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Trump Meets with Pelosi and Schumer; Trump's Meeting with Congressional Leaders; Trump and Democratic Leaders Clash. Aired 12- 12:30p ET
Aired December 11, 2018 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[12:00:20] DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Dana Bash. John King is off today.
As we speak, the president is meeting with congressional Democratic leaders for the first time since the blue wave. Will they cut a deal to avoid a partial government shut down?
Plus, one potential candidate for the White House chief of staff says John Kelly's replacement needs to be able to handle the subpoena cannon.
And, some of the Republican women left in the House, and there aren't many of them, are trying to shake their male colleagues to wake up and realize diversity is critical for the GOP to survive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R), NEW YORK: But with the dwindling number of women we have, 13, we need to make sure that we're using our voices and actually having an impact to continue to educate our colleagues. And I've said to them, I'm going to be a broken record for the next two years on this to remind you that this is not reflective of the American public and we need to do better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: And we begin this hour at the White House where the president is meeting right now with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. And the stakes are high. Just 11 days remain before part of the government will shut down if they can't come to an agreement on funding for border security. The president is pushing for $5 billion in funding for the border wall. A top Democratic source tells me they planned to urge the president to accept a much lower number, $1.3 billion.
Now, big picture, today's sit-down is the first time the president is meeting with the Democratic leadership since the Democrats won back control of the House in November's midterms. And, in many ways, it's the first day of the rest of his term, what he's going to be facing over the next two years, and the woman vying to be the House speaker is keeping her cards close to the vest. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: What's going to be your message to the president today?
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: Let's meet the needs of the American people. Let's work together to meet the needs of the American people. That's our responsibility.
QUESTION: Do you think you'll be able to come to a compromise?
PELOSI: Well, we'll see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: I want to get straight to CNN's Jeff Zeleny at the White House.
Jeff, we know the cameras were brought in for part of the meeting. What are you hearing about what happened?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dana, we are hearing, and soon we are going to see, the first glimpse of what divided government in this town is going to look like in the new year. I am told, based on reports by reporters who were in the Oval Office, the pool reporters, which is a rotation here at the White House, that it was 15 minutes of unending sparring.
So the scene we are going to see just shortly, when that video becomes available, is House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, the president, the vice president seated inside the Oval Office sparring, I am told, about statistics over border security, about the border wall, et cetera. Apparently, based on these pool reports, Speaker Pelosi, now Democratic Leader Pelosi, she hopes soon to be Speaker Pelosi, was saying, let's have this conversation, Mr. President, without the press in the room.
So now there actually is a meeting going on. The press was in there for the beginning.
But, Dana, we are getting a sense that this definitely is -- was a heated moment. Perhaps that's what the president wanted. He, of course, invited cameras into the room. This was not scheduled to be an open press, if you will, meeting. But it was described as a heated conversation. The Democrats not giving an inch.
But Leader Pelosi said earlier today that -- she said, look, the president controls -- Republicans control the Senate, the House. It's up to him to keep the government open. He clearly believes that they play a part in it as well. He's tweeting all morning long about that.
So, Dana, this video that we'll be seeing shortly here on INSIDE POLITICS, I'm told is pretty extraordinary.
BASH: If you're watching at home, get your popcorn popped. This is going to be must see TV for sure. ZELENY: It would be a good time for lunch.
BASH: Yes, exactly.
And, Jeff, you mentioned it's something that the president will probably find beneficial to his base.
BASH: You can certainly say the same thing about the Democrats as well.
OK, Jeff, we'll get back to you as soon as we see that video and you get more reporting as well.
BASH: Here with me to share their reporting and insights, CNN's Abby Phillip, Olivier Knox with Sirius XM, Tamara Keith with NPR, and "The New York Times" Carl Hulse.
OK, Carl, I'm going to start with you because you have seen a lot of these -- a lot of these situations over the years where you have, you know, new, emboldened leaders poised to take over at least one part of Congress in a fight with the president who is politically weakened. As I'm asking you to answer that, I just want to let you know we have about a minute left until we see that tape.
CARL HULSE, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I mean this is -- I think you were right, this is what it's going to look like in the next two years. Nancy Pelosi is in a different position that when Chuck and Nancy went over there before. They're now going to be empowered. She is not going to back down. And she still has to be elected speaker. So she needs to show her actual members that she is willing to push back against the president.
[12:05:19] I think that Nancy Pelosi is one of the people in this town who is not intimidated at all by President Trump and is going to do what she thinks is right. If you'll remember, their first meeting the last time started with a fight between then Minority Leader Pelosi and Trump, when she challenged him when he said he had won the popular vote.
HULSE: So they've been in this place before.
TAMARA KEITH, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NPR: Yes, and their -- the Democrats go into this meeting with no illusions about walking out with a deal. I mean every time they've walked into a meeting with President Trump, they come out with some sort of talk of maybe a deal and then like either 48 minutes or 48 hours later, it completely blows up because President Trump has changed his mind.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: : They've seen this move -- they've seen this movie before, the president trying to spin is the conversation before the meeting even happens. I think what we'll see is Nancy Pelosi try to keep that from happening.
BASH: OK. Stand by, Abby. Let's watch the tape.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: OK, thank you very much. It's a great honor to have Nancy Pelosi with us and Chuck Schumer with us. And we've actually worked very hard on a couple of things that are happening, criminal justice reform. As you know, we just heard word -- got word that Mitch McConnell and the group, we're going to be putting it up for a vote. We have great Democrat support. Great Republican support. So criminal justice reform. Something that people have been trying to get, how long, Nancy? Many years.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: (INAUDIBLE).
TRUMP: Many, many years. It looks like it's going to be passing, hopefully -- famous last words -- on a very bipartisan way. And it's really something we're all very proud of. And, again, tremendous support from Republicans and tremendous support from Democrats. And I think it's going to get a very good vote. And we'll see soon enough. But it will be up for a vote very shortly. A lot of years they've been waiting for it.
The other thing, the farm bill is moving along nicely. And I guess they'll be voting on Friday or so. But pretty close.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), MINORITY LEADER: Soon. Soon.
TRUMP: And we think the farm bill's in very good shape. A lot of good things are happening with it and our farmers are well taken care of. And, again, that will be quite bipartisan. And it will happen pretty soon.
And then we have the easy one, the wall. That will be the one that will be the easiest of all. What do you think, Chuck? Maybe not.
SCHUMER: It's called funding the government, Mr. President.
TRUMP: So we're going to see. But I will tell you, the wall will get built. We'll see what happens.
It is not an easy situation because the Democrats have a different view I think than I can say the Republicans. We have great Republican support. We don't have Democrat support.
But we're going to talk about that now. We're going to see.
One thing that I do have to say is tremendous amounts of wall have already been built and a lot of -- a lot of wall when you include the renovation of existing fences and walls. We've renovated a tremendous amount. And we've done a lot of work. In San Diego we're building new walls right now and we've -- right next to San Diego we've completed a major section of wall and it's really worked well.
So a lot of wall has been built. We don't talk about that, but we might as well start because it's being -- it's being built right now. Big sections of wall. And we will continue that. And one way or the other it's going to get built. I'd like not to see
a government closing, a shutdown. We will see what happens over the next short period of time. But the wall is a very important thing to us. I might put it a different way. Border security is extremely important. And we have to take care of border security when you look at what happened with the caravans, with the people, with a lot of -- we shut it down. We had no choice. We shut it down. But it could be a lot easier if we had real border security.
I just want to pay my respects to the border patrol agents and officers. They have been incredible. The ICE agents and officers, they've been incredible. And very importantly, our military. Our military went in and they did an incredible job. They have been really, really spectacular.
A lot of the people that wanted to come into the country and really they want to come in -- no matter how, they wanted to come in, they were going to come in, even a rough way. Many of these people are leaving now and they're going back to their countries, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and other countries. They're leaving. You notice, it's getting a lot less crowded in Mexico. And a lot of them are going to stay in Mexico. And the Mexican government's been working with us very well. So we appreciate that. But they haven't been coming into our country. We can't let people come in that way.
So that's pretty much it.
We're going to talk about the wall. I wanted to talk about criminal justice reform, just to let you know how positive that is. I wanted to talk about the farm bill, how positive that is. And I want to talk about the wall.
[12:10:10] And I will tell you, it's a tough issue because we are on very opposite sides of -- I really think I can say border security, but certainly the wall. But the wall will get built. A lot of the wall is built. It's been very effective.
I asked for a couple of notes on that. If you look at San Diego, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent once the wall was up. El Paso, illegal traffic dropped 72 percent, then ultimately 95 percent once the wall was up. In Tucson, Arizona, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent. Yuma, it dropped, illegal traffic, 95 to 96 percent.
I mean and that -- when I say dropped, the only reason we even have any percentage where people got through is because they walk and go around areas that aren't built. It dropped virtually 100 percent in the areas where the wall is. So, I mean, it's very effective.
If you really want to find out how effective a wall is, just ask Israel. It's 99.9 percent effective. And our wall will be every bit as good as that, if not better.
So we've done a lot of work on the wall. A lot of wall is built. A lot of people don't know that. A lot of wall is renovated. We have walls that were in very bad condition that are now in A-1 tip top shape. And, frankly, some wall has been reinforced by our military. Our military has done a fantastic job.
So the wall will get built. But we may not -- we may not have an agreement today. We probably won't. But we have an agreement on other things that are really good.
Nancy, would you like to say something.
PELOSI: Well, thank you, Mr. President for the opportunity to meet with you so that we can work together in a bipartisan way to meet the needs of the American people. I think the American people recognize that we must keep government open. That a shutdown is not worth anything. And that we should not have a Trump shutdown. You'll have the --
TRUMP: A what? Did you say Trump?
PELOSI: A Trump shutdown.
TRUMP: Oh. (INAUDIBLE).
PELOSI: You have the White House. You have the Senate. You have the House of Representatives. You have the votes. You should pass it right now.
TRUMP: No, we don't have the votes, Nancy, because in the Senate we need 60 votes.
PELOSI: No, no, but in the House.
TRUMP: And don't have it.
PELOSI: You could bring it up right now, today.
TRUMP: Yes, but I can't -- excuse me, but I can't get it passed in the House if it's not going to pass in the Senate. I don't want to waste time.
PELOSI: Well -- well, the fact is, you can get it started that way. And --
TRUMP: The House we can get passed very easily. And we do.
PELOSI: OK, then do it. Then do it.
TRUMP: But the problem is the Senate, because we need 10 Democrats to vote and they won't vote.
PELOSI: No, no, that's not the point, Mr. President. The point is, is that there are equities to be weighed. And we're here to have a conversation in a (INAUDIBLE) way --
PELOSI: So I don't think we should have a debate in front of the press on this. But the fact is, the Senate -- the House Republicans could bring up
this bill, if they had the votes, immediately and set the tone for what you want.
TRUMP: If we thought we would get it passed in the Senate, Nancy, we would do it immediately. We'd get it passed very easily in the House.
PELOSI: Well, that's not the point.
TRUMP: We would get it -- Nancy, I'd have it passed in two seconds. It doesn't matter, though, because we can't get it passed in the Senate because we need 10 Democrat votes. That's the problem.
PELOSI: Well, but, again, let us have our conversation --
TRUMP: That's right.
PELOSI: And then we can meet with the press again.
But the fact is, is that legislating, which is what we do --
PELOSI: You begin, you make your point, you state your case. That's what the House Republicans could do if they had the votes. But there are no votes in the House, the major of votes, for a wall, no matter where you start.
SCHUMER: That's exactly right. You don't have the votes in the House.
TRUMP: If I needed the votes for the wall in the House, I would have them in one session it would be done.
PELOSI: Well, then, go do it. Go do it.
TRUMP: It doesn't help because we need 10 Democrats in the Senate.
PELOSI: No, don't put it on the Senate. Put it on --
TRUMP: What (ph) --
PELOSI: Put it on a negotiation.
TRUMP: OK, let me ask you this, just -- and we're doing this in a very friendly manner. It doesn't help for me to take a vote in the House, where I will win easily with the Republicans.
PELOSI: You will not win.
TRUMP: It doesn't help to take that vote because I'm not going to get the vote of the Senate.
PELOSI: Well, don't put it on the Senate.
TRUMP: I need 10 senators. That's the problem.
PELOSI: Mr. President, you have the White House, you have the Senate, you have the House of Representatives.
TRUMP: I have the White House. The White House is done. And the House would give me the vote if I wanted it. But I can't because I need --
PELOSI: Well, you can't -- you can't --
TRUMP: Nancy, I need 10 votes from Chuck.
PELOSI: Well, Mr. President, let me --
SCHUMER: All right, let me say something here.
PELOSI: Let me just say one thing.
TRUMP: All right.
PELOSI: The fact is, you do not have the votes in the House.
TRUMP: Nancy, I do. And we need border security.
PELOSI: Well, let's take the vote and we'll find out.
TRUMP: Nancy, Nancy, we need border security. It's very simple.
PELOSI: Of course we do.
TRUMP: We need border security.
PELOSI: We do.
TRUMP: People are pouring into our country, including terrorists. We have terrorists. We caught 10 terrorists over the last very short period of time. Ten. These are very serious people. Our border agents, all of our law enforcement has been incredible, what they've done. But we caught 10 terrorists. These are people that were looking to do harm. We need the wall. We need, more important than anything, we need border security, of which the wall is just a piece. But it's important.
Chuck, did you want to say something?
SCHUMER: Yes, here's what I want to say. We have a lot of disagreements here. "The Washington Post" today gave you a whole lot of Pinocchios because they say you constantly misstate how much the wall is -- how much of the wall is built and how much is there. But that's not the point here.
[12:15:05] We have a disagreement about the wall.
TRUMP: "The Washington Post."
SCHUMER: Whether it's effective or whatever. Not on border security, but on the wall. We do not want to shut down the government.
You have called 20 times to shut down the government. You say, I want to shut down the government. We don't. we want to come to an agreement. If we can't come to an agreement, we have solutions that will pass the House and Senate right now and will not shut down the government. And that's what we're urging you to do. Not threaten to shut down the government because you --
TRUMP: You don't want to shut down the government --
SCHUMER: Let me just finish. Because you can't get your way.
TRUMP: The last time you shut it down, you got killed (ph).
SCHUMER: Yes, let me say something, Mr. President, you just say my way or we'll shut down the government. We have a proposal that Democrats and Republicans will support to do a CR that will not shut down the government. We urge you to take it.
TRUMP: And if it's not good border security, I won't take it.
SCHUMER: It is very good border security.
TRUMP: And if it's not good border security, I won't take it.
PELOSI: (INAUDIBLE) border security (INAUDIBLE).
SCHUMER: It's what the border --
TRUMP: Because when you look at these numbers of the effectiveness of our border security and when you look at the job that we're doing with our military --
SCHUMER: You just said it is effective.
TRUMP: Can I be -- can I tell you something?
SCHUMER: Yes, you just said it's effective.
TRUMP: Without a wall, these are only areas where you have walls.
SCHUMER: We want to do the --
TRUMP: Where you have walls, Chuck, it's effective.
SCHUMER: We --
TRUMP: Where you don't have walls, it is not effective.
PELOSI: Wait a second, let's call a halt to this.
PELOSI: Let's call a halt to this. We've come in here as the first branch of government. Article One, the legislative branch. We're coming in, in good faith to negotiate with you about how we can keep the government open.
TRUMP: We're going to keep it open if we have border security.
PELOSI: The Americans -- the Americans --
TRUMP: If we don't have border security --
PELOSI: I'm -- I'm with you.
TRUMP: Chuck, we're not going to keep it open.
SCHUMER: Let me --
PELOSI: I'm with you. We are going to have border security.
SCHUMER: And it's the same border --
PELOSI: (INAUDIBLE) --
SCHUMER: You're bragging about what has been done.
TRUMP: By us.
SCHUMER: We want to do the same thing we did last year this year. That's our proposal. If it's good then, it's good now and it won't shut down the government.
TRUMP: Chuck, we can build a much bigger section with more money.
SCHUMER: Let's -- let's debate -- let's debate in private, OK? Yes, let's debate in private.
PELOSI: We have taken this conversation to a place that is devoid, frankly, of fact and we -- we can dispel (ph) that.
TRUMP: We need border security. I think we all agree that we need border security. Am I right?
SCHUMER: Yes, we do.
SCHUMER: See, we get along.
Thank you, everybody.
QUESTION: Mr. President, are you willing accept (ph) -- Mr. President?
QUESTION: You say border security and the wall. Can you have border security without the wall?
TRUMP: No, you need -- you need the wall. The wall is a part of border security.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) border security?
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) what it means to have border security?
TRUMP: Yes. We need border security. The wall is a part of border security. You can't have very good border security without the wall, no.
PELOSI: That's just really not true.
TRUMP: Yes, (INAUDIBLE).
PELOSI: That is a political promise. Border security is a way to effectively honor our responsibility --
SCHUMER: And the experts say you can do border security without a wall, which is wasteful and doesn't solve the problem.
TRUMP: It totally solves the problem and it's very important.
PELOSI: But I don't want to take this -- unfortunately, this has spiraled downward from we came at a place to say, how do we meet the needs of the American people who have needs. The economy has -- people are losing their jobs, the market's in a mood. Our members are already (INAUDIBLE) --
TRUMP: Well, we have the lowest unemployment that we've had in 50 years.
PELOSI: Sixty (ph) people of the Republican Party have lost -- are losing their offices now because of the transition. They're -- people are not -- the moral is not up.
TRUMP: And we gained in the Senate. Nancy, we've gained in the Senate.
PELOSI: The moral --
TRUMP: Excuse me, did we win the Senate? We won the Senate.
PELOSI: It's (INAUDIBLE).
SCHUMER: When the president brags that he won North Dakota and Indiana, he's in real trouble.
TRUMP: I did.
PELOSI: When I -- well, let me say this.
TRUMP: We're did win North Dakota and Indiana.
PELOSI: Let me say this. This is the most unfortunate thing. We came in here in good faith and we're entering into a -- this kind of a discussion in the public view.
TRUMP: But it's not bad, Nancy.
PELOSI: Let -- let us -- no, but -- TRUMP: It's called transparency.
PELOSI: I know. It's not transparency when we're not stipulating to a set of facts and one we want to have a debate with you about saying we confront some of those facts without (INAUDIBLE) the public.
TRUMP: You know what, we need border security. That's what we're going to be talking about, border security. If we don't have border security, we'll shut down the government. This country needs border security.
PELOSI: We agree on that.
TRUMP: The wall is a part of border security. Let's have a talk. We're going to get the wall built and we've done a lot of wall already.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) a big part of border security is the wall?
TRUMP: It's a big section. It's a big part of it.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) everything that you need?
TRUMP: It's a big part of it. We need to have effective border security. We need a wall in certain parts. No, not in all parts, but in certain parts of a 2,000 mile border, we need a wall.
QUESTION: How much money (INAUDIBLE)?
TRUMP: We are doing it much under budget. We're actually way under budget on the areas that we've renovated and areas that we've built. I would say if we got -- if we got $5 billion, we could do a tremendous chunk of wall.
TRUMP: Well, we're going to see. We're going to see. Look, we have to have the wall. This is not a question. This is a national emergency. Drugs are pouring into our country. People with tremendous medical difficulty and medical problems are pouring in and in many -- in many cases they're -- it's contagious. They're pouring into our country.
We have to have border security. We have to have a wall as part of border security. And I don't think we really disagree so much.
I also know that, you know, Nancy's in a situation where it's not easy for her to talk right now, and I understand that. And I fully understand that. We're going to have a good discussion and we're going to see what happens. But we have to have border security.
[12:20:03] PELOSI: Mr. President -- Mr. President, please don't characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats who just won a big victory.
SCHUMER: Elections have consequences, Mr. President.
PELOSI: Let me -- let me just -- let me just say -- TRUMP: That's right. And that's why the country's doing so well.
PELOSI: Let me just say this. The president is representing in terms of his cards over there are not facts. We have to have an evidence- based conversation about what does work, what money has been spent and how effective it is. This isn't about -- this is about the security of our country we take an oath to protect and defend. And we don't want to have that mischaracterized by anyone.
TRUMP: I agree with that. No, no, I agree with that.
PELOSI: And we are -- and we are (INAUDIBLE) -- we are co-equal. So let us have a conversation where we don't have to contradict in public the statistics that you put forth, but instead can have a conversation about what will really work and what the American people deserve from us at this uncertain time in their lives (INAUDIBLE).
SCHUMER: One thing I think we can agree on is we shouldn't shut down the government over a dispute. And you want to shut it down. You keep talking about it.
TRUMP: I -- no, no, no, no. The last time, Chuck, you shut it down.
SCHUMER: No, no, no.
TRUMP: And then you opened it up very quickly.
SCHUMER: Twenty times. Twenty times --
TRUMP: And I don't want to do what you did, but, Chuck --
SCHUMER: Twenty times you have called for, I will shut down the government if I don't get my wall. None of us have said --
TRUMP: You want to know something?
SCHUMER: You've said it.
TRUMP: OK, you want to put that on me (ph). I'll take it.
SCHUMER: OK. Good.
TRUMP: You know what I'll say? Yes, if we don't get what we want, one way or the other, whether it's through you, through our military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government. Absolutely.
SCHUMER: OK. Fair enough. We disagree.
TRUMP: And I am proud. And I'll tell you why.
SCHUMER: We disagree.
TRUMP: I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, 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 the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not
going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down it didn't work. I will take the mantle of shutting it down.
PELOSI: That is (INAUDIBLE) --
TRUMP: And I'm going to shut it down for border security.
SCHUMER: But we believe you shouldn't shut it down.
PELOSI: (INAUDIBLE) --
TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Press, let's go. Make your way out. Thank you. Thanks, Rachel (ph).
Press, let's go. Come on.
TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE). A lot of people want the job. And I have some great people. A lot of friends of mine want it. A lot of people that Chuck and Nancy know very well want it. I think people you'd like. We have a lot of people that want the job, chief of staff. So we'll be seeing what happens very soon. We're in no rush. We're in no rush.
QUESTION: Why no rush?
TRUMP: Why? Because we have a wonderful chief of staff right now. We -- just no -- we are in no rush over a period of a week or two or maybe less, we'll announce who it's going to be. But we have a lot of people that want the position.
Thank you very much, everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, guys.
BASH: Wow! Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to divided government in the Trump years. Strap in because that was remarkable on a million different levels. Luckily we have time to dissect what those were.
Let's go straight first to the White House and to Capitol Hill, to our reporter who are on the ground there starting at the White House.
ZELENY: Well, Dana, after months of sparring from afar, really nearly two years of sparring from afar, they were sparring face-to-face as we saw them right there in front of the fireplace in the Oval Office.
But you now know why no Republican leaders of either the House, who still have the majority, or the Senate, also have the majority, were invited to this meeting. This was designed indeed to be a bit of a show. This was designed to plant flags, as we heard on both sides, perhaps. But we can say, it was the president's idea to invite the reporters and cameras in.
You heard Democrats there, Leader Pelosi and Senator Schumer, saying a few times, we have to negotiate in private. Well, that's how things used to work in Washington. Perhaps this is a sense of how things are going to work now.
But if there was any sense that this meeting was designed to reach a solution, boy, that didn't sound like that at all to me. But it was part street theater. You have a couple New Yorkers in there. Nancy Pelosi, no shrinking violet at all. She may be one of the few people in this town of Washington not intimidated by the president.
The only silent person, Dana, as we saw was the vice president. And, of course, if there would ever be a tie in the Senate, he'll have to speak. But, boy, I didn't hear him say a single word.
BASH: And probably in his mind he was thinking, is there a -- is there a latch door here, a hatch --
ZELENY: Trap doors.
BASH: A trap door that I can hit and I can just fall through the -- through the ground?
All right, Jeff, thank you.
BASH: And now let's go over to Capitol Hill, to our Phil Mattingly.
Phil, what was your takeaway?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dana, one, this was entirely predictable. In talking to aides really involved in these negotiations director over the course of the last 12 to 15 hours, they expected something like this. They just expected it to happen behind the scenes.
Now, I did talk to a Democratic senator last night who the open question -- because, remember, this was initially closed press. There weren't going to be cameras that were coming in here. His question was, how big of a show is the president going to make this? The expectation was something like this was going to happen.
[12:25:12] Here's your takeaway from this meeting. It was not, as Jeff noted, supposed to be a meeting where a deal was made, but it was an important point of people putting their stakes in the ground. As you know, Dana, in covering these types of issues for so long and so well, that these types of meetings, these types of breakdowns, these types of very public impasses need to occur before people settle down and actually start trying to make a deal.
I think the difference was is, when you have Democrats walking out of this meeting, you're going to ask what their takeaway was. It was the president saying flatly, despite what Republicans have said repeatedly on Capitol Hill, if there is a shutdown, I will take the mantle. If there is a shutdown, it is my shutdown. That is what Democrats want. That sounded like what Chuck Schumer almost baited the president into saying.
MATTINGLY: And that's what you're going to see on repeat over the course of the next couple of days.
Look, there's 11 days left. That's a lot of time in Congress to actually get something done. And they may eventually get there. But there's no question, going into this meeting they were at an impasse, leaving this meeting they will still be at an impasse, and we will have to see as the messaging wars kind of gear up over the next couple of day fist that starts to settle down at any time soon, Dana.
BASH: Absolutely amazing. I totally agree. It was obviously. You could see Chuck Schumer baiting the president into saying, I would be proud to shut down the government for border security. And you could almost see his face saying, thank you, Mr. President, for that sound byte.
Phil, we'll get back to you.
I want to bring it around the table.
So many specifics to talk about, but let's just talk quickly about the big picture, which is -- Phil mentioned the stakes. I mean the stakes in the ground. And that is what happened here. Everybody was setting the parameters for where they want to be seen and how they want to be heard by one another and by their respective bases for the next two years at least, and that was incredibly obvious. Quite a theater here.
HULSE: Well, I think -- yes, but I think Phil got it right, the main thing about these shutdowns -- and you and I have been through multiple ones -- is, who gets the blame. Typically Republicans have gotten the blame for these. And the president is right, the Democrats were seen as the culprit in the last shutdown and they backed off really quickly. So to get President Trump to sit in the Oval Office and say this is going to be my shutdown and I'm going to do it. And in some ways that appeals to his base.
HULSE: He's going to stand firm and get his border money. But people tend to really run from the consequences of a shutdown as it sinks in and government services dry up. I just thought that was quite a meeting and really portends some interesting things coming down the road here.
BASH: And -- exactly.
And, again, you know, just talking about how they're going to try to -- how they tried to set the stage and set the terms of their relationship going forward. You covered Nancy Pelosi for a long time, as have we. I mean just her saying, which we've heard her say so many times, Article One of the Constitution, Mr. President, puts us in Congress first. It's our job to do this. We're coming here in good faith. Never mind schooling him on sort of the to-ing and frow-ing and the pluses and minuses of having Republicans, you know, in control and whether that matters.
And I think that part was an actual debate despite the fact that it was obvious that the cameras were brought in by the president and played to also by the Democrats for the theater.
OLIVIER KNOX, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, SIRIUS XM: Yes, I mean, she felt like the alpha in the room, right? And we talked about Chuck Schumer baiting the president into claiming credit, I guess, for the partial government shutdown, but she started it. She labeled it the Trump shutdown in one of her first comments in the Oval Office. You could see the reaction from the president, bristling at that description. That's where it turned from sort of this boiler plate, welcome to the Oval Office, and more into -- more into a wrestling match.
One of the things here -- I mean so Carl is right, the last polling I saw -- more -- a majority of Americans don't want the government to shut down partially over this border fight, but a big majority of Republicans want the president to stand firm. And that's one of the dynamics we're seeing here.
The other dynamic is, this could be the last chance for this president to get one of his single campaign promise, the wall. It's unlikely to happen when House Democrats take over the majority in that chamber. So this could be his final chance. This is maybe the last spending fight in which he either gets something for this wall or it turns into the equivalent of Barack Obama wanting to close Guantanamo Bay. Something that appeals very strongly to the base, but is just not an achievable, legislative goal.
KEITH: But even as he was talking about the wall, the definition of the wall seemed to be morphing. He -- at one point he said, well, it doesn't have to be everywhere, it just has to be some places. When he talks about a wall, you know, a lot of the wall has already been built. Well, that's fencing, some of which is being replace and replenished. And -- but it's -- it's not the wall that he described when he was running for president. Of course Mexico also isn't paying for it. But his definitions are evolving.
[12:29:50] Also, he used the phrase border security a lot. And he was later asked, well, does border security mean wall, and he's like, yes, a wall has to be part of it. But you can see -- you can see a pathway to a non-government shutdown in the word border security and the fact that he keeps using it more and more.