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GOP and Dems Play Government Shutdown Blame Game; Global Approval of U.S. Leadership Falls; White House Calls Dems "Obstructionist Losers" For Shutdown; U.S. Government Shuts Down As Trump Marks First Year In Office. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired January 20, 2018 - 06:00   ET




VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour. Good morning to you. I'm Victor Blackwell.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Christi Paul live in Washington with you here where today should have been a day of celebration for President Trump, one year in office, the one-year anniversary of his presidency. But the party he planned at Mar-a-Lago is no more at the moment because you're waking up to a government that is shut down.

Just a few hours ago, the Senate rejected a budget bill, forcing a shutdown for the first time in more than four years. Leaders from both parties are quick this morning to blame each other.


SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: Perhaps across the aisle some of our Democratic colleagues are feeling proud of themselves, but what has their filibuster accomplished? What has it accomplished? The answer is simple -- their very own government shutdown.

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: President Trump, if you are listening, I am urging you, please take yes for an answer. The way things went today, the way you turned from a bipartisan deal, it's almost as if you were rooting for a shutdown.


BLACKWELL: We have a panel of experts here to break down every detail. We're going to start with our team of CNN reporters. Abby Phillip is here in the D.C. bureau. Ryan Nobles is on Capitol Hill. Ryan, you first. We've learned negotiations are expected to start again in just a few hours, right?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Victor. The House and Senate will both be back in session here on Capitol Hill today with the hope that there can be some sort of conversation that begins around finding a way to end this now-government shutdown here in Washington. And this comes after a day filled with tension and not much negotiating, frankly, here on Capitol Hill yesterday, and all of that tension came to a head on the floor of the Senate late last night right before the government was set to shut down.

Listen to how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer framed this discussion last night.


MCCONNELL: What we've witnessed on the floor was a cynical decision by Senate Democrats to shove aside millions of Americans for the sake of irresponsible political gains. A government shutdown was 100 percent avoidable, completely avoidable. Now it is imminent all because Senate Democrats chose to filibuster a noncontroversial funding bill that contains, nothing, not a thing they do not support.

Nothing they do not support. Perhaps across the aisle some of our Democratic colleagues are feeling proud of themselves, but what has their filibuster accomplished? What has it accomplished?

The answer is simple -- their very own government shutdown. Shutdown effects on the American people will come as no surprise. All week as we've said on the floor and begged our colleagues to come to their senses, Senate Republicans have described exactly, exactly what this will mean.

SCHUMER: Republican leadership can't get to yes because President Trump refuses to. Mr. President, President Trump, if you are listening, I am urging you, please take yes for an answer. The way things went today, the way you turned from a bipartisan deal, it's almost as if you were rooting for a shutdown.

Now we'll have one, and the blame should crash entirely on President Trump's shoulders. This will be called the Trump shutdown. This will be called the Trump shutdown because there is no one, no one who deserves the blame for the position we find ourselves in more than President Trump.


NOBLES: It's important to point out that for most of the day yesterday there was really no sense that a grand bargain was going to happen. Everyone seemed pretty resigned to the fact that the shutdown was in the offing. Look at what happened on the floor late last night on the Senate.

That's where all these senators started to come together, both Republican and Democrat, in furious conversations with the hope that the 11th hour they can come up with a solution to keep the government open. Even at that point, those conversations collapsed.

[06:05:07] So, this is where we are today. As we mentioned, both the House and Senate will be back on Capitol Hill. The House is set to gavel in at 9:00 a.m. then both House Republicans and Democrats will go their separate ways. They will talk behind closed doors. Then the Senate returns at noon, and that's where the real conversations can begin. The best hope that we can have now of the government reopening is not this big grand bargain that's going to be a necessity at some point where they iron out all these issues related to immigration and other things.

The best hope now is perhaps a short-term fix that would maybe keep the government open until February 8th. That's a plan being floated by Senator Lindsey Graham and that's to be expected to be where the focus will be here on Capitol Hill today -- Victor and Christie.

BLACKWELL: All right. Ryan Nobles for us on Capitol Hill. Ryan, thank you.

PAUL: Thanks, Ryan.

I want to bring in CNN's White House correspondent, Abby Phillip, with us now. So, Abby, we know the White House released a statement. It almost sounded a little like something the president might tweet. Let us know what was in that.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Christi. We are on the one-year anniversary of President Trump taking office and instead of celebrating in a party in Florida today like he had originally planned, the president is spending it at the White House with a government shutdown.

And last night, the White House put out this statement as you just mentioned that was essentially furious at the Democrats for putting, in their phrasing, putting the country in this position.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders put out this statement, very Trumpian, saying that this is the "Schumer shutdown." She said, "Tonight, they put politics over above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country's ability to serve all Americans.

We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands. This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators."

So, extraordinary to see this kind of name-calling in an official White House statement, but it just reflects how these talks have really broken down. The president and Chuck Schumer sat over lunch yesterday at the White House and were simply not able to come to a deal.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly calling Schumer later to tell him it's simply too liberal. Whatever they discussed over lunch was too liberal, they didn't have a deal.

BLACKWELL: And Abby, we're hearing from the vice president early this morning as he's en route to the Middle East, right?

PHILLIP: That's right. The vice president kept this trip to the Middle East, which was previously scheduled. On his way there, he's been surrounded by military service members. He promised them that this would all be worked out. He framed this government shutdown in terms of how it would affect our national defense. Listen to what he had to say.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look, Democrats in the Senate with a few exceptions on either side chose to put politics ahead of our national events. Put politics ahead of meeting the obligations of our national government and that's just unacceptable. It's disappointing millions.


PHILLIP: It is really not clear how this is all going to end. Senator Schumer says he wants to talk to President Trump again, but the White House has given no indication that they want to get back to the table with Democrats, especially not on the immigration issue -- Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All righty. Abby Phillip, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's bring in Maria Cardona, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist, Jack Kingston, CNN political commentator and former senior adviser for the Trump campaign, Eugene Scott, political reporter for the "Washington Post," and Sarah Westwood, White House correspondent for "The Washington Examiner."

Sarah, let me start with you. We know that Mitch McConnell will call for a vote on a three-week extension of a continuing resolution here. If they didn't get 30 days, why would Lindsey Graham's plan for three weeks be plausible here?

SARAH WESTWOOD, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": That's really the question. I mean, this is when it boils down to politics and not policy because it's hard to see where the -- they come together when the fundamental issue, whether you include immigration in an appropriations bill or whether you negotiate that separately has still not been worked out.

No side looks willing to blink. Republicans are still unwilling to put the deal in the funding bill. Even if they wanted to, there is no deal at the moment to be placed in the appropriations bill. It's hard to see three weeks, 30 days, this impasse being resolved in that time.

BLACKWELL: So, Democrats were calling for a couple of days at a time, 24 hours at a time. I mean, at what point do we fund the government six hours at a time?

WESTWOOD: We're on the fourth continuing resolution. That's why you saw conservatives object. It was more ideological than what some Democrats vote against their party on this CR. They didn't want to keep funding the government piecemeal. That's sort of a conservative ideal that funding should be more conservative, is the root of the word. [06:10:08] They should be more prudent about spending. So, I think that's why you did see conservatives (inaudible) like Mike Lee.

EUGENE SCOTT, POLITICAL REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": And Rand Paul, it would be of that same mindset, but I think part of the idea behind this, maybe we can get something going in three weeks. I think everyone is watching how voters will respond and what type of public opinion and reaction Americans will have to where we are right now.

There's a bunch of chicken being played, and I think what's really interesting is watching people new to Congress not knowing how to play the game, taking big risks thinking that whatever they vote could help them.

I think they see a type of reaction that shows things aren't working the way they hope they will, they could do something differently, even within the next 24 to 36 hours.

PAUL: Don't they feel like they have a buffer because they make the point, well, nobody's paycheck is going to suffer yet. They're going to get a paycheck. I heard one of the congressmen saying, well, we can get through Sunday because Monday people will go back to work.

SCOTT: To some degree, I mean, I'm reminded of something Newt Gingrich said during the campaign. People don't care about the facts as much as how they care about how they feel. And sometimes some people are operating from a place of fear and anxiety that could push them to view the whole situation in a way that's different from what's actually happening. I think lawmakers are paying attention to that.

BLACKWELL: All right. Eugene, Sarah, stay with us. We will get Jack and Maria in this conversation in just a moment. The realities of the government shutdown now in the spotlight.

PAUL: Yes. So, who's going to go without a paycheck is the question. How much will it cost American taxpayers? Those answers for you next. Stay close.



WHITFIELD: All righty. So, national museums, parks closed, border security agents, military members working without paychecks, that's what we could be seeing if something is not done in the next few hours.

BLACKWELL: This list goes on and on after U.S. lawmakers in the White House failed to reach a deal. CNN's Tom Foreman breaks down the impact of the shutdown on the American people.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: The 850,000 government workers locked out of their offices and left out of their paychecks. That's what happened when the government shut down in 2013, and it would likely be the same this time. Many services would be stopped or delayed for the public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, would back down on its flu tracking even as the nation faces the worst outbreak in several years.

Some senior nutrition programs would be paused, and 200,000 passport applications went unprocessed during the shutdown in 1995. Congress funds much of the science research being done in this country. In 2013, the shutdown meant that some experiments went on hold and suffered costly losses of data.

In space that same year, NASA put a monitoring system for looking for dangerous asteroids on hold for about two weeks reportedly. A big one, by the way, is expected to brush by earth on February 4th.

As for the 417 national parks, the administration wants to keep limited access wherever possible. Services would be reduced in all 19 of the Smithsonian's Museums, which shut their doors after this weekend.

Now beyond that, not everybody would be out. For example, in the military, there's worry about the impact on the military. There would be some discomfort, no doubt, for military families if their pay was delayed, other benefits, that sort of thing.

But Congress has previously gone out of its way to keep that from being too egregious, and the troops would stay on duty. Indeed, roughly 1.9 million government workers would keep at it since their jobs are considered essential, air traffic controllers, security officers, food inspectors, prison guards.

Social Security checks would also go out as would be expected for the senior population out there. The post office would remain open. In virtually all of these cases, people would be working without pay until the shutdown is over.

That could cause them some difficulties, undeniably, and it could all be pricey for us, too. One current estimate, shutting down the government would cost taxpayers $6 billion a week.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's bring back our panel, Maria Cardona, Jack Kingston, Eugene Scott, Sarah Westwood. The president has weighed in. A minute ago, he tweeted, "Democrats are far more concerned with illegal immigrants than they are with our great military or safety at our dangerous southern border. They could have easily made a deal but decided to play shutdown politics instead. #weneedmoreRepublicansin18inordertopowerthroughmess" -- Jack.

JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I agree. This is the Schumer shutdown. The president has said "I'll work with you." He asked for three more weeks, two weeks, whatever. I think frankly that's ultimately that's what's going to happen. The Democrats never let a deal get out of the Senate.

The president did not veto any legislation here. The president wasn't given that option. The only the president's position has been right now is we need a few more weeks. It's probably not right to connect everything to the government funding bill, but I want to say this -- as a Republican, I understand why Democrats would do it because as Republicans that's what we want to do.

You want to put your luggage on the only train leaving town, and this is the train. But for Chuck Schumer not to say to his troops, let's give it three more weeks, let's work through the weekend, let's don't go home, let's not go on -- let's get this hammered out.

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They did that three times. And that's why so many Democrats and a handful of Republicans were so frustrated and sick of this and didn't vote for this. It was number three continuing C.R., that is not how you run a government.

KINGSTON: It is --

CARDONA: I am not done. I am not done.

KINGSTON: I yield the lady her time.

CARDONA: Hang on. I know you are in Congress, and I know that you voted for the shutdown is in 2013. So, President Trump also was in just last year, in 2017, he tweeted -- and we saw this in the last segment.

[06:20:13] He tweeted he was rooting for a shutdown. You have the president of the United States rooting for a shutdown, and you have the president of the United States and Republicans who talked about doing a DACA deal so many times.

In fact, they promised Senator Flake when he voted for the tax bill that they would give him a deal on DACA the next time around. That is why he voted against it. How do you negotiate with a president who, first of all, lies almost every third word that comes out of his mouth, and moves the goalpost and blows up deals instead of being this famous dealmaker that he ran on?

BLACKWELL: Let me check with the control room. Do we have the sound bite from last Tuesday, that open meeting on DACA? Let me know when we have it.

PAUL: So, we can hear from him. I have a full screen. I believe we have it. When we talk about mattered here to the American public, there was a CNN poll that was taken. It turns out that 56 percent wanted to avoid a shutdown, 34 percent believed DACA was the main negotiating factor here. So that is not good for Democrats necessarily.

SCOTT: No, not at all. But I think one thing that was left out of the tweet is that the president didn't acknowledge that Schumer actually put the border wall on the table in the conversation and was still rejected.

What the Democrats also wanted to do was talk about the opioid epidemic and Puerto Rico and domestic spending. So, the question becomes how the Democrats are going to change its public perception that maybe they went for DACA recipients over American people, however, they define American people, when the reality is many things were involved in this conversation, as Jack mentioned.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's get a reminder now. This is the president two Tuesdays ago in the meeting that was praised, the president had more than two dozen bipartisan lawmakers in the oval office. We watched for 55 minutes. This is what the president said about signing a deal when it would come to him, what he would and would not do. Watch.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: If this group comes back hopefully with an agreement, this group and others from the Senate, from the House, comes back with an agreement, I'm signing it. I mean, I will be signing it. I'm not going to say, oh, gee, I want this, or I want that. I'll be signing it.


CARDONA: He also said, "I will take the heat for anything" that he signs.

KINGSTON: Nothing has been sent to him.


BLACKWELL: Last Thursday, what was that? When Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham went back and said we'll take half of the diversity lottery and move that to another population, we'll give you some money for the wall, we will address the family reunification for chain migration, and we want DACA protection, what was that?

KINGSTON: Let me underscore this.

CARDONA: They did everything the president asked for.

KINGSTON: As productive as it might be for Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin to be sitting down and trying to do the right thing, they still don't represent a majority of the House and the Senate. So, they have not delivered on that.

The president has not vetoed anything, and he hasn't said "I'm out of here, I'm going to Mar-a-Lago, it has to be my way." He's just saying we need more time to work through this because right now we do not have the 218 votes in the House. The Lindsey Graham-Dick Durbin proposal nor does he have 60 votes for it in the Senate.

PAUL: I want to give Sarah a chance to weigh in here.

WESTWOOD: I think both of you are kind of right. On the one hand he did say that he was open to negotiating some bipartisan deal. That wasn't presented to him on Thursday. The framework of what could be a potential deal was presented to him. It didn't involve everyone in that room. It involved some of the more moderate Republicans who don't necessarily reflect the view of the party at large. The White House has been consistent since December that they did not want to do immigration tied with appropriations.

That's been the party line for more than a month now. That they weren't interested in -- there's no policy reason to couple it to because DACA doesn't expire until March.

CARDONA: That I think is where a lot of people get it wrong. It might not expire until March, but these kids have to go through a process that takes about a month and a half in order to get your permission so that you are not deported.

Anybody who says these DACA kids will be OK until March, there's going to be nothing that's going to happen to them -- they don't know a DREAMer. They don't know the angst that these kids wake up with every single night in a cold sweat thinking that they could be deported tomorrow.

And so, when the presidential talks about a bill of love, I'm sorry, he's full of it. He keeps talking about he wants to do something for his DREAMers -- he doesn't want to do anything for these DREAMers.

And this is where I think people get this notion that, first of all, you can't trust anything that comes out of his mouth, number one. Number two, he's clueless on when it comes to policy. We saw that in the meeting, as well.

BLACKWELL: We've got to take a break. Stay with us.

[06:25:04] The president ran as a dealmaker, but as the clock struck midnight with no deal, the government shutdown started. We're in the seventh hour now. What happened to the art of the deal? We'll be right back.


PAUL: Good to have you here. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

PAUL: We are live here in Washington where one year after President Trump took the oath of office, the federal government has shut down now.

[06:30:03] BLACKWELL: Yes. Happened at midnight as talks between senators continue and both sides blamed one another. The White House calls Democrats obstructionist losers. The president, he's up and tweeting this morning.

Here's the latest tweet, "Democrats are far more concerned with illegal immigrants than they are with our great military or safety in our dangerous southern border. They could have easily made a deal but decided to play shutdown politics instead. #weneedmoreRepublicansin18 in order to power through. Mess." Now the talks will continue today in both chambers. The House is back

in session in a few hours, the Senate back at noon.

PAUL: So as the shutdown continues, the question is, can the White House avoid blame here? CNN political commentators Maria Cardona, a Democratic strategist, and Jack Kingston, a former senior adviser for the Trump campaign with us. Also Eugene Scott, political reporter for the "Washington Post," and Sarah Westwood, White House correspondent for the "Washington Examiner."

Do we have the sound bite, guys, of President Trump, then just Citizen Trump back in 2013, talking about the 2013 shutdown? If so, let's run what he said about where the blame lies. This is what he said just several years ago. OK. I apologize. We do not have that. But he basically said, look, the president is at the top of the hierarchy here. And he is the one to blame. He is now the president.

With that said, Jack, a shutdown's a shutdown. Who is going to absorb the blame --

JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think if the president was guilty of vetoing a funding bill, vetoing a DACA compromise, then I think he would be to blame. But in this case, the House sent a bill to the Senate. The Senate has not moved on the bill. And so the government shut down. And you have to have Democrat and Republican votes to get to 60. So I think -- I frankly think he has a really powerful message which CNN polling reflects. That 56 percent of the American people polled believe that keeping the government open is more important than immediate deal on DACA.

You got three weeks to deal with DACA. Even if you just extended that, you actually have until March. And there's no -- there's no threat of them being deported in the meantime. I think that's kind of --

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You don't know any Dreamers, do you?

PAUL: Well, but that's --


PAUL: That's easy for somebody to say who isn't affected by it.


PAUL: I mean, we do know that these people are struggling horribly every day with the feeling that they're going to be deported.

KINGSTON: You know --


KINGSTON: No, let me say this -- we've got hyperbole. Let's all realize --

CARDONA: No. It's true.

KINGSTON: Number one, the Dreamers are a smaller bracket than most of these kids who came in here and had a deferred --

CARDONA: You're talking almost a million people.

KINGSTON: There's actually --

CARDONA: More than 800,000 that have those protections right now.

KINGSTON: Three million people who fall into the DACA category.


KINGSTON: Where are you only worried about less than a million.

CARDONA: Hundreds of them are losing their protection every day.

KINGSTON: I mean, it's so disingenuous when the Democrats had the majority, they did not do anything about the Dreamers.

CARDONA: Here we go.

KINGSTON: But suddenly this is the big issue.

CARDONA: That betrays their complete disinterest in doing something --


KINGSTON: Here's -- if you want to do something, you go to the president, you pass a deal out of the Senate that's going to require 60 votes. The president then can veto it, and then it can be the son of a gun that you're making him out to be. But he's not there because all he's asking for right now is until you get a deal to me, why not keep the government up and -- why not put military families, why not put children's health care in front of non-Americans?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you can actually do both.

BLACKWELL: The children's health care -- if Republicans were so concerned about the children's health care --

CARDONA: Thank you, that's where I was going.

BLACKWELL: -- why wasn't this funded three and a half months ago when at the end of the fiscal year? Was this saved just to use it as a chip, to use the pun --

KINGSTON: I think -- well, look, let's just remember, Maria, children's health care was started under Bush. It was passed by Republicans when we were in the majority in the House. So don't act like this is --

CARDONA: This has nothing to do with where we are now.

KINGSTON: Well, what I'm saying is, it's a program that Republicans started so it's not like Republicans have been trying to --

CARDONA: Why didn't you fund it when you had the chance last year? You decided to go with millionaire and billionaire tax cuts instead.

KINGSTON: Let me say this. As a former appropriator, there are 12 different bills. Those bills passed the House and the Senate has not been able to move them because there again you have to have 60-vote majority.


KINGSTON: And that's the --

CARDONA: Who controls the Senate? Who controls the House? Who controls the White House?

KINGSTON: Sixty votes. That's a good -- 60 votes controls the Senate.

CARDONA: We have never had a situation where the government shuts down where one party is in control of the White House, of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives.

KINGSTON: Sixty votes to --

CARDONA: You have several polls that are out there that say that the majority of the blame will go to Republicans. And I think that is as it should be because they own it, they control everything.

KINGSTON: Let me just say this.

BLACKWELL: The president just tweeted again. "This is the one-year anniversary of my presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present, #Democratshutdown."

Eugene, let me come to you. In that last tweet that happened just about 18 minutes ago, there has been a tonal shift from the president. This bill of love and wanting to care for DACA recipients that we heard in just the -- at least the most recent weeks.

[06:35:05] And now saying that Democrats are more concerned with illegal immigrants. At least framing DACA recipients in a different way.

EUGENE SCOTT, POLITICAL REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Yes. I think it's interesting. I think initially the president was getting some pushback from some people within his base who did not like how he was talking about immigrants. We saw some evangelical leaders who voted for Trump. We saw some other conservatives asked him to be more compassionate because this is an issue that most Republicans would like to see a solution be arrived at.

But I think in this moment right now, I think with the president who has previously said that it's the president's fault and responsibility if a shutdown happens he's very aware that if he doesn't put out a message that says it's the Democrats who did this, that people are going to blame him. And I think everyone knows that when 2018 midterms happen, this is -- the midterms, this is something that people are going to point to as something that wasn't effective.

PAUL: Sarah, any indication that they're going to get through this by Monday?

SARAH WESTWOOD, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: You know, I don't know that negotiating over the weekend is going to help. Not even all of the House members are going to be back in Washington. But I do think going back to the tonal shift that we're seeing from President Trump, I think that's a recognition that this is a pretty powerful argument against the Democrats.

I mean, again, not all the polling shows that people uniformly are going to blame Republicans. Broadly speaking when you have a shutdown the party in charge does get blamed but when you look at the specifics of this situation, there are some reasons, there are nuances to the situation that lends itself the Democrats bearing more of the blame.

It's a really powerful sound bite even though the situation is more complicated.

SCOTT: Right.

WESTWOOD: To say that Democrats withheld their votes to protect undocumented immigrants at the expense of the millions of children who could have been covered by CHIP so.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the CNN poll shows that 37 percent of the respondents will blame Democrats, 26 percent congressional Republicans and 21 percent there for the president himself. And because this is the first time that we're seeing one party in control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, I mean, I think what Maria put together here was the 21 and 26 making that 47 percent. We'll talk more about the interpretation of those numbers.

But everybody, stay with us. We've got a lot more to discuss.

PAUL: Back in a moment.


[06:41:41] PAUL: It is an anniversary of sorts today. One year into Donald Trump's presidency. Let's talk about the global confidence in the U.S. leadership. Apparently it has fallen to a new low. A new poll puts worldwide approval slightly behind China and only three points ahead of Russia, as you can see there.

The U.S. rating down nearly 20 points from the 48 percent approval rating the last year of President Obama's administration.

BLACKWELL: Maria and Jack are back with us. Jack, the president has said that the world will respect us again.

They will stop laughing at us. The world -- I mean, America will be respected in the world's eyes. 18 points in one year behind Germany and China and just three points ahead of Russia.

KINGSTON: Well, first of all, while my friend Maria probably loves the results of the poll and I don't like the results of it, my first question would be, what was the polling, and -- and the other thing is --


BLACKWELL: A thousand people each in 134 countries.

KINGSTON: But who was the demographic? How was the question asked? I'm just saying that's always --


CARDONA: Other countries.

KINGSTON: But let's look at this, our relationship with Israel is now restored, broken under Barack Obama. Never has been stronger. Our cooperation with China is off the chart. Very strong in a very tentative time with North Korea. Our standing down on North Korea, I think it's very important. NATO countries, our allies, finally paying their fair share. Moving troops up to the Baltic States which is very important and worries Russia. ISIS going -- losing 98 percent of their territory.

I think on the world stage we're doing really well. And by the way, the reason why we're being so successful with ISIS right now is we're not trying to control troop movements out of Washington, D.C. But we're actually letting our military experts call the shots, which is one of the big gripes under Obama.

I had the honor of representing five military installations in the state of Georgia. Let me tell you, that was one of the biggest things troops had a problem with, were the rules of engagement. So I think in terms of respect, you know, you're not going to get everything you want, but as long as America's first, I think this is what Americans have been looking for.


CARDONA: Good try, Jack. But the numbers, I think, speak volumes. And when you did have the president during the campaign say we're not going to have other countries laugh at us anymore. We're going to be, like you said, so respected in the world, people are going to look up to us.

People don't look up to us. People see this president as a joke and as an embarrassment. Americans see this president as an embarrassment because the way that he acts on the world stage. He doesn't act presidential. He doesn't act the part of commander-in-chief of the most powerful country in the world. And we are seeing that with these numbers. But more practically, what

really worries me is that, you know, in this race for America first, we are actually receding, we are ceding our leadership in the world to people or to countries like China, one of our biggest if not our biggest economic competitor.

Guess what happened when we withdrew from all these trade agreements. Guess what happened when we withdrew from the climate change agreement. China stepped in. China is taking charge. People are looking to China economically because they know that the United States under a President Trump cannot be depended upon to be the global leader the way they were before.

PAUL: OK. So where, Jack, do we take it to get those numbers back up? Because it's important.

[06:45:02] We have -- we have issues like terrorism and economic issues that have to be dealt with, with other countries. We say -- we talk about making America great again, making it proud again, making it safe again. America can't always do it by themselves.

KINGSTON: No. I frankly think consistency in foreign policy is very important. And that was one of the problems that we had under Barack Obama when he said, don't cross the red line, and then they crossed it, nothing happened.

I think with Trump what you're seeing is when he has said that, he has launched tomahawk missiles into Syria, for example, following through on what he said. I think what he's doing is the right thing in terms of foreign policy. I would say this, though, as a fair-minded American to my Democrat friend here, if we're really that concerned about Russia interference in the American elections, is it wise to do all of the dirty laundry publicly?


KINGSTON: Should not that be done a little bit quietly and say, look, Democrat or Republican, we've got a problem right now with Russia interfering with our elections? We need to settle some of this behind closed doors.


BLACKWELL: Jack, I've only got 90 seconds here left in this segment.

CARDONA: No, I don't agree with that.

BLACKWELL: But I've got to press you on consistency in foreign policy. Considering we've seen Secretary of State Rex Tillerson say something, engage North Korea specifically, and then the president tweet out, "Don't waste your time, Rex."

I want to play something that the secretary of state actually in a conversation with a previous secretary of state at Stanford, Condoleezza Rice, when he talked about the president's tweets and what they mean for foreign policy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I don't even have a Twitter account that I can follow what he's tweeting. So my staff usually has to print his tweets out and hand them to me. It allows me to now begin to think about how do we take that into -- if it's a foreign policy issue, is it -- what is, you know, what is it he's tweeting about? How do we take that and now use it?


BLACKWELL: Consistency. Is that the way that's supposed to work?

KINGSTON: I actually think it's part of it. And I'll tell you why. Because you have the six-nation talk framework that we're trying to get back at the table, trying to restart. Underneath the rhetoric which Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump are having publicly, I believe that it's proper that the secretary of state not just directly with South Korea and China but also with North Korea.

BLACKWELL: I'm talking about his relationship with the president where he has to watch his Twitter account to think about --

KINGSTON: I think --

BLACKWELL: -- the direction of the United States foreign policy is?

KINGSTON: I think the relationship is very strong. I think the communication is very strong. but I think what he's saying is --

BLACKWELL: Even after the effing moron comment and I'd beat you in an I.Q. test?

KINGSTON: Remember we don't know that that comment ever was made.

BLACKWELL: We do know the president said that he'd beat him in an I.Q. test.

CARDONA: Yes, we do. Yes.

KINGSTON: Well, let's say this. I think what's important here is to be able to engage the six-nation talks again. That has not happened. It has been derailed. Tillerson is trying to get it going again. And I think the ability to go to North Korea through allies and say, as you can see, President Trump is very hard-line, tough on here, as is your leader. But you know --

BLACKWELL: Until there's a tweet from the president.


BLACKWELL: Hold on. We need to take a quick break. Maria and Jack, stay with us. We've got a lot to talk about. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [06:52:20] BLACKWELL: All right. A trip to the Super Bowl is on the line as the Patriots host the Jaguars in tomorrow's AFC Championship game. But big question, will Tom Brady play?

PAUL: Coy Wire, he's got the answer in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Good morning to you, guys. Miss you here in Atlanta. Tom Brady injured his throwing hand at practice on Wednesday. X-rays came back negative. There are reports that his thumb was a bloody mess, needed stitches after he cut it. Well, he didn't practice Thursday and didn't speak to media.

Yesterday, Brady finally stepped to the podium wearing gloves. And one thing was clear, he did not want to talk about his injury. Listen.




UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You throwing any footballs today?

BRADY: Not talking about that. I've worn them before.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Tom, why are you wearing gloves inside?

BRADY: You already asked that.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Have you ever thrown the ball with gloves?

BRADY: It's been a long time.


BRADY: You said two questions. See you. Thank you.


WIRE: Thumb-gate. How bad is Tom Brady's thumb injury? His backup is Brian Hoyer. Tom has led the Patriots to a record seventh consecutive AFC championship game. They'll take on the Jags in Foxborough. And then it will be the Vikings taking on the Eagles in Philly in the late game.

Right now government officials from North and South Korea are meeting at Olympic headquarters to iron out details of an agreement made between the two countries which allows their athletes to march under a unified flag at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Which athletes and officials from North Korea can participate? What is the format of such participation regarding the anthem, ceremonies, uniforms and more?

While sport and the Olympics being used as a conduit to improve relations between the North and South is a good thing, the South's coach, American Sara Murray, says that there are some major drawbacks from a sporting perspective.

SARAH MURRAY, COACH, SOUTH KOREAN WOMEN'S HOCKEY TEAM: Team chemistry. Adding somebody in -- North Korean or South Korean, adding somebody in so close to the Olympics is a little bit dangerous just for team chemistry because the girls have been together for so long.

But I think the other countries are going to understand that this is a political statement. You know, and they understand like North and South Korea coming together, you know, countries divided coming together through sports. It's a great story. I just wish it would have happened earlier.


WIRE: We end with some fun and inspiration this Saturday morning. The most decorated American female Olympic skier in history, Julia Mancuso, retired yesterday in wondrous fashion. Fashioned as Wonder Woman. She made this downhill run in Italy and received that champagne shower at the finish line. She said that the crazier she dressed, the less chance she would get emotional and cry.

I kind of like that. I picture my retirement hopefully going out, walking down the halls dressed someday as well as Victor Blackwell, my bald-headed idol.


[06:55:10] BLACKWELL: Just be glad you're in Atlanta. All right, Coy. Thanks so much.

PAUL: Mine, too. All right. Listen, we are nearly -- yes, thanks, Coy.

We're nearly seven hours into a government shutdown this morning. Right now lawmakers are not on Capitol Hill. The president is not at his golf resort in Florida. Things changed a bit this morning.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And of course this is happening on a really important day for the president. The one year anniversary of his inauguration.

Our special coverage continues right after the break.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

PAUL: Just about 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday. So grateful to have your company as always. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good Saturday to you. We are live in Washington where despite last-minute negotiations and huddles and votes the government is shut down for the first time in more than four years.