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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  January 2, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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awry, he speak out. >> there are critics that say senator romney now is being an opportunist. he was positive about trump when he was in the running for secretary of state, when he accepted his endorsement during his senate race and that he just does this when it's convenient for him or he's being an opportunist. what do you say to that? and the notion that he is trying to be the new face of the republican resistance? >> if you follow governor romney's for senate, would you see in june of 2018 he wrote a very similar opinion piece outlining the same thing. if you followed his tweets, the governor has consistently disagreed with the president on his attacks with the media but supported him on others. this is the way mitt romney has approached him for months and years. he is with the president on issues but when he disgreasagre he's not going to be afraid to speak out. mitt romney is mitt romney. he wants to get things done in washington, wants to find common
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ground with both parties and get things done for his state and the country. >> ryan williams, thank you. appreciate it. >> don't miss a live interview with mitt romney at 4 p.m. eastern on "the lead." >> you are watching cnn right now. the first meeting is scheduled between republicans and democrats since the government partially shut down four days ago. minutes before the gathering is taking place, the president sent a big sign that the situation will get worse before it gets better. in his first cabinet meeting of 2019, the president stood firm the government should spend $5 billion for a border wall. a no-go for democrats. >> would you expect anything less than 2.5 billion? >> not 2.5. we're asking for 5.6. somebody said 2.5. look, this is national security
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we're talking about. just like we talk about the military, just like we're talking about syria or afghanistan or all these different places. i mean, we spend in afghanistan more in one month than what we're talking about for the wall. what i'm talking about is the 5.6 billion that the house approved. the 5.6 billion is such a small number. literall literally, it's one month in afghanistan. >> how long do you think the government will stay shut down? >> could be a long time or could be quickly. it's too important a subject to walk away from. >> how long are you willing to keep the government shut down? >> as long as it takes. look, i'm prepared -- i think the people of the country think i'm right. i think the people of this country think i'm right. again, i could have done nothing opinion i could ha , i could have had a lot easier presidency by doing nothing. but i'm here, i want to do it right. >> so the president had a
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variety of topics explaining his troop withdrawal from syria, slamming his ex-defense secretary james mattis and responding to mitt romney's condemnation of him. joining me now, gabriela orr, white house reporter for politico and jeff mason, white house reuters correspondent. jeff, you were in that room as lawmakers arrived for this meeting. it sure sounds like both sides are digging in. >> it certainly does. the president made very clear that the wall was his top priority. he did indicate he's willing to see what the democrats come to the table with. he did say he thought they could make deals in 2019 and work together, but then he just doubled down on that wall and said, as in the clip that you just played that the government could stay shut down for some time. he went over and over again with secretary nielsen, the secretary of homeland security and the attorney general and acting for
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justification as far as needing the wall and talked about it's a major security issue. that's the message he's going to bring in this afternoon in the situation room, which adds another element of secrecy and importance to that topic. >> what is your reaction to what we heard from the president and do you think anything will actually be accomplished? this meeting at the white house right now? >> pam, i think three things became clear today. number one, this dynamic of the good cop/bad cop that the president has insinuated is going on is not happening in fact. nancy pelosi and chuck schumer are very much on the same page heading into this 3 p.m. meeting today at the white house. that makes it more difficult for the president to get it deal. number two, i think it became clear today that congressional leaders want to be negotiating
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with nobody but president trump himself. we heard during the pool spray during the cabinet meeting earlier today that president trump still wants in a $5.6 billion figure, even though his vice president, mike pence, offered 2.5 billion just days ago. so the white house isn't even on the same page at this point. and number three, i think that this meeting that's going to take place is just sort of offering president trump cover to say we've had a briefing on homeland security, laid out all things happening at the border and democrats will likely talk to reporters about what happened and he'll be able to say they still don't want to cut a deal. what we learned today is this shutdown is going to go on far longer than 11 days, it's probably going to drag on to mid january and that the president is not able or even willing to negotiate down from that $5 billion figure. >> and while all this is going on, there are nearly a million federal workers not getting
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paid. it is interesting to see the president undercut his own vice president in that meeting in is the second time the vice president has tried to talk to lawmakers about the government shutdown, reassuring them the government would sign the cr, which did not happen. >> he dispatched mike pence to capitol hill last weekend to sit down with chuck schumer to talk about this. no deal was made out of that. and even then senator schumer told politico they didn't necessarily feel as though vice president mike pence was verying the view of the president, that they weren't convinced that president trump was okay with that $2.5 billion number and he was still set on getting the full 5 billion. >> and, jeff, i want to bring you back in focusing on the white house meeting this hour. trump tweeted mexico is paying for the wall via the reworked trade deal.
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this tweet is not accurate at all. first, the trade deal with canada and mexico still has to be approved by congress. is he right by how much of at wall being ren open vated or built? what's his take on that? >> that's something that the white house has to but i think it goes back in general to what he said now and what he's been tweeting about. he's trying to put focus on that that he pa made, is the chance for even if it means leaving lots of government workers without paychecks. so he's drawing a line in the stand. he's showing some willingness to talk and work with democrats if he can, but whether it's undermining his vice president or going over the funding that he wants over and over again,
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and right now the signals is he's not willing to compromise on that wall. >> he may have undercut himself that through this reworked trade deal mexico is paying for the wall. then why would o. to build those steel slots he's now been talking about apparently. not only is this tweet factory incorrect, this trade deal has not even been approved by congress yet. so therefore, it could not possibly be that he's following through on a campaign promise that is imperative to him getting re-elected in 2020, even if on the surface it not factually all different types of things that would shu get and we all know that is not happening at this point. >> jeff, what was that all
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about? >> i don't know the answers. >> what did you i think it had a date of november 4th. i don't know why that was there. i saw it when we were in there with press pool spoken to anyone about why that was there and where it came from. it did sort of we were in there for about an hour and 45 minutes listening to the president, listening to cabinet officials and seeing that poster. >> one thing that's clear is that the president was looking forward to this. he rwanda to talk today. he made mention of being there alon. thank you. we appreciate it. >> my pleasure. >> and president trump responding moments ago from the scathing op-ed about him from incoming nor and has created a
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happy of debate today. >> coming up, we'll explain what's at stake. and later senator elizabeth warren heading to iowa this weekend to kick off her presidential bid but two other democrats are scoring better when it comes to electability. find out who. chicken?! chicken.
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well, the day before he officially joins the senate, mitt romney is already in a war of words. his opponent, president trump. in a skati scathing op-ed romne the president for not rising to
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the mantle of the presidency writing "a president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. it is in this province where the i incumbent's shortfall has been most glaring. the president said mitt romney should be a team player. y rnc chairwoman rhonda mcdaniel blasted her uncle on twitter saying, quote, potus is attacked and obstructed by the msm, media and democrats 24/7. for an incoming republican freshman senator to attac attack @realdonaldtrump as
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their first act feeds into what the democrats and mia want and is disappointing and unproductive. >> let's tack a look back at this roller coaster relationship between the president and utah's newest senator. >> it's my honor, real honor and privilege to endorse mitt romney. >> being in donald trump's magnificent hotel and having his endorsement is a delight. >> i like him a lot. he is a friend of mine. i like him a lot. >> donald trump is a phony, a fraud. his promises are as worthless as a degree from trump university. >> mitt is indeed a choke artist. he choked and he choked like i've never seen anyone choke. he was begging for my endorsement pip could haendorse me ment. i could have said, mitt, drop to your knees and he would have
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dropped to his knees. >> they've had an on again-off again relationship. why do you think mitt romney wrote this op-ed? >> i think he wanted to lay down a marker, pam, as he coming to washington, d.c. to be sworn in, i think he saw a vacuum given the passing of john mccain, given the fact that bob corker and jeff flake are no longer in the united states senate, let's be fair, all of us are all too willing to afford a platform of someone in the gop who is willing to call out the president of the united states. i think he saw that opportunity and wanted to serve in the as to the type of u.s. senator he seeks to be. i had wondered was he going to be the more moderate mitt who governed massachusetts or was he going to be the self-described, quote unquote, severe conservative that he's introduced to the country in 2012. he pants to be perceived as a
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principled conservative willing to take on the president. >> he said i agree with many of the policies but i think that he's amoral essentially. the president's response was pretty mouted, he came out and said i hope he's a team player and i think he will be. >> he started to give him a mond moniker, wanted to see whether he would be flakey or a flake but he didn't quite go, there calling him out as he did so many others. that was a surprise from the president. because we're used to him if he crossed giving you a nickname and then that's the end. >> so what do we make of it? we can't get inside the president's head but do you think that's a reflection of the president knowing he's going to need romney's vote moving forward in the senate or not
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thinking that romney's a threat? >> i would like to tell you that maybe it a kindler, gentler donald trump in 2019 but of course i don't believe that. i really can't explain why he went soft on him. but i don't think it will continue if mitt romney continues to call him out. >>, something that we've heard from others recently. today harry reid said trump is amoral and last fall a senior official said that the root of the problem is the president's amorality. is this a line of attack we should expect to hear more of in the coming months? >> i don't know if it's been that successful. it's been successful in those predisposed to president trump. but we p you also heard president trump east response today, which is to say i'm
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essentially the most popular american president in the history of mankind. there's no denial that his approval numbers within his own party are incredibly tie. >> on that note it certainly raises the question how effective is romney in his criticism of the president? he is not the only one whose opinion of the president has shifted over time. rand paul is defending him today, defending the president today. but listen to this exchange from a 2015 cnn debate. >> i think really there's a sophomoric quality that is entertaining about mr. trump, but i am worried, i'm very concerned about having him in charge of the nuclear weapons because i think hisvisceral res approach people on their experience short, tall, fat, ugly, my goodness, that's junior
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high. would rewwe not be worried to h someone like that in charge of the nuclear arms? >> mr. trump? >> i never criticized him for his look and, believe me, there's plenty of material right there. >> will they have any impact in your view? >> i'm caught up in all of this as i'm sure you are as political junkies and political animals. i think to much of the country, it's all just spectacle now. and that's a shame. the whole process has been debased. i don't know that the back and forth frankly matters all that much. that clip that you ran at the outset is stunning, in terms of the on again/off again relationship between the president and mitt romney. how can you take either of them serious live when they've been on all sides of just the issue
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of their own relationship seriously. >> i want to talk about romney versus romney. the rnc chairwoman public live attacking her uncle on twitter and siding with the president. what is your take? >> looks like the romney family is much like the smerconish family and a lot of other families in that a butter knife away at the thanksgiving table, you've got somebody who disagrees with you politically. >> but would you actually go after a family member on twitter? >> not on twitter. maybe at the thanksgiving table but not on twitter, no. >> thank you again posh coming on. a and. well, up next, an intern killed by a lion. a toddler rushed to a hospital after a rhino encounter. we'll take you live to the miami zoo to hear from an expert about what can be done to prevent
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well, two recent fraj trage are fueling growing concern over the safety visitors of u.s. zoos. in florida, a rhino injured a toddler who managed to geez through a railing and fall into the animal's pen. and sunday, a lion roaming
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outside its area mauled an intern to death. the 911 call has just been released. >> this is the conservation center, there has just been a lion attack. >> a lion attack? >> yes. >> how bad are they hurt? >> they're incapacitated. if you can find out anything else, call back and let us know, the ems first responders are already on the way. >> i wonder what happened. >> both places are closed. it appears the 2-year-old little girl got through those bars. they're about 11 inches apart. this is part of a rhino encounter. they have several of these sort
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of encounter areas of the brevard zoo where people can brush or touch the animals. the zoo in a statement says the father was grasping the child the entire time. it n it's not like she went all the way into the cage. both the child and the mother were both injured. the familiar ly released a stat a short time ago. it sound like the child is in the arnold palmer hospital, the mother has been released. the other thing the zoo has said is it was two female rhinos that walked up to the 2-year-old, they were curious. one bumped her. today they changed it and said it touched her. it's not sure how she got injured if it was the parents yanking her back and she hit her head and she's in the hot to sp to make sure everything is okay. if goes witho it goes without saying if you're
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around wild animals, be careful? >> and this follows the mauling by a lion in north carolina. >> this is more of a mystery. this is a place the conservative center in burlington, north carolina. they had dealt with big cats for some time. the cats had been locked away in a part of the enclosure while human cleaned the larger enclosure. that's exactly what was going on in this situation, this 22-year-old intern who had just been on the job for ten days was in there with several other people. the cat -- the only thing the center is saying is the cat somehow got out of a locked enclosure and got at her and was able to maul her. her family is devastated, the center is devastated, an investigation clearly under way. but how it is that it got out is still a bit of a mystery. pamela? >> that's just a heart breaking story there. miguel marquez, thank you very much. i want to discuss this with zoo
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miami's communication director. ron, this rhino incident ratings with enough space between them for a child to squeeze through, what should zoos across the country be looking at today in the wake of this? >> well, i didn't understand your question very well. my communication was not great. if you're talking about the rhino enclosure, there are standard minimum requirements for search racials, it's 11 inches. in addition to that, i think now what we have here at our zoo is we have cables that go in front of that to prevent anything from getting up to those poles itself. it prevents any small child for going through. it's a wake-up call for all of us. we're reevaluating, even if we have those cables, to add something else. a child in a split second can run anywhere they want, even when you have adult supervision and these animals are wild animals. you can take an animal out of the wild, you cannot take the wild out of the animals. though we have the secondary
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barriers for our rhinos, we're evaluating to increase the barriers to make sure we can do whatever we can. >> it seems like there is this growing trend in zoos for this up close, personal experience with the animals, but realistically can zoos allow for this while also making it safe to prevent these kinds of tragedies? >> it's a very good question. bottom line is there's going to be instances where we can't allow small children to get in there. wild animals, especially predatory animals will sight themselves on a small child. there are going to be instances where we have to say a small child cannot be involved in these experiences. we may have to make that decision or we have to just make it that much more of a barrier where it might take away from the experience initially but safety has to be the priority.
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>> the lion mauling in north carolina. this happened at a wildlife preserve. is there a difference in how these facilities are regulated from state to state? do they need more federal regulation? >> absolutely. you know, the usda has what we call minimum requirements. a lot of these private organizations have to meet those minimum requirements but those minimum requirements really are just that, minimum. as an aza accredited facilities, you have to meet standards that set the bar much higher than minimum requirements. if you're going to go to an institution, make sure it is an az ooe accredited institution. it's very dangerous to lump in the accreditation a lot more expense for the welfare. i'm not saying the smaller institution does not care for
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their animals. they care for them profoundly. but sometimes it's cost prohibitive, which is why they can't be accredited by the aza. >> thank you so much. >> right now congressional leaders are inside the white house trying to find a way out of the partial government shutdown that has been dragging on for nearly two weeks now. we'll bring you any developments as we get them. plus netflix yanks an episode of a comedy show. was the company trying not to offend saudi arabia? we'll talk about the controversial decision up next. what makes this simple salad
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netflix is under fire today after the idea signatures to pull -- after the decision to pull an episode of "patriot act." take a watch. >> i am genuinely rooting for change in saudi arabia. i am rooting for the people of saudi arabia. there are people in saudi arabia fighting for true reform but mbs is not one of them. and to those who continue to work with him, just know with every deal you close, you are simply helping entrench an absolute monarch under the guise of progress because ultimately mbs is not modernizing saudi arabia. the only thing he's modernizing
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is saudi dictatorship. >> well, now netflix has blocked that episode from streaming in saudi arabia. it's a decision that has prompted widespread outrage and his colleague at the "washington post" calls the move outrage out. i want to bring in our cnn business reporter from london. what reason did saudi arabia give as to why netflix had to take this down? >> reporter: this episode originally aired in october. it was only in the last few weeks that netflix said it received a legal request from saudi arabia to remove this episode. and netflix wanted to emphasize it was a legal request, it wasn't just a general request for them to remove it. n netflix said they cited article 6 of their anti-crime cyber law. there's a lot in that episode that saudi officials would not be happy about hearing,
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including where he goes off against mbs. but anotherish s isis isis isis is him talking about how saudi arabia is home and he's pretty much doubting whether saudi arabia be in charge of these really religious sites. that probably contributed to this but we don't have more details necessarily on exactly what in that episode saudi arabia officials were not happy with. there was another episode released where he goes even harder related to the khashoggi killings and that netflix confirmed that episode is still up and available in saudi arabia. >> the episode has 1.4 million views already, at least double what his usual episodes get on youtube. what else is netflix saying as to the criticism that they are caving to the saudis on this? >> it's a great point that this
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controversy is likely giving hassan and the specific episode even more publicity. you have to remember that people in saudi arabia can get around this ban, use vpns to make it look like they're coming from somewhere else. and netflix pointed out that the original episode is available on youtube. netflix is saying they strongly report artistic freedom and only removed it after they received a valid legal request and to comply with local law. netflix said they don't really agree with this law but to able to continue in the country they had to remove this because it was a valid legal request sent to them and that's why they took it down. but this is something a lot of tech companies and media companies are dealing with now is that they want to be global, international companies. thinking google in china and the controversy over that potentially censored search engine they wanted to release
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there. they have to contend with these laws in these countries that don't necessarily comport with what these countries stand for when it comes to freedom of expression and freedom of speech. >> thank you very much for bringing us the latest there. right now as we speak congressional leaders are meeting inside the white house. will they find a way out of this partial government shutdown? we're monitoring that situation. >> and now that the race for the 2020 democratic nomination is officially under way, we're going to take a look at some early scorers. why some of the names aren't doing as well as you might think, up next.
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well, as politicians head back to work for 2019, the countdown to 2020 is already under way. senator elizabeth warren has launched an exploratory committee for a presidential bid and we're now learning new details about a potential run for former vice president joe biden. but one cnn analysis shows that some of the biggest names are actually underperforming when it comes to electability. with me now to discuss, cnn political writer and analyst breaking this all down for us. what did you find? >> reporter: what i essentially did was i looked at the senator who ran for reelection in 2018, the democratic senators who we think might be running in 2020 and compared to the house in the same states. we saw amy klobuchar and sherrod brown did much better than the
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house did while lelizabeth warrn did far worse than the house did in her state. >> joe biden is leading. what do you think? >> the fact is there is going to be a case made for joe biden. and biden has those roots in scranton, pennsylvania as he likes to say so much. look, he is beating trump in the recall polls but at this particular point it's very difficult to look at the early polls for the general election and project out whether or not those are going to be accurate. i think joe biden has a case to be made. i think the bigger case is whether joe biden as a white male can fit into the democratic party which is increasingly non-white and increasingly female. >> why do you think she's not doing well in her own state? >> it's a good question. brown in ohio has a progressive
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record and outperformed how house democrats did. it could also be the case that maybe there's something about her personally that voters don't like. i should point out, this is just one way to look at electability, right? we're going to have a case, elizabeth warren and the rest of the democrats are going to perform in many debates and we'll see how she does in that particular case. but i will say that when you look at how massachusetts voters view elizabeth warren, whether it be in her re-election margin or where they place her in early primary polls, despite the fact that massachusetts democrats know her very well, i think if you were to project that out and say, hey, these massachusetts voters who know her best don't like her in comparison as much as the other democrats, it's a warning sign to me. >> all right. harry enten, thank you so much. >> thank you. and any moment now, we could get news from inside the white house. congressional leaders are meeting with president trump as he insists he will not budge on the $5 billion that he wants for the border wall. plus, the supreme court getting involved for the first time in a case that has come out
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xfinity home connects you to total home security you can control from anywhere on any device. and it protects you with 24/7 professional monitoring. i guess we're sleeping here tonight. xfinity home. simple. easy. awesome. call, go online or demo in an xfinity store today. i was here on christmas evening. i was all by myself in the white house. that's a big, big house. except for all the guys out on the lawn with machine guns. nicest machine guns i've ever seen. i was waving to them. i never saw so many guys with machine guns in my life. secret service and military. these are great people. and they don't play games. they don't like wave. they don't even smile. but i was there all alone with the machine gunners. and i felt very safe, i have to
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tell you. they're great people. and there are a lot of them. but i was hoping that maybe somebody would come back and negotiate. >> so that was president trump just moments ago, pointing out that he was home alone at the white house for the holidays. while that was going on, the first lady spent christmas with him in washington, but returned to mar-a-lago to host their annual new year's eve party. and posted a rare selfie at her smiling at all the festivities as you see right here. i want to bring in white house reporter, kate bennett. she covers the first lady. so kate, is she filling in for trump while he works? or staying away? what's going on with the first lady right now? >> well, first of all, pam, i don't want to correct the president, but he wasn't really alone on christmas evening, because the first lady was at the white house. if you remember, she came back late on christmas eve to do the norad calls and to travel with him on the secret trip to iraq and then returned to palm beach. so, you know, they host this annual new year's eve party at
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mar-a-lago, which is a big deal. $1,000 a ticket this year. very fancy. and this year, melania trump had to handle the hosting duties by herself. sources tell me she was very affable and chatted with guests and took pictures. she didn't have cameras, there were no press allowed on the red carpet. however, she did post that selfie. we think that's barren trump's eye there in the selfie with her for happy new year. and certainly, you know, she's made a decision, and she's, as we have said before many times, a very independent first lady. she decided that the shutdown was not going to prevent her from her holiday plans, nor from being with her son, which is what her spokeswoman told cnn for her reason to return to florida after the christmas holiday and spend the rest of the time there. she is currently there today. a source tells me she plans to remain for a few more days down in palm beach before returning to the president, who is alone in the residence, at least everyone else seems to be back at work for now for the holidays. >> all right. kate bennett, thank you so much.
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>> thank you. for the first time, the u.s. supreme court is getting involved with the russia investigation. cnn has learned that justices could decide today if an unnamed foreign company will have to pay daily fines for avoiding a grand jury subpoena from the special counsel. cnn justice correspondent, jessica schneider, joins me now. jessica, tell us about this. >> yeah, pamela, this has been winding its way through the two lower courts here in washington, d.c. and when those courts ruled against this mystery foreign-owned company, that's when the company asked the supreme court to step in. so what is this unknown company fighting? well, they're fighting the order that compels the company to comply with a grand jury subpoena that is related to the special counsel's probe, and accompanying that, the daily fine that's been imposed for not complying. so while we wait to see how the full supreme court might act on this, the company actually already got one minor victory. that was two days before christmas when the chief justice, john roberts, he issued a temporary stay.
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and that stay allowed this mystery company to avoid those daily fines that the lower court had imposed. so now the supreme court has to decide whether to grant a more permanent stay. and pamela, it's likely the full court would decide that as opposed to just chief justice himself. so the question will be, will the court side with the special counsel and lift this stay, meaning the company will have to begin paying those hefty daily fines for not cooperating, or on the other hand, will the court side with the company and allow it to keep avoiding the penalty. but remember, pamela, this is all shrouded in mystery. we don't know who this company is. we just know that it's foreign-owned and we don't really know what details this company might have that the special counsel might be after. so could we get more of those details after the supreme court steps in more fully here, perhaps today or in the coming days? we shall see. pamela? >> we shall see. reporters are keeping a close eye on this. this has been this mystery case under wraps. and like you pointed out, it's still very much a mystery in terms of what company this is.
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all right, jessica schneider, thank you so much for that. we do appreciate it and happy new year to you. and "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. everyone in d.c. is talking about romney taking on trump. romney is here for his first national interview as senator-elect romney. "the lead" starts right now. putting up his mitts. senator-elect romney unloading on president trump, saying he's not what presidents should be made. is romney the new leader of the republican resistance? we'll ask the incoming senator in our live interview, coming up. with hundreds of thousands of americans beginning 2019 without a paycheck, president trump huddling with his cabinet and inviting congressional leaders to the white house. is it a reality show or a real negotiation? plus, forget 2019. bring on 2020. elizabeth warren, joe bide