tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN June 18, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
>> using the president's words -- this is the second time now that he's done it. that is important as well. because there are fbi agents working that investigation. so all of this really -- a lot of this was obviously a rehash but very important points here that were made by fbi director. >> appreciate you sitting here and listen to it. and let's go to jake tapper. special coverage continues right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with breaking news in our politics lead. and brand-new cnn polls as we stand by for a white house briefing that will begin any moment and we'll bring that to you when it occurs. but president trump as you know is facing an onslaught of bipartisan outrage over his administration's new policy which is resulting in hundreds if not thousands of children being taken from families if they cross the border illegally as the country sees the startling images of parents and
children put in chain link pences and we've seen an image of a honduran girl toddler weeping as her mother is searched and detained. cnn polls show that two-thirds of the american people polled disapprove of this trump policy change which led to the kid being taken from their parents. 67% disapprove. the photos are shocking. the world and bipartisan leaders including laura bush who said in a post op ed that the administration zero-tolerance policy is cruel and immoral and breaks my heart. but it turns out laura bush is an outlier in her party. according to our poll, a solid majority of the republican party, 58% of republicans, approve of this new zero-tolerance policy leading to the family s-- separation and then the president dropping five points since may and it is 59%
of the public disapproves of the handling of the immigration issue and 35% approve. and today the president continued his false claim that the new policy is because of democrats which is again not true. >> say it's very strongly the democrats' fault. they're obstruction -- they're obstructionists and they are obstructing. >> i want to bring in my panel for a reaction. we have with us senator nina turner and form special answer scott jengs and alfonso aguilar from the u.s. office of citizenship. and let's start with the number. i thought it was surprising. 58% of republicans polled approve of this policy. obviously the numbers are completely the other way when it comes to independents and democrats. alfonso, how do you explain this? 58% of the public support this is new policy with the mass separations of children from their parents. >> well sadly, the republican base is very supportive of the
president on immigration and i think they're going to defend any position he takes on immigration. but you have to understand, look, i'm conservative and i believe in tough immigration proposals or measures. you can be tough on immigration at the border and not -- but you don't need this policy. this policy is -- it doesn't serve as a deterrent and since it was implemented it hasn't reduced the number of people trying to enter illegally. and in fact, the number has gone up. so i don't know why you need this policy. i think republicans are defending it just because he comes from donald trump. we're at this point where whatever the president says on immigration, republicans are going to support him. >> including, scott, the false claim that democrats are behind this when the facts are this is a n a new policy, zero-tolerance policy driven by jeff sessions and the department of homeland security. >> yeah, i have my doubts whether this will deter anyone
from coming here. they are running away from extreme violence and toward a country they thing is worth the risk. so it is human nature to go where life is better and people will continue to do that. i think the president is right on in trying to get to a comprehensive immigration reform deal. i don't think they need the policy to get there, all we need is the president to tell the house republicans tomorrow and he's meeting with them, this is the deal, i will support this and i will sign it and not undercut it after you pass it and then get this thing over to the senate and put this thing in chuck schumer's court. if they're serious about immigration and they are unified and the ball is in their court to pass it. that is where the politics of this could change and right now with the policies and these images, the politicians aren't good for the white house. >> what is your take? >> he's playing games and he's playing a deadly game. and to have first lady laura bush come out -- and she barely comes out or didn't do it when she was in the white house, but for her to say this is cruel and immoral and that is the space where i think we have to live as a country. we get the laws, congress is
past due for having comprehensive immigration reform and that blame could be placed on both parties, but what stands the president staring is the policy pushed by his attorney general at his behest to separate children from parents. this does not have to happen and we have to call the humanity question in this -- >> and let me make a quick point. i do agree that this policy is cruel and it is unfair. agree with laura bush. but i could see the same level of outreach -- of outrage when barack obama was deporting more people than any other president in history. people -- the majority of the first years without criminal records and separating families at the border and throughout the country, where was the outrage. most democrats were not talking about it. >> there was some outrage. >>a few but not the majority. >> there is a difference between what the politicians are willing to tolerate and the people are willing to tolerate. people were out there on the front lines protesting president
obama calling him the deporter and chief. and we can't okay this from any administration. and they thought it was under the trump administration but happened under president obama but we're dealing with president donald j. trump is in the white house right now and he has the power and rarely followed president obama on anything. so he should not blame this on president obama now. he has the authority to change this. >> this is where trump is in a unique position just like on north korea, he could say this is a problem that is vexed multiple administrations in both parties and i uniquely am positioned to show up and fix it and it is the tact he took on north korea and this week he could end this policy and get the house to pass an immigration deal and his job approval will go up because americans do think this is languishing in congress. >> let's talk about job approval because there is evidence in this position and doing with the family separations is hurting his job approval. if you look at the new numbers
for the job approval -- 39% approve, 54% disapprove. this is the lowest of any modern president -- 18 months in, if you compare him to other presidents he has the lowest standard and if you look at overall issue matrix on what voters think about the issues that he's doing, 59% disapprove of him on immigration. that is the highest number. he's actually at 49% approval, 43% disapprove on economy. that is where he is suffering. if you look at this. people -- the american people -- now the base republicans like it but independents and democrats hate it and this is hurting him. this stance on immigration is hurting president trump's popularity with the country. >> no doubt. but here is the thing. co be a hero this week. he could end this policy, which i think they're going to regret having implemented in the first place and get the republicans in congress to follow his lead. it is important to remember, the republican base will not agree with anything coming out if it is sold as the congressional
plan. it has to be the trump plan. he has to say, i'm going to support it and i will not undercut it after you pass it, and i'll get out there and bang the drum for it. that will deliver the party unity necessary and if he does that and pass the bill, you will see the numbers change. >> with democrats in the senate, will they be willing to go along with it if it is a republican house bill because it will probably be more conservative? >> it just depends on what is in there. the president will have to use his superior negotiationing skills as defined by him to try to bring a bipartisan effort. the only way we'll get comprehensive humane immigration reform is in a bipartisan way and i do agree in terms of the president could show some leadership on this if he wanted to. >> and sadly it is a communications problem for the white house because we're talking about this cruel policy and we have a -- a compromise bill in the house. that is actually pretty good. it ends chain migration but doesn't reduce the numbers of legal immigration because it eliminates extended family visas but repurpose them for
employment-bas employment-based category and would provide to over a million dreamers a path to citizenship. so the complaint from democrats was we don't like reduction and the compromised bill has that. but it provides $25 million for the border wall. this is perfect sh but instead they are talking about this and not the compromise bill. we have a bill that could end this. i think republicans are behind the ball. we're on the defensive. we should be talking about this compromise bill and hopefully tomorrow he will support the bill. stick around. we have a lot more to talk about. when we come back, we'll talk more about this very controversial policy and how it is hurting president trump and the white house. stay with us. i'm a fighter. always have been. when i found out i had age-related macular degeneration, amd, i wanted to fight back. my doctor and i came up with a plan. it includes preservision.
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the white house is given all kinds ever answers as to why this is happening. what is the truth? cnn kaitlin colins is live at the white house. and kaitlin, the administration seems to have so many different explanations and stories about this. why can't they get the stories straight. >> reporter: jake, they have so many here. we've seen them play out from officials from the policy doesn't exist and it does exist but not as bad as the media is making it sound and it is the democrats' fault and it deteres people from crossing the board illegally. none of those things are true but the white house is continuing to insist that they are. president trump not backing down on his false claim that democrats are to blame for his administration's zero tolerance immigration policy leading to the separation of parents from children on the border. >> it's very strongly the democrats' fault. the united states will not be say migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility.
it won't be. >> reporter: the administration struggling to get on the same page today as america watched images of children, hundreds if not thousands, taken from parents under the new trump policy on mattresses in cages flash across screens. the department of homeland security secretary defending the policy. >> we'll not apologize for the job we do or for the job law enforcement does for doing the job that the american people expect us to do. it is important to note that these minors are very well taken care of. don't believe the press. >> reporter: though she misleadingly suggested yesterday the policy didn't exist. attorney general jeff sessions who touted the zero-tolerance policy last month -- >> if you don't want your child to be separated, then don't bring him across the border illegally. >> reporter: saying this today -- >> we do not want to separate children from their parents. but we do have a policy of
prosecuting adults who flout our laws to come here illegally instead of waiting their turn -- >> reporter: on capitol hill, both parties now calling on president trump to end the separations. >> i don't think separating a kid from their mommy is going to prevent terrorists or drugs from coming into our country. and so how do these parents know where their kids are. >> and this from a president former adviser. >> he's very good at imagery. this is very bad for the republican party and very bad for the president. >> reporter: so, jake, all of the anger over this is growing as you could see and a lot of this is bipartisan outrage coming from very prominent members of the conservative party, all of this is growing and now sarah sanders is going to have to come out and face reporters and try to give one answer or explanation for why the white house is enforcing this policy the way that it is. so far their explanation for all of that has not been to explain why they think this is the best way to move forward, but to
blame other people. so now sarah sanders is going to face reporters and have to answer for the conflicting stances over this here, jake. >> kaitlin collins at the white house. and the white house set to be live. and hundreds of thousands of kids taken from parents baz of the new policy, but does the job application for that employment read like one for a prison guard. stay with us. behr presents: ordinary versus overachiever. behr premium plus, "behr" through it all with a top-rated paint at a great price. find it exclusively at the home depot. what's critical thinking like? a basketball costs $14. what's team spirit worth? (cheers) what's it worth to talk to your mom? what's the value of a walk in the woods?
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a high school diplom saw and be computer literate. but the company's disclosure of the possible physical demands, they must be able to respond with appropriate protocol in a variety of dynamic supervision situations with clients of 0 to 17 years of age. again 0 to 17. those are children possibly traumatized after spending days or weeks or months without parents and now in the care of strangers. the southwest key job description goes on to read and listen to this, in a sudden or emergency event, staff must be at all times physically able to run, jump, lurng, with twist, push pull, apply restrants techniques or manage or coerce the full weight of an add ol essent and must manage youth who become uncooperative, sick, violent, or display any other form of harmful and threatening
behavior. southwest key said the training policy requires a minimum of 80 hours classroom and on the job training before they could supervise a child but we read a story about a employee in arizona, a whistleblower who spoke to the los angeles times and they said he described the facility as unequipped to deal with children, children were running away and screaming and throwing furniture and attempting suicide, unquote. today the president of the academy -- the american academy of pediatrics told cnn the trauma of separating children from parents amounts to child abuse. cnn is learning more about the shelters housing the youngest kids separated from their families. nick valencia joins us from brownsville, texas. and how are the small children, we haven't seen the kids in t the -- in these tours approved by the government. >> this could have serious long-term consequences for and the american psychiatric
association said the trauma to the children and caretakers could be life long. here in browns vial we'ville wh children all under the age of 10 are taken after separaed from families and according to one democrat. >> congressman who had a tour of the facility, there is a room for toddlers as this facility expects and anticipates babies under one years old. this nondescript warehouse is housing some of the very youngest children caught up in this immigration policy. inside kids all under the age of ten. some as young as five years old have been taken from their parents after crossing the border. >> well it is really heartbreaking -- >> reporter: we weren't allowed inside for a tour but a congressman was, part of a congressional delegation to see the conditions the children are being housed. >> there are about 80 children and 40 of these kids have been separated from their families. and there is -- rooms with toddlers, so there is no question that even children underneath the age of one are being separated from families.
>> the signs cl are removable s say. [ speaking foreign language ] . and less than three miles away, casa padre housed in a former walmart, both run by the same nonprofit, southwest key programs. in cooperation with health and human services. southwest key said their goal is to reunite families as soon as possible. it was over the weekend a group of democratic lawmakers toured that shelter. along with a detention facility in texas. the images spurred bipartisan outrage. chain-link fences and mattresses on the floor, pens that look like cages. >> those kids inside who have been separated from their parents are already being traumatized. it doesn't matter whether the floor is swept and the bed sheets tucked in tight. >> in the town, no one is supposed to be housed longer than three days but one immigrant said he had been there for a week. critics say it is a result of
the trump administration new policy one having facilities bracing for a surge of immigrants. >> i've seen a manifestation of a failed policy. i don't think separating a kid from their mommy is going to prevent terrorists or drugs from coming into our country. >> this is not working in terms of stemming the folks who are fleeing for their lives from violence. >> reporter: and earlier i spoke to democrat lawmaker here in texas congressman villa who said that president trump zero tolerance immigration policy has turned the american dream into the american nightmare. jake. >> thank you so much. horrible story. joining me now democratic congress advice entsy gonzalez of texas including his district of mccowen an where the largest center is located and toured it yesterday. more families have been separated leaving -- the mccown facility than any other in the country. the children that you saw there,
how did they seem to be doing? >> well, as you said, it is a clean facility with tight beds but i didn't see a single smile when i was there and it is a real american shame. i think it is a blemish on our policy and i think ripping kids away from mom and dad is just -- it is unamerican. it is not what the world knows us for. it is not what -- the america we know and love. and i think this policy needs to stop and the only person who can stop this the president of the united states, trump. and our attorney general jeff sessions, they have the power to turn this policy around. >> now jeff sessions just said today that this is the policy because when people break the law their parents get prosecuted and that is why children get separated from their parents. how do you think this problem should be dealt with? >> well, shame on him for saying
that. because we're talking about human beings and i think the majority of americans regardless of where they are in immigration and regardless of -- i'm a -- i have to begin with a premise, that i'm a law and order border congressman. i don't believe in open boards, i believe in having good immigration policy that is strictly followed. but separating families is not what -- the beacon that the world stands for. and so another thing that we haven't talked about that i think is important is our failed policy in central america which is what got us here. right now we're dealing with a symptom of mass migration but why are we here? because we've ignored these countries for decades and the crime-ridden and there is not security on the ground, we haven't helped boost their economy. for a fraction of the price of what we spend now dealing with it -- the symptom, we could resolve these issues and we need to think about foreign policy in central america today other wise this is a continuous problem -- >> i just want to ask -- i hear what you are saying. but i want to hear about what
you saw in the processing center in the little time we have here. you said you didn't see many smiles. were -- >> i didn't see -- >> tell us what you saw. >> i didn't see a single smile. i didn't see a single smile. they are basically hurricane fence rooms or some people could call them cages or larger kennels that house younger kids and more adult men and have women separated and then a section of young girls. not a single smile. it was father's day. it was a sad day. and i can't imagine what they've been through to get just to this point. but one thing that i thought was very interesting, there would be four or five or six young children in a section and usually you would see kids playing with each other or regardless of social economic standards or where they are, kids tend to play with each other. i didn't see a single smile when i walked through there. so special we have a failed policy. it is not an american policy or
where the majority of the american people stand and i think the administration needs to do the right thing and address this issue immediately. >> one of the most striking images of course showing the chain-link fencing and we've heard it described as a cage. is that mostly what is in the facility, these individual chain-link fence cages or whatever you want to call them? >> that is correct. it is 100% in the particular facility in the mcallen area, about a 75,000 square-feet warehouse with chain-link fenced rooms with a ceiling of chain link so it is a complete capsule of chain link. and then it is divided depending on gender and age and some kids are -- some have been taken from parents and we certainly can do better than what i see now. i was just in central america a few weeks ago and i saw bus loads of people who had been deported from mexico.
and they were processed as a family unit and they were deported as a family unit. and one thing i would say, we should be doing just as good or better than what mexico is doing. >> one last question quickly if you could, congressman joaquin castro, your colleague said that he saw a child eight months old who had been separated from his parents. what is the youngest child you saw? >> well, there were probably toddler age when i was at the bridge there was a lady who had just come in that had a baby a few weeks ago on the road. she had been traveling since march and she had a child -- she was from honduras and had her child somewhere in mexico and she had just come across the bridge and was asking for asylum. there are rumors and -- on both ends whether people who are showing up to the border asking for asylum are being separated. the official answer is that they are not. but there are strong rumors that they are and we couldn't have that question answered yesterday
when we asked it. so apparently that is something that needs to be further investigated. >> democratic congressman advice entsy gonzalez of texas. homeland security is warning some people crossing the border may be pretending to be family. does this your honduran girl look like she's pretending to cry as her mother is being patted down by border agents. stay with us.
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my panel is here with me. first of all, since kirsten nielson will be joining the country in a few minutes, i want to start with a couple of things she's said. first of all, there was yesterday -- she was tweeting a bunch of things about the new policy and one of the things she wrote was, quote, we do not have the luxury of pretending that all -- we do not have a policy of separating families at the border, period. that is sect of homeland security. we do not have a policy of separating families at the border. but then also we have what she said today had when speaking with law enforcement officials in new orleans, let's roll that sound. >> 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. >> so yesterday there is no
policy but today there is a policy and i'm defending it. what is going on, scott? >> well i think they're trying to be too cute by half. that is what we call it in kentucky and they better get their ducks in order and it is harming them to know what to do and they must unify going into the immigration reform debate this week. i hope they are not losing sight of. a chance for a win. immediate issue with the policy but trying to score a legislative win to solve the problems at once and i fear that -- they're caught in the storm today. but they have got to get this right today so it doesn't mess up what will happen the rest of the week. >> nina, is there any way for sarah sanders or secretary of homeland security come out and give an explanation to make this issue go away. >> i don't think so. they'll continue to champion what the president wants them to
do. sarah sanders has never done or said anything that wasn't the antithesis. and we know the centers are a money maker. you look at the private industry, the contracts and i.c.e. spends about 2 # billion dollars a year in funding giving it to the independent private corporations to house the young people and they have no protections and i want americans to imagine and the cnn poll shows it clearly, if you are not a democrat, you can't imagine if those were your children you wouldn't want them treated this way. he doesn't have to do it this way and in past administration they would release families together and give them a court day. and that is what president trump could do if he wanted to. this is wrong and it will -- it is biting him right now. >> alfonso? >> well, what is striking is i don't think they could fix this. the public statements are out there and they've contradicted each other. it seems they were not talking amongst themselves. she said that they're not separating families. at the same time the department
of justice issued public guidance saying that anybody who enters -- tries to enter illegally will be prosecuted criminally and the children will be separated. in english and spanish. so they are not talking to each other. what is she talking about? i frankly again think it is a communications problem. if i were the white house, i would try to focus on the compromise bill in the house. which ends this policy. but to continue to blame democrats, the fact of the matter is that immigration law does not require families to be separated. it is a policy decision to criminally prosecute everybody who tries to enter the country illegally. so it is on the administration. they have to accept that. >> there is a provision in the law that if people at customs or border control feel the child is in danger, that he or she could be separated. or if they don't believe that the person is actually the legal guardian. that is to cut down on coyotes and human traffics. >> that point is very valid. we don't want to underestimate
that reality. there are a lot of human trafficking and people coming in with people who are not relatives to be part of the trafficking rings. some of the kids may be 12, 13 and 14 and may have ties with ms-13. that is a reality. >> but i mean -- >> so there is a point there. but -- >> but that is not what we're talking about. >> but that doesn't justify separating -- >> that is not what the administration -- they are not doing it that way. that -- and this administration continues to paint folks as the other and that is the tragic part of this. to just assume th-- to assume se people may have -- but a vast majority are coming here. >> tour the detention centers through the border and the majority are good people and coming with parents. >> that is right. >> but we do have minors with criminal records -- >> well let's sort that out. >> we have to sort it out. but not in the way they are doing it.
>> but on the other side they are trying to underestimate the problem. >> president trump revels in this. >> this is a bad policy. >> most americans would demand that the u.s. border patrol vet out the people coming in here. no matter what happens when you get here, if somebody has criminal ties or for the wrong reasons, we have to figure that out in time. and so it is totally legitimate to do that. to apply it to everybody, i don't think is acceptable to most folks. >> we're waiting still for the department of homeland security secretary to take questions at the white house. cnn will bring it live when it happens. we're also following a russia probe bombshell, did a long time trump adviser forget about a meeting with a russian who offered dirt on hillary clinton in exchange for 2-- for $2 million. how he's changing his story. stay with us. i mean wish i had time to take care of my portfolio, but..
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breaking news now. just minutes ago we learned that the department of homeland security secretary kirsten nielson is coming to the white house to address the outrage over the children being taken from parents as they are apprehended at the border. sarah sanders the white house press secretary did not want to do the briefing today, amid the swirl of questions about the separation policy. so secretary nielson was flown back from new orleans where she was addressing law enforcement to explain the questions and that is explaining why the briefing was delayed several times and more than usual today. let's go to kaitlin collins. so sarah sanders is unable to defend this policy? is that what i am to gather. >> reporter: clearly she doesn't want to take questions from reporters by herself up here in
this room on these conflicting stances that we've seen from the administration over this policy in recent days. as we reported earlier, they've been all over the place, contradicting each other and in certain circumstances over this and now this briefing has been delayed because sarah sanders didn't want to take the questions by herself. she wanted the department of homeland security secretary kirsten nelson to come up here and answer reporters' questions. that is not worthy because she was in new orleans just this morning giving that speech where she was defending this policy after just yesterday she said on twitter that the policy didn't even exist. we had a hint this was coming. the briefing was delayed from 1:15 to 3:30 and then to 4:00 and then at 4:30 the press secretary said it would be delayed so nielson could answer reporters' question on the policy. she thanked people for patience as this went on. but clearly, jake, what we're seeing is the white house is
still struggling to get on the same page regarding this even as we see the president double down and take this into their own hands. nielson gave that speech this morning and the president instead of letting her speak for the policy and jeff sessions, he came out at the space event here at white house event today trying to justify what has happened with immigration in recent days. and now we are waiting to hear from sarah sanders but it looks like it will be nielsen taking most of the heat in here. >> kaitlin collins. we're waiting for the briefing room to play a relief pitcher for sarah sanders. cnn will bring that to you live. stay with us.
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welcome back. we're following the breaking news. we're told minutes ago that homeland security secretary kirstjen nielson is going to discuss the kids taken from parents apprehended add the border and sarah sanders did not want to do the briefing today. at least not alone. amid all of this outrage and the questions over these family separations. so secretary nielsen was flown back from new orleans where she was addressing a law enforcement convention to join her. my panel joins me now. i guess one question i have and let me start with you, nina turner, is secretary of department of homeland security kirstjen nielsen becoming the face of this policy, even though i think it was jeff sessions that started it. >> it was. it seems that way. with the remarks she made -- the sheriff's association just being saying what they are not going take and stand for.
she absolutely is. and good for sarah sanders -- to say that -- or huckabee sanders that i'm not going down alone and i need somebody else to stand by myself and continue to perpetuate this lie and they know good and well that the president could change this policy of separating families and they should come out and say mistakes were made and we're going to change this policy, the president has instructed us to change the policy and that is exactly what we'll do and not separate children from families. >> 58% of the republican base supports the policy. scott, do they need do to do it? this is an administration to be frank that seems a lot more interested in pleasing the base than doing things for independents and democrats as well. >> the rest of the country largely disapproves of it. there are a t-- are a lot of republicans on capitol hill that disapprove it. and they need to get pass legislation that deals with this outside of policy and executive order and do it via actual u.s.
laws. the president always had the right instinct on this. do away with this piecemeal immigration via executive order and by laws. they are on the cusp of moving in that direction. i hope nielsen comes out today and addresses that issue, what is the president going to say on capitol hill to republicans tomorrow. are we on the brink of immigration reform. >> so here is the thing. there is damage being done to the kid according to doctors and expects. take a listen to the american academy of pediatrics talking about what this does to a child to forcibly separate him or her from their parents. >> this is an act of child abuse. these children have been traumatized in the trip up to the border and the first thing that happens is we take away the one constant in their life that helps them buffer all of the horrible experiences. that is child abuse. >> dr. colleen craft, the
president of the american academy of pediatrics and i want to underline that point because we get wrapped up in the policy debates and the politics and we're talking about children being hurt by the u.s. government. >> and as she said, trying to enter the country illegally is already a traumatic experience. and then if you add being separated from your parents, it is deaf stafting for a child. but look, i think more than anything -- i'm hoping that there is not a political calculation here. steven miller did say interview recently where he said they were going push some tougher enforcement measures in the next few months and in congress. hopefully they're not trying to energize the base as we move toward november. i don't think that -- that may work for the pressing of the national level but i don't think his political strategy translates to the state or the district. >> we know the president has a compassionate heart when it comes to kids and we bombed
another country because the president was shown children being teargassed and that is happening here and i wonder when somebody will talk to the president about what is happening here and what are the ramifications and what role can he play in stepping in and ending this idea. they'll regret doing this but he can fix it and he could also fix this legislative problem and that would be a huge week for the white house. >> here is the thing -- nina, i want to get your position on this,.president's base liked this because they think illegal immigration is a huge problem and they agree with jeff sessions and kirstjen nielsen this is a deterrent. there is not evidence that it is serving as a deterrent but they think the blame for this goes to the parents that are bringing these kids across the border illegally. it is not the fault of the u.s. government. the parents are committing crimes. the u.s. government is dealing with it appropriately. that is their view. why would president trump undo it? >> i don't think that he will. and i disagree that he shows compassion. there are a lot of suffering going on in this country where
he is not shown the requisite compassion and this is a political calculation for him. he doesn't care about the kids one iota or the trauma causing the families and even the u.n. is weighing in on this. so pl ticks is all he cares b. if he cares about the flesh and blood consequences he would not push a zero-tolerance policy at this moment. so he just flat out doesn't care and we need to -- >> if he doesn't care about these kids and he doesn't care about the plight of immigrants, why is he willing to make a deal to give dreamers citizenship. >> he didn't care. >> of course he cares. >> and the bill putting up the wall and the compromise bill that you talked about, there is no guarantees in the bill that children will not be separated from families. that is not -- >> it does say that family units -- >> it is in the bill. >> it is not in the bill. >> they would have to stay together. the problem with the white house is that you have different advisers giving different advice to the president and i think he's listening to sessions
and -- when does he listen to anybody. he doesn't listen to anybody. >> i think steven miller is undercutting and the president should follow his instincts and he understands the immigration issue. >> and that is all of the time we have. i apologize. thanks so much. the white house briefing with homeland security secretary nielsen is coming up next. that is it for "the lead." turning it over to wolf blitzer. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." we're following breaking news. we're standing by for white house briefing. now delays four hours as the administration faces increasing pressure from democrats and now many republicans as well condemning the policy of separating undocumented children from their parents at the border. top administration officials are defending the actions