tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN February 5, 2019 7:00am-8:01am PST
thanks very much. a good tuesday morning to you. tonight president trump will carry out a political tradition that is also a constitutional mandate. he will report on the state of the union in a speech being described by advisers as bipartisan and optimistic inviting democrats to heal old wounds and build new coalitions. a lot more democrats than last year will be in the house chamber to hear them. all of them are keenly aware that another government shutdown and potentially a constitutional show down could be just ten days away. the president showed no signs of bridging divisions when it comes to the wall. he tweeted we have sent additional military to the border. he writes we will build a human wall if necessary. the president is not expected to use tonight's address to declare a national emergency and fund the wall without congressional
approval. a growing number of republicans are saying he should not even consider it. lauren fox joins me now from capitol hill. tell us more about what republicans are saying. they have often held their fire at least in public in differing with the president. on an emergency declaration that has not been the case. >> reporter: there is a lot of concerns from republicans on capitol hill that the president would move forward with the emergency declaration and it would be wrapped up in court. a lot of republicans are warning president trump this is not a smart idea given the fact that this could basically delay your ability to get the border wall and it could take a long time. in addition to the fact that republicans aren't really big fans of seating appropriations to the executive branch. that has been a long-time concern. here is what susan collins from maine had to say about the president declaring a national emergency. >> i am concerned about it.
as a member of the senate i am concerned when any president regardless of party circumvents the appropriations process and repurposes large amounts of money. >> reporter: this could be a division within the republican party, something that leadership doesn't want to expose their conference to. so a lot of concern about the president moving forward with the national emergency. if he doesn't get the wall money he wants from the conference committee. >> democrats have their own rebuttal tonight to the state of the union. >> that's right. stacy abrams will give the official democratic rebuttal. she ran in the state of georgia to be the governor. she narrowly lost there but ran on the platform of voting rights. that is something that democrats have tried to move forward in their first piece of legislation
in the house of representatives. there is a lot of discussion about incentivising people to go out and vote. then you have bernie sanders who is an independent, not a democratic member. he for the third year in a row will also give a response. it will just be on his social media channels on twitter and facebook and youtube, but obviously something to be watching there, as well. >> thanks very much. let's discuss with former senior adviser to the romney campaign the president's message we hear from the advisers can be one of unity and bipartisanship. >> i don't think so. start by speaking to the democrats directly about stopping the movement of
resistance, not understanding that the movement of resistance is not about him directly but against the policy that he continues to promote that seemed to be divisive and run contrary to the thing he is going to try to tout. from the hypocrisy standpoint i think it will be difficult to deliver on the message. >> there is a couple of issues that they do see eye to eye on. criminal justice reform is one of them. infrastructure, potential. i think he will tout his economy. i think he is going to say we need to do more to create jobs and bring up wages. but the well has been poisoned on both sides. there is just not a lot of comedy here despite wanting to make this a bipartisan speech. every time he does one of these speeches he steps on his message about it. i think it is interesting that we will see what the new members of the house are going to do especially members of the house and senate that will be in that body for the first time in front of this president.
will they react to him? will they speak up in any way and create any moments? and will the president turn around to nancy pelosi and do anything that creates a moment there, as well? >> this moment will be tested immediately. you have ten days before another potential shutdown. you have the decision over money for the border wall. i had bob casey on. i asked the question, what would you be willing to give as a democratic supporter to grant the president money for a barrier, whatever you want to call it on the border? would you be looking for permanent protection for dreamers? in other words, are democrats willing to negotiate in the old fashioned washington way of trading horses here and give the president some money for the barrier to get something in return? >> i don't see how history could be kind to anyone willing to compromise on something that has already been branded by nancy pelosi as an imoral wall. it's a nonstarter.
>> is it immoral? >> i think the issue is the way in which it has been discussed. again, when you go back to the president's announcement of his running for president, he said that mexicans were drug dealers and rapists. he has made it very clear that this is about human beings that are dark and terrible. it's never been about just border security. so i think the challenge is there was a comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the senate. there were discussions about trying to figure out how to strengthen our immigration systems. when you have someone like donald trump going on twitter saying this is a crisis, we are sending troops to the border and then george conway tweets every moment in history where the numbers of people apprehended at the border and they are going down. it flies in the face of reason as to why this is his national emergency when there are so many others. >> the president to get over --
you are hearing what is the issue. a lot of democrats put their foot down and say not a dollar for the border wall. the issue becomes can democrats trust this president to deliver something in return? the president said that before and hasn't followed through. he has renagged on some agreements. >> the question is whether or not they would work with him. there are voices in the republican party that said he should go big and offer not just daca but other thing things. he would be the only republican to do that. so there is a possibility of going big. whether or not democrats would play with him on anything is an open question right now. i don't know if they will stand up once tonight and applaud anything he says. in terms of getting a big deal on immigration, they should take it if he offers it. i don't know that they will.
>> on the issue of the national emergency, you have said it's the easiest of his bad options but still a bad idea. in a rare phenomenon here you have a lot of republicans and some of the president's closest supporters saying this is a constitutional issue. we will not support this. this sets up an issue. the democrats aren't going to give money on the wall. the president fears outrage from the base. if he can't get the national emergency, where do we end up? >> the senate republican caucus is starting to split on this. senator kennedy said he would support the emergency declaration. lindsey graham, as well. there is not agreement. i think if there is a way out of this, mitch mcconnell will be the guy who figures this out. there is good reason to. this sets up a very bad precedent going forward. this is 58 emergency declarations made for all sorts of things over the last 30 years. >> although you get money, significant amounts of money for
a legislative priority. is there something you can hear from the president tonight? i don't expect you to change your mind on this presidency or this administration. is there something that would surprise you on the positive side if you heard an offer from this president tonight that would make a difference to you? >> i think the only offer he can make is an apology for all of the people who hedemonized along the road and take cheap shots from people who are scared and are worried about their long term viability in this country. that would require him to probably delete his account and also request him to have a complete about face and start to govern and be a true commander in chief. i don't believe that is possible. >> high bar. >> i know you will be watching closely tonight. legal questions threaten to
overshadow the state of the union address. cnn reporter kara has been following this closely. this is a wide ranging subpoena asking for a lot of information about donors, where the money was coming from. what specifically are prosecutors looking for here? >> it is a very wide ranging subpoena. it shows an expansion of the investigation we first reported about in december. we are learning that the federal prosecutors in new york are looking for the list of all the donors that donated to the trump inaugural committee which was a $107 million committee. through this, they are looking at various crimes, conspiracy against the u.s., money laundering and whether any campaign donations were not reported or if foreign buyers donated to the campaign.
they are looking at whether donors could directly contribute and pay to vendors, whether they by pass disclosure rules by not reporting their contributions. this is very expansive, looking at bank records, financial records, looking at any communications between the donors and the committee and the vendors and the committee. the subpoena specifically identifies one donor, an american. he is an american citizen. he is a venture capitalist. he donated $900,000 to the committee. it is not clear why he is singled out in the subpoena. there are at least 50 corporations and individuals who gave more than he did. he is someone that prosecutors specifically asked for any communications with. now, he has come out with a statement which is very specific. he says he knows nothing about a subpoena other than what has been written. it is well known that after
supporting president obama and hillary clinton that he generously and directly to the trump inaugural. he has always gave only his own money from his own resources. >> it's going to be another investigation and possibly a long one. thanks very much. we know you will keep following it. the president's counselor kellyanne conway will join me live. how she says president trump will strike his bipartisan tone. senator chuck grassley said he expects the special counsel's report on the russia investigation to be done in his words in a month. we will ask james clapper what he thinks. and barack obama may not be running in the 2020 race but he is looming large for democrats. we'll explain.
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tonight president trump will deliver his second state of the union address. we are told he wants to strike a bipartisan optimistic tone. will that message fall flat? how will it be received? joining me now with her thoughts on all of this is senior counselor to the president, kellyanne conway. we heard this message now from a number of officials in the white house, bipartisanship optimism. you have seen comments the president made about members of congress rbs republicans and democrats. we'll put some of these up on the screen here. some of these will be familiar to you, targeting mitt romney saying nancy pelosi who will be sitting back behind him tonight very bad for the country, saying bipartisan talks going on right now are a waste of time. i want to ask, why should
lawmakers sitting in the chamber and americans at home believe that the president is truly behind bipartisanship? >> one is substance. the president has signed into law major reforms like criminal justice reform and opioid drug legislation that had overwhelming bipartisan support. every democrat who voted in the house and the senate voted in favor of the drug legislation. we know it is possible. i think americans are smart enough than to believe one cherry picked screen's worth of tweets. he has been attacked by many of those people. he is much like me, a counter puncher. very rarely draws the first blood but makes sure to get the
last word when appropriate. this is a president who has been consistent for years about believing part of the way we ensure national security is through border security. it includes a barrier wall and so many of the democrats' own items on their wish list. you asked senator casey, the republican/democratic plans resemble each other. there is money there for immigration judges. what is the gap here? what is keeping the congress in a bipartisan fashion from doing their job and putting on the president's desk something he can sign? >> you know washington is about horse trading. i asked senator casey, what would make you be willing to give money for the barrier in return? for instance, the idea of permanent protections for dreamers. is the president prepared to make concessions to democrats to get his desired money? >> he has made so many.
>> he has made them and backed off some of them. >> it's been 17 days since the president publically announced his proposal. it included tps and daca. we are yet to get a counter proposal. no is not a counter proposal. it's a child like response. 1 dollar is an insult to our border patrol agents. if they want to call it -- don't call it a wall. call it whatever you want, but get it done. it needs to be something you can't climb over, crawl under, walk through. we have made an offer. what is the counteroffer. we hope they will continue to do their work and put something on the president's desk that solves
border security and keeps the government open. congress has not done its job for years. >> if there is not money for a border barrier there, would the president shutdown government again? >> he said he keeps all options open. i don't think that is a fair question for the president before it is a fair question for the congress. what is taking so long to come to an agreement for people who in the past have actually voted for something called secure fences act in 2006. if you want to call it the secure fences act of 2019, i bet we would get that done. senator schumer voted for it, senator casey voted for it. the only thing that has changed since the 2006 secure fences act passage, the border situation has gotten worse in many ways and donald trump became president and is asking for if.
>> it hasn't gotten worse when you look at the numbers of illegal crossings. why wasn't it addressed as a national emergency before? the president has kept the question open. republicans who support the president very publically says this is a serious constitutional question. will the president declare a national emergency in defiance of that republican opposition? >> it's not in defiance. it is in keeping with his belief that his duty is to keep us all safe and part of doing that is making sure our southern border is security. the president did not use the national emergency powers as his choice of first, second, 12th resort. he is leaving that as an option if congress doesn't do it's job. republicans, ron johnson -- >> all of this conversation can be avoided if congress would do it's job. it is the duty of our
legislature to make good on keeping us all safe, putting something on the president's desk. i see your graph up often on cnn with the illegal crossings. that tells one sliver of a story. i was in a briefing the other day. we got a new briefing from homeland security investigations. i will post it to my twitter later today. they are showing how much i.c.e. and homeland security are stopping in terms of the smuggling, the trafficking. it's not manufactured. when you see a surveillance of fentanyl like you saw ten days ago at a port of entry in arizona, that is what we know about. >> a wall wouldn't have made a difference. >> what about what we don't know about? if we can save one, two, ten americans from getting those drugs into the community, from being trafficked, from being smuggled -- if we can solve the humanitarian crisis on the other side of the border. i'm very sad and very concerned
that people are taking these kids on perilous journeys. >> we cover the opioid crisis frequently on this show. we interviewed will herd. he has a long dhuchunk of that border. he is a republican who does not support the wall. you have the mayor of communities in southern california, republicans who don't see that as the real solution here. why do they not see it as a national emergency? >> reasonable minds can differ. we know walls work. we know that in san diego, in el paso, i talked to these people. they have come to the white house to brief us. they have been on television shows like yours. they said walls work. when it went up in san diego and el paso, it helped to mitigate what they saw as a growing crisis. and so anybody who denies that
we can't do border at the southern border is being hyperpartisan. they're not looking at it as a nonpartisan issue that can have the same kind of bipartisan solution. the president will talk about some of these issue wheres speaker pelosi indicated she would like to work together to get something done in this congress. drug pricing and drug transparency, infrastructure definitely and modern infrastructure. we talk about broadband, but also the repair of bridges and tunnels and roads. that's everybody's business. >> everybody wants better roads and bridges. i want to ask you about the way the president speaks about the issue of border security. this morning he tweeted about sending u.s. troops to the border. i think it is another 3,500 troops or so to the border. he says we have sent in additional military. we will build a human wall if necessary. the troops are support troops. they cannot by the rules of the
pentagon confront or intradict people coming across the border. part of the issue is the way the president has spoken about the wall in terms not backed up by the facts. wouldn't it be more likely to reach a bipartisan solution if the president spoke honestly whether via twitter feed or from the podium in congress tonight? >> the president told the democrats call it what you want. they get tongue twisted if they start to say wall. they catch themselves. physical barrier. call it what you want, but get it done. i want to tell you something you have probably heard from border patrol agents. you know that the flow of illegal aliens has changed. for a long time the vast majority were single males coming from mexico. >> coming with families now. >> now it is unaccompanied children and family.
years ago the border patrol agents said they were running away from them. now they are running toward them. they are trying to absorb that, as well, the humanitarian needs. this proposal has $800,000 to meet humanitarian needs. >> the president has portrayed the caravans as -- >> just as importantly, the human trafficking, the sex trafficking, they are come right over the border and come into this country. some of these young girls and women the ages of our children are never heard from again. we as a society have to look at that and say i don't want to hear the word republican, democrat, nothing. i just want to stop that part of the humanitarian crisis. look, i work on the drug crisis every single day. if you can mitigate the amount of drugs coming into this country through the ports of entry but also not from the ports of entry, that would be a
huge boom to this country that witnessed 72,000 deaths last year alone. >> now surpassing car accident deaths. you have seen the reporting about the president's employment of people undocumented. the president's five golf courses are executing a purge of those folks. it appears that the president was not using the e-fair verified system which businesses are required to use. why wasn't the president exercising the vigilance. >> i refer you to the statement of eric trump sbrm. they know the president's -- >> he said that they employ tens of thousands of people business wide and that it is unfortunate some people have given false information to gain employment. as i read it those individuals -- e-verify needs to be strengthened, too.
i think accountability should also rest with some employers who look the other way. in the case of the trump organization when they identified the issue they have gone back now. i just don't think president trump, the trump organization is having as bad a day as bob casey's democratic party who can't get rid of a racist governor. they are facing very serious issues today just across the river here in their own government. i see that that woman hired a law firm here in d.c. i would remind you on this set on cnn, wall to wall coverage during the kavanaugh hearings, we believe all women, men should shut up. are we believing that woman? we are looking at that. the president is not going to address that in his address to the nation, but we are talking about some serious issues in our governance right now in the other party whmpt we talk about bipartisanship we need to make sure both parties have leaders
that aren't so blinded by sugar plums and dancing of impeachment in their head. >> first time i have heard that phrase. bob casey was hopeful about the speech tonight. >> i'm glad. this leftward drift on his party on abortion and infanticide. he referred to the birth of an infant, not a sonogram, not uterine material. he said infant. this started in 1992 when bob casey's father was not allowed as governor to address the democratic national convention because he was pro life. i think the democrats who are more moderate and want the trump district should say i want to make sure we are not a party that is for infanticide. >> we'll be right back.
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president trump's inaugural committee is facing more heat from federal prosecutors. it's not part of the mueller probe. this time it is a subpoena from the southern district of new york. it is a sign that investigations will continue long after the special counsel is done which if you listen to senator chuck grassley in his view could be soon.
>> when do you expect to see the special counsel's report? >> within a month if we see it. i look at it from this standpoint. i don't care what the report is. we paid 35 million to do it and the public ought to know what their 25 or 35 million bought. >> cnn national security analyst james clapper, the former director of national intelligence under president obama. thank you for joining us. on that do you see indications that the special counsel's investigation is close to being done? >> no, but that is a favorite parlor game in this town is when is mueller going to be done. i think he is closer to the end than the beginning. >> this other investigation separate from the special counsel, southern district of new york. quite a broad based subpoena to the inaugural committee, list of
donors, where the money came from. there were serious crimes investigated here. what is the significance of that investigation? >> first, big bucks contributions to inaugurals is a long standing custom in this town with every inauguruation. this one is kind of eye catching because of the amount of money, $107 mill krn -- million which is about double. obviously, the interest here is in legality and particularly if there is foreign money involved which of course is illegal. so i think it is just yet another branch off of all these investigations that the president or his campaign is under. i think this is all that is going to be going on for a long time. >> based on what you know about intelligence, would a donation
to an inaugural committee be a way that a foreign power would seek to influence? >> the objective here for a foreign country would be to gain access, influence, leverage if possible, access to the president himself or to influence policy, whatever. so yes this is concerning particularly if it involves foreign money and potentially a foreign adversary. >> we have the president. he probably will not announce it tonight but soon will announce a second summit with kim jong-un. i was at the last one. you know a lot about what happened there. there weren't commitments made by north korea under complete, verifiable and irreversible. is there valuable in those leaders sitting across from each other? >> i supported the singapore
summit. i thought it was a good idea because my own observations and my dealings with the north koreans were the only way they would change is if the bigger partner, the united states, changes the narrative. i thought the president squandered the huge leverage he had just by agreeing to meet with the leader of north korea which is something kim jong-un's father and grandfather lusted for. they wanted an in-person meeting with the president. i don't think we got much out of that. he gave away our joint exercises. by the way, the north koreans understand exactly what the exercises are for. they are defensive in nature and the north koreans know that. hopefully this time there will be more thought given to some objectives and potentially some gain for us.
i do think it's much better to talk in person like that than exchanging the threats that were the case eight or nine months ago. >> sometimes via twitter. you're aware of the president's public disagreements with intelligence officials. it is interesting the "time" magazine is quoting officials who say the president's intelligence briefers have been instructed to with hold from him intelligence that contradicts his publically stated views. what is the dangers of that? >> that is not good. certainly in public the intelligence leaders notably dan coats did their duty which was to tell truth to power. it's perfectly permissible for policy makers to include policy maker number one meaning the president to ignore, accept or
reject intelligence as he or she sees fit. i would observe that doing that repettively, routinely over a period of time on multiple issues is dangerous to the country and to the presidency. what i don't think is necessary and what does great harm is the unnecessary insults when the intelligence community which is there to tee up the facts somehow is seen as disagreeing with the president's no fact zone own reality. >> always good to draw on your experience. he is not running, but president obama is very much a part of democrats' race for 2020. could the party find their next obama in a growing field of candidates?
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>> reporter: before any democratic presidential candidate can bask in the echo of the applause they must start here as barack obama did 12 years ago this week. >> there is a certain audacity to this announcement. >> reporter: the 45-year-old junior senator from illinois was a riser star, bought a long shot-putal candidate. his message and name are showing up in the early stages of the race. senator kamala harris drawing an obama size crowd during her announcement. >> our united states of america is not about us versus them. it's about we the people. >> reporter: senator cory booker
invoking the obamas. >> i miss obama and i miss her husband, too. i'm really grateful for the kind of leadership he provided the country. >> reporter: and senator brown telling voters this -- after obama won the iowa caucuses, his primary fight with hillary clinton was just beginning. david axelrod said rebounding for moments of crisis was the most important test for obama and any candidate. >> presidential races are gauntlets. in a rough way they are supposed to be where you simulate the kind of pressures that people will face if they become president. people get a chance to judge you in those moments. >> reporter: at the dawn of one of the most wide open campaigns, predicting the next obama is -- >> i do not know how we handle the pressures of the race. we don't know that now about any of the candidates.
>> reporter: the former president plans to stay out of the primary telling democrats he knows the torch should be passed, but that promise could become complicated if joe biden jumps in. >> i saw first-hand the courage of the president. >> reporter: and heads turn when obama called beto o'rourke an impressive young man who ran a terrific race in texas. >> it felt as if he based his statements and his positions on what he believed. >> reporter: today all eyes are on o'rourke as he appears with oprah winfrey. >> i'm here to tell you, iowa, he is the one. >> our thanks to jeff zeleny for that report. it is his second state of the union but this time to a very different audience. have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast,
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and accessoriesphones for your mobile phone. like this device to increase volume on your cell phone. - ( phone ringing ) - get details on this state program call or visit when president trump delivers this year's state of the union address he will face a very different room than the one he addressed last year. with democrats in control of the house and the threat of a second government shutdown looming,
cnn's tom foreman gives us a preview. >> reporter: when president trump comes walking down that aisle he is going to face a very different audience than last year. remember back then his republicans had firm control of the senate and the house. but in the mid term elections the democrats took the majority in the house and brought in a lot more elected women too. he will see that from his position up front here and he might feel it over his shoulder, too. remember, speaker of the house paul ryan is republican is out and has been replaced by speaker of the house nancy pelosi, a democrat, who has shown she is more than willing to engage trump over the budget, over his messaging and his plans for a wall on the border with mexico. also, watch this area out here. that is where members of the u.s. supreme court will be seated. remember, two of them have been selected by president trump.
that has been a great cause of concern for democrats and he may nuns his influence on the courts. watch that area over there. that is where the first lady will be seated. traditionally the first lady's area is used for the white house to illustrate some of the points of the president with the guests they had invited or to honor certain people. the democrats can also invite guests to under score their concerns for example on gun control we expect to see one of the survivors of the parkland school shooting in florida. on the issue of immigration we expect to see an immigrant mother and her child who were separated by u.s. agents at the border. and we are expected to see workers who were furloughed. in short, this year when president trump looks out he will see far fewer people who are ready to agree with him, and many more who are prepared to challenge his policies. >> great story. remember, our coverage of the state of the union begins tonight at 8:00 eastern time right here on cnn.
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hello everyone. it is one of the biggest speeches of any presidency. it can set the tone. it can set the agenda. it can set the mood for the president for the coming year and president trump is hours away from delivering that in his second state of the union address to the nation. and in his doing so for the first time in front of a divided congress. the white house says the speech will call for more unity, more bipartisanship, more compromise. but from his public statements to his twitter