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Government Shutdown Looms, Dems and GOP Already Pointing Fingers; Trump's First Year on the World Stage; Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired January 19, 2018 - 04:30   ET



[04:31:02] SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MAJORITY LEADER: The reason we're here right now is our friends on the other side say, solve this illegal immigration problem right now or we're going to shut the government down.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), MINORITY LEADER: I'm not trying to play for political points. I am trying to get us to come together on a bipartisan nature.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A countdown to shutdown. Democrats and Republicans far apart as the clock ticks to midnight. A shutdown looks more likely by the hour. We have reports on our top stories this morning from Capitol Hill, China, Iraq and London.

Welcome back to EARLY START this Friday morning. I'm Christine Romans.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Dave Briggs. Isn't it amazing the Congress has a 16 percent approval rating? 16 percent. How is it that high?

ROMANS: It's got one job to do, that is to run the government. And it's about to run it into the ground.

BRIGGS: It is remarkable. We are 19 and a half hours from a possible government shutdown. One that is increasingly likely.

The Senate adjourned last night without a voting on a stop-gap funding bill and there is no clear path to a solution.

ROMANS: The Senate returns at 11:00 a.m. Both sides dug in. We're told Democrats are resolute, determined and united against the measure. On the Senate floor last night Democrat leader Chuck Schumer floated the idea of a stopgap measure that funds the government for a matter of days. But aides to Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell say they do not see the point.

BRIGGS: When Schumer said during debate he was not, quote, "trying to play for political points," several Republican senators laughed out loud. Majority leader Mitch McConnell went right after the Democrats. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: There is a real emergency in the immigration area. We have until March to deal with it. So make no mistake about it. We are where we are for one reason and one reason only, within a day of a government shutdown. And that is the insistence of our friends on the other side. That we deal with this non-emergency right now.


BRIGGS: Even the simple matter of trying to adjourn for the night raised objections. Here is independent senator, Angus King.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there objection --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator from Maine.

KING: I object.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection is heard.

KING: I don't understand why we're adjourning when we're in this urgent situation. We can vote tonight on cloture and have an entire day tomorrow to work on this matter. We're -- this is irresponsible and I just don't understand it. So I object to the motion.


ROMANS: The Senate took up the four-week continuing resolution after the House passed it. Conservatives say they got a promise from GOP leaders to pursue a separate hardlined Republican-only immigration bill. That runs straight up against Democrats' demand for an immigration bill that will satisfy their Democrats base leaving little room to maneuver.

BRIGGS: Still the White House insisting it does not expect a shutdown and President Trump plans a weekend trip to Mar-a-Lago to mark the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.

For more, let's get to Phil Mattingly who's never sleeping.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine and Dave, we are now under 24 hours until the federal government shuts down. And basically here is the state of play.

The House passed their short-term funding bill. Four weeks. Republicans had the votes on their own. Didn't need Democratic help and they weren't going to get it. Leader Nancy Pelosi saying very clearly House Democrats were not going to help Republicans pass their bill.

Here is the problem. This is a tale of two chambers. Not just one. And in the Senate, there is currently no clear resolution forward.

Now the blame game has already very clearly started. Take a listen to what House Speaker Paul Ryan had to say after his chamber passed its bill.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Senator Schumer, do not shut down the federal government. Do not jeopardize funding for our military and for our national security. Do not jeopardize funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program.


MATTINGLY: Battle lines being drawn. Partisan fights breaking out. Nobody necessarily talking about the pathway forward. Instead everybody talking about who would be to blame for a shutdown that by all accounts looks very much like it's going to happen.

Look, the issues here aren't new. Democrats have made clear. They want some type of DACA resolution, some type of DACA deal attached to any short-term spending bill.

[04:35:06] Leader McConnell has made clear, there is a short-term spending bill that will allow them to continue those DACA discussions. They should just pass that and move forward. So long as those two positions aren't in some way shape or form bridged, a deal is not on the table to bring those two parties together, to bring the White House into play. There is no pathway forward at anytime soon.

So the big question is, how are they going to figure this out? As I've talked to Democratic aides, Republican aides in the House, in the Senate, right now nobody has a great idea and everybody is predicting that at midnight tonight a shutdown will begin -- Christine and Dave.

ROMANS: All right. Phil, thank you for that.

Sixty yes votes are needed in the Senate to pass the spending bill and keep the government open and operating. At least three Republican senators say they'll vote against advancing the House bill. That's making Majority leader Mitch McConnell's job that much harder as he tries to rally Democratic support.

McConnell plans to keep the Senate in session through the weekend if Democrats block the short-term fix. Republican leaders eager to force Democrats up for reelection into difficult votes.

BRIGGS: Both sides entrenched in their positions because their core supporters are. In a new CBS poll, 57 percent of Democrats believe it is worth shutting down the government over DACA. And 51 percent of Republicans believe the fight over a border wall is also worth a shutdown.

The House passed the continuing resolution after President Trump spoke by phone with Freedom Caucus members late in the day. Republican source close to the process telling CNN he is, quote, "annoyed." The president did not spend more time working the phones to find votes.

ROMANS: President also nearly blew everything up Thursday when he tweeted, "Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program should not be part of a short-term extension." The White House later walked that back. The CHIP part of the House bill actually contains six years of funding.

BRIGGS: So with the clock ticking a senior administration official confirms calls are ongoing to make sure agencies have plans in place for dealing with the shutdown. The National Park Service has already been told not to shut their parks and monuments that require only minimal staffing.

President Trump insists Democrats will take the worst political hit in the event of a shutdown. Here is their primary argument.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For any reason it shuts down, the worst thing is what happens to our military.


BRIGGS: The president made that comment outside the Pentagon. The fact is, a shutdown would not stop the military from operating since it's considered an essential function.

ROMANS: The president knows that. Back in 2013 remember there was a government shutdown then, the president then Citizen Trump tweeted this, he told his followers, "All essential services continue. Don't believe the lies. Here's the truth. The government doesn't shutdown" he says.

It does. If a shutdown does stretch into February, paychecks for service members could be delayed.

BRIGGS: All right. Signs this morning of trouble between President Trump and his chief of staff John Kelly. Sources telling CNN Mr. Trump was fuming after Kelly told FOX News he president has, quote, "changed his attitude" on the border wall. The source says the president hated the comments. He rebutted them, where else, on Twitter Thursday morning, although he did not use the chief of staff's name.

ROMANS: So this is the president's first significant public break with Kelly. Pinned down by reporters on whether there is tension between them, the president said this.


TRUMP: I think General Kelly has done a really great job. He is a very special guy.


ROMANS: This morning Maggie Haberman reports at the "New York Times" the president spoke to a series of friends and allies on the phone. They convinced him that Kelly had undermined him. Sources tell the "Times" Kelly has said his loyalty is not to the president but to the Constitution and to the country.

BRIGGS: But what did you find in that interaction? I mean, look, most presidents we want to evolve. Don't we? Don't we want them to wise up from the time they campaigned? Couldn't that have actually been a positive? Now granted the president was clearly angry. You saw it on his Twitter feed.

ROMANS: Right.

BRIGGS: But don't we want presidents to evolve? And to learn?

ROMANS: Well, we do want them to learn, but if that evolve looks like a flip-flop that angers his base, then that's where it becomes a problem.

BRIGGS: OK. All right. Today, President Trump will become the first sitting president to address the 45th Annual March For Life. Anti- abortion activists expected to gather in Washington, D.C. this afternoon to take part of the world's largest pro-life demonstration. Mr. Trump will address the demonstrators by video link from the Rose Garden. This comes ahead of Women's Marches scheduled around the world on both Saturday and Sunday.

ROMANS: All right. New information this morning on a reported payoff to a former porn star for her silence about her alleged sexual encounter with President Trump in the summer of 2006. The "Wall Street Journal" reporting the president's lawyer Michael Cohen formed a private limited liability company just weeks before the 2016 election to pay Stephanie Clifford known as Stormy Daniels.

BRIGGS: Stormy. The "Journal" cites corporate records and people familiar with the matter. Cohen denies the report and said in a statement last week that the president vehemently denies any encounter with Stormy Daniels. CNN has not independently confirmed the "Wall Street Journal's" reporting.

[04:40:06] A highly unusual budget request from the nation's consumer watchdog. It wants zero dollars. Zero. The Trump administration not asking the Federal Reserve for one cent for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau next quarter. Now former CFPB chief and Obama appointee asked for $87 million for the prior quarter. But interim director Mick Mulvaney says the $177 million the bureau has in its coffers will cover its expenses for the second fiscal quarter. A head of a leading consumer watchdog group calls the zero-dollar request a clearest signal yet Mulvaney is trying to dismantle the bureau.

ROMANS: Yes. They've dropped some lawsuits. It's paid their lenders, too.

All right. As corporate tax savings starts rolling in, you may get a boost in your 401(k). A dozen companies plan to raise payments they make to retirement plans like Visa. It will match employee contributions 5 percent up from 3 percent, while other employers will make big one-time payments to 401(k) accounts.

The new tax plan cuts the corporate rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent. It's a gift to companies. So some are giving back to employees. Mostly in the form of bonuses. But better retirement plans help companies attract talent and keep them. And that's important during a tight labor market.

The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low. Companies need to boost pay or offer better incentives to keep employees. And many are. In fact the amount companies contribute to retirement plans has risen $30 billion since 2010.

Don't forget. Make sure you are contributing as much as you can. That's free money. It's the most important -- most important financial advice you can take.

BRIGGS: Free advice this morning. Thank you, my friend.

All right. The global view of American leadership taking a bit of a hit. We're live in China, the Middle East and the European view to explain why.


[04:46:33] BRIGGS: All right. Year one of Donald Trump's presidency and the world's confidence in U.S. leadership taking a bit of a hit. Take a look at this Gallup poll conducted across 134 countries. Approval of America's leadership slipping to 30 percent, slightly behind China, just three points ahead of Russia and down near 20 points in the rating during Barack Obama's last year in office.

ROMANS: We have reporters positioned around the world to weigh in at this one year mark. We're going to start with Matt Rivers in China.

Matt, with China surpassing the U.S. in global leadership, what's the view of America in Asia right now?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it depends on where you go. I mean, in a place like the Philippines, people actually like the United States. But here in China, really the view of the United States comes down to one thing, at least over last year, and that's really all about North Korea.

The relationship between the United States and China really centered on the ongoing nuclear crisis in North Korea and how both countries have handled that. Now thanks in part to a pretty close personal relationship between President Xi and President Donald Trump, there have been three different rounds of sanctions that had been passed against the North Koreans with the Chinese and the Americans signing on.

And here along the Chinese-North Korean border, we've seen the effects of those firsthand over the last several days. So there has been cooperation there. That said, you move into 2018 and is there going to be cooperation on another key issue? Trade. We know the Trump administration is going to decide within the next several weeks whether to levy tariffs on Chinese imports to the United States and how does that affect the relationship between both sides when it comes to continuing to be able to work together on this ongoing situation just across the border behind me in North Korea -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Matt Rivers for us in China. Thank you, Matt.

BRIGGS: Huge gains against ISIS in Iraq, but the opinion of U.S. leadership in the Middle East has also taken a big hit since Trump took office.

CNN's Arwa Damon live in Irbil, Iraq with the reason why.

Good morning, Arwa.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. And yes, if we look at it purely in military and territorial terms, ISIS has been driven out of the majority of the lands that it used to control across both Iraq and Syria. And President Trump on the campaign trail did promise to bomb the hell out of ISIS. But at the same time, he also bombed the hell out of the civilian population that ISIS were holding hostage.

And in the old city in Mosul six months after that city was declared liberated, people are still searching through the rubble for their loved ones. And there is more broadly speaking across the Middle East the sense that this particular administration is anti-Muslim. An anti the region in general.

If we look at the Iran deal that is constantly under threat of being nullified or perhaps even more controversially the decision by the Trump White House to recognize Jerusalem as being the capital of Israel that incensed the Palestinian population and Muslims across the world.

BRIGGS: Arwa Damon, live for us in Irbil, Iraq. Thank you.

ROMANS: Now according to that Gallup survey, Germany is now the top rated global power in the world with the approval rating of 41 percent.

Let's go live to London and bring in Nick Paton Walsh.

Nick, feelings about the president of the U.S. especially from the European perspective have taken a hit.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think certainly to some degree you get what you sort of see with Germany. It very much carries through its sort of values and moral code. But I think Europe is still struggling to work out exactly what the Trump administration really means in practical reality.

[04:50:02] They know it means an awful lot of hot air. A lot of it divisive but frankly in Europe Marine Le Pen, Nigel Farage, the sort of nationalist, if you like , movement hasn't really taken up much steam so far. There are a lot of European allies who are concerned the Trump administration's consistent rhetoric against the Iran deal saying they're going to tear it up. But they haven't actually done that. They just simply ratcheted it up the pressure and made those doubting it feel that the end could potentially be near.

Also as well, we've seen alarming here in Britain, alarm expressed by many Britons at how Donald Trump re-tweeted tweets from the Britain First movement, an extremist at times even criminal right-wing group here. And also, too, he suddenly overnight canceled preemptively a visit that he hadn't really formalized yet here to the UK either.

So much confusion I think to some degree. It damages U.S. leadership. But so far I think Europeans are perhaps saying things could have been worse than we've seen so far.

ROMANS: All right. Nick Paton Walsh in London for us. Thank you.

All right. Have you heard of the Tide pod challenge?

BRIGGS: Sadly yes.

ROMANS: People are eating the detergent packets. It's almost Darwinism actually. YouTube trying to stop this bizarre and dangerous craze. We'll tell you how on "CNN Money Stream" next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) \ [04:56:15] BRIGGS: The Supreme Court freezing a lower court ruling that struck down North Carolina's congressional district citing unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. The Supreme Court's order makes it likely but not certain that the controversial maps will be used in the next election.

Earlier this month, the panel of three federal judges ruled North Carolina's 2016 plan passed by a Republican-led legislator violated the Constitution by discriminating against voters who favored non- Republican candidates.

ROMANS: Day four of sentencing for Larry Nassar. The former Team USA gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty to criminal sexual misconduct. So far 68 victim statements have been heard. At least 37 more are expected. Sentencing was supposed to conclude today but the number of victims speaking, so many of them, one after another, are pushing that into next week.

BRIGGS: Jamie Dantzscher, a bronze medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics had some strong words for Nassar yesterday.


JAMIE DANTZSCHER, DOCTOR NASSAR ACCUSER: You pretended to be my friend. You snuck me food and candy when you knew food is being restricted. You manipulated me into thinking you were the good guy and help me, while sexually abusing me over and over and over for your own twisted sexual pleasure.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRIGGS: Dantzscher will appear later this morning on "NEW DAY." As for Nassar he told a Circuit Court judge in a letter this week he was not sure if he's mentally able to handle comments from the women he admitted to abusing for decades. The judge calling that argument delusional.

ROMANS: And he will sit there and he will listen to them one after another recount.

BRIGGS: Despicable.

All right. This morning the CDC will release updated national flu numbers. This has been an especially rough season with widespread flu activity reported in nearly every state. The pervasiveness appears to be similar to what the U.S. endured during peak flu season from 2014 to 2015 which was the most severe in recent years. The large number of patients leading to temporary shortages of flu medicine.

ROMANS: All right. 58 minutes past the hour. Check on CNN Money Stream this morning. Global stock markets higher today after U.S. stocks stalled. Falling bond prices pulled down bond-sensitive sectors, real estate, utilities, by a drop from Boeing and G.E. weighed on the Dow 30. It fell just a day after closing above 26,000. Still stocks off to the best start in years helped by strong earnings numbers.

In fact IBM sales grew for the first time in five years thanks to its Cloud business, though it was by a slim margin, just 1 percent. That wasn't enough to convince investors of a turnout, though IBM shares fell 4 percent after hours.

American Express reported its first loss in 25 years. Why? Well, the new tax code. Amex faces a one-time $2.6 billion charge for taxes on overseas cash. Companies used to be able to avoid taxes on their foreign profits. But the new law eliminated that. So most of corporate America will be hit with a one-time tax bill to bring that money home. Amex is suspending its stock buyback program to rebuild its cash stockpile but it says it will more than make up for it under the lower tax rate.

Have you heard of the Tide pod challenge? It is a bizarre and dangerous social media trend where people eat those little detergent packets. It's so disgusting. YouTube is now trying to stop it. It's removing clips that show people taking bites of the pods. The videos have become an online craze prompting health and safety warnings.

Remember detergent is toxic. The American Association of Poison Control has issued an alert. Tide, the parent company, Procter and Gamble, is even enlisting celebrities' support to stop the trend. In this video, NFL star Rob Murkowski reminds people that Tide pods are for washing your clothes, not for eating.

You know, this is one of the biggest calls into poison control. Children, like 4-year-olds who eat this, because it looks like a piece of candy.