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Trump Directs Aides to Identify $200 Billion Worth of Chinese Goods for Possible New Tariffs; Homeland Security Secretary Defends Policy That Separates Families At Border; Youth Social Worker at Border Quits; Trade War Hitting Up Between U.S. And China?; Family Separation Policy; Roger Stone Now Recalls 2016 Meeting With Russian National. Aired 11-12a ET
Aired June 18, 2018 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. 11:00 p.m. on the East Coast. Live with all the new developments tonight.
Signs that a trade war with China is heating up as the President directs his administration to place tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods. We will have the very latest on that.
That as we hear the growing calls for the Trump administration to end the immigration policy that results in undocumented families being separated after illegally crossing the border with Mexico. The White House standing firm even after ProPublica released audio of the children being held in a detention center sobbing for their families.
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LEMON: So let get right to it. Frank Bruni is here, contributor here for "The New York Times" and also here on CNN and James Fallows, a national correspondent for the Atlantic and co-author with his wife Debra of "Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America."
Gentlemen, good evening. It's heart breaking. Frank, I am going to start with you. Humanitarian crisis at the border, because of a decision made by this President. He is denying the facts, he is denying responsibility for it, shifting the blame. Another case. It's not even a question. It's gas lighting another case.
FRANK BRUNI, OP-ED COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Oh, yes. I mean, he is lying about this. He is just -- this isn't partisan talk, this is straight talk.
LEMON: Absolutely. BRUNI: Take the word policy and take the word law out of this. The
Trump administration has made an elective decision to separate parents from their children and to hold children in this fashion. There's no law that came along since previous administrations. They're doing something that they elected to do and now they're saying that their hands are tied and they have no power over this. They could stop doing this tomorrow, they could stop doing this in hours.
It would take a while, I am sure, you know, logistically to figure out what to do with the children. This is not something they're forced to do. Donald Trump is lying, the people around him are lying. They realize how bad this makes them look. They realized how bad this makes America look, it is panful for America to see this and so they're telling one lie after another to justify it.
LEMON: This is not as you said, nothing came along Mr. Fallows, James, and nothing came along new. There is no change in the law, whatever, it is them, it's the administration doing it. And it's a P.R. strategy, I would imagine, in order to try to get some funding for a border wall. I'm not sure how you see it, but that is what it looks like on the surface.
JAMES FALLOWS, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE ATLANTIC: Before there was all this, you know, horrific blowback and properly for what's happening at the border, the administration was bragging about this as the new policy they were applying, and you know, John Kelly was saying it last year and Sessions has been talking about it and again, it's not a new -- it's worth everybody in the viewing audience being entirely clear about this.
This is like the inauguration crowds. There just is no doubt about this. The prevailing laws, you know, we are hearing from the homeland security secretary today that this was -- they were helpless to do anything about the law. The laws are the same one that prevailed throughout the Obama administration and the last part of the George W. Bush administration and neither one of those administrations nor this one for the first few months were applying this zero tolerance policy. So what is happening right now is entirely the President's decision and those around him. And entirely able for them to change, so the question is whether this is so blatant and just -- of the denial of the plain facts that it will be different from the other misrepresentations we get every day.
LEMON: You're exactly right, because he was then DHS Secretary John Kelly and described that they were all in on this sort of thing. He said that to Wolf Blitzer last year. Frank, I want to put these images up. These are the images of these cages that have been all over the media after they were shown on CBS this morning. Border patrol actually reaching out to the show to say that they were, quote, very uncomfortable with the use of the word cages. They say it's not inaccurate and added that there may be cages there, but people are not being treated like animals.
[23:05:04] So what does it say about the country today? They're saying, oh, you know, it is not, don't say cage, but it's a cage. BRUNI: I think it says we're in a really, really sad place where we
are having a vocabulary debate about something that is very clear immorality. You can call them whatever you want, the administration wants to call them ventilated human compartments that is fine with me, and you want to call them largest pen that is fine with me. But let's talk about what we're using these structures for.
We are separating minor children from their parents. These are innocent minor children, we are terrorizing them, we are leaving them sobbing at night and for what? What are we accomplishing with this? You actually hinted that before what's going on here is very clearly the following. They are pawns, you might even call them hostages in Donald Trump's attempt to get the kind of immigration law that he wants from Democrats. And so he saying, Democrats can fix this tomorrow, but what he wants is to get a border wall and all these other stuff and he is saying until I get all of that, you're going to see this images of these children, these children suffer. That is immoral, whether you call them cages or ventilated human compartments.
LEMON: I wonder if he would put his name on it, the trump detention center.
BRUNI: Yes and another thing, if he thinks we are all misreporting this, let media see all the places the children are being held. Let Americans see the images, CNN, I am sure they would have their cameras tomorrow. Americans are going to decide whether they're cages or not.
LEMON: They did. Let CNN go to all of them.
So James, I want to get you to weigh in on another story tonight. President Trump directed U.S. trade representative Roger Lightizer to identify, this is a quote, $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent. Are we having a trade war with China right now?
FALLOWS: Certainly markets -- simply saying that and you know, we discussed this a couple of times before. The Chinese are much better prepared for this kind of tit for tat than the U.S. is. Even though they depend more on the exports than the U.S. does. We know they have a big trade surplus, but there is this kind of a grab-bag nature to the tariffs.
You know, the administration is looking for some place to apply them. And you know, the Chinese, where can they apply pressure for maximum results within the U.S.? On soy beans in the Midwest, on pork exports, on Boeing, on all the rest. So this is something that I think is, is another expression of this getting tough, the rest of the world is cheating us, but most people who have looked at this think that it's not well thought out on the U.S. side.
LEMON: I'm looking at the notes here again. Can you tell whether this is a legitimate, coherent strategy?
BRUNI: No. Because we don't get the kind of explanation from Donald Trump or the people around him that would led us to determine that. I think a lot of this that puffing out of his chest and beating his chest to mind you, if this is a trade war, whatever you want to call it, this is not just for China. I mean he is also alienating allies that are talking, remember the whole Justin Trudeau incident. This is one of the main ways in which Donald Trump feels he can project great strength to his base.
LEMON: The Chinese government responded -- threats with additional tariffs by saying -- by to the U.S. saying that they will strike back hard.
LEMON: Go James.
FALLOWS: Sorry, just to jump in, in the history of dealing with China, the most effective measures are always the ones that are least publicized. You simply change the landscape and adjust the rules in a way that make them less comfortable with things you don't like. It is the old speaks softly and carry a big stick approach. This is carrying around a big stick and swinging it around without knowing you are going to be hitting yourself.
LEMON: you wanted to say?
BRUNI: I want to amen to that.
LEMON: That will -- follow the story. Thank you gentlemen, I appreciate it. When we comeback, a visit to an immigrant detention center far from the border, tells the same story. A Congressman who spoke to some fathers separated from their children joins me next.
[23:10:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The Trump administration standing by its immigration policies that result in a separation of undocumented families. Joining me now is Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. He is a New Jersey Democrat. So good to have you on.
This weekend I saw you, because you were part of lawmakers who went to a detention center in New Jersey for people who are seeking asylum and who had been separated from their families. I know that you were sort of just like dumbfounded by the whole thing like, my goodness. What was that experience like? What did you find out?
REP. FRANK PALLONE JR. (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, I was surprised -- well, first of all, I didn't know and I think most Americans don't realize that these are really asylum seekers. These are people that have escaped persecution. In one case a guy was a fisherman from Central America whose business partner had been murdered and he was afraid that he and his daughter are going to be murdered and that is why they came across the border.
In another case it was someone who was a military person who was being pursued by, you know, the drug cartel and he was afraid he was going to be killed and his daughter, something might happen to her. I think in that case it was a younger brother who was 7 years old. So these people are all fleeing persecution, for coming into border with their kids or younger sibling so that they can find a safe haven.
LEMON: But if you listen to the sort of spin in all of this, it's all MS-13 gang members or future MS-13 gang members or people who are coming over to do, you know, terrible things.
PALLONE JR.: Don, it's the people who are the victims who are coming over, not the people who are perpetrating the crimes, they are the victims of the crimes. And they're bringing their kids. This was father's day so, it was actually of the cases we met, there were more daughters than sons and they were afraid of what was going to happen to their daughters if they stayed back.
LEMON: Which is the weird thing I had been asking, no one has been able to explain this to me properly yet because we're seeing only young men, we are not seeing daughters there. Do you think that is strategic?
PALLONE JR.: Well, I only went to, you know, -- in Elizabeth, it's an adult men's detention center. They don't know where their children are, I mean, that was the other thing that was amazing is that, I just assumed they had some sort of notification. You know, one of the guys had this daughter taken from him at 3:00 in the morning. And he hasn't seen her, she doesn't know where she is.
LEMON: This is the one, his child was sleeping. That you told the story, sleeping, he begged them not to take his daughter --
PALLONE JR.: He literally got on his knees and begged them not to take her and they took her anyway and he has no idea where she is.
[23:15:01] LEMON: So, as far as, no notification process, so they get no notification, they don't know where they are, so how are they supposed to be reunited?
PALLONE JR.: I don't know if they will be. I mean there have been cases now, where the parents have been deported and the kids are left behind and they don't know if they're ever going to see them again.
LEMON: Why did you decided to go yesterday to this?
PALLONE JR.: I went because Jerry Nadler, who is the ranking Democrat on the judiciary committee was very concerned about it. So, he asked New Jersey and New York members to come. And you know, we are seven of us. It was Father's Day. And you know, I figured rather than sit on the beach, because I live at the shore, I would go and see what was going on. And I just went in and had these fathers or older brothers tell the story about what happened to them. And I just was amazed.
You know, I think a lot of people just assume, Don, that these are people coming here for economic reasons, because they're looking for a job or a better life. That is not what this is. These are people that are being persecuted. And I never thought that they were not aware of where the kids were. They had no communications with them. There's no procedure for any of that.
LEMON: What has to happen to stop this policy?
PALLONE JR.: Well, first of all, they have to stop the separation of families. You know, at the border when they come over. Secondly, even if you're going to do that, which of course I am totally opposed to, they have to have some knowledge of where the kid are or what's going to happen to them. But then, it shouldn't even be that they're separated. The President can stop this immediately. I know he is been tweeting and saying, oh, it's somebody else's fault, but he has the ability to stop it.
LEMON: He keeps saying it's the Democrats' fault. And you know, that is lie.
PALLONE JR.: I mean, it's not true, but I think what he is suggesting is this somehow he wants to use these kids as hostages, and say will, you know, I'll stop this if you agree to some immigration, you know, policy that I'm trying to perpetuate. But understand too, the fathers that I saw, probably are not -- they're seeking political asylum, but they're probably not going to get it because the President is changing the policy for political asylum saying unless you are literally attacked yourself, we will not give you political asylum. And you know that is another, I think hostage point in all this. He is saying, well, you have to agree to change the asylum policy if you want these kids not to be separated.
LEMON: Holding kids hostage to get a wall.
PALLONE JR.: Right. It's really sad.
LEMON: Thank you, Congressman. I appreciate your time. Good to see you. Come back any time.
PALLONE JR.: Thanks.
LEMON: Now I want to bring in Pastor Samuel Rodriguez, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He delivered a prayer at the President's inauguration. So, reverend, you signed -- good evening to you, welcome by the way. You signed a letter calling the President's practice of separating immigrant's families horrible. He is not planning to change it so far. What are you doing, as a matter of fact we hear that they're going to ramp it up, because he thinks it good for him politically and especially for Republican come the midterms. Do you think he is capable of doing the right thing here?
SAMUEL RODRIGUEZ, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL HISPANIC CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE: This policy is morally reprehensible, it's anti- Christian, it is anti-American and there is absolutely nothing redemptive about it whatsoever. And I would encourage members of the Congress, even those that are looking forward towards midterm elections to really think about this carefully. Even though the support President Trump and his policy or Jeff Sessions. Let me explain. When you have people like Franklin Graham. Franklin Graham, that
calls a strong conservative evangelical leader who called this policy horrific and wrong at every single level that should prompt every single evangelical to stand upright and pay attention. There's nothing redemptive about this whatsoever.
LEMON: Reverend, you have had several meetings with Trump administrations officials to discuss comprehensive immigration reform. What was discuss in -- at those meetings? Did they ever discuss this sort of separating families at the border?
RODRIGUEZ: Never separating families. No. We discussed the issue, we want people to come here legally, of course, we want to protect the border, absolutely. But we want to treat those that are currently here undocumented in a way that lines up with our Judeo Christian values. We want to find a way to integrate those who are not involved in nefarious activities. And we had spoken about those refugee, those that are seeking asylum, we don't want to shut the door on legitimate people that are crying out for help. In my opinion, this is what makes America exceptional, when we reach out with both conviction and compassion and help the least of these. It's part of our Judeo/Christian value system. When we run counter as it pertains to that value system, we are going down a slippery slope indeed.
LEMON: OK. So you know what people say, Reverend, with all due respect, when someone shows you who they are, believe him. And you have clashed with this President, his views on several issues including DACA, maybe one of them, but he ran on these hardline immigration views. He has called Mexicans rapist, and you heard what he said, did you think that you could sway his views or something would change, I mean --
[23:20:00] RODRIGUEZ: Hey, Don, I had been working with George W. Bush. I served faithfully President Obama, even when I disagreed both with Bush or President Obama, it's not about supporting or endorsing. It's about working with the administration for the purpose of advancing an agenda righteousness and justice. Dr. King instructed me, we have a conduit slight and his legacy that having a conversation, being at the table is the best way to persuade hearts and minds.
LEMON: OK. Let me finish this for you, Reverend, I understand -- I understand what you are saying. I never heard George W. Bush or Barack Obama speak of Mexicans or immigrants the way this President has spoken of them, even propose such awful legislation at all for immigrants at all. So I understand that you want to work with people, but this is, as my grandmother would say, a horse of another color. So I don't think you can compare the three gentlemen or the three men, the two gentlemen and with the other one -- with the other man. I don't see this President reaching out to immigrants, reaching out to Mexicans, saying anything nice about Mexicans, saying anything nice about immigrants. So, I don't understand as a man of god what you thought would change about someone who had showed you who he was a number of times, many, many times.
RODRIGUEZ: Well, I appreciate, Don, the man of God descriptor. As a man of god, I believe in the grace-filled work of Jesus for absolutely everyone. And no one is beyond redemption. That being said I did disagree with President Bush and President Obama on certain policy, while respecting both of them and having conversations with this president, by the way, I had conversation about immigration. I am going to be honest Don, full transparency here, I have conversations where he looked at me and said Pastor Sam, listen, I love these Dreamers. I do. Subsequently he stated it publicly and tweeted about it. So I've had private conversations with the President where I have asked him about some of these things. And some of the rhetoric.
LEMON: You believed him when he said he loved Dreamers, even though how he speaks about Dreamers and what he is proposed for Dreamers? I mean --
RODRIGUEZ: I hear you, Don, but listen carefully.
LEMON: Actions speak louder than words.
RODRIGUEZ: No, in the word of Gomer Pyle. Surprise, surprise, surprise, right after that he offered a proposal to legalized 1.8 million Dreamers. So my objective is to have conversation that hopefully will change heart and minds and will result in public policy that really reflect our Judeo/Christian value system and the best of who we are as Americans.
LEMON: I appreciate you coming on. Thank you. Good luck with all of that. Thank you very much, Reverend.
RODRIGUEZ: Thank you.
LEMON: When we come back, I'm going to talk to a man who quit his job as a youth case worker at a border shelter, along with an award- winning photographer, who captured this iconic photo, who has become a symbol of the Trump administration policy on separating migrant children from their parents.
[23:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: A clearer picture is emerging tonight of conditions inside detention centers which are really seeing an uptick in traffic throughout the country. CNN learning the administration's plans to separate families has not worked as a deterrent. I want to bring in now John Moore. John is a special correspondent and senior staff photographer at Getty Images, who is the author of "Undocumented Immigration and Demilitarization of the U.S.-Mexico Border" and Antar Davidson who recently stepped down from his position at a youth care shelter in Arizona. Good to have both of you gentlemen on. Thank you so much.
So John, give us the behind the story of this amazing picture that you took right here.
JOHN MOORE, SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER, GETTY IMAGES: Well, Don, I'd been photographing border patrol all day and into the evening there in McAllen, which is in the real Grand Valley of Texas, South Texas right near the Mexico border. And a group of immigrants, all asylum seekers had gathered, they'd come across the river in rafts and gathered on a road and the border patrol began to take their names, look at their documents.
You know, Asylum seekers don't run from border control agents, they actually come to them, because they want to be processed, they want to be let into the country. The border patrol began body searching, basically frisking people as they went to move them. And I saw this child who was being held by her mother. I spoke to her very briefly. A 2-year-old girl, she and her mother had been traveling from Honduras for a month. We all know that journey is very long and difficult.
LEMON: So, we are not exactly sure, I mean we don't know if she was separated from her mother. She has become sort of the face of this. Do you know what happened to this little girl?
MOORE: It was impossible for me to know at the time. They took them off and we know that many families are separated and others not.
LEMON: We have some additional pictures that you took on that same day. And I want to -- what else did you witness down there? Here's one of them.
MOORE: You know, all during the day they were bringing in different families into custody. People show their passports, they want to be documented. They're actually not undocumented. They want to be very documented to get into the country. And of course when families come in during the day or at night, they're wary, they're afraid, they've come a long distance and they don't know what to expect.
LEMON: Antar, I want to bring you in, because you were working at a shelter just a few months before you quit. Why did you decide to leave?
ANTAR DAVIDSON, FORMER YOUTH CARE WORKER, ESTRELLA DEL NORTE SHELTER: Ultimately my decision was based on the direction in my resignation letter, I said -- I stated clearly that I was not comfortable morally with the direction that the organization was taking and that I had also had a few experiences in being ordered essentially to separate a brother -- two brothers and a sister, very young children who were hugging each other. I was told that they should not be able to hug and basically realized that being in southwest key would mean continuing to remain there despite the good I was doing would mean that I had basically come up to doing things that I felt were morally wrong. So, I asked for time off to process. They denied that and so I headed to my resignation letter in stating that reason.
LEMON: I just want to read what a spokesperson said for the -- who is operating the shelter, and gets you to response. It says, "our staff have great expertise in dealing with this population. We have very high professional development standards."
What do you think? Do you agree with that assessment?
DAVIDSON: Look at the job boards. Look how many times they've looked for a program director, an assistant program director. Any city which has a southwest key facility is flooded, flooded with job postings. And also job reviews which kind of show not only the horror of -- that the children are going through, but also that the workers are going through. This is as much a labor problem. The issue with southwest key is many problems wrapped up in one.
LEMON: John, you have been photographing the border migrant crisis what, since the bush administration?
MOORE: Well, really in the last 10 years.
LEMON: Last 10 years. So, have you seen anything changed? What have you seen changed over time?
MOORE: Well, over time, there have been more families coming across. This was really the case starting in 2014 when people were coming from Honduras, Salvador and Guatemala. It's just increased over time. Of course, the difference between the Obama administration and the Trump era is that now families are not given a notice to appear in court later.
They're being separated. And, you know, I could see in the pictures that I shot this last week of that little girl, a separation anxiety. When her mother set her down and she looked up while her mother was being searched and that look upon her face, as a father myself, it was very difficult to see.
LEMON: You said the difference is that they're not getting notices to --
MOORE: Well, before, they would be taken in and processed at a border patrol facility and then given a notice to see an immigration judge in the future. And they'd be free during that time. Now, once they're taken in, it's hard to know what happens next.
LEMON: You don't know what -- and if they're separated from their child as we heard from our previous guest, they don't know where the child is and if they'll ever be reunited with the child.
MOORE: Exactly. When I was there, it was very clear that these families had no idea what was coming next. That was difficult for me to see.
LEMON: Antar, take us behind the scenes here. What did you see happening to two families who came through your facility?
DAVIDSON: Just a little background on the situation, this is a very intense job and I was somewhat outside of the news cycle. So I wasn't as politically aware as I should have been. Based on my experience, based on just my experience at the shelter, I am noticing basically an uptick in the amount of just behavioral issues.
I noticed a lot more just erratic and behavior that displayed the trauma that the kids were feeling in the shelter. Basically there were more kids. As was mentioned previously, the kids originally who came to these shelters knew the process. They were prepared. They were told they'd spend some time in a shelter. Over the past six weeks, they're seeing more and more kids that weren't prepared for the situation, that were basically lifted from their parents' arms and as such, you know, they were running around and crying for their mother and basically generally displaying signs of trauma, as any child would who doesn't know where they are or where their parent is.
LEMON: Antar, John, thank you so much. I appreciate both of you coming on.
When we come back, a trade war may be hitting up with China as that county threatens to strike back hard against U.S. The U.S. president, if he orders tariffs on hundreds of billions of new goods, will it cost you at home? We'll discuss.
[23:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We have some breaking news tonight. A trade war may be heating up with China. President Trump directing aides to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for possible new tariffs. And China is threatening a retaliation.
I want to bring in now CNN Political Commentators, Angela Rye and Scott Jennings. Good evening to both of you. Good to see you.
Scott, in a statement issued by the Chinese government commerce ministry, I should say, the Chinese government responded to new threats of these additional tariffs by the U.S. by saying this is a, quote, it will strike back hard. Should we be worried?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, yes. I mean, I think we should be worried because a trade war could mean rising prices for American consumers. It could hurt people who produce things in the United States that want to export them. There was a big layout this weekend about soy beans, for instance.
I will say though, Don, on the other hand, politically, there are a lot of Americans who are expecting the president to follow through on his threats during the campaign to crack down on China because they believe previous administrations hasn't done it.
So I think the politics of this may take a long time to manifest itself because it could take some time for people to feel consumers to feel the real effects of the trade war.
LEMON: What do you think, Angela?
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, a number of things. One is it would be interesting to see for one Donald Trump be consistent about something. I think just a couple of weeks ago, we were worrying with the idea of whether or not there would be this positive relationship with China or not because of a potential business interest for Ivanka and now this.
So I'm just interested to see when he's going to go with something and stick with it, not just to debate on Twitter and not just a random threat. It's just going to be interesting to see what he does.
LEMON: So, Angela, I want to turn now to the issue of families at the border. During President Trump's campaign or candidate Trump's campaign, he spoke a lot about dangerous migrants crossing the border, pledged to crack down. Do you think that anyone expected the separation of children from their parents?
RYE: I think a number of us expected this and whatever is coming, that will be worse. I think shame on all of us who were not able to stop this very dangerous man in his tracks during the election.
[23:40:00] We knew what he thought about migrant families, about immigrants, regardless of how they got here. During the campaign, the very first day of his campaign, Don, we know that he said that there were drug dealers and rapists crossing the border. Now, he is saying murderers.
So I think the reality of it is we know exactly who he was. We know exactly who he is and who he is going to be. Now, it's up to us and those in elected office to hold him responsible.
Dianne Feinstein has a bill that she introduced and it is up to every courage lacking republican to sign on to this bill and ensure their support for these families. This is child abuse at the border and needs to be stopped immediately.
LEMON: Scott, do you have any concern that the more hard line immigration hawks in the party are winning the debate?
JENNINGS: Well, what I am more worried about is that we are not going to get to a comprehensive immigration solution. Most Republicans actually support the president cracking down on violent criminals crossing over here and coming here illegally. They support the president wanting to crack down on the flow of drugs coming across our southern border.
The trouble is these babies, these little girls, you know, the pictures we've seen, they don't look too much like MS-13 to most Americans. They look like innocent children who are being caught up in a bad policy. So --
RYE: Because they're not MS-13.
2JENNINGS: -- what the president needs to do overall here, in my opinion, go up to the House Republican conference meeting tomorrow night, fully endorse the moderate bill that is in the House, make it the Trump bill, get them to pass it, send it to the Senate.
The Republicans need to rally in the Senate and then the ball is squarely in the Democrats' court. They will then have to deliver the votes. And that bill has to have language in it that prevents this separation.
LEMON: Didn't he already say he is not going to support that?
JENNINGS: No, he said he will support it. But he needs to make it clear because there have been moments in the past where the president has said I will support this, and then they pass it, and then he has said, well, maybe I don't support that.
He cannot bail on this. He has got to support it, let them vote, and then stick with it all the way through. If it is the Trump plan, the Republicans will support it all the way through.
LEMON: Angela, I just want you to listen now. This is for you. You can answer on it, I think, say what you want to say on the other side. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked tonight on Fox News about comparisons between this policy and Nazi Germany. Here's his response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nazi Germany, concentration camps, human rights violation. Laura Bush has weighed in. Michelle Obama, Rosalynn Carter -- you've got all the first ladies going back down to Eleanor Roosevelt, she's apparently weighed in as well. General Sessions, what's going on here?
JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, this is a real exaggeration of course. In Nazi Germany, they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country. But this is a serious matter. We need to think it through, be rational and thoughtful about it. We want to allow asylum for people who qualify for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RYE: First of all, this is no la laughing matter, particularly from the attorney general who is responsible for enforcing laws throughout this country. The reality that we are facing is one, Scott, no, these children are not MS-13. They don't just (INAUDIBLE) and they really are not.
I also want to address your point about the Democrats need to rally the votes. I'm sorry. I'm trying to figure out when the Democrat became the majority in the Senate or the House. And then finally --
JENNINGS: I hate to have to explain rudimentary Senate procedure to you but there has to be 60 votes in the Senate. There has to be 60. We had 51. You all have to get up with nine.
RYE: I'm going to tell you what. Here is the thing. You don't ever have to explain anything rudimentary to me.
JENNINGS: Oh, good. Then you know.
RYE: Be very clear.
JENNINGS: Then you know.
RYE: No. What I'm telling you is, you should know that they have more than enough votes to do what they need to do. If there was a good member -- JENNINGS: Do they have 60? Can you count to 60? We have 51.
RYE: Wow. Let me --
JENNINGS: Come on.
RYE: No, you come on. You better watch it, Scott, seriously. What I'm trying to tell you is that you have a majority and so it's up to the Democrats, a small number to come up with the rest. And here's what you're battling with --
RYE: Morals. Moral authority. Where is the moral authority of this party that has blindly endorsed all of Trump's bigotry, xenophobia, racism? That is what is behind this policy. The reality that we are all facing now is there are children paying the penalty for no reason when their parents are coming here seeking asylum.
You have heard the panelists on this program tonight telling you these people are seeking asylum but your attorney general doesn't know any better because they haven't asked the questions. They have not taken a single moment to find out why these people are risking their lives to come to this soil where they're put in harm's way. So how's that for counting?
LEMON: I'm out of time, guys. I'm out of time. I have to go. I'm sorry. We will be right back.
[23:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Former Trump campaign aide Roger Stone has a clearer memory tonight. He now says he met with a Russian national in 2016 who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton in exchange for $2 million. It's a meeting he neglected to tell congressional investigators, but it's drawing the interest of Robert Mueller.
I want to bring in CNN Contributor, John Dean, former White House counsel for President Nixon. Wow, there's a lot of people who lose and then regain their memory lately, John. Good evening to you. The Russian national identified is Henry Greenberg. He met with both Roger Stone and Michael Caputo who told CNN about the meeting a short time ago. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL CAPUTO, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: This gentleman presented himself as an individual, not a person from the government of Russia. Then if you read The Washington Post article, he was offering private information from a former employee of the Clinton Foundation. This isn't an approach from a government at all, except it's an approach from a United States government by an FBI informant who was working for the FBI for 17 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, John, another Russian who met with high level Trump campaign staffer.
[23:50:02] First, they say they forgot, then they say the meeting was of no consequence.
JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the meetings just keep unrolling, don't they, Don? This is, what, number 14, I guess, in the latest count. Roger Stone's recovered memory certainly took a little while to get recovered, and might be helped by the fact that the House Intelligence Committee is already targeting him for potential false testimony. So I think he might want to clean up everything he can.
LEMON: Yes, you're right, 14. Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Jeff Sessions, J.D. Gordon, Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Erik Prince, Avi Berkowitz, Rick Gates, Michael Cohen, and Michael Caputo. Fourteen, count them, there they are up on the screen.
So, John, this is the second Russian who Roger Stone had contacts with which says -- and says he forgot. The other was Russian hacker Guccifer who leaked the DNC hacked e-mails. How problematic is this for him or potentially the president?
DEAN: Well, I would think Roger would remember the fact that during Watergate, several witnesses got prosecuted for perjury, for testimony in front of Congress when they couldn't remember facts. The "I don't recall" is not always a very good defense to wanting to not tell the facts to a committee of Congress.
So, if there's any kind of external or corroborating evidence that he, indeed, did know about this, had recalled before or long before he testified before Congress, it could be trouble for him. It could be more than problematic. It could be a criminal offense.
LEMON: I want you to watch this. This is back -- this is the president -- president in February of 2017. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So then I want you to look at this graphic which shows, again, a number of the connections between Trump campaign personnel and Russians. You said 14. And here you have two top Trump campaign workers who failed to report a meeting with the same Russian national offering compromising information about Hillary Clinton.
How much of a credibility problem, John, are these Trump witnesses in this investigation? How much of a credibility problem do they have?
DEAN: Well, it's difficult to believe that one or more hasn't spoken to candidate Trump about the Russian outreach. It's difficult to believe on the things that Trump, himself, said, that he didn't have knowledge that the Russians were trying to help him. His call out for the 30,000 Hillary e-mails was just a perfect example in the way the sequences fell in.
I think that Mueller knows a good bit about what Trump did or did not know. We don't know yet if he's going to sit down and give any testimony. I think he'd actually be smart to do so if he has a shred of innocence in this thing.
LEMON: Yes. Several of Roger Stone's employees, though, and associates have been subpoenaed or have appeared before the Mueller grand jury. Do you think Roger Stone has a good chance of being indicted?
DEAN: It's hard to tell. You know, I think Roger would like to be indicted. I think he would like the celebrity of it. But I don't know what the -- what Mueller has or has not been able to acquire. We do know that several of Stone's associates and employees have had to testify. I don't think he has appeared himself as I understand it, which could be that he's a target rather than a subject.
LEMON: Yes. You're right about that. He has not. The president's lawyer is calling for the Mueller investigation to be investigated. The way the Trump administration is being investigated. Is that a possibility or is this just another PR effort on their behalf?
DEAN: I can't concede of any reason that they could appoint a special prosecutor to investigate a special prosecutor. I just -- it's just so out of left field. I don't think it's going to happen.
LEMON: So then why keep doing that? What good does that do them? Is it just they need an enemy?
DEAN: I think the -- I think the mayor likes to stir up things. I think he likes to feed the base. Give them ideas, thoughts, that this is somehow an unfair investigation that should be investigated. It's a charge against Mueller without really saying anything. So it's just noise, really.
LEMON: Something they can just gin up the base and knowing it will not really happen. So there's no there, there. Thank you, John. I appreciate it. Have a good evening.
DEAN: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: That's it for us tonight. But before we go, a preview of an exciting new series.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): All this week, a special CNN series. Our anchors profile champions for change.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We travel the globe telling stories of change makers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This time, we are joining a mission to make a difference.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giving time to the causes that are dear to our hearts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And sharing the stories of the champions leading the charge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): It was for a great cause. That's motivating.
[23:55:02] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to help them in ways that let 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 is 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: Rock on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am the champion, you're gonna know my name, you can't hurt me now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Join the journalists of CNN as we work alongside. "Champions for Change." All next week. Presented by Charles Schwab.
[24:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)