Gary Sinise on his new book 'Grateful American: A journey from Self to Service'

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 12, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


QUESTION: Sir, will you sign Congress' border deal?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: I have to study it. I'm not happy about it. It's not doing the trick.


NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, the president says that that whole border deal is not doing the trick for him, but he's also not saying it's a definite no from him.

Is that why stocks seemed to be saying yes? Because the buying orders were coming in left and right.

Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.

And maybe Wall Street sees something that those in Washington are all but acknowledging, that this could be a done bipartisan deal to avert another shutdown, which is better than no deal at all.

We're going to ask perhaps the top House conservative, Mark Meadows, in a moment.

His weighing in on this will be crucial.

First, Fox team coverage with John Roberts at the White House, where the president is mulling things over, and Mike Emanuel on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers on both sides are ready to sign off, even though neither is that thrilled.

We begin with John -- John.


Well, Wall Street is seeing something that President Trump hasn't even seen yet. And that is the exact details of what's being hammered out in Congress. The president does know some of the things that are being proposed, such as $1.375 billion for 55 miles of border fencing, wall, call it whatever you want.

We understand from Richard Shelby's office that it will allow the Border Patrol to pick whatever kind of barrier they want, which would include the new steel slats that the president has been talking about, though we have seen some other information that it would limit it to the bollard wall that's being deployed right now.

So we're trying to run that down. But, again, I just talked to White House officials a few minutes ago. The president has not seen anything concrete. He's only heard some proposals from Capitol Hill. And his first impression is not that great.

Listen here.


TRUMP: Am I happy at first glance? I just got to see it. The answer is, no, I'm not. I'm not happy.

But am I happy with where we're going? I'm thrilled, because we're supplementing things and moving things around. And we're doing things that are fantastic and taking from far less, really from far less important areas. And the bottom line is, we're building a lot of wall. Right now, we're building a lot of wall.


ROBERTS: The president says there, "We're building a lot of wall."

What they're actually doing is, they're renovating or replacing existing wall that really isn't up to standard. And here we have a game of semantics, where if you have an old house and you knock it down and you build a new house on the same property, have you built a new house, or is it still the existing house?

The fact is that they haven't built any new length of wall. And that's what this appropriation would do. There's also talk about the president plussing up the money by using transfer authority to move money around within the administration to maybe get a few hundred million dollars more for the wall.

Chuck Schumer says, well, the president can't do that. Only Congress can give him that authority. Listen here.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., MINORITY LEADER: As for moving around the money, he needs congressional permission to do it. It was done in the past by President Obama and President Trump, but they controlled -- the Republicans control the House and gave him the OK.

He doesn't have the authority to do it without House permission.


ROBERTS: Now, the president did say earlier today he does not believe that there is going to be another government shutdown. But I was also told by an official moments ago that the president will not make a decision on anything until he has seen the legislation.

And, Neil, as of now, he has not seen the legislation.

CAVUTO: Hmm. That's interesting, in and of itself. All right, John, thank you very, very much.

Now, of course, to the Capitol, where the pressure is building to get something done and to the president, so he can read it, and fast.

Mike Emanuel there with the latest.

Hey, Mike.


Yes, there's clearly some relief among many lawmakers that there is actually something to consider ahead of Friday night's deadline. Many noting it's a bipartisan compromise. It is certainly not perfect and they're highlighting the things they like about it.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this afternoon basically encouraged the president to sign it and says it's a start.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY., MAJORITY LEADER: First of all, I hope he signs the bill. And, second, I think he ought to feel free to use whatever tools he can legally use to enhance his effort to secure the border.

So, no, I would not be troubled by that.


EMANUEL: About a lot of other lawmakers are waiting to hear from President Trump. Will he take the deal? Does he like it? Is he willing to sign it before they say whether they are a yes or a no?

So that is something to watch. Of course, the president said with his Cabinet earlier that he is not happy. The Senate Democratic leader was asked about that.


SCHUMER: We don't know what he means by that, but the one thing we all feel for sure -- and this, I agree with Leader McConnell -- he ought to sign the bill, not cause a government shutdown.

Can he -- there are great limits on what he can do and cannot do. And we will have to see what he means.


EMANUEL: Many lawmakers are hearing from their respective sides what's in the bill. A lot of them want to read it for themselves and then they will decide whether they will support it ahead of Friday night's funding deadline -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, Mike, thank you very, very much.

A quick peek at the corner of Wall and Broad. Stocks were up sharply today, on the belief that they think a deal is just a matter of time here. They're dotting the I's, crossing the T's, but a lot of these guys are doing the same with buy orders, convinced that a government shutdown will be averted.

To Democratic strategist Suraj Patel. We have also got Kat Timpf and Campus Reform's Lawrence Jones.

You can see the whole thing has choked me up.


CAVUTO: So, Lawrence, what do you think about the prospects the president would ultimately sign this?

LAWRENCE JONES, CAMPUS REFORM: Party pressure may try to get him to do it.

But, again, I think the president ends up doing a state of emergency. Look...

CAVUTO: So he doesn't do this. He goes the emergency route.

JONES: Yes, he's probably going to do the state of emergency. But he wants to keep the government operating. He doesn't want the political blowback for this.

But what this bill is symbolic of is both parties aren't really willing to solve the problem. This is a total waste of time. This does not fix the border crisis. This does not get immigration reform.

What this does do is give both parties some type of political cover so they don't have to shut down the government, because they're not willing to roll up their sleeves and act like adults and get this done.

CAVUTO: You could make that argument, Suraj, but you could also say, if both sides are dissatisfied with the final product, that must be an OK sign.

SURAJ PATEL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, it's a rare moment of agreement right here. I think this is one of these political footballs that have been passed for decade after decade after decade.

But compromise is -- when both sides are unhappy about something, it probably means you have got to some level of compromise. In this case, look, I'm not satisfied with this increased funding. I'm not satisfied with no hard, hard caps on detention beds for ICE and more funding.

But, at the same time, I think nobody wants to shut down the government, again, very painful for the country, very bad for the president's politics and his poll numbers.

I don't think he's going to do it.

CAVUTO: Kat, you could say in the end that a lot of the big measures that people were looking forward to that Lawrence pointed out aren't addressed here. Maybe that's punted to another day, much like addressing entitlement spending and the rest, but, on that, here we go again.


I don't think that that's going to happen anytime soon. We absolutely do need comprehensive immigration reform, or else we're just going to have these little issue after little issue, but I think that he does need to sign the deal. So I disagree with you there, Lawrence.


CAVUTO: What be the danger you're hearing if he were to declare an emergency? I know even Mitch McConnell said that would be a bigger problem than forcing a shutdown.

TIMPF: Well, that's using a lot of executive power, right?

And if you're a conservative, you're generally not supposed to be in favor of using your power and being a very powerful executive like that. And what -- how would that affect future presidents? Would they be able to do similar sorts of things?

So I don't think that's the solution either. I think that we need to have a more comprehensive look at immigration and at border security, but I think that this is a start. And what's the other option? The other option would be shutting down the government.

And I agree that that would be politically awful.

CAVUTO: And we should think, before we get ahead of ourselves here, we thought we had a deal back in December last year, right? And the president was going to sign off on this.

JONES: He got political blowback.


CAVUTO: And he got political blowback from conservatives.

Now, we're going to talk to Mark Meadows, one of those leading conservatives, who I'm told is not a big fan of this package. But if he faces similar blowback, the Sean Hannitys and others come out and rail against this...

TIMPF: Ann Coulter.

CAVUTO: Right.

JONES: Not just that, his base.


JONES: It was the first time I ever saw the president actually in danger with his base.

Look, I'm a reasonable guy.

CAVUTO: Do you really think that he would be in danger with his base if he signs on to this?

JONES: Oh, most definitely would.

It's the first promise that he made, that he was going to secure the border.

TIMPF: I disagree.


CAVUTO: You don't think this at least can partially address people, that more money is there?


TIMPF: I disagree.


CAVUTO: His base can read the numbers in Washington, right?

JONES: Because what the president should do is what he said he would do. He would compromise on DACA, that he wanted some type of compromise when it comes to getting legal immigration to happen in this country.

But you have also got to secure the border as well. You cannot make the same mistake that Ronald Reagan made and decided, oh, I'm just going to do immigration reform, but I'm not going to secure the border.

CAVUTO: Suraj, what do you think?

PATEL: I actually think that, look, the president needs to realize and the activist group on the public side that's angry, Ann Coulter, whatever, there's an agenda.

Twitter is not life, that the vast majority...

TIMPF: What?


PATEL: I know, right?

The vast majority of people in this country, including his base, don't want a government shutdown, right? And that's what it is. You might have the loudest voices out there trying to sell books.


CAVUTO: The argument is, where else are they going to go, right?

PATEL: Right.

TIMPF: What else is the alternative, right? To the left, a lot of people are talking about just completely abolishing ICE.

The base -- the base might be upset. Ann Coulter's definitely going to fire off some tweets kind of making fun of Trump for being weak. And we can all see the writing on the wall as far as that goes.

But his base ultimately he is stronger on border security than anyone else in terms of what he actually believes.


CAVUTO: You think it will all come to pass?


CAVUTO: He might not be happy about it, but it will come to pass?


JONES: No, because it's nonsense.

CAVUTO: All right, don't gray the lines in the future, Lawrence. We want to know what you...



CAVUTO: By the way, a fellow who doesn't gray the lines is coming up with us right now. His support on this would be crucial to the president.

He speaks for many conservatives, Mark Meadows, the man who heads the Freedom Caucus, what he thinks about this and what he is recommending the president do about this -- after this.


CAVUTO: All right, we're told the Republican leadership is fine with this. But this is a guy you want to win over, because he can move a lot of votes.

I'm talking about the conservative icon and House Freedom Caucus chairman, North Carolina Republican Mark Meadows.

Congressman, very good to have you.

REP. MARK MEADOWS, R-N.C.: It's great to be back with you, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, so do you like this? Would you support this?

MEADOWS: No, I don't support it. And I don't like it.

I can tell you that only in Washington, D.C., can we start out with needing $25 billion for border security measures, and expect applause at 1.37. I mean, only in D.C. is that a winning deal.

I can tell you it is just not only a bad deal for the president. Ultimately, I expect him to sign it and keep the government open as a vehicle. But, if he does that, then certainly executive action should be his next course of action.

CAVUTO: All right, so if he goes ahead and signs this, as a lot of people seem to think he will, would you be disappointed in him? Or would you be expecting he would follow up with an emergency measure?

MEADOWS: Well, I expect him to follow up with some type of executive action, whether that's a national emergency or some of the other tools in his toolbox.

Would I be disappointed...

CAVUTO: Well, what other tools does he have in his toolbox? Just appropriating funds from other areas?

MEADOWS: Well...

CAVUTO: Chuck Schumer says, because he has a Democratic House to deal with, you got to run that by them first.

MEADOWS: Well, there's two different statutes that are out there, Neil, that do not require a national emergency declaration that are already in law. They give the president the flexibility to do that.

My Democrat colleagues will even acknowledge that. They may not like it. I may not like it. But the fact of the matter is, the president has the ability to do that.

Will I be disappointed in him? No. I'm disappointed in Congress. Once again, we have failed to do what we promised the American people we would do, is appropriate an amount of money to secure our southern border.

We have kicked the can down the road, Neil.

CAVUTO: Well, are you in the camp of a guest who was just with me just a second ago, Congressman, who argued he would lose his base, the president would lose his base signing onto this?

MEADOWS: Well, I...

CAVUTO: Is that a bit extreme?

MEADOWS: Yes, I don't think he would lose his base, as long as he follows it up and shows the American people that he's fighting for them to secure their communities.

If he's willing to do that with executive action, I think the vast majority of us, myself included, would certainly recognize that he's doing all he can do to fulfill his promise to the American people.

CAVUTO: All right, now, do you fear, though, that doing so could risk yet another government shutdown?

MEADOWS: Well, I mean, signing this bill doesn't risk another government shutdown.

I have been in favor of doing a continuing resolution that actually would keep the government open while we continue to negotiate, allow the president to do some type of executive action, primarily because him signing this bill actually acknowledges the poor behavior that we have had from appropriators that says, we're going to actually cut down the amount of money that the president was promised originally and declare that a victory.

I'm not in favor of that. I stand to actually meet with some of my appropriator colleagues. Hopefully, I can be convinced otherwise. But, today, it doesn't look promising.

CAVUTO: So, Congressman, how many of your colleagues in the Freedom Caucus -- I don't know what the numbers are these days -- feel the same way you do?

MEADOWS: Well, I think almost every member of the Freedom Caucus, but it goes well beyond the Freedom Caucus.

I think most conservative members are having real heartburn today. I can tell you, it's the Democrats that are walking around here on Capitol Hill with a smile on their face today, not Republicans.

CAVUTO: I don't know. I have talked to quite a few on both, including on FOX Business, which, by the way, Congressman, if you don't get, you should demand.

One of the things they were telling me is, we're not happy the way the leadership settled on this detention bed issue. We wanted it narrowed down to a little more than 16,000 beds. The -- ICE still gets to keep it north of 40,000. So they're not that pleased.

And maybe it's a good thing when a deal is finally meted it out that ticks off both sides. Maybe that is something that marks progress.

MEADOWS: Well, yes.

CAVUTO: What do you think?

MEADOWS: Yes, maybe so, Neil.

But let me just tell you, there's a whole lot of talk that's going on right now. After the bill is signed into law, I think you will see a very, very different style of rhetoric coming out. They may be complaining about ICE beds today, but, in the end, when we're talking about 55 miles of our border, the amount of money to secure that amount of mileage doesn't even secure the southern border of Mexico, let alone our southern border.



CAVUTO: Well, that was never in the offing anyway, right?


CAVUTO: The reason why I ask, Congressman, is, apparently, Senator Shelby's office says that the DHS appropriation would allow the Border Patrol to build a new steel slat wall that the president has been promoting, and that that would win over more people maybe than we know, maybe yourself included.

What do you think?

MEADOWS: Well -- well, we're waiting to see the language.

Obviously, it's restricted to one certain section of our southern border, 55 miles, from what I have been told currently. I hope I'm wrong.

At this -- but I can tell you that, based on the conversations with rank- and-file members, both on the conference and those that have had discussions with conferees, I'm not optimistic that we're going to be able to secure the border with this measure.

That's why it will require the president to take some type of executive action. And, hopefully, he will do that.

CAVUTO: All right, we will see very, very closely.

Mark Meadows, House Freedom Caucus chairman, a very influential player in this debate, thank you very much.

MEADOWS: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right.

New information regarding the sexual assault allegations against the lieutenant governor of Virginia -- more after this.


CAVUTO: New information out of allegations of sexual assault against Virginia's lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax.

Garrett Tenney has been on top of this fast-moving story, has more from Richmond.

Hey, Garrett.


It now appears that the allegations of the second accuser, Meredith Watson, have been known by other people for nearly 18 years. A friend of Ms. Watson, Stanton Jones, confirms to FOX News when he first told The New York Times, that, in the summer of 2001, Watson told him that she had been raped twice at Duke University, and that one of the men who raped her was Duke basketball star Corey Maggette.

Now, Watson names both Maggette and Justin Fairfax in a pair of Facebook messages from 2017 which her legal team has provided us pictures of. FOX News has not independently verified their authenticity. But in one message sent on Election Day in 2017, Watson wrote to an unnamed person: "I see you have been promoting Justin Fairfax on Facebook, despite knowing he raped me, which is mind-blowing to me. Are you seriously voting for him today? #MeToo."

Then in March of 2017, in the midst of Fairfax's campaign for lieutenant governor, Watson sent her friend an article about it and wrote: "This is absolutely disgusting. This dude raped me."

Her friend then asked if she reported it. And Watson replied: "You know I didn't report it, after how the university responded when I reported Corey Maggette."

And later: "Of course I want to say something. He shouldn't be running for office. I just don't know what I can do."

Now, Corey Maggette completely denied the allegations through a spokesman and a statement to The New York Times. And Duke University tells us that it is also now investigating Watson's claims that when she brought the initial rape allegations to an administrator, that they told her to push it aside and to not to pursue it further -- Neil.

CAVUTO: Garrett, thank you very, very much.

What does this mean now to the ongoing debate, should he stay, should he go, should he be impeached?

Judge Andrew Napolitano is here.

What do you think, Judge?

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, JUDICIAL ANALYST: I'm sorry to say that -- and I say I'm sorry because I don't know how he can effectively government. And the people of Virginia are entitled to somebody that can govern.

This is a significant position in the government of the state of Virginia. He presides over the state Senate. He cannot be impeached. He can only be impeached for behavior that takes place while he's in office. That is very clear and beyond dispute.

In fact, Democrats had drawn up articles of impeachment last weekend, until they consulted with legal counsel, who basically told them the same thing that you and I are talking about now.

CAVUTO: Even though this behavior, and by hiding it, I'm just saying, falsely got him into office?


I mean, he has no obligation to say, by the way, when I was a student at Duke, I did this.

CAVUTO: Right. Understood.

NAPOLITANO: Even if he had lied as a means to get into office. The Virginia constitution is clearer than the U.S. Constitution.

However, the allegation of the event in Boston in 2004, the statute of limitations is 15 years.


NAPOLITANO: It has six months to go. The allegation of the events that Garrett Tenney was just describing in North Carolina, where Duke is located, there is no statute of limitations.

What does this mean? This means that two prosecutors, one in Durham, North Carolina, and one in Boston, Massachusetts, could start investigations of this if they want.

The government doesn't like to prosecute cases that are this old. Memories fade. And there's like, why didn't you complain about this when you -- when it happened, although there's evidence?

CAVUTO: Can they wait until the official has stepped down in this case, or can the investigation go on, a trial go on with the sitting lieutenant governor?

NAPOLITANO: They would have to -- in the case of Boston, they would have to charge him. They would have to file the indictment before the 15th anniversary of the event, which is this July.

In the case of North Carolina, where there's no statute of limitations, they can file the charges at any time they want. But juries are skeptical when they are trying cases that are 15 and 20 years old.

CAVUTO: All right. So let's say they agree, whether they're skeptical or not. You're talking an ongoing trial in that scenario.


CAVUTO: With a sitting lieutenant governor.


CAVUTO: How is that handled? It's certainly rare. But it's not unprecedented.

NAPOLITANO: There is -- it is unprecedented in the modern times in Virginia about whether a conviction for an event that took place before he was in office could trigger an impeachment.

It's almost inconceivable that he could stay in office, because people would just decline to do anything with him, to talk to him or to interact with him.

Now, all of this fits into the interplay between the governor and his problems, that the lieutenant governor would succeed if he leaves, and the attorney general and his problems, who would become the lieutenant governor...


NAPOLITANO: ... if Lieutenant Governor Fairfax leaves.

This is a sex-infused and race-infused mess, the likes of which we have not seen in any state government in the modern era.

CAVUTO: And the irony would be that the two white political officers maintain their jobs and status, unaffected, presumably, while the African- American one goes down.


The allegations against him -- I mean, I don't want to quantify...

CAVUTO: They're much more serious.

NAPOLITANO: ... about -- of course they're more serious. They involve rapes.

CAVUTO: Right.

NAPOLITANO: Right. Right.

And this is why the state of North Carolina, because the victims of rapes are often reluctant to come forward until something triggers it, has gotten rid of statute of limitations. And Massachusetts has made its 15 years.

CAVUTO: All right. Thank you very, my friend, Judge Andrew Napolitano.

We get more on this, of course, we will let you know.

You know Gary Sinise is a great actor, Major Dan -- I could go on and on -- great musician, but when he had a chance to do a book reflecting back on his life, you would think it would be how wonderful is my life, how lucky I have been and all of that, but, warts and all, much like many of the characters he has played throughout his career, it is raw, it is real, it is him.

Gary is next.


CAVUTO: All right, Sarah Sanders has just put out a statement on this BBC assault that occurred at the president's speech last night.

"The president condemns all acts of violence against any individual or group of people, including members of the press. We ask anyone attending the event to do so in a peaceful and respectful manner."

More after this.



RON HOWARD, DIRECTOR: I just want to join everybody in saying, thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALES: Thank you, Gary Sinise.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are the real deal.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From one grateful American to another.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm grateful for you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're my hero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You change people's lives in ways that I'm sure you will never know.

JAY LENO, ENTERTAINER: Obviously, I have got to do a lot more to catch up with you, Gary, because you're the man.

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: Thanks, Lieutenant Dan.


CAVUTO: Don't you hate that? Because he doesn't feel the same way about himself and is probably embarrassed by all the attention and notoriety.

"Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service," it's just out now, Gary Sinise -- that's right, Lieutenant Dan -- is out. Tom Hanks among many of those celebrating this book, which is a real tear-jerker, I ought warn you.

And if you're looking at it to be this sort of self-important, kind of look how great I am and what I have done in my life, this ain't going to cut it for you, my friends.

Gary Sinise with us right now.

Good to see you.

GARY SINISE, ACTOR: Thanks. Thank you.

They just surprised me with that video about an hour ago. I had no idea.

CAVUTO: Is that right? I get that all the time.


SINISE: Oh, I'm sure. Every day, you get that.

CAVUTO: I have to tell Tom Hanks, I'm going on the air. Please, enough already.


CAVUTO: But that's high praise.

SINISE: I'm -- I was shocked. I just -- I had no idea that was coming.

And my office put it together. And I was just bawling after I saw it. It was very touching words.

CAVUTO: Well, it's well-deserved.

I mean, I was joking with you during the break about this book, not joking in a bad sense. But you avoided the Hollywood celebrity thing, this is my incredible life, I will share It with you.

In fact, you come in and talk about your own warts and your questionable high school days, when a drama teacher saw great promise in you, all the way through your marriage and the issues you have dealt with your wife battling alcoholism.

I mean, man, I wasn't prepared for that.

SINISE: Well, it's -- I started wanting to kind of capture some of the military and veteran support work that I have done over the past couple of decades, and the places that I have gone, and the people that I have met who have inspired me.

And then it expanded into a broader look at how I got to all that service work and the steps along the way that have kind of shaped who I am. And there were some very difficult moments. There's some hilarious moments, too, with people that I know over the years.

CAVUTO: I should stress it's a beautiful book. And you do show some of the problems you dealt with, but also some of the wonderful things that happened, how lucky you were, you are.

SINISE: Very much, yes.

CAVUTO: But I was joking with you. Was your wife OK? Obviously, you had to run by it her, honey, I want to talk about what we went through here. And she came out of it just fine. But others might have passed up on that.

SINISE: She's -- she's a very special person. She's been through a lot. She went through a lot. Her family went through a lot.


SINISE: And, at the time...

CAVUTO: Thirty-eight years you have been together, right?


CAVUTO: That's pretty impressive.

SINISE: We got married in '81. We got together in 1976. So we have been together a long time.

We have been through a lot of different things. We have wonderful kids. And at the time that my career was kind of taking off, and it was going into a new direction with "Forrest Gump" and some of them movies, at the same time that was happening, we were dealing with some very serious things at home.

And I wanted to express that in the book and kind of share that with people, because it is a hopeful ending. And there is hope when you're going through something like that.

CAVUTO: But you talk about these experiences when you visited thousands over the years and contributed millions over the years, the Sinise Foundation that has built up into a $35 million, $40 million juggernaut to help soldiers and wounded veterans.

But just what they're dealing, besides missing limbs, and tremendous pain, just feeling separated from life, I mean, what do you tell them and when you're with them and how you deal with them, or do you just listen?

SINISE: Well, they -- yes, they tell me. And I listen to them. And I just try to show up.

I have met extraordinary people. Some of them, some of our wounded and some of our first-responders, and some of these folks were on that video. And that is why it was so touching to me, not only the people in my industry who surprised me with these wonderful greetings, but some of the people that we have worked with building homes, and kind of the Gold Star families that I have tried to help and support.

I have learned so much from those folks. And I feel blessed to be an American and to be able to do something with the success that I have had in the movie business to try to do something positive for somebody.

CAVUTO: But it's nonstop for you.

I mean, now, I know military service is in your blood, your family's blood. I think your dad was a Navy photographer during the Korean War. You have uncles who served in World War II and all the way back to World War I with your grandfather.


CAVUTO: So there's a lot of service in the family. So I can see that.

But this is something that hits a chord with you even now, even still, unannounced visits to so many -- with so many soldier centers on the rest. What do they say when they see, when you pop in?


SINISE: When I first started doing it years -- years ago, prior to having "CSI: New York," the show that I was on that lasted for nine years, you're on every week.

CAVUTO: Well, there, you were an Iraq veteran, right, or something...

SINISE: Beirut veteran.

CAVUTO: Beirut, OK. I apologize.

SINISE: Actually of the Beirut bombing.

Prior to that, though, a lot of people just knew my face from "Forrest Gump" or "Apollo 13" or some of those other movies.

CAVUTO: Right. Yes, "Apollo 13."

SINISE: But they didn't know -- didn't really know what the name was.

CAVUTO: So the younger soldiers who you talk to and all, see today, they might not be familiar with some of the Oscar-nominated work and Forrest Gump" and all. So, how do you explain...


SINISE: It seems like everybody's familiar with "Forrest Gump."

I mean...

CAVUTO: Yes. We have a restaurant just around the corner.


SINISE: Bubba Gump Shrimp right down there. You go, yes. You can eat shrimp. It's the movie that won't go away.

CAVUTO: Yes. Right. Right.

SINISE: I mean, it's 25 years ago that the movie opened.

CAVUTO: I saw. That's amazing.

SINISE: Twenty-five years this summer, and...

CAVUTO: Did you have any idea would be that big?


CAVUTO: And that you would become that big?

SINISE: No, not when we were making it.


SINISE: It was an important moment in my life for a couple reasons.

And I write about that in the book and the significance of it, because not only that it changed my career and turned that -- turned a new direction there for my career, but it made this connection with our wounded veterans, and our Vietnam veterans and the men and women who serve our country, that I would never have predicted, just playing a character.

But about a month after the movie opened,I went to the Disabled American Veterans Convention. And I walked in there. And there were 2,500, maybe, wounded veterans cheering me on for playing Lieutenant Dan.

And it -- it changed my life.

CAVUTO: But you're a lot more than Lieutenant Dan.

The one thing I have always been impressed with your career -- it seems like I'm blowing you smoke, but I am a fan, so I should express my bias -- is you never wore your politics on your sleeve or got haughty left or right about anything.

People might have said, well, he likes to support the military, maybe he's conservative. Wait a minute. He supported the maverick John McCain. So maybe he's -- he's unpredictable.

But it didn't seem to matter to the right or the left. You're one of those who never made your politics, one way or the other, an issue. And I'm wondering, in this day and age, where it's either/or, and it's passionate and enraged, how do you do that?

SINISE: I'm just grateful.

I'm grateful for my living in this country, for the blessings of freedom that I have, for the career thing that I have been able to do and the success that I have had there.

And I'm grateful that I can use that success to do something positive for other people, especially the men and women who defend our freedom and sacrifice for it.

There's a lot of people that are banged up because they have went to war. And I benefit from those freedom providers. And I just want to try to do something to go out there and help them.

I write a lot about that in the book. I write a lot about the people that I have met in the war zones, in the hospitals, and...

CAVUTO: And not a one is a big name. Not a one is a big celebrity.

I mean, you talk about your brushes with all that, but it's the salt-of- the-earth men and women that stick out to you.

SINISE: Well, yes.

I don't know. I grew up in Chicago. I come from a blue-collar town. My grandfather worked on the railroad. My dad was a film editor in the film business during that "Mad Men" generation of the '60s and everything in the advertising business.

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

SINISE: And I just -- I have some of those roots. I have good pals from those days that I started a theater with.

CAVUTO: In the earliest days, right?

SINISE: Yes, the Steppenwolf Theatre. A lot of the early history is in the book. There's some fascinating and silly stuff.

CAVUTO: I always wonder what that drama department head would think when she saw something in you, right?

SINISE: I tell a wonderful story about the first time I was ever in a play, and how much that meant to me, yes.

CAVUTO: It did.

SINISE: And how it changed my life and sent it on this acting course that I ended up being able to make a living by doing that.

CAVUTO: You did pretty well at it.


CAVUTO: Although the lack of self-absorption, you could never be a cable news anchor, Gary. I hate to break it to you.


SINISE: You do pretty well.

CAVUTO: There we go.

Gary Sinise, "Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service,"

Speaking of which -- and you can't time this better -- I want to take you to right outside the steps of the Capitol right now, where they're going to be giving a special remembrance right now to Congressman Dingell, his wife right now greeting the arrival of her husband's casket on -- outside the Capitol steps.

Let's dip into this a little bit, see what we can pick up.

This is a formal goodbye the nation's capital is saying to one of the longest serving congressman in American history, almost 60 years in the United States Congress, to say nothing of his father's better than 20 years serving in that capacity.

It brought the attention of Joe Biden, who, in a eulogy back in the congressman's home state of Michigan, had said to him, he led with great moral courage and vision during those years. The best word that describes him, he said of Dingell, dignity.

A final goodbye outside the place he called home for the better part of more than half-a-century. It's tough to say goodbye. Tomorrow, formally, in Arlington National Cemetery, the nation does.

We will have more after this.


CAVUTO: All right, New York, Governor Cuomo has some details he needs to pick apart with the president of the United States, and in so doing talk about a tax cut he says is disadvantaging his state, because a lot of people, well, they're leaving in droves.

Charlie Gasparino on all of that -- Charlie.


We don't know what came out of this meeting. I doubt much will come out of it, because the federal government needs to cap the state and local tax deduction, essentially to make the numbers work in terms of the budget deficit not growing totally out of proportion.

But Cuomo is making a case that a lot of governors in a lot of high-tax states are making. He's like, listen, we give the federal government a lot of money. We don't get a lot in return. Our taxpayers pay in a lot. They would like to be able to deduct their state and local taxes, which are high. But, still, you come out ahead because you get a lot from us. And please fix this problem, because people are leaving our states in droves.

I reported earlier today, Neil, that rating agencies are now increasing their scrutiny on all the major states that have high state and local taxes, New York, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, to name a few. They could suffer from downgrades because people are leaving for lower-tax states.

And that's deprived them of their tax base and their ability to repay debt. So this is a big problem for Cuomo. Again, I can't see anything coming out of this. Donald Trump, if he reverses, if he reinstalls the full deduction of state and local taxes, it's going to add hundreds of billions of dollars to the federal deficit.

We already have a trillion dollars, I believe, in the deficit. It's grown to almost a trillion. So you see where this is going. The U.S. Treasury cannot afford reversing this. But Cuomo is making a pitch for it. I doubt anything's going to happen about this.

CAVUTO: All right, Charlie, thank you very, very much.

Meanwhile, we're focusing on the nation's weather and snow and ice throughout much of the Northeast.

Adam Klotz has been following that very, very closely here -- Adam.


Yes, it's going to continue to be an issue throughout the evening drive into the overnight hours. It all kind of depends on where you are. Where the cold air is, we're seeing ice along the boundary line, eventually snow, everything back behind it, heavy rain, and, actually, at times very heavy rain, from Pittsburgh across much of Ohio down to the Ohio River Valley.

Everything in the green, those are flood warnings in place as the very heavy rain falls. But once that hits the cold air, we have got winter storm watches, warnings, advisories in place.

Now, if you do live along the coast, especially in some of the southern cities running from D.C. up to Philadelphia, this has mostly been rain, and is light rain right now, ice along New York City and at times some light snow farther to the north. That's everywhere where we have seen some snow and, at times, even some heavy snow.

And here's your precipitation forecast models when it's all said and done. And pretty much where it's falling now is where it's going to continue to fall. So, around New York City, running up towards Connecticut, that is going to be the icy areas. And I think that's the biggest concern.

Farther to the north, getting up into New England, there's plenty of spots where you're going to be getting up to six to 12 inches of snow, but you really need some higher elevations for those. That's why you're heading up to some of the areas farther to the north, and, again, heavy rain still falling back off towards the west and to the south.

Now, you want to time this out, and you're worried about your drive home, unfortunately, it's still going to be there. This is still at 11:00 p.m. So we're looking at this entire system running up the coast. I do think it clears off for tomorrow.

So, by the time we get going into early tomorrow morning -- this is 6:00 a.m. -- mostly off the coast, a little bit of snow on the backside of this. But you also notice -- and, again, this is early -- temperatures already too warm to support any sort of snow on the ground.

So, any ice that -- any ice that forms or any snow that's there, Neil, I do think that's melting off. And we're actually going to be heading into the next couple of days a bit of a warmup. So, Wednesday's highs across the country, but, by Thursday, you're looking at plenty of these locations, we're talking about into the middle 40s, getting up closer to 50 degrees, 43 degrees in Chicago.

So some warm air is just around the corner -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, thank you very much, my friend, Adam Klotz in the FOX Weather Center.

Already, we have seen over 6,000 flights delayed or outright canceled because of all this.

Mike Tobin outside Chicago's O'Hare Airport with more.

Hey, Mike.

MIKE TOBIN, CORRESPONDENT: Neil, the airports -- or the runways, I should say, here at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport are all open right now.

You don't have a bunch of snow piling up. But the conditions are just right, with the snow and the freezing rain and the temperatures right about raising, for the formation of ice.

So, if we look at our current numbers right now for delays and cancellation, you're talking about roughly 4,000 delays across the nation, 2,000 flight cancellations, and it looks like O'Hare here and New York are getting the worst of it. Or I should say Chicago and New York are getting the worst of it in terms of delays.

A flight intended to land in Detroit to pay respects to Congressman John Dingell filled with congresspeople and dignitaries could not land because of these conditions. So a memorial service was held at 30,000 feet in honor of the nation's longest serving congressman.

United Airlines says, in conditions like this, the de-icing is an absolute necessary -- necessity, and there's no way around it. This de-icing just takes time. And that's why you have so many flight delays.

The roads are also terrible. The ice is building up on the road, not only on the roads, but the ice is building up on power lines and tree branches. So, it weighs down those power lines. It can take down the power lines. If it doesn't, it takes down the tree branches, and the tree branches take down the power lines.

So, in the Chicagoland area alone, you have got some 50,000 customers who have lost power. And I have got absolutely no good news for you, Neil. The wind is expected to pick up, with gusts reaching 40 to 50 miles per hour.

So if the ice didn't take out the power lines, the wind might knock over some trees, and that will take out the power lines. You're in the middle of it, so be safe driving home, would you, pal?

CAVUTO: All right, Mike Tobin, thank you very, very much.

TOBIN: You got it.

CAVUTO: By the way, we are hearing, weather notwithstanding, on to this package that Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, said the House could vote on as early as tomorrow.

We will keep you posted -- more after this.


CAVUTO: All right, we still don't know for sure what the president's going to do with this measure to avoid a government shutdown on a border deal.

We do know that Steny Hoyer, the number two Democrat in the House behind Nancy Pelosi, the House majority leader, says a vote is coming tomorrow in the Democratic-controlled House. We don't know what that means for timing in the Senate.

We do know they're moving fast to make the Friday deadline to get this all done.

To Washington Examiner contributing editor Jason Russell.

Jason, is it your sense that, when all is said and done, the House passes this, Senate passes it, and the president ultimately signs off on this?

JASON RUSSELL, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Yes, that's the sense I have been getting from what I have been hearing from people in Washington.

Like you said, Steny Hoyer bringing this to a vote in the House is a big deal. What will be more important to watch, though, is seeing what Mitch McConnell does. As we saw with the last shutdown standoff, Mitch McConnell wasn't going to bring any bill forward that he knew President Trump was not going to sign.

So if we haven't heard from the White House yet, but Mitch McConnell says, OK, we're going to vote on this, then that's a pretty good sign that this is all going to go through and that the government will stay open after this weekend and beyond.

CAVUTO: And the fact that we haven't heard Mitch McConnell do that -- maybe Steny Hoyer just jumped the gun a little bit in announcing these plans -- but would mean that he wants to make sure -- that is, McConnell -- that the president will support it, because the president sounded iffy.

RUSSELL: Yes, he sounded iffy.

But he also kind of sounded like Nita Lowey from the House, who negotiated this deal sounded, saying, I'm not happy with it. But Democrats also aren't happy with this.


RUSSELL: So, basically, he may not be happy with that, but that's what you have to do when you have the Democratic Party controlling the House of Representatives. You have to compromise.

That sounds like something that Trump is at least willing to do to get something, rather than nothing, on his border wall. And I think he just sees this as the first step.

CAVUTO: Right.

RUSSELL: That this is just a step, 55 more miles of border wall, and after this and beyond, maybe he can declare an emergency, get more border wall, hopefully get more -- negotiate for more wall funding later on as well,

CAVUTO: Yes, because, at the beginning, he could always argue Democrats weren't looking for it so much as another foot of border wall, so he can counter that way.

I do want to get your thoughts what's on how the house vote will go. We had Mark Meadows here, the conservative leader of the House Freedom Caucus. I don't know how many members that caucus has right now, because, if they were all as a disenchanted about this package as he was and is, I'm wondering how many no's would be stacked up against this.

RUSSELL: Yes, that will be the interesting thing to watch, because you will certainly get some Democratic no's as well, I think, from the -- the far left, abolish ICE crowd is going to be saying, no, we're not going to vote for this either.

They don't want to see any single foot more of border wall. They don't want to see ICE be able to detain more and more people. Democrats have said that they tried to get a cap in there, but GOP aides are saying that this doesn't kneecap ICE at all.

So I think you will see enough of a centrist group of members of the House of Representatives vote for this in order to get it through, especially ones that just want to keep the government open and moving.

CAVUTO: Right.

I'm wondering what this might mean for serious immigration reform. We were told that that's what they would probably cobble together to get both sides happy. That's not what ultimately was done here.

And I understand it, the time parameters and all that, but it is sort of like kind of a weak tea here, you know?

RUSSELL: Yes, exactly.

I think that's always -- that was always the more realistic way for immigration reform to happen was bit by bit through these very small bills and small changes, rather than as a giant gang of six or eight or whatever it was back in 2012 that tried to get immigration reform through.

So this will be the kinds of changes that will see in future years as well, I think.

CAVUTO: All right. We will see.

Jason Russell, thank you very much for taking the time, The Washington Examiner contributing editor joining us out of Washington, D.C., where, again, just to update you, it looks like they are going to vote on this measure, border security. It doesn't offer all the money that the president wanted, but it does offer something.

And for Democrats who were complaining about ICE having too many beds set aside for illegals and the rest, it offers them the promise that it won't be as low as 16,000, but they will police numbers going forward.

So, something for everybody to hate and something for everybody to kind of like, which is the essence of making a deal in our nation's snowy capital.

Here comes "The Five."

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