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Former New Jersey Governor And Trump Transition Team Chairman Chris Christie Recalls That Fateful Day In October Of 2016 When The Now Infamous "Access Hollywood" Tape Was Released; A Multibillion- Dollar Project Touted By President Trump May Miss The Mark On The President's Promise Of Bringing Manufacturing Jobs Back To The U.S.; A Dangerous Deep Freeze Gripping Much Of The U.S. Today Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired January 30, 2019 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, ANCHOR, CNN: Former New Jersey Governor and Trump transition team Chairman Chris Christie is taking us behind the scenes of the Trump campaign specifically to that fateful day in October of 2016 when the now infamous "Access Hollywood" tape was released.
On the tape, Trump brags about sexually assaulting women and here's how Christie describes watching that tape with Trump in the very same room, quote, "The tape was hard to watch. It was harder to listen to, but we watched and listened to the "Access Hollywood" video all the way to the end. The words sounded crude and vulgar playing through the small speaker on Hope Hicks' laptop even more so with Donald sitting there with us."
He goes on, "People started proposing phrases to quote Trump as saying many years ago. 'Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course. I apologize if anyone was offended.'" Christie also reveals that it was Trump himself that actually came up with that excuse that his words were locker room talk.
Gloria Borger, David Gregory here with us now to talk about this. It is such an interesting fly on the wall moment in this book. What does this scene reveal to you?
GLORIA BORGER, CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: I remember the night that this occurred and I remember watching that video, and Chris Christie is absolutely right. It did look like a hostage video. What his story tells me is that Trump was in charge, that people were saying to Trump -- there were questions about whether you should say if anyone was offended, you should stop talking about the Clintons in this. This is not about the Clintons says Christie, advised him.
He said, I like the apology. I don't like the Clinton part. He said that to someone over the phone and in the end, they went with this horrible statement, horrible that Donald Trump wanted.
KEILAR: The videotape.
BORGER: Yes, the videotape one and the next day, as you know, Reince Priebus said everyone is saying you need to withdraw. DAVID GREGORY, POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: But this is what's interesting
as you get this window into new math and old math. You're done. I mean, you can't talk like that, you'd be finished. We were debating whether or not if someone was offended, of course, they are offended. Anybody would be offended?
And Trump had the sense of two things. One, always bring up the Clintons because that seems to works pretty well, and by the way, Brett Kavanaugh - Justice Kavanaugh used that pretty well, too in his own defense, so that going to the Clinton playbook; and then the other piece of it was, no, this is how we navigate around that.
And so there's Reince Priebus the next day who is out on an island saying you have got to withdraw, otherwise you're going to kill the whole Republican Party and there is enough people who would do in the new math around Trump, kind of influenced by Trump who said, no, actually, this guy can probably walk on this.
BORGER: And remember, Christie also says and this tells you something else about Donald Trump that he came up with the phrase "locker room talk." It was just locker room talk.
KEILAR: And that's a term everyone repeated --
KEILAR: Supporters, Ben Carson, any surrogate, it was over and over.
GREGY: My kids use that now, you know?
KEILAR: Are you serious? Oh, Lord.
BORGER: Trump was his own spokesman in this and coined this phrase, which they used to some success.
KEILAR: So he writes in his book about - well, really a lot of things and he's been doing a lot of interviews to promote it. So he does not paint a pretty picture of Jared Kushner whose father Christie once successfully prosecuted. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you separate your experience if your father had been put in jail from the prosecutor who put him in jail?
CHRIS CHRISTIE, FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: If my father was guilty, I would. Mr. Kushner pled guilty. He admitted the crimes and so what am I supposed to do as a prosecutor? I mean, if a guy hires a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law and videotapes it and then sends the videotape to his sister to attempt to intimidate her from testifying before a grand jury, do I really need any more justification than that? I mean, it's one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes that I prosecuted when I was a U.S. Attorney.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GREGORY: That was a little added something-something.
KEILAR: You know what is interesting - over and over, he seems - there seems to be this theme where he, one, he never paints a pretty picture of Jared Kushner. He is reinforcing over and over on this book tour that Jared Kushner is extremely influential, but that he makes bad decisions in Chris Christie's opinion and also, that he feels clearly that Kushner has kept him, Chris Christie, the one with the good judgments away from Donald Trump because of this personal beef.
GREGORY: But the thing that we have to focus on about Kushner's father. Look, it's his father. He loves him. Obviously, he is going to have a reaction to what happened to him. But let's just put that aside for a second and be more dispassionate about it.
His father pled to those counts, why? I'm pretty close to this whole, not this case, but the legal system in general and it's because if he'd gone to trial it could have been worse for him. That's why he pled, okay? This like pity party for his father, sorry. I mean, he's the U.S. Attorney. He is damn right, he ought to stand up and say why he pursued that and that it was - tough charges.
BORGER: And Christie believe, of course, that Jared had a lot to do with his being fired as the head of the transition and Christie believes that's the original sin of the Trump administration that if they had gone through all of his suggestions and his loose leaf binders and everything else instead of dumping them in the trash that they would have had a government in waiting that was ready to operate. Instead, he got kicked out, and he believes that's where it all started going bad. I believe he's probably right.
GREGORY: He is probably right, although, you know, the idea that he alone was the --
KEILAR: That like everything would be fine. I know ...
GREGORY: Right, that he is the steward - that he alone could have fixed it and he could have been the great steward, but I think there's obviously truth in that. What's interesting is that he's settling some scores here in this book, more than I thought he might be.
KEILAR: But it is interesting and his interviews are even more so. You guys, stick around for me. We have a quick programming note. Chris Christie is going to join Chris Cuomo tonight on CNN. That is going to be an interesting interview, so tune in. Watch "Cuomo Prime Time" at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
And coming up, Republican Senator Susan Collins announcing that she's not ready to get on the Trump train for 2020 quite yet and is the President basing some of his border claims on the plot of Hollywood movie? We're going to show you some striking similarities.
KEILAR: A multibillion-dollar project touted by President Trump may miss the mark on the President's promise of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. Foxconn was lured to Wisconsin with expensive incentives and platitudes from the President.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a great day for American workers and manufacturing, and for everyone who believes in the concept and the label "Made in the USA."
The company's initial investment of more than $10 billion will create 3,000 jobs at a minimum with the potential for up to 13,000 jobs in the very near future. The construction of this facility represents the return of LCD electronics and electronic manufacturing to the United States, the country that we love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Well, now, that company that got really the red carpet treatment there from President Trump may drop plans to rebuild flat screens there because they can get them cheaper overseas. So instead of the thousands of promised manufacturing jobs, they'll add engineers and researchers instead.
We have Gloria and David, back with us now. Gloria, how damaging is this to the President and his promises?
BORGER: Well, it's very damaging. I mean, the tape shows it all. He got a promise. They got a better deal and they decided to go with it, and this is one of the things that President Trump was touting during the campaign and during his presidency, which is that all kinds of manufacturing businesses are going to come back to America and create jobs.
And we've seen over and over again that when they don't believe they can do it, they're not going to. Look at Harley-Davidson. It's hurt Harley-Davidson because they refused, but it's a problem for him.
GREGORY: Look, they're doing it because it's the most efficient way to do business, right, and so they feel this point about shareholder value which is in conflict with a lot of politics on the right and the left, of the populist politics saying, well, there is a greater mission here to workers, to U.S. workers and let's not forget the politics. This is Wisconsin.
GREGORY: A state that the President won. This is Paul Ryan, former House Speaker. This is Scott Walker, former Republican Governor. There were all kinds of tax incentives. Democrats said that this is a giveaway, but this is the test of the proposition that President Trump says, look, globalization is bad. It's hurting too many people. I'm going to turn it around and he hasn't been able to do that. Now, is he going to threaten them? Is he going to take some sort of
action? What's the remedy to opposing globalization and protecting the American worker? I mean where is he actually doing it and where is he able to say I was able to reverse this tide of businesses doing things the most efficient way for their business?
BORGER: And Trump is a businessman and he understands that businesses are going to do what's best for them and they're not going to do what's best for him, and so how can he then come out and say, well, he will. He'll tweet about it or something else.
KEILAR: He'll do what's best for him.
BORGER: That he was betrayed, et cetera, et cetera, and they should be ashamed of themselves.
GREGORY: But he would make an argument that it's not for him and it's for really benefiting the American worker. But this is the point about protectionism is that going to prevail against the way to efficiently do business.
As you talk about the supply chain, manufacturing them in China, finishing them off in Mexico and importing them. It doesn't mean there can't be research jobs here, but that's fundamentally the tension.
KEILAR: Let's talk about 2020 because it's - okay, it's easy to talk a whole lot about Democrats. I mean, there's like so many of them hopping into the race, but we should also ask how do Republicans feel about their candidate? Okay so let's listen to Maine Senator Susan Collins getting that question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you, at this point prepared to endorse President Trump?
SUSAN COLLINS, U.S. SENATOR, MAINE, REPUBLICAN: I'm really focused on my own campaign for 2020, and I really haven't focused on the presidential campaign, so I'm not prepared at this point to make that decision. I'm going to have to see what happens between now and then and look at what his record is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Look at his record.
BORGER: Do you know what that means? She's waiting for a challenger and she's going to see what she can do.
KEILAR: Because she knows what his record is.
BORGER: She knows what his record is, and by the way, she came out and supported him on Kavanaugh. She was there, and that was big and he complimented her, but on lots of other things, she has not supported him, so, you know, she's waiting to see how it gels. It's not any secret she doesn't love the guy.
GREGORY: Right, she's also in Maine. She wants to see how weak he gets and how much separation she needs from him versus what the down side is to not being with him. I think there is a fair amount of Republicans who are in this position. They're not ready to totally jump off the ship yet, but he's getting weak enough to where they think, you know, we can create a little separation here and help ourselves.
BORGER: Well, 39 - his approval is down to 39%. You know, that's not exactly a strong position.
GREGORY: That's like journalist territory.
BORGER: A little better.
KEILAR: I know, I was going to say that.
BORGER: It's a little better.
KEILAR: All right, Gloria Borger and David Gregory. Thank you so much to both of you. Coming up, the polar plunge putting millions at risk. A deep freeze so brutal that it's actually colder in parts of the country than the North Pole or Antarctica, if you can believe that. We'll have a live report on the impact that this is having.
KEILAR: A dangerous deep freeze gripping much of the U.S. today. Eighty percent of the country was below freezing temperatures this morning with the polar plunge affecting more than 220 million people, and we're talking about extreme cold here.
The National Weather Service says it can take as little as five minutes to experience frost bite if your skin is expose in these conditions. The coldest air in a generation did not stop runners in Minnesota from crossing the finish line in the Arrowhead 135. They braved frozen faces and wind chills of 52 below zero.
And it was so cold in Grand Chute, Wisconsin that a pot of hot water created an instant snowfall, always a fun trick. But it just goes to show you how crazy things are in this kind of temperature. It's no wonder because wind chills of more than 60 below were reported in parts of Minnesota and North Dakota.
Chicago could tie the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in the city if the mercury plunges to minus 27 degrees tonight as forecasters are predicting. We have national correspondent Ryan Young there.
Ryan, I understand it is with a wind chill of 44 below where you are. Tell us what it's like besides really, really cold.
RYAN YOUNG, NATIONAL CORRSPONDENT, CNN: It's unreal. And in fact, we were just talking about this. It kinds of sets in in the weird places. First, it starts in your toes and then you kind of feel it moving up through your body in terms of how the temperature just sort of gets inside your bones.
But here's the thing. The wind tunnels that are in the city, look, it is the windy city. You can really feel them. This is Michigan Avenue. This is the magnificent mile, normally packed with people, but so far today we have seen just a few sprinkles of people going by.
You talked about those joggers. We did see some joggers here as well. We want to take you to this direction, Brianna, because of course, if you think about the river here in the city. It's all frozen, but there are some serious things about this story as well.
They have tried to move homeless off the streets. They have warming centers all throughout the city, more than 20 of them set up. School has been cancelled and they have been warning people to make sure they are not exposed to the outside for too long. You can really feel it on your skin.
They are even telling folks to the no breathe in too deeply because it can freeze your lungs. Yes, it looks beautiful, but the cold temperatures, once they set in, you really can't get out of them. So hopefully, over the next 24 to 48 hours, we warm up just a little bit. But we know winter's punch is still hitting us pretty hard.
KEILAR: And Ryan Young, I just want to give you some points there because you're in good spirits. I just want our viewers to know that even in the commercial break, you're making sure we have all the very important information and warnings and that we have all of the videos so we can show them just what is going on in Chicago. You stay warm. I can tell you can't feel your face, so try to stay warm if you can and we'll be checking in with you throughout the day, sir. Thank you.
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