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AT THIS HOUR
Sources: Trump Willing to Authorize Release of Democratic Memo; Will Trump "Own" Stock Market Losses; Stock Market Seeing Big Swings; Interview with Rep. Pramila Jayapal; Trump: Democratic SOTU Response "Un-American, Treasonous"; Crucial House Vote Ahead of Government Shutdown. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired February 6, 2018 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:01] BRIANNA KEILAR, CDNN ANCHOR: This morning, sources tell CNN the president is willing to authorize the release of the Democratic memo based on the recommendation of the FBI and the intelligence community.
I want to discuss this with CNN political commentator and former senior communications adviser for the Trump campaign, Jason Miller. Also with us, CNN politics reporter and editor-at-large, Chris Cillizza. And we also have the former deputy secretary of labor under President Obama, Chris Lu, with us.
So let's talk about this Democratic rebuttal to the Nunes memo.
Jason, I wonder what you think. The Nunes memo was detailing alleged abuses by the FBI, by the DOJ. Do you think that it serves the president to release this? Does he have much of a choice? What do you think?
JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: As I said last week, I think we should have both memos out and have the supporting source material as well. I think, at the end of the day, once both of these are out and we look at it, a couple of things will be true. Number one, they're still not going to be one shred of evidence that says that President Trump colluded with a foreign enemy to swing the election. And, second, I think it will be clear that Adam Schiff still remains the greatest hype man in Democratic politics. He's basically like the Don King of House Democrats. You know, first, with the Nunes memo, the sky was falling, everything was going to be terrible. Now with this memo, there will be all these great revelations. I'm sure it will be all bluster. And what we find is, going back to 2016, there is way too much politics and at the top levels of law enforcement. And now we have a fresh start, like the president was talking about, let's let law enforcement do their job.
KEILAR: Some of the trickiness of this for Republicans, for the White House, Chris, is going to be redactions. Because this is -- this is classified information. There could very well be something in there that shouldn't be released. However, Republicans, their memo, was not redacted by the White House. Does that sort of tie their hands on how they handle this?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yes. I think it is important to note what you did and to keep noting it, which is the Nunes memo and its release was unprecedented. We don't see this happen all that often. Now I think -- Jason is right, I think the president will let it go through. We're now going to see another one of these. So unprecedented, times two.
These have become political documents. Whether they were intended to be so or not --at the start, I think they were -- but whether they intended to be so or not --
KEILAR: You're so nice. You're like, well, maybe they will, maybe they weren't.
KEILAR: You're so nice. I always feel like Chris will give me the benefit of the doubt.
CILLIZZA: My strong guess is that they were. The point is, they are now. And so any redaction will be taken as a sign that, well, if you would -- it is the old, you can imagine what he wanted to say, you know. And it is going to be some of that. I think, ultimately -- I'm actually with Jason on that. I don't know that either of these are the smoking gun that either side wanted. I know conservatives insist the Nunes memo -- No, I shouldn't lump -- some conservatives think the Nunes memo, now that it has been released, proves once and for all that everything is totally fine, and that Donald Trump is exonerated. I don't think it does that. I don't think the Schiff memo is going to say, oh, my gosh, here it is, the smoking gun we have been waiting for.
KEILAR: Chris Lu, you're nodding. You're nodding along. What do you think?
CHRIS LU, FORMER DEPUTY SECRETARY OF LABOR UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think the challenge is for Democrats -- I mean, if this were a criminal defense case, the prosecution hasn't made its case at all. And the defense poked all kinds of holes. At some point, they may be better off resting at this point and not putting the memo out there. But clearly, whether it is Jason or the congressman you just had, there is a lot of people out there who think that the Nunes memo says more than it says. For the sake of completeness, you're better off putting this out there. But I think, in the end, this is a wash. It will be a two-week dust up and the Mueller investigation will continue.
KEILAR: Let's talk about the market, shall we? Let's talk about it.
You had this headline, Chris Cillizza, "Live by the Dow, die by the Dow." CILLIZZA: Yes.
KEILAR: Well, living by the Dow, that's something the president has done by setting some pretty high expectations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion and more in value in just this short period of time.
The United States is doing fantastically well. Better than we have done in decades. The stock markets are incredible.
You're seeing what's happening with the stock market. People are appreciating what we're doing.
The stock market is way up again today. And we're setting a record literally all the time. And I'm telling you, we have a long way to go. And had the other side gotten in, the market would have gone down 50 percent from where it was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: You said that the Democrats are hype masters, Jason Miller. I don't know. I'm looking at the president there.
He set some high expectations, Chris Cillizza. The problem with that is now you have to manage them.
[11:35:01] CILLIZZA: Yes. I mean, the stock market -- presidents get too much credit for the stock market going up and down and the economy doing well or poorly, and too much blame when it does worse.
That said, I thought what the White House spokesperson said yesterday afternoon was right, which is the bottom line is the economy -- this is unlike 2008 when John McCain --
CILLIZZA: -- during the campaign. The fundamentals are much stronger than they were in 2008. And most independent analysts agree with that.
The problem is that that comment runs counter to the president of the United States, having made all the comments that you just made, which is, yes, we shouldn't get overhyped about a thousand points, not great, but we shouldn't get overhyped about it. But if you're overhyping on the other end, it is hard to then say, well, the drops don't matter, but the increases do.
KEILAR: It is a double-edged sword, Chris.
LU: It is. It is a reason why presidents generally don't talk about the stock market. President Trump would be on much safer ground talking about job gains, wage gains. And it is important to understand the stock market fall comes after a pretty strong jobs report last Friday. The challenge, ultimately, for the president is a stock market not only goes up and down, but it's an imprecise measure of what the economy is. Only about 50 percent of Americans own stock, whether individually or in a 401K. But Chris is right, the fundamentals of the economy are strong right now. KEILAR: How can the president, Jason, effectively manage this as
people are, you know, biting their nails looking at the stock market. Because 50 percent of people do have investments in the market.
MILLER: I think most folks with money in the market are not biting their nails. They're taking a look at the overall growth in the economy. Chris made a good point, where it's always important to talk about the economy, not just in terms of the market, but in terms of wage growth, jobs growth.
And, Chris, if you look back at your days with President Obama, you would have given your left arm for numbers, to see 3 percent wage growth, seeing the jobs going up.
Again, that is what made the market have the downturn, which I believe will be temporary because wages are going up so much. It's important to keep in mind, during the election, that President Trump only lost union households 51 to 42. A phenomenal number. And the reason why is because he campaigned on higher wages and more jobs. We're seeing exactly that a year into his term.
I think most people know the market is going to correct itself. It's not always the complete indicator of what is going on. Sometimes Main Street versus Wall Street. Overall, the economy is sound. It is great. And the point to the market was about 18,000 when he got elected. Now it's at 24,000, shifting around a little bit. That's up a third in this stretch. That's phenomenal.
KEILAR: I'm out of time.
I'm out of time, Chris Cillizza, but I'll have more time for you tomorrow.
CILLIZZA: I'll write my thoughts on my personal word document.
KEILAR: Thank you. I appreciate it. You can send them my way.
Chris Cillizza, Chris Lu, Jason Miller, thank you so much.
So is the worst behind us or are we in for some more pain? Up next, we'll go back to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and try to make sense of these wild sings in the market.
[11:42:21] KEILAR: A day after the Dow's single biggest point drop in history, the markets are still seeing big swings.
I want to check in with CNN Money's Cristina Alesci.
Cristina, what are you hearing from traders there on the floor?
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: Well, you said it. Big swings, volatility is back. That's what I'm hearing on the floor, and hearing from my sources on the phone. We're bouncing around right now. But just to give you a sense of how big the swings were, when I came in this morning, we technically had a correction. We went into correction territory. We came back from there. And to put some numbers around this, Brianna, at the open, we dropped over 500 points. And momentarily after that, we were up about 200 or 300 points. That just gives you a sense of how crazy trading has been yesterday and today. And the measure of volatility, the VIX index, has been -- has hit a two-year high. It is down a bit today. But we expect to see this continue to rise.
As to why this volatility is back in the market, people are just simply saying, look, things have been stable for too long. So there's nothing more that breeds instability than prolonged periods of stability. It sounds kind of simple, but that is the truth. Layer on top of that, the expectation for the Fed to raise rates and you get the kind of activity that we're having today.
The question is, how long does it last? Corrections can be short and sweet, but they can also be prolonged. And we can see this kind of crazy trading activity for quite some time -- Brianna?
KEILAR: Cristina Alesci, on the floor of the stock exchange, thank you.
I'm joined now by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, from Washington State. She's on both the House Budget and Judiciary Committees.
Congresswoman, we appreciate you being with us today.
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL, (D), WASHINGTON: It's great to be with you, Brianna.
KEILAR: When the stocks fell yesterday, you tweeted something. You said, "Why is the stock market crashing? #goptaxscam creates enormous deficits paid for by working Americans. Then, GOP-controlled House and Senate do absolutely nothing to raise debt ceiling and pass a real budget. All this could lead to catastrophic default."
So you ascribe this volatility -- can you explain to us -- entirely to the actions of the president and congressional Republicans? Is that fair?
JAYAPAL: I think it is an enormous part. And, you know, it is true there is volatility in the stock market. But investors are not stupid. They look at an economy and they look at the things that are coming up and they make their assessments about where the economy is going to go. And when you see that we're about to go into our fifth continuing resolution, and we have no plans around how to raise the debt limit because Republicans, who control the House, the Senate and the White House, have refused to talk to Democrats about how to get the votes they need to raise the debt ceiling, and to make sure we're passing a permanent budget. Investors look at that, and they say, wait a second, this is crazy. On top of the fact that we have just increased the deficit, you know, substantially, and now we're going to have these increased interest payments. So they're looking at all of that and saying, whoa, whoa, whoa, this is not a market we want to take a chance on. That's why you're seeing these enormous drops. Is it entirely --
[11:45:35] KEILAR: But if -- if this stabilizes, and then you have the president able to point to good jobs numbers, you know, a bump in wage growth, I mean, then by that logic doesn't he also get credit for that?
JAYAPAL: Well, the president hasn't been able to point to that. He's been using isolated instances of companies, you know, giving a bonus or increasing jobs, but for every one of those instances, there are other instances of, you know, other companies, like Kimberly-Clark, cutting jobs. There are other instances of companies taking all of those tax cuts and rolling them back into shareholder profit or saving that money, which is one of the things we knew might happen. So we're not seeing, you know, the kind of evidence for any kind of a boost to the economy.
And if we did, I'll tell you, Brianna, it would be very short term. Once again, you know, we haven't resolved these longer-term issues. And I worked in banking for several years and ran my own nonprofit organization kind of like a small business for years, and we are constantly having to evaluate. That's what the stock market is. It is an assessment of whether or not there is a stable economy. This president is so outrageous on so many fronts and makes claims that he has no backing for, and then increases the deficit
JAYAPAL: -- to a point where, you know, I think people have forgotten that Republicans used to be seen as the fiscal conservatives. They're certainly not anymore.
KEILAR: I want to get to what the president said yesterday and have you react to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You're up there, and you've got half the room going totally crazy, wild. They loved everything. They want to do something great for our country. And you have the other side, even on positive news, really positive news, like that. They were, like, death. And un- American, un-American. Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yes, I guess, why not?
Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn't seem to love our country very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP) KEILAR: I have a couple of questions about this. The first one, which we'll dispense with, is his talking about treasonous. Sarah Sanders saying that was clearly a joke. Will you react to what you heard?
JAYAPAL: I think it is so disturbing that we have a president who would use that word in a campaign context to really, you know, diminish what treason really is. This is a president who is increasingly looking very desperate. The Nunes memo was a big flop. The only thing that it showed to me was that this president is terrified of what the Mueller investigation is actually going to reveal. To talk about individuals sitting in a chamber, reacting to false claims and things that the president is saying that they find offensive and not rising, to call that treasonous is pretty -- I don't even have the words to describe how beneath the office of the president that is.
KEILAR: To his other point, which I want to ask you about as well, he's saying that essentially -- if you extrapolate from what he said -- Democrats could be in the place where they're looking like they're cheering against good news, right? Good economic news. Is that a problem for you if Democrats look like they're cheering against something that could be good because it favors Republicans politically?
JAYAPAL: The problem is that the president claiming credit for a long-term trend -- I think he might have been referring to his comments around African-American employment numbers going -- unemployment numbers going down, when, in fact, we just saw that in the first year, for the first time, we are actually seeing those numbers go up. This is -- he's taking credit for something President Obama put a lot of time and energy into. So I'm not worried about us looking bad. I'm worried about what's using the office to do and the ways in which he continues to perpetuate claims that have no basis in reality.
KEILAR: Congresswoman, thank you so much.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal with us today.
JAYAPAL: Thank you so much.
[11:49:54] KEILAR: Still ahead, with the government on the brink of another shutdown, the House is set to take a crucial vote today. We'll give you the state of play, next.
KEILAR: We are less than 72 hours away from another government funding deadline and the possibility of another government shutdown. The House plans to vote on a short-term spending bill that would keep things running through March 23rd. House Republicans have the votes to pass it but there's no commitment from the Senate to back it.
Joining me more is CNN congressional correspondent, Phil Mattingly.
What's the latest there, Phil?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's not as easy as you would think it would be at this point. We've been through this multiple times. Brianna, this is now the fifth short-term funding bill they will consider in this Congress. As you know, the House Republicans are very clear they have the votes to move their iteration of the bill forward. They will do that probably around 6:30 or so tonight.
Here's the problem. There is 16 hours left until the government officially runs out of money. And what they're going to send to the Senate, across the capitol, has no future in the Senate. What the House bill actually does, as you know, it extends government funding through March 23rd. It also includes a full defense appropriations bill on top of that. Senate Democrats have made clear, Brianna, they're not good with that. That will be stripped out. What they will put in its place is now the big question. There are intense negotiations between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate. In fact, Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, a short time ago, walked out of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office. They're talking about a budget-cap deal. This has been going on for six months or so. It's always been very close but just out of reach for both parties. It would increase defense spending and increase non- defense domestic spending, something for both parties. If they can lock in that deal, that opens up a wide array of things they can attack to a short-term bill. That's what they would like to do if they can actually get there. If they get there, that means they're going to have to send it back to the House where House Republicans aren't so keen on all of that. So I know this is a little bit confusion. Luckily, you've covered this place. You know if quite well.
Basically, here's the deal. 60 hours left. The House is going to pass something today. That has no future. And there are still multiple steps to go in that period of time. When you talk to aides in both parties, nobody thinks there's going to be a shutdown. Everybody is confident that things will get wrapped up before the deadline. They're just not total surely how yet. So that's where we stand -- Brianna?
[11:56:01] KEILAR: It's fun to cover, I will say that, Phil, but it's a mess once you're looking at this from off the Hill. Who knows, maybe the fifth time will be the charm here with this short-term funding measure. You never know.
Phil Mattingly, on the Hill for us, thank you so much, sir.
Still ahead, a wild day on Wall Street after yesterday's record- breaking dive. We'll get some insight from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange after a quick break.
[12:00:12] JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King.