tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN June 21, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
larger policy battle. ladies and gentlemen, do your damn job. you will all be judged for this moment. that's the closing argument. thank you for joining me tonight. "cnn tonight with don lemon" starts now. good to see you, my friend. >> that's what we are going to be discussing on this program as well. who are we? are we a country that separates parents from their children at the border? this is the time for us to figure that out. i think this is a very pivotal moment. we'll discuss that. by the way, that jacket -- i was torn about that, whether i should cover it or not. but because it's a couple minutes off of the topic which is children in cages and the horrible situation happening at the border, but still, how can you -- tone deaf is the least of the phrases. >> and what the president said. >> yeah. >> he came out there, used it as an opportunity to lie and to
twist and make it about him and an agenda when it was supposed to be about the kids. you can't leave it alone. you have to do it in context. i'm sure you'll do a perfect job. >> here's the thing though. she asked the question, do you? so the question deserves an answer. >> absolutely. >> don't be surprised when people are talking about it. >> nice when questions get answers. it's a nice change. >> thank you. breaking news. more chaos on the border. e-mailed obtained by cnn suggest president trump's zero tolerance policy may be effectively on hold despite what the administration says publically. that as the president himself admitted today families could still be separated. >> i signed a good executive order yesterday, but that's only limited, no matter how you cut it. it leads to separation ultimately. >> with no clear plan to reunite families that have already been split up, this is a crisis entirely of the president's own
making. thousands of children still paying the price for his policy. a policy that is simply heartless. more than 2,300 migrant kids forcibly removed from their parents. many sent thousands of miles away with no way to contact their parents. the department of health & human services waiting for guidance on how to return these children to their parents and what to do next. in the midst of all this chaos, melania trump -- we talked about it -- made a surprise trip to the border today visiting migrant children in a shelter which frankly is more than the president has done. but the trip overshadowed by her $39 zara jacket with the phrase "i really don't care. do u?." there it is printed on the back. it was some sort of message to someone. really a dig at the news media as the president claims? a republican close to the white house tells cnn that's nothing but revisionist history. we'll have more on that coming up. make no mistake. it is no accident this president is taking a hard line on
immigration. branding immigrants as criminals, using incendiary language like his claim that the country is being "infested." after all, this is a president who on day one launched his campaign by calling mexican immigrants rapists and who less than a year ago said there were, quote, very fine people on both sides of the white supremacist violence in charlottesville. now those same white supremacists are planning a rally across the street from the white house. will it be charlottesville 2.0? we'll get to that in a moment. i want to begin now with senior political commentator david axelrod and nicholas christoph. i read the stats of the thousands of kids in detention. the president is adding to the confusion saying the executive orders are limited and separations may continue. for what we have heard, they are effectively not imposing their policy. is this president -- do you think he's taking the issue of
reuniting the kids seriously, with their parents? >> well, i think what's happened is he acted out of a political impulse and instinct. he saw political gain and as cory lewandowski said they saw this as an issue, used it and created a human rights crisis on the border. now what we see is just massive monumental incompetence. when you have a president who is improvisational, impulsive and doesn't care about process, planning or principle then you get what we see today. i think they don't know what to do. i think they are scrambling. i think they are telling us the program is continuing in part because he insists on saying that. but i honestly have never seen such rank incompetence. this is what happens when you have a president who just doesn't give a damn.
>> do you care? yeah. we care. right? especially about those kids. can you imagine this, nick? we are being told -- one lawmaker told us these kids may never be put back together, reunited with their families. can you imagine that? >> my sense is that most will be reunited at some point. but it is unconscionable they have been taken away as long as they have and there are cases where putting them back together will be difficult and perhaps impossible. in some cases the parents have already been deported and the child is in a different bureaucracy and a different state in the u.s. in the case of an infant it's going to be difficult to match them up. if somebody goes in a jail with coins in their pocket they get a receipt for their coins. their child was taken away and there doesn't seem to be a process to get the child back. >> i will play this. jeff sessions was on the
christian broadcasting network today. he's now saying he never intended to separate families. that's not what he said last month. here he is now and then. >>
it hasn't been good. the american people don't like the idea that we are separating families. we never really intended to do that. >> if you're smuggling a child then we are going to prosecute you. and that child will be separated from you probably as required by law. >> so he said they were going to use it as a deterrent. now he's saying no. >> right back from the beginning of the administration john kelly when he was at the homeland security director said this was going to be a deterrent. that's completely what they have said. again, you know, there is this complete scrambling now. one thing is it's easy -- what we have seen is shocking. we are asking ourselves who we are as a country. let me just say a word for our country. the one thing that made donald trump back down was a
fundamental sense of decency in this country. a fundamental rejection of this horrific, horrific policy and, you know, that actually makes me proud to be an american. now we've got to find these kids and hold the government accountable for reuniting these families. >> in an age people said nothing seems to matter. nothing seems to penetrate. this did have to go a long way in order to get there. the outrage. children. listening to their voices, hearing the stories. it took a long time to get to this moment where they have to retract. >> they have been separating kids from parents since fall. then it became routine in april. their cover-up, not giving access to these places, for example. i think that really helped. what has struck me is not only the brutality of this policy of
separating even infants, but the mendacity with which it was rolled out and the apologists for this. you know, the whole notion that the "womp-womp". >> we are going to talk about that in a moment. >> apologetics for policy like this should leave people ashamed. >> i have had some folks on defending it in the beginning. i wasn't trying to a gsay gotch. i wonder what it is like to be constantly under mined by the person you are defending. you feel you have to. do you understand what i'm saying? he's basically contradicted or made into a lie what everyone has said who has defended this policy. >> yeah. but isn't that sort of the politics of donald trump? he demands that fidelity. look at the whole mark sanford incident. if you have the temerity to speak out and you are in the republican party he's going to crush you. so what you have seen is a great deal of cowardice until
cowardice couldn't hold. >> you mentioned the womp-womp moment by corey lewandowski. watch this. this is fox news. >> 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. >> did you say womp-womp to a 10-year-old with down syndrome -- >> what i said -- >> how dare you? how absolutely dare you, sir? >> well, he was on with my colleague chris cuomo to explain himself. here it is. >> chris, of course i never meant to insult anybody with down syndrome and who i was talking to was zach. i understand what the perception is here and what the media wants to talk about. but what zach was attempting to do was to use a child with down syndrome to politicize an issue. >> what do you think? >> this is just absurd.
the dismissiveness about the problem just underscores, it seems to me, a lack of empathy with which this program was introduced all along. it is not just corey leju lewandowski. john kelly said they would be looked after. there is a lack of empathy for the children that reflects the demonization directed toward migrants and has underpinned this policy toward immigration. >> everything flows from the guy at the top. every president set it is tone for people who work and speak for him. you have a president who has publically mocked people with disabilities. >> let me put this up. this goes to what you were saying. these are tweets the president sent out today, many in the last few hours griping about democrats and immigration, melania's jacket and so on. he's venting. but not leading.
and this is the explanation. they pushed the immigration vote to next week. but go on. you were nation's capitali inma >> empathy is not a valued quality in the trump operation. this president doesn't show empat empathy. he manufactures empathy for the alleged -- there are some victims of crimes by immigrants, but he's created this mythology and demonized immigrants, many of whom come here to flee gangs and to flee crime and risk their own lives because of the conditions that they have to put up with. where's the empathy for them? >> yeah. you sat down with senator marco rubio. here is what he said about people crossing the border. watch this. >> yes, there are people who cross the border who are dangerous and criminals and the like. i would say through my experience the vast majority of people are coming over because they just want a better life. my sense of it is if you're a
father, for example my situation, my family is desperate, living in a dangerous situation, i would do almost anything to protect my children and find a better life for them. we have to understand that. that doesn't mean we don't have to have laws on our end. mexico has immigration laws and canada has immigration laws. i don't think we should generalize that. i think the vast majority of people crossing the border want something better. >> he's describing people crossing the border differently than the president is. >> marco rubio was very careful in that interview. he was trying to navigate this. he is a son of immigrants. he understands the story. he understands the yearning for something better for your children. so that's where he got off the train. >> i think he's also wrong on the facts. most of the people coming are from central america fleeing honduras, guatemala, el salvador and brutal gang violence. one of the people i spoke to was a girl called elena who had been made to be the girlfriend of a
gang leader at age 11. another girl who had been asked to be the gang leader was gang raped and shot in the stomach and died. elena's mother was trying to rescue her and the family by taking her north. it wasn't just an issue of a better life. any parent would want to do that to help their child. and then for us to respond in this way with this demonization, dehumanzation, to blame the parents and say what are you doing coming here and then for the u.s. to be paying $775 a night per child to house them when we don't have resources for other things but we are willing to rip up families and pay that much money. this lack of humanity at every step of the way. >> we always say is this hurricane katrina. is this whoever's katrina moment. how does this stack up?
is it becoming that? because the images are awful. remember, it was the images -- >> in fairness to president bush they mishandled hurricane katrina and there may have been reasons for the overlooking of people there that had darker impulses or people being neglected. he didn't create the crisis. this has been manufactured by this administration. i think that is what makes it even more heinous. >> it's a manufactured -- he -- crisis of his own creation. >> hurricane katrina exemplified in competen incompetence. this exemplifies inhumanity. >> this is a striking "time" magazine cover. it is a photo of a sobbing toddler photoshopped in with the president staring down. what do you think of that? >> well, i think the story --
one of the things that's happened here and one of the things that galvanized us are images, not words. that child was taken from that unbelievably moving photo from the border. i think she was a honduran child. but that says everything right there. we all identify with children. we all care about children. we have children. we see our own children in that child's face. try to imagine what it would be like. i think the photos have been absolutely devastating. >> when we put a human face like that on the problem, that's when we can begin to have empathy. it is harder to dehumanize and it seems it is about bigotry or racism. if this was canadians does anybody think we would be tearing apart families? >> we do have people coming across. >> of course. >> that narrative didn't serve the president.
this is a guy that came down the escalator and launched his campaign with slanders. >> let me ask you this. do you think most americans are knowledgeable of the situation on the border? i would hate to characterize it as a crisis. i'm not characterizing it at all. do you think they are knowledgeable about what it is? is it fair to call it a crisis? >> i think there would be great polarity if you polled on it as to how people accounted for what's going on. the fact is there is not a crisis on the border right now. there are people coming over illegally. it has to be dealt with. it has to be dealt with appropriately. there are people seeking asylum and they should be dealt with appropriately. but there is -- this is an issue that has been used to divide and polarize this country. i suspect even as we sit here today if you polled on it that you would find supporters of the president have one view and other people would have another view. >> thank you. i appreciate it.
>> thank you. >> don't miss "the axe files" saturday night at 7:00 eastern with marco rubio. when we come back, the medical and emotional toll of family separation. dr. sanjay gupta is here to talk about lifelong effects on children taken from their parents. you have heard the pleas of the children like a 6-year-old separated from her mother at the border begging for authorities to call her aunt. now cnn has spoken to the girl's mother. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> cnn tonight brought to you by wells far go. weekend of wonder. tune in noon to 4:00 eastern on hln.
want to. he gets us out there more. there's days that i'm pretty tired after work. i would like to maybe just relax one day. then i know -- i mean he's 10. he'll only be home eight more years. i better spent every second i can with him. ride to position. okay? watch the feet when you leave here. >> being a cowboy is a must. it's not a maybe or a what if. it's a must. it's the best feeling ever to watch him do something he hasn't been able to do before. when you see him do what you told him to do it's like, thank you jesus, you got this. >> for this story and more tune in to hln for weekend of wonder with limited commercial interruptions. until... we lost it.
today, we're renewing our commitment to you. fixing what went wrong. and ending product sales goals for branch bankers. so we can focus on your satisfaction. it's a new day at wells fargo. but it's a lot like our first day. wells fargo. established 1852. re-established 2018. the president's executive order on family separation has so far done nothing to fix the mess me made at the border and the results are spreading thousands of miles away. 2,300 children have been taken from their parents and are being held across the country. doctors are speaking out. the american academy of pediatrics saying separating children from their parents contradicts everything we stand for as pediatricians. going on to say it causes irreparable harm to children. let's bring in dr. sanjay gupta
to explain what the impact can be here. long-term effects? welcome, by the way. this is awful. >> it's just awful. you can't help but think about your own kids when you hear the stories and what it must be like for the kids and the parents as well. short-term and long-term effects. worse for the younger kids. this is a toxic sort of stress. i know you have talked about this before. what that means in this context is they have had a lot of stress already getting to the border. they had a lot of stress at the border. you take away the one thing that can buffer the stress -- the guardian, parent. that can buffer stress. buffering stress so important for children. they don't have it. so this turns into a toxic stress which within days can lead to some significant effects. long-term if you look at mental illness in adults, 40% of mental illness in adults is directly related to some of the toxic childhood events.
absolutely. we know what some of the impacts are long-term. >> i want to play something for you. we have heard the plays of the 6-year-old girl separated from her mother after they crossed over the border. listen. this is a heartbreaking audio one more time. >> this gets you every single time. this may have been the catalyst for the president changing -- signing the executive order. my gosh. you feel it, don't you? >> you can't help but feel that.
>> can you imagine the trauma as a parent? >> total loss of control. total uncertainty when it comes to someone that you value more than any other in your life. it's a huge emotional trauma. we talk about the kids. kids are more vulnerable. their brains are still developing. long-term effects. >> psychological. >> for the parents as well. loss of control and uncertainty when it comes to someone that is your dependent are some of the biggest stressors we can go through. other that happen n actually lo someone. >> some call it child abuse. is it? >> i saw that as well. i think it is child abuse. i looked it up to see what the hhs definition of child abuse is. it's not going to surprise anybody. you can take a look at the definition there. it's that emotional trauma that's there in the third line. without a doubt. that's happening here. emotional trauma. someone who has acted to cause
it or didn't act to prevent it. that's child abuse. by their own definition, don. >> it's awful. it's unbelievable. i'm so glad you are here to walk us through it. thank you, doctor. i wish i could see you under better circumstances. >> me, too. >> when we come back, "i really don't care. do u?." that's the message from the first lady on her way to visit a children's shelter at the border. who is she directing that message to?
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children at a shelter in texas eclipsed by her fashion choice. before and after her trip the first lady wore a green jacket with the phrase "i really don't care. do u?" printed on the back. let's talk about this with chris cillizza, editor at large, and kate bennett, cnn white house reporter. good evening. >> hi, don. >> hey, don. >> i'm perplexed and torn. i'll explain later. you travel with the first lady today, kate. she was trying to highlight the good work the shelter is doing for immigrant children. her choice of jacket got the attention. we showed the pictures as she boarded the plane. plainly visible on the back was "i really don't care. do u?" of all the jackets she owns, why this one? >> it's perplexing, don. i will agree with you. i'm not sure. i follow the first lady closely. i cover her, i have for over a year. i often talk about her fashion
choices which many pay homage to the countries she's visiting or are very well thought out in terms of what she's wearing. she's a former fashion model. she understands fashion. i don't get it. the work we saw today, the shelter, the kids she interacted with, her determination behind the scenes to make this trip happen in less than 48 hours, all of those things to me are paramount to what she wore. however, i can't really explain this. i do think it was very much like her -- like this independent first lady we have seen before to get off the plane wearing it again knowing the controversy. she's like the president that way. if you punch her, she punches back twice as hard kind of thing. but the messaging, you know, i'm perplexed. >> yeah. so here's the thing. we are not actually talking about children in cages now. we are talking about the jacket. >> right. >> but she is the first lady of
the united states. %-p lady wore sleeveless, everybody freaked out. there were no words there. everybody ended up wearing sleeveless dresses after that. maybe people will wear jackets that say "i don't care," i don't know. but when you are going to a shelter and you want people to care about it, i don't know. >> okay. point one. we can walk and chew gum. i think kate is exactly right. what is the key here is what is the policy that this executive order donald trump signed -- what is the impact that is going to have on the family separation crisis? that's a self-created crisis based on the zero tolerance policy. that's the most important thing. there is no question about that. that said, it is not unimportant when the first lady of the united states does something like this. it seems to me unlikely -- very unlikely -- that this was purely
accidental. kate makes a good point. this is someone who throughout her life and certainly while in politics, albeit not all that willingly in politics but in the political sphere, someone who understands image. understands the signals you send when you are in public by what you say, don't say, what you wear. it seems odd to me she would grab that at the last minute while walking out and/or that no one on her staff would say, madam first lady, that may not be the greatest choice ever for a jacket. we can do both. >> yeah. >> one is more important. that doesn't mean we have to ignore the other. >> by the way, you may have disagreed. i'm not sure. i defended the white hat. listen, she's the first lady. i thought the hat was great. this was -- i really don't get it. was it cold in d.c. today?
>> it was not cold when we got on the plane. we were prepared on the trip to expect thunderstorms and there was flash flooding when we got to texas actually. again, this is just a puzzling moment. chris is right with the messaging. >> who is she sending a message to, do you think? >> it's unclear. i don't necessarily know or think she might be sending a purposeful message, but the message we as the public see our first lady delivering whether intended or not is certainly crippling to this important day. quite frankly, this is another huge surprise much like her medical procedure that her office pulled off without anybody finding out that the trip was planned in less than 48 hours. to make it happen is a feat in and of itself. certainly we didn't see the jacket when she got on the plane because we were under the wing. we didn't have the visual of it. i saw writing, but in no way thought it said what it said.
>> by the way, the first lady's spokesperson stephanie grisham said there is nothing to read into the choice of jacket. >> that's a statement, right? it's a jacket, no hidden message. there was a tweet as well that said basically the same thing. i would say for people who say why are you talking about it, the president of the united states is talking about it. that's great producing on your part, don. he's directly contradicting stephanie grisham who said there is no message. it was totally unintentional. donald trump said, of course there was a message. she's on to you fake news media. >> you're welcome for that moment. it was actually directing and producing. >> i mean -- >> listen. again, i didn't want to beat up on the first lady. i'm not doing that. it is really perplexing when you consider the kind of story that she was going down there for and to wear that jacket. >> yeah. >> the very least it's tone
deaf. my thing is why are you criticizing the media when you asked the question? there is a big question mark on the back of your jacket that says, do you? when the american people answer the question saying i do and why are you wearing that jacket, you should not be outraged by it. >> also, quite frankly, don, we would ask the question if michelle obama had worn the jacket, laura bush. >> 100%. >> this is not necessarily something we would let slide certainly because there is animosity between the media and the administration. it is our job to ask the questions. this is the first lady going to meet these children. she didn't wear it in texas. it's our job. that's what we do. >> that's important. >> i have to run. >> if michelle obama wore a jacket that said "i really don't care. do u?" we would be talking about it. it would be a big story either way. this is not a partisan thing. >> could be a simple explanation for it. trolling at its best. happens a lot lately. thank you both. we come back in a climate
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so the whole country has been focused on the border and the racial implications of the president's zero tolerance immigration policy white nationalists have gotten initial approval for a white civil rights rally in lafayette park across from the white house in august. the rally could mark the one-year anniversary of the charlottesville violence, one year since the president claimed there were very fine people on both sides.
many americans believe white nationalists are inspired by the president's divisive language. sara sidner has more on that. >> it is time for us to come together as one united people. >> reporter: words to unite the day donald trump became the president-elect. but long before his campaign days and now well into his second year in office, the worlds and actions of the president have been divisive. to many, his words are downright racist and xenophobic. his late nest in this tweet calg immigrants vermin. democrats are the problem. they don't care about crime and want illegal imgraptmigrants to into and infest our country. like ms-13. few can forget his description of mexicans. >> they are bringing drugs. they're bringing crime. they're rapists. and some, i assume, are good people.
>> reporter: on immigrants as a whole -- >> when countries abuse us by sending their people up -- not their best -- we are not going to give any more aide to those cripps. >> this is part and parcel of trumpism. the idea that they are bad savage people outside of this country. >> reporter: to kick off 2018 the president asked lawmakers in january why we want these people from shit-hole countries coming here referring to haitians and those from african countries. there was his rally cry to keep out members of the world's second largest religion. >> donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. >> reporter: his campaign pitch to black americans painted a distinctly negative picture. >> you're living in poverty. your schools are no good. you have no jobs. 58% of your youth is unemployed. what the hell do you have to lose? >> reporter: his insistence that
five black men dubbed the central park five are guilty of a 1989 rape even after the men were exonerated with dna evidence. in a 2016 statement to cnn trump said the fact that the case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. one of the men exonerated spoke out at a hillary clinton rally reminding the crowd of the full page ad donald trump took out in 1989 saying the men should be executed. >> if donald had his way, i would be dead. >> reporter: trump has had plenty to say about the protests by mostly black nfl players who followed then nfl quarterback colin kaepernick's lead taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality. >> wouldn't you love to see one of these nfl owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now. >> reporter: in the first few months of his presidency, donald trump managed to do something else that delighted white
supremacists. it was his reaction to the white supremacists unite the right rally in charlottesville, virginia that left 32-year-old protester dead. >> there is blame on both sides. i have no doubt about it. you don't have doubt about it either. >> reporter: after backlash trump wavered on the statement but doubled down. now one of the organizers for the unite the right rally wants to have a rally in washington, d.c. and has applied for a permit. don? >> thank you. when we come back, a white supremacist group is planning a rally not just in d.c. but across the street from the white house. what leads these people to be so emboldened? we'll discuss that. ake me show p too early... or too late. or make me feel like i'm not really "there." talk to your doctor,
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i'm a four-year-old ring bearer with a bad habit of swallowing stuff. still won't eat my broccoli, though. and if you don't have the right overage, you could be paying for that pricey love band yourself. so get an allstate agent, and be better protected from mayhem. like me. can a ring bearer get a snack around here? as a nation is appalled at the images of immigrant brown children in cages at the border, white nationalists are planning a rally one year after the deadly violence in charlottesville. but this time they will be right across the street from -- there it is, the white house. how will the president respond? let's discuss now.
charles blow and scott jennings are here and a senior editor from the atlantic. peter wayner is a former adviser to president george w. bush. i'm so glad to have you on to discuss this. it is a very important topic. so here we go. another white supremacist rally, charles, one year in in the making. what's your reaction? >> it sounds like the chickens have come home to roost. he kind of mixed them up with the people who were protesting against them, and that has repercussions. people take that cue, and they explicitly say they're going there to deliver a message to the president and the members of congress that they were the ones who were discriminated against in charlottesville and their rights were infringed upon. and that list of white rights that -- that list of white
rights they're going there to petition the government and trump to listen to their pleas. what would be different now? what would he say different now than he said then? >> i just want to play for you, this is the hatred we saw last year in charlottesville. >> jews will not replace us. >> and here was the president then. >> i think there's blame on both sides. you look at both sides, i think there's blame on both sides. and i have no doubt about it. >> the ney nazis started this. they showed up in charlottesville to protest the removal of that statue. >> and you had some very bad people in that group. but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. >> so painful. very fine people on both sides,
addle. if the president had not used those words and immediately condemned the hatred and violence we saw that day, do you think white supremacists would still pea planning a rally just a stones throw from the white house? >> i think they would. the idea from this rally is to provoke a kind of reaction that will make them look like victims. that's what they were planning in charlottesville. they wanted people to show up and try to fight them or try to get into an altercation with them to say we're the ones being attacked. instead the people that showed up, one of them murdered someone. and that didn't look good. they're deliberately trying to create a situation something bad can happen and they can participate themselves as the victims. but they're not the victims. it wouldn't have mattered what the president said. the people who showed up in charlottesville were already wearing make america great again
hats. they already got the message. >> peter, you worked for the george w. bush administration. would this have happened in any other republican administration? >> no, it wouldn't have happened in any other administration, republican, democratic or anything else. this is unique. look, there are elements of hatred in american society, but they've always been on the fringes in recent modern american history and presidents have always tried to keep them there. the difference with this president is he's involving these people. they're enthusiastic about donald trump. you have to take a step back here. that is the thread of not just trump's presidency but really his political life. the thing that brought him to the political stage was the birther issue. >> saying the former president was not born in this country. >> that's right.
and it's the thread that goes through. it's mexicans, muslims, african-american athletes. it's saying there are good people on all sides. it happens over and over and over again, and there are dog whistles and there are things that are a little louder than dog whistles and trump is both. >> scott, this is for you. i taped the late show with stephen colbert earlier today and we talked about the president and race. take a look. >> one of the things that's a recurring theme is using race as a tool to divide people. it started off with their sending us the rapists, murderers, they are not sending us their best. there are fine people on both sides in charlottesville. what's happening on the southern border has certainly a racial component to it. what do you think the state of race relations are in the united
states and how as you as an african-american reporter, how does it reflect on your reporting of that? >> you've hit on the most important story of our time especially when it comes to our administration. >> that's what i do, dob. >> it has everything to do with race. >> and reason i said that is because every single study shows it wasn't economic anxiety, it was race that was a deciding factor in this election. i know you think the president has a powerful opportunity to correct the mistakes of last summer. but do you think he understands the enormity of this, the gravity of this, and is he a big enough person to even try to do that? >> i think he is and i hope he does. as you know, don, i was pretty upset with the president last summer. and these people are coming -- look, people protest in front of the white house and around the white house almost every day in washington trying to get attention. i'm actually torn.
earlier today i was thinking i would love the president to come out and make a powerful statement, but on the other hand that's what these people want. they are outside the bounds of american decency and way outside the fringes of american politics. i'm a little torn, but i really do think if the president wanted to he could come forward and say i don't agree with these people, i think these people are hateful, and they don't represent me. if there's anything we've learned during this presidency is there's a huge number of republicans and americans that are not republicans who listen today this president and fall in line with his views, take their cues. and he could make a powerful statement and put this charlottesville thing where it belongs in the past and correct it. i think these people are atrocious, terrible. they have first amendment rights. >> but the question is, is he the one giving these white
supremacists credibility by saying there's fine people on both sides. we'll be right back. new relatives.cover people who share your dna. and maybe a whole lot more. order your kit at ancestrydna.com ♪ now that i'm on my way ♪ do you still think i'm crazy standing here today ♪ ♪ i couldn't make you love me applebee's 2 for $20, now with steak. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
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everyday when we go to work we want everyone to work safely and come home safely. i live right here in auburn, i absolutely love this community. once i moved here i didn't want to live anywhere else. i love that people in this community are willing to come together to make a difference for other people's lives. together, we're building a better california. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast live with all the new developments for you. chaos tonight at the border. president trump's immigration policies putting children in cages, ripped from the arms of their parents. we're talking tonight about the role race plays in all of this and how this president has fanned the flames of racial division in america. back with me now charles blow, scott jennings,