blouse, with the white pantsuit, with the blue outfit at the inauguration which was hearkening back to jackie kennedy. she meant to say something. it's like walking performance art at this point. >> and it was 80 degrees. >> everybody wears jackets on an 80-degree day. thank you for watching "inside politics." wolf starts right now. hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. in washington. from wherever you're watching from around it is worthe world,u very much for joining us. we start with the chaotic flip-flop of the president on immigration. his intention was to end the bad publicity surrounding the administrations, separating parents from children at the u.s.-mexico border. today serious questions remain about the order and if the administration has any detailed plan to reunite those families
as mr. trump and his aides clearly promised. meanwhile the president is keeping tabs on his favorite skap scapegoat, the democrats, saying, republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after we elect more senators and congressmen d congressmen/women in november. demes are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solve this decades-old problem. we can pass great legislation after the red wave. jim, what do you think about this zero tolerance policy? >> this zero tolerance policy resulting in separation of families, we have not heard from white house officials as to how they're going to reunite these kids with their parents, how that process will work. we have not had a briefing wlt
whi with the white house press secretary sarah sanders. he said let's give up on reform until after the midterm elections. earlier this week, it was just on tuesday when the president tweeted, #changethelaws and saying this is the perfect time to pass immigration reform. we should also talk about another tweet he had this morning which really goes to the heart, i think, of the president's mindset in terms of where he is on this issue of immigration. he is accusing democrats of concocting phony stories. if we have that tweet, we can put it on the screen and show it to you. we must maintain a strong southern border. we cannot allow our country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the democrats tell their phony stores of sadness and
griep, hoping it will help them in the elections. obama and others had the same pictures and did nothing about it. these are phony stories in that tweet, but we should point out obviously the sights and sounds of what has been happening are very real. there is a protest happening outside the white house right now, we should point out, in the rain here in washington. it's not very large, but they are playing the audio of some of those children that were caught on video, caught on audio by pro publica. we can play a little bit of that for you. and there is some of that video there, wolf. the audio, you couldn't really hear it as i was talking there, but you do hear the audio of those children crying for their parents. the other thing we should point out this afternoon, wolf, the president is holding an event at 2:30 this afternoon with the family members of victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. we saw the president do this throughout the campaign. he tries to change the message on the issue of immigration by trying to paint the picture that
undocumented immigrants are somehow more violent than other people in society. facts and many studies have shown that is not the case but the president is going to try to show what he believes is the only side of the story here, and that is that people coming across the border illegally and in an undocumented fashion are somehow a threat to society. obviously there have been crimes committed by people who come across the border illegally, but it's panni ipainting with a ver and ugly brush to say documents coming across the border commit more crimes than others across the country. we should point out no briefing at the white house with the press secretary as of yet. second day in a row where the white house could hold a briefing with the press and explain this policy of what's happening with these children, and they're simply not doing that, wolf. >> jim acosta at the white house. thank you. u.s. customs and border protection says so far about 500 children have been reunited with
>> the mother tells cnn it had been more than a month since she had seen her seven-year-old son. she says they were separated days after crossing the u.s.-mexico border in arizona. she sued, asking a federal judge to order the release of her son. their reunion came just as a court hearing on her case was about to begin. the guatemalan mother says she came to the united states to escape death threats and domestic violence. the majority of parents, about 85%, are still waiting to be reunited with their children. among them the mother who heard her daughter's voice on that haunting audio recorded inside a detention center. the girl begs to be taken to her aunt's house.
>> our correspondent rosa flores is joining us now from mcallen, texas. rose, i understand you had a chance to speak with the girl's mother. what's she saying about the efforts to reconnect her with her daughter? >> reporter: you know, cindy madrid said they told her to be patient, that there was a process for her to be reunited with her daughter, but there were no details about that process. she made it to the border on may 25th. she said that pro publica audio was recorded on the day she arrived, because that's when she was separated from her daughter. ever since she's tried, asking officials to be if she can
reunify, to see if she could call her daughter. about a week later they gave her a phone number that they said she could use to connect with her. she has called multiple times. she last lost the number of times she has dialed. when we were interviewing her, we tried dialing that number and it went to a voice message. while we were interviewing her as well, that's when the news broke that first lady melania trump was here in texas at a separate facility visiting with officials and with children, and so we asked cindy madrid about the first lady's visit and here is the plea that she made. >> reporter: now, the facility that cindy is in is the one you see behind me.
it's the port isabel detention center. this center will the one that will be used to reunify families. it's unclear how that reunification process will work, but as you can see, i'm standing pretty far from the facility and that's just the gate. we're not allowed to get any closer, we're not even allowed to be on the road you see behind me to ask more questions or even to figure out if we could talk to some of these women that are in this facility. now, this is a massive facility. wolf, i can tell you that from aerial footage, there are multiple buildings. it's surrounded by barbed wire and everything i see around me are sorghum fields and mesquites. wolf? >> thank you, rosa. we are at a glowing tipping point, says hillary clinton speaking from ireland. she also spoke about the forced family separations at the u.s.-mexico border and the part
people are playing in forcing president trump's hand. >> americans from every political background, idealogy and walk of life watched bro broken and outraged as families were ripped apart and children were treated cruelly as political pawns. yet even in this dark hour, we are witnessing an outpouring of moral conviction, civic engagement and lasting commitment to stand up for the most vulnerable among us. in fact, it was because of the outcry from every corner of our country and, indeed, from around the world that the trump administration was finally forced to take at least a step toward ending family separation. >> joining us now from capitol hill is new york congressman gregory meeks. he's a democrat. he's a member of the foreign affairs committee. congressman, thanks so much for joining us. let me get your reaction from
what we just heard from hillary clinton. do you believe that children are being used as pawns by the trump administration? >> it's clear. they told us that from the beginning. attorney general jeff sessions said what he basically wants to do is unify these children as deter rents rents of children c. it's clear they are using them by separating them from their parents and putting them in the most inhumane treatment they could imagine. this is showing absolutely no values. >> it's supposed to change. the other day the president signed this executive order saying they weren't going to be separating these kids from their mothers and fathers any longer. do you accept that? >> no. listen, number one, the president is the one that started the fire and then allegedly he's going to sign an executive order, so he started the fire and now he's going to try to put out the fire when, number one, there's big questions about that executive
order. in my estimation, he did not even need an executive order. all he had to do was tell his administration, the people within, to stop this inhumane treatment of human beings. didn't need it. that would stop it. it didn't happen before he authorized them to come with this policy. so he didn't need it at all. and so we are in a scenario where the president and his administration should stop this horrible, this treatment of human beings and kids separating them from their families. the world is looking at us and we are completely losing our leadership in the free world based upon the actions and the policies of this president. how can we tell anyone else to do certain things that are of a humane nature when we won't do it ourselves? in fact, we're doing just the opposite. >> as you know, your new york governor andrew cuomo said as many as 700 of these children pulled from their parents were sent to various facilities in new york state.
do you know if any are in your district, congressman, and what are you prepared to do to help try to reunite these kids with their moms and dads? >> over this weekend, i'm putting aside a lot of things that i was planning because we've got to find out where they are. as the governor has indicated, he has reached out to health and human services to ask them where they are. they won't tell him. they won't tell any member of congress. as we find out where these facilities are, you know, just as your cameras, wolf, are not allowed in. they're blocking people from going in and seeing for themselves. so apparently, with the policy the president is putting forward, they're also trying to block transparency. because if there was nothing to hide, then they would allow me as a member of congress and you as the media and your come razz in to see exactly where these children are and how they're being treated and how are they housed and come up with a specific program to tell us how
these children are going to be reunited with their parents. i heard they talked about 500, but we know we're talking about another 1800. in new york, thousands of miles from where they were taken away from their parents. how are you going to reunite them? and i might add, wolf, you've got some as young as a year, two years, three years. they can't communicate. they can't tell where their parents are or how to hook them up. how is the government going to do that? i think the government needs to tell the american people, because if you are a human being, you know this policy is huynh mai inhumane. >> let me read a tweet from the president today. we cannot allow our country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the democrats tell their stories of sadness and grief, hoping it will help them in the
elections. obama and others had the same pictures and did nothing about it. he's suggesting the stories are phony. go ahead and respond. >> wolf, we all know by now that the president, i would say, exaggerates, but the president lies. and that's what he's doing here again. everybody says, who do you believe, me or your lying eyes? our eyes have seen some of the reports, even those who have returned, how the mothers have embraced their kids who they hadn't seen for 30 days or so. so there is no question that it is the president's policies that has separated these families. tesd it in the beginning. the president said it and the attorney general has said it. they haven't denied it. they only now tried to go back when they see all the american people, the majority of the american people, do not want this inhumane treatment to continue. the least they could do is open up the doors and let us see. let members of congress, let the
media, let the american people see what has taken place. they surely don't want that to happen and the president is now happening inside the white house now, and just rescind that tactic of separating families. then tell us how you're going to put them back together since you separated them in the beginning. >> in april attorney general jeff sessions announced the so-called zero tolerance policy. in may he said that included separating children from their parents, if the parents of that executive order order signed will hopefully reverse that policy. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. we go into another facility
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the united states could send up to 20,000 undocumented immigrant children to u.s. military bases around the country. the department of health and human services is now evaluating three bases in texas, one in arkansas. they say they could be used to house children if the current pace of border crossings continues. so how would that work? our correspondent diane gallagher is at a shelter that houses unaccompanied minors. it's adjacent to the u.s. air base in homestead, florida. diane, what can you tell us about this facility? >> reporter: the facility you see behind me is a former job corps. it almost looks like dormitories
with classrooms. we got a chance to go on this very controlled and guided tour. it was about an hour. it's a large campus. they were very brisk, moved us along. did not allow us to speak to any of the children, although several of them did wave and smile to us. they were being moved in lines wearing blue or pink shirts depending on their gender. going from dining halls into dorms and classrooms. this facility is for children aged 13 to 17, both genders. it's about a 2-1 ratio boys to girls here. we all asked, because they're unaccompanied children, but only about 47 of them here, according to the director, were separated from their parents after processing because of the trump administration zero tolerance policy. now, this is very different from some of the other centers that you've seen. this is run sort of like a regimented school. they have a schedule, and i know you can't really see it here, but 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., they go to classes.
they have counseling almost every single day and they basically speak to these sponsors and they speak to caseworkers, wolf. they say the goal is reunification here, but again, they can't leave and they're stuck here until they find someone to go home to. >> the pictures we're seeing are government-released pictures. they wouldn't let you take a camera crew inside, no electronic equipment, just a pad and a pencil. >> reporter: that's right, sir. and i tell you, wolf, i had a similar experience. on sunday i went into the centralized processing center in mcallen, texas. thael that's the step these kids went through right before they came here. essentially after that is when they're separated from their families. that's where you see those images of kids in essentially kennels and cages with their parents and adults in there. they come here and it's a much different structure. dorms with about 12 kids per dorm. there is one person who is sort of handling each dormitory of kids. like tonight they had a projector set up. they're going to get to watch some world-taped cup games, they
have chores. again, they can't leave here and the fafacilitators, the people here realize most of them are scared, they're away from their home in a foreign land, they don't speak the language and they don't know what's next. they do have those counseling services but the workers are not allowed to hold them or touch them, wolf. they said the kids can do that themselves. all they can offer at this point is counseling for them. >> yep, they want to be reunited with their parents and families. thank you very much, diane gallagher, for your reporting. did president trump's long-time lawyer and fixer get national enquirer stories to review ahead of publication? there are new revelations today about their controversial relationship. plus as he faces legal jeopardy, michael cohen is also being interviewed by tom arnold who is doing a show called "the hunt for the trump tapes." what's behind this? he move all day long, and sometimes i don't eat the way i should.
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personal lawyer, mediator, troubleshooter, fixer. michael cohen wearing a number of hats while he worked for the trump administration for a dozen years. but he was probably best known as the fixer. today the "washington post" is reporting that his job included reviewing stories about president trump before they were published. i'm joined now by the reporter that broke that story, sara alison, who is joining us from new york. sara, explain to us how all of this unfolded. >> so michael cohen had a relationship with the national enquirer for years, and the question that is raised in this story is, was he sort of just the pr person for donald trump that the nosational enquirer
reporters could call for a comment, or was the relationship deeper than that? my reporting shows it was indeed deeper. as a journalist, sending a story for review is not common practice. what elevates this story from something other than a media story is that the idea that michael cohen might have had some kind of control over the content in the national enquirer or that donald trump could have somehow, during the campaign, been dictating coverage would have been a potential campaign violation, a federal election violation, and that's the big question that hangs over this. this practice was happening and is happening around the same time that michael cohen is under investigation. >> yeah, they're investigating whether there was what they call an in kind campaign contribution in the weeks before the election. the parent company of the national enquirer issued this statement. it is unfortunate and
disconcerting that disgruntled ex-employees who had noack assess to how editorial decisions are made and without nyack assess to the company's top executives have been give ayn platform, hiding behind the protection of being an anonymous source to grind their ax on the back of their former employer. what's your assessment of this statement? >> we took very seriously the sources we used for this story and we stand behind the reporting. >> you mentioned they were investigating the u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york for potentially investigating in kind campaign contributions that weren't disclosed which could be illegal. what about the payment from american media to a woman who claimed to have had an affair and only weeks before the election was paid about $150,000 by american media? >> right. explicitly that's when michael cohen's office and residence were raided.
one of the things they were looking for were communications related to that payment to karen mcdonnell -- karen mcdougal, excuse me -- so they are definitely interested in the communications to ani and michael cohen. what this piece does, this report that go we unearthed in the course of our work was the question of was there more kind of an ongoing relationship between michael cohen and the national enquirer? were his services sort of on an ongoing basis to quash negative stories that weren't simply around karen mcdougal but whether it was a negative story about donald trump's opponent, hillary clinton or ben carson, or were they stories not quite as flattering as he wanted about himself? >> very strong reporting, sara. thank you very much.
sara alison at the national post. are the president's attacks against the special counsel robert mueller working right now? what the brand new cnn polls are showing about the american public's opinion of this whole russia investigation. plus, more than 4,000 people estimated to have died and the trump administration still being criticized for the response. but now the government commissioning a congratulations coin on puerto rico. you're going to hear why.
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matter, 35% say it was an effort to discredit president trump. but it also appears the constant criticism of the special counsel robert mueller is taking its toll. 41% of those polled approve of how mueller is handling the russia investigation, but that's down from march where it was 48%. now 39% disapprove while in march it was 35%. 21% are unsure, up from 17% in march. and we have an adviser in the clinton administration and our analyst gloria borger. it looks like the plan to discredit mueller is working. >> it is working and it's supported by the inspector general's report, because they believe the report shows that at the onset of the investigation there were people there who hated donald trump, quite frankly. and so both his attorneys, and you see the spokesman rudy
giuliani out there every day, talking about this, and the president saying it's a witch hunt. and you have bob mueller saying absolutely nothing at all, so you can really see the impact in those numbers. >> what do you think, jack? >> i think gloria has it exactly right. there is no doubt these attacks are taking their toll, but we have to remember, this is a law enforcement investigation. we don't do law enforcement, we don't prosecute people on the basis of public opinion. robert mueller has a job to do, and i think he's doing it carefully. and as gloria said, he's not in a position to respond to these attacks. let's remember, after all, what james comey did in the handling of the clinton e-mail investigation. it didn't serve him well to be explaining what he was doing at different stages of the investigation. so while this may take its toll, i really believe that at the end of the day, it's going to depend on what he has to say, what he finds, how he justifies it and
what action he takes, one, to protect our democracy, and two, to ensure that any crimes he comes across are prosecuted or vindicated. >> gloria, in our cnn poll, 42% of americans say president trump should be impeached and removed from office. 42%, four out of ten. what makes this remarkable is that he's on par with president richard nixon who back in 1974, march 1974, harris polls had 43% of americans saying nixon should be impeached. he, of course, was never impeached. he resigned just before he would have been impeached. >> wolf sh, that is a high numb but i went and looked at the internals of these numbers. as you can imagine it breaks down completely along party lines. only 9% of republicans believe that impeachment is a good idea. 77% of democrats and 38% of independents. so that's where you get that large number.
clearly the president's base, as we've been saying on and on, is with him on this issue, and that number just reflects a divided country. >> the country is very divided right now. >> and that's how he's chosen to run his presidency. from day one, he never made an effort to run a bipartisan government. he never reached out to democrats to legislate together. he circled the wagons with his republican colleagues, and most importantly, with his base. and, you know, that will either work for him, or i think at the end of the day, he will rue the day that he chose to be such an incredibly -- never in history, i think, have we seen a president so partisan, so ready to take on, you know, the other side. and by the way, it's reflected in the way he's run his foreign policy. he takes on america's allies.
he undermines nato. he throws out tpp, and he embraces putin, erdogan and other autocrats. it's nothing we've ever seen. >> good analysis from both of you guys. thank you very much. president trump's administration still under fire right now for their hurricane response last year. the death toll in puerto rico is still unclear. despite that, the epa is spending thousands on a coin commemorating its response. we have details next. change the water jug so no one else has to, get home for dinner and feed the cat. you did a million things for your family today but speaking to pnc to help handle all your investments was a very important million and one. pnc. make today the day.
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is under fire right now over a coin. the agency commissioned challenge coins, as they're called, to congratulate the response to national disasters back in 2017, and that includes the hurricane that ravaged puerto rico. a recent academic report commissioned by harvard university found that the death toll in puerto rico from hurricane maria could be as high as 4,600. our correspondent is with me right now. it's pretty jarring in light of that report from harvard to commission a coin congratulating everyone for their response. >> this is certainly something not sitting well with advocacy groups or environmental groups that did not see the epa's response to hurricane harvey in texas and maria in puerto rico as something to celebrate. there were reports of widespread illness, reports of bacterial contamination in puerto rico. after maria, there was a boil water advisory for most of the island. people were even getting their water from a superfund site that was not properly locked down by
the epa. keep in mind it's the epa's job to make sure there is a plan in place for drinking water, clean drinking water in emergencies like this. and also in houston, there was massive flooding, unprecedented flooding from hurricane harvey. it damaged a superfund site, causing it to leak. the epa initially declared that site safe before having to later reverse itself. it's still unclear to this day how much of that waste was leaked out into surrounding areas. so you can sort of understand why there is some eyebrow raising over why the epa would spend $8,500 on coins that say things like "response excellence" and "protecting human health and the environment." the group that obtained these documents said this is another example in a long list of scott pruitt's epa self-congratulating in the last months. the epa, of course, has a different take on this. in a statement they told cnn this is not news, and they pointed out the coins are
awarded by agencies throughout government. it's true, the military has historically handed out award coins after certain events. it is a little bit different for civilian agencies to be doing it, but we have been seeing a lot of that in the past couple months. >> good reporting, sara. thank you investigatvery, very . just in, there is drama on the house floor concerning the president's separation policy of children. you'll see what happened. ♪ ♪ i can do more to lower my a1c. because my body can still make its own insulin. and i take trulicity once a week to activate my body to release it, like it's supposed to. trulicity is not insulin. it comes in a once-weekly, truly easy-to-use pen.
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this week we're sharing inspiring stories of truly extraordinary people and organizations in a special series called champions for change. and today's story, kate bolduan highlights champions working to ensure that every mother and baby have a fighting chance at life. >> there is our friends. ♪ have a good day. uh-oh, are we going to make it? this way, this way. every mother will tell you there is no such thing as work/life balance. it didn't exist. where is cecilia? is she in the tree? no. oh, there you are. is this your lunch, cc? you're going to have ice cream for lunch? who is your mommy? how about this? how was your nap?
my pregnancies were really quite easy. but when it came to birth, that was when the complications started for me. both babies were breach. if i didn't have access to a great medical system, i don't even want to think about what that would mean for my babies. the happiest moment of my life was bringing these two beautiful beings into the world. and to think that that same moment for another mother could mean death is just -- it is unimaginable. i heard about every mother counts from a very good friend and colleague of mine. and then i met christy. she is a force. >> my daughter grace when she was born, i experienced a post-partum complication, a hemorrhage. globally more than half a million girls and women at that
time were dying from pregnancy and child birth k06rcomplicatio. and what i had was a leading cause of death. it made me want to does what could i do. and so emc was founded to be able to engage people at a deeper level. >> reporter: along with education, advocacy and policy work, every mother counts helps raise funds for community-led maternal health programs around the world. how big is the problem still? >> you look at the u.s., and we were ranked 41st in the world when i became a mom. and today we're ranked 47th. so we're actually falling behind. and black women are three to four times more likely to die than a caucasian woman and we're only just starting to really ask the question why. >> reporter: how would you think like a woman like jenfully joseph, midwife in central florida, how is she changing the
game? >> when we became a foundation that started grant-giving, she was like the first person that i was like we have to support jenny. she has spent her entire career focused on predominantly women of color who are really struggling with our system. >> compassionate listening. we measure the belly and listen to the baby and check the urine like any other ob, but these other pieces seem to be the key to the drought come. >> she really makes sure that no woman is denied care. >> they told a story such as i was turned away because i was too far advanced in my pregnancy. we don't turn them away. >> i would say jenny to some extent is a model for chanel. chanel is the serving low income women with color. >> chanel is the founder of an
gebts so ancient song, a center that offers dual service which is are trained birth coaches, services many women would not be otherwise able to afford. sitting here in this sisterhood of mommies and mommies to be, what more can we all did to step up and do more? >> supporting women of color, black women of color-led organizations, addressing implicit bias and racial discrimination within health care. these young moms go to health care and yet they are being judged based on the fact of their age. >> i'd be completely alone without this. it gives me the support that i never had. it was just me until i met her. >> what has this meant for you? >> that's what drew plea me to to be a dual born. i can be someone's support that my mom didn't have. >> only thing i've ever wished for my daughters is that they
grow up to have passion, happiness and to leave the earth in this small way a better place. and that's what i see with christy, chanel and jenny. these are the role models i want for my daughters. >> kate is joining us live. what a truly inspiring story. thanks so much for doing it. to our viewers here right now in the united states and around the world, what can they do to get involved and help? >> they can get involved, go to every mother counts.org. but they can also just understand that when it comes to maternal health, it is very basic. every single one of us is brought into the world by their mother, by a woman. and so why shouldn't it be a number one priority for all of us to make sure that every woman, every mother has a fighting chance at safe and healthy pregnancy and birth. the majority of these
complications that can lead to death or life-altering medical issues, a majority of these complications, these problems, are preventable. we just need to pay it forward and come together and step up and make sure it doesn't happen. >> kate, thanks so much for doing it. and you can watch the champions for change one hour special saturday night 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. that is it for me. the news continues right now. wolf, thank you so much. i'm brooke baldwin. it is friday afternoon talking about these federal agencies grappling with how to follow the executive order. the president's advice this morning is this, republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after we elect more senators and com men/wome