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tv   CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow  CNN  June 18, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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find it exclusively at the home depot. good morning. this morning, i'm jim sciutto. growing outrage, finger pointing, blame shifting as well. all over the trump administration's zero tolerance immigration policy. but none of that can change the simple facts. within the last two months, the department of homeland security has instituted policy which it confirms separated nearly 2,000 children from their parents as those families entered the united states. after separation, those families are held in detention centers like this one here. that's right. cages, chain link fences, mattresses on the floor. they're held there anywhere from a few days to more than a week, some kids are kept in those centers, others are sent thousands of miles away from their families to foster homes
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around the country. president trump again this morning blamed democrats saying that it is their policies that got us here, what he does not say is that he cou stop this from happening this morning, today, if he wanted to. with a phone call, as senator lindsey graham said. his administration is the one enforcing the rules, discretionary rules, it is one that his administration is enforcing. abby phillip joins us live from the white house. i know you spoke just now to deputy press secretary there. how is the administration justifying its claim in the face of the facts this morning that this is not their policy, that this is somehow to be blamed on democrats? >> well, jim, the administration is really all over the place on this, first, kirstjen nielsen said there is no policy, and president trump in a tweet in two tweets moments ago seemed to acknowledge the policy existed
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but blamed it on democrats saying children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means of entering our country. has anyone been looking at the crime taking place at the southern border. it is historic with some countries, i think he means counties there, the most dangerous places in the world. not going to happen in the u.s. he faults democrats by saying they have been weak and ineffective with border security and crime, telling them to start thinking about the people devastated by crime coming from illegal immigration. he also called on them to change the laws. and just a few moments ago, as you mentioned, we spoke to deputy press secretary hogan giddil him about this issue, why not make a phone call and change the laws. here's what he had to say. other presidents faced this challenge but didn't dide to do it. president trump has. why doesn't he make a phone call and stop this practice today? >> it is the law. >> it is not the law, hogan, it is a practice that -- >> it is stlutabsolutely the la
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the land. there are only two things we can do, release the entire family unit or you can separate them. that's it. there is no third option of taking them together, keeping them together, and sending them back to their homes. because the law is that way -- >> you don't have to do that. so you choosing to. >> that's best question you just asked. ask the democrats this question, we can't deport them, we can't separate them, we can't detain them, we can't prosecute them. what they want is a radical open border policy that lets everyone out in the interior of the country with no documentation whatsoev whatsoever . >> reporter: the white house seems to be saying they would prefer to separate children from their parents versus releasing immigrants into the country, but a lot of republicans and democrats are growing deeply uncomfortable with the white house seeming to use these children as a bargaining chip for the president to get more border security and his wall,
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jim. >> abby phillip at the white house, asking hard questions of the white house this morning. there is, as abby noted, bipartisan outrage. cnn's nick valencia is at one of the centers in brownsville, texas, this one in a converted walmart. nick, a lot of competing claims about the situation there. you've been seeing it firsthand. tell us what it is like to see the children there separated from their families and what kinds of conditions do they face after that separation? >> reporter: just standing here outside, jim, the optics are mind boggling. behind us, this was a former walmart superstore. it has the capacity to hold about 1500 people, and according to bob ortega in this facility last week, the population inside, all of them boys ages 10 through 17, surged by 300 in the last month. we should remind our audience traditionally during summer
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months is the height of the traffic we're seeing from the migrations from central america through mexico and the individuals that are arriving on the border. so far as i mentioned, that surge, 300 in the last month, 100 of those inside here are children that have been separated from their parents. the majority of those that are being held here are unaccompanied minors, those that showed up at the border already without their parents. this was one of the last stops for democratic lawmakers on their father's day tour, they called it a mission of mercy to try to highlight the injustices created, they say, by this zero tolerance policy implemented by the white house. this is a choice bit white house to separate children and their families. and after emerging, senator merkley from oregon who led this delegation said the policy by the white house should not be called zero tolerance, it should be called zero humanity. jim? >> nick valencia at one of the detention facilities. joining me now is republican representative jeff denim from california. thank you for taking the time this morning.
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>> thank you for having me. >> colman, you heard the white house claims here, the trouble is it has been confusing to follow, right? you have multiple claims coming out. you have the dhs secretary claiming there is no family separation policy which flies in the facts of what we're witnessing there. you have steven miller, jeff sessions, john kelly calling this a useful deterrent. you have the president and his spokespeople saying that this is the result of democratic failure here. what which is it? >> i wouldn't blame this solely on democrats. i think this is both parties' failure over several years. this is current law. the question is should the president enforce current law? i believe we have to change the law. we have a real opportunity to do that this next week and make sure we're keeping families together. >> it has been reported by the "washington post" and others, what the president is doing here is in effect using this family separation as kind of a
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negotiating cudgel to force democrats into supporting his border wall. is that in your view an acceptable negotiating tactic? >> no. i think it is important that both parties come together on this issue. you know, the issue that we are so hotly debating right now are a lot of the very same issues that were in the 2013 gang of eight bill that every single democrat in both houses supported. except that one had almost twice as much money for border wall, that one also ended a diversity lottery. this was not addressed in that bill. it is a new issue because of a court decision in 2016. but we have got to resolve this issue as well. >> just on the facts there for a moment. there has been a long debate about a more comprehensive immigration bill here, b the fact is you could still have that debate, the president does not need to use his discretion
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to order these family separations. you grant that, right? the immigration negotiation can be separated from this what is a new policy in effect of separating these families, only begun really in mid-april. >> well, i mean, there is only a limited amount of options you can have at the border. you can turn people back, you can let them run freely and keep the family together or you can have quick due process on the border. adjudicating this issue immediately so that you don't have a long detention time in one othese centers. but you got it keep the family together. >> fair enough. so you say, because that's exactly how the white house is framing it, basically saying you either release the whole family here, hard to keep track of them or separate them. but you're saying it is not acceptable in your view to do what is happening right now today, which is to take the kids away from their parents, sometimes put them incenters, but sometimes send them off to
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foster families for a longer period of time. you're saying that option in your view, not an acceptable option of the many choices that the white house has orhat the hill has. >> no. you got to keep them with their parents. at least one parent, the way we're writing it, make sure one parent, in case it is a violent situation within a family, we need to make sure that the safety of the child is always there first and we want to make sure they're with their parents. so it is going to take a new law. >> is the president damaging your party by digging his heels in? just to see the stream of tweets this mornin he continues to blame this on the doesn't appear that he is backing off on this issue. is that damaging for republican lawmakers like yourself? >> well, not only is this current policy unacceptable, but the optics of pulling kids away from their parents is horrible for any party. so certainly, you know, we were already working on this issue.
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this is already a bill that is in print. it is coming up for a vote this week. so we have the ability to fix it this week. >> as a practical matter, we are in, of course, a midterm ye what a we four or five months away from the midterm elections, a lot of difficult races for republnd democrats here. do you see any realistic chance that congress sits down, votes on and passes comprehensive immigration reform before november? >> i do. i'm hopeful. obviously got to get it through a lot of the rhetoric on this emotional issue. democrats supported many of these same policies, every democrat in both houses, unanimously supported many of these same issues three years ago. just because there is somebody else in the white house shouldn't matter th. this is an issue we got to fix. both parties punted on this. multiple administrations. and now because of this rule that i introduced and this discharge petition, we're actually having a debate. so, yes, this issue with keeping
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families together is a newer issue. but it is certainly one that has got to be considered -- >> congressman, we're going to have to leave it there. sorry, we see the dhs secretary commenting on this right now in new orleans. >> let's be honest. there are some who would like us to look the other way when dealing with families at the border and not enforce the law passed by congress. including unfortunately some members of congress, past administrations may have done so, but we will not. we do not have the luxury of pretending that all individuals coming to this country as a family unit are in fact a family. we have to do our job, we will not apologize for doing our job. we have sworn to do this job. this administration has a simple message, if you cross the border illegally, we will prosecute yo if you make a false immigration claim, we will prosecute you. if you smuggle illegal aliens across an extraordinarily
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dangerous journey, we will prosecute you. you do not need to break the law of this country by entering illegally to claim asylum. if you are seeking asylum, go to a port of entry. for months, staff at cpb, ice and others have been on the hill discussing ways to close the lo loopholes and fix the broken immigration system. let me walk you through a few loopholes that dhs and you your communities must confront every day and the solutions we have requested from congress. first, under existing law, certain unaccompanied alien children from mexico and canada who enter illegally and have no valid claim to stay can be quickly returned home, but unaccompanied children from every other country in the world must be transferred to the department of health and human
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services within 72 hours and then released to parents or guardians within the united states. this is a significant poll factor that encourages these children to make the dangerous journey north. and it also belies the fairness of the system. we should be treating those from countries the same, why is our system built on treating people from mexico and canada different than any other country coming to the united states for various reasons? additionally, when a child is apprehended with their parents, dhs is required due to various courtulingso release the child within 20 days. as i mentioned earlier, this get out of jail free card for families and group who pose as families has spread. the word of this has spread. the smugglers and traffickers know these loopholes better than our members of congress. i am sad to say from october t
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seen a staggering 315% increase in illegal aliens, fraudulently using children to pose as family units to gain entry into this country. this must stop. all this does is put the children at address these issue asked congress to change the law to allow for the expeditious return of unaccompanied alien children, regardless of country of origin. we are also asking congress to allow us to keep families together while they are detained. these fixes would go a long way toward discouraging families from sending children on the harrowing journey to the u.s., resulting in fewer children in the hands of gangs such as ms-13 and more adults facing the consequences of their actions. second, our system for asylum is broken. we are a compassionate country that has taken in millions of refugees and granted asylum to hundreds of thousands over the
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last few decades or assisted them near their home countries. since 1975, the united states welcomed more than 3 million refugees from a ove the world, and each year typically admits nearly two-thirds of the world's settled refugees. that is more than all other countries combined. so unfortunately because we have an incredibly low standard for claiming credible fear as part of the asylum process, our generosity is being abused. as a result, over the last seven years we have seen the number of individuals claiming asylum skyrocket. before 2011, approximately 1 out of every 100 people arriving illegally claimed credible fear and sought asylum in thenited states. today that number is 1 out of every 10. the result of such a low threshold for initial credible fear screening is an asylum
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backlog of 600,000 cases. these applicants sit in limbo for years, waiting for resolution. after passi the unnecessarily low standard of initial screening, applicants can live and work in the united states for years. this is true even for the 80% who are ultimately rejected for asylum at their final adjudication after multiple appeals. for the 20% who truly need asylum, they are mired in the years long backlog and remain in limbo. to address this issue, we asked congress to adjust the standard of proof to prevent well coached applicants from uttering the magic words indicating a fear of returning home ould ensure that those who deserve asylum find it quickly so that they can begin their new lives in our country. finally, as you well know, many communities have adopted sanctuary policies that protect criminal aliens from federal law enforcement. i don't need to tell you more
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about this. but instead of turning their criminals over that are in their custody to ice, to face immigration proceedings consistent with our law, these communities shelter them, and release the criminals back on to our streets. they often refuse to simply cooperate with us as we attempt to enforce the law. to address these issues, and as congressman scalise mentioned, we're asking congress to fully authorize ice detainers. and importantly to provide indemocratny fiction for jurisdictions who willfully comply. removing criminal aliens in controlled environments such as jails protects the men and women of ice, your men and women within your facilities, as well as the local communities who otherwise are put at the mercy of those being released into the
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communities. i would encourage you all to reach out to members and ensure your voices are heard. it is important that you also have the ability and the authority to protect your communities and to work with federal law enforcement. in the meantime, as ice and local law enforcement partners are challenged in court for facilitating the secure and orderly custodial transfer of criminal aliens to ice, nsa has been a strong partner in working with us to address this public safety issue. for example, as many of you know, nsa and the major county sheriffs of america worked with us at ice to develop a new process to clarify that aliens held by theseisns are under the -- >> we have been listening to kirstjen nielsen. a few headlines. it appears she representing an administration doubling down on she calls the previous asylum policy in her words a
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significant poll factor for immigrants coming into the country. rnia congressman, now by republican jeff denim. you were listening to kirstjen nielsen there. did you sense the administration digging its heels in on this family separation policy? >> digging its heels in cenly pushing congress to get its job done. i mean, i continue to encourage members of both parties, go to the border, go to the detention centers. this is nothing new for me. i've been to a lot of them. it is an emotional issue. but neither party should want to separate kids from their parents, and we actually have the ability to fix that this week with a bill that is going to be on the floor. >> as you listen to her there, she described the asylum policy, her phrasing, as something of a
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get out of jail free card. do you think she was giving a fair representation of what the policy is at the border and how immigrant or potential immigrant families, illegal ones included, take that as a message, take it as a welcoming message that could be easily exploited? >> yeah, i've been to the borders several times, seen both asylum seekers coming across the border with a card they read or hand over, requesting safe entry into the united stat. when that happens with kids, though, we have to make sure the kids are staying with their parents or when they're leased into the united states, or whether they are going back to their home country, they have to go back with their parent. so we have got to do a better job of keeping kids with their parents. but obviously this system is broken. it is not -- nothing new. the only thing that is new this month is it is the summertime and once again, you're seeing a
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large groups of people coming dangerously across the southern border as well as through the points of entry. so we have got to fix this. thankfullye actually have the ability to do that this week. >> congressman jeff denim, thank you for taking the question, republican congressman, i know a lot did not take the opportunity to talk about this difficult issue, so we appreciate you doing that. >> you got it. thank you for having me again. we're following breaking news now. just out of the supreme court, a major ruling. joining me now, we have jessica schneider who is up there at the court. jessica, tell us what you're learning. >> reporter: this ruling that has just come out from the supreme court, it all talks about partisan gerrymandering. we're reading over the opinion now, looking to get a read on this. you'll remember this has been a big issue throughout the country. certain parties gaining control of their legislature and then redrawing congressional lines to benefit their political party. this is a case that comes out of
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wisconsin. it was in 2011 that republicans for first time in 40 years took control of the state legislature and they redrew the congressional lines. and after that, a a few of the elections there, challengers took issue with the way those congressional lines were drawn. saying that they just weren't fair. to give you -- to encapsulate as to why they said this wasn't fair, let me give you a quick statistic. during one of the elections during that year, democrats won a majority of votes in the state, republicans only won about 48.6% of the state. however, in the state legislature, republicans won 60 seats, democrats only 39.they ty went to court saying, look, these lines can't be fair. republicans didn't get a majority of the state, yet they have much more than a majority of seats in the legislature. so they took this issue to court. the lower courts ruled in their favor. they said, yes, this is partisan gerrymandering and we're going
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to institute a standard and a test as to how to determine whether or not there is partisan jerry mandering. this issue came before the court. big question here has bee will the supreme court issue a standard and a test to determine whether or not and when there has been partisan gerrymandering. we're reading through this opinion now, we're waiting to get a read on what the supreme court said here. the midterm elections just a few months away, any decision here would not affect the maps in place for the midterm elections, this would have big and far reaching consequences for elections to come. of course, 2020 a big presidential election year. we're standing by, waiting to hear what the supreme court has ruled on this. this could be a big moment for this court. or if the court could simply sidestep this issue. we're waiting to find out. jim will read over the case and get back with you guys in a few mis. >> jessica schneider on the hill there. i'm joined here as well by cnn political director david chalian. again, these cases are difficult
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to read early on. we can remember, of course, the obamacare ruling. it is difficult to -- there is no sort of executive summary here. for the significance of this, this was a case brought in the state of wisconsin, by democrats challenging the republican-controlled legislature's gerrymandering plan. at the same time you have republicans calling a democratic plan to the supreme court in maryland. you have competing cases going on here. but what is at stake -- >> these were state legislative lines in wisconsin initially. but, yes, the larger concept here is what we're all waiting to see if the supreme court actually came down one way or the other in this case because there have been other kinds of gerrymandering, racial gerrymandering, that have been unconstitutional at times, ruled out of bounds, you can't draw districts this way -- political gerrymandering, which is what takes place when you have political operatives, political legislatures, partisans sitting down as members of the state
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legislature to draw the districts in favor of one party or the other. that's -- >> which they have a political right to do. the question is, if you carry that too far, right, where it becomes -- >> can you do this in such a way that it actually does go around and subvert the constitution and the way it wasne to be. we'll see if the supreme court wants to weigh in. this has been a trk tricky issur the supreme court, which never found a remedy for this problem yet, something they have indicated they're on the search for. we'll see if this is the case. >> an option for the court is always to legally punt on this issue. an option that it has taken sometimes on difficult cases like this. we have gloria brown whitford joining us as well now. as you're reading through this -- we don't have her right now. again, just --okay, she's back. just so you know at home why this is happening, this is the decision here, it is thick, it is difficult to get through. before we make a conclusion about it, we want to get it right. gloria, as you're reading this, did you have a sense of where the court has come down on this
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or have they decided to delay in to another day? >> well, it is a thi opinion. this is a complex issue. and political gerrymandering i think is very important for us to understand as was pointed out. racial gerrymandering is unconstitutional. the court has been -- when it comes to this idea of delving into politics. it is almost as though a winner takes all, if a political party gains control, then it is thought that they will have the power to make these decisions as far as redistricting goes. however, the problem is you have democratic voters saying, my votes had have been wasted. why should i goo the polls? this is the concern of the u.s. supreme court. they do not want any citizen who has a right to vote to believe that their vote does not count simply because another group is in power. that is what is going to draw them in. and as was pointed out, the maryland case is speaking on the issue from the democratic side and they had control and they
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redistricted and the republicans challenged. i think it is going to be very difficult as we look to this opinion to decide if the supreme court is going to make an overly broad decision. i think it will be narrow. they can't afford to delve into politics too deeply as if looking as though they're a political engine themselves. >> it should be noted we're only five months away from a key midterm election here. as you're watching at home, a team here at cnn is going through this decision, difficult to interpret often early on. before we come to you with exactly what the gist of it is, we want to get it right. i'm joined by michael moore as well. he knows very much the significance of this decision. what should we be looking for here from this court? i should note to our viewers, this doesn't have to be a hard yes or no, it very easily could be a punt as it were saying, we're not going to decide on this issue right now. tell us what we should be looking for here. >> the decision is long and complex, but a quick read of it tells me that they are punting a
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little bit. the decision -- the opinion is written by the chief justice. and joined by members of what i would call the more liberal-leaning side of the court as well, which makes it interesting. but essentially what the court has said is that these plaintiffs did not prove that they had standing an individualized harm to bring the case. and that they looked at the decision of the lower court and are now saying the supreme court saying let's send it back down there, we're not going to dismiss the case, which is often done. but we're going to remand it back to the lower court to let the plaintiffs develop more evidence to show that they have had this individual and particularized harm to make a proper point to bring the case. it is premised on the idea that voting is an individual right. and the damages would need to be such, the harm would need to be such to show that these plaintiffs have suffered that and there is some discussion in that opinion about was this state wide harm, just a district
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harm, because the plaintiffs were part of a particular district as opposed to a broader group of people. i always am loathe to say the supreme court is punting. but that really looks like what has happened at this point and they're waiting for more eviden brought back in as they try to address the case. there is no question and the court is clear about this, that gerrymandering needs to be addressed. and it is a problem that goes back and forth. hopefully this will move forward. >> that's key. i'm in the going to hold you to this. i know you're going to want to read it again. it is your initial read that maybe punt is too strong a word, but when you say that the court says the plaintiffs don't have standing, the plaintiffs in this case were democrats in the state of wisconsin, challenging a state legislative map here, but to say they don't have standing, you're saying, michael moore, if they don't have -- if the court rules they don't have standing,
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in effect says they haven't found evidence of a wrong here based on legislation. is that right? >> not really. the standing issue says you have to have some proof when you bring a case in federal of showing that you have individual and particularized hathe court o address that. >> understood. okay. michael moore, we appreciate it. it is early here as we read -- as we read through this long statement. we have our jessica schneider, she is up at the supreme court, she has been delving into this. jessica, what are you learning? is it clearer now what the court's decision is here? >> reporter: it is clearer, jim. it appears while many people we watching and waiting for the supreme court to weigh in on this whole issue of partisan gerrymandering, in two cases that we have gotten back today, the supreme court is really sidestepping the issue here, based on procedural issues, based on standing. so this morning the supreme court not ruling on partisan gerrymandering, not putting forth a test as to when to determine there has been
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partisan gerrymandering, and really sort of punting this issue for another day. so we're dealing with two cases at the supreme court has issued rulings on. one out of wisconsin, one out of maryland. one in wisconsin whe the maps favored republicans. in maryland, the maps seemingly favored democrats and both cases this morning the supreme court saying that the standing in the wisconsin case was not there, so the plaintiff in this case just didn't have the power to bring this case. and another case, in the maryland case, they also ruled on procedural grounds. what does this mean practically? in both cases, the supreme court has really sent this back down to the lower courts. and with that effectively means is that these maps that the challengers claimed were gerrymandered and a partisan way, these maps for now, they will stand. just to be clear, even if the supreme court had issued some sort of more definitive ruling on this, those maps still would have been in place for the 2016
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election. so i'm sorry -- the 2018 election coming up. so that would not have affected things. but, of course, many people have been watching and waiting, waiting for the supreme court to rule on this issue because it has become such annany states throughout the country. just this morning, we're dealing with wisconsin and maryland, issues there. you'll recall it was just a few months ago when this issue was percolating in pennsylvania, the president weighed in multiple times on twitter in that case. the pennsylvania supreme court was the one that actually redrew the maps because the two parties couldn't come to a agreement. we saw president trump weigh in on this, back in february. he talked about the fact that the -- this should go all the way to the supreme court, that was one thing the president said. well, it has gone all the way to the supreme court. now in two different cases. and today the supreme court deciding to really sidestep this issue, hold on to this issue and this big decision for potentially another day.
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it is important to note, while these two decisions, wisconsin and maryland, they have not been decided here at the supreme court, they have been kicked back to the lower courts, the maps there for now will stand, there is another case in the pipeline here. it comes out of north carolina. so we're waiting to potentially hear something about that, not today, but at some point from the supreme court. so this issue continues to be an issue. the supreme court not weighing in on this issuef partisan gerrymandering today and we'll see what happens in the coming weeks and coming terms here to see the supreme court eventually does take up this issue on the merits. jim? >> you heard the news there, jessica schneider, supreme court, the two cases now, we have a read on, one in wisconsin, that was brought by democrats challenging a republican-drawn state districts in that state and one in maryland brought by republicans challenging democratically drawn districts there. the supreme court in both of those cases in effect punting, saying they're not going to rule on it now five months to this
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midterm election saying that the plaintiffs don't have standing. i should note that it has been commented often that the chief justice of the supreme court john roberts, that he doesn't have exactly an excitement about ruling in these cases, that he finds them intensely political as they are, because they affect the political process. we have david chalian here with me now. how significant is this? because many americans and both parties have wanted this issue addressed. it is one of the issues that leads to the divisive political environment we ve now. you draw the districts the way you do, you create the kind of congress we have with left and right and they don't talk to each other. >> 100%. that's what we're talking about here. you talk to voters across the country, one thing you hear is why can't those people get anything done? it is just this complete stasis and we're polarized and why are members more concerned about their job survival than general election and appealing the
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broadest possible swath of their districts. it is the way the districts are drawn. when the d are drawn, because democrats want to keep as many democratic seats, let's say, as possible, republicans want to do the same, you draw a heavily democratic district, then the only real contest is between two democrats because no republican is going to win this heavily drawn democratic district, a that helps create the polarization. because you just have people who are concerned about the left or the right of their party and not about the center. that is why this is such a big issue, and why it is so disheartening for those of us that would love to see some potential change to this for the supreme court to just say, you know what, that's a hot potato, too political at the moment, they didn'tay that, they said they don't have standing, but this is not something we're going to despite riggo ing to decide right now. >> you look at some of the maps, there is no squares or rectangles or any kind of recognizable, you know, shapes there. >> people trying to find their
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voters rather than appeal to the voters. >> join this democratic neighborhood with this one way over here. cide on this, no one is, n't right? you're not going to pass legislation in this house to address this. you're not going to -- >> no. and, again, self-interest. legislators at the state level that do this, it is their own political survival, so it is part of the political process, it is going to remain intensely partisan and political. that's why i think so many people are looking to the supreme court to weigh in. >> imagine a congress person, you know, voting for something that will make their job less likely. david chalian, thank you very much for walking us through this. still to come, former trump campaign associate roger stone, he's now admitting to meeting with a russian operative who is offering dirt on hillary clinton for a whole lot of money. what could this mean for the ongoing special counsel investigation?
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he fgets us out there more.
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today, we're renewing our commitment to you. fixing what went wrong. and ending product sales goals for anch bankers. so we can focus on your satisfaction. it's a new day at wells fargo. but it's a lot like our first day. wells fargo. established 1852. re-established 2018. trump campaign operative and long time conditifidant roger s, cnn crime and justice reporter shimon, we now know that stone met in may 2016 with a russian offering dirt on hillary clinton in exchange for $2 million and yet somehow he forgot to mention this when asked by lawmakers. >> reporter: that's right. not only did he fail to mention it, but this meeting that was
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set up by another trump adviser, also friend of roger stone, was set up by michael caputo, who was communications adviser to the campaign. now, this russian met with stone in florida, during the campaign, and following meeting, stone and michael caputo exchanged text messages a stone completeds what they said. basically, caputo writes, how crazy is the russian? and stone replies, he wants big money for the info. waste of time. and then caputo says, the russian -- the ran way, and anything at all interesting to which stone replies no. now, in a letter to congressional investigators, stone's lawyers basically wrote that they only -- that stone remembered this meeting and only learned of this meeting, quote, it was not until after the interview, mueller interviewed
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mr. caputo that stone had a recollection of the meeting or the person's name. caputo was interviewed extensively by bob mueller's team, and was during the questioning there that this was revealed, apparently what caputo says is mueller knew a lot more about this russian than he even knew. clearly one person who has not been before the special counsel is roger stone. that is stillongoing. we know others have been asked questions about roger stone, and sort of some of his activity during the campaign. >> the special counsel knows the answers to the questions before he asks you those questions. thank you very much. scathing words from former first lady laura bush. she's slamming what she calls the quote, cruel trump policy that is splitting up families at the border.
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more republicans are breaking with president trump over separating immigrant families. i spoke with california republican jeff denim, he's among them. tomorrow the president will come face to face with more republican lawmakers in the house who are loudly criticizing his policy. lawmakers expected to discuss an immigration compromise with the president, and then will provide what it seems he wants, $25 n forecurity including his wall. it also calls for a path to citizenship and addresses this issue now with family separation. joining me are cnn political commentators doug heye and mary c cardona. i did not sense any pulling back on this policy, she called the
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previous policy before this zero tolerance enforcement a significant pull factor in her words for families coming here, said that many illegal aliens fraudulently use children to get into the country. and she puts the onus really on some sort of legislation to solve this problem. do you think that's a mistake for this administration and the republican party? >> well, i think it is wrong. i don't know if politically it is a mistake for them. but ultimately, look, america is the ultimate poll. there is a reason everybody wants to come here. and wanted to come here for centuries now. america is an ideal whether from ireland or nigeria or mexico or honduras or guatemala. we represent an ideal that we're currently not living up to. it is why we saw former first lady laura bush speak out today and even melania trump distanced herself from her own husband's policy and really starting to -- aw from reporting from, you know, kate bennett really step up in a way we haven't seen first ladies do before.
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it is important that more and more republicans speak out on this. they'll have an important conference meeting tomorrow. i've been in a lot of those meetings in the basement, we'll see republicans actually, hopefully, confront the president on this for first time. they have been reluctant as we know to confront him publicly. we'll see if they do so privately. >> maria, i've seen your public comments on this. i know you abhor the policies you see. do you believe those republican voices, they're not a huge number, but certainly more than we have seen on past issues, disagreements with the president, do you believe they will move this president on this policy? >> well, that's the question, i think, jim, because it doesn't seem like this president is moved by much. but, yes, let's leave aside that this is abhorrent, that i believe in many, i think including my friend doug heye, believe this is completely immoral as a mother and immigrant myself, i put myself in the shoes of the families because i know exactly what they're going through. i came from a country who has
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suffered those kinds of atrocities. i know that these families come here because the desperation is something i hope no one has to ever go through. and they're going through it, living through it every single day. and so this is, first of all, not going to work as a deterrent. secondly, it is a policy that can be ended today. so i do think that more republicans are going to start to speak out about this, especially because i do think they -- many of them believe it is immoral, but let's talk politics for a second. we're going into the midterm election cycle where democrats only need to pick up 23 seats to flip the house. there are over 100 seats that are more progressive than the seat that conor lamb, the democrat won recently, where a republican should have won. and when you look at the makeup of the republican base, and you look at white suburban republican, moderate republican women, many are mothers, they look at this issue and they see
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that this is not, first of all, an american value, it is certainly not a conservative republican value, if you really adhere to the fact that they are or what they say they are, the party of family values, and so i think that this is going to continue to be a very politically perilous situation for republicans. >> doug, you've said just then, you consider this straight up wrong, the policy is wrong, from a political perspective here, so some polls have shown that if not a majority, a plural ty of republicans support this, support this as a necessary tool,right, to reduce illegal immigration at the borders. does this work for this president, does this work for p tough seats that maria is describing there in 2018, in the midterms. >> i think it causes real problems for some republicans. maria said there are 23 seats that are -- that will decide whether or not the house goes democratic or not. and to some extent it plays into
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your earlier segment with you and david chalian talking about redistricting and gerrymandering and so forth. there is a reason why congress hasn't moved on any kind of immigration reform, in years and years. i've worked on this, unsuccessfully, we can't get a majority of republicans to agree anything when it comes to immigration. we remain stuck in the hold that we're in. i'm not optimistic on anything moving in the short-term unless the president gets behind something. with all of the rhetoric that donald trump used, a lot of it is wrong, and we have talked about, donald trump is in a unique position to make something happen on immigration if he wants to. this is his opportunity. and we'll see if he seizes it unfortunately. i'm not optimistic. if he wants to, he can. >> maria, qly before we go, do you see a chance of a substantive vote on substantive immigration reform before the midterms or something that lawmakers just frankly, the political pitfalls, just they're going to punt on voting on?
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>> i don't see that there is going to be any significant change moving into the midterm elections. democrats would be happy to sign on to a bill that would give daca recipients a path to citizenship that would end this atrocity of separating families and frankly, chuck schumer said democrats would also give this president the $25 billion he wants for his insanity of a wall, which majority of americans don't want. but we are willing to do that. so we are willing to make concessions. but everything else is so complicated and frankly completely anti-immigrant, that i don't think it is something that will be able to be voted on. >> maria, doug, thank you very much. >> thank you. we'll be right back after this break. still a chance here.
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these are the specialists we're proud to call our own. experts from all over the world, working closely together to deliver truly personalized cancer care. expert medicine works here. learn more at cancercenter.com meghan markle's father revealing this morning that his daughter cried when he told her he would not be her royal wedding. in a new interview with itv's good morning britain, thomas markle says he absolutely wanted to walk meghan down the aisle but could not because he was recovering from heart surgery and admits he was jealous that prince charles got to doit. >> i was honored. i can't think of a better
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replacement than someone like prince charles, you know. he looked very handsome and my daughter looked beautiful with him. i was jealous. i wish i had been there. i wish it had been me. but thank god he was there and thank him for that. >> well, cnn correondent anna stewart joins me now. mr. markle touched on a lot in that interview. you feel for him as you listen to him there. what else did have he to say? >> it was a wide ranging interview covering everything from meghan markle as a young girl and why he calls her bean, all the way through to the time she told him she was dating prince harry. what strikes you when you watch that interview is how unmedia savvy thomas markle is, because he looks down a lot, he doesn't look down the barrel of the camera, he holds on to his ear piece a lot. he's used to being behind the camera and not in the spotlight, which is possibly why we had such a -- around the media around him. but he did say how sad he was
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not to have made the wedding and how he had actually prepared for it. listen to what he said about that. >> i worked on a little speech and little speech actually had the phone calls that i talked about, talking to harry and how meghan introduced him as this guy, this nice guy from england, this prince. and that was part of the story and i went on to basically thank the royal family for opening up to my child. i feel bad she put all that work in and i didn't do it. but i couldn't do much about it laying on a couch with a bad heart. >> puts to bed speculation he didn't go to the royal wedding because of the embarrassment over the staged photos that he did with the paparazzi and does bring that in, he says sorry for that, he says he was trying to reverse a very negative image that the paparazzi had of him and they chased him for weeks before the wedding. it won't help meghan markle necessarily because the palace
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doesn't like anyone related to the family commenting to the media. >> hard not to sympathize. father can't be at his daughter's wedding. thank you very much, anna stewart in london there. thanks so much for joining us today. i'm jim sciutto. "at this hour" with kate bolduan starts right now. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. minutes from now, we're expecting to hear from both attorney general jeff sessions and president trump a they face fresh bipartisan blowback now over the administration's zero tolerance immigration policy. here is what we know right now. the government has confirmed its policy separated at least 2,000 children from their families at the border. those children, some toddlers, being held in detention facilities. just minutes ago, the president's homeland security secretary defended the policy. >> past administrations may have done so, but we will not. we do not have the luxury

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