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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  December 25, 2018 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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this is staying connected with xfinity to make moving... simple. easy. awesome. stay connected while you move with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. merry christmas, everyone. i'm dana bash in today for brooke baldwin. families are coming together for holidays. the same cannot be said here in washington for two political parties still deadlocked on funding the government. so today is day four of a partial government shutdown and president trump is not giving an inch. he spoke to reporters just before he sent seasons greetings to u.s. troops. listen. >> i can't tell you when the government's going to be open. i can tell you it's not going to
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be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they'd like to call it. i'll call it whatever they want. but it's all the same thing. it's a barrier from people pouring into our company -- into our country from drugs. >> just a cnn fact check on a border wall stopping drugs coming into the u.s., both the dea and homeland security officials say drugs mostly enter through legal points of entry. it's doubtful a border wall would have a major impact on drug flow. right now 800,000 federal employees won't get their next paycheck if it doesn't end soon. >> the people of this country want border security. it's not a question of me. i'd rather not be doing shutdowns. i've been at the white house and i love the white house but i wasn't able to be with my family. i thought it would be wrong for me to be with my family.
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my family's in florida, palm beach, and i just didn't want to go down and be there when other people are hurting. but it's going to all work out. but many of those workers have said to me and communicated stay out until you get the funding for the wall. these federal workers want the wall. the only one that doesn't want the wall are the democrats. >> cnn abby phillip is at the white house. abby, merry christmas to you. do you have any sense of which federal workers he was talking about who tell him they support the wall and keeping the government closed in order to get money for it? >> reporter: hey, dana. it's not clear what president trump is talking about here, and i don't think federal works are who work for him and his administration's political appointees count when it comes to the question of whether the government should remain closed until he gets his border wall.
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it's just one of several dubious claims that the president made in that ten-minute question and answer that veered in all different kinds of territory. he claimed that immigrants were coming over the border in san diego and trampling over people's front lawns by the thousand thousands. but he's also trying to have it both way claiming that he needs the money for border wall funding but he also said he approved a contract yesterday to build 115 miles of wall. it's one of those things that we don't know what he's talking about and the white house hasn't responded to our request for comment about how the president could have single handedly doled out a federal contract to build a wall on the border. but, dana, we are in the fourth day of this government shutdown. the president is here in the white house. he seems a little unhappy about
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it. yesterday he said he was here all alone, poor me. he said that in a tweet. now today he says that he wasn't able to be with his family in florida but at the same time he's making it clear that he's not backing down from his demands for a wall. he is shifting a little bit on his definition of what exactly a wall is. he said maybe it's a fence, maybe it's those steel slats but at the end of the day we don't know what the number is. today we didn't get any more clarity on that front at all. we got more grievance, complaints from president trump just like yesterday and the day before that. dana? >> pretty extraordinary. how many times are we going to say that in these trump years? it's extraordinary on christmas day a president doing more than thanking and calling the troops, which is kind of the standard fare. abby, thank you very much for that. let's go to political
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commentator tara setmeyer. first of all, tell me what you think about this strategy policy-wise of pushing the envelope, shutting the government down partially in order to get money for a wall. >> well, you're assuming there as a strategy. unlike shutdowns in the past, there actually has been strategy into what they were going to accept, how long they were going to do it, how long it was going to go. i don't see that this time around. it seems to be impulsive. we know that the president has made this a priority since his campaign, but he had an opportunity to negotiate with democrats last year for $20 balance in funding, $20 billion, not five, in exchange for daca. that was a good deal and he should have taken it.
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but unfortunately you had the far right wing immigration hawks tank that deal because they called daca amnesty and then everything fell apart. the president was ready to make that deal. so since then, democrats now have less incentive to make a deal because the p.r. battle is being lost. the president himself said that e he would be responsible for a shutdown. that took that political chip off the table for republicans. so democrats at this point have no incentive to make a deal any quicker than when nancy pelosi becomes speaker. our federal workers and border patrol workers who are working without pay because they are not one of the agencies already funded, homeland security, 88% of essential personnel of homeland security has to work today with no pay. they are all caught up in this
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political brinkmanship and the president throwing a temper tantrum because he wants a deal now and he had a chance for a better deal and he didn't take it. >> he laid the line early despite saying in his campaign and saying for me feels for the so-called dreamers, the kids brought to this country with their parents who were undocumented. you're right, he did leave $20 billion for the wall on the table and some other immigration policy changes that he really wanted. so if he didn't change then, do you think there's any chance that the reality of a democratic house and other political realities coming ahead could change that? >> well, i think that he eventually is going to face the reality of the bad p.r. that this is. that's the only thing that moves this president. he doesn't care about hurting
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families, he doesn't care about federal workers, who in a "washington post" story federal workers said they couldn't buy christmas presents, a federal workers who lost his wife and say he couldn't buy a headstone. i don't know what federal workers he's talking about? his millionaire counselors like kellyanne conway? i don't know what the hell federal workers he's talking about that are cheering him on with. the every day people not getting paychecks are going to feel that. the senate republicans are not happy about the shutdown either. kansas senator pat roberts, he's not thrilled with this. as the holidays go by and people start to pay attention, i see the president not sticking to this too much longer because he's not going to be able to explain why why people are paying this price. >> but, tara, the people he has
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cared about over the past two years, his base, he's right that, you know, they expect him to keep the campaign promise and that the messaging he's giving to them, what he's telegraphing with his multiple tweets, with his unusual press conference on christmas day is i'm fighting for you. so what -- do you really think that he considers this a p.r. problem when that is his focus, his base? >> well, he may not yet but when the pressure starts to -- the longer this goes on, the worse it becomes for him. because the american people need to understand, well, why are you doing this exactly? we already get 4.8 billion for border security. you see he's already change the language he's used. now it's whatever you want to call it, fencing, a sort of a fence, a wall. they're going to find a way, democrats will give a little more money, trump will come off
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the 5 billion and he find a way to use language so it seems like he's gotten a win here. you have people out here sending money to some fraud guy to build a wall. his base is obviously not tethered in reality about the way things work. the president was willing to wall about a 115 mile border wall contract to make it seem like he's doing something. most people don't understand the government procurement process and i don't blame them, it's difficult. but the president doesn't dole out contracts. it's not how things work. i think we're going to start to see him say more erratic things that are not true, that are provably false to make it look like he's doing something to his base. >> i want to you quickly listen to some of the senators who are leaving, either who were defeated or retiring and as they give their farewell address talk about the state of washington. >> a traditional farewell speech in the united states senate is
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full of accomplishments and thanks. i'm going to skip half of that. >> what in the world has happened to civility and to humility in our nation's public discourse? >> how low can you go? the answer it seems is always going lower. >> we have too many embarrassing uncles in the united states senate. >> i remember the days and it was not that long ago where i would sit in the senate chamber and listen to the farewell speeches and they were about accomplishments and legislation achieve through compromise. that's kind of depressing but it is reality. >> it is. but you know what is even more embarrassing? the fact that republicans has sat back and allowed the
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republicans to behave this way without conscience. watching this president's unhinged, self-centered, narcissistic behavior the last couple of days is boggling to me. putting our military in the middle of this, using them as political pawns. and for senators as they're leaving, i've never agreed with democrats so much in my life on the idea on decency. i may not agree on policy but just the basic decency and the lack there of it but they're right. the republicans allowed this because they were afraid of backlash. i'm not going to give a cookie to the republican senators who have spoken up as they're leaving on their way out the door. it's going to be the ones there now, moving forward. what they are going to do, watching this president's behavior, what he's been doing for the last couple of weeks, between mattis and syria, are they going to step up and say
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this kind of behavior is not acceptable? that's really where it lies is with them. i just want to say merry christmas to all of those federal workers throughout who are working without pay who still hold the line with us, despite this president's temper tantrums. thank you and merry christmas to everybody. >> thank you, tara. i know you have a very important meal waiting for you that your mother is cooking. send pictures. >> i will. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, dana. >> and we have this breaking news, an 8-year-old boy in the custody of u.s. border protection died. officials say the boy was a guatemalan national. a border patrol agent noticed the child was ill and sent him and his father to a hospital. he was diagnosed with a common cold and fever. he was released. hours later his symptoms became more severe, he started vomiting
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and went back to the hospital where he died shortly after midnight. an exact cause of death is under investigation. this is the second child in a month who has died while in u.s. custody. a 7-year-old guatemalan girl became ill and died after being apprehended by border agents. her funeral is planned in the next hour in guatemala. >> and still ahead, has the u.s. national security decisions stopped working? we'll discuss that. plus trump takes on the fed again. this as fears heighten over the state of the economy. the president says there's nothing to worry about. is he right? >> and it is christmas and pope francis and queen elizabeth deliver messages of union
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general mat is showtis show today after delivering a final christmas message to the troops. >> since washington crossed the delawa delaware at christmas at 1776, americans have missed holidays at home. to all you lads and lassies holding the line on land, at sea and air, thanks for keeping the
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faith. may god keep you save. >> two sources tell cnn in the weeks before national security security adviser john bolton ordered senior officials to meet directly with coalition partners and wanted to assure them the u.s. is staying in syria until iran is out of syria. well, trump spoke with the turkish president erdogan basically saying america is leaving it to the turks. turkey in exchange has promised not to target the kurds, who have been a key u.s. al lie ly syria. joining me, david sanger and kim dosier. wow, am i lucky to have both of you experts on christmas day, appreciate you both. kim, let me start with you on this situation in syria and in particular this promise from the turks that they're going to take care of the kurds.
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give us the context of why that matters and why that is a potential dubious claim. >> well, the problem is by saying they're going to take care of the kurds, they mean they're going to target some of those kurdish forces who have been working alongside u.s. and other co dialition forces to do most of the fighting and the dying. turkish president erdogan had gotten more and more concern that john bolton and others were transferring the mission into an infinity mission and so that is why he had agitated against kurdish forces, asked for this pivotal phone call with pr president trump in which he made the offer, 99% of the kurdish
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are defeated, we'll take care of the rest. and unfortunately that was done in a way that left other allies feeling very betrayed. >> and part of the reason, just part, we are told that the defense secretary is leaving is because he, among others, had made a promise to the kurds that he would not abandon them in their fight there against isis. >> absolutely. and, look, the u.s. has had a history according to the kurds of enlisting their aid and then leaving them high and dry. kurdish officials i've spoken to said they've just gone and done it again. and high-ranking turkish officials are saying they're going to move their forces inside that bordertown and clear u.s. kurdish-allies out in a violent and deadly way and that is exactly what jim mattis had
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promised wouldn't happen to them. >> i want to turn to north korea, david sanger, because i don't know anybody in the western world who knows more about that than you. let's start with the tweet that the president sent, one of ten, i believe, that he sent yesterday where he was talking about north korea and he said briefing my team, working on north korea, progress being made, looking forward to my next summit with chairman kim. david, progress being made? >> pretty remarkable that he takes the view that there's something to meet with chairman kim about. the most interesting thing that's been happening in the six months since the singapore summit is that not much has happened since the singapore summit. the north koreans are continuing to manufacture nuclear weapons by the assessment of u.s. intelligence, continuing to expand their missile bases.
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they have not conducted missile tests but i think what's really remarkable about this, dana, is that the president himself right now can't get past the administration's own statement that you have to go get the north koreans to dismantle their equipment first and the north koreans coming by and saying, no, no, by denuclearization we means whole peninsula and that means the americans pull back. this reveals an absence of process here by which the administration could have figured out this is the position the north koreans have long taken and how to go deal with it. >> we've seen this movie so many times. here is a u.s. president having the same hurdle that his predecessors both democratic and republican have had, which is the policy of the u.s. being
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dend denuclearized before it will talk and the president saying no. and a couple of hours after a federal judge in the u.s. gave a massive judgment to the family of otto warmbier, after details of how the north koreans abused and tortured him. no talk about that. >> no. i think his instinct of meeting with kim jong un even after otto's awful death and clearly murdered at the hands of the north koreans, i think the instinct was the right instinct, but what he's captured himself in this point is going from one extreme to the other. the extreme in the summer of
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2017 was if you don't do everything immediately, we'll go to war. and the extreme right now is to basically forgive the north koreans almost everything to show that his diplomacy is working. and so what he's lost is the happy medium and the north koreans recognize that he is unlikely to go to war with them and unlikely to really press the north koreans to fulfill the commitments that the president believes he set in singapore and to fulfill many human rights commitments, which is really what the warmbier tragedy is all about. the o oth the other thing the north koreans are watching is the syria decision. what have they learned from this? that the president does not want to have troops overseas, that he thinks the defend the united states is from within their own borders. i think the north koreans think
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if they keep watching, they might be able to convince him to withdraw troops from south korea. >> that's such an excellent point. how many times during the campaign did we hear the president question why do we have so many troops on the dmz? and we know people like secretary mattis have said to him with the map explaining, i know that was in woodward's book or i've lost track of the books now, this is why. so there definitely is a link there, not to mention the fact that the president over the christmas holiday has been tweeting about negotiating with and talking to players like u un and erdogan. >> and america's allies and frenemies understand this is what trump wants, he doesn't want troops overseas. that's why you have turkey
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pressing its advantage in syria and the taliban will be able to press in afghanistan hearing he wants to get out thereof and the same thing with north korea. the they're using that sort of momentum to soften the sanctions against them and put trump in a difficult situation to try to turn it back to hard ball in future. >> on those happy notes, thank you so much for joining me. merry christmas to both of you. appreciate it. >> happy holidays to you. >> and back to our breaking news for the second time in a month, we are learning a child has died in border patrol custody. this time an 8-year-old boy to fell ill. we'll discuss what happened next. my experience with usaa has been excellent. they really appreciate the military family
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more now on our breaking news. an 8-year-old boy has died while in custody of u.s. custom and border protection. the child was from guatemala. what do we know? >> they do not know the official cause of death right now, but they have given a timeline. the customs and border patrol said they made 2,000 mile trek. the border patrolled believed that little girl wasn't feeling well. so they were transferred to a medical center in mexico. they initially believed it was a common cold but noticed she had a fever. they gave her a prescription for
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anty b t -- andy butibioticanti. she was released and then began throwing up. she returned to the hospital where she died. and another child with her father game into new mexico, she wasn't felling well, she died. now they will be looking to see what this little boy, 8 years old, his official cause of death. >> absolutely tragic. no matter what the circumstances to lose an 8-year-old or any child at all. thank you so much for that report. we're going to stay on it as we get more information. >> and up next, president trump is still fed up with the fed
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blaming the fed chairman for tanking the stock market. the president said there's nothing to worry about. is he right? we're going to discuss that next.
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markets in the u.s. are closed today, but we saw both the dow and the s&p tanking yesterday, christmas eve. they both had the worst closing days ever on monday. still, many experts say these are not clear signs the economy is about to collapse. so what is driving the anxiety? well, this morning president trump expressed confidence in his treasury secretary steven mnuchin, but he took another shot at the fed. >> do you still have confidence in secretary steven mnuchin? >> yes, i do. very talented, very smart person. >> reporter: what about the fed chair? >> we'll see. they're raising interest rates too fast.
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the fact is that the economy is doing so well that they raised interest rates and that's as a form of safety. president obama didn't do enough much of that. much easier to run when you have a low interest rate. we have a normalized interest rate. it's good for a lot of people. they have money in the bank, they get interest on their money. >> let's get straight to cnn's richard quest, cnn's business editor at large. merry christmas to you. thank you for joining me. we talked about the dow suffering its biggest christmas eve evdrop ever. t should investors be worried? >> course that your worried. the s&p went to a bear market and the dow is down 18% from its recent highs.
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i'm sorry, dana, but it's quite simple. the economy is not about to collapse but the markets are heavily down and might go low person the analogy that's best to give you here. imagine you have a nice -- you have a fire, a garden fire, a camp fire, you've got the embers are just starting to go out. what the president and mr. mnuchin at the treasury did over the last couple of days was throw gasoline on those embers, just when the market was starting to calm down, he comes out with this extraordinary statement about liquidity in the market. dana, nobody had asked about liquidity in the market. >> no, they hadn't. >> nobody was worried about it until he said it wasn't a problem. >> that's right. and i think with the president you're referring to the fact that he keeps attacking his fed chair for raising interest rates. just real quick, the president, this is one of the many reasons
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why his advisers have said publicly and privately to him stop focusing so much on the stock market because unemployment numbers are good, other economic indicators are good. do you agree the economy is on a whole in good shape? >> everything i hear the economy is -- there's no banking crisis waiting to happen. you have a bull market that's lasted nine years, the longest on record and it's time to either take a breather or go in the opposite direction. but that is a normal, cyclical downturn in markets. it is nothing to suggest that anything like 2008 or '09. at one point on the president
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and the dow, live by the dow, die by the dow is the way the saying goes. it's fine to trumpet it up past election but what happens if this bear market goes 12 to 18 months and the economy slows to 1.5 or 1% o or thereabouts? it will feel slow and sluggish and the president could be facing a reelection campaign with some very sour economic times. it is not going to be a collapse. >> it is cyclical and the president realizes that. it's just not the greatest thing to be the guy in the oval when that happens. >> okay, i can't let you go without reminding everybody that you scored a very big interview, a very big interview a couple of years ago and it's worth bringing back because you got an interview with the man himself, santa claus. let's watch. >> tell me, santa, what is it like traveling in your sleigh? is it like first class wi?
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>> it's very comfortable. very comfortable. where do you think the designers of first-class got their ideas? >> are you looking forward to your trip around the world? >> yes, yes, it's a nice trip. >> you have all the big gets, richard quest. >> doesn't get bigger than that. you talk about the man in the white house. now this is the man in the real white house. >> richard, thank you so much. thank you. i'm glad we got to share that again and most importantly thank you for sharing your insights. there a lot of people who are opening presents but a little bit rattled about what was going on and what has been going on with the market and the economy. merry christmas, richard. >> seasonings greetings to you. >> thank you. up next, pope francis, queen elizabeth, they developed their
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on this christmas day, two world leaders are delivering strong messaging encouraging unity. queen elizabeth delivered her annual christmas message saying people should treat each other with respect, regardless of their differences. and at the vatican, pope francis pleaded for mutual understanding and peace. >> reporter: a message of love, acceptance and respect from two word leaders this christmas day. at the vatican, pope francis
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used his address to call on countries to set aside differences in syria for the sake of the nearly 6 million people forced to flee their homes after years of war. >> translator: may the international community work decisively for a political solution that can put aside divisions and partisan interests, so that the syrian people, especially all those who were forced to leave their own lands and seek refuge elsewhere can return to live in peace in their open country. >> standing at the balcony of st. petersburg basilica, he prayed for mutual fuunderstandi
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between yemen and syria. >> treating fellow human beings with respect is a step toward greater understanding. >> her message comes as the country remains divided on a brexit deal. >> and up next, they are the videos we just can't get enough of, service members surprising their families just in time for the holiday season. don't miss these heart warming reunions in just a moment. >> hi, i'm gilda radner. >> people want to know what made you funny.
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heart warming images that we just can't get enough of. service members surprising their families just in time for the holiday season. cnn's polo sandoval has more. >> reporter: a visit to santa claus. what would you like for christmas? >> for my dad to come home. >> reporter: turned into a special delivery for these two minnesota sisters. >> daddy! >> reporter: their father, a soldier stationed in kuwait surprised his daughters just in time for christmas. it's one of the multiple reunions caught on camera between military members and family this holiday season. >> there's your brother. >> surprised him at school with a big hug after five months
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apart. the soldier that marched down the hall to his other sister and brother. >> it made me feel warm inside. >> reporter: in this video, a little boy presented with a large christmas gift. >> what do you think it is? >> i don't know. i don't even have an idea yet. >> i think you're going to like it. >> reporter: inside the box, a loved one in military fatigues. >> the person who posted this wrote, a nephew got a unwrap the only christmas gift he asked for a few days early. >> reporter: a small army of family members kept this airman from even getting through the door in sacramento. >> what the heck! >> surprise! >> reporter: finally at a christmas choir concert led to a surprise. >> reporter: miss avery, you have a present under the tree. >> it led to her embracing her
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mother under the tree. >> it just makes this christmas extra special for surprising me. i just miss her so much. >> reporter: for now current marching orders include being home for the holidays. >> merry christmas, everybody. i'm dana bash in for brooke baldwin. families are coming together on this holiday. the same can't be said here in washington for two parties dead locked on funding the government. so today, christmas day, is day four of a partial government shutdown and president trump is not giving an inch. he spoke to reporters just before he sent seasons greetings to u.s. troops. >> i can't tell you when the government's going to be open. i can tell you it's not going to be open until they call it a wall, a fence, i'll call it
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whatever they want. it's a barrier from people calling into our our company -- into our country from drugs. >> a cnn fact check on the border wall stopping drugs into the u.s., both the dea and ho homeland security say that most drugs come through legal ports of entry. >> reporter: yesterday, 115 miles of wall in texas. it's going to be built, hopefully rapidly. i'm going there at the end of january for the start of construction. that's a big stretch. we're talking about 500 to 550 miles. it's a 2,000 mile border but much of it has mountains and region where you can't get across. so we're looking at between 500 and 550. so we gave up 115 yesterday.
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and we gave it out at