Return to Transcripts main page

State of the Union

Government Shuts Down; Interview With White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney; Interview With Kentucky Senator Rand Paul; Interview With Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; Presidential Diet In This Week's "State of the Cartoonion". Aired 9-10a ET

Aired January 21, 2018 - 09:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Shutdown showdown. Tension on Capitol Hill following the government shutdown.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This is utter madness.

TAPPER: And the blame game heats up.

Republicans calling out Democrats.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: Irresponsible political games.

MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET DIRECTOR: That's why we call it the Schumer shutdown.

TAPPER: Democrats pointing the finger at President Trump.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: No one who deserves the blame more than President Trump.

TAPPER: How much longer will this go on?

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is here next.

And dealing with the dreamers. Democrats aren't budging.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: They're using the dreamers as a shield for their incompetence.

TAPPER: But Republicans say, not now.

RYAN: They want a deal on immigration. It is a shakedown strategy.

TAPPER: Will the DACA debate keep the government closed?

Senators Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul respond in minutes.


TAPPER: Hello.

I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is still shut down, with sides not even talking.

It's the second full day of the government shutdown right now. And, according to sources, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer did not speak all day Saturday, despite both spending the day on Capitol Hill.

In an interview with CNN late Saturday, Schumer said he would not support a three-week extension of government spending and outlined his demands to reopen the government.


SCHUMER: We need a good bipartisan agreement that allows us to get a good defense number, get a good nondefense number, get a vote on the dreamers bill and get that done, and deal with the disasters too.


TAPPER: Now Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he won't negotiate on issues until the government is funded and open, and he plans to hold a vote on a three-week government funding bill at 1:00 a.m. Monday if both sides cannot come to an agreement earlier than that.


MCCONNELL: We're ready to vote again. All the country needs is for the Democratic leader to withdraw his filibuster and let a bipartisan majority pass this bill and reopen, reopen the United States government.


TAPPER: President Trump spent Saturday, the first anniversary of his presidency, in Washington after canceling a planned trip to Mar-a-Lago for a fund-raiser.

The co-author of "The Art of the Deal" made calls from the Oval Office, though Schumer said the president did not reach out to him.


TAPPER: Let's go right to someone who's been at the center of all of this, the director of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House, Mick Mulvaney.

Director Mulvaney, always good to see you.

Let me get your response immediately. President Trump has tweeted that the Senate majority leader should change the Senate rules to require only 51 votes, instead of 60.

He tweeted -- quote -- "Great to see how hard Republicans are fighting for our military and safety at the border. The Democrats just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51 percent, nuclear option, and vote on real long-term budget. No continuing resolutions."

Is this the official White House position now, that Leader McConnell should get rid of the filibuster, get rid of the 60-vote threshold?

MULVANEY: You know, Jake, thanks for having me. Good morning.

He's been critical of that 60-vote rule since the president took office. I mean, what the president did this morning is try and shed some light on the fact that, if ordinary rules prevailed, the majority rules of the Senate, the government would be open as of today.

It also responds to this constant criticism we hear, oh, you Republicans control the White House, the House, and the Senate. Why can't you -- why can't you just fund the government? And the answer is, as you've just laid out, it takes 60 votes in the Senate.

We cannot open the government without Senate Democrat support. We don't have that Senate Democrat support, which is why we are where we are. And one way around it would be to change to 50 votes. Another way around it would be to get some those Democrats who say back home that they want to work in a bipartisan fashion, they want to work with Republicans, but don't.

Where are those Democrats who say one thing back home and then do another in Washington? There's a bunch of different ways to fix it. We just want it to get fixed.

TAPPER: I think about five Democrats -- five Senate Democrats voted for the continuing resolution and five Republicans voted against it. Obviously, this requires some negotiation.

According to a source close to the negotiations, Minority Leader Schumer has -- I think he stated this publicly, actually -- he wants a commitment from Republicans in the Senate and the House that after the government reopens, they'll be a vote on one big bill that will lift the caps on defense pending and nondefense spending, it will authorize more money for disaster relief, authorized about two -- I'm sorry -- authorize about $20 billion for the border wall, and provide some sort some of path to legal status for the so-called dreamers.

Now, I've heard that this is more of an issue in the House than the Senate, but that seems to be an area where a deal could be done, no?

MULVANEY: A couple different things.

The president is absolutely interested and wants to get DACA fixed, but what you just read really bears a close read, which is what the -- what the Senate minority leader just said there was to authorize $20 billion.


And I know it's getting real deep down in the weeds, but you can authorize to here left and right. It's appropriating the money that makes a difference. And that's one of the things no one pressed Mr. Schumer on.

He wants to authorize the wall to be built, but doesn't want to actually spend the money to get it built. There was money authorized in 2006 that Mr. Schumer voted for a wall that still hasn't been built because that money still hasn't been spent.

Also on that list of things that we've seen from the Democrats in just the last 24 hours is a bailout for the union pension fund. So there's a long way, I think, towards getting a larger deal, which is why it's so important to go ahead and open the government now, because what the Democrats are talking about is a very complex, very large -- it's actually a massive spending bill with a lot of other things added to it.

That's not going to get done between now and tomorrow morning and now and next Friday, so the government needs to be open. They need to vote to open the government tonight or tomorrow. And then we can start talking about those bigger issues.

TAPPER: You -- you've made it clear that you think the Democrats are responsible for the shutdown, but I do want you to take a listen to something that then private citizen Trump said about the government shutdown as it occurred back in 2013.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Problems start from the top, and they have to get solved from the top. And the president's the leader, and he's got to get everybody in a room and he's got to lead.

In 25 years and 50 years and 100 years from now, when the government is -- you know, when they talk about the government shutdown, they're going to be talking about the president of the United States. Who was the president at that time?

They're not going to be talking who the head of the House was, the head of the Senate.


TAPPER: The president has not called -- quote -- "everybody in a room" and led since this shutdown happened, as he called President Obama to do.

He did put out some pictures, the White House did, of the president yesterday attempting to talk on the phone with individuals.

Why not call everybody into a room and hash this out, the way he said leaders do, the way he said presidents do?

MULVANEY: Jake, I think -- again, I think you're splitting hairs there a little bit. The president actually did call large groups of both parties down into the White House in the days leading up to the shutdown. He has been actively engaged. He is trying to avert the shutdown. And that's what I think is different between the shutdown, the lapse in appropriations, if you will, which is the technical term that you see today, and the one you had under President Obama.

President Obama did not engage in that process. I know. I was there. I was in the precursor of the House Freedom Caucus back in 2013. And we never heard from the White House.

We actually believed they wanted a shutdown. That's the difference here. President Obama wanted a shutdown, so that he could weaponize it and make political points out of it, which is exactly what he did.

We don't want the shutdown. And we're actively working to try, number one, to -- to make sure it didn't happen in the first place. That failed. And we're actively working right now to make sure it doesn't last any longer than it absolutely has to.

So that's the big difference between 2013 and 2016. You have a president doing now exactly what the -- what citizen Trump said he would do in 2013 if he were in charge.

TAPPER: Well, he hasn't called everybody into a room. He did have that 55 meeting -- 55-minute meeting on immigration a couple weeks ago.


TAPPER: But he said he wanted a bipartisan bill, and they brought him one, and he kind of botched it. He said he was going to take the heat, and then he suggested that he didn't want to take the heat.

MULVANEY: Now, let's be clear about what bill is there right now. The bill that has passed the House and is sitting in the Senate is a bipartisan bill.

This is the type of funding bill that has passed for the last decade. It's a bill that has a funding of components for the government, and it's a bill that has things that members of both parties say that they like. It's a bill that has the extension for the Children's Health Insurance Program.

It has the delay to the various Obamacare taxes, including the Cadillac tax that the Democrats want delayed. It is a bipartisan bill. It's a bill the Democrats are opposing, even though they don't oppose what is in it.

That's what's different here. I had no idea that the Democrats in the Senate were this dysfunctional. Believe me, I -- I know Washington is dysfunctional. I've been here almost 10 years now. I had no idea it had gotten that bad in the Senate -- Democrats in the Senate.

TAPPER: So, Director Mulvaney, you used to be Congressman Mulvaney, and you're not going to get out of here without one more clip from 2013.

Take a listen to yourself when you were in the Congress -- when you were a congressmen supporting the 2013 government shutdown.


QUESTION: John Boehner said yesterday that, "We fought the good fight, but we just didn't win."

Was the fight worth it?

MULVANEY: It was. Any time you fight for something you really believe in, and something you think is important, then the fight is -- the fight is going to be worth it.

If you stand up for what you believe in, I think you'll always end up on the right side of things.


TAPPER: Aren't the Democrats doing just that?

MULVANEY: Not really.

And here's the difference. And -- and you're absolutely right. I was stuck right in the middle of that 2013 shutdown.

Keep in mind what that was. We were voting against a bill that we did not like in 2013.

The 2013 bill, the equivalent of the one that I just described of having the CHIP component in it, back in 2013, the bill that we were asked to vote for funded Obamacare. We didn't like that. We couldn't support that. We could not in good conscience vote for that.

Fast-forward to today. Everything that is in the bill, Democrats support and have voted for previously. This is pure politics.

Back in 2013, it had a much larger component of -- of a principle involved to it.


If you vote against a bill that you like, that's an entirely different thing than voting against a bill that you don't like.

TAPPER: All right, Director Mulvaney, we'll have to leave it there.

Thank you so much for your time, sir, and good luck with this mess.

MULVANEY: Thanks Jake. I appreciate you having me.


TAPPER: President Trump is pointing fingers at Democrats for the government shutdown, but some members of his own party voted against the government funding bill too.

One of those Republican no votes, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, joins us next.

Senator Bernie Sanders is here too. He's ahead.

Stay with us.



SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: How this ends, I don't know. But I do know this, that somebody better do something quick, because, 24 hours from now, this gets worse, not better. Not only do people begin to suffer more, but hearts begin to harden.


TAPPER: That was South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham getting a little emotional late Saturday evening, after lawmakers were unable to reach a deal to reopen the government.

President Trump and the White House are blaming Democrats for the impasse, but Senator Graham is one of a handful of Republican senators who also voted against the short-term funding bill.

Another one of those Republican no votes, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, joins me now live in studio.

First of all, Senator Paul, we're so glad you're on the mend.



TAPPER: Welcome back. It's good to see you.

So, you were one of the handful of Republicans who voted against the measure. You say it's because you don't like these short-term spending bills, what are called continuing resolutions, as opposed to a long-term budget plan. You also feel this proposal adds too much to the deficit.

Your party's leadership has been quick to blame Democrats for the shutdown, the so-called Schumer shutdown, but there weren't even enough votes necessarily to pass this among Republicans.


PAUL: I think -- I think the blame game is ridiculous on both sides.


PAUL: Republicans and Democrats and everybody trying to say, oh, you don't want to fund the military. Everybody wants to fund the military. Nobody wants our soldiers not

to be paid. But, when both sides do it, I think the American people see through it. It's gamesmanship and it's partisanship.

I gave them the answer. Here's the answer, how you solve this today. Promise, guarantee in writing to the Democrats that there will be one week's debate on immigration and a vote on an immigration bill sometime in the next month, in the House and the Senate.

Now, when I presented this to those in the Senate, Senator Durbin, they were like, oh, no, we want it guaranteed passage on a must-pass bill. And it's like, well, nobody gets a guaranteed passage. So, I don't think they're going to get that.

But what about a guaranteed week, open amendments? I get to present amendments. Everybody does, which rarely ever happens. Do the same thing on the House side. You will get two different bills. Go to conference, work out our difference, and there could be an immigration bill that comes forward in the next month.

I think that's very doable. The reason it's hard on the spending bill is, we don't all agree on what the fix is to immigration. And rather than try to work out a deal in advance, put it on the floor and let the deal work itself out as the legislation comes to a conclusion.

TAPPER: One of the confusions, as you know, is, what will President Trump be willing to sign?

PAUL: He will sign whatever comes out. You saw him saying -- remember that meeting where he says, you work it out and I will sign it?

TAPPER: Yes, but then the next week...

PAUL: I know.

TAPPER: ... Durbin and Graham came forward and said, here's a bipartisan bill, we think it can 70 votes, and he said no.

PAUL: Right.

The problem is, is those people with the bipartisan bill -- and I'm for some aspects of that. I am for some middle ground. The people with that bill want -- they want that bill.

No, I want an open process, so where we vote on these things. But I guarantee you, if you send to the president an immigration bill that passes the House and the Senate, there's no way in the world he's vetoing that.

TAPPER: Well, you have good relationships with people in the House. Is Speaker Ryan willing to do that? As you know, Republican speakers in the past, including Boehner, but also including Ryan, have been reluctant to even bring that up, because they don't want...

PAUL: Yes. TAPPER: ... a bill that passes with some Republican support and a lot

of Democratic support.

PAUL: Right.

That's the difficulty. But there is a bill over that that Raul Labrador and Goodlatte have, that, if they start with that, I think they will still have the nucleus of that bill that passes, and I think a majority of Republicans would support it.

But I don't know. I think the process needs to be allowed to work out. I'm kind of a believer in, we were all elected. Let's vote on issues and let's vote on amendments to issues. And I won't win all the time, the Democrats won't win all the time, but something will come out.

And the thing is, is, the DACA issue has been held hostage to people on the left who want their perfect immigration bill or nothing and people on the right who want nothing. And so, really, I would say, let's vote on it. Let's just put it forward and vote on it.

And I think the impasse could end today if Republicans would promise just to have a week of immigration votes, have a conclusion, let us all put forward amendments. I think the American people would like to see us hash out our differences through amendments and votes.

TAPPER: So, I know people on the right of your party are reluctant to support anything that provides any sort of legal status for anybody in this country illegally, including the dreamers...

PAUL: Right.

TAPPER: ... who were brought here as children.

And there are people on the left who are reluctant to support anything that contains any funding for the border wall.

PAUL: Right.

TAPPER: Would you theoretically -- I'm obviously not pinning you down on any legislation -- but would you theoretically be willing to support something that has the border wall money you support and also a path to legal status for the dreamers?

PAUL: It has to be a compromise like that. So, there's going to have to be some middle ground. I'm actually a fiscal conservative that does not want to throw the kitchen sink at the wall either.

So, I'm not for spending $40 billion on a wall, because I think that is outrageous; $21 million a mile is outrageous. But I am for some form of wall. I'm for trying to have more merit-based immigration. And I'm also for having the chain migration be the more nuclear family, and not the extended family.

So, there are those reforms that could come forward. And I think it's eminently doable. And where you find the middle ground is, you vote. You vote on the amendments, and whichever amendments have the most votes get put into the bill. And there will be a difference.

I think the House will be much more conservative than the Senate. And I think something will pass the Senate. The Senate passed the immigration, the gang of eight bill, you know, a couple years ago.

TAPPER: Yes, but the House wouldn't even take it up.

PAUL: But that's why I think the deal needs to be -- and this is what I think Schumer should ask for -- is, I want the House and the Senate to have one week on immigration and a vote sometime before the deadline, March 5. I think that's a reasonable ask and something we could do.

TAPPER: I know you want to talk about the reauthorization of FISA, which is the NSA's surveillance program.

You're a vocal opponent of the program, saying it gives broad powers to intelligence services to conduct surveillance, not only on foreign nationals, but also on American citizens.


The president tweeted on Friday -- quote -- "Just signed 702 bill to reauthorize foreign intelligence collection. This is not the same FISA law that was so wrongly abused during the election. I will always do the right thing for our country and put the safety of American people first."

Is the president right that the bill he signed won't allow any collection of data from Americans?

PAUL: I think the intelligence community and their apologists, which are Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell, they want to give enormous power to the intelligence communities. And I think there's too much power.

This program is supposed to let us spy on foreigners in foreign lands. But when a foreigner talks to an American, they get caught up in the database. So, if the president calls a foreign leader, he's in the database. If I call a foreign leader, I'm in the database.

If you're a business man or woman and you call foreigners, you may be in the database. If you're a journalist and you send an e-mail to someone in the Middle East that is one of your correspondents, and you type in the words "al-Baghdadi" because you're interested in the leader of ISIS, and you type that in, guess what? You're in the database.

And so then we have this enormous database. And they can search Americans, your name. Your name could be typed in. My name could be typed in without a warrant.

All we've asked for is, keep the program, but get a warrant if you want to search an American's name. And this, I think the vast majority of Americans would support if they knew the issue.

TAPPER: So, you're -- the president's not correct in his characterization?

PAUL: Well, I think the president -- I think his instincts lean in my direction, because he feels like there's been some abuse of the intelligence community on his campaign.

I think Paul Ryan and others said, oh, we fixed all these problems and this isn't about Americans.

It's absolutely untrue. So, the people like Peter Strzok, who turn out to be very biased...



PAUL: ... and tweeted his mistress and all that, they have the ability to look at the 702 section.

People with that degree of bias need someone looking over their shoulder, saying, because you're so biased against the president, you shouldn't be allowed to search this without asking a judge's permission.

TAPPER: More oversight.

All right, Senator Rand Paul, thank you so much. Keep up the good health and the mending.

PAUL: Thanks.

TAPPER: We appreciate it.

The Trump campaign out with a shocking new Web ad today.


NARRATOR: Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants.


TAPPER: You heard that right. Democrats will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants, according to the president.

Senator Bernie Sanders is here. I'm pretty sure he has some strong feelings on that. He will talk to us next.



TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

Day two of the federal government shutdown, and Senate Democrats are holding their ground and pointing the finger squarely at President Trump. Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who lost both legs while serving in Iraq, she had this to say about the president's cries that the Democrats don't value the military:


SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D), ILLINOIS: I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft-dodger.


TAPPER: Tough words.

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders is calling for the government to reopen as soon as possible. But he also says he will not vote for any government funding bill without a permanent fix for the so-called dreamers.

And Senator Sanders joins me now.

Senator Sanders, thanks so much for being here.

Hours after the shutdown went into effect, the Trump campaign released a new Web ad accusing the Democrats of being -- quote -- "complicit" in every murder committed by illegal immigrants.

Take a look.


NARRATOR: President Trump is right: Build the wall. Deport criminals. Stop illegal immigration now. Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants.


TAPPER: What is your response?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: You know, it -- it is really unbelievable and so sad for our country that we have a president of the United States who says such nonsense and such outrageous statements.

What are we are talking about here now in terms of the dreamers is something that is supported, I think in a recent poll of CNN, by 84 percent of the American people. CBS, 87 percent of the American people say that these young people who came to this country at the age of 2 or 3 or 4,who are now working, 20,000 of them are teachers, they are in school, they are in the military, their legal status needs to be protected after Trump took it away in September.

They need a path towards citizenship. That's not my view. That is the overwhelming view of the American people.

Then you see a president put stuff like that on the air trying to divide us up, trying to foment hatred? It is -- it is really sad. TAPPER: A CNN poll also suggested that, while the public supports a pathway for the dreamers to some sort of legal status, they don't think it should be tied to funding for the government.

SANDERS: Well, it's not the dreamers that we're talking about.

Let's be clear. Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the White House. This is the first time in the history of this country when you had one party controlling all three branches of government that there has been a shutdown.

These guys, especially the president, are apparently incapable of governing.

Listen to what the military, what the Department of Defense said just the other day, in terms of the fact that we have not had a budget for the entire year. We are a $4 trillion government. We do not have an annual budget.

This is from the Pentagon: "We have been working under a continuing resolution for three years now. Our current C.R. expires tomorrow, January 19. This is wasteful and destructive. We need a fully funded fiscal year 2018 budget or face ramifications for our military" -- end of quote.

This is the military. They cannot continue to go month by month.

I represent the state, Jake, where 25 percent of our people get their primary health care and dental care through community health centers. They have not been funded in three-and-a-half months; 10,000 people died last year because the Social Security Administration is not adequately funded and not able to process claims.


VA has 38 -- 30,000 vacancies.

TAPPER: Well, what do you mean 10,000 -- 10,000 people died because of the claims?

SANDERS: People who have disabilities, "Washington Post" story, put their claims in, and while they're waiting for their claims to be processed, much too slowly, they died.

TAPPER: OK, but that doesn't necessarily mean that -- the correlation is not causation.

SANDERS: The correlation is that the Social Security Administration is grossly underfunded and understaffed, can't do the work that they are assigned to do.

TAPPER: So, let me ask you a question.

In the White House briefing Friday, Director Mulvaney, who we had on the show earlier, he quoted you criticizing Republicans shutting down the government because they didn't get their way in a policy debate in 2013.

Take a listen to what you said was the Republican mind-set back in 2013. This is you.


SANDERS: What they are saying to the American people tonight is, well, maybe we lost the presidential election, maybe we lost seats in the Senate and lost seats in the House. It doesn't matter. We can now bring the government to a shutdown, throw some 800,000 hardworking Americans out on the street, and we are going to get our way, no matter what.


TAPPER: So, Director Mulvaney is saying you're a hypocrite, that you were blaming the Republicans back in 2013 for what the Democrats and those who caucus with the Democrats are doing today. You don't get your way, and you're shutting down the government.

SANDERS: First of all, what they were doing back then, as I think Mulvaney acknowledged on your show this morning, is, they wanted to repeal Obamacare.

Obama was the president. You know what? Obama was not going to repeal Obamacare and throw tens of millions of people -- allow tens of millions of people to lose their health insurance.

But let's be clear now. And I know people are sick and tired of the blame game, and I understand that.

But here is the reality. It takes 60 votes in the United States Senate to get anything done. The other night, Mitch McConnell walked on to the floor of the Senate -- and he knows the rules better than anybody -- he did not have 60 votes. He barely had 50 votes.

When you're in that situation, Jake, what it requires and what we should be doing is negotiating. All right, he doesn't have the votes that he needs. Let's sit down and talk.

And, by the way, we can move very, very rapidly. What I want to assure the American people is, there's a lot more agreement on this stuff than people think.

For example, we need to adequately fund the Department of Defense and obviously nondefense spending. We need to deal, after four months, with the fact that we have not yet done disaster relief. There are tens of thousands of people in Puerto Rico, people are in Houston, Texas, who are still hurting from those hurricanes.

How come the Republicans were so quick to move forward to try to provide huge tax breaks for billionaires? They addressed that issue in their tax bill. Health care, they wanted to repeal Affordable Care Act, throw 32 million people off of health insurance.

Why can't they provide disaster relief for the states and territories that need it?

TAPPER: On the immigration issue, would you be willing to vote for $20 billion in appropriations to build a border wall in exchange for -- you and the Democrats are in the minority -- in exchange for a pathway to some sort of legal status for the dreamers?

Is that a compromise you're willing to make?

SANDERS: It's something -- look, I think the wall was a great idea in the 15th century, when the Chinese built the great China wall. I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense now.

But I'm willing to sit down in a room and do what the American people want. And what the American people want is to provide legal status to the dreamers and a path towards citizenship.

Let's sit down. Let's do that. But that has to be passed.

Let me say this. If we allow Trump to get away with what he did -- and that is repeal the executive order on DACAs -- and if these 800,000 people, young people, are subjected to deportation, this will be one of the ugliest stains in the history of the United States.

Young people, who know no other country than this country, who came here at 2 or 3 years of age, to now be subjected to deportation would be a stain that this country would never recover from.

TAPPER: Senator Sanders, thank you so much for being here. We appreciate it.

SANDERS: Thank you, Jake.

TAPPER: Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer says he will not vote to reopen the government unless his policy demands are met. But he took a very different position on shutdowns in an interview with me back in 2013. We'll play that next.

Plus, President Trump is on a diet according to his doctor but can he give up the hamburgers. That's this week's "State of the Cartoonion." Stay with us.




SCHUMER: It was a hard line saying, unless I get my way I'm going to shut the government down, I'm going to risk default for the nation. Now anyone can do that.

I believe in immigration reform. What if I persuaded by caucus to say, I'm going to shut the government down, I am going to not pay our bills unless I get my way? It's a politics of idiocy, of confrontation, of paralysis.


TAPPER: That was Senator Chuck Schumer talking to me in 2013. It was a little thing we called "THE LEAD" that runs during week and a slightly different message than what we're hearing from him today. My panel is with me.

Congresswoman, let me start with you. So you're a fresh person. A fresh woman so I can't hold you responsible for your positions in 2013, but the Democratic position in 2013 was, you can't hold the government hostage to issues whether it's Obamacare or immigration and now we have the Democrats taking the exact opposite position.

REP. NANETTE DIAZ BARRAGAN (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, I don't think so. I think you have a lot going on here.

The Democrats don't want the shutdown. The Democrats want a deal to be made. We want issues to be addressed.

Look, I came to Congress to get things done, to vote on issues, to have debates. That's what the American people want. They don't want a shutdown.


And we really need the parties right now to come together and talk about some of these issues that they've been saying they're going to address and they haven't. Whether it is DACA, immigration or whether it is a C.R. getting a full year budget. This is no way to run a government.

TAPPER: Senator?

RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I couldn't agree with Chuck Schumer more than I have and probably ever in my life.

TAPPER: Two thousand thirteen Chuck Schumer.

SANTORUM: Yes, 2013 Chuck Schumer. He's right. I mean, he's right then.

Look, I've never been for government shutdowns after the first one. I went through the 1995 government shutdown and learned my lesson that this is idiocy, this doesn't make any sense. It's gamesmanship.

And every time Republicans have tried to do this, tried to get something in exchange for a funding, we've ended up on the short end of the stick because the American public figured out that our responsibility is to keep the trains running here. If you have problems, work them out but keep things moving.

This time the Democrats have actually stepped in. This is -- this is the Democrats now saying, we won't vote for something unless -- in the past every government shutdown was Republicans wanting something in exchange for funding the government. This time it's the Democrats wanting something and I think that's the loser. BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think that we need to add some intellectual honesty to the conversation. The fact is this, in 2013 the Republicans and Rand Paul and Ted Cruz were holding out hope that you could defund Obamacare something that wasn't popular, something that they haven't been able to do with the majority.

Here Democrats are asking for something that nearly 90 percent of the American public want to happen and the simple fact is, the reason we're here is because Republicans in control didn't reauthorize CHIP. Republicans in control are the reason that we have DACA uncertainty. And Republicans in control for the first time in modern history in control of the House, Senate and White House cannot seem to keep government running so that's why we're here.

It doesn't have anything to do with 2013. It doesn't have anything to do with Chuck Schumer. This is falls square on the shoulder of the president of the United States.

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, one of the reasons we have DACA uncertainty is because President Obama provided unilateral temporary amnesty to this population with no consent from Congress and I'll be probably be the one person at this table to speak in favor of shutdowns.

If it is something that you truly believe in is necessary and you're willing to make the case. I don't see the Democrats saying straight up, shutting down the government is worth a temporary protection for 690,000 people. That's the case they're making.

They rejected a six year deal on CHIP in order to try to get some shred of a promise on DACA. And the deadline is coming up.

And so I think they've backed themselves into a corner. They don't truly have a road map of where they're going or where to get out.

And President Trump for once I think is exercising somewhat -- some message discipline. He's in the cat bird seat. Republicans, they are in stronger higher ground. President Trump should say, yes, come to me with a deal or we're going to standoff because I bet the Democrats are going to blink first because they are not standing on the strongest case they could.

TAPPER: Speaking of message discipline, if you call into the White House comment line there is a message, I didn't believe it when I first saw it on Twitter --


TAPPER: -- but we checked it out and we called the White House comment line, this is what you hear.


RECORDING: "Thank you for calling the White House comment line. Thank you for calling the White House. Unfortunately, we cannot answer your call today because Congressional Democrats are holding government funding including funding for our troops, and other national security priorities hostage to an unrelated immigration debate. Due to this obstruction the government is shut down."


TAPPER: Your response, Congresswoman.

BARRAGAN: It's ridiculous.

Look, I'll be the first to tell you, I think we need to take the dreamer issue up. This is a bipartisan issue. The country wants this on a bipartisan basis.

It's a personal issue for me. Look, not only is my district 70 percent Latino and I have 8,000 dreamers in my district, I have a family member, a cousin of mine who's a dreamer and so for me it is a personal issue but the American people want us to continue on this issue.

My colleagues on the other side of the aisle tell me they're willing to vote on bipartisan legislation. There is bipartisan legislation whether it's DREAM Act, whether it's a U.S. Act but we can't get a vote on it.

That's all we want. We want to vote to have the conversation, to have the debate and that's what we're really asking for.

TAPPER: It does seem like there is an obvious bill to be done, an obvious compromise, but it's not one that a majority of the Senate Republicans or a majority of the House Republicans would vote for but it is something that would pass the House and Senate and it is something that a majority of the American people support.

SANTORUM: Yes. Well, the problem is that it's not a problem.

I mean, the Republicans are in control and they have a right to be able to ask for things that they want in exchange for this DREAM Act extension. And if you look at the bill that was put forward, it wasn't just a DACA fix.

I mean, there were 10 million people that would have been -- some path to staying in this country for indefinitely in the proposal that the Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham put forward. And there was minimal funding -- there was no funding for a wall.

I mean -- so, the idea that there was a bill there that could've passed that's just ridiculous. It never would have passed the House of Representatives with the majority of Republican support.


And if you're -- if you're the leader -- if you're the speaker of the House, you've got to put a bill forward that a majority of your members are going to vote for. And that's what they need to be focused on. TAPPER: Bakari, I want you to take a listen to Vice President Pence.

He was speaking to troops and this was the message he delivered.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, I'm sure you're all aware of what's going on in Washington, D.C., despite bipartisan support for a budget resolution, a minority in the Senate has decided to play politics with military pay but you deserve better. You and your families shouldn't have to worry for one minute about whether you're going to get paid.


SELLERS: First of all, the real MVP of this entire process is whoever Mike Pence's scheduler is. He's never in Washington, D.C. whenever there's any conflict.


SELLERS: He finds himself always half way around the world. And I'm sure that he wasn't here last night or he wasn't here during this debate the night before that because if he was he would have seen the fact that Claire McCaskill actually went to the well of the United States Senate and did something that Barack Obama did during the shutdown of 2013 was make sure our troops were getting paid and make sure we were paying death benefits.

There are two women standing up stronger than any other men in both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party right now Senator Stabenow and Senator McCaskill are going and fighting for our troops. They're fighting to put -- make sure -- and they're getting some support but, of course Senator McConnell's is not going for it. He's objecting to it.

But they are the ones who are trying to do just what Mike Pence wants. And it's amazing. He's never here. I mean, he's never here when with we're having anything (ph) of substance (ph).

TAPPER: So, in terms of -- there's the blame game and then there's also the gamesmanship. We saw this during the Obama era when there was a 2013 shut down and World War II Memorial was closed. Governments decide what they're going to shutdown and often they make political points based upon that.

CARPENTER: Yes. I think members of the Trump administration have learned lessons from the 2013 shutdown.

Department of Interior Secretary Zinke was at the World War II Memorial this weekend. That (ph) was an accident saying, look, we're going to have it open. But at the same time they're picking their battles.

You're going to see President Trump, just like Vice President Pence did saying, you are going to put amnesty as a higher priority than funding the troops. If that is where the debate goes, Donald Trump is going to win that fight and he is doing a better job messaging it on those terms than the Democrats are explaining why a government shutdown is worth a vote on DACA. It's just not.

TAPPER: Do you disagree with that? The idea that if the American people see the debate as funding our troops versus people who are not in this country legally, whether it's through fault of their own or not, that that's not a debate that the Democrats are going to win?

BARRAGAN: Well, I don't think that's what the debate is. I mean, these are continuing resolutions. This is the fourth one.

Look, I got here. I voted for two of them. I'm hoping that was going to buy time for us to be able to address this issue as it hasn't (ph).

Now, Rick had mentioned that there was no bipartisan legislation that was beyond the DACA. Actually, we do have bipartisan legislation. We have the USA Act. It's -- there's 26 Republicans on board.

It's the DREAM Act coupled with border security. Look, I stayed on homeland security. I'm for border security.

We met with John Kelly this week, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. He talked about some of the things that we could agree on. Having more security at the ports of entry.

I represent the port of Los Angeles having more customs and border protection officers there, great. Let's do it. It's going to speed up the process even down at the San Ysidro Border.

TAPPER: Would you be willing to spend $20 billion -- appropriate $20 billion for a border wall as President Trump wants in exchange for a pathway for the dreamers?

BARRAGAN: The homelands not even asking for that. That's the thing.

We need to put the money where it's going to be put to use. Border security, we can certainly use it there but there are other areas other than a wall. I think it would be waste of dollars.

TAPPER: Thanks one and all for being here. We really appreciate it.

All that fast food may have caught up with him. President Trump needs to lose a few pounds, his doctor says. So what does the presidential diet look like? That's the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion."



TAPPER: Welcome back.

Cheeseburgers were reportedly on the menu as President Trump and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer huddled at the White House Friday. A not so promising start to the president's new healthy eating plan. Perhaps the diet will begin when the government will reopen?

That's the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion."


TAPPER (voice-over): President Trump needs to change his diet and exercise. Doctor's orders.

RONNY JACKSON, WHITE HOUSE PHYSICIAN: He's more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part.

TAPPER: Where to begin for a president whose palate is not to discerning?

TRUMP: I love steak and hamburger and pasta and French fries. The Big Macs are great, the quarter pounder with cheese.

TAPPER: And whose exercise routine he says includes sweating at rallies.

TRUMP: A lot of times these rooms are very hot. Like saunas. And I guess that's a form of exercise.

TAPPER: Perhaps his presidential predecessors could provide some inspiration. Such as President Obama, a smoker, whose fear of his wife scared him straight.

That's a tactic the White House physician thinks might work on President Trump as well.

JACKSON: Ivanka and Mrs. Trump are both proponents of, you know, eating healthier and exercising. So they'll be partners of mine in working this out.

TAPPER: Perhaps President Trump could be like former President Bill Clinton who would literally jog to McDonald's.

Though since leaving the White House and having major heart surgery has become a vegan.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits. No dairy, no meat of any kind. No chicken, turkey.

I eat very little fish.


TAPPER: Trump actually unseated Bill Clinton this week to become the third heaviest president in American history. Behind Grover Cleveland and William Howard Taft who some claim once got stuck in a bathtub. A fate the president needs to avoid.

JACKSON: I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old.

TRUMP: I'm never going to eat another Oreo again. Nobody's -- I'm serious.


TAPPER: The fate of dreamers is at the center of the fight that has now shut down the federal government. It's an issue that nearly 90 percent of Americans agree upon.

So why is Congress not getting something done? That's next.