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CNN NEWSROOM

Democrats Reject Trump's Offer to End Shutdown; Native American Elder Faces Off with Teens; Airstrike Kills 52 Militants in Somalia; Funeral Held for Polish Mayor; Campaign against Sexual Violence in Lebanon Seeks to Change Attitudes; Interview with Nicole Lauer, East Bay Coast Guard Spouses Club; Brexit Chaos Leads to Crisis of Leadership; Interview with Ocean Ramsey, Shark Swimmer. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired January 20, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


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DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a common sense compromise both parties should embrace.

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GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The U.S. president announces the proposal to end the government shutdown but Democrats say no way.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A suspected car bombing rattles Northern Ireland as the investigation continues into who was behind the attack.

Also --

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HOWELL (voice-over): A video sparking outrage, high school students taunting a Native American elder on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and now we're hearing from the man in the tense faceoff with that teen wearing the MAGA hat.

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ALLEN: Extremely disturbing and we'll delve into that story this hour and next.

Welcome to our viewers here in the U.S. and all around the world, live from Atlanta, G.A., I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: I'm George Howell from CNN World Headquarters. CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

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ALLEN: A forceful and unequivocal no from Democrats to a White House proposal to end the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

HOWELL: That's right. In exchange for his border wall, President Trump offered to temporarily lift the threat of deportation, a threat now hanging over 1 million undocumented immigrants.

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TRUMP: The plan includes $5.7 billion for a strategic deployment of physical barriers or a wall. This is not a 2,000-mile concrete structure from sea to sea. These are steel barriers in high priority locations.

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ALLEN: The top U.S. Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, rejected the deal before it was even offered. She said the president was just recycling old ideas that had already been turned down.

The partial shutdown of the U.S. government is now in its 30th day. CNN's Sarah Westwood has more from the White House.

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SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump on Saturday rolling out a proposal that he described as an attempt to break the logjam that has dragged this partial government shutdown nearly a month.

The president proposing from the White House a deal that would net him $5.7 billion in funding for his border wall as well as millions for other security measures, like more immigration judges, more detention space at the border, even more Border Patrol agents.

And in exchange, Trump says he would agree to a one-time, three-year renewal of DACA protections for those young undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers as well as a three-year extension of temporary protected status for the roughly 300,000 immigrants currently covered under that status.

But they are facing the prospect of their TPS expiring. The White House is defending this proposal on Saturday against criticisms from both sides of the aisle, responding to charges from the far right that this bill would amount to amnesty.

Vice President Pence said that a pathway to citizenship right now is not on the table, claims that the bill would not constitute amnesty for the DREAMers. Pence also acknowledging that the president in the past has said he would not support this kind of trade, DACA for wall funding, by saying that the president came around to the idea after hearing from rank and file members on both sides of the aisle.

Now the White House is hoping to move quickly on this bill with a vote in the Senate as soon as next week. But it's not yet clear whether the bill has the ability to make it through the Republican controlled Senate, let alone the Democratic controlled House -- Sarah Westwood, CNN, the White House. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Let's chat more about this now with Natasha Lindstaedt. She teaches government at the University of Essex in England.

Good to have you on the show with us, Natasha. Let's start by talking about the president's proposal to essentially get money for the wall that he wants by giving some of what Democrats would want as well.

Do you see this on the face of it, Natasha, as a fair negotiation?

We may be having trouble there with Natasha Lindstaedt, her audio. We'll get back to her shortly.

Again, the president coming out with a proposal, Democrats flatly rejecting that proposal and at this point we'll have to see what happens with the government shutdown that lingers on now for 30 days.

ALLEN: We'll get back to that in a moment.

We'll go to this other story we have been following right now.

HOWELL: That's right. A native American elder and a Vietnam veteran has spoken to CNN after videos of a group of teenagers harassing and mocking --

[04:05:00]

HOWELL: -- him went viral.

ALLEN: This is one of the videos.

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ALLEN (voice-over): It happened Friday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Nathan Phillips was beating a ceremonial drum and singing a Native American protest song when he saw a group of teenagers about to clash with four young African Americans, preaching about the Bible and oppression.

The situation came to a head when a young man, you see him there, wearing a make America great again hat, got right in his face.

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NATHAN PHILLIPS, NATIVE AMERICAN ELDER, VIETNAM WAR VETERAN: When I was there and I was standing there and I seen that group of people in front of me and I seen the angry faces and all of that, I realized I had put myself in a really dangerous situation, you know?

It was like, here is a group of people who were angry at somebody else and I put myself in front of that and, all of a sudden, I'm the one who is -- all that anger and all of that wanting to have the freedom to just rip me apart, you know? That was scary. And I -- I'm a Vietnam times veteran and I know that

mentality of, there is enough of us; we can do this.

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ALLEN: The students attend Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, which is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington. And it released this statement about what happened.

"We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students toward Nathan Phillips specifically and Native Americans in general. We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips.

"This behavior is opposed to the church's teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person. The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion."

HOWELL: Let's get back now to Natasha Lindstaedt, we were speaking to her earlier.

Natasha, when I said hello and you didn't say anything, I knew there might be a problem there. I think we have you now, which it is good to have you on the show.

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Thank you for having me.

HOWELL: I would like to talk about the president's proposal to get the money for the border wall he wants, that $5 billion, giving the Democrats some of what they want.

The question to you, on the face of it, do you see that as a fair negotiation?

LINDSTAEDT: Well, I think that, both for Democrats and Republicans, they don't really like what he had to offer or at least you could say his base, not necessarily Republicans but his base wasn't really happy with what he had to offer.

And from the Democrats' standpoint, he's not offering anything new. What they wanted is they wanted him to open up the government and then they could start negotiating. They didn't want to provide him any funding for this wall.

And, remember, everything regarding DACA is a chaos of his own making. He was the one trying to repeal DACA; it was a program that was somewhat successful, improving the livelihood of the recipients. And he's offering something much lesser, of lesser value and already tied up in the courts anyway and he's saying it is going to be the wall or bust and from the standpoint of the Democrats, this doesn't really improve things.

HOWELL: Look, this from Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, he says this, let's bring the quote to full so people can see this.

"Compromise," he says, "in a divided government means that everyone can't get everything they want every time. The president's proposal reflects that. It strikes a fair compromise by incorporating priorities from both sides of the aisle."

Natasha, important to point out, the White House never discussed these terms or items with Democrats before announcing them; Democrats, again, turning it down flat.

Do you believe he is negotiating here with the stronger hand or is it Democrats?

LINDSTAEDT: He's not negotiating with a stronger hand. If you look at what happened in the past week, it has been a terrible week for him. There have been -- the past several weeks, there have been reports from the FBI that they were investigating whether or not he was almost acting as if he was a Russian agent, engaging in all kinds of treasonous behavior.

There have been different reports about possibly he had directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress; the special counsel came out to say that they refuted parts of that. And his popularity about the wall is very low. Most of the public blames him, a majority of the public in all the different polls that have come out, blame him for causing the shutdown to go on and on.

And he's not really coming from it, where he has big popularity about building this wall at any cost. As far as the Democrats see it, they want immigration reform and he doesn't really understand the problems associated with immigration. He thinks immigration is a terrible thing --

[04:10:00]

LINDSTAEDT: -- whereas immigration has been good for the economy. Doesn't understand that actually the 10 million illegal immigrants do pay state and local taxes, about $8 billion.

They don't commit more crimes than normal citizens do. And he doesn't understand the way drugs flow into the country. We have seen court cases prove they come in through other ports and through private vehicles.

And so they don't feel there is any urgency to give into this whimsical idea we have to build this wall. They feel if they go with this route, this is like giving in to someone having a temper tantrum and government can't work this way.

HOWELL: Let's talk about the specifics of the president's proposal and what it means to his base. Mr. Trump proposing to extend protection, three years of extended protection to DREAMers and covering immigrants by temporary protected status.

Some call that a play toward amnesty, though the president pushed back against that notion.

The question, how big of a deal breaker would this type of a move be to Mr. Trump's base in exchange for the $5 billion that he wants for a wall that he initially said Mexico would pay for?

We know that's now not the case.

LINDSTAEDT: That's one of the big issues with this whole problem with the wall and with Trump's base in general, is that they're very uncompromising about what they want.

They want a huge wall built because they think that will protect them from unwanted immigration and they don't really want any concessions to DREAMers, which they believe should be deported.

And so they're looking at it differently, where the Democrats don't think he gave enough in terms of offering them much. And the base thinks that, well, what is this going to end up leading to?

It's going to be one concession after another and this is going to then keep going and possibly lead to some road to citizenship for these individuals. And so all of this doesn't really work that well for the president. I think he's kind of caught in between, not really pleasing the Democrats at all and not really pleasing his base.

HOWELL: Natasha Lindstaedt, with context and perspective, we appreciate your time, thank you.

LINDSTAEDT: Thank you.

ALLEN: Now we take you to Northern Ireland. Police are investigating a suspected car bomb that exploded. It happened in Londonderry, also known as Derry, Saturday night. There are no reported injuries, we're happy to say.

Police have not given information about suspects and no one has claimed responsibility. But the incident has sparked fear in the city that there could be a resurgence of sectarian violence.

Nic Robertson joins us live from Derry.

Nic, you just filed a story this week and addressed the sectarian violence that occurred so many years ago, which you used to cover in this area. And then this suspicious explosion happens.

What can you tell us?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the police have been able to get onto the scene in daylight now, in the last half an hour. Forensic teams have been able to get up to the remains of the vehicle and begin inspecting it. So maybe they'll learn more details.

Overnight they were concerned there were other suspicious vehicles, there was a vehicle that was a vehicle of concern, they were able to rule that out.

But talking to -- excuse me -- local residents, people as far as 100 yards away from the bomb said that they felt the buildings move, the windows shake. So it is raising concerns for people about why this should happen. And it is completely unclear why it should happen or who is responsible.

One of the concerns, however, would be that -- and this was something we heard from people we were talking to hear the past couple of days -- that, because the Brexit talks are going so slowly, because it protects the border with Ireland, it is close to people here, they fear that there is a possibility, a small possibility, that there could be a return to violence.

This would be -- this would awaken fears or, if you will, heighten fears about that. No one expects a return to the sort of violence that was here in Northern Ireland a long time ago.

There are small groups of dissidents here who have a small campaign over the past, perhaps 10 years or so, of small pipe bombs, very occasional incidents. But the significance of this -- and perhaps this is what is worth stating clearly -- this does appear to be a step change by what appears to be a dissident Republican group.

However, that, at the moment, really is still speculation. But as you say, it does heighten the concerns of people in this community and across the rest of the country, who are very desperate to know what is going to happen with Brexit.

It is building a big moment of uncertainty in people's lives and people here in Northern Ireland on the border of southern Ireland feel it more than most.

ALLEN: Right. You were just talking with some of those people and this is the last thing they wanted to see. It's highly disturbing. We know you'll continue to follow it for us, Nic Robertson, thank you.

HOWELL: Mexico's deadly --

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HOWELL: -- pipeline blast was a major crisis on its own. But it exposed another big problem affecting the country. Ahead, how rampant fuel theft is costing Mexico billions of dollars.

ALLEN: Also ahead here, a campaign tries to change attitudes about sexual violence in Lebanon. We'll have a report from Beirut.

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ALLEN: Welcome back.

The United States says 52 militants are dead after a Saturday airstrike in Somalia. The U.S. military says it targeted Al-Shabaab fighters in the south of the country and no civilians were hurt or killed. Al-Shabaab is linked to Al Qaeda. The U.S. says the airstrike came in response to an earlier militant attack on Somali government forces.

HOWELL: In Poland, thousands of people came together in Gdansk for the funeral of mayor Pavel Adamowicz, stabbed to death last week at a public event.

ALLEN: Several high-profile leaders attended the mass, including the country's prime minister and former president, Lech Walesa. Speakers included the mayor's daughter and his wife, who would have celebrated 20 years of marriage with him this May. They spoke of his service to the city of Gdansk.

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MAGDALENA ADAMOWICZ, PAVEL'S WIFE (through translator): From the start of our relationship, I knew that I would have to share your love with Gdansk. And I shared it but I wasn't jealous. I fully understood that you loved Gdansk and you needed it just like Gdansk loves and needs you.

ANTONIRA ADAMOWICZ, PAVEL'S DAUGHTER (through translator): My dear darling Daddy, I wanted to thank you for all of your life, for your life which you spent with us, with Mom, Teresa (ph), with our grandparents and with Gdansk.

I want to thank you for evening walks with your beloved dog, Zeus (ph), for teaching me to love books, history and to be interested in the world.

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ALLEN: Adamowicz was one of Poland's longest serving mayors. He died one day after being attacked at one of Poland's biggest charity events.

HOWELL: In Mexico, authorities continuing to investigate the cause of a pipeline explosion on Friday, an explosion that left 73 people dead. Officials say that it happened as people were trying to steal gasoline from the line and it may have been sparked by static electricity.

My colleague, Rafael Romo, reports the blast highlights just how problematic fuel theft has become in Mexico.

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RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): Firefighters stand by helplessly as a giant fireball engulfs a pipeline in Mexico. Dozens are dead in the blaze in the state of Hidalgo, just 120 kilometers north of Mexico city.

Officials say the cause of the fire is under investigation but it happened after a raid by fuel thieves, who drill illegal taps into the pipelines. It is a crime that has become widespread in Mexico and one the President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has vowed to stop. ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR, PRESIDENT OF MEXICO (through translator): We will eradicate this gas black market. It not only causes material damages or damages to our nation but the risk, the danger and the loss of human lives.

ROMO (voice-over): In December, Lopez Obrador launched a crackdown on fuel theft, saying it caused the country around $3 billion last year, with some estimates saying the pipelines were raided an average of 42 times a day.

The government has since deployed additional troops and federal police to protect refineries and shut down some of the pipelines, delivering some of the fuel by tanker trucks instead.

Authorities say this latest fire was extremely deadly because several hundred local residents were on the scene, siphoning up the spilling gas. Lopez Obrador says he will work closely with investigators to prevent incidents like this from happening again.

LOPEZ OBRADOR (through translator): We are saddened by what has happened, by this tragedy and we want before anything else to give our deepest condolences to the families of the victims.

ROMO (voice-over): Rafael Romo, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Millions of people around the world have been taking part in the third annual Women's March.

HOWELL: You'll remember these marches, they started back in 2017, the day after Donald Trump's inauguration. The message: equality and respect for women and more progressive policies.

ALLEN: Of course it not just in the U.S. Look at the crowds in Berlin, carrying signs and calling for equality and respect.

In London, hundreds filled Trafalgar Square, protesting violence against women; some were protesting Brexit, saying women would suffer the most in a post-Brexit Britain.

HOWELL: This year's event was not without its own controversies, though. The organizers of the national march faced allegations of anti-Semitism after a Jewish magazine accused two group leaders of making anti-Semitic comments.

Campaigners are also trying to raise awareness about sexual violence in Lebanon.

ALLEN: They want to shift the narrative and change a culture of shame and victim blaming. CNN's Ben Wedeman has more on their efforts from Beirut.

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BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Terrified and in tears, a young woman is alone in the streets of Beirut.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WEDEMAN (voice-over): She struggles to tell passersby she's been raped. She gets a bit of sympathy and a lot of shame. No one calls the police.

The woman is an actress; everyone else, just ordinary citizens, unaware they're being filmed. It is part of an effort by the Lebanese NGO ABAAD to change the attitudes toward the victims of sexual violence. The campaign in Arabic is called Min El Felten.

GHIDA ANANI, ABAAD FOUNDER: The Min El Felten or Shame on Who was a campaign that is trying to shed the light on the rapists, shedding the light on the --

[04:25:00]

ANANI: -- laws that needs to be reformed and mainly to gain the public debate around the blaming and shaming of the survivors.

WEDEMAN: The group ABAAD has painted on the walls of Beirut stylized depictions based upon descriptions provided by victims of their actual sexual predators.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): This woman, who requested we not name her or show her face, recounts how she reconnected with an old boyfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): One day he just asked me out and we went to a hotel and we had this sexual relation that I called love. Lovemaking, to him it was a simple sex relation. I then figured out -- I found out that he was taping the whole thing on his cell phone without my consent.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Angry, she wanted out of the relationship.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Just the moment that I asked out, he said I have a video and I'm going to send to your work, to your family, to your ex. I'm going to send it to the whole site to see that you're a bad person. This I considered, as I said, a rape of my rights.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): With the help of a friend, she was able to erase the footage from her blackmailer's phone. But she didn't go to the police.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They would say that it is your fault, you went with him to the hotels.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): The Lebanese police now receive training in how to deal with the victims of sexual assault.

Another part of the campaign is an interactive retelling by actors of the stories of real-life victims of sexual violence. For Hiba Sleiman, it was a hard role.

HIBA SLEIMAN, ACTOR: I played the story of a young woman who was sexually assaulted from the age of 8 to the age of 28, 20 years of assault by her brother, by her own brother.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): It is a first step to putting the blame and shame where it belongs, on the predator, not the prey -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, Beirut.

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HOWELL: Hope that that will change attitudes.

ALLEN: Yes, have an impact. Sure do.

Thousands of American families now face one month without pay.

HOWELL: One month without pay. Still ahead, more and more people are turning up at food banks now to feed their families as the government shutdown drags on with no end in sight. Stay with us.

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ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. We appreciate you watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour.

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HOWELL: Returning now to our top story that we're following, the latest proposal from the White House to end the government shutdown. Democrats flatly rejected it, even before President Trump made his pitch.

ALLEN: The president had proposed stopping deportations for three years of 1 million undocumented immigrants but only if he got $5 billion for his wall on the southern U.S. border.

HOWELL: The top U.S. Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accused the president of passing off old and rejected ideas as some kind of compromise and said it won't fly with Congress.

So the political back and forth, the shutdown, grinds on, now into 30 days and counting. And in the middle of this stalemate, some 800,000 government workers about to miss another paycheck. Ryan Nobles has the latest for you. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Even before President Trump made his announcement at the White House on Saturday, Democrats were roundly rejecting his proposal of trading some funding for his border wall in exchange for temporary relief for those DREAMers and the TPS community the Democrats have often fought for.

There are two reasons for that. The first being they just weren't involved in this conversation. This wasn't a negotiation in any way, shape or form. It was something that the president just laid on the table and did it mainly through media reports.

And Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, saying, "Unfortunately, initial reports make it clear that his proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people's lives.

"It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House and, taken together, they are a nonstarter. For one thing, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the DREAMers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports."

That seems to be a major sticking point for Democrats on Capitol Hill. Yes, at one time Chuck Schumer did offer President Trump $25 billion to build his border wall but, in exchange, he wanted a clear pathway to citizenship for those DREAMers.

That's not what this is. Yes, it is less money, only around $6 billion for the wall but it would also mean that the DREAMers and the TPS community would only have protection for about three years.

And Democrats say they're not interested in trading a permanent wall on the southern border in exchange for only temporary protected status for these folks, who find themselves in this position here in the United States.

Meanwhile, Republicans seem excited about this. They view this as the president going on offense, forcing Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to the bargaining table; Mitch McConnell and an aide to Mitch McConnell say it is likely this bill will come up on the Senate floor in some form next week.

Democrats will likely fight it but Mitch McConnell is prepared to make each one of them vote up or down yes or no on the president's proposal -- Ryan Nobles, CNN, Washington.

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ALLEN: The impact of 800,000 federal workers not being paid goes far beyond those individuals --

[04:35:00]

ALLEN: -- and their immediate families. It has a ripple effect on their local communities and puts a strain on society at large.

Food banks are popping up across the country to provide groceries. These government workers are now on the verge of missing their second paychecks.

Nicole Lauer joins me from Alameda, California, she is the vice president of the East Bay Coast Guard Spouses Club. Her husband is a Navy veteran and now on active duty in the Coast Guard.

And I think I have this right that you served as well, Nicole, is that right?

NICOLE LAUER, EAST BAY COAST GUARD SPOUSES CLUB: I was actually -- I'm the Navy veteran. My husband is active duty Coast Guard. He's always been Coast Guard.

ALLEN: Got it. Thank you to you and your husband for serving this country.

Let's talk about what you're going through. What is the biggest challenge for you and your family right now?

We're staring at the government being shut down for a month now.

LAUER: I think that the biggest challenge that we're facing is that, you know, when it first started, it was a few weeks and, you're, like, OK, I'll figure it out. Now that we're looking at a month, this is long-term impacts on finances. What we had in savings is only going to last us a little bit, especially in the Bay Area.

So we're having to take the steps to call our car companies and creditors and see who is willing to work with us and who isn't. It is just a very unfortunate situation that no military family should ever have to be in.

ALLEN: What kind of stress is that doing to your day-in-day life and the people around you that you know that are in the same situation?

LAUER: We're trying to take a positive approach to it. I have been focusing a lot on these food banks that we're running for our Coast Guard families in Alameda.

That's taking a lot of my mind off the negativity surrounding this situation and put positivity into it by providing groceries for our local Coast Guard families and taking one less stress off of them.

ALLEN: What is the response like when you put a call out for a food bank?

LAUER: Absolutely overwhelming. We're like we'll get a few places to help and by the next day we had so many businesses calling us and so many Alameda residents calling us, saying we want to help, how can we help.

And we're going on about two weeks of collecting donations already. And they keep coming in. We're still getting the same amount today as we got on the very first day.

ALLEN: And what kind of things are you hearing from people that want to help, that want to ease the suffering that you're going through?

LAUER: The most we have been hearing is that it is just showing support for the Coast Guard. Alameda sitting on the water is obviously a very big -- with the boaters in the area. So it has been a lot of support from the Alameda community knowing that the Coast Guard is here, they helped in the community a bunch of times.

So it is the community giving back to our members here. It is really uplifting to see that, to know that they have got our backs, like the Coast Guard has theirs.

ALLEN: Right. Let's talk about that. Your family serves the government. And now the government is not serving you.

How does that make you feel that your family has been placed in this precarious situation?

LAUER: You know, it is one of those things where you -- you can't get upset with anybody at this point. It is just a matter of you having to focus on your family and focus on what you need to do to get through to these next steps.

And as, you know, military members, they don't join the military to make money, they join to serve their country. So you're going to serve your country no matter what.

But it is tough when a lot of military members aren't making, you know, making a lot of money to begin with and you're struggling paycheck to paycheck when you are getting paid. So it definitely is a lot of stress not being paid at the moment.

ALLEN: Right. And when you think that the issue that is keeping the government shut down is a border wall, it is ironic, isn't it, that the Coast Guard serves the border, you're there in Southern California and this is what the Coast Guard does and this shutdown is over a border wall.

How does it make you feel?

What do you think about that?

LAUER: My opinion is the Coast Guard is the wall. They're the ones actively out there, stopping the drugs from coming in and protecting our borders. So it is a little disheartening to have this argument over this wall that doesn't exist at the moment and we're not funding the wall that currently is there in place.

ALLEN: Right.

How do you see this ending?

When do you think this will end?

How long can you hold out here?

LAUER: Unfortunately, I'm not sure when it is going to end. We are really tracking the Pay Our Coast Guard Act which has bipartisan support on both sides. So that's I think one hope that a lot of Coast Guard families are holding out hope for, is that it will be passed this week.

We're prepared for a little bit. But like I said, there are multiple families around us who aren't. And at some point, one side will have to give at some point.

ALLEN: We certainly hope that happens sooner than later. I'm sure the people in your community appreciate your leadership, Nicole, and we appreciate your time and what you're doing. Thank you for your time and talking with us.

[04:40:00]

LAUER: Thank you.

HOWELL: Now to talk about a fast moving winter storm sweeping across the U.S. and it is threatening millions from the Midwest to the Northeast.

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HOWELL: Given all the uncertainty we talk about with Brexit, this sounds a bit utopian. Britain with no new taxes and plenty of national unity.

ALLEN: That's what Boris Johnson says will happen post-Brexit. Critics aren't so sure. We'll have that story next.

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ALLEN: In a little more than 24 hours, British prime minister Theresa May will announce her Brexit plan B for exiting the European Union. Boris Johnson, a champion of Brexit and one of its key architects, isn't happy with the way things are going in Parliament, to say the least.

HOWELL: The outspoken politician is sharing his vision for the U.K. once it's finally left the E.U. Matthew Chance spoke with the former foreign secretary in this one-on-one.

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MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's been dubbed Britain's own Donald Trump, only better hair. And this leading Brexiteer is setting out his vision of a post-Brexit Britain, nothing, he told us, at all to do with his own leadership ambitions.

CHANCE: I listened to your pitch, no new taxes, the united Britain. This is a naked leadership pitch on your part.

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER: No, actually what I was trying to say is that there are things you can do now to address the reasons that people voted to leave the E.U. but also to exploit the opportunities of leaving the E.U.

CHANCE: You want the country to unite behind you on this issue?

JOHNSON: I want the country -- I want the -- I want us to go ahead on this model.

CHANCE: You're a divisive figure, though.

Is it even going to be possible for you to unite your party?

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: Yes, but this isn't -- I'm -- great sadness and humility, I must say, this isn't -- this isn't about me, this is about -- it is not -- it is not my agenda, this is an agenda of loads of people, who share the same basic view of leaving the E.U.

There is no point in -- the E.U. is not a -- it's not a hostile body to us. It is not -- it is not -- it's a -- in many ways, it's a -- an inspirational idea.

(CROSSTALK)

CHANCE: So you rule out --

JOHNSON: -- leaving the E.U. --

CHANCE: -- you rule out any leadership ambitions in this country?

You don't want to be prime minister?

JOHNSON: There is no vacancy for that post.

CHANCE (voice-over): But these are chaotic weeks in Britain. Parliament, protesters and the nation divided on what the next Brexit steps should be.

But not Boris.

CHANCE: Let's talk about whether Britain will go out.

(CROSSTALK)

CHANCE: There is a lot of confusion around the world about whether Britain will indeed leave the European Union.

Will it?

Are you confident that we will definitely, Britain will definitely be leaving the European Union?

JOHNSON: Yes.

CHANCE: Even without a deal?

JOHNSON: Yes.

CHANCE: That would be catastrophic, wouldn't it?

JOHNSON: No, well, that's the interesting thing because if you talk -- that's one of the points I wanted to make today. I don't particularly want that as the starting point in March or April this year. I think we can -- we can -- we can do better than that.

We should have a standstill so that you keep the existing arrangement, zero tariff, zero quota, zero regulatory checks, you keep the existing mutual recognition. But you use the period of the stance or the transition to negotiate the free trade deal. That is -- that's the way to do it. If you don't do it that way --

(CROSSTALK)

CHANCE: Are there any circumstances you could foresee in which Britain would end up staying in the European Union?

Because it is what a lot of people want in this country.

JOHNSON: I don't think that is going to happen.

CHANCE: Could it happen?

JOHNSON: And the only way it could happen would be if there was a -- if Parliament's now voted to -- a proposal from the government, if Parliament now voted to cancel Article 50.

CHANCE (voice-over): It is a toxic idea, according to Johnson, that would be a betrayal of the Brexit vote.

[04:50:00]

CHANCE (voice-over): But in these poisonous times, not even he is ruling it out -- Matthew Chance, CNN, near Stoke-on-Trent in the English Midlands.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Still ahead, we tell you about one of the greatest, one of the biggest great whites on the planet. Take a look at that.

ALLEN: We speak with that diver there who swam with this massive shark coming up.

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(SPORTS)

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ALLEN: All right, this isn't a movie, this is real. Divers near Hawaii got up close and personal Tuesday with her, a massive shark. She's named Deep Blue. She's more than 6 meters long -- that's about 20, 30 feet?

HOWELL: It is long.

(LAUGHTER)

ALLEN: Ginormous.

And she's thought to be one of the biggest great whites in the world. Deep Blue is her name. She was hungry and a bit itchy. She was feeding on a whale carcass and swam up to scratch herself on a diver's boat.

HOWELL: Would you do that?

ALLEN: No. These divers know what they're doing.

HOWELL: Yes, they know what they're doing.

ALLEN: Kind of.

HOWELL: Our colleague, Cyril Vanier, spoke earlier with the diver that you saw touching the shark. Her name, aptly enough, Ocean Ramsey. She said she was never worried about touching --

[04:55:00]

HOWELL: -- the shark, about it attacking.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OCEAN RAMSEY, ONE OCEAN DIVING: I work with something called amnesty territorial body language or threat displays in specifics (ph) and (INAUDIBLE). When she swam up, she wasn't even swimming towards us, wasn't interested in us. She was interested in brushing up against the boat and then she swam over in the distance.

We looked over there, we see that there is a dead whale. We actually followed her over there. And then I was (INAUDIBLE) people in the water and I did record her feeding on that whale. So she may be pregnant or she might just be really full.

And that's (INAUDIBLE). I mean, you have to give them some credit, (INAUDIBLE) swimmers, surfers and divers, all day, every day. And at some point in time (INAUDIBLE) globally, annually (ph). it is really impressive if you think about it. (INAUDIBLE) get that kind of credit when they make the news.

So I'm glad that this was able to make worldwide headlines in a positive way. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: And also because way too many sharks are killed every year. The numbers are horrible. So that's good to see that shark there.

HOWELL: Absolutely.

The show, the comedy skit show, "Saturday Night Live" returned for first time here in the United States and with all the news that is new material for them, they came out swinging.

ALLEN: Right. New year and new material. Alec Baldwin returned as Donald Trump, who had to play the game show, "Deal or No Deal." But this time a deal to end the government shutdown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEX MOFFAT, ACTOR, "CHUCK SCHUMER": OK. My offer is whatever you want.

KATE MCKINNON, ACTOR, "NANCY PELOSI": Chuck, we're not doing that anymore. Remember, we're not caving in.

"SCHUMER": Oh, right, right. Yes, projecting strength. OK. Let me put on my fiery red cheaters.

OK. My new offer is $15 and a pastrami on rye.

KENAN THOMPSON, ACTOR, "STEVE HARVEY": OK, deal or no deal, Mr. President?

Remember, every time you choose no deal, half a million federal employees work another day without getting paid.

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR, " DONALD TRUMP": Cool story, bro, no deal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Here we go. The day's top stories are just ahead.

HOWELL: Stay with us.