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Donald Trump's Frustration Grows Over Delay Of Senate Trial; Navy SEALs Call Ex-Platoon Chief Absolved By Trump "Evil & Toxic" In Videos Obtained By "The New York Times;" Deval Patrick Fails To Qualify For Michigan's March 10th Primary; Amazon Abandons Plans For New York Headquarters; Saints Address Antonio Brown Workout Rumors. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired December 28, 2019 - 08:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The wreckage of a missing tour helicopter in Hawaii has been located.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have air and ground operations dispatched. At this time we have no actionable information on the status of the passengers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our ground and air crews continue to search for survivors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Behind-the-scenes at Mar-a-Lago President Trump is increasingly frustrated with the standstill in the impeachment process.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a perfect case they had no case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We say to President Trump, if you are so confident you did nothing wrong, why won't you let your men testify?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I couldn't remember if I was recording at the time or how the camera was framed? I just - I saw that trailer coming. I knew I had to run away from it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: President Trump is on vacation. Twitter however is not. Specifically his Twitter feed. He's been launching attacks on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the whistleblower.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: The President is clearly frustrated with the uncertainty surrounding his Senate trial. CNN White House Reporter Sarah Westwood joins us now from South Florida. Sarah, we hear that the President has been at Mar-a-Lago there asking advice about who should be on his defense team.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE REPORTER: That's right, Victor and Christie. President Trump clearly growing agitated with this extended state of limbo surrounding his Senate trial and while he's been spending time down here at his property of Mar-a-Lago he's been quizzing aides, quizzing allies with him at his club about who should be presenting the defense and what the White House's strategy should be when this trial finally gets under way.

Now the only certain thing at this point looks to be White House Counsel Pat Cipollone is expected to present the bulk of the President's case before the Senate but beyond that a lot of the details remain unclear. President Trump is considering adding some conservative House allies such as Congressman Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows to the team.

They would present something of a minority response to whatever the Democratic House Managers present in terms of the case for the articles of impeachment. But Democrats are showing no signs of letting up. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of course continues to withhold the articles of impeachment from the Senate.

Take a listen to what one top Democratic member of the House told CNN yesterday about just how long this standoff could last?


REP. DAN KIDLEE, (D-MI): I think we have to wait until we have some assurance that the trial is not going to be some sort of sham or a joke.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: I'm talking extremes here, like into February?

KIDLEE: Well, I mean that's certainly possible but I'm not going to get ahead of the Speaker.


WESTWOOD: Now, we know that President Trump is eager to have his symbolic day of court but, of course, there are just so many unanswered questions, a lot of uncertainty about when that trial will start Victor and Christi.

PAUL: Well, we know Sarah that President Trump and Speaker Pelosi have really been very publicly on Twitter, talking about this. Is there a sense that they are trying to convince either the American people or swing members of the opposite party to get on their side?

WESTWOOD: Ultimately Christi this decision will be up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He is the one who needs just 51 votes technically to set the parameters of the trial. McConnell said this week that he's not anxious to get to trial but President Trump is clearly very impatient. He settled into something of a routine firing off these missives at Speaker Pelosi in between his rounds of golf mingling with guests at the club. Here's just one of those barbs. He wrote on Twitter so interesting to see Nancy Pelosi demanding fairness from Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell when she presided over the most unfair hearing in the history of the United States Congress.

Now Pelosi of course has shown no signs of budging and in fact Democrats have been mounting fresher on Senate Republicans to include some of the things that they want to see like live witnesses, more document collection. Speaker Pelosi firing back wrote on Twitter the facts are clear and every witness told the same story despite the President's attempts to cover it up.

President Trump abused his power for his own personal gain, #defendourdemocracy. The President does have one more week here at Mar-a-Lago and will be surrounded by a row cast of staff and some of those questions about White House strategy could be addressed during the remaining time down here Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right. It's Sarah Westwood, appreciate it. Thank you. Kevin Robillard with us now Senior Political Reporter at "The Huffington Post," Kevin as we continue to listen to this very public fight back and forth, the longer this goes on which party is most at risk here?

KEVIN ROBILLARD, SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER, THE HUFFINGTON POST: I think really it's tough to say. Neither party's standing has really been hurt all that much by this showdown so far. Impeachment really hasn't moved Trump's approval ratings; it really hasn't moved the approval ratings of Democrats in Congress.


ROBILLARD: To a certain extent it might be Republicans just because that right now sort of the onus is on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to keep the Republican Senators together and keep them from sort of bowing to any of these Democratic demands. There's going to be increasing pressure on some of those moderate Republicans, people like Maine Senator Susan Collins, Colorado Senator Corey Gardner both of whom are up for re-election this year.

So there might be a little bit more pressure on Republicans but so far this hasn't really drastically - there hasn't been any drastic change that is going to put a lot of pressure on either party.

PAUL: Sure. Ron Brownstein last night brought something at that was really interesting about how there's no expectation that any of these Senators are going to, you know, check their partisan identity at the door, so to speak. He went on to note every Democratic Senator in '98 voted not to remove President Clinton.

Every Democrat in 1868 voted not to remove Andrew Johnson. But he made the point that to move forward without hearing from some of the key players here with Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo that this could set a dangerous precedent. Let's listen to what he said.


RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: The idea that Republicans in the Senate just from an institutional precedent that they are setting would be okay with the White House base is saying we're not going to let anybody testify. We're not going to release any documents. It's just remarkable to me.

There's going to be another Democratic President some day. There is going to be a Republican Congress that wants to hold oversight over them and they are going to be looking back at the precedent there establishing here and realizing that they have let themselves in a much weakened position.


PAUL: We know Senator Murkowski is at odds with Leader McConnell when it comes what to do here. Do you think that there are other Republicans who have the same concerns that Ron talked about?

ROBILLARD: Yes, I think they're definitely could be. We haven't heard them speak up so far. Although we should note that where Lisa Murkowski goes Susan Collins often goes with her. That is not 100 percent correlation but it is something that they do tend to vote as a bloc at times.

I do think there are going to be other Republican Senators, particularly maybe some of those old time institutionists like Lamar Alexander who is retiring who might want to take a look at this and say wait are we giving up too much article II powers here. Congress has a right to oversee the Executive Branch.

Are we giving up too many of those powers if we sort of just lock arms with Donald Trump on this question? Right now whether or not that desire to protect Congress' historical powers is greater than the desire to protect the Republican President we haven't yet seen much evidence that it is going to get that far.

PAUL: Now Kevin before I let you go I want to ask about the Former Vice President Joe Biden. He gave an interview with "The Des Moines Register" and said that he will not and was very definitive, he will not testify in an impeachment trial because it would take the focus off of President Trump. This is a man who is vying for the executive office of our country for the presidency. Is it okay for him to dismiss protocol if he's subpoenaed?

ROBILLARD: Yes. I was a little surprised by that comment for the most fact that Biden entertained the hypothetical. At this point it is a hypothetical. And really Biden also noted in that interview it doesn't look like we're going to get there. I would be really, really surprised at this point if Joe Biden is subpoenaed. It really seems like most Republican Senators want a pretty quick trial when that happens.

That said it is sort of remarkable that Joe Biden who is really running a campaign on the idea that, you know, Donald Trump thinks he's above the law, we have to - you know he's an abnormal President, the fact he keeps his abusing his powers is unacceptable that's why I'm running that's the reason we have to defeat him.

At the same time going to say, you know if I get the subpoena I won't comply with it. It's interesting he could have said if I was subpoenaed I would fight it in court. That's not what he said. He said I straight up I wouldn't comply with it. I was really surprised by that comment.

PAUL: All right. Kevin Robillard, always great to have you with us. Thank you, sir.

ROBILLARD: Good to be on.

BLACKWELL: Right now to Hawaii. The remains of six people have been recovered. After a tour helicopter crashed on the Island of Kauai and that was Thursday. One person is still unaccounted for. Police say the Debris was found in a remote area of a state park north of the city of Hanapepe. The FAA and NTSP are investigating and we'll have a full report of the latest developments. It's coming up next hour.

PAU: The following new developments in the controversy over Former Navy SEAL Platoon Leader Eddie Gallagher. Videos obtained by "The New York Times" shed light on his fellow SEAL's accusations against him. We have the latest for you next.



PAUL: Twelve minutes past the hour glad to have you back with us. We're following some new developments in the controversy over a Former Navy SEAL Platoon Leader Eddie Gallagher. His case drew attention of the President as he was tried and acquitted of murdering an ISIS fighter.

BLACKWELL: Videos obtained by "The New York Times" shed light on his fellow SEAL's accusations against him. CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr reports and we need to warn you her report contains some pretty disturbing images.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon broke their own code of silence in 2018 with their opinions about retired Special Operations Chief Eddie Gallagher and some making accusations that the elite SEAL committed murder and potential war crimes.

These are portions of recorded Navy SEAL interviews published by "The New York Times," where team members tell investigators their views on the Platoon Leader. Gallagher was acquitted of premeditated murder when a key prosecution witness changed his story and testified under immunity that he caused the prisoner's death not Gallagher.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you suffocate him?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I put my thumbs over his ET tube until he stopped breathing.


STARR: Scott described the killing as an act of mercy because he was concerned the boy, a prisoner of Iraqi forces would be tortured by them. Gallagher was convicted on the charge of taking a photo with a dead ISIS fighter and was then demoted in rank. A decision President Trump reversed allowing the SEAL to retire with honor, even after Pentagon Leaders urged the President not to interfere.

Speaking through his Attorney Gallagher told CNN my first reaction to seeing the videos was surprise and disgust that they would make up blatant lies about me. But I quickly realized that they were scared that the truth would come out of how cowardly they acted on deployment? His defense attorney said the tapes were "A road map to acquittal because they show there were conflicting stories about allegations of Gallagher killing civilians and other misconduct".



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really, you're seeing one very small slice of the story in a way that's not reflecting what the ultimate result was.


STARR: President Trump's determination to reverse the military's punishment of Gallagher against the advice of top Pentagon officials were so controversial Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was ousted. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff insists that discipline and adherence to the laws of war will not suffer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do maintain and we will maintain good order and discipline. We will not turn into a gang of raping, burning and pillaging.


STARR: But some say it's all led to festering bad feelings.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, U.S. JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: So it's this kind of divisiveness that the President's actions have been introducing to the SEAL community, I think that are the most damaging and will have long term effect.

(END VIDEO CLIP) STARR: Gallagher met with Trump over the holidays at Mar-a-Lago and it's possible he will campaign for Trump if asked those who know him say. Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

PAUL: We're going to get some insight from CNN Military and Diplomatic Analyst Retired Rear Admiral John Kirby. Admiral thank you so much for being with us.


PAUL: So when you look at all of this, what concerns, what challenges do these videos raise for the military community?

KIRBY: The biggest concern I have Christi, is the fact that the SEAL community under their new commander Rear McConnell Green has been trying to get their arms around standards of conduct, ethics and proper behavior on the battlefield for quite some time. They've had some fairly news worthy incidents lately where SEAL's in operations have not been meeting the proper standards of conduct for military members involved in operations overseas.

So they are trying to get their arms around that. This is not going make it any easier forced an Admiral Green to do. Bringing these videos out and "The New York Times" story just going to make it that much harder for him because there's a possibility that some members of the military might look at what happened to Gallagher and what he was able to do as surrogates at Fox News and with the President's help.

And they say hey I don't have to pay attention to the Military Judicial System I can be acquitted or I can be exonerated by the President himself through pressure by Fox News hosts. There's a real concern here for good order and discipline going forward.

PAUL: These are Navy SEALs though they are elite members, we know. They usually are out of our sight essentially. Talk to me about how uncommon this is?

KIRBY: Well, we have to keep it in perspective. Remember they weren't going out there publicly trying to talk about what Gallagher did? They were talking to investigators in a pre-trial environment. They were called in to talk to investigators. This isn't necessarily breaking public silence.

But look when we talk about the code of silence for the SEALs and they are a quiet, insular bunch. There is no question about that and rightfully so. There's also a code of honor. Just like every other member of the military they have an obligation when they he see something awry to report it, to try to stop it and report it.

That's what they did. They came forward and said what they believed were Gallagher's misdeeds on the battle field and of course they had some pretty strong comments about him and his character as well. It probably wasn't easy for them to do this. If you look at the text messages that "The New York Times" showed it's clear that they simply want to tell the truth. There was no a lot of coordination of their stories or anything like that in terms of nailing down details. They just all collectively said let's tell truth. I think that's noteworthy.

PAUL: How do they recover from this then Admiral?

KIRBY: They will recover. I think it's important Christi that to say right off the top of the bat that 99.9 percent of all military members and certainly that includes the SEAL community are people of character honor and integrity and serve very honorably this country. There are a few that have caused problems.

And so the SEALs will work through this as the United States military. The standards of conduct won't change. It's a matter of driving the leadership forward and making sure that everybody understands what the expectations are. And I also think the American people don't need the to worry about the SEALs on the battlefield.

Yes there have been some incidents but they are out there every night defending our values, defending our interests, defending this country and doing necessary things to bad people every single night. Lastly Christi, I would say I hope that if nothing else this maybe can start a national conversation to the degree we relied on special operators in the last 19 years.

They are the troops out there every night doing incredible thing. Their deployments are combat deployments. There's not a single day when they are not engaged with the enemy. That takes a toll on your as a person, it takes a toll on your family and certainly it takes a toll on your community. They are very resilient and they will get the through this but we need to think about how much we relied on them? And whether or not we have the right balance in terms of the forces in the field?


PAUL: Admiral John Kirby we should appreciate always and grateful for your candidness and for your insight.

KIRBY: Thanks Christi.

PAUL: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Well, he acknowledges that he's a late entry into the 2020 Democratic Presidential Race but is it too late? Former Governor Deval Patrick's campaign just stumbled a bit. We'll speak with the Governor about it next.


BLACKWELL: Election officials in Michigan say Deval Patrick will not appear on the state's 2020 primary ballot. The Former Massachusetts Governor launched his campaign last month less than three months before the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primary. Yesterday Michigan's Bureau of Elections ruled that Patrick campaign was nearly 3,000 votes short of the 11,000 required to qualify roughly a 11,000 for the state's March 10th primary. And Former Governor Deval Patrick joins us now. Guys this should be on a two shot because this is with Christi and I. Governor, welcome. Thank you for being with us.

DEVAL PATRICK (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good morning. Thanks form having me.

BLACKWELL: Let's put this on a two shot. All right first up here, thank you very much, first up, let's talk about Michigan here and then we'll get to the broader campaign. I want to put up on the screen what we heard from the Michigan board of canvassers. They decided on Friday that your name will not be on the ballot. Here's part of what they said.

They wrote off your petition that it includes 474 signatures of dubious authenticity where the signature appeared to be written in handwriting that was substantially the same as handwriting from multiple petition entries appearing on the same petition sheet. So, let's start here. Did someone from your campaign forge signatures falsify anything on that petition and what's the effort to try to figure that out?

PATRICK: Well, first of all, of course there are no forged or made up signatures. We have to sort out what our options are. It's a kind of a peculiar outcome, I must say because there were two candidates who had not announced at the point when the state party chair submitted names of candidates for the ballot.

One was included, Mayor Bloomberg and one was not, my own. There's something that smells funny there but we submitted more than enough signatures by the deadline. We're going to have to sort out what our options are going forward this is clearly a setback.


PATRICK: But it's not going to stop us. People of Michigan want me on the ballot. People of the other states where we are competing have been very, very warm in their welcome and we're building our team and building our campaign to be competitive.

PAUL: You said something smells odd there. Are you suggesting that there is something foul going on in Michigan?

PATRICK: Well I want to understand that. I think it is strange that the way the process works there, the state party chair writes to the Secretary of State, as I understand it correctly, saying who should be on the ballot, who are the Democratic candidates for the ballot?

Two candidates had not announced at that point, myself and Mayor Bloomberg. They included Mayor Bloomberg who announced after I did, but not me. So that is something we're trying to sort out. There hasn't really been a good enough explanation. We were the only ones as a result who had to go get signatures. We got more than enough signatures and now we have this decision, preliminary or otherwise out of Secretary of State. We have to sort that out. The campaign isn't about the puts and takes of the technicalities of getting on ballots. That's an important part of it. It's about defending and renewing the American dream, which I myself have lived. And which is becoming more and more out of reach for more and more people in more and more parts of the country, and I got a record of delivering the kinds of result that make it possible for people to experience the American dream and I think that's something worth fighting for.

BLACKWELL: You know Governor Patrick, I've been in preparation for this discussion, reading and watching. I was just watching your conversation earlier this week with voters in New Hampshire. What I'm trying to get to in your announcement you said this is not a commentary on the other Democrats in the race. You're not getting in or getting to the nomination by climbing on anyone else.

But what I have not heard or read is - what you don't see in the field that you think you bring. If you respect your other counterparts in the race and you respect their rich experience as you said, what don't they have as you think this race needs that you bring?

PATRICK: First of all, no other candidate has the range of life and leadership experience that I do. Having grown-up on public assistance on the south side of Chicago, having worked and solved problems in the private-sector, in the public sector, in civil rights, domestically and overseas, no one else has that range of experience.

So where the other candidates talk about their ideas, I have results. You know we delivered health insurance to 99 percent of the residents in Massachusetts. There's not another state in America that can touch that.

We delivered a national model for responding to climate change with a cap and trade, regional cap and trade system where we use those proceeds to invest in energy efficiency, becoming number one in the nation in energy efficiency and where we also use that crisis to create a new economy in the creation of clean tech jobs.

There is whole range of examples of that kind. I also believe that if you want change that lasts not change that's rhetorical but change that actually lasts that makes a generation difference, my experience tells me you got to bring other people in. And not push them aside and say that because, you know, you are presumed to be in opposition to this particular idea there's not room for you in the solution. I have a record of that.

BLACKWELL: Governor, let me ask you quickly on health care. You suggested that there should be a robust public option added to the Affordable Care Act. What is the difference between what you're proposing and what we've heard from Joe Biden with the Biden initiative, adding a public option or Medicare for all who wanted from Pete Buttigieg or others who think that you start with ACA and then add the public option. What's the difference between your plan and what we've seen from others?

PATRICK: Well a couple of things I would say. First of all, in our experience it was a broad coalition of policymakers and providers and insurers and patient advocates and labor who came together to invent health care reform in Massachusetts and then stuck together to learn from it and refine it as we went along.

So I think I signed three or four major health care reform bills after the one that Governor Romney signed that took effect the day I took office. That's why I land on the idea of having a public option which was part of ACA's intent going in. That public option might be Medicare. And I think you get the value of the creative tension of the private insurance industry having to innovate to compete for those customers or clients or patients who move to a new or lower cost alternative.


BLACKWELL: Governor I apologize for jumping in. We're low on time. The question was what's the difference between what you're suggesting and what we heard from Vice President Biden and Mayor Buttigieg because that idea has already been proposed in the race. You're adding something else. Is there a difference?

PATRICK: The difference is experience. That's important. It's about what it actually takes to make big system changes and how you have to bring in all voices in order to get those changes to stick, to really last.

PAUL: All right, Presidential Candidate and Former Governor Deval Patrick. Thank you for taking time with us today.

PATRICK: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me this morning.

PAUL: We have some new details we want to clue you in on regarding that deadly plane crash in Kazakhstan. We have a live report for you on what investigators are focusing on now?


PAUL: 33 minutes past the hour right now. We know investigators have found the black boxes belonging to that airplane that crashed in Kazakhstan. The passenger plane crashed just 19 seconds after takeoff yesterday. It killed at least 12 people, injured dozens more. The black boxes are going to be sent now to Moscow for investigation.

BLACKWELL: The plane with 93 passengers and five crew members lost altitude and broke through a concrete fence according to airport authorities. CNN's Moscow Bureau Chief Nathan Hodge is live in Moscow. Now with latest details on the crash survivor say and hello to you Nathan so it sounded like something out of a movie I can imagine.

NATHAN HODGE, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Victor, yes. We saw the dramatic images yesterday of the plane, the fuselage actually broken up on the ground. It's astonishing to everyone that there were so many people who were dragged from the wreckage. Yes 12 people died. Dozens survived that crash.

Today marks a day of national mourning in Kazakhstan. As we mentioned here, investigators have recovered the black boxes, the flight data recorders are being sent back to Moscow for analysis and we're going to try to learn in the next couple of days what is the probable cause of this dramatic accident?

Now yesterday Kazakhstan's Deputy Prime Minister told reporter that they were looking at two likely or preliminary causes for this. One would be pilot error and the other would be some kind of technical malfunction. That sounds rather broad.


HODGE: He also said that the plane had hit the runway twice on takeoff. So we'll learn more in the coming days. Christi?

PAUL: All right, Nathan Hodge, thank you so much. Glad to have you here.

BLACKWELL: Well, with the New Year comes new resolutions financial experts' shares advice on how you can get a fatter wallet? And the rest of you can get thinner. Although I don't think he's coming here for diet advice but we'll have to anyway. Just three weeks it will take next.


BLACKWELL: 2020 is ready well we're counting down some of the biggest stories of the year. CNN's Chief Business Correspondent, Christine Romans breaks down the top nine business stories of 2019.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The unicorn bubble burst the longest U.S. auto strike in 50 years. The tech backlash and the U.S.-China trade war these are the top business stories of 2019.

Number nine, fake meat starts a real food revolution. This year corporate America and foodies went wild for plant based protein and two companies drove the crazy beyond meat and impossible foods. Making deals with big name chains.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Burger King were begin selling meatless Wapo.


ROMANS: Beyond meats massive Wall Street debut.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beyond meats 163 percent spike.


ROMANS: And demand so high impossible foods briefly ran out of burgers. Plant based meats appeal to consumers worried about their own health and environment. Number eight, Amazon abandons plans for a New York Headquarters. In 2017 CEO Jeff Bezos and Amazon launched a highly publicized bidding war.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amazon is shopping for a second headquarters.



ROMANS: New York City emerged as one of the winners. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had said HQ2 would launch New York as a rival to Silicon Valley and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio promised it would benefit locals.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But HQ2 didn't get a warm welcome from everyone in the big apple. Amazon pulling the plug on plans to build the campus in New York City.


ROMANS: Progressive New York politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized the billions in promised tax breaks and state grants. Amazon didn't like the heat and killed the deal.

Number seven the unicorn bubble bursts. Wall Street had high for the market debut of startups with at least $1 billion.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a herd of Unicorns.



ROMANS: Black shares rockets but enthusiasm quickly became disappointment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The year's biggest IPO is struggling.


ROMANS: The problem, the companies aren't profitable. And in the case of UBER and LYFT--


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: UBER releases stunning statistics about sexual assault. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: A rock by scandals but the most disastrous IPO.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "We work" was one of the highest flying start ups and now it can't get its IPO off the ground.


ROMANS: Investors didn't like "We works" huge losses and the unchecked power of founder Adam Newman. "WE Work" Postponed its IPO pushed out Newman but not before handing him a $1 billion exit package meanwhile, the company laid off thousands to cut costs.

Number six companies get political. In 2019 Corporate America refused to stay quiet on controversial issues.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walmart is announcing major changes in its policies a month after 22 people were killed in a shooting rampage at a Walmart.


ROMANS: Following the lead of retailers like Dick Sporting Goods Walmart exited the hand gun market completely stopped selling some ammunition and banned open carry in stores. But it didn't stop there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walmart CEO sent a letter to Congress today demanding lawmakers do their part to stop gun violence.


ROMANS: It wasn't all accolades in 2019. Some companies were hurt by their political affiliations. Like Sole Cycle and Equinox. Consumers boycotted after their billionaire owner held a high dollar fundraiser for President Trump and China briefly black listed the NBA when a General Manager tweeted his support of the Hong Kong protesters. The league scrambled to back track only to face backlash back home.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bipartisan outrage today at the NBA for apologizing to the government of China.


ROMANS: he NBA has spent years and millions trying to grow in China. Number five the GM strikes it was the longest nationwide auto strike in 50 years.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Contract talks between General Motors and United Auto Workers broke off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are just some of the workers that are protesting 50,000 nationwide.


ROMANS: For six weeks UAW members stood on the picket lines while both sides negotiated the future of a changing auto industry. The union won raises and affordable health care but failed to get GM to shift production back to the U.S. It also couldn't keep three plants from closing including a plant that the President repeatedly promised Ohio voters he would save.


TRUMP: Lords Town, Ohio gets the damn plants open.


ROMANS: The strike cost GM nearly $3 billion. Number four Boeing 737 Max crisis a devastating plane crash in Ethiopia with no survivors. This was the second fatal crash of Boeing's 737 Max within five months killing 346 people in all. Boeing's planes were grounded and a flaw in the automated flight software blamed.

The investigation sparked uncomfortable questions for Boeing about regulatory oversight, training standards and if the company had rushed the 737 Max to market. Boeing's CEO admitted to Congress and the victims' families the scrutiny was deserved.


DENNIS MUILENBURG, CEO, BOEING: We've been challenged and changed by these accidents. We've made mistakes. We got some things wrong.


ROMANS: Boeing continues to work on a software fix. Until then the 737 Max remains grounded. Number three the big tech backlash heads to Washington. Following years of criticism over data abuse and misinformation, regulators cracked down on big tech in 2019. The FTC hit Facebook with a record fine. $5 billion that's how much Facebook is being forced to pay up over privacy breaches.

50 attorneys general launched an antitrust probe into Google and Facebook CEO faced bipartisan fury in six hours of congressional testimony. The GOP claimed liberal bias while the Democrats attacked lies and political ads.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, (D-NY): Do you see a potential problem here with a complete lack of fact checking on political advertisements?

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: Well, Congresswoman I think lying is bad.



ROMANS: A few companies like Twitter took action banning political ads but time will tell if this brings real oversight to big tech. Number two, a strong U.S. economy. Despite a global slow down the U.S. economy remains solid. Like the U.S. consumer spending money and keeping the economy growing.

Unemployment is at a 50 year low. Last time it was that low the Beatles "Come Together" song was at the top of the charts. Major averages on Wall Street keep hitting record highs. Hope for U.S.-China trade deal kept stocks climbing but you can also say the Federal Reserve.

In 2019 the fed cut interest rates not once, not twice but three times. Central Bank wanted to counter uncertainty over trade. Speaking of number one the U.S.-China trade war China and the U.S. finally reached a phase one agreement but 2019 saw major fallout from the 19 month long trade war.

Trade talks seemed to move ahead then salad leaving progress uncertain. Meanwhile both countries slapped tariffs on products worth hundreds of billions of dollars slowing economic growth shrinking the manufacturing sector and stalling job creation there a significant slowdown from the prior years while U.S. farmers many who supported Trump felt like collateral damage in his trade war.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You sort of have back stabbing, main people who got him in office in the Midwest.


ROMANS: American business and consumers paid for tariffs. Phase one deal is an important first step but not the grand course correction Trump promised at the start of the trade war. It's a narrow agreement that leaves the thorny issues for 2020.

PAUL: So speaking of finances - doing up for the New Year better planning and budgeting may be one of your resolutions. Financial expert Ted Jenkin is out with a new book "The 21 Day Budget Cleanse." It's going to help you with a leaner budget and fatter wallet he says. Let's look live from New York Ted, good morning to you.

TED JENKIN, FINANCIAL EXPERT: Hey, good morning Christi.

PAUL: Good morning. So you say number one first and foremost what we need to do in our New Year's resolution in terms of money is paying off our debts. How do we determine where we start, which debt we focus on first?

JENKIN: Well, this is a big New Year's resolution Christi. Look the average consumer out there right now has $7,000 of revolving credit card debt. So I say pay off the smallest balance first. Get a win, put a win in the wincom Christi and then do something Ted likes call plastic surgery. Cut up all the credit cards except that two that you really need. Don't cancel them cut them up. This way you won't spend more money in 2020.

PAUL: Good idea. I know that you mention 21 day budget cleanse. I was sitting here thinking what can you accomplish in three weeks? Help us out here.

JENKIN: Well, you can accomplish a lot Christi. This is all about the principles of diet and exercise. And this is how you can get sort of a leaner budget, fatter wallet and bigger net worth in 2020. First and foremost take your yearend credit card statements and what you should do is go through them. Cancel your recurrent credit card charges, subscriptions things that you didn't use in 2019 and may not use in 2020.

And Christi a big one, grocery shopping the average American goes to grocery stores 14 times a month right now so simply put try to go to the grocery store just one time per week and make a list. Otherwise the grocery stores are like Las Vegas Christi. They just separate you from your wallet. That's what they do.

PAUL: I'll remind my refrigerator that I'm not even using. It happens all the time good point. Stocks, we know they are tearing it up right now. Prognosticate for us what 2020 is going to look like? What should we be doing here?

JENKIN: Actually the stock market is doing very well in election years Christi. Obviously there was an abysmal year in 2008 and wasn't so great in 2000. But this is a time after a banner year in 2019 to do a reset on your asset allocation. Easy rule of thumb is rule of 100. Take your age, you subtract it from 100 and that's how much money you should have equities and stocks and the remainder should be in fixed income or bonds.

And if you have college accounts and you're going to pay tuition in the fall and you have 529 plans that have gone up in value have no business being in the stock market. Get that cash to the sidelines.

PAUL: Good point. Ted Jenkin, the book is "21 Day Budget Cleanse." We appreciate it so much thank you sir.

JENKIN: Thanks Christi.

PAUL: Sure.

BLACKWELL: Is Antonio Brown back on track to play on the NFL? Vince Cellini, you got a call for a work out with one team?

VINCE CELLINI, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Brown has been out of the league since September in limbo over a sexual assault lawsuit. Now that team's coach is pumping the brakes on the possibility of an immediate return - coming up.



BLACKWELL: Controversial NFL player Antonio Brown. They've gotten his first shot to get back into the league.

PAUL: Got a workout with the New Orleans Saints. That was yesterday eventually each year still intact?


PAUL: Him, not you.

BLACKWELL: We were talking about stuff before the break.

CELLINI: Saints coach Sean Payton explained it as a win at all cost approach. With the Super Bowl as the end goal that Payton said Antonio Brown did in fact work out for the team yesterday. This as the NFL confirmed it is still investigating Brown following allegations of sexual assault which Brown denies. But Payton was also quick to point out that workouts are common and Brown was not the only person participating.


SEAN PAYTON, SAINTS HEAD COACH: We are looking closely all the time at who are the players available and how they can help us especially as we get ready for the post season.


CELLINI: Brown hasn't played since week two in September he was promptly released by the Patriots. He spent 11 days there. The NFL has not announced any kind of discipline if you were to sign with the team. And turning the couch football the playoff is finally here. Three juggernauts in LSU, Ohio State and Clemson and fourth seed in Oklahoma that can put up points in bunches the - is about as good as he gets. Clemson has won 28 straight games with so many players back from their national championship last year including quarterback Trevor Lawrence.


CELLINI: But the Buckeyes have Justine Field who threw 40 touchdowns against only one interception this season and they also have the defensive lineman Chase Young who just might be the number one pick in next year's NFL draft.


J. K. DOBBINS, OHIO STATE RUNNING BACK: It's going to be a big challenge. They have some great players on that team, great coaches. This is a hard fought game. We'll do everything we can to beat them. CHASE YOUNG, OHIO DEFENSIVE END: Really good quarterback can

definitely sling it. Probably could have went to the draft last year. He was that good definitely going to be a challenge to get to him.

JUSTINE FIELDS, OHIO STATE QUARTERBACK: They have great players all around great coaches. It's really just going to come down to who executes more and who prepares more.


CELLINI: And it starts with the peach bowl where all eyes will be on the two quarterbacks. Joe Burrow for what a great story going from backup at Ohio State to the Heisman Trophy winner with the Tigers. And Oklahoma has its own transfer hero in Jail Hard. He was part of three Alabama teams that made the playoffs before losing a job last year. He stayed, graduated only to come to Oklahoma, finished second in the Heisman and lead Sooners back to the promise land.

The holidays are about bringing families back together. That's what the NBA did repeat forward Chris Sylva. The league surprising the 23- year-old by flying his mom in all the way from Gabon in Africa to Miami they hadn't seen each other in three years only once since he moved to the U.S. as a teenager in 2012. I love this story. I watched this video several times. Every time it gets to me. What a beautiful story.

PAUL: Oh my, gosh.

BLACKWELL: There is a second there were maybe it looks like he just doesn't believe it's happening. He says that's my mom.

PAUL: Vince, thank you for sharing. That was good.

CELLINI: Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you. Hey listen there is some amazing video we want to show you here. This winter storm that we have been seeing across the country it has really been a travel nightmare for people but this is amazing anybody survived this.

BLACKWELL: So the fog here is the big problem. Look at this.

PAUL: Oh, my gosh.

BLACKWELL: It led to the unforgettable scene on the highway there in Texas. The photographer a CNN affiliate KCBD was there caught it on camera. One guy even jumped into his pickup truck there. The truck slams on to it here fortunate that he and one other person were injured but they will be okay.

PAUL: We're back in a moment.