Sep
07
Trump admin under fire for diverting disaster relief funds to border


♪ ♪>>WE WOULD LIVE WITH RISK EVERY DAY, WE ASSESS RISK. WE ASSESS THAT 155 MILLION IS LOW RISK AND IT IS NOT AFFECTING OUR PREPAREDNESS WHATSOEVER FOR DORIAN.>>I’M REALLY DISAPPOINTED THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS PROPOSED TAKING MONEY FROM FEMA FOR WALLS OR CAGES OR MILITARIZATION OF THE BORDER.>>ANY POTENTIAL TRANSFERS WILL NOT IMPACT OUR ABILITY TO RESPOND TO THE STORM OR ANY OTHER STORMS IN THE MOST OF THE HURRICANE SEASON.>>Mike: SOME OF THE BACK-AND-FORTH AFTER THE ADMINISTRATION DECIDED TO TAKE SOME FEMA DISASTER RELIEF MONEY AND HELP SECURE THE BORDER WITH THAT. LET’S BRING IN OUR PANEL. JEFF MASON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT FOR WRITERS. MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, SENIOR EDITOR AT “THE FEDERALIST” AND SUSAN, CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT FOR THE “WASHINGTON EXAMINER.” SUSAN, LET’S START WITH YOU. BIG DEAL TO SHIFT THIS MONEY?>>IT’S REALLY A DROP IN THE BUCKET WHEN IT COMES TO DISASTER RELIEF FUNDING. THERE IS SEVERAL BILLION DOLLARS IN THE FUNDS OF THIS IS JUST A TINY AMOUNT. FEMA IS ALSO ALREADY ALLOCATED ITS SUPPLIES TO DISASTER RELIEF CENTERS FOR THE SEASON, SO ALL THAT IS ALREADY TAKEN CARE OF. THIS IS GOING TO — UNLESS, SAY THE HURRICANE CURVES IN THEM BECAUSE OF SOME KIND OF UNIMAGINABLE CATASTROPHE THAT IS SO FAR NOT FORECAST, THERE’S JUST REALLY NO WAY THAT THIS IS GOING TO IMPACT THEIR OPERATIONS RIGHT NOW.>>I THINK IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE FOCUS ON WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE STATE LEVEL. FREQUENTLY WHEN YOU HAVE DISASTERS OF THIS NATURE, WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE STATE LEVEL HAS MORE TO DO WITH THE SUCCESS OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE MAKING UP WITH THE STORM. TO THAT END, FLORIDA REALLY SHOULD BE COMMENDED — I KNOW THEY HAVE A LOT OF EXPERIENCE HANDLING THIS, BUT REPORTS COMING OUT OF THEIR SHOW SUCH A GREAT WORK ON COMMUNICATION, PREPARING, PLANNING, HOPEFULLY THAT WILL CONTINUE.>>Mike: IF BY CHANCE THOUGH RESPONSE IS SLOW, JEFF, THIS WOULD BE SOMETHING THEY WOULD POINT AT, THEIR CRITICS AT LEAST, ABOUT SHIFTING HIS MONEY, RIGHT? TO GO SHORT. SO MUCH OF WHAT HAPPENS IN WASHINGTON IS ABOUT OPTICS. THIS IS NOT A GREAT OPTIC, AND IT’S ONE THAT DEMOCRATS ARE SEIZING ON AND FOR SURE, IF THE RESPONSE ENDS UP NOT BEING AS GOOD AS THEY HAVE SAID IT COULD BE OR WOULD BE AND I IMAGINE THE DEMOCRATS WOULD FOCUS ON THAT MORE VARIED>>Mike: TOPIC NUMBER TWO, A MASS SHOOTING IN ODESSA, TEXAS, FOR THE WEEKEND. FULL DISCLOSURE, MY FIRST REPORTING JOB WAS IN MIDLAND ODESSA, TEXAS, SO MY HEARTS GO OUT TO THOSE GOOD FOLKS THERE. TAKE A LISTEN TO THIS.>>I’VE BEEN SPEAKING TO A LOT OF SENATORS, WE’VE BEEN SPEAKING TO A LOT OF HOUSE MEMBERS. A LOT OF REPUBLICANS, A LOT OF DEMOCRATS, PEOPLE WANT TO DO SOMETHING, SO WE ARE GOING TO SEE THIS REALLY HASN’T CHANGED ANYTHING, WE ARE DOING — WE WILL SEE HOW IT ALL COMES ABOUT.>>HAPPY TALK AND THIS PROMISE THAT WE ARE GOING TO DO SOMETHING, WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT IT, BUT THEY NEVER ACTUALLY DO IT.>>Mike: SUSAN, WHAT ARE YOU HEARING FROM YOUR SOURCES ON THE HILL IN TERMS OF DISCUSSIONS ABOUT SOME KIND OF LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE?>>THERE IS SOME ENTHUSIASM TO TRY TO PUT SOMETHING TOGETHER. YOU HEARD MITCH McCONNELL SAY EARLIER IN AUGUST THAT WE ARE GOING TO FOCUS ON SOME KIND OF BACKGROUND CHECK LEGISLATION, POTENTIALLY RED FLAG LAWS, SO ALL EYES REALLY WILL BE ON THE SENATE BECAUSE IF YOU CAN FIND A COMPROMISE THERE, BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE BIPARTISAN BECAUSE OF THE FILIBUSTER RULE, THAT MIGHT LEAD THE WAY IN TERMS OF WHAT CAN CONGRESS DO. IT’S GOING TO REQUIRE COOPERATION, NOT JUST FROM DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE, BUT IN THE HOUSE WHERE THEY TEND TO BE MORE PROGRESSIVE AND THEY MAY PUSH FOR FAR MORE LIBERAL GUN-CONTROL KIND OF MEASURES THAN THEY MIGHT WANT TO SEE IN THE SENATE. SO IT’S GOING TO BE A REAL UPHILL CLIMB, BUT I THINK THE ACTION WILL FIRST FOCUS ON THE SENATE.>>Mike: ARE THERE SOME COMMON SENSE THINGS THEY CAN DO? WHAT ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH ALSO? VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES, ANYTHING THAT BOTH SIDES CAN AGREE ON?>>THIS IS ONE OF THE PROBLEMS I THINK WITH THESE IMMEDIATE REACTIONS TO THESE HORRIBLE INSTANCES OF MURDER, HIS PEOPLE JUST TO DO SOMETHING AND THEY WANT TO DO SOMETHING EVEN IF IT WOULD DO NOTHING TO PREVENT SUCH TRAGEDIES. UNFORTUNATELY, EVEN AS YOU SEE OTHER ISSUES OF VIOLENCE ON THE DECLINE OR SERIAL MURDERS UNDER THE DECLINE, MASS SHOOTINGS ARE INCREASING AT THE VERY COMPLICATED THING AS TO WHY. EVERYTHING FROM YOU KNOW — EVIDENT FROM THE PRESENCE OF GUNS TO MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES TO EVEN HOW THE MEDIA COVERAGE AND I THINK THIS IS SOMETHING WITHOUT IN ANY WAY RESTRICTING FIRST AMENDMENT FREEDOMS AT ALL THE MEDIA NEED TO THINK ABOUT WHETHER THEIR HELP AND CREATE SOMETHING OF A SOCIAL CONTAGION WITH SOME OF THESE THINGS AND THINK ABOUT HOW TO COVER THEM.>>Mike: JEFF. ADMINISTER RUSSIAN OFFICIALS BELIEVE THEY’RE GOING TO GET SOMETHING DONE?>>WELL, THEY SAY THEY DO. AND THEY ARE WORKING ON SOMETHING. WHETHER OR NOT THAT SOMETHING ENDS UP BEING AS ADVANCED OR AS STRONG AS A LOT OF PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS ARE HOPING FOR IS AN OPEN QUESTION. I THINK THE OTHER OPEN QUESTION IS WHAT ARE THEY ACTUALLY DO ON BACKGROUND CHECKS. IF THE PRESIDENT HAS WAVERED A LITTLE BIT ON HOW STRONGLY HE WOULD LIKE TO SEE ADVANCED BROADER BACKGROUND CHECKS BROUGHT IN BURIED UNDER PRESSURE FROM THE NRA, BUT THERE ARE CERTAINLY PRESSURE FROM THE OTHER SIDE, THE DEMOCRATS AND PROGRESSIVES, TO DO MORE THERE.>>Mike: SO HAVE PREPARATIONS FOR A MASSIVE HURRICANE, TERRIBLE MASS SHOOTING IN TEXAS AND THEN YOU GOT NEW MEASURES GOING INTO PLACE YESTERDAY RELATED TO CHINA ON TRADE ISSUES. TAKE A LISTEN TO THIS AND I WILL GET YOU GUYS TO WEIGH IN.>>WE ARE TALKING TO CHINA, THE MEETING IS STILL ON, AS YOU KNO KNOW, IN SEPTEMBER. THAT HASN’T CHANGED, THEY HAVEN’T CHANGED AND WE HAVEN’T. WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENS BUT WE CAN’T ALLOW CHINA TO RIP US OFF ANYMORE AS A COUNTRY.>>Mike: SO WHILE THIS MAY NOT BE REPUBLICAN ORTHODOXY, THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES WHO SAY WE SHOULD NOT ALLOW CHINA TO BE RIPPING THE UNITED STATES OFF.>>TRUMP IS IN THIS RARE OCCURRENCE THERE WERE PEOPLE REALLY DO SUPPORT HIM ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE ON CHINA. HE’S GOT MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER VERY VOCALLY SUPPORTING HIM ON THIS ISSUE SAYING DON’T GIVE UP, DON’T RELENT, AND PART OF THE REASON IS THAT CHINA’S UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES HAVE LED TO 50 MILLION A YEAR IN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFT. I THINK THE TRADE DEFICIT WAS SOMEWHERE AROUND 400 BILLION, SO IT’S A HUGE PROBLEM AND IT’S GETTING WORSE EVERY YEAR, AND NOW THE PRESIDENT SAYS I’M GOING TO TACKLE IT AND I’M NOT GOING TO BACK DOWN. IT’S CAUSING A LOT OF STRAIN AND PROBLEMS HERE IN THE UNITED STATES BUT I THINK ECONOMIST AGREE THAT ULTIMATELY CHINA IS THE ONE WHO SUFFERS MOST FROM THIS TRADE WORK. SO THERE’S THE RUNNING THEORY THAT THEY ARE GOING TO BEND FIRST, BUT SO FAR THEY ARE NOT.>>Mike: I THINK A LOT OF REPUBLICANS ON THE BALLOT NEXT YEAR IN THE PRESIDENT’S ALLIES ARE WORRIED ABOUT AN ECONOMIC IMPACT. MOLLY, YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS?>>THEIR RIGHT TO BE WORRIED ABOUT ECONOMIC IMPACT. YOU CONDUCT TRADE WARS LIKE THIS WHEN YOU ARE IN A HEALTHY ECONOMIC SITUATION AND SO IT’S THE RIGHT TIME TO DO IT, BUT IT DOES COME AT A PRETTY SERIOUS COST AND CHINA WANTS TO, IT SEEMS LIKE, WAIT OUT THIS PRESIDENCY. I THINK PEOPLE NEED TO START THINKING THROUGH THOUGH, JUST HOW DIFFERENT THE SITUATION IS FROM OTHER SITUATIONS WE PACK. WHEN WE WERE IN A COLD WAR WITH THE SOVIET UNION, WE DIDN’T SEE HIGH LEVELS OF TRADE THERE. THERE WAS A GENERAL UNDERSTANDING THAT WORKING WITH THE COMMUNIST DID NOT MEAN THAT WE WOULD TRADE WITH THEM. AS CHINA, WHICH IS A COMMUNIST COUNTRY CONTROLLED BY THE COMMUNIST PARTY, THEY RUN THE MILITARY, THEY RUN THEIR ECONOMY, THEY MIGHT SEE THAT THE U.S. AND OTHER COUNTRIES AREN’T AS INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH THEM, THAT INDIA, FOR WHATEVER ELSE IT’S FAULTS ARE, IS A FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY THAT CAN HANDLE FACTORIES AND YOU MIGHT SEE SOME KIND OF TRANSITION HERE. MIGHT BE A COMPLETE REORDERING OF THINGS AND THE SEPARATION OF THESE ECONOMIES.>>Mike: JEFF, BRIEFLY DO YOU THINK — THE SOURCE OF THINK IT WILL GET A DEAL?>>I DON’T THINK THERE’S GOING TO BE A DEAL ANYTIME SOON FOR MY SOURCES. THE BIG QUESTION ON THE SHORT TERM WHEN WILL THEY HOLD TALKS AGAIN? BOTH SIDES OF SAID THEY WANT TO