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President Agrees to Temporarily End Partial Government Shutdown; President Trump States Government Shutdown May Resume over Border Wall Funding; Government Workers Unpaid During Shutdown Still Waiting for Backpay After Government Reopens; FBI Arrests Former Trump Campaign Adviser Roger Stone in Connection with Russia Investigation; Analysts Examine Economic Impact of Government Shutdown; Authorities Find Three-Year-Old Boy Missing for 55 Hours. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired January 26, 2019 - 14:00   ET



[14:00:33] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, and thank you so much for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

The 800,000 federal workers are finally feeling some temporary relief from this historic partial U.S. government shutdown. For the first time in 35 days, nine federal departments and smaller agencies are reopening. The president and lawmakers now have just three weeks to hash out a permanent deal after reaching a temporary spending plan that does not include border wall funding.

President Trump is trying to spin this into a win, saying he made no concessions in the deal. But the bottom line remains, there is still no funding for the president's wall. Here is his message about what could come next if no agreement is reached in three weeks.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So let me be very clear. We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier. 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.


WHITFIELD: CNN White House Correspondent Boris Sanchez joining me now. So what's happening there?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Fred. It is unclear exactly where negotiations will go from here, but it is clear that Democrats feel emboldened after President Trump moved off of his demands, ultimately relenting, and deciding to reopen the federal government without getting a cent for his border wall.

On the other side, we have a very different situation. Sources indicate that part of the reason that the president decided to reopen the federal government was because he heard on Thursday from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who effectively told him that it was unclear how much longer Senate Republicans would hold the fort on this issue, how much longer they would stick together. We're hearing that several Senate Republicans voiced frustration over the fact that there was no clear strategy to reopen the federal government from the White House's side.

So the president ultimately taking this step. He's now threatening to declare a national emergency to get funding for his border wall. He hasn't in the past -- that option has been on the table for several weeks -- in part because there is no guarantee that that is going to work. Though the president is continuing to say that there was not a concession on his end here, he is tweeting this, quote, "21 days goes very quickly. Negotiations with Democrats will start immediately. Will not be easy to make a deal, both sides very dug in. The case for national security has been greatly enhanced by what has been happening at the border and through dialogue. We will build the wall."

So ultimately, the president is saying that what he got out of the shutdown was having the conversation about national security be greatly enhanced. Publicly, some conservatives are bashing the president, like Ann Coulter, who yesterday said that the president was a wimp, and, privately, we're hearing from some advisers who are suggesting that this was a humiliating loss for the president, Fred, for a president who doesn't often go through these sorts of ordeals. Fred?

WHITFIELD: Boris Sanchez, thanks so much.

Now to the big question, particularly for federal workers. When will they get paid? CNN correspondent Kaylee Hartung joins me right now. So do we have any idea?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, there is no magic button that anyone can press to immediately and automatically put money in the bank accounts of the 800,000 federal employees who haven't seen a dollar coming in the last month. So in short, the answer to when specifically, it varies by agency. Workers need to fill out timecards. Agencies have to sign off on them, and payroll centers then have to process those payments.

The National Finance Center, that's the agency responsible for paying many civilian workers, says it expects to pay staff no later than this Thursday, January 31st. Then for employees in 31 departments who are represented by the National Treasury Employees Union, they say backpay could take as long as 10 days to land for them is what the group's president is saying. And a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman, he tells CNN that the service expects it will take three to five business days to process their pay and benefits.

So it's good news that these lump sum deposits will be dropping soon, but it is not a cure-all. Listen to this perspective from a couple of federal workers.


[14:05:03] JAMIE KEYS, TSA EMPLOYEE: I will be happy of course to get paid, but the damage is done. How many people's lives have been damaged over nothing? Because people have lost careers, there are people that credit is messed up, there is all kind of damage that is done. People can't afford medicine. So yes, we're happy it's over, but at what cost? So feel that either way.

LANCE AVEY, EPA EMPLOYEE: Both me and my wife are federal employees. I was furloughed, she was working without pay. So we went, we went a month without any sort of income or any sort of knowing what is going to happen next, which is kind of puts your life on hold.


HARTUNG: So the cash is coming, but there is still so much uncertainty as you heard there for so many. The president put this three-week timetable on the government reopening. We know that is just a temporary solution, and we know there are reasons for us all to be wary of how negotiations play out from here, as we just heard Boris Sanchez explain.

So in the meantime, federal employees, they are telling us that they are going to be cautious about how they will spend their money. And some now in situations where irreparable damage has already been done. And remember, the government shutdown was particularly hard on contract employees, including many who work low wage jobs like janitors and cafeteria workers. Those contractors aren't guaranteed backpay. And Fred, whether they get paid or not, that is up to their individual employer.

WHITFIELD: Remember the stories of people who were selling their cars in order to make ends meet, making very hard decisions about their medication. People want their pay. They need it. All right, Kaylee, thank you so much.

Joining me now to discuss, our CNN political commentators John Thomas, a Republican strategist, and Dave Jacobson, a Democratic strategist. Good to see you both.



WHITFIELD: John, you first. President Trump says the temporary agreement is, quote, in no way a concession. But he made this deal, or agreed, acquiesced, however you want to put it, to no wall funding. So how is this not the president caving?

THOMAS: Yes, I wouldn't necessarily say it is a concession, but certainly round one does go to Pelosi and the Democrats here. But what is going to be fascinating --

WHITFIELD: Why does he need to say that, this is no concession when it is?

THOMAS: The president has always wants to project strength, never concede any point of weakness. She he's trying to say, look, I'm not giving up on this priority and it is not a show of weakness. I just want to see that if Pelosi and the Democrats said, part of the reason they wouldn't negotiate on the wall is because the government was shut down. Now that it is reopened, let's see if they come to the table.

But here's the reality I think of what we're going to see. The Democrats don't want -- not just don't want a wall, they don't want to give Trump an inch. I think the only way out of this for President Trump is declaring a state of emergency and trying to fight it in the courts.

WHITFIELD: So Dave, didn't the Democrats give an inch or two, just not the wall? Does this mean that the next three weeks are going to be a stalemate?

JACOBSON: I don't think so. We saw the number three, in terms of Democratic leadership, Congressman Clyburn come out and say, look, we're not opposed to spending $5.7 billion on border security and grappling with the humanitarian crisis that we've got, but they're not in support of building a concrete, massive, beautiful, as Donald Trump called it, wall that was, like he said, in the 2016 campaign, going to be paid for by Mexico.

WHITFIELD: Because there were places of agreement. The immigration lawyers, there was money --

JACOBSON: Absolutely.

WHITFIELD: -- for certain infrastructure, just not the wall. So continue.

JACOBSON: Precisely. Yes, increasing border patrol agents, drones, heat sensing technology, the Democrats are in support of strengthening the border and grappling with the immigration issue that we've got, and particularly the humanitarian crisis, like you said, adding more judges obviously to help with the influx.

They are willing to come to the table on that. They are going to dig their heels in on the wall, particularly because the American people overwhelmingly oppose it, Fred. Let's not forget, polling shows before the shutdown and afterwards that the American people are opposed to the wall.

WHITFIELD: So we have that recent polling. It was more than half, more than half. No one has really moved, or at least the polling shows there hasn't been any real budging, there hasn't been any new popularity of supporting the wall. So then, John, why does the president feel like he has an audience in which to appease on the wall when the majority of the Americans don't want it, and when, according to recent polling, the majority of Americans are blaming him for the government shutdown?

THOMAS: Well, the Hill just put out a poll this week on Wednesday that showed that a plurality of Americans want Congress's number one focus to be on border security. The president feels that the way to secure the border in addition to what Dave is saying of more drones and this, that, and the other is a partial physical barrier, whether that's a steel barrier -- [14:10:00] WHITFIELD: That's the interpretation of what border

security is, and that's where the polling is showing that, based on that, the majority don't see that the wall is the answer, but do agree that immigration and border security is a priority.

THOMAS: Well, President Trump feels that the wall, or a partial wall, is a solution, he has talked to experts at the border that say that a wall is a partial solution. What I don't understand here, Dave, is that why -- we know we're going into a three-week, we've got a three- week hiatus, the government will likely be shut down again. Why can the Democrats not avoid this catastrophe by giving Donald Trump something for the wall?

WHITFIELD: But the president is saying that, here he is at the Rose Garden saying OK, celebrate, government is open, but let me just continue to dangle that this could happen again. Why would you not want to send a more optimistic message as opposed to celebrate this for now, but guess what, we may be here again, government shutdown if I don't get the wall?

THOMAS: Well, however he phrased it, we're heading toward a shutdown again unless the Democrats are willing to negotiate. Remember, the president, just last weekend, said, look, I'm willing to meet you halfway. At this point, he would take monopoly money if it meant a partial bill for his wall. Why not give him $500 million, $1 billion, and let's put this thing behind us?

WHITFIELD: So Dave, is it a way out maybe for the president to say, OK, I'm going to declare this national emergency potentially, knowing that it is going to get hung up in the court system, but perhaps the Republicans and Democrats on the Hill can come up with some other spending plan that is more permanent. Is this also the president conceding that perhaps he knows he's not going to get that wall money in the next bill or Senate bills to be proposed, and so he really feels like he might as well declare a national emergency even though he may really never get far with that either?

JACOBSON: Fred, I think it's a plausible strategy that the president may potentially execute simply by placating, or to placate, I should say, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and some of the extremist radicals of his rightwing base. That being said, I do think that there is a potential plan moving forward that is bipartisan. You're seeing a splintering within the Senate. Let's not forget that Ron Johnson is now a sort of moderate Wisconsin-based senator, came out to skewer the leadership, right. Cory Gardner from Colorado, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, there's a number of Republicans who are fracturing themselves from the president.

And so the question now become, is there a deal to be cut that is bipartisan that is veto proof, that comes out of the Senate and then passes the House and then potentially ties the hands of the president? I think that is a plausible pathway.

WHITFIELD: So John, that has to be worrisome for the president, don't you think, John? THOMAS: It is, but, look, I think the president, while he may not

want, need a full $5.7 billion for a physical border, he does need more than what the Democrats, and quite frankly, the moderate Republicans are willing to offer. Here's the deal. Donald Trump still controls the Republican base of his party. And if the Republicans in the House --

WHITFIELD: Is that eroding?

THOMAS: I think his support will bounce right back as long as Trump does everything he can to fight for border security. So I would give a cautionary tale of warning to the Mitt Romneys, the Lisa Murkowskis, the Senator Collins, don't double-cross President Trump on something like border security. This is an important issue to the base.

WHITFIELD: All right, John Thomas, Dave Jacobson, thank you so much.

THOMAS: Thanks.

JACOBSON: Thanks, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Congressman Steve King tells his home district today that he is not a racist. The latest on his controversial comments straight ahead.

Plus, Roger Stone tells CNN that despite being indicted and arrested, he feels vindicated. His explanation, coming up in the Newsroom.


[14:18:08] WHITFIELD: Iowa Congressman Steve King is addressing claims of racism against him. He spoke earlier today at his first town hall since being rebuked by Congress and after telling "The New York Times" that he didn't get why the terms "white nationalist" and "white supremacist" are offensive. CNN's Sara Sidner is joining us right now. You were at that town hall. Take us there.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was a bit of a lovefest. He is in a place where a lot of people here support him and still support him despite some of the words he's used in the past and in the recent past. He denied that he was a racist, and then he tried to very first thing, said, look, I'm going to address the elephant in the room, and he talked to the crowd of about 80 people, and told them what he said happened. He said there was a 56-minute phone call with "The New York Times." He said he was tired, he wasn't quite ready for it. He said it was very early in the morning, and he felt that words were put into his mouth. But he didn't really deny that the words were said by him. He just said they were taken out of context. Here's how he explained it away.


REP. STEVE KING, (R) IOWA: It is stunning and astonishing to me that four words in a "New York Times" quote can outweigh 20-some years of public service, 20-some years of giving you my word every day, and not one soul has stood up and said that I've ever lied to you or misrepresented anything or given it to you in any spin that's anything other than what I believe to be the objective truth.

And I even think about Brett Kavanaugh when he went through that in inquisition, he at least had accusers. I don't have accusers even. Not one soul has stood up and said Steve King has ever acted in a racist fashion, that he has ever discriminated against anybody. There is plenty of evidence out there to the contrary.


SIDNER: But there were people in the crowd who did say that they believe that their congressman was racist.

[14:20:02] They are, many of them, there were two or three people who were Democrats who came to listen to what their congressman had to say, and they were very unhappy with the words he's used. They went back to some of the words that he'd used that he has not denied, like when he said we can't restore our civilization with other people's babies. It was somebody else's babies. And he stuck to his guns on that particular sentence, and some other things that he's done, like retweeting white nationalists or neo-Nazis. He has fought back on some of those things.

But on and on again he talks to the crowd, and there were some people that had questions about what was happening in their community beyond some of the things that he's being accused of. But most people were there supportive of Congressman King. There were people asking now that he's been kicked off of any of the --

WHITFIELD: Committees.

SIDNER: -- congressional committees -- thank you -- any of the congressional committees, how can he sort of represent them, and how can he get the job done? And he talked about wanting to work with the president closer, wanting to work with the executive branch in a closer manner. And he said look, I can still be down there and vote every single time. But certainly, there are some questions about that. And there are folks here in the agriculture area where people work very, very hard, long hours, and they're out in the field, and they are concerned about the number of workers that they have. And some of those workers are migrant workers, and they asked him, what are you going to do about the H-2 visas for example? We need more people here. We need more people to help with the economy of the town as well. And so that question he said, look, it is going to be hard to take care of that because it is going to be hard to get anything passed on immigration as a whole. And there was definitely some sighs from those who were asking questions about that as well, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Sara Sidner in a bone-chilling part of Iowa. Thank you so much.


WHITFIELD: All right, Donald Trump's long-time adviser Roger Stone facing serious charges. So why is he declaring victory? You will hear from him straight ahead in the Newsroom.


[14:26:36] WHITFIELD: Long-time Donald Trump associate Roger Stone will be back in federal court Tuesday for his arraignment. Stone was indicted on multiple counts on Friday, including making false statements, obstruction, and witness tampering. Part of the indictment claims Stone lied about his ties between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks. He says the charges are politically motivated and plans to plead not guilty. Stone was arrested during a dramatic FBI raid of his Florida home early Friday morning. And he spoke to CNN's Chris Cuomo last night, and downplayed the charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.


ROGER STONE, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: First of all, I always said that there could be some process crime.


STONE: There is still no evidence whatsoever that I had advanced knowledge of the topic, the subject, or the source of the WikiLeaks disclosures. I never received any of the WikiLeaks disclosures. I never communicated with Assange or WikiLeaks other than the limited communication on Twitter, direct message, which I gave to the House intelligence committee last September, I guess it was.


WHITFIELD: CNN Justice Correspondent Jessica Schneider joining me now. So Jessica, Stone seems to be really relishing the spotlight as opposed to going into hiding after an experience like that.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fredricka, he is definitely making his public proclamation of innocence before he gets to Washington and appears in court here. And that could be somewhat strategic. The judge assigned to Roger Stone's case, she is the same one overseeing Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, Amy Berman Jackson, and she has been strict about talking to the media. She previously issued some gag orders. So Roger Stone potentially might be trying to get his message out now while he can.

But really, while Roger Stone claims that there was no collusion, his charges are still serious, as are the underpinnings of the indictment itself. And the part of the indictment raising the most questions is that a senior Trump campaign official in July, 2016, was directed to contact Stone about any other releases or damaging information to Hillary Clinton that could be coming in the weeks or months following from WikiLeaks.

Now, this was after the Clinton campaign had already disclosed they had, in fact, been hacked by the Russians. And this wasn't just one contact with the Trump campaign. The indictment talks about multiple contacts where Roger Stone kept the Trump campaign apprised of these future releases from WikiLeaks. So all the questions around this indictment, they're still there, in particular, who exactly directed this senior Trump campaign official to contact Roger Stone? Was it potentially the president who was directly involved? So that's a big question there.

And even if this doesn't turn out to be conspiracy, could there be any violation of campaign finance laws if it turns out that the Trump team may have back-channeled with WikiLeaks to schedule the release of these e-mails from the Clinton campaign and the DNC, maybe for maximum benefit with the campaign.

But Fredricka, this indictment, it reads like a classic Robert Mueller indictment, because it dangles out this additional information about the senior Trump campaign official without saying who it is, without saying who directed this official, and leaving many questions here. Who knows if we will actually get the answer to those, but maybe as this probe continues.

WHITFIELD: Jessica Schneider, thank you so much.

WHITFIELD: Let's talk further on this. With me now is Jeff Lanza, former FBI special agent, and Renato Mariotti, a former prosecutor and a CNN legal analyst. Good to see you both.

[14:30:02] So Renato, you first. Why is Stone so incredibly confidence, and professing victory? Should he be so confident?

RENATO MARIOTTI, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: He shouldn't be. The first question is already answered. I really don't understand Roger Stone. Maybe the viewers at home understand his mindset better than I do. Look, federal prosecutors get convictions over 95 percent of the time. And here, there looks like pretty damming evidence. So if I was representing Roger Stone, I would give him two pieces of advice. One would be to keep his mouth shut. And the second would be to prepare for a conviction and to deal with that reality. If I was his lawyer, we would either be working to get a pardon, or working to get a cooperation deal, one of the two.

WHITFIELD: Wow. And so Jeff, as a former FBI agent who helped investigate corruption, fraud, and organized crime, what do you make of Mueller and the way in which he is methodically going about these indictments? And an underlying, I guess, common denominator for the six thus far in Trump's inner circle is lying has been a real common thread here.

JEFF LANZA, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, they found a lot of that, and there is a common thread between all of the people who have been charged so far of false statements, of lying to FBI investigators. What really is, the public is asking a lot of questions about at this point is, why the big show of force when he was arrested on Friday morning? And I think it might be three reasons for that. One, they suspected that he might be a flight risk. I'm not sure that's the reason.

WHITFIELD: Even though he said he doesn't even have a passport.

LANZA: Right. And then also tampering with the evidence was a risk. Maybe it was for crowd control.

But here's the deal. The motion that was filed by Robert Mueller's office to the federal court on January 24th indicated that they thought he would be a flight risk and that he was at risk of someone who might tamper with evidence. If you look at the charges against him, it involves tampering with witnesses, making false statements, and obstruction of a proceeding. So anyone charged with those particular crimes, you may -- it would be reasonable to conclude that that would be a person that would be more apt to tamper with evidence. So it is not unusual they would use that early morning arrest without any warning like they did on Friday.

WHITFIELD: And Renato, the indictment says a senior campaign official was directed to contact Stone about other releases regarding the Clinton campaign, you heard Jessica underscore that. Is it your feeling that the Mueller team knows who that individual is and is really just looking for corroboration from Roger Stone, or others?

MARIOTTI: I think it's clear that Mueller knows who that individual is, whoever directed the senior campaign official. And I think that Mueller deliberately wrote that passage in that manner to avoid identifying that person by a category because identifying that person might have generated some political consequences, or may have created a misleading picture of things. So one possibility is, I think you mentioned or your reporter mentioned earlier, is it could have been then candidate, now President Trump. It could also be a family member, so then that would have been potentially explosive. It could have been somebody --

WHITFIELD: Or could he be sending signal, even, Mueller's team, kind of sending signals which might kind of rattle whoever that individual might be?

MARIOTTI: Well, now that individual knows that that person's in the spotlight, certainly that would send a signal. I think Mueller either thought that information was necessary to include or wanted to send a signal, but he wanted to avoid identifying the category of who that person was because it might have started a firestorm, and that wasn't necessary to do at this point.

WHITFIELD: And then, Jeff, you talked about the way in which that raid, you know, that warrant was carried out at Roger Stone's home. Take a listen to this. And then I want to get your thoughts.


ROGER STONE, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: I don't have a valid passport. Either that or it's about to expire in a few days. I have no previous record. I do not own a firearm. I am not violent. And there was no need to have 29 FBI agents with assault weapons and sidearms and hand grenades and a battering ram to smash in my front door. They could have called my attorney and I would have surrendered voluntarily. So when you don't have evidence, you use theatrics.


WHITFIELD: So Jeff, I would love you to pick up from what you were first talking about, there is a method behind this kind of raid, or warrant. There are teams that are going after something very specific, it's not always the subject as in Roger Stone in this case. So what in particular might they have been after? You mentioned protecting evidence.

[14:35:02] LANZA: Right. So when a grand jury indicts someone, that doesn't mean the investigation is over, they've reviewed evidence. They've listened to testimony, and they've made a conclusion that there is reason to believe someone has violated a federal law in this case. That doesn't mean the investigation is over. There may be additional evidence to glean from the three offices or places that they searched on Friday. And that's what that was all about, executing the search warrant at the same time the arrest was made, all done simultaneously to make sure that that evidence stays in place for further review by investigators after the arrest was made public, and after the indictment was made public as well.

WHITFIELD: All right, Renato, Jeff, thanks to both of you, really appreciate it.

MARIOTTI: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: The U.S. government shutdown, well, it's over, but what kind of impact has it had on the economy? We'll get answers next in the Newsroom.


[14:40:02] WHITFIELD: For the first time in more than a month, 800,000 federal workers will be able to go back to work and get paid for the work that they do. Nine federal departments and smaller agencies are reopening, and all of this was over the president's demand for $5.6 billion to build a partial border wall. But one report says the overall cost of the shutdown to the U.S. economy could be more than the latest figure the president wanted for the wall.

With me is Linette Lopez, the senior finance correspondent for "Business Insider," and Stephen Moore, a former Trump economic adviser. Good to see both of you. So Linette, you first. So $6 billion, it's a lot of money, but it's more than just a number on paper. So how do you calculate the losses of some $6 billion because of this government shutdown?

LINETTE LOPEZ, SENIOR FINANCE CORRESPONDENT, "BUSINESS INSIDER": Well, you're right, it's not just a number. It's a feeling. I've been saying almost every weekend for the last couple of years, Donald Trump is the only one who can ruin this economic expansion. And this shutdown is one way to ruin it. And part of it is the sentiment that people have. Last month, we had consumer sentiment come in lower than it has in the last two years since Trump became president, and that's because people are concerned that the federal government is not going to be able to manage this economy as it slows down, and that it's going to put more pressure on what's already been building at the end of a business cycle.

You're seeing the housing market start to slow down. We're starting to see little things in the economy that give us pause. There is a reason why the Federal Reserve decided to stop raising interest rates. And so we don't know how much damage this shutdown has actually done, and there are actually, in fact, a lot of economic data points that were delayed because of the shutdown. So we'll have a better picture, but also going forward, if you're a government worker, you know that in flee weeks this could happen again. So that's project going to slow your spending as well.

WHITFIELD: So Stephen, do you see a lot of that great economic news has just been up ended by that 35-day government shutdown?

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: There is no question that the government shutdown was negative for the economy. I agree with Linette on that. We might disagree about the extent of the negativity. I am going to estimate maybe taking off of the first quarter GPD about maybe 0.2 percent of our GDP growth for that quarter. That's not insignificant. The good news is, we're going to pick up a lot of that in the second quarter. Linette and Fredricka, I have lived through a lot of these government shutdowns going back to the early '80s.

WHITFIELD: But not one that was 35 days.

MOORE: That's true. This was one of the longest ever, but what you tend to see is a negative effect in the quarter that it happens and then you get a bit of a pickup in the second quarter.

Look, I'm not quite as dire as Linette is about this. After all, during the five weeks of the government shutdown, the Dow Jones was up something like 1,200 points, so investors certainly weren't too spooked about this. And the other point --

WHITFIELD: Except for the White House economic adviser, Kevin Hassett, he was kind of nervous and maybe his message was a little dire. This is what he had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could we get zero growth? I just want to nail this down.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We could. OK, wow. All right, wow.

HASSETT: Yes, we could. Yes, if it extended for the whole quarter.


WHITFIELD: OK, so pick up where you left off, Stephen.

MOORE: Well, Kevin is a good friend of mine, by the way, I really admire him as an economist. It's one of the few times I disagree with him. I don't think we're going to see, and by the way he said through the whole first quarter and we're only halfway through. So that goodness we've got, and I hope we don't -- by the way, I was never in favor of the shutdown. I thought it was a stupid way to resolve this crisis.

LOPEZ: Can I go back to one of your previous points, though, Steven, and that is the stock market is roaring. The stock market is not this economy. Consumer spending is the economy.

MOORE: That's true.

LOPEZ: And if consumers are not spending, that's when we're going to have to start to worry. I would say ignore the stock market on this point. So what we have to worry about here is whether or not consumers feel confident enough to go and spend money again. And this economy is run on services. So going to the movies, spending at restaurants, you're never getting that back. You're never getting Tuesday night --

MOORE: True.

WHITFIELD: Stephen, one of the last times we spoke, it was right before the holidays and we were talking about the impact. At the time I recall you talking about, well, a lot of people are going to be on vacation, they won't be impacted that much. But then you heard some serious hardship stories of people who weren't able to make rent, mortgage, selling their cars, rationing medicine. It has had a tremendous impact on individuals.

MOORE: Well, you know one of the things that I think was interesting about the shutdown, because you're right, Fredricka, this is the longest I think in history.

WHITFIELD: It is hard to recover.

MOORE: Pardon?

WHITFIELD: It's hard to recover for a lot of people.

MOORE: Yes. But my point was, I thought what was so interesting about it, because I live in Washington, yes, it negatively impacted the 800,000 workers, most of them, a lot of them -- look, I have friends who live in Washington, D.C. who treated it like a paid vacation because they will get paid, and I'm not minimizing the impact.

[14:45:00] But it is so interesting, for most Americans around the country, the vast majority of American, they weren't affected at all by this. And it really gets to the issue, I think one of the teachable moments of this --

WHITFIELD: In some way.

LOPEZ: This is not what any of these people want to hear, Stephen. Do not go on, do not go on CNN and have another Wilbur Ross moment, please. We do not --

MOORE: I'm just saying, no, no --

LOPEZ: -- need more people saying this was a paid vacation or that it doesn't matter to most American. Most Americans understand the pain of not getting a paycheck. It's very relatable.

MOORE: You're missing my point. Linette, Linette, you're missing my point. Yes, this was a hardship for the 800,000 workers. But we don't have government for the benefit of people to work. The purpose of the government is to provide services and benefits to the citizens.

WHITFIELD: And a lot of citizens were not able to receive those benefits and services.

LOPEZ: People like government to be competent as well.

MOORE: That's my point, most people were -- the fact that the Agriculture Department and parts of HUD, I saw an article in "The Wall Street Journal," they were trying to chronicle the ill effects, paleontologists aren't able to do their work on dinosaurs.

WHITFIELD: This were people who were not able to get sustenance, they were not able to get food because of the benefits that they rely on.

LOPEZ: You are Wilbur Rossing really hard right now, my friend.

MOORE: Look, I'm just saying for most Americans, a lot of these government agencies are pretty irrelevant. And why do we look at areas where we can cut government and reduce our budget deficit?

LOPEZ: That would be a good question to have when the government is open.

WHITFIELD: OK, perhaps to get from point a to point b, because you were caught up on the runway or never got to board that plane. There were a lot of ways in which to measure impact.

MOORE: Of course. You're exactly right. For the kinds of things like TSA, and people are dealing with public safety, you're absolutely right. Those are essential services. What I'm talking about, Fredricka and Linette, is the massive amount of nonessential services of government that we can't afford anymore. Maybe we should look at cutting down those.

LOPEZ: That's not the point at all. If they exist now, our government needs to be competent enough to handle them. This is not instilling confidence in people who are watching our government that the associates of Trump do not seem to understand the hardships that people are going through. This is not giving people confidence that we are going to be able to resolve this issue and come back in three weeks.

WHITFIELD: And some of those hardships will continue in duration --

MOORE: A lot of people in Ohio or Michigan or Pennsylvania, a lot of people didn't know the government was shut down. That's how insignificant a lot of these agencies are. People didn't even know, unless they watch CNN.

WHITFIELD: All right, Stephen Moore, Linette Lopez, appreciate it. Thank you so much. MOORE: Take care.

WHITFIELD: Got to go. We'll be right back.



DARRIUS SIMMONS, SENIOR, WARREN G. HARDING HIGH SCHOOL: I like to be somebody's motivation. I wanted to learn how to play the piano around the age of 10. I knew it was going to take a little bit more extra work for me to play a piano, even at a young age. Everybody has 10 fingers and I knew I had four, but I was pretty sure I could make it work.

TAMARA SIMMONS, DARRIUS' MOTHER: He was born with three fingers on one hand and one on the left, and without the tibia and fibula on lower leg. He spent 18 months in order to work. The only chance was the invitations.

DARRIUS SIMMONS: I got invited to play at Carnegie Hall, one of my favorite composers.

TAMARA SIMMONS That night, Darrius walked across the stage, sat on the same bench together, and played a song. And he got a standing ovation.


DARRIUS SIMMONS: One of the best experiences I ever had in my life.

One of my compositions I made is "Dreams are Forever." I filmed it and then I posted it on social media. It went viral, so it did pretty good.

REID YOUNG, BAND DIRECTOR, WARREN G. HARDING HIGH SCHOOL: Very few high school students can be as emotional with music and be able to perform it and really tell a story through his music.

TAMARA SIMMONS: He doesn't know the word "can't." He's just one heck of a boy.

DARRIUS SIMMONS: If I played in front of a whole crowd and I see one person smile, that's a job well done.


WHITFIELD: And this was an intense search to find three-year-old Casey Hathaway alive. The boy was playing with two relatives in his great grandmother's backyard when he wandered away. Search teams had been combing through the thick woods for three days when a resident reported that she actually heard Casey crying. Correspondent Stacia Strong from our affiliate WITN reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) STACIA STRONG, WITN: Fifty-five hours, that's how long search and

rescue crews were on the ground looking in thick woods for three-year- old Casey Hathaway. Even more remarkable, that's how long he was outside in the elements, before being located by a Chocowinity EMT following a tip from a resident.

SHERIFF CHIP HUGHES, CRAVEN COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA: It's scary. Listen, I'm a grown man. I would not want to go through what that child went through. And just, if you put yourself out there and close your eyes, the sounds, the fact that the weather was terrible, cold, and you're lost, and you have no idea what is going on.

STRONG: Search teams led by the Craven County Sheriff's Office were determined not to give up on the little boy.

HUGHES: Casey became all of our child. I think I can say that safely for all of America. We were all following it. And he belonged to all of us. And we all wanted him back.

STRONG: And when Casey finally was found and safe at the hospital, the sheriff described the high emotion.

[14:55:00] HUGHES: It was very emotional. It was for all of us. There were a lot of tears, there were a lot of prayers. Most of us would like to think we're big, macho guys, but when it comes to a three-year-old child, that is somebody's baby.


WHITFIELD: All right, this quick note. Be sure to tune in tomorrow when we take you live to the SAG Awards red carpet. The Screen Actors Guild Awards has become one of the most prized honors in the industry. The show airs live tomorrow on our sister networks TNT and TBS.

And thanks so much for being with me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The news continues with Ana Cabrera right after this.


ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello on this Saturday. You are live in the CNN Newsroom.