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Dignified Transfer of American Killed in Syria Bombing; White House Announces Second Trump-Kim Summit; Pelosi Asks Trump to Delay State of the Union Address; Democrats Offer $1 Billion but no Money for the Wall; Women's March Continues With Controversy; Trump Meets Families of the Fallen in Dover. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired January 19, 2019 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: realize what everybody knows, no matter who it is. They know that walls work and we need walls. And whether it's personal or not - it's not personal for me. She's being controlled by the radical left which is a problem and she's under total control of the radical left. I think that's a very bad thing for her; I think it's a very bad thing for the democrats. Everybody knows that walls work.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Meanwhile, house democrats will put an offer on the table. They're adding $1 billion to border-related spending, but no money for the wall. So are we really any closer to ending this government shutdown? Let's start with the new proposal. CNN's Ryan Nobles joining me right now. What more can you tell us?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well for the short answer to your question is at least they are talking. It seems for the past 29 days, this has just been a staring contest between Congressional leaders and the White House. But now we're actually seeing some tangible offers being put on the table. Let's talk about this proposal from democrats. They're going to basically do it through a series of legislative packages that they're going to pass and then hand over to the Senate and then allow the republicans in the Senate to do with them as they see fit.
Within these packages we're told, there will be an additional $1 billion in funding for what they're calling border security. And within that funding, we're seeing this: $524 million in additional infrastructure at points of entry, and then $563 million for funding for 75 immigration judges. Now, there's two problems with this from the White House perspective. First, it's only $1 billion; they want closer to $6 billion for border security. And, of course, it has absolutely nothing to do with the border wall which means, remains the president's main sticking point. It is something that he is unwilling to budge from. So we know that the president's ready to put an offer on the table later this afternoon. The democrats are going to present this in a series of legislative packages this week to the Senate. But Fred, the fundamental problem here between both sides remains the same. The president wants a wall; Congressional democrats do not want a wall. We'll have to see if now that they're offering a little bit of extra incentives on either side of the table, if one of these sides decides to move in either direction, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, Ryan Nobles, thank you. The president's announcement expected four hours roughly from now. And we are starting to hear details about what he is ready to offer democrats. Joining me right now from the White House, CNN's White House Reporter Jeremy Diamond. So what can we expect from the president? Now that the president's also hearing about this $1 billion proposed from democrats, he's likely to respond to that as well, right?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. What we're expected to hear from the president this afternoon is the outlines of the first kind of major compromise proposal that the president is putting forward to democrats here. He is going to tell democrats, "Look, if you give me $5.7 billion for the border wall," something that the president has been demanding throughout this government shutdown, in exchange, the president is expected to announce this afternoon that he will sign legislation protecting those undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children -- those Dreamers that we have heard so much about. And also extend legal protections for those covered under the temporary protected status program. That's a lot of immigrants who came to the U.S. because of natural disasters. Those were specific declarations.
Of course the president would be restoring protections for these individuals, protections that he himself stripped during his time in office. Last year, of course, he stripped the DACA program, which was put into law -- or put into executive action, rather, by President Obama, as well as some of these TPS -- Temporary Protected Status protections. But this is the first semblance of a compromise proposal that we are seeing from the White House. The question is now how will democrats react to this.
They have in the past talked about the possibility of a border wall in exchange for granting citizenship perhaps to some of these Dreamers. That is not what this proposal is. It is simply extending the legal protections for some of these undocumented immigrants. So what will democrats do now will be the big question. But certainly the president will put this proposal to democrats and to the American people this afternoon. Now expected for 4 p.m. Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, Jeremy Diamond at the White House, thank you so much. Let's dive into this. Now with me is former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Charlie Dent, Former Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania. Good to see you both.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, FORMER MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: Good to see you.
CHARLIE DENT, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA: Good to be with you.
WHITFIELD: Jennifer you first, you know, in just a matter of hours, the president wants to make this offer to democrats to try to end this shutdown. This extension of, you know, DACA protections in exchange for wall funding. Is he going to be getting the democrat's attention on this?
GRANHOLM: I'm sorry, who was that directed to?
WHITFIELD: For you, Jennifer, governor.
GRANHOLM: Okay, great. Call me Jennifer, it's good. I really think that movement on both sides is really good thing for those 800,000 employees, right? So democrats had -- remember that the president originally had asked for $1.6 billion in his budget request.
The democrats offered to give him that. In this Homeland Security budget, they offered 1.3 billion for border security and now they're going to add another billion on top of that for other border security- type of measures including technology.
I think this is all going to come down to how you define the word "wall." Is it an electronic barrier and democrats are willing to, you know, provide funding for that? Is there more detection technology? Or, is it purely a brick and mortar wall? To me that is going to be the crux of it and I think the DACA solution, if in fact he puts that on the table, that's very positive.
WHITFIELD: All right, so Charlie do you see it's a matter of semantics, you know, arguing over, you know, how to define border security? Is it barriers, is it wall, is it technology? Is that the fine tuning that is standing in the way of coming to a deal?
CHARLIE DENT, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE (R) PENNSYLVANIA: Well, it seems like we're at the point Fredricka, where there can be real negotiation. Look, I've said all along the way out of this thing is to reopen the government and then simply negotiation probably $2 billion to $3 billion at the end of the day for border security. Now define that. That could include some barriers, border agents, technology, access roads, a whole number of things. In exchange for that, real protection to the TPS and DACA populations.
WHITFIELD: Is that what it's being hung up - is that where it's being hung up on the language there or in the amount?
DENT: Well, both. I don't think the democrats will agree to $5.6 or 7 billion. But I do think that they'll be under tremendous pressure to agree to some number, between 1.6 and 5.7. So they're going to have to take a number sooner or later, the question is what for. Now the president's own rhetoric is not hopeful. He just is completely incapable of articulating a plan to establish operational control of the border which is far more expansive than just simple barriers or walls. So I think that's really been a big part of the problem, the
president's own rhetoric. By the way, I was one of the original co- sponsors of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, so I know a little bit about this issue. I think there's an easy path forward here for both sides to come to an agreement. It's a tragedy that we've had to go through a government shutdown all these days, you know, to get to this point. We could have simply reopened the government and negotiated this until February and pass the Homeland Security Bill. This isn't that hard.
WHITFIELD: So in one respect, the president said look forward to this major announcement coming today, now scheduled for 4:00. But then this morning on his way to Dover Air Force Base, he said this about where he, you know, is still digging in his heels.
TRUMP: We have a lot of people in caravans coming up. If we had a wall, we wouldn't have a problem. But we don't; we have too many open areas. The walls that we fixed and the walls that we built hold beautifully. Everybody knows that walls work. The border patrol has done an incredible job, but we need the help and the backdrop of a wall.
WHITFIELD: So, Jennifer, is the cat already out of the bag? The major announcement, you know, he's saying, look, the wall is the wall and it's going to be here. Just days ago the House Speaker said, "There's no money for a wall," then reporting today, CNN confirming this $1 billion offer in additional funding, but not for the wall.
GRANHOLM: Well, what about this does he not understand? People who are coming are coming largely to proclaim asylum. And they don't do it at unwalled portions of the border. They do it at the ports of entry. I don't know how many times this has to be pointed out to him, that a wall will not fix that. A wall will not fix the bringing across of drugs when 90 percent of them are brought across in vehicles. What will stop...
WHITFIELD: He's arguing it will be effective. He's arguing -- he continues to argue that it will be effective ...
GRANHOLM: But he's wrong.
WHITFIELD: ... acting as a deterrent, barrier, to drugs, you know, or bad actors from coming across the border.
GRANHOLM: But that's the problem. He can say that all he wants but the facts are in the opposite direction. What will help is better detection and better security. Yes, we should put some money into drones and yes we should have more immigration judges, which the democrats are going to be -- are putting on the -- into funding. But he can't -- just because he continues to repeat a lie doesn't mean it's true and doesn't mean that we should be funding something that is ineffective and a lie. WHITFIELD: So Charlie, you know, I spoke with a contract worker who
has not been working for the past month like a lot of contractors and federal workers and without a paycheck. Earlier, she said, she's going to be watching this scheduled announcement from the president but all she wants to hear is when is government going to be open. And based on what we're hearing so far in terms of the sign posting of, you know, his demands on border wall funding, do you have any confidence that the president is going to be able to say, "My major announcement is government is going to be up and running again."
DENT: Well, here's really the issue. I think the best path forward is simply to pass those six appropriations bills now and then do a short-term extension for the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. That - and then negotiate ...
WHITFIELD: Hoes he seem pliable - amenable for that?
DENT: ...this thing out from under the pressure of the shutdown. Well that's what I want to hear from the president today. I hope he agrees to reopening the government now so that they could have this negotiation without t his enormous pressure placed on all these people who are going without pay. That would be the best way to deal with it. Now if the president wants to negotiate this thing while the government is shut down, I think this could take awhile. There are still a lot of fine points there to be negotiated on TPS, DACA, border security. There's a lot involved here but you can easily reach an agreement but with this pressure of a shutdown it's horrible. So I think it would be - I hope the president today says we're going to reopen the government and we're going to negotiate this by a date certain.
WHITFIELD: All right, we shall see. Four hours away and counting. Jennifer Granholm, Charlie Dent, appreciate it.
Up next, a cloud of controversy hanging over the Women's March as tens of thousands participate in events across the country. We'll take you to some of the marches live.
And later, four Americans killed in an attack in Syria. President Trump is paying his respects to the slain service members at Dover Air Force Base.
WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Happening right now, life pictures right now, Washington, D.C., where women in many cities across the country are taking part in the third annual Women's March. This one just unfolding about an hour ago, getting started there in the nation's capital. The first marches in 2017 took place the day after President Trump's inauguration to protest comments that he made about women during the campaign and to support women's rights overall. This year's marches are expected to be smaller as controversy and division has cast a shadow over the movement. Organizers are still expecting thousands to turn out in cities all across America. We've got a team of correspondents covering these marches. Let's begin in the nation's capital with CNN Correspondent Jessica Dean. What kind of turnout has occurred?
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there Fredericka, I want to let you take a look at the crowd here behind me. We have a big crowd here but it is certainly smaller than it has been in years past as you mentioned, there is some controversy surrounding the leadership of the Women's March. We're also of course in Washington, D.C. where the shutdown remains in effect. We're dealing with that, smaller resources and also the weather not expected to be tremendous today so it is a bit of a smaller crowd but the people we have talked to certainly passionate. They all believe firmly they need to be here, two years after President Trump went into office, to continue to protest against him, his administration and a lot of the policies that he is trying to put in place or has put into place.
We talked to one mother and daughter who flew here from Houston. I talked to another woman who flew here from North Carolina so they're coming from all over the country to be here. Interestingly, though, there's also a counter-protest that is with women who say they don't feel included here. Conservative women, women who are anti-abortion, they are having a counter-protest not too far from here. So Fredericka, that's kind of what we're seeing here in Washington. The march portion of all of this wrapping up. Now the rally starting to take place.
WHITFIELD: All right, Jessica Dean, thank you so much. Let's go north to Boston now. CNN National Correspondent Erica Hill is there for the march under way. Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, we're hearing some similar things from what Jessica heard. I can tell you most of the folks we've spoken with here are local. Most of the people I spoke with from the state of Massachusetts, so not too far outside of Boston a number of them. But there was concern moving into the march about just what this march stood for. This is one of hundreds of marches that are planned locally around the country. The executive director of Women's Forward Massachusetts, which is behind this march, told me that that has overshadowed, in fact, this effort and efforts around the country, having to continuously answer questions about who is this march for and who is included. She told me very clearly this morning that they want everyone to feel welcome here. This is a march for all women and for all people.
We are expecting in just a few minutes from now to hear from Representative Ayanna Pressley. She of course is the first black woman elected to represent the state of Massachusetts in Congress. She's also an honorary chair and she's one of the few elected officials who had been confirmed as a speaker at any of these events ahead of time; the other of course being Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who's also a 2020 hopeful who's in Iowa this morning and is speaking at an event there. But even ahead of that Fred, she put out a statement denouncing anti-Semitism and noting it has no police in any movement. Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right Jessica - I'm sorry, Erica Hill, thank you so much. Jessica Dean, also, in D.C., appreciate it.
All right, we've got so much more straight ahead right after this.
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome pack. President Trump is in Dover, Delaware, to pay his respects to the four Americans killed in the ISIS suicide attack in Syria. Here's what he said as he was leaving the White House for the dignified transfer ceremony.
TRUMP: I think it's the toughest thing I have to do. When I'm going to meet relatives of some of our great, great heroes that have fallen, I think it might be the toughest thing I have to do as president.
WHITFIELD: This attack was the largest loss of American life in Syria since the counter ISIS campaign began in 2014. Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent was a 35-year-old Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician from upstate New York. She was a cancer survivor, a wife, and mother of two young boys according to "Stars and Stripes." Her commanding officers describe her as a rock star with infectious determination and tenacity.
Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Farmer was a 37-year-old married father of 4 who did 6 overseas combat tours since he joined the Army in 2005. He was from Boynton Beach, Florida.
And 42-year-old Scott Wirtz was an Navy Seal before joining the Defense Intelligence Agency as an Operations Support Specialist. The St. Louis native called a true patriot by his supporters.
The fourth American killed, Ghadir Taher was an civilian contractor working with the Army as an interpreter. She was living in East Point, Georgia. Three other Americans were wounded. Our deepest condolences to their families and friends.
This deadly attack comes less than a month after the president's surprise announcement to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. Today, during a trip to Turkey, Senator Lindsey Graham addressed his concerns on the withdrawal in light of the recent attack.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: The road map to Manbij is the most important thing to be accomplished in the near term. So I would hope that President Trump would slow the withdrawal until we truly destroy ISIS and see if we can implement the road map to Manbij as a confidence-building measure that will remove YPG elements from Manbij working with Turkey, allow the people of Manbij to come up with a governing structure acceptable to Turkey and the region. If we do not do this, our withdraw is going to create holy hell for Turkey. (END VIDEO)
WHITFIELD: Joining me now to discuss, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics, Fawaz Gerges. He is also the author of "Making The Arab World." Good to see you, professor.
FAWAZ GERGES, PROFESSOR AT LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: So the U.S. still has about 2,000 troops in Syria with no specific date set for their withdrawal. In your view what statement was made by that recent attack that cost the lives of four U.S. personnel?
GERGES: The statement is loud and clear. ISIS has been degraded, but not defeated. There's a big difference, as you know, between being degraded and being defeated. Even though, to be fair to President Trump, he really doesn't care about nuances and distinctions and even facts. According to his own Defense Department, and according to all we know about ISIS, they are still between 2,000 and 10,000 active ISIS combatants in Syria -- only in Syria. Some sources say 15,000. So the reality it's not really about bringing American troops back home, and they should come home, ultimately.
It's the timing of the decision and the manner by which the decision was made by President Trump. He used to criticize President Obama for basically limiting the presence of American troops in the world and basically advertising American strategy to America's enemies. Here you have President Trump advertising his strategy to ISIS and more importantly, from my point of view, throwing America's allies, the Kurds, under the bus, who have fought with American forces for four years, and they have lost more than 6,000 Kurdish fighters, fighting alongside American forces in Syria.
WHITFIELD: So near simultaneous to that attack, this was the message coming from the Vice President Mike Pence.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thanks to the leadership of this Commander in Chief and the courage and sacrifice of our armed forces, we're now actually able to begin to hand off the fight against ISIS in Syria to our coalition partners and we're bringing our troops home. The Caliphate has crumbled and ISIS has been defeated.
WHITFIELD: So there's that language you're talking about. So Pence did release a statement condemning the attack but also maintains that ISIS has been devastated instead of defeated. Does that suffice?
GERGES: Let me - let me be clear. I have a book on ISIS called "ISIS, A History." I published the book two years and half. Although the physical caliphate that ISIS established in Syria and Iraq has been mostly, mostly, dismantled, ISIS has been able to restructure its forces and shift to a new face of fighting called insurgency. Units fighting, sleeping cell, like the sleeping cell that targeted American forces in Manbij. In fact, in my humble views, the next fight against ISIS in Syria, not to mention Iraq and Libya and Egypt and Yemen, is as difficult as the first phase. Before we celebrate defeat of ISIS -- one more point to your American viewers. It was President Barack Obama who set up American strategy in Syria and Iraq.
He started the fight against ISIS. What President Trump did was to escalate, speed up, basically letting American commanders take action into their own hands. And sadly, hundreds of civilians have been killed in Syria and Iraq as a result of President Trump's basically empowering American commanders to basically use this proportionate force against ISIS.
So, the reality is the fight against ISIS has a long way to go. What saddens me, myself as an educator is that millions of fellow Americans, fellow citizens still basically take the president's words very seriously. The reality is, and with all due humility, this president has mastered the art of falsehood, including -- he used to say that President Barack Obama is the founder of ISIS during his presidential campaign and now he's celebrating defeat of ISIS even though there's a long, long way to go.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We'll leave it there for now. Professor Fawaz Gerges, always good to see you. Thank you so much.
GERGES: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. The stage is set for another high-stakes meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. What we're learning about the plans for a second summit and what it could mean for tensions between the two countries, right after this.
[12:35:42] WHITFIELD: Welcome back.
This just in, just moments ago, President Trump was at Dover Air Force Base to pay respects to the four Americans killed in a suicide attack in Syria. Here are those moments from Dover.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
And the Americans who are being honored, Shannon Kent, Jonathan Farmer, Scott Wirtz and Ghadir Taher. It's a very somber moment. Family members of the Americans killed are also present at this ceremony. And the president said earlier before departing for Dover that this is one of the most difficult moments of his job, is meeting with the families of Americans killed in hostile areas and those bodies being returned to Dover Air Force Base.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
And these are the pictures of the four Americans killed. Again, Jonathan Farmer, Shannon Kent, Scott Wirtz and Ghadir Taher. And our respects to those family members and to the fallen.
And again, these images just now coming in from Dover Air Force Base, with this contingent paying their respects to the bodies of the four Americans. This was just earlier in the week in which the Americans were killed at a fairly populated location in a restaurant in Syria. And it happening near simultaneous to the same time where the Trump administration said that ISIS had been defeated. But then that suicide attack took place.
And again, now, the president paying respects to the Americans fallen.
And now, the bodies of the four Americans being removed during this very somber ceremony.
Again, the names of the fallen Americans there, Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent, a 35-year-old Navy chief cryptologic technician from upstate New York. She was a cancer survivor, a wife, and mother of two young boys according to Stars and Stripes. Her commanding officers describe her as a rock star with infectious determination and tenacity.
Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Farmer was a 37-year-old married father of four who did six overseas combat tours since he joined the army in 2005. He was from Boynton Beach, Florida.
Forty-two-year old Scott Wirtz was a Navy SEAL before joining the Defense Intelligence Agency as an operation support specialist. The St. Louis native called a true patriot by his supervisors.
The fourth American killed, Ghadir Taher was civilian contractor working with the army as an interpreter.
[12:40:02] She was living in East Point, Georgia.
Three other Americans were also wounded at the time. And again, this is now the largest loss of American life in Syria since the counter ISIS campaign began in 2014. There is no sound from this moment but we will allow you to still watch this very somber moment here at Dover Air Force Base.
Our condolences to those four Americans and their family members.
We'll be right back.
[12:47:13] President Trump says a location has been picked for his next summit with Kim Jong-un but he's not saying where? An agreement on a second summit was announced after the president and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a meeting in the Oval Office with North Korea's lead negotiator on nuclear talks.
Here is the president earlier this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We had a very good meeting yesterday with North Korea. That was an incredible meeting. It lasted almost two hours, and we've agreed to meet some time probably the end of February.
We picked a country but we'll be announcing it in the future. Kim Jong-un is looking very forward to it and so am I. We made a lot of progress that has not been recorded by the media, but we have made a lot of progress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN International Correspondent Will Ripley joins me now from Beijing. So what are the possible locations where this second summit could happen?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fred, my sources are telling me that the overwhelming odds are they're going to do this in Vietnam. And there are couple of reasons that. One, it's about a four-hour flight from Pyongyang so it's easy for Kim Jong-un to get there on his plane if so uses.
Also, Vietnam has good ties with North Korea and the U.S. and it's an example of a country that emerged from the ashes of a war with the United States, has reinvented its economy, and really is kind of a success story and potentially a model for North Korea to follow if indeed they do open up economically as Kim Jong-un has stated his goal is.
WHITFIELD: And then, have we heard anything from Kim Jong-un about those meetings that took place at the White House and about, you know, the prospects of the second summit?
RIPLEY: There had been no public comments yet from Kim Jong-un but, we do know the he wrote a letter to President Trump that was delivered at the White House around that time of that 90-minute meeting in Washington. It was a cordial letter accepting President Trump's invitation for a summit.
President Trump alluding to progress behind the scenes. Well, we don't now the details of that. What we do know is that the U.S.-North Korea have been talking about ways to come together on this issue of denuclearization, to try to find a compromise. Because both sides are really dug in their heels and that's what has ground the talks to a halt up to this point.
North Korea basically wants economic relief right away. They want the U.S. to lift sanctions in exchange for a small steps toward denuclearization, whereas the U.S. has stated and even Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said just yesterday that they're not going to lift sanctions until there's the full denuclearization, until North Korea gives up all of the nuclear weapons.
If that continues to be the U.S. stance, it's hard to see where this goes. But if the U.S. is willing to compromise on the issue of sanctions and if North Korea is willing to start taking actual steps to give up their nuke (INAUDIBLE), thus far they really haven't. Well then, there could actually be something accomplished with the second summit as opposed to another photo op and a vague statement like what we saw in Singapore back in June.
[12:50:05] WHITFIELD: Will Ripley, thank you so much in Beijing.
All right, President Trump pulled the plug on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi taking a military aircraft to visit Afghanistan. This after she asked him to delay the state of the union address because of security concerns over the U.S. government shutdown. So, is the shutdown really having an adverse effect on security for these high- profile events? We'll ask an expert, next.
WHITFIELD: President Trump's state of the union address is the latest collateral damage as the government shutdown enters its fifth week. On Wednesday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi write a letter to the President calling on him to postpone his address until the government reopens citing security concerns. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen objected to Pelosi's request.
[12:55:03] She says, quoting now, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure this state of the union.
Let's bring in former Secret Service Agent for President Obama, Jonathan Wackrow. Good to see you Jonathan.
JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Nice to see you.
WHITFIELD: OK, so with Pelosi, you know, citing security concerns due to the lapse in funding, you know, in contrast with the DHS, you know, along with Secret Service saying they are prepared, what should anyone think?
WACKROW: Well, listen, I think what we all should be thinking right now is that once again protection is being politicized. So, it really comes down to a matter of perspective and how you're going to look at the situation.
I mean, let's be pragmatic. The Secret Service in a government shutdown was successfully able to take the president of the United States to a war zone, to Iraq. So by the fact that they were able to do that, I think that they can bring him to Capitol Hill and secure that site. So they are prepared and Secretary Nielsen is correct. I believe DHS is prepared, you know, from their perspective on the preparedness of this National Special Security Event.
But I think, I think it's less about the preparedness and more about the performance of different entities that are, you know, supporting the mission of the Secret Service under this National Special Security Event.
WHITFIELD: And what do you mean? Because of any stresses that come with the fact that there is a furlough, people are not receiving paychecks, is that what you mean?
WACKROW: Yes -- no, absolutely. I think it's better to take a step back and just understand that a National Special Security Event is set-up to bring to bear the full resources and I mean, full resources of the federal government, not the partial shutdown resources of the federal government --
WACKROW: -- as part of a very comprehensive security program. You know, listen, this is the only time, you know, that we bring all three branches of the government together at one time. We want to make sure that there's a comprehensive security program.
The Secret Service is the lead agency, however, they don't do it alone. They rely heavily on other federal agencies who are currently, you know, affected by the government shutdown. They are -- they utilize support from not only in the military but state and local assets as well.
So I think you have to look at its totality. How well prepared are individuals in the event of an emergency, in the event of an incident to, you know, bring to bear the three phases of NSSE? So --
WHITFIELD: In any way, do you see that this shutdown has, you know, stressed or compromised security of this nation?
WACKROW: No. Listen, I see in today's -- in the current state right now -- I mean, there's financial stresses that occur. But the men and women who execute these security plans are dedicated. They realize that they are mission-driven and they are trying their very best week after week as this shutdown continues on to put their personal, you know, financial stress aside to be mission-focused. So, I think in the current state but, I think what will happen, Fred, over time, what you'll see as morale starts to deteriorate, again, it goes back to performance. There's a direct correlation between morale and performance.
So, as morale starts to deteriorate, you know, next Friday, the next paycheck comes, there's going to be zeros on it. I think you're going to start seeing moral deteriorate.
WHITFIELD: Right, and that was my next question.
WHITFIELD: And, you know, this second, you know, paycheck period in January is fast approaching. And you know, people who are going without have their fingers crossed that something's going to give soon but the longer that this goes on, talk to me more about those, you know, those stresses, that kind of deterioration, you know, of morale.
WACKROW: Yes. So listen, this comes down to, you know, leadership of different organizations really have to do some very creative resource management to, you know, address the stress that the morale has on the agency and itself and the individuals. And I think that we've seen time and time again different leaders and managers addressing those stresses for the state of the union.
Again, this is going to be about resource management maybe shifting away from, you know, federal employees that are affected, that are in this unpaid, unappreciated status. And may be relying a little more on the military assets who are getting paid, who can support the mission for the state of the union address.
WHITFIELD: All right, well leave it there. Jonathan Wackrow, thank you so much. Always good to see you.
WACKROW: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right, style is a window into, you know, everything. It tells a story, doesn't it? The CNN original series "American Style" continues into the 1980s tomorrow at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.
Hello again, everyone and thanks so much for being with me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
We're now entering week five of the longest U.S. government shutdown in history. Eight hundred thousand federal workers still without a paycheck as Democrats and Republicans battle it out over President Trump's demands for a border wall. So today, the president will once again take his argument to the American people, promising, quoting now, a major announcement concerning the southern border.
A source tells CNN the president is expected to propose extending protections for DACA recipients in exchange for wall, something the president is not willing.