tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN June 26, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
elected into office. >> mj hegar, thank you for coming on. good luck. >> thanks, brooke. this is cnn breaking news. >> we continue on. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with us. the breaking news, vindication and victory. that is how the white house is describing the united states supreme court's decision today, upholding the administration's controversial travel ban against seven countries. here's the president a while ago. >> we greatly appreciate it. we needed it as a country. that was a big victory for -- i can tell you everyone at this table is very happy about it, but that was a big victory for our country. okay. >> in a 5-4 decision, the supreme court reversed the ruling of a lower court and so most citizens from iran, libya, north korea, somalia, syria, venezuela, and yemen, will be
barred from entering the u.s. this version of the travel ban, this third attempt, is much narrower but one of the key issues for the justices to decide, whether or not trump's initial calls for a quote/unquote muslim ban was really at the heart of this led legislation. back to december 2015. >> donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. you have no choice. we have no choice. >> let's go straight to our chief white house correspondent, jim acosta. jim, this decision, of course, comes just as the white house and congress are working on immigration policy regarding our southern border.
>> right. >> how might this affect the president? >> well, he's feeling vindicated, brooke, on the travel ban so that obviously is making him feel embolden about taking the hardline stance on immigration, despite what the supreme court justices said while the chief justice said that this proclamation from the president is squarely within his scope and his presidential authority, i think we have to heed the words from sonia sotomayor who wrote the minority opinion for those justices who dissented. she essentially said that the majority set aside the president's charged statements about muslims and those are the statements you played there a few moments ago when he made the comments during the campaign. they were widely viewed across the country, across much of the world as being anti-muslim and what the supreme court did today is sort of in that 5-4 decision put aside the president's past statements and so the president is not only feeling vindicated in terms of this travel ban, he is receiving somewhat of an excuse from the high court when
it comes to his past anti-muslim comments. keep in mind, brooke, last year the president tweeted that the justice department should have stuck with the original ban, his original ban, you'll recall during the briefings you and i, i was in the briefing room, you were watching the briefings unfold from where you were sitting, sean spicer would try to come out and say no, this is not a travel ban and then the president would go out and tweet this is a travel ban. this is a travel ban and to some extent it is a vindication and a confirmation of what he originally conceded during the campaign in wanting a muslim ban. this is a ban that affects mostly majority muslim countries. it is a vindication for his policies. now talking about immigration he talked about this during that spread in the cabinet room this afternoon with a group of lawmakers sitting around him, he sort of moved from that subject into the subject of what's happening down at the border and he repeated this falsehood about how because of the influx of migrants coming across the
border they're going to need 5,000 judges on the border. we should point out because we keep playing that comment on television, played last night during the rally and today during the cabinet meeting with the lawmakers in the cabinet room, he keeps saying they want 5,000 judges on the border. we should point out that is false. nobody in washington is talking about asking the president for 5,000 judges on the border. he keeps making this false statement to excuse and to justify the further detention of these children and these migrants coming across the border. we'll see if they have any more to say about it. they're not having a briefing to justify what the president was saying this afternoon, but it's important to point out, brooke, the lawmakers who were sitting with the president as he was uttering the falsehoods did not butt in to say no, mr. president, that comment is not right. >> which is noteworthy. jim acosta, thank you very much. stay on all of jim's points about the decision from the supreme court. with me now cnn chief legal cn legal analyst, a former
federal prosecutor at the department of justice. so hello to both of you. >> good afternoon. >> and okay, on acosta's point about this decision and reading the majority opinion from the chief justice, talking about trump's statements, his words, is the takeaway that in the end trump's words didn't matter? >> yes. that's -- and in fact, the chief justice says that explicitly. he says, you know, you can tell he's uncomfortable with those words. he draws a contrast between what the president, what president trump said, and the more sympathetic words that president bush had about muslims after 9/11. >> yeah. >> he said look, this executive order, this travel ban, does not address muslims specifically on it face, it doesn't say anything about muslims and it is at the core, he says, of what presidents are allowed to do when it comes to immigration.
controlling the borders, deciding which countries have access to the united states, that's what we give presidents power to do, and that's what -- that's what this order does. >> so -- but he called it -- he had called it, you know, this muslim ban and tweeted that the justice department watered down the muslim ban to get it through the supreme court. i mean we're talking this is the third iteration of this whole thing. is this a watered down version of that? >> so it is definitely a narrower version. there's no question the first two versions were broader. it is greatly restricted and there are exceptions for some people. it is far narrower than it was. that is conceitedly true. i think, you know, it has moved significantly in the past. this is now the third iteration. to jeffrey's point, i do think there's a fascinating line in there where chief justice roberts says it's not to decide on this president, it's to decide on any president. right. he's really -- this is -- >> why is that significant? >> this is really -- they're
making the decision the president has the authority to do this and broad authority under the immigration and nationality act and it is a sweeping declarations of presidential power and what they're almost trying to do is i think plug their ears to the comments by the president and say, you know, let's not pay attention to that which -- >> yeah. i think there's a lot to that. the -- in both chief justice roberts' opinion and justice kennedy's conquering opinion, they're uncomfortable with the way trump expressed himself and they tried to sort of chide him in a small way, but he won. >> yeah. >> and i think that's the most important part of this case and sonia sotomayor and the dissenters are saying, look, you guys are pretending that this is not a muslim ban, but it is a muslim ban. this violates our constitution and our principles. it's a scathing, scathing opinion justice sonia sotomayor, but it's only for four justices. >> to your point about really the presidential power versus
individual and you see this whole situation where we've been in the last week and a half with the southern border is it possible with the presidential power he could add a country? >> he could. i mean he could more immigration from mexico. but, you know, we have thousands of people who cross the border from mexico every day. you know, you can -- as a legal matter, i think it's clear he could do that. but as a practical matter, anyone who has ever been on the border and seen these enormous traffic jams every day and the complers that goes back and forth, it would be impractical. >> i'm not saying stop immigration, but have a check. >> but also the way tt this proclamation, this one specifically drafted, it does go towards countries that there are questions about what information they're providing about their citizens and their nationals and the u.s. is saying they're not giving us enough information. mexico has not been put in that category. again could he do another
proclamation the answer is probably yes, but on this specific one i don't think, you know, he would have to fall within the sort of boundaries they've set. >> there's nothing in today's opinion that says anything about whether children can be separated from their parents. that's a whole other issue. so this does not address in any way the crisis that we've all been so preoccupied with. >> i want to get to neil gorsuch factor in this thing. a huge win early on in his presidency to be able to have this conservative justice. i'm wondering, though, if you think it's not only, you know, this huge win for this administration, but also a win for the majority leader and the senate, mitch mcconnell. because he was able all under the obama era to keep merrick garland, they never even heard from him that entire time. >> antonin scalia died february 13th, 2016, with a more than 11 months to go in barack obama's presidency. mitch mcconnell, within hours, i was sitting at this table, we were -- it was a saturday, poppy
harlow was in here and, you know, most people were sort of paying tribute and mitch mcconnell said, there will be no vote on a successor. >> and he kept his word. >> he kept his word. now that's unprecedented in american history to keep a seat that -- to keep a seat vacant for that long, but the consequences of the merrick garland not being on the court and neil gorsuch and you said there was another case today involving abortion also 5-4, the same vote, a series of 5-4 votes -- >> people voted for trump knowing that, you know, there would be this -- >> elections have huge consequences and i think this would have been a different decision if there was a different court, and so we don't know that for sure, but there's no question i think, you know, there's a fair argument that elections have consequences and this is one of those consequences. >> in 2012 the american people elected barack obama to a four-year term and most people
thought four years meant four years. mitch mcconnell turned that into a three-year term when it came to the supreme court. >> i also think one of the things that's problematic is this -- is making the supreme court political. there have been challenges with the court forever but it does set the law of the land. we now follow trump versus hawaii and it is critically important when you think about people playing politics with it and deeply disturbing. >> dangerous territory. ann and jeffrey, thank you very much for on that. coming up next, president trump goes on the attack against harley-davidson as he defending his trade policy and that's not the only group he's going after, slinging personal insults from everyone from jimmy fallon to justin trudeau to john mccain as white house officials call for civility. ahead protesters gathering where attorney general jeff sessions is about to speak. we are expecting him to weigh in on today's supreme court decision to uphold that travel ban. we'll take you there coming up next. billions of mouths.
billions of problems. morning breath? garlic breath? stinky breath? there's a therabreath for you. therabreath fresh breath oral rinse instantly fights all types of bad breath and works for 24 hours. so you can... breathe easy. there's therabreath at walmart. (male friend) thanks for the invite! show me the movies. (anna) front row? nobody puts baby in a corner. i'll pre-order what she's having.
vojimmy (shouting): james!as been jimmy's longest. he's survived record rain and a supplier that went belly up. so while he's proud to have helped put a roof over the heads of hundreds of families, he's most proud of the one he's kept over his own. brand vo: get the most out of your money, whether you're using quickbooks smart invoicing to get paid twice as fast or automatically tracking your mileage. smarter business tools for the world's hardest workers. quickbooks. backing you.
i'm a small business, but i have... big dreams... and big plans. so how do i make the efforts of 8 employees... feel like 50? how can i share new plans virtually? how can i download an e-file? virtual tours? zip-file? really big files? in seconds, not minutes... just like that. like everything... the answer is simple. i'll do what i've always done...
dream more, dream faster, and above all... now, i'll dream gig. now more businesses, in more places, can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. the wte hou is calling for civility, but it appears possibly president trump didn't get the memo, at least last night he was at that rally speaking at that rally in south carolina, he unloaded o one issue after another from late night hosts to mosquitos. here's the president. >> she blamed everybody for losing the election except for one person, herself. everybody used to say, my hair is phony, it's not my hair. the one thing, they never say that anymore. jimmy fallon calls me up, and
he's like a nice guy. he's lost. looks like a lost soul. the guy on cbs, is -- what a low life. i mean, honestly are these people funny? jimmy kimmel, no talent, we had a great success, north korea. jimmy kimmel. we're not looking up in the air, any rockets up there? the olympics would have been a massive failure. people did not want to be nuked in a stadium as they watched the opening ceremonies. there's david, enjoy it because his career in hollywood is officially over. you know what you are? the super elites. i'm changing titles. i made a fortune for nbc and "the apprentice" and they treat me horribly. arnold schwarzenegger took my place, it bombed in about two shows. it's over. my wife had an operation a few weeks ago. they said she got a face lift. no.
i would let you know. we've never had higher polls than we have now. you know, polls are fake news also. what they do it's called suppression. they're saying i have good political instincts. some people have said i have the greatest political instinct in 50 years. the democrats want open borders and they don't mind crime. mosquitos, cost many, many lives. canada, you know canada, nice guy, nice guy, prime minister, justin, i said justin, what's your problem, justin? by the way, i have these stupid teleprompters. you don't mind that i haven't used them all night. we're going to create a space force and it's going to be great. get your asses out tomorrow and vote. >> let's start there. cnn special correspondent jamie gangel with me, david french is back with us, a writer for the national review, so that's the
mash up from last night. david french, i'm starting with you, just looking at so many incidents, you know, that we've all been talking about over the course of the last week, looking at the twitter and what you were saying, you're saying there was a larger problem, we've seen examples of direct personal confrontations that will continue even in a post-trump era. explain. >> well, i say they're going to continue in a post-trump era because they existed in a pre-trump era. donald trump didn't have anything to do with the violence at middlebury or at other campus speakers before and during the trump presidency and there's no question, that trump has been -- has been more than guilty of his own direct and vicious personal attacks and you know what, a lot of people on the right are looking at what trump is doing and it's worked for him electorally and this what is you do now. we've seen the rise of the sort of on-line tough guy right that
thinks you're not really fighting unless getting vicious and personal and aggressive, so i think -- >> you've been a victim of that, it's been personal with you? >> absolutely. got vicious and personal directed at me, directed at my wife, at my youngest daughter who when it first started was 7 years old. so this is something, this is part of the alt-right that attached itself to the trump campaign and fueled in part by steve bannon, his own, you know, one of his own chief strategists. this is something that we're now reaching in many ways like the iran/iraq phase of the civility wars. each side can look at one or the other and say look at what you did and it's going to justify the next bad act. i fear, i fear it has a momentum all its own right now. >> so listening to you and then you have, you know, someone like democratic congresswoman maxine waters who has publicly shamed and called on people to get out,
you know, in front of some of these trump folks and now it's the speaker paul ryan is calling on her to apologize, but here's the but, jamie gangel, speaker ryan doesn't always call out the president whenever he lights a match in something he says. as not just speaker ryan, it's so many members of the republican party. you have a lot of republican sources. >> sure. >> how do they explain that? >> some of it is one word, fear, some of it is two words, look at someone like mark sanford, the congressman from south carolina, who just lost his primary. look, many people have decided not to run because of trump, but the reality is, and i would be stronger about who's responsible for this, i think it is donald trump. he has been doing business since day one with attack as his default position. he punches, he keeps punching,
and then he punches some more. and as david said, he believes that's how he won in business, how he defeated his republican opponents, how he defeated hillary clinton. he takes on his own cabinet, right. i just asked jeff sessions what it's like. but i think the reality is when you talk to republicans about this, they say if we want to keep serving, if we want to try to have a role, we are going to keep our heads down. that may not be good, you might want them to be more brave, but it's their reality. >> but how do we, as americans, then function in this reality where you have protests outside of, you know, some of the buildings of trump officials and, you know, so much then on the left, liberal praise, to a restaurant in virginia for kicking out, you know, the press
secretary? i mean it's -- it goes both ways, david french. what do we do moving forward? >> you know, look, i'm going to be pessimistic in the short run. i think it's going to get wor before it gets better. what you have right now is a situation where both sides are firmly convinced and can point to incident after incident after incident on both sides where they feel like they are acting in self-defense and they have no other choice but to get vicious and aggressive and if they don't get vicious and aggressive they will lose. what i fear is that it will go from arguments about incivility into arguments about who started the violence first and that's where i fear we're headed. and that's why i think it's critically important for people to make the case, very clearly, you can fight for your convictions without resorting to the tactics. there's nothing wrong with limiting your public activism to matching and tweeting and voting and funding candidates an suing in some instances. you've seen the power of litigation time and time again.
there are many ways to express your views and to make yourself heard. we don't need to get vicious and personal and the more we do the more inevitable violence becomes. >> you're the second person to say that two days in a row in the nicest way possible, i hope you're wrong, but i think a lot of people are saying that. stay with you david, on name calling and rhetoric aside, the economy, this is trump's bread and butter and the tariff war and harley-davidson and shipping production overseas and one day it's harley-davidson, the next day another company and another company, do you think that this tariff war could be the president's achilles heel? >> you know, he's very fortunate right now that he's launching this tariff war at a time of broad economic growth. he's launching it in a time where there's some margin for error. why would you imperil the cornerstone of your argument for re-election. you know, it goes back to i
think this is one of the few areas where donald trump has been consistent most of his taults life, one of the few areas to say i think he really believes in tariffs but congress feeds to reconsider the fact that it has given such sweeping authority to the president. there is actual bipartisan at this trade war but goes back to what was said earlier, there is still fear. >> david and jamie, thank you both. >> thank you. >> breaking just moments ago, 18 states now suing president trump over his separations at the border. this as emotional parents are speaking out about being separated from their children. hear their stories next. also, the president awards the medal of honor at the white house. we will take it live, moments away.
reuniteded with their parents. one advocacy group in el paso is working with 32 parents who have had the cril charges dpped against them but only three have been able to speak with their kids since they were taken away. some of them sharing their heartbreaking stories in a news conference and want to share a few of those with you now. mario, who says he was shocked to learn he had been arrested when he arrived from honduras and says he has been calling the number provided by the government to contact his daughter but no one is answering. [ speaking foreign language ] >> one of the few parents who has spoken with her child, her 4-year-old son is at a shelter in new york while she waits for immigration proceedings in texas. she says she didn't have a chance to explain what was happening because she was still
[ speaking foreign language ] >> iris, like christian, came from honduras and said it was a 15 day journey and when she arrived on her son's sixth birthday she was told she would be arrested. she says when she asked if they could be deported together she was told no. now her son is in arizona but doesn't know exactly where he is and she has not spoken with him.
[ speaking foreign language ] >> again, these are all parents who have had criminal charges against them dropped, released with ankle monitors while they wait for their immigration proceedings. we should mention we've learned that vice president, mike pence, will meet with the president of el salvador, guatemala and honduras to address this immigration crisis. kristjen nielsen will join him. any moment we're expecting attorney general jeff sessions to speak out about the supreme court decision to uphold the administration's travel ban after 25 protesters were arrested outside of his event. also ahead, we're going to take you to the white house where president trump will award posthumously the medal of honor to a world war ii hero. his friends and family spent
if they won't stand up to him, almost $800 when we switched our auto and home insurance. with liberty, we could afford a real babysitter instead of your brother. hey! oh, that's my robe. is it? when you switch to liberty mutual, you could save $782 on auto and home insurance. and still get great coverage for you and your family. call for a free quote today. you could save $782 when liberty stands with you. liberty mutual insurance. looking for a hotel that fits... whoooo. ...your budget? tripadvisor now searches over... ...200 sites to find you the... ...hotel you want at the lowest price. grazi, gino! find a price that fits. tripadvisor.
let's come back in on live pictures at the white house. people are seated, waiting for this big moment here any minute now. the president will be honoring the medal of honor to the widow of one of the most decorated soldiers who served in world war ii, the posthumous award is for garland meryl conner took part in ten military campaigns during the war and wounded seven times receiving three purple hearts an credited with fighting off a wave of 600 german soldiers and six tanks during a bat until france. he passed away 20 years ago and his widow will accept the medal of honor for him today. so let's go to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr with more on this. i know this is something that his friends have been waiting a number of years for. >> they have, indeed.
there's been a very significant effort to get this medal for him for his widow who is accepting it today. this is for a battle in 1945 against the germans in france when he was serving in the army. they were facing being overrun by german formations and lieutenant garland conner basically rammed through exploding trees and shrapnel, dove into a ditch in advance of his own lines, to confront the germans, unrolling telephone wire the whole way as trees are exploding around him, to communicate back to headquarters and direct allied artillery fire against the germans at one point, german formations, german troops came within five yards of where he was trying to hide in a shallow ditch. credited as you say with stopping the german advance, stopping more than 600 german soldiers, saving countless american lives in this one
crucial battle in world war ii in france. it's on a day like this when it's so important to pause and remember that these troops who have fought in world war ii had none of the, you know, essential tools and weapons, so many americans take for granted our military has today. >> that's our signal. >> let's watch. >> the president of the united states. ♪ ♪
>> thank you. >> let us pray. almighty god, in this moment and in the company of those gathered here, we seek your presence in grace, as a nation, today we lift up, we honor, we give thanks for your strength and power reflected in the heroic acts of lieutenant conner. let this man's heroic actions give our nation, our world courage and hope to always act in the face of danger and overwhelming forces that seek to destroy. lord, help us, recall the gallant actions of this man, fill all who hear and remember with gratitude and resolve, to
protect and continue the mission no matter the cost or dissent. we ask all this in your holy name, amen. >> thank you very much. thank you. and thank you, chaplin hurley. we're honored to be joined today by members of congress, military leaders, distinguished guests. i want to recognize deputy secretary of defense patrick shanahan, where is patrick? please, stand up, patrick. you're doing a great job. [ applause ] i have a four-star in here, john kelly, a special guy. where's john? special man. [ applause ] secretary of the army, mark es per. army chief of staff. thank you. thank you, mark.
a very good negotiator. the general mark, i could see in his eyes when i talk about the cost of those bombs. [ applause ] he's good at throwing them but also good at pricing them. i see it. sergeant major of the army, daniel daily, thank you very much. thank you, daniel. also want to thank congress and we have some members here, buddy carter, buddy, thank you, buddy. [ applause ] martha mcsally. [ applause ] great, martha. james comber. thank you very much. [ applause ] thank you for being here. thank you very much. special day. though he could not be here this afternoon, i want to thank majority leader mitch mcconnell for his years of work to make this day very special. he worked hard and he's working hard right now on a lot of other things. i will say he worked very hard.
we thank mitch. thank you. and to all of the guests who traveled from two of my favorite states and places, kentucky and tennessee, they like me in kentucky and tennessee. [ applause ] welcome to the white house. it's great. today we tell the story of an incredible hero who defended our nation in world war ii, first lieutenant garland meryl conner. although he died 20 years ago today, he takes his rightful place in the eternal chronicle of american valor and that as you know is what this is. this is great, great men and women, american valor. we're thrilled to be joined by his amazing wife, paul lien paul lien. don't get up. save it for later. [ applause ]
i got to know her a little bit ago in the oval office and she's a very special woman with a special family. she's 89 years old today and she's going strong. i have to say. going strong. keep it going. she hoped and prayed she would live to see this day. pauline is truly a wonderful and incredible person and it's my privilege to be with you today as we award your late husband our nation's highest military honor. for today's congressional medal of honor presentation, we're also joined by pauline and meryl's son paul, thank you, paul, their grandchildren, rachel, cara, kaylin and brett, who serves in the navy, stand up, please. submariner. he's a submariner. [ applause ] subamericaner.
-- sun mariner. their grandchildren, ethan, idan, ana bell and bela rose. thank you for being here. it's great. great genes. lieutenant conner must be looking down from heaven, proud of this incredible honor, but even prouder of the legacy that lives on in each of you. so true. finally, to the two previous medal of honor recipients who have joined us today, we salute your service and we thank you on behalf of one very large, very powerful, and very grateful nation. thank you. where are you sitting or standing? please, thank you very much. [ applause ] thank you very much for being here. it's a great honor. the american hero we honor today came from a farm near albany,
kentucky. meryl was one of 11 children. he gre up during the great depression and dropped out of school after the eighth grade to help provide for his family, a wonderful family, but they weren't rolling in cash, right. but they were wonderful. in march of 1941, meryl enlisted in the army and joined the third infantry division. for 28 months straight he fought on the front lines in ten campaigns. he was wounded seven times. but he couldn't stop. he loved it and loved our country. on the shores of sicily, the beaches of anzio and the snow covered mountains of france he fought with everything he had to defeat the nazi menace. in january of 1945, as the final
days of the battle of the bulge, well-known fight, general, that was a tough one, right, was that a tough one? they -- i know you weren't there, but that was -- that was a -- i hope you weren't there. otherwise -- he says kelly was there. but that was a rough one. they study that one. the u.s. third infantry division was engaged in a fierce battle with the nazis in northern france. at the time lieutenant conner was in a field hospital being treated for a painful hip wound. one of many. and was scheduled to be sent back home. he was wounded so often, so much, but he didn't want to go home. he snuck out of the hospital and he made his way back to his unit. his doctors, his nurses, were not happy. lieutenant conner wasn't done fighting yet.
in fact, it wasn't even close. soon after he arrived, he saw that it was impossible to tell the strength and position of the german. he volunteered to go to the front line and observe the enemy and to help direct fire. in order to communicate with the command post, he took a telephone and hundreds of yards of telephone wire, that was a long time ago before we had what we have today, called a cell phone. he ran 400 yards dodging shrapnel, bullets, shells everywhere, artillery, trying to hit him, they saw him, couldn't get him, he was going every different way, looked like an nfl star, all the while laying telephone wire wherever he went. when he reached the edge of the forest he raced 30 yards in front of the american line.
merle laid in a shadow he laid down in this hole, this shallow ditch where they could still see him. there was only one foot deep. in front of the lone american soldier were six german tanks and hundreds of german soldiers. as bullets flew around him, lieutenant conner directed artillery fire and each time successfully decimating the enemy. they knew he was there and they couldn't get him. at one point a german soldier came within five yards of lieutenant conner before being shot and killed. for three hours the bloody battle raged on. in the last attacks, swarms of german soldiers rushed forward. when they were nearly on top of lieutenant conner, he ordered fire on his own position, exactly where he was, courageously choosing to face
death in order to save his battalion and achieve victory for freedom and those people that were with him, many of them now gone, said it was the single bravest act they've ever seen. he had shellsropped right on him. aim at me, he said. aim at me. well, they missed him by feet. but he kept calling in more rounds, more rounds until the blanket of fire broke the german advance and the enemy retreated, saving so many american lives. lieutenant conner's courageous actions killed roughly 50 german soldiers, injured 100 more and saved so many american lives. they don't even have the count. somehow lieutenant conner survived the attack. less than four months later the
nazis sur -- surrendered and that was a big day. soon after murl came home, his down organized a parade to lebrate his heroic deeds. one of the speakers was the legendary world war i hero sergeant york. you know all about sergeant york? all of my generals know about sergeant york, right. it was at this time that pauline first caught a glimpse of her future husband, right pauline? i don't think you were impressed either, were you, pauline? she said no, i wasn't. as she put it, i was expecting a giant of a man. because he was a big hero already. and she hadn't met him. but they were giving a parade. i was asking her about it. and she expected this big powerful guy. but when she saw murl, he was
5'6" tops, 120 pounds and she told her mother, that little guy could not have done all of the things that they said he's done. it couldn't be possible, right. she soon saw for herself the extraordinary courage and devotion that burned like a righteous fire in his soul. it is all about the soul. murl embodied the pure patriotic love that builds and sustains a nation. just a few months later murl and pauline were husband and wife. together they lived, loved and thrived through 53 years of an incredibly great marriage. was it good or great, pauline? huh? it was great. that's good. oh, boy, i'm glad she said that. we might have had to cancel the rest. that would have been terrible. she said it was great.
today we pay tribute to this kentucky farm boy who stared down evil with the strength of a warrior and the heart of a true hero. lloyd ramsey, murl's commanding officer described him this way -- i've never seen a man with as much courage and ability as he had. i usually don't brag on my officers, but this is one officer nobody could brag enough about and do him justice. he was a real soldier, that is some quote from his commander. lieutenant garlin murl conner was indeed a giant in his daring and devotion and his duty, he was larger than life. and in that he was. he will never, ever be forgotten. we will never forget his story.
and we will always be grateful to god for giving us heroes like murl and you two gentlemen. we didn't forget you. two great gentlemen. and by the way, all of these great soldiers and truly brave warriors that do such an incredible job protecting the people of this country, and we mean that 100%. so everybody in uniform here today, we thank you. i would like to now ask pauline to come and accept the congressional medal of honor for her husband and for the military aid to read the citation. thank you. thank you very much. [ applause ]
>> [ inaudible ] voted for trump -- >> the president of the united states of america, authorized by act of congress march 3rd, 1863 has awarded in the name of congress the medal of honor to first lieutenant garlin murl conner for galant at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty and he distinguished him sfrl by acts of galantry and -- and served on the morning of january 24th, 1945. near the town of housen, france, german forces ferociously
counter attacked the front left flank with 600 troops. six marks and six tanks and tank destroyers. lieutenant conner having recently returned to his unit after recovering from a wound in an earlier battle was working as the intelligence officer in the third battalion command post at the time of the attack. understanding the devastating effect that the advancing enemy armor could have on the battalion, lieutenant conner volunteered to run straight into the heart of the enemy assault to get to a position from which he could direct friendly artillery on the advancing enemy forces. with complete disregard for his own safety, lieutenant conner maneuvered 400 yards through the enemy artillery fire that destroyed trees in his path and rains shrappel around him and unlling telephone wire needed to communicate with the command post. upon reaching the front line, he continued to move forward under the enemy assault to a position 30 yards in front of the defending united states forces.
where he plunged into a shallow ditch that provided minimal protection from the advancing enemy heavy machine gun and small arm fire and with rounds around him, he calmly directed multiple fire munitions from his prone position until the enemy was forced to halt the advance and seek cover behind a nearby dike. for three hours lieutenant connor remained in his compromised position and during the repeated onslaught of german infantly which at one point advanced to within five yards of his position. as german infantry regrouped and began to mass in an overwhelming assault, lieutenant conner ordered friendly artillery to concentrate on his own position. having resolved to die if necessary to destroy the enemy advance. ignoring the friendly artillery shells blanketing his position and exploding mere feet from him, he continued to direct artillery fire on the enemy assault swarming around him until the german attack was
finally broken. by his heroism and disregard for his own life, he stopped the enemy advance and the artillery he directed killed approximately 50 german soldiers and wounded an estimated 100 more and prevented what would have been heavy friendly casualties. his actions are in keeping with the highest tradition of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the third infantry and the united states army. [ applause ]
>> let us pray. almighty god, i ask that these moments here together and the heroic acts of lieutenant of this -- lieutenant garlin conner become for us a lifetime of strength. we ask you always for your continued presence for all of our american heroes serving home and abroad in military service, continue to pour your wisdom on our leaders and fill pauline conner, her family and our entire nation with your peace, today and always. amen. >> amen. good afternoon, welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. you've been watching president trump honoring the medal of