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CNN RIGHT NOW
Trump Fears Deal with Democrats Will Make Him Look "Foolish"; Romney Defends Op-Ed Criticizing Trump; Feinstein Says She'll Support Biden in 2020 Race; Dow Dives After Apple Warns of China Slowdown; Pelosi Set to Become Next House Speaker in Diverse House; Interview with Rep. Jackie Speier. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired January 3, 2019 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:30:00] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: We see the way, but no one is walking away. No one is on this road that we talk about. It's obvious. There it is. There's the path. No one is doing it. Why?
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think what's happening is the Senate is being too differential to the president. I would send him the bill and make him decide. The party that makes the policy demand is the one that owns the shutdowns. Think Ted Cruz on Obamacare in 2013. Think Senate Democrats on DACA last year. That's who owns the shutdown. Trump own this shutdown because he is making the demand. These Senators, as A.B. and David pointed out, like Cory Gardner and Susan Collins and others, they don't want this to be prolonged shutdown. This is terrible for them.
KEILAR: Why, David, is Mitch McConnell so reticent to do that?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICS DIRECTOR: He's reticent because he doesn't know where the president is on it. I mean, he's gotten burned once on it. Mike Pence went to the Hill, explained what the president would be willing to sign, then, all of a sudden, the president said he is not willing to sign. Mitch McConnell has been singed by this process, which is why you see some reticence from him about passing something that Nancy Pelosi sends it over that he just doesn't know where the president is and what he will do with it.
KEILAR: Such an uncomfortable spot for Mitch McConnell, who is pretty savvy in these situations.
A.B., the president tweeting -- essentially, what he said, that the shutdown is a Democratic effort to get the upper hand for 2020. What does that tell you?
A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR & COLUMNIST, REALCLEARPOLITICS: It tells me he has not figured a way out. When he met in the situation room with Democrats and Chuck Schumer asked him three times, the Senate Democratic leader, what it would take, and he didn't have a good answer except for the reporting that said, if I took your deal I would look foolish, which he's wrong about. Charlie is right, that if he passes the seven bills, it makes it far less perilous. He is trying to push it back and his advisers are telling him try to make it look like it's harassment, or whatever he's calling it, 2020 politics. But I think -- I actually am in the camp that Democrats should come to the table. Just like you said, Brianna, I think they should get something out of this. Just like the congressman said, whether it's DREAMers -- by the way, there's no wall that costs $5 billion. It's in excess of $20 billion. Even if they gave him $5 billion, he doesn't have a wall. Just say you're for border security, say you're for reopening government, come to the table, and make him give you something. It's not a campaign demand. It has to be a deal.
KEILAR: Before Mitt Romney took office, David, he -- now Senator -- he wrote an op-ed that criticized President Trump. Let's take a listen to what he had to say about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY, (R), UTAH: Some people say you should wait a couple of months or four months. I'm not sure what makes special at one time versus another, other than to do your best and describe what's important to you and go to work.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Senator, you said you are in favor of the wall?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The president endorsed you. Now you've made (INAUDIBLE). How is that not considered stabbing him in the back?
ROMNEY: It's certainly an opportunity for us to work together on things where we agree. I said prior to the primary, in an op-ed that I wrote in the Utah papers, that I would work with the president where we agree, and where we disagree, I would point that out?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Huh? It doesn't hue with the sharpness of what we saw of the op-ed. What did you think when he said that?
CHALIAN: He knew exactly what he was doing. Yes, the line he just said, I will work with him when I agree, I'll say when I disagree, that was his line throughout his campaign. He is right. He said that. What he is leaving out is that he chose to launch his Senate career with a very public "Washington Post" op-ed aimed at national media attention clearly and squarely at the White House, so much so that he gave his niece, the RNC chairwoman, a heads-up that it was coming so the White House could have a heads-up that it was coming. He understood what he was doing. He wanted to say, I'm not just going to be some loyal foot soldier in the Trump army. I'm going to be a force that you, Mr. President, need to deal with.
KEILAR: You all, stick around for me. We have much more to discuss.
Now just in, as the 2020 race begins, Senator Dianne Feinstein said who she would support in the Democratic race. We'll discuss that.
Plus, the Dow taking another fall after Apple issues its bombshell warning.
[13:34:19] Stay with us.
KEILAR: Just in, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein told reporters she would support Vice President Joe Biden in 2020, saying, quote, "Joe Biden would be my candidate. I watched him as vice president. I've seen him operate. I've seen him perform. And I think he brings a level of experience and seniority, which I think is really important."
Let's discuss this with our panel.
We can't forget, David Chalian, that the junior Senator from California, her colleague, Kamala Harris, is running, too.
CHALIAN: Not yet. But --
KEILAR: We expect.
CHALIAN: She is poised to make a run. It is odd. And I believe Dianne Feinstein, at the end of that answer, realizing that, oh, I love Kamala also, realizing, but it was like an afterthought. When all the horses line up at the gate and get in this race, it could be both Biden and Kamala Harris. We'll see if Dianne Feinstein stays with this unsolicited endorsement she gave. And Biden has not indicated a final decision here either. But here's the issue. Andrew Cuomo yesterday said Biden is my kind of candidate. Now Dianne Feinstein. This is the sort of old-guard Democratic establishment coming to coalesce around the old-guard Democratic candidate. The big question is, is that what today's Democratic nominating electorate is interested in getting from their leadership?
[13:40:13] They are going to have a choice, right, A.B.? This field is insane when you look at how many people there are. There are a lot of people to choose from, unlike last time. I remember covering the first debate, there were a handful of people, and a few debates in, it was two people. It was kind of crazy.
STODDARD: I think because there are so many people, and Biden is considered the old incumbent, there needs to be a voice to build around him. He will be in a huge field of screaming progressives demanding that race and gender be a huge consideration and that the parties move to the left, and that's where the energy is. There hasn't been that voice of the Clintons are gone and they stink, but let's stick with a center-left, pro-business, free-trade kind of tact for 2020. It's smart for people to come out early if they want so support Biden and see him survive this, and say, I'm for Joe Biden, and be loud and proud about it. I wrote recently that I think Biden, with a V.P. ticket with Beto, makes the best chance for the Democrats, no matter what. I know it's two white dudes, I've heard all about it. But I think it's the best path. I know Republicans who would vote for Biden. I know Democrats who will not vote for Elizabeth Warren. If the Democrats want to beat Trump, they need to do the brave thing. KEILAR: What do you think about Joe Biden? Also hearing the folks
start to chime in and throw their support behind him, even though officially he is not running and it seems he's still considering, at least officially at this point, what to do.
DENT: If I were a senior Senator from California, I would keep my powder dry for now. I happened to think the Democratic voters are looking for the next generation of leadership, like Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and maybe Senator Gillibrand. That's where I think they're going. I don't think they will go with anything someone generic. That's my view. But I think they want something fresh and new. I don't see it. I think Elizabeth Warren is a total gift to Donald Trump. A lot of Republicans who are leery and looking for an alternative to Donald Trump, but if it's Elizabeth Warren, they'll say, I can't do that. I think they want something new and fresh.
KEILAR: It's not just whether someone is new or fresh. You think of Bernie, it's what they are projecting versus their age is fresh to Democratic voters. Democratic voters flocked to him.
CHALIAN: To Sanders.
KEILAR: To Sanders.
CHALIAN: They did. No doubt. He's got company on that side of the party as well. Obviously, there's a case to be made for a center-left Democrat to come in. There will be a lot of dividing up the field on the left.
CHALIAN: There's a real opportunity. And obviously, Joe Biden has the name recognition. As we watch the House floor and look at the new House of Representatives majority that has come in and the female and diverse candidates that have fueled so much of the energy that we saw in 2018 in the Democratic Party, I find it hard that that is going to dissipate quickly. I think that the Democratic electorate is going to be looking for that kind of new, diverse female energy. Like you said, Beto could be part of that. He is not diverse or female, but he is part of that new energy and, maybe on the ticket, that could make the difference. The Dems are going to have a generational battle here and I think everything we are seeing in this new Congress, we see which side of that generational battle won in 2018.
KEILAR: Thank you so much, all of you, for spending so much time with me on this busy day. I appreciate it.
As she gets ready to become speaker, Nancy Pelosi becoming the highest ranking official to float a possible indictment of President Trump. I'm going to speak with a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Also, Senator Bernie Sanders is now responding to allegations of sexual harassment and violence on his 2016 presidential campaign.
(COMMERCIAL BRAK) [13:48:31] KEILAR: We are just moments away now from the House electing Nancy Pelosi as speaker.
Now we're also watching the Dow carefully, because it is falling again. And this time it's over Apple's bombshell warning.
Let's bring in CNN Business correspondent, Alison Kosik, to tell us what is going down at the stock exchange -- Alison?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: What's going down? I think it's the Dow. Brianna, it's down over 500 points. All of this happening because of Apple. Apple has become this poster child to what's really worrying Wall Street. I'm talking about the slowdown in the economy in China and the unresolved trade situation between the U.S. and China and the uncertainty around that. Its earnings warning is really sending a ripple through the market with Apple shares plunging more than 8 percent. As I said, the Dow down as much as 677 points today so it's off the lows of the day. This all coming after Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out a letter to investors notifying them about this bombshell earnings miss that's coming in a few weeks. What often happens is, if companies know in advance that, on their earnings day, that they're going to have a huge miss, instead of surprising investors, they want to kind of give a heads-up early so it makes sort of a soft landing. This is anything but a soft landing because this shocked a lot of investors because this is the last company that they expected this to come from. In this letter, Tim Cook blames the slowdown in China, its economy, and the U.S. and Chinese trade situation for these billions of dollars in losses that are expected to be reported in a few weeks.
Brianna, it really speaks to how important China is in the whole global-trade picture that, when you see a slowdown in the economy in China, it really hurts multi-national companies, companies, not just Apple but could be Starbucks, G.M. or even Volkswagen. We'll find out in a few weeks -- Brianna?
[13:50:26] KEILAR: All right, we'll be watching with you, Alison Kosik, at the stock exchange.
Happening now, this is what you're watching, the live pictures on your screen, a historic vote set to make Nancy Pelosi the next speaker. We'll bring you those results live.
[13:55:20] KEILAR: Any moment now, this is what we're watching on the House floor, Nancy Pelosi expected to become speaker.
And joining me from Capitol Hill is Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier, of California.
You just cast your vote. Tell me what it is like for this to be the opening day, you have Nancy Pelosi, female speaker yet again, a very diverse incoming freshman class. You also are in the middle of a government shutdown. REP. JACKIE SPEIER, (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, there's obviously great
excitement. We have lots of babies and small children on the House floor. We have now about to elect the first and second historic woman to the speakership, the one and only Nancy Pelosi. And we have a government shutdown, which has been created out of really whole cloth because the president is pounding his fist and wanting a wall that costs $5 billion when, in fact, there's no effort to negotiate. He created another stunt yesterday where he called everyone into the situation room. I was hoping they were going to do serious negotiations, instead of doing a meeting where he was going to call in the press. And yet, the members came out and there was no negotiation at all. This has to be a win-win from everybody.
KEILAR: There's no negotiating going on. There's no deal making. It's this phase of posturing and applying pressure. We're going to see votes on the House floor now that Democrats are in charge that would take some of the funding bills that have already passed the Senate and pass those through the House and try to just do a stopgap measure for the more controversial Homeland Security part of this. But that's not expected to go anywhere. So where do you go from there?
SPEIER: Well, I think it's very important for us to pass it. It's the same identical bill that passed the Senate a few weeks ago. So they should have the ability to take it up and pass it. It was then done virtually unanimously. If they don't, it would suggest they aren't representing the people. They're representing Donald Trump. And I think it's time that we represent the American people, who are going to be without paychecks in a matter of days. And we have a responsibility to act.
KEILAR: Do you think that is the thing that's really going to apply pressure here? Because so many times we see it's coming up on -- if it's coming up on the deadline during a shutdown of whether the military is going to get paid, you can bank on the fact that someone's going to capitulate, a deal is going to be made. There seems to be no urgency. I mean, Congress -- everyone in Congress, for the most part, went away on a holiday break. And there doesn't seem to be enough interest from the American people to really fuel the fire to get something done. What is the thing that you think is going to push this along?
SPEIER: I think the fact that many people are going to be without a paycheck in a couple of weeks. Many people do live paycheck to paycheck. And I think it's incumbent on us to take action. We will move this measure today. If the Senate doesn't take it up, we will have the president meet with the leadership tomorrow. But he's got to meet with a negotiating plan. No one trusts him anymore. He originally said he supported the stopgap proposal that would have funded all of the various offices and agencies until the end of the year, and then because he got bad news on FOX, he decided that he was reneging on it. He needs to be presidential. He needs to think about more than his base. He needs to think about all the American people. And if he's concerned about people losing their paychecks, then deal. You say you have "The Art of the Deal," well then, deal with us. So far, he's done no dealing. KEILAR: We're reporting right now that the president told Senator
Schumer during that meeting, where you said nothing was accomplished -- it did seem certainly that's the case -- that he told Schumer he won't consider reopening the government while negotiations over the border funding continue because he would, quote, "look foolish." What's your reaction to that?
SPEIER: That suggests what we all know, it's always about him. He a president who is interested in one thing, and one thing only, and that's himself and his reelection. So he panders to his base, disregarding 75 percent of the American people because he thinks that's his secret sauce to success. And I would suggest that, Mr. President, it's time for to you be presidential.
KEILAR: Congresswoman Jackie Speier, thank you so much.
As we watch this big day on Capitol Hill, live picture from the House floor. Nancy Pelosi expected to be -- will be elected speaker of the House and we'll be keeping an eye on that.
That is it for me.