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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Dueling Bills to Reopen Government are Both Defeated; Interview with Senator Angus King of Maine. Pres. Trump Says He'll Delay State Of The Union Until After Shutdown; Sen. Schumer's Spokesman: Dems "Will Not Support Funding For The Wall Prorated Or Otherwise"; Senate Intelligence Committee Subpoenas Ex. Trump Attorney Michael Cohen, Lawyer Says He'll Comply; Kentucky Couple Whose Child Needs A Breathing Tube Concerned About Electricity Being Turned Off While Not Getting Paid. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired January 24, 2019 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:17] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
Tomorrow is once again a payday in name only for 800,000 Americans who work for the federal government. Tonight, President Trump was asked about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: What's your message to the federal workers who are missing another paycheck this week?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I love them. I appreciate them. I really appreciate the great job they're doing. They -- you know, many of those people that are not getting paid are totally in favor of what we're doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Totally in favor of what we're doing, so sayeth the president.
He spoke to reporters after a pair of bills to reopen the government failed in the Senate. Now, the Republican measure got fewer votes than the Democratic one. He talked about that, and also about his decision to do what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted him to do, which was postpone the state of the union message.
We begin, though, as we did last night, and as we'll keep on doing by bringing you the State of the Union as seen by our fellow Americans. We'll bring you that and the "let them eat wall" message they're getting from the president and members of his administration.
Message one from the commerce secretary: you're nobody.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILBUR ROSS, COMMERCE SECRETARY: Put it in perspective. You're talking about 800,000 workers. And while I feel sorry for the individuals that have hardship cases, 800,000 workers, if they never got their pay, which is not the case, they will eventually get it. But if they never got it, you're talking about a third of a percent on our GDP. So it's not like it's a gigantic number overall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Not like it's a gigantic number overall. This message came to you from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who'd made a custom pair of velvet slippers with the seal of the Commerce Department on them. I'm not kidding. That actually happened.
I don't think even Mr. Burns on "The Simpsons" wears slippers like that. So, that's a message from Wilbur Ross, who's worth an estimated $700 million. To him 800,000 unpaid public servants are essentially a rounding error.
Keeping them honest, perhaps the secretary should tell that to Atlanta TSA officer Ollie Morganfield (ph). Reporter Chris James got to know him recently and spoke with him the day he went to apply for food stamps.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I work at Hartsfield Jackson Airport. I've been there for 16 years with TSA. I like the job, and I like what I'm doing, but I'm worried about being paid. I'm worried about if I can get through this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So how are you feeling that this is the first time you're going to get food stamps, yet you technically still have a job?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that is -- that is the funny part. Oh, I'm just hoping I can get some stamps. You know, you got to laugh about it because it's funny. You never see yourself doing this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your biggest fear right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My apartment. Will I be here? And will I be embarrassed when they evict me? If this thing goes any longer, then the 17th, the three weeks, if it goes into the fourth week, I don't have no money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Will he be embarrassed he wonders when they evict me.
This is a man who is still going to work every day. Would you? Could you? With the bills coming in?
I mean, it's all a bit puzzling to Secretary Ross, who wonders why people earning zero dollars are having such a tough time of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Secretary, there are reports that there are some federal workers who are going to homeless shelter to get food. ROSS: Well, I know they are and I don't really quite understand why,
because as I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake, say a borrowing from a bank or a credit union are in effect federally guaranteed. So the 30 days of pay that some people will be out, there is no real reason why they shouldn't be able to get a loan against it. .
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's the commerce secretary. Just to make it clear, you're working. I'm not paying you, and there is no telling when I will, so you should go to a bank or a credit union and persuade them to lend you money, and then you should pay interest on that money, unless of course you're a contractor and you're not going to get paid back for lost time.
Oh, and by the way, Secretary Ross's department, they have a credit union that is offering loans up to $5,000 at the undiscounted rate of nearly 9 percent. He later clarified how much he cares by telling "Bloomberg News", and I quote, we're aware, painfully aware there are hardships inflicted on the individual workers.
Now, according to the TSA, salaries for screeners can range from $33,000 to $35,000. Which means that $700 million net worth, Wilbur Ross has enough to live on a screener's top salary for about 20,000 years.
What if government workers can't get a lone or are already living on the edge, as many are? What happens when the bills come due? Well, President Trump had an answer for that today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Mr. President, have you seen that Wilbur Ross said that he doesn't understand why federal workers need help getting food? Can you understand?
TRUMP: Well, I haven't heard the statement, but I do understand that perhaps you should have said it differently. Local people know who they are, when they go for groceries and everything else. And I think what Wilbur is probably trying to say is they will work along.
I know banks are working along. If you have mortgages, the mortgagees, the folks collecting the interest and all of those things, they work along. And that's what happens in time like this. They know the people. They've been dealing with them for years, and they work along, the grocery store. And I think that's probably what Wilbur Ross meant.
(END VDIEO CLIP)
COOPER: Wilbur Ross was watching the Andy Griffith Show and Barney Fife didn't have work and he went to the grocery store, and everybody knows Barney Fife and of course they gave him a mortgage, they gave him a loan, free groceries. That's what happens. It's kind of like a friendly landlord the president has talked about
on other occasion, always ready to give you more time to pay, just like he did when he was a landlord. Perhaps you should tell that to Ollie Morganfield who is still going to work, who is not getting paid, and still forced to worry as he keeps us all safe, how it might field when he gets evicted.
More now on all of this and what the president is doing about it, or not doing about it, CNN's Kaitlan Collins who joins us from the White House.
So, you got some new reporting on the likelihood of the president declaring a national emergency. What is the latest?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, CNN has exclusively obtained this document that shows the White House is prepared a draft for the president to declare a national emergency to build his border wall and to fund it if Congress doesn't give him the funding. White House officials say this is still an option for them, but right now it's not their top option. But clearly, Anderson, the fact that this draft exists and has been edited as recently in recent days shows that White House officials still think it's a real possibility that the president could bypass Congress and use this national emergency to build his border wall.
And the president alluded to that today when reporters were in the room with him when he was asked about Wilbur Ross' comments. He also said if this doesn't work out with Democrats that he will pursue other options to build his border wall.
COOPER: It is amazing to me the president never hears negativity comment negative comments that his own people are making that are widely covered, but he seems to hear just about everything else that is going on in the universe on television.
Do the president and his advisers seem concerned that six Republicans supported the Democrats' plan today in the Senate? And do they think their new prorated down payment proposal is actually viable?
COLLINS: Well, right now, in their eyes it's at least a plan which is progress from where they have been in recent days. Now, they've come up with this idea to have the government open for three weeks and then have a prorated down payment for the president's border wall, which if you're doing the math from that $5.7 billion they asked for, it would come out to $330 million that they're asking for three weeks of opening the government.
Now, Democrats have said that's a non-starter, and the White House seems to think they can get them to come over to their side. But that's an open question.
The other question, Anderson, the White House hasn't said how much of a down payment it is. That math, that $330 million is math that we've done. The White House hasn't actually laid out any kind of a specific number, even though we've asked a slew of officials here at the White House, they still have not shed any more light on that. So, we're still looking for some clarity on that.
But in their eyes, at least there is some progress and some talks happening compared to no progress a few days ago.
COOPER: Has -- I've talked to now several -- two politicians today. None of whom could really explain to me what a prorated down payment actually means coming from this president. Does anyone in the White House exactly know specifically what that means?
COLLINS: The only things that they've really laid it out were the two statements, two from Sarah Sanders, one that said they wanted a down payment in exchange for opening the government for three weeks, and then she said later they wanted a large down payment. Then we heard from the president.
It was really interesting, Anderson. If you listen to the president, because he didn't say this is my suggestion. He said people are suggesting this is an idea. He didn't say that it's something he's behind. And, of course, the White House has been the wild card in this entire month-long shutdown because Republican lawmakers even say they don't know exactly what it is that the president would sign.
So, that's what they're looking for more clarity on that. But right now the White House seems to think a down payment on the down payment for the wall is their best bet.
COOPER: That's the president's -- one of his go-to lines that people are talking about it. That's like a new off shot of it, oh, people are suggesting a prorated down payment. It's all you hear about when you're on the subway these days. People are talking about this.
Anyway, Kaitlan Collins, thank you very much.
Shortly before air time I spoke with Maine Independent Senator Angus King who caucuses with Democrats and voted today for the Democratic shutdown bill.
[20:10:07] COOPER: Senator King, since you voted earlier today, the president has said he is open to a, quote, prorated down payment on a border wall. He says he'll reopen the government in three weeks if Democrats agree to that.
Are you entirely clear on what that actually means? Would you support it?
SEN. ANGUS KING (I), MAINE: Well, I am unclear on what it actually means. But the concept is that he's still trying to bargain about opening the government. And part of the whole purpose of what we were talking about today is let's get the government open, take a deep breath, consider his proposal in a rational, reasonable, process way and come to some conclusion that I think we're going to be able to work something out that he can support.
But he's putting on this extra condition, which is basically, you know, he is doling out, you know, time, and we're talking about people's lives here, Anderson. That's what's been missing somewhat.
I mean, these are real people's lives. We've got Coast Guard people in Maine who are going to food banks.
COOPER: I mean, more senators voted today in favor of the Democrats' plans than the president's plan. Neither plan got the 60 votes needed to end debate. But do you believe unity among Senate Republicans is in any way starting to fracture? Majority Leader McConnell is under more pressure?
KING: Well, yes. I wouldn't put it that way. I would say everybody in the Senate wants this thing solved.
One of the indications of that is after the two amendments failed, Ben Cardin of Maryland put in an amendment that is just a simple three- week continuing resolution, and we all stood up and talked about a commitment. There were 15 of us that spoke on the floor, I was one of them that said look, I'm for border security, and I'm willing to work in good faith on a solution. As I left the floor, I asked Ben Cardin, and he had -- I think he had five Republican co-sponsors at that time, and I think there are more to come.
Everybody wants to get to a solution here, and I just wish the president would put a little faith in the process. And, you know, he came in with a budget last January, Anderson, for $1.6 billion for border security, and he got it. It went through the appropriations committee. It was approved. It was in the bill that went through the Senate -- the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.
And so I guess what I'm saying is that's evidence that we can act in good faith and we can do something serious about border security. Will it be 5.7 or 2.8 or 6, I'm not going to negotiate here on television, but I think there is room to reach a reasonable accommodation.
COOPER: But it was clear he backed off that after getting criticism essentially from right-wing radio and television that it wasn't following through on his promise to build a wall. Why would he give up leverage or alleged leverage of the actual shutdown if he doesn't feel he's going to get some sort of wall?
KING: Remember, we're not talking about full funding of the government until September, which is what we ought to be doing, but we're talking about three weeks. We're basically saying lay the hammer aside and let us work on it for three weeks in good faith and let's see what we can come up with.
In the meantime, let's let these good people get paid, go back to work, do what they ought to do. And if it doesn't work out, you know, he's still got that --
COOPER: Got the leverage.
KING: That tool, which I think is inappropriate, by the way. It's a terrible way to govern. But he's not really giving up that much. He's just giving Congress a
chance to try to digest what he's asking for.
COOPER: CNN's reporting that the White House is preparing a draft national emergency declaration for the president to sign in order to use military funding to build the wall. Would that at this point be the easiest way to actually end the shutdown? It would almost surely end up in court, but wouldn't it get the government reopen right away?
KING: Well, it probably would. It's good news and bad news. The good news is it would almost certainly end the shutdown. It's bad news in that this isn't the way our system is designed.
The Constitution says money spent is appropriated by Congress. And that's one of our fundamental functions. And to establish a precedent that the president can basically decree a national emergency and then do whatever he or she wants in the terms of policy that they can't get through the Congress is a terrible precedent, and to me, it's a gross violation of constitutional principles.
So they may be looking in that direction. And as I say, in the short- term, you'd say oh, good, the shutdown is over, and that's a good thing for sure. But if that's the solution, boy is it a dangerous way.
This is exactly what the framers were worried about. They didn't want a monarch. They wanted a constitutional democracy and they wanted a president and checks and balances, and they purposefully put the power of the purse in the Congress. And that's the way it ought to be.
COOPER: Senator King, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
KING: Yes, sir.
[20:15:00] COOPER: Let's get more perspective now. Joining us is former Utah Republican Congresswoman Mia Love. She is now a CNN political commentator. We're very happy about that.
Also, CNN chief political commentator Gloria Borger, who we're always happy about.
Congresswoman, what does it say that six Republicans crossed over and supported the Democrats' plan in the Senate today which doesn't include the wall, and it actually got more votes that the president's plan?
MIA LOVE (R), FORMER UTAH CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, Anderson, let's lay our cards out on the table. This is what this is about. I believe this is about the 2020 presidential election.
You've got a president that wants to keep the promises that he made on the campaign trail. You've got a speaker of the house that doesn't want anybody to win, and the people that are caught in the crosshairs are 800,000 people that did not choose to get into this fight. They're going to work. They didn't get fired. They didn't choose to
leave. They're going to work, and they're not getting paid.
And both sides are allowing perfect to be the enemy of a really good win. This is exactly what's going on right now. So I don't see any resolution until people are able to put their pride aside and do what they're supposed to do. Members of Congress have to do their job. They're the ones walking away from their job.
COOPER: Gloria, does a prorated down payment on the wall sound like something that's going to come within 100 miles of a deal in Washington?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: No, no, no. I don't even know what it is, Anderson. Can you figure it out?
COOPER: Nobody I've talked to has figured it out.
BORGER: And senator after senator can't figure out what it is. It sounds like some kind of real estate deal, but it certainly isn't any way to reopen a government.
And, you know, I understand what the congresswoman is saying about both sides playing politics, but I have to remind everyone that the Senate voted on legislation that would have reopened the government. The president was ready to do it. He had told everyone, he told the world I'll take responsibility for this after he decided to back off because conservative talk radio told him he was doing the wrong thing.
So I think that you can't equate one with another at this point. I understand that Nancy Pelosi also has political interests here. The base of each party is very firm on what they want to do, but honestly, this thing all started when the president backed off a deal that was already cut and voted on in the United States Senate.
COOPER: Congresswoman Love, isn't that the case? There was a deal, and then the president, you know, heard the radio.
LOVE: Right. Because he wanted to make sure he keeps the promises that he made on the campaign trail. It wasn't working too well for him.
Now I don't believe he should be listening to people like Ann Coulter that says, hey, don't take any immigration deal because you're never going to be able to please people like Ann Coulter. I mean, there is a purity test that she's got her own.
But I think that what could actually happen here is Speaker Pelosi can say fine, I'm going to give you your 5.7. We're going to discuss where it's appropriate to put a barrier versus smart walls and versus technology, but I want you to give me everything I need on immigration reform.
Everyone would get what they want, and people would not be caught in the crosshairs. They wouldn't get everything. I mean, they would get some things they don't want, but people would be able to get what they want and people can go back to work.
This is grandstanding, and I believe it is on both sides.
COOPER: Gloria, is that where a deal lies?
BORGER: I think first of all Nancy Pelosi is not going to accept a penny for a wall because Democrats think it's ridiculous, that you don't need a wall, that you need some smart technology. And they've already volunteered for border security to say, you know, we're all for border security, and we'll give you the $5.7 billion, but for other things. If they could find a way to get to that deal, then maybe -- then maybe there would be one.
There are preexisting walls so to speak or slats or whatever you want to call them. And I think that the problem is that this notion of a wall has become so, you know, front and center for the president because it was during the campaign and Mexico's not paying for it. Now the American taxpayer is going to pay for it, that he can't figure out a way off of it.
And maybe what they need to do, and the if they cut a deal on Dreamers, by the way, the conservatives in his party would be quite upset about it because they don't want to give Dreamers permanent status in any way, shape, or form. So, it's very difficult to see how he gets beyond his base and how Nancy Pelosi gets beyond her base. And right now the pain is really great, and the administration doesn't seem to be able to give voice to the pain of those furloughed workers, which is a problem.
COOPER: Well, Congresswoman, if Donald Trump was able to get -- if the president was able to get -- there is obviously existing fencing, however you want to call it and get a few more miles of fencing that is see-through that is made out of steel, would that be enough for him to say well, I got some of the wall.
[20:20:03] I mean, he's already claiming he's building new wall, which he's not. He's just fixing up old wall.
Couldn't he just lie about, you know, as he often does and say well, I've got ten more miles of new wall, and we've got all this other stuff and border security?
LOVE: I think they both have put their heads in the sand and have said no wall, and then the other side said I need $5.7 billion for a wall. And I don't know if he is going to back off of that $5.7 billion, or be able to back off of it too much.
I think that a lot of his supporters, I mean, his approval rating is really low. I don't know how much lower it can actually get in what he stands to lose are the people who actually support him.
So I think that that's going to be an issue for him. And I don't see him -- look, I'm just being completely frank and open here. If he backs away from that, that's going to be major problem.
COOPER: Yes, no doubt about it. LOVE: I think also, that's where the standstill is. That's where it
COOPER: Yes, Congresswoman Love, great to have you. Gloria Borger as well.
Coming up next, President Trump's big shutdown with Nancy Pelosi over the state of the union. It ends unexpectedly in surrender. We'll talk with a pair of Trump biographers about what's behind the art of the cave.
And later, we'll tell you about the congressional testimony that Michael Cohen is not backing out of and what he might say when the questioning begins.
[20:25:34] COOPER: Well, if there is anything president Trump absolutely, positively always wants to make clear, it's this. He never backs down, until he does.
When we left things yesterday, he had just dared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to disinvite him from giving the State of the Union Address until the shutdown is over. He dared her. She did it. We were all wondering what would he do next?
Would he speak from the Oval Office? Crash the capitol? Hold a rally outside? Late last night, he just seemed to give in.
Today, here's what he said about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I would have done it in a different location, but I think that would beer very disrespectful to the State of the Union. I could have gone to a big auditorium and gotten 25,000 people there in one day, and you've been there many times, but I think that would be very disrespect to feel the State of the Union. So, what she said I thought was actually reasonable. We'll have State of the Union when the shutdown is over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Two views now on how this tracks with the Donald Trump they've come to know. Joining us is Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio. His most recent book is "The Shadow President: The Truth About Pence". And Gwenda Blair, who teaches at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. She is the author of "The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a President".
Michael, does this move by the president surprise you? Because it does seem sort of un-Trumpian, but he is spinning it the way he is spinning it.
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, TRUMP BIOGRAPHER: It really did catch me by surprise. I think much of Washington must have been surprised because it is not like the president to issue such an obvious retreat, a call of retreat. And it was worded in a way that really suggested that someone else must have written it, because it was very loyal to the truth.
He laid out the facts of what had happened, and they actually aligned with what we all experienced, rather than some fantasy in his head. So, it is surprising. I'm surprised too that he didn't declare a victory in some way.
And I think it reflects the fact that he may respect Speaker Pelosi more than anyone else on earth right now, maybe with the exception of Vladimir Putin.
COOPER: Gwenda, I mean, how do you see this? The president's tweet last night seems sort of unlike him.
GWENDA BLAIR, AUTHOR, "THE TRUMPS": Yes, no. He managed to find a way to frame it so he said it wouldn't be respectful. So he could hang it on respect, that he was being respectful.
So he kind of figured a way to say it that that he's not backing down, tail is not between those legs. He is being respectful, and he's got a -- she's the one person, she is the adult in the room now. She's that adult we've been looking for all along. There she is.
COOPER: What do you think it is about -- what do you think it is about Nancy Pelosi that I don't know if he respects or that he is challenged by or whatever it is?
BLAIR: She says no, is N-O. And she doesn't let him get the conversation on to his turf, which is what he always does. He creates chaos. He makes it into his turf. Everybody else is defensive in trying to catch up.
He is comfortable in chaos and conflict. Most people aren't. She won't go there. She is staying on her own turf, and she is not playing his game.
She is not playing that sort of macho game that he plays with most of the men that he has to deal with. She's not doing it. He challenges her masculinity. What is he going to challenge with her?
COOPER: Michael, do you agree with that?
D'ANTONIO: I do agree with what Gwenda is saying, and I sometimes can imagine Nancy Pelosi in a house full of kids, and that's chaos if there ever is chaos. So she's someone who can keep her head about her and knows how to impose order on a chaotic situation.
I also think that there is this element of respect of what Gwenda mentioned not only for the State of the Union, but for the speaker herself. She is competent in a way that Trump isn't. She has actually led a very broad organization with disparate interests in ways the president never had to when he tried with Trump airline or the plaza hotel or the casinos, he failed.
So she knows how to herd cats. He doesn't. I think she knows how to stay calm. He doesn't. So she really does have his number.
[20:30:00] COOPER: It's also -- I mean, she has a lot of experience in Washington and knows how the place works, which he really doesn't, and it's not clear that there's a lot of great people around him who, you know, play the game as well as Nancy Pelosi does.
GWENDA BLAIR, AUTHOR, "THE TRUMPS": No. There were all these other -- all these other so-called adults, a lot of military that he appointed that were going to, you know, rein him in and show him where the, you know, show him the rules and keep him on the rails. They all fell like tin pins. She hasn't.
So, I think Michael made a really good point. She's got all those kids and all those grandchildren. She has to hear cats on the Capitol -- in the Capitol for decades. She knows how to do it. And I think he respects that.
I think he is also -- I think there is -- I've been thinking about this, maybe an echo of his dad. His dad was very competent too. And his dad really did it. His dad didn't have his own dad bailing him out. Donald had Fred bailing him out. But, Nancy, I think there's maybe like an echo of that.
COOPER: That's interesting. Gwenda Blair, appreciate you being with us, Michael D'Antonio, as well.
We've just gotten late word on the shutdown, the President's notion of pro-rated down payment on a border wall. Just moments ago, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, and I'm quoting now, "Senator Schumer and Senate Democrats have made clear to Leader McConnell and Republicans that they will not support funding for the wall, prorated or otherwise."
Up next, the President's former fixer canceled an appearance, as you know, before Congress before he reports to prison because he says of threats by the President. Now, Michael Cohen has been subpoenaed by one committee with the possibility of more on the way. I'll talk to Congressman Eric Swalwell about the testimony, next.
[20:35:09] COOPER: The President's former lawyer may have no choice but to appear before Congress after all. Today, Michael Cohen was subpoenaed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee some time next month before he reports to prison in early March.
Cohen postponed a scheduled voluntary appearance before the House Oversight Committee next month, citing threats to his family from the President and Rudy Giuliani. Cohen's lawyer confirmed the subpoena was issued and says Cohen intends to comply with it.
Just before air, I spoke with Congressman Eric Swalwell. He's a Democratic California and a member of the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Congressman Swalwell, Adam Schiff, who is the chairman of your committee, said today he is also prepared to subpoena Michael Cohen. Now, if he does and the House Oversight Committee does as well, that would be three committees Cohen would be legally required to testify in front of. Some might see that as excessive. Is it?
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, Michael Cohen testified to the House Intelligence Committee and lied, that's why he's in part going to jail. So, I think we have reason to have him give us a come clean account of what really happened.
Now, other committees have other jurisdictions, but we want to get a full account just exactly what he was protecting for the President, why he lied, and then what did candidate Trump know about Russian efforts to build the Trump Tower and work with the Trump organization to build a Trump Tower in Moscow and also Russia's efforts to help the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
COOPER: Cohen and his people have obviously raised security concerns. I mean, it's not really the job of Congress to provide security, but is there any way your committee can address Cohen's concerns for his family's safety or even for his safety from any kind of retaliation?
SWALWELL: I think this is something that, you know, we should -- this is an extraordinary circumstance so we should, of course, consider it. As a former prosecutor, I can tell you that it's very likely that the Mueller team is also working to protect him, because they may need his testimony.
But if I can address Michael Cohen, I would tell him as someone whose talked to witnesses who have broken away from gangs before, you know, one, you have to protect yourself as well, so you have to be smart about that, you know. And two, you've already done the hard part. You've come forward. You've broken away. You've given your account.
Don't allow, you know, a paper tiger to bully you. And also, the message that you sent to other witnesses with your courage can be very helpful in an investigation.
COOPER: Lanny Davis, Cohen's adviser called today for President Trump to be censured by Congress for witness tampering. Do you consider what the President has said about Cohen to be witness tampering and would you support a censure vote?
SWALWELL: I think he is intending to keep Michael Cohen from coming in. At this point, I think because we are waiting for the Mueller report, we're doing our own investigations with respect to obstruction of justice and collusion, I don't think we need to every time there's breaking news, you know, have a censure vote, but I think there is going to be a day of reckoning for this President and what he has done with the Russians and obstructing the rule of law in this country.
COOPER: I want to ask you about Giuliani. I mean as you're well aware, there have been certainly a lot of shifting stories about a lot of the different things from Giuliani this week. He told "The Washington Post" about that. He said, "There is a strategy. The strategy will become apparent. There have been these objections in the past. It's become obvious somewhat thereafter. You have to be patient." Does that make sense to you? Do you believe there is a strategy here?
SWALWELL: Actually, I believe what they are trying to do is to just kind of throw anything against the wall and see what sticks and create confusion, because they're also fighting a political battle in addition to, you know, legal battles.
But, you know, Anderson, you have to step back and ask, you know, why would the President not want Michael Cohen to testify? Why would Rudy Giuliani want to create confusion?
To me, it's because they want to protect the underlying questions which is, did the President have knowledge of what the Russians were doing? Was he seeking business deals while he was running for President? And did he obstruct and try and shutdown lawful investigations?
Innocent people don't act the way that the President and his lawyer are acting. And I think that's -- that can't be missed here.
COOPER: Just finally, your committee, the House Intelligence Committee, has announced its planning an investigation into Deutsche Bank. What do you hope to be able to glean from that? Because obviously Deutsche Bank is, you know, it's been -- a lot of people have been circling around it for a long time.
SWALWELL: We want to find out if the President is financially compromised by the Russians through lending, you know, lending from Deutsche Bank and money laundering that the Russians may have engaged in. We have reason to look, Anderson.
Right now, we know from statements from Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump that they've said that the Trump organization had Russian money flowing into it. We know that in 2017 Deutsche Bank was fined over $300 million for a $10 billion Russian money laundering scheme.
So, you link those together and you have reason to look. I don't think we can draw any conclusions yet, but we weren't able to look in the last two years, and we don't know if Mueller is looking. So there is a responsibility that we answer that question.
[20:40:01] COOPER: All right. Congressman Swalwell, thanks very much.
SWALWELL: My pleasure. Thank you.
COOPER: Joining me now is former Obama Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal. Neal, so I'll ask you what I ask Congressman Swalwell. Do you believe what the President has said about Cohen constitutes witness tampering?
NEAL KATYAL, FORMER U.S. ACTING SOLICITOR GENERAL, OBAMA ADMIN.: It sure looks that way. I mean, you know, the President I think has repeatedly said go after Michael Cohen's father-in-law and stuff like that. And that may be fine for an ordinary person to do, and that's what his lawyers say while ordinary criminal defendants say these kinds of things.
But the President's own legal strategy is he is different than everyone else. He is the chief prosecutor, so he can't be indicted, and the door (ph) nominee to the attorney general says, you know, the President has to be specifically named in a statute -- criminal statute to apply.
So their whole view is the President is unlike everyone else, and he is for this purpose, because he is the chief prosecutor, and he is now saying, "That witness whose against me, go after his father-in-law." That is both criminal, Anderson. But it's also, you know, we as lawyers like to talk about the law, but it's far more than that, its conduct unbecoming the President of the United States.
I mean, I was privileged to serve in the Obama administration. I think if you ask anyone to serve in the George W. Bush administration, they'd say the same thing. When the President came in the room, you stood up a little taller. You made sure when he wasn't in the room, you didn't do anything wrong.
You didn't -- you know, no lawyered -- no one lawyered up in the Obama administration or anything like that. Here, everyone in the White House appears to have one, two, or five lawyers, or maybe three lawyers and a Giuliani or something like that. And that is really I think demonstrative of the real problem here. So there's a criminal problem, but there's also a kind of conduct problem.
COOPER: Is it legitimate in your opinion to force Cohen to testify if he says he is afraid for his safety or the safety of his family?
KATYAL: Well, ultimately, the American people need to have the truth here. I mean, Michael Cohen knows stuff. He's said he wants to come forward and testify. And one way or another, that testimony has to happen.
Now, it doesn't necessarily have to happen immediately and I think the President should be on warning that his tactics here are really the tactics not of innocent people, but of mob bosses. That's what three members -- three different committee chairs in the House of Representatives have said in a letter. They said it was "textbook mob tactics."
And then the President afterwards did the same thing, Anderson. He went after Michael Cohen's father-in-law again after being warned about this. So I do think there's a real, real problem and a need for the truth.
COOPER: Yes. Neal Katyal, it's great to have you as always. Appreciate it.
Coming up, more on the real State of the Union, the 800,000 federal employees who aren't getting paid. We'll introduce you to parents who depend on that federal paycheck who tonight are concerned their electricity could be shut off. Their daughter needs a breathing tube to live. Details ahead.
[20:46:25] COOPER: The President claimed again today without evidence that many of the federal workers who will miss another paycheck tomorrow are "totally in favor" of what he's doing. In fact, a recent CBS News poll found that most Americans, 71 percent think a wall is not worth this government shutdown.
And when it comes to the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are affected, well, the stories of hardship just keep on coming. For some families, it's potentially a matter of life and death, including a couple that Randi Kaye spoke with in Kentucky. Here is Randi's report.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is 15-month-old Harper. She was born prematurely and needs a breathing tube. Harper was in a Kentucky hospital for more than 300 days and just came home in August. Her mom, Allie McKinny, quit her job as a social worker to care for her daughter.
ALLIE MCKINNEY, IMPACTED BY FEDERAL SHUTDOWN: We have to make sure there are eyes on her 24/7, because she -- if she were to take her breathing tube out, she has no way to breathe. So she would instantly turn blue and she, you know, could potentially die.
KAYE: They thought they could rely on her dad, Chris Rachford, salary as a data processing assistant for the IRS, then came the shutdown. Now, Chris is working without pay.
(on camera) So what does it feel like for you to go to work and not get a paycheck?
CHRIS RACHFORD, IMPACTED BY FEDERAL SHUTDOWN: It stinks.
KAYE: It stinks?
KAYE: When would you run out of money, do you think?
MCKINNEY: Probably another month or so.
KAYE (voice-over): Without money to pay bills, their electric could be turned off. That electric powers Harper's ventilator and other life-saving equipment.
(on camera) You voted for Donald Trump?
RACHFORD: Yes. KAYE: And now you have the shutdown. How do you feel about that vote now?
RACHFORD: Right now at this point I 100 percent regret voting for Trump.
KAYE: Do you blame the President?
RACHFORD: Yes, 100 percent.
KAYE: 100 percent?
RACHFORD: 100 percent.
KAYE: Do you think that the President can relate to people like you and the struggle that you're dealing with now?
MCKINNEY: I don't think he's ever been in a situation like this. I don't think he's ever had to worry about where your food is coming from or have to worry about, you know, how you're going to pay a bill. And I think it shows. I really do.
KAYE (voice-over): Medicaid pays for much of Harper's care, but her parents still need to shell out hundreds of dollars a month for items that aren't covered.
(on camera) You said you would like to actually meet with the President.
MCKINNEY: Oh, I would love to. I would love to. Him, Mitch McConnell, anybody who can come and sit on my couch.
KAYE: What would you tell President Trump if he sat on your couch?
MCKINNEY: First, I would make him meet Harper. And I would tell him, you know, this isn't about a border. It's about your people. And I know you want to keep your people safe, but by restricting payments of the money that they're rightfully earning, that's not keeping people safe.
KAYE: What would you want the say to the President if you did get a meeting with him?
RACHFORD: Put us back to work so we can get paid.
KAYE (voice-over): Chris hasn't been paid since December 31st.
RACHFORD: My next pay paycheck is on the 28th, and I guarantee I'm not going to be getting it.
KAYE: That may be true, and if that continues, Allie and Chris know they need a plan B to keep Harper healthy and safe. (END VIDEOTAPE)
KAYE: To try and bring in some extra money, Allie and Chris have actually sold off some of their personal belongings. They've sold some baby toys, some furniture, and even part of their baseball card collection.
What they really need is gas money. That's because Harper has so many doctors' appointments, and some of them, Anderson, are 30 and 40 miles away and that fuel really does add up.
[20:50:02] But on top of worrying about gas, money, and Harper, they're also worried about getting evicted because they may not have the rent money. Chris said he can't believe it because he does have a job. He is a federal worker, but because he isn't bringing home a paycheck, they could lose their apartment and become homeless. Anderson?
COOPER: Randi Kaye, I'm glad you told their story. Thank you.
I want to check in with Chris Cuomo and see what he is working off for "Cuomo Prime Time" at the top of the hour. You see a story like that Chris and then you hear what the Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said and, you know, that they should just get loans. It's kind of unbelievable how disconnected he appears.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: So disconnect that would make Marie Antoinette blush, right? I mean, they just don't get it. So, the pain is real, we know that. Is the result -- now, we have Susan Collins on the show tonight, we all know her, the Republicans from Maine, pretty straight shooter. She is making the case that she believes there's a reason to think we're coming to the end. Why? We're going to text -- test her on that.
And then, there's another indication that the President is now starting to get the message. He's putting out his defenders, Anderson. You're going to see Sarah Sanders on T.V. talking about this. Kellyanne Conway arguably his most ardent advocate is coming out tonight to make the case to the American people, to our audience, the President cares and that the wall is necessary to keep them safe. Can she make that case? We'll see on the show and we'll test it vigorously.
COOPER: All right, Chris. Definitely I'll be watching that. That's in about 9 minutes from now. Hey, have you seen this movie "Three Identical Strangers"?
CUOMO: No. I saw -- well, I saw the promo, it's Sunday night at 9:00, right?
COOPER: Yes. It's on CNN. It's really awesome. I've seen it. Chris, I'll let you go, because I know you got to prep. But, it's a fascinating story about three guys who accidentally discover that they are identical triplets and were separated at birth.
Their reunion basically brought them international fame, but it also unlocked a really extraordinary and incredibly disturbing secret which is the focus of this movie "Three Identical Strangers" that Chris and I were talking about. It airs on CNN this weekend. I'll talk to two of the brothers, next.
[20:56:15] COOPER: Well, this Sunday night on CNN, I hope you won't miss a movie called "Three Identical Strangers". It's a really astonishing story of three triplets who were separated at birth. When they were 19, they discovered each other. They were reunited totally by coincidence.
Their story made headlines around the world, and later they discovered a dark secret which was behind their separation. I don't want to give away too much of the story. It's a film definitely worth watching.
Earlier I spoke with two of the triplets, David Kellman and Robert Shafran.
COOPER: This film is really incredible. I saw it in a hotel room. I had no idea about it and I don't want to say too much about it because I don't want to -- there's a lot of twist and turns and I want that your audience to see it for themselves.
Just big picture, David, you and your brothers were separated at birth. And do you -- when was it that you discovered you had brothers?
ROBERT SHAFRAN, TRIPLET SEPARATED AT BIRTH: I went to school and everybody kept calling me and they're saying, "What are you doing back here?" And this went a whole day --
COOPER: First day of school everybody was calling you different.
SHAFRAN: Whole day of school, everybody. And so finally after all of these people, there's one guy named Michael who's a great guy, who's in the film, found out about this guy, knew Eddy well enough to know his birthday and that he was adopted.
So he found me, he asked me my birthday, asked me if I was adopted, told me he thought I had a twin. We called Eddy and we had -- Eddy and I have very rational conversation, we're going to get together in about a week. And as soon as we hang up, we got evaporated (ph) and Michael and I got in the car and drove there 100 miles per hour.
DAVID KELLMAN, TRIPLET SEPARATED AT BIRTH: It hit the campus papers and it hit the local papers and all of the sudden it was everywhere. And I was at Queens College and somebody showed me the picture, I guess, or might been in the poster. I don't remember what it was.
And the picture was a little grainy (ph) and I just -- it's just -- it was too surreal. I didn't believe it. Stupidly, I didn't believe it. It's almost like when you hear your own voice on the recorder it doesn't sound like you. And I got to ran into another friend who I'd known since I'm 4 years old who's in the film and he was shaking. And he said, "This is you. This is real." And the gravity just -- it sunk in.
So, I got home. My mother had another newspaper without a picture, but she had the -- all the information in terms of the adoption and you can see the hospital, the birthday, and she knew it was real. And when I got in the phone, called information, Bobby hadn't listed a number.
I got Eddy's number. I called. I said, "Hi, is Eddy there?" And his mother said, "Who is this?" She is apparently -- she's probably inundated with press at that point, so she wasn't really friendly or warm and fuzzy. And I explained to her that I looked at the newspaper and I don't think they're twins, I think I'm the third.
COOPER: I guess, what was the most meaningful part of making this film? Why did you want to take part in this?
SHAFRAN: When we first got together and, you know, David would agree with this that we were just -- we were overjoyed for meeting each other and thinking adult rational people would say, "Aren't you angry?"
Our parents were angry, as a group and individually that this had been done. We were just overjoyed that we had gotten each other. And a lot of things have gone by in the last 39 years, you know? And I think that we got to a point in time where it was an appropriate time to tell the story and that --
KELLMAN: It's really a different perspective. We grew up. We got married. We had children. We have an entirely different perspective in life than you do when you're 19 and we just want to have fun. And it was our parents' job to be angry and our parents' job to follow up.
COOPER: Thank you so much. It's really an honor to meet you.
SHAFRAN: Thank you.
KELLMAN: Thank you.
COOPER: Yes. I was really blown away, that is all I can say. Thank you.
KELLMAN: Thank you.
COOPER: It is a really, really fascinating movie. It's called "Three Identical Strangers" that premiers on CNN 9:00 p.m. Eastern this Sunday night.
News continues. I want to hand it over to Chris for "Cuomo Prime Time." Chris?