tv Inside Politics CNN December 27, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST
>> the recovery from all those things will reach way beyond 2019 and the years after. come on, 2019, we need something better with the weather. inside politics starts right now. welcome to inside politics. john king is off. president trump back at the white house after visiting u.s. troops in iraq and germany, but iraq's current ruling political party open lly criticized his visit. confidence is down as china prepares to meet in efforts to calm down the trade war. and it's day six of the government shut down. here's a status update from republican senator bill cassidy. >> merry christmas and happy holidays. not much happened in washington as best i can tell.
the president needs to sign a deal and schumer needs 10 votes. you are asking me will schumer move? i don't know that. i don't know his mind. should he move? absolutely. it won't be as far as where he has been before and it will be good for our country. >> more on the shut down standoff in minutes. the president parachutes into a war zone and leaves with controversy back to washington. the president in iraq at the air base forced the first visit to troops deployed overseas. the commander in chief shook hands and signed maga hats later in germany at another base. he took selfies with troops and the sight of an american president boosting the morale on the frontlines. a good look for any white house, but this morning the talk in washington is about the president using those troops as proxies in his political battle here at home with democrats over southern border wall.
>> we want to have strong borders in the united states. democrats don't want to let us have strong borders for one reason. you know why? because i want it. that's what you are fighting for. when you think about it, you are fighting for borders in other countries. they don't want to fight. the democrats for the border of our country. >> the president arrives in iraq amid a pentagon shake-up spurred by deep disagreements over whether to stay or leave syria and drawdown the force in afghanistan and looking for reassurances and they won't be abandoned. he said pay us and we will protect you. >> if they wantitous do the fighting, they also have to pay a price. sometimes that's also a monetary price. so we are not the suckers of the world. we are no longer the suckers, folks. people aren't looking at us as
suckers.cnn's barbara star is a pentagon. this president has been criticized for not visiting troops and he has done that. how is this trip and the president's comments playing with the pentagon? >> pentagon officials are happy the president made the trip. at the holiday time, he took the time finally to visit troops. it's good news for the troops and good news for military families. the deeper question is mr. trump's political statements in front of a military audience. the u.s. military is not a political organization. it serves the country and the american people. they have seen the president do this before. you get the big sigh and the slump at the shoulders. he's doing it again. his statement there about the u.s. being suckers is pretty interesting that he would make that in front of troops, many
who are veterans of multiple deployments and many choose families have sacrificed greatly. i'm not sure they see themselves as suckers. they are volunteers to defend the country. his choice of words may be a bit awkward in front of a military audience. >> thanks for that report. here to share the reporting and the insights, shannon petty piece and michael scherrer with the new york times and phil mattingly. let's start with the trip, shannon. i want to go to you. it couldn't have come to a surprise that the president turned for most presidents a speech into a political rally. >> it's his hallmark sense with the beginning of his presidency. you remember when he visited the cia in front of the wall of stars and took the opportunity to brag about his electoral victory. this is his operating procedure.
everything comes back to him and it's about him. he took the opportunity to talk about the great equipment that he acts like he personally supplied to the military, bringing politics into this and never missing an opportunity to attack nancy pelosi. he knows the cameras are on and he sees not just an audience of troops or intelligence officials, but talking to a camera and the domestic audience. >> his base particularly. he talked about syria and here is how he described the decision to pull out of syria. >> i said let's get out. they said sir, can we have six more months. i said yeah, you have six more months. then they said again recently could we have more time. i said nope, you can't have any more time. you had enough time. we knocked them out and knocked them silly. >> obviously disagreement there. the president's assessment of
where isis is versus where military leaders are in terms of where isis is. >> what was interesting about that explanation, the president was trying to go to pains to portray the decision to pull out of syria as a deliberative one in which there was a long and lengthy back and forth between the military officials and the president. he's the president and the commander in chief. he has the ability to do this. what our reporting has shown here at cnn and times and other organizations, it was anything but deliberate. he was going not -- he pulled out not after a process that would have led to a rational conclusion, but as a gut instinct that did set off the military allies and lawmakers and it led to mattis's resignations as well. what struck me was the way that cast it in a way that is not accurate. >> he seemed to suggest that
they could stay in iraq. if there needed to be any fighting in syria or attacks in syria on isis, iraq would be a fine place for the troops to be. >> i think he doesn't really understand the situation with isis or the situation in iraq. he is sitting in a place where isis originated and the iraqi government is in shambles. they haven't been seated yet or formed a government yet. it's not just as easy as launching an attack from iraq from syria or isis. you have a vacuum in iraq. you can see isis reconstitute. the thing we are talking about here is when the commander in chief goes to talk to the troops for the holiday, it's important as barbara said and a boost to
the military, but it's also about the awesome weight of being the commander in chief. being the commander of all of these troops out there and the sacrifices that they are making for american democracy and to defend american liberty and also to help allies around the world. in his political message, it didn't reflect the weight of the office of commander in chief. >> at least one democrat criticized of a president for what he said to troops there. >> this president is kind of a one-speed president. he only one one thing. holding these political rallies and that's what we saw yesterday there in iraq. >> what's your sense of how republicans feel about this trip? >> broadly they agree they want these not to be political rallies. this should be bipartisan and he
was there and that matters to troops that were deployed. uso tours matter and anyone paying attention to those who were deployed. they seem to forget that there were multiple wars going on. all of whom are inside danger zones. the fact that he went matters. this is a really interesting one. it's his decision to pull out of syria and pop back in and do air strikes if we want to. that misses the political overtones and not just isis filling, but what it means for iran and russia. he is not the prime minister anymore. in iraq, it's not the same that it used to be. it is nice to come and play. as long as those things are very much influx and open to
questions, that's where it is. >> the president had a phone call with the prime minister. there was no median. there was a back and forth about why the meeting did not happen. >> the iraqis are saying there was a different point of view over the trip itself. the iraqis are saying that the president gave them little notice. supposedly that's probably because they didn't want leaks about the trip. that happens with the security of the president. that's very important. the white house said there was not enough time. all different reasons. they did talk. this is a government that being close to the u.s. president is not necessarily an asset. you have the fiery cleric and so the appearance of an iraqi prime minister and president obama did
they say it went to iraq and he kept a little bit of a distance. it is important to reach out to the new government and especially when we ask them to stand up more and take on more of the burden of defending themselves. >> apparently there was an invitation to come to the white house and maybe that's something that will happen down the line. >> for all of the reasons elise mentioned in terms of both sides. the politics both domestic in the united states and iraq. whether or not how that happens and under what circumstances, american presidents can have a wide range of options and you can bring somebody in for a quickie meeting that happens in a couple of hours and leaves or you can have all the frills. >> it's not mandatory. >> right. as we said, obama had fraught relationships over the years with the allies and the
governments in both afghanistan and iraq in terms of the tensions as were inside the countries and about what the direction of thee esffort was going to be. that's difficult no matter who the president was. >> before we go to break, we will have a flash back of another president who visited serving iraq over the holidays. >> i was just looking for a warm meal somewhere. thanks for inviting me to dinner. i bring a message on behalf of america. we thank you for your service. we are proud of you. and america stands solidly behind you. every road in the world is now an information superhighway. (phone ringing) and the car has become an accessory to the smartphone. ride hailing, car sharing, carpooling... mobility services are proliferating.
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gavel back in today, but there are not any votes scheduled. leadership comes back to washington while members stay on break. and president trump, he is back at the white house after a
surprise trip to iraq and has a message to democrats about the shut down tweeting have the democrats finally realized we desperately need border security and need to stop drugs, human trafficking and gang members and criminals to come into the country. do the dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are democrats. the white house respond about what that is based on, but the head of the american federation of government employees, a union that represents 700,000 federal workers said this. the federal government is an a political workforce with law enforcement officers, scientists, analysts, janitors, nurses and many other civil servants all with diverse
backgrounds and demographics. a government background doesn't hurt any one political party or employee more than another. it hurts all of them. he is with us from "the washington post" joining our conversation. thanks for being here. we in washington often do talk about the numbers. 700,000 or so affect affected by this shut down. the personal stories here are often overlooked. i don't know if you have been looking on twitter. this is interesting this hash tag on twitter, stories about people's lives being adversely affected by the shut down. i can read one here. this is from michael matte. i'm disabled. wife is tsa supervisor and two daughters living with us forced to move in october. rent doubled. used savings to move and praying last check will come friday or we will be homeless next week. next will be heat and lights and
food and transportation to get wife to work. you have them saying they are all democrats. >> that gets lost a little bit. we talk about the numbers and the people living paycheck to paycheck and don't know when it may come. they are in vivid terms. irs workers who are needing to put together new regulations and get trained in the new regulations from the republican-passed tax bill. not able to do that right now. my colleagues talked to a nasa scientist who in blunt terms said they were tired of being called parasites. he said he had been at nasa for 30 years and considering retiring. retirement looks better to folks. i think all of that -- >> we have seen government shutdowns over and over again, but not past this two week or one month mark. that's where it starts getting
real. how many of you if you lost a paycheck for two weeks would be a rounding error? that's your rent for the month. i don't get that sense of urge e urgen urgencey about this at all. maybe it's denial thinking it will be a few days, but reality will have to set in. >> the president addressing this here when he was here in iraq. here's what he had to say about nancy pelosi. >> we have a problem with the democrats because nancy pelosi is calling the shots. not chuck. chuck wants to have this done. i really believe this. he wants to have this done. she is calling the shots and calling them because she wants the votes. probably if they do something, she is not going to get the votes and be speaker of the house and that would be not so good for her. >> the strategy is what has been remarkable. the democrats not usually a
party known for unity seem to be unified on this. the president is making a wedge. >> the democrats are not in this. it is the theory that they are driving and they won't move off of the offer which is the same for the entire negotiations. the reality is that she and schumer have no daylight in between. the caucuses are firmly behind them. they say we should break on this. they are feeling no blow back and push back and they believe they win. one of the things that get lost, what are the potential deals here? there is no both sides win in a shut down. one side gets bludgeoned where they cry mercy. if you look over history, government shutdowns end when one side is beaten to a pulp.
democrats feel like that's not going to be them. the wild card is the president does not act in a way that many people think would be a rational way of acting based on the politics. he believes this is a fight he wants to have and said he would have it for months. he's in it. how do you get out of it? >> his new sparring partner will be nancy pelosi. she was ridiculing in "usa today," his definition of a border wall. he said we are going build a wall out of cement while mexico will pay for it and now he's down to a beaded curtain. she is particularly good at needling him in pretty shady sound bytes. >> she is really good at that. one of the things you see that is more dramatic is the partisan
nature of it. he thinks by casting this as a real democrat issue that that's good for him and good for his base and that's where he's looking. part of what struck me about that last tweet was the extend to which is underscored the government as it works for him. he sees it as resistance fighters for the democrats in the deep state. what isn't stated outright in that tweet, but is the underlying notion behind it, since they are all democrats, that's fine. they can go without their paychecks and they don't serve money. that's something to phil's point that previous shutdowns at the very least there was an attempt by both sides to pretend that the government bureaucracy said everybody is concerned and we are all concerneded with whether
they will get paid or not. this may portend a long shut down. >> it's unclear what he would take. >> i'm not going to talk about it, but i will say this. we have been building a lot of wall. a lot of people don't know. i haven't been stressing it, frankly. >> he needs a face saving move. who gets bludgeoned to death in the shut down, that's who caves first. his base isn't bludgeoning him to death, but if there is no wall, the base will bludgeon him. they made it clear. they want that wall. that is important to them. he needs to get out of this and save face to look like he was strong and he stood up for principals and that's what republicans want to see. someone who is strong. that is going to put them in the
best position as a party. he needs to come up with some way and maybe that's something the democrats can help with if they wanted to get this done. how can they help save face so we can get through this and move on? >> bill cassidy is talking about a compromise happening in terms of the huge wall all at once or bit by bit. >> anything less than $5 billion a loss for those who believe the wall is important? >> no, i think we have to get this bit by bit by bit. there is going to be places and hot spots we can secure and next we secure the new hot spot. i think it will be nice to have the $25 billion in long-term commitment, but this problem is not going away. >> bit by bit by bit. that doesn't sound like a massive steel wall. what do you make of his framing? >> a rational actor in this
moment. the natural way out if there is a deal is for you to get what has been put on the table by the president's own administration, $2.5 billion in border security and he used the same language. for fencing and repairs and some cement wall and call it a wall. have the semantic battle and say call it a wall and this is what i'm building and take it and democrats can say we didn't give you a wall. it said it can't be used for a wall. that's the rational way out of this. the reality is democrats are unwilling to move off of their 1.3 or 2.5 or 2 or whatever. it's not flying and is the president willing to take that advantage? >> quickly, you want to jump in? >> to the degree this is the whims of president trump, republicans thought they were heading home. president trump was feeling the heat from his base.
he sort of boxed himself in at this point. nancy pelosi hit upon a point about mexico was supposed to be paying for the wall. >> that was the promise. it wasn't a wall that taxpayers would pay for. mexico would pay for it. we are a long way from there. wall street's split personality after yesterday's record breaking gains. gentle means everything, so we improved everything. we used 50% fewer ingredients added one handed pumps and beat the top safety standards the new johnson's® choose gentle from capital one.nd i switched to the spark cash card i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy. and last year, i earned $36,000 in cash back. which i used to offer health insurance to my employees. what's in your wallet?
what the markets give, they can take away. wall street hitting a brick wall after yesterday's record breaking gains. the major u.s. stock index is all falling. the dow down as much as 500 points earlier. allison is joining me now from the new york stock exchange. we feel like we are seeing these huge swings nearly every day this month. what are investors telling you? >> you are right about that. if you look at the month of december, there have been 18 trading sessions and in 11 of those, the dow made a triple-digit move. you are right about that volatility. as far as today, we are seeing a downward move of 421 points on the dow. not unusual after that huge spike over 1,000 points. volatility obviously going both
ways. what you are seeing are end of the year gyrations. that's how it has been over the past few months. stocks have endured huge losses. look at the dow losing 4500 points. the s&p and the nasdaq entering bear market territory, a 25% drop from the recent high. investors saw them, too. what you see happen, investors are seeing profits out of the gains. one other factor in the mix. earnings season right around the corner. there is nervousness going in and you may see volatility continue. they are curious to hear what guidance they have when it pertains to the u.s. and china and how that may be affecting their earnings. >> allison, thanks so much for that. one of the biggest political
questions right now is this. will the turmoil on wall street affect the real economy on main street. the answer will have major ramifications for president trump's reelection campaign. here's christine romans. >> stocks went up, up, up for a few years. this is what the end of 10 years of easy money bull market looks like. unpredictable, messy, overdone sell offs and false rebounds. anything can happen as we close out the year. the chairman told reporters the fed chief's job is 100% safe. white house aides are exploring having the president and the fed chief meet face-to-face to talk about the economy and the president's concerns. the president's criticism of the fed chief has been relentless. he blames rising interest rates
for market volatility. this is likely to keep markets on edge. the foreign ministry said the team will head in for talks in person ahead of that march trade deadline. bottom line for investors, the comparisons are not pretty. the worst returns for a decade and on pace for the worst december since the depression and the worst month since 2008 when the economy was from a free fall. >> one of the things we heard from this president, he would ask folks, how are your 401(k)s doing? >> someone came up to him and said my wife thinks i'm a genius because my 401(k) is up so much. it was like a whole line and a part of his routine. this this knocks the legs out of that. yesterday's rally, i'm sure he was feeling good about it and on wall street it's a dead cat bounce after a huge drop.
you have a spike and come back down again. for a white house transitioning into 2020 mote, they are clearly thinking about reelection at this point as much as all of us are recovering from 2016. this is very much on their mind. the economy is so much of what's holding up his approval rating and support for members in congress. >> yesterday when the president was not near his phone and tweeting that you did see this 1,000 point rally. >> probably had little to do as your report suggested, there were other factors other than what just comes out of trump's twitter. it was funny that as he left the country and in the air and not tweeting, it was up and now he's back and it's back down again. one of the things they will try to do is try to figure out how to ride out the low moments like
this. distraction which is something they are good at and claim credit when things bounce back up. if there is volatility, that will be the definition of politics in this town as they try to claim credit when it goes up and deflect blame when it goes down. >> that are sounds like what the president does very well. not so nice words for a democrat flirting with running for president.
case over asylum restrictions. the judge dismissed requests to pause the case and move back deadlines because part of the federal government is closed with staffing plans that keep the immigration courts working through a shut down as well as customs and border predictions and ice. a republican take on the invisible 2020 primary and the democrats flirting with running for president. the man who ran ted cruz's campaign said beto o'rourke is in front of the field. castro is pound cake. we are not sure what he means either. they predict castro will be out by august and recruit him to run against republican senator cornyn in 2020. new complains today from a u.s. official in the middle of the crisis on the southern border. a u.s. official describes the influx of migrants as a
nosebleed that doesn't stop and complained to cnn that facilities are overcrowd and under staffed. lawmakers want to investigate after a child died on christmas eve. it's important for all of us to take ownership and fix it so it doesn't happen again. i would like to invite secretary nielsen to come to my district and evaluate the medical conditions of these holding cells to work to fix what we can control. >> so we are going to go right to 2020. we heard shade offered up for castro who will likely run in 2020. hot off the presses, the story in your paper about bernie sanders. this is about bernie sanders. it's not a given that i will support bernie because i did before.
there are going to be plenty of people to look at and listen to. i am open at this point and the majority of the people are. this is a former nevada assembly woman who endorsed mr. sanders. he was hot stuff in 2016 and may not be anymore. >> there are two things going on. on the one hand, he was hot because bernie sanders represented part of the party that had not had a champion at that time. that's the ultra left. the ultra left has more champions now. there are lots of people out there and they will probably all run for president and have to cram on to the debate stage and many of them take the same positions he took. the other thing about bernie sanders is he had a platform about as high in visibility at the end of the 2016 campaign as you can imagine and he sort of disappeared. he hasn't really taken up that mantle and made himself in congress or more broadly in the
american political system into that indispensable leader of that movement. for both of those reasons it will be hard to recapture that. that's what jonathan martin and our paper were trying to point out. that may be missing. >> a lot of folks met in the senate who were lying for a lot of that energy in 2016. elizabeth warren among them. kamala harris and cory booker and all of those in the senate with bernie sanders. >> part of his rise is he was not hillary clinton. in that primary, you had two people to choose from basically. i think that's going to be much different. michael hit upon it. you have elizabeth warren now soaking up some of that energy. sherrod brown and beto o'rourke people are looking at a progressive. bernie can claim he moved the party and changed the discussion among democrats.
having a super pac aligned with you as political risks because of bernie sanders and him pointing that out. he is not necessarily the one who will carry that forward. >> jim webb would like a word about your binary choice. >> martin o'malley. >> up next, the president said everybody wants the defense secretary job and he means everyone.
doesn't expect to struggle finding a replacement. >> everybody, everybody, so many people want to be -- what wouldn't want to be secretary of defense. even these folks would like to be. who wouldn't want to be? he's looking over and laughing. >> and is there a short list at all for people who want to replace mattis? >> who wouldn't want to be attorney general and chief of staff. we have been through this exercise a lot. chris christie turning it down and nick ayers turning down chief of staff? who wants to be secretary? many people would want to take a pass after seeing the situation with mattis. the president does not seem in a rush to replace shanahan who is acting in there right now. he feels confident in that position. the white house had time to think about this. i know while this resignation of
mattis came as a surprise to a lot of people, a few weeks before, there was talk in the white house about who a replacement can be. someone floated lindsey graham's name. wheels were turning. >> this was a constant question for the white house. here is how the president talked often about replacing people in the white house. >> many, many people want every single job. i read where people don't want to work for trump. believe me, everybody wants to work in the white house. they all want a piece of the oval office. >> people are lined up for every position. everybody wants to work in this white house. this is a hot white house. >> a lot of people that chuck and nancy know want it. a lot of people you like. a lot of people want the job of chief of staff. >> i think that was your question that prompted a fantastic quote. we are a hot country. that's a hot question.
>> the problem for this administration is that the president is known for not only being a demanding boss as many presidents are known for, but for attacking the very people who are working for him and ma that makes it harder for people to want to sacrifice and do the things it entails in terms of personal sacrifice and family issues and when you see rex tillerson attacked and jeff sessions as attorney general was regularly undermined and attacked and all of the stories about the president not being happy with john kelly as chief of staff. it makes it hard. he is undoubtedly right that there are still none the less people who recognize that there is not very many opportunities you get to be a senior government official in one of the jobs either in the white house or a place like the pentagon. there will be people who want to
take the job and have to think long and hard about what that entails working for him. >> there was one thing i was struck by. a lot of things you can be struck by. the point where you deserve somebody to be your secretary. listen to the names on capitol hill. people are hot on heather wilson. you hear a former senator. peas are not people aligned with the president. these would be excellent nominees. the question becomes does he go for a name or somebody that the republicans on capitol hill are recommending or does he recall that the republicans diverge from it? >> not only are some of those people more aligned with traditional republican orthodoxy, but they are radically opposed to the isolation that the president espoused during the campaign for much of the first two years. it's not clear that picking
somebody like that would be somebody that would be willing to put in place. if you pick somebody who is willing to put in place trump's foreign policy, can they get through. >> more were expected. maybe other people will as well. >> that defense secretary position, mattis's exits shuttered around the republican party. president trump risks losing some of the support he has on the hill among senate republicans especially. if he doesn't pick the right person for the job. can he find someone who is aligned with them. thanks for joining us. dana bash picks up our coverage after a quick break.
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i'm dana bash for brianna keilar. the stock market is back in the red today. the dow plunging more than 500 points and now it's down 363 points. allison is on the trading floor and also with us is business editor at large, richard quest. allison, you were there riding the roller coaster straight from the floor. >> i am wearing my set belt and th