tv Face the Nation CBS February 26, 2017 10:30am-11:31am EST
captioning sponsored by cbs >> dickerson: today on "face the nation", with growing pressure on capitol hill for an independent investigation of trump's campaign contacts with russia, the white house pushes back hard against leaks and the press. >> they are the enemy of the people. because they have no sources, they just make them up when there are none. >> dickerson: we will go one-on-one with former cia director john brennan in his first television appearance since he left the spy agency. >> you work for us. >> dickerson: angry constituents confront members of congress back home in town hall meetings, we sat down with a group of richmond, virginia area residents to get their thoughts on the new president. >> after like everybody is sitting on pins and needles and
waiting, after -- we have to be hopeful. >> i like some of what trump likes to do and some of what he wants to do scares me to death. >> he has been in office a little over 30 days. he is going to be there for four years. i am giving him four years to make a difference. >> dickerson: ohio governor john kasich thinks he has a better plan for fixing obamacare, we will talk to him about his meeting with the president, his one time republican primary rival. our national security correspondent david martin reports from the field, plus we will have plenty of political analysis, all coming up on "face the nation". >> dickerson: good morning and welcome to "face the nation", i am john dickerson. once again, we have a lot to get to today and we will begin with former cia director john brennan who in addition to serving as homeland security advisor to president trump spent 25 years at the cia under both democratic and republican administrations. welcome. let's start with reports that the white house asked the chairman of the two intelligence
committees to not back reports about an investigation into russian efforts to collude with the trump campaign in the election. how does that strike you, what is your reaction to that? >> i certainly don't know the conversation of the, content of the conversations they had with the media and i have and have tremendous respect for burr who is on the senate committee who will be undertaking this investigation. it is important that investigation be done in a bipartisan gags, if it is only one party leading this, it is not going to deliver the results that the american people need and deserve. so i do hope that they are very conscious of the fact that not just the concern about the content of the discussion they might have had with the media but it is appearance of any impropriety, but again i think chairman burr the recognizes his responsibilities and along with vice chairman warner i really hope they pursue this investigation with vigor and with the appropriate amount of bipartisan support it needs. >> dickerson: the white house also said they talked to fbi
director comey about the investigation going on and that comey told them or that the fbi told the white house there is nothing to these stories about russians contacting trump administration officials. do you think you know james comey, director of the fbi, do you think he would have weighed in on what was happening on an ongoing investigation. >> i have tremendous respect for jim comey, he is competent and has integrity and it is my experience with jim he would not do anything that would in any way compromise the integrity of an o ongoing investigation, thas why anything who claims that the facts are already known in terms of what did or didn't happen between russian officials and u.s. persons during the election, i think is speaking very prematurely and the white house needs to understand that the interaction with the fbi on criminal investigations is something that really they need to steer clear of, certainly when mifers the white house for four years and then at the cia, any type of engagement between the white house and the fbi about an ongoing criminal
investigation was verboten, not just because of the impropriety of doing that but the appearance it would provide to folks on the outside there might be some unwarranted enter ference in such an investigation. >> dickerson: so there is not regular business, this wouldn't have happened -- when you were serving the white house never called you and said hey would you help us out here, we need a story and need to talk to some reporters? >> no, i never did that on behalf of the white house request and the white house never made a request of me in that regard. particularly if it is an investigation that is by implication deals with some members, individuals who might have been associated with the individuals that are currently residing in the white house. >> we talked to house intelligence comairm devin nunes last week and i want to get your reaction to this. >> what we have is we do have people in the last administration, people who are burrowed in, perhaps all throughout the government, who clearly are leaking to the press. >> dickerson: so what is your reaction to that? we were talking about leads of sensitive information from obama
administration officials. >> well, i think it is very unhelpful to make allegations about who is responsible for these leaks and i think we have to distinguish between leaks of classified information, which is against the law, and leaks of discussions that are taking place within the administration. as far as leaks of classified information are concerned, i agree that they are appalling and need to be investigated and need to stop, because the impact on our systems and our capabilities can be grave, so i do think it is important to be able to stop those leaks, but information can be coming from any number of quarters, so whether it be intelligence community, what i house, congress, a lot of people have access to this information. >> dickerson: one of the things that chairman nunes said, particularly respect to michael flynn, national security advisor, there is nobody anybody would know about phone conversations he had with the russian ambassador unless they were at the very highest level of a previous administration. and that is why he was pointing to previous administration officials. does that make sense
to you? >> well, again, until there is an investigation, in terms of who had access to this information, how it might have been shared beyond that the seeming inner circle of individuals i think it is premature to be pointing fingers at anybody, whether in this administration or the previous administration who may have been responsible for those leaks. >> dickerson: i am going to switch to the topic of president trump's travel ban. there is a report that the department of homeland security that intelligence from the department says that the travel ban really won't solve the big problem, that these seven countries aren't responsible for, and it is not the full report, but do me, give me your sense of how an administration assesses this kind of information as it comes in. the president takes it in and does what he wants, does he have to live with it? how the people think about it in this report? >> well, the foreign homeland security has responsibility for providing the assessments and insight into how best to protect this country from individuals
who may be coming from overseas. in concert with the cia and fbi and other elements of the intelligence community. i do think that report puts, puts its finger on it that citizenship is not a potential for terrorist action, there is a lot of factors going item, so individuals they have trstled from their country of birth, my experiences, associated with certain elements that lent themselves then to terrorist activities. so the vetting process that needs to go on has to take into account multiple factors, not just countries of origin or where they might be departing from. >> dickerson: the trump administration would say these countries were targeted by the obama administration in terms of their being the birthplace of terrorism, some of them are on the terrorist watch list, why not be vigilant about them? >> oh we need to be vigilant about them but that doesn't mean there needs to be a temporary ban on those individuals arriving from the country, so in the wj obama administration, yes in the obama administration we looked kaiflg any at what was
going on in those countries and took steps to protect this country from individuals arriving from those chores that mamay have nefarious purposes. >> if you were advising the president right now about the threats to the homeland, where would you put the travel ban in in the rank order and if it is not number one, what would you put ahead of it? >> i don't think the travel ban is going to help in any significant way. what they need to do is again take into account all of the various means that terrorist groups use to try to carry out attacks here in the homeland and the cyber domain is the area where most of the terrorist groups now are operating and in a very freewheeling fashion, and so the efforts to inintroduce cite and to encourage and recruit via the cyber domain is something that the fbi and the intelligence agencies are very, very vigilant about. so it may sound good to have a ban against individuals coming from certain countries but you really need to take a look at what is truly going to mitigate the nature and the scope of the terrorist threat that we face. >> dickerson: is there a down side to the ban?
>> well, yes. i think first of all it send a very bad message to individuals that are being singled out because of their nationality a, it also gives a clear impression that there is an effort on the part of this administration to focus on muslims themselves, so i think it is subject to very, y various interpretation that do not help our national security. >> dickerson: you know, you are here speaking to us on the record but i should ask you, have you talked to anybody in the press since leaving? >> no, i have not, you are the first one to talk on the press. >> dickerson: on the record or -- >> that is correct a. >> dickerson: let's go to north korea. >> which is why people point fingers about leak, i certainly welcome that investigation to stop those leaks, because they should be, shouldn't be taking place and anybody who is responsible for that is dead wrong, anybody who thinks i am responsible it is dead wrong. >> how many things would keep you up as night. >> in things, what do we need to do in order to prevent proliferators from achieving their aims, from terrorist
groups, cyber, but also russia, whether it might be looking at in terms of their next area for exploitation, what they did across the board on elections, so one of the things that the intelligence community and law enforcement agencies have to do now is to deal with simultaneous issues with great consequence to our national security. >> dickerson: should russia be monitored? what are they going to do next or confronted? >> i think it has to be a little bit of both. certainly the russians have an agenda when it comes to trying to exert their influence in different parts of the world. we see what they did in the ukraine. we see what they did in syria and also here in our elections, they look at the european landscape also as ripe for exploitation in terms of trying to have individuals who are sympathetic to russia's agenda be elected. >> dickerson: president trump is very focused on north korea, we have had this reports of the nerve gas was used to kill the half brother of the leader of north korea, i can't what does that say to you about that
assassination attempt and where north korea is? >> so a couple of things. one is that kim jong-un continues to use lethal means to eliminate either opponents of his regime internally or those who he just disagrees with. there has been brutal repression inside north korea under kim jong-un's leadership and killed many, many individuals, and some of the most brutal means possible. the use of this vx against his half brother certainly are all indicators point to north korean responsibility for this. it is another example of his use of these types of toxins to carry out his objectives. >> dickerson: the new national security advisor reportedly said the phrase radical islamic terrorism should be avoided, president trump has said if you don't use that term you don't adequately understand the nature of the threat out there. where do you come down on that. >> general mcmaster has a
stellar reputation not just as a military officer and leader but as a very thoughtful national security specialist and i think he recognizes that these bumper sticker terms like radical islam being responsible for terrorism does more harm than good. you need to be precise and it is one of the things i think the president needs to realize is when he uses language it has resonance around the world, not just with his con stitchient base here in the united states. so being much more disciplined in terms of the language that we use i think is something that is going to help our nash security and genera general mcmaster in s early days saying that is unhelpful phrase gives me even greater confidence that he is going to do what he needs to do as national security advisor and hopefully be able to sway the thoughts and ideas and inclinations of some of the individuals who work with him at the white house complex. >> dickerson: all right, thank you so much for being with us, we are out of time and we will be back in a minute with our focus group. they have some surprising views on what is going on in this country. stay with us.
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>> dickerson: as we continue our efforts to bring viewers a sense of what is going on across america and hear from voices not just in washington, we traveled to richmond, virginia to talk to a group at the old city hall about what was on their mind politically after one month of the trump administration. >> we hear the phrase that describes our country right now, what is the phrase? >> turmoil. right now, if you lose, you don't lose, you just fight, fight, fight. you fuss, fuss, fuss. obstruction is now a technique. failure is something to promote if it is on the other guys. how about you? >> i feel like everybody is sitting on pins and needles, it is like waiting. i feel like we have to be hopeful. >> charles, what about you? >> volatility, turmoil and chaos. >> what about you? >> frustration. a lot of people are afraid.
>> dickerson: you say a lot of people are afraid? >> yes. they don't know what is going to to happen. >> aaron how about you. >> the word is change, we have a president that clearly does things in a different way and surrounded by a team that does things in a different way. they are going about keeping their campaign promises, but they communicate them in a different way. >> angry. i think a lot of people are angry, a lot of people based their vote on their anger, and now a lot of people are fighting back with their anger against the vote for donald trump, so anger. >> i would say scary because people really don't know what to expect. promises were made and they don't know if they are going to be kept or, you know, what is going to happen. so i think people are just kind of afraid, scared and afraid right now. >> there is mass confusion.
i think they promised us that they are going to train the swamp, but instead i think we are getting more of the same. >> dickerson: george, what impressed you most about the president? >> the fact that he won. >> dickerson: since becoming president -- >> the energy that the man has. he seems relentless. i mean day after day it is always something and he has a way, yes, and i don't like all of the comments he makes on twitter, but you -- but he is always the news. 24/7. because he absorbs all of the air out of the room. >> dickerson: if you had to give the president advice, what advice would you give him? >> to think before you speak. or tweet. >> dickerson: sheila, when the president wakes up every morning, what do you think he is thinking about? >> himself. he reminds me of, probably some
of the women here remember this type from middle school on, girls who did nothing but think about their wedding. they didn't even have a groom in mind, but they were planning that, and all of the energy went into that wedding, to the pomp, and the ceremony, and actually being married and making it work was so far to the back that they just kept coming back to wanting to redo the wedding, wanting to entertain lavishly, and that type of thing and still weren't thinking about being married, and he is not thinking about being president. >> dickerson: for those of you who voted for donald trump, what was the promise of his presidency? >> well his drain the swamp, in which i took to mean the control of the regulations that have abounded under the previous administration. >> dickerson: david, what gives you hope? >> hope is we will change
presidents somewhere down the line. i like some of what trump wants to do and some of what he wants to do scares me to death. >> dickerson: what do you like? >> immigration. let's secure the borders. let's reign in all of the people coming into the country without documents, the simple fact they are here makes them a criminal, and i would ask people, do you lock your doors at night? or do you just open the door and say here is a sign, come on in, take my food, watch my tv, oh, yeah, i will buy you dinner, here are some groceries, nobody wants a country that does that. we lock our doors for various reasons. we need to lock the border. let the people come in legally, you know, the country is built on immigrants but do it properly. >> dickerson: gina what is the number one issue with you? >> well, as a businessman i thought he would be able to control the finances better.
i watched the apprentice. it was one of my favorite shows, and i liked him on the show. i liked his position, his energy. i didn't vote for him but i just felt like he should come from a financial background and that is what we need. >> dickerson: i will get everybody to listen to this and see if you think this is going to happen. this is what the president promised for the replacement of obamacare. he says his replacement will take care of everybody, there will be better healthcare for more people at lesser cost. who here thinks that is possible in politics today, a plan that encompasses all of that? >> so you have some optimism there about that, why do you think that, charles? >> obamacare, some things about obama care people really liked. at this point, i don't think it is going to work to completely junk it. it is going to have to be fixed, but whatever we come up with, it is not going to work unless we come up with some way to pay for
it. >> we have to remember that the president is not a dictator so he has to deal with congress. he is also going to have to deal with the insurance companies. they are obviously going to want to have a big say in that, so just for him to spout oh it is going to be the best, the greatest, the most wonderful thing possible is just not realistic in my opinion. >> dickerson: does the press give donald trump a fair shake? not always. some of it is his fault, i think. >> i don't think the media is too hard on trump. when you report what he says and then he calls it fake news, you kind of have to wonder where he is coming from. >> i don't think there is anything wrong with the news to ask him the hard questions and too me, though, they focus too much on the negative stuff. i know the other night the only channel, which was fox, that was broadcasting he had all of the coal workers, they were the only channel that broadcasted and reported that last night. that was something good, because
senator manchin was there who was a democrat but they seem to focus on, yes, he does missteps, the man has only been in office a little over 30 days. he is going to be there for four years. i am giving him four years to make a difference. >> dickerson: does anyone have a member of their family here who will be directly affected by a policy that donald trump has talked about? >> i am very much looking forward to the repealing and replacing of obamacare because it directly affects my mother. the current system raised her rates in the middle of chemotherapy 1,300 dollars a month. it is absolutely insane, to say that policy is helping people it needs to go and needs to be replaced. >> dickerson: and you feel like the replacement will be better than what she has now? >> it has to be. >> dickerson: the final question, gene, i will start with you. so it is 20 years from now and you are talking to the next generation and you are telling them what happened in the trump years and how it ended.
what story do you tell them? >> i think the expectation is going to be high, has been high from the beginning, and i think it is going to dwindle down. i don't think there is going to be much changes to obamacare. i don't think there is going to be changes to the economy that much. >> i think we would have to tell future generations that unless president trump can turn things around then we dropped the ball. i mean, unelected bureaucrats in these agencies are getting more and more power over our lives every single day and i don't see any -- i don't see any change on the horizon for that. maybe i am being pessimistic but maybe president trump can make some changes. >> that story is going to sound like the citizenry dropped the ball. donald trump, good, bad or indifferent is not the problem. the problem is there are people that like donald trump. there are people that hate donald trump.
there is a larger group of people that did not vote, and until we get a consensus from the population about who is being elected to represent all of the people, then you are going to get this minority rule, which is what we have. i would tell the future, don't ever let that happen again. turn the idiot box off, turn fox and nbc and turn them all off and start talking to your family, start talking to your friends, start talking to your neighbors, because we are the government. after the election, my two daughters were so despondent, they said, daddy, how did this happen? and poll after poll predicted hillary clinton would have won, so they were surprised that it was reversed. and i explained to them, sweetheart, if you look at the overall history of the u.s., we have survived many elections,
and this is another election that we will survive and we will become stronger because of this. >> dickerson: all right. thanks to all of you. we will be back here in 20 years to talk to all of you. if you want to watch more from our focus group it is available on our website facethenation.com. and we will be right back. >>
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>> dickerson: welcome back to "face the nation". in one of his first executive action it is president ordered the pentagon to develop a new strategy to defeat isis. cbs news national security correspondent david martin has spent the last week traveling with the u.s. central command throughout the middle east assessing the fight. he joins us from cairo. david, the president will get this report tomorrow from the pentagon. what are you seeing out there in advance of it? >> what you are seeing is that the number one priority for the u.s. military is to liberate the isis capital of -- inside syria, that is regarded as ground zero for plotting terrorist attacks against the west, both -- and in europe and not necessarily in the united states. >> dickerson: have you seen the pace of things change,
david, and how will they go about liberating raqqa? >> all summer, the plan was to attack both the isis capital of mosul in iraq and the isis capital of raqaa in syria simultaneously. it hasn't worked out that way, and the principal problem is they are still training and equipping the force that would be needed to assault raqaa. and the issue there is whether or not the u.s. is going to arm these local syrian fighters with the kind of heavy weapons that you need to assault a city. but the problem is, the troops in question are kurdish, and turkey, sway member of nato and a key ally in this campaign against isis is vehemently opposed to arming the kurds because they view the kurds as an enemy. but u.s. military is at the
point where they aring to deal with whatever blowback they get from turkey in order to be able to arm these fighters and get on with the assault against raqaa. >> dickerson: david, tell us about the assault in mosul. >> mosul is divided in half by the tigris river and that is how the iraqis are going about liberating it, in the eastern half it took 100 days, and during that time, they had 500 killed and 3,000 wounded in action because they were not effectively coordinating their movements against isis. that is why american advisors have been moved closer to the front lines now when the assault on western mosul began last sunday. >> dickerson: david, military advisors are worried about drones. what is their concern? >> the basic concern is the u.s. military has lost its monopoly on drones. isis has started buying drones off the shelf, outfitting them
with either and grenades or artillery shells and then using those drones to drop them on iraqi troops, and they have no real defense against them other than just to take their rifles them and fire them in the air and try to shoot one of them down, so what is going to have to happen is that the united states is going to have to figure out where these drones are being outfitted and start targeting those buildings with air strikes to take out this new capability, which isis is getting better and better at. >> dickerson: david martin for us in cairo, thank you, david, and we will be right back. >>
>> dickerson: we are back with ohio governor and former republican presidential candidate to john kasich in town for the republican governor's conference and he also met with president trump on friday. governor, you met with the president to talk about healthcare. where do you think he is in his thinking about reforming the affordable care act? >> well, you know, i kind of lute lined for him the things i thought would work. i mean the program needs reform. if you look over on the exchange side, some of these companies are melting down and you don't want to have all of the exchanges collapse, and you also don't want to be in a position to where you don't cover these 20 million americans. you have to make sure you have a system that is reformed, that is more affordable, and is going to work, but we are just not going to pull the rug out from under people. he listened intently to me.
he got the secretary price on the phone, we were there, the two of us, and here is what i think the problem is. the question is, are democrats going to work with republicans to fix this system? what i am hearing is, no, you know, you republicans didn't work with us, and, when we did obamacare we are not going to work with you, and that is kind of like fifth grade stuff because what is at risk is all of these people who are, who are now getting coverage and we don't want to see it denied to them. >> dickerson: i guess democrats would say they just want do repeal it, they don't want to fix it, what is that in terms of the president's thinking? >> look, i can't read his mind but i felt it was very positive. he responded very positively to the number, a number of the ideas i had and the fact of the matter is, you can't just repeal without repealing and replacing at the same time. it just becomes a political impossibility, and there is no reason to do it any other way than that. >> dickerson: i wonder what cow make of what former speaker
john boehner said recently. >> >> but most of the affordable care act, the framework is going to stay there, i shouldn't have called it repeal and replace because that is not what is going to happen, it is going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it. >> dickerson: do you agree with that characterization? >> i think he is pretty close to where, if it gets done. i mean there is going to be a problem in the house of getting anything out of there that still provides coverage to people, that is why the republicans have to reach out to some of the democrats. i don't know that is going to happen. >> dickerson: explain that problem to me. >> well, because i think there are some very conservative republicans in the house who are going to say, just get rid of the whole thing, and, you know, that is not acceptable when you have 20 million people or 700,000 people in my state, because where do the, do the mentally ill go and the drug addict god? and look, i don't understand everything that is going on with these town halls, but what i think is happening an impact from the standpoint of, hey, the
people are watching, i don't think they mind reform, but don't take everything away. john, let me tell you, the republicans can go and do what they want, and .. i am going to talk to them, but at the end of the day i am going to stand up for the people that wouldn't have the conk if they don't get this thing right. >> and i happen to believe that the best way to get this right overtime is for actually both parties to work together. i know that is considered an impossibility now, but what is at stake is not some political thing. what is at stake here are 20 million americans. >> dickerson: we move on to the question of leaks in washington. you are no longer of washington, but you know how the place works. there are leaks, like a receive receive. >> are we in a new age .. or you look to washington and it looks like it always has to you? >> well, the leaks are the same, but what washington doesn't look like to me when i was here is that if you are not of the same political party, we don't like
you, and there is fighting inside the parties but there is fighting between the parties and when we are divided and fighting all the time nothing really significant can get done. the partisanship is amazing, but there is one other thing, people are only consuming news that they happen to agree with, whether it is regular news or whether it is fake news so we live in a silo, if i am label i just consume liberal stuff, if i am a conservative i just consume conservative stuff and by the way i am an expert and how dare you try to tell me how things ought to work. >> dickerson: let me ask you a specific question about something that has been in the paper is that the intelligence committee chairman in the house and senate were called by the white house and said, hey will you help us out with these stories about leaks? what do you think about that? >> well, i remember there were leaks back when i was here, some of which came out of the intelligence committees, and i think that when people take an oath to be secret in the intelligence committee, which is the committee that doesn't get any publicity, thank goodness but the committee that is at the root of the security of our
country, when people leak there, they need to really be held accountable, and in terms of this investigation, there needs to be some cooperation, house and senate intelligence, if they need to get to the bottom of all of this, and they need to do it together and, you know, i think that is the way we should proceed but leaks are not acceptable out of the intelligence committee. >> dickerson: the intelligence committee chairmen are also looking into this -- do you see a conflict there? >> look, i am a republican but i put my country before my party. my party is my vehicle and not my master. if you are the chairman of the budget committee for intelligence committee, it is your job to lead for the best of the country, it is not your job to think about what is my party 0 going to say or what is the white house going to say? i mean, come on, john, i mean this is what is at the root wrong when people think it is my party more than it is my country. >> dickerson: you were a critic of the president and now net with him, what gives you hope about the president? >> well, i mean, he listened to
me and as i said, you know, i am on a plane and he is the pilot, and, you know,, the fact is, i want the pilot to be successful, but you know every once a while i was thinking about this last night you need to yell into the cockpit and what i told the white house is, look, since i was a young man here at the age of 30, i had fought at types with reagan, president reagan, with president bush, my job is when you do a good job, praise you and when you do something i don't agree with, and i feel compelled i am going to speak out. and when i said this in a meeting there were a few more people in the oval office, we said, yes, we know this, but i am not doing that to try to further anything other than if i don't agree with something, i have got to say it as long as i am not being self righteous. you know, what i worry about is being hoisted on my own self righteous part, i have to be careful about that, check that out in google. >> dickerson: we all do. governor kasich, thank you. >> thank you, john, very much. >> dickerson: we have a lot more "face the nation" coming up and we will be right back.
stanford university and ms., mitt romney's -- >> ben domenech, ezra klein, and molly ball with the atlantic. let me start with you, intelligence committee chairman, giving the white house a little help, did they do something wrong? >> i think this is clearly a very fractious time when it cops to discussion of these issues. >> i do think that they overstepped the bounds of normalcy when it comes to these type of conversation as bit, but when you understand the broader sort of conversation about russia's influence in america, i think that we have to appreciate, you know, how much the american people, you know, should not be disowned for the opinion that they deliver. russia did have an effect, i think, when it came to this election in undermining the beliefs and the trust that americans hold for a number of their institutions and a number of the people who were in their elite leadership class but this was not the deciding factor in our election we shouldn't allow
us to over rate the influence that russia had to the point that we suggest it was a substitute for the verdict that the people rendered in november. >> dickerson: molly, jumping off of ben's point, darrell issa, congressman said maybe there should be a special prosecutor to look into the russian medal in ling in the election, saying is that just a single congressman having an opinion or does this represent some kind of change, do you think? >> i think it does reflect a change for republican congressman to say this publicly, it is something a lot of republicans have been talking about among themselves, and republican members of congress, republicans in the senate, some like john mccain have been very outspoken about this issue. but there is a feeling of unease because not all of the facts are known, as director brennan was saying at the top of the show we do not have all of the facts yet and there is a desire to get to the bottom of this thing, to figure out exactly, you know, what the contacts were, what the influence may have been, whether
or not it decided the election, the attempt and the potential penetration by a foreign government, whether or not the administration desires this to be known, there is quite a lot of willingness among democrats and republicans on capitol hill to get 0 the bottom of this thing. >> dickerson: i want to switch to the affordable care act because there is so much going on. what do you make of where things actually stand now? the president has said everything from there would already be a repeal and replace vehicle in place to it may not happen this year. congress is weighing in, you heard john boehner and kasich, where do you think things stand? >> complete chaos there is a very large amount of uncertainty among republicans and democrats in the white house about what happens. that is true on two fronts. the issues problem for republicans is they actually don't have a policy. there has been a leaked house draft, but that has not gone to any committees, it is not something that will get 50, 51
votes in the senate, much less the 60 because some would need democratic support so they are very much at the beginning of coming up with what replacement would come up and typing is a very difficult piece of it but the second thing you are really not seeing and more important than people are giving credit for. there is not a process really. you are just seeing leaked documents, you don't have a very structured house process for looking at a draft, nothing is really happening in the senate, it is unclear in the signals that are sent in kind of what involvement they want. that is actually a very bad sign on capitol hill. >> dickerson:, lanhee, what do you make of the policy differences. >> it is chaos because it is hard to put complex things together and there are insoluble disagreements which do you think it is? do you think there are as governor kasich suggested, a group of conservatives that just won't go along or where do you he the policy fault lines are? >> i do think there are some real policy fault lines. i think the first issue is medicaid and obviously here there are differences between
those governors that made the decision to expand the medicaid program, including some republicans like john kasich and those who do did not and obviously they have a big fiscal stake in this, whatever congress does whether affect their ability to balance budgets which most states need to do on a yearly basis. i think an effective question which perhaps is even broader what do you do with the uninsured, is coverage a priority, republicans coverage is not an important matrix, i think others, i think it is an important may electricity, i think republicans need to be competitive on coverage am and that will impact their ability to get to the goal. the big question mark out there is how is the congressional budget office going to look at whatever proposal the republicans put out there and whether you agree with them or not, that is going to be an important metric. >> dickerson: and whether that new proposal will cost money or saves money. >> yes. >> dickerson: ben, on this question of coverage, the president said everybody will be covered in fact more people will be covered, the white house seems to be speaking into
kellyanne conway says anybody who has insurance now will be covered under the affordable care act, sander easy told george stephanopoulus well senate goal, which is a real shift, so that seems to be something that is quite unresolved. >> yes. like this -- they are more like guidelines. i think one of the things we have going on here is really a split of opinion between fiscal conservatives who believe that the medicaid expansion in particular was a bad idea and not something that is going to heed people to have good coverage, but rather going to have a heck of a lot of expense for not very good coverage in the state level, the problem is, there are a number of states, including republican states that are now on the hook fiscally here, they accepted this expansion and depending on money, dollars that flow from washington to their state, dollars that are going to decrease in future years, the problem is that the medicaid expansion is a portion of obamacare that effectively worked the best. you know, it signed up more people and got people covered, it raised the level of coverages that we have seen in a number of these states, whereas this little
portion, the exchange was the less popular, the less effective and the more disruptive within the private market. the problem is that that exchange plan has been historically a republican idea so the least effective form of obama coverage expansion is the one that republicans would be, you know, in the abstract the more likely to like and to be able to fix potentially under a trump plan. it is not clear to me what the trump plan really is when it comes to this, and the fact that we have, we have had the delays in staffing of this administration to this point has made this a much worse situation. if there were more staffers at -- right now and more policy people within in administration we may have a clearer idea of where things stand. >> if that was clear stand i think the president would tell us, the real problem is no one knows where the president of the united states comes down on this issue because he said multiple conflicting things and been all over the map and you noted different representatives of the white house are saying mutually
exclusive things. yes, there are ideological disputes between republicans, that was the case when mitt romney was running for president, there were some republicans on one side and some republicans on the other. but that is a preexisting condition of the healthcare debate, as you know. but the real problem is, congress wants direction. donald trump won the presidential election. they want him to tell them what to do and he hasn't. he gave this press conference before he took office where he said ever would be covered and since then, he has not seemed focus on this issue, he has not really involved himself in the debate and not made a lot of public comments about it beyond vague promises and so you have a congress that wants the president of their party to lead them and he isn't doing it and the appeal of donald trump for so many of the people who voted for him and supported him was he was a decisive leader who would make things happen and get things done through sheer force of will, through being a deal maker, and on this issue, which is a very important central issue for so many people, he hasn't been doing that.
>> dickerson: it is the hard part of governing, ezra, sometimes these big complicated issues there is a kind of solution that everybody would take if they could get over the politics. does that exist here and then added to that, governor kasich's charge which is basically, democrats don't want to have anything to do with saving republicans and so this is doomed because democrats are just going to sit and watch republicans have trouble with this. >> let me take the first piece of that first. some of -- the appeal of, repeal and replace obamacare, something terrific and the problem with healthcare is there is no something terrific just lying in the wings, it is not that easy so take the plan that house republicans leaked over the last week, the republican governors, including actually all of the governors, including john kasich over the weekend, got a presentation from the kinsey -- of health looking at what a plan like that would do and the answer was the individual markets which is where the exchanges are would see a drop by 30, 50 percent and that is before you even get into the vetted facts so if that is really difficult, you might think it is a better plan, it would be cheaper and other
things that would happen, more freedom, but it is a very difficult trade-off and the thing about healthcare is everything you want to do is a difficult tradeoff, you want to make it cheaper for young people, you make it more expensive for older people, it is a festival of hard decisions. on the issue of -- whether democrats are jump in, it is going to be hard to get them there if the metric is not more coverage and more comprehensive coverage. there are deep disagrees between the democrats and republicans and they are not going to cooperate with republicans to see fewer people covered with insurance they considered t to e less comprehensive. >> i think part of the challenge, john, is there are actually very few republicans who are very good at talking about healthcare. it is a complicated issue. i think paul brian is one of the people that does it pretty well and i think for the reasons we have talked about already, the white house has not been as pre, descriptive in terms of what they want to. do part of that is a part possess a desire to defer to paul ryan and others in the congress that have been thinking about this issue for a very long time. i think paul ryan and others do have an idea of where they would like to go.
the question is, is the white house in the same splays at the very least it would be good for the white house to say yes, we bless this effort and this is the direction we want to go in because that would resolve of some of the issues, some of the thornier wants about medicaid and the present markets a. >> dickerson: i want to ask you quickly about immigration, the plans in place for the president, it is now happening. isn't this delivering on basically his signature promise and if so, how is it going in your opinion? >> i think that he is delivering on his promise from the perspective of those who supported him. they viewed this as being a signature issue for him in a way that he departed from the elites of both the republican and the democratic parties and i think that as much as this rollout has been a little bit rocky that, from the enter perspective of those supporters he has out there in the states, he really is delivering in a way that they wanted to see happen for quite a long time, and that both parties sort of were either saying they were wrong, or promising, of are
or promised to them in the election cycle and backing away as soon as they got elected. >> dickerson: we can't leave without a new head to the democratic committee. what does it mean? >> well it means the democratic establishment has won again, just like they did when hillary clinton won the primary and that worked out really well. >> it went well for them. i mean, the democrats are powerless to a historic extent, right? they have so little power in the states and state legislatures, governorships in the house and senate and of course the presidency, and so this is a party that is grappling with deep divisions and trying to figure out a way forward both politically, how they can win again and also in terms of on a basic philosophical level what the party stands for. you have the establishment candidate backed by the clinton and obama wings a the party. and keith ellison who was bernie sanders's candidate, and of course these are rough approximations and a lot of nuance it is interesting thing to me was when tom perez the
establishment candidate won the dnc raise and made keith ellison a vice chair and said let's all have party unity and the progressive movement was not having it. bernie sanders tweeted about it and numerous progressive groups expressed a lot of discontent, so these divisions can't be papered over. >> dickerson: all right. well, we will talk about that in our next panel when you are all back. thanks for being here now, though and that's it and we will be right back. >>
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