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Collins Used Stick in Shutdown Negotiations; Trump Dreamers Position; Short-Term Spending Bill; Academy Awards Announced. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired January 23, 2018 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:54] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: The federal government is open, but it runs out of money again in 16 days. Between now and then, senators have a lot of work to do, and it's going to have to be bipartisan. They're going to have to take on big budget issues. They're going to have to deal with immigration, defense spending. And it's not just how much. It's when and how.

So, will they be able to do this? One person who definitely says yes is Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine. She led a bipartisan group of senators in talks to reopen the government and she used a now-famous talking stick.

Senator Collins, good to have you.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: Thank you, Chris. Good morning.

CUOMO: What is a talking stick?

COLLINS: Well, I can show it to you.

CUOMO: Whoa!

COLLINS: And as you can see, it's beautifully beaded. And it was given to me by my friend, Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. And it is originally from Africa. And it is used to help control the debate in a meeting, particularly when you have a large number of loquacious people. And it was very helpful in making sure that everybody's voice got heard when we were doing the discussions in my office day after day after day.

CUOMO: Yes, they use the same thing in my kid's kindergarten class.

COLLINS: Now, now.

CUOMO: Is it true -- is it true, senator, that someone threw the stick during the meeting?

COLLINS: I think a more accurate word would be that there was -- usually I would pick up the stick and take it from person to person, but sometimes it was tossed. And, in this case, the toss went slightly amiss.

CUOMO: With enough force to break a glass elephant on your shelf, is that true?

COLLINS: Well, it only chipped it. It wasn't -- it wasn't a disaster by any means.

CUOMO: Well, we'll take progress where we find it.

What did that experience -- not the stick throwing, I'm done with that now, but what did having the senators come together tell you about the prospects for the next 16 days?

COLLINS: It tells me, Chris, that there really is a commitment to moving forward, to come up with a solution for the dreamers, and give them a path to citizenship since most of these children were brought to this country at a very early age through no decision of their own, and they should not be penalized for the decisions that were made by their parents.

It also tells me that we will probably -- or we absolutely will have to have a border security piece to that legislation, but there are many different people working on this all over The Hill. And I am optimist that our group of 25 bipartisan senators have shown the way forward if you're willing to work hard and listen to one another.

CUOMO: Now, I know that an x factor is the president. And we have reported on how the position seems to shift around. And I know McConnell was uncertain as of a few days ago where the president stands. But Mick Mulvaney just said something to me that was troubling. And he said when I kept asking him, where is his position on DACA? What does he want? Under what circumstances do they get to stay? How -- you know, how will it work? He didn't answer except by saying what he gives, well, let him speak for himself. Here's when he said, senator.


CUOMO: Just say what his position is on it.


CUOMO: How do they get to stay? Who gets to stay?

MULVANEY: Again, depends on what we get in exchange. What do we get for border security? What do we get for a wall? Senator Schumer, this weekend, said that he gave the president everything he wanted on the wall. I've challenged that. Senator Schumer says that he insists that he gave it. We'll have a discussion. Did he really offer $20 billion in appropriated funds or did he just offer $20 billion in authorized funds?


[08:35:11] CUOMO: Does that sound right to you? I get the dickering on the wall, how much money, how much wall, how much fence, all that stuff. I get it. I get it. But when we're talking about the dreamers, the human beings, are the conditions under which that they get to stay in the country, should those be subject to what he gets in return? COLLINS: Well, this is a negotiation. But I think there is a

compelling humanitarian justification for taking care of the dreamers and removing that cloud of uncertainty under which they are at risk of deportation perhaps starting as early as March. I've met dreamers from my state. One of them was brought to this country at age four. He has no memories of his native land. I feel like he's as American as we are. And he didn't even know that he was here illegally until he went to apply for a driver's license.

CUOMO: A common story. We hear that from a lot of people. We just heard it from Jorge Garcia in Michigan who was brought here at 10. He'd been here 30 years. He was just torn away from his family and is now in Mexico City. But -- so do you -- do you envision a scenario where the president may have, you know, those who are listening to him say, well, they didn't give me as much money as I wanted on the wall, so I'm going to reduce the freedoms of dreamers. And instead of a pathway to citizenship, which I don't even know is on the table, they're going to have to renew every 18 months. I was going to make it every 36 months, but now it's only 18. Do you envision something like that?

COLLINS: It's very difficult to know, but I'll tell you, I find tremendous sympathy on both sides of the aisle for a path to citizenship for the dreamers.

CUOMO: That word doesn't come out of a lot of Republicans' mouths, senator, by the way, unless maybe you're shaking that stick at them.

COLLINS: Well, the president called me last night to tell me he had signed a bill into law that I authored. And we, of course, started talking about an immigration compromise. And I -- I don't want to speak for the president, but I found that he listened very carefully and that he seemed to understand the issues and be sympathetic to this population while, of course, determined to strengthen border security.

And we should do that. You know, we have a tremendous flow of heroin in particular that's coming into this country through our southern borders. So there are reasons to be concerned about border security. I think we can put together a package that can pass.

CUOMO: He just tweeted, nobody knows for sure that the Republicans and Democrats will be able to reach a deal on DACA by February 8, but everyone will be trying with a big additional focus on military strength and border security. The Dems have just learned that a shutdown is not the answer. It's interesting, because, as you know, the president tweeted as recently as in May that sometimes he thinks a shutdown could be a good thing. And, in 2013, he said the same kind of thing about a shutdown and saying everybody will blame the president.

But his vacillating ideas aside, a pathway to citizenship, do you believe that that's something the president may go for? Do you think that's something that your party would ever go for?

COLLINS: I can't speak for the president or the House, but I'll tell you, I find tremendous empathy for the dreamers and a desire to give them a pathway to citizenship as long as they obey the rules and I think we can get there. I really do.

CUOMO: Well, I appreciate the optimism. Let's see what happens in the process. And, senator, you are always welcome to come here and tell the American people how it's going and what your concerns are.

COLLINS: Thanks so much, Chris.

CUOMO: I heard you're the one who threw the stick, by the way, and broke the elephant. I just want to get it out there.


CUOMO: Just kidding. Thank you very much, senator.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: A very colorful stick. Great to see it.

So, as we mentioned, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says that President Trump's position on dreamers depends on what he gets in return. Will the negotiator in chief get a DACA deal done under the deadline? "The Bottom Line," next.


[08:43:38] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Just say what his position is on it. How do they get to stay? Who gets to stay?

MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: Again, depends on what we get in exchange. What do we get for border security? What do we get for a wall? Senator Schumer, this weekend, said that he gave the president everything he wanted on the wall. I've challenged that. Senator Schumer says that he insists that he gave it. Well, we'll have a discussion. Did he really offer $20 billion in appropriated funds or did he just offer $20 billion in authorized funds?


CAMEROTA: All right, that was the White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on NEW DAY a little while ago saying the president's position on the future of dreamers depends on what he gets in return.

Let's get "The Bottom Line" from CNN's political director David Chalian.

So, that's not a position, that's a negotiation.


CAMEROTA: And that's where President Trump starts.

CHALIAN: But I don't even understand it, guys. What does that mean? Like either you want to, from a policy perspective, protect the dreamers and have them live here legally without fear of deportation, able to work, or you don't. I don't understand which side of that matters on how much funding you get for the wall.

CAMEROTA: Well, he wants all that. I mean what you're talking about, he -- he has said, if we can believe what he said, he wants that protection, he wants them to live here with fear, he want sympathy, the bill of love. But in terms of, you know, if it's going to be legalization, citizenship, who it's going to be, how long it's going to take, what he gets in return, that's all on the table.

[08:45:00] CHALIAN: And, you know, a negotiation obviously will ensue. That's what this is all -- was all about. This is why, you know, there are a lot of activists very concerned with the Democrats on the left side of the party because they didn't get a solid deal in place. And so it is up to a negotiation now. And it just seems to me, though, that Mick Mulvaney is once again putting the president in the position that made it so difficult all along --

CUOMO: Right.

CHALIAN: Which is not knowing exactly what he wants.

CUOMO: Here's what's unusual. Compassion is usually not calibrated, OK? If you care about a group of people, if you think that there is a humanitarian or suffrage issue, you usually address that. And, yes, you can want other things. But, ordinarily, your compassion for something is not calibrated to how much you get in return for helping.

CHALIAN: That is certainly true. I don't necessarily think that the White House is approaching this as sort of a compassion moment as much as they are a deal making moment.

CUOMO: A bill of love?

CHALIAN: And -- well, that's true, he did use those words, Chris, there's no doubt about that. But what I think is -- and what I think Mick Mulvaney is preserving the space for negotiation for is, you guys saw Steve Scalise's comments this morning, the number three Republican in the House.


CHALIAN: We're all so focused on the Senate and how this is getting done, there's nothing here yet about how House Republicans are going to be brought onboard on this, which is really where the most ardent opposition to any kind of immigration deal exists.

CUOMO: Right. And Mulvaney says that Schumer -- and he used the hash tag Schumer shutdown, and I reminded him that's what the Russian bots are using also and he was like who? But he said that the date that McConnell offered him for this, he was going to do anyway. And that Schumer thinks he got that. He didn't even get that. That was going to happen anyway. Do you believe that?

CHALIAN: I believe that this date, this notion of three weeks was being discussed before there was a shutdown. I think the facts bear out.

CUOMO: But for a vote on immigration, that he was going to put one on the floor anyway, McConnell was?

CHALIAN: Well, that I don't know. I don't think we ever heard Mitch McConnell say that. So that is news to me.

But, again, the Senate now reopens the government. The Democrats get onboard. This is that moment that is talked about all the time. This is President Trump's signature issue. If House Republicans, who have been very, very opposed to this, are somehow going to follow along with granting legal status to people, that is going to require Donald Trump providing some political cover there. And what you heard from Mick Mulvaney today suggests to me that they're not yet clear on how he's going to provide that political cover.

CAMEROTA: Well, you've also heard from Leader Mitch McConnell that he's not clear on what to present the president. He said like as soon as he gets some clues from the White House, then he'll know what kind of bill. And so it's this, you know, crazy catch 22 where nobody wants to start with a position.

CHALIAN: Exactly. And I'll add one more person into the mix, Alisyn.

CUOMO: The Democrats are starting with a position (ph).

CAMEROTA: Well, sure, but on the Republican side.

CHALIAN: Paul Ryan. Remember, I mean, it -- this is -- this is the kind of stuff that caused John Boehner to be ousted from his job, right? So how does Speaker Ryan manage his conference now, too? He's got to get added into the mix here.

CUOMO: So what -- I have a question for you that nobody seems to be able to answer. Do you believe that because of this compressed window and the very different nature of the issues on the table, so many of them are about appropriations and budgeting, and then you have immigration, do you think this is going to be two separate bills, which is what the McConnell promise anticipates, right, that he put to the floor immigration. He never said that it would involve all these other issues as well. Do you think it will be two or one?

CHALIAN: It certainly sounds to me, from listening to McConnell and people around him, that this is not going to be included in the big funding bill. That this is -- that this would somehow be dealt with separately, but we'll see. Perhaps the negotiations will make it so much that if indeed there's wall funding and there's a DACA deal, if you put it in a must-pass spending bill, perhaps maybe they'll find votes more easily that way. I think we'll have to wait to see that, Chris.

CAMEROTA: All right, David Chalian, thank you very much for "The Bottom Line."

CHALIAN: Thanks, guys. CUOMO: All right. So tonight we're going to dig deeper into what we just heard from Mick Mulvaney. Does love come with strings attached and what is the way forward for Democrats and any kind of bipartisan deal, 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

CAMEROTA: OK, meanwhile, the Academy Awards nominations have just been announced. So we break down the nominees and the snubs. That's next.


[08:52:37] CUOMO: It's Oscar time. The Academy announcing the 2018 Oscar nominees.

Joining us to break them down, CNN contributor, "Entertainment Tonight" host, the one and only Nischelle Turner.


CUOMO: Always nominated and winner in our book.

CAMEROTA: Oh, yes.

CUOMO: So, what have you got? What do we want to start with, best picture?

TURNER: Yes, I think we should. Let's start with best picture, if we do, because, of course, the nominations just came down. If you could see like the desk over here, I've got so much stuff going on.

But the nominees this morning, "Phantom Thread," The Post," "The Shape of Water," "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," we'll go on, "Lady Bird," "I, Tonya," "The Disaster Artist," "Get Out," and "The Greatest Showman."

A couple surprises in there. Number one, "The Greatest Showman," a movie that I really, really liked but didn't have a lot of momentum going into the nominations this morning in the picture category, although it did get a nomination for a Golden Globe. So that was a surprise this morning.

Also a surprise -- a bit of a surprise, "The Disaster Artist" getting a nomination for best picture. Some people thought "Molly's Game" would get in there or "The Florida Project." I think the frontrunner in this category is "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." It's won just about every award in this category during awards season. I think it will continue to go on and win the Oscar.

A little disappointed that "The Post" has lost some momentum. It's my favorite movie of the year. But it is nominated this morning as well.

CAMEROTA: OK, so there's a big headline in the director category, right?

TURNER: Big headlines, yes.

CAMEROTA: So this female director, Greta Gerwig, who was snubbed at the Golden Globes has been recognized.

TURNER: Absolutely, and very deserving, might I add. Greta Gerwig, yes, the fifth woman to be nominated for an Academy Award in the directing category is nominated today for "Lady Bird." And the movie is fantastic. It's also in the best picture category.

Jordan Peele as well, nominated for "Get Out." A lot -- the fifth African-American to be nominated in the director category as well. "Get Out" is a little bit of an anomaly. It was also nominated for best picture. A lot of people are cheering this. This is a movie that was released last February, if you remember. And if you -- if you think about it, when movies are released early in the year, you usually don't get a lot of fanfare. They're kind of the movies that are afterthoughts, not really heralded. But this was a social experience. It's a move that got people talking and it has continued on until now. And Jordan Peele told me that it is -- he made the movie "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" in a horror film. So -- yes. So it will be really interesting.

[08:55:05] In the director category, though, a big snub in this category, as well, I -- Martin McDonagh who directed "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," was not nominated, which is a big surprise because the movie will probably win best picture and the actors in it --

CUOMO: Best picture but not director. A little unusual.

TURNER: Absolutely.

Frances -- exactly.

CUOMO: All right, what about actress in a leading role? What do you like?

Well, speaking of "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," Frances McDormand is the frontrunner here. She will probably win the Oscar for best actress in a leading role. But my favorite performance on film this year was Sally Hawkins in "The Shape of Water." She also got a nomination this morning. Meryl Streep getting her 21st Oscar nomination this morning for "The Post." And I think this is an really interesting category. Margot Robbie, if you saw "I, Tonya," she became Tonya Harding. So she got a nomination this morning. Very, very deserving. So we are happy to see that.

And Saoirse Ronan for "Lady Bird" also getting a nomination.

CAMEROTA: OK, let's take -- take us through the actors who was nominated.

TURNER: Yes, the actors, this one is pretty much a lock, I think, as well. Gary Oldman nominated this morning for "The Darkest Hour," playing Winston Churchill. He's won just about everything that -- this award season. Timothee Chalamet, also nominated for "Call Me By Your Name." That could be his biggest competition. Daniel Day-Lewis in "Phantom Thread," which he's saying is his last acting role. He is the consummate actor. One of my favorites, Denzel, getting the nomination for "Ronan Israel Esq." And --

CUOMO: That was a good film. That was very interesting. Very different.

TURNER: It was a departure for Denzel.

CUOMO: Right.

TURNER: It's a role we've never seen him play before. He was very, very good. And then Daniel and I'm going to murder his last name -- Kaluuya for "Get Out" was nominated this morning, which everybody is really happy for too because he -- he's just --

CAMEROTA: I hope he pronounces it the way you just did because that's a great last name, Kaluuya.

TURNER: I know, it is.

CAMEROTA: If that's his name.

OK, that's fantastic. Do we have time for you to just explain Mary J. Blige? What's she doing now?

TURNER: Yes, you know, just a shout to Mary J. Blige, a double nominee this morning.


TURNER: I mean think about her. She is like the queen of hip-hop soul.

CUOMO: Right.

TURNER: And now she is an Oscar-nominated actress for support actress in "Mudbound." She was amazing. And also her song "Mighty River" for "Mudbound" is nominated too.

CUOMO: No hateration for Mary J. Blige.

TURNER: No more drama, baby. No more drama.

CAMEROTA: Nischelle, thank you. Thanks for all the breaking entertainment news. Great to talk to you.

TURNER: Absolutely.

CAMEROTA: All right, CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow and John Berman after this quick break.

See you tomorrow.