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Trump to Hammer Democrats on Military Funding at the Pentagon Meeting; Activists in California Unapologetic in Fighting for Their Values; Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired January 18, 2018 - 10:30   ET



[10:32:32] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, any minute now we're going to see the president leave the White House, head to the Pentagon. He's got meetings with senior military leadership.

We're also learning the president is going to use this appearance to try to put pressure on the Democrats over government funding. He will say that the military will suffer if the government shuts down.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Our Barbara Starr is live at the Pentagon.

Give us a preview of these meetings and also, you know, how much is that accurate, that the military suffers in a government shutdown?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, anytime any president comes to the Pentagon, it is at the core a political event, a photo-op, a president being seen around the world meeting with his top commanders. If there is a real military crisis, they go to him, he doesn't have to come to the Pentagon.

So it is a political photo-op, a political opportunity for the president to make these comments as we approach that hour that there could be a government shutdown. If a shutdown happens, does the military suffer. It's a complicated answer. U.S. troops will remain on duty, they will be paid after a shutdown ends. Civilians may in fact go on furlough and there are hundreds of thousands of them.

Government contracting could be furloughed, things could be stopped, the -- they're making the case that it hurts readiness and this is very much why the push is on on Capitol Hill to get a deal, to get this all sorted out, to get the budget caps on military spending lifted.

The president here, though, also is going to be briefed on another very important item, the Nuclear Posture Review. This is a classified study that is being prepared for him at his orders, about the future of nuclear weapons. What is needed, what the rules will be about employment of weapons.

A lot of concern that this review could recommend new smaller nuclear weapons, that it could begin to set the path for Mr. Trump or any future president to find it easier to use nuclear weapons. In other words, lower the threshold for nuclear conflict. So there is going to be a lot of concern about that study.

All of this will be presented to him in the tank. He will be here for about an hour and a half. Then taking off for that event in Pittsburgh. But it is -- it is going to be a very important session, political, yes, but also for the U.S. military very substantive -- John, Poppy.

HARLOW: Indeed, Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, we appreciate the preview of that meeting.

Again the president leaves the White House in just about 10 minutes. We'll see if he says anything as he crosses the South Lawn on his way there.

[10:35:03] Here to discuss all of this and more, our military and diplomatic analyst, Rear Admiral John Kirby. He's also the former Pentagon press secretary.

So you know how days like this go when the president goes to the Pentagon. Let me get you on this, and it's something that Barbara touched on. The president keeps saying over and over that a government shutdown will really harm the military and he says Democrats don't care about the military, they don't care about that. What happens to the military in a government shutdown?

REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Yes, actually, not a whole heck of a lot from a tactical perspective, Poppy. It won't be devastating to the military, the troops will still get paid as Barbara noted, they get paid on the 1st and 15th of every month. So assuming the shutdown doesn't go, you know, farther than February 1st, they'll be OK in terms of pay.

They'll still show up for work, operations will still be done. The Defense Department is considered an essential tool of the government so it's not going to be affected in real practical terms by a shutdown.

That said, it continues to be harmed and I think in a very significant severe way by these continuing resolutions. What that means, and again Barbara touched on this, is they have to use funding from last year. So they can't buy new equipment. Some of their modernization and maintenance efforts will be damaged. There may be some training curtailment.

So there is a real damage by the continuing resolution. That is no way to continue to fund the military. What they really need is some budget certainty as opposed to the uncertainty that they've had for so many years now.

BERMAN: You know, it's funny because we have both Democrats and Republicans come on this show and say the exact same thing.

HARLOW: Say the same thing.

BERMAN: Yet they keep on doing it. They can't help themselves.



BERMAN: But to continue to do it, then criticize the process which they take part in.

You know, Admiral, if we can get you on this other subject. You worked with John Kelly for a while in the Pentagon, I believe, under then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. He is in the news as he often is this morning.


BERMAN: In an apparent dispute with the president. The president is said to be fuming and hated the fact that General Kelly in a meeting with Democrats yesterday said the president had been uninformed on the border wall during the campaign and then on FOX News last night saying that his view has evolved on the border wall and immigration since then.

You know, as a student -- a one-time student of General Kelly, what message do you think he was trying to send and how might he react now to this presidential anger?

KIRBY: I actually think that General Kelly was really trying to be helpful, not just to the immigration effort, but to the president himself. As I watched those comments, I watched the interview a couple of times, and this was I think John Kelly saying, look, the president is learning in the job, he's maturing, he's growing, he's becoming more intellectual about the issue of border security and immigration. And he -- and his thinking has evolved.

To a military man's mind, John, evolving thinking actually connotes maturity and growth and development and, you know, a real learning curve. And I think that's what he was trying to do. So I find it very ironic and kind of sad that the president would squash on him today in those tweets this morning.

But I really do believe at his heart General Kelly was trying to prove that the administration is moving in a positive direction and that the president is learning and maturing in the job.

HARLOW: The president gave an interview to Reuters and it covered a lot, and it was fascinating to see him slam Russia in this interview because he rarely if ever does that.


HARLOW: Here is what he told Reuters. "Russia is not helping us all with North Korea." He went on to say, "What China is helping us with, Russia is denting."

Is he right?

KIRBY: Yes. HARLOW: And does he deserve credit for calling out Russia at least on

this? If not on the election meddling and other things, at least on this.

KIRBY: Yes on both counts, Poppy.


KIRBY: He's right. Russia has not been helpful with situation of North Korea, they have tried to take advantage of fissures, they have tried to fill voids where they know China and the U.S. are trying to close. And this is about Russia's revisionist view of itself and trying to have more of an outsized influence in the world and they see an opening here. So he's absolutely right.

And yes, I was really glad to see that he did that. I can't speak for why he still won't call Russia out for their election meddling, but I do think he was right to do that. I was glad to see it. And I think one of the reasons why, and I'm guessing here, I don't know Mr. Trump, is because he is investing and his team is investing so much in trying to get the North Korean crisis solved peacefully and diplomatically, and they're seeing Russia as a real obstacle to that effort.

And I think because it matters so much to Mr. Trump, he thought it was important to call Russia out. And again I'm glad he did.

BERMAN: Admiral John Kirby, always great to have you with us, sir. Thanks so much for being here .

KIRBY: Thanks, guys. You bet.

BERMAN: All right. An entire state against the administration. California v. Trump. How some there are fighting back one year into the presidency.


LYDIA AVILA, COMMUNITY ORGANIZER, CALIFORNIA CALLS: This is a movement that's not going to be stopped. The president cannot win.



[10:43:35] HARLOW: The mayor of Oakland, California, says she's ready to go to jail in order to protect her city's sanctuary policy on immigration. Listen.


MAYOR LIBBY SCHAAF (D), OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Let me be clear that cities that have sanctuary status are engaging in their legal right.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So you're ready to go to jail over this?


BERMAN: There is a battle between people in California and the administration on a whole range of issues, and it is growing.

CNN's Miguel Marquez is there.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The California republic versus President Trump.

CHERYL CONTEE, DIGITAL ACTIVIST: The resistance is legion.

MARQUEZ: One year into his administration --


MARQUEZ: -- the world's sixth largest economy fighting Trump administration policies on everything from legal marijuana to taxes to the environment.

GOV. JERRY BROWN (D), CALIFORNIA: California is not waiting for Trump. We're not waiting for all the deniers.

SANCHEZ: And the escalating fight over immigration.

AVILA: We're going to fight and we're going to win.

MARQUEZ: California now an immigrant sanctuary state, a new law, limiting cooperation between local, state and federal law enforcement prank road signs welcomed drivers to seemingly another country, the land of illegals.

THOMAS HOMAN, ACTING IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT DIRECTOR: If the politicians in California don't want to protect their communities, then ICE will.

MARQUEZ: The acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement on FOX News said California politicians who made the law should be held personally accountable. Politicos here aren't worried.

[10:45:12] (On camera): Have you ever seen the enmity between California and D.C. like it is today?

BROWN: I wouldn't call it enmity, yes. There are certain policies that are radical departures from the norm, and California will fight those.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The immigrant community finding its voice in the era of Trump.

AVILA: We're actually working harder and galvanizing more people.

MARQUEZ: A daughter of Mexican immigrants, East L.A. activist Lydia Avila says the president. his rhetoric and policies, have only emboldened her community.

AVILA: This is a movement that is not going to be stopped. The president cannot win. He may be there now, but he's not going to be there forever. We're going to win.

MARQUEZ: Equally galvanized, the entertainment industry with its deep pockets and powerful voice.

ZIMMER: The power of an idea to change the way people think and change the way people feel is really what's important. That's really what we're fighting for.

MARQUEZ: Jeremy Zimmer, CEO of United Talent Agency, one of the world's largest, says Trump represents a threat to the idea of America.

ZIMMER: We all see that the freedoms and the life we assume we have, the incredible privileges we have to be, you know, raised in this country, to live in this country, we all see that, you know, how fragile it can be.

CONTEE: Allison, hi.

MARQUEZ: Cheryl Conte, an activist in the tech community, says it is a fight over principles.

CONTEE: I think that you're going to find Californians be completely unapologetic about, you know, fighting for what we see as California values.

MARQUEZ: Working from home on her pedal desk, one foot soldier, among millions across the Golden State countering, resisting Trump.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, in the California republic.


BERMAN: Our thanks to Miguel for that report. Be sure to watch the special report, the president's first year in office, "Reign of Chaos" its title. Jake Tapper brings us that. It all starts tomorrow night 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

HARLOW: All right. Disturbing news, a record number of flu deaths in one California county. As of last week, 142 people have died from the flu in San Diego County alone, that compares to this time last year, just 14 people in that county died from the flu. Officials say it is the deadliest flu season in decades.

BERMAN: Yes. As a father of two germ-carriers, I can tell you this is a serious concern in schools.

HARLOW: It is a really, really big deal. So if you haven't gotten your flu shot, do so, although it doesn't prevent it.

All right. So coming up, President Trump leaves the White House in just minutes. Will he talk to reporters as he heads to the Pentagon to meet with senior military leaders? We are standing by.

BERMAN: Plus, everyone in America waiting for news on the most important right hand in the world. I'm talking about Tom Brady's throwing hand. Will it be OK? We'll find out in the "Bleacher Report" next.


[10:52:56] BERMAN: Let it be OK. Tom Brady was limited in practice after injuring his throwing hand.

HARLOW: Can you believe it? Breaking news, it's all we've talked about all morning.

Andy Scholes has more on this morning's "Bleacher Report."

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Hi, good morning, guys.

HARLOW: Good morning.

SCHOLES: Yes, I'm sure John and all Patriots nation were just freaking out when they heard news that Brady hurt his throwing hand at practice yesterday.

This "Bleacher Report" brought to you by the new 2018 Ford F-150.

According to ESPN, so Brady hit his throwing hand in a minor collision during practice and then he skipped speaking with the media to be treated for that injury. Now Brady had X-rays that showed no structural damage according to the "Boston Herald." A source telling ESPN that the injury could affect Brady on Sunday, but the belief is that he will be OK. Patriots take on the Jaguars on Sunday 3:00 Eastern with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

All right. Colin Kaepernick announcing that over the next 10 days he will be donating $10,000 a day to organizations dedicated to social justice. This will complete his pledge to donate a million dollars to the cause. Yesterday, Kaepernick announcing that the first 10k was going to DeBug, a San Francisco area organization that advocates for criminal justice reform.

Kevin Durant matching Kaepernick's donation for a total of 20k going to the organization and Kaepernick posted this video to Twitter to thank Durant.


COLIN KAEPERNICK, FORMER NFL PLAYER: K.D., thank you so much, Brother, for continuing to uplift and empower our communities. We love and appreciate you. Thank you again.


SCHOLES: All right. In the NBA last night, Warriors and Bulls, Chris Dunne gets the steal here and takes it all the way for the dunk, but he holds on to the rim a little too long and ends up landing right on his face. That had to hurt. Dunne ended up chipping and dislocating his two front teeth. He was evaluated for a concussion. Amazingly he didn't lose any teeth in that fall. The Warriors beat the Bulls 119- 112.

All right. Icy roads in Charlotte meant no one could get to the bow jangles coliseum for the minor league hockey game between the Checkers and the Sound Tigers but hey, they still played it. And the Checkers put on a good show.

[10:55:02] Their mascot still dressed out for the game and was dancing around. And get this, guys, they still had the kiss cam even though there was no one in the stands to do any kissing. But, hey, I guess if you have a sponsored kiss cam, you're rolling that thing in that coliseum no matter what.

HARLOW: You roll it.

BERMAN: Imaginary friends kissing imaginary friends. And let me just say this about Tom Brady's hand, Andy. As you well know, he doesn't need his hand to throw touchdown passes.

HARLOW: Oh really?

BERMAN: He can do it with his animal spirit.


BERMAN: With his mind.

HARLOW: Who is your money on this weekend, Andy?

SCHOLES: Well, you know, I don't think anyone really wants to see -- no offense to the Jaguars and Eagles -- but a Jaguars-Eagles Super Bowl so you know.

HARLOW: They want to see a Vikings and Patriots Super Bowl, right?

SCHOLES: Vikings-Patriots is the matchup a lot of people are hoping for. The Vikings would be the first team ever to host the Super Bowl in their home stadium.

BERMAN: All right. Andy, great to have you. That's the right prediction, thanks so much.


BERMAN: The president set to arrive at the Pentagon very, very shortly for a meeting with military leaders. He will speak to cameras shortly. Stay with CNN for that.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Brianna Keilar in for Kate Bolduan. The breaking news is any moment, President Trump is due to arrive at the Pentagon. He is going to war on the Democrats.

A White House official tells CNN that the president will hammer Democratic lawmakers, and use the backdrop of the Pentagon to underscore the impact of a government shutdown on the military.

We're going to bring you those comments when we have them.

Also, minutes from now, we're going to hear from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who's facing a huge vote today on a temporary spending bill to keep the government running past the end of the week. Tomorrow is the deadline to have this funding in place. Ryan is already calling out Democrats for their expected opposition, but as of now, it looks like he may not even have enough support from his own party.

And moments away, an exclusive live interview with Senator Lindsey Graham. CNN's Dana Bash will sit down with the South Carolina Republican who says --