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Interview with Rep. Katherine Clark (D), Massachusetts; Phoenix Police Arrests Suspect in Sexual Assault of Woman in Vegetative State; Pelosi to Trump: No State of the Union Until Government Reopens; Trump Responds to Pelosi on State of the Union; Trump Responds to Cohen Postponing Testimony "Due to Threats." Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired January 23, 2019 - 14:30   ET


[14:30:00] REP. KATHERINE CLARK, (D), MASSACHUSETTS: But you cannot use the bludgeon to the American people of a shutdown as your tool to getting there. Open government. Open it for a short period of time. Keep pressure on all parties to come to the table. But let's have that negotiation with government open. That's our message. That's what the American people and the Democratic caucus are unified in support of.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Congresswoman, thank you so much.

CLARK: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Let's get you back to our breaking news. Michael Cohen is postponing his testimony before the House Oversight Committee citing threats from President Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Plus, a major development in the shocking story out of Phoenix where that patient who has been in a vegetative state since 1992 got pregnant and had a baby. Police today made an arrest and revealed how they cracked this case.


[14:35:17] BALDWIN: There's now been an arrest in the sexual assault in an Arizona long-term health care facility. Phoenix police say they found the Hacienda health care employee who allegedly raped and impregnated a patient who was in a vegetative state. The patient ended up giving birth. The suspect charged is this man, Nathan Sutherland. He's a licensed nurse who had been the woman's caregiver. All Hacienda employees were compelled by court order to take a DNA test. Sutherland was the match.


THELMA WILLIAMS, INTERIM MAYOR OF PHOENIX: I know our officers took this crime to heart. This is a facility that you should be safe in, and someone wasn't. And I really want to thank them for all the hours, hard work, and their dedication to making this case solved and keep us safe.


BALDWIN: CNN's Martin Savidge is following this for us.

Finally, they found him. They think they found him with the DNA match and fired him, Hacienda health care. And what's just happened in court?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He had his first court appearance. It was a bond hearing. The state is arguing he needs a half million dollars cash. That's what the judge decided upon. Also saying that if he does have the money to get out on that, he will have to undergo electronic monitoring. He has a defense attorney and the defense attorney actually says that there's no direct evidence linking him to the crime. He said, we know about the DNA, but we plan to refute the DNA and bring in our own DNA experts.

There's been reaction from the family of the young woman who was assaulted and became pregnant. They say, the attorney says, "The family and I are aware of the recent arrest of the Hacienda employee by the Phoenix Police Department at this time. Neither the family or I wish to make any comment."

That's what they are officially saying. The family yesterday pointed out this young woman actually is not in a total vegetative state. She can feel and sense things and can sense and know things. A clear indication that this was much more horrific than even you might have first thought. That this young woman knew something violent and vile was being done to her and she had no way to communicate that to anyone.

And that's one of the reasons that law enforcement in announcing the arrest felt that they were so obsessed in coming up with a suspect in this case. Here's what they had to say.


JERI WILLIAMS, CHIEF, PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT: The fact that this horrible crime happened was beyond reproach. When we heard about it, we were extremely concerned about it and we knew it was going to be our top priority.

SGT. TOMMY THOMPSON, PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT; This was an employee rather than a stranger who made his way into the facility. This individual had access and was employed there. No indications there were other people involved, but this is an ongoing investigation.


BALDWIN: Not just really an employee, but this was one of the nurses that was primarily tasked to take care of this young woman. On so many ways and levels, it's vile.

The Hacienda Health Care facility released a statement saying, "Every member of the organization is troubled beyond words to think a licensed nurse could be capable of seriously harming a patient. Once again, we offer our apology and send our deepest sympathies to the client and her family."

They have noted the moment this person was charged, they were immediately fired.

But they are now going to be checking, and this is the investigators, to find out if there are other instances in which this nurse may have carried out similar crimes against someone else under their care -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: To think she was aware and couldn't do a thing.


BALDWIN: Martin Savidge, thank you.

SAVIDGE: You're welcome.

BALDWIN: Back to our breaking story. Michael Cohen postponing his testimony before the House Oversight Committee citing threats from President Trump and Rudy Giuliani.

Also we're following breaking news. A massive law enforcement response underway in Florida after an incident inside a bank there. We're told multiple people have been shot in a hostage situation.

But now we're going to go back up to Capitol Hill to our senior congressional correspondent there on more breaking news.

Manu, what do you have?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The State of the Union on Tuesday not going to happen. This according to Nancy Pelosi, responding to the president's letter from this morning. The president said he still wanted to deliver the January 29th State of the Union, despite Pelosi saying she wanted to delay this annual speech because of the government shutdown. Pelosi just responded in this letter that we have obtained. She says that she's, "Writing to inform you that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the State of the Union address in the House chamber until the government has opened."

[14:40:22] She has the power to do that. A resolution to approve it is needed and has not been done yet. Trump said that you invited me to come to speak on January 3rd when the shutdown was ongoing. She addresses that here in this letter. She said, "When I extended this invitation for you to deliver the State of the Union address, it was on the mutually agreed upon date, January 29th, at that time, there was no thought that the government would still be shut down."

She goes on to she reached out again after the shutdown would still be ongoing. They wanted to find that date after the shutdown is resolved. She makes very clear in this letter that there will be no State of the Union on Tuesday in the House chamber.

So now the president is going to have to make a decision where to deliver this speech. Will he do it somewhere else? Even if he wanted to deliver it in the Republican-controlled Senate, that's most likely not going to happen either because they have to pass a similar resolution to do that there. They will need Democratic support to do it. They will have to find a spot off Capitol Hill to deliver this annual address.

But a remarkable episode that really demonstrates where we are on the longest government shutdown in history, in which the two sides, Pelosi and Schumer and the president, have not had any discussions in the past two weeks about resolving this and competing proposals. The State of the Union not going to happen because Nancy Pelosi says open the government first and then we can talk about delivering this speech -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: Extraordinary times.

Manu Raju, with the breaking news. Manu, thank you.

Gloria Borger just sat down.

And my goodness. I want to get into the possible other places he could still give it, but first your reaction to her response.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Talk about hardball. This is it. And she didn't even talk about the security concerns really in this letter. She said the House is just not going to consider this resolution authorizing the speech until you reopen the government. Period. So now the conversation has shifted a little bit from security, which you could argue was a political point in the first place, to sorry, we're not going to have you here. You're not invited until the government is open.

BALDWIN: So Trump's other options if he doesn't go to Capitol Hill, hold a rally, what? The border and the White House?

BORGER: I guess. Talking from the Oval Office is not his strength. If you'll recall when he did that little speech on the shutdown, he didn't even like the way it went. He needs an audience to get his energy. He's not great at reading off the prompter. I think he knows that. But if you're going to do a pep rally, that's not a State of the Union speech.


BALDWIN: Even Trey Gowdy said, Mr. President, don't do it.


TREY GOWDY (R), FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Don't do a rally. This is for everyone, including people that don't agree with you. Including for Americans who will never vote for you. This is leader of the free world, the leader of our country addressing the citizenry. I would encourage him not to do it in a rally.


BALDWIN: He says no to a rally going on a deep-red district somewhere in the country.

BORGER: I think he makes a good point. A State of the Union speech is about the State of the Union. BALDWIN: The United States of America.

BORGER: The president says the state of our country is strong, et cetera. And it is a speech not just for your base of supporters, but it is a speech for the entire country. And it is a time when you lay out your agenda for the next year. It is a little discordance to deliver an agenda on what you want to spend your money on and how you want to use government --


BALDWIN: While the government is shutdown, hello.

BORGER: That's a problem. And I think that the audience would realize that the president does want to give his speech as presidents give State of the Union speeches. And I think Pelosi is just holding the shutdown over his head and saying, not until we reopen the government. Period.

[14:45:03] BALDWIN: Kaitlan Collins is over at the White House for us.

Kaitlan, so we have the latest volley from Speaker Pelosi saying, no dice, Mr. President, you're not coming down here to give the speech. We're not doing this until the government reopens. Wow.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: This wasn't what the White House was expecting. They knew the Pelosi had essentially uninvited the president when she sent that letter citing the security concerns, the costs related to the government shutdown. But the White House's argument was we checked with the Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service.

They say we're actually good to do the State of the Union address. Then Nancy Pelosi continued to make her argument that the president shouldn't deliver that address unless the government had reopened. That's a demand that we have seen Democrats stand firm behind. Even today, before Nancy Pelosi sent this latest letter. There was talk in the White House over recent days.

The president giving this address next Tuesday still speaking on the day-to-day initially for the State of the Union but doing it somewhere else, maybe in Washington, somewhere at the White House, maybe a campaign-style rally. But as you showed the sound from Trey Gowdy --


BALDWIN: Hold on, we have President Trump. Let's watch.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Administration officials told reporters that all options are on the table. Are you considering a military option?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're not considering anything but all options are object on the table.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION) TRUMP: All options, always. All options are on the table.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. President, Nancy Pelosi just responded and said she will not consider a concurrent resolution to have you come to the House on January 29th to deliver the State of the Union. Your response to the House speaker?

TRUMP: I'm not surprised. It's really a shame what's happening with the Democrats. They have become radicalized. They don't want to see crime stopped, which we can easily do, on the southern border. It's really a shame what's happening with the Democrats. This will go on for a while. Ultimately, the American people will have their way because they want to see no crime.

They want to see what we're doing. Today, we lowered prescription drug prices, first time in 50 years. That want to see that. The Democrats would never have been able to do that. So we're all working very hard. We'll have to respond to it in a timely manner.

Thank you very much, everyone.



TRUMP: China wants to make a deal. We'll see what happens. I like where we are right now. We're doing great as an economy. They are not doing very well because of the tariffs. But as you know, fairly soon, that the deal that I made with them will come off. The tariffs will be substantially increased on China. They are paying billions of dollars to the United States Treasury.

First time we've ever done that. First time we have ever had money coming the other way from China. It's always been a one-way street. But I have a good relationship with President Xi. And we'll see what happens. We're doing well in our negotiation with China. One way or the other, it doesn't matter. One way or the other, we're going to do well.



TRUMP: He's been threatened by. The truth. He's only been. Threatened by. The truth. He doesn't want to do that probably for me or other of his clients. He has other clients, I assume. He doesn't want to tell the truth for me or his other clients.

Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Thank you very much.


TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you.


BALDWIN: So I have Gloria Borger and Kaitlan Collins with me.

Gloria, first of all, I'm thinking of all the folks who aren't getting paychecks and to hear him say this will go on for a while is a bigger pill to swallow. Then the whole response to Nancy Pelosi, I'm not surprised and that shame.

BORGER: He's making the point as they have bye-bye making that this is the newly radicalized --

BALDWIN: Democratic Party.

BORGER: -- Democratic Party and that they don't care about drugs coming in across the borders, as we have said over and over again and our fact checks drug comes in somewhere else and largely at ports of entry, et cetera. And also, you know, you're seeing a frustrated president. He knows that the poll numbers are not with him. The public aside from his base is not with him on whether the government should be shut down over the wall.

BALDWIN: Let's remind everyone on the poll numbers. According to this new poll, overwhelming the majority of you, 71 percent, says the border wall is not worth a shutdown. That's not good news for the president. And half of voters say Pelosi is doing a better job negotiating on the shutdown compared to 35 percent say the president is.

Talking to Josh earlier this week, who was doing reporting from senior administration officials, saying the president is aware of these numbers. He's paying attention, too. And he knows this is not a good report card for him.

[14:50:04] BORGER: The worst thing for him is being told he's not a negotiator, that actually he sees himself as the "Art of the Deal." That he's not doing a good job negotiating, that the Democrats are doing a better job. And I think he has met his match and then some, who is clearly not backing down. And where they are going to end up remains to be seen. The Democrats are apparently working on their own version of what a deal might look like. It's not going to include funding for a wall.

BALDWIN: Standby, everyone.

That was just the president on this shutdown. We'll get his comments just now on Michael Cohen, now saying he won't be testifying. He'll postpone his testimony to House Oversight. How the president is responding, next.



[14:55:00] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- being threatened by you and Rudy Giuliani --

(CROSSTALK) TRUMP: I would say he's been threatened by the truth. He's only been threatened by the truth. And he doesn't want to do that for me or his clients. He doesn't want to tell the truth.

Thank you very much.


BALDWIN: So Gloria Borger is with me here, on Trump talking about his old good friend and fixer, Michael Cohen, who is postponing his testimony because, according to his lawyer, saying that they feel threatened and Michael Cohen's father-in-law and wife. To hear the president say threatened by the truth.

BORGER: Let's just say they are not good friends anymore. The president has on occasion after occasion and so has Rudy Giuliani talked about the president said, watch the father-in-law. And I know from sources that while he intended to testify and wanted to testify, that there has been a lot of worry and reservation within his own family about what these threats amount to. I mean, this is the president of the United States saying things like that. And --

BALDWIN: Threats we have seen -- hang on a second. Here's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Because government is closed. We said clearly, I wrote a second time to him to say, since the government is shutdown, let's work together and a date that is agreeable day to get (INAUDIBLE). I still make the offer, the original mutual agreed upon to open the government.

Thank you all.


BALDWIN: Tough to hear. I'm just being real. Tough to hear over the camera clicks. And someone can let us know what she said in a second.

I'm going to go to the letter she sent to the president. He said it's not surprising and thinks it's a shame. Yanking the State of the Union from the president. "I'm writing to inform you that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the president's State of the Union address in the House chamber until the government opens."

Again, it was the double dare, accepted, you're not coming to my House.

BORGER: As we were talking about before, this isn't about security anymore. This is about the government shutdown. And this is saying, sorry, you're not going to get an invitation until we fix this problem. She's in charge. There's not much he can do about that because you have to vote on having him appear from both chambers and it wouldn't get approved in the House, it seems to me. BALDWIN: Going back to what we were talking about on Michael Cohen

and following up on what Manu was reporting. So since they have postponed this Michael Cohen testimony to House Oversight, this is from Manu. Congressman Lynch, a senior member of the Oversight Committee, says he expects Elijah Cummings, Democrat, will issue a subpoena for Cohen's testimony. Lynch said he has spoken with Cummings and the overwhelming consensus among panel members is Cohen should be subpoenaed.

You pointed out in this letter that we have from both Cummings and Schiff that we expect Cohen to appear before both committees.

BORGER: Expect is a strong word. It's not a subpoena. But it says we expect Cohen and we remain engaged with his counsel about his upcoming appearances, which in this case would be Lanny Davis, who seems to be representing him in his dealings with Capitol Hill. But now you have a situation.

I don't know how they are going to resolve it. I don't know if they can threaten Michael Cohen with jail time. He's going to jail. So it seems to not have teeth. But keep in mind, Dana knows this, too, that Michael Cohen intended to testify. He actively wanted to testify. And then as the president in particular and Rudy Giuliani kept issuing these statements about watch the father-in-law, watch the wife, it's a little intimidating.

[14:59:00] BALDWIN: If you're just joining us, let me just reset all of this.

The breaking news is that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a response moments ago to President Trump saying that she will not sign off on the State of the Union address that the president was set to give next Tuesday until the government reopens.