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Budget Deadline Looms; Border Wall Funds at Issue; Interview with Rep. Mike Quigley Visits Cyprus Over Manafort Allegations; Dow Futures Spike On French Election; American Citizen Detained By North Korea. Aired 9-9:30a ET
Aired April 24, 2017 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:00:00] RYAN CIAMPOLI, FIREFIGHTER: -- me, just driving down the road. So it is (inaudible).
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, that's great, great advice, Ryan. We're so glad that you were there in that situation. Thanks for sharing it with us. And we will see if we can, obviously, get a status report on the little girl for you and for everyone.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I'm sure that family would be dying to meet you. He was the right man at the right time for that little girl.
CAMEROTA: Touched by an angel. All right. Time for CNN NEWSROOM with Poppy Harlow and John Berman.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: What a story!
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Unreal, right?
BERMAN: What a hero! Man, that is amazing story. Thanks so much, guys. We got a lot of news so let's get started.
HARLOW: Good Monday morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.
BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. This morning, a gigantic contrast between big and small, a lot and a little, huge and tiny. The President kicks off what might be his most important week yet in the White House, certainly his most ambitious, and he does it with the lowest approval numbers of any president at this point in the modern era by far. Now, that might be a problem.
HARLOW: It might, indeed. Congress, meantime, has less than five days to pass a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and the President's insistence to fund the border wall in that spending bill, well, that's making that threat even more ominous.
It's a deal breaker for Democrats and even some Republicans, this morning, are balking. The deadline, Friday, just before midnight, and just moments before the President begins his 100th day in office.
Let's begin this morning with Joe Johns at the White House. Good morning. JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Poppy.
Fights over government shutdowns are usually, well, I should say, often very predictable in Washington, D.C. However, this has been a very unpredictable first 100 days, so difficult to say exactly what has happened.
What is clear is that the President of the United States has sent signs that, as far as he's concerned, the administration and the Congress should do whatever it takes to avoid a government shutdown. Nonetheless, the President's messages -- he's been sending over his desire to get funding in any spending bill for his border wall -- seems to be muddling the message just a bit. His Homeland Security Secretary talking about that just yesterday on "STATE OF THE UNION."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KELLY, SECRETARY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I think it goes without saying that the President has been pretty straightforward about his desire and the need for a border wall. He'll do the right thing for sure, but I will suspect he will be insistent on the funding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: So the President does have an extraordinarily busy week this week. At 9:30 this morning, Eastern Time, it starts with a telephone call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. After that, the President is expected to make a very long distance call to Peggy Whitson and the International Space Station. She, of course, is setting a record there, having been in space 535 days. From there, we go essentially all the way through the week, a variety of meetings and travel for the President of the United States.
Among the highlights, certainly, the President is expected to roll out his tax reform program as well as give a preview of his tax cuts. And that occurs later in the week as well. The President is going to meet with the President of Argentina. And then on Saturday, of course, a very big meeting with a lot of the supporters, people who voted for him, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to mark the end of the first 100 days. John and Poppy, back to you.
BERMAN: Yes, a lot of activity this week, I think, probably hoping to send the message that activity equals accomplishment.
HARLOW: Progress, yes.
BERMAN: You know, critics may not see it as the case. All right. Joe Johns, at the White House, thanks so much.
The insistence on funding for a border wall could be caught in a political pincer between Democrats united against it and some Republicans squeamish about the idea of a shutdown. Let's go to Capitol Hill. CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is there.
This is a fight that some Republicans don't want to get in the middle of, Sunlen. SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right, John.
First and foremost, you, of course, have congressional Democrats who are saying there's absolutely no way that they will support a spending bill that funds the border wall that Donald Trump has called for. And increasingly, we're starting to see some Republicans up here on Capitol Hill send some pretty overt messages to the administration. They are, of course, mindful that they need Democrats to come on board to support this spending bill if it's going to pass, so are, in essence, urging the administration, back off this fight, leave this fight for another day, for the sake of keeping the government open and functioning.
Here's some of that rhetoric that we saw in the weekend setting up this big week on Capitol Hill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I think that's a fight worth having and a conversation or debate worth having for 2018.
[09:05:00] SEN. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Once the government is up and running and stays up and running, then we have to just, you know, fight this out over the next year.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The Democrats do not support the wall. The burden to keep it open is on the Republicans. The wall is, in my view, immoral, expensive, unwise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: Now, beyond just the fight over the funding of the border wall, there are a number of key disagreements and sticking points that exist between the administration, between Republicans and Democrats up here, that are holding up this bill. And as you know, Congress is back today. They only have four days to get this done before that midnight deadline.
Key aides on the Appropriations Committee say that they are making progress. But most likely, the way this is all headed, Poppy, is likely, according to many aides up here, they'll have to pass some sort of stopgap measure, buying them, essentially, more time.
HARLOW: Buying more time. Sunlen Serfaty in the Hill, thank you so much.
Joining us now to discuss all these, David Fahrenthold, CNN contributor and reporter for "The Washington Post." Also with us, Ms. Jay Newton-Small, "TIME" Magazine contributor and author of "Broad Influence: How Women are Changing the Way America Works." So nice to have you guys with us.
Jane, let me begin with you because the reporting out of Washington from our Jeff Zeleny is that the President has given the directive that he will not let the government shut down on his watch. And then, his Chief of Staff Reince Priebus seemed to sort of tip his hand a bit yesterday on "Meet the Press." Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: It will be enough in the negotiation for us to move forward with either the construction or the planning or enough for to us move forward through the end of September to get going on the border wall and border security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: All right. And let's also bring Salena Zito into the conversation as well as I ask this first question. Jay, I mean, it seemed like Reince Priebus said, OK, maybe it doesn't have to be exactly money for an exactly, you know, brick and mortar wall. It could be funding for border security. How far is the White House willing to push this one when it comes to the budget?
JAY NEWTON-SMALL, AUTHOR, "BROAD INFLUENCE: HOW WOMEN ARE CHANGING THE WAY AMERICA WORKS": It seems that, you know, President Trump has certainly drawn a line in the sand and said, look, the way we want to cap the first 100 days is not by shutting down the government, and so he seems pretty adamant that whatever deal is made on Capitol Hill will include continued funding for the government. And that has really been the sticking point for Democrats, is whether or not you're going to have this money to build this wall. And Democrats are basically saying, look, if you want our vote, if you want our support, you're going to have to rid of that money.
There's another proposal that was sort of saying, hey, we'll give you dollar for dollar, you know, funding for ObamaCare, and that also was a nonstarter with Democrats basically saying, nope, we've got the votes and you're going to have to come to us.
BERMAN: You know, it's interesting, David Fahrenthold, because the White House keeps putting Republicans on Capitol Hill in this position, picking fights that may be unwinnable. Border wall funding might be unwinnable if Democrats are going to stand up against it. So what kind of a position does this put the Republicans in up there?
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, it gives them remarkably little leverage, especially the House leadership. It gives them remarkably little leverage in a Congress where they control both Houses because President Trump has sort of picked these fights that are always on a fast timetable.
Because the fast timetable give a lot of leverage to Democrats, particularly in this area where they were talking about fighting, you know, trying to trade off a border wall, which is not that popular, and if they don't get it, they're going to kill off some ObamaCare subsidies, which would be unpopular, there's not much leverage on either side of that fight. And so it gives Republicans remarkably little control over their agenda and also the speed at which they do these things.
HARLOW: Let's take a look at some of the new polling out this morning, polling that the President is taking issue with. He calls them fake news polls, but here are the polls. ABC News/"The Washington Post" poll shows a very low approval rating, as we said, 42 percent for the President right now.
But if you look, Jay, at his supporters, 96 percent of folks who voted for him said they would vote for him again. I mean, what do you make of that? They seem unfazed by the lack of legislative accomplishment outside of getting Gorsuch through.
NEWTON-SMALL: Well, two things to that, Poppy. First of all, we need to remember that 56 percent of Americans actually voted against Donald Trump, and so those that did vote for Donald Trump are a minority and they're clearly a very passionate minority. But what they really want to see from him and what he excels at is really the idea of disrupting Washington. So he is, you know, blowing things up, he's taking on Congress, he's taking on the courts, and the more he does that, even if he doesn't achieve actual policy, doesn't achieve actual laws, they perceive him as really trying to mix things up in Washington, change things, and that's what they hunger for.
BERMAN: You know, it's interesting, David, because the flipside of that, obviously, it gets to what you were talking about, right, that the President is pressing all these buttons from a really weak negotiating point. His approval numbers are very, very low. Normally, historically, you wouldn't see a President try to push things through that may be difficult when your approval numbers are so low. Yet, you know, it's never been that much better for Donald Trump. I mean, Donald Trump won an election with low approval ratings. So why should he change now?
FAHRENTHOLD: Well, it's not in an election now. I think that's the most important thing.
BERMAN: That's a good point. Hillary Clinton is in the woods of Chappaqua, and he doesn't have a foil to run against. He's talking about actually governing now. The 100 days construct is artificial, Trump is right about that. Of course, he glommed onto it when he was running for office but it's artificial. The question is, what's he going to do in his next 100 days or his 100 days after that?
[09:10:14] What he's done so far, as you said, is really reduced his leverage with Congress, especially with Democrats in Congress who he's going to need to get some of these things done. And so it doesn't give you a lot of hope that the second hundred days or the third hundred days are going to have much success if he's burning bridges at this rate.
HARLOW: You know, it's really interesting, guys. So the White House, in their read out of what's coming up this week, they talk about -- and this is a quote -- they are launching a web page dedicated to the first 100 days, "It will be with pronounced graphics, videos, and other digital content for the President's massive online following to share." Jay, what?
NEWTON-SMALL: Well, I think they're just trying to claim any kind of victory and look, he has had a few victories. Certainly, confirming a Supreme Court justice is a big victory. And he's actually signed more executive orders into law than any other president in recent history, so you could --
HARLOW: But they're highlighting the 100 days when he called it ridiculous. I guess that's my point.
NEWTON-SMALL: Yes. But it's like Donald Trump's always had sort of like, well, this is dumb, but, like, let's find a way to win it anyway, right? I mean, and that's very much the way he's been throughout. He's sort of calling into question Washington's norms but then also still trying to win Washington's norms. And that is his style.
BERMAN: And they continue, the White House does and Donald Trump does, to try to frame this dialogue, this national discussion, in a certain way. David Fahrenthold, you know, Saturday night, the White House Correspondents' Dinner -- look, if you go, I'm sure you'll be winning another award because that's all you do these days -- but the President is not going, right? He's going to speak, you know, in small town Pennsylvania, to the people who helped get him into the White House. And I think that's a picture this White House is completely comfortable with.
FAHRENTHOLD: Of course. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. The White House Correspondents' Dinner is a weird institution. And if the President doesn't want to be part of it, that's completely fine. If he wants to go out and talk to people in Pennsylvania who voted for him, that's completely fine. The question is, you know, what does he do when he comes back to Washington? Is what he does in Pennsylvania giving him some leverage over Congress, which is where the real fight of his presidency are going to happen?
BERMAN: Yes, stay tuned for that. David Fahrenthold, Jay Newton- Small, great to have you with us. Thanks so much, guys.
BERMAN: How far will Democrats go to block this border wall funding? Are they, in fact, itching for a shutdown? A key Democrat joins us next.
Plus, an American detained in North Korea as tensions continue to build there. What did he do? How will the U.S. get this guy out?
HARLOW: And down but not out. Not even a week after he was fired at Fox, Bill O'Reilly is back. What he's saying, and on what platform, ahead.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: This morning the clock is ticking less than five days to strike a deal on a spending bill or wait for it, wait for it.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Or not.
HARLOW: The government shuts down.
BERMAN: As we mentioned, the White House wants border wall funding added to the bill but Democrats say no way.
Joining us is Democratic Representative Mike Quigley of Illinois. He is also a member of the House Intelligence Committee, which we will get to in a moment.
First the border wall, Congressman, the White House wants funding for the wall in there. Will you vote for any deal that has such funding in it?
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Absolutely not. Colossal waste of time. Waste of money, resources, devastating impact on the environment. It's a bad idea all the way around.
HARLOW: So let me just get this clear. No funding at all, not even ten bucks, right, not even symbolic funding, and in that, are you saying that there is no value at all in having a border wall?
QUIGLEY: Absolutely, no value at all. Just understand from our perspective, sitting on Lake Michigan here, what they're talking about in the Trump '18 budget is leaving less money to restore the great lakes than it costs to send the president of the United States to South Florida five times. With that perspective, they're taking away money to protect our most vital natural resource in this country, to do something that doesn't help us or secure our country whatsoever.
BERMAN: One of the things that the president has floated and his budget director floated also is getting additional money to help prop up Obamacare in exchange for funding for again the border wall here. Is that something you'd be willing to discuss? What is your reaction to that offer?
QUIGLEY: You know, look, in the last six years there have been more Republicans in the House than at any time since the Hoover administration. When Speaker Boehner, then Speaker Ryan came to us with some compromises, there was a comnibus and omni bus several times in which I was willing to compromise.
But in the end they fully funded the health care law, they fully ended the EPA and we were able to get -- extract other things to help us on a local basis, but this isn't compromise when they stake out extreme positions and ask us to meet in the middle ground that is still way out there on the right.
HARLOW: So that's a no, right?
QUIGLEY: That's a no.
BERMAN: Not like a maybe there. QUIGLEY: Yes. The theme of compromise is there are things in there that you both don't like, but when the president stakes out extreme positions to the right, and then says now come way out here to compromise he's really accomplishing something that isn't a compromise.
HARLOW: All right, you sit on the House Intel Committee. We want to get to a few questions on that. CNN is exclusively reporting that the FBI gathered intelligence last summer that suggests that Russian operatives tried to use Trump advisers, including Carter Page, tried to infiltrate the Trump campaign through these folks like Carter Page who worked at one point as a foreign policy adviser to the president when he was candidate. Sitting where you sit on the intel committee, have you seen any evidence of that?
[09:20:04]QUIGLEY: Let me put it this way. In the totality of circumstances, I believe that if you compare to a criminal case there's probable cause to believe there was cooperation between the Russians and the Trump campaign. Beyond that, I can't get into the specifics. But if the American public saw what I had seen and listened to what I heard they'd want a full throttle investigation into what took place.
BERMAN: Just to be clear, there's no reason to not believe our reporting, which is that the Russians tried to infiltrate the campaign with people including Carter Page, correct?
QUIGLEY: I don't want to mention any specific person. But it is very clear that I think the intelligence communities are in agreement, the Russians successfully hacked into our democratic process and I believe that there's enough evidence to go forward that there was collusion.
HARLOW: You recently took a trip to Cyprus, not exactly a typical place for someone in your position to go. We know that Paul Manafort, who ran the Trump campaign as chairman for a matter of months, has bank accounts there. You note it is a key location for Russian money laundering. Why did you go to Cyprus? What can you tell us about what you found?
QUIGLEY: I think it's important for anybody in the House select committee on intelligence to understand how the worldwide money laundering process works. It is a process that's used to avoid tax, fund the regime in Moscow to avoid sanctions and sanctions are absolutely critical to our policy in North Korea, Iran and of course in Ukraine.
So what I learned is, money laundering issues matter, and at the same time, there were key subjects of this investigation that were playing in the same pool so to speak in Cyprus. Our work has just begun investigating what took place in various parts of the world, including Cyprus.
BERMAN: Paul Manafort who was one point the campaign chair had some banking situations connected to Cyprus. Is the idea of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, was there money that went through Cyprus that will be connected to that? QUIGLEY: Again, that's a specific I'd be divulging information that I'm not really supposed to. All I can tell you is the totality of circumstances tells us we need to investigate this, we need more lawyers and accountants and resources and we need to work in several countries to understand fully how the Russians successfully attacked our democratic process.
BERMAN: All right, Congressman Mike Quigley from Illinois, thanks so much. Pretty fruitful discussion, appreciate your time, sir.
Global markets are surging this morning as France steps closer to choosing its next president. Voters rejected candidates from all the main stream political parties in round one of the election. Now there is a runoff set between the centrist, Emmanuel Macron, and the far right candidate, Marine Le Pen.
HARLOW: Right. Two candidates with wildly different visions for the future of France and frankly the future of the Eurozone. Macron wants to stay within the European Union and Le Pen wants to put France first she says and ditch the euro.
Our chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, is here. Investors are hailing this and like what they see because they think Le Pen doesn't have a shot against Macron.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: They do and they think that he is basically a pro-globalization liberal, who will be good for the E.U., good for France, good for the economy there and will put them one step away from Frexit, another made-up word but a French exit from the European Union.
So this is one thing that is so interesting, global, big global companies, the big multinationals the idea here is it would be good if you had Macron as the next president of France.
There's another election May 7th so let's not get ahead of ourselves. We've been surprised before on such matters of economic nationalism. But you see a banner day in Paris, 4.5 percent surge in the CAC Quarante that's a big move in one day. London up as well. S&P futures were up here and you're looking at a 200-point boost to the Dow in the very early going.
BERMAN: Yes, the markets are relieved to say the least that the election or order came out the way it did by the margins. Christine Romans, chief business correspondent, French major -- great to have you with us. Appreciate it.
HARLOW: Made my Monday morning.
BERMAN: All right, new this morning, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says that North Korea is starting to feel the pressure and that it's leader is now acting paranoid.
HARLOW: But what are the global implications and what could it mean for an American citizen now detained in North Korea, that makes three, we're going to have more on all of that straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BERMAN: All right, new this morning, a U.S. citizen detained in North Korea, Tony Kim had been teaching at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, taken into custody as he was getting ready to leave the country. Kim is the third American now being held by North Korea.
HARLOW: And all of this is happening as President Trump holds phone calls overnight with the president of China, and Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, amid the escalating tension between the United States and North Korea. Also North Korea threatening to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier.
CNN's senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson, is in Seoul for us. Before we get to the escalating tension, what more do we know, if anything, about why this additional American was not allowed to board his flight out of Pyongyang?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't have any charges yet that have been leveled against him. Most of the information coming from the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, Poppy, because it represents U.S. interest in North Korea since there are not direct relations between Pyongyang and Washington --