tv Washington Journal Paul Brandus Discusses White House Renovations CSPAN August 14, 2017 9:08am-9:29am EDT
won honorable mention for their documentary on global warming. you to all the students twen 2017 art in the student cam documentary. 2018 starts in september for the theme of constitution and you. asking students to choose any provision of the u.s. a video ion and create illustrating why it is important. >> "washington journal" continues. host: each week in this segment washington, take a look at how your money is at work in program or federal project. this week we'll talk about an ongoing multi million dollar taking place at the white house. we're joined by paul brandos, he s founder and white house bureau chief of west wing report, also author of "under history of the
presidency and the white house. ive us an overview of what is being renovated right now and why it is needed. bigt: it is really a pretty project, john, probably about told llion we've been budgeted for this. but you know how the government more winds up costing than they originally say, but it s a pretty encompassing project. big parts of the west wing have een completely ripped up, all of the furniture moved out, carpeting and so forth. of might have seen a picture the oval office now. it has been stripped completely to the floors, just a 730 square om about feet, carpeting gone, all president trump selected gone and all of the west wing, as well, have been relocated to the isenhower executive office
building, the building right next door to the executive ansion itself and they're working there for this duration f the president's working vacation. he'll be in the white house little later today for a couple and then he's off to new york, the east wing is undergoing quite a bit of renovation, as well. it is everything from fixing leaks we've man been hearing about, but literal leaks, when it rains. are being ripped up. the heating and air conditioning frankly worn out, a long list of things that have to overdue and frankly are to be done. host: this is more than general upkeep. comparison to the last time a renovation of this magnitude took place at the white house? well, it's probably the biggest renovation the white itself since harry truman moved out for more than four 1948 and '52.
he had to move out because the on theouse literally was virge of collapse, that is not exaggeration. it was a rickety frame, the in the 1920s the thirdlidge added floor to the building. it was made of steel and the eight was so much it nearly caused the building to collapse in again, 1948. here is how bad was, the trumans gave their daughter margaret a piano, a leg piano actually crashed through the ceiling of the second floor. was just amazing. the trumans were told right of 1948, election you're going to have to leave, mr. president. the street, wn across the street to blair house his e spent the bulk of presidency living there, not in the white house, but blair were there for four
and a half years. this is really the biggest appears, since then, that was about 75 years ago. host: we have time for a couple viewers have it on the renovation project or the history of renovations at the house. paul brandos, a great person to ask for the history, somebody who knows it well. republicans, 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. independents, 202-748-8002. atinder of what is happening the white house. new air conditioning and heating million price tag total for the upgrades here. there is an upgrade going on of portico steps, new cable and wiring, new carpet and paint. picture you don't see very often, the oval office floor, carpet on the without anything on the walls, a nayson of om jeff euters of what that renovation
looks like. it was reported by gulf magazine the white house a dump, the president denied he used that term to describe the house, but how much was president trump involved in hese most recent renovations, is this something he requested, that he asked for? something this is that dates back to the obama things t shows how slow move in the federal government. he obama administration requested that upgrades be made. get the various appropriations through congress. well, have joked about, president trump is going to make in ll over and gold plated chrome and jokes aside, nothing like that is going to happen. going to retain the original charm, such as it is, west wing and everything, so this is not so much a trump to the t dates back
obama era. the west wing, by the way, is old as the white house itself. the west wing dates back to th century,e early 20 theodore roosevelt was in office.l the west wing itself, not as old as the mansion, which of course 1800. back to host: what is a new president get when they come in in terms redecorating budget? how much change can they make in and in theve mansion white house complex itself? reason, they within can do whatever, once they get a forain budget from congress redecorating. that is usually for the personal family, of the first which is on the second floor of the white house. of money whole lot given the amount of space that we're talking about, but
$100,000. what many first families do is themselves, others use private funds there is a famous story, of course, about all of money that nancy reagan spent, for example, she wanted and the story was that taxpayers footed the bill for that. not true, she raised that money rivately, that is to use a current term, that is fake news the taxpayer his to pay for that. also got a certain amount of money, we've not seen their personal quarters, but you can presume they put their own furniture in, own personal touch necessary and so forth, they are entitled to of he first family and course in the oval office, you ust ran that picture from reuters a couple minutes ago bare.g the oval office president obama's furniture, of ourse, was taken away on
inauguration day and president trump selected his own stuff to go in there. go back after the oval is finished. has a certain budget am he could do and do the working the eastern west wing. host: paul brandos, author of founder is roof," the and white house bureau chief for west wing reports. calls. ben sein poughkeepsie, new york, benny, question?our caller: yes, how you doing today? good morning, america. i hope the call screener, i heard it was 3.4 million to fix white house. how does this compare to the 2009 illion during the stimulus package that was spent on president roosevelt's house park, they ran fiber to the barn and did different projects around there. as -- complaining about the
money being spent, at least we have a current house, t living at that i'll take your response off the air. hoekd paul brandos, i don't know f you know about that renovation, i imagine that was something the park service had requested or done? these are separate budgetary comparison, homes and prez dishl libraries, such as high park obviously are quite different. they are in fact administered, john, by the national park service. i'm not familiar with the amount of money that was spent in 2009, to check that out, i'm reluctant to comment. and ly separate issue budgeatary item, that was a ecade ago, as the caller indicated. host: flemmington, new york. david, go ahead. caller: yes, thank you. my question is, what is the balance financially and in terms f time in the history of the
white house in terms of structural versus cosmetic improvements? thank you. guest: well, the white house and a awful lot of wear tear, imagine having thousands of people come into your home would get worn out rather quickly. he white house, when people say, when trump allegedly said dump, gulf magazine that quote. presidents have complained about the white house being in dingy condition, abraham lincoln had worries about the foundation. down after y torn the civil war for security reasons. they wanted to move the a block 's house to over. i mentioned the coolidge '20s and harry truman rebuilding between
1948-52, massive inside out project and then some things talking about now. once about every generation or things have to have a awful on the ear and tear mansion. hundreds of people work within the complex itself and the air conditioning system was really only installed ago, 27 years ago, i think because it is used heavily is, nd the clock, it really they say, as if it's been used years, that has has down. completely torn this facility gets a ton of round the clock use, a ton of visitors, of course the wear and tear is accelerated. the good folks on twitter a question. revisit the you to wonderful touches jackie kennedy put on the white house when she
lady.rst uest: jacqueline kennedy, in 1961, she was disappointed that the white house sort of in her of course she was rather petricianed individual, thought looked rather pedestrian, she was not roosevelt ith what and bess truman and maybe eisenhower had done. formed a committee to restore the white house, in her to original authen tisity, furnishings, carpeting artwork were scattered to the winds over the decades and to get all out to try as much of that back to the white house as she could. wound up forming what is historicalhite house association, which oversees projects and so forth. mrs. kennedy gets a ton of did, i'm what she
quick to remind folks that other others others -- she did just as to which fix sxup restore the white as well, and never really got the credit for it that she deserves. you see the flag flying over the white house 24/7, that she did.ing that pat nixon made the white house wheelchair accessible, little things you don't notice. done a lot, s have but the two that did the most are clearly jacqueline kennedy nixon.. host: few minutes left, laura in troy, michigan, line for democrats. go ahead. caller: good morning. renovations the being done, who selects the contractor? donald trump have his hand that and can you tell
take long this might before the president come necessary or will we be paying extra time at maralago? guest: president trump had the ng to do with contractor, this is done by the gsa, general services a bland sounding title for federal government handles these at kind of things, they handle, not and white house upkeep things like that, but federal buildings everywhere. ones that i think pick the contractor, i know like are folks who don't president trump or read into hat everybody wants, but i'm pretty sure he had nothing to do with the selection of the contractor for this and again, approval of this renovation job dates back to the obama era happens president trump
to be the president now, but had nothing to do with it. gorge, new york, 4r50e79 lee, republican, go ahead. this may seem paranoid, there are leaks coming out of wondering ouse, i'm whether anything anyone says has ware connected to it. they are tear thanksgiving down doshgs they sweep for bugs? silly, but who knows. guest: well, certainly question.ng i suppose what security measures hey may or may not have there, i don't think they would exactly share with us, so i'm not sure i answer to that. good question, though. host: any renovations taking in the press facilities there? can you describe the facilities colleagues your work in at the white house? guest: it's actually pretty new facility.
about a decade ago george w. ring the bush era, that's still in pretty good shape. getting a little worn out, but nothing is being room.o the press host: tom, vana, illinois, line go ahead.ndents, caller: yes, thank you for taking my call. curious, the white house oval office projects so much shut down, it being maybe your guest can speak to the past, how has meetings not place in that setting, history somewhat? it is a subjective thing, just curious what your gentleman here to say about that. i'll take the answer offline, thank you very much. ost: good question for us to end on. guest: i'm not sure i get dates - the oval office back to 1909, so the most have never n fact
had access to it. abraham lincoln met with his what is today called bedroom.oln on in his era it was his office. richard nixon rarely worked in office, he worked across the street in executive office building. used more by e is some presidents, less by others, of course, andy, what the gentleman was talking power and symbolism of the office, nothing like it in the world and when you step oval, it's smaller than it looks on t.v., about 700 or so, not the biggest room, but you are ju -- you near awe and awe-inspiring feeling to be in that room. i'm curious to see what it will e like when they are done with this project. host: for more stories on the this roof" is the
name of paul brandos book, presidency and the white house. your time, thanks for joining us via skype. you.t: thank host: up next, we're going to end our program back with the program we began the with, president trump's remarks on the charlottesville violence if you weekend, asking thought they were enough. start calling in, republicans, independents, lines for all three. call in now, we'll be right back. >> every month bookt t.v. features an in-depth nonfiction with a author about their writing career. eric s september 3, when matxis, his book, "if you can "amazing grace," and author and columnist are ne dowd, "bush world,
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