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AT THIS HOUR
Officials Wrap Up Briefing on Wisconsin Teen Jayme Closs Found Alive; Trump Closer to Declaring National Emergency to Fund Wall; 800,000 Federal Workers Not Getting Paid Today; Potential Battle Brews over Obstruction of Justice as Mueller Writes Report. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired January 11, 2019 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: -- when they got the news that Jayme Closs was alive after three months being abducted and being held, when she was held.
Joining me right now, CNN law enforcement analysts, James Gagliano, retired FBI supervisory special agent, Tom Fuentes, former assistant director of the FBI.
Guys, it's great to have you hear.
You really could see the emotion, James, of everyone who was standing up there, from the sheriff to the school superintendent. It's very clear that they are in the middle of investigating. There are details and they are not ready to give them of what they know, how she escaped, how she is, how they knew each other.
But there were a couple of key points and more details I want to get you on. One of them is the sheriff says that this man, Jake Thomas Patterson, this 21-year-old, the way it was described is he took measures, proactive steps to avoid detection from the public and from law enforcement. What does that mean?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT NALAYST: It could mean anything. Astonishing news, Kate, as we discussed, this is an anomaly, 88 days after a horrific slaying of her parents, a 13-year-old girl is found. She helped contribute to her own escape. I was perplexed by that, as well. This was a collaborative effort. It was the Barron County Sheriff's Office, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Wisconsin State Police and FBI all working together in collaborative setting. These are my takeaways on your question. First, two counts of homicide, one count of kidnapping. I assume there will be superseding charges once she has had the opportunity to be debriefed. Also, she was the only target. Did this individual, this 21-year-old, was she a love interest of his? Had he had any contract with her prior to that? Did he use any type of subterfuge while online in contacting here? How did he stay below the police radar? The political indicated there had been no arrests before. That is going to be interesting to see how it plays out. The other piece of this is the technology aspect. We have come a long way from blood typing and latent fingerprint harvesting and DNA analysis. They use drones to cover areas, acres and acres of territory here, while 2000 people conducted a search. An outstanding job by law enforcement. I trust after she's debriefed we will get more information about how this transpired.
BOLDUAN: Tom, on those points, I want to get your take on it. She was the target, and the way that the sheriff described it, that it didn't appear that he had any contact with the family prior to. What do you make of that?
TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Kate, I think, as James mentioned, we will have to find out was he interested in her romantically or have some obsession with her or encountered her on social media, and how they know that at this point is yet to be announced. The police will know a lot more than we know about those types of issues. The fact that the parents were murdered but not the target is another interesting thing. Did this guy, Patterson, go to the house to take her and the parents were there so he killed them? That is another part of the story that is yet to be determined. And did anybody along the way -- he has been trying to avoid and evade law enforcement apprehension for almost 90 days. Did he have help? Was someone giving him assistance, maybe grocery shopping for him or doing other errands for him while he was with the girl? We don't know so many of those things. That will come out pretty soon I would think.
BOLDUAN: Also perplexing, James, is that they say that he has zero criminal history.
BOLDUAN: This person was not on the radar before.
GAGLIANO: That is difficult because, in the 21st century, the digital exhaust we all give off, right, you open up your phone, you open up your laptop, you pass an Easy Pass scanner, a license plate scanner picks you up, a video camera. This was in a very rural part of Wisconsin where this took part where this took place, Kate. It's a place known for logging. I think that's going to be the difficulty. It's not like something happening in Manhattan. Police have a lot of work to day. I think the first thing will be a debrief of this young 13-year-old girl who has gone through a horrific tragedy and trauma. She lost her parents.
BOLDUAN: On multiple fronts.
GAGLIANO: On multiple fronts.
BOLDUAN: She witnessed her parents being murdered.
BOLDUAN: And then went through an almost 90-day trauma of being kidnapped and held. We don't know under what conditions yet.
GAGLIANO: What happened to her while she was essentially incarcerated by this individual. Was she restrained? Was she sexually assaulted or abused? Was she tortured in any way? Those are going to all be important considerations. And to Tom's point, who, if anybody, provided material support or assistance to this man? BOLDUAN: Tom, one thing that the sheriff also said is, thank you,
Jayme, for having the will to survive. Part of this is the process of reunification. He went into a little detail of what that means, in terms of it's a sensitive and delicate process. Not just medical clearance but reunification with the family, speaking with her, and how to not retraumatize her once again in trying to get more information out of her. What is the process like now?
[11:35:02] FUENTES: That's an extremely difficult process. You're right, Kate. The investigators or detectives have assistance from professional counselors and therapists in how to delicately try to get this information from her. At some point, she will go back to members of the family and they will be trying to council them on how to react with her, what to say, how to say it to not retraumatize her. Another important aspect is that she has been through such a horrific circumstance. Has there been a subliminal effort on her part to block out what happened and not remember and put it out of her mind? That will be another thing to try to, again, try to get her to remember, recall these things without retraumatizing her. Secondly, there will be a certain amount of trauma that is inevitable because, at some point, there's going to be a prosecution and she is going to be a witness. She is going to have to essentially, for our judicial system, relive this entire episode.
BOLDUAN: One thing we do know is, but with very little detail, James, is we do know you can see how strong she is. The will to survive, her ability to escape, her will to find someone and say who she is and ask for help. And I thought, remember, she is a 13-year-old girl and she told them who this person was and described the car that he was in.
GAGLIANO: Resilience and resourcefulness, you don't normally detect or see in a teenager. Going back to the point to the conversation you had with Tom, the FBI has a program called Victim Assistance Program, the VAP. That program is designed for twofold things. One is to protect this victim. This young girl has lived through something that none of us can possibly imagine unless we endured something similar. The second piece, she is going to be the central figure, the linchpin in the investigation and also in the prosecution. Very delicate threading of the needle here. How do you deal with a young child? She's a child. How do you deal with that and make sure she is able to be reintegrated into normal society after surviving that? Secondly, we have to make sure that this individual gets prosecuted and convicted to the fullest extent of the law.
BOLDUAN: At some point -- you can see the love of the community. At some point, she will be dealing with another trauma with the joy that comes with the fact that she was found alive, dealing with the fact that her parents were killed, and she has family but is without her parents now. But an amazing day.
Much more detail to come. There's going to be another briefing later today. It sounds like they will have much more detail in what they are learning and how the amazing 13-year-old girl was able to survive, escape and find help.
James, thank you so much, Tom. Thank you all very much. FUENTES: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.
[11:42:16] BOLDUAN: Welcome to day 21 of your partial government shutdown. Barring a bipartisan breakthrough miracle in Washington, it is about to also make history and not the kind of history anyone is hoping for. It will become the longest shutdown in American history tomorrow.
More importantly, today, for 800,000 federal workers, one figure matters, and that is zero, as in zero dollars being added to their bank account. Today, marks the first full payday that government workers see no money added to their accounts.
There's still no sign of a deal on the wall or to an end to the shutdown. The president now moving closer, though, it appears to be declaring a national emergency to get the money that he wants for the wall.
Let's go to the White House. What's the state of play? Abby Phillip is there.
Abby, what is the latest that you are hearing about the president's inclination, his threshold, as he said the other day, to declare this national emergency?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: There's a lot of talk about the president either declaring a national emergency or using some other similar tools to divert money from one part of the government to another to fund the wall. But what is partially driving this, in addition to President Trump being very interested in doing this, is Republicans on Capitol Hill, many of his allies, really losing hope in the prospect that the negotiations can produce a compromise.
One of those people most vocally urging President Trump to go the national emergency route is Senator Lindsey Graham who said this on Capitol Hill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I have never been more depressed about moving forward than I am right now. I just don't see a pathway forward. Somebody is going to get energy to fix this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: A number of different options are being thrown around, taking disaster relief money, money from the Pentagon, money from civil asset forfeiture. But the bottom line is Republicans on the Hill want an escape valve and a way out of the shutdown. They feel very much that this is the only route. President Trump has made it clear he is definitely considering it. The question is when? And how many more days will the shutdown go on for the federal workers you talked about?
BOLDUAN: No kidding, Abby.
Really appreciate it. Abby, thank you so much.
Let's talk to one of the federal workers now. One of the thousands directly impacted by the shutdown is Devon Russell. He is a security officer at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington. He, like so many others, was told not to come to work because the museum was shut down.
Thank you for coming in.
DEVON RUSSELL, FURLOUGHED SECURITY OFFICER, SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: No problem.
BOLDUAN: So many families can't afford to go missing even a single paycheck. You have a 3-year-old daughter. What does this mean for you and your family now?
RUSSELL: Basically, in this time of, you know, what is going on, me along with everyone else, I'm unable to pay bills. I'm unable to provide for my daughter. It's basically a combination of things. I'm going to be behind and my credit is going to become messed up. It's definitely a difficult situation going on right now with the shutdown.
[11:45:16] BOLDUAN: You filed for unemployment benefits. Have you heard anything back about that?
RUSSELL: I heard something from them yesterday. I was approved, but I have yet to receive any funds yet from that.
BOLDUAN: I mean, at this point, Devon, it comes I guess down to a priority list that you must make. What is the first thing you make sure you pay and what is the first thing that you are having unpaid when money is starting to run out?
RUSSELL: Of course, rent is always most important. I have to be able to have a car to get around if something happens with my daughter, doctor's appointments, anything like that. I'm definitely forced to pick and choose what bills I decide to pay at this point.
BOLDUAN: You're a government contractor, which I believe means where federal workers, some federal workers are likely to get back pay, as a federal contractor, you may not. What are you hearing about that?
RUSSELL: As of right now, we are more than likely not going to be able to have the privilege of receiving the funds on the back end. So another unfortunate thing going on with us.
BOLDUAN: To say the very least. How does that make you feel?
RUSSELL: I'm actually disgusted with everything that is going on because I'm going to be forced to have to catch up with all the bills and everything that I'm unable to pay with this government shutdown going on. BOLDUAN: Some members of Congress aren't in town. They have left for
the weekend. What do you say to them and to the president right now?
RUSSELL: To all of those individuals, I believe we are taking a step in the right direction. But I believe everyone should really be coming together at this point and really cracking down on trying to get the government back open and getting everybody back to their jobs they love with the people that they love to work with and just really getting us back to work so we can begin to start getting our money coming back in so we can take care of all the things we need to take care of.
BOLDUAN: I'm sure you probably think there's a lot of blame to go around. Who do you blame for the situation that you're in?
RUSSELL: First and foremost, I blame the president. I believe he doesn't have to be as stubborn as he is being right now with trying to pay for this wall that I believe doesn't even really benefit anyone at this point.
BOLDUAN: Let me ask you, because people will wonder, is this about politics for you?
RUSSELL: With me, it's just about being able to go back to work and being able to pay my bills and back to my everyday life.
BOLDUAN: Devon, thank you for taking the time today to talk to me.
RUSSELL: No problem.
BOLDUAN: We'll keep in touch and see how things are going. We hope you get back at work soon. Really appreciate it.
RUSSELL: Of course. Have a nice day.
BOLDUAN: Thank you. You have a wonderful day, too. Thank you. Best of luck.
RUSSELL: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.
[11:52:57] BOLDUAN: A date with history, February 7 -- that's when the president's former attorney, Michael Cohen, has agreed to testify in public before a House committee. He is ready to tell his story under oath before lawmakers and the country. The chairman of the committee saying this about it all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D-MD), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: The American people all have an opportunity to hear from him, from Mr. Cohen. Let me make one thing clear. We are in search of the truth, the whole
truth and nothing but the truth. And so that's where we stand, and that's all I have to say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Cohen has already pleaded guilty to felony charges, of course. He's admitted to lying to Congress. So what could he tell them now and what does it mean for the president? Those are very big questions.
At the very same time, a new fight might be brewing now between the special counsel's team and the president's over obstruction of justice. Investigators are now focusing on conflicting public statements from the president and his team.
CNN senior justice correspondent, Evan Perez, is joining me now.
Evan, what are you learning now about the focus of the Mueller team?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, the question is, do the alleged misleading statements by the president, does that indicate he's trying to influence potential witnesses in this investigation? And that's what we're learning is one of the things that people who have gone in for interviews with the Mueller investigators, they believe that one of the things the investigators are focusing on are those statements by the president, things that contradict the witness interviews or what the witnesses believe is actually true. So if you ask the president's lawyers, they say, look, the president speaking out. It is not illegal, that this is not a -- this is a thin legal theory, that the president speaking out is simply him defending himself. But we've seen it in the Michael Cohen case, we've seen it in the Mike Flynn case, that the investigators seem to be pursuing this idea that, if you speak out publicly to make false statements, that what you're trying to do is obstruct the investigation. Partly, what you're trying to do is influence other witnesses who may come before this investigation. Look, if this becomes part of the Mueller report when this investigation wraps up, you can expect that the president's lawyers are going to have a big fight on their hands with regard to this issue.
[11:55:16] BOLDUAN: Rudy Giuliani putting out a statement and making it very clear they're not happy hearing about this focus.
PEREZ: Oh, yes.
BOLDUAN: Good to see you, Evan. Thank you, man.
PEREZ: You, too.
BOLDUAN: Coming up, hundreds of TSA workers calling out sick as the shutdown drags on. CNN has had very important reporting about this all along the way. Now one major airport is planning to close a terminal because of it. So what's next?