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Lewandowski Refuses to Apologize for Mocking Disabled Child; Growing Trade Battle Sends Stocks Lower; Trump Rips "Nasty Guy" Sanford After Killer Tweet; Trump Will Sign "Something" To Keep Families Together at Border. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired June 20, 2018 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:32:29] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Nothing has changed since the crisis erupted at the border. No policies have changed. No policy announcements have come from the White House. No bills have been passed. But the war of words over the crisis separating families is getting uglier and uglier. The latest, Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, reacting to a report of a 10-year-old child with Down Syndrome being separated from her family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAC PETKANAS, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE ADVISOR: I read today that a 10-year-old girl with Down Syndrome was taken from her mother and put in a cage.
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Wah, wah.
PETKANAS: What did you say? Did you say, wah, wah, about a 10-year- old girl with Down Syndrome --
PETKANAS: How dare you?
PETKANAS: How dare you, sir?
PETKANAS: How absolutely dare you, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: That was yesterday. Here's Lewandowski today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEWANDOWSKI: I don't know the young girl that Zac referenced. I was mocking Zac, a liberal Democrat National Committee activist, who was doing nothing but politicizing the issue of making an example of one particular child.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Joining me right now, Joe Trippi, CNN political commentator, Democratic strategist, and Jason Miller, CNN political commentator and former senior communications adviser to the Trump campaign.
Thanks for coming in.
Jason, no matter what you feel about the policy and the crisis playing out at the border, why are folks talking about this horribly sad crisis in this way or saying the facilities are like summer camp for kids? Do you think this helps?
JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think you make a very good point to ask conservatives as supporters of the president. I think we have a higher bar that we have to meet as far as making sure that we're articulating his policies in a way that it puts the facts forward and don't seem as though we're insensitive. I think Corey's comments yesterday clearly went way to the insensitive territory. And I think what that does is that muddles the message. So instead of today being a debate over the need to build the wall, going passing these additional proposals, now we're talking about insensitivity, and does the administration care or not, and that's not a winning position for us.
Joe, President Trump says that Congress should fix it. Republicans and Democrats say Trump could fix it faster. But I am also seeing reports in the "New York Times," reports that Chuck Schumer shot down a chance to work with Republicans to fix it in the Senate in the absence of Trump doing anything. Morally and politically, can Democrats stand here, point the finger at Corey Lewandowski for being insensitive, and saying, no, we're not going to work with Republicans and we'll stand here and wait for Trump to do something?
[11:35:09] JOE TRIPPI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think, one, the president keeps moving the bar. Democrats have come with several proposals that were either voted down or that the president pulled the rug out at the last minute. So we'll see where that goes.
But I think one of the things that's happening here is the policy itself is bad, and it's hurting Republicans. What's hurting them even more is when Corey Lewandowski uses this kind of language or the president says that these people are infesting our nation. This is coming from the top. And the problem is the language itself, I mean, crossing that line, the crass, sort of punitive language is -- the policy itself hurts him with Republican women and Republicans as a whole, and a lot of other people that would normally support the policy. But I mean, they could support the policy and then they hear this language and they start to move away. And they start to see the policy maybe, but not this divisiveness, not this bitterness. That's not who we are. And that's what's, I think, adding to the policy division that the president's created here. It's the language, as well. BOLDUAN: You know, Jason, the comment that Joe's talking about here
is the tweet from the president when he says that, "Democrats are the problem. They don't care about crime. They want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may, be to pour into and infest our country." And he continues, "Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state, says to the president, in doing so, she tweeted that he's fostering -- he's fostering hate with the language that he's using. Is the president fostering hate here?
MILLER: I would disagree on that. I think the president takes this issue of M.S.-13, of the gang problem, of the human trafficking and the drug trafficking, I think he takes this very personally, that he looks and he's met with so many of these angel moms and families, Kate Steinle's family, the people have been impacted by these lax border policies, whether they be sanctuary cities or other things.
And to Joe's point, a moment ago, I completely agree with them, for too many, I think the language has gone to the right direction here. Because really what's at core are these policies. And the fact is that we can no longer have this open-border policy. I think a zero- tolerance policy at the border is the right way to be. I don't think DHS was ready to implement this on schedule as they should have. I think there are quick fixes we can do as far as closing the loopholes regarding catch-and-release. I think there's also -- I think the Ted Cruz proposal is a good one. I disagree with the president on that point. And also, the House --
BOLDUAN: Can I ask about that really quick?
BOLDUAN: Can I ask about the Ted Cruz, his proposal? Because I've heard some Democrats say they'd be open to what Ted Cruz is putting forth. It kind of fixes -- you can't separate families but, also, in doing so, would double the number of federal immigration judges to speed up processing. Trump says he wants Congress to fix it, but he just threw Ted Cruz's proposal down the stairs yesterday. Let me play this for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They should like to hire 5,000 or 6,000 more judges, 5,000 or 6,000. Can you imagine the graph that must take place? You are small business owners, so I know you can't imagine a think like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: If he wants something done, why did he throw out the Cruz proposal?
MILLER: I understand what the president is doing here. The president's trying to accomplish what he ran on in 2016, which is come up to the big, broad, comprehensive reform. And he has very specific principles and he talked about building the wall and ending chain migration and getting rid of the visa lottery and coming up with a real, long-term solution to the DACA crisis and closing the loopholes for catch-and-release. But these are very specific policies we need to come up with and approach the problem overall. I think that's what the president wants to do. He doesn't want a Band-Aid or a little patch to try to get by. I think the fact of the matter is it's starting to reach a critical mass and Republicans and, hopefully, some Democrats will be pushing forward on solutions of what we can do to solve this, because, again, the zero-tolerance border is going on.
MILLER: We should not be allowing people to come into the country illegally.
TRIPPI: But, Jason -- but, Jason, first, he attacks the Democrats saying we don't care about the criminals, and it's just crazy talk. And then said, at the same time, but, hey, the Democrats have to step up and do something about this, while, at the same time, attacking Ted Cruz's proposal, the Republican that a lot of Democrats might be able to accept. So how -- and then on top of that, you put this policy in place to separate families on purpose to fight for -- basically, it's leverage to get to the wall, and that's what the president's doing. Everybody knows it. And the language on top of it that Corey's using and that others in the party are using and supporters on the Hill are using doesn't help. It just continues to push women away from him. Forget about the larger politics of the policy of this thing. It's going to hurt in November because I believe Republican women are repulsed by this, which is why --
[11:40:22] BOLDUAN: Guys --
BOLDUAN: -- thank you.
BOLDUAN: I've got to run, Jason. I really appreciate it, though.
Jason, Joe, thanks, guys.
Coming up for us, threats of new tariffs between the U.S. and China continuing to drag down the markets. The Dow is now in its longest losing streak in more than a year. What's going to happen? We'll go live to the New York Stock Exchange.
[11:45:04] BOLDUAN: Right now, the Dow facing its longest losing streak in more than a year, and the concern over the Trump administration's trade policies sure is not going away any time soon. The retaliatory tariffs that the E.U. is putting on billions of dollars of U.S. goods goes into effect this week.
So buckle up, friends, as CNN's Richard Quest is joining me now from the New York Stock Exchange with more on this.
Richard, what does this all mean? What do you see there?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Today is the calm after the storm, but you always get the feeling what we might be seeing is the calm before the storm. because in this environment, Kate, you don't know where the storm is coming from. We've got trade worries. We've got tariffs on the horizon. You've got companies that are saying they're not sure what to do next. You've got companies criticizing the administration over the immigration separation policy.
What have we got today? The Dow Jones Industrials are down just some 50-odd point, but the broader market and the S&P is higher. Volume is larger. You see the way the market is looking. It's a nice sea of green. But I urge you, do not be fooled because, underneath all of this, there's a tension in the market, Kate. We talked about the markets now live coming up online as CNNmoney.com.
Essentially, what you need to know is that this market does not think the worst is about to happen, but it's holding its nose in case it does.
BOLDUAN: That's kind of good advice for life.
Richard, great to see you. Thank you so much.
Talk about kicking a man when he's down. I'm not talking about Richard Quest this time. First, the president helped sink Congressman Mark Sanford's reelection bid and now the president is reveling in it behind his back with Sanford's own friends. What's the message to the rest of the Republican Party? That's next.
[11:51:18] BOLDUAN: The president's tweet attack on Mark Sanford, Congressman Mark Sanford, that Mark Sanford even says may have sunk his campaign for re-election. Yesterday, the president reveled in it. President Trump ripping into the Republican congressman during a closed-door meeting with other Republicans on immigration, calling Sanford a, quote, "nasty guy." That came a week after Sanford lost his Republican primary in South Carolina. Sources in the meeting say Trump's dig fell flat and drew some groans. That's the tweet from Trump when he sank his campaign.
When Sanford found out about all this, he told the "Washington Post," - because he wasn't there, he was on a plane -- he said this, "I would say the comment goes to the core of why I have at times agreed with policies of the administration, but at the same time, found the president's personal style so caustic and counterproductive. The tragedy of the Trump administration is that he thinks it's about him. The president has taken those earnest beliefs by so many people across the country and has, unfortunately, fallen prey to thinking it's about him."
Joining me right now, CNN politics reporter and editor-at-large, Chris Cillizza.
So, Chris, Sanford wasn't in the room last night. He had already lost. But Trump could not let it go. Lawmakers booed when he did, when he called him a nasty guy. I wonder if that -- I don't know, it's not surprising to me that Trump would attack him again. I wonder if it surprised Trump if Republicans booed in his presence or if it impacted him at all.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Let me tell you that I believe it impacted him not at all. He is who he is. The Trump -- the version of Trump that we have right now is the version we're getting. It's not changing. He's not evolving as president. I think that -- the episode last night shows that. It reinforces what we know about him. He is a bully. We've seen this before. The fact that he asked whether Mark Sanford was in the room, got the answer no, and then attacked him, is really something. And he's also a poor winner. He won. Mark Sanford lost. Mark Sanford lost, in large part, not exclusively, but in large part because he was not a "get in line behind Donald Trump on every issue" kind of Republican. And the woman who beat him, a state legislator, named Katie Arrington, said he doesn't support Donald Trump enough, I will. So be gracious in victory is usually what we learn.
The other thing we relearned is he's not great at reading a room. The one thing if you know, if you have spent time around Congress, it's a club, it really is, for better and for worse. And when they lose one of their own, whether they liked him or didn't like him, that's sort of the reality he doesn't get.
BOLDUAN: Chris, I'm looking down because I'm getting breaking news coming in, sorry, looking at my e-mail from a full report. The White House pool was called in to the cabinet room. President Trump is meeting with members of Congress right now. And coming out -- and we'll have the tape when it come --, but coming out of it, President Trump says he invited -- I'm looking for it. He says that he's going to essentially -- he's going to do something about this border crisis. Here's a quote from the pool, "I'll be signing something in a little while that's going to do that," talking about keeping families together. "I'll be doing something that is somewhat preemptive and will be matched by legislation, I'm sure."
That coming from the president. He's speaking so the pool is probably still in there. When our correspondents come out, we'll play the tape for you.
Chris, the president saying, he's doing something on the heels of saying he couldn't do something. This is something.
BOLDUAN: This is something.
[11:55:01] CILLIZZA: Let's first say good if he makes good on this, because this is a policy that he can stop. That has always been the case. Remember, Jeff Sessions announced in April they were putting in place a zero-tolerance policy when it came to people crossing illegally. That necessarily meant there would be more family separations. That is a fact. Why they went through all this saying -- as recently as Monday night, Kirstjen Nielsen, the Department of Homeland Security secretary, said Congress alone with fix it. That was not true at the time. It's not true today. So why they went through all of that, putting the blame on Congress or saying Congress needed to do something, only to at least reportedly sign something that does what we knew they could do from the start I'm not sure about. But the end result I think is a good thing, even though the sausage being made was a very bad thing for Republicans.
BOLDUAN: Honestly, we don't know exactly what this is going to be, right?
CILLIZZA: That's right.
BOLDUAN: What the "is" is here is an important one. I'm looking more at the notes. He's going to take action to improve security on the border and help keep families together. How he's going to do that, unilaterally -- we know he could stop the policy of separation with a phone call or the stroke of a pen. What he's going to do also, that is an important thing to get to.
Remember, and I'm just recalling what the president said on Friday, you know, he said all along that he hates having the children being taken away but putting it squarely -- he did it last Friday and this morning, that it's the Democrat's fault, it's the Democrat's law, and essentially his hands were tied, he can't do anything. This is a big change.
CILLIZZA: Yes. Look, it wasn't true then, Kate, and it isn't true now. The president --
BOLDUAN: What do you think changed, though? I do wonder.
CILLIZZA: So let's assume -- and you're right, but let's assume that what he's going to do is effectively going to end the separation of families at the border, at least in the near term until Congress can or tries to address it.
CILLIZZA: What likely changed is massive pressure from Republican legislators saying, you are -- this is going to hurt us. This is going to cost us. You saw the head of the Republican Congressional Committee, basically the campaign arm, come out and say, I oppose this as a father. This is not who we are as a country.
You heard some reporting out of that conference last night with House Republicans, was that Trump knew that the pictures were bad for Republicans. Now, you can say, well, what about the actual kids being displaced from their parents. But this was a political problem that was not going away. So if it changes, that's what has changed. Nothing else has changed. He could have done this a week ago.
BOLDUAN: But still, this is still big. And I'm going to read the quote from the pool one more time. "I'll be signing something in a little while that's going to do that, which deals with the separation of families."
Chris, thanks so much.
CILLIZZA: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: We'll have much more on this breaking news after a quick break.