WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn appeared on CNN’s “New Day” to respond to President Trump’s State of the Union address last night. Below are excerpts and a link to the full interview:


Click image to watch the full interview.


On Investigating Trump:

“What we will be doing though in the Congress is exercising our oversight, authority, and responsibility. We have a certain responsibility and those committees will do their work. They will be looking at the things they should look at, most of which have got nothing to do with him. Now when Mueller finishes and if called for, maybe there will be something for the House of Representatives and the Congress to do.”


“Benny Thompson with Homeland Security will do what he has to do. Benny and I started off the week down in Brownsville, Texas. We were there Monday at the port of entry. So, he is developing some work involving the takings that seem to be taking place down there. Families are very, very upset with losing their property. Many of them have already lost their property and never were paid for it.”

On a “Smart Wall”:

“I don’t think we ought to put ourselves in the place of experts. We ought to have a ‘smart wall.’ I defined that as a wall using drones, make it too high to get over, using x-ray equipment to make it too wide to get around, and using scanners to go deep enough not to be able to tunnel under it. Now that to me, that would be a smart thing to do. Now there are some walls that are already there, barriers already there that need to be repaired, reinforced. Sure, we ought to do that. If the experts say that under the circumstances that this particular port of entry, this needs to be reinforced with certain barriers, then I don’t see us turning our backs on that.”

On Conference Committee Negotiations:

“Everybody I’ve talked to seems very pleased with the progress that’s being made. They really think – that’s both sides of the aisle – that they can get there, to a reasonable conclusion, if we stay out of it.  Not just us in the Congress, but if the President stays out of it as well.”