Return to Transcripts main page


Interview With Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse; Secret Putin-Trump Meeting Revealed; President Trump Pushes for Republicans to Continue Health Care Reform Effort; CBO: 32 Million Fewer Insured by 2026 Under Obamacare Repeal Bill; Sources: North Korea Believed Prepping for New Ballistic Missile Test. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired July 19, 2017 - 18:00   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news: backflip. President Trump tells GOP senators that inaction on health care is not an option, day after he seemed to acknowledge defeat, promising to let Obamacare fail. Tonight, his new push is complicated by a devastating new projection of how a Republican bill could hurt tens of millions of Americans.

Strong-arming. The Senate Republican leader is promising a health care vote next week, as Mr. Trump looks to flip critical no votes to yes. This hour, GOP members who may be wavering are about to meet on the Hill.

Private conversation. The White House is refusing to reveal what was said during the president's second meeting with Vladimir Putin, denying the previously undisclosed session was kept secret. We will look at the many unanswered questions about their discussion.

And readying launch. North Korea appears to be getting ready for another ballistic missile test soon. We are tracking new intelligence on Kim Jong-un's regime and his goal of being able to strike the United States.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is on assignment. I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KEILAR: Breaking right now, we are learning about a date for Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort to testify before the Senate. Stand by for more information on that.

Also breaking, head-spinning new twists, as Republicans try to revive health care legislation 24 hours after its stunning collapse. We are standing by for a meeting of GOP senators under new pressure from President Trump to get a bill passed, Republicans getting chilling new information a short while ago as well, a new nonpartisan estimate that repealing Obamacare without an immediate replacement would mean 32 million more Americans would be uninsured within the next decade, and costs would skyrocket. The bombshell coming after Mr. Trump urged GOP senators not to leave

town for their August recess until a bill is on his desk. This is a stark reversal a day after Mr. Trump seemed to be giving up, saying he was ready to simply let Obamacare fail amid mounting Republican opposition.

And, tonight, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he will hold a procedural vote next week aimed at moving health care forward. But so far, there is no evidence that he or the president have flipped any crucial Republican no votes.

Also breaking, the White House is denying there's a cloud of secrecy surrounding President Trump's second meeting with Vladimir Putin. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders refusing to reveal what the two presidents discussed for nearly an hour at the G20 summit.

Some Democrats are calling the previously undisclosed conversation without any U.S. national security officials present deeply troubling. This hour, I will talk about those stories and more with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. He is a Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and our correspondents and specialists are standing by for us.

First, I want to go to CNN's Ryan Nobles. He has more on this wrangling over health care.

And, Ryan Nobles, Republican senators are meeting soon on health care. This estimate, this cost about their bill, what is that going to do to this meeting?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, there is no doubt this makes the process a lot more difficult for Republicans as they wrestle their way for an attempt to go forward on health care.

This new score from the Congressional Budget Office is another devastating score. It is on the plan just to repeal Obamacare without a replacement. And the nonpartisan office predicts that the number of people uninsured would skyrocket and that the cost of premiums would go up as well. And it all comes at a time as Senate Republicans and the White House appear to be moving back to plan A.


NOBLES (voice-over): Tonight, a dramatic reversal from President Trump on health care reform.


And, frankly, I don't think we should leave town unless we have a health insurance plan, unless we can give our people great health care, because we're close.

NOBLES: The president pushing Republican senators at the White House today to not give up on repealing and replacing Obamacare. TRUMP: We're in this room today to deliver on our promise to the

American people to repeal Obamacare and to ensure that they have the health care that they need. We can repeal it, but the best is repeal and replace, and let's get going.

NOBLES: This just one day after suggesting he was ready to let Obamacare collapse.

TRUMP: Let Obamacare fail. It will be a lot easier. And I think we're probably in that position, where we will just let Obamacare fail.

NOBLES: The day before that, tweeting -- quote -- "Republicans should just repeal failing Obamacare now and work on a new health care plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in."

Tonight, the president returning to his party's longstanding campaign pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.


TRUMP: I intend to keep my promise and I know you will, too.

NOBLES: And, in an awkward moment, the president calling out Nevada Senator Dean Heller by name, Heller a key swing vote on health care, who recently became a target of a political action committee that supports the president.

TRUMP: This was the one we were worried about. You weren't there. But you're going to be. You're going to be.


TRUMP: Look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn't he? OK.

NOBLES: The president's message was clear. There will be consequences for those who choose to block a bill from getting to the floor.

TRUMP: Any senator who votes against starting debate is really telling America that you're fine with Obamacare.

NOBLES: After the meeting, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to hold a vote to take up health care next week and expressed confidence that he would have the votes.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: We cannot keep the commitment we made to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare unless we get on the bill. Next week, we will be voting on the motion to proceed. And I have every expectation that we will be able to get on the bill.


NOBLES: But, even now, it seems as though that goal of even getting the bill on the floor seems very unlikely for Mitch McConnell, because even though the president made a big push today to these senators to try and come together and come with a plan to both repeal and replace Obamacare, all the lingering divisions between the moderate wing and the conservative wing of the Republican Party still exist.

They are going to attempt to hash it out tonight in a meeting that's going to take place in a little more than an hour. But, Brianna, there is no doubt they have a long way to go.

KEILAR: Ryan Nobles, thank you for that report.

Now to the breaking news on Senate testimony by Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

I want to bring in CNN's senior White House correspondent, Jeff Zeleny.

Jeff, a date has been set. This is going to be big.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: A date indeed has been set, Brianna, one week, next Wednesday.

July 26 is the date that Paul Manafort, the former chairman of the Trump campaign last summer, and Donald Trump Jr., the president's oldest son, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Wednesday.

Now, this is going to be a fascinating bit of testimony and it's going to be in public session. The committee is just announcing it a few moments ago. They are going to be part of seven or eight witnesses who will be questioned that day. But certainly they are the two who are the closest members of the president's inner circle.

And, of course, one of the things that the Senate wants to ask about is that meeting from June of 2016 that we have been talking about so often, the meeting with the Russian government lawyer, the lobbyist and others here.

That is going to be the first opportunity that senators have to question them, next Wednesday on Capitol Hill, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Brianna.

KEILAR: And the White House has been pressed on this, right, the second meeting with President Trump that he had with Vladimir Putin.

ZELENY: It is. It's another day, another explanation of a Russian- related meeting here.

But this is stemming from a meeting at the G20 in Hamburg, Germany, almost a couple weeks or so ago. We saw the meeting between the Russian president and the U.S. president happening, but what we are only learning now that there is another meeting that evening that actually happened.

But the White House will not say what they talked about. Here's Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy press secretary, taking questions this afternoon. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: They had a brief conversation and I'm not going to get into the specifics of the conversation. But, again, this was a social dinner where the president spoke with many world leaders, as is the purpose.

I think it would be incredibly awkward for them to all sit at a dinner and not speak to each other. And I would imagine that all of you would agree with that.


ZELENY: So, she was pressed again and again, though, on what subjects were discussed, if it was election meddling, if it was Syria, if it was Russian sanctions or something else altogether.

And she said she simply didn't know and didn't have the answer there. But, Brianna, the reason this is such an interesting issue to many national security advisers and folks on Capitol Hill in both parties is that there was no U.S. official present there. This was a meeting that just happened to take place in the middle of a dinner here.

And the White House did not disclose it until 11 days after the fact, only after it had already leaked out, so yet another Russian meeting raising some controversy here again tonight at the White House -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Jeff Zeleny at the White House, thank you.

We are also getting some more information about testimony related to the Russia investigation.

I want to go to Gloria Borger now.

Give us the latest here. These are some new developments.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, we are just learning from Jared Kushner's attorney, Abbe Lowell, that Jared Kushner is prepared to testify in closed session before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday. That would be July 24.


And there is a statement from Abbe Lowell that says: "As Mr. Kushner has been saying since March, he has been and is prepared to voluntarily cooperate and provide whatever information he has on the investigations to Congress."

And then further, Mr. Lowell says; "Working with and being responsive to the schedules of the committees, we have arranged Mr. Kushner's interview with the Senate for July 24. He will continue to cooperate and appreciates the opportunity to assist in putting this matter to rest."

So, to repeat, that's closed-door testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee next Monday. So, Brianna, you have a week of testimony coming up on some key people in this Russia investigation.

KEILAR: No, it's going to be very interesting next week.


KEILAR: And I want to ask you a question. You may not know the answer to this, Gloria, but I wonder if you think this may be an indication that Robert Mueller has already talked to Jared Kushner. Has that been sort of the way we have seen things go?

BORGER: Well, it's not necessarily that he's talked to him. It's very clear, though, that the committees and Mr. Mueller are cooperating.

They do not want to step on each other in any way, shape or form. It may be an indication that Mr. Mueller says, go right ahead and talk to him and that could mean that Jared Kushner is not at the center of his investigation, or, as you point out, that he's already spoken with him.

But I think that what we do know is that the committees are not doing anything to get in the special counsel's way.

KEILAR: All right, Gloria Borger, thank you so much.


KEILAR: So much news going on here, and I want to get more on all of this with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. He's a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

I mean, you hear there we have got this price tag on the health care bill, all of this testimony that we are going to see next week from Paul Manafort, Donald Jr., and behind closed doors Jared Kushner.

Testifying before your committee next week, Donald Jr. and Paul Manafort. What are you hoping to learn from them, sir?

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D), RHODE ISLAND: Well, I think it's important that we begin to get testimony under oath.

There has been enormous amount that has been said publicly, but it's not under oath, which means that people are free to omit matters or lie with relative impunity. So, the American public has not been steadily getting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

And a formal hearing changes that, because testimony in a hearing is subject to false statement, prosecution, is subject to perjury charges. And, so, it's about time that we began to get some of these people under oath. And I'm very pleased that Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein Have organized this opening hearing.

KEILAR: So, what are the key questions that you would like to ask? I mean, for instance, Donald Jr. seemed to have different initial explanations of this meeting at Trump Tower. Are you going to try to square what -- you know, folks behind Donald

Jr. say, no, he didn't have two different stories, but it's pretty clear he did. Are those the kind of things you're going to try to square?

WHITEHOUSE: I think there is going to be a lot of interest in a variety of different issues.

I will be down the row a little bit in terms of the order of questioning. So, you have got to be flexible and be able to ask meaningful questions that aren't redundant with ones that were just asked by other colleagues.

So, we will be working our way through that, but I think it's important that these people start to be put under oath, because there's been too much said that simply hasn't been true.

KEILAR: Yes. What was the process of this being a public hearing? Was that something that the committee asked for? Was that something that Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort asked for? Do you know?

WHITEHOUSE: I think it's our default proposition in the Judiciary Committee that these hearings should be public.

The only reason not to have them be public is if we are dealing with classified information. Here, we are not dealing, I don't believe, with classified information. So, the public should see what's going on. The purpose, as our recent bipartisan hearing on how you do a congressional investigation in parallel with a criminal investigation showed, is that the value of a congressional investigation is that the people of our democracy can be kept up to date with what's going on and provided testimony that is under oath and, therefore, under a higher obligation of truthfulness.

KEILAR: Have the e-mails and the information that we have learned about this meeting contradicted any of the testimony that you have heard so far?

WHITEHOUSE: We have not had them in so far, so we don't have testimony yet.


WHITEHOUSE: So, we don't have contradictions.

But the public statements that have been made, particularly about the meeting with the lawyer Veselnitskaya, they have all contradicted each other. It just keeps dribbling out with new and different facts, in the same way that we just learned about a new Russia meeting between the president and Putin over at the G20.


So, this will be an opportunity for folks to begin to get their stories straight and to tell, as we like to say, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. KEILAR: The committee has been coordinating with Robert Mueller, the

special counsel, and the default position by Congress has been to sort of make sure that everyone is staying in their lane and to defer to Robert Mueller when it comes to that.

WHITEHOUSE: Absolutely.

KEILAR: So, this is testimony from Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. that was OKed by the special counsel. How do you feel about the level of cooperation that you have been getting from Bob Mueller's team and from Republicans, too?

WHITEHOUSE: I think it's good. We're still in the opening stages, so we will see how things go. But I do think that Bob recognizes that Congress has a really important role and wants to see us do it effectively.

We want to make sure that we are not inadvertently damaging anything that he is doing. There are all sorts of ways that we could inadvertently blunder into something if he had a cooperating witnesses, for instance, that had been disclosed, and they came into a committee. They may be put into a situation in which they would have to reveal they are cooperating in order to answer a question truthfully and that might prejudice their investigation.

So, there are things like that we need to work out in advance. But so far, it has been a good process, respectful on both sides.

KEILAR: Senator, Glenn Simpson, one of the people who hired a former British spy to write what has now become an infamous dossier about Donald Trump, is also going to testify before your committee next week. We are just learning this. What do you want to hear from him?

WHITEHOUSE: Well, I think there will be challenges from the Republican side to the dossier and to its veracity.

And, so, we will be interested in seeing how he defends himself. In my view, while there were parts of the dossier that seemed to be typographical mistakes, and there were assertions, particularly some very salacious assertions that could not be proven, of which there was no further evidence, in all the areas where elements have been checked and double-checked, there was a lot of truth in that dossier, and more needs to be run down to see whether it's all true.

But like a lot of early intelligence dossiers, you're not providing your client the final facts. You're applying what you're hearing out there and you have to go on from there.

But I think we understand that that dossier was constructed in good faith by a professional and is not a forgery, and is legitimate, insofar as it is the document that it purports to be.


WHITEHOUSE: Although some of the allegations obviously are not proven yet. KEILAR: Yes.

And certainly Republicans will certainly challenge, as you said, some of what you just said right there.

In advance of Donald Trump Jr. testifying next week, are you going to ask him to turn over cell phone or other records or e-mails from around the time of this meeting that he had with the Russian lawyer and other Russians?

WHITEHOUSE: There is a document request that has been prepared at the committee level, and it is not clear at this point that all of the documents requested will be provided in time for this hearing.

We will see how that plays out. But do remember that nothing prevents the committee from resummoning a witness as further evidence develops.

KEILAR: In light of Jared Kushner meeting next week behind closed doors with senators and what you have learned about what he omitted from his clearance paperwork, he is the only person who was in this meeting at Trump Tower who is now serving in the White House.

Do you think that he should have security clearance to be currently in classified briefings, or do you think that his permanent clearance should be revoked when the decision comes time?

WHITEHOUSE: Well, I have been part of the request to have his clearance reviewed. I think there is certainly very serious cause for concern about the appropriateness of him having those security clearances.

But -- and we have had no answer to that, by the way, at least not that I'm aware of. So, it's hard to make a final conclusion, when whoever who will be arguing that he should keep his security clearance hasn't had a chance to make that case.

But, on the other hand, if they're refusing to make the case and refusing to answer that, then I think the default proposition is that he should lose the security clearance. Either make your case as to why he should keep it or give it up.


And we have heard neither at this point.

KEILAR: Just a bit of housekeeping to make sure we have this right. Knowing that Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort have been invited to appear before the committee, have they confirmed that? Is this perfunctory, the invitation, that they had said that they would attend?

WHITEHOUSE: I believe it is our expectation, after consultations with their representatives, that they intend to come to this hearing.

If something emerges between now and then so that they change their minds, that's always a possibility, but I believe it is the committee's expectation that they will attend and that that is based on contacts with their representatives.

KEILAR: All right, Paul Manafort's representative has told CNN no comment, but your expectation, again, is that having the committee spoken with representatives of both men, both Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. are expected to accept the invite?

WHITEHOUSE: We anticipate their attendance at the hearing.


We have many more questions for you, Senator Whitehouse.

WHITEHOUSE: I bet you do.

KEILAR: If you can stay with me. Oh, we do. It is a busy day here in THE SITUATION ROOM. We will be right back.



KEILAR: We are back now with Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, following multiple breaking stories tonight, including some of the most crucial testimony yet in the Russia investigation. We will talk about that and also this.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, he's scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee now in what's going to be a private session on Monday. And Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, they are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Wednesday. We are going to talk more with the senator about all of that in just a moment.

Right now, though, CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider has more on the Russia probe.

Tell us the latest on this.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, we have learned that that eighth person in the room at Trump Tower for that meeting, he is Ike Kaveladze. And we learned that he was once subject of a money laundering investigation in the year 2000.

Now, he was never charged, but his business history is now drawing new scrutiny from people who question why he was even in that June 16 meeting to begin with, with Donald Trump Jr.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Ike Kaveladze's attorney insists the businessman's presence inside Trump Tower during that June 2016 meeting was innocent.

SCOTT BALBER, ATTORNEY FOR IKE KAVELADZE: Well, he was intended to be there, his understanding, to be actually a translator, interpreter for the Russian lawyer who speaks no English. SCHNEIDER: But sources tell CNN Kaveladze was there to represent his

employer, Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov, who is said to have requested the meeting. Now lawmakers current and former are raising along bells about Kaveladze's past.

In a Facebook post, former Michigan Senator Carl Levin pointed to a congressional probe in 2000 where, according to Levin, the Government Accountability Office looked into numerous corporations and bank accounts established by Ike Kaveladze on behalf of people in Russia. Levin said Kaveladze set up 2,000 corporations and bank accounts where the owners of those accounts then moved some $1.4 billion through those accounts.

Kaveladze was never criminally charged. He denied any wrongdoing and claimed he knew all of the entities who set up the accounts. But Levin called him a poster child of this practice, and Senator Mark Warner said Kaveladze's involvement with that 2000 congressional investigation is part of a colorful past that should raise suspicion about his presence in the meeting.

SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: I doubt if this individual who has had a history of setting up thousands of fake accounts in Delaware was really there to talk about Russian adoptions.

BALBER: He has never been implicated in any wrongdoing whatsoever. To say he has a colorful past is quite unfair and, quite frankly, dishonest.

SCHNEIDER: Balber stressed Kaveladze has agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his ongoing probe into Russian interference with the U.S. election.

Notably, Mueller's team includes several attorneys who specialize in money laundering investigations.

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think that Bob has thought all along there is going to be some need to inquire of this money laundering movement and that's what I think is the beginnings of what we're seeing.

SCHNEIDER: Meanwhile, the Russian lawyer in the room, Natalia Veselnitskaya, tells Kremlin-backed news channel Russia Today she's happy to disclose details about her meeting with Donald Trump Jr. if she gets a guarantee her family will stay safe.

NATALIA VESELNITSKAYA, ATTORNEY WHO MET WITH TRUMP CAMPAIGN TEAM (through translator): Let's put it this way. I'm ready to clarify the situation in today's mass hysteria, only within the legal field through lawyers or by testifying in the Senate.

Today, I have to think about my safety first and foremost, about the safety of my family, my four children.


SCHNEIDER: And Veselnitskaya has confirmed to CNN that she's willing to disclose details about that meeting with Donald Trump Jr., but she's holding back for now, not confirming what they talked about or if she left behind a document.

That was a detail first revealed by the Russian-American lobbyist who was in the room. But, possibly, Brianna, she might disclose some of those details if she meets with Senate or House investigators.

KEILAR: It will be fascinating to see if she does that, if she's very genuine about fulfilling the pledge she gave.

SCHNEIDER: It will be interesting to see.

KEILAR: Jessica Schneider, thank you so much.

And we're back now with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

OK. So, Senator, the special counsel investigators have now requested information from this eighth person that you just heard Jessica's report about in this Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr., with Paul Manafort and with Jared Kushner. His name, as you heard, has come up in this money laundering investigation.

Does your committee want to hear from him?

WHITEHOUSE: Well, I don't want to get ahead of the chair and the ranking member in deciding who to announce we're going to be interested in.

But I will make the point that his history with setting up entities that are associated with facilitating money laundering, particularly facilitating Russian money laundering, is very much at the heart of what everybody is concerned about here; because through shell corporation LLCs and through other dark money entities, there is a Russian record of trying to influence politics in other nations and very likely in America.

[18:30:36] And also there is a Russian record of trying to set up networks of corruption that they can then use to acquire political influence in other countries.

And, so, at the very heart of Russian election manipulation is corruption and money laundering; and now you have a guy in this meeting who has a history of setting up the kind of entities that are used to facilitate money laundering. So, it's getting interesting.

KEILAR: So, when he says, or we hear from the lawyer for Mr. Kaveladze that he thought he was there to perhaps be a translator, although in the end the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, she brought her own translator, it seems. So, you don't -- you don't buy that story?

WHITEHOUSE: Well, I don't know whether to buy that or not at this point. I mean, you've got a meeting now with the son of the Republican candidate, the son-in-law of the Republican candidate, and the campaign chairman of the -- manager of the Republican candidate. You'd think you'd be prepared for that meeting and that you would know whether you're going in as a translator or whether you're going in for some other reason. It doesn't strike me that this is the kind of meeting, with all the e-mails carefully setting up, that gets undertaken by anybody in a slapdash or casual fashion.

So, that turns you back to this guy's experience as a lawyer, setting up these mechanisms that are the basic mechanism of money laundering, when money laundering is, in turn, the basic mechanism for corrupt Russian election influence.

KEILAR: All right, Senator Whitehouse, thank you so much. Big developments here today. We appreciate your time.

We have much more breaking news ahead as we await a meeting of Republican senators and administration officials. They're trying to figure out a way out of the health care chaos.

Plus, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr., key players from the Trump team, all now scheduled to testify before Congress. We are learning new details.


[18:37:25] KEILAR: We're following some breaking news. President Trump's son, son-in-law and former campaign manager all now scheduled to testify to Congress next week as part of their various Russia investigations. Jared Kushner is going to testify privately before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday, and then Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort have been asked to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Wednesday.

I want to get more with our experts and with our analysts.

OK, Gloria, you've been following this. These are big developments here just in the last few minutes.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Abby Lowell, who is Jared Kushner's attorney, put out a statement and said that Mr. Kushner has been talking to the committee since March when he voluntarily said he would -- when he said he would voluntarily testify. And they say that they are being responsive to Congress and what they want to do; and so it's going to be on Monday. And this is going to be behind closed doors, however.

And, so, Mr. Kushner, who at one point -- I think there was a thought that he would testify publicly -- is now going to testify privately. And, of course, later in the week on Wednesday, you have Judiciary with Paul Manafort and Don Jr.

KEILAR: Why privately? If we thought he was going to testify publicly? Do we know?

BORGER: Well, I don't know whether that was at his request or whether it was at the committee's request.

I can tell you, in talking to people who are close to him, I think the preference might have been that it be in a closed session, because I think they didn't want it to turn into some kind of a -- some kind of a circus.

But I think that it clearly is something the committee is willing to do privately. The question that I have is how much consultation has been done with the special counsel on this, right, Dana?


KEILAR: What are the -- the sort of pros and cons of having it privately -- for instance, we saw a number of folks testify publicly, and then they have a private session after. Not even on the same day, necessarily. It could be later. What -- what do you make of this, that it would just be private?

BASH: And it could -- it could be the opposite this time. You know, we don't know.

It is the Senate Intelligence Committee. Of all the committees, they do tend to have the most private, closed-door sessions, for obvious reasons. They tend to talk about the nation's secrets.

In this case, though, you know, if you just kind of think about the pure and raw politics of it, you would think that Jared Kushner, if he had nothing to hide, would want to come out in public. But, you know, this is -- again, this is not negating the idea of doing it later.

I think that it's interesting that, after all of these months, that all of a sudden next week you're going to have three of the main players testifying, like, within 24, 48 hours, which is pretty remarkable.

[18:40:08] Now in the case of Kushner -- and Gloria has been doing a lot of reporting on this -- this is a long time coming. I mean, this is something that has been negotiated and has been going back and forth between Jared's -- Jared's lawyers and the Intelligence Committee for months.

BORGER: And don't forget, he has had to update his security clearance form numerous times. And, so, I'm sure that will be part of their questioning, which is why did you leave some of these Russia meetings off of your initial form, the subsequent form, and then now the just -- you know, the updated form?

KEILAR: Bianna, Gloria was getting to this point before where she said, "What does this mean about the coordination with the special counsel, Robert Mueller?" Because essentially, Congress and all of these committees have allowed him to take the lead. They're not trying to step on his toes. They're trying to stay in their lane and defer to him.

So, what does this tell you about the special counsel investigation that now you have Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. testifying publicly?

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, YAHOO! NEWS: Well, it does appear that Mueller had been investigating Manafort, maybe a bit longer than Donald Trump Jr. But obviously since word came out about that meeting last June, you have both of them now testifying.

Also interesting about the timing of it, as I heard you say earlier, we didn't get a clear confirmation that Manafort would, indeed, be testifying, but it has been presented that he is. And these two gentlemen don't necessarily have mutually aligned interests now. I mean, they're both private citizens. They're not in the administration, which is maybe one reason why they are agreeing to an open hearing.

But you have Manafort with years of history with the Ukrainian government and advocating as a lobbyist for them, as well. Don Jr. really entering the picture now for questioning given that meeting, and of course, the background we're hearing about his affiliation with the people who did come to this meeting.

Also interesting, who else is going to be at that hearing: Bill Browder from Hermitage Fund, and he is the one who is behind the Magnitsky Act which was the call, the reason Don Jr. initially said that this meeting was set up and that she was talking about orphans, the orphans obviously a result of Vladimir Putin retaliating against the U.S., not allowing the adoption of Russian orphans, for the Magnitsky Act. So it will be interesting to see this cross-section of these four gentlemen coming together.

KEILAR: The Magnitsky Act, which is sanctions against certain folks in Russia for human rights abuses...

GOLODRYGA: Forty-four men, yes.

KEILAR: Dozens of very important and Vladimir Putin-connected people in Russia.

So Ron, I mean, this is -- this is huge that there are going to be these hearings next week.


KEILAR: Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner. What does this tell you about, perhaps, a change in this investigation or where we're seeing it in terms of timing of this investigation?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think it's going to be a very long investigation. And in particular, you know, Robert Mueller has more capacity than the Senate Intelligence Committee, as they will tell you, particularly to follow the money, to follow the financial side. That has never been their expertise on the Intelligence Committee.

But, Brianna, I think Bianna made a very important point there, which is that the interests of these individuals may start to diverge, and that has been the case in other, as Gloria knows and Dana knows, in other Washington scandals.

When you start getting people under oath and, in particular, when there starts to be the possibility of criminal prosecution surrounding what they are saying under oath, that is when you often find cracks in whatever facade has been constructed. And historically, we have seen kind of that is where kind of the water seeps in and different people make different calculations.

Whether Michael Flynn or Paul Manafort or any of them ultimately make a different calculation, whether they have ultimately anything different to say. Historically, I think we are now at that kind of crucible moment, where the pressure on the united front really becomes significantly greater.

KEILAR: All right. All of you on this panel, stick around for me. We have so much to talk about, a lot of breaking news tonight.

Next, a new estimate of the impact of repealing Obamacare, a price tag. That's what we now have. What the numbers mean for Senate Republicans.


[18:49:06] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Breaking news tonight, new twists in the health care chaos gripping Senate Republicans. They may vote on a straight repeal of Obamacare next week. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office just announced that bill would result in 32 million fewer people with insurance by 2026 with average premiums doubling.

And, Dana Bash, this may be the issue because those premiums jump big time and even less people are covered and there's no guarantee that if Senate Republicans vote to repeal something and that goes through Congress, that something ultimately is replaced there.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. I was talking to a Republican senator who -- right before coming on who is involved in trying to get this thing together who said actually that that CBO score might help because it is just about the repeal. It's not the repeal and replace bill.

And, so, the hope is that it will help show particularly the moderate Republicans who are very concerned about people in their states, many of them have Medicaid expansion, losing coverage to say, well, if it's just to repeal that my colleagues pass, then my constituents are really in bad shape.

[18:50:11] You know, let's come to the table and try to figure out a better replacement plan than what we have now.

KEILAR: What did you think when you saw these numbers come out, Gloria?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, they're not good and it does make the case for having a plan to go forward with. You know, the president has been all over the lot on this. First, he was for the bill and then he was for repeal and replace, then he was for replace, then he was for let the Democrats take the blame. And now, I think he's back to repeal and replace.

And I don't think you can get rid of a program and take away people's benefits without telling them what you're going to give to them in return. KEILAR: Go on, Ron.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I was going to say that every road, every -- the House bill, the Senate bill, the repeal bill, it all runs up against I think the same dead end, which is this collision between the dominant ideology in the party, which has been this less government is always better and the changing nature of their coalition, and the fact that the Republicans are now heavily dependent on a lot of lower income, blue collar, older and non-urban white voters, who need and have benefitted from this program.

When you look at what the Urban Institute model who would lose coverage under the Senate bill, 80 percent of them didn't have a college degree, 70 percent of them were in a house where somebody is working full time, and 60 percent of them were white. I mean, that -- you could not throw a better bull's eye over the Trump coalition. You look at what this means for rural hospitals. You look at what this means for communities on the front line of the opioid crisis, which become heavily relied on Medicaid to respond to that.

All of those are places where Donald Trump dominated, and all are big losers under the bill. And that I think is just, you know, they've never been quite able to get around that big rock in the road.

KEILAR: Bianna, though, you look at these numbers, and I mean -- gosh, they might make repeal and replace look good, but that's not saying a whole lot.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, YAHOO NEWS ANCHOR: Well, now, it makes sense as to why the administration had been trying to shun the CBO and dismiss its reports now for the last few months. But at the end of the day, take a look at these bills, I mean, these bills are extremely unpopular. There's a reason why they cannot get enough support.

And so, with the president coming back and forth, he's not helping either, talking about these bills being mean, on the one day -- one hand saying let's repeal, and not worry about replace, the next day changing his mind, really publicly pressuring and calling out Republicans, not the smartest tactic for this president. And also, I mean I think it says something in that he came out today and said he is going to continue with a cost-sharing rebate.

So, that necessarily even though he talk about Obamacare blowing up will keep it going for the next few months, at least. But it's definitely going to cause more chaos.

KEILAR: All right. Panel, thank you so much. We have much more breaking news ahead.

Ominous new signs in North Korea, we are learning new details of what U.S. intelligence is detecting tonight.


[18:57:22] KEILAR: U.S. intelligence is picking up some disturbing developments tonight in North Korea's aggressive ballistic missile program.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is working the story for us.

Barbara, you are getting some new information from your sources. Tell us about this.


Tonight, U.S. officials are increasingly worried that Kim Jong-un is planning even more trouble.


STARR (voice-over): U.S. officials tell CNN that U.S. spy satellites are picking up indicators North Korea is getting ready for another ballistic missile test, just two weeks after it stunned the world, launching its first intercontinental range missile capable of hitting the United States.

GEN. PAUL SELVA, JOINT CHIEFS VICE CHAIRMAN: The North Koreans are moving quickly to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capability.

STARR: U.S. officials say the latest satellite intelligence shows Kim Jong-un's regime is testing radars that would use in a launch that could occur in about two weeks.

Japan again showing the world its Patriot missiles to defend against a North Korean attack.

MAJ. TSUTOMU YAMASAKI, JAPAN AIR SELF-DEFENSE FORCE (through translator): We are the last bastion of our missile defense system.

STARR: It's too soon to say whether it would be another ICBM or an intermediate range missile capable of hitting somewhere in the Pacific, the second highest ranking U.S. military officer warning about a key North Korean advantage.

SELVA: I'm reasonably confident in the ability of our intelligence committee to monitor the testing, but not the deployment of these missile systems. Kim Jong-un and his forces are very good at camouflage, concealment and deception.

STARR: The Pentagon cautioning the July 4th ICBM launch had its limitations on being able to hit a precise target in the U.S.

SELVA: What the experts tell me is that North Koreans have yet to demonstrate the capacity to do the guidance and control that we would be required.

STARR: But skeptics say North Korea's missiles must remain a top priority.

BRUCE KLINGNER, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: The U.S. has frequently underestimated North Korea's capabilities. When they have done some of their previous intermediate range missiles and some of their others, people were surprised that they landed where North Korea said they would land.


STARR: And tonight, the U.S. also is keeping a sharp eye on a North Korean submarine about 66 miles off shore of the peninsula, not sure whether it may plan to do next -- Barbara.

KEILAR: All right. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thank you.

I am Brianna Keilar, thank you so much for watching.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.