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Trump Holds Celebration; Sadler Leaves White House; Sarah Sanders Questioned over Statement; Separating Parents and Children at Border; Aired 8:30-9:00a ET
Aired June 6, 2018 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Agencies consider a security threat. The revelation raises new concerns about how FaceBook protects user's privacy.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Check out this. A man driving a stolen armored military vehicle taking police on a wild chase in Virginia. The driver identified as a U.S. soldier. He eventually surrendered and was arrested.
BERMAN: Oh, my.
All right, for more on the "Five Things to Know," and I want to know more about that --
CAMEROTA: I will look into that for you.
BERMAN: Go to cnn.com/newday for the very latest.
CAMEROTA: OK. Sources tell CNN that President Trump's battle with the NFL will be hitting the campaign trail. So we will ask his counsellor, Kellyanne Conway, about that, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We stand to honor our military and to honor our country and to remember the fallen heroes who never made it back home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: That's President Trump at the White House celebration of America. That was the event that was originally supposed to honor the Philadelphia Eagles' Super Bowl victory before the president uninvited the team.
Joining me now to talk about this and much more, White House counsellor to the president, Kellyanne Conway.
[08:35:02] Kellyanne, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It's nice to be with you, John, and congratulations on your new assignment.
BERMAN: Very nice of you to say.
Kellyanne, are you still an Eagles fan?
CONWAY: Of course. I'm so thrilled that the Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII. A lifelong family. Born in Camden, New Jersey, over the river. Married in Philadelphia. Season ticket holder. And, you know, I'm old enough to remember sitting out at Veteran Stadium season after season when they didn't do so well. And I went to the Super Bowl against your Patriots in 2005 and went this year as well. And I'm very happy -- I'm very happy that the Eagles won the Super Bowl and I'm very happy that yesterday here on the South Lawn hundreds and hundreds of Americans joined the president in celebrating America. I think both things can be applauded.
BERMAN: I like the 2005 result better, let me just stipulate that.
Kellyanne, just so I understand the president's position, he says it is unpatriotic for players to kneel during the national anthem, even though no Eagles kneeled during the anthem during the regular season or playoffs last year?
CONWAY: Right. So let's not conflate a couple different things here. Let's unpack that separately. The president has made clear for about a year now, almost a year now, John, that he believes it's a very simple request to have everybody standing for the national anthem, hand over heart, celebrating all that the flag stands for.
Separately, the president sees that the NFL came out with its own policy. If you read the NFL policy, and I have, I've practically memorized it, that is a condition of employment they're making on their players and their clubs. That has nothing to do with the White House and the president. They -- it just seems like they have a similar agreement on if you're, if you're on the field, you must stand for the national anthem. The NFL has said, as recently as two weeks ago --
BERMAN: But, to be clear -- but to be clear --
CONWAY: They said that if you're out there and you're not standing, the team will be fined. You don't need to be out there. You can be in the locker room.
BERMAN: And to that last point -- to that last point, the president has also suggested very recently that being in the locker room is not enough. Staying in the locker room is unpatriotic. Is that his position?
CONWAY: Well, you like to use words like "unpatriotic," like you like to use other words that don't describe accurately the state of mind or state of play, so I will push back on that.
But I think the president's made a very simple request. He has just said that he believes you should stand for the flag and honor all that it means. That is different from what happened here. What happened here is that I think because of this new NFL policy, folks are digesting it. It has nothing to do with us. Folks or digesting that. And the Eagles had already sort of sent in dozens and dozens of officials and players to come for the celebration and then that number was reduced and the president decided he didn't want to -- the number that he focused on is the number of Eagles fans who had already been waved in and secured here to come to the White House. He didn't want to disappoint them. We were told many of them were already in town. So rather than doubly disappoint Eagles fans, the president decide that they were all still invited, those who wanted to and could still come, and to celebrate America. And I think it's very fitting. The night before that, the president and the first lady honored the gold star families. Those families who have made --
BERMAN: And that was a wonderful -- that was a wonderful event.
CONWAY: And today is D-day. So if we want to talk about the wonders of the military, we could do that.
BERMAN: We have -- we will -- you know, D-day, the president hasn't -- the president has yet to comment -- the president, by the way, has yet to comment on D-day. I'm sure he will at some point today, but often by this time he's commented on -- on the Russia investigation or other things.
CONWAY: But, John, the issues -- also, the issues that attend to those who are -- those who are perhaps protesting in their own way the national anthem, we can talk about those issues here at the White House. We've given so many different individuals and issues a platform, a hearing, a roundtable discussion, legislation, regulation -- in other words, this is a very open White House to different points of view.
BERMAN: But, in this instance -- but, in this instance, Kellyanne, the president is telling athletes the way he believes they can and can't raise objections. He has said --
CONWAY: No, the NFL is saying that.
BERMAN: Well, OK, but the president -- the president told --
CONWAY: That's a condition of their employment.
BERMAN: The president told the NFL that they should get those SOBs off the field. That's how this started with that --
CONWAY: Last year.
BERMAN: Last year he did and then this year he said in a Twitter statement yesterday or the day before that it's not enough just to stay in the locker room. He is saying, in his mind, you've got to go out, you've got to stand up, you've got to put your hand over your heart, as you just said. He is saying what he thinks they have to do. Just -- I'm not wrong about that, right?
CONWAY: And the problem with that is what? No, just so we're clear, and the problem with the president of the United States and the commander in chief expressing that opinion is exactly what? The NFL has its own opinion. Some players have their own opinions. And I think that you haven't given enough coverage to, respectfully, the number of Eagles' players who -- who do stand there --
CONWAY: With their hand over the heart.
BERMAN: Just -- I just want to say, when we decide -- when we decide --
CONWAY: And a number of Eagles players who voted for Donald Trump.
BERMAN: I'm sure there are Eagles players who voted for Donald Trump.
CONWAY: Let alone the fans.
BERMAN: And Nick Foles wanted to come to the White House. We made that clear over the last day.
I just -- again, this is the issue of who gets to decide what is patriotic. And some people are making light of the fact --
BERMAN: No, no, it is in a way because the president has said it doesn't honor the troops. That's patriotism. The president has said that. So he is deciding what he thinks is patriotic. And there are people who have looked at him yesterday not singing along with "God Bless America" and that may seem trite but there are others who say, look, maybe it's not patriotic enough if you don't sing all the words to "God Bless America." Who's to say?
[08:40:12] CONWAY: I saw your earlier segment and I -- I think a little bit -- well, speaking of unseemly, you didn't need to write that segment, that chyron, the way you did, but you like to. There's a lot of snark and bark coming toward us at this White House.
BERMAN: Look, it --
CONWAY: I think it's unfortunate. But if it's the only time today that God and America are in a chyron on CNN, I guess we'll take it.
But the fact is, John, that this president, he's the commander in chief. He makes decisions every day that effect peoples' lives, including, if not particularly, in the military. He takes very seriously the sacrifice that tens of thousands -- hundreds of thousands of people have made, some of them the ultimate sacrifice, over time, and doesn't think --
BERMAN: And, of course, this is D-day.
CONWAY: By the way, I just want to make very clear, yes, it is D-day. I mentioned that.
BERMAN: Yes. CONWAY: And talk about, you know, real heroes, John, this is very simple. The president is not --
BERMAN: Well, can I just say, I want -- I want -- I actually want --
CONWAY: But the president is not telling the Philadelphia Eagles, the NFL or any of us what to wear, what to think, how to be, how to spend your charitable time, what to do in the off-season. He's basically making a very simple request that when the national anthem is played at a sporting event, people stand and people respect that. And I know everybody's saying, but nobody kneed, nobody -- they're obviously are some hurt feelings over the new policy, the timing and its content.
BERMAN: Kellyanne -- Kellyanne, he did -- he did say -- he did say staying in the locker room is (INAUDIBLE). He is telling people how to behave during that time.
I do want to move on to a subject --
CONWAY: He's telling people how he feels.
BERMAN: And here's the thing, is that the reason -- another aspect of this is, we're talking about this, to an extent, because of what the president is saying about it and we're not talking about the economy. And you --
CONWAY: No, no, you're not talking about the economy. We certainly are.
BERMAN: You've got -- no, no, no -- no, no, no, the president isn't when he's talking about the anthem and you're not right now. So I want to ask you about the economy and (INAUDIBLE) --
CONWAY: Well, I'm not talking about the economy because I'm on CNN and you don't talk about the economy very much.
BERMAN: Talk about it. Talk about the economy.
CONWAY: Yes, I'd like to.
BERMAN: We -- well, look, no, we did the jobs number when they came in.
CONWAY: This would be prefect (ph).
BERMAN: We had Stephen Moore, the economic adviser to the campaign, on to talk about how good those numbers were.
CONWAY: That's good. He's a smart guy and I'm glad you had him on.
But you should be -- respectfully, you should have screaming graphics about lowest unemployment rate ever for African-Americans, for Hispanics, for teens ever -- or within the last 18 or 19 years, for women. The job seekers, the job creators and also the job holders have all benefitted from this president's leadership. We have 6.7 million available jobs right now, John. That is a historic number. It's an incredible number.
BERMAN: It's -- it's a lot. It's a big number. "The Wall Street Journal" reporting today the number is -- the number is actually more than the people looking for jobs --
CONWAY: And it's a big number and -- that's right.
BERMAN: Which is the first time since 2000. That's a great number too.
CONWAY: That's right, which means -- which means that job security and job availability go hand in hand.
BERMAN: Were the job --
CONWAY: Because that's -- that's --
BERMAN: Were the job creation numbers at the end of the Obama -- you've created an average of 185,000 --
CONWAY: Those were 3 million jobs.
BERMAN: $185,000 a month since you've come into office. The Obama administration, the last 16 months, $215,000. Were those numbers as good in your mind?
CONWAY: Well, John, we -- was that the lowest unemployment rate among African-American, Hispanics and 19 years for women?
BERMAN: No. No. But it was headed that way. I'm just talking about job creation. I'm just talking about job creation.
CONWAY: No, of course not. Was that the -- no, it wasn't headed that way. But it's the second time this hour you've mentioned President Obama. President Trump is in the White House now. He's here and he, over the last year, has made an economy that is booming. The confidence numbers alone, consumer confidence, small business creation confidence --
BERMAN: Very high.
CONWAY: Manufacturers, you had his opponent in the presidential race who's name I don't say on TV anymore who lost. You had her promising to put the coal mining industry out of work. And this president has actually presided over a net creation of mining jobs, jobs in timber, jobs in manufacturing, over 300,000 new manufacturing jobs, over 337,000 new construction jobs. You can't argue with those numbers. And, by the way, nobody should argue with them.
BERMAN: I'm -- and we are -- we're not arguing -- we're not arguing.
CONWAY: We should always be so happy --
BERMAN: We're not arguing. We're having you on to talk about them and they're --
CONWAY: But the -- but the president goes further than that. BERMAN: And they're great. They're very good.
CONWAY: Anyway, the president goes farther than that, John. This is important.
BERMAN: Hang on. Hang on. Hang on. Hang on. Let' me just say -- let me just say -- let me just say, because of the president's trade policy, the business council yesterday said -- readjusted their job creation forecast down 13 percent. So there are numbers both ways. But the numbers are very, very solid, Kellyanne.
I'm going to run out of time but I want to get to a few more topics because we're lucky to have you this morning.
Why doesn't Kelly Sadler work at the White House anymore?
CONWAY: So, I spoke with Kelly Sadler last night and she no longer works on this complex. And there are a number of open positions throughout the administration for those who wish to submit for them, interview for them. And I think that they match up nicely with different individuals, press and communication skills. In addition, I know that Kelly Sadler had a career in the private sector before she came to serve this president.
BERMAN: Is it because of what she said -- is she no longer working at the White House because of what she said about John McCain?
CONWAY: I literally cannot comment on personnel issues. And I wasn't involved with this specifically. But I will tell you that she no longer works here. And I talked to her and --
BERMAN: Is she going to work in the administration? Are there other administration jobs open to her?
CONWAY: Yes, there are other administration jobs open to her and to others who would like to interview for those jobs. They should definitely submit their -- their credentials.
[08:45:06] BERMAN: So, in your mind, the comments she made about John McCain would not be disqualifying for another administration job?
CONWAY: I didn't say that. What I said is that she, as I understand it, has been provided with opportunities, the idea that there are opportunities throughout the administration that would fit with different skill sets. But, you know, we're also very happy, again, that 6.7 million jobs are available to Americans all across the country and that this president has invested considerably in workforce development and apprenticeship programs because that will help people to choose all types of careers. This president said over a year ago that we identify all types of careers (ph).
BERMAN: But you, to be clear, you're not closing the door. You're not closing the door to an administration job because of what she said about John McCain, pure and simple, correct?
CONWAY: Kelly Sadler has been told that there are administration jobs that fit with her skill set and her experience and that the rest is really her choice what she would like to do next.
BERMAN: Well, it's the government -- it's the government -- it's the government's choice --
CONWAY: And that's really all I can comment on.
BERMAN: It would be the administration's choice to rehire somebody who said those things about John McCain. That you can't argue with, right?
CONWAY: John, you've litigate that many times over the last, I think, month or so. But I'm just telling -- you're asking me if she works here.
BERMAN: But this is the first time -- but this is the first time -- this is the first time that she doesn't have a White House job, but apparently is going to have other opportunities within the administration?
CONWAY: I'm going to leave that up to her and her future employers. And I don't feel comfortable commenting on personal and personnel at the same time when the individuals involved are not here to speak about it. But, again, we're diverting because that's what you do when there's a lot of great news. We've got the North Korean summit coming up.
BERMAN: We're not -- we -- we're trying to cover as much news as we can, Kellyanne, in the short period of time. Again, we're lucky to have you here.
Sarah Sanders --
CONWAY: Any job openings at CNN?
BERMAN: Sarah Sanders -- you know, we're hiring.
Sarah Sanders yesterday refused to address the comment she made last August where she said the president did not dictate the letter to "The New York Times," or to the comment to "The New York Times" about what happened at Trump Tower. You know, did the president dictate that?
CONWAY: I don't know. I wasn't there. And the first I heard of that memo was when I read it in "The New York Times." Talk about a big leak, by the way. These are --
BERMAN: Hope -- Hope Hicks -- Hope Hicks was there, though, on that plane. There were other administration officials. And Jay Sekulow, the president's lawyer, now says quite clearly the president did dictate it. Sarah Sanders said he did not dictate it. Both --
CONWAY: Right. And everything that you're asking me has to do with outside counsel. And the reason that that's important here is that at the White House we are pretty much walled off from the outside matters because the president is represented by outside counsel and you should really ask them. I know CNN loves to have certain peoples' attorneys on. BERMAN: We've -- we've -- we have -- we have asked Jay Sekulow. We
have asked Jay -- we have asked Jay Sekulow. Jay Sekulow has told us he stands by the letter which says that the president did dictate it. It's not an outside counsel issue when Sarah Sanders says it from the podium, though. She said it from the podium. The president did not dictate it. The lawyer now says that the president did. So there's a difference there. Does Sarah need to explain to us why she said what she said?
CONWAY: On the -- I'm going to repeat what Sarah said to you -- to the press who asked yesterday, which is that she is referring it to outside counsel and -- and that's where it needs to be left. And this is an active investigation. The president calls it a witch hunt and a hoax.
BERMAN: Does it need to be an outside -- is she in legal jeopardy? Do you think -- do you think she's in legal jeopardy for what she said?
CONWAY: No. I would have -- no. Why are you saying that?
BERMAN: Is someone in legal jeopardy for what she said? Because you're saying it's an outside counsel -- it's a legal issue.
CONWAY: No, no, no. I'm saying that the -- you're talking about something that the president's lawyers said. So by definition it's a legal issue. Not a legal issue for Sarah though (ph).
BERMAN: I'm talking about something that Sarah said on television.
CONWAY: No, I'm talking about -- and Sarah addressed this. And you should -- you should go back and look at her comments. She has addressed it.
BERMAN: Sarah said she won't address it is what she said.
CONWAY: No, no, no, she address this yesterday. She addressed the matter yesterday.
But I think on this, everything that has to do with what the president refers to as the Russian investigation, the hoax, the witch hunt, you should go back and look at his many tweets on the issue. You should go back and look at what he said as recently as yesterday, which is -- or the day before, John, is that he feels like a lot of peoples' lives are being ruined. Nothing has been produced that implicates the president in any way. And you know that. And you know that it would have leaked if that were there. You know that.
You -- I know that CNN has invested considerable sweat equity, time and money in chasing the Russian collusion, delusion, illusion and that you're waiting for it to bear fruit. But a year in, you see the polls starting to turn on this. You saw the Harvard Harris poll last week and thought many Americans questioning -- BERMAN: Kellyanne, we do have to let you go. Let me just --
CONWAY: How this is -- this is effecting other issues.
BERMAN: Let me just say, you say nothing's been produced. There have been indictments against Russians, right? There have been guilty pleas by people who worked for the campaign.
CONWAY: John, do you think -- do you -- I'm sorry, but do you have any evidence, seriously speaking, since you want to talk about the law to a fully (INAUDIBLE) attorney, happily so, do you have any evidence that there is Russian collusion? Do you -- do you actually think it changed the election results? I'm asking a question.
BERMAN: I haven't -- I haven't seen -- I haven't seen the special -- I haven't seen the special counsel's report.
CONWAY: Do you think --
BERMAN: I have not seen the special counsel --
CONWAY: No, no, what do you think?
BERMAN: I have not seen the special counsel's report.
[08:50:01] CONWAY: But you work at CNN. You guys are obsessed with it.
BERMAN: I have seen -- I have seen evidence that Donald Trump Junior met at Trump Tower with Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. I have seen -- I have seen evidence --
CONWAY: And how many (INAUDIBLE) in that?
BERMAN: I have seen evidence that there were things that were lied about after that meeting, including whether the president dictate a letter. Someone lied about that.
CONWAY: Are -- are you concerned -- no, are you -- sorry, excuse me, you like to say that, but are you concerned that this IG report about the way the Clinton investigation was handled is delayed? Are you concerned about the content or is CNN going to say, oh, she lost, so it doesn't matter. It matters tremendously.
BERMAN: I don't know. I -- the only way I know it's delayed is because the president has suggested he's concerned about it, which suggests to me that he's perhaps being briefed by the Justice Department about the progress of this independent -- you know, the inspector general's investigation. Is there something about that -- is there -- is there something about that investigation you want to tell us?
CONWAY: Well, you're guessing yet again. And let me tell you something, over a year -- no, over a year -- over a year and all the compliance and cooperation hasn't diverted this president from doing his job. We are more prosperous, more secure 503 days --
BERMAN: Right. CONWAY: Or two days into his president.
And I don't think -- frank -- you know, respectfully, I don't think this has helped CNN. Your ratings are way down because you're --
BERMAN: This isn't -- you know what -- you know what --
CONWAY: You're -- excuse me, no -- I know I hit a nerve there, John, but let's be fair.
BERMAN: You -- sure.
CONWAY: You like to say "lie" and the president and Sarah in the same sentence. Excuse me. This is not benefiting you. You're not getting new viewers who want to hear this junk and this funk because you don't have proof and you're trying to let your viewers think that this man was not elected fairly and squarely, and you know he was. You know not a single vote was changed. You do give that a woman a platform when she comes.
What are -- what are the Clintons doing to help America, by the way?
BERMAN: Oh, listen -- listen -- listen -- listen --
CONWAY: What are they doing? You're giving her a platform to talk about why she lost.
BERMAN: I'm not asking -- I didn't ask about Hillary Clinton. All I was asking about was what the --
CONWAY: No, no, no, if you're talking about the 2016 elections, you are.
BERMAN: All I was asking, Kellyanne, is about what the truth is here. And I appreciate you coming on again to make your case.
CONWAY: Do you think any -- do you think a single vote was impacted?
BERMAN: We will keep -- we will keep looking.
CONWAY: John, do you? Do you have any evidence that a single vote was impacted?
BERMAN: I don't know. I don't know. There are investigations going on right now and we will find out what the special counsel has to say, pure and simple.
CONWAY: Do you think -- do you think anything in that investigation --
BERMAN: And I know you will come on and make your case (INAUDIBLE).
CONWAY: John, but, excuse me, respectfully, do you think there is any part of that investigation that will show that this impacted votes and swung the election of Donald Trump? You know the answer's no. You know the answer's no. You have people on CNN promising that would be true (ph).
BERMAN: I know what we've been told so far. I know -- we haven't promised anything, Kellyanne. This is a silly line. This is a silly discussion now.
CONWAY: Look, I was a campaign -- no, no, no, sorry, it's not silly. Maybe uncomfortable, but it's not silly.
BERMAN: I don't know. I will wait for the special counsel's -- I'm completely comfortable.
CONWAY: Hey, John, I was the campaigning manager for the winning part of the campaign.
BERMAN: And a good one. You won -- you won a presidential election.
CONWAY: I never met Carter Page. I never met George Papadopoulos. I -- I don't -- I never talked to a Russian that I -- that knew about. Maybe they were disguised as a voter in Wisconsin, but I kind of doubt it.
BERMAN: Kellyanne --
CONWAY: I mean, come on, this president won fairly and squarely and you're trying to take that away from him.
BERMAN: Kellyanne, I've got to -- I've got to -- we got to go. We got to end it here because we're not getting anywhere on this front.
CONWAY: Thanks for covering the jobs numbers. Appreciate it.
BERMAN: Again, the jobs numbers are good for the country.
Kellyanne, thank you for being with us.
CONWAY: God bless America. Thank you.
BERMAN: And we'll talk again. When the special counsel reports come out, let's talk again and we can discuss what it finds.
CONWAY: You got it. I'll be here. Thanks.
CAMEROTA: Kellyanne wanted to keep talking.
BERMAN: I know.
CAMEROTA: Sometimes she has -- doesn't want to, but that time she wanted to keep talking to you.
I'm pretty likeable.
CAMEROTA: Are you? BERMAN: Yes.
CAMEROTA: Yes, you are, John. America loves you and so does our next guest.
President Trump is again blaming Democrats for the separation of immigrant children from their parents. He's tweeting this, separating families at the border is the fault of bad legislation passed by the Democrats. Border security law should be changed, but the Dems can't get their act together. Started the wall.
This is the Trump administration's policy that's separating kids from their parents. Here's Attorney General Jeff Sessions talking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewett about why they're doing this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: The law requires us to keep children in a different facility than we require -- than we do for adults. And every time somebody, Hugh, gets prosecuted in America for a crime, American citizens, and they go to jail, they're separated from their children. We don't want to do this at all. If people don't want to be separated from their children, they should not bring them with them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Joining us now is Democratic Whip Senator Dick Durbin.
Good morning, Senator.
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Good morning.
CAMEROTA: This is a confusing one. How can the Trump administration pretend this is not their policy? They could stop doing this. They could stop separating children from their parents at the border today. They could stop it today. There's no law that you're supposed to separate immigrant children from their parents. Why are they blaming the Democrats for this?
DURBIN: Well, the president tweeted that this was the result of a law passed by Democrats. That is a totally false statement. The law that he's referring to was passed by unanimous consent in the United States Senate and signed into law by President George W. Bush, period. It was not a Democratic president or a Democratic law. It was a bipartisan effort.
And what we tried to do was to make sure that when people came to our border and wanted to present themselves for refugee or asylum status because they feared persecution and credible threats to their safety where they lived, that they would be treated humanely. And the decision has now been made by Attorney General Sessions and this president to separate mothers from their children. And 638 children have been separated from their mothers at the border. There is no requirement in law to do it. It's an effort to intimidate those who are seeking safety and security in this country. It does not speak well of this administration and it reflects poorly on the United States across the world.
[08:55:27] CAMEROTA: Jeff Sessions admitted as much. I mean he's admitting that this is a deterrent. They're doing it to try to use it as a deterrent so that people don't come to the border or they don't bring their children with them. We have his own words saying it.
But the fact that the president isn't owning it and the fact that the president is trying to put it on Democrats, does that tell you that the president believes that this is a losing strategy with voters, that voters don't like the idea of a five-year-old being kept in a pen away from his parents.
DURBIN: I can tell you that across the United States -- I have witnessed this in the last several weeks. Across the United States there is revulsion to this idea that this United States of America is going to have a policy of separating mothers and children. We have spokesman for the American Pediatric Association, doctors who are coming forward saying, you are imposing a trauma on small children that is going to have a direct impact on their future and their lives. This is cruel. It is heartless. And it's clearly part of an administration policy to get tough on immigrants, even at the expense of small children.
CAMEROTA: Senator, can you do anything about this?
DURBIN: What we can do is appeal to the American people to stand up and speak up for goodness sakes. If you think this is what America is all about, to separate these children, four, five, six-year-old children from their mothers -- in one case we had a woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa with her little girl. They were separated. She was sent to California. The little girl was sent to Chicago. And that's how I came to learn about it. An outrageous situation that is part of a policy of this Trump/Sessions administration.
CAMEROTA: You know, Jeff Sessions is making it sound as though, hey, they made this choice. If you are going to perpetrate a criminal act, well, guess what, there's repercussions. But some of these folks are seeking asylum.
CAMEROTA: You're allowed to come with your child and seek asylum and go through the process and stay united with your child.
DURBIN: Exactly. And that is what Sessions -- Attorney General Sessions is ignoring. His hateful attitude towards immigrants is being played out now at the expense of these children and their families. To think that this is now the official policy of the United States of America is disgraceful.
CAMEROTA: OK, so Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has canceled your summer vacation. You all will be working for the better part of your -- what used to be your August recess. What will be your priority during that month? What will you be working on? DURBIN: By August we will see a dramatic increase in health insurance
premiums across America. Families and businesses will be turning to Washington asking us to undo the harm that has been created by the Trump administration when it comes to the cost of health insurance and it's availability for many Americans. I'm willing to stay here and fight as long as needed, as long as possible, to make sure that we make health care affordable for American families. What the Republicans have done to damage it can be undone tomorrow. But if they want to keep us through August to do it, I'll be on the job to do it.
CAMEROTA: OK. And you have a month in August. Can you take up this immigration policy of separating children from their parents?
DURBIN: We can take up the immigration issue any time that the Republican leadership, which controls the business of the House and Senate, decides it's a priority. I am heartened by the fact that over 20 Republicans in the House have stepped up and said to Speaker Ryan, we will not leave this year without addressing immigration. The same sentiment in the Senate might lead us to a solution that protects these children and comes up with a sane approach to the mess we have on our immigration laws.
CAMEROTA: Senator Dick Durbin, we really appreciate you being here with your perspective. Please keep us posted on any progress you make on Capitol Hill.
DURBIN: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: All right.
BERMAN: We'll see if they get to that in August since they're going to be there. It will be very interesting to see.
CAMEROTA: Well, I certainly hope so. I mean, listen, we've been talking about this all morning, the idea that Senator Merkley went there and saw five-year-olds and six-year-olds in pens, call it whatever you want, away from their parents. That is heartbreaking for all parents. I mean I don't care if you're a Republican, a Democrat.
CAMEROTA: Every -- anybody who would see that would feel sick about it.
BERMAN: While you were talking to Senator Durbin, we did get one piece of breaking news.
CAMEROTA: Oh, give it to me.
BERMAN: A programming note.
Chris Cuomo is going to talk to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tonight on "Cuomo Prime Time." That will be very interesting. There's a whole slew of questions that she needs to address. That's at 9:00 tonight only here on CNN.
CAMEROTA: Oh, no, I'm going to have to stay up late again.
BERMAN: CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow and Brianna Keilar starts right now.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Brianna Keilar in Washington.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. So glad you're with us.
[08:59:59] It is the morning after the biggest day of primary elections so far this year. And if you listen really hard, you can hear Democrats breathing a sigh of relief. Some key races still not final, but in California's so-called jungle primary, it looks as if Democrats will finish in the top two in each of the House races