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Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban; Trump Speaks on Travel Ban; Trump Calls Supreme Court Ruling a Victory. Aired 1-1:30p ET
Aired June 26, 2018 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: I'm tell you, we'll have it for you any second. To lead that coverage, Wolf takes over. He starts right now. Have a great day.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us.
We begin with breaking news.
A major victory for President Trump. The United States Supreme Court today upheld the president's travel ban restricting entry into the United States from seven countries, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Venezuela. The ruling was 5-4 with the Chief Justice John Roberts writing for the conservative majority.
Our justice correspondent Jessica Schneider is joining us from the Supreme Court right now with details.
And, Jessica, we may have to interrupt you. The president's been meeting with congressional lawmakers over at the White House. We're about to get the tape. Once we get that tape, we'll get his reaction to all of this.
But share with us the main reason that the court, in this 5-4 decision, ruled in the president's favor.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, quite simply, Wolf, Chief Justice John Roberts, he wrote the majority opinion, and he said that the president has broad authority to protect national security by enacting this particular travel ban. Justice John Roberts, he put it quite simply, in fact, saying the proclamation is squarely within the scope of presidential authority. So the court ruling today that both under federal immigration law and the Constitution it was within the president's right to enact this wide-ranging travel ban that affects seven different countries.
So while the lower courts and the challengers to this had seized upon the president's statements calling for a Muslim ban when he was the candidate, not yet president, the chief justice in his majority opinion said that it was not the court's job to denounce these statements, and instead since the proclamation and this travel ban was neutral on its face, the president's authority would stand. Of course, this was a 5-4 decision. And joining the majority with that
crucial swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy. What's interesting is that Justice Kennedy actually wrote a concurring opinion. It was very short. But in it he seemed to indicate to the president, maybe sending a direct message to the president, that words, in fact, matter.
Then, of course, there were the four liberal justices who did dissent. In fact, Justices Breyer and Sotomayor read theirs dissent from the bench this morning, a very rare move that shows just how much these justices disagreed with the majority opinion. In fact, Justice Sotomayor issued a very scathing dissent where she compared this ruling --
BLITZER: All right, hold on, Jessica, because the president's been meeting with Republican lawmakers over at the White House, members of the appropriations committees, talking about border walls, among other issues. Let's listen in.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Top of your game. The fact that today's Supreme Court ruling just coming out, a tremendous success, a tremendous victory for the American people, and for our Constitution. This is a great victory for our Constitution.
We have to be tough and we have to be safe and we have to be secure. At a minimum, we have to make sure that we vet people coming into the country. We know who's coming in. We know where they're coming from. We just have to know who's coming here.
The ruling shows that all of the attacks from the media and the Democrat politicians are wrong and they've turned out to be very wrong. And what we're looking for, as Republicans, I can tell you, is strong borders, no crime. What the Democrats are looking at is open borders, which will bring tremendous crime. It will bring MS-13 and lots of others that we don't want to have in our country. It will bring tremendous crime.
So I will always be defending the sovereignty, the safety and the security of the American people. That's why I was put here. We're discussing today the funding of the wall, which we very much need. We started the wall. We're spending a lot of energy and a lot of time and started up in San Diego and other places. It's under construction now. We have $1.6 billion. But we're going to ask for an increase in wall spending so we can finish it quicker.
It stops the drugs. It stops people that we don't want to have. And it gives us security and safety.
And, with that, if you -- I think we might just take a quick spin around the room, talk to a couple of the folks.
And maybe, senator, I'll ask you, Roy, do you want to say a couple of words about why we're here and what we're doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think --
BLITZER: All right, so we're going to continue to monitor this tape. The president going around the room now, hearing from various Republican lawmakers, members of the various congressional appropriations committees. He wants full funding for his border wall with Mexico. We'll continue to watch that.
[13:05:03] But I quickly want to go to our senior White House correspondent, Jeff Zeleny. He's over at the White House.
What else are you hearing? The president saying this is a tremendous victory, this 5-4 Supreme Court decision. Going after the Democrats once again saying they simply want open borders which will lead to tremendous crime. What else are you hearing over there, Jeff?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, there's no question the president doing this, in the words of a White House official and the president in a statement, as vindication. And they are going to use the Supreme Court ruling as a -- essentially an anthem for their midterm election message on immigration. The president believes the simplest way, surefire way to fire up his base of supporters is through immigration. If you hear him break it down there very simply, saying Democrats want open borders. Of course, Democrats would -- certainly would push back on that suggestion.
But a key question, Wolf, comes at the end of this long session, some 39 minutes. He was asked by reporters in the room, I'm told, if he is emboldened by the Supreme Court ruling. And he said, yes, indeed, he is. And that's when he said it's a tremendous victory.
So, Wolf, what we're seeing here now, the president, of course, not really talking much about the nuance of that ruling, not talking about the fact that the travel ban went through three different versions, you know, and a long, winding road to this day. He is claiming victory on this.
And, indeed, it is a big victory for his administration, but he's going to try and parlay that into a midterm election argument about immigration. So that is what the president will do.
Important to point out, Wolf, he is, as you said, meeting with Republican senators and House members on the appropriations committee. He still has not gotten wall funding, full wall funding, some $25 billion. This is a Republican-controlled Congress, of course, so that's what he is asking them for today.
All the while, those immigration bills are still stuck in the House.
BLITZER: All right, we'll continue to monitor all of that. Jeff Zeleny at the White House, thank you.
Let's get some more insight into this Supreme Court ruling.
Joining us now, CNN legal analyst Shan Wu and Joan Biskupic.
You know, Joan, you were inside the Supreme Court. You heard all of the arguments. The Democrat appointed justices, they were in the minority, four of them. The Republican appointed justices, the majority. That's why there was a 5-4 decision.
JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT ANALYST: You know, Chief Justice Roberts would say, no, that's not why there was a 5-4 decision. It was because we decided it on the law and the Constitution. But, face it, that's how it broke down. And you had five people endorsing Donald Trump's travel ban.
And even though woven throughout the opinion and Chief Justice John Roberts' statements from the bench were essentially, we're not really with him, they were with him. The chief brought up some examples of what the president had said as candidate, and then afterward, once he was sworn in, and he said, you know, we're not turning our back on those. The chief wanted to signal that the court was not turning its back on those statements, but he was saying, those statements don't matter in the larger scheme of things.
Now, Justice Sotomayor, who you just referred to, she's an appointee of Barack Obama's, she said, those statements matter. Those statements show what the government was really trying to do with a Muslim ban. And to turn away from religious liberty and endorsed this executive order really turns away from the nation's promise of religious liberty. And as I'm sure you've heard all morning, Wolf, she likened it to the decision in Korematsu in 1944 when the Supreme Court endorsed a government order taking thousands of Japanese Americans and putting them in camps.
BLITZER: Yes. That was a very, very strong statement.
This was the third version of this travel ban, Shan, as you well know. And it considerably changed from what the president originally said. We have the clip of what he originally said as a candidate back in 2015 about a ban on Muslims coming to the United States. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to win it. We're going to win it. We're going to apply common sense. We're going to apply intelligence. And we're never quitting. And we're never going away. And we're never, ever giving up.
The best way to keep foreign terrorists or, as some people would say in certain instances, radical Islamic terrorists, from attacking our country is to stop them from entering our country in the first place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: That's what he said as president of the United States. But earlier he had said he wanted a complete travel ban, a complete ban on all Muslims coming into the United States. And then also as a candidate, as president, by the way, on the 5th of June, 2017, he said in a tweet, the Justice Department should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered-down politically correct version they submitted to the Supreme Court.
[13:10:03] If they would have stayed with the original one, the Supreme Court wouldn't have said it was Constitutional.
SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's exactly right, Wolf. I think it took them three times, three times is the charm for them, to undo that kind of damage that he did for that legislative effort. I mean I think Justice Sotomayor's reaction is the reaction of most Americans, that there's clearly anti-Muslimism bias here.
But the court focused on a couple of key points. First, they emphasized neutrality of this version's language. And, of course, the big difference here is that they expanded the list of countries to include some non-Muslim countries. And also, I think, in 2.0 version of the ban, it also removed some of the language that clearly favored non-Muslims over Muslims in the refugee status. So a lot of changes had been made in order for the court to be able to uphold this.
BISKUPIC: Yes, and the chief -- Chief Justice John Roberts stressed the worldwide review, stressed the hand of the secretary of the -- Homeland Security again to say, we're -- it's not exactly what Donald Trump wanted, it's what the administration wanted and it was vetted. I think you're exactly right.
BLITZER: So what's the broad message the Supreme Court has now sent as far as the president's powers involving immigration?
WU: Well, I think they have really doubled down on his -- that being one of his core powers in immigration. And I think one thing that bodes some troubling views of the future is that the president feels quite emboldened by this.
BISKUPIC: That's exactly right.
I think that, Wolf, Supreme Court historically have given presidents wide latitude in this area. And that's why there was a lot of precedent that challenges were up against.
But what the challenges were saying is that this is actually different. This is different what Donald Trump has done. And for the Supreme Court to say, no, it's actually not different, and to say that his executive order was actually more comprehensive than orders that Presidents Reagan and Presidents Carter had done in the past is -- was significant to these five justices in the majority.
BLITZER: Yes, a very significant decision by the United States Supreme Court.
Guys, thank you very much.
Let's get some more reaction.
Joining us from Capitol Hill right now, Republican Congressman Francis Rooney of Florida.
So what's your reaction, congressman, to the Supreme Court's ruling on the president's travel ban?
REP. FRANCIS ROONEY (R), FLORIDA: Well, I think that despite all the clumsiness and difficulties in getting this thing birthed, which your people just described much more adequately than I could, the ban on unvetable people from all kinds of states, including Venezuela, is probably a decent idea.
BLITZER: The -- well, you know, if you take a look at the 3.0 version, this third version, as far as Venezuela is concerned, the ban only includes, and I'm reading specifically from the law, entry of certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members as non-immigrants on some business and tourist visa suspended. So it's very limited as far as Venezuela is concerned. As far as North Korea and Syria, it basically says no one can come into the United States. So there's significant differences in this more nuanced third version, right?
ROONEY: Yes, there are, but that will help. Venezuela has been sending people back and forth to the United States, stashing money and -- for a long time. And I think the individual sanctions that we put on, as well as something like this ban, should be helpful as far as Venezuela goes.
BLITZER: One of your Democratic colleagues, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, he released a statement. Let me read in part to you what he said. He said, today's decision undermines the core values of religious tolerance on which America was founded. I am deeply disappointed that this ruling gives legitimacy to discrimination and islamophobia. Keith Ellison being one of two Muslims in the United States House of Representatives.
I want your response to what he said.
ROONEY: Well, like I say, Wolf, the ban's evolution and birth was clumsy and it has a tortured track record, but where it is right now, the way I look at it, is a way to impede unvettable people, particularly from Syria, from getting into the country. And we've heard from a lot of generals, a lot of intelligence officials, that it's a real problem properly vetting people with no birth records, no historical family records, no one knows who they are, in Syria right now.
BLITZER: Yes, most of the Syria's -- the ban involves Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, a lesser degree Iran, but also some specifics there as well.
Let me move to another sensitive issue unfolding today. I want to get your reaction, congressman, to the president's attacks on Harley- Davidson, the motorcycle manufacturer here in the United States, following the company's decision to at least move some production out of the United States because of the new trade tariffs.
The president tweeted this, and I'll read it to you. The president -- he's been venting about his frustrations all morning, insisting Harley-Davidson is just using these tariffs as an excuse, and very strong statements he's been making. Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, he fired back at the president's comments saying this. He said, this will go over like a Vespa at Sturgis. The problem isn't that Harley is unpatriotic, it's that tariffs are stupid. [13:15:16] What do you say?
ROONEY: Well, I'm not a big proponent of tariffs. I think the WTO system has worked well for many years to create a globalization of the economy and it's lifted a lot of people out of poverty and it's made our own economy grow rapidly as well. You look at South Carolina with Mercedes-Benz and -- or BMW and Alabama with a Mercedes-Benz plant. That's no different than Harley putting a plant in Germany.
BLITZER: Yes, that's a fair point. There's a lot of foreign companies who built plants here in the United States to sell their vehicles, their automobiles, to Americans.
The president says Harley-Davidson is moving production over to Europe. He says that, in his words, is the beginning of the end for them.
You know, he had welcomed them early on in his administration. There was an event at the White House on the South Lawn with a lot of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. But now he's really going after them. Is that wise?
ROONEY: Well, I don't know what his motive is, but I know that we're playing with fire to upset the interdependent trade relationships and supply chains that have been driving global growth.
BLITZER: Because he's really going after them. If they think that these 30 percent tariffs are going to stop the ability for Europeans to buy Harley-Davidson, they say they have no choice but to build a factory over there so they can avoid that 30 percent tariff. So from their business standpoint, that makes sense, right?
ROONEY: Well, it does. And, see, that -- it would be a real mistake to upset these relationships that exist all over the world, just like you're talking about and like the two car instances I mentioned. You know, the trade relationships have brought the world together, lowered cost, and a lot more people benefit from lower aluminum and steel prices than a few producers might benefit from higher ones.
In fact, we're seeing the same thing with newsprint right now. I've had some people from the media in to see me, that there's one mill in the United States that's hiding behind some very high tariffs that are being proposed for Canada, and it's just not right.
BLITZER: Yes. Well, you know, what is also true is that all of these tariffs, if there's a full-scale trade war between the U.S., let's say, and Canada, Mexico, the European Union, China, India, a whole bunch of other countries, Japan, South Korea, in the end, it's going to be a hidden tax on American consumers, because all these products, there's going to be a higher cost for all of them. And that's something that the U.S. economy certainly is not going to want.
Congressman Rooney, thanks, as usual, for joining us.
ROONEY: Wolf, thank you again.
BLITZER: We're going to have much more on the breaking news out of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Plus, we're getting word that President Trump just took another shot at Senator John McCain over his health care vote. We're going to play it for you. Stand by for that.
Also, migrant parents separated from their own children, speaking out, including an emotional mother who says her four-year-old son thinks she deserted him. I'll speak about that and more with the New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.
[13:21:07] BLITZER: President Trump now answering questions from reporters.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We got to get going. A lot of bad things are happening, and I think we're doing it incredibly well. We have no tools. We have bad laws. We have the worst immigration laws in the history of the world. OK. It's a joke. People can't believe it.
Other countries look at us and they say, how is that possible? Somebody touches our land, we now take them to a court, to a judge. They want us to choose 5,000 judges. How do you choose 5,000 judges? Can you imagine the corruption just from a normal standpoint, just common sense. Can you imagine the corruption? Go to the barber shop, grab somebody, make them a judge. Everybody's being made a judge. They want 5,000 judges more. It's crazy.
Other countries it's called, I'm sorry, you can't come in. You have to leave. This one we have judges. If they step on our land, we have judges. It's insane. So we're going to have to change our whole immigration policy.
And I was saying last night in South Carolina, when I came in, I inherited some things. We inherited North Korea. That's going really well. We inherited horrible trade deals. That's going really well. Nobody knows what's happening behind the scenes, but these countries that have been really -- they can't even -- I don't blame them, I blame our people. But they have just been ripping us for years. They want to negotiate so badly, you have no idea.
We inherited a lot of different things. But of all of them, immigration is -- makes the least sense. It is a hodge-podge of laws that have been put together over years and we have to change it.
It's so simple. It's called, I'm sorry, you can't come in. You have to go in through a legal process. You don't have to see a judge where the judge is going to take three years before you can come back. In the meantime, you never come back because you're already in the country. You're someplace in the country. And that would be bad, but it's really bad when it's a criminal. And we have plenty of them coming into the country this way. And they use the children. They use these young children for their own benefit. So we have to change the whole immigration picture. And we'll be able to do it. We need the border wall. We need the
border. We need border security. And we need modern equipment. And we'll get it done. I have no doubt.
Anybody else would like to say something? Anybody? Are we OK? We'll let these guys go out and have lunch.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) before you go?
On trade, there are some people who are saying that your tariff threats threatened to plunge the economy into a recession. Harley- Davidson announced that it's moving a plant to Thailand. You've been very critical about that.
TRUMP: Harley-Davidson, Jim (ph), was going to do that. They announced it early this year. So Harley-Davidson is using that as an excuse. And I don't like that because I've been very good to Harley-Davidson and they used it as an excuse.
And I think the people that ride Harleys are not happy with Harley- Davidson. And I wouldn't be either.
But mostly companies are coming back to our country. I was the one that explained to Harley about 100 percent tax in India, where they had a tariff of 100 percent, and I got it down to a much lower number. I think it's 50 percent, which is far too much. But they were paying 100 percent tariff. Now Prime Minister Modi brought it way down, but it's still way too high.
Now, I will say this, John (ph), other countries are negotiating. And without tariffs, you could never do that. And if they don't want to negotiate, then we'll do the tariffs.
And, just remember, we're the bank. We're the bank that everybody wants to steal from and plunder. And it can't be that way anymore. We lost $500 billion last year with China. We lost $151 billion with the European Union, which puts up trade barriers so that our farmers can't trade. We can't send farm products in, for the most part. It's very hard to send cars in.
[13:25:10] We have countries where, as an example, India, they charge up as much as 100 percent tariff. We want the tariffs removed. What I would like to do, and what I offered at the G-7, you remember, I said, let's drop all tariffs and all barriers. Is everybody OK with that? And nobody said yes. I said, wait a minute, folks, you're complaining. No tariffs and no barriers. You're on your own. Let's do it. And it was like, they couldn't leave the room fast enough.
QUESTION: What do you say to people that say it's a risky business here, you could tip the economy into recession? And then what do you plan to do later this week about --
TRUMP: Well, first of all, we're so high up -- we're so high up, we picked up 40 -- if you look at the kind of numbers we've picked up, it's up almost 40 percent, the market. And that's not -- the real market is the overall. And the overall is not much more than that. But we picked up about $8 trillion in value doing what we're doing.
Now, we've got a little bit of uncertainty because of trade. To me there's no uncertainty. And to other people that happen to be smart, there's no uncertainty. But we can't allow the European Union to take out $151 billion out of the United States. We can't allow Mexico to have a NAFTA deal that gives them over $100 billion. And I call it profit. You know, you can divide that up any way you want to do it. I call it profit.
We can't allow Mexico to take $100 billion. We can't give, John (ph), anywhere from 375 to 100 to 500. It's 375. Some people, depending on your formula, $375 billion. It could be $504 billion. It's a tremendous amount of money being taken out of our economy. We have to straighten it out.
Now, what's happening, we put steel tariffs on. Our steel industry is going through the roof. U.S. Steel just announced they're expanding or building six new facilities. Last night, in South Carolina, right -- go ahead, Georgetown Steel. The factory has been closed. The plant's been closed how long, Lindsey?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, about three years. But what's interesting is, it was a British company. A steel manufacture in Britain bought Georgetown Steel to make steel here.
Solar panels. We put tariffs on solar panels, 30 percent. They were all being made in China. We had 32 different factories. Now they're starting to open again. Plants, new plants, because solar is pretty new technology. We had 32. We had two that were open. Everyone else was closed because of what happened and what came in from other places, in particular, China.
And now we have seven that are opening and many more are considered -- and the two that were dying, they were going to close, they're thriving right now.
Washing machines. They were being dumped all over the country. Not good ones, by the way. Ones that didn't work really well. And now they're opening up washing machines. We put a 30 percent tariff on them. So tariffs can be a very positive thing.
You know, in the old days, when we had tariffs, we didn't have income tax. When people wanted to come in, you look at the days of McKinley and some others, when people wanted to come in, they had to pay a price. When they wanted to come in and raid our Treasury, they had to pay a price. We didn't have income tax. You didn't need income tax. We didn't have debt.
So we're doing this. I will say, in every instance, every country, any county that you can mention has been extremely nice, even less to the media probably, but extremely nice. They want to negotiate a deal. So -- and we're open to that. We're open to that. But it's going to be very strong.
We are putting on tariffs on certain industries. We can't lose our steel industry. Our steel industry was ready to go out of business. It was -- it was at the bottom. Our aluminum industry was ready to go out of business. Now the steel industry is thriving.
Think of it. United States Steel. First time in 35 years they're actually expanding. It's going up. They are building new places. Georgetown Steel, closed for three or four years. They announced yesterday they're opening up their plant. It's been closed for four years, I think they said, in South Carolina.
No, we're doing the right thing, 100 percent. And you know, you have them on both sides. Some people agree. Some people don't agree. The bottom line is, countries are coming back now to negotiate, including European Union wants to negotiate, because if they don't, we're going to tax their cars. They send Mercedes in. They send BMWs in. They pay almost no tax. When we send cars to the European Union, they charge us a tremendous tax. Five times greater than what we charge them. But, more importantly, they don't want our cars. They have a barrier. We don't want your cars. But if you do get it in, you're going to pay a tax.
QUESTION: Mr. President --
[13:30:12] TRUMP: With China -- with China, if we send a --