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Trump to Speak from Rose Garden About A Deal to Reopen the Government; Trump Says Deal Reached to Reopen Government for Three Weeks; The Border Wall Will Be A Separate Topic of Discussion. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired January 25, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: You're watching CNN on this busy Friday afternoon. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Let's just jump right in to it. Any moment the President will be standing behind that podium in the Rose Garden at the White House with the news the nation has been waiting for, demanding for the last 35 days. Two sources tell CNN a deal to end the shutdown is near, but it does not resolve the border wall conflict. It just forces it to come to a head in three weeks' time. That's how long a proposed continuing resolution or C.R. would last. Giving more time for a permanent deal to be hashed out and really one of the key questions is, what changed the President's mind? A White House official admits today's major delays at airports from staffing shortages caused by the shutdown did play a key role. Let's start there at the White House with our correspondent Kaitlan Collins. What's in the deal?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Basically, Brooke, what we're expecting the President to come out here and announce that he is going to endorse this deal that would reopen the government just for three weeks therefore it would pay the way for all of those agencies that have been closed for over a month now to reopen and those 800,000 federal workers who have been working without pay and sent home will be having money back in their paychecks, that only goes for three weeks. This is a temporary deal. They want to essentially reopen the government and then debate the President's border funding demands for the next three weeks, the White House's condition here, if the President does endorse this deal, he does agree to sign on to this and the government is open for three weeks while they're negotiating over what the spending would be, if they do not come to an agreement, that the President says he'll invoke a national emergency to build his border wall and therefore bypass Congress. This is what we're expecting the President to say but we do have to caution that nothing here is final until President Trump himself has the words come out of his mouth. That's what we'll be watching for. The take away from this, what we've been reporting, that's what the President is going to announce here in the Rose Garden that he will temporarily reopen the government while they then debate border security funding. It's going to be seen as a cave to Democrats because that's what you've heard Democrats say repeatedly for the last several weeks. Open up the government and then we'll talk about border funding. Now that's not just because the Democrats have been making that demand that the President is going to relent to that as we've been expecting here today based on what we're reporting. It's also because of as you just noted, the air-traffic control problems, the effects of this shutdown that have rippled across the country and have become a very real problem for this White House, something they noticed not only today, the second paycheck day that those federal workers are not going to be receiving a paycheck. It's all of the effects of that coming together and building a mounting pressure on this White House essentially and now that is why they feel they've got to endorse this three-week agreement, reopen the government, then debate border security funding. We very well could be right where we are now at the end of these three weeks if they don't come to an agreement.
BALDWIN: We'll standby for hopefully some sort of deal to be struck in a minute when we see the President there at the Rose Garden. I have a couple more follow-up questions on what is in the deal and I want to go to Phil Mattingly. One of my questions if we may get into the weeds a little bit, this is dana bash's reporting, reopening the government for three weeks and she says, in a vehicle to go to conference on the DHS bill, no wall money, Senate would vote first. What does that mean?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dana Bash knows her stuff.
BALDWIN: She does.
MATTINGLY: So, Dana's right. What this will do, there will be a three-week continuing resolution, a three-week reopening of the government of the 25 percent and they will also agree that the House will vote on a motion to go to conference on the funding bill and Brooke, the Department of Homeland Security funding bill has been at the crux of this entire fight. If you're going to get wall money it would come in this bill. If you care about border security and border security money, it is based in this bill. The House and the Senate both have their own versions of these bills that need to be married together at some point. That is what they're going to set up. They'll set up that process allowing lawmakers on the relevant committees to start a conference process to try and work out an agreement and that everybody agrees with and can pass both the House and the Senate on these bills. This doesn't in any way solve the wall funding problem that the President wants and Democrats have made clear that even if they go into negotiations with the President, they are not willing to except wall funding. So, the idea that by the end of three weeks there's going to be a department of homeland security funding bill that has $5.7 billion for wall funding is pretty far- fetched at this point because Democrats control the House. But that's the structure of how it's set up and what this will essentially launch is, one, it reopens the government for three weeks and, two, starts this process of negotiations.
[14:05:00] You know well, this has been Senator Lindsey Graham's plan for weeks now. Democrats in the Senate have said this is the best course of action, the best way to go. They wanted to do this. Now they'll have to put their money where their mouth is and see if they can reach an agreement on the bill that the President finds amenable. The broader picture here is, if they don't reach an agreement on this bill, what happens? The President will say he will declare a national emergency and then what? You still have to fund the government at the end of three weeks and how is that process going to work, what will be the structure of that process if they don't reach an agreement on the homeland security bills is still an open question right now but I think for everybody's purposes as far as I know right now on capitol hill, the idea of just getting the government open is a momentary exhale and to the cautionary tale, wait to see what the President actually says. That's what I've been repeatedly told by Republicans. The White House has told Republicans on capitol hill the President will sign off and endorse this deal even those same Republicans say, just wait, just wait. We've been through this before. Wait to see what he has to say.
BALDWIN: I have a follow-up for you on disaster funding but I'm going to slow my own roll and wait to hear from the President of the United States myself. Thank you very much, Phil Mattingly. Let's have a bigger conversation on what we are about to hear from Trump there at the Rose Garden. With me now David Chalian and also Nia-Malika Henderson. How about David, when the President comes out, presumably he will be the one to get to say, I'm opening the government, you know. You're welcome. But is this the President caving to Democrats?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, if it is as what Dana's reporting and what Phil just was walking us through described, I don't know how that can be seen by anyone in their right mind as not caving. The President has said repeatedly over these last 35 days, he will not open the government unless there's wall funding to get the government open. If it's true that there is going to be no wall funding in this continuing resolution to open the government for three weeks, Brooke, then he is completely caving -- that's what I'm listening for, how is the President going to explain to the nation why he has shut down the government for 35 days, caused real pain to federal employees, the support structures around them.
BALDWIN: You think he's going to explain that?
CHALIAN: I'm just saying, how does he explain why he did that when what he was looking for is not included, A. The other thing I'm listening for, B, is what Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham and others in the conservative right-wing echo chamber have to say about the President taking this move because that's precisely what drew him back from -- he was in this position in December and he walked away from it. So, we got to keep our ears open for what that right-wing echo chamber says when they hear the President reopen the government without money for the wall.
BALDWIN: What are you listening for, Nia?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: You think that's right. I'll be listening for the things that David is talking about there but also the President's demeanor here as well. This really is a time when he is likely to come out and as David predicted in all the reporting suggest of this would be a cave, this would mean that Nancy Pelosi and those Democrats stood firm while he didn't. This was a President who said that this could go on for a while, right? He said that just a couple of days ago and previously he said this is something that could go on weeks, months or even years, right? So now here he is it looks like he's about to except this deal or talk about this deal that had been talked about beforehand from Lindsey Graham, all sorts of deals that he's rejected. I think it's interesting to see the demeanor here. It's interesting the staging of this. I'm curious as to why they even staged it in this way because this is -- this is in the Rose Garden.
BALDWIN: Members of the cabinet.
HENDERSON: The idea that this is some celebratory moment for this President in this administration. It certainly isn't the case. This is a shutdown that he caused. This is a shutdown that he called for and here he is now we expect basically saying that this is going to be something that's going to be reversed at least for three weeks and what the way forward is on this wall. It looks like we're setting ourselves up for three weeks down the road for where we are right now which is the President saying that he wants a wall and Democrats essentially saying no wall.
[14:10:00] CHALIAN: On that point, Brooke, three weeks from now, I don't know if the President's going to take questions or not from reporters when he's out there, but it seems one of the immediate questions that the President is going to have to answer is, so what if on February 15th when that money would run out if they have not come to terms on wall money and again Democrats are refusing to appropriate any money for a wall, is he willing to shut down the government again on February 15th?
That's something he's going to have to answer because he's keenly aware. We just got a new poll, the ABC-"Washington Post "poll that came out today, he's keenly aware, it shows what every other poll has shown, his approval ratings are down. He has taken a hit because of his position on this shutdown.
BALDWIN: I thought part of the Dana reporting is, if they come to still an impasse in three weeks, then therein lies the national emergency.
CHALIAN: Maybe that's what he'll put forth today.
BALDWIN: A lot of maybes. We're waiting to see the man himself. We have to take a quick commercial break here as everyone's waiting with bated breath that this whole government shutdown ends. We wait for the President to speak to the world after this.
[14:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: So, we're back. We are still waiting to hear from the President of the United States presumably announcing that he has struck a deal with Democrats. At least that is what I can now report from you from our own CNN reporting, that the President and Democrats have reached a tentative deal to reopen the government and his cabinet already standing there flanking that podium where we will see the President at the Rose Garden. David Chalian and Nia-Malika Henderson are with me. This is precisely what the Democrats wanted to open the government, then let's talk. If not, might the President issue some sort of national emergency and get his funding for his wall. All great questions as we wait. David, my question to you is this, this thing has been dragging on, painful for hundreds of thousands of people in this country, I know we're hearing from the White House that, you know, this is perhaps the timing was driven by, you know, the mess at the airports in the northeast. I have to also, you know -- I woke up to the news about Roger Stone as the rest of us did and I'm just wondering, what do you think is the reason why today is the day?
CHALIAN: You mean, is he changing the subject and reopening this?
CHALIAN: You and I were talking yesterday before Roger Stone was indicted, Brooke, and I suggested that there were some cracks that I think we were beginning to see.
CHALIAN: I think that his deference to Speaker Pelosi on the State of the Union issue shouldn't have been overinterpreted about the shutdown but it was an indication. It looks the President is walking out of the Oval Office.
Here he is. Let's listen.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much, my fellow Americans. I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government. As everyone knows, I have a very powerful alternative but I didn't want to use it at this time. Hopefully it will be unnecessary. I want to thank all of the incredible federal workers and their amazing families who have shown such extraordinary devotion in the face of this recent hardship. You are fantastic people. You are incredible patriots. Many of you have suffered far greater than anyone but your families would know or understand, and not only did you not complain but in many cases, you encouraged me to keep going because you care so much about all our country and about its border security. Again, I thank you. All American, I thank you. You are very, very special people. I am so proud that you are citizens of our country. When I say make America great again, it could never be done without you. Great people.
In a short while, I will sign a bill to open our government for three weeks until February 15th. I will make sure that all employees receive their back pay very quickly or as soon as possible. It'll happen fast. I'm asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put this proposal on the floor immediately, after 36 days of spirited debate and dialogue, I have seen and heard from enough Democrats and Republicans that they are willing to put partisanship aside, I think, and put the security of the American people first. I do believe they're going to do that.
[14:20:00] They have said they are for complete border security and they have finally and fully acknowledged that having barriers, fencing or walls or whatever you want to call it will be an important part of the solution. A bipartisan conference committee of House and Senate lawmakers and leaders will immediately begin reviewing the requests of our homeland security experts and experts they and all law enforcement professionals who have worked with us so closely. We want to thank Border Patrol, I.C.E. and all law enforcement. Requests of our homeland security experts and experts they are and all law enforcement professionals who have worked with us so closely.
Been incredible. Based on operational guidance from the experts in the field, they will put together a homeland security package for me to shortly sign into law. Over the next 21 days, I expect that both Democrats and Republicans will operate in good faith. This is an opportunity for all parties to work together for the benefit of our whole beautiful, wonderful nation. If we make a fair deal, the American people will be proud of their government for proving that we can put country before party. We can show all American and people all around the world that both political parties are united when it comes to protecting our country and protecting our people. Many disagree, but I really feel that working with Democrats and Republicans, we can make a truly great and secure deal happen for everyone. Walls should not be controversial. Our country is built 654 miles of barrier over the last 15 years and every career border patrol agent I have spoken with has told me that walls work. They do work. No matter where you go, they work. Israel built a wall 99.9 percent successful. Won't be any different for us. They keep criminals out. They save good people from attempting a very dangerous journey from other countries. Thousands of miles because they think they have a glimmer of hope of coming through.
With a wall, they don't have that hope. They keep drugs out and they dramatically increase efficiency by allowing us to patrol far larger areas with far fewer people. It's just common sense. Walls work. That's why most of the Democrats in Congress have voted in the past for bills that include walls and physical barriers and very powerful fences. The walls we are building are not medieval walls. They are smart walls designed to meet the needs of front-line border agents and are operationally effective. These barriers are made of steel, have see-through visibility which is very important and are equipped with sensors, monitors and cutting-edge technology including state-of-the- art drones. We do not need 2,000 miles of concrete wall from sea to shining sea, we never did, we never proposed that, we never wanted that because we have barriers at the border where our natural structures are as good as anything we can build. They're already there. They've been there for millions of years. Our proposed structures will be in predetermined high-risk locations that have been specifically identified by the border patrol to stop illicit flows of people and drugs. No border security plan can ever work without a physical barrier, just doesn't happen.
[14:25:00] At the same time, we need to increase drug detection technology and manpower to modernize our ports of entry, which are obsolete. The equipment's obsolete. They're old and tired. This is something we have all come to agree on and allow for quicker and safer commerce. These critical investments will improve and facilitate legal trade and travel through our lawful ports of entry.
Our plan also includes desperately needed humanitarian assistance for those being exploited and abused by coyotes, smugglers and the dangerous journey north. The requests we have put before Congress are vital to ending the humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border. Absolutely vital. It will not work without it. This crisis threatens the safety of our country and thousands of American lives. Criminal cartels, narco terrorists. Transnational gangs like MS-13 and human traffickers are brazenly violating U.S. laws and terrorizing innocent communities. Human traffickers, the victims are women and children. Maybe to a lesser extent, believe it or not, children. Women are tied up, they're bound, duct tape put around their faces, around their mouths and in many cases, they can't even breathe, they're put in the backs of cars or vans or trucks. They don't go through your port of entry. They make a right turn going very quickly. They go into the desert areas or whatever areas you can look at and as soon as there's no protection, they make a left or a right into the United States of America. There's nobody to catch them, there's nobody to find them. They can't come through the port because if they come through the port, people will see four women sitting in a van with tape around their face and around their mouth.
Can't have that. And that problem, because of the internet, is the biggest problem. It's never been like this before that you can imagine. It's at the worst level, human trafficking in the history of the world. This is not a United States problem. This is a world problem, but they come through areas where they have no protection, where they have no steel barriers, where they have no walls and we can stop almost 100 percent of that. The profits reaped by these murderous organizations are used to fund their malign and destabilizing conduct throughout this hemisphere. Last year alone I.C.E. officers removed 10,000 known or suspected gang members like MS-13 and members as bad as them. Horrible people, tough, mean, sadistic. In the last two years, I.C.E. officers arrested a total of 266,000 criminal aliens inside of the United States, including those charged or convicted of nearly 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes and 4,000 homicides or, as you would call them, violent, vicious killings. It can be stopped. Vast quantities of lethal drugs including meth, fentanyl, heroin and cocaine are smuggled across our southern border and into U.S. schools and communities. Drugs kill much more than 70,000 American a year and cost our society in excess of $700 billion.
The sheer volume of illegal immigration as overwhelmed federal authorities and stretched our immigration system beyond the breaking point. Nearly 50 migrants a day are being referred for medical assistance. They're very, very sick making this a health crisis as well. It's a very big health crisis. People have no idea how big it is unless you're there.
[14:30:00] Our backlog in the immigration courts is now far greater than the 800,000 cases that you've been hearing back over the last couple of years. Think of that, though. 800,000 cases because our laws are obsolete. So obsolete. They're the laughing stock all over the world. Our immigration laws all over the world they've been there for a long time are the laughing stock all over the world. We do not have the necessary space or resources to detain, House, vet, screen and safely process this tremendous influx of people.