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New Manafort Revelations Hint at Collusion with Russians; White House Issues Veto Threat on Stand-Alone Bills to Reopen Government; Trump Walked Out When Pelosi Said No to Wall Funds; Trump Says Meeting with Dems a "Total Waste of Time". Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired January 9, 2019 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Let's talk now about what so many experts are referring to as a bombshell in this Russia investigation. The accidental -- let me repeat -- the accidental revelation that is giving us the clearest public evidence yet of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Shimon Prokupecz is our CNN crime and justice reporter and he's on this for us. So, all right, not redacted, what was revealed?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: A lot was really revealed, it you know, and like you said there were some major bombshells here. Certainly the developments yesterday in these court documents have painted a different picture of what's going on in this investigation. Certainly as it relates to Paul Manafort and when you think about what the President has tweeted in the past concerning Paul Manafort. Saying how all of this went on when he wasn't part of the campaign. This happened years before he joined the campaign.
Well, we learned from yesterday's court filing that that's just not the case. Because not only was Paul Manafort's supplying polling data during the 2016 campaign, we learned in these court documents that he took a trip to Madrid where he met with a Russian intelligence official in Madrid in early 2017. And then we also learned, obviously, there was polling data before that time that Paul Manafort shared with this Russian operative.
So the question is, does this amount to collusion? Well here you have the President in the past tweeting, retweeting a "Fox News" argument essentially saying that there's not a whiff of collusion between Trump and the Russians. And then Trump tweeting at one point that the fake news is working overtime and as Paul Manafort's lawyers said there was no collusion. Well, in yesterday's revelation, we learn as I've been saying and we've been saying here all day is that Paul Manafort shared polling data, secret, internal polling data from the 2016 campaign when he was the chairman of the campaign with this Russian intelligence official. What did that Russian intelligence official do with that data? Why did he ask for it? Why was it supplied? Certainly questions for Mueller. Does this amount to some kind of conspiracy --?
BALDWIN: Oh, hang on, Shimon. We've got Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer. REP NANCY PELOSI (D), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: -- just a few days. Many
federal workers will not be receiving their paychecks and what that means in their lives is tragic in terms of their credit rating, paying their mortgage, paying their rent, paying their car payment, paying their children's tuition and the rest. The President seems to be insensitive to that. He thinks maybe they could just ask their father for more money, but they can't. But they can't and we think that the collateral damage that he is causing by -- well, I'm going to yield to the leader to talk about that, but I would say this, if you don't understand the national insecurity, then you would have a policy that takes pride in saying, I'm going to keep government shut down for months or years unless you totally agree to my position. I yield to the leader.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Well unfortunately, the President just got up and walked out. He asked Speaker Pelosi, will you agree to my wall? She said no. And he just got up and said, then we have nothing to discuss and he just walked out.
[15:35:00] Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn't get his way and he just walked out of the meeting. I asked him to open up the government. That tomorrow so many people will have trouble paying their mortgages, paying their bills, dealing with situations when they don't get paid. And I said, just why won't you do that, will continue to discuss, we're willing to discuss anything. And he said, if I open up the government, you won't do what I want.
That's cruel. That's callous and that's using millions of innocent people as sort of pawns and it was wrong and then a few minutes later, he sort of slammed the table and when leader Pelosi said she didn't greatly with the wall, he just walked out and said, we have nothing to discuss. So he said it was a waste of his time. That is sad and unfortunate. We want to come to an agreement. We believe in border security. We have different views. We've already offered the President our proposals, which has sat on his desk for several weeks, but this was really, really unfortunate and in my judgment somewhat unbecoming of a presidency.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did he mention -- did he declare a national emergency?
PELOSI: No, he didn't talk about that. But what I will say is that one of the obstacles that we have to an agreement is stipulation of fact. What the President is claiming to be the situation at the border is not solved by a wall and we all have been for border security. We take our oath to protect and defend the American people very seriously and we had suggestions about how we can do it better than a wall in recognition of what the challenge is there from an immigration and a drugs, et cetera, coming in to our company. So that's what sad. So I said, Mr. President, the evidence of what's happening does not support the crisis that you describe and therefore the solution you suggest because we have a better idea of how to keep our country safe and it isn't a wall.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Madam Speaker, what is the breaking point for you? REP. STENY HOYER (D), MAJORITY LEADER: Before you ask more questions,
I want to make a point. This is not a partisan difference, this is a policy difference. I suggested in the White House, in the situation room, in the last meeting, that every time we have a policy difference, shutting down the government is the wrong thing to do. It is taking hostages to accomplish your objective and hurting people in the process.
Now I've got a list here of six senators and the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the House of Representatives. I'm only going to read you one. Michael McCaul from the state of Texas, you have to understand, too, that a 30-foot concrete wall is a very expensive proposition and there are a lot of other things we can be doing technology-wise to make it a smart border that's more effective and cost efficient. That's Michael McCaul, Republican chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the House of Representatives.
This is not a partisan difference, this is a policy difference. And it is unacceptable to put 800,000 people at risk, 38 million people on food stamps, millions of people who are expecting to get a refund on their taxes, people who want to use the national parks, people who want to get farm assistance in the farm bill. That is why we have four bills on the floor that we're going to send to the United States Senate.
Now I want to read you one more quote. Of course, not, when asked do you think you ought to shutdown government, of course not, he said. Remember me? I am the guy that gets us out of shut downs. It's a failed policy. Mitch McConnell, Mitch McConnell, 2014, CNN. It is a failed policy and we ought to stop it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Madam Speaker, is there any hope this ends any time soon? Leader Schumer.
BALDWIN: 2014, that was Mitch McConnell, 2014, to this woman, take the two-shot, Allen, to this woman, to Dana Bash, I can get -- what was the quote, I can get us out.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm the guy that gets us out of shutdowns. When he was running for re-election back in Kentucky.
BALDWIN: I dove into that. But while I'm with you -- OK, let's just unpack some of what we just saw. By the way, just reminding everyone, it was the President last night addressing the entire country and saying this government shutdown could be solved in a 45-minute meeting and today after 30 minutes he bounced.
[15:40:03] And he just tweeted -- guys show the tweet and will read it for everyone. Which is something that we just heard actually from Leader Schumer.
Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. That what I wanted to home in on. A total waste of time.
BASH: And the fact that he walked out in a huff. There are a couple things here, one is that -- and I know Gloria's
here and she did a documentary on Donald Trump and his MO, this is classic Donald Trump. You have a big dramatic moment, you burst out of the room. You huff and puff. It's part of his negotiating style. It's not a negotiation, it's a temper tantrum, but it's part of his style. And he is known to have done this, you know, frequently when he was in the private sector as part of the negotiation in hopes of getting the people on the other side of the table to move --
BALDWIN: Hang on. Hang on. Here's the vice President.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vice President? This very short meeting and obviously there's been no movement made on either side.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you all for coming out. Will make a few brief remarks and I'd be happy to answer a few questions.
We just ended a very short meeting in the situation room. The President invited the Republican and Democratic leadership here to Capitol Hill. Because we are facing not only a partial government shutdown but we are also facing a humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border. This past week, the President and I and these leaders met on two separate occasions, all those in the room directed staff to spend the entire weekend working over proposals at the President's direction. We incorporated Democrat ideas and language in our proposal and made an offer to resolve this impasse and address the crisis at our southern border and today.
And today, in this brief meeting, we heard once again that Democratic leaders are unwilling to even negotiate, to resolve this partial government shutdown or address the crisis at our southern border. They demanded once again that before any negotiations could begin that we would have to agree to reopen the government. And the President called the question in the meeting. He asked Speaker Pelosi that if he opened things up quickly, if he reopened the government quickly, would she be willing to agree to funding for a wall or a barrier on the southern border? And when she said no, the President said good- bye.
I know there's been millions of American, hundreds of thousands of federal workers that are as disappointed as we are that the Democrats are unwilling to engage in good faith negotiations. But the American people know, we face a serious humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border. And this President, our entire administration working with these Republican leaders is going to continue to drive forward to bring about the kind of reforms that will see to the safety and security of the American people.
What the President made clear today is, he's going to stand firm to achieve his priorities to build a wall, a steel barrier on the southern border, add additional personnel, additional resources, additional reforms to stem the crisis that we face on our southern border. And we're very grateful for these Republican leaders here and others that were gathered with us for their support.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Vice President?
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R) MINORITY LEADER: I want to clarify a few things. As I just listened to Senator Schumer. I know he complained, the time that you had cameras in the meeting, I think we need to bring them back. What he described the meeting to be was totally different than what took place.
When we entered the room, the President again calling all the leaders together to solve this problem. Even brought a little candy for everybody. He started off talking a little bit about want to go get this solved. He even spoke last night saying in 45 minutes, but I think we could do it in ten.
[15:45:00] I want to turn the floor over, the President said, to Speaker Pelosi and Schumer. Tell us what offer you have because we all had in our hands from the weekends' work of the Vice President and every office and staff there about where we were. The different offers, that the increases that the work that you've done to secure this border. So we turned to Speaker Pelosi.
She began to argue whether we even had a crisis or whether facts are true. Turned to Schumer, again, who said, we just have to open the government up. The President would go back and forth in a negotiation, in a very respectful way. I saw Schumer continue to raise his voice. The President then turned to the Speaker and politely asked her, OK, Nancy, if we open the government up in 30 days, could we have border security? She raised her hand and said no, not at all. The President calmly said, I guess you're still not wanting to deal with the problem.
The President wants to solve this problem. That's why he continues to bring us down. That's why he's put offers on the table. Not once have the Democrats offered anything back. The entire time I've been in these meetings, they want to just argue so people can present a fact. They want to argue and debate about what comes across the southern border.
People are hurting. And as I said before, I will work with anyone that wants to move America forward and wants to secure our border. This is the goal that everybody in that room -- every Democrat said in that room they're for border security. But you ask me what American border doesn't have some sort of a barrier, it's only the Democrats sitting in that room that I have ever found. And the way they've displayed and they're behavior is embarrassing to me. And the way to come out to this floor and talk about a meeting in a manner that did not take place in there is disturbing to me.
I want to solve this problem. People are hurting. So I tell the Democrats get back into the room. Let's not leave. Let's solve this problem just as the President said, it doesn't even take 45 minutes. We're here and we want to work.
SEN. JOHN THUNE (R), MAJORITY WHIP: Well, leader McCarthy described it very accurately. We all came to this meeting. I heard the President say last night that this could be solved in 45 minutes and I had hoped coming to this meeting today that that's what was going to happen. That we were going to sit down and the Democrats were going to negotiate in good faith and we were going to come up with a resolution and they obviously had not moved an inch and haven't moved an inch.
I mean, they've accused the President of not being willing to negotiate but the President was more than willing to negotiate. He had the Vice President here the last two weekends meeting with members, meeting with members of staff, trying to move the ball down the field and get us on a path where we can get a solution.
And the answer today to the President's question -- and that is exactly how it was phrased -- and that is that Speaker Pelosi, if I were to open up the government today, 30 days from now, would you support any funding for border security, for a wall? And she said no. And I think the President clearly interpreted that -- as he rightly should have -- as clear evidence the Democrats have no interest right now in trying to solve this problem. They clearly want the political issue.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Vice President? Where do you go from here?
REP. STEVE SCALISE (R), MINORITY WHIP: First of all, I thought the President was very calm in trying to continue to put different options on the table to solve this serious crisis at our border. Last night he laid out some of the problems and challenges that we're facing as a country and how we can get a solution. Today what he did was start to offer some more ideas. And, look, our teams worked over the weekend -- and we can talk about terms all day long, but at some point, the other side has to put a counteroffer on the table. No is not a valid answer if you're serious about solving this problem.
And so, as the President started off laying out not why he wants 5.7 billion but why the experts who are tasked with securing our nation have said it's going to take $5.7 billion to secure the border and deal with this crisis, including building a wall. When Nancy Pelosi last week, her only answer was to jokingly say she'd support a dollar.
Now the American people who are watching this shutdown, the families who are going to be missing paychecks this week, it's not fair to them to jokingly say you're only willing to offer $1 to solve this problem when you haven't given any serious credible counteroffer. The President's laid out many different options, the President's even said he'll change the definition of a wall to work with Democrats. He'll move off of the number.
[15:50:00] He even sent the Vice President down weeks ago to offer a negotiation that would involve a lower number than what our national security experts have said. And not one single time have the Democrats offered a counter other than to say a dollar. So today when the President -- and by the way, nobody slammed their hand on a table. To mischaracterize some of the things that happen in that meeting is not fair to this process.
But at the same time, when the President looks at Nancy Pelosi and says, if I give you another 30 days will you be willing to support some funding for a wall to secure the border? And she says no. Not, well maybe, a little bit more than a dollar, not some serious counter offer but flat out no. That's not an acceptable answer to a serious crisis at our border where we are seeing people die. Where we are seeing the drugs that are pouring in and the families all across this nation that are being touched in a very negative way by the drugs and the opioids.
When you're going to see paychecks being messed and there is a quick way to solve this problem. And not once have the Democrats offer add single counter offer. And the President's offered multiple times to negotiate in good faith. In the Democrats haven't given one counter offer. That's not an acceptable answer. They need to come back to the table with some kind of serious credible alternative.
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Just quickly to add, I think I'm behalf of the Department of Homeland Security, I'm just thoroughly disappointed. This is a crisis. It is a humanitarian crisis. It is a security crisis. And the reality is that walls work. Everywhere we have put up a wall illegal immigration has been reduced 90 to 95 percent. Do you want to stop the smuggling between the ports of entry? You need a wall. Do you want to stop the human misery that's polled between the walls? You need a wall.
We have addressed the ports of entry. The Vice President worked all weekend personally with congressional staff. We came up with an offer that would secure the ports of entry by checking every single vehicle for drugs. But the criminals come between points of entry. It's not an or, it's an and. We need security at the ports of entry and we need security between the ports of entry. So I will let you take questions, sir. But this is a crisis. It's up to the United States Congress to do their job, take the leadership that the vice President and President are taking and fix this on behalf of all Americans.
PENCE: Please I can't hear you.
Reporter: You said at the beginning that the President is standing firm on his demand for a border wall. How is that a compromised in this context? What are you going to say to -- I mean, 800,000 federal workers not getting their first paychecks this Friday, state workers, secret service agents, what do you say to them this week as we are going into 20 days of shutdown?
PENCE: Well I'd say to every American that this President and this administration takes very seriously our solemn obligation to do what's necessary to protect the American people and uphold our laws. The offer that we put at the President's direction on the table, the offer that was in front of Democrat leaders again today in the situation room represents a combination of approaches. Certainly there's a President's wall, a steel barrier on the southern border, that the President put his number on the table. But we also added additional resources for personnel, additional reforms, humanitarian assistance, changes in our asylum laws, some of which was informed by our earlier discussions with Democrat leaders.
We've been working in good faith over the last three weeks to resolve, not just this partial government shutdown, but to address what is an undeniable crisis at our southern border. Even "The Washington Post" called it a bona fide emergency. We have 60,000 people a month being apprehended at our borders. And two-thirds of them are now families and unaccompanied minors. That's not a situation that are border patrol system was ever designed to deal with. And so, we need reform. We need changes. We need a wall, a physical barrier. But what I think what would have to be distressing to 800,000 federal workers and tens of millions of Americans is the answer in all of this from the Democrats is we will not negotiate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) Mr. Vice President. How does it help that the President walked out of the room? How is that getting closer to a solution?
PENCE: I think the President made his position very clear today that there will be no deal without a wall. There will be no deal without the priorities the President has put on the table. But if you could look at the proposal that the President directed us to offer this weekend after spending today with senior staff, two meetings with leadership, it reflects Democrat priorities as well.
[15:55:05] But frankly, we continue to hear about the idea that Congress -- and I know there'll be votes tomorrow -- that the House will take up bills to open portions of the government and the President literally called the question. He said if I opened up the government quickly would you agree to border security and a wall? The Speaker of the House said no. And at that point I think the President thought there was no longer any reason to be talking at this meeting.
But as we said afterwards and we had conversations with the leaders before they left, is we hope they will come back to the table. I'd say to every American looking on who shares our frustration, call your congressman. Call your senator. If you think the Democrats should be negotiating in good faith to resolve this partial government shutdown and to address the humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border then you ought to call your congressman, call your senator and tell them come back to the table. I'll tell you the door here at the White House is wide open. We are ready to sit down with these leaders and Democratic leaders and resolve this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question to you is that Democrats said that the President was slamming his hand on the table and that he walked out. Can you talk a little bit about -- can you just categorize what the President did at the meeting? And also, are we closer to having a national emergency declared if the meetings are going like this and are so contentious?
PENCE: Well, the President walked into the room and passed out candy. It's true.
I don't recall him ever raising his voice or slamming his hand. But this is a President who feels very strongly about his commitment to see to the security of the American people. He brought a whole issue of illegal immigration to the center of the national debate when he sought this office. And we actually saw a decline in illegal immigration at our southern border in our first year in office.
But the reality is because of the lack of reforms, because of lack of a wall, because of the loopholes in our laws today, we are now seeing a precipitous rise in families and unaccompanied children been driven by human traffickers and cartels, individuals who are exploiting vulnerable families. Encouraging them to make the long and dangerous journey up the Peninsula. And you can hear the President say this is a crisis of heart and soul. And he feels this passionately. And he left the room today because Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, that even if he gave her what she wanted she would never agree to the border security priorities that we have on the table and that was unacceptable.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Vice President, is the President now closer to declaring a national emergency? Will he do it?
PENCE: I know the President has made it clear that he's looking at that. He believes that he has the authority to do it. The President's belief -- and I know it's the belief of these Republican leaders as well -- is that Congress should just do their job.
Look, politics is the art of the possible. I served in the Congress for 12 years. Now, I remember times when there were strong feelings on emotions but eventually leaders came together, sat down with Presidents often times in opposite political parties. They heard each other's priorities. They negotiated an agreement and they moved forward. That's what the American people expect us to do today.
But when the Speaker of the House comes to the table with the Leader of the Democrats and the Senate after we have made days of good faith negotiations with an offer on the table. And their only answer is they will not negotiate until we reopen the government. And when the President says, well if I gave you exactly what you're asking for, would you agree to border security and a wall and they say no. I think the American people deserve better. I think these leaders know the American people deserve better. And I can promise the American people, this President, Republicans in the House and Senate are going to continue to stand firm until we get the resources and the reforms necessary to end the humanitarian crisis on our southern border to end the security crisis on our southern border. Then and only then will we end this partial government shutdown.
BALDWIN: There is so much to chew on. Unfortunately I'm out of time. So, I'm going to hand it off to my friend, Jake Tapper. "THE LEAD" starts now.