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State of the Union
Interview With New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; Interview With Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard; Interview With Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI); Interview With Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired January 20, 2019 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Speaking out. In a rare statement, special counsel Robert Mueller's office disputes an allegation about President Trump.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I appreciate the special counsel coming out.
TAPPER: But there remain many questions to be answered. We will discuss the latest details with President Trump's attorney general, Rudy Giuliani, next.
Plus, all in -- new contenders in the 20 Democratic field laying out their goals for the next election.
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: Not only flip the Senate, hold the House, and defeat Trump.
REP. TULSI GABBARD (D), HAWAII: There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I want to help solve.
TAPPER: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, interviews with each Democratic candidate in moments.
And let's make a deal? President Trump makes a new offer to end the shutdown.
TRUMP: Commonsense compromise both parties should embrace.
TAPPER: But Democrats say it's a nonstarter. When will the government reopen?
TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is still stunned to watch the federal government inflicting pain upon its own citizens. We're now in the 30th day of the government shutdown. On Saturday,
President Trump put a new offer on the table, what he called a compromise, in exchange for $5.7 billion.
In exchange for border wall funding and the government reopening, the president now says he will restore protections for some 700,000 so- called dreamers, protections for three more years, as well as protections temporarily for some 300,000 undocumented immigrants whose temporary status is set to expire.
The deal was praised by Senate Republicans, panned by the conservative right, and Democrats immediately rejected the potential compromise. Speaker Pelosi called it -- quote -- "unacceptable and a nonstarter."
The president's offer on this comes as the special counsel made a stunning move, issuing its first statement in nearly 20 months, correcting a report from BuzzFeed News that claimed that federal sources told them that President Trump had directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a potential Trump Tower Moscow deal.
The statement from the special counsel reads -- quote -- "BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the special counsel's office and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office regarding Michael Cohen's congressional testimony are not accurate."
BuzzFeed says they stand by the reporting.
We are going to talk to two Democratic presidential candidates in moments.
But I want to begin with the president's personal attorney general, former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani.
Mayor Giuliani, thanks so much for joining us.
I want to...
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you, Jake.
TAPPER: I want to clear up some questions about this Trump Moscow project and why Michael Cohen lied to Congress about it and why President Trump misled the American people about it.
So, just very clearly, did President Trump or anyone on the Trump team ever have a conversation with Michael Cohen about his congressional testimony?
GIULIANI: Well, let me correct the premise of the question. The president didn't lie to the American people about it. The president told...
TAPPER: He said that he had no dealings with -- he said he had no dealings with Russia.
And as -- by your own admission, he was talking with people in Moscow about a Trump Moscow project through November 2016.
GIULIANI: He wasn't talking to people in Russia about anything. He didn't talk to people in Russia at all.
It was -- there's not a single...
TAPPER: His team was.
GIULIANI: ... stitch of evidence -- it was an early stage proposal that never got beyond a nonbinding letter of intent that was being run by -- by Michael Cohen. It was his project.
And it was being done while Donald Trump was running for president of the United States, and wasn't focused on that at all.
TAPPER: Sure. OK, but he said, I have no business there. I have no business there. I have no deals there.
TAPPER: That's not true. He did...
GIULIANI: No, that is not inaccurate. That is not acc -- what you are saying is not accurate.
I run a business. We do it in a lot of countries. I have proposals right now in six different countries. Two of them have been accepted. I'm doing business in the two that are accepted, not the four in which I have proposals.
I would be misleading to my partners if I said I was doing business in the six in which I have proposals. There's no business there.
TAPPER: I don't deal there, is what the president said. He said, I don't deal there.
GIULIANI: I don't have any -- he doesn't. He has a proposal by Michael Cohen that never went anywhere.
TAPPER: He was in the middle of a deal -- but Michael Cohen was in the middle of talking to Russians about a potential deal.
GIULIANI: No, he wasn't. He wrote a letter, a nonbinding letter of intent. He sent it to a general post office. He didn't even know where to send it. He had a couple of discussions. Michael Cohen did, not the president. And it was the last thing on the president's mind. He was running for president of the United States. You know how busy that is. We're talking about 2016. You're not thinking about some proposal that, at best, it's three years down the line.
TAPPER: Michael Cohen is going to go -- he's going to jail for not being honest about the Trump Moscow project. I mean, he's going to jail for it.
GIULIANI: No, he -- no, he's not.
TAPPER: In part.
GIULIANI: He's not -- he -- well, what he's doing is, he's telling the prosecutors what they want to hear. Now, you don't know if that's the truth or not.
He has two contradictory statements, soon to be under oath, one in which he said...
TAPPER: But there was the Trump Tower Moscow deal. It just never actually came to fruition. They were discussing it. It was a nonbinding letter about it.
GIULIANI: There was no deal. No, no, no. Wrong. There is no such thing as a deal. Come on, now. This is too complicated for that.
TAPPER: So, it's not a deal until -- it's not a deal until the very, very final step, is that what you're saying?
GIULIANI: All right, let's say -- let's -- let's say I wrote a proposal -- let's say I wrote a proposal to Rome to do security for Rome.
I'm doing security in five other places. You say to me, where are you doing business? I would say the five places I'm doing business...
GIULIANI: ... not, I'm seeking business in Rome. God almighty, that would be doing business -- look my business was gigantic. So, the president gave the accurate answer.
TAPPER: OK. So, I...
GIULIANI: And I believe -- I actually -- I -- I don't believe anything he says.
Look, yes, you're focusing on this minutia.
TAPPER: No, I...
GIULIANI: The reality is, yesterday, BuzzFeed published a story...
GIULIANI: ... that was scandalous.
It was horrible.
GIULIANI: They should be under -- they should be sued. They should be under investigation. They said the president of the United States counseled someone to lie. And the special counsel...
TAPPER: So, and I'm trying to get to the bottom of that.
GIULIANI: ... had to go to the extraordinary act...
TAPPER: Let's get to the bottom -- I want to find out the truth there.
GIULIANI: That's because you have a hysteria -- that's because you have got a hysteria going on in the media that interprets everything against Donald Trump.
TAPPER: There's no hysteria here, sir. I want to get to the bottom...
GIULIANI: And you all should be careful.
GIULIANI: What they did yesterday is truly fake news and disgusting.
TAPPER: OK. So, let's be careful. Let's be careful. And let's get to the facts of it.
Did President Trump...
GIULIANI: Let's go. Let's do it.
TAPPER: Did President Trump or anyone on the Trump team talk to Michael Cohen about his congressional testimony before he -- before he gave congressional testimony or after he gave congressional testimony?
GIULIANI: I can tell you, first of all, I wasn't the lawyer at the time.
GIULIANI: Michael Cohen's lawyers reviewed his testimony with him.
TAPPER: Yes, but did they -- did President Trump or anyone...
GIULIANI: I'm sure they shared -- no, no, no, let me answer the question!
GIULIANI: As far as I know, President Trump did not have discussions with him, certainly had no discussions with him in which he told him or counseled him to lie.
If -- if he had any discussions with him, they'd be about the version of the events that Michael Cohen gave them, which they all believed was true. I believed it was true. I still believe it may be true, because, unlike these people who want to just believe him, I believe Michael Cohen is a serial liar.
If you can figure out when Michael Cohen is telling the truth, you're better than I am, Jake.
GIULIANI: And that's what happened to BuzzFeed. They bought a totally phony story.
GIULIANI: They weren't going to buy it unless they got some phony stuff about federal agents.
TAPPER: But you just...
GIULIANI: And then they went with it, because they are the same ones who published the Steele dossier, when no one else would do it. They obviously have a hatred for the president.
TAPPER: You see, but you just acknowledged -- but you just acknowledged that it's possible that President Trump talked to Michael Cohen about his testimony.
GIULIANI: Which would be perfectly normal, which the president believed was true.
TAPPER: So it's possible that that happened, that President Trump talked to Michael Cohen about his testimony?
GIULIANI: I don't know if it happened or didn't happen. And it might be attorney-client-privileged if it happened, where I
can't acknowledge it. But I have no knowledge that he spoke to him. But I'm telling you, I wasn't there then.
GIULIANI: It's not significant, because the version he gave to the...
TAPPER: Well, Michael Cohen is -- but he's convicted of -- I mean, one of the things he pled -- pleaded guilty to, I believe, is lying to Congress about the Trump Tower deal.
GIULIANI: Well, which time? Which time, Jake?
TAPPER: Well, I'm talking -- well, he...
GIULIANI: You can pick your time.
TAPPER: Right, but about the Trump Tower deal, about the Trump Tower deal.
GIULIANI: He under oath -- under oath -- but he's pleading guilty to get a reduced sentence, which means he's saying what the prosecutor wants him to say. If Corsi...
TAPPER: But you just acknowledged that President Trump might have talked to him about his testimony.
GIULIANI: And so what if he talked to him about it?
TAPPER: Well, is it not possible that Michael Cohen had that conversation...
GIULIANI: If it's the truth.
TAPPER: I'm just asking you for what happened or what didn't happen.
GIULIANI: It's not possible. Not possible.
TAPPER: Michael Cohen left the conversation thinking, well, this is what the boss wants me to say; the boss wants me to say...
GIULIANI: Not possible.
GIULIANI: The guy driving this testimony was Michael Cohen. In other words, you and I are in a deal together. You are the guy running it.
I'm the guy sitting that is back there doing 50 other things. When it comes time to remember what happens, I go to you and you tell me what happened. I don't tell you what happened. TAPPER: Well, let me ask you...
GIULIANI: So, Michael Cohen was telling people what happened.
I don't know if the president was briefed by him or wasn't. He certainly was briefed by his lawyers, all attorney-client privilege.
GIULIANI: But I can tell you this. Michael Cohen's lawyers believed him at the time.
GIULIANI: Why wouldn't the president believe him?
TAPPER: In his written answers...
GIULIANI: He -- he knew what happened. He, Michael Cohen, was the guy in charge of this. I emphasize that.
GIULIANI: President Trump was running for president.
So, when this comes down...
GIULIANI: ... and everybody is -- everybody is in a joint defense agreement, you go to Michael Cohen, you say, Michael, what happened?
GIULIANI: Michael is going to remember a lot better what happened than Donald Trump, where this was like this big in his recollection, and it's this big in Michael's.
TAPPER: So, right.
So -- but let me ask you a question that something you were the lawyer...
GIULIANI: And what you're doing is so unfair.
TAPPER: This part, you were the lawyer for. In his written -- lawyer for Trump for.
In his written answers, President Trump's written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller's questions, what did President Trump have to say about the Trump Moscow project?
GIULIANI: He acknowledged that they had conversations about it throughout 2015, 2016. TAPPER: Through November 2016? Through November, right? That's what
you said before.
GIULIANI: He answered those questions -- he answered those questions fully, and I think to the satisfaction of the special counsel. So I'm not -- I'm not at all concerned about that.
He gave a full and complete answer to it. I can't share the whole thing with you, but I can share the conclusion, which is, he had conversations with Michael Cohen, but it was Michael Cohen driving the project, as, of course, anybody who is being fair-minded would understand. He was running, I emphasize, for the president of the United States, tied up 18 hours a day with that.
GIULIANI: If he could devote a minute a day to this, it would be a lot. So, it would be a minute here, a minute there, a minute here.
Your recollection of that is not going to be that strong.
TAPPER: So, let me ask you...
GIULIANI: The guy running the deal is going to remember it.
GIULIANI: And I'm emphasizing the following.
Do not think, just because he's pleading guilty to something, Michael Cohen is telling the truth. He's got every reason to say what the prosecutor wants him to say.
GIULIANI: Corsi -- they are offering Corsi a deal right now. If he says what they want him to say, he gets probation.
TAPPER: They are offering Corsi a deal? They're offering -- how do you know this, that they are offering Corsi...
GIULIANI: Because he's suing over it.
GIULIANI: I have the documents. I have the documents. It was leaked to me. I have the documents.
They gave him a script. If he reads from the script, no jail. If he doesn't read from the script, he gets maybe five years in jail.
TAPPER: So you are...
GIULIANI: So, what's the temptation to read from the script, if you are a guy like Cohen, who was a lawyer taping his own client and lying to him about it, taping Chris Cuomo and lying to him about it, stealing money back when he was fiercely loyal?
In this transaction that was just uncovered, he kept $37,000.
TAPPER: Right. Right. So, let me just ask you. I just want to ask you a question...
GIULIANI: He put in a false invoice.
TAPPER: ... because you -- you...
GIULIANI: The guy is a complete scoundrel. You can't believe him. I used to like Michael. I'm so disappointed.
TAPPER: Your position on Michael Cohen is long established.
I want to ask you about -- you have just been talking about and suggesting that the special counsel is not on the up-and-up, that he's trying to get people to say things that aren't true.
I want you to take a listen to something President Trump said on Sunday on...
GIULIANI: He wouldn't say that. No, no, no, wait, wait.
In fairness to the special counsel, they would say they believe -- that maybe they believe that's the truth. That's what the -- that's what the adversary process is all about.
But don't take it as, you know, gospel, because guys have pled guilty, in my experience, to things they didn't do in order to get out of worse problems that they actually did.
TAPPER: In your experience, you mean...
GIULIANI: It happens all the time in the criminal justice system, unfortunately.
TAPPER: When you were a prosecutor, you accepted plea deals from people for things they didn't do?
GIULIANI: I never did. I'm talking -- darn right I would never do that. I would never do what they did with Cohen and have him plead to a campaign finance violation that, as a matter of law, is not a campaign finance violation.
TAPPER: Don't you think...
GIULIANI: I think that's phony as a $3 bill. But that gives you...
TAPPER: I get it. You don't like the special counsel.
GIULIANI: Let me finish now.
GIULIANI: Now I'm talking about my old office, the Southern District of New York.
GIULIANI: That prosecution should -- that -- the guilty pleas should never have been taken.
And the fact is, if it wasn't a president of the United States, it would not have been taken. If you take that plea, there are 30 members of Congress I got ready for you to prosecute who had people -- who had the federal taxpayers' money used to settle sexual harassment complaints.
GIULIANI: Your money and mine used to do it. That's not a campaign contribution? They should all be under investigation now. Why aren't they?
TAPPER: I have no problem with that.
GIULIANI: Because he's treated differently and unfairly.
TAPPER: I have no problem with that.
GIULIANI: He's innocent.
TAPPER: Let's do it. Let's bring that on.
TAPPER: I want you to take a listen to something the president said about...
TAPPER: ... about the special counsel.
Take a listen to this from President Trump.
GIULIANI: Right. OK.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I appreciate the special counsel coming out with a statement last night. I think it was very appropriate that they did so. I very much appreciate that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That's some praise for the special counsel from President Trump.
GIULIANI: Me, too. I did the same thing. And I commend him.
TAPPER: The president has referred to the special counsel investigation as a witch-hunt probably hundreds of times, at least dozens of times.
TAPPER: He's gone after the integrity of Robert Mueller and his team.
Does this mean now that you and the president accept the credibility of special counsel Robert Mueller and his office?
GIULIANI: No. It's -- if he does something good, we're going to commend him. If he does something we think is wrong, we're going to -- I'm going to defend the president.
TAPPER: Good is something you like, and bad is something you don't like, it seems.
GIULIANI: Well, no. Well, that's also true for him. Right? We have different points of view on this.
When he's doing -- when he's doing what -- what he's doing to Manafort, I think, is horrible. He's got the man in solitary confinement now for six months, and he keeps questioning him and trying to pressure him to say things that are not true. I think that's terrible.
TAPPER: Why do you think Manafort shared that campaign data with Konstantin Kilimnik, who, according to the FBI, has ties to the Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU?
GIULIANI: But, in fact -- but, in fact, is a Ukrainian, two Ukrainians.
Originally, "The New York Times" ran with the story, again, fake news, that he shared it with a Russian.
TAPPER: They corrected that. They corrected that.
GIULIANI: Not true. To your -- they did correct it.
TAPPER: But why do you think he shared the campaign data? Why do you think he shared the campaign data?
GIULIANI: My friend, they didn't correct that like -- they didn't just completely on their own, by the way. Same thing with special counsel. That didn't happen like....
TAPPER: You were working on the campaign at the time.
GIULIANI: ... spontaneously.
TAPPER: Why do you think he shared that information?
GIULIANI: I think he owed them money, a lot of money. And I think he was sucking up to them, sucking up to his clients, making them feel important. The sharing of polling information...
TAPPER: I think they owed him money. Right.
GIULIANI: Oh, I'm sorry, other way around.
TAPPER: They owed him money.
GIULIANI: So he wanted to get paid. So he wanted to get paid. You're correct. You're correct. They owed him money. And he wanted to get paid.
They were -- had -- he had a personal relationship with them, independent of the campaign. Should he have done it? Absolutely not. Bad judgment? Yes. A crime? Sharing polling data? Give me a break. No way.
TAPPER: Well, we will see.
GIULIANI: People give out that internal polling data to -- people give out that internal polling data to impress people. They give it out for fund-raising. They give it out just to have people on your side.
They give it out to affect you guys in the press.
TAPPER: Yes, I don't know why he did it.
GIULIANI: That's what they use it for.
TAPPER: I don't know why he did it.
GIULIANI: I don't -- I don't -- but go ask him.
TAPPER: You told -- well, he's in prison.
GIULIANI: The president didn't know about it.
TAPPER: You told CNN earlier this week that the only possible crime he could have committed, which he did not do, you say, was aiding Russia in hacking the DNC.
That's strongly disputed. But let me ask you a question. Are you saying that it's not...
GIULIANI: Yes, it's strongly disputed by the people who make up crimes and only -- only to go after Donald Trump, who nobody else has ever been pursued.
TAPPER: Are you saying it's not possible for the president to have obstructed justice, that that's an impossibility?
GIULIANI: No, of course not. The president can obstruct justice.
He can't obstruct exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, if that's what he is doing. And that's what he did. That's the point of Bill Barr's memo, which Bill Barr's memo -- the simplistic analysis of this is, again, designed just to go after Donald Trump.
Here's the point that Bill Barr makes, which I think 75 percent of lawyers and 90 percent of constitutional lawyers would agree with. The president of the United States today fires one of his Cabinet members, he cannot be prosecuted for obstruction of justice.
He would have to -- he would have to do a corrupt act, in addition to that. If he goes up to his Cabinet member and says, if you don't do this, I'm going to break your legs...
GIULIANI: ... or I'm going to take money away from you, or I'm going to have your wife put under investigation, now we have obstruction of justice.
TAPPER: But let me ask you a question.
GIULIANI: All he did with Mueller is -- wait, wait. All he did with Mueller (sic) is fire him, with the support of Rod
Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who advised it, who was in charge of the investigation.
TAPPER: Right. So...
GIULIANI: If that were a crime, how could he be in charge of the investigation?
TAPPER: OK. So you say the obstruction of justice...
GIULIANI: It would be a complete, absolute, unbelievable conflict of interest.
TAPPER: You -- OK.
GIULIANI: The analysis of this is so stupid and simplistic. And you have lawyers that come on this television show or this network and other networks and support it. They should hand in their law degree.
TAPPER: OK. But let me ask you a question.
You're talking about these threats that the president did not commit, and as to why that would be inappropriate, but the president has not done that.
The president is repeatedly calling publicly, on Judge Jeanine's show, on Twitter, he is repeatedly calling for an investigation into Michael Cohen's father-in-law ahead of Michael Cohen's testimony before Congress.
By your own definition, isn't that obstruction...
GIULIANI: No, it's defending himself.
TAPPER: ... or attempting to intimidate a witness?
GIULIANI: No. No.
Now, if you -- if you made that obstruction, I can't defend anybody.
TAPPER: To say...
GIULIANI: You're telling me...
TAPPER: ... this guy is testifying against me, his father-in-law should be...
(CROSSTALK) GIULIANI: No, wait, now. Wait, wait. Jake, Jake, we are so -- we are so distorting the system of justice just to get Donald Trump, it's going to hurt us so much.
TAPPER: So, it's OK to go after the father-in-law?
GIULIANI: Now -- now, of course it is, if the father-in-law is a criminal.
And the Southern District of New York, in the plea, wanted him to go to jail and said he's lying. They don't buy the special counsel's approach. They say he's lying because he's holding back information that is far more damaging than the lies that he is sharing with them now.
Now, what is that information about?
GIULIANI: It's about his father-in-law. We talked about Ukrainians. His father-in-law is a Ukrainian.
TAPPER: That's not a crime.
GIULIANI: His father-in-law has millions and millions -- of course it's not. I'm telling you, he comes from the Ukraine.
This reason that is important is, he may have ties to something called organized crime.
TAPPER: Because he's Ukrainian?
GIULIANI: Michael Cohen is refusing -- well, there's an organized crime group in Ukraine, organized crime group in Russia.
TAPPER: Organized crime everywhere, organized crime in Brooklyn, organized crime in the Bronx.
I mean, you know, that -- that -- I think that's making the leap.
GIULIANI: Oh, well, that's OK. He can have ties to organized crime. They can have bank fraud. That's just fine.
When somebody testifies against your client, you go out, and you look at what's wrong with them. Why are they doing it, if they're not telling the truth?
GIULIANI: He's not -- he's doing it because he's afraid to testify against his father-in-law, because the repercussions for that will be far worse than the repercussions for lying here...
TAPPER: I think... GIULIANI: ... because now he gets applauded in New York, where the crazy anti-Trumpers applaud for him.
TAPPER: So, I think...
GIULIANI: He goes and testifies -- he goes and testifies against some people -- let me finish.
GIULIANI: He goes and testifies against some people that are possibly in organized crime, they ain't going to be applauding for him when he goes into a restaurant in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, believe me.
TAPPER: I think...
GIULIANI: I did this for 15 years of my life.
TAPPER: I think...
GIULIANI: This guy is lying. It's disgraceful...
GIULIANI: ... that you're relying on Cohen. It's disgraceful that the Democrats in Congress...
TAPPER: I'm not relying on -- I'm not relying on Cohen.
GIULIANI: ... would put a liar like -- and BuzzFeed got in trouble yesterday...
TAPPER: I'm not relying on Cohen for anything.
GIULIANI: ... because they relied on Michael Cohen.
Well, don't. Don't.
TAPPER: I'm just questioning whether it's appropriate for the president to single out a private citizen...
GIULIANI: It is...
TAPPER: ... whose son-in-law...
GIULIANI: ... to defend him...
TAPPER: OK. Well, you...
GIULIANI: He's not a private citizen. He's a private citizen lying about him, trying to get him impeached.
TAPPER: No, the father -- I'm talking about the father-in-law.
GIULIANI: And I'm defending him.
TAPPER: I'm talking about the father-in-law.
GIULIANI: That's a -- that's -- the father-in-law, we happen to know -- and just go read the Southern District report.
GIULIANI: The man was involved in criminal activity with Michael Cohen.
TAPPER: That's all...
GIULIANI: And Michael Cohen is withholding it, because to testify about that would be very dangerous to the father-in-law and Michael Cohen.
GIULIANI: And, instead, he's going after the president, which the special counsel and all the liberals are applauding him for.
TAPPER: Mayor Giuliani...
GIULIANI: That's what is going on. That is a defense...
TAPPER: ... thank you for your time.
GIULIANI: ... to a criminal accusation. And, if we can't do that, we're not in America.
TAPPER: Thank you so much for your time, sir. We appreciate it.
GIULIANI: Thank you.
TAPPER: We are still in America. I appreciate your saying that.
GIULIANI: Thank you. That's -- but I got a chance to say it. And I appreciate that.
TAPPER: Thank you, sir.
The 2020 presidential primary is now in full swing.
And Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is out on the campaign trail in Iowa. She says she's the best person to take on President Trump. She will be with us next.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.
Today is exactly two years until the next presidential inauguration.
And Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is making her pitch, telling voters in Iowa how she would take on Trump.
TAPPER: Joining me now from West Des Moines, Iowa, Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand.
Senator, thanks so much for joining us. Congratulations. You just announced your presidential run.
What states do you think that you will be able to win in 2020 if you're the nominee that Democrats were not able to win the last time a New York senator was the nominee, Hillary Clinton?
GILLIBRAND: I think there's a lot of states around this country and a lot of people around this country who are still really unhappy, Jake.
I don't think that those who voted for President Trump necessarily feel that he's done the things that he promised to do. And I am going to talk to all voters about what they care about.
And so far, what I have heard from Iowans is that they care about health care. They care about making sure it's a right, and not a privilege. They care about public schools, that their kids are struggling, class sizes are too big. They want opportunities for their kids. And they care about better jobs, better pay and being able to provide for their families.
And so I think, if I travel around this country and listen to folks about what they care about, and then fight for them as hard as I would fight for my own kids, as hard as I would fight for my own community, I think I can win back voters anywhere, because it's about them and their lives and just having someone who will fight for them.
TAPPER: Let's talk about the deal that President Trump just put on the table to extend, temporarily, protections for some dreamers and undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, people with temporary protective status, in exchange for wall funding.
You called it a bad deal.
TAPPER: In your campaign announcement, you suggested more bipartisan in Washington.
TAPPER: You said you're going to -- quote -- "bring people together to start getting things done."
So, OK, you think it's a bad deal. What's your counteroffer?
GILLIBRAND: So, my counteroffer would be what we put on the table a year ago and voted for, which was protect all dreamers, protect TPS status.
We, as Democrats, certainly care about national security and border security. We have always cared about that. And so we don't mind investing in that. But we really want to protect the people who need our help right now. And then we can create a comprehensive immigration system that actually understands that people who are seeking asylum are helped.
And so that's the deal we should be talking about, protecting all dreamers, not -- and permanently, a pathway to citizenship, because the truth is, Jake, when I have met with dreamers, they're struggling. They have so much anxiety and fear they might not be able to finish college. They might be serving in the military. They might have families.
GILLIBRAND: They -- these are things that are hurting and harming people.
And for him to say three years, again, he has no compassion, he has no empathy for the people who actually are suffering because of his decisions.
TAPPER: So, a wall for dreamers is something that you would be willing to go along with, as long as it was permanent protection for dreamers and DACA recipients?
GILLIBRAND: Border security and investing in keeping us safe is a better way to talk about it, because a wall is a waste of money and will not actually help us create safety.
We also recognize, like, we can spend money on making sure we stop drug trafficking and human trafficking and cross-border terrorism. That's what certainly I care about, and we can invest in that.
TAPPER: All right. You have said Trump's immigration positions are racist. That's the word you used, racist.
Now, as you know, you were more conservative early on in your career on immigration. CNN's KFILE is out with a new report this week on your 2008 campaign Web site and a mailer sent from your congressional office back then, a long time ago, but still in your -- in your public life.
Take a look. You said you were a -- quote -- "firm opponent" of government -- quote -- "amnesty to illegal aliens" -- unquote. You said English should be -- quote -- "the official language of the United States." You called for expediting deportation of undocumented immigrants. I know you have very different positions today.
TAPPER: But, let me ask you, if Trump's immigration positions are racist, were they racist when you held some of those positions as well?
GILLIBRAND: They certainly weren't empathetic, and they weren't kind, and I did not think about suffering in other people's lives.
And one thing I did 10 years ago, when I became senator and was going to represent 20 million people across our state, I recognized that a lot of places in my state were different, and I needed to understand what those constituents needed too. And so I took the time.
I went down to Brooklyn. I met with Nydia Velazquez, who has been a leader fighting for families for a long time. And I listened. And I realized that things I had said were wrong. I was not caring about others. I was not fighting for other people's kids, the same way I was fighting for my own. And I was wrong to feel that way.
And so I just said I'm not going to stand by and do nothing for families that are suffering in my state and in my communities.
TAPPER: So, what's the difference, though, just help me understand, between your previous positions, which you characterize as wrong and not empathetic, and President Trump's positions today that you call racist?
GILLIBRAND: So, what President Trump is doing is creating fear and division and a darkness across this country that I have never seen before.
One of the reasons I'm running for president, Jake, is because we have to restore that integrity to our presidency, to this country. We have always cared about others. We have always believed in the golden rule.
And what President Trump is doing is destroying the moral fabric of what this country stands for. We have the Statue of Liberty in our New York Harbor. She stands for a beacon of light and hope for others who need us. Send us your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
We have never been afraid of immigrants. We have never been afraid of refugees and asylum-seekers.
This president has sown fear and division that just makes us weaker. And so I think what he's done is so horrible and so mean-spirited, that I am nothing like him and never will be, because my values haven't changed.
I will fight for other people's kids as hard as I will fight for my own. (CROSSTALK)
TAPPER: Some cities in the United States, such as San Francisco, allow undocumented immigrants to vote in local elections.
You recently came out in support of allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.
TAPPER: How do you feel about undocumented immigrants across the country being able to vote in local elections?
GILLIBRAND: I think the vote is for American citizens.
And it's really important that we give immigrants a pathway to citizenship through comprehensive immigration reform, so they can be part of all the blessings of America.
When you create a pathway to citizenship, Jake, you allow people to buy into their Social Security. You allow them to invest in our public schools. You allow them to invest in their future and pay taxes.
All those things is why you need a pathway to citizenship. And so I really hope we can do that through comprehensive immigration reform.
TAPPER: So that seems like a no. You don't support that.
During your reelection bid..
GILLIBRAND: Correct. I don't.
GILLIBRAND: I think it's for American citizens.
TAPPER: During your reelection bid for the U.S. Senate last fall, you made a promise to your constituents. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Just want to make this clear. You are saying you will not get out of the race, that you will not run for president. You will serve your six years?
GILLIBRAND: I will serve my six-year term.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: The "Buffalo News" editorial board is calling this a flat-out lie.
What's your response?
GILLIBRAND: I told the "Buffalo News" board and I told you and everyone last year that I was solely focused on 2018, because the crisis at the moment was trying to create a check on President Trump.
We needed to flip the House of Representatives, hold as many seats in the Senate. And I wanted to continue to serve New Yorkers. I will always fight for New Yorkers, and I'm still fighting for New Yorkers.
But after we were able to flip the House of Representatives, I took a long, hard thought with my family about whether this is something we should consider, whether this is a battle that is something that we should take on as a family. It's a -- it's an issue that I had to talk to my boys about, the sacrifices they will make.
And I needed time to make that decision, a real decision, about whether this is something that I believe I'm called to do. And I do believe that. And that's why I'm running.
TAPPER: But it was three days after...
GILLIBRAND: But, at the time I said that, Jake -- it's not three days, Jake. It's over the last few months.
TAPPER: No, no, no, but it was after -- it was after three days after you were elected that you said you were going to consider running for president, three days after you were...
GILLIBRAND: Exactly, because I told you before I ran that I needed to focus solely on electing a Democratic majority, because that's the crisis we're in right now.
And it takes time to think about these things. And I could not have done that before, because I was focused on trying to win back the House, holding the Senate, and focused on New Yorkers.
TAPPER: Obviously, you being the first person to call -- first Democratic senator, I should say, to call for then Minnesota Senator Al Franken to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations has been brought up on the campaign trail.
You have faced some blowback from members of your own party for that, from Democratic donors. Now, you told our reporter CNN's Dan Merica that you think some of the blowback is sexist.
Why do you think that?
GILLIBRAND: Well, it is.
And many people are very sad about Senator Franken, but the truth is, he had eight credible allegations of groping and sexual harassment against him that were corroborated in real time. The eighth one happened to be a congressional staffer, someone who works in my place of work. And, for me, enough was enough.
I have been leading on these issues for the past six years, speaking out against sexual assault in the military, against sexual assault on college campuses, sexual harassment in Congress. And I had one decision to make, Jake.
And that was whether to continue to stay silent and not stand with those women who came forward. It's very hard to do.
I also am a mom of young sons, as you know. And, at home, I was having conversations with Theo, who's 15, about what was going on. And he didn't understand why I was so tough on Al Franken.
And it was very clear to me that I needed to be clear with him that groping a woman or forcibly kissing a woman without her consent is not OK. It's not OK for a U.S. senator, and it's not OK for my son. And so there was no room for ambiguity there.
Now, that was my decision, my decision to not remain silent. Senator Franken made his own decision. He was entitled to whatever process he wanted. He was entitled to stay in the Senate as long as he wanted. He chose to resign.
And if some very wealthy donors in our party are angry about that, that's on them.
TAPPER: You're going to be competing with a very, very crowded field of Democrats that includes the most diverse slate of Democratic candidates or any candidates in any party in the history of this nation, several women, several African-Americans, Latino candidates.
Why should voters, why should Democrats go with you? What distinguishes you from Warren, Sherrod Brown, Kamala Harris, et cetera?
GILLIBRAND: Well, a couple of things.
We are all who we are. And I think it's great that we have so many amazing candidates running.
I'm a mom with young kids. I look at the world as my mission to fight for other people's kids as hard as I would fight for my own, which is why I believe health care should be a right, not a privilege. It's why I believe we need better public schools, which I have heard from voters all across this country. They just care about their kids.
It's why I believe, if you want to work hard, you should be able to earn your way into the middle class with better job training, better job opportunities, the ability to organize and have unions in this country, the ability to reward work and have national paid leave or equal pay or affordable day care, things that would really make a difference.
But if you're going to do any of those things, Jake, you have to have the courage to take on the systems of power that make it impossible. So, if you want gun reform, you got to take on the NRA, and you have got to actually name it for what it is, which is greed and corruption.
You have to be able to take on the insurance companies that don't want health care as a right, and not a privilege, or the drug companies that don't want you to buy in bulk and get cheaper drugs for Medicare patients. Those are the battles that have to be fought. And I believe that I
have the courage, the conviction and the determination to do all those things.
I also have a track record. I have a track record of getting those things done in my state, a state that's very diverse. You know my state. Upstate New York is red, very red. It was red on Election Day. Upstate New York voted for President Trump. Westchester and Long Island are purple. On Election Day, they voted for President Trump.
And New York City, which is blue, deep blue -- and I, in my state, have brought people together. I have had the highest vote margins in history of the state, with 72 percent, than any other statewide Democrat.
And so my track record is passing legislation, like the 9/11 health bill, don't ask, don't tell repeal...
GILLIBRAND: ... which I can explain to your viewers, if they need.
But getting -- bringing people together -- and even in this Congress, a Democrat -- a Republican-controlled House, Republican-controlled Senate, and president who is a Republican, I passed over a dozen bills in the last Congress helping people to have made-in-America manufacturing, get more access to capital for small businesses, the bread-and-butter stuff that makes communities thrive.
And that's why I think I can break through and actually serve and represent everyone.
TAPPER: All right, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, 2020 candidate, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
GILLIBRAND: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard also says she's running. And, if she wins, she'd be the youngest person ever elected president of the United States.
And joining me now is Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.
Congresswoman, thanks so much for joining us on.
Let me ask you, the president just offered...
GABBARD: Good morning.
TAPPER: ... a deal to end the shutdown. He would extend temporary protections for some dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, in exchange for border wall funding.
Would you take the deal?
The problem here is that this issue, like so many others in Washington, are being relegated to partisan politics, where, if a Republican is putting forward a proposal, Democrats are going to shoot it down, if Democrats are putting forward a proposal, Republicans are going to shoot it down, really thinking about which party can call a win on this issue, again, which happens with far too many issues.
And, as a result, the American people end up losing out.
GABBARD: Trump is putting forward different ideas. Democrats have put forward different ideas.
But the problem here, and why we're in a situation where over 800,000 federal employees are going for now a month without a paycheck, and suffering as a result, is because of the unwillingness to actually just sit down and work through the details that each side is putting forward, knowing that neither side is going to get everything that they need.
That's what needs to happen here.
TAPPER: So, I understand you don't support the offer that President Trump made. But what's your counteroffer?
GABBARD: Well, look...
TAPPER: I mean, if you want people to sit down and deal, what -- what do you think should happen?
Well, first of all, I don't think it should be done on television. These negotiations shouldn't be done on television. We need to have adults coming together, sitting down and negotiating the issues that have to be addressed, the issues of border security, the issues of making sure that we have got the resources dedicated to where they need to be, and the issues that are still outstanding regarding immigration and immigration reform.
Some of them have been talked about, dealing with our dreamers, who are still facing uncertainty, who still have no permanency to their futures here, in the only home that they have ever known, as well as the issue of TPS.
I think there are a whole host of issues that need to be addressed. But they cannot be addressed so long as both sides are not willing to come together and have a real conversation and hash out the differences, and come up with something that works best for American people. TAPPER: That's interesting, though, because it -- you sound like
you're not just blaming President Trump on this. You're also blaming Democratic leaders in Congress.
GABBARD: Both sides have completely hardened their positions and are unwilling to come together and work out the differences.
And that's the problem here. It's a problem that we see with a lot of issues that come before us in Washington, is an unwillingness to just say, hey, here's my position. Here's yours. Let's figure out how we can work out the differences that we can, putting forward the best solution for the American people.
Our federal employees and contractors and their families have gone on for far too long suffering as a result of this intransigence, where people are putting politics before the well-being of the American people and our country.
I want to ask you about your presidential bid. Since you announced that you're running for president last weekend on Van Jones' show, you have faced some really harsh criticism from fellow Democrats. Former Governor and DNC Chair Howard Dean said you're not qualified. Former Senator Claire McCaskill called you Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's bestie.
What do you make of all this criticism from Democrats?
GABBARD: I look forward to debating the issues.
People who are simply interested in name-calling don't appear to be able to debate the substance of whatever issue they may disagree on. I'm focused on the issues. I'm focused on how I can best offer to be of service to the American people and bring about solutions that will positively impact their lives.
TAPPER: One of the reasons Democrats have been critical of your bid is because you met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during that trip to Syria in 2017.
You told me right after you got back -- you told me you did so because you think -- quote -- "We have got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there's a possibility that we can achieve peace" -- unquote.
Obviously, peace has not been achieved.
Looking back on that meeting, do you have any regrets?
I think that it is -- it continues to be very important for any leader in this country to be willing to meet with others, whether they be friends or adversaries or potential adversaries, if we are serious about the pursuit of peace and securing our country. You know, Jake, you -- you often acknowledge and bring to the
forefront the cost of war and our troops and who pays the price. And, as a veteran, I have been serving in the Army National Guard now for 15 years and continue to serve, served on two Middle East deployments.
I have seen this cost of war firsthand, which is why I fight so hard for peace. And that's the reality of the situation that we're facing here. It's why I have urged and continue to urge President Trump to meet with people like Kim Jong-un in North Korea, because we understand what's at stake here.
And the only alternative to having these kinds of conversations is more war. It's more suffering. It's more lives lost, more destruction.
GABBARD: The stakes are far too high.
TAPPER: And, certainly, you in Hawaii know the fear of North Korea better than people in the contiguous U.S.
This week, you have also had to confront your previous positions, anti-LGBTQ positions, after new reporting this week from CNN's KFILE revealed that you railed against -- quote -- "homosexual extremists" when you were in the Hawaii Statehouse and you worked for a group that supported gay conversion therapy.
You now say you regret that stance. You issued a YouTube video. You have done a number of tweets.
A spokesperson for GLAAD had this to say -- quote -- "Rarely have we seen someone who so actively -- actively and vehemently and viscerally against LGBTQ equality and acceptance. It's one thing to say that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but another is to actively work to stymie the progress of a community that is marginalized."
There seems to be a lot of skepticism among LGBTQ activists that you could go from being so strongly and vehemently, in their view, against their rights to get married, et cetera, to the position you have now.
How do you convince them that your conversion is legitimate?
GABBARD: Through my actions, Jake.
You know, I have spoken about my upbringing. I was raised in a socially conservative household with views and beliefs and things that I no longer hold today.
Like most of the country, my views have evolved, to the point where now you can look to my record over the last six years in Congress that reflect what's in my heart and my commitment to fighting for equality, my commitment to fighting for LGBT rights.
[09:45:00] I have a 100 percent legislative voting record with the Human Rights Campaign. I'm a member of the Equality Caucus, and, again, look forward to continuing to recognize the work that still must be done towards equality and working to make that change happen.
TAPPER: One last question, Congresswoman.
"The Honolulu Star-Advertiser" is reporting that Democratic state Senator Kai Kahele is planning to run for your congressional seat in 2020.
If you don't get the Democratic nomination, are you going to try to stay in the House?
GABBARD: We will cross that bridge when we get there.
I haven't heard from Senator Kahele, but whatever he decides to do, I wish him well.
TAPPER: Are you concerned at all about a primary challenge?
GABBARD: I'm not thinking about politics right now. I'm looking forward to seeing how I can best serve the country.
TAPPER: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, it's always a pleasure to have you on the show.
Thank you so much. And we look forward to having you back.
GABBARD: Thanks, Jake. Aloha.
TAPPER: Aloha to you.
As more Democrats jump into the 2020 race, one thing we're hearing a lot of, I'm sorry. Why is that? And will it work? That's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'm here today to break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward to end the government shutdown. Border security, DACA, TPS and many other things, straightforward, fair, reasonable and common sense with lots of compromise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: President Trump coming to the table with an offer from the Democrats to end the shutdown. It's not getting much traction among congressional Democrats. Let's discuss.
Congresswoman, let me start with you because you are the one that's negotiating in there. You heard Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard say that she think both sides are being intransigent, not just President Trump.
[09:50:02] That's deviating from the Democratic songbook a little bit. Is there not any room to negotiate there?
REP. NANETTE DIAZ BARRAGAN (D), CALIFORNIA: The first thing we need to do is open the government. There's so many federal workers that are not getting paid, 800,000 who are calling and struggling. Let's get the government open and then let's sit at the table and talk about border security and coming up with a comprehensive immigration reform.
Look, as a member of Homeland Security, I can tell you, we want to stop drugs. We want to stop criminals. We are for border security.
So if we're going to put money into border security, let's put it where it's going to make a difference. Ports of entry, infrastructure money there, more personnel, technology. There are other places where we need to put our money first before we even start talking about these other areas. So, let's open the government first.
TAPPER: Former congresswoman Mia Love, there's a legitimate question being asked by Democrats, if this border wall was so important, why wasn't it passed in the two years when the Republicans control the House?
MIA LOVE (R), FORMER UTAH CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, I think it's important for us to put all the cards on the table and talk about what's really going on here. I believe that if the president actually backs away from border security, his border wall, he will lose the presidency and Republicans are going to have a really hard time. I think that that's the reason why we're not getting counter offers.
I mean, let's -- immigration is something that's always been incredibly important to me. I've taken on my own leadership to try and bring up votes on the floor when it comes to immigration. So, I think that Speaker Pelosi is losing a golden opportunity to say, you know what, OK, I'm going to give you $5.7 billion but I want DACA, I want temporary protective status, I want to make sure that we have dreamers taken care of, I want to make sure that we have -- families can stay together at the border. She can ask for anything and at least start there. Ask for --
TAPPER: Why don't have a counteroffer?
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There will be a counteroffer. It's going to happen this week. There's going to be a $1 billion put on the table, by the Democrats in the budget in addition to the $1.3 billion that they already put on the table in the Department of Homeland Security budget. That would be $2.3 billion for home -- for border security.
TAPPER: But not for the wall.
GRANHOLM: This is -- well, I mean, this is why this is so crazy. Can we talk about what border security is? Isn't that the purpose of what Trump is trying to get? So let's figure out, using experts, what is the best way to keep the border secure? As everybody says, all these cars coming through, bringing heroine, et cetera, 90 percent of the drugs that come in from Mexico, however they're all coming through ports of entry. So let's --
TAPPER: Not 90 percent but it's a vast majority.
GRANHOLM: It's a huge --
GRANHOLM: Whatever the number is.
TAPPER: It's a vast -- the vast majority. Yes.
GRANHOLM: But the bottom line is they're coming through ports of entry.
TAPPER: Port of entry. Yes.
GRANHOLM: So let's figure out the technology that would allow screening of the vehicles to make that stop. There is a counter, that's my point.
TAPPER: There's a counter offer.
GRANHOLM: And the Republicans need to finally get to say, yes, let's take the counter and then negotiate all of this other stuff once the government is open.
RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The president -- the president has put on the table things that Democrats want. The Democrats have not put one penny on the table of what the president wants.
GRANHOLM: The Democrats don't want temporary DACA.
BARRAGAN: And the president (INAUDIBLE) the system now he's --
SANTORUM: But at least -- at least he's moved in the direction. They haven't put a penny for a wall.
GRANHOLM: They are putting $1 billion on the table.
SANTORUM: And this is a very different crisis than what we've had in the past. In the past, we had -- 10 years ago when there were many more people trying to come over were mostly Mexicans coming over, who -- you didn't need a wall because if they came over and they got into the country, you could simply return them across the border. That is not the case now.
TAPPER: Now there's a lot of Guatemalans, Hondurans --
SANTORUM: Once someone from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador crosses the border because there's no wall and they're in this country, they're released in the country.
BARRAGAN: But that's not --
SANTORUM: That is a fundamentally different issue.
TAPPER: Go ahead.
BARRAGAN: That is not how it's happening. Because you have the wall is built on U.S. territory. So people can get up to the wall and they can still go to a port of entry and ask for asylum and you're still on U.S. territory. What this wall essentially is going to do is help the president, his anti-asylum ban because -- and I saw this firsthand when I was in Tijuana at the Otay Mesa border.
What they're doing is they're turning people away even if they're on U.S. soil. What is it doing? It's incentivizing them to try to go break the law and come in within the ports. Well, if you're turning them away at the ports and then you build a wall, then what? Where are they going to go?
TAPPER: Let me ask you a question, Congresswoman Love, because one of the issues here is how far can President Trump go, how far can the Democrats go in order to make a deal?
TAPPER: Right. You're saying Democrats need to come to the table. There's an opportunity here. But take -- take a look at what Secretary of State Ann Coulter just tweeted the other day. Because she tweeted, "Trump proposes amnesty. We voted for Trump and got Jeb."
Just for the small offer so --
SANTORUM: It shows you the president's movement.
LOVE: Let me just tell you --
TAPPER: Well, that's the president -- the president -- but the question is, can Democrats -- Democrats are afraid of making a deal with President Trump because of Secretary Coulter making steps like that.
LOVE: One of the biggest frustrations I have, and I'm going to say it over and over again, is not being able to get immigration reform through was also part of the Republican Party. We had a really hard time getting part of the -- a fraction of the Republican Party moving in and helping us out.
[09:55:04] Sometimes they torpedo their own. And so when you're looking at Ann Coulter, it makes it very difficult for the president to even move towards more immigration reform.
But one more thing I want to say --
TAPPER: My executive producer says I need to -- I need to point out that Ann Coulter is not actually the secretary of state. It was a joke because she has a lot of power with the president. Go ahead.
GRANHOLM: I liked it.
LOVE: One more thing is that I am really frustrated. I continue to be frustrated that the negotiations are being made with the president. It's like the -- it's like Congress has abdicated all of their powers, given it all away.
GRANHOLM: Right. Where is Mitch?
LOVE: I want to see -- I want to see Mitch McConnell at the table with Kevin McCarthy, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi saying, look, can we get actually a deal that we are able to get through and maybe they might get a super majority out of it that we don't have to worry about a --
GRANHOLM: Completely agree. Where is Mitch? Mitch McConnell has been completely silenced by his fear --
TAPPER: The president won't sign.
GRANHOLM: Right. Well, that -- so you're back to Secretary Coulter. I mean, will the puppet masters allow Donald Trump to actually shut -- open up the government and then negotiate? I don't think so.
Even though -- politics is about addition. Vast majority of Americans do not want to see a wall in exchange for a shutdown. They don't want -- they want the government open and then have a discussion about border security.
SANTORUM: Jennifer, you know well that Mitch McConnell is not going to bring up a bill that his president is not going to sign. And there's no reason for him to do so.
GRANHOLM: But he can convince -- I mean, what's his leadership about if not trying to convince the president that we need to move forward --
SANTORUM: You don't think Mitch is talking to the president. Let me assure you, they're talking.
(CROSSTALK) SANTORUM: Well, he's not talking to Nancy Pelosi. That's the problem. She will not come in and have a good faith negotiation -- and I think when the --
GRANHOLM: When she was there last the president walked out.
SANTORUM: No, the president walked out because she said not a dollar.
TAPPER: Congresswoman, I want to ask you a question because you represent Los Angeles. You're in touch with immigrants, you're in touch with undocumented immigrants.
TAPPER: So "The Washington Post" editorial board writes for Democrats "To refuse even to talk until the government reopens does no favor to sidelined federal workers and contractors. But a measure of statesmanship for a member of Congress now is the ability to accept some disappointments and shrug off the inevitable attacks from purists, if it means rescuing the lives of thousands of deserving people living among us."
Meaning, those -- the three years, even if it's temporary, the three years for dreamers, the three years for TPS recipients, those people, I don't know how they're receiving this offer from President Trump but I imagine that some of them might think, oh, my God, I would love that three years.
BARRAGAN: Well, you know, we've heard from a number of them that say hold firm. Just the day before the Supreme Court said they were not going to take up the DACA issue so the DACA protections would be there for at least another year. This is not the time to have these conversations while the government is shut down.
Let's remember how we got here. Mitch McConnell actually passed a bill in the Senate that was supposed to get through the House because there was an agreement --
TAPPER: That's true.
BARRAGAN: -- and then the president said, wait a second.
TAPPER: Last word, Congresswoman Love. Last word.
LOVE: I don't understand to hold firm because there are people that really want to get to work. There are Haitians today that have to leave. They don't have --
TAPPER: The TPS. Yes. LOVE: Yes, the temporary protective. They're leaving. So there's no time for them to hold firm. You have to be able to -- you have to admit, in the struggle, people are suffering and the politicians are out there, they're completely grandstanding and making their own case. Well, everybody is not getting --
TAPPER: Yes. Wonderful panel. Thank you so much for being here. Really appreciate it.
Could Michael Cohen, President Trump's former fixer, be exactly what the White House is missing right now in these negotiations? That's the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion."
TAPPER (voice-over): Michael Cohen when he was the president's fixer once allegedly paid an I.T. specialist doing work for Mr. Trump with a Walmart bag of cash and a Brazilian fighter's boxing glove, "The Wall Street Journal" reported this week. Now Cohen denies paying with a bag of cash but the tech expert who currently works at conservative evangelical Liberty University told "The Journal" that he was hired to do some shady things for the presidential hopeful manipulating internet polls to give Trump an advantage for instance.
TRUMP: I was leading in every poll. I was leading in all of the polls.
TAPPER: He also created a Women for Cohen Twitter feed full of nonexistent ladies lusting after a sex symbol and pit bull Michael Cohen.
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: I will not be villain of his story.
TAPPER: So, is the reason that the government shut down and negotiations have gone so poorly because a fixer like Cohen was not given a White House gig so he isn't there to say, offer, Nancy Pelosi a juicy Trump steak and a case of Trump vodka?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's a great idea.
TAPPER: Could Cohen get the government open by offering Chuck Schumer a shoe box full of quarters and a poster autographed by Scott Baio?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need Donald Trump to fix this.
TAPPER: We're left to wonder what might have been but we should note that whether the Walmart bag of cash and boxing glove or the deals offered to Stormy Daniels or Karen McDougal we wouldn't exactly say there's a lot of art in these deals.
TRUMP: I know the best people. I know the best deal makers.
[10:00:02] TAPPER: Thank you so much for spending your Sunday with us and our great panel and our amazing guests.