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News Wrap: Senate Intelligence Committee cancels private interview with Trump lawyer

In our news wrap Tuesday, Senate investigators in the Russia probe cancelled a private interview with Trump attorney Michael Cohen after he released a public statement beforehand. Later, they invited him to testify in public. Also, in a revived effort to overhaul Obamacare, Senate Republicans are pushing a bill to give block grants to states to cover some health care costs.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In the day's other news: Senate investigators canceled a private interview with President Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, in the Russia connection probe. Leaders of the Intelligence Committee complained that Cohen violated an agreement by releasing a public statement beforehand. Later, they invited him to testify in public.

    The lawyer left the Capitol after 90 minutes, and offered no details about what had happened.

    MICHAEL COHEN, Personal Lawyer for President Trump: It was a request by the Senate Intel to postpone. And I will be back. And I look forward to giving all the information that they are looking for.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Cohen's statement said that a proposal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, as the presidential campaign was starting last year, was — quote — "solely a real estate deal and nothing more."

    Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has been told to expect an indictment. Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Manafort's contacts in Ukraine and Russia.

    Senate Republicans appeared to gain momentum today in a last-ditch effort to overhaul Obamacare. South Carolina's Lindsey Graham and Louisiana's Bill Cassidy are pushing a bill to give so-called block grants to states to cover some health care costs, while reshaping and cutting Medicaid.

    They claimed today that they're close to getting the votes, over staunch Democratic opposition.

  • SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.:

    At the end of the day, I really believe we're going to get 50 Republican votes. And I make a prediction. There are going to be a lot of Democrats struggling with a no-vote, because at least eight of them, eight of them, their states do far better than Obamacare in terms of funding, and they have more control over the money. And that's going to be a hard no.

  • SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., Minority Leader:

    No guarantee of a preexisting condition, and an end to Medicaid as we know it. Tens of millions of people could well lose coverage. People who desperately need essential services would lose it.

    Our Republican colleagues don't seem to care about how this affects the average American.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Vice President Mike Pence met with Senate Republicans today and said that the Trump administration is all in on the plan.

    Turkey has stepped up a show of force along its border with Northern Iraq. It's aimed at discouraging Iraqi Kurds from holding an independence referendum on Monday. Dozens of Turkish tanks and rocket launchers took up position today. The Turks also staged airstrikes on Kurdish militants. Ankara fears that the vote will embolden Turkey's own Kurdish population.

    We will hear from the Turkish president right after the news summary.

    In Myanmar, leader Aung San Suu Kyi gave her first national address on the flight of 420,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh. The Rohingyas say they're fleeing attacks by Myanmar's military. Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate, condemned any human rights violations. She didn't address U.N. claims that her Buddhist nation is engaged in ethnic cleansing.

  • AUNG SAN SUU KYI, De Facto Leader, Myanmar:

    We are concerned to hear that numbers of Muslims are fleeing across the border to Bangladesh. We want to find out why this exodus is happening. We would like to talk to those who have fled, as well as to those who have stayed.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Suu Kyi invited international diplomats to visit Myanmar and see the situation for themselves. But her speech drew a lukewarm response at the U.N. General Assembly.

    In economic news, the once-giant chain Toys 'R' Us filed for federal bankruptcy protection today. The company said it's more than $5 billion in debt. It's the latest big box retailer to be pushed aside by growing online sales.

    And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 39 points to close at 22370. The Nasdaq rose six, and the S&P 500 added two.

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