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Trump Confirms He Said He Could Keep Shutdown Going For Months Or Years; Trump Claims He Could Build A Wall Without Congress By Declaring A National Emergency; Shutdown Showdown, No End In Sight As President Digs In On The Wall; Issues House Democrats Will Focus On Going Forward; Mueller Grand Jury Extended For Up To Six Months. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired January 4, 2019 - 22:00   ET


[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for watching 360, it's time to turn to Don Lemon, CNN Tonight starts right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is "CNN Tonight." I'm Don Lemon. What a week. Here we are in the final hours of day 14 of the shutdown with no end in sight. 800,000 federal employees still not getting paid. But President Trump, after another closed-door meeting with Congressional leaders today, thinks everything is going great.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So we had a productive meeting today with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer. I thought it was really a very, very good meeting. We're all on the same path in terms of wanting to get government open.


LEMON: So it turns out that may not be 100 percent accurate or 100 percent accurate version of what actually happened. Here's a picture the White House put out tonight. Does the President look happy to you? Look at that.

Two sources tell CNN that when President Trump entered the room, he launched into a 15-minute-plus rant, which "The Wall Street Journal" describes as profanity-laced, telling Congressional leaders he won't settle for less than $5.6 billion for the wall. He won't negotiate, and he doesn't care if it takes years. The President admitted as much in the Rose Garden later.


TRUMP: I did say that. Absolutely, I said that. I don't think it will, but I am prepared, and I think I can speak for Republicans in the House and Republicans in the Senate.


LEMON: Well, I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that most people in Congress, Republicans and Democrats, would not be prepared to see the shutdown last for years. Most Americans too, right? Those two sources telling CNN the closed-door meeting was long, not

because it was substantive or productive, but because the President was putting on the same kind of long-winded and frankly outrageous performance we saw later in the Rose Garden. But President Trump, he says he is proud of himself.


TRUMP: I'm very proud of doing what I'm doing. I don't call it a shutdown. I call it doing what you have to do for the benefit and for the safety of our country. You can call it the Schumer or the Pelosi or the Trump shutdown. It doesn't make any difference to me. Just words.


LEMON: Just words. Those are not quite the words President Trump used just a few weeks ago.


TRUMP: I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it.

And listen to this moment that had a lot of people scratching their heads. President Trump claiming that some of his predecessors told him they should have built a wall.


TRUMP: This should have been done by all of the Presidents that preceded me, and they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it.


LEMON: CNN asked the White House to explain exactly who the President was talking about there. A spokesman for former President Bill Clinton says he never said that. A spokesman for former President George W. Bush says they didn't discuss this.

We haven't heard back from the office of the former President Barack Obama, but he reportedly hasn't even talked to President Trump since he left the White House on Inauguration Day, unless you count that awkward hello at the funeral of George H.W. Bush.

No word yet from the representative from the former President Jimmy Carter. And there is more, the President threatening today to declare a National Emergency to build his wall.


TRUMP: We can call a National Emergency, because of the security of our country, absolutely. No, we can do it. I haven't done it. I may do it. I may do it, but we can call a National Emergency and build it very quickly, and it's another way of doing it. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: As we always say here, you know this is our mantra. Facts matter. And the fact is there is no National Emergency at our Southern Border. This is simply another attempt by this President to get his way by doing an end run around Congress, to get his precious wall, the wall he is willing to shut down the federal government for, the wall he has been talking about for years. Mexico is going to pay for it, right? Concrete, steel, slats, see-thru. He was at it again today.


TRUMP: As far as concrete, I said I was going to build a wall. I never said, I'm going to build a concrete -- I said I'm going to build a wall.


LEMON: Oh, yes? Well, let's go to the videotape.


TRUMP: We're going to build a wall, and it's going to be impenetrable. It will be a real wall. It's not going to be a little wall. It's going to be a big, beautiful wall.

[22:05:02] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are the walls going to be made out of?

TRUMP: I'll tell you what it's going to be made of. It's going to be made of hardened concrete. Concrete plank, pre-cast, boom, bing, done, keep going. Walls are easy. Pre-cast concrete. Going very high. China built a wall that is 13,000 miles long 2,000 years ago. And my ambition is to have ours be much higher. The wall just got 10 feet higher. Is it going to be 45 feet or 40 feet? That could very well be. It's going to be a very tall wall, very strong wall, very powerful wall.

It's going to be a beautiful, gorgeous, big wall that they're going to name Trump someday. That is why I'm going to make it. Someday they'll call it the Trump wall, so I have to make it beautiful. It's going to have a big, fat, beautiful door right in the middle of the wall. There are some areas that you have to see through. You have to be able to see through the other side in order to see what's coming.

So you have a concrete wall, but you can't see anything, right? 100 pounds of drugs, they throw it over the wall. It lands and it hits somebody on the head. So you need to have a great wall, but it has to be -- it has to be see-through. We're talking about the southern border. Lots of sun, lots of heat. We're thinking about building the wall as a solar wall so it creates energy and pays for itself.

In 2,000 miles, you have mountains, you have rivers, you have things that you don't put the wall on where you don't need them. There could be some fencing. It's not a fence, it's a wall. You just misreported it. We're going to build a wall. You go back in 2006; they all approved essentially a wall, a very powerful fence, which is pretty much the same thing.

A wall or a slat fence or whatever you want to call it. A wall, a fence, whatever they'd like to call it. I'll call it whatever they want, but it's all the same thing. If I build this wall or fence or anything the Democrats need to call it -- and the wall is made out of steel instead of concrete -- I think people will like that.


LEMON: It went from concrete to -- there was everything in there except for a moat with alligators lapping at immigrants' rear-ends. I mean it was -- the kid, what's the wall going to be made out of? Concrete. Oh, my gosh. Come on, you all. Can we be real?

OK. So, no. Here's what a CNN poll just last month found, that a majority of Americans, 57 percent, are opposed to the wall. Even though the President insists the wall is all about safety and he is willing to keep the government shut down to get it, but what about the safety of Americans during the shutdown?

Here's some examples. Airline passengers, right? Hundreds of TSA screeners have called in sick this week at some of the nation's biggest airports. The TSA admits absences are on the rise, but says they're having a minimal impact, but the President of the Screeners Union says this will definitely affect the flying public. That is a quote.

So something to consider. If you're planning a trip during the shutdown, you need to consider all of that, but the President also had something else on his mind today -- the "I" word, impeachment.


TRUMP: Nancy said, we're not looking to impeach you. I said, that is good, Nancy. That is good.


LEMON: Speaker Pelosi's office confirmed she made clear it. In the meeting today it was about reopening the government, not about impeachment, but did you hear what the President said when he was asked about Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib's expletive, the one that begins with mother, but definitely does not end with father, in which she vowed to impeach President Trump?


TRUMP: Well, I thought her comments were disgraceful. This is a person that I don't know. I assume she is new. I think she dishonored herself, and I think she dishonored her family. Using language like that in front of her son and whoever else was there, I thought that was a great dishonor to her and to her family.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Dishonor. I know, right? Who would use language like that?


TRUMP: Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Grab them by the pussy.

You can do anything.

You can tell them to go -- themselves.


LEMON: Well, tonight, the Congresswoman is definitely not backing down, telling CNN affiliate WDIV this.


REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D), MICHIGAN: I know that if I was a man, it might have been differently. I know that for me, I've always been this way. I mean I think no one expects me to be anything, but myself, the girl from southwest Detroit, the little sass and attitude. I think, you know, President Trump has met his match.


[22:10:11] LEMON: All of this as the shutdown goes on and on, and let's face it. There is an upside to this for the President. Every day that the country is focused on the shutdown, it's another day that the Russia investigation is pushed out of the headlines, which is why it's important to note that the Mueller grand jury, which was set to expire in just days, was extended today.

So while the President desperately tries to get the upper hand in the shutdown battle, Robert Mueller just keeps rolling along, and that brings up another really important point. While all this is going on, there is an American in a Russian jail, Paul Whelan.

A United States citizen, who served 14 years in the Marine Corps Reserve, was arrested December 28th in Moscow and charged with espionage. His brother insists he was in Moscow for a wedding, and now he is being held without bail on a charge that could land him in prison for 10 to 20 years.

The President didn't say a word about it today even though he had a golden opportunity with the press corps gathered in Rose Garden and much of the nation watching. You got to ask yourself why. Lots to talk about. Michael D'Antonio is here, Charlie Dent, April Ryan. We're going to dig into it next.


LEMON: And we're back. No end in sight to the government shutdown, and now President Trump is threatening to use emergency powers to build his border wall. I want to bring in now Michael D'Antonio, the author of The Truth About Trump, former Republican Congressman Charlie Dent, and April Ryan, author of Under fire reporting from the frontlines of the Trump White House.

[22:15:06] Today, I saw her asking and answer the questions, getting her questions answered today, so we'll talk about all of that. Good evening. Congressman Dent, I'm going to start with you though, because day 14 of the shutdown, the President says he is prepared to keep the government shut down for months or a year or years. Are you glad that you're not in office in Washington tonight?

CHARLIE DENT, (R), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, PENNSYLVANIA: Absolutely. I can tell you, Don, in 2013 when I dealt with that government shutdown, you know, we were just working round the clock to try to rectify this. There were no breaks in constantly. And now it just seems there's not much of a sense of urgency. This is utterly reckless and completely unnecessary.

I suspect this thing is going to end when enough Senate Republicans say, we've had enough. I mean Cory Gardner, Susan Collins have spoken about, but there are other Senators I know are very frustrated by this, Republican Senators who want this to end.

LEMON: Why not do it, Congressman, until February, like sign something or at least to keep it going and continue to negotiate? What's wrong with that?

DENT: There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think on your show before Christmas, I recommended that the House pass the six Appropriations Bills and then a continuing resolution or a stopgap on the Homeland Bill.

And then between now and then, negotiate some border security enhancements in exchange for protection for the Dreamers and the TPS population. Those are the Temporary Protective Status, mostly El Salvadorans. Take care of those issues.

And by the way, if the President wanted $5.6 billion for fy-2019, why didn't he put it in his budget request? He didn't. He put in $1.6 billion. If this was such a priority, why didn't Mulvaney put it in? I don't understand this.

LEMON: Well, answer that. Why do you think -- why? Do you think it's some sort of scheme or --

DENT: No. I just don't think that well -- I don't think that that well organized. In fact, I think President would be well served to be having his Homeland Security Secretary go out there and actually articulate a responsible plan for border security.

You know, if they want to spend $5.6 billion, I'd like to know how they are going to spend it. How many border patrol agents, how many miles of fence, how many detention beds, how many roads -- how many miles of access road, technology? I don't hear anything other than build a wall. I mean it doesn't -- it's incoherent.

LEMON: Yes. Michael is here, he's shaking his head. I want to get you in, but I want to ask you about something else. I got to ask April about -- April, this is really important, because the President said he is considering using emergency powers which would allow him to build his wall without going through Congress. He wants to divert military funds. How are they justifying this, and what's the truth about it?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALIST: What they're using as justification is terrorism and drugs. The Vice President was able to come to the podium in the Rose Garden and talk about the numbers of drugs, the quantity -- qualifying and quantifying drug issues, smuggling, and what have you. And the President stood there and listened in support of this. The Vice President is the one who came and said all of this.

We didn't hear from the Homeland Security head, but we heard from the Vice President on this. And they are saying that this, especially the terrorism issue, is one of the preeminent issues, but you don't have just terrorism coming from the southern border. You have terrorism coming through planes every kind of way into this nation.

So why one over the other? So they're trying to use this as the crux to say this is an emergent issue, and we need to do it. And we don't see an emergent issue right now. It is a national security issue, but not at the crisis level that they are making it according to many on the hill, and many Democrats are saying, we can work with this, but not the way they're trying to do this.

LEMON: So let's talk about this, because while this is shut down, Michael D'Antonio, the President is predicting landlords of federal workers will quote, work with people. Listen to this.


TRUMP: You know, hey, I've been a landlord for a long time. I've been in the real estate business for a long time. When you see there are problems out there, difficulties out there, you know, the people are all good for the money, they work with people. I would encourage them to be nice and easy. We have a bigger subject that we're doing. It's called the security of our nation.


LEMON: So he is encouraging them to be -- his quote is nice and easy. You know him. Is he the type of landlord who would follow that advice?

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely not, and this is spoken like a man who has never paid rent in his life, never made a car payment, never supported himself. I don't think he is ever done an honest day's work in his life. So for him to be talking about these working families with children who have to put food on the table, they have mortgages to pay. They have car insurance. It's laughable, and it's cruel.

[22:20:02] So this is just a stunt on his part. Landlords, by and large, don't own thousands of apartments as Donald Trump did. They own a handful, and they can't afford not to be paid.

LEMON: What do you think chase would do if I called them and said, hey, listen, can you go easy on my mortgage until --

D'ANTONIO: They'll work with you. They'll work with you. And this is a President who doesn't seem to understand that starting January 15th, people's tax refunds are going to be delayed one day for every day that this doesn't get resolved. Pretty soon people all across America are going to be saying, hey, where's my money? These are the people that voted for Donald Trump.

LEMON: 800,000 federal workers, Charlie, out of work -- or going without pay, I should say.

DENT: Yes. That is right. They're going without pay. Many of them are working. Some are furloughed, but from a taxpayer standpoint is, look, it's very hard on these workers. Let's be honest, they have bills to pay as everybody said, but at the end of the day, they're going to be paid. And many of them, you know, it will end up being a paid vacation unfortunately, because they're not working.

And it also creates morale problems that most people don't even think about, because all these managers in government have to tell certain employees, you are essential, and you are not. And so that creates issues. So who is an essential employee? Who is not? And so this is just a fiasco. This is inexcusable. This creates a crisis of leadership.

And you know, the market's has been, you know, tumbled a lot, it's been volatile recently, and part of it has to do with this political governmental leadership instability that we're seeing in Washington. It's not the cause of it, but it's certainly contributing to this volatility. So we've got to clean this up.

LEMON: You -- April, you had some great questions today. One was about federal safety.

RYAN: Thank you.

LEMON: One was about eminent domain. Let's talk about the federal safety net -- the safety net for federal workers. Let's play that.


RYAN: What is the safety net for federal workers? You're saying months and possibly a year for this shutdown. Do you have in mind a safety net for those who need their checks, those who need SSI, those who need Medicaid, what have you?

TRUMP: Well, the safety net is going to be having a strong border, because we're going to be safe. I'm not talking about economically, but ultimately economically. I really believe that these people -- many of the people that we're talking about, many of the people you're discussing, I really believe that they agree with what we're doing.


LEMON: So he said the safety net is going to be the wall. Because, I mean, are people going to take chunks of the wall and pay their bills? Like - I don't - OK, so, but there's no - there's simply no evidence. I have to point that out again.

Facts first here -- to what the President is saying. And then remember, just a few weeks ago, he said this in a tweet that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats. He is all over the place, April.

RYAN: Well, you know, OK. So let's deal with that piece first. He is saying most people affected are Democrat. Well, according to studies, the most federal employees -- the states that have the most federal employees, California, Washington -- well, D.C., District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and I forgot the other state, but a lot of those states are heavily populated with Democrats.

That does not justify what the President is saying, but the bottom line is you have federal employees in every state, but the bottom line is no matter who, what party, what have you, these are still American taxpayers, OK? And people who are looking for their checks.

Now, when it comes to the economics of the safety net that I was asking about, you have a lot of people -- I mean after I asked that question, you know, a got a lot of tweets, and I did a little unscientific poll from the tweets that I received. People are saying they want their money. They understand the protection issue, but they need to be able to pay for milk for their babies. They need to be able to pay that mortgage.

You know, the banks are not going to say, oh, I understand. I'm not going to take your home from you. If you don't pay your mortgage, a lot of these companies in two payments, they're starting to foreclose. So there are really issues for Americans out there.

And when you talk about a safety net, you know, if these federal employees that are furloughed or what have you, if they tried to go to get unemployment and if they do draw unemployment, they will have to pay that back once they get that back pay back. So it's cyclical. It's crazy. And this President is someone who has not had to face real-life issues with finances.

LEMON: Yes, that's Michael.

RYAN: A lot of people living paycheck to paycheck.

LEMON: Michael just made that point. He never had a car payment or maybe a mortgage. I'm sure he is had to pay bills before, but --

D'ANTONIO: And the Trump Empire was --

RYAN: And not like this.

D'ANTONIO: -- was actually built on foreclosure.

LEMON: I just want to say this, because I have a friend who's a federal worker. And he says, I have worked with, I'm a federal worker and a lot of us are Republicans and not one of us would forfeit our paychecks to hold out for a wall. And so he is saying they could do it for maybe years. Is that a negotiating tactic? [22:25:00] D'ANTONIO: No. No one thinks this is a serious thing.

And I think what the President said in your clip, in your package, was accurate. He wants something like the Great Wall of China.

He wants it to be seen from outer space, and he wants his name on it. He wants every few miles, it will say, like in the post office, his post office was built under Ronald Reagan. He wants this wall to have plaques that say Built under President Donald J. Trump.

LEMON: Where does the moat come in and the gators and sharks?

D'ANTONIO: That will be where they can't put the wall.

LEMON: Thank you all. Have a good weekend. I appreciate it.

The new, more diverse, and more female Congress is already making waves. My next guest is a freshman Congresswoman from Virginia who on her first full day of work in the new Congress says she is not taking a paycheck while the government is shut down.


LEMON: Shutdown showdown. Shutdown showdown about to enter its 15th day, and it's all because of the President's demand for funding for his border wall, but Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats, they show no sign of caving.

Joining me now is freshman Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, a Virginia Democrat, who was sworn in just yesterday. She represents a seat which had been held by Republicans for 60 of the past 66 years. Quite a feat for her winning that. Congratulations to you. Good evening.


LEMON: You've started your term in the middle of a shutdown, and a short time ago, you asked for your pay to be withheld during the shutdown on your first full day on the job.

WEXTON: That is correct.


WEXTON: Because I don't believe that members of Congress or the President, for that matter, should be taking a paycheck when so many of our constituents and federal workers are not. You know, that is something that they don't have any control over, and it's we're not doing our job, but making them work without pay, we should work without pay as well.

LEMON: Are you willing to give President Trump any money for the wall if it would reopen the government?

WEXTON: Well, we've already appropriated over a billion dollars for border security. You know, we did that, what he asked for at that time. He keeps moving the goal posts. $5 billion, $6 billion, whatever he is asking for now, that is still just a down payment on a wall.


You know, estimates are that could cost anywhere from $30 billion to $70 billion, and there are many places where we couldn't even have a wall. There's no reason to have a medieval response to a 21st century problem. There are better and more efficient and effective ways to secure our borders here in this country.

LEMON: I've got to ask you about several of the big topics that are in the news. One is your comments - the comments of Representative -- your new colleague, Representative Rashida Tlaib that she made about impeaching the mf-er. What do you think about that?

WEXTON: Well, it's not the way I would have communicated, but, you know, remember, Rashida is -- Congresswoman Tlaib is one of the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress, and Donald Trump has attacked both Muslims and women for the last couple years. So I understand her frustration, and we are all, you know, unique members of Congress with unique ways of communicating. And she is very passionate and feels very strongly.

LEMON: Yes. But you're not condoning. You said that you wouldn't do that. You're not condoning her words, are you?

WEXTON: It's not how I would have communicated, but I'm not going to judge her for the frustration that she feels and the way that she communicates what she is thinking.

LEMON: Your district is home to one of the highest percentage of college-educated voters in the entire country. What do you think your constituents want that your Republican predecessor was not delivering?

WEXTON: They want us to represent them. They want us to make Congress work again and to make Congress work for the people. You know, in the past sessions, the Congress has just basically done everything that Donald Trump has asked them to do, and that -- those days are going to be numbered, because now with Democrats in control of Congress, we want to -- we want have a positive agenda that works for the people, things like affordable health care, things like gun violence prevention. Things like ethics and accountability in government and those are the priorities that we want to put forward.

LEMON: So in addition to --

WEXTON: And obviously reopening the government.

LEMON: Yes. Go on -- and reopening the government. So in addition to --

WEXTON: Well, reopening the government is our top priority, and we passed legislation, which was the same legislation that the Senate had passed unanimously. So now the ball is in their court to do the right thing and reopen the government.

LEMON: Yes. So I have to ask you, because in addition to an American and a Virginia state flag outside your Congressional office, you chose to also put up a Trans Pride Flag. How did you come to that decision?

WEXTON: Well, for me, this is personal. I have, you know, friends and family who are transgender. This is a community that is also been under attack by this administration and others, and I wanted to show my solidarity and let them know that they are loved and welcomed and that I'm with them.

LEMON: Yes. I got to ask you about something else in the news before I let you go, because after his appearance on The Ellen Show, parties involved in the Oscar telecast said that they're open to allowing Kevin Hart to host. As someone who has been a vocal proponent of LGBT rights and as you said, it was personal to you, what's your reaction?

WEXTON: I think, you know, I'm glad that Kevin Hart apologized. I think people can grow and change and learn about other groups and other people and find empathy that they didn't have before. So, you know, it seems that Kevin Hart has come around and recognizes that his comments were offensive and hurtful, and I expect that he is learned his lesson.

LEMON: Congresswoman, thank you for your time. Please come back. Good luck to you. OK?

WEXTON: Thanks, Don. Take care.

LEMON: Thank you. Have a good weekend.

Robert Mueller's grand jury isn't finished yet. A federal judge extending their term for up to six more months. Is this a sign that Robert Mueller has a lot more up his sleeve?


LEMON: Robert Mueller's federal grand jury extended for up to six more months, which raises a whole lot of fascinating questions. Here to read the tea leaves for us, Josh Campbell, Michael Moore. Gentlemen, good evening. Good to see you.


LEMON: Josh, you first. A federal judge extended Mueller's grand jury. Why was this a necessary step?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it's hard to read too much into what Mueller does, but this does signal to us that he has more work to do. Now this was set to expire, this grand jury that is been on the job for some 18 months, it was supposed to expire this weekend.

So having this extension means that, again, there's more that Mueller needs to do. We do know that he has used the grand jury to great effect. You think about all the indictments, you think about all the grand jury subpoenas that it's been issuing. So having this vehicle that is still available to him obviously signals to us that it's probably something that he is going to use. And then lastly there's a practical aspect. And when you think about it, some two dozen of our fellow citizens have essentially become subject matter experts in this investigation. If you think about all the threads that Mueller has been, you know, on surface -- surfacing here and going after, these people are now experts. You want them to carry that on.

So I think, you know, that is the one thing it signals to us. There's more work to be done, and we can assume Robert Mueller is going to use it.

LEMON: Michael, does this say anything about the evidence Mueller might have?

MOORE: It could, I mean, I think the value -- let me say first there's not a great deal of emphasis to put on the idea that grand jury is being extended. The emphasis to be put on with the Mueller special grand jury has been extended. Federal prosecutors do this all the time. What's interesting to me is that there's value in the continuity here.

What it tells me is that this grand jury has heard information and there's additional information that can be added to that. And so you think about now that we've got a Democratic-controlled House, there may be some information like the transcripts from the Roger Stone testimony that Mueller can now access.

That information could be given now to his federal grand jury since their session has been extended and they may consider issuing an indictment at this point. So that's the significance in it. And it also tells us again that Mueller is going to stack on an add to that evidence.

LEMON: So then, what is the benefit of having the same grand justice? The continuity?

MOORE: Well, there's a benefit of continuity, but you've also got individual who have heard testimony. Let's say, for instance, they've heard about things that went on during the Trump Tower meeting. They've heard about possible business transactions with the Trump Association and Russia, businessmen, for instance.

[22:40:02] You wouldn't have to repeat that information or summarize that information to a new grand jury that comes in. So he may also have grand juries who are particularly interested in having to continue to sit, because they've given this much time and service that they want to finish the task.

And so rather than having an agent come in and sort of summarize what went on in a previous grand jury, these folks would already have that background and now they can take what comes in next, put it on top of what they have and make a decision about whether or not probable cause is met for the indictment to issue.

LEMON: Josh, as we have talked about on this program and on this network, the President's team has been saying the investigation would be wrapped up months ago. Is this yet another piece of evidence contradicting that?

CAMPBELL: Yes, they don't know. I mean no one knows what Mueller is doing other than Robert Mueller and his team. You think back, you know, Rudy Giuliani was saying this thing should have been wrapped by September before the election, and now people are out there saying that any moment now, this could be wrapped up. The truth is, no one really knows.

And again, just to, you know, foot stomp the point that Michael was making there, just because this is being extended up to six months, doesn't mean it will necessarily go that full amount of time. This is what they, is a possibility, you know, taking it up to six months.

This thing could be wrapped up in two weeks from now. It could be wrapped up, you know, two years from now. No one really knows. But again, the one thing as we read the tea leaves is that we do know that Mueller is working -- his work continues, because this vehicle will continue to exist for him to use in the investigation.

LEMON: Well, it also shows, Michael, that while the President is dealing with the shutdown and House Democrats prepare to launch investigations, Mueller -- he is chugging along.

MOORE: Look, Mueller is a soldier. I mean this is a guy who waited until he got well before he could go to Vietnam. Nothing is going to push him off his track. Nothing is going to get him off his course. He keeps his head down. He does his work. He doesn't leak, and he gets things done.

And so, what he is done is he is masterfully and I think strategically planned out the course of his investigation. He is now at a place where he can do that. He is now at a place where he can get additional information that he needs from the House Democrats and the committees there, and he is not have to deal with Nunes gives him information as well as let House Intel matters come back to him, and he can move forward.

I mean, I don't know that this necessarily signals -- the extension of the grand jury signals that we're talking about an indictment of the President, but I can tell you I just have a sense that we're getting way on up the chain close to the Oval Office and close to the children's bedrooms in Trump Tower.

LEMON: Josh, CNN is reporting that hundreds of TSA screeners working without pay are calling in sick at major airports. The question is, is National Security affected when the government is shut down?

CAMPBELL: Well, this is a really stunning report by our colleague, Rene Marsh, really, you know, showing the impact of this government shutdown. And I think that is the one thing that's been lost. I mean, I'm a former federal employee. Michael is as well. You know, especially around the holiday season now, there are real world impacts based on these shutdowns that really affect people.

And so we saw that through this reporting that, you know, you have men and women, if you think about -- I fly over 100,000 miles every year. You go to the airport and see these men and women that have a no-fail mission, whose job is to keep a bomb or some type of harmful device off an airplane.

You add the added stress of then working without pay and thinking about how you're going to pay your bills, I mean, obviously they're going to continue to professionally do their job, but this just shows that there are real world consequences.

And I have to say, you know, as a former government communicator as well I don't think that we could lose sight of the fact of how the Department of Homeland Security handled this today.

Now, if you look at what they're spokesperson was tweeting out, it got a little hot-headed today ,you know, rather than talking about the employees, he basically came after two reporters for CNN and was really using language that is unbecoming a government spokesperson, using an official account.

But again, I think this shows the larger, you know, issue here is that they weren't really ready for the shutdown and the real-world consequences. I think they're acting more like spokespeople on behalf of the President and a political party than on behalf of these thousands of public servants who we can't lose sight as we move forward to the shutdown that it's affecting human beings.

LEMON: Gentlemen, thank you. I've got to run. That's got to be the last word. I appreciate your time.

MOORE: Right. Thank you.

LEMON: More than 800,000 federal employees aren't getting paid during this shutdown. Remember the Secret Service as well, people who guard the President. What does the President have to say about that?


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This really does have a higher purpose than next week's pay.


LEMON: Well, it sounds like this President doesn't care as much about government workers as he does about the coal miners he talks so much about.


LEMON: It is day 14 of the government shutdown, and 800,000 federal employees have either been working without pay or they're on furlough. Many are missing mortgages or car payments and having to dip into long-term savings just to make ends meet.

And we haven't heard a whole lot from the President about the struggle these everyday Americans are facing, which stands in stark contrast to all the attention that he lavished on struggling coal miners during the campaign. Listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to put the miners back to work. The miners go back to work. We're going to put the miners back to work. We're going to put the miners back to work. Everybody was saying, well, you won't get any money. I've just picked up 45,000 mining jobs, and the miners are very happy with Trump.

We're going to protect our coal miners. We're going to protect our steelworkers. I talked to the miners and I talked to them about a different way of life. They didn't want to hear about it. They love digging coal. That is what they like. They love their grandfathers, their fathers, their families, and coal is coming back.

We're going to put the miners and the steelworkers back to work. Who's a miner? Raise your hand. You, you don't look like a miner. A lot of miners. All right, get ready to go to work. We're going to put our miners back to work. And for those miners, get ready, because you're going to be working your asses off, all right?


LEMON: Oh, he said a bad word there. There are different estimates out there, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 53,000 coal miners nationwide. 53,000. OK? 53,900. That is a fraction of the 800,000 federal workers who are bearing the brunt of this shutdown.

[22:50:00] Let's discuss now. James Fallows is here, he is the co- author of Our Towns, a 100,000 mile journey into the heart of America. Good evening, sir. It's good to have you on.


LEMON: 15 times more federal employees hurt by this government shutdown than there are coal miners in the entire United States. Why does the President fixate on a relatively small number of coal miners compared to so many federal employees?

FALLOWS: You know, the clip you showed brought back something that I've been thinking about in the last week or two which is that the coal miners and the coal industry is the functional equivalent of the wall in Donald Trump's imagination in that each of them is something that is important, border security is of course, important.

The coal industry is important, but each of them is entirely out of proportion, the stress he gives it is it entirely out of proportion. The peak employment in the coal industry happened during World War I. It's been 100 years of declining coal mining. Production keeps going up, because of automation, it's less than one-tenth as many people as worked a century ago.

And so, there is this symbolism of coal mining being a real job. Now, it's largely Appalachian and Southern. And of course, in the West now, largely white miners at least in the sort of iconography of it. And so I think -- I view this -- the wall and coal miners as being symbols that Trump wants to send his supporters of what he stands for way beyond the policy.

LEMON: It symbols of sometimes of a time gone by. If you look at the wall is medieval. If you look at -- you said, coal miners it's been 100 years for peak employment and I'm so glad that you said that, because many people have been saying that.

Of course, people we want people to be worth at full employment and coal miners, but the coal industry is, maybe they should rethink the jobs or get training for new jobs, because those jobs are never coming back. Most of them.

FALLOWS: Right. I mean, the story of the American economy for centuries has been industries rise and fall, automation changes employment patterns. When my grandparents were around, most Americans were farmers. Now it's only one or 2 percent. And so, the story of America has been adjusting to these changes and that is happening to people in the coal country.

My wife and I spent a fair amount of time in summer in Charleston, West Virginia where people are both feeling the strain of this change and trying to adapt to it. But again, the wall and coals are these -- and the coal jobs are things that Trump is clinging to as symbols.

LEMON: yes. So you pointed out in a tweet that after the election, there was a flood of journalists that went out into quote Trump country to speak to Trump voters. And you questioned whether that would happen for these federal workers who are suffering now. How do you think the media should be covering the shutdown?

FALLOWS: So, you know, we can recognize the difference even though it's genuine hardship for these 800,000 people and more than that as contractors and others who are probably going to lose their wages all together. It's different from factories shutting down permanently. We can address that.

That it was -- it's really remarkable. You'll recall after the 2016 election, there are story after story after story of going to a town in the Midwest or the South where the mill had closed or the mining had closed and talking with often white, often older workers in diners saying, why are you so angry.

There's a lot of that pain going on right now. People who are wondering how they're going to finance the credit card bills that came in from the holidays. People are wondering how they're going to pay for school supplies. These people at the airports who are working in the hard job of TSA and not getting them paid.

So, I'd like to see people like us in the media and the CNN has had seem - has done the last day or two of talking about these families, their communities, this is a kind of politically induced economic hardship, too.

LEMON: The President was asked about the federal employees who are feeling the pain, the shutdown today. Take a listen to this.


TRUMP: I really believe that these people, many of the people that we're talking about, many of the people you're discussing, I really believe that they agree with what we're doing. I really believe a lot of them want to see border security and they're willing to give it up.

The people that you had yesterday, that were at the news conference, they represent most of border patrol. Every one of them said, don't even think about us. Get this fixed. That is doing the great thing for our country.


LEMON: Do you think he is workers are OK with the shutdown?

FALLOWS: Polls have consistently shown that most Americans don't think that either the shutdown or the wall is a great idea. There's no reason to think that federal employees would really be different than that. The federal employees are -- they're a higher proportion of veterans by far than the U.S. population, a higher minority population of percentage than the U.S. population.

And so, it's easy for somebody who is a billionaire to say, yes, they don't care about their paychecks, but my magazine, the Atlantic, had a story year to ago, showing that most Americans would have a hard time coming up with a couple hundred dollars in an emergency.

These people who are not going to get paychecks and suddenly they are going to be calling the credit card companies and all the rest. So, it's easy to say that from a position of comfort and I think it looks much different on the receiving end.

[22:55:02] LEMON: Well, just a week ago, the President issued an executive order freezing pay raises for 2019. Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders blamed it on the shutdown. What do you think of those optics especially when the signature achievement of 2018 was a giant corporate tax cut.

FALLOWS: And when there's also, as you pointed out earlier in this hour, they are going to be significant pay raises for cabinet members and others. I guess it must be the case that the optics of this don't really matter to the people making the decisions, which is crucially Donald Trump right now.

But just any basic American sense of fairness would seem to be offended by hard working people working hard and playing by the rules, who are not getting paychecks, working in all of our interests from starting with the TSA and the FAA and the Agriculture Department and Weather Service and all the rest. They are working for us. They deserve their fair pay.

LEMON: James Fallows, thank you, sir. Have a good weekend.

FALLOWS: Thank you, Don. LEMON: According to The Wall Street Journal, the President went off on a 15 minute profanity laced tirade during his meeting with lawmakers. What was he so upset about? One word, impeachment.


LEMON: This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon. It is day 14 of the shutdown, almost 15 -- almost day 15. And the President is digging in saying that it could go on for months, maybe even years. It's also day two of the new Congress and not only is Nancy -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi dealing with the shutdown, she also has to walk a very fine line on impeachment talk in her party.