tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN June 22, 2018 5:00am-6:01am PDT
so it was not catch and release or put them in a cage. that was never the choice. this was all politics. this was a president who ran on this issue and wants to say i'm going to be tough on the border. that's all this is. it's playing macho to a base that has been inflamed against immigrants and infestation of immigrants. it's in violation of the law. there are much better ways to do it and you used 2,500 children as pawns. you put them all over the country. i'm saying as a governor they're in my state, it's my constitutional responsibility to take care of their health and welfare. why won't you tell me where they are. >> and on that issue, governor -- >> give me one good reason why you won't tell me where they are. >> governor, we need answers on that. we need to know where they are, we need to know how they're going to get back together with their family, we need to know what conditions they're in. we thank you for joining us today. let us know what the answers to those questions are if the
federal government will tell you, because so far they have not. governor cuomo, thanks so much. >> if they won't tell me, john, i'll find out on my own. >> thanks for being with us. a lot of news this morning, let's keep going. and good morning, everyone, welcome to your new day. it is friday, june 22nd, 8:00 in the east. there are developments every hour here, so here's a new one. there's an update for you on those 2,300 children separated from their parents at the border. a trump administration official tells cnn that 500 of them have been reunited with their families. what about the other 1,800? where are they? there's still vast confusion. our reporters have spoken to parents who last night had no idea where their children were, who was caring for them or when they would see them again. just moments ago president trump effectively killed any hopes for an immigration bill in congress. he wrote republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after we elect more senators and congressmen
and women in november. this comes as house republicans, what they did is they delayed a vote on a compromised bill to next week, but i don't know if they're ever going to vote at all after what the president just said. we're hearing pleas from immigrants who are trying to reunite with their children because of this white house choice to separate children from their parents. some have been reunited, but most of still waiting for answers. nick valencia is live in brownsville, texas, with more. nick. >> reporter: good morning, john. we all remember that audio released earlier this week by propublica. in it we could hear the screams of ten central american children after they had been separated from their parents. their saobs were overwhelming.
the clearest voice in that audio is that of a little girl who had been asking for her aunt. cnn was able to track down her mother, who was obviously grief stricken. she says she's been given a phone number by immigration officials which she calls repeatedly but it just rings and rings and rings. she spoke one-on-one to cnn's rosa flores. there is still a lot of confusion surrounding this reunification process. the government says 500 of the
2,300 children separated because of this zero tolerance policy have been reunited. we know of at least one story that happened very early this morning in baltimore and it was of a guatemalan immigrant who sued the federal government for violating her human rights after being detained in mid-may. this emotional video captured by the immigrants rights group early this morning. we know that those two are finally back together. those two, one of the lucky ones. john, alisyn. >> oh, my gosh, that video is heartbreaking even though they are the lucky one. she has her son back but you can hear the trauma pouring out of her for the month or however long it was she didn't know where he was and they weren't together. look at this. >> you can all imagine what it would be like. imagine what it's been like. >> when you see your son again. my gosh. let's talk about it with our cnn political analyst david gregory and chris cillizza. that one is just really
affecting, david. >> and she's the lucky one. >> she's the lucky one. so now we know there was an update this morning that 500 have been reunited, but 1,800 don't know where their kids are. it's the not knowing. they don't know anything about what's happening with them right now. they're hoping that they're being treated well. but guess what, we have stories from previous detention centers where some kids are not being treated well. >> and what governor cuomo was saying was they don't know. you have a lot of children being sent because of how big the foster system is here in new york, but then they're not being told where they are. so the process then that the government has to go through at the state and local level to then track down and reunify these families is going to be so difficult. at the same time they have to figure out the chaos in the administration about whether they're really stopping this practice, where they're going to house families. >> sometimes blowing up systems doesn't work. i know that that was part of
what the appeal was. we're going to break the mold, do things differently, blow it up, we don't like big bureaucracy. in this case it's not working for information. >> in this case you're talking about 2,000 children. >> right. >> you know, this is not about traffic. you know, this is about children, human beings. >> this was a problem for the obama administration as well. when they had a genuine influx of migrants coming across the border, there was this -- the detention facilities that they wanted to use, they wanted to hold them. >> unaccompanied minors. >> right, for unaccompanied minors but they decided not to separate children as this administration has done. again, it comes back to this desire on the part of the president who has made it very clear that this is what he thinks republicans should be running on, who wanted to be tough on immigration, who wanted zero tolerance policy without thinking about the ramifications of it. politically as an act of humanity or as a bureaucratic issue that they are now going to have to deal with for so long to come, and they are still restricting what we can actually see about all of this, don't
forget that. because the media is not being allowed into any of these centers where these children are. >> governor cuomo can't get answers about what's happening inside agencies in his own state because he claims the federal government put a gag order on these places. that's fascinating. just let us see. just give us the answers about what's going on with these children. chris cillizza, this is an important development. the congress, the republicans in congress, they have been trying to pass various immigration reform measures. the president basically just ended that once and for all. it wasn't going to pass, i doubt it was going to pass next week. but the president just really put an end to it once and for all. let's put that tweet back up. he said republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after we elect more senators and congressmen and goes on and on and on. but the effect of that is he says it's done, it's over. immigration reform is done this year. >> that's exactly right. it's remarkable. i saw it while driving in, john, and thought, well, there that goes. >> i hope you weren't tweeting and driving and reading and driving are bad things.
>> only at red lights. but that's it. if you were a on the fence republican, particularly a conservative about this bill, this alleged compromise bill, you have now no incentive to vote for it. >> why did the president do that? >> because he decided he wanted to do it. he's probably right, alisyn. it was not going to pass the senate in its current form. so he's not wrong, but if you're paul ryan, kevin mccarthy, other people in house leadership, you spent a decent chunk of time and energy trying to make this thing at least get to a vote. they postponed it yesterday, supposed to be today. they postponed it today for next week because they thought they saw an opening. i'm with john, i'm skeptical that there ever was an opening. there's a reason we haven't passed comprehensive immigration reform but now there's nothing. it reminds me of when he tweeted about rex tillerson.
you're wasting your time, rex, with north korea. >> here's the question, though. the calculus obviously if you're the white house, if you're the president, is we should run on this issue. let's paint the democrats as obstructionists and run hard against immigrants, migrants coming in. you know, he's doing this event today highlighting violence from illegal immigration. that's what you run hard on. but in the process he gives up the one thing he wanted which was money for a border fence which he's had available to him for months and months and months and he's willing to forego because of questions about a pathway to citizenship and the cries of amnesty and family immigration numbers. so that to me the question is why he passes this up, he made a calculation. >> and the people that wanted it, the people that some republicans wanted this vote, moderates in swing districts that are in trouble, they wanted to vote and say i voted for this reform. they wanted to be able to run ads and say i did this and now
the president has really made that next to impossible. but we talk about the politics and the votes and the thisses and the thats and we lose sight of the fact there are 2,000 children. >> we thought that would be a fix. we thought if they got their act together in congress, we thought maybe it could be a fix but now i don't know where we are, chris. >> look, don't get it too twisted up to john's point, which is this is a self-created crisis. the trump administration put in place a zero tolerance policy. they knew that when they did that, you would have more families separated. it's a natural result. >> and they want to do it as a deterrent. somehow that message would trickle back to honduras and people would stop their desperate situation and be happy there. >> oh, how could we have seen this coming? you saw it coming. we have played on our air multiple times jeff sessions
speaking in early may saying we're going to do this. so this is what happens when sort of think tank policy or dry policy papers, positions, play out in the real world. in the real world they have real consequences. i think john said earlier this isn't just about traffic stops. that's right. this is about kids. and i think there was no planning done for it. reason that a lot of politicians can't get answers at this point is because the administration doesn't know the answers. this was ill thought out, despite the fact that as a self-created crisis that if you're going to do this, you have to then put in place the ways to deal with the volume increase that you know is going to happen. they didn't do that. executive order i think has caused more chaos and uncertainty than it's provided clarity. >> this is also an indication of how where dysfunction from the
government comes home to roost. if you have a homeland security director and an attorney general who's been getting beaten up by the president all this time, if at the top levels they're so out of sync, the policy will be out of sync. >> they're out of sync in their own heads. jeff sessions is saying something that's not true, but let's listen to how jeff sessions explains this policy to begin with. >> it hasn't been good, and the american people don't like the idea that we're separating families. we never really intended to do that. if you're smuggling a child, then we're going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you probably as required by law. >> he says we never intended to separate children. that's nonsense. he told us that he was going to separate children. he knew that is what was going on. >> it was meant as a deterrent. there's just no way around it. they knew -- you -- this is not a new policy.
they basically -- the prosecutors had discretion prior. they took away that discretion. what that means is you are going to get more cases like this. the volume is going to increase. if you have a river and you block up three-quarters of it, the water is going to flow more through one part. it's not complicated. to say you didn't do it on purpose is just not true. >> right. and if it's a deterrent, it's going to take time for the deterrent effect. so you would have to be willing to put up with this situation, i think, for many months if you really want it to have deterrent value. and clearly they flinched. you know, after a week of universal condemnation. >> yes. we're almost out of time but i just want to get to this. the whole dedeterrent, the idea that a deterrent would work suggests something on the ground in honduras or central america would have to change. we want to end on this. john kelly, chief of staff, said
something so different about what he understood to be happening on the ground in 2015 than what he says now. let me just play this for everybody, how he thought of those immigrants then. listen. >> many of the problems of these countries are a direct result of our drug consumption, a direct result of our drug consumption in our country. cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, it all comes from that region of the world. and so, yes, they love their children. they love their children as much as we love our children. in many ways they're trying to save their children's life by putting on to this very efficient but still very dangerous network to get them into the united states. >> and it is -- i mean it's an unbelievable statement. >> he knew that then. >> because it speaks to why people make the journey. it speaks to, you know, the demand in this country. but it also -- he has spoken more recently too about that network, the smuggling network, where people are -- women can be raped, kids can be harmed, and
to be fair to kelly, part of the deterrent value that he was after is making sure they were no longer in that network. >> good point. good point. but something would have to change about the root causes of the crime and violence down there. gentlemen, thank you very much. okay, is immigration dead now in congress? >> yes, yes, yes. >> well, then i'm going to cancel our next guest, gop congressman mark sanford, because i was hoping to get the answer from him, john berman. >> he'll be a second source. plaque psoriasis can be relentless.
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so hopes for an immigration bill in congress appear to be dead this morning after president trump tweeted this. republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after we elect more senators and congressmen, congresswomen in november. house republicans delayed a vote on a compromise immigration bill, their so-called compromise until next week. so where are we today? joining us now is republican congressman mark sanford. congressman, thanks for being here. >> my pleasure. >> do you interpret the effort for an immigration bill to be dead after the president said republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after the election, democrats are playing games, they have no intention of doing anything to solve this decades-old problem. we could pass great legislation after the red wave of the election. where does that leave you? >> game over. it takes the wind out of the sails in what might have been a fairly productive week in terms of looking for a compromise.
i don't know how it happens. because if you look at how contentious this issue is, how much emotion there is, you know, without the president being out front, without the president having legislators' backs, there's no way they'll take the risk that would be inherent in a major reform bill sdp. >> so congressman, why is it game over? why do you think the president threw up his hands and declared game over? >> i think it's within well demonstrated that he's got a short attention span and quickly moves on to the next item. >> i hear you, but that doesn't make sense here. he wants to solve -- everybody wants to solve what's going on at the border. everybody wants to solve what's going on with these 1,800 kids today whose parents don't know where they are, so why would he say game over this morning? why now? >> because of what the president said, i'm not saying it, he said
it. i think realistically given this issue and given the emotions around it, if the president doesn't have the congress' back, if he's not going to back whatever compromise might be found, they're not going to take the political risk to move forward. >> isn't it likely the president didn't think it was going to move forward? that he's basically calling it quits before it can fail in the senate or the house? >> probably so. i mean i think you might have seen a compromise bill maybe come out of the house, but it would die over on the senate side. so there could be a tactical reason for doing so, but again, what goes on at that level is well beyond my pay grade. >> but do you think that the president is right, that he's basically saying he wants to run on this, let's keep this going? let's keep this drama, let's keep this angst at the border, this pain, let's keep it through the election? >> i think it would be a mistake to do that because you don't know what's going to happen in the election. and the fact is you have a republican white house, house and senate. that coalition of stars may not
be something that lasts forever, it may disappear in november. if so, it becomes that much more complicated to do that which he's talked about with regard to border security, a wall and more. >> you voted for the goodlatte -- you supported the goodlatte bill. this one is supposedly a compromise, but it's only a compromise between republicans. democrats say that they haven't been invited or welcome at the table. >> yeah, but i mean it's a compromise between folks that were going to join democrats and file a discharge petition on the republican side and those who weren't. and so this is a way of keeping people all in the family, so to speak. so in that regard it does represent real compromise. and i think that you look at different components, they are different than what was talked about. the taking out of e-verify. a lot of people think it's very, very important. while there's a lot of attention on the border, the fact is that two-thirds of our immigration problem is tied to visa
overstays. e-verify would do something about it. it's not in the compromise bill. >> but this morning your feeling is that as you and i speak today, this is dead in the water? >> that's what i would say based on the president's comments. >> and where does that leave you, congressman? where does that leave congress? how are you going to solve what's going on at the border and all these kids who have been separated from their parents? >> all you could possibly hope for is maybe congress going back and going for single shots as opposed to comprehensive reform. comprehensive reform as has already been demonstrated is very tough in political terms. but if you begin to boil it down and say let's take one bite at the apple at a time, maybe you can get something through on that front. >> do you think that's what's going to happen? is there going to be some sort of legislation that just deals with reuniting parents or just deals with making sure kids are not separated from their parents at the border. >> for instance, on that topic, ted cruz has a bill on the senate side, mark meadows has a bill on the house side. that kind of thing i think would be taken up in the absence of a
larger bill. again, this is all rippling fairly fast but that would be my political read of the tea leaves. >> congressman, while i have you, you have said some very compelling stuff and written about this, about where you think republicans are with president trump now and that you basically think that your fellow republicans are letting him get away with a lot. can you just expound on that why you think that's happening? >> well, he's certainly a forceful personality, but the founding fathers designed systems to guard against forces of personality. they designed three separate but co-equal branches. i think in some ways the legislative branch of late has been too subservient to the executive branch. i think that that's a mistake. i think that you end up with inferior legislative products when that occurs, and it's not the design of the founding fathers. the founding fathers baked into the cake this idea of dissent and debate. it's vital to ending up with a
better mousetrap. my political sin, if you will, that cost me an election was i spoke out against the president prior to my election and he came to this chamber, sent a chilling message to my colleagues, which is if you mess with me, i'll mess with you. that's not the kind of thing we want to see from the president of the united states. >> do you regret, given what's happened to you and your political career, do you regret speaking out about the president. >> not one bit. again, i think if you're going to be true to yourself and true to the promises you made when you ran for office, true to your constituents, true to the philosophy that may have brought you to congress, you've got to speak out on those things, not just after an election but before. >> yeah. >> because if not, we really do begin to become subservient or cowtow to the president. and that's why my opponent said this is the party of dawnonald
trump. i could not more wholeheartedly agree. >> right, but your colleagues -- aren't you the living lesson of what happens, the peril if you speak out about the president? isn't that what your republican colleagues take away from it? you'll lose your job. >> i hope not. you know, i think -- i found encouragement in the fact that the president comes in and though he tried to, i guess, come up with a different version of -- you talk about alternative truth or alternative facts of what happened, but the fact is members of the republican caucus actually booed the president -- >> when he insulted you. >> yeah. and so i don't think that the full story has played out. i think that there has been pushback. different members have come up to me on the house floor and say we could not more strongly disagree with the president and the intimidation signal that he attempted to send to us. >> do you think they'll speak out at some point? >> it's certainly my hope.
>> congressman mark sanford, thank you very much for coming in with your position on all of this. >> yes, ma'am. >> john. >> all right. so melania trump wore that jacket on her way to texas to visit the border. two questions, was she trying to send a message? the answer to that is yes. the second question, what message was it and to whom? >> what's the answer to that? >> we'll address that, coming up. ...to give you the protein you need with less of the sugar you don't. i'll take that. [cheers] 30 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar. new ensure max protein. in two great flavors. new wlet's do it. ? in. ♪ come on. this summer, add a new member to the family. at the mercedes-benz summer event.
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we all know they're here without their families, and i want to thank you for your hard work, your compassion and your kindness you're giving them in these difficult times. i'd also like to ask you how i can help for these children to reunite with their families as quickly as possible. >> how can i help? maybe she knows someone. >> maybe. maybe she can make a phone call. >> maybe she knows someone. or just walk over and ask. melania trump made a surprise trip to texas to get a first
lo look. joining us now, anita mcbride, former chief of staff to laura bush and kate anderson brower. melania trump, the senior most official to go visit the border in the midst of this white house-created crisis of separating parents from their children, the message is i care, getting a firsthand look isn't a bad thing. we'll talk about the jacket in a second. but the trip in and of itself, what did you make of it? >> well, i thought that it was very important that she did that. it appears she pulled that trip together very quickly and there are a lot of details that go into a trip like that. i remember certainly making so many visits to the gulf coast after katrina with laura bush after 24 to 48 hours. i think it's important because it does bring a sense of humanity and a sense of i do
care what's happening to these children, to these families, because i think she's very sincere about caring about kids. so that's important. maybe it helps to bring back a message to the white house. i hope that it has some effect. that's the one thing that she really is in a unique position to do, very different than any other official from the government that could go down there. >> kate, do you think she was motivated by the fact that all four living first ladies, so roslyn carter, hillary clinton, laura bush and michelle obama spoke out calling it cruel and immoral and a shame for our country. so how significant was that and do you think that she was motivated by them being so vocal? >> well, she did come out first, her spokeswoman did come out and say that she was heartbroken about these family separations but she was urging congress to do something about it and that
was even before laura bush's op-ed. but yes, i mean i think this is something she couldn't avoid confronting as an immigrant herself, as a mother who always prioritizes their son. it was something she couldn't avoid doing. i think it's also important to know that it was 100% her idea and she went to her husband and said i'm going to do this. and that says a lot about her and how willful and strong she is really. >> so what about the jacket then? look, it was a picture of her going would have been all we were talking about, being there, meeting with the people there. instead she walks on the plane with this. "i really don't care, do u." the president claims it's a message to the media. i don't think those are remotely true. i think this was some kind of a message. she chose to wear it, anita. let me just first say what do you think about the choice to wear something like this, to create the very question?
is that a mistake in itself? >> well, you're right, it does create a question. it's just a distraction. on a day that's already very wrenching and very hard. we're all living in this state of confusion as to what's happen to these kids and their families and you have a visible person who really does have -- sincerely cares to go down there, ask the right questions. it was a very good roundtable. and then this is a distraction. and i know, listen, it's very hard again, as i've said, i've been in that position putting together a trip like that very quickly, you try not to forget any detail. one of the big things was a wardrobe memo. what are the conditions on the ground. >> of course. >> and she is, and alisyn you said in an earlier segment, this is someone who understands fashion, she knows what she's wearing. and i'm sorry that this happened because it is a distraction. however, the white house wants to span it, it's not just better. >> how much better would it have
been if she would have taken a black magic marker and crossed out the "don't" so it said i really care, do u? how much better would that have been? >> it's mind boggling. i don't understand it. as anita said, she knows how powerful fashion is and what she wears. it's also a jacket that cost less than $40. this is a woman who wears $50,000 jackets. there are plenty of jackets with no writing on them. >> and she has access to them. she has access to hundreds of jackets. >> it was clearly something that -- again, and anita having worked for laura bush would know this. everything is carefully calibrated. melania has a really small staff. i think that's part of the problem. and i think she's very stubborn. i think it was a message to the media, frankly. i think she doesn't like the press. i think she is angry at reporters. she wore this on her way up the plane, on her way back down. so it was so the cameras could see it. it wasn't an accident. and it distracts from the message and it's ridiculous that
no one could say to her take off the jacket, it makes no sense. >> ladies -- >> true. >> let's just imagine what would have happened if michelle obama had worn that jacket. >> or laura bush, or laura bush. >> or hillary clinton. >> had worn that jacket and gone to talk to some immigrant children. >> and i don't like discussions with fashion. this isn't about heels or off-the-shoulder dresses, this is about words. the words are the controversy. >> ladies, thank you very much for all of your expertise on first ladies. so earlier this month, 2013 cnn hero richard neras began an ep ib juic journey from seattlen diego trying to raise $250,000 to expand the foundation he created in his late son's name. it was to help more families of kids fighting cancer. so watch this. >> say good morning. >> my son, emilio, was diagnosed
with leukemia. >> hi, dad. >> i love you, batman. >> we were fortunate we had rides to the hospital to bring emilio. many families don't have that support. >> do you want to blow a kiss to the camera? >> they can't start the fight without getting to the hospital. we get them here in a nice, clean environment and on time. no child should miss their treatment due to lack of transportation. >> okay. you can learn more about richard's run and make a donation if you'd like at cnnheroes.com. while you're there, you can also nominate someone you think should be a cnn hero. we'll be right back. oh, you brought butch. yeah! (butch growls at man) he's looking at me right now, isn't he? yup.
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sad news. charles krauthammer, the legendary conservative columnist has died. he had been battling cancer and he announced on june 8th that he only had a few weeks left to live. he was a columnist at "the washington post" three decades winning the pulitzer prize for commentary in 1987. he was also a long-time commentator on fox news. their website calls him, quote, the dean of conservative
commentators. charles krauthammer was 68 years old. i knew him. i didn't work with him closely because he was in washington and i was in europe. the people who did always described him as a prince of a guy. >> i had the honor to meet him on more than one occasion and he was swarmed by people who revered him. a deeply thoughtful and generous man and he will be missed. the heartbreak for lionel messi and argentina continues at the world cup. andy scholes has more in the bleacher report. yes, andy, cry for me, argentina. >> i've got a good friend from argentina, john, and he's not in a very good place right now of how this world cup is gog. messi had a lot of pressure heading into yesterday's game because he and railwonaldo considered the two best players. argentina was desperate for a win against croatia but he was nonexistent in this game. only got one shot off the entire
time. croatia would roll in this one winning 3-0. they advance out of the group stage for the first time in 20 years. argentina fans just devastated. there were some that were crying in the stands there in russia. they were just distraught back home in buenos aires. argentina's chance of advancing out of the group stage now very, very slim. philadelphia 76ers making a hometown kid's dream come true last night in the nba draft. the team drafting mikal bridges with the tenth mom. bridges' mom is the vp of human resources for the sixers and she was just ecstatic that her son was going to get to play at home. >> it's amazing. it's an experience i'll never forget and i'm so excited he's coming home to be part of our sixers family. it's amazing. go sixers! >> well, the joy of playing at home was short-lived. less than an hour later the sixers traded bridges to the phoenix suns. allison bridges said, well,
that's life. but i imagine mama bridges is not going to be very happy walking around the halls at work come next week. >> that is so cold. >> you said the goalie made a mistake. that's a lot of pressure on that goalie. i know that's his job, but that's a lot of pressure. >> he let a whole country down. >> they were sobbing. >> he let a whole country down. meanwhile, what is next in the battle over immigration? a lot has already changed this morning, as "new day" has been on the air. david axelrod weighs in next. ♪ heartburn and gas? ♪ now fight both fast new tums chewy bites with gas relief all in one relief of heartburn and gas ♪ ♪ tum tum tum tums new tums chewy bites with gas relief incomparable performance cars cannot be rushed.
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president trump sending a message to congress just this morning an hour ago on twitter. he says republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after we elect more senators and congressmen/women in november. so what does that mean? is immigration reform dead for now? let's get the bottom line with cnn's political commentator david axelrod. >> it is. you don't even need an expert like axelrod. >> all right, i'm going. >> see ya later. we've spoken to lawmakers this morning who didn't know it was going to be dead this morning. they, i think in earnest were attempting to -- >> it's a lack of coordination. >> i think they are being honest when they think they were going back to the drawing board and trying to figure out what they called a compromise. >> here's the difference. they may be trying to solve a problem. i think he sees it as an issue. he sees it as leverage. you know, corey lewandowski got
rightly chastised for the comment he made, but the comment that he got not enough attention was he was quoted somewhere as saying, look, people aren't going to come to the polls in november to say thank you. you need to motivate them. >> outrage them. >> i think this tweet this morning reflects the president's thinking. immigration is one of the major things that got him here. he has this false narrative about, you know, and a really regrettable one about the people who are coming here for asylum, that they're murderers and rapists and there may be some, but mainly these are people who are fleeing murderers and rapists. but he has this narrative that he is the guy who is stopping all of this. and now he wants to -- he'll create a narrative that democrats are trying to prevent him from doing the things that are necessary to keep people from coming over the border and that's why we need a republican congress. i honestly think that's the way he's thinking about this.
>> so you have the axe files and this weekend you're talking to marco rubio about this, senator from florida. i'm bringing this up because rubio is in the middle of this immigration debate for some time. what did you guys talk about? >> first of all, i was hoping you were bringing it up to encourage people to watch the show. >> there's also that. watch "the axe files." >> you know, rubio is very interesting because there was a time when he was a leader on the immigration reform issue. you'll remember he walked away from it in 2013 because he got such blowback from the conservative wing, the anti-immigration wing of the party. but even so, you could see -- you know, he's an immigrant himself from cuba. his family is an immigrant family, he's a first generation immigrant. he really pulled back from the president's characterization of immigrants, which is really -- >> i think we have a clip of it.
>> depicted the people who are coming as dangerous. he said they're not sending us their best, rapists and murderers. >> not based on a lottery or not people that snuck across the border. and they could be murderers and thieves and so much else. >> the vast -- 98%, 99% of these people are being charged with a misdemeanor, they don't have criminal histories. is it fair to depict immigrants that way? >> i don't think it's ever wise to cast a broad net of generalization over any group of human beings. yes, there are people across the border that are dangerous and criminals and the like. i would say through my experience the vast majority of people are coming over because they want a better life. my sense of it is if you're a father, if my family is desperate and are living in a dangerous situation, i'd do almost anything to protect my children and find a better life for them. 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 are just coming because they want something better. >> how about that, he says as a father if he were in those situations he would do almost anything to protect them. >> he knows from their own family's experience, they fled the batista regime in cuba. i think his family would be defined by the president as a chain migration family because the extended family all came over. they reached back and brought their family here. why? because they were fleeing tyranny and lack of opportunity and they wanted something better for their kids. he said it very well. it stands in contrast to the depiction that we hear from the president because, as i said, that's the president's political narrative. that's what started when he came down the casescalator. that's what he thinks elevated him to the white house and what
he thinks will help him in the fall. >> do you think it will? you're a strategist. >> i don't think the republican base will be motivated to the degree democrats are. it's hard to motivate one side and not the other. >> democrats in the past haven't been as motivated on immigration. >> i think democrats are motivated by donald trump and i think you're going to see -- you know, if you look at what's happened since november in special elections, the democrat turnout has been significantly higher. >> david axelrod, thanks so much for being with us. >> you can watch "the axe files" tomorrow night, 7:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. cnn newsroom with poppy harlow picks up after a quick break.
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conflicting messages, nearly two days after president trump ended the separation of parents and children at the border. adding to that confusion a punt this morning from the president and a big question about priorities. he's now telling republicans that they should stop trying to pass an immigration fix until after the midterms in november, despite the fact that both parties agree a compromise is needed. also needed desperately is clarity. clarity on how thousands of children already separated from their parents at the border will be reunited with them and figuring that out should be a top priority for everyone. just imagine what one mother from guatemala was feeling this morning when she was finally reunited with her son. she had to sue the trump administration after he was taken away nearly a month ago when they crossed the border. she said they had planned to seek asylum. watch this.