tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 21, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
>> i understand the tax laws better than almost anyone. >> almost anyone? you mean someone understands tax laws better than he does? anything he can do he can do better. >> i'm better everything including this. >> cnn. >> no you can't. ♪ yes i can yes i can >> where to jump the shark? was it with the bible? thanks for joining us. anderson starts now. the federal government will shut down tonight. good evening. that is the bottom line after days of wrangling over the president's border wall and a week of turmoil surrounding this president, not to mention the worst week on wall street in a decade. tonight's deadline will come and go without funding to deep lights on. that means officers and agencies will close 25% of your government will go unfunded. 380,000 people will be put on
furlough. 420,000 people doing essential jobs, including about 55,000 at the tsa. they'll stay at work but not get paid. a lot of folks who will not be getting any paychecks over the holidays. just last week, the president said, if a shutdown happens, blame him. >> i'll tell you what. i am proud to shut down the government for border security. because the people of this country don't want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. so i will take mantle. i will be the one to shut it down. i won't blame you for it. the last time you shut it down, it didn't work. i will take mantle of shutting it down and i'll shut it down for border security. >> imagine that. today president changed his tune, starting with a tweet this morning. also, later during a press availability. this, he said, would be a democratic shutdown. even as he tried to avoid
accountability, to shift the blame, it is now his job with lawmakers in both parties to clean up the mess which we are now learning won't be happening tonight. phil mattingly joins us with more from the capital. despite the last-minute meetings, a shutdown is guaranteed. >> exactly. the house ha adjourned for the night. there will be no votes tonight. the top leaders are going home. if there's a deal to be had, it will not be tonight. the shutdown will start. the question s whether or not there will be a shutdown. the question, is there a deal that could be made over the next day or two or three. and here's the reality. as you noted, for days on end, there appeared to be no movement whatsoever. the president making it very clear his top line was $5 billion for the border wall and democrats making it clear they
wouldn't go anywhere near that and making it clear they thought they had the upper hand. what we do know, over the last couple hours, the flurry of negotiations, jared kushner coming up to capitol hill, shuttling back and forth, there is some sign the white house is willing to deal. the question is what that deal will be. nick mulvaney, the vice president, others, are still willing to meet. when you talk to democrats they've made it clear. they've put a bipartisan option on the table. a six-week stop-gap bill. the house is up to this point rejected that option. so where are the potential areas of agreement? what has been batted around over the last couple hours is perhaps moving back to what was the senate agreed upon in a bipartisan manner? $1.6 billion for security. with some other funds the administration will have access
to. if that sounds familiar, it is because it was rejected earlier in the week by democrats. where this all ends, nobody knows. there will be a shutdown at midnight and talks to find a way out of this will continue. >> we heard senators on the floor the last time they spoke saying, listen. we won't come back unless there's something that all sides are willing to back here. so that next vote won't happen, any idea when the next vote might happen, it sounds like no. >> not at this point. that's tangible movement. the idea that the show votes, or the procedural votes, people putting up bills and having messaging votes, that's in the past. that's the agreement reached. no, there was no agreement reached on policy grounds but there was that the next time the united states senate holds a vote, it will be on an agreement. when that agreement comes together, when it takes place, that remains to be tbd.
people i'm talking on caution that there's a lot to go on. a lot that needs to happen in the hours and days ahead. and there is a lot of movement that needs to happen from the president's baseline and from the democrats' baseline for anything to occur. so right now, everybody is in wait and see time. the reality is we won't hear anything until at leaf tomorrow. >> 800,000 americans won't be getting paid through the holidays. let's get more on how this is unfolding at the white house. jim acosta, you've been there following this. there is talk of compromise from the white house? do you have any idea what that looks like? what they're willing to give on? >> we saw the president earlier tonight putting out that tweet. he is not even demanding a wall. he'll take fence made of steel slats after all the months of campaigning and saying mexico will pay for the wall, he is now willing to give all that up for steel slats at the border. putting that aside, we did run
into the chief of staff who said he thought there could be a deal before midnight. i also talked to a senior administration official in the last few moments who said, it is not quite midnight. so there's the potential they could strike an agreement. as phil mattingly was saying, the mechanics aren't really in place. there aren't members on the hill in the house and senate to approve a compromise. who are not we get an agreement before the clock strikes midnight, perhaps there after, somewhere there after, i suppose you could have a technical shutdown. maybe an agreement in place before we wake up tomorrow morning. that is the best case scenario. i think the president has indicated, and i've talked to sources over here and they're indicating, the president is willing to dig in on this fight over border security. he wants some kind of consolation out of all this. and at this point he hasn't seen one yet. >> that's the 28 president views
it. he wants a win that reflects on him. connecticut senator richard blumenthal today had a tweet that speaks to the shutdown but also the perceptions of larger troubles happening at the white house. i'm quoting now. presidential free fall riding amtrak back to the senate. the only firm tracks seem to be the ones under the train. bipartisan leadership must restore rational governing abandoned by an impet with us petulant chief executive. joining me now, bernie sanders, independent from the state of vermont. thank you for taking the time tonight. >> you've heard the president. you've certainly heard republican leaders say this budget crisis is now on everyone's shoulders owned by the president. >> you just had it right on your program a few moments ago.
the president said i take responsibility for the shutdown. you have republicans running the senate, running the house, the president says he wants a shutdown. i think the american people are cheer about who caused the shutdown. the one point that your very comprehensive analysis missed, two days ago, unanimously, the united states senate reached an agreement to make sure the government did not shut down and extend process into february. then what happened is unfortunately, president trump watched television. he saw something on fox tv. heard something from rush limbaugh. and he changed his mind and sadly, really sadly, the entire republican congressional caucus in the house and the senate kind of caved in to him. and it is a heck of a way to run a government when you have a president who sees something on
television, tweets out his view and you have both the republican bodies and the house and the senate cave in to. >> so the figure in that measure that was passed, the senate was $1.6 billion. from the democrats' perspective, are you or others willing to go any higher? >> look, i think the wall is an absurd idea. i think it is a waste of money. i think it fans trump's illusions. no, i will not support $5 billion or money for a wall. everybody and i think he lies on this as well as everything else. highs when he suggests that democrats or progressives are not determined about border security. of course we are. everybody is concerned about border security. if you want to do it intelligently and cost
effectively, you don't get to a wall. there are much better approaches than that. >> i'm sure you saw the president's tweet going after this slats model. not a wall. he called it a steel slat barrier. there's the picture. it looks almost medieval with the pikes on the top there. does that make any difference to you or other democrats to not have a wall? to have a fence? >> we have an infrastructure in this country. our roads, our bridges, our water systems which are crumbling. we have veterans sleeping out on the streets right now. we have kids who cannot afford to go to college. we have a lot of needs thin thi country. and spending $5 billion on a wall is not one of our priorities. and we have to get our priorities right and take care of working families in this country and not just trump's illusions. >> what do you say to the folks who say that democrats, really
they sense the president being weak here. he is about to lose one chamber of congress to democrats. he knows the time is waning. the democrats see an opportunity to stick it to the president here. >> i don't think it is a question of sticking it to him. it is a question of spending taxpayers' money in an intelligent way. in a rational way. with so many terrible needs in this country, elderly people watching this program, trying to get by on $12,000 a year. people can't afford their prescription drugs. there are much better ways to have border security. >> the departure of the defense secretary, in the wake of a decision to summarily withdraw u.s. troops from syria, the home of isis. now the president is ordering the having the presence in
afghanistan, the home of al qaeda. in your view, are americans less safe today as a result of those decisions and the departure of the defense secretary? >> look. we've been in afghanistan for 17 years. syria is an enormously horrible and complicate civil war. in my view we need begin the process of bringing our troops home. but you don't do it by a tweet. you don't do it without informing your allies. you don't do it in a way that leaves allies and innocent people in a very dangerous situation. ie, the kurds. so you need a process, an international process to bring our troops home. and that certainly is not the way an impulsive president like trump is functioning. >> speaking of the former gop senator from maine, william cohen, i asked him last night if
he believes donald trump is fit to be commander in chief. he said no. do you agree? >> i don't believe temperamentally that donald trump is fit to be president of the united states. you cannot have a president who makes important decisions and overrides what the united states congress has worked hard to do because he saw something on a tv program. that's not the way the united states government should be functioning. >> thanks for joining us tonight. >> thank you. next, our political experts will weigh in. later, breaking news that goes straight to the question of obstruction of justice by this president. what mr. trump said to his acting attorney general and why it could spell yet more trouble for him going forward. and new insight into the president's state of mind as the stories and investigations swirl around him. later, should she be called
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and enter to win, visit geico.com/bestof. that's geico.com/bestof. whatever is agreed on for the border, there is little chance that the president will get anything close to what he's demanded and promised to voters during the campaign. >> i promise we will build the wall. who will pay for the wall? who will pay for the wall? who? it will be a great wall. mexico will pay for the wall. mexico is going to pay for the wall. mexico will pay for the wall. >> it's just not true and it never was. now it seems that he's calling for a steel slat barrier that in
actuality, even you and i could pay for. if could i begin with you, it was days ago that the president said in no uncertain terms, that he will happily, proudly own this shutdown to shut down the government. >> i am proud to shut down the government. the people in this country don't want criminals and people who have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. so i will take the mantle. i'll be the one. the last time you shut it down, it didn't work. and i'll going to shut it down for border security. >> now, of course, he's claiming to blame the democrats. how can he possibly do that? >> well, i have to tell you, out here in flyover country, not a lot of people who. >> reporter: real concerned that
who is responsible for it. all the people pointing back and forth. when i heard him say that in the white house, it made me smile. i knew immediate reply bipartisan government and washington would be all atwitter about it. out here we don't really care who is responsible. those of houston voted for the president, who supported the president. >> it's okay, the president said in no uncertain terms repeatedly and proudly and loudly that doesn't matter? >> i don't care who is responsible. i want a wall. we have people dying every week because of opioids. 75% come across that border. and the experts tell us, the wall works. 89% of the border patrol officers want that, give it to. they i'm tired of people dying in my little town. i want to see the no of the opioids stop.
>> your response? >> we should find real solutions by using real facts. we know that this president is no friend of facts and no friend of the truth. that's why he has to resort to fear mongering. it is ridiculous for people to take him seriously when he said he would build the wall and make mexico pay for it. that was lie number one. making mexico pay for it. number two, the majority of voters want the wall. the majority do not believe a wall will be successful. can we talk about real comprehensive border security? real strategies that will secure our border? absolutely. guess who has done that historically. democrats. undocument immigration was at a full time high. when barack obama came into office, he put in a comprehensive strategy working republicans to devote real strategy and tactics on border security. guess what. it worked. immigration from mexico which
was the largest at the time is now net negative. now let's find a solution to keep the central americans moms and dads and safe in their own countries so they don't have to come here. but that's not what this president is interested in. he wants to deport kids instead of criminals of he wants to deport grandmothers instead of gang members. let's focus on real solutions. >> i want to get to you, too. you know that when you speak to the experts, the nature of that border, hundreds of miles long, there are some places where the law makes a difference and some where it doesn't. where would it strike folks, even folks who defend that bored per this is more about a political pledge than the actual goal of defending the border. a quick response. charlie, i want your view. >> i want to hear charlie, too. that i know the border, the solution on the border, border security isn't entirely wrapped around a wall. i know the democrats voted
against kate's law. they voted against keeping ms 13 and other violent offenders out. >> that's just not true. >> even in 2006 they voted for a wall. >> we voted for real border security. okay? let's talk about facts. >> in 2006 you voted for a wall. >> we voted for real comprehensive immigration. >> you served -- >> look, i voted for the secure act in 2006. the secure fence act attempted to help establish operational control of the border. it authorized about 700 miles of vehicular and pedestrian barriers on the southern border. nobody was seriously talking about a 2,000 mile wallow over. >> thank you. >> or even a steel slat fence on the southern border. it was not necessary. we need drones, technology, more border patrol agents, we need roads along the border.
where we don't have very good access. so i think it is inexcusable that we'll shut the government down over this. it makes absolutely no sense. the party that makes the demands of a policy initiative, in this case, the wall or funding obamacare or dtalka talka, daca the shutdown. i'm sitting here in beth will he health, pennsylvania. people are not happy when they see the secretary of defense resign, repudiate donald trump's world view. they're concerned about global stability. treatment allies. they're worried that the government is not functioning. can't even perform the basic governmental tasks. let's get serious. nobody is advocating for a 2,000 mile barrier. >> a big picture on that point. practically, is this the fight that the president wants now? as you know, the markets have been down. the worst december since the
depression. down more than 1,000 points since the passage of the. at a cut. real concerns about global economic slowing. shutting down the government is a big source of funding in the economy. is this a risk for this president right now? >> of course it is. it is a risk for everybody involved. the president begrudgingly signed for it later. and then in semi, the republicans who didn't want to face a challenge in the mid-term elections asked him to punt the ball until after the elections and they would fight for his wall then. and now that's where we are today. and you know, the president's base, who elected him president of the united states, a lot of them across all demographics supported this wall as a very important point on the campaign promises. and right now we look at it as a test of his mettle. i would like to see, the democrats who voted for border
security in 2006 should try on find their compass again. >> there was a moment earlier this week. there was a continuing resolution. it was passed a few minutes ago. unanimously by the senate. would it appear to change as the president got grief from the voices of the base. the laura ingrams of the world. >> and that is is what is so concerning to the majority of america, the majority of americans who by the way did not vote for this president and vastly disapprove of the job he is doing exactly because he behaves the way he does. he clearly has puppet masters in the likes of ann coulter and sean hannity and rush limbaugh. that's not how you govern the greatest country in the world. i'm sorry. this president has shown time and again that he is unbelievably unfit, incredibly.
that's why you see the disapproval ratings the way that they are. on this wall issue, he is pulling the wool over not just the voters but the american people. they won't have it. we need real leadership focused on real solutions where we can look at comprehensive strategies to get people to stay in their home countries. that takes resolve. that takes intellect. that takes an interest in finding the real solutions in a bipartisan manner. none of which this president has ever seemed to be interested in showing. >> so charlie and michael as well. what gets us out of this? you have a president digging his heels in. judging this would be a big political blow to him but you have democrats about to take over, digging their heels in, too. imagining, they got the president on the ropes. how do you get out of this? charlie and then michael. >> a very easy way out.
12 appropriations bills. five have been signed into lawful seven are left. six of those are teed up and ready to go. bipartisan support. the leaders on the appropriation committee, these bills are done. the house and senate agreed. to pass those six bills. not a cr. as are. the appropriations bill. get it done. and then the fight is done. i recommend simply passing a tipg resolution into say, february, on that one year. confine the fight to that issue. that's the way out. very easy. they could do this tonight. if the president would agree. but he has to make up his mind about what he wants. >> do you see the president giving in on this? >> i don't see the president giving in on this and i don't think he's taking his cues from fox news or russia limbaugh. >> of course he is. >> the timing is suspect. because he seemed to have agreed to the deal.
and then he heard that and that's when he changed. >> no, no. the freedom caucus was very much involved in talking to the president. he also watched as hundreds of thousands of his supporters -- >> that's the problem. >> if you don't listen to the people who voted for you. do you want him to listen to the bipartisan government in washington? i like that he doesn't -- >> is bipartisanship a fetish? >> i said the bipartisan government fetishes. those of houston don't live inside the beltway -- >> all right. the government. >> see, that's the problem with this president. that his base is shrinking more each and every single day. >> no, it's not. >> if he doesn't expand his likability, his governability so that other people understand that he actually wants to be the president for everybody. not just the president of the people who listen to ann coulter, sean hannity and rush
limbaugh, necessary for real trouble. >> all right. we'll have to leave it there. >> thanks to everybody. to your families as well, happy holidays. new reporting that seems to highlight just how much this president seems to believe the attorney general is supposed to protect him personally. what we are learning about his recent conversations with matt wittaker. last chance to join t-mobile and get the awesome iphone xr, on us. it has an amazing camera. and it comes in all those colors! so when they join t-mobile, give them the iphone xr? it's the holidays, we've gotta go big. it's too much, i can't bear it! tell me you went with the bear head just for the pun. maybe. it's your last chance this holiday season to join t-mobile and get the iphone xr on us. it's just a cough. yeah right, and i was born yesterday.
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the president seems to think falls under the attorney general's job description. mainly protecting him. so pamela, this looks to be remarkable overreach by a president interfering with ongoing investigations. >> at the very least, it an unusual situation here, jim. sources telling me and my colleague that on at least two occasions in the past few weeks, the president has vented about the michael cohen investigations. we're told they were referencing anymore crimes that michael cohen pleaded guilty to and according to multiple sources, trump was frustrated that prosecutors that whitaker overseas filed charges that made trump look bad. none of these sources direct whitaker to stop the investigators, but these discussions between trump and whitaker underscore the extent that the president believes the
attorney general should serve as his personal protector. and it also gives a glimpse into the strange dynamic of a sitting president, as you pointed out. talking to his attorney general about investigations he's potentially implicated in. >> and of course, whitaker's predecessor was fired because he didn't do what the president wanted in terms of limitation in that investigation. i understand there are at least two discussions as you said, between president and whitaker? do we know how whitaker responded to the presidential scolding? >> well, we don't know exact will you how he responded but we know la the president did. that was express his frustration and one event took place after the special counsel charged michael cohen over making false statements that included details of him talking to the president well into the election year about the trump tower moscow, as you'll also, after we reported that. and then a week later, trump again voiced his anger at
whitaker after prosecutors implicated him to guy silence around the 2016 campaign. something they nearly maintained. we're told the president pressed whitaker on why more was not done. suggesting that they were going rogue. we should add that rudolph giuliani, the president's attorney, said this. the president and his lawyers are upset about the professional prosecutors in the southern district of new york. going after a noncrime. an innuendo the president was involved. and the justice department declined to comment. >> thanks very much. i know we'll continue to follow this. with me now, political analyst, maggie, and jeffrey, if i can
begin with you. tell us how troubling this is for a president to go to his acting attorney general, scold him for prosecutors under his remit prosecuting crimes. the president has a direct interest in. >> the whole point of why we have special counsels, robert mueller or before that, independent counsels, was that the completely clear recognition that presidents should not be involved in investigations of themselves. that they should be completely out of the loop. that should be outside their purrview. here we have the president raging at the acting attorney general about the justice department, investigations of him. this is precisely the kind of thing presidents should not be involved in. apparently it's true that he at
any time fire or threaten whitaker. the whole point of a president raging at his subordinate of an investigation of him is completely inappropriate. >> this is pretty early on. in his stint and the president not happy with his own choice to head the justice department. does he not understand the doj's independence? or does he not care? >> look. i can't read his mind. having just covered him for a while, i believe he doesn't care. my colleague mike schmidt at the time had amazing reporting about the president demanding, where is my roy cohen? referring to his personal fixer. that's what he expected the attorney general to be like. he will often say, jfk had bobby kennedy and obama had holder and he believes that is what an attorney general is doing.
he believes that's what they did in those cases and that's what someone should be doing for him. that's not to say that he's accurate in that description of previous presidents. but that's how he views it. i say something and everything else should follow from it. he does not believe in separation of powers. or he's not interested in hearing about it and as he 72-year-old man who won't challenge how he does things. >> and i can add. look at who he made. matt whitaker is someone who in ordinary circumstances would never be even in contention to be attorney general. but what does donald trump know about him? he was here on cnn and elsewhere, that is, whitaker, denouncing robert mueller. that was his whole qualification for this job. now, bill barr is a much more distinguished lawyer who is now the nominee to be attorney general. but he is famous. for a 20-page memo that he
voluntarily wrote attacking robert mueller. this is a feature, not a bug of these two attorney generals. >> and we should note in the maelstrom of news yesterday, lost to some degree, we learned that justice department ethics lawyers recommend that whitaker recuse himself precisely because of those comments and he in effect refused. >> right. he spent a lot of time when jeff sessions was chief of staff. i think it is not a surprise that he is someone who the president thinks will be a heat shield. again, we don't have any indication that whitaker did anything after the phone calls. they are at best inappropriate and they are not what we're used to seeing from presidents. even if they have the desire.
if you pretended that there was, there is to other instance of someone trying to make, even if another president had this impulse to make a phone call like this. most would recognize the dangers. this president repeatedly tests the boundaries every time. >> you have to embroider it on a pillow. >> set to it repeat, right. >> this is happening in the midst of other momentous decisions and troubling decisions from democrats and republicans. taking a shot at the president for a series of decisions that he found troubling and endangering. the president's approach in the last term of the it seems that he's making more decisions on
his own. that he is crowding out advisers that he doesn't want to hear. becoming more, not less brash. >> i wouldn't agree with the last word you used only because i think he is certainly impulsive but i think he has always been impulsive. i think he has talked about wanting to withdraw if middle east engagement for a long time. an equally large issue is the way in which he did it. he just tweeted it. announced would it happen. there was no real process. even though various people in the government knew it was likely to happen but they couldn't keep him from doing it. there is a lot of bemoaning about a lag of guardrails being there anymore. the guardrails have slimmed away because they have stopped being able to influence his behavior. he just grinds people down and they end up leaving as we saw mattis do. and every president, this is not unique to donald trump, feels in
the second year that they understand job better because nothing really prepares you to be president. but this president was particularly uneducated on the way executive power works. he this year feels like he has control of and it he is not listening to people the way he was before. >> do you see anyone the president is willing to listen to in this context some. >> jared kushner. the only people who were there from the very beginning were his daughter and his son-in-law. i don't know if he actually takes advice from them but they're at least there. you've had almost 100% turnover in the white house. and as maggie knows more about trump than anyone. he doesn't need advice from anyone as far as i can tell.
>> is that it? certainbly legal developments. we heard in the last 24 hours that he didn't like the coverage of mattis. he believes he has a better sense of what this job is. i think jeffrey is correct in phrasing that it way. he never likes the coverage. and what he particularly didn't like, they were there as the adult supervision. he always hated that narrative. so it is not a surprise that he hated that. that he doesn't like the investigations into him. >> thanks very much. >> enjoy your weekend embroidering pillows.
>> it is a secret hobby. >> that's beautiful. >> expect one in the mail for christmas. >> more on the fallout from secretary mattis resigning. what some service members are telling me. you'll want to hear it. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ the greatest wish of all is one that brings us together. the final days of wish list are here. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with zero down, zero due at signing, and a complimentary first month's payment. only at your lincoln dealer.
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to the resignation of james mattis is still flowing in and it is concerning. i've heard from currently deployed u.s. service members, one telling me, i've never sustain special operation forces community in this state. if he, the president, wants to lose most military professionals, mission accomplished. another, we fear a genocide in syria. no logical ways for our commanders in the fight to explain this to our partners. that from people currently deployed. jim acosta is reporting that the president is angry about the resignation letter. but according to a source, hates the coverage even more. joining me now, president of the ian, the last 24 hours i've been speaking to a lot of folks currently speaking in the military, formerly, who served both republican and democratic
presidents and they're concerned about mattis' departure. they considered him a moderate voice but he clearly departed over a series of decisions a host of people are uncome for fortable with on syria, afghanistan, how do you see it? >> it's a blow. he's well-respected internationally, perhaps more than anyone else in the trump administration at the cabinet level. most importantly, in nato, where trump was saying it's obsolete, i want more out of them, but mattis has been a steady hand and seen as both moderate and a leader and also quite influential, but i would also say in the grand scheme of two years of the trump administration, the departure of the former chief strategist steve bannon was actually much more normalizing. it took the u.s. away from chaos in a way that's more significant than mattis' departure creates more chaos, and i think we tend in the media, a lot of people focus on everything is focused
toward the wheels coming off of the administration. this is a bad move but there have been normalizing features swle. >> doug bri as well. >> doug brinkley, do you agree with that appraisal? >> look, presidents do fire people and they resign, but it's unusual in american history to have a secretary of defense write the kind of scathing letter like gen malmattis did. it's low keyed scathing, but we all know what he's saying which is basically donald trump doesn't respect our allies, that goes against 100 years of american foreign policy, that the trump administration didn't give him the proper courtesy about telling him we were pulling out of syria, and we have had people resign, william jennings brian famously resigned under woodrow wilson because he didn't want to go in world war i. with mattis, it's unique, it's different because mattis representing the whole u.s. military establishment versus
donald trump's isolationist vision. >> ian, while you also cite that letter says it shows an essential lack of respect by mattis for the president, you don't see this as a larger crisis on par with say bannon's departure. explain that. >>le wit well a couple points. the most important relationship the u.s. has with china, mattis has been a big player in that regard. it's been driven by secretary of state pompeo, much more effective than rexrillerson was. something worth reminding people. >> eennia, i've been speaking to folks on the ground in places like syria and afghanistan serving members of the special forces. they are alarmed at this. they see the u.s. abandoning partners in short shift. the point being, you could discuss a withdrawal from these places over time, you prepare the ground and prepare your allies to summarily withdraw.
trump criticized obama for a slower withdrawal from iraq which aided and abetted the rise of isis. i just wonder how you reconcile those two realities. >> that's a good question, and it was handled very badly. would you want to talk to the allies and heads of your own joint chiefs of staff before you made that decision? that's a no-brainer, incredibly stupid in the way it was done. we're talking about 2,000 troops on the ground. let's be clear, the people that care about syria are the ones that are actually putting real troops and real money against it, it's russia, it's iran, and it's turkey. that's why assad has won. that's what's determined any political outcome on the ground. it's the reason why the kurds stopped fighting against isis with the americans and started defending themselves against the turks, for example, so the idea that suddenly trump's decision to pull 2000 troops out going to offend a lot of allies. mattis clearly right about that, but changing the situation on the ground, frankly, not all that much.
>> doug brinkley, ian bremmer, thanks very much. let's check in with chris cuomo to see what's going up on "cuomo prime time" at the time of the hour. >> we're going to bring on stakehold everies, ted yoho from florida, says the shutdown is the right thing, he will be tested. we'll see if he can make the test to the audience. and also p.j.reikopf, from the iraq afghanistan veterans of america. we're missing the point about what this pullout from syria and afghanistan, the vacuum of mattis' leadership means to our fighting men and women. we should be focused on them. we haven't been. we've been caught up by the politics and the closing argument about the reality of what is behind a word, because that's what's causing the shutdown. >> i hear a lot of similar things from deployed forces. chris, thanks very much. see you at the top of the hour. at the end of a week filled with jarring news, there was also this today, supreme court
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tonight, news that supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg is recovering from surgery that removed two cancerous nodules from her left lung. spokesperson for the court says there is no evidence of in i remaining disease in her lung or anywhere else in her body. in 1999, ginsburg underwent surgery for colorectal cancer and ten years later early stages of pancreatic cancer. she cast her vote in the majority with the 5-4 decision that upheld a federal order that blocked the new asylum restrictions that would have banned migrants who illegally cross into the united states
from seeking asylum outside official points of entry. we should note justices can vote by phone or email. i didn't know that. the news continues, we'll hand it over to chris cuomo, cuomo prime time" starts now. >> jimmy, merry christmas. all the best. >> you, too. >> welcome to "prime time." the partial government shutdown happens in three hours, midnight eastern. what's it over, a word, frankly, wall. they can't agree on building the two sides, but boy, can they agree on digging. the hole they're putting us in gets deeper every day. we have the latest developments of what this shutdown means coming up and we're going to go one on one with the freedom caucus republican who is pushing for the righteousness of this showdown, first up. does the president actually get a win here, even with his base? that's our great debate, and he was the last pillar of stability and strength in a chaotic administration. what does the resignation