Return to Transcripts main page
CNN Sources Say Trump Intends to Sign Deal to Avoid Shutdown; Trump Slams Omar on Anti-Semitism But Ignores His Own Controversies; Pelosi Says Trump and Pence Should Not Criticize Omar's Tweets; Judge May Rule on Manafort's Alleged Lies to Mueller; Roger Stone Speaks Ahead of Potential Gag Order; Howard Schultz Won't Say If He Would Sell Starbucks Stock. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired February 13, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Send me story ideas or feedback. That is it for me. Brooke Baldwin starts right now.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Brianna, thank you, I am Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN. Thank you for being with me in Washington. It appears avoiding shutdown is a done deal. We have a proposal that has the blessing of top Republicans and top Democrats. We have a vote on that proposal set for tomorrow night in the House, one that Speaker Pelosi seems confident will get her chamber's approval.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: As with all compromises I say to people support the bill for what is in it, don't judge it for what it is not in it. We can't pass it until it's ready and when it's ready we'll be ready to pass it.
And we have a President who says he doesn't want the government to close its door farce second time. I don't want to see a shutdown, shutdown won a terrible thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So why did Trump's press secretary say this earlier today?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We want to see what the final piece of legislation looks like. It's hard to say whether or not the President will sign it until we know what's in it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Lisa Lerer is a national reporter for the "New York Times." welcome back. Two sources who have spoken directly to the President tells CNN he plans to sign the bill. Why does it seem the White House is stringing this along?
LISA LERER, NATIONAL REPORTER FOR THE "NEW YORK TIMES": With this President you never know if he'll sign something until the ink is on the paper. He's known for changing his mind and there are still some disputes over in Congress about reauthorizing the violence against women act, about whether to give contractors back pay for their time off work during the shutdown so this is not quite a done deal by all the signal s we're getting feel like it's moving forward. It would be a weak moment for the President. This is the first major event of this year where we are moving into his reelection cycle and he's caving so there is why this is uncertainty among the White House and that's part of why there is a lot of sensitivity around this legislation.
BALDWIN: The bipartisan deal also falls well short of for $5.7 billion that the President wanted to build the wall but he says he has other options for funding so CNN has identified four including accessing treasury forfeiture funds and reallocating some Pentagon funds marked for counter narcotics.
[14:05:00] Those two may not require a national emergency. The others are using money for Army Corps civil works or military construction, would require that emergency. We also know some fellow Republicans oppose that move so what are the President's next steps or is he sort of boxed in?
LERER: We're likely to see two things. The White House and the President is going to spin this as a victory which it is just not. The irony is he could have had a better deal with the last proposal to avoid this shut down entirely. He's not getting the mileage of the wall built that he wants. He's falling far short of the 5.7 but they'll say this is a down payment and what you'll see the White House do is collect money using the powers of the presidency, move money around and then deal with the issue of a national emergency and that is something that would be controversial including within the Republican party. There are plenty of Republicans from border states, some of whom are up for reelection that don't want the headache of these eminent domain lawsuits and the fight over this thing before they go into their reelection and there's a bunch of senators from battleground states who are worried about how this would play in places like Colorado so it would be a political headache for sure.
BALDWIN: Do you think that this will be fast tracked by the deadline?
LERER: I think if you're going to do it you want to avoid the pain of another shutdown which the polling indicates was not positive for the President's approval rating which sunk to the lowest paint so that's what Republicans in Congress would like to see.
BALDWIN: Lisa Lerer, thank you very much.
On Capitol Hill, Ilhan Omar is firing back at the White House after Vice President Mike Pence joined President Trump in condemning a tweet both Democrats and Republicans say was anti-Semitic. The Congresswoman tweeting directly to the President writing this, "you have trafficked in hate your whole life against Jews, Muslims, indigenous, immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?" Now I want to zero on the President's words and actions that have been denounced as anti-Semitic in the past. Listen too what then-candidate Trump said during a 2015 Presidential forum sponsored by the Republican Jewish coalition.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You won't support me because I don't want your money. You want to control your own politician, that's fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: In 2016, the Trump campaign released this closing ad, one condemned by the Anti-Defamation League for using anti-Semitic imagery, it features George Soros, former fed chair Janet Yellen and Lloyd Blankfein, all three are Jewish while railing against so-called global elites who control power in the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The establishment has trillions of dollars at stake in this election. For those who control the levers of power in Washington and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don't have your good in min mind. It has robbed our working class, stripped its money of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: And we'll have this conversation. There was his comment in the wake of the Charlottesville attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They showed up in Charlottesville -- excuse me. You had some very bad people in that group. But you had people that were very fine people on both sides.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Just a reminder that one of those sides featured Neo-Nazis yelling "Jews will not replace us."
Peter Beinart is a contributing editor for "The Atlantic" and a senior columnist for "The Forward."
Rob Astorino is a member of the Advisory Council To Reelect President Trump. They are both CNN political commentators. So, gentlemen, welcome. To you sir, first. The President. How do you explain that?
ROB ASTORINO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, MEMBER OF THE ADVISORY COUNCIL TO REELECT PRES. TRUMP: Well, it's amazing to me, Omar makes this statement and it's 10 percent on Omar and 90 percent on what Trump said in the past. Let's stick with Omar. But I'm going to go down a different path. BALDWIN: Well, the President said she should resign. That's why --
ASTORINO: I disagree with that, I totally disagree and I think the calls for resignations on both sides as gotten out of hand and we're going down a bad path when the first amendment withers with free speech. Omar may have her own consequences in her district in a year from now if people think she shouldn't be reelected or her leadership could decide they want to take action by the Republicans against King but to say she should resign, I disagree with that.
BALDWIN: But what about President Trump? Those clips we played?
ASTORINO: He shouldn't resign, either.
BALDWIN: But is that not the same thing?
ASTORINO: Has he said stupid things? Absolutely. It's clear but that doesn't take away from the fact of what Omar and others have in the Democratic Party have said.
BALDWIN: So why didn't he denounce --
ASTORINO: And who they're hanging out with, ala Farrakhan.
BALDWIN: Why didn't he denounce Steve King?
ASTORINO: He was denounced by the Republicans in the House.
BALDWIN: And but not directly by the President of the United States.
ASTORINO: He should have said something. But the fact he hasn't isn't the story the story is Omar and the fact that the Democratic leadership is silent with regard to taking action.
BALDWIN: Well they wanted her to apologize and you saw this apology from her.
ASTORINO: Republicans went a step further, they took him off as chairman.
BALDWIN: Your response?
PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR FOR "THE ATLANTIC" AND A SENIOR COLUMNIST FOR "THE FORWARD": There's no parallel between Steve King and Ilhan Omar. Her tweet --
the subject of -- AIPAC is an influential lobby group in Washington. That should be able to be discussed because it has to be discussed carefully because there is a long dangerous stereotype of Jews nefariously controlling governments with money. She didn't express that sensitivity but the larger issue here is she's trying to talk about opposing a system of state-sponsored bigotry in the west bank in which Jews and Palestinians who live side by side live under a different law where Israeli Jews have full rights and Palestinians in the west bank have no free movement, no due process, no right to vote for the government that controls their lives. Her tweet was mistaken but Ilhan Omar is focused on fighting for human rights and couldn't be more different than Steve King, a bigot across the board.
BALDWIN: So, do you think it seems in this case that Republicans are more in on this to score points against Democrats or what is this about?
[14:10:00] BEINART: About enforcing certain lines about the Israel conversation. The reason Republicans are upset at Ilhan Omar and not Donald Trump, even though those statements by Trump were worse than Ilhan Omar's and he hasn't apologized for any is because Ilhan Omar is a critic of Israeli policy which -- and I say this as a committed American Jew, someone who has been to Israel many, many times since I was a kid, Israeli policy is violating human rights in a serious way.
That is what Republicans don't want to talk about.
BALDWIN: Do you want to respond to that?
ASTORINO: No, I'm looking at the double standard and I get into the fact that isn't the issue Omar and recent -- we've talked about Trump and what he has said a zillion times.
BALDWIN: How is it a double standard? He.
ASTORINO: Because the focus is coming off Omar and the pressure she's under by the Democrats to apologize.
BALDWIN: He is the one calling for her resignation.
ASTORINO: And I think it's ridiculous.
BALDWIN: He stepped into.
BEINART: But how can we take you seriously about anti-Semitism if you only criticize anti-Semitism when it's coming from one party.
ASTORINO: Are you talking about me or the President?
ASTORINO: I have said there is no logical way that anyone who says something anti-Semitic should not get condemned. However, should they resign --
BALDWIN: What about Kevin McCarthy?
BEINART: Let's start with the condemnations.
ASTORINO: They should be condemned. I have no problem with that but resigning, no and we'll go down a bad rabbit hole in this country because serve a victim of something today. Everyone is offended by something --
BALDWIN: No, no, no.
ASTORINO: If that's the standard --
BALDWIN: Don't blanket statement. This is anti-Semitism, this is anti-Semitism.
ASTORINO: Wait, Brooke --
BALDWIN: Hang on, hang on --
ASTORINO: We are going to have every9one resign for stupid sayings --
BALDWIN: Sir, she apologized.
ASTORINO: It took her a little while and people could say maybe that's an apology.
BALDWIN: Slow your roll. She apologized. We just played three clips from the candidate and then the President himself. Tell me how many times he's apologized for those comments making those same points.
ASTORINO: He hasn't and I have said I've condemned those. I said those were stupid.
BALDWIN: That's why we're pointing out hypocrisy.
ASTORINO: But this has been going on for a long time.
BALDWIN: Kevin McCarthy around the midterms. He tweeted anti-Semitic trope. "We cannot allow Soros, Steyer And Bloomberg to buy this election. Get out and vote Republican November 6. MAGA. He deleted it and never apologized. If you're going by the same standard, Should he no longer be minority leader?
ASTORINO: I don't think this was anti-Semitic. Those were three major liberal fund-raisers. Major liberal fund-raisers so --
BALDWIN: Jewish money?
ASTORINO: No, no. Not Jewish money. The three names, right?
BEINART: We need to have a consistent standard I don't think Kevin McCarthy should resign, either, we need to have a consistent standard, and we don't want people to say flip things like Omar did, it's about the money, around the Benjamins, then we should expect Kevin McCarthy should be careful. It could just be that it was a coincidence, that the three people he mentioned as buying the elections were Jewish. If we want Ilhan Omar to be careful, Kevin McCarthy should be careful, too.
ASTORINO: Those three are spending tens of millions of dollars --
BEINART: And so is AIPAC. It has political action committees that tell them who to support and they give them money for candidates.
ASTORINO: For both. They support Democrats who support Israel and Republicans --
BEINART: But they support policies Ilhan Omar opposes.
ASTORINO: I don't care what their religion is. That is not the point. They were spending tens of millions of dollars to defeat Republicans so is that off limits because they happen to be Jewish?
BEINART: No, no. The point is we need to have one clear single standard and if the point is these are dangerous stereotypes then people on both sides should be careful. If you don't want to criticize Ilhan Omar, fine, but if you do, you have to hold Kevin McCarthy to the same standard and Donald Trump.
ASTORINO: It will never end. It will be subjective all the time, that's the issue.
BALDWIN: There should be a standard and we should be calling balance and strikes for both sides. Appreciate both your perspective.
Breaking news involving Michael Cohen who leaked his confidential bank records. What we're learning from the Department of Justice.
Plus, very soon a judge may issue a ruling on the alleged lies former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort told Robert Mueller. And big on criticism, short on politics. Former Starbucks CEO takes questions but dodges many, including on whether he would sell Starbucks stock. We are looking into ethics laws there.
You're watching CNN, I'm Brooke Baldwin.
[14:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: We're back. Brooke Baldwin. Let me start with breaking news involving the President's former attorney Michael Cohen. He is tied to another federal investigation and this time he is the victim. The Justice Department is investigating the leak of his confidential bank records. CNN's Kara Scannell and Sara Murray both join me. Kara, give me the details of the investigation and what you're hearing from sources.
KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: That's right, Brooke. According to two sources familiar with the investigation, the Department of Justice is investigating who leaked Michael Cohen's bank records. It came to light last year that Michael Cohen had received millions of dollars in payments from corporations, including one linked to a Russian oligarch as well as AT&T, the parent company of CNN, for consulting contracts that Michael Cohen was selling his proximity to the White House. Now the big question is how did this information come to light because these are confidential reports that are filed by banks to the Treasury Department. And now we know the Department of Justice is investigating this. According to two sources, the U.S. attorney's office in the Northern District of California, that's the area that includes San Francisco is leading the investigation and the charges in this case could be filed very soon.
BALDWIN: And Paul Manafort is back in court. He is the President's former campaign chairman who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction. A judge is expected to rule today if she found the that Manafort lied to Mueller's prosecutors breaking his plea agreement. But Manafort's lawyers pushed back today. Can you talk to me about that?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they said he didn't lie. This has been their talking point from the beginning claiming he was in there for these long vigorous strenuous sessions, he could forget things, misremember things along the way but that he never actively was trying to lie to the special counsel's team but Brooke this is a big deal. If the judge doesn't buy Paul Manafort's she could say you violated your plea agreement and that leaves the special counsel's office open to do whatever they want, and leaves the judge open to do whatever she wants in terms of sentencing for Paul Manafort.
BALDWIN: Now Roger Stone. Roger Stone, the President's longtime associate has been indicted on obstruction and false statements and a judge is weighing whether to put a gag order on his case. Today his lawyers entered a court filing which had a lot of inaccuracies about how the media learned about his arrest. Can you talk to me about that?
MURRAY: There's been plenty going on. He said the special counsel's team shared with CNN a copy of the indictment. Prosecutors are saying you didn't unseal this -- Roger Stone's team is saying you didn't unseal this correctly. There are so many players, Brooke but we have to walk you through the timeline. If you look through my text messages with Roger Stone's attorney, which are part of these court records, they show I'm texting Roger Stone's attorney and I'm saying to him at 6:17 in the morning, I've received this press release from the special counsel saying Roger Stone is arrested. At this point CNN knows this. We decided to stake him out. At 6:17 in the morning we get the press release from the special counsel's team. At 6:21, I text Roger Stone's lawyer and say we got a press release, at 6:22 I send him a link to the indictment which is noted in the press release which you can find online. But Roger Stone's team is pointing to this saying, you know, seen then got this through nefarious means, this was still under seal and it shouldn't have been released this way. It's worth noting, we have these records showing the motion to the judge to seal this arrest and it says that the arrest and indictment will be unsealed once Roger Stone is taken into custody so at this point Roger Stone has been arrested, the special counsel puts out a press release, release the indictment, I share all of this with Roger Stone's lawyer and they are pointing to this as evidence of a grand conspiracy. They say they don't buy the explanation that we've been transparent about why we decided to stake out Roger Stone. It's worth noting, we had other stakeouts going. We were sure an arrest was coming down, we were not 100 percent sure it was going to be Roger Stone so other stakeouts were going that yielded nothing but Roger Stone wants to turn this into a big and public fight and we'll see if the judge buys into it.
BALDWIN: How incredible and welcome to your world that you're texting with his attorney at 6:17 in the morning. Sara Murray, thank you. Kara Scannell, thank you as well.
Days after the President's physical, former vice President Dick Cheney's cardiologist says something isn't right about this and asks what are they hiding? We'll talk to Sanjay Gupta about this, get his opinion. And could assets seized in the El Chapo case help President Trump build his wall? It is an idea that is gaining traction.
And hear from the DEA agent, special agent in charge who helped take down the most infamous drug lord.
[14:25:01] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: Billionaire Howard Schultz won't say if he would sell all his Starbucks stock if he were elected. Schultz is pondering an independent White House run. The former CEO owns roughly 33 million shares of Starbucks stock worth more than $2 billion. This is what he told Poppy Harlow at last night's CNN Presidential "TOWN HALL."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:30:00] HOWARD SCHULTZ, FORMER STARBUCKS CEO: I will do anything to have no conflict of interest between my investments or my interests in the company that I love because I will put the role and the responsibility and the accountability for results first if I run for President and I'm fortunate enough to win. And that is a promise I make to the American people.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: Have you not decided if you will sell all of your shares?
SCHULTZ: I don't think that's the question. I think I -- there's multiple ways to do this -- I'm not evading the question. There's multiple ways to do this, set up a blind trust, do lots of things, to remove any conflict of interest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Walter Shaub is a CNN contributor. Welcome back. First, just refresher course.
WALTER SHAUB, FORMER ETHICS DIRECTOR UNDER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: First, there is no way to do this.