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U.S. Shutdown And Border Security; Senator Warren In Iowa; Russia-U.S. Prisoner Swap; Elizabeth Warren Speech; Kim Jong-Un Playing Cat And Mouse; Kim Jong-Un's Cat & Mouse Game with Trump; Shooting at California Bowling Alley Leaves 3 Dead, 4 Injured; Unpaid Employees Struggle During Shutdown; Trump: Unpaid Federal Workers Should Negotiate Bills, Rent; Witness Says El Chapo Spent $1 Million a Month of Bribes. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired January 5, 2019 - 17:00   ET



ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: -- security officials to see if they can make some headway, and whether they did depends on whom you ask.

Sources inside the meeting say there were, quote, "baby steps" but that Pence would not move from the dollar amount demanded by President Trump. And then, just a few minutes ago, this tweet from the president, Vice President Mike Pence and team just left the White House. Briefed me on their meeting with the Schumer-Pelosi representatives. Not much headway made today. Second meeting set for tomorrow. After so many decades, must finally and permanently fix the problems on the southern border.

Let's get to our White House Correspondent Boris Sanchez now. Now, Boris, two reviews of that meeting, one only slightly more optimistic than the other. The president's acting chief of staff was there, too. What's his take?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Ana. Yes, the acting chief of staff clearly frustrated by the slow progress being made in these talks to try to reopen the federal government and to give President Trump what he's asking for, the 5.6 or $5.7 billion to fund his long-promised border wall.

To be specific, those baby steps that you mentioned, according to a source on Capitol Hill, are, essentially, the discussion between Democrats and Republicans today that indicate that Democrats basically just asked Republicans for an official justification to appropriate that $5.6 billion in border wall spending. Republicans, essentially, said, we'll get back to you. They promised that they would respond either tonight or tomorrow.

Both sides expected to meet again tomorrow. That, clearly, not enough for the acting chief of staff. He is making the case that Democrats are simply trying to stall. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I know that Speaker Pelosi had said she would -- didn't want to give even more than one dollar to the border wall. President Trump has talked about $5.6 billion. Is there any give in the $5.6 billion, in terms of whether or not it has to be for a wall or whether it can be for more, generally, border security?

MICK MULVANEY, ACTNG WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, I think the president has said, for a long time, that it was -- it's $5.6 billion for border security, including the wall. We recognize that things, like technology and border crossings are important. But, certainly, a barrier is important.

We didn't make much progress at the meeting, which was surprising to me. I thought we had come in to talk about terms that we could agree on. Places where we all agreed we should be spending more time, more attention. Things we can do to improve our border security. And, yet, the opening line from one of the lead Democratic negotiators was that they were not there to talk about any agreement. They were, actually, in my mind, there to stall. And we did not make much progress.


SANCHEZ: Now, Ana, you'll hear more from the acting chief of staff tomorrow in "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper on Sunday. He is actually expected to go to Camp David, along with President Trump. They're expected to hold a pow wow to discuss priorities for 2019 for the administration.

I did want to point out. We got a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just a few moments ago. She's promising that Democrats in the House are going to try to pass individual appropriations bills to open certain sections of the federal government that are currently closed. That would include the Treasury Department, the IRS, simply to make sure that people's tax returns get done on time.

There is no indication here, though, that the Senate would actually take up those bills or that the president would even sign off on them. As you noted, the president, according to a source, told Democratic lawmakers earlier this week that he would keep the government shut down until the next election if he didn't get funding for that border wall -- Ana.

CABRERA: Boris Sanchez at the White House. Thank you.

The White House has painted the border issue is as a national security issue, from holding a briefing in "THE SITUATION ROOM" to Trump claiming yesterday he could build his wall by declaring a national emergency.

Today, the president tweeted, quote, "We are working hard at the border but we need a wall. In 2018, 1.7 million pounds of narcotics seized, 17,000 adults arrested with criminal records, and 6,000 gang members, including MS-13, apprehended. A big human trafficking problem." Quick fact check on each those claims that echo similar statements he made yesterday. First, that 1.7 pounds of narcotics that have been seized. According to customs and border protection, this number is accurate. But the way Trump is using it is misleading. That's because the majority of hard narcotics seized by the U.S. come through legal ports of entry. Most heroin, for instance, is moved into the country through privately-owned vehicles at private ports, followed by tractor trailers where the heroin is mixed in with legal products.

OK, claim number two, that 17,000 adults have been arrested with criminal records. Again, this number is accurate but misleading. Large portions of the immigrants arrested at the southwest border have committed nonviolent crimes, like illegal entry or illegal reentry or driving under the influence.

Now, the president further claims that 6,000 gang members have been apprehended. That number is also correct, according to government data. But those 6,000 have been arrested in communities all across the U.S., not just at the southern border. Statistics show around 700 were arrested around the border alone last year.

[17:05:00] So, the president's tweet numerically accurate, yes. But misleading, also yes. Joining us now, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell. He swerve -- he serves on both the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. Congressman, thank you for being with us. I want to ask you --

REP. ERIC SWALWEL (D), , JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Good evening, Ana (ph). Thanks for having me back.

CABRERA: -- about the Democrats and the president disagreeing on just how badly or what type of border security is needed. Both sides do support border security I know. So, what could the president offer that would have you on board? Is it a certain number, in terms of the amount of funds you're willing to put forward or is it about how the funds would be allocated? Spell it out for us.

SWALWEL: OK. The president does not want border security. He wants border theater and that's been playing out here, as he's been offered increases in border patrol agents, increases in technology, fencing where there are vulnerabilities and enforcement on the visa overstays.

But the president doesn't want to engage there, because that does not fulfill the promise that he knows that he's going to get which is that he's going to build a wall, sea to shining sea, and that Mexico is going to pay for that. We're never going to go for that. The American people don't want that. And it turns out when it comes to effective security, Ana, that isn't going to stop the issue that we all believe we need to address.

CABRERA: He says he doesn't want a concrete wall anymore, though. He wants steel slats. And if you look at the pictures on the border, I mean, it seems incredibly similar to fencing we already have, in some places. Does this create room for compromise?

SWALWEL: If the president can articulate where he needs steel slats and why and we can agree on facts, yes, there is an ability to compromise. But if he -- the tweet that he put out earlier today, he's using the word, wall. A wall, to me, is immoral between two allies. You don't want a permanent structure between two allies, especially when the facts play out. And, one, we have a net outflow of illegal immigration, since 2008 in our country. More illegal immigrants are going from the United States to Mexico than the other way. And, two, the majority of people who are here undocumented have overstayed their visas. That's an issue we should address. But a wall isn't going to do anything to stop either of those two.

CABRERA: I want to turn to the Russia investigation, because you are on both the House and Judiciary Committees, which the Intelligence Committee and the Judiciary Committee both controlled by Democrats, obviously. Let's talk about the investigative priorities. Tell us the top three people who should expect summonses and the specific documents you want to get your hands on.

SWALWELL: Well, I don't want anyone sitting on the edge of the seat waiting to see if they're going to get a subpoena from your show. We don't do it that way, as entertaining as that would be. We're going to fill in the gaps on the Russia investigation to make sure that we, in this upcoming election, the presidential election ahead, protect our ballot box. And we believe we're still vulnerable to Russia intent. So, we're going to fill in the gaps where --

CABRERA: So, where are the gaps?

SWALWELL: So, we want to understand the witnesses who refused to testify because of different privileges that they asserted and evented. We want to, you know, bring them in and put them under subpoena. Bank records, cell phone records, travel records that we sought from people like Michael Cohen, Roger Stone, Jared Kushner and others, we would like to get those records.

And then, the money laundering that we believe exists between the Russians and the Trump Organization, which, again, we were not allowed to pursue, we want to go there. And we believe that's the case because both Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump said that a lot of money, millions of dollars, was coming in from the Russians in the two thousands, and Deutsche Bank, the president's bank, was fined at that same period of time for laundering Russian money. So, we think we have reason to look.

CABRERA: Trump Jr. called the block number, shortly after he arranged that Trump Tower meeting. You'll recall, Republicans had refused to issue a subpoena about the mystery call. But now that you guys are in power, do Democrats plan to subpoena those records?

SWALWELL: Absolutely. And that would go to the president's knowledge. Because you have Donald Trump Jr. being offered dirt on Hillary Clinton . Then, he makes a call, and on the phone record it's a blocked number, and then he calls back to Russia. And so, we know, from other evidence, that Donald Trump, his father, had a number that would come up as blocked. And that he was in the building at the time that Donald Trump Jr. was making these calls. So, we have reason to look. Again, every time we learned evidence, in the last two years, that was illuminating, the Republicans would take out their shovels and bury it. For the sake of the American people, we now can unearth that evidence and tell the American people what it means.

CABRERA: Some of your colleagues are already talking about impeachment. I know you're not there just yet. We know it is on the president's mind. Two sources tell us, in yesterday's meeting, during an apparently profanity laid in tirade, the president brought it up. And he directed his comments at Nancy Pelosi, alluding to that yesterday. Here is the president.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, you can't impeach somebody that's going a great job. That's the way I view it. And she said, we're not looking too impeach you. I said that's good, Nancy. That's good. But you know what? You don't impeach people when they're doing a good job.


[17:12:01] CABRERA: You can't impeach somebody for doing a good job. Your reaction?

SWALWELL: He shouldn't worry about us impeaching somebody who's doing a good job. But what he should worry about is that the last two years of having presidential immunity, where his abuses of power went just unchecked, those days are over. And we're not rushing to impeach but we certainly are going to do our job.

And if there is evidence that's there, we will build an air-tight case, seek bipartisan buy in (ph) and make sure the American people know just what that means.

And by the way, Ana, if this was Donald Trump justice, Donald Trump would be impeached already. He is so reckless with the facts that he would've thrown anyone that has done anything like what he's done out already. But we're not going to do that. We're going to give him a fair investigation that he probably deserves.

CABRERA: I want to quickly talk quickly 2020. Senator Elizabeth Warren announcing an exploratory committee this week. We said last year you were considering running. But you told me that decision will be based 100 percent on your family. And we saw you with your beautiful baby daughter on that House floor this weekend. We've got a picture of it up. Any announcements to make on our show?

SWALWELL: We're getting close, Ana. Senator Warren I'm thrilled is in the race. I think other qualified folks will be in. This weekend, she is in my hometown, home county in northwest Iowa, where I was born. And I think it's important to run all over that state, because we have to go to the rural areas. And I'm going to be going back there soon. But, yes, a decision is forthcoming.

CABRERA: All right, Congressman Eric Swalwell. We hope you will save your announcement for my show --


CABRERA: -- when that time comes. Good to see you.

SWALWELL: Of course. Of course.

CABRERA: You're always welcome back.

SWALWELL: Thanks, Ana. Thank you.

CABRERA: All right, thank you.

Joining us now, Democratic strategist, Basil Smikle, and host of "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED" coming your way at 6:00 p.m. Eastern at the top of the hour here on CNN, S.E. Cupp.

All right, I want to talk 2020 obviously eventually. But first, let's get back to the important issue this weekend, the shutdown. We're now into day 15. The longest shutdown ever, 21 days. S.E., you heard what we just had, that back and forth with the Congressman and, sort of, what Democrats are looking for, in order to end the shutdown when it comes to border security. What's your take?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm not sure Democrats have any incentive to change their behavior, at this point. They're not getting blamed for the shutdown, yet. That could change. And I think they're representing their constituents. Their constituents do not want a wall. And so, they've already thrown down the gauntlet, you won't get a wall. Come to the table with some other ideas. I don't think that they will get their piecemeal legislation fixed as passed. As well intentioned as they may be to keep the IRS running, the Treasury, that would take away Trump's leverage.

And so, I don't think Trump, on other side, has any incentive to open any aspects of the government, because his incentive is to keep the pain on. That brings the other side to the table.

CABRERA: Do Democrats need to compromise, in some way, Basil, given they do now, sort of, hold the power in one portion of the administration, of the House?

BASIL SMIKLE, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Quite frankly, as S.E. said, they're in a great position right now. And even if the bills that Nancy Pelosi is intending to put forth next week to, sort of, piecemeal open up government, the fact of the matter is this is really going to fall squarely on Donald Trump and the Republicans.

And the meeting at the White House was instructive. It was kind of lopsided, when you think about it. You had Mike Pence sitting across from staffers, not leadership, which tells me --

CUPP: Don't forget Jared Kushner was there.

SMIKLE: Well, that's important, too. And -- but that tells me something really interesting. Number one, that Democrats are holding firm in their resolute. That's very key and that's very key to our base, number one. And, number two, it also says that negotiations don't really mean a whole heck of a lot, if Donald Trump, himself, is not in the room.

CABRERA: That's what I wanted to ask you, S.E., because we have the vice president, last week, throwing out $2.5 billion.

CUPP: Yes.

CABRERA: And then, the president this week saying, no way. It has to be $5.6 billion.

CUPP: Yes.

CABRERA: So, if he's not there, is that a problem, if he's not in the room to negotiate?

CUPP: Yes, Basil is absolutely right. I mean, having Jared there and Mike Pence there. I mean, Basil, you and I and Ana, we could have a meeting about reopening the government. If Donald Trump and the key players, the people who actually are in a position to make a deal aren't there, it's almost meaningless. And, frankly, sending staffers I thought was a little sort of, I don't know, --

SMIKLE: It's --

CUPP: -- giving the respect that they believe that meeting deserved.

SMIKLE: Exactly. Good point.

CABRERA: Interesting.

Let's talk 2020 because Elizabeth Warren is on the move this weekend. She announced she is opening this exploratory committee. She was in Sioux City, Iowa earlier this morning and she immediately was met with a question about that now controversial DNA test and the video she put out. Let's listen to how she answered the question.


ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I am not a person of color. I am not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. Tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship and I respect that difference.

[17:15:04] My decision was, I'm just going to put it all out there. It took a while, but just put it all out there. All of my hiring records, including a DNA test, it's out there. It's online. Anybody can look at it. It's there. And I think what 2020 is going to be about is not about my family. It's about the 10s of millions of families across this country who just want a level playing field. Who just want a chance to build an America that doesn't just work for a handful of folks at the top. But an America that works for all of us. And that's why I'm in this fight.


CABRERA: S.E., how'd she handle that?

CUPP: You know, that was a valiant effort at a pivot. But this is never going away. That's, in part, because Donald Trump's been very effective at hammering her on this. But also because this was a huge unforced error of hers. She did not have to release a DNA test. She didn't have to pretend that she was a native American and release a video, boasting about her native American roots. That a candidate, for president potentially, has to get up and say, I am not a person of color, I am not a member of a tribe, it's really -- it's hard -- it's going to be hard for her to get away from this.

No matter what she does, she will not get away from this. It was a huge P.R. disaster. And, folks, I'm talking to can't believe people around her let it happen in the first place.

CABRERA: Is that how she starts to get away from this, Basil, by just -- and now acknowledging I'm not a person of color and, sort of, meeting it head-on?

SMIKLE: It's a start. But I think this is going to follow her for a good chunk the campaign, if not the entire campaign. And I've said this to you before. You know, it bothers me, as a person of color, because it seems like she used her native American ancestry, however much it is, to an advantage.

You know, my great, great, great grandfather is Scottish. I can never say that I'm white, ever, because it just doesn't work that way. And so, for her to use this, sort of, sliver of ancestry to her advantage and now have to actually roll that back a bit is, in some ways, doubly -- not dishonest but it's doubly hurtful, particularly to the tribes that are involved.

CUPP: And mostly because the tribes that were involved in those communities were insulted --


CUPP: -- by her attempt at this. She directly offended them. So, when that community that you're trying to be a part of disowns you, --

SMIKLE: Right.

CUPP: -- you've got big problems.

SMIKLE: Right.

CABRERA: We had Rashida Tlaib this week making headlines. She is one of the new members of Congress, a freshman Democrat, used an expletive laden speech to go after the president calling for his impeachment. Basil, what happened to when they go low, we go high?

SMIKLE: Well, the rules of decorum, I think, went a long time ago. This is -- it's not something I wouldn't necessarily do. But, the truth is, we're in a very different space right now. And if you're upset about that but not upset about all the things that Donald Trump has done in the last two years or his, sort of, silence, with respect to Charlottesville, for example, among other things, then I think not only is that sort of unfortunate, but it really does say a lot about where we are in this country right now.

I don't -- look, it's not something I would do because that's just not what I would do. But I don't take away the anger and the angst that she probably feels in making that comment, and what the folks in the room how they took it. But we are well passed that point of decorum.

CABRERA: S.E., let me read you how a fellow Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is defending Tlaib's language. She writes, Republican hypocrisy at its finest, going after the critics here, saying that Trump admitting to sexual assault on tape is just locker room talk, but scandalizing themselves into foe outrage when my sis says a curse word at a bar, GOP lost entitlement to policing women's behavior a long time ago. Next. Does she have a point?

CUPP: No, she's -- as she's want to do, she almost, sort of, walks into a contradictory point. If you are mad at Donald Trump's coarsening of language and you were critical of the way he talked about women, minorities, name your party, and --

CABRERA: Grabbing women by the you know.

CUPP: All of it.


CUPP: Then you should be -- you should find as equally as offensive and gross and inappropriate. If you think Donald Trump's language is unbefitting of the office, so is this. I am religious when it comes to intellectual consistency. And so, as Basil is saying, if you're bothered by this but not Trump's language, that's a problem. The same for the reverse.

Let's be consistent. Find it all gross and unacceptable and inappropriate and demand better. Any defense or justification of what Rashida Tlaib said I think is self-serving and hypocritical.

CABRERA: I've got to leave it there, guys. Thank you so much. Basil, S.E., good to see you both. S.E.'s back at the top of the hour. Don't forget her show at 6:00.

New details tonight about the former U.S. Marine detained in Russia accused of spying. Sources are telling CNN he has no connections to the intel community. So, why is Russia targeting him? And what are they saying about a possible swap?

[17:20:09] Plus, as the U.S. is scouting sites for a second Trump-Kim summit and the president routinely boasts about his relationship with Kim Jong-Un, new questions over whether he is falling prey to Kim's flattery.

Live in the CNN Newsroom. Don't go anywhere.


CABRERA: Russia says now is not the time to talk about a possible prisoner swap for detained American Paul Whelan who is being held in Moscow on espionage charges. There had been speculation that Vladimir Putin might be willing to trade Whelan for alleged Russian spy, Maria Butina, who recently pleaded guilty to conspiring against the U.S.

Senior International Correspondent Sam Kiley joins us now. And, Sam, we're learning more about Whelan, including the fact that he holds multiple passports.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he's got four nationalities. He's born to British parents in Canada, that gets him two, one from each of those nations. He's got Irish decent, that ticks off the Irish. And, of course, he's a former U.S. Marine and has a U.S. passport.

But Sergei Ryabkov, the foreign minister here, deputy foreign minister here in Moscow, is suggesting that, notwithstanding this rather mysterious story, now is, as you say, not the time to be discussing a possible spy-for-spy prisoner swap. The sort that we've seen in the past during the cold war. Not at least because Mr. Whelan has not yet been formally charged with any offense or misdemeanor, at least of all that of espionage. It's slightly contradicted what his lawyer had suggested to CNN about 36 hours ago when he said that he -- that his client would not be in the Moscow prison where he's being held had he not been charged.

[17:25:00] But it would now appear that the official Russian position is that he hasn't been charged. They're, of course, opening the opportunity for release for lack of evidence or, indeed, because it seemed as diplomatically expedient so to do.

CABRERA: Now, a Russian news site says Whelan was detained in his hotel room, shortly after he got a flash drive, containing confidential names of Russian intelligence agencies. His family continuing to adamantly say he was a former Marine. He was simply visiting Moscow for a wedding, no connection to intel agencies.

Are we learning any more about his possible links to intelligence agencies?

KILEY: Well, CNN sources have been telling us, and, in fact, it is just the rules of the game in the United States, that somebody has been convicted of a criminal offense, such as larceny. And that is Mr. Whelan who was convicted of embezzling just over $10,000, while he was a serving U.S. Marine in Iraq, from government funds. Having been convicted, he could not be recruited into the Defense Intelligence Agency or the Central Intelligence Agency. That's just the rules.

On top of that, if you talk to British intelligence, American intelligence officials, its former serving officers, people operating in this town and in this country, foreign intelligence agencies always do so with diplomatic cover because of the high levels of tensions and risks that are attached to being caught.

CABRERA: Sam Kiley in Moscow. Thank you for that update.

During these tense negotiations this week about the government shutdown, President Trump tossed a letter on the table for Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to read. That letter apparently came from Kim Jong-Un of North Korea. And the odd timing is just a part of the strange history between President Trump and the secretive North Korean leader.

Here is CNN's Brian Todd.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It just may be the oddest relationship in international relations. The American president repeatedly flattered by and flattering North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-Un.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're doing very well with North Korea and that's based on relationship also.

TODD: Trump's positive mention of his relationship with Kim Jong-Un came only about 48 hours after the president showed off the latest personal letter he got from the North Korean dictator.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And they've never written letters like that. This letter is a great letter.

TODD: Sources familiar with the contents of Kim's letter tells CNN it was, quote, "predictably effusive."

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It showed a letter that I retain.

TODD: The view of some in the administration, CNN is told, is that Kim sends letters to Trump to appeal to his ego and to keep Trump enthusiastic about their personal bond, especially at times when Kim feels negotiations over his nuclear weapons have hit a plateau.

Analysts agree Kim is whispering in Trump's ear.

FRANK JANNUZI, THE MANSFIELD FOUNDATION: I think what he's saying to President Trump is, you, sir, are better than all of your predecessors, wiser, smarter, more clever, a better deal maker. You can do what none of your predecessors was able to do.

TODD: Experts believe Kim Jong-Un has compiled a personal dossier on how to work Trump and has mastered the dark art of flattering the president to try to get what he wants. Skills, analysts say, that were on full display during the two leaders' meeting in Singapore last summer.

KIM JONG-UN, NORTH KOREAN LEADER (translator): I would like to express my gratitude to President Trump for making this meeting happen.

TODD: In another letter sent to the White House last July, just weeks after their summit, Kim referred to Trump as your excellency four times in just four paragraphs. But experts tell CNN, Kim may be using a carrot and stick approach with Trump. Mixed with personal flattery of the president over the past few months have been threats to the U.S. from Kim's regime, including in December when North Korea said it wouldn't relinquish its nuclear weapons, unless the U.S. eliminates its own nuclear threat, followed by a New Year's message, warning that if the Trump team keeps up sanctions.

JONG-UN: Then we have no choice but to defend our country's sovereignty and supreme interests and find a new way to settle peace on our peninsula.

TODD: Why this double game from North Korea?

JANNUZI: I think Kim Jong-Un needs to see some tangible benefits, himself. In the same way that President Trump would like to see some tangible steps toward denuclearization, Kim Jong-Un needs sanctions relief.

TODD: But some analysts believe Kim is simply stalling, buying time to further develop his weapons' program.

MATTHEW KROENIG, THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL: If Kim Jong-Un were serious about denuclearizing, he could have taken some steps since the June summit. He could have dismantled missiles, dismantled warheads. And he's not doing that. So, I think what we see now is that the North Koreans are really playing the United States.

TODD: The key question now, what does this personal dynamic between the two men lead to?

JANNUZI: It's either going to be an engagement or a breakup. So, we're either going to make progress together or we're not. And if we're not and there's a breakup, then I think, basically, Kim Jong-Un turns no another suiter.


[17:30:00] TODD: Experts say that would leave President Trump and his team without many options for how to deal with Kim's threat. One option could to be keep up the sanctions pressure. The other would be that unpalatable option of considering possible military action.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington


ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Democrats say the president is holding Washington hostage over a border wall he claimed Mexico would pay for. Now President Trump is suggesting workers not getting paid should negotiate their bills and rent.

Plus, frightening moments inside a bowling alley in California after a shooting leaves three people dead. The latest on the investigation, next.


CABRERA: Panic at a bowling alley in southern California when gunshots rang out during a family bowling league night. Now, this tragic scene erupted late last night in Torrance, California. Authorities say three men are dead, four are injured. Officers found multiple people with gunshot wounds when they responded to the scene. They tried to perform CPR on some of the victims. Now the search is on for the shooting suspect.

Our Paul Vercammen is in southern California now with the latest.

Paul, do we know if police have any leads on the suspect yet?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the leads lie in the videotape inside that bowling alley behind me. They say they know security cameras may have captured some of this. So that's where they're focus is right now. But they have not identified a suspect.

And imagine, Ana, just how horrifying that was as this shooting erupted just before midnight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The women that was left inside the karaoke, they were crying. Crying, crying, crying, crying because they didn't know what do. Because we're told that there's some gunmen, shooters in the building or whatever. We weren't sure.


[17:35:08] VERCAMMEN: Now back here live, calm behind me. But earlier, tense moments. Grieving relatives wanting to talk off camera but not on camera. Several of them telling me that they think the incident started when there was a fight between two women inside the bowling alley, which also has a karaoke area and a bar. They say that is what precipitated this event. One uncle of one of the victims telling me this is just so heartbreaking that this happens in America so often. Another person who was related to, she called his brother- in-law, she said she doesn't know how they're going to tell his 5- year-old son that daddy is gone, quote, "just gone" -- Ana?

CABRERA: That just breaks my heart.

Paul Vercammen, in Torrance, California, thank you.

A new CNN report says hundreds of TSA workers ordered to work without pay during the shutdown are now calling out sick. A union official tells CNN some TSA workers say they can't afford to continue working without money coming in. We'll take a closer look at the human toll of this stalemate in Washington. Don't go away.


CABRERA: President Trump this hour tweeting his grim update on the government shutdown: "V.P. Mike Pence and team just left the White House," he writes on Twitter. "Briefed me on their meeting with the Schumer/Pelosi representatives. Not much headway made today. Second meeting set for tomorrow. After so many decades, must finally and permanently fix the problems on the southern border."

Now, 800,000 federal workers are on the brink of a third week without pay and many of them are still required to show up for work.

CNN's Randi Kaye spoke with one worker who says he was living paycheck to paycheck before the shutdown and now he and his family are really struggling.


[17:40:04] RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Brian Turner may look like he's on a leisurely walk with his wife and new baby, but the 28-year-old TSA worker is stressed thanks to the government shutdown he has no idea when he's going to get another paycheck.

BRIAN TURNER, UNPAID TSA WORKER: I was last paid about a week ago. And until the budget is passed, we will not receive a pay again.

KAYE: Brian has worked for the TSA for six years and is based at Philadelphia's airport. He's considered an essential employee so he still has to work but he's not getting paid.

TURNER: I love about a half hour from work and it's going to come to a point where you say, do I do gas in my car or I do feed my family?

KAYE (on camera): And that's a hard decision?

TURNER: Absolutely it is.

KAYE (voice-over): It's come to that. And the couple says they will run out of money by the end of the month unless the government reopens. That means they could lose their house. A huge concern with five--month-old Elliot to care for.

(on camera): What do you worry about for this guy?

RACHEL TURNER, WIFE OF BRIAN TURNER: Well, our child care payment is more than our mortgage. We're already stretched thin with that and without the paycheck it's just almost an impossible situation.

TURNER: We are a paycheck to paycheck family and the reality of it. And so we do depend on that constant income.

KAYE: His wife works, but that second paycheck, Brian's paycheck, is critical.

RACHEL TURNER: I needed to fill my car up with gas today and I went until I have, I think, a five-mile range left on my car before I have to really, you know, there's no other option.

KAYE: Brian says he blames both sides for the shutdown and he's frustrated that Congress is still getting paid when he's not. As a TSA worker, he certainly understands the need for security.

(on camera): But what's more important to you, the border wall or a paycheck?

TURNER: A paycheck, absolutely. Planes still need to go up and come down. We need airport security, we need customs, and we need all these necessary services to keep the government running.

KAYE: And you want to get paid for that?

TURNER: Absolutely. Of course.

KAYE (voice-over): He's tired of watching the Washington blame game play out.

TURNER: You feel hopeless. And you feel helpless. You know, I'm not in Washington. I don't have the influence that these people of power have. And we rely on them. We elect them to these positions to get a job done. I feel like it should be done in a way where we can still have conversations about border security and keep the government open. When you don't have a paycheck coming in and you don't have a guaranteed source of income when you thought you did, it's disheartening. And it kind of makes you feel a little panicked.

KAYE (on camera): Do you have a backup plan?

TURNER: Right now, I don't have one. And my backup plan is just to hope that the two sides can reach across the aisle and come to an agreement.

KAYE (voice-over): Randi Kaye, CNN, Newark, Delaware.


CABRERA: President Trump now saying parts of the government could be shut down for months, even years, a thought that is deeply disturbing obviously to the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are going without paychecks. But on Friday, the president predicted some impacted workers who rent homes, for example, could just negotiate with their landlords. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Would you ask those companies, the landlords to go easy on --


TRUMP: I think they will. I think they will.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I'm sorry, would you ask them, sir?

TRUMP: I think that happens. You know, I've been a landlord for a long time. I've been in the real estate business for a long time. When you see there are problems out there, difficulties out there, the people are all good for the money, they work with people. They work with people.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So you would encourage landlords -- (CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Sure, I would encourage them to be nice and easy.


CABRERA: With me now senior political correspondent for the "Washington Examiner," David Drucker, and also a CNN political analyst.

David, does the president risk losing touch with his base by showing a lack of empathy?

DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Not with his base, no. I think his fervent base, as you've described it -- I think that's a good term -- wants to see this fight. I think this fight is for them. And I think especially after the president has promised no way will he back down, that he's willing to shut the government down for years if necessary in order to get the funding for the border wall, specifically, I think backing away from that in any significant measure would really cause them to be quite upset. And he's already -- he's already got issues with the broader electorate. And he needs to pay closer attention to voters beyond his base. So that would be --


CABRERA: He commented about how folks impacted can negotiate payments on houses, cars, credit cards. Does that send a message that he's their defender?

DRUCKER: I think you have to understand where fervent Trump supporters are coming from. At the sent him to Washington specifically to have this kind of fight, specifically to not be let's say bothered by the sorts of conventions that a normal politician would be bothered by. Now the president's issue with 2020 and, in fact, it was an issue in 2018, is that there are a lot more voters than in his base and his base alone is not enough to win him re- election. So all of the things that he has been saying during this shutdown fight are causing him issues with the voters he's going to need put together with his base if he's going to win re-election. And I think there are a lot of voters out there, whether they're soft Republicans, whether they're Independent voters, whether they are swing voters that are going to look at what's going on in Washington. And especially because the president said he's owning this shutdown and is showing a lot of inflexibility so far, they're going to look at that as a negative and they're going to find a lot of problems with it. Especially because they're not with the president on his immigration policy, definitely not the way he talks about immigration. The rhetoric's a big problem. But with his base, with his base that's all he has right now and this is what they want.

[17:45:58] CABRERA: Republicans majority did grow, though, in the Senate. And we're already seeing now some cracks, though --

DRUCKER: Right, so -- CABRERA: -- this GOP ball in the shutdown, right?

DRUCKER: Right. Where the Republican Senate majority grew were in those states that are fervently, aggressively behind the president. And the president was able to leverage his popularity and leverage his stance on key policy issues to help Republicans grow their majority. But 2020, the Senate map looks a little bit different. You have Cory Gardner, up in Colorado, generally a blue state these days. You have Thom Tillis, in North Carolina, clearly a purple state and one that he only won by about a percentage point in 2014 this was a great Republican year. You have Susan Collins, up in Maine, a blue state these days. That's why you'll start to see some cracks in the shutdown. Eventually, there will be movement. I don't think this will go on for years, although it could go on for months. There will be movement when both sides or one side starts to feel some political heat to make concessions. That's how they play out. I think the one thing is whether or not the president chews to understand that he might feel some point if the heat falls on him. If the heat starts to fall on House Democrats because they actually do run a part of government and the heat starts to fall on them in terms of, why aren't you compromising more, then that's going to be one direction. If it falls on the president, the question becomes does he actually listen to it or does he decide it's not really there? One other question, Ana, that's important as well, is how uncomfortable this does get for enough Senate Republicans and will it push Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, to start to move.


CABRERA: That's what I was going to ask you because I know you're in touch way lot of these Republican lawmakers. And I'm wondering, do the majority of Republican lawmakers -- because your mentioned Gardner, Collins, both of them have publicly come out this week and said that the shutdown is not worth the wall, open the government and then negotiate it. So is the majority with them, in terms of the majority lawmakers, or are the majority with the president on this border wall shutdown stand off?

DRUCKER: Right. The Republicans in the Senate are in a tricky spot. They don't want to get into a tit-for-tat civil war, if you will, with the president. In the early part of 2017, there was a constant back and forth between the president and Senate Republicans and it did not work out well for either. But Senate Republicans, in particular, were worried about going into the 2018 midterm elections fighting off primary challengers who were going to run as avatars of the president. And so what Senate Republicans and Mitch McConnell want to avoid is the kind of situation where they lose the base that is with the president on some of these issues. Competing with that concern are going to be members like Gardner and Tillis and Collins and possibly a couple of others that have to worry about swing voters and voters beyond the president's base. But it's not as simple as Mitch McConnell simply telling the president, never mind, I'm going to do what I want, because the president does not shy away from criticizing members of his own party on Capitol Hill.

CABRERA: Right. DRUCKER: We've seen that before and that's just not somewhere they

want to be. And on the House side, because they're in the minority now, Republicans on the House side are really not going to abandon the president in any measure that's going to matter.

CABRERA: David Drucker, thanks for being with us. Thanks for your insight.

DRUCKER: Thank you.

[17:49:26] CABRERA: Day 15 of the government shutdown. What's the president's solution? He says he would consider declaring a national emergency to fund his wall. All of this over a wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for.


CABRERA: More than a million dollars a month. That is how much the drug cartel spent to bribe Mexican police and government officials, according to a federal witness who testified this week in the trial after El Chapo, who is facing conspiracy charges in a New York courtroom.

And our Polo Sandoval has a breakdown and prosecutors hope will bring a guilty verdict.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's less than halfway through the trial of Mexican drug lord, Joaquin Guzman, El Chapo as he's known, who faces the son of his fellow suspected cartel leader, Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.

Flashing a smile at El Chapo and referring to him as his compadre, cooperating witness, Vincente Zambada, revealed more about the inner workings of the Sinaloa Cartel. The 43-year-old revealed how the criminal empire, headed jointly by father and El Chapo, paid millions of dollars to corrupt Mexican officials in their heyday. According to Zambada, in 1997, his father even met privately with a Mexican general who reported directly to the Mexican president at the time.

Zambada testified he believed there was a campaign by the U.S. and Mexico to make El Chapo, quote, "bigger than he was in order to bring him down." An argument made by the defense at the start of the trial.

Zambada is not the only one agreeing to testify for the government. The jury has heard from a parade of former Sinaloa associates taking the stand hoping for leaner sentences of drug trafficking cases of their own.

Jurors have also been shown evidence, including old photos of El Chapo flashing a diamond-encrusted pistol tucked in his waistband.

Just before the trial broke for the holidays, prosecutors displayed a cache of seized weapons believed to have been used by the Sinaloa Cartel. The made-for-TV testimony attracting a steady stream of spectators,

Dmitri Mendoza (ph) has spent four days watching this courtroom drama.

[17:55:10] DMITRI MENDOZA (ph), TRIAL WATCHER: As the trial goes on, it reveals a lot more of the corruption in Mexico, and you realize how bad Mexico was hit and how much money was laundered.

SANDOVAL: Fascination coupled with curiosity is also what drew in New Yorkers Allie Pike and Nine Sussman.

ALLIE PIKE, TRIAL WATCHER: I'm still fascinated with the escape, the tunneling under to get out of prison. I think that's unbelievable.

NINA SUSSMAN, TRIAL WATCHER: He like smiles at all the lawyers and shook their hands fiercely and nicely. I was like, oh. It's weird because it's someone that you watch things about or read things about but he's just like a dude.

PIKE: Just a regular person.

SANDOVAL: Court is back in session next week. The trial expected to last through February. More stories of bribes and bloodshed are likely to be told.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, Brooklyn, New York.


CABRERA: Quick programming note. Tonight, experience the incredible story of comedy great, Gilda Radner, in her own words. "Love, Gilda," a CNN film, re-airs tonight at 9:00 Eastern on CNN.

I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. Thank you for being me. I'll see you back here in one hour.

My colleague, S.E. Cupp, continues coverage of today's news right after a quick break.


[18:00:06] S.E. CUPP, CNN HOST: Welcome to "UNFILTERED." Here's tonight's headline: She's running.