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Trump Agrees To Delay The State Of The Union Speech; Federal Workers Now Missing Second Paycheck; Unrest Continues As U.S. And E.U. Backs Opposition Leader; Non-Emergency U.S. Staff Told To Leave Venezuela; U.S. And E.U. Back Self-Declared President Guaido; Airbus And Ford Sound Alarm Over No-Deal Brexit; Government Closure Threatening National Security; Interview with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov; El Chapo's Wife Implicated in Escapes; No Nickname for Nancy. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired January 25, 2019 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Wherever you are around the world, great to have you with us. I'm John Vause, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. In the hour ahead, two competing plans from the U.S. Senate to reopen the government. From the outset, both were doomed to fail and as expected they did. That's considered progress. As the shutdown drags on, Donald Trump's multi-millionaire Commerce Secretary has some advice for federal workers struggling without a paycheck. They got a loan.
And there's the protests continue in Venezuela, the generals throw their support behind the socialist regime in Nicolas Maduro, while the U.S. orders all non-essential diplomatic staff to leave, plus this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEY RYABKOV, DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, RUSSIA: I'm embarrassed but by what I see and what I hear from the U.S.'
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: An exclusive interview with the Kremlin's number two diplomat. He bristles when asked is President Trump an agent of Russia. The idea he says is out of touch but was that actually a denial?
We'll begin with signs of progress however small towards ending the shutdown of the U.S. government. Day 34, so two separate plans in the Senate to end this standoff. As expected both reverted down. Then came talk of a compromise. Republicans offered to reopen government for three weeks in return for a large down payment on the border wall.
The White House is eager, Democrats were not, but now at least it seems both sides are talking and in the midst of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history that is what passes for progress these days in Washington. CNN's Kaitlan Collins begins our coverage reporting from the White House.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump caving tonight conceding to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the State of the Union standoff and agreeing to wait until after the government has reopened to deliver it. The President tweeting this is her prerogative.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Last night, the President accepted the fact that the State of the Union should be at a time -- the State of Union just should be at a time. We can talk about the State of the Union when government is not shut down.
COLLINS: But the feud between the President and House Speaker is still alive on his Twitter feed today after he implied she was talking about the border wall when she said she doesn't understand why. Trump didn't seem to realize Pelosi was quoting his Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are reports that there are some federal workers who are going to homeless shelters to get food.
WILBUR ROSS, SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, UNITED STATES: Well, I know they are and I don't really quite understand why.
COLLINS: In an interview, Ross downplayed the financial hardships caused by the 34-day government shutdown.
PELOSI: Wilbur Ross saying he doesn't understand why when he was asked about people are going into food lines and pantries in the rest he says I he doesn't understand why they have to do that. I don't know if this the let them eat cake kind of attitude or call your father for money or this is character building for you, it's all going to end up very well just as long as you don't get your paychecks.
COLLINS: Ross who Forbes estimates is worth hundreds of millions of dollars advising federal employees to take out loans to make ends meet.
ROSS: True, the people might have to pay a little bit of interest, but the idea that it's paycheck or zero is not a really valid idea.
COLLINS: The Commerce Secretary oversees 40,000 employees who aren't getting paid as a result of the shutdown but he said he's disappointed by those who aren't showing up for work.
ROSS: It's kind of disappointing that the air traffic controllers are calling in sick in pretty large numbers depending on the week.
COLLINS: Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said his comments were tone-deaf.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Many of these federal employees live paycheck to paycheck. Secretary Ross, they just can't call their stockbroker and ask them to sell some of their shares.
COLLINS: And the President's daughter-in-law also sparked fury by saying this. LARA TRUMP, CAMPAIGN ADVISER FOR DONALD TRUMP: This is so much bigger
than any one person. It is a little bit of pain but it's going to be for the future of our country.
COLLINS: Sources tell CNN the President hasn't spoken to the Democratic leaders in over two weeks.
PELOSI: He's the President of the United States. We meet with him any time he wants to meet.
COLLINS: As warnings about the real world impact turned dire.
PAUL RINALDI, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: The biggest toll I have right now is the human toll, the fatigue in my work environment right now where I'm seeing routine mistakes are actually happening.
COLLINS: All five former homeland security secretaries including Trump's former chief of staff John Kelly sending the President in Congress a letter calling on them to fund the department and end the shutdown. The President's former economic adviser urging the same.
[01:05:00] GARY COHN, FORMER ECONOMIC ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: The government needs to be open. The government needs to be open.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And who's going to open it?
COHN: He's got to get the government open.
COLLINS: Now after those two competing proposals failed in the Senate, the White House announced that they would support a short-term spending bill that opened up the government for the next three weeks if it included a version of a down payment for the President's border wall.
Now the White House and the President have not responded to questions about how much exactly they are looking for but Democrats have said that's a non-starter. Still, White House officials are praising that some kind of negotiations are going on between the White House, Republicans, and Democrats as at least some sign of a little bit of progress. Kaitlan Collins, CNN the White House.
VAUSE: Bill Schneider is a Political Analyst and author of Standoff: How America Became Ungovernable and he joins us once again from Washington. OK, Bill, the latest reporting from CNN is that the White House is preparing a draft proclamation for the President to declare a national emergency along the Southern Border, also that $7 billion in potential funds have been found to pay for his wall does not mean that the national emergency declaration will actually happen.
But is that looking more and more likely the only sort of option that the president has you know, that allows him to come out of this looking like you know, a winner and to try and end this standoff? And if he goes down that road, what are the consequences? BILL SCHNEIDER, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, what we have here is two competing crises. One is the crisis of border security that the President addressed when he spoke to the country and that he wants to declare an emergency about. Most Americans don't see it as a crisis. they see border security is a problem but not a dire crisis.
The other crisis is the government shutdown and that's becoming bigger and bigger. That's the crisis that Democrats want to talk about and the President has tried to limit the effects of the shutdown by making sure that people can go to work without pay, promising they'll eventually be paid and making sure that essential workers are on the job. But to most Americans, the bigger crisis is the government shutdown which is what the Democrats say is the real problem.
The President is trying to push for an emergency declaration so that border security becomes bigger in the public mind.
VAUSE: OK. Can't we always used to the you know, funding of the government being used as a negotiation tactic? Republican Senator Ted Cruz, he spoke out against this shutdown from the floor of the Senate. He talked about the impact it was having on you know, workers like those in the Coast Guard which brought an angry response from one Democrat Senator. Here he is.
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SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D), COLORADO: These crocodile tears that Senator from Texas is crying for first responders are too hard for me to take. They're too hard for me to take. Because when you -- when the Senator from Texas shut this government down in 2013, my state was flooded. It was underwater. People were killed. People's houses were destroyed. Their small businesses were ruined forever.
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VAUSE: Hypocrisy in politics, who would have thank it but you know, after all the damage this is being caused by this historic long shutdown, do you think they'll be hesitation to go down this road again or will the law of notoriously short memories take hold?
SCHNEIDER: Well, one surely hopes that they would do this again. We've had a number of shutdowns starting with a long run back in 1995. They've all been painful. This one is more painful than most but they've all been painful and it's simply -- I assume -- I hope we're reaching the point where both sides agree that shutdowns should never be used as a tactic to get what you want out of politics.
Well, with the polarization now that we're experiencing an American government, everything becomes a weapon.
VAUSE: Yes. And I want to read part of a letter that we -- that was written by five former secretaries of Homeland Security. It was addressed to the President and to Congress. As former secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security, we write you today with a simple message, fund the critical mission of DHS. They go on a call for the shutdown to end completely, none, but John Kelly has signed on to that. He was Chief of Staff at the White House up until a month or so ago.
But there's one line on that letter with more of a brain drain from Homeland Security has (INAUDIBLE) to retain good workers which begs the question you know, overall, who wants to go work for the federal government right now? How many college graduates are out there looking at public service and thinking that's the future for me?
SCHNEIDER: I once saw a film in which a woman said I'm going to Washington to look for a husband and her friend said, a husband in Washington? All the men in Washington are either married or gay or they work for the government which was a way of saying undesirable.
VAUSE: And that was before all the shutdowns.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, a long time ago.
VAUSE: OK. A day after the President backed down in his standoff with the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over where and when he'll deliver the State of the Union Address, according to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, Pelosi is the one who's losing this. Here he is.
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RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST: Pelosi does not want Trump getting a National forum. Pelosi does not want Trump having a national bully pulpit in the format of a State of the Union. I mean she can't stop him from doing press conferences, or rallies, or any of that, but she's losing this thing. This is the -- this is what's hard to see.
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[01:10:21] VAUSE: It's real hard to see Rush. He ties himself up in knots trying to make this argument. He kind of talks about Democrats not being united and behind Pelosi, but I guess the point is having conservative media like Rush Limbaugh are on board for this, even making a nonsensical argument, it's crucial for this President.
SCHNEIDER: Yes it is. In December, Congress passed -- both houses of Congress passed a budget that would have provided -- that would not have provided the funding for the wall but it would have kept the government open for a matter of several weeks. The President was about to sign it when he suddenly heard from Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and some other conservative commentators that this would be a victory for Nancy Pelosi and Trump would have betrayed the conservative cause.
And when they started rebelling against him, they meaning his base, the President suddenly changed his mind. And that embarrassed a lot of Republicans who had voted for the measure. The President simply wouldn't sign it when the conservatives started complaining.
VAUSE: Yes, we also have this on the Senate floor today. They brought two competing proposals forward for a vote, one from the Republicans, one from the Democrats. Neither one passed, neither one was expected to pass. But what was interesting about this is that the leader in in the Senate Mitch McConnell, he essentially brought this up for a vote which he had said before that he wouldn't unless the President had supported the bill.
So essentially McConnell has been given you know, Trump this veto power over any kind of legislative measure in the Senate which seems to extraordinary development in Constitutional power which was never really there before.
SCHNEIDER: That's right. There are separate but equal branches of government. Congress, the Senate can vote on a law. The President can decide whether or not he wants to sign it but there is nothing in the Constitution, nothing in the American tradition that says the Senate can only bring up measures that the President will sign. Nothing requires that. That's pure politics.
VAUSE: Yes. And that is why this got to the House floor is because it contained money for the wall which is it's a bizarre situation.
SCHNEIDER: That's right.
VAUSE: OK, Bill, as always, thank you. Thank you for helping explain how all of this is working.
VAUSE: I appreciate it. Well, in Venezuela, the military has thrown their support behind the regime of Nicolas Maduro so do Russia, China, and Turkey, while the United States, the European Union, and most Latin American nations are backing the self-declared President Juan Guaido. More now from CNN's Michelle Kosinski reporting from the U.S. State Department.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: In a Venezuela now deeper in crisis, Nicolas Maduro, the president the U.S. no longer views as president has ordered all American diplomats to pack up and get out in the next 48 hours. But today, a senior State Department official telling CNN that might not happen at all saying, there are no plans to close the embassy. We are closely monitoring the situation.
JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER, UNITED STATES: Our personnel are still there. They've been invited to stay by the legitimate government and consistent with their safety, that's our intention. But we're working really around the clock here to do what we can to strengthen the new government.
KOSINSKI: The Venezuelan military today announcing it still backs Maduro but the U.S. backs opposition leader Juan Guaido, the self- declared interim president who swore himself in on Wednesday after weeks of turmoil following what many have called a corrupt election in which Maduro claimed victory.
On the streets, thousands have been demonstrating in support of Guido. At least ten have been killed, more than a hundred arrested according to local reports.
IVAN LOPEZ, VENEZUELAN PROTESTER: We have to throw the dictator away. So we need freedom.
KOSINSKI: Also recognizing Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela now dozens of nations around the world. Secretary of State Pompeo today urging, even more, to make that same choice for democracy right now.
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: The regime a former President Nicolas Maduro is illegitimate. His regime is morally bankrupt. It is profoundly corrupt. It is undemocratic to the core.
KOSINSKI: But standing firmly behind Maduro, leaders of U.S. ally Turkey as well as Syria, China, and Russia which today delivered its own stern warning to the United States. The Deputy Foreign Minister saying it's already "pouring gas on a fire" in an exclusive interview with CNN.
SERGEY RYABKOV, DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, RUSSIA: The resort to military power would be catastrophic. It would be a huge -- another huge blow to the international system.
KOSINSKI: Yet just last month, Russia sent nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela for training exercises and as a show of support for Maduro. Russia has been supplying the regime with military equipment bailing it out with cash, building a partner in the Americas in exchange for oil and influence, adding yet another layer to Venezuela's precarious struggle for power.
[01:15:10] KOSINSKI: Maduro continues to say, all U.S. diplomats need to get out of Venezuela. Trump administration has called that order meaningless. The State Department still says it's not shutting down its embassy. Technically that is true but late Thursday, looking at the security situation on the ground, the State Department did take the step to order all but the most essential few employees of that embassy in Caracas to yes, leave Venezuela.
They're also telling all U.S. citizens in that country to strongly consider getting out. At the same time, Maduro now says, he's ordering all Venezuelan diplomats to leave the U.S. It's unclear if they will all heed his order.
But almost immediately, here in Washington, D.C., the Venezuelan embassy was dark. There was a sign on the door saying it was closed and multiple phone lines were not only going unanswered, they are disconnected. Michelle Kosinski, CNN, The State Department.
VAUSE: Brett Bruen is the president of the Global Situation Room. He also served as the White House director of global engagement in the Obama administration. Brett, we should also mention you've worked at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, and also to be totally transparent, your wife is a Venezuelan journalist.
So, thank you for coming in. You know, I want to start with the U.S. State Department, which is now ordered all non-emergency diplomatic staff to leave. It also said American citizens living in Venezuela should seriously consider getting out while commercial flights are still operating.
Sadly that the government shutdown means the Embassy's web site is not being updated. So, that information is not there. And the last travel advisory on the State Department's web site is from January 16th. So, let's put that to one side.
Why not order all U.S. diplomatic staff out of the country? Is that the symbolic value of leaving them behind? So, worth the risk, they could be held hostage and that could lead to a much bigger military confrontation between -- you know, the Venezuela and the U.S.
BRETT BRUEN, PRESIDENT, GLOBAL SITUATION ROOM: Let's be clear. Maduro, those backing him still in Venezuela want that confrontation. So, it is dangerous. There is a high likelihood that they will seek to try to provoke the remaining diplomats, the security personnel, the Marines, into some sort of confrontation. And that helps to create the impression that somehow, the United States is the aggressor in this relationship.
That being said, I worked a lot in countries where we drew down personnel, Liberia is the example that comes to mind, where we did leave an ambassador. And I think it was two individuals at the embassy to reassure the population we hadn't pulled out. I think that's a similar aim that the Trump administration has here.
VAUSE: What -- the situation though in Caracas is that a unit of U.S. Marines live with it's -- in the embassy compound. But they're always not to guarantee safety of embassy. Of the embassy rather, all personnel. That's up to the host country. So, if you're dealing with this self-declared -- you know, acting president, whatever you want to call him. And he's asked the embassies to remain open.
Juan Guaido, he doesn't actually control the country's security forces. Guaido, he can't guarantee anyone's safety. Which seems to be a pretty good argument of why diplomatic staff should actually pull out without appearing to be caving into Maduro.
BRUEN: Absolutely. And I think we have to be realistic here that the security forces remain today under the control of Maduro. And the expectation I listened to Senator Marco Rubio this afternoon issue threats that if diplomats were harmed, folks would be held responsible, that didn't work so well for us in Benghazi, and I think elsewhere in the world.
We've had difficulty when the security situation has worsened, and we depend as diplomats on security from the host country. This is a situation where you want to have as few people on the ground as possible. I think it was highly irresponsible of the Trump administration, initially, to say that they weren't going to change their posture to not warn American citizens they needed to get out. They waited 24 hours, and it's costly.
VAUSE: Yes, and you know, I mentioned early, you'd know the embassy, you worked out of there. How much can you tell us about the capacity there to accommodate, you know, a small number of personnel left behind? If this crisis strikes on, it gets to the point where they have to shelter inside that compound eventually over a period of time. It becomes a problem, right?
BRUEN: So that embassy up in Valle Arriva above downtown Caracas is a very uncomfortable place. It was built after the bombings of our embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. It looks feels much like a fortress, not the kind of place that you want to spend an evening let alone several days.
But, yes, the embassy would have supplies, they would be prepared for these kinds of contingency scenarios. But we're talking days, not weeks.
VAUSE: Well, the military is backing Maduro, at least, for now. And we heard from the defense minister who said the Armed Forces would try and avoid confrontation at all costs. What he said
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[01:20:13] VLADIMIR PADRINO, DEFENSE MINISTER OF VENEZUELA (through translator): We are here to avoid confrontation. Avoid it at all costs. We will avoid it. We are called to avoid a confrontation between Venezuelans. It is not a Civil War. It is not a Civil War. It is not a war between brothers that is going to solve Venezuela's problems. It's dialogue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, on the one hand, you know, it sounds like he's saying all the right things. But you know, this could be the case that talk is cheap or it could be reason for optimism. How do you see it?
BRUEN: No. I think this is simply trying to portray themselves as being the non-aggressor in this situation. The challenge is this is a military that has already in several prior instances opened fire on civilians that were unarmed, they have engaged in torture and in other abusive tactics.
This is a very dangerous situation and when their survival is on the line, it will be even worse.
VAUSE: And while we also had the decision or the announcement from Donald Trump to -- you know, throw the U.S. support behind the opposition leader and back him as president, and recognized him as the legitimate president.
Really seem to come out of nowhere in many ways and among a lot of -- you know, the people who were taken by surprise, a lot of people who take it by surprise. One of them was the president of Turkey. This is what Erdogan said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): Mr. Trump's statement at the last minute shocked me as a person who believes in democracy. I called Maduro on the way back from Russia, and I told him very clearly, never to allow anti-democratic developments and stand tall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, Turkey is thrown in with Russia and China. And their backing Maduro, warning the U.S. and others to tread carefully. Is this how it's usually done -- you know, in the White House? You know, announced a major shift in foreign policy on Twitter without, at least, some kind of back-channel communications with countries like Turkey or Russia?
BRUEN: Well, for two years, the Trump administration has been plagued by rather an amateurish diplomacy. They don't back up these tweets with real strategies, there is no process for determining what are the costs, the benefits, the consequences of some of these decisions.
But that being said, I would push back a little bit on the notion that the president to National Assembly is not a legitimate head of state in this situation. He is someone who according to the Constitution inherits the presidency during these times of transition.
So, it is not as though the United States is trying to put someone into power, who just came in off the street. And also Russia is on pretty shaky ground when they're talking about international interference when we've got cases like Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Crimea, of course, where they have put troops on the ground and tried to change circumstances for those countries.
And also at the same time what -- you know, more than a dozen countries are actually siding with the United States recognizing Guaido as the legitimate president, at least, until there are fresh elections. But, Brett, thank you. We appreciate you coming in.
BRUEN: Thank you.
VAUSE: Next up here on CNN NEWSROOM. Another warning about a potential fallout of a no-deal Brexit and this is the big one. Airbus, says it could relocate operations from the U.K. to the continent.
And later this hour, we'll hear from one of the Kremlin's most senior officials weighing in on Donald Trump's relationship with Russia. As well as the U.S. decision to back the opposition in Venezuela.
[01:26:14] VAUSE: A warning from Airbus. A no-deal Brexit could force its U.K. factories to move from the U.K. to the continent. And with the deadline now looming just weeks away, Airbus is not the only major company sounding the alarm. CNN's Anna Stewart has details.
ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: If the starkest warning yet from a business leader. Tom Enders, the CEO of aircraft maker Airbus, laying out in no uncertain terms what Brexit could mean. TOM ENDERS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, AIRBUS: If there's a no-deal Brexit, we at the Airbus will have to make potentially very harmful decisions for the U.K.
STEWART: Not just risking future investments in Britain, he says. But the very existence of the factories which are already here. Well, let's take a look at Airbus by numbers. It employs some 14,000 workers here in the U.K. And also, it supports an additional 110,000 jobs through various supply chains.
It's a major contributor to Britain's economy. You'll see here, it contributes around $10 billion to the U.K. GDP. And there are other things here, as well. It has apprenticeship schemes, education, it contributes to R&D. All things that are really tricky to quantify, but essentially attract business and investment to the U.K. shores.
The Brexit secretary was quick to respond.
STEPHEN BARCLAY, BREXIT SECRETARY, UNITED KINGDOM: I personally -- I take very seriously the warning from the chief executive of Airbus. But I remind the Honorable Lady that he supports the Prime Minister's deal. Many in business regard the deal as the way of delivering certainty through the implementation period.
STEWART: Much of Enders' warning published on YouTube was directed at U.K. politicians.
ENDERS: Please don't listen to the Brexiteers' madness which asserts that because we have huge plants here, we will not move and we will always be here. They are wrong. It is a disgrace that more than two years after the result of the 2016 referendum, businesses are still unable to plan properly for the future.
STEWART: He's not alone in the business community. Just this week, Sony announced it's moving its legal base from London to Amsterdam. Joining manufacturing groups, Schaeffler, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, all of which have already moved assets from the U.K. to Europe.
In fact, financial firms have already shifted $1 trillion out to the country according to a report by E.Y.
ENDERS: We at Airbus look back fondly on everything we have achieved with our magnificent U.K. workforce.
STEWART: Warnings like this one are unlikely to be the last. Until a no-deal Brexit is taken off the table.
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, UNITED KINGDOM: Order.
STEWART: Anna Stewart, CNN, London.
VAUSE: Next up here on CNN NEWSROOM. Is the U.S. President a Russian agent? He says, he isn't. But did Russia meddle the U.S. election? Well, in an exclusive interview, we put those questions and more to one of the Kremlin's most senior officials.
[01:31:29] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.
Political unrest in Venezuela has severed diplomatic relations with the United States. Caracas has ordered its embassy and consulates in the U.S. close. Meantime, Washington is telling all nonemergency U.S. staff to leave Venezuela. It comes after the U.S., the European Union and a dozen other nations announced their support for self-declared president, Juan Guaido.
Airbus says it may be forced to leave the U.K. if there's a no deal Brexit. The CEO says the disruption of a hard Brexit could lead Airbus to close U.K. factories and move them elsewhere. Airbus employs tens of thousands of workers in the United Kingdom.
Donald Trump pushing a plan to end the U.S. government shutdown in exchange for a large down payment on his border wall with Mexico. The Senate rejected two different proposals to reopen the government on Thursday. But lawmakers say at least they're talking about what the next step might be.
But beyond the impact on federal workers and the government contractors who are just not getting paid, the shutdown is also raising concerns about national security.
CNN's Alex Marquardt explains.
ALEX NAFFA, TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION OFFICER: Not getting paid is a serious problem that really needs to end. And I really hope it does soon.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Alex Napa is a TSA officer in Houston. A dad to two little girls who is also taking care of his own ailing father and about to miss his second paycheck in a row.
NAFFA: No money for the mortgage for the cars, for the insurance, for the bills that we have. It's been tough on all of us.
MARQUARDT: Now the threat to American flyers is also growing. Air traffic controllers were also going without pay, issuing a warning. "We cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play or predict the point at which the entire system will break. It is unprecedented."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm starting to see routine mistakes in clearances being made because controllers are distracted.
MARQUARDT: As federal workers suffer, the impact is being felt within the agencies and departments they work for, particularly when it comes to national security.
THOMAS O'CONNOR, PRESIDENT, FBI AGENTS ASSOCIATION For special agents, financial security is national security.
MARQUARDT: A report from the FBI Agents Association said that operations including fighting terrorism and developing critical sources are being affected with dramatic potential consequences.
O'CONNOR: The failure to fund the FBI is making it more difficult for us to do our jobs, to protect the people of our country from criminals and terrorists.
MARQUARDT: Another group tasked with protecting the country, Coast Guard also not being funded. A Coast Guard pilot telling CNN that flights are being canceled because pilots are stressed and feeling unsafe saying, "Flying is unforgiving. You have to be 100 percent focused or people die."
And with the Coast Guards parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security also without funding, five former Homeland Security secretaries, including the president's former chief of staff John Kelly who was leading the West Wing when the shutdown started sent the President and Congress a letter asking that they fund the critical mission of DHS.
JEH JOHNSON, FORMER SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I fear that the damage already done to our security will be months if not years as a result.
MARQUARDT (on camera): We touched on the United States Coast Guard there and adding to their pain, a spokesman tells me that with the shutdown the families of any Coast Guard member who dies in the line of today, or a retired member who dies today, they would not receive their loved ones' benefits as long as this shutdown lasts.
Alex Marquardt, CNN -- Washington.
[01:35:00] VAUSE: And Dwayne Bautista is the union president of the American Federation of Government Employees in Hawaii. He's a correctional officer with the Bureau of Prisons and he joins us now on the line from Honolulu.
Dwayne -- so just curious. From what I've read, some of the workers you represent, the correction officers at federal prisons there, not only are they working without getting paid, they legally have to show up for work and many are putting in overtime as well -- 16 hour days.
DWAYNE BAUTISTA, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, HAWAII (via telephone): Yes, that's correct. Currently right now, we don't have that second shift coming in. And you're right. We're doing double shift because some officers are, you know, calling in sick. Some are on annual leave so that when the 16-hour shift come into play and, you know, that's where we're at as of right now without pay because of the government shutdown. VAUSE: You know, it seems right now the whole system is on the verge
of collapse. You know, when you're talking, you know, penitentiary workers, or air traffic controllers or TSA security guys and there's going to be mass resignations because you know, like everyone else, federal workers they need a job pay their bills.
So from your assessment, from what you could tell, how much longer can this go on with the federal workers not being paid? How close do you think we are to that moment when it all just falls apart?
BAUTISTA: I think -- I think as of right now it is there already, you know. You've got some agencies and even at our place, you know, that some officers are already doing -- they have a second job to make some kind of income or have the income coming in to just try to get by for the -- for this past month I guess or where are what -- 34 days or 35 days of the government shutdown.
That's two checks already so I know for a fact at our place, we have some officers already that are in -- basically they've depleted their savings or their finances. So now, the frustration and -- the frustration is there where -- how long is this government going to be shut down until, you know, we got some kind of income coming in because now they aren't going to be able to make their mortgage or their rent or even utilities.
And, you know, it's a scary feeling to be in this situation. I just feel bad. I just wish the government would just open up and, you know, and then our politicians, our lawmakers can negotiate after the fact because this is -- this is the American people that don't even have an income.
VAUSE: I was just going to say, various sides of politics are guilty of using government shutdowns as a negotiating tactic. But we keep hear from the President of the United States that many of the workers not being paid, you know, support his demand to build a border wall with Mexico.
Even if they support the wall, do you know any federal workers out there who support this tactic of shutting down the government so that Donald Trump can get the funding for his wall?
BAUTISTA: Well, in the beginning, I know for a fact, you know, we have co-workers that are Trump supporters. And you know, that's their own opinion. But, you know, after one month of not -- there's no income coming in, you know everybody's support, everybody's opinion changed because reality sets in. There's no income coming in.
VAUSE: Reality --
VAUSE: -- in a big way. Well, we wish you and your members the best of luck. And we know these are difficult times and hopefully there will be some kind of resolution soon. So Dwayne -- thanks for being with us.
Ok. Well, the U.S. President has already been forced to deny he's a Russian agent. And now in an exclusive interview with CNN's Fred Pleitgen, Russia's deputy foreign minister says the idea the U.S. president is some kind of Manchurian candidate is out of touch. But was that actually a denial?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Did you think at this point it is possible for Russia and the U.S. to mend their relations or has Russia essentially given up hope?
SERGEI RYABKOV, RUSSIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER: We want this. We are prepared to, you know -- to do what is needed in practical terms to address issues, all of them, including so-called Russian meddling which is -- you know, a fundamental problem for relationship right now.
But also further on towards all sorts of things but including cooperation in outer space, including arms control and everything.
And let me tell you that last year Russia offered the U.S. government, this administration, a number of specific and concrete ideas, proposals on how to do it. We did it in very different forms.
At times we tried to distill our proposals to the very simple propositions without any political rhetoric whatsoever, a kind of checklist of what we can see would be desirable.
[01:39:57] Unfortunately, because of the domestic political situation and all sorts of assumptions in regard to Russia and complete absence of any trust between us and towards Russia for sure, I know this, it was not possible.
But we do not abandon these efforts. We will reinvigorate those this year and we'll see what will happen.
PLEITGEN: Well, it's interesting, because one of the things that I know John Bolton said the last time that he was here. If he said that he believed that because of the election meddling which he didn't believe had much of an impact on the U.S. election but he said that it's created a mood in America that is so toxic towards Russia that it's almost impossible to do business between the two nations. And there are even some questioning whether President Trump is an agent of Russia. What do you make of that?
RYABKOV: I mean it's completely, completely out of touch with anything that could be conceived as you know, anywhere close to the reality. I'm amazed, I'm embarrassed by what I see and what I hear from the U.S. I mean it's just incredible how people are speculating on Russia and the whole issue on how relationships developed in recent years for domestic political purposes.
I think it is completely irresponsible. There's no connection between any people of -- in Russia, any people with any idea who think that the Russian government could be in a mood of doing something for which Russia currently is being accused in some circles in the U.S. is unacceptable. It's outrageous.
It has no sense. It is completely nonsensical (ph) for anyone in Russia. There might be opportunities to talk to this in a professional manner and we have proposed to the U.S. to do so.
They -- just exactly as you said on what the national security advisor told media that because of this toxic character of this it's impossible.
So we're in a kind of deadlock. But let me tell you again, we completely and totally reject all this type of accusations.
PLEITGEN: I want to move on to Venezuela because it's a troubling situation there as well. Do you think that there's the danger that the U.S. could intervene in Venezuela? And what do you think that would mean?
RYABKOV: Yes. I truly feel that there are danger signs of something going on along these lines. We warned everyone and not just the U.S., but some others who may entertain these ideas from this type of action.
The resort to military power would be catastrophic. It would be a huge -- another huge blow to the international system. We face now a scenario that may lead to further bloodshed in Venezuela.
We have just called the international community to think twice or more if need be and refrain from actions and try not to you know, feel the temptation to meddle. That would be a terrible thing.
Parties, a position the government in Venezuela should be given a chance to continue dialogue. I know the situation is, you know, a dramatic one. But so what?
I mean is it just because of this that others should go there and think of using military power? I think it will only deepen the crisis.
PLEITGEN: President Trump just recognized I think the head of the parliament as the real interim president. Do you consider that meddling?
RYABKOV: For sure. I mean it is just pouring, you know, gas on the fire. That equals to this. We have said what we think on this formally through the statement of the Russian foreign minister which is out there. It is a strong statement.
We -- you know we do not try to (INAUDIBLE) anything. There's a very, very dangerous moment and everyone should show utmost responsibility.
PLEITGEN: You have good relations with the Maduro government, what could Russia do in this situation? RYABKOV: We do not in any way hide from the fact that we support the
Maduro government. We have worked with the Maduro government from several practical issues over the years.
We do think that in this particular challenging and dangerous moment, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
VAUSE: CNN's Fred Pleitgen there sitting down with an exclusive interview with Russia's deputy foreign minister.
[01:45:02] Well, now seems as good a time as any to check in on the doomsday clock. A reminder here -- midnight represents global annihilation.
So on Thursday, the folks who decide the chances we'll destroy ourselves set the clock at 11:58 p.m. The world, they say is facing two major threats -- nuclear weapons and climate change.
The good news -- the clock was set at 11:58 last year so it hasn't moved any forward. But the last time before that when the clock was set this close to midnight was 1953. That's when the United States and the Soviet Union began testing thermonuclear weapons.
We'll take a short break on CNN NEWSROOM.
When we come back, El Chapo's prison escape -- the notorious now bombshell testimony has revealed who may have helped the accused drug kingpin (INAUDIBLE).
VAUSE: Well, it seems at least one of El Chapo's notorious prison escapes was a family affair. During the Mexican drug lord's trial in New York, a former cartel associate said El Chapo's beauty queen wife helped coordinate his breakout.
Details from Brian Todd.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): She's been a devoted and very stylish presence at the trial of her husband, the reputed drug lord Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, even down to coordinating matching velvet jackets with him in the courtroom.
It's not the courtroom wardrobe that Emma Coronel, a former Mexican beauty queen and American citizen, planned for her husband's trial that's making news. It is how involved one witness testified she was in planning a great escape.
Damaso Lopez, a former cartel associate of El Chapo's testified that Emma Coronel was in on at least one get away plot including when Lopez coordinated to spring him for a maximum security Mexican prison. Lopez said after visiting her husband in prison, Coronel would bring him messages, orders from El Chapo on how they should plan the escape.
MALCOLM BEITH, AUTHOR, "THE LAST NARCO": It shows that she was well aware of his operations. You know, she can't play the naive -- the naive beauty queen wife in any way.
TODD: Coronel is an American and prosecutors have not said whether she'll face charges. Her spokesperson didn't comment on the allegations.
The blockbuster plot that Coronel allegedly help coordinate busted El Chapo out of Alta Plano prison in 2015. He dropped out of sight to a hole in his prison shower stall into an elaborate tunnel, complete with electricity, lighting, tracks laid along the ground, and a modified motorcycle cart for transportation. Police say he then fled through a mile of tunnels and then up a ladder into a half-built house that disguised the exit.
[01:50:00] He escaped another high-security prison reportedly hidden in a laundry cart. In one daring escape, according to testimony, he was actually with a different woman than Coronel, his mistress.
That woman testified than when police were trying to break in he escaped through a trap door concealed under his bathtub which was set on hinges. He ran through a system of underground tunnels completely naked.
MICHAEL VIGIL, FORMER DEA CHIEF OF INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS: "Chapo is man I consider to be the modern day Houdini. He escaped from the two most maximum secure penitentiaries in Mexico. And the one in Altiplano was the most spectacular prison break that I've seen anywhere in the world.
TODD: Through it all, Emma Coronel was a trusted confidante of El Chapo's, a woman who he met when she was a teenager, a woman who came from his world.
BEITH: She didn't come from the -- as an outsider, as an instant. She was raised within a family that was trafficking drugs -- brother, father and an uncle. And trafficking drugs with Chapo Guzman.
TODD: While the drama continues inside the courtroom, there are concerns about security surrounding the trial. The proceedings have been heavily fortified with U.S. marshals guarding El Chapo, the witnesses and protecting the anonymous jurors.
But because of the government shutdown, funding for the courts is running out. The marshals and prosecutors haven't been paid in weeks. And a former top DEA official is worried.
VIGIL: That is going to create a lot of distraction. And it leads to frustration, it leads to anger. The fact is that as a result of that distraction it could lead to potential breaches within the security of the trial. TODD (on camera): Officials with the U.S. court system tell CNN the
El Chapo trial will go on even if the court system's funds completely run out. A spokesman for the U.S. Marshal Service tells us they're staffing remains the same and they're committed to providing protection and security for as long as the courts are open.
Brian Todd -- CNN, Washington.
VAUSE: Well, U.S. lawmakers are once again trying to hold China accountable for human rights abuses against its Uyghur population. International outrage has been growing in the wake of reports as many as one million Uyghurs were forced to reeducation camps in Xinding (ph) province.
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez is one of the bill's co-sponsors. He tells CNN the U.S. needs to pressure China on the Uyghur issue before things actually get worse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR BOB MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: It may be a prelude to China thinking beyond the Uyghurs and the Muslim minority that lives there and saying anyone who opposes the government could ultimately go to a quote, unquote "reeducation camp" which is really a concentration camp.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The full interview with Senator Bob Menendez will be aired in the next edition of "NEWSSTREAM" With Kristi Lu Stout. That's 9:00 p.m. Hong Kong time, 1:00 p.m. in London only here on CNN.
We'll be back after a short break.
VAUSE: Well here it is. The latest George Jetson gee whiz moment with Jeff Bezos actually involved. Behold Scout -- Amazon's latest invention to make the delivery of packages more efficient and a wee bit more interesting.
It's being tested in Seattle. But first real life humans will accompany the six scouts. Some are weighing in, calling them "cool and cute". Others are wondering where the dog (INAUDIBLE) -- I don't care.
(INAUDIBLE) The amazon drone. You know, it wasn't going to happen because if it were going to happen -- this is a PR stunt. Anyway.
[01:55:04] -- maybe it's a case of writer's block or it means having trouble channeling that inner bully. Either way Donald Trump has hit a wall when it comes to nicknaming his political nemesis. Here's Jeanne Moos.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's coming.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who we've just nicknamed, "No Nickname Nancy" because of what President Trump failed to do -- live up to his reputation as a master nicknamer.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Little Marco.
Little rocket man.
Lying Ted. Lying Ted.
MOOS: But was the President lying down on the job when he said.
TRUMP: Nancy Pelosi or Nancy as I call her.
Moos: Twitter called him out. That's her name. Bet she's never heard herself called that before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's the only person he hasn't given a nickname to. Pocahontas Elizabeth Warren, Lying Ted. He's like Nancy Pelosi, or as I call her Nancy.
MOOS: But what was the President thinking? Theories ranged from he considers using just her first name to be an insult to it's an unexpected show of respect, or maybe he's scared of Madam Speaker.
Is it possible the President has lost his knack for nicknames?
Last year, he tried to tag her as "High Tax, High Crime Nancy Pelosi". He also tried to brand her as soft on gangs.
TRUMP: The MS13 lover, Nancy Pelosi.
MOOS: But the lover of nicknames failed to make those stick. She has broken his corny nickname generator.
A comparison was made between the President's comment --
TRUMP: Nancy Pelosi or Nancy as I call her.
MOOS: And this line from Austin Powers.
MIKE MYERS, ACTOR: Allow myself to introduce myself.
MOOS: But if the President wanted to introduce a nickname for Nancy, he seemed to run into a wall.
Jeanne Moos --
TRUMP: Don't worry about it Little Marco.
MOOS: -- CNN --
TRUMP: Or Nancy as I call her.
MOOS: -- New York.
VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for your company. I'm John Vause.
Please stay with us. George Howell and Natalie Allen will take it up after a short break.
[01:57:16] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: As politicians in Washington fight over how to end the government shutdown federal workers are missing yet another paycheck.