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Schumer, Trump Meet Hours Ahead of Shutdown; Interview with Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota; Paramedics Called to Justice Sotomayor's House. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired January 19, 2018 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:01] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: And we pick up our coverage right now. I'm Brooke Baldwin, coming to you live from our nation's capital on this Friday afternoon. You are watching CNN special live coverage of this congressional standoff that could lead to the first government shutdown in four years. We've still got that countdown ticker. Fewer than 10 hours remaining.
And this just in. The president makes a move across the aisle. He is meeting with the leader of the Senate Democrats, Chuck Schumer. Here is the senator arriving at the White House just about an hour ago.
And, according to a source, we learned that this is just about the president seeing what Leader Schumer is willing to put on the table and that no deals will be cut. That's the latest we have on this.
Now, if the government does run out of money at midnight tonight, it will fall on the one-year anniversary of President Trump's inauguration.
So, what's the chance of that? Good question. We're going to give you the shruggy emoji. You like that? That's what everyone is doing these days on Twitter.
Nobody knows what's going to happen next. But right now, the blame game is at full pitch. With Republicans pointing their fingers at Senate Democrats, you did see the House pass CR, continuing resolution, short-term bill that would keep all of this from happening.
And right now with the CR, it's with the Senate side where Democrats are opposing it, demanding that the issue of young, undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers be addressed and their leader, Chuck Schumer, is facing the music.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: OMB is preparing for what we're calling the Schumer shutdown. It still surprises me -- and I've been through some of these before -- that the Democrats in the Senate are opposing a bill that they don't oppose. They're for clean CRs. They're for the extension to the CHIP program. Many of them support the delay of some of notice taxes, most specifically the medical device tax, the Cadillac tax especially. They don't oppose anything in the bill but they are opposing the bill. REPORTER: How can it be the Schumer shutdown when the Republicans
control the White House, the House and the Senate?
MULVANEY: Come on, you know the answer to that as much as anybody. I mean, I have to laugh when people say that, oh, we control the House, the Senate, the White House. Why can't you get this done?
REPORTER: You do.
MULVANEY: You know as well as anybody it takes 60 votes in the Senate to pass reparation, right? You know that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Let's go to Capitol Hill to Sunlen Serfaty who's following all of this.
Give me just current state of play. What's the focus right now?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, really, all eyes on Capitol Hill right now on what's going on at the White House. That one-on-one meeting with President Trump and Chuck Schumer, of course, behind closed doors. But certainly, many lawmakers are going to take a big cue, based on what comes out of that meeting. When Chuck Schumer gets back here on Capitol Hill, what was the tone? What was the directive? What are the marching orders going forward?
I spoke with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi just a few minutes ago and asked her what she thought that meeting, the fact that that was going on right now in the middle of all this chaos, frankly. And she said she thinks that it's a good sign. She said that she's optimistic that the fact that the overture was made from the White House to invite him over, hopefully, she says, will be constructive.
And she says she hopes that Chuck Schumer leaves that meeting with a more clear understanding of what exactly President Trump would sign, that being a big criticism that many lawmakers have up here and have had throughout this whole process. And certainly, they do need a lot of clarity. They are definitely in a stalemate. No surprise to anyone.
I spoke with the Republican senator just about an hour ago. And he said the chances, he believes, of a shutdown is 50/50 at this point. We know that they are, of course, still planning on moving towards having that procedural vote later today but that vote, again, has no surprise in it. That will fail.
So, as of now I think your prescription, the shruggy emoji is a perfect way to encapsulate this state at this moment.
BALDWIN: Sunlen Serfaty, thank you so much.
Let's talk to someone who has a vote to wield in all of this. Joining me now, Republican Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota.
Senator Rounds, certainly not a dull day here in Washington. How are you, sir?
SEN. MIKE ROUNDS (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: Very good. Very good. Looking forward to getting this resolved.
BALDWIN: Good. Good. We like to hear that.
Let me ask you, first, though, about the goings on at the White House right now, the fact that Chuck Schumer is there, meeting with the president. Senator, you have these two New Yorkers. We know they have history.
Do you think they may strike a deal?
ROUNDS: No. I think what they're going to try to do is find out what each of them is expecting. Get a background. Get information. But I think the deal, other than simply having the president clear the air with Senator Schumer is to make sure that the senator understands that the real deal making has got to be done with the house and the Senate and that the president will stay on top of it. That he will be part of the discussion.
But he really does have to have some face-to-face discussions with Senator Schumer and Majority Leader McConnell and making sure that the House is kept up to speed as well.
BALDWIN: Right. So --
ROUNDS: There's a way to fix this and get through this short-term stuff and part of it may very well mean saving some face on the part of Dems who really wanted the short-term CR.
[14:05:03] BALDWIN: Let me get to that in a second. Hang on, senator. You mentioned a key senator, that being Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is not in the room doing this negotiating with Chuck Schumer and the president right now.
I'm just curious, are you worried at all that there's not another Republican in that room?
ROUNDS: No, I'm not. Look, I don't think there's very much that happens in Washington, D.C. that Leader McConnell doesn't know about. And I'm quite certain that the White House and Leader McConnell have a very good relationship. My suspicion is that he is well aware of the meeting and that he most certainly has had input.
BALDWIN: OK. Your colleague, your Republican colleague, Lindsey Graham, said that he will vote know on this because it virtually extends the chaos. And just reading more about sort of where your mind was in the last 24 hours, it was my understanding that just yesterday that you had agreed with him and you're now a yes vote.
So, Senator Rounds, are you then complicit in prolonging this kick the can down the road for another 30 days mentality? ROUNDS: What I had said was that I could not support it without some
sort of movement forward. What I received was an assurance, an agreement with the leader that we would bring the defense appropriations bill to a vote on the Senate floor once it's cleared the House and that he gave me a definite timeline to do so, which means it's the first step we've had in actually getting back to regular order and providing our Department of Defense with an assurance that there will be a vote on the defense appropriations bill at the authorized level. That's very important.
BALDWIN: But, Senator, isn't the issue the same, though, that we're all going to be seeing a similar movie playing out in 30 days time?
ROUNDS: Here is the difference. You could very well see it, except here is an opportunity to actually go to regular order on the defense appropriations. It makes people actually say yes or no, the defense appropriations bill. I will either allow it to come to the floor and debate it and move it forward, offer amendments to it, or make it very clear who will not support the defense appropriations bill.
The fact that, for the first time, we're actually going to have a vote on the floor of the Senate on the appropriations bill this year, during this fiscal year, that is a step in the right direction. That's what I was requesting.
BALDWIN: What about DACA, senator rounds? There are a number of members of your own party, right, from the Lindsey Grahams to Mitch McConnell, who said over the course of the last week that they have zero idea where the president stands on this, on Dreamers. Do you know where the president stands on DACA?
ROUNDS: I'm not sure that -- if you talk about immigration in general, number one, he most certainly wants a strong border security system. He calls it a wall. Most of us call it a very strong security system in place.
I think the disagreement right now is how much money do we spend and how much is authorized for this year and future years on construction of that security system. And then, second of all, on DACA itself, we have to make sure that we properly define who is included and who is not included in DACA. And for many of us, we want to make sure we have a good E-Verify system in place and that H-2B visas, along with the other work visas, which are critical to our economy, that they're also addressed or at least recognized as a major part of the discussion in the future.
I think Senator Graham has been working very, very hard on this. I really do respect his insight on it. There are a number of members in our conference who care deeply about it. I think they'll get to a resolve on that and it will be one that will work for the American people for years to come.
BALDWIN: Senator, I would love to keep this conversation going. I know you have work to do and you have to dash. So, I'm going to let you do that.
Senator Mike Rounds, thank you.
ROUNDS: Thank you.
BALDWIN: We'll speak again. I appreciate your voice there.
Let's analyze some of what we just heard and also Sunlen's reporting off the top.
With me now, Juana Summers, CNN politics senior writer, Chris Cillizza, CNN politics reporter and editor-at-large, and Kaitlan Collins, our CNN White House reporter.
And so, good to be in your town, everyone.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Welcome.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
Kaitlan, let me begin with you over at the White House. How long has this meeting been going on? Tell me everything you know about it.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, it's been going on quite some time now, Brooke. And we have not found out if the meeting has ended. We are not sure what's going on in that Oval Office, what the president and Chuck Schumer are discussing. But we know that he has been here for a significant amount of time. We saw Chuck Schumer come in, just a few aides with him and no one else.
And we know there are no Republicans in that room right now, which likely set off some alarm bells on Capitol Hill, because they want to know what the president and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are discussing.
Now, a source familiar with this does tell CNN that the White House has reached out to congressional leaders over on Capitol Hill to tell them they are not looking to cut a deal with Chuck Schumer. They just want to see where Chuck Schumer is on all of this and what his position is.
But the White House is certainly putting a very public face on all of this today, Brooke, as we're hours away from that midnight deadline. We've had several administration officials out on television. Kellyanne Conway is next to me on the north lawn of the White House doing an interview. And then we also saw that briefing today with those two administration officials, one of them being the legislative affairs director, Marc Short, talking to reporters.
So, they're certainly trying to put a very public face on this right now and make it look like the White House is incredibly involved with these ongoing negotiations, Brooke.
BALDWIN: All right. Chris Cillizza, is this a how you doing --
CILLIZZA: Yes. BALDWIN: Kind of conversation, let's see eye to eye.
CILLIZZA: I almost did my forget about it impersonation, but I'm going to -- probably best to leave that in the club house.
Look, Trump and Schumer have known each other for a long time.
CILLIZZA: I mean, we know that. And for all the like, oh, I saw Chuck Schumer and his fake tears, remember Donald Trump was talking about that after --
BALDWIN: Clown Schumer, I forgot the nickname.
CILLIZZA: Crying Chuck.
BALDWIN: He's given him a lot of money to him in previous lifetime.
CILLIZZA: They've known each other. I think Trump sort of values loyalty and sort of relationships more than anything else. Schumer is the person on the Democratic side he feels like he could talk to -- not going to bring Nancy Pelosi up there, certainly not going to bring Dick Durbin after the meeting last week.
So, it makes sense. I do think it's worth noting that Donald Trump asked for Chuck Schumer to come. I mean, that's noteworthy in that it suggests that -- and I take Senator Rounds at his word that there's no deal that's going to come out of this. But at least Donald Trump wants to talk. The why behind that, I think, is more complicated, but he wants to talk, which says something.
The one that I caution against -- let's say they come out of this and say we've got a deal. Well, they, too, Donald Trump and Chuck Schumer may have a deal but House Republicans, Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans -- I mean, it's not as easy, even if they do settle on something. It's not easy to snap your fingers and it's a done thing.
BALDWIN: There was a hot mike moment. People love a good hot mike moment, with Senate minority leader, this is Chuck Schumer talking from the Senate floor earlier about this upcoming meeting with the president. Here he was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: He likes us. He likes me anyway. Here is what I told him. I said, Mr. President, you're much better off if you can sometimes step right and sometimes step left. If you have to step just in one direction, you're boxed. Oh, it's going to work out -- and it will make us more productive, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Juana, how do you read -- how do you read that?
JUANA SUMMERS, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER: I think that's a pretty level -- very similar to what Senator Lindsey Graham told our Dana Bash in that interview, that the president likes people who like him, who are nice to him.
I think it will be really interesting to see if they do come out with something. I think Chris is right in the fact that that will be a deal between the two of them that Senate Republicans or House Republicans don't necessarily need to go along with. The message we heard from them on Capitol Hill is that the House passed CR late Thursday night. That's the only way to go forward. That's the consistent messaging we've heard from Senator McConnell, from House Speaker Paul Ryan who said if there is a shutdown, it is squarely on the shoulders of Senate Democrats. They're making a calculation here. Not to come along with what Republicans say is a very straight forward proposal.
BALDWIN: Kaitlan, what's your read on the fact that Mitch McConnell is not part of this meeting? The fact that, you know, it was Lindsey Graham who was just talking to Dana yesterday, saying, you know, that the president is all about loyalty and he doesn't like people who -- he's a street fighter, right? He doesn't like people who insult him. It is the perception, perhaps, on behalf of the president that after Mitch McConnell came forward and said, well, I really don't know where the president stands on Dreamers, do you think that's one of the reasons why he is not in that room?
COLLINS: Well, that was a statement that cause a lot of headlines because he said he didn't know what the president wanted, so what were they supposed to do until they knew what the president wanted? Paul Ryan has said similar things. They're not going to come up with this bill if they don't know what exactly it is that the president will sign.
But look what happened this week with the president kind of second guessing his own party. Just yesterday, he second guessed this legislation that was put forward by Republicans when he tweeted about the Children's Health Insurance Program, questioning how long it was going to be for, in the proposal that's been put forth with secure funding for it for the next six years. But the president said he didn't feel like it should be part of a short term solution, that it should be part of a longer term solution.
Now, that caused a lot of headaches for Republicans on Capitol Hill who are trying to garner support for that very measure that, that bill that included that key aspect in it in order of hopes of getting some Democrats on board. So, we've certainly seen this happen and we certainly have seen the president not be loyal to his own party before going after Republicans and measures put forward by Republicans.
COLLINS: So, that certainly could be a concern for people over on Capitol Hill right now, that the president isn't meeting with any Republicans ahead of this. And it's been the White House that has been criticizing Democrats, saying if Democrats were going to be responsible if a shutdown happens. But, Brooke, it's hard to deny that the president has certainly played a role in this. And so have his tweets.
BALDWIN: Close us out. Just on your sense of all of this, you've been in Washington a long time.
CILLIZZA: OK, way to age me, sure.
BALDWIN: You're welcome.
CILLIZZA: Not that long. Decades of experience.
Do you get the sense this is like a season finale and there will be resolution or --
CILLIZZA: Yes, OK, two things. One, never forget Donald Trump's experience prior to coming to the White House directly before he was a reality TV star.
[14:15:03] He loves the drama.
CILLIZZA: Schumer is coming in, see what we can do, right? It would make a good season finale.
Two, this Schumer meeting is the last act of the play, right? If they come out and say we talked to one another. We appreciate each other, but we disagree, that's it. There's going to be a government shutdown, right? This is the end.
And it's very hard to see it moving anywhere if Schumer and Trump can't sort of come out of this meeting and say we've got some principles, we're each going to go back and talk to our respected sides. And I remind people, you know, it's 2:15 on the East Coast. You've got less than ten hours. Countdown clock always helpful. You have Less than ten hours to do this.
CILLIZZA: So, this all needs to happen on a very expedited basis and it is not as easy as people think to just build coalitions. Donald Trump does not have -- he doesn't just tell House Republicans what to do and Chuck Schumer doesn't tell everyone in the Senate, certainly not Senate Republicans, what to do.
CILLIZZA: So, I still think you tilt slightly toward a shutdown because of the number of coalitions and the lateness of where we are. But this is the chance. If this chance passes, there will be a government shutdown.
BALDWIN: No, I think the money -- the money shot is that stakeout camera and see if Chuck Schumer comes out and what he says would be the harbinger of things to come over the next T minus 10 hours and counting.
Thank you both so very much.
SUMMERS: Thank you.
BALDWIN: And, Kaitlan, thank you as well.
Just in to us here at CNN, we are learning now about a health scare involving Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Why paramedics were called to her home today. We have those details for you, next.
Also ahead, was a porn star paid for her silence? A new report details the links that candidate Trump's lawyer reportedly went to, to keep this adult film star, known as Stormy Daniels, from speaking out weeks before the 2016 presidential election.
And just in, nearly four months after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, what the sheriff just reported about another person who is under investigation. We have a live report there.
We are live in Washington on this shutdown showdown Friday.
[14:21:43] BALDWIN: All right. Back to our breaking news there at the White House, we have eyes on the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer there leaving the White House. There was a stakeout camera, right? So, lots of press was waiting to see if he was going to stop and speak after he was coming out of this meeting with the president.
We think it lasted approximately an hour. Remember it was the president who called Chuck Schumer to the White House to discuss this impending shutdown. You see the clock here, less than ten hours to go.
The question, what did they discuss, how did it go? Hopefully, we'll start to get some reporting and we can fill you in here in the next couple of hours. But we wanted to show you that shot. And away he goes.
Just in to CNN, paramedics rushing to the home of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for symptoms of low blood sugar, but a spokesperson for the Supreme Court says she was treated and is feeling fine now.
Let's go to our justice correspondent Jessica Schneider with a little bit more.
Still, a bit of a scare for her.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Definitely a health scare this morning, Brooke. But Justice Sonia Sotomayor, she is back at the Supreme Court. She was back this morning. So, what we know from the Supreme Court press officer, we know that this morning, Justice Sotomayor, she had symptoms of low blood sugar. That's when paramedics came to her Washington, D.C. home. She was treated and then did come into work.
Of course, Justice Sotomayor, she's been on the Supreme Court since 2009. She was nominated by President Obama. We also know, Brooke, that Justice Sotomayor, she has actually been very open about her diabetes condition. It's something that she wrote about in her 2013 memoir that was called "My Beloved World."
And she did, in 2013, when she released that memoir, she gave an interview to "Diabetes Magazine" where she talked about the necessity of treating this and how closely she keeps an eye on this, especially when she's actually going into court.
Of course, Brooke, today the Supreme Court did not hold oral arguments but did have their weekly closed door conference. That happened this morning. And we do know that Justice Sotomayor, she was inside that conference after she was treated by the paramedics earlier in the morning.
So, all OK with the justice and she is back at work. And working hard on this Friday -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Glad she's okay. Since we are talking about the Supreme Court, what's the news on the president's travel ban?
SCHNEIDER: Right. So, that was one of the things that Justice Sotomayor and the other eight justices were working on. So, in their weekly closed door conference, they present or they issue orders about the cases that they'll be taking up. And this morning, they decided to take up the travel ban yet again.
Of course, this is version 3.0. It was issued by the Trump administration in September. It pertains to eight different countries, six of them Muslim majority. It restricted travel.
That travel ban is still in effect. But there have been a lot of appeals here. So, the Supreme Court saying they will be taking up arguments on this. But in the meantime, it is in effect.
Of course, Brooke, it was just last summer that the Supreme Court ruled on one of the previous travel bans, saying that it could go into effect, in part, at least the people with bona fide relationships to the United States and people here, those people could come. The rest were restricted. So, it remains to be seen what the Supreme Court will issue on this latest ban, version 3.0, but they will, in fact, hear arguments in the coming term -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: All right. Jessica, thank you.
Let's get to this explosive new report here today, claiming the president's personal lawyer used a fake name and a private company to pay hush money to a porn star to keep quiet. To keep quiet about her alleged affair with then private citizen, businessman Donald Trump.
Weeks before the presidential election in 2016, "Wall Street Journal" reports the actress who calls herself Stormy Daniels was paid $130,000 as part of this nondisclosure agreement concerning her relationship, relationship with Donald Trump.
The affair is alleged to have happened back in the summer of 2006. Trump had been married to the first lady for a year at that point. And so, let's start there.
Hadas Gold is with me here in Washington, our CNN politics media and business reporter, Mark Geragos is our CNN legal analyst and defense attorney here.
But, Hadas, let me just begin with you. This LLC allegedly set up in the state of Delaware, whici s known for uber privacy, the place to go.
HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORT: Right.
BALDWIN: Tell me what you know about that.
GOLD: So, "The Wall Street Journal" is reporting that Michael Cohen, the private lawyer to Donald Trump, long-time private lawyer to Donald Trump, set up this LLC literally just three weeks before the election, called Established Consultants LLC. And "The Journal" is reporting that this is what was used to pay Stormy Daniels lawyer. But even that wasn't used as a direct name. It was under a pseudonym.
BALDWIN: Pseudonym for the lawyer and for the porn star?
GOLD: Pseudonym for the lawyer and the porn star. Of course, she has already had a pseudonym, her real name is Stephanie Clifford, and that's how the payment went through. Now, as we said, Delaware is known for privacy. It's one of the few states that doesn't require disclosure of names of the managers.
But even then, Michael Cohen didn't totally hide who he was, because if you look on the filing that you can look at, it says Michael Cohen is the man behind this LLC. And now the question is, are there other LLCs out there? What other sort of payments might there be out there?
BALDWIN: That would have happened in the weeks before the election, Mark Geragos. I mean, clearly, there's the issue of how this looks, which is it looks like hush money to keep this woman quiet ahead of potentially this man winning the election. You have pseudonyms involved, this LLC. Red flags, no?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Look, I have dealt with one or more of these lawyers on many occasions, being in a very similar situation. I've never gone to these lengths to try to hide it. I don't know why you would leave your name on a new LLC that was formed. It generally goes from attorney/client trust to attorney/client trust. And there's nothing you can do at this point.
This is kind of inventive. But you lose the whole reason for the secrecy when you put yourself on as the agent for service of process or the contact person. So that's a little -- it's not just a red flag. I think everybody who has ever been involved in something like this knows exactly what's going on.
BALDWIN: What about just the legality? I mean, is there anything illegal about buying someone's silence this way?
GERAGOS: No. If it's done properly -- and I don't want that to be a blanket no. I can give you like a parade of horror stories about a way that it would not be done appropriately that would expose either your client or yourself, but if it's done properly, there's nothing necessarily illegal. And I think one of the reasons that you've seen this flip flop from the "In Touch" magazine, back and forth, is because probably she got a little ahead of herself and her lawyer raked her in and said unless you want to pay that money back, you better shut up and get out there and deny it.
BALDWIN: All right. And just quickly, we don't know where this $130,000 came from, right?
GOLD: That's the next big question. Where did it come from, his personal money or potentially from the campaign? And then there's a whole other set of issues there.
BALDWIN: Keep digging, Hadas. Keep digging.
And, Mark Geragos, good to see you. Thank you so much.
GERAGOS: Good to see you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Coming up here on CNN, we're going to get you back to our breaking news. Senator Chuck Schumer leaving the White House moments ago after his one on one meeting with President Trump on potentially how to avoid a government shutdown this evening. What we're learning about their closed door discussion.
Also ahead, new disturbing details emerging from that so-called house of horror in California where those 13 siblings were allegedly chained up, denied showers, tortured without food. What challenges, just emotionally, psychologically, will they face moving forward? We'll talk with clinical psychologist about that, next.