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North & South Korea Check Technical Issues in Hotline Phone Call. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired January 3, 2018 - 06:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

[05:58:37] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY and a new year, of course.


CUOMO: Happy new year to all you guys, good to be back. It's Wednesday, January 3, 6 a.m. here in New York. And we do have breaking news on our starting line.

North and South Korea talking for the first time in nearly two years. This border hotline between the Koreas has been reopened. The diplomatic development coming after Kim Jong-un offered a rare olive branch, suggesting he might send a delegation to the Olympics next month. Could that be a first step in repairing relations? We'll see.

As those talks begin, President Trump is taking his war of words with Kim Jong-un to a dangerous new level. Responding to Kim's threat about having the nuclear button on his desk, the president tweeted that his nuclear button is much bigger, more powerful, and his button works.

CAMEROTA: The president tweeting up a storm on his first day back at work. In 16 tweets, he lashed out at the Justice Department, calling it part of a deep state government conspiracy against him. He also threatened to cut off funding for Palestinians.

This Twitter tirade raising new questions in some corners about the president's mental state.

And one of the president's biggest supporters in the Senate calling it quits. Utah's Orrin Hatch announcing that he will not run for reelection in November. The decision then opens the door for former presidential candidate and Trump critic Mitt Romney to jump in.

So we have all of this covered for you. Let's begin with our top story.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is live in Seoul with that diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula. What do we know, Paula?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, this was a very short phone call, apparently. It did last 20 minutes. But the redact that we had is extremely short. But it is significant, the fact that North and South Korea are finally communicating with each other.

Now, we know that this phone call started -- originated from North Korea. It started at 1:30 a.m. Eastern. We know that it, as I said, lasted about 20 minutes. Not necessarily that there were conversation the whole way through. It was really to test the technical issues of this hotline.

It's officially known as the Panmunjom communications channel. And it's a line between North and South Korea that hasn't been used since February 2016. We know that from the South Korean government. They say that they've been phoning it twice a day every day since February 2016, but North Korea has not picked up. But now North Korea has made this phone call.

So the readout we have, the names have been blotted out for security reasons. The South Korean officials said this is "X." The North Korean officials said this is "X" and that's it. That's all we know.

We do know, though, that they didn't mention PyeongChang. They didn't mention the Winter Olympics, that they didn't mention anything about whether or not North Korea was going to next Tuesday that South Korea has suggested for high-level talks at the DMZ.

So there's a lot of questions still up in the air.

We also know -- we've just learned this in the past couple of minutes. There was a second phone call, 6:07 p.m. That's just after 4 a.m. Eastern Time, and the North Koreans said, "Let's call it a day." The reason for that, we believe, is that the South Koreans have said, "Call us back. We'll wait for you. We'll wait to hear your next phone call."

So there is not a lot in there. It's just the very fact that they are talking to each other.

CUOMO: I think that really is the headline. It's OK to have some "X's" here, some unknowns, because the fact that they're communicating at all is a major development from our perspective. So my question for you is, Paula, what about from the South Korean perspective? Do they see this as a potential first step, or do they see this as a tactic?

HANCOCKS: They see this as a first step, certainly officially. We have had some tremendously positive statements from the government here. It's well-known that President Moon Jae-in wants to have engagement, wants to have more dialogue with North Korea. It's what he was elected on.

And he has said that he wants North Korea to be part of the Olympics. He's billed it as the peace Olympics. He is staking an awful lot on North Korea being part of the Winter Olympics next month. And the fact that Kim Jong-un has said in his New Year's address he would send a delegation. There must have been cheering in the corridors of power here in Seoul. This is exactly what they want. Of course there will be caution. Of course there will be cynicism, because North Korea has agreed to a lot before, has signed onto a lot before and certainly hasn't kept to it all.

CAMEROTA: OK. Paula, thank you very much for all of that reporting. We'll check back in with you throughout the program.

But that diplomatic announcement coming hours after President Trump launched an eyebrow-raising tweet, bragging that his nuclear button is bigger than Kim Jong-un's. And that was just one peculiar tweet.

CNN's Joe Johns is live at the White House with the very latest. What do you know, Joe?


It would have been a lot more shocking, perhaps, in another era, but today not so much. The nuke-slinging war of words between the president of the United States and the leader of North Korea getting off to a robust start in the new year with some of the most -- toughest rhetoric we've heard from the president since last summer.


JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump taunting North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un over the size of America's nuclear arsenal, asserting that his nuclear button is much bigger and more powerful than North Korea's, before threatening that the U.S. button works.

JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: There are potentially millions of lives at stake. Untold death and destruction here. And to me, it's very, very disturbing. No one in the White House knows what is Kim Jong-un's ignition point, where one of these tweets is going to set him off and he's going to hit that button.

JOHNS: Hours earlier, Mr. Trump again mocking Kim Jong-un with the name "Rocket Man."

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself.

JOHNS: The president responding after South Korea showed an eagerness to opening up talks with his North Korean neighbor.

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: North Korea can talk with anyone they want. But the U.S. is not going to recognize it or acknowledge it until they agree to ban the nuclear weapons.

JOHNS: The tweets about North Korea, two of 16 messages the president sent on a range of unrelated topics during his first day back in the Oval Office after the holiday break. Mr. Trump began the day attacking his own Justice Department as the deep state, referencing a conspiracy theory.

[06:05:13] SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Obviously, he doesn't believe the entire Justice Department is part of that.

JOHNS: The president going after top former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, asserting that she should be jailed over her handling of State Department e-mails, despite the fact that after an FBI investigation, she has not been charged with a crime. President Trump also urging the Justice Department to act in prosecuting former FBI director James Comey, fired by the president last May.

TRUMP: When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.

JOHNS: Other targets of the president's Twitter attacks, "The New York Times," former President Barack Obama, Pakistan, Iran and the Palestinians, who Mr. Trump threatened not to give future funding if they do not rejoin peace talks.

President Trump also taking credit for a record year of safety and commercial aviation without citing any measures his administration has implemented.

REP. JIM HIMES (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: It really doesn't matter what the president of the United States says anymore. It is so bizarre, strange, not true, infantile.


JOHNS: Today, the president will get his regularly-scheduled intelligence briefing. He's also expected to have lunch with the secretaries of state and defense. A couple meetings made all the more interesting, in fact, by the developments with North Korea -- Chris and Alisyn.

CUOMO: All right, Joe. It is one thing for a Democrat to say what the president of the United States doesn't say anymore but, of course, it does.

So let's bring in Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the best seller, "A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order." Perfect title for a pivot to the state of affairs going on.

Thank you. Happy new year to you. Good to have you on the show.

CAMEROTA: Good to have you.

CUOMO: So is the world in disarray when you look at the most recent occurrences between North and South Korea, communicating, the battle of the buttons with the leader of Kim Jong-un and Trump, and what's going on with Iran. How do you see it?

RICHARD HAASS, PRESIDENT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Look, the world has been in disarray for some time. The rise of North Korea's nuclear missile program. The Middle East is a mess by any and every measure. You've got a rising China. You've got all these global challenges that the world tend to tend with. There's no consensus.

So much of the machinery now is 75 years old. It goes back to World War II. Look, what's a problem right now is we're making it worse. And what we've seen in the last 24 hours is a president who wields enormous power over the fate, not just of 320 million American lives but of the fate of over 7 billion people. He has raised questions about how reliable America is, what kind of judgment we have. Mixed signals on the Palestinians in Israel. Mixed signals on North Korea.

So, yes, I mean, there's disarray out there structurally. And right now, the United States is arguably adding to it.

CAMEROTA: Let's just drill down on some of these issues so we can take them one at a time. North Korea, isn't it a good thing if they're communicating for the first time with South Korea? Maybe the disarray is getting less on the Korean Peninsula.

HAASS: It is good that they're communicating. But, but, but, the real challenge for us. Because South Korea's agenda has traditionally been stability on the peninsula. The conventional, non-nuclear military threat posed by the North.

So what happens if the North says to South Korea, we're going to do some of the things that you have been wanting you to do. By the way, this whole American concern with nuclear missiles and weapons, we're going to put that to the side.

Is the U.S.-South Korean alliance still so tight that we can depend on South Korea to basically do our bidding and coordinate with us, or has this administration, by threatening South Korea to break up the trade agreement, by some of our language, have we now distanced ourselves from South Korea?

CAMEROTA: What's the answer?

HAASS: We're going to find out. But what the -- what Nikki Haley, the U.S. permanent rep to the U.N., said yesterday was not helpful. When she says, "We can't have negotiations that we're going to support unless North Korea says in advance that they're going to give up all their nuclear weapons. There is zero chance. Not 1 percent chance, zero chance that North Korea will accept that precondition."

Diplomacy is where you get. It's not where you begin. We should not be setting preconditions like that.

CUOMO: Their counter argument is this. Trump starts talking to Kim Jong-un in a way that people like you and a lot of other cognizant in this country don't like, but he's now talking to North and South Korea in a way that didn't happen before him.

Iran, you don't like the way he likes about them bashing Obama. But look at them now. People are in the streets fighting for their freedom. He's speaking out in a way that Obama did not.

Pakistan. He's going at Pakistan, and you know the history better than either of us ever will. But there is a sense of discontent that these countries have gotten money, and they're still terrorist havens. Trump calls it out. His strength, through leadership, is a plus not a minus.

HAASS: Calling it out with Pakistan is legitimate on the merits. The question is, by calling it out publicly, is that the way to get the Pakistanis to do more of what we want and to do less of what we don't want? Will that get them to give up their support of terrorism, to stop providing a sanctuary to the Taliban? To me, unlikely.

[06:10:16] Because what it does, it's just like Donald Trump is motivated by a populist nationalist pressure. These other countries are, too. We're not the only country that has domestic politics. Pakistanis have domestic politics. Iranians have domestic politics.

And look, what's going on in the streets of Iran is self-generated. What it shows is real deep and broad Iranian discontent with their leadership and how they haven't delivered. I think it's useful to the United States, as we support you, it would have been a lot more useful if this administration had not said to Iranians "You're not welcome in this country" and would have been a lot more useful if the United States had said, "We're against repression wherever it happens," not just Iran, but Russia, Turkey, the Philippines. This kind of selective support raises questions about how sincere we are.

CAMEROTA: But does depriving them of $250 billion get their attention in a good way?

HAASS: I'm sorry? Depriving--

CAMEROTA: Depriving Pakistan. So if you don't give Pakistan the money that we're promised. And does that get their attention? By saying we're not going to give you money if you're not going to be a cooperative partner?

HAASS: Well, they can turn and get it from China and other places. What we want to do is say the Pakistanis are willing to work with you but only conditionally. So long as.

So I wouldn't threaten publicly. I would say quietly, "Look, we'll give you this $20 billion worth of aid but only if you do these sorts of things." What we want to see. Basically, have a very transactional relationship with them.

I think with Pakistan, the president is right about one thing. They're not an ally. It has got to be transactional. They're not a friend. They're not an ally. And to expect they're going to act like one automatically is like, you know, Lucy and the football. They have pulled it too many times.

My question there is tactics than the general direction.

CUOMO: Look, there's no question that it's all complicated, right? But American politics always winds up being boiled down to what's simple. That's why foreign policy doesn't usually loom that large in American elections. It becomes more domestic.

And people in that election said, "Yes, I think we -- we look kind of weak. Don't we look kind of weak around the world?" Wasn't Obama a little bit too much of an apologist. And Trump was certainly trumpeting that message. How does all of these situations that are emerging, how do they not

play to the favor of a president who said, "I'm going to be strong, and things will happen"? He is talking tough, and things are happening.

HAASS: Well, again, I think you're right. Certain people did perceive that President Obama was too weak. And I think, for example, when he didn't act on the red line in Syria, a lot of people in this country and around the world said that's wrong.

CUOMO: Which is a half-truth, right? Because he went to Congress, and Congress didn't really want to get involved.

HAASS: I think it was the full truth. But we've got the conversation for another day. He ought to -- he ought to have been criticized for what he didn't do on that occasion.

But to -- again, any time the president tweets or speaks, it's -- it's the use of American power. So I don't judge the president if he, on a day-to-day, hour-by-hour basis. And I think what you want to see are the results. Ask me in a year where we are with North Korea.

Does this bullying of the North Korean leader get us to where we want or not? Does it make negotiations more or less likely? Same with Pakistan. Does he get the Pakistanis to stop providing a sanctuary to the Taliban, who have been killing Americans over the world? Do we move Israelis and Palestinians closer or farther away from some kind of agreement?

This is the second inning now or third inning of the Trump term -- of the Trump presidency. Way too soon. So yes, it's more populist. It's a more assertive United States. The question is, are we going to get closer to where we want to go in ways that will defend or promote American interest and security? And I think the jury's out there.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about buttons and whose is bigger. I know that this is a favorite topic. I'm sure--

HAASS: Six o'clock in the morning.

CAMEROTA: Let's go there, because the president did. So listen, you know how the State Department works. The spokesperson for the State Department, Heather Nauert, whom we've known for years, she's unflappable. She does a great job. She had to explain to reporters why the president would engage in this kind of rhetoric. Here she is trying to do that.


HEATHER NAUERT, SPOKESPERSON, STATE DEPARTMENT: As you have seen, when America speaks about a matter, it is taken very seriously.


NAUERT: And so that is why it is important for the United States to be careful with its words. And you may not get all the words that you were hoping to get, but I'm going to be careful with the words.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Well, does that include tweeting stuff about Little Rocket Man and things like that, be careful with your words. Or fire and fury is going to rain down on North Korea.

NAUERT: I'm not even going to go there, Matt.


CUOMO: Wise choice.

HAASS: Interesting why she doesn't want to go there. The fact is--

CUOMO: Because it is hard to defend. She's trying -- what they're trying to do is -- you can test the proposition. Here's what they're trying to do.

The president's style is offensive to the media, offensive to the cognoscenti but embraced by the real Americans. That's their play. So that, when asked about his words, they say, in these positions of power, accountability to the American people besides the point, I'm not going to talk about his words. That's for him to explain.

So that's right out of the textbook that she's supposed to be following. Is it the right rule?

HAASS: No. Look, foreign policy is about the United States's relationship with the rest of the world. We're, what, 4 percent, 5 percent of the world's people? So these words don't just have a domestic audience; these words have an international audience.

Does this make North Korea more or less likely to do what we want to do and to maybe agree to some restraint? Does it make South Korea more or less comfortable with the fact that they are dependent on us as an ally? Does it make other countries more or less likely to work with us, to trust in the judgment of the president of the United States? That's the criteria. I'm all in favor of potentially tough language if I think it's going to advance us. When President Bush, the father, said, "This will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait will not stand" on the South Lawn of the White House, those were tough words. And it sent a message to the rest of the world, but just that.

Saddam Hussein was not going to get away with violating Kuwait's sovereignty. Those were tough, stark words. And he backed it up openly with half a million American troops. Tough words by American presidents can, on occasion, be exactly the right thing. Supporting the Iranian people now; exactly the right thing.

We've just got to -- we've got to be measured. Tweets are White House statements. Let's not kid ourselves. You know, John Kelly, the chief of staff, can't say he doesn't control White House tweets. These are White House statements of the 21st Century. We've got to take them seriously.

CAMEROTA: Your book is "A World in Disarray." It's out in paperback this week. Have you had to amend it over the past year? What have you added?

HAASS: I added a 5,000-word afterward on the foreign policy, the Trump administration. It's quite honestly quite critical. My argument is, devastatingly, we've advocated we have decided in many ways not that we're going to be isolationist, but we are no longer going to lead the world when it comes to forging international arrangements and institutions in the ways that we have since World War II.

We're going to play a much narrower role, a much more transactional role. We're not going to be predictable or reliable for others in the way that we've been. And I think what we're doing is contributing, if you'll pardon the expression, the disarray in the world.

And I think the danger for Donald Trump is the United States cannot be great in a world that is unraveling. And I think that is the contradiction of his foreign policy.

CAMEROTA: Richard Haass, always great to have you here with us. Thanks so much.

HAASS: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right. So President Trump's bizarre tweets raising new questions about his state of mind. What is the political fallout from this tweet storm? We discuss that next.


[06:20:48] CAMEROTA: President Trump unleashing a Twitter tirade on his first day back on the job. Some of the tweets are so unusual they're making political minds question his mental state.

Joining us now, CNN political analyst John Avlon and CNN Politics reporter and editor at large, Chris Cillizza.

Exhibit A, here is one of the tweets. I'll read it dramatically.

CUOMO: Did you say traumatically or dramatically?

CAMEROTA: Thank you. Depends on how you receive it.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un just stated that the nuclear button is on his desk at all times. "Will someone from his depleted and food- starved regime please inform him that I, too, have a nuclear button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his, and my button works."

John Avlon, first of all, I don't think you should ever refer to any of your body parts as a button, No. 1.

No. 2--


CAMEROTA: No. 2, I don't know -- I don't know what to do with it. AVLON: Yes. Look, this is language that would have been rejected

from the script of Dr. Strangelove. This is a president of the United States doing a measuring contest about nuclear weapons. We can't begin to normalize this. This is dangerous. This is childish. This is unpresidential. It's not befitting the leader of the free world.

And inside the White House, as well as the administration, there are two responses. One is a full-face palm and a silent scream. And the other is sycophants saying great job, boss. You got it. Both are utterly unacceptable. This is -- somehow we've reached a pathetic new low, with higher stakes than every= before.

CUOMO: And now, with the new page out of the Sarah Sanders playbook of, "Well, I'm not going to go there. I'm not going to talk about his tweet." When obviously that's too bad, because she represents the administration.

CAMEROTA: And the presidential statements.

CUOMO: Chris Cillizza, here's the other side of the coin. These are not unusual tweets. They are completely usual. This is what he does. He's hyperbolic. He's personal. He is incendiary. People like that about him. And if you look at North Korea, the biggest development from this back and forth is an opening, reopening a challenge of communication with South Korea that's been closed for years.

So who cares if you like it? It seems to be something positive. Do you buy that?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT AND EDITOR AT LARGE: I don't. But that doesn't mean he won't sell it that way. Look, it's 6:23 in the morning. I think it is possible--

CUOMO: Good job.

CILLIZZA: Thank you. I do what I can. I think it is possible by 6:30 or 7 a.m., Donald Trump has claimed credit for that reopening of that channel. I think it's probably more likely than not.

But, again, just because "A" happens and "B" happens, it doesn't mean that "A" made "B" happen.

Look, he has -- his presidency is not normal. It never has been. His candidacy was not normal. The people who like him like that. The people who don't like him don't like that. It's not going to change. I would say to people if an alien landed on earth and you knew you had to explain the idea of Donald Trump's presidency, you could show them the 16 or something close to that number of tweets yesterday that culminated in this North Korea tweet and be like, this is it.


CILLIZZA: This is pretty much all you need to see.

I think to echo John's point, however, you're dealing with very high stakes here. You know, we've always known size matters to Donald Trump. Remember, everything he does is the biggest, the best.


CILLIZZA: But we're talking about nuclear arsenals. With someone named Kim Jong-un is demonstrably not stable. So it takes on a different cast, I think, given the stakes.

AVLON: Yes. And just to add two things to this. First of all, we have the precedent of 44 other presidents to judge by what is presidential in an American context. OK? This is not in that same universe, because there's no assumption of responsibility for power.

And the administration can take credit, I think, for being aggressive and much tougher with North Korea and maybe changing the calculus putting aside the possibility of catastrophic miscalculation, based on the president's comments. Even and especially without those tweets, these tweets are simply pull back the veneer of toughness and show someone who's too often insecure, impetuous and childish with enormous power. That diminishes American leadership around the world.

[06:25;08] CAMEROTA: I mean, just -- that's important, that this line of communication between South Korea and these shifting sands on the Korean Peninsula were happening before this tweet went out. So you could argue unnecessary.

CILLIZZA: Well, and remember, Alisyn, just -- I refer, going back to his tweets yesterday when he claimed credit for no deaths on U.S. commercial airlines, which by the way, has been eight straight years of no deaths. That's like, congratulations, the -- the moon rose last night.

I mean, you know, these are -- he -- again, to Chris's point, this is not new. We know he is a credit hog. He takes credit for everything. He will likely take credit for this.

CUOMO: I just think the guy who says -- the guy who says you have to look at the proof of performance, and you have to go lighter on the style points only because of this. I will never win a debate that John Avlon is teeing up, which is, is this presidential or not? You're never going to win that argument.

CILLIZZA: No, it's not. Clearly.

CUOMO: But presidential is going to be in the form of the current president. I think a fairer line of criticism of him. You can criticize style all day. It's subjective. Is -- is this who he's always been? Now, stylistically, it may be. But substantively it may not be. Put up the tweet from 2013.

OK. And this was Donald Trump, concerned citizen. Be prepared. There's a small chance that our horrendous leadership could unknowingly lead us into World War III.

CAMEROTA: That's when he didn't like what President Obama was saying about Syria. CUOMO: Yes. So context is everything, though. And here's why I'm

bringing this up this morning. So President Obama was really fairly criticized for going back and forth about the red line.

We did one of the first interviews with him, actually the first interview, after he had drawn the red line. And then they crossed the red line, and he did nothing. OK. His doing nothing was still too much for Donald Trump. Still too dangerous. He said, "Leave them alone. Stay out of it. This is not what we need."

So John Avlon, is what we're doing with here, putting style aside, disingenuous on the substance, because Trump is now doing things that he believes may play to advantage that he didn't believe when he was a citizen just worried about the world at large.

AVLON: There is no constancy. I think there is pure opportunism. And the impulse to simply criticize presidents not named Trump, particularly if they're named Obama. But I would take that other -- that other Trump.

Look, I think there's a virtue to being tough on the world stage. I understand that world view as it's expressed in great character with folks like Mattis and McMaster.

But this kind of opportunistic tweeting that clearly doesn't actually reflect administration policies. So we're in this terrible limbo.

CUOMO: -- his deepest feelings, as we saw in that tweet.

AVLON: He's not that cynical. I'm going to say he's instead impulsive and impetuous. Because that degree of cynicism, in some ways, would be even worst. If he's willing to sort of play "Mad Man" theory if you want to dress it up as something respectable, with nuclear weapons about whose is bigger. I mean, just -- we're in a level of surrealism and -- and non-stability that should trouble folks. But I want to make this point. The administration can be tough without, and more effectively tough, without these types of tweets. And so we're caught in a limbo where we have to take a presidential statement seriously. But it is fundamentally not serious.

CAMEROTA: But I also think that Chris's point is, I think, important for us to remember, which is that actions do speak louder than words.


CAMEROTA: So we do spend a lot of time trying to parse and analyze and what does this mean, all of these latest tweets? But we also should be focused on the actions that come out of it or that he takes. But Chris Cillizza, last question.

AVLON: Sure.

CAMEROTA: Is it too much when people are saying that a tweet like that suggests some sort of mindset shift or mental stability shift. CILLIZZA: Let me take them separately. Mindset shirt, to me, is a

somewhat useless debate, to just hearken back to John's point, which is the sort of fungibility of belief is at the core of Donald Trump. He says what is politically opportunistic. He's saying all politicians do that to some extent. He does it to a larger extent.

CAMEROTA: OK. So mental stability.

CILLIZZA: The thing that I struggle with here is what is different about his erratic behavior, his wildly swinging from one -- you know, from the new -- congratulatin the "New York Times" publisher. Hit's so -- he's always done this. This is not -- there is not a change, it doesn't seem to me, in terms of his mental approach and stuff. It is hugely abnormal as it relates to the presidency. It is not hugely abnormal as it relates to Donald Trump and his life.

CAMEROTA: OK. There you have it. We will continue to talk about this, obviously, throughout the program. Chris Cillizza, John Avlon, thank you very much.

CUOMO: Well, here is something that is pure fact. It's cold. Subzero wind chills. Had to deal with that. Now, the East Coast getting ready to be battered by a powerful winter storm. What does that mean? How much snow and where is it going to be? We have the answers ahead.