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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Soon: Donald Trump Speaks In Phoenix; Pence: Mexican Meeting Wasn't A Negotiation;; Trump On Mexico Meeting: It Was A Substantive Conversation; Trump Makes Immigration Speech In Phoenix. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired August 31, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:00] SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: And I think we can hear him talk a little bit about how he views these things in terms of his priorities and how important border security is to him. Of course, that does mean building a wall. His campaign believes that that is the biggest issue. The biggest cornerstone of Donald Trump's campaign. But they also believe that stopping inflow of illegal immigration is key to whatever they're going to do next.
And one of the things they want to talk about doing next is deporting undocumented immigrants who come to the United States and then commit a felony. So that's what we expect that Donald Trump to address when he talks about how to deal with millions of undocumented immigrants in the country. We are expecting him to address that more broadly.
But, John, it's not clear if he's go into great detail to how he will deal with that. Those folks, people who have been here for a long time who haven't committed any crimes other than coming to the U.S. illegally or whether he just sort of going to gloss over that issue and leave this ambiguity out there.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And is Donald Trump, is he going to include any details about financing his plan? How is he going to pay for it? How is the U.S. going to pay for it? Or, in this case, perhaps another country going to pay for it?
MURRAY: Well, this is particularly interesting in light of his meeting with President Nieto -- Pena Nieto today. Because Pena Nieto saying that he said he wouldn't pay for the wall. And of course, it's been Donald Trump's rallying to saying Mexico would pay for it.
When I talked to advisers today, they said they expect Donald Trump's go into a little bit more detail about how Mexico would pay for the wall. But they also said that they are concerned about putting forth a piece of a plan and potentially putting forth -- paying for it that are in the U.S. budget. So they would like defunding sanctuary cities, stripping money that the federal government spends on undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
And John, if he does come out here and say that, and I say if, because it's Donald Trump and you never know when he's going to change his feature (ph), change his mind. That would be an interesting shift from him just to say Mexico's going to foot the bill for all of the wall. John?
BERMAN: Very interesting. We will wait and see. Sarah Murray, thank you so much. Plenty to talk about as we set to the stage.
Back now with our panel. David Axelrod, Gloria Borger and Kirsten Powers.
And David, you know, let me start. Again, there is this dispute about whether or not Donald Trump and the Mexican president talked about who would pay for the wall. It's interesting the way that there's a dispute over that. Because I'm going to focus group with Republican convention when Donald Trump speaking, and the focus group hated the idea of the wall, altogether and didn't believe that Mexico was going to pay for it then. So in a way, it's fascinating that there's even a debate right now about who said what about who will pay for it.
DAVID AXELROD, FORMER OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER: Yeah. Well, you know, this has been a staple of Donald Trump's presentation from the very beginning. This is his go-to applause line. So he's very much wedded to it. It was -- he took a bit of criticism after the press conference from the Clinton campaign and others for not having raised what was the signature piece of his immigration plan. This notion of a wall that Mexico would pay for.
But then Pena Nieto took a beating in Mexico for not having challenged him on it. And I agree with Anna Navarro. He -- we've done this. If in fact this was discussed in the meeting, the fact that he didn't challenge Donald Trump on that stage was a big problem for him. But in any case, after the fact, he's made this allegation.
So I think what was a good day for Trump, you know, the judges are going to take some style points off for this and there's going to be some dispute about this going forward.
BERMAN: You know, Kirsten Powers, it's really interesting because as I was saying before, the wall not popular among undecided voters. And legal status for immigration. Immigration reform in general is actually fairly popular with voters overall, even with Republican voters. So in a way, you know, Donald Trump could be criticized for changing his position or some of his positions on immigration because that's been cleared the last two weeks. But there is room maybe to win votes with a different position than he has held.
KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY COLUMNIST: Yeah, well, it's actually imperative that he changes his position because it's not the position of the mainstream Republican Party. If you look at the overall population, mass deportation, it is absolutely -- it's not a view that very many people hold. I think it was 19 percent in the Fox News poll that just came out.
If you look in the Republican electorate, during the primaries, it was around 40 percent supporters. It wasn't even a majority among the base Republican voters. So in order for him to really reach out to your mainstream Republican voters, he needs to change this position.
Interestingly on the wall, there was a poll that came out today the public research -- Religion Research Institute found that 66 percent of Republicans do support building a wall. So there's a little more support for building a wall. But there really is almost no support except among the really, you know, small part of the Republican Party for mass deportation.
[21:04:59] BERMAN: You know, Glory, it is interesting, though, it's sort of an and/but issue. You know, Donald Trump didn't exactly run like a policy rich primary campaign. But where he did have policy stances, whether they were realistic or not, they were clear and they were on immigration. Number one, he came out with a Muslim ban which he then modified. Number two, he came out with a deportation force which he has since modified, we think. Number three, the idea of building a wall which Mexico would pay for which maybe he's now modifying.
So it may be a smart political shift at least in terms of the policy. But Donald Trump was supposed to be the non-politician politician.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. And remember how in 2012 we talked about the etch-a-sketch. We talked about Mitt Romney changing his position to move to the center during the general election. It was also on immigration. It was on that question of self-deportation. Remember that?
And I think that this is the question that's going to be raised about Donald Trump. Ironically, though, he has no other place to go. He has to do this if he is going to win over those college educated voters.
I looked back at the numbers. Mitt Romney won college educated voters by 14 points and he lost the election. Donald Trump is down by six points with college educated voters. He's got to get that number up. And that means tempering himself to a degree on issues like this.
BERMAN: All right. Gloria, David, Kirsten, hang on for one second because a very special guest joining us right now, Donald Trump's running mate, Indiana governor Mike Pence.
Governor Pence, thank you so much for joining us right now. It's an opportunity to ask about what has been a bit of a conflict that has bubbled up over the last 60 minutes. Donald Trump at his news conference after he met with the Mexican president said they did not discuss who would pay for the wall. President Pena later said that he told Donald Trump that Mexico would not pay for the wall. Do you have any clarity on this issue? Because this seem to be at direct odds like someone's not telling the truth here.
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, first off, let me say thanks for having me on. It's exciting to be here. You can hear the crowd behind us. And I'm looking forward to welcoming Donald Trump to the stage in a few minutes for what I think will be an historic and important speech on finally having a leader at the national level who will end illegal immigration and end the economic and humanitarian crisis that has followed that for now more than a generation. But the meeting today, I have to tell you. I was so proud to see Donald Trump traveling to Mexico on such short notice, meeting with the president of Mexico, having such a productive and constructive first meeting. And coming out, recognizing a range of areas where they can agree. The importance of national sovereignty and borders. The importance of ending illegal immigration that they agreed on. The importance of modernizing NAFTA, stopping human trafficking and, of course, disrupting and ending the flow of illicit drugs. Those were all very, very significant bases of agreement. And I think the American people should be encouraged by to say the least.
But with regard to the wall and the discussion of the wall, I think both parties, I've been told, knew before the meeting where each other stood on that issue. And this meeting really wasn't so much a negotiation, John, as it was the beginning of a relationship. And I think it was an unqualified success.
BERMAN: Sure. But there is a discrepancy over what was said inside the meeting. Did -- have you talked to Donald Trump about it? Did Donald Trump tell you the subject did not come up?
PENCE: Well, what I've heard is that a whole range of topics were discussed in the meeting. And the subject of the wall was discussed but getting into the details and negotiations about paying for the wall, you know, it really wasn't that kind of a meeting.
You know, Donald Trump is an experienced negotiator. He knows that everything in a business relationship, or now in a diplomatic relationship, begins with relationship, with getting to know people, finding out where there's common ground.
But as I was told just a few moments ago, going into this meeting, both of those parties were very clear that they had a difference of opinion on who would pay for the wall. There was really no reason to discuss that at the meeting.
BERMAN: Who is going to pay for the wall, Governor?
PENCE: Well, I think Donald Trump's made his position on that very clear. Now for more than a year and I expect you'll hear him make that clear again tonight. In fact, I think a lot of what you'll hear tonight in this very important speech about ending illegal immigration will be a reaffirmation of the strong principles and the strong objectives that Donald Trump has been articulating now for more than a year that drawn literally millions of people to this movement across the country. And I don't want to preempt the speech in any way but I think you're going to see a strong reaffirmation of Donald Trump's commitment to end illegal immigration and end both the economic and humanitarian crisis that has followed it.
BERMAN: Without giving away more than you want to about this speech, when it's over, will we know where Donald Trump stands on the issue of any legal status for the 11 million, some of the 11 million, any of the 11 million undocumented immigrants who were in the country right now? PENCE: Well, I think Donald Trump tonight is going to share his mind, share his heart with the American people on this issue that's of such great importance. And I'll let him speak for himself. It's just going to be a few minutes from now.
But let me just say that I think at the end of the speech, people are going to see that finally we have the opportunity to elect a national leader who will deal forthrightly with securing our borders, enforcing our laws, and ending, again, as I've said the economic and humanitarian crisis of illegal immigration that has cost jobs for Americans and those who are here legally. It's depressed wages in this country. And, as I'm sure, he'll reflect tonight. It's also brought too often tragedy to American communities and American families in the form of violence by those that are in this country illegally.
He's going to speak about all of those things and I'm forward to hearing those remarks as I know millions of people are around the country.
BERMAN: You do agree, when it comes to an issue as important as immigration and as complicated as immigration though that the details and the specifics do matter?
PENCE: Oh, I agree with that very strongly. And I think you're going to hear a lot of details and a lot of specifics tonight. I think you're probably also going to hear about the contrast with Hillary Clinton who's committed to continuing a policy of essentially open borders, expanding amnesty in this country, executive amnesty that was rejected by the Supreme Court of the United States. And even opening up our country tomorrow, refugees from countries compromised by terrorism.
I think the contrast between Donald Trump's commitment to both the security and the prosperity of the American people by securing our borders, enforcing our laws, couldn't be a more dramatic contrast with Hillary Clinton's amnesty and open borders agenda.
BERMAN: Governor Pence, we have to let you go because you have to go introduce your running mate, Donald Trump on that stage tonight. So, Governor Pence, thanks so much for being with us. I appreciate it.
PENCE: Yes, I do.
BERMAN: Thanks so much, Governor.
All right, CNN's Jim Acosta, he joins us now from Mexico City. A lot going on tonight, Jim. Governor Pence previewing a Donald Trump speech without frankly giving us any details about what details Donald Trump will say and the details do matter. But, how is it playing where you are in Mexico?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, obviously, here in Mexico, the people of Mexico, the leadership of Mexico, just about everybody in Mexico, is very much opposed to what Donald Trump was proposing, even if it's a more moderate proposal that he's going to be talking about here later on tonight in Phoenix. We heard that loud and clear on the ground here in Mexico.
It was interesting to see this interaction between Donald Trump and Enrique Pena Nieto at this press conference earlier today. And of course, there was that moment you talked about with Mike Pence and Sara Murray earlier about whether or not they even talked about who's going to pay for the wall during this behind closed door meeting.
We don't believe there was a wall in that room, John, so we do think they were talking to one another. But clearly, Donald Trump left the impression with reporters that the subject did not come up. And of course, Enrique Pena Nieto when he had the opportunity during that press conference did not correct Donald Trump, only tweeted hours later that yes, he did bring this up at the very onset of their conversation.
Now, there are ministry officials who were starting to say to various reporters here in Mexico that, OK, wait a minute, you know, Pena Nieto did bring this up but there was not an ensuing discussion, so therefore maybe Donald Trump wasn't lying in all of this when he says there was not a discussion. There might have been a lost in translation moment here, John, but at the same time, I think it is very clear, Donald Trump left the impression that this did not come up during this meeting.
Does that suggest that, perhaps, he is starting to back pedal from that issue, from that notion that Mexico should pay for this wall? I guess we'll find out. Maybe we'll get a sense of that in the speech coming up shortly.
But it's also worth noting, John, in terms of, you know, the sense on the ground here, after this press conference was over, the word in that room among the Mexican journalists who were here was that they felt that Mexican President Pena Nieto was going to be much tougher on Donald Trump. He did not say much in terms of what Donald Trump had to say in the past about Mexican immigrants being rapists and criminals, he only said that Mexicans were hurt by those comments.
And of course, he did not correct Donald Trump about this conversation, about the wall. Perhaps, that's what prompted that tweet hours later to correct the record. I assume we'll find out in the coming days, John.
[21:15:12] BERMAN: All right, Jim Acosta for us in Mexico City. The meeting that happened just a few hours ago. The speech that will happen any second from now in Phoenix, Arizona.
You're looking at former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He is on stage right now wearing a Donald Trump hat firing up the crowd which is now his role to some extent in this campaign. A few minutes after this, we'll hear from Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence who we just spoke to. Mike Pence will introduce Donald Trump. And then maybe, just maybe, we'll get some more details about Donald Trump's immigration plan, which in some ways, are cloudier now than they were 14 months ago when he got into this campaign.
Joining us again, our panel, our pundits, experts, analysts, former campaign managers, the current smart people on this subject.
Corey Lewandowski, you know, I want to start with you here. Do you acknowledge that Donald Trump is in a different place on immigration today as we sit here on August 31st than he was June of 2015 when he went down that escalator that he likes to talk about so much?
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I think he's in the exact same position. Build a wall, implement E-Verify, defund sanctuary cities, get the bad dudes out, as he says.
BERMAN: Who pays for the wall?
LEWANDOWSKI: Mexico is going to pay for the way. He said it very clearly. The position hasn't changed. I don't think it's going to change based on the meeting that took place today. So it is what Donald Trump says. But I don't think his position has changed. It's the position that he's been steadfast to. And you heard him today, outlining a five point plan in Mexico of what he wants to do with agreement with the Mexican President that a wall is something that a sovereign nation can put up.
BAKARI SELLERS, CLINTON SUPPORTER: But, we have to deal in facts here. And for far too long, we've been letting Donald Trump and his surrogates say we're going to them build a wall. Economists and architects and everyone have said that this wall is going to cost $25 billion to build across the border.
Last year, aid to Mexico was $56 million. $56 million. So a $25 billion wall with $56 million worth of aid to Mexico, how are -- even if we cut off a (inaudible) coin, spin that on the wall, what are we going to build, a couple meters?
LEWANDOWSKI: What's one American life worth? Because if illegal ...
SELLERS: But you just said Mexico was one of our ...
SELLERS: I mean, it doesn't make sense.
LEWANDOWSKI: How many of the people that you just quoted have actually built anything?
SELLERS: Let's say it's $6 billion like Donald Trump says. Aid to Mexico was still last year, $56 million. Tell me how that works.
BORGER: Well, I have the question about the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country and what is going to happen on that front. Because we know Donald Trump wants to build a wall. We know he wants Mexico to pay for it. Let's put that aside. But the question is what do you do with the law-abiding undocumented immigrants in this country?
We know that they came in here illegally, I get that, but, Donald Trump has said, they have to go home. Now the position seems to be baby steps as Donald Trump Jr. said to Anderson the other day. So, what is the new position and how will that set?
BERMAN: Jeffrey, want to take that?
JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, I just don't -- I don't really see any contradiction here. I mean, when he ...
BERMAN: Well baby steps, Jeffrey, is wildly different than they have to go.
LORD: Yeah, no, John, no.
BERMAN: And wildly different to people ...
LORD: It is, John, it is not wildly different. Any task in government, you have to do -- I mean, Ronald Reagan didn't win the Cold War the day.
BORGER: I thought we would going to get past a sentence from you without a comparison with Ronald Reagan.
LORD: But any president, I mean, President Obama promised Obamacare. Did we have it the day after he was inaugurated? No. They had to write the bill.
LORD: They had to go through all these kind of things.
BERMAN: Is baby steps a new take from Donald Trump on this issue?
ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: John, we have seen so many different takes from Donald Trump and his team on this issue in the last 10 days. I think they've been testing the waters, as I've said, all along.
I think they found that there was absolutely no buy-in from his base. That he frankly could not to go a fluffier, softer, you know, sugar- coated position, like, maybe some of his consultants were advising him to do because so many of the American people believe he is a racist, including myself. And he decided to double down.
I think you're going to see Donald Trump going to further detail because up till now we've really had a lot of slogans. Build the wall. Mexico will pay for it. We'll deport them all. There are essentially -- but we haven't had -- you know those immigration is such an intricate, detailed, difficult position, difficult policy. There's B1, B2, HB1, I mean, H1B, you know.
I mean, there's just so many different things that go into immigration policy. It's not just a slogan.
[21:19:59] And I will tell you, though, on this wall, there is one authority under the constitution of the United States that allocates money and that is the U.S. House of Representatives.
A president on his own cannot willy-nilly say I am going to allocate the funds to build that wall. Unless, of course, he wants to pays it for himself. But we saw his taxes, maybe we ignore that he has the money.
BERMAN: David Axelrod, I want to bring you into this conversation right now because Ana Navarro just said that Donald Trump has been testing the waters when it comes to immigration over the last several days. Well, what waters do you think he has found that are the safest for tonight?
AXELROD: Well I think he got in up to his knees and then ran back to shore on this issue of path to legalization that he tested out at that Sean Hannity Town Hall meeting. And he got pounded by Rush and he got pounded by Ann Coulter. And now he's trying to package something, that he's trying to thread a needle here. He's trying to present what is a milder version of what he argued for in the primaries. And he's really basically repackaging what is existing policy, existing policy is to prioritize criminals for deportation. That has been the policy.
Now, he may argue we'll do it better or we'll devote more resources to it. But what he's not saying, and Gloria pointed it out, is what he said during the primary which is all 11 million will have to leave.
And, so the question is whether he can finesse that in a way that satisfies his core constituency and allows him to expand out. And the other thing is having painted in such vivid colors for a year on this issue. Can he even be believed on? And that's going to be the big task for him. Can he persuade people that he's had some sort of epiphany on this and now he's into baby step land.
BERMAN: Like gold colors not pastel, so reference (ph) is Jeffrey Lord.
Kirsten Powers, (inaudible) with this question to you. We're looking at Alabama's Senator Jeff Sessions right now, who's, I think, introducing Mike Pence, who will then introduce Donald Trump. But Jeff Sessions is a hardliner on immigration right now, does that send a signal perhaps that Donald Trump won't be changing his positions? And how much jeopardy do you think there really is among the core Donald Trump support?
POWERS: Well, I think that the core Donald Trump supporters are somewhat fanatical in their support for him frankly. And it's going to take a lot to shake them loose. And so, I also have the sense that they tend to think that Donald Trump probably even -- have to say these things to win over in a general election, but when he's president would actually go ahead and deport the people and build a wall and try to get Mexico to pay for it.
Because, let's face it, he has spent about a year of his time really demonizing illegal immigrants in this country. And now, in two months, he's going to suddenly change his position, even if he changes it marginally as he seems to have been trying to do over the last couple of weeks, even though he's really muddied the waters. And I think we're having a hard time trying figure out exactly what the position is. But even if he does move a little bit, are we supposed to believe that the last year didn't happen? And I say that for both sides, you know, would both sides believe that?
BERMAN: And Corey, you care to answer that?
LEWANDOWSKI: So I think you have to remember like this is not a singular vote for or against Donald Trump. It's Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Her position on illegal immigration is executive amnesty, meaning everyone who's in the country gets to stay. Donald Trump ...
SELLERS: That's not true. That's not her position. That's a lie. You cannot live in a fat-free (ph) environment.
SELLERS: That's a lie, Corey.
LEWANDOWSKI: What Donald Trump has said, and he said to Anderson Cooper is they will not stay in the country. They have to go. He was very clear on that last Thursday from New Hampshire when he interviewed one-on-one with Anderson Cooper on this show. He said everyone will have to leave. There is no path to citizenship.
LEWANDOWSKI: There's a clear difference than what Hillary Clinton is supporting.
BERMAN: Bakari, I want you to jump in here.
SELLERS: No, I mean, that was a lie.
SELLERS: I mean, that's not Hillary Clinton's position. The fact to the matter is that I believe, everybody believes, that those who have committed serious felonies, and serious misdemeanors must go. And the President started that robustly a year ago. So, all Donald Trump is doing is building on that.
The question though, Corey, that everyone has that hasn't been answered by Donald Trump is, when you talk about these 690,000 people who have committed crimes in this country and let's say we get rid of them. Let's say he's able to do that in one hour like he says. What does he do with the other 10.5 million people who are here? That is the question.
Hillary Clinton does want a path to citizenship but absolutely no one knows the answer to what Donald Trump wants to do. Is he going to round them up like Dwight Eisenhower in 1954 Operation Wetback when he say it? What is he doing?
LEWANDOWSKI: The Clinton campaign today said there 16 million illegals. They don't even know what the number is.
LEWANDOWSKI: Let's get a hold of how many people there are in the first place. We don't even know how many people we're talking about.
BERMAN: Hang on. One at a time. Jeffrey.
LORD: So, Bakari, the question is if this is all about compassion, OK. So, let's do the Rush Limbaugh solution. We give them amnesty and they never get to vote for 25 years.
[21:25:01] SELLERS: You're not an American citizen if all of a sudden you just don't get to vote. I mean, we already went through this, like, there are many, many ...
LORD: So you're saying you're fine with never ...
SELLERS: What are you talking about? That make no sense.
BERMAN: But Jeffrey, that's ...
SELLERS: That was absurd.
BERMAN: ... nothing, to your word, Donald Trump's position or positions are. That doesn't even gets the question ...
LORD: I understand but ...
BERMAN: Because, Jeffrey, as you know, there are plenty of people who have solid position to immigration that says if there's any path to legal status, that's amnesty. If you get to stay, that's amnesty.
BORGER: But then -- and listen ...
SELLERS: Just literally made them three-fifths of a human being, like they can come, we can give them amnesty ...
LORD: No, no, no.
SELLERS: ... but they can't vote.
BORGER: Can I just say one thing about that?
NAVARRO: OK, Bakari, honestly, at this point we are -- this is just so theoretical and ...
NAVARRO: ... ridiculous.
NAVARRO: ... because frankly, immigration reform needs to be passed in a bipartisan way. We have tried this over and over again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.
NAVARRO: And Donald Trump can have his proposal. One of the questions I would ask is have you actually touched base with Paul Ryan? Have you touched base with Mitch McConnell? Have you gotten buy-in? Have you consulted with the congressional leadership? Because this is not a, you know, this is not an emperor. This is a Congress has to weigh in and pass the law.
BERMAN: Kirsten Powers, I think, is leaping through the satellite.
POWERS: Oh, no. Well, I mean, there's just a couple of things. It is completely factually wrong to say that Hillary Clinton supports amnesty. And I think that we need to be very clear about that. That even President Obama's plan, in my opinion, was quite onerous. It was something they created about -- it took about 10 years for people to become a citizen. They would have to pay back taxes.
BERMAN: Hang on, Corey. Hang on.
POWERS: And it was -- amnesty is what Ronald Reagan did. It is basically just wiping the slate clean and saying you're a citizen. That has not been the position in the Democratic Party for quite some time. It wasn't Ted Kennedy's position. It wasn't Barack Obama's position. It wasn't Hillary Clinton's position. I would like it to be their position but it's not their position.
I also just want to say something quickly about this idea that he's going to deport all the bad guys. The fact of the matter is, is that I actually already over charges people and deports people who are here illegally, if they have green cards for example.
The Supreme Court has criticized them for this. This is actually not a problem, this idea that somehow that there are all these criminals that aren't being deported. We're deporting people who have lived here their whole lives and have sold maybe a small amount of pot, for example, and then get deported to a country that they've never lived in. I know because I've written columns about these people. This is a read problem.
And so, Donald Trump is creating this idea that we're not deporting people when the problem is we're actually deporting too many people.
BERMAN: All right, first, let me just tell you, Governor Mike Pence, Donald Trump's running mate is on stage right now. He is introducing Donald Trump. So any minute now we will hear from the candidate himself and maybe we will get some answers and some details about what exactly his plan is. Gloria Borger.
BORGER: I was listening to Bakari before talking about this question of mass deportation and how you would pay for it. And I never thought I'd say this but you sounded like a Republican candidate up on the stage with Donald Trump during the primary. SELLERS: That would get me elected in South Carolina.
BORGER: It will. Sorry about that. Because you were raising the same question. And Corey, you know this, that if the Donald Trump that we saw today on stage with the President of Mexico was the Donald Trump that had run in the primaries, the question is, whether that Donald Trump would have made it to the nomination.
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, it's a question with Hillary Clinton as well. Is Hillary Clinton ...
BORGER: But, OK, I'm not talking about Hillary Clinton.
BORGER: What I'm saying is, is that as we were talking before about the etch a sketch, this -- Donald Trump is trying to change and his signature issue had two parts, one was the wall and one was deportation, mass deportation. So he's sticking with the wall.
But this deportation was an issue. I remember Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and all these people arguing with him about how would you pay for it, just like Bakari. How would you pay it? What would you do?
LEWANDOWSKI: Look at the numbers today. The race is down to two points. Hillary Clinton has spent $60 million running campaign ads against Donald Trump and today's numbers come out, there's a two-point differential which is inside the margin of error. And that means that people are resonating with Donald Trump's message which is the same message he's had for the primary. And he's going to articulate it about five minutes right here.
BERMAN: David Axelrod, I want you to be part of this conversation. Again, Donald Trump ...
BERMAN: ... takes the stage any second. Go ahead, David.
AXELROD: Yeah, yeah. I just wanted to say, it's interesting to hear Corey and Mike Pence throw Hillary Clinton out there the way they have. Because, I think, one of the ways that they are going to paper over some of the changes that Donald Trump is making in his plan is to really try and focus on Hillary and say, look, whatever he supports, it's much more draconian than anything that Hillary supports.
And there's one thing that we learned during the Republican convention. If you want to get all the Republicans together, say something nasty about Hillary Clinton. And so, I think you're going to hear a lot of that in this speech tonight.
BERMAN: On the subject though of immigration, strictly as a political issue, David, where are Hillary Clinton views and positions, which voters do they reach?
[21:30:02] AXELROD: Look, I think that as was discussed before, you saw even in the Republican primary there was a receptivity to immigration reform, a pathway to legalization or citizenship that certainly a view that carries with some of these target voters, these suburban college educated white voters who Donald Trump has to reach. So, he's not on the right side of the majority of voters on this question. And he's trying to find a way to get closer to the majority of voters without looking like he's betraying fundamental tenets of his primary campaign.
BERMAN: So, Anna Navarro, David Axelrod says get closer to the majority of voters here. You contend, though, that the voters that David's taking about are the voters that maybe Donald Trump is talking to tonight are not Hispanics and Latinos. Not people who maybe know some of these illegal immigrants. Not people directly affected.
NAVARRO: Listen, when you pull the immigration issue as far as priorities with Latinos, it never comes out, number one, number two, number two. It's always more ...
BERMAN: All right. Guys, hang on one second.
NAVARRO: This guy is past (ph) with the Latinos.
BERMAN: Hang on one second, Ana. You see him right there. Donald Trump right now taking the stage in Phoenix. About to deliver his speech on immigration. What will we learn about his policy? Let's listen in.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, what a crowd. What a beautiful crowd. Thank you. Thank you.
Wow. That's a lot of people, Phoenix. That's a lot of people. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Thank you, Phoenix. I am so glad to be back in Arizona. The state that has a very, very special place in my heart. I love people of Arizona and together we are going to win the White House in November.
Now, you know, this is where it all began for me. Remember that massive crowd also. So, I said let's go and have some fun tonight. We're going to Arizona, OK?
This will be a little bit different. This won't be a rally speech, per se. Instead, I'm going to deliver a detailed policy address on one of the greatest challenges facing our country today, illegal immigration.
I've just landed having returned from a very important and special meeting with the President of Mexico, a man I like and respect very much. And a man who truly loves his country, Mexico.
And, by the way, just like I am a man who loves my country, the United States.
We agreed on the importance of ending the illegal flow of drugs, cash, guns, and people across our border, and to put the cartels out of business. We also discussed the great contributions of Mexican-American citizens to our two countries, my love for the people of Mexico, and the leadership and friendship that we have between Mexico and the United States. It was a thoughtful and substantive conversation and it will go on for awhile. And, in the end, we're all going to win. Both countries, we're all going to win.
This is the first of what I expect will be many, many conversations.
[21:35:00] And in a Trump administration, we're going to go about creating a new relationship between our two countries, but it's going to be a fair relationship. We want fairness.
But to fix our immigration system, we must change our leadership in Washington and we must change it quickly. Sadly, sadly there is no other way. The truth is our immigration system is worse than anybody ever realized. But the facts aren't known because the media won't report on them. The politicians won't talk about them and the special interests spend a lot of money trying to cover them up because they are making an absolute fortune. That's the way it is.
Today, on a very complicated and very difficult subject, you will get the truth. The fundamental problem with the immigration system in our country is that it serves the needs of wealthy donors, political activists and powerful, powerful politicians. It's all you can do. Thank you. Thank you.
Let me tell you who it does not serve. It does not serve you the American people. Doesn't serve you. When politicians talk about immigration reform, they usually mean the following, amnesty, open borders, lower wages. Immigration reform should mean something else entirely. It should mean improvements to our laws and policies to make life better for American citizens.
But if we're going to make our immigration system work, then we have to be prepared to talk honestly and without fear about these important and very sensitive issues. For instance, we have to listen to the concerns that working people, our forgotten working people, have over the record pace of immigration and it's impact on their jobs, wages, housing, schools, tax bills and general living conditions.
These are valid concerns expressed by decent and patriotic citizens from all backgrounds, all over. We also have to be honest about the fact that not everyone who seeks to join our country will be able to successfully assimilate. Sometimes it's just not going to work out. It's our right, as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish and love us.
Then there is the issue of security. Countless innocent American lives have been stolen because our politicians have failed in their duty to secure our borders and enforce our laws like they have to be enforced.
I have met with many of the great parents who lost their children to sanctuary cities and open borders. So many people, so many, many people. So sad. They will be joining me on this stage in a little while and I look forward to introducing, these are amazing, amazing people.
Countless Americans who have died in recent years would be alive today if not for the open border policies of this administration and the administration that causes this horrible, horrible thought process, it's called Hillary Clinton.
This includes incredible Americans like 21-year-old Sarah Root. The man who killed her arrived at the border, entered Federal custody and then was released into the U.S., think of it, into the U.S. community under the policies of the White House Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
[21:35:10] Weak, weak policies. Weak and foolish policies.
He was released again after the crime, and now he's out there at large. Sarah had graduated from college with a 4.0, top student in her class one day before her death.
Also among the victims of the Obama-Clinton open-border policy was Grant Ronnebeck, a 21-year-old convenience store clerk and a really good guy from Mesa, Arizona. A lot of you have known about Grant.
He was murdered by an illegal immigrant gang member previously convicted of burglary, who had also been released from federal custody, and they knew it was going to happen again.
Another victim is Kate Steinle. Gunned down in the sanctuary city of San Francisco, by an illegal immigrant, deported five previous times. And they knew he was no good.
Then there is the case of 90-year-old Earl Olander, who was brutally beaten and left to bleed to death in his home, 90 years old and defenseless. The perpetrators were illegal immigrants with criminal records a mile long, who did not meet Obama administration standards for removal. And they knew it was going to happen.
In California, a 64-year-old Air Force veteran, a great woman, according to everybody that knew her, Marilyn Pharis, was sexually assaulted and beaten to death with a hammer. Her killer had been arrested on multiple occasions but was never, ever deported, despite the fact that everybody wanted him out.
A 2011 report from the Government Accountability Office found that illegal immigrants and other non-citizens, in our prisons and jails together, had around 25,000 homicide arrests to their names, 25,000.
On top of that, illegal immigration costs our country more than $113 billion a year. And this is what we get. For the money we are going to spend on illegal immigration over the next 10 years, we could provide one million at-risk students with a school voucher, which so many people are wanting.
While there are many illegal immigrants in our country who are good people, many, many, this doesn't change the fact that most illegal immigrants are lower skilled workers with less education, who compete directly against vulnerable American workers, and that these illegal workers draw much more out from the system than they can ever possibly pay back. And they're hurting a lot of our people that cannot get jobs under any circumstances.
But these facts are never reported. Instead, the media and my opponent discuss one thing and only one thing, the needs of people living here illegally. In many cases, by the way, they're treated better than our vets. Not going to happen anymore, folks. November 8th. Not going to happen anymore.
The truth is, the central issue is not the needs of the 11 million illegal immigrants or however many there may be -- and honestly, we've been hearing that number for years.
[21:45:01] It's always 11 million. Our government has no idea. It could be three million. It could be 30 million. They have no idea what the number is.
Frankly, our government has no idea what they're doing on many, many fronts, folks.
But whatever the number, that's never really been the central issue. It will never be a central issue. It doesn't matter from that standpoint. Anyone who tells you that the core issue is the needs of those living here illegally has simply spent too much time in Washington.
Only the out of touch media elites think the biggest problems facing American side -- when you know this, you know this, this is what they talk about, facing American society today is that there are 11 million illegal immigrants who don't have legal status. And, they also think the biggest thing, and you know this, it's not nuclear, and it's not ISIS, it's not Russia, it's not China, it's global warming.
To all the politicians, donors, and special interests, hear these words from me and all of you today. There is only one core issue in the immigration debate, and that issue is the well being of the American people.
Nothing even comes a close second. Hillary Clinton, for instance, talks constantly about her fears that families will be separated, but she's not talking about the American families who have been permanently separated from their loved ones because of a preventable homicide, because of a preventable death, because of murder.
No, she's only talking about families who come here in violation of the law. We will treat everyone living or residing in our country with great dignity. So important.
We will be fair, just, and compassionate to all, but our greatest compassion must be for our American citizens.
Thank you. President Obama and Hillary Clinton have engaged in gross dereliction of duty by surrendering the safety of the American people to open borders, and you know it better than anybody right here in Arizona. You know it.
President Obama and Hillary Clinton support sanctuary cities. They support catch and release on the border. They support visa overstays. They support the release of dangerous, dangerous, dangerous, criminals from detention. And, they support unconstitutional executive amnesty.
Hillary Clinton has pledged amnesty in her first 100 days, and her plan will provide Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicare for illegal immigrants, breaking the federal budget.
On top of that, she promises uncontrolled, low-skilled immigration that continues to reduce jobs and wages for American workers, and especially for African-American and Hispanic workers within our country. Our citizens.
[21:49:59] Most incredibly, because to me this is unbelievable, we have no idea who these people are, where they come from. I always say Trojan horse. Watch what's going to happen, folks. It's not going to be pretty.
This includes her plan to bring in 620,000 new refugees from Syria and that region over a short period of time. And even yesterday, when you were watching the news, you saw thousands and thousands of people coming in from Syria. What is wrong with our politicians, our leaders if we can call them that? What the hell are we doing? Hard to believe. Hard to believe.
Now that you've heard about Hillary Clinton's plan, about which she has not answered a single question, let me tell you about my plan. And do you notice -- and do you notice all the time for weeks and weeks of debating my plan, debating, talking about it, what about this, what about that. They never even mentioned her plan on immigration because she doesn't want to get into the quagmire. It's a tough one, she doesn't know what she's doing except open borders and let everybody come in and destroy our country by the way.
While Hillary Clinton meets only with donors and lobbyists, my plan was crafted with the input from Federal Immigration offices, very great people. Among the top immigration experts anywhere in this country, who represent workers, not corporations, very important to us.
I also worked with lawmakers, who've led on this issue on behalf of American citizens for many years. And most importantly, I've met with the people directly impacted by these policies. So important.
Number one, are you ready? Are you ready? We will build a great wall along the southern border. And Mexico will pay for the wall. 100 percent. They don't know it yet, but they're going to pay for the wall. And they're great people and great leaders but they're going to pay for the wall. On day one, we will begin working on intangible, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful southern border wall. We will use the best technology, including above and below ground sensors, that's the tunnels. Remember that, above and below.
Above and below ground sensors. Towers, aerial surveillance and manpower to supplement the wall, find and dislocate tunnels and keep out criminal cartels and Mexico you know that, will work with us. I really believe it. Mexico will work with us. I absolutely believe it. And especially after meeting with their wonderful, wonderful president today. I really believe they want to solve this problem along with us, and I'm sure they will.
Number two, we are going to end catch and release. We catch them, oh, go ahead. We catch them, go ahead.
Under my administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country and back to the country from which they came.
[21:55:11] And they'll be brought great distances. We're not dropping them right across. They learned that. President Eisenhower. They'd drop them across, right across, and they'd come back. And across.
Then when they flew them to a long distance, all of a sudden that was the end. We will take them great distances. But we will take them to the country where they came from, OK?
Number three. Number three, this is the one, I think it's so great. It's hard to believe, people don't even talk about it. Zero tolerance for criminal aliens. Zero. Zero. Zero. They don't come in here. They don't come in here.
According to federal data, there are at least two million, two million, think of it, criminal aliens now inside of our country, two million people criminal aliens. We will begin moving them out day one. As soon as I take office. Day one. In joint operation with local, state, and federal law enforcement.
Now, just so you understand, the police, who we all respect, say hello to the police. Boy, they don't get the credit they deserve. I can tell you. They're great people. But the police and law enforcement, they know who these people are. They live with these people. They get mocked by these people. They can't do anything about these people, and they want to. They know who these people are. Day one, my first hour in office, those people are gone. And you can call it deported if you want. The press doesn't like that term. You can call it whatever the hell you want. They're gone.
Beyond the two million, and there are vast numbers of additional criminal illegal immigrants who have fled, but their days have run out in this country. The crime will stop. They're going to be gone. It will be over. They're going out. They're going out fast. Moving forward.
We will issue detainers for illegal immigrants who are arrested for any crime whatsoever, and they will be placed into immediate removal proceedings if we even have to do that.
We will terminate the Obama administration's deadly, and it is deadly, non-enforcement policies that allow thousands of criminal aliens to freely roam our streets, walk around, do whatever they want to do, crime all over the place. That's over. That's over, folks. That's over.
Since 2013 alone, the Obama administration has allowed 300,000 criminal aliens to return back into United States communities. These are individuals encountered or identified by ICE, but who were not detained or processed for deportation because it wouldn't have been politically correct.
My plan also includes cooperating closely with local jurisdictions to remove criminal aliens immediately. We will restore the highly successful Secure Communities Program. Good program. We will expand and revitalize the popular 287(g) partnerships, which will help to identify hundreds of thousands of deportable aliens in local jails that we don't even know about.
[22:00:07] Both of these programs have been recklessly gutted by this administration. And those were programs that worked.