Return to Transcripts main page


No Sign of Deal to End Shutdown as Congress Returns; Trump: Pelosi Is Calling the Shots in Funding Fight; Dow Drops Again after Historic 1000-Point Surge; Trump Misleads Troops of Military Pay Raises; Trump Signs MAGA Hats During Visit to U.S. Troops; The Top Weather Events of 2018. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired December 27, 2018 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:00] PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So everything stays the same. And just because the majority shifts in the House doesn't mean it necessarily changes on January 3rd. The real question is not will this wait until the New Year. It's how long after the New Year could it go?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yikes. I was asking the wrong question last night, I now see.

Phil, on that point, I wonder what the president was saying last night. Yesterday, he blamed, in speaking about this in front of troops, he blamed Nancy Pelosi for standing in the way of the deal. Listen to how he put it.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a problem with the Democrats because Nancy Pelosi is calling the shots, not Chuck. And Chuck wants to have this done. I really believe that. He wants to have this done. But she's calling the shots. And she's calling them because she wants the votes.


BOLDUAN: So putting aside the fact that it was the president who was the one who reversed himself on a deal that had been struck at one point, putting that aside, are you hearing anything like that, that Schumer is ready to deal but Pelosi is not?

MATTINGLY: No. And one of the interesting elements in the last week or so is how unified and in line with one another Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have been. They have been clear about what their line is and they're not willing to cross that. I think the reason why is important here. That's these shutdowns -- Kate, you have covered these before. You know these usually end when one side has been beaten to an absolute pulp.


MATTINGLY: And they have no way out, and they just kind of succumb to the reality and give up and give in. Democrats feel like they have the cards right now. They feel like they have the politics right now. Their base is clearly on their side with this. And they're willing to hold their current line. That's not a Nancy Pelosi only thing. That's a Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and almost the entirety of their respective caucuses thing. And until that shifts, which doesn't seem likely at this point, or unless the president shifts, the dynamic is not going to change soon.

BOLDUAN: Tea leaves not telling me anything right now.

Great to see you, Phil.

MATTINGLY: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, buddy.

Happening right now, Wall Street continuing its wild ride. The Dow is back in the negative territory right now, down more than 200 points. This after surging more than 1,000 points yesterday. What's causing these drastic swings? Is this the new normal?

But first, this programming note for you. On New Year's Day, CNN will premiere a new film about the life and work of comedian, Gilda Radner. Tune in to "Love, Gilda" at 9:00 p.m. Tuesday night. Here's a preview.


GILDA RADNER, COMEDIAN: Hi, I'm Gilda Radner. And, OK, now.


RADNER: People want to know what made you funny. From the time I was a kid, I loved to pretend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was the very first performer chosen for the cast of "Saturday Night Live."

RADNER: Rosanne Roseannadanna.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They loved her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I basically stole all my characters from Gilda.

RADNER: I can do almost anything if people are laughing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gilda was just not quite herself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One morning, she just said, I don't know what's wrong with me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the most unfunny thing in the world.

RADNER: Hello?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She felt that she could be of help. And that's exactly what she did.

RADNER: How often do we get to know exactly how brave we are?

I always felt that my comedy was just to make things be all right.

ANNOUNCER: "Love, Gilda," New Year's Day at 9:00 p.m.



[11:37:55] BOLDUAN: If you haven't already, buckle up. It's looking like another bumpy ride for the markets. The Dow is down almost 200 points, almost 300 points at this point. That's after a record breaking 1,000-rebound which followed a whopping 600-point loss on Christmas Eve. It's anyone's guess where the market will end up this afternoon.

Joining me now with his crystal ball is Richard Quest, CNN Business editor-at-large and host of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."

Great to see you, Richard.

Volatile seems like once again the world of the day. What are you making of these huge swings right now?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE & CNN HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": It's exactly what we have seen in some shape or form for the last year or so. Perhaps slightly more pronounced. We're up over 500 points, so we have pulled back off the lows quite nicely.

Kate, you have to look at yesterday as being an aberration. It was a one off. There was no justification. You had pension funds rebalancing themselves towards the end of the day, which sent billions of dollars through the system and caused a disproportionate increase because of low margins and low volumes.

Let's just, you know -- it gives me no pleasure to say this, but yesterday was not real. Yesterday was not the trend. You have to look over the last few weeks at the trend, and then ask yourselves, why should a random Boxing Day on a Wednesday should the market suddenly rally? There's no reason for it. And anybody -- by the way, I'm hearing people say, it's because President Trump's economic adviser came out and said that Jerome Powell was 100 percent safe.

BOLDUAN: Right. Right.

QUEST: I promise you this. The market did not rally, did not rally on the back of a statement about the chairman of the Fed.

BOLDUAN: But it raises a question I have actually been wondering for a while now. How much impact does the president and his team's words have on the volatility in the market right now, do you think?

QUEST: On the down side, hugely. On the up side, less so. If there's the prospect of a trade deal with China, you see the market rally. But if you see that prospect evaporate or go sharply down, the market falls out of bed. So you have to always remember that bad news is integrated into the market much more rapidly and with much greater force than good news. A market goes down much faster than it goes up. So, yes, everybody has to be cautious of what they're saying.

[11:40:29] Christmas Eve's 600-point fall, taken with the previous falls and taken with today, is the trend that's more realistic than what we saw yesterday. Yesterday was like a magnesium flare. Lots of bright light very quickly but just as quickly disappeared.

BOLDUAN: You're an enduring magnesium flare in my life. I love it.

Great to see you, Richard. Thanks so much.

QUEST: Happy New Year, by the way.

BOLDUAN: Happy New Year to you.

Still ahead for us, President Trump telling soldiers in Iraq yesterday that he gave them their first pay raise in more than 10 years. But that's not true. The facts here, coming up.


[11:45:35] BOLDUAN: President Trump is back at the White House after his visit with U.S. troops in Iraq. His point was to thank them for their service, but some of what the president told them doesn't ring true and doesn't check out. Listen to this.


TRUMP: You just got one of the biggest pay raises you have ever received.

You haven't gotten one in more than 10 years. More than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one.


CNN's Barbara Starr is joining me from the Pentagon.

Barbara, when it comes to military pay raises, what are the facts?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: You know, Kate, I think the troops were happy enough to see the commander-in-chief at the holiday season, so it's a little mysterious still why he keeps feeling he has to state this that is not true. Maybe he likes the applause. But the fact is it's just not true. In fact, U.S. military personnel have been getting pay raises fairly steadily for more than 30 years. Congress, Republican Congress, plays a role in all of this.

We have a graphic to show you of the pace of military pay. It has been going up. Mr. Trump should be aware of that, but he keeps saying this -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: So there are the facts there, once and for all. We'll likely still hear it again.

We did see the president signing during his trip, signing some campaign slogan hats for soldiers and also a picture from a "Bloomberg" reporter of one holding a Trump campaign flag. A reporter wrote on Twitter that that person dropped the flag after seeing her take the photo. What are you hearing from the Pentagon about this?

STARR: Well, as you look at this video of the president signing these red hats that apparently say, "Make America Great Again," a campaign political slogan, not a U.S. government policy, if you will, not a U.S. government hat. There's a lot of concern because military policy, military regulation prohibits military members in uniform from doing anything that can be construed as a political endorsement. That's what you want from your U.S. military. They're not a political force. They serve the country. They do not serve a political agenda. So there's a lot of questions from Iraq, where he was first, to Ramstein, Germany, where he stopped overnight. We saw these red hats again.

How did the red hats get there? Some people are saying, well, the troops just brought them and wanted to get them signed. But even if that is the case, the question remains, there were commanders, there were senior enlisted personnel on the scene, they know the regulation. Why did this happen? Why did nobody step in and say not such a good idea? It's against regulation for military people to be involved in politics. The president may want to politicize them, but maybe commanders should have stopped it -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Barbara, thanks so much. It's good to see you. Thank you.

Still ahead for us, from lava flows to flash floods, 2018 was a year of extreme weather and natural disasters, to say the least. We'll take a look back at the top weather events of the year coming up next.


[11:53:16] BOLDUAN: Raging wildfires, debilitating blizzards and deadly hurricanes and floods, 2018 has been brutal in terms of severe weather events.

CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers has a look back.


CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): 2018 brought another year of extreme weather and natural disasters to the U.S. The impacts of manmade climate change evident in every region of the country even as the U.S. takes a step backward in fighting the global crisis.

Here are the top eight stories for 2018.

Number eight, the Hawaii volcano. Kilauea, the most active volcano in the world, lived up to its reputation. In early May, it came to light once again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This really does look like hell on earth. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is as impressive and terrifying as it gets.

MYERS: The lava, which reached temperatures topping 2100 degrees, destroyed 700 homes.

Number seven, the Alaska earthquake. On November 30th, a 7.0 magnitude quake struck Alaska. It was near the populated city of Anchorage, causing roads to buckle, knocking out power to 10,000 people.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: This was the worst, most-violent quake they had ever felt.


MYERS: The quake considered was the most-significant for Anchorage since 1964. Fortunately, no serious injuries or deaths were reported.

Number six, Florida red tide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is upon Biblical proportions.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It's the worst toxic algae event in recent memory. Wiping out dolphins, sea turtles and other marine life by the thousands.

[11:55:02] MYERS: While the process that creates Florida's red tide and green slime are natural, many scientists say the increased agricultural runoff and pollution from the early season Subtropical Storm Alberto made the problem even worse.

Number five, the Maryland flood. On May 27th, storms pounded the Baltimore area.

Flashing flooding has turned this Maryland town's main street into a raging river. Cars have been swept up by the roaring muddy water rushing through Ellicott City, Maryland.

MYERS: Many were still rebuilding from the flash flood of 2016. It was considered a once-in-a-1,000-year event that took only two years for history to repeat itself.

Number four, it's a term known to meteorologists, but this year two storms had everyone talking about it.





MYERS (on camera): What is a bomb cyclone? It's not just a nor'easter. It's a big storm that develops rapidly. There's warm air over the ocean and very cold air over the land and a jet stream in between. That allows the storm to rapidly intensify, develop into a nor'easter, but a big one, a one that loses 24 millibars of pressure in 24 hours. That's the technical term. Not every nor'easter is a bomb cyclone.

(voice-over): Two of these nor 'esters struck this year. The first, in early January, left 19 dead and caused over a billion dollars in damage. As the storm worked up the coast, it brought the first snow since 1989 in Tallahassee, Florida, and ice and snow to Charleston, South Carolina. The storm hit the northeast very hard with nearly nine inches of snow in New York City and a tide over 15 feet in Boston Harbor, big enough to break the record from the benchmark blizzard of 1978.

In March, another coastal bomb left nine dead and did $2.2 billion in damage, knocking out power to over a million at the peak of the storm.

Number three on our list is Hurricane Michael. Michael made landfall on October 10th as the strongest storm to hit the continental U.S. since Hurricane Andrew. The category four hurricane was one mile per hour short of being a cat five. It claimed 46 lives and most of those killed were in Florida where the panhandle was devastated. The small town of Mexico Beach was ground zero.

BALDWIN: We have flown over Mexico Beach and it's gone. It's obliterated. It's awful to look at. I have never seen anything like this.

MYERS: Number two is Hurricane Florence. The storm made landfall on September 14th along the North Carolina coast.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: We noticed that inner eyewall. There it goes. There goes the lights.

MYERS: Much like Harvey in Houston the year before, the hurricane stalled for days, bringing historic rains. Nearly three feet of rain impacted some areas of North Carolina. The storm dumped as much as 10 trillion gallons of water, eight-months-worth of rain fell in just a few days. Many rivers in both North and South Carolina saw the all- time record crest. More than 50 people perished in the storm.

Increasingly, scientists are concerned that hurricanes like Michael and Florence could be the new normal. Increased heat, especially in the oceans, can potentially lead to stronger and wetter storms.

(on camera): Perhaps no place in the U.S. has begun to see the consequences of climate change more than California.

(voice-over): Years of record drought were replaced by historic flooding. The yo-yo effect laid the foundation for wildfires and deadly mudslides.

(on camera): California is number one on the list with floods and fires.

(voice-over): In January of this year, heavy rains fell over the Thomas Fire burn scar, bringing a wall of debris and mud to communities below. Areas of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties were the hardest.

This year's fires were the most devastating and destructive in California history.


MYERS: They burned in almost every month.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The term we hear is new normal. It's not new. It's not normal. It's not a season. It's year around.

MYERS: And the Mendocino Complex Fire that started in July became the largest ever recorded for the state.

But the worst came in November when strong winds pushed the Camp Fire into the town of Paradise.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is nothing like what we have had before.

MYERS: There was such panic, some drivers abandoned their cars as they tried to flee on foot.

Some 40,000 people resided in the path of the fire. In the end, 85 died. And nearly the entire town of 14,000 homes burned to the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A whole town was wiped off the face of the earth.

MYERS: Chad Myers, CNN, Atlanta.


BOLDUAN: And the recovery from all those things will reach way beyond 2019 and the years after. Come on, 2019, we need something better when it comes to this weather.

Thanks so much for joining me, guys. I really appreciate it.

"INSIDE POLITICS" with Nina Malika Henderson starts right now.