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President Trump and Democrats Meet Again Today On Partial Government Shutdown; President Trump’s Briefing That Wasn’t; Russian

January 4, 2019

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<Head: President Trump and Democrats Meet Again Today On Partial

Government Shutdown; President Trump’s Briefing That Wasn’t; Russian

Lawyer Seeks American’s Release On Bail; Ellen DeGeneres Campaigns For

Kevin Hart To Host Oscars. Aired 5:30-6a ET - Part 1>

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[05:30:38] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Day two of divided government in America. The new House passing bills destined to go nowhere in the Senate.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We are not doing a wall.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will have no deal without a wall.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Day 14 of the government shutdown. Will another Situation Room sit-down today do anything to break the stalemate?

BRIGGS: Day one of Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail. The first big-name Democrat officially exploring the 2020 race heads to Iowa.

Hey, everybody. Good morning, happy Friday. I’m Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I’m Christine Romans. It is 31 minutes past the hour this Friday morning.

Another meeting in the Situation Room this morning between the president and congressional leaders. The aim is to find a way to end the partial government shutdown. At the moment, Democrats and Republicans are deeply dug into their positions and in no mood to compromise.


PELOSI: We’re not doing a wall. Does anybody have any doubt that we are not doing a wall? So that’s it.

REPORTER: Do you worry about backlash?

PELOSI: No, it has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with a wall is an immorality between countries. It’s an old way of thinking. PENCE: The president’s made it clear. We are here to make a deal, but it’s a deal that’s going to result in achieving real gains on border security, and you have no border security without a wall. We will have no deal without a wall.


ROMANS: CNN’s Manu Raju has the latest on the stalemate from Capitol Hill.



Now, Democrats in the House, on their first day in power, moving to reopen parts of the federal government that have been shuddered since before Christmas in the aftermath of that bitter feud between Democrats and Republicans over the president’s demands for billions of dollars in funding for his border wall.

Now, two measures passed the House last night. One, to reopen the Department of Homeland Security through February eighth, punting on the funding wall -- funding of the wall. And then another to reopen the other agencies on funding levels agreed to by both Democrats and Republicans on the Senate side in the last Congress, hoping that could persuade some Republican senators to support it.

But the problem is this. The president opposes these measures because it does not fund his wall.

So now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not put those bills on the floor, even the one to keep the Department of Homeland Security open until February eighth. That’s the same bill he put to the floor before Christmas. He thought, at the time, President Trump was going to sign it into law. The president changed his mind -- he opposed it.

And so now, we’re at a situation where it’s unclear where the standoff is going to end. Still, leaders and the White House plan to meet today behind closed doors to see whether or not they can come up with any sort of solution. But pessimism growing intensely on Capitol Hill that any deal could be reached anytime soon which means, Christine and Dave, this could be going on for quite some time.


ROMANS: All right, Manu Raju -- thank you.

President Trump showed up in the White House briefing room yesterday, his first-ever official appearance there. Now, he arrived on very short notice from what was billed as a briefing but was not, in the sense that the president took no questions.

Instead, he congratulated Speaker Nancy Pelosi on her quote “tremendous, tremendous achievement.” He spoke about infrastructure as an area of common ground with Democrats. And the president spent the rest of his 8-minute appearance pushing for his border wall, backed by officials from Border Patrol and ICE unions.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have never had so much support as I have in the last week over my stance for border security. Thank you all very much -- appreciate it. Thank you.


BRIGGS: And that was it.

I should mention two Republican senators due to oppose the president now. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Susan Collins of Maine both want to reopen the government and end the shutdown.

Meanwhile, newly-emboldened Democratic lawmakers wasting no time going after the president.

New York Congressman Jerry Nadler reintroducing a bill that will bar President Trump from firing special counsel Robert Mueller for anything short of serious misconduct or other good cause.

Senator Ron Wyden, a ranking member of the Finance Committee, reintroducing a measure requiring sitting presidents and presidential nominees to release their tax returns to the public.

[05:35:00] And, Rep. Brad Sherman of California defying the wishes of Speaker Pelosi by introducing articles of impeachment against President Trump on day one of the new Congress.

ROMANS: Last night, Democrats passed a new package of rules that will reshape the way the House conducts business. Among the changes, the measure creates a new select committee on climate change. It bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

It allows people to wear religious headgear in the House chamber where -- fun fact -- hats have been banned since 1837. And that new religious headgear rule passed, at least in part, to accommodate new Muslim-American congresswomen, one who wears a hijab.

In fact, Democrats are touting this as the most diverse House of Representatives ever. Two Muslim-American lawmakers, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, sworn in by Speaker Pelosi.

History also made as the first two Native American women elected to Congress, Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids, hugged on the House floor Thursday after they were officially sworn in.

And, of course, there’s Speaker Pelosi, herself, making history as the first woman to retake the speaker’s gavel, sworn in surrounded by all the children and grandchildren who were present on the House floor.

BRIGGS: A pointed and funny moment from Pelosi at the Capitol Hill news conference. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer accidentally gave the wrong time for today’s White House meeting and Speaker Pelosi stepped in to correct him.


REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: And the president has asked us to come down to meet tomorrow at 10:30. And we will do that and we’ll have a discussion. At 11:30? Excuse me, 11:30.

PELOSI: Well, he told me 11:30. Maybe the real meeting is at 10:30 with the men.


BRIGGS: Maybe the real meeting is earlier with the men, she’s joking there.

Pelosi’s first speech after reclaiming the speakership heralded the largest number in history of women in the House.

ROMANS: All right. Joining us here in New York, CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy. Happy Friday. Nice to see you.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Happy Friday. Good to see you, as well.

ROMANS: And, you know, since we’re talking media --


ROMANS: -- the front page of every American newspaper -- Nancy Pelosi with the gavel, Nancy Pelosi with the gavel, Nancy Pelosi on the floor, retaking the House. Pelosi promises a different world.

Is this why, you think, Donald Trump had a news briefing that wasn’t a briefing behind the podium yesterday because he is a media maven?


ROMANS: He knows the story is Nancy Pelosi and the House of Representatives right now.

DARCY: And it -- certainly, it seems like that could be the reason. Right after she gets the gavel, the White House announces this extremely bizarre event, right?

Usually, the way White House press briefings work is that they’re on the daily schedule. Reporters have time to gather questions and think about what they want to ask the White House. And then, the press secretary will come out and take questions, maybe there will be a special guest. That person usually takes questions as well.

This time we saw something completely different. The White House announced over the loudspeaker that within a few moments there’s going to be a briefing. Reporters scrambled to get to the briefing room. A lot of empty seats because they didn’t know that was happening.

She comes out and then introduces the president. The president comes out, gives this weird thing where he demands the wall again. Border patrol comes in -- they demand the wall. And then, everyone leaves without taking questions.

That’s not a press briefing, that’s a political stunt. And the president wasn’t aiming to talk to the press, he was aiming to talk to the cameras that were carrying him live --


DARCY: -- and taking tension possibly away from Pelosi.

BRIGGS: In fairness to the president, he just had a 90-minute, albeit rambling, stream of consciousness at a camera spray the day before and has answered, I would argue, more questions than most presidents, in the recent weeks and months.

DARCY: I would say that the press briefing -- I’m sorry, the pool spray that you’re referring to where he was just sort of rambling on for 90 minutes and some of the interviews he’s done -- he’s done a lot with Fox News -- had been a lot more friendly and they’re a little different than the press conference where a White House --


DARCY: Reporters can often push back a little more on the president and follow up with questions, and you don’t have a friendly press corps asking them.

ROMANS: He is very good at controlling the narrative in those events.

DARCY: Right.

ROMANS: He’s very accessible on his terms, I would say. And that’s what the briefing room is meant to be. It’s meant to be a place where the people’s representatives --

BRIGGS: Wouldn’t you argue most presidents are? I mean, it’s not like Obama was sitting down with Fox News, right?

ROMANS: No, but, I mean, Obama was notoriously press-shy in the very beginning, you know.

DARCY: But, Obama did sit down with Fox News, right?

ROMANS: Right.

DARCY: He did grant Bill O’Reilly the interview --

BRIGGS: Right.

DARCY: -- before the Super Bowl.

BRIGGS: The Super Bowl -- that’s kind of a yearly contracted thing.

DARCY: You don’t see Donald Trump sitting down very often with Anderson Cooper -- ROMANS: Right.

DARCY: -- or some serious journalist.

BRIGGS: Which would be great, yes.

DARCY: What you do see him doing is he goes to friendly outlets, he goes to Fox News primetime -- “FOX & FRIENDS.” He hands those guys the interviews.


DARCY: And then he does take questions. He does take questions from the press corps.


DARCY: They’re just in controlled settings. They’re in pool sprays --

ROMANS: Exactly.

DARCY: -- where he doesn’t have to answer --

ROMANS: Exactly.

DARCY: -- follow-ups.


DARCY: The press can ask follow-ups. And I think that’s very different than an actual -- from a press briefing --


DARCY: -- where they go toe-and-toe.

ROMANS: Let’s talk about this new Congress because you’ve got some pretty great insight into how this is a really kind of social -- this is really the first social media generation of Congress and we’ve seen that.

We saw from the new Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. She tweeted the other night, “They ain’t ready” and showed all of these other sort of fierce new figures --

[05:40:03] DARCY: Yes.

ROMANS: -- in the House.

And you’ve seen again and again how they’re -- Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, for example, showing some of the behind-the-scenes -- the new -- the new training briefings and stuff for the new Congress members, kind of pulling back the curtain a little bit but also controlling their own message.

DARCY: Right. Social media has obviously changed the game. There’s no question about it.

We saw that with Barack Obama’s ’08 campaign and we saw that with Donald Trump. We still see it with Donald Trump where he goes around the press to deliver a message to his constituents.

I think what’s different here is that you have millennials now coming in and they interact with social media a lot differently than older politicians.


DARCY: They don’t have maybe a social staffer posting these preprogrammed videos to their Instagram feed, which was still different. They were still allowing politicians to go around the --

ROMANS: Right.

DARCY: -- press corps.

But now, you have someone like Ocasio-Cortez using this in a very organic way -- the way I would use it, maybe you would use it -- posting videos behind the scenes. Very raw moments she’s capturing on film, posting it to her Instagram audience. And I think that really makes her relatable. It brings an element of relatability to Washington.

And as Congress gets younger and as younger people within a Congress, it’s going to be interesting to see how this continues to change the dynamic between constituents and politicians.

BRIGGS: Yes, and you talk about that dynamic between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez. Forty-nine years separate those two most visible faces --

DARCY: Right.

BRIGGS: -- of the House now.

And speaking of social media and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, we have to talk about this video that came out --

ROMANS: The dancing.

BRIGGS: -- yesterday -- the dancing. “The Breakfast Club”-like dancing -- one of the great movies of all time.

This was a plan by some of the far right to what they thought would kind of discredit and embarrass --

ROMANS: She’s in college here, basically.

BRIGGS: -- Ocasio-Cortez. Yes, she’s in college.

How dare she have the audacity to dance? This really backfired from whoever though it might discredit or harm the young 29 Republican -- or the two Democrats. DARCY: Yes. How stupid do you have to be to think that this damaging to her brand?

BRIGGS: I don’t know.

DARCY: This is perfect. This is -- this is great. I watched that video and I was thinking wow, she seems pretty relatable. That seems like someone I might know, you know, having fun on video.

I don’t know how dumb you have to be -- how politically incompetent you have to be to think is going to be the thing that damages her.

ROMANS: Whatever the -- whoever the anonymous poster was, too, actually pulled it back. But you heard all these people saying oh my gosh, it’s a scandal. She used to be fun and she danced in college.

BRIGGS: Dancing in college, yes.

ROMANS: Oh, by the way, she has an economics degree in international relations or something from college. It’s reminded people --

DARCY: The horror.


ROMANS: -- more about her. Oh my gosh.

Quickly on shutdown optics, usually, the party that forces the shutdown is the one that gets the -- that gets the blame longer-term.

What do you think is going to happen here? As the -- as the shutdown goes on, what is the -- you know, what are the optics here for the president?

DARCY: I think that most people have probably already made up their minds on what’s happening, at least for the time being. And I think the president’s supporters are with him and I think the others are with probably the Democrats or maybe caught in the middle somewhere where they think -- they just wish both sides would negotiate.

But I think that we’re pretty much in an era of tribal politics where people stick with the president or they are against the president --


DARCY: -- and it’s rare to see people stuck in the middle.


DARCY: And I don’t think is much different. I think that the president’s going to have his supporters, Democrats are going to have theirs, and it’s hard to see really how this ends.


BRIGGS: The numbers bear that out with a little more of the blame going towards the president right now --

DARCY: Right.

BRIGGS: -- than Democrats.

DARCY: Well, he did -- you know, there is video of him taking credit for the shutdown --

BRIGGS: Saying I’m proud to own the shutdown.

DARCY: -- so it’s hard to deny that he --

ROMANS: I know, but there’s video of him saying I’m going to get rid of the debt in eight years and he’s added $2 trillion to it. So sometimes a video doesn’t matter.

DARCY: And, Mexico’s going to build the wall.

BRIGGS: And still six years left.

ROMANS: Yes, Mexico will pay for the wall. That is right.

DARCY: It’s probably not going to happen, right?

BRIGGS: Right.

ROMANS: All right. Oliver Darcy, have a great weekend.

DARCY: Thank you. You, too.

ROMANS: Thanks for coming by.

BRIGGS: It’s good to see you.

All right, the first big-name candidate in the 2020 race for president hits the road in just a few hours. More on where Elizabeth Warren is headed and why.

ROMANS: And one man’s harrowing escape through the window of his burning home.


[05:47:33] BRIGGS: Five forty-seven eastern time, and the latest on that American ex-Marine sitting in a Russian prison charged with espionage.

Paul Whelan’s lawyer calls his client’s detention without bail excessive and unwarranted. But a Russian state news agency claims the government caught Whelan red-handed. CNN cannot independently confirm that report.

For the latest, let’s join senior international correspondent Sam Kiley, live in Moscow -- Sam.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave, this is a report from the Rosbalt online tabloid newspaper which claims -- and we haven’t, as you say, been able to verify this -- that Mr. Whelan was caught red-handed with an electronic device -- a memory stick of some kind listing some sensitive information after meeting one of his long-term contacts.

He was supposedly here visiting friends who were getting married -- and a former American forces soldier getting married to a Russian woman.

But it all went horribly wrong on December the 28th for Mr. Whelan when he was arrested in the Metropol Hotel, where he is on bail. Now, his -- sorry, he’s been refused bail. His lawyer says that that is an outrageous development and that he should be out, not least because these investigations could take up to six months.

The British foreign office has also asked for access to him because he is a dual U.S.-British national.

Mike Pompeo, in the State Department, has said they’re taking the case up at the highest level. So clearly, this is something that is exercising the United States in terms of its relationship with Moscow -- Dave.

BRIGGS: All right, we’ll stay on it. Sam Kiley live for us. It’s just about 2:00 p.m. there in Moscow. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Later today, Sen. Elizabeth Warren heads to Iowa, making her first trip to the state that begins the Democratic presidential nominating process. She’ll arrive in Council Bluffs this evening for the first of five stops over the next three days.

She launched an exploratory committee for a 2020 presidential bid on New Year’s Eve and that allows her to begin raising money for the campaign and makes her the first big-name candidate to jump into the race. She’s also just hired some of the top Democratic talent in the state to lead her staff in organizing in Iowa.

BRIGGS: Dramatic video from Southern California as a husband and wife jump from their second-story apartment to escape smoke and flames. Marco Hernandez says he and his wife were trapped in their bedroom by heavy smoke.

[05:50:00] Before firefighters arrived, Hernandez lowered his wife to safety with the help of some people below. And moments later, he took the leap himself, dropping five feet to the ground, landing hard but uninjured.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

ROMANS: All right, let’s get a check on “CNN Business” this morning.

Global markets are higher on news of new trade talks between the U.S. and China. That’s improving investors’ move -- mood, rather -- after a tough week.

China’s Commerce Ministry said the U.S. deputy trade representative Jeffrey Gerrish would hold negotiations with Chinese officials on January seventh in Beijing. The White House yet to confirm those talks.

But on Wall Street, you’ve got futures higher.

Let me just show you here -- the Tokyo shares. Tokyo shares closed down pretty sharply here. That was extending the losses from Apple’s big profit sales warning yesterday. There are a lot of suppliers to Apple who are listed on the Tokyo exchange.

Shanghai and Hong Kong, though, up on that China trade talks news. And, European markets also higher with some relief there.

U.S. futures are higher right now. It looks like you’re going to get a one percent, maybe two percent, bounce back at the open after what was a terrible day yesterday.

The Dow fell 660 points -- that’s 2.8 percent. Apple blamed a big sales miss on slowing growth in China and trade tensions. The S&P 500 fell 2 1/2 percent, the Nasdaq closed down three percent. So look for a bump today, perhaps.

And, Apple -- Apple plummeted 10 percent. That was the worst day in nearly six years.

And now, we turn to the U.S. jobs report that comes out in just a few hours. A weak December report could reinforce jitters that the U.S. economy is slowing.

But you could also see that jobless rate tick even a little bit lower here. It could be you don’t add a bunch of jobs simply because employers can’t find the workers. We’ll know for sure in just a few hours.

Superheroes and Disney paved the way for a record-breaking 2018 at the global box office. The number one and number two films, “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Black Panther,” bringing in a record $41.7 billion last year.


ANGELA BASSETT, ACTRESS, “BLACK PANTHER”: My son, it is your time.


ROMANS: It is Disney’s time. Disney posted the biggest box office year in North American history, grossing more than $3 billion at the U.S. box office.

Twenty nineteen could mark another big year in theaters. ” Avengers: End Game” and a live-action animated remake of “The Lion King,” and the final chapter of the new Star Wars trilogy, “Star Wars: Episode IX” all are scheduled for release in the coming months.

My kids are like counting down the days to the “Avengers.”

BRIGGS: Until “Avengers?” Mine, too.


BRIGGS: That’s going to be the winner of those three, although “Lion King” for me.

ROMANS: I heard it’s going to be like more than three hours long.

BRIGGS: Too long.

ROMANS: A Brigg snap.

BRIGGS: Ahead, will Kevin Hart host the Oscars after all? Next, what the comedian told Ellen DeGeneres about his decision to quit and if he’ll reconsider.

ROMANS: Plus, a guy who is suing Burger King, saying the burger joint owes him free food for life.


[05:55:52] BRIGGS: Could Kevin Hart still end up hosting the Oscars? In an interview on “THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW” airing today, Ellen reveals she called the Academy because she wants Hart to host. And she says they’d be thrilled to have him back.

It comes nearly a month after Hart backed out as Oscars host amid an outcry over past homophobic tweets and his initial reluctance to apologize.


KEVIN HART, COMEDIAN: And I had to address it and apologize, and say I understand what those words do and how they hurt. I understand why people would be upset, which is why I made the choice to not use them anymore.

I don’t joke like that anymore because that was wrong. That was a guy who was just looking for laughs and that was stupid. I don’t do that anymore.

I’m on social media every day. I’ve got over 40,000 tweets. To go through 40,000 tweets to get back to 2008 -- that’s an attack.

That’s a malicious attack on my character. That’s an attack to end me. That’s not an attack to just stop the Oscars.

Somebody has to take a stand against the quote-unquote “trolls.” You have to.

ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, “THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW”: Right, but they’re going to win if you don’t host the Oscars, you know?


BRIGGS: Hart tells Ellen he has regrets and will evaluate retaking the Oscar host role.

ROMANS: The stars will be out Sunday for the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards.




ROMANS: The revival of “A Star Is Born,” directed by and starring Bradley Cooper along with Lady Gaga, could take home the best picture -- a drama prize. Cooper and Gaga are also favored to win for best actor and actress in a drama.

Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” had the most Golden Globe nominations with six and will contend in the best picture, musical or comedy category. Christian Bale’s transformational performance as Cheney is likely best actor winner.




ROMANS: Emily Blunt -- the terrific Emily Blunt.

BRIGGS: Oh, it was fantastic.

ROMANS: I’m editorializing here. She was really amazing as the magical British nanny in “Mary Poppins Returns.” She’s a favorite to win for best actress in a comedy or a musical.

BRIGGS: Yes, we saw that one together --


BRIGGS: -- and we both liked her performance.

ROMANS: It was great.

BRIGGS: Also, Lin-Manuel’s.

ROMANS: Oh, wow.

BRIGGS: OK, a whopper of a lawsuit in Oregon. Curtis Brooner suing Burger King, claiming the fast-food chain revoked a store manager’s promise of free food for life after he was trapped inside a restroom at a Portland area restaurant for more than an hour. The 50-year-old ate free for two weeks until a district manager put a stop to it.

Brooner is seeking $9,026.16 in damages. That’s the estimated cost of one Whopper meal per week for the next 22 years.

ROMANS: All right.

Wildcard weekend presents a unique dilemma for football Hall of Famer and Fox NFL host Howie Long. His two sons, Chris and Kyle, go head- to-head Sunday when the Bears play the defending champ Eagles in Chicago. Chris Long is a defensive end for the Eagles. Kyle Long is an offensive lineman for the Bears.

Sunday is also Howie’s 59th birthday.

I’m going for the Bears, but Howie wins no matter what.

BRIGGS: I figured you would be. The Romans family all for the Bears.

Chris has two Super Bowl rings. It’s Kyle’s turn.

ROMANS: All right, thanks for joining us. I’m Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I’m Dave Briggs. “NEW DAY” starts right now. Have a great weekend, everybody. Go, Bears.


PELOSI: We’re trying to open up government. We’re giving him a mature path to do so.

TRUMP: Without a wall, you cannot have border security. It won’t work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cory Gardner is already coming forward. There’s other Republican senators in that similar fashion, so you’re going to see pressure build.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democrats -- they are actually going to start digging in. He’s not used to having any oversight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Democrats’ agenda is to come after him, to destroy him and anyone around him. They want to score political points.

Update hourly