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Confusion Persists After Trump Reversal on Family Separation; Melania Trump's Jacket Causes a Stir During Surprise Visit to Border Facility; House GOP Pushes Back Key Vote on Immigration Bill; Trump- Putin Meeting in the Works; Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 22, 2018 - 04:30   ET


[04:30:51] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: How can parents find kids taken at the border? Is the zero tolerance policy on hold? So many questions and little guidance from the Trump administration.

Speaking of question, Melania Trump's trip to the border, well, focused entirely because of her wardrobe. What message is she sending?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN ANCHOR: Tributes are pouring in for legendary conservative commentator and columnist Charles Krauthammer, a man whose words shaped American politics for generations, has died.

BRIGGS: And the "Roseanne" reboot gets a reboot. ABC will keep the show alive without the namesake comedian fired after racist tweets.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everybody. Happy Friday. I'm Dave Briggs.

KOSINSKI: And I'm Michelle Kosinski. It's 31 minutes past the hour.

Well, confusion and contradiction engulfing the White House and federal agencies following President Trump's order ending family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. Officials across the government trying and failing to provide clear guidance on implementation.

So what will happen to the more than 2300 children separated from their parents now in shelters all over the country. No one seems to know for sure.

BRIGGS: The president insisting zero tolerance is still in place, but e-mail traffic obtained by CNN shows the policy has effectively been curtailed for now. ICE has instructed field offices to stop referring parents for prosecution after they crossed illegally with their children.

KOSINSKI: The Pentagon is being asked to prepare to house up to 20,000 unaccompanied children on U.S. military bases. The Justice Department also asking a judge to modify a rule that limits children to 20 days in detention. It's an effort to keep kids with parents who may be detained longer. But it's an uphill climb for the DOJ.

BRIGGS: The story keeps playing out in ways the White House would rather avoid. These are covers for new editions of "TIME" magazine and the "New Yorker." But the president remains defiant. He will hold an event on the White House grounds today with families who lost relatives to violence committed by undocumented immigrants.

We get more now from CNN's Boris Sanchez.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Michelle, the Trump administration still straining to answer even basic questions about how they plan to implement the president's executive order signed on Wednesday. There are still a number of questions out there. Namely how the administration plans to reunify some 2300 migrant children who were separated from their parents.

It is not going to be an easy task. They're scattered across the country in a number of different facilities. And their parents are currently being detained. The president himself sent some mixed signals on Thursday. Even suggesting that his executive order may not be that effective.

Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Democrat and court ordered loopholes prevent family detention and lead to family separation. No matter how you cut it. I sign a very good executive order yesterday but that's only limited. No matter how you cut it, it leads to separation ultimately.


SANCHEZ: It appears that the administration is still trying to figure out this crisis on the fly without a clear directive or clear strategy, with so many children's lives and their well-being still in the balance -- Dave and Michelle.

KOSINSKI: Some families are managing to reunify despite the challenges. Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia was reunited with her son at Baltimore Washington airport this morning. The Guatemalan immigrant's 7-year-old son Darwin was taken from her at an Arizona facility back in May. She sued top Trump administration officials accusing them of violating her rights when he was taken away screaming and crying. Lawyers announced in court Thursday an agreement had been reached just minutes before a hearing in the case was set to start.

BRIGGS: First Lady Melania Trump taking a surprise trip to the southern border to tour an immigrant children's shelter in Texas. We'll have more on the substance of the trip in a moment but Mrs. Trump getting lots of attention for her wardrobe choice. As the first lady boarded her plane from Joint Base Andrews, she wore an olive green jacket on an 80-degree day in Washington. The back of that jacket reading, "I really don't care, do you?"

KOSINSKI: I think we do care. She was not wearing the jacket when she landed in McAllen, Texas, but after returning home and getting off that plane at Andrews the jacket was back on. [04:35:10] The first lady's spokesperson insists there was no hidden

meaning, later tweeting, "If the media would spend and time and energy on her actions and efforts to help kids, rather than speculating focus on her wardrobe, we could get so much accomplished on behalf of children."

BRIGGS: Notice the hashtag, itsjustajacket. Clearly it was not.

As for the trip itself, Melania Trump says, "Spending time with them, the children at the border, reinforces the fact that these kids are in this situation as a direct result of adult actions."

We get more from CNN's Kate Bennett.

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Dave and Michelle. The First Lady Melania Trump making a surprise, unannounced trip to the border in Texas, visiting a facility that cares for kids who've been separated from their families.

This was a decision the first lady made on her own about two days ago. Her communications director told us, telling the president and her staff that she wanted to go see what was happening there in person. She was affected by the images she was seeing on television, by the audio. She has been very engaged in this process even before the president signed that executive order.

Now she did head to the facility where she -- a facility that shelters kids between the ages of 12 and 17. There were 55 children at this particular location. A percentage of whom had been separated from parents at the border.


MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: We all know they are having -- they're without their families. And I want to thank you for your hard work, your compassion, and your kindness you're giving them in this difficult time. And I also would like to ask you how I can help to these children to reunite with their families as quickly as possible.


BENNETT: Certainly she asked a lot of questions about how they were cared for, what the process is, whether they speak on the phone to their families, what they're allowed to do. Afterward she took a tour spending time with the kids.

We weren't allowed to take cameras into this portion of the first lady's visit. However, we watched as she asked questions, was friendly, where are you from, what do you like to do, have you made friends. Back to you.

KOSINSKI: Thanks, Kate.

Well, GOP leaders looking for a legislative fix to immigration will keep trying a few more days. Hours after a more conservative bill on the House was voted down, Republicans decided to postpone a vote on a compromise immigration measure. Some big hurdles do remain to getting anything passed.

The latest from CNN's Phil Mattingly on Capitol Hill.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Michelle and Dave, the House Republican effort to overhaul the immigration system, one that was really teetering on the brink of failure, will live for at least another couple of days. After a lengthy behind-closed-doors briefing on the issue, members who've been working on a second immigration bill -- the first already failed on Thursday afternoon -- decided to keep working.

They're going to focus on two issues, specifically they said E-verify and agriculture farming visas. Those are the ones they're going to try and work out over the course of the next couple of days. The goal being that if you solve those two issues, perhaps you can get the votes needed to actually pass a broad overhaul.

Now a couple of points here that are important to remember. Whatever the House Republicans do, even if they do get the votes to pass, doesn't technically have a future. And Senate Democrats have made clear they won't support anything the House is working on. That said, Republicans are willing to keep giving this a shot, trying to get past where they currently are which is nothing.

Will they actually get there? Look, I've been talking to aides since this announcement was actually made and the reality is nobody is sure and they understand it's a long path. That said, leaders have decided to give their members a few more days to try and figure something out, a few more days to get a broad immigration overhaul one supported by the president across the finish line -- guys.

BRIGGS: OK. Thanks, Phil Mattingly.

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski dropped by a speakers bureau after this response to Democratic strategist's story about a family separated at the border.


ZAC PETKANAS, FORMER SENIOR DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE ADVISER: I read today about a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was taken by her mother and put in a cage. I read about a --


PETKANAS: Did you say womp-womp to a 10-year-old with Down syndrome being taken from her mother?

LEWANDOWSKI: What I said is you can pick anything you --

PETKANAS: How dare you?


BRIGGS: Wow. Leading Authorities, Inc., one of Washington, D.C.'s top speakers bureau severing ties with Lewandowski.

KOSINSKI: He refused to apologize for the remark during an appearance on FOX News Wednesday but he told CNN's Chris Cuomo that he never meant to insult anyone with Down syndrome.


LEWANDOWSKI: And I understand what the perception is here and what the media wants to talk about. But what Zak was attempting to do was to use a child with a Down syndrome to politicize an issue.


KOSINSKI: Lewandowski, a father of four, says he would never degrade a child.

BRIGGS: Charles Krauthammer, a legendary conservative columnist and commentator, has died at the age of 68. Krauthammer had been battling cancer.

[04:40:02] He announced on June 8th he had only a few weeks left to live. He's a columnist at "The Washington Post" for more than three decades, winning the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1987. The "Post's" executive editor Marty Baron tweeting, "Krauthammer's death was a huge loss to vigorous and civil debate on public policy." Krauthammer was also a longtime commentator on FOX News. Its Web site calling him a dean of conservative commentators.

Today "Post" publishing a full page dedicated to Krauthammer featuring some of his work over the decades. George Will also writing a column about Krauthammer's ability to overcome a multitude of daily challenges after he was paralyzed from the neck down in a college accident.

His death being mourned nationwide. President George W. Bush releasing a statement, saying in part, "Krauthammer's work was far reaching and influential and while his voice will be deeply missed, his ideas and values will always be a part of our country."

And I think on a personal note, a lot of Republicans the last couple of years, Michelle, have kind of wondered what conservatism, what Republicanism means today.

KOSINSKI: Right. Right.

BRIGGS: In the era of Trump. I think Krauthammer for them was kind of that anchor. They reminded him why they were Republican and what conservative values mean today.

KOSINSKI: And even his good-bye is saying that his life was ending was beautifully written.

BRIGGS: It was. It was perfect. And I think he said he lived the life he wanted to.

KOSINSKI: Right. BRIGGS: He will be missed indeed.

KOSINSKI: European tariffs on products from the United States take effect today. Retaliation for President Trump's recent tariffs on foreign steel. What key American products could take a sales hit overseas.


[04:46:23] BRIGGS: A key U.S. ally making good on a trade threat. The EU is hitting the U.S. with a 25 percent tariffs starting today. Europe targeting $3 billion in classic American goods like motorcycles, bourbon, peanut butter and denim.

KOSINSKI: All your favorite things.

BRIGGS: All my favorite things in particular -- bourbon.

KOSINSKI: Damn it.

BRIGGS: The tariffs are retaliation for President Trump's recent tariffs on aluminum and steel. And many are strategic, hitting states governed by senior Republicans. The president has threatened to hit back with tariffs on European cars. Last month, Trump asked the Commerce Department to look into whether car imports posed a national security threat.

That's the same rationale for the metal tariffs. That would be bad news for German carmakers who are already being hurt by the trade battle between the U.S. and China. Mercedes-Benz and BMW said Chinese tariffs on U.S. cars will hurt their profits. That's because German car companies have big plants here in the U.S. Last year they produced 800,000 cars in states like Alabama and South Carolina. About half were exported to countries like China.

KOSINSKI: It's "Roseanne" without the Roseanne. ABC announcing it will launch "The Conners," a spinoff of the rebooted "Roseanne" series. It will include the original cast, but not controversial star Roseanne Barr. The network says she will have no financial or creative involvement in the new series.

The move comes just weeks after the stunning decision to cancel television's number one series in the wake of Roseanne Barr's racist tweets. In a statement Roseanne says she regrets the circumstances that caused the show to be canceled and wishes the best for everyone involved.

In Pennsylvania, an officer who gunned down an unarmed teenager has been identified. The officer Michael Rosfeld has been placed on administrative leave. He had worked with other local departments for seven and had been sworn in the day of the shooting in East Pittsburgh. Authorities say the officer opened fire after Antwon Rose and another passenger ran out of a car that was suspected in an earlier shooting on Tuesday.

Overnight, protesters took over a highway in East Pittsburgh demanding justice for the 17-year-old.

BRIGGS: The NBA draft taking center court last night and there were plenty of surprises but not necessarily at the top. The top pick, the Phoenix Suns took seven-foot center Deandre Ayton who starts as a freshman not far away from the University of Arizona. Duke freshman guard Marvin Bagley went to the Sacramento Kings at number two. European star Luka Doncic was taken third by the Atlanta Hawks. But on a big trade they sent him to Dallas in exchange for the Mavs' fifth pick Oklahoma's Trae Young. The Mavs also gave the Hawks their first round pick in next year's draft.

Other notable picks include the Sixers who took Mikal Bridges at number 10. And for Bridges it really was a dream come true. He's from Philly, played at Villanova, his mom works for the team. That dream lasted 45 minutes when the Sixers later traded him to the Suns.

Grayson Allen became the first senior pick all the way down at number 21 when the Jazz selected him. Allen will play for the Utah coach Quin Snyder who also played for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke.

KOSINSKI: You get all the hard name pronunciation.

BRIGGS: I like my sports. Coach K.

KOSINSKI: There you are. Honest.

If you thought there was any chance late-night hosts would avoid Melania's jacket on her trip to Texas, sweet Jesus, you would be wrong.


STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": To try to humanize these child detention centers, the administration sent their most high profile detainee, Melania Trump. This is what first ladies often do.

[04:50:02] You know, you go to a troubled area, they see the children, they show that we care. You can't mess that up. Guess what? I spoke too soon. On her way to show that she cares, Melania wore a jacket that says, "I really don't care, do you?"


COLBERT: That's what they settled on? What was her first choice? A jacket that says, "Womp, womp?"

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": She's on her way to meet children who've been separated from their parents, this is what she wore on the plane ride there. A jacket that says, "I really don't care, do you?" Is the president now tweeting on to his wife's clothes?

Her spokeswoman said it's a jacket. There was no hidden message. Well, no one thought the messages was hidden. It was written in big letters on the back but -- SETH MEYERS, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": This is a true

thing. First Lady Melania Trump was wearing a jacket today with the words "I really don't care, do you?" written on the back when she boarded the plane to go visit the border.

You know, a lot of people are giving her a hard time about it but I think it's nice that she had a jacket made to display her wedding vows.


BRIGGS: That was pretty solid. We'd like to hear from you folks on Twitter @earlystart. Let us know what you think the hidden message within the non-hidden message was.

KOSINSKI: Yes. Was she trying to hide it by gathering it in the back? So send a message but then kind of scrunch it together and cover it up?

BRIGGS: That's right.

KOSINSKI: Like sort of a riddle, like we need to figure this out for ourselves.

BRIGGS: Oh no.

KOSINSKI: And now we're still trying to figure it out. Have we fallen into somebody's trap here?

BRIGGS: We have.

KOSINSKI: And we don't even --

BRIGGS: We've gone that rabbit hole.

KOSINSKI: We don't even anymore know who's trap this was.

BRIGGS: Be best.

KOSINSKI: Whatever.

BRIGGS: Ahead, the Fed released the first round of a series stress tests for banks. The result? Wall Street is really healthy. "CNN Money" is next.


[04:56:40] BRIGGS: Breaking overnight, a man has been arrested after claiming he had a bomb at a railway station in Central London just east of Buckingham Palace. The threat forcing evacuations and closing the Charing Cross Station. No trains or underground services are running through the station right now. British police say they are working to reopen the station as soon as possible.

KOSINSKI: President Trump planning to meet next month with Russian president Vladimir Putin. The sit-down could happen around the time of Mr. Trump's trip to the UK and the NATO summit in mid-July. First the president is sending his National Security adviser John Bolton to Russia.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen is live in Moscow now with more -- Fred.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Michelle, and John Bolton's visit is going to be very, very important so that the Russians are already gearing up for it. The spokesperson for Vladimir Putin Dmitry Peskov saying yes, the Russians are aware that these visit is going to take place. And obviously they're going to try and hammer out what would be discussed at such a summit. One would assume that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election would be on the agenda, but then also big geopolitical issues like of course Syria and also Ukraine as well.

Now what we've been hearing in Russian media over the past couple of days that the Russians do expect that they could get some concessions from the Trump administration especially on the issue of Ukraine and Russia's annexation of Crimea. Right now it's looking as though the summit might take place in Vienna. Apparently the Trump administration wanted it to take place in Washington but the Russians want more neutral ground.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is in the midst of a diplomatic offensive himself. He's of course hosting the football World Cup and today the South Korean leader Moon Jae-in is here looking to a closer economic ties -- Michelle.

KOSINSKI: That will be something everyone will be watching. Thanks so much, Fred.

BRIGGS: All right. A check on "CNN Money" at 4:58 Eastern Time.

Global stocks mostly higher today but trade tensions between the U.S. and China continue to hit Wall Street. The Dow is now down eight trading days in a row. It's weighed down by companies with big business in China like Caterpillar and Boeing. The S&P and Nasdaq also closed lower.

Online retailers also took a hit yesterday after the Supreme Court ruled that states can force them to collect sales tax.

The Fed released the first round of its yearly stress test for banks and the result Wall Street banks are really healthy. The 35 largest U.S. banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup could all withstand another financial crisis, surviving conditions like 10 percent unemployment, plummeting housing crisis, and severe recession in Europe. This is the fourth year all banks passed the Fed's annual stress test which began after the financial crisis. It ensures banks can cover the types of losses they saw back in 2008.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is resigning following a past consensual relationship with an Intel employee. Intel has a strict non- fraternization policy. It prevent managers from having relationships with employees. Investigation at Intel confirmed Krzanich violated that policy. His exit comes as the Me Too Movement puts new scrutiny on workplace relationships between powerful execs and employees. Krzanich who joined Intel in 1982 has been CEO since 2013.

KOSINSKI: EARLY START continues right now.

How can parents find kids taken at the border? Is the zero tolerance policy on hold or what?