A San Diego television station on Thursday said that CNN had asked for a “local view” and then “declined to hear from us” after past reports from the station showed that a border wall was effective.
A CNN spokesperson pushed back on KUSI’s claim on Friday, calling it a “non story” since the network ultimately didn’t book any reporters from stations in the San Diego area.
“We called several local stations to book someone for a show. We didn’t end up booking any of them,” says a CNN spokesperson in a statement to The Hill. “That happens many times every single day. We did, however, book a reporter from KUSI for a story on immigration and the border wall on CNN in November. This is a non story.”
Immigration, the partial government shutdown and President TrumpDonald John TrumpGovernment workers protest outside White House on shutdown day 20 Fed chief Powell: Prolonged shutdown will harm US economy Senators say questions remain on Trump strategy in Syria after briefing MORE‘s proposed border wall have all been topics dominating the cable news landscape since the shutdown began three weeks ago.
“Thursday morning, CNN called the KUSI Newsroom asking if one of our reporters could give them a local view of the debate surrounding the border wall and government shutdown,” a report by KUSI, an independent station in San Diego that began airing in 1982, begins.
“KUSI offered our own Dan Plante, who has reported dozens of times on the border, including one story from 2016 that was retweeted by former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, and posted on DrudgeReport.com,” it continues while linking to a border fence tour report.
“We believe CNN declined a report from KUSI because we informed them that most Border Patrol Agents we have spoken to told us the barrier does in fact work,” it concludes. “We have continuously been told by Border Patrol Agents that the barrier along the Southern border helps prevent illegal entries, drugs, and weapons from entering the United States, and the numbers prove it.”
Thursday morning, @CNN called the KUSI Newsroom asking if a reporter could give them a local view of the debate surrounding the border wall and government shutdown. After we informed them about our past reports, they declined to hear from us.
— KUSI News (@KUSINews) January 11, 2019
The partial government shutdown over funding for the wall reached its 21st day on Friday. Trump has demanded $5.7 billion for the wall, while Democrats have offered $1.3 billion for border security measures.
Trump is said to be strongly considering a national emergency declaration as it appears a funding bill getting through Congress with his demands is unlikely. Some legal scholars and Democrats have argued the president does not have the authority to make such a declaration for that reason.