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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 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...
You call her Nancy.
Good burn.
You're so good with nicknames.
I guess that's why they call you...
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."
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Trump's Shutdown Is Making America Less Safe: A Closer Look

29 Folder Collection
Jingjiang Li published on January 27, 2019
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