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At This Hour

Sen. Bernie Sanders Apologizes for Sexism Claims; Trump Rejects Government Shutdown Compromise; Dow Dives After Apple Warns of China Slowdown; Soon Democrats Take over House Amid Government Shutdown. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired January 03, 2019 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Says several women who worked on Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign experienced sexual harassment, pay disparities and targeted disrespect. One woman, for example, claims a campaign surrogate asked to touch her hair and then ran his hand through her hair in a sexual way. When she reported it, she was told she might have liked it if the surrogate was a younger man. Another woman says her supervisor marginalized her after she declined an invitation to his hotel room. Other claims, women asked to sleep in rooms with male coworkers they didn't know. And women making thousands of dollars less than their male counterparts.

Sanders apologized last night for any mistreatment.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (D), VERMONT: I certainly apologize to any woman who felt she was not treated appropriately. And of course, if I run, we will do better next time.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, A.C. 360: And just to be clear, you seem to indicate you did not know at the time about the allegations. Is that correct?

SANDERS: Yes, I was a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case.


CABRERA: Jackie Kucinich is back. Also joining us, CNN political reporter, Rebecca Buck.

Jackie, that was Sanders' first chance to address publicly these shocking new allegations in the "New York Times" report. How did he do?

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, it was the second answer that I think might be more problematic for him, saying he was too busy to know about it. I think that might ring a little hollow, and you could see that coming back to haunt him. Because he's not -- it's not the same field that he encountered the last time. There are many younger, frankly, and women who are running who are going to be in his lane, in that progressive lane that Bernie Sanders really owned the last time. So it's good that he said that they'll fix it if he does this again. But that doesn't mean it will go away.

CABRERA: What should he have said, then?

KUCINICH: I'm not a strategist. I have no idea. But I will say, as someone who has covered a lot of campaigns, both presidential and otherwise, comments like that tend to echo, frequently.

CABRERA: Rebecca, as Sanders is mulling another potential presidential bid, what is the political fallout, do you think, of this news? Does it hurt his chances?

REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Right. It's hard to know at this stage, obviously. We're two years out still from the presidential election. One year out from the start of the Iowa caucuses and the start of this Democratic primary process. But the way that this could be damaging, potentially, is not this single event, but if it feeds into a larger narrative about Sanders and larger concerns about his campaign. So if you do have this field of so many women running among the Democrats, an historic field when it comes to women running for president, and you have Bernie Sanders, and you know, these very fundamental serious concerns about how he treats women in his own organization and his own campaign, that could be a narrative that develops throughout the course of this campaign and does become damaging to his candidacy. Especially when on the flip side you have these very strong women candidates and you just had this year in which Democratic women, across the board, across the country, were winning in these primary races. It was the year of the woman. This is a moment where a narrative like this could really hurt a candidate like Bernie Sanders.

CABRERA: Not to mention, Jackie, since the 2016 campaign, we also have experienced the big "Me Too" movement.

KUCINICH: Exactly. Exactly. It posed me, too, and I should have gotten to this in the last answer, saying I was too busy to handle this, it rings a little hollow. Because these women did what they were supposed to do, they reported this. And they weren't treated with any sort of seriousness, at least, according to this "New York Times" report. In fact, one of them was joking. As you mentioned, he made light of her complaint. Post-"Me Too," if you're the top of the chain, this has to be handled. It's not an acceptable way to treat women. Not only that, the pay disparity. That has been a huge issue for Democratic candidates. If you're -- so if you have that going on in your campaign and people have found out, you say you'll do better, I think it comes back to haunt him if he runs.


CABRERA: That is the other piece of all this. It wasn't just sexual harassment, but the pay disparity. Because Bernie Sanders has really worked to define himself as a champion of equality, of livable wages.

BUCK: Right.

CABRERA: Then when you hear women working on his campaign, in one instance, was making half as much as a man in a comparable position, and his excuse was I was too busy campaigning to even know about this, Rebecca, does that hurt his credibility?

BUCK: Absolutely. This is where something like this, the quote that we heard from Bernie Sanders on Anderson last night, can come back to really hurt a campaign. It's when it directly contradicts the message you're trying to promote as the candidate. When you look back on the 2016 campaign and, for example, Donald Trump's candidacy, you had all these women accusing him of sexual harassment, sexual assault, the "Access Hollywood" video, and the reason potentially it didn't impact his candidacy more was because it was never a central message of his campaign, that he was a great ally of women, a great defender of women. But Bernie Sanders and many Democrats, that's a central part of their message, that they're fighting for women's equality and in the society, writ-large. So if you have this narrative that builds that directly contradicts that message, that's where politically it can become extremely damaging to your campaign.

[11:35:34] CABRERA: Jackie, we have been talking a lot about just how large the Democratic pool could be for the 2020 election. Are you surprised we haven't heard other potential Democratic candidates jumping on this?

KUCINICH: You know, it's a little early. And I think there are -- they're trying to figure out whether they'll run or not. If they're starting to throw salvos at the other potential candidates, I feel like Democrats right now are focused on unity and getting their acts together in terms of their various campaigns than going after each other. I don't think that this will last. Soon enough, they're going to be elbows being thrown all over the place, I'm sure.

CABRERA: All right, Jackie, thank you.

Rebecca Buck, good to have you with us as well.


CABRERA: Coming up, a shutdown showdown. President Trump and Democrats digging in for the long haul, with very clear messages that they're not backing down. So up next, where we stand and what it might take for both sides to reach an agreement.


[11:41:11] CABRERA: Welcome back. The battle over the border wall and the partial government shutdown, neither President Trump nor Democrats are backing down. They're meeting in the situation room essentially went nowhere. A source tells CNN the president said he would look foolish if he accepted the Democrats' proposal to end the shutdown. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham agreed.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: He's not going to sign a bill that doesn't have money for the wall.

If he gives in now, that's the end of 2019 in terms of him being an effective president. That's probably the end of his presidency. Donald Trump has made a promise to the American people.


CABRERA: Now, the likely incoming speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, says Democrats won't give in either.


UNIDENTIFIED NEWS HOST: Are you willing to come up and give him some of this money for the wall?


UNIDENTIFIED NEWS HOST: Apparently, that's the sticking point.

PELOSI: Nothing for the wall. We're talking about border security.


UNIDENTIFIED NEWS HOST: Nothing for the wall, but that means it's a nonstarter.

PELOSI: We can go back and forth. No. We say no. Nothing for the wall.


CABRERA: Nothing for the wall, she says.

Joining us now with his insights, Josh Dawsey, CNN political analyst and White House reporter for the "Washington Post."

Josh, what do you know about what went down in that room when the two sides came together?

JOSH DAWSEY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST; Well, there was a lot of talk and a lot of cross talk and negotiations. But essentially, the negotiations went nowhere. The president has been fairly bullish that he wants money for the wall or he's not going to reopen the government. And Nancy Pelosi, as you pointed to the viewers there, is saying she's not giving it to him. Neither is Chuck Schumer. Yesterday, there was lots of discussions on how bad things were at the border. Obviously, the president and the administration are calling this a crisis, trying to convince Democratic lawmakers it's that bad. They obviously agree with the way it's being represented from the Republicans and President Trump. And we're kind of nowhere on negotiations. We're entering almost the second week of the shutdown and things are going nowhere fast.

CABRERA: The longest shutdown ever was 21 days. As you point out, we're on track to meet or surpass that, given where we stand right now. What are you hearing about what the White House goes from here? Are they prepared for a very long shutdown?

DAWSEY: The president has been telling friends and advisers and White House officials he thinks this is a politically winning issue for him and he thinks the shutdown is what his base, his core supporters want. The president really doesn't see any incentive to open the government if he doesn't get money for a wall. A lot of Republicans, a lot of Trump supporters have gotten a little frustrated that the president time and time again has gotten spending bills that did not get money to finish a wall. The president is concerned that could erode some of his support. And Nancy Pelosi, on the left, she's the speaker of the House today, and on the left, among her supporters, there's no appetite to give in at all. Politicians tend to act based on incentives. And right now, there doesn't seem to be incentive for either side to negotiate much.

CABRERA: But there's a change that happens today in Congress. Republicans do not have the majority. Does today's reality of a Democratic-led Congress change anything for the White House and for Republicans?

DAWSEY: I don't know that it changes much in the president's posturing. Obviously, you're going to see more oversight from Democrats in Congress. You're going to see, you know, investigations of how the administration conducted their business. It's going to be hard for the president to get legislation through the House, given the Democrats have a majority in the House. But the way the president approaches this issue, I don't know that you have much of a change. The Republicans still have a narrow majority in the Senate and you have Democrats in charge of the House, and I don't know he's going to give in at all here. The president obviously sees this as an issue that courts support. On almost every issue, particularly on the wall, he's reverted to trying to please his base, to keep his core supporters with him. Giving in here, capitulating without getting significant money for the wall could be seen as eroding that.

[11:45:07] CABRERA: The president hasn't taken many personal swipes at Nancy Pelosi. I wonder why that is? This is a president that we have reported on time and again is an equal-opportunity counterpuncher, he calls himself. And Pelosi hasn't been holding back.

DAWSEY: The president thinks that Nancy Pelosi, by all accounts, is a fairly sharp and shrewd operator. He knew her before he came to the White House. The other thing to remember, Ana, is Nancy Pelosi has tried to rein in some of her more liberal members about impeachment. You saw an interview this morning where she said essentially I don't think we should do impeachment for the sake. We should have a lot more facts. It shouldn't be a political process. And you have a lot more folks on the left who would rather go after the president fairly fulsomely as they take office. So the difference in some ways is the president sees Nancy Pelosi as a more moderating force compared to some of the other Democrats in her party.

CABRERA: How does this end, the shutdown? Does the president cave?

DAWSEY: Well, 12 days in, 13 days in now, we haven't seen any sort of cave from either side. The president wants folks to come back tomorrow for another meeting at the White House. Unclear if Democrats are going to attend that meeting. You know, last couple weeks ago, there was an offer from the White House, $2.5 billion for the wall, let's meet halfway. Democrats rejected that offer out of hand. They're saying no money for the wall. Right now, it's hard to see how this ends any time soon.

CABRERA: Do you know if, just quickly, if you will, if the president has made any kind of a concession to say, well, if you give me that money, I'll give you this?

DAWSEY: Well, there was a sense in the White House that he would take less than $5 billion for the wall. Even though he is saying publicly he wouldn't. But the Democrats are saying zero, no money at all. And I don't think the White House or the president is going to give any sort of concession unless they can get something in return.

CABRERA: Josh Dawsey, good to have you with us. Thank you.

DAWSEY: Thank you.

CABRERA: Coming up, the Dow sinking triple digits after Apple warns of a slowdown in China. Down now over 350 points. We're live at the stock exchange when we come back.


[11:51:40] CABRERA: AT THIS HOUR, the Dow is sinking more than 300 points after Apple warned of a slowdown in China.

Let's get to Alison Kosik. She's at the New York Stock Exchange.

Fill us in, Alison.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Ana, Apple becoming a poster child to what is worrying Wall Street. I'm talking about a slowdown in the Chinese economy and the impact of the U.S.-China trade situation that remains unresolved, the impact on the multinational companies. After the bell yesterday, CEO Tim Cook, of Apple, put out a bombshell warning saying that the company was going to miss, a big miss, on earnings that come out later this month in the billions of dollars. Apple hasn't put out this kind of miss in years and years. This is clearly shocking Wall Street, sending the stock down 9 percent, if not more, shaving 100 points because of how heavily weighted Apple shares are in the Dow.

We are seeing the ripple effect throughout the tech industry and throughout other stocks as well. Because it's not just going to be Apple that will be in this situation. Other companies will feel the impact of the slowing Chinese economy and of the U.S.-China trade impact, things that Cook had blamed for this huge earnings miss. We could see companies, everything from Ford to G.M. to Volkswagen to Starbucks, really get hit by these two things, the slowdown of the economy and the tariff impact. It speaks to how vital China is in the global trade picture that when you see a slowdown happen in China, how it affects all these multinational companies -- Ana?

CABRERA: Alison, are you saying we should expect the Dow to keep dropping in the days ahead? KOSIK: It very well could. Earnings season is in about three weeks

and you can expect more volatility until investors hear from CEOs. One thing to remember, the last earnings season, more than a third of S&P 500 companies had at least talked about or were concerned about tariffs and the uncertainty of the U.S-China trade situation. That was just talk. Now we will see, fast forward to January, this month, as a new earnings season. Investors are going to be looking for the impact, impacts which we are now seeing with Apple -- Ana?

CABRERA: Alison Kosik for us, at the New York Stock Exchange, thank you.

Very soon, the Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives.

[11:54:01] Stay with us. You are live on CNN.


DANA BASH, CNN HOST: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Dana Bash. John King has the day off.

We begin on Capitol Hill where the new 116th Congress will gavel into session at any moment. Today is the day that Democrats officially retake control of the House, handing the president a divided Congress and an uncertain future for his presidency.

In a few hours, Nancy Pelosi is expected to become the speaker of the House, retaking the gavel, and the third-most-powerful position in the U.S. government. That government, of course, is now on day 13 of a partial shutdown.

Here with me to share their reporting and insights, CNN's Nia Malika Henderson, Sahil Kapur, with "Bloomberg," Julie Pace, with the Associated Press, and CNN's Jeff Zeleny. We will get to Manu Raju on Capitol Hill in just a moment.

Let's set the table of what we are about to see. The 116th Congress, what we are talking about here, 235 Democrats, 199 Republicans in the House. In the Senate, 47 Democrats and 53 Republicans. Obviously, this means the one chamber -- anybody who hasn't been under a rock knows this, but it's important to say it again since we are having this new Congress sworn in. The House is now the only show in town for Democrats.