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No Agreement in Trump/Schumer Meeting; Government Shutdown Could Halt CDC Flu Program; Victims Confront USA Gymnastics Doctor in Court; Iowa Town Give Mixed Reviews on Trump's First Year. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired January 19, 2018 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] JASON KANDER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You actually run out of those tomorrows. That's how consistent this is.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: It's all about today. Go ahead Ben, do you want to respond to that, all about tomorrow?
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look I think them getting to tomorrow is absurd. The government shutdown, a lot of people knew this was going to be an issue all year long when we kept having these CRs. We know that Democrats have been putting out information. They're proud of the fact they have the votes to basically shut down the government. That's what they said earlier today was we've the votes to shut it down, to force this shutdown, and they're actively, I think, campaigning for that right now, hoping it hurts the president. I think the sad part is that this actually affects average Americans.
And, look, Congress is, at some point -- and this is outside even the White House. Congress is clearly a dysfunctional body that the majority of Americans hate. That's why their approval rate something barely ever above 10 percent. They all play games. They all say one thing six month ago and then three days ago it changes and now it's something different. Do your job.
And that's probably the reason why a lot of people are not paying attention, honestly or really say how does this issue with a payment going to stormy affect my life when the government is about to shut down? How is it that the Democrats are standing up for illegal immigrants more than they're standing up for the American taxpayers and citizens with a government shutdown? That's a bigger issue than I think the other one right now.
BALDWIN: OK, forget Stormy, let's talk Schumer, Jason. This is my last question to you. In this whole Chuck Schumer, Senator Schumer, President Trump meeting, the fact that, you know, the outreach coming from the White House to this, you know, Democrat. Where do you think Senator Schumer is willing to bend or to compromise?
KANDER: I'm not going to get inside Senator Schumer's head. But I think that what's pretty clear, I think, is that president Trump can't be trusted. That's what's so frustrating about this, is that his word doesn't seem to mean much. Just, what, about a week ago, two weeks ago --
BALDWIN: What about the Democrats?
KANDER: One party controls everything. They control both Houses of Congress and they control the presidency. And never before has a shutdown happened when that's the case. You can't have control of the entire government. And then when the doors aren't open say it's somebody else's fault. The American people see right past that.
FERGUSON: We can't be that naive. You should know how the Senate numbers work, sir. Democrats have the ability to shut down the government. Let me finish. Let me finish. Let me finish. You know how thin the margin is right there right now. You know that for a government shutdown, Democrats have to compromise. They're actively campaigning right now to shut down the government and they're proud of it.
KANDER: No, they're not.
FERGUSON: You can't say that's a Republican fault.
BALDWIN: Respond to that Jason and then we've got to go.
KANDER: Wait a second.
BALDWIN: Respond and then we've got to go.
KANDER: The entire country knows whose fault this is and who to blame for it. And I'll tell you why. Because if you can't get 50 votes when you control the Senate, then to blame anybody else is ridiculous. And to call it a compromise when you say doing everything we tell you to do, period, that's not a compromise. That's acting like people work for it. And what the Democrats are trying to do is stand up for the American people -- so, what the president said. That's not what Republican leadership said.
BALDWIN: And this is just a conversation between the two of you guys on national TV. Can you imagine the conversations happening on Capitol Hill today? My goodness. Ben Ferguson, Jason Kander, thank you gentlemen so very much. The countdown clock is on, 8 hours, 27 minutes to go.
News just in from the CDC, flu cases in the U.S. are getting worse by the day. We'll take you to California next, where health officials have been forced to set up tents. Look at that -- to help care for the surge of flu patients.
[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: With fewer than nine hours to go before possible government shutdown, your elected officials are on the Senate floor right debating how to avoid it. But it's often the moments that you don't see that make or break the deal. After the House voted to avert the shutdown last night the Senate got to work. So, we went back through all the raw tapes, capture the small, but crucial exchanges that brought us here to the 11th hour. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
BALDWIN (voice-over): Ted Cruz, no stranger to government shutdowns, spotted in a one-on-one chat with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. No Dr. Seuss readings here, we presume. The night begins more friendly than tense. But for now, the chamber divided. Democrats deep in conversation while Republicans, Jon Cornyn and Tom Cotton, having their own pensive powwow. Minority leader, Chuck Schumer, assures Claire McCaskill with a shoulder Pat.
While Republican Pat Roberts makes a swiping motion to Lisa Murkowski, all while McConnell, obviously, eager for a vote. What's this? A bipartisan crossover, Republicans Jeff Flake and Ben Sasse pay a quick visit to Schumer. While Bernie Sanders packing a punch with his message.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are there any Sanders in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote?
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: I ask for unanimous consent -- there now may (ph) be up to ten minutes of debate.
BALDWIN: The debates began.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: I'm not trying to play for political points. Even false ones.
BALDWIN: Notice Schumer addressing McConnell directly, while McConnell, he's only speaking to Republicans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to know the urgency, look into the gallery behind me.
BALDWIN: McConnell attempts to adjourn.
MCCONNELL: As unanimous when to Senate completes its business today, to adjourn-to-until 11:00 a.m. Friday January 19th. Is there an objection?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I object. I object.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection is heard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know why we're adjourning when we're in this urgent situation.
[15:40:00] We could vote tonight on cloture and have an entire day tomorrow to work on this matter.
BALDWIN: Will this session proceed past midnight? Whatever the decisions, Dems seem proud, a round of handshakes, and pats on the back. Durbin with a fist of solidarity. And then perhaps a preemptive olive branch from Jeff Flake. Tim Kaine gives his caucus a confident thumbs up. Schumer gathers his troops for a huddle. On the other side, Republican Marco Rubio, is he ready to rumble?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Order in the chamber.
BALDWIN: Debate will have to wait. Members begin leaving, some with arms crossed but hopefully all with minds open.
BALDWIN: There you have it. Now if the government shuts down, it couldn't come at a worse time for agencies overseeing public health. Because right no one of the deadliest flu outbreaks in recent memory is raging. The CDC, the Center for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health could be forced to send thousands of workers home. So, Elizabeth Cohen is with me now. Our CNN senior medical correspondent. And Elizabeth, you are live there in California where the flu is being blamed for the deaths of more than 100 people in one county alone. How are hospitals handling all of this?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke, one of the ways that they're handling it is by building tents like the one I'm standing in right here. I'm at Loma Linda University and it's in Southern California. They've had so many people come in that a couple of weeks ago they just set this tent up and the overflow from the E.R. comes in here. Now as far as people who are so sick that they get admitted to the hospital, right now, Brooke, as we speak, 25 to 30 flu patients are in the hospital, adults and children. Last year at any given time there were five or ten. You can see how severe this year has been.
BALDWIN: Cannot believe the numbers and how this would then be affected potentially by the shutdown. Just makes all of it that much more worse. Elizabeth Cohen in a tent, in a makeshift tent there in California. Thank you.
Coming up next here, a powerful army of survivors. Those are the words of Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, staring down her former gymnastics coach as she praised the dozens of women who have come forward in his sentencing. Their emotional statements next.
[15:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: Former USA gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar accused of sexually abusing more than 140 girls and women, will now have to hear more statements from his alleged victims. Something he claims he is not mentally able to handle. As of today, 120 women were scheduled to testify at Nassar's sentencing hearing there in Michigan. Originally scheduled for four days, the judge extended it to next week to allow time for all of these women to speak.
JORDYN WIEBER, NASSAR ACCUSER: I was 14 years old I tore my hamstring in my right leg. This is when he started performing the procedure that we are all now familiar with. I would cringe at how uncomfortable it felt. He did it time after time, appointment after appointment, convinced me that it was helping my hamstring injury. And the worst part was I had no idea that he was sexually abusing me for his own benefit. Who was the doctor that USAGA sent to keep us healthy and get us
through? The doctor that was our abuser. The doctor that is a child molester.
NICOLE REEB, NASSAR ACCUSER: I never accepted that I was abused. No one could help me figure out the why behind my symptoms. Why was I so messed up? Why couldn't I go a day without anxiety medication? Why was I so emotional? Why did I get angry? The abuse I suffered under the guise of treatment by Larry Nassar is my why. I have spent half of my life, my entire adult life clawing my way to the aftermath of being sexually abused. It seems just to me that Larry Nassar should spend the rest of his adult life locked away in a prison cell.
JAMIE DANTZSCHER, NASSAR ACCUSER: You manipulated me into thinking you were the good guy and helping me while sexually abusing me, over and over and over for your own twisted sexual pleasure. You even had the audacity to abuse me in my room, in my own bed at the Olympic games in Sydney. You're a pathetic monster that is only sorry you got caught. We have a voice now. We have the power now.
JEANETTE ANTOLIN, NASSAR ACCUSER: You made me believe that you were my friend. You deceived me. You manipulated me, and you abused me. I truly believe that you are the spawn of Satan.
AMANDA THOMASHOW, NASSAR ACCUSER: I knew that he had abused me. I reported it. Michigan State University, the school I loved and trusted, had the audacity to tell me that I did not understand the difference between sexual assault and a medical procedure.
GWEN ANDERSON, NASSAR ACCUSER: I'm a middle school teacher and I teach 12, 13 and 14-year-old kids every day and every single day. And every single day when I look at them, I am faced with the reality of how young and defenseless we were when Larry molested us.
[15:50:00] TIFFANY THOMAS LOPEZ, NASSER ACCUSER: We seek justice. We deserve justice and we will have it. I have decided to start living again. Your actions have had me by the throat for years. And I am ready to be released by your clench.
ALY RAISMAN, NASSAR ACCUSER: All these brave women have power and we will use our voices to make sure you get what you deserve, a life of suffering spent replaying the words delivered by this powerful army of survivors.
BALDWIN: Just wanted to make sure all of you heard these women speak out. By the way, the judge tore into Nassar over the letter he wrote ahead of his sentencing claiming he wasn't sure he could mentally handle four days of these victim impact statements.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE ROSEMARIE AQUILINA, INGRAM COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: You spent thousands of hours perpetrating criminal sexual conduct on minors. Spending four or five days listening to them is significantly minor considering the hours of pleasure you had at their expense.
All need to say is I need help. And you will receive it. Taxpayer dollars will be spent on your mental health.
Writing this mumbo jumbo. It doesn't help you, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: More on breaking news now. The president, the minority leader of the Senate, meeting at the White House. Hours to go before the government shuts down. Are they closer to a detail? New details, next.
[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: Tomorrow marks one year since President Trump took office and he is finishing his first year with the lowest approval rating of any first-year president in decades. But how do Trump voters think he's done? CNN's Bill Weir visited one Iowa town to hear what people think about the man who they voted for.
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Monticello, they still wind the clock tower by hand. And still mix politics into their coffee down at Darrell's. It is so great to sit at the table of knowledge in Monticello, Iowa. It is a tradition that goes back to Truman. But no president has ever tested the limits of midwestern politeness like number 45.
WEIR (on camera): This county went for Obama and then swung to Trump. Why?
MEL MANTERNACH, MONTICELLO, IOWA RESIDENT: Trump pulled the wool over their eyes and they have -- and his base has not recognized it yet.
WEIR: You think Virgil has been conned? Do you think Jerry has been bamboozled?
MANTERNACH: They're so ingrained with the crotch grabbing liars.
GERALD RETZLAFF, MONTICELLO, IOWA RESIDENT: Trump wasn't my first choice either. However, he's doing a hell of a good job. And he's playing three-level chess versus everybody else playing checkers.
GARY FISHER, MONTICELLO, IOWA RESIDENT: The one that support him are either greedy or bigots or they just don't see it yet. If the vote were taken today, I think it would be different.
MANTERNACH: If it weren't for the electoral college, he wouldn't have won.
Can you sing, too?
RENEE ADAMS, HOG FARMER: We run 800 acres of corn and beans. And then we do bail some hay. Our kids actually buy their own 4H animals. They do the chores for them.
WEIR: That will teach them.
ADAMS: That teaches them, yes.
WEIR (voice-over): Out at the Adams over farm --
(on camera): Did you all vote for president Trump?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
WEIR: The family Republican shows little voter's remorse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's doing a decent job. I think we need to give him a chance.
ADAMS: He went to the American Farm Bureau Federation meeting. I haven't seen that from other presidents.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Throughout our history, farmers have always, always, always led the way.
WEIR: Those words played really well around here. But his actions could end up hurting these folks. His nominee for chief scientist at the department of agriculture wasn't a scientist and then got tangled in the Mueller investigation. He scrapped an Obama rule that would have protected small family farms against big corporate meat packers and he is threatening to tear up the trade agreement that keeps a lot of these farms alive.
ADAMS: Now with NAFTA, that's another story. That does scare us pretty bad.
WEIR: You would go bankrupt.
ADAMS: We would go bankrupt, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sure he has a plan. You know, if he does pull out, I don't know what the plan is.
WEIR: Somebody was telling me this town used to be called the Pittsburgh of the prairie. Because there are so many factories.
WEIR: And there are worries of folks that do manufacturing. A mom and pop maker of restaurant furnishings.
CINDY BAGGE, PRESIDENT, OAK STREET MANUFACTURING: We're hopeful as far as the tax reform. We're positive about that that's on give that. We have grave concerns about his actions verbally.
WEIR: Like what?
BAGGE: Some of the statements that he makes. There's just a lot of disrespect for a large number of people.
MANTERNACH: As a Republican, he was worried about his grandchildren paying the national debt. It doesn't seem to make damn bit of difference anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll have to have another Obama clean it up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then we can double it again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he can bury the prosperity you're having now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, Yes. We'll give him all the credit for the stock market going up. You bet. Get your head out of your butt, man.
WEIR: Is there a safe word when things get too heated?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When is a good time cut your rose bushes?
WEIR: That's the safe word?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was worried. That's the safe word.
WEIR (voice-over): So one year into Trump, a state he won by almost 10 points, is producing a bumper crop of worry even among those who love him most. Bill Weir, CNN, Monticello, Iowa.
BALDWIN: So great to hear from those Iowans. Bill, thank you. And please, tonight, make sure you watch the special report, "TRUMP'S FIRST YEAR, REIGN OF CHAOS," 10:00 p.m. Eastern, here on CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin, thanks for being with me. I'll be back on tomorrow for a special day here on CNN. One year since the inauguration. In the meantime, "THE LEAD" starts now.