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Near Breakdown Of Border Security Talks As The Deadline For Lawmakers Not Just A Kind Of Deal But To Get It Passed In Both The House And The Senate Looms At The End Of This Week; Fast-Growing Field Of Democratic Candidates Running For President; Governor Ralph Northam Made His Case For Staying In Office After Both He And Attorney General Mark Herring Admitted To Wearing Blackface Decades Ago; Aired 6-7p ET
Aired February 10, 2019 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[18:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for being here.
We begin this hour with the near breakdown of border security talks as the deadline for lawmakers not just a kind of deal but to get it passed in both the House and the Senate looms at the end of this week. Remember, no deal will likely lead to a second partial government shutdown. Less than a month after the longest one in U.S. history which is expected to ultimately cost the U.S. economy $3 billion. That's money economists say we will never get back.
Several sources are telling CNN the two sides were on track for a weekend agreement but now they are stalled. And while negotiations have not completely fallen apart, negotiators cannot get past two sticking points, we are told, funding for a border barrier and a lesser known, cap on detention beds for undocumented immigrants detained within the U.S. A Republican aide tells us the number offered is just too low, a non-starter. But a Democratic aide says, the lower number will forced the administration to prioritize serious criminals in determining which immigrants to detain.
Let's head to the White House and CNN's Boris Sanchez.
Boris, unlike the first shutdown which started before Christmas, the President has no intention of owning this one.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. That maybe one of the only difference as this time around. Otherwise, we are effectively exactly where we were back in December with a potential shutdown looming and President Trump contributing to the negotiations by attacking Democrats on twitter.
He tweeted about the negotiations several times today, at one point inaccurately stating Democrats' position on that issue of capping the number of beds and also suggesting that Democratic leadership was holding back the Democratic negotiators.
He writes quote "I don't think the Dems on the border committee are being allowed by their leaders to make a deal. They are offering very little money for the desperately needed border wall. And now out of the blue, want a cap on convicted felons to be held in detention." Again, Democrats are asking for a cap on funding for beds in ICE
detention centers, not on the number of actual potential felons that are detained. We should point out the acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was asked in the Sunday morning talk shows about what the most likely outcome would be. He didn't really have a clear answer except to say that the possibilities are broad. We could see another potential government shutdown. We could see some executive action from the White House to try to get money for the President's long promised border wall or we could potentially see a deal although that seems increasingly unlikely.
We should point out a Democratic aide told CNN that if talks do completely break down, House Democrats are prepared to present a bill in the House that would fund DHS through September and keep the government open. It is unclear though if the Republican-led senate would then actually take that up. Also notable, the President has an event tomorrow in El Paso, Texas, where we will likely hear more of his rhetoric -- Ana.
CABRERA: All right. Boris Sanchez at the White House, thank you for the latest.
And now to the race for the White House and the fast-growing field of Democratic candidates running for president. Today another one, a U.S. senator made it official.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
CABRERA: Amy Klobuchar, the senior senator from Minnesota, in wintry conditions. That surprised nobody in Minneapolis in February, right? She told cheering supporting the nation is a fractured community, weary of shutdowns and grandstanding. She did not mention President Trump by name, however.
Also on the campaign trail, Democratic senator Cory Booker, nine days into his run for President. Today he is in South Carolina and CNN's Rebecca Buck is there too in Columbia.
Rebecca, as this Democratic field gets bigger, what is Cory Booker doing at this stage to try to set himself apart?
REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right, Ana. Well, it's a little warmer here in Columbia, South Carolina than in Minnesota today. Cory Booker is making his first visit since he announced his bid for President officially earlier this month. And he has been making the case here and in Iowa where he was two days before this, traveling around, also campaigning following his announcement. He has been making the case, first, that he is the only former mayor among the senators who are running for President, so he has a very unique set of experiences.
But he is also spreading a message of unity, of love, relentlessly optimistic. It sets him apart from some of the other Democrats like Elizabeth Warren who we heard today mentioned Donald Trump in her remarks and is taking him on directly. Booker in his remarks is not even mentioning the President by name if he can avoid it. Today he just referred to him as "that person in the White House."
So a bit of a different approach from him. Also a different approach in terms of where he is going today in South Carolina. A few weeks ago, he was on the steps just behind me at the capital, speaking for Martin Luther King Day. Today he is focusing in rural areas at the state going to small towns, within striking distance of Columbia, South Carolina.
Listen to his thinking on the places he is visiting this trip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My first campaign stop as a candidate for presidency, I wanted to come to this community because my whole career is about going to the places that often team don't go to, don't talk about, don't face and confront.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[18:05:11] BUCK: So how does Booker's chances -- how do Booker's chances look in South Carolina? Well, Democrats believe he has a huge potential outside in the state but there's also stiff competition.
Senator Kamala Harris has been focusing aggressively on South Carolina. And Democrats here say if Joe Biden gets in the race, he also has a very strong network in the first in the south primary state -- Ana.
CABRERA: Rebecca Buck in South Carolina, thank you.
Let's talk more about the competition that is growing. Another Democratic candidate who made it official this weekend, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. She is also working a key early voting state today.
And CNN's M.J. Lee is joining us in Iowa City, Iowa.
M.J., Senator Warren no longer the newest candidate on the block as of just of a couple of hours ago. You just spoke to her. Tell us about it.
M. J. LEE, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. We actually started the day, Ana, in Cedar Rapids. And as soon as Elizabeth Warren took the stage, she went after Donald Trump by name. She said by the time that 2020 rolls around, President Trump may not be President anymore. And then she said he may not even be a free person, obviously sort of glibly talking about the fact that he may be in prison by the time Election Day comes around.
Now this was notable because Elizabeth Warren, since she announced her exploratory complain back on New Year's Eve, she has been reticent to ever mention President Trump by name. And she explained that even though she did that this morning, we shouldn't expect to see that kind of language from her every single day, that she in fact wants to be emphatic about not engaging President Trump on every single tweet, on every single attack. And we asked her about that a little bit here in Iowa City after she wrapped up her speech. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The question now is, are we going to follow him on every single racist insult and taunt that he tweets? Or are we going to take back this conversation? Some people asked me, are you going to respond to this, are you going to respond to that. And the answer is no. I'm going to talk about the big pieces that are broken. Things were broken long before Donald Trump got here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: And Ana, with the 2020 field growing by the day, this is going to be a question that every single one of the Democratic candidates will have to answer. How do they stay on message? How do they talk about their candidacies, their platforms, and then not allow President Trump to sort of set the agenda every day, but at the same time how do they draw that contrast between their candidacies and President Trump who they are trying to take on in the general election?
And I can tell you, over the last a couple of weeks, just talking to voters in the early states, voters too are divided on what they want to see from the Democrats. There are a lot of voters who say they want to see the fighter in some of their Democratic candidates. That they want them to take on President Trump directly. And then there are plenty of other people we have talked to who say they do not want them to engage President Trump at all. So that divide already very clear even though it's just February, Ana.
CABRERA: All right, just February of 2019, mind you.
M.J. Lee, thank you.
With us now, CNN political commentators Ana Navarro and Symone Sanders. Symone was national press secretary last time around for Bernie Sanders' 2016 Presidential campaign. And Ana has worked with the number of top Republicans including Jeb Bush and John McCain.
So let's discuss Warren first, Symone. Because you heard the comments she made questioning whether President Trump will be a free man in 2020. Is this the fight fire with fire approach?
SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's a little bit of that. But I also think we heard Senator Warren pontificating on what is absolutely true. I think there is a growing sentiment that you don't know what could happen. I don't know if we will continue to see that refraining from her on the campaign trail, she could have been testing it out today and depending on what all the coverage looks like. We might not hear it again.
CABRERA: The Trump campaign has put out a statement specifically about Warren's announcement, I don't think we have seen that on any other candidate announcement days. And then the President also tweeting this weekend about her. He is also taking a swipe at Amy Klobuchar and her snowy campaign kickoff start today. But for the most part, he is really not going after other candidates,
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, and I saw the tweet about Amy Klobuchar and calling her a snow woman for standing there braving the snowfall. And it made me chuckle, frankly, and roll my eyes.
I mean, this is a guy who skipped a visit to a U.S. cemetery in France of U.S. veterans because he, poor baby, was afraid to get his little hair wet. And so I think taking on Amy Klobuchar, attacking her for standing in the middle of a snowfall in her home state, might not be the hill he wants to die on, might not be the smartest line of attack for Trump.
Look, I think he has been very careful of how he treats Kamala Harris. Amy Klobuchar, if calling her a snow woman is the best he has got, that's not much of a nickname from where he comes from.
I think he goes after Elizabeth Warren more than others because there is something about Elizabeth Warren that triggers the Republicans, that triggers conservatives, that trig ergs the triggers the right wing. I would equate it a little bit to a Democratic for us to understand the way that Ted Cruz triggers visceral emotion. Elizabeth Warren triggers visceral emotion.
[18:10:43] CABRERA: Well, Warren's comments that we played is some example of how she is fighting back. And she has fought back along the way even in 2016, I remember, when she got into the mix. But she has taken a different approach than some of these other candidates, at least, what we are seeing so far. Here's Cory Booker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOOKER: Everybody is tough. I know there's a lot of great fighters there. But I have learned that when I come to being tough, I never want people to think that in order to be tough, you have to be mean. In order to be strong, you have to be cruel. I want to campaign like I want to govern. I'm going to get criticized, so let me get ahead of it. They are going to say, oh, God, more candidates talking about love and hope, oh, my God, how are you going to beat Donald Trump with that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Symone, is this strategy of love and hope a winning message for Democrats this time around?
SANDERS: I have to laugh a little bit. You know, I know Cory Booker personally. And what he was talking about, he really believes this, you know. And I think that this is a strategy that could in fact work for Cory.
Look, he is saying that I can talk about love and hope but that does not mean that I don't have a plan, that I don't have a policy platform. Now the question just becomes, are there enough voters in particularly the key states, that that's a message that they want to latch onto, that they are susceptible to like, is that something that gets folks fired up in Iowa. Het folks fired up in South Carolina. And those are two places that Senator Booker has been a number of times already. And he is drawing great crowds. And people are coming out to hear
what he has to say. Now it is still early, Ana. It is very early, OK. The first Democratic primary debates aren't until June. So I would just caution folks to wait and see. It's too early in my opinion to say whether or not love and hope is going to win, you know, this Democratic nomination. But it could.
CABRERA: Ana, let's talk about lessons learned, because as these Democratic candidates formulate their strategy, what should they take away perhaps from how Trump tore apart the 2016 GOP field?
NAVARRO: Look, for me, lessons learned, I think Elizabeth Warren has taught one very early, which is do not allow yourself to be provoked, to be baited by Donald Trump. She allowed herself to be baited by Donald Trump on the native-American issue and she has come out looking much worse on the other side for taking his bait and for going down the path that he led her down.
So, you know, you have got to somehow be able to answer him without him being the one that's pulling the puppet strings. He is very, very good at that. He is very good at branding. Little Marco, Lying Ted, Low Energy Jeb, Crooked Hillary. So you know, you have got to also be able to brand him.
But I think if you look at 2018 and some of the Democrats that most capture the imagination of the Democratic base and of the country, they were optimistic. It was people like Beto O'Rourke, like Stacey Abrams, like Andrew Gillum. You have to be able to fight back but at the same time you have to be able to offer something positive that you stand for. You have got to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time if taking on Trump.
CABRERA: Some of those people you just mentioned did not win their elections, but one woman who won big and she won big was Amy Klobuchar. She announced her bid today from her home state of Minnesota. We know Trump won some of the Midwest and the Rust Belt states that Democrats thought were safe, Symone. While Hillary barely won Minnesota, Klobuchar won reelection there by more than 20 points.
Given her strength and her appeal with Minnesotans, does that alone make her a serious contender?
SANDERS: Look, I think Amy Klobuchar is a serious contender. But again, we have to wait and see how folks stack up on the debate stage, and if we have - if the voters have the same energy for Senator Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris for that matter that they have now in July, August, September, and as we get into the fall of 2019.
Look. I think there are -- I'm so excited that there are number of women who are not just running for president, but running for president as top contenders. I hope this is the new normal. Now, the question -- I don't want folks to overplay, if you will, that
just because somebody is from the Midwest, I'm from Nebraska, just because they are from the Midwest, they have the potential to connect with Midwest voters better. Because someone like Senator Gillibrand, for example, she is from New York but upstate New York. Troy and Albany look a lot like places in Iowa than I think people realize.
And so, it is really about your message. It's about your ability to connect with the voters. And again, what is your vision? Ana is absolutely right. Democratic voters don't want to hear that Donald Trump just sucks and that your opponent is bad because we heard that in 2016. A number of folks just frankly did not come out to vote on the Democratic side of the aisle. So we need bold visions, policies, platforms. And I think that's what we are seeing from these Democratic candidates thus far. And I'm very excited about the field.
CABRERA: Symone Sanders, Ana Navarro --.
NAVARRO: And you know, I think one other -- another lesson learned.
CABRERA: Ana and Symone, is there are some things in life, like elections, like presidential elections, that are binary choices. But for people like Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, Hillary Clinton might very well have been elected president. And so, you know, Democrats need to keep -- and everybody that wants Trump out needs to keep their eye on the ball. It is a binary choice.
CABRERA: Thank you, ladies. Good to have both of you with us this weekend.
All right. For the first time since initially addressing the scandal in Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam is speaking out about the controversy engulfing his state, not just him, not just his seat but several others. Why he is saying he is not going anywhere.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:20:35] CABRERA: Virginia's top elected officials are fighting to hold onto power as separate scandals surround all three engulfed the state capital.
Now in a new interview with CBS, Governor Ralph Northam made his case for staying in office after both he and attorney general Mark Herring admitted to wearing blackface decades ago. This as lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax defends against sexual assault accusations from two women. Governor Northam said he will not resign over this racist photo in his medical school yearbook. And presented himself as the healing agent for the racial wounds reopened by these ongoing scandals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. RICHARD NORTHAM (D), VIRGINIA: Right now, Virginia needs someone that can heal. There's no better person to do that than a doctor. Virginia also needs someone who is strong, who has empathy, who has courage, and who has a moral compass. And that's why I'm not going anywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: CNN's Kaylee Hartung joins us now from Richmond, Virginia.
Kaylee, Northam says he is not going anywhere. How much more support does he have given what is happening with the next two Democrats in line to succeed him?
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, the calls for the lieutenant governor's resignation in the past couple of days have certainly been louder, but it hasn't alleviated all of the pressure off Governor Ralph Northam.
Virginians here are still conflicted about the leadership of the commonwealth. A "Washington Post" poll conducted at the end of this past week, Wednesday through Friday, that being before the second accuser came out against lieutenant governor Fairfax, has this state, this commonwealth's voters deadlocked, split evenly at 47 percent on the question of whether or not the governor should resign.
Now this governor took a vast majority of the black vote when he was elected. And when you breakdown these numbers, it is interesting to see he still has very strong support among the African-American population here, 58 percent of African-Americans in Virginia saying they support him staying in office, Ana.
CABRERA: And Governor Northam made a reference to the history of slavery in the commonwealth during his CBS interview but he didn't call the first Africans to land on Virginia's shores slaves. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NORTHAM: What has been a difficult week, and if you look at Virginia's history, we are now at the 400-year anniversary. Just 90 miles from here in 1619, the first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores and old point comfort, what we call now Fort Monroe --.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Also known as slavery.
NORTHAM: Yes, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Could comments like that affect support among Virginians?
HARTUNG: Ana, Virginia undoubtedly has a very complicated 400-year history of racial division. And Virginians will tell you, they don't like to be reminded of that past. And in this last week, they were reminded of the divisions in the not so distant path.
If you listen to Governor Northam in that interview with CBS, you heard a man who is not a polished politician speaking directly to Virginians, to the people who elected him for office. This is not a man who is running for national office.
I spoke with one politically active Virginia voter today who explained that he saw this as a poor choice of words by the governor, really an unartful way of using less offensive language to make a point.
Ana, the governor has been consistent in his language in the past couple of days, saying he is trying to help the people of Virginia move on from this difficult week. And it seemed to this voter who I spoke to that the media at this point is parsing words in a way that the average Virginians aren't.
CABRERA: There are now two credible allegations of sexual assault against lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax, who is now calling for a FBI investigation. He says he wants to clear his name. But Democratic House delegate Patrick Hope is saying he is planning to introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax tomorrow morning if he does not step down. Is that still the plan?
HARTUNG: That is the plan, Ana. And just a short while ago, our Ryan Nobles obtained the resolution that house delegate Patrick Hope plans to introduce first thing tomorrow. In it he points to the credible, as he calls them, allegations of sexual assault by two different women against lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax.
But what we need to remember here is that the introduction of these articles of impeachment, this is just the first step. In order for impeachment to go to a vote on the House floor, it has to have the support of the House speaker, Republican speaker Cox, he has not indicated that he is interested in this process moving forward although he has been among those who have called for Fairfax to resign.
But if the resolution were to go for a vote on the House floor and get a majority vote, then it would proceed to the Senate who would be the ones holding trial to determine Fairfax's fate. And this is what everybody will be looking to Monday morning when the legislator reconvenes here in Richmond.
[18:25:31] CABRERA: All right. Kaylee Hartung in Richmond, Virginia. Thank you.
Trump claiming harassment as House Democrats crank up the investigations. The President feeling a little targeted.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:30:09] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: It's one of President Trump's newer favorite catchphrases. A play on words that he did not invent but he certainly has run with it -- presidential harassment. He claims he is the victim. This tweet, early December, pointing to his low poll numbers -- it's
called presidential harassment. December 29th, government shutdown -- they are spending so much time on presidential harassment. Early January, this about Democrats and next year's election -- presidential harassment. For them, strictly politics!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's called presidential harassment.
Well, then, it's probably presidential harassment.
It's called presidential harassment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: And just this week, twice in one day, presidential harassment, all caps, exclamation point.
The man who calls a woman horse face and slams both men and women as dumb as a rock wants the harassment of him to stop. The Commander-in- Chief who turned the House Intelligence Committee Chairman's name into a profane word, the way middle school boys do, he wants people in power to go easier on him.
President Trump stood on the national stage, Tuesday night, and pleaded for an end to partisan investigations, and then said two days later that Republicans never, quote, went nuts when President Obama was in office. Let me take you on a little walk down memory lane.
Six of Obama's eight years were with a divided Congress. Republicans singled out and relentlessly hammered into the ground, fast and furious, the IRS scandal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It's called presidential harassment, and it's unfortunate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: The Solyndra energy debacle? Hillary Clinton's e-mail server?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, then, it's probably presidential harassment, and we know how to handle that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Still, today, the word Benghazi fires up the Republican base. And for how many years did pre-politics Donald Trump, nonstop, accuse Barack Obama of being born in another country? He finally dropped that feudal argument in public, anyway, but only after he became the nominee. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And now they are playing games with her, just like they'll be playing with me with -- it's called president harassment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: And one more thing, in case anyone believes the Democrats are some kind of innovators of presidential harassment, listen to the senior Republican in the United States Senate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE: The whole issue of presidential harassment is interesting. I remember when we tried it in the late '90s. We impeached President Clinton. His numbers went up and ours went down, and we underperformed in the national election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Senator Mitch McConnell, his words, presidential harassment, I remember when we tried it in the late '90s, unquote.
It was a Republican failure then. And if it exists now, it's one of the President's own creations. He takes cheap shots. He calls people schoolyard names. He throws stones and complains when they're thrown back.
What people with the slightest amount of beltway experience call politics, he calls harassment. And that combative tone even made its way to the President's Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. He fired back at lawmakers on Capitol Hill during a House Judiciary Committee hearing this week on Mueller. This was Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY: Have you ever been asked to approve any request or action to be taken by the Special Counsel?
MATTHEW WHITAKER, ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Chairman, I see that your five minutes is up, and so --
WHITAKER: I'm sorry, what was your -- I don't know if your time has been restored or not.
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: Mr. Attorney General, we are not joking here, and your humor is not acceptable.
REP. HANK JOHNSON (D), GEORGIA: Four individuals advised you that you did not have to recuse yourself. Is that correct?
WHITAKER: Congressman, let me be clear. JOHNSON: You're not being clear, sir, other than --
WHITAKER: It was my decision to make and I have made the decision --
JOHNSON: -- in your obstruction and refusal to answer the question.
WHITAKER: I'm not obstructing anything, I'm answering your question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So is this a taste of what's to come as the White House faces divided government? Let's bring in former federal prosecutor Laura Coates.
And thank you for being with us. I want to get your reaction first to Whitaker. Is that how you would expect an Attorney General to conduct himself?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely not. First of all, they should probably know that the actual chairman wouldn't have the same time limits if they had actually been prepping for this actual hearing.
But also, the idea of being so flippant, especially in answer to a question that is about what way, if any, you put your thumb on the scale involving this very consequential collusion probe, that's not the time to point out that you would like not to answer the question and you want them to, maybe, go on to the next person. That's a very odd moment in time to try to flex this nonexistent muscle.
CABRERA: We just outlined all these different congressional probes, the presidential harassment claim. Is it more than politics on display, Laura, or do you see these as actually fair investigative inquiries?
[18:35:03] COATES: They're fair investigative inquiries, Ana. It's always so interesting to me, the notion of presidential harassment. I mean, bullies are always the most sensitive of all. They're the ones who go home and cry after being so robust and rude and antagonistic.
But in this case, the idea of the head of the executive branch of government, which is the people who actually enforce the laws -- meaning, every single time they look towards accountability for people to ensure that you're abiding by the principles that are set up in criminal codes, to figure out that you yourself are not breaking the law, that's the whole essence of the executive branch of government.
So to have there be investigations to determine and confirm or evaluate whether there has actually been accountability in following that is not a matter of a useless exercise in futility. It's not a matter of somebody, Ana, just coming and saying, I'd like to do a witch-hunt. It's not Salem, it's Washington, D.C.
CABRERA: Michael Cohen was supposed to testify before Congress this past week, but he didn't. The official reason from House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff is that it's being postponed in the interests of the investigation.
Now, Laura, what does that mean? Do you think it's signaling federal prosecutors are perhaps about to drop another bombshell?
COATES: Well, frankly, I was surprised that Michael Cohen was going to have a public hearing before his actual sentence, and here's why.
Before he's actually -- he's already been sentenced. Before he actually begins his jail time, he has a window of opportunity for the Special Counsel, and perhaps even SDNY, to come back and say, you know what, Your Honor, we'd like you to look at this again, to review the initial sentence.
This person has been more cooperative. They've used their time wisely. They haven't simply tried to continue to not answer questions, to not be holistic in their cooperation agreement. So we'd like you to now re-evaluate and look upon him favorably.
Now, in the course of that, you would think the person would continue to be helpful as a cooperator, so I was surprised. In the first instance, he wanted to be so vocal. The fact that he is now saying that he cannot at the end of the investigation makes perfect sense, Ana, because they are probably still using him as a cooperator.
They're using him for information that he may have. He may be more forthcoming now. But what it also signals is that Mueller has found this person to continue to be useful even after a sentence has come down.
It may not signal an impending indictment of a particular person, but it does still show the value and worth of somebody who was so close to the inner circle of the President of the United States and those who led the campaign as well.
CABRERA: All right, Laura Coates, I really appreciate your expertise. And good to have your perspective with us, thank you.
COATES: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: Tonight, a CNN SPECIAL REPORT. Laurie Segall talks exclusively with Facebook insiders. "Facebook At 15: It's Complicated" airs tonight at 9:00. Don't go anywhere.
[18:41:59] CABRERA: Ninety-seven percent. Ninety-seven. That is how effective the measles vaccine is when people get it. But more than 50 years after the vaccine program started, a deadly disease that, as I said, is 97 percent preventable is making a ferocious comeback. Simply because parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children.
The latest outbreak, Washington State. There have been 54 confirmed cases of measles just since the first of the year. Now, the majority of those cases are children under the age of 10. This outbreak is so bad the Governor has issued a state of emergency. Nationally, there have been 81 measles cases this year. Those span
ten states according to the CDC. Globally, the World Health Organization reports 109,000 vaccine-preventable measles deaths still occurred in 2017. Again, these are cases of a disease that is nearly entirely preventable with a simple two-dose vaccination.
But what frightens health officials all around the globe, more than these recent outbreaks, is the percentage of young kids in the U.S. who receive no vaccines of any kind. It continues to rise, as have vaccine exemption rates.
And even though the CDC reporting doesn't identify the reasons behind this trend, we do know there's a lot of misinformation or conspiracy theories about the so-called dangers of vaccines. Dangers that have all been debunked.
A 2016 study in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" reports that states with philosophical exemptions had both higher rates of vaccine refusal and higher rates of disease.
The reality couldn't be more ironic. In countries were vaccines are readily available, and many times free, some parents willingly choose not to have their children vaccinated.
Meanwhile, in some poor countries, an array of challenges prevent many people from even having access to a vaccine that could prevent needless suffering. Suffering that could include blindness, brain swelling, severe diarrhea, dehydration, ear infections, pneumonia, lifelong disabilities, and, yes, even death.
The World Health Organization says that over 21 million lives have been saved through measles immunizations in this century. Twenty-one million lives saved. A CNN op-ed co-authored by the president of the U.N. Foundation and the president of the American Red Cross makes the choice clear.
As the disease surges to its highest levels in more than a decade, it's imperative that we all come together to stop the world from backsliding any further -- and that means ensuring everyone gets vaccinated. Unless we act -- and fast -- more people will get the virus and die. And many of the victims will be children.
Case in point, Madagascar where vaccination rates are extremely low and the worst measles epidemic in decades is now hammering this island nation. CNN's David McKenzie is there.
[18:44:57] DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, the measles outbreak in the U.S. is alarming, but it's not isolated. There is an uptick of cases in Europe and an outbreak currently ongoing in the Philippines. But we traveled to the island nation of Madagascar, which is dealing with a massive outbreak that should be a warning to us all.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Baby Pierrot clings to his father, his measles made life-threatening by malnutrition. They traveled 24 hours just to get to a hospital for treatment.
MCKENZIE (on camera): What were people in the village saying about measles?
JEAN CLAUDE NAMBININTSOA, FATHER OF BABY INFECTED WITH MEASLES, (through translator): There are now a lot of cases in my now village. It's getting even worse.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): It is Madagascar's worst outbreak in decades. More than 50,000 infected, more than 300 killed across this island nation by an entirely preventable disease.
The virus was forgotten by many, including physicians, thanks to vaccines. But for years, immunization rates have been dangerously low.
DR. LON KIGHTLINGER, VOLUNTEER, PEACE CORPS: Outbreak like this in Madagascar should be a wake-up call for not only every person, every health center in Madagascar, but for the whole world. These diseases come back, and they clobber us if we're not protected.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Measles is now finding victims in Europe and the U.S. as well. In Washington State alone, there are around 50 confirmed cases.
MCKENZIE (on camera): Do you get frustrated when you see outbreaks in the U.S. for a preventable disease?
KIGHTLINGER: I do. I do, especially measles. And the U.S., our -- the whole infrastructure is set up to prevent it.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): In Madagascar, the system is overburdened and underfunded. So when this outbreak hit, Lon's past life found him.
KIGHTLINGER: No. So I said, you know, I work for them.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The former epidemiologist is now a Peace Corps volunteer put to work by the local clinic tracking cases and distributing vaccines.
KIGHTLINGER: We'll, you know, get it done together.
MCKENZIE (on camera): It's a team.
KIGHTLINGER: Yes, it's a team.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): We follow as he visits a man recovering from the virus. Even the strong have fallen ill.
KIGHTLINGER: He's starting to get his strength back a little bit.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The doctors say baby Pierrot will recover, too. But with measles and other preventable diseases, recovery isn't the aim. Prevention is. And that requires a global effort and attitude. It is a question of mentality, says Doctor Andosoa, because we need to
convince those people. Not only people in poor countries are not well-educated. Here, health is never taken for granted. And one fact is known only too well, vaccines save lives.
MCKENZIE: We met a young mother who had three young children die over three days in January because of measles. This is a deadly virus, and experts say that the only real prevention are vaccines -- Ana.
CABRERA: David McKenzie, thank you for that reporting.
And now, this week's "Before the Bell." Here's CNN's Money and business correspondent Christine Romans.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Investors are hoping for progress on a trade agreement between the U.S. and China. This week, top American negotiators head to Beijing for talks ahead of a March 1st deadline. And then that's when the Trump administration has promised to jack up tariffs on Chinese imports to 25 percent.
Last Thursday, stocks sold off after indications the two sides are still far apart. The market has rallied back this year, partly because investors are hoping for a deal with China soon.
Corporate earnings will also drive trading this week. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Cisco, and Under Armour are among the companies reporting.
So far, fourth-quarter results have been better than many analysts expected and that has been good for the stock market. With more than 60 percent of S&P 500 companies reporting, 70 percent have been better than expectations, 22 percent have been worse.
In New York, I'm Christine Romans.
[18:48:57] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Now, this isn't something you see every day. Check this out. It's a home surveillance video from California.
A mountain lion lunges after a deer. They mix it up in a backyard pool. There you see the deer paddling for its life as that mountain lion climbs out the other side.
And here's how the homeowners reacted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL WONG, GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: My husband came in and he said, did something fall in the pool? And I was like, what? I don't know. And so it was all wet on both sides of the pool. And I was like, I
don't know, I guess let's look at the camera. I got the video and I was like, oh, my god, this happened in our pool. National Geographic in our pool.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: And get this, one of the animals in that video may have a reputation. Local wildlife experts think that mountain lion is Nikita, a cougar who apparently likes to roam the rugged areas of Glendale.
The glitz, the glam, and those highly coveted gold trophies. Live pictures right now. It is music's biggest night. Hollywood is buzzing for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. And our Stephanie Elam, who has the best assignment of the weekend, joins us live now from the red carpet.
Stephanie, I'm loving the updo. You always look so beautiful. Give us a preview.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you. Thank you so much. Well, I can tell you, the carpet is definitely buzzing now.
We've seen Kacey Musgraves go through. She's already won a Grammy tonight. We've seen Maren Morris who is up for her song, "Middle." And the Backstreet Boys are right over here. Here is Cee Lo.
[18:55:00] So the carpet is coming alive right now. What I can tell you is the Grammys this year has really been about whether or not more women were going to be nominated and were going to win.
Alicia Keys is hosting. And I can tell you that there are some new artists that have already won. Like, Dua Lipa has already won a Grammy. I can tell you that Lady Gaga has won a Grammy, so far, for her album -- for the song from "A Star Is Born," "Shallow," that everyone remembers from the movie there.
And then Ariana Grande, who is not here -- after having creative differences with the team putting together the Grammys, the live show, she is not here. But she has won a Grammy tonight, as well. She tweeted about having mixed feelings and hoping that it had worked out, but she did win a Grammy tonight.
So, yes, there's a lot of activity here. There is, also, a lot of rain happening in L.A. right now so it's making it a little colorful for people getting here. But still, it's in full swing here on the red carpet now, Ana.
CABRERA: All right, Stephanie Elam, have fun. Thanks so much. We're back in just a moment.