It must really kill the Orange Blob that Don Lemon did such a thorough job of dismantling Trump's latest tower of lies last night. After all, Lemon doesn't suck up to Trump.
Lemon told viewers CNN's sources told them the White House counsel's office is making a case for the Orange Cheeto to declare a national emergency to build his wall. "The White House would like you to believe this is all about stopping dangerous criminals and terrorists from sneaking across our southern border," he said.
TRUMP: This group has apprehended last year 17,000 criminals trying to get across the border. 17,000. and that's one category. there are plenty of others.
"So here's the problem with that statistic, okay? Customs and border protection says in the 11 months through August of 2018, they encountered 16,831 people convicted of crimes, okay? But I want you to listen to me clearly here. According to the Washington Post, 63% of them showed up at ports of entry, including airports, okay? The majority of them showed up at ports of entry including airports. and a wall wouldn't do much about that unless you were planning on building walls around all of our airports. Then there is this from the Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
NIELSEN: CBP has stopped over 3,000 what we call 'special interest aliens' trying to come into the country on the southern border. Those are aliens who the intel community has identified are of concern. They either have travel patterns that are identified as terrorist travel patterns, or they have known or suspected ties to terrorism.
"That sounds pretty scary, huh? But wait. Former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who is also the former chief of staff, White House chief of staff, defined special interest as, quote, from parts of the world where terror nations that are hostile to the United States. A Homeland Security official in the Obama administration told Congress in 2016 that, quote, many citizens of these countries migrate for economic reasons or because they are feeling persecution in their home countries. And I want you to listen to this exchange between Sarah Sanders and Fox News' Chris Wallace. you have to watch this. Chris Wallace, who refused to let the White House press secretary off the hook."
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SANDERS: We know that roughly nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally, and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border.
WALLACE: Wait. Because I know this ticket. I didn't know you were going to use it but I studied up on this. Do you know where those 4,000 people are captured? Airports.
SANDERS: Not always, but --
WALLACE: Airports. The State Department has said there hasn't been any terrorists they found coming across the southern border.
SANDERS: It's by land, by air, and by sea. It's all of the above. One thing you're forgetting is the most vulnerable point of entry that we have into this country is our southern border, and we have to protect it.
WALLACE: But they're not coming across the southern border, sarah. they're coming and they're being stopped at airports.
Lemon pointed out that NBC reported that only six non-U.S. citizens on the terror watch lists were encountered on the southern border from October 2017 to March 2018.
"So here's the real whopper. Remember when the president said this about the wall?"
TRUMP: This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me, and they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it.
Lemon said not one president told him that.
"And there's more. President Trump has even claimed falsely that Ronald Reagan tried for eight years to build a wall or a fence. oh, yeah? Okay. I want you to listen to what Reagan actually said. This is from a 1980 presidential debate."
REAGAN: Rather than making them or talking about putting up a fence, why don't we work out some recognition of our mutual problems and make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit and then while they're working and earning here, they pay taxes here.
The Republican gold standard as president. The platinum standard, Ronald Reagan. Republican. And in spite of all that, this president is insisting on manufacturing a national emergency, one that has shut down the government for who knows how long and left 800,000 federal employees without pay.
TRUMP: I can relate, and I'm sure that the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustment. They always do. and they'll make adjustment. People understand exactly what's going on. But many of those people that won't be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100% with what I'm doing.
"So what do you tell the repo man or the bank, the mortgage lender? Can you make some adjustments for me? Adjustments. Tell that to federal workers who have to pay rent, who have bills coming due, who may live paycheck to paycheck. The Washington Post is reporting almost 100,000 of those workers make less than $50,000 a year. They may have to do a lot more than just make adjustments. and workers who are not getting paid are not the only ones who will feel the pain. If this shutdown continues into February, some 38 million people who depend on food stamps to feed their families could face severe cuts.
"And as hundreds of TSA screeners are calling in sick at airports all across the country, the Airline Pilots Association, which represents 61,000 pilots, is urging the president to end the shutdown, saying it's adversely affecting the security, and efficiency of our national airspace system. Sources telling CNN the TSA held a call today to try to figure out how to ensure officers show up to work. And yet here we are, just days away from day 18 -- just hours, I should say, away from day 18 of the shutdown."
Just a reminder: These TSA workers probably aren't refusing to show up to work to protest. They're out hustling whatever work they can to keep some money, any money, coming into their house.