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Judge Blocks Trump's Efforts To End DACA; After DACA Ruling, Will Dems Vote For Funding? Deadly California Mudslides. Aired 5:30- 6a ET

Aired January 10, 2018 - 05:30   ET



[05:30:23] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: Breaking overnight, a federal judge says the White House has to keep the program to protect Dreamers. How will that affect government funding talks with next Friday's deadline looming?

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN HOST: The national security adviser, the White House counsel, just two of the officials who could exit the White House. The president is struggling with staff amid the building chaos.

ROMANS: And, devastating mudslides in California. More than a dozen are dead after areas decimated by those wildfires have been slammed with raging water and stone. They are now left to clean up after yet another natural disaster.

They are still in rescue and recovery mode this morning. EARLY START's coverage continues right now.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.

This 55-minute discussion on immigration at the White House yesterday called extraordinary, fascinating, head-spinning. We'll get to that in a moment.

Breaking overnight, a major court ruling with implications for talks on immigration and government funding.

A federal judge in California temporarily blocking the Trump administration's effort to end DACA. That, of course, the Obama-era program protecting about 700,000 Dreamers -- young people brought here illegally as children.

ROMANS: The judge ruled the Department of Homeland Security must resume taking DACA renewal applications while the lawsuit proceeds. The ruling does not require the administration to process papers for first-time applicants.

The White House planned to wind down that Dreamer program by early March but the judge said the plaintiffs showed they are likely to win their claim and that the move was, quote, "arbitrary and capricious." The Justice Department says the ruling does not change its position on

the Obama administration illegally circumventing Congress when it created the DACA program.

BRIGGS: The suit was filed by four states and the University of California. U.C. president Janet Napolitano helped created the DACA program when she was Homeland Security secretary under President Obama.

Let's bring in CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney Areva Martin via Skype from Los Angeles. Good morning to you.

ROMANS: Good morning.


BRIGGS: If you are one of those some 700,000 Dreamers here in this country what does it mean, both in the short- and the long-term -- this ruling?

MARTIN: Well, I think if you're one of those 700,000, Dave, you're pretty excited about this ruling.

If you watched the bipartisan meeting that happened at the White House yesterday you were probably left confused about what the future of the DACA recipients would be. But this ruling gives those recipients a temporary reprieve.

It says that they can remain in the country, they can continue to work, they can continue to live in their communities, and they can reapply for DACA status for another two years. That's huge because the DACA recipients have been waiting. Their fate has been in the balance to see what Congress was going to do.

This doesn't end the debate around immigration reform but this is a huge victory for the recipients.

ROMANS: Yes. The DACA is just one piece of a very big and complicated picture and trying to figure out what the administration plans to do with that complicated picture.

On the one hand, the president, yesterday, talking about a potential pathway to citizenship, something you never would have heard him talk about --


ROMANS: -- on the campaign trail.

On the other hand, the administration has moved to give only 18 more months for people from El Salvador who are here on temporary protected status.

So, I wonder how much sway do the courts have here and how important is Congress fixing the immigration mess? MARTIN: Well, this is a huge issue for Congress and we knew it was coming to this when -- in September when the Department of Homeland Security made the decision to rescind the DACA program. A time limit was set to March for a decision to be made and Congress was, quite frankly, slow -- dragging its feet on this issue, and the court stepped up and acted.

I think one thing that was important when you look at the decision from the federal court, they talked about the government not giving due consideration to the disruption that the decision made by the Department of Homeland Security would have on these DACA recipients.

They talked about the amount of information that the recipients had given to the government, the fees they had paid, and how difficult it would be for them if they were abruptly removed from the country. And that seemed to be a critical role in this judge's decision.

Now, the ball is in the court of the Department of Justice. Will they appeal this decision? This is a nationwide preliminary injunction so it not only affects those DACA recipients in California, but it impacts recipients all over this country.

BRIGGS: And how this impacts the Congressional negotiations on DACA -- well, time will tell there.

Areva Martin up early, I think -- or staying up late. Two-thirty there in California.

[05:35:00] ROMANS: Thanks, Areva.

BRIGGS: Thank you.

All right. DACA --

MARTIN: Thanks.

BRIGGS: -- all but guaranteed to come up when President Trump holds a joint news conference today with the prime minister of Norway. What is unclear this morning is exactly how the judge's order will affect talks between the White House and both parties in Congress.

ROMANS: Yes. That press conference, 3:20 eastern time.

Democrats have been demanding a deal on DACA in order to vote for government funding, so the question now is whether this temporary reprieve for DACA is enough for Democrats to back off the threat of a government shutdown.

BRIGGS: Before the ruling, President Trump was holding the line on Twitter, saying a border wall must be part of any DACA deal. That doesn't entirely square with his remarks at this bipartisan White House meeting earlier in the day.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This should be a bipartisan bill. This should be a bill of love.

If we do this properly -- DACA -- you're not so far away from comprehensive immigration reform. And if you want to take it that further step, I'll take the heat. I don't care.

That doesn't mean 2,000 miles of wall because you just don't need that because of nature, because of mountains and rivers and lots of other things. But we need a certain portion of that border to have the wall.


BRIGGS: A certain portion. That is not what the president has said numerous times before.

ROMANS: Not even close, actually.

In the event that DACA remains a sticking point, yesterday's extraordinary session at the White House, it could be seen as a turning point here.

Instead of the usual brief opportunity, the president basically moderated this exchange with lawmakers on camera for an hour. His decisions evolving as the cameras rolled.

BRIGGS: Fascinating transparency, really. A senior administration official says it was all done intentionally to seize the megaphone on the immigration issue and to put to rest recent questions about the president's mental state.

CNN's Phil Mattingly was more gripped to this than an Ohio State football game. He has the latest.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave and Christine, Republicans, Democrats, the White House -- they have nine days -- just six legislative days to figure out some path forward on a host of issues, all of which are pretty complicated.

There was a wildly entertaining, was the words of one Republican aide -- how he described the meeting at the White House between Republicans and Democrats and the president. It was public. It was for everybody to see.

And it was about immigration, a very divisive issue when it comes to Congress. An area where it's not just Democrats and Republicans who disagree on the policy, it's intraparty and it's at a number of levels.

Republicans say look, they have until March to actually deal with that issue. But if you want to put the calendar on it, Democrats have made very clear they want that addressed in the same time line as the budget deal, which has that January 19th deadline. The president is a huge player in this. Now, President Trump, in that meeting at the White House, said that he

was willing to sign anything that Congress came up with. He was willing to leave it to Congress to figure out the direction for it.

That is not what Republicans leaders want to hear. That's actually not the discussion Republican leaders have had with the White House.

They know because this issue is so complicated within their conference, it's so difficult within their conference that they need the president not to just sign whatever they agree to, but to endorse it and to help them push forward on it.

There are still Senate bipartisan negotiations that are kind of considered the core of everything that is happening right now. President Trump has laid out four principles that he wants to be addressed. Democrats acknowledge those four principles, in some way, shape or form, will have to be addressed.

Policy here matters and the devil is in the details, particularly on some of the most complicated of those policy issues. Whether they figure out that path forward right now is still an open question, guys -- Dave and Christine.


ROMANS: All right, Phil Mattingly, thanks.

Joining us to look at the political impact of the DACA ruling, "CNN POLITICS" digital director Zach Wolf back with us again live in Washington.

Zach, the president there with a Democrat on the right and a Democrat on the left shaking his head sometimes during it. I can't tell exactly what he might have been thinking.

But what do Democrats do with this now?

ZACHARY WOLF, DIGITAL DIRECTOR, CNN POLITICS: Well, I mean, I think Democrats -- we heard them say afterwards they were encouraged by this and to see the president open to a DACA fix, and even comprehensive immigration reform, it seemed. And not necessarily --

ROMANS: Would you say that one more time. The president actually seemed open to comprehensive immigration reform. The president, who was elected by hard-line positions on immigration -- that's just remarkable.

WOLF: Yes. You know, the White House has actually said that before although it was noticed a little bit less so it's not quite as new as you might think. But, to have him say it openly in this bipartisan meeting -- I guess for Democrats the question is OK, this is great, this is good. Let's keep working with this.

Are Republicans actually going to come up with a bill and put it on the floor that includes a DACA fix, that includes these other things that they want in exchange for Democratic votes, which Republicans now need to pass a spending bill? So that's kind of the question.

This was a good step but I'm sure that they are not going to take this to the bank.

ROMANS: In alt-right land it is, you know -- comprehensive immigration reform equals amnesty, period.

BRIGGS: No question about that. And Steve King said just the amnesty for the Dreamers will cost our economy more than building a wall. He'll have to explain that in the days ahead.

But here are the demands, says the president and Republicans in this bill.

[05:40:03] They want border security. How that looks, we're not sure. Is it a wall, is it not?

Chain migration, they want to end that. The visa lottery, they want to end that in exchange for a deal on DACA.

Christine, earlier, said this is kind of art of the deal, and she's right. I looked it up.

The president believed in "Art of the Deal," "I never get too attached to one deal or one approach. I keep a lot of balls in the air."

Was this a good day for the president or was this a good day for Congressional Republicans?

WOLF: Well, I think it was a good day for the president in that there had been questions about his mental acuity -- whether he was up to the job. The White House put him out there and he certainly looked in command of this meeting and he looked like he was able to steer the conversation. That was good.

What was bad is that he didn't really have any sort of ideology. He was -- he was espousing. He didn't have any policy proposals.


WOLF: He didn't seem to care what was inside an immigration bill as long as there's an immigration bill. And maybe that's a sign of a good president but it's certainly not the sign of the Donald Trump that we've seen who made --

BRIGGS: Right.

WOLF: -- immigration such a big deal.

BRIGGS: But it is the president a lot of people thought he could be, not having a true policy.

ROMANS: Well, and also, thinking that he could work with Democrats or it would be a turning point where he would --

BRIGGS: That's right. ROMANS: -- be able to work with Democrats because he used to be a Democrat and he's given lots of money to Democrats, so he clearly sees their perspective.

He called this a bill of love. You know, whatever it's going to be, it's going to be a bill of love. And I thought that was sort of interesting turn of phrase especially since the president, back in 2015, had ridiculed Jeb Bush about using similar language. Let's listen.


TRUMP: It should be a bill of love. Truly, it should be a bill of love, and we can do that.

If you remember, he said they come as an act of love, OK. Tell that to the families -- and there are many, many, many families who lost a loved one.

Act of love, OK? There's no act of love. It's tough stuff, it's mean stuff, and it's going to be taken care of.


ROMANS: Whoa, OK. So, it's a bill of love after ridiculing an act -- you know, I mean, it's an evolving position, clearly.

WOLF: An evolving position, a stunning turnaround. I mean, you could call it either one -- flip-flop. You know, it goes any which way but it all comes back to he just wants a bill. He wants to get something.

BRIGGS: Well, it was -- we don't have time, but equally as stunning is the president's suggesting that bipartisan cooperation could be increased by reintroducing earmarks. Essentially, Republicans --

ROMANS: Wait, wait -- reintroducing earmarks?

BRIGGS: Yes, we do have time. Here's what the president said about yes, bringing back earmarks.


TRUMP: Maybe you should start bringing a concept of earmarks. It's going to bring you together, you're doing to do it honestly. You're going to get rid of the problems that the other system had, and it did have some problems, but one thing it did is it brought everyone together.


BRIGGS: If you play the tape there, there was audible laughter and it's not clear if Congressmen were thinking is that a joke or there is not because Republicans, Democrats, and certainly the Trump media have long railed against earmarks.

Is that opinion shared by anyone in the administration? WOLF: You know, one defender of earmarks is Dick Durbin, who was sitting right next to him. But I think the vast majority of lawmakers, it took them decades, essentially, to get rid of earmarks and they did that basically, I think, under John Boehner.

It's going to be -- you know, basically, it would bring people together by having them share pots of money throughout their districts, and I don't think the people are going to be interested in that.

ROMANS: Share our pots of money. Share out pots of money. Wouldn't that --

BRIGGS: That wouldn't be draining the swamp, that would be diving into it head first.

WOLF: Right.

BRIGGS: Zach Wolf, "CNN POLITICS" digital director. Thank you, my friend.

ROMANS: Nice to see you, Zach.

WOLF: See you.

ROMANS: We'll -- and we'll hear the president today at 3:20 eastern time. He will have a press conference with the Norwegian prime minister --

BRIGGS: That's right, the prime minister.

ROMANS: -- so that should be interesting. All right.

More than a dozen people are dead after powerful mudslides in California. Will the weather cooperate for cleanup efforts, next?


[05:48:21] ROMANS: All right, 48 minutes past the hour.

Widespread devastation from flooding and mudslides in parts of Southern California. These are the very areas ravaged by recent wildfires. At least 13 people are dead, more than 100 others taken to hospitals.

Rescues into the night. Emergency crews remain in search and rescue mode.

BRIGGS: The flow of mud forcing heavily-traveled roads to close. The 101 Freeway, one of the main arteries connecting Southern and Northern California submerged between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

We get more from CNN's Paul Vercammen in the midst of the devastation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN REPORTER: Dave, Christine, I'm Montecito, hard- hit by this flood that came down from the burn area left by the Thomas fire in its fiery wake.

If you look right here, the remnants of a car -- now just half a car -- mangled up with trees and more. Behind me, the historic Montecito Inn, the front of it now devastated, the sign broken apart.

What happened here with this high-velocity flood -- it goes from about 3,000 to sea level in no time here in Montecito and Carpinteria. They just worried about that.

And once that rain hit those denuded hillsides it just came roaring down. Brought rocks with it, trees, debris of all manner.

If you look over in this direction you will see that there's a car in the garage at the Montecito Inn completely submerged.

And the roads turned into rivers here in Montecito -- just torrents. It came all the way toward the ocean with nothing to stop it and it came right down here.

[05:50:00] This is the 101 Freeway, the main artery -- one of the main arteries between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It knocked out a guardrail there and then you can see another boulder precariously perched right over the edge of the freeway. It is completely impassable. Off in the distance, work crews trying their best to start clearing.

You can see that there's a submerged car in the distance. An absolute mess, as some called it. A disaster of huge proportions.

This was the first bit of rain to hit after the Thomas fire and you can see what it's done.

Back to you now, Dave, Christine.


BRIGGS: Just awful. Paul, thanks.

The weather is improving as the cleanup in California gets underway.

Here's meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Dave and Christine, what a storm here across parts of California producing as much as four to almost six inches of rainfall in an area that, frankly, really hasn't seen that much rainfall in a matter of 12 months put together.

Now, you look at what's happening. We know the burn scars have been in place, so the soil across this region not only becomes brittle but also becomes hydrophobic. So, you just essentially become a water- repellant sort of a soil, so anything there becomes run-off. You have landslides, rockslides -- precisely what has played out across this region.

And now, the big story becomes the next system pushing right through portions of the Northern Plains and parts of even the Midwest over the next couple of days. Parts of 12 states dealing with winter weather alerts. This system here producing maybe four to six inches for most but it will eventually cause some travel disruptions across the upper Midwest -- guys.


ROMANS: All right. Thank you so much for that.

Microsoft updating your P.C. to protect against that huge computer chip flaw. It's going to slow down your computer.

"CNN Money Stream," next.


[05:56:05] BRIGGS: All right. A big story across the country happening in North Carolina. They'll have to quickly redraw its 13 congressional districts after a federal court ruled the map is unconstitutional. The 3-judge panel rejecting the map drawn by the Republican-controlled General Assembly. The state has about three weeks to file a new plan with the court so it will be in place before the midterm elections.

ROMANS: It is the first federal court ruling to strike down a Congressional map as a partisan gerrymander. Ten of the 13 North Carolina districts are currently in Republican hands.

The head of the North Carolina GOP calling the ruling a hostile takeover.

BRIGGS: We'll see if that spreads.

In a swift reversal, the Trump administration says there will be no new oil and gas drilling off the coast of Florida.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke unveiled a proposal last week rolling back off-shore drilling restrictions. But, Gov. Rick Scott immediately voiced his concerns to Zinke, saying Florida and its coast are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver.

After talking with Gov. Scott, Sec. Zinke decided to change his decision for Florida. Not clear what this means for other states that have offshore areas.

Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted about this, saying "Where's our waiver?"

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this morning.

Global stock markets mixed but Wall Street's new year's rally endures. All three major averages hit record highs. The S&P 500 has not had its best start to the year since 1987 when Dave had a mullet.

Kodak's stock price popped to 125 percent after announcing it would launch a cryptocurrency. A big win for Bitcoin mania.

So is JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, walking back his criticisms of Bitcoin. He told "FOX NEWS" this. He regrets calling it a fraud and that the tech behind it is real.

All right. Americans' credit card debt hit a record high in November -- more than $1 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. The last record was back in 2008. Remember then? That was just before the credit bubble burst.

Analysts tell us this time is different. It doesn't pose the same risks as 2008 because incomes are higher and the ratio of debt to economic growth is lower.

All right. Microsoft is updating your P.C. to protect against that huge computer flaw we've been telling you about. That flaw allows hackers to access the memory on nearly every single computer.

But, Microsoft warns its patch will slow down Windows P.C.s. Users with newer P.C.s, you will probably hardly notice the difference. But P.C.s made before 2016 will slow down significantly.

Hollywood may say time's up but it still has a gender pay gap, it looks like.

"USA Today" reports Mark Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million for reshooting scenes of "ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD." Michelle Williams made less than $1,000. That's less than one percent of her male co-star for those reshoots.

The film reshot scenes just six weeks before its release, replacing Kevin Spacey in the wake, ironically, of harassment allegations.

BRIGGS: Well, it's interesting.

ROMANS: That's in "USA Today."

BRIGGS: I mean, Mark Wahlberg is the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. Can we expect some pay gap there? Isn't it fair to expect that there's some pay gap?

ROMANS: For the same amount of work, I don't know. That's a big difference -- one and a half million to --

BRIGGS: Right. Maybe not this big a difference but --

ROMANS: -- one thousand, so we'll see.


ROMANS: And that's in -- that's in "USA Today." We'll see what their reps have to say today.

BRIGGS: This will play out.

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now. We'll see you tomorrow.


ROMANS: A federal judge temporarily blocking the president's efforts to end DACA.

A solution will not be found by either a judge or a president.

TRUMP: If we do DACA, you're not so far away from comprehensive immigration reform. I'll take the heat. I don't care.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK, SENATE MINORITY LEADER: It seems as though the president understands that the physical wall across the entire border doesn't work.

TRUMP: I'd love not to build the wall but you need the wall.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not clear at all where he really stands.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Mr. President, you need to close the deal.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dianne Feinstein decided to release this Fusion GPS transcript.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: They pushed back against GOP arguments that the dossier was directed by Democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In some ways, this is the signal of the end of bipartisan cooperation.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.