Over the weekend CNN’s Victor Blackwell introduced a segment on the network aimed at discussing the just-ended government shutdown featuring two federal law enforcement officials who had been furloughed.
Blackwell introduced the segment on the shutdown and border wall funding by playing a clip of POTUS Donald Trump discussing the issue over the Christmas holiday.
On Friday, POTUS announced he would sign a 21-day stopgap funding bill to reopen shuttered government agencies to give Congress time to negotiate a longer-term measure that included money for new barriers.
“Many of those workers have said to me and communicated, ‘stay out until you get the funding for the wall,’” Trump said in December, according to ABC News. “These federal workers want the wall. The only one that doesn’t want the wall are the Democrats.”
Blackwell asked his guests, federal officers Charles and Jill Gilbert, if the president really did have their support; CNN noted that the couple both worked without pay during the partial shutdown, Conservative Tribune reported, adding:
Their response appears to have left Blackwell a bit stumped. As he continued to question them, and even tried to set them up to answer a certain way, they didn’t play along — which left Blackwell silenced at one point and struggling for words.
Charles Gilbert was clear: He wasn’t blaming the president for the shutdown and in fact voiced his support for the president’s desire to build the wall.
“If its going to defend our country and keep illegals out, keep people from hurting my children, (people) that don’t belong here, yes, I’m all for the wall,” he said, adding that he would continue to support an additional shutdown in three weeks if that’s what it comes to.
The couple blamed Congress for failing to approve funding for the wall. In addition, Jill Gilbert noted that in the couples’ work as federal prison officers, work has to go on regardless of what is happening in Washington.
“We don’t stop what we’re doing in a prison. Our daily operations continue to go regardless if we like someone or not,” she said. “We still have to have a working relationship with that person. If we don’t like them, we can tell ’em we don’t like them, but we’re still gonna walk out that front door with them, regardless of what happens in that prison.”
The couple also expressed their frustration at being used as pawns by Democrats, especially, who held federal workers up as sacrosanct during the shutdown while refusing to compromise with the president over wall funding, thus extending it.
Both also expressed hope that someday federal workers would somehow be exempt from such funding impasses.
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