CNN's Don Lemon opened his show by reminding his viewers about who is responsible for the government shutdown, who isn't getting paid, and the cynicism of Trump trying to pin it on others.
December 28, 2018

Don Lemon's opening monologues have been fiery lately. It is almost like he's just had enough of the lies and has no more fcks to give. Since he did such a great job on this opener, I'm just going to put the rough transcript below and invite you to watch. His cool ending is...priceless.

Also, he's not getting his wall, and he's pinning every Senator up for re-election in 2020 to this stunt of his, where he will now force them to take yet another vote like the one they took before, so he can veto it and they'll be faced with overriding the veto. Way to go, Team Player Trump.


LEMON: So President Trump and his top aides at it again today. Saying things that are simply false. We should just call them for what they are. They're lies. As if saying them makes them true. It doesn't.

But what is true, what is real for so many American families is that hundreds of thousands of federal employees are taking the brunt of the partial shutdown of the government, nearing its seventh day now. Going without paychecks this holiday season. These are the facts. Okay?

About the Trump shutdown, as Nancy Pelosi calls it. 380,000 federal workers have been furloughed, and there is no guarantee they'll be paid retroactively when the shutdown is over. There's no guarantee of that. In addition, 420,000 employees are deemed essential and are working without pay. That includes 41,000 federal law enforcement and correctional officers. And tens of thousands of customs and border protection agents and customs officers.

President Trump's ignoring those facts. And today he tweeted this really outrageous remark. "Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?" The crassness of that statement is just stunning. And as usual, the president offers zero evidence to support it. No evidence. But congressman Gerry Connolly, a Virginia Democrat who represents thousands of federal workers, responded this way:

"What an outrageous thing for a President of the United States to say. I have no earthly idea whether a federal employee is a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent. And what is the relevance of that to a shutdown to an individual federal public servant not getting paid?"

And it looks like those federal workers will be without paychecks for quite a while. Both the House and the Senate reconvened for just moments today, and then they adjourned until next week. So that means no progress, nothing is getting done.

But the White House lies, well, they just get better. Because the Press Secretary Sarah Sanders releasing a statement today claiming President Trump and his team stayed in Washington over Christmas to negotiate a deal and that the Democrats decided to go home.

So let's see what's wrong with that statement. Okay? Purely political. Obviously not true. The president stayed at the White House because of the optics of going to his luxurious Mar-a-Lago estate. Well, that stinks. While hundreds of thousands of employees are not being paid. Top aide Jared Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, they're not in Washington this week. They're in Florida. Along with their Secret Service detail, by the way, which is not being paid right now.

And the idea that Republican leaders stayed on Capitol Hill to head off a shutdown, that's laughable. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan couldn't get out of town fast enough after Trump scuttled the deal to keep the government funded temporarily.

And note to this White House: Capitol Hill is empty. Negotiations said to be frozen. President Trump, meanwhile, blasting Democrats as obstructionists for not giving him $5 billion for his border wall. Nancy Pelosi in a statement tonight reminding him that there are proposals on the table to reopen the government and they include money for border security, which is different than a border wall, which she calls immoral and expensive. But remember, it was the president who said this about a shutdown.

SCHUMER: You want to put that -- you said it.

TRUMP: I'll take it.

SCHUMER: Okay, good.

TRUMP: You know what I'll say? Yes. If we don't get what we want, one way or the other, whether it's through you, through a military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government.

SCHUMER: Okay. Fair enough. We disagree. We disagree.

TRUMP: And I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it.


LEMON: You can count on that, Mr. President. But let's go back to 2013. Okay? This is what Donald Trump said to Fox News ahead of a government shutdown when Barack Obama was still president.


TRUMP: Well, if you say who gets fired, it always has to be the top. I mean, problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top. And the president's the leader. And he's got to get everybody in a room. And he's got to lead.

LEMON: It starts from the top. If anyone should get fired, the president. Hmm. Donald Trump suggesting that President Barack Obama should have been fired for a government shutdown. Priceless.

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