Return to Transcripts main page

EARLY START

Long Odds For Immigration Deal; Another False Missile Alert; PLO Council: Suspend Recognition Of Israel; New U.S. Embassy In London Opens. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired January 16, 2018 - 05:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:30:43] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Hopes for an immigration deal facing long odds after the president's comments on African countries. Now, Democrats are giving real thought to shutting down the government if the demands are not 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)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Bewilderment grows are Republicans engage in the game of semantics. Top GOP senators hiding behind the difference between derogatory terms about African nations.

BRIGGS: And, 13 siblings rescued in California after being held captive in a filthy home -- their own home -- some of the kids chained to beds. Their parents now facing serious charges.

That and yet another false missile alert, this time in Japan. We'll have more on that in a moment.

Welcome back to EARLY START.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. Nice to see you. Thirty-one minutes past the hour. You're Dave Briggs.

Let's --

BRIGGS: I am.

ROMANS: -- roll forward. There's so much going on.

BRIGGS: This Japan thing. I mean, imagine for a moment if you're a tourist who traveled from Japan to Hawaii, which they do frequently, you could have been swept up in both of these false --

ROMANS: In both of these. Oh, yes.

BRIGGS: -- missile alerts.

ROMANS: It shows you just how fraught the whole situation is.

Let's begin this morning, though, on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers returning there to face a complex agenda and a ticking clock on domestic issues. They must agree on a spending plan by Friday when government spending authority runs out.

The main issue on the table here remains a deal on Dreamers further complicated by the president's racially-charged comments last week.

BRIGGS: Usually though, 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 are seriously considering withholding their votes. Some want to use this moment to fight for a long-term DACA fix.

Phil Mattingly sorts through all of this on Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: 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, we talked 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 is 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 Sen. Chris Coons had to say on Monday.

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.

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 is 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 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, the excellent Phil Mattingly who will not sleep until Saturday. Thanks, Phil.

BRIGGS: That's right.

ROMANS: President Trump accusing Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of distorting the comments he made last week to describe immigrants from African.

The president tweeting, "Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting. Deals can't get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our military."

[05:35:04] That only makes sense if totally misrepresented means s- hole and s-house are two completely different things.

BRIGGS: Yes. I think Dicky goes on the scrap heap of nicknames.

A senior GOP source tells CNN some Republicans in the room thought the president called Haiti and African nations shithouse countries. That could explain why Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, and DHS Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen all insisted they didn't hear the president say shithole, but then tap danced when asked what they actually heard.

The White House and Republicans playing a high stakes game of semantics here.

ROMANS: Whichever expletive the president used, the racial implications of taking fewer black and brown immigrants and more people from Norway, 86 percent white, remain unchanged.

Now, Florida Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, who was at the immigration meeting, will not say what was said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARIO DIAZ-BALART (R), FLORIDA: And again, I will not comment about what may or may not have been said, publicly. But I am committed to -- because, look, the easy thing to do would be to --

GLENNA MILBERG, REPORTER, WPLG LOCAL 10 NEWS, SOUTH FLORIDA: So you're not going to answer the question.

DIAZ-BALART: Well, because the easy thing for me to do would say yes, this person said that or this person said this.

MILBERG: Then what? (ph)

DIAZ-BALART: The bottom line is I will not be in a position to solve this problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Perfecting the political punt.

The one Republican senator in the meeting to call the president out, Lindsey Graham -- usually an ally of the president, now says this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Mr. President, close the deal. Eighty percent of Americans want to give the DACA kids a better life and 80 percent of Americans want to secure our border and change our 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, not by tweeting. It's going to be done by talking and understanding.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: No golf for you, Lindsey.

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

ROMANS: The "Post" also says Chief of Staff John Kelly convinced the president the plan Durbin would outline wasn't good for him politically with his base.

Joining us this morning to discuss it all, "Washington Examiner" commentary writer Philip Wegmann. Nice to see you again.

You know, it wasn't very long ago we were talking about a bill of love. The president was holding court and actually moderating a substantive immigration discussion in front of the cameras. And now, we've gone into the shithouse, I guess, and where are we with DACA?

What do you -- do you think we'll have a government shutdown over this?

PHILIP WEGMANN, COMMENTARY WRITER, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, I think one of the things that has been not noticed as much because we've been caught up in the hysteria of which word did the president use, really is the resurgence of Stephen Miller and company inside of the White House. Their last-minute lobbying effort really turned this thing around.

Like you have said, at the beginning of last week, President Trump was saying things like hey, I can't take the heat. If we need to do a two-step DACA deal where I defer border security it's completely fine.

But then, you have guys like Sen. Tom Cotton, Perdue, and Chairman Goodlatte of the House, who rushed to the White House minutes before Graham and Durbin get there and they return President Trump to his campaign footing on this issue.

So I think President Trump has dug in. It's going to be impossible for him to go back now and both sides are just going to clash on this one. Someone has to give in the end, though.

BRIGGS: Yes. One thing we need to know from Senators Cotton, Perdue, and Kirstjen Nielsen is do they agree with the sentiment that the president expressed because that is counter to what we know about merit-based immigration.

But I think we can all agree s-house, s-hole -- that aptly describes Congress if, in fact, they punt again and give another continuing resolution. We cannot fund the government. We send these people there to work for the people of the United States.

Are we heading for a government shutdown or a C.R.?

WEGMANN: Well, this is the fourth C.R. that Republicans are floating right now. This is the fourth C.R. since September. We've seen this play out again and again and again.

BRIGGS: Yes.

WEGMANN: And, you know, last week it seemed improbable that they would get a long-term fix. At the beginning of this week it seems absolutely impossible. Republicans -- they're going to do a short- term fix because they don't want to deal with DACA long-term here.

And I think what we've seen is that the longer President Trump is ruminating on DACA, the longer that he is talking to his allies, the farther to the right he drifts. And so, it's going to be interesting to see the transition from where he started to where he finishes and how that impacts not only the C.R. that we have to have by Friday or the government shuts down but the final DACA deal, itself.

ROMANS: You know, it's interesting. I'm looking at Dow futures up 200 points. You've got a market that has done very, very well, Philip, and at least in the very near term -- at least right now, I don't think the markets are prepared for a government shutdown.

I don't think they think it's really going to happen. They think this is some kind of a big negotiation, some kind of a big reality show we are seeing here and that the government is going to get funded, and there will be some sort of -- some sort of deal on DACA eventually.

[05:40:09] WEGMANN: Well, people in our industry, we always talk about how this is the critical moment, how everything rests on this vote. But this is a critical moment and I think a lot rests on this vote going into Friday because this is the issue that is going to be in the minds of both the liberal base and the conservative base when it comes to DACA.

Republicans -- their goal for 2018 needs to be not to screw up anything that they achieved last year that's going to flavor or temper any of their achievements in the past because a Republican voter isn't really going to be thinking just about tax reform or Neil Gorsuch. They're going to be thinking about DACA.

So, Republicans, they need to figure out what they're going to do. And if Democrats shut the government down this week, they're definitely going to use that as a millstone around the oppositions next.

BRIGGS: I mean, the odds of getting an immigration bill through the House, through the Senate, onto the president's desk by Friday about as likely as Dick Durbin and President Trump playing golf this weekend?

WEGMANN: Well, so we've seen -- I don't -- first of all, I don't where they would go to play golf. It's so gosh dang cold.

But, you know, we've seen this president -- he said in that "Wall Street Journal" interview that he's incredibly flexible. So he became good friend with Lindsey Graham. It wouldn't surprise me if maybe, just maybe, he and Dick Durbin can get together on the golf course and become friends.

BRIGGS: It would be helpful. It'd be helpful. You've got to drop the "y" though. The Dicky thing --

WEGMANN: Yes.

ROMANS: I know.

BRIGGS: -- did not go the "Sloppy Steve" way. That was brutal.

WEGMANN: This is a subpar nickname.

BRIGGS: Yes.

WEGMANN: We expect better.

ROMANS: Yes, exactly.

BRIGGS: The Trump stakes of nicknames.

ROMANS: All right. Phil Wegmann, nice to see you this morning. Thank you, sir.

WEGMANN: Thank you. BRIGGS: Thank you, my friend.

All right, some breaking news you might not believe. Another false alarm about a missile from North Korea. We'll tell you where.

ROMANS: And, a long road to recovery is now beginning for 13 siblings, aged two to 29. They were rescued after being held captive, police say, in their own California home.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:46:05] BRIGGS: Five forty-five eastern time and some breaking news you might not believe out of Japan. Minutes ago, Japan's national broadcaster, NHK, sent a false text alert reporting North Korea had launched yet another missile.

CNN's Paula Hancocks live for us in Seoul. Paula, what do we know?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave, you really could make this us.

This has come just within the last hour -- just before 7:00, the national broadcaster in Japan, NHK, sent out a text alert which said, "North Korea likely to have launched a missile. The government J- Alert. Evacuate inside the building or underground."

Now, this J-Alert has been activated in recent months as North Korea has fired ballistic missiles over the top of Japan so, certainly, people react to these messages in Japan.

But then, very quickly afterwards, they corrected themselves saying, "The news alert sent earlier about North Korea missile was a mistake. No government J-Alert was issued."

So coming just a few days after there was a similar incident in Hawaii -- an alert sent out saying the ballistic missile was on its way to the -- to that area and that people should seek cover, it is really quite surprising.

But, of course, that did take 38 minutes to correct. NHK, far quicker in being able to correct its mistake. In fact, in their main 7:00 bulletin the main broadcaster had to -- had to say I made a mistake. This is not what happened.

But, of course, it will make people in Japan jumpy. As I say, this has happened before. There have been J-Alerts and it has not been a mistake. There have been North Korea missiles either heading towards Japan or going over the top of Japan.

So, two in just a few days, it's really quite remarkable -- Dave.

BRIGGS: Yes, and Hawaii, a big tourist destination for the Japanese. Imagine if you went through both of those scenarios.

Paula Hancocks live for us, thank you. 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 own 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 and called 911 from a cell phone she found in the house.

ROMANS: Officials say the victims range in age from two to 29 and were kept in filthy conditions. Some shackled to beds with chains and padlocks.

Here's how a neighbor who saw the Sunday arrest described the children.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were very, very pale-skinned like -- almost like they've never seen the sun. But I've seen a couple of the older ones and they all --

And it was mostly girls. And then, kind of small-framed, I think. Kind of tiny. Almost looked a little malnutritioned (sic).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The victims all being treated for a variety of medical issues.

It's not immediately clear whether the couple has an attorney.

Time now for a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Alisyn Camerota joining us this morning.

ROMANS: Good morning.

BRIGGS: And hopefully, the children are not at home watching because mommy might have to use another four-letter word today to describe the President of the United States.

Good morning.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Mommy generally tries to avoid those for -- over the breakfast crowd --

BRIGGS: OK.

CAMEROTA: -- so --

BRIGGS: Very nice of you.

CAMEROTA: It's not easy but I've tried to work around it.

ROMANS: She turns into a sailor at 9:00 a.m. CAMEROTA: That's right.

But listen, we will be talking about that, guys, because we do have new reporting on what really went on inside that Oval Office meeting where profanities were reportedly uttered by the president about African nations. So, we have new reporting about what went on in there as well as what led up to that meeting, which will shine a whole new light on what the mood was inside there.

And then, of course, we have Sen. Mazie Hirono on. She's of Hawaii and she's going to talk about what was happening during those 38 minutes of sheer panic when people thought there was an incoming ballistic missile, and what Hawaii is doing to make sure that never happens again, and why it lasted for 38 minutes.

[05:50:03] So we have some new reporting on that as well when Chris and I see you in 11 minutes.

BRIGGS: And, some context on why it happened yet again, it sounds like, in Japan. Not an exact similar incidence but another --

ROMANS: Another concern.

BRIGGS: -- big mishap.

All right, thank you. Looking forward to it.

ROMANS: OK, 50 minutes past the hour.

Look, it looks like you get 26,000 in the Dow today so watch for that. Also, Ford, betting the future is electric, plans to spend billions to make that a reality. I've got "CNN Money Stream," next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRIGGS: Palestinian leaders calling on the PLO to suspend recognition of Israel. It comes on the heels of President Trump announcing America's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

[05:55:06] CNN's Ian Lee tracking the latest for us live from Jerusalem. Good morning, Ian.

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave.

This is a reaction to President Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as the capital.

This comes from the Palestinian Liberation Organizations' Central Council. They were talking about these new measures.

One other that they brought up us stopping security coordination between the Palestinians and the Israelis and that has been something that has been very successful at keeping tensions down, as well as violence. They say that they want a halt to that.

They also are looking for a new world body to fill the hole that the United States left. They don't believe the United States can be a neutral arbiter in any peace negotiations. Now, they're asking the United Nations to do that.

They still reaffirm the call for peaceful, popular resistance to Israel's occupation. But, at the same time, yesterday -- or the day before we heard from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas giving a fiery speech. That speech denounced by Israeli officials, Dave.

BRIGGS: All right, Ian Lee. Just before 1:00 p.m. there in Jerusalem. Thank you.

From Jerusalem, now, to London, where the new U.S. embassy opening its doors to the public today. It comes just days after President Trump canceled a trip to the U.K. for formally unveil this state of the art facility.

The president blamed the Obama administration even though the decision to move the embassy was made earlier.

CNN's Erin McLaughlin live outside this new cube, as some are calling it, in London. Erin, good morning.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave, that's right.

And the U.S. ambassador to the U.K. Woody Johnson, who was appointed by President Trump, defending this new embassy in an op-ed, saying that it's bigger and better than the old embassy. That it's the most environmentally-friendly, most secure U.S. embassy ever constructed.

He said it didn't cost the U.S. taxpayer a penny. It really doesn't sound, from that description, to be a so-called bad deal.

And, British politicians saying this wasn't about the deal, this was about President Trump's lack of popularity here in the U.K. and the potential for mass protests.

Meanwhile, the doors to the embassy opening this morning with very little fanfare. No official date yet set -- set yet, Dave, for the official opening ceremony.

BRIGGS: A new piece in the "Financial Times" calls it one of the great property deals.

Erin McLaughlin lives for us in London. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, it's that time of the morning. Let's get a check on "CNN Money Stream" this Tuesday morning.

Global stock markets are higher today -- look at that -- around the world -- and U.S. stocks were closed yesterday. But I'm looking at Dow futures right now, up more than 200 points, putting the average within reach of its next milestone, 26,000. That could happen today.

That follows last week's all-time highs and, so far, it's been a strong start to 2018. The Dow was up 4.4 percent, the Nasdaq 5.2 percent, the S&P 500, 4.2 percent higher. Those are great numbers.

Earnings season kicked off Friday and continues today with results from Citigroup and United Health.

All right. Ford is betting the future is electric. It will spend $11 billion to create 40 electric vehicles by the year 2022. That's more than double its original plan.

And it's not alone. GM, Toyota, Volkswagen, they have all expanded their spending on electric cars. Two reasons. Automakers currently face pressure in Europe and California to slash carbon emissions, and electric is the next big market for growth.

CVS will stop airbrushing its beauty ads, a response to criticism of unrealistic beauty standards. In the future, CVS's makeup displays will look like this -- an alter image on the left. It will also label images that have not been retouched and require other beauty brands to ban airbrushing by the year 2020.

CVS has significant sway here with nearly 9,700 stores. It's one of the largest sellers of beauty products in the U.S.

And I say great.

BRIGGS: That's fascinating.

ROMANS: I think both of those pictures of that woman are absolutely beautiful. The left is a little more realistic. Why not go for realism?

BRIGGS: Ninety-seven hundred stores -- is that enough sway, though, to convince these --

ROMANS: Very --

BRIGGS: -- companies that just have one marketing campaign?

ROMANS: It very well may be, we'll see. We will tune in there.

BRIGGS: Good stuff.

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

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The threat of a government shutdown becoming more of a reality with each passing day.

COONS: We will not fund the government without a DACA deal.

GRAHAM: Mr. President, close the deal. It's not going to be done on Twitter.

REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: My bigger concern is that his remarks don't blow up the Dreamer-DACA agreement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reaction has been over-the-top.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R), LOUISIANA: I don't know who said what. This is starting to look like a bunch of kids in the back of a minivan.

BRIGGS: A host of Trump campaign and White House staffers set to testify this week as part of the Russia investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bannon said that the heart of his case is money laundering and I think that they're going to want to know what does he mean by that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The real question is whether the Intelligence Committee is willing to gather the information that we need to protect ourselves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is New Day.