Return to Transcripts main page


President Agrees to Temporarily End Partial Government Shutdown; President Trump States Government Shutdown May Resume over Border Wall Funding; FBI Arrests Former Trump Campaign Adviser Roger Stone in Connection with Russia Investigation; Interview with Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL); Interview with Former U.S. Senator and Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun; Kamala Harris Declares Presidential Run for 2020. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired January 26, 2019 - 10:00   ET



[10:00:25] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. So glad to have you with us. It is Saturday, January 26th. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. You are in the CNN Newsroom.

Twenty-one days goes very quickly. That's the warning from the president of the United States on Twitter this morning as he reminds the country he ended the record shutdown with a three-week funding bill.

PAUL: It's essentially the same deal that he rejected for weeks without money for a border wall. He says he did not concede anything, and a permanent deal isn't going to be easy. He says if he doesn't get one with a wall included by February 15th, back to square one we go, another shutdown, or a national emergency declaration.

BLACKWELL: Also this morning, the president is criticizing the Russia probe after he saw his long-time friend and adviser Roger Stone get in indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and arrested.

PAUL: So the good news this morning as you're waking up is it is the first day after 35 that the government is back open. The president making it clear, as we just said, the border wall fight is not over.

BLACKWELL: CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood joins us live. Sarah, what else are we hearing from the president? He's been pretty active on Twitter this morning, saying this is not a concession.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Victor. President Trump is defending his decision to back down on that border wall fight, hinting that one way or another when this next three weeks is up, he plans to have a border wall.

But despite remaining defiant over the past few weeks that the government would not reopen until he got funding for his wall, the president yesterday conceded to a deal that looks a lot like the one he rejected in December. It's a temporary spending bill that would reopen the government until February 15th, three weeks, to give appropriators time to hash out some kind of border security package that may or may not include the wall.

And this deal came after Trump caved to pressure from both sides of the aisle. Congressional Republicans were showing signs of breaking ranks with the president's hardline stance. And that's why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Trump on Thursday that it was just unclear how much longer that GOP conference could hang together, hold the line. It's part of what compelled the president to give his announcement on Friday.

White House aides were also particularly concerned about the chaos, the delays that we were seeing in airports across the country as a result of staffing shortages from the shutdown. Aides were worried that perhaps those images could drive some of those wobbly Republicans into the arms of Democrats, perhaps create a situation where Republicans and Democrats were going against the president. Now Trump is facing backlash from conservatives as what they see as his decision to hand Speaker Pelosi a victory. "The New York Daily News," one of his hometown papers, dubbed him the "Cave Man" after he conceded to Pelosi. And of course the president is reserving the right to declare a national emergency to tap into existing federal funds at the end of this three weeks if he doesn't get a deal legislatively. But Victor and Christi, White House aides are holding out the hope that they will be able to reach a deal in Congress in these next three weeks.

BLACKWELL: Sarah Westwood for us there, thank you so much.

PAUL: So what happens next? CNN politics senior report Stephen Collinson is with us. Stephen, thank you for being with us. So after listening to Sarah's report, is there any indication Dems are willing to move at all?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER: No. The president is right when he says 21 days will go quickly. The problem he has, I think, is that there's no indication that Democrats are going to be any more willing to give him more money at the end of that 21 days than they are now and they were in December. So we're back where we started. The president didn't really get anything tangible for shutting down the government for 35 days.

What he did get was a lot of political damage to his own political persona, the idea that he is the master of the art of the deal. He didn't get a deal. He also possibly created the first real damage to his standing among his faithful supporters for whom the wall is a totemic issue. It was the thing that really galvanized the Trump campaign, and it's almost an existential issue for Trump's political career. And there were also signs that there was a fragmenting of support among Trump's GOP senators on Capitol Hill. And so it's very difficult to see what he got. What he did get as well, of course, was emboldening the speaker, Nancy Pelosi, in the first big confrontation of the new era of divided government in Washington.

[10:05:08] PAUL: Yes, and let's talk about Senator Lindsey Graham. Here is what he said just a little while ago.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: If he gives in now, that's the end of 2019 in terms of him being an effective president. That's probably the end of his presidency. Donald Trump has made a promise to the American people.


PAUL: At the end of the day, how damaging is this for the president long-term?

COLLINSON: I think it's very damaging. That quote from Lindsey Graham was part of his sort of typical hyperbole. It's possible -- and he gave that quote actually a few weeks ago. But I think it does express the difficulty that the president has in bouncing back. You see he was up early this morning, tweeting, trying to contain the damage. But I think the problem is that the Democrats now know the pressure points, where to push the president, where he might cave. It doesn't seem very likely that it would be a profitable tactic for the president to go into yet another government shutdown. I think that probably raises the possibility quite significantly that at the end of a three-week period if he cannot get a deal with Democrats that he can spin as money for the wall, we could go into that new confrontation over a possible declaration of a national emergency.

PAUL: So Stephen, let me ask you this. There are a lot of people that may support the president that may look at this and say, look, what was he supposed to do? He was being blamed for the shutdown. He now made a move that lifted the shutdown, and he's being blamed for backing down.

COLLINSON: Right. Unfortunately, that's the position of a president if they decide to go into a situation and shut down the government with no real exit strategy. That was the real problem here. It wasn't good political territory. A majority of Americans say they oppose the wall. A majority of Americans say they don't support shutting down the government to get funding for a wall. So it was always an uphill political fight.

Trump supporters are right to say, look, he campaigned for a wall on the southern border, he was elected president, and has the right to push for it. The problem is that he couldn't get that funding during the first two years of his presidency when he had a Republican monopoly of power on Capitol Hill. It doesn't seem very likely that he is going to get that funding in any meaningful way when there's a Democratic House on Capitol Hill.

PAUL: Very good point. Stephen Collinson, always appreciate you being here. Thank you, sir.

BLACKWELL: The president says reaching a deal will be tough. Joining me now to discuss how it could happen, Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Republican from Illinois. Congressman, good morning to you.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER, (R) ILLINOIS: Good morning. BLACKWELL: Let me start here. I want to look to what's happening

next, but first your opinion. Right call for the president to end this shutdown without getting money for the wall?

KINZINGER: Yes, I think it was the right call. I like what was mentioned on the previous segment. This is a point for the president -- I don't like going into shutdowns. I think shutdowns never work. I think nobody wins because it damages the country. But when the president relented and said, OK, Nancy, we'll reopen the government for three weeks. Let's see if you'll come and negotiation like you promised, the breathlessness of Trump caved, or before that, it is Trump is unwilling to negotiate.

I think let's just all take a deep breath. We can analyze forever who won and who lost. I think we'll know better in three weeks. But I think right now, my concern as somebody that looks forward beyond this next political victory or loss is what does this do to the narrative in our country. We have to learn as Republicans and Democrats to actually talk to each other again, actually learn the art of compromising like the Constitution itself was. And I'm going to be preaching that message as loud as I can among my party and the other party.

BLACKWELL: So let's talk about the art of compromising, the art of negotiation here, and start with this tweet, actually, guys, from Sarah Sanders, which this is the latest from the White House in which she said "In 21 days, President Trump is moving forward, building the wall with or without Democrats. The only outstanding question is whether Democrats want something or not." The art of compromise, the art of negotiation, is this the right starting point?

KINZINGER: I don't know. Maybe, because, frankly, it depends what an emergency declaration would look like in terms of whether it's legal. If it is legal, there have been a lot of emergency declarations before. That's within the president's authority. I support building a border barrier. I don't think it needs to be sea to shining sea, but I think it's an important part of that.

But I do think it's imperative right now for the Democrats to say, look, we have got some things that we want. How can we get things we want and actually give the president a little of what he wants as well. And there's a lot of talk about why didn't Republicans do this when we had everything. It's a fair point, except we all know the 60- vote rule in the Senate. And frankly, in 2009, Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate and every level of government, and they didn't handle the Dreamer population. So there's a lot of looking back on would have, could have, should have. We have a three-week period now where we can be adults. And I guarantee you, Victor, if we come out with something that's a compromise, I think like 70 or 80 percent of Americans would actually support it.

[10:10:05] BLACKWELL: So let's talk about compromise. About a year ago when the government shutdown about this time last year, Democrats went to the president hoping there could be an exchange of $25 billion over 10 years for the wall, in exchange for permanent, among other things, permanent protections for DACA recipients, for the Dreamers. You're a Republican. Is there an equation, some collective, some bargain, some compromise that would include permanent protections for DACA recipients that you could support?

KINZINGER: Absolutely. I think we need comprehensive immigration reform. We have to be realistic and say we shouldn't and we can't even if we want to deport all these people from the United States of America. So how do we put them in position where they can be productive members of society, live their lives, pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and be great members of society. If we can do that in exchange for the wall, I think that's a deal that probably should have been taken. Now I do question, though, honestly with this new Democratic Party, to be fair, do they have a caucus that would be willing to accept $25 billion for a wall. It is a different party. There's a lot of members that came in on disbanding ICE. So my hope is --

BLACKWELL: But do you believe that it could get through the Republican Party? You're also someone who voted to end the shutdown, but do you believe that the Republican party could sign onto anything that includes permanent protections for the Dreamers, for DACA recipients in this country?

KINZINGER: I think you could get a majority of us. Look, you're going to have extremes in both parties that unwilling to give an inch. And so --

BLACKWELL: Even with Ann Coulter on the side, whispering into the president's ear?

KINZINGER: Oh gosh. I'll tell you what, her tweet yesterday, I sent a tweet back basically saying George H. W. Bush has way more honor than you could have in 10 lifetimes. But look, there's going to be some Republicans that follow that, and there's going to be some Democrats that follow defund ICE thing. But the question is, can we get a coalition of Republicans and Democrats together? I certainly think we can. I think there's enough Democrats that would take wall funding for the DACA issue, and I think there's enough Republicans that would take DACA for the wall funding.

BLACKWELL: Congressman, let me ask you about a comparison that you made when talking about the wall a few days ago. We've got the soundbite, and then your tweet, and I want to ask you a question. Here is first what you said.


KINZINGER: Also, look, when Nancy Pelosi says a wall is immoral, we look at that and go how is a wall immoral? I have four walls around my house, and they keep bad people out and critters out.


BLACKWELL: "They keep bad people out and critters out." You tweeted this, "Taking my words out of context to spin some outrage clickbait is just pathetic and desperate." And then you say here's the full interview. I watched that 10-minute interview with Katy Tur there. What is the proper context for comparing people to critters?

KINZINGER: I didn't compare people to critters. I talked a lot about how people, immigrants, are people in God's image, and how we need to fix this problem. And then it was basically posed in terms of walls being old, antiquated technology. And I said we still use walls. The walls in my house keep people out. And by the way, I live on a field where there's a lot of critters. It also keeps critters out. I am not comparing immigrants to critters.

This is in this era, and even Katy Tur never even said anything on that. It was some outrage clickbait Twitter stuff that's going on, and that is our problem now. When you have somebody that can say we all need to work together, we need to fix a problem, and somebody is looking for a reason because I said the word "critters," I must be comparing immigrants to them, which of course I didn't, to now turn this into a big thing is ridiculous.

This is why we aren't talking to each other. Let's all grow up and be adults. If I say something intentionally racist, that's fine. If I just say the word "critters" and I made no mention of what it has to do with immigrants, I am talking literally my house and the walls in my house, let's all relax. And that's the problem we have today is everybody is looking for a gotcha moment.

BLACKWELL: OK, Congressman Adam Kinzinger, thanks so much.

KINZINGER: You bet. Take care.

PAUL: All right, the Mueller investigation rounded up six associates of President Donald Trump on various charges at this point.

BLACKWELL: The arrest and indictment of Roger Stone is the latest in the ongoing Russia investigation. We'll break it down, next.


[10:18:21] PAUL: Longtime associate of Donald Trump, Roger Stone, says, quote, when you don't have evidence, you use theatrics. He is speaking of course about the FBI's early morning raid on his Fort Lauderdale home yesterday. He pleaded his case during an interview with Chris Cuomo last night. Look at this.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: When you say they have no proof, Roger, to be honest with you, I have not seen an indictment connected to this probe that has more proof than this one does of communications that you have had that prove that you didn't tell the truth to the Congress, the Congressional panel you were before.

ROGER STONE, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: False. Every one of those is out of context. If you go to my website, Stone Cold Truth, or watch any of my interviews, I have actually refuted virtually everything in there. And then there's a bunch of things in there that frankly I don't believe are true. No senior campaign official told me to find out anything about WikiLeaks. That doesn't mean Mr. Mueller can't induce somebody to say that, but there will be no corroboration for it. And no other person in the campaign who is a junior official inquired of what happened.

What I did hear from Steve Bannon the day after Assange had a press event on October 1st as to what he said, I responded with two matters of public record. "Politico" had already reported that he said there would be releases every week for the next following weeks, and that all the U.S. related campaign, or election related material, would be released in weeks before the election. I also told them Assange had --

CUOMO: Just to be clear Roger to allow you to respond directly to what's in the indictment if you're comfortable doing so, you're saying the only communication you ever had with anybody related to the campaign was this one communication you're talking about with Steve Bannon that you're saying is already public information?

[10:20:12] STONE: It was published by "The Times" and I responded to it in great written detail. My response is entirely public information.

CUOMO: And that was the only communication?

STONE: That's the only one that I recall, and the only one I can find in my e-mails.

CUOMO: Would you entertain cutting a deal for anything short of going to trial on these charges?

STONE: Again, you're asking me to answer a hypothetical question without knowing any of the facts. I know I'm innocent. My intention is to plead not guilty and fight charges. And I've had no discussion with anyone regarding a pardon.


PAUL: All right, national security attorney Mark Zaid with us and CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd. She's also a former adviser to President Obama's national security adviser. Good morning, thank you both for being here. Samantha, I want to start with you. We know that Roger Stone also said, declared yesterday that I will not testify against the president. Off of what he was talking to Chris Cuomo about there, do you think he was trying to send a message to President Trump?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I've really lost track of who Roger Stone is trying to send a message to. It's obviously completely out of the ordinary for someone who's just been indicted on serious charges to spend his time once released on bail pleading his case before the court of public opinion rather than consulting with his lawyers about how to disprove the fact that he did in fact send text messages, send e-mails, and engage in other activity that he reportedly lied about to Congress.

But Roger Stone has a series of decisions to make going forward. One is whether he is going to cooperate with the Special Counsel and try to get a plea deal. And in the interim, we really have to think, Christi, about how this looks overseas and what the president's response is going to be. To date, the president's response has not been to obviously support the work of the FBI in bringing criminals to justice. Instead, his response has been to call this a witch hunt yet again, to throw CNN under the bus for doing our job, which is good journalism and good reporting, and really to continue to condone alleged illegal activity by some of his closest friends. That really sends a message abroad that the president doesn't have an issue with this activity, and really sends a message that the president is condoning it going forward, which has national security implications.

PAUL: He doesn't have an issue, or -- let's read something on Twitter from a Supreme Court lawyer and law professor who wrote this, "The Stone indictment is yet another indictment of a person close to Trump working with the Kremlin. Either Trump was in on it or he goes down as the most clueless boss and president in the 242-year history of the Republic." Mark, if we examine closely the indictment, is there something to be read between the lines here?

MARK ZAID, NATIONAL SECURITY ATTORNEY: Really what Neal is saying, that everyone who has pretty much been indicted, other than minor players who had some issues with Russians, like the one fellow in California, everyone has been put forth as being somehow tied and lying about contacts with Russia, Assange, WikiLeaks, et cetera.

You read through the Stone indictment. One, it's of his own making. Everything in here has to do with what Roger Stone did himself. And I agree with what Chris Cuomo was saying last night. It's one of the most damning indictments if you just look at what the text messages and e-mails that Roger Stone sent and what he testified to before the House Intelligence Committee. Totally avoidable. And I have no understanding as a lawyer of how any lawyer would allow his client, his or her client, to go on air like Roger Stone was doing yesterday, post indictment, and continue to pontificate about all what he always says, admit nothing, deny everything, counterattack. That's great in politics. It's lousy when you're dealing with the Justice Department.

PAUL: Samantha, you mentioned it briefly. What do you think Russia is watching here?

VINOGRAD: I think Russia is just watching and laughing. We have a man, Roger Stone, who is a very close friend of the president, this is not someone in the president's outer circle, who is inept. He reportedly lied to Congress in his letter to Congress and his testimony about things that were documented in text message and e- mails. That doesn't really scream that he was trying to cover his tracks or that he was very good at what he was doing.

But the part that really stands out to me here is that the president yet again is refusing to acknowledge that someone on his team was doing something that helped Russia. Someone on his team is accused of helping Russia launder information through an organization to attack our democracy.

[10:25:07] So from Russia's perspective, this is great. We have the president of the United States again not criticizing Russia's attack on our country because it involves Roger Stone and the campaign.

PAUL: OK, so in all fairness, he is not charged with conspiracy or collusion here. These charges all relate to deciphering what WikiLeaks was doing. And on that note, let's listen to the president. This is the president in October of 2016 on the campaign trail.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This just came out, Wikileaks. I love WikiLeaks.

This WikiLeaks stuff is unbelievable. It tells you the inner heart. You got to read it.

It's been amazing what's coming out on WikiLeaks.

Another one came in today. This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove.

Getting off the plane, they were just announcing new WikiLeaks, and I wanted to stay there but I didn't want to keep you waiting.

I love reading those WikiLeaks.


PAUL: Mark, is there a chance that President Trump is incriminating himself with his own words here?

ZAID: Well, this is complicated to figure out on some levels from a criminal culpability standpoint. Obviously the Stone indictment has no direct connection to the president, but we know about Stone's 40 year relationship with the president of the United States. And even though he denies it, as he did last night, Stone was in contact with senior campaign officials. He acknowledges at least one of them was Bannon. It's hard to tell from the indictment if those allegations evidence writing or not or some sort of verbal testimony. But we'll see. But every step of this engagement brings us closer to the president of the United States. That's just clear.

VINOGRAD: Christi, can I make a quick point.

PAUL: I have 10 seconds. Go for it.

VINOGRAD: You rightfully pointed out that Stone has not been charged with collusion or conspiracy. That's entirely right. But from the indictment, it is clear that he was in touch with people who are in touch with an organization that laundered information on behalf of Russia. That is a pretty serious issue when you look at it that way.

PAUL: Very good point. Mark Zaid, Samantha Vinograd, so grateful to have you both here. Thank you.

ZAID: Anytime.

BLACKWELL: The longest shutdown in U.S. government history is now over. But the border fights started and still going strong. So what happens next.


[10:31:50] PAUL: All right, we are waking up today, of course, to the first day that the government is in full force. Essentially the shutdown is over temporarily. They have 21 days to figure it out at the end of the day. Maria Cardona, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist is with as well as Alice Stewart, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist.

BLACKWELL: Mara, Alice, good morning to you.


MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Victor. Good morning, Christi.

BLACKWELL: So I want to look ahead, but first I want to put up the president's tweet after getting some push back from conservatives. The president tweeted this out. Let's put it up on the screen. He said "I wish people would read or listen to my words on the border wall. This was in no way a concession." Alice, what did he get if this is not a concession?

STEWART: He got 21 days to try and work out a deal that will work for everyone. Look, the far right, his solid hardcore base that really wanted a wall, and those on the left saw this as a cave. Republicans saw this as a compromise. And he, the president and the administration saw this as an opportunity to hold Democrats' feet to the fire to see how true they really are with regard to national security and securing the border.

BLACKWELL: Couldn't they have done that in December with that three month continuing resolution and not have people go without two pay periods without being paid? Essentially the CR from December would have gotten them to February 8th. This one gets them to the 15th. Nothing else changed.

STEWART: Right. They could have done it during that period. They could have done it the first two years.

BLACKWELL: So what did he get? What did he get? Where's the deal here the president said that exists and his cabinet applauded for, what deal?

STEWART: The deal is he made the deal to open up the government back up, fully opened the government, and he compromised with regard to certain things the Democrats have been asking for, protections for Dreamers and TPS recipients as well as wanting money for the border wall. That is a compromise. And he gave the Democrats what they wanted. And in turn, he is hoping that they will give him what he wants. That's what you call a deal.

PAUL: Maria, you're shaking your head. Is there any expectation that the Democrats can move a little bit now that some might say the president moved a little bit and he opened the government? CARDONA: See, this whole thing, Christi and Victor, and Victor, you

alluded to this, is so sad in its sham and how shameful it has been from the very beginning. Yes, Trump opened the government after he saw the misery of 800,000 and more federal workers, and frankly after he saw what has been a complete and total breakdown of our safety apparatus, of LaGuardia and other airports coming to almost complete stoppage yesterday. That completely freaked out the White House because I think they realized that the government actually does give the American people benefits that we wouldn't have otherwise, and they didn't know what to do.

And so they had to come to this agreement because Republicans were politically desperate that this was decimating their party. Trump's approval ratings have plummeted, the party's approval ratings have plummeted. So they were in position where they had nothing else to do but come up with a way to open up the government.

[10:35:09] I'm glad they did it. Nobody wins here. The people who lost the most were over a million American workers whose livelihoods have been shattered or almost shattered. And what is so sad is that this president and this administration, the only thing they did for those 35 days were public statements about let them eat cake. They're so detached from reality, and that's the sad part about this.

BLACKWELL: Maria, let's look ahead. Let's look ahead, because this now goes to conference committee and trying to come to some compromise. If that conference committee comes back and the agreement they make includes additional border wall, $5 billion, $7 billion, $2 billion worth of funding for border wall, is that the end of the fight against this border wall, that Democrats will sign on to what the bipartisan group will decide? Or, as leader Pelosi said, will walls still be considered immoral and the fight will continue?

CARDONA: I think what the most important thing in what you said is that if what comes out of conference is. If it comes out of that conference committee, Victor, that means Democrats have come to agree to whatever that is.

And what I think that we also need to remember is that Democrats have compromised from the very beginning. Let's remember what was agreed on yesterday and what the original agreement was included $1.6 billion for border security. Democrats have said this past week that they would include even more than $5 billion for smart border security investments if that's what actually it was, border security investments, and the keyword being "smart." Democrats have always been for border security. During the Obama administration --

BLACKWELL: But if there's additional money for the wall?

CARDONA: -- record investments on border security. That's fine. If it includes additional money for a wall, for fencing, for whatever you want to call it, for drones, for additional border patrol, I think Democrats would absolutely be for that because it would mean it's a smart border security investment, and not a ridiculous solid border wall, which is what this president promised during his campaign rallies. STEWART: That's not what he's saying right now. And this is

virtually the same thing Democrats supported back in 2006. The only difference is it was called a secure fence act back then, and now it is called a wall and it has Trump's name on it. And their hatred of Donald Trump is blinding them from doing what's necessary.

The president has not only conceded and compromised with regard to protections for DACA and TPS, but he is also including money for humanitarian assistance along the border, more judges, more technology for drug detection, which is important, and he has given up the hope of a big beautiful wall from sea to shining sea. He is saying where it is feasible --

CARDONA: Finally.

STEWART: -- where it works, let's put a wall, but in other places let's put boots on the ground, drones in the air, and eyes across the land in order to better monitor the border. And look, we can all agree, we need border security. And if Democrats would just stop being so hellbent on no and against anything Donald Trump would say, I think we will get somewhere. But the president made it clear if they don't compromise down the field, he can take extraordinary measures. And I'm afraid that's what he is going to do.

PAUL: So Maria, let me ask you this.


PAUL: Phil Mattingly said that there was a Democratic senator he spoke to Thursday night who told him there is zero incentive to give in to President Trump. And immediately, I thought there's 800,000 incentives. This was before the shutdown was reopened, the government was reopened. The 800,000 incentives of these government workers. How much of this at the end of the day is about the workers, and how much of it is about a battle between Pelosi and the president?

CARDONA: Well, for the Democrats this has always been about the workers because, let's remember, back in the Oval Office, before end of the year, it was Schumer and Pelosi who were imploring the president to not close the government and let's come up with a temporary deal to keep the government funded. Who was the one who said he would be proud to shut the government for his ridiculous wall? It wasn't Pelosi or Schumer. That was President Trump. And now those words are coming back to haunt him, because the Democrats have never been for a government shutdown. Nobody wins in a government shutdown, especially the American people. Hopefully Trump learned that lesson and will now focus on the well-being of the American people and focus on real border security and smart border security.

PAUL: Maria Cardona and Alice Stewart, I'm sorry we've run out of time. Thank you, ladies, so much.

CARDONA: Thank you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [10:43:55] BLACKWELL: With the shutdown temporarily over, federal workers will head to work, hoping they will be paid soon. Earlier this morning, I spoke with Charles and Jill Gilbert. There's a couple. They work at a federal prison in Indiana. They support the shutdown despite the fact that they didn't get paid because of it. And here is why.


CHARLES GILBERT, FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: If it is going to defend our country and keep illegals out, keep people from coming in and hurting my children that don't belong here, yes, I'm all for the wall.

BLACKWELL: Do you -- will you support, if it comes to that, shutting down the government again in three weeks for as long as it takes?

JILL GILBERT, FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: It's going to happen. It's going to happen. It's going to shut down again, there's no doubt in my mind.

BLACKWELL: OK, so how are you preparing for that?

JILL GILBERT: We're not spending money. We're holding our money, and it's just going to happen. And they're going to continue to do this and hold this over our head until there's something is in place that exempts us from going into prison and being around inmates.

BLACKWELL: So when you say that they're going to hold this over your head until they get the wall, who is the they here?

[10:45:04] CHARLES GILBERT: That would be the Democrats.

JILL CHARLES: That would be the Republicans.

CHARLES GILBERT: All the people that's in office right now that can't make a decision for the American people to stop the childishness that's going on. They're not looking out for the American people. They're not paying people.


PAUL: All right, still to come, the 2020 Democratic presidential field grows after Senator Kamala Harris announces her bid for the White House. The first black woman elected to the Senate and former presidential candidate Carol Moseley Braun is with us with reaction. Stay close.


[10:50:04] BLACKWELL: Senator Kamala Harris of California is the latest Democrat to join the race for the White House in 2020. She took to social media earlier this week with a simple message, "I'm running for president. Let's do this together." She joins a lengthy list of other Democrats running in 2020. And as soon as that happened, I wanted to talk to Carol Moseley Braun. Ambassador Moseley Braun ran for president in 2004 and was the first African-American woman elected to the United States Senate. Madam Ambassador, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN, (D) FORMER NEW YORK SENATOR: Thank you so much for inviting me. I'm happy to be here.

BLACKWELL: So let's start here with the obvious comparison. You were the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. Senator Kamala Harris is the second. You ran for president in 2004. She's running now. Broadly, your reaction to announcement that she's in the race?

BRAUN: I'm delighted that she's running. I think it is really good thing for her, it's a good thing for the country. She can go around the country and inspire young women and families that their daughters can be president too. When I ran, it was because my little 10-year- old niece said, but Aunty Carol, all of the presidents are boys. And I said girls can be president too. And then I realized I had just lied to my niece. So the fact of the matter was, girls can be president, too. And it is a good thing that Kamala Harris and other women are in the race, because it will make the point. And maybe we can begin to have some real change in this country.

BLACKWELL: I have been watching old videos of you talking about your niece Claire and her going through pages of the book and seeing that there were no women there. Let me ask you this. Because of your respective places in history, have you spoken with Senator Harris, has she reached out?

BRAUN: I haven't spoken to her since she decided she's running for president. We had spoken before, obviously. And I have the highest regard and respect and admiration for her, and I think she will do well. She's very smart. And she has got the capacity and the capability of running a good campaign.

BLACKWELL: Capacity and capability, it's interesting, because you said when you ran in 2004, you were former ambassador to Samoa and New Zealand, former U.S. senator, former state and local official. But you said that your candidacy was doomed from the start because of the intersection of being black and female. How do you look at her candidacy with such optimism but you say that yours was doomed from the start?

BRAUN: Remember, there's been change. It is no longer that kind of out there. I had one guy refer to my campaign that I was being delusional to think I could run for president. I had as many qualifications as anybody else did, and so it was not a stretch as far as I was concerned. But at the time it was considered that kind of far out. So it's a matter of timing. And her timing is such that the country I think is prepared to understand that girls can be president, and that it's OK for her to run because she has the qualifications and the credentials to do it.

BLACKWELL: You talked about the challenges of 2004. Four years later, President Obama was elected. What did you face that, let's say, Barack Obama or even Al Sharpton who ran in 2004 did not face that may give us, that may inform what we're going to see over the next year and a half with Senator Harris?

BRAUN: Well, to start with the obvious, I'm a girl.


BLACKWELL: But what did you face because of that that they did not face?

BRAUN: The ability to raise money, the ability to pull together a team, the ability to actually conduct a national campaign. All those things were not there for me in 2004, and they will probably be here for Senator Harris and for the other women who are running. Remember, we have got a really crowded field of Democrats. I have high regards for all of them. I'm a great fan of Joe Biden's, having been friends with him and worked with him six years in the Senate. And there's a great -- we've got a really good bench as Democrats in this presidential election, this next presidential election. And so I just wish them all well, and I know it will be a vigorously hard fought campaign.

BLACKWELL: You talked about money. Senator Harris' campaign says they raised $1.5 million from more than 38,000 donors in all 50 states which an average of $37 in the first 24 hours. Let me ask you about politics. You were in the Senate during the 1996 shutdown, now the second longest in U.S. history. Just from your perspective, what do you think of when you think of the last 35 days, 36 days of this shutdown?

BRAUN: Well, it's a tragedy for the country, and, quite frankly, this is a shout out to Vice President Pence particularly, because there's a Biblical injunction against not paying people for work. Deuteronomy 24:14 says that you're supposed to pay people if you're going to make them work. And what happened with the shutdown was that millions of Americans, a lot of Americans were directly impacted in terms of not getting paychecks.

[10:55:04] But then people who were relying on expecting contracts and loans and those things, those people were impacted also. And to it just spread the hurt across the country. And it was a ridiculous response to a silly debate in my opinion. Our generation is no less capable of handling immigration than previous generations were. And so to shut down the government over a wall is just absurd, I think.

BLACKWELL: All right, Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, thank you so much for being with us. We will have you back.

BRAUN: Thank you, looking forward to it.

BLACKWELL: All right, and don't miss Senator Kamala Harris live from Iowa at a Democratic presidential town hall moderated by our own Jake Tapper, Monday night at 10:00 eastern right here on CNN.

PAUL: And a programming note for you, identical triplets raised apart accidentally found each other, then discovered the disturbing reason they were separated. CNN Films, "Three Identical Strangers," tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. eastern. We hope you'll be there for us as well. PAUL: Thank you so much for spending some time with us this morning. Hope you make good memories today.

BLACKWELL: Much more ahead in the next hours of CNN's Newsroom after a quick break.