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Government remains shutdown, Senate to vote at 1 a.m. ET; Graham: White House staff members "yanking back" proposals; Vote to reopen government scheduled for 1 a.m.; Trump camp unveils "Pure Evil" as targeting illegal immigration; Protesters hit the streets in U.S. and Europe; Who gets blamed for shutdown: Dems or GOP; National parks: why are some open, some closed?; Screen actors guild show gets ready for #MeToo close up. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired January 21, 2018 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[17:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: ... government is not working, literally. There is no money, and for the second straight day, the wheels of the government are not turning.
National parks are chained off. Scores of government employees are told to stay home. Even lady liberty herself turning away visitors today, the national park where she stands is closed.
We did hear that the statue though will be open tomorrow operating on New York state money because the federal funds that keep the park functioning, got cut-off when the government shut down.
Now U.S. Senate, can get the government restarted again? Senators are planning to gather in a few hours to plan right now in this is the second day of the shutdown, and for them to vote after midnight for a vote on at least temporarily funding the government for a few weeks. But now who is to blame? Fingers from the left are pointing to the right and vice versa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MAJORITY LEADER: Because the president wouldn't resolve months of ongoing negotiations over massive issues in one brief meeting and give the Democratic leader everything he wants, my friend across the aisle has shut down the government for hundreds of millions of Americans. Because he didn't get everything he wanted in one meeting Friday with the president.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), MINORITY LEADER: The majority however, has forgotten the lessons of the founding fathers. They have shown that they do not know how to compromise. Not only do they not consult us, they can't even get on the same page with their president -- the president from their own party.
The Congressional leaders tell me to negotiate with President Trump. President Trump tells me to figure it out with the Congressional leaders. This Political Catch-22, never seen before, has driven our government
to dysfunction. Americans know why the dysfunction is occurring -- a dysfunctional president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: As for the White House, very little from President Trump today, apart from an early morning tweet where he repeated his position on the stalemate saying Republicans are fighting for national security, and Democrats, quote, just want illegal immigrants. The president's budget director was on CNN earlier. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET DIRECTOR: It is a bipartisan bill. It's a bill the Democrats are opposing even though they don't oppose what is in it. That's what's different here. I had no idea the Democrats in the Senate were this dysfunctional.
I know Washington is dysfunctional. I have been here almost ten years now. I had no idea it had gotten that bad in the Senate -- Democrats in the Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Our senior Congressional correspondent Manu Raju, joins me now on Capitol Hill. We also have White House correspondent Boris Sanchez, outside his post in Washington.
Manu, a vote aimed at ending the shutdown set for 1:00 a.m. Washington time. Some senators tell CNN, they think it will pass. What are you hearing?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well right now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Chuck Schumer, the two key players to end this standoff are, in fact, meeting to try to figure out, is there a way forward to avert this two-day shutdown.
Now what they are discussing I'm told is a deal that -- a proposal that was floated by a bipartisan group of senators. A way out of this shutdown, what it entails is essentially support for a short-term stop gap measured to open up the government for up to three weeks or so.
As well as some sort of commitment to move on a range of issues, including dealing with immigration, dealing with the DACA issue, as well as things like disaster relief, funding and domestic spending levels.
If they can get some sort of a commitment, agreement to move on those issues, perhaps there can be support to reopen the government for roughly three weeks, but the devil is very much in the details on this.
It is unclear exactly what that means in terms of commitment. The Democrats really want something very ironclad to make sure that there's a way forward that these issues will end up on the president's desk.
And that's what both McConnell and Schumer are trying to iron out right now. One thing is very clear, Ana, is that the White House has not been involved in these negotiations.
This has been a very Senate centered negotiation and even members from the president's own party expressed some frustration with the White House staff as these negotiations have taken place amongst senator, and here's Lindsey Graham from earlier today raising some concerns about one key member of the president's staff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I have talked with the president. His heart is right on this issue. I think he's got a good understanding of what will sell, and every time we have a proposal, it is only yanked back by staff members.
As long as, Stephen Miller, is in charge of negotiating immigration, we are going nowhere. He has been an outlier for years. There is a deal to be had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: And that was in reference to the president's senior policy adviser, Stephen Miller, former chief of staff -- sorry, former senior aide to Jeff Sessions. Someone who has taken a hard-line on immigration issues in the past.
[17:05:00] But some of the Republicans are coming to the president's defense on this issue, including Senator Tom Cotton, who actually just told this to reporters in the hallway to imply that some advisers or some staffers are somehow pulling the strings to the president is to impugn the president.
So, a lot of tension here as we get into day two of the shutdown, but behind-the-scenes, these negotiations taking shape, we'll see what emerges from this McConnell-Schumer meeting. That could be decisive in determining whether or not the shutdown ends tonight or it could go on for some time, Ana.
CABRERA: All right, Manu Raju, at the Capitol. We will come back to you as soon as there is any movement. But let's head to the White House now, and CNN's Boris Sanchez.
Boris, the president, at this point, it seems to be a spectator this prompt just like we are. We are hearing though that he has spent a lot of time on the phone today. Tell us more about that.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. The White House sort of pushing back on this notion that, as we have heard from some Republican lawmakers, that the White House isn't really taking the lead on negotiations.
We got a statement from Sarah Sanders, the Press Secretary, a little over an hour ago, essentially saying that this is a full court press, and the president has been on the phone today for the second consecutive day, speaking to among others, House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy as well as Senate Majority Whip, John Cornyn.
Also adding the Chief of Staff John Kelly has been on the phone with Republican leaders and Marc Short has also been making calls.
Short, of course, the director of Legislative Affairs, who was cautiously optimistic when talking about a potential deal being raised soon as early as tonight by lawmakers. Here is some of what he said on a Sunday morning talk show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARC SHORT, WHITE LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS DIRECTOR: I might be naive optimist on this. But I actually think to make significant progress, and we will get a deal. When we get a deal, I think that there are champions like Senator Durbin who will be hailed as a hero for helping make this happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Senior White House official has told CNN that an idea of a three-week continuing resolution with some kind of pledge to later deal with immigration is promising and could potentially lead to a breakthrough.
But I think it is stunning that you would have someone like Senator Lindsey Graham who, just a few days ago on Tuesday, praised the president's approach during a bipartisan meeting here at the White House, saying that he was compassionate.
And as you heard, just a few moments ago, that his heart is in the right place, but then suddenly take a stark turn and criticize the White House staff.
At one point, he told reporters today that someone needs to lead, and he said, quote, I'm begging the White House to help us get to yes, before taking shots at Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller, who is saying that his ideas are so far out of the mainstream.
They would never get 60 votes in the Senate. We have reached out to the White House for a response to Senator Graham's comments, but we have yet to hear back.
It really gives you an indication that the president, so far, is kind of taking a backseat, though the White House says he is active and making phone calls, Ana.
CABRERA: All right, Boris Sanchez, at the White House, thank you. I want to bring in Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico. Senator, thank you for taking some time.
I know, you have been busy today, as five of your colleagues -- five of your Democratic colleagues, we know, voted yes, on Friday night to extend the government funding until February 16th and give a little bit more time for negotiations. You voted, no. Any regrets? SEN. MARTIN HEINRICH (D), NEW MEXICO: Not at all. I think if we give
them so much space, so many weeks, what we have seen in the past is when we have done a C.R. that has been months or weeks, the Republican leadership has squandered the first 98 percent of it and then come back to the table at the very end and said, give us another C.R.
We need to resolve these issues. We need the full year appropriation for the military. We need to resolve the DACA situation for the DREAMers.
We need some focus on this right now, and I'm not for a C.R. that would be so long that it takes the American people's focus on us getting this across the finish line.
CABRERA: Is there anything that was in that bill that you actually disagree with when it comes to policy other than the duration of funding?
HEINRICH: The primary thing is what was left out of the bill. So many of the things that we have been working on to deal with the opioid crisis, to deal with western wildfires, to have budget cap numbers for the military and the Department of Energy and other key agencies, none of that gets resolved in a C.R. So it's time to start governing and not just run things on auto pilot three weeks at a time.
CABRERA: Senator Lindsey Graham is pushing for this deal that would re-open the government first and foremost. It would keep it funded until February 8th. Fellow Republican John Cornyn says a vote on that is scheduled still for 1:00 a.m. Is that something you could vote yes on?
HEINRICH: Once again, I think if we give them three weeks, they will waste if first 19 days and then come back to the table, and ask for another.
So if we can get an outline of a deal, and use three weeks to put that together, a deal that addresses the immigration time bomb that the president has created that addresses the budget levels for the DOD AND the Department of Energy, and others, that could be a constructive path forward, but right now, that's just -- that's a road to nowhere.
[17:10:15] CABRERA: So you're willing for the government to be shut down as long as it takes to get them to agree to some of those items you just listed?
HEINRICH: I have repeatedly supported a one-day or a three-day C.R. because that keeps everyone at the table. It keeps the pressure on.
It keeps the focus of the American people on us doing our jobs, but I think if we -- if we support a three-week C.R., we're not going to get any closer to actually resolving any of the underlying budget issues or the other things that are coming to right now.
CABRERA: I want to get your response to what we are hearing from the White House today, Vice President Pence making a political statement before troops, blaming Democrats. Let's listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to demand that they re-open the government. In fact, we're not going to re-open negotiations on illegal immigration until they re-open the government and give you our soldiers and your families the benefits and wages you have earned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Then there is also this, when you call the White House, you get an automated message that said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for calling the White House. Unfortunately, we cannot answer your call today because Congressional Democrats are holding government funding, including funding for our troops and other security priorities, hostage to an unrelated immigration debate. Due to this obstruction, the government is shutdown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Senator, you are on the armed services committee. What is your response?
HEINRICH: You know, once again, what we see this White House that would rather play the blame game than actually lead. I think that any president in the last 50 years could have landed this deal right now.
This is not a complicated deal where people are football fields apart. We are getting close and there is just no leadership from this president, no leadership from this White House.
Every time they do commit to something, they walk it back a few hours later. That is part of the problem here, and I would at least, you know, with respect to Senator Graham, he has been in good faith negotiations unlike the White House, unlike Senator McConnell.
So, you know, what will get us to, yes, is a bipartisan agreement with real negotiations playing that sort of political blame game doesn't get the people in the military working in my state that much closer to resolve.
It doesn't get them the full year appropriation that the Department of Defense itself said we must pass or it is absolutely caustic and horrible for our military.
So, you know, once again, we don't see leadership from this president, but that is not going to stop all of us from pulling together and continuing the negotiations, and getting this solved.
CABRERA: But does anybody win when we're in a government shutdown?
HEINRICH: I certainly don't. My state doesn't, but at the same time, right now we need -- we need some resolve to these issues. We're in the midst of a slow motion government shutdown and have been for over 100 days now.
We're functioning on auto pilot with numbers that are absolutely detrimental to our military among other agencies. So, we need some certainty now, and we need to do it through a deal that actually gives a year's worth of appropriation so that all of our agencies can plan for this.
CABRERA: A lot of Americans would say, yes. Do it. Make that deal. Right now though, both sides have been digging in their heels a little bit. Are you worried about blowback on Democrats at the polls as this shutdown is continuing?
HEINRICH: I think the longer this drags on, the more frustrated the American people will be with both sides. But they also know that this is a president who has been pining for a shutdown for over a year.
This is a president who put somebody in charge of the Office of Management and Budget, who is in-charge of the shutdown caucus in the House. So, I think they understand how we got here.
I'm focused on how we get out of this and how do we get to a deal. And the only way to do that -- you know, I'm an engineer. So I like to look at numbers. Sixty votes, that means it's going to be a bipartisan agreement. It won't be written by one side or the other without the other side at the table. And that's what we need to get back to.
CABRERA: We wish you a lot of luck. Senator Martin Heinrich, thank you very much.
HEINRICH: You bet.
CABRERA: Coming up, are DREAMers worth a government shutdown? Americans were asked that question in a recent poll, and their answers were a bit surprising.
[17:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Happening now, signs of a potential breakthrough on day two of the government shutdown. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell just met with the top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer. We are hearing that a crucial vote is set for 1:00 a.m. Eastern.
Let's talk it over with Doug Heye, former communications director for the Republican national committee, Eliana Johnson, national political reporter for Politico, and CNN political analyst, Nathan Gonzalez who is also editor and publisher of Inside Election.
So, Eliana, the very latest CNN poll show the gap between Dems and Republicans is tightening. Democrats still hold the lead, but we're pointing out, when it comes to independence, they are now leading toward voting for a Republican candidate. So, is this good news for Democrats or bad? How do you see it? ELIANA JOHNSON, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, POLITICO: In the short-
term, it's not good news for the Democrats, but when this matters, it doesn't really matter until the 2018 midterms. And we have got a long time to go until those 2018 mid-terms.
[17:20:00] I think the calculation that Democrats are making is that just as the 2013 shutdown had absolutely no impact on the electoral fortunes of Republicans in the following years' midterm elections.
The early 2018 shutdown will have zero impact on Democrats' fortunes in the late 2018 midterm elections. They just think, voters are going to forget about the January shutdown by November, when voters go to the polls, these numbers will change and it won't matter at all.
CABRERA: Nathan, are Democrats though risking overplaying their hand right now because polling also shows the majority of Americans do not think protecting DREAMers is worth a government shutdown.
NATHAN GONZALEZ, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, I think there is risk on both side, there is some Republican -- more Republican risk, since they do control the White House than Congress.
But what I think we're -- sometimes we're missing through this discussion is that, when you are looking at placing blame or risk, we don't have a national election, and this is a state by state or Congressional district by district battle.
And so when you have the Senator Heinrich on, he is up for re-election this year, but he represents New Mexico, which Hillary Clinton carrier.
He is in a very different position than some of his colleagues who are writing in those Trump states like Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Their calculation is different. I think that's why you saw some of them buck the rest of their party and vote for this bill -- the bill on Friday.
CABRERA: The president's allies are hoping to actually benefit politically from this shutdown. I want to show you this Trump campaign ad that has to do with immigration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUIS BRACAMONTES, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT: Only thing that I (BLEEP) regret is that I (BLEEP) just killed two.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's illegal immigrant Luis Bracamontes charged with murdering two police officers.
BRACAMONTES: I wish I (BLEEP) killed more of those (BLEEP).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's pure evil. President Trump is right. Build the wall. Deport criminals. Stop illegal immigration now. Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants. President Trump will fix our border and keep our families safe. DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm Donald Trump and I
approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Doug Heye, this is not an outside group. This is the president's re-election campaign. Do you think this kind of rhetoric helps the GOP?
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think it helps Donald Trump with his base as he is trying to solidify them for the larger population. Obviously, this kind of rhetoric is a turnoff, but this Trump administration has made the decision but they don't care about that.
They are about tightening their base as much as they can, and exciting their base who are going to respond to that. That's why you saw, Paul Ryan, today kind of answering about this ad in not so positive terms.
It further coarsens the political dialogue just with the language accused in there, and that's a problem, but you know, as we're looking for what the political impact will be.
And you know, having work in the last shutdown in 2013, they are not seeing electoral problems, you know, a year later, what we know is this can put a damper on fund-raising.
This can also help fund-raising. So an ad like this, can help Donald Trump and the RNC raise more money, that is not unimportant moving forward to what at least at this point could be a very difficult year for Republicans.
CABRERA: Nathan, this divide isn't just along party lines. You have some Republicans like Senator Rand Paul who voted against the short- term funding. Also, you have Democrats in red states up for re- election in 2018 who voted for this bill. Why is this more complex than a partisan divide?
GONZALEZ: Well, I think you have people disapproving of the C.R. for different reasons. I think for someone like, Senator Paul, it's not for the same reasons as the Democrats. It's about spending and things being -- government being out of control.
But again, this is about -- this is a state by state risk, and one thing that I was thinking about is that when you look at the DREAMers issue, and you ask people their opinion on it, what these national polls don't tell us is how they are prioritizing that issue when they go to vote.
And so I think Democrats in 2016 kind of got caught where they looked at individual issues and said look, the American people are on our side, but those weren't priorities for them when they actually cast a ballot.
CABRERA: Eliana, as we wait to see how this shutdown showdown is going to unfold, I want to read something you wrote in an article recently, the attitude permeating the Trump Administration reflects to some degree, the confidence that comes from finding that the world keeps spinning every time they do something they have been warned would have dire consequences like withdraw from the Paris climate accord or announcing plans to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
So, Eliana, even if Trump's team and inner circle thinks, like, we're going to get past this no problem. We have done this before. It's worth noting he has remained largely uninvolved in the most recent negotiations. Do you think this has anything to do with Republicans not trusting him after the infamous Chuck and Nancy meeting?
JOHNSON: I think there are a couple of reasons. Certainly, the distrust from both Republicans and Democrats of the presidents and their uncertainty quite about where he stands, has something to do with that.
[17:25:00] That being said, the president has been on the phone multiple times today with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. But I was really struck in my multiple conversations with White House aides yesterday by just how relaxed they were about this whole situation.
There was really a sense several told me that they think this shutdown will only last the weekend, that it was really meant for Democrats to be able to send a statement to their base that they stood up to Republicans.
And that it would be over very quickly, and the president really had a sense that he was told the sky would fall when he withdrew from the Paris climate accord. He was told the same thing when he moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the American embassy in Israel.
And he was told the same thing about the shutdown, and so I think they kind of feel immune from all of these warnings that the next thing is going to be the catastrophe that undoes the Trump administration.
So my sense from White House aides is they are feeling pretty relaxed and they do think that this is going to come to a close. When you talk to Democrats, you hear something quite different.
CABRERA: Doug, to that point about where the president side of that, you touch on this earlier but I want to dig deeper with you. We know the president has been on the phone today with Republicans but democrats, what does the president have to lose in this fight? Do you think his base actually likes that he is not conceding anything especially on immigration?
HEYE: His base likes when he doesn't can cede anything on anything. This is one of a constant that we see in Donald Trump. Ultimately, I think the biggest risk for Trump here is that he could lose the title that he has given upon himself as the great negotiator.
If Donald Trump has been able to close a deal to prevent the shutdown, no doubt that he would have given himself enormous credit, and so would Congressional Republicans. And if he is at -- you know, if he at the microphone with Chuck
Schumer -- or Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer are at the microphone together, that would cement Trump as a great negotiator to talk to one of his core skills that he always promoted himself with the American people.
That is some that -- that is at risk, and the thing I'm hearing the most from folks on Capitol Hill is that if we don't get a short resolution on this, and this is certainly what happened in 2013 as well.
If this doesn't come to a resolution rather soon, then this is going to go on for a long time, and this is going to be very hard to firmly predict where the blame will go, but it certainly will ramp up the discussion that all voters have at all parts of Washington.
CABRERA: Do you think he is to blame though for making any deal a moving target as Chuck Schumer has stated?
HEYE: I think there is blame all the way to go around this. And you know, Ana, one of the things that we don't talk about on the T.V. news is the appropriations process. We don't talk about the budgets process.
It's complicated and not terribly sexy. If we has a working appropriations process, I could talk for hours about the Labor HHS Appropriations Bill, but your viewers would fall asleep. I might fall asleep while talking about it.
CABRERA: We don't want to do that. Don't go there then.
HEYE: We're not -- exactly. We're not here if we have a working appropriations process. The reality is, Congress is broken. It's broken on the Republican side and it's broken on the Democratic side.
CABRERA: Nathan, politically, who needs a compromise more, Democrats or Republicans?
GONZALEZ: Well, I think both sides need to get -- I don't think in the end that both sides benefit from an extended shutdown, but if this energizes Republicans -- I mean right, Democrats have the enthusiasm at them. You put the numbers up there.
But there's one unifying opponent in the Democratic Party and having President Trump in the Oval Office is energizing Democrats.
Republicans aren't as energetic but if something like this gets Republicans feeling like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are blocking the president, and it could get them to vote in November, and it could end up benefiting Republican and helping stay, or it could be a catastrophic midterm to just a bad midterm for the GOP.
CABRERA: Doug Heye, Eliana Johnson, and Nathan Gonzalez, thank you all. HEYE: Thank you.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
GONZALEZ: Thank you.
CABRERA: Still to come, women's marches are going on across the country for a second day in a row. We will go live to one of the rallies in Las Vegas, next.
[17:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: On the heels of the one-year anniversary of President Trump's inauguration, protesters are once again staging women's marches in cities across the country and around the world.
This time though, they are taking their message a step further encouraging people to use not just their voices, but their votes to make political change. CNN's Sara Sidner is at one of the largest of today's rallies in Las Vegas. Sara, you spoke with organizers. What are they hoping to achieve?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They really are making this strategic. That is their mission here. It's not just about marching. This is about getting to the polls and calling this the power to the polls rally.
Here are the people who are here, thousands of women from all over the place. A lot of folks here throughout Nevada, and the reason why they decided to have the one-year anniversary and their event here in Nevada is because this is a swing state.
Part of their strategy is trying to slip states, bringing people out with all of the different political issues that they want to tackle, everything from guns rights to productive rights.
That's why they are in this particular state, and they are looking at many others. They have talked today about going to Texas. They talked today about going to Ohio. They talked about going to Pennsylvania.
That is where they are going to target next. You are hearing lots of different speakers on the stage. We have heard from organizers who brought this to the floor, the national organizers.
But we are expecting to hear from some celebrities, including Cher. She was a last-minute add, a lot of folks on the crowd didn't know she was coming. She is expected to come here and speak as well. Ana.
CABRERA: Sara, last year I remember the women's marches were centered in Washington, D.C. This year though, they are in Vegas. Why Nevada? What is -- is there significance?
SIDNER: The significance really is they are looking at each state that they think they can basically flip or a Senate seat for a governorship, hoping that they can get women in power, hoping to get progressive in power.
[17:35:08] And that is part of why have chosen the west and to move west if you will, trying to get voters in these states who could have an impact. For example, on 2018, they are looking at the Senate seat here in Nevada which will come up that has a Republican in the Senate Seat.
They are also targeting Nevada in part because this state actually has quite an interesting history, and it is the second state in the nation to have the second highest number of women in office, so they are being strategic about where they target, and they are looking west at the post in couple of weeks.
CABRERA: Got you. Sara Sidner in Las Vegas. Thanks so much. Just like calls from Democrats and some fellow GOP lawmakers to resign. Missouri Governor Eric Greitens insist he stay.
And it comes less than two weeks after Grietens admitted to an extramarital affair. In his first on camera interview since then, the Republican apologized to his wife and children. But he still is denying threatening to blackmail his mistress by releasing an elicit photo if she spoke out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ERIC GREITENS (R), MISSOURI: This was a consensual relationship. There was no violence. This is all consensual. Everything that has been -- all of these allegations, there was no hush money.
There was no violence. There was no threat of violence. There was no blackmail. There was no threat of blackmail. No threat of a photograph in blackmail. Those things are absolutely false.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Two officials tell CNN, the FBI has recently opened an inquiry into Grietens. The FBI, however, not commenting. Coming up, this is a live look at the Senate floor where lawmakers are struggling to come to an agreement as we near day three of a government shutdown. We'll talk to a former lawmaker who has an insider's perspective, we will also be talking to Senator Blumenthal who is speaking right now, later in this program. Stay with us. You're in CNN Newsroom.
[17:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Right now it's the blame game and political implications of this government shutdown could reverberate all the way through the midterm elections.
Let's talk it over with CNN political commentator Steve Israel, a Democrat, and a former New York Congressman who has been through a shutdown before. Congressman, you were there during the last shutdown in 2013. What are your takeaways right now as you look on from the outside what we're see right now?
FORMER REP. STEVE ISRAEL (D), NEW YORK: Well, Ana, I was in the democratic leadership during a shutdown in 2011, near misses actual shutdowns, 2013 and beyond. You know, this is kind of like -- for both sides, it's like walking on a tight rope where you have a wind blowing in your face.
You have a wind blowing at your back, and then you have cross winds from both sides. And so, at the end of the day, you just have to be faithful to your principle, you've got to stand your ground.
Of course, once things that we were concerned with, was that everybody gets the blame. But I actually learned a very important lesson. I shared the Democratic congressional campaign committee when the Republicans tried to shut down the federal government over Planned Parenthood.
And I've got to tell you, our phones were ringing off the hook. People wanted to run for Congress, and the generic ballot was spreading. We thought we had the high ground.
And a few months later, the Republicans kept their majority in the House of Representatives, and so if this is a transient environment, you've got to stick with your principles and I'm glad the Democrats are doing what they are doing right now.
CABRERA: But does everybody stick to their principles than the government shutdown won't end, so who blinks first or who should blink first, Democrats or Republican?
ISRAEL: Well, look, first of all, the person who should blink first is the person who should seal the deal. The president of the United States has a responsibility for getting everybody in a room and working this out.
Now we know where this is going to end. Nobody will be surprised at how this deal is consummated. This is likely to be a short-term extension of funding and then you're going to see some additional funding for border security, I believe, and you're going to see a resolution on the DREAMers.
This is going to be a deal where the beauty is in the eye of the beholders. People will be able to -- those who like it will talk about the pluses, and those who don't like it will talk about the negatives. But everybody will have something.
What does surprise me is that the guy who wrote, The Art of the Deal, hasn't been able to pick up a crayon or a pencil to figure out how this deal is going to be outlined. At the end of the day, it is his responsibility to bring people together.
CABRERA: Do you agree with what the Democrats are doing? Their strategy kind of putting it all on the line, regarding immigration and I guess, they are making the gamble that that is an issue, that is what's most important to their party. Even though polls show that people favor the government being open over protecting those DREAMers.
ISRAEL: Two points, Ana. First of all, look, if the Republicans could do this without Democratic votes, they would do it. The fact of the matter is that in our system of government, they need Democratic votes to pass the continuing resolutions.
And if you need Democratic votes, then the product has to reflect Democratic values and conversely, if you need Republican votes, the product is going to reflect Republican values. That is fair enough.
And the second point is, polls may show one thing or the other, but one of your prior panelists just hit it absolutely correctly when he said, this is not about national polls. This is about how this is playing in a midterm election in the 30 to 45 competitive districts around the country.
That is what is important now from a political perspective, from a policy perspective, we have to get this government open again and see some functionality.
But for those who look at polls and parse it, and wonder who is going to get the blame and who's going to get the credit, and where these polls end up? What matters is not the 30,000-foot view right now, but how this is playing in those moderate competitive districts around the country.
CABRERA: Before this shutdown, you co-wrote an op-ed with a psychologist about our politically divided nation saying, when people feel under attack, that triggers a heightened emotional response which only furthers the divide.
[17:45:00] Is that what is playing out on Capitol Hill right now?
ISRAEL: There's no question, and it has been playing out on Capitol Hill and in coffee shops, and doughnut places, and thanksgiving tables around the country. This I think is fascinating.
I was in charge of messaging for House Democrats. And you know, a message is not what you want to say. You've got to tap into how people feel, and we did all this research with Dr. Drew Westen, who wrote the book of Political Brain, and learn that there is a cognitive dissidence.
It is a real one. I mean, how many times have your viewers who support President Trump, her people opposed him and said, we must be on different planets?
And how many times have people who oppose President Trump heard his supporters and said, we've got to be on different planets. Well guess what, we're not on different planets, but we're activating different portions of our brain.
There are -- there is such a thing actually, as red brains and blue brains and that's what's happening now. Find a point on this, you can see it with a shutdown.
Ana, the same people who in 2011 argued so strenuously that Planned Parenthood, you know, should not get funded and therefore, the government should shut down, today argue that the DREAMers have nothing to do with the budget, and the government should stay open And the same people who said in 2011 that Planned Parenthood was, you know, a vitally important issue and should be connected with the budget, have a different view now. So there is this dissonance.
CABRERA: A lot of people would say, politics as usual, I guess. Congressman Steve Israel, as always, thank you very much for your insight.
ISRAEL: Thank you.
CABRERA: Coming up, as the government shutdown enters the second day, many national parks around the country are closed, including the Statue of Liberty. Now the governor of New York says he has a plan for the state to step in and reopen that monument. We have details next.
[17:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: When government shuts down, so do many other things like national parks. For instance, the Statue of Liberty is closed from the time being. Not all parks are closed, so many of the open air areas of parks and public land like Arizona's Grand Canyon are still open to guests.
Meantime, Ford's Theatre in Washington is closed, so is Philadelphia's Independence Hall. Polo Sandoval is joining us from Lower Manhattan. So, Polo, tell us about this new plan for the Statue of Liberty.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it all boils down to one simple thing here, Ana. The New York governor now promising that he wants to use some of these state funds to essentially foot the bill to pay the employees who work at the Statue of Liberty, so that is a short-term solution.
That is something that they have arranged with the federal government, the Department of Interior as they try to find this temporary fix. AS you may imagine though, a lot of people who try to make it over to visit Lady Liberty, but the last two days it's going to shutdown.
So today that development, the governor, Andrew Cuomo, now promising that it will be open again tomorrow. The reason why this is happening is because the Statue of Liberty itself, it is on Liberty Island, which is part of New York.
However, the statue is itself is run by federal employees. So that is where some of these emergency funds, this tourism dollars would essentially be used for, about $65,000 a day to pay some of these employees. You hear from the governor who says it's still extremely important that Lady Liberty reopens again as soon as possible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. MARIO CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: I know that the Statue of Liberty is a federal -- federally controlled memorial. But it's a major income generator for New York State. And we don't want to lose the income and symbolically, you can shut down the government, but you can't shut down the Statue of Liberty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: This would not p be the first time this happens, Ana. Back in 2013, not only in New York, but other governors from around the country ended up tapping into some of those emergency tourism dollars to reopen some of their parks, this is something we've seen before.
But for many people who have come here to make a trip and to see it up close, they certainly have been disappointed. On this very spot, I spoke to a family who traveled here all the way from Australia. They were relieved to hear that it's expected to reopen and the governor's own words, tomorrow, it is back to work. Ana.
CABRERA: The issue of national parks being closed or open, that's just a very tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact of this government shutdown. Polo Sandoval, thanks for the update there. Still ahead, we're live on the red carpet of the Screen Actors Guild Award. How the Me Too movement is making its mark tonight.
[17:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: It's a big night for Hollywood as stars gather for the Screen Actors Guild Awards and unlike the Oscars and Golden Globes, these awards are chosen by their peers.
Many of this year's top nominees feature stories by and about women. And tonight's show comes as the hash tag Me Too movement is empowering women to speak out against sexual misconduct.
Stephanie Elam is joining us from the red carpet. So, Stephanie, do we expect anything like the Golden Globes when we saw all the female guests wearing black in solidarity?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, I can tell you as the stars are starting to arrive, we're starting to see some beautiful colors out here. Still a lot of black, but I mean, that's people getting dressed up anytime, right? But what we will see in the show is a very female dominated show.
What we'll see tonight is, Kristen Bell, it's going to be the first actual host of the SAG Awards. They only don't have a host, starting off with Kristen Bell and there will be a lot of female presenters as well.
People here are still thinking and still talking about it. And you will see that, even on some of the nominees here. One movie that people are talking about is three billboards outside of epic, Missouri.
It has four nominations. The most of the film is up again including Lady Bird, Get Out, Mudbound and The Big Sick. And when you look at that, a lot of these movies and on TV as well, you're seeing they are dominated by women like Big Little Lies, which you also will see that Nicole Kidman is nominated for, Reese Witherspoon, as well. And also one of Golden Globe as well, as to Nicole Kidman, so you're
going to see this theme throughout the night here. But still, it's a celebratory night as you're seeing that stars trying to get here. The cast of This Is Us, just arrived. We're seeing the cast of Black, this year, and also Stranger Things, Ana.
CABRERA: All right, Stephanie Elam in Los Angeles. You look beautiful, my friend. Thank you for that report.
ELAM: Thank you.
CABRERA: Top of the hour, I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. You are live in the CNN Newsroom. Thank you for being with us.