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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Election Day; President Trump Attacks Harley-Davidson. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired June 26, 2018 - 16:30   ET

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


[16:33:33]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: In our money lead now, from true American icon to you are going to pay for this.

President Trump doing a 180 on Harley-Davidson this morning, unleashing on Twitter, after the American motorcycle company announced it was moving some production overseas to avoid tariffs from the European Union.

Those tariffs, of course, a response to the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum. But now President Trump says Harley- Davidson won't be able to sell its product in the U.S. without paying a tax.

CNN's Tom Foreman has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "They surrendered, they quit, they waved the white flag. A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country."

President Trump greeted news of Harley-Davidson sending more of its motorcycle manufacturing out of the U.S. with a flurry of furious tweets.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the people that ride Harleys are not happy with Harley-Davidson, and I wouldn't be either.

FOREMAN: Little more than a year ago, Trump stood proudly with Harley executives promising big changes in trade.

TRUMP: We have to make America the best country on Earth to do business, and that is what we're in the process of doing.

FOREMAN: He channeled other presidents who have embraced the iconic company, including Ronald Reagan, whose huge tariffs on some Japanese motorcycles in the '80s were aimed at helping Harley, though analysts debate the impact.

RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is time to gun the engines, not put on the brakes. FOREMAN: But the European Union is retaliating against the Trump

tariffs on steel and aluminum by raising its tax on, among other things, imported motorcycles, from 6 percent to a whopping 31 percent. That's a $2,2,00 price hike for each Harley sold there, a potential $100 million loss for the company.

[16:35:10]

The head of the European Commission has been frustrated at the whole idea of a trade war.

JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION (through translator): This is basically a stupid process, the fact that we have to do this. But we have to do it.

FOREMAN: Even some Republicans are worried about President Trump's actions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know what his motive is, but I know that we're playing with fire.

FOREMAN: Still, Trump has campaigned relentless to stop the offshoring of American jobs.

TRUMP: I want trade deals for our country that create more jobs and higher wages for American workers.

FOREMAN: So, he's pointing to word earlier this year that Harley was already planning to move some production to Thailand, as if to say, it is not my fault.

TRUMP: So Harley-Davidson is using that as an excuse, and I don't like that, because I have been very good to Harley-Davidson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOREMAN: Harley is not saying much about this current uproar, but their sales last quarter fell 12 percent in U.S., while they rose in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

So, sure, Harley would like to build their bikes closer to the people buying them. But the Trump tariffs and the resulting backlash have undeniably given an extra push in that direction -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Tom Foreman, thanks so much.

I'm back with the panel.

Kirsten, the president says Harley is using tariffs as an excuse. He's repeatedly tweeting about it. It seems like Harley has made President Trump's enemies list in a way.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN COMMENTATOR: Yes.

And I would say for people who are loving when Donald Trump beats up on liberals or people that they don't like, and they think it is so funny and so wonderful when he goes after people, just wait when he comes for you, because it is going to happen. He's doing it to Harley-Davidson.

And I don't actually have a problem with him wanting a company to keep business in the United States. The problem for Harley-Davidson is most of the business now is overseas. They're losing business here and they're gaining business in Europe.

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, what is interesting about Harley, people forget, Jake, let's just put this on the big board and think about this, 35 years ago Ronald Reagan saved Harley- Davidson. How did he save it?

By imposing a huge draconian tariff on Japanese motorcycles. Tariffs from Japanese motorcycles were 4 percent. Reagan raised it to 49.4 percent, allowing Harley-Davidson to have a financial buffer, retool, fix some of their motorcycles, and then compete on the global market.

So they were saved by big tariffs before. The Harley leadership is solidly never-Trumper, so they don't like this president. And, as Kirsten said, they are moving overseas, where their supplies are.

But it's amazing. This company was saved by tariffs, and now they are decrying them.

TAPPER: But they are different tariffs. They are a different kind of tariff.

(CROSSTALK)

URBAN: Well, they're different tariffs, but they were saved by tariffs before.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: But, look, to me, it is a bigger conversation.

I really don't think that Donald Trump understands what he has unleashed, the Pandora's box he's opened with this tariff stuff.

I live in Florida. I can tell you, hurricane windows 20 percent higher because of the threat of these tariffs, because of the imposition of these tariffs. That is all the East Coast and all of the Gulf Coast.

You're talking Harley-Davidson, you're talking, what, Wisconsin, a state that was so very important to him.

URBAN: Pennsylvania.

NAVARRO: And Pennsylvania, another crucial state for him.

And he takes such personal affront to this corporation. It would be nice to hear him talk about the dictator in Turkey or the dictator in North Korea or maybe Putin in the same terms that he uses against an iconic American company. TAPPER: And one of the other things that is interesting about this is

that there are some powerful people associated with Wisconsin, the speaker of the House, for one.

POWERS: He doesn't care.

TAPPER: And you hear these kind of these rote comments about how the speaker doesn't support tariffs, he doesn't think it is the way to the future, it's the right step for the economy.

POWERS: Right.

TAPPER: But you don't really see these people, at least in public, fighting for these companies.

POWERS: Right, because they don't want to be the next person on the Twitter feed, right? They don't want to have him coming after them.

And obviously the voters are behind him; 85 to 95 percent of Republicans are squarely behind Donald Trump. And they see that and they are not obviously -- also not profiles in courage.

(CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: The Republican enablers are at fault here.

URBAN: Look, I think...

NAVARRO: It was Bob Corker just a few weeks ago who was calling this a cult because they wouldn't stand up to Trump on tariffs.

If you can't get Republicans to stand up against tariffs, we can't them to stand up on anything.

(CROSSTALK)

URBAN: Look, Americans want fair trade. They want to be treated fairly across the globe. That is what people are looking for here, not free, fair trade.

TAPPER: All right, everyone, stick around. We got a lot more to talk about.

What do an ex-con and a former Republican presidential nominee have in common? That is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:43:35]

TAPPER: We are back with our politics lead.

As primary voters head to the polls in a host of key states, the results are a test of President Trump's popularity and Democratic enthusiasm. Republicans are looking to maintain their congressional majority in

the fall elections. Last night, President Trump told South Carolina voters that if the man he's endorsed for governor there were to lose, well, that would hurt Trump too politically.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They will say, Donald Trump suffered a major, major defeat in the great state of South Carolina. It was a humiliating defeat for Donald Trump.

So, please, get your asses out tomorrow and vote.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: My political panel is still with me.

Ann, get your asses out...

NAVARRO: Are we still clutching our pearls about civility?

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER: Get your asses out to vote.

I guess the question is, is that a convincing selling argument? He's trying to get people to vote for the governor there, Henry McMaster, who has been very loyal to Trump.

Vote for McMaster, who is in a run-off there, because I need the victory, not McMaster. I need it. Is that a good selling point, you think?

NAVARRO: In a Republican primary today? Absolutely.

Look, I'm seeing it play out in Florida. Florida. Right? There is a Republican primary for governor, not today, but involving Ron DeSantis and Adam Putnam. And I wouldn't know that either of them are running right now.

I think it is all about Trump and who can be closer to and who is more like Trump.

In New York, what we have today, that primary, Grimm vs. Donovan, it is an interesting one, because Trump endorsed Donovan, but Grimm is probably his mini-me in a lot of ways. And in Utah, Trump endorsed Romney but Romney and Trump hate each other and we all pretty much know that. So you know, it's a lot of -- a lot of games.

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: As Ana correctly points out, Republican primaries are just that primary. It's a very narrow segment of the -- of the population and so it doesn't represent always what you're going to see in the fall. That's sometimes problems for the party because you get candidates who are not going to win in the fall who win in primaries and then have a very tough time in the general election. I think that's a concern in New York's 11th district where you have Grimm and Donovan. I think Donovan is probably a better general election candidate but Grimm when he was a congressman, he was very good at constituent services, very well-liked in the community.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: And totally went to prison.

URBAN: Yes, well, exactly right.

TAPPER: So let's talk about Donovan and Grimm because it's really interesting. President Trump has endorsed the incumbent Congressman Dan Donovan but Michael Grimm, the former congressman there has the support of a whole bunch of Trump officials or Trump supporters. You have a Corey Lewandowski, Steve Bannon, I think Scaramucci. Here is Michael Grimm who is running as the heir to Trumpism in many ways. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL GRIMM (R-NY), CANDIDATE, CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARY: They have flat-screen T.V.s, they have -- they have toys and things that they never had in their life. They have -- they have comfortable living conditions. So the idea that it's somehow cruel compared to the journey that those parents just took those kids on, how do you say that? I think the parents that took them on that journey are cruel and I think they're unfit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: That's him talking about the conditions under which these kids who have been separated from their parents are staying. They have flat-screen T.V.s, they have toys, the things that they never had in their life.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's just absolutely despicable thing to say. You know, how would he like his child to be taken away from him and not know how to get in touch with them but then somebody says oh but they have a flat-screen T.V. so just calm down. I mean that's completely crazy. And also the idea that these parents are bad parents and unfit parents for fleeing violence and trying to get their children into another country is completely wrong. They're heroes. They're what anybody would do. I would do it for my nieces, I'm sure you would do it for your children if you -- the only choice was my kids are going to be killed or I can take them on this horrific journey and it is horrific, to get them to a place where they'll be safe. I don't know anybody that can --

NAVARRO: You're calling Michael Grimm despicable which will help him in the primary.

(CROSSTALK)

URBAN: Just to -- just to make a point, they're not too fine point. You know, they were safe when they crossed into the border of Mexico, right? So these kids and families fleeing a murderous regime in El Salvador or horrific conditions in Guatemala, they're safe when they cross into Mexico. Why they keep coming to the United States? For better -- for jobs and economic. They're safe. Are they unsafe in Mexico?

NAVARRO: Whether people like it or not, the United States -- I can tell -- I can answer this as somebody that came to the United States because --

URBAN: You came legally, Ana.

NAVARRO: Because I have money because my parents have money.

(CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: But even if my parents had not have money, David, my parents were fleeing a dictatorship, my parents are fleeing a communist totalitarian regime, they would have done anything desperate parents in order to bring their children.

URBAN: But they came legally.

NAVARRO: Because for the grace of God, I won the ovarian lottery, OK, but these kids didn't.

URBAN: I'm not saying -- I'm not advocating the separating of kids.

POWERS: Wait. It is not illegal to seek asylum. Do you understand that? Does anybody understand? The reason --

NAVARRO: They come here because we are a beacon of freedom. Donald Trump or not, we are and continue to be a beacon of freedom.

TAPPER: Let Kirsten talk for one second.

POWERS: There's another reason. So A, it's not illegal to seek asylum. You're allowed to come in. You're supposed to have due process, what the President now wants to get rid of apparently. And a lot of them come here -- majority of them come here because they have family here, that's why they're here.

URBAN: They cross illegally.

POWERS: It's a misdemeanor. But if they cross legally --

URBAN: OK, exactly. I'm not saying take the kids away.

POWERS: But it's not -- but it's not a misdemeanor and it's not illegal to seek asylum. You have to come out to the country to do that --

URBAN: So your first argument was people fleeing their countries so they're safe.

POWERS: Yes.

URBAN: So when they cross to Mexico, they're safe. They're no longer in a totalitarian regime.

NAVARRO: Have you been to Mexico? Do you anything about the conditions in Mexico?

URBAN: I do. They're safe.

NAVARRO: OK. And do you know how many migrants have been killed in Mexico in the past year? Do you think Mexico is a safe place? They are coming to the United States they were not safe, David.

URBAN: Are you being racist? Are you comparing the Mexicans?

NAVARRO: David, I'm saying that they have horrible political conditions and there have horrible violence --

TAPPER: I want to like Kirsten finish her point here.

POWERS: David, I answered your question. A majority of them have family here. That's why they're coming here. When the unaccompanied children came here, they were coming here to stay with family members, almost all of them. More than 90 percent of them --

URBAN: I'm not -- I'm not advocating separating the kids. I'm not advocating separating the kids

NAVARRO: So what are you advocating? Are you advocating (INAUDIBLE)? What are you getting -- what are you advocating?

URBAN: I'm advocating they show up legally and they apply legally.

POWERS: They are. You're driving me insane.

URBAN: No, they're not.

POWERS: Listen, it's legal to seek asylum.

NAVARRO: The people who are the most desperate do not qualify to come here legally not because not -- because they're not fit, not because they don't have the character, not because they have they don't have the qualities, but because you have to fill out a form and take it to the embassy, take it to the consulate and show that you've got money, that you've got property, that you've got this. All those things are prerequisite in order to get a visa --

[16:50:21] URBAN: So the answers -- so the answer is just break the law and come in?

NAVARRO: They're not breaking the law.

URBAN: They are breaking the law.

NAVARRO: They are seeking political asylum. If you don't want that, then get rid of political asylum.

TAPPER: You know, I had this really good quote from Dana Bash. She interviewed Mitt Romney but obviously, the immigration issue is still quite strong and people want to talk about it.

NAVARRO: And it's not going to go away.

TAPPER: A child being taken away from his mother while he was asleep in the middle of the night, a father unable to wish his daughter happy birthday because they've been separated, why is this still happening when the Trump administration says it can locate any migrant child within seconds? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Today the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar told Congress that there's no reason any parent who had his or her child taken from them that the border shouldn't know where their child is located but parents at the border saying that's not true.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I haven't heard from my daughter since they kept her away from me. And they haven't communicated my family or myself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: HHS just updated the number of kids in its care. Now it's 2,047, six fewer than last week's update. CNN's Nick Valencia updates us on these stories.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tonight the Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says that he can find any child separated from their migrant parents within seconds.

ALEX AZAR, SECRETARY, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: There is no reason why any parent would not know where their child is located. I could at the stroke of -- at keystrokes, I sat on the ORR portal with sit -- with just basic keystrokes within seconds could find any child in our care for any parent.

VALENCIA: But things are not that simple for parents looking for their children after they were separated when they entered the U.S. illegally.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He used to tell me every night before he went to sleep, I love you, mommy. Goodnight.

VALENCIA: And now we're hearing just how children were separated. A mother recounts how officials took her son.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I didn't have the chance to tell him anything because they took him away from me in the middle of the night while he was still asleep.

VALENCIA: One father tells us about missing his daughter's birthday. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My girl is turning ten-years-

old today and I can't even call her and tell her I love her so much.

VALENCIA: And from inside the Port Isabel Detention Center I spoke by phone with a heartbroken mother.

(INAUDIBLE) says her six-year-old daughter doesn't understand why she was abandoned by her mom.

New video that aired on MSNBC gives a candid look inside a federal facility looking after children separated from their parents. The video was taken by a former employee at that Center in New York City. In the video the former employee can be heard talking with a child who wants to talk to her parents.

CNN reached out to the shelter for comment.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VALENCIA: And in a new lawsuit from a coalition of 18 attorneys general, they're suing the Trump administration for their family separation policy. They say that it violates the constitutional rights of due process for not just the children but also the parents. They say it's irrationally discriminatory. Jake?

TAPPER: Nick Valencia, thank you so much. Now turning to our "NATIONAL LEAD," a salute to an American hero. President Trump presented the Medal of Honor posthumously to a World War II soldier earlier today First Lieutenant Garlin Conner. His widow accepted the award at the White House at the top of this hour. Her husband's actions were critical to the allies during a battle in eastern France. On January 24th, 1945 Lieutenant Connor was supposed to be recovering from a hip injury but he somehow managed to sneak out of the hospital and he volunteered for a mission back out on the frontlines as a lookout. He hid in a trench in biting cold weather using old telephone wire to call in and warn American and allied forces that German tanks were closing in. At one point the Army says, enemy forces came within five yards of Connors position. At the Pentagon yesterday his wife Pauline said that her husband was a humble man who never really talked about how he had risked his life to save others.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAULINE CONNER, WIFE OF LT. GARLIN CONNER: He had a place about that big in his hip that would lose about like a softball I would say, that a hole in his hip like that and I asked him many times you know, what happened and try to get him to explain and he would try to tell me some things but he just didn't want to talk about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Lieutenant Connor returned from war and started a tobacco farm in Kentucky. He never bragged about his acts of bravery. He barely spoke about them, hence his nickname, the silent farmer. He had earned four Silver Stars, three Purple Hearts, and a Bronze Star along with other awards from the French military. Garlin Connor died in 1998. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter @JAKETAPPER or you can tweet the show @THELEADCNN. That's it for the lead today. I turn you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Thanks for watching.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, breaking news, uphold Trump's ban. The Supreme Court's rules five to four in favor of President Trump's most recent travel ban. A decision the President is hailing as a tremendous success. Who will it impact? Not so high on the hog.