tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN June 18, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
as parents, people with warm blood pumping through your heart, that's what it should make you do. if it doesn't, act anyway. you know why? fear of consequence. more than 2/3 of americans are against this. who would vote for a member of any party who watched this happened and did nothing? it is a simple message. do your job. that's all for us tonight. thank you for watching. cnn with don lemon starts right now. "cnn tonight." >> thank you chris. we're going to do our jobs. you've been doing yours, we're going to keep folks of the facts and hopefully people in washington will do what you say, do their damn jobs. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. the trump administration is trying hard to deny and reflect intense -- at the southern border.
they can and are trying to deny those facts. our job on this program is to bring you those facts and we will do that tonight. but first, you have to hear this, it's a sound of what propubly ka reports are the voices of little kids from central america being held at a custody and border protection area last week, sobbing for their parents.
[speaking foreign language] it's heart breaking. since we began reporting on this story, as the crises at the border grows each day, a lot of people have said, this is not what we stand for, this is america, this is not who we are. but is it? because i want you to listen to some more. and you cannot deny that this is who we are right now. this is what we've become. we are now a country separating vulnerable children from their families, and in this case, as you're about to hear, a 6-year-old girl desperate for
someone to fine her aunt. [speaking foreign language] >> we are a nation that has always welcomed people from around the world to our shores. let's face it. some of us, some of our ancestors have been more welcoming than others. many came here out of desperation, many came here carrying hope. many came here in ships, but all had a hope of making america great. it was a real thing, blood,
sweat and tears, when it really meant something. as these families are being ripped apart. it's important to note that 133 years ago yesterday, someone else arrived on our shores. a french ship sailed into the new york harbor carrying ladies liberty. 200 thou peop 200,000 people are turned out to welcome her. give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. the representative refuge of your shore. send yes, the homeless. i lift my lamp beside the golden door. what does that golden door look like tonight? i want to begin tonight with ginger thomas, a senior reporter at republ ka, and jennifer hard
wright, a senior attorney. good evening to both of you. it's awful. jennifer i want to get to you. as you were listening to that audio, you were almost in tears. >> yes, i've spent the weekend with this tape and it still really shakes me, especially the 6-year-old girl. >> why so? >> i have nephews, i have nieces, i have a granddaughter who is about 6 years old, and so -- so hearing her voice, you know brings all of those people who i love to mind. >> what does that golden door look like tonight? >> i think that's what this story was about, was about sort of saying and forcing all of us to recon with what this policy is. i think there's been an attempt to kind of make this a sterile policy debate, and to even
characterize the children as gang members and risks and threats to the country. i think if you wanted to defend this policy, that's fine, but we need to be able to say clearly what the policy is and what the policy does. and the voices that have been missing in this debate about this policy are the voices of the children. >> the children. jennifer i want to get to you. we have a lot to talk about, and again welcome to the program. we should know cnn has not been able to verify the source of this audio or the events that occur on it. we have reached out to border patrol and awaiting a response to them. you are the one who released this article here. what can you say about the children? who you did you get it? >> how did i get it? >> yes, ma'am. >> a whistleblower was so
appalled by the waeeping of the children and the trauma inflicted upon them. the whistleblower prepared the tape and brought it to me for legal advice and authorized me to pass it on to ginger thomas and any other agency that was interested in making this reality known. >> so, jennifer what did your client say about the ages of the children that we hear on the recording? give us some background here. >> there's a range of ages. some of the older kids in the room were uncompanied minors that would probably will teenagers, but there's just a few of those. the rest of them were very small children, as you can hear on the tape. some 5-year-old, 4-year-old, 6-year-old, 7-year-old, in that range. >> ginger we talked about the 6-year-old girl. we hear the one girl asking that call her aunt, she even recited her phone number.
you called the nerm and spoke to the child's aunt. what did she say? >> she talked about how terrifying it was for her to get a call from her 6-year-old niece, after having traveled a month from travel america through mexico, across the border. the little girl was crying and saying, you know, aunt, i'll behave myself, i'll be a good girl but please come get me because i'm alone. and she's, you know she's we're going through an asylum claim after her own and is in a legally precarious place, particularly now -- >> the aunt? >> the aunt. she's at a loss of what to do and how to help. >> so she's still there? the 6-year-old. >> the 6-year-old is now in a shelter being run by health and human services. she's out of the border patrol
facility. >> i want to bring the doctor, welcome to the program, thank you for joining us. you heard that awful audio. it's so emotional, i hate to be so emotional because i want to get the story out and not detract from it. the children that have been at the center for the last 24 hours, what is your reaction to it. how damaging is it? >> first of all it's absolutely heart breaking to hear those tapes. what we're hearing is the man festation of acute stress reaction that these kids are going through. these are kids that have suffered so much already. to arrive in our justice system for protection and to be torn out of the arms of their parents are leading to conditions such as these acute stress reactions
we're seeing that is very worrisome. what acute stress does is it leads to regressive behavior, withdrawal, aggressiveness, bedwetting, things that all of a sudden they -- all the mile stones that they mastered are now getting reversed. that's very concerning. it affects their learning and development and growth. we also knee what this stress is doing over a longer period of time, is leading to toxic stress. and toxic stress is release, the exposure of hormones. those stress hormones that we know are the fight and flight hormones, the red aler hormones that can lead to long-term chronic problems, high blood pressure, cancer, long-term conditions. this is very disturbing. to me as a pediatrician seemed like government sanctioned child
endangerment. >> i'll talk to you more about this but i want the viewers to hear more. watch this. [speaking foreign language] >> so that comment, jennifer from the border agent, ex agreemently upset. what is the whistleblower telling you of how these children are being treated by officials? >> well, they're certainly not being understood. they're being jovial and joking around trying to jolly the
children who have just been torn away from their parents. we have to remember all of these people, going through extreme dangers trying to get the rio grande, extraordinary danger, leaving everything behind. these people are refugees. trump wants to talk about how these people are criminals, we have to remember, the cartels, they can buy any police officer, they can buy airplanes, they can buy boats, they don't need to send starving terrorized families to run the river. we're poshiunishing the victimse and joking around with the kids as if it was no big deal, i find that infuriating. >> the american pediatric says the same thing that you did. separating children from families at borders is choose. here's how sector neal son
responded. >> how is this not specifically chi child abuse for these innocent children who are not being separated from their families? >> i want to be clear on a couple things, the vast majority, vast vast majority of children who are in the care of hhs right now, 10,000 of the 12,000 were sent here alone by their parents, that's when they were separated. we now care for them, we have high standards, we give them males, education, medical care, there's videos, t.v.s, i visited the detention centers myself. that would be my answer to that question. >> what do you think of that response? is it -- >> i find it -- i'm incredit you louse to be honest. i can't believe how families fleeing for their lives can be blamed for what is happening and our policy. >> what can you tell us about their conditions?
>> in the centers? >> yes. >> the problem with the centers is the access is extremely limited. they are, you know, big box stories in some cases. walmarts in some cases that have been converted into holding facilities. and so, inside of these box centers are kinds of kennels where, you know, men are kept in a couple of kennels, women are kept in another kennels, uncompanied children in another. some of those unaccompanied children are really not unaccompanied but they've been torn away from their families. >> thank you all. i appreciate it. jennifer thank you. appreciate you coming on as well. why aren't we seeing pictures of girls? is that deliberate? we're only seeing guys, men, very few adult women? but girls? what's going on here?
the administration defending its policy as outrage of growing at the separation of undocumented parents and children. this tape we have been talking about has been played in the white house briefing room as well. two white house reporters will join me next. ♪ i love you baby applebee's 2 for $20, now with steak. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
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this is happening as audio's been released of children at detention centers sobbing for their parents. i want to bring in april ryan, and ryan ken. good evening to both of you. tell us what is happening at the white house? the press broofing today was unbelievable. april -- thank you both. april start with you. before the briefing today, reporters listened to that audio, what was it like when that started to play at the briefing today? she could hear it i'm sure. >> before that, margaret, the president of the white house correspondent association, the outgoing president who happened to be a bloomberg -- she played it and we all started listening to it. this is before sarah or the secretary of homeland security came out. while the secretary of homeland security was talking, olivia
knewsy, a reporter started playing, she was way pack in the room. and we heard it. we heard the children wailing. this was as the homeland security head was talking. and at issue, olivia kept saying, while she was asking questions with others, have you seen or heard this tape. she never got a response so she started playing it. she acknowledged it on twitter she was the one way back in the back of the room. we could hear it up front and you could see it on the audio, yes. >> you could see hogan and sarah looking around to see who was playing it. i'm still trying to figure out who played the dark vaider march at one point and time too. >> i didn't hear that one. >> i heard that at the front, there were a couple people asked about that. the scary part was the reaction, i think, from this administration, regarding -- they doubled down on them being victimed themselves, being held
hostage by democrats. the logic they employed were we're not holding these poor innocent victims hostage but if we don't get what we want we're going to continue. so they are using them as leverage. this is one issue i've covered for 35 year. it's frightening. both parties have punted this issue for years. whether you think about the country, you think of the foundations of our republic and how they're treating these people. these kids have to endid you ever. -- some of them end up dead, i see them stacked up in a u-haul stabbed to death. then they come over here and
they're last vest of humanity is striped from them and their children are taken from them. is this who we are as a crow? it's a question we have to ask. there was a question asked to be everyone think and compassion, the administration is more determined to enforce the law than to show compassion for the victims. these people aren't gang members their victims. >> but it's not really the law, that's the thing. they're trying to pull the wool over your eyes. >> yeah exactly. >> i've had several people on saying it was, and then there's people admitting the trump administration did change the policy. the fact are just not on their side. >> it's at their discretion. >> april, has anyone at the white house or with the administration tried to explain to you or anyone there why you can't have zero tolerance without separating parents from their kids? >> well, you know, today i don't know what they were trying to say because it was back and forth.
you know, the homeland security secretary said one thing and sarah came back -- >> let me tell you what she said and i'll let you finish. last night she treated we do not have a appeal separating parent at the border, period. she was still defending the policy. today she defended this publicly. watch this april, i'll let you finish your point. >> here's the bottom line, dhs is no longer ignoring the law, we are enforcing the laws as it exist on the books. as long as illegal entry remains, dhs will not look the other way. >> here's the deal, from the very beginning this administration has said if you indeed legally across the border you've committed a crime. this administration is saying, they don't care if it's man, woman, cat, dog, child, adult they're going to look at it as a crime. they're trying to put teeth in
this to set an example. that's one of reasons why i asked the question about the pawn issue. are these issues being used as a pawn. it goes down the line about trying to fix the broken immigration system, immigration reform. the homeland security sed says no the kids aren't being used as a pawn. sarah huckleby sanders says oh we want to do everything, it's all or nothing to create the wall. it's leverage -->> it's leverage to get the wall. >> and these kids are used as pawns, they say one thing do another. the president can change this policy. >> briefing had been delayed, delayed, delayed. >> 3 1/2 hours. >> did they want her there was sarah not trying to take the blame of this? >> i know -- a couple of people told me. i'm the guy 25 minutes after
that briefing starts, i'm always the guy that says where are you. they say if i tell you they'll you'll tell somebody else. well, yes. someone confided many n me they were looking for someone to speak to this issue. sarah already tried to handle that, we saw how that ended. the homeland security secretary came out as well, she botched it as well. they chose to decide if it's a crime. they have a choice. you can treat it as a crime or a civil penalty. if you treat it as a civil penalty you don't separate the children and the families, you let them go. they chose to prosecute it as a criminal offense. that was made very clear. it was also made very clear, april asked the question and others followed up on it, it is a pawn, it is leverage. the two thing that came out today, because sarah did not want to speak to that, was the fact that who did have to speak
to it had to own up to it and they had to take the heat for it. i think sarah's tired of taking the heat. >> that's going to do it for us. i'll see you guys later this week. when we come back, all the republicans who are standing up to the president and telling him to stop his zero tolerance policy and all the republicans who aren't standing up. that's next.
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growing calls tonight for the white house to abandon its policy, separating parents and children. bring in anna navarro and michael shields and rick wilson. good evening all of you. >> good evening. >> very important conversation. mike, i'll start with you. the president wants a long-term fix to this problem. he can pick up the phone, put a stop to what we're saying. why not do that? why let the health and welfare of these children lie in the balance here? >> i think a couple thing. they said they're going to double down on this today, they said they're going to push even more set type of crack downs and enforce the laws at the border.
i think it's telling that some of the pictures that came out were from dhs. i think the white house wants this controversy, they're trying to forcing this to happen. everything the president does is a negotiation. he is talked about when the government funding is up that he may not sign a funding bill until immigration is settled. he's pushing through all this controversy to get to something. i think when you hear the audio and the stuff you were playing before, we are ripping the band aid off of an ugly ish which is what we don't want to talk about this in country, which is how horrible or immigration system and is how horrible it is with the things happening on the border. there are worse things than this happening with the children on our border every day. i hope the media will start digging be that a lit and see
how horrible children are smuggled across the board -- >> i get you mike. >> this is one thing that has to be solved and the president has to solve it. >> all of it is terrible. americans cannot coyotes. president seems to be -- you should not be comparing the president of the united states, the policy of the united states to what coyotes do. >> but don our policy -- >> that makes us no better than him. >> conversation before, we should crack down on businesses that are employing the illegals, if we did that they wouldn't come here. if we apply catch and release that indicate to people if you come to the border with a child, we're not going to follow the law as its written and therefore you should bring a child to the border and you can get in the country. we create an atmosphere that puts them in this position. >> okay. i have to get to the other two
here. rick, he did just admit to what the questions that the reporters are asking at the briefing today are these children today being used as political pawns. he's right, there's reporting tonight that they're going to ranch this up, they think it's a winning issue comes midterms. >> i think that the bannon faction of the trump party very much wants their base to be gemmed up on the fear of brown people crossing the border. it's one of their go-to. for all of you economically anxious folks of you in the upper midwest i'm going to stop the brown horde of gang bangers from coming to your town. i don't think the president has the majority of the republicans in the senate right now. there's a lot of nervousness right now. these guys that are on the
bored -- john cornyn and ted cruz tonight are both saying we have to pass something specifically to stop this particular practice. this thing is not -- donald trump's not going to get this sweeping mega package that builds his dumb wall in the course of this just because he's holding these kids hostage. this is blowing back on him pretty hard. the country is 2/3 to 3.25 against this policy. he's got the hypnotized part of his base locked in. i think this is a political disaster. i think the president knows it. i think he's about to flip and portray his own base. >> anna he does have 58% of the republicans, they support this policy. you've been standing by patiently and quietly, i know this is a passionate issue for you. go on. >> you know, i think that has been changing today. today we have seen for the first time republican leaders come out
and start denouncing and condemning this -- this policy. i don't know what the hell took them so long. it's a shame that its taken 2,000 kids being separated. i'll tell you what happened today thai think has changed the narrative. it's the fact that we've heard the kids' voices, we've heard the cries and the pleas. weave seen the image of the 2-year-old. when those polls were taken showing the country was 67, 66% against the policy. we had not heard the kids crying, wailing, begging for their mother and father. we have not seen the heart breaking pictures. america its majority is a compassionate, compassionate family values country. there is only so much of that that's going to happen. you think ted cruz is coming up with some sort of proposal for this because all of a sudden he woke up to it? no, this has been happening in his state for weeks and weeks and weeks.
the reason people are waking up to it because constituent are demanding it. keep calling their offices, keep talking about this, keep inundating their social media, keep demanding action. >> listen, i've got to get to the break. i've asked this question once, i just want to know why are we seeing certain pictures and images, you're saying okay, well they want these imaging to get out there. we only see certain images. we don't see young girls? why is that. we'll talk about that more. we'll be right back. ways. like new cedar plank seafood bake, roasted to perfection. or new caribbean lobster and shrimp. but hurry in. lobster & shrimp summerfest won't last. i was wondering if an electric toothbrush really cleans better than a manual. and my hygienist says it does but they're not all the same. who knew? i had no idea. so she said, look for one that's shaped like a dental tool with a round brush head.
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the white house -- in leaving it up to congress -- back with me anna navarro, mike shields and rick wilson. so, mike the pictures we've seen features boys not girls. take a listen. >> why is the government only releasing images of the boys being held, where are the girls? >> i don't know. i'm not familiar with those
particular images. >> you don't know where the girls are -- >> we have children in dhs care both but as you know most of the children after 72 hours are transferred to hhs, so i don't know what pictures you're referencing but i'd have to agree with hhs. >> your department has been aired all over national television, the kids have been health in the cages. >> i will look into that, i'm not aware -- >> they scrambled her to be there, shouldn't she know this stuff if they're going to put here there in the front of the podium and she is the secretary? mike, why are we seeing dispropotential number of boys at these centers? are they just showing boys because they're afraid these guys are going to grow up and be the hs-13 gang members. that are not showing little girls and there have to be
little girls there. >> i don't know the answer to that. my guess is there will be images of girls and other children. regardless of what is put out, i can't speak to why they did that. look, you're going to have two forces running into each other here, right? you have one force which is -- under president obama, this is a vexing issue has been said, he try to create family detention centers. there was an outcry under his administration, he said let's stop doing there, let's just let them in. >> it wasn't the same under the circumstances, it was only when the parent were questioned. it wasn't don't in this way -- >> i'm not comparing -- >> let me just give you, if they are equal, they are not. two wrongs don't make a right. obama is not the president jan more. >> tha not what i'm saying. what i'm saying is two thing that are going to run into each
other. we're already seeing, this is politically difficult. you had a similar outcry of a somewhat different thing that happened under obama and he stopped it -- >> because it's difficult -- >> tha going to run into the base policy -- >> i don't think you have to go into extremes because it's difficult. >> the president ran on enforcing the border. he ran into general against hillary clinton who had an opposite policy, he won. this is something he said he was going to do, which is enforce -- >> to be a jerk, to be an ass, to be someone -- >> i'm trying to give you an objective analysis. that's not even a partisan thing that's a fact. those two things are going to run into each other. we're turning into into
questioning the president again, so. >> i mean, he is the one that can change this. he is the one, with all due respect mike, saying that this is a democrats law. first of all it's not the law, it's not the democrats law. republicans had controlled both chambers and the white house. he's flatly boldface lying about this particular issue, it's not even a policy, it's how they're choosing to go about doing this. so, he is lying. and then people come to the podium and they lie. people come on television, then they lie. then they try to spin it to even at some point saying it's helping these children and these families, which is not. i got to let the other guys talk, i'm sorry. go ahead rick. and then -- >> i think there are two important things to focus on. the first is this is a president who we have been told over and over again have virtually unlimited power. he has done executive orders and
policy changes on everything under the sun. suddenly they're helpless on this thing. he can send down command guides to dhs and i.c.e. in a hot minute and tell them to change this. they can issue an executive order immediately and tell them to change it. whose going to sue him over it? no one that's whoa who. this is a policy of cruelty deliberate political manipulation, it's backfiring on them very badly right now. it puts the lie of this whole thing about executive orders. this is a president who wants executive order when he wants to get away with it. now that he's under the gun and feeling pressure under something he's engaging a policy. this is a president who specializes in such grand and melis
cruelty to people. it's washing away all the politics behind it. wash under the law with it. average americans, they're seeing the images of the children and hearing these crying children's voices. fox news can say all day long this is about obama and some policy. it was clear with barack obama and his policies, he never had a bunch ole giggling idiots around them reveling in how shutty their policies are. >> anna i'll give you the last word. >> i don't know what to say about it. on the one hand you got a president who tells you, oh just how terrible, terrible, terrible and heart breaking this policy is, which he knows that he can change in one minute, but is trying to blame democrats for. you've got senate in congress
and the senate. you got diane finestein saying, okay, here's a bill to get it done. let's not assume for a minute that president loco is right. let's assume for a minute that this takes a act of congress. well, republicans are in charge of the house, senate and white house. all it'll take is donald trump calling paul ryan and mitch mcconnell saying hey, i want this turned into law and it will be turned into law. this could happen right now. he could do it through legislation if he wanted to. the bottom line he wants to continue this horrible horrible cruelty. >> i'm know your frustrated mike, i heard you say damitt i'll give you the la ten
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tonight we're learning there was no call from the u.s. to north korean officials this weekend. hello to both of you on this quite depressing monday for me. sorry. this thing at the border has really gotten to me. it's really ridiculous. today the white house tells cnn no such call, took place. they didn't give a reason why. >> what's the president going to do? negotiate details? look at the issues that have to come up in the future over the next couple of years. the details of secretary mike pompeo is going to have to deal with. what facility is going to be inspected, what documentation do they anticipate receiving. who is going to comprise the inspection team. what indicates the north koreans
are complying? how many missiles are they destroying? do you think the president is going to talk to the north koreans about how to do details? he showed up, had a cup of coffee and now mike pompeo has to work out the details. it's like me growing a man bun, it's not going to happen. >> i needed that. >> kim jong un is going to china tomorrow and wednesday. did the president get any more than a short-term boost from this photo-op and will he see any real results?
>> probably not. i think it does relate to the story earlier. america is broken. and that has national security consequences. instead of other countries talking about our strengths or our smarts or our economy or even our morality, which was not brought you by donald trump. the fact that the north koreans are meeting with the chinese should not be a surprise to us because in the end the chinese won full stop based on our north korea policy. they got what eththey wanted. they got us out of some. exercises in the peninsula and got the world wary of the united states, which in the end only benefits china and to a lesser extent russia. >> i want to turn to the
congressional hearing on the inspector general's report. it broke down along political lines pretty quickly. this is senator from louisiana. >> general, do you believe in the tooth fairy? >> nope. >> do you believe in the easter bunny? >> nope. >> do you believe that jimmy hoffa died of natural causes? >> not based on what i've read. do you honestly believe that the american people are going to look at this report and look at those e-mails and not believe that there was bias and people acting on bias and that the fix was in at the fbi? >> so, phil, the accusations -- i know, it's ridiculous. >> i believe in the easter bunny, by the way, so keep going. >> it's not going to go away but
it's just so ridiculous. i see this stuff every day and i think these are the people who are running our country. i want to run for office sometimes when i see this absolute ridiculousness. despite the conclusions from this report, they didn't ultima ultimately affect the investigation and its conclusions, what was going on? >> i was the subject of many investigations at the fbi, i witnessed for the inspector general. any time they walk in the room, if they see flowers, they're not going to say life is good, they're going to say where's the funeral? the inspector general is not a good news story. they say we did a hundred plus interviews, a million-plus pages, we found that people did the wrong thing but we did not find evidence. what are you supposed to say? they did the investigation, the congress didn't. >> ten seconds, juliette. up against the clock. >> i think it was stalemate at
the hearing. i think the only take away we should be washing is horowitz's could i answer as to whether there was a continuing investigation about the new york fbi department and contacts with giuliani or others that may have set some of the tone that got comey to move forward. i thought that answer was very telling. unclear whether he's investigating it or more significantly for giuliani, whether there's a criminal investigation going on and the i.g. is deferring to it. to me that's the headline. >> coming up, the president says he is not to blame for thousands of children being separated from their parents at the border. but the truth is his party is on the record for the exact policy. we have the receipts next. i'm april kennedy and i'm an arborist
every year to ensure that hazardous trees can't impact power lines. and since the onset of the drought we've doubled our efforts. i grew up in the forests out in this area and honestly it's heartbreaking to see all these trees dying. what guides me is ensuring that the public is going to be safer and that these forests can be sustained and enjoyed by the community in the future. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. signs that a trade war with china is heating up as the president directs his administration to place tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of chinese goods. we'll have the latest on that. that as we hear the growing calls for the trump administration to end the immigration policy that results in undocumented f