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"Trophy" Explores Big-Game Hunting, Wildlife Conservations; At Least 15 Hurt in Casino Shuttle Boat Fire; Driverless Cars No Longer Just a Vision; Investors Brace for Government Shutdown; Trump Compared to '70s T.V. Character. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired January 14, 2018 - 18:00   ET


[18:00:15] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for spending part of your Sunday with us. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

We begin this hour with total recall, Washington edition. Two Republican senators now say they are positive President Trump never said, quote, "shithole countries" during Thursday's immigration meeting. Now this, even though just three days ago both men claimed they couldn't recall what the president had said.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST, ABS NEWS' THIS WEEK: Are you saying the president did not use the word that has been so widely reported?

SEN. DAVID PERDUE (R), GEORGIA: I'm telling you he did not use that word, George. And I'm telling you, it's a gross misrepresentation. How many times do you want me to say that?

SEN. TOM COTTON (R), ALABAMA: I didn't hear that word either. I certainly didn't hear what Senator Durbin has said repeatedly.

JOHN DICKERSON, MODERATOR, FACE THE NATION: So you're saying in that room you didn't hear of any -- sort of lumping everybody together? Is that what you're saying?

COTTON: I did not hear derogatory comments.

DICKERSON: But the sentiment.

COTTON: About individuals or persons, no.


CABRERA: Not only has Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue's memories become more clear suddenly but they contradict what we have heard from other lawmakers who were in that room. Democrat Dick Durbin said the president did say those exact words. And a colleague says Senator Lindsey Graham told him the reports were, quote, "basically accurate."

The question now is who is telling the truth in this he said-he said what he said? Let's get straight to CNN's Boris Sanchez. He is live in West Palm

Beach with the president. He has been spending the weekend there at Mar-a-Lago.

Boris, this is pretty extraordinary. Essentially Senators Cotton and Perdue are now accusing their colleagues of lying.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, certainly is stunning, because as you noted just a few days ago Senators Perdue and Cotton said that couldn't recall exactly what the president said.

It's interesting because lawmakers are divided on whether the president made these alleged derogatory comments about African nations and apparently pondered why so many Haitians were being given visas to come to the United States.

But it's not really along party lines. You have nearly two dozen Republicans who condemned what the president said, including Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. Flake was actually on a Sunday morning talk show discussing these comments. He was actually not in the meeting when it took place. But he spoke with people who were there shortly after it took place before these comments were reported out publicly.

Here's more of what the Arizona senator had to say.


SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: All I can say is I was in a meeting directly afterwards where those who had presented to the president our proposal spoke about the meeting. And they said those words were used before those words went public. So that's all I can tell you. I heard that account before the account even went public.


SANCHEZ: Let's put this disagreement into context. This is the backdrop for a much bigger disagreement between Democrats and Republicans over DACA, over this issue of the legal status of Dreamers, the 800,000 or so young adults that were brought to the United States illegally as children.

Now not only are Democrats and Republicans disagreeing on what to do on DACA but they're also disagreeing on what the content of the president said. And it's all happening just five days before a looming government shutdown when many lawmakers were hoping that they would have a consensus on DACA and on other issues, what the administration calls chain migration, which is essentially the sponsoring of immigrants in the United States of their family members to move into the country and ending the visa lottery system.

The president tweeted out attacking Democrats writing, quote, "DACA is probably did because the Democrats don't really want it. They just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our military."

So at a time when both parties can really use unity and leadership moving forward, the president has decided to go on the offensive and attack Democrats. Again, that deadline set for midnight on Friday. We may potentially see a government shutdown or a continuing resolution, a stop-gap bill that would kick the can further down the road and continue these ongoing negotiations on DACA and immigration -- Ana.

CABRERA: All right. Boris Sanchez, in West Palm Beach, Florida, thank you.

I want to talk more about this with our panel now, joining us, Tim Naftali, CNN presidential historian and former director of the Nixon Presidential Library. Also with us, Charles Blow, CNN political commentator and opinion columnist for the "New York Times," and Ben Ferguson, CNN political commentator and conservative radio host.

So, Charles, two days ago these two senators, Cotton and Perdue, were saying they didn't recall what the president said and now today they say definitively he did not say these words. What do you make of this change?

CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't know what's going on with that. I mean, I will say that Erick Erickson, a prominent conservative writer who has said some really inflammatory things of his own, by the way, said today that it's confusing to him because according to him the president was calling people, friends of his, saying -- repeating what he had said in that meeting and thinking they would play well to his base.

[18:05:15] And Erickson says that he talked to one of those people that the president called. The preponderance of the evidence that we are presented is that he said exactly what is being reported he said and there are only two people who are saying he didn't say it in addition to the president himself, who is a proven liar. So you really have to discount what he said.

CABRERA: I remember the White House didn't also -- did not come out and say and deny any of it.

BLOW: No one did.

CABRERA: When the initial reports came out.

BLOW: So it's absolutely suspect.

CABRERA: Let me ask you about this conservative columnist, Brett Stevens, what he wrote in the "New York Times," Ben.

"Donald Trump has not, to say the least, risen from a hole but he is sinking into one. It may be that it won't damage him politically, Republican Party leaders increasingly unshamable, will mumble mild disapproval until the news cycle turns, but it does damage the country. We have a president even more ignorant of America than he is of the rest of the world."

Ben, do you share those same concerns? BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, and that's the same

thing that a lot of people that didn't like Donald Trump have been writing about him for the last year since he was elected.

Let's also be clear about this meeting. You only have two people that are saying that Donald Trump actually said this. One in Durbin and Lindsey Graham saying that he basically was told that, you know, that's what he said. The other Republicans originally said, let's be clear what Cotton said. He said he did not recall him saying this.


FERGUSON: That was his first statement.

CABRERA: That's what we reported.

FERGUSON: He didn't change his statement. He's saying he did not recall him saying it because he didn't think he heard that. And so --

CABRERA: But now he's saying he did not say it. So it sounds like he recalled him not saying it for sure all of a sudden.

FERGUSON: If I walk out of a meeting and there's -- and someone is asking me a question about this, I'll say I don't recall him saying that, no. And then I dive into my notes and talk to people in the meeting and then make it very clear this is an important point and go back and really look at it, I think you can come out and be -- a little bit more declarative the next time you come to the forefront.

But to say it somehow, that because of two sources, one that clearly doesn't like the president politically, Lindsey Graham who has called him every name in the book as your second source, I put a huge asterisk next to this.


CABRERA: OK. But Lindsey Graham is his golfing buddy these days. Don't forget that we haven't heard from the other members who were in the room.

FERGUSON: No. Lindsey --

CABRERA: Where is Kevin McCarthy? Where is Bob Goodlatte? Where is Representative Mario Diaz-Balart?

FERGUSON: Again -- again Lindsey Graham went on "The View" the other day and said a whole bunch of things trashing the president. So let's not act like they're golfing buddy.

CABRERA: Ben, I'm asking you where are the other Republicans who were in that room? Why aren't they coming out to say definitively and do they need to?

FERGUSON: Well, look, if they want to come out then they should. If they don't, I don't know. I'm sure a reporter will be more than happy to ask them that question. But my point is, we're acting as if somehow this is definite because of two individuals that have clearly had a past history of hating the president of the United States of America.

CABRERA: OK, so let's move beyond that, Tim, and get back to the central issue. We are hearing a lot of criticism from members of the Republican Party concerned that this president has not only damaged the brand but is damaging the reputation of the country, and I'm wondering from a presidential historian perspective, if you can think of any time in history where you've seen something like this.

TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, the first thing I want to say is that there's a great deal of noise now and what's really important, I think, for Senators Perdue and Cotton is to say not -- not to quibble over a word or two. I mean, they are both words but not to quibble over them. But is it true that the president basically said to this group of bipartisan leaders, we don't want any more people from, and then the following countries. Because if that's what he meant with this, if that's the argument of the president of the United States, then there is a racist component to his immigration policy, and that is what's really the most important thing of all.

Richard Nixon also said very racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic things in the privacy of the Oval Office. The similarity is not the public side of it but the fact that at times these ideas shape American policy in the Nixon period. It's when bad ideas, racist ideas shape policy that the country is in real trouble.

And what Senators Perdue and Cotton ought to say and come out publicly and say is that racist ideas, national origin ideas are not what are shaping Donald Trump's approach to immigration. Because that's what's -- that's at the issue. That's at the base of all of this now. And many people fear that it's exactly these ideas that are motivating his approach to immigration, not concern about economic or national security.

CABRERA: Is it important to you, Charles, to get an answer to the question is the president racist?

BLOW: I don't know why we keep asking the question because the answer is obvious. Right? The president of the United States is a racist. Right? And we need to stop pretending like that's a big bomb that we throw at somebody or it's the worst thing you could ever say because racism and racists are actual words that have actual definitions.

[18:10:05] And they're very simple and it's not offensive to say that about someone. What is offensive is for you to subscribe to that kind of philosophy --

CABRERA: Well, as I think it was Joe Biden, the former vice president, who said, it's not necessarily what he said but is that he believes that. He believes --

BLOW: You believe it, right? So -- and what we have done in this country and in this kind of conversation around this issue is we have allowed people to kind of whittle it down so that the person has to be possessed of race hate. That is not a requirement of being a racist. They have to be -- they have to be the prevailing ethos. They have to think about it day and night, every time they wake up then they go to bed.

That is not part of their definition of being a racist. You know, they have to have open animus and constantly say what they're thinking, that is not a requirement. They have to be conscious of all of their own biases, that is also not a requirement. It's just the requirement that you believe on a fundamental level that there is some difference between the races and that privilege -- that informs character and capacity of some and in a negative way and others in a positive way. That is the -- that is a very simple definition of racism. And if you believe that --


BLOW: -- that makes you a racist. That is the way it works. And so what we end up doing is people say, no, no, because they didn't say it out loud, they don't hate, and whatever. No, that is not it.

FERGUSON: Ana, let me say this.

CABRERA: Go ahead, Ben.

FERGUSON: Here's what I'll say, I think I'm glad that people like Charles are coming out and say what they think. And constantly yell that the president is a racist and really I think a lot of this now is sad that we've gotten the point of politics where anyone that you don't like in politics you then try to turn them into a racist, bigot, homophobe, xenophobe, whatever it is you can throw at them.

We saw it during the campaign. It didn't work. We've seen it for the last year. And they keep playing this because they cannot attack Donald Trump on the policies and the ideas and the economy in this country right now. And I think -- I'm glad that people come out and say there's no room for debate. He is a racist. Because at least it lets people transparently know where you're coming from, that you have a genuine hatred towards the president of the United States of America. And if that's the case --


BLOW: You just told a bald faced lie on television. I let you go on for a very long time telling a bald faced lie on television.

FERGUSON: OK. I didn't interrupt you once.

BLOW: I interrupt you at the point that you start to defame me.

FERGUSON: You're telling me you like the president of the United States of America --

BLOW: At the point that you start to defame me, to say that I'm motivated by racism rather than by the idea that I make words my business and that I know the definitions of words and if you do not want --


FERGUSON: So do I. Congratulations. We both have --

BLOW: You don't want the -- if you don't want the (INAUDIBLE), if you don't want it to be applied to you, don't be a racist. It's very easy to not have someone label you something, just don't be the thing.

FERGUSON: Charles.

BLOW: I am in the business of calling a thing a thing.

FERGUSON: Everybody you don't like in life and politics, because you don't like them doesn't mean they are automatically a racist.

BLOW: What does that even mean? Because nobody made that proposition.


BLOW: No one has made that proposition.

CABRERA: Nobody has said that.

BLOW: That is an outrageous thing for you to do. And that is the sort of thing that people like you do.

FERGUSON: No, Charles --

BLOW: That is the one thing that people like you do.

FERGUSON: Charles, for the last year every single time --

BLOW: Your entire argument right now has no basis.


BLOW: In fact whatsoever because you have no idea.

CABRERA: OK, guys, I don't want to make this personal.

BLOW: No, it is personal because that was a personal attack.

CABRERA: Let me -- it is personal. I know you feel --

BLOW: That was a personal attack and that is personal, and I'm not going to let it slide. I'm not going to let it slide.

CABRERA: And you've had a chance to respond. Let's move the conversation forward when it comes to the policy here because what Tim Naftali brought up is why it is important to know where the president is coming from, where his head is at when it comes to shaping American policy. And this morning the president tweets this regarding DACA and immigration reform. He says, "DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don't really want it."

Ben, does anyone actually believe that, that the Democrats don't want DACA?

FERGUSON: I would believe that. I'll give you proof. When Barack Obama was in this -- was the president of the United States of America and Democrats had almost a super majority with the House and Senate, they could pass any legislation they wanted to. And they chose not to deal with this issue on purpose. They had two years to do it. The only reason why you don't deal with this issue is because you would rather use this issue as a political scare tactic issue to say vote for me and I'll stand up for you, instead of actually dealing with the issue of DACA.

The Democrats could have done whatever they wanted to do in the first two years that Barack Obama was president, and they refused to touch immigration reform, they refuse to deal with DACA because they would rather use this as a scare tactic, fear-mongering with voters saying you've got to vote for us or you won't get DACA, you won't get citizenship one day.

CABRERA: But remember --

FERGUSON: The Republicans are going to kick you out of this country.

CABRERA: Ben, real quick, though, remember President Trump is the one who tried to repeal DACA.


CABRERA: I mean, nothing had changed until that happened. So I'm not really quite understanding --

FERGUSON: They never made it permanent. And they never did amnesty.

CABRERA: -- why you're saying Democrats are at fault here. But let me get Tim Naftali here --


[18:15:02] FERGUSON: Let me clarify because this is important. Hold on, this is an important point to clarify. If you wanted to change the law and you wanted to allow citizens, Dreamers, to stay in this country, for example, and you -- and that's something that Democrats claim that they want, then when you had a super majority, why didn't you do it because the Republicans could not have stopped you from giving Dreamers the ability to stay in this country indefinitely and Democrats come out and say, we want you to be able to come out of the shadows.

They had the opportunity to make those shadows disappear and they deliberately chose not to, to keep this alive as a campaign issue. And I think that's really sick and sad. So no, I don't think they actually want to get this done.

CABRERA: Tim, your final thought?

NAFTALI: Look, I love history. But I don't understand why we're bringing up historical issues when Republicans control the White House, the Senate and the House.

FERGUSON: Because it matters.

NAFTALI: They have the power -- Republicans have the power to fix this. If they are committed to those 800,000 people and don't want to them hostage now is the time to do something. So don't -- why talk about Obama? President Obama is a former president.


NAFTALI: There is a president now who can fix this problem.

FERGUSON: She asked me the question if Democrats want this. She asked me if Democrats actually want this.


FERGUSON: And I showed proof when Democrats could have done it and they chose not to --

BLOW: That's not true. It's not true.

NAFTALI: That's not proof, sir.

FERGUSON: Sure. It's true. Two years where you can't --

NAFTALI: I'm sorry. That's not proof, sir.

FERGUSON: You chose not to pass the law for two years --

NAFTALI: I'm not trying to choose --

CABRERA: OK, we've got your point, Ben. Tim, finish your thought.

NAFTALI: Well, I was just going to say I wasn't in Congress. I didn't choose. I cannot imagine that the Democratic Party would like to hold 800,000 people hostage for some kind of short-term political gain. It's not in the interest of the party.


CABRERA: The thing I do know here, though, is --

NAFTALI: It's not in the interest of their base.

CABRERA: That's true. But, Charles, Democrats do have a lot to lose here, right, though, if these Dreamers don't get protected, if the deal isn't done?

BLOW: The Dreamers have the most to lose. I think we keep talking in the political terms. I mean there -- I keep trying to remind everybody, there are 800,000 people who are really in the lurch here, and they really don't know how to play in their lives and they don't know what's going to happen to them. So -- and I guess the political question then becomes if the deal does not get done, who do you blame? But the true -- I think it is important to understand Donald Trump and his colleagues in Congress have the power to do this.

And if we -- and the people in that room, I believe from all reporting that I've seen on this, were operating in good faith. They were trying to come up with something. If Donald Trump is basically saying whatever you're coming up with, I'm not happy with because it doesn't keep enough black and brown people out of the country, that's on him. Right? That is not a Democrats' problem.

If they are operate in good faith, and they're basically saying we need to offer some protections for people from all of these different social places and he's saying some of them I don't want protections for, that's a problem for him. It has nothing to do with Democrats.

CABRERA: Let me move the conversation to another thing we just saw, Tim. The "New York Times" is now reporting today that Mitt Romney told a close friend, the exact quote, "I'm running," referring to Senator Orrin Hatch's Senate seat. Do you think President Trump is going to find a friend or a foe?

NAFTALI: I think Mitt Romney will restore some morality to the Senate. Mitt Romney doesn't owe President Trump anything. He can come into the Senate and start talking about the consequences for our self-identity and our international identity.

Don't forget something, you know, the world views President Trump's words about immigration as racist. That is making our president toxic around the world which affects all of us, it affects our national security.

Mitt Romney can speak truth to power should he so choose and probably will if he wins in November.

CABRERA: All right, everybody, thank you very much. Tim Naftali, Ben Ferguson and Charles Blow, always appreciate your thoughts.

FERGUSON: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: Coming up, Hawaiian officials say they are determined to make sure a false missile alarm never happens again. But what are the lessons learned?

And we are following other breaking news. A massive fire erupting on a casino shuttle boat. This is near Tampa. People on board jumping into the water. We'll have an update in a minute. Stay right there.


[18:23:16] CABRERA: Panic and sheer terror is now anger and demand for answers in Hawaii. Residents and thousands of tourists were thrown into complete chaos yesterday when one person's mistake sent an emergency incoming missile message all over the state. People ran for shelter. They huddled in basements and concrete buildings. Some parents even hustled their kids into storm drains for protection.

People could breathe again 38 minutes later when they got this message, no missile threat. It was a mistake, it was all a false alarm.

Let's talk to CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd.

So you saw the mayhem this mistake caused in Hawaii. From a national security standpoint, what vulnerabilities did this false alarm expose?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: It's not a vulnerability related specifically to Hawaii, it's a vulnerability the United States is going to experience in the coming years.

Let me give you a simple bottom line. If you look at traditional nuclear powers that have a missile capability to reach the United States, powers for example like Russia and China, we may not like them but we have an understanding of how they operate. You have secure lines with them to try to prevent or limit the prospect of mistakes, of errors, of surprises.

When we're going into the next year, five years, 10 years with North Korea, not only do we have -- not have a protocol, an understanding for how to deal with them as a potential nuclear power. We don't have a relationship with the North Korean leadership that allows us to talk to them about how to prevent errors.

So I know this turned out to be an error in Hawaii. But it underscores a critical national security point that you've got to understand if you can't talk to the North Korean leadership, how are you going to come up with an understanding of how they think so that you can prevent surprises in the future? I think that's the real question out of this one, Ana.

[18:25:03] CABRERA: Do you think adversaries could have gleaned any intelligence from the way things unfolded?

MUDD: I think they'll look at this. But as soon as you see the kind of mistake that happened here I'm not sure how much an adversary can glean from this. With the exception of the North Koreans, if I were the North Koreans watching this, you've got to realize when you look at this how much panic you can create in the United States. Even if you don't happen to launch a missile, you know, in the past months, over the past few months we've had North Korean missile launches and we didn't fully understand the capabilities of the North Koreans to launch a missile.

I think if I'm Kim Jong-un I'm looking at this saying maybe there's an opportunity in the future to build on how much we saw in terms of panic in Hawaii here and to ensure the Americans don't understand my intentions so I can keep them on edge.

CABRERA: Right. Because this does prove Americans take the North Korea nuclear threat very seriously. I imagine that plays into what Kim Jong-un wants.

MUDD: Yes.

CABRERA: To have America believe that he has the capability to launch a missile that could hit Hawaii. MUDD: That's right, and I think you hit on what is really the one

bottom line I'll offer you here. If you go into a relationship or an understanding of North Korea where you say we cannot have talks with you, we cannot accept that you have a nuclear and missile capability, how do you have a conversation with them about ensuring that there's no surprises related to their missile program?

On the flipside, Ana, if you go in saying we understand you're building missiles that can reach Hawaii and potentially elsewhere in North America, you have to acknowledge that they have missile program that's going to live there for a while. I think there's going to be a difficult choice for the Trump administration and whoever follows, and that is to say we've got to get on some steady ground with the North Koreans and to do that, you've got to do what we've done with other countries like the Indians and Pakistanis who developed nuclear programs in the 1990s. You've got to acknowledge what they have and that is missiles that can reach places like Hawaii.

CABRERA: We know North Korea and South Korea are supposed to have their second round of talks as early as tomorrow. What's best case scenario in terms of the result from these talks?

MUDD: I don't have an answer for you that's very positive. I think that we're overestimating the prospect that North Korea might step away from the precipice of continuing to develop nuclear capabilities and missiles that can launch those nuclear capabilities, we're looking at North Korean participation in the Olympics and North Korean talks with the South Koreans, and we are doing what we call in the intelligence business, Ana, mirror imaging.

We're hoping that the North Koreans who have people they can't feed, who have an economy that's in a shambles, have finally got reality. That they're finally going to say, well, we don't really need these nukes, we don't need these missiles. We need a relationship with the West so that we can feed our people.

I see it 180 degrees different. I think they're going to talk to us on the one hand and they're going to continue to say as long as we talk in the prospect that they are going to attack our missile and nuclear sites is minimal. We are to see missiles and a nuclear capability in North Korea in years to come. And we ought to accept it.

CABRERA: Phil Mudd, thank you.

MUDD: Thank you.

CABRERA: Coming up, we're following breaking news, a massive fire that erupted on a casino shuttle. Yes, this is happening near Tampa. You can see people jumping into the water. At least 15 people are injured last check. There was still a search for survivors. We'll bring you an update on that situation.

Plus killing for sport. A way to save a species? This brand-new CNN film on the controversial world of big game hunting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know it sounds contradictory, but hunters love animals.



ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, an unflinching look at the world of trophy hunting.

The new CNN film, "Trophy," explores a seemingly contradictory idea, big game hunting as a way of conserving wildlife. Yes, conserving wildlife.

On one sprawling Texas ranch, species native to Africa actually roam freely until, well, they don't. Ed Lavandera has the story.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For these ranch hands, opening the trailer gate is a bit like unwrapping a gift.


LAVANDERA (voice-over): It's always exciting to see the newest arrivals sprint away.

LAVANDERA (on camera): So what was that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a paint ram.

LAVANDERA (on camera): So he's off to find himself a girlfriend?



LAVANDERA (voice-over): The rattling inside hints there's more.


LAVANDERA (voice-over): Two gemsbok antelope, native to Southern Africa but bred on exotic game ranches in Texas. They're the newest additions to the sprawling OX Ranch in the Texas hill country.

JASON MOLITOR, CEO, OX RANCH: We're just trading animals around just to keep the genetic diversity within all the different species.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Jason Molitor manages the herds of roughly 60 different species spread across 18,000 acres of land on the OX Ranch. At every turn, you come across not just native white-tailed deer but a dizzying array of African species.

Hunters shell out big money for a guided excursion to hunt down prize trophies on this land, choosing from a menu of animals to hunt, paying anywhere from a few thousand dollars to as much as $35,000.

And they say they're doing it not just for the thrill of the hunt but in the name of conservation.

MOLITOR: I know it sounds contradictory but hunters love animals.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Hunters pay to hunt the oldest males that are past breeding age. The number of animals killed is controlled. It's essentially, they argue, sacrificing a few animals from a herd to grow the population of a species.

MOLITOR: Just because a guy comes in here and says, I've got some money, I want to shoot this, I'm not going to shoot it if it's not something that benefits me and my management program to take that animal out.

PRASHANT KHETAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER & GENERAL COUNSEL, BORN FREE USA: Today, trophy hunting is a sport, and it is a horror show.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Prashant Khetan is with an animal advocacy group called Born Free. He says the idea that the money paid to kill one animal can help save the species is a myth.

[18:35:04] KHETAN: There's no benefit to trophy hunting. It really just lines the pockets of an elite few, and it's a practice that's done by a very small percent of the population to put the trophies up in their house to show off that they've killed another animal.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): But hunters like Corey Knowlton say that's unfair and that trophy hunters shell out millions every year because that money goes back into managing and growing the populations of endangered species.

Knowlton received death threats when he paid $350,000 to hunt a black rhino in Namibia. CNN followed him on that hunt in 2015.

Knowlton still feels confident the money he paid is protecting the endangered black rhino from poachers. He says animals need to have a value to ensure their survival.

COREY KNOWLTON, HUNTER: We can't make an individual animal live forever, but we can preserve a species for as long as we can as long as humanly possible, as long as we have an environment through the sustainable use.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Trophy hunters like to say that they spend more money than anyone to help protect animals around the world, but critics questioned whether countries that promote trophy hunts manage that money properly.

KHETAN: It benefits governments, and I think it benefits the companies that put on these hunts. But that's it. It doesn't benefit the people. It doesn't -- it certainly doesn't benefit the animals that they're killing.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Back on the OX Ranch, Jason Molitor says, for him, the issue is simple.

MOLITOR: Everybody can sit in their high-rise apartment in the middle of the city and say you shouldn't hunt this animal, but what are they doing to save that animal?

LAVANDERA (voice-over): But for the critics, trophy hunting remains a barbaric blood sport.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Uvalde County, Texas.


CABRERA: Can big game hunting and conservation co-exist? The CNN film "Trophy" premieres tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Now, to the breaking news out of Florida, a massive fire erupting on a casino shuttle boat. This is near Tampa where people on board were seen jumping into the water to escape. One person remains missing right now. Approximately 15 people are injured.

Officials say this fire broke out when the boat was about a half mile off the coast of Port Richey, and here's what police are saying.


ANDREW FOSSA, DEPUTY CHIEF OF ADMINISTRATION, PASCO COUNTY FIRE RESCUE: We had approximately 15 people transported out of the entire boat, all nonlife-threatening injuries. It was more precautionary for being in the water. Some had some chest pains, a little bit shortness of breath. Some had some smoke inhalation. Other than that, there was no other injuries.


CABRERA: Right now, the cause of the fire is still unclear. The boat's captain said he had trouble with the engine, saw smoke, and headed back toward shore. And here is what one man onshore saw.


BAKR JANDLI, WITNESSED THE FIRE ON BOAT: The fire really caught fast. Like it engulfed the ship and people jumped out and swam to the shore behind my house and around -- like around here. And that's -- from that's where we saw it. It went from smoke to flames in like minutes.


CABRERA: Again, one person is still missing. Fifteen people injured with nonlife-threatening injuries, according to officials there. This is after a fire erupted on a casino shuttle boat near Port Richey, Florida. We'll continue to update the story as we get more information.

Also still ahead in the NEWSROOM, you've seen those driverless cars, but can you imagine a future with no driving at all? Some tech experts are predicting just that. Hear why next.


[18:42:56] CABRERA: It is no longer just a vision. This is a reality. Driverless cars are the cars of the future, so what exactly will that look like?

Our senior digital correspondent, Chris Moody, went on a quest to find out. Take a look.


CHRIS MOODY, CNN SENIOR DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I've spent the past year traveling the country, talking to entrepreneurs, engineers, and test drivers who are building the cars of tomorrow. And when they imagine the future, driving a car isn't part of it.

I ask them all the same thing. What will the future look like? And what will it take to get there?

What I found was really exciting. But also a bit shocking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Engaging self-driving mode.

Technically, we don't need a driver in the car.

MOODY (on camera): So you and I are basically, in a way, just passengers now.


MOODY (voice-over): We're test-driving a car powered by autonomous vehicle startup on the streets of northern California. This test car could be the prototype of an automobile that not only takes you out of the driver's seat but creates a future where you might not need to own a car at all. At least that's what the people building them think.

SEBASTIAN THRUN, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, UDACITY: Ownership, it will be abandoned. We mostly have cars that will be summoned on our phone. The car will come empty to us and pick us up, and we get inside in front of our office or our house. And it drives us straight to the restaurant, and there's no time wasted over parking.

GABE KLEIN, FORMER COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: We will look back and say, wow, people own cars to get from this point to that point.

MOODY (voice-over): Eliminating car ownership would drastically change the way we shape our cities.

KLEIN: We could literally close 30, 40 percent of our streets to automobiles. You don't need cars on neighborhood streets anymore. You just need them on the perimeter of your neighborhood.

CHRIS URMSON, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, AURORA: All of those parking facilities today get turned into residential space or parks or offices or restaurants. And we can kind of give back the city to the people that live in it and take it away from the automobiles.

[18:45:04] The quality of life and the opportunity to kind of reuse that space is going to be pretty magical.

MOODY (voice-over): The rise of car sharing services has already made people accustomed to the idea of not owning a car.

Today, human drivers pick us up when we use Uber or Lyft. But that's not going to last.

TAGGART MATTHIESEN, DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT, LYFT: Autonomous ride sharing is absolutely coming. It is right around the corner, and you'll see it in pockets at first. And slowly and surely, you'll start to see these vehicles all over the place.

There is an opportunity on a long enough timeline where we may have a fleet that is fully autonomous. As you start to see people adapt to transportation as a service, the hope here is that cars will -- car ownership will slowly decline.


CABRERA: Our senior digital correspondent Chris Moody is joining us now.

Chris, I have a thousand questions for you after watching that clip. But I think the very first one everybody wants to know is, how far out is this?

MOODY: It depends on where you live how far out the future is now. If you're in Pittsburgh, you've seen Uber test driving autonomous vehicles around the city.

If you're in Arizona, you're seeing Waymo do it. That's a company with Google. And if you're in northern California, you're seeing these things all over the place.

But you talk to exports. They're saying, in the next few years, you're going to see this rolled into cars more and more.

CABRERA: And we talk about safety obviously being crucial here. I would be a little hesitant to get inside a driverless car. Did you see errors when you were driving around? Did these cars make mistakes?

MOODY: Well, you know, I would ask you, are you hesitant when you get into a real car? Because 1.25 million people die every year worldwide in automobiles, and we just kind of shrug it off and we move on.

And these engineers are saying we can do so much better than that. And the cars that they're building --

CABRERA: They can remove human error to some degree. MOODY: They remove human error, but that also, of course, leads to a

lot of questions about, can the cars be hacked, controlled elsewhere? Lots of things need to come into place before we see this going mainstream.

CABRERA: When we saw the clip, there was talk about people maybe not even needing to own their own cars in the future. So I guess what does that mean for traditional car companies?

MOODY: That is a fascinating question. The traditional car companies are investing billions of dollars into this already.

G.M. made an announcement about autonomous vehicles just this past week, saying they're going to be giving more and more into that. They're buying autonomous vehicle companies for lots and lots of money.

Now, also, what if you're a car enthusiast? What if you love cars? Maybe in the future, they might have car ranches where you might go and visit your car and drive it on a private course. Just like you might a horse.

CABRERA: Oh, my gosh.


MOODY: There's a lot of questions we need to ask still.

CABRERA: Oh, my goodness. Well, I'm excited to see more in your series. Thank you very much, Chris Moody.

To check out more from this series, go to You can also check out CNN Go.

Coming up, it's no secret that President Trump watches a lot of cable news, but there might be an old sitcom that the President is following even more closely. That's this week's "State of the Cartoonion." Stay right there.


[18:52:51] CABRERA: Welcome back. CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans takes a look at what you need to know before the markets reopen on Tuesday. Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. It's a short week on Wall Street. The stock market will be closed for Martin Luther King Day tomorrow.

So far this year has been off to a strong start. The Dow, the NASDAQ, the S&P 500, all hitting record highs during the week.

Now, attention turns to fourth quarter earnings as a number of big banks report quarterly results this week.

Investors will also be watching what happens in Washington. On Friday, the government runs out of money unless lawmakers reach a budget deal.

A government shutdown or even a close call could rattle the stock market, not because of the economic consequences -- shutdowns are usually short-lived -- but because they're evidence of political dysfunction. And that's hardly a confidence booster for investors.

In New York, I'm Christine Romans.

CABRERA: Thanks, Christine.

Now, this week, Congressman Adam Schiff said the country would be better served if President Trump watched cartoons instead of "Fox and Friends." For some reason, that statement suggests he might be binge watching another show. Jake Tapper has this week's "State of the Cartoonion."


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The comparison's repeatedly been made between the President and that other legendary older White man from Queens, Archie Bunker from the '70s sit come, "All in the Family."

CARROLL O'CONNOR, ACTOR: Like the country has gone straight into this dump.


TAPPER (voice-over): It might be worth pondering what a President Bunker might look like.

First, one would have to start with candidate Archie Bunker.

O'CONNOR: I am so sick of Washington and all its works. Well, the Democrats way of ruling this country is to go tell us all how we ought to make sacrifices.


O'CONNOR: But they all want to have us open the Hill to the poor house.

TAPPER (voice-over): With his tell it like it is style, President Bunker would no doubt cause trouble with U.S. allies such as France.

O'CONNOR: Let me tell you this, to the French.


TAPPER (voice-over): He might even risk alienating the Pope.

O'CONNOR: I ain't got no respect for no religion where the head guy claims he can't make no mistakes. You know, like he's -- what do you call -- inflammable.

(LAUGHTER) TAPPER (voice-over): President Bunker would, no doubt, have controversial views about immigration.

O'CONNOR: You don't know nothing about Lady Liberty standing there in the harbor, with her torch on high, screaming out to all the nations in the world, send me your poor, your deadbeats, your filthy!'

[18:55:06] (LAUGHTER)

O'CONNOR: And all the nations send them in here.

TAPPER (voice-over): And similarly ignorant views on race.

O'CONNOR: If God had meant us to be together, he'd had put us together. But look what he's done. He put you over in Africa, he put the rest of us in all the White countries.


TAPPER (voice-over): There was a time when those views were most prominent on a sitcom. Those were the days.



CABRERA: Top of the hour, you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for being here.

In Washington, tonight, it's a game of he said/he said about what he said.

[19:00:00] That's right. Two Republican senators who originally claimed they could not recall whether the President called African countries s-holes have had a moment of clarity.

The Congressman now claims, three days later, they are positive President Trump did not say such word --