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Steve King Holds First Town Hall Since Recent Controversy; Bolton Warns Maduro to Keep U.S. Diplomats Safe; Wall Street This Week: Earnings, Trade, Jobs Report and More; Stars Arrive for the Screen Actors Guild Awards; Trump Tries to Bounce Back After Horrible Day in Presidency. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired January 27, 2019 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[18:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Sunday, the senseless shutdown wounded the country, stopping growth for a month and costing even more money than the President was demanding for the border wall. And what about those hundreds of thousands of American families that endured two pay cycles with zero money coming in? What does the President come out of this with? Lower poll numbers.
CNN's poll of polls shows approval for the President at just 38 percent. Americans blame Donald Trump for the shutdown and the damage it caused. So why did he do it? And why did he give in to speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats? The President's right-hand man says, oh, no, he didn't cave, he says Democrats really like what President Trump is doing but only in private. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Why he did what he did was because many Democrats had come to us, some of them privately, many of them spoke out publicly, that they are actually starting to agree with him on the necessity of a barrier on the southern border and they have come to us and said, look, we agree with you. You are winning the battle on the importance of a barrier on the southern border but we simply cannot work with you while the government is open.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: CNN's Boris Sanchez joins us at the White House.
Boris, Mulvaney probably meant to say while the government is closed, instead of open. But that notwithstanding, he is claiming a number of Democrats are telling him in private, in secret, don't tell anybody that they agree with the President and his stance on the border wall. Have you heard of any Democrats who have done that?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Not a huge number, Ana. Just one Democrat voted last week for that White House plan to re-open the federal government and fund at least a portion of the President's border wall. That was Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Other than that, a number of Democrats have said that they would not oppose some form of barrier, but none of them have essentially come out to say what the acting chief of staff is claiming here, so the White House is right back to the drawing board. They are now threatening to shut down the federal government a second time to try to get Congress to give the President the money that he wants for his border wall. It's essentially back to the drawing board and the chief of staff says the President has dug in his heels. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the President really prepared to shut down the government again in three weeks?
MULVANEY: Yes. I think he actually is. Keep in mind, he is willing to do whatever it takes to secure the border. He does take this very seriously. This is a serious humanitarian and security crisis. And as President of the United States, he takes the security of the nation as his highest priority. He doesn't want to shut the government down. Let's make that very clear. He doesn't want to declare a national emergency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: It's unclear exactly how the White House considers that math that maybe it will have more support during a second shutdown for the President's border wall.
The other options, essentially, have the President bypassing Congress. You would have him declaring a national emergency on the issue of immigration to try to get that funding. The President has have that option on the table for some time. We have talked about it. It is unclear that that would actually work because Democrats are vowed to try to block that sort of action in court.
On the other end, the President could try to secure certain funds from other branches of government in the department of defense, in the treasury department, but it's unclear, according to experts, that he would get anywhere near the amount of money that he is requesting for his border wall. So we are essentially back to where we started, 19 days until the C.R. runs out. We will see what we go from there, Ana.
CABRERA: All right. Boris Sanchez, at the White House. Thank you.
Now, I want to bring in CNN political analyst Patrick Healy, also political commentator and former RNC communications director Doug Hyde.
Patrick, what will these next 19 days be like?
PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: This is going to be tough for President Trump. I mean, he ended last week with his poll numbers plunging to some of their lowest levels ever. And he made the decision, basically, to at least give up temporarily on the wall. And what he was hit with, I think maybe harder than he was even expecting, were headlines on Breitbart news, even some on FOX, tweets like Ann Coulter's. Other Republicans really, like, coming out hard and saying, you are a wimp, you know, what happened to the tough stand- your-ground leader that we would rally behind? Look, President Trump is now going have a choice. Based on whether he
is willing to compromise with Democrats and move toward their stand which seems to be no money for the wall at all or sort of double down with his base to go back to what seems like a pretty narrow slice of his 2020 re-election electorate and say, well, I'm going to please you, whether it's shutting down the government again, or standing a ground, you know, through perhaps, the rest of went e the spring, to try to get a border wall or risk losing even them.
CABRERA: Well, and if you look at those poll numbers you mentioned, even some of his base was starting to break with him throughout this shutdown when you looked at the non-college educated white voters. His approval numbers with them were going down, Doug. So did not even benefit him with his base to dig in his heels.
I know you have seen Nancy Pelosi firsthand working behind the scenes. She proved through this experience she can go toe to toe with the President and walk away with a victory. Given your own personal knowledge of how she operates, what do you expect Democrats to ask for in negotiations?
[18:05:24] DOUG HEYE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think ultimately this is probably going to come down to some version of semantics where Democrats will say, you did not get your wall and Trump will claim that he got a big, beautiful wall. And while this politically certainly was a victory for Pelosi, and one of the strikes things for me about this is having worked in the 2013 shutdown, where the government was a mere image of where it is right now. We have Republican control in the House and then a Democratic Senate, obviously, a Democratic President.
We had no leverage. Nancy Pelosi shouldn't have had any leverage, but was able to defeat the President, but I would also say it was a puric (ph) victory. Her poll numbers have not fared well through this. She beat Donald Trump no question about it, but her unpopularity has risen as well which means there aren't a lot of winners here.
And meanwhile, Republicans are as divided as they have ever been. Paul Kane from the "Washington Post" had a really important story this weekend that got drowned out -- or this week -- that got drowned out by all the other news about the Senate lunch where senators were openly fighting with each. That's not a good sign of progress moving forward.
CABRERA: I want to play one more clip of Mulvaney this morning on FOX has he made his priorities clear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MULVANEY: We have been working on this for months. We have been hoping for months to do it through legislation with Democrats because that's the right way for the government to function. But at the end of the day, the President's commitment is to defend the nation. And he will do it either with or without Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: Patrick, what's the over-under on whether this ends with the President declaring a national emergency for his wall?
HEALY: I think there's still a real chance of it, Ana. I mean, if he feels like he gets through the next three weeks and he is able to frame a message that he believes then maybe his advisers are polling privately and seeing some success with, that essentially he has got to take it up to some kind of level with -- to hold on to his base where he is not agreeing with Democrats and he is getting some kind of claim to a wall done. Then the national emergency route may look really appealing to him.
I mean, I think he does want to come through the next three weeks at least looking like, OK, reopened the government, which is what the Democrats very much wanted to do, now, you know, I'm the President, I want to try to strike a deal here. So if he can figure out a way to make the Democrats look absolutely abstinent, he may open himself up. And you know, a little bit to go into the national emergency route and not having everyone start screaming and yelling.
I just don't see, though, how that ends up helping him, you know, to Doug's point, President Trump is the one who has got to run for reelection in 2020, if he does decide. How does that help him with independents or even sort of conservative Democrats who may not like the look of the 2020 Democratic field but who are going to see him as someone who, you know, can't really get things done and goes to these unusual lengths like a national emergency?
CABRERA: I mean, just the very fact that he continues to dangle this idea of declaring a national emergency, he has been doing it for weeks now. And now you have to add in another 19 days.
Doug, doesn't this undermine the argument that the situation is, in fact, an emergency?
HEYE: Not only undermines that argument but also undermines the argument that Donald Trump was ever going to be the great negotiator. If he is able - if he is using this an a negotiation tactic, that's one thing, but I would caution my Republican friends that this is a road you need to be very careful going down. Certainly Donald Trump isn't thinking about how this would impact future Presidents. But you cross a threshold if you use that.
And if you are a Republican who is a big believer in the 2nd amendment, it's very easy to see a Democrat to try and use a national emergency on guns when we have another Democrat, which could be in two years or six years or what have you.
This is a threshold Donald Trump's crossed a lot of them, that Democrats learned from and that's one reason that there should be caution exercised here.
CABRERA: You say threshold. Some say line. Democrats drew their own line in the sand. We won't negotiate, they said, until the government is reopened. And now it is back open. So Patrick, are they forced to negotiate? Are they forced to meet the
President part way or else? If this ends up back in another shutdown, would they bear some of the blame? Would the tables turn?
HEALY: Well, I think Doug is right about the semantics point. I mean, I think that ultimately, Democrats, it is going to be some incumbent on them to create some kind of position, some kind of new space that is closer to where the President is. I mean, I think you are going to see them talking about more money, more, you know, comprehensive package that includes, you know, some kind of either fencing or security. They have been kicking around this sort of smart wall language and we will sort of see where that goes.
I mean, the concern that the Democrats have is that President Trump just changes the terms of the debate constantly. Makes up the rules, you know, on his own. The notion that he is going to come out of this without a concrete wall and, yet, say I built a wall, I built a wall, I built a wall, to his base and sort of frame the Democrats as somehow capitulating, that's probably what he wants to get too politically. And the Democrats, I don't think at least right now they look at the poll numbers and they don't see much incentive certainly on caving on any of that.
[18:10:34] CABRERA: And in fact, right now, you look at the poll numbers, the majority, 52 percent in today's "Wall Street Journal"/NBC poll oppose the wall, 45 percent, actually, support it.
Thank you, both. Patrick Healy, Doug Heye, great to have you with us.
Roger Stone today leaving the door open of cooperating with the special counsel. So after saying in the past he would never testify, why is Stone hedging in this way?
Plus, embattled Republican Steve King trying to convince his constituents he is not a racist. What sort of reception is he getting back home? We will hear from the people in his district just ahead here in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go anywhere.
[18:15:17] CABRERA: Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone today unveiling a dramatic twist in his post-indictment talking tour. Stone says he would quote "certainly testify honestly" if he cooperates with special counsel Robert Mueller.
Yes, you heard that right. Stone did not rule out cooperate cooperating with Mueller. But wait, didn't Stone say on Friday he would never testify against President Trump? Yes, he sure did. Mueller alleges Stone sought stolen Democratic emails from WikiLeaks in coordination with Trump campaign officials. Stone is due back in court on Tuesday for his arraignment.
And with me now to discuss, Princeton University historian Julian Zelizer, a CNN political analyst. Renato Mariotti, former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst and Jessica Schneider, CNN justice correspondent, also an attorney. Jessica, what can we expect at Tuesday's arraignment?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana, it could be a similar media circus-like atmosphere in D.C., the same one like we saw in Florida on Friday. You know, I have been to that courthouse numerous times. Covered numerous court appearances at the federal courthouse including for Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. And there are always this flood of cameras positioned at the front doors. So they will be there when Roger Stone walks in. And so, it's possible that Stone will also talk when he walks in, but it's also possible that potentially Stone could be forced to stay silent if he is released after Tuesday's court appearance because Stone is going to be facing the same judge who has presided over Manafort and Gates. And in those cases, she has instituted gag orders to keep everyone in the case silent.
So it's possible Roger Stone is really going on this pre-court media blitz now to get his message out while he can because who knows if he'll be able to talk after that court appearance on Tuesday, Ana.
CABRERA: Renato, just how unusual is Stone's talk-a-thon after facing an indictment?
RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: It's not only unusual, it's really stupid. It's very, very bad idea for Stone. If I represented him, I would tell him to keep his mouth shut. That is always one of the first things that I explain to clients. Their words can and will be used against them.
You know, when I was a federal prosecutor, my office investigated governor Blagojevich here in Illinois. And when he would make media appearances, they would tape the media appearances and sent the copy to his attorneys as a potential evidence and exhibit against him.
So I think Roger Stone is just digging himself into a hole. His best move would be to keep his mouth shut then to pursue either a pardon or a cooperation deal with Mueller. That's really the only outs that he has.
CABRERA: Have you heard him say anything that you think he just got himself into more trouble?
MARIOTTI: Well, I mean, he has put himself in a spot where he is lowering his value for cooperation deal. I mean, you played that clip, Ana, and I had the same reaction as you. I thought it was odd. A guy who Trump had praised having guts not cooperating, now he is open to. But then, in the same interview, he said Trump didn't do anything wrong, Trump never told him about this and that. Well, if he tells ends up going on the witness stand and telling something different to the jury later, those clips are going to be used against him. So he has lowered his value to Mueller if he ends up testifying. I think he should say as little as possible at this point.
CABRERA: All right. Let's zero in on one part of the indictment, the focus there on the witness tampering charge. And Stone allegedly sent a message telling a witness to quote "plead the fifth." Anything to save the plan. Richard Nixon, he allegedly wrote. We also saw him flash Nixon's signature double "v" for victory coming down the courthouse steps. That was on Friday. We know he has a Nixon tattoo on his back which he is liked to show off in the past.
Julian, what do you make of Stone's obsession with Richard Nixon?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, he worked for Nixon many decades ago. This is a person who has been playing dirty tricks for the Republican Party since Richard Nixon. He loves Nixon. I think he really still embodies the kind of politics he practiced in the early 1970s.
Stone will do anything to win. He will send out disinformation. He will play tricks on the opposition. And I think that's why a lot of Republicans shudder to see him back in the news right now. Literally flashing the Nixon signs as people are making this comparison between President Trump and President Nixon. So it's not a surprise. What's surprising is that Trump was so close to him.
CABRERA: That's interesting because, of course, Trump's people, his White House spokesperson, his personal attorney, keep on saying this has nothing to do with Trump, which I actually want to ask you about in just a moment on that front, Julian, but I want to dig into, again, some more of what we see in these documents because there are a number of people who aren't named and they are identified among the ones who aren't named, but are referenced. There's a person one, there's a person two.
Jessica, you covered the Mueller grand jury appearance of a Stone associate named Randy Credico back in September. Explain his connection to Stone and why Mueller has copies of apparently these threatening messages that Stone directed at Credico?
[18:20:32] SCHNEIDER: Yes. So all these names flying around, but there he is right there, Randy Credico, Ana. He is this New York City radio show host that showed up in October to Mueller's grand jury. Might have been able to see it there. With his fluffy white therapy dog named Bianca. There was a crush of cameras there, too, at that point.
So Bianca is actually part of this indictment because the special counsel says Roger Stone threatened Credico in many different ways to alter his planned testimony before a House committee including threats to take away Credico's dog, Bianca. So this indictment really has a list of the texts and the emails from Roger Stone to Randy Credico where Stone pushes him to plead the fifth. You have the quotes up there, save the plan, you know. Roger Stone even told him to pull a Frank Pentangeli (ph), that "Godfather" reference to the kind of character who wouldn't give up any information to Congress.
So all of these threats they form that bases of the witness tampering charge. And what is interesting is, Randy Credico, he did go before the grand jury but he ended up pleading the fifth to that House committee and ended up not answering any questions at all.
The reason why Credico is important here has raised interests is because Roger Stone has always claimed that Credico was his back channel to Russia. But Ana, Credico always denied it. So there's a little bit of the tension and difference in stories there.
CABRERA: Credico was his intermediary with WikiLeaks, right.
SCHNEIDER: Right. Yes, WikiLeaks.
CABRERA: Wanted to make sure we are clear with our viewers. And so, he is, we believe, person two that is mentioned in this indictment with Roger Stone.
The other person, person one, another intermediary as Stone has identified, is Jerome Corsi. And here is what Corsi had to say on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEROME CORSI, FORMER STONE'S ASSOCIATE: I'll be happy to testify.
I suspect to be subpoenaed. And I will let the testimony fall wherever it falls. I'm going to tell the truth to the best of my ability. Even that's hard given the amount of information and the fact that I have said from the beginning I'm not a human tape recorder. You can't push a button. And I can't recall precisely in detail granularly conversations, emails, events from 2016. But I'm going to do my best to tell the truth without calculation of whom it benefits or whom it detracts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Renato, what's your take on what Corsi had to say today and his significance to Stone's legal woes?
MARIOTTI: Well, that's the first smart thing that Jerome Corsi has said in many weeks, Ana.
CABRERA: In what way?
MARIOTTI: I have followed -- I have followed Corsi on twitter for a long time. He blocked me at some point, but he has been posting videos and cartoons attacking Mueller. Making, you know, he has got a lawsuit that he's pursuing against Mueller. He originally sued for $1.4 trillion billion before later amending it to $1.4 billion. He has been engaging in all sorts of bizarre attacks on the prosecutors.
And what he said there, that's pitch perfect. If you're going to keep your -- if you are going to open your mouth, what you should say, you're going to tell the truth, you got no bias. You are just going to be a straight shooter. That's basically the only thing I have heard him say in recent weeks that has made any sense to me.
CABRERA: And again, I keep coming back to this. The White House and the President's attorneys saying, you know, all these Stone charges, this indictment, has nothing to do with the President. Even though there are references to senior officials on Trump's campaign. We also had this week, keep this in mind, you have two men, a longtime
friend of the President's, and the former chairman of Trump's campaign, Paul Manafort, both in court Friday in connection with Mueller's probe.
I mean, Julian, how does this not at least impact what's going on at the White House right now?
ZELIZER: Well, it does. A President facing this level of investigation and having so many high-level officials being indicted, being charged, some pleading guilty. People who are at the core of his campaign, core advisers, that hurts a White House. It doesn't just take away attention in the oval office to other things, but it hurts your standing on Capitol Hill.
This comes after the shutdown, after the midterms, and now all of a sudden, Republicans are seeing Roger Stone on the front pages and on the television screen and it's hurting his standing politically without any kind of question. And it's raising the question, why were they all lying? All these high-level officials are lying about this issue. They have now been caught. And so there's questions of what exactly are they trying to cover up? And why aren't they being honest from the beginning?
CABRERA: Quickly, if you will, Renato, do you think that Mueller's close to the end and will we get those answers about why they're lying?
[18:25:06] MARIOTTI: He certainly is going to start getting some of the answers unless there's pardons that go flying from President Trump. Whether he's near the end of not, it's not clear to me. We have seen some reports on that, but other than those press reports, I haven't seen anything that indicates that he is ready to slow down.
CABRERA: Renato Mariotti, Julian Zelizer, Jessica Schneider, good to see all of you. Really appreciate you joining me. Thanks.
CABRERA: Congressman Steve King stunned in Washington, losing coveted committee memberships and even facing pressure to resign after his latest racist remarks defending white supremacy. But in his Iowa district, the response is surprisingly mixed. We will take you there ahead.
[18:30:19] CABRERA: Congressman Steve King is still defending his curious choice of words that many on Capitol Hill, including in his own party, consider racist.
He has been stripped of his congressional committees and was rebuked by his House colleagues, but some of King's constituents in Iowa have a very different opinion of their longtime congressman.
Our Sara Sidner reports from King's first town hall since this controversy erupted.
REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: First of all, all the -- the big subject that's before us all that some might refer to as the elephant in the room is the situation of a "New York Times" quote.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A quote that his own party thought was so racist, they stripped Congressman Steve King of his congressional committee assignments.
In it, he says, White nationalists, White supremacists, western civilization, how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in class teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?
KING: He chose those words and punctuated them the way he did, but what I was addressing was not those terms of White supremacy or White nationalism. But when I said why did that language become offensive, I was speaking exclusively and directly about western civilization. They are denigrating western civilization today.
SIDNER (voice-over): King spoke to his constituents in Primghar, Iowa, his first town hall since the controversy. Primghar's claim to fame? The only place in the world named Primghar. It is a town with a mayor but no stop light, an elementary school but no high school, a place small enough where most residents know each other by name.
MAYOR KURT EDWARDS, PRIMGHAR, IOWA: You know, I didn't even know he was coming until earlier this week. They announced it.
SIDNER (voice-over): King gave his Twitter followers a five-minute warning. I will be starting a potentially volatile town hall in Primghar, Iowa, he posted. He then walked into what turned out to be a very warm reception.
KING: Thank you. Wow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love your conservatism, and we pray that they never silence you.
SIDNER (voice-over): One adoring constituent praised him and said she is bothered by what she called reverse racism. King agreed and then pivots.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And one of the things that I was bothered by when you had this problem was the reverse racism toward the White European man that founded this country, and that's the values that we're built on.
And we have to be embarrassed to say anymore that we're White European background, and I think that is wrong and I think we need to push back. And I think we need to take the sting out of the words, racism.
KING: We can do the things that you've described, and we can, at the same time, embrace everything that Dr. Martin Luther King taught us. All at the same time. And if we had stuck with his vision, we wouldn't be in the place we're in today and this society in this country.
SIDNER (voice-over): There were a few frustrations expressed. One constituent asking for help invigorating her small town's economy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you tangibly going to do, like, in Congress? Fight for us, advocate for us? I need tangible actions.
KING: Well, would you give me a tangible recommendation?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. I'm just so frustrated.
SIDNER (voice-over): Another gentleman asking how the Congressman plans to help with the lack of visas for migrant workers to help work the farms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing to help the temporary A.G. worker program?
KING: Until we can secure our border, we aren't going to be able to have a constructive dialogue on the balance of this. But I will support a bonded program, and a bonded program that is hopefully tailored to meet some of these labor needs that we have.
SIDNER (voice-over): Not a single person asked about his prior racist comments. But when we asked what his constituents thought about his comments, we got an earful.
SIDNER (on camera): Are you concerned that you have a Congressman who is racist?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do have a Congressman who's racist. I was concerned about it during the whole last election cycle. That's why I worked hard for his opponent, J.D. Scholten because I know my Congressman is a racist.
KELLY O'BRIEN, CHAIRMAN, O'BRIEN COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY: He's a good Christian man. He's -- if he was a racist, I wouldn't be his friend. I'm not a racist. I have relatives, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews that are Black, OK? There has been --
SIDNER (on camera): But you do realize that that language, I have a friend that's Black, I have a family member that's Black, a lot of people see that as somebody who's trying to cover up racist beliefs.
O'BRIEN: Just you saying that makes -- as far as I'm concerned, makes you racist.
[18:35:01] SIDNER (on camera): Trust me, I'm not.
O'BRIEN: You're thinking I'm racist because I'm White?
SIDNER (on camera): No. I'm just telling you that some of the language that you're using and some of the language that --
O'BRIEN: Well, I think --
SIDNER (on camera): -- that Congressman King has used --
O'BRIEN: I think the language you're using is racist.
SIDNER (on camera): OK.
SIDNER (voice-over): King didn't hang around to answer that question or any others from reporters.
SIDNER (on camera): And when you talk about they and civilization making a problem, what do you -- who do you mean by "they?"
KING: I've just got to go. I'm sorry but I -- let me close the door, please.
SIDNER (voice-over): Sara Sidner, CNN, Primghar, Iowa.
CABRERA: The White House today firing another warning to Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro, saying any threat to U.S. diplomats or his rival will be met with a, quote, significant response. So how is the Maduro regime responding? Details ahead.
CABRERA: President Trump's national security adviser John Bolton fired off a warning to Venezuela's Maduro regime, keep U.S. diplomats safe or else.
[18:40:00] Bolton tweeting, any violence and intimidation against U.S. diplomatic personnel, Venezuela's democratic leader, Juan Guaido, or the National Assembly itself will be met with a significant response.
Guaido has proclaimed himself Venezuela's interim president. The man he wants to replace, President Nicolas Maduro, had warned U.S. diplomats to get out, but he has since backtracked from that demand.
Now, CNN political analyst and columnist for the "Washington Post" Josh Rogin is joining us now.
Josh, why is the U.S. even getting involved with Venezuela? I know you have some reporting about what led up to this decision. What can you tell us?
JOSH ROGIN, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, that's right, Ana. About two months ago, the Venezuelan opposition began reaching out to the Trump administration to see if they would support their gambit to invoke the constitution and declare Guaido the interim president. And the Trump administration thought it over and they decided to do it, not without some internal dissent and discussion, and so here we are.
Now, there are lots of reasons why the United States has interest in Venezuela, a country that is in our hemisphere, that affects our region, but the bottom line is that this opportunity came to the Trump administration and they looked at it and they decided to go forth but not in the manner that we've seen interventions in the past.
Their plan is to use limited diplomatic and economic pressures to try to tip the scales in the favor of the opposition and rally the international community to that cause. Of course, that stands in stark contrast to how the Trump administration has dealt with other dictatorships around the world. Nevertheless, here we are, and nobody really knows which side is going to win.
CABRERA: And the Trump administration continues to say it's keeping all options on the table. That does leave the door open, it would seem, for military intervention. Senator Marco Rubio was asked about that. He says it would be -- he would be very, very cautious about doing just that. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I don't know of anyone who's calling for military intervention. What I'm calling for is for the constitution to be followed, for military officials in Venezuela to follow and uphold the constitution they swore allegiance to, for Juan Guaido to be able to act as interim president until we have a new, valid election so we can support that new democratic government. That's what I'm calling for.
The United States always retains the right, always, anywhere in the world, in any instance, to protect its national security. So I'm not going to justify military intervention because I don't know who's calling for that. What I've said is everything is an option because we always have an option of defending our national security in cases where it's threatened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Josh, what are the dangers of U.S. military intervention?
ROGIN: I mean, the dangers is that the U.S. could get involved in a spiraling civil war that dangers the lives of Venezuelans and Americans. You know, there's a good reason why people are concerned about U.S. military intervention in Venezuela. It's because President Trump mentioned it offhand, you know, unprompted once.
Now, officials this week assured me that there are no real plans for a U.S. military intervention. Pompeo said that we would only intervene if U.S. personnel or facilities were threatened.
The Bolton tweet you put up is very interesting because he seems to be expanding that to say that if Maduro threatens the national assembly or the opposition leader, there could be a U.S. military response, but it's not clear.
The bottom line is that everybody should want this to be resolved without violence, OK? And that means we have to go towards a diplomatic negotiation, and all of the sort of posturing over who's going to attack who are people getting ready to try to go into that negotiation from a position of strength. And if there is violence, that's a failure of the diplomacy, and I think that's something all sides are trying to avoid.
CABRERA: Josh Rogin, good to have your take. Thanks so much.
ROGIN: Thank you.
CABRERA: It will be anything but quiet on Wall Street this week. CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans shows you what you need to know "Before the Bell."
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Earnings, trade, a Fed meeting, and the January jobs report -- it is a very busy week on Wall Street.
High-level trade talks begin between China's Vice-Premier and U.S. officials. That's midweek in Washington. Both sides trying to reach an agreement to defuse the trade war before a March 2nd deadline.
Investors are also eyeing the Federal Reserve. The Central Bank is expected to leave interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, but the Fed chief, Jerome Powell, holds a press conference following that decision, and the topic of future rate hikes is bound to come up. A more dovish tone from the Fed has helped calm the stock market this month.
Another topic Powell will likely touch on, the economic toll of this government shutdown. We could get a taste of that on Friday when the Labor Department releases the January jobs report. Furloughed federal employees won't count as unemployed, but federal contractors who don't get paid will.
All of this happening against a backdrop of corporate earnings. Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Tesla are among the big companies reporting quarterly results.
In New York, I'm Christine Romans.
CABRERA: Thanks, Christine. The government has been re-opened up and for the next 19 days, but the self-inflicted damage done to the economy and the President's approval numbers? Not good.
[18:45:04] So how is the White House trying to spin the President's apparent fold to Democrats? Here's a hint. It has to do with winning.
CABRERA: Forget set design, achievement and audio, best adapted screenplay. Tonight in Hollywood, it's all about the actors.
[18:50:02] Stephanie Elam is joining us now from the Screen Actors Guild silver carpet in Los Angeles. And, Stephanie, looks like you've got some fans next to you.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look at this, Ana. I mean, talk about, like, catching some stars on the carpet here at the SAG Awards.
CABRERA: No kidding.
ELAM: I've got Glenn Close from "The Wife" and we've got Michelle Yeoh from "Crazy Rich Asians" who -- they just stopped and hugged each other and said they'd stick around and do a live interview with us.
So, first of all, let -- I'm going to start with you, Madam Close. Your movie, the performance, everyone's been talking about it. I think -- does this get people to watch it more now because maybe everyone outside of Hollywood hadn't seen it?
GLENN CLOSE, ACTRESS: I'm thankful because it's a little movie. It's a little independent movie that we made in Glasgow, Scotland and in Stockholm.
MICHELLE YEOH, ACTRESS: But she made the movie so big. It's about so many emotions, levels of it. Why?
CLOSE: Yes but --
ELAM: That's true. So if -- but it gets people to watch. And then on the other side, you have this massive movie that finally people responded to, but then you look at the love here. What's it like being at the SAG Awards? What is all about your relationships?
YEOH: I am in awe of this amazing actress.
CLOSE: Well, I am amazed of all.
YEOH: And -- but it's so wonderful that she championed "The Good Wife" --
YEOH: -- for so long and was so relentless because it's a subject matter that we need to have it out there.
YEOH: And if it wasn't for you, I don't think we would be seeing this amazing, amazing performance.
ELAM: Well, I mean, both performances are fantastic. You both have people that want you to go down the carpet to talk to more people, so I'm going let you go. But lovely to see you both.
CLOSE: I just want to see how proud I am to be at the SAG Awards -- SAG Actor Awards with my fellow actors because I'm most comfortable with my own kind, yes?
ELAM: As it normally is. Good luck to you both, good to see you.
And, Ana, that's just kind of some of the magic that you catch here on the carpet because so many of these people, they are friends. They've done movies together. They've met in other places. So they really are happy to see each other and they're hugging.
ELAM: That was just a great moment that just happened to happen where they hugged and they decided to stay for us.
CABRERA: And that's what I mean. I mean, they're fans of each other's work and they're obviously famous in all of our eyes. Great to hear from them both. What a fun moment there.
Thanks, Stephanie Elam. Always good to have you.
All right. Two powerful voices in Washington from opposing parties making two very different and dubious claims about climate change. We'll fact-check them next, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:57:35] CABRERA: We have this just in. ISIS is claiming responsibility for two deadly bombings. These blasts tore through a Roman Catholic cathedral in the southern Philippines today. Authorities say at least 20 people died, dozens more are wounded.
Military officials say the first improvised explosive device detonated inside the cathedral. The second one targeted soldiers who were rushing to help victims of the first blast. CNN has not yet independently verified ISIS' claim of responsibility.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
Washington, D.C., tonight gearing up to start a new week but with a difference. The government, finally, will be fully reopened in the morning with the President feeling the sting of what a White House adviser calls a humiliating loss.
He's talking about a very, very bad day for President Trump for a few reasons. One, he got zero dollars for that border wall he wanted. Two, his longtime friend and confidante, Roger Stone, got handcuffed in his pajamas.
Three, his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, already in prison made another appearance in federal court. Four, airports up and down the East Coast got snarled and backed up because of the government shutdown that polls show most Americans blame on the President.
And it's probably best not to bring up the latest poll numbers. A CNN poll of polls shows the President's approval rating right now at 38 percent. So whatever happened to this promise?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Honestly, we're going to win so much.
I want to win.
We like to win. We know how to close deals. I close. I'm a closer.
We're going to win so much.
We are going to win so much! We're going to have win after win after win! You people are going to get sick and tired of winning! You're going to say, please, please, President Trump, we can't take this much victory! Please stop! We don't want any more wins.
And I'm going to say to you, we're going to win. I don't care what you say. We're going to win, we're going to win, and we're going to win!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So are you tired of winning yet? CNN's Boris Sanchez joins us at the White House.
Boris, you saw that poll. The President's approval numbers are down nationwide after this battle with Democrats, of course, over border security. After all of that, where do Americans actually stand on this idea of a wall on the Mexican border that the President continues to fight for?
[19:00:03] SANCHEZ: Well, Ana, it may surprise you.