tv Inside Politics CNN June 24, 2018 5:00am-6:00am PDT
you with us and we hope you make great memories today. "inside politics" with john king starts right now. welcome to "inside politics." to our viewers in the united states and around the world thank you for sharing your sunday. the trump administration says it is making progress reuniting families separated at the border. that follows a giant about face. on the road the president still talks tough. >> if they see weakness they will come by the millions. we have to have strong borders. we are going to have the wall. we have already started it. melania trump sends messages. a jacket stirs a global debate
while her words make clear she disagrees with some of the zero tolerance immigration approach. >> i'm here to learn about your society which i know you have children. and i would like to ask you how to help reunite with the families. and the big election year question, does he help or hurt? 135 days until mid term elections, the president is on the road more and more. for the republicans the risk is predictability. >> whacky jackie has -- a vote for her is a vote for pelosi and
chuck schumer. a vote for her is a vote for increased taxes, weak, weak lordslord -- borders. it is a vote for crime. with us is jonathan martin of the "new york times." president trump was forced into a dramatic about face on the issue that most animates his disruptive and unique political brand. >> i don't think being weak on the border, i don't think that is a good issue. i think i got elected largely because we are strong on the border. i really believe that. >> zero tolerance is an immigration label the president loves, but global outrage brought a tasty treat in the form of a rushed executive
order. the kplpolitical imperative wase quiet the outrage. the president says zero tolerance is still operative. e-mails from other administration agencies suggest otherwise. the government report 522 children are reunited about 2,053 are still separated. the reunification process will take a bit because of legal proceedings. the administration plans to keep arrested families together and the pentagon is being asked to rush new shelters into operation with the capacity to hold tens of thousands. the headlines are not kind. just a few here from the past few days. the president believes all this criticism is unfair. >> our people are actually doing a very good job handling a very difficult situation but this is a problem that should have been solved years ago. >> it is interesting listening
to the president on the road. he almost didn't touch the family separation issue defending his people but he didn't want to talk about it. i assume the reason is because it is a full and complete about face. >> it is bad for his larger campaign theme which is hard on immigration and tough on the borders and you are in front of a conservative audience in a state like nevada and you don't want to talk about the fact that you bow to the mainstream media by softening your border policies which is what he did. of course, he is going to avoid focus on that. he does want to run on a hard line on the border. he thinks that is a winning issue for him and frankly democrats think it is a vulnerability for them if it is on issues like sanctuary cities and open borders. when you talk about being
separated from parents it's not much of a wedge. >> on the policy front wednesday after the president reversed course, how many kids are there? are you missing anybody? how long is this going to take? you got nothing from the administration. last night they did release a statement in which they say in part dhs, department of homeland security and hhs have a process established to ensure that family members know the location of their children and have regular communication after separation. the united states government knows the location of all children in its custody and is working to reunite them with their families. are they getting their act together? >> we have to understand this is a crisis entirely of their own making. you can argue there was a crisis in terms of the volume of central american migration into the united states which existed for many years. there was. but this particular crisis of all these children who are now listed as and being treated as unaccompanied even though they came to the border with their
parents is in the administration's own making. they put the policy into practice without thinking about the implications it seems like at all. this past week in their panic and haste to try to diffuse the public relations crisis they put in place the executive order that they didn't fully think through and figure out how to implement. so now they are in a situation where maybe they have a list somewhere of names and birth dates of the children. but the actual process of reuniting with families is complex because the legal system and immigration system treats the children differently than they treat other people and a lot of them have their own legal processes that are going in parallel and diverging from their parents and this is incredibly complicated for them to rectify. they created this particular part of the problem. >> there was the president's decision implemented by the justice department and much like
when the travel ban was implemented you called the different agency and got a different answer because across the administration well intentioned people didn't really know what the policy was. if you listen to the president, he doesn't say i had to retreat, we were wrong. he says this. >> so we are keeping families together and this will solve that problem at the same time we are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a zero tolerance. we have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally. >> no politician likes to say i messed this up, i was wrong. but if you listen to that it sounds like i'm solving somebody else's problem. this is a problem he creates. >> and he has given no clear indication of how to fix it after coming out not only does
the executive order not explain how he will implement it. he has had mixed messages on policy grounds telling house republicans he needed to pass legislation not just to deal with this issue but also larger issues involving border security and then drop that, we don't need to worry about it. in the mid terms this has been a bungled policy and the policy not surprisingly didn't want to talk about it because it is a huge embarrassment for the situation and they haven't explained about what they are going to do to reunite the families. >> i think he is torn a little bit about how to message this because he understands he doesn't want to drag down mid term races and cost the majority that leaves him vulnerable but on the other hand he put corey lewindowski. he still sees right up to the
line. this is a rallying cry for many people in the base and is an opportunity that he understands it is complicated to take advantage of that opportunity because it turns off so many people who were not in that camp. he is still juggling the strategy. >> and to jonathan's point the president did win the republican nomination and the presidency in part by taking positions on immigration. the president thinks i trust my reflexes. they got me into the oval office. democrats understand they are vulnerable to a degree. this one says on this issue they think they have a huge opening to say you got this so wrong. >> over and over again they said i just don't know. i don't know what the change will be. i don't know how these reunifications will happen. >> they do not have direction on
how to go about this family reunification and not separating families. >> where is the plan? where is the list of the names? where they are from and where they are going? what shelters are they in? >> fair questions raised by the democrats. will congress pass a separate piece of legislation? if you are the democrats you want the families reunited. there is a lot of questions whether the executive order would stand up in court. does the president need legislation? >> they argue they need legislation. others say they don't need legislation. then the president tweeted don't worry about this. let's worry about it after the mid terms. the house will try to pass if they come up with a kricompromi
it will probably not pass the house. the senate is working on a narrower approach to deal with the issue about the family separations. there is not much appetite to take that up for mitch mcconnell. i'm skeptical anything can get through. >> especially with trump saying don't bother, that will lose any that they have remaining. i think if the issue moves away from the kids at the border i think it is an opening for republicans. i think they are being pushed to the left by the base. trump demagoguing the issue is pushing democrats further and further to the left. >> he baits the democrats into conversation. >> more on that and the mid term election complications down the road. next melania trump and the $40 question. hey allergy muddlers.
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melania trump's most intriguing week began with a statement where she broke with her husband's policy of separating families. thursday after the president hastily reversed course she wanted to make a statement raising pointed questions about their treatment. >> thank you so much for having me here today. i'm glad i'm here and looking forward to seeing the missing children. these children how many times do they speak with their families? when children come here what kind of stage do they come here? how long is the time that they spend here? >> those are questions the trump white house has had a hard time answering. to have them raised publically by the first lady was a remarkable use of her platform to question and criticize the
husband's policy but wasn't the only message. this $40 jacket and its i don't really care graffiti sparked a global mystery. just who was the first lady looking to startle? who? >> i wish i could answer the question. i was on the trip. it was raining. a the jacket was cinched. none of us saw it. we didn't know it said anything on the back. we land and there is this controversy. my instinct was not that she was trying to send a message about the kids. she changed jackets and was wearing something different during the time. of course it was going to spark a debate and speculation and of course nobody believes it happened accidently. how would she find a $39 jacket? i don't think her closet is
stocked with a lot of $39 jackets. was she sending a signal about speculation about her kidney surgery or trolling her husband in a subtle way with the back of it pulled? of course the questions were going to be raised and unfortunately i think it ended up overshadowing the more serious message she was trying to convey. >> very serious message. remarkably public disagreement with her husband or raising questions about her husband's policy. she wore it on the plane, off the plane and wore it walking along the holiday. what was she doing? >> i think it is totally about her husband. the whole purpose of the trip was effectively a rebuke. this is his policy that he held on to and only grudgingly gave up on. and then the next day after he gives in she goes to the border
to draw more attention to his policy that he just bailed on. i think it is pretty clear that she has her own views on this topic. keep in mind she issued a statement sunday or monday talking about the issue, as well. clearly she has her own strong views. >> she says you can have a strong immigration policy and have a heart. >> she is an immigration herself. she is a former fashion model and has had her own business. she knows sometimes unfairly whatever she looks at will be looked at. the headlines fashion fireworks, new york post has the first lady gone rogue? new york daily news, full muddle jacket. the staff says it is just a jacket. the president tweeted that it was about us that she is being critical of the media coverage of her and them. she was doing something. the fact that we don't know what
she was doing makes it more interesting. >> the president is actually saying something accurate here that it was aimed at us even though the spokesperson for the first lady said there was no message. the president said there was a message. that's still not appropriate. they should not be using this occasion, this very serious issue to try to troll the media. that doesn't make sense. here is a suggestion for the white house. they can clear this up by having a press briefing. >> i would love to see it. the idea that they would allow her aides, other people in the west wing who know when these trips are happening everyone knew she was going to do this, that she would be allowed to go out in public with a message like that on the back of the jacket at this sensitive time with the controversy over the family separation policy and all
of these questions swirling about her role, she is a very private first lady. she doesn't step out of the spot light a lot. when she does the fact that she useatize to ses it to send a meg why don't you save this for another day is telling. in the end no matter the message it has been overshadowed by that. >> i think she wanted to send a message. she knew what she was doing. the president is on the verge of a new record thanks to the anger of robert mueller and the passion for stoking the immigration debate.
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sometimes joy for all the world to see. june could well be a record month for presidential sharing. let's take a look. these are the president's tweets by the month. last year in september he crossed 300. here he is this month. by the end of the day maybe by the end of the hour the president could set a new record for monthly tweets. what does he tweet about? this is where you get into his mindset. 51 about the russia probe. this is not exact. we are blending tweets. 51 about the russia probe. trade, north korea, economy. republicans would like the president to be talking a lot more about this a lot less about this. again, yesterday he travelled to nevada. the most tweets in the month came just yesterday on this saturday. the russia witch hunt is rigged the president tweeted. steel is coming back and tweeted very sad that nancy pelosi and
her side kick crying chuck schumer. it is this past month we have seen the republicans want the president to talk about the economy. forefront on the president's mind right now is tough on immigration. >> if you are weak which some people would like you to be, if you are pathetically weak the country will be overrun with millions of people. if you are strong then you don't have a heart. that is a tough dilemma. perhaps i would rather be strong but that is a tough dilemma. >> you talked about this earlier. he wants to talk about this even in the face of this major retreat, an embarrassment for the trump white house. there are some who agree and some who think it helps when you see the democratic enthusiasm. there are other republicans who
say not where we live in the country. that's bad for us. >> two americas. it depends on where you are living and what campaign you are working on. and the house a lot of the action is in high income educated suburban districts where demagoguing immigrants is just not going to go over very well. other parts of the country where there are key senate races playing out that message is more effective. it depends on where in the country. the challenge this president doesn't do nuance very well. the idea that he isn't nuancing that message, good luck. this is why you see a split in the gop on how effective this message is because some folks want it and other folks say keep that stuff down. >> it is so fascinating to see him yesterday where there is a large hispanic spaupulatipopula
he didn't mention the words immigration, wanting to talk about taxes and economy. remember, helder was one of the republicans who voted for the 2013 comprehensive immigration bill in the senate that is the same bill that conservatives trump has called amnesty. there is a split in the party come the fall. >> and that field was to offer a pathway to legal status for every undocumented immigrant in the country. we are talking about the kids brought here by their parents illegally. it shows how the party has moved. >> the interesting conversation among republicans because there has been so much attention because of the separation controversy they say let's watch with the polling, most tell you the climate bakes at some point.
in some senate races for republican candidates this is fine. if you are mike hoffman, a member of the house and vulnerable you have an increasing number of latinos in your district. he says the president should fire somebody. >> i would like to see not that it is just a visual image but a fundamental mistake to tear families apart and i think he ought to hold somebody accountable for advising him to move in this direction. >> you talked to him on the hill and he wants steven miller's head. it's not going to happen. what does he hope to show the people back home? >> no question. he is in one of the districts where he has to be concerned about immigration and heavy
latino voters in the colorado district. this clearly he does not believe that taking the same hard line approach that trump and miller will be beneficial for his party going forward. >> the reality is that mike hoffman like a lot of republican members doesn't want to directly criticize the president. you heard him calling for the firing of steve miller. that is a way for challenging the president without directly challenging the president. he doesn't want to tweet or nickname or do these things. and the fact is and mike hoffman knows this is they wanted to have a different approach to this policy. it's the president's approach. he said privately my people love this. my people want me to do this. he believes that. that is why you are seeing it play out the way it is. >> every minute that the president is tweeting about russia is a minute the people cannot be dissecting this.
i think on the policy matters he doesn't do that well on policy, but there are some policies that are safer to talk about, tax policy right now is pretty safe to talk about. health care policy definitely not safe to talk about. when the conversation turns to health care policy just talk about russia. >> trump benefits from the constant cloud of controversy. he benefits from that because it is not about a policy conversation where he is more vulnerable. >> the lowest point in his presidency was during the heat of the health care debate because the conversation was more about an unpopular policy. i think this is part of the challenge democrats have is trying to penetrate a policy message when trump is creating a daily cloud of dust on twitter. look what he said in nevada talking about we gutted the a.c.a. this is the danger that trump
poses. he doesn't stay on teleprompter. whether it is towards immigration issue or talking about the a.c.a. in saying we gutted it, that gives fodder to democrats. >> david french makes this point in the national review this week, despite this victory, meaning trump retreats, democrats are still furious. it is not enough to stop child separation. now they want to prevent family detention entirely. we know the trump administration is asking to adopt the obama administration's legal position. is the policy child abuse simply because trump is executing it. obama did not separate families. they did not do that but some of this has happened before. this is not all brand new. >> absolutely. as a matter of policy the obama administration didn't separate
families. it happened sometimes when the parents were being prosecuted for a serious crime. we forget the amount of blowback the obama administration got before the federal judge told them they couldn't do that anymore. they used this whole approach which was under pinning of president trump's zero tolerance policy of deterrence. they were told they couldn't adopt policies that were primarily geared towards deterring people. so you can imagine that when the trump administration looked back and saw what happened under obama they thought we are just going to take it a step further and actually prosecute these people they got a lot more political blowback than they thought. we forget how much controversy the obama administration had. the only difference was they didn't actually try to capit capitalize politically on it. this administration is doing the
opposite. >> because it is this president's calling card. president obama tried to do it quietly hoping nobody paid attention. up next the president's mid term road show. in some places it is a no brainer. in others it's a risky bet. >> having an opportunity to listen to this president, isn't it great? mr. president, thank you for coming to nevada and taking time. thanks for all the hard work you do. >> thank you very much. and the safey for "most parallel parallel parking job" goes to... [ drum roll ] ...emily lapier from ames, iowa. this is emily's third nomination and first win. um...so, just...wow! um, first of all, to my fellow nominees, it is an honor sharing the road with you. and of course, to the progressive snapshot app for giving good drivers the discounts -- no, i have to say it -- for giving good drivers the discounts they deserve. safe driving!
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president trump having a little fun poking at critics on the road this week. yesterday he was in nevada. earlier in the week he was in minnesota. in nevada he was campaigning for dean huller. minnesota is a blue state. nevada a state the president just barely lost in 2016 competing for dean heller. also going to wisconsin this week. let's take a look at one of the interesting factors in this campaign. the president's controversial first mid term election his approval rating just under 40%. still historically low. nationally the president has a problem. mid term elections you tend to lose. 81% approve, 15% disapprove. the president helps turn out.
that is why the nevada trip is so interesting. hillary clinton carried nevada. here is the plus. wants the president to genup conservatives. here is the risk. other union voters, democrats to turn out. that is the big risk. if you are dean heller you are not going to run after president. hopes attacks like this help. >> a vote for jackie is a vote for nancy pelosi and schumer and all of the problems that they bring. and i don't think you want that. you have an outstanding man in dean heller. i have been on both sides of him. he is a tough cookie. and we want him on our side. >> we talked a bit about this.
as the president travels more it is interesting to look at the state by state calculations. he is going to be in south carolina tomorrow. here in south carolina you want the president on your side. the nevada one is a lot more complicated because the state is a very contested state. before we have the conversation, that is the president yesterday. he talked about you can't be weak on immigration. dean heller's opponent had a friend in town who says on immigration the president is dead wrong. >> president trump and his republican leadership have decided to inflict as much pain as they can on people coming to the united states. i want you to look at the list. his administration has ripped children from the arms of their mamas. he has signed off on locking up small children in wire cages.
he shrugged off the problem with reuniting thousands of children who have been taken away from their mothers and fathers. >> if you want a test of this issue in a highly competitive almost evenly valid state you have it. >> nevada, colorado, california, pennsylvania, maybe a couple of states in the midwest doesn't take that many pick ups for democrats to take over control of the house. president trump may be playing to keep the senate. he may have made the calculation that holding the senate is more important than anything else but this is what will play out in swing districts. >> trump has told republican leaders he is willing to go everywhere. and the question is do they want him everywhere? they know one thing he does effectively is drives up the negatives of a democratic opponent. he also riles up the democratic base. it is going to be an interesting
calculation come the fall as we get into the heat of the general election where people are put off by some of the rhetoric and policies and whether or not the president will be effective in a state like arizona where there is another big senate race or florida where he has a big ally in the ballot in rick scott. florida being the swing state will trump be effective there? it is a difficult interesting calculation for how republicans decide to use him. >> trump did two campaign events this week on the road. and the tell was who was there and who wasn't there. on wednesday he is in minnesota, a house district where he won convincingly to the iron range. the event was for him because this is one of the few house seats that gop thinks he can flip. who wasn't there? former candidate for president,
wants to run for governor again this year. this is a blue state and he knows a general election trump is a toxic political figure with voters in the twin cities. flash over to nevada yesterday, there is las vegas. his calculation very different, also a purplish blue state. his calculation is i have problems with my base blil politically. if i stiff him then i will have a problem with my base. i will embrace trump and sit here next to him. he is insuring that his base is with him. >> the democrats pushed away obama got pommelled. >> this is george will writing in the "washington post" on
friday. george will, a conservative writing speaker ryan and many other republicans have become the president's poodles, not because james madison's system has failed but because today's careers have failed to be worthy of it. in today's gop he is the mainstream. to vote against his party's congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation's honor saying get rid of the democrats. we'll see how that -- we'll see how that goes. why a governor's race in maryland could be an early barometer for 2020. hey allergy muddlers. are you one sneeze away from being voted out of the carpool? try zyrtec®. it's starts working hard at hour one. and works twice as hard when you take it again the next day. stick with zyrtec® and muddle no more®. allow you to take advantage of growth opportunities... with a level of protection in down markets.
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margaret? >> i have been watching vice president mike pence on this trip to latin america this week. this was supposed to be a trip mainly about venezuela optics and venezuela messaging and it will be. he is going to brazil and guatemala. immigration and the way president trump has treated the immigration issue, the implications of family separations particularly for a place like guatemala are front and center. it will be interesting and possibly important to see how the vice president tries to do cleanup. >> testing his diplomatic skills. >> good way to say it. >> the race hasn't gotten a lot of national attention about the maryland primary has become a ground for 2020 democratic asprints. they have all been out to campaign for ben jealous. he is kind of the progressive
candidate running against baker who is more of the establishment type candidate. it does have echoes of sanders versus clinton from two years ago. to that end nobody needs jealous to win more perhaps than jealous himself than bernie sanders who has not had a great record in primaries and could use a w from his wing of the party this tuesday in maryland. the house republican effort to under cut the russia and clinton investigation is only bound to intensify. on wednesday peter strzok, he will be before the house judiciary committee after he was subpoenaed on friday.
this despite peter strzok saying he would be willing to come and talk but he wanted to send a message to strzok that they want to go after the issue relatively hard. there is a separate fight still intensifying about documents about a range of issues the fbi said he did turn over a ton of documents. but republicans are not satisfied yet and the threat of impeachment still looms large and will intensify as we get closer to the mid terms. the fight continues. i love to hear a good explanation to those texts. >> keep an eye on how president trump is using the courts. we have been talking about how he has had trouble on the legislative front getting the
agenda through and sending mixed messages. there has been a lot of challenging to his executive authority. in the courts he actually can make quite a bit of progress and the administration in recent weeks has been trying to do that not just on immigration although there has been a lot in terms of daca and changing the rules for applying for asylum and in terms of the recent issue of detaining families but also on the affordable care act. we saw the repeated attempts to prepeel and replace fail miserably and now jeff sessions has made the official decision not to defend the constitutionality of that in court. that can have big implications for the health care law. this is going to be and has been a big talking point for president trump on the campaign trail and for senate candidates that president trump has really remade the judiciary and beginning to see the ways in
which he is trying to take advantage of the changes he is making. >> a different way to legislate. michael bloomberg is a republican turned independent. his big splash, a new pledge to spend perhaps $80 million to help democrats win back the house. democrats are ecstatic at the gift but is the democratic house bloomberg's only goal here? he has long wanted to be president and some smart people in contact with the inner circle say team bloomberg sees this effort as a way to make friends. that is nuts, right? bloomberg is not a democratic and he is 76 years old but bernie sanders is also not a democrat and also 76 years old and mulling another run for the democratic nomination in 2020. donald trump is a democrat turned independent and now the republican president.
so we will watch. that's it for inside politics. we hope you can catch us week days, as well. state of the union with jake tapper. have a great sunday. and a wet hemp string, benjamin franklin captured lightening in a bottle. over 260 years later, with a little resourcefulness, ingenuity, and grit, we're not only capturing energy from the sun and wind, we're storing it. as the nation's leader in energy storage,
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