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Trump Threatens Shutdown or Emergency Declaration if Congress Doesn't Give His Border Wall Money; Polls: Trump Approval Rating Now At 38 Percent; Senator Kamala Harris Formally Kicks Off Presidential Bid; Trump Administration Lifts Sanctions on Firms Linked to Russian Oligarch; Roger Stone Indictment Links Trump Campaign to WikiLeaks. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired January 27, 2019 - 19:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, it may surprise you. Even though the President is tweeting out that only fools and Democrats are standing in the way of his long-promised border wall, this new poll from NBC and "The Wall Street Journal" indicates that a majority of people asked do not want a wall. Fifty-two percent say they are opposed while 45 percent they are -- say they are in favor of a wall.

We should point out another interesting figure from this polling. Some 63 percent of people asked believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction. Still, the President and his team this weekend are threatening to go for another government shutdown if the President doesn't get what he wants from negotiations with Democrats in the next 19 days or so.

Listen now to the Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, on one of the Sunday morning talk shows.


MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Is the President really prepared to shut down the government again in three weeks?

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: 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.


SANCHEZ: What is unclear, Ana, is exactly why the White House thinks that the second time will be the charm. The numbers simply don't add up for the President's border wall. Remember that only one Republican voted for the -- or rather one Democrat voted for the White House plan to reopen the federal government last week. That was Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Ultimately, the two options on the table here for the White House to get beyond Congress are declaring a national emergency with the -- which the President has not done, in part because there's no guarantee that it's going to work, and then essentially picking out the pockets of the federal government that the President has access to, whether it's forfeiture funds at the Treasury Department or certain funds that the Department of Defense has access to.

But ultimately, all of that money does not get anywhere near the $5.7 billion that the President is demanding for his wall -- Ana.

CABRERA: Boris Sanchez at the White House. Thank you.

In the wake of the government shutdown deal, even the most loyal members of the Trump choir seem divided. Take a listen.


LOU DOBBS, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK ANCHOR: She has just whipped the President of the United States. He just reversed himself. That's a victory for Nancy Pelosi. It will be perceived as such on every television monitor and screen in the country, and to deny it is to try to escape from reality.

JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: He did not cave! He made a tactical decision, a strategic decision to pick the ground to fight on. Folks, the war isn't over yet.


CABRERA: I want to bring in CNN's senior political analyst and former adviser to four U.S. presidents, David Gergen.

David, for two years, there has been so much head-spinning news that has come out of the Trump White House, it's hard to know what day qualifies as the worst. What do you think about Friday? Was it the worst?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It came close. I think Republicans, Ana, to paraphrase the President, Republicans are getting sick and tired of losing. They lost ObamaCare, they lost the midterm elections, and they lost big time on the wall.

Now, that's not to say that the saga is over on the wall. The White House is clearly preparing the ground for potentially invoking these emergency powers at the end of the three weeks. I just cannot imagine they would close down the government again. The emergency, then, alternative emerges as the number one alternative.

And as you've heard today, there are many Republicans who have misgivings about it, oppose it. Marco Rubio, for example, says terrible idea, terrible idea. And there are others like him.

CABRERA: We know the President doesn't take kindly to criticism. On top of the polls showing his approval rating at only 38 percent, you also have Democratic Congressman Mark Takano tweeting a Photoshopped cover of "The Art of the Deal" with Nancy Pelosi on this cover.

You have Ann Coulter tweeting, good news for George Herbert Walker Bush. As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States. You also have cartoons of Robert Mueller building a wall up toward the President.

David, if you were advising him, what would you tell him about handling all this criticism so that he can really just focus on his job?

GERGEN: At this point, I think he ought to stop the bombast and settle down and try to persuade people, independents, that there is a serious problem. I mean, he hasn't moved the needle at all in terms of public opinion about the wall, about how -- whether it is an emergency, about whether the shutdown was a good idea. He's just simply, you know, presented himself and said this is it and take it or leave it, and he doesn't sell it.

[19:04:56] Presidents who succeed are very good at persuasion. They go to their base, they go to beyond their base and present facts and figures and arguments that bring people around, and then build up from there.

And then once you get your numbers up -- listen, the Marshall plan -- the famous Marshall plan after World War II started out with 18 percent support in the first polls. But there was a bipartisan effort to lift it up, and they got it through a majority and signed the bill. You know, and it was historic and there's been nothing like that here.

And I think he's got to get down to being a real president if he has any -- and I think it's going to be very hard for him to do. I see no basis for saying he's changed one wit or learned one thing there, but that's what's needed.

CABRERA: I want to revisit something that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said earlier this month. Listen.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: He's not going to sign a bill that doesn't have money for the wall. If he gives in now, that's the end of 2019 in terms of him being an effective president. That's probably the end of his presidency.


CABRERA: The end of his presidency. Do you agree?

GERGEN: No, but Lindsey Graham, in the last 24 hours, has been saying, you know, if he's not -- if he doesn't get the agreement with a bipartisan group in the next three weeks, he should invoke this emergency power. And, you know, the President is listening to Lindsey Graham on things like that, and that's why I think we should take this seriously.

I do think we ought to pause, though. There is, on the other side of this whole story, something that Democrats are just celebrating. They're so glad that they have Nancy Pelosi in there because she's running circles around him.

And, you know, I think that's one of the things that galls the President the most. You know, it's not that he's just been humiliated in public -- and he senses that -- but that, you know, Nancy Pelosi is making him look so terrible because she's outmaneuvering him.

You know, if she were 10 years younger or five -- even five years younger, you know, a lot of people would be talking about her as the Democratic nominee.

CABRERA: As the President is still trying to figure out how to deal with the Congress as it is now with Nancy Pelosi --


CABRERA: -- in the driver's seat in the House, he is still saying, I'm still going to get this border wall. This was not a major concession. I didn't cave. Here he is.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we don't get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15th again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the constitution of the United States to address this emergency.


CABRERA: So, David, what do you see Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats now doing in the next 19 days? Do you think they're going to listen to what he said to that threat?

GERGEN: They're going to --

CABRERA: That's going to do some -- you know, some number on them?

GERGEN: They're -- they've already put more money in. They've already said we're in for another $5 to $6, you know, $5.7, they've said, billion into increasing border security through more technology, through more checking at the entry points where a lot of the drugs come in, you know, through more judges and the like.

They're -- they want to make it clear to the public, they're for border security. They're not for open borders. But they're going to look to Republicans to come up with a clever solution on what constitutes a wall.

You know, if you can come up with a way to take the barriers that Barack Obama was putting up and George Bush was putting up and extend those barriers for, say, a hundred miles or more than that and still call that a wall, if you could do something on enhancing the barriers -- and Democrats will say it's not a wall; Republicans will say, oh, yes, it is a wall -- they might be able to find a deal in the next three weeks. That's the most promising part of it, I think, staying away from these

emergency powers and certainly staying away from shutting down the government again.

CABRERA: David, stay with me. More to talk about.


CABRERA: Major new entree in the race for 2020.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for President of the United States.



CABRERA: Plus, is the third time the charm? New reporting that Hillary Clinton is keeping her 2020 options open.


CABRERA: California Democratic Senator Kamala Harris today formally launching her bid for the White House with a promise to fight for the people. And she says it's time to restore what she views as a loss of American values under President Trump.


HARRIS: These are not ordinary times. And this will not be an ordinary election. But this is our America.


HARRIS: And so here's the thing. It's up to us. It's up to us, each and every one of us. So let's remember, in this fight, we have the power of the people.


HARRIS: We can achieve the dreams of our parents and grandparents. We can heal our nation.


CABRERA: Let's go to CNN's Kyung Lah now with more from Harris' announcement. Kyung?

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ana, this is not our America. Those are the fighting words of Senator Kamala Harris as she officially jumps into the presidential campaign.

She did not mention President Trump by name, but she told this crowd that she is in this to fight the current administration. She wants to speak truth and to defend the America she says she knows and believes in.


HARRIS: We are here knowing we are at an inflection point in the history of our world. We are at an inflection point in the history of our nation.

[19:15:01] We are here because the American dream and our American democracy are under attack and on the line like never before.


HARRIS: And we are here at this moment in time because we must answer a fundamental question. Who are we? Who are we as Americans? So let's answer that question to the world and each other right here and right now. America, we are better than this.



LAH: The crowd filled this area where the Senator was speaking. There were also city blocks that were packed with people who simply couldn't get into this plaza.

Now, Senator Harris is running as an unabashed progressive. Her platform includes Medicare for all, education access, as well as a middle-class tax cut.

Next, Senator Harris heads to Iowa for the CNN town hall -- Ana.

CABRERA: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you.

And a quick programming note, Senator Kamala Harris joins Jake Tapper for a live CNN town hall from Iowa tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. right here on CNN.

And David Gergen is back with me now. David, is Kamala Harris the Democrats' best hope to beat Trump in 2020?

GERGEN: It's way too early to say, but I must comment, Ana, that she's got off to the fastest start of any candidate so far. There will be more coming into the race, but she's been highly successful, very organized.

She's got a -- she's starting to get a message, big crowd out there for the announcement, got, you know -- it's a sign of the times that CNN already has a town hall with her in Iowa. You know, that suggests CNN takes her seriously, and I think everybody is now taking her seriously.

She is being talked about in two ways. Could she be the candidate or could she potentially be the vice presidential candidate with say a Joe Biden, much more -- you know, more to the center kind of Democratic? Is she too liberal or not?

A lot -- some of the liberals think she's -- you know, they worry that she was a prosecutor, and she's not -- she was too tough on crime.


GERGEN: But nonetheless, you've got to keep your eye on Kamala Harris at the moment.

CABRERA: And now we have this reporting from our Jeff Zeleny that Hillary Clinton is telling friends she is not closing the door to the idea of running in 2020, especially in the wake of all the indictments and the Russia probe, particularly Roger Stone's on Friday.


CABRERA: Although one close Clinton friend cautioned, it would surprise them greatly if she actually did it. David, you worked with the Clintons. Think she'll run again?

GERGEN: No, I don't. I seriously doubt it. But I must say, she has every reason to believe -- to continue to believe she's the most qualified, and she has growing reason to believe, as her husband does, that the election was stolen from her. So there is some legitimacy in going to get and take back what was taken from her.

Having said that, Democrats, I think, are looking now for a new face. They're looking for someone like a Kamala Harris or a number of other people who are still to get into the race. And/or Elizabeth Warren, you can take your pick.

But the point is, Hillary has suffered lasting damage from that race. The last survey that I've seen, it was four months ago. It was a Gallup survey that had her overall favorability around 35, 36 percent. That is not a good foundation from which to run, especially given all of her background and qualifications and how big a figure she is.

CABRERA: I quickly want to ask you about the former CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz.


CABRERA: He actually just had a tweet moments ago in which he writes, I love our country, and I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent.

Democrats are expressing concern about his run. I want you to listen to one of the Democratic contenders, Julian Castro, this morning.


JULIAN CASTRO, FORMER SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: I have a concern that if he did run, that essentially it would provide Donald Trump with his best hope of getting re-elected.


CABRERA: Do you share that perspective, David?

GERGEN: Well, it's not important whether I share it or not. What is important is there are a lot of Democrats who believe that.

I think Howard Schultz -- if he were running as a centrist in the Democratic Party, everyone would welcome that. But it's the independents that sends up all the flags -- the red flags flying because any independent who gets in, who draws votes away from the independents and, in effect, takes them away from the Democrats just enhances a chance for Donald Trump to win re-election.

That's the way Democrats view it. So they're -- they would be angry at the prospect of him running as an independent. He is a first-class human being, by the way, and I think he would make a good political figure, but I do think he ought to do it within the Democratic Party.

[19:20:05] CABRERA: All right. David Gergen, thank you so much for all your time this weekend.

GERGEN: Thank you. Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: Thank you.

CABRERA: Speaking with the enemy. What Roger Stone's indictment reveals about the national security risks posed by WikiLeaks and Russia, next.


CABRERA: Back now with some breaking news. The Trump administration tonight lifting the sanctions on three Russian companies with ties to controversial Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Let's get right to CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd who worked under the Obama administration.

[19:25:00] So, Sam, explain the significance of the Treasury Department's move. Why lift these Russian sanctions right now?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, let's, first, start with why they were implemented in the first place. I worked for President Bush and President Obama and looked at this kind of sanctions decisions, and, typically, sanctions policy is really driven by punishing bad behavior.

Oleg Deripaska was listed along with six other oligarchs back in April because Oleg Deripaska was deemed to be working on behalf of the Russian Federation, the Russian government. Three companies affiliated with him were listed, one, because they were controlled by him directly or indirectly and, second, because the latter two were subsidiaries of the original one, the E.N. Group.

The decision to lift sanctions in this case, which really means removing these companies from what's called the SDN List, the Specially Designated Nationals List, means that people can do business with them. There is no punishment for that.

The sanctions against these companies, however, were never actually implemented despite the fact that they were listed back in April. There have been these general licenses that have allowed business to continue.

The significance of lifting these sanctions today means that these companies can operate as normal. And the question is, has Oleg Deripaska really truly diminished his control in these companies so that he can't benefit from them and so that the Kremlin can't benefit from them? And there is a lot of controversy around that, Ana.

The Secretary of the Treasury briefed Congress. He wrote a letter to Congress, really laying out the terms of the deal that he made with Deripaska and implying that Deripaska's control was really deluded and diminished.

Leaked documents since that briefing took place really suggest otherwise. And because of that, we could see Congress revisit their decision to allow the lifting of these sanctions to go forward.

CABRERA: OK. More to come on that, obviously, and stay with me because I also want to discuss what we're seeing with Roger Stone.

The long-time Trump confidante returns to court on Tuesday to answer charges spelled out in a 24-page indictment from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office, charges that include allegedly lying to Congress about his efforts to get dirt on Hillary Clinton from Russia- linked WikiLeaks.

A reminder that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, when he was CIA Director, referred to WikiLeaks as a, quote, nonstate hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.

That brings us to your weekend presidential brief, a segment we bring you here every Sunday night, highlighting some of the most pressing national security information the President will need when he wakes up tomorrow. And Samantha Vinograd is back with me to discuss this.

So, Sam, what are the national security implications of what we now see in the allegations from Robert Mueller's team?

VINOGRAD: Well, Ana, the two presidents that I worked for wanted to really ensure that their team didn't engage with hostile intelligence services.

And based upon the Special Counsel's indictment, it appears that this president's campaign actually did just the opposite. There was outreach to WikiLeaks, which, as you mentioned, Secretary Pompeo, then CIA Director, said was a nonstate hostile intelligence service to get stolen information.

The CIA, the Treasury Department, and the Justice Department have assessed that WikiLeaks was really a Russian information laundromat during the 2016 election. Russia victimized Americans, they attacked our democracy, they stole data, and they laundered it through WikiLeaks.

And so when we look at this latest indictment, it appears that the campaign wanted to speak with the enemy. They wanted to speak with WikiLeaks, which was, again, representing Russia. And the President's silence on this is deafening.

He is not condemning speaking with the enemy. He is not condemning Russia laundering information through WikiLeaks. And from a national security perspective, that really just opens the door for it to happen again, right when we're in the middle of the -- or starting the 2020 election season.

CABRERA: And we're already hearing Russia is still working to interfere in U.S. democracy.


CABRERA: Meantime, we have Venezuela now accusing the U.S. of interfering in Venezuela's domestic politics. What do you think the President and his team are focused on this week in achieving in Venezuela?

VINOGRAD: Well, I've actually been in somewhat similar situations like the Arab Spring when there were tense situations on the ground and there were Americans that were involved.

The first priority for the President and the Secretary of State in these situations is the safety of our diplomatic personnel. And it really appears like that was more of an afterthought in this case.

Our diplomatic personnel were staying on the ground. Pompeo made a defiant statement about that. Less than a day later, he said that they were leaving, which really implies a lack of planning from my perspective.

While Secretary Pompeo and the President look at our diplomatic personnel, they're also looking at ways to ramp up the pressure. And any responsible national security adviser is going to lay all options on the table in order to accomplish that, especially looking at sanctions policy that could hit Venezuela where it really hurts, which is their oil exports. That's a lifeline for the Maduro regime and is one area that we haven't looked at so far.

CABRERA: All right. Thank you so much, Sam Vinograd.

VINOGRAD: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: Always good to have you with us.

The power of the Hispanic vote, a major issue in politics. But a new comment from veteran anchor Tom Brokaw today is causing fresh hurt.



TOM BROKAW, TV HOST: I also happen to believe that the Hispanic should work harder at assimilation. That's one of the things I have been saying for a long time. You know, that they ought not to be just kind of codified in their communities. But make sure that all of their kids are learning to speak English and that they feel comfortable in the communities, and that's going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.


CABRERA: Tom Brokaw is now responding to some backlash tonight. We will have that for you, next, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[19:34:37] CABRERA: Veteran TV journalist, Tom Brokaw, is apologizing tonight for controversial remarks he made today about Hispanics and immigration.

Listen to what he said during a panel discussion on NBC's "Meet the Press."


BROKAW: I also happen to believe that the Hispanics should work harder at assimilation. That's one of the things I have been saying for a long time. You know, that they ought not to be just codified in their communities, but make sure that all of their kids are learning to speak English and that they feel comfortable in the communities and that's going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.


[19:35:09] CABRERA: Earlier I played those comments for Democratic strategist Maria Cardona and Keith Boykin. Here's Maria's reaction.


MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: My reaction is that he's a little out of touch. I love him and I will give him a pass, because he's probably not up to speed as to where things are today in age especially with young Latinos in this country. And I think both Keith and you, Ana, know very well that Latinos assimilate incredibly well. In fact, most Latino children speak English better than a lot of native-born Americans.

And as an immigrant from Colombia myself and as somebody who is raising two Latino children, we speak Spanish at home, predominantly, but they speak better English than a lot of my English-speaking friends.

And so what he is saying is just absolutely not true. Latinos absolutely assimilate there might be some out there, meaning grandmothers, Latino grandmothers, who don't speak English. But that is because of their age and because they came here probably older. And just did not have either the interest or the need to really learn how to speak English.

But what Tom Brokaw said is just not true. A lot of Latinos, most Latinos, do assimilate incredibly well. And, in fact, the second generation of Latinos, a lot of them are predominantly speaking English, predominantly get their news from English-language sources. But what I love about them as well is that they are incredibly proud of their heritage. And they want to -- if they don't know Spanish, they want to learn it. If they are bilingual, they want to continue being bilingual. They also consume news in Spanish. It is a beautiful, diverse generation of Latinos who is assimilating into what is a beautiful, diverse country that is called the United States of America.


CABRERA: Brokaw is now following up in a series of tweets, saying this.

Quote, "I feel terrible. A part of my comments on Hispanics offended some members of that proud culture. From my days reporting on Caesar Chavez to documenting the many contributions of Hispanics in all part of our culture, I have worked hard to knock down false stereotypes. In my final comment, I said all sides have to work harder at finding common ground, which I strongly believe. Dialogue, not division."

The LGBT community now dealing with a major setback after a Supreme Court ruling this week. It allows President Trump's transgender military ban to go into effect. Now, the high court voted 5-4 to let the controversial Pentagon policy work its way through the lower courts. The new rules disqualify most transgender people from military service with a few exceptions.

Those stable for three years in their biological sex prior to joining the military. Those diagnosed with gender dysphonia after joining can serve if they don't require surgery and remain deployable. And those diagnosed before the effective date of this policy can still serve and receive medical treatment.

Retired U.S. Navy SEAL and transgender advocate KristIn Beck is joining us now to discuss this.

Kristin, you called this ruling BS.

KRISTIN BECK, RETIRED U.S. NAVY SEAL: Yes. I call it a BS. I mean, the architects of this republic, the constitution, the declaration of independence, everything, all the words we talk about liberty, individual liberty and protection from the government oppression. Protection from the higher government. It's about the individual liberty and that's what it is. The pursuit of happiness.

You can talk about who we are as Americans, and this just hasn't given a lot of us a chance. It needs to be opened up so we all have at least an equal shot. If I'm capable and I can do the job, then allow me to do that job. That's all we are asking. No special treatment. Nothing special. If I'm transgender and like I said, stable, and they don't -- it doesn't cost them a dime, which is pretty much me, then I should be able to serve and that's the point.

CABRERA: And as we pointed out in our setup there, the policy doesn't necessarily affect everybody. The Pentagon says the proposed policy quote "is not a ban on service by transgender persons. It is critical that the department of defense be permitted to implement personnel policies that it determines are necessary to ensure the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world."

Kristin, if you could talk to President Trump, the former defense secretary Mattis or anyone at the Pentagon, what would your message be?

BECK: Well, first point I would try to ask, and as what definition of lethality, you know, and effectiveness? I have a transgender friend of mine who is an apache helicopter pilot. You can have her, and she is extremely lethal, compared to Conan the barbarian. And so, if you do all of your measurements based on Conan and how many push-ups he can do or whatever and whether he is male, then my female transgender apache helicopter pilot is extremely more lethal.

And I think they are trying to take an entire group of people and deny them that freedom and liberty that we all deserve. And so I suggest we possibly do a ban for military service on rich, white men. Because I hear that bone spurs are very predominant in rich, white men. So I think we should start another ban.

[19:40:42] CABRERA: I want to play what retired four-star army general, Stanley McChrystal said to CNN's David Axelrod about this ban.


GEN. STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL, RETIRED ARMY: If we have people who want to serve, if they have the desire, the capacity, to serve, I think it's a mistake to lose that talent. I also think it's a mistake to send any message that says that somebody with those attributes, the willingness and capability to serve, not being welcome is a negative message to send.


CABRERA: Kristin, this ban is being appealed. Knowing that people like general McChrystal are on your side, does that give you hope that this current policy will be reversed?

BECK: It gives me great hope. I worked directly with general McChrystal on many missions. And I just know that there's a lot of good people out there in the military, outside of the military. And they need to start speaking up.

We need to stand up. And just let everybody know that America is diverse. And America just needs to go back to our values of individual liberty, of actually living to the architect through our constitution and everything else of what their words actually were. Life, liberty and a pursuit of happiness. And it applies to every American, no matter what color you are. Religion, gender or anything, all of the above. It's all of these things apply to all of us. Liberty for all. And that's the point.

CABRERA: Kristin Beck, I appreciate your perspective. Thank you for joining us.

BECK: Thank you. CABRERA: Imagine living for 19 years, never knowing you are a

triplet. That's the subject of a fascinating CNN film about a reunion and the unsettling secret about why three brothers were separated to begin with.


[19:46:52] CABRERA: Imagine walking down the street, opening your front door or picking up a newspaper and discovering someone who looks just like you. What would you do? The all-new CNN original film, "three identical strangers," dives deep into the story of triplets separated at birth who miraculously reunite at the age of 19. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I tell people my story, they don't believe it. But it's true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have always thought, what would it be like if you turned a corner one day and you saw yourself?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first time the boys met the three together, it was a miracle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was nothing that could keep us apart.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's when things kind of got funky.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something is just not right. I would like to know the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was always a question mark.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The parents had never been told.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are trying to conceal what they did from the people they did it to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's still so much that we don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How could you not tell us?


CABRERA: Joining us now, David Kellman and Bobby Schafran. They are two of the brothers at the heart of this story told in "three identical strangers." And they are with us now.

That preview does not do this film in your story justice. It is an incredible story, truly.

I will start with you, David. Why did you decide to open up your lives in this way and work with these film makers to share your story?

DAVID KELLMAN, TRIPLET REUNITED AFTER 19 YEARS: It was time that the story was told. It was just -- it was just time. And we thought that it would do some good. And it has.

CABRERA: Were you hesitant at all to go there?

KELLMAN: Yes. We were very hesitant. It took a long time to build up a level of trust where we felt comfortable enough to work with the production team. But once we felt that we had that level of trust, which went both ways, we saw they were all in, and we were all in.

CABRERA: Your story has so much depth, and at the beginning, you see how you are reunited, which has this surge of joy and happiness. Tell us just a little bit, without giving it away, Bobby, how you found each other. I know it started when you went off to college for the first time, right?

BOBBY SHAFRAN, TRIPLET REUNITED AFTER 19 YEARS: Basically, I got up to a college where I had never been and everybody asked me why I was back.

CABRERA: And you are like, what?

SHAFRAN: And saying, hi, Eddie, what are you doing back? And I'm saying, I'm not Eddie. Who is Eddie? And a whole day of this went by. And there was a good friend of Eddie's who had returned and knew Eddie was not returning, knew Eddie was adopted and knew Eddie's birthday. So the first thing this guy Michael, great guy, asked me was, were you adopted, when was your birthday? And I told him and he said, I think you have a twin brother. And we rushed off and call him and things went from there.

[19:50:13] CABRERA: What went through your mind at that moment?

SHAFRAN: It was so bizarre that I just went with it. If your world gets turned completely upside down and inside out, it's - you know, it's something you can't control it. You just go with it. So that's exactly what happened.

CABRERA: And as you went along this journey and found out it wasn't just two of you, there were three of you -- I know it was at first love and joy and happiness, but then there were some big challenges that you encountered after that initial reunification.

David, talk a little bit about what some of the big difficulties have been since your separation and reunification.

KELLMAN: Well, you realize that we had an unbelievably joyous ten years together. The kind of joy where people are lucky if they experience for a few moments we had last for years and years and years.

In terms of the challenges, when challenges started getting in the way, most of those really had to do with being in business together, each being married for a few years, each having different home lives, things of that nature. But we had a very, very long run of just fun and love and joy and a closeness that most people never experience. You know those two seconds when the roller coaster stops, you just stop you? Haven't even gotten out of the cart yet and you feel --

SHAFRAN: I want to go again.

KELLMAN: -- so exhilarating?

SHAFRAN: I want to go again.

KELLMAN: You haven't caught up to yourself. And so those few seconds and imagine that being more than a decade. And that's kind of what we had. We really were at the highest of highs in terms of happiness. And obviously we had some lows.

CABRERA: As people get ready to watch this film what do you hope is their greatest takeaway?

KELLMAN: Life is short.

SHAFRAN: Well, life is short, life is valuable, but as far as a takeaway, there's a lot. We don't want to spoil it for anybody.

KELLMAN: Life short. You don't know what people are actually capable of. Things can be rationalized. There's really a lot of takeaways there.

CABRERA: Well, David, Bobby, thank you both for being here, for sharing your story. And I look forward to everybody else getting a chance as well.

SHAFRAN: Thank you.

CABRERA: A chance to share your story. Thank you.

SHAFRAN: Thank you.

KELLMAN: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: Be sure to tune in. The award-winning CNN film "three identical strangers" premieres tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on CNN.

We will be right back.


[19:57:18] CABRERA: Two powerful voices speaking out on climate change and making rather bold claims. First up, President Trump tweeting be careful and try staying in your house. Large parts of the country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near- recording setting cold. Amazing how big the system is. Wouldn't it be bad to have a little bit of that good old-fashioned global warming right now.

Also we heard from New York's bran-new lawmaker Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: Millennials, people in gen-z and folks coming after us are looking up and we're like, the world is going to end in 12 years if we don't address climate change. And your biggest issue is -- your biggest issue is how are we going to pay for it? And like this is the war. This is our World War II.


CABRERA: CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray helps us fact check both of their claims - Jennifer.

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Ana, we have seen tweets like this from Trump before. It's cold outside. Where is global warming? Well, in fact, it is cold. It is winter and we are going to get colder as we go into next week, especially across the northern and eastern tier of the country. But Trump is confusing weather with climate. Weather is what we get on a day-to-day basis. Climate is what you get long term. You talk about global warming, you talk about climate change we are talking about the entire globe.

Right now the Midwest of the U.S. and the east is one of the coldest spots. We are seeing temperatures well below normal. This is for the past ten days. But if you look at the globe as a whole, you can see most areas around the world are actually warmer than they should be.

Southeast Asia, Africa, we are also looking Alaska. Even record- breaking temperatures across Australia right now. So as a whole, the world is warmer, even as we speak. Of course, we are going to continue to see very cold extremes. That's not going to go away. Winter is not going to go away. But what we will see are much, much more hot temperatures and record-breaking temperatures as we go forward in time.

We are also talking about the comments made by the New York congresswoman where she was saying in the next 12 years the world will come to an end if we don't do anything to reverse climate change. That's completely misleading and false.

What she is referring to, though, is the benchmark set for the year 2030, which won't be any different than 2029 but we have set goals. That's the goal of the benchmark we set to really reduce emissions in trying to keep away from that 1.5 degree Celsius, two degree Celsius marker where we could see dire consequences if not reached - Ana.