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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Guatemalan Teen Says He Witnessed Abuse While in Detention; ICE Chief Retires as Agents, Lawmakers Call to Dissolve Agency; Dem Lawmaker Slams Leadership at ICE, Calls for Reform; Trump and Putin Plan to Meet for Summit on July 16; Kilauea Explosions Start String of Earthquakes; Trump Denies Reports He is Considering a New Chief of Staff; WAPO: U.S. Assessing Cost of Keeping Troops in Germany; American Jail Premieres Sunday at 8 PM ET; Soccer's Biggest Stars Clash at Round of 16. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired June 30, 2018 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is going to appoint justices like Neil Gorsuch and whoever this turns out to be who will overturn Roe v Wade.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: That will happen automatically in my opinion because I am putting pro-life justices on the court.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted to show support for the folks here today. I can only imagine what it could be like to have my daughter, my breastfeeding child, be ripped away like some of these other moms' babies have been.
PRESIDENT TRUMP (via telephone): I think we can do a real immigration bill. We have to have security at the border.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I have to look after my people, as well. You understand.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I agree. I agree.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It amazes me since he's talked to me well over 20 times that he did not recognize that a stuttering genre.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. It may be one of the most important decisions of the Trump presidency. This is the second Supreme Court pick in less than two years. This time with the potential to alter the balance of the court for a generation.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: This weekend, President Trump could be joined at his New Jersey Golf Club by one or two potential Supreme Court candidates. The president says he will announce his choice for Anthony Kennedy's replacement in a little more than a week at this point.
On the short list, five people with at least one woman. For a closer look at the candidates and what the White House calls a partial working weekend, here's CNN White House correspondent, Boris Sanchez.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump making headlines on a number of topics during a short gavel with reporters on his way to Bedminster, New Jersey for the weekend. Notably talking about a possible replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced earlier this week that he's retiring from the Supreme Court.
The president saying that he's whittled down a list of 25 names to a possible five candidates, two of them including women. The president also making news saying he plans to interview one or two of these possible candidates over the weekend here in Bedminster.
But among the topics of conversation -- their stance on abortion will not be discussed. President Trump saying that he will not ask these possible candidates their stance on Roe versus Wade, a very controversial issue.
One that Justice Anthony Kennedy was previously known for creating a lot of controversy over. Here's more from President Trump on what he plans to talk to these candidates about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you looking for somebody who would overturn Roe v. Wade?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, you know, it's a great group of intellectual talent, but we really -- you know, they are generally conservative. I'm not going to ask that question, by the way. That's not a question I'll be asking. It is a group of highly talented, brilliant, mostly conservative judges.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: President Trump also saying he does not plan to ask these possible candidates about their stance on LGBT issues. The president also made news some of other fronts including suggesting that he plans to talk to Vladimir Putin about election meddling, telling reporters there should not be election meddling anywhere in the world.
There has been discussion previously even among those in his own party that President Trump has been weak when it comes to confronting Vladimir Putin over this. In previous meetings, the president seeming to accept Putin's version of events and denials saying that Russia had nothing to do with the meddling in the 2016 election.
Just on Friday, the president tweeted that assertion before pivoting to an attack on Democrats, the FBI, and his own Department of Justice. Last week, the president also made news on a topic of his chief of staff, John Kelly, on reports that Kelly was planning to leave the White House as early as the end of summer. The president suggesting that he did not know anything about those reports and that they were fake news. However, sources have told CNN previously that President Trump has been talking to allies and advisers, polling them on possible replacements over the course of the last few months.
So, we know from those sources that this, in fact, has been something on the president's radar for some time. Boris Sanchez, CNN, traveling with the president near Bedminster, New Jersey.
PAUL: All righty. Boris, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Joining me now to talk about this, Daniel Lippman, reporter and co-author of "The Political Playbook," and Joey Jackson, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. Gentlemen, good morning to you.
Daniel, let's start with you. The president was sure in discussing his short list to highlight that he has two women on the list and under consideration. I mean, why would the president add that? To potentially lower the votes of two female Republican senators who are questions now, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins?
[06:05:04] DANIEL LIPPMAN, REPORTER AND CO-AUTHER OF "PLAYBOOK, POLITICS": Yes. I definitely think that's a factor because a lot of Democrats and progressives are going to label any nominee of the president's anti-woman and say that the end of Roe v. Wade is close. And so that they would unsettle that case.
So, if the president picks a woman, conservatives believe that it might be less likely that the Democratic argument would gain traction because they would ask, how could a woman be anti-woman. And so that's kind of the thinking that goes behind the White House take on whether to pick a woman.
BLACKWELL: So, Joey, to you, the president says that he will not ask his potential nominees the short list about their views on Roe v. Wade. I mean, he won't have to, right? The list from which he's picking is a group of conservative judges, already gotten the thumbs up from several conservative analysts, including the Federalist Society weighing in. So, there's no scenario under which this president nominates a justice or a potential justice who was questionable on their pro-life bonafides
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, Victor, I certainly don't see such a scenario. You know, if you look at it, you don't have to ask a question about a particular issue that obviously is true and near and dear to a conservative's philosophy or ideology.
And so, while you may not ask the specific question, the fact that you have produced a list, produced the list during the election, amended the list to include other members, we should note when the list was amended it included Neil Gorsuch, he's now on the Supreme Court.
And so, I don't know that you have to have that specific discussion to be comfortable and clear what the person who you're interviewing -- to know that that's where they stand and that's their position. So, no, to your point, you know, it's a faith accompli in that regard.
BLACKWELL: Joey, let me stay with you. And (inaudible) to the "Washington Post" are pointing this out, one of the judges under consideration is Bret Cavanaugh. He wrote this to the "Minnesota Law Review" in 2009.
Listen and see if you can pick out why it's important -- "Congress might consider a law exempting a president while in office from criminal prosecution and investigation including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel. Criminal investigations targeted at or revolving around a president are inevitably politicized by both their supporters and critics."
A Supreme Court soon may have to answer the question about a subpoena of a U.S. president. This sounds like a man after the president's own heart. This was written in 2009.
JACKSON: I think that Cavanaugh, Judge Cavanaugh, who sits on the Circuit Court, his interview has already been concluded. The interview would have been concluded as we look at the credentials there was when he wrote that law review article for the "Minnesota Law Review."
And so clearly today and, you know, look, you can say it's foreshadowing there, this person who is talking about exempting a president from criminal prosecution. It's not a total exemption, to be clear and to be fair.
If you look at the "Law Review" article, he talks about deferring it, which I certainly do not agree with. I think you need an opportunity if a president has run afoul of the law to hold the president accountable then, not to wait four years, eight years and to do it.
But that's another story for another day. But I think certainly someone who has that ideology and already tipped their hand with regard to supporting such a law which constitutionality, I should say, Victor, would be very much in question because it would then look at holding a president above the law.
I think that he would be a great choice as it relates to President Trump himself thinking, look, this is the kind of guy that I want. We should also note that he's only 53 years old. That would cement him on the court for some time to come.
BLACKWELL: Daniel, we've talked about the Republicans who are in question here for this nomination. There are several Democrats also who could support potentially this nominee just like they supported Neil Gorsuch last year.
You know, we've got Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Joe Mnuchin in West Virginia. I mean, to vote in late October potentially against the president's nominee would seal their respective defeats, would it not? They're the Trump state Democrats. They're in states that President Trump won by significant margins back in 2016. LIPPMAN: You know, that's why Trump is meeting with some of these Democrats, to try to get them on his side. I think a lot of the Democrats will be under pressure from their own caucus not to abandon the Democratic Party on this. The Democratic senators have a united front.
We know we shouldn't underestimate the fact that there is likely a blue wave coming. The Democrats could be very alone in their own party if they support a nominee who turns out to be very conservative down the line.
A lot of people are expecting Neil Gorsuch to be a little bit more moderate. Yet, in his first year or so on the court, he's been really tough on issues.
[06:10:11] And he's even gotten some of his own colleagues on the court concerned that he is bucking the traditions of the court that, you know, new members, junior justices, should be a little more cautious in how they present themselves.
BLACKWELL: Yes. We'll see what is stronger here at that party pressure to keep a unified Democratic front, to keep Manchin and Donnelly and Heitkamp in the fold, or if for their own re-elections they have to side with the president.
JACKSON: Victor, remember, all politics is local.
BLACKWELL: Yes, it is.
JACKSON: Former speaker, Tip O'Neill. So, the Democratic Party might want to stay together and say vote the way I say you do, but if you don't get re-elected, what's the point?
BLACKWELL: Right. There you go, Joey Jackson, Daniel Lippman, thank you both.
PAUL: Getting word this morning that another U.S. ambassador just quit the State Department reportedly over President Trump's policies and comments about European allies. James Melville Jr., the ambassador to Estonia announced his resignation yesterday.
The career diplomat is the third ambassador in the last year to exit the State Department early. Melville's resignation comes amid growing tensions between Europe and the Trump administration ahead of next month's NATO Summit.
Melville's departure only adds to the current list of vacancies in the State Department. Right now, there are 60 open ambassadorships. The president has nominated people for 19 of those spots, but still, 60 are open.
WHITFIELD: We are getting new images of the deadly scene in Annapolis where a man shot and killed five people who worked for the "Capital Gazette." Video that was shot just moments when the police race to evacuate workers from that building. Watch.
((BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hands up -- hands up!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the right. To the right!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here, here, here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put your hands up. Straight across that parking lot. Keep your hands in the air for me. Hands in the air.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Straight to this guy right there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walk straight to me -- straight to me -- is anybody hurt?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your hands up!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This way. This way!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: And there is some new video of the suspected shooter, Jarrod Ramos, being carried away in police -- by police, rather, in handcuffs. Ramos appeared in court Friday. He's being held without bond. The judge cited that he's a danger to the community. Meanwhile, the widow of one of the victims, Rob Hiaasen, spoke to CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA HIAASEN, WIDOW OF SHOOTING VICTIM ROB HIAASEN: Rob Hiaasen was my best friend. He was that for a handful of others. He and I would like says you don't need a million friends, you just need really good ones. He was always there for people. A confidante when folks needed it and someone ready with the wry little joke at just the right time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: You see here hundreds of people turned out last night for a massive candlelight vigil honoring the shooting victims.
And the Saturday edition of the "Capital" has just been published. The headline, "Suspect swore "oath" to kill," and huge crowds rally in Annapolis. We'll talk more about that later this morning.
PAUL: Meanwhile, a comedian prank call to the White House. He ends up talking to the president and that's not even the craziest part of the story.
BLACKWELL: Yes. We'll talk about that.
Plus, she was suspended for dancing during medical procedures. Now this woman will not be allowed to work or even call herself a doctor for quite some time. We'll tell you how long.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Trending number one on bleacherreport.com, get hyped for the World Cup. The knockout stage is upon on us and it's starting with a bang. Two of the biggest stars in the game both in actions today, Messi, Ronaldo, a preview coming up on NEW DAY.
WHITFIELD: A Georgia dermatologist dubbed "The Dancing Doctor" will not be practicing medicine for quite some time. Probably because of this --
PAUL: I know you remember it. An investigation was launched after several YouTube videos surfaced of Dr. Windell Boutte dancing during medical procedures, as you see there. The videos in question have since been deleted.
State investigators found at least seven instances of questionable behavior from this doctor between 2014 and 2018. Now, Boutte has agreed to give up her medical license for at least two years.
Former patients have brought five malpractice suits against her claiming they suffered infections, disfigurement, even brain damage. Four of those have been settled.
BLACKWELL: Well, it started as a prank call for a comedian's podcast. It took less than two hours for him to get a call back from Air Force One. How did a joke call make it all the way to President Trump? Here's CNn's Sara Ganim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP (via telephone): You know, I have a good relationship with the party. You have a good relationship with the party. And I think we can do a real immigration bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is President Donald Trump talking immigration policy during a phone call on Air Force One with a well- known prankster in the comedy world. His name is John Melendez with an "l" but he was pretending to be Senator Bob Menendez with an "n."
The crazy thing is John Melendez knows Donald Trump from his days on the Howard Stern radio show where Trump was a frequent guest. Melendez told me that he's probably talked to the president more than 20 times. He even went to lunch with Donald Trump and Melania Trump maybe five or six years ago. He said they haven't spoken in years, but he told he was shocked when the president did not recognize that it was his voice on the call.
[06:20:07] A guy with a clear Long Island accent and not the senator from New Jersey. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MELENDEZ, STUTTERING JOHN PODCAST: He did not recognize that a stuttering John, a guy who he's listened to on the "Stern" show for years. I have the worst Long Island accent known to man, and how he cannot know that is not a real senator is beyond me. It is -- it's unbelievable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GANIM: Melendez told me that the roughly 4-minute phone call was relatively easy to set up. He called the White House switchboard, a number he got from Google, took on a fake English accent, and then pretended to be the senator's assistant. The next thing he knew, Jared Kushner was on the phone asking him what topic he'd like to discuss with the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELENDEZ: I got on the phone with Trump and Trump was like, "Bob, I want to congratulate you." I didn't even know that Senator Menendez was in any legal problems. And really, if they would have just screened me and asked me what party affiliation Senator Menendez had or what state he represented, I would have been -- I would have been stumped. I had no -- I had no idea anything about Senator Menendez.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GANIM: On Friday, the real Senator Menendez put out a statement saying, in part, "I welcome any opportunity to have a real conversation with the president on how to uphold the American values that have guided our family-based immigration policy for the past century."
Behind the scenes at the White House, the people are saying that the president wants to be accessible to members of Congress and, unfortunately, that means mistakes like this can happen.
John Melendez did provide CNN with the numbers that called his cellphone, and CNN confirmed that they are numbers from the White House switchboard and Air Force One. Sara Ganim, CNN, New York.
PAUL: All right. Sara, thank you.
Now one Democratic lawmaker is raising concerns about how easily a prank caller was able to speak to the president. Obviously, Representative Gerry Connolly said he is worried about what could happen if other impersonators were successful. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE GERRY CONNOLLY (D), VIRGINIA: The find of disruptions that that could lead to is -- is a very chilling thing to contemplate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Now the White House admits patching the call through was a mistake but has not responded to the representative's comments there.
BLACKWELL: Still to come, cases of alleged migrant child abuse at the border. One Guatemala teen says that he was mistreated while he was detained and saw many other cases of physical abuse, too. We spoke with him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They would tie them to a chair. They would bind their ankles. They would bind their wrists, waists. They would put a mask over their head and forcibly give them injections.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Also, the "Washington Post" says the U.S. is looking at the cost of keeping U.S. troops in Germany. The Pentagon's response to that just ahead.
PAUL: It's 27 minutes past the hour. Welcome back. So glad to have your company. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning.
PAUL: There are hundreds of protests planned across the country today against President Trump's immigration policy.
BLACKWELL: Social justice groups are demanding that the administration end all family separation and detention policies and reunite families who previously separated. The main march events are through the streets of D.C., it ends in front of the White House.
You see the locations across the country where there are affiliated marches and rallies planned. We'll bring you coverage of the rallies throughout the day on CNN.
The Justice Department says it will comply with a judge's order to keep families together at the border. Border officials will now detain families together pending immigration proceedings once they're taken into custody.
Meanwhile, newly reviewed court filings show that the government never had a plan to reunify families at the border. A Homeland Security official confirmed they had a pilot program in Texas of prosecuting parents who illegally crossed the border from July to October of last year, knowing that it could result in family separations.
PAUL: CNN sat down with a Guatemalan teen who was detained after he crossed the border illegally nearly a year ago. He says from the moment he arrived in the U.S., he was treated like a violent criminal. He said he witnessed other teens, as well, being physically abused. CNN correspondent, Drew Griffin, has his story.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He crossed the border last summer, just 16 years old and alone. He says he was escaping violence and death threats in Guatemala.
DAVID, UNACCOMPANIED MINOR (through translator): My family had been threatened, and I knew there was a possibility that if I didn't leave I might be killed.
GRIFFIN: He says his family paid nearly $4,700 to a coyote to get him through Mexico to the Arizona border and was arrested almost immediately.
DAVID (through translator): We were walking and all of a sudden Border Patrol showed up and caught us.
GRIFFIN: And that began nine-month ordeal where David was continually stepped up as it's called, held in more and more secure facilities according to documents viewed by CNN. He still faces deportation which is why he's asked his face be concealed.
But he wants the people of the United States to know how he was treated when he crossed the border seeking asylum. Immigration attorney treated when he crossed the border seeking asylum. Immigration Attorney Becky Wolozin says his case is typical.
BECKY WOLOZIN, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: The administration says you're a gang member, you're a criminal, you're a danger to society, it's not the way to treat kids who have already been through so much trauma and so much abuse and violence.
GRIFFIN: On his eighth day in custody, he says he was awoken at 3:00 a.m., told to hurriedly dress, eat, and be ready.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I thought because of my experience in my country, that they might be kidnappers, that they might want to hurt me or rob me. I wasn't sure.
I wanted to escape, I was scared, and the only way I could think to escape was to find a police officer and tell them what was happening.
GRIFFIN: He was actually being transferred to a higher security facility on the East Coast. David says he told his new case manager about his thoughts of running to a police officer. He was labeled a flight risk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): As soon as I got there, they placed restrictions on me for a week.
GRIFFIN: It turns out when David spoke to his therapist or case manager, the information was being used against him. When he had shared fears of violence, he was determined to be potentially violent.
When he shared fears of gangs and death threats in his homeland, he was labeled a gang member.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The therapist told me, she was going to help me, hopefully make things better for me, but instead, she reported me to the government.
GRIFFIN: And David was moved yet again, this time to what seemed like prison.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): All of the security people there wore uniforms, they all carried radios, they all had handcuffs.
GRIFFIN: His story is similar to what a Cnn investigation found at facilities all across the country. Mixed in, he says with tougher kids, he witnessed forced medications including injections, suffered being hit by other detainees and watched, he says, as guards strapped uncooperative teens into a restraint chair.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They would tie them to a chair. They would bind their ankles, they would bind their wrists, their waist. They would put a mask over their head and would forcibly give them injections.
GRIFFIN: You saw this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes, I did, they would strap them to the chair in front of everyone.
GRIFFIN: In the middle of the room?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes, all the cells were in a row. You would go in, grab the bully, tie him up in front of everyone.
GRIFFIN: A counselor saw David drawing on his hand and wrote in a report he was trying to cut himself. What were you drawing on your hand?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I was writing a word, like "my God".
GRIFFIN: David turned 17 in detention, feared he would be held until he was an adult and tossed in real prison, he finally got access to new lawyers and a judge.
This past May, that judge reviewed his record, determined he was not a danger and ordered his release. It took nine months.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CHRISTI PAUL, CO-HOST, NEW DAY SATURDAY: And a thanks to Cnn's Drew
Griffin with that report.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CO-HOST, NEW DAY SATURDAY: The head of ICE is out, Tom Homan retired yesterday as a dozen agents and several lawmakers are calling for an end to the agency.
That call is not getting widespread support. Democratic Congressman Seth Moulton is calling out leadership issues, yes, but he's stopping short of saying it should be abolished.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. SETH MOULTON (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We face a lot of problems with what ICE is doing, and there's clearly a leadership and accountability problem here.
ICE does important work for our country, I don't think that just going out and de-funding them is necessarily the right approach. It's our job to reform them. And in some ways, you know, calling for defunding ICE or eliminating ICE is just giving up our duty as Congress to make the organization work. That's our responsibility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: The Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner is being considered for the director job, although it's not clear if he will be nominated for that position just yet.
PAUL: Well, still ahead, President Trump gives a little bit of insight into his upcoming face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But will election meddling be on the agenda? That's the big question, the answer is coming up.
BLACKWELL: Plus, explosions at the Kilauea volcano cause a new round of devastating earthquakes.
[06:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLACKWELL: President Trump is denying reports that he's considering a replacement for Chief of Staff John Kelly. But sources say the president has been privately polling aides and advisors about possible replacements for months now.
And several people are considered to be on a list to replace him, including Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, and the Vice President Mike Pence's top aide Nick Ayers. The president talked about these reports that Kelly's possible departure last night aboard Air Force 1.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's a wonderful man. John Kelly, four star, a wonderful man. And don't forget, this is a big change for him. This is a -- you know, this isn't that easy a change for him. We have a very good relationship. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long do you think he'll stick around?
TRUMP: That I don't know, I mean, I can't tell you that. But I can say that we've had a very good relationship and we've achieved a lot together. So I like John a lot, I like him and I respect him.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PAUL: Now the "Washington Post" is reporting that the Pentagon is looking into how much it would cost to scale back or transfer U.S. troops in Germany. A Pentagon spokesman tells Cnn, quote, "the Pentagon regularly reviews forced posture and performs a cost benefit analysis.
[06:40:00] This is nothing new, Germany has hosted the largest U.S. force presence in Europe, we should point out. We remain deeply rooted in the common values and strong relationships between our countries. We remain fully committed to our NATO allies and the NATO alliance.
All of this comes amid growing tensions between President Trump and Europe ahead of next month's NATO summit of course. So Cnn military analyst Lieutenant General Mark Hertling has a lot of thoughts on this.
General Hertling, thank you so much for being with us. First of all, how plausible do you think it is that president could suddenly reposition U.S. forces? And if he does, what's the consequence of that?
MARK HERTLING, FORMER U.S. ARMY GENERAL: Well, it's very plausible that he can do anything, Christi, but he is asking the Pentagon to do first of all what they normally do. And as the Pentagon said, a forced posture review is normal.
There have been several over the last few decades in Europe, I was a part of the last one where they went from -- first of all, in the 1990s when the wall came down, there were 250,000 soldiers in Europe, post-World War II as part of the NATO alliance.
That went down to 90,000 in the late 1990s and it was further reduced over the last -- between the years 2002 and 2011 to 30,000. And that's about right. There's constant force structure review to see if what's called the troop-to-task ratio is correct, given the mission set that the people have, the military has in the continent, doing the kinds of things they do, the engagement criteria and all of that.
So having a review is important. But what's interesting, Christi, is how this has all come at the same time when the president has questioned the value of NATO, has insulted our NATO partners, the 29 countries that are parts of NATO.
He has said multiple times he doesn't think that it's a good organization and, in my view, it is a very good organization. It's kept peace on the continent for the last century. So all of those things are disconcerting to our allies and they're
concerned. They're very concerned especially with the president going not only to the NATO summit in the next few weeks, but then after that, going to talk with President Putin of Russia.
PAUL: Does this play into Putin's hand in any way?
HERTLING: It most certainly does. Mr. Putin has been trying to get out from underneath the sanctions that have been in place for the last several years. He has threatened many European nations, and included in those, Poland, the Baltics.
He has interfered not only in European elections, but there's -- actually allegations that he's murdered people in other countries like the U.K. And the president hasn't seemed to be all that forthright about what he's going to do.
When he says something like I'm going to talk to Mr. Putin about some things, these are some major issues that the Europeans see extremely threatening as well as our election concerns which recently cyber experts said continue to be ongoing and could affect significantly the 2018 election. So yes --
PAUL: Yes --
HERTLING: All of these things are very concerning.
PAUL: Yes, in fact, the Director of National Intel Dan Coates told the Senate in February, propaganda, social media, false-like personas are still a threat from Russia.
With all of that said, what is at stake for the president, for the U.S., if the president does not assert himself with Putin on this subject?
HERTLING: Well, the alliance could certainly be fractured. I think it already is to a degree based on my conversation with military and government officials in many European countries. There are concerns that Russia might continue to be extremely expansionist as they have been over the last couple of years.
They have invaded a couple of countries, they are still extremely active in terms of attacking in eastern Ukraine, not just Crimea, but in the Donbass area of eastern Ukraine.
They are the only country that is actually -- Russia is the only country that has actually taken over, attempted to attack into other sovereign foreign nations since World War II.
All of those things could be influenced, and certainly the economic exchange between Europe and the United States could be effective. That's also being questioned by the president. And I hink our European partners are very concerned about a post-cold war II, methodology is crumbling right before their very eyes.
It becomes an existential threat not just for the United States with regard to our elections, but even the existence of many countries that have come out from under the supervision of Russia, the occupation of Russia, to include many of the former eastern bloc countries.
They see an existential threat again if Russia is allowed to continue to do the kinds of things they have done over the last several years.
PAUL: All right, and real quickly, let's listen yet to what the president says he does plan to discuss.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: We're going to talk about Ukraine, we're going to be talking about Syria, we'll be talking about elections. And we don't want anybody tampering with elections.
[06:45:00] We'll be talking about world events, we'll be talking about peace, maybe we'll talk about saving billions of dollars on weapons or maybe we don't.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PAUL: How influential do you think President Trump will be?
HERTLING: I don't have a lot of faith, truthfully, Christi, based on experiences, based on what I have seen. You know, you have to tell the lion or the tiger by its stripes. We have seen President Trump saying he's going to do all these things, but he's been somewhat weak in terms of actually executing these things.
And as I said before, we are in a period of an existential threat in terms of our institutions and the European nations are in an existential threat just in terms of their existence. So I don't have a whole lot of faith that he is going to negotiate with the kinds of skills that are needed, that he has the experience.
Mr. Putin is a very strong negotiator, and I think there's the potential that our president really will be undercut by Mr. Putin because he is that strong.
PAUL: All right, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, always appreciate your insights, sir, thank you.
BLACKWELL: Thank you, Christi. All right, Messi, Ronaldo, you know the names, it's win or go home for the world's biggest soccer stars at the World Cup.
[06:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLACKWELL: The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, but accounts for almost 25 percent of the world's prison population.
PAUL: Yes, that's a tough statistic to swallow --
BLACKWELL: Right? PAUL: This Sunday -- this Sunday, the new Cnn film "American Jail" is
examining the reasons behind those staggering rates of incarceration in the U.S., Cnn national correspondent Ryan Young has a preview.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They tell you when you first get incarcerated, you'll remember this number for the rest of your life. For the rest of your life, why? Because it follows you.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Each of these three former inmates spent decades in and out of prisons and jails, they currently live in a short-term Chicago transitionary home where they receive help finding a job and a place to live as they re-enter society. They say avoiding returning to jail is a nearly full-time job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My parole officer told me that you have to walk around with these papers for the next ten -- what? Next 13 years. I said, why? And the word that she used are these are your traveling papers. We all know what traveling papers are.
Where originated from. I told my parole officer, I said, I'm not a slave.
YOUNG: The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world. More than 2 million men and women are locked up. Once out, former inmates say they face a parole system that puts them back in jail for violations other citizens would never be arrested for.
Many face large fees from their time spent in jail, fees they struggle to pay off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Although I know the statistics --
YOUNG: The Cnn film "American Jail" documents the reasons behind the explosion in U.S. prison and jail rates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been in MSDF on a transfer when I was going upstate.
YOUNG: Alan Shultz(ph) of Milwaukee spent nine years in and out of jail, mostly on drug-related charges. He now works for a group that advocates for prison reform.
Shultz(ph) believes the drive to privatize parts of the prison system actually gives companies financial incentives to not reduce the prison population.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're starting to now invest in electronic monitoring, collection of the probation fees, and then you can also talk about like who's selling these people goods, like the minutes on the phone that they get to use.
Because a lot of us are being charged $5 and upwards for a call that would cost somebody 50 cents out here. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe that this is another trap, when you did
your time, incarcerated, you shouldn't have to wear something like this.
YOUNG: In a prison system where $265 billion is spent every year to keep millions locked up, some don't expect to see major changes any time soon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Business is booming. If there's no crying, they will create crime so that create methods to lock you up anyway because it's business and they're good at it.
YOUNG: Ryan Young, Cnn, Chicago.
PAUL: And a thank you to Cnn's Ryan Young there. The Cnn film "American Jail", it premieres Sunday night at 8:00 Eastern right here.
[06:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PAUL: Well, the world's three biggest sports stars are all in the headlines.
BLACKWELL: Yes, and two of them headed right for one another. Coy Wire joins us now with more, Coy?
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS PRESENTER: Good morning to you, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentina's Lionel Messi, they're in action today. Also LeBron James officially now a free agent, and yes, these are indeed the three biggest sporting stars on the planet is in fact how often they are searched, their endorsement dollars, a number of social media followers to make the rankings.
And you see here, top three, Ronaldo one, King James at two, Lionel Messi rounding out the top three. Now, before the World Cup, some soccer fans prayed that Messi and Ronaldo would go head-to-head in this tournament and if their teams win today, they will, giving us a clash of legends.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one agrees on the best, everyone agrees on the two best.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: It is a win or go home time for two of the sport's biggest stars. They say big-time players make big-time plays and big-time games. How will they do? If Argentina beat France and Portugal take down Uruguay today, Messi versus Ronaldo would take place next week in the quarterfinals.
Now Argentina having their hands full with France today, another favorite to win it all. They're loaded with talent including rising star Paul Pogba. Argentina, they've been struggling, narrowly surviving in the group stage with Messi having only scored one goal so far, kickoff at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.
Now, to Ronaldo, how good is he? Check out this trick shot. Standing behind the goal at practice and bending that thing around through the front, incredible. What bent on that thing -- and look at those thighs and his sky's out, thighs out, right?
Former sexiest man on the planet by "People Magazine". Portugal have to get past Uruguay. Portugal take on Uruguay and striker Luis Suarez at 2:00 this afternoon. Now unlike Messi, Ronaldo started the World Cup with a bang, scoring a hat-trick against Spain and is in the running for the golden boot which goes to the highest scorer in the World Cup.
Uruguay, they've won all three of their group stage games and they scored five goals in total, only team in the tournament who has not allowed a single goal, we'll see how that goes today.
LeBron James did make it official, opting out of his deal with Cleveland to become a free agent. Odds are, says Vegas, that he will be a Los Angeles Laker. We'll see.
BLACKWELL: OK --
PAUL: All right, all right --
BLACKWELL: Thank you, Coy, you're welcome --
PAUL: Thank you Coy. I do have to say, I think that his reaction sky's out, thighs out --
BLACKWELL: I wanted to talk about it, but we're at the --
PAUL: Don't go away --