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State of the Union

Interview With Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly; Interview With Illinois Senator Richard Durbin; Interview With South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford; President Trump Demands Border Money; Vice President Mike Pence's Family In Politics. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired April 23, 2017 - 09:00   ET




DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Shutdown showdown. How far will President Trump go to fulfill his most famous campaign promise?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's going to be way up there. It's going to be a big, beautiful wall.

BASH: With the government shutdown looming over funding for the wall, we will talk to the secretary of homeland security.


QUESTION: Mr. President...

BASH: Spoiling for a fight?

TRUMP: We're doing very well on health care. There was never a give- up.

BASH: Trump insists a new health care bill is coming, but can it really get through the same Congress that torpedoed it the last time? The very latest, as Republicans rally to rewrite the bill this weekend.

And Bernie or bust? Bernie Sanders hits the road for the resistance.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: We need to open the doors of the Democratic Party.

BASH: But can he unite a party he's not even a member of?

Plus, the best political minds will be here with what happens next.


BASH: Hello. I'm Dana Bash, in for Jake Tapper, in Washington, where the state of our union is on the verge.

There's a showdown brewing in Washington, as President Trump begins the week that will mark his first 100 days in office. Congress has until Friday to approve a new spending bill and keep the government running, but there's a sticking point, that big, beautiful wall the president promised to build along the border with Mexico.

The White House seems to be signaling that funding for the wall must be included in the spending bill, something that would be hard for Democrats to swallow.

Could Trump's signature campaign promise bring the government to a screeching halt?

Let's ask Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.


BASH: Secretary Kelly, thank you so much for joining me this morning.

Let's start with the border wall with Mexico and how it relates to keeping the government open.

If Congress doesn't send President Trump a government funding bill by midnight on Friday, the government will run out of money, and a shutdown would begin.

So, will the president go to the mat and insist on funding his border wall as part of this stopgap government funding measure?

JOHN KELLY, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, Dana, I think it goes without saying that the president has been pretty straightforward about his desire and the need for a border wall.

So, I would suspect he'll do the right thing for sure. But I will suspect he will be insistent on the funding.

BASH: Well, I want to show you a statistic from "The Wall Street Journal."

"Not a single member of Congress who represents the territory on the southwest border said that they support President Trump's request for $1.4 billion to begin construction of his promised wall."

So, Mr. Secretary, this includes nine members of the House, and eight senators from the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

So, why do you think there's such a disconnect?

KELLY: Don't know. I guess it's -- I guess it's politics, Dana.

I would just offer to you, many of these issues would go away if the same people that we're talking about, the legislators in Washington, would take a really long, hard look at immigration, immigration laws, and do what is necessary to solve the problems.

BASH: Well, let's talk about some of those problems.

And one of them is the question of what to do about the young immigrants known as dreamers.

The president told the Associated Press on Friday that people who were brought to this country, to the U.S., illegally as children should -- quote -- "rest easy" about his immigration policy.

And, yet, Attorney General Jeff Sessions had this to say. Take a listen.


JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Everybody in the country illegally is subject to being deported. So, people come here, and they stay here a few years, and somehow they think that they're not subject to being deported. Well, they are.


BASH: So, Secretary Kelly, which is it? Are these dreamers subject to being deported, or should they rest easy, as the president said?

KELLY: Well, I'd certainly go with what the president said. But the point that I think the attorney general was making is that they are here unlawfully and are subject to deportation. That's what the law says.

Now, what we actually do is another story. And, as I say, we are not targeting -- my organization has not targeted these so-called dreamers, DACA. And we have many, many more important criminals to go after and get rid of, and not the DACAs.

BASH: So, just to be specific, what has the president said -- saying to you? And what is he communicating that he wants you and your department to do? Does he want you to go after these dreamers, or is he explicitly saying, leave them alone, don't target them?

KELLY: The president told me to do two things. He told me to secure the southwest border, all of our borders, and, of course, focusing now on the southwest border, and to take the worst of those that are in our country illegally, take them -- look for them and deport them.


So, that's what I'm doing.

BASH: At a recent press conference the LAPD chief, Charlie Beck, said there has actually been a 25 percent drop in reports of rape among the city's Latino population since the beginning of 2017, and a 10 percent drop in reports of domestic violence, with no such similar drops among other groups.

Listen to what the chief said.


CHARLIE BECK, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, POLICE CHIEF: Imagine a young woman, imagine your daughter, your sister, your mother, your friend not reporting a sexual assault because they are afraid that their family will be torn apart by doing so.


BASH: Mr. Secretary, he is arguing that your get-tough policy is making people less -- less safe, rather. What's your response?

KELLY: Well, certainly, the police chief is a hero in my mind. I mean, he's where -- obviously, locally, where the rubber meets the road.

But, you know, he has got his job to do. I've got my job to do.

And, as I've said repeatedly, Dana, the illegal aliens that we're going after are not, if you will, simple -- simply here illegally. We're actually going after the very people that the sheriff references in terms of criminals that happen to be here also illegally.

And I would just highlight the fact that, you know, you can report crimes and not give your name. I mean, the 911 process is anonymous, if you want it to be.

But, again, I don't have facts and figures. I haven't looked at it. I hear this a lot, that reports are down and all that. I would just, again, tell the illegal immigrant community, if you are simply here illegally, we don't really have the time to go after you.

We're looking for bad men and women. And we're doing that very, very effectively.

BASH: I just want to be clear. You're using this forum to send a message to women who are raped, other people who are abused, victims of domestic violence that they should feel comfortable to come forward and report that crime?

KELLY: I think it's their duty to do that. But, yes, they should feel comfortable doing it. We are not going after...

BASH: Without fear of getting deported?

KELLY: ... people who are victims.

We are not going -- well, I would say that, if they're also criminals, that's a different story.

But, if they're simply here illegally and are the victim of a crime, then they should report that crime.

BASH: The Pentagon spent more than $40 billion since the 1990s trying to build a system that would thwart a nuclear strike by either North Korea or Iran.

But "The L.A. Times" recently reported that, in nine simulated attacks since the system was deployed in 2004, interceptors have failed to take their targets out six different times.

So, from your vantage point, as secretary of homeland security, is the U.S. at this point capable of shooting down a North Korean missile if it were headed towards California or anywhere else in America?

KELLY: Everything I have knowledge of that pertains to that question is classified. And I really couldn't go into it.


But, I mean, do you feel -- just, I understand that it's a DOD issue. But you are homeland security secretary. Do you feel that the homeland is safe from a North Korean missile or, you know, any other coming towards the continental U.S.?

KELLY: Well, it depends on who -- I mean, clearly, there are countries on the planet that have a lot of nuclear weapons that we couldn't -- that would overwhelm any defense that we would deploy, Russia, as an example.

BASH: Mm-hmm.

KELLY: But the minute -- I would tell you, Dana, the minute North Korea gets a missile that could reach the United States and put a weapon on that missile, a nuclear weapon, the instant that happens, this country is at grave risk.

BASH: How far away do you think that is?

KELLY: I think Mr. Trump will be dealing with this in real terms before he starts his second term.

BASH: I want to ask something about what you said when you were stepping down from the U.S. Southern Command. You pondered what life was going to be like, sir, after the Marines.

Here's what you said: "My fear was of being offered a job that would be kind of a full-time position at a veterans organization or even in the government. I'd prefer not to come up the Beltway every day."

So, do you think about that every time you come up the Beltway each day and go to the Department of Homeland Security?

KELLY: Every day, every second of every day.


KELLY: The one thing, though, I would tell you, Dana, when I got a call in November watching football with my wife, and it was a member of the transition team, and I was asked if I would consider coming into the government, the last thing I ever wanted to do -- my wife, Karen, said to me, "You've got to take it if they offer you a job."


You know, the Kelly family, if we're nothing else, we're a family of service to this nation.

And she said, "Besides, all of this quality retired time over the last eight months just about -- just about..." (LAUGHTER)

KELLY: "Just about tired of it."


KELLY: "So, go ahead and take the job."

And that's -- I am today. So, I just...

BASH: So, just to be clear, your wife kicked you out of the house and sent you back to work. I just want to make sure that I've got that right.

KELLY: Yes, she does -- she does -- she does that kind of thing a lot.


KELLY: Now, we're a dedicated -- I think you probably know my son is in the Marines. My other son was a Marine. My daughter works -- works for the government. We're a family of service.

It's the greatest thing in the world to serve one's country, in uniform or simply in a suit.

BASH: Absolutely.

And we all thank you and your whole family for your service.

And thank you for your time this morning, sir.

KELLY: Thanks.


BASH: President Trump is lauding his Supreme Court appointment as his biggest victory so far, but could he soon be filling another seat on the highest court in the land?

That's next.



BASH: Welcome back.

President Trump issued a statement this weekend wishing all Americans a happy Earth Day.

It came as a march for science was under way just blocks from the White House, the scientists, many in white lab coats, protesting the president's environmental policies.

Supporters chimed in all the way from Antarctica. So, the Trump resistance on the streets has been very public, but what can Democrats in Congress actually do to block his policies?

I'm joined now by the number two Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin of Illinois.

And, Senator, thank you so much for joining me.

Let's start with the looming risk of a government shutdown. You just heard Secretary John Kelly say that President Trump is going to insist on funding for a border wall as part of a stopgap government funding measure that needs to pass by midnight on Friday in order to keep the government open.

Are Senate Democrats prepared to shut down the government over this issue?

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D-IL), MINORITY WHIP: Dana, the Democrats in the House and the Senate are ready to work and cooperate with Republicans to keep our government open.

But we told the president and the Republicans weeks ago, don't try any political stunts. Don't put any poison pills into this process. Let's just do the -- our responsible, important work of funding this government.

We know what this wall is all about. This was a promise made by the president during his campaign. And don't you remember, he said the Mexicans were going to pay for it? Now we know it's going to cost $20 billion to $70 billion for this wall.

And, as you said with your interview with General Kelly, we have Democrats and Republicans all along the border opposing this idea. It's a political stunt, an obsession for the president that should not shut down our government.

BASH: It should not shut down the government. You're calling it a political stunt.

The White House is calling it and the president is calling it something that has to be in this spending bill. So, what do you think happens at the end of the day? It sounds like a standoff that could end up in a potential government shutdown.

DURBIN: I hope the president will back off.

To think that he would consider shutting down the government of the United States of America over this outlandish proposal of a border wall, which we can't even pay for at this point, and is opposed by Democrats and Republicans all along the border, that would be the height of irresponsibility.

He would not want that to define his first 100 days.

BASH: Senator, the Justice Department is stepping up pressure on sanctuary cities that do not comply with federal immigration law. The department sent a letter saying that local jurisdictions have until June 30 to fork over immigration information on individuals who have been arrested.

So, if these cities don't comply, the Trump administration will withhold funding from them. As you know, a big city in your state, Chicago, is on that list.

So, as the senator from Illinois, do you want Chicago to remain a sanctuary city, even if it means losing federal funding?

DURBIN: Dana, I wish that Attorney General Sessions, as well as members of the Trump administration, would do what I have done, sit down with the police chiefs, ask them point blank, what is the most important thing we can do to maintain law and order and to cooperate with the people who are responsible for keeping our community safe?

And they will tell you that this notion of threatening those who are here undocumented is going to cut off sources of information which people use every day in police departments to keep us safe.

If you want to have a law and order presidency, speak to the police departments and chiefs who have this responsibility. They will tell you that cutting off funding for cities that are trying to work with all of the population to keep the city safe is exactly the wrong thing to do.

BASH: OK, but, Senator, the reality in front of you is this threat from the Trump Justice Department that cities like Chicago will no longer get federal funding unless it becomes a non-sanctuary city, it drops the sanctuary city status.

So, what do you think Chicago should do?

DURBIN: Well, what Chicago does and every city does is to share information when they arrest people, fingerprints, for example, with the FBI, so that they can check the backgrounds of individuals.

But, listen, we have an important responsibility in Chicago and every other city to keep people safe. And we are not going to turn our local police departments into immigration officials.

It not only is not our responsibility. Secondly, it cuts back on the cooperation in communities where we desperately need it.

BASH: So, Chicago should stay a sanctuary city?

DURBIN: So, if you want to be a law and order president -- yes, it should. I support that.

I think we can work with the federal government, but we're not going to do this at the expense of people who are living peaceable lives in neighborhoods and raising families and should not be harassed by folks who are trying to push some sort of anti-immigration agenda in Washington.

BASH: Senator, Monday is the first day that Neil Gorsuch is going to be on the Supreme Court, his official -- first official workday. And there already is talk that President Trump might get a second nominee. [09:20:10]

Take a look at what Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, who, as you know, is the chairman of your committee, the Judiciary Committee, what he told "The Muscatine Journal" in his home state of Iowa.

He said: "I would expect a resignation this summer," he said of the potential for a second seat opening.

Gorsuch replaced Antonin Scalia, but the next one could tip the balance of the court.

As a member of the Judiciary Committee, do you expect a vacancy to occur this year?

DURBIN: I have no indication that there will be a vacancy.

Keep in mind, what happened with Neil Gorsuch, in order for him to take this lifetime position on the highest court of the land, the Republicans had to change the Senate rules. So, a simple majority vote now is all that's necessary.

Traditionally, we'd required 60 votes, so that any person would have bipartisan support for this lifetime appointment. The Republicans had to change that rule so that Neil Gorsuch could come up to the court.

I would hope that we would return to bipartisanship when it comes to future appointments to the court. That really is in the hands of the Republican majority at this point.

BASH: I want to ask you before we go, as a Democratic leader, about some party politics.

A debate broke out in your party this week when Bernie Sanders endorsed a candidate with a pro-life voting record for mayor of Omaha, Nebraska. Ilyse Hogue, who is the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the endorsement a betrayal of women.

Where do you come down on this debate? Are you with NARAL or Senator Sanders?

DURBIN: Listen, I am committed to women's rights under the law, reproductive rights certainly, and our party is. We have made that part of our platform and position for a long, long time.

I know, within the ranks of the Democratic Party, there are those who see that differently on a personal basis. But when it comes to the policy position, I think we need to be clear and unequivocal. We need to be understanding of those who take a different position because of personal conscience.

But, as long as they are prepared to back the law, Roe vs. Wade, prepared to back women's rights as we have defined them under the law, then I think they can be part of the party.

BASH: Senator Dick Durbin, thank you so much for joining me this morning. See you back in Washington.

DURBIN: Thanks, Dana.

BASH: Thank you.

So, you're telling me there's a chance?

Republicans huddling this weekend to try to resurrect the repeal of Obamacare, but will it work? The very latest next.



BASH: House Speaker Paul Ryan held a rare Saturday conference call with Republican House members to update them on negotiations for a budget deal and Obamacare repeal.

But sources tell CNN the speaker did not tip his hand about what to expect this week. One GOP lawmaker on the call said negotiations on a new health care bill are still ongoing and not to expect a vote before Trump's 100th day next week.

Still, the president insists repealing Obamacare is going to happen.


TRUMP: The plan gets better and better and better. And it's gotten really, really good. And a lot of people are liking it a lot.


BASH: So, who is exactly liking it a lot?

Well, joining me now is Republican Congressman Mark Sanford, a member of the so-called Freedom Caucus, who opposed the GOP's first attempt to repeal Obamacare.

Congressman, thank you so much for joining me this morning.

I want to start with what we just heard from President Trump. He wants Congress to pass a bill this week repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Is it a pipe dream?

REP. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Maybe not. We will see.

I think it's an awfully tough dream, given the fact that, I mean, you got to whip the vote before you actually take the vote. And you just simply begin to run out of days in this week, given the fact that we have this big funding issue coming up at the end of the week.

So, it could happen. I think it's -- if it was to happen, more likely next week or something like that. But we will see. BASH: Obamacare includes a number of different protections for people

with preexisting conditions, but sources tell CNN that one of the things that Republican lawmakers are looking to do to try to break this logjam among Republicans is allowing states to obtain waivers to opt out of those rules.

Can you confirm if that's part of the discussion right now?

SANFORD: I think that's accurate. And I think it makes good sense.

I mean, the difficulty with what we had started with was, you wouldn't let insurance be an insurance within the individual health care marketplace. And so you have folks who have real needs, profound health care needs. They have drawn a bad genetic lottery card or they have been in a car wreck.

The Affordable Care Act has helped them, in fairness to the Affordable Care Act. But for a lot of other folks out there, they have seen their premiums skyrocket, they have seen less in the way of choice.

And what a number of us have said is, let that part be real insurance. And so I think that this splitting and allowing states to -- if Vermont wants to do, in essence, a single-payer system and South Carolina wants to have a more-market based system, I think it's something that makes sense, and has a degree of pickup, based on the conversations I have had with other members.

BASH: But, Congressman, the president was really explicit on the campaign trail saying that these essential benefits would not go away for Americans.

So, wouldn't that be a broken promise for him that could ultimately come back to haunt Republicans in general?

SANFORD: I can't say what it would or wouldn't be for him.

He, as you heard just a moment ago, said the plan keeps getting better and better and better. And the -- quote -- "better" that he's talking about are these very negotiations that have been taking place between somebody like Mark Meadows from the right, if you will, and somebody like MacArthur from the left in the melding of different ideas within the Republican Conference.


So I don't know what it would be for him but what I do know is that it represents a compromise that I think would allow this bill to leave the House and make its way to the Senate.

BASH: During last month's health care fight, congressman, things got pretty heated between you and President Trump. In fact, it has been reported that the president threatened to back a primary challenger against you. Tell us what happened.

SANFORD: He sent his emissary, Mick Mulvaney, who I've known a long time, he's from our state and he's now the OMB director and said, he said the president hopes you vote against this because he wants to run somebody against you if you do.

I think that those kinds of threats are counterproductive. He's made those kinds of threats to any number of different members within the conference, and you know, it all I guess fits in love, war and politics, but I don't think it's particularly productive to his own legislative agenda and we'll see what comes.

BASH: What does it say about his clout with Republicans like you, that he threatened to run a primary challenger against you, and you still said I'm going to oppose this bill that you want me to -- you want me to support? You're not scared of him, are you?

SANFORD: Well, no. It's not that. Doesn't make anybody's day when the president of the United States says I want to take you out, but what I would say is, I don't work for him. I work for about 750,000 people here in the first congressional district.

I've had eight town hall meetings. I finished my eighth one just this week over the last couple of months, and what I've heard from people at a level that I've never before heard in the world of politics is that people care deeply about this issue. It impacts them directly and very personally, and we better get it right and the idea of checking the box saying we dealt with health care but not taking into account both the considerations of the left and right on this one I think ultimately, not my job.

My job is to watch out for the folks I'm hearing from at home and to induce conservative ideals I ran on and I'm trying to do just that.

BASH: I just want to ask you about something. I was talking to Senator Durbin about and before that Secretary Kelly the prospect of a looming government shutdown over possibly whether or not to fund the notorious wall that now President Trump campaigned very hard on. Do you think that wall is worth shutting the government down over?

SANFORD: No, and I don't think there will be a government shutdown. It's well beyond my pay grade as to what ultimately ends up in a bill of this sort and I think that there will certainly be attempts to include it. I think that it's a Republican priority.

I think there's still question marks about, wait a minute, this is a guy that said Mexicans are going to pay for it and now it's going on a spending bill that is borne by the U.S. taxpayer, so I think there will be debate on it. But I think ultimately it's still a Republican priority and I don't think the government will get shutdown over it.

BASH: I just have to ask before we go, there's a website called that's hoping you are going to run against President Trump in 2020. You see the website up on the screen there. What do you think?

SANFORD: This is news to me so you're making news. I've never heard of the website, don't know anything about it. I'm just going to try to...

(CROSSTALK) SANFORD: ... my primary challenge --


BASH: Is there any chance you would run in 2020 for president?

SANFORD: No, I'm going to try and run for congress. I've already got two primary challengers against me and I'll deal with that.

BASH: OK. Thank you so much for your time this morning, congressman. I appreciate it.

SANFORD: My pleasure, thank you.

BASH: Hillary Clinton is done with her long walk in the woods, and is speaking out against President Trump. So what is does it signal about her future? That's next.




BASH: Will the president go to the mat and insist on funding his border wall as part of the stop gap government funding measure?

KELLY: Dana, I think it goes without saying that the president has been pretty straightforward about his desire and the need for a border wall. So I would suspect he'll do the right thing for sure. But I will suspect he will be insistent on the funding.


BASH: It sounds like the president is ready for a fight.

With just days until a possible government shutdown, the president added funding for that wall along with the Mexican border as part of his demands but will it work?

With me now to talk about this and much, much more, Neera Tanden, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress; Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California; Amanda Carpenter, former communications director for Ted Cruz; and Bakari Sellers, former South Carolina Democratic state representative. Thank you all for joining me on this morning.

You are a sitting member of Congress I'm going to start with you. Do you think that the government should shutdown over this wall?

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: No, I don't expect to shutdown the government but we have been under Republican and Democratic presidents funding additions to this border fence or wall, if you prefer.

This weekend, this last week I've been at the border twice, once with Congressman Juan Vargas where we stood right by that wall, another time with Secretary Kelly. San Diego region has this double fence and we've had it for years. And it has saved lives particularly border patrol agent lives but also lives of people attempting to cross the border.

BASH: Do you think the president is right to insist that this money to make that much longer to go through the -- through the -- most of the southern border is right?

ISSA: If you talk to the border patrol agents who put their life on the line at the border they will tell you this makes them safer and it makes people attempting to cross the border less likely to be hurt or killed. So of course we should do it.

I think one of the challenges is, it turned into a campaign issue, where under Republican and Democratic administrations, under House and control of Republicans or Democrats, we have been adding both virtual and literal barriers to the border to try to cordon people into going through the gates...


BASH: Yes.

ISSA: ... not through the field.

BASH: You're shaking your head.

NEERA TANDEN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Yes. I mean, I think you should talk to members of your own party like Congresswoman McSally, who has written to the president and said this money is, shouldn't be spent this way. She's opposed to this. Senator Flake, who has represent --

ISSA: Senator Flake has voted for this funding.

TANDEN: He's -- he said that this is a problem and he does not want this funding. "The Wall Street Journal" has reported that, and I think the challenge here is, President Trump looked into everyone's eyes and said Mexico would pay for this wall, and now Congressman Issa and others want me and the taxpayers to pay for this wall, and I think that is why Democrats and a lot of Republicans not just Democrats.


ISSA: What about the border patrol agents who sit there at the border?


AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: ... for a long, long time. And there is a time where we need to put it to rest.

I think the biggest issue this week is whether President Trump is willing to shutdown the government over it. And I think a lot of Republicans aren't taking that threat seriously. Lot of people view the president's threats as essentially your mom saying "Clean your room. Or I'm coming up there."


BASH: Well, I want -- I want to read you --

CARPENTER: You kind of (INAUDIBLE) on yourself -- act like you're doing something and go back to what you're doing.

I would like to see this issue resolved. I would like to see the border fence built, but if Mexico is not going to pay for it...



CARPENTER: ... I strongly encourage the president to find a way to pay for it and make this easier to settle.

BASH: Before you jump in, Bakari, I want to get to you -- I have to read this money quote from the "New Yorker" magazine rather -- that Ryan Lizza got from a Trump White House official.

"Next week is going to have quite high drama. The great irony here is that the call for the government shutdown will come on -- guess what? -- the one hundredth day mark" -- hundred days. "If you pitch this in the studio, they would say, Get out of here, it's too r ridiculous. This is going to be a big one."

SELLERS: Well, unfortunately everything is drama in this new White House that we have but what we are starting to see is this drama is filled with failure after failure after failure after failure.

And all you have to do is go to the president's own website where he puts up his 100-day checklist, the Affordable Care Act, labeling China as a -- as a currency manipulator and the list goes on and on and on -- of things that he has not been able to accomplish.

Listen, this wall is not going to be paid for by Mexico, let me tell you that, my friend, Amanda, but also this wall is not going to be the cause of what shuts down the government this week. I don't see Republican members of Congress standing by and saying that we are going to let government shutdown over this wall. I just don't see it.

BASH: Do you agree?

SELLERS: I think that --

TANDEN: I mean, I think the question is for Congressman Issa, would you shutdown the government over the wall?

ISSA: Since you're --


TANDEN: ... going to say. You're pretty good at this.

BASH: Actually, Congressman Issa, I have a question -- I have a question. Would you shutdown the government over the --


ISSA: I voted to fund the government time and time again.

BASH: Yes.

ISSA: And I voted to fund it when there have been shutdowns because the Senate doesn't pick up a bill, ignores it. So I've been through that situation.

BASH: But what about now?

ISSA: So, I expect the House will pass a funding bill. I want people to understand...

BASH: And you'll vote for it?

ISSA: ... 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 border patrol agents -- how many men and women do we have to put on the border, risking their lives at a cost of billions of dollars per a thousand border patrol agents before people realize that border fences and other things that help them do their job are a tradeoff between more border patrol agents, more ICE agents, and a secure border?

SELLERS: People aren't...

ISSA: The reality is --


SELLERS: ... just jumping over fences left and right. Net migration between the United States and Mexico is zero --


ISSA: I wish you had been at the border. I wish you had been at the border -- I wish you had been at the border when I saw it happen two days ago.


BASH: OK, one at a time, guys. One at a time. One at a time.

SELLERS: The majority of people in this country here illegally overstay visas, so we keep actually --


BASH: I want to bring something else into the conversation. Hold, hold, I want to bring something else which is a new poll from ABC -- "Washington Post" and it shows that you guys are probably not going to want to hear this, but look at this. Trump supporters are still so with him, those who voted for Trump say that they still feel that they did the right thing. So given that, Bakari and Neera, the president is still holding on to his base. I know it's hard to govern with your base but at least he's still got that.

SELLERS: Listen, Donald Trump got elected with the minority share of the population, we know that, the people who came out to vote he had the fewest number of voters.

With that being said he's going to have a core 35 percent of the electorate. He's going to have that core 35.

TANDEN: Yes. Exactly.

SELLERS: It's not going anywhere and these people -- it's only been a hundred days. They haven't felt the pain of his failure yet but it is coming.

BASH: Amanda, what does that tell you?


CARPENTER: I don't know what alternative you guys really offering to Trump saying, oh, illegal immigration isn't a problem, there's nobody crossing the border. You don't have to worry about terrorism. I feel like the Democrats have their heads in the sand so much.

SELLERS: No one said that. Democrats are --


SELLERS: No, no, no, no, no, that's not true.


The alternatives are -- the alternatives are -- the alternatives are --


TANDEN: Two-thirds of independents oppose Trump. It's just 100 days, two-thirds have opposed him and this is his high water mark.

I think the challenge here is that his agenda is not popular. You know, the wall is not actually popular with the public. What you tried to do in the Affordable Care Act is basically -- and making it worse now with exempting preexisting conditions that's going to make it less popular.

BASH: Congressman, you're -- you're a Republican --

ISSA: I really love it, you know, on the same day two ads showed up in my district.

BASH: I was going to say you're in a tough seat.

ISSA: One (INAUDIBLE) for the vote that didn't happen and one that was claiming it was terrible the vote that didn't happen.

TANDEN (ph): What do you think about --


ISSA: So please, enough with the vote that didn't happen.

BASH: What is that -- what is that -- in all seriousness how do you feel as a Republican congressman?

ISSA: We try to create choice, availability and affordability in health care. OK?

As we try to do it, let people look at bills when they're available. I'm happy to look at it. I've been working on trying to make sure that my community clinics continue to get the funding to help them deliver efficient, low-cost health care to the needy and so on.

But back to the fence. I live in a community that is one -- San Diego is one of the safest communities, big cities in America. It has had that fence for years. The fence works.

I am not going to tell the border patrol that we're going to get more bodies on the border but we're not going to give them the tools.

BASH: Can I just ask -- can I just ask you about -- because -- I hear you on the fence but just about the broader political question, since President Trump you know -- the question is whether he is a liability or whether he is somebody who is positive --

ISSA: But this isn't a popularity contest. You know that.


TANDEN: Actually, Election Day (INAUDIBLE).

BASH: Hang on, hang on, hang on. This is about politics and you are from a district where you had to fight the last time to keep your seat. You were successful, so midterms --

ISSA: I got outspent but I did OK.

BASH: Well -- you know, we'll talk about that at another time but would you want President Trump to come to your district and campaign for you?

ISSA: I was with Secretary Kelly.

BASH: But the president?

ISSA: I was with Secretary Kelly, who is one of his greater appointments.

CARPENTER (ph): I think that's the answer.

ISSA: And I was happy to have him. He was in Oceanside this morning. The policies of this president I want to have in my district because I believe in them. Justice Gorsuch, I'm happy he's on the bench.

I think the people in my district who did vote for me have some doubts at times about certain aspects of the president's behavior, but I'll tell you something, they don't have any question that he's appointed good people to serve and they're trying to do their job. So when I look at my district, which is a high-tech, high skilled district, that wants to see successes, I'm going to be more interested in making sure that if I'm going to have an argument with the president, it's going to be making sure that we continue better free trade with more trade, and other issues.

SELLERS: He hasn't even done that.

ISSA: But when it comes to basic security --


ISSA: But when it comes to basic security at the border this is a promise he made --


SELLERS: Trade has --


SELLERS: The Affordable Care Act --


SELLERS: He said he's going to do it in the first 100 days. And just to comment briefly in what Amanda said...

BASH: Real quick.

SELLERS: ... if you want to work with Democrats we can talk about child care and maternity care. We can talk about infrastructure. We can talk about tax reform. We can talk about these things that Democrats want to work on but we're not going to go down this path of continued failures.

BASH: I'm sorry. We'll get -- we'll get you next time. Appreciate it. I'm so glad that we gave you coffee in the green room this morning. It was a great discussion.


BASH: Vice President Pence used to have a rare and red bat phone in his office, the only person who had it was, guess who? What we're going to tell you next. Stay with us.


[09:53:10] BASH: This week Ivanka Trump announced that she's skipping her book tour to avoid ethics complaints as a White House employee, but Trumps aren't the only family members with political clout in Washington.


BASH (voice-over): In this administration politics is all in the family. And it's not just the Trump clan along for the ride.

KAREN PENCE, SECOND LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: We've just kind of made it a family affair.

BASH: The vice president brought his wife and two daughters on his 10-day trip to Asia and Australia. Mike Pence says his wife, Karen, isn't just the second lady she's his closest confidant and ally.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just can't imagine being in this process without her at my side.

She who holds up my arms like no other, Karen Pence.

BASH: Since he started in Indiana politics Karen Pence has had a direct line to her husband.

BASH (on camera): Now I know he had effectively what was a bat phone, a phone that only you could call back when you were, I guess, in the state house and then in Congress.

MIKE PENCE: That's right.

KAREN PENCE: Well, this is before Blackberries.


KAREN PENCE: So the switchboard went off.


BASH: ... symbolic gesture of the fact that you (ph) always communicate. Is it in the West Wing office?


KAREN PENCE: It's not. It's not.


MIKE PENCE: Well, we wanted to get a -- we wanted to get a phone line that she could always reach me.



BASH (voice-over): Social media lit up after a recent "Washington Post" profile unearthed a 2002 story quoting then Congressman Pence, saying he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife.

A source close to Pence insists he was trying to say he would not put himself in an awkward position when not with his wife.

BASH (on camera): You seem to be inseparable and have a really frankly rare bond.

MIKE PENCE: From the first time we were dating I told her that some day in the future I hope to be in public office. And she said, I'm ready to go.

BASH (voice-over): As second lady Mrs. Pence will continue champion what she did when her husband was governor of Indiana, shining a light on art therapy as a way to help sick children.


In Japan she returned to a hospital she had visited before.

KAREN PENCE: She said, you know, last time I didn't know who you were. I didn't really know why you were coming to my place. And she said that this time I know who you are and thank you for bringing attention to art therapy.

MIKE PENCE: Now the prayer in chief in our family is my wife Karen.

BASH: A big part of the Pences' bond is their faith.

KAREN PENCE: Heavenly father, we thank you for your son.

BASH: Those close to the Pences say while she treads carefully when it comes to policy her intense faith is a strong influence on her husband.

MIKE PENCE: She has got a strength that I think really comes out of lots of life experiences but it also comes out of her faith.

BASH: When Trump first met with Pence about becoming his running mate the New Yorker was taken aback when Pence asked for a moment of prayer according to a source familiar with the encounter.

TRUMP: I will tell you one thing. He has one hell of a good marriage going.

BASH: Now they know each other much better. Well, the president also knows his wife is a key part of the Pence package.


BASH: Thank you so much for watching.