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Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has a new book out, leading to inevitable speculation about her 2020 plans, but The Late Show‘s Stephen Colbert began his interview of Harris on Thursday by asking about the government shutdown, and what senators are saying behind closed doors. “The chatter in the cloak room is that we have hundreds of thousands of Americans who are not going to get paid, and they’re not getting paid because the president of the United States has a vanity project that he doesn’t want to give up,” Harris said.

“The buzz is that the Republicans are cracking a little bit underneath the pressure,” Colbert said. “When the cameras are off and you guys are back in the cloak room, are they cracking — or is that just the sound of the ancient dry skin?” Harris focused on her Republican colleagues who favor reopening the government before tackling the wall.

“How do you imagine this ends?” Colbert asked. “This has already been something that’s hurtful and harmful to the American people,” Harris said. “How does it end? It has to end with the government running and functioning. … It will not end with a wall.” If Trump declares a national emergency, she added, “the courts will kick in” to “determine the legitimacy of his exercise of that authority, and I think what we all know is it would be an improper exercise of authority.”

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“Senator, let me ask you this: Many people who put out books two years before a presidential election do so to introduce themselves in a broad way to the American people,” Colbert began, then just asked: “Are you going to run for president?” “I might,” Harris said, smiling and nodding her head. “All right, there you go, there’s your headline right there,” Colbert said. Harris didn’t confirm or deny reports that she’ll formally announce her candidacy on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Watch below. Peter Weber

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