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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Paul Manafort Jailed, Pardons Possible for Many Involved; Trump Told Shinzo Abe He'd Ship 25 Million Mexicans to Japan; CNN on Scene As Border Patrol Agents; Michael Cohen Indicating Willingness to Cooperate with Federal Judge. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 15, 2018 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Good evening. I am Wolf Blitzer sitting in for Anderson. There are a boat load of legal problems sitting at the feet of the President tonight and we have new reporting on how the President might plan to deal with them but how still others can be out of his control. We begin with his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
He sits in jail tonight. It marks the first time anyone associated with the Trump Campaign has landed behind bars; no small thing. Manafort's bail to date was revoked and the charges against him are growing.
Then, there's Michael Cohen, the President's personal attorney. He's now signaling an openness to cooperating with the feds and there are new details tonight about what authorities have seized as part of their investigation. All of this comes on top of New York state suing Mr. Trump's charity; like I said, a lot of legal woes.
But we are also learning how the President might fight back. As to the question of obstructive of justice that some think Mr. Mueller's team is pursuing, our Gloria Borger has some new reporting about how the President's legal team now plans to use the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation as part of his defense.
And in the case of Paul Manafort, the President's Russia attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is dangling the possibility of a pardon for him and for others raising serious questions about obstruction of justice. The President spoke out about his former campaign chairman on the White House lawn with a Presidential master class in the art of the just plain false.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I feel badly about a lot of it because I think a lot of it is very unfair. I mean I look at some of them where they go back 12 years. Like Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign. But I feel so - but I'll tell you, I feel badly about it. They went back 12 years, to get things that he did 12 years ago. Paul Manafort worked for me a very short period of time. He worked for me, what, 49 days or something; a very short period of time.
BLITZER: All right, keeping them honest, virtually none of that is true. Paul Manafort spent almost five months, not 49 days working for the campaign including 3 months as the campaign chairman. He served during the convention, met with Russians over at Trump Tower in New York. He was and is a big deal.
Later in the hour we're going to show you more Presidential untruths and throughout the hour we will be talking about all aspects of the President's very complicated legal tangle. But let's begin with the biggest, at least right now, Paul Manafort's day in court and his trip to jail. CNN's Sara Murray has the very latest for us. She's joining us. Sara, Manafort's trial is not until September, so why does the federal judge in this specific case feel the need to send him to jail, a federal prison, today?
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Wolf, Manafort is facing two trials, one in D.C. and one in Virginia. He was already wearing two ankle bracelets and was under house arrest and then prosecutors came and said, look this is someone who has spent five weeks using different encrypted apps, making phone calls, trying to essentially reach out to witnesses in this case and tamper with them and influence their testimony.
That is the argument that prosecutors made to the judge and the judge issued, who's hearing it today, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, basically said I have no appetite for this. She said this not middle school. I can't take his cell phone and she made the decision today in court that Paul Manafort would be spending the few months behind bars as he awaits trial.
BLITZER: That's exactly what he is doing right now, awaiting trial. Sara, thank you very much. Later in the hour we're going to show you more Presidential untruths and throughout the hour we will be talking about all aspects of this case. Let's get some more right now on Manafort's bail revocation and a talk of a possible pardon for him. The President used a phrase that he often has about people that he does wind up pardoning, that phrase being quote, "very unfair." He tweeted this today, "Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manifort. Didn't know Manafort was the head of the mob. What about Comey and crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair," close quote.
Let's get some perspective right now from CNN's Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Harvard's Alan Dershowitz, his new book by the way, "The Case Against Impeaching Trump" will be out next month. Thanks very much for joining us. And Jeff you were inside that federal court today when Manafort's bail was revoked. President Trump, as we said, tweeted that it was quote, "very unfair." What's unfair about jailing someone who allegedly committed a crime while out on bail?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well it was an incredibly dramatic scene. I mean Paul Manafort walked into that courtroom not knowing whether he would be walking out. His freedom was going to be determined in these very few minutes in court and what the prosecution said was he was instructed as a -- in his original bail application, you cannot commit more crimes while you are out on bail.
He has now been indicted for witness tampering, while he was out on bail, contacting these witnesses and trying to get them to tell a false story and he has now been locked up and it really changes the complexion of this trial coming up in September. It is hugely, hugely different to be waiting in prison to go to trial and to be waiting in the luxury apartment in Alexandria, Virginia where he had been, and the pressure on him is going to ratchet up enormously.
BLITZER: I certainly will. Alan Dershowitz, what Rudy Giuliani, the President's lawyer, tells the "New York Daily News" as he did that the Mueller probe quote, "Might get cleaned up with some Presidential pardons," that's a quote. Could that be interpreted potentially as inappropriate if not illegal or unethical, a signal to potential subjects and witnesses?
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR AND AUTHOR: No. He has a perfect right as Trump's lawyer to assert his belief that Manafort should be pardoned. My own view is it is terribly unfair for Manafort to join thousands of other people, many of them minority people, many of them poor who are sitting in jail with the presumption of innocence. We don't know whether he tampered with witnesses. All we know is he's been indicted for that.
You can indict - you can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. This so undercuts the presumption of innocence when we put people in jail, poor or rich, without a trial, without a hearing based on a judge's conclusion and a prosecute his assertion that they may have violated the bail. I agree with Rudy Giuliani that you don't put people in jail when they talk to witnesses; you put people in jail when they threaten witnesses.
They could take away his telephone, his computer; they can take away his access to any opportunity to talk to witnesses and let him stay at home. This is punitive and is designed to put pressure on Manafort and it may very well work. The reason we get 98% conviction rates in some part of the country is because we put people in jail prior to trial; we threaten them with 20, 30 or 40 year sentences and then we tell them if they cooperate and plead, they will be out in months.
That's not the way a criminal justice system should operate. Manafort brings to the attention of the American public. We should be aware of this based on previous cases and as a civil libertarian - a nonpartisan civil libertarian -- I am outrage at the judge's decision to put him in jail. I hope he appeals and I hope it goes up to the Circuit and the Circuit reverses the conviction.
BLITZER: Let me ask Jeffrey, she's a highly respected federal judge, what do you think?
TOOBIN: Alan, you can't make up the facts about what is going on here. She didn't - she didn't just conclusory, it wasn't a conclusory judgment of hers. She said the grand jury has indicted him for witness tampering. That is a judgment of a grand jury. It was a factual matter that the grand jury indicted him and that is the basis --
DERSHOWITZ: You are --
TOOBIN: Let me finish, Alan.
BLITZER: Let him finish Alan.
TOOBIN: That -- that was the basis for the fact that she revoked his bail. It wasn't that she didn't like what he said; it was a factual matter that he had been indicted.
DERSHOWITZ: It is not a factual matter that he did it.
TOOBIN: Of course not.
DERSHOWITZ: When a grand jury, 23 people being directed and instructed by the prosecution who could persuade them to indict you or me or Wolf based on no evidence what's so every, the grand jury is a meaningless collection of 23 pieces of furniture that are moved around at will by prosecutors. There is so such thing as grand jury discretion. They never refuse to indict and for you to look at the indictment and say that is a factual conclusion, defies reality. Nothing should turn on a grand jury indictment. A grand jury indictment is simply like a complaint in a civil case; it brings the case to trial. Judges instruct the jury, ignore the indictment; the indictment is not a way of shifting the presumption of innocence.
BLITZER: Alan, you have --
DERSHOWITZ: Paul Manafort is as innocent as you and I in the eyes of the law and he should not be in prison based on allegations. If you want to have a meaningful trial, a hearing, both sides present evidence that is one thing but to base it on an indictment is to base it on a meaningless conclusory prosecutorial tool.
TOOMEY: Alan, you just want to --
BLITZER: Jeffrey go ahead and respond.
TOOMEY: you dislike grand juries and you've been very consistent about that but the grand jury has been part of the American legal system for 200 years. My view is the same laws that apply to everyone else should apply to Paul Manafort and there are bail laws that say you shouldn't commit crimes. and there are probable cause standards for whether you've committed a crime while you were out on bail. All Judge Jackson did was apply the law that applies to everyone else to Paul Manafort, and I think that is all you can ask in this circumstance.
BLITZER: All right everybody hold on, hold on - hold on Alan. Hold on for a moment. We're going to take a quick break. We've got a lot more to discuss; neither of you is going away. I want to get your take on a new strategy the President's legal team may be using to fight a subpoena to testify from Robert Mueller. Gloria Borger, she has the scoop; you're going to hear from her.
We've got a lot more to discuss. Stick around. Also ahead, a leading evangelical Christian reacts to the Attorney General using the Bible to justify separating children from their parents at the Southern border.
BLITZER: The President is latching onto the Justice Department's Inspector General's report but he's doing it a way the authors might not have imagined. As you know the 568 page document primarily concerns the FBI's conduct during the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. And though it does document examples of FBI agents showing antipathy towards the then candidate, Donald Trump, nothing in it says what the President today said it does.
TRUMP: It totally exonerates me. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction, and if you read the report, you'll see that. Excuse me. Wait, wait, wait. What you'll really see is you'll see bias against me and millions, and tens of millions of my followers that is really a disgrace.
BLITZER: Again, the report does not exonerate the President on Russia or obstruction of justice. However, there could be a reason the President said what he said beyond simply protesting his innocence. Our Chief Political Analyst, Gloria Borger, has uncovered how that attack on the I.G.'s report could be used as part of a new strategy by the Trump legal team.
Gloria, you've been talking to your sources about President Trump's legal team, how do they plan on shifting their strategy in response to this inspector general's report?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I think they now intend to make the inspector general report kind of the centerpiece of their strategy when dealing with the Special Counsel. And the thing they are going to focus in on is the question of obstruction because the counsel's report was very tough. The Inspector General's report was very, very tough on James Comey.
And they're going to say look we fired him for the same reasons that were outlined in the inspector general's report. Therefore there cannot be any obstruction because we did for the right reason. Now, in saying that, they are, of course, forgetting that the President, himself, talked about that Russia thing when he was interviewed by Lester Holt but they're still going to make this claim.
BLITZER: Good point. And Gloria, the text sent by the FBI agent, Peter Strzok, I understand the President's lawyers, they plan to argue this entire Russia investigation has been politically biased because of that. Is that right?
BORGER: Right, don't forget, Peter Strzok was one of the people who early on joined the Russia investigation. And they take a look at that text and say wait a minute, the people who began this investigation early on were biased against the President. Now you heard the President talk about this today, he said these people were biased against me and against tens of millions of my followers. I spoke to one source who says this proves that there was direct, explicit and substantial evidence, a bias at the onset of the Russia investigation, therefore it was invalid.
BLITZER: And Gloria, the President's lawyers, I understand they're going to be meeting with Mueller's team -- BORGER: They are.
BLITZER: -- fairly soon, what can you tell us about that?
BORGER: Well, they're going say you have no reason to subpoena the President. You may not have any reason to interview him at all because they are going to make the argument that this is a corrupt investigation, as the I.G. report they believe proves, and that since there was no obstruction, because there was every reason to fire Comey, what could you want to talk to the President about? You have millions of pages of documents, you have contemporaneous interviews with witnesses and therefore, since the President did nothing wrong, and this report proves it, no reason to talk to him.
BLITZER: Gloria Borger, thanks very much.
BLITZER: Let's get back to Jeff Toobin and Alan Dershowitz. Alan, does this I.G. report give the President and his legal team justification potentially to challenge a subpoena by the Special Counsel Robert Muller's team when it comes to obstruction of justice?
DERSHOWITZ : It gives it some ammunition. The report does say there was a basis for firing Comey and I don't think you are entitled to ask the President why he was engaged in an act which he was entitled to do under Article 2 of the Constitution, especially if he had justification. People have justifications.
What President Trump might have done was used that should have been fired due to the Hillary Clinton investigation, both deep and behind his mind he said it also helps me in the Russian investigation. That's not the kind of inquiry that a criminal justice should be concerned with. I don't think the I.G. report is a vindication of the President, but the statement about Comey in the report gives them a basis for building. But look, the team is making serious mistakes.
I am outraged that Rudy Giuliani stated in the "New York Daily News," I think that Joe Biden is a moron and a mentally deficient idiot. You know that kind of conversation has no place in the defense of the President. Joe Biden is a great man who would be a wonderful, wonderful President and when you have the President's lawyers getting involved in this kind of mudslinging and partisan politics, it undercuts what his descent and good points are and there are some good points. The President shouldn't be subpoenaed unless there is a very good reason for doing so.
Remember that Comey says in his book, you don't have to subpoena the subject of the investigation, because we have the evidence of that. He said that in the context of the Hillary Clinton thing. The only reason we subpoena people is to see if they will tell the truth. That sounds like a perjury trap, so there is a basis. But the President, he was undercutting their basis when they get into this partisan mudslinging, the kind that my friend and a very good lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, did today. Shame on him.
BLITZER: Good point.
TOOMEY: You know, Alan and the White House have been arguing from day one that the President can fire the FBI
Director for any reason, even if it's totally corrupt. Similarly, they've been arguing that he can argue - that he can pardon anyone for whatever reason even if it's corrupt.
BLITZER: That's right.
TOOMEY: That is not true. There is no Supreme Court opinion that says that. We always look at the motives of people's behavior to determine whether they are criminal or high crimes and misdemeanors. If President Obama - President Trump fired James Comey because he wanted to stop the Trump - the Russia investigation, that is illegal. If he is threatening, if he is using pardons to escape liability himself, that is a crime as well. There is not -- this idea that Article 2 gives you the power to do anything for whatever reason is something that Alan and the white house are just making up.
BLITZER: All right, go ahead Alan.
DERSHOWITZ: First of all, I don't coordinate with the White House.
TOOMEY: I didn't say that. You are both wrong, independently.
DERSHOWITZ: The American public when they didn't indict or charge George W. Bush when he pardoned Caspar Weinberger and five people for the explicit purpose, found by the special prosecutor, of stopping the investigation, and preventing Weinberger from pointing the finger at him. We have a clear precedent and you can't violate the precedent. Jeffrey, how do you distinguish the George W. Bush case where he clearly pardoned five people to stop an investigation from pointing to him on this case. Jeffrey, answer that question.
TOOMEY: The answer is it was January 20th, 1993. He did it as he was walking out the door. There was nothing to be done. He was the ex-President by that time. That precedent is of no value at all.
DERSHOWITZ: You can indict an ex-President. That is why Gerald Ford had to pardon Richard Nixon. That is no answer Jeffrey. It happened with that case. You can't have a special law for Donald Trump that you didn't apply to George W. Bush.
BLITZER: Let me just stop for a second, George H. W. Bush.
DERSHOWITZ: H. W. Bush, I'm sorry.
TOOMEY: What we're talking about is abuse of Presidential power. If someone is an ex-President, it is a moot point whether they abuse Presidential power. The issue is why did Donald Trump, why did he fire James Comey? The issue is why is he offering pardons or dangling the possibility of pardons to Michael Cohen, to Michael Flynn, to Paul Manafort? It is to interfere with the due administration of justice. Presidents don't have that power. He can pardon anyone he wants but motive matters.
DERSHOWITZ: When the framers of the constitution debated the impeachment, and I have this in my new forthcoming book, they rejected explicitly the notion that you can impeach and remove a President based on maladministration and all the kinds of things you're talking about. It required a high crime and misdemeanor and treason or bribery and that simply hasn't occurred here. The President can pardon and you can't start parsing motives. When you start asking why a President did anything, is it to sell more books?
Is it to go down in history? Is it because he wants to make more money when he gets out of office? We can't start asking about the motives of Presidents. We have to ask whether his act was justified under Article 2 of the Constitution, same thing with Senators. You can't question Senators or Congressman for what they did on the floor of the Senate, even if they had a bad motive. You can't question the motive of judges. We have immunity for all three branches of the government, not surprising we have it for the President as well.
BLITZER: Very quickly, Jeffrey, you have the last word.
TOOMEY: Look, Richard Nixon was about to be impeached and he resigned because he used the CIA to tell the FBI to stop investigating Watergate. He had the power; he had the power to do both, to tell the FBI and to tell the CIA what to do. He was forced out of office because he did it corruptly. That is the issue here.
DERSHOWITZ: Because he took hush money, because he paid bribes, because he told his under-lings to lie to the FBI. He was not forced out of office because he exercised his authority under Article 2 of the Constitution and neither was Bill Clinton.
BLITZER: All right. An excellent legal debate as always, guys thank you to both of you. We'll continue these conversations down the road I promise.
Up next, more of what the President said today versus the facts.
[20:25:00] BLITZER: A remarkable moment this morning over at the White House. The President stepped outside, walked straight over to the cameras. He first spoke to "Fox News" then to all White House reporters. He covered a lot of topics over that 49 minutes and as we mentioned, he also made a bunch of false statements. Keeping him honest, here is a look at the President's untruths followed by the facts.
TRUMP: It's a very unfair situation, but the I.G. report totally exonerates him. And if you look at the results and you look at the head investigator is saying we have to stop Trump from becoming President. Well Trump became President.
I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That's their law. That's the Democrat's law. We can change it tonight; I can change it right now. You need their votes. You need their votes.
Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign. But I tell you I feel a little badly about it. They went back 12 years to get things that he did 12 years ago. You know Paul Manafort worked for me a very short period of time. He worked for me for 49 days or something, a very short period of time. I feel badly for some people because they went back 12 years to find things about somebody.
President Obama lost Crimea because President Putin didn't respect President Obama, didn't respect our country, and didn't respect Ukraine. One more time, President Obama gave away Crimea. That should have never happened.
I feel badly for General Flynn. He's lost his house. He's lost his life. And some people say he lied, and some people say he didn't lie. I mean, really, it turned out maybe he didn't lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, joining us now New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman. She is also CNN Political Analyst.
Maggie, over the course of the last few weeks, you have spoken a lot about the President's lies and untruths, what he actually believes something he is saying and when he doesn't in that context, what do you make of his answers today?
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think that for the most part he was saying things that he -- it was a grab bag of what he wanted to will into existence versus what I think he knew was not true. I was interested there were number of times if you look at the transcript of reporters did in real time say to him why are -- somebody actually yelled, why are you lying about that sir, which I think is a Rubicon crossing. And I'm hoping for the people who thought that having reporters do that is going to somehow change how he acts or just have use of that notion because it's not going to but he did say a number of things that were false. He said somethings that you would have to assume.
One assumes that he knows what his own border policy is. And that he knows that that is a lie to keep saying that it is the Democrat policy. That is just not true. I believe he does not want it own politically, the images of these children who have been taken away from parents at the border. I think that accounts for that one.
I think that -- you saw him practice an enormous amount of spin around the inspector general report on James Comey and how James Comey handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
She was really the wronged party in the entire report but the President has turned this into something about himself and how it showed about that he was correct about Comey in terms of firing him and he then made all these claims about the reports that just are not true, that the report, you know, exonerated him in terms of allegations of collusion with Russian officials by his campaign. And the report doesn't do any of that.
So I think this was, A, President who has been cooped up and likes to do things the way he wants to. And likes engaging with the President and really hasn't been for a very long time. So I think that was actually enjoyable for him but there were a torrent of inaccuracies and false hoods.
BLITZER: In a recent day, he has been spending more time answering reporter's questions, which is good.
HABERMAN: Yes, it is good.
BLITZER: Do you think these misstatements -- these answers are part of the -- any actual strategy in the President's part or is he merely reacting in real time to reporter's questions?
HABERMAN: I think on Comey, there is a strategy where they are trying to -- his legal team is trying to discredit Comey. They believe that Comey is the main witness for the Special Counsel Robert Mueller and that they need to attack him from all angles. And I think that, that is not a surprise and that is part of a strategy.
The rest of it though, I do think is that this is a President and before that a candidate, and before that a business man and reality television star who will say whatever he has to say to get through very short 10 to 15 minutes increments of time. And that is really what this was. And there was a moment where reporter was asking a question and he informed the reporter they were asking an entirely different question. And it wasn't even on the same ballpark. So this is just somebody who is getting through that moment.
BLITZER: Where do you think, Maggie, the President's head is right now because he is on the heels of what was by most accounts a successful first step with North Korea and yet he now facing the prospect of some kind of sit-down interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller?
HABERMAN: Look, I think the chances of that interview being agreed to by the President are extremely slim. Obviously, don't ever say never but I think it's extremely unlikely based on my reporting. I do think his head was in a very good place coming out of North Korea. I think he felt really good about this meeting. I think he felt like he had -- one of the things that has benefited this president is that, time and time again, when he has done something, there has been something of a sky is falling reaction to it and that emboldens him when the sky does not fall.
So at the moment he feels that way about North Korea and it was then frustrating for him to come back to the U.S. And see the summit described as it actually was. And, you know, the agreements that actually where made between him and Kim Jong-un what he agreed to give up versus what Kim Jong-un agreed to give up. And there is a bit of a gap and how he is describing it versus what took place. But I think yes, he comes back into the messy reality of this probe, which he sort of hint that in a tweet either today or yesterday. And I think that bothers him.
BLITZER: Yes, good point. Maggie Haberman, thanks so much.
HABERMAN: Thank you.
BLITZER: How President Trump stunned world leaders at the G7 summit when he brought up Mexican migrants.
[20:38:31] BLITZER: Tonight we have learned President Trump stunned world leaders of the G7 summit when he brought back migrants. So much to say, the President turned to Japan's Prime Minister and said, "Shinzo, you don't have this problem but I can send you 25 million Mexicans and you will be out of office soon."
Meanwhile, a different comment on immigration from his attorney general is also raising eyebrows. On Thursday Jeff Sessions cited the bible to justify separating immigrant children from their parents. The same bible passage used to defend slavery in the run up to the civil war. Here is what the attorney general said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the law of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Elsewhere the bible of course says love your neighbor as yourself. Also love does no harm to a neighbor therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. The attorney general didn't mention those passages and some biblical scholars are taking issues with what Mr. Sessions said and that includes my next guest, Russell Moore. He is the President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Dr. Moore, thank you so much for joining. As someone who knows the Bible as well as you do, I wonder what goes through your mind when you hear the attorney general use it to defend this specific policy?
RUSSELL MOORE, PRESIDENT OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST ETHICS AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION: Well, what we all have moments when we can use little more time in Sunday school and this is one of those moments for the Department of Justice.
[20:40:06] Romans 13 does not mean that any law that the government passes or carries out is a good law or just law. Romans 13 simply means that the governing authorities are put into place for a reason. And the reason, the Apostle Paul says there in Romans 13 is that to commend that, which is good and to punish that which is evil. It is hard to imagine that children clinging to their parents in a very, very difficult time could be classified as evil. I think I understand what the attorney general is trying to say which is that we have rule of law and we are to observe that rule of law. I agree with that but I think surely as Americans we can do better than this when it comes to vulnerable children who need their parents, if we are pro family, we oath to recognize how important that is.
BLITZER: Yes. It's so hearth breaking to see this little kids taken away from their moms. The attorney general is not just talking about the Bible generally, he is citing a very specific passage that is also used in the passage, you will know to justify tyranny and slavery, what do you make of that?
MOORE: Well, I don't think that is what the attorney general was trying to do. But I do think it is important to say that Romans 13 does not simply affirm whatever is going on in the status quo. As a matter of fact, I think Romans 13 is a warning to us to be sure that we do right by these migrant children. Because the scripture says that the authorities are accountable to God. And in the United States of America, the people are the ultimate authority. So when we see things that ought to shock our conscious, like children being removed from their parents and children being taken away as being breast feed by their mothers, we ought to be the people who say this isn't right and we can't just simply see that as images on a television screen. This is our responsibility as the people. And so, I think Romans 13 works the other way.
BLITZER: Yes, if you believe in God, you know that God doesn't want to see little kids taken away from moms and dads. It's especially ironic given how many of the teachings in the Bible have to do as you will know with kindness, to children, the prioritization of the family as well as compassion to strangers.
MOORE: Yes, indeed and I think that's -- I think it's one of the reasons why you see in American life right now, such an outcry. Everyone from Franklin Graham to Willy Nelson is talking about how egregious what is going own in the border is right now that's as close as we can get to consensus in American life. So I wish that right now the governing authorities, the President, the attorney general would listen to this and let's work out a way to keep the border safe, we're all for that. But also respect the dignity and humanity of children and their parents made in the image of God. We can do this in way that reflects better what God would have us to be as a country and as a people.
BLITZER: You've been outspoken when it comes to the President, but many of your fellow prominent evangelicals haven't and yet, as you correctly point out they are speaking out this time against this specific policy. What do you think that is?
MOORE: Well, I think the President is the leader of this country. We are required by the Bible to pray for him and hope that he succeeds in every way. And so when the President does something good, I'm going to say so, when the President does something I disagree with, I'm going to say so as well. And I think many evangelicals are doing that right now. Regardless of whether or not they supported the President or didn't support the President. I think they are able to understand. This is a clear moral issue that we ought to speak to and ought to hope that the President looks at this and sees how shocking what is happening at the border is and corrects it. And he can and I hope that he will.
BLITZER: Yes, all of us do. Dr. Moore, thank you so much for joining us.
MOORE: It's good to be with you all.
BLITZER: A lot more to get to tonight but first let's check in with Chris Cuomo for a closure look at what he has got cooking for "Cuomo Prime Time." Chris?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "COUMO PRIME TIME: Hi, Wolf. We have the opportunity tonight to live the expectation of just ask the man on the two biggest stories of the day. Rudy Giuliani made a ton of headlines as that his client, the President it seems that their political calculation, their campaign is in full of back. So everybody is talking about what Rudy Giuliani meant today. We're going to ask him himself. He will be on the show live at the top of the hour.
And then we're not going to let people forget what is going on at the border. And in terms of what God wants or if there is any religion in what the government policy is at all, we have cardinal Timothy Dolan here, to remind what the way of the world is suppose to be. Why he believes this is about morality and why the church is sending a team to the border.
BLITZER: We're looking forward to the show, Chris, thank you very much. Strong show coming up at the top of the hour.
[20:45:00] When we continue, I'll take you to a South Texas where CNN's Ed Lavandera was on the scene as custom and border patrol agents detained both children and adults as undocumented immigrants. One, 11-year-old says he came by himself.
BLITZER: Hard to believe but new government figures out tonight show nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their parents at the U.S./Mexican border from mid April through the end of May. CNN Ed Lavandera was at the scene as border patrol agents added to that number.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's hard to see people moving through the thick South Texas vegetation. The Rio grand rolls by just beyond the tree line, and then just like that, they appear out of the brush. A small group of undocumented immigrants walking into a public park.
[20:50:00] (on camera) We just came across this group of undocumented immigrants here in the town of Mission, Texas. Two adults, four children, just finished crossing the Rio grand here a little while ago. And now they're in the custody of border patrol.
(voice-over) This group is actually made of three different groups. They say they met along the journey from Honduras and decided to enter to the United States together. Border patrol agents give them water, and they sit in the shade as they wait for a vehicle to take them to a border patrol station. There's Jonathan Ariel, 11 years old. He says he left Honduras with cousins but they abandoned him along the way. He says his mother lives in Virginia and told him not to make this journey alone, but now he's here.
JONATHAN ARIEL, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT: (Speaking in foreign language)
LAVANDERA: I told her I wanted to come, he says. But she said it's very dangerous.
LAVANDERA (on camera): Are you scared?
A little, he says. It's a brief conversation that leaves you with many more questions about how a young boy can get to this point. As an unaccompanied minor, he will likely end up for the time being in a children's shelter like this one as federal authorities try to connect the boy with his mother. The rest of this group is made up of two adult women with their children. Dalia Sayupa is 24 and she crossed the border with her little boy.
Why did you come?
DALIA SAYUPA, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT (via translations): She says gang members left a note at her home threatening to kill her. And that's when she decided to flee.
LAVANDERA: Are you afraid they're going to separate you from your children?
SAYUPA (via translation): Yes, she's my son and I love him. She says, I have carried him throughout my journey.
LAVANDERA: Dalia says she did not know that she might be separated from her son once she was taken into custody in the United States. But she says I have nothing in Honduras. The families are loaded up and taken away unsure of what happens next.
LAVANDERA: And Wolf, I was able to speak with Jonathan's mother. He gave me her phone number in Virginia. I spoke with her, she told me a little while ago that she's already spoken with him and the federal authorities told her that they would speak with her tomorrow to figure out what is next. What is unclear is the other part of this group, the two adult women with their children and what happens to them is not exactly clear. Even though the Trump administration has talked about this being a zero tolerance policy, not everyone is being separated from their children. But federal officials that we spoke with today won't say exactly how that is -- how those decisions are determined at this point, why some people are being prosecuted and separated from their children while others are not. Wolf.
BLITZER: Let's hope those kids can stay with their moms. So, so sad.
Ed Lavandera, thank you very much.
Meantime, the federal government has chosen a small town in South Texas as the newest location for a temporary shelter to house at least some of the unaccompanied children of those undocumented immigrant parents.
Tonight CNN -- tonight 360's Gary Tuchman is on the seen for us. And Gary, you're over there. Describe what you've seen today?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, this is a very small town Tornillo, Texas and this is the port of entry in the small town. Behind this six-foot chain link fence, behind this six-foot granite wall and behind this 10-foot barbed wire fence there are up to 300 children who moved in since yesterday.
The government is not telling us how many children are here. They are saying there are children here but the state representative for this district says 98 children came yesterday, 200 children have come today. You can see in the background a big white tent-like structure. The government won't concern that's -- they will not comment to us about if that's where they're living but we are seeing video from a different vantage point which shows the children outside playing outside that tent-like structure.
The government has said they were going to build a structure that was semi permanent that had steel siding, that had plastic -- very strong plastic ceiling and ground. And we believe that the structure where the children are living.
Now, we are told at this point that everybody is healthy. But right now it is 95 degrees outside here. We are told there's air- conditioning inside, but there's a lot of concern in this community about those children, because of the high temperatures here and because of the remoteness of this area. I want to show you quick, Wolf, this is the desert. We're in the middle of nowhere. There's like 1500 people live in this town. The population increase by 20 percent with these 300 children who've arrived. Wolf? BLITZER: All right, Gary, thank you so much.
There's breaking news ahead. Investigators say they've reconstructed 16 pages of shredded documents collected in the raid on Michael Cohen back in April. That's just ahead.
And all next week CNN will be running a series of reports from our anchors about individuals and organizations, who have made an extraordinary difference in people's lives. Take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All next week, a special CNN series. Our anchors profile champions for change.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN "AC 360": We travel the globe telling stories of changemakers.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: This time, we're joining their mission to make a difference.
[20:55:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giving time to the causes that are dear to our hearts.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And sharing the stories of the champions leading the charge.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Do it for a great cause. That's motivating.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to help them in a way that lets them see this is not how your life has to be.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is an opportunity to pay it forward. To do something that's going to be meaningful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are the kinds of students any community would be blessed to have.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just warms your heart that you can help someone with food.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walk on.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Join the journalists of CNN as we work alongside champions for change.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All next week. Presented by Charles Schwab.
BLITZER: There is more breaking news tonight in the Michael Cohen investigation. As we said at the top of the hour, Michael Cohen has indicated to friends and family he's willing to cooperate with federal investigators and now prosecutors say they've gotten a commitment from Cohen's lawyers about when they will have finished reviewing documents seized in the FBI raid. They say everything will be reviewed by June 25th.
And investigators are also saying they've reconstructed 16 pages worth of shredded documents collected in the raid. More on that in the coming days. No doubt a very busy Friday night.
[21:00:09] Thanks very much for watching 360. Time to hand over to Chris Cuomo right now, Cuomo Prime Time starts right now.