Return to Transcripts main page


Standoff Over Shutdown Intensifies As Parties Point Fingers; "Art of the Deal" President's Trouble with Dealmaking; Hundreds of Thousands across U.S. March in Anti-Trump Protests; Progress Report on Trump's Promises. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired January 21, 2018 - 08:00   ET



[08:00:18] JOHN KING, CNN HOST (voice-over): A government shutdown and a robust blame game.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: What has their filibuster accomplished? Their very own government shutdown.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: This will be called the Trump shutdown.

KING: Plus, the women's march take two. Is this more proof of a 2018 anti-Trump wave?

DEMONSTRATORS: This is what democracy looks like!

KING: And one year in, promises broken, promises kept and one constant, chaos.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: He's a street fighter. It's not the color of your skin that matters. It's the content of your character. It's whether or not you show him respect and like him.

KING: INSIDE POLITICS, the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters, now.


KING: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King. To our viewers in the United States and around the world, thank you for sharing your Sunday.

It is shutdown day two and finger-pointing is fierce.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: They oppose a bill they don't even oppose. We do some crazy things in Washington but this is utter madness.

SCHUMER: The Republican leadership can't get a tumultuous president on board with anything and they don't offer us any compromises on their own. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: This big funding dispute is most of all an immigration fight. But Republicans say they won't negotiate on that issue until Democrats agree to reopen the government.


MCCONNELL: Here's the difference between the Democratic leader and the rest of us tonight -- the difference -- he wants to deep the government shutdown for hundreds of millions of Americans until we finish negotiating on the subject of illegal immigration.


KING: Now, the shutdown comes at the one year mark at the Trump presidency, an anniversary as well for women's marchers who promised a giant midterm election message.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This feels like a protest today. Last year, it felt more like a funeral. We were all in mourning. We all got together. There was this quiet solidarity. This feels like anger and resistance.


KING: The House and the Senate will be in rare Sunday session today and President Trump is at the White House instead of his planned visit to his Florida resort. But don't bet on a shutdown breakthrough. The country's leaders so far talking at each other, or past each other, as the workweek approaches and the effects of a government shutdown become more meaningful.


SCHUMER: America knows this is the Trump shutdown.

REP. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS (R), REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE CHAIR: We are now engaged in a Schumer shutdown.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-NY), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: The Trump shutdown is all yours.

MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET DIRECTOR: My favorite is still the Schumer shutdown. So, it got that nice little ring to it, doesn't it?


KING: Now your view, probably shaped by your own political leanings. It was Senate Democrats who blocked a four-week temporary spending plan and it was President Trump who suddenly moved sharply right on immigration this past week to torpedo any hopes of a bipartisan deal. So, if you're into the blame game, you have plenty of choices. If instead you're a fan of adult decisions, this probably rings true. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R), TENNESSEE: We have no business shutting down the government as a bargaining chip. Government shutdown should be the equivalent of chemical warfare. It ought to be banned. We have important issues that we're close to resolving.


KING: With us to share their reporting and their insights this Sunday: CNN's Sara Murray, Dan Balz of "The Washington Post", Sahil Kapur of "Bloomberg", and CNN's Maeve Reston.

They're in session. The president's at the White House. Is there any reason to believe that this will end as a quick shutdown or will it carry into a workweek? Which is what it really starts to effect.

You have the government workers furloughed. You have people looking for services, looking for their checks, trying to get access to federal institutions. If this goes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, then we start to see the impact.

SAHIL KAPUR, REPORTER, BLOOMBERG: This could go on for a while, I think. This is a shutdown in three stages. Number one, Democrats linked the fate of DREAMers to government funding. The second stage is Republican leaders in Congress won't move on this issue without President Trump's stamp of approval and President Trump is too conflicted on the issue of DACA and DREAMers to sign off an a deal.

Until one side blinks, it's very hard to see this getting resolved. Democrats feel like they're on the rights of politics. They feel like they're on the right of the policy issue and on the right side of history by standing for this group. And for Republicans, it's just an extremely difficult, divisive issue for their base. So --

SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I would just say to John's point, though, I mean, when you get into the workweek, when you start getting into work days, when this kicks in, yes, it's nice to have your ideological positions and feel like you can, you know, fight for whatever political issue you feel like shutting the government down for. But the people who bear the brunt of this are not the politicians who got forbid had to work on Saturday and Sunday after they shut down the government.

[08:05:02] You start to see the ramifications very quickly, both in people's lives in terms of not being able to get paychecks, not going to work, but even some of these more sort of symbolic issues, people not being able to get into national parks after they spent years saving for it. You know, in the past, as you were pointing just before we started, they closed the World War II Memorial and that was a hugely issue when and an honor flight apparently arrived.

So, there are going to be these moments that are compounded not by cable news but by local news and people are going to start to get angry. And that's when you see that pressure mounting on lawmakers to actually reach a deal, reach an agreement. But it's unclear if that's going to happen before you start seeing those signs of pain.

KING: And the question is, as a private citizen, Donald Trump during the last shutdown said, the president's ultimate responsible. You have a CEO for a reason. Somebody is in charge. The president should take responsibility.

We didn't hear from the president yesterday. He was on Twitter yesterday. We saw some pictures of him at the White House walking into the Oval Office. They showed an image of him desk. He was alleging making phone calls to people involved in the shutdown here, calling Republicans, we're told, more than Democrats. He had a meeting with the senior staff to have a little celebration about the fact that it's one year since the Trump inauguration.

But we didn't hear, no words from the president of the United States on the first day of a government shutdown which is remarkable. He was active on Twitter and he is already this morning.

He says this morning: Great to see how hard Republicans are fighting for our military and safety at the border. The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51 percent, the so-called nuclear option and vote on a budget.

This idea, smart politics message from Republicans. You get it. They want to say, the Democrats are shutting down the government for everybody to protect illegal immigrants, that's what we're going to hear from the president, that's what we hear from Leader McConnell.

I want you to listen here, who's going to blink? Who will be the responsible player here, the longer this goes on, the more personal it gets.

Listen to Senator Tammy Duckworth on the floor yesterday saying don't go there, Mr. President.


SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D), ILLINOIS: I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five deferment draft dodger. And I have a message for cadet bone spurs, if you cared about our military, you'd stop baiting Kim Jong-un into a war that could put 85,000 American troops and millions of innocent civilians in danger.


KING: If you don't know the senator's history, her helicopter, she's an Iraq War veteran hero. Her helicopter was shot down. She has chronic injuries because of that.

Dan, when these things get more personal, it gets harder to cut a deal. Where are we going?

DAN BALZ, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: I've been struck how personal things have gotten so quickly. There's always a personal aspect of this but the animus between Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer on the one hand and the Democrats and President Trump on the other hand is pretty remarkable. And I think that what we've seen from the moment at midnight when it shutdown and the rhetoric that came on the Senate floor in that moment and what we've seen since, which is an absence of communication -- of any real negotiation going on -- says to me that people are dug in and both sides seem to believe that they have politics on their side.

Now we know the history of these is that you can't predict the political fallout in the moment, but right now, everybody's dug in and thinks the other side has more to lose and expects the other side to budge.

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: And the perfect illustration of that was the fact that the two leaders in the Senate, you know, didn't even speak yesterday, was our reporting at one point. And I think it's just striking that you would have this happen on the one year anniversary of Donald Trump's presidency, a guy who got into office saying that he was going to fix the government, drain the swamp, and you're not seeing any kind of leadership out of that office the way we did two weeks ago when he brought everyone together to talk about immigration and what they would do on immigration reform and the DREAMers.

And then, you know, within a two-week span he's completely flipped, is basically invisible at the White House yesterday. That's not what leadership looks like.

KING: And oddly, that meeting and we're going to talk more about the president's leadership style as we go through the hour, that was the beginning of the end, if you will, in the sense that the president said I want an act of love, pass comprehensive immigration after you protect the DREAMers, I'll take the heat. And then, within 48 hours, he had lurched back to the right.

And that's what Democrats say has made it impossible to get a deal. You mentioned, you could see this going on for a long time. The spending issues are not the issues. They can figure that part out.

It's hard for Republicans. One of the issues is breaking the so- called sequester caps, more spending for the military. That's a hard one for some people. They can figure that out.

The quicksand in the middle of this is this immigration issue, which for the last decade-plus has been the intractable issue in Washington. How -- how can they -- will the Republicans give in to the Democrats? They're not going to give it to them as part of a deal, right, but maybe a promise that will move to it next, reopen the government, move forward next.

Here's pressure on the Republican. This is "The National Review", conservative "National Review" editorial: Don't let Schumer shutdown make you blink. The Democrats negotiating stance is give us this amnesty or we'll make the government shutdown and blame you Republicans for it.

The majority of Republicans who favor the amnesty and even the minority of the Americans who favor it with those strings attached should not reward this Democratic behavior.

[08:10:01] So, you're in a midterm election year, early, but it's all about the bases. Both parties saying, hang in there, dig in.

If this becomes all about Republicans need to hold conservatives, Democrats need to cater to their liberal base, who is going to find -- take us to the middle ground?

KAPUR: Right. The impasse here is that Republicans are saying these two issues are separate. Do not link government funding with the issue of immigration and drivers. And Democrats are saying, they're not going to do anything unless we force their hand and link these two things.

The only way that I see this getting resolved is if both sides can go to their base with he got a victory and the way to do that is not to have an official immigration deal as part of this, but to have a path forward. Some promise of a vote. Some sort of open amendment process. Some assurance the Democrats can say they got out of Republican leaders and say they're not going to leave these some 700,000 people around to get deported in about seven weeks or so.

BALZ: But that does create -- that does create an uncertainty that I think neither side is prepared right now to go into.

You know, as Senator McConnell said last week, he doesn't though what the president's bottom line is. The president is key to all of this and because of his shifting positions, it makes it much more treacherous for either side to say let's cut this deal where we'll get the government back open and then we'll deal with immigration and we'll have a process for it but nobody -- nobody knows quite what that means and whether it will last once it gets to the president's desk if it even does.

KAPUR: This is the irony of it. The president's almost never get blamed for government shutdowns, the ones under Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Congress gets blamed every time. This is the first time it has happened in our modern era of budgeting since 1980 where the government that's run by the House, the Senate and the White House shuts down the government.

The president is involved in this by virtue of his involvement in the issue of immigration. It's inextricable.

KING: And by virtue of the fact it's not just the Democrat that don't trust the president. To Dan's point, the Republicans don't trust him either. They want it laid out crystal clear before they step into the immigration quagmire that has affected their party for quite some time. They want clarity from the president, which is what we'll get to next.

Up next, if President Trump is so different, why the same old debates every few months about shutting down the government?

And this week's politicians say the darnedest things, President Trump you might know had his first presidential physical. And according to SNL, he has a very enthusiastic doctor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the time of examination, the president was 71 years and seven months young. His resting heart rate was a cool 68 BPM. His weight, a very svelt 239 pounds. He has a gorgeous 44-inch Coke bottle waist. His has 75 inches, with the legs that seem to go on forever. Size 12 shoes so you can fill in the blanks there.

And it's my expert medical opinion that the president's got a rockin' bod.




[08:16:39] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm going to make you great deals.

I will make a great deal and lots of great deals for the American people.

I make deals. I negotiate.

I am going to make great deals for our country.

We don't make great deals any more but we will once I become president.


KING: Candidate Trump, you see right there, bragged a lot that he would fix a broken Washington and he bragged it would be easy. But a government shutdown at the one year mark is glaring proof Washington is not fixed and it is the president who's at the center of not great deal making but of Washington's constant chaos.

In the past week alone, he twice tweeted opposition to proposals his White House was on record supporting. His shifting positions on immigration, several in the course of a few days this past week contributed to the shutdown impasse leading congressional leaders openly frustrated.


MCCONNELL: I'm looking for something that President Trump supports and he's not yet indicated what measure he's willing to sign. As soon as we figure out what he is for, then I would be convinced that we are not just spinning our wheels going to the issue on the floor but actually dealing with a bill that has a chance to become law and therefore solve the problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: It's so hectic and chaotic covering the Trump presidency, that sometimes words like that we just kind of let go passing by. That's the Senate majority leader the top Republican, as soon as we find out what he's for. The president of the United States one year into his administration on one of the signature issues of his campaign. That is a big source of where we are right now in a government shutdown. Is it not?

RESTON: It is, but remember you were just talking about "The Art of the Deal" and I was reminded, you know, the 10 or 11 tips that he has at the beginning of that book and one of them is to his style is to maximize the options. He says, I never get too attached to one deal or one approach. I keep a lot of balls in the air because most deals fallout no matter how promising they seem at first.

So, that's the Donald Trump strategy. We all knew it going into this. And that's what he's doing. Nobody has any idea what he actually wants or believes. In the end, some people believe that that will end up creating space around an immigration deal but right now it's sowing chaos.

KAPUR: But eventually, you've got to make a call, right? You can have all these options in the air. We know he likes to keep his options open on a variety of matters.

But on the issue of immigration, he's in a very unique position right now to make a deal and he needs to do this I think to keep the government open. He's in a unique position because he has an enormous amount of credibility with the immigration wary base on the Republican side and I think enough members of Congress who are Republicans would be willing to support it if President Trump did that.

So far in his presidency --

KING: If he did that, forgive me for interrupting, but if he did that on one of these days near the end of January, but the question they have is will he stick with it into February, March, April, May, June, July, get closer to an election in November, especially the House conservatives who don't want this to begin with. He celebrated our health care bill and then called it mean.

That has been a trademark of the Trump style, change your mind whenever you want, however you want, and that's what they're afraid of.

KAPUR: And so far, he's been the anti-deal maker for that reason. The one deal he has struck has been the 10-week fiscal status quo that Chuck and Nancy deal back over the summer on the issue of tax cuts. That's the one major piece of legislation he signed.

He almost did that by staying out of the way. Republicans were united. He just didn't mess it up.

[08:20:01] KING: You mentioned Chuck and Nancy. We showed Mitch McConnell again, the Republican leader, saying, I can't bring an immigration bill to the floor until I have a good sense of what the president's for and a good commitment that he's actually going to stay for whatever he says he's for. That's the Republican perspective.

Here's Chuck Schumer yesterday saying, I would love to negotiate with the president. But it's not very easy.


SCHUMER: Negotiating with this White House is like negotiating with Jell-O. It's next to impossible. As soon as you take one step forward, the hard right forces the president three steps back.


MURRAY: You can understand why he feels that way after having gone to the White House, having lunch with the president feeling like he emerged what was maybe a broad outline for a deal only to get a call from Chief of Staff John Kelly saying, no, no, no, this isn't going to work for us. You would think that might have been a president could have expressed while the two of them were having lunch, but apparently, that's not how it works.

The White House is really talked out of both sides of their mouth particularly on the immigration issue because the president is the one who pulled the pin out of DACA and said, I'm going to bring an end to this, but Sarah Huckabee Sanders goes to the White House podium and insist that DREAMers will have nothing to worry about, that they'll be a solution. The president insists he's going to deal with this at heart.

But every time someone brings him a proposal on opportunities, some kind of deal, he torpedoes it.

KING: So, where are we a year in, Dan? In the sense if you go back to the Obama administration, the criticism of the first year was, here's a guy who's never been a CEO and he has a hard time making a decision, sticking to a decision, he makes a decision and somebody else, Valerie Jarrett comes in and undermines whatever the deal. We went through that a lot in the early days of Obama administration, as the president got comfortable on the job.

Donald Trump was a CEO with zero government experience, zero political experience, zero bringing Chuck, Nancy, Paul and Mitch, together, the four -- bringing everybody together. So, where are we now in the middle of a government shutdown? What have we learned about his management style if there is one?

BALZ: Well, his management style is chaos. And that's been a consistent theme when he was a candidate and as he is president. In many ways, on domestic issues, he's been quite a conventional conservative Republican in part because he's let other people take the lead on a number of those issues, in the sense, the kind of the government apparatus and conservatives who are now in charge on the Hill have a lot of sway on those kinds of things.

But he often gets in the way of it either because he diverts attention from serious business or on the case of what we've seen recently, he seems to go one way and then the people around him want him to go another way. I mean, I think when you hear Senator McConnell talk about the uncertainty about the president, it is a fear in many ways that the president would, in fact, cut a deal with the Democrats that the Republicans would be unhappy about and they look to Chief of Staff John Kelly as the person who's going to hold the president to a much tougher line on these negotiations.

KING: You mentioned look at Chief of Staff John Kelly. The president, as we were leading up to a potential government shutdown was having a public fight with his Chief of Staff John Kelly because we're told he was furious after the chief-of-staff went on Fox News and said, the president's flexible.


JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: There's been an evolutionary process that this president has gone through as a campaign and I pointed out to all the members that were in the room that they all say things during the course of campaigns that may or may not be fully informed. He's a very definitely changed his attitudes toward the DACA issue and even the wall.


KING: Everything he says there's absolutely true. Every new president has to leave some of the last campaign behind. They say things when they're running for president and when you get the job you learn more. The president has shifted. He was going to deport the DREAMers during the campaign, and now he says he wants a deal, yet, the president gets White House chief of staff for telling the truth.

RESTON: Well, I would think that, you know, what is so true about this also is that he hasn't been specific about any of these things. During the campaign, you remember that the height of the wall was changing all the time. We're going to add enough ten feet to it and when you talk to lawmakers who have been in these discussions with him, he's not specific about what he wants. He just says over and over again I want a deal.

And so in some ways, I think that that does give some of them optimism that there's a way to work with this president if they could get there eventually but it's incredibly frustrating in the process and it makes it so difficult for Republicans who are trying to hold on to all of these seats, maintain control of the house to actually drive an agenda, you know, and tell voters what their for.

KING: Well, we'll see as the president speaks today. It is day two government shutdown. Monday, the workweek starts tomorrow. That's when it gets much more consequential. See if he'll call the leaders down to the hill. See if he'll at least try.

Up next, the Women's March shares an anniversary with the Trump inaugural. And those taking to the streets across America promised a midterm election reckoning for the president.



[08:28:50] DEMONSTRATORS: This is what democracy looks like.




KING: The women's march take two delivered a big midterm election year message. Marchers hit the streets in cities from Los Angeles to Chicago to right here in the nation's capital. Add it up, and it's yet another warning signs for congressional Republicans, more early evidence of midterm rout could be -- could be in the offing.


LISA CUTTER, ORGANIZER: I think people are afraid and even sort of numb now with all the things going on in Washington. We can make a statement that we're going to, we're going to be watching. We're going to be participating. We're not going to be quiet any more.


KING: Interesting, actually the collision of these events the anniversary of the Trump inaugural, the anniversary of the women's march, and what we saw yesterday was quite remarkable. Big crowds and a lot of cities across the country.

And now, we're in the middle of a government shutdown as we try to predict in late January that what's going to happen in November.

[08:29:54] All the signs though point to the President's party traditionally gets whacked anyway. And if you look at the numbers right now, signs like that to the Democrats say, we can take back the House and maybe the Senate.

SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean I think the big question is the magnitude here. I don't think that Republicans, while they may be loathed to admit it publicly, are really holding on great hopes of keeping control of the House. I think that they do feel a little bit more optimistic about the possibility of keeping control of the Senate.

But when you talk about keeping control of the Senate, we're still talking about potentially, you know, a 51-vote margin which as we're seeing right now with the government shutdown is not necessarily the position you want to be in if you actually want to try to get things done in Washington.

But, you know, one of the big questions is how long are peoples' attention span at this point. Is anyone going to be blamed at all for the government shutdown? Will Trump voters actually show up and support down-ballot Republicans even when he's not on the ballot?

I think there are a lot of unknowns and I think people are a little shaken from the last presidential when so many people got it wrong.

SAHIL KAPUR, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, BLOOMBERG: Not very long. The attention span, as we saw in the 2014 elections, right. Republicans were overwhelmingly blamed in the fall of 2013 for the government shutdown over the defunding of Obamacare. Their poll numbers went down.

And then people forgot in a few months and they cleaned up in the 2014 elections.

The fundamentals have a way of swamping everything in the midterm elections. And --

KING: That's what Democrats are betting on because you saw a few of these so-called Trump-state Democratic senators vote with the Republicans on the first resolution. But most of them -- most of them stuck.

And Chuck Schumer is making a bet that what you see in those march signs and what you saw in Alabama, in Virginia and New Jersey will carry over to November no matter what. But that's a risky bet.

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, and you feel it. You feel it out there, I mean. And I think, you know, in our poll today it shows that Democratic enthusiasm and when you go out in these districts, you know, we've got a bunch of really competitive House races in California.

There are so many people that are getting involved. There are so many candidates running in each of these races it's almost difficult to keep track of them. And they really feel just empowered and ready to try to put some kind of check on the Trump presidency.

And that's a very compelling argument that they can make, you know, among those base voters in terms of turning out people.

KING: Let's look at the numbers you just mentioned because we're releasing this hour. This is the so-called generic ballot.

If the elections were today and you were voting for Congress, would you vote for a Democrat or a Republican. These are actually somewhat more encouraging numbers for Republicans based on other polls recently.

We have Democrats -- 49 percent of Americans say they would vote Democratic; 44 percent say they would vote Republican. Again, that's a closer margin than in our last poll. It's a closer margin than many other national polls for Republicans to start celebrating those numbers, that's exactly where it was roughly 2006 when the Democrats had a five point advantage then and they took back the House in the 2006 midterm elections here.

To Maeve's point it's interesting. Among those voters who say they're most enthusiastic about voting in November, the Democrats have a much bigger edge -- 56 percent to 41 percent there. And that is the question. And it's one of the reasons I think, Dan tell me if you think I'm wrong, that Chuck Schumer decided we're sticking with our base here because base intensity and base enthusiasm we have an advantage right now. We're going to try to keep it all the way through to November.

DAN BALZ, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, the Democrats want to make this midterm election all about President Trump and that's traditionally what midterm elections are about. They're about a referendum on the President.

You know, you have this unusual situation where there is great optimism about the economy. I mean "The Post" and ABC has a new poll out today. And what we find is that there's a better feeling about the economy than there's been in 17 years -- some good reasons for that.

At the same time the President of the United States has the lowest approval ratings of any president at this point in his term as far back as you can go in polling.

I want to go back to those images that you showed. I mean in so many ways women are powering this resistance. If you look our recent polls, the President's approval rating is at 36 percent; among women it's 29 percent. And 59 percent of women strongly disapprove of the job he's doing.

That's the bet that Democrats are making that that kind of anger at the President will be more important than anything that's happening right now in Washington.

KING: And you see it in the candidate recruitment, candidates running. You see it in the fundraising and you see again -- those pictures you watch, people getting active really tell you something. People want to go out especially in the cold cities, go out and march. It tells you something.

Another thing -- so we're going to watch that throughout the year -- another thing that's frustrating to the President as we head in this 2018 cycle is that the Russia investigation comes with us.

Steve Bannon angered Hill Republicans as well as Democrats this past week. He wouldn't answer questions. They're going to bring him back.

I want you to listen here. Is there any reason to believe this, I get the -- I get the reason you do this but this is Ty Cobb the President's attorney. We know they're negotiating to have the President sit down with Bob Mueller. The President publicly said maybe I won't have to do that, not that long ago.

But listen here both to the eagerness to talk and then the timeline.


TY COBB, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: The President's very eager to sit down and explain whatever is responsive to the questions that --


GARRETT: When do you believe this investigation will reach its conclusion?

COBB: There's no reason for it not to conclude soon.

GARRETT: What is soon?

COBB: Well, soon to me would be within the next four to six weeks.


[08:35:05] KING: I mean props to Major Garrett of CBS there for the "very eager". Is there anyone at the table that thinks the President is very eager to sit down with Bob Mueller?


KAPUR: No. It's the "we have nothing to hide" posture, right. He's been a little bit back and forth on this. He said, "Of course, I'll meet, you know, meet with Bob Mueller and his team if we need." Then he said "Maybe, we'll see."

I think it depends on how he's feeling -- he's feeling in the moment and how angry he is that this whole investigation is clouding his presidency and casting shadow over everything.


MURRAY: But I would caveat that just a little because I could actually see this President saying that he is eager and at moments being eager and saying, you know, let me just sit down with Mueller and let me just explain that there was no collusion.

I'm sure that there are moments when Trump has felt like this. And I'm sure that he immediately hears back from his lawyers and from other people around him, even if they maybe publicly saying, you know, the President's eager to talk to Mueller -- oh, my god, no. We are absolutely not just going to go in and voluntarily meet with this guy and answer his questions because there are a lot of potential down sides to it.

KING: Another of the things that we'll stick with us again, four to six weeks. Again, he's trying to tell the President this will be over soon. Four to six weeks -- I don't think so.

Up next, a report card on year one -- promises kept, promises broken and the lessons for year two.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to build a big, beautiful wall. Build the wall. Build the wall. CROWD: Build the wall. Build the wall.

TRUMP: And who is going to pay for the wall?

CROWD: Mexico.


CROWD: Mexico.

TRUMP: This is about America first. This is about putting our country first. It's about showing people that we're not going to be listening to stupid people any more.

There's never been a deal so bad as NAFTA and we're going to renegotiate that one very quickly.


KING: A very different first year of the Trump presidency but not everything about President Trump is different, like every president he found out in year one that many campaign promises are hard or impossible to keep; and like every president, he also decided there were some he really didn't want to keep.

Let's take a look at some of the scorecard here as you go through.

The President's America first agenda including getting out of the Paris Climate Accord -- he kept that promise.

He promised to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in Israel -- that one's in progress.

He said he would build the border wall -- TBD on that one, it's part of the big hang-up right now in the government shutdown. Maybe some funding in an immigration deal for the wall.

The President also said he would fix trade deals. He did withdraw from the Transpacific Partnership -- that was almost a moot point. The Obama administration had backed away from that.

Renegotiating NAFTA? Those negotiations continue. They've been quite tense. That's a TBD.

He also promised on day one to label China a currency manipulator. The President has backed away and broken that promise.

What about erasing the Obama legacy? Rip up the Iran nuclear deal? No, the President has not yet done that. In fact, just recertified it again.

Repeal and replace Obamacare? Incomplete. The individual mandate was repealed in the tax cut plan. This is a 2018 agenda item still.

Conservative judges -- a promise very much kept to the conservative base there including a Supreme Court justice. And the President says he's done a record job in eliminating and reducing government regulation.

One thing we do know, the President doesn't think he gets enough credit. Listen to him on the road, especially when it comes to the economy.


TRUMP: Anybody unhappy with the 401(k)? I don't think so, right? Well, we can keep it like this. We're going to win a lot of elections -- that I can tell you. It's something. It's something.

It's the economy, stupid. Did you ever hear that one? It is the economy. It is indeed. >


KING: Donald Trump quoting James Carville -- that's a great (INAUDIBLE).

To that point, Dan, you touched on this a moment ago. This is what frustrates Republicans. It certainly frustrates the President's political team in the sense that, you know, yes Democrats would make the case the recovery started under President Obama, the trajectory was going that way. But the stock market is booming and setting records.

The unemployment rate is at a 17-year-low. There's a lot of companies announcing they're expanding or coming back. Some of that is exaggerated by the White House.

The economic news is very good and normally that's the tie that lifts a president. But his personal toxicity is preventing him from getting the credit he thinks he deserves.

BALZ: Yes, and to the issue of who gets the credit for that, in our poll just out more people give Obama credit for the current state of the economy than give President Trump, which I'm sure drives the White House mad.

That's the nature of the first year of a presidency. I mean obviously there is a hangover effect of the previous policies and if things were going reasonably well at the end of the Obama administration they're continuing to go and the stock market has had an amazing year during President Trump's first year.

The question is, does all of the other stuff that he does, get in the way of the economy? And everything we've seen so far is that the answer to that is yes.

KING: I think not just the economy. I just -- forgive me for interrupting -- I just want to show more from our poll because you take -- you start from the inauguration. Now we're one year later.

And even on things where the President can claim success, can claim success his standing is down. Will he keep these major promises -- repealing Obamacare? A huge drop -- a huge drop in the confidence of the American people that he would keep that promise.

Look at this: creating jobs -- down seven points from the inaugural; renegotiate NAFTA, down 11; defeat ISIS is up, the President gets credit for that; build the border wall down; reduce corruption, meaning drain the swamp, down.

RESTON: I think there's just -- there's very little confidence in his ability to get anything done at this point. And I just am so struck by that it's just amazing to imagine what his numbers would be if he didn't have his economic numbers, you know, lifting his status.

KING: Right.

RESTON: And I think that what's going to be so interesting to watch this year, one of the things that I'm most excited talking to voters about is you are starting to see that uneasiness about the economy sort of dissipate. Remember, even in 2016 when we went out to the swing states and talked to voters there was still this fear that things were suddenly going to turn down again. You don't feel that as much any more.

[08:45:02] And I'm so interested to see how the Russia investigation affects things because so far out in these districts when you talk to people about Russia, and that's all we talk about at CNN basically, they say they don't care. It doesn't have any effect on their lives.

So what is that turning point at which that really becomes an election issue, does it cast a cloud over Trump? Does it really affect these house races? I don't think that we're seeing that quite yet and it will be really interesting to watch.

KAPUR: And that juxtaposition is really jarring because presidential approval is so closely correlated to how well the economy is doing right now. The economy is good. It's improving.

The stock market is booming. I think the Dow hit 26000 for the first time ever. We're at nearly full employment. Despite that the President's approval rating is 36 percent which means it probably isn't going a whole lot higher if the President cannot make lemonade out of these lemons. That's bad news for his party.

KING: It's an interesting point. You mentioned talking to voters. We have had a number of our correspondents go out in the last week or so as we get closer to a year of presidency including Bill Weir who went to Iowa, a state where Democrats think they can turn a couple of House districts this year, very fascinating.

One of the battlegrounds within the battlegrounds, if you will with the great state of Iowa which we always pay attention to because of its role in presidential politics will be critical in the midterm, year two.

Just listen here -- a colorful group of men assembled by Bill Weir having a debate about you-know-who. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump pulled the wool over their eyes and they have most -- and his base has not recognized it yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.


KING: No offense. I don't mean it the way it's about to come out because you know, that guy's watching way too much cable television, listen to people -- Trump playing three dimensional chess.

MURRAY: But I do think -- you know, there are people who think that the President has actually done a very good job. That he hasn't necessarily done it in the way that they would like him to but they do look at the economic numbers, they look at rolling back regulations. They look at the tax plan that was passed and they do see his first year in office as successful.

I mean the problem is it's just not enough people and you can understand why it is so frustrating for this president because historically, I don't think voters would have given Barack Obama, the previous president, the credit for an economy that's booming under a current president.

It doesn't happen all that often. It's a huge frustration for Trump. He fumes about it.

KING: And with though numbers, day two of a government shutdown, is there any reason to believe the President can have a productive legislative 2018? He wants infrastructure and other things. Any reason to believe that's possible?

BALZ: Very, very -- very, very difficult, I think, to do it. And I think that this moment poisons things even more. I mean there's so much ill will that you're feeling right now, that coming out of this I don't think anybody's going to be in the mood to do it.

KING: Toxic environment on top of an election year environment -- it doesn't bode well for doing much.

Our reporters share from their notebooks next including some hints about Steve Bannon's motives maybe in the Russia meddling investigations.


KING: Let's head one last time around the INSIDE POLITICS table, ask our great reporters to share a little something from their notebooks to help get you out ahead of the big political news just around the corner.

Sarah Murray. MURRAY: Well, John -- plenty of people look at the comments Steve Bannon made in "Fire and Fury" and basically said they're stupid. You shouldn't have said this. It landed you in front of congressional investigators. It has sealed your fate in having to meet with Mueller.

But I've spoken to some Republicans who are taking a more charitable view of what Bannon said. They say look, this is a smart guy. This is the President's former chief strategist. He's looking down the line and he sees that the Trump White House is going down and basically wants to be on the right side of history.

We'll see how well that pans out for Steve Bannon.

KING: Washing his hands motivation. Ok. All right.


BALZ: As we all know the Republicans are facing a very tough year heading into the midterm elections. The Republicans that I've been talking to recently believe that there's an opportunity and they're going to spend millions of dollars trying to do this, making a big bet on convincing people that the tax bill is good for them.

Every poll we've seen so far, most people think that it's tilted toward the wealthy. It's improved a little bit in some of the recent polls but there's still a long way to go.

But they feel that there's a story to tell and they're going to try to do it. If they fail they know they're going to be in big trouble in November.

KING: Watch that sales pitch district by district more than any national number.


KAPUR: John -- I want to provide some context on the issue that shut down the government. The Dream Act has been around since 2001, introduced originally by Dick Durbin, the Democrat and the Orrin Hatch, the Republican. It's gotten a number of votes in Congress every step of the way.

It's been supported by a majority of Democrats and opposed by a majority of congressional Republicans. That includes Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the Republican leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell and their leadership teams right now. They will not touch this issue unless President Trump supports something specific and gives them political cover for it.

He is going to be the -- he is critical to getting this government reopened again if Democrats are going to be able to say they have some sort of an end gain on DACA which is why they're dug in right now.

KING: Don't hold your breath, I guess then.


RESTON: So John -- keep your eyes peeled for out west in Utah this week. We are -- sources tell me that an announcement from Mitt Romney could come as soon as toward the end of the week. And his next big task ahead of him is not only building a lean and very Utah-centric campaign but also to gather all the signatures that he's going to need to get on the ballot.

And his -- people around him are saying that he is probably going to collect maybe as many as double the number that he needs to show that he's got the grassroots support out there. And you'll see a lot of campaign staffers and former campaign staffers jumping on the plane to help him.

KING: Welcome back to the fray, Governor Romney. Let's watch the President's Twitter account on that one.

I'll close with this. Noticeably missing from the shutdown debate here in Washington is Senator John McCain of Arizona. He did issue a statement saying both political parties share a responsibility for Washington's dysfunction. But he did so from Arizona. He is home resting and getting treatment for brain cancer.

[08:55:03] The words of the Senator's friends are very telling. Three weeks ago, Senator Lindsey Graham said McCain would be back in Washington for January's big debate. This week, he told CNN he hopes his friend will be back soon, some time soon.

Soon though does not appear to mean this month. A source in touch with McCain this past week tells CNN he will not plan to be here -- he is not planning to be here for President Trump state of the union address -- that's on January 30th a week from Tuesday.

We wish the Senator the best.

That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. Again, thanks for sharing your Sunday.

Up next, Senator Bernie Sanders joins "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER".

Have a good Sunday.