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Chuck Schumer News Briefing on Shutdown; Adam Schiff Talks Shutdown, DACA, Nunez Memo on Russia Probe; Marches Against Trump on 1-Year Anniversary in Office; Source: Trump Tells Aides He'll Be Blamed for Shutdown; Sen. Mike Rounds Talks Government Shutdown. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired January 20, 2018 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D-NY), SENATE MIORITY LEADER: But that night and the next morning, the hard right came after him. Breitbart called him Amnesty Trump. Laura Ingraham even insisted he be impeached. By the weekend, he had backed off.
Then Congress went to work, in a bipartisan way. Senators Durbin and Graham and their four compatriots worked hard to deliver a bipartisan deal. Two week ago, the president had a meeting on national television for the world to see. He said he wanted four things. Protect the DREAMers. Secure the border. End what he calls chain migration and end the diversity visa lottery. And then he said he'd sign what Congress would come up with. Well, the bipartisan Gang of Six delivered. When the president heard about the contours of the deal on the phone with Senator Durbin, he was thrilled. He invited Senators Durbin and Graham to the White House. But the hard right attacked between. A meeting that could have ended in a bipartisan devolved into one of the most infamous meetings of his presidency. But still, we went back to work.
Excuse me. I have a cold.
But still, we went back to work to strike a deal with the president. Yesterday I talked to the president in the morning. We were not far apart on the issues. A deal. To fund military and critical programs for the middle class. Can be struck. We agreed to the contours of that deal. An immigration deal was then reached. We could address children's health insurance, other health issues, disaster aid. We went to meeting and had a long and productive discussion. I told the president we -- Democrats were willing to fund the military at the highest levels in history. Far above even his budget request. I reluctantly put his wall request for the southern border on the table. It was his request. We left the meeting having agreed to try for a short-term C.R. that would keep everyone at the negotiating table for a few more days. The president suggested let's do it by Tuesday night. We said great.
Several hours later, he called back. He said, so I hear we have a three-week deal. I said, no, Mr. President, no one's over talked to me about a three-week deal. I heard that's the deal. I said, no one's talked to me. I called Leader Pelosi. No one had talked to her. Then a few hours later, they called back again. Well, we're going to need this, this, this, this in addition. Things -- it was General Kelly -- that they knew were far, far right and off the table.
Now, the lunch that seemed so promising was quickly overtaken by hard right forces in the administration. Even though we bent over backwards to meet the president's demands. Negotiating with this White House is like negotiating with Jell-O. It's next to impossible. As soon as you take one step forward, the hard-right forces the president three steps back.
Now, I want to say I don't have the personal animus that a lot of my colleagues have towards the president. We're both blunt and direct. I agree with him vehemently on just about every issue. But at least we can talk to one another. But it's next to impossible to strike a deal with the president because he can't stick to the terms. I have found this out. Leader McConnell has found this out. Speaker Ryan has found this out.
So here we are, on the first anniversary of the president's inauguration mired in the Trump shutdown. It doesn't have to be this way. We can get big things done. We can fund the military at the highest level ever. We can commit unprecedented resources to the fight against opioids to our veterans. To pension plans that are drying up. We can protect our southern border and protect young Americans who were brought here as children. We can pass children's health insurance. And I've never seen something so cynical as Republicans pitting groups of children against each other. They hold up CHIP to hold other children, this time the DACA kids, hostage. That's a disgrace. That's not what America wants. We can also pass disaster aid, which Texas, California, Florida and Puerto Rico want. We can do big things, but the president needs to step up and lead.
[13:05:19] The Republicans control the presidency, the Senate, the House. They know who's responsible. The American people know that the Republicans control the presidency, the Senate and the House, and they know who's responsible. America knows this is the Trump shutdown. Only the president can end it. We, Democrats, are at the table. We're ready to negotiate. The president needs to pull up a chair to end this shutdown.
Ready for your questions.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you define what you mean by what you say you put the wall --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- on the table, the big beautiful wall, the entire --
SCHUMER: OK, this was not my -- I'm not going to get into the specific numbers, but I will tell you, it was the president who suggested the number and I said let's put it on the table.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How big is the number?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Senator, naming contest with the president --
SCHUMER: On Twitter, he's leading 10-1.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You put aside these political trifflings --
SCHUMER: OK, I don't care, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- talk to him again -- (INAUDIBLE)
SCHUMER: Well, look, this is the third or fourth time on this issue he's made some kind of commitment and then backed off because he's afraid of the right wing. Whether Steven Miller does it, whether General Kelly doesn't steer him in the right direction and just lets it happen. I don't know. But it's getting very, very difficult. You know, my hope has always been that Senator McConnell and Leader Ryan will see knowing what they know about the president, that they would step up to the plate themselves. But they're afraid too. At least reluctant. Leader McConnell has said publicly he doesn't know what the president thinks and has told me repeatedly I should negotiate with Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
SCHUMER: We did not reach agreement. We came close to the parameters of an agreement.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
SCHUMER: No, I heard from -- the first quote came from the president about the three, three weeks, which was news to me.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is the president actually running the White House?
SCHUMER: All I know is it's next to impossible to negotiate when the position keeps changing and changing and changing.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you get the sense that President Trump is changing his mind, or could you get the sense he is getting strong pressure from individuals --
SCHUMER: Second. When you sit with the president, this is the second or third time I've done this on an agreement. You can see he really wants to do it. Then, a few hours later, because of the pressure, he backs off. What I would like to know is who in the White House is a sort of moderating force who says this is a good thing for you and the country and your party, go for it. Don't let these people back you up. I don't see anyone in the White House doing that.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: As you know, support for DREAMers -- but by injecting -- do you run the risk of -- SCHUMER: First of all, DREAMers, unlike other issues, has huge
bipartisan support. It's not something -- it's not like 2013 where Ted Cruz had his own view but was partisan and not popular. This is very popular. But, second, this is the first time we've had one party control all three parts of the government. And the American people know that it's their responsibility to reach out and compromise to get things done. There's a lot of feeling in the country that the White House is incapable of really leading the country. When something like this happens, it makes -- it exacerbates that view.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- like negotiating with jelly, how are you going to get it done? Are you willing to go back to the White House?
SCHUMER: I suggested last night on the floor and this morning on the floor that the president called the four of us back today and tried to get something done. You always got to be willing to try and I am.
Last one. Last one. CNN back there.
SCHUMER: Yelling isn't going to get you called on.
[13:10:05] JIM AOSTA: CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Can you just talk a little bit about the end game? Do you think Democrats have the stomach for a shutdown that lasts a week, two weeks, two months?
SCHUMER: I think the American --
ACOSTA: And do you think that Republicans, if you hold out long enough, will say, OK, we'll take the Gang of Six deal and pass --
SCHUMER: Look there are various compromises being bandied about. They're bandied about far more serious today than they were yesterday by the Republican side. I'm always willing to listen to compromises. At this point, we feel very, very strongly about the issues. Not just DREAMers. But opioids, pensions, not funding the military on a C.R. basis. And we feel the American people are on our side.
SCHUMER: OK, thank you everybody.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, I'm Ana Cabrera, coming to you from Washington, D.C., today, on this one-year anniversary of the president's inauguration. We've just been listening in there to the minority leader, Chuck Schumer.
Sitting with me is Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff. Congressman, we've heard a lot today from Republicans and Democrats
pointing the finger the other way. We heard him call this the Trump shutdown. How is that productive?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, look, you have to have a certain level of competence to run the government. And frankly, it's breathtaking that when you control everything, you still can't keep the government open. But we have a real problem. And that is you have to be able to rely on commitments the other side makes. And no one can rely on this president. You have a conversation with him at 9:00 a.m. And he changed his position three times by lunch. And you just can't operate that way. I think that this is a president who doesn't really have a strong moral conviction way or the other on most of these issues. But he allows himself to be moved by the last person he's talking with. So it's enormously difficult.
CABRERA: I hear what you're saying. Democrat also have control of their own actions. It sounds like what Democrats are saying is they're drawing a line in the sand and if there is no compromise on this issue of DACA, and I know there are other issues too, then Democrats aren't going to vote in favor of whatever funding bill is put before them. So that means no end to the shutdown.
SCHIFF: Well, I think as you just heard Senator Schumer point out, they did put a compromise on the president's desk. They did frankly make concessions to the president many of us in the House aren't particularly comfortable with but that's the nature of compromise.
SCHIFF: Well, like funding for border security. Which we don't think should be tied to the clock that this president has set in motion on these young kids. We don't think those young kids should be used as a bargaining chip to build a wall. But nonetheless, in the Senate compromise, there was language that the president wanted. And it looked like there was an understanding in the morning. And then the hard-liners within the White House say you can't do that, you can't do that. And by noon the understanding is gone. So look, they couldn't even get their own Republican members, all of them on board in the Senate.
CABRERA: There were I think four members, Flake, Mike Lee --
SCHIFF: Lindsey Graham.
CABRERA: We know Lindsey Graham, and initially Senator Rounds was not going to vote against it, but he voted for it. Trying to remember the fourth one.
But you're right, it wasn't all Democrats who voted against that funding bill. A lot of Republicans voted against it because they don't want to just keep kicking the can down the road. They believe that's not good for the military specifically in terms of strategic planning. SCHIFF: We don't think that's good either.
CABRERA: But, but now the president and Republicans are framing this as Democrats picking the DREAMers, putting the DREAMers above the rest of the country, how do you respond?
SCHIFF: The simple reality is if they want to do their own budget and don't want to consider any Democratic priorities, they control everything, they can do that. There ought to be a certain minimal level of willingness even when you are in one-party rule to work with the other side. And this crisis that we have with the DREAMers, yes, we are very sympathetic to because these young people don't know where their future goes beyond March. This crisis was the president's own making. There is no reason this clock had to be ticking. The president said I'm going to repeal this without any resolution in sight. We are where we are. We feel it would be irresponsible to essentially just take a bill, pass a bill and leave the fate of these people to the winds. We also think it's a strong priority for us that we ought to provide health care for kids. And we ought to provide a consistent budget for the Defense Department. These are priorities for Democrats. And if they want to work with us, they're going to have to give something in terms of --
CABRERA: But Republicans will say we had CHIP funding in this bill that Democrats voted against. We had military funding in this bill that Democrats just voted against. So they have an argument to be made that we gave you what you said you just wanted.
[13:15:10] SCHIFF: Well, they didn't though. There was a compromise that would have given us I think enough of what we asked for and given them enough of what they asked for. And it appears there was an understanding at the White House that the president would later not hold up his end of the understanding. So we have made sincere efforts to compromise. But certain principles and values were not going to give away if they want us to buy into their budget. If they want to do it on their own and they have made every effort to do everything excluding every Democratic input, go ahead, you control everything. But if you come to us, you can't tell us it's our way or the highway.
CABRERA: Let me ask you about the Russia investigation. I can't have you here and not. Especially given how much we talked about it in the first year of the presidency. And now if you turn on any conservative media, they keep talking about this Nunez memo, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, that he's put out there and many Republicans have taken a look at it and they want it made public. Can you tell us what exactly is it?
SCHIFF: It is essentially a set of talking points that the Republican intel staff drafted, based on the highly classified materials which most of the Republican members were forced to acknowledge. They've not even read. So they don't know how distorted these talking points are. But as part of the narrative they want to push out. Interestingly enough, they've made common cause once again with Russian bots because Russian bots are pushing their narrative out there. It's in a redux of the campaign. We have Assange and WikiLeaks and Russian trolls and bots saying, you know, hash tag whatever the GOP narrative is. That ought to tell you a lot about what's driving this. And that is --
CABRERA: Why not allow peel to look at it and let Americans make the decision for themselves about whether it's useful information or not?
SCHIFF: Well, because the American people, unfortunately, don't have the underlying materials and therefore they can't see how distorted and misleading this document is. The Republicans are not saying make the underlying materials available to the public. They just want to make this spin available to the public. I think that spin, which is a fulsome attack on the FBI, is just designed to attack the FBI and Bob Mueller to circle the wagons for the White House. And that's a terrible disservice to the people, hard-working people at the bureau, but more than that, it's a disservice to the country.
CABRERA: Adam Schiff, Congressman, thank you. We really appreciate it.
SCHIFF: Thank you.
CABRERA: Hopefully, we'll talk to you after shutdown is over next time.
SCHIFF: I hope that will be soon.
CABRERA: Tens of thousands of women and men are marching in the streets across the country on this one-year anniversary of the president's inauguration. We have reporters all over the U.S. right now. We'll take you there live next.
[13:22:31] CABRERA: You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. And right now, activists filling streets by the tens of thousands. Live pictures. Marches and rallies under way from coast to coast right now. Thousands of people are out in protest today as President Trump marks his first year in office. These are technically called the women's marches.
We have live team coverage from coast to coast. CNN's Alex Marquardt is New York, Miguel Marquez is in Los Angeles, and Ryan Young is in Chicago.
Miguel, things are really just heating up it looks like where you are. Lots of people behind you, lots of speakers there today. Fill us in.
MIQUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, this is one, very loud here on the streets. We're actually in the middle of the march. This is the fastest we've seen people moving so far. Look up this street, it's been pretty much a slow shuffle here in Los Angeles as people move from Fifth Street over to Grand Plaza. Here's the crowd.
MARQUEZ: Just the sense they are doing something important here, palpable. The sense this is not just women's rights and what it started as last year is gaining force. The sense this is about those midterm elections and political activism is very much where this march is now, and the people here are very motivated to turn House seats not only here in California but across the country into Democratic House seats. Essentially seeing this as a check on the president, everything going on in D.C. today. That government shutdown very much on the minds of people here as they march in the streets of Los Angeles -- Ana?
CABRERA: All right, Miguel, thank you. We will come back to you in a little bit.
Meantime, let's head over to Ryan Young, who is in Chicago.
And we know, Ryan, one of the hash tags from these events is "power to the polls." Sounds like people there are certainly fired up. How do they plan to translate what's happening on the ground into the 2018 midterms?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Actually, great question. One of the things they have is march the polls all over the place, the hash tag, they even read the names of the candidates they want supported in the next coming elections. They talked about the movement. You look back at this direction. We've been told by the organizers here, the Chicago Police Department thinks this crowd is actually bigger than last year's. Over 225,000 people were here last year. They believe the number here may be close to 300,000 this year. They're going to march in about 30 minutes down to the federal courthouse. This is a large size and it's of the people who are energized, having conversations not only about the fact there's a government shutdown. But there's an idea that moving forward they want to hear more of a bipartisan conversation in terms of improving things for a lot of people. That's the conversation. Right now, the speakers are pushing out their objectives in making sure people are included but the whole idea is to make sure that when the votes start to happen again, they start pushing people to go out to the polls and vote together in large voting blocs. A lot of conversations about not only women but about men helping that as well -- Ana?
[13:25:41] CABRERA: Ryan Young, in Chicago.
Let's head further east now. And Alex Marquardt is joining us from New York.
Alex, I understand you are marching alongside those who are there.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this march has just started really in the past couple of minutes. We're going right now through Columbus Circle, right past the Trump International Hotel. As people walk past, there was lots of booing and lots of let's say fist raising in the air. Otherwise, it's a very positive day. Lots of support for not just women's rights but for a whole range of causes. This is of course called a women's march. It's also about the rights of immigrant, gay rights, people from all around the world, all religions and all creeds. So in speaking with people here today, they really are talking about their support running the gamut. And the person who they hold responsible for -- they say taking the country backward, Donald Trump, a lot of the signs around here against Donald Trump. Some funny. Some quite colorful. So what we're seeing here, people walking through Columbus Circle. They're going to head to Columbus Avenue, walk another 20 blocks. Voicing their support for these causes that are so important for them and their anger with the president who they say is working against those very same causes -- Ana?
CABRERA: All right, Alex, thank you.
Our thanks as well to Miquel Marquez and Ryan Young. Thank you, guys.
A quick programming note. Don't miss Jake Tapper's special tonight, "Trump's First Year, Reign of Chaos." That's at 10:00 eastern right here on CNN.
Still ahead on the NEWSROOM, the president said he was a, quote, "great negotiator." So why couldn't he strike a deal to avoid this government shutdown? Our panel of experts weigh in, next.
[13:31:57] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: These are live pictures now across the country. The women's marches taking place across the coast to coast, from Chicago to New York to Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia to Denver. Lots of speakers and lots of everyday Americans taking to the streets, voicing their opposition to some of the current administration's policies, but also trying to empower people to make their voices heard at the polls.
Meantime, this is what's happening right now in Washington. Live pictures of the Senate floor, where there is plenty of finger- pointing, after a government shutdown sparked by a bitter stalemate over immigration. The White House now saying the battle lines are entrenched and that a deal today is unlikely.
President Trump camped out at the White House when he originally planned to be in Mar-a-Lago, celebrating the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.
Sources are telling CNN the president is telling aides he is going to be blamed for the shutdown even though he believes Democrats are the cause. He tweeted this, "This is the one-year anniversary of my presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. Democrat shutdown."
For the latest on this shutdown, CNN's Jim Acosta joins us from the White House.
Jim, this is a very different way than the one the president originally had planned.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana, he was supposed to go down to Mar-a-Lago and have this big party at his resort down there to celebrate his first year. The anniversary of being sworn in as president of the United States. Instead, he is having to deal with the shutdown. The White House says he's been on the phone with Paul Ryan, the House speaker, Mitch McConnell, the majority leader. At this point, the White House is saying they're not going to negotiate on this immigration issue so long as his government is shutdown. They're blaming the Democrats for this. Democrats are saying it's the Trump shutdown. This is everybody's shutdown. It's the United States government that is shutdown.
And keep in mind, even though the president was tweeting earlier this morning, well, he needs 60 votes, he only has a majority of votes in the Senate right now. The Republican Party does control the White House and the House and the Senate. I suppose what they're saying, Ana, is they need super majorities in the House and the Senate for this to be some sort of Democratic shutdown. It's everybody's shutdown and they're having to deal with it.
I will tell you talking to a source close to the White House earlier this morning, that there are concerns inside this White House right to the Oval Office that the president is going to be blamed about this. I talked to a source close to this morning and he said while the president believes the Democrats caused this shutdown, he is worried he's going to be blamed for it. He feels like he's going to be blamed for it. And that typically is what happens with presidents when a government shutdown happens.
Keep in mind, President Trump, when he was citizen Donald Trump, businessman Donald Trump, said time and again during the 2013 government shutdown that the buck stopped with Barack Obama, that it was Barack Obama's shutdown. And now those words, just like his tweets occasionally do, are coming back to haunt him. We're waiting to see what happens, what develops this afternoon.
But you hard what the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, is saying a few moments ago in that press conference, they feel like on the Democratic side that they just don't have anybody to negotiate with and when they do negotiate thing -- like, for example, the Senate minority leader saying rather remarkably that he put the wall on the table. He said, let's talk about the wall. And the president wasn't really ready to deal with that.
So it sounds like at this point both sides kind of want this shutdown for political reasons. Until the temperature is raised high enough, Ana, I don't think there are really any signs this is going to be dealt with any time soon -- Ana?
[13:35:31] CABRERA: Jim Acosta, we know you'll keep us updated because a lot can still happen in the coming hours. But as you point out right now we're at a stalemate.
Thank you very much.
We'll be right back. We're covering the marches across the country. We'll be talking with our panel. Our expert analysis coming up to you, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[13:39:55] CABRERA: Welcome back. As we show you more live images, happening right now across the country, these are the women's marches happening around the nation. You see speakers. Also high-profile speakers expected in places like Los Angeles, including celebrities, as well as lawmakers. Although some of those lawmakers had to cancel,
as you can imagine, because of the government shutdown, which is officially in effect today.
New CNN poll, by the way, showing Trump is the least-popular elected president at the one-year mark in modern political history. He just had a 40 percent approval rating.
Let's discuss how we got here. My panel back with us. Joining us, Kirsten Powers, "USA Today" columnist. Ann Compton, the first woman to cover the White House for network television during her 40 years at ABC News. Paul Begala is back with us, former White House counsel to Clinton. Steve Cortes, CNN political commentator and member of Trump's Hispanic Advisory Council. And Jen Psaki, former White House communications director and State Department spokeswoman during the Obama era.
Guys, a lot of this right now seems to be about what are we going to do, how are we going to break out of this government shutdown?
Remember, the president, as candidate, talked about how he is the chief negotiator, the deal maker. In case you want a quick reminder, take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm going to make the great deals.
I am going to make great deals for our country.
I built an extraordinary business on relationships and deals that benefit all parties involved, always.
I make deals. I negotiate.
Everybody wants me to negotiate. That's what I'm known as, a negotiator.
I'm so anxious to negotiate.
Nobody can out-negotiate these deals.
I will make a great deal and lots of great deals for the American people.
We don't make great deals anymore. But we will once I become president.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: The president has a party that has the House, has the Senate, and the presidency. What happened?
STEVE CORTES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Ana, what happened was, he confirmed the best deal that we've had in a generation in this country which is tax reform and tax cuts. So are we having trouble this weekend? Yes, we are --
CABRERA: Why is the government shutdown?
CORTES: I think we're going to reach -- because we don't have 60 votes in the Senate. We know that. We don't truly have control in the Senate, the GOP. We need 60 votes for that.
But my point is --
CABRERA: -- the ability to then reach out and find a deal, a compromise, that's part of a deal, right?
CORTES: We do need to find a deal here. Mainly, I believe because our military men and women need to get paid. To besmirch the president and say he's been unable to find deals. He found a deal for tax reform. Something not done in this country since 1986.
CABRERA: This is a fundamental issue of keeping the government running. The Republicans like to say
CABRERA: -- this is hurting the military.
CORTES: The fundamental issue he was elected on was economic growth. We came out of a decade of economic malaise in this country. Tremendous anxiety, particularly in the middle of the country, middle income people who elected him in Michigan and Ohio. What he did for them is deliver economic acceleration and prosperity. And talk about a deal. I mean, that's a deal that will make any other deal pale in significance. That's undeniable what's going on in America.
CABRERA: OK. I don't think we can brush aside the economic outlook right now. But I don't think that argument is going to resonate with the people who are wondering if they're going to get a paycheck while this government shutdown is happening right now.
Jen Psaki, what do Democrats need to do? Right now, Republicans are pointing the finger at Democrats. As Steve points out, there aren't enough Senators that are Republican to pass a deal on their own spending bill, so Democrats do have something to contribute here.
JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Also Mitch McConnell lost four Republican Senators. So it's not like he's keeping the party together either. The reason Democrats are here's not just a story of last night. They're here in part because the Republicans have been unable to govern and unable to pass a longer-term C.R. Something defense hawks want who are members of the Republican Party. Something many Democrats have been talking about wanting as well. And in December, when they passed a short-term C.R., the promise was made that DACA would be fixed that 800,000 people wouldn't be hanging in the, you know, ring here. In January. That hasn't been followed through with. So right now, there's bipartisan support for DACA. Why wouldn't that be something Republicans can bring up and vote for right? The notion that you have no responsibility when you're in control of every House of Congress and the White House -- 25 years, there's been four shutdowns, that's never been the case, is a little bit hard for I think most people to buy.
CABRERA: Ann, I want to get your take because you've had the opportunity to cover so many different White Houses. We've seen touchdowns in the past with both Democrat and Republicans. What's your take?
ANN COMPTON, FORMER ABC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's true, and the republic stood. Remember, Donald Trump was elected as more than negotiator. He was the chaos candidate in 2016 who would not take the establishment and the status quo. And the idea that here we are on the first anniversary of his inauguration, busting up the furniture again, saying he will not go along with something. He has zigzagged on some of his own policies. I don't think we can be surprised by this kind of milestone. We'll get over this. Is also dealing with a Congress, which, as you pointed out, is not a solid Republican control of this Congress. There's a half dozen different coalitions in there. They change issue to issue. So I guess we can't wake up surprised this morning that the government shutdown, even briefly.
[13:45:25] CABRERA: Kirsten, the president even telling people he thinks he'll get the blame. He believes it should be Democrats. Do you think he'll get the blame?
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Typically, the party that's in control in this place, in this case, of everything, does generally get the blame. I do think there's a case to be made on the part of Republicans that they're not in control of everything and they obviously need the Democratic votes. But that argument kind of falls apart when you have Chuck Schumer going over to meet at the White House and offering up money for a wall. OK, people have to understand what a big deal that is. That most Democrats not only do they not support a wall, they find it offensive. They think it's -- they find it offensive because they don't think it's necessary and the message it sends. If it's not necessary, why are we going to spend all this money on it? He put something on the table that cost him something. It's something Democrats are going to get upset about. Now that the Democrats have put something forward that's going to cost them something and the Republicans are not willing to deal, it's now kind of all on them. There's really no reason why. I mean what else are the Democrats supposed to do? They've given up something that's very -- (CROSSTALK)
CABRERA: Hold on because let me get a Congressman, actually, a Senator who can answer some of the questions you just threw out there.
We have, as we're now 14 hours into a government shutdown, joining us, is Senator Mike Rounds, who is on Capitol Hill right now.
Senator Rounds, thank you very much for spending some time with us.
I know two days ago you were a no on this funding bill. You said you didn't want to keep passing short-term continuing resolutions. Last night, you ended up voting yes. Explain your vote.
SEN. MIKE ROUNDS, (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: Sure. I don't like continuing resolutions. I think they're bad for the American economy. I think they're bad for the government in general, particularly our military. But in this particular case, I ask that we have an end result that we eventually get to a guaranteed vote on the defensive appropriations bill, which should have occurred last July, august or September. The agreement that I have with our leadership is that if everything else fails and we're not able to get an omnibus completed that, by the end of February, we will have an up or down vote on a -- an appropriations bill for defense if it comes out of the House. My understanding is the House has agreed that they will vote on it prior to the end of January. If they're successful in getting it done, it will come to the Senate and we will have a vote on that bill. I hope that's not necessary. I hope we have an omnibus before then. At least for me, it means closure, at least an opportunity for everybody to stake their position out with regard to funding our military.
CABRERA: So it sounds like that there were some Republican concessions that were given to win your vote. Were there concessions given to any of the Democratic positions?
ROUNDS: I think -- once again, I'm not privy to all the discussions that occurred. I think, first of all, we recognize everybody's got to win part of it. Our hope was that by extending the deadline into February to begin with, but then also making arrangements to assure that there would be a full discussion and the good possibility of actually coming to a consensus on the issue surrounding DACA, which has really driven a lot of the Democrat interest here. We thought that that would be at least a step in the right direction. I think what some of our Democratic colleagues wanted was an assurance of the passage of a DACA bill. At this point, nobody can guarantee passage because there are multiple different points of view about how it should be done. Since we want results in this particular case, both Republicans and Democrats in general, we wanted to come up with a solution that could not only pass the Senate, but also get approval in the House and get signed by the president. Or we'd all be back here again. I think that's kind of where things broke down, was how do you go about getting something that provides appropriate assurances to our Democrat colleagues that they would have a good chance of getting something done on that particular issue. About the best we could do is assure them there's a lot of us who do care about finding common ground in that area. CABRERA: One of the things we've heard now from Senator Schumer a
couple times today is he doesn't know who to negotiate with. He goes to Republican colleagues, they say you need to negotiate with the president. Who's running this negotiation right now?
ROUNDS: I think that that negotiation has got to be between Senator Schumer and our leader, Senator McConnell, to begin with. I think that that had to come from the White House, so that there was a clear understanding. I think that did occur. That's my understanding. And that I think Senator Schumer and Senator McConnell do have the relationship that would allow them to come up with a consensus about how to move forward. But most certainly, I think that had to be established. It's unfortunate that it hasn't been established.
ROUNDS: -- that it hadn't been established earlier.
[13:50:18] CABRERA: Sorry to interrupt. But you do think that McConnell knows what the president wants, because just yesterday it was that he said that he didn't know what the president was for. And we also heard that echoed from the remarks of Senator Schumer. He said that there is a constantly will moving target.
ROUNDS: I think that the president has his right to be able to modify his position. But I do believe that Senator McConnell needs to be able to negotiate with Senator Schumer, and then to be able to go to the president and say, look, this is what we can accomplish, and we think that it is a move in the right direction and will you help us, and if you do, there is a good chance of it coming through the House. Without the president's approval, getting it through the House with regard to immigration is going to be very, very difficult. And once again, there is a lot of us who want to see something done, because H.B.2 visas are hang manage the balance and there's a lot of across the U.S. that recognize the value of those legal immigration permits that help the economy grow and we need the manpower, that workforce.
CABRERA: I know that you supported Senators Graham and Durbin's bipartisan plan when it comes to dealing with the DREAMers and immigration, in which both sides did give something in order to come up with that compromise. Are you disappointed that the president rejected it?
ROUNDS: Look it, I they everybody has said, and I have actually in my statement of support said that this is a step forward. It is not a perfect plan, but we have to start someplace and find common ground. If you don't have anything of substance to begin with that you can look at and try to modify, you won't get very far. There were things in there that I felt had to be strengthen and the president felt that way as well. I felt that the border security system that all of us think that we are going to end up with had to be strengthened. I also think that there had to be some additional limitation, and probably a little bit more framework with regard to the actual definition of the DREAMers who can come in and also what happens with the relatives. That had to be strengthened. I also recommended that we should do some things with regard to employers and their ability to more easily use the E-Verify system so if they hired individuals they would be protected if there was an error in the immigration status. And finally, I thought that the H.B.2 visas had to be part of the discussion. But it did not mean they would not work with him or they didn't have a good start. There are other people in the Senate who feel they have a better approach. I think we have to get into the same room, talking about it and agreeing what we want, is to get the issue behind us, and actually help some of the young people that we believe is good in the workforce long term.
CABRERA: Absolutely. You look at the data out there, and they are contributing billions of dollars right now to the U.S. economy.
Senator Rounds, thank you very much for your time. We hope to keep in touch with you. And hopefully, the government shutdown compromise comes soon.
The panel is back with us now.
Paul, what stood out from what you heard?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First off, there is a perfectly reasonable Senator with a perfectly reasonable set of expectations, why can't they sit down to cut a deal, and it is because you pointed out, it is the president, and if it were Carville here saying, it is the president, stupid. You don't know if it's going to stick.
This is how he described the DREAMers a few months ago. "I have a love for the DREAMers," he said. "they are good, young, educate and accomplished young people who have jobs. He has many times praised the young people. Today, he put a statement with hateful language about them and so did the press secretary. So who are you dealing with.
CORTES: Excuse me, Paul, what is hateful about saying illegal immigrant? That's what they are.
CORTES: And that is using the English language correctly and that is not hate.
BEGALA: And they are DREAMers.
CORTES: And Americans don't have dreams?
CORTES: I object to that term DREAMers, by the way.
CORTES: They are not kids, either.
CORTES: They are not kids. They are not kids.
BEGALA: You object all you want, but it is a long way from calling them good, educated and accomplished young people.
CORTES: And that and they are illegal immigrants.
CORTES: I am for protecting them. Don't get me wrong. But that is not a hateful term, but it is a precise and correct term to use the English language to mean something --
CORTES: -- and not speaking in code. The Democrats wants to us speak in code --
CORTES: -- where we can't have an honest conversation.
BEGALA: I am trying to quote the president, my president.
BEGALA: And he said they were good people, educated, accomplished and loves them and, yet, he is willing to shut down the government rather than allow them to live the American dream. Why? Because the right- wing staff overruled him.
BEGALA: Steven Miller and General Kelly, these right-wing ideologues that have taken over the White House.
BEGALA: They have overruled our president. That's what's going on.
CABRERA: I just want to go, real quick, lightning round, what do you think it take to get out of the government shutdown.
Starting with Kirsten?
[13:55:08] POWERS: The Republicans have to compromise. I mean, the Democrats have shown that they are willing to compromise and what are the Republicans going to do to give back to them? I don't know what more the Democrats can offer than they have offered?
COMPTON: Those who want to be seen in the rear-view mirror as leaders going into the 2018 elections have to step up.
BEGALA: The president has to reclaim the Oval Office from General Kelly.
CORTES: Immigration is an entirely separate issue from appropriation, and spending. They have to be separated.
PSAKI: There has to be a negotiation between the Dems and the Republicans and President Trump has to put his body into this. And it has never been where a president is so disengaged from the process. Whether it is Clinton, Obama or Reagan or him, he has to get his head in the game here.
CABRERA: Panel, thank you so much for joining us. Wish we had more time. Never enough time.
Thank you for being with us.
Brooke Baldwin continues CNN's special coverage next.
[14:00:11] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. This is CNN's special live coverage of two major events --