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President Working For Russia?; Government Shutdown; King Controversy; Gabbard Confirms Presidential Bid; Castro: I'm a Contender for the Presidency; The Government Shutdown's Impact on the Economy; Missing Teen Jayme Closs Found 87 Days after She Vanished, Suspect in Custody; Fashion from the White House Shapes the Country. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired January 12, 2019 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: It details an allegation against the American president that has never, ever been made before. A counter intelligence investigation launched by the FBI into the actions of President Trump while he was president. It is the type of investigation normally reserved for spies and saboteurs, people who want to damage the United States from the inside. But the FBI was so concerned about things the president did and said that they started looking seriously into whether or not he was working for the Russians.
The FBI's interest was piqued during the 2016 campaign. But then, afterward, Trump fired James Comey, the FBI director at the time, and his public and private explanations for doing so didn't exactly line up. For that and other reasons, the FBI officially started investigating president Donald J. Trump as a possible threat to national security.
And this just in to CNN, a statement from the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Jerry Nadler. He is now worried that the president could retaliate against the FBI agents that investigated him. And this is Nadler writes. He says, in the coming weeks, the Judiciary Committee will take steps to better understand both the president's actions and the FBI's response to that behavior. And to make certain that these career investigators are protected from President Trump's increasingly unhinged attacks.
CNN's Boris Sanchez joins us at the White House for us. It seems House Democrats are expecting the administration to lash out at those FBI agents. Any sign from the White House that that's what they intend to do?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: None yet. Though, on Twitter, President Trump did unload this morning, going after current and former members of his intelligence community. The president clearly irked by this reporting in "The New York Times" about this counter intelligence probe, questioning whether the president was wittingly or unwittingly working for Russian interests and against American interests.
Here is one of the tweets from the president. He writes, quote, "Wow, just learned in the failing "New York Times" that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me for no reason. And with no proof after I fired lying James Comey, a total sleaze."
We should point out, there were a number of red flags in the president's behavior that led to this investigation being opened. One of them a letter that the president had drafted in May of 2017 before he fired Comey, that ultimately wasn't released by the White House. Former White House counsel, Don McGahn, actually blocked its release by threatening to resign.
That letter is now in the possession of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. We know it's part of his investigation into whether the president committed obstruction of justice or not. A number of administration officials are expected to move forward in defending the president. One of them, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, already has, calling this reporting in "The New York Times" ludicrous. Listen to this.
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm not going to comment on New York Times stories. But I'll certainly say this, the notion that President Trump is a threat to American national security is absolutely ludicrous.
MARGARET BRENNAN, ANCHOR, CBS "FACE THE NATION": Just to clarify, since you were CIA director, did you have any idea that this investigation was happening?
POMPEO: Margaret, I've answered this question repeatedly indeed on your show. The idea that's contained in "The New York Times" story that President Trump was a threat to American national security is silly on its face and not worthy of a response.
SANCHEZ: We are likely going to hear similar dismissals moving forward. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders put out a statement late last night in which she called the reporting in the Times absurd. And also referred to James Comey as a disgraced partisan hack.
So, we're likely going to see more attacks from this administration, again on members of the intelligence community. Something that, frankly, we've seen from this president before -- Ana.
CABRERA: Boris, let's look at this picture together. This is a photo from that day back in May of 2017, when the president was hosting Russian officials in the Oval Office. The day after, he fired James Comey, and he told them he was relieved because of it. How much of the president's interactions with these officials and things he said to them factored into this investigation?
SANCHEZ: It's unclear, at this point. We don't know exactly what Robert Mueller knows about these conversations, other potential conversations between administration and campaign officials and Russians. But, specifically at that meeting, you have Sergei Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak in the White House with the president. And he's, essentially, bragging about having fired James Comey, telling them that now the pressure is off of him.
And, as you noted, he shared with them classified information about sources of American intelligence overseas. It's clear that the president here is incorrect, when he suggests that no one has been tougher on Russia than he has. This meeting is one example of many. As you remember, that press conference in Helsinki, when he stood side by side with Vladimir Putin and did not challenge the Russian leader on election meddling, stands out as yet another example -- Ana.
[17:05:03] CABRERA: All right, Boris Sanchez at the White House. Thank you.
Let's bring in our all stars, CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp, Host of "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED" here on CNN at the top of the hour; and CNN Political Commentator Van Jones, Host of "The Van Jones Show" also right here on CNN tonight at 7:00.
I'll do ladies first, S.E. Good to see both of you, though. This one's coming to you. I want to get your reaction to "The New York Times" report. And let me read the title for you. FBI opened inquiry into whether Trump was secretly working on behalf of Russia, essentially a Manchurian candidate, potentially. It's -- there's no -- there's no precedent for this. Will this be a headline for the history books?
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It is. You could imagine if this were a Hollywood script --
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right.
CUPP: -- that were being, sort of, pitched in a pitch meeting. They'd be, like, that is ludicrous. Let's live in reality. The United States president isn't going to be a Russian asset.
But here we are. I imagine we're going to find out this report discovered he was not a Russian asset, or we'd be having a different conversation right now. But that the FBI was so alarmed by his truly aberrant and unprecedented behavior, when it came to dealing with Russia, is astounding. It's just astounding.
CABRERA: Well, it makes you wonder, what will we know? What are we going to see, as the public, when this report comes out, Van. Because there's reporting, just this week, in fact, right before this report dropped, that the president's team is working hard to figure out how they can claim executive privilege when this report comes out. So that the majority or parts of the report aren't made public.
JONES: Yes. Well, look, I think it's inevitable that we're going to know a lot more than we know. They can try and block it all they want to. Things leak. The Democrats in Congress are going to be very aggressive.
But, from my point of view, this is going to play into this divide in the country. You're going to have some people -- you've got two sets of fears about the Trump presidency that are on a collision course every day. One set of fears is that this guy is either on purpose or being paid or just too crazy and is hurting the country in ways that everybody should be alarmed about.
On the other side, for the people who believe in Donald Trump, they think there's a deep state conspiracy to undermine him. And this plays right into that narrative that, see, there are people inside the FBI who are trying to bring him down for no good reason. And, depending on what bubble you live in, this story plays very, very differently.
But I think, you know, for those of us who know a little better, the professionalism of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence on something like this is not something that you should easily question. You cannot imagine the level of conversation that would have had to happen for somebody to authorize this to move forward.
CUPP: To even pursue it, right.
JONES: Yes. This is even to -- even -- to even pursue it because it's so alarming. And, the obvious, the president does stuff. If he's not being paid by the Russians to do it, he should send them a bill, because some of this stuff is literally exactly what they hope the United States will do.
CABRERA: Which is what we keep hearing from national security experts, in fact.
But, S.E., when you talk about this report, I mean, the president continues to say he is innocent. This is a witch hunt. That they have nothing on him. So, why would his team, then -- and we don't know, by the way. We don't know if this counter intelligence investigation actually is still ongoing, you know, into the president's current actions. But if he's innocent, why not want everything to be made public?
CUPP: Right. This is -- this is the question for the ages. I can't get inside his head. Wouldn't want to. But, you know, I'd need a safe word. But, look, you know, the president may in -- may well be innocent. The president may not have colluded. The president might just, you know, be a Russophile. Might just really like hanging out with Russians. Who knows.
But you would think the normal course of action any lawyer would tell you, if you were innocent, say, I am here. I am willing to cooperate. Here's all my relevant information. This is not a normal -- a normal president. This is not a normal person. So, this is why we're all, sort of, second guessing his motives here.
JONES: Also, you know, this pullout of Syria that's happening right now. There is nobody that benefits from that more than Iran and Russia. You have to think about how it is the United States wants to counter and deal with Russia, that region.
My concern is, you know, you've got some stuff that he does that -- you know, with some of the sanctions that he was forced to do, that does push back on the Russians. But a lot of stuff that he does I think people in Moscow are pretty happy about. And whether or not he's doing it on purpose or whether or not -- there's reason to be concerned.
CABRERA: Let me talk about the shutdown now. It's now the longest in American history. We're on day 22. And it really doesn't look like there's any end in sight. Here's what the president is tweeting about it today. He writes, we have a massive humanitarian crisis at our southern border. We will be out for a long time, unless the Democrats come back from their vacations and get back to work. I am in the White House ready to sign.
[17:10:00] Now, I should note, not everyone is there in Washington. Everybody is out of session, Democrats and Republicans. We know Mitch McConnell went back to Kentucky.
But, Van, if Democrats feel as though they have Trump now backed into a corner on this, so they're really digging in their heels. I mean, if he's in a position of desperation to, sort of, save face. Wouldn't that be the perfect time to try to make a deal? Why aren't Democrats trying to negotiate something to make a counteroffer of some sort?
JONES: Well, first, the Democrats passed, I think, two bills this week to open the government. And they were bills that Republicans were supporting, you know, half an hour ago. And so, I think that the Clean C.R. in the Senate that the president blew up, that represented a compromise, at that point.
So, part of the thing is, this president blew up a much better deal for himself this summer, where there was $25 billion on the table for border security. Then, he blew up a Clean C.R. And, now, he wants the Democrats to come and rescue him from the well he threw himself down.
There is a humanitarian crisis, it's 800 federal workers in the United States, who went without a paycheck this past Friday. And there are Coast Guard workers. There are TSA workers. They're the people who are supposed to keep us safe who now can't put provide for their families. They can't put gas in their car to get to work. He can resolve that right now. He does not have to hold 800,000 federal workers hostage to get his way on this. He had a much better deal that he blew up himself.
CABRERA: Humanitarian crisis, the new words that he is really emphasizing in his tweets today, that caught my attention. Because that appears to be a change in tone. Before, it was a national security crisis at the border. Now, he is just focusing honing in on the humanitarian crisis. What do you think that's about?
CUPP: Well, it is -- there is a humanitarian crisis at the border. It's a policy of child separation. It's -- the crisis is families separated and children to of whom two have died at the border.
CABRERA: Well, I think Democrats have also said, yes, there is a humanitarian crisis right now, but you don't need the wall to fix that. CUPP: I mean, that's a policy debate, and we should have it. And I think there are good points on both sides. But the president lost. Let's be real clear. He lost this fight. And it's incredible because he had all the momentum and all the levers for basically two years. He had public support for border security. It's why he got elected. And, instead, he spent most of those two years governing by tweet. Holding rallies, turning Americans against one another. Instead of doing the work of getting something onto his desk that he could sign, while Republicans were in Congress.
So, now, he has spent the past 22 days throwing spaghetti at the wall. Let's see what will work. Let's see if I just deny that I said Mexican will pay -- Mexico will pay for it. Let's see what happens if I float the idea of calling this a national emergency. Let's see what happens if I float the idea of using hurricane money for this wall. None of that's worked. So, he is backed into a corner. But now, he's, kind of, just throwing stuff at the wall to see what will stick. He's lost.
CABRERA: All right, guys, we'll continue the conversation after a quick break. I've got to squeeze this in right now. We want to talk also about a Republican who is now in hot water. S.E., you've referred to King as a cancer on the country. There's growing backlash over this Congressman, Steve King, who wonders why the term white nationalism is offensive. We'll talk more about this here next here in the CNN Newsroom.
[17:13:30] CABRERA: New GOP backlash this Saturday against Republican Congressman Steve King from Iowa after his explosive "New York Times" interview.
Senator Joannie Ernst, also from Iowa, tweeted her condemnation this morning. She calls King's comments on white supremacy offensive and racist and not representative of our state. Now, in that interview, Congressman King asked, rhetorically, white nationalist, white supremacist, western civilization, how did that become offensive? And he added, why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization. King tried to defend himself on Friday on the House floor, suggesting he had been misquoted. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: What was that conversation? It was about how those words got plugged into our dialogue, not when the words became offensive as -- which is the technical interpretation of this is. How did that language become offensive? It's how did that offensive language get injected into our political dialogue?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Back with us now, S.E. and Van Jones. Van, now this afternoon, the Congressional Black Caucus put out a statement saying, Steve King needs to be stripped of his committee assignments. We also have heard, just in the past day, from Tim Scott, the only black Republican senator, currently. And he says, and I quote, "Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism. It is because of our silence when things like this are said." The three top Republicans in the Congress have also called out Scott's words. Is there any place in Congress for him?
JONES: Well, I mean, I don't think so, in that you have to agree to some kind of rules here, if you're going to have a multiracial, multifaith Democratic Republican. And it's that no one race is superior to another. Like, that's just kind of, like, the basic cost of ignition. You can just then -- you can say, listen, my group has interests. I want to talk about my group's interests. But we've talked about white supremacy, white nationalism and you're kind of over the line.
And so, he, then, tries to sneak in western civilization, pretending he's defending that. But I talk about western civilization all the time. I never talk about white supremacy in a good way. So, I --
CABRERA: And does he really not understand what is wrong with those words?
JONES: Apparently not. So, I'll tell you, the positive thing I'm seeing now is that you are seeing the Republican Party speaking out. I think they're -- they need to do more. I mean, you've got words and you've got action.
JONES: But, you know, this is something that, I think, Tim Scott took a big lead on. S.E. Cupp wrote very passionately and powerfully about. And I think people are rallying around.
[17:20:04] You can't have a Republican Party, or any party in the western democracies, allow nativism, white supremacy to get on there and get a foothold and just keep growing unchallenged because that's how you tear a country apart.
CABRERA: And, yet, S.E., he doesn't fear backlash he says. So, what does that tell you?
CUPP: He's right not to fear backlash. And I think Van is overly generous. I am appalled. Not just by this language. Of course, I'm appalled. I grew up in the abolitionist north. I grew up in New England. My generation never saw this. That didn't mean it wasn't there. But this is anathema to me. And, sadly, we've known who Steve King was for a long time. But it's not strong enough just to condemn it. That's baseline.
CABRERA: So, what should Republicans be doing?
CUPP: For Republicans to make a difference and to say, this has no place, and not just in national discourse, but in Congress, in our party. I have asked for each one of them to say, he needs to resign. He needs to step down. That doesn't mean he automatically does.
It's just he's, you know, Democratically elected nine times which is unfortunate. But that's our system. But at least they're on record saying, no, you don't just get to say it. And I don't have to condemn it and walk away. Don't walk away from this. Confront this. Tell him, he's got to go so that we know that you're really willing to put your whole body and faith behind that.
JONES: You know, it's interesting. I remember Dick Armey, maybe 10 years ago or maybe longer than that, 15 years ago, said something much more mild, though offensive I think, about, kind of, praising Strom Thurmond. And he wound up needing to walk away.
We've seen other people resign over less from Congress. And so, I guess my expectations were so low that I was maybe irrationally exuberant just to hear you in the condemnations. But I agree with you. You've got to go beyond words to action.
CABRERA: Let's talk about the Democrats now, because you had some breaking news after you interviewed Tulsi Gabbard, Democratic (ph) Congresswoman --
JONES: I know.
CUPP: As he always does.
CABRERA: -- from Hawaii. I want to give everybody a preview of what they can expect tonight on your show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Are you going to run for president of the United States and do something about it? Don't you think she should? Don't you think she should? Are you going to run?
REP. TULSI GABBARD (D), HAWAII: I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: And you didn't know that was coming.
JONES: No, in fact -- in fact, I have been, you know, trying to figure out if I was assured, no, she's not going to. She's going to wait a little while. I was excited. I've known Tulsi for a very long time.
CABRERA: We know she's an Iraq War veteran.
JONES: Iraq War veteran.
CABRERA: What else -- what else does she bring?
JONES: Listen, well, she's 37, so I think she's probably going to be the youngest candidate. She's just barely old enough to run for president. She actually left her seat as a state representative. One of the youngest. I think the youngest state representative in the history of the country possibly or the youngest female in the history of the country. Anyway, leaves that. Goes and serves, voluntarily, two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Comes back home. Runs for Congress. She's a force of nature. She's a bright light.
She's unusual in our party in that she's very hawkish on terror. But she's a dove on what she calls regime change war. She doesn't want the United States overthrowing government, though she want the United States to be tough on terrorists. And so, that creates some dyspepsia sometimes with her. But --
CABRERA: Good thought because I have a feeling she has a different thought about all this (INAUDIBLE.)
JONES: However, I have known her for a very long time. I think the world of Tulsi Gabbard. And I was -- I'm really proud that she picked my show, even though she didn't tell me she was going to ahead of time to be announcing.
CUPP: Let me just say, I know Van. He was genuinely surprised.
CUPP: That I could tell. He was, like, I'll ask because I'll ask and maybe I'll be really cute about it.
CUPP: And now it's for real. Now, it's for real. But he has this way of -- he's like Oprah. He gets people to tell the truth, their secrets. But, yes, obviously, I disagree on a number of issues, but specifically on Syria.
Tulsi Gabbard has staked out some territory that's not just out of the mainstream. It's outside of progressive politics. It's outside of Democratic politics. She refused to sign a resolution condemning Syrian war crimes. She met with Assad. She met with Russia Al Assad in Syria. Didn't tell anyone about it until afterwards, at a time where he was barrel bombing his own people. She has spread his propaganda.
CABRERA: Well, a lot of people have said the same about President Trump and Kim Jung-Un (INAUDIBLE.)
CUPP: We're not making comparisons here. Tulsi Gabbard has announced she's running for president. She almost has a singular position when it comes to Syria. You can't really find her counterpart, when it comes to her unwillingness to call out Assad as what he is which is a butcher and a committer of genocide against his own people. There was a reason today "The Daily Beast" called her, today, Assad's favorite Democrat. There is a reason that Syrian American counsel calls her a puppet of Assad.
[17:25:07] This is not right-wing propaganda. This is not spin. She has a very singular, controversial, I think indefensible position when it comes to Assad.
CABRERA: We've got to go pretty quick so go fast to defend that.
JONES: If you want to know more, you can turn -- tune into my show tonight because I've got a whole interview with her. We did talk about some of this stuff. But, you know, here's a deal. People don't like her position on Assad. I think they would like her position on pretty everything else. That's the amazing thing is that, you know, economically, she's progressive.
She's smart when it comes to a lot of the issues that pull people apart. She has been a bridge builder and someone who's reachable together. This one issue, I think, can tend to overshadow. Watch my interview. You may like more.
CABRERA: All right, thank you, both. Good to have you with us.
CUPP: I also encourage people to watch the interview. I want people to know more about her, too.
CABRERA: And I encourage you all to watch both of their shows tonight. It's like a double whammy, double punch. First S.E. at 6:00, "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED" live right here on CNN; and then Van Jones at 7:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing more of that interview. Thank you, both. Good to see you.
Be right back.
[17:30:44] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to 2020. I know, I know, it's early. You better get used to it. Another Democrat has just announced he's running to unseat President Trump.
Here's Julian Castro.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN CASTRO, (D), FORMER SAN ANTONIO MAYOR: When my grandmother got here almost 100 years ago, I'm sure she never could have imagined that, just two generations later, one of her grandsons would be serving as a member of the United States Congress and the other would be standing with you here today to say these words: I am a candidate for president of the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Castro served as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama. Before that, he was the mayor of San Antonio, where he made his announcement there today.
CNN political reporter, Dan Merica, caught up with Castro after he threw his hat into the ring.
Dan, what did he say to you?
DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Good afternoon, Ana. He leaned heavily into the story that he told in that sound you just played and the story that vaulted him to national prominence in 2012 when he gave the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention.
We caught up with him, actually outside the church here in the plaza that he was baptized in. This is his neighborhood. He was raised here, born here. And he mentioned his grandmother extensively, the fact that he's shocked that, two generations later, he would be able to carry this mantle and run for president here in west San Antonio. He said he sees himself as the anecdote to President Trump because of his story.
Take a listen what he said about the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASTRO: I see myself as the anecdote to Trump. My story is an immigrant story. It's a testament to what immigrants have contributed to this country. It shows people in this time when this president is scapegoating immigrants, that immigrants contribute a lot to the forward progress of our nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MERICA: Castro is clear about the fact that it may take a lot for him to get to President Trump. He's going to have to go through a crowded Democratic primary field.
One person who could be in the mix is Beto O'Rourke, a former congressman who really captured Democratic attention when he ran for Senate here in Texas in 2018. He failed. But he's considering a run and many political watchers have suspected that Beto O'Rourke could hurt Julian Castro.
I asked him exactly about that. He said he doesn't think it will hurt him.
Take a listen to what he said exactly of what he thinks about Beto O'Rourke possibly getting in the race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASTRO: Of course, I'd rather be the only Democrat running from Texas. But I think that we're going to have a crowded primary. We don't know who's going to run. Everybody's going to have to go and put out their vision and do the hard work of campaigning and reaching voters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MERICA: Up next for Julian Castro is a trip to Puerto Rico where he'll speak at a Latino-focused event. And then to New Hampshire, where he will headline politics and eggs, which is a famous Democratic event that happens regularly in the Granite State -- Ana? CABRERA: Dan Merica, thank you for that.
A record-breaking government shutdown is having far reaching impacts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED UNPAID FEDERAL EMPLOYEE: I have enough for one more mortgage payment and I have to go to Car Max tomorrow and sell my car.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Nearly 800,000 workers, federal workers, TSA workers, FBI agents, Border Patrol agents are not getting paid. And all of that could impact your bottom line as well.
[17:34:21] You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: It is weekend number-one without pay. Payday was yesterday and officially no paycheck for 800,000 federal workers.
That includes air traffic controllers, the very people who make sure your plane flies safely. Here's what their paychecks looked like this week. Zero dollars.
Also, around 41,000 active-duty Coast Guardsmen won't get another paycheck. They've been told to have garage sales or make money as mystery shoppers.
And while the president says this shutdown is over a security issue, here's who else is working for free right now. Thousands of Secret Service agents. And FBI agents. The president of the FBI Agents Association says he's worried the number of staff staying home on furlough is creating a national security issue.
TSA employees aren't getting paid either. They've staged sickouts as a way to silently protect the shutdown. This is having serious effects on airports. In fact, Miami International had to cut the operating hours of one of its concourses this weekend because it doesn't have enough agents to staff it. Don't forget the majority of the known suspected terrorists enter the country through our airports.
Border Patrol agents are also among those not getting paid. Some are suing the Trump administration over their missing wages.
And more irony, the E-Verify system is down, meaning companies can't check whether employees are in the country legally or illegally.
[17:39:55] While the shutdown could make us less safe, it could be deadly in some cases. That's what some at the FDA are worried about. The FDA has stopped inspecting certain foods. Not exactly comforting when you realize 2018 saw more multistate foodborne disease outbreaks, like that romaine lettuce scare than any year since 2006. Food inspections or not, you still have to eat. But in the next month, SNAP benefits like food stamps will be
curtailed. A separate program, WIC, that provides food assistance to low-income pregnant women and new moms and children, runs out of money soon, too.
And let's hope there are no natural disasters any time soon. The National Hurricane Center is now schedule for a badly needed upgrade to better track storms. And wildfire threats and firefighter training has been halted.
Also, have questions about that new tax law and what it might mean for your filing this season? Too bad. No one's at the IRS to answer your questions right now.
You probably already known the Smithsonian museums are shut down, so is the national zoo. Don't worry. The animals are getting taken care of by workers who are getting paid. If you want to see that panda, too bad. The panda cam has been turned off.
You probably also heard the horror stories from national parks, overflowing toilets, trash. In fact, some Joshua trees at Joshua Tree National Park have been chopped down by vandals.
When does all of this end? The president says he has no idea. We know Congress hasn't come back. They're not even in Washington right now. The president has said he could declare a national emergency to get his border wall, and then maybe reopen the government. If he does that, funds meant for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida, and wildfire victims in California could be pulled or used for that border wall. That's right, the wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for, could soon be paid for with funds for hurricane and wildfire victims.
I want to get Mark Zandi in here. He is chief economist at Moody's Analytics.
Mark, I want to show another number. Take a look at his. So 21 full days of this government shutdown, now day 22. And 800,000 American men and women, federal employees, have not received paychecks. This is no longer just a blip caused by a president and the Congress locking horns over budget and policy, it's now hitting home.
Tell us how concerned you are today about the greater impact on the economy as this shutdown continues with no end in sight.
MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYSTICS: There are hundreds of thousands of other workers, contract workers that rely on government money and they're not working, they're not getting paid, and, of course, if they're not out buying things and then that ripples throughout the entire communities and throughout the entire economy. And you just listed off a whole array of activities that are being disrupted. Small businesses aren't getting loans. Farmers aren't getting financing, rental assistance isn't going out to low income Households. The courts are being disrupted. The sec can't do what it needs to do to allow fast growing companies to issue stock, which they need to grow their companies and go out and hire. It's endless. The longer this goes on day by day, the costs are going to mount and the impact on the economy will grow more serious.
CABRERA: There's a huge trickle-down effect. I can't believe you listed off a bunch more things that weren't on our initial list.
I want to read to you your own words from a few days ago. This was just before New Year's. You wrote, "The president's trade war is the most immediate economic hurdle. Also, the arrangement he struck with Europe last summer and the new NAFTA agreement are likely protypes. That is the deal that will be much ado about nothing since it will have no meaningful economic consequence."
That was just five days into this government shutdown. And then last week, we spoke and you told me on this program that the government shutdown was becoming an issue. Now, it is the longest shutdown ever. Do you still feel the trade war with other countries is the biggest hurdle to the economy?
ZANDI: Well, you make a great point. We have more and more things to worry about, the shutdown is a real problem right now, and it's going to get worse as the days go by. That trade war is also really important matter. If we don't settle that, if we don't find some. The president doesn't find some face-saving arrangement to end that war, it's going to do a lot of damage. It already is. One important thing that's going on is businesses have stopped increasing their investment. They haven't done any increase in investment for the last six months. There may be many reasons for that, I would proffer that one of the key reasons is uncertainty created by the trade work.
[17:45:01] And here's another thing, Ana. If we -- if this continues on into February and March, then the next thing up it going to be a bigger deal, is the treasury debt limit. We need to raise the debt limit. If we don't, the government can't pay its bills. It can't make its debt payments, it can't pay its bills, any bills. Security payments, you name it, they won't be able to pay it. That's the next big thing. The dysfunction in Washington is very broad based. It's a shutdown. The trade war, this dysfunction is becoming a real problem.
CABRERA: So, paint a worst-case scenario picture of this government shutdown continuing for weeks, or god forbid, many months longer. The president threatened it could go on for years. What happens when 800,000 federal workers move on to other careers? What's the impact on the private sector, the stock market? What does our country look like if this thing continues beyond the point where it's just inconvenient?
ZANDI: Yes, I know. It can't continue for much longer, otherwise, I think it's going to completely undermine confidence. People are going to be so upset and nervous they're going to pull back. Once people pull back on their spending, businesses on their investment and hiring, that's the fodder for a recession. So, you know, the worst- case scenario is this drags on to the point where we have an economic downturn and unemployment starts to rise. We have to avoid that. Longer term, what's the significant fallout of this might be that these government workers decided, hey, it's not that great being a government employee, that, you know, they had gotten into these jobs thinking they had job security. And that's not the case. We are in a pretty tight labor market right now. A lot of job opportunities in their communities. They may just bolt. And if it they do that, that's going to be a problem for delivering government services long into the future. That's something we need to start worrying about.
CABRERA: Mark Zandi, good to have your expertise and opinion with us. Thank you.
ZANDI: Thank you.
CABRERA: We have new details now in the case involving that missing teenager who was just recently found, Jayme Closs. Stay with us.
[17:51:44] CABRERA: A small Wisconsin community is now breathing a sigh of relief. A missing 13-year-old girl was found safe and sound. Jayme Closs was found 87 days after both of her parents were shot to death in their home in Barron, Wisconsin. Today, she's with her aunt and the family dog. The sheriff tells CNN that Jayme woke up this morning with a big smile.
Police have arrested 21-year-old Jake Patterson. And he faces charges of first-degree intentional homicide and kidnapping.
Let's bring in Ryan Young. He's live from Jayme's home town in Barron, Wisconsin.
A lot of unanswered questions, Ryan. Did the police find any connection between the suspect and the Closs family?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not as of right now. We've been trying to figure out the motive, talking to investigators about this. So far, they haven't given us any details that would piece this puzzle together. But you know, that's what investigators are working on.
First, you have to think about this little girl who was somehow how to break out of a home and be a captor and get to a road to talk to someone. But when you think of this investigation, the dark side to this investigation, the fact that the sheriff told us they believe that Jake Patterson used a shotgun to blow open the front door and go in and murder her parents. This investigation is now over. They even gave us a detail he shaved a head so he wouldn't leave any DNA behind.
Listen to the sheriff talk about this investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER FITZGERALD, SHERIFF, BARRON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: There's no evidence that we can uncover that the suspect knew the Closses, was at the Closs home, was in contact with them, worked with them, sent e-mails to them, Facebook. There doesn't seem to be any connection between Mr. Patterson and the Closs family at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP) YOUNG: So you have to focus on that side, of course. But the other side is the story about this entire community and how thousands went work fog that young lady. Yesterday, we had a chance to talk to her aunts out here before they met with her. They were ecstatic about the idea of putting their arms around these young ladies.
Listen to the aunts and their excitement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER SMITH, JAYME CLOSS'S AUNT: Jayme, can't wait to give you that big hug and hold you tight. Because we're not going to let you go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: You can understand that.
Of course, we'll be following this on Monday. The suspect will have his first court appearance. We'll be there to figure out what the next step is in this investigation -- Ana?
CABRERA: A lot of unanswered questions. So glad she's safe and sound tonight.
Ryan Young, in Wisconsin, thank you.
Fashion is about more than what we wear. It's influenced by social movements, pop cultures, trends and political events. "AMERICAN STYLE" looks at how first ladies have used their own personal look to connect with voters, conduct, diplomacy, and send political messages of their own.
Our Kate Bennett has a preview.
MELANIE TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I wish people would follow close what I do, not what I wear.
KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A fair request, but not always easy when, like it or not, what a first lady wears has political messaging of its own. That "I really don't care, do you" jacket, Melania Trump wore to and from the trip to the border or the stilettos heading out of town to help with hurricane relief, or even that helmet in Africa, clothing that stirred controversy.
But thoughtfully, fashion diplomacy can be a help. Trump's homage to Middle Eastern style in Saudi Arabia, yellow for friendship in Helsinki and Dolce & Gabbana in Italy.
[17:55:13] UNIDENTIFIED TV ANCHOR: The United States elected its 35th president in 1960.
BENNETT: It was Jackie Kennedy who really ushered in using first-lady style to create a feeling, showing women chic simplicity was part of Camelot. And America followed.
JAY LENO, FORMER HOST, THE TONIGHT SHOW: I want to ask you about your wardrobe. I'm guessing about 60 grand?
MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Actually, this is a J. Crew ensemble.
BENNETT: Approachability and accessibility. Michelle Obama dressed as a realistic image of a working mom, appealing to a broad base, with moderately priced outfits reflecting the tighter economic times of the country, proving she was paying attention to the political climate.
(on camera): Now, whether or not what a first lady wears should matter is still up for debate. But one thing is clear, what she wears, how she wears it, what her style says, all of those things are a window into her personality.
Kate Bennett, CNN, Washington.
CABRERA: Thanks to the always stylish, Kate Bennett.
Be sure to watch the premiere tomorrow right here at 9:00 p.m. right here on CNN.
That does it for me on CNN. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York.
My colleague, S.E. Cupp, continues the coverage of today's news right after a quick break.