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EARLY START

Immigration Deal FAcing Long Odds Afer Trump's Comments About African Countries. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired January 16, 2018 - 04:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, ANCHOR, EARLY START: Hopes for immigration deal facing long odds after the president's comments on African countries. Now, Democrats are giving real thought -- real thought to shutting down the government if demands aren't met.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: I stick with my original interpretation. I am stunned that this is their defense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BRIGGS, ANCHOR, EARLY START: The bewilderment grows as Republicans engage in a game of semantics. Top GOP senators hiding behind the difference between derogatory terms about African nations.

ROMANS: And 12 siblings -- tough to watch, here -- rescued in California, held captive, police say, in a filthy home. Some of the children chained to beds. Their parents now facing serious charges. We have reports this morning from Capitol Hill, Jerusalem and London. Welcome back to EARLY START this morning. Nice to see you all. Nice to see you. You're sounding good. You feel better? You feel good?

BRIGGS: Feeling a little bit better. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. That's (ph) strong. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. It is 31 minutes past the hour. You remember those days in the Reagan years when we debated the difference between S-hole and S-house? No?

ROMANS: No, I don't remember them, Dave.

BRIGGS: You don't? Me neither. All right, we start this morning --

(CROSSTALK)

BRIGGS: -- with lawmakers returning to Capitol Hill facing a complex agenda and a ticking clock. They must agree on a spending plan by Friday when government spending authority runs out. The main issue on the table remains a deal on DREAMers, further complicated by the president's racially charged comments last week.

ROMANS: Usually cooler heads prevail and a spending deal is reached, but GOP fiscal conservatives don't want another short term solution. And this is the first time in memory Democrats -- Democrats are seriously considering withholding their votes. Some want to use this moment to fight for a long term DACA fix. With the state of play on (ph) shutdown and DACA, Phil Mattingly has more from Capitol Hill.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Dave and Christine, there are now four legislative days that lawmakers have to try and figure out some way to keep the government funded beyond Friday. Things are in just as difficult a position, the issues are still very complex and in terms of the pathway forward, as it currently stands when you talk to Republican and Democratic aides, one doesn't exist, at least at the moment.

Now, the dynamics here aren't new. Democrats say they don't want to vote on any bill to keep the government funded if there is no DACA resolution included with it or around the same timetable. Republicans now have made very clear, that resolution, any deal on a potential DACA bill will not exist by the end of this week. So here's the dynamic as it currently stands right now.

Republicans in the House led by Speaker Paul Ryan need to find 218 Republican votes of their own. They can't rely on Democrats. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has made that very clear. So that is one issue that's on the plate of Paul Ryan. Now the plate of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In the Senate, Republicans can't pass a government funding resolution on their own.

They need Democratic support. And where are Democrats on that? Well, take a listen to what Senator Chris Coons had to say on Monday.

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SEN. CHRIS COONS (D), DELAWARE: A majority of my caucus, myself included, we will not fund the government without a DACA deal. The Republican majority and the Republican president, to put a very sharp point on it, have failed to come up with a way that we can fund the government and address the vital needs of states and territories, of families and children all over this country.

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MATTINGLY: So guys, that's where the dynamics currently stand. And that's not even considering or taking into play the comments of the president in the private Oval Office meeting last week, something that Democratic aides tell me has only served to harden the resolve of Democrats who say they're not going to move forward on anything if there is no DACA resolution. The reality, they say right now, is there's no trust with the White House.

And more importantly, there is a bipartisan deal. It's one Republican leaders certainly don't like, it's one the president rejected but it's what Democrats say is the only thing that's currently on the table. If there's no vote on that, if there's no consideration on that, they may be willing to withhold their votes. Right now, there's more confusion than there are answers, there are more questions than there are pathways forward.

That obviously leaves a lot of work and just four days to get it all done. Christine and Dave.

BRIGGS: Phil Mattingly, good stuff. President Trump accusing Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of distorting the comments he made last week to describe immigrants from Africa. The president tweeting quote, "Senator Dicky Durbin". -- Dicky you see what he did there, he added; that's a good one. Totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting, deals can't get made when there is no trust. Durbin blew DACA is hurting our military. That only makes sense if totally misrepresented means "shithole" and "shithouse" are two completely different things.

CHRISTINE ROMANS: Oh here we are with that again.

BERMAN: Here we are, Romans, here we are.

ROMANS: A senior GOP source tells CNN some Republicans in the room thought the president called Haiti and African nation's "s" house countries; that could explain why Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen all insist that they didn't hear the president say "s" hole. You see that cover?

BERMAN: I got it I think I got.

ROMANS: But then tap danced what they actually heard. The White House and Republicans playing a high stakes game here of semantics.

BERMAN: Thank you for the clarity. Whichever explicative the president used, the racial implications of taking fewer black and brown immigrants and more people from Norway, remain unchanged. But now Florida Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart who was at the immigration meeting - - well he's going to politically punt here.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

MARIO DIAZ-BALART: Then again I will not comment about what may or may not have been said publically. But I am committed to - - because look the easy thing would be to - -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're not going to answer that question.

DIAZ-BALART: Well because the easy thing for me to do would say this person said that or this person said this, but the bottom line is I will not be in a position to solve this problem.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I totally - -

(END VIDEO)

ROMANS: The one Republican Senator in the meeting to call the president out, Lindsey Graham, usually an ally of the president, now he says this. (BEGIN VIDEO)

LINDSEY GRAHAM: Mr. President close the deal, 80 percent of Americans want to give the DACA kids a better life and 80 percent of Americans want to secure our border and change a broken immigration system. It's going to take you, Mr. President, working with Republicans and Democrats to get this done. It's not going to be done on Twitter, by tweeting; it's going to be done by talking and understanding.

(END VIDEO)

ROMANS: The Washington Post reports before Thursday's meeting, hardliners including Senators Perdue and Cotton were so concerned that the president would agree to a bipartisan DACA deal. They went to The Oval Office before the planned discussion. The aim was to convince the president not to sign off on the deal he was about to see.

BERMAN: This is all about being the last voice he hears. The Post also says, Chief of Staff John Kelly convinced the president that the plan Durbin would outline wasn't good for him politically; the "s" hole or "s" house discussion clearly wearing thin for some senators. Listen to Louisiana Republican John Kennedy.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

JOHN KENNEDY: This is starting to look like a bunch of kids in the back of the minivan or at least in junior high school cafeteria.

(END VIDEO)

ROMANS: All right after all of this a source familiar with the president's thinking says Mr. Trump still believes his comments will play with his base and that he was right to reject the bipartisan immigration deal he was presented.

BERMAN: According to The Wall Street Journal, counter-intelligence officials warned Jared Kushner early last year that business woman Wendi Deng Murdoch might use her friendship with him and his wife, Ivanka to help China. Officials were reportedly concerned Murdoch might try to lobby for a $100 million China-funded garden project at the National Arboretum - -

ROMANS: Arboretum.

BERMAN: I hate that word - - in Washington. The report notes such warnings are not unusual, it was delivered to make sure the president's son-in-law was aware of people promoting interest at odds with the U.S.

ROMANS: A representative for Kushner and Ivanka Trump described the interaction as a routine senior staff security briefing, insisting no one has been accused of wrong doing. A spokesman for Wendi Murdoch told the Journal she has no knowledge of any FBI concerns or China- funded garden projects.

BERMAN: Interesting. We're expecting to hear later today from White House Doctor Ronny Jackson on the results of the president's physical. President Trump underwent an exam last Friday; The White House issued a statement afterwards saying that it went exceptionally well and the president is in excellent health.

ROMANS: All right the new tax bill will hit your paycheck in February, with 90 percent of Americans getting more in take home pay. Great news; there's one problem here, employers have very little time to implement the new law putting workers at risk of being under-taxed; meaning you may owe more at tax time next year. The problem stems from the W-4 tax form; it measures how much employers should withhold in taxes. But the IRS has not updated it yet for the new tax law meaning workers could have too much money in their paycheck or too little; an IRS official tells CNN they've done the best they can "in the near - - in the short-term here, but they will need a new system in the future." Something the agency may not have the cash to do.

Even before the tax overhaul, the IRS was severely underfunded. Now one bright spot, withholdings are within your control so if you think your paycheck is incorrect, you can update the W-4 form for your employer. I would encourage everyone to take a look at that and try to work it out. One thing that is interesting is because of how many questions there will be for the IRS and how underfunded it is, you can maybe expect six out of ten calls will be answered. So you're going to have trouble answering phone calls and the tax preparation agencies or companies are all ready to take your money to help you.

BRIGGS: Swamped, remember when they were going to be put out of work by this tax bill?

ROMANS: They are not put out of work, they're working around the clock.

BRIGGS: Not the case, all right a long road to recovery now beginning for 13 siblings ages 2 to 29. They were rescued from awful conditions at a California home. Community outside Los Angeles is left outraged this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now to know there were that much kids in there, I wish there was something this community could have done.

(END VIDEO)

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ROMANS: All right, a Southern California couple facing charges of torture and child endangerment after police say they found the couple's 13 children held captive in their Riverside area home. Bail is set at $9 million each for David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin. Police say one of the daughters, a 17 year old, managed to escape the home, called 911 from a cell phone she found in the house.

BRIGGS: Officials say the victims ranged in age from two to 29, and were kept in filthy conditions, some shackled to beds and chains and padlocks. Here is how a neighbor who saw the Sunday arrest described the children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were very, very paled skinned, almost like they've never seen the sun. But I've seen a couple of the older ones, so they all (ph) - and it was mostly girls and then kind of small framed, I would say kind of tiny, almost looked a little malnutritioned (ph).

ROMANS: The victims are all being treated for a variety of medical issues, David Turpin, the father, listed as the principle of the Sand Castle Day School operated out of the home where the 13 victims were found.

It is not immediately clear whether the couple has an attorney.

BRIGGS: Sad news from the music world, Dolores O'Riordan, lyrics sing - lead singer for Irish rock band The Cranberries has died.

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BRIGGS: What a voice. Her publicist says O'Riordan died suddenly Monday while she was in London for a recording session, no word on the cause of death.

ROMANS: The Cranberries rose to fame in 90's with a string of hits including Zombie and Dreams, selling more than 40 million albums worldwide. The band released a new record last year, but had to cancel much of it's tour due to O'Riordan's recurring back problems.

She is survived by her three children. Dolores O'Riordan was just 46.

BRIGGS: What a talent. All right, some bitter cold in the Midwest, so cold, so cold. The wind chill in St. Louis and Nashville, public schools closed today, more than 60 million people under winter weather alerts in the northeast, all the way in the deep south, let's bring in meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, WEATHOR ANCHOR, CNN: (WEATHER)

BRIGGS: All right, Pedram, thanks. Hawaii's false missile alert this weekend got the attention of millions, among them the folks at the Late Show who put their own system on display.

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ROMANS: It's - it's - I - it's maybe too soon to be so funny. It's funny but, I mean that - people were really freaked out.

BRIGGS: That's funny. People in Hawaii are probably not yet ready to laugh about that.

ROMANS: No, too soon.

BRIGGS: I'm destined (ph) we shall see.

ROMANS: It's too soon for Hawaii. Aloha.

BRIGGS: Let us know if you're watching in Hawaii, full story (ph).

ROMANS: All right, Ford is better the futures of electric (ph) and plans to spend billions to make it a reality. See it in money stream (ph) next.

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ROMANS: Palestinian leaders calling on the PLO to suspend recognition of Israel. The PLO is the central counsel declaring that Palestinian authority should not be bound by the 1993 Oslo Peace Accord after President Trump announced America's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Ian Lee, tracking the latest developments; he is live from Jerusalem. Hi, Ian.

IAN LEE, CNN REPORTER: Good morning. You know, this PLL -- PLO central council meeting was really, a reaction to President Trump's announcement that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. We heard a lot of things from the meeting that we've heard before. One, that they want a two-state solution, they redefined the boundaries of what would be a Palestinian state including East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestine's state but there were some other things in this central council meeting that are new.

One they said that they want the Palestine's to not recognize Israel. They say that once Israel recognizes a Palestinian state then they will be ready to recognize Israel. They also talked about halting this security cooperation between the Palestinian and the Israelis. And this has been something very successful here. Help bring down the tensions and the violence.

So they say that they can not continue this sort of security cooperation. They also talked about the void really that has been left since the United States they say can no longer be part of any sort of peace initiative. That it is not a neutral party, they say they want the United Nations now to take up that mental - mantel to help push forward the peace process.

There also asking the international community to further recognize Palestinian rights. Now this comes just a day after president Moc Muda Boss(ph) delivered a fiery speech and in reaction to that we heard from the Israeli Prime Minister who said that this basically shows that the Palestinians - the root case of this conflict is that the Palestinians are unable to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS: All right Illy Forrest(ph) in Jerusalem this morning where it's almost noon time, thank you sir.

DAVE BRIGGS: All right the new U S embassy in London opening its doors to the public today. This comes just days after President Trump announced he was cancelling his trip to the U K to formally unveil the state of the art facility. The president called the embassy move a bad deal and blamed the Obama administration even though the decision was made far earlier. CNN's Erin McLaughlin live outside the new embassy in London. Erin good morning to you. The financial times and contradiction to it.

The president says - called this a great property deal. Good morning to you.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN: Good morning Dave and that's right we also heard from the U S ambassador Woody Johnson just last week in an off ed(ph) saying that this embassy that you see behind me is bigger and better than the old embassy righting that it's the most secure, most environmentally friendly U S embassy ever constructed. Adding that it did not cost the U S tax payer a single penny. It was rather funded by the proceeds from the sale of other U S properties here in London. So from that description doesn't sound like the ambassador agrees with President Trump that it was a product, the building you see behind me, of a bad deal.

And meanwhile British politicians calling President Trump out saying he didn't cancel his trip to London because of the deal he cancelled it because of his lack of popularity and the possibility of mass protests. Meanwhile we talked to representatives from the U S embassy today, they said there's no date has been set as of yet for an opening ceremony. But of course do not expect President Trump to be there when that dates is set, Dave.

BRIGGS: Certainly some fascinating architecture. Erin McLaughlin, live for us in London, thank you.

ROMANS: All right lets go check on CNN money stream this Tuesday morning. Global stock markets higher today. U S stocks, they were closed for the yesterday for the Martin Luther King Day holiday. But Wall Street headed for more records after the long holiday weekend. Dow futures right now Dave, are up more than 200 points. That follows last weeks of all time high. So far it's been a strong start to 2018, look at that the Dow is up 4.4 percent, the Nasdaq 5.2 percent, the S&P 500 is 4.2 percent higher for the year. Earning season kicked off Friday, continues today with results from CitiGroup and United Health. Ford is betting the futures electric, it'll spend $11 billion dollars to create 40 electric vehicles by 2020. That's more than double its original plan and it isn't alone. Gm, Toyota and Volkswagen have all expanded their spending on electric cars.

BRIGGS: In fact voters(ph) found that global car makers will invest $90 billion in electric vehicles. Two reason, auto makers currently face pressure in Europe and California to slash carbon emissions and analysts predict its next market for growth. CVS will stop airbrushing the photos that sells beauty products, a response to criticism, unrealistic beauty standards in the future CVS makeup marketing and displays will look like this unaltered image. It will ban photo manipulation and label images that have not been retouched. It will also require other beauty brands to ban airbrushing by 2020 and CVS has significant sway over makeup marketing with nearly 90,700 stores nation wide. It's one of the largest sellers of beauty products in the United States. Do they have enough sway to change the entire industry though?

ROMANS: Look it's CVS, I mean if your going to be able to use your advertising in the CVS stores to sell your product because it's your standard, your going to have to change the standard -

BRIGGS: Will you do two separating marketing campaigns, that would be a question -

ROMANS: I don't think so, I don't think so. I think realism is maybe this is going to go.

BRIGGS: Wow, fascinating.