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tv   Washington Week  PBS  January 12, 2019 1:30am-2:01am PST

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robert: president trump holds off on declaring a national emergency at the border -- for now. i'm robert costa. welcome to "washingt week." president trump launches an all-out offensive to build a border wall, callinged undocu immigrants a security and humanitarian crisis. president trump: they need a wall. if you don't have it, it's going to be nothing but hard work and grueling problems and by the way, and death. a lotf o death. robert: he is prepared to use executive authority, starting a legal debate even on the right. president trump: the legal solutions for me to call a national emergency. i could do that very quickly. i have the absolute right tdo it. but i'm not going to do it so fast because this is something congress should do. robert: democrats dig in and urge republicans to re-open the government. >> why are you rejecting it at
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the expense of the health, safety and wellbeing of the american people? you take an oath to the rconstitution on oath to donald trump? robert: we cover it all next. announcer: this is "washington week." funding is provided by -- ist i was able to turn thed aircraft aro and the mission around and able to save two men's lives that>> night. my first job helped me to grow up pretty happens when you're asked to respond to a coup. >> in 2001, i signed up for the air force. two days later, 9/11 happened. >> babb el, a language program
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that teaes language in a new way. babbel's 10 to 15-minute lessons are available as an app or online. announcer: if youfunding is proa koo and patruen, through the yuen foundation. the corporacon for pub broadcasting and by contributions to your pbsistration viewers like you. thank you. once again, from washington, moderator robert costa. the 21-day government shutdown, a standoff over president trump's demand for a border wall ecome the longest in u.s. history at midnight friday and thiseek some of the 800,000 furloughed workers held protests ling forhe country, c the government to be reopened. the president, meanwhile, visited the border t his pitch, undocumented migrants
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have created a crisis and he's ready to declare a national emergency. joining me tonight, philip rucker, white house bureau cef for "the washington post." nancy cordis for cbs news. yache alcindor of "pbs newshour" and mark landler, white house correspondent for the "new york times." phil, you're fresh back from a trip with president trump to the border. you were the pool reporter. you've been talking to white house sources all week.e thas expectation of a national emergency declaration yet the presint held off on friday. what's going on? phil: it's interesting, eems like the president can't decide whether to make the aration which is a hail mary move. it's a risky move. it wld help empower him with executive authority to build the wallgr without csional approval but it would ignite a fire storm politically on capitol hill and certain court challenges in federal courts.
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all w weeksaw officials try to make the case for an emergency situation and say that the situation at the border is of crisis proportions and american lives are at stake, lay aat predfor the foundation but the president said he's not ready to do it yet. robert: nancy, of course democrats, but republicans on depitol hill, are they warning the pre against they go sort of action? that executive power in this w is not something conservatives can support? nancy: some are saying that. really republicans from across the spectrum, some moderates, some deeply conservative, who say if you do this, if you declare a national emergency, you're opening the door for future presidents to declare emergencies that republicans might not want. president is a democrat and they declare that gun violence is a national emergency or climate change is a national emergency. they say that's not why this whole system was created, and
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you just can't conenol what ha down the road. on the other hand, you've got other republica l,e lindsey graham, saying, you know what, it's a last resort and we're att the resort because it doesn't look like there's any other way out of thi standof than for the president to save face by declaring a national e and some others are encouraging the president to do it. robert: your point is history really matters. the national emergency act of 1976 is what set the parameters for how a lot ohis goes. if you look back, mark, you think aboutresident truman in 1952, nationalizing the steel factories during the korean war, that created a big court battle. if the president did pursue this, what would the challenges be in theourts? uld it go all the way to the supreme court like it did with tuman? manu: i think the assumption it would. president trump believes it woul he said he would expect a negative ruling in the famous ninth circuit, his bogey man in
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the courts, that he would be challenged in the lower court d probably held up and then it would work its way through the process sd lead to thist of epic showdown at the stroke but he feels confident that he's now named some justices to that cour that might be inclined to look broadly at executiveiv ege and prerogatives in brett kavanaugh and neil gorsuch so perhaps he figures it's ari he's willing to take because he feels relatively good about the supreme court he would fa. that said, it's an unpredictable process but fundamentally think from the president's point of view is do you want to the have a long legal battle that will allow you to reopen the government and in essence remove this crisis from theveay-to-day li of 800,000 federal workers and into the slightly more rarefied precinct of the courts. that might be a good option not only for the president, it would take some of the lawmakers off
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the hook, as well. robert: let's think about what t would happen i president declared a national emergency. according to the "post," thes administration eyeing unused money in the army corps of engineers budget, particularly a disaster budget that was not spent for civil works project. yamiche, you've been tracking the fallout fromurricanes and the situation on the ground in texas and puerto rico. what would the outcry be if funds ford disaster relief wo be used for the border wall? yamiche: you have republican senators on the hill signaling to the president publicly that they would fight the president if he tried to do this. s,rco rubio tweeted today, if he tries to do te will try to overturn it. senator cornyn is also from texas and has been clear. we're talking about $ billion
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that was supposed to be used for natural disasters and hurricane funds. the president today said that usingrg a national ecy would be the easy way out. this is someone who made his brand dn being al maker so he wants to be able to say let's make this deal. nancy pelosi, chuck schumer, give me what i want and i'll give you what b you want at the end of the day it doesn't look like democrats want to give the president a wall. they're under their own political pressure. democrats came in in the wave election and people want them to stand firm against president trump. >> john kirnan of texas -- cornyn of texas went with the president to the border but said don't take hurrica harvey funding, we need this to rebuild in texas. you've heardal from sev members of the texas republican delegation who say i am going to fight this.ey rgue that this is not just some sort of piggy bank you c dip into for your preferred
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project. this i money allocated for a specific purpose and that's just not the way it works, that you can say, i know this mon w set aside for the wildfires orrr anes or even other army corps of engineers proje but i'm using it for another purpose. robert: nancy had an exchange with president trump a the capitol this week about the crisis, the administration calling it a csis about the number of people trying to enter the country illegally. according to data, it's at a 20-yearow. >> if illegal immigration at the border has gone down, why iscr t isis now? president trump: you know why it's gone down? management.ood because of me and my people, because we've managed it why is it a crisis? president trump: we have more people coming up. you have caravans. robert: this was the pitch from the administration all week, that there is a crisis, humanitarian, security. that's what about? what's driving that message? the political base in theoe
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arpaio? g.o.p.? ncy: it seems clear they're trying to lay the groundwork for the president to declare a national emergency. in order to do that, that we -- he needs to say it's a well documented crisis at the border so the vice president came to capitol hill and spoke with reporters and said over and over again it's a security crisis, humanitarian crisis. however, as you pointed out, the numbers are way down. and obviously the wall is something that the president has been calling for for years. so whether it's a crisis now, whether it was a crisis a few years ago, obviously democrats dispute the notion that thingsge aring worse, not better. phil: the other thing president trump is doingng is u imagery and rhetoric to try to scare americans aut the situationad situationad -- situation at the border. he painted a harrowing portraith
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of dnd danger at the border, talking about people behead and killed and murdered and dismembered and raped by illegalat immigrants. the border he did a security briefing and before him were huge stacks o bricks of heroin and methamphetamine and stack full of cash and gds, sei at ports of entry and the takeaway from the image and his words was uld be scared, there's something wrong at the border even though the datho that illegal crossings have gone down. robert: and the democrats aren't budging. he keeps making the argument but mocrats aren't moving. is that because the president doesn't have an out here? yamichse i think it's bec the president doesn't have an out. it could also be that the president has worked himself up and really does believe there's a crisis. my reporting shows apprehensions are dowat the southern border and there are only six people apprehended in the first half of 2018 who were suspected
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terrorists. 41 on the northern bordern canada. od have a president saying there are terrorists fg in through the southern border and it was six people. we have a president continuously using the facts as he wantso use them and sometimes meddling with the facts and spreading misinformation. robert: the president has been trying to clarify his campaign pledge that mexico would pay for the wall. president trump:ehen, during ampaign, i would say mexico's going toro pay f it, obviously, i never said ahis never meant they're going to write out a check. i said they're going t pay for it. robert: mark, i have been following your reporting. you've been following the usmca, the new version of nasta, the trade deal. that hasn't even bn ratified by congress yet but the president is declaring it the way toay for the wall? manu: yeah and that has absolutely no relevance to the
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way he pitched this during the campaign and in the early days of his presidency. he said overnd over again, mexico will pay for it. so even if the usmca, the mexico trade deal, wered, ratift wouldn't be legitimate for him to say that whatever economic benefit derived from that trade deal would be used t build the wall. it's a specious argument. the other curious thing that happened thisk w was we learned, because he had an off-the-record session with network anchors that leaked out, that, in fact, the president himself has deep misboving the marketing of his campaign. he didn't really want to do the televised address. he said the trip to texas was ad photo-op andt understand the value of it and he was pushed into it by hismm ications staff. and to me, this suggests something else, which is tha some level i'm not sure the president believed he needed to
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market this. i think he saw it aet sng that was the president's privilege. and i tnk partly this reflects what has been for him this process of trying tod underst how to operate in divided government. i think he felt it was his prerogative to declare this. he'd been elected p tsident on ths platform so for him the last few days has been anes educational pr in realizing i have to sell this. nancy: and we're getting evidence the marketing isn't work because cbs news has a poll that found more americans believe there's no crisis, that there's a problem at the border but not necessarily a crisis and blame there apt to president so his advisers realize that if he's going to go this route, he needs sell it. clearly he's reluctant because the feedbmk fis base is that he's in the right but when you look at the bigger picture, he's not winning the war ofon public opi robert: if you're a republican
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based voter, phil, the president -- it's become the longest shutdown in u.s. history. he can say he went to the brink even if he doesn't declare national emergency. where does it go from here? does the president say i've done all i could, let's reopen the government and i'll fight for the wall or does he fight through the state of the union in late january, into february? phil: the president, according to reports, feels he h to keep fighting, that if he were to give upow, even though it's a shutdown the longest in history, as he's dug in his heels for the border wall funding, he would have failed. he had two years of republican control in congres andould not secure the wall. he ran for president as the deal makerakho would this happen and convince mexico to pay for the wall, who would build it and protect everybody.'s th why people are passionately behind him and he's not delivering. robert: phil had axchange with the president during his
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trip to texas. you asked the president about the possible deal that's been floated, protecting dreamers, undocumented migrant childre in exchange for funding for the wall let's watch that if we have it. president trump: we could do that. we want to the help the dreamers. i was to help the dreamers and then we got a decision that the folksresenting the dreamers very strongly, which is usou also, ifant to know the truth. they said we don't have to do it anymore so now it's before the supreme court we'll see what happens. robert: we'll see what happens. phil, jared kushner, the president's son-in-law, pushi the deal with senator graham on capitol hill yet the president kills it himself, vice president pence on thursday goes to the capitol, ends those discussions. wh phil: they're all over the map. the administration this week in terms of negotiating on immigration. t think that president trump would really likeave a more comprehensiv. he said that several times yesterday but he would love that to include the wall, it would have to include the wall, according to him.
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has aouble is, he different message than the vice president who has a different message than people in the administration and they're making inconsistent demands so lawmakers on capitol hill don't ow who to trust. robert: yamiche, federal workers throughout the this goingro h struggles of their own. the air traffic controllers union on friday issued a lawsuit about lost pay and having to work in these circumstances. that's happening inside the federal governmriday, this weekend, that's going to maybe prod this whole situation a forward negative or positive way? yamiche: people are feeling the stra of not having money. people are postponing, surgeri unable to move into apartments, being unable toell homes because they don't know whether or not they'll be able to get a paycheck. the other thing is, congress passed this bill that saidt some point federal workers will get back pay. p maple in d.c. and other areas are private contractors who won't get back pay and will
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be unable to make up this moneyi talked to some people who said calls to food banks are goingor up, federalrs are reaching out. local governments, especiay in lowden county, their local government is giving $25,000 to food pantries because they expect federal workers to have too 32 -- there for nutrition and this argumen is about a wall that people in border cities don't think is necessary. i interviewed the mayor in texas whodo said t think a wall will fix our issues. drugs are smuggled through legal ports of entries, in cars. he said a wall won't fix our problems here. nancy: we talsiabout a c and whether or not there is one at the border. there's no question that as this continues, there will be a crisis having to do with hundredsf thousands of federal workers who aren't being paid. s&p saidnd that by the of this
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week, the economy will have already lost more money than the president is seeking to build his wall and it jt compounds every single day this goes on and i think we're going to seeff morets as the days continue. robert: what aboutajority leader mitch mcconnell, mark? he's been awol. manu: in a witness protection program. yeah, no, he's takenie the this is between the president and the democrats and have foresworn the role he took in prior shutdowns t of being guy you cut the deal with and i think that's probably a stance he can't afford much longer, particularly if the emergencyio declar scenario is not on the table, so it takes everybody off the hook. if they ctinue to be dug in in this position, i think mitch mcconnell has to ste but the interesting question is, does he step forward and start to speak political reality to
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the president. he might be onof the few people in washington who could do that. cracks ine you seeing the g.o.p., phil, as this heads into its fourth week? phil: we saw them emerge the middle of this week. we heard are senator gardener of colorado, senator col from maine, republican senators who are in vulnerable positions coming intoon re-elec start to say reopen the government, let's get on with this. you sa possibilities of cracks among house republicans, as well. for the most part, this week, right, nancy, president trump and vice president pence kind of held it together. but it doesn't seem like that's going to las long and that dam could be breaking.y, robert: naou've been covering congressman of iowa who made casualnt com in a "new york times" interview about whiteupremacy and white nationalism and republican leaders in the house said we don't associate with congressman
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king but we see issues of race popping up as well as thesh down drags on. it's messy. nancy: he's someone in the past they've treat like a crazy uncle and when he said racially charge things, they said, oh, well that's steve. this time it was differentnd they called his comments offensive even thoughe he said was misinterpreted and now you've even got party luminaries saying they should support primary opponents of his so that he io't able remain in the congress in the next term. yamiche: i was talking to protestors when president trump landed in texas and one man i talked tos 71 and never protested before and he came because he said at the end of the day i see the wall as a racist political tool, as a president looking at people of color, brown people, saying these people are not allowed to be here and i don't want this to be the future of america. and negotiationsre so stalled because they cannot even agree
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on what the facts are. ie was at the wh house when vice president pence and the president and the democletic ers sat down. chuck schumer came out and said president trump got mad and slammed his hand on the table. vice predent pence said posed the question did the president slam his hands on the table and he said, no, he waslm handing out candy. completes a disconnect. robert: we're dealing with this complete disconnect but there are so many other issues in the world that are happening, as this government shutdown unfolds. big w story thisk in syria, the u.s. policy there, is the u.s. truly removing troops as president trump says or is national security adviser john bolton correct in saying there will be caveats for removal of troops. did we get anytime clarity, mark? manu: mark: it feels the
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theme is aro muddle alld. you had president trump before christmas appear ton order abrupt withdrawal of troops which rattled everybody, precipitated the resignation of his defense secretary, jim mattis. then you had john bolton go out to the region and present a very different message. ly will withdraw in an ord manner, there will be a time table, it will be gradual and oh, by the way we won't withdraw at all if the turks don't agree not to attack our allies, the kurds. he got a very bad reception in turkey from president erdogan who felt he had a different understanding with president he phone and now we're left with an unresolved picture where you had today the u.s. military issuing a fairly ano gne press release saying we'reng to withdraw. the military was beginning to e withdripment but i think
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the confusion around a simple announcement by the u.s. arm today gets at the broader confusion. we really don't know what the president wants. we don't know whether if the president has a c phonel with president erdogan this weekend, things could shift again.s therust no clarity at all on what is an issue thatly normould be consuming washington but this week is buried underhe shutdown. robert: phil, when you think about that issue of clarity, you have a new acting chief of staff in nick mulvaney. who around the president will be the person to try to bring order, if anyone, in 2019?il the big question is will anyone around the president try bring order? nick mulvaney stepped in to replace john kelly, but he's very much an accelerant for alump, encouraging his instincts and the polit fight on the shutdown. robert: we have to leave it there. this show goes too quickly i thank everyone for being here on a friday night.
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our conversation continues onn the "washingeek" podcast, discussing new developments in the russia probe. you can find it on our podcast app or watch it on the website. have a great weekend. thanks for joining us. announcer: corporate funding is provided by -- >> i was able to turn the aircraft around and the mission around and save two mens lives that night. >> my first job helped me to grow up quickly. that will happen when you'rend asked to res to a coup. >> in 2001, i signed up for the air force. two days later, 9/11 happened.
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>> babbe lake-effect, language program that teaches real life conversations in a new such as spanish, french, german, italian and more. babbel's 10 to 15-minute lessons are available as an app or cer: funding is provided by -- koo and patricia yuen through the yuen foundation, committed reto bridging cultural difes in our communities. the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning penaormed by the tional captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> you're watching pbs.
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narrator: althorp house. family home of the late diana, princess of wales. an english manor house where kings and queens are equent visitors. as once were the ancestors of us founding father and first president, george washington. george washington's family, before they left england,ne were connected with the washingtons were frequent visitors here. socially, they were great. friends of my fami narrator: for the first time, this most elegant of england's homes throws open its doors... allowing share the upstairs d the downstairs. secrets of althorp, the spencers.


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