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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Stocks Have Ugliest December Since The Great Depression; Trump's Border Wall Standoff Plunges Govt. Into Partial Shutdown; Trump Said He Would Own Shutdown, Now Blames Democrats; LeBron Says NFL Owners Have "Slave Mentality". Aired 7-8a ET
Aired December 22, 2018 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON LEMON, CNN: Our breaking news, the federal government now officially partially shut down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are human beings who are going to be asked to work without pay or going to be told to stay home.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I were Chuck Schumer, I would just turn my phone off and go sit by the pool somewhere and wait until January 3rd.
TRUMP: Let's get out, let's work together, let's be bipartisan and let's get it done.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a deal made, but he was listening to the Ann Coulter's, the Bill O'Reilly's of the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the consequences of a president who has walked away from deals that Republicans and Democrats together had agreed upon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday to you. I'm Victor Blackwell.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Leyla Santiago in for Christi Paul this morning. You know, for the third time this year, the government has shut down partially. That is the big story after lawmakers tried and failed to get the votes to pass a spending bill with border wall funding. Midnight came and, well it went.
BLACKWELL: OK. Here's the question: how long will this shutdown last? Thousands of federal workers may now have to wait, many of them continuing to report to work, with no idea when they'll see their next paycheck. And now, the week after he told Democratic leaders he would be proud to take up the mantle for a border wall shutdown, President Trump says it's the Democrats' fault. SANTIAGO: The shutdown caps a rough week for the White House. Let's
look back on it after a dramatic court appearance from a former National Security adviser, a resignation letter from the defense secretary, and worst week on Wall Street in a decade.
BLACKWELL: We're covering all the angles this morning with CNN White House Correspondent Abby Phillip and CNN National Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. Let's start with you, Suzanne, walk us through the last hours of negotiations which obviously didn't come to fruition in a deal -- what reaction also are you hearing now?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure, Victor. I mean, the lights are on here in Congress, but it is eerily quiet in the hallways. Here's what we're expecting the Senate is going to reconvene at noon. That is when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will make some remarks, but what we do expect is that a lot of what the deal making is going to happen is behind the scenes, phone calls between negotiators, many of members of congress, they left around 8:30 or so last night after it became very clear that there was not going to be a vote -- a vote at least that could get passage of any kind of legislation.
And so, the lawmakers will have 24 hours to be called back to return if there is something that they can actually agree on and vote on. But it was late yesterday we saw a shuttle diplomacy taking place in real-time, five hours. You had the Vice President Mike Pence, as well as OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and Jared Kushner, the president's son- in-law and top adviser, shuttling back and forth with proposals to the leadership on the house side, on the Senate side, Democrats, as well as Republicans. The president, at that point, had wanted $5 billion for his border wall.
Democrats very steadfast on saying that it would be $1.3 billion -- that was the current offer on the table. As you might recall, it was just on Wednesday they had a deal, they had a deal that everybody had agreed to including the president that had a little bit more for this border security. $1.6 billion. Well, the Senate could not get those 60 votes necessary to get the legislation across the line, over the line for that short-term resolution to keep the government open, as well as getting the president what he wanted, his $5 billion.
So, now, what we have is the blame game that is continuing to go on. That the president blaming Democrats and the Democrats releasing this statement here saying regrettably: America has now entered a Trump shutdown. And Republicans, if they choose to continue this Trump shutdown, the new House Democratic majority will swiftly pass legislation to reopen the government in January. So, there is very little wiggle room here. One thing that did happen that seemed to at least kick the can forward is that the debate continues. This procedural move to continue talking about this is where we are at this point.
But outstanding questions and big questions are is there going to be language here that the president can sign on to, something that makes it sound like it's close to the kind of funding or support he needs for his border, will they call it something different? Border security. How long will this take, and can they rely on the president's word? They had an agreement before, he blew it up before, can they get something they can agree on now that they can sign on to now with confidence? Victor.
BLACKWELL: Yes, the president is already changing the rhetoric from border wall to steel slats and talk more about border security than the wall itself. Suzanne Malveaux there on Capitol Hill. Thanks so much.
SANTIAGO: President Trump says that he has canceled his trip to Florida so he could stay in Washington to "wait for Democrats." CNN White House Correspondent Abby Phillip joining us now. Abby, how long do we think he'll stay in Washington?
[07:05:12] ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's the most important question I think to President Trump right now, especially since I'm sure he's been looking forward to what would have been a 16-day vacation in Florida. But instead, he's been here dealing with this government shutdown which essentially this week became very real when he decided he was not going to sign anything out of Congress that did not have money for border security.
Now, President Trump, though, has spent the last day here at the White House. He's let others do the shuttling back and forth on Capitol Hill trying to work out the deal. Instead, what Trump has been doing is trying to reframe and rebrand this government shutdown. Just a week ago, he said he would take full credit for it. And now, today, he's willing to call it the Democrats' shutdown. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Call it a Democrat shutdown, call it whatever you want. But we need their help to get this approved. So, Democrats, we have a wonderful list of things that we need to keep our country safe. Let's get out, let's work together, let's be bipartisan and let's get it done. The shutdown, hopefully, will not last long.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: And even on that last point, President Trump just days ago said that if the shutdown happened, it would last a long time. One of the problems that we are facing with negotiators according to sources who were briefed on the meeting that President Trump had yesterday with Senate Republicans, is that President Trump has not given them a clear sense of what he would be willing to sign. He did sign a $5 billion -- he did sign off on a $5 billion package on the house side. That's deemed pretty inoperable on the senate side. So, the question is: where will there be compromise? And so far, we've gotten little clarity from President Trump on this.
While he's here in Washington today, Melania Trump and Baron Trump are down in Florida. They are keeping their plans to spend Christmas at Mar-a-Lago, meanwhile, we all wait for progress. It's very quiet here at the White House. And there's no sense of urgency or staff running around trying to make this happen. It seems that the shutdown is here and here to stay until we get a little bit more clarity about what President Trump is willing to accept in terms of an actual compromise on the hill. Victor and Leyla.
SANTIAGO: Abby Phillip, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: So, beyond the politicians, what and who is at stake here during the shutdown? At least 420,000 federal employees will be expected to work without pay until lawmakers make a deal. About 380,000 employees will be placed on furlough as we head into the holidays.
SANTIAGO: Essential services like Social Security will still get funded, and the mail will also be delivered. Federal employees who keep people safe like the military, law enforcement officers, those will keep working, as well.
BLACKWELL: And listen, those are just the federal employees, but they also have families. Many depending on the paychecks and maybe they're coming late.
SANTIAGO: Let's go ahead and bring in Jackie Simon from Washington Policy Director for the American Federation of Government Employees -- and we should note, this is an organization that supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. Jackie, I know that you represent workers from a bunch of agencies, a bunch of departments. One of them being workers under the Department of Homeland Security. I want you to listen to what the head of that department said this week about the wall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND AND SECURITYU: Well, first, I would just say, walls work. We know they do, we've seen it in San Diego, we've seen it in Yuma. Everywhere we have that physical infrastructure, we see illegal immigration drop by 95 percent. The president will continue to advocate for what the men and women of the Border Patrol say they need and this is what it is -- it's a physical infrastructure along with the technology and personnel that go to it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANTIAGO: So, Secretary Nielsen obviously sees this as an important thing to get done -- building this wall for President Trump as well as on the border for what she believes is security. Do the workers you represent who work under that same department feel that this is worth it, as well?
JACKIE SIMON, POLICY DIRECTOR, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES: Well, I don't want to really talk about the shutdown in the context of whether or not we need a wall. Border security policy or immigration policy shouldn't be negotiated at the last minute. When the job at hand is to fund the agency, the general operations of the Department of Homeland Security as well as several other agencies.
You know, we do represent Border Patrol agents, ICE agents, the employees of FEMA, Transportation and Security officers working at airports across the country. They need operational funds to do their work so that they can get their paychecks and not be distracted by this sort of 11th hour insistence that the entire funding of a third of the government be put on hold while they try to negotiate in this way over border security and immigration policy.
[07:10:11] BLACKWELL: Jackie, AFGE's statement in response, the reaction right at midnight to the shutdown, highlighted that: "Sadly, we have a president that is proud to have made it happen," speaking of the shutdown. What does that element specifically mean to your group, to the members? It was important enough to highlight in the short statement released. The president said he'd be proud of a shutdown for border security.
SIMON: Well, it just demonstrates a complete lack of concern or understanding of the impact that a shutdown has on not only these workers' lives, but also their ability to perform the mission of the agency. And our members are extremely devoted to the work they do. They're extremely devoted to any people in housing and urban development are extremely devoted to helping people who have, you know, financial difficulties, find housing.
People in Homeland Security, people in the Justice Department -- we have corrections officers who are doing very, very dangerous work, having to go into federal prisons every day without their paycheck. And then, on the personal side, these are real families. You know, everyone notes that it's the holiday season. Even if it weren't the holiday season, where people we represent make modest salaries. Transportation security officers, for example, the people who were making sure travel is safe this holiday season for anybody who's flying to visit their families. They take home less than $500 a week.
SIMON: They cannot afford, they have no cushion, they cannot afford to go without a paycheck. Not for a day, not for a week, not for a long shutdown. This is a financial catastrophe for them. Even to wait for a paycheck, they become late on their bills, sometimes when you're -- when you miss a payment for rent or a credit card bill, it can affect your ability to get a security clearance which also affects your ability to hold your job for many federal employees. The impact is very severe, and the idea that somebody would be proud to impose this kind of hardship and pain on working and middle-class Americans who happen to work for the government, it's terrible.
BLACKWELL: You know --
SANTIAGO: go ahead.
BLACKWELL: So, you know, I think you mentioned something there that I think conceptually we understand but maybe not realized in this moment. When we come back and talk about the shutdown, we show the capitol dome, we show scenes from Washington. But the vast majority of federal workers who will be impacted by this are outside of Washington, D.C., so this will touch all parts of this country.
SIMON: Absolutely. About 15 percent of the federal work force lives in the broad Washington metropolitan area. So, 85 percent are spread across the country. And we're talking people who work in federal prisons, airports, you know, who are -- the people who are providing border security, in our northern and southern borders; FEMA personnel who are still assisting people who've been affected by natural disasters this year. People all over the country.
SANTIAGO: All right, Jackie Simon, thank you very much for bringing us such a personal perspective for this story.
SIMON: Well, thank you for having me.
SANTIAGO: Investors blame the government shutdown for a dismal trading day. President Trump blames the Feds. Who's right? Bloomberg's Erik Wasson joining us next.
[07:17:56] BLACKWELL: Well, Wall Street had a rough week with its toughest losses since the 2008 recession. The Dow closed down 414 points on Friday. For the week, it fell 6.9 percent. President Trump blames the Fed chair for the downfall after interest rates saw another hike.
SANTIAGO: According to Bloomberg, Trump is even thinking of firing Jerome Powell, a man he hired himself. CNN's Money and Politics Reporter Cristina Alesci has more from the stock exchange. Good morning, Cristina.
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY AND POLITICS REPORTER: Victor and Leyla, a brutal week in the market. The Dow and S&P now on track for their worst December since the great depression and their worst yearly performance in a decade. This week, the selling began in earnest on Wednesday when the Federal Reserve raised interest rates. Investors got really nervous that the Central Bank was weaning this economy off of easy money. Look, we've had historically low interest rates now for over ten years. And that's helped boost the economy. When interest rates are low, consumers are more incentivized to buy houses and cars and, of course, stocks. Rising interest rates might have the opposite impact. That is what spooked Wall Street.
Add to that, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell disappointed investors by making it sound like more interest rate hikes were already baked in for 2019 -- and that sent the market even lower. Adding to the negativity, President Trump who tweeted on Thursday that he was willing to partially shut down the government over border wall funding. Even after one of his economic advisers tried to assure the market that a short and partial shutdown would not have lasting economic impact, the president took to Twitter to emphasize the shutdown could be long.
On Friday, the Federal Reserve tried to repair some of the damage. New York Fed president clarifying that the Fed will monitor what's going on in the financial markets and future hikes really depend on economic data. But overall, a very volatile week for Wall Street that ended with investors still deeply concerned about the impact of the ongoing trade war with China, a global economic slowdown and the stimulus from the tax cuts wearing off. Victor, Leyla?
SANTIAGO: All right, Cristina Alesci, thank you so much. Let's go ahead and bring in Erik Wasson, he is a Congressional Reporter for Bloomberg. Eric, President Trump is blaming the fed for this market nightmare and he wants to fire or has talked about anyway firing Jerome Powell. This came straight from Bloomberg reporting. Give me some insight here. Could he even do this, and if he did, what would that mean for the financial markets?
ERIK WASSON, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, BLOOMBERG: Well, I think the independence of the Fed is a key thing that keeps the United States from becoming a banana republic. So, this would certainly spook markets. And all of Trump's advisers are advising him not to do this. There's -- also the question of whether he would be legally able to do so. But Trump is very concerned that a weakening economy could be the deciding factor in the 2020 re-election race. Much more the concerned, we're told, about the government shutdown or Secretary Mattis, the Defense Secretary's surprise resignation. So, he's been talking openly about firing Powell, and this conversation has been going on, it was broken by my colleagues, Jennifer Jacobs and (INAUDIBLE) -- a big scoop for us. And we're just feeling like the markets will be rattled by this when it comes back into next week.
SANTIAGO: All right. So, Powell has also indicated that we might see more rate hikes in the near future. What should we expect when it comes to investors here in the next few weeks and months?
WASSON: Well, I think Jay Powell understands the Fed needs to be independent. If anything, Trump trying to push the Fed could make the Fed do the opposite in order to assert its independence. Another story that we had in Bloomberg Business Week a few months ago talked about Powell is making the rounds on Capitol Hill trying to shore up support, to make sure that everyone is pressuring Trump not to interfere with the independence of the Fed. So, I would not expect the, you know, the Fed to really be cowed by President Trump. And at this point, I do not expect Trump to actually fire Powell but it could rattle investors.
SANTIAGO: I know you spend a lot of time in D.C., congressional reporter, as well. What are you making of this week? I mean, this is a time where we saw a lot of things going on in terms of the defense secretary, in terms of the markets, in terms of the shutdown or the partial shutdown. What do you make of this week?
[07:23:25] WASSON: I think the markets are very nervous. As we saw with the two percent drop in the Dow, two percent drop in the S&P 500 yesterday, they're off their highs by nearly 20 percent. And this is really a feeling that the government shutdown is contributing to a sense of dysfunction in D.C. Next year, we've got the debt limit that needs to be raised, we've got trade agreement with Mexico and Canada that needs to be approved by the new Democratic house.
The sense that these guys cannot come together to keep the government open is really contributing to a sense of unease about D.C. and what needs to happen. Trade is really, I think, the biggest policy question. Can a deal be done with China and President Trump -- and his inability to cut a deal on a tiny portion of the government. You know, $5 billion on the border wall really has investors nervous.
SANTIAGO: So, we've already established trade as a big deal, interest rates, but how exactly -- and I know that this is a tough question, but at least provide some guidance here. How do we get the markets back on track?
WASSON: Well, I think, you know, re-opening the government would be the first step. There are talks ongoing. I'll be up on the capitol today to see if they can come together on some kind of agreement, may put it before the Senate on Sunday night. I think that would, you know, when markets come back in on Wednesday, that could provide a boost. And you know -- it really set the tone. You know, President Trump has talked about doing deals with Democrats, doing something on infrastructure. If they can't -- these guys can start working together, that would, I think, provide some confidence. Well, the fundamentals of the economy are strong. In fact, the growth estimates for 2019 are increasing. Consumer sentiment is high. It's not yet being dented by these downturns in the markets. Things could still turn around, but it will take a steady hand in D.C.
SANTIAGO: Eric Wasson, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: All right. So, this partial government shutdown happening just days before Christmas. Two important questions here -- we'll see if we have indicators to answer them how long it will last. And will President Trump ever get the border wall that he promised during the campaign? Concrete, dozens of feet high, impenetrable? More on that coming up.
[07:29:05] SANTIAGO: The president followed through on his promise to shut down the government if he didn't get funding for his southern border wall. The White House and Congress failed to reach a deal to keep it funded for this -- for the third time this year. It's the first time, perspective here, in 40 years since that has happened. It is still unclear how close lawmakers are to striking any sort of a deal. All of it sparking concerns that this shutdown may last until well after the new year.
BLACKWELL: And speaking of lawmakers, let's go to CNN National Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux on Capitol Hill who is now with Senator James Lankford. Lawmakers are starting to show up there. Suzanne?
MALVEAUX: Yes, good morning. Well, thank you, senator, for joining us. We really appreciate it. You've gotten a readout here from the team, from Vice President Pence and Kushner -- what is the bottom line here? What are they looking for in a deal that the president would sign off on to reopen the government?
[07:29:59] SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK), HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE: The president's been very focused on border security. He's been no grand secret of that. He said that for months and months. But the argument has really been around what Chuck Schumer called the slush fund for border security that was in the previous appropriation's bill?
You don't want to have just wide up and undefined. So, the challenge now is, how do we get that defined for exactly what that is. Whether that's land ports of entry, technology, things that we don't have a disagreement on border security.
Let's try to get that clearly defines, and then try to get this final bill written and done.
MALVEAUX: And what is what are they looking at? What's that number that they say it's OK, because the president saying, $5 billion. Chuck Schumer's nowhere near that, he says $1.3 billion.
LANKFORD: Well, that -- this has been an interesting challenge. So you've got the White -- the White House that says $5 billion. You have a Nancy Pelosi who's zero. You have Chuck Schumer is at 1.3. You've had a Senate Appropriations Bill that was finished months ago that was $1.6 billion. So all these numbers that are floating around, I think we're going to end up somewhere in that range. How to try to figure out, how to split the difference between zero and $5 billion, and to be able to try to resolve this.
But the key issue is everyone wants resolution for exactly what it means when you talk about border security. What is fencing, what is land ports of entry, what's technology, what's staffing? I think there's a general agreement now that we need to do border security. Now it's figuring out how much for each amount.
MALVEAUX: So, let's say you come up with a magic number, right? Somewhere between $1 billion and $5 billion. You as a Republican, how can you count on the president's word that yes, he's going to agree to this deal. This is a deal that you're going to sign on to because he said that on Wednesday. And then, he reneged on it and blew it up, and now here we are.
LANKFORD: So, we have the White House, the Senate, and the House representatives, all the leadership involved in the conversations. That's why the Vice President was sitting down with Chuck Schumer yesterday to do the final negotiations.
The president is going to have to sign off on this. That's the same with any law that puts into place. We all went to the White House yesterday to be able to sign off on a criminal justice reform bill because all three bodies agreed on it, it's signed, it's now into law, left at the same thing deal with a budget as well.
MALVEAUX: You trust that the president will carry out. If they say this is the deal that you're going to vote on, you're not going to -- it's not going to be a test vote, it's going to be a real vote. You're confident that the president -- if vice President Pence says, yes, he's willing to go along with this that he will.
LANKFORD: I am confident in that, and we've already agreed in the Senate, we're not bringing anything to the floor. And so, we know all three bodies have agreed to it. Then we can bring it and expedited through the process in the floor.
MALVEAUX: And whose fault is this? Because obviously, the president is pointing at the Democrats. And he -- and he has flipped the script in a way because he has now put forward. And Republicans -- with the cooperation of Republicans, a new piece of legislation -- not the old piece that was signed on to an agreed to before, but something new that requires more for his border wall. And the Democrats say, look, we'll, going to -- we've given enough.
LANKFORD: Everyone enduring a shutdown spends all their time doing this. Constantly pointing at each other, saying it's their fault, their fault. The president clearly said months and months, and months ago, he's not going to sign a bill unless it has border security on it.
I understand all the confusion in the last several days now on what that amount is and what that really looks like. But he's made that clear, Democrats have been clear and what amount they want to do, Republicans have been clear.
Quite frankly, this is everybody sitting down the same room to be able to resolve this. Myself, Joni Ernst, David Perdue, months ago, I put out a proposal to say we can end government shutdowns in a simple way. Congress can't leave, everybody has to stay in session on the floor to be able to resolve differences, that's the way you get things resolved.
We hope to get that bill passed in the future, we try to get it earlier done this year. But this is not just a partisan issue, this is a process issue that Congress has got to resolve.
When you have differences, you don't hold the American people at harm by doing a government shutdown. Keep that funding going but hold Congress in place until the budget work is done.
MALVEAUX: And it certainly seems like it's a failure on many people's levels, in many people's parts.
MALVEAUX: And I -- and I do want to go back to the frustration that I know, many Republicans feel. And perhaps, yourself as well, is how do you know what's -- what to bank on here. That if the president gives his word, it's his word worth anything? If he says, I -- this is what we're going to do and you all come forward, you come back and say we're going to vote on this, and he changes his mind again.
LANKFORD: Well, I don't know they change his mind. I know the inner workings at the White House in the previous time. There was a sense that he was going to do that, but I don't know if he ever put out a public statement that he was going to do it.
I would assume the president put out a public statement. We've come to an agreement, here's what the agreement is, and then we'll move forward from there. But when the president puts out a public statement, the House and the Senate put out a public statements, then we'll actually move forward, and actually, votes can get them get busy.
MALVEAUX: What is the timetable that you're helping for? Does in, in light of the discussions that you've had with Pence and with Kushner? What do they want?
LANKFORD: Right. Well, now there's a 24-hour notice before the next vote. So, it's at least, 24 hours from now. But right now we're trying to finalize all the final text and to be able to make sure everyone's looked at it, everyone's agreed off on that text, everyone signed off on it.
And then, that text will go public to all members to be able to go through it and be able to take a look at. And then, we'll actually move to a vote 24 hours from there. So, at any point right now, we're at least, 24 hours more of a shutdown from where we are right now.
MALVEAUX: OK, and doesn't matter what it's called, if it's a border wall, if for -- its flats or whatever -- I mean its --
LANKFORD: It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. And what -- what's funny is the Secure Fence Act passed in 2006 with overwhelming bipartisan support, that built 650 miles of fencing. Back in the day in 2006, this wasn't a partisan issue, it certainly has become a partisan issue now.
But I think we should be able to agree on border security. This is an ongoing issue that historically has not been a problem.
[07:35:13] MALVEAUX: Senator, thank you so much. We really appreciate your time. Hopefully, we'll all get home for the holidays.
LANKFORD: I hope so. Merry Christmas.
MALVEAUX: All right. Thanks again. All right, that's the latest update on the talks that are going to be going on later in the morning. Victor?
BLACKWELL: Suzanne, thank you for that. That the simultaneous conversation of not just the amount that will be determined by the Congress and the president, but the specific allocation. Not just defining the number but what that money will go to. Will it be technology? Will it be a wall? Will it be a fence?
SANTIAGO: A fence.
BLACKWELL: So, that conversation happening as the Senator's arrive to continue the negotiations as the day goes on. And the shutdown now stretches into beyond the seventh hour.
SANTIAGO: Well, as we follow the developments on Capitol Hill over the partial government, a shutdown. We are fact-checking the president's claims on the border wall funding, as well as the progress on building that wall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[07:40:26] TRUMP: Well, a lot of wall has been built. We don't talk about that. But we might as well start. Because it's building, 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: That was President Trump during the contentious Oval Office meeting with Democratic leaders, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi.
He's claiming the border wall that he promised during the campaign, and for the first two years of his administration is being built. Now, this is not a new claim. Here is the president just a few months ago at a rally in June.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMERICAN CROWD: Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!
TRUMP: Oh it's happening. It's not, build that wall anymore, it's continue building that wall. Because we're building.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Look at this. His supporters have even traded in those build the wall signs for finish the wall signs. So, is it true? Has Congress approved funding for the border wall? I hear a few facts.
The week President Trump signed a major funding bill in March, he tweeted it got $1.6 billion to start wall on southern border. He's referring to this section of that huge funding bill for U.S. Customs and Border Protection-Procurement, Construction, and improvements. Yes, nearly $1.6 billion paying for six projects along the border. Not one of them is a border wall.
Look, fencing, fencing, fencing, fencing, planning and design, and technology. No mention of a border wall. In fact, there's no mention of that phrase anywhere in the law. I checked. And aside from 14 miles of secondary barrier near San Diego, which is still not a wall that the president promised, the rest is clearly fencing.
Now, if you think we're just playing a game of semantics, consider this, the border wall prototypes in Southern California, remember those? Congress set aside $20 million to build these eight samples. These were the finalists.
One of them was presumably to become the great border wall that the president promised. He first toured them in March. Right before he signed the funding bill into law. So, which one is being built along the border? Not one of them. Because the same funding bill that allocated $1.6 billion that the president brags about, also says that money can only be spent to build designs deployed the prior year. So nothing new, no new wall designs, not the concrete barrier Canada Trump promised, certainly not one of the prototypes the President had seen for the first time only days earlier. It would be illegal to do so.
So, the bottom line here, as the president fights for billions of dollars to finish the concrete border wall he promised, remember that despite his claims, he hasn't received the dollar to start it.
Let's bring in Joseph Borelli is Minority Whip of the New York City Council, representing the 51st district. Joseph, welcome back.
JOSEPH BORELLI (R), MINORITY WHIP, NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL: Good morning. Good morning, Victor.
BLACKWELL: So let's start here with the definition of the wall, and what the president promised. Here let's watch first what the president said, what he defined the wall would be -- would have be made of, this was during the campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It's going to be made of hardened concrete, and it's going to be made out of rebar and steel. It's not a fence, it's a wall. You just miss reported it. We're going to build a wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: And here's what the president tweeted out this week. I'm going to read it here. Design of our steel, slat barrier, which is totally effective, while at the same time beautiful." That's a fence. OK? So, the definition has changed here. Has the president given up on his impenetrable concrete wall?
BORELLI: But well it does have some very scary points there. As you can see. But no --
BLACKWELL: Yes the points are scary.
BORELLI: Look, I think if we're arguing at this point about the semantics of what we're going to call the wall, Republicans probably have already won. As you pointed out there are a number of projects you--
BLACKWELL: Won what?
BORELLI: You said won the battle for securing the border with some sort of a physical barrier. I mean that's really the end game, and that's been the goal of the president the whole time.
I mean, as you pointed out, there are seven projects. I think, the four of them were just announced later in 2018 that have replaced about 70 miles of fencing along the southern border. I think that's --
BLACKWELL: With more fencing.
BORELLI: With fencing and with some form of physical barrier. I mean, that's what we're talking about, right? That's essentially what Senator Lankford just said, is that we're arguing over the semantics of what we're going to call some type of barrier that whole that hold --
BLACKWELL: But there was also the president's argument, the president, that sound bite I just played from the start of his administration said that this is not a fence, it's a wall. That it was misreported when someone said of the fence.
But, let's move on from semantics here. And what we're seeing in this negotiation, do you believe that there is -- you know, there is $1.3 billion now on the table from Democrats. The president obviously wants $5 billion for border security.
Do you believe that there is a $2 to $3 billion compromise that would satisfy the president and his supporters -- his base for whom he -- you know, changed his decision on signing that funding bill just a few days ago?
[07:45:18] BORELLI: What -- remember, it's not just the president, it's also the Republican House members that have put forward this $5 billion wall funding package. I think -- I think there is --
BLACKWELL: This is a -- but they already supported the legislation without it, and so, did the Senate. So this was something that after the president changed his mind, went back on his word. Then, he sent the vice president to the Hill to confirm to Republican and Democratic legislators that he would sign the funding bill, he changed his mind. So, will he accept $2 to $3 billion?
BORELLI: And yet -- and yet, here we are with. And yet here we are with two out of the three parties we need, agreeing on essentially, a $5 billion package for border wall funding. I think, Chuck Schumer's $1.3 billion --
BLACKWELL: Yes, but you had two out of the three without it, right?
BORELLI: Yes, but --
BLACKWELL: The Republicans only change because the president said he wouldn't sign it. Come on. Joseph. BORELLI: I think Republicans change because they saw this as there are really the last opportunity to get this done before the House switches. I -- me, me, as a Trump supporter, I'm very -- I'm very happy with it.
BLACKWELL: They were fine with it -- but they were fine with it, Joseph, before. I mean, they were -- they were -- they were going to get to February 8th with the -- with the legislation that they had already supported.
BORELLI: And Democrats were fine with border wall fencing as recently as 2013. Of course, the Secure Fence Act of 2006. You had some Democrats, Joe Donnelly, saying that he'd be fine with a $5,000 border wall allocation.
You had Joe Manchin campaigning this year on border fencing on border wall. I think he's add actually said, I support the Trump border wall.
I think this is more about Chuck Schumer's squeezing his members not giving Donald Trump a win in the eleventh hour. And that's frankly where we are. We're here because it's a Chuck Schumer shutdown, once again.
BLACKWELL: Well, the president said, he'd be proud to accept the mantle of the shutdown. How now, does this 11 days later become the Chuck Schumer shutdown?
BORELLI: Well, that was before Nancy Pelosi put the gauntlet down and said, you don't have the votes in the House. That was clearly a miscalculation on her part. She went out there, she challenged the president, she said, do it. He went out there and he got it done.
Now again, we're sitting here with two out of three parties, agreeing on this $5 billion number. I think you're right, though I think there is room for compromise but as Senator Lankford said in the last -- the last segment, I think we're talking about what we're going to put towards specific wall funding versus what we're going to put towards -- you know other measures of the border.
BLACKWELL: Well, there still have to decide what the allocations will be. I mean, that's the important element. There may be no allocation for the wall funding as there wasn't in the 2018 bill. Although, the president has said several times that he's gotten $1.6 billion for a wall.
Let me play a sound bite here for his former few years ago from a really prominent real estate developer. He wasn't in government-then, we now know that he later got into to government. About a shutdown and who historically would be blamed. Quite prescient, let's listen to this real estate developer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP (via telephone): They talk about the government shutdown. They're going to be talking about the President of the United States. Who was the president at that time? They're not going to be talking who the head of the House was, the head of the Senate, who's running things in Washington? They're going to be discussed in one person. So, I really think the pressure is on the president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: It seems like your characterization of a Schumer shutdown argues with the president's point there.
BORELLI: Look, of course, the president is going to be partially responsible for any shutdown. But remember, this is the same argument we were having back in January of 2018, earlier this year. And that clearly was the Chuck Schumer shutdown.
Now again, we're at the same precipice where we have a majority of the Senate. We have the House whoever -- who has already voted on this. And we have the White House all swimming in the same direction. But we need Democrats most of whom already voted for some version of border fencing or wall, or whatever.
BLACKWELL: Joseph, all of this would seem to, I guess, stick if the president hadn't come out and said, "I will take the blame, I will not blame you," when sitting across from Chuck Schumer. He was proud to take up the mantle of shutting down the government for border security.
But now, you and he say that this is a Democratic shutdown. Let me ask one more thing. I know I'm getting a wrap here, but I got to ask this. And I don't offer this as a zinger or to be flippant or to be pithy here. But the president's promise was that Mexico was going to pay for this wall. $18 to $21 to $25 billion, depending upon whose estimate you believe.
Why is he now handling this bill off to the American people? I mean should his, his base accept that renege?
BORELLI: Look, I think his base is very happy with him with the deal we just struck with Mexico and Canada. I think I would love to see Mexico pay for the wall. I think that's not a reality. But I'll just defer to Joe Manchin, a Democrats advertisement during this year's campaign, he said, he'd be happy to pay for this wall. So, I'll stick with Joe Manchin on this one,
BLACKWELL: Joseph Borelli --
BORELLI: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: I think the people watching this segment remember the campaign, remember who's going to pay for the wall? And thousands of people would shout, Mexico, and the president would confirm that.
BORELLI: I'm sure they do.
BLACKWELL: And now, he's asking the American people to pay for it. Thanks so much for being with us.
BORELLI: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: We'll be right back.
[07:54:10] SANTIAGO: Well, LeBron James says that there is a slave mentality among NFL owners.
BLACKWELL: Coy Wire is here with us. Not the first time we've heard this type of sentiment, but when it comes from LeBron, it certainly makes headlines.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he's been a powerful voice pushing for equality, right? And it was last night on his HBO show, "The Shop", he was speaking with Rams running back Todd Gurley, rapper Ice Cube, and some others. He was critical of how the NFL operates in comparisons to the NBA, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEBRON JAMES, THREE-TIME NBA FINALS MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: The men in NFL, they just got a -- they got a bunch of old, white, men on teams, and they got that -- they got that slave mentality.
And it's like this is my team you do what -- I tell you how to do, or we get rid of you all. Like, I mean, I'm so -- I'm so appreciative of our -- of -- in our league, of our Commissioner, like -- you know --
[07:55:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He works for the plan, yes.
JAMES: yes, and he doesn't mind like us having the feeling like the truth, like to be able to be able to actually have a real feeling to be able to express that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: LeBron went on to say that NBA owners and Commissioner Adam Silver see value and open dialogue with players even if they don't always agree.
BLACK WELL: So, Coy, you played for the NFL in nine seasons. What are the experiences and what do you hearing from people, as well?
WIRE: There was certainly locked rooms that I was in where there were players who echoed some of the same comments that LeBron James said, NFL stars of today have had similar remarks at Richard Sherman, the cornerback for the 49ers before the (INAUDIBLE) season, he referred to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones as having plantation mentality, because he demanded that his players stand at attention during the national anthem.
But the reality of this is there are 32 NFL teams. Only two are owned or co-owned by people of color. That Rooney Rule had to be implemented to help put people of color and positions in the front office, and then, coaching staffs.
But the lack of diversity in the front office is not unique to the NFL. The NBA has 30 teams only three of those teams have people of color who are owners or co-owners in the team. And then, you have the MLB. Only one team there in that situation.
So, clearly, that's something the players are aware of. We'll see what more other current NFL players have to say in the wake of LeBron James recent comments.
BLACKWELL: Yes, I'm sure people will be reacting throughout the day. Coy Wire, thanks so much.
WIRE: You're welcome.
BLACKWELL: Quick break. Next hour starts in a moment.