Late night talk show host and so-called “America’s conscience” Jimmy Kimmel announced on his show Monday night that he plans to hire one federal employee “every night until the shutdown is over.”
“Humpty Trumpty is very focused on his wall,” Kimmel said. “This is Day 17 of the government shutdown. Nearly 800,000 federal employees are working without pay and that is Donald Trump doing what Donald Trump does best. Not paying the people who work for him — that is where he shines.”
He mocked Trump’s suggestion that he would declare a national emergency to free up funds for his wall and bypass Congress altogether, saying, “Every day of this presidency is a national emergency.”
“It’s unfortunate that these people, these workers who have nothing to do with this ridiculous wall, aren’t getting paychecks, especially right after the holidays,” Kimmel went on. “So, I wanted to do our part to pitch in. So tonight, and every night until the shutdown is over, we’re going to put a federal employee to work here at the show.”
His first hire, John Kostelnik, a federal law enforcement officer and local union president at the prison in Victorville, Calif., came onto the stage to rounds of applause.
Kostelnik said he “absolutely” objects to being “used as a pawn” – in Kimmel’s words – by President Trump.
He was hired by Kimmel to play the tambourine in his late night show band.
“That’s called solving problems, folks,” said Kimmel.
As to how much Kostelnik is actually getting paid in this stunt of Kimmel's, those details were not shared.
The partial government shutdown entered its 18th day on Tuesday, the third longest shutdown in history.
President Trump has said that he is prepared for the shutdown to go for "as long as it takes."
The President is preparing to deliver his Address to the Nation tonight to make the case for funding he requested to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, which he has said is necessary to address what he deems a "humanitarian" and "national security crisis."