Return to Transcripts main page
NEW DAY SUNDAY
WaPo: Trump Concealed Details of Putin Meetings; Sheriff: Parents Killed Because They Were "Barrier" to Kidnapping; WSJ: Trump's National Security Council, Led By John Bolton, Asked Pentagon for Iran Military Strike Options; Congressional Black Caucus Condemns Steve King; Texas Sheriff: There is a Border Crisis, I Don't Need a Border Wall; Pompeo to Push Crown Prince for "Full Accountability" on Khashoggi. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired January 13, 2019 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:00:03] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We had a great conversation. We were talking about Israel and securing Israel and lots of other things. I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The FBI was so concerned what things the president did and said that they started looking into seriously whether or not he was working for the Russians.
TRUMP: I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked. If you read the article, you'd see that they found absolutely nothing. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. There was no anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did a little girl end up getting away and escaping from her captor?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is like a miracle. Everybody around the world, I think it's happening.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just wish we could do something for her right away, but, you know, it's going to take time.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Happy new day to you.
The new report says the president of the United States working to conceal what happens in private meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: According to "The Washington Post," even high ranking members of his own administration are kept in the dark. "The Post" reports it has happened five times in two years. PAUL: Now, in at least one case, he even went so far, they say, as to
take notes away from his interpreter, telling him not to talk about what happened, which means there's no detailed record, classified or not, of what was said in these meetings.
Here is what the president said when he was asked if he was a secret agent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked. I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written. And if you read the article, you'd see that they found absolutely nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: The question here why not just say no? The president did not say that.
So, according to this "Post" report, when administration officials are trying to find out more from these meetings, they go to intelligence sources to track the Kremlin's response.
Joining us now to talk about this story, "The Washington Post" reporter who wrote it, Greg Miller, a national security correspondent.
Greg, thanks for being with us.
First here, I want you to consider the president's response to your reporting, in part, in which he says anybody could have listened to the meeting, that meeting is up for grabs. Is he talking about the 2017 meeting in Hamburg and how do you receive, that it could have been recorded and that's OK?
GREG MILLER, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: I'm not quite sure what he is saying, anybody could have listened. In fact, people on his staff who wanted to be present to listen to that meeting who were not allowed to, both in Hamburg and Helsinki. And, I mean, these are meetings he is having with the Russian president in secure locations, swept for intelligence, you know, for bugs and other things. There really is no meaningful prospect if they are doing their jobs right that these were recorded by foreign intelligence services.
PAUL: Now, I was reading the president's allies were defending the president, saying that he believes his ability to establish a report with Putin is hindered by the presence of his subordinates, and perhaps of leaks. We know the White House has been plagued with leaks since the president took office. Most White Houses are to some degree. But fair concern or is there a way around this?
MILLER: I mean, it has been a concern from the outset for this president and, you know, part of it, I think, stems from him, right? He has shown a lot of disdain for people who work for him. He lashes out at almost everybody who leaves. He doesn't engender much loyalty among his aides because they all know that they could be dismissed with an insulting tweet on any given day.
So, I mean, I think that is a factor in why there has been so much leaking in this White House, but it's also because there has been so much really eye opening or eyebrow raising behavior.
PAUL: But not a fair enough argument to make for not having people in these meetings and documenting it as it should be?
MILLER: No, not at all. As the story says, I mean, this is unlike anything we have seen from many modern president. I mean, if you go back to Clinton, Obama, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan -- their meetings with their Russian counterparts involved senior aides, often multiple aides, taking detailed notes. In fact, you can go through the Clinton archive and read almost verbatim reports of his meetings with Boris Yeltsin. Those just don't exist for Donald Trump because he's including people from his own White House from seeing what's happening.
BLACKWELL: You know, I want to take a step back. Greg, there is really a surreal image to think of the president of the United States calling over his interpreter and saying, hand me your notes and don't tell anybody about what you heard here.
[07:05:04] The president says that his meetings with Putin are not unlike his meetings with Abe of Japan and other presidents.
Is there any indication from your sources that he is as territorial over notes and read-outs from those meetings as he is about the Putin meetings?
MILLER: No, I don't think that is the case. I mean, I think that staff have better access and tend to get better read-outs from his interactions with Macron and other leaders around the world. I mean, Trump came into office trying to have this -- cultivate a relationship with Putin that was puzzling and disconcerting, even to senior officials who work for him inside the White House. And as the story said, I mean, he has gone to extraordinary lengths to try to protect or conceal his conversations with the Russian leader.
BLACKWELL: All right. Greg Miller, fascinating story there in "The Washington Post" -- thanks so much for spending some time with us this morning.
MILLER: Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you, Greg.
For the reaction to this latest report from the White House, CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood is with us now.
Certainly the White House has something to say about this this morning, Sarah?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Christi. President Trump and the White House are pushing back aggressively against this "Washington Post" report last night with White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, calling the story so outrageously inaccurate, her words, but it didn't warrant a formal response after that "Washington Post" reporting that suggested there are no detailed messages between five meetings with President Trump and Russian President Putin, including as you mentioned one instance where an interpreter's notes were confiscated.
And President Trump himself weighed in last night, claiming that his conversations with Putin are no different than his conversations with other world leaders. Here's what he had to say about it on Fox News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less. I met with every leader, just about, individually. I meet with Modi. I meet with -- in Japan, I meet with Abe. I meet with all of them but nobody says anything. But I meet with Putin and they make a big deal.
Anybody could have listened to that meeting. That meeting is open for grabs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: Now, this reporting, of course, underscores the skepticism has surrounded President Trump's positioning towards Russia since the beginning of his presidency. He has been criticized for what critics have called a differential tone toward Russia. So, the White House certainly has a lot going on on the Russia front right now, including this latest reporting, Victor and Christi.
PAUL: It's true. Sarah Westwood, always appreciate it. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: OK. Let's again set the table here of the times that President Trump has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, starting July 7th, 2017 when President Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. That is when "The Washington Post" says President Trump took the notes of the meeting from his interpreter.
During the same trip, the president met with Putin at the Hamburg banquet. The president and the first lady, Melania Trump, spoke to Putin, through Putin's translator.
In November, 2017, President Trump and Vladimir Putin met briefly at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit that was in Vietnam. And then, again, you remember the Helsinki summit for two hours behind closed doors, just the two presidents there with their interpreters. That was in July of 2018. "The Post" reports that several officials were never able to get reliable readout of that meeting.
Then on November 11th, 2018, they reportedly had a good talk at the Paris World War I centenary. And finally, November 30th of last year, informal conversation on the sideline of the G20 in Buenos Aires.
Let's talk about this now and bring in CNN counterterrorism analyst, Philip Mudd, former FBI senior intelligence adviser, and CNN security analyst, Samantha Vinograd, former adviser to President Obama's national security adviser.
Welcome to both of you back to the show.
Phil, I want to start with you. The question is why? Why the one-on- one meetings? Why the confiscation of the notes? Why the guidance to the interpreter? Why get up at 2017 and you're sitting next to Abe of Japan and you walk, you know, a few feet down the table to sit with Vladimir Putin for an hour using his interpreter, none of your people with you, what is your working theory here?
PHILIP MUDD, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERORRISM OFFICIAL: There is a couple of things going on here. One, the president has told us the first explanation which is that he doesn't trust the people around him and he said publicly that there is only one person in the U.S. government who makes policy for America and that's the president of the United States. Forget about the Defense Department, forget about the Department of State. So, I could see him saying I want to meet one- on-one with these people and I don't want nobody else in the room because nobody else in the room is making the decision.
The second piece I think is more interesting, Victor, and that is, what are you worried about? If the information gets about a conversation with Putin, for example, that involves Syria, sanctions, that involves Crimea or Eastern Ukraine, the only explanation beyond lack of trust that I can come up with, with why you wouldn't want those notes to come out is that you think somehow people are going to attack you for what you say to an adversary that has interfered with American elections.
[07:10:10] So, I think a trust and concern about what that conversation was. And, of course, we don't know because the notes disappeared.
BLACKWELL: So, Samantha, let's listen to the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. This was the days after the Helsinki Summit in July of 2018.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALAE: How do you have any idea what happened in that meeting?
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Well, you're right, I don't know what happened in that meeting. I think as time goes by and the president has already mentioned some things that happened in that meeting, I think we will learn more. But that is the president's prerogative. If you asked me how that ought to be conducted, I would have suggested a different way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: I mean, you almost feel bad for him trying to come up with an answer for, you know, I have no idea what happened. The Kremlin likely has records, at least, of what happened at that meeting giving them leverage over the president potentially and certainly GOP over the U.S., does it not? SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, FORMER ADVISER TO NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER TO
OBAMA: That's exactly right, Victor. There is a standard operating procedure for these bilateral meetings. I helped staff a lot of these and I helped to get the readouts filed appropriately, inline with the Presidential Records Act after the fact.
Part of the reason why you want to read out your director of national intelligence, your secretary of state, and a restricted group of key cabinet officials is because you want to establish your own narrative, by failing to allow your team in the room, by failing to establish a firm record, again, in line with existing U.S. law of what actually happened, you are ceding the narrative to Russian intelligence, the Russian media, which is controlled by the state, and Vladimir Putin without having any bit of evidence or a foundation of establishing a narrative on your own. And this comes back to the question, again, of why the president of United States wanted to do this.
If he took the extraordinary step of asking his interpreter to destroy notes from the meeting, he is again aiding and abetting the Russian intelligence services in manipulating the narrative around what happened.
BLACKWELL: Let me pick up on that point of destruction, though, of evidence here, because Democratic congressman and potential 2020 candidate for the presidency, Eric Swalwell, tweeted this: Destruction of evidence is consciousness of guilt. At this point, please show me evidence that Donald Trump is not working for Russia.
Samantha, you're been tweeting and been talking about a word specifically, assets. It seems almost to ask this question, but do you believe that the president is a Russian asset?
VINOGRAD: I believe that the president of the United States either thinks he is smarter than Vladimir Putin, which shows he has been manipulated by a trained KGB agent into thinking that they are on equal footing when it comes to manipulation and exploitation, or based upon what we learned last night, there is something that Vladimir Putin has over him. And under either scenario, it is extraordinarily clear that Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence is able to manipulate the president of the United States and that he is compromised in some way, whether willingly or unwillingly.
BLACKWELL: Phil -- I'm sorry, Sam. Let me stay with Phil with this.
Phil, there is this meeting that was supposed to happen, the second summit between President Trump and President Putin. It was scheduled to happen during the fall of 2018. It was postponed until after the midterm, supposed to happen now in 2019.
Do you expect "The New York Times" that we saw yesterday about the FBI investigating if whether the president was working for Russia and now this "Washington Post" reporting, the scrutiny decreases the likelihood of that or the likelihood that the president will go into the meeting without subordinates or making sure his interpreter doesn't share what happened in the meeting?
MUDD: You're asking me to read the president's psychology. I'll take a shot at that.
BLACKWELL: Try for me, Phil.
MUDD: It's Sunday morning at 7:00. I'm going to give it a shot!
I think the story is actually increased the likelihood that the president, A, presses forward with the meeting and, B, continues the practices he has used before meeting privately for the simple reason as Samantha said. I think she nailed it.
The president thinks he is smarter than anybody else. Every time he looks at these media reports, he also thinks has an opportunity to show his supporters, those media people, they don't know what they are talking about. I do what I want. I represent you, not them.
I think the media reports encourage him to say, they will never, that is people like "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post" persuade me how to act. I have a better solution for things like Iran and North Korea and Russia, and I'm going to go ahead with the meeting with Putin.
I think he like to say -- he is 72 years old or 73 years old. He is not going to change now. I'm 57 and I can't change, Victor.
BLACKWELL: I'm 37 and I probably won't change like that.
VINOGRAD: Can I just one point though? I mean, I disagree with Phil, only because I do think that there is a legal aspect to whether the president meets one-on-one with Vladimir Putin any more.
[07:15:05] We know from the reporting on Friday that the FBI had entered into a criminal and a counterintelligence investigation into the president. If the president knowingly puts himself in the room with Vladimir Putin again, fails to read out his team again on what happened, you have to imagine that Bob Mueller is going to be looking into the intent and motivations behind those actions so it's a slightly different playing field than Helsinki.
BLACKWELL: Samantha Vinograd, Phil Mudd, thank you both.
MUDD: Thank you.
PAUL: More details unfolding about how and why Jayme Closs' alleged abductor killed her parents. We have the latest on the investigation from Barron, Michigan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no evidence that we can uncover that the suspect knew the Closses, was at the Closs home or had any contact with them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Plus, breaking news. The National Security Council reportedly asked the Pentagon to give the White House military options to strike Iran. More on that next.
[07:20:07] PAUL: Nineteen minutes past the hour right now.
And there are more details in the case of Jayme Closs, the missing girl that was found alive in Wisconsin. Police say the suspect Jake Patterson allegedly killed her parents to clear the way for him to kidnap her. What's unclear is why he chose Jayme.
BLACKWELL: CNN's Ryan Young reports from Barron, Wisconsin.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, as you can imagine, this community is still all smiles when it comes to this story. Jayme Closs was found. In fact, a lot of people say not only did she survive but she escaped her captor. She was able to make it out to a road, make it to somebody who was walking a dog and then get to freedom.
Now, we see all of the pictures of her joining her family and getting to enjoy those smiles and her freedom for the first time in over 88 days. But there is something else that goes along with this. There's an investigation to figure out exactly how this man Jake Patterson discovered this house and decided to take a shotgun, blow open the front doors what the sheriff was telling us and go inside and murder her parents. His first court appearance will be Monday, but there's a long part of this investigation that's still ongoing.
In fact, listen to the sheriff detailing how they are going through that house over the next few hours.
SHERIFF CHRIS FITZGERALD, BARRON COUNTY, WISCONSIN: Right now, we are looking for 88 days of evidence, so we are looking for receipts, where the suspect may have been over the last 88 days. Did he take things with her? Did she go with him to the store? Did he buy clothes for her? Did he buy food?
Time frame so we can gather any other video evidence.
YOUNG: Look, guys, this is a small community. Even during the news conference on Friday, people from outside came in to listen to the sheriff for themselves. They were actually clapping when he finished. You understand how much passion people are into this.
Thousands of people went out looking for her. They were so glad they were able to find her. Now the next page turns in terms of trying to support her and this community. The family tells us there is a plan in place for where she will live. They don't want to share it with us just yet because they want to make sure she makes this transition in a nice easy step -- Victor and Christi. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BLACKWELL: Ryan, thank you.
We are following breaking news. According to "The Wall Street Journal," the U.S. National Security Council which is led by John Bolton asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran. This was last year.
This is what Bolton said last year about Iran's behavior.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The days of impunity for Tehran and its enablers are over. The murderous regime and its supporters will face significant consequences if they do not change their behavior. Let my message today be very clear -- we are watching and we will come after you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Last hour, I asked retired General Mark Hertling about what this means for the future of foreign relations.
LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: This is one of those kinds of things that I think the president's team saw what they could do in Syria, thought they could do the same thing in Iran. But in any event, it is actually elements of a declaration of war, when you strike another country. So, this is opening up a new front, potentially. There has been talk within this administration of striking Iran on several occasions.
It's not abnormal to ask the Pentagon for plans and contingency to do these kind of things. I was the J-7 on the joint staff which is in charge of these kind of plans. And this is not done frequently but certainly it's usual to ask one. It's one thing to ask for plans, it's quite another one to act on them without the consent of Congress, because it is the declaration of a war event and it could have been a proportional response. But still, there's a requirement to notify several people within the administration that that is going to take place.
BLACKWELL: We will hear from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a moment. But let me just read you from a couple of sentences right from "The Wall Street Journal." The Pentagon complied with the National Security Council's request to develop options for striking Iran, the official said. But it's unclear if the proposals were provided to the White House, whether President Trump knew of the request, or whether serious plans for a U.S. strike against Iran took shape at the time. Important to note that here.
Now, let's listen to the secretary of state here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: We will not let Iran get away with using a proxy force to attack an American interest. Iran will be held accountable for those incidents.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Even militarily?
POMPEO: They're going to be held accountable. If they are responsible for the arming and training of these militias, we are going to go to the source.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: So, do you expect that there will be, that there could still be on the table a military response?
HERTLING: There certainly could be, Victor.
[07:25:01] PAUL: So, President Trump is denying the latest "The Washington Post" reporting. White House press secretary calls it outrageously inaccurate. Brian Stelter has a few things to stay about it, next.
BLACKWELL: More challenges at the White House. "The Washington Post" is reporting that President Trump has concealed information from private meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. They say it's happened at least five times in two years.
PAUL: In "The Post" report, President Trump took so far to take away notes from his interpreter, telling the translator not to discuss details about the meeting with other officials. Now, as a result, "The Washington Post" says the White House has no detailed records, even in classified files of the president's interactions with Putin.
So, CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter with us.
Brian, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders calls the report outrageously inaccurate. President Trump reacted last night on Fox News. He says it's so ridiculous.
Are you surprised they are reacting to this at the moment?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they are issuing statements that are angry about "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times" stories but they are not refuting specific details in these stories. And that is because, ultimately, this is an FBI DOJ story, what has been going on is in these government agencies where there has been this profound concern about Trump, the DOJ, for example, triggering that counterintelligence investigation in 2017 and agents of the CIA concerned about the president in these private meetings with Putin.
[07:30:10] The concern is happening inside of other government agencies and not the White House. So, the White House can come out and say these stories are absurd but they are not denying the facts. In fact, it was notable in "The Washington Post" story the only statement from anyone in the White House was anonymous. It just goes to show that White House aides are sometimes weary of speaking on the president's behalf because they don't know what he is going to say.
He did call in to Jeanine Pirro show on Fox. Pirro is one of his biggest supporters on television, so this was not a challenging interview. It was a friendly interview. But when Pirro asked about the idea that the president could be a Russian agent, somebody working for Russia, here is what Trump said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked. I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written. And if you read the article, you'd see that they found absolutely nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: What was missing there was an actual denial from the president to he says is a very insulting idea that he was ever working on behalf of Russia. As for the idea that there is no evidence of that whatsoever, that's a popular Fox talking point. But what "The New York Times" actually reported is that no evidence has emerged publicly of any private talks between Trump and Russian officials. It doesn't mean there is evidence privately.
But again, that gets back to this core that I think we've all been talking about for months -- when are we going to find out everything that Robert Mueller knows? That is the crux of the stories over the weekend that there is a lot we don't yet know about the president and his ties to Russia.
And I can understand the Rudy Giulianis of the world are frustrated by how long this is taking. American deserves answers to these questions.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Certainly.
PAUL: All righty. Brian Stelter, we appreciate it so much, sir. Thank you.
STELTER: You too. Thanks.
BLACKWELL: And be sure to watch Stelter's show "RELIABLE SOURCES", 11:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.
PAUL: So, political leaders on the right and left have condemned Iowa Congressman Steve King after remarks he meat about white supremacy. Some lawmakers say words are not enough here. The Congressional Black Caucus is calling for the Iowa Republican to be punished for his controversial comments. We will talk about that coming up.
[07:36:37] BLACKWELL: Well, pressure is mounting for Iowa Republican Steve King to be punished over the remarks in which he asked how the term "white supremacy" became offensive.
PAUL: Democrats and even some Republicans at this point have condemned the remarks but the black caucus wants King to face consequences, tweeting this, quote: If Republicans really believe these racist statements have no place in our government, then their party must offer more than shallow, temporary statements of condemnation of Steve King.
Errol Louis is a CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News is with us now.
Errol, so good to see you. What consequences do they want to see? What is possible here?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Christi.
The Congressional Black Caucus is calling for King, at a minimum, to be removed from his various committees. He was the -- he would now be the ranking member of important committees. He served on an immigration subcommittee.
What they are saying he should not be in a position to influence the present policy or legislation because of his abhorrent and racist views. We should keep in mind that Congress has a number of remedies of which removal from committees is actually the mildest. They can also issue something called a reprimand, which is a former statement from the House saying they don't like what this person has done and then censure which doesn't happen very often and extreme cases and then expulsion which requires a two-thirds vote and is probably the least likely outcome.
But the congressional black caucus is calling for at a minimum, Steve King to be removed from the committees that he now serves on.
BLACKWELL: Let me read a portion of the statement that Congresswoman Karen Bass, who was the chairman of CBC, now tweeted. First line here: Like Donald Trump, Steve King has sought again and again to give comfort and to white supremacists, something that should never be allowed in the halls of Congress or the Oval Office. Does the CBC make it more difficult or less likely that congressional Republicans will do that by tying it to the president?
LOUIS: I think they put the Republicans in a trickier position, but let's keep in mind when they say aid and comfort, they are not talking about, you know, retweeting somebody or mentioning them in a speech. We are talking about somebody who travels overseas and has endorsed candidates and stood side-by-side with extremist and racist candidates all over Europe, in Toronto, you know? This is somebody who really is part of this international movement to the extent that they place him there, that is exactly who he is. The reality is it's not extreme, by the way. I mean, there will be a
political difficulty for the Republicans but Steve King, you know, he was one of the co-chairs of the Ted Cruz presidential campaign. He has been right there in the thick of it, right there in the mainstream of Republican politics.
And if they don't want to be associated with his extremist and abhorrent views, they're going to have to do something other than welcome into all of their caucuses, into their committees and place him into committees like chairing a presidential campaign.
PAUL: Well, a fellow senator from Iowa and Republican, we should point out, Joni Ernst, tweeted this, and she tweeted it with a copy of Tim Scott's "Washington Post" article as well. She said, I condemned Representative King's comments on white supremacy.
[07:40:04] They're offensive and racist and not representative of our state of Iowa.
Do you see any indication -- this is the first of more Republicans coming out to condemn him and does it matter if they don't go beyond those words?
LOUIS: The reality is Joni Ernst is up for re-election in 2020 and sees she is going to have a problem if she is tied to her fellow Iowan. Everything was fine, by the way. This is a nine-term congressman. So, everything was fine for Republicans with Steve King up until now.
They now see having lost control of the House, having seen some of the polling numbers, the diversity wave that is sweeping throughout Democratic politics and then the prospect of a really, really tough re-election in 2020, now, all of a sudden, to save their hides, they sort of migrate toward moral principle.
That's fine. That's the way democracy is supposed to work. Joni Ernst doesn't want to lose her job, so, now, she has discovered some moral principle. OK, fine. I think that's what we're going to see a lot more of that as people realize that their political fate is going to be linked to an abhorrent racist who is drawing condemnation from every corner of politics, including the conservative media at this point.
BLACKWELL: The GOP learned this lesson after 2012 with that report that they completed after losing the presidential election, talking about how Republicans will have to expand their tent if they want to bring in minorities, and then they nominated Donald Trump in 2016 and that seemed to be out the window. Evidence they are going to learn this lesson and act on it.
LOUIS: Well, you know, I don't know what the lesson is, to be honest with you, Victor. I mean, just as you say, they pointed out, they had a post mortem in 2012 after they lost the White House to Barack Obama for the second time. They said, look, we've got to open the tent, we've got to be more diverse, and Donald Trump took them in the opposite direction and they won all three branches of government. So, look, you know, let's not kid ourselves. It is -- demography is
not a destiny. The Democrats who believed that got a shellacking in 2016.
It's going to be a contest of ideas. It's going to be a fight for hearts and minds. It's going to be a contest of policies. It's going to be politics the way it is supposed to be.
But nobody should be under the illusion that these extremists are going to walk away. Steve King is proof that they won't.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Errol Louis, thanks so much.
LOUIS: Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you, Errol.
Well, Senator Kamala Harris's ongoing book tour is seen by a lot of people as a precursor to a possible run for president. But a heckler disrupted a stop on her book tour last night, racing the issue of race.
BLACKWELL: Progressives have criticized the California Democrat for her law enforcement background, including six years she served as California's attorney general. Last night, a woman in the audience yelled, what about black people? What about us? What about black people, Kamala?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have been for so many vulnerable population. We are so -- we are so -- excuse me. I'm talking. Just give me a minute. Thank you. So -- thank you for everything that you have done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: You can see there the reaction to it. They didn't really react to it at all. Harris is supposed to launch a potential presidential bid soon.
BLACKWELL: The partial government shutdown is now in its fourth week. A new poll shows the American public is pointing a finger, a blame at Republicans.
PAUL: According to the new ABC/"Washington Post" poll, 53 percent of Americans blame Trump and GOP, 29 percent blame Democrats.
BLACKWELL: The same poll found support for building a wall actually increased over the past year to 42 percent. The increase is sharpest among Republicans. Forty-four percent of Americans overall are opposed to the wall.
PAUL: President Trump is demanding Democrats fund that border wall as part of this deal to end the government shutdown, of course. BLACKWELL: But as CNN's Gary Tuchman reports, a local sheriff at task
with protecting parts of the southern border in Texas says he does not want a wall.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voce-over): Keith Hughes is a border county sheriff in remote Terrell County, Texas, where illegal immigration apprehensions have substantially increased over the last year.
(on camera): How big of a problem do you think illegal immigration is?
SHERIFF KEITH HUGHES, TERRELL COUNTY, TEXAS: I think it's going to devastate our country one of these days if we don't do something about it, if it hasn't already.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): No county in America's southern border gave Donald Trump a bigger win on election day than Terrell County.
Sheriff Hughes voted for him.
HUGHES: I support him 100 percent. I think he is doing a great job myself.
TUCHMAN: But --
(on camera): The president during his oval office speech says professionals want or need a wall. Do you want or need a wall in your county?
HUGHES: No, sir. Do not. Either one. Do not want one, do not need one.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): That's because he says they already have one, a natural one. The Rio Grande, which separates the U.S. and Mexico.
(on camera): This stop sign there may not be more mandatory stop sign in the world, because if you don't stop here, it's about a 300-foot drop to the Rio Grande which means it's 300 feet up.
[07:45:04] (voice-over): The sheriff and others call these cliffs "God's wall" which lines the river throughout most of the Terrell County. That's why the sheriff has always thought the concept of a continuous border wall made little sense. Other parts of the county's border are level as the Rio Grande runs through heavy brush.
In a flat area like this, it's easier to cross the river and you have this money, would you use any of it for wall or use it for more people or more technology?
HUGHES: I wouldn't use it for a wall. I would use it for technology and people. That money could better spent on those situations, instead of a wall. TUCHMAN: Sheriff Hughes says every dime received should be spent on law enforcement and technology. Terrell County has a small population, but it's about 2,400 square miles. The sheriff only has four deputies and very few border patrol agents. Most of the time, it's only cows observing my migrants swimming across the Rio Grande.
HUGHES: The hell with the wall right now. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. If it's not, it's not. But we need to quit dealing on the wall and deal with what we are dealing with right now.
TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, Terrell County, Texas.
BLACKWELL: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he will meet with Saudi crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman today and push for what he calls full accountability regarding the kill of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. What that means in a moment.
[07:50:39] PAUL: Edging toward the 8:00 hour here.
And U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he will meet with the Saudi crown prince today and push for, quote, full accountability with respect to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
BLACKWELL: CNN senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman is in Cairo with more details.
Of course, the important question here, Ben, is who does Secretary Pompeo believe should be held accountable?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Victor, the Trump administration has been very careful not to endorse, for instance, the CIA's assessment that Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, ultimately gave the order for the murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on the 2nd of October. The Trump administration has made it very clear all along that regardless of who might be behind the murder that the Saudi arms purchases from the United States and, in general, the Saudi business and strategic relationship with the United States is far more important than the question of who was behind the killing.
But we did hear Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today at the moment in Qatar, in the Gulf, saying that he expects the Saudis to get to the bottom of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: We will continue to have a conversation with the crown prince and the Saudis about ensuring that the accountability is full and complete with respect to the unacceptable murder of Jamal Khashoggi. So, we'll continue to talk about that and make sure we have all the facts so that they're held accountable certainly by the Saudis but by the United States as well, where appropriate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WEDEMAN: And the Saudis began a trial at the beginning of this month of 11 individuals implicated in the murder. The prosecution is asking for the death sentence of five of them but, obviously, the crown prince isn't among those 11 -- Victor, Christi.
BLACKWELL: Ben Wedeman for us in Cairo, thank you.
PAUL: All right. Lo lighten it up a little bit. So, say you're sitting at a hockey game and you hear somebody you don't normally hear before. Rapper Snoop Dogg, guest commentator for the L.A. Kings. We have the play-by-play.
[07:57:23] PAUL: So take a look at that. It's hard to believe that's a massive winter storm, but it is because it looks so beautiful right now. But this storm stretches across the U.S. from Kansas, all the way to the East Coast. More than a million of you are waking up to a foot of snow, and there's more to come.
BLACKWELL: Yes, winter storm warnings in Washington, parts of central Maryland, northern Virginia. Governor of Virginia has declared a state of emergency.
PAUL: It's beautiful, isn't it?
BLACKWELL: The snow is always pretty on television.
PAUL: Or out the window.
BLACKWELL: Sleet, snow, ice already making travel dangerous if not impossible in some areas.
PAUL: Yes. So, please be careful out there.
BLACKWELL: Snoop Dogg was the guest of honor at a hockey game in Los Angeles Saturday night. Veteran rapper was a play-by-play announcer with Fox Sports for the game between the L.A. Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins --
PAUL: This is where he gets me.
BLACKWELL: -- when a fight broke out on the ice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, he fired on him. Hold on now. Get it cracking. Let's go!
Snoop Dogg in the house. Let me see something.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the sticks, man. Let's get cracking. To the middle of the rink. Let's go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number 3 want it. Who is number 3?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dion Phaneuf.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, go get them, Dion. Get them, Dion. Move, Dion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: He didn't even know what to do. The appearance for the marketing promotion for the Kings and hockey. Only he can get away with that.
BLACKWELL: Drop the sticks and get it cracking.
PAUL: Go to the middle of the rink. Come on.
BLACKWELL: All right. That was fun.
PAUL: So, tonight on CNN, fashion and cultural experts are giving us a front row seat to the runway of American history. Here's a preview of "American Style."
KIMBERLY TRUHLER, FILM AND FASHION HISTORIAN: The '40s and '50s were definitely America finding itself.
TIM GUNN, FASHION HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR: Americans felt very second rate when comparing ourselves to Europe.
VANESSA FRIEDMAN: Sportswear became the defining style of the United States.
GUNN: The bikini was the biggest thing since the atom bomb.
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, AUTHOR AND PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, RICE UNIVERSITY: Through the '60s and '70s, our style and fashion represents freedom.
DR. TODD BOYD, PROFESSOR, STUDY OF RACE IN POPULAR CULTURE: When you look at hippie culture it is really oppositional to the Vietnam war.
CHRISTOPHER REID, ACTOR COMEDIAN AND RAPPER: disco is very important in terms of people being free to express themselves.
CHRISTIE BRINKLEY: In the '80s, it was a lot of excess in every way.
GUNN: We have our Calvin Kleins, and Ralph Laurens and our Donna Karans.
BRINKLEY: Calvin Klein's advertising was rather scandalous.
TRUHLER: These underwear ads stopped traffic in Time Square.
BOYD: By the 90s and 2000s things had become less formal. CHRISTIE BRINKLEY: Super models really brought fashion into every
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now what's embraced as being yourself?
TRUHLER: Style gives you a voice. It is freedom.
ANNOUNCER: "American Style" premieres tonight at 9:00 on CNN.
PAUL: Your style may be home in your PJs. Good for you.
Thank you so much for being with us. We hope you make good memories today.
BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS WITH JOHN KING" starts right now.