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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Shutdown Approaches in Just Hours; Interview with Senator Bernie Sanders; Senate Democrats Meeting Soon; White House Urgently Scrambles To Avert Shutdown Trying To Sway Senators' Votes; WSJ: Alleged Payment To Porn Star Arranged Via Private Company Registered In Delaware. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired January 19, 2018 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:01] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: It is indeed. Thank you so much, Bill Weir. And thanks to all of you for joining us. "AC 360" starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Get ready. Two clocks are ticking right now. One to a Senate vote, a first step toward preventing government shutdown, the other to the shutdown itself.
At 10:00 Eastern Time tonight the Senate holds a procedural vote to end debate on a temporary spending bill. It needs 60 votes to succeed. And that's only to get to the real up or down vote. In any case, at one second after midnight, if there is no legislation, the government officially shuts down.
As you might imagine, this has real world consequences for millions of people, not to mention political fallout for everyone involved in Washington.
Tonight we'll be covering all aspects as the vote and the shutdown approach tonight. I want to start at the capital with CNN's Phil Mattingly.
So Senate Democrats will meet behind closed doors in just a few minutes. What are your sources saying to expect from that meeting?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, this will be the first meeting of Senate Democrats today, one we've expected for a while given where things were actually headed. And basically what I've been told is it will be a couple of things. It will be an update on where things stand. It'd be the first meeting since Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer met with President Trump at the White House. Those talks, I'm told, between Schumer's team and the White House have continued since.
It will also be kind of an update on pathways forward, potential pathways forward, perhaps off ramps to the situation that they're currently in. But I think most importantly perhaps it will be a gut check.
There's no question about it, Anderson. This meeting coming just 90 minutes before that vote comes as Democrats are pretty clear, at least according to several sources that I have spoken with, that they still have the votes to prevent Senate majority leading Mitch McConnell from getting the 60 votes he needs to move forward. That would be this vote that's scheduled at 10:00 p.m. is most certainly going to fail at this point. And after that there is no clear resolution forward.
Now Democrats have said they're steadfast. They remain united. They aren't moving off where they've been, that this is the real time, Anderson. There's no more talk about what could happen, it's now happening and they're going to have to decide whether or not to actually go through with it -- Anderson.
COOPER: Right. So the vote that we're talking about, that we've been waiting for since last night, now set to happen at 10:00 p.m., is it -- is it really going to fail? I mean, that's based right now on what Democrats are saying they have the votes to make it fail.
MATTINGLY: Yes, purely in the numbers game, absolutely the answer is yes. But you've got two Republicans that certainly will vote no, another one who's considering voting no. You've only got three Democrats out of the 49 in the chamber who have said they are willing to vote yes on this, so far we expect a couple of more to join them. But given that there are only 50 Republicans in attendance right now they obviously need more than just three. And they need probably 12, 13, maybe even 14 depending on how things play out.
As of this moment it's pretty clear in both chambers right now that that -- those votes don't exist. Now the big question right now is, Anderson, is there some kind of shorter term compromise, perhaps a three-week continuing resolution that can be put up instead. I'm told at the moment Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is not considering that. He has been very clear throughout the last couple of days there is a House passed bill. It is four-week extension of government funding. It is a six-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program.
That is what's on the table. That is what has always been on the table and anything else Democrats are looking for, that hasn't been negotiable. Now has that shifted throughout the last couple of hours because of the talks with President Trump, it's still somewhat of an open question. But at this point, Anderson, heading into this vote, there doesn't appear to be an alternative on the table. There certainly doesn't appear to be any deal within an air-term reach, and by all accounts right now, things are very much headed to a shutdown at midnight.
COOPER: All right, Phil Mattingly.
Phil, I want to go quickly now to the White House and CNN's Jim Acosta.
So I understand the president has been actively involved in the process today even at this hour. What are you hearing?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He has been, Anderson. As you saw he met with the Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer earlier today. He was on the phone with the House Speaker Paul Ryan later on in the afternoon. But just to echo what Phil Mattingly was saying, there is some skepticism over here, over at the White House as to whether or not they could reach a deal sometime tonight.
I talked to a senior White House official earlier this evening who are saying, they were saying smoke signals coming out of the capital. In the words of that official, smoke signals coming out of the capital. But they were mainly looking at some of those red state Democrats who are starting to signal that they would vote yes, like Joe Donnelly out of Indiana. You saw Heidi Heitkamp and now they are also putting pressure on some of these other endangered red state Democrats like Jon Tester and Claire McCaskill.
The White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has been tweeting at them in the last couple of hours saying, you know, get on board with some of these other Democrats who are thinking about voting with the Republicans.
But, Anderson, I just talk to a White House official in just the last few minutes about whether or not there might be the chance for some kind of alternative plan beyond this four-week CR that official was saying that is not likely to pass the House so what Phil Mattingly was saying is exactly right. This is turning into a Tide pod kind of night. Nobody really wants to swallow a compromise in this city tonight -- Anderson.
COOPER: That meeting with Chuck Schumer, I mean, did it produce any results? Did anything actually come out of it?
[20:05:03] ACOSTA: Well, you know, the president tweeted earlier today that it was an excellent preliminary meeting, but that obviously did not go anywhere. We're going to have to see what happens when Democrats get together in about a half an hour from now but at this point and I just talked to a source up on Capitol Hill a few moments ago, and this is echoing what Phil Mattingly was saying.
They don't believe there are enough Democratic defections at this point to get that continuing resolution over the finish line that was passed out of the House. And if that does not happen then they're in search of a plan B. And as I was just saying a White House official over here was being very plain about this. They don't think that the House is going to go for a short-term continuing resolution. So at this point, they are running out of options and they're running out of time -- Anderson.
COOPER: Jim Acosta, thanks very much.
With us now is former Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont independent senator, Bernie Sanders.
Senator Sanders, as of right now are you a no vote on the continuing resolution as it stands?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Yes. I think what is going on to me is very clear that the Republicans really want to shut down the government for whatever reason. Where we are, Anderson, is not complicated. As you know, in the United States Senate you need 60 votes to pass this budget resolution.
Mitch McConnell doesn't have 60. He doesn't have it. He knows he doesn't have it. The option that he has now is to say, OK, I don't have the 60 votes, let us sit down and negotiate, let us work in a nonpartisan way to address the crisis facing this country.
Last night, you may have heard this, we've received a tweet from the Pentagon and what the Pentagon told us is they need a fully funded fiscal year 2018 budget or face ramifications for our military.
This is the Pentagon. They cannot function on a month-to-month basis. We are a $4 trillion government. We need to have an annual budget because what is going on now is very, very dangerous and wasteful for our country. Many, many crises that have not even been addressed. We cannot keep kicking the can down the road.
COOPER: You know, the Republicans obviously and the White House is saying well, look, it's the Democrats who seem to want to shut down that by forcing the issue on immigration, on DACA.
COOPER: Which is something that could be done --
SANDERS: No. That's not true. That is not true. Here again is the situation. And let the viewers make their decision. Mitch McConnell does not have 60 votes. And if he goes forward tonight at 10:00 as I understand he will, he will lose. Therefore the government will shut down. Understanding that, what a rational person who does not want to shut down the government does is say OK, I don't have the 60 vote, I can't do it alone with the Republicans, we have to sit down and negotiate. What do you want? Let's go forward.
That is what has to happen. But unfortunately for whatever reason, I mean, they may think politically that a shutdown works to their benefit. You remember way back when, the president, Donald Trump, was talking about how maybe the country needs a good government shutdown. I don't know. But I think it will be a very unfortunate thing. McConnell has got to start negotiating.
And it's not just about DACA. We have -- we are three and a half months into the fiscal year. Three and a half months we still don't have an annual budget. You know what means? It means 27 million people and community health centers have not received refunding -- new funding authorization. It means that 30,000 vacancies at the Veteran's Administration are still not filled. It means we have a heroin and opioid epidemic sweeping this country we are not addressing.
We have a collapsing infrastructure we are not addressing it. So we have real work to do. And we can't simply have a dysfunctional government which doesn't address our problems and passes a continuing resolution month by month by month.
COOPER: So you think --
SANDERS: That is not what we're paid to do.
COOPER: If Mitch McConnell did come and say, OK, look, we don't the votes, let's negotiate, it would be -- the points you would want or DACA and a more permanent budgetary solution.
SANDERS: And a disaster relief. Do you know that right now four months after the terrible hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Texas -- in Puerto Rico you have tens of thousands of people who still don't have electricity. We're the wealthiest country in the history of the world. So what we need to do is to figure out a way as to how we're going to address the problems facing working families, how we're going to deal with disaster relief. How we're going to adequately fund the military.
Last night a poll came out. And what the poll -- it was a CBS poll. It said 87 percent of the American people believe that we should provide legal status to the 800,000 Dreamers in this country. 87 percent of the American people. An astronomical number and yet after three and a half months of this fiscal year, the Republican leadership has not been serious about addressing the crisis facing the Dreamers.
[20:10:04] COOPER: Well, the White House says look, the Democrats are hurting children if the government shut downs because there is funding for CHIP, for the Children's Health Insurance Program, something Democrats have wanted for a long time.
SANDERS: You know, the cynicism here has no end. Three and a half months into the fiscal year, they have not funded the CHIP program which if brought to the floor three and a half months ago would have probably got 90 or 100 votes.
The community health center program. One out of four people in my state of Vermont get their primary health care through community health centers. This program is like 50 years old. It is supported by Democrats. It's supported by Democrats. It is supported by Republicans. They haven't reauthorized that program.
So we have many issues out there that have got to be dealt with and all that we are saying is to the Republican leadership, you control the House, the Senate and the White House, govern. Govern. Don't keep passing these one-month continuing resolutions which the Pentagon -- it is really the Pentagon, it is hurting so many aspects of our country.
And once again, once again, Mitch McConnell knows right now he does not have the votes and if he goes forward and he loses, it is Mitch McConnell and our Republican colleagues who are shutting down this government.
COOPER: So that is your message to federal workers who may not be getting a paycheck if there's a shutdown tonight, that -- because I mean, I should point out members of Congress still get paid unlike those federal workers. But you say it's Mitch McConnell's fault, it's the Republicans' fault.
SANDERS: Let me repeat. He does not have the votes. He knows he does not have the votes. Why do you go forward and losing rather than sitting down and negotiating an agreement in a bipartisan way?
And here's the good news, when you talk about disaster relief, I think we can reach an agreement pretty quickly. When 87 percent of the American people support legal status for the Dreamers in a path towards citizenship, I think we can reach an agreement. There's good legislation that has been brought forth by Senator Durbin and Senator Graham.
We can reach an agreement in terms of how much we spend on the military and how much we spend on the needs -- the domestic needs of working families. I believe that if you bring people together in a few days you can address these crises. But we can't do it unless there is negotiations, and the Republicans cannot simply say, here it is, you take it or leave it. That is not the way that we can run the government.
COOPER: You mentioned a poll a second ago. I want to show you a new CNN poll today. It says 31 percent of people would blame Democrats for the a shutdown. Does that concern you?
SANDERS: Sure it does. Look, you know, I don't want a shutdown. I think a shutdown is bad for millions of people who depend on government services, certainly bad for federal employees. It is -- you know, it is a bad, bad thing. And that's why I hope that the Republicans understand that they have to negotiate and they just cannot do whatever they want.
COOPER: Mick Mulvaney, who's the director of the Office of Management and Budget, he cited you today in a briefing, quoting something you said about a shutdown back in 2013. I just want to play that for our viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: Bernie Sanders, one of my favorites, what they are saying -- by the way, it was of me back in 2013, of the group that was trying to figure out a way to force a debate on Obamacare repeal.
What they are saying to the American people tonight is maybe we have lost the presidential election, maybe we have lost seats in the Senate and the House. This is Sanders talking in 2013. It doesn't matter, we can now bring the government to a shutdown, throw some 800,000 hardworking Americans out on the street. We are going to get our way no matter what.
This is exactly what they accuse the Republicans are doing back in 2013.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: How do you respond to that? SANDERS: Well, let me respond. What Mr. Mulvaney is talking about is
his desire to repeal Obamacare when President Obama was the president. Not very likely. So what they would do is shutting down the government to throw tens of millions of Americans off of health care which is terrible unto himself but obviously Barack Obama was not about to repeal Obamacare.
What we are talking about today is to address the crisis facing Dreamers. This was a crisis precipitated by President Trump when he rescinded Obama's executive order. You have hundreds of thousands of young people frightened to death about their future, whether or not they're in fact going to lose their legal status and whether they would be suggested to deportation.
This is a little bit different, I think, than repealing Obamacare.
CAMEROTA: And just lastly, the meeting tonight at 8:30 with Senate Democrats, I'm wondering what you expect to come of it, what you hope to hear or expecting?
SANDERS: Honestly, Anderson, I really don't know. I'm very anxious to get down there and see what will be discussed. I just don't know.
COOPER: Are you saying you want to end the interview? I'm kidding.
SANDERS: I'm delighted to talk to you.
COOPER: No, no, no. You've got to go to the meeting.
Senator Sanders, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
SANDERS: OK. Thank you very much.
COOPER: We're going to be following late developments live obviously throughout the next two hours and long into the night on CNN.
[20:15:05] This is a rally for DACA young people, Dreamers, at the Capitol happening.
Coming up next, see who Donald Trump once thought should get the blame for a government shutdown versus who he now thinks should get the blame. That and new polling on who voters say they'll actually blame. We'll show you part of it ahead.
Later, Citizen Trump, Candidate Trump, and the alleged porn star payoff. See how one reporter followed the money that led to a blockbuster story that would be toxic to, well, frankly, pretty much any other president.
COOPER: As we wait for tonight's first Senate vote and with the shutdown fast approaching, it's worth looking at how Donald Trump, when he was a citizen, once viewed a similar moment back when his only role was, well, Kibitzer-in-chief.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I mean, you just have a president that is not leading and not getting into a room and not shouting and cajoling and laughing and having a good time and having a terrible time. But, you know, all of these different emotions and things you have to do. But you have to get people in a room and you have to just make deals for the good of the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So according to Donald Trump back in 2013, the bucks stop with the president, and now, according to Donald Trump now, it's the Democrats. And as we showed you before the break, we have new polling on what voters think. A combined 47 percent say they'll hold the president and Republican lawmakers responsible for a shutdown, 31 percent said the Democrats and 10 percent say they'll blame all of them.
The same polling also shows the president's job approval ticking up slightly.
Joining me now is CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger and CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash.
[20:20:02] So, Dana, I know you've been talking to sources. I'm wondering what you're learning tonight?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a few things. First and foremost, and I know Gloria has heard some similar bits of information from her Democratic sources in the Senate as well, and that is the name of the game for Senate Democrats right now is to try to extract the shortest continuing resolution as possible from the Republicans and from the White House. Three, four, five days.
And the goal according to some Democratic senators I have spoken to and aides as well is to do that in order to keep the negotiations going. And the negotiations that I'm talking about are the ones that happened in the Oval Office today, with President Trump and with Chuck Schumer.
Now the obvious question is, what are those negotiations? I don't know the answer to that. They're being -- holding that very close to their vest. But it was Senator Schumer, his chief of staff, the president, his chief of staff, John Kelly. And now they're trying to figure out if they can keep that going, and obviously the substance of all of that is everything we've been talking about for many, many days it's obviously keeping the government running, dealing with the military spending caps, dealing with funding children's health care, and of course the Democrats' big, big request that they are going to the brink about which is dealing with the Dreamers.
Having said all that, Anderson, I will say that I have not talked to a Democrat or a Republican who have not said they don't think it's going to be very possible to do all that even a short-term CR by midnight when the deadline hit.
COOPER: Gloria, is that what you're hearing?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I mean, look, Chuck Schumer wants this to be sort of three days to five days because he doesn't want the air to go out of the balloon. He's got to keep his red state Democrats in line. He's lost a few of them. So far they are holding. But, you know, the longer this goes, the more potential there is for him to lose the people he needs to stop the Republicans on this.
So he wants to get it done quickly. But he has to get the approval of Senate Democrats and then the House folks on the Democratic side have to also say to him well, OK, we're going to be with you -- we're going to be with you on this. So there is a lot of issues, you know, he can't do something in the Senate that in the end is going to anger his folks in the House.
And so it is a balancing act and they all realize, I think, that they all look foolish to a degree but they all have their talking points down right now. You know, the Republicans saying that the Democrats are willing to give up children's health. And that's not, you know, so we are going to hear this for a little bit, who knows what they can do before midnight.
COOPER: Yes, Dana, I mean, the idea of, you know, a three to five-day extension to the point of what some Democrats think, it does seem a lot to try to negotiate even in three or five days.
BASH: Yes. Sure.
COOPER: DACA, you know, military stuff, talking about the Children's Health Insurance Program. You know, Bernie Sanders is talking about disaster relief.
BASH: Sure. That's a part of it as well. Of course it's very much to do in that short amount of time which is why on the Republican side they're saying, no, we need to be a little bit longer if we're going to keep these talks going. But that's how we got where we are in the first place. I mean, they're -- you know, sort of, they're negotiating the size and shape of the table right now. And it shouldn't be happening at the eleventh hour where we are right now.
I will say I talked to a couple of senators who said that they were meeting with what they called themselves the commonsense caucus, some Democrats, some Republicans, who have been trying to just find a way themselves. And we have in the past seen bipartisan compromise born out of those such meetings in the United States Senate. Unclear for what happened to that.
BORGER: But, you know, Anderson, these are people who don't talk to each other. They haven't really talked to each other for much of the past year. You know, we're not used to having -- seeing bipartisan meetings or bipartisan negotiations. So even the trust between Chuck Schumer on the Democratic side and Mitch McConnell on the Republican side just isn't there. COOPER: So -- I mean, do they have a good -- do they have a working
BORGER: Well, let me just say this. Chuck Schumer voted against Mitch -- the confirmation of Mitch McConnell's wife when she was up to -- Elaine Chao when she was up to become Transportation secretary. That did not get it off to a great start. So I do think, I do think that they're just not used to dealing with each other and since they are not used to sitting around the table Dana talks about, I don't know how this is going to turn out because this is unfamiliar to all of them.
BASH: And if I may just quickly add, Anderson, Gloria is absolutely right, they don't work together very much. But by nature both of these leaders in the Senate are deal makers, so they can do it.
[20:25:04] The issue is, in this environment, particularly the Republican leaders, they need the political cover from the president and that is what is wanting right now.
COOPER: All right.
COOPER: Gloria, Dana, stay with us. We're going to take a look up next how a shutdown would impact some critical federal agencies including the Pentagon. President Trump says a shutdown will be devastating to the U.S. military. We'll look if there's truth in that. Some answers when we come back.
COOPER: If tonight's voting fails to head off a shutdown, and we could know in about 90 minutes, the question for most people, of course, is simple. What actually gets shutdown.
Our Tom Foreman has been looking at that. He joins us now.
So, Tom, we'll get a shutdown.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson. 850,000 government workers could be locked out of their offices and left out of their paychecks. That's what happened when the government shut down in 2013. And it would likely be the same this time.
Also many services would likely be delayed for the public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would back down their flu tracking program even as the nation faces the worst outbreak in several years. Some senior nutrition programs would be paused. 200,000 passport applications went unprocessed in '95 during that shutdown.
Congress funds much of the scientific research in this country. In 2013 that meant some experiments went on hold during a shutdown. And then they suffered some costly losses of data as a result. In space, that same year for more than two weeks, NASA reportedly stopped monitoring potentially dangerous asteroids, a big one. By the way, it's expected to brush by earth on February 4th.
And as for the 417 national parks, the administration wants to keep limited access wherever possible. But services would be reduced. And all 19 of the Smithsonian Museums would shut their doors after this weekend -- Anderson.
COOPER: I'm not going to try to think about a giant asteroid hitting the earth.
COOPER: I think we have enough to worry about.
Sarah Sanders is tweeting tonight about the shutdown and the military trying to coax senators to vote to avoid the shutdown. So it doesn't hurt military families. Would be hearing that all week. Of course the shutdown would hurt the military, would it?
FOREMAN: Well, not much. I mean, yes, some military pay and other benefits might be delayed. Not to diminish Chicago would be an impact on those families. But Congress has previously gone out of its way to diminish the impact on the families who keep it from being egregious. They might very well do that again. And, troops would stay on duty indeed roughly 1.9 million government workers would keep at it since their jobs are considered essential.
People like air traffic controller, security officers, food inspectors, prison guards, social security checks, those would also go out important to the senior population in this country and the post office would be open. But eventually, all of this case -- yes, people would be working without pay until the shutdown is over. That could cause real difficulties and important to note, all of this could be pricey for us too. We don't get a break because people don't work. In fact one cost estimate says that shutting down the government if it happens would cost taxpayers an additional $6 billion a week. Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Tom. Thanks very much. Senate Democrat are back to start their 8:30 meeting ahead of a 10:00 p.m. procedural vote. The question is will they hold their line and keep the votes that they need. For that let's check back in with CNN's Phil Mattingly in the Norkin Halls there. Phil?
MATTINGLY: Yes Anderson, I think we can say right now is right before Democrats are supposed to meet the entire caucus is supposed to meet behind close doors, they're actually got a series of meetings leading into that. A handful of Democrats have been in Senate Major -- or Senate Minority Chuck Schumer's office over the course of the last half hour.
Here's where things are right now. You have competing interest inside the Democratic caucus. There are a lot of members who have made very clear this is a fight that they want, they want to have this fight now. They don't believe the process has been above for that the Republicans have plan and obviously DACA is an enormous issue here. But you also you have Democrats like Indiana Senator Joe Donely. He's up for reelection at 2018. He comes from a red state, he's already said, he's going to vote yes on the Republican short-term plan. He had said, he's working on his members, trying to get them to agree to something.
Senator Joe Manchin was heading into Chuck Schumer's office, just about two minutes ago, saying the same thing, trying to figure out some pathway forward. The space here Anderson that you're hearing where there's a potential deal to be made or at least the potential agreement to avoid the shutdown is on some type of shorter term, continuing resolution, shorter term funding bill than the one that currently stands. The time line on that that's still very up in the air. You had some Republican senators like Senator Lindsey Graham, somebody who is opposed to the Republican plan right now or Republican and so, who said three weeks is probably about the sweet spot here.
The big question now is, will the votes actually be there? Republicans are waiting right now, they want to see where Democrats end up, they want to see how this close door will actually end up. But I think the question right now Anderson that everybody is waiting for an answer to is when the Democrats as an entire caucus get inside the meeting what will the feeling be? If they come out and there appears to be some willingness to move in some way on this and maybe drop some demands relating to DACA, perhaps there is something there.
That was White House Legislative Director Marc Short, who's also walking to the hallways right now, told reporters a short while ago. But they're not, and it's worth noting, they have not been for the entirety of this day, the most certainly the vote that will be happening in about an hour and a half now will fail and it looks like a shutdown will happen. But I will say, the change over the course of the last 30 minutes Anderson, is there are very real talks from Democrats who do not want to shutdown to happen. It don't speak for the entire caucus and not even sure whether the entire caucus is, but those discussions are ongoing right now. What we're waiting is to see how they all end up, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, Phil I mean Dana and Gloria in the last break, we're talking about, you know, Democrats in red states who are feeling pressure and may peel away from what Chuck Schumer wants. What is the pressure that they are facing? I mean why would they peel away and how impactful would that be on the Democrats being able to hold the line keeping it below 60 votes?
MATTINGLY: So I think the interesting on here is the group we've all been looking at Anderson, is if you look at the Democratic caucus, the 49 member Democratic caucus, there are 10 members of that Democratic caucus that are running for re-election in 2018, that come from states that President Trump --the candidate Trump won. In many cases, very handily in the 2016 campaign.
So a lot of people have been looking to them to see where they were going up to end up on this. Now, that's not -- a modernist group, not all of them are going to vote yes tonight. But three of them have already said yes a handful of others haven't committed one way or another. I've been an aide to assume people like Senator Clair McCaskill from Missouri will end up being a yes on this. But its worth noting, right now as it currently stand, there are 50 Republicans present, they would need 60 yes votes to be able to move anything forward already we know Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky Republican is opposed to any type of short-term CR.
So that means, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would need at least 11 Democrats at this point to come aboard, to move anything forward right now. So the question is they're going to get some Democrats no matter what even on the short-term House pass funding bill.
[20:35:00] But if there is some type of resolution, if there some type of or agreement on a shorter term CR, can they get the votes of 11, 12, 13 or 14 more Democrats. That's what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is waiting to see, that's what we're all waiting to see, as Democrats starts to meet behind close doors the entire 49 caucus meets right now, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Phil Mattingly, thanks very much. More now on all of this, what's next and a political impact to all of it, the finger pointing, deal making. With us now Former Republican National Committee chief of staff Mike Shields and Democratic strategist Symone Sanders.
Symone, I mean you saw that poll, the CNN poll about who gets some blame. I mean everybody get some blames, Republicans according to that poll and if there's they ain't get more. The Democrats don't come away unscathed either.
SYMONE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You know, Democrats don't go away on scale, but I think it's important for folks to hammer home, that is if the president has an hammering home. Is that, you know, look, Republicans are literally in charge of the government. They have the White House, the Senate, and the United States House of Representatives, and it's a deal cannot be reached, it is only because of the Republicans inability to govern.
But we've had -- there was a continuing resolution that was passed. We were almost here a couple of weeks ago and the only reason we are to this point right now is because Republicans failed to negotiate in good faith with Democrats. And when they finally did negotiate, Republican president blew up the deal. So, Democrats want the government to be funded. And hopefully it can come to deal. But I talked to folks in Schumer's office and they said there are still a lot of disagreements --
COOPER: Mike, I know you agree its all Republicans fault.
MIKE SHIELDS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, look I mean it was a great reporting as usual why Phil Mattingly, because the entire report is about what's going on in the side of the Democratic caucus, because that is the game tonight. The Republicans are there to vote for this. And what's interesting about continuing resolutions, normally Democrats vote against them, because of what's in them. This time they're voting against, because what's not in it. So there -- here's what's really going on. And there's anonymous senior Democrat who said, you know what, we're so worried about -- our base is so fired up right now, and we don't want to douse the flames. So we've got to have a fight, we going to shut the government down. Senator Sanders said it himself, Mitch McConnell doesn't have to vote, he needs 60 votes. And that's we're going to go to 50 votes. In fact your position which I'm four, because they'll pass the balance budget amendment, all abortion --
SANDERS: I don't think so.
SHIELDS: -- double the military, make the tax cuts permanent, we can't do that, because we need 60 votes in the Senate. The entire game is whether or not the Democrats are going to throw their red state people over board to keep their base happy. That's literarily the game.
SANDERS: So I just want to reiterate what Phil Mattingly said. Phil Mattingly just whether -- is the question is will they going to let 11, 12, 13, 14. The fact with the matter is though, Republicans do not have to voter. If they can keep their caucus together, we've literarily would not be here.
SHIELDS: You need 60 votes.
SANDERS: Well, look Mike --
SHIELD: So you have to have the Democrats in that meeting decide --
SHIELDS: -- that they're going to make their base and you know they'll make their base incredibly angry if they don't vote.
SANDERS: We know that there's a bipartisan bill, and it's truly bipartisan, but, you know, it's not just gives the Republicans and just give some Democrats. Bipartisan bill that could pass the Senate. Mitch McConnell will not put the bill on the floor because he is unsure if Donald Trump will sign it. Congress is (INAUDIBLE) eco- branch of government.
SANDERS: If you really want to find government, put the bill on the floor and let the Republican president veto it.
COOPER: Mike, the Republicans keeps saying and pointing to that the Democrats want to hurt children by -- by doing this. I mean if the Republicans had really been interested in the chip program, could they have done this quite a while ago.
SHIELDS: Well, the chip program has now been up for vote four times and the deadline is now. So what's interesting is the DACA deadline is in March. So -- and there's going to be a vote on that. We know that there's going to be something happening. We need to fund the government now and the chip program is in there. And the Democrat -- which by the way -- COOPER: Right, but if the Republicans were so concerned about the
chip program, isn't it something they could have done months ago?
SHIELDS: Well --
SANDERS: They could do it stand alone, you don't have to put --
SHIELDS: But -- but -- but, no here's the point. If you have to get 60 votes and you need to have something in the bill to get 10 Democrats to join the Republicans you put something in the bill in good faith and --
SANDERS: Why you're playing politics --
SHIELDS: Here's a program that Democrat -- the Republicans don't normally want to over fund. But we're going to put in this bill to get your votes and they said no wait a minute, we've got to have DACA, which is a political issue, because we need to make our base happy, we've got to shut the government down, which is why by the way they'll shut it down and they'll come back and the Democrats will say, OK, guys we checked the box, right. Left-wing Democrats, we check the box. Can we now in the red state Democrats get our vote and (INAUDIBLE) the government so we can try to run --
SANDERS: Because Republicans are charge in present more, it is a -- it is a gross misconception, misrepresentation to suggest that the only way to chips through this bill. Republicans sort of fund the chip last week, last month.
COOPER: But to makes point about DACA, is something that they could negotiate down the road if you reach from now --
SANDERS: Potentially, but, you know, what since Donald Trump had made that announcement in September, over 15,000 "DREAMERS" have lost their protective status. They cannot work, and they're lives are in limbo. And so the idea that nothing happens anyone until March, is just not true.
SANDERS: Look, I think if folks want to get things down, cut a deal. There is a bipartisan deal that has --
SHIELDS: Once the drama of the Democrat caucus, that's the fight tonight.
COOPER: Symone, Mike, thanks very much. We got plenty of government shutdowns over the years, after Phil talks on Capitol. We're going to look back at how some of them actually played out. Next.
[20:42:27] COOPER: Quick update, you notice that it's after 8:30, we have the Democrats 8:30 meeting has yet to begin. Senators are still talking in smaller groups among themselves, well obviously keep you posted and when the meeting actually starts, if there's a government shutdown, won't be the first time we've been down this road before. And in the mid '90s one of those shutdowns it lasted three weeks. Randi Kaye, tonight looks back.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): October 2013, the U.S. government shuts down and their President Barack Obama. Hhouse Republicans led by Speaker John Boehner wanted the White House to agree to lower levels of discretionary spending. Conservatives demanded that any funding bill delay implementation of Obamacare by one year.
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: The reason we had a shutdown right now, is because Harry Reid, President Obama wants a shutdown and they have refused to compromise at all.
KAYE (voice-over): National parks were shut down. Even the World War II memorial in Washington D.C. Angry veterans protested in storms passed the barriers. Obama took a lot of heat. Finally after 16 days, speaker Boehner gave the green light for an end to the stand off. Passing a funding bill that most of his fellow Republicans oppose. A funding bill that in the end even after the shutdown did not defund Obamacare.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, FMR HOUSE SPEAKER: We've been locked in a fight over here trying to bring government down to size, trying to do our best to stop Obamacare. We fought the good fight. We just didn't win.
KAYE (voice-over): Hundreds of thousands of government employees who had been furloughed returned to work. Back to critical medical research programs, to national parks even the panda-cam at the National Zoo.
BARACK OBAMA, FMR PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: We will begin to reopening our government immediately.
KAYE (voice-over): This country went without a shutdown for 17 years until the government shutdown under President Obama. The last two before that were in 1995 under President Bill Clinton who battled it out with a new Republican majority in the House and Senate.
BILL CLINTON, FMR PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: It is particularly unfortunate that the Republican Congress has brought us to this juncture because after all we share a central goal balancing the federal budget.
KAYE (voice-over): The first shutdown under President Clinton lasted only five days. But another that started in December 1995 lasted for 21 days. Everything came to a halt, including any new claims for social security and veterans benefits.
NEWT GINGRICH, FMR SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It's very difficult to work with a president who seems to be primarily driven by his political advisers to engage in public relations stunt.
[20:45:01] KAYE (voice-over): Back in October 1978 under Jimmy Carter, the government also shut down for a long period, 17 days. Carter said no to a defense spending bill which funded a nuclear aircraft carrier and a bunch of public works project he called PORK. Carter ultimately prevailed. The projects he thought were wasteful were removed from the bill.
Randi Kaye, CNN New York.
COOPER: Well we're little over three hours from the next shutdown, unless the Senate makes deal. Gloria Borger and Dana Bash are back with us.
Dana, I mean those images back in 2013, national parks close, down veteran storming the World War II monument. Obvious the leaders on both sides of the aisle are happy the parks will stay open this time if there no other reason then, it will allow them to avoid those kind of, you know, visuals.
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And remember the big difference politically between 2013 and now is that then, the Democrats had the White House. Barack Obama was at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and there was, you know, blame going around as you remember, saying the Republicans are responsible for all of these things. That could be likely is why the parks and other things closed down and now, when Republicans are in total control of the government, they're saying, in the Trump White House that it's not going to be that extreme.
Probably for the reason that you just alluded to Anderson, which is that the optics won't be as bad assuming that they can't get to a deal by midnight tonight, because of course the sort of workday in the U.S. government isn't officially until Monday, but parks and other things that people around this country enjoy they don't stop on the weekend. I will just quickly say that the -- since you and I last talked, this -- the things that I'm hearing from sources on Capitol Hill is some discussion about whether or not the CR, the continuing resolution should maybe go through the State of the Union. That is what Joe Manchin the West Virginia Democrat is saying to reporters in the hallways. I was just told from an administration source that that this is not a White House demand. Meaning that they don't want to deal with this until after the president delivers his first State of Union which is suppose to be on January 30th. COOPER: Gloria, I mean for what we just saw, the past government shutdowns they haven't lasted -- they have lasted days even weeks in some cases, they've had very real consequences for people especially those people who live paycheck to paycheck as many American do. It goes far beyond just politics.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well sure it does. I mean first of all, let's talk about federal workers, 850,000 federal workers would be furloughed, then you have essential federal workers, about a million of them at least who would have to work without pay because they have to do their jobs. And when you think of things you don't normally think of like the center for disease control that tracks flu outbreaks around the country.
Processing your passport for example if you want to go abroad. If you want to go to a museum, if you want to go the Smithsonian, you're just not going to be able to go. So, you know, these are things, I mean people are still going to get their social security checks and you're still going to be able to get in an airplane because air traffic controllers are essential. But I do think that, you know, the longer this goes on, the more people will feel it. And by the way, you know, we're all related to our government in one way or another. And I think that that's why you see the polls overwhelmingly showing that people don't want the government to shut down.
COOPER: And Dana, I mean has it ever worked out well for either members of Congress or White House?
BASH: No. Well actually -- let me take that back. Yes in the short- term it worked out well for Bill Clinton because Republicans were convinced back then after they had just swept the Congress when Newt Gingrich was speaker of the House, they were convinced that Bill Clinton would get the blame and he didn't. Republicans did. Now I said the short term because it was during that shutdown that an intern named Monica Lewinsky brought pizza into the Oval Office and we know how that story ended.
COOPER: Gloria, Dana, thanks very much.
BORGER: All right.
COOPER: Coming up next, a chat with the Wall Street Journal reporter who's been digging into the alleged cash payment to an adult film star by the lawyer for then candidate Trump.
[20:52:01] COOPER: As which look at a pro-DACA rally at the Capitol and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaking, a quick reminder, we're continuing to monitor late developments as the government shutdown gets closer along with the vote -- a preliminary vote to prevent it. We'll continue bringing you the news on this throughout the program, throughout the night, through the next hour on this broadcast.
First another big story, now the "Wall Street Journal" as you may know has been reporting that a lawyer for Donald Trump arranged a hefty cash payment to an adult porn star the 19 -- as the 2016 election campaign was winding down. The reason? The "Journal" says to prevent that porn star, who goes by the name Stormy Daniels, from disclosing details of an alleged affair with now President Trump. Both the attorney, Michael Cohen, as well as Ms. Daniels has said no such affair took place. Mr. Cohen told the "Journal" it's reporter was, quote, "Wasting his time pressing for details about the payment which was arranged through a private company registered in Delaware. He did not appear though to deny it.
Joining me now -- joining me tonight is Michael Rothfeld one of the "Journal" reporters who wrote the story.
So what are the details of the payments that the president's lawyer made to Stormy Daniels?
MICHAEL ROTHFELD, REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, they agreed to pay her $130,000. At least Michael Cohen did, the president's lawyer, through a limited liability company that he created in Delaware and --
COOPER: So they created this limited liability company especially for this payment?
ROTHFELD: Yes. Michael Cohen created it, and he's listed as the authorized person on the paperwork in Delaware, which we obtained, and opened a bank account and then wired the money to the lawyer for Stormy Daniels in Los Angeles at Citi National Bank.
COOPER: How -- why $130,000? It just seems like an odd sum.
ROTHFELD: It is. I mean who knows what is the market for, you know, keeping a story of an affair quiet right before an election involving a porn star? But we had previously reported that the "National Enquirer's" parent company paid $150,000 to a former Playmate for keeping her story silent about an affair with Trump, so it's kind of in the same ballpark.
COOPER: And that's something I assume you may not have the details, that the lawyer for Stormy Daniels negotiated with Michael Cohen.
ROTHFELD: That's right. That's right. Actually it was the same lawyer, Keith Davidson, who represented both the former Playmate and the former adult film star.
COOPER: OK. And how did you figure out that the money Cohen paid ultimately to her went through this company which was I think called Essential Consultants?
ROTHFELD: We talked to a number of people who were aware of this deal and who corroborated it for us based on their accounts. And in addition, we found the company, and so based on that reporting, we were confident that this is what happened.
COOPER: Can you tell if a company has made other payments? I mean would this company only exist for this one payment, or is that impossible -- ROTHFELD: It's impossible to totally know unless you have the
company's bank accounts. We do know that Michael Cohen created this company in October 2016, and then actually used it a few months later for another deal, which was a consulting contract with a health care payment company.
[20:55:11] So he -- but it's not common when you create something like this, it's typically for a one-off because if you were going to use it for ongoing business, you'd create it in your own state as opposed to Delaware.
COOPER: And was this -- there was -- wasn't Stormy Daniels talking, based on your reporting, talking to ABC about perhaps appearing on "Good Morning America"?
ROTHFELD: Yes. She was going to go on "Good Morning America". They were in discussions. She was also talking to various other media outlets because she was apparently in discussions with Michael Cohen for several months, and they were dragging on, and she was afraid she wasn't going to get payment before the election. So she was kind of looking at all her alternatives as to how she might get paid.
COOPER: So the supposition is that once they found out she was maybe -- or maybe she informed them that she was talking to GMA and others, that's when the payment ultimately --
ROTHFELD: Yes. I mean that was potentially some leverage that she had. But, you know, she has to be careful she doesn't get accused of extortion because, you know, if you go too far and say, if you don't do this, you know, then you have to pay me or else, then you could, you know, be guilty of that.
COOPER: What has Michael Cohen said about all this?
ROTHFELD: He's just said that these are recycled stories about an alleged affair that never happened because there was some reporting on a gossip website about this allegation of an affair a number of years ago involving Stormy Daniels, which he denied at the time. He did not address the settlement payment, the nondisclosure agreement with Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
COOPER: Or he just ignored that part?
ROTHFELD: Yes, we -- I talked to him on the phone, and we also e- mailed him questions, and he just didn't respond to that part.
COOPER: And Stormy Daniels is not talking?
ROTHFELD: She's not, no she -- we repeatedly have e-mailed her before our story came out last week reporting on this. We e-mailed her again this week when we reported about this company Michael Cohen created, and she hasn't responded to any of that. The only statement she provided was Michael Cohen sending us a printed statement signed by Stormy Daniels apparently -- it has a signature on it. We tried to confirm with her that she actually wrote that or sent it, but she didn't respond. COOPER: It's a fascinating story. Michael Rothfeld,. thanks so much.
ROTHFELD: Thanks Anderson, thank you.
COOPER: Well, coming up next, we'll go back to Capitol Hill, get an update on talks to avert a government shutdown. Are lawmakers actually making any progress at this hour? A key vote will happen soon. We'll have the latest in a moment.