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EARLY START

Confusion Persists After President Trump's Reversal On Family Separation; Mothers Band Together To Protect Chicago Neighborhood; Legendary Conservative Commentator Charles Krauthammer Dies At 68; ABC Says "The Conners" Is Happening Without Roseanne Barr. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 22, 2018 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[05:30:34] MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN ANCHOR: How can parents find kids who were taken at the border? Is the zero tolerance policy on hold? Many questions and little guidance from the Trump administration.

And, Melania Trump's trip to the border in focus probably because of -- what is that written on her back?

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: And tributes pouring in for legendary conservative commentator and columnist Charles Krauthammer. A man whose words shaped American politics for generations has died.

KOSINSKI: 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. I'm Michelle Kosinski.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Great to have you here on a Friday, Michelle.

KOSINSKI: Thank you very much.

BRIGGS: Thirty-one minutes past the hour.

And we start with confusion and contradiction engulfing the White House and federal agencies following President Trump's order ending family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Officials across government trying and failing to provide clear guidance on implementation. So what will happen to the more than 2,300 children separated from their parents now in shelters all over the country?

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

BRIGGS: The Pentagon 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.

KOSINSKI: These are covers for new editions of "Time" magazine and "The New Yorker," reflecting the emotion that is also wrapped up in this.

But the president remains defiant he will hold an event today with families who lost relatives to violence committed by undocumented immigrants.

So we get more now from CNN's Boris Sanchez.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Michelle, the Trump administration is 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 2,300 migrant children who were separated from their parents. It is not going to be an easy task. They are 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 signed 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: All right, Boris. Thank you.

Some families are managing to reunify despite the challenges. Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia was reunited with her son at Baltimore- Washington Airport this morning. The Guatemalan immigrant's 7-year- old boy Darwin was taken from her at an Arizona facility back in May.

She sued top Trump administration (audio gap) violating her rights when Darwin (audio gap) screaming and crying. Lawyers announced on Tuesday in court that an agreement had been reached just minutes before hearing the case.

KOSINSKI: It has been an emotional week I think for --

BRIGGS: Yes, and it's hard to separate emotion from this policy. KOSINSKI: Yes, and whatever side of the issue you're on.

So let's bring back CNN political reporter Tal Kopan who is an expert on all this. We're so happy to have you here, Tal, so thanks for joining us this early in the morning.

OK, so we were talking earlier to you about whether this is zero tolerance or is it not prosecuting people anymore because it seems like we're hearing both things depending on who you're talking to and whether you're reading secret e-mails or you're listening to someone speak.

So what's your take on this, Tal?

[05:35:00] TAL KOPAN, POLITICAL REPORTER, "CNN POLITICS": That's true, Michelle.

So, I actually obtained some e-mail traffic from Customs and Border Protection last night that shows they have sent guidance to the field instructing them to stop referring families -- parents of families for prosecution to face those criminal charges, which effectively means that they should not be ultimately separated because that is why families were being separated.

Now, the Justice Department insists they will continue to prosecute all the cases. But keep in mind, the Justice Department made this announcement actually earlier than we're counting at the start of the policy. And the reason for that is because the prosecution by the Justice Department doesn't really matter if they're not being referred the cases.

KOSINSKI: Yes.

KOPAN: So effectively, if the Department of Homeland Security is not sending these individuals to face those criminal charges then the zero tolerance policy is now partial tolerance policy. Adults who don't have children may still be prosecuted and certainly, there are instances where individuals may be prosecuted.

But this -- what created this crisis -- and let's be clear, the Trump administration created this crisis -- was the decision to go after parents of children with these criminal charges which had not been done in prior administrations and thus, separate these families en masse.

For now -- and this could be a risk (ph) any time -- but for now, that seems to be on hold.

KOSINSKI: But just quickly, do you think that the not prosecuting -- or the guidance that they're sending not to prosecute now is just temporary until they can get clearance to hold families together longer with children?

KOPAN: It's quite possible. We don't know at this point and it's not clear from the sources I've spoken with or the e-mails themselves. It's not clear how long this will last. And it really could be reversed at any minute. They could send another piece of guidance out to the field this morning that says go back to prosecuting all of them. I mean, it really can be that much of a sort of on-off switch.

You know, we also obtained some traffic that showed inexplicably, right, hours after the executive order was signed which would require families to be detained together.

An ICE official -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement which houses immigrants in longer-term detention than border patrol, which just sort of is a clearinghouse. An ICE official sent out an e-mail saying all of the family residential centers are closed. Don't send anyone to us --

BRIGGS: Geez.

KOSINSKI: Right.

KOPAN: -- for three days, which is inexplicable on the eve of an executive order that would be sending.

So, you know, that was reversed within a few hours. It was reversed the next day and they said no, no, they're open. You can refer families here.

But it just speaks to the fact that this very much appears to be being made up on the fly --

BRIGGS: Yes.

KOPAN: -- without a lot of procedures in place to handle this issue.

KOSINSKI: Yes.

BRIGGS: Yes. Just clearing up where we are today is just about impossible, let alone where we're going. But let's try to attempt to solve that riddle.

So, legislatively, the conservative Goodlatte bill failed in the House. It got more votes than people expected.

KOSINSKI: Yes.

BRIGGS: That then goes to a compromised bill, more moderate if you will but not entirely. It's supposed to be voted on today. It will now be next week.

So apologies for the long question but what is in that bill, what are its chances, and what ultimately, will send it Democrat support because Republicans are painting them as one thing -- obstructionists open border Democrats?

KOPAN: Dave, there is a lot in that question.

BRIGGS: Yes. KOPAN: Maybe I should have been taking notes.

To summarize the -- what's being billed as a compromise bill -- keep in mind it's a compromise among only Republicans. But it includes a pathway -- a sort of creative pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and people like them. But also for legal children -- legal immigrant children who may be aging out of their visas and it's sort of a merit-based system.

You have the $25 billion for the wall to make room for those new visas. You have some cuts to legal immigration. You get rid of a couple family visas categories like adult siblings of legal residents and U.S. citizens, so you make room there.

It goes to some employment. There are also some measures in there though that seem small but are pretty substantial for Democrats, including provisions penalizing sanctuary cities. Reversing these court decisions that they say protect children.

So when you talk about the chances in the Senate, the chances of this bill are not good. Right now, the chances of this bill passing the House aren't that good and they're talking about adding things that are even more anathema to Democrats and may still not get them enough Republican votes.

And, you know, when the Republican -- when the Republican Party or the president calls Democrats obstructionists it is certainly true that the Democrats universally voted against these proposals.

But let's be clear about another thing. The Democrats were never invited into the negotiating room for this bill. They were told we're going to try to pass something Republican only.

[05:40:04] So to turn around and then accuse them of not being open to compromise -- let's all remember, Chuck Schumer went to the president and said I'll give you $25 billion --

KOSINSKI: Right.

KOPAN: -- for your wall if you give me DACA and that was rejected, among a number of other proposals put out there. So there really haven't been honest negotiations happening among Republican leadership and Democrats.

KOSINSKI: Yes. I mean, people like to say that for Trump, it's all about the wall.

KOPAN: Right.

KOSINSKI: For Democrats, it's all about DACA.

But in this compromised bill do you think what is allowed for some pathway to citizenship for the DACA people -- I mean, is that going to -- is that enough for Democrats? Do you think they will see that as a victory even though there are all these other things that will not sit well with them in there? KOPAN: So, they're already criticizing this visa pathway. They don't like that there's a point system. They characterize it as DACA recipients having to, they say, compete against legal immigrants for a limited number of visas. That's one of their big complaints with it.

But when you talk about what Democrats can accept, one of the things that I get the sense Republicans sort of miscalculate a little bit is where the Democratic base is on this.

And when you talk to the actual DACA recipients -- when you talk to these young immigrant advocates who have swarmed Washington over months and mainly talked to the Democrats, they are very clear.

They say that it is not DACA for anything. They will not accept any sort of fix for them that they say subjects their family and friends to harsher punitive measures potentially making them all at risk for deportation.

So, the Democratic Party is really empowered by its base to say we don't accept a fix for just these DACA recipients on the backs of all of these other measures. They say it's simply not a fair trade.

And so, it's extremely unlikely that they'll see well, at least we get DACA. We'll swallow all the rest. That's not really where they're at.

KOSINSKI: Wow.

BRIGGS: Nobody should hold their breath for immigration reform in a midterm election.

But, Tal Kopan, no messages --

KOSINSKI: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- no jacket -- sleeveless.

KOSINSKI: Thanks for being our guru.

BRIGGS: We appreciate the information, though.

Ahead, European tariffs on products from the United States could take effect today. What key American products could take a hit overseas.

KOSINSKI: The Englewood neighborhood on Chicago's South Side is one of the most dangerous in the country, but a group of mothers are standing up to the violence with a type of tough love only moms can provide.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAMAR MANASSEH, FOUNDER, MOTHERS AGAINST SENSELESS KILLINGS: Englewood is historically one of the worst neighborhood in the city of Chicago and also in the entire United States of America. There have been children murdered while sleeping in their beds because bullets penetrated the walls while they were sleeping. Englewood is generally a place where no one feels safe.

What brought me to the corner of 75th and Stewart was a young lady was murdered. Her name was Lucille Barnes. She was 34 and she was a mother.

And she was just trying to break up a fight and she was killed in a drive-by. I didn't know her but I was outraged and I felt like at this point, if mothers are being murdered something has be done.

Some people thought that it was too dangerous to go and sit on a corner in a place where someone had just been murdered three days before.

We went out, we put on pink t-shirts, and we went and sat on the corner. We got some hot dogs and we fed people, we talked to people. More importantly, we gave out a lot of hugs.

So we got together -- these moms who had the time and who had the passion for it. And I felt that being there and being a presence and having eyes on the street and eyes on the children that it would interrupt and it would prevent a lot of stuff that could potentially happen.

While you're doing that you're playing a game with the kids that you may never get to play with. We want them to grow up together so that when they're older they're not enemies and they're not targets of one another. They're not shooting or killing each other.

Since we posted up on the corner of 75th and Stewart there have been no shootings on that block. No shootings, no murders. There hasn't even been as much as a fistfight.

There's a sense of hope that they didn't have before all because we're mothers and you don't want to underestimate the power of the mother.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:48:55] KOSINSKI: First lady Melania Trump taking a surprise trip to the southern border to tour an immigrant children's shelter.

But, Mrs. Trump is getting lots of attention for another big surprise, her wardrobe choice. As the first lady boarded her plane from Joint Base Andrews, what is that? She wore an olive green jacket with something on the back of it that read in giant white letters, "I really don't care. Do u?"

BRIGGS: She was not wearing the jacket when she landed in McAllen, Texas. But after returning home and getting off the plane at Andrews, the jacket was back on.

The first lady's spokesperson insists there was no hidden meaning, later tweeting "If media would spend their time and energy on her actions and efforts to help kids, rather than speculate and focus on her wardrobe, we could get so much accomplished on behalf of children." #itsjustajacket

KOSINSKI: Nothing to see here. Oh, I see. So we're supposed to not -- like, there's a big white message on -- but we're not supposed to --

BRIGGS: But there's no message.

KOSINSKI: Do not -- don't read that message.

BRIGGS: Yes.

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

[05:50:07] BRIGGS: She got that right -- one adult.

KOSINSKI: OK.

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

The tariffs are retaliation for President Trump's recent tariffs on aluminum and steel and many are strategic, hitting states governed by senior Republicans.

President Trump 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. Now, 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.

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 500 and Nasdaq also closed lower.

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

The Fed released the first round of its yearly stress test for banks. The result, Wall Street are very 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 prices, and a 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 in 2008.

KOSINSKI: No Roseanne, no problem. ABC giving the comedy new life after racist tweets got the comedian fired.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:56:42] BRIGGS: Charles Krauthammer, a legendary conservative columnist and commentator, has died at the age of 68. Krauthammer had been battling cancer.

He was a columnist at "The Washington Post" for more than three decades, winning the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1987.

"Post" executive editor Marty Baron tweeting Krauthammer's death was "a huge loss to vigorous and civil debate on public policy."

Krauthammer also a longtime commentator on Fox News.

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.

KOSINSKI: So, it's Roseanne sans Roseanne. ABC announcing it will launch "THE CONNERS," a spinoff of the rebooted Roseanne series. It will include the original cast but it will not include controversial star, Roseanne Barr.

The move comes just weeks after the decision to cancel T.V.'s number one series in the wake of Roseanne Barr's racist tweet.

In a statement, Roseanne says she wishes the best for everyone involved.

BRIGGS: The NBA draft taking center court last night and there were plenty of surprises, but not just at the top.

The Phoenix Suns there took 7-foot center Deandre Ayton who starred as a freshman not far away at the University of Arizona. Duke freshman guard Marvin Bagley went to the Sacramento Kings at number two.

European star Luka Doncic taken third by the Atlanta Hawks. But in the big trade here's the surprise is 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.

Another notable pick, the Sixers took Mikal Bridges at number 10. For Bridges, this was a dream come true. He is from Philly and played at Villanova nearby, and his mom works for the team.

That dream lasted 45 minutes. The Sixers later traded Bridges to the Suns.

But as I pointed out earlier, I think that might be a relief. You don't want to play where all your college buddies live --

KOSINSKI: Yes, well --

BRIGGS: -- and you get 100 calls for tickets every game.

KOSINSKI: I think everybody's just lucky to be in that room. Just --

BRIGGS: That is -- that is, indeed, the case.

KOSINSKI: -- lucky to be there.

BRIGGS: Yes, yes.

KOSINSKI: Thanks for joining us. I'm Ron Burgundy. Oh, you guys.

BRIGGS: Well done.

KOSINSKI: You guys.

BRIGGS: Michelle Kosinski, it's great to have you here, my friend.

KOSINSKI: Thank you very much.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.

"NEW DAY" will attempt to solve the riddle -- what is the message within the message on the jacket of Melania? Is it just a jacket?

Have a great weekend. We'll see you next week.

KOSINSKI: Thanks, guys.