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Thousands of Federal Employees Prepare to Return to Work; Trump Attempts to Distance Himself from Roger Stone; Pompeo Presses U.N. Security Council Over Venezuela; Manhunt Underway for Suspect Accused of Killing 5 People; National Weather Service Warns of "Historic" Cold in Chicago; Right-Wing Media Split Over Trump's Shutdown Decision; SAG Awards: Real-Life Stories Inspire Hollywood, Spark Controversy This Year. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired January 27, 2019 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I still that I that comes across as insensitive people living paycheck to paycheck.

KATE MCKINNON AS WILBUR ROSS: No, no. All I meant is that we all have to make sacrifices in times of hardship. For example, instead of going out to dinner, you could open a restaurant in your house, or for a period of time, you could have your horses attend public school.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATE: If we don't get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15th again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even though we are opening the government back up as temporarily, you're kicking the can down the road. We are trying to plan and live our lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's going to happen. It's going to shut down again. There's no doubt in my mind.

ROGER STONE, TRUMP ASSOCIATE: There was no need to have 29 FBI agents with assault weapons and side arms and hand grenades and a battering ram to smash in my front door. There is still no evidence, whatsoever, that I had advanced knowledge of the topic, the subject, or the source of the WikiLeaks disclosure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The dramatic, somewhat a ludicrous arrest of long time Trump associate Roger Stone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a fun couple of days! I'm loving the ride! Go Nixon!


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEDN with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good to be with you this Sunday morning.

Relief on this way for millions of workers, both the federal employees and contractors, as they return to work after the end of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history but that relief, I mean, that could be short-lived.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Well, the government reopened, remember, Friday night after President Trump quickly and quietly signed that funding bill. The measure didn't provide money for his border wall, only keeps the government funded through February 15th.

CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood is with us now.

Sarah, we understand there could be a bit of a divide between Republicans regarding this as we look ahead to what is going to happen in the next few weeks. What you are you hearing from the White House?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Christi, sources say that the mood inside the White House is not great to say the least. That a sense of defeat has settled in among some of the White House aides who witness this stalemate unfold over the past 35 days. There have been concerns among some White House officials that the president essentially wasted a month of his presidency singularly focused on the wall, that he doesn't really have a path forward on his domestic agenda because he spent 35 days focused on a battle that ultimately many people believe he could not win.

This even as President Trump publicly defends his concession to Speaker Pelosi, claiming at the ends of this three-week negotiating period, he plans to get wall funding one way or the other, whether that's by declaring a national emergency to try to tap into existing federal funds, whether that's by allowing government funding to lapse once again and plunging the country back into a shutdown. The president not giving up on his fight even as he faces a conservative backlash to his decision to sign a temporary spending bill, reopen the government without getting a penny for his wall.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have expressed frustration that the shutdown happened in the first place and that Democrats sort of emerged from this with a clear victory. Now, the White House says President Trump, he doesn't have plans to meet with congressional leaders at this time. Appropriators are meeting in Congress to hash out some kind of border security package over the next few weeks. But, Victor and Christi, it's not at all clear that at the end of this 21-day period, President Trump is going to come out of it with anything to show for this entire mess.

PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: All right. With us now, Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News, and April Ryan, a CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks.

Welcome become to both of you.


BLACKWELL: Errol, let me start with you in "The Washington Post" reporting. I'm just going to pull this direct quote from the story. Many congressional Republicans said they knew the impasse would not end well for the GOP but went along with Trump in the name of party unity.

What's that party unity look like today and how does it get them through the next three weeks?

LOUIS: Well, it is quite tattered. The problem is more for the White House, frankly, than for the Republicans in Congress who kind of went along with this. They've got their own problems but they've managed to duck those problems. The shutdown has been blamed in the eye of the public on the White House and it's they who will have to bear the brunt of the political responsibility.

It was sort of a difficult choice, I think, for a lot of the Republicans to make and many of them, I'm sure, will be regretting it, especially if they are up for re-election in 2020 and especially if another shutdown in three weeks. But, you know, we all really lose in this, Victor. We should make no mistake about it. Even if you don't like this administration, even if you don't like the Republican Party, those 35 days, you know, that's time that was supposed to be time spent on behalf of the public.

[07:05:03] BLACKWELL: Yes.

LOUIS: And there are a lot of really, really important and difficult, difficult questions about, you know, what to do about Obamacare and, you know, what to do about the troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and from Syria, and none of that got any real attention over the last month.

BLACKWELL: April, there are a myriad of these op-eds out this weekend talking about President Trump is now getting his first lesson head-to- head with Nancy Pelosi.

Yes, this is true. But his vice president was in the House when she was speaker the last time and is now acting chief of staff was in the White House when she was Democratic leader. Was this poor guidance on their part, a lack of listening on the president's part? Take us into the White House.

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it's a multiplicity of things. You know, Nancy Pelosi has not had to come out with guns ablazing, if you will, like this before. This is a whole new administration and she is pulling on political prowess that none of us really knew she had.

You know, we joke about the fact she is from Baltimore and knowing you and I are from Baltimore as well.


RYAN: You know, we have -- yes, we have never seen her this way. And she is up to the challenge.

Now, there's another piece to this. This White House overestimated their abilities. You know, they have had some tough-fought wins. The president has said, you know, I'm going to do this and do that. And also, in the midst of the Russia investigation, this president still has high poll numbers within his base.

But at issue is when you effect people in their pocket, when this becomes personal. You can talk about all of these other issues because a lot of times these don't touch people in home in such a personal way, but when you start touching people in their pocket where they can't make their ends meet. I'm talking more than just the bread when you use the end of the bread to come together and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I'm talking about bills, mortgage. I'm talking about life and death. I'm talking about, you know, choosing between going to work or babysitting your child because you cannot afford a babysitter.

BLACKWELL: Interesting enough --

APRIL: So, this is where -- they --

BLACKWELL: It was -- the reporting was that the president seeing in part the ground stop in LaGuardia and the backups at airports that got him over the line there, when public services for people who are typically not involved as they would say with that 25 percent the government that was shut down were starting to be inconvenienced, that that pushed the president to make a decision.

Go ahead. Quickly.

RYAN: Yes. But, yes, really fast about that. There was also an effort for the Super Bowl. It wasn't just today. There was an effort called for the Super Bowl, a sick-out for the day after the Super Bowl for the TSA. So they knew this was getting ready to really impact not just paychecks but also other travelers and other people. They had to act fast.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Errol, let me come to you and I want to get in time for both of you to engage on this. The president at the wrap of his Rose Garden speech said if he doesn't get funds for his border wall, one or two options there. He could go with first -- and, Errol, and I want you to examine this one with the national emergency, declaring this a national emergency. His White House advisors, lawyers, congressional Republicans are suggesting that he should not go in that direction.

How strong is that guidance does it appear? And how influential is that guidance for this president who, as we heard from April, doesn't really take a lot of advice?

LOUIIS: I think he may be taking advice in this case because it was talked about widely and they sort of decided not to pull the trigger before. In part, because it's almost certain to end up in court and, frankly, if and when it does, the president is now undermined his own case by making clear that if the negotiation doesn't go my way, then it will be an emergency, that the negotiation works out well or I can live with it, then it's not an emergency.

Well, whatever the criteria is going to be, if it ends up in court and up to a judge to help figure it out, that's not the criteria. It's not like I lose politically and therefore a national emergency. So, I think they are going to have a very hard time going down that path.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and the weight undermines the argument it's an emergency. I mean, if you had that power a month ago, three months ago, a year ago, you could have used it.

April, second option to you is the shutdown option. Again, Mitch McConnell went to the president and said we can no longer hold the line for you, Mr. President. Is it plausible to think that in now fewer than three weeks, congressional Republicans are going to back this president for another shutdown?

RYAN: No, they won't, because this is more than the 800,000 people. That was a conservative estimate, if you will. You have not just the employees, but you have contractors and then you also have those who were affected. You have the Uber drivers, you have the taxi cab drivers, you have the businesses that surround the federal government offices. You have also people who own businesses or services that the federal employees will be playing into, like your dog groomer or your hair salon.

[07:10:06] And people were affected. So, the economy was affected as well. So, he's been hit on several fronts. If he does this again, one thing you'll see is politics is about service and he is not serving the people by shutting the government down over a wall that has nothing to do with the C.R.

BLACKWELL: All right. April and Errol, stay with us. We've got a lot more to talk about.

PAUL: Yes, they are sticking around to talk about Roger Stone, the president's longtime adviser who is heading back to court after his pre-dawn arrest by the FBI. What the president is saying about Stone now and what this means for the president moving forward with this new indictment by the Mueller team.

Also, authorities in the Philippines vow to hunt down those responsible for the deaths of at least 20 people in two bombings at a Catholic Church. We have more on this for you.


PAUL: So this week, long time Donald Trump associate Roger Stone is facing a federal judge.

[07:15:00] He is going to be arraigned on multiple charges, including witness tampering, lying, obstruction. He denies the charges, calling them politically motivated and he says he does plan to plead not guilty.

Now, Stone's indictment draws a clear link between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, if proving true.

President Trump is now attempting to distance himself from Stone. He tweeted, in part, quote: Roger Stone didn't work for me anywhere near the election.

So, CNN political commentator Errol Louis and CNN political analyst April Ryan, both still with us.

Thank you so much for hanging around here.

Listen, I have to get to, to something that Nancy Pelosi said. She released a statement last night. And she said, it's staggering that the president has chosen to surround himself with people who violated the integrity of our democracy and lied to the FBI and Congress about it.

Sarah Sanders, Rudy Giuliani have come out swinging, saying, listen, this does not lead to the president.

But do you get a sense, Errol, that there is guilt by association here or the sense that there is a collectively viewing of this? That there is guilt by association, or that President Trump, that these people are reflective of who he is?

LOUIS: Well, I don't know if it's anything as gauzy as guilt by association which implies that somebody is guilty because they had a drink with the wrong person. This is not that case. I mean, they have an association, Roger Stone and Donald Trump, that goes back 40 plus year. He has been politically advising him all -- every step of the way, including -- I mean, I saw Roger Stone at the Republican convention in Cleveland.

I mean, he has been a constant adviser to the president all throughout the campaign and the details that are listed in this indictment really make clear that he was in touch with high ranking members of the campaign. So, yes, I don't -- it's early to start talking about guilt, but, clearly, there is an association here, clearly Roger Stone was trying to help this campaign and this candidate and he very likely broke the law along the way and almost indisputably, if those facts are proved in the indictment, tried to cover it up.

And when they say it's not the crime, it's the cover-up, it's what people really mean is the cover-up is much easier to prove than the crime, and so I don't know what Roger Stone may have actually done, but he definitely, definitely appears to have tried to cover it up.

PAUL: OK. So, here is the thing. When we talk about the president and his relationships, back in 2008, Jeffrey Toobin wrote an article for "The New Yorker" in which President Trump at that point said, Roger Stone is a stone cold loser. He always tries to take credit for things he never did. Fast forward to 2015 when president said Stone is a good guy who has been so loyal and wonderful and now, of course, the president is saying, no, he didn't do a lot on my campaign.

Roger Stone, meanwhile, April, is saying, listen, I will not testify against the president. Now, remember, we've got Michael Cohen who said he'd take a bullet for the president and look where he is now.

RYAN: Exactly.

PAUL: How long do you think or what kind of pressure might it take for a change of tune with Stone, if at all?

RYAN: You know, Roger Stone has seen what has happened with Manafort and with Michael Cohen. He kind of knows the playbook. But the question is what do they have on him? The evidence and if he starts singing like a bird, you know?

If he remains quiet, the president is going to be more compassionate to him but if Roger Stone starts singing and he really gets in trouble and if there is any kind of sensing, what have you, Roger Stone could sing and the president would come out against him. But defending upon the day, the president will react and how he reacts depends on what Roger Stone does. So we have to wait and see how this plays out.

But, right now, there is an arrogance with Roger Stone. But let's see as more leaks out or trickles out about what really happened and see how both sides play this.

PAUL: All righty. Errol, you tweeted out an interesting article from "Newsweek", tweeted this out this morning from a former CIA director John Brennan in his article says, get ready for indictments of many individuals, quote, familiar to the average American. He went on to say, I think the shows that are yet to drop are going to be ones that are going to be the most profound, and that will hit the people at the top of the organization.

Who do you think that might be? Are we looking at Donald Trump Jr.?

LOUIS: T one reason I retweeted it is that John -- I assumed that John Brennan, the former CIA director, has much better information than most of us. I think his analysis is probably worth taking seriously.

Look, if you read very, very closely, Christi, the words in the indictments, what they are suggesting is that somebody was ordered to tell or to request information from Roger Stone and the people that he was dealing with about when and how to drop damaging information in the thick of the campaign back in 2016.

[07:20:07] So, now, we are not talking about the intern, we are not talking about the office, you know, the coffee boy. We are talking about people who are at the top of the campaign. And it was a very small handful of people who are running that campaign. We've got several books that are out on how few people were really running it. So, you could draw up a list of not more than a dozen people who are -- would have been in a decision making position and they do have names like, you know, like Bannon and we are going to find out exactly what Mueller, if he is going to do any indictments, exactly what he is going to charge any of them with, if it does come to that decision.

PAUL: So, April, we see how the president is distancing himself from some of these colleagues that he had, these friends of his, friends of many years. If this hits his family in any way, any indication as to what the president would do or could do at that point?

RYAN: Well, you know, the thought is -- this doesn't make it so -- but the thought is, is that when these people come in and they make -- and they are indicted or what have you and there are plea deals, if there are, it will -- they are offering themselves up for someone higher. And when you talk about this ring of the Trump campaign, the higher people are the family and I've always said that, you know, at the end of the day, by the end of the day, you could have the name Trump as someone indicted whether it's the president or a child or children, that is a whole other thing.

But there is an expectation that someone with the name of Trump could be one of those top-ring persons that is brought into this and possibly indicted.

PAUL: All right. Errol Louis and April Ryan, thank you both so much for sticking around with us. Always good to have you.

LOUIS: Thank you.

RYAN: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, the U.N. Security Council meets about the political unrest in Venezuela. And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed the body the throw the support behind the opposition leader there. Full report, ahead.


[07:26:15] PAUL: So glad to have you with us here. Twenty-six minutes past the hour. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

New developments from the dam collapse at a Brazilian iron mine. During a press conference, officials said that the company that manages the mine is responsible for the collapse. Now, the exact cause is still under investigation. The extent of damage is still unknown.

But look at these pictures. People just stuck in all of this muck and mud. At least 34 people have been killed in this incident. Hundreds more are still missing.

PAUL: I mean, God bless those workers that are trying to get to them.

OK. At least 20 people are dead and dozens others wounded after two bombs tore through a Roman Catholic Church. This is in the southern Philippines. Take a look at the pictures we're getting in here.

According to officials, the first device went off inside the cathedral, the second targeted soldiers who rushed in to help those victims of the first explosion. No one has taken the responsibility thus far, but the area is home to several Islamist militant groups which had been blamed for past attacks. Philippines armed forces vow to relentlessly to, quote, hunt the predators. BLACKWELL: Well, there is some tough talk coming from the Secretary

of State Mike Pompeo at the United Nations Security Council this weekend over the political unrest in Venezuela. The Secretary Pompeo tried to push the council to issue a statement supporting opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate president, but Russia and China, they blocked the move.

Venezuela's foreign minister addressed the body, and accused the U.S. of being in the vanguard of the coup.

CNN senior diplomatic correspondent Michelle Kosinski has more.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Well, we heard some tough messages on the floor of the U.N. Security Council. This was a special session on Venezuela, called by the United States. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went there to try to get other countries on board to supporting the opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela. He said at the very least he would like some kind of presidential statement come out of the Security Council.

At least supporting the people of Venezuela, supporting democracy, but he said even that could not happen because Russia and China blocked it. And that was indicative of the kind of statements we heard. While Pompeo was saying the time for games is over, either you're on our side and supporting democracy or you're on Maduro's side and supporting mayhem, while Russia and Venezuela accuse the U.S. of orchestrating a coup in Venezuela.

Now, on the ground there, the U.S. has kept its embassy open but pulled out all but essential staffers and Pompeo warned Venezuela that it needs to keep those diplomats safe. Listen.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETRY OF STATE: And I want to be 100 percent clear. President Trump and I fully expect that our diplomats will continue to receive protections provided under the Vienna Convention. Do not test the United States in our resolve to protect our own people. We hope that the international community will support the people of Venezuela and the transitional government led by Juan Guaido.


KOSINSKI: So, now, you have the United States in a number of other countries supporting Guaido. And the United States has flat out said that Maduro has no legitimate power. But then there are several European countries, including the U.K., France, Germany and Spain who have given Venezuela eight days to hold free and fair selections, and if that doesn't happen, they say they will also view Guaido as the legitimate leader. One hopeful sign perhaps is that there was word that some of Maduro's team were talking to Guaido. We'll just have to see where that leads. [07:30:01] Michelle Kosinski, CNN, Washington.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up, the latest on a manhunt is happening right now in Louisiana. Sheriffs deputy say a 21-year-old killed his girlfriend, her father, and brother, and then he killed his parents. Next, how you could help find him.


BLACKWELL: In Louisiana, sheriff's deputies are looking for a 21- year-old who they say killed five people near his home in Baton Rouge. We want to show you his picture because they are searching for him. His name is Dakota Theriot. Police say he killed his girlfriend, her father, her brother, and then his own parents.

Here is CNN correspondent Kaylee Hartung.


[07:35:02] KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, Saturday morning, Elizabeth and Keith Theriot were shot in their home. When people responded, they were able to identify their 21-year-old son Dakota Theriot as the man who shot them, husband and wife both later died in the hospital in Baton Rouge.

Now, as the Ascension Parish authorities begin a manhunt for the killer of two, in the meantime, authorities in neighboring Livingston Parish began an investigation after they found three family members murdered in their home, Billy summer and Tanner Ernest. And once the two agencies spoke to one other, they realized they were looking for the same man, Dakota Theriot, as Dakota is believed to have a relationship with one member of the Ernest family.

Authorities say they do not believe he is still in the area of Louisiana. They have reason to believe he is headed east towards Mississippi and they have shared this photo of the pickup truck they think he is driving and stolen from the Ernest family. You see this 2004 gray Dodge Ram pickup truck. It has a Louisiana license plate number, C583809.

Here is more from the Ascension Parish sheriff.


SHERIFF BOBBY WEBRE, ASCENSION PARISH SHERIFF: The good thing we know who did this and we will soon find this person and put him in jail where he belongs. This is probably, I would say, one of the worst domestic incidents I've seen in quite a while, you know, for a young man to walk into a bedroom and kill his mother and his father and then kill friends in Livingston that he had a connection with.


HARTUNG: The sheriff went on to say he believes this is an isolated incident. He doesn't believe anybody else is a target for murder by Dakota Theriot, but he is armed and dangerous. So, Victor and Christi, that means anyone he comes in contact with could be a target.


BLACKWELL: Kaylee, thank you.

So, you'll need your coat, your scarf, hat, your gloves. You know what? Stay in the house.


BLACKWELL: Because it's going to be a cold snowy mess. Right now, more than 30 million people across the country are under winter weather alerts.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Look at this picture. A foot and a half of snow between today and tomorrow for some of you. And then there is an arctic blast expected to hit behind it. Parts of the Midwest and the Northeast and Minneapolis, Chicago. High temperatures in the negative teens.

BLACKWELL: The high.

PAUL: Those are your highs.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is tracking the system from the CNN severe weather center.

Look at this girl is saying I can't even -- my eyes can't deal with it.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It just kind of hurts thinking, just knowing that it's going to be that cold. You almost kind of like want to give people personal space heaters to just carry around with them everywhere they go, or, Victor, take your advice, just stay inside.

BLACKWELL: Stay in the house.

CHINCHAR: Stay inside. Exactly. Just stay inside, not just for the cold but also the snow.

This morning, the snow is mainly focused over areas of the northeast. We are talking especially upstate New York. Very heavy line of snow moving just to the east of Buffalo right now. But you also have snow in places like Syracuse, Albany, Pittsburgh.

That system slides out. The next one starts to move in. And this is the one that not only brings us snow but the arctic air behind it. You have blizzard warnings, winter storm warnings, weather advisories spread out over the Midwest.

Here, you can see the clipper system coming in from Canada and pushing down south and east. Cities like St. Louis and Kansas City, you're going to get rain. But north of that, Chicago, Green Bay, you're going to get snow and a lot of it. Widespread snowfall totals across the Midwest, about four to eight inches.

But there will be some spots where you see that pink? It picks up over a foot of snow before this system finally pushes back out. The thing is as it does slide off to the south and east, it's actually going to bring snow even into the Southeast, states like Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama could potentially could have some accumulating snow as well, not nearly as high as we expect in the Midwest but it's still there.

Then, behind that, we are talking about that arctic air. It is focused in the Midwest but it spans a pretty wide area. You're talking about temperatures below freezing as far south as Florida. Yes, Tallahassee looking at below freezing overnight low temperatures.

But again, it's the Midwest. This is where it's going to be brutal for the middle portion of the upcoming week. Look at Chicago, for example. Yes, that high temperature, the warmest point on Wednesday is going to be minus 15.

Keep in mind, it won't field that warm because when you factor in the wind, you have the potential to have frostbite sit in as little as ten minutes. So, again, don't go outside unless you absolutely have to. It's just simply not safe to do it.

To put things in perspective for you, yes, Chicago is a very cold place but that forecast high of minus 15 on Wednesday, only two times, Victor and Christi, in the last 20 years, has Chicago actually had a high temperature below zero.

PAUL: And that literally hurts your face when it hits.

[07:40:00] It really does. Take good care out there.

Allison Chinchar, thank you.


BLACKWELL: So, President Trump says reopening the government was not a concession but many of his supporters in the media don't quite see it that way. We will tell you what they are saying next.


BLACKWELL: Their words, not ours. Broken man. Biggest wimp. Trump just allowed Nancy to walk all over him.

Some right wing media analysts have been merciless in their criticism of President Trump, of course, after he reopened the government without securing a dime for border wall funding.

PAUL: And there are still those that support him as well. They are standing by. Some calling his move a master stroke.

CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter has been looking into this.

So, Brian, how --


PAUL: -- how fractured is -- are his supporters when it comes to this? How big is the divide?

STELTER: There really is a divide and I think that is important to understand. At first, this was portrayed just as the right wing is angry at President Trump.

There are a lot of Trump supporters in the press who are angry with him, but there's also a divide, there's also a lot of folks like Sebastian Gorka on Fox, like Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh on the radio who are saying, give him time, let's see what happens, let's see how this plays out. Jeanine Pirro on Fox say, this is just halftime, we haven't seen the end of the game yet.

So, that's the spin. That's an interesting spin coming from the pro- Trump media after the president caved on Friday.

And as I mentioned at the top, some right wing commentators are very angry with him, very upset. Ann Coulter is the best example of this. Coulter, of course, was pressuring the president to shut down the government in the first place. Coulter saying on Twitter the president is the biggest wimp ever to serve as president of the United States.

You see one of her tweets there. She also went on the Bill Maher show which leans left, and she said, hey, if you really want to get Trump, saying this to a liberal audience, if you really want to get Trump, then target him about lying about the wall. In 18 months, he has not delivered and that is where he is weak and his weak spot.

So, interesting to hear supporters like Coulter who have been pushing the president for this wall funding and they're now very disappointed he didn't get it. Again, turning on the president, the question is whether that's going to last very long or not. But here's another example, here is a couple of clips from Fox News, more criticism of the president coming from the right.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has just whipped the president of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, look, we should admit it. Trump did lose the shutdown fight over the wall.


STELTER: That's the tone. That's the message. Lou Dobbs, for example, Lou Dobbs is one of the single biggest cheerleaders for the president that exists anywhere on TV or anywhere in the United States. To hear someone like Lou Dobbs say that he has been whipped, that Trump has been rolled by Nancy Pelosi, it is clearly not a good weekend for the president. Of course, we will see what happens in 15 days. Now, what? Thirteen

days -- sorry, three weeks from now. February 15th is the day we all know where this temporary bill will run out. We will see how the president is influenced by these conservative commentators when that point comes.

BLACKWELL: So, he certainly has work to do with Lou Dobbs and Laura Ingraham and Coulter, although Ann Coulter's purity test is pretty strict.


BLACKWELL: So, what can he do, do you think, to win them back, to bring them back to the fold?

STELTER: I think what we oftentimes when we see in these cases when the president is pressured from the right, folks unite around a common enemy. So, this will go on a little while and disappointment and anger from the right, from the president's base. But then they'll unite around Trump trashing Democrats, Trump trashing the media, Trump trashing some other institution.

You know, it will become some common enemy. And that's what's been the playbook in the past. I wonder if this time is a lot different because President Trump talking about the border wall is the heart of the story that he told during the campaign. You know, if you're a voter who tunes out some of the madness in Washington and doesn't care about the daily battle, what you know is the Trump story.

The Trump story is about a businessman get deals done on the other side and build a big wall. That was the essential story. What happened over the weekend here has challenged that essential story. So if this time is different, I think because it goes to the narrative of the president has been promoting for the past three and a half years.

And, by the way, one strange twist of fate. Who came up with a wall idea? It was Roger Stone. Roger Stone and Sam Nunberg have both taken credit. They say Stone had the idea of telling the president, well, back when Donald Trump was a businessman thinking about running for president, Stone said say build a wall, build a wall, say it over and over again, and according to Stone, it was a rhetorical flourish to keep Donald Trump talking about immigration.

So, on the same day Stone is indicted, the shutdown of the wall ends. Sometimes it's strange how history plays out.

PAUL: It is something. Only a couple of seconds here. I want to ask you, the president not giving his State of the Union on Tuesday.


PAUL: Do you think he is just going to sit quietly back in the White House and let it go by?

STELTER: I think he is trying to get this rescheduled as soon as possible. The State of the Union is usually his biggest event of the year in terms of the viewers he can reach. He can reach 40 to 50 million viewers with a State of the Union address.

So I'm sure he wants it rescheduled as soon as possible and maybe he'll have a surprise on Tuesday instead.

BLACKWELL: Maybe. Stelter, thanks.

STELTER: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: All right. Catch Brian Stelter on "RELIABLE SOURCES", 11:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

PAUL: So, the Screen Actors Guild Awards are tonight. Several of the top films were based on true life events. Some of them have sparked controversy. Whether that's helping or hurting their chances at winning, that's next.


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

[07:50:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would it be like if you turned the 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 was not right. I'd like to know the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There 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?

ANNOUNCER: "Three Identical Strangers", next Sunday at 9:00 Eastern on CNN.



[07:55:07] BLACKWELL: Friends, there is no story like a true story. And at the Screen Actors Guild Awards tonight, half of the nominations are from movies based on real life figures.

PAUL: Yes, that line between fact and fiction is causing controversy, though, for some of these movies.

Here's CNN correspondent Stephanie Elam.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can make this work.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the people are real --


ELAM: Iconic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless white America.

ELAM: And socially impactful, audiences respond, and Hollywood knows it.

JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON, ACTOR, "BLACKKKLANSMAN": It makes it even more enjoyable and maybe even uncomfortable watching it knowing that this happened.

ELAM: Of the SAG film nominees, roughly half involved characters based on real life, and telling those stories can prove tricky in today's polarizing world.

ADAM MCKAY, DIRECTOR, "VICE": We live in a time nowadays where contemporary history is kind of up for debate. There's a lot of different versions of it that people are arguing about.

ELAM: No more is that playing out --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have a very narrow assessment of me, Tony.

ELAM: -- than with "Green Book" about the late Don Shirley, a black classical pianist who hired a white bouncer to drive him in the Deep South.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I prefer not to get grease on my blanket.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I'm going to get grease on my blanket.

ELAM: Shirley's family claims they were never contacted and that details were embellished to favor the driver, Tony Vallelonga. His son told "Variety" he co-wrote the film with Shirley's blessing.

NICK VALLELONGA, CO-WRITER, "GREEN BLOOD": He said no one else was there but your father and I. We've told you, and he approved what I put in and didn't put in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you foresee any issues in working for a black man?

ELAM: So far, the controversy hasn't hurt Mahershala Ali who won a Golden Globe and is nominated for a SAG Award.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can handle more mundane jobs.

ELAM: "Vice" ripped from the headlines made headlines when Christian Bale joked that Satan inspired him to play former Vice President Dick Cheney.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R), WYOMING: Christian Bale finally had the chance to play a real superhero and he clearly screwed it up.

ELAM: Cheney's daughter Liz slammed Bale but ironically Bale championed a monologue in the film considered redeeming for Cheney.

CHRISTIAN BALE, ACTOR, "VICE": I made every effort to advocate for Cheney because there's no interest on Adam's part and mine on doing a hatchet job.

ELAM: On the television side, far fewer SAG nominees are based on true stories.

BLACKWELL: There is a massive search happening right now --

ELAM: But this 2015 prison break and manhunt led to the Showtime miniseries "Escape at Dannemora" which earned Patricia Arquette a Golden Globe win and SAG nomination.

Ben Stiller directed.

BEN STILLER, DIRECTOR, "ESCAPE AT DANNEMORE": And then as we learned more about it and the relationships, the human relationships that develop in a prison, it just seems to me like it will be a great story to tell.

ELAM: Real life almost always stranger than fiction.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.


PAUL: Did you see that cameo?

BLACKWELL: Was that me? What was I, 11 in that? All right.

PAUL: We've been doing this a long time.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we have. Five years we just celebrated.

Steve Martin returns to "Saturday Night Live" this time play a real- life character pulled right from the news, Roger Stone. PAUL: The president's longtime friend and adviser was indicted and

arrested by special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday. Here's how "Saturday Night Live" played it up.


STEVE MARTIN AS ROGER STONE: I'm just a poor helpless old man. I'm 66. I'm almost just as old as sting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's why it was so awful the way the police raided your home.

MARTIN: Exactly. The whole experience was so harrowing and afterwards, I could only manage one radio interview and a speech from the steps of the courthouse and two appearances on television. It's horrible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you and -- haven't these ridiculous accusations made you poverty stricken as well?

MARTIN: Oh, yes, that's right. I'm broke from my legal battles and now no one will buy my books.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why will no one buy your books?

MARTIN: Because they're bad!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just tell people how they can donate money to help you.

MARTIN: I've set up a donation page people have been yelling everywhere at me, called, hey Roger, go fund yourself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for your time, Mr. Stone.

MARTIN: Pardon me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said thank you.

MARTIN: Oh, no, I thought that wasn't a question. I was saying that to the president. Pardon me!


BLACKWELL: Hey, neighbor.

PAUL: Oh, yes.

Just next door from where we are right now, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the 53rd Super Bowl, here's a question. How do you get the Lombardi trophy to Atlanta?

PAUL: Yes. You deliver it, by bus. Legendary Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome "The Bus" Bettis is here. We're talking about delivering that trophy to Atlanta. So, there you go. And he's got to wear those gloves. Making sure he keeps it clean. Good luck to the teams.

And we thank you so much for starting your morning with us. Make great memories today.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS" starts right now.