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CNN NEWSROOM

Pelosi Says Trump Outing Our Trip Made Things More Dangerous; 2020 Residential Hopefuls Weigh in on "BuzzFeed" Report; Thousands Expected for Third Annual Women's March; Killer Mike Weighs in On Politics and Super Bowl Controversy. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired January 18, 2019 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:30:00] PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Speaker Pelosi said she was trying to find a way to use a commercial plane to go commercially with the delegation and the White House knew about that and leaked that to several news organizations. The White House has said explicitly that is a flat out lie. Sarah Sanders just a short while ago addressed this as well. This is Speaker Pelosi addressing that and why this all happened in the first place. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CA, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The fact that they would leak the commercial -- that we were flying commercial is a danger not only to us but to other people flying commercially. So, it's very irresponsible on the part of the President.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you view this as retaliation for your letter?

SANDERS: I would hope not. I don't think the President would be that petty, do you?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTINGLY: I think she might have been a little sarcastic about that. Particularly, because a lot of her leadership team over the course of the last 15 to 20 hours has been saying the President is exactly that, petty. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer calling what he's done or what's transpired over the last day beneath the office. There's two things it underscores. The leak allegation is very serious. The White House has denied it. That's a very serious allegation.

And also, more broadly it just underscores that keep in mind the government's still shut down and these are the people that are supposed to be talking and figuring a way out of this and it just seems that everybody is further apart than they ever were. Their red lines remain the same and are not moving. Both sides apparently are very comfortable with their red lines. They believe their winning the political fight and believe their bases are happy. Democrats have made clear, look. We are willing to talk, you just have to reopen the government. The president saying that is not an option.

We essentially stand now almost four weeks into this shutdown exactly where we did on day one of this shutdown. There were no meetings today. There were no phone calls today. There were no proposals traded today. I'm told not any of that is happening over the weekend either. There is the micro on the fight over the flights and the state of the union, and there's the macro and things are broken down right now.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: It has to be so disconcerting for the 800,000 federal employees. Talking to a Coast Guard wife yesterday she just said how scared she is. Phil Mattingly, thank you both for the micro and macro on Capitol Hill.

Coming up next. What about the potential 2020 contenders? They're weighing in on this "BuzzFeed" news report today from Senators Corey Booker to Bernie Sanders. We'll take you live to Iowa where Senator Kirsten Gillibrand just addressed the possibility that the President obstructed justice. What she just said next.

[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Moments ago, the White House responded to that bombshell "BuzzFeed" report that President Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. The press secretary calling it categorically false but potential 2020 Democratic contenders have been mostly quiet about it. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders definitely tweeted about it writing if this report is true, Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice, a felony and a potentially impeachable offense, but we haven't heard from any other 2020 contenders. I should say we hadn't until CNN asked Democratic Senator Corey Booker about it today as he has been down in New Orleans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. COREY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: I want the investigation to continue in a timely and thorough way and obviously the kind of charges that many people are talking about hold serious consequences for anybody whether you're a President of the United States or a citizen and this is what we have about America. No one is above the law. Donald Trump is not above the law. There's an investigation going on and it should continue before we draw our conclusions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: National correspondent Athena Jones is live in Sioux City, Iowa. Where Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is speaking to voters there. Athena, I understand she's just weighed in on all of this. Why did the senator say?

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She arrived here just a few minutes ago and I asked her about the "BuzzFeed" report and she essentially echoed much of what we heard from booker there. She said it's highly concerning and it shows he may have been complicit in obstruction of justice. Take a listen to what she had to say to me just a few minutes ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), IOWA: My biggest priority right now is to protect the Mueller investigation. We have a bipartisan piece of legislation that needs to be voted on now. I don't know why Senator McConnell is unwilling to let us vote on this legislation and what it would do is guarantee that Mueller can't be fired for any reason other than cause. What we're waiting for certainly what I'm waiting for is the Mueller investigation to be completed so we have the facts. This information if proven to be true shows there was obstruction of justice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: There you heard directly from her. She's concerned. She calls this highly concerning and says it calls into question really the everything the President has said about this whole investigation, his involvement with Russia. She's now spending a few minutes talking to voters here. This is her first stop since announcing her exploratory committee earlier this week. She's speaking with a group right now of older citizens of around here talking about immigration, she talked with a woman and a young girl about education and class sizes. She's hearing from voters and trying to share her message about what she believes is necessary to beat President Trump and what America needs. She's just getting started here. This is her first stop here in Iowa, Brooke.

[15:40:00] BALDWIN: Thank you very much.

Coming up next, the third Women's March in Washington, D.C. is set to go on under this cloud of controversy and division this year. We'll take a look ahead of tomorrow's big event.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:45:00] BALDWIN: Thousands of protesters are expected to take to the city streets across America this weekend for the third annual Women's March. The first event in Washington held the day after President Trump's inauguration was the largest single day protest in U.S. history but in the past year, march leaders have faced accusations of anti-Semitism and some local marches are distancing themselves from the D.C. event causing confusion and controversy. Erica Hill has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A movement that energized and unified so many just two years ago is today overshadowed by controversy including accusations of anti-Semitism within Women's March, Inc., the group that organizes the D.C. event.

BOB BLAND, CO-PRESIDENT AND BOARD MEMBER, WOMEN'S MARCH INC.: The Women's March unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism, bigotry.

HILL: Do you condemned Farrakhan's remarks about Jewish people?

BLAND: Yes. And we have repeatedly --

HILL: Louis Farrakhan a man known for his hate speech aimed at Jews and the LGBTQ community. Co-President Tamika Mallory attended an event last year where Farrakhan called Jews his enemy. And posted this photo in 2017 calling him the greatest of all time. She has denounced anti-Semitism but not his comments.

TAMIKA D. MALLORY, CO-PRESIDENT AND BOARD MEMBER, WOMEN'S MARCH INC.: As I said, I don't agree with many of his minister Farrakhan's statements.

HILL: Do you condemn them?

MALLORY: I don't agree with these statements. At the end of the day --

HILL: You won't condemn it.

MALLORY: No, no. To be very clear. It's not my language. It is not the way that I speak, is not how I organize. It's very clear over the 20 years of my own personal activism, my own personal track record of who I am.

HILL: Shortly after that exchange on "The View," Women's March, Inc. canceled our scheduled interview. We sent them a list of questions they have yet to respond.

VANESSA WRUBLE, CO-FOUNDER, MARCH ON: The problem starting with the Farrakhan issue is in the beginning they didn't come out forcefully enough.

HILL: Vanessa Wruble helped plan the first D.C. march but left the group shortly after for what she described as a bundle of reasons including anti-Semitism. Current leaders telling the "New York Times" Wruble's departure had nothing to do with her being Jewish citing growing pains at an evolving movement.

WRUBLE: It's impossible to grow up in America without coming to this work with biases both conscious and unconscious. It's important for those biases to surface so we can address them, move on and become a stronger movement.

HILL: Wruble later cofounded March On with the goal of getting more women elected in 2018. There also offering support to marches around the country this weekend. National headlines are weighing on local events. In Los Angeles, New York City and Florida, stark statements publicly distancing those marches from Washington and the D.C. leadership. New York City dealing with the added confusion of multiple events this year. A march organized for the third year by the Women's March Alliance and now a rally organized by an offshoot of the D.C. group and the New York Immigration Coalition.

HILL: Has the confusion impacted your support at all?

FREEDOM SHANNON, Board Member, March On: There is no question I mean the reality is people don't know the difference Women's March, Inc. Or Women's March Alliance. People only hear women's march. Are you guys anti-Semitic? There's going to be a question that gets brought up. We are 100 percent not in any way shape or form. HILL: A group in Eureka, California postponed its own event over concerns that it was quote, "overwhelmingly white" while Omaha's march was renamed and moved to March 10th to coincide with International Women's Day. With all the changes and confusion, who are these marches for?

WRUBLE: We have conservatives pro-life and pro-choice on our board at Women's March Alliance because at the end of the day women's rights are for every woman.

SHANNON: The Women's March is open to all.

HILL: And Brooke, 2020 hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand will be in Iowa this weekend. We learned she plans to speak at the Women's March in Des Moines. She put out a statement yesterday saying that she strongly condemns anti-Semitism in all forms and goes on to say, it has no place in a movement for women's empowerment or anywhere else. We should point out, Brooke, the New York senator is one of the few lawmakers to confirm her attendance at a women's March event this year.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: Thank you.

Coming up next, Atlanta rapper and activist, Killer Mike, joins me live. He's got this new show on Netflix out today. He'll talk about that and we'll get him to weigh in on everything from the shutdown to the controversy over the Super Bowl halftime show in his hometown. Stay tuned.

[15:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: The government shutdown now in day 28 and Super Bowl now 16 days away. The city of Atlanta is hosting the event and the mayor is worried TSA staffing and all those issues they are having may cause major problems as thousands will be flying in for the mega sporting event.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[15:55:00] MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS, ATLANTA, THE HOST CITY FOR THE SUPER BOWL: We are hosting one of the biggest most watched events in the world in just a few weeks. There are real concerns about will our airport be up and functioning in a way that we need it to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Let me bring in Grammy award-winning rapper and fellow Atlanta native, Michael Render, AKA Killer Mike. He debuted "Trigger Warning" just out today.

KILLER MIKE, RAPPER: Hey.

BALDWIN: Congratulations, my friend. Feeling good about that?

KILLER MIKE: I am happy to be back here with you.

BALDWIN: Love having you back here. We'll get to your show in just a second. I love picking your brain. So first just on the government shutdown. The Atlanta Airport, they are telling folks, show up three hours ahead because of TSA issues. I was reading about MLK Day. They were afraid that Ebenezer would have to be closed. Now Delta stepped in with grant money so that Ebenezer Baptist and the MLK Center can be open as we honor him on Monday. You have friends that were directly impacted. What's the word?

KILLER MIKE, RAPPER: My friends at work for the federal government. One said I'll have to go back because the money is not coming. She is also a veteran. I think it's shameful someone has to get a bar tending job. Because the money is not coming and I can't wait on my allocation because she is also a veteran. I think it is shameful someone who has given service to our country and now works for the federal government has to go get a bartending job. Nothing wrong with that job but we should be making sure our federal workers are paid. We should be making sure military veterans are paid.

BALDWIN: What do you think of what's going on in Washington over this?

KILLER MIKE: I think Washington is a mad house right now. I think both sides should come to the middle to get the government working. All we need to just stop paying politicians. We need to make sure that the Senate and House are also not being paid. The staff workers are being paid. Or you know if that doesn't work. Everybody just don't pay taxes on 15 April.

BALDWIN: That would work so well.

KILLER MIKE: I bet the government would be working really quickly.

BALDWIN: Yes, they would. Atlanta. Super Bowl. There has been this whole controversy over the halftime show. So much of this is about this quarterback who --

KILLER MIKE: Colin Kaepernick.

BALDWIN: Colin Kaepernick. He's been treated really as a social movement. And I have heard of black artists who have been asked to perform. I will put this nicely, who have said, no.

KILLER MIKE: Yes. I understand.

BALDWIN: And now you have Maroon 5 and you have Travis Scott and Big Boy.

KILLER MIKE: And Gladys Knight doing the national anthem.

BALDWIN: And Gladys Knight doing the national anthem. They are getting push back because of this. There is a petition asking them to kneel. If you were asked to perform, would you?

KILLER MIKE: I would not. I would not perform. If a million-dollar check would be attached I might be a difference because I would make some systemic change in my community. I wouldn't perform simply because I think it's a trade issue. I think players black or white are in different should have united because they have the worst contracts in all of sports. Colin Kaepernick gave them an opportunity for them all to unite and to say this is a workers' rights issue, and we want better contracts on top. So, we missed that opportunity. But Atlanta is an all-black city.

BALDWIN: Dr. King is buried 5 miles away from the stadium.

KILLER MIKE: And what that says, his former lieutenant, former Mayor Andrew Young talk to me the other day, and he said you know Mike you cannot ignore the fact of the amount of commerce that's been brought to the city. The amount of dollars. So, it provides jobs in Atlanta. It gives working class people dignity. When is going to be made by small businesses around the dome that are owned by black women? So, I cannot critique or criticize those who choose to do so. There are many paths to freedom. And I will be my people there. But I'm not can take time to down any black person.

BALDWIN: What about your show "Trigger Warning"?

KILLER MIKE: "Trigger Warning".

BALDWIN: "Trigger Warning" is his new Netflix show. Before we get into it. Here is a clip.

KILLER MIKE: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KILLER MIKE: Revolutionary our adversaries. [rapping]

It turned out the majority of these folks weren't as closed minded as I feared.

If you like Sinatra you like Jay Z and Biggie are your guys.

I knew right then I was adding old folks' homes to my next tour and also realized there was an opportunity to do more than just line my pockets. See, the problem in America today, everyone is in their own little bubble. These bubbles keep us divided. We don't talk to each other or see other points of view. What the old folks proved to me was that music can burst those bubbles.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Give me some context and what it is about. Congratulations, by the way.

KILLER MIKE: So "Trigger Warning" is saying there is something besides the polarized things you're getting to argue about. Noam Chomsky talks about. And you being given essentially two points in this wide array of arguments in between those points. Just secondary and tertiary and many other ways to solve problems. [16:00:00] You can play chess sitting down or you can stand up and look at the whole board. I think there are bridges to build. I went out in the community and tried it. There's a me that says if you can sell drugs then you can own a business. If you can be in the street gang and organize a street gang you can organize a

business. I took gang members in Atlanta that only needed the introduction of capitalism and commerce to that to start to radically change their lives. We know where jobs and money are present violence dissipates in gang areas.

So, I took these young men out and I help them start a cola company. Now cola companies kill more black people than any gang because of stuff like sugar and diabetes and things of that nature. But I say we are going to sell cola and that these guys produce it. They produced it and it's coming to market.

BALDWIN: It is all in his show, "Trigger Warning" on Netflix. Love you, Killer Mike.