Return to Transcripts main page


"Green New Deal" Gets Backing From 2020 WH Candidates; Trump Meets With Columbian President Amid Border Deal Review; Trump: I Don't Want To Have A Shutdown; Trump Rips Muslim Rep. Over Tweet Seen As Anti-Semitic. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired February 13, 2019 - 12:30   ET



[12:30:00] SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To reduce Air Travel -- we're for what we're for and we want to see a green economy in the next decade. Not because it's easy, but because it's hard.

There's so much opportunity in this bill for economic growth and really fixing things that are broken and so why not have an aspirational goal. And maybe some things are hard to get to and maybe we won't actually get there but why not at least try?


JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Why not -- look, the conversation is 20 years Al Gore would argue 30 years or 40 years overdue of the conversation. But this town is not capable to have the conversation. And so the question is, hats off to the Democrats pushing, let's have the conversation. There's a risk when you put these aspirational goals on paper because it is t-ball for some Republicans.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, and you see it already. I mean, we've gotten all the e-mails about getting rid of herding cows and everybody gets a new house and no more airplanes. You're going to see Republicans do this over and over again.

Basically sort to make big, bold assertions about what this big, bold plan would do and then you're going to have Democrats try to make nuanced, you know, nuanced comments and have a nuanced conversation about this. But that's really hard in this environment when you have a President who does like to basically deal in no nuance and sort of big idea that people can sort of grab on to and ridicule this plan.

KING: And it's one of these examples where two things can be true at the same time. In the sense the Democrats believe with younger voters, with suburban voter, with college educated voters, they're ready for this debate. They want this debate. They want to have this discussion.

Some of them may block it some of the price tags but they want to have the conversation. Republicans are also right when they say look at the Trump electoral map. You want to try to sell this in Pennsylvania and in Michigan and in Wisconsin. Or, you're trying to take back Ohio and be competitive in the industrial Midwest? Good luck.

OLIVIER KNOX, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, SIRIUSXM: So, I mean, come on that's one, you mentioned that for the 40 years that Al Gore might say it's 40 years too late now the other number is 12. But it kind of times is warning that we have about 12 years before things risk becoming cataclysmic. That's at least as much in the minds of Democrats as any other figure.

The other thing is, instructed to go back and look at the stimulus, the Obama stimulus which had a lot of green energy stuff in it. The Republicans are very successfully counter branded that only with the Solyndra (ph), right the solar -- the failed solar panel company.

The other thing to point is of course Nancy Pelosi making her Congress walk to plank and vote on climate change legislation that never got taken out by the Senate. I think Democrats are attuned of the dangers here. I do think though that the warnings that they're getting from climate experts are weighing very heavily.

KING: If they can force the debate, good for them. Here's again, Republicans are going to look for opportunity. This is a fact sheet put up by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez for Green New Deal fact sheet.

Economic Security for people unable or unwilling to work. Republicans are going to jump on that, saying wait a minute -- wait a minute, why is the government to pay for that? Provide job training education to all. Build out Highspeed Rail. Air Travel becomes unnecessary. Unsure if they can get rid of "farting cows" emissions. There it is. There -- the flatulence argument.

Now, again, the science is crystal clear. Sorry, Mr. President. Sorry to the Republicans who don't have the conversation. It's a long overdue conversation. The question is every second, as I speak, we're closer to the 2020 election. Will the Democrats stand firm or will they blink when some of their own members like Joe Manchin of West Virginia says, we can't do this right now.

SEUNG MIN KIM, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: So I think the Democrats will continue to for the most part to endorse the broad strokes and the goal of the Green New Deal, but you're right that once you get out in the details, especially the details that are inadvertently or inaccurately released by one Congresswoman's office, it makes it way too easy for Republicans to go after Democrats on this. And I was talking with Senator Brian Schotts yesterday and he was like look, are we really going to hold every Democratic candidate to the standard of an -- look at aren't of a queue which is fair, but I mean, that's the kind of environment that we're in right now and that's the influence that Ocasio-Cortez has in this field.

MICHAEL SHEAR, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: But they also can't -- the Democratic Party can't afford not to try to motivate this sort of raucous, energetic part of their constituency. Especially approaching the primary campaign, right? Like ultimately they will have to run against President Trump as soon and he's the guy running in office. But, they first have to motivate their base and this, you know, whether it's being done well or poorly or whether they're like putting out sort of information that isn't helpful, they still do need to figure out how to walk that line and this broad issue is one that can help to get that.

HENDERSON: And we're going to see some of the fault lines, I think if this thing comes to a vote in the Senate. Obviously we know some folks are already cosponsors of it. They essentially have to vote for it you would think they're cosponsors of it. And then you look at somebody like Sherrod Brown, right? What does he do on this? You know, he's been skeptical of it and talking about it in some ways the way that Klobuchar has been, as well. So we're going to see what his idea about where the party is, as well.

KING: And to that point, once you have a nominee -- once you have a nominee these things get more clear with the President of the United States at the White House.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: See what happens, OK thank you. Thank you very much.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- (INAUDIBLE) the United States and will be able to tolerate the president of Nicolas Maduro in the Palacio de Milaflores because currently --

TRUMP: Right. Right, sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- that there is a new president that they recognize and like as official president like he's living in Milaflores. How much longer?

[12:35:07] TRUMP: Well, I have great respect for the man that most people, many people think is the real President of Venezuela. He's very brave. It's a very brave situation what he's doing, as you know. I've seen what's happened in the streets and I've seen what's happened with executions so I really give a lot of credit. And I think it's going to work out very well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you still consider any military solution for Venezuela?

TRUMP: I think there are number of solutions, a number of different options and we look at all options.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And are you thinking of sending troops to Colombia like before?

TRUMP: I never talk about that.


IVAN DUQUE MARQUEZ, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA: Let me add something on the first question that was raised by Vanessa (ph). President Guaido who is the person about to leave this transition in Venezuela has a strong support and we need to give him even stronger support. I think what happened with the E.U. has been very important. We will host the Lima group next week in Bogota and we will, all of the countries in the hemisphere give him a stronger support he needs to lead the transition in Venezuela.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If President Maduro stays in power do you have a plan b?

TRUMP: I always have plan b and c and d and e and f. I have great flexibility and probably have more flexibility than any man that's ever been in this office so we'll see. But, there are many plans and we'll see where we go.

Right now we're in an incredible period. I saw the tremendous numbers of people yesterday, you know, you're talking about during the week just numbers that you rarely see anything like at the protests. So we'll see.

A lot of things are happening in Venezuela that people don't know about and there's a lot of support for what we're doing and for the people that we're talking to, a lot of support, tremendous support.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- At the border now in Venezuela, where is it now? How is it come again in this country?

TRUMP: Well I have to be able to let the food in and in many cases it's getting in. They've blocked one of the bridges they haven't been able to block the others. They'd like to try. I think he's making a terrible mistake by not allowing that to happen. It's showing bad things and really we're trying to get food to people that are starving. You have people starving in Venezuela.

And it just shows what can happen with the wrong government. You have the wrong government, bad things happen, but you have many, many people that are in really trouble for just hunger and so we are delivering and we're sending tremendous amounts of food and other thing supplies.


MARQUEZ: Mr. President, if I may add to that, I think we have to give a very strong message to the dictatorship obstructing the access of humanitarian aid is a crime against humanity. And we have to ensure that the humanitarian aid gets to the Venezuelan people and Columbia is highly committed to receive humanitarian aid from the U.S. and now other countries so that it gets access Venezuela and help the Venezuelan people.


TRUMP: Well, we haven't got it yet. We'll be getting it. We'll be looking for land mines because you could have that. You know, it's been known to happen before to people. But we have not gotten it yet. It will be sent to us at some point and we'll take a very serious look at it. We have a lot of things happening right now. We're building a lot of wall right now with money that we already have.

And when people see what we're doing I think they'll be very surprised. We're doing a lot of work. And we have planned to do a lot of work. But I have not seen it yet.

I appreciate all the work the Republicans have done because they're going against a radical left. It's a radical left. And they're going against it very hard and they're fighting. But we're in very good shape and we're going to take a look at it when it comes.

I don't want to see a shutdown. Shutdown would be a terrible thing. I think a point was made with the last shutdown. People realized how bad the border is, how unsafe the border is. And I think a lot of good points were made, but i don't want to see another one. There's no reason for it and we're going to look at the legislation when it comes and I'll make a determination then.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) -- you didn't sign what was on the table just a few months ago?

TRUMP: Actually, it would be regardless of what I do. You know, we already have as you know, a lot of money where we're building an existing wall with existing funds, but I have a lot of options just like we do with Venezuela, we have on the border. And we have a lot of options and a lot of things are happening. Very positive things.

You know, the numbers are almost $23 billion which you don't report too often. It's about an eight percent increase over last year. So, if you look at the total funding it's over -- it's almost up to $23 billion. It's about 8 percent higher.

[12:40:10] The border area is happening. It's going to happen at a really rapid pace. We're giving out contracts right now and we're going have a great wall. It's going to be a great, powerful wall. People will not be able to get through that wall very easily. And I think you see that. I think you see it happening. It's very important.

It also have technology. It will have drones. It will have everything else we have.

If you look at the other elements, ICE funding will be complete. We have other things happening which people aren't talking about but we've a lot of funds for a lot of other things. But with the wall they want to be stingy, but we have options that most people don't really understand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- 5,000 troops to Colombia?

TRUMP: You'll see.


TRUMP: Any other questions?


TRUMP: I'll be visit -- I really want to visit Colombia. I look forward to visiting. We're working very very closely on (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well then, would you consider an amnesty into Maduro, for Maduro?

TRUMP: Something we haven't thought of.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) -- for this proposal to use El Chapo's money to pay your border wall.

TRUMP: Well it's always interesting. Anything Ted does is interesting. So that certainly an interesting one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why does this in Columbia's drug policy?

TRUMP: Yes I will work in together so that Columbia eradicates some of what they're growing in Columbia. I wouldn't say that at this moment you're ahead of schedule, but hopefully you will be, but some time in the near future.

MARQUEZ: But let me mention something to that question, Mr. President. In the first four months of our administration we have eradicated 60,000 hectares, more than was eradicated in the previous eight months. We have a goal and we will commit to that goal because it is our moral duty to have Colombia free of illegal crops and free of Narco trafficking. We have to deliver. We will deliver because it is our moral duty.

TRUMP: I just want to say before you leave, the economy is doing incredibly well. Numbers are really high, really good. We have a big team of people, very talented people over in China right now negotiating on the china deal. It's going along very well, we'll see what happens but I think it's going along very well. They're showing us tremendous respect and something which a lot of countries didn't used to show the United States, they're showing us respect now. Big difference from the old days, I will tell you that.

So the deal with China is going very well. The economy is doing fantastically. You saw the gallop poll that came out, 69 percent or so say they'll going to be in better shape next year then even this year and they're very happy right now. And that's the best numbers they've had in 16 or 17 years, but the economy is strong. We have a lot of companies coming into the United States. They want to come into the United States.

So we have a lot of good things happening and the wall is being built as we speak. Thank you all very much. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: The President of the United States there in the Oval Office, President Ivan Marquez of Columbia, splitting their time. A lot of conversation there about the political crisis in Venezuela, both leaders pledging their support to the man who is called himself the interim president.

President Maduro refuses to step down but the international community including countries in the region among them Colombia have called him to step down in favor of Juan Guaido, both leaders suppressing their support there.

The president at the end saying many things about the proposed spending compromise and many of the things the President said are not true or not factual. But let's discuss it around the table.

The President said, Democrats are being stingy when it comes to the wall, they're certainly offering a lot less. He also said several times a lot of wall was being built. The facts would not support the way the President spun it there. He talked about the radical left but he said, he does not want to have a shutdown again, indicating that he may not like this, what's about to come to his desk, but by all indications he's going to sign it.

KIM: Yes, I think that's a signal there that, you know, he's not going to like it. He'll complain about it, but he'll eventually sign it and then he'll take some sort of action on his own and that could be litigated, you know, in the political arena or on the courts elsewhere.

KING: You have a parallel universe sometimes when you watch this events in the sense that, again, President repeatedly saying new wall is being built.

There are plans who start construction on the modest section of a new wall on the Rio Grande area. No other wall has been built as of today. As we sit here today, the President keep saying and trying to convince his supporters. I'm getting this one way or the other that there's new wall already built.


KING: When you go to the border, not the case. He also says the point was made during the shutdown. If you look at the polling, the President's numbers did not go up and in some cases went down. Support for the wall stayed, majority oppose. Asked people if they want an emergency declaration or some national emergency? No.

[12:45:03] And the proposal the president is going to get today gives him less money than he could've signed before the shutdown. What was the point that was made?

HENDERSON: I think he -- the point that we saw today, I think, the president is trying to create his own reality and talk to his supporters, right? I mean, several times, building a lot of wall, spending a lot of money. Border area is happening, contracts are going out, the wall is being built as we speak. He ended that saying that and I think it's the same thing when he's essentially is trying to spin the loss to Pelosi as a win essentially saying, oh, the point that I made there in terms of the border being dangerous were successful and we don't need to do that again, but yes, I think this is -- I think you made this point earlier.

It's like he is talking to those supporters and he knows his -- his supporters are largely with him and they essentially take their cues from him. He had the big rally. It was finish the wall, right? At some point, I think both are saying build the wall, build the wall, and then there's like no, no, no, it's finish the wall at this point because it's already being built in this moment.

SHEAR: And I think, you know, what was the point that was made during the shutdown? The point was made, the rest of Washington thinks the point was made to the president don't do this again, right? The pain is real politically, the pain is real for the people who were suffering financially from it, the pain is real for institutions and organizations like air traffic and the like which had the sort of shutdown or alter because of it, and I think the message that was gotten and it looks like it's gotten through. I mean, if we're to believe what he says is that he doesn't want to go through that again.

KING: Let's talk briefly about the Venezuela conversation because too often because we're in the middle of this big budget fight because we just had a government shutdown, because we're heading into the 2020 campaign. Sometimes the big international news doesn't get enough attention. This is the big deal.

Once prosperous -- one of the most prosperous countries in the neighborhood if you will, now in a mess because of the Maduro regime, this administration with bipartisan support that said Maduro must go.

KNOX: And international support.

KING: Yes, an international support. You heard the president of Colombia is they'll have a meeting next week to try to increase the pressure. What should we look for there? What's the U.S. piece and what's the more closer in the neighborhood piece?

KNOX: Well, all of the attention is always on the president when he says all options are on the table including the military option, right. That gets the headlines. It's a pretty route formula that we have from presidents all the time.

I think what I'm looking for in particular is help to Colombia because no country in that neighborhood is more affected than them. They've had hundreds of thousands of refugees pouring over the border, that takes a lot of time, energy, and money and resources to feed, to cloth, to house, to protect and the rest of that watching. That's going to be very important.

It was interesting to hear the president talk about what we are doing and the president of Colombia talk about a more, should we say, hemispheric approach avoiding putting the U.S. stamp on a policy that the continent -- that the whole region remembers American interventionism. I think it's going to be interesting to see whether they can get as the county and presidents had a hemisphere-wide consensus behind Juan Guaido. I don't know because of Mexico and Cuba, I don't know where they could get -- whether they can get that. But if they can get that, it's significant.

KING: Whether they can get that, yes, that's a key point you made a different ways. The president of Colombia and the president of the United States talked about this in terms of how best to approach it including the fact that President Trump said that man twice about Juan Guaido, the president of Colombia to his name.

Up next, Congressman Omar response to the president of United States on a very heated issue.


[12:52:39] KING: New developments today in a controversy involving a freshman Democratic member of Congress and the president of the United States.

Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota set up a bipartisan fire storm by suggesting Jews are buying influence in American politics tweeting, "All about the Benjamins". The president joining the course of condemnation over the remark, this is the president yesterday at his cabinet meeting.


TRUMP: Congressman Omar is terrible what she said, and I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.


KING: Congressman Omar firing back at the president this morning tweeting, "You have trafficked and hate your whole life against Jews, Muslims, indigenous immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?" That's the Congresswoman firing back.

This, Steny Hoyer, the Democratic number two said, look, she apologized. Everybody should move on, but he did say the challenge now is for her to be careful going forward. The Democrats would keep an eye on her if she goes forward.

She's showing there clearly, she's willing to continue the fight with the president over the broader issue and I'll just note before I leave it to you guys. The president didn't call for Steve King to resign. We can go back 10 or 12 years. The president didn't look at his own words and say I'd like to take a lot of things back. We could go back a few on those so I could go on.

KNOX: I like the Soros memes, right, on the right.

KING: Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican Leader who said she should be stripped off to committee who tweeted about Bloomberg, soros (ph), and stire (ph) trying to buy the election.

KNOX: But I think you put your finger on it which is she would much rather have this argument with the president than face internal criticism from her fellow Democrats.

SHEAR: I mean, look, I also think what's interesting is we're in a period here where Democrats across the board, you know, you know what's going on in Virginia with the situation down there and then this situation as well. They've given opportunities for the -- this president in particular who has so much of his own baggage, racial, gender, sexual harassment -- I mean, all of that stuff that has been swirling around him for years and, you know, the irony that the Democrats have given him an opportunity to take the moral high ground on some of these issues or at least to try to take the moral high ground on some of these issues is really, I think, sticking in the craw of a lot of Democrats that are like really, are we really going to give him the opportunity to do this and look at what he, you know, what he's able to sort of sit and opine about?

[12:55:08] KING: Mike Pence continuing the argument and he just told MSNBC moments ago, we won't play it, but he says unless she resigns, Democratic leadership remove her from the House of Foreign Affairs Committee.

Again, we could go back and look at Mike Pence's history as well. People say things that maybe they wish they shouldn't say in her case, her case the question is she has strongly held views about Israel's treatment with the Palestinians. She has every right to have those views, this is America, she has personal right.

The question is, now that she's the president, remember, this new Democratic majority, how does she articulate them?

KIM: And that's the key point, and also how does the Democratic leadership handle this? I mean, we saw House Speaker Pelosi had a very stern conversation with her. The Leader Hoyer has not ruled out future potential action for her but it will be a sensitive challenge for them going forward.

KING: And at the moment we shall see if the president responds to her -- response to him, I guess is the best way to put it. Thanks for joining us CNN "INSIDE POLITICS", thanks (ph) for the Breaking News. Brianna Keilar joins -- starts after a quick break. Have a good afternoon.