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A White House Source Says Airplane Chaos Played Key Role in Trump Backing Down; Roger Stone the Advisor to Trump Is Indicted in Mueller Probe; Democratic Leaders Speak Amid Deal to Reopen Government for Three Weeks. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired January 25, 2019 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: -- You guys saw the President's announcement. The applause at the White House for the government opening for three weeks. You called this irresponsible when we talked the other day. How did you feel about watching the President today?

TRISH GILBERT, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS ASSOCIATION: I was relieved. I was relieved to hear that the men and women are going to get that the men and women are going to get the support structure that they need back in the facilities. We'll start hiring again, training again, getting our people paid, first and foremost. Figuring out who really is going to lead the profession, who we can get back. I'm concerned it's for three weeks. I hope that they've seen that the harm they've done, not just to the aviation system but to this country with all of the other critical components of government being partially shutdown, they don't do it again in three weeks. I hope they never do it again. We need to figure out a way that that doesn't happen. I don't know what that looks like but this can't happen again.

BALDWIN: What kind of harm has been done in 35 days?

JIM MARINITTI, SOUTHERN REGIONAL VP, NATIONAL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS ASSOCIATION: There's been an immense amount of harm in such -- we are the largest safest most efficient air-traffic control system in the world. The gold standard that everyone else looks to and it's going to take some time. The FAA Academy has been closed for 35 days. Those are classes that are hard to make up, the hiring and the training that has not been accomplished will be difficult. The ripple effect for that could take years to catch up. We were just catching up to 30 year low of air-traffic control staffing in this country. Working collaboratively with the FAA to make this work and this has really set us back.

BALDWIN: Have either of you given any indication when the controllers will be paid?

GILBERT: No. We have a great relationship with the FAA, our employer, and we've been in constant conversation with them about making sure that we keep the system as safe as we can during this shutdown without all the critical components we were missing. I think they will do everything they can to get money in the pockets of people that have been working before Christmas without pay. We count on them to give them something. Then we'll figure out all the details later because there's a lot of pieces to put back together to get things back to normal.

BALDWIN: With all the pieces still not together, when will you all be sort of back to normal, like all running full speed ahead?

MARINITTI: Running full speed ahead is a relative term. It's not just air-traffic controllers. Aviation safety professionals all across the country and we have to think about the contractors that have been ignored through this process and we rely on to help us do various modernization projects and technological projects.

BALDWIN: Who won't be getting back pay?

MARINITTI: That is a true statement. There's a lot of -- it's going to take a true collaborative effort to move this forward and let's do it the right way. I do believe the relationships over the past 8 to 10 years with the FAA show promise for us moving into the future, but it's going to take -- going to take some time. The next several months will be key.

BALDWIN: You mentioned this off the top, do you -- how worried are you that we're going to be exactly where we are in three weeks or hopeful?

GILBERT: We can't be there again. We have to be responsible. We have to figure out a way to get in the room together and work these things out. We cannot hold people hostage while you try and work something out, whatever the issue is. They need to be leaders.

BALDWIN: You feel like workers have been hostages?

GILBERT: Absolutely.

BALDWIN: Your face just told me all I need to know.

MARINITTI: Absolutely, Brooke. A crisis was caused where there was none one month ago and it was done on the backs of federal workers in a safety sensitive position. We save lives every day and to play with the public trust like that just really isn't fair to anybody and it's not safe.

BALDWIN: Jim and Trish, thank you so much. Thank you, thank you.

Moments from now, speaking of this whole shutdown, Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, they are expected to hold a news conference at the same time. We're told the White House press pool has just been called into the Oval Office. Stand by for that. Roger Stone has long said he is expected to be indicted by the Special Counsel's office but not quite like this. CNN was there in the early morning getting video of them arresting him this morning. Guns drawn, raiding his home. Leaving court today, Roger Stone loving the cameras the only way Roger Stone can.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROGER STONE, ADVISER TO TRUMP, INDICTED BY THE SPECIAL COUNSEL: The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. (END VIDEO CLIP)

[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Here we go.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK, SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Afternoon. First, I am proud that this is the first time this year that leader Pelosi is appearing as Speaker Pelosi in this room and the longest shutdown in American history will finally end today. The President has agreed to our request to open the government and then debate border security, which is great news for 800,000 federal workers and millions of Americans who depend on government services.

As Democrats have said all along, the solution to this impasse was separate funding for the government and then go over our disagreements from border security. Separate the funding of government from the discussion on border security and that's what we got and Democrats, in the Senate and in the House, were united behind this position throughout the shutdown and ultimately this agreement endorses our position. It reopens the government without preconditions, gives Democrats and Republicans an opportunity to discuss border security without holding hundreds of thousands of American workers hostage.

[15:40:00] We expect the continuing resolution to clear the Senate and clear the House this afternoon and be signed by the President today and before I go on, I think on both of us, we want to thank all the federal workers from the bottom of our hearts. They've worked so selflessly this past month without pay, showing up to do a job they knew was important, but for which they weren't fairly compensated. The workers showed up despite the callous indifference of the administration who treated them as hostages, who treated them as pawns, who belittled their financial strain. Our dedicated public servants should never, never have to go through this again. We will do everything we can to make sure they won't have to and this past month is proven just how vital government services are to the American people, whether it's our food safety, our airports, our national parks, our economy, our national security and so much else.

The American people do not like it when you throw a wrench into the lives of government workers over an unrelated political dispute. Working people throughout America empathized with the federal workers and were aghast at what the President was doing to them. Hopefully now the President is learned his lesson. Now, once the President signs the continuing resolution, we in Congress will roll up our sleeves and try to find some agreement on border security. We don't agree on some of the specifics of border security. Democrats are firmly against the wall, but we agree on many things such as the need for drug inspection technology, humanitarian aid, strengthening security at our ports of entry and that bodes well for finding an eventual agreement, but today the President will sign the bill to reopen the government along the outlines of what we have proposed and hopefully it means a lesson learned for the White House and for many of our Republican colleagues. Shutting down the government over a policy difference is self-defeating. It accomplishes nothing but pain and suffering for the country and incurs an enormous political cost to the party shutting it down. We cannot, cannot ever hold American workers hostage again. Speaker Pelosi.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Thank you very much, Mr. Leader and thank you for your leadership in bringing us to this important resolution now where shortly the Senate will send over to the House the paper I came over to see the original paper and we'll get it probably in a half an hour, our two resolutions, one to open up government for all of the agencies of government and one to proceed to conference on the homeland security bill. We're pleased that had we reached an agreement to reopen government now so that we can have a discussion on how to secure our borders. It is very clear that we all understand the importance of securing our borders and we have some very good ideas on how to do that and that will be part of the discussion as we go forward. House Democrats look forward to working in a bipartisan bicameral way to pass all of the bills to open government as we proceed into the conference discussion. I was forged in that culture and I know left to their own device that's the appropriators bi-camerally and bi-partisanly can come to conclusion.

Sometimes it comes to the four principles of the leaders of the House and Senate to weigh in and I think that we will have a very productive time and a short period of time to come to some conclusion. We're inspires by the courage -- we're inspired by the courage by America's workers. They have shown such strong character but nonetheless they have to pay the bills when they come due whether it's a rent check, paying their mortgage, their credit card bills, their car payment, the list goes on. Some of them didn't even have gas money because they didn't have cash or any more line of credit card ability to put gas in the car to go to work. It's really hard for some in the administration to understand how people live paycheck to paycheck and how marginal some of their existences are.

[15:45:00] It makes a difference in how they educate their children, how they put food on the table, again, how they pay the rent, et cetera. We thank them and are so glad that as the President said earlier, as soon as possible, or immediately, so I don't know which is faster, but the quickest of the two they will receive their back pay and the pay that is due today.

We're grateful to Democrats on both sides of the capitol for their unity that was very, very important in these discussions. It's sad, though, that it's taken this long to come to an obvious conclusion. We talked about missed bills and financial security being shaken, sometimes questioning putting in question the credit -- how people's credit is viewed and that's particularly problematic for our veterans many of whom are in their jobs with security clearances and a security clearance is affected if your credit rating is diminished. So, we are grateful to our veterans who have donned the uniform of our country to protect us and moved on to civilian side to continue their public service and we want them to have all the respect they deserve as well as our other public employees, federal employees who are working so hard to meet the needs of the American people. We value their purpose. We appreciate their diligence in performing their jobs whether as the leader said keeping us safe in terms of civilian aviation, whether it's the FBI, other areas of public safety but also just in so many ways, whether it's food safety and the rest. The list goes on. You're familiar with it, but we don't want in any

way any shut down of government to diminish the respect that we have for the purpose of our public employees and the excellence of their service. Disagreement in policy should never be a reason to shut down government. It really shouldn't, especially again for a period of time that has an impact on the paychecks and I'm sad it has taken this long. I'm glad that we've come to a conclusion today as to how we go forward in the next -- in the next three weeks and, again, I salute the Democratic leader in the Senate for the work he did to bring this -- in the House we passed a bill working with our leadership, Mr. Hoyer, ten times we brought bills to the floors to open up government, to open up government and the most recent one that was presented on the Senate floor yesterday was so simple, $12 billion, $12 billion for disaster assistance and open up government for two weeks, the Republicans said no. I think the public weighed in and I quote Lincoln all the time, public sentiment is everything. With it you can accomplish almost anything and we thank the public for weighing in so strongly, for paying attention. I think that will be the success of this conference. This conference that the public awareness is so increased and the public interest in it is so sharpened that they will see what the decisions are that we have to make and help weigh in on those decisions. I thank you.

SCHUMER: OK. Wait, wait. One at a time. Come on, one at a time, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The President has wanted his wall funding for a long time but it wasn't until Democrats won the House that he went to the mat for it, how much of this is about power dynamic and his desire to show you who's in charge?

PELOSI: I don't get your question. The point is today we have come to a way to go forward to debate the best ways to protect our border. I don't see this as any power play.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm referring to the past 36 days and the fact that he held out over wall funding.

PELOSI: If you're saying that the President held out over wall funding to show who was in charge, I think that's quite a bad statement to make about any leader in our country, but what I do say is let's go forward, get this done.

[15:50:00] The leader mentioned lessons learned and hope the people know that we cannot hold our public employees' hostage because we have a disagreement for 34 days, over one month having an impact on their lives. I don't want to make any characterizations of the President's motivation. You'll have to ask him.

SCHUMER: Go ahead. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Speaker Pelosi, did the President underestimate you politically and can you assure the public that there won't be another impasse in three weeks?

PELOSI: I can't assure the public on anything that the President will do, but I do have to say I'm optimistic. I see every challenge or every crisis as an opportunity, an opportunity to do the right thing for the American people and at the same time make people aware of what the decisions are that we have here and hopefully that will make everybody come together in a way that is unifying for our country. I can't characterize the President's evaluation of me.

SCHUMER: I would just say one more thing in reference to that. I suggested to leader McConnell we use a conference committee format. That conference committee has Democrats and Republicans sitting at a table has worked very successfully on homeland security and everything and all of the other bills that haven't been signed over the last several years even when the Republicans were in charge. And so, I'm very optimistic that the conference committee can come to a good conclusion and we can avoid another shutdown. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It seems that you can go on with this plan now.

PELOSI: It's not planned now. What I said to the President is when government is open, we will discuss a mutually agreeable date. I look forward to doing that and welcoming the President to the House of Representatives for the state of the union when we agree on that mutual, agreeable vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: when are you planning to announce a border security vision of Democrats [inaudible]. Also, can you accept any sort of physical barrier for a border security plan?

PELOSI: The work of the conference committee will draw out everyone's view of what is the best way to protect our borders. Our chair of our appropriations subcommittee on homeland security, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard knows this issue very well. She will go to the table with our best ideas on how to protect our border. The leader referenced some in terms of infrastructure that relates to our ports of entry. The President talks about drugs coming into our country. 90 percent of the drugs come through the ports of entry and come one way or another as he was describing, they come through our ports of entry. Let us increase the infrastructure where the drugs are coming and let us increase as the leader said, the technology to scan for that for drugs, guns, other contraband and the rest. Let us talk about some of the things --

BALDWIN: All right. You have been listening to -- now referred for the Pres. in the last hour and now the reaction from the leaders of the Democratic party both in the House and Senate. Speaker Pelosi saying she is optimistic. They've got now three weeks. This is what they wanted, the government to be reopened and therefore they would negotiate and hopefully an agreement on border security. Let's start there. Michael Smerconish and Gloria Borger are both with me for this conversation.

And Michael Smerconish, starting with you, what did you make of, you know, especially off the top, leader Schumer's tone, he was the one who said we hope Trump has learned his lesson? Could this be perceived as a bit of a victory lap for Democrats? And how might that sit with the President? MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: Victory lap is exactly what I wrote in my notes. His opening words were to say he said he agreed to our request. I think he didn't go too far. I didn't think he press the point as hard as he could have that in the end the government is reopening in the President really doesn't have anything tangible to show for that. So, I think the challenge for the two of them is to make clear to their supporters that they had come out on top but not to offend the President in a way that would dissuade him from sitting down three weeks and trying to

bang out a long-term agreement.

BALDWIN: Gloria, what did you think of the two of them?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I agree with Michael. I think they went out of their way not to gloat here. We have all been saying the President caved. He didn't get anything out of this he couldn't have got three weeks ago and we know that to be the case.

[15:55:00] We know with what the Democrats have proposed over and over again which is no funding for the wall and reopened the government then

negotiate. That is exactly what occurred. Nancy Pelosi, when asked whether the President didn't know what he was dealing with in dealing with her? She refused to characterize how he reacts to her. But it was clear the both of them had decided in advance, we are not going to gloat over this. Because this isn't over yet.

We still have a way to go. We want to act positively and productively so we can get something going. Senate Republicans are quite upset about the way this is all played out. After all, they are the ones that voted on an original proposal that the President pulled out from under them. Right now, the Democrats are feeling pretty good but they don't want to show it too much.

BALDWIN: Michael, I have to ask you about Roger Stone. I want to have this conversation with you. You're the one that most recently interviewed Roger Stone here on your show on CNN. He was talking to you about him that he presumed he would be indicted. He wasn't sure entirely when. Then voila, you have this morning in Fort Lauderdale. When you saw him, right here is the video outside the courthouse, you know, after he posted bond, he seems to be enjoying his indictment today.

SMERCONISH: Welcome to the worst and best day in Roger Stone's life. He relishes this fight, he loves this. I said this morning on "NEW DAY" the only thing worse for Roger than being indicted is not being indicted. This is the match up he has relished and wanted and has taunted the special prosecutor to bring. You know his defense. He said to me on November 3, that if he is guilty of punking and

hyping and posturing in promoting and bluffing.

The question I have having read the indictment is it's one thing to say those things in the public realm. When you take an oath and go behind closed doors for a congressional committee, you know, why take on the government in a way that can clearly be contradicted with texts and emails? And he will have to explain that. BALDWIN: I look forward to hearing more of that over the weekend. Michael Smerconish, thank you very much. Gloria, thank you. I am Brooke Baldwin, thanks for being with me. Special coverage continues in just a moment.

[16:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mary Poppins, you came back

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You seem hardly to have aged at all.

MARY POPPINS, EMILY BLUNT: Really one never discusses the woman's age, Michael. I would've thought I taught you better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: That is Emily Blunt in "Mary Poppins Returns" in one of two films that landed her nominations this Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards. Emma Stone and Amy Adams also receiving two nominations each. Adams as a supporting actress playing Lynn Cheney in the highly political drama, "Vice", and "A Star Is Born" has the most nominations of any movie with four. You can catch all of the winners Sunday at 8:00 eastern on TBS and TNT. I just watched that Sunday and had the ugly cry. I can't hear that music yet.

I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.