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Growing Calls to End Zero Tolerance Policy at the Border; President Trump Falsely Blames Democrats For Family Separations; Homeland Security Secretary Defends Policy That Separates Families At Border; CNN Sources: No Call Between U.S. And North Korean Officials This Weekend. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 18, 2018 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] (JOINED IN PROGRESS)
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: I bet that number is going to rise. Who would vote for a member of any party who watched this happened and did nothing? It is a simple message. Do your job.
That's all for us tonight. Thank you for watching. CNN with Don Lemon starts right now. I gave you the whole network. "CNN TONIGHT."
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Thank you, Chris. We're going to do our jobs. You've been doing yours, we're going to keep folks of the facts here and hopefully people in Washington will do what you say, do their damn jobs. So let's continue on, my friend. I'll see you tomorrow.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
The Trump administration is trying hard to deny and deflect intense criticism of its immigration policy separating undocumented parents at the southern border. They can and are trying to deny those facts.
Our job on this program is to bring you those facts and we will do that tonight. But first, you have to hear this, it's a sound of what ProPublica reports are the voices of little kids from Central America being held at a customs and border facility last week, sobbing for their parents.
LEMON: It's heart breaking. Since we began reporting on this story, as the crises at the border grows each day, a lot of people have said, this is not what we stand for, this is America, this is not who we are. But is it?
Because I want you to listen to some more. And you cannot deny that this is who we are right now. This is what we have become. We are now a country separating vulnerable children from their families, and in this case, as you're about to hear, a 6-year-old girl desperate for someone to phone her aunt.
LEMON: We are a nation that has always welcomed people from around the world to our shores. And let's face it. Some of us, some of our ancestors have been more welcomed than others. Many came here out of desperation, many came here carrying hope. Some came here in chains in ships, but all had a hand in making America great. Long before that was a corny campaign slogan when it was a real thing, blood, sweat and tears, when it really meant something.
As these families are being ripped apart it is important to note that 133 years ago yesterday, someone else arrived on our shores. A French ship sailed into the New York harbor carrying lady liberty, 200,000 people are turned out to welcome her.
Emma Lazarus writing the famous poem that's inscribed in the statute's base. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
What does that golden door look like tonight? I want to begin tonight with Ginger Thompson is a senior reporter at ProPublica and Jennifer Harbury, a senior attorney. Sorry. Good evening to both of you.
GINGER THOMPSON, SENIOR REPORTER, PROPUBLICA: Good evening.
LEMON: It's awful. Jennifer, I want to get to you but you're here with me and as I was reading, as you were listening to that audio, you were almost in tears.
[22:04:57] THOMPSON: Yes, I've spent the weekend with this tape and it still really shakes me, especially the 6-year-old girl.
LEMON: Yes. Why so?
THOMPSON: I have nephews, I have nieces, I have a granddaughter who is about 6 years old, and so -- so hearing her voice, you know brings all of those people who I love to mind.
LEMON: What does that golden door look like tonight?
THOMPSON: Look, I think that's what this story was about, was about sort of saying and forcing all of us to reckon with what this policy is, you know. And I think there's been an attempt to kind of make this a sterile policy debate, and to even characterize the children as gang members and risks and threats to the country.
I think if you wanted to defend this policy, that's fine, but we need to be able to say clearly what the policy is and what the policy does. And the voices that have been missing in this debate about this policy are the voices of the children.
LEMON: The children. Jennifer, I want to get to you. We have a lot to talk about, and again welcome to the program. And we should know that CNN has not been able to verify--
JENNIFER HARBURY, HUMAN RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Thank you. LEMON: -- the source of this audio or the events that reportedly occur on it. But we have reached out to you as Customs and Border Protection and awaiting a response from them. You are the one who released this heartbreaking audio here to ProPublica. What can you tell us about these children? How did you get it?
HARBURY: How did I get it?
LEMON: Yes, ma'am.
HARBURY: A whistleblower, a whistleblower was so appalled by the weeping of the children and the obvious trauma being inflicted upon them that the whistleblower prepared the tape and brought it to me for legal advice and then authorized me to pass it on to Ginger Thompson at ProPublica and to any other press agency that was interested in making this reality known.
LEMON: So, Jennifer what did -- what did your client say about the ages of the children that we hear on the recording? Give us some background here.
HARBURY: There's a range of ages. Some of the older kids in the room were unaccompanied minors that would probably will teenagers, but there's just a few of those. The rest of them were very small children, as you can hear on the tape. You know, some 4-year-old, 5- year-old, 6-year-old, 7-year-old, in that range.
LEMON: Ginger, we talked a little bit about the 6-year-old girl. But we hear the one child asking officials to call her aunt, that she even recited the phone number there. You called that number and spoke to the child's aunt. What did she say?
THOMPSON: She talked about how terrifying it was for her to get a call from her 6-year-old niece, after having traveled a month from Central America through Mexico, across the border. The little girl was crying and saying, you know, aunt, I'll behave myself, I'll do, I'll be a good girl but please come get me because I'm alone. And she's, you know she's here going through an asylum claim of her own and is in a legally precarious place, particularly now--
LEMON: The aunt?
THOMPSON: The aunt.
THOMPSON: And so she's sort of at a loss of what to do and how to help.
LEMON: So she's still there? The 6-year-old.
THOMPSON: The 6-year-old is now in a shelter being run by Health and Human Services. So she's out of the border patrol facility.
LEMON: I want to bring in now Dr. Alan Shapiro. Dr. Shapiro is a pediatrician and the co-founder of Terra Firma, an organization that provides healthcare and justice for immigrant children. And doctor, welcome to the program, thank you for joining us.
ALAN SHAPIRO, CO-FOUNDER, TERRA FIRMA: Thank you.
LEMON: You heard that awful audio. And I'm so emotional, I hate to be this emotional because I want to get the story out and I don't want to detract from it. But the children that have been at the center for less than 24 hours, so what is your initial reaction to it. How -- I would imagine it's damaging. I'm not a doctor, but I mean, hearing people cry like that how damaging is it?
SHAPIRO: Well, I mean, first of all it's absolutely heartbreaking to hear those tapes. And what we're hearing is the manifestation of acute stress reaction that these kids are going through. These are kids that have suffered so much already.
To arrive in our justice system for protection and to be torn out of the arms of their parents are leading to conditions such as these acute stress reactions we're seeing that is very worrisome.
So what acute stress does is it leads to regressive behavior, withdrawal, aggressiveness, bedwetting, things that all of a sudden they -- all the milestones that they mastered are now getting reversed.
[22:10:05] LEMON: Yes.
SHAPIRO: That's very concerning. It affects their learning and their development and growth. And we also know what this stress is doing especially over a longer period of time, is leading to toxic stress. And toxic stress is release, the exposure of hormones.
Those stress hormones that we know are the fight and flight hormones, the red alert hormones that can lead to long-term chronic problems, high blood pressure, like cancer, long-term conditions. This is very disturbing. And really, this to me as a pediatrician seems like government sanctioned child endangerment.
LEMON: Yes. I'll talk to you a little bit more about this but I want the viewers to hear more. OK. So, Jennifer, I want to play one moment. This moment stood out to me again. Watch this.
LEMON: So that comment, Jennifer from the border agent, extremely upsetting. What is this whistleblower telling you of how these children are being treated by officials?
HARBURY: Well, they're certainly not being understood. And they're being sort of jovial and joking around and trying to jolly the children who have just been torn away from their parents. And we have to remember all of these people, pretty ignored (ph) going through extreme dangers trying to get to the Rio Grande, extraordinary dangers, leaving everything behind.
These people are refugees. Trump wants to talk about how these people are criminals, but we have to remember that the cartels, they can buy any police officer, they can buy airplanes, they can buy boats, they don't need to send starving terrorized families to try to run the river. So we're punishing the victims here and sort of joking around with the kids as if it was no big deal, I find that infuriating.
LEMON: Yes. The other this is, you know, Dr. Shapiro mentioned it, that the American Academy of Pediatric says the same thing that you said the Trump administration these practices separating children from families at borders is child abuse.
I want to get to our Jeff Zeleny ask the secretary -- Secretary Nielson that. Here's how she responded. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: How is this not specifically child abuse for these innocent children who are indeed being separated from their parents?
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: So I want to be couple -- clear on a couple things, the vast majority, vast, vast majority of children who are in the care of HHS right now, 10,000 of the 12,000 were sent here alone by their parents, that's when they were separated. We now care for them, we have high standards, we give them males, we give them education, we give them medical care, there's videos, there's TVs, I visited the detention centers myself. That would be my answer to that question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What do you think of that response? Is it--
SHAPIRO: I find it -- I'm incredulous to be honest. I just can't believe how families fleeing for their lives can be blamed for what is happening and what our policy.
LEMON: What can you tell us about their conditions, Ginger?
THOMPSON: In the centers?
THOMPSON: So the problem with the centers has been that the access to them is extremely limited, right. They are, you know, big box stores in some cases. Wal-Marts in some cases, that have been converted into holding facilities.
And so, inside of these box centers are kinds of kennels--
THOMPSON: -- where, you know, men are kept in a couple of kennels, women are kept in another couple of kennels, unaccompanied children in another. And then, you know some of those unaccompanied children now are not really unaccompanied but they've been torn away from their families. LEMON: Thank you all. Thank you. I appreciate it. Jennifer, thank you
so much. I appreciate you coming on as well. We're going to talk -- we have a lot more to talk about, including I want to know why aren't we seeing girls, pictures of girls? Is that deliberate? Because we're only seeing guys, we're only seeing men, and some very few adult women? But girls? What's going on here?
The Trump administration is defending its immigration policy as outrage is growing at the separation of undocumented parents and children. Well, this tape that we have been talking about was played in the White House briefing room today as well. Two White House reporters will join me next.
[22:15:01] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The secretary of homeland security defending the Trump's -- Trump's administration immigration policy that's leading to undocumented families being separated at the southern border. This is happening as audio's been released of children in detention centers -- of detention center sobbing for their parents.
I want to bring in now CNN Political Analyst, April Ryan, a White House correspondent for American Radio Network, and Political Analyst, Brian Karem, executive editor of Sentinel Newspapers. Good evening to both of you.
APRIL RYAN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Good evening, Don.
LEMON: I'm so happy to have you guys on tonight. So just tell us what is happening at the White House? The press briefing today was unbelievable. So, April -- thank you both. April, let me start with you. Before the briefing today, reporters listened to that audio of the children crying for their parents at a distant facility, what was it like when that started to play at the briefing today? She could hear it I'm sure.
RYAN: Yes. Well, even before that, Margaret Talev, the president of the White House Correspondent Association, the outgoing president who happened also to be a Bloomberg before a CNN political analyst -- she played it and we all started listening to it. And ten others started listening.
So this is before Sarah or the secretary of homeland security came out. And then while the secretary of homeland security was talking, Olivia Nuzzi, a reporter started playing, she was way back in the room. And we heard it. And we were like, what is that. We heard the children wailing. And this was as the homeland security head was talking.
[22:19:59] And at issue, Olivia Nuzzi kept saying, have you seen while she was asking questions with others, have you seen, have you heard this tape. So she never got a response so she started playing it. And she acknowledged it on Twitter that she was the one way back in the back of the room. We could hear it all the way up front and you could see it on the audio, yes.
BRIAN KAREM, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, SENTINEL NEWSPAPERS: Right.
KAREM: And you could actually see him, you could see Hogan Gidley and Sarah looking around to see who was playing it. I'm still trying to figure out who played the dark Vader march at one point and time too. That was kind of telling.
RYAN: I didn't hear that one.
KAREM: I heard that at the front, there were a couple people who asked about that. But the scary part of all that was the reaction, I think, from this administration, regarding -- they doubled down on, you know, them being victims themselves of being held hostage by Democrats.
And the logic that they employed was, were we're not holding these poor innocent victims hostage but if we don't get what we want we're going to continue the policy. So they are using them as leverage. This much admitted it. It's a very -- Don, I got to tell you this is one issue I've covered for 35 years. It's frightening. And both parties have punted this issue for years.
And when you think about the fact that this country, you read the New Colossus at the beginning you think of the foundations of our republic and how we're treating these people. These kids have to endure they start, they travel a mud, these parents have nothing.
They come to the border. They are sometimes kidnapped by the people who brought them over. They are robbed, they are beaten, they are sexually abused. Some of them end up dead, I see them stacked four, five high, they're like cordoned in a five by eight u-haul suffocated to death.
KAREM: And then they come over here and we're supposed to be the shining citadel on the hill and the last vestige of their humanity is striped from them and their children are taken from them. Is this who we are as a country? It's a question we have to ask.
And again, there was a question asked today, it wasn't about empathy but it was about compassion and tiis administration is more determined to enforce the law than to show compassion for the victims. These people aren't gang members. These people are victims.
LEMON: Well, it's not -- but it's not really the law, that's the thing. Because I think they're trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
KAREM: Yes, exactly.
LEMON: It's not really the law. We've already explained to know. And you know, I've had several people on last week who tried to say it was, and now this week they're admitting the while the Trump administration did change the policy. Because the facts are just not on their side.
RYAN: It's at their discretion.
LEMON: Yes, it's at their discretion. So April, but has anyone at the White House or with the administration tried to explain to you or anyone there why you can't have zero tolerance without separating parents from their kids?
RYAN: Well, you know, today I don't know what they were trying to say because it was back and forth. You know, the homeland security secretary said one thing and Sarah came back--
LEMON: Yes. Let me tell you what she said and I'll let you finish here. Because last night she tweeted we do not have a policy separating families at the border, period. Right. She said that. But it was in context. She was still defending the policy. And then today she defended the separations very publicly. Watch this April, and I'll let you finish your point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIELSEN: Here's the bottom line, DHS is no longer ignoring the law, we are enforcing the laws as it exist on the books. As long as illegal entry remains a criminal offense, DHS will not look the other way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, at first she's like, I don't know.
LEMON: That's not our policy, whatever. Now she's all in, but go on.
RYAN: Right. So here's the deal, from the very beginning this administration has said if you indeed legally cross the border you've committed a crime. And this administration is saying, they don't care if it's man, woman, cat, dog, child, child, adult they're going to look at it as a crime.
And they're trying to put teeth in this to set an example. That's one of reasons why I asked the question about, you know, about the pawn issue. You know, are these issues being used as a pawn. Because it goes down this line again about trying to fix the broken immigration system, immigration reform.
And Sarah -- and the homeland security has said no, the kids aren't being used as a pawn. But then Sarah Huckabee Sanders says we want to do everything, we want everything and it's all or nothing to include the wall. So this is it's political-- KAREM: It is leverage.
RYAN: It's leverage and political and these--
LEMON: It's leverage to get the wall.
KAREM: It's the effect of what that is.
RYAN: It's leverage to get the wall and these kids are used as pawns, they say one thing and do another. And yet, the president can change this policy.
LEMON: So what does that -- how do they square that because the briefing had been delayed, delayed, delayed--
KAREM: Three and a half, three hours.
LEMON: So how did they want, because they want her there, was Sarah not wanting to take the blame of this?
KAREM: I think that -- I mean, I know -- a couple of people told me back in a -- I'm the guy that 25 minutes after that briefing supposed to start, I'm always the guy that goes back and says where are you. They always say if we tell you you'll just tell somebody else. And I go, yes. That's the point.
So while I was back there today someone confided to me that they were looking for someone to speak to this issue. I think they wanted homeland security to speak to it specifically because Sarah had already tried to handle that, and we saw how that ended up.
[22:25:08] And then, the secretary of homeland security secretary came out as well, and she botched it as well. Like April was talking about they chose to decide that it's a crime. They have a choice. You can treat it as a crime or a civil penalty. And if you treat it as a civil penalty then you don't separate the children and the families, you let them go.
KAREM: But they chose to prosecute it as a criminal offense. And that was made very clear. And it was also made very clear, April asked the question and others followed up on it, it is a pawn, it is leverage.
KAREM: So the two things that came out today, because Sarah did not want to speak to that, was the fact that who did have to speak to it had to own up to it and they had to take the heat for it. I think Sarah's tired of taking the heat for it.
LEMON: That's going to be the last word. I'll see you guys again sometime this week.
KAREM: Thanks, buddy.
LEMON: Thanks to you guys.
LEMON: Good luck over there at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
When we come back, all the Republicans who are standing up the president -- to the president and telling him to stop his zero tolerance policy and all the Republicans who aren't standing up. That's next.
[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: There are growing calls tonight for the White House to abandon its policy separating parents and children.
I want to bring now CNN Political Commentators, Ana Navarro, and Mike Shields, and Republican Strategist Rick Wilson. Good evening all of you.
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Good evening.
LEMON: Again, very important conversation. Mike, I'm going to start with you. The President wants a long-term fix to this problem. In the meantime, he can actually pick up the phone, put a stop to what we're seeing. Why not do that? Why let the health and welfare of these children hang in the balance here?
MIKE SHIELDS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think a couple things. First, is -- look, they said they're actually going to double down on this today, they said they're going to push even more similar set type of crack downs, and enforce the laws at the border. And I think it's really telling that some of the pictures that came out were actually from DHS.
I think the White House wants this controversy. They're trying to force something to happen. Everything the President does is a negotiation. And I think he knows Congress is debating immigration legislation right now. He has talked about when the government funding is up that he may not sign a funding bill until immigration is settled.
So, he's pushing through all this controversy to get to something. And look, I think when you hear the audio, and the stuff you were playing before, it is -- we are ripping the band aid off of a very ugly issue that we don't seem to want to talk about this in country, which is how horrible our entire immigration system is, and what horrible things are happening on the border.
And so, it is not nice to see what's happening to these children, but trust me, there are other horrible things, worse than this that happen to children at our border every single day. And I hope the media will actually start sort of digging into that a little bit, and seeing how horrible the treatment of children that come coyotes are, and how the children are smuggled across the border...
LEMON: I got you, Mike. It's not...
SHIELDS: This is one part of the ugly thing that has to be solved.
LEMON: It's terrible.
SHIELDS: And the President is trying to solve it.
LEMON: All of it is terrible. Though America -- Americans are not coyotes. President shouldn't be a coyote.
LEMON: You should not be comparing the President of the United States, the policy of the United States to what coyotes do.
SHIELDS: But, Don, our policy is hurting them
LEMON: That makes us no better than him.
SHIELDS: Just what we say that business -- we have a conversation before, we should crack down on businesses that are employing illegals, if we did that they would never have a reason to come here. Right, the government also creates a reason for them to come here.
Because when we have catch and release, we are communicating to people, if you cross the border with a child, we're not going to enforce the law as it's written because it's a policy decision, and therefore, you should try and bring a child across the border because that's how you're going to get in the country.
SHIELDS: We create this atmosphere that put those children in that situation.
LEMON: OK. I have to head to the other panel -- I have to get to them. And one of the things too, also border crossers are down with this President. He is doing a great job. And these are kind of confusing me. I mean, Rick...
SHIELDS: I can explain that too.
LEMON: Hold on. But, Rick, he -- I mean, he did just admit to what the questions that the reporters are asking at the briefing today that what -- are these children today being used as political pawns. Because he's right, there's a reporting tonight that they're going to ramp this up, they think it's a winning issue for them come midterms.
WILSON: I think that the Bannon faction of the Trump party very much wants their base to be gemmed up on the fear of brown people crossing the border. It's one of their -- it's one of their go-to. This is one of the defining characteristics of Donald Trump's campaign, which is, you know, for all of you economically anxious folks in the Upper Midwest, I'm going to stop the brown horde of Mexican inexpert team gang bangers from coming to your town.
But unfortunately, what we are seeing right, and I think the President have -- I don't even think the President has the majority of the Republicans in the Senate right now. There's a lot of nervousness right now.
These guys, especially, that are on the bored -- John Cornyn and Ted Cruz tonight are both saying, we have to pass something specifically to stop this particular practice. This thing is not -- Donald Trump's not going to get this sweeping mega package that builds his dumb wall in the course of this just because he's holding these kids hostage.
Because this is blowing back on him pretty hard right now, the country is 2/3 to 3.25 against this policy. And you know, I'm sorry, he's got the Republican -- you know, the hypnotized part of his base locked in. But 3.25 of the country hate this policy with a red hawk passion. And I think this is a political disaster. I think the President knows it. I think he's about to flip and betray his own base.
LEMON: OK. Ana, he does have 48 percent -- 58 percent of the Republicans, they support this policy. You've been standing by patiently and quietly, and I know this is a passionate issue for you. Go on.
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I think even that is changing. I think that began changing today. Today we have seen for the first time Republican leaders come out, and start denouncing, and condemning this -- this policy. I don't know what the hell took them so long. You know, it's a shame that its taken 2,000 kids being separated.
[22:35:00] But I'll tell you what happened today that I think has changed the narrative. It's the fact that we've heard the kids' voices, that we've heard the cries, that we've heard the pleas, that we've seen the image of the 2-year-old.
Listen, when those polls were taken showing that the country was 67 percent or 66 percent against the policy, we had not heard the kids crying, wailing, begging for their mother, and their father. We have not seen the pictures -- the heart breaking pictures.
America its majority is a compassionate, compassionate family values country. And there is only so much of that that's going to happen. You think Ted Cruz is coming up with some sort of proposal for this because all of a sudden he woke up to it?
No, this has been happening in his state for weeks, and weeks, and weeks. The reason that people are waking up to it is because their constituents are demanding it, and constituents need to not stop, keep calling their offices, keep talking about this, keep inundating their social media, keep demanding action.
LEMON: Yes. So, listen, I've got to get to the break. But I've asked this question once, I just want to know why are we seeing certain pictures, certain images in T.V., and you said OK, well, they want these imaged to get out there. But we're only seeing certain images. We don't see any young girls?
Why is that? Does that speak to you about how they are using kids as pawns? We'll talk about that more. We'll be right back.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The White House holding its ground tonight, and leaving it up to Congress to tame the uproar over the administration's family separation policy. Back with me, Ana Navarro, Mike Shields, and Rick Wilson. So, Mike, the images we're seeing for the most part features boys and not girls. And Secretary Nielsen was asked about that. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is the government only releasing images of the boys who were being held, where are the girls, where are the young toddlers?
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I don't know. I'm not familiar with those particular images.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't know where the girls are, and even the young toddlers?
NIELSEN: We have children in DHS care both, but as you know most of the children after 72 hours are transferred to HHS, so I don't know what pictures you're referencing, but I'd have to refer you to HHS. Anything other than the pictures...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your department has been aired all over national television throughout the day, the kids who are being held in the cages.
NIELSEN: I will look into that, I'm not aware that there are pictures.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I mean, they scrambled her to be there, shouldn't she know this -- I don't want to say a bad word -- shouldn't she know this stuff if they're going to put her there in the front of the podium, and she is the secretary?
I mean, Mike, why are we seeing disproportional number of boys at these centers? Is it strategically being released -- these images? Are they being released strategically on just showing boys because they want to -- they're afraid that these guys are going to grow up, and they're going to be the MS-13 gang members. They are not showing little girls, and there have to be little girls there.
SHIELDS: Yes, I mean, I don't know the answer to that. And the media certainly covering it, and telling everyone that there are children and girls there. My guess is there will be images of girls and other children. Regardless of what is put out, I can't speak to why -- to why they did that.
But, look, I mean, you're going to have two forces kind of running into each other here, right? You have one force which is -- under President Obama, this is a vexing issue has been said, and he have the same problem. He try to create family detention centers. And there was an outcry under his administration, he said, you know what, let's stop doing this, let's just let them in. Because that's the only...
LEMON: It wasn't the same -- under the same circumstances, it was only when the parent was in questioned. It wasn't done...
SHIELDS: But that's...
LEMON: It wasn't done in this way as...
SHIELDS: I'm not comparing that specific...
LEMON: Let me just give you, if they are equal, they are not. Two wrongs don't make a right. Obama is not the president more.
SHIELDS: That's not what I'm saying.
SHIELDS: That's not the point. What I'm saying is there are two things that are going to run into each other. One is, we've already seen that this is politically difficult. This is why deportation for instance would never actually happen to work because of the outcry over this. So you had an outcry, a similar outcry of a somewhat different thing that happened under Obama, and he stopped it.
LEMON: Because it's difficult...
SHIELDS: And so you have an outcry here that they cannot going to run into the base policy...
LEMON: I don't think you have to go into extremes just because it's difficult. I'm sorry, I have short time. I want everybody to talk. Go on.
SHIELDS: I'll make this very quick. The President ran on enforcing the border. He won in the primaries. He was in a secret policy of his. He ran into general against Hillary Clinton who had an opposite policy, he won. This is something that he is doing exactly what he said he was going to do, which is enforce the rules...
LEMON: To be a jerk.
SHIELDS: ... and enforce the law of the border.
LEMON: To be a jerk, to be an ass, to be someone who separates their... SHIELDS: I'm trying to give you an analysis actually, objective
analysis of the political...
LEMON: It says -- come on.
SHIELDS: ... part of this versus his base politics. That's not even a partisan thing, that's a fact. Those two things are going to run into each other before we get to the end of this. That was actually is...
SHIELDS: But we're turning into questioning the President again, so.
LEMON: I mean, he is -- he is the one that can change this. He is the one, with all due respect, Mike, out there, and now others have gone down to what he is saying, saying that this is a Democrats law. First of all it's not the law. It's not the Democrats law. Republicans had controlled both chambers, and the White House.
So he's flatly just boldface lying about this particular issue, it's not even a policy, it's how they -- it's how they're choosing to go about doing this. So, he is lying. And then people come to the podium and they lie.
Then people come on television, and they lie. And then they try to spin it into even at some point saying that it's helping these children, that it somehow helping these families, which it is not. I got to let the other guys talk, I'm sorry. Go ahead, Rick. And then...
WILSON: I think there are two very important things to focus on here. The first is, this is a President who we have been told over and over again has virtually unlimited executive power. He has done executive orders, and policy changes on everything under the sun.
And suddenly, they're impertinent and helpless on this thing. They can make a -- he can send down command guides to DHS, and ICE., and everybody else, in a hot minute, and tell them to change this.
[22:45:00] They can issue an executive order immediately, and tell them to change this. Who's going to sue them over it? No one, that's who. And they could do all of these things right now. This is a complete policy of deliberate cruelty.
This is a policy of deliberate political, strategic manipulation. It's backfiring on them very badly right now. And it really puts the lie of this whole -- this whole thing about executive orders. This is a president who wants executive order when he wants to get away with something.
Now that he's under the gun, and now that he is feeling a tremendous amount of political pressure on something where he is engaging in a policy. You know, this is a President who specializes in such grand and petty cruelties to people. And this one that is such a grand scale, and such an obvious, visible scale, it's washing away all of the politics behind it, wash with all the law underneath it.
What really starting to matter to average Americans, they're seeing these images of these children, and they are hearing these crying children's voices. They are not going to play the game of just, you know, Fox News can say all day long that it's always -- this is about Obama, and you know -- or this is about some other policy.
You know, the difference -- it was a critic of Barack Obama, and a whole variety of policies, including millions of immigration policy, but I never notice Barack Obama had a bunch of giggling idiots around them reveling in how cruel and shitty their policies were.
LEMON: Ana, I'll give you the last word.
NAVARRO: I mean, I don't know what to say. I really am almost speechless at the cynicism, the callousness, the sheer lies coming out of this White House on this. You know, on the one hand you've got a president who tells you, oh just how terrible, terrible, terrible, and heart breaking this policy is, which he knows that he can change in one minute, but is trying to blame Democrats for.
You've got Democrats in Congress and the Senate. You've got Dianne Feinstein saying, OK, here's a bill to get it done. Listen, if -- let's not assume for a minute that President loco is right. Let's assume for a minute that this takes an act of Congress.
Well, Republicans are in charge of the House, Republicans are in charge of the Senate, and Republicans are in charge of the White House. All it would take is Donald Trump calling Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, and saying hey, I want this turned into law, and it will be turned into law. It could happen right now if he did it. He could do it...
WILSON: It's a one paragraph bill.
NAVARRO: ... to executive action...
LEMON: Listen, I've got to...
NAVARRO: ... then he could do it through legislation if he wanted to. The bottom line is he doesn't -- he wants to continue this horrible, horrible cruelty.
LEMON: I (Inaudible) over Mike. I know that you're frustrated because I heard you say damn it when I said the last word. But if you can give me something in 10 seconds, I will give you the last word.
NAVARRO: I think he will just say damn it, damn it, damn it, damn it, damn it, damn it. That would take over 10 seconds.
LEMON: All right, I've got to go.
SHIELDS: That's thumbs up.
LEMON: I've got to go. Thank you all.
NAVARRO: I could even beat you to do it...
LEMON: Up next breaking news about North Korea, President Trump said he was going to reach out to officials there. We have the latest on what happened.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So tonight we're learning that there was no call between the U.S. and North Korean officials over the weekend. That word found administration officials. So, I want to bring in CNN Counterterrorism Analyst, Philip Mudd, and CNN National Analyst, Juliette Kayyem.
Hello to both of you on this quite depressing Monday for me. Sorry. This whole thing at the border has really gotten to me. It's just -- it's ridiculous. Let's talk about North Korea.
So, Phil, on Friday, the President told Fox News that he planned on calling North Korea over the Father's Day holiday. Today, the White House tells CNN no such call, took place. They didn't give a reason why. Why do you think?
PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Well, let's be clear. What's the President going to do? Negotiate details? Look at the issues that have to come up in the future over the next couple of years. The details that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is going to have to deal with.
What facilities are going to be inspected, what documentation do inspectors anticipate receiving, who is actually going to comprise the inspection team. What includes information that the U.S. government would think indicates that the North Koreans are complying?
How many missiles do we destroy? How many nuclear weapons do we destroy? Do you think the President of the United States given his lack of interest to detail is actually going to talk to the North Koreans about how to do details?
He showed up in Singapore, and had a cup of coffee with Kim Jong-un. It's over. We are safe now. Go to sleep. Mike Pompeo's job is now to negotiate the details. The President doesn't have a conversation in the future because he's not going to do details. It's like me growing a man bun, Don. It's not going to happen.
LEMON: I needed that. Thank you very much.
LEMON: So, I would like to see that, Phil. I would like to see you try.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL ANALYST: I know. I know.
LEMON: It has been only a week since the summit/photo-op. Again, things are moving so fast, and this administration is hard to keep up. But Kim Jong-un is going to China tomorrow and Wednesday. Did the President get any more than a short-term boost from this photo-op, and will he see any real results?
KAYYEM: Probably not. And I think it actually does relate to the story you've been covering the rest of the hour. There is no reason to apologize for feeling crumbly about what's going on. America appears to be broken, if it isn't already. And instead of other -- and it have national security consequences.
Because instead of other countries talking about our strengths, or our smarts, or our economy, or even our morality, which was not brought you by Donald Trump with North Korea, they are turning to each other, including the G-7.
And so the fact that the North Korea (Inaudible) with the North Koreans are meeting with the Chinese should not be a surprise to us because in the end the Chinese won full stop based on our North Korea policy.
They got what they wanted. They got us out of some of the exercises in the peninsula, and they've got the world wary of the United States, which only benefits -- in the end only benefits China, and to a lesser extent Russia.
LEMON: So I want to turn now to the congressional hearing today on the Inspector General's report. It broke down along political lines pretty quickly. Listen to -- this is Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R), LOUISIANA: General, do you believe in the tooth fairy?
[22:55:00] MICHAEL HOROWITZ, INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: No.
KENNEDY: Do you believe in the Easter bunny?
KENNEDY: Do you believe that Jimmy Hoffa died of natural causes?
HOROWITZ: Not based on what I've read.
KENNEDY: Do you honestly believe that the American people are going to look at this report, and look at those e-mails, and not believe that there was bias, and people acting on bias, and that the fix was in at the FBI?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Phil, the accusations -- I know, it's ridiculous.
MUDD: I believe in the Easter bunny, by the way, so keep going. LEMON: I just -- they are not -- it's not going to go away, but it's
just so ridiculous. I see this stuff every day, and I think these are the people who are running our country. I want to run for office sometimes when I see this absolute ridiculousness. But, I mean, despite the conclusions from this report, they didn't ultimately affect the investigation, and its conclusions, what was going on?
MUDD: I think this is pretty straight forward. You know, I was the subject of many investigations at the FBI, I witnessed the FBI Inspector General, and I am sure, Juliette, could say this, any inspector general was viewed as a hammer, any time they walk in the room, if they see flowers, they're not going to say life is good, they're going to say where's the funeral?
The Inspector General is not a good news story. They come away saying we did 100 plus interviews, with a million-plus pages, and we couldn't -- we found evidence that people did the wrong thing, but we did not find evidence. And you know, we're divisive of evidence that they were bias on the investigation. What are you supposed to say? They did the investigation, the Congress didn't.
LEMON: I've got 10 seconds, Juliette, up against the clock.
KAYYEM: I think -- and I think it was stalemate at the hearing, which is probably what both sides wanted. I think the only take away that I think we should be watching is of course, Horowitz's -- the I.G.'s sort of coiled answer to the question about whether there was a continuing investigation about the New York, and FBI department, and contacts with Giuliani, or others that may have set some of the tone that got Comey to move forward.
I thought that answer was very telling. Unclear whether he's investigating it, or more significantly I think for Giuliani, whether there's a criminal investigation going on, and the I.G. is deferring to it. To me that's the headline.
LEMON: Thank you both.
MUDD: Thank you.
Appreciate it. When we come back, the President is saying he is -- White House is not to blame for thousands of children being separated from their parents at the border. But the truth is, his administration is on the record supporting this exact policy. We have the receipts next.