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Shutdown Looming, House GOP Offers Continuing Resolution Through February 16th; is DACA Deal Dead; White House Doctor Gives Trump A Glowing Review; Aired 11-Midnight ET

Aired January 16, 2018 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:50] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: This is "CNN tonight." I'm Don Lemon. It is 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast live at breaking news tonight. The clock ticking for congress to figure out how to fund the federal government. Now Republicans are making a last-ditch attempt to avoid a shutdown. Do they have a shot?

Plus, more from that heated oval office meeting on immigration, the one where the President used vulgar, racist language about African countries. Well, we're learning he also slammed the congressional black caucus. I'm going to talk to one of the leaders of the CBC. That is a moment away from now. I want to get to CNN Phil Mattingly on the breaking news of the government shutdown which could only be three days away. Phil, hello, how are you? Government shutdown could happen in days and talks immigration they're a hot mess? Having the best way to describe it, fill us in.

PHIL MATTINGLY, NEW YORK BASED CNN CORRESPONDENT: For them to be a hot mess it actually had to be happening. The situation in the hall is absolutely a hot mess right now. Don, if you look at immigration again, this idea that immigration had to be tied -- a DACA resolution had to be tied for Democrats to vote for any spending bill to keep the government open by the end of Friday, right now they're no nonexistent. There is a bipartisan proposal on the table. Democrats want senate Republicans to at least take up. That is been rejected by the President. That is been rejected by Republicans leaders. There is another group that has been working on something, a leadership group that one Democrat told me earlier tonight, quote, and a flat-out joke. So where does that leave? Democrats and Republicans on immigration, well you have Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, attacking the President's staffers about this whole issue. You have Senator Richard Durbin, a Democrat, and a leader on this issue basically attacking everyone in the White House and the Republican conference about that issue. The reality right now is this.

Republicans have put immigration to the side. They are saying publicly and privately there is no DACA resolution in the works before the end of this week. They need to figure out a way to pass a short- term spending bill. The catch on that, Don, at least in the senate they'll need Democratic votes. That means during the course of the next 36 to 48 hours, there are a lot of serious decisions that need to be made before Friday night. LEMON: before the Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell wanting

Democrats not to shut the government down over immigration legislation, is there any chance Democrats will listen, and are they to blame, really?

MATTINGLY: There is a chance they will listen. What the majority leader has seized on in the reality inside the Democratic caucus right now which is, this is very complicated. On the outside you have a tremendous amount of pressure from activists, from outside Democratic groups saying, this is the moment to fight. This is the moment to have the shutdown battle, because DACA is an issue like they feel they're going to win on. Then you have McConnell who is flat out saying on the senate floor, if you shut down the government over illegal immigration and you've gotten senate Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018 from states that President Trump won, in some cases by very sizeable margins, you tell me if you think that is going to be politically palatable. That right now is going on inside the Democratic office, going on inside Chuck Schumer's office right now. They're trying to figure out politically if they can actually afford a shutdown.

Don it is worth noting, in the wake of Thursday meeting where the President's vulgar remarks, the Democrats are feeling they're on the right side of this issue. Perhaps the time is right for a fight, perhaps it is ripe for a fight. But the reality is as long as you have members who are very wary with this issues, as long you have Democrats very wary of an type of being tagged of a shutdown label all together, there is no easy answer here. That is why I think Republicans feel if they can just get a spending bill out of the house onto the senate floor, they'll be able to get enough Democrats to keep this government open. Past Friday, the reality remains at this moment, the votes are not there, the pathway is not there. There are a lot more questions haven't answered right now, Don.

LEMON: Phil Mattingly thank you, I appreciate that.

President Trump blaming Democrats for the looming shutdown and he is also slamming the members of the congressional black caucus. I want to get one of the members of the CDC to respond. Joining me now is Karen Bass, a Democrat from California and second vice chair of the congressional black caucus. Representative, thank you so much for joining us this evening.


LEMON: President Trump is already arguing that Democrats will take the blame if there is a government shutdown over immigration. What's your response to that?

[23:05:06] BASS: Well, frankly, you know the Republicans control the house, and they certainly have more than enough votes. So if they want to pass something, they do not need our votes. If the government shuts down, it is the responsibility of the Republicans.

LEMON: Also I want to ask you about this, the "Washington Post" has a new reporting on that intense meeting about immigration that happened last Thursday, maybe you've heard about it, it's been in the news. This is according to the "Washington Post." It says Trump was curt and dismissive, saying he was not making immigration policy to cater to the CBC and did not particularly care about the bloc's demand, according to people briefed on the meeting. I know you feel very strongly about this. What's your thoughts on this?

BASS: I don't think it's any surprise at all. We did go meet with the President several months ago, and we took the time to prepare a 125-page book of policies and issues that are significant to the African-American population, and we didn't hear one word from him. We took the meeting seriously, he didn't, so it's no surprise. I think if anything, he has shown that he is consistent. His attitude toward African-Americans have been consistent for the last several decades. So no surprise there. I do think, though, that he doesn't understand the significance of the congressional black caucus. He doesn't realize that CBC members lead many of the key committees, like homeland security, financial services, et cetera, so he can dismiss us, but he can't ignore us.

LEMON: Representative Bass, President Trump said today that he wants people to immigrate from everywhere. How do you square that with what he said last week?

BASS: I think what he said last week is what he feels. He showed his ignorance when he talked about people from Africa coming and not contributing anything to this country. He obviously does not understand that African immigrants have some of the highest levels of education, so it's not a surprise to me what he had to say. I don't believe what he says today at all. He has done nothing, but try to curtail immigration from certain countries, and he made it clear where he wants immigrants to come from.

LEMON: Here is to Cory Booker addressing DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's claim that she couldn't recall exactly what President Trump said. Watch this.


SEN CORY BOOKER, NEW JERSEY: When bigotry is alive with power, it is a Dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicit. I hurt. When Dick Durbin called me, I had tears of rage when I heard about his experience in that meeting. And for you not to feel that hurt and that pain and to dismiss some of the questions of my colleagues, saying I've already answered that line of questions when tens of millions of Americans are hurting right now, because of what they're worried about what happened in the White House. That is unacceptable to me. There are threats in this country. People plotting. I receive enough death threats to know the reality. Comla receives enough death threats to know the reality. Mazie receives enough death threats to know the reality. And I've got a President of the United States whose office I respect who talks about the country's origins, my fellow citizens, in the most despicable manner. You don't remember. You can't remember the words of your commander in chief. I find that unacceptable. Mr. Chairman, I'm grateful to be on this committee. I'm more than ever today happy I am here. Thank you.


LEMON: Representative Bass, Senator Booker was angry. You could see the secretary's reaction. She rolled her eyes. Did that add insult to injury?

BASS: Absolutely it does. And, you know, the fact that she is, in my opinion, outright lying as well as the other Senators there who first of all said they didn't remember, and then said absolutely they didn't hear that. So I think it's pathetic that people with such authority would lie, but if you think about it, one of the fundamental problems of our country has been we have never been able to come to grips with racism. So if those comments weren't racist, then I really don't know how those individuals would define what racism is. And then under the far out chance that they don't remember, then it just shows how a racist comment doesn't even register with them which might mean that they hear that kind of language all the time. So I just think that it is another example of what we have seen from this White House since day one.

LEMON: You said outright lying. This may be another indication that there are people in Washington in the administration now that have trouble with the truth. I want to talk about the unemployment rate for African-Americans. It fell to 6.8 percent in December, and the President is crowing about it. Here's what the President had to say earlier today.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Black unemployment is the best it's ever been in recorded history. It's been fantastic, and it's the best number we've had with respect to black unemployment. We've never seen anything even close, so we're very honored by that.

[23:10:09] I have to tell you a statistic that just came out recently, as you saw, that the black unemployment rate, the African-American unemployment rate is the lowest it's ever been in the history of the report, so we're very honored by that.


It's a really great thing.


LEMON: A couple things he is not saying there. The unemployment rate from President Obama fell from, I think it was 16.9 or somewhere there to the 7s during his tenure. But does President Trump deserve the credit?

BASS: Oh, he absolutely doesn't deserve the credit, and I think what is important is, is that the black unemployment rate is still double that of the white unemployment rate. So it's not like we've solved a problem here. And I think when you have a pathological liar, either that or he is delusional. Either one is bad for the President of the United States. When you have someone who lies repeatedly multiple times a day, it should not be a surprise that members of his cabinet would follow that behavior, and sad to say, it's not a surprise that his supporters be in a Senate or in the house would think it's perfectly ok to just outright lie.

LEMON: These are the facts, and people have been dismissing them lately. Unemployment for blacks is still far higher, as you said, than other groups. White unemployment is at 3.7 percent, Asian unemployment 2.5 percent, Hispanic joblessness, 4.9 percent. You can see African-American 6.8 percent there. It still trails whites. And median weekly earnings for African-Americans last fall were $696 compared with $887 for whites and $1,010 for Asian Americans. Clearly there is a lot of work left.

BASS: Absolutely there is a lot of work. But implied in what he said is that we ought to be happy. You remember during the campaign, he said, what do you have to lose? Your communities are a wreck. It's the same line of thinking, it's the same tone, it's the same way he addresses the African-American community. And what I have to say is that it's been consistent for decades. This is not new behavior, these are not new comments. What I think is far more important, though, forget his words. It's his policies. It's what's happening in the department of justice. It's the way he is rolling back civil rights gangs. It's the way he relaxed the consent decrees, voting rights, the way he had his voting suppression commission. What he is doing policy wise systemically is far more Dangerous than his lies.

LEMON: Just for that one, when you talked about that, he said that his approval ratings with black Americans has doubled.

BASS: Doubled from what, one to two?

LEMON: That was false. Because 50 percent of black Americans said they approved of his performance following his inauguration, and one year later a CNN poll shows that 3 percent of black Americans approve of the President. That is a 91 percent disapproval as well, so there you go. Representative, thanks for joining us.

BASS: Thanks for having me on.

LEMON: When we come back, a tale of two Trumps. Which is the real one, the Trump who said he would sign an immigration deal, or the Trump that used vulgar, racist language to slam that immigration deal?


[23:16:58] LEMON: President Trump's homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen repeatedly saying she just couldn't remember exactly what President Trump said in the oval office in the immigration meeting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said to Fox News that the President used strong language. What was that strong language?

KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Let's see, strong language, there was apologies. I don't remember a specific word. What I was struck with, frankly, as I'm sure you were as well was just the general profanity that was used in the room by almost everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hear me use profanity?

NIELSEN: No, sir. Neither did I.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hear Senator Graham use profanity?

NIELSEN: I did hear tough language from Senator Graham, yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did he say?

NIELSEN: He used tough language. He was impassioned. I think he was feeling very strongly about the issue as was everyone in the room. To underscore a point, I think he was using some strong language.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you recall that the strong language he used repeated exactly what the President had said prior to that?


LEMON: All right. Here to discuss this, CNN senior economic analyst Stephen Moore a former senior adviser to the Trump campaign and CNN political commentator Dan Pfeiffer, former senior adviser to President Obama. You were watching that a little bit sort of reacting. What was your reaction?

STEPHEN MOORE, SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST, CNN: I wasn't in the room so I honestly don't know who is telling the truth about what. I don't know what the conversations were. Trump is denying that he made these, you know, racial slurs, and, you know, I don't think any of us really know the full truth.

LEMON: A lot of strong language. I don't want people from those strong language countries coming here. So Dan, homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen seems like a strong woman. Do you buy that she didn't remember his words in that meeting? Especially since they were repeated by Lindsey Graham.

DAN PFEIFFER, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Of course not. Of course she knows what Trump said. Everyone knows what Trump said. Whether it's shithole or shithouse, whatever the, Trump said it. Lindsey Graham said it, so this is not Dick Durbin -- Lindsey Graham confirmed the account. And look, she was in a tough position. She knows if she seems to be seen as undermining her boss, he will probably tweet something terrible about her and she'll end up in the penalty box with Jeff Sessions and the others, but she was under oath and she was trying everything she could not to not upset the President and not perjure herself at the same time. She came pretty close to the line there.

LEMON: Let's talk about something more important, and that is getting this DACA deal done and getting immigration reform done. Lindsey Graham talked about the two Trumps, right? He said there was a Trump I saw earlier in the week and then there was a Trump I saw earlier in the day and later in day. He said he wanted a bipartisan plan and he would sign anything that came before him. I want you to listen to Dick Durbin who talked about what happened after that.


DICK DURBIN, DEMOCRAT: We call him two days later, Senator Graham and I, and say, we've done it. We met your criteria, we have a bipartisan bill, and we're ready to go. Then to be called into the President's office to explain it to him and find that we've been sandbagged.

[23:20:06] General Kelly and Steve Miller, as I understand it, invited five other members of congress who were not in favor of immigration reform or in a very harsh sense, and they were there to refute any assertions that we made that this was a good policy.


LEMON: So he is sandbagged, that is strong language. But the question, and you've heard this before, the President will listen to whoever is in his ear last. Do you think that is what's happening?

MOORE: When I first heard Donald Trump say, I'll sign anything or something to that effect, I shuddered. Immigration policy is one of the most important policies for our country in terms of what we look like as a nation over the future, who is going to be allowed in this country as a citizen. I think Trump got it right the second time, which was, I do care about the details, the American people care about the details, they do want border security, many Americans who voted for Trump want the wall, and the idea that we have to have a shutdown of the government to solve this problem, I don't get that. I asked Dan, Dan, you were in the Obama administration. You had, in the first two years, 60 Senators, Democratic Senators, who had a big majority in the house and you had Barack Obama as President. You didn't get this problem solved. So Donald Trump has been President for one year and now we have to shut down the government to get it done?

LEMON: Hang on, Dan, hang on, Dan. I think that is interesting but that was the last administration. We're talking about now. No one -- no one is criticizing --

PFEIFFER: We've been talking about this for 15 years under Bush, under Obama, and now they're saying if we don't get this done this week, we have to shut down.

LEMON: I understand that. There are other administrations, even the Obama administration, you're right, who didn't get it done. Let's talk about getting it done now. What I'm wondering about, did those other Senators, lawmakers, come to that meeting to make sure the President didn't do the same thing again? I was going to ask that question of you, Steven, but I'll ask it to Dan. Do you think that is what happened?

PFEIFFER: Of course. I would also separate two things. There is the larger question of comprehensive immigration reform, which is a hard problem. You had 60 Senators pass it in 2013, you can't get it through the house. We have a more pressing issue involving 800,000 DREAMERS, people who were brought here as children through no fault of their own, who will begin to be deported in March if we don't solve this problem as soon as possible. Donald Trump said he wants to solve the problem. I will take his word on that. Paul Ryan want to solve the problem, 70 percent of Americans want to solve the problem. We could just solve that problem right now, but what Democrats don't want to do and should not do is vote to fund the government, to essentially fund the deportation of the DREAMERS which is what will happen if they agree to a long-term funding deal without protections for the DREAMERS under the DACA program.

MOORE: Look, I think when you have the parties that can't fully agree on something, which they can't do on DACA right now, I've lived through a lot of government shutdowns. I've been watching for 30 years. I remember when the government shut down under Reagan, under Clinton, under Bush, and I've got to say, I think Democrats are making a big political mistake here if they basically -- look, the Party that gets blamed for a shutdown is the Party that wants to shut the government down. That is why Newt Gingrich got blamed, it seemed like he wanted to shut down the government. In this instance, the Democrats is saying, we don't care if the government gets shut down because we want our way on DACA.

LEMON: The folks in Washington, they seem to be a part of this -- this whole s-hole thing seems to have driven a wedge. You're right, I think most people in this country want comprehensive immigration reform, they just disagree on how to do it. Some people don't believe there should be a wall, some believe DREAMERS should be given some path to citizenship. I think everyone agrees there should be reform.

MOORE: I've been for African immigration for 20 years. I don't agree with everything that Donald Trump agrees on immigration. I'm more pro-immigration than he is. But the idea we're going to solve this issue in the next 72 hours with respect to DREAMERS, but Don, who is eligible for it?

LEMON: There is a time limit here. I appreciate it. Watch the Steven Moore show whenever it comes on. Listen, Dan, we heard Dr. Ronnie Jackson testify to the President's good health today. Some expressed skepticism. Here is what you tweeted. Dr. Jackson is a phenomenal doctor and a really great guy. He and his team took care of all of us for 30 years. He scored 30 out of 30 on a cognitive test, good enough for you?

PFEIFFER: Look I have known Dr. Jackson for almost a decade. When I had health challenges, he and his team took incredible care of me in 2013. If this is what Dr. Jackson said, I believe Dr. Jackson. I personally find if Donald Trump is overweight, obese, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, all of that is irrelevant. Is no it's not important to me. If he has the health to serve an office, and Dr. Jackson says he does, let's focus on President Trump's numerous other flaws.

[23:25:26] LEMON: All right thank you both. I'm sure Steven doesn't disagree with that one.

When we come back, why some voters in Ohio think the President trump is tweeting great.

Plus the return of the iron stash. The man who wants to unseat speaker Paul Ryan. There he is.


LEMON: Tonight marks one year since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President for the United States, so one year in, how do Americans who voted for Trump feel about the job he is doing, are they satisfied or are they disappointed. CNN Martin Savidge sat down with a group of Trump supporters on Ohio, here is what he found.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anywhere you look in Youngstown is a reminder of what's been lost. Factories, jobs, the city's population is down about two-thirds from the 1950s. The economy wasn't just disappearing here, so was a way of life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I realized the core foundation of our country is




[23:30:00] MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: ...Factories, jobs, the city's population is down about two-thirds from the 1950s. The economy wasn't just disappearing here, so was a way of life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I realized the core foundation of our country is slipping away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, it got to a point where I did not like the direction my country was going.

SAVIDGE: The answer for many was Donald Trump. In 2016, according to the Mahoning board of elections, approximately 7,000 registered Democrats switched parties to become Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said he was going to make America first, and go bring jobs back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump said you're in lousy deals. We'll fix that and bring jobs back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said he wanted to bring jobs to the American people and that is something I can certainly get behind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a pastor, a machine shop student, and a union worker. Democrats were raised in Democrat families who crossed over to vote Trump. We're one year, one year in.

SAVIDGE: How is he doing?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Better than I ever would have dream.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is doing wonderful. He is staying on task.

SAVIDGE: We start with the hot button topic of the moment. How big an issue to all of you is immigration?


SAVIDGE: Really? In Youngstown, Ohio?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. And as far as I ma concerned they're stealing jobs of rightful citizens.

SAVIDGE: It is ultimate on something else Trump says is important. Rules and respect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like when people come here illegally that is very disrespectful. You don't disrespect our laws and you shouldn't be able to come here freewheeling like that.

SAVIDGE: A year later, they all want the wall. As for the President's speech, Gina says she used to cringe. Not anymore.

So you don't cringe because you've grown numb to it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not at all. I started to realize why he uses twitter the way he does. I love the guy. I love what he is doing.

SAVIDGE: Just this woman said he is not a racist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is a nice person, and if he was a racist like everybody says he is, he could have walked past me and not even said a word.

SAVIDGE: What about the lies? Let me ask you this, do you think he is a liar?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Do I think he is fallen short of some of his goals? We all do.

SAVIDGE: Economically they say thing aren't getting better. The stock market and home values are up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Industries are booming everywhere I've seen.

SAVIDGE: Look around you, I don't see a boom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this area, no. But there are small businesses that are starting to pick up.

SAVIDGE: Gary says the tax reform will fuel the recovery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My community will benefit from this tax cut.

SAVIDGE: Do you think the media gives the President a fair shake?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think so at all.


SAVIDGE: One year later, these voters couldn't be happier. They see achievement. Most of all, they see a President like them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is like tenacious sometimes and says things off the cuff like we do, like real Americans do. We're not perfect. I'm tired of suave, I'm tired of the teleprompter. I am. I want my country back.

SAVIDGE: Martin Savidge, CNN, Youngstown, Ohio.


DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: As Martin just showed us, the President still has support from his base, so what does that mean for Democrats, especially in this year's midterm elections. I want to bring in now, a man known as iron stash, Randy Bryce, a Democrat running for congress in Wisconsin who is hoping to unseat house speaker Paul Ryan. Randy, good to see you. Thank you for coming back on the program. This weekend, as you know, marks one year since President Trump took office. You just heard the so-called crossover voters from Ohio say that none of them regret voting for President Trump. How are you and other Democrats going to win these voters over in November if they are happy with the way things are going now?

RANDY BRYCE, (D) RUNNING AGAINTS PAUL RYAN FOR CONGRESS: Well, let me first of all say I haven't talked to anybody that fits in that group you just showed on your show. I'm finding just the opposite. People are seeing that we have a lot of buyers' remorse. When it comes down to what Democrats have to look forward to, I don't think it matters if you're a Democrats or Republican, you want somebody that is going to represent you that you know has lived the life you have, who has struggled. I am going up to somebody like Paul Ryan. For the last 20 years, he is been talking to special interests, to lobbyists, billionaires in Washington, D.C. Just looking at this tax scam and how he is treated our health care, you can tell that that is who he is casting his votes on behalf of.

On the other hand, for the last 20 years, I've been struggling with my neighbors. I fought cancer and it bankrupted me. I have a son going to public schools. My parents, the next thing they want to do is go after Medicare, Medicaid and social security. That is going to be under attack. They've already admitted that. The issues that are facing us. When you look at who is struggling and who hasn't even been around, that is what Democrats are looking forward to representing us.

[23:35:15] LEMON: Can you win, though, without bringing any Trump voters over to your side, Randy?

BRYCE: I think, if you look at it, I wouldn't call them Trump voters. A lot of them were Obama voters in the district. Obama won the district. And just looking at what's going on, they're seeing that Donald Trump made promises. He put on a hard hat. Well, I put on a career last 20 years wearing a hard hat. I know what it feels like to wear one when the sun is beaming down over 100 degrees or when its 10 degrees below zero. People see that he never had any intention on keeping any promises that he made. So when we're talking to people -- just looking --

LEMON: You hear those voters, they're saying we all have promises -- I think one of them said, we all have promises, we don't keep all of our promises, he speaks like real Americans, and he doesn't say the perfect thing. So they're saying it doesn't really matter. His promises don't really matter.

BRYCE: Well, I mean, if you just look around the country, look what happened to Virginia, the wave that hit there. Look at Alabama, one of the reddest states in the country. Just tonight we had a special election in Wisconsin. One of the reddest counties in the entire state went blue. It was like a 25 percent swing over. And Scott Walker, there were two open seats coming up in Wisconsin. He decided to hold off and not have those elections, and I wonder if the wave that is going to come has anything to do with it. I'm sure it does.

LEMON: Interesting. Randy, you say you want Paul Ryan's seat. I have to ask you, if you were in congress right now, would you shut down the government over this immigration and DACA issue?

BRYCE: Well, I think we need to look at this. Who are the adults? We're talking about kids. Not just that but chip funding. Let's look after our kids. It should be a completely separate issue. It should be something that why are we holding our kids hostage? I'm so disappointed in congress and the President and especially in Paul Ryan where he is trying to lead his caucus. What are they thinking? These are kids. Let's help our kids.

LEMON: Randy Bryce, thank you. I appreciate it.

BRYCE: Thank you. Always a pleasure. Have a great night.

LEMON: You, too. When we come back, do Democrats have a message other than anyone but Trump? Anyone but Trump. That seems to be the message. And are they doing enough to reach out to voters in the heartland?


[23:41:33] LEMON: The Democrats have a big chance to make big gains in the midterms, but do they have a message that will appeal to voters, especially working class voters in the Midwest? Here to discuss, CNN political commentator Angela Rye and Alice Stewart. Good evening.



LEMON: Angela, in a new report called hope in the heartland, how Democrats can better serve the Midwest by bringing working class to Washington. Terry who is the -- according to Politico is the last Democratic Indianan who represents an entire rural area. The Democratic Party is lazy, out of touch with mainstream America, relying on too much identity politics where winners and losers are picked by their labels. The Democrats in his district feel abandoned. So have the Democrats long overlook their role with Midwest working class voters?

RYE: No. I'm actually kind of frustrated that we returned to what was or what has been in areas where we suffered a loss. I think we all heard this narrative right after the 2016 election that we need to go back to appealing to white working class voters, and most of the time the emphasis there is on the Midwest and on rural voters. I think especially just after the Martin Luther King holiday yesterday. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the very importance connection that Dr. King made to white poor folks and to black and brown and Native American and Asian people who also may be in similar economic conditions. When we talk about identity politics, I think it's time that we put the label of poor on white people instead of black and brown people who also may be suffering economically.

The most important thing we can do is draw bridges of connection. It's ok to be different, it's ok to be distinct, but what's not ok is to think that you're poor, and that is a different type of poor than someone who is a person of color poor. Like we need to knock down those barriers and I think the Democrats would be in a terrible position if they continued to feed into the narrative.

LEMON: I think, I understand what you're saying, but do Democrats realize that? Because you want every vote. You want to reach out to black voters, you want to reach out to women, and you want to reach out to white voters. Are Democrats doing that? Who is carrying that message to those voters? That is the question.

STEWART: Don, I think that --

RYE: I'm sorry, I thought it was a follow-up.

LEMON: It is a follow-up, but quickly follow up and then I'll let Angela get in.

RYE: The point I'm raising, Don, is very simple. We can't afford to say we're not going to reach out to the browning of America, we're going to go back to something that is no longer with us, right? The point I'm making is the economic message to be one that supersedes race. It crosses and transcends racial bounds, because that is the power of the dollar. We need to ensure we're drawing parallels to that messages instead of saying I just need to appeal to white working voters.

LEMON: OK, I understand Alice, you need people to hoof it down to the polls and vote for you at the end of the day, and so don't you try to get as many people as possible?

STEWART: Sure. And I think that is what every point you mention in that article were some of the lessons that Democrats really should have learned in this last Presidential election. Hillary Clinton was not able to connect on the economic message which so many people are concerned with. She wasn't able to show that she was empathetic to their concerns. She didn't reach out to the rust belt state in heart of America --

[23:45:02] LEMON: Didn't most people vote for Hillary Clinton?

STEWART: here is the thing. Let me finish my point here. A lot of it is showing empathy for the person, letting these people realize that the people running for office understand what their issues are and that they connect with them. That is most important for Democrats to learn from the mistakes of 2016, reaching out to every single voter, and it's not just about the issues. You have to connect with them and they have to like you, and that is an important factor whether you're running for President or running in rural America or you're running in the urban city.

LEMON: Hear me out, Alice. I think what the evidence shows is that most poor people and working class people did vote for Hillary Clinton. So it's not like she didn't connect with those people.

STEWART: Well, certainly, but we're talking about looking ahead to what lessons learned from that. Certainly a lot of the people that were economically challenged --

LEMON: I'm just wondering, to Angela's point, is the research right? Is sort of what these folks are reporting on or what they espouse this article to be about, what have you, is that actually correct or is it a fallacy? What it would show is Democrats actually won working class voters. They probably didn't go to the polls and vote for them as much as they did in the past, but they still won them.

STEWART: There is a little bit of a difference when we look at our Presidential election, what we're going to see in the midterms. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. She won more votes than Donald Trump. I'm not going to shy away from the fact she won more votes. Trump won based on the Electoral College. But when we look ahead, it's about getting more votes whether you're running for senate or congress, and that is going to be one of the challenges that Republicans and Democrats both need to face.

LEMON: Angela, I'll give you the last word. What I was wondering was the premise of the articles, and I think you were referencing that in your initial comments. I'll give you the last word, Angela.

RYE: Yes, I think the bottom line to me is you do need to win more votes, you do need to ensure you're reaching out to a broader swath of voters broadening that base, but you need to do it in a very genuine and honest way. I don't think it's smart to play manipulation tactics like, we hear you, white class voters. We hear you, we know you need -- no. There is similarities connecting to other humankind. I think we need an honest message. That is the bottom line.

LEMON: Angela, Alice, thank you, interesting conversation. See you next time. When we come back, a 17-year-old girl escapes a house of horrors, her own home, and saves her 12 siblings, some of whom were chained to furniture. New developments in this shocking story to tell you about.


[23:51:35] LEMON: A court date set forth Thursday for the California couple accused of holding their 13 children captive inside the family's home. CNN correspondent Dan Simon is in Perris, California tonight with the very latest. We are learning more and more about this family and the disturbing story what do you know?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Don, we know this whole situation unraveled, because one of the daughters, a 17-year-old, she had the courage to escape. She climbed out of a window. This is the home behind me. She climbed out of a window very early Sunday morning. She called 911 just before 6:00 a.m. She said she was being held against her will, said the same about her brothers and sisters. When deputies caught up with her, she showed them pictures on her cell phone, and that made them believe what she was telling them. Then of course deputies came to the house, they did a welfare check, they discovered the horrific conditions. They saw at least three of the children were chained to furniture, it was foul-smelling, just terrible inside. Of course all of the children were taken to various hospitals. Their psychological well-being and physical well-being being looked after. Of course the parents in jail being held on various charges. Child endangerment and torture. Bail both at $9 million for each of them, Don.

LEMON: My goodness. You are reporting about the incredible reaction that these parents had when police came to their door, tell us about that.

SIMON: Yes, we are told that the mother, she is 47 years old, we told her reaction, and she was basically perplexed. She didn't know why deputies were there. In her mind she wasn't doing anything wrong. We don't know what the father was thinking, but the question is being raised what was going on in their lives to make them think this kind of parenting was ok? Right now we don't have the answer, Don.

LEMON: Dan Simon, thank you very much. I want to bring in now Judy Ho, licensed clinical forensic psychologist. It really makes you sick. It's really hard to understand. By the way thank you for joining us. Hard to understand what could make parents do something this horrific to their own children?

JUDY HO, LICENSED CLINICAL AND FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: That is right. That is the biggest question for all of us, what is going on with these parents that would make them think this is ok? As you mentioned the mom actually seemed like she felt everything was ok, she wasn't even sure why the police was there to do a welfare check. All we know that is this family has been very secretive. They've been sort of in their own cocoon, they don't really socialize with others, they have not allowed these children to socialize with others either. When you look at this picture here Don, of these photos of these children wearing the same shirt with "thing 1, 2, 3" and the numbers, this family was big about order. They were talking about control of their children. When you look at these shirts, they obviously -- there's something about them viewing their children possibly as possessions. And when we really consider this entire sort of trajectory, what I'm

worried about here, not only just the physical malnourishment, the psychological well-being of these children, but cognitive development is obviously stunted as well. It was probably hard for any of them to make complex decisions to escape up to this point.

LEMON: Neighbors saw the children outside only rarely. But no one call the police with any suspicions. How could this go on for so long and be unnoticed?

HO: I think the way that they were able to escape notice was that they really just did not parade the children around in public spaces very often.

[23:55:04] And I think that there were people who had suspicions that they seemed a little odd, seemed like they never wanted to be bothered. But that usually doesn't raise the suspicion enough for somebody to call on the police to do a welfare check. And I guess maybe it's just a good lesson for all of us, if you see something suspicious, the worst thing you could do is possibly embarrass yourself if nothing is wrong. But what if you had the chance to actually catch somebody doing something horrific to these children? We know the negative outcomes of children who are maltreated. They have more instances of substance abuse, or it's harder for them to hold jobs and have pro-social relationships as adults. 30 percent of them are found in research to have that same repeated cycle of abuse themselves as abusers, as adults.

LEMON: But there is hope for them, they can recover, correct?

HO: Absolutely. What's really important now that we know this is happening is to try to get them into professional care with a post- traumatic stress therapist as quickly as possible?

LEMON: All right, I've got to run. Thank you, Dr. Judy Ho, I appreciate it.

HO: Thank you Don.

LEMON: That is it for us. Thanks for watching. I will see you right back here tomorrow.