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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Historic Shutdown Ends; Trump: "This Was in No Way a Concession"; Russia Investigation: Grand Jury Indicts Trump Confidant Roger Stone; Shutdown Ends But Border Battle Still Looms; Federal Workers Speak on Government Shutdown; Indicted Trump Associate Roger Stone Faces Arraignment Tuesday; Roger Stone: "I Will Not Testify Against the President."; Federal Workers Speak Out on Government Shutdown; Who is Roger Stone?; Missing Boy Found: 3-Year-Old Recovering After Days Alone in the Woods; 9 People Dead, 345 Missing as Dam in Brazil Collapse. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired January 26, 2019 - 8:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can tell you, it's not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they'd like to call it. But if you don't have that, then we just not opening.
We won't be opening until it's solved. We think this is a much bigger problem.
I will sign a bill to open our government for three weeks until February 15th.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: The President caves, ending the 35 days shutdown with a deal that has no money for the wall.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: The central crime that launched the Russia investigation has now been directly linked to the Trump campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER STONE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISOR: There's still no evidence whatsoever that I had advance knowledge of the topic, the subject, or the source of the WikiLeaks disclosures. I never received.
There is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is "New Day Weekend" with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: Happy new day to you. The shutdown is over. Well, for now. There's this three week funding measure that's been signed and now the battle begins for the next budget deal. PAUL: Yes, President Trump basically signed the same deal that he'd been rejecting for weeks. There's no money for his border wall in this. But he's attempting to calm his base and tweeting, "This was in no way a concession". Now, he said if he doesn't have a deal with a wall included by February 15th, he will declare a National Emergency.
BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, the President's longtime friend and advisor, Roger Stone, was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and arrested.
PAUL: He's accused of seeking stolen e-mails from WikiLeaks and working with the Trump campaign to damage their 2016 opponent.
BLACKWELL: The White House yielded to pressure to reopen the government, but the President made it clear that this is not the end of the fight over the border wall.
PAUL: CNN White House Reporter, Sarah Westwood joining us live. What is he saying this morning from the White House, Sarah, and good morning to you.
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, good morning, Christi. President Trump emerged from the longest shutdown battle in history, no closer to building a border wall, despite remaining defiant four weeks that the government would not reopen until he got new wall funding.
But after those 35 days of stalemate, President Trump bent and signed a deal that was very similar to the one he rejected in December when all of this started. It's going to fund the government for three more weeks until February 15th to give appropriators time to hash out some kind of deal. But as you mentioned, this continuing resolution contains no money for new wall construction.
Now this deal came about after the White House caved under pressure from both sides of the aisle. Senate Republicans were showing signs of breaking ranks. And that's why Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell warned President Trump on Thursday that it was unclear how much longer.
That GOP conference could hang together. That's part of what compelled the President to announce this deal on Friday. White House aides were particularly concerned about images of chaos at airports across the country. They were worried that those images would drive some wobbly Republicans into the arms of Democrats as public outcry against shut down grew.
And President Trump is also facing a conservative backlash already for his decision to hand Speaker Pelosi a major victory and cede whatever was left of his leverage. The New York Daily News, a hometown paper of his, dubbed him the "Caveman" after his speech yesterday. But Trump is reserving the right to declare a National Emergency if he is not able to get wall funding at the end of these three weeks.
He's also said he's willing to let government funding lapse again on February 15th and head into another shutdown if he doesn't get money for his border wall legislatively. But Victor and Christi, White House aides are hoping that some sort of bipartisan deal comes together in the next few weeks and avoids both of those two options.
BLACKWELL: All right. So do the 800,000 people who just got their jobs back with pay. Sarah Westwood, thanks so much so.
PAUL: So what's next in the border wall fight, let's talk to Eliza Collins, Politics Report for USA Today and CNN Presidential Historian, Tim Naftali, Former Director of the Nixon Presidential Library. Thank you both but taking time to be with us.
So it seems Eliza that President -- maybe some might look at it as, "OK, he gave a little something here to open up the government". Is there a fair expectation that Democrats will give a little in then it's three weeks to make sure it doesn't happen again?
ELIZA COLLINS, POLITICS REPORTER USA TODAY: They might give a little on border security, but they're certainly not going to give a little on the wall. They just won, basically this round.
This -- what the President signed last night was exactly the same as what Republicans and Democrats were pushing for in December, just a different date. Actually it ended up being a shorter time in total.
But Nancy Pelosi had a press conference last night and was asked, "OK, now that the government's going to reopen, are you willing to talk about the wall?" And she said, I've been very clear about the wall.
[08:05:00] So I do think that the Democrats will have to give a little bit on border security. They really don't have any incentive to give the President his wall. They saw him cave, and now they're just going to move forward.
It's also worth noting that the lawmakers that are brought to the table now that both the Senate and the House are sending appropriators to go meet and try to hash out this deal -- they appropriators.
Appropriators work together. I do not see any names that are true hardliners -- immigration hardliners on there. And so they're going to try to figure out a way to come to a compromise to keep the government reopened.
PAUL: Let's listen to Representative Eric Swalwell yesterday talking about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: It's great that we're reopening government and these workers are going to get paychecks. But it really is a crisis in the White House and the best this President can do is just extend us three weeks out. We are just careening from crisis to crisis when we need long-term certainty for our government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Tim, I mean, take us through this. Why is a government shutdown ever even an option?
TIM NAFTALI, FORMER DIRECTOR, NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY: Well it's an option in our country, because since the 1980s, it's been very difficult for Congress to pass budgets and congressional -- continuing resolutions have been a way to do it, because they don't require 60 votes.
This is a problem really that is a result of a change in partisanship. As we've become more partisan in Congress, it's become more difficult to pass budgets. We're the only country -- we are the only democracy in the world that that tries to function this way. This is not a sign -- this is not a good form of American exceptionalism.
And what happened last week was the -- was that members of Congress saw, just as the public saw, the actual consequences of not paying American civil servants. And the consequences were unacceptable.
So people have been framing this as the Democrats winning. No, no, no, the American people won. The idea of government in a mature democracy won. You can't play this game for longer than a few weeks without real consequences. So I'm wondering whether this really is an option to do again in three weeks.
I don't think the President will have this as a real option. I mean, when I say that I mean the shutdown, if negotiations don't go the way wants with the Democrats.
PAUL: Yes, because you have to wonder how many Republicans would be behind another shutdown --
PAUL: -- at the same time. So, Eliza, with that said, where do -- where would the blame fall if we go into another shutdown?
COLLINS: I think it would fall straight at the feet of the President. He said in his speech yesterday, On February 15th, will either go back into another shut down again or he'll declare a National Emergency. So, again, like in the beginning of the shutdown, he seems to be sort of taking credit for this. He said he wants his wall.
So he has made it very clear that he is the one who wants this wall. Republicans got on board with the short-term clean resolution, once he backed it. So I do think that if he decides that he will veto legislation that doesn't have wall money, if Congress can't come to a compromise, that the public will blame the President. We saw polling in the last couple of weeks really sure they already were for this shutdown.
PAUL: So I wanted to pivot real quickly here, Tim, for you. Take a look at this picture. I think we have this picture of Roger Stone yesterday. Of course, we know there was the FBI raid on his home. They arrested him. He is indicted now. He is going to be in court again on Tuesday.
But there was this moment on the steps of the courthouse yesterday where he came out looking a lot like Richard Nixon. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
There's -- there we've got the peace sign. There we've got the hands up. There they are one right after the other.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: This is also a man, of course, who has a tattoo of Nixon on his back, so I don't know -- what do you make of that, obviously, very intentional gesture.
NAFTALI: Yes. Well, that's -- Roger Stone likes attention and Roger Stone is an unapologetic dirty trickster. He admires, and has been clear about this, the dark side of the Nixon legacy, that's who he is. That's who he believes. That's the world he wants to inhabit.
When he was 19 years old he did some low-level, but still significant dirty tricks for the Nixon campaign. We know this because he actually told the truth in this instance to Congress about it. So since 1974, with the end of the Nixon era, Roger Stone has been one of those who said that Nixon was absolutely right to do the things that he did.
[08:10:00] So at this stage in his late 60s, Roger Stone hasn't changed and that's what we saw yesterday on display. This is the persona that he likes to play. He is a dirty trickster and proud of it.
PAUL: All right. Eliza Collins, Tim Naftali, I'm sorry we've run out of time. Thank you both so much.
NAFTALI: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Well, the government shutdown is over for at least three weeks. We'll see what happens on the 15. Federal workers who have struggled for the last five weeks want to know when they will see those back paychecks. We'll talk with a couple who works at the federal prison, just ahead.
PAUL: And the Mueller investigation now rounded up six associates of President Trump on various charges, the arrest and indictment of Roger Stoner as we were just talking about, the latest. Where do we go from here at the end of the day? We'll talk about it.
[08:15:00] PAUL: So six associates of President Trump have now been charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Longtime Donald Trump associate, Roger Stone, been friend since the 80s, he's the latest to be added to the list. Stone is said to be arraigned in Federal Court on Tuesday.
He was arrested by FBI agents during an early morning raid on his home in Fort Lauderdale yesterday and spoke to CNN'S Chris Cuomo last night, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER STONE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISOR: First of all, I always said that there could be some processed crime. There's 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: CNN Justice Correspondent Jessica Schneider following the very latest. Good morning, Jessica what are you hearing?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Really, Roger Stone, you heard it there, pledging to fight this indictment and doing it right now in the public arena on TV. We saw him outside the Fort Lauderdale Courthouse yesterday and Tuesday he'll appear in Federal Court here in Washington.
But beyond the charges that Stone faces, which are hefty, they include witness tampering, false statements to Congress and obstruction. There really is a lot in the underlying details of this indictment that is quite damaging.
And it raises those continued questions about what could be yet to come in this Mueller probe and whether there could be some larger conspiracy with the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks and Russia.
So within the indictment there are several times were first to Roger Stone's communication with senior Trump campaign officials. And in particular, one part of the indictment that says a senior Trump campaign official in July 2016 was directed to contact Roger Stone about any other releases or damaging information to Hillary Clinton that might be coming from "Organization 1", which we know to be WikiLeaks.
Now what's pertinent about this is that, this was after the Clinton campaign had already disclosed that they had been hacked by the Russians. And it wasn't just one contact with the Trump campaign. This indictment talks about multiple contacts where Roger Stone kept the from campaign apprised of any future releases from WikiLeaks. We saw several throughout the campaign.
So really the questions are all still there lurking in the indictment. Who exactly directed this senior Trump campaign official to contact Roger Stone? Was it potentially the President directly who is involved?
And even if there doesn't turn out to be a conspiracy here, could there be any violation of maybe campaign finance laws if it turns out that the Trump team may be back channeled with WikiLeaks to possibly schedule the release of these e-mails for maximum benefit. So really, Christi and Victor, this indictment here, classic Robert Mueller, it dangles out some additional information without really closing the loop on what Mueller knows, what he knows in full. And in this indictment and in the words of Stone associate, Jerome Corsi, Mueller knows everything.
So it's still yet to come this indictment, just another building block perhaps in what Mueller knows, Christi.
PAUL: All right. Jessica Schneider, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about that clause. That important reference that Jessica just talked about with Michael Moore, Former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, welcome back to the show.
MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: Thanks.
BLACKWELL: Let me read it here for anyone who didn't read it while she was discussing out to people listening on the satellite radio. After the July 22, 2016 release of stolen DNC e-mails by "Organization 1", which is WikiLeaks, a senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information WikiLeaks had regarding the Clinton campaign.
Stone, thereafter told the Trump campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by WikiLeaks. There are some who say that, "Well, is that not the collusion, the conspiracy, the cooperation that this whole investigation is about?" What do you say?
MOORE: I think, it gets close to that. It's a damning indictment for the President. That paragraph alone was probably written with a lot of attention by Mueller in the way it was written. We know there are a couple people close to Trump who have had some appetite for getting information from the Russians about Hillary Clinton.
We know that little Don Trump did that, we know Jared Kushner anytime back to the meeting that happened in the Trump Tower in New York. And so it's not -- it doesn't strike me as odd that may be one of them are the people who were referenced there. If that's where Mueller is headed, then I think he's very close to the Achilles Heel of the President.
BLACKWELL: Roger Stone has said that he will not in his words, "Bear false witness against the President, because there is no collusion to discuss or to confess". Michael Cohen said that he wouldn't testify against the President, Paul Manafort said he wouldn't testify against the President. They since had.
Do you expect that that Roger Stone is a different case, considering what we've seen over the last 24 hours?
MOORE: I think he's a character to say the least. I think the whole Nixon fascination. I think that some of the statements that he makes and the allegations that he comes forward with are just unbelievable. [08:20:00] And so, whether or not he thinks that's bearing false witness or not, I don't know. I think, at the end of the day these cases tend to have people who are involved in a conspiracy in that testify.
This is sort if you think about it like a wheels, it's called a Hub- and-Spoke conspiracy. I think that's what Mueller is laying out here. That is, that you have the sort of the central actor that being the President in this case and the spokes go out from that for the wheel. So if you really look at a bicycle, well that's what we're talking about.
And these individual actors do things and that sort of makes that conspiracy which is the outside, and that's the common act that they're all after.
BLACKWELL: How did you read that clause that that the senior Trump campaign official was directed to do that and the writing in the passive voice instead of saying who this person was or the position of that person.
MOORE: I think that Bob Mueller, typically because he's a tactician, and he's a skilled prosecutor, does everything for a reason. And there's a reason that they spelled out the indictment that way. And so it could very well be that the instructions were relayed as opposed to a direct order.
Again, there's nothing unusual about this for a person who's used to prosecuting organized crime drug, cartels that type of thing where you've got an insulated key figure and instructions are sent sort of through intermediaries to other people. There's nothing different, except that in this case our crime organization seems to be sort of centered around the Trump campaign in the White House at the present time.
BLACKWELL: Almost six or seven, I guess, other indicted individuals as part of this investigation those who aren't in Russia and foreign entities, of course, who have shown up, they've been given a pre- scheduled time to show up. We saw what happened yesterday. I think we have the CNN Exclusive video here of a raid at his home in Fort Lauderdale. Why do you expect it was handled that way?
BLACKWELL: I'll tell you from a prosecutor's point of view, most of the time you just let the people who are going to effectuate the raid do it. They've got the expertise in and you say, look, you do it to keep your people safe whatever you think you need.
In this indictment they talk about his misstatements. There seems to be some concern that he's not disclosed evidence that they knew he had. So I'm guessing that they probably said there's a fear he may destroy some evidence, that something may happen.
You also don't ever want to be in a situation where you go in for an arrest warrant and something terrible happens. There's some tragedy like there's a knock at the door, they think it's a home intruder and there's a shooting, that's unintentional at the time. That's part of the reason you have these things on videotape, because it also protects the people going in to from allegations they've done something wrong. So I don't know that it was really about sending a message.
I think that you're just seeing that this is, we're not going to play games. We're going to treat this like we're concerned that there may be evidence destroyed. There may be buttons on a computer hit or in the old days where drugs flushed down the toilet, if he couldn't think about that. What evidence might have found its way away from the investigators before they did the warrant.
Let me talk about the Trump and White House response. Sarah Sanders when asked by my colleague John Berman, "If the President was the person who directed this senior Trump campaign official to reach out to Roger Stone?", would not answer the simple "yes" or "no". Is that because, I mean, she either doesn't know or couldn't answer the question without becoming part of this this case?
MOORE: If she didn't read the indictment before she got out in front of the press and I've got some real concerns about the statements that she would make at any time. I mean this to me seem to be sort of a basic thing you would do if you were the press secretary for the White House.
In saying that the President, she doesn't know and we can't tell. That's about like said, I don't know if the sun is in the solar system, right? All these things were revolving around one individual, one person. It just defies credulity at this point.
BLACKWELL: Yes. And also the question of how could Roger Stone have these, as the Special Counsel alleges, all of these communications with the campaign and the President has no idea, the then candidate has no idea. Michael Moore, thanks so much for being with us this morning.
MOORE: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right, Christi.
PAUL: You might be wondering who exactly is Roger Stone? Why is the Special Counsel so interested in him? We're going to break down why he is such a big player in the Russia investigation.
BLACKWELL: Plus, the government shutdown is over for a couple of weeks. The big question is, when will these federal workers get that back pay? We'll speak with a couple who works for federal prison about the last five weeks of their life.
[08:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and we open the federal government.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- for more than three weeks.
CHRISTY ROSE, U.S. COAST GUARD ACADEMY EMPLOYEE: Come on, come on. We get back to work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Few tears of relief there as President Trump announces the end to the partial government shutdown. But despite that the claim of a deal, this is really what Speaker Nancy Pelosi and let's say some Republicans have urged for weeks to open the government first and then talk about border security funding.
PAUL: Our federal workers are heading back to work, that's the good news. They're hoping there's going to be a paycheck soon for all that back pay they have. But there is a sense of uncertainty here. Because if the democrats stand firm against the wall and the President continues to demand one, on February 15th we would be back in the same place with another such shutdown.
BLACKWELL: Well, let's talk now with Charles and Jill Gilbert, a couple working at a federal prison. Good morning to you.
JILL GILBERT, FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Good morning.
CHARLES GILBERT, FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: So you work at -- as federal law enforcement officers, which means neither of you have been getting your salary for the last five weeks, missed two paychecks now. Let me start here with, the shutdown is over. You will be paid for work for at least, we know the next three weeks. How do you feel this morning?
JILL GILBERT: We feel good even though that we're going to be getting a paycheck, but that's just you know three weeks away it could change and go back to back to not having a paycheck, so it's kind of unsettling not knowing where this is going to go.
[08:30:00] BLACKWELL: Do you know when you'll get the back pay?
JILL GILBERT: We're unsure when we'll get the back pay. I did see while searching that a White House representative said there's going to be an urgency in receiving our back pay. So that would be nice if that is true.
BLACKWELL: Yes. That the law that the President signed said that legally you have to get it to federal employees as soon as possible. The hope, of course, is that it's before two Fridays from yesterday. Charles let me ask you, how have -- how is your family been impacted over these last five weeks working without pay?
CHARLES GILBERT: Basically, we've had to learn to but budget really well, save money for gas, go to work and then come back home and just stay at home, and it's been family time, I guess, more family time.
BLACKWELL: So work at a federal prison there in Terre Haute, as I understand. And one of the insults of the last five weeks -- and it didn't occur to me until I started reading the notes from my producer, is that you were not paid as corrections officers, but the inmates who were doing work -- and while they were incarcerated were being paid. Is that right?
JILL GILBERT: Correct. That's correct.
CHARLES GILBERT: Yes.
BLACKWELL: And how do that feel?
JILL GILBERT: That was just a punch base.
CHARLES GILBERT: Disheartening.
JILL GILBERT: It doesn't make sense.