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Parliament to Vote on May's Brexit Deal Tuesday; Kim Visits Beijing Amid U.S.-China Trade Talks; Trump Blames Democrats For Shutdown, "Crisis" At Border. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired January 9, 2019 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): In his first primetime address from the Oval Office, the U.S. president repeated already debunked falsehoods and misleading statements to try to convince Americans of a non-existent crisis on the border with Mexico.
Turkey's president publicly dresses down the U.S. national security adviser for demanding Turkey take America's Kurdish allies, raising new doubts about plans for the pullout of U.S. troops from Syria.
And yet another defeat in Parliament for British prime minister Theresa May. Lawmakers voting to prevent the government from implementing a no deal Brexit.
Thanks for joining us. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
VAUSE: The pressure building to end the partial government shutdown, U.S. president Donald Trump awkwardly looked down the barrel of a camera and during primetime made a direct appeal to the American people.
It was his first televised address from the Oval Office and the president made his case why he believes there is a growing crisis on the southern border and he called for an end to what he called a cycle of human suffering.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don't act right now.
This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Democrats have repeatedly rejected Mr. Trump's request for nearly $6 billion for the wall. In their response, leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer accused the president of spreading misinformation while holding Americans hostage with the government shutdown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CALIF.), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Most presidents have used Oval Office addresses for noble purposes. This president, just used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Just calling something a crisis doesn't make it a crisis. And despite what the president said during his prime time address, a crisis on the southern border, there is not.
To help us sort the facts from a lot of fiction CNN national security analyst and former assistant secretary of Homeland Security is Juliette Kayyem and she is joining us now.
OK. So one thing which the president did say which seems to be true is his claim of a humanitarian crisis on the southern border.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Right.
VAUSE: And that's a crisis with, you know, kids being separated, with children dying and has been created by the policies of the Trump administration.
KAYYEM: That's exactly right. You know, the president highlights problems that exist at the border. We know this. We've known this, you know, since the country was created. Borders and border enforcement has issues. There are public policy problems.
But the solution doesn't get you to a wall especially when it comes to the humanitarian crisis because what we see no matter how draconian the Trump administration is, people still need to flee their countries. They will still come here.
There's nothing about a wall that would stop them from doing that as the president has suggested in the past. And so he's using the humanitarian crisis as if to say well, that's the reason for the wall when it's just the exact opposite. No wall is going to stop something like that
VAUSE: There was no declaration of a national emergency but the president did continue on with this line about uncontrolled illegal immigration. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Every day customs and border patrol agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country. We're out of space to hold them and we have no way to promptly return them back home to their country.
America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who had reached our society and contribute to our nation. But all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. Here are the numbers from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection which shows the numbers of apprehensions on the southern border since 2000.
See how it all goes the way down there, right, towards the right-hand side of the screen.
VAUSE: These numbers are since 2000. But OK.
KAYYEM: It's good news.
VAUSE: Yes. Where is the crisis.
KAYYEM: It's good news. It is not bad news. It is actually good news.
VAUSE: So there's no crisis, right. This is -- there's been a slight blip (ph) --
VAUSE: -- in the last 12 months relative to other years.
KAYYEM: Yes. I mean I've been in border enforcement and immigration issues for most of my career. There's no crisis. And as I said earlier, look, there's problems.
We clearly have problems. We have illegal immigration. You don't want to have it. You want to make sure that people get here lawfully or if they come here for asylum, that they're granted asylum if they deserve it.
But the president has had to create this narrative of a crisis not just to justify simply the wall but to justify why he brought the U.S. government to a stand still with this shutdown.
And so they just keep regenerating these stories and these tragedies and these crises but none of them really justify the kind of solutions that are coming out of the White House.
I personally left that, you know, the Trump speech and felt like he really doesn't have many more cards to play. There was almost nothing new in that speech. He didn't invoke an emergency or a national security emergency. He seemed defensive about whether Mexico will pay for the wall which they're clearly not.
And so I think that, you know, politically this was his last gasp and I don't know where he goes from here.
VAUSE: One thing which is notable though is that he did not repeat the lies over misstatements or the falsehoods of other administration officials about 4,000 terrorists, you know, crossing into the United States over the southern border. And so turned his focus on illicit drugs. Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Our border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. every week 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. So when we're talking about smuggling drugs, the Drug Enforcement Agency reported last year, "The most common method involves transporting illicit drugs through U.S. ports of entry in vehicles with concealed compartments or co-mingled with legitimate goods on tractor trailers."
How would a wall stop drugs being smuggled in to the U.S. through ports of entry?
KAYYEM: It absolutely wouldn't. And that's because if you're a drug dealer, you want to minimize the likelihood that you will get caught. So who are going to get to courier the stuff?
Lawful residents and people who are not illegal coming over valid borders.
And the other piece of this is if you look in the United States, the people who are unlawful at this stage, in other words, they're out of status, they didn't come here by crossing borders illegally. The majority of them came here legally and overstayed their student visa, overstayed, you know, their travel visa.
And so, you know, this idea of a wall stopping those people is also just absurd. And when you add the $5 billion , you know, price tag that Mexico is not paying. The failures of this policy become that much clearer.
VAUSE: Yes. Funny, no one seems to be talking about the issue of circular flow. And to explain what circular flow is, here's a clip from the TV show, the comedy show "Adam Ruins Everything".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOUGLAS MASSEY, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: When the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations drastically increased border enforcement in response to public opinion, they stopped that circular flow.
ADAM CONOVER, TRUTV HOST: Not by keeping people out, but keeping people in.
MASSEY: As it got harder to go back and forth, people crossing the border deciding they would be better off just staying in the U.S.
Ironically, this increase in border enforcement caused the number of undocumented immigrants living in the United States to skyrocket by 248 percent.
CONOVER: It's counter-intuitive but building the wall wouldn't stop people from coming in; it would stop them from going back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, someone described the wall as a solution in search of a problem.
VAUSE: Maybe it's just a great big problem in waiting.
KAYYEM: That's exactly right. Look, what you want to do is you want to maximize the number of lawful crossings without stopping commerce or lawful immigration and ensure that the borders remain porous enough so that you could have the economic and vital activity that occurs between the United States and Mexico at least at the southern border.
A wall would stop all that, of course. And also those who are already here who often return home. They're seasonal workers. They've decided that it's not working out here. They miss being home, will not be able to
I'm pretty confident the wall does not get built. Under the Obama administration they built about 700, 800 miles of barriers which makes more sense. And that this is -- this is -- this has left the realm of national security and we're just in pure politics or dare I say even ego at this stage because there's -- there's no policy behind the wall anymore.
VAUSE: Politics and ego are often one and the same.
Juliette, good to see you.
KAYYEM: Yes. Thank you.
VAUSE: Thank you.
KAYYEM: Thank you. Good night.
VAUSE: You can watch a --
VAUSE: -- replay of President Trump's entire address, along with the Democrats' response, coming up on CNN in a few hours. That's at 7:00 am in London and 3:00 pm in Hong Kong.
Well, trade talks between the U.S. and China may be moving in a positive direction. Negotiators agreed to extend their discussions in Beijing for a third day and one person familiar with the talks described them as constructive.
Earlier the U.S. president tweeted that the talks are going well. This is the first time that negotiators met face to face since Presidents Trump and Xi agreed last month to restart the negotiations.
China is also hosting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He was invited by President Xi but Beijing isn't commenting on the purpose or the timing of his visit.
CNN's Steven Jiang live this hour in Beijing.
So, Steven, what is the latest on these trade talks?
Do we know what progress they're making, if any?
STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER, BEIJING BUREAU: The trade talks seem to be going well. Especially given the fact that negotiators want at least one more day to hash out the details, to talk more on specific topics. And we actually are starting to see some concrete evidence of that progress.
The Chinese government on Tuesday approved the imports of five genetically modified U.S., crops including corn and soybeans. These sort of things long sought after by the U.S. government but they're also very controversial topics in China because there's a large part of the public that rejects any kinds of genetically modified food.
So for the Chinese authorities approving them at this juncture and many analysts saying point to their willingness to move this trade negotiation process forward.
Even before the U.S. negotiators, the Chinese government has already made some moves to satisfy long-time U.S. demands. For example they proposed changes in laws on intellectual property rights and foreign investments by promising equal treatment of foreign companies operating in China and by trying to ban forced transfer of technologies from foreign companies to their Chinese partners.
All of these are President Trump's long-time grievances against China. So at this juncture, it seems even long-time pessimists are seeing a glimmer of hope when it comes to these concrete measures or promises made by the Chinese government that may lead to some sort of agreement by the March 1st deadline.
A lot of people also saying that may be -- that kind of positive result may be the result of a combination of factors, not only these closely watched negotiations but also through a combination of flattery to Mr. Trump, behind the scene and lobbying as well at least paper concessions, headline generating concessions in the coming weeks.
VAUSE: Steven, thank you. We appreciate it. We'll talk to you again soon.
The already confusing strategy for withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria has been yet another roadblock. Turkey's president says the U.S. national security adviser, John Bolton, made a serious mistake by saying the U.S. would only leave Syria if Turkey promised not to attack America's Kurdish allies.
Bolton was in Ankara this week but never actually met with President Erdogan. The U.S. secretary of state is also being dispatched to the region as part of a White House effort to clarify U.S. policy on troops in Syria and to reassure nervous allies. His eight-nation tour begins in Jordan.
But for more now on the winding road between Turkey and the United States, here's CNN's Arwa Damon reporting in from Istanbul.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Turkey was among the few countries to actually welcome America's decision to withdraw from Syria. But now, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is lashing out following U.S. national security advisor John Bolton's comments in Israel, that among the requirements America would have for a withdrawal from Syria would be that Turkey not endanger America's allies on the ground. That is the Syrian Kurdish fighting force, the YPG. Issue is Turkey views them as being a terrorist organization.
Here's more of what President Erdogan had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): We cannot accept the comments made by Bolton in Israel. They can't differentiate between Kurdish citizens, YPG, PYD and PKK. Kurdish PKK militants are not representative of Kurds. We can do what is necessary if they are terrorists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: President Erdogan was also quick to emphasize that he had spoken to President Trump about America's troop withdrawn. He expected that to be the agreement that was honored. And Turkey, of course does have its own requirements as were highlighted by presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin following his meeting with Bolton.
High on that list of priorities is what is going to happen to the weapons the Americans gave the YPG. Turkey wants to --
DAMON: -- see those handed over. And of course, the fate of the bases that America is going to be leaving. Turkey wants to ensure that those don't and there was fall back into the hands of terrorists. But suffice to say at this stage there is plenty of confusion when it comes to what America strategy actually is to try to pull these troops out of Syria -- Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.
VAUSE: CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier, joins us now from Washington on what was one of those rarely seen extraordinary moments in international diplomacy.
So, Kimberly, with that in mind, it's one thing for all of this, this exchange between Turkey's president and the U.S. national security adviser to happen behind closed doors.
It's a whole different story when it plays out so -- very deliberately in public.
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Absolutely. It's like you're watching a tug of war with the national security advisor on one side and the Turkish president on the other. And they're each trying to get Donald Trump's ear. But I think in this case, Bolton has won and all of the different messages you saw coming from a very frustrated Turkish president are assign of that. He thought he'd won Trump over to his position and now Bolton has dialed it back.
VAUSE: Here's a little more from Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, chastising John Bolton. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): Regarding this matter, Bolton has made a serious mistake. And whoever thinks like this has also made a mistake. It is not possible for us to make compromises on this point. Those who are part of the terror corridor in Syria will receive the necessary lesson. There is no single difference between the PKK, YPG, PYD and daish.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Then, what he was talking about there is this request by the United States for security guarantees for the Kurdish militia fighters who were the U.S. allies, doing all the heavy lifting in Syria in the fight against ISIS.
What was interesting there, is you know, he call a date which is what they have they refer to ISIS. But it basically put ISIS and the U.S. allies, the Kurdish militia fighters all of the one button bucket, all on a par, all this being essentially the same.
DOZIER: Well, Turkish officials I've spoken to have always argued that there is no difference between the SDF, the name of the militia that works with the United States. And the Kurdish militia terrorist group that has attacked inside Turkey.
So, this is their argument and they're not moving off from it while the U.S. has made a differentiation between different Kurdish groups and always insist when they talk to reporters like me that they're working with the mostly Arab and some Kurdish elements of these militia groups.
The Turks will always say, no, as long as the U.S. stays there and supports any element of the Kurdish militia groups. They end up supporting what Turkey calls a terrorist statelet on its border.
VAUSE: Yes, Bolton, who presumably supportive of the president's plan to withdraw troops in the first place. But he was in the Middle East to try and clear up the confusion about the timeline here for the U.S. troop withdrawal, which is gone from what, now? To 30 days, to 120 days, to a period of time?
You know this timeline was described by the news web site Axios. With this headline, "The U.S. is leaving Syria and will stay as long as it takes." It seems so mission impossible for Bolton and also the Secretary of State who's also on a similar trip to the region, given that -- you know, the president back in Washington keeps changing his position and undermining his advisors, which raises again questions about U.S. credibility.
DOZIER: Well, we haven't heard anything different from Trump since Bolton has been on this trip. And yes, President Trump is currently working with the wall issue. But still, I think if Bolton had spoken out and out of turn, the president would have tweeted something back here. What happened was in the fall, you had Bolton and other top officials pushing to expand the mission inside Syria to include not just fighting ISIS but also to push out Iran
Some officials said that was a little too far, it angered Turkey. The Turkish president asked for that infamous phone call with Donald Trump, where he then decided, yes, you can do the job-fighting ISIS. I'm pulling my troops out.
Ever since then, Bolton has been trying to talk the president into walking that back. I think the resignation of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and the round condemnation that Trump got from his own GOP allies on Capitol Hill, all made an impression. And he's found a way with some time and distance to reverse his own decision.
VAUSE: Well, what's also interesting is that --
VAUSE: -- after Bolton cut short his visit to Ankara and there is an editorial which appeared at a pro-government newspaper in Turkey, calling out -- you want to say it was a slow-moving coup against Donald Trump.
And it finished with this paragraph. "The Turkish government had unveiled its plan to target PKK, YPG targets, the Kurds in Northern Syria long before Trump decided to withdraw from Syria. If senior U.S. officials keep making up new rules as they go, the Turks will run out of patience."
I mean, this is just an editorial, but it is a pro-government newspaper. So, what they're saying is that regardless what the U.S. does, you know, they could soon be this attack, you launched -- you know, across the border from Turkey into Syria, targeting the Kurds. But that seems it won't happen as long as the U.S. stays there. And that now seems to be where the state have play is.
DOZIER: Well, at least, you've got that, that tension those two positions laid out. Turkey has said that is been patient for a long time while waiting for the U.S.-led coalition to defeat ISIS with these Kurdish militia group's help.
But that patience has run out, they are worried at this point that an independent Kurdish state could form on the other side of the Turkish border and be a launching ground for future terrorist attacks on Turkish territory.
So, their fear comes from a legitimate place but from the U.S. point of view, they can't allow people who risk their lives and did most of the fighting and dying to then be attacked and to be run by some sort of Turkish colonial force.
VAUSE: Kimberly, you know, this is a complicated issue but it's an important one. It's also a very sensitive issue one which could it -- you know, obviously, has serious consequences for the region. So, thank you for being with us and thank you for your insight.
DOZIER: Thank you.
VAUSE: Theresa May and setbacks go together like peanut butter and jelly. Now here comes a really big one, one of the biggest blows in Parliament so far.
Also we head to a pro-Brexit town with a history of setting up over there on the continent.
VAUSE: In just a few hours, the Parliament will resume debate on Theresa May's Brexit plan. The prime minister has less than a week to convince lawmakers her deal is better than withdrawal from the E.U. with no deal.
But she suffered a major setback on Tuesday. Members of Parliament including some from her own party voted to curb government taxation powers in the event of a no deal --
VAUSE: -- Brexit. It restricts Ms. May from remaining taxes crashing out of the European Union without an agreement. After almost two years of chaos, uncertainty and false starts, the British people seem to have finally had enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE (voice-over): Angry protesters heckling anti-Brexit (INAUDIBLE) office (INAUDIBLE) harassment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: There are 79 days now until the withdrawal deadline and, as the clock ticks down, locals in Portsmouth, England, are standing by Brexit no matter what. And we sent CNN's Phil Black to find out why.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Among many people in Portsmouth the passion for Brexit still runs strong. This city (INAUDIBLE) to proud locals has formed for standing up to continental Europe. From its base here on the English Channel the British navy used to impose the will of the British Empire around the world where necessary, fight wars against European rivals.
From that history lingers an enduring and powerful sense of distrust in the E.U. And the Brexit referendum, 58 percent of voters declared Britain should leave the European Union.
We've been talking to people here today about how the Brexit process is unfolding and in particular what they think should happen should Prime Minister Theresa May fail to get her negotiated withdrawal agreement through the British parliament.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We shouldn't sabotage the Europe at all. And that would be a tragedy. Yes, absolutely, the deal should go through, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To another deal. They are not having a deal. Well, they are just saying no to everything.
BLACK: So, if a deal can't be reached what happens then?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just have to go
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Preferably with detail.
BLACK: If that's not possible.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we got to get aid.
BLACK: Full stop.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because they're going to take us to a ride.
BLACK: Do you think we should leave without a deal?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, if it comes to it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
BLACK: A difference of opinion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we need to have a decent deal with E.U. otherwise our trade is going to go down. There's a massive impact if there was no deal at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Theresa May need to pull her finger up and cut ties. We're going full down low and pick ourselves back up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just get on with it. Just get on with it. Let us all carry on with our lives.
BLACK: The fact so many people still support Brexit in Portsmouth is not particularly surprising. But it is notable that so many people we've met here say that they're prepared for the United Kingdom to take an economic hit to secure Brexit through a no-deal scenario if needed.
That's notable because all the predictions point to chaos, difficulty and great expense in a no deal scenario. In reality, it means real businesses faltering, real jobs disappearing. Hardship and difficulties for real people but they probably wouldn't have to experience if not for Brexit. It's why the stakes here are so high -- Phil Black, CNN, Portsmouth in Southern England.
VAUSE: A short break but when we come back, more on the first Oval Office address by President Trump. (INAUDIBLE) debunk and misleading statements. Critics say it was designed to stoke fear.
So what was the point?
Also some lawyers are better than others and then there's the lawyer representing Paul Manafort. How he revealed shocking new details between his client and Russia.
[00:30:00] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. I'm John Vause, with an update of the top news this hour. The British parliament will vote next Tuesday on Theresa May's Brexit agreement with the European Union.
Lawmakers have also handed the prime minister a big defeat, cooling the government's taxation powers in an effort to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is on a three-day visit to China to talk with President Xi Jinping. Beijing is (INAUDIBLE) why he wasn't invited, but it comes at the same time as Chinese and U.S. negotiators also meeting at Beijing to try and resolve the ongoing trade war.
In his first primetime televised address from the Oval Office, Donald Trump blamed Democrats who are failing to address what he calls a crisis at the southern border, as well as for the government shutdown, now into its third week. In their response, Democratic leaders demanded the President reopen the government before there's any more debate on border security or his border wall.
Ron Brownstein is CNN's Senior Political Analyst and the Senior Editor for the Atlantic and, he joins us now from Los Angeles, Ron, good to have you.
RONALD BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Hey, John.
VAUSE: What really struck me about this, apart from the President using his indoor voice, was this, sort of, walk back of the idea of the wall being, sort of, all-encompassing to solve everything, all of the problems out there, and what just the wall will actually be. Listen to what the President said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Finally, as part of an overall approach to border security, law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier. At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall. This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It's also what our professionals at the border want and need.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: He said wall, what, six times in eight minutes? And now, a physical barrier, you know, I mean, that's part of a package of a whole lot of other stuff. So, who was the audience here? Who was he hoping to win over?
BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Look, it's a great question. I mean, the President, throughout his -- throughout his presidency, really has shown almost no capacity or interest in trying to speak to voters beyond his base, when you look at the debate or the Affordable Care Act, even the debate over tax reform.
He really was unable, at any point, to move public opinion, and I think tonight, by starting with the humanitarian -- emphasizing the humanitarian notes, downplaying the talk of the wall, talking about, you know (INAUDIBLE) there was various euphemisms.
He, at least, showed an attempt to talk to people who might not be entirely in his camp, but he turned so quickly and so hard, for the familiar American carnage arguments of undocumented immigrants, coming in to rape and pillage. That I have a hard time imagining anything he did, or for that matter, the Democrats did tonight, moved the needle very much in this -- in the attitudes -- public attitudes about the wall.
VAUSE: Wasn't a lot new on this. Maybe, there was this new explanation for how the wall will be funded, or new wish, anyway. Listen to what the President said again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year, vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress. The wall will also be paid for, indirectly, by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Except for the fact that a wall won't stop drug smuggling because drugs (INAUDIBLE) U.S. ports of entry, as for that last point about the trade deal with Mexico, the Washington Post reports this portrays a misunderstanding of economics.
Countries do not lose money on trade deficits, so there is no money to earn; the size of a trade deficit or surplus can be determined by other factors besides trade. Congress must still appropriate the money, and the trade agreement has not been ratified.
Does anyone out there, even the most dedicated and devoted Trump supporter, believe Mexico will actually write a check to the United States for the cost of the wall, if it ever happens?
BROWNSTEIN: As I said -- I mean, look, that's why the speech very quickly turned back to, kind of, the usual Trump approach and strategy of speaking only to his most committed supporters. I don't -- I haven't seen polling on how many of them actually believe Mexico is going to pay for it, but the idea that the renegotiated NAFTA will fund the wall, is kind of the reflex --
[00:35:05] I mean, it's, again, Trump making arguments that are designed more to mobilize (INAUDIBLE) and by the way, it's not only drugs that now flow primarily through ports of entry, the undocumented population itself, first of all, apprehensions, as you know, at the border, are down by about 75 percent from the beginning of the century.
And to the extent there is a crisis, it is not people, individual, you know -- single males were coming across in the middle of the dessert because they want to work in Phoenix or L.A., it is families presenting themselves at the ports of entry, looking for asylum, so it's not clear how relevant a wall is to that problem or, as you note, the drug problem, which is very real.
VAUSE: OK. Well, if the Democrats ask for and they'll give in the right of reply to the President, which is unusual to say the least, but it meant, you know, some air time for the duo of Chuck and Nancy. Here's Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE: The President of the United States, having failed to get Mexico to pay for his ineffective unnecessary border wall and unable to convince the Congress or the American people to foot the bill, has shutdown the government. American democracy doesn't work that way. We don't govern by temper tantrum. No president should pound the table and demand he gets his way or else the government shuts down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: How important is it that Donald Trump seemed to fail to make the case here? Why he had shut down the government to get this debate about border security?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, I mean, the polling, in general, first of all, through American history, government shutdowns have not been a powerful enough lever, to get the protagonists of it, the goals they seek. I mean, it just has not worked. It didn't work for the Republicans in '94, '95, against Clinton. It didn't work on the Affordable Care Act.
It just doesn't work because the pain is too much, and I think, to me, first of all, you know, I'm sure many Americans watching Schumer and Pelosi tonight, their first thought was how many days until Saturday Night Live, because if there was ever -- I mean, that just -- you can just picture the -- I can just picture the cold opening now.
My second thought was, they do -- not available tonight. I wasn't reminded that Democrats really do have a need to kind of make a generational transition in how they are talking to America.
But having said that, I thought the most interesting reaction of the night was not from either of them, but a tweet from Colin Allred, who you may recall was an -- is an African-American Democrat, elected in the suburbs of Dallas, to a previously Republican district.
And he came out tonight and said the wall is unnecessary, too expensive, and ineffective. And if a suburban Democrat in Dallas, not Chicago or L.A., feels comfortable opposing the President so unequivocally (INAUDIBLE) is just a reminder of how weak a hand he is playing.
Not only with the shutdown itself, which is unpopular, but a himself that is unpopular but a consistently somewhere between 55 or -- to 60 percent, or even 60 percent plus, of the country has opposed the wall in every poll taken, during his presidency. And that number rises among the groups that created this Democratic majority, minorities, millennials, and college-educated whites.
So, he is, I think, playing on the short side of the field, he's shown that he's comfortable doing that, but Democrats don't feel a lot of pressure and I think that's revealing.
VAUSE: So, you have a president, using an unpopular tactic to try and push for an unpopular campaign promise. So, then we see a president in the Oval Office, essentially painted into a corner, if you like. On the one side, you've got, you know, this campaign promise, build a wall.
And now you've got the Conservative media, the Rush Limbaughs, the (INAUDIBLE) and his really hard line supporters. And so, essentially, this seemed to be like some kind of Hail Mary pass.
BROWNSTEIN: Well, a lot of people thought he was going to declare national emergency, even some Democrats, because it was a way to retreat while looking like you're advancing, right? I mean, if he did declare national emergency, he could reopen the government.
And then, it would go into the courts with a -- with a very uncertain future, but even if he was blocked, he could then turn around and fight with the courts, which is, you know -- and look, it may be that he still ends up there.
I think the key point is that it's hard to imagine, and we'll have to watch the polling, and you never know, but it's hard to imagine that anything he did tonight, creates more pressure on Democrats to back down. And if anything, you're seeing more Republicans becoming uneasy with Friday being the first day that hundreds of thousands of better workers will miss a paycheck and you are --
You know, in this paradoxical position of shutting down the government of what you claim is a threat to national security, but affecting the coast guard, the FBI, the e-verify system, which is how employers are supposed to verify the legal status of their hires is offline.
I mean, so in the guise of this, kind of, manufacture security crisis, you are actually eroding security, and of course, the TSA workers who are calling in sick, in larger numbers, as they're being asked to work without pay. I don't know how long Mitch McConnell can sustain this, but I think that is more likely to be the point that breaks before the House Democrats do.
VAUSE: Yes, when the Republican -- Congressional Republicans across the floor, I guess, how much more can they take, Ron, as always, thank you. Good to see you.
BROWNSTEIN: Thanks, John.
[00:40:02] VAUSE: Well, details mistakenly released Tuesday, the strongest ever, so far, of a possible collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia, claiming parts of a court filing that were meant to be redacted by Paul Manafort's legal team.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller believes Manafort was sharing polling data and discussing Russian-Ukrainian policy with an alleged Kremlin operative, who was a key player in that 2016 Trump Tower meeting, all of this, while Manafort was actually running Trump's campaign.
Still to come here, the future is here. Well, kind of almost. This cool looking, what-you-might-call-it could actually help victims in natural disasters, in relation from the consumer electronics show, next.
VAUSE: Well, for super cool gadgets and innovations, it's to Las Vegas now, in the annual consumer electronics show. First up, the car that can walk and climb on robotic legs, which also have wheels, Hyundai says it's elevate was designed with first responders in mind. They can use it to navigate tough terrain after an accident or natural disaster.
Then there's the wall, not the Mexico one, this is Samsung's latest gigantic T.V., measuring 219 inches, more than 550 centimeters. The display is made up of millions of microscopic LED panels. And it's really impressive. But, not for sale yet, OK.
If you're looking for the greatest thing since the sliced bread, here is the bread bot, the device makes fresh bread, on the spot, no baking needed, cranks out 10 loaves an hour. The makers of bread bot say three U.S. grocery chains will start testing it out later this year. OK.
Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" is next. You're watching CNN.
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