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Melania Trump's Apparel Raises Questions; Reuniting Families Seeking Asylum-Will it Even be Possible at This Point? Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired June 22, 2018 - 07:00   ET

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


[07:00:00]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to Your New Day.

The White House appears to be telling the truth about at least one thing when it comes to crisis at the border, they had no policy -- no policy when it comes to reuniting the 2,300 children that have been separated from their parents, again, because of a choice from the Trump Administration.

It's been two days since the president signed an executive order halting family separations at the border. The administration insists its zero-tolerance policy remains in place, but emails obtained by CNN reveal that policy is effectively on hold, and we're told the Pentagon, though, is making preparations to house up to 20,000 migrant children on U.S. military bases.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So the First Lady made an unannounced trip to the border on Thursday to get a first-hand look at the crisis down there. Mrs. Trump asked important questions, and then reinforced the thinking that the children are paying for the action of adults. Which adults she did not specify.

But it was not just that message that's getting attention, it was also the words on her back of her jacket, they said "I really don't care. Do U?" No one knows exactly who that message was for, but it was certainly read loud and clear.

So let's begin our coverage with CNN's Abby Phillip. She is live at the White House. What's the latest, Abby?

ABBY PHILLIP, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Alisyn. Two days after President Trump signed an executive order saying that he was ending the practice of separating families at the border, there is still chaos and confusion about how these 2,300-some children will be reunited with their families.

Uncertainty also over the issue of what happens to families once they're in detention? Where are they going to be housed, and for how long?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chaos and confusion at the border, as federal agencies struggle with how to implement President Trump's executive order and how to reunite the thousands of children separated from their families. President Trump standing firm that his zero-tolerance policy must be maintained at the border.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to have a very tough policy, otherwise you have millions and millions of people pouring into our country. We can't have that. We have no choice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But emails from Customs and Border Protection sent yesterday morning obtained by CNN show that the zero-tolerance policy has been effectively curtailed for now, after the agency told its field offices to suspend referring any parents who cross the border illegally with their children for prosecution.

President Trump, sparking further confusion by contradicting his own order, saying some family separations may still occur.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I signed a very good executive order yesterday, but that's only limited (ph), no matter how you cut it, it leads to separation ultimately.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Justice Department, now asking a federal judge to modify a court order that limits the ability of U.S. officials to detain immigrant children for more than 20 days.

More mixed messaging coming from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, changing his tune about family separations despite touting them a month ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, it hasn't been good, and the American people don't like the idea that we're separating families. We never really intended to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you. And that child may be separated from you, as required by law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's stating the administration has plans to reunite the separated families, but offering no details or timeline.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Secretary, is there any plan for reuniting the children who have already been separated from their parents?

KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We have a plan to do that. As you know, we do have (inaudible) reuniting as quickly as we can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While Health and Human Services awaits further guidance on what to do about reunification, separated children continue to be sent to facilities and foster homes across the country, leaving states scrambling to track how many are in their care.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO, (D) NEW YORK: I tried to get HHS, Health and Human Services, to tell us how many children were in the state today so I can provide help. They won't even tell me. I don't know that they even know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The agency now requesting that the Defense Department prepare to house 20,000 undocumented children on military bases.

The First Lady, making a surprise trip to the border to tour a detention facility housing immigrant children.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY: I'd also like to ask you how I can help to these children to reunite with their families as quickly as possible?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But her visit, overshadowed by this jacket with graffiti-style writing on the back that read "I really don't care. Do U?" The First Lady's spokesperson, downplaying the wardrobe choice, saying there was no hidden message.

PHILLIP: And President Trump weighed in on that controversy yesterday, saying that the message Melania Trump was trying to send was directed at the media, meanwhile today, he's going to be having an event with "angel families." These are families who lost loved ones to violence perpetrated by illegal immigrants here at the White House.

And also just a few moments ago, the president has been tweeting a couple of times this morning, there is an ongoing fight on the Hill about a couple of immigration bills, Republicans having a hard time getting those bills through.

[07:05:00]

Trump, this morning, saying, "The message to republicans is, elect more republicans and they'll pass immigration reform." He says, "Elect more republicans in November and we will pass the finest, fairest, and comprehensive immigration bills anywhere in the world. Right now, we have the dumbest and the worst. Dems (ph) are doing nothing but obstructing. Remember, their motto, resist, ours is produce."

Of course, though, on the Hill, republicans are proceeding on their own, largely because they want to have a bill that republicans like, not really engaging moderate democrats or liberal democrats in this process, much at all, John and Alisyn.

BERMAN: No. And, Abby, and the fact is, they don't have enough Republican votes to pass it right now because they have too many Republican defections. The problem they have is within the party, itself. Abby Phillip, for us, at the White House, thanks so much.

We are hearing the pleas from immigrants, desperately trying to reunite with their children, children that have been separated from them by the U.S. Government. Some - some have been reunified but most are still waiting for answers. Our Nick Valencia is live in Brownsville, Texas with much more. Nick?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. We all remember the audio that was released earlier this week by the investigative non-profit ProPublica. In it, you can hear the sounds of the 10 Central American children after they've been recently separated from their families; their sobs, overwhelming.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORDER PATROL AGENT, (foreign language):

TEXT: Where are you from?

CHILD, (foreign language):

TEXT: El Salvador.

CHILD, (foreign language):

TEXT: Guatemala.

BORDER PATROL AGENT, (foreign language):

TEXT: Don't cry.

CHILD, (foreign language):

TEXT: I want to go with my aunt.

BORDER PATROL AGENT, (foreign language):

TEXT: You're going to get there. Look, she will explain it and help you.

CHILD, (foreign language):

TEXT: At least can I go with my aunt? I want her to come. I want my aunt to come so she can take me to her house.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VALENCIA: The little girl that you could hear in that audio, asking for her aunt, well, CNN was able to track down her mother. And her mother says that she is grief-stricken. She's tried desperately to get in touch with her daughter and tried going through a social worker, using a number that immigration officials have given her, but that number, just rings and rings and rings. CNN's Rosa Flores spoke to her, personally.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, (foreign language):

TEXT: Please help me reunite with my daughter soon. I'm desperate. I want to see her. I love her and that I miss her so much, and that I hope to her very soon, god willing. We've always been very close, her and I. We've shared everything, together. She's very fun. She's very charismatic. She likes pets. She likes having fun. She is very intelligent. She is very loving.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VALENCIA: There's still a lot of confusion surrounding the reunification process. 2,300 children, that are still in limbo, but there's at least one family that was able to reunite, and that is a Guatemalan mother, who filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government, and because her lawyers reached an agreement, just minutes before that hearing was supposed to get underway, she's now, back with her 7-year- old child.

That reunification happened earlier this morning, Friday morning, in the Baltimore Airport, her 7-year-old son, finally able to embrace her mother. An agreement was reached between the lawyers, as I mentioned. In mid-May is when, the last time she had seen her son. Now we're still trying to get clarification and clarity from the U.S. Government, as to, step by step process of how these families of the 2,300 children are all going to get back in touch with their parents. We know, this morning, though, this family, one of the lucky ones. John, Alisyn?

BERMAN: One of the few lucky ones, as far as we can tell, this morning. Nick Valencia. Thanks so much. I want to bring in CNN Political Analyst, David Gregory and CNN Political Commentator, Errol Louis. David Gregory, hear what this, in person, to air grievances, mostly with Alisyn --

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITCAL ANALYST: Exactly, I have a few issues (ph).

BERMAN: -- but we're - we're glad to have you here. Look, the word of the morning is confusion --

GREGORY: Yeah. BERMAN: -- really just mass confusion about what is happening at the border. What's happening with the families coming in, what's happening with the families already separated, and we can't - not only, can we not get answers, but what we are being told, directly conflicting.

GREGORY: Well, it's going to take a while to unwind the policy that had wound up such a - a - a trial of confusion and tears and fear, among these families that were coming in.

So the Administration was not, you know, speaking with one voice about all of this, to begin with, and now, has the difficulty of unwinding this, trying to reconnect families, trying to figure out what the policy actually is.

And what you hear from the president, time and time again, is his frustration. Remember how pleased the president seemed to be, that border crossings were down right before he came in to office, and now they have returned to a level that we've seen is kind of consistent for this time of year, where you have a surge in migrants coming in. They're down, historically, overall.

BERMAN: (inaudible) actually, I think - well, somewhere, we have that chart. It's an important point to make.

GREGORY: Yep.

BERMAN: You know, there's not some mass wave of -

GREGORY: No.

BERMAN: -- illegal border crossings at all (ph). They're still, historically, very, very low.

GREGORY: Very, very low, but this time of year, if you look at the data over the past several years, you did see this swing, and now they're staying up around the same level despite going down, they've stayed up around the same level. So you could tell he's got this level of frustration that the notion of being tough on immigration did not actually pan out.

[07:10:00]

We have to remember even looking at these images, there are illegal crossings. You know, these are people who are kind of coming into the country illegally, but what the president has set up under - even under President Obama was a pretty hard policy with this. The president has set up something that's even harsher, and now they've got a daily scrapbook, a photo album of this misery on the border that they're responsible for.

CAMEROTA: Errol, I think the word of the day is tough guess (ph). I think that the idea that 2,300 parents don't know where they're kids are today, don't know how to find them, have no confidence that federal officials have a tracking system to find them. 700 of them roughly - I mean, this is what the governor says - have been moved to New York -

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.

CAMEROTA: - more than 1,000 miles away -

LOUIS: Yes.

CAMEROTA: - from where they were taken. I don't know how any kids are going to be restored to their parents, particularly if they can't talk, speak the language, and they're too young.

LOUIS: Not only do you not know and I don't know, the Mayor of New York City doesn't know. The Governor of New York State doesn't know. You know, it's been sighted many, many times in the last few days on social media and it happens to be true. You go to the dry cleaners, they give you a ticket. You leave your shoes, you know, at the bowling alley, they give you a ticket. You park your car, they give you a ticket.

They take your children and there's no nothing, no receipt, no tracking method, no bracelet, anything like that, and it's interesting because Obama administration officials say that they did consider this as a strategy to try an stop illegal border crossing, and they said they thought about it for about five minutes because they know what they can do and what they can't do.

In this case, it's actually then sort of exponentially multiplied because you're sending kids down one track with one gigantic bureaucracy, HSS, which is one of the biggest in the country, and the other is with Homeland Security, which is maybe the second biggest. And you're setting yourself up for exactly what we've seen.

GREGORY: And lawyers who work in this areas who represent these families are describing how difficult it is, what a maze it is to try to get through this bureaucracy to identify the children. I think this is going to take a long time.

BERMAN: We just talked to Carlos Garcia who's an attorney who's working down on the border right now who told us he can't give these people any answers.

GREGORY: Right.

BERMAN: There are no answers to be given there. That's insane.

CAMEROTA: I mean, can you imagine - can you imagine being separated from your kids, not knowing what state they're in, no knowing who's caring for them, not knowing how they're eating, not know when you'll see them again, not knowing if you'll see them again -

GREGORY: Well, and remember why -

CAMEROTA: This is a nightmare.

GREGORY: It is a nightmare and it's also - we should also remember that these are families who made a decision initially that their lives were desperate enough that they would illegally try to cross into the United States, in many cases risking their lives to get to that point, now to be apprehended and to go down this path. So...

CAMEROTA: Some of them are asylum (ph0) seekers. OK -

GREGORY: yes.

CAMEROTA: - so some of them, there is a process -

GREGORY: Right.

CAMEROTA: - and some of them were attempting to do that process. But if you treat everybody coming across the border as a criminal right away, then you don't get to the asylum process.

GREGORY: Right.

CAMEROTA: You circumvent that. And so, some of them were doing what we have for decades said was the right process -

LOUIS: But, I mean, there's international law, there's lots of procedures, there's a reason - you know, look. This Administration and may of their backers, they say, you know, all regulation is bad, all bureaucracy is bad, all procedures are bad. Let's just throw some chaos into the situation and everything will be fine. Clearly that doesn't work in this case. It might work in maybe in some commercial context. Perhaps there is too much and you just have to sort of chop it away.

In this case, the procedures are there for a reason. This is not the first time asylum - desperate asylum seekers have approached the -

BERMAN: And what the Administration claims is that people seeking asylum aren't doing a designated border check -

CAMEROTA: But that's not true. Some of them are coming -

BERMAN: Some are and are being turned away because they can't get through. And then there has not been a policy in the past to always prosecute people who come across in other places who say they're asylum seekers. So again, this was a choice the demonstration made and they've got to figure out a way to deal with it and they haven't yet. I said the word of the day is confusion. You chose (inaudible).

Melania Trump thinks the word of the day is care, right? She wore this jacket when she went down to the border, and you know what? I say good for her. She's the senior most person connected to this Administration who did go down there and check out how things are doing. She asked a smart question (ph), she wants to know how the kids are doing, she wants to know when the last people - time they was - that they got to talk to their parents, but -

CAMEROTA: She also wanted to know what she could do -

BERMAN: She did. She asked.

CAMEROTA: - and some people feel that she could talk to her husband about speeding up the process of reinterfication (ph).

BERMAN: Well, you seem to be worked up about this trip and what she was wearing in the whole thing, so let's talk about it. Let's not beat her out (ph) -

CAMEROTA: (inaudible)

BERMAN: - she wore this jacket.

CAMEROTA: I mean, I don't think she could spell it out any more true -

GREGORY: I mean, not good (ph).

CAMEROTA: This, to me, is not a hidden message. This is as overt as it gets.

LOUIS: Owner stamp (ph) said it's not a hidden message.

CAMEROTA: It's not a hidden message. It's quite clear -

LOUIS: You have to just read the text.

GREGORY: yes.

CAMEROTA: Let's - let's -

LOUIS: I really don't care (ph).

CAMEROTA: OK, so on her jacket are the words "I really don't care. Do u?" And this is a woman, let's remember, who makes fashion statements. That's how she communicates. I mean, she was a model.

[07:15:00]

She understands fashion. She knows what fashion communicates, and she - it's not the first time that she's tried to make a fashion statement. As we'll remember, two days after the Vulgar Access Hollywood tape, she wore a Pussy Bow blouse during the State of the Union when all - when many female lawmakers dressed in black for #metoo, she wore a white ensemble. This passive aggressive fashion statement, which is - that's all that you could say that it is.

BERMAN: I'm all about passive aggressive. Every -

CAMEROTA: Yes, you love it. I -

BERMAN: My life is passive aggressive, but I want to know - but I generally know who I'm being passive aggressive to. Who is she being passive aggressive to?

CAMEROTA: I don't know, but she -

GREGORY: I mean, I just don't know what - you know, look. I don't know how much intention she had around this, but I don't know how you'd make a trip like this. CAMEROTA: You choose your jacket, David. You choose -

GREGORY: I get it.

CAMEROTA: It has words all over it -

GREGORY: Well, especially if you're making this kind of trip, you wouldn't want to have something that has that kind of message -

LOUIS: Well, look -

GREGORY: - that could be interpreted the wrong way -

LOUIS: So it looks they left us to interpret.

GREGORY: Yes.

LOUIS: They said just read it as it is, and there's obviously a lot of confusion around it. Let me just suggest that this a personal message to the president. I don't - I didn't see it any other way -

CAMEROTA: You didn't? Well, how do you see it that way?

GREGORY: It's saying that he's saying it?

LOUIS: I think he's - they're continuing a private conversation in public in the worst possible way at the worst possible time. I don't know what else it could be.

CAMEROTA: I mean -

LOUIS: You now, an organized distraction as some people have theorized, there are a lot better ways to distract the media.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I don't find this that sphinx-like. I think that it is actually being selled out (ph).

LOUIS: She doesn't care about what, though? What would be your intpretation?

GREGORY: Yes. You're saying that she doesn't care about these families coming across the border?

CAMEROTA: No. I think that she does care about the media cycle. I think she doesn't care about the news. I think she doesn't care about what's going on in the White House and all of the speculation. I think that she's - I don't know. I think I see that jacket as a different interpretive -

BERMAN: But here's -

CAMEROTA: - version of perhaps the finger.

BERMAN: The one thing she does care about is that she wore it. I mean, she definitely chose to wear it.

LOUIS: $39 piece of -

CAMEROTA: Very methodical about what she wears.

BERMAN: And we are reporting - and Jeff Zeleny, you know, our great White House reporter, he said there was a meeting - a communications meeting after they saw what she was wearing because they knew - the White House actors (ph) knew there was a major problem there.

CAMEROTA: Couldn't they have stopped it before hand?

GREGORY: Yes, you would think. You might say, "Mrs. Trump, this is probably not a great idea."

LOUIS: East wing problem, not west wing.

GREGORY: Yes.

BERMAN: David Gregory chose to wear checks on checks today -

GREGORY: I did.

CAMEROTA: Bold.

GREGORY: That was - right. Look, the bigger issue here though is how is the government doing something that is not so easy to do, right, is to -

CAMEROTA: Not well.

GREGORY: - address this problem, and they've got precious little time to do it.

BERMAN: They better care about that.

GREGORY: Yes.

BERMAN: They better care about than that, what's on her jacket. All right, is there a plan? Is there any way to get these families back together? We're going to talk to someone very close to the Administration, see what he thinks about it next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:20:00]

BERMAN: the President's Executive Order to end family separations - again separations that this White House, this Administration chose to implement facing major headwinds two days after it was signed. We still don't know how it will be implemented and what it means for those still not with their children. Joining us is Matt Schlapp, Former Political Director in the George W. Bush White House and the Chairman of the American Conservative Union. Matt, great to have you with us.

MATT SCHLAPP, FORMER POLITICAL DIRECTOR IN THE GEORGE W. BUSH WHITE HOUSE AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION: Well no John because the first problem we have is obviously they're trying to do a Republican only bill, pass it through the House of Representatives. The Goodlatte version got almost 200 votes. Now we have this more moderate version and they just don't have the votes for it.

Even just with Republicans, their own Republican bill they don't have the votes. The problem with what the President is saying is Congress is going to have to act on one part of immigration and they're going to have to act before the election and that's this idea of putting into law that we won't separate families who cross the border illegally. That as you know, that - that policy was put in place by a consent decree between the Federal Judicial Branch and President Clinton.

BERMAN: Well, that is the problem. A federal judge that put that in different language.

SCHLAPP: That's right. And they updated it during the end of the Obama Administration to make sure families would be separated, not because they were trying to be cruel, because they felt like kids being placed in a situation where people are incarcerated -- where adults are incarcerated for breaking the law is bad for kids. So you can look at where -- what we are trying to do as a country. But you can only change the law from Congress.

BERMAN: Look, going to have to act on that next month.

BERMAN: We can only you can only change the law through Congress. You are right about Flores. You are right about the legal decisions but this current situation was created by a choice from this Administration to prosecute people crossing the border...

SCHLAPP: That's right.

BERMAN: ...which they knew. Which Jeff Sessions told us he knew would lead to family separations.

SCHLAPP: John, you said that right...

BERMAN: Thank you.

SCHLAPP: ...that the crisis is not because President Trump was trying to separate families.

BERMAN: No.

SCHLAPP: The crisis is because of zero tolerance.

BERMAN: The crisis -- let me finish now -- including people who cross the border with families.

BERMAN: Yes.

SCHLAPP: What Jeff Sessions talked about in that piece that you had earlier in your coverage is that many -- thousands of the 12,000 kids we're talking about were kids that were accompanied by people who weren't their parents.

BERMAN: There's two different things, Matt. Let me just be clear so our audience doesn't get confused here. There's maybe 12,000 minors right now being held; 10,000 were unaccompanied, but 2,000 separated from their parents...

SCHLAPP: That's right.

BERMAN: ...because of a choice. It was a choice that Jeff Sessions told us he knew he was making. He knew it would lead to the separation of children from their parents. We're past that now; that's just a fact.

[07:25:00]

SCHLAPP: I just want to make one point. It's not (ph) --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: No, no, no, let me -- let me keep going, Matt. Where that was a situation -- that was a (ph) -- .

SCHLAPP: Well, I'll tell you what, I'll -- I'll wait until the answer, but I'm going to go back and answer that.

BERMAN: That was a choice the administration made. They just did. Now the issue is how to get those children back together with their families, and it doesn't seem like there's any plan in place. Can you imagine not knowing where your child is after that child has been taken from you (ph) from the government and then being told, "We don't know where they are?"

SCHLAPP: Look, you're -- you're right to hold the administration accountable on making sure that if they make a promise that they're going to reunite kids with their parents, it's on them to make sure that happens. We've already gotten news last night that 500 children have been reunited with their parents, but every single one of them -- you know, hold them accountable.

It's right for you to hold Congress accountable on the fact that -- they can't have it both ways. If they want to make sure that families don't get separated from a legal standpoint, that no president can ever do that, then they have to change the law.

And finally, it's important that we hold both President Trump, Obama, Presidents Bush, President Clinton -- the idea that there is a choice, that a President has a choice whether or not to follow the law I think is quite controversial.

The president -- President Trump is in a tough position. Our laws say that when you cross the border illegally as an adult, you must be prosecuted. Our law also says that the kid and the children can't be a part of that process (inaudible). They have to be taken out and put in one -- in one of these 36 facilities. In this sense, our laws are not making any sense.

In order to change those laws -- don't encourage Trump to do it all with his executive pen, the very same people who --

BERMAN: We didn't -- we didn't -- we didn't -- just, again -- again, Matt. This happened -- this most recent problem that exists, with some 2,000 children being separated from their parents, happened because of a choice the administration made.

SCHLAPP: On zero tolerance, you're right.

BERMAN: On zero -- they chose that. They just did.

SCHLAPP: I agree.

BERMAN: You know, for the first 18 months of the administration or whatever, they weren't doing it, then they chose to do it, then those children became separated. Does Congress need to pass laws? Absolutely.

SCHLAPP: They sure do.

BERMAN: Yes, Congress hasn't done anything on immigration for a long time. It's on both parties to do that. But this current crisis that exists right now, with these 2,000 children -- it's on this White House and it's on this administration to get those kids reconnected with their families --

SCHLAPP: I agree.

BERMAN: -- if they care about that. Excellent (ph).

SCHLAPP: I agree with -- I agree with that. I also think that we have to keep -- I agree with many of the comments David Gregory made in the previous segment, which is we also have to understand that these people are coming here illegally, and I think the one thing we have to understand -- there are people that are seeking political asylum that have the right case, they have the facts on their side, and what we -- the message we have to send as a country is don't rush the border and cross illegally, because then you go through the prosecution system.

Go to a port of entry. Go to an embassy. Look at Mexico. They can go right to an embassy in Mexico. They can go through the process quickly --

BERMAN: Right.

SCHLAPP: -- and apply to be a political (inaudible). Don't rush the border. When you rush the border, you're risking the fact that your kids could be separated from you, you're risking the fact that you could be put into a facility to be prosecuted.

BERMAN: Right, Matt --

SCHLAPP: Do it the right way. BERMAN: Matt, just -- just to be clear, what you're suggesting is, is

that this policy the administration decided on was a deterrent, which is something they hadn't admitted, but it very well may be. Be that as it may, I wanted to ask you one other thing --

SCHLAPP: Sure.

BERMAN: -- because you are -- you know, you're a political expert, you know communications very well. Melania Trump, the First Lady, went down to the border yesterday to visit firsthand. Good for her.

SCHLAPP: Right.

BERMAN: You know, she's the senior-most person connected to this administration to go get a look. She asked tough questions. "When was the last time you had a chance to talk to someone in your family?" But you know communications and you know politics; we saw her jacket, which she chose to wear.

SCHLAPP: Right.

BERMAN: She chose to get on the plane in Washington, "I really don't care. Do U?" Does that send a helpful message for this Administration?

SCHLAPP: I -- you know, John, I think I'm the -- I might know a lot about politics, but I'm the last person to talk to about women's fashion. I will say this: all I saw, when I was busy during the day as you were yesterday, I saw the video and the images of her meeting with the officials, talking about the kids. I thought -- I thought was a very (inaudible --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: But does this jacket muddy the (ph) -- does it -- does it - does this jacket muddy that message (ph)? That was message was clear. Was crystal clear. That jacket -- and it's not really as much of a fashion commentary as it is a political message. You don't just accidentally wear a jacket that says, "I really don't care."

SCHLAPP: This is -- OK, it's a fair question, John, but this is exactly what frustrates a lot of people in the country. The important thing is that the First Lady went down to the border and met with the officials and talked about the facts, and she was very aggressive on this early (ph), that she didn't believe families should be separated, and we're talking about her coat.

And I just think that is what frustrates people. We have this serious issue at hand here, I understand that people are trying to read into this, I don't care what coat she wore.

BERMAN: Well, you should wear a coat that says "I don't care what coat she wore." I will only say that we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We cover a trip down there, we have talked about the questions she asked -- SCHLAPP: I don't care about her shoes, I don't care about her coat, I

care about the fact that she said, "I don't want to separate families," and I agree with her on that.

BERMAN: Well, she was sending some kind of message. And it would be interesting to know exactly what she meant. But as we've been saying all morning, Matt, good for her to go down there --

SCHLAPP: I agree.

BERMAN: -- and good for you to come on and talk to us this morning, as always.

SCHLAPP: Thank you, John.

BERMAN: Thanks a lot. Thanks for being with us. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Hi, John. So what can Democrats do today? What are they doing

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