "After Donald Trump's surprising win last year, we need to act fast."
[14:55:06] If Kid Rock's run turns out to be real he could be campaigning while in concert. Coincidentally I'm sure the tour for his new album begins next year, too.
WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks for that edition of "Cartoon-ion," Jake.
All right. After the break, the GOP walks the tightrope with their health care bill. Several key senators are holding out support and a critical report measuring the impart of the bill has just been delayed.
Stay with us.
WHITFIELD: Hello again, everyone. And thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
A critical week for the future of a new health care bill but the revised GOP plan is running into a series of unexpected delays. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pushed back a vote on the bill scheduled for this week so that Senator John McCain will have a chance to recover from eye surgery. The delay will also give McConnell extra time to find the needed votes to pass it.