Return to Transcripts main page
Trump to Deliver First Address Under Divided Government; Wall Street Sees Largest January Gains in Decades; "Empire" Star Sends Defiant Message after Attack; Police Recapture Ex-Cage Fighter Accused in Three Murders. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired February 3, 2019 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[18:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are very thankful that you took the time out to come search for Casey and prayed for him.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As for Grier, he will never forget that gratitude. He now keeps this picture in his office, a gift from Casey's family of Grier and the little boy he saved.
CAPT. SHANE GRIER. CHOCOWINITY EMS: I think everybody at some point in time was expecting a really bad ending for this. For the ending to be so good, I mean, you know, the little boy is home because of the efforts everybody did here.
GINGRAS: A reminder what he humbly calls a miracle.
Brynn Gingras, Craven County CNN, North Carolina.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for being here.
Tonight as the President prepares for his first state of the union under a divided government, he is making one thing very clear. It is possible we could see another government shutdown in the very near future because he still wants that money for his border wall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Would you shut down the government again?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, we are going to have to see what happens on February 15th.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: You are not taking it off the table?
TRUMP: Well, I don't take anything off the table. I don't like to take things off the table. It's that alternative. It's national emergency. It is other things. And you know, there have been plenty of national emergencies called. You need a wall. And anybody who says you don't, they're just playing games.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: CNN's Boris Sanchez joins us now from West Palm Beach near the President's Mar-a-Lago estate.
And Boris, the President delivers a state of the union address in just a couple of days where he is going to promotes what we calls unity. But today, we are hearing that the pentagon is now moving forward with border related request of the President that has been controversial.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It has been called controversial by the Democrats suggesting that the President is sort of using troops as a propaganda tool.
Today, we learn from the Pentagon, they confirm something that CNN reported last week. We heard sources from the Pentagon that the President was considering sending some 3,500 troops to the border with Mexico to try to help customs and border protection agents there.
Today, we got an official word from the Pentagon. That numbers are actually going to be closer to 3,750 agents. They would be deployed for about 90 days. And that will bring the total number of U.S. troops at the border to more than 4300. Of course, that's something that is divisive. And the President has hinted that he may take more action and bypass Congress and sort of install his vision of border security along the border with Mexico through executive action. He suggested he might do so during the state of the union.
CNN got a preview of that speech. There was no indication he would declare a national emergency or take action. He sort of hinted that in the past. But what we were told was that this would be a unifying speech that would provide a path forward for the country following a very divisive and record breaking government shutdown.
Actually, here's an excerpt of what the President is supposed to say Tuesday night.
Quote "together we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America's future. The decision is ours to make.
The dynamic as the President is saying those words having Nancy Pelosi just over his shoulder watching all this as he exchanged such tense words with her over the weekend and debate over border security. Don't forget the President over the weekend, suggested that she was bad for the country.
A spokeswoman for Pelosi shot back saying but the President was reckless during the first government shutdown and that he was dishonest about where Democrats stand on the issue of immigration and border security, must watch TV on Tuesday night, Ana.
We will have it here for everybody. Thank you for that reporting.
CABRERA: All right. Boris Sanchez, we will have it here for everybody here on CNN. Thank you for that reporting.
Now former Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe, says he believes embattled governor Ralph Northam will quote "do the right thing, put Virginia first and resign very soon." But so far, Northam has resisted, amends pressure to step down. And the Democrat is facing even more criticism for his explanation following the discovery of this racist photo next to his name in a 1984 medical school yearbook.
Northam at first apologizing for that photo, but then backtracking to say it wasn't him. And the reason he knows that is that he actually did darken his face on a different occasion, he say, to dress up as Michael Jackson. Here was the reaction this morning from Northam's predecessor and fellow Democrat, Terry McAuliffe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), FORMER VIRGINIA GOVERNOR: Well, first he said it was Friday night. And if it wasn't him in the photo, he should have said that on Friday. I have no idea what was going on in the governor's office on Friday. I just -- if you're not -- instinctively you know if you put black paint on your face. You know if you put a hood on. And so if it isn't you, you come out immediately and say, this is not me.
Ralph will do the right thing for the commonwealth of Virginia. He will put Virginia first. And I think that will happen relatively soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[18:05:00] CABRERA: CNN's Jessica Dean joins us now in Richmond, Virginia.
And McAuliffe thinks Northam will step down, Jessica. What is the sense there on the ground?
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, we are getting some new reporting this evening from a source who is very familiar, very close to the governor's thinking on all of this. And what we are hearing from that source is that the governor's position on this has not change. At this point he is not planning to resign.
The whole point of that press conference yesterday, according to this source, was to give the governor a platform to explain that photo. And in the governor's words, to hope to earn back the trust of Virginians and also to give the governor some time and space to decide what he wanted to do, to maneuver a little bit.
We are told that the governor is evaluating this day-by-day, minute by minute and the only reason he would resign if he believed he wasn't able to be a fully functional governor that could govern effectively. And right now, he simply does not believe that.
Now you just aired that bit from former governor McAuliffe calling for his resignation. There have been host of all Democrats across the country and here in Virginia. You name them. They pretty much called for his resignation. But we did hear a little bit of a different perspective today, this from former Virginia congressman, Jim Moran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM MORAN (D), FORMER VIRGINIA CONGRESSMAN: I think it is a rush to judgment before we know all of the facts and before we have considered all of the consequences. Facts that we do know are that Ralph has expanded Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of uninsured Virginians, a disproportionate number of whom are African-Americans. He has promoted the career of his very talented lieutenant-governor in every possible way. He has invested in better preschools and public schools and minority neighborhoods. So we know what he has done as governor. But even if the worst case scenario is true, George, I think there is an issue of redemption.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN: All right. So the legislature is scheduled to meet her tomorrow, Ana. We will see if there is any movement or direction.
CABRERA: Jessica Dean, the plot thickens. Thank you.
Joining us now, former Virginia attorney general and former Republican nominee for governor, Ken Cuccinelli, former Democratic mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter and national reporter for the "Washington Post," Wesley Lowery.
So Ken, if Northam keeps refusing to resign, what do you see as the next step for Virginia lawmakers?
KEN CUCCINELLI, CNN LEGAL AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the Virginia constitution is very similar to the federal in its impeachment provisions. And really, they are designed only to impeach a governor for misdeeds in office. So this really is in his own hands. And for your viewers who don't know, Virginia is the only one term four year governor state. So he can't run for reelection. He has a little over two years left on his term. And it's really a question whether all the pressure coming down on his head right now to resign results in him doing exactly that.
The Virginia governor is independently a powerful executive for that one term. And so he can do a lot of things to govern just by staying there, even in embattled fashion, you know. This all comes in the same week. I have never seen a week like this for one politician. So Wednesday, he implicitly endorsed allowing a child born alive to die on the table. And remember, he is a pediatrician and then Friday, these racist photos.
CABRERA: So the debate over late term abortion and a lot of people have taken issue with some of the words he said and that is your interpretation of what he said obviously.
CUCCINELLI: That's right.
Yes. Well, I went back and watched. And look, I served with Ralph in the Senate. He is a mild mannered person. He is generally pretty easy to get along with and work with. So that makes these revelations all the more shocking. And his handling of it, frankly, you know, Terry McAuliffe and I don't agree on too many things. But I would agree with Terry, this was really badly handle by the governor. If he wasn't in that picture, he should have said it right off the bat. And now, he is saying it after apologizing. And I think resigning at this point would be an admission he is in fact in that picture, that he was either wearing a klan hood or wearing black face to mock black people. And neither of those is anything short of abhorrent. And I don't think he is ready to admit that, it sounds like, this weekend.
CABRERA: That's an interesting perspective. I actually, I haven't heard anybody else say that before that. It would be an admission of him being in the picture if he were to resign.
But let me ask you this, mayor Nutter. Because the person who is his lieutenant-governor right now, a lot of people are saying would make a good governor. His name is Justin Fairfax. He is 39 years old, he is African-American, has a lot of respect, it sounds like, within the state and within the Democratic Party as well.
If he were to take over, what would he need to do in order to heal the state and move past this?
[18:10:06] MICHAEL NUTTER (D), FORMER PHILADELPHIA MAYOR: Well, I know lieutenant-governor Fairfax. He is a very good man, a great leader and a rising star in the Democratic Party. He knows how to bring people together, Virginians and many Americans, troubled by all of this, would benefit from the kind of leadership that the lieutenant-governor would bring, lieutenant-governor Fairfax.
This is a bizarre situation, I think as Terry McAuliffe said. I mean, you know whether you painted your face black or you had a hood on. I mean, there is no -- that's a memorable, you know, kind of circumstance. And a, he is badly handle this. B, he does need to resign. There is no question about it. And you know, we can talk about redemption and second chance, and all of that. But I mean, his own statement by the CNN reporter that he is going to stay and try to figure out how he can do the business of Virginia. He is staying, trying to figure out how to get himself out of the worst possible situation. And that's going to continue to dog him for days and weeks and month ahead. He is not doing the business of Virginia. He is doing the business of governor Northam.
CABRERA: And Virginia obviously is very sensitive to this for so many reasons. There's a history there. There's also, of course, what happened in Charlottesville, Wes, and questions about race came up during the President's new interview as well today with CBS specifically, he was asked about his position regarding NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. Let's listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that the players who did kneel had a point? Are you sensitive at all to players like Colin Kaepernick, who point out the majority of victims of police violence are black?
TRUMP: You know, I'm the one that had passed judicial reform. And if you look at what I did, criminal judicial reform and what I have done, President Obama tried, they all tried, everybody wanted to do it and I got it done. And I have been, you know, really a lot of people in this NFL have been calling and thanking me for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: The President says a lot of people have been calling in thanking him. Wes, what is your reaction to that?
WESLEY LOWERY, NATIONAL REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: I would love to know which NFL players are calling President Trump.
CUCCINELLI: For criminal justice reform.
LOWERY: I thought he said they are calling him. I'd love to know which NFL players have been calling President Trump allegedly.
But that said, it's unsurprising this was the way the President played off this, you know. It was something that, look, the reform bill that was passed, signed into law earlier this year was something both sides of the aisle had worked really hard on. I mean, many of the advocates who work most in this space didn't think it went far enough. I mean, this wasn't in act a bill that did much of anything as related to policing reform which is the issue that Colin Kaepernick and Eric Green (ph) and others are more specifically talking about.
Again, I do think the President deserves credited for that. When we speak to the specific issue of what these NFL protests were about. And again, the President called these protesters SOBs, said get them off the field but used his platform to attack them. And what they were talking about primarily was the fact that black men are killed at rates far disproportionate to their percent of the population by police officers, an issue that had really was driving our conversation prior to President Trump's election.
And so, you know, again, I think -- I'm unsurprised to see him mention his accomplishment with the criminal justice bill, because it is something that he now can kind as a notch in his belt say, I do care about these issues. But I think most folks who surrounds this issue think there is much more to be done. And the President must policing side specifically hasn't quite been a leader on that.
CABRERA: And Ken, you will remember back in 2017, a lot of lawmakers slammed President Trump's response to the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville which we mentioned a little bit earlier. But here we are two years later, there was that, it was the NFL comments, the President is asked about how he has handle racial issues since he took office. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a CBS poll we just took, 63 percent of Americans say they disapprove how you're handling issues of race in the U.S.
TRUMP: Well, I think that what has happened is very interesting. The economy is so good right now. You sort of, the jobs report just came out, 304,000 added job, which is a shocker for the month, a shocker to a lot of people. They thought it was going to be half that number. The African-Americans have the best employment numbers in the history of our country. And in terms of race, a lot of people are saying, well, this is something very special, what's happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Ken, what do you think of that answer?
CUCCINELLI: Yes. I think that answer exemplifies well the dichotomy that often exists between the President and how much of the media and a good chunk of America look at these issues. He looks at results, and a lot of the media in particular, but also plenty of Americans look at how this feels, his rough-edged language, the way he goes toe- to-toe on kneeling during the national anthem and so forth. And he is right about the results. The numbers are the numbers. And he also got a criminal justice reform bill that his predecessor just talked about for eight years. And that's a priority in the African-American community.
And you can say there were things that weren't done in it. But as one of the conservatives who is supporting this effort for years, I can tell you, that was quite an accomplishment. And it wasn't something that was easily achieved. So let's not brush that aside. His achievements in the areas of priorities in the real lives of African- Americans in this country are pretty darned good. How he handles the rhetoric is pretty darned rough. And that dichotomy existed before the election for this guy. It still exists. It does cause him some problems but, you know, he gets credit for his accomplishments. I think he could do better in relating to people one-on-one if he regulated how he communicates about it.
CABRERA: You think?
CUCCINELLI: But that difference exists.
CABRERA: I want to also get your thoughts on that, same question.
NUTTER: Well, the problem with Mr. Trump is he's the worst kind of racist. He doesn't know he is a racist. He has these feelings, he has these thoughts. I think the one thing Ken said, he is completely divorced from, you know, this is what I'm doing and here is a result. He has tries to marsh them together when often and one has nothing to do with the other.
He can't put two coherent thoughts together and understand the impact of his words, of his actions. And what he wants to look at is unemployment figures or, you know, some other measurement that has nothing to do with the fact that he has said negative things about African-Americans.
CABRERA: So how do you square those two things? I mean, has he been good for the African-American community when you look at what Ken outlined versus the other stuff. NUTTER: Ken's argument is a rising tide lifts all boats. The
actions, the words, the language have been damaging to people of color, to African-Americans, to Mexicans, to Muslims, to the LBGT community and xenophobic thoughts and actions. You just can't dismiss those well. But I did some good things and more people have jobs. The one has nothing to do with the other.
CABRERA: Let me give you a quick final thought, Wes.
CUCCINELLI: Yes, quick final thought is the criminal justice reform.
CABRERA: Let me get Wes. Wes has only gotten one question, Ken, and I have to go. But I do want to get Wes one final thought.
LOWERY: No worries. I mean, look. I think that there's a danger sometimes in separating these as two completely different things. I do think it's important to acknowledge the work that's happened with the criminal justice reform bill and also as the President would argue the state of the economy currently and the economy is good. That is going to be good for all Americans including black Americans.
But that said, his rhetoric is important. We are not going to talk about numbers and we can talk about the rise in hate crimes and that is not good for African-Americans. You know, there is nothing good about the black worshippers who were shot and killed, you know, first in Charleston and later on the attempt in Kentucky, the Jewish worshippers who were killed in Pittsburgh, right. And what we see is the anti-immigrant, anti-refugee xenophobic language and the President himself has been using from the bully pit of his White House.
What we see is a trickle down of that rhetoric. It is not just one left around the edges individual, he sets the tone for our country and his tone time and time again, whether it be, you know, good people on all sides, including the Nazis or personally attacking these NFL players, whether you like what they are doing or not for exercising their first amendment rights. That sets a tone in this country and there's real tangible ways in which that has endangered and made scared many immigrants and black folks in this country. And so I think we can't separate those two things.
CABRERA: All right. Got to leave it there, guys. I really appreciate the thoughtful conversation, the respectful conversation we were able to have here. Thank you very much.
Coming up, the President says he is determined to bring our folks back home from Syria. But what's his plan if ISIS and other terrorist groups suddenly resurge? It has to do with flying some very fast planes. Your weekend Presidential brief is next.
[18:23:33] CABRERA: Despite calling the Iraq war one of the greatest mistakes our country has ever made, President Trump says he is inclined to keep U.S. troops there so that he can keep an eye on Iran. And he also admitted he doesn't agree with his intel chiefs who say Iran is abiding by the nuclear deal. Listen. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
TRUMP: Being in Iraq was a mistake, OK. Being in Iraq was a big mistake to go. One of the greatest mistakes going into the Middle East our country has ever made. One of the greatest mistakes that we have ever made.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you want to --
TRUMP: We spent a fortune on building this incredible base. We might as well keep it. And one of the reasons I want to keep it is because I want to be looking a little bit at Iran. Because Iran is a real problem.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's news. You are keeping troops in Iraq because you want to be able to strike in Iran?
TRUMP: No. Because I want to be able to watch Iran. All I want to do is be able watch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to move on here. But I should say your Intel chiefs do say Iran is abiding by that nuclear deal. I know you think it is a bad deal.
TRUMP: I disagree with them. By the way --.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You disagree with that assessment?
TRUMP: I have Intel people, that doesn't mean I have to agree. President Bush had Intel people that said Saddam Hussein in Iraq, had nuclear weapons, had all sorts of weapons of mass destruction. Guess what? Those Intel people didn't know what the hell they were doing. And they got us tied up in a war that we should have never been in.
CABRERA: That brings us to your weekend presidential brief, a segment we bring you every night highlighting some of the most pressing national security information the President will need when he wakes up tomorrow.
And CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd who helped prepared the presidential brief for President Obama is with us now.
So Sam, the President just said he wants troops in Iraq to watch Iran. Is that an accurate statement and assessment?
[18:25:19] SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Ana, I spent a year of my life in Iraq ducking from Iranian rockets. So I know how real the threat is. But the President left some very inconvenient truths out of his press interview today. For starters, our troops in Iraq are not authorized to fight Iran. They are there, and this is actually point of contention between Congress and the President, but they are authorized to fight those who are responsible for 9/11 under something called the AUMF. And second, more troops in Iraq does not mean better intelligence. A
majority of our troops whether it be in Syria or in Iraq are not intelligence agents, they are not intelligence operatives. They are doing things like training local forces. And third, we have got against on Iran. The intelligence chiefs briefed Congress earlier this week about the range of Iranian activities including the state of their nuclear programs and what they are up to in theaters like Iraq. Just because the President doesn't agree with the intelligence, doesn't mean it's there.
And he is willing to watch Iran from Iraq but he is withdrawing troops from Syria where Iran is active as well. So it's unclear why he has such a different approach to Iraq, while he is withdrawing from Syria. Perhaps, it is just a question of the right foreign leader not suggesting to the President that he withdraw from Iraq yet.
CABRERA: And on the issue of withdrawing troops from Syria, the President did acknowledge the possibility that ISIS and other terror groups could regain strength in Syria and Afghanistan if he withdraws or reduces troops. And watch what he said about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And sir, and hear by your intelligence chiefs so is that you could in that vacuum see a resurgence of ISIS, see a resurgence of terrorists like al-Qaeda.
TRUMP: Sure. And you know what we will do? We will come back if we have to. We have very fast airplanes. We have very good cargo planes. We can come back very quickly. And I'm not leaving --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Sam, what does this signal about U.S. policy towards Syria going forward?
VINOGRAD: Well, most presidents try to learn from historical mistakes, not repeat them. And it is true that we withdrew from Iraq and withdrawal was actually initiated under President Bush. The President mischaracterized that today and is finalized under President Obama not because President Obama wanted to pull out all of our troops, actually worked on this issue, but because the Iraqi government wouldn't grant our soldiers the immunities that we required in order to keep them in country. So the President is reinventing history and he is failing to learn the lesson that a precipitous withdrawal creates a security vacuum. He is so critical of what President Obama, he says, did in Iraq but he is willing to do exactly the same thing, remove troops, which is costly, by the way, and then spend more money to put them back there when ISIS reconstitutes itself. That's just repeating a very dangerous cycle.
CABRERA: And he also is talking about potentially sending troops to Venezuela. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What would make you use the U.S. military in Venezuela? What's a national security --?
TRUMP: Well, I don't want to say that. But certainly, it is something that is - it is an option.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: It's an option, he says, but do you think it's a real possibility?
VINOGRAD: Well, I'm sure it's an option in the situation room. It's responsible for ambassador Bolton to layout all options for the President. That was the approach that the national security advisors under President Obama took.
It is not responsible to publicly flowed an option that really doesn't hold water. There is no legal basis for the United States to use military force in Venezuela. We are not going to get a U.S. Security Council resolution. Russia and China will block it. We can extend the AUMF that I mentioned earlier because we are not fighting terrorists in Venezuela. So there will be no legal basis for using force.
And furthermore, what is our mission? What are we sending in troops to do? Physically remove Maduro from power and fight the Venezuela security forces? It's unclear what they have actually be sent in to Venezuela to do. And for all those reasons, the President can keep this on his private table in the situation room but to really take it out of his public talking points.
CABRERA: Sam Vinograd, thank you.
VINOGRAD: Thanks, Ana.
CABRERA: Coming up here in the NEWSROOM, the President preparing to address the nation on Tuesday about a border wall. Congress and the majority of Americans don't support. Can he still deliver the message of unity he was hoping for?
And just moments ago, a beautiful flyover in Atlanta ahead of Super Bowl LIII.
[18:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end. One year of Watergate is enough.
NIXON: That I have no intention, whatever, of ever walking away from the job that the people elected me to do for the people of the United States.
(APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: In 1974, a defiant Richard Nixon battling a 26 percent approval rating in front of the very people thinking about impeaching him for Watergate.
And now, here we are, 45 years later, President Trump about to deliver his first State of the Union under a divided government, defiant despite his poll numbers, defiant despite the investigations that have consumed his presidency, defiant that he'll get his border wall one way or another.
Joining us now, CNN presidential historian and former director of the Nixon Presidential Library, Timothy Naftali.
[18:35:00] Tim, do you believe that, like Nixon in 1974, this speech will be more about the state of the President than the state of the union?
TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, it may seem strange to say but Donald Trump is in a better position than Richard Nixon was in 1974. When Richard Nixon gave that State of the Union, the House had already started impeachment -- its impeachment inquiries.
When -- Richard Nixon's strategy was actually to force the House to do its investigation fast because he assumed he could hold together enough Southern Democrats and Republicans to stay in office.
Donald Trump has a different set of challenges at the moment. First of all, as yet, the House has not started impeachment inquiries. And more importantly, the Mueller report hasn't been posted in any way.
So the President has to be thinking about whether or not he wants to change the tone of his administration. And frankly, odds are he won't because odds are he has proven that he's not interested in evolving as president. But this is the moment.
NAFTALI: If he wants to change the tone, it would be now.
CABRERA: Let's talk about that a little bit more, though, because we are hearing that the plan is to call for unity, that that's going to be a theme of this speech coming up on Tuesday night. Although, he did just say this about the House Speaker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can see we're getting nowhere with the Democrats. We're not going to get anywhere with them. It's going to be part of their campaign.
But I don't think it's good, politically. And I think Nancy Pelosi should be ashamed of herself because she is hurting a lot of people. I think the Democrats should be ashamed of themselves. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: OK. How does he sell unity? What does he need to say?
NAFTALI: Well, first of all, he needs not to negotiate in public. I mean, after all, for border security to be increased, for us to tighten border security will require some concessions by both Democrats and Republicans. You're not going to get those concessions if the President is making this a zero-sum game.
In other words, if Speaker Pelosi does not accept exactly the amount that I want for the wall, I won't accept the outcome. Well, that means she loses. That means you're saying, basically, I win always. And if I don't win, we're going to have another shut down. That's not the way to build unity.
CABRERA: Let's talk about other presidents who've had to deliver State of the Union during moments of turmoil. It wasn't just Nixon, obviously. We have President Bill Clinton who delivered his address not long after the Republican-controlled House impeached him on the grounds that he lied to a grand jury about Monica Lewinsky.
Tim, is there anything President Trump can learn from their speeches?
NAFTALI: Well, President Trump is very uncomfortable in formal settings. He doesn't give speeches that are written speeches very well.
What would be -- what he could learn from his predecessors is that this is a moment when you've got -- you have the nation's attention. You have your adversaries, your opponent's attention. This is the time when you can think big.
LBJ, just after JFK's -- talk about a nation in turmoil and sadness, just after JFK's assassination. LBJ uses his first State of the Union to talk about the war on poverty, to talk about Medicare. John F. Kennedy, after the Bay of Pigs, gives a second State of the Union and uses that to talk about putting a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s.
Bill Clinton, who was looking at a tough re-election battle in 1996, what does he do? He uses his State of the Union to say that the era of big government is over. Donald Trump, if he were capable of that kind of rhetoric, could actually set our sights higher, talk about our better angels.
Unfortunately, he is likely to talk about the crisis on the border and give another Jeremiah, another sturm und drang speech to make us feel nervous and afraid, which is unfortunate. Because the State of the Union is an opportunity for Americans to look forward. Sadly, this president may use it to have us look backwards.
CABRERA: Just a short time ago, the White House is responding to a report from Axios this evening that said that Trump had spent around 60 percent of his time, scheduled time, in executive time -- unstructured executive time. Here's what we're hearing now from the Director of Oval Office
Operations, tweeting, what a disgraceful breach of trust to leak schedules. What these don't show are the hundreds of calls and meetings President Trump takes every day. This President is working harder for the American people than anyone in recent history.
NAFTALI: Well, it's hard to know how many phone calls. Ultimately, we'll get a log. But here's what's really interesting and why this matters. Presidents have meetings to get options, to hear debate, to hear discussion. Donald Trump has -- is having fewer meetings than Ronald Reagan. And Ronald Reagan at the time, in the '80s, was criticized for not meeting enough with people.
So that means that, basically, everything's one-on-one. The President is not in a situation where people can say to him, Mr. President, we don't agree with the way in which you view the world, or we don't agree with this. Or, Mr. President, here are some new options to consider.
If he is not in structured meetings, it's hard to imagine that he's really getting any inputs, which means that he is insulated, which means that -- we know already that he doesn't like to learn on the job. It means that there are no pressures, no incentives for him to learn more on the job.
[18:40:07] That's why the fact that there aren't meetings matters. It's because it means that he is not actually playing the role of president, which is not simply being the decider but also the thoughtful considerer of options.
No president knows enough to be in charge of this country when he, someday she, is elected. Nobody does. It's impossible, so you learn on the job. With no meetings, with few written inputs, as we were learning, how could President Trump be learning what he needs to learn to be president?
CABRERA: Well, they say he -- he is getting some phone calls, it sounds like, at the very least.
NAFTALI: That's not enough.
CABRERA: Tim Naftali, good to have you as always. Thank you.
NAFTALI: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: I learned a lot in that segment, speaking of always learning.
CNN will have a special live coverage of the President's State of the Union address this Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. here on CNN.
Well, we have this just in right now. Embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam inviting a group of state administration officials of color to a meeting tonight.
Now, Northam wants to talk over issues linked to the growing uproar over a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook. Northam now insists he is not pictured in this photo after initially apologizing for it on Friday, and he is digging in despite an avalanche of calls for him to resign.
Coming up, hitting back at hatred. "Empire" star Jussie Smollett shares a defiant and emotional message with fans following his alleged attack this week.
[18:45:24] CABRERA: Actor and musician Jussie Smollett sends a defiant message after an alleged attack last week in Chicago. Smollett performed for fans in West Hollywood this weekend. Our Paul Vercammen was there.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: In this legendary club where Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Alicia Keys had performed before him, Jussie Smollett's theme seemed to be that love conquers all and that he had to take the stage so he could conquer hate. And his fans echoed the same sentiment.
He was moving around very well and the crowd just loved that. And many of them, after, said this was an experience of a lifetime.
SOPHIE KHAN, JUSSIE SMOLLETT FAN: How he was full on, 100 percent, like, good spirits, I was just amazed. I was so grateful for his comic relief. I was so grateful that he -- he just gave me a different strength that I didn't expect to come see.
JUSSIE SMOLLETT, ACTOR: I'm OK.
KHAN: The emotional -- the energy. I mean, you look at all the people that are coming out, it's Black, White, you know, Asian. It's gay, it's straight. I mean, the whole vibe of the people, we were all there in love.
SMOLLETT: I'm not fully healed yet, but I'm going to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's right.
SMOLLETT: And --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's right.
SMOLLETT: And I'm going to stand strong with y'all.
WILSON CRUZ, ACTOR: It's about the fact that that young man, after what he went through, just went up and did a show for all of us. That was unbelievable. That's who he is. He is the epitome of love.
VERCAMMEN: At times, Jussie was downright funny. He joked before he went to the stage for an encore that he didn't want to anger his lawyer, but he said he wanted to clarify a few things. One, he says his ribs were not broken. And, two, he wanted everyone to know that he did fight the expletive back.
It was an energized electric night at the Troubadour. Back to you now.
CABRERA: All right. Paul Vercammen, thank you.
Will the best January in 30 years mean more good things for the stock market? CNN's Alison Kosik has your "Before the Bell" report.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN GENERAL ASSIGNMENT CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. After January's rebounds, can the gains continue this month? The S&P 500 had its best January in 32 years, rising eight percent. That could be a good sign for the rest of 2019.
The so-called January barometer says as goes January, so goes the year. Since 1929, it's been true more than 71 percent of the time, but it hasn't worked recently, failing in 2018, 2016, and 2014.
Corporate earnings are likely to drive the action this week. Walt Disney, Google parent, Alphabet, and General Motors are among the companies reporting. Nearly half of S&P 500 companies have already reported results. Of those, 70 percent have beaten estimates.
In New York, I'm Alison Kosik.
CABRERA: Breaking news, police capture a former cage fighter who fled a prisoner transport. The brutal crimes he's accused of when we come back.
[18:48:47] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: We're following breaking news right now in southern California. This is Yorba Linda, not far from Los Angeles.
Officials now say two people died when a small aircraft crashed into this residential neighborhood. Two other people are injured. They were taken to the hospital. One house was hit and, as you can see, caught fire.
A massive nine-hour manhunt now over with a dramatic capture in Texas after authorities say a former mixed martial arts fighter suspected of murder escaped from custody. CNN's Kaylee Hartung joins us now.
So how was he captured, Kaylee? KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Ana, it took air
support, ground units, and K-9 tracking dogs to find Cedric Marks after this nine-hour manhunt.
He escaped from this prison transport van as it was parked in McDonald's. One of the drivers of the vehicle was near the vehicle at the time of his escape. Of course, that matter is under investigation.
He took off on foot but, as it turns out, he didn't get very far. He was discovered in the backyard of a home in the neighborhood just behind that McDonalds. Listen to a recount of his capture from the man who lived next door to that home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DARWIN LOPEZ, WITNESS: I heard everybody running, police running and screaming and everything.
HARTUNG: What were they saying?
LOPEZ: They were saying, hey, stop. Stop resisting. And pretty much, like, my sister, she was over there in the room, and she heard some noises whenever they got him.
HARTUNG: Did you see him?
LOPEZ: I've seen him when they grabbed him and put the handcuffs and everything.
HARTUNG: What was he wearing?
LOPEZ: He was wearing an orange jumpsuit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[18:55:01] HARTUNG: Marks was arrested for the burglary of his ex- girlfriend's home and the intention to commit another felony. He was found in Michigan by U.S. Marshals, so he was being in -- in the process of extradited back to Texas today when he managed to escape, and this manhunt ensued.
But, Ana, he is also looking at pending murder charges for three murders, including that same ex-girlfriend whose home he burglarized. The community in Conroe, Texas can rest easier tonight, Ana, but this story is far from over.
CABRERA: What a wild story. Kaylee Hartung reporting for us in Atlanta. Thank you very much.
And thank you for spending part of your weekend with me. That's going to do it for us for now. I'm Ana Cabrera. Up next, it's the radical story of Patty Hearst. Good night.