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Trump, Democrats Clash in White House Meeting over Government Shutdown; China Detains Ex-Canadian Diplomat after Chinese Executive's Arrest; U.S. Rips Russia for Sending Bombers to Venezuela; No Prison, $400 Fine for Ex-Baylor Flat Leader in Rape Case. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired December 11, 2018 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[14:31:25] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The president says he's willing to take full ownership of a government shutdown. How does that sit with you?
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, I hope that's not where we end up. I understand it was a rather spirited meeting that we all watched. But I'd still like to see a smooth ending here and I haven't given up hope that that's what we'll have.
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BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Spirited. Spirited. That's one way to describe it. A contentious Oval Office photo-op with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi turned out to be quite the standoff today with the president. The Democratic leaders are pushing back on border wall funding as they try to ward off a government shutdown in 10 days, and they are far apart. You have Leader Pelosi and Senator Schumer offering up $1.3 billion for border security, but it's the president who says he wants the full $5 billion for his wall.
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SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: None of us have said --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You want to know something --
SCHUMER: You've said it.
TRUMP: I'll take it. You know what I'll say? Yes, if we don't get what we want, one way or the other, whether it's through you, through military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government.
SCHUMER: OK, fair enough.
TRUMP: We disagree. We disagree.
TRUMP: And I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because the people of this country don't want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. So I will take the mantel. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down, it didn't work. I will take the mantle of shutting down.
TRUMP: And I'm going to shut it down for border security.
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BALDWIN: Moments later Schumer and Pelosi said this outside the White House.
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SCHUMER: The president made clear that he wants a shutdown. His position, if he sticks to his position for a $5 billion wall, he will get no wall and he will get a shutdown.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Unfortunately, that the president choose to shut down a government, that we have a Trump shutdown as a Christmas present, a holiday present to the American people.
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BALDWIN: Nadeam Elshami is the former chief of staff for Nancy Pelosi and is a CNN political commentator.
Nadeam, nice to see you.
You know Nancy Pelosi better than most. Thought bubble above her head? Go.
NADEAM ELSHAMI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, boy, he really lost control of this meeting, that's what's going through her head. The second thing going through her head is, he doesn't have the votes to even pass the $5 billion in the House. Certainly she's looking at him and thinking, Mr. President, we're offering you a way out and you're saying no to both of them. You're shutting down the government and we're not.
BALDWIN: I was listening to Phil Mattingly on Capitol Hill. He was saying the congressional aides sort of expected something like this, some version of the Trump show.
Oh, hold on one second. We've got Chuck Schumer, Senator Schumer speaking now on the Hill.
SCHUMER: We gave suggestions that would keep the government open. It's his choice to accept one of these options or shut the government down. You heard the president. He wants a shutdown. He said, quote, "I'm proud to shut down the government." I'm going to read his quote, if any of you happened to miss it: "I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, so I'll take the mantel. I'll be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it."
That's what he said, plain and simple. No president should ever say he would be proud to shut the government down. Let me repeat that. No president should ever say that he would be proud to shut the government down.
He's clinging to his position of billions of dollars for a wall. President Trump's position will not result in a wall but instead it will result in a Trump shutdown. The president has called for a shutdown at least 20 times since he came into --
[14:35:31] BALDWIN: So, Nadeam, again, you have Senator Schumer reiterating what he heard from the president, something that I'm sure Republicans are doing a little, oh, why did he say that, right? Democrats are going to be playing that and reminding everyone on loop that the president of the United States said I'll take the mantel.
ELSHAMI: That's exactly right. The president tried to set a trap for Democrats, he was going to bring them into the Oval Office and bring in the cameras and say, Democrats, you should pass this or I'm going to get this done. If not, I'll shutdown the government. It back fired on him. He looked like he was not in control, like he didn't have the votes.
Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are experienced. This just showed why someone like Pelosi needs to be in charge of the House Democrats. She stood up to the president. The president didn't really have much to say to that. This was unbelievable. It was astonishing. I've never experienced anything like this in public. I've been in meetings with the speaker and the leader at times with President Obama and even with President Trump and it gets heated at times and they push back, but nothing, nothing like this.
BALDWIN: But how much of it was a show, Nadeam? And I don't mean just the president but the two Democratic leaders.
ELSHAMI: The two Democrats really wanted to go in and get this negotiation moving. They want to clear the decks before they start the next Congress. You go through the dance of, you know, we're going to have a productive meeting, we're going to talk about border security, we're going to talk about funding the government, we're going to look for bipartisan solutions to get this thing done, and then behind closed doors you do your business.
I think Leader Pelosi and Leader Schumer were surprised by how the president proceeded. Look, I've been -- I've seen it before where, you know, someone says something, including a president, President Trump says something that is incorrect, you know, the speaker designate is not going to let it pass. She just doesn't.
BALDWIN: It's so rare that it's all caught on camera.
BALDWIN: With that, Nadeam Elshami, good to see you.
ELSHAMI: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Thank you very much for your perspective.
ELSHAMI: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Coming up, why is Russia sending bombers to Venezuela? The U.S. is furious over this move. This as concerns grow over Vladimir Putin's plan.
Plus, a case that is sparking outrage on so many levels. A former college fraternity president accused of sexual assault gets a sweetheart deal. You'll hear the survivor's words for the court.
[14:42:15] BALDWIN: Major retaliation or mere coincidence? A former Canadian diplomat has been reportedly been detained in China. The timing of the detainment is, in a word, interesting. This, after Canada detained the chief financial officer for Chinese tech giant, Huawei. Any moment now, we could learn if Meng Wanzhou will be let go on bail until a separate hearing on extradition to the U.S.
With me now, Jim Sciutto, CNN chief national security correspondent, seen every morning here on CNN.
It does seem a bit like a tit-for-tat situation.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: It most certainly is. I don't want to say it's predictable but it's predictable. Huawei, a national company there, is essential to China's interests. President Xi Jinping made a personal appeal to Donald Trump to save the company. So you have this major executive held in Canada with the possibility of extradition to the U.S. So China is going to view that through its lens as a power play by the U.S., particularly in the midst of these difficult trade negotiations.
That's the way China runs. Its legal institutions are not independent from the president's office, so they tend to imagine that's kind of the way our things run as well, or if they don't believe that, they can use those levers of power to right the balance. The idea that this arrest of a former Canadian diplomat was done independently of this will be a stretch. They've done this before, frankly, with other Western executives.
BALDWIN: So that's China. As we watch this tenuous truce in the trade deal, I wanted to ask you about Russia. Mike Pompeo is criticizing Russia for landing two nuclear-capable military bombers in Venezuela. This is what he is saying, Pompeo, it amounted to, quote, "two corrupt governments squandering public funds and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer."
Why is Russia doing this?
SCIUTTO: It's a worrisome power play. These are nuclear-capable bombers. Russia did not say whether they're carrying nuclear bombs. That's probably on purpose to say, well, make your own guess. They made a show of force like this before. They did it in 2008 during its invasion of Georgia. It's also a message to the U.S. Russia has been sending bombers and planes to places they didn't used to send them, including close to the U.S. coast, to say, listen, we're back and we're going to send that message.
That's to the U.S. But for Maduro as well, who is under threat there, Russia is basically his only friend right now. It's a bit of throwing a life line to him as well, saying you've got Russia's backing. This is Russia sending some power signals both to the U.S. and to the Maduro government and to his opposition in Venezuela as well.
BALDWIN: Jim Sciutto, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 on CNN every weekday. Good to see you.
SCIUTTO: Thank you.
[14:45:02] BALDWIN: Thank you for hanging out for us.
Coming up next, outrage over this plea bargain for a fraternity president accused of rape. The survivor's strong words for the defendant and a judicial system she says that let her down.
BALDWIN: I want to tell you about a plea deal in a Texas rape case that is drawing anger and anguish, anger that the judge accepted a plea bargain that allows a former Baylor University fraternity president accused of raping a student at a frat party to avoid prison, get probation, and pay a $400 fine. Jacob Anderson doesn't have to register as a sex offender.
[14:50:05] And the woman in this case says she was given a cup of punch at this party in 2016, she became disoriented. She said Anderson took her outside and raped her repeatedly in every way imaginable.
She read an emotional victim statement after the plea deal was announced in court. I just want to take some time today on the show to let you hear some of it. I'm going to read this for you. This is her words.
It starts, "Judge Strother, I am devastated by your decision to let my rapist, Jacob Walter Anderson go free without any punishment. Rape is a violent crime that alters a victim's life and the life of everyone around them forever. He stole many things from me the night he raped me. I will never be the same again. On February 21st, 2016, when I was a 19-year-old sophomore at Baylor University, Jacob Walter Anderson took me to a secluded area behind a tent and proceed to violently and repeatedly rape me."
She continues, "When I was completely unconscious, he dumped me face down in the dirt and left me there to die. He had taken what he wanted, had proven his power over my body. He then walked home and went to bed without a second thought to the ravaged, half-dead woman he had left behind."
She addressed the prosecutors in the case who did not come to court to hear her statement saying this, "If I had the courage to come back to Waco and face my rapist and testify, you could at least to have had enough respect for me to show up today."
Then she goes on to explain, quote, "Now I not only have to live with his rape and the repercussions of the rape, I have to live with the knowledge that the McLennan County justice system is severely broken. I have to live with the fact that after all these years and everything I have suffered, no justice was achieved. I have to live with the fact that my rapist will go hope smiling and happy and laughing at me. He stole my body, virginity, and power over my body, and you let him keep it all for eternity."
And she also then addressed her perpetrator directly saying, "Jacob Walter Anderson, it must be horrible to be you," she said, "to know what you did to me, to know you are a rapist, to know that you almost killed me, to know that you ruined my life, stole my virginity, and stole many other things from me."
And that's just part of her victim statement.
Ed Lavandera is following this in Texas for us.
Ed, her words are profound and necessary for all of us to hear. And when I read about this, according to reports, this is at least the third time that this judge has approved probation for men accused of sexually assaulting Baylor students. What are you hearing in Texas about how this plea deal is being received?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The reaction is the sense of outrage and people very stunned at what has happened. And really the implications of this are best put by the victim herself, who in court documents there's an e-mail released by her attorneys that an e-mail that is essentially her reaction at the news of this plea deal and what this victim is mostly concerned about is the repercussions that this will have for other victims of sexual assault.
She kind of details in this long e-mail to her attorney how she kind of felt that she had done everything properly, after the crime was committed, that she had reported it, was willing to come forward to testify, had endured several years, this happened back in March of 2016, had endured several years of investigation and still throughout all of that was willing to come forward, testify in a public courtroom and provide the evidence needed and all of that essentially has disappeared and that opportunity she feels was taken away from her and she says this is the reason rape victims hesitate to report the crime. She had the courage to report the crime, go through this investigation and all of that has been kind of taken away. So that is really at the root of the pain for this victim after she was able to say the words that you spoke Monday in the courtroom there after the plea deal was announced.
However, prosecutors in Waco say the reason they accepted this plea deal is that they have, quote, "conflicting evidence and statements that existed in this case that they felt made the prosecution very difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. And the prosecutor in this case says they were very worried there would be an outright acquittal in this case."
However, that hasn't really calmed the anger of the family in this case. They said going into all of this that they were assured that prosecutors were never going to accept any kind of plea deal. They fully expected this case to be taken to trial -- Brooke?
[14:55:07] BALDWIN: Ed Lavandera, thank you very much.
Ahead here on CNN, a key hearing is about to start. Special Counsel Robert Mueller says Paul Manafort breached a plea agreement by lying repeatedly. Now Manafort's attorneys are about to respond.
Also, it was supposed to be the show of bipartisanship in the Oval Office today but it quickly erupted into 15 minutes of fireworks with cameras rolling. We'll show you how it all unfolded and who left with the upper hand?
[15:00:02] BALDWIN: Hour two. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.