Return to Transcripts main page

CUOMO PRIME TIME

Rudy Giuliani Opens up about Biden, Mueller Investigation and More; Cardinal Timothy Dolan Speaks About Morality of Separating Immigrants from their Families; Is the U.S. and China Developing a Trade War Against One Another; Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 15, 2018 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[21:00:00]

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Thank you, Wolf. Happy Father's Day to you this weekend.

I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.

The president going on offense with a spray of wild statements that he has a lot to defend. His former campaign chair thrown in jail. China accusing him of starting a trade war, the very thing he said would not happen.

His counsel, Rudy Giuliani, driving the news cycle once again. A series of provocative and political statements going after Joe Biden, setting a deadline for an interview with President Trump, and a bold prediction about pardons. A lot to test.

And guess what? Rudy Giuliani is here live coming right up.

Plus, we're not going to let people forget what's happening on the border. Jeff Sessions made this about God's will, saying this choice to tear kids apart from their parents at the border, that's what the bible dictates. We have Cardinal Timothy Dolan here to tell us about the holy team that the church might send to the border to fight for what is moral.

And you deserve to know the truth because you didn't necessarily hear it today from the president on all of his different points. So many doozies, it might make your head spin.

It's Friday night. Grab a beverage and let's get after it.

(MUSIC)

CUOMO: A hundred percent exoneration. That is what the president is claiming after the DOJ's inspector general report, a report that, by the way, didn't specifically address allegations against the president.

Now, his comments come as his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, dropped some bombs on the media. Everyone tonight is talking about him but we are going to talk to him. Rudy Giuliani, welcome back to PRIME TIME.

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Good to see you.

CUOMO: Thank you for being with us.

Let's start with something that has nothing to do with anything --

GIULIANI: OK.

CUOMO: -- but you made it relevant today. Why would you call Joe Biden what you called him today?

GIULIANI: That he's dumb?

CUOMO: No. That would have been a compliment. That would have been like an invitation to prom. You called him a mentally deficient idiot.

GIULIANI: Oh, I didn't mean that. I mean, he was -- he's not -- he's dumb. I think Joe was last in his law school class. Joe --

CUOMO: He wasn't last. But he was low --

GIULIANI: Actually, he was second to last and the guy died, and he ended up last.

CUOMO: We had it as a different number, but he didn't do well, I'll give you that.

GIULIANI: And he had a plagiarism problem in law school. He had a plagiarism problem as a senator, which I think indicates something about character, constantly making faux pass.

CUOMO: But why talk about Joe Biden?

GIULIANI: Well, because I was asked, would he be a formidable candidate? I said no. He'd be somebody that I think the president would like to run against. He never did well as a national candidate. The president did fabulously as a first time national candidate.

CUOMO: Do you really think Joe Biden is stupid?

GIULIANI: No. I think he's --

CUOMO: Because you've said that.

GIULIANI: In that category, I think he is. I think that explains the plagiarism. I think the plagiarism is serious. I don't think he'll get beyond that.

CUOMO: That was in the 80s.

GIULIANI: Doesn't matter. He was a United States senator, Chris.

CUOMO: But we hear that all the time about your client right now. That was a long time ago. He did that a long time ago.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Don't change the subject. I mean, Biden has a set of problems. So let's leave it this way. I would prefer to see him as the candidate, although, I don't know who you got. I mean, I'll tell you what worries me --

CUOMO: Who's you?

GIULIANI: Democrats.

CUOMO: All right.

GIULIANI: I'm thinking your brother maybe.

CUOMO: Go ahead, go ahead.

GIULIANI: I would think it would have to be somebody from, a surprise, not a rethread from Obama, Clinton, that whole thing. I think the American electorate kind of got rid of that last time.

CUOMO: This is why I'm asking you. I don't really care --

GIULIANI: I think the Carter-Clinton type of emergence would be very dangerous.

CUOMO: Who knows? They've got their own issues. I don't see it about the race.

My wonder is, is this part of a strategy, an overall strategy for the team which is if somebody gets in our way, Biden was talking about the summit -- if somebody pops up, we crush them right where they stand?

GIULIANI: The summit was a victory for the president.

CUOMO: But I'm saying, is that why you went after Biden because he criticized the president?

GIULIANI: No, I just went after him because they asked me a question, I gave an honest answer. You know that. I do that.

CUOMO: All right. Let me ask you about something else --

GIULIANI: I knew it would get everybody aggravated.

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: Look, I had to ask you, you took 70 seconds out of my interview for that.

You said today, next week. Next week we're going to figure out if there's an interview with Mueller. What's the percentage chance that you do an interview, 50/50 is not acceptable --

GIULIANI: I sort of amended that to hopefully before July 4th. CUOMO: OK.

GIULIANI: I'd like to give them an answer by July 4th, because then there's enough time to do everything, and given the Horowitz report, I think we understand now, we don't want to get into manipulating the election. We don't. They shouldn't, meaning the special counsel.

So if we can decide by July 4th if we're going to do an interview, they can do it within two weeks of that, three weeks of that. Write their report, and then we move onto fighting it out. If they -- if we don't do an interview, they can decide whether they want to fight us on it or just do their report.

I really recommend with the amount of time they've taken, with the things that Horowitz has produced about -- you know, I don't find the Clinton part of that report is what it was about to be the most significant. I think there were a lot of problems in that and a couple of good points in that.

[21:05:00]

I think the second part was the most dramatic which is how the Russian collusion investigation began with a guy like Peter Strzok, and talking about how Trump had to be defeated, are we going to defeat him right, take him out right? He was the lead investigators for the first almost -- you know, from the beginning of that investigation.

He was there before Mueller. Mueller inherited it. And then Mueller hired people like him, a guy who donated $36,000 to Hillary, a guy who was crying at Hillary's loss party. You shouldn't put those people in an investigation like that.

It legitimately creates for us an issue that doesn't have to be exist which is, can they be fair? Can they be unbiased? Can they view the evidence in the light, you know, that's the most fair?

CUOMO: I'll go through the specifics in a second. But the big question is this. Have you changed and now believe that Mueller is not honest?

GIULIANI: No.

CUOMO: That Mueller is not doing a fair job?

GIULIANI: I don't think Mueller -- Mueller is --

CUOMO: But you say the probe's got to be suspended. They got to need honest people in there to do it. It sounds like you're saying Mueller is not honest.

GIULIANI: Some of the people around him.

CUOMO: So, Mueller is OK, but the people around him are no good?

GIULIANI: I don't know if he's OK. I believe that Bob made one critical error that's going to doom his investigation no matter what he writes.

CUOMO: Which is what?

GIULIANI: Hiring those people. I would have never done it. If you look at special independent counsel probes, they generally get nonpolitical people.

I'm going to give you a figure, three quarters of the prosecutors of high regard in that country, I'm talking about federal, which actually we need here, are not involved in partisan politics. I wasn't involved in partisan politics until I ran for mayor.

CUOMO: But here's what you're living out. He's not allowed to ask. He's not allowed to ask if you've given any donations to anybody, and they are allowed to do so. Just a second --

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Here's what I always asked, here's what I always asked. And I kept my assistant U.S. attorneys who were part of it out a political investigation. They'd go after the mob. They got after terrorism. I didn't have any politically active --

CUOMO: Neither did he. Just because they're giving campaign donations doesn't mean they serve on a campaign, or they backed the candidate --

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: How can you expect -- look --

CUOMO: And it was only at most half his team. The allegation about the guy crying at the Clinton party, we don't know if it was true.

GIULIANI: We know he was there. We know he was a big supporter. We know he was very partisan. We also know he has other ethical violations which are very serious, including one in a very key case.

So, look, should he have done it the other way? Absolutely. Does it give us an issue which I would be irresponsible not to use --

CUOMO: But he's not allowed to ask his people if they have --

GIULIANI: Yes. He is.

CUOMO: No, he cannot --

GIULIANI: He is allowed to ask them if they have political biases --

CUOMO: But he can't ask them about donations.

GIULIANI: Well, that would suggest a political -- look, if I had just given an $35,000 contribution to Donald Trump, you think I'd be hired for an investigation on Hillary Clinton? And do you think that Hillary Clinton's lawyer wouldn't go after me like crazy?

CUOMO: What I'm saying --

GIULIANI: Like I'm doing. Shouldn't I do my job?

CUOMO: The suggestion he looked for people with bias is not substantiated by anything that we know.

GIULIANI: Yes, it is.

CUOMO: That he looked for people with bias?

GIULIANI: Or he ended up with them. Who cares?

CUOMO: And to say Strzok is the reason the investigation started just isn't true in the face of what's in the I.G. report which I've now spent hours --

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Yes, it is. The I.G. report --

CUOMO: He has four layers of supervisors on top of him, Rudy, four layers of supervisors.

GIULIANI: Including Comey, who maybe the biggest problem of all.

CUOMO: And that's why the I.G. finds and let's be honest about this I.G. report, this guy was looking for things that are wrong. This I.G. made a criminal reference. This was Obama's guy, picked by him in 2011. But he was clearly looking for things to find.

GIULIANI: Not just Obama's guy. He's a good friend of Comey.

CUOMO: But he was looking for things in this report.

GIULIANI: He went easy on Comey. I'm sorry. I don't want to fight about Comey. Comey's history.

I want to say what he did find, and I agree with Horowitz on this, is that the Russia collusion investigation with Strzok, Page, and a whole host of other agents we don't know about was filled with people who were anti-Trump. Now --

CUOMO: He has five guys.

GIULIANI: That's a lot.

CUOMO: Out of the dozen and dozens who are working on this probe?

GIULIANI: Strzok ran it.

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: He had four layers of people on top of him.

GIULIANI: But he ran the day today investigations.

CUOMO: And he was removed as soon as they found the texts.

GIULIANI: No, he was removed when the texts were leaked by people who are outranged.

CUOMO: Yes, as soon as Mueller found out, he removed them.

GIULIANI: But don't you think that sets the whole tone?

CUOMO: Here's what I think, that your guys are accepting the findings of the report but not the conclusions of the report because he says multiple times in here --

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: No, no, wait. Wait. Everybody gets this wrong. Everybody gets this wrong.

True about Comey. Not true about the Russia investigation, because they never investigated the Russia investigation.

CUOMO: No, it's not about the Russia investigation. It says though some of Strzok/Page's cast a cloud, we did not find evidence to connect the views with any specific investigative decisions.

[21:10:00]

GIULIANI: Sorry, I don't believe that.

CUOMO: So, you accept the findings but not the conclusions?

GIULIANI: I'm not trying to draw my own conclusions.

CUOMO: I know, but that's a little convenient, don't you think?

GIULIANI: No, it's not convenient. If a man says about my client he shouldn't be president, I'm going to do everything to stop him and he's an FBI agent, I'm sorry, the guy shouldn't be involved in the case, and I can conclude that a case in which they can't come up with a single piece of evidence about collusion to this day --

CUOMO: But this I.G. report wasn't about that.

GIULIANI: I know it wasn't.

CUOMO: Then why did the president say today --

GIULIANI: What am I asking for?

CUOMO: Read the report, no collusion, no obstruction. Is he agreeing with the inspector general that the FBI agents didn't collude against him and didn't try to obstruct justice?

GIULIANI: No, he's saying that he didn't collude.

CUOMO: But this has nothing to do with that.

GIULIANI: Yes, it does.

CUOMO: This? This report has nothing about it.

GIULIANI: This says that the people conducting the collusion investigation were people who had a severe bias against him. You have to admit it was extremely irresponsible of Mueller to end up with these guys.

It was extremely irresponsible of Mueller to have Quarles. He's not number five in the investigation. He's the chief assistant. He gave a fortune to Hillary.

Come on. Chris, you got to be fair.

CUOMO: But what I'm saying -- I am being fair, obviously.

GIULIANI: No, you're not. Not about this.

CUOMO: I'm saying there are five guys in the report. He's got a dozen lawyers plus. He's got tons and tons of agents working.

GIULIANI: If I were representing you and the guy investigating you and in charge of it said Chris Cuomo is the biggest liar in the world, I'm sorry, I'd go to the attorney general and say take him out.

CUOMO: I understand and I see that's what you're doing here.

GIULIANI: And if I didn't do it, you'd sue me for malpractice.

CUOMO: I understand that you're doing that here too. But my job is to test your arguments as well.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: I think it's a good one.

CUOMO: So, you said something else today. You said I think this may get cleaned un, this probe, with a few pardons. Now, first, I want to get your intentions straight.

GIULIANI: Yes, I will --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: That sounds to Manafort and other guys, be quiet, we'll take care of you.

GIULIANI: Well, what I did -- what I did was say, first, I was asked will there be any pardons? I said, my advice to the president of the United States as his lawyer, not as a government lawyer, is no pardons. It would completely change the momentum that we have right now because it's very strong right now. You can see the polls moving in the president's favor and against Mueller.

CUOMO: Then why did you suggest it? GIULIANI: I didn't suggest it. I said he shouldn't pardon anybody.

And the president said to me, you shouldn't pardon anybody. What I said was after the investigation is over, then it has to be considered as a governmental matter, not by me.

And what the history has been is these things get cleaned up. Ford did it. Reagan did it. Carter did it. Clinton did it and Bush did it in political investigations.

CUOMO: So, you're saying after the probe is over, it may be cleaned up with any pardons.

GIULIANI: If people were unfairly prosecuted. Do I have anything to do with that? Absolutely not.

CUOMO: Do you wind up in the same place --

GIULIANI: Is that historically accurate, like Scooter Libby? I believe may be the most defensible pardon of all is Scooter Libby's pardon. Commutation by Bush, pardoned by Trump. Why? Because the case was a case in which they were investigating a crime that they had already solved.

CUOMO: But they never talked about the pardon of Scooter Libby during the investigation of him. And Trump, he's talking about pardons, and maybe he'll pardon, maybe he won't pardon.

GIULIANI: Trump is constantly -- I'm constantly -- I was asked a question. Is he going to pardon anybody? What's left out is my first answer was no. He's not going to pardon anybody.

I have recommended to him -- every one of his lawyers has recommended to him, and he's told us, I haven't pardoned anybody, I'm not going to pardon anybody.

CUOMO: Well, he has pardoned some people but not in the situation.

GIULIANI: Gosh, that he has a right to do.

CUOMO: I'm not saying he doesn't.

GIULIANI: Right.

CUOMO: Although they do send a message, especially this early in the administration.

GIULIANI: What is he supposed to do?

CUOMO: Wait until the end, I mean, that's what the tradition is, right?

GIULIANI: Not do his job because Mueller is investigating.

CUOMO: No, there's a reason he's doing them right now. You don't think there's a message in some of these pardons that he sent? GIULIANI: No, I don't think so. I think he's exercising his

constitutional function. If he didn't do it, he shouldn't be president.

CUOMO: Why do you think presidents usually wait until the end of their administration to do this.

GIULIANI: They don't.

CUOMO: What do you mean?

GIULIANI: Presidents give pardons all the time.

CUOMO: But it's almost always at the end. Sometimes in huge numbers like with Obama.

GIULIANI: No, it isn't at the end. Ronald Reagan pardoned 900 people. He did 200 in his first year.

CUOMO: Most of the administrations it doesn't happen this way, this early on. We did the research on it.

GIULIANI: The reason pardons got a bad name, pardons are quite common before Bill Clinton and before his corrupt pardon of the guy I prosecuted, Marc Rich. You want a sneaky pardon? That is a sneaky pardon.

CUOMO: You want a sneaky pardon. How about Ford's pardon to Nixon?

GIULIANI: Maybe, yes, maybe no. Maybe it was to let the country move forward. Maybe it was to let the country move forward.

I mean, Nixon had a lot of bad things and a lot of good things. This country would have been ripped apart by the prosecution of Nixon. I believe Gerald Ford, knowing he would get hurt by it exercised true wisdom in that pardon.

CUOMO: I just don't know understand why --

GIULIANI: I don't know if there will be a case like that again.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: I just don't know why you would get caught saying maybe a pardon. Maybe I won't.

[21:15:00]

GIULIANI: Because I was asked a question. That's why. I didn't bring it up.

I never talk about pardons. I'd rather not talk about pardons today. Let me make it clear right now.

CUOMO: Please, please? That's why I wanted you on. GIULIANI: He is not going to pardon anybody in this investigation. But he is not obviously going to give up his right to pardon if a miscarriage of justice is presented.

CUOMO: But doesn't that wind up meaning that he could, that he might?

GIULIANI: Well, of course he could. Of course he could.

CUOMO: And that he might? Because you're saying he won't say I won't because it would look too bad, because it's obviously too close --

GIULIANI: No, how about he's not saying he absolutely definitively will not, because he might as well give up being president if he says that.

CUOMO: No, he wouldn't say I'm recusing myself from this aspect.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: But he should recuse himself for being president.

CUOMO: No.

GIULIANI: He's not Jeff Sessions.

CUOMO: This is just the probe. And, you know, look, Jeff Sessions is causing his own issues that I'm not going to put on the table today.

GIULIANI: Jeff Sessions -- my beef with Jeff, my good friend, is not going to him and tell him in advance. I would have done that. He asked me -- it's not a secret. He asked me to be attorney general before Jeff.

CUOMO: Why doesn't he just remove him then? If it's so toxic, if he's so disappointed, if he has such no trust --

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: Because I -- because he understands as I do, that that will take away great attention from what we want to talk about which is how this report points out.

What we left out and I told my biggest surprise in that report, how numerous FBI agents took bribes to give up confidential information to the people in the media -- sports tickets, dinners, vacations. And I don't know, maybe even cash. That is -- that's a crime. That isn't collusion which is garbage or obstruction based on a crazy theory.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: But it's not instructive of bias for or against Clinton or for or against Trump. This is something that you got to police, you got to figure out how your people do their business and what their code of conduct --

GIULIANI: It gives you an idea -- CUOMO: But it's not insight into this.

GIULIANI: It gives you -- well, I don't know why it's in this report, it's not an insight into this. I think -- and he said, those are people who are involved in the Russia investigation.

CUOMO: Right, but that's my point, is that this guy was looking for things this inspector general and so, if he's going to come off --

GIULIANI: He found dynamite there.

CUOMO: But he found out a lot of different things. But he came to conclusions that you don't want to accept. That there was no bias and no bad decisions made with respect to the prosecution or non- prosecution of Hillary Clinton.

GIULIANI: And the question of Russian bias is still open. But he can't say that. He hasn't investigated it. He uncovered it.

CUOMO: But he looked and seen whether or not Strzok, who's the guy you keep leaning on, he says none of Strzok's decisions reflected the bias. He doesn't have any evidence of that.

GIULIANI: Excuse me. Chris, as a person on the other side of it, I am entitled to take the conclusion that a man who says that Donald Trump should never be president of the United States, and I will do anything to stop him --

CUOMO: He didn't say exactly that, but he's certainly --

GIULIANI: He said he shouldn't be president --

CUOMO: He certainly showed that you know -- and he went further than that and said and I'll put a stop to it, but he was obviously kidding. What was he going to dot to stop it?

GIULIANI: He was running the investigation against him.

CUOMO: Here's your bad fact, here's your bad fact. If these guys --

GIULIANI: I don't have a bad fact.

CUOMO: This is a bad fact.

GIULIANI: For you.

CUOMO: No, for you this is a bad fact.

GIULIANI: With your interpretation. I'm entitled to mine.

CUOMO: Tell me how I'm wrong and you're 100 percent entitled to it. If they wanted to hurt Trump, if they wanted to show bias, the minimum standard especially what you just pointed out with what the men and women are capable of in the bureau, only some, with taking graft and leaking, not a single word of the Trump probe for the duration of the campaign. He wanted to stop Trump so bad, Peter Strzok, that he would do anything, but he wouldn't leak word of the probe.

GIULIANI: Let me tell -- I'll tell you what he did --

CUOMO: Bad fact.

GIULIANI: Here's how he hurt Hillary by trying to help her and this is where corrupt people kind of screw up because they become too cute by half. He got the Weiner fax that should have been a priority. Pervert online, lots of, over 70,000, 80,000, 200,000 --

CUOMO: What did that have to do with Hillary Clinton?

GIULIANI: Well, we don't know.

CUOMO: It had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton.

GIULIANI: Yes.

CUOMO: His activities online? His perverted activities online?

GIULIANI: No. No, no, no, no --

CUOMO: All right.

GIULIANI: Chris, please listen. When he took the server, when they took the server --

CUOMO: You'll break my table.

GIULIANI: That's OK. It's glass. When they took the server, there were on the server numerous classified documents from Hillary Clinton to Huma Abedin which were either given to him or he stole.

CUOMO: Not classified. That's what Cuomo had to correct.

GIULIANI: Some were, a large number were. They concluded, he did nothing with them. But you have to have an investigation to conclude that.

CUOMO: The I.G. says that the decision was questionable to him but he didn't see clear proof of bias in the management.

GIULIANI: I'm sorry. If he thinks questionable, I think there's bias. And here's the bias and you can't escape this. They wanted to keep that under wraps until after the election. And then they opened Russia because they were hoping they could get something on Russia.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: But if they wanted to hurt Trump, they would have leaked it during the campaign, Rudy.

GIULIANI: Stop, listen --

CUOMO: Final point to you. GIULIANI: Listen, Russia was started completely on the hope that they

could come up with something. And to this day, they haven't. And that's the key point.

[21:20:15]

CUOMO: No. It was started because there was interference by an inimical foreign power in our election, and they heard that there was improper conduct --

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: With no connection to the president of the United States. To this day, to this day, they cannot come up with a single fact.

CUOMO: We don't know. It's not over. Nobody knows that better than you.

GIULIANI: The reason they didn't leak is they have nothing to leak.

CUOMO: Hey, if you had nothing to worry about, then the president wouldn't be talking about pardons.

GIULIANI: The president is not talking about pardons.

CUOMO: He's talked about them a lot.

GIULIANI: The president is being asked about it and the president is saying, I haven't pardoned anybody, I have no intention to it, but I'm not giving up my right to do it. I'm sorry.

CUOMO: All right. I'll take that as you on the record. I appreciate you coming onto make the case. You're always welcome here to do so.

GIULIANI: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: And we will always be fair in doing that. You'll get more time here than anywhere else. Happy Father's Day.

GIULIANI: To you, too.

CUOMO: Appreciate it.

GIULIANI: All right.

CUOMO: All right. Another big story we don't want you to forget. It's what's happening on the border. There are cases of babies being taken from their mothers.

This administration says the bible justifies their choice to do it. I'd like to know what passage that's in. I know that the attorney general put a passage out there. I don't think it was interpreted right. Now, I'm going to ask the man with the good book in his hand right now. Cardinal Timothy Dolan is here to tell us what the morality is here and why they may send a team of bishops to the border, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:25:32]

CUOMO: All right. What's happening at the border matters. Today, we've learned almost 2000 children were separated from their families in just over a month. That number continues to grow.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended this by quoting Scripture. So, let's ask someone who knows a thing or two about Scripture. Archbishop Timothy Dolan is here.

Welcome to PRIME TIME, Cardinal. Thank you for being part of the show.

CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN, ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK: Chris, always a joy to be with you. Thanks for the invite.

CUOMO: So, I was surprised that the attorney general went this guy. In terms of the instruction of what Jesus' message was, about how we should treat people like those coming across the border, what's the message?

DOLAN: The message is pretty clear from Jesus. Look, I appreciate the fact that Attorney General Sessions refers to the bible. The quote he used from St. Paul might not be the best.

For one, St. Paul always says we should obey the law of the government if that law is in conformity with the Lord's law, all right? No pun intended but God's law trumps man's law, all right? And St. Paul himself who gave the quote that the attorney general used, he wouldn't obey Roman law when it said it was mandatory to worship the emperor. He wouldn't obey that law.

I don't think we should obey a law that goes against what God intends that you would take a baby, a child, from their mom. I mean, that's just unjust. That's unbiblical. That's un-American. There could be no bible passage that would justify that.

CUOMO: Why is the church thinking about sending down a group from the counsel of bishops?

DOLAN: Look, you know, as everybody know, the bishops feel very strongly that to violently take a baby from its mother's womb is wrong, and to violently take a baby from its mother's arms on the border, that's immoral. That's wrong as well.

We bishops -- we're not politicians. We're pastors. We worry about the souls, the health, the spiritual and moral and physical health of those people down there. There are people, most of them, as you know, they're Catholics. They love their faith.

We think we should just go down there and say, hey, we love you and you're not alone, we're with you.

CUOMO: Will that be enough? If they say these people are here illegally. The law rules. And, in fact, Jeff Session goes further and says, I'll tell you what you should do, Cardinal, tell these people not to come here.

DOLAN: Well, I would say that doesn't speak too well of the United States. I mean, you and I are within about a mile from the Statue of Liberty, which in my mind represents what's noble and what's most sacred about the American dream, mainly that people are welcome.

Look, we bishops have no trouble at all. It's part of the same catechism that says we should welcome the immigrant. That same catechism tells us that government has the right to secure and safe borders. We're for that. It's got to be proportionate, though, OK?

And you can have secure and safe borders, alleluia for those who want to provide that, while still maintaining that grand American heritage of welcoming the immigrant and the refugee. That's part -- that's just part of America, and I don't want to see that spoiled?

CUOMO: And you don't believe they need to do what they say they need to do right now?

DOLAN: No, I don't think so. I -- if they want to be safe and interviewing and screening immigrants? Fine, no doubt about it.

If they want to take a baby from the arms of his mother and separate the two, that's wrong. I don't care where you're at, what time and what condition, that just goes against -- you don't have to read the bible for that. That goes against human decency. That goes against human dignity.

CUOMO: Yes.

DOLAN: That goes against what's most sacred in the human person.

CUOMO: I had heard -- one of the things that led me to you as an authority on this is that I heard you'd been saying you don't have to come to me as a cardinal about this.

DOLAN: Yes.

CUOMO: It doesn't matter what you believe in in terms of your religion to understand that this is wrong morally.

DOLAN: Yes, you know, I don't know if you want the Jewish Scriptures, Christian Scriptures, the Koran -- no, we're talking about the human heart and we're talking about what's most noble in the American tradition.

You don't have to be a believer to know this is not right to take a baby from its mother and say, get lost, and I don't know when you'll see your baby again. Not good. Not American. Not human. Not biblical.

CUOMO: This is a key theme for Pope Francis.

DOLAN: You bet it is. CUOMO: It was when he was cardinal down in Argentina. He's been

talking about this a lot lately.

DOLAN: Yes.

CUOMO: He recently just -- we'll put up the quote for people on the screen. He spoke it sounded like to this situation specifically. I know he was in Chile when he's talking about.

But he was saying there's no Christian joy when doors are closed. There's no Christian joy when others are made to feel unwanted when there's no room for them in our midst. I mean, it seems like he's speaking exactly to this. It was back in January but it seems to apply --

DOLAN: He's become, Chris, really the leading prophet when it would come to the defense of refugees, when it would come to advocate for the immigrants. And I'm glad he is because he's doing what Jesus would do. He's doing what St. Paul would do. He's doing what Moses taught the people of Israel in Deuteronomy.

And he's reminding, I think, us Americans of our most cherished principles, of welcome to the immigrant.

[21:30:00]

CUOMO: So, what do you say to the lawmakers because here's what they're hitting you with? I know you're not a politician, but if you want to find a solution here, when the bishops go down there, if they're going to extend their love, their also going to wind up addressing a problem.

They say this is the law. They came here illegally. And what they need to do is stop which is why the attorney general said the Christian thing to do is tell them to come only legally. Don't come illegally.

DOLAN: No. If I understand correctly, Chris, there is such a thing as discretionary implementation. You got the law and then you got a prudent judgment of when to implement it. They can use discretionary prudence not to implement a law that would take a baby from his or her mom, OK?

That's just prudence. That's just charity. That's just justice.

CUOMO: And to people who say they're Christians who say I like it, because it's her fault, she shouldn't have brought that kid her. She broke a law. She took a chance.

And she's coming here, she hurts my family. She hurts my chances of getting a job. She hurts the lawful people who want to get in.

This is on her. It's her problem. We're not doing the wrong thing. She did.

DOLAN: I would say they probably said that to your great grandparents when they came here from Ireland or Italy or Poland or France or Germany. Some people may have said the same thing. And thanks be to God that our better angels prevailed.

CUOMO: They'll say nobody came legally. Nobody came illegally like now. They're all coming illegally.

DOLAN: I would say if you claim to be Christians, you'd better read St. Matthew's gospel when he said this is what Jesus is going to ask us when we stand before him on judgment day. When I was a stranger, when I was an alien, when I was an immigrant, you welcomed me. All right? So, come to heaven.

But to me, that means a lot more than any particular law that we're debating about.

CUOMO: You know, you spoke at the Trump inauguration.

DOLAN: I didn't speak. I prayed.

CUOMO: You -- I'm sorry.

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: You prayed at the inauguration, and you spoke about Solomon and the idea of letting leadership come from the heart.

DOLAN: Yes.

CUOMO: How are we doing?

DOLAN: Well, I think we might need -- you mentioned Pope Francis earlier, Chris. And you know one of his -- one of his real trademarks is to speak about the heart. You might remember. You were there. In fact, I think it was last time you and I chatted when he was installed the successor of Peter on March 19th, 2013.

He spoke about -- he gave a ring call for tenderness. What the world needs is tenderness. All right? And I just say we need a little heart here. We need some tenderness. You bet we got some cold laws that need to be enforced in a prudent, just way.

We also need, we also need a good dose to the heart. We need a good dose of love and charity, and we need that. And we need -- I think America is asking our leaders to do that.

You're too young. I can remember July of 1986. Governor's Island here in New York, Ronald Reagan signed one of the most comprehensive just reforms of immigration ever. Now, he and Tip O'Neill can get together, all right?

Two people who were very partisan, two people who were ideologically -- you talk about (INAUDIBLE) -- if they can get together and their two parties to pass that comprehensive immigration reform, which gave great amnesty and created a clean path to citizenship, I think our leaders could do it today. Enough of blame, enough of retribution, enough of accusation. We need

to get together and say let's make this work. I rejoiced that President Trump could sit down with the president of North Korea. Certainly I hope he can sit down with Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi and Senator Schumer and all the other leaders and say we got to make this work. We owe it to our people.

And, by the way, Chris, our image is suffering in the world. You don't think the rest of the world is watching American border agents taking babies from the arms of their moms? This isn't good for us and the country that we love.

CUOMO: Well, hopefully, they hear you and hopefully there's action on common ground. Everybody says they don't like this but nobody is doing anything about it.

DOLAN: That's the problem. Yes, thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: Thank you so much for taking the opportunity.

DOLAN: Thanks to your mom.

CUOMO: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

All right. So, the president spent a lot of time talking to reporters today. Something he almost never does. Now, one thing he didn't talk much about, the fact that China just accused him of starting a trade war.

Next, we're going to bring fact checkers aboard for a great debate, CPT style. That's CUOMO PRIME TIME. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:38:30]

CUOMO: All right. Well, the president put his full matrix on mendacity on display this week. You may remember this unsubstantiated declaration after his meeting with Kim Jong-un. Everybody can feel much safer. There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.

Now, there's, of course, zero proof Kim is really going to give up his nukes. He still has them. He has his missiles. They're still capable of reaching the continental U.S. -- and everyone can feel much safer.

Just 24 hours after that tweet, the president's own Department of Homeland Security put out a warning after detecting incoming cyber attacks by North Korea which is actually the most pressing threat that they present. And President Trump never mentioned a word about addressing that with Kim.

Today, an onslaught of falsehoods, one after another. I pulled out a few for you. Let's roll the first.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that the report yesterday maybe more importantly than anything, it totally exonerates me. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. The I.G. report yesterday went a long way to show that. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: The I.G. report doesn't address any of the allegations about him, about obstruction of justice or anything about the Mueller probe. It just doesn't. The report was solely on the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

Let's roll the next one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign. He worked for me for 49 days or something, a very short period of time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: He's not even close. Actually, Mr. President, you know Manafort worked for you for 144 days. You hired him in late March of 2016. He resigned in mid-August of that year.

He was all over the campaign. He was the face of it for a long time.

[21:40:00]

He was the chair of the campaign. That's not a nothing position.

Then there was this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That's their law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Now, this one should bother you. OK? This is not true. There is no law forcing Trump, and it is him behind this. This is his department that's doing this.

There's no law forcing him to do it this way. And the only law that does exist from 2008 was signed by President Bush. OK?

So, the president is also claiming that there is no trade war with China despite imposing tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: What about the fact that there are a lot of people who say what's he doing? He's going to start a trade war? If he slaps 25 percent on $50 billion for China, that's going to be good for Americans? TRUMP: No. The trade war was started many years ago by them and the

United States lost.

REPORTER: So, you're saying we're on the losing end?

TRUMP: There's no trade war. Well, no, there is no trade war. They've taken so much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: The Chinese government responded to the president's action with retaliatory tariffs of their own and accused the U.S. of launching a trade war.

All right. Time for a great debate. We got Catherine Rampell and Stephen Moore here.

It's good to have you both. Thank you for joining me on a Friday night.

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST: Great to be with you.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Of course.

CUOMO: So, Stephen, I almost feel bad about burdening you with the responsibility of defending any of those statements as true. Would you like to do that or would you just like to take a stipulation that they're not true, let's talk about something else?

MOORE: Let's start with the last one, Chris. By the way, congratulations on the new show. I love your -- I love your new show.

CUOMO: Thank you.

MOORE: So, let's talk about the issue of China and trade. I happen to -- I'm a free trade guy, but I happen to agree with Trump that we have been and we haven't called it a trade war, but we haven't been in a trade war with China for 25 years. They've been cheating. They've been stealing. We know from a recent government report that China steals about $300 billion or $400 billion of our technology every year, our intellectual property, our computer software, our drugs, our vaccines, those kinds of products, and they don't pay us for it.

We know that they've been -- we've been running very large, massive trade deficits with China for 25 years. We know that China has much higher tariffs on our goods and services than the tariff that we charge them.

And I think Trump is right. No president not Bush, not Clinton, not Obama, stood up to China and stood toe to toe with them and said, we can't -- we can't take this anymore.

CUOMO: Right, but he said no trade war.

Rampell, they just said you started a trade war. Now we're going to retaliate. MOORE: Chris, with all due respect, that's the point. Let me just

make one quick point --

RAMPELL: That's --

CUOMO: Hold on, that's OK.

RAMPELL: The question was to me.

CUOMO: OK. Finish your point because I want Catherine to have both barrels at you. So, what do you have?

MOORE: I just wanted to say this. Trump's point is it's been like unilateral disarmament. We've let China, you know, steal our products and impose high tariffs on us and we've done nothing. And I think American should say it's about time.

CUOMO: That's fine, but he said I will do this. There will be no trade war, and if this was really about intellectual property theft, we wouldn't have done what he did with ZTE, which is the biggest offender, Stephen, and you know it. And he went from putting sanctions to giving them relief, which sent a completely mixed message and you could argue vitiated his statutory authority because if that's not a national security threat, I don't know how any of the other tariffs qualify. Go ahead.

Rampell, let's bring you in here.

MOORE: OK.

RAMPELL: OK. Thank you. Thank you. I'd love to jump in on this conversation.

CUOMO: Please?

RAMPELL: First, it is true. It is true that China has been a bad actor specifically with regard to our intellectual property. If you want to do business in China, often you have to transfer your technology to Chinese firms. That's a bad thing.

But it is completely false to say that Obama did nothing about it. The Trans Pacific Partisanship, TPP, was specifically about keeping China in line. Obama said this, because it wasn't only the United States that had companies that were suffering as a result of these IP infractions. It was lots of other countries' companies as well.

This was about bringing together a coalition of the willing to use an expression used by Larry Kudlow, to basically band together and try to get tough on China. The way to get tough on China is to get together with your allies who are also suffering and use that as leverage. Instead, Trump withdrew us from TPP and is instead going through with these sort of willy-nilly tariffs that are bad for U.S. firms, in addition to not inflicting a lot of pain on China.

So, if you really want to get tough on China, we had a way to do it. We had 11 other countries or so on board, and we pulled out. There were plenty of multilateral ways that are much more effective that have proven much more effective, and instead, Trump decided he didn't really feel like learning about them, and said you know what this I'm going to come out guns blazing and just slap tariffs on stuff.

[21:45:30]

And at this point we could be trying to reenlist those allies in this fight against China to get China in line, and instead we're alienating them through steal and aluminum tariffs on our allies, through lots of other antagonistic rhetoric. I think we're going about this the wrong way, and again, it's absolutely false to say that there was no attempt prior to this administration to do anything that made, you know, sensible -- that was a sensible strategy for this.

CUOMO: Now, Stephen, I have a sneaking suspicious you've been quiet because you agree with a lot of that. And my basis is I've had this discussion with you before. And I know you weren't in favor of a lot of stuff the president has done. So, what do you say now?

MOORE: So, look, I do agree with some of that. I do think that if you're going to fight a -- let's not call it a trade war, but trade dispute. I don't like the term trade war.

CUOMO: China likes it.

MOORE: But, look, you know, history tells you, you don't want to fight a three or four front war at the same time. And so, I sort of agree with Catherine. It doesn't make sense to, you know, to be picking a fight with Canada or Germany or Korea at a time when we're trying to really go after the bad actor which is China.

I don't agree that somehow if we had -- and I was sort of open-minded to the TPP. I wasn't hugely in favor. I think there were real problems that Trump identified. But I just don't see how that --

RAMPELL: Like what?

MOORE: Let me finish this point. I don't see how that alone --

RAMPELL: What were the problems that Trump identified?

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: I like the question. What were the problems? You got to specify on this show.

RAMPELL: Yes. What were the problems?

CUOMO: What were the problems with TPP, and how did he fix them? Go ahead.

MOORE: Well, look, those countries have very high tariffs that weren't going to come down nearly enough, actually. I mean, look, if you look at the situation around the world today, I just looked at the numbers.

RAMPELL: Oh, please. It didn't go far enough.

MOORE: Hold on, Catherine, let me finish the point.

Every -- virtually every country except Australia has higher tariffs on us, Chris, than we have on them. I'm a free trade guy. When I talked to Trump about this, he says, look, I'm not against free trade. I'm for fair trade.

And incidentally, one other quick point, Chris, if I may. Almost nobody in the media has focused on this, but in the last hours of the G-7 meeting this weekend, this past weekend, in Canada, Trump at the behest of Larry Kudlow who just mentioned, Catherine, put zero tariffs on the table. Why don't all of the countries --

(CROSSTALK)

RAMPELL: Oh, that was so disingenuous. Oh, yeah, he wants no tariffs whatsoever. Come on. He is the one who is levying tariffs on not only China who I will -- as we have both agreed, is a bad actor here. On Canada, on Mexico, places that have --

MOORE: Because they have their tariffs than we do.

RAMPELL: They are comparable to ours. They are comparable to ours. He is talking about putting -- not talking about. He has actually levied tariffs, worldwide on steel and aluminum in ways that are completely bad for U.S. industry, because when you look at the numbers, the number of firms, the number of jobs that depend on steel and aluminum as inputs, it's many, many multiples.

So come on. It's just bonkers and completely bogus to say Trump really just wants to bring down tariffs?

MOORE: He put it on the table. He put it on the table, Catherine, and none of the other countries took him up on that.

RAMPELL: Because it's completely disingenuous.

MOORE: They have higher trade barrier -- it's just a fact, Catherine. They have higher trade barriers on us than we -- how can we be the bad actor?

RAMPELL: No, they don't. Look at World Bank data. The World Bank puts out an average tariff rate across all industries, across all products, and we are comparable to a lot of the other countries you're talking about.

MOORE: No, we're not.

RAMPELL: Yes, we are.

MOORE: We're about half the level. Canada, you're right.

RAMPELL: Go to the World Bank's website and look it up for yourself.

(CROSSTALK) CUOMO: I want to move on to something else, because, look, one of the problems of having smart people is sometimes you argue a little nuance, that's what you're doing, Stephen.

You got to look at it apples to apples, all right? That was what Rampell was being bringing out there that yes, they may be higher, but if you look at the number of jobs and the number of firms, you start to scale it up and see it's not as disproportionate as you're suggesting.

But people can do their own research. We'll lay it out here.

I want to ask about something for black and white. The administration says, Stephen, we have to separate families at the border. It's what the law demands that the Democrats put in place. Now, that is demonstrably false.

The 2008 law that applies here was signed by Bush, catch and release which was a policy was a policy choice by the Obama administration. Trump doesn't like that policy. So, he's made a different choice.

So, this isn't about the law. It's about what Trump wants to do. Fair point.

MOORE: So, I'm not a lawyer. I did some preparation for this show and tried to look into what exactly is the law with respect to parents who bring -- you know, who -- migrants who bring their kids with them. I was trying to figure it out. And I have to say, I couldn't quite figure it out what --

[21:50:15]

CUOMO: Here's the law. You don't have to do this. You choose what you prosecute and how you don't. If you do prosecute, you have certain rules you must follow.

MOORE: OK. I'll grant that point. So, here's a couple points about this stuff. Number one, Trump said today, and I'm in full agreement with them, that we should move away from a policy. I think almost everyone agrees. We don't want to take kids away from their parents.

So, let's accept that and hopefully we move --

CUOMO: I can't accept it, Steven. He's doing it.

MOORE: OK. But here's the point. I listen to your conversation with the cardinal, which is fascinating. I'm a Catholic myself.

Certainly, you know, we believe as Catholics to love the stranger. But the question is -- where the Cardinal is going with this -- I wonder where you and Catherine fall on this, you know, basically saying anyone who wants to come into the country can come in.

CUOMO: No, it's not what he's saying. He's saying you got to balance heart and head. Catherine, the government said something very interesting in a May hearing that I want to tee up for you, OK? Because this idea of the president saying I really hate this, I wish I didn't have to do it, I wish the Democrats didn't give me these bad laws, it's just not true. The government was defending a suit against the ACLU, OK? The ACLU was suing over this policy.

Here was their defense, the court has no authority to order either form of this relieve which was asking them to do to change because these are discretionary immigration actions that are shielded from review by statute. You don't have to be a lawyer to know what that means. It means this is what we want to do. It's within our purview, you can't stop us.

RAMPELL: I think this whole policy has completely put the lie to two things that Republicans have claimed to stand for, namely family values and rule of law. The Trump administration has argued that he has no choice but to separate parents from their, some as young as like 53 weeks old for the following reason.

It says that we have to prosecute everybody who commits a crime, a crime for crossing the border.

CUOMO: Which is a misdemeanor.

RAMPELL: And we'll prosecute someone -- yes, it's a misdemeanor. They go to jail and the kids can't go to jail, right? That's their argument, except again, it's completely false.

First of all, a lot of people who are being prosecuted did not actually commit a crime. If you look through that ACL lawsuit that you referenced, there are a number of asylum seekers that did exactly what Trump administration and the federal government for that matter for many years have instructed them to do. They have presented themselves at a port of entry. They have not actually crossed that border. They had not unlawfully or otherwise crossed into the United States.

What they've done is, they said, hi, I'm presenting myself, I'm presenting my kids --

CUOMO: Right.

RAMPELL: -- and we'd like to apply for asylum.

And they're saying, OK, we're going to arrest you now.

CUOMO: Right.

RAMPELL: So, it's not the case that they're even breaking a law, which is again the excuse the Trump administration is using. They're saying, oh, well, we do this with all kinds of criminals. So, you know, again, this is just so disingenuous, and the reason why they're blaming Democrats, why the Trump administration is blaming Democrats --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Because it works, that's why, Catherine. Let's leave this one there.

Stephen Moore, I appreciate the robust defense tonight. Catherine Rampell, thank you for the facts and the analysis. The bottom line is, if the president doesn't want to do what's happening at the border he can stop it with a phone call.

All right. Don lemon is up next. He's standing by with a preview of "CNN TONIGHT."

Cardinal Dolan and Rudy Giuliani was such an interesting mix of head and heart tonight. Rudy dropping bombs about how this I.G. report exonerates and the Mueller probe is dirty. Dolan saying all you need is a heart to understand that what's happening in the border is wrong.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: And you used to need facts, that's all you needed. You used to need facts.

I'm so glad that you drove down on that with that past panel. And you also talked about, how the president just came out to do, I mean, it was unorthodox he came out, you know, and gave that impromptu press conference, if you want to call it that on the lawn. It's great that he's talking to the media but there were a lot of lies in that.

And just on the thing that you were saying, he said, I hate that children are being taken away, the Democrats have to change their law. That has been debunked by many news organizations. It's not a law. It's the Democrats law.

It is the Trump administration using their discretion. This is what they're doing as a policy, not a law.

CUOMO: The government argued it itself in a May hearing just even not a month ago.

Thank you very much. I'll see you in a second.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: All right. Coming up, I went face to face with one of the most notorious serial killers we've ever had. It's part of a documentary series that we're doing for HLN called "Inside Evil". I've got a taste of it for you, next. You're going to want to see this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:58:41]

CUOMO: All right. This Sunday, we're going to delve into the mind of one of America's most notorious serial killers on this HLN original series "Inside Evil".

Here's a preview. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Did you get a rush from the killing?

REPORTER: Did you do it? What you're going to say?

(CROSSTALK)

REPORTER: Your 17 victims.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joe Rifkin is a psycho path.

UNIDEENTIFIED MALE: He wanted us to know how prolific a killer he had.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was terrifying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was very quick second. Everything changed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: "Inside Evil" premieres Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on HLN. I'm telling you, you will not believe what will come out of Joel Rifkin.

All right. That's all for us tonight. Thank you so much for being with us this week. We're back Monday night. Let's get after it again at 9:00 Eastern.

"CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts right now.

That series is no joke, my friend.

[22:00:00]