tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN April 8, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
and thank you so much for joining us. don't forget you can watch why the outfront any time anywhere, just go to cnn go. "acc 360" starts with anderson right now. good evening. it's quite a day when milt sources say the president of the united states told border agents to break the law. that's just color in a larger story. we appear to be in the middle of what one senior official tells cn nervous syst cnn is a near purge of the department of homeland security. kirstjen nielsen is out. her deputy has been bypassed by the naming of an acting successor. the director of the secret service, which is part of dhs, has also been fired. two officials telling "the new york times" the president had been making fun of him lately, calling him dumbo because of the size of his ears. consider that for a second. the president of the united states is reportedly making fun of a man charged with protecting him and his family because of
the size of his ears. we are not in kindergarten. that is also just kind of color. officials tell us that senior white house advisor stephen miller is playing a key role in these firings and wants to see more. quote, he's executing his plan, unquote, says one official about miller, saying it amounts to a wholesale decapitation of dhs. it appears to be driven by president trump's impatience on border issues and his desire for drastic and possibly unlawful action perhaps bringing back and expanding the policy of separating migrant children from their parents. yes, that's back in play at least. that reportedly was a breaking point for kirstjen nielsen who warned the president that doing so would be legally questionable. keeping them honest, it's not like secretary nielsen couldn't have spoken up sooner. it's not like she didn't help enable the policy, defend the policy publicly and lie about the paolicy repeatedly and even about its very existence. on april 11th she falsely told a house subcommittee there is no
policy that encouraging the separation of parents from their children as a punitive or deterrent measure. that's five days after the attorney general announced a zero tolerance border policy that does just that. and then in mid-june with the public outcry at its peak, here's what she tweeted. we do not have a policy of separating families at the border, period. that was the 17th of june and that was untrue. it was untrue on the 17th of june and it was untrue later on as well. this is what she said the very next day. >> this administration did not create a policy of separating families at the border. >> no policy, she says, again. not true. and she dismissed the notion that children were being harmed. >> how is this not child abuse? >> which -- be more specific, please. enforcing the law? >> the sounds that we've seen from these big box stores, the walmarts, the other stores, when you see this, how is this not specifically child abuse for
these innocent children who are indeed being separated from their parents. are there any examples of child abuse and how could this not be child abuse for the people taken from their parents? not the ones sent here with their parents' blessing with a smull smuggler, the ones taken from their parents. >> unfortunately i'm not in a position to deal with hearsay stories. >> according to her, there was no family separation policy. the harm it was doing is hearsay and for good measure, it's offensive to even ask about the notion that it was being used as a deterrent to keep parents from bringing their children across the border. take a look. >> are you intending for this to play out as it is playing out? are you intending for parents to be separated from their children? are you intending to send a message? >> i find that offensive. >> she found it offensive. right. actually wrong, because keeping them honest, she was faking the whole i'm offended thing. we know that because the attorney general had announced the policy more than two months earlier, a deterrent policy that
was being publicly discussed explicitly for its deterrent value by top administration officials more than a year before it was enacted. and you know how we know that? because the guy planning it talked about it on tv, on cnn. >> if you get some young kids who are coming in, manage to sneak into the united states with their parents, are department of homeland security personnel going to separate the children from their moms and dads? >> we have tremendous experience in dealing with unaccompanied minors. we turn them over to hhs and they do a very, very good job of either putting them in foster care or linking them up with parents or family members in the united states. yes, i am considering in order to deter more movement along this terribly dangerous network, i am considering exactly that. >> so in order to deter, that means it's a deterrent policy. the bottom line, this is something administration officials discussed and secretary nielsen implemented,
defended and lied about. it is a real policy that the president clearly wanted. and we're learning tonight he wants to reinstate and expand apparently. even today the white house can't seem to stop lying about it. >> the separation of families, the president has said before he does not like that, it's a horrible practice. but congress has a way to fix that so that it will not be a magnet for people to come here and use children to do it. >> in fact, as you're about to hear from our jake tapper's reporting, the president, whether he likes it or not, has explicitly embraced the notion of family separation. the cruelty is not a bug of the system, it's a feature, which may have been a bridge too far for secretary nielsen, but even if it was it comes at the end of a very, very long road which she has been traveling for a very, very long time. more now for the president's desire for action on all of this. as we mentioned, jake tapper uncovered remarkable details about the president's state of mind as well as the action he wanted to take and what he
reportedly was asking others to do, which would have amounted to breaking the law. jake, can you explain exactly what the president wants to do when it comes to his child separation policy? >> according to senior administration officials, multiple, the president not only thinks that the original policy started by attorney general jeff sessions and implemented by others in the administration, including secretary nielsen, which would take individuals' families that are crossing the border illegally between different legal ports and prosecute them, thus separating the families, he wants to expand it. not only does he want that policy back, he wants to separate families of asylum seekers who come to the border or a family of undocumented immigrants found and detained in st. louis, missouri. he thinks it is an effective deterrent so he wants it brought back but expanded and made far more widespread. >> i read in your reporting that one senior administration
official told you that the president, quote, just wants to separate families. >> yeah. this senior administration official says that the president is very fixated on this, very focused on this. thinks that it was an effective deterrent during the december months, during the winter months, december, et cetera. and doesn't understand why they're not doing it, even though it was his own executive order that stopped the policy. >> and also, i remember kirstjen nielsen saying there is no policy of separating families, when obviously general kelly when he was dhs secretary he talked about developing that as a policy as did sessions. you're also reporting about a meeting that took place in the oval office two thursdays ago. what happened? >> this is another example of why secretary nielsen and president trump were clashing as president trump said he wanted to do things that were contrary to what they thought was good policy. people like secretary nielsen and others, and also contrary to
what they thought was legal. in this instance president trump, according to one attendee at this meeting was ranting and raving and saying immigration was his issue. he ordered secretary nielsen and secretary pompeo to close the el paso port of entry by the next day, friday, at noon. ultimately nielsen said, look, closing the border isn't going to stop illegal immigration. people will just come not at the port of entry. between the ports of entry. president trump said, according to aattendees, quote, i don't care. somebody talked him out of it. but people left that meeting thinking that the president was going to order el paso's port closed by noon the next day. >> and when the president went to the border in calexico last week, i understand that he had some interesting instructions for the border agents he talked to? >> yes. and this really gets at the issue that a lot of people are
saying that work in the administration, the frustration they feel, that president trump doesn't understand that they are all required to obey by the law. president trump that day, you might remember, went before the cameras and said, you know, we're all full. people need to stop coming. apparently according to witnesses, president trump behind the scenes told border agents stop letting people in. stop letting individuals in. just say we're full. we don't have the capacity anymore. president trump said, according to these witnesses, if a judge tells you you have to do it, say i'm sorry, judge, we just don't have the room anymore. when president trump left the room, the border agents were given orders from their leaders saying do not do what the president just told you to do. you have to abide by the law. if you do what he tells you, you will be personal liability will come your way, so do not do that. so it's really an extraordinary attitude towards the immigration laws. >> that's incredible. basically the takeaway seems
like from all of this that at least when it comes to border policy, he doesn't seem to care what's legal and what isn't. >> i don't know if it's he doesn't care or doesn't understand or some sort of combination. but according to the senior administration officials that i talked to, and, you know, these are republicans who are onboard with the tough immigration policy. but according to them, the president does not seem to understand that they have to abide by the laws, and this is ultimately one of the reasons why secretary nielsen is no longer the secretary. >> wow, jake tapper, fascinating. thank you so much. >> thank you. let's get perspective from a member of the house committee on homeland security. i spoke with kathleen rice earlier tonight. >> i wonder what you make of the president's desire to not only reinstate his child separation policy but also apparently to expand it? >> so, anderson, i am just appalled by what the president is talking about.
i just literally got back this morning after spending the weekend in el paso and mcallen, texas, so i was at the bridge of the americas where all those people were held under the bridge. i saw the processing of families, of migrants coming here for a safer life. we went to the i.c.e. detention facility where all of the women and children are. it is horrifying. that's what's still happening at the border. i mean they still cannot find -- figure out a way to connect parents with the children that they pulled them away from. so when i hear the president talk about reinstituting this family separation policy, that by the way, let's be clear, is the sole reason there is any chaos at the border right now. we spoke to border patrol agents and said what is the one thing that you need now to do your jobs more than anything. you know what they said? people.
we need more border patrol agents. >> in terms of the president ordering pompeo and then secretary nielsen to shut the port of el paso, it's certainly within his legal right to shut down a border crossing if he chooses. >> yes, he could, but thankfully the saner people, there are still some, i believe, in the administration convinced him that would be an economic disaster. we met with business leaders down at the port where $1.7 billion worth of trade goes over the mexican/united states border every single day, anderson. so this is going to have an economic impact that was going to hit this country in a very real way. i'm glad that people in his administration actually talked him out of that. but i've got to say, look, trump owns his immigration policy. but there are a lot of people talking about how kirstjen nielsen was pushed out by stephen miller and that stephen miller is the true architect of this administration's
immigration policy. so i've got a proposal. how about stephen miller asks the president to appoint him as the secretary of dhs so he can be up front and he can come to the committees on the senate and the house side and answer questions about these policies that he is pushing single handedly. let him explain to the american people why he wants to go back to ripping babies out of their mothers' arms. own it. he should own the policy that he is pushing, that he's the architect of. >> you had been calling for nielsen to resign for more than a year now. >> yes. >> now that she has, do you have any concerns that she may have been one of the few left in the administration to at least try and curb some of the president's worst ideas? >> i think in the beginning she tried to, but i think pretty quickly, because she wanted to remain part of the team and she wanted to run the agency, she very quickly did what a lot of other people in the
administration do and just adopted, you know, full throttle every position that the president took, no matter how wrong-headed it was. >> it's nuts to think that she was down in central america signing an agreement, i think it was on a wednesday. they announced it on a thursday with much fanfare in a press release and the next day the president totally undercuts that. just about everybody on the immigration battle who you talk to say, look, more needs to be done on the front lines in guatemala in, honduras and el salvador to stop people before they leave. >> it's a recurring theme, anderson, in this president's administration. he says one thing one day and one thing another. i think nielsen was right to go down to the northern triangle countries and work out a deal. this is what foreign aid is all about. this is why congress appropriates that money. it's a foreign policy philosophy that says we're going to give
you money to allow you to build an infrastructure in your own country that will give your people the ability to live a wonderful life in their own home and not make them feel like they have to flee or cross thousands and thousands of miles so that they can raise their children in safety. >> congressman rice, appreciate your time, thank you. >> thank you, anderson. having heard all that and having heard the president recently character iegizing asy seekers as con artists a, we thought it would be good to see what it was like at the border. gary tuchman is there. tell us what you are seeing and hearing. >> reporter: first of all, everyone here knows what president trump said. president trump said the united states is full and asylum seekers should turn around. suffice it to say that in this shelter in tijuana, mexico, about a five-minute walk away from the u.s. border fence, people do not want to follow that advice to turn around and go back home. they also have some dubiousness
about whether the united states is full. this shelter has about 115 people right now. these are people mostly from guatemala, from el salvador, from honduras and other parts of mexico. there are about 47 tents here, a total of 150 people. you see this little girl next to me? everyone is grabbing her legs. to be very honest with you, the children here crave affection. they're getting it from their parents, no question about it. but for weeks or months they have been traveling from their countries to get here. this place is very stark. you can see the children are watching a video being entertained. it's a beautiful tv but this is not a beautiful shelter to be very frank with you. you can see the clear sky. there is open sky, it rains quite a bit. it's very cold here sometimes at night. there are also holes in the roof when it does rain, so this is very stark. there's also only two bathrooms for each gender and one shower so there are long lines. the meals are not elaborate. it's a private/public partnership. we were here for breakfast this morning and breakfast was chocolate doughnuts and chocolate milk.
tonight for dinner they're having burritos. many of the people here believe that president trump does not like them because they are immigrants. however, most of the people haven't heard the specific comments he most recently made about the united states having no room, about them turning around. we've informed them about that and what they're saying is this. we are not turning around. this is what everyone has said. we are desperate. they are here for two reasons they tell us. number one, they're scared to go back home, scared for their children. number two, there is no work and a lot of people say both. but either way they're not going back. they want to come into the united states legally but there is a long wait to go through the asylum process so people just sit here for weeks at a time. there's not enough people to do the job because so many people are coming over. what we saw in past years are mostly men coming over. what we're seeing now are many families. that's why there are so many children and mothers here. president trump says a lot of these people are rough, the asylum seekers. we don't know how many people are rough, but we can tell you there's rough people in the
streets of san diego, only 20 minutes away, and rough people in the streets in the united states. we do know these are very desperate people who will cross illegally many of them say if they have to sit here many more weeks. >> just to be clear, the people in the shelter are waiting to enter the country legally and claim asylum. the criteria, though, for asylum has gotten a lot tougher under this administration and there's not enough judges to hear all these cases. so it's a very slow process. any idea how long they'll be waiting for? >> reporter: the process is excruciatingly slow. we've talked to three people who were here today who did begin the process. they went to the united states, they began the process, and then they were sent back here to mexico where they're in the shelter today. well, just today a federal judge ruled that you can't do that. people that began the process in the united states, you can't send back to mexico so we don't know what will happen with those three gentlemen who went to the united states and are now back here in mexico. people have absolutely no idea how long it will take but it's very important to stress and
they're very honest about this. if they have to wait too long, then they will cross illegally. crossing illegally comes before going back to their home countries. they have come too far to go back and most of the people, they don't want to argue with president trump and make him mad. they respectfully say we are not turning around and going back. >> gary tuchman, appreciate it. coming up next, how this is playing out at the white house. and late reporting on a new child separation policy the president appears to be considering. later, were they tools of the spy trade? what prosecutors say the chinese woman who got into mar-a-lago had on top of the four cell phones and infected thumb drive they revealed. ♪ it's tough to quit smoking cold turkey. so chantix can help you quit "slow turkey." along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting.
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harder line on immigration action even if it means shutting down ports of entry and even if it means telling sworn law officers not to uphold the law, to lie to people and defy judges. that's reportedly what president trump has been asking for and is reportedly what his senior advisor, stephen miller, has been carrying out and now to gary tuchman's reporting, we're getting more from jim acosta on family separation, one that gives parents what some would say is a nightmarish choice. jim, what are you learning? >> reporter: absolutely, anderson. this would be like family separation light in that administration officials have been talking about this for some time but it's getting a second look and now under consideration in this newly purgeded department of homeland security and called a binary choice. essentially families would come across the border and families would be given a choice. you could be detained altogether as one family unit or agree and essentially tell the government that it's okay for your children to be separated from you for however long it takes for that
parent to go through the immigration court process. it essentially gives these parents a sophie's choice. they literally would have to tell officials at that point whether or not it's okay and given what we know right now about how this family separation policy has worked in the past, those parents would essentially be facing the option at that point of essentially never seeing their kids again, because as we know, the trump administration has had enormous difficu difficulty putting their children back with their parents. >> depending on how parents choose, could children be held at detention centers longer than 20 days? >> right. right now the law says they can be held for 20 years. but if they want to be held as a family unit, they would theoretically be held longer than 20 days. i'll told by a senior administration official that the incoming acting dhs secretary, kevin mcaleenan is considering
this option and this is something stephen miller has talked about in the past, last summer and last fall, when the zero tolerance family separation policy blew up in their faces. they were looking for something along the lines of family separation light and this may be that option. >> you also spoke to someone about the chaos happening been the department of homeland security. >> that's right. i talked to a trump advisor earlier today who was remarkably candid about this, essentially saying a lot of attention is being paid to stephen miller and rightly so. he has been driving a lot of the policy at the department of homeland security. but this trump advisor said a lot of this blame for what's happening at the border belongs to the president. that he has essentially been operating with very little knowledge of how administration policy works and how immigration law works. in the words of this advisor, this is not a kirstjen nielsen issue, this is not a jeff sessions issue, this is a lack of understanding issue. in the words of this official, who has been with the trump
campaign and advised the president for many, many months now, this border failing that we've seen down at the border belongs to the president more than any other official. as much as people here in washington try to turn stephen miller into the boogie man in all of this, stephen miller has been following the marching orders of this president and this advisor was very candid in saying a lot of this responsibility, a lot of this blame lies with the president, anderson. >> jim acosta, thanks. joining us now is david urban and former south carolina democratic state representative bakari sellers, both cnn political commentators. david, do you think it's a good idea for the president to double down on this child separation policy by not only reinstating it but expanding it, or there's this separation light policy as well? >> anderson, this is a situation where there is an incredible crisis on the southern border. whether you're a republican or democrat, i think everybody agrees this is unprecedented. you had jeh johnson, you've had
"the new york times," everybody -- folks from this network have been down there and chronicled how bad it is. and so the issue is what do you do to try to stem that crisis. what do you do to try to keep people from crossing. you heard some of the verbatims from the early reporting here where folks said, look, we're coming. we don't care. we're coming across. we're leaving our country because there's no work there. there's no -- they're fearful. so i think the president is frustrated that they can't stop the stem, they can't stem the flow of folks crossing legally and illegally. he's trying to come up with a plan that may discourage some folks to cross. i think the solution quite frankly toys speis to spend mor not cut money but do you believe down on money in those three countries. >> but this is exactly what the president has stopped doing and what kirstjen nielsen was down there to do. >> right. look, i think that you can't do both things. you can't cut aid and make people wanting to leave and then
you can't slam the border shut. i believe in having a secure border on our southern border. i believe what the president is doing there is appropriate. i disagree, however, in terms of cutting the funding. i would pull together the interamerica development bank, the organization of american states, two organizations which do lots of work with central and south america and establish a task force. america did this very well in colombia. colombia was a really tough spot. turned the economy around. colombia is now doing very well, exporting, the u.s. is exporting tons there. it's a stable state. we can do this. we know how to do it. we should turn our efforts to focus in that regard rather than cutting the funding there. >> bakari, according to jake's reporting, cooler heads prevailed on the president about shutting the border down. i suppose they could prevail on not reinstating the separation policy. what do you -- how do you see what's going on here? >> well, unfortunately, this is
not just haphazard, but it's callous as well. and i agree with david. one of the faux pass that was made in this immigration policy or lack thereof was cutting the funding to those three countries. the president himself and stephen miller even more importantly have stated that they're trying to curb legal immigration. i think we can go back and look at the policies put forth from his ill-fated muslim ban all the way to now where he has a separation policy which is fundamentally problematic. everything in his immigration policy has been the antithesis of what this country stands for. let me take away one talking point from the right right now. i want everyone to understand that democrats in no means are in favor of open borders. in fact we want a strong border security system. we want a streamlined efficient way by which we let immigrants into this country and asylum seekers fleeing danger, we want resources so they can have an efficient judicial system and
our border patrol agents have enough money. what the president is -- what the president of the united states is doing and secretary nielsen is beyond speakable. imagine you give them credit for having a separation policy. the big problem that i even have is not even having the wherewithal to have a policy to reunite these families. that is as callous as you can come. secretary nielsen today briefly stated that she was going resign so she could spend more time with her family. oh, the irony. because every time she's seen now, she's the woman who separated families. >> but anderson, let's not fool ourselves here. separation was also the same policy under the obama administration for quite some time as well. >> it actually wasn't done in the same way. it wasn't mandatory. >> the crisis wasn't as bad. it was done exactly the same under president obama. go back and look at the news
articles at "the new york times" and this network and others taking him to task. >> david, does it bother you at all that the president was telling secretary nielsen to do things apparently that were illegal? he had to repeatedly tell the president what he wanted to do was against the law? >> i wasn't there, i don't know. if the president was saying that, somebody should have stood up and said, mr. president, we can't do it. clearly that's the job of the secretary of homeland security. she should have said we can't do it. >> they were either fired or they left. >> but that's your job. it's a tough job. look at the president and say we can't do it. that's maybe what you want to do but we can't do it unfortunately. somebody just needs to tell him that. he's not suggesting that somebody breaks the law. somebody needs to explain it to him. >> but he did suggest that -- okay, bakari, then we've got to go. >> just briefly.
this president has 30% to 40% of his cabinet agency heads that have not been filled. this government is anything but the epitome of efficiency. the problem that i have now is not the fact that this government doesn't seem capable of rising to the challenge, but we're talking about it being callous now. we're talking about children that are literally being put in cages on their watch and no one seems to care. >> anderson, real quickly. those vacancies are due to -- >> it's -- there's lots and lots of folks waiting to fill jobs. still ahead, new details about the woman arrested at plump's mar-a-lago resort. it's like something out of a spy novel. the question is was she a spy? we'll talk to a former cia officer next. cooper! did you eat all of your treats?
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- there but what are wes to get our messactually saying?ys. any message is a story. and all stories tell the tale of the times we live in right now. how do you want to be remembered? how do you want your story to play out? our own experiences make the best stories, and your words carry a lot of weight. think about what you want to say before you say it. or send it.
the chinese n woman arrested after gaining access to president trump's mar-a-lago resort was in court today and we heard what investigators uncovered inside her hotel room. according to them they found mlt electronic devices, including a signal detector to find hidden cameras, nine usb drives and five sim cards. they found a thumb drive infected with malware she had with her at the private club the malware. not exactly the things people typically go on vacation to go swimming, but does it mean she's a spy? joining us is cnn intelligence
and security analyst bob baer. bob, someone who's certainly worked overseas a lot in covert activity, does this woman raise red flags to you? >> i vote she's a chinese spy because of the survey equipment she has to detect cameras in the wall are very, very rare, very expensive, and it's not something you just walk into the local hardware store and buy. so bringing all that stuff to mar-a-lago, to her hotel sounds like preparation. she had a lousy cover story. that happens a lot. the thing fell apart. somebody is going to be punished in beijing. but she does not look like a private citizen at this point. >> what's so interesting, bob, there has been so much focus on russia hacking and involvement in the election. chinese spying in the united states for industrial purposes, for all sorts of purposes is a huge, huge issue.
i talked to -- i just did a piece on this for "60 minutes." not only recruiting former cia officers but just trying to get trade secrets for the china 2025 program. >> as an fbi agent told me, they're robbing us blind. so for them to go into mar-a-lago doesn't surprise me at all. by the way, anderson, if she had taken that malware and put it on the tv, it would have infected the whole system, phones, every room, cameras, mics, everything. that is a bold operation. never seen anything like it. >> lawrence, based on your knowledge of mar-a-lago, is it surprising that this woman was able to gain access in the way that she did? she was caught. >> anderson, it was a disaster waiting to happen. there are over 10,000 people who come floating in and out of this place during the winter season. the secret service is doing the best job they can do, but you can't have a president in such a situation. basically they should close the club if trump wants to come down
there, but he likes the money and needs to have people sucking up to him all day long. but it's the weakest entry point into this administration for spies and for people that want to do physical harm to the president. it should not go on. but knowing president trump, it will. >> to that point, laurence, what are the president's movements like at mar-a-lago? i've only been there once during the campaign and he was just wandering around talking to people. it wasn't like he was off in some secluded area. he was basically just schmoozing. >> no, he's like the maitre d' wandering around there. the family quarters is just off one of the hallways. i live there in the winter, i like to walk on the beach. when you get to mar-a-lago, you can get to the pool but can't get farther than that but security isn't what it should be. we should be happy in a way this happened now, but it has to
change. the answer is not to get rid of the secret service head who's doing a fine job, but trump can't take responsibility. he's the one that has created this situation. nobody but the president. >> bob, in the wake of a security breach like this, first of all, bob, do you consider it a big security breach? because this person was stopped. but if it is a security breach, does it seem like maybe now isn't the best time to fire the director of the secret service or will that not have an impact? >> it won't have an secret service because the secret service can't do anything about it. they don't control the perimeter. it's the local staff who have the guest list. anybody comes and goes. the secret service can protect the white house and camp david but they can't protect mar-a-lago. it's impossible. it's simply impossible. so blaming the secret service is the wrong way to go on this. unfortunately for the president, you have to go in the white house and stay there and you just become isolated, as all presidents do. >> bob baer -- >> and beyond that, the
president is not there most of the time. when he's not there, there's no metal detector. people can come in and out. that's the point where you could come in and set situations up. it's just an impossible situation. >> thank you very much. attorney general barr heads to capitol hill in the morning. the mueller report is not on the official agenda. he's certainly going to be asked about it. just ahead we'll have a preview of tomorrow. is frequent heartbu, steven could only imagine enjoying a spicy taco. now, his world explodes with flavor. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts for all-day all-night protection. can you imagine 24-hours without heartburn? leave no man behind. or child. or other child. or their new friend. or your giant nephews and their giant dad. or a horse.
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house judiciary committee chairman jerry nadler says he wants attorney general barr to testify about the mueller investigation in early may, and nadler says testify by mueller himself is inevitable. the attorney general is going to appear tomorrow to discuss the budget for the justice department. while the 22-month mueller investigation is not on the agenda, he could be questioned about it. joining me is garrett graff as well as carrie cordero. carrie, what questions do you think barr will be asked tomorrow and how many do you think he's going to answer? because until the report comes out, it would be strange for him to be talking about it. >> it would. i think he's going to try to avoid at all costs talking about anything that is the substance of the report. certainly anything that goes beyond what he put in his summary letter. but i think it is fair game for him to be asked about it and he certainly should expect to be
asked about timing, when he expects to deliver the report and the process he's going through. why has it taken the time that it has, whether or not he is far along in the process of the review, the review for classified information, the review for grand jury information, and i think those are fair questions and it would be odd if the hearing took place tomorrow without them being asked. >> garrett, the report obviously hasn't been released. why would barr -- he wouldn't want to get ahead of it, especially if the vetting process isn't fully complete. >> exactly. i think that's why we're unlikely to see him speak of any substance of the report. but as carrie said, i think it's well within the rights of democrats in congress and congressional oversight questions overall about the process that he's going through. one of the big questions that i hope capitol hill pushes him on tomorrow is in previous special counsel and independent counsel investigations like this, the justice department has gone to the courts to get permission to
include and publicize that so-called 6e grand jury testimony and that does not seem like that's a process that has taken place thus far. i think it's a fair question to ask if that's what happened in white water, if that's what happened in watergate, why isn't that happening with the mueller report and why is that information going to be shielded from us if indeed that permission is not sought. >> carrie, in terms of mueller testifying in front of the judiciary, hard to imagine, especially given how long he's worked in washington, that he didn't expect that to happen at some point. >> i think that's right. look, this report and the conclusion of his investigation is a matter of intense public interest. i think it's -- the investigation that he conducted is the most important national security investigation in a generation. so i think once his report is delivered, programs the attorney general will testify first, but then i think it will -- is to be expected that mueller will be called to testify and that he will explain his investigation
and answer questions about the substance of the report, in particular on the conclusions that were or were not drawn in his report. >> garrett, do you agree with some that barr's likely not to -- that the white house is likely not to seek anything on -- for executive privilege in redacting the barr report? >> yeah. i mean that's certainly consistent with what barr himself is saying, is that he is not planning to show the report to the white house in advance and is not planning to execute any executive privilege redactions or to ask permission for those as part of this. i mean he's been very clear that the only four categories he's looking to do, grand jury testimony, intelligence sources and methods, ongoing criminal investigations and that sort of complicated amorphous fourth category that is information
that would not unduly impugn so-called peripheral third parties. unduly of course being a word that carries a lot of weight in that sentence. >> also, carrie, how do you interpret that fourth idea? is the president -- would he be >> it's hard to say. that gets to derogatory information that doesn't rise to the level of chargeable conduct. it more than likely applies to individuals in the president's orbit. when it comes to, let's just be clear about it, obstruction, because that is so central to the president himself and that was a major part of the investigation and because the report purportedly doesn't draw a conclusion about it but the attorney general did, it would be hard for the attorney general to say that any information regarding obstruction would fall into that prohibited derogatory category. >> appreciate it.
thank you. i want to check in with chris and see what he's working on, chris? >> so thursday, we had then secretary of dhs kirstjen nielsen on the show. i was surprised at her candor. she wasn't pushing the brown menace. no, you're right about the numbers. obviously it's kids and families. yeah, you know, the emergency declaration could be used to help us with resources down there. maybe we'll look at that. 72 hours later she was gone and now we're hearing that what i perceived as her being more candid may have been her not being seen by this president as lining up with his aims. as you know and you have reported tonight we'll get deeper into the reporting about exactly why she is gone, exactly why there's this purge and what it means about what he wants to happen on the border. some scary realities. >> all right. i'll look forward to that about 8 minutes from now. we'll return to breaking news next, the dhs purge and more on steven miller that's reportedly behind it. there are people out there
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>> it's part of a shift in policy on immigration to be more hard lined than it already is. the president wants action and is said to be fixated on using that message. president trump told his aid stephen miller that he will be in charge of immigration border policy now on. as you heard earlier, he's wondering why the president doesn't make it official and give him the title of the job of secretary of homeland security. whatever you think of that idea, it raises the question, just who is stephen miller? >> can you name one foreign threat in the world today outside this country's borders that currently kills more americans than the threats crossing our southern border? >> the joy of this is i get to ask you questions.
>> at 33 he is president donald trump's youngest policy adviser. the man at the center of the immigration battle that seems like he's always ready for a fight. >> that is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish things you have ever said. >> stephen miller embraced his anti-immigrant views early on. after the 9/11 attacks when he was 16 he penned and editorial arguing his high school wasn't patriotic enough. osama bin laden would feel very welcome at santa monica high school. he also talked about rampant political correctness and classmates that lacked basic english skills. >> i will say that no one else in their right mind would say or do. >> all of this it seems is just a dress rehearsal for his next stop. duke university. writing for the duke chronicle miller sounded the alarm about
immigration making a name for himself in the national media. we oppose common sense security measures. we give driver's licenses to illegal aliens. >> he moved to washington landing a job to then aid senator jeff sessions. miller helped him derail a bipartisan immigration deal in 2013 by distributing a handbook full of talking points. in washington miller connected with steve ban nnon that gave h entry into trump's orbit and campaign 2016. miller crafted trump's inaugural speech. >> the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential, this american carnage stops right here and stops right
now. miller has a reputation as trump's enforcer on immigration. he said the federal judge that struck it down had no right to question the president's authority. >> our opponents, the media, and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further action that the powers of our president to protect the country will not be questioned. >> in the president's ear and helped derail negotiations for the border wall and government shutdown. >> this is a fundamental issue. at stake is whether or not the united states remains a sovereign country. >> the president seems to like what stephen miller represents. not only his conservatism but his combativeness too. >> you can be condescending. >> i'm not being condescending. i'm trying to get to the point -- >> more to come on that story in the coming days. meanti meantime, full circle our daily interactive newscast on
facebook. you can watch it weeknights at 6:25 p.m. eastern at facebook.com/anderson cooper full circle. news continues. i want to hand it over to chris for cuomo primetime. >> i am chris cuomo. welcome to primetime. we have never seen a president do a systematic purge of homeland security. especially people that won't tell him what is wrong or even illegal with his plans and remember our president said he hated separating kids on the border? we have new reporting about what he really wants and it exposes and ugly lie. and those that work for this president long warned of a purge. is this it? what does he hear about white house woes and the chinese lady allegedly caught with malware at mar-a-largo is looking more like the real deal. more on what the feds found in her hot