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  • -The President is still holding the government hostage

  • over its demands for a border wall

  • as federal employees prepare to go another week without pay.

  • For more on this, it's time for "A Closer Look."

  • ♪♪

  • We are now in day 34 of the government shutdown,

  • and the consequences are very real.

  • More than 800,000 federal workers are missing paychecks.

  • The basic everyday functions of the government

  • are grinding to a halt.

  • Even the eagle in the presidential seal

  • is currently unemployed.

  • There are also the crucial day-to-day functions

  • that no one thinks of, the things we all take for granted

  • that are essentially at a standstill

  • thanks to Trump's shutdown.

  • -800,000 federal workers

  • on the verge of missing another paycheck,

  • workers who, just like the rest of us,

  • they have to feed their families,

  • they have to pay their rent.

  • Airports especially hard-hit right now

  • with 10% of TSA screeners calling in sick

  • and air-traffic controllers

  • warning planes will just sit on the ground.

  • -Critical government services are also deteriorating.

  • Food safety inspections have been curtailed.

  • The FBI and federal agents are seeing their cases hampered,

  • according to an article in "The Washington Post."

  • There's been a slowdown in planning

  • for hurricanes and other disasters.

  • -Think about that. The Trump administration

  • will now be even less prepared for hurricanes

  • than they were during this briefing in the Oval Office.

  • -I've received a briefing from Secretary Nielsen,

  • Administrator Long, and my senior staff

  • regarding Hurricane Florence.

  • They haven't seen anything like what's coming at us

  • in 25, 30 years, maybe ever.

  • It's tremendously big and tremendously wet.

  • [ Laughter ]

  • -Well, I mean, at least...

  • at least he had two charts next to him.

  • I mean, could you imagine what those charts will say

  • if there's a hurricane during the shutdown?

  • "If I can direct your attention to 'big.'"

  • All of this is happening for one reason and only one reason --

  • Trump's demands that we pay billions for a border wall

  • that he repeatedly said Mexico would pay for.

  • And Trump's argument is simple -- walls work.

  • For example, in the places where they already exist,

  • Trump claims walls have had an immediate impact.

  • In talking to reporters this week,

  • he named one city in particular

  • where a border wall is making everyone safer.

  • -Everybody knows that walls work.

  • You look at different places, they put up a wall, no problem.

  • You look at San Antonio.

  • You look at so many different places.

  • They go from one of the most unsafe cities in the country

  • to one of the safest cities immediately.

  • -There you go. The proof is in San Antonio.

  • They have a border wall, and it works.

  • There's just one problem.

  • San Antonio is 150 miles away from the border.

  • Either...

  • Either he is confusing it with San Diego

  • or he's just putting walls in random cities now.

  • "Walls work, folks. Just take New York City.

  • We put one around the M&M's store,

  • and it's keeping out the Times Square Spider-Man."

  • Trump is the one who said

  • he'd be proud to shut down the government,

  • and yet after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Trump

  • yesterday that she would postpone the State of the Union

  • until the shutdown is over, Trump blamed her.

  • -We were planning on doing a really, very important speech

  • in front of the House and the Senate,

  • the Supreme Court, and everybody else that's there.

  • It's called the State of the Union.

  • It's in the Constitution.

  • We're supposed to be doing it,

  • and now Nancy Pelosi -- or Nancy, as I call her...

  • -Oh.

  • You call her Nancy.

  • Good burn.

  • You're so good with nicknames.

  • I guess that's why they call you...

  • Donald.

  • If Trump was your roommate,

  • he'd label his milk by writing "milk" on it.

  • If he was any less creative,

  • this would be the name of his building.

  • [ Laughter ]

  • Trump then went on to explain

  • that he thinks he knows why Pelosi canceled the speech.

  • -The State of the Union speech

  • has been canceled by Nancy Pelosi

  • because she doesn't want to hear the truth.

  • -Dude, you don't even know

  • the truth about where San Antonio is.

  • You're afraid of the truth and maps.

  • "We built the wall in San Antonio, folks. It's beautiful.

  • Unfortunately, we did have to build it on top of San Antonio's

  • most famous landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge."

  • [ Laughter ]

  • And not only is the shutdown

  • paralyzing basic services people depend on

  • and subjecting federal workers to needless suffering,

  • it's undercutting Trump's stated goal

  • of securing the border.

  • For example, the FBI says the shutdown

  • is hurting its ability to fight MS-13,

  • which is crazy because Trump is obsessed with gangs like MS-13

  • which he falsely claims are pouring into the country

  • over the Southern border.

  • Sometimes he even spins elaborate fantasies

  • about towns that are occupied by MS-13

  • and liberated by law enforcement.

  • -You know, it's like liberating.

  • Like, a war. Like there's a foreign invasion.

  • And they occupy your country,

  • and then you get them out through whatever.

  • And they call it liberation. You're liberated.

  • And these towns are being liberated,

  • and the people are clapping.

  • They get them, they take them out,

  • and the people are in their windows.

  • They're clapping and screaming, and they're happy.

  • -They're clapping and screaming, and they're happy?

  • Did he accidentally watch the end of "Return of the Jedi"

  • and think it was the news?

  • "And let me tell you.

  • The little bears, they're the happiest of all.

  • They're screaming and clapping and doing their little dance.

  • And one of them said something. It made a lot of sense to me.

  • 'Yub nub.'"

  • [ Laughter ]

  • [ Cheers and applause ]

  • Now, it's not surprising that Trump lied about the wall

  • or that he's detached from the reality

  • of what's actually happening on the border.

  • It seems like every week, we get a new insider account

  • about just how unfit he is for the job

  • and how chaotic the White House is as a result.

  • The latest account is a tell-all book called "Team of Vipers"

  • by former White House director of message strategy Cliff Sims.

  • Sims describes a president

  • who's uninterested in the basic duties of his job

  • like a meeting with former House Speaker Paul Ryan

  • about the GOP legislative agenda.

  • -In early 2017, the Speaker comes up to the White House

  • with Mike Pence, the vice president,

  • to explain how tax reform is going to work

  • in all of its wonderful, mechanistic detail.

  • This does not interest the President very much.

  • And after the conversation's gone on for a while,

  • he literally gets up

  • while Paul Ryan is in mid-description

  • and wanders out of the Oval Office

  • and down the hallway into a side room

  • where one can hear the television being switched on.

  • And eventually, Mike Pence gets up,

  • goes down the hall, brings the President back,

  • and they finish the conversation.

  • -Oh, my God.

  • We have a president who just wanders around the house

  • in slow motion no matter what's going on around him.

  • It's like we elected a Roomba.

  • [ Laughter ]

  • "Yeah, that's very interesting.

  • Yeah. No. That's really cool.

  • That's really cool."

  • [ Applause ]

  • [ Laughter ]

  • [ Cheers and applause ]

  • Trump was also easily distracted by random obsessions.

  • For example, he was preparing for a televised call

  • to the International Space Station.

  • He was getting ready for the call.

  • Trump suddenly appeared distracted, distant.

  • As the clock ticked down,

  • Trump suddenly turned toward the NASA administrator.

  • He asked, "What's our plan for Mars?"

  • The administrator explained to the President

  • that NASA plans to send a rover to Mars in 2020

  • and by the 2030s would attempt a manned space flight.

  • Trump bristled. He asked, "But is there any way

  • we could do it by the end of my first term?"

  • Why? Are you trying to escape somewhere

  • that's out of Robert Mueller's jurisdiction?

  • "Mr. President...

  • [ Cheers and applause ]

  • Mr. President, we have a warrant for your arrest."

  • "Oh, yeah? Well, you'll have to catch me first."

  • The story actually gets weirder, though.

  • Trump was still distracted with just minutes to go

  • before the live televised call with the space station.

  • As he walked with Sims from the dining room to the Oval Office,

  • he decided to stop in his white-marble bathroom

  • for one final check in the mirror.

  • He had 30 seconds before he was supposed to be on camera.

  • In the bathroom mirror, Trump smirked and said to himself,

  • "Space station, this is your president."

  • "Space station, this is your president."

  • Is he turning into a terrible David Bowie cover band?

  • Of course, none of this is surprising.

  • We could only guess what kind of politician Trump would be,

  • but we knew what kind of employer he would be -- a [bleep] one.

  • And he's not even the only [bleep] boss in the White House.

  • For example, today one of the billionaires in Trump's cabinet,

  • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross,

  • was asked about the 800,000 federal workers

  • going without pay during the shutdown

  • and said he couldn't understand why they don't just take out loans.

  • And, again, remember, this man is a billionaire.

  • -There are reports there are some federal workers

  • who are going to homeless shelters to get food.

  • -I know they are, and I don't really quite understand why

  • because, as I mentioned before, they --

  • the obligations that they would undertake,

  • say borrowing from a bank or a credit union,

  • are, in effect, federally guaranteed.

  • So the 30 days of pay that some people will be out,

  • there's no real reason

  • why they shouldn't be able to get a loan against it.

  • -Never take financial advice

  • from someone who appears next to a stock ticker.

  • He does not have your best interests at heart.

  • "Now if you'll excuse me, my riches!"

  • [ Laughter ]

  • The government is paralyzed by a petulant president

  • subjecting millions of people to needless suffering

  • for a wall that won't even work.

  • Polls have shown that public opinion is firmly against him

  • and firmly on the side of Nancy Pelosi, or...

  • -Nancy, as I call her. -This has been "A Closer Look."

-The President is still holding the government hostage

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Trump's Shutdown Is Making America Less Safe: A Closer Look

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    Jingjiang Li posted on 2019/01/27
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