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Pelosi: Shutdown Meeting with Trump "Sometimes Contentious"; Shutdown Impacting Thousands of Workers, Including Contractors; Trump Speaks After Meeting with Congressional Leaders on Shutdown. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired January 4, 2019 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:32:06] BRIANNE KEILAR, CNN HOST: Live pictures from the White House. This is near the North Lawn at the West Wing. We are keeping an eye on this because top Democrats and Republicans have been meeting with the president in the Situation Room about the shutdown. Of course, in the past, when they have finished up meetings, they have come out to the cameras and made news. We are going to keep an eye on this. And this meeting has been going on, but it should be wrapping up if it hasn't already. But we're keeping an eye because they are probably coming out to the microphones.
In the meantime, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is really taking a place in the history books after being sworn in as the youngest member of Congress. And during her very first vote on the House floor, see what happened here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN: Ocasio-Cortez?
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, (D), NEW YORK: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN: Pelosi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: What you heard there were very audible groans coming from Republican members of Congress after she voted for Nancy Pelosi as speaker.
Also separately, a troll on Twitter posted part of a video that Ocasio-Cortez danced in when she was in college at Boston University. It was a video. And here's the context that played off of a trend at the time, reenacting dance scenes from Brat Pack movies like the "Breakfast Club." You will see familiar moves right there. So Ocasio-Cortez today tweeted out a different video of herself dancing outside her congressional office.
S.E. Cupp, the host of "S.E. CUPP UNFILTER" on CNN, joining us to talk about this. Actually, S.E., stand by.
Let's listen to Democrats outside the White House after this meeting with President Trump.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Good afternoon. We just completed a lengthy and sometimes contentious conversation with the president. We agreed that we will continue our conversations. But we recognize, on the Democratic side, that we really cannot resolve this until we open up government. We made that very clear to the president. Services are being withheld from the American people and paychecks are being withheld from people who serve the needs of the American people. And our border security will suffer if we do not resolve this issue. We are committed to keeping our border safe. That has always been our principal, to honor the oath of office that we take to protect and defend our country and our Constitution. We can do that best when government is open. We've made that clear to the president.
[13:34:57] SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D-NY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Yes. I basically, same thing is what the leader -- the speaker said. The bottom line is very simple. We made a plea to the president once again, don't hold millions of Americans hundreds of thousands of workers hostage. Open up the government and let's continue the discussions. I pointed out to him, for instance, a call I got in an office this morning. A fire dispatcher from Upstate New York. Wife is pregnant. Signed a mortgage. Can't get the FHA to approve it now because the government is closed. This kind of situation is happening in millions of instances across the United States in one way or another. So we told the president we needed the government open. He resisted. In fact, he said he would keep it closed for a very long period of time, months or even years. The discussion then -- we discussed a bunch of issues, as the leader said, that were contentious. And we will continue discussing, of course. But it's very hard to see how progress will be made unless they open up the government.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Speaker Pelosi, was any progress made at all in this meeting? Did you make any progress on a dollar figure for what the president wants or what you all want from him?
PELOSI: How can you make progress in a meeting when you have each other's position, when you eliminate some possibilities? If that's a judgment, then, yes, we made progress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
(CROSSTALK) KEILAR: That opens the door to a lot of questions. House speaker being asked, did you make progress and not on a dollar figure, but she said that, not on a dollar figure, that's why our Abby Phillip asked her, but she said that there's a better understanding of possibilities and, by that measure, they did make progress.
I want to bring in Gloria Borger to talk about this.
What possibilities? I'm dying to know.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm dying to know, too. The Democrats probably made it clear we are not giving you money for the wall. They may have eliminated that. But the clear message coming out is reopen the government and then we can negotiate. I think there's a subtle change in their stance, which is open the government now and that's what they did when they passed these appropriation bills last night which will go nowhere in the Senate.
KEILAR: Even though the Senate passed them.
BORGER: Exactly. Exactly. But open the government now and let's sit down and talk. It's clear that that was not so well received. When Nancy Pelosi said progress, maybe they just restated their obvious position which is the wall funding, no money.
KEILAR: The other thing that stuck out to me was Leader Schumer citing a specific case and example, a fire dispatcher whose wife is pregnant and who needs a loan for a house and the FHA can't approve it because the government is closed. He said in Upstate New York.
KEILAR: That is where moderates and conservatives are. That's a message to the president, that, hey -- because a lot of Democrats say he thinks federal workers are in northern Virginia and Maryland and in Democratic areas and he has a carve out for folks in the Coast Guard and people he thinks support him, but he doesn't care about the other people because of what he thinks the party affiliation is. He said it's hurting your people, too, Mr. President.
BORGER: Right. What's interesting is that we haven't heard the president himself talk about the dislocation for 800,000 people who are affected by this, and that is the government workers. What the Democrats are trying to do is personalize it and say these are real people with real problems who can't get loans for their mortgage, who live paycheck to paycheck. The reason the president doesn't want to talk about it is he believes they are part of the deep state. They didn't vote for him. They're part of the Democrats as he once charged. He's not talking about the federal workers who are not getting their paychecks. I think the Democrats are going to hear more and more of this, I predict. The Democrats will personalize it and say, look at the real people whether they are from Upstate New York or California, where Nancy Pelosi is from. They are being hurt by this or they are not. I'm wondering if we hear anything about that from the president.
KEILAR: S.E. Cupp joining us.
S.E., we're making a turn here because of the developments at the White House. Give us your two cents on what we heard from Democrats.
[13:39:57] S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR & CNN HOST, "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED": I was surprised to hear from Chuck Schumer that the president in that meeting, according to him, said the government could be shut down for a very long time, months, even years. Imagine you are a Republican member or Senator on the Hill, I would imagine you are quite fearful of being asked by a reporter lurking through the hallways as we do, are you willing to keep the government shut down for years, Republican Senator or Republican congressman? That does lay this at the feet of Congress. And I imagine, especially people like Cory Gardner, they heard that loud and clear and are shuttering.
KEILAR: Sure. Imagine that Republicans --
KEILAR: -- and we have seen them revolt against Mitch McConnell. It's hard to imagine Republicans that allow that to happen in the long term.
CUPP: They certainly don't want to. Look, this shutdown will get resolved when one side or the other starts to get blamed for it. Democrats have no incentive to do things differently. I don't think Trump is at the point yet where he has to do things differently. His base wants a wall and they don't want to see him cave a day after this new Congress was sworn in and Democrats took control. He can wait this out a little bit. But I think most people not in the far left or far right will tire of this game of chicken eventually. The folks in Upstate New York and other locales will get sick of this. Whom they decide to blame will likely result in who decides to cave first.
KEILAR: The people won't be paying the bills soon and the pressure increases.
KEILAR: S.E. Cupp, Gloria Borger, thank you so much.
We are standing by for the president to speak after this face-to-face meeting on the shutdown with Democrats and top Republicans in Congress. We will see what he says about whether progress was made.
Also, this shut down is dragging on. Federal workers are fearing for their lives without their paychecks. I'm going to speak with one contract worker, that someone who is not getting back pay, who said she will not already be able to pay her bills. Stand by.
[13:47:07] KEILAR: We are keeping an eye on the Rose Garden and awaiting the president's remarks after his meeting with Democrats and top Republicans as well. Keep in mind, it's day 14 of the shutdown. This is 14 days too long
for hundreds of thousands of Americans who are going without paychecks. Hundreds of thousands more contract workers, in addition the government employees, and no light at the end of the tunnel. Some federal workers and contract workers feel like they are being used as pawns.
We have Lila Johnson with us. She is a janitor for the Department of Agriculture.
Miss Johnson, since you do work on a contract basis, you will not, even when the government reopens, get back pay for the hours you missed. Is that right?
LILA JOHNSON, CONTRACT JANITOR, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: That's correct.
KEILAR: So I know that you normally work 40 hours in a week. Your last paycheck you got paid, for how many hours were you able to work?
JOHNSON: I got 16 hours because I was out and then I didn't have any vacation time and I didn't have any personal days or any sick days. I only got paid for 16 hours.
KEILAR: What you would have done is these days that missed -- I don't know if it's been 14 -- but the days that you missed since the shutdown normally you would try to give up your vacation days or personal days so that you would be able to get that pay, is that right?
JOHNSON: Yes. We had those could use you don't have those days to cover, then you just don't get paid at all.
KEILAR: So you are 71. I want to let people understand your situation. You receive Social Security. I understand you receive a pension from another janitorial job that you had that you retired from. With this supplemental work that you get as a janitor, what does this help you provide for yourself?
JOHNSON: That's why I'm working the part-time job to add with what I get like my retirement and Social Security. By me not working to get that extra money, it is hard. I don't have enough for my retirement and my Social Security to make I don't know how I'm going to have the money to pay these bills. Even though when I go back to work, I still will have to work at least two months before I see a decent check.
[13:50:12] KEILAR: Can you give us --
KEILAR: Miss Johnson, what bills have you received that normally you would pay but that you are on hold for paying right now?
JOHNSON: My car note soon be done up on me. My rent got to be paid. As far as my other bills like my credit cards and loans that I owe, that's doubling up on me. So everything is just piling up on me. And it's hard.
KEILAR: Miss Johnson, I know that when it comes to federal workers, some of them have been given examples of letters to give to their mortgage holders or to their landlords. They've been told sort of ways to alert creditors to try to reason with them. I wonder, in your case, as a contract worker, has your employer told you anything about how to get through this time period?
JOHNSON: Well, I did call my creditor as far as my car is concerned. They gave me a little extension. But when I pay one, the other one has already done came in so I have to pay another one. So, like I say, everything, even though they give me a little extension, that's not going to help me because it's doubling up on me. So I'm just going -- I mean, I'm going deeper in the hole by extending these bills because it's constantly doubling up because I'm not working.
KEILAR: Because, unlike federal workers, you won't get that back pay.
JOHNSON: Yes. I don't get the back pay. I'm losing in the 401(K) plan. So everything is just piling up, you know.
KEILAR: Miss Johnson, Miss Lila Johnson, thank you so much for coming on CNN and telling us what this means for you.
JOHNSON: I really appreciate it.
KEILAR: We'll be thinking of you, certainly, and hoping that this all ends very soon.
But at the moment, we're waiting for President Trump, who is going to speak about his meeting with Democrats on the shutdown. We're going to bring this to you live as soon as it happens.
[13:55:00] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
Here's the breaking news. Live pictures from the Rose Garden at the White House as we're waiting to see the president stand behind that podium momentarily. Here's a little bit of context. We're hours after the Democratic-controlled House voted to end the partial government shutdown. President Trump is showing the package of bills, likely to go nowhere. We're going to see him in a hot minute.
Moments ago, Democratic leaders talked to reporters. Actually, it was only Abby Phillip who got the one question in, our own White House correspondent, right after the meeting with the president and top Republicans at the White House. This is the second face to face between the party leaders since the shutdown started now 14 days ago.
Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer said the president told them he could keep the shutdown going, quote, "for a very long time." He said months or even years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: We just completed a lengthy and sometimes contentious conversation with the president. We agreed that we will continue our conversations but we all recognize -- we recognize, on the Democratic side, that we really cannot resolve this until we open up government and we made that very clear to the president.
SCHUMER: The bottom line is very simple. We made a plea to the president once again, don't hold millions of Americans, hundreds of thousands of workers hostage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: And now to the White House we go and the president of the United States.
TRUMP: Thank you very much. We had a very, very productive meeting, and we've come a long way.
I'll discuss that in a second, but first I -- I imagine you've all seen the incredible job growth, 312,000 jobs, which took everybody by surprise. Estimates ranged from 160,000 to 180,000, and this really took people by surprise. This is a great number. I think it has a lot to do with the factories and with the companies that are moving back into the United States, who have left and now they're coming back to us, instead of being in other countries.
I can't tell you what that does to other countries, but I'm the president of this country, so 312,000 jobs was a tremendous number and obviously having a big impact on the stock market today.
And I do want people to remember that we've had a tremendous success, despite the fact that I'm in the midst of negotiating incredible trade deals with our country that should have been negotiated many years ago by both parties, to be honest, but many years ago, we are doing very well in our negotiation with China. We pretty much concluded our negotiation with Canada, with Mexico.
We have done the deal and signed the deal with South Korea, which a lot of people said was not going to happen, would be impossible.