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Trump's Order Does Nothing For Families Already Split; Trump Administration Seeks To Detain Families Indefinitely; Babies And Toddlers At "Tender Age" Centers; Hungary Makes It A Crime To Aid Immigrants. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired June 21, 2018 - 00:00   ET



CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: We are live from the CNN NEWSROOM ahead this hour, Donald Trump backtracks on separating children from migrant families. But one thing hasn't changed preponderance of the evidence. He's still blaming Democrats.

Plus, a new law in Hungary does more than target undocumented migrants. It also criminalizes people who tried to help them claim asylum.

And she killed the man that she had been forced to marry. Now a Sudanese teenager tells us her story from death row.

Hi, everybody. I'm Cyril Vanier. It's great to have you with us. So, this doesn't happen often, Donald Trump gives in to criticism and signs an executive order to stop separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S./Mexico border. He spoke to supporters in Minnesota just hours after what is a major reversal for the president.

He had spent days blaming the Democrats and insisting he couldn't do anything about these separations. However, he still promises to be as tough as ever on undocumented immigrants trying to enter the U.S.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: So, the Democrats want open borders. Let everybody come in. Let everybody pour in, we don't care. Let them come in from the Middle East, let them come in from all over the place, we don't care. We're not going to let it happen. By the way, today I signed an executive order, we're going to keep families together, but the border is going to be just as tough as it's been.


VANIER: Mr. Trump's executive order does nothing to help reunite the more than 2,000 children already taken from their parents and it aims to keep immigrant families in detention indefinitely.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRESIDENT TRUMP: We're going to have very strong borders, but we're going to keep the families together. I didn't like the sight, or the feeling of families being separated. It's a proem that's gone on for many years as you know, through many administrations, and we're working very hard on immigration. It's been left out in the gold. People haven't dealt with it and we are dealing with it.


VANIER: Joining me now Peter Matthews, a professor of political science in Cyprus College and Brian Claypool, criminal defense attorney and civil rights litigator. Peter, let's start with you. The president said he doesn't like the sights or feelings of families being separated. We just heard him. How come he's not reuniting the 2,000 plus children who have already been separated and are still separated from their parents?

PETER MATTHEWS, POLITICAL ANALYST: How come it took several days to come to not liking it when he imposed that several days ago. The fact is that he's not reuniting the children with parents and that's the most egregious human rights violation, Cyril, and he had to be called on that.

That has to stop, and he has to change its ways, otherwise, the United States has lost its reputation, its soft power of example, leading the world through democracy and rule of law. It's being shuttered by this president and it's very unfortunate what's happened recently.

VANIER: Brian, looking at this going forward now, with this new executive order that was signed on Wednesday. Now children are going to be held with their parents. Is that fully legal?

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it is under the executive order, but here's the problem. This is just a stop-gap measure because President Trump said we're going to keep the families together but subject to existing law. He threw that caveat in there.

So, he could have gone a couple steps further. For example, Cyril, he could have put in the executive order that the children could stay with the parents beyond the 21 days. Remember there's a case out there, the Flores versus Reno case, the Supreme Court case, that says the kids can't stay with the parents beyond 21 days in detention.

So, why didn't President Trump go beyond 21 days and say these kids could stay for longer? Because you know what's going to happen at the end of the day, the 22nd day is going to come, Cyril, and guess what, some of these kids are going to be separated again from their parents and he's going to blame it on existing law, which is fiction. And in my mind, that is the U.S. government kidnapping children. They have flat out --

VANIER: I want to make sure I follow. Under this new executive order, for families, say, that are detained at the border today, families with children, you're telling me that 20 days from now, under U.S. case law, the kids will have to be taken away from their parents? CLAYPOOL: Correct. Under current case law in the United States, kids can only go with their parents -- remember, the parents go to a federal detention facility, so the kids will now go with the parents to the federal detention facility but under this case they can only stay for 21 days.

[00:05:06] This executive order does not address what happens after those 21 days. Where do the kids go? My guess is going to be, that President Trump is going to throw his arms up and say wait a minute, I'm handcuffed again, and we have to take these kids away after the 21st day.

VANIER: But the administration is moving to try and overturn that case, right, the Flores settlement that you mentioned.

CLAYPOOL: Yes, but that can take a long time, Cyril. That can take months or years. So, the easiest way to go about doing this two-fold, I mean, the Department of Homeland Security can craft new regulations within the next few weeks that address this issue and extend the time that kids could stay with their parents.

There could be a new law passed by Congress in the next couple months that addresses this issue. Remember, one important point for the viewers, this case that came down years ago, Cyril, it was never meant to be the law forever in the United States.

It's what's called de facto law. It was a framework through which then the federal government was supposed to come in and create more fluid, clear comprehensive immigration law. Our government has failed in that regard.

VANIER: And that didn't happen. Real quick, how long does it typically take to appear before the judge when you are being prosecuted as a migrant?

CLAYPOOL: Great question. I think the average right now is about 51 days if it's just a misdemeanor for illegal entry. If they have to do more vetting and they've got to look at your background more to see if you any ties to gang violence, that could take a lot longer. But clearly, the key is it's well beyond the 21 days and nothing in this executive order safeguard those kids -- or prevents them from being separated again on the 22nd day.

VANIER: OK, so unless that case is overturned we are just three weeks away from having the same problem happen over again. The very problem that this executive order was supposed to fix. Peter, why did the president backtrack on this particular issue? I mean, yes, he took a lot of heat, but he is famously the president who says, you know, I can take the heat, the criticism.

MATTHEWS: The midterm elections, Cyril, because the midterm elections are different than the 2020 election. He could hold on to his base and win once again in 2020 possibly if the other voters split.

With the midterms, these members of Congress, the Republican members are facing direct opposition and voters like Democratic are going to go out in droves and vote against this president by voting against that member of Congress and putting a Democrat in.

If the president loses the House to Democrats, he could be actually be endangered of impeachment. That's why he's doing these kinds of things and to save himself basically.

And you know, what as Brian said, this can be solved, I would say, by having supervision, the type of release situation that President Obama had going, it was much more humane. It was supervised release where you can keep track of these folks with an ankle bracelet perhaps to make sure they're not going to escape and not come back for their hearings.

There other ways to do it to keep it a humane situation for the children and the parents and Trump didn't even consider that whatsoever. He's sending a message.

VANIER: So, consider the dilemma as it was presented by Donald Trump. Listen to this.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: The dilemma is that if you're weak, which some people would like you to be -- if you're really, really pathetically weak, the country is going to be overrun with millions of people. And if you're strong, then you don't have any heart. It's a tough dilemma. Perhaps I'd rather be strong but that's a tough dilemma.


VANIER: So, Peter, consider that dilemma or that argument by the president, if you will. I suspect that's where a lot of people are going to struggle with this issue, feeling you have to protect the border on one hand but you have to be humane on the other. Is it a damned if you do or damned if you don't situation?

MATTHEWS: No, because he's not looking at the real cause of illegal immigration and as to with economic. It has to do with NAFTA, free trade, outsourcing our jobs to cheap labor in Mexico and also driving with NAFTA, dumping American corporate corn on the Mexican farmer and driving them out of business.

And the wage is not being high enough to be paid with these factory workers who have been working for American factories over there, and they come across the border to survive basically.

He's not looking at insisting on higher wages in Mexico before he actually has a NAFTA agreement and higher environmental standards to have an even fair trade playing field in that matter and that's been done before in Europe and it worked very well with the northern and southern European countries coming together in the common market by having higher wages in (inaudible) countries.

He's not looking at the real cause of illegal immigration. They're not coming here for the weather, food or the beaches, they're coming for jobs. They should really address that issue and not just look at come and overwhelm us or we have to be strong and block the border and build a wall. And I think that's completely unnecessary if we

VANIER: Since you mentioned Europe, they're struggling, the European Union is struggling with a migration issue as well. We'll discuss that in the next segment.

[00:10:05] But Brian from your legal standpoint, what do you think of that dilemma that Donald Trump presented, I have to either be hard or I have to be kind, but I can't be both.

CLAYPOOL: Yes, that's pretty pathetic. I'll tell you why. He can separate the two issues real easily. He's trying to make the United States believe if all these illegal immigrants come in, we're going to get gangsters and thugs, and described them as infesting our country.

That was so offensive because my daughter, by the way, is half Mexican. My daughter's mom, her family came here from Mexico and migrated here. So, what he is trying to say is, well, everybody coming in is bad, but what he can do Cyril is he can separate vetting all --

VANIER: In fairness, he's saying people who are crossing the border illegally are bad, which is not quite the same thing, in fairness to the president.

CLAYPOOL: But they're not all bad. What he's failing to address is that you can properly vet illegal immigrants entering our country illegally. You can vet them in a humane way. He can't separate those two. He thinks you have to treat these people in a bad way, steal the kids, separate the kids in order to vet.

He's doing that to send a message. This could be a humane process, Cyril, in which we sit down, look at the family as one unit and we determine, do they qualify for asylum, do they have any red flags? That can be done in a human way. He just doesn't want to see it that way.

VANIER: Peter, Brian was telling us a few minutes ago that Congress could settle this, right? We're referring to the Flores settlement and there's unsettled gray area left by the courts for the government to fix, which it hasn't done. Donald Trump and the Republicans control Congress, can they, will they fix the immigration issue in the U.S.?

CLAYPOOL: They're having a problem fixing it as of the compromise yesterday they couldn't come up on the vote tomorrow, it will probably fail because the right-wing Republicans and the more moderate ones disagree completely on what the solution should be. There are two bills being proposed rather than one.

And I don't think they're going to settle it now. They're going to rely on the fact that the president reversed himself and that is a solution for right now. It's completely egregious to even think that all these folks are bad and to project them as criminals as he did in rapists as he did in the campaign.

This is ridiculous, as Brian said, there's a way to vet people, and don't forget people coming for political asylum are coming on a different basis than economic refugees. They're political refugees and they have a right under international law.

And the U.S. agreed upon treaties to have a proper evaluation and their children cannot be taken away from them while they are waiting on political asylum decision. This is where he's breaking international law. To say the least, it's wrong.

VANIER: Brian, I will want an answer and explanation from you on that very question next hour. You guys stick around. We'll speak to you next hour. Thank you very much. I got more questions for you on this.

Now the youngest children being separated from their parents are being held in three so-called tender age centers in Southern Texas. CNN's Nick Valencia tried to get a look inside one of those facilities.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This former hospital in Brownsville, Texas is one of three detention centers for infants and children housing around 80 of them 10 years and younger without their parents. The three facilities with the fourth plant was reported by the "Associated Press" and had been rapidly refurbished to serve the needs of children including some under 5.

REP. FILEMON VELA (D), TEXAS: Our understanding as of our visit on Monday is that the 40 children who were separated from their parents are here directly as a result of the zero-tolerance policy.

VALENCIA: Texas Congressman Filemon Vela, a Democrat, whose district includes Brownsville said the facility was very different than the images and sounds emerging from the initial processing centers on the border where over 2,000 children have been separated from their families.

Instead, the converted hospital, like other facilities is run by a private company contracted by HHS called Southwest Key. Vela says the facility still looks very much like a hospital and has staff members watching the children.

VELA: There is constant attention and the people that are working in here are doing what they can under the circumstances.

VALENCIA: CNN attempted to gain access to the facility in Brownsville and was told to call a phone number. No one answered. The CEO of Southwest Key says his facilities are safe for children.

JUAN SANCHEZ, CEO, SOUTHWEST KEY: Regardless of policy and whatever is going on politically, that's not our job. Our job is to take care of kids and that's what we do and we do it very well. Someone has to take care of the children because if we don't take care of them, who's going to take care of them?

VALENCIA: Still the zero-tolerance policy that led to dividing children from their families raises many questions about how the U.S. could allow these separations to happen and why it took so long for the White House to come up with a fix.

[00:15:07] VELA: When you walk in a room and there are two children, one the age of 8 months and another the age of almost 1 who was without their parent and you begin to think and realize that these children that are toddlers are being held hostage by the president of the United States, it's abhorrent.

VALENCIA (on camera): There's still a lot of uncertainty as to how these families will be reunited. It was earlier that the Southern Poverty Law Center connected me with a man whose 3-year-old child was ripped away from him after they crossed into the United States through a legal point of entry asking for asylum.

His toddler asked to go to the bathroom and it was at that point two immigration officials took his child away and that's the last time he saw him. At this point, all he wants to know where his child is and if he'll ever see him again. Nick Valencia, CNN, Brownsville, Texas.


VANIER: So, we've seen how the immigration crisis is playing out in the U.S. Next up, how one European country is adopting its own zero- tolerance policy against illegal immigration.

Plus, in Canada, the date is set as Ottawa gets ready to blaze a trail on legalizing marijuana. Stay with us.


VANIER: Hungary's response to the immigration crisis in Europe has been increasingly hard lined. Now the Hungarian Parliament has gone even further making it a crime to render basic humanitarian assistance to migrants and refugees.

The new law takes effect in one or two weeks. Hungary already has some of the most heavily fortified borders in Europe, but now someone can actually risk going to jail for helping a migrant just fill out paperwork or for telling them where to get services in Hungary. Human rights activists say it marks a low point in the country's history.


MARTA PARDAVI, CO-CHAIR, HUNGARIAN HELSINKI COMMITTEE: Today is World Refugee Day, and the Hungarian government instead of providing protection has decided to actually not provide protection, deny protection, and side with the persecutors. It starts to persecute even individuals, human rights defenders and others who assist asylum seekers. I think this is a newly low point for Hungary today.


VANIER: CNN European Affairs commentator, Dominic Thomas, is standing by. He joins us from Berlin. Dominic, how did we get to this? How did we get to a point where a country feels it is crime to help a migrant seek administrative services or even fill in a form? [00:20:08] DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: I mean, it's really is an extraordinary development. I mean, there are similar kinds of rules on the books in different European countries. These are denounced by human rights organizations and the European Union even itself.

For Hungary really this process got going in 2015 at the height of what is being called the migrants crisis. This was a country that was disproportionately impacted by flows of migrants crossing into the European Union.

Now interestingly enough most of those migrants ended up moving on to other countries but it's certainly, as with so many other European and political context and elections provided the leadership with an opportunity to really bolster its anti-immigration stance, and to galvanize the electorate. We see this having worked its way out to the absolute extreme in Hungary.

VANIER: Is this popular? This kind of thing in Hungary?

THOMAS: Yes. Urban (ph) was re-elected with a two-thirds majority. He has built and strengthened his position around nativist claims of protecting Hungarians. This is a country that is relatively homogenous compared to countries with very strong histories of immigration like France and Great Britain.

He's been tremendously successful at speaking in these particular terms and especially in taking on proponents of greater immigration and asylum refuge in Hungary.

VANIER: You mentioned many of the migrants who passed through Hungary back in 2015 didn't actually stay there. So, does Hungary have many migrants to speak of?

THOMAS: No. In fact, the majority did move on. And it's also well known that it's an extraordinarily difficult place to get into and is not therefore high on the list for migrants. Actually, you know, since really the height of the migrant crisis, we're down to very small numbers of people now attempting to enter that particular country.

And Hungary has taken a very strong stance within the European Union even by refusing to take in quotas or allocations or resettlement migrants in that particular country. Thereby setting a new kind of low back and precedent in the European Union and further kind of fracturing countries over these divisions.

VANIER: It sounds like they're cracking down on a problem which is a tiny problem at least in terms of numbers of people that Hungarians are dealing with. How is this going down in the rest of the European Union. I know that many European countries have been looking with a great deal of skepticism and concern and worry of Victor Urban.

THOMAS: They have, but at the same time, they are very cautious as to how they thread on this terrain because they have seen so many recent elections either shaped by the question of immigration or Islam or identity, nativism, nationalism.

We see this with all the situations that developed in Italy today, the coalition in Austria, Angela Merkel struggling with the CSU part of her coalition party here. And so the move at the moment is really between those strictly opposed to any kind of an open immigration policy and those who are looking to the meeting in two weeks' time at the European Union with different heads of state who will be discussing migration policy and trying to come up with a better coordinated policy that allows for resettlement and takes away the burden of responsibility from countries in the European Union that have external borders and other first point of entry for migrants fleeing zones of conflict, poverty and so on.

VANIER: But Dominic, you know what strikes me about what you just said, European Union countries have been trying to do this for at least three years since the migrant crisis of 2015 that you mentioned. They've been meeting and meeting and tried to share the -- this is their words, the burden of responsibility and spread out the migrants across the E.U., three years on they're still doing this.

THOMAS: They are. And folks like David Miller, the former British secretary, now head of the IRC has been writing extensively in the media about these questions and the fact this is an enormous crisis, but he did not (inaudible) solutions, but the solutions are not rapid, they are expensive and require coordination.

I think the difficulty the European Union is having at the moment is coming up with a coordinated response that is not either incredibly and repressive which is, of course, the great question of debate today on this, what are the limits of humanitarianism, and how do we go about addressing the greater issue.

[00:25:05] Which is really the sort of the more tougher debate about all of this is those who subscribe to the idea that the European Union is essentially a Christian organization made up of white citizens and struggling with these kinds of questions.

It's difficult to deal with a coordinated policy when you're fighting over these kinds of myths and different visions as to what national entities represents. This is an enormous challenge that the European Union continues to face.

VANIER: It was a few days ago that you were on air talking to us answering questions about migrants coming into Southern Europe. They were accepted by Spain, but they've been turned back by in Italy and Malta. Dominic Thomas, always great to get your insights. Thank you.

THOMAS: Thank you, Cyril.

VANIER: All right. Staying in the European Union, at least for now, a crucial victory for Britain's prime minister in her mission to keep Brexit on track. The House of Lords agreed to the withdrawal bill, which repeals the law that allowed the U.K. to join the European block in 1973.

Some lawmakers wanted a final say on this deal, instead they ended up accepting her promise of a meaningful say in negotiations. Pro- European lawmaker, Dominic Grieve, originally argued that parliament hadn't been given enough control, but then he reversed himself. He complained about the tone of the debates.


DOMINIC GRIEVE, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: We do face some real difficulties at the moment. It's rightly said those who the Gods want to destroy they first render mad. And I have to say, there's enough madness around at the moment to make one start to question whether collective sanity in this country has disappeared.


VANIER: Six conservative members of parliament voted against the bill and more battles are expected over future trade and customs arrangements. The U.K. is due to exit the E.U. next March 29th, less than a year from now.

Canada will soon be just the second country in the world and the first major economy to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it would be legal as of October 17th. The Senate passed the legislation on Tuesday. Mr. Trudeau's liberal made legalization a campaign issue back in 2015.


JUSTIC TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Parliament has now passed Bill C45 which will legalize and strictly regulate access to cannabis. We will soon have a new system in place, one that keeps cannabis out of the hands of our kids and keeps profits away from organized crime.


VANIER: Adults of legal age and either 18 or 19 depending on the province will be able to carry and share up to 30 grams of pot in public and grow up to four plants at home. Consumers are expected to buy marijuana from retailers regulated by provinces, territories or federally licensed producers.

Still to come, CNN exclusive report shines a spotlight on victims of child marriage and laws that allow marital rape and empower abusers. The heart wrenching stories of two young girls fighting the system next.



VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. Your headlines today, after days of saying he could not do it, U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order reversing his administration's policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border.

The order does not reunite more than 2,000 minors already taken from their family. In Hungary, it will soon be illegal to render aid to undocumented migrants. The Hungarian Parliament easily passed legislation on Wednesday to outlaw some basic human rights activities such as helping someone fill out paperwork. Amnesty International called it a new low noting the measure was passed on World Refugee Day.

A crucial victory for British Prime Minister Theresa May after she promised to give lawmakers a meaningful say on the results of Brexit negotiations. The House of Lords has approved a bill to repeal the 1973 law allowing the U.K. to join the E.U. It would also incorporate E.U. law into U.K. law on the day Britain leaves the E.U. The bill now goes to the Queen for royal assent.

The world watched in horror earlier when Sudanese teenager Noura Hussein was sentenced to death for killing her husband whom she claims raped her. Activists say there are many cases similar to Noura - Noura's in Sudan and they're working to combat the violence and change laws that empower abusers.

In exclusive reporting, CNN's Nima Elbagir uncovers more of Noura's story and also speaks to an 11 year old girl fighting to escape her husband's brutality.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no idea how I got there. I was still carrying the knife. He told my parents that he wanted to marry me. The first time I even saw him was a week after he proposed the marriage to my uncle. I told them I don't want to marry, I want to study. I was in the eighth grade and they fooled (ph) me.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These are the words of Sudanese teenager Noura Hussein. For her safety, this is not her voice, but it is Noura's story in her own words.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They did all the usual rituals for the wedding. I was overwhelmed with anger. I didn't want this man. I sat in the hairdressers, contemplating suicide.

ELBAGIR: This is Noura on her wedding day. Noura is on death row, convicted of the murder of her 35 year old husband. Noura's case has caused controversy across Sudan. A controversy Sudan's government has refused to comment on. Noura's husbands family have (INAUDIBLE) the activists, threaten violence against her supporters.

They also refused CNN's request for comment. The badly kept secret here is that more than a third of marriages in Sudan are child marriages, a number that is rising, aggravated by the financial realities in Sudan and a law that sets the legal age of marriage at 10.But some brave little girls are choosing to speak out.

This is Amal's story and Amal's own voice. For her safety, we're not showing her face. Amal is seeking a divorce from her abusive husband.


TEXT: He treated me horribly, I went back to my father but he sent me back to him. Then when he beat me again, I fled to my father but he sent me back again. That last time he beat me, I went to the police station.

ELBAGIR: When it's all over, Amal wants to be a doctor. Beside her, her father wipes away tears. Unlike Noura, Amal's father is here in support of her.


TEXT: Twice, she came to my home, twice and was terrified and frightened. I sent her back.


TEXT: The man is 38 years old and wanted to be married to an 11 year old girl. Shouldn't you have been suspicious?

AMAL'S FATHER: Well, I'm regretful, regretful...

ELBAGIR: Her father promises only to think harder the next time a proposal for marriage comes to his underage daughter. (INAUDIBLE)'s office walls are adorned with art from rescue child victims. (INAUDIBLE) SEEMA is one of the organizations fighting on Noura's behalf. It works to combat violence against women and forced marriage in spite of a regular diet of threats.


TEXT: Aren't you afraid when you talk about these cases?


TEXT: I think that we, at the SEEMA center and other organizations, do this as a conscious choice. Noura is just one of the 37 percent of girls married in Sudan under the age of 18, just one of the cases that has reached us. There are so many others that are similar, even down to the details.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We arrived at the honeymoon flat. I locked myself inside one of the rooms. I refused to eat. I refused to leave my room. On the ninth day, his relatives came. His uncle told me to go to the bedroom.

I said, no. So, he dragged me by my arm into the bedroom. All of them tore my clothing. His uncle held me down by my legs and each of the others, two held down my arms. He stripped and had me while I wept and screamed. I was bleeding. I slept naked.

ELBAGIR: A (INAUDIBLE) a childhood ritual, part and parcel of growing up. Women and girls across Sudan are fighting for the right, taking chances, against laws that legalize child marriage, laws that don't recognize marital rape, laws that empower their abusers.

Noura still had the knife in her hands when she fled to her parent's home. It was her own father who handed her to the police. And it's there that she learned that she killed her husband. She's now awaiting the results of her appeal, Nima Elbagir, CNN, Khartoum, Sudan.

VANIER: And you can watch the rest of Nima's exclusive reporting on CNN. That's Thursday at noon if you're in London or 7 p.m. in Hong Kong. We're back with more news after the break.



VANIER: Earlier in the show I told you President Trump just reversed course on separating undocumented migrant families as they reached the U.S. border. Well, some experts, who study the presidents, say they've seen all of this play out before.

Brian Todd is in Washington.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to have a lot of happy people.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's not admitting defeat, even with a new executive order that ends the practice of immigrant family separations that he created.

Instead, President Trump, is following his own very Trumpian playbook, blaming others.

TRUMP: We're having a lot of problems with Democrats. They don't want to vote for anything. They don't care about lack of security. They really would like to have open borders, where anybody in the world could just flow in.

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, AUTHOR: Blame and credit are really essential currencies in Donald Trump's life and they have been forever. He's almost like a kid in a large family who says, it's not my fault, it's my brothers fault.

TODD: For members of his own party, to world leaders and even the Pope, Trump's been heavily criticized on the immigration issue. Critics even calling it inhumane, but Trump, as always, defiant.

TRUMP: And when you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away.

TODD: It's classic Trump, his biographers say, when all sides are marshaled against him and he's completely boxed in his instincts are to double down and hit even hard.

D'ANTONIO: When he's backed into a corner he's not going to accept or confess that he did anything wrong. He's going to always blame somebody else, whether the facts back that up or not. TODD: The President even admitted to that tactic at the summit in Singapore when he voiced confidence that Kim Jong Un would hold to his promise of drawing down his weapons.

TRUMP: I may be wrong. I mean, I may stand before you in six months and say, hey, I was wrong. I don't know that I'll ever admit that, but I'll try to -- I'll find some kind of an excuse.

TODD: Never admitting blame, deflecting it. Instinctively punching back when boxed in. All tactics that biographers say Donald Trump learned from two masters.

MICHAEL KRANISH, AUTHOR: Trump's instinct was taught to him by his father and also by Roy Cohn, his former lawyer, and that is when you're hit, hit back 100 times harder. But that's what he is basically engrained with. He's basically boasted, even as a child, that he liked to bully other people.

TODD: But sources tell CNN, Trump was, in-part, turned around on this crisis by his daughter Ivanka and First Lady, Melania Trump.

D'ANTONIO: In the President's inner circle there are very few people who willed as much influence as his daughter Ivanka and the First Lady. Where Ivanka is concerned, we see a young woman who is especially influential when it comes to softening the President's image, to pointing out to him that he's gone a little bit too far.

TODD: Trump biographers say that if his pattern holds, the President will likely move quickly past this setback and even use it to build toward his broader goal of building a border wall. And if he doesn't he get that, they say, he'll likely revert to the Trumpian tactic of blaming others, like Democrats or those Republicans who couldn't muster enough support for it.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


VANIER: And that's it from us for now. Thanks for watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Cyril Vanier. World Sports starts right after the break with Kate Riley. Don't miss it.