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Trump Signs Executive Order Ending Family Separations; Trump Doesn't Focus on Immigration During Rally; House to Vote on Immigration Bills Today. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired June 21, 2018 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:00] RYAN NOBLES, CNN ANCHOR: Now remember, this is the president ordering to end a practice that he, of course, implemented, and then claimed last week he couldn't fix by executive order. Sources tell CNN the president was frustrated by contradicting messages from his administration and with Republican allies questioning his heart.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So we're keeping families together and this will solve that problem. At the same time, we are keeping a powerful very border. It continues to be a zero tolerance. We have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: First lady, Melania Trump, has been working behind the scenes for the past several days encouraging her husband to change course on the Trump administration separation policy. The Trump executive order solves one political issue but it leaves many unsettled. What about the reunion? It doesn't address the families already split. Children, as young as 9 months old, thousands of miles away from their parents. Existing policies put the onus on parents to reunite children with the child, a child is in the custody of the government. More than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents at the border since last month.

NOBLES: And HHS is also now walking back comments that placing separated kids with sponsors will proceed. Being placed with a sponsor means kids might not end up back with their parents. But a spokesman now says HHS is awaiting further guidance.

And even though families will now be kept together at the border, there's a legal issue. An earlier court decision said that kids cannot be detained longer than three weeks. It's not clear what happens when their parents' cases.

ROMANS: Just hours after signing the immigration order, President Trump back on the campaign trail.

We get more from CNN's Jeff Zeleny.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Ryan, President Trump in Duluth, Minnesota, on Wednesday night, starting the beginning of a series of campaign rallies he'll be holding throughout the fall, leading up to the midterm election campaign. Immigration front and center in Washington. The president did not dwell on immigration at all at his rally in Duluth. This is the entirety of what he said about the executive order.


TRUMP: Today, I signed an executive order. We will keep families together, but the border is going to be just as tough as it has been.


TRUMP: Democrats don't care about the impact of uncontrolled migration on your communities, your schools, your hospitals, your jobs or your safety. Democrats put illegal immigrants before they put American citizens. What the hell is going on?


ZELENY: So the president taking familiar jabs at Democrats about immigration, clearly trying to keep this an issue to drive his base in the midterm election campaign.

The one thing not mentioned at all, the Republican criticism about the family separation issue. It should be noted this is what many believe is a short-term fix. This is likely to be challenged in a legal sense. This is likely to be revisited again and again. The White House has constantly said it did not want a Band-Aid. That is what many people believe it is.

But in the short-term, the president is moving beyond that. Not dwelling on the executive order. Ryan, as you know, covering Congress on Capitol Hill, this remains a major issue as House Republicans are still trying to get enough votes for the immigration bill today.

Christine and Ryan?

NOBLES: Jeff, that is right. That battle happening on Capitol Hill today.

Hundreds of children separated from their parents at the border have been quietly taken to New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio says as many as 350 kids have come through one facility alone. Most of them are still there, including a 9-month-old infant. Cameras from New York One News caught five girls brought to a foster agency shortly after midnight on Wednesday. De Blasio is wondering how this happened without the city government having been made aware.


BILL DE BLASIO, (D), NEW YORK MAYOR: What is happening here? How is it possible that none of us knew there were 239 kids right here in our own city? How is the federal government holding back that information from the people of this city? And holding back the health that these kids could need? This has been a traumatic process for a lot of these kids. The mental health issues alone, they made clear to us, are very real and very painful.


ROMANS: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sharing the outrage in an op- ed calling family separation a dark stain on the history of our nation. Saying, "You cannot un-abuse the more than 2,300 children who have been separated from their parents. The administration's family separation policy has already done potentially irreparable harm to those children who are used as pawns in the president's political agenda."

Protesters expressing their anger overnight at New York's LaGuardia Airport. And as protesters lined up there at LaGuardia, American and United and Frontier Airlines are asking the government to stop using our planes to fly migrant children separated from their parents. American says it has no desire to be associated with separated families or, worse, to profit from it. Frontier promised it will not knowingly fly migrant children thousands of miles away from their families.

The problem is none of the airlines do know. Many have contracts with the U.S. government to use their planes, but they have no idea who uses those tickets. The Department of Homeland Security says, "It is unfortunate the airlines no longer want to partner with the brave men and women of DHS to protect the traveling public."

[05:05:20] But airlines are not the only ones protesting their association with this issue. Walmart says it is disturbed that a former Texas store is now a shelter for migrant children separated from their parents, tweeting it had no idea the building would be used for the purpose when it sold it in 2016. The former Walmart is the largest child shelter in the U.S.

President Trump may have ended the practice of separating families at the border, but before that, many companies spoke out against that policy, Facebook, Uber, JPMorgan Chase and Apple. CEOs of some of these companies, Jamie Dimon, Tim Cook, saying this is un-American, it is wrong, it should stop immediately.

NOBLES: Let's talk about the politics of all of this. Let's bring in Daniel Lippman, a report and co-author of "Politico Playbook."

Daniel, good morning. Thank you for being with us.


NOBLES: I want to put up on the screen kind of a backtrack and show what all of the administration officials said about this zero- tolerance policy from the White House. Kirstjen Nielsen, who is -- oh, it's a sound byte, actually. We will play this. Take a listen.



NIELSEN: Congress can fix it tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Only Congress can fix this issue.

JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Fundamentally, we are enforcing the law.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We hope Congress will actually do their part.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. President, what about executive action?


TRUMP: Wait. I can't do it through executive order.


NOBLES: You hear that there, only Congress can do it. The president said a week ago, actually less than a week ago, I cannot do this through an executive order. How is he able to do it with executive order yesterday, Daniel?

LIPPMAN: I guess they have been able to use their lawyers to find a way in the Constitution to do that. You will not have Democrats file a lawsuit against the Trump White House and say you cannot do it through an executive order. We should keep in mind this does not cover all of the kids still in custody. It doesn't seem like the Trump administration has cared that much about legal liability. This is a guy that has attacked a judge, a Mexican-American judge as illegitimate. This is nothing new from the administration.

ROMANS: In terms of the kids still separated from their parents, the "Daily News," one of the president's hometown tabloids, although a tabloid very critical of him, calls them hostages and asks the president on its op-ed pages to release the hostages. We should be clear here, there's no plan for reunion. This was an executive order. It looks like it was meant to tamp down a bad news cycle for the president. The news cycle isn't over. You have 2,300 kids who are, in some cases, hundreds and thousands of miles away from parents, Dan.

LIPPMAN: You've also had a number of these parents who were deported to Central America. So if you are in Guatemala and your kid is in Michigan in some foster family system or home, that is not an easy situation to connect them. Also the record keeping in terms of paper records and electronic records, it is not the best. They were very hasty in how they separated these families. It is not like they registered everyone and it is easy to just reunite them all. DHS has a lot of work to do to reunite these people.

NOBLES: So they will debate this on Capitol Hill today. This is the moderate bill that probably has the best chance of passing that will be in front of Congress. It gives DREAMers a path ultimately to citizenship, which is controversial with the president's base. It gives Trump $25 billion for the border wall, which Democrats don't like. It revises Congressman Goodlattes's provision to address family separation. Daniel, from your view, do you think this bill will pass? If it passes, does it get through the Senate?

LIPPMAN: From all the sources we have talked to on Capitol Hill, this bill is in serous trouble. It's been drafted so hastily that the House Rules Committee had to meet at 10:00 p.m. last night, seven hours ago, because they added an extra $100 billion to the border wall. So clearly, this bill is in trouble. And even if it passes the House, it may be too conservative to pass the Senate. This 20-day deadline that Trump put in the executive order, they will have to revisit this issue if they can't pass it today.

ROMANS: Listen to the "Wall Street Journal" said about Trump and the House bill: "The president huddled with Republicans on Tuesday and endorsed both bills, but that is a cop-out. If Mr. Trump wants a solution for DREAMers and for the wall, he needs to state publicly and clearly that the amnesty charge is a distortion. Otherwise, he'll get nothing and Dems will run against GOP failure in November."

Is it clear what the president wants? Daniel, what is the leadership from the White House in the process?

[05:10:25] LIPPMAN: He wants Congress to fix it. That is what he said for weeks. But we should remind our viewers that this is a rare reversal by the president. It is very unusual to see him totally backtrack on a critical issue that got him elected. We should probably think that his voters, his base, will still support him. They did not rebel. They really lapped it up yesterday at his rally. Even Trump supporters have kids and they have been affected by the images from Texas as well. But this is something that Republican leaders are worried about hurting their chances in the midterms. Every day they have this in the news -- they are not talking about the booming economy, even though the stock market hasn't been doing well in the last week, but it's just a huge distraction.

ROMANS: It's interesting some of those people at that rally -- I know other reporters noticed it -- there are people at that rally that did not believe the pictures. The pictures given to us by the government.


ROMANS: Because we are not allowed in the places.


ROMANS: They don't believe the places or what about it. Oh, what about these pictures from the Obama administration that show teenage boys in these detention centers.

Look, there are detention centers for migrants in the United States because we have a broken immigration system. The difference here is the separating young children from parents at the border.


ROMANS: That was the new policy here. Yes, here's plenty of outrage all around for years. No question.


ROMANS: Dan, come back and see us. Thank you.

LIPPMAN: Sounds good. Thank you.

NOBLES: Thanks, Dan.

Breaking news overnight, the "Washington Post" reporting the White House will push forward with a plan to shrink the size of the federal government by merging the Labor and Education Departments. This would be the centerpiece of a long-awaited proposal to make Washington function more effectively. The plan calls for streamlining the way the government provides benefits for low-income Americans. That's an area that conservatives have railed against for years. Now any consolidation would require congressional approval. We know how that goes. Probably make the success of the plan a long shot.

ROMANS: A teenager shot and killed running away from police in east Pittsburgh. What police and the family lawyer are saying this morning.


[05:16:43] NOBLES: Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who led the Washington archdiocese until 2006, has been removed from public ministry by the Vatican over allegations he sexually abused a teenager in New York almost 50 years ago. McCarrick was also accused three times of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago. This is while serving as a bishop in New Jersey. Two cases were settled. The 87- year-old McCarrick is one of the highest-ranking American leaders in the Catholic Church to be removed over sexual abuse charges. He maintains his innocence.

ROMANS: Protests in Pennsylvania after an unarmed 17-year-old is gunned down by police.

I want to warn you, this video is disturbing.

This happened in east Pittsburgh. Police stopped a vehicle --




ROMANS: -- shooting. When the driver was ordered out of the car two people, including that young man, ran off. One person identified as Antwan Rose was shot by officers several times, 17-years old. He died later at the hospital. Wednesday night, protesters gathered demanding justice for the 17-year-old. NOBLES: Flash flood emergencies ravage south Texas. Over a foot of

rain falling in the last several days. Heavy rain was reported in Victoria, Corpus Christi and McAllen. That's where a 91-year-old woman had to be rescued when water rose into her home. In the city of San Juan, cars nearly submerged while some stranded drivers had to be rescued by kayaks. Parts of south Texas remain under flash flood watches through this afternoon. The situation should slowly start to improve today.

ROMANS: Move over Movie Pass. America's largest movie chain, AMC Theaters, unveiling the AMC stubs A-list. It allows you to see up to three free movies each week in any format, including IMAX and 3-D for $20 a month. Movie Pass offers customers one free movie a day for $10 a month. Throwing some shade at AMC with this tweet, "Heard AMC Theaters jumped on board the movie subscription train. Twice the price for a quarter of the theater network and 50 percent fewer movies. Thanks for making us look good, AMC."

Three movies a week. When is the last time you saw three movies in a year?

NOBLES: In a year. That is my average, three movies in a year. Do I need a subscription for that?


[05:19:00] Well, it is draft night in America. But will a European be the NBA's top pick. Andy Scholes with the "Bleacher Report," next.


NOBLES: Big night in the sports world. The NBA will hold its annual draft night. One top prospect is a 19-year-old from Slovenia.

ROMANS: Andy Scholes has more with this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Hey, Andy.

ANDY SHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Hey, good morning, guys.

Luther Dantes (ph) is being heralded as the best European prospect of all time. As a teenager, you watch the highlights, and you think you are watching Steph Curry. Dantes (ph) led his Real Madrid team to another championship. He's the youngest player ever to win the Euro League MVP. He is 6'8" and shoots lights out from three, an exceptional passer. His nickname is the Wonder Boy. And Dantes (ph) tells "Bleacher Report" he wants it all, titles, trophies, all-star appearances, a name-drop on singles and a date with Rachel from "Friends," although Jennifer Aniston is 30 years older than he is. Dantes (ph) is projected to go in the top five tonight. You can watch the draft on NBA TV starting at 7:00 Eastern.

This is quickly becoming the Ronaldo World Cup. Portugal's superstar at it again yesterday, scoring with a header in the fourth minute against Morocco. That was his fourth goal of the World Cup. People are wondering why Ronaldo is growing facial hair. He usually doesn't have any. Some think his goatee is in response to Messi taking pictures with goats before the World Cup. There's a big argument in world soccer, who is the greatest of all time, the goat? Is it Ronaldo or Messi? I definitely think Ronaldo so far in this World Cup. You can see that at 2:00 eastern.

[05:25:11] Iran may have lost to Spain yesterday, but at home they celebrated a landmark moment. For the first time in 37 years, women were allowed to watch the team play in the stadium in Tehran. Previously, women were banned from watching men's sporting events and breaking the rules would result in arrests, fines or imprisonment. Women posted selfies from inside the stadium to document that moment. It remains to be seen if the event is a permanent shift to allow Iranian women to watch men's sporting events.

Finally, baseball. Yankees down five in the seventh. Mounting a rally and tied in the ninth. And Carlos Stanton at the plate on an O- 2 pitch. Crushes that one. Walk off homerun for Stanton. He gets a Gatorade bath. Carlo needs to watch out how much they attack him after that homerun because payback is coming at some point.

NOBLES: It seems his acquisition by Yankees is working out

SCHOLES: Yes. Pretty smart move.

ROMANS: All right, thanks, Andy.

NOBLES: All right.

ROMANS: And 26 minutes past the hour. The president signs an executive order to fix a problem he said he could not fix himself, a policy created by his administration. What does that mean to the thousands of children flown thousands of miles away. Where are the reunions?