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U.S. Immigration Crisis; Manafort Goes to Jail; Tariff Troubles between U.S. and China; Yemen Crisis; World Cup 2018. Aired 3-3:30a ET

Aired June 16, 2018 - 03:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): An immigration crisis brewing in the U.S. Thousands of children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

And President Trump's one-time campaign chairman in jail. Paul Manafort is accused of tampering with witnesses ahead of his trial.


VANIER (voice-over): And that would be Cristiano Ronaldo doing Cristiano Ronaldo things at the World Cup, of course, scoring a hat trick in Portugal's opening versus Spain.

Live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier. It is great to have you with us.


VANIER: Critics call it inhumane. The White House said it's not their fault. But we are now the seeing the human impact of a controversial U.S. immigration policy.

The Department of Homeland Security said that 2,000 children have been separated from their parents after crossing into the United States from Mexico. And that is just from mid-April to May.

The increase in family separations is the result of the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy. Prosecute all adults who enter the U.S. illegally. They go to jail so their children have to be taken away. The U.S. president blamed the Democrats.


TRUMP: The children -- the children can be taken care of quickly, beautifully and immediately. The Democrats forced that law upon our nation. I hate it. I hate to see separation of parents and children.


VANIER: Democrats did not in fact force the practice on anyone. This increase occurred under the Trump administration. Congressional Republicans have proposed a compromise bill that would keep parents and children together. Democrats say that is inadequate.


NANCY PELOSI, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: The legislation that has been described by our colleagues and I touched upon is totally unworthy of America. It's a bad bill to begin with. And so, when the president says he is not going to sign it, it just goes to show you how low his standards are.


VANIER: And the White House now says that Mr. Trump supports the bill.

So you want to know how all of this looks on the ground, far from Washington?

Well, this story by Ed Lavandera begins at the U.S.-Mexico border.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Officials with the Department of Homeland Security insist they have no choice but to prosecute the thousands of people who come across the U.S. southern border illegally.

This despite years and years of discretion on previous administrations. But this Department of Homeland Security officials saying they have no choice at this point, this because the Trump administration has pushed what it calls a zero tolerance policy that went into effect in early May.

That is essentially to attempt to charge all of the undocumented immigrants that cross into the U.S. southern border with the federal misdemeanor crime of illegal entry. But not everyone is being prosecuted is the true facts in the situation. Federal officials will not say how they decide at this point who gets prosecuted and who doesn't.

But all of this has led this latest outrage and controversy here on the U.S. southern border, where a high a number children here in just the last 1.5 months have been separated from their families.

For the first time, federal government officials are putting a number on just how many children have been separated from their families since the zero tolerance policy went into effect.

And federal officials now say that nearly 2,000 children have been separated between April 19th of this year and May 31st. That 2,000 number doesn't include the numbers that have been added to that just in the last two weeks.

This has been a controversial program; activists and immigration attorneys have mounted protests all across the country. But the Trump administration remains steadfast and unapologetic about what it is doing. And they say this is a long time coming and that people who break these laws need to be prosecuted -- Ed Lavandera, CNN, Mission, Texas.


VANIER: Advocacy groups have criticized the immigration policy and that includes Human Rights Watch. Earlier I spoke to its managing director in the U.S., Alison Leal Parker. Here is part of that conversation.


VANIER: Donald Trump says he hates seeing this. He hates the kids being separated from the parents. But he says it's the Democrats' fault.

Now under the previous administration, did you see anything even remotely like this?

ALISON LEAL PARKER, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Under the previous administration, there were criminal prosecutions of people for the so- called crimes of illegal entry and re-entry. But they were in no way targeting asylum seekers or 100 percent of those who --


PARKER: -- attempt to cross the border and place their claims for asylum, which is what we're talking about now.

We're looking at a situation where the administration says that it wants to eventually prosecute 100 percent of those people who are live at the border crossings, that are in between ports of entry.

We're thinking right now, even with this 2,000 number, they've only been prosecuting that 60 percent. So this problem is going to get much worse.

VANIER: Yes, they have a so-called zero tolerance policy. And they are trying to get up to that number of 100 percent of prosecutions.

Is there a way to deal with these families that does not involve separating the children?

PARKER: Absolutely. Under previous administrations, there was a policy, at the bare minimum, ensuring that families were detained together. Human Rights Watch takes a position that children should never be detained unless it is a matter of last resort.

But under previous administrations, there were policies, in which some families were detained together; again, we did not support those policies. But at least we didn't have families being ripped part.

You know, just 45 minutes ago, I spoke to a colleague, who left one of these CBP lockups. He spoke with an aunt, who was separated from her 4-year-old niece. The niece was left alone. The aunt was taken away for prosecution. Ultimately, they were not able to prosecute her.


VANIER: How old did you say was the niece?


How old did you say --

PARKER: The niece was 4 years old.

VANIER: And she was left alone?

PARKER: She was left behind alone. She was asleep and her aunt was taken out of that facility. The aunt was desperate.

She spoke to my colleague and asked, "Where is my niece? Where is my niece?"

A few days later, my colleague found the niece, who had been taken care of by a couple of other kids, teenagers who had been left behind in the same holding cell by CBP. My colleague made such a fuss that eventually this aunt and her niece were reunited.

But these stories of separation are going to only continue. And they're a horrendous stain on the hands of all of us living in the United States, frankly.

VANIER: So under the watch -- I just want to underscore this -- under the watch of U.S. law enforcement, a 4-year-old girl was being cared for, for days, by teenagers.

That is what your colleague saw?

PARKER: That is what my colleague saw. He also just left an interview with a 5-year old, who said to him, "Where is my mother? I haven't seen her. Can you tell me when I'll see her again?"

Nobody knows where the mother is.

VANIER: All right. Alison Leal Parker, thank you very much.


VANIER: Now to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Friday morning we saw him, as we often have, getting out of a private SUV and walking into a federal courthouse.

But, this time, he left not in a private vehicle but in a government van headed to a jail in Virginia. that after a federal judge revoked his bail, leaving his attorneys shell-shocked and his wife carrying his wallet, belt and tie.

CNN political correspondent Sara Murray has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Paul Manafort will spend at least the next three months in a jail cell, where he will await his September trial on foreign lobbying and obstruction charges.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson saying, "I have no appetite for this," and revoking Manafort's bail after he spent more than seven months under house arrest.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team argued that Manafort is a danger to the community and carried out a sustained campaign over five weeks, using different phones and apps to try and mold witness testimony, including using a system called foldering, where multiple people have access to an account and write messages to one another as draft e- mails that are never sent.

As Manafort pleaded not guilty to two new charges for witness tampering and conspiracy to obstruct justice, his lawyers argued he was unaware who the government witnesses were.

"This will not happen again," one of Manafort's defense attorneys said.

The judge was unmoved, saying, "This is not middle school. I can't take his cellphone."

Manafort faces charges in both D.C. and Virginia related to foreign lobbying and financial crimes. So far prosecutors haven't tied his alleged wrongdoing to work on the Trump campaign, the core of Mueller's investigation.

But in court filings, prosecutors have said they are probing Manafort's contacts with Russians and Ukranians and potential coordination with them while he oversaw Trump's presidential bid. President Trump downplayed Manafort's contributions in 2016.

TRUMP: I think a lot of it is very unfair. But I feel so -- 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 for a very short period of time.

MURRAY (voice-over): Later tweeting, "Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort. Didn't know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair."

To be clear, Manafort was not sentenced. He hasn't even had a trial yet. While the president railed against the special counsel's Russia investigation...

TRUMP: There was no collusion. There was no obstruction.

MURRAY (voice-over): -- the judge in the Manafort --


MURRAY (voice-over): -- case making it clear: "This hearing is not about politics, is not about the conduct of the Office of the Special Counsel."

Soon after, Manafort was led out of the courtroom. Minutes later, a court marshal returned, handing Manafort's wallet, belt and burgundy tie to his wife.

MURPHY: Now I'm told Paul Manafort allies were shell-shocked by the judge's decision to send him to jail, awaiting trial. And it is worth noting, again, Manafort has not been convicted. He has not been sentenced. He has insisted that he is innocent this entire time.

But if he is convicted and found guilty without a presidential pardon, he will spend the rest of his life in jail -- Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.


VANIER: Manafort's jailing led to some interesting comments from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. He told the New York "Daily News, "When the whole thing is over, things may get cleaned up with some presidential pardons."

Remember, Manafort is in jail because accused and believed to have tampered with the witnesses. Well, Giuliani said, "You put a guy in jail if he's trying to kill witnesses, not just talk to witnesses."

That raised a few eyebrows. Giuliani tried to walk that back a but. Here is what he told CNN's Chris Cuomo Friday evening.


RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP ATTORNEY: He's 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 to him.

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.

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.


VANIER: And then there's this. A source tells CNN that President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is indicating to family and friends that he may be ready to cooperate with investigators. Cohen is under criminal investigation in Manhattan for, among other things, the payment that he made to porn star Stormy Daniels on Donald Trump's behalf before the election.

Cohen has been one of the president's most trusted confidants for many years. But he's said to be angry at the president and at Giuliani for minimizing their relationship.

The U.S. and China are now on a collision course to a full-on trade war. Three weeks from now, July 6th, both countries say that they will impose punishing tariffs on billions of dollars of goods from each other. That prospect spooked the financial markets on Friday. The Dow dropped about 280 points during the day, finally recovered and still finished 84 points down.

For a detailed explanation of how these tariffs will be deployed, here is CNN's Matt Rivers in Beijing.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A major escalation in the trade tensions between China and the U.S., as the U.S. now officially moving forward with a threat that had been months in the making. Now the U.S. administration saying they will move forward with levying tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports to the United States.

The Chinese products they're targeting largely in industries as a part of what's called the Made in China 2025 plan. It's a government initiative that wants to increase China's prowess in number of different high-growth industries over the next several years.

Those industries would include everything from I.T. to aerospace, new energy vehicles, AI, robotics, that kind of thing. Billions of dollars in government loans and subsidies are going to those industries to help them. And the U.S. is saying that's unfair and that is why they are targeting those industries.

The tariffs were initially put on overall, the U.S. says, to punish the Chinese for intellectual property theft. But the Chinese government is not taking this lying down as promised. They are going to retaliate and announced they would do so shortly after the U.S. made these tariffs official. The commerce ministry here in Beijing saying they'd levy $50 billion

in tariffs of their own on U.S. goods. That's going to affect all kinds of American imports here to China, everything from soybeans to beef to certain cars, fruits, small airplanes and --


RIVERS: -- the like. So a wide-ranging list there.

They also said anything that was agreed to over the last several rounds of formal trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, anything that was agreed to, the Chinese government now considers null and void.

Now, look, overall, there are a lot of business people here in China that would say the trading relationship between the U.S. and China is wrong, that the Chinese government does steal intellectual property, that there are forced technology transfers, that there are copyright infringement problems and market access problems.

But there's a lot of disagreement amongst people we speak to that tariffs are not the way to fix that problem. And now there are fears that this trade spat has become a trade war and it could get worse from here -- Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.



VANIER: With me now to discuss this is Eswar Prasad, senior fellow at Brookings Institution and professor of trade policy at Cornell University.

Eswar, the first thing I want to consider is whether a trade war is actually necessary to achieve Donald Trump's goals. He blames China for unfairly getting its hands on American intellectual property. Listen to the president on Friday morning.


TRUMP: We have the great brain power in Silicon Valley and China and others steal those secrets and we're going to protect those secrets. Those are crown jewels for this country.


VANIER: Past American presidents have raised this very same issue with China over the years but it never stopped.

So is a trade war the only way for this?

ESWAR PRASAD, CORNELL UNIVERSITY: There is a legitimate case to be made that China may not have played by the rules in terms of providing market access to American companies, providing investment opportunities for American investors, all protecting intellectual property right of American firms operating in China. But, unfortunately, tariffs are a terrible way to go about achieving

the objectives that the U.S. really wants. What will have been far more effective --


VANIER: But past administrations have tried negotiating and it didn't change China's behavior.

PRASAD: Certainly China is not going to be very easy to move because it has suited them very well. But will have been more effective would have been to form an alliance with a number of other countries that are trading partners of China -- Japan, the European Union and so forth -- who have very similar concerns.

That would be one way to increase pressure on China and get them to move because the U.S. is an important market for China. But getting all of the trading partners of China on the same side of the U.S. would, I think, have been far more effective than imposing tariffs, which is just inviting retaliation.

VANIER: That's very interesting because you mentioned the European Union, there's also Canada in that lot. And those are just the countries that Mr. Trump alienated just last week at the G7 summit.

As you say, they do share Mr. Trump's concerns when it comes to China's trade practices. The other thing Mr. Trump blames China for is the trade imbalance. Now this is one that's harder for me to understand. China sells more goods to the United States than the United States sells to China. I get that.

But how is that unfair?

PRASAD: It's not obviously unfair. Economists like to say that what really drives a country's trade deficits are that country's economic policies. If the country saves much less than it invests, it is going to be running a trade deficit with the rest of the world and with specific countries.

So sometimes it may be a sign of strength, not necessarily a sign of weakness. But Mr. Trump seems to view this as unfair trade. He does see trade as essentially a zero-sum game, which it's not.

But ultimately it's going to be U.S. policies, including tax policies that affect the bonding of the U.S. government that are going to determine the U.S. saving rate, which, in turn, is going to drive the trade deficit with every one of America's trading partners.

VANIER: Donald Trump always uses this metric of the trade imbalance that he has with Canada, with the European Union, with China. He always uses that as the bellwether for whether a trade relationship with a given country is fair or unfair in his eyes.

Do you think that's something he should be trying to fix?

Or if I understand correctly what you're saying, he shouldn't even be addressing that because it's not a problem?

PRASAD: That's a very unfortunate and incorrect way to frame the problem, certainly one can argue that the U.S.' low saving rate because the household saving rate is low. And the government is borrowing a lot right now, especially with the recent tax cut. And that's the problem that needs to be fixed.

The fact that there's a lot of investment in the U.S., including investment financed by foreigners, is a good thing.

But the low saving rate is a problem and one needs to think about policies to fix that and to fix American productivity. So going after trading partners that's selling us more goods and, by the way, not only do they provide us more goods but also provide financing to buy those goods.

That's not a good frame of reference for what needs to be fixed in the U.S. economy.

There are certainly some issues that need to be fixed in the international trading system. But trade deficits are not the right thing to focus on.

VANIER: All right, Eswar Prasad, thank you very much. It's always a pleasure and enlightening to talk to you. Thank you.

PRASAD: Thank you.


VANIER: The United Nations --


VANIER: -- calls the civil war in Yemen the world's worst humanitarian crisis. And it looks like it's getting even worse. In the port city of Hodeida, terrified civilians are bracing for battle. That's because the Saudi-led coalition is trying to seize the city from Houthis and the fighting is getting closer with heavy artillery clashes closing in and jets flying overhead.

Meanwhile, the International Red Cross says hospitals do not have enough electricity and starving people are barely surviving on bread crumbs.

One of Scotland's cultural landmarks is burning again. Observers at the scene say more than 120 firefighters are making progress to contain a major fire at the Glasgow School of Art. It's the second time in fours that the school has been ravaged by fire. This time it is the McIntosh Building, one of Glasgow's most famous structures.

One Scottish parliament member said that the flames are affecting a wing of the building that dates back to 1899. No injuries, thankfully, have been reported.

Spain versus Portugal was an all-time great match at the World Cup and we are only on day three. We will bow as we must to the genius of Cristiano Ronaldo (INAUDIBLE).

Plus a stellar tribute for the late visionary scientist, Stephen Hawking, his voice beamed into space -- ahead.




VANIER: Portugal and Spain faced off Friday at the World Cup in Russia and it was thrilling. It went down to an epic finale and superstar Cristiano Ronaldo had one of his all-time great games. CNN's Don Riddell has more on the Sochi showdown.


DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The World Cup needs great games and big storylines. And within two days of this tournament starting in Russia, we are already spoiled for choice.


RIDDELL (voice-over): Friday's match between Portugal and Spain in Sochi was an instant classic. After only three minutes, Portugal took the lead. Cristiano Ronaldo dusted himself down to slam it into the back of the net.

But their lead didn't last long. Diego Costa outmuscled his master Pepe to (INAUDIBLE).

So what if they fired their manager on Wednesday?

There was no time to dwell on it. Portugal regained the lead, Ronaldo again, though, this time, thanks to an error from (INAUDIBLE). Ronaldo plays for Real Madrid, Costa is the front man at Atletico (INAUDIBLE). His second of the game tying it up at 2-2. All of this, though, was just the buildup to two phenomenal goals.

(INAUDIBLE) had given away the (INAUDIBLE) penalty he made up for it with a belter, Spain 3-2 (INAUDIBLE) on the verge of victory until Ronaldo --


RIDDELL (voice-over): -- lined up a free kick in the 88th minute (ph) and that was sensational.

A Ronaldo hat trick, 3-3 the scoreline, one of the best World Cup games we've seen in years.


Elsewhere in the group, a huge win for Iran. And it came at the expense of Morocco, whose week is just going from bad to worse. They lost the bid to host the World Cup in 2026. And with a draw in sight, they threw that away in St. Petersburg.


RIDDELL (voice-over): It was goalless until the very last minute but somehow and devastatingly as these (INAUDIBLE) spectacularly headed the ball into his own goal.

Can you imagine how it must have felt to do that?

But for Iran, it was incredible, their first World Cup win since 1998.


RIDDELL: And then some people fancy Uruguay to do a bit of damage in Russia in Luis Suarez (ph) and Edison Cavani (ph). They have got one of the best front lines in the tournament. Friday's opponents in their group were Egypt, a team who have never won a World Cup game.


RIDDELL (voice-over): In the closing stages, Uruguay upped the ante, peppering the goal until Jose Jimenez headed home. A free kick in the last minute, it was a dramatic winner and the emotion was palpable but bitterly disappointing for Egypt and Mohamed Salah, who never came off the bench.


RIDDELL: All the drama continues with four games on Saturday. Look out for Lionel Messi's Argentina against the tournament's new boys, Iceland. That should be great. Back to you.


VANIER: Iran's football squad is being cheered on with style.



VANIER (voice-over): That is the Tehran Symphony Orchestra, performing ahead of the team's first World Cup match against Morocco. The musicians played Iranian compositions and Russian pieces as well in honor of the host nation. About 80 musicians made the trip to St. Petersburg's Philharmonic Hall.

And what makes this particularly interesting, this right here, female members, who are forbidden from attending football matches back home in Iran.

There are some extravagant tattoos at the World Cup, some on the field, courtesy of star players. But compared to some of the fans, there's just no contest. Football lovers from Russia and abroad are showing their support with some original ink.

I didn't say pretty, I said original. How about a map of the host country, filled with Brazilian and Colombian flags?

Or intricate portraits of Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo?

There you go. Tats have been part of the world's biggest football tournament for decades and Russian artists are welcoming the business with open and colorful arms.

The man who changed the way we understand the stars has been immortalized on Earth and in the cosmos. In a service at Westminster Abbey, the ashes of physicist and author Stephen Hawking were interred between the graves of Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.

A recording of his voice has been set to music and beamed thousands of light years into space, specifically to a black hole, one of the mysteries which Hawking devoted much of his life to.

His daughter said, quote, "It is a message of peace and hope about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony on this planet."

And with that, we bid you farewell. I'm Cyril Vanier. Actually, I will be back for the headlines in a moment. So do stay tuned for that.