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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
The Longest Government Shutdown In U.S. History Is Almost Over; Roger Stone Indicted; The Airline Pilots Association Says It Is Grateful That A Deal Has Been Announced To End The Government Shutdown; U.S. Markets Are Getting A Boost From The Shutdown Break Here In Washington; Queen Elizabeth Urged Britain To Keep Searching For Common Ground; Venezuela Faces Fresh Political Chaos; Trump, Democrats Reach a Deal to Reopen Government for 3 Weeks; Longtime Trump Associate Roger Stone Indicted in Russia Probe; Small Plane and Helicopter Collide and Crash in Northern Italy; Maduro, Guaido Rally Support in Dueling Speeches; Democrats React to Deal to End U.S. Government Shutdown; Investors React to U.S. Shutdown Deal, Intel Earnings. Aired: 3-4p ET
Aired January 25, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Good evening, everyone. I'm Zain Asher in New York and let me tell you, it has been an extremely busy day of
breaking news, specifically in Washington. Donald Trump actually has just announced a deal that will temporarily reopen the U.S. government. This
comes after a day of major flight delays across the East Coast, triggered by air-traffic controllers calling out sick.
And before all of this, we had a major political earthquake. Roger Stone, a high-profile adviser to Donald Trump, was indicted as part of the Mueller
investigation and protested his innocence amid a media frenzy, a media circus outside the courtroom in Florida.
I want to begin though in Washington. I'm talking about the longest government shutdown in U.S. history is almost over. President Trump has
actually announced a temporary deal to reopen the government and fund it for three weeks.
The President began by thanking government workers and saying he'll make sure they get back paid as quickly as possible. But the shutdown about the
border wall or barrier is not over. Sources tell CNN the agreement does not include money for a border wall. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle
say they will negotiate on border security issues. If the issues aren't resolved, the President warned, the government could shut down again in
three weeks' time. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we don't get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15th
again or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Donald Trump there making a very clear, clear threat. I want to bring in Stephen Collinson, he joins us live now from Washington. So just
in terms of the announcement today, Stephen, what was it? A lot of people talk about how the President sort of caved to Democrat demands, what was it
that specifically forced the President to surrender here?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, CNN: I think it was gradually building political pressure and those pictures today of air traffic over
the East Coast stacking up because of a shortage of air-traffic controllers that really gave the impression that this thing was spiraling out of
But Zain, this was really a complete climb down by the President. He closed down the government in December to get money to fund the wall that
was at the center of his campaign in 2016 and is crucial to his political identity. He is opening the government, as you said, without getting any
money for the wall, he could have had this deal inasmuch as it is a deal a month ago with Democrats. That's what they were offering.
So it really is abject cave by the President and by a President who styled himself as the man to come to Washington and fix it because he was the
greatest deal maker of all time.
ASHER: So literally, Stephen, in three weeks from now, we could actually end up exactly where we started. The President talked about declaring a
national emergency. Just walk us through what the legal ramifications of that are because it is complex.
COLLINSON: Right. Well, one of the reasons why the White House has not taken that step so far is because it is so legally controversial. In the
United States governmental system, it's the Congress that's in charge of appropriating money for various projects. The President can't just decide,
okay, I want to have - move some money from here to here to here to here. He has to go through Congress.
So it's almost certain that as soon as a national declaration was made, it would be challenged in the courts, there would likely be a stay on that
action, so the President wouldn't, in fact, be able to go ahead and construct the wall.
Having said that, it seems very unlikely that having been humiliated in this first government shutdown showdown with Nancy Pelosi, the President
would go down that route again presuming he can't get any money from his wall from the Democrats in the next three weeks. so although a declaration
of national emergency might not actually get the wall made, it could end up being the best face-saving exit from the President because he could turn
around and say, "Look, I've been thwarted again by courts, by judges who were appointed by President Obama." That's a politically sustainable
situation with his base and is probably better for him than going right down into this shutdown debacle, which he probably would lose yet again.
ASHER: Despite the fact that 800,000 people were furloughed, struggling to pay their bills, feed their families, it does unfortunately come down
between both sides to saving face. In fact, President Trump over the next three weeks has talked about the fact that he is confident that Democrats
will negotiate in good faith.
ASHER: Moments ago, the Democratic Leader in the Senate said the President must do the same. Let's listen to Chuck Schumer had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Democratic Leader?
CHUCK SCHUMER, U.S. SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: Madam President, 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. I want to thank President Trump and Leader McConnell.
As just outlined, we have agreed to pass a clean three-week continuing resolution to reopen the government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Now, Stephen, you and I were just talking about the fact that it is about saving face. Obviously, it is partly about optics here. Who wins
the PR battle between President Trump and the Democrats? Who do you think comes out on top here?
COLLINSON: I think it's very clear that the Democrats won this PR battle, and it's a very important battle because it's the first one between
the new Democratic House and the President that has a good chance of setting the tone for the interaction between the President and the White
House and Congress over the next two years.
The Democrats now have even less incentive to agree to a final deal that gives the President money for his wall. Polls during the shutdown show
that the wall remains unpopular among Americans. They don't believe the government should be shut down over trying to get funding for a wall. And
now, they have had this affirming victory over the President that has forced him to climb down.
So the chances of the Democrats as the President hopes are going to do a deal that gives him money for the wall, you know, it's much less. Now,
there's possible there could be some kind of congressional fudge whereby the Democrats say they are funding border security and allow billions of
dollars for that, but are not allowing funding for the wall, and the President could present perhaps money put aside to restore existing fencing
or existing border barriers on the border, and he could perhaps present that to his supporters as saying, "Look, I got the wall," but in reality,
it seems very, very clear that the idea that President Trump is going to follow through on his promise to build a wall on the southern border is
even further away today than it has been over this last 35 days.
ASHESR: Yes, I mean, that's highly unlikely that he is going to get his wish. But what do you actually make of the content of that press
conference in terms of what the President actually said? Obviously, at the top, he made a few comments at praising Federal workers, for what they've
been through over the last month or so, and then he talked about why the border wall is needed.
I mean, I am just curious because he didn't really explain in any sort of detail at all why he caved to the Democrats' demands.
COLLINSON: It was very bizarre in many ways. The President came into that press conference trying to give the impression that he was the victor
of this. That's his prerogative. That's what politicians do. But it's a very hard sell.
It was interesting that members of his Cabinet were there and applauded the President as he walked down and indeed when he finished that sort of rather
difficult to follow speech, at times he sort of slipped into his campaign rhetoric and his, you know, well-known stories about illegal, undocumented
migration and crime and he made very questionable assertions about how much crime was coming from people who came over the border.
So it was very confusing and I think it was a symptom of a President who was exposed by this shutdown. He was unable to get his wish, and he was
unable to change the politics of this to convince the American people that there does need to be a wall and that is probably the most worrying thing
from the President's point of view at the end of all this.
ASHER: We'll see what happens in three weeks' time when that continuing resolution ends. Stephen Collinson live for us there, thank you so much.
Good to see you.
Okay, shackled at the waist and at the ankles, Donald Trump's longtime ally roger stone appeared in Federal Court a few hours ago. He's been indicted
on charges brought by Robert Mueller, the special counsel alleging stone sought stolen e-mails from WikiLeaks in order to damage Mr. Trump's
opponents in the 2016 election.
Mueller says Stone did this in coordination with senior Trump campaign officials. By dint of good instincts and by following key clues, CNN was
actually waiting outside Roger Stone's Florida home when the FBI came to arrest him. They caught it all on camera. Stone says he will be
exonerated. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER STONE, LONGTIME ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP: I will plead not guilty to these charges. I will defeat them in court. I believe this is a
politically motivated investigation.
STONE: But I have made it clear I will not testify against the President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Just watching that live earlier, I mean, that was what you call a media circus. Nick Valencia was actually at that media circus. He's in
Florida and he joins us live now. So just walk us through the specific charges of sort of lying and witness tampering brought against Roger Stone.
Just give us more detail.
NICK VALENCIA, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: So he's facing an obstruction of justice charge, four false statements to Congress, lying to a special committee, as
well as witness tampering and it was all laid out in a 24-page indictment that was released earlier today, Zain. And it was really a sight to see
Roger Stone in that courtroom, a man who's usually dressed, you know, head to toe in a tailored suit was wearing a dark blue polo.
You noted, he was shackled around the waist and ankles, his hands cuffed, resting in front of him, and he looked tired. He was woken up this morning
by the FBI as they knocked on his door, going to his residence to take him into custody. And you saw him in incredibly good spirits as he left the
court, throwing a victory sign, made famous by Richard Nixon after he was impeached and took a helicopter ride away from the White House.
Very serendipitously, we were able to catch up with Roger Stone after he made that statement to the press. I talked to him one-on-one as he was
leaving surrounded by this crush of reporters. I asked him about the accusations listed in the indictment, the charges, I should say, listed in
the indictment, the charges he's facing, and what it was like when the FBI showed up at his house this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: Mr. Stone, any comment for CNN?
STONE: Nice to see you guys at my house this morning.
VALENCIA: What do you say about the charges, Mr. Stone?
STONE: They are false and I will be completely vindicated.
VALENCIA: What was it like when the FBI showed up?
STONE: Not surprising.
VALENCIA: The indictment says that you were coordinating with senior Trump officials, campaign officials. Who were the officials?
VALENCIA: No indication of who those officials were, Mr. Stone?
STONE: They don't exist.
VALENCIA: Anything that you'd like to say to clear the record?
STONE: I think I've been pretty clear on this. Tune into some of the shows tonight. You'll see. I support the President. I've made my
statement. Nothing further.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: So you heard him there, Zain, defiant as ever, Roger Stone in his own words -- Zain.
ASHER: Yes, and I think it's really interesting because he said it was not surprising the FBI showed up at his house. Obviously, he saw this day
coming. Just the fact that he actually decided to talk to the media and have a press conference after his indictment was announced, I mean, what
was his goal there? I mean, what does it also say about Roger Stone as a person?
VALENCIA: Well, his counsel came out and, you know, they said initially starting before he gave a statement that Roger Stone has always spoken for
himself and he was going to do that today. I asked him in that interview that you just heard if he wanted to clear the record, and he said he's been
very clear and implied he was going to be on the television tonight, on television talk shows tonight, talking about what he went through today.
He's been released on a $250,000.00 signature bond, which means that he didn't have to put any money forward. He has some conditions to his
release, restricted travel, only allowed to go to the Eastern District of New York, Eastern District of Washington, D.C., and Virginia, and here in
He has also been asked to hand over his passport. He said he doesn't have a valid passport, so he's not allowed to apply for a new one. And very
interesting to note here, very quickly, Zain, he is going to have to submit to standard substance abuse testing as agreed to at pretrial. He is also
under the conditions of his release going to be allowed to see a doctor.
But really, the most remarkable thing as you noted is him coming out after he made his first court appearance here in Fort Lauderdale. Chatty as
ever, agreeing to an interview with us. You heard him there. I was caught off guard that he was going to answer any of our questions but he did, and
he is presumably going to talk some more tonight. Zain.
ASHER: And actually, Nick, at the beginning, he said, listen, the only thing that's worse than being talked about is not being talked about. So
that gives you an insight into his thinking. Nick Valencia live for us there, thank you so much, appreciate that.
All right, still to come here on "Quest Means Business." pushed past the breaking point. Planes in the United States were unable to land, can you
believe it, after air-traffic controllers failed to show up to work. A lot of sickouts today. The shutdown is now almost over. Travelers are hoping
the delays are, too. We'll be at the airport with the latest, right after this quick break.
ASHER: The Airline Pilots Association says it is grateful that a deal has been announced to end the government shutdown. Meantime, travelers in
the United States are still feeling the effects. Some of the country's busiest airports were actually forced to significantly delayed flights this
morning due to staff shortages in air traffic control.
Air-traffic controllers haven't been getting paid, but are still supposed to show up to work. These three airports on the East Coast were first to
be hit, New York's La Guardia Airport, Newark Airport, New Jersey, and Philadelphia as well. Flights destined for La Guardia were prevented from
taking off for about an hour.
The Federal Aviation Administration says the staffing issues have cleared up, but that delays continue. So passengers are still feeling the effects.
I want to bring in Miguel Marquez who is joining us now from La Guardia Airport. So Miguel, as you know, there was a deal to reopen the
government, but I assume the effects of the shutdown are still being felt at the airport. Just walk us through where things stand now.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, it takes - yes, this is the whole ripple effect here. It takes a long time. Once there is a ground
stop here, and there was a ground stop for about an hour this morning. If you are in a distant location and you don't have a slot to come into La
Guardia, because the air traffic over New York City, because of what a small airport this is and such a busy airport, they won't let you take off
to actually come in.
So I want to show you sort of what's happening now. This was several hours ago that the ground stop was actually called. This is the arrivals. You
can see a lot of them are delayed, some of them are a few minutes ahead getting out, but lots and lots of delays across the board. We're finally
starting to see some "on times" happening.
So those are all the planes that have to get into La Guardia so that you can depart. What we're now seeing is that increasingly, a lot of those
departures are being delayed because the flights aren't able to come in here, and that it just has that knock-on effect. It will take some hours
before all of that is done and through essentially.
Not only are the air-traffic controllers upset or were upset about the shutdown, the Pilots Association, and the flight attendants as well. Today
the flight attendants releasing a statement saying, "Are you listening, Mitch McConnell and Congress? Get the government open." And certainly at
least one source telling some of our reporters in D.C. that what government officials saw happening today, this was a tiny ripple through our air
traffic control system here.
What they saw happen today in some ways forced the President's hand to make that deal and get the government open at least for now -- Zain.
ASHER: Right, because now it's affecting ordinary people, it's affecting everyday people. In fact, my husband is actually supposed to land at La
Guardia in a few hours from now, let's see if he makes his flight. Miguel Marquez live for us there, thank you so much. Appreciate that.
All right, now, so for more on how we got to this point and where we go from here, I want to turn now to Jon Ostrower, he is the editor-in-chief of
"The Air Current."
Jon, thank you so much for being with us. So just in terms of the shutdown that's lasted what is it? Thirty odd days or so, I mean, just walk us
through what sort of strain air traffic control has been under in that time period.
JON OSTROWER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE AIR CURRENT: Well, imagine the most stressful job in the world, and then take away two paychecks.
OSTROWER: That's pretty much what they're dealing with. I mean, this is an incredibly high-pressure job, so you add the stress of that on top of the
stress of home, and it becomes exponential. Certainly, what we saw, what "The Air Current" reported this morning was that the air-traffic
controllers received guidance yesterday, interpretation of an office of personnel management memo from the Trump administration effectively
cracking the door for an allowance to stay home today.
I mean, so there was, you know - what we saw was a memo that was published as a result of a bill that was passed on January 16th allowing for back
pay, but the interpretation came out yesterday that really allows them to call in sick and without penalty and that's a big part of what we saw
ASHER: Honestly, you can't blame them. As you said, it's an extremely stressful job, so therefore forcing people to go to a high-stress job
without getting paid twice in a row, they were expected to get zero dollars paycheck today, is quite a difficult thing to do. But actually, we had a
statement from Governor Cuomo, and he invoked 9/11 security concerns.
I mean, how much of an issue is security in all of this?
OSTROWER: Well, safety and security is the foundation of this whole system. I mean, the U.S. Air Traffic Control System and the U.S. Aviation System is
the safest in the world for a very clear reason, because there are safeguards in place culturally, operationally, you know, from a regulatory
perspective that make it that.
So when you look at all of this, when you look at the history of aviation safety, you know, employee morale does affect aviation safety. It has been
a contributing factor in several accidents over the years. So you can't detach that from the potential risk to the overall system, whether it's
operationally, for security reasons, but ultimately, the stability of the system rests on everyone working together and seeing eye to eye about what
needs to be accomplished and making sure that everyone is protected and taken care of within that system.
ASHER: So now that there has been this bill to reopen the government, I mean, how long does it take do you think, I mean, obviously, you don't have
a crystal ball there, but how long does it take do you think to actually get things back up and running and normal again?
OSTROWER: Well, certainly, you know, like you noted just a moment ago, an hour's ground stop at La Guardia can ripple across the country. So, you
know, it's a small thing, but it does have a big impact on the airline operations, you know, of the airlines in this country.
So in terms of that, you know, it will be back up and fixed, you know, in the next several hours, but ultimately, you know, there's already been a
bill passed to make sure that the air-traffic controllers and the TSA receive back pay over the last month of the shutdown. So, you know, I
don't know the machinations of how quickly that will run through the budget process in cutting those checks, but certainly, everyone is eager to get
back to things as normal even with this three-week reprieve that we have in the shutdown.
ASHER: Yes, I mean, it's interesting because obviously, delays at airports are certainly nothing new, but a lot of people are saying this was
the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of getting both sides to come together and reach a deal, so possibly there is some silver lining in
all of us. Jon Ostrower, live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.
All right, U.S. markets are getting a boost from the shutdown break here in Washington. The Dow looks to close the day, let's see, up nearly 200
points higher, by the way. A number of strong earnings reports helped lift the mood on Wall Street this week. Starbucks and Western Digital both rose
sharply after better than expected results.
One outlier, though, was Intel, its shares dropping almost 6 percent after it revealed a slowdown in China certainly did have some impact on its
The British pound is set for its best weekly gain in more than a year amid hopes that Theresa May could yet patch together a Brexit deal that wins
support in Parliament. It started the week around $1.28, today it's just topped $1.31, its highest in nearly three months, also helped by signs that
interest rates could raise more slowly than expected in both the U.S. and the E.U.
Hopes for a Brexit compromise were given a boost from Britain's constitutionally apolitical monarch without directly mentioning Brexit.
Queen Elizabeth urged Britain to keep searching for common ground. Many are interpreting her words as a thinly veiled reference to Britain's
troubled divorce from the E.U. Here is our Max Foster with more.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
MAX FOSTER, ANCHOR, CNN (voice over): With about two months to go before Brexit, when the U.K. is set to leave the European Union, the country is
steeped in one of its deepest political crises in decades, still bitterly divided over how, when, or even whether to leave the E.U. During a speech
on Thursday before a women's group, the Queen didn't mention Brexit specifically but said every generation faced fresh challenges and
FOSTER (voice over): She urged the country to resolve the crisis by seeking the common ground and by grasping the bigger picture. The comments
were interpreted as a coded signal to British politicians.
British Chancellor, Philip Hammond welcomed the comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILIP HAMMOND, CHANCELLOR OF EXCHEQUERS: I don't think anybody will be at all surprised to hear the Queen advocating the view that in all things
controversial, we should seek compromise, we should seek common ground.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER (voice over): As a constitutional monarch, Queen Elizabeth is the head of state, performing duties such as opening each session of
Parliament. She has no political role and is expected to avoid expressing any view that could be seen as partisan.
Still, Royal watchers look out for any message that the monarch might be sending such as this hat she wore two years ago that prompted some to
compare the flowers to the stars of the E.U. flag. Ahead of the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014, she also delivered a veiled plea for the
Scottish to think carefully about their future.
The British monarch also has a less formal role as the head of nation. That carries the duty of acting as the focus for national identity as she
showed in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, for example. With that also comes the duty to give a sense of stability and continuity in a
role that's evolve in the monarchy's history of more than 1,000 years.
In her annual Christmas message, the Queen acknowledged divisions in the country that can still be bridged in a civilized way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEEN ELIZABETH: A greater understanding.
JEREMY CORBYN, OPPOSITION LEADER, LABOUR PARTY: This is the most shambolic government in living memory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER (voice over): With Parliament still in deadlock, the Queen appears to be stepping as her duty for the sake of the country and calling
for British politicians to find a solution in a civil manner. Max Foster, CNN, London.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ASHER: All right, still to come here on "Quest Means Business," two men each came to be President of the same country. The U.N. has a warning to
Venezuela as a power struggle plays out. That story next.
[15:30:00] ZAIN ASHER, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Hello everyone, I'm Zain Asher. Coming up on the next half hour of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, we'll
be live in Caracas where two men from opposite sides of the political spectrum, each claiming the presidency.
And we're going to return to Davos, where Ireland's Finance Minister tells us a no-deal Brexit could damage the Irish economy. But before that, this
of course is Cnn, and on this network, the facts always come first.
U.S. President Donald Trump says a deal has been reached to reopen the government for three weeks. The deal does not include any money for a
border wall. Mr. Trump said the government could shut down again or he could declare a national emergency if Congress does not give him a fair
deal on border security.
Mr. Trump made that announcement just after one of his long-time associates was indicted in the Russia investigation. Roger Stone is accused of
sharing information about WikiLeaks' release of hacked e-mails with multiple Trump campaign officials. He's vowing to fight the charges,
calling them politically motivated.
A helicopter and a small airplane collided in mid-air in northern Italy's mountainous region close to the border between France and Switzerland.
Officials say five people died in the accident and two others are injured.
Emergency teams had to suspend their rescue operations until dawn Saturday morning. All right, neither side in the Venezuela's presidential power
struggle appears to be ready to back down. Juan Guaido who declared himself interim president this week is making an appeal to the military to
side with him and the constitution over instead Nicolas Maduro while the embattled President Maduro is refusing to go away.
He also spoke publicly this Friday hailing the cooperation between his government and Russia and slamming U.S. President Donald Trump. Let's go
straight to Caracas where we have our Stefano Pozzebon standing by. So Juan Guaido basically declared himself as acting interim president.
The problem is though Nicolas Maduro is not going to leave without a fight. Guaido has made it clear that there are some concerns for his safety. Are
those concerns -- how real are those concerns, Stefano?
STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes, exactly, Zain. Those concerns are one of the things that most of the people here around and in Caracas, and when
I say the people, I mean general people, general Venezuelans who wake up on the streets and still figure out who's leading the country and the
international community, the observers that are here, telling this story.
We're all wondering what could come next? And of course, the main concern could be, could the government arrest Guaido? Could the Venezuelan
government of Nicolas Maduro move personally against Juan Guaido. Let's remember, this is a government who has repeatedly put political adversaries
in jail or banned them from running or forced them to exile.
And Juan Guaido himself addressed to these concerns, saying if they do come after me, if they do come for me, that will be a coup, that will be a coup
d'etat because I am the legitimate president here in Caracas.
So I think, Zain, the feeling now is that the two opponents are weighing each other, they're stalling each other and stalling what the next move
should be. A lot of interest, a lot of geopolitical interest in place here in Caracas, and a possible arrest of Juan Guaido is one of how this
situation -- is one way that this situation could escalate even further, Zain.
ASHER: OK, so that's what people are fearing on the ground there as you said. Now, we know that the United States and various European countries
are siding with Guaido, but the issue for him is that you have the military siding with Nicolas Maduro.
So if the military still sides with President Maduro, how does this impasse end, do you think?
POZZEBON: Yes, the military has repeatedly confirmed its pledge of allegiance to Nicolas Maduro. The military here also holds vast economic
interest. The socialist government of Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez has used to name generals, admiral, and top-craft military at the
top of the state enterprise who controls the economy here in Venezuela, controls the little economy that is left here in Venezuela.
The picture from Juan Guaido is -- to the military is that he has the legitimacy of the people and the support of the international community.
[15:35:00] And his pitch is -- he's pitching especially -- he's going after the lower ranks of the military, the sergeants, the lieutenants, the
captains who are feeling the burdens of the economic crisis that is bringing Venezuela to collapse.
But so far, the institution of the Armed Forces has stuck with Nicolas Maduro. Zain --
ASHER: Right, Stefano Pozzebon live for us there, thank you so much, appreciate that. OK, so back to one of our top stories. He's referred to
himself as a dirty trickster, he's on video daring -- literally daring Robert Mueller to arrest him, and now he got his wish. Roger Stone has
been indicted, former federal prosecutor Michael Zeldin joins us next to discuss.
ASHER: All right, let's return now to the indictment of long-time Trump associate Roger Stone. Stone is accused of sharing information about
WikiLeaks release of hacked e-mails with multiple Trump campaign officials. Stone is actually the sixth associate of Donald Trump to be indicted in the
The list includes four campaign officials and advisors, President Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen -- and actually I'm just being told that Speaker of
the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer are speaking now. Let's listen in.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: 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 on 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 pre-conditions, gives Democrats and Republicans an opportunity to discuss border security without
holding hundreds of thousands of American workers hostage.
We expect the continuing resolution to clear the Senate and clear the House this afternoon, and be signed by the president today.
[15:40:00] 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 have to go through this again.
We will do everything we can to make sure they won't have to. And this past month has 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 has 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. The fact that we have so many areas where we can agree.
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 ever
hold American workers hostage again. Speaker Pelosi.
NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Thank you very much Mr. leader and thank you for your leadership, and 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.
Two resolutions, one to open up government for all the agencies of government, and one to proceed to conference on a homeland security bill.
They're pleased that 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.
Now, I'm an appropriator and I was forged in that culture, and I know left to their own devices that the appropriators bicamerally and bipartisanly
can come to a conclusion. Again, sometimes it comes to the principles of leaders of the House and Senate to weigh in, and I think that we will have
a very productive time in a short period of time to come to some conclusion.
We're grateful, inspired by the courage and the determination of America's workers. They have shown during this crisis something so -- such strong
character. But nonetheless, they have to pay the bills when they come due, whether it's their 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
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. So we thank them
and are so glad that, as the president said earlier, as soon as possible or immediately.
[15:45:00] So I don't know which is faster, but the quickest of the two, they will receive their back pay and pay that is due today. And we're
grateful to Democrats on both sides of the Capitol for their unity that was 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 that 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 don the uniform of our country
to protect us and then moved on to the 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, the 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 and in terms of civilian
ASHER: All right, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi alongside Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer there. They're taking what I would call a modest,
somewhat modest victory lap after Donald Trump announced this continuing resolution to fund the government for another three weeks.
Essentially, Chuck Schumer basically saying that the Democrats got what they wanted. They wanted to have a separate conversation and separate
funding the government from a border security. He also thanked all of the federal workers, 800,000 of them, who essentially had to live paycheck to
paycheck, and go to work still without being paid.
But at the same time, he did berate the president for really not understanding their plight and what he said -- or what he referred to as
holding these workers hostages. My question to our next guest, Catherine Rampell who is a Cnn political commentator is what happens in three weeks
Will we be back where we started, especially if Donald Trump does not get what he wants?
CHRISTINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That is the $5.7 billion question. Indeed, we don't know, it's possible Trump has learned his
lesson at this point. His approval ratings have been tanking. There have been lots of sob stories --
ASHER: And people blaming him?
RAMPELL: In the news -- people blaming him for their -- for not being able to put food on the table for their children, not being able to get medical
care, all sorts of problems, of course. Beyond that, of course, you have the tone deaf comments from this administration, suggesting that they
didn't know how to handle it, they didn't have an exit strategy, and the billionaires who are surrounding the president were not actually
contributing a whole lot towards even promoting empathy towards the 800,000 people who were put out of work.
Who were or who were rather not getting a paycheck, not including the many other people who are government contractors --
ASHER: Right --
RAMPELL: Or otherwise affected by all this.
ASHER: It's very interesting because Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer there, were talking about gosh, you know, these guys were having to live paycheck
to paycheck, they have to pay their car payments, they have to pay their rent checks, and you know, a lot of them can't afford not to be paid twice
in a row.
But Donald Trump made some interesting comments earlier about the furloughed workers, and, you know, he referred to them as -- thank you so
much for not complaining. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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 our country and about its border
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Not only did you not complain, but you encouraged me to keep going because you care so much about our border security. I just found those
comments just so emotionally manipulative.
RAMPELL: It's not just emotionally manipulative -- look, emotionally manipulative suggests that he's succeeding at manipulating someone.
ASHER: Oh, yes --
RAMPELL: And I'm not sure --
ASHER: You don't think he -- you don't even think he got that far --
RAMPELL: No --
ASHER: OK --
RAMPELL: I don't think so. If you look at even his own base, Republicans, they are blaming Trump for the shutdown, they don't think that the shutdown
was worth it to get the border wall, even if they support the idea of the border wall. So it just does not suggest that that's correct --
ASHER: All these -- all these federal workers essentially suffered for nothing.
RAMPELL: Yes --
ASHER: He didn't get what he wanted.
RAMPELL: We're back where we started, where we would have been, had he not thrown this temper tantrum in late December. At which point he had
initially told the leaders of -- the Republican leaders of Congress at the time that he would sign a temporary funding bill that did not fund the
wall, that would fund it through I think it was originally February 6th or something like that.
[15:50:00] Early February at the very least, and then he changed his mind at the last minute, and then held all of these workers hostage, held the
many small businesses that rely on those workers hostage as well, of course, and we're back where we started. So we went through all of this
pain for nothing.
ASHER: And who knows, we might even go through it again two weeks from now.
RAMPELL: It's unclear --
ASHER: Right, we know --
RAMPELL: Who knows? It's hard to say what he'll decide for one minute to the next. So who knows what he'll do three weeks from now. He may decide
that it wasn't worth it, and that he would declare victory some other way without having to put us through this again.
ASHER: I always find it so interesting how he just has such a nag for changing the subject. This morning, we were all talking about Roger Stone.
Now, it's about the government shutdown, the government reopening. Catherine --
RAMPELL: That may not be a coincidence.
ASHER: Exactly, that's my point exactly. Catherine Rampell, thank you so much, appreciate that. All right, we'll be back with more QUEST MEANS
BUSINESS in just a couple of minutes, don't go away.
ASHER: All right, welcome back everybody. Let's return to the indictment of long-time Trump associate Roger Stone, Michael Zeldin. Here with me now
from Washington, he actually used to work under Robert Mueller as a federal prosecutor, he is now a Cnn legal analyst.
So you are, Michael, let's be honest, the perfect person to talk to about all this. So my question to you, Michael is, how do you define collusion?
Because the accusations are that Roger Stone was apparently working with WikiLeaks who apparently were working -- many say, were working with the
Russians to get damaging info on the Democrats.
So if that's not collusion -- I mean, how do you define collusion?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, the collusion term is really a short hand for two different possible crimes. One is illegal
coordination, that is, it is illegal in the United States for a domestic political campaign to receive anything of value from a foreign national.
And so the question is, did the Trump Organization receive something of value from a foreign national, that is, Russia? And there has been no
charges about that. The second thing is whether or not a campaign conspired with another in order to do illegal acts to benefit their
Now, if there was evidence, for example, and there hasn't been any that has been put forth, that the Trump Organization coordinated or conspired with
the Russian hackers directly, that would be a very easy prosecution to bring.
The problem here is WikiLeaks is in the middle, and depending on how you view WikiLeaks depends on the outcome of your analysis. For example, if
you think of WikiLeaks as a first amendment protected news organization, then it's very hard to coordinate with them here because of first amendment
If you view them as a non-state, hostile, foreign intelligence service, which is what our intelligence agencies call them, then theoretically, the
Trump Organization, in coordinating with them, could violate the law.
Mueller has not gone there yet in this indictment, and it remains to be seen whether he will take that step.
[15:55:00] ASHER: OK, so it's all about how you define WikiLeaks and how you view WikiLeaks. Depend -- you know, depending on whether you see them
as a journalistic organization. But another thing I think muddies the waters as well is this idea of intent. So if Roger Stone alleges that he
absolutely had no idea that WikiLeaks was in any way, shape or form linked to the Russians, does that make it harder as well? Because then it's harder
to prove intent.
ZELDIN: Well, that's right. What Stone could use as a defense is, I had no idea that WikiLeaks was in possession of something which was stolen. As
if you will, sort of like receiving stolen property. I think that's a very hard case for him to make, given all the e-mail and text traffic that is
outlined in this indictment.
It's quite clear that Stone knew that WikiLeaks was in possession of the e- mails that was -- of the e-mails from Jon Podesta and the DNC which were hacked by, according to Mueller, the Russians.
So I don't think that is a defense that would be availing of him, but you know, Roger Stone is a fighter and he may throw everything up against the
wall and see what sticks.
ASHER: Yes, and there's also the issue that collusion isn't technically in the U.S. criminal code at all. So that's also a problem too.
ZELDIN: That's right --
ASHER: But Michael Zeldin, we have to leave it there, thank you so much, I appreciate that.
ZELDIN: My pleasure.
ASHER: OK, so it is almost 4:00 here in New York, and we are almost at the closing bell. We'll have a final update for you on the Wall Street numbers
after this quick break, don't go away.
ASHER: All right, traders on Wall Street have just seconds left to trade this week. The three major indices are all up. As you can see there, the
Dow is currently up more than 170 points or so, actually 175 points. Investors are relieved the U.S. government shutdown is almost over.
But certainly disappointed the funding agreement was a more comprehensive, only lasts three weeks. Techs shares are up sharply, the Nasdaq is up more
than 1 percent, and is on track to finish up for the week as a whole.
Looking at Dow components, Apple is up 3 percent, it will report earnings on Tuesday. Investors will be watching that report very closely,
especially their sales in China because of the slowdown there.
Intel shares are down sharply after it said China's economic slowdown hurt its results as well. The closing bell is ringing on Wall Street, so there
we have it. That is, guys, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, I am Zain Asher in New York, "THE LEAD" with my colleague Jake Tapper starts right now.