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Top Republicans Break With Trump On Immigration, Tariffs; Bill Clinton Talks About His Impeachment, Trump And Russia Probe. Aired 3- 4pm ET

Aired June 3, 2018 - 15:00   ET


[15:00:05] PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: All of this as Trump's new lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is making the TV rounds again, weighing in on the letter saying that the president probably has the power to pardon himself. He also weighed in on the chances the president will sit down for an interview with Robert Mueller.


RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Jay and I want to keep an open mind and I have to just be honest leaning toward not. But, look, if they can convince us that'll be brief, it'll be to the point. There are five or six points they have to clarify. And with that we can get this over.


BROWN: And the Russia meddling probe is top of mind for the president once again today as he attempts to distance himself from his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and asking why the FBI did not warn him, it was investigating Manafort during the campaign.

Let's get straight to CNN's White House Correspondent Boris Sanchez. A lot to breakdown here, Boris, what more can you tell us about Giuliani's message today?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey there Pam. Yes, Rudy Giuliani touring the Sunday morning talk shows. He essentially echoed what was in this letter sent from the president's team through the special counsel. He said that he agreed with about 80% of it and he zeroed in on one portion specifically what you were talking about the president theoretical constitutional right to end any investigation, even one into himself.

The president's legal team writing that in that letter to the special counsel that, "If he wished, he could terminate the inquiry or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired." Giuliani also argued that the president could potentially pardon himself, though, he again said that that was just in theory, something that he was not likely to do. Here's more from the president's attorney.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Do you and the president's attorneys believe the president has the power to pardon himself?

GIULIANI: He's not, but he probably does. He has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably does. It doesn't say he can't. I mean that there's another into really interesting constitutional argument, can the president pardon himself? The president of the United States pardoning himself would just be unthinkable, and it would lead to probably an immediate impeachment.

You know, you get your House, now the Senate be under tremendous pressure. President Trump has no need to do that. He didn't do anything wrong. This is a terrible investigation.


SANCHEZ: Giuliani also argued that a possible remedy for the situation the president is in is to have a court or a judge ultimately decide that the Russia investigation is illegitimate, something that he says the president is reserving the right to do, Pamela.

BROWN: And what about these tweets on Paul Manafort today? What is the president bringing up in these tweets, Boris?

SANCHEZ: Yes. Essentially the president is trying to put some distance between himself and his former campaign chairman. Here's what he wrote via Twitter. The president writing, "As only one of two people who could become president, why wouldn't the FBI or Department of Justice have told me that they were secretly investigation Paul Manafort on charges that were 10 years old and then previously been dropped during my campaign, should have told me."

The president then went on. "Paul Manafort came into the campaign very late and was with us for a short period of time. He represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many others over the years, but we should have been told that Comey and the boys were doing a number on him, and he wouldn't have been hired."

Of course timing is an issue with the president's claim. It has been widely reported including by the Wall Street Journal that the surveillance warrant into Paul Manafort wasn't branded until he had left the Trump campaign. So surveillance on him didn't begin until late August of 2016.

Further, the president's claim that he was only with the campaign for a very short amount of time and he started with them late doesn't really pass muster considering that he was with the campaign through the national convention and also took part in that controversial meeting at Trump Tower with Russians in June of 2016 that Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner attended as well, Pamela.

BROWN: Yes. He was certainly a key player in the campaign even if it was for a short period time. Boris Sanchez thank you so much.

And joining me now to discuss all of this are CNN Political Commentators Dave Davidson who is also a Democratic Strategist and John Thomas who is a GOP consultant. Also with us today CNN Contributor Larry Noble, Former General Counsel at the FEC. Larry, I want to start with you. Giuliani said this morning that the president probably does have the power to pardon himself, even though he did say that's not going to happen. Is that true? Can he pardon himself if he wanted to?

LARRY NOBLE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, this is one of the serious questions we have. You know, there are those who think he can. I'm not sure he can pardon himself. But in the past presidents have tried we try to avoid this, and we tried to avoid these constitutional crises.

You know, we have three branches of government. The Executive, the Judiciary, and Congress -- legislative branch. It's the executive branch that enforces the law.

What the president is saying it is that if he can pardon himself cancel or if he can just cancel an investigation, ended an investigation he's above the law because the executive branch is the branch that enforces the law so he can try to pardon himself. He can try to cancel an investigation.

[15:05:17] And then what happens? Congress can possibly impeach him. But who enforces that?

You know, he's really heading us towards a constitutional crisis that, you know, that we don't want, and frankly, democracy can't really work if people are going to constantly test the various powers and say, I'm going to use all the powers I can possibly have under the constitution. One of the beauties of our constitution is it does leave open some room for growth and for disagreements, but you don't want to constantly test it.

BROWN: In fact to the panelist you say he's heading to this towards a constitutional crisis. That's a pretty big statement to make. What do you mean by that?

NOBLE: Well, you know, what we have here is testing the powers of the Executive against the other branches of government. If he says, I'm going to pardon myself, that if he says I'm going to --

BROWN: And to be clear, he hasn't -- and he hasn't said that. The memo raised the question of whether that's what they were considering. Giuliani says that's not going to happen, but go ahead.

NOBLE: Right. But what they're doing is they're raising the question, could he pardon himself? And if you're going to do that, then -- and Giuliani then says, well, if he did that, he'd be impeached.

You know, at that point already, you are at a point where the constitution -- you're going to the base level of the constitution of what happens. What happens then if constitution doesn't impeach you? What happens if Republicans decided they're not going to impeach?

Then he sits there and says, I can do anything I want because I can't be criminally prosecuted or if I am, I can pardon myself and nobody can do anything about it. And that is a far reach of government at that point and that is a constitutional crisis.

You know, Clinton worked out a deal in terms of whether he would testify, you know, Nixon ultimately resigned. You know, we have tried to avoid these things, and the president seems to be saying all power resides in him when it comes to his enforcing the law and his complying with the law.

BROWN: And didn't end it the 20-page memo the lawyers make this argument that the president cannot obstruct justice. Here's what a Former New Jersey Governor, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, said about that.


CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FMR NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: And you could tell any time that Rudy didn't agree with something, he said, I'll have to ask John about that and go back to John Dowd. It's in outrageous claim, its wrong. They were trying to make a broad argument, lawyers do that all the time in briefs even to court. And then I've seen that happen many times. In the end, cooler heads prevail.


BROWN: John, your reaction to that?

JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. The idea of Trump pardoning himself, I think is completely ridiculous. And you could see that Giuliani even said so, that the -- even if and that's a big if the legal argument held, the court of public opinion would kick Trump out of office so quickly here.

And the broader obstruction argument, I mean that is one of the key things that the Trump team is laying their hat on is. Look, this guy, when the firing of Comey, was doing what's in the scope of his job and you cant -- there are, yes, perhaps are thin arguments to say there might be obstruction, but by and large, if this -- if you hold the president accountable criminally for things that are well within the scope of his job, it opens up a much bigger challenge for all elected officials and future presidents.

BROWN: But this is something that really hasn't been tested in the courts the obstruction, the statutes intersecting with what the president is allowed to do under the constitution, and while it is under the jurisdiction under the constitution to fire and hire whoever he wants. What about if there was corruption intent? All of this is sort of being raised with this investigation, Dave, and it does make you wonder if you look at the legal arguments laid out here in this 20-page memo, the broad interpretation of the constitution, how important is it, how much weight does it carry given multiple months have passed since it was given to Mueller's team?

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look I think it adds credence to the importance that we have equal branches of government and it is incumbent upon the Congress to hold the president accountable. And if that means impeachment, then so be it. But going back to your earlier conversation about whether or not the president can pardon himself, I'm not surprised that Rudy Giuliani actually responded in the way that he did, precisely because it was Donald Trump on the campaign trail back in 2016 who said he can go out on 5th Avenue and shoot somebody on the street and he wouldn't lose any votes. This is a president who has the mentality that he can do no wrong, even if it means committing a crime, perhaps he can pardon himself and rid himself of any potential prosecution.

BROWN: John, do you agree with that?

THOMAS: No. That's absurd, Dave. His own attorney just admitted.

JACOBSON: I'm just throwing that Donald Trump words right I get it John.

THOMAS: I understand, but his own attorney admitted that that very court of public opinion would be the one that would throw Donald Trump out of office. So --

BROWN: OK. Really quite --

THOMAS: -- they'll put that very hold.

BROWN: -- I wanted to make sure you responded to that. I also wanted to get your reaction to what Giuliani said on this new development this morning. Take a listen.


GIULIANI: I mean this is the reason you don't let the president testify.

[15:10:07] If, you know, every -- all recollection keeps changing or we're not even asked the question. And somebody makes an assumption. In my case, I made an assumption. Then I -- then we corrected and I got it right out as soon at it happen. I think that's what happened here.


BROWN: Our recollection keeps changing. Larry, is he helping, hurting his client? What's your take on this?

NOBLE: I don't think he's helping his client but he has a very difficult client. And I think one of the true things he said today is that probably all the lawyers working for Trump don't want him to testify and Trump want to testify.

This I think they know that it's not just a normal case when somebody testifies they can be caught up in something, it's that Trump seems to say whatever he wants whenever it comes to his mind. And his -- we know that he lie, that he says things are just let me untrue and he knows are untrue. So when you have a client like that, you don't want him to testify. You know, I think Giuliani is kind of calmed down a little bit. I do think it was odd that he said that he -- so that he present things when he first started that he didn't really know the facts when he was talking about a statement made in the memo that turned out not to be true. And he said, well, you know, the lawyers just get started, they don't know the facts.

BROWN: Are you talking about the Stormy Daniels statement he made?

NOBLE: No, the statement about whether or not -- Sekulow's statement about whether or not Trump knew about the letter --

BROWN: The dictated the statement that then at this memo that said he did dictate even though Jay Sekulow --

NOBLE: Right.

BROWN: OK. Wanted to clarify. Yes.

NOBLE: Right. And so originally Sekulow said that the president didn't have any involvement with that. Now he's saying that yes, in fact, he did dictate it. And Giuliani's response to that is that, well, the lawyers say things early on when they get involved in a case and they don't necessarily know the facts.

I don't know that to be true. I've been a lawyer for 40 years. You know, I don't go out there and say things about my client, factual statements, when I haven't talked to my client and I don't know the facts. So that seems to be majority, it's not helping the president.

BROWN: Yes. And on five occasions, Jay Sekulow and Sarah Sanders said he did not dictate. Now in this memo it says he did.

All right. Larry Noble, Dave Jacobson, John Thomas stick around, more to discuss. I do appreciate your input.

Well, tariffs and talk of a possible trade war has a few top Republicans pushing back against the president. What happens when some lawmakers in the president's own party turn their back on his policies? We'll discuss, up next.


[15:16:40] BROWN: Well, from immigration, the tariffs, Republican members of Congress are rejecting some of president's recent policy moves. Take this example from Senator John McCain, the long time Republican tweeting, "I strongly support the bipartisan effort in the House to file a discharge petition to reopen the debate on immigration reform and bring up our USA act for a vote." Very different message from the White House. In the last month the administration announced it would end deportation expectations for nearly 90,000 Hondurans and call for immigrant parents to be separated from their children.

Joining me now to discuss CNN political commentator, Dave Jacobson and John Thomas. Good to see you both again gentlemen. John, starting with you this time. Senator McCain is obviously well respected. So when he talks, people do seem to listen. What do you make of this immigration debate happening within the GOP?

THOMAS: Well, the only real voices that you're hearing speak against the president are the consistent voices that have always spoken against the president. This really isn't anything new. And as much as Senator McCain and Jeff Flake and Bob Corker want to protest against the president, as John Boehner said earlier this week, the Republican Party is the party of Trump right now.

Trump's approvals within the base are sky high. I don't think Senator McCain and others are going to get any traction driving against the president's agenda. He just has too much momentum from with his -- within his own party.

And furthermore, it's all about these senators and Congress people's reelections and when you start to look at these generic ballots that are tightening. It's largely to due because of President Trump and his agenda. So, I don't think you're going to see between now and midterms any Republicans in any meaningful way buck the president.

BROWN: And Dave, Democrats have tried, they failed to get the bipartisan support they need for this issue. Do you think more Republican will break with Trump?

JACOBSON: I think it's plausible and I agree, John, it is because of the Trump agenda that over 40 Republicans are leaving the House of Representatives and the Senate. They're retiring because they're fed up with Donald Trump's cruel and unusual punishment towards immigrants, towards working people, towards our environment. The bottom line is this is a president who is injected chaos across Washington and he has refused to find common ground with Democrats to get anything done.

We need, by the way, overwhelmingly in poll after poll, the vast majority of Americans, upwards of 90%, believe in comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. It's Donald Trump and his hard line extremist Republicans who refuse to compromise when many of those moderate Republicans would sign the deal compromising the Democrats to get something done.

BROWN: All right, quickly John, I want you to respond and then I want to go on to what McCarthy says. Go ahead.

THOMAS: Trump's position immigration is so in line with the base for the Republican Party. I just don't see this moving at all. And Dave is not wrong.

This is -- there are strong feelings on both sides of the aisle on here, but I just don't see any significant shift toward a more moderate approach on immigration, especially in light of how the jobs numbers are coming out in it. Trump has all the momentum on that argument. I don't think Senator McCain does.

BROWN: And of course there's immigration, there's trade, tariffs on steel and aluminum are alienating some of the U.S.'s strongest allies and not all Republicans are on the same page here. Here's House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy on this.


KEVIN MCCARTHY (R), MAJORITY LEADER: We believe in free trade but we believe in fair trade. The president is standing up. Think about every country around this world would agree with us. Even the E.U. that's why they entered the WTO complaint against China on the set of I.P.

[15:20:13] I think what we're finding here is we're in the middle of the trade discussion, nobody wants to be in the trade war, nobody wins the trade war, but we're standing up for the process of where we're moving forward that we have fair trade.

If you're talking about Canada, look what they do when it comes to our dairy products. Look what it -- our wine cannot sit in their supermarkets. I think this is a discussion trying to finalize the NAFTA agreement going through on renegotiations, and you're just in the middle of it.

BROWN: All right. So you have that and then you have Senator Bob Corker tweeting this that he's working with Republicans to push back on the president. Why such a disconnect among Republicans there, John, on this issue?

THOMAS: Well, first of all, there are the folks that -- well, let me just back up. This has been a consistent with what Trump has said since he started running for office.

I mean that's been consistent, and I think the majority leader is also correct in the sense that this is the beginning of a negotiation, and rule number one we are negotiating is you have to be willing to walk away. You have to be willing to take a hard position. I think that's what Trump is doing here, he's anchoring out.

But this issue of trade has been -- there's been some conflicting between more establishment Republicans and others consistently. That's why you also see the divisions on issues of immigration, because a lot of Republicans feel that giving amnesty essentially provides cheap labor where for other Republicans to get hurts Americans.

BROWN: All right. Dave, final word to you on this.

JACOBSON: I'm just generally baffled by this. I mean I don't think there is the vast majority of Republicans in congress that agree with the president. The fact to the matter is you take a country and such a staunch ally like Canada who in 2016 the U.S. had a $12 billion trade surplus with, and you scratch your head wondering why we're creating a trade war with one of our closest allies, a country that has soldiers joining forces with ours on the ground in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, risking their lives to protect democracy around the world. And so, I get the president's harsh tone with China, a currency manipulator, and I agree with you, John that he actually campaign on that issue. But against Canada, I didn't see it in 2016.

BROWN: All right. Dave Jacobson, John Thomas, thank you both gentlemen.

THOMAS: Thanks Pam.

JACOBSON: Thank you.

BROWN: And still to come on this Sunday, an unofficial cease-fire fire shuttered along the Gaza Israeli border. Live report from Gaza city, up next.


[15:27:04] BROWN: Two large explosions rocked Gaza today as Israel launched retaliatory strikes against Hamas military positions. It came after militant launched several projectiles in the Israel at least two which Israel says we're intercepted.

The attack apparently leaving an unofficial ceasefire in shambles. CNN's Ian Lee is in Gaza and Ian is there any indication that the attacks from either side will continue?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, that's the one thing we're going to be watching this evening. A lot of the times these mortars or rockets are fired from the Gaza strip at night. And then we see these retaliatory air strikes by Israel also at night.

You know, those two explosions you mentioned happened just about a half mile behind me in the early morning hours. Actually here at our hotel, we could feel them shake the building once they occurred. We haven't heard of anyone being injured in these air strikes.

A lot of times these are what they call real estate bombing, going after training camps or other areas that Hamas and other militant groups operate, to hit them knowing most of the time that no one is there, but it sends a message that they are being watched.

You know, this is a break in the ceasefire that was agreed to last Tuesday after one of the most violent days we've seen in Gaza since the 2014 war. Over 100 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel and Israel responded with over 60 air strikes.

Now, it is tense tonight. So there are a lot of people are waiting with anticipation. Will there be more air strikes?

You know, this latest round was after a Palestinian medic was killed along the border with Gaza and Israel. There was -- fired into Israel for that and Israel struck back. You know, really, this always has the potential, Pamela, to escalate further.

BROWN: All right. Ian Lee in Gaza City. Thank you so much for bringing us the latest from there. Well, meantime President Clinton talks about President Trump and nothing is off limit. Clinton stops on the Trump's tweets, his media coverage, and his own impeachment.


[15:33:51] BROWN: Former President Bill Clinton is weighing in on President Trump's use of Twitter, the media coverage of Trump and his own impeachment. Clinton discussing those issues during a wide region interview CBS for he was promoting a new novel that he co-authord.

But Clinton called his impeachment unpleasant, but says he knew it wouldn't succeed. He also reacted to Democratic New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand who recently said, "Clinton should have step down because of his affair with Monica Lewinsky."


MO ROCCA, CBS ANCHOR: What did you think six months ago when Senator Gillenbrand said, "He should have resigned?"

BILL CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I just disagree with her. I mean, I think, you know just -- you have to really ignore what the context was. But, you know, she is living in a different context and she did it for different reasons, so I -- but I just disagree with her.


BROWN: And joining me now to discuss this and more is CNN Presidential Historian, Tim Naftali, great to see you, Tim.


BROWN: So, if the Clinton-Lewinsky affair had happened during the current MeToo Movement, what do you think? Do you think he would have been forced to step down?

NAFTALI: Well, that's a great question. And I think that political, the political culture of today might have led to that.

[15:35:11] I want to remind everyone that in the late 1990s when the Lewinsky scandal emerged, people were wrestling with the legacy of the Nixon administration and wondering, you know, Nixon, there were lots of reasons to impeach Richard Nixon, and the question was, are we going to set a precedent by actually impeaching a man for what was a violation of the law but wasn't a constitutional violation. And that was what the conversation was about in the late '90s.

There was also concern about some national security threats in the United States. So, that context is important in keeping in mind why Bill Clinton didn't resign. Now it's a different time.

BROWN: It's a different time. And in terms of media coverage, I want to talk about that, Tim, because he responded to the media coverage of President Trump. Here is what he said when asked if he thought the President has been fair to Trump.


CLINTON: I think they have tried, by and large, to cover this investigation based on the facts. I think if roles were reversed, and this is me just talking based on my experience, if there were a Democratic president and these facts were present, most people on the Washington believe an impeachment hearing would have begun already.

ROCCA: If there were a Democrat in power right now?

CLINTON: Yes. And most believe now believe that the press would have been that hard or harder. But these are serious issues.


BROWN: Do you agree with him that the press would have been that hard or harder if there were a Democratic president under investigation for something similar and that that person would be impeached?

NAFTALI: Pamela, you don't have to be a democratic partisan to assume that impeachment hearings or very strong congressional hearings would have started almost immediately if Hillary Clinton had won the election.

And there was very good reporting about chatter among leaders, Republican leaders in the early days of November 2016 when it looked like Hillary Clinton would win, that they were preparing for major investigations of her once she took the oath of office. So, they don't have to conspi -- a Democratic conspiracy theories to see that this would be a tough time for a Clinton presidency, no doubt.

BROWN: But what about Democrats though? And there are investigations, of course, on President Trump. There were -- was one in the House and the Senate on the Russia, you know, investigation. But what about this in general he's making the point of a Democratic president. It would be different.

NAFTALI: Well, I think I -- I think he is -- I can't get it in his mind, Pamela, but I think he's winking and nodding and taking about this -- about Hillary Clinton. There was no other, I mean, the point here is that we are in a very partisan moment.

But we saw a lot of evidence in November, early November of 2016 that the gears were -- that Republicans were gearing up the system to be -- to use Congress against the President Clinton. And I think that's what the former President Clinton was alluding to.

BROWN: All right, Tim Naftali, thank you so much.

NAFTALI: Thank you.

BROWN: And just ahead on the Sunday, a risky ultimatum for many Salvadorians in the U.S. either stay and hide in here or be deported and possibly face death in their country.

The CNN exclusive, up next.


[15:43:00] BROWN: Immigrants in the United States from El Salvador face a dark reality if they are deported. For some, they forced back into a country they hardly know after decades in the U.S. And in some cases don't even have anyone to meet them.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has an exclusive look at the grim life that awaits those returning to El Salvador.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice-over): Someone is murdered here every two hours. One in 10 people ensnared by gangs, streets played by machete killings, rape and police abuses. Welcome to El Salvador, the cruellest of homelands and the toughest of places to be forced back to.

These are the first moments of men deported from the United States back to a land they can't really call home anymore. Blinking, sleepless and now homeless to some of the 200,000 Salvadorans deported from their long term homes in the United States due under President Trump's immigration crackdown.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We cannot let people enter our country. We have no idea of who they, what they do, where they came from. We don't know if they are murderers, if they are killers, if they are MS-13. We're throwing them out by the hundreds.

WALSH (on camera): Many here had a matter of hour's notice, no chance even to call ahead as they're forced back to a country, some have not seen for years, maybe even decades.

(voice-over): Welcome home here is about name tags, humiliating roll calls. Lacing your shoes again and realizing as a grown man you have to start from zero again, empty-handed.

Christian Lara lived in the USA for 20 years, almost deported coming out to his Florida construction job, he had only committed immigration offenses. The best choice now is a $5 a day farm job.

CHRISTIAN LARA PINEDA, SALVADORIAN DEPORTEE: I have to work a lot to earn $5, but how can I support my family with only $5.

[15:45:12] WALSH: He doesn't know when or if he'll see his family again.

(on-camera): And so, what are your daughters' names?

PINEDA: Jennifer.

WALSH: Sorry?

PINEDA: Jennifer.

WALSH: Jennifer. How old?

PINEDA: Twelve.

WALSH: Twelve.

PINEDA: And another one of three years.

WALSH: Three years. What's her name?

PINEDA: She's my little baby, Angela.

WALSH: I'm sorry, my friend.

(voice-over): Oscar is more complicated. He's 20. Went to America at age 10 and served four months for assault and bodily harm in Houston. Yet back here, he trembles.

(on-camera): Are you scared of the gangs here now?


WALSH: Are you scared afraid you'll end up involved and caught up in that?

FLORES: When I was in the USA, I see the news like 16 people killed every day. It's scaring me man.

WALSH (voice-over): He's already counting the money in his account to see if he has enough for the $8,000 smuggling fee back to the U.S.

Christian meets his mother after four years and recently deported brother Hosway, (ph). Early two weeks later, Hosway messages me on his way to Guatemala to pay to be smuggled back the United States.

Forty-eight hours passed since we meet Christian and Oscar in which there are two beheadings, over 20 murders and a policeman is killed.

(on camera): It's no accident that these elite police come here, a large number heavily armed. This is a gang-controlled area, and literally streets away from where Oscar is beginning his new life back in El Salvador.

(voice-over): Oscar agrees to meet us again. He's has two nights in his new home, but it took just four hours for the gang to approach him.

FLORES: MS-13, they take my shirt down. And I tell him, "What you doing, man?" "I want to check if you've got tattoos on your body." "OK, I don't have any tattoos on my body, all right."

WALSH: Because he is looking to see if you have body writing or the other way, right?


WALSH: And this is your first few hours back at home, right? What are you thinking?

It's all right, it's all right.

FLORES: Man, I don't want to live here. I'll be leaving here, man.

WALSH: His dad didn't want to know him.

FLORES: He looked like I'm a shit, man. He looked like, "Why you coming round to my house man?"

WALSH: And this is what falling down here looks like in the crammed prisons that a gang playgrounds where Oscar, his family and the U.S., frankly, hope he doesn't end up. Where gang culture bruise and hardens and tattoos and no opportunities unavoidably lead. Petty theft in California led to deportation for Edwin and now jail.

EDWIN, PRISONER: Here in this country, just because you have tattoos, gangs automatically think that you a member of some gang or you have been part of a gang. So, here it's different. I mean, a little kid can take your life away.

If you don't talk to them, you are their enemy. And if you talk to them, then they want you to be part of them.

WALSH: Some deportees from the United stated have committed crimes others none by being in the U.S. illegally or come back to a world where their desperation and vulnerability and to reach the gangs have on their new world deepens further still El Salvador's chaos.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, San Salvador.



[15:53:47] BROWN: Well, tonight on CNN, W. Kamau Bell is back with an all new episode of "United Shades of America." This week, Kamau head to some of countries top historically black colleges and universities to explore their historical significance and the important role they continue to play today. Here's a preview.


W. KAMAU BELL, CNN "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" HOST: The main tribute talk whenever HBCU is coming up, there's that talking point of why, you know, why do we still have HBCU, how come we don't have white color? If I had a white color, that would be racist. Can you speak to that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the anxiety white people have is that there's a place that black people can access that they can't. To some, we can do -- you do the recap, yes, yes.

BELL: But the truth is, white people go to HBCU's.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. BELL: My first day is we have some white people walk around, white people (INAUDIBLE), white people with cars (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The truth is, white people have access and they choose not to go because they don't want to go to places that are marked as black.

BELL: yes, yes, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's OK. But it's also OK for us to want to go to those places.

BELL: Now, you wrote an article a while ago about popularity of HBCU is on the decline?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a conversation behind about what it means for people to choose HBCUs now or 50 years ago. You know, post civil rights, you now have a choice to go somewhere else.

So the decline at HBCU use from the -- in some way is connected not to people believing less in the HBCUs, but for simply the landscape have changed.

BELL: There are more choices.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe in black people. So, I believe that there will be HBCU's as long as there are black people in America.


[15:55:13] BROWN: And W. Kamau Bell joins me now. Great to see you.

BELL: Good to see you, thanks for having me.

BROWN: So, tell us a little bit more about the origins of HBCUs and their historical importance to the black community?

BELL: I mean, HBCU's were founded for one reason that black people were not allowed to go to the institutions of higher education in this country. So black people, a lot of times, they -- some founded their own like Wilberforce University, or white people who had privilege and means would give -- with -- sort of start these institutions using their money.

So, it was a time where, you know, post labor where black people wanted to educate themselves but could not go to what they call PWI, predominantly white institutions.

BROWN: But despite their deep history, some people question now the need for HBCUs today, why do you think that they still have an important and significant role to play in the 21st century?

BELL: I mean, all you have to do is pay attention to the news that's going around recently, whether it's the black woman at Yale who had the cops called for her for sleeping in a common area at Yale, or you get the black men at Starbucks who had the cops called on them for loitering. Black people in this area are realizing, we don't -- we can't be safe in places that white people can be safe.

At HBCU, you're not going to get the cops called you if you're sleeping in a common area, you're not going to have the cops calling you for loitering on a coffee shop for two minutes. These are place where black people can go and not just focused on their blackness, but actually focus on themselves, their education.

I have two -- I'm about to have three black daughters, my wife is due soon, and when I think about my daughters going to college, of course that would be where I would want them to go because they can just be themselves at an all black women's school.

BROWN: So you feel like it's a safer place for them to be?

And what's some of -- what's interesting in what you're -- the story you're doing on some of the campuses you visited, there are big pushes being made to be more inclusive, especially when it comes to LGBTQ students, right?

BELL: Yes. I mean, I think there's a narrative around the black that we're somehow more homophobic than other communities. And I think that's not true, generally. And also, it's important for us to show that that's not true, by like at Spelman, they have a student who's there to represent the voice of the LGBT students that we talked to in tonight's episode.

And I want to be clear on something, not only HBCUs is safe place, there are also the places where they have -- they turn out more black medical students, more black professionals, more black doctors than other institute, than other PWI's. So, they're not just safe place, but they're also really places that you can get really highly educated.

BROWN: Of course, that's an important point to make.

Some of these struggling -- some of these schools are struggling to maintain enrollment and manage budget crises, why is that happening, do you think? What needs to be done to reverse that trend?

BELL: I think the HBCU's need to work harder to put their -- put to say the things that I'm saying right now, to put that message out in the world. I think there's an idea by some black people, including myself when I went to college that we don't necessarily need those because we can go to any school we want to, well, that's clearly, we can, but it doesn't mean you're going to get the same level of education or the same level of respect.

So I think HBCUs can do a lot sort of turn that narrative out there and let people know that they're providing a very specific service that is different from going to PWI for black people or any race of person who wants to go there.

BROWN: And you're pretty open in the episode about how when you were preparing to go to college, you wondered if you'd fit in an HBCU, why was that? And did you feel differently after filming this episode? BELL: Yes. I mean, I think really misunderstood them on a basic level. Much like me if people on Twitter who were talking about the episode right now. I just saw them as a place where maybe super black people went, or super professional black people went, and not really a place where like a blur like myself to go or a black bohemian or black weirdo. They're really open to the full spectrum of black people, because when you're surrounded by other black people, you can really focus on your own individual needs and not feel your blackness as oppression on an everyday level.

So, I think that -- I think that looking back now which I know more about them, I dropped out of college after my sophomore -- in the middle of my sophomore year, I don't know that I would have done that if I gone to Moore House or Clark or one of these other schools.

BROWN: And is there anything else that you think is important for people to watch this episode and learn from?

BELL: You know, I think there's -- we talk about this new episode. Angela Rye is on the episode, that you saw Mark Hill (ph) is on the episode, there's really a sense that as Americans we need to stop looking as blacks that was being sort of second class stuff. And we really work hard in the episode to say, "This stuff isn't second class to the PWI's, the white institutions, it's just an alternative."

And I think that the more that we can accept that. I think there's a narrative again, like the black stuff is second class to American stuff. And I think that's just sort of paints a picture, no, black stuff is just an alternative to the other things.

BROWN: All right. W. Kamau Bell, thank you so much. Be sure to catch an all new "United Shades of America" tonight at 10 right here on CNN.

And we have much more just ahead the newsroom and it all starts right now.

Hello, thank you so much for being here with me on this Sunday, I'm Pamela Brown, in for Fredericka Whitfield. A lot to cover any moment now.