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Gymnasts Confront the Doctor Who Sexually Abused Them; Senate GOP Lack Votes to Avoid Government Shutdown Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired January 19, 2018 - 07:00   ET


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The judge, just on his final note, said, "That's delusional. You need to talk about these issues with a therapist, and that's not me." And she rejected that request from him.

[07:00:19] So your message is being heard loud and clear, Jamie, throughout the country and around the world. Thank you so much for being here with us.

JAMIE DANTZSCHER, OLYMPIC GYMNAST: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

CAMEROTA: And thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, "CNN TALK" is next. For our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues right now.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The only people standing in the way are Senate Democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There would not be Democrats shutting down the government. It's the Republicans' inability to govern

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER; Where's the urgency here? There isn't any.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: I'm not trying to play for political points. I am trying to get us to come together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Each side knows that there's no clear path in the Senate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The public's going to have a hard time trying to figure out who to blame, and they should probably blame both sides.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have the kind of consistency from the White House on this particular set of issues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Until the president decides he wants to be president and not just some tweeter on the outside, it's just going to go on and on with no resolution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congress has done nothing, nothing. It's time to go to work. (END VIDEOTAPE)

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

CAMEROTA: Very big day here, obviously. Anything could happen on our watch and beyond. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY.

The federal government will shut down in just 16 hours and 58 minutes if the Senate does not pass a spending bill today. Republicans need at least a dozen Democratic votes to keep the government open. But most Democrats say they will not support the GOP plan without some sort of protection for the hundreds of thousands of DREAMers. So at this hour, Democrats have enough votes to block it.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Well, look, one of the problems is leadership here. We have the countdown clock to the shutdown right now. But the president has his own countdown to leaving and getting out of town and going to Mar-a-Lago to celebrate his anniversary, right on the verge of whether or not the government is going to shut down.

And this matters to his administration more than most. Because if there's a shutdown, it would be the first one with one party controlling both houses of Congress and the White House.

But, as I said, he's going down to Mar-a-Lago in Florida to celebrate his anniversary and play golf.

Let's begin with CNN's Ryan Nobles live on Capitol Hill.

What do you know, Ryan?


And we are in the middle of a high-stakes staring contest on Capitol Hill as Senate Republicans and Democrats hash out whether or not they're going to pass a bill that would keep the government open. They need 60 votes to make that happen, and as of right now, those votes simply aren't there.


SEN. ANGUS KING (I), VERMONT: I object. I object.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection's heard.

KING: I object that we're adjourning when we're in this urgent situation. This is irresponsible, and I just don't understand it. So I object to the motion.

NOBLES (voice-over): Tensions rising on the Senate floor as the government barrels towards a shutdown with a deadline at midnight tonight.

A 60-vote majority is needed in the Senate to pass the proposed short- term spending bill that Republicans passed in the House. The future of the bill is uncertain as more than a dozen Democrats are ready to vote "no," because the bill does not protect DREAMers.

Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul also saying they'll vote "no." And Senator John McCain will be absent for the vote due to his cancer treatments.

But it's not all bad news for Republican leadership. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin will break with his party and vote "yes." And Republican Senator Mike Rounds changing his vote to support the bill after a late-night deal on defense appropriations.

SCHUMER: We could get this done in a few short days and not kick the can down the road. This is the fourth C.R. that we have done and accomplished nothing.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to push for a vote last night but failed. Republican senators heckling Schumer as he pitched a much shorter continuing resolution to allow the Senate to continue debate over the next few days.

However, aides to Senate Majority Leader McConnell are skeptical of this proposal. With just hours left before the shutdown deadline, the blame game is in full force.

MCCONNELL: Democratic senators' fixation on illegal immigration has already blocked us from making progress on long-term spending talks. That same fixation has been threatening to filibuster funding for the whole government.

NOBLES: Two Republican aides telling CNN Senator McConnell is already drawing up plans to bring forward a series of votes that could be uncomfortable for Democrats leading into midterm elections, especially for the 10 Democrats up for reelection in the states President Trump won. Democrats are holding their ground.

SEN. JON TESTER (D), MONTANA: I think we need to force the leadership on the other side of the aisle to take this issue seriously. And they haven't for 110 days. If Mitch McConnell would have wanted a budget, we'd have had a budget.

[07:05:07] REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: This is like giving you a bowl of doggie doo, put a cherry on top and call it a chocolate sundae.

NOBLES: A new national poll captures how deeply entrenched both sides are in their positions. Fifty-seven percent of Democrats believe it's worth shutting down the government over DREAMers. Fifty-one percent of Republicans feel it's worth a shutdown to fund Trump's border wall.


NOBLES: And the Senate is set to reconvene at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. That means they only have 13 hours to come up with a deal.

And keep in mind, this is really the only opportunity that Democrats here in the Senate have to use their leverage. And yes, protections for those DREAMers are high on their list of priorities. But they also want to see more funding for disaster relief. They want to see more done to deal with the opioid crisis.

And there are quite a few Republicans who are unhappy with the short- term spending bill, as well. Many of them would like to see more funding for the military. The clock is ticking, Alisyn, and no real deal in sight.

CAMEROTA: Oh, I see it. I see it right there on the corner of the screen, Ryan. Thank you very much.

President Trump is set to leave Washington this afternoon to head to Florida to his resort for a big party, amid reports that he has not been involved enough in negotiations.

CNN's Abby Phillip has that part of the story live at the White House for us.

Hi, Abby.


Well, the president is about eight hours away from a scheduled departure to Florida, where he's planning to spend the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort, even on the cusp of a government shutdown. We're already hearing a little bit about how the White House is going to frame this, if we do get to that point where the government has to shut down.

The president just tweeted moments ago about this very issue. He wrote, "Government funding bill passed last night in the House of Representatives. Now Democrats are needed if it is to pass in the Senate. But they want illegal immigration and weak borders. Shutdown coming. We need more Republican victories in 2018."

So there the president once again framing this as a problem for Democrats.

Meanwhile, there are questions swirling in Washington about his role in bringing reps and Democrats on board. Remember, the day started yesterday with the president tweeting a confusing tweet about the Children's Health Insurance Program, sending some chaos over on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

And by the end of the day, we heard -- CNN's Jim Acosta heard from a source close to negotiations that the president was a little bit frustrated with Speaker Paul Ryan about his in ability to get more Republicans on board.

Meanwhile, on the other side of that, another GOP source tells Jim that there are questions about whether the president's engagement was a little bit too late. Meanwhile, if he does go to Florida at Mar-a- Lago over the weekend, he'll be celebrating the one-year anniversary of his inauguration with a big gala at his Mar-a-Lago resort, Alisyn and Chris.

CAMEROTA: Abby, thank you very much for all of that. Let's discuss it. We want to bring in political analyst David Gregory

and CNN Politics reporter and editor at large, Chris Cillizza.

So Chris Cillizza, let me just start with you about the president's engagement and what we expect this morning. Might he just bring over Republican leaders, Democratic leaders to the White House and have them negotiate and hash it out?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT AND EDITOR AT LARGE: No. Could he? Sure. I think the sort of platonic ideal of Donald Trump is that he does that. But I don't think he will.

I think what you have with him is someone who is really now engaged in the blame game piece of this, as opposed to the deal-making piece. That tweet this morning that Abby Phillip just read suggests that Donald Trump is sort of resolved: "Well, if they shut down, they shut down." We know in the past he has said maybe a shutdown is what Washington needs.

And plus, Alisyn, I'm not even if he brought the Democrats and the Republicans over, I'm not sure he could change minds on this. Remember, there are those 10 Democrats who are in states that Donald Trump won. And yet none of them -- one of them, Joe Manchin, but nine of the rest don't feel compelled to even sort of waffle on this. They're just "no's" at this point.

So I think what you're going to see is when the Senate reconvenes, they'll vote down the House proposal, or they won't be able to close debate, which means the same thing, and then we'll sort of go from there at about noon or 1 p.m. with, you know, 10, 11 hours left before the government will shut down.

CUOMO: Four things that seem true, David Gregory. One, I'm noticing right now Camerota looks younger than when we started, and I look like my father. That's No. 1.

CAMEROTA: How is that possible?

CILLIZZA: I noticed that.

CUOMO: No. 2, Cillizza is overplaying the glasses matching the tie. David Gregory is known for sartorial prowess. The glasses matching the tie, it's overdone. Listen to a guy.

CAMEROTA: We're deviating, but I like it. Go on.

CUOMO: But I'm saying -- I saying things that are obvious and true.

No. 3, in the president's tweet, if we put it up -- now these two things actually matter. First, "passed" is "P-A-S-S-E-D." OK? Not "past," "P-A-S-T."

CAMEROTA: Mr. President -- please resubmit, Mr. President, for a grade.

[07:10:02] CUOMO: It all -- it all matters. You know, it just goes to how much thought and whether people are looking at these tweets and thinking about the message.

He's gotten himself in deep water in the last few days with ill- informed tweets on CHIP, on the wall. He's really mucking up the works with these things.

And again in here, "bill of love," David Gregory, versus "Democrats want illegal immigration."


CUOMO: "And weak borders." I just had Michael Caputo on here with Alisyn and me, and he said, "The president told me himself he wants to save the DREAMers. They mean so much to him." How do you reconcile that with this tweet?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't. I can't. Except -- and I think this is a critical piece. We got into this, the president got high marks for bringing Republicans and Democrats together and saying, "We want a big bill. I'll take -- I'll take the heat. I'll take on the opposition." He held out promise of a big comprehensive immigration bill that his predecessor -- predecessors could not achieve.

And something happened, according to Lindsey Graham, who then came -- he pins it down to a couple of hour time frame. And says--

CUOMO: The "non=Republican Lindsey Graham"? Michael Caputo says that he's not a Republican, because he criticizes the president.

GREGORY: Right. And because he's been supportive of the president, a lot more than others have. And he's also got the scars of immigration wars to show that he knows what he's talking about. He knows the different, you know, fractured lines politically on this issue.

So -- so something happened. Hardliners in the administration persuaded the president, "Look, you can't do this. Democrats are trying to jam you up with a really bad deal." So he's dug in.

I still think -- I think there's enough Democrats who still think maybe there's a big deal that's possible. There's also a calculation on both sides that they can take the heat from a shutdown.

Don't forget: Democrats have a lot of momentum in their base, a lot of energy to resist Trump. You see all the polling and support of DREAMers. They want the leverage here.

You know, the promise of Donald Trump was that he was a deal guy, right? It was a compilation on Anderson's program last night of all the times he talked about all the great deals, and we're going to be so tired of winning. And he's able to make that argument right now on the financial markets and tax reform and all that. He's not really showing his hand very capably on bringing a deal in Washington on these kinds of crisis matters.

CAMEROTA: Chris, I mean, but it sounds like what Republicans are saying today is that Democrats are digging in on the DREAMers, and they're putting the fatality of those 800,000 young people over the military, the CHIP program, opioid abuse, all the other things the Republicans say just, you know, keep the government running, and we'll be able to work all this out. I mean, do Democrats risk -- Well, obviously, it is a risk for Democrats. I mean, they are--

CUOMO: Yes. And the polls show it. We showed earlier.

CAMEROTA: Yes, for sure. I mean, they -- that -- actually, more Americans would blame the Democrats right now. It's basically even, 34 percent to 32 percent. But you know they are staking the future on the fate of the DREAMers at the moment.

CILLIZZA: They are. And they are doing it on sort of an unrelated bill, which is the continuing resolution. But it is their only leverage point. So it's one of these things that, in an ideal functioning Congress, you wouldn't do this. But we don't have that and haven't for a long time. And this is the way that the minority party seems to exert its power.

I am skeptical that, in the long view -- and by that I mean the sort of, you know, six months to the election view -- that Democrats would land the significant amount of the blame for a government shutdown. And the reason I say that is past experience.

I think Chris made the point earlier, we've never had a government shutdown where one party controlled everything. Don't underestimate that. It is hard for me to imagine that, if the government shuts down, if people, regular people, not us, regular people who don't follow this all the time, will dial in and say, "Oh, Washington is broken." That they won't look and say, "No, wait a minute. Donald Trump is a Republican. Republicans control the House. Republicans control the Senate. Why is this not Republicans' fault?"

I just think, well, the Senate requires a cloture motion, and that's 60 votes. I just think that's a complicated argument that the average person is not going to dial into. My guess, and I think it's why you see Democrats standing so firm on this. Is they think that they win -- and I know real lives are at stake here. But there is always a political calculation, as well. They think they win politically in a shutdown, because Republicans will get the blame.

CUOMO: Hey, David, let's tease out Alisyn's point even a little bit more, which is what the Democrats have put at stake here.

Couldn't the argument be made that they haven't been aggressive enough? That if the DREAMers matter so much, what is the deal that they're putting on the table and saying, "We want this and this and this, or we won't give you the votes. And if you do give us this and this and this, we're going to keep this government open right now"?

If they're going to play that game, should they be even more aggressive with what they're asking for than our reporting reveals right now?

[07:15:05] GREGORY: You know, maybe so if they were negotiating with Stephen Miller, you know, who's the president's hardline adviser on immigration, instead of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is so unpredictable. He wants a deal on DREAMers. He also wants a wall or something that approximates a wall or some way that he can declare victory on -- on security.

He's so unpredictable on this issue that all of a sudden tomorrow, he could call into a conference deal, and there could be a deal on comprehensive immigration reform. We all know this is true.

So I think all of the calculation -- of course I agree with what Chris just said about, you know, the political blowback. But this is also a president who has an ability to stand with Republicans or maybe he'll stand aside from Republicans and maybe he'll stand on his own. And maybe he'll just make a deal on his own with Democrats. We have no idea.

So past can't really be prologue here, because he's rewriting the rules. And I have to believe, whether you're Lindsey Graham or you're Chuck Schumer, you're sitting there thinking, "I know this is -- we're in a horrible place after the meeting last week, but we could still get a big deal, not just on DREAMers but on something bigger. A deal on immigration that has eluded Washington for a long time."

CUOMO: Eighty-seven percent of American people say they want something done to keep the DREAMers.

CAMEROTA: Yes. If there's one issue that should be dealable, it's this one.

David Gregory, Chris Cillizza, thank you very much.

CUOMO: His eyeglass-tie game is strong. I was just teasing. Cillizza is a little sensitive about that.

Senate Democrats standing by their demand to protect DREAMers. One tells us why he's voting "no" and risking a government shutdown.

CAMEROTA: Plus, I sit down with a panel of women to get their take on what their life is like one year into the Trump presidency. You'll hear from diehards, and you'll hear from the resistance.


CAMEROTA: Do you welcome conservative women?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. That's crazy. You can't say you're for women.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm for liberal. It's in the name. Liberal Women United.

CAMEROTA: OK, so-- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never win us over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not trying to.


CAMEROTA: More on that--

CUOMO: That was heated.

CAMEROTA: -- ahead. That's a tease.


[07:21:01] CUOMO: Shutdown showdown is in the hands of the Senate today. Senate Republicans need to convince Democrats to support their one-month spending bill for two reasons: One, the Republicans don't have all their members in line for a vote. And two, because of the filibuster rule, it takes 60 votes to pass.

So what's the big sticking point? What's the chance for progress? Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon joins us now.

Good to have you, sir.

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D), OREGON: Thank you, Chris. Great to be with you.

CUOMO: Safe to assume you are a "no" on the C.R. unless what?

MERKLEY: Well, unless we include the three bipartisan proposals that have been on the table waiting to be taken up. And that includes, of course, Children's Health Insurance Program. That includes our community health clinics, which are the essential front door and haven't been authorized for three months. And it certainly does include treating respectfully our community members, our DREAMers who have been contributing and are being treated very, very poorly by the president and Republicans.

CUOMO: Is there any indication that the Senate majority leader will work with you on this if the president wants to try to whip this up before shutdown?

MERKLEY: Well, all roads do lead back to the president. The president said we'd do whatever deal we sent to him. He proceeded to have people over to the White House. He said he was ready for compromise.

But then when push comes to shove, he takes off for Pennsylvania to campaign. And then he's taking off for Florida to raise money and doesn't seem engaged about here is the deal. It's sitting on the table. It has Republican supporters, Democratic supporters. So Mr. President, maybe you should stay in D.C., and let's get this deal done.

CUOMO: So let's look at the stakes on the table. The House resolution has CHIP in it. Is that in the Senate version right now?

MERKLEY: It is the House version that has come over to the Senate. We are unable to put a Senate version on the floor, because Mitch McConnell has blocked -- basically the fancy term is amendment tree. But essentially, he's blocking any proposal from Democrats to be put on the table, any bipartisan agreement from "D's" and "R's" together be put on the table.

CUOMO: Why? He's saying it's you guys. He's calling it the Schumer shutdown. He's saying that you're mixing exigency and urgency to fund the government with a non-exigency which is DACA, because you have until March.

MERKLEY: Well, this is all politics. Because essentially, for three and a half months, while we've been demanding that we address these core issues, he's been obsessed, Mitch McConnell and the Republicans have been obsessed, first with trying to rip health care from 30 million Americans. And then, when they failed on that, they focused simply on a tax bill to deliver a trillion dollars to the richest Americans.

So they were not concerned at all about our children. Not concerned about our community members whose legal status has been up in the air, not concerned about our community health clinics.

And this is a deal waiting to happen. Republicans are on all three of these pieces. So it -- we're ready to put this on the floor and have a vote on it. Yesterday, we asked to go ahead and have a vote on the House proposal which, by the way, four Republican senators yesterday said they would oppose. And so that we could clear the grounds and get down to the negotiations and get this deal done.

CUOMO: Is it true that Senator Schumer is pitching a short, short, short-term C.R. of several days to continue negotiations?

MERKLEY: Well, this came from Democrats and Republicans. Jerry Moran put it forward. Democrats put it forward. And here's the reason why.

Because since Mitch McConnell has been unable to focus on getting this deal done, we want to force the Republican leadership to focus, force the president to focus with a very short C.R. So it's like go spend the next 24 hours working on this. Come back and show us where you are. And maybe we'll give you another 24 hours. So we don't -- that way we don't shut down the government. But we finally get the negotiations that are necessary to close a deal on this bipartisan proposal.

[07:25:08] CUOMO: Another avenue of criticism. The urgency of closing down the government is immediate. DACA, the DREAMers, is in March. That's the president's deadline. It's artificial. He could extend it. But why do you have to do it now, when you will get another point of leverage as the deadline looms in another month or so?

MERKLEY: Well, if we want to take care of the urgent piece, a short- term C.R. of a day or two takes care of that. But every single day our community members are living without legal status. More than 100 lose their legal status each day. They've been held in limbo forever. We stand up for our community members, contributing community members being treated unfairly. And we're standing up -- that's not the only thing here.

The fence is not included in this proposal. Republicans have said they're for defense. But it's not in this proposal. Community health centers are not in this proposal. And these are the affordable, friendly front door to our health care system for millions and millions of Americans.

The thing that's so frustrating here, Chris, is you have Republicans and Democrats together on all three of these pieces, and yet the president, instead of being engaged, and Mitch McConnell instead of being engaged, are off wandering in the wilderness anywhere, almost salivating over shutting down the government.

Trump's the only person who has said he thinks it would be healthy for America to shut down the government. Well, I disagree. I think it's bad policy, bad politics.

CUOMO: Are you surprised that the numbers are even to ticking up more toward the Democrats' side in terms of who people will blame for a shutdown?

MERKLEY: Well, those numbers had Trump and the Republicans at 53 percent when you add them -- add them together.

CUOMO: You remember Trump, though, in part because he's winning the messaging game against you guys, he is separated out from Republicans. He does have it both ways with his base and the American people right now. You do not. And you have 34 percent of people saying if it shuts down, it's on you. Are you worried about that?

MERKLEY: Well, I'll tell you: I think the American people are going to see that the Republicans are in charge of the presidency. They're in charge of the House. They're in charge of the Senate. That Democrats are willing to do a short-term C.R. to keep the negotiations going. So we're not calling for a shutdown.

And there's simply these -- these center-of-the-road, bipartisan proposals. If that isn't a deal that can't be made, then certainly, the president should withdraw his book "The Art of the Deal," because this isn't even a difficult deal.

CUOMO: Let me get you on the record real quickly. I don't even know what the full story is here, whether it's real, a reveal or a ruse. But this Internet-breaking hashtag about some memo from the intelligence community that reveals damaging information about surveillance and the Obama administration/Hillary Clinton. It is odd to hear lawmakers asking that they want something revealed, but nothing's leaking out. What is your take on this?

MERKLEY: I do not have any inside information on that for you, Chris.

CUOMO: Well, you better find out, Senator. MERKLEY: I'd better.

CUOMO: Because one way or the other, this seems to be percolating, and it's either going to make someone look very silly, or it's going to shed new light. Senator, appreciate you giving us an update on this. We're going to stay on it, hour by hour. The clock is still ticking. Be well.

MERKLEY: Thank -- thank you so much, Chris.

CUOMO: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: So House investigators are delaying an interview with Hope Hicks, one of the president's top communications officials, after other Trump campaign officials are refusing to answer questions about a lot of things. Is President Trump directing his aides to limit their testimony? We ask a member of the House Intel Committee next.