tv Inside Politics CNN January 28, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PST
again until this week. >> josh, thank you for coming on. i really appreciate it. joshua partlow from the "washington post." >> thank you. "inside politics" with john king starts now. thank you, kate, and welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. the shutdown is over. the government getting back to full speed. president trump under fire from immigration hardliners and already predicting he won't like the border deal that congress must now negotiate. plus, is there a plan to end america's longest war? the white house reaches a draft peace framer with the taliban. it looks to slash troop levels in afghanistan. and big 2020 news. starbuck's owner is talking of a presidential run. this in the crowd of a rebuke of
the current president. >> we are here because our american dream and our american democracy are under attack and on the line like never before. and we are here at this moment in time because we must answer a fundamental question. who are we? america, we are better than this. >> back to that in a bit. but we begin with some new information from the president's pick to be the attorney general trying to answer concerns on capitol hill about how much of the special counsel's report the american public will ultimately see. william barr answering written questions from the ranking democrat on the senate judiciary committee. in those responses barr not guaranteeing robert mueller's findings would be released in full. his answer is consistent with justice department guidelines but politically problematic with
democrats and some republicans who want assurances the entirety of the final mueller report come out in the open. this is what barr said in his responses to feinstein. i would not tolerate an effort to withhold such information for any improper supper, such as to cover up wrongdoing. laura, what is the most significant information on mr. barr's effort here to win over some democrats? >> hey, john. well, barr once again trying to thread the needle, appease democrats who are worried about him protecting the special counsel's russia investigation, as well as republicans who have said very clearly they want to see this report in full. and he says today in his newly released answers, he can't say exactly sure what form the report will take. he said he's going to speak to the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein as well as mueller. i want to read you his answer here on this important question. he says, quote, i do not know what will be included in any report prepared by the special counsel, what form such a report
will take, or whether it will contain confidential or privileged material. now, senator feinstein had zoned in on this issue of it potentially being blocked by executive privilege by the president's lawyer, something rudy giuliani had asserted in the past on that. in this barr is really clear. he says he doesn't recall i discussion of privilege to protect the public from any such report. again, trying to appease democrats on the committee there as he is up for a vote next week, john. >> next week. laura, i appreciate the breaking news in studio for the inspect. dana bash, manu raja. if you trust william barr, he said i would not withhold such information for purposes such as covering up wrongdoing.
if you think president trump is going to try to find some legal way to bury some of the damage stuff in the mueller report, this does not satisfy you? >> william barr is 63 years old. this is stuff he said in his confirmation hearing that, i won't be bullied by the president. i'm too old to be pushed around by the president. also with his age and experience, he's not going to get backed into a corner by congress. >> this is consistent with his testimony, too, before the senate judiciary committee. he would not say whether or not he would allow this report to go forward but wanted to say he would err on the side of transparency which satisfied nobody particularly if you're on the democratic side. but going forward, democrats have honed in on his refusal to say he would release a report fully, and he would not tell chuck schumer in a private meeting whether he would not interfere with the mueller investigation so that he needs to have these meetings going forward. he also wouldn't say he would commit to recuse himself if ethics officials at the justice
department advised him to do so, saying he's not necessarily bound by that recommendation if it were to come to pass. so all of those things are just going to be fodder for democrats. but we have not heard the same thing from democrats which probably means he's about to be confirmed. >> the president said from day one that he would use any attorney general, he's just supposed to do what he's supposed to do at the white house regardless of what the facts are. but is bill barr putting himself in a box saying i don't know what mueller is going to report, i don't know when he's going to report. some of it will be classified because of the counterintelligence investigation with russia. so they're asking him questions he can't answer. if you're a republican you're saying he's doing the best he can, if you're a democrat you're saying he's trying to hide something or leaving wiggle room? >> the first goal is to be confirmed, to state the obvious. he's not there yet. he likely will be there, but
he's not there yet. once he gets to that point, then this is all a reminder that it is an open question how and when and whether the robert mueller report that we've all been talking about, we've all been waiting for for almost two years now, a little less, what's going to come of it? how are we going to see it? are we going to see it? what form are we going to see it in? and those are open questions. you know, as much as everybody is waiting with baited breath to know what robert mueller decides, we don't know if we'll know all the details beyond the things he can claim or the administration can claim are classified. >> i guess from the clinton impeachment, we saw the full star report, every single detail of it. the difference here is you are dealing with a foreign adversary and there could be methods. he could have a very legitimate reason to want to be able to redact parts of it, much like a
different report, the 9/11 report, where there still is fighting over what was not released. >> not to go back in history, there are some people who say we had too much in the starr report. we won't go back to that one. bill barr was in the george h.w. bush association. that was a different time, a different era. he's poised to be voted on. the republicans have the majority, there is no doubt they will put him in. will he get any democratic votes? not one democrat, correct, not one democrat has committed to voting for him? >> not yet. i think it's possible that the usual suspects, joe manchin for one, he has not said one way or another whether or not he will vote for bill barr. we heard from some of the newer seminars like chris cinema from arizona. i haven't spoken to her. it's possible, but schumer has tried to get his colleagues to line up against bill barr. will they listen to him?
the problem for democrats, too, do they want matt whitaker as the acting attorney general who they have more concerns with overseeing the mueller investigation. what do you get if you stop matt whitaker now? republicans are likely to get behind him as well. >> yujust in mr. whitaker's defense, the stone indictment went ahead. there are no public indications that whitaker has done anything wrong. >> no public evidence. >> no public evidence. the democrats will be calling him up, too, on capitol hill. when we come back, the democrats have a new big entry into the 2020 race. she announced in california. she's in iowa for a big national moment tonight.
if your moderate to severe ulcerative colitis or crohn's symptoms are holding you back, and your current treatment hasn't worked well enough it may be time for a change. ask your doctor about entyvio®, the only biologic developed and approved just for uc and crohn's. entyvio® works at the site of inflammation in the gi tract, and is clinically proven to help many patients achieve both symptom relief and remission. infusion and serious allergic reactions can happen during or after treatment. entyvio® may increase risk of infection, which can be serious. pml, a rare, serious, potentially fatal brain infection caused by a virus may be possible. tell your doctor if you have an infection experience frequent infections
or have flu-like symptoms, or sores. liver problems can occur with entyvio®. if your uc or crohn's treatment isn't working for you, ask your gastroenterologist about entyvio®. entyvio®. relief and remission within reach. that rocking chair would look grahh, new house, eh?e. well, you should definitely see how geico could help you save on homeowners insurance. nice tip. i'll give you two bucks for the chair. two?! that's a victorian antique! all right, how much for the recliner, then? wait wait... how did that get out here? that is definitely not for sale! is this a yard sale? if it's in the yard then it's... for sale. oh, here we go. geico. it's easy to switch and save on homeowners and renters insurance. some new 2020 wrinkles today including the big buzz about the latest spri inentry into the cr
democratic field. big buzz can be a blessing. kamala harris' rollout culminated with a sunday launch back home in oakland. >> it was just a couple blocks from this very spot nearly 30 years ago as a young district attorney, i walked into the courtroom for the first time and said the five words that would guide my life's work. kamala harris for the people. >> california factors big time in the harris 2020 strategy, but as always, iowa comes first and senator harris is there for the first town hall with the new cycle. a big national stage but also local tensions. complaints from some iowa democrats that they prefer visits to their homes and farms over, or at least before, their state suis used as a national t studio.
the town hall is moderated by jake tapper. jeff zeleny is there. jeff, a big moment for kamala harris in a business staig stat is it just sour grapes for people who may have another candidate? >> there's no question iowa voters like to see kamala harris in their living rooms, but senator harris has vaulted herself into at least the front row of this big contingent. as you said, there is upside for that and there is downside for that, but you have to, of course, capitalize on the upside. that is exactly what she is doing by accepting this invitation to be at the town hall. she will be taking questions from iowa voters. she'll be talking about things that matter to them and she will be positioning herself. but john, i'm talking to other democrats who are working for other candidates, and they are paying very close attention to her, largely because of the crowd at her speech yesterday in oakland, california. largely because in their view, a successful first week rollout.
but we should remind everyone, this is a very long process. with the ups always come downs as well, and that's what tests and makes a candidate, to see how you climb up from those moments. john, as i talked to iowa voters here, hearing a lot of comparisons to a candidate, a junior senator, some 12 years ago, barack obama. he announced on the 7th, 2007. he was not the frontrunner at the time but was certainly viewed as someone whose star was on the rise. but then he had some tough months as well. so anyone who thinks the frontrunner's position will hold, that almost certainly is not true. but any sign of grumbling from democrats, john, usually means a sign of envy, a sign of jealousy and there may be a lot of that here in the early stages for senator harris. john? >> it's a fun beginning. jeff zeleny, nice to see you back in iowa, jeff. >> always good to be here. >> it is always good to be there. i'm a little jealous.
i'll see you out there soon. she has the early buzz, jeff lays it out. you can have it or not. most candidates would rather have it. it comes sometimes as a downside. she proved she can handle a big event. she had a book tour. she's had a very successful rollout, now she's in. one question for all the democrats, including senator harris, is how do you pay for all this? >> we will deliver that right with medicare for all! we will guarantee that right with universal pre-pay and debt-free college! we will deliver the largest working and middle class tax cut in a generation. [ cheers and applause ] >> to $500 a month to help america's families make ends meet. and we'll pay for it. we'll pay for it by reversing this administration's giveaways to the top big corporations and the top 1%. >> that is where the base of the
party is, without a doubt, or at least the big chunk of the base of the party, but you're going to hear from mayor bloomberg. we'll get to him later in the program. you might hear from joe biden. pick. where is that money coming from? >> even if you don't pick, just pick one of them. let's say medicare for all. we went through this in trying to dissect and get bernie sanders who talked about this four years ago to explain where the money is going to come from. he had answers about it all -- i'm obviously trying to give the bottom line here, but it all comes out in the wash because if you give it here, you'll get money other places, so on and so forth. but you're right, that is the question. i think the point you make about the democratic base being there, i'm not so sure that the base is going to be so, so hungry, the base thatie lek elects the nomir
the answers to those questions. it's our job to get the answers but they want the best ideas. we said it before and we'll say it again the next two years, democrats love to fall in love with their candidate, they just do. they fell in love with barack obama. i was with them the first time he went to iowa for the harkin steak fry. you saw the love. you see something similar. you saw it when kamala harris went to iowa for the first time. the question is whether she can be that person or whether the other 50 people running will be that person. >> you mention the other 50 people running. we say it as a joke but we have nine or ten people already in, another ten looking at it. is it true she has the emphasis of early running, early is sometimes good, sometimes not. you have cory booker. he hasn't announced officially yet but he's pretty much in. when do you get behind the
maybe? beto o'rourke, joe biden, bernie sanders, sherrod brown, amy klobuchar. do they wait a couple months? >> i think they're all eyeing each other and waiting to see what their rollout is going to be. kamala harris is created a new bar for a fabulous rollout. it was extremely successful. out in oakland there were people who were saying it was presidential, they were saying is she already president? >> beware of that. >> sure, but to get a crowd of 20,000 people. who else do you think can do that right now? i guess maybe biden can do it, but i think that certainly does mean something. it doesn't mean everything, but it does mean something. >> she's got very good people. if you look at the letterhead of people working for her, people working for jerry brown, she's got a good group of people on paper. >> and this amount of ideas she has raises the question of how
are you going to pay for it but also how are you going to define yourself? i'm not sure watching her speech, which no question it was a wonderful rollout, great pictures there, well-delivered speech, but what is her presidency about? we know what warren is running on, we know what gillibrand is running on. there was a comparison to the junior senator from illinois. i think a more apt comparison right now is the junior senator four years ago from florida, a candidate that came in with a lot of hype, with a lot of promise and a late state strategy, quite frankly. >> marco rubio. i think there is a lot still to be played out here, and as far as tonight, i think recent history is littered with candidates. she's great in california, she looks pretty strong in south carolina. can you, you know, can you irritate these voters in iowa and new hampshire and get away with it?
>> i think her record has not been defined, too. she's a new senator and has not been fully vetted. she will certainly be fully vetted by the national media when she's a candidate. how does she respond to bad stories? there are a lot of tests she'll have to overcome in order to get to where she ultimately wants to be to be the nominee, and how does she respond with adversity. not to mention, as you're saying, she's rolling out a laundry list of ideas. how will those be implemented? her personal record needs to be looked at as well. >> how long has she been pushing those ideas? other candidates in the field, or will be in the field, have long records on it. >> that's a great point there. we're going to see it tonight. she'll get questions from jake and questions from iowa voters. that will be everything from farm policy, to environmental policy, to medical fraud and everything else. we're going to see them out of
it's a look what your wifi can do now store. a get your questions answered by awesome experts store. it's a now there's one store that connects your life like never before store. the xfinity store is here. and it's simple, easy, awesome. welcome back. a pressing deadline and yes, the looming threat of another government shutdown.
800,000 federal employees returning back to work after a 35-day partial shutdown. it is a band-aid at best. the house and senate will begin meeting on wednesday. they'll have less than three weeks to cobble together's deal that can clear congress and one that the president is willing to sign. dou don't count on the last partment this was the president yesterday. i personally think it's less than 50-50 but you have a lot of very good people on that board. asked if he would accept less than $5.7 billion in the next round of negotiations, mr. trump said, i doubt it, adding, i have to do it right. to your colleague, the president says it's possible we'll have another shutdown. i know he's trying to spin this as not a concession. he just caved, his own staff is
despondent, his base is mad at him. does he really think he has the political high ground to lead to another shutdown? >> i don't think so. listening to the interview he did with my colleague peter nicholas, i think in trump's mind, he's much more likely to declare a national emergency now than he is to have another shutdown. i think that's going to be his next card to play, maybe his last card to play. he feels like, again, what he's doing here to sort of break this in his own mind is he's pulled the scope way back. he thinks that, you know, what he says is the stage has been set. what the last five weeks in his mind has done is put in america's mind what -- how significant of an issue the border wall is, and he's giving -- he's simply given them a little bit of room to try to get a deal. he told peter it's less than 50-50. i think in the president's mind, listening to the interview, he thinks it's closer to 0 than 50-50. >> but they'll come up with a
deal he should be willing to accept. he'll either sign or veto it. if he vetoes it, he'll be declaring a national emergency and taking money from somewhere else. but for the people that say this brought this to a new focus, breitbart says, government open, no border wall. the telegraph herald, trump's retreats. the plain dealer, trump concedes. help me. from those headlines and those numbers, show me the president's strength heading into this again? >> he doesn't have a position of strength. i caught up with a senator this morning, maury alexander, who is a close adviser of mitch mcconnell. he said the president should stay out of the next round of negotiations. his message is that the president's position complicates things. he thinks there is a possibility
there could be a deal among the 17-member house senate conference. that's still going to be hard to get a border security deal that could check all the boxes, and how do you deal with the wall, other immigration policy issues. the president said he wouldn't accept any deals from daca to provide citizenship from them. he said he probably wouldn't be able to go that route. we started the point where he's very unlikely to get a big immigration deal, but there is that feeling among senate republicans that the president just makes things harder. let congress do its job, see if they can get a deal. if they can't, then -- >> then what is the question? if you look at the list of the 17 people. house passes something, senate passes something, then they have a group get-together and send it to the president. but if you look at that group, the president is not getting 5.7 billion there are for a wall. nancy pelosi doesn't have to put her fingerprints on it because she put loyalists on that congress committee, because they're going to report back to
her any time there is a big decision to make. >> and warren's advice may end up where he was back in december, which congress agrees on something, except there's a problem with the guy back at the white house whose signature you need. i'm getting a text. apparently the campaign manager is presenting some data to give to the president, presumably today, to help guide him on the waisome of these swing districts view border security. that might be a big factor in how the president goes forward, depending on what that data shows. >> if you look at the people, to your point, if you look at the people on that committee, these are not firebrands on either side. the senate also, these are deal makers. so what they come up with unfortunately the president may not include some of that money.
>> there is such a frustration with the way the shutdown went that lawmakers on both sides sort of talk about legislation to actually prevent a major shutdown. one thing alexander told me was to tie that to any federal agreement because they don't want to go that route. the democrats tried to push something earlier to deny the president's ability to shut down the government again. we'll see if that picks up more steam, but that's certainly something they'll want to talk about. >> to the point you made about this data, are they learning any lessons here? they may say why did the president do that deal? go to those places in the country and make your case. i won this election, can i have support, please, from my own party? up next, an expensive 35 days for the u.s. economy. what experts estimate that shutdown will cost in terms of lost growth. i'm alex trebek here to tell you
about the colonial penn program. if you're age 50 to 85 and looking to buy life insurance on a fixed budget, remember the three p's. what are the three p's? the three p's of life insurance on a fixed budget are price, price, and price. a price you can afford, a price that can't increase, and a price that fits your budget. i'm 65 and take medications. what's my price? you can get coverage for $9.95 a month. i just turned 80. what's my price? $9.95 a month for you, too. if you're age 50 to 85, call now about the number one most popular whole life insurance plan available through the colonial penn program. it has an affordable rate starting at $9.95 a month. no medical exam, no health questions.
your acceptance is guaranteed, and this plan has a guaranteed lifetime rate lock, so your rate can never go up for any reason. and with this plan, you can pick your payment date, so you can time your premium due date to work with your budget. so call now for free information. and you'll also get this free beneficiary planner, and it's yours just for calling. so call now.
the one with the designer dog collar.(sashimi) psst. hey, you! wondering how i upgraded to this sweet pad? a 1,200-square-foot bathroom, and my very own spa. all i had to do was give my human "the look". with wells fargo's 3% down payment on a fixed-rate loan and a simpler online application, getting into my dream home was easier than ever. get your human to visit wellsfargo.com/woof.
what would she do without me? topping our political radar, the white house reacting to the possibility another republican could challenge the president in the 2020 primaries. this weekend the "new york times" reporting growing on ease after the president's shutdown. the white house saying the president, quote, is ready for any republican who may challenge him and has a wonderful list of accomplishments to run on. putting 33 people on notice he wants their seats. the districts the dccc believe are at play.
congressman debra nunez of california and congressman in iowa. how much the government shutdown will cost the american economy. the ratings put the number at at least $6 billion. the congressional budget office estimated $8 billion. that exceeds the amount the president has yet to receive for his border wall. the ceo says much of the 8 billion can be made up in the years ahead. >> we do think once the government is back in place, the federal workers begin to work again, we think there will be a fairly quick recovery from that. there is a permanent loss, however. you lose the government output for five weeks. that's never made up. we think on that we're still going to be about $3 billion short on gdp. >> bring a little economics into the program.
this was one of the questions throughout the whole thing. the president wants his wall. is he willing, if he ramps up for reelection, to risk a whack at the economy, a dent in the economy? how quickly the economy recovers is a big factor now as to how long the damage lasts. >> that's why nobody in this town wants a shutdown, except for the president. he seems to be the only one advocating for a shutdown repeatedly over and over again, but republicans and democrats want to do everything they can to stop it because you don't ultimately get what you want from a policy standpoint. the aggressor in the fight usually loses the fight, whether republican or democrat, and the impact is usually too high. federal workers will get paid back but contractors won't. >> you see the political motivation for pelosi and her negotiations of the shutdown. in one fell swoop she went after the wall which is a big campaign
promise and image as a negotiator. the one quality that trump is still not under water in, he's over 50% in how people view him handling the economy. all the personal characteristics have been painted over for two years, and that's the one last thing he has to hold onto. >> george h.w bush, the last full term president. up next, is the guy running starbuck's ready to run the country? 2020 is getting interesting. $10? $75? $50? actually, duncan got his $500,000 for under $28 a month. less than a dollar a day. his secret? selectquote. in just minutes, a selectquote agent will comparison shop nearly a dozen highly-rated life insurance companies, and give you a choice of your five best rates.
duncan's wife cassie got a $750,000 policy for under $22 a month. give your family the security it needs at a price you can afford. i was thinking...d clot could there be another around the corner? or could it turn out differently? i wanted to help protect myself. my doctor recommended eliquis. eliquis is proven to treat and help prevent another dvt or pe blood clot... almost 98 percent of patients on eliquis didn't experience another. ...and eliquis has significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. eliquis is fda approved and has both. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to.
eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis call your doctor right away if you have tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily... and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. what's around the corner could be surprising. ask your doctor about eliquis.
they're worried schultz could siphon votes from their nominee and help the with the win the election. donald trump agrees with schultz, trying to bait him and saying he doesn't have the guts to run. listen here, he also has some pretty harsh words for the democrats. >> i will run as a centrist independent outside of the two-party system. we're living at a most fragile time. not only the fact that this president is not qualified to be the president, but the fact that both parties are consistently not doing what's necessary on behalf of the american people and are engaged every single day in revenge politics. >> the question is will he? he sound there like he is running. he says he's going on this book tour and take a couple months to think about it. in his face immediately is michael bloomberg, another
millionaire who has on a few occasions looked at the possibility of running as an independent. bloomberg being honest about that in this state. he said the data was very clear and very consistent given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral system, there is no way an independent can win. that's more true now than ever before. he goes on to say the most important thing is to defeat president trump in 2020. the question is will howard schultz listen to michael bloomberg? >> it doesn't sound like it, because he's already hired people from both sides of the aisle. we know from our reporting that is the case. and he wants to create his own lane and he has the money to do it. will he, at the end, maybe see something that michael bloomberg says that he is seeing? perhaps. but it certainly doesn't sound like it now. it's not as if howard schultz didn't consider the idea of running as a democrat. he's been a democratic
contributo contributor, a democratic activist with his money elsewhere from the beginning. >> it's not as if this data hasn't been shared with him already. we all have to assume that schultz has gotten this memo privately from the bloomberg folks and decided not to read it or decided to disregard it, because it's just not a new argument. >> or decided to test in the age of trump if things have changed since 2016. bloomberg looked at it in 2016, he looked at it before 2016, he was talking to arnold schwarzenegger for years. >> he could make it clearer, though, what his path forward is. history is littered with third-party campaigns that have not been successful. bloomberg is nothing, if not data driven. he has recent analysis on this. if schultz is seeing something that neither side is, past or future, then he sort of needs to
start making that point of how that happens. >> this is another reason democrats are worried. assume he runs, and assume he's a ross perot that he can't win but you're getting some number of the votes. he says, listen to the democrats on health care. it's like the president. >> every american deserves the right to have access to quality health care, but what the democrats are proposing is something that is as false as the wall. and that is free health care for all in which the country cannot afford. >> again, it's not just siphoning votes away, it's making an argument that undermines what a lot of the democratic candidates say. bloomberg might say the same thing in the democratic primaries, that wait a minute, i agree with your goal, how are we going to pay for this? >> and that's probably why he's not running in the democratic
nomination because that argument will not pick up steam with d democratic voters in iowa and new hampshire. it will be difficult, if not impossible, to implement, but he may be offering something that's more grounded in reality about what actually can be achievable, particularly in washington. so that's one reason why democrats are fearful about this. he's got money and puts real money behind it. he's bashing democrats but also aligning himself with democratic values and democratic positions. he pulls away support from them. >> it's so hard to see what the path is. you would think if you're so eager to have your -- you know, to put your message out there and run for president, 2016 would have been the perfect time to do it. there were a lot of choices certainly on the democratic side. and now there's just basically everybody is running if you're a democrat, and you have a huge array of idealogies that are
going to be out there. so it's hard to see what is the rationale. why do we need his version of being a moderate versus biden, bloomberg's or the many governors? >> if he can afford it, then you put your name on the ballot. but look back at ross perot's ref referendum from years ago. you have to spend a lot of money. >> which for him is not even a tall latte. >> well put. if the data at that moment says you have to cut that check, you're probably going to lose. up next, negotiators say this is critical. close to a deal with the taliban. [cell phone rings]
mom? your dad won't call an exterminator... can i call you back, mom? he says it's personal this time.. if you're a mom, you call at the worst possible time. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. where are you? it's very loud there. are you taking a zumba class? today signs of possible progress of bringing america's longest war to a close. nine years after the first attempt to broker peace, three years after the first american combat mission in afghanistan officially ended. they finally agreed to a framework for negotiating an end to this fearful war. today from the pentagon. >> hopefully later on this week we can get together and talk about some of the encouraging conversations that are going on with the taliban.
>> cnn's national diplomatic editor is with us. nick, what's the most important part of this? >> there is an understanding that there should be a sequence of agreements here that if there is an agreement for a cease fire, then that could or would be expected to lead directly to u.s.-taliban talks about a u.s. troop withdrawal that would have conditions. the taliban has some key conditions there. and while that was happening, confidence-building measures would give way to talks between the taliban and the afghan government. you're talking about the potential here. we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves because there are a lot of hiccups in the way potentially. but on the path beginning potentially some sort of peace. >> so what's the next big step? >> the next big step the
negotiator has been negotiating with the taliban leader. he's not entirely trusted by the taliban leadership at the moment, he's respected by the taliban foot soldiers. but as we understand, it's not been put to the taliban field commanders, so if this is going to progress at all, it's got to have buy-in by the field commanders. i'm told the taliban acommander are holding up the whole process. >> we've tried this before. there's been some progress, some setbacks. >> we have, yes. >> in your view, what makes this potentially different? >> i think nick hit one big thing, that the taliban is not a monolithic organization. not everyone sings from the same song sheet and there is a lot of distrust. there are going to be spoilers, even at the foot level.
number two, the afghan government eventually has to be brought into this process. they are the democratic leadership in that country and they have to be a part of this. number three, the devil is in the details. yes, a cease fire is the next obvious step, but what does that mean? for how long? in what areas? what would be the limits? what would be the requirements for any u.s. withdrawal? over what period of time and from what geographic areas? a lot of work to be done. >> and to the trust point that nick made, you're negotiating here with the devil in some ways. this is the organization that provided a safe haven to al qaeda. a lot of americans would jump back on that. we don't have any choice, right? >> we always knew that, john, even in the obama administration, we always knew that if this war gets solved it's in a peace settlement. the afghan government still governs the taliban and they are still the governing leader in some districts. you have to talk with them.
the question is how much do you put the taliban in that process and how much can you trust them to move forward in this process? >> part of the deal is assurance from the taliban they will never give safe haven to terrorists again. the question is, nick, can that be trusted? >> right now i've been told the taliban is giving safe haven to what were described to me as al qaeda sleeper cells, that they are being monitored, they're given food, they are not fighting. if there is a deal and the taliban should have a foothold back in the carpool, you'll have the taliban back where they were essentially. that's not a scenario anyone can live with. >> and that's why we're technically in america's longest war. >> absolutely. and i worry about the leverage at the table because trump has agreed to cut our troops in half with no competent requirements on the taliban side. >> appreciate it.
let's stay hopeful. a lot of people in america would like this war to be over at some point. thanks for joining us "inside politics." i'll see you back here at this time tomorrow. a lot of breaking news today. brian brianna keilar starts right now. i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. the democratic race to replace president trump is stacking up as a senator impresses and a billionaire gets venti of backlash. the shutdown, one that ended before it began just cost the economy $8 billion so far. plus, it's 28 hours before he's arraigned, and robeger sto says he won't cooperate with