tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN June 20, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
. happening now, breaking news.um. the president signs an order to end his own policy of separating families at the border, bowing to intense pressure from his party, his family and even the pope. now he's trying to sell his cave-in as an act of courage. creating more chaos. as children wait to be reunited with their parents, the president's plan to detain families together is raising new legal red flags. will hundreds of kid who have already suffered be caught up in new court battles? democratic surge. cnn's exclusive new poll shows the opposition party is improving its chances of retaking the house. stand by for a new snapshot of democratic support in races across the country heading into the midterm election. and failure to launch. just days after the president unveiled his dream of a u.s. military space force, the defense secretary is bringing the commander in chief's hopes
back down to earth. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the "situation room." ♪ this is cnn breaking news. we're following breaking news on the president's reversal on family separations at the border with mexico. mr. trump signing an executive order to keep children with their detained parents, something he could have done with a phone call. the president seeking a way out of a crisis of his own making in the face of widespread outrage about his administration's policy. tonight, the problem isn't entirely solved. as urgent new concerns arise about the logistics of keeping the families together and the expected legal challenges. this hour i'll speak with california congressman ted lu, a key member of the judiciary and foreign affairs committees. our correspondents and analysts
are also standing by. jeff zeleny, you're already in minnesota where the president is heading right now for a campaign rally later tonight. what's the latest? >> reporter: president trump landed here in duluth, minnesota, just a few moments ago, stepping onto air force one just shortly after signing that surprise executive order sitting at the resolute desk in the oval office. wolf, we have not seen a reversal like this that the president has made since taking office. he was feeling pressure from around the world. but i am told it was that pressure from inside the white house, from melania trump, from ivanka trump, that urged him to change his mind. as we stand here in this rally around trump supporters, it's also reminded midterm elections five months down the road and republicans were nervous. >> we're signing an executive order. >> reporter: president trump doing tonight what he insisted he could not, stopping the policy of separating migrant families at the u.s. border. >> anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it.
we don't like to see families separated. >> reporter: the president abruptly changing course, trying to contain an immigration crisis. he signed an executive order to detain parents and children together if they illegally cross the u.s. border. >> we're going to have strong, very strong borders, but we're going to keep the families together. i didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated. >> reporter: but for days the president and his administration maintain their hands were tied. they said an act of congress was needed to change a policy roundly criticized for its cruelness. >> you can't do it through an executive order. >> until these loopholes are closed by congress, it is not possible as a matter of law to detain and remove whole family units who arrive illegally in the united states. >> it's congress's job to change the law. >> reporter: but the white house caved to world wide public pressure. >> mr. president, don't you have kids! >> reporter: finally swayed by a near revolt inside the
republican party. >> we should never play with the lives of these children. >> reporter: administration officials told cnn these images from the border and the sound of wailing children became too much to over come. and leverage to push a broader immigration bill faded in the controversy. sitting at the resolute desk today, the president even seemed to acknowledge that he was buckling to public pressure. yet for much of the day confusion gripped washington. >> we are going to take action to keep families together while we enforce our immigration laws. >> reporter: but speaker paul ryan and other republican leaders were caught off guard by the president's sudden change of heart. by afternoon, they were summoned to the white house. the president made clear it would not entirely erase the zero tolerance policy of separating children around parents at the border, but rather detain migrant families together. we have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally. >> reporter: his word in stark contrast to his fighting mood hours earlier on twitter saying
it's the democrats' fault. he added, i am working on something. it never ends. also not ending was the global outrage over separating migrant families at the border. pope francis calling it immoral in contrary to our catholic values. british prime minister theresa may also expressing disgust, saying she intends to raise it when trump visits the u.k. next month. >> the pictures of children being held in what appear to be cages are deeply disturbing. this is wrong. >> reporter: corporate america also blasting the administration's policy. apple ceo tim cook calling it inhumane. the u.s. chamber of commerce saying this is not who we are and it must end now. the political crisis finally reaching a tipping point after a series of grimacing moves by the president's allies. homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen heckled while having dinner at a mexican restaurant near the white house. >> shame on you! >> reporter: corey lewandowski dismissing the plight of parents and children being separated.
>> i read today about a 10-year-old girl with down syndrome who was taken from her mother and put in a cage. >> womp womp. >> how dare you. >> reporter: appearing on television today, he refused to apologize? >> an apology? when you cross the border illegally, you have committed a crime and there is accountability for committing crimes and there should be. >> reporter: the mt. president d again to build a border wall, but he acknowledged those close to him demanded that he bring this impasse involving children to an end. >> ivanka feels very strongly, my wife feels very strongly about it, i feel very strongly about it. >> reporter: now, the topic of the rally here was supposed to be trade and tariffs. the president is trying to make his case as he campaigned for when he ran for president that he is going to make china more can believ accountable. we're in the iron range of
minnesota, the northern tip here in duluth where jobs have been affected by the loss of the steel industry. all of his trade and tariff talk was overshadowed by the immigration talk. it is one of the reasons the white house knew they had to do something. i am told by a top white house official the president came to this realization after meeting the house republicans last night. he knew he would be unable to get beyond those images. and of course the family pressure as well from melania trump and ivanka trump. but the question now, wolf, is what happens next? the president is still pushing house republicans to vote for a bill that includes his border wall. very unclear if that is going to pass or not. but they at least have this behind them as a new round of potential lawsuits could begin on this new executive order. >> i'm sure they will. jeff zeleny in duluth for us, thank you. after the president's clear reversal, it's not clear how, when or if families that are currently separated will, in fact, be reunited.
that means hundreds of children may remain in holding facilities for some time. let's go to cnn's polo sandoval at one of the detention centers in texas. what can you tell us about conditions where you are? >> reporter: it's tough to say since some of the officials here have not allowed our cameras inside the facilities. there are places that you wouldn't expect including this south texas neighborhood, a working class neighborhood. some of the neighbors tell me they often even kick soccer balls back over the wall here and often here the sounds of children playing. not today, though. a big question here. what will happen to the roughly 2300 kids already separated from their parents? this is a detention facility for the youngest immigrant children being held against their will in a u.s. city. it's a nondescript former private home in a tiny texas home 20 miles from the u.s./mexico border. from outside these strollers and a small outdoor playground are
the only signs of the 60 children housed inside. some may have been forcibly separated from their parents after crossing into the country illegally. the u.s. government calls it a tender age facility, one of at least three in texas alone. the ceo of southwest key offered his own description. >> i want to make it very, very clear that this is not a detention center. we have a licensed by the state of texas to run a child care facility. what we run is a child care facility. >> reporter: cnn and other media outlets have not been allowed to bring cameras inside any of the facilities. the government has only given this video and some photos showing families behind chain link cages, resting on green sleeping pads and wrapped in mylar blankets. none of the government handout materials show girls. >> we've only seen the boys. >> i will look into that. >> reporter: cnn spoke to democratic texas congressman who got a rare glimpse inside one of
these centers. >> the idea that you could walk into a facility like this one and see children at the age of 8 months or 1 year who have been taken from their parents a the idea that it's the american government in the year 2018 holding them hostage for whatever ambitions the president may have, it's just abhorrent. >> reporter: now, as president trump signs an executive order to keep detained families together, the question is what's next for those who have already been torn apart? texas attorney thelma garcia represents parents separated from their children. >> all they do is cry because no one has contact with their children. >> reporter: heart broken parents charged under the president's zero tolerance policy are making up more of garcia's case load these days. >> before they would be placed in family facilities where you would have the mothers or the fathers with the children. now as far as i know, those facilities don't exist. so where are you going to reunite them? it's going to be anywhere from a month to two months minimum for
them to go through a process. >> reporter: before they're able to hold their child again? >> yes. yeah. >> reporter: we could see the creation or at least a setup of more of these family holding units, similar to what we witnessed down here about four years ago when this mass group of undocumented and unaccompanied minors were coming into the country. as for the roughly 2300 kids who have already been separated from their parents, today's executive order from president trump is not addressing family reunification. so the big question, when will they be by their parents' side again? >> that's an enormous question. what happens to those 2300 kid who are already separated, not impacted by this toward that the president signed too eed today. joining us now congressman ted lu. thank you so much for joining us. let me get your quick reaction. the president announcing that the families will now at least be kept together, but they will be held together in detention
while the parents face criminal prosecution. what's your reaction to this solution, this executive order signed by the president today? >> thank you, wolf, for your qestion. today's action shows that donald trump and secretary nielsen lied to the american people repeatedly. they first said there was no family separation policy. then they tried to blame it on the democrats. then they said only congress can do it. with today's executive order that reverses this policy, we know it was all lies. that's why secretary nielsen needs to resign. her credibility has been shredded. i and many other members of congress no longer have faith in her. this executive order has a number of problems that might not actually solve the ultimate issue. >> there's a court order, as you know, that prevents the government from holding children in detention for longer than 20 days. the executive order signed by the president today says he's going to go to court, the attorney general jeff sessions
shall promptly file a request with the u.s. district court for the central district of california -- you're from california -- to try to modify that. what's your reaction? >> there are a number of ways to solve their family separation issue. donald trump picked one of the worst ways, which is to try to reverse an actual court settlement. in this case, what they could do is after 20 days, let the family go and have them come back for the court hearing. many times you have these asylum proceedings and under the bush and obama administrations, they would let their asylum cases go forward before prosecuting them. that makes the most sense. that's what the trump administration should do instead of prosecuting every single person. that's not rational. >> they say they're not going to do that because a lot of these families they say would disappear and not show up for court proceedings and just wind up illegally in the united states. couldn't this executive order
signed by the president today lead to families being detained indefinitely? >> it could. that's why i think the judge is not going to modify that ment. or if she does r, it's not goin to be modified for very long. again, the easiest way to reverse this policy is t reverse attorney general jeff sessions' policy letter that caused this crisis in the first place. this is not the proper way to go about it, to detain whole family units indefinitely. >> this executive order signed by the president isn't getting rid of the zero tolerance policy that aims to criminally prosecute 100% of the people crossing the border illegally. do you think the goal is to prosecute every single person who crosses the border? is that really practical? is it necessary for national security? >> it is not practical at all. i previously served on active duty. the u.s. faces a lot of serious threats, but we don't have threats from babies and
children. and many of these migrants coming over are fleeing persecution or length asylum claims. they are not al qaeda or terrorists. we need to follow our own laws which is to let their asylum claim proceeding go forward. the trump administration has caused this entire crisis in the first place. they could reverse that if they wanted to. >> you hear the president often say many of them are drug or they're killers simply seeking to illegally enter the united states. >> and we certainly ought to prosecute those individuals. that's why you should have prosecutorial discretion. to say you're going to prosecute 100% of the people coming over, even if they're kids or migrants who have no criminal record makes no sense. and again, this entire crisis is something that the trump administration caused. they could defuse it. unfortunately this executive order does not fully defuse the
problem. >> does congress need to act to make sure those 2300 children already separated from their parents will, in fact, be reunited? this executive order doesn't say anything about them. >> another reason homeland security secretary nielsen need to resign is that 19 days ago i led a letter with other members of congress asking her very basic questions about this family separation policy, such as how do you know you're not putting a child with a child molester? how do you make sure we reunite children with their parents? to this day, she still can't answer those very basic questions. i have introduced legislation to solve this problem, to reverse this policy and to really put into law a fix to what the trump administration has done with their policy. >> congressman ted lu, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. coming up, new york state says it's suing the trump administration, arguing that the
separation of immigrant families violated the constitutional rights of children and their parents. i'll speak live with the governor of new york, andrew cuomo. there you see him. he's in albany. he'll join us live right after this. starting now, everyone gets the plan they want, without paying for things they don't want. mom gets the unlimited she needs, dad gets the unlimited he needs, the kids get the unlimited they need. it's big news from verizon. (shoes squeaking) and you could save some money. (scattered applause) wow. all this for us? yeah, and every other family in america. i think the kowalskis are next. (vo) one family, different unlimited plans on the network you deserve. starting at $40 per line. find thenah.ote yet? honey look, your old portable cd player. my high school rethainer. oh don't... it's early 90s sitcom star dave coulier... cut...it...out!
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administration. joining us now the governor of new york, andrew cuomo. governor, thanks so much for joining us. quickly explain the basis of your lawsuit against the trump administration. >> sure. thanks for having me, wolf. go buffalo. the basis of the lawsuit is very simple. it is a violation of the due process of the parents and of the children our federal constitution provide due process rights to citizens and to non-citizens, undocumented people. one of the fundamental rights is a parents' right to care, custody and control of their child. that has been violated. now, this executive order, i don't think, does anything of legal significance. i think it's more of a press release than a legal document. if you read it, it basically says unless they go to a court and get the court to change what's called the flores
decision, the flores settlement, which has been a 20 year long court battle, you can't implement this. that's why literally it's just about the press and trying to slow down the press. they've just come full circle. what happened here was april 7th they announce the zero tolerance, they arrest the parent. when you arrest the parent, the question became what do you do with the child because you cannot by law, by the flores decision, put the child in a detention facility. >> for more than 20 days. on that specific point, governor, the executive order does say that the president orders the attorney general jeff sessions to promptly file a request with the u.s. district court for the central district of california to modify that. would that solve this issue of you could only detain the children for 20 days? >> wolf, if you could have modified the decision, you wouldn't have had the problem in
the first place. they couldn't put the children in the detention center once they arrested the parents, so they had to fly 2,000 children to parts unknown. now they come back in the executive order and say we'll set up a family detention center and put the child in with the parents. no. you couldn't do that in the first place. that's what created the problem. and that little caveat is if you go back to court and get a judge to modify the flores decision, if you could have done that, you would have done it in the first place and you would have never sent 2,000 children all over the country. so they just came full circle. this is the problem. when they decided to arrest all the parents and hold the parents in detention and they couldn't put the children in the detention centers because of the flores decision, they had to
move the children. it happened overnight. they were not prepared. now their answer is, we'll go back to court and see if the court will allow us to put the children in the detention center. my guess is they won't. because when you read the flores cases, it's clear this is the very activity that the court was trying to prevent. so i don't believe that the administration is even trying to solve the problem. you know, the title of the executive order is affording congress the opportunity to set it will issue. this publicity, i think they're using to put pressure on congress to do something. i think they're using the 2,000 children as political pawns to put pressure on congress, but this executive order is not going to do it and using 2,000 children, pulling them out of the arms of their parents is as disgusting a process as i've
ever seen and it really says as a country we should take a look in the mirror. are we still the united states of america? >> what's very worrisome is that the executive order -- you're right it's affording congress the opportunity to address family separation. the executive order doesn't deal directly with the 2300 kid over the past several weeks who have already been separated from their parents. it deals with what could happen down the road. obviously there's enormous concern about these childrenare parents right now. governor cuomo, thank you so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me, wolf. >> there are so many questions about what happens next as the trump administration plans to detain undocumented children and parents together. let's bring in wendy young. she's president of a group known defense. kids in need of she was previously chief counsel on immigration policy for the senate judiciary committee. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you.
>> let me get your understanding. what happens to the 2300 kids who already have been separated, assuming this executive order is implemented? >> this executive order does not address the situation of those 2300 children at all. they are still separated from their families. there is still no process in place for the administration to reunify those families. we have been working with families who have been subject to the family separation policy, including parents who have already been deported back to their home countries who are frantic to know where their children are. >> so when the president says he's ordering the attorney general to file suit in california to stop what's called the flores agreement, which mandates that children can only be detained for 20 days, what's going to happen? >> the flores agreement is the heart and soul of how immigrant children are treated in our immigration system. it applies very basic standards for their care, their custody and their release. what he is attempting to do is gut that flores decision so he can treat children anyway he wants, including even if
families are held together, they could be held on a prolonged basis in prison facilities. we've all seen the pictures of children being held in cages in recent days. there's nothing in this new executive order that would prevent that. >> it is important to keep the kids together with their mothers and fathers. >> absolutely. but what they're doing is substituting one bad policy for another. the public outrage is what we should be giving credit to in terms of turning this policy around. it's not that this separation has suddenly found compassion for immigrant families. >> you've spent a lot of time studying this issue. these 2300 kids who have already been separated, all of them without their parents, what is happening to their well-being right now? >> children who are held in detention facilities who have been separated from their families, these are kids who have already been traumatized by the conditions in their home countries, a very difficult trip to the united states and now they're further traumatized by the american government by
ripping them out of the hands of their parents who are best able to care for these children while we sort o do they need protection and should they be allowed to remain or can they be returned. >> bottom line, and you spent an enormous amount of time studying these issues, what needs to be done right now to deal with this crisis? >> we need to have a rational approach to addressing the conditions in central america that are causing families and children to flee to begin with. there's extreme violence in that region. we need to invest in that region and restore the rule of law. ultimately that's the solution. in the meantime, we need to provide people with a full and fair opportunity to present an asylum case in the united states and th . >> can the united states really go into el salvador or honduras or guatemala and restore a normal, quiet, peaceful existence there? those countries have to do that themselves.
>> admittedly that will take time. these are relatively small countries. we do foreign assistance around the world all the of the time. we need to invest in the region. these are our neighbors. they're on our back yard. until we do that, people will continue to come to the united states. >> the president has made it clear he's not anxious for that kind of foreign aid at all. that's one solution potentially, but i suspect it's not going to happen. wendy, thank you so much >> thank you. >> thanks for all the good work your kind organization does. >> thank you so much. the breaking news is continuing with more on the president's flip on separating families. will he acknowledge that the crisis was the result of his own policy. and notable new criticism of president trump from his long time lawyer and fixer michael cohen. could it be a new indication that cohen is now turning on mr. trump and cooperating with prosecutors? y lifting. tripadvisor compares prices from over 200 booking sites to find the right hotel for you at the lowest price. so you barely have to lift a finger. or a wing.
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assess. the president earlier said he couldn't do what he did today. listen to this. >> what about an executive order? >> wait, wait. you can't do it through an executive order. >> he was asked on friday what about executive order. the president said, now, wait, wait, you can't do it through an executive order. but that's exactly what he did today. >> right. the president said it. his press secretary, the secretary for homeland security, everyone in his administration from the top on down has said this had to be solved by congress, they could not do something, they were simply following the law. that obviously was proven to be completely false today. wolf, it really was an extraordinary moment. i think in the short history so far, a year and a half, of the trump administration, i can't think of a time where president trump has really buckled to public pressure like this. there have been times, travel ban, the courts have done against him, or maybe congress has not gotten where he wanted on health care. he's had moments of setback, but
nothing like a complete turn around, 180 degree reversal due to public pressure and actually sort of siding with a majority position rather than making the full base play. >> it may not have only been public pressure. it was pressure from republicans who are afraid of losing their congressional seats, particularly those in suburban districts where there are lots of women in particular who didn't like -- >> i can't think of a policy of donald trump's that republicans have opposed as vocally as this policy. >> but trump can still, by the way, say, well, i didn't change zero tolerance, my main policy still remains zero tolerance. all i've done is temporarily allowed these families to be reunited, but the larger legal issues still have to be taken on. >> but there's no guarantee this executive order signed by the president today will, in fact, reunite those 2300 kids who have already been separated from
their parents. it simply looks ahead saying that people who will be detained with their children, they will be detained together. but there's enormous concern right now whats s thappens to already separated. >> right, the executive order defines family units together so they can then detain families that come across the border together, but it doesn't deal yet -- it ordered the attorney general to go back to court and deal with the 1997 flores versus reno decision which said that the homeland security department can only detain children for 20 days before turning them over to health and human services. so what do you do then if you have parents still detained with kids after 20 days? this still has to get sorted out. i think we're looking at this as more of a temporary solution to get the president out of a political jam. >> also, how are you going to reunite these families? we don't know how that's going to work either. you know, families are saying, parents are saying they have no way of knowing where their
children are. if you're working for the government down on the border right now, you have no idea what the next steps are. this was a policy that was ad hoc and it was reversed in an ad hoc way. that's really no way to run the government. >> yeah. the pubureaucracy is better at taking the kids away from the parents than bringing everybody back together quickly and efficiently. >> it's so heartbreaking. you see that story in the "washington post," a man from honduras after his 3-year-old was taken away from him, he committed suicide. >> that was an extreme horrific case. it's because of those stories, the audio of the kids, the images on the television screens that everyone from the pope to foreign leaders to melania trump and ivanka trump to all these members of congress were saying to the president this is not sustainable, you have to do something about this. now he does that. it's not entirely clear how that
will play out. but politically if these stories like the ones you just described or the images on the screen change and you see families together instead of being ripped apart then i think we may see this fall back into a more partisan fight than the overwhelressure o president across all sectors. >> a lot of people, as you know, were pretty surprised that the president flipped, caved as quickly as he did. >> right. well, it's because of this pressure and it's international pressure. as we all know, the president watches television. so he is looking at these images on tv. when he met with republicans last night, he said, i know, i know the pictures look bad. he understands that. i mean, this is somebody who really understands the media and understands the difficulty it poses for him, not to mention the fact that his wife and his daughter were very much opposed to this policy. but don't forget, you know, he created this. he created the crisis and now he
wants to take credit for fixing the crisis that he actually created, which is difficult, which is trumpian. >> it's interesting, because as governor cuomo just reminded us, this executive order is entitled affording congress an opportunity to address family separation. he was the one who separated these families, but now he says it's up to congress. >> right. we were operating under a policy that in the bush administration, the obama administration, the catch and release policy. it's not great. republicans certainly don't like it, but it was a weighing of are we going to be cruel to children versus the complex realities of the boarder? when you read the title of that executive order, what it makes me think is six months into president obama's administration, republicans were howling that he had to stop blaming his predecessors for the economy, for health care, et cetera. president trump's been president for a year and a half. even if he inherited a tough situation, it's now on him to
solve this, not to kick the can to congress. >> our new cnn exclusive poll very quickly, among registered voters who's your choice for congress in the midterms, you see democrats 50%, republicans 42%. in may it was 47-44. >> right you saw that three-point advantage for the democrats in may now grow to an eight-point advantage. now it looks like the democrats are getting back to a more significant lead there. i will say this, wolf, that poll was taken thursday through sunday. so imagine now, this everything that's been playing out to the president's political disadvantage, has been happening on a backdrop of the democrats increasing in enthusiasm and vote choice. i would say that poll is going to worry republicans. >> another issue, all of a sudden michael cohen, the president's long time fixer and lawyer writes a letter to the republican national committee resigning as a vice chair of the finance committee and then explaining, quote, i cannot
personally support a zero tolerance immigration policy that permits thousands of innocent children being separated from their parents. >> yeah. the letter or the e-mail he wrote to the head of the rnc is so interesting. this is something who defended donald trump on everything, on any issue, no matter what during the campaign and beyond. i would have to say he was the most loyal person i've ever met in my life. the fact that he raised this issue in an e-mail lead you to believe that he's not very happy with the president, the way the president's been treating him. and you know he's facing all of this legal problems with the southern district of new york and the mueller investigation. and he's sending a signal here. you know what, bye-bye, i'm not going to be who i once was. >> he may be getting closer to flipping, which is a source of a lot of concern. we'll see. just ahead, more on the detention of children at the border with mexico. one man is earning some pretty big bucks.
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many of the young people who have been taken away from their families. we're learning that the ceo of the nonprofit group is profiting big time. our senior investigative correspondent drew griffin. >> what we found out is that this nonprofit appears to be doing a pretty good job housing 5,000 children separated from their parents. it is also clear the nonprofit's ceo is making a small fortune doing it. he calls himself el presidente. his staff once played hail to the chief and applauded when he arrived at one facility. it may be all tongue in cheek humor but there's nothing funny about how much juan sanchez is being paid to run southwest key, a nonprofit paid to house half of the migrant children separated from their families. in 2017 csanchez's southwest ke nonprofit paid him $1.7 million
doubling te ining the year befo. is that a lot, each for a nonprofit of its size? apparently, yes. >> the head of t american red cross receives a $600,000 salary. it's a multibillion dollar charity. they control half of our blood supply, lead disaster provider. not nearly size of the responsibilities, so it's, it does appear high. >> cnn analyzed non-profits as large as southwest key and operating under similar classification and found sanchez paid among the top. he operates 83 shelters or schools or detention centers across the country. the federal government contracts in the last ten years add up to $1.5 billion. by many accounts, southwest key does provide safe housing to unaccompanied minor, though they have been cited many t ed in th
some violations. in an interview, he said new trump policy left him inundated with children. >> we never imagined we would have this many kid, that we could see the kinds of policies we're seeing now. >> sanchez, early years were a struggle. >> when we started, we started with nothing. low salaries. no health insurance. no 401(k)s. nothing. over time, our board got to a point where she said we are now in a position where we can pay you a decent salary. >> that doesn't match with the dproup's own tax filings. cnn went back to 1997 where sanchez was paid nearly $130,000. nearly every year since except for two gap year, showing no income. his salary has increased. that doesn't include his wife listed as vice president, who made an additional $262,000.
mark owens who for ten years ran the irs department says composition should be adequate for what he could make in the private sector. >> the salary is extraordinarily high. for a charity. even a large charity. a complex organization with a lot of for profit. and tax exempt subsidiaries and the president is making a lot of money. >> southwest key told us just this afternoon juan sanchez's salary jump coincide with a 400% increase in the number of clients the non-profit is serving and as for the high salary, when compared to ceos of similar sized non-profits, is within a reasonable range. wolf, the spread sheet that southwest key sent us to prove their point actually proves ours. he is one of the top paid ceos of a non-profit in the nation. >> good reporting. excellent reporting.
drew griffin, thank you for that. just ahead, much more on the president's flip on family separations and what happens now and could mr. trump's plan for a u.s. military space force happen? tonight, the defense secretary says don't hold your breath. >> no. t want. mom gets the unlimited she needs, dad gets the unlimited he needs, the kids get the unlimited they need. it's big news from verizon. (shoes squeaking) and you could save some money. (scattered applause) wow. all this for us? yeah, and every other family in america. i think the kowalskis are next. (vo) one family, different unlimited plans on the network you deserve. starting at $40 per line. a hilton getaway means you get more because... you get another day in paradise. get a sunset on a sunday. get more stories to share. get more from your summer getaway with exclusive hilton offers. book yours, only at hilton.com
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practicality on the president's proposal to add another branch to the military dubbed the space force. james mattis laying out hurdles ahead of promising that the prrgs isn't trying to weapon size the cosmos. the defense secretary was asked about the space force today. what did he say? >> well, you know, this is yet another case where the president has an idea and left to the feint gone and to secretary mas tis to figure out how to carry it out. kupt do you want a space force with a army, the marine corps and the coast guard? the president seems to want it, at the pentagon, there's a bit of am bif lance. worried that can add to the bureaucracy and the secretary today when he encountered reporters twice here at the pentagon, laid as you said, wolf, a heavy dose of reality into it all.izing space.
it's going to require legislation and a lot of detailed planning. we have not gyet again. we have to start process and that's one of the issues we'll bring up on friday morning with national security adviser. >> so what would a space force be? what would it mean to you and me? we're not talking "star trek" spaceships launching lasers through the cosmo, trying to find a way to defend american security because so many countries now have satellites in space. many of them american adversaries potentially. the russian, chinese. the iranian and yes, the north koreans. so you have to be able to prokt america's satellites to keep communications and military operations as well as you know, civilian society going. we all depend on satellites. we all depend on space.
ipg t fair to say when secretary mattis say he's not weaponizing space, what he talking about is defense. how do you protect america from its adversaries in the cosmos. wolf? >> army playing navy on the b football field, how about the space force on the football field one of these days. all right, thanks very much for that. that's it for me. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. >> next, change of heart. heart is the reason he's stopping the separation of children at the border. so why did he start it in the first place? plus, whobt the thousands of children who are separated tonight including infants and toddlers? the executive order the president signed today does nothing b about them and fissionifission i fixing for a fight. michael cohen slams the president's policy. is he flipping before our eyes? let's go "outfront." good evening. tonight, the breaking news. president trump caves. in a stunning a