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Interview with Rep. Dan Kildee (D), Michigan; FBI Arrests Longtime Trump Associate Roger Stone; Delays At LaGuardia, Newark And Philadelphia Airports Due To Staffing Issues; Interview with Rep. Chris Stewart (R), Utah. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired January 25, 2019 - 10:00   ET

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


[10:00:00] REP. DAN KILDEE (D), HOUSE CHIEF DEPUTY WHIP: Think about it in political terms, I think takes us down the wrong path. This is baked in the cake. The politics of this whole thing. I don't think anybody wins this. I don't think any minds are going to be changed by the way it's resolved. So I don't think that's a threat to anyone. We just need to move on. But what we can't do is put ourselves in a position where the president gets to use this tactic now and then be confirmed as a president who can shut the government down to get something that he wants.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes.

KILDEE: Thanks a really dangerous place for us to go.

SCIUTTO: Congressman Dan Kildee, thanks very much as always.

KILDEE: Thank you.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Top of the hour, 10:00 a.m. Eastern, 7:00 a.m. out West. If you're just waking up, buckle up.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.

SCIUTTO: It is a busy news Friday morning. Significant news. I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington.

In just about an hour the former Trump campaign adviser who opened his door to gun wielding FBI agents very early this morning will be due in a federal court in Florida. Roger Stone found out in dramatic fashion this morning that he has been named in a seven-count indictment from the special counsel. Agents who, by the way, are not getting paid because the federal government shutdown executed a full-on tactical arrest in the predawn hours.

CNN was there. We were the only ones there. Listen to this exclusive video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: FBI, open the door. FBI, warrant.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HARLOW: So Roger Stone has been charged with seven counts including obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering all of it related to his alleged ties to WikiLeaks in the heat of the 2016 presidential election. WikiLeaks of course was dumping Democratic e- mails that were stolen, hacked by the Russians. WikiLeaks is sort of the intermediary here. And of keen interest seemingly to Roger Stone.

Ahead of his court appearance which is in less than an hour now in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, his lawyer put out a statement. Here's part of it, quote, "They found no Russian collusion or they would have charged him with it."

Earlier White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Stone's indictment is his problem, not the president's. I want to play you this exchange of this important conversation that our colleague John Berman had with Sarah Sanders just this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's simple. This has nothing to do with the president and certainly nothing to do with the White House. This is something that has to do solely with that individual and not something that affects us here in this building.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: Well, let's go to CNN's Sara Murray now.

It's interesting also in that interview one thing that the spokesperson for the president would not say is give a simple answer to the question, was the president involved in these conversations? Sarah sanders would not answer that question.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: She wouldn't answer the question. And I think, you know, Roger Stone's attorney is right. That he is not charged with Russian collusion. He's not charged with conspiracy. He is facing seven other counts that have to do with lying, obstruction justice, witness tampering. But the indictment does make clear that Roger Stone was in coordination -- working in coordination with members of the Trump campaign when he was inquiring to WikiLeaks about what information they had and the timing of those releases.

So here's some of what this indictment says. It says during the summer of 2016 Stone spoke to senior Trump campaign officials about Organization 1, which is WikiLeaks and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton campaign. So it was contacted by senior Trump campaign officials to inquire about future releases by WikiLeaks.

It continues to talk about August of 2016. Stone was claiming both publicly and privately to have communicated with WikiLeaks around mid- August 2016. WikiLeaks made a public statement denying any direct communication with Stone. Stone said that his communication with WikiLeaks had occurred through a person described as a mutual friend. Go-between, intermediary. And Stone also continued to communicate with members of the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks and its intended future releases.

Now we know one of the people that Roger Stone was in touch with is Steve Bannon who was a senior Trump campaign official. But we don't know who the rest of these people were. And you saw Sarah Sanders wouldn't answer whether President Trump, then Candidate Trump, had any knowledge of these conversations, whether he directed any of these efforts.

SCIUTTO: Sara Murray, thanks very much.

And, you know, Poppy, one of those communications took place on October 7th, 2016.

HARLOW: Right.

SCIUTTO: The day that the "Access Hollywood" tape was released. Very damaging to the president. And within an hour the first tranche of stolen Hillary Clinton campaign e-mails were released. The question has always been, was that intentional to defer attention from "Access Hollywood."

HARLOW: Right. Yes.

SCIUTTO: And did the Trump campaign know in advance. It's a real question.

HARLOW: Yes. Two key legal questions.

Let's bring in former federal prosecutor and attorney for Trump campaign aide, formerly Trump Campaign Aide, Rick Gates. Shan Wu is with us.

Let's -- I want to get to the search warrants that are going on right now and the significance there. The arrest warrant, obviously he's arrested. But the significance of the search warrant in terms of finding answers to the two key questions, Shan, that Jim just laid out.

[10:05:05] SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think the search warrants in one sense it's a matter of course are going to do a search pursuant to the arrest.

HARLOW: Right.

WU: But I think it's very significant in this context, as Shimon had earlier reported, because at this point to the Mueller team, Stone has lost any right to have deference or any kind of presumption of he might be credible. They are charging him with lying repeatedly and making an effort to get another person to lie for him. So they want to make sure that as much as possible they prevent him from tampering with evidence or destroying any evidence and hence that's part of the reason why the sort of show of force during the search warrant.

What they're looking for now, I think one thing that they must look for is there any other electronic evidence, any other paper evidence that he actually was in contact directly with Assange and WikiLeaks because the question of why he is lying so much could be just trying to walk back his own statements, protect himself, or he could be actually lying because he really has a substantive connection to cover up. So that's one thing that they're very interested in looking for right now.

SCIUTTO: Shan, big headline here. The White House says this has nothing to do with the president. That's just frankly not true. Because you have in this indictment a series of communications between Stone and senior Trump campaign officials about these WikiLeaks releases sometimes in advance of when they were happening. Just some key questions whether the Trump campaign got a heads up about this from a Russian cut out, which is how the U.S. intelligence views WikiLeaks.

Why then no conspiracy charge in this indictment? You've got charges for lying, you've got charges for witness tampering, but not conspiracy. Why is that and what's the significance?

WU: I think the significance is that they don't yet have or aren't willing to show us via a charge the actual substantive nugget of him actually being in touch with WikiLeaks and the campaign knowing for sure that he is in touch and relying upon that. I think more and more was -- you know, first the point from the campaign and Trump's people was not even any contacts with the Russians.

Now obviously there's lots of contacts with them. Now obviously we know from the Manafort case that there is substantive contacts, information being exchanged. This is more evidence of that. But you're not quite at the conspiracy to defraud. That's usually used for let's say stealing something from the government or something substantive you can put your hands on about it. Here the gravamen of the indictment clearly goes to his repeatedly trying to deceive the investigators and quite blatantly telling person number two, Randy Credico, to lie in support of his lies.

HARLOW: And now, Shan, just quickly what -- in terms of what happened, we'll see Roger Stone in less than an hour in court. The question becomes, does he, you know, plead the Fifth eventually, right down the road here as this all plays out like he talked about in this text exchanges, right, that are in the indictment? What does he say? The president tweeted just in December quoting Roger Stone saying, quote, "I will never testify against Trump." The president went on in that tweet to say, "Nice to know some people still have guts." What do you think?

WU: Well, I think this will be a test of his loyalty, absolutely. And I think President Trump's very interested in seeing whether or not that tattoo of Nixon on Roger's back has been changed to a picture of President Trump. That's what Trump would like to see. It will sorely put his loyalty to test. It's easy to talk that way before you've been charged, before you're facing jail.

And I think also interestingly we should be on lookout from what further messaging comes out from Trump and Giuliani. I mean, they have not been shy about trying to communicate to Michael Cohen. We'll see if they continue to do the carrot or the stick with Roger Stone. HARLOW: Right. OK. Shan Wu, thank you so much.

And Jim, now a key question also is about the intel community. Right? As this was all going on, what was known?

SCIUTTO: Absolutely. We're joined now on the phone by the former director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. He's in charge of U.S. intelligence community at the time that Stone was communicating with WikiLeaks.

Director Clapper, thanks very much for joining us.

JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, Jim.

SCIUTTO: So you were of course DNI as this was happening and as Russia was interfering in the U.S. election with the intention of benefiting Donald Trump. Of course I don't want you to get into classified intelligence, but based on these series of communications that Stone was having with senior Trump campaign officials often in advance of WikiLeaks releases, e-mails stolen we know by Russia, what does that show to you? Is that evidence in your view of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia?

CLAPPER: Well, it does to me. And I say that not as an attorney but just as a layman. And I think clearly it does show a connection, coordination, synchronization, whatever you want to call it.

[10:10:01] And I might just mention something that I wrote about in my book which is the striking parallels and similarities between what the Russians were saying and doing and what the Trump campaign was saying and doing particularly and specifically about Hillary Clinton.

HARLOW: Director Clapper, it's Poppy here. Listening to the --

CLAPPER: Yes, Poppy.

HARLOW: Listening to the White House just in case you missed it, let me quickly play for you how Sarah Sanders sees this as it is in relation to the president. Let's roll it, guys.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: It's simple. This has nothing to do with the president and certainly nothing to do with the White House. This is something that has to do solely with that individual and not something that affects us here in this building.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Having read the indictment, I mean, is that true? What's your take on that?

CLAPPER: Well, I think the White House denials are getting increasingly hallow and they simply don't pass the giggle test. So I think to assert that this has nothing to do with the president, either as a president or as a candidate, or the White House is just silly.

HARLOW: Wow.

SCIUTTO: Director Clapper, one of the key exchanges according to this indictment is a senior Trump campaign official texting Roger Stone on October 7th, 2016 saying, "Well done." This the day of the first releases of those stolen Clinton e-mails by WikiLeaks and of course within an hour of the "Access Hollywood" tape being released which was of course very damaging to President Trump.

This has been one of those key instances here, as you know far better than me, as to whether there was coordination here because that is a distraction the Trump campaign and then candidate Trump needed on that day at that time, the Clinton e-mails, to take attention away from "Access Hollywood." What is the importance of that exchange in your view? A Trump campaign official, texting Roger Stone saying, "Well done"?

CLAPPER: Well, it is certainly inferentially I think substantiation of some form of coordination. And I also mentioned that October 7th was the same day that Jeh Johnson, then secretary of Homeland Security, and I put out our public statement about the Russian interference in our election. And of course, that got completely emasculated, overcome by first the "Access Hollywood" audio tape and the dumping of the Podesta e-mails.

SCIUTTO: It is a lot to digest here in this ongoing investigation.

Director Clapper, I can also call you General Clapper. You've done a few years of service. Thanks very much for taking the time.

HARLOW: Yes.

CLAPPER: Thanks, Jim and Poppy. Thank you very much.

HARLOW: And thank you for that and for your service. We appreciate it.

We have to get to some really important breaking news right now with our colleague, Brynn Gingras is with us.

Three delays at three major East Coast airports on a major travel -- you know, Friday morning. Not because of weather, because of staffing delays. This is the impact, another impact of the shutdown on day 35. And I wonder if this is what really hurts the president, if this is what really, I don't know, makes lawmakers reach a deal.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Poppy. I mean, like you said, these are major airports that are being impacted right now. According to the FAA Web site, there is staffing issues at a regional air traffic control center and it's affecting flights into three major airports. We're talking about Newark in New Jersey. We're talking about Philadelphia and LaGuardia in New York City, major hubs for the northeast travelers. It's unclear at this point, are we talking about flights just going into those airports or also flights leaving those airports? But as you said, it is a Friday morning. A lot of traveling happening for the weekend. And we know that there are delays.

We're still working to get information about this. But this again, due to staffing issues at a regional air traffic control center, and it's going to have a major impact. We'll stay on this for you guys.

SCIUTTO: We should note, we're shoring Newark airport there, but it's three airports. And if you're to pick three to disrupt traffic at and cause a lot of problems it might be LaGuardia, Philadelphia and Newark.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Brynn Gingras, thanks very much.

Joining us now on the phone is Trish Gilbert. She's executive vice president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

Miss Gilbert, thank you for joining us now. I know you've got a lot on your plate. This is a direct result of the shutdown?

TRISH GILBERT, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS ASSOCIATION: Absolutely. You know, I was on your show. And I thank you for having us last week. We predicted that you cannot continue to operate a system this complex for this long without the support structure of the people that are furloughed. And we are already short staffed. So now you've added the stress to air traffic controllers and their personal circumstances and they're not sleeping at night. Now we're concerned that they're not fit for duty.

[10:15:01] I don't know the details of every absence. But they're not at the actual airport. I'm told that the absences are at Washington center which is in Leesburg, Virginia, which encompasses, you know, the whole entire East Coast.

HARLOW: OK.

GILBERT: So we're concerned about they're fit for duty. And is that why they're not there? The system is too strained.

HARLOW: That is saying a lot. Concerned in your position, heading, you know, all of these employees in terms of helping represent them. Not fit for duty. Talk to us, not just about the delays, right? The safety at this point.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

GILBERT: The safety. I mean, people -- air traffic controllers they have to be medically fit for duty. They have to not be fatigued. They can't even take Sudafed or (INAUDIBLE) and report for duty. They -- so if the stress is getting to them. if they're ill or they're not sleeping, it's their responsibility to not plug in and try and separate air traffic. I mean, they have to be safe. So capacity is the first thing you're going to see as this shutdown continues. It's going to affect capacity. There is just not going to be enough controllers.

HARLOW: Yes.

GILBERT: To be in our radar rooms across the country to provide the service.

HARLOW: And I think, Trish --

SCIUTTO: Can you tell us about the numbers -- the number of controllers who've been affected by this in terms of no shows, I guess, is the issue here or folks who aren't getting the rest necessary to be fit for duty?

GILBERT: I don't know what the numbers are. I -- you know, we're still getting details on some of the facilities. I do know Washington Center which is a regional facility, there's 20 across the country. I'm also hearing Jacksonville Center is taking some absences. But the shutdown has been on way too long. And these people need to focus on their job and they need to get rest and they need to get staffing in their facilities. This is -- this is unreasonable.

HARLOW: Jim, sorry to jump in there. I was just trying to mention -- guys, if we can pull back up this flight aware image that we had there. And Trish, I don't know, can you see our CNN air right now, Trish?

GILBERT: I -- I'm looking at it but I --

HARLOW: OK.

GILBERT: I don't see the slide aware but yes.

HARLOW: All right. Yes, there it is. We just pulled it up. OK.

GILBERT: Yes, I can see it right there.

HARLOW: So just for all our viewers, this is what's happening right now. These are all of the planes that are actually in the air along the Eastern Seaboard right now. OK. You see some of them going out over the Atlantic. A lot of them taking off and trying to land at these three airports, at Newark, at Philadelphia Airport, and at LaGuardia Airport. I mean, this is a very congested Friday morning. And with delays, you know, we don't even know how long they are right now, Trish.

GILBERT: Right. Right. And I -- you know, and I don't know the ripple effect. 25 percent of our delays happen in and out of New York. And New York area also has only about 56 percent staffing. So they are already short staffed. And 40 percent of them are eligible to retire. I think, you know, this is exactly as we had warned that this is going to have a ripple effect that will last.

And this shutdown has exacerbated an already strained system with regard to staffing. And now professionals are having to make those tough decisions about -- you know, I can't say exactly why they're absent. Are they not fit for duty? Are they making a choice to work at different job and go ahead and retire and resign. I don't know the answer to that. SCIUTTO: Yes.

GILBERT: But this is what we were talking about. You can't -- you can't mess with a system that is so integral to the United States.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

GILBERT: And our economy and our safety. This is reckless what has been going on with the shutdown.

SCIUTTO: You have to wonder about the political effects, too. Is this the issue?

HARLOW: Right.

SCIUTTO: People's flights home and work, et cetera, delayed by -- directly by the shutdown. Is this the issue that pressures the president to yield, that forces a deal in Congress? We're certainly going to follow that.

Trish, please stay with us. We also have joining us now, former inspector general at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mary Schiavo.

Mary, thanks very much as always. You just heard from there an Air Traffic Controllers Association official saying this is reckless and this is a matter of safety. That it's not safe to fly as a result of this. Explain the significance.

MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Sure. Sure. Well, there are two divergent paths here. First is the immediate practical and safety situation. If you don't have enough air traffic controllers, management must literally by law then stop the flights and do whatever is necessary to secure the flights because their job is to keep the planes separated, keep them operating properly. So why the controllers didn't come in is an issue for tomorrow or the next day.

Right now if they don't have the controllers to operate the system, they have no choice. They have to do it because it is their job. It is the law to keep the planes separated. So yes, obviously, the management felt that safety was compromised and they could not deliver the safe separations and they had to do this.

The second part of the question is why. Why did they not report in? Why do they not have enough staffing? Remember back in the '80s, Reagan fired all the air traffic controllers for illegal strike and they were still able to keep the system going.

[10:20:06] Management had to step in and do the jobs in a lot of cases. But they were able to do that. So why all this is occurring is going to be sorted out later. The immediate effect is someone has made the determination they can't separate planes. That's their job. That's required for safety. And so you have to do this.

HARLOW: OK. Mary Schiavo, thank you very much. If you could stand by for us, we also want to bring in a decision maker in Congress on a lot of this stuff. Important to have him with us this morning.

Republican Congressman Chris Stewart of Utah. Obviously he sits on the House Intel Committee. And our whole plan was to talk to you a lot about the news that broke about Roger Stone. But I think for the American people this morning it is most important to get you to weigh in on all of this with the shutdown. And now -- I mean, you saw those planes. You know, you saw what's going on in the Eastern Seaboard right now.

Is this going to make the difference, Congressman? Is this going to make a deal happen?

REP. CHRIS STEWART (R), UTAH: It's going to increase the pressure, there's no doubt about -- and by the way, you see my Air Force wings as a former pilot.

HARLOW: Yes. Yes.

STEWART: I have a sense of how critical this is. And your former guests talking about the stress that these controllers are under and they can't come in fatigued, they can't come in self-medicated and they want to get paid. It's a reasonable thing to ask.

I do know pressure is building. And I know that we've divided ourselves into tribes and one side says it's President Trump's fault and the other side said it's Nancy Pelosi's. But a lot of Americans they're saying just fix it. And the good news is, is I think yesterday there actually was a little bit of break in the log jam.

I think these votes in the Senate, although they both failed, were important and most importantly I think it started conversations with the administration and probably with Senator Schumer who I think is a key to this now.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you, though, Congressman, because I know it's become a talking point that -- well, both sides share the blame, but as you know, the president owned this shutdown. He did so voluntarily from the Oval Office. As you know as well the president supported legislation prior to the shutdown that included under $2 billion for wall funding and then reversed under pressure from a lot of right-wing media outrage.

And of course the polls show that two to one Americans place more blame on the president. And I'm not discounting that Nancy Pelosi has dug in here, as well. But --

STEWART: Yes.

SCIUTTO: The fact is that's how we got to this place. Is it your view that the president should relent here as we see things like this today with air traffic controllers, and open the government and then negotiate? Because that's the essential Democratic position. Let's open the government, start paying the Coast Guard, FBI agents who are delivering -- you know, who were arresting today and then negotiate.

STEWART: You see that -- your conversation is a good example of a point I was trying to make. You said, for example, President Trump supported legislation previous and changed his mind. But so did virtually everyone of the Democrats have opposed this. They all supported legislation as recently as a few years ago that included border security including border fencing.

(CROSSTALK)

SCIUTTO: A much broader --

STEWART: And the president to be fair --

SCIUTTO: Much broader piece of legislation there with other protections and so on. Yes.

STEWART: It was but -- it was but it's a fair point that they're opposing that now. And I also still think it's fair to point out the president has tried to negotiate. We started out last spring, as I sit on the Appropriations Committee as well, the language we were writing last spring was for 25 billion. Then we went to 20, 15, 10 to 5. Vice President Pence went to the Senate as recently as a few weeks ago and offered $2.1 billion.

He's included DACA, a problem that many of us want to solve. There's Republicans and Democrats who want to get protection to the individuals who came here as children. And I think the president has in good faith said let's work together, let's negotiate. And yet Miss Pelosi has said not one penny, not one dollar. And that's why I think it really is going to come down to Senator Schumer. I think he is a key now to breaking this.

HARLOW: And look, I mean, Representative Stewart, that's what we pressed your colleague on the other side of the aisle, Dan Kildee, on before. Does he think it's reasonable that Nancy Pelosi has said it's not reasonable for even a dollar toward a wall? You know, he does.

I want you to listen, too, if we can pull what Republican Senator Susan Collins said in a really important interview last night with our Chris Cuomo about the administration and the president and whether he understands the totality of the impact on the federal workers. Let's play that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: There is plenty of blame to go around on this shutdown. But I'm not sure that the president fully understands what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck as a lot of people in my state and elsewhere do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: What do you think? Is she right?

STEWART: Yes. I think that's probably a fair observation and it's an observation that I think we can make of a lot of people in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. There are a lot of wealthy people. I'm not one of them. HARLOW: Yes.

STEWART: I wish I was. The Senate particularly has a number of millionaires. And it's a fair question the American should ask is, do you understand how difficult this is for me? And by the way, I have family members and very close associates who I hear from them daily saying this is what it is doing to me.

[10:25:07] I get that. And I think many of them are actually turning and going to their Democratic leaders in some cases because some of these people are Democrats, and saying to them, you know what, you may think you're right, but you're hurting us. Can't we find another way? And I do think pressure is building now. I don't think this is going to last much longer. I think we're nearing a point where we do find the solution on this. I hope that --

(CROSSTALK)

SCIUTTO: This might -- and this might be the breaking point here.

Congressman, I do want to ask you about the developments with Roger Stone because they are significant. And when you look at this indictment, what you see is documentation of repeated contacts between an adviser to then candidate Trump and WikiLeaks which was seen as a Russian cutout, distributing e-mails stolen by Russia in the midst of a campaign, the influence that came, repeated contacts in two directions between Stone and senior Trump campaign officials about those releases, in advance of those releases.

Is that behavior, is that communication that a candidate for the presidency of the United States should have with a hostile foreign adversary?

STEWART: I guess there's two or three things, I'll say it quickly because I'm sure we're short on time. First I'm not here as an apologist for Roger Stone. And one of the indictments as I understand, I haven't had a chance to read it, but one of the indictment says that he lied to my committee, the House Intelligence Committee. And if he did that, that infuriates me. I can't -- we can't do our work if witnesses come in and are dishonest with us. He should be held accountable.

But I think it's fair also, I was listening to General Clapper. And he drew conclusions that I just think are incredibly premature. He said there was evidence of coordination, evidence of collusion. You know who disagrees with that apparently? Mr. Mueller because he didn't include any of those in these indictments. And I think if we've learned something over the last week is that we ought to maybe look for the facts before we draw conclusions. And I think that's a fair thing to do with Mr. Stone as well.

SCIUTTO: It's a fair point. There was no conspiracy charge in this indictment among them.

Congressman, thanks very much.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: We do appreciate you taking the time. And we always appreciate you taking the hard questions on our show.

HARLOW: Yes. Thank you.

STEWART: Thank you both.

HARLOW: Thanks for being with us.

And Jim, I think it's so telling also what he said. You know, there are a lot of millionaires in Congress. I'm not one of them, he said. But he did say he thinks the president and members of Congress don't really get the pain. And I think that's --

SCIUTTO: Yes.

HARLOW: I think it's telling.

OK. So on this breaking news about these three major East Coast airports with these significant delays, we just heard from the FAA, our Rene Marsh, working her sources. And here is what she has from the FAA. As you look at live pictures of LaGuardia Airport there. Quote, from the FAA, "We have experienced a slight increase in sick leave at two air traffic control facilities affecting New York and Florida. As with severe storms, we will adjust operations to a safe rate to match available controller resources.

We've mitigated the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic and increasing spacing between aircraft as needed. The results have been minimum impact to efficiency while maintaining consistent levels of safety in the national airspace system. The public can monitor air traffic at Fly.FAA.gov and they should check with airlines for more information."

Jim, notable in there, they said yes, delays, but they did say maintaining consistent levels of safety -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: True. But to maintain that they've got to reduce the volume. And that's key.

HARLOW: Yes. Yes.

SCIUTTO: They can't handle the regular flight load without reducing it to keep flights safe. Significant.

HARLOW: All right. Quick break. We're back in a moment.

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