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President Trump to Honor Four Americans Killed in Syria; Trump Touts "Major" Announcement on Border And Shutdown At 3:00 P.M.; More Than 100 Million People Are Under Winter Weather Alerts; Women Lead The Way in Nationwide March for Social Justice; Interview with Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA); Federal Workers Turn To Food Banks During Shutdown; Trump Campaign Selling Fake Bricks To Send To Pelosi, Schumer; Vanity Fair: Hunter Biden Says Business Dealings, Divorce Shouldn't Affect Whether Former Vice President Runs For President. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired January 19, 2019 - 07:00   ET



[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump just tweeted he'll be making what he calls a major announcement tomorrow, 3:00 p.m. Eastern about the southern border and the shutdown.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can assure you that he's going to continue fighting for border security.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're all to blame for this, every single one of us, in Washington, responsible for making sure that the government operates.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a rare and stunning move from the special counsel tonight. Robert Mueller's team disputing an explosive BuzzFeed report alleging that President Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: North Korea envoy, Kim Yong-chol, arrived in Washington with a letter from North Korea Dictator Kim Jong-un for President Trump. He left with the promise of another summit.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victory Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday morning to you. The record government shutdown now, entering its 29th day. And President Trump is planning to make another offer to Democrats, this time, it's in his speech to the nation from the White House this afternoon.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, now, a senior official says the president will not back down from his demand of a border wall. But he will offer other concessions. In a video posted to his Twitter account, the president didn't give a hint as to what those concessions would be, but he did stick with a familiar message. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everybody knows by now that our southern border is a humanitarian crisis. It's also a national security crisis. Take the politics out of it. Let's get to work and let's make a deal.


BLACKWELL: His speech this afternoon will cap a week that saw the president sabotage the house speaker's trip to the Middle East, after the speaker asked the president to reschedule his State of the Union address. Question: will today's offer be enough to restart the stalled shutdown talks? Joining us now, CNN White House Reporter Jeremy Diamond. Jeremy, the president will start the day, though, with a trip to Dover Air Force Base. Tell us about that.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Victor. The president beginning his day with a somber occasion, attending the dignified transfer ceremony for four Americans who were killed in that attack, suicide attack, claimed by ISIS in Syria earlier this week. The president taking to Twitter to say: "We'll be leaving for Dover to be with the families of four very special people who lost their lives in service to our country.

And that will be the president's morning today, but later today, the president will be pivoting once again to the government shutdown. Offering Democrats his latest offer to try and end this stalemate that has gone on now for 29 days. A senior administration official telling us that the president will make some kind of counteroffer to Democrats. The details, though, we do not know them yet. But we do know that the president will not back down from his border wall position, demanding that Democrats fund a border wall.

And amid all of this, though, Democrats have remained firm. They have offered the president funding for border security. But they have said no funding for the border wall. No broader negotiations about border security and immigration, as long as this government shutdown continues. So, it appears, Victor, that they will continue to remain at an impasse, unless there is some kind of a marked shift from the president in this address later today.

Of course, part of this is to capture the narrative once again for the president, to steer the narrative in the direction that he would like to direct it. And the president, though, still considering this idea of a national emergency, declaring a national emergency, to unilaterally obtain the funding to build the border wall. That according to our sources, is very much still under consideration. But it's not something that the president is expected to announce today.

PAUL: All right. Jeremy Diamond, appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, let's talk now with CNN Contributor Wesley Lowery, Washington Post National Reporter. Wesley, welcome back.

WESLEY LOWERY, NATIONAL REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Hi, Victor. BLACKWELL: So, let's start with Lindsey Graham who showed up in

Turkey this morning. Let's watch a little bit of what he said.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The road map to Manbij is the most important thing to be accomplished in the near term. So, I would hope that President Trump would slow the withdrawal, until we truly destroy ISIS. And if we do not do this, our withdrawal is going to create holy hell for Turkey.


BLACKWELL: The senator there in Turkey talking about the war in Syria and the U.S.'s pending withdrawal. The question is here: the president just cancelled Nancy Pelosi's trip to Afghanistan, but Lindsey Graham shows up here in Turkey. Reconcile these two, and exactly how he got there if they're cancelling military flights?

LOWERY: Certainly. You know, I think it is -- you know, this is a moment, I was thinking about this actually yesterday, right, that we are in a moment, we're having so much conversation about the government being shut down, almost 30 days in. And thinking about the implications, given all of our foreign entanglements be it in Iran and Afghanistan, still whether it'd be Syria, and the ability of our government -- both Democrats and Republicans -- to get updates from our troops, to deal with whether it'd be the Department of Homeland Security, DOD and others who are dealing with reduced staff.

[07:05:20] We talk about essential staff, versus nonessential staff, but the reality is that, you know, many of our -- whether it'd be our diplomats, whether it'd be our policy folks who are working both with the troops and with other folks, who, right now, might working either without checks or not really working. You know, there is real implications at a, you know, a big national level. You know, especially at a point right now when there is real controversy over President Trump's plan to "immediately withdraw from Syria," that he announced back in December.

This is something that many Republicans and Democrats have been deeply opposed to. And the attack that we saw this last week in Syria that left service members dead, flies in the face of President Trump's claims, kind of, over and over again that ISIS has been defeated. That it's already gone. And so, there is a real risk. There are competing theories about whether or not we should continue to have troops in Syria. But everyone agrees that there's a real risk when dealing with a group like ISIS, withdrawing too quickly, or removing American forces too quickly, that it might allow of resurgence. And I don't think anyone no matter their politics wants that.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and Senator Graham took that commercial flight over there to send that message to Turkey. Let me move now to this major announcement the president says is coming, later this afternoon. First, I think Saturday is the most important day of the week, but if you're delivering a major announcement on a Saturday in the middle of the afternoon, does that suggest how serious that offer is? And what possibly could the president offer that would lure Democrats back to the table and say, OK, maybe we'll give you some money for this wall?

LOWERY: Sure. I'm a little uncertain on the Saturday afternoon timing. I don't know that I'll be tuning in. Saturdays are pretty sacred for me, other than joining you guys first thing in the morning.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

LOWERY: But, you know, I think as we think about this, both President Trump as well as the Congressional Democrats have both been operating off the same theory, which is their hand gets stronger the longer this government shut join lasts, right? That President Trump believed that the longer this happen -- the longer the shutdown remained, the higher the political pressure will be on Democrats to come to the table, and therefore the stronger his hand would be. And Democrats believe the same thing that, look, we've been clear, we're not going to fund the wall.

And the longer this stretches out, the more the incentive is for the president to just reopen the government, right? So, in many cases, it's a game of chicken, who's going to blink first. It's unclear what the Democrats could offer Democrats, it's going to shake them from the position. I think the Democrats have been clear, they don't even want to begin having this conversation about border security, much less the border wall, until other parts of the government have been reopened. And so, I wouldn't necessarily be very confident at no matter what President Trump says today.

But again, there is an increasing political pressure to some extent, right? We're about to enter the 30th day of this government shutdown. You've had millions of workers who've been affected, millions of Americans who have been affected in one way or the other. We're about to approach the second paycheck that some of these employees are not going to be receiving. And it will be interesting to see, as we hit that second paycheck, if there is some increasing political pressure, the White House has seemingly been immune to some of it. At which point, Democrats start thinking, you know, we do want to get -- start getting people paid.

BLACKWELL: Yes, yes. Wes Lowery, thanks so much for being with us.

LOWERY: Any time.

BLACKWELL: Enjoy the rest of your sacred Saturday.

LOWERY: Thank you.

PAUL: Thanks for being here, Wes. All right, so, I want to talk about something else significant that happened in the last couple of -- last 12 hours. This extremely rare statement from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office.

BLACKWELL: Yes, they almost never issue public statements but now they're disputing aspects of a BuzzFeed report that said the president told his former lawyer to lie to Congress.

PAUL: CNN Politics Reporter Jeremy Herb with us now live from Washington. So, Jeremy, talk to us about the significance of the special counsel coming out and saying I dispute some of these aspects?

JEREMY HERB, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, it's certainly significant and rare. The number of times that the special counsel has gone on the record, it's -- you know, you count it on one hand. And what the special counsel did here was issuing a statement saying that this BuzzFeed report alleging that the president directed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress was not accurate, in terms of the description of specific statements from two -- attributed to the special counsel's office and the characterization of documents and testimony that the office had.

Now, BuzzFeed is standing by its report in the wake of this special counsel statement. And it has asked the special counsel to clarify exactly which parts of the story it's disputing. Let's take a step back here and kind of put this in context. In December, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow Project. Now, he had testified that the talks about the project ended in January 2016, when in fact, they went on until at least June of 2016, well into the presidential campaign.

[07:10:16] The court documents cited that Cohen had had conversations with officials connected to the White House. What the BuzzFeed story did was take it a step further and alleged that the president himself had directed Cohen to lie. Now, in the wake of this report, we heard Democrats vowing to investigate this. They said that, you know, if this were true, it would constitute grounds for impeachment. Obviously, in the wake of this report, the president's allies now have been vocal including many who had attacked the special counsel and saying that the president here was vindicated, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right. Jeremy Herb, thank you so much for walking us through it.

BLACKWELL: Well, the White House says that President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un will meet for a second summit next month. President Trump spent 90 minutes talking to North Korea's leader -- the lead negotiator, I should say, Kim Yong-chol last Friday. They held discussions in the oval office on denuclearization and the upcoming summit. The three locations are being considered for the meeting: Hanoi, Vietnam; Bangkok, Thailand and Hawaii here in the U.S. More than 100 million people are under a winter weather alert from the Midwest to the Northeast this weekend.

PAUL: And it's not just the significant snow that's problematic here, it's the ice that's expected particularly in the North. Heavy rains, severe weather could then slam the South. CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar in the CNN Weather Center with the latest. I think the ice storm that you're talking about, and the cold front coming behind it that could make that ice linger? And how many days are we talking about here?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and even for some the areas that are mainly going to get rain. Keep in mind, they're going through a flash freeze. So, like Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. -- those cities are going to get mostly rain. But when that cold air comes in on Sunday, you're going to see that rapidly turn to ice. So, we'll take -- we'll break that down in a little bit. Here's what we're looking at right now. This is the overall storm. You've got snow right now coming down in cities like Chicago, Detroit. We're starting to see that transition for a city like Indianapolis.

On the southern end, the main concern is going to be severe weather. A brand-new tornado watch has just been issued for portions of Mississippi and Louisiana. That goes until 1:00 this afternoon, Central time. But the northern tier, it's the winter weather that's going to cause the biggest problems. Lots of roadway concerns, numerous airport cancellations and delays today for cities like Chicago, New York, Boston, even Cleveland. Again, this is the system we're talking about. It's going to continue to push up to the north and east by about 8:00 tonight. Cities like Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh, could be dealing with mostly ice at that point before we start to see that transition back to snow.

New York City, it's going to be a little bit different. You're going to start with all snow, then see that transition to ice and rain. And then, maybe a little bit of snow once again as the system finally begins to exit that area. Here's a look at what we are expecting for now. Keep in mind, if that low shifts even as much as 20 to 30 miles, these numbers could vary widely. But right now, places like Columbus and Cleveland, likely about eight to 12 issues. Interior New England, we're talking 18 to even 24 inches of snow. The big concern for especially a city like Boston or even Hartford is ice; these locations could pick up as much as a half inch, maybe even an entire inch of ice. That not only causes problems on the roads but widespread power outages.

Now, we all just talked about this about what are the long-term concerns for things like this because where the ice falls, where that snow falls, it's not going to go anywhere for days. Because as you can see, once we get to Monday, we have a really big cold snap coming to set in place. Then, another one right behind that, as we get into the middle portion of the week. The problem there is, if you get 10 inches of snow, 15 inches of snow, it's going to be here for days. Or take a city like New York, for example, look at that temperature on Monday. We're looking at a high of about 14.

So, Victor and Christi, even if you end up getting, say, majority amount of rain for a city like New York, for a city like Philadelphia, or even Washington, D.C. -- when those temperatures drop Sunday night into Monday, you're going to have any of those puddles flash freeze. So, you're going to have very slick conditions for people going back to work on Monday morning, even though there won't actually be anything falling from the sky.

BLACKWELL: Treacherous, treacherous drive. Allison Chinchar, thanks so much for breaking it down for us.

[07:14:26] PAUL: We'll, you're going to see a lot of action in Washington today for the third Women's March. The organizers say, the movement isn't just about the Trump presidency any longer. They have specific agenda in mind. We're talking to one of the organizers. Stay close.


PAUL: Over just few hours away from some big activity in Washington. Women gathering, in fact not just in Washington, but all over the country, continuing what they started two years ago, marching against the Trump presidency and marching for the rights of women.

BLACKWELL: But things have changed since their first march. For one, the marchers say, they now have a specific agenda. And as the movement has evolved, so has the share of the controversies. Joining us now: Aimee Allison, founder of She the People and an organizer for this year's Women's March; And Dana fisher, Sociology Professor at the University of Maryland who studies activism. Ladies, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us. Aimee, I want to start with you, that specific agenda, what is it?

AIMEE ALLISON, FOUNDER, SHE THE PEOPLE: Well, it's a 30-page policy document. It's a road map. See, the Women's March started by organizing millions and now we're going to govern. And this is a road map that deals with all of the issues. The priorities are health care for everyone, ending war and really protecting the rights of immigrants and others and it's all laid out. So, yesterday, thousands were lobbying in Congress, and we want to see that agenda be implemented in the year to come.

[07:20:00] PAUL: OK. So, dana, I wanted to ask you since you're a sociology professor, this group is particularly adroit at organizing, organizing what you would call confrontational events. Can that talent be shifted to actual activism?

DANA FISHER, SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: Well, I would argue that participating in confrontational events and organizing confrontational events is actually activism in and of itself. That said, translating activism in the streets or resistances in the streets, as I like to call it into resistance in districts, in town hall meetings, in communities is exactly what the Women's March and people who participate in the Women's March have been doing for the past two years.

BLACKWELL: Aimee, let me come back to you and I want to talk about the controversy that so many people are talking about this weekend. One of the founders, Tamika Mallory was asked about her affiliation with Louis Farrakhan who has, for decades, been making anti-Semitic comments. She was asked if she could condemn those. She went as far as saying she disagreed but would not condemn. There's a photograph on her Facebook page calling him the greatest of all time. And last night, there was an exchange with Margaret Hoover, this was on PBS about the right for Israel exist. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it your view that Israel has a right to exist as a nation?

TAMIKA MALLORY, ACTIVIST: I've said many times that I feel everyone has a right to exist. I feel everyone has a right to exist. I just don't feel that anyone has the right to exist at the disposal of another group.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In your view, does that include Israelis in Israel?

MALLORY: I believe that all people have the right to exist and that Palestinians are also suffering with a great crisis.


BLACKWELL: So, you are a member of the steering committee of the Women's March. What's your view on what Tamika Mallory has said in her refusal to outright condemn the statements of Louis Farrakhan, as others have, affiliated with the group?

ALLISON: I will just say three things. One is that the women's movement has always been an inclusive movement trying to do the unfinished business of organizing across difference, including race and religious difference. And this is an inclusive movement that it's not perfect. And we're learning a lot, but we are, I think, showing as a vibrant multiracial movement, how far we can come. And it's also -- there's no room for anti-Semitism or racism or bigotry of any kind in this movement.

And I think that what we need to do is look at what we've been able to accomplish, how we've been able to center voices that normally don't get lifted. The immigrants, the migrants, African-American communities and others, and to do that hard work. What this movement needs more of, and the reason that the steering committee was formed, was to bring people together who can help advance that work to work across difference.

BLACKWELL: Aimee, please allow me to interrupt here, when you say that, you know, we want to work across difference, are you calling on Tamika Mallory, to simply condemn the comments of Louis Farrakhan?

ALLISON: If this march was about one person, it wouldn't be a march and it wouldn't be a movement. Today, there are going to be millions of people out in the streets across the country. And I think the distraction, let's not get distracted for what we actually are trying to accomplish. As, you know, every -- it has controversy.

BLACKWELL: It's not really a distraction for people who are deeply offended by those comments and listen to the leaders of this organization try to distract and defer away from answering that question. I mean, I've given you several opportunities here to call on Tamika Mallory, to go on the record condemning that, and you've said that it's not about a single person, which I understand. But what about her refusal to condemn those comments? You understand there were a lot of people online who are pulling away that the DNC has pulled away from the Women's March.

ALLISON: I'm not -- the DNC was never a partner with the Women's March.

BLACKWELL: It was certainly -- on the Web site, they were supporting it, and it's now not there. ALLISON: I think as a movement -- first of all, let me just say, we

are in an environment where the president is jailing children, where we need to actually have an agenda to push forward the Women's March and the women's movement, broadly movement is not -- is advancing that through its policy agenda. So, what I'm calling for is for people to come together. I'm calling for people to be out on the streets, but also to support a comprehensive agenda. And I think that the distraction of focusing on one person -- it's not about a personality of one person, it's about the movement and our ability to come together.

PAUL: Yes, but she's the co-founder of this organization. So, I think that's why her voice speaks so much more loudly, perhaps, in this conversation. Dana, I do want to get back to you. Because when you look at the controversy that is going on, and there are people who want to be part of the Women's March, and they might feel uncomfortable doing so because of this controversy, does that taint the group's ability to move into a lobbyist realm?

[07:25:26] FISHER: I think they're transitioning from confrontational politics into more institutional politics, like the Women's March is trying to do right now is a big challenge, has always been a challenge for activists, organizations in the history of America. That said, I think it's really important to point out that the women's movement is not one organization, it's not one person, it's not one personality.

Not to undermine the controversy here, but just to say the people who will be marching in the streets today will represent organizations that run the gamut, that represent local communities across the country, that represent local indigenous community organizers, organizations, as well as big national groups. And there's not just one organization that's part of Women's March or the movement more broadly.

So, I think it's really important to recognize that the controversy is around one person and one organization, and not around the movement or the march itself. Women's March, this one organization, is coordinating the organization here in Washington, D.C. But the rest of the marches are going to be coordinated by other groups around the country today.

BLACKWELL: All right, Dana Fisher and Aimee Allison, thank you for joining us.

PAUL: Thank you, ladies.

FISHER: Thank you.

PAUL: And still to come, federal workers and their families, look at them, lining up for blocks to get groceries at food banks across the country. We're going to talk to the president and CEO of the food bank that's helping workers in Atlanta.


[07:31:00] PAUL: Already 29 days now, the government shutdown dragging on and the signs of desperation associated with this on full display across the country. Federal workers are turning to food banks to try to help meet their needs.

Let's bring you here to Atlanta here. These workers and their families waited in such long lines for groceries. Groceries provided by the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Now, there are similar efforts that have popped up all over the country at food pantries. But the president and CEO of Atlanta Community Food Bank, Kyle Waide is with us now.

Kyle, we see those pictures. This is a hard thing for working people to do. They're going to work, they're not getting paid, they're proud of what they do, they probably never found themselves in a situation where they thought. But I'm going to work and I still need -- I need help. Help us understand what that's like for them, and what you do to try to alleviate it.

KYLE WAIDE, PRESIDENT, ATLANTA COMMUNITY FOOD BANK: Sure. So, we're really seeing signs of increased demand across our community.

PAUL: Yes.

WAIDE: And we know a lot of that relates to these federal employees. We hosted an event yesterday down at the airport for TSA workers and Customs and Border Protection workers. And there were about a thousand households that came through that -- through that food distribution.

PAUL: Did you expect that?

WAIDE: We, we, we planned for that. We ultimately win and got more food from our distribution centers to ensure we didn't run out. But we distributed about 50,000 pounds of food yesterday. And folks were waiting in line up to an hour at different points during the day to get that food.

And you saw a car seats and all of these cars. These are -- these are families. Often, you have two members of the family working for the federal government. They certainly did not ever expect to be in that line.

I talked to one gentleman who had worked as a volunteer for a food pantry before and was on the other side of that line.

PAUL: Yes. What did he say about that?

WAIDE: You know, he said it was humbling and -- you know, he was frustrated, he was sad. But he's eager to get his life back in order. He's working hard right now to keep all of us safe.

So, it's -- you know it is hard for me as a -- as a parent, a father, to not just really have my heart go out to these folks who are still working.

PAUL: So, what is your most urgent need, and are you -- are you confident that you can sustain this for a while. Because we're off the -- you know, we're just coming off the holidays and people think, "Oh, I've donated I don't need to do anything right now.

WAIDE: Yes. So, we're well, well-prepared right now to respond to some of that need. But, but the longer this goes, I mean we're really in unchartered territory. We're trying to prepare for this as though it's a natural disaster.

PAUL: Yes.

WAIDE: It has that kind of scale. And if we get into February or March, and see this drag on. The impact will extend much broad look, much more broadly in our community. The -- in particular, federal nutrition programs like the SNAP Program.

PAUL: Right.

WAIDE: If it is disrupted, it provides about 10 times the amount of food we provide in our region. And we provide a lot of food.

PAUL: Yes.

WAIDE: 61 million meals every year. But its dwarfs what we provide. So, if we see a disruption in those kind of programs, that level of need will far surpass what we're able to provide. Kyle Waide, thank you so much for what you're doing. We appreciate it.

Again, with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, your work is, is so important. Thank you.

WAIDE: Thank you for having me.

PAUL: Absolutely.

[07:34:22] BLACKWELL: Well, its day 29 of the longest government shutdown ever. It's the end of the first full week after more than 800,000 federal workers, and an estimated more than 2 million federal contractors were not paid. The stories are becoming more desperate. People are pawning their wedding rings to pay rent. Deciding between buying medicine, and paying the power bill, selling their Christmas presents to make ends meet, to buy food.

These are working people. They work for us. Now listen, I've never been furloughed, I've always had a job. Thank God. But when you're making only a few hundred dollars every two weeks as I once did, sometimes, you get to day 11 of a biweekly pay period and there's nothing left.

So, I know what it feels like to open the refrigerator and there's nothing but condiments and ice. To hope that it's someone's birthday, it worked the next day. And there's a potluck, so you can have lunch tomorrow.

No working person, especially not people who work for us, who work for the American people, should have to struggle the way that federal workers are right now. So, I'm going to do something this morning I've never done. And I don't want to sound self-righteous, this show is not a telethon. And we will continue to challenge the policies and the politics, and all that's happening in Washington. But at the same time, I know that we can feed each other. Right? People shouldn't have to question where the next meal is coming from. We can feed each other.

So, I'm donating to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. I'd like you to consider supporting your local food bank, too. And if you don't know how, I'm going to tweet a link to where you can find out. And I want you to let me know if you do.

Again, we can feed each other while they fight in Washington. Go to Twitter and Instagram, and use the #ShutdownHunger. Let me know if you're supporting your local food bank and encourage others to do the same thing. Thank you, and we'll be right back.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm about to lose my car. I'm about to lose my Medicaid, my car insurance. I might even lose my driver's license.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you got to decide, do you buy something to eat, or do you put gas in your vehicle?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband's in there making homemade bread because it's cheaper than buying a loaf at the store.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have enough for one more mortgage payment, and I got to go to CarMax tomorrow and sell my car.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This last weekend, I didn't wear my insulin pump at all. I just took it off. I went to bed, and just hoped I'd wake up.



PAUL: Well, mortgage rates inched up this week. Here's your look.


[07:41:23] BLACKWELL: 19 minutes to the top of the hour now. The number of candidates lining up to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020 is growing. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is in Iowa this weekend, just days after launching a presidential exploratory committee.

Meanwhile, Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden says that he does not think that his divorce will affect whether his father decides to run for president. We'll talk about that in a moment. Well, after the 2015 death of Biden's other son, Beau, a report surfaced that Hunter Biden was in a romantic relationship with his brother's widow. Meanwhile, there are reports former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is considering running for president as an independent. Joining me now, Rochelle Ritchie, former press secretary for the House Democratic Policy Communications Committee. And Mica Mosbacher, former RNC finance co-chair and member of the Trump 2020 campaign advisory board. Welcome to both of you.



BLACKWELL: So, Mica, let me start here. The Trump campaign is fundraising off this border wall fight right now. They are -- let's put it up we have it on the screen. For $20.20 you can send a fake -- I think, its foam brick to either Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer. If this is such a crisis.

If this is a national emergency, why is the campaign using this opportunity to send some prop gag to the speaker and the minority leader?

MOSBACHER: Well, I think actually, they are underscoring the crisis on the border in this country, and promising to send a brick at a time will build the wall brick by brick until you agree to come to the table and negotiate. And so, you can text, "Wall" to 880 -- to 880- 22. And a brick is being sent.

But what's important is the facts that are stated on the brick. For example, the DEA came out with their annual drug assessment report in December, and they said that 30 percent of fentanyl -- 37 percent increase of fentanyl is coming across the southern border. So, again, the party --


BLACKWELL: But we also know that the percentage of drugs that are coming across the southern border, the majority of those drugs are coming through the ports of entry.

RITCHIE: Exactly.

BLACKWELL: So, they're not being brought across the border by people who were coming into the country illegally. I've got limited time, Rochelle I want you to respond to this, and then, Mica, I'm coming right back to you.

RITCHIE: Really quick. That's just not true, as you said, Victor. 90 percent of the drugs coming from our southern border -- southern border is coming through our legal ports of entries. There have been multiple stories just in the last few months showing that border agents have found drugs in cargo trucks.

They are also finding tunnels in which people are smuggling drugs, weapons, cash, and even a legal immigrants over our southern border. Sending this brick is extremely irresponsible. Considering the fact that you have nut jobs out there that are going to start sending other things.

This is a very irresponsible way to put forth a message about border security. And I would suggest, Mica, that you all stop this now. Because I was on Capitol Hill when Congressman Scalise was shot. And people blamed that on Bernie Sanders.

So, if something happens to one of these Congress members because of the immature response from this White House when it comes to border security that is going to be on Donald Trump and his administration.

BLACKWELL: Rochelle, let me ask you about --

RITCHIE: Well --

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about this. Actually, you know what, let's stick with this topic. I think this is far more important than I was going. Mica, go ahead.

[07:44:56] MOSBACHER: Well, I think what is irresponsible is the fact that the speaker, Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, and the leadership won't sit down and negotiate. This could be a win-win situation for both sides. They could find a pathway for DACA, the 1.8 million DREAMers coming into this country.


BLACKWELL: The President has already rejected that, Mica.

RITCHIE: They had an opportunity.

MOSBACHER: And they are -- he is willing. Where is the counter- proposal? They supported the wall in 2018.

BLACKWELL: That's just -- that's just --


BLACKWELL: Hold on, Rochelle. That's just not true

MOSBACHER: They supported the Secure Border Act. They supported the Secure Border Act of 2006.

BLACKWELL: Senator Graham went to President Trump and said how about this DREAMer deal for the wall funding, he rejected that. He went back to the President and said how about we hold, you know, we passed the funding for the government to open for about three weeks, and then, if not, go to a national emergency. He rejected that. So, we'll see what he says later today.

MOSBACHER: Because he wants to hear directly from the Dems. He wants to hear a counter-proposal from the Dems.

RITCHIE: But he did -- but he did hear from the Democrats.

MOSBACHER: Yes. RITCHIE: He -- Chuck Schumer went to him and in January of 2018. $25 billion was on the table as long as they were willing to give undocumented DACA recipients a path to citizenship. Trump said, no. They went back the next month, and they offered it again. He said, no. They came back this time.

The only reason that Trump flip-flopped on this entire thing is because of Rush Limbaugh and listening to people like Ann Coulter.

BLACKWELL: Rochelle, let me switch - let me switch -- let me switch to one of the Democrats here. There's this unusual relationship I discussed at the top between Joe Biden's son and his sister-in-law. The former V.P. son, Beau Biden died in 2015.

Beau's widow and his brother, Hunter Biden, began this romantic relationship now. They're talking about this in Vanity Fair. A family spokesperson says the V.P. and the former second lady have blessed the relationship. Hunter Biden doesn't think that this is going to impact his father's run for the White House. Do you think it will?

RITCHIE: Is that for?

BLACKWELL: That's for you, Rochelle.

RITCHIE: No, I don't think it will. And I think that anybody that tries to come after Biden's family -- especially considering all the tragedies that they have dealt with. I think they would be on the losing end of that battle. And honestly, the bar of family morals has really gone down, considering that we have a man sitting in the Oval -- white -- in the White in the White House right now that had an extramarital affair, while his wife was at home with his son.

BLACKWELL: Mica, let me ask you this. The President has gone after Ted Cruz's wife -- I'm sorry, Ted Cruz's wife, Ted Cruz's father, Andy McCabe's wife now going after Michael Cohen's father-in-law. Do you think that this is relevant in 2020?

MOSBACHER: No, I think that what's relevant is the president's record. And the fact that it's the economy stupid, we have a roaring economy, we have 4.0 percent unemployment. We've had blockbuster jobs report in December. 325K new jobs.


MOSBACHER: It -- and I think at the end of the day that people are interested in results. Remember, President Trump won because he tapped into collective anger in this country.

RITCHIE: Yes, racism.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Well --

MOSBACHER: People were fed up with politics as usual. And I think that that's even true in the Democratic Party. BLACKWELL: There certainly has been some good economic news. But we'll see how this shutdown impacted as we move now into -- starting the fifth week. Rochelle Ritchie, Mica Mosbacher, thank you both.

RITCHIE: Thanks, Victor.

PAUL: All right, we're just a couple hours away from women taking over the streets of cities across the country, and in Washington, as well. Take a look at some of the pictures from last year or actually two years ago it looks like. January 21st, 2017 there in Washington.

The Women's March calling for social justice. There is a controversy brewing though. Could it derail that message? We're talking to Representative Madeleine Dean in a moment. Stay close.


[07:53:03] PAUL: Well today, for the third year, women across the country and in Washington are going to be on the streets demanding political change. Democratic representative from Pennsylvania, Madeleine Dean, out with us now.

Thank you so much, Representative, for being with us. We appreciate it. I want you --



PAUL: Thank you. Are you going to be out marching today?

DEAN: Yes I am. Looking forward to it.

PAUL: OK, what do you -- what is your take on the controversy regarding the co-founder Tamika Mallory, refusing to denounce some anti-Semitic statements by Louis Farrakhan. It's created a bit of a divide in the organization, or in the people who want to support it, and they're a little uncomfortable with it. Your thoughts on that.

DEAN: Well, thank you for the -- for the question and the chance to be with you today and to talk about the March. For me, the March, the spirit of it is solidarity. It's actually an engagement of women repeated now for the third time, three years in a row.

Around the notion that we must be engaged, we are empowered, and that our voices will be heard. So, my -- the mission and the spirit with which I go about this March is not at all about division. It is actually the exact opposite. It is how do we draw ourselves together and make sure our voices are heard. And this last election cycle showed just that.

I'm one of four women that ran for Congress in Pennsylvania. And together, we actually ran multiple times and did events as the Fab Four. And we lifted each other up. So, the spirit of this March is women working in solidarity. PAUL: Also, on the front page of The New York Times this morning, there's some new news that the House Democrats are adding a billion dollars in border-related spending to reopen the government. We know that we're waiting for an announcement from President Trump later this afternoon. As he says, he's going to be putting his something else out there, trying to entice them to come back to the negotiating table.

But this proposal is said, according to The Times, to include more spending on border measures and scheduled for a vote next week. Would you vote for that?

[07:55:06] DEAN: Well, I'll have to take a look at that proposal. But what I will tell you in the very few days that I have been in Congress, beginning with day one with swearing-in day, we have voted over and over again for support to reopen this government.

We voted for legislation that Republicans and the Senate passed, and we returned it to them to take up the legislation so that the president will either sign it or not.

Americans deserve a vote. And much more importantly, they deserve to have their government open and operating. One of the things I did yesterday was visit with air traffic controllers at Philadelphia, Airport.

PAUL: Right.

DEAN: To hear their stories. It's just extraordinary. This irresponsible shutdown of the government. Certainly, the Democrats have been at the negotiating table, they never left it. We never didn't want to fund border security, smart security. So, you need to get the government open.

PAUL: So, you're open. You're open to giving money for border security and for a wall if it will open the government.

DEAN: We have been -- we have been providing border security historically all along. It's a falsehood that the Democrats don't want border security. I took the time to visit the border in California before I was elected. And saw there with very strong support from border patrol. The -- all the border protections that are in place. What Democrats want is smart border security.


PAUL: All right. Well --

DEAN: What that which recognizes human dignity and human rights. But also keeps us safe. Representative Madeleine Dean, we appreciate you taking time to be with us. Thank you. We'll be right back.

DEAN: Thank you, Christi.

PAUL: Absolutely


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY Weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: Good Saturday to you. This could be the first actual movement toward a plan to reopen the government. The New York Times is reporting House Democrats have now added $1 billion in border- related spending to their package of bills to reopen the government.

PAUL: Yes, of this, of course, when President Trump is planning to make his own offer to Democrats.