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CUOMO PRIME TIME
Discussion of Potential Supreme Court Nominee; Interview with Rep. Ted Lieu; Question of Abolishing ICE Examined; Is North Korea Palying Trump Administration?; Helping Trapped Thai Youth Football Team. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired July 2, 2018 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Don Lemon is off again tonight. I hope he's enjoying himself. You know what that means, a double dose of PRIME TIME.
And we have no shortage of news on this Monday before the Fourth of July.
The president's former fixer sits down for an interview, not on camera, but on point. Since those raids his life has changed, Michael Cohen, and you're going to hear him as you have never before. And it sounds like if you're looking at the situation right now that his loyalty to President Trump is wavering, that cannot be sitting well with his former client, the White House punting today on the subject. We've got more on that in a moment.
But, first, we are now exactly one week away from the day the president will reveal his Supreme Court pick. He met with four potential nominees and said, he plans to interview two or three more ahead of his announcement -- a decision that when it comes it's going to set off a bitter showdown in the weeks and months to come.
So, let's start right there with something we're calling "Cuomo's Court". We've got former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and former White House ethics czar Norm Eisen.
All right. Let's talk White House. Let's see if we both, if all three of us agree on the stakes.
Ken Cuccinelli, the idea of push back now that this won't be about Roe v. Wade. That's not it. There's no litmus test. That's not what it's about.
Do you believe that given everything that Trump said during the campaign about doing exactly that?
KEN CUCCINELLI, FORMER VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, I certainly think that Roe v. Wade is going to loom large here, but it's going to loom large because of the type of justice and judges that so far Trump has picked basically just read and apply the Constitution, and that isn't how you keep a Roe. I mean, as prominent scholar as Larry Tribe and there's a long list of liberal scholars who have all said, Roe v. Wade was poorly decided. So, you know, when you --
CUOMO: It's not what Chief Justice Roberts said. Chief Justice Roberts said it was stare decisis.
CUCCINELLI: No, he didn't say it was well-decided.
CUOMO: He said it was stare decisis.
CUCCINELLI: That's a different point, Chris.
CUOMO: It's the only one that matters if you're going to --
CUCCINELLI: It doesn't mean it was properly decided.
Well, Justice Kennedy used to talk a lot about stare decisis except when he didn't. And especially, you know, in his last week as a justice, deciding cases he reversed a 40-year-old one, the Abood case, from the '70s.
CUOMO: That's right.
CUCCINELLI: In the Janus.
CUOMO: So, Norm Eisen --
CUCCINELLI: You know, it's not a base -- it's not a foundational principle. It's a stability providing principle.
CUOMO: Norm Eisen, do you agree with that?
AMBASSADOR NORMAN EISEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Chris, or should I say Judge Cuomo, thanks for having me back in court. I think that -- I think that Ken is being laudably honest. Yes, Roe v. Wade is up for grabs.
I write with Larry Tribe all the time. Ken, he's not saying we've got to throw it out, he's saying we have to keep it, even if the reasoning wasn't perfect. The conclusion was correct. It's essential to a woman's right to choose.
That's up for grabs. Chris, this is one of the most Supreme Court nominations that our country has faced. Not just roe, also health care, and the president's own liability. All of those are at stake.
I appreciate Ken conceding the vulnerability of Roe.
CUOMO: Polls say that people feel, it's about a 50-50 split, that this decision shouldn't happen before the midterms. Now, this is a different poll, this is how do people feel about Roe. This is an important point, too.
Let's start with this one, Ken, that people believe in this decision as law. Now, Republicans as a group don't. That Roe v. Wade loses in somewhat close to a 50/50 split, but it's not. More people in the Republican Party are against Roe than for it.
But the people in this country, you just saw the numbers there, should that matter in this analysis?
CUCCINNELLI: No. Polls are exactly what you don't want judges to look at. You want judges to look at the law and the Constitution and that's it. You really want to get judges and justices that ignore everything else and try to interpret -- properly interpret, not reinterpret, whatever's in front of them.
CUOMO: But does that ever really happen? I mean, am I being cynical? But it seems to me --
CUCCINELLI: Yes, no, there are --
CUOMO: This process is the same, the judges come up, the politicians say they want someone --
CUCCINELLI: Judge Cuomo, you might not.
CUOMO: No, what I'm saying is --
CUCCINELLI: Judge Cuomo doesn't.
CUOMO: Ken, what are we seeing every time?
CUCCINELLI: It's a legitimate question. Look, it's a legitimate question, Chris.
CUOMO: Every time, these men and women come up, they say, I don't know anything about anything, I'm just going to look at the laws and the facts, and then they get on, and it seems like every decision goes along with their politics.
CUCCINELLI: Well, look, different people up for judgeships and to become justices bring different judicial philosophies to the table, and it's no surprise that those who come under Democrats take Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She's rewritten laws without real reference to the law itself, and the Constitution. And that's common on the left. That's not accepted on the right.
CUOMO: Norm, do you agree with that?
EISEN: I don't, Chris. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of the best justices on the court. When a statute has an ambiguity, it's not clear, you try to make sense of what Congress intended.
And I do agree we don't decide the Constitution by popularity polls. I think the most respected Supreme Court justices are the ones who try to get to the heart of the matter. You have somebody like Justice Souter, Republican nominee, he decided down the middle, and I'll tell you who would have been a great Supreme Court associate justice, Merrick Garland.
And a very important part of this fight is Merrick Garland was given a proper opportunity to get on that court. And now, of course, you have the majority flip-flopping. So, that's going to be a big issue in all this.
CUOMO: The hypocrisy matter, Ken? Should McConnell have stuck by what he was saying was so important and then let the people speak, let's see what the composition is of the elected government first and then make a decision of this kind of import?
CUCCINELLI: Yes, I mean, I think it's a legitimate distinction when you compare, say, Kagan to Gorsuch, where Kagan was done in 72 days in a midterm election, whereas Merrick Garland was not voted upon to make the Supreme Court seat part of the presidential election. And it is the president who picks, not the Senate. They either approve or disapprove.
CUOMO: Does Kagan blow up the argument, Norm?
CUCINNELLI: And, look, one last point, Chris.
CUOMO: Go ahead, Ken.
CUCCINELLI: One last point, because we're looking at polls. Americans don't vote on process. They don't vote on process, it's a basis to argue --
CUOMO: Although it's about 50-50 --
CUCCINELLI: Democrats are using it now. And I would too if I were them.
CUOMO: About 50-50, though, say it should happen before or after the election for what it's worth.
CUCCINELLI: Right, but, for those --
CUOMO: But, Norm, does Kagan kill the argument, though? Because that's the pushback --
CUOMO: -- is they gave you Kagan during a midterm year.
EISEN: No, it doesn't kill the argument. McConnell is the one -- we never saw anything like McConnell did with Garland.
Ken, you are the strict constructionist. You say read the Constitution. The Constitution doesn't say the Senate advises and consents on a Supreme Court justice except in an election year. McConnell established that principle.
It's a stain on the court, Chris, whoever gets on there, there's going to be an asterisk now. That has to be made right. And, you know, there's a lot of talk about civility. That was one of the most uncivil political acts that I've seen. And it's not going to go away. You read the Constitution, that was wrong. We've got to make it
right. This should not be heard this year either.
CUOMO: I'll tell you what's strange. I mean, look, it doesn't look like it's going to happen, Norm, because, you know, it's a political decision and he's got the control. So, it looks like he's going to be able to do what he wants.
But you know what I think was actually more destructive to the process than the timing there, although I know you could argue that dispositively because you wound up having Gorsuch instead of Garland. But for them to make, so you only 50-plus, you know, 50 votes, to get a Supreme Court justice, instead of 60, do you think in this era --
CUOMO: Huh? You disagree, Ken? You think even this era of toxic partisanships, to have a simple majority for something so permanent?
CUCCINELLI: No, I think Norm's earlier point, I -- this isn't much talked about, but since we're in Cuomo's court, I believe the filibuster --
EISEN: Anything goes in Cuomo's court.
CUCCINELLI: -- unconstitutional when it comes to presidential nominees of any party, and I was saying this to Republicans back when Obama was president, that does invade the advise and consent rule. They have the right to advise and consent. They do not have the right to change the rules. The president is not subject to the filibuster, nor can his nominees be.
CUCCINELLI: That subjects the presidential power to rules of the Senate. That is not appropriate.
CUOMO: You know what? That's a fair point. Norm, what do you think about that? I feel like it needs more, because I don't trust these men and women to do the right thing because they're playing partisanship too much. What about his rules that you would then have a president held hostage to a Senate rule?
EISEN: Ken, can occasionally takes a creative fresh look at the Constitution that nobody, not even his fellow Republicans, much less the courts --
3CUOMO: But the filibuster rule has been there.
EISEN: Chris, the filibuster rule was lived under. It's still there for legislation. We lived under it. It was a vehicle for civility, because when you had to get those extra votes, when you had to get from 51 to 60, then it forced people to compromise. When I arrived in Washington, 25 years ago, the parties talked to each
other, they sought the middle. There was an effort, that was true civility. It was the civility of process, and it produced compromises. I think we need to go back to.
CUOMO: Agreed, I give you that last point, because the demise of decency is it a big deal. But I take you on that point about the filibuster, Ken --
CUCCINELLI: Can I tell you why before we go?
EISEN: I appeal. I want to file a notice of appeal.
CUOMO: All right. Go ahead. You can both do it on Twitter, we'll follow it. I'll retweet your tweets along the way. And I appreciate you both being decent on this discussion.
I will. I actually will retweet them.
CUCCINELLI: Good to be with you both.
CUOMO: Ken Cuccinelli, Norm Eisen, thank you for making us smarter tonight.
CUCCINELLI: Good to be with you.
CUOMO: Appreciate it, fellows.
EISEN: Thank you.
CUOMO: Split decision.
All right. Less than a week after a single primary upset rocked the Democratic Party, it is divided tonight over whether ICE should stay or go. Now that we see in the most recent poll, that immigration matters most to voters, this is a big deal.
I've got one of the president's harshest critics in Congress. Ted Liu is here to tell us what he thinks about where his party is on this all important issue, next.
CUOMO: So, remember what got Trump into office, in part, election promise after election promise, tough talk on immigration.
Now, that seemed poised to continue with the upcoming midterms. Several prominent Democrats however are now calling for the abolition of ice. This Quinnipiac poll that just came out, you have to look at it, it's so rare for immigration to be above the economy, in terms of what someone wants to vote on.
Now, are the Democrats setting themselves up for victory here? Especially with the president who's no stranger to a rhetorical street fight.
Let's get after it with Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu of California.
Congressman, good to have you on the show.
REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you, Chris. Good to be on the show.
CUOMO: So, Ted, help me understand the play. You've got Trump in a bad place. He made a big mistake with how he treated those kids on the border. He went from having high ground about law and order to low ground with that fugazi executive order, backpedaling, terrible situation there that we're tracking night by night.
But then, your party decides to play to advantage by saying, abolish ICE. Is that the right play?
LIEU: Well, the president is still making the same mistake. There's still over 2,000 kids as we see --
CUOMO: A hundred percent.
LIEU: -- each night that were ripped away from their parents and have not been reunited.
In terms of ICE, I believe three things need to happen. First, Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen needs to resign. Second, the new ICE director needs to change complaining the culture of ICE. And third, Congress needs to change the policies of ICE so they don't terrorize communities.
But if none of that happens, then I support abolishing ICE and replacing it with an agency that is more consistent with America's values.
CUOMO: But you don't think that position, Ted, puts you right in the crosshairs of Trump saying, you are about no borders and letting in anybody?
LIEU: Well, ICE is not Customs and Border Patrol. So, ICE is not down there at the border. That's a whole different agency. The president is just misleading the public.
But keep in mind, this president has been bashing immigrants since the day he got inaugurated and in return, Democrats have flipped 43 special elections. We won a Senate race in Alabama, won a congressional race in Pennsylvania.
So, Trump can keep bashing immigrants. But you're seeing, overall, the majority of American public supporting Democrats.
CUOMO: But this is an extreme position. Now, I'm saying that objectively. I get that he wants to call radical. I don't want to get caught up in language. I leave that to you guys as the politicians. But to say we want to get rid of this agency. I've been hearing it
more and more from the party, and I think that it is a position objectively that is fraught with some political risk attached to it. And what are you hearing within your own party about how much people want to embrace this?
LIEU: Well, we're a big party, so we welcome all different views. But when you listen to what people are saying, they're not saying abolish ICE and do nothing. They're saying abolish ICE and put it with a new agency that is not going to terrorize communities across America.
ICE is a relatively new agency. It was created after 9/11.
CUOMO: Patriot Act after 9/11. Yes.
LIEU: That's correct. And if you look at what Trump has done, for example, with his Muslim ban, he did nothing against Saudi Arabia, even though 17 of 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, and terrorists are not coming in from the southern border. This is a wholly different issue, and ICE has taken their mission and strayed far afield from what it's supposed to be doing.
CUOMO: Well, it's one thing to attack the policies and the culture, because they're doing what the president and the executive instructs them to do through their cabinet secretary and the head of ICE. But that's different than saying get rid of it.
Now, I have to tell you, when I hear it from lawmakers, you know, a couple of them here in New York, where the show is out of, you know, with the new Congress member and one of the sitting senators saying, it's got to go. It sounds like enforcement of the law is not a priority.
LIEU: I don't think it's fair, because if you listen carefully to what they're saying, a lot of media takes the first half of what they're saying because it does sound catchy. But the second half is, they're saying, put it either with a different department or put it with a new agency. They're not saying do nothing.
And everyone in the Democratic Party supports enforcement of the laws, it's how you do it, and you shouldn't be terrorizing communities. By the way, ICE has many missions, including handling child pornography, dealing with child sex trafficking, dealing with counterfeit merchandise. And there have been ICE officials that have been in the media and public reporting saying, this focus on deportation is keeping us from dealing with these other critical missions.
And I think if the American public were to see what ICE does, they're going to say, we don't want ICE to be wasting our time on deporting these folks who are not criminals, who are not doing any harm to America.
CUOMO: How sure are you of that? Because it could be the main spring of the November elections. Are you sure that the American people believe -- because we don't see it in the polls as you know, Ted? Polls can change.
But the idea of, well, they came in illegally, but that's OK, we'll just find another way. That does not have popular support. Decency does. Humanity does. Being humane with who does come across illegally, I hear you on that.
But the idea of coming across illegally is not the end of the game for people, I don't know that that has public acceptance, does it?
LIEU: I agree with you, Chris, and Democrats are not saying open borders, because ICE doesn't have to do with our borders. It's a totally separate agency.
But again, what we're seeing is ICE terrorizing communities, in a way that makes us all less safe. What we want in these communities is people who are willing to go to the police and go to law enforcement, if they see a crime, if they want to be a witness, two things they have happening.
But what ICE is doing is making people go into the shadows and that makes all of us much less safe.
CUOMO: I hear you on that argument. That's a saleable one, and it's an interesting contrast heading into these midterms.
The Democrats, for them, the given is that you seem to have your heart in the right place. The question is, is your head going to be in the right place, in terms of how you enforce the law and keep the borders safe.
You have the opposite challenge on the Republican side. They've shown a paucity of heart with what they did separating these kids on the border. Their head was in the right place in terms of securing the border, how they decided to do it put them in a hole. We'll see who winds up on top because of this.
Congressman Ted Lieu, good to have you on the show.
LIEU: Thank you, Chris.
CUOMO: All right.
So, President Trump is encouraging Democrats to keep calling for the abolishment of ICE, because he believes what I was just suggesting to Ted Lieu, that it's going to help Republicans at the ballot box? Is he right?
Angela Rye, Jason Miller, two great debaters -- Angela has got the glasses on, that's not a good sign for you, Jason Miller. That's -- she's coming with both guns loaded, next.
CUOMO: All right. We've been talking tonight about the growing push to abolish ICE by many in the Democratic Party. Is it a winning midterm message or is it risky for Democrats to take this on? Is it going to maybe help the GOP?
We have Angela Rye and Jason Miller here now for a great debate.
Let's start with the operative premise.
Jason Miller, immigration has popped up all of a sudden, according to Quinnipiac poll, not that we really need it. Obviously, it's resonant in the air right now. But that people put it ahead of the economy in terms of what they might vote on in November.
And on the issue that really is resonating, you're taking a beating which is what was done to the kids on the border, Americans think it was wrong and it hasn't been handled well since. How big a concern should this be for you?
JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think if we went back a week or two, this would be a much bigger concern. But if we look at the space where it is right now, new Harvard Harris poll, the former Clinton pollster Mark Penn is out with, says that 70 percent of Americans believe that we should have stricter enforcement of our current immigration laws and 69 percent oppose this radical idea of getting rid of ICE.
So, when you get the policy --
CUOMO: I see you're skipping the kids, Jason.
CUOMO: You're skipping the kids, my brother. Don't skip the kids.
MILLER: No, people support President Trump's plan of zero tolerance policy.
CUOMO: But not how he handled it?
MILLER: Again, we didn't have strong enough resources for DHS to fully implement this. We also had to address the 1997 Flores settlement. And also, Capitol Hill needed to act. There's still some things they have to do, even after the executive order. And so, there's some things need to happen there, but the overall plan, the zero tolerance policy is very, very popular.
And, in fact, the president is from that same poll, the president's four pillared plan for broader comprehensive immigration reform is supported by 63 percent of people. And so, there might be a lot of media outrage and there might be people --
CUOMO: No, no, it's more than that.
Let's go to Angela. The polls show it, that people think what was done separating kids on the border was wrong indecent and may have a political price attached to it. That is different than saying that people also want enforcement of the laws, Angela. Those two things can live together, can they not?
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They absolutely have to live together. This is a land of laws and they should be properly implemented. I think the challenge that we have, Chris, is that from the election, Donald Trump promised to do something that a number of people didn't take seriously, including the 53 percent of white women who voted for him, and they're now backtracking because they had no idea that it would be cruel and unusual punishment to kids that didn't do anything wrong. But that is really what you're facing.
Everyone in this country has talked for some time since the Senate tried to pass a comprehensive immigration bill that the House was too chicken to take up several years ago now. That it's time for some changes in the laws, but the how is key. It's not by any means necessary, get to the end goal, it's how you get to the end going that really matters.
The fact that this administration regularly calls catch and release policy, anything that will release someone regardless as if they've committed a crime or not, is highly problematic. The narrative around people who migrate into this country is highly problematic, ways in which they've treated kids. And you heard people in this administration say, they're not our kids, highly problematic -- we have to talk about all those things in one of the key pieces.
CUOMO: I did hear it from an administration official. I heard from the guy on "Fox and Friends", but maybe he counts as an administration.
RYE: You know what? At this point, maybe that's who it was. It all blurs together.
CUOMO: But, Angela, you've got a problem here, then I'm going to bounce this back to you, Jason.
CUOMO: I get how the Democrats could play to advantage based on how the laws were enforced in separating the kids. But then this call starts to rise up within Democratic ranks and leadership ranks of abolish ICE. Are you giving away advantage by articulating and arguing a position in a way if abolish ice becomes part of the party platform that does seem weak on law enforcement that does play into open borders attacks by the right?
RYE: And that's exactly where I was going with this whole idea about catch and release, and things that used to be defined a certain way means something very different to this current administration. I think the narrative is problematic if you don't understand what the heart of it is. People are hurting, they're watching these kids hurting, and I think the reaction is to just say how can we ease the pain? So, never mind the fact that ICE is responsible for raids on U.S.
soil, not responsible for capturing people at the borders, that's CBP. So, the fact that people are even misaligning which agency's mission is responsible for this all they know is DSH is a mammoth agency that was stood up to respond tonight at 11:00, they're not thinking necessarily which individual agency is responsible for this.
So, should we abolish CBP, too? All that Trump would do because it's not a matter of a mission, it's a matter of who's responsible for implementing these policies. It's the president.
So, the president would just move that mission somewhere else. If it wasn't ICE, it would be CBP. If it's not CBP, it would be CIS. If it's not CIS, it's going to go to DOJ.
Should we abolish HHS too since they're responsible for the shelters and housing? I think that us having the conversation about the why is very important. And I don't want to blow off the purpose. I understand the purpose.
But I think we have to get to the heart of the matter. Should we be changing how funds are appropriated to these agencies? Perhaps. Should the budgets change? Perhaps.
What happens to physical conservatism, you know?
CUOMO: I hear you.
MILLER: Chris --
CUOMO: I hear you, but you're making a new nuanced position, but there's been a vulnerability --
RYE: But I think it's important.
CUOMO: Oh, no, 100 percent. But I'm saying, that's not what the party people are saying, the elected officials and --
RYE: But it's not the party people.
CUOMO: I know.
RYE: So, I talked to --
MILLER: Chris, we can cut through the non-answer here.
CUOMO: No, no, she's giving an answer.
RYE: It's actually not a non-answer. I know that you guys --
CUOMO: She's giving you a new answered take on it. But a lot of the lawmakers, to Jason's point, the reason you jumped on it early, the reason Trump is jumping on it, is they gave you an opportunity. Abolish ICE sounds good for them. (CROSSTALK)
RYE: Here's my issue --
CUOMO: But it just does. Jason? Jason, I'll go back to you --
MILLER: They have no replacement plan. And really what this whole abolish ICE effort is, it's a big call for open borders.
RYE: That's not true.
MILLER: People want stricter enforcement of the current immigration laws. That is what people want.
And Angela is exactly right. The ICE enforces inside of our borders, and people don't want to just turn a blind eye, and say we no longer have a sovereign country. And we're going to -- it's not even just immigration policy, ICE also handles drug traffickers and gun traffickers and human traffickers, and this is important.
And to say that we want to go and abolish ICE is so far out side of the mainstream, this is why Democrats are losing.
MILLER: And there's another point here, it's not even just the abolish ICE. It's also the fact that these radicalized Democrats are now essentially verbally assaulting people who work for ICE and people who work for the government enforcing our immigration policy. So, it wasn't enough when they were going after Sarah Sanders and Steven Miller.
CUOMO: Jason --
MILLER: Now, they want to go after these career government employees.
CUOMO: You're not going to get a lot of credit on this show for the Democrats starting the name game, all right? Because tone starts at the top. And this is the most indecent, the most hostile, the most ugly language I've ever heard from somebody in the position of leadership comes from this president. So, he's going to take some --
MILLER: That's not saying that my point isn't correct.
CUOMO: He's got to take some ownership for that.
But, Angela, back to you on this. Your party -- the Democratic Party created an opportunity for the GOP to make the case that Jason is making right now. Nuance doesn't sell well in politics and when they hear abolish ICE, the conversation is kind of over for a half of the aisle. How do you get past that?
RYE: Here's my point. I think that nuance has to sell. If you cannot discuss and negotiate policy language, you don't get a bill passed on Capitol Hill that is the problem.
We are so polarized in this country that we can't have an honest discussion. I'm not talking about whether or not we should abolish ICE and the mission. I'm saying that the mission is going to change. The problem is who runs these agencies, who's responsible for it. The problem is the commander in chief.
So, again, we go back to this idea of fiscal conservatism. If that is indeed what you all are about, about saving money, why are you -- the executive memo that he issued, actually argues for constructing new facilities, that is basically creating a new private prison. He's basically trying to enrich his friends.
I think the winning argument is one that is rooted in truth, and that is, why would we not hit them right where it hurts? Why are you standing up new facilities to catch and release and put into new facilities here instead of sending people back to where we came from?
Let's have that nuance. I'm not interested in zero sum game in politics. That is exactly the problem, Jason, you're not going to let me finish, but I stopped while you were talking.
CUOMO: That's all right. We're out of time anyway.
MILLER: Nobody had a nuanced ICE poster in any of these marchers last weekend. They want to abolish ICE.
RYE: That's not my issue, they didn't work for the Committee on Homeland Security like I did, Jason.
RYE: So I'm giving you the background which is important. I know you all can't handle it, but it's not real --
MILLER: Sixty-three percent of people --
RYE: I don't know where you're getting those numbers from though, they're not real.
MILLER: From the Harvard Harris poll --
CUOMO: Guys, I have to leave it there many.
RYE: Mark Penn, I take what he said at a dime a dozen.
CUOMO: We know this, people are reacting with their heart to what happened on the border.
RYE: Absolutely. CUOMO: The battle for the head, in terms of how to fix it, that's the
open question. You guys were both helpful on that and I appreciate it. Angela Rye, Jason Miller, thanks to both of you.
All right. One of the most experienced Americans when it comes to North Korea is former Governor Bill Richardson and he's here tonight. And the question is an obvious one: Are we being played here in the United States by North Korea? Did that desire for a win by the president wind up kind of jading our government's view of what's happening with the Kim Jong-un regime?
Richardson knows the answer. He's going to give it to you right after the break.
CUOMO: All right. President Trump returned from his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. You remembered what he said. He said, don't worry, threats over, all because of me.
Now, we're learning a military intelligence agency believes Kim Jong- un has no intention of fully getting rid of nukes. So, what's the reality? What is our hope for better in all of this?
Let's get after it with former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Governor Bill Richardson.
Gov, good to see you.
BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Thank you. Thank you, Chris.
CUOMO: So, I hear two things, help me discern what is actually true. The first one is, that what we hear from Bolton and Pompeo and others who are doing the hard work of the diplomacy here, we hope, which is we know who they are. We know what they're about. We know this isn't going to be easy.
The other side we hear is the Trump hyperbole, which is it's all done, I took care of it, we're great. What is the reality in your eyes?
RICHARDSON: Well, the reality in my view is that I'm increasingly worried. There's no question the summit, I agreed with the president, he should meet Kim Jong-un, it was a risk. A risk well-taken, but at the same time, I was concerned that we made the first move.
The North Koreans always want you to make the first move. And that was to stop some of the military exercises with the South.
Now, three weeks after the summit, North Korea hasn't done anything. In fact, you can see an increase in production and their nuclear fuel. They haven't disclosed how many nuclear weapons, missiles, biological weapons. They have 20 to 60. They've made no moves whatsoever.
In fact, they've also said they were going to return the remains of some of our servicemen. CUOMO: Yes.
RICHARDSON: Two hundred. That hasn't happened yet. So, I'm getting a little worried that, you know, this is typical North Korean, Chris. I've negotiated with them. They bob and weave, they delay. They say, oh, I didn't mean that.
CUOMO: But they were supposedly so worried about the sanctions and about Trump and the strong talk that they came to the table. How do you see it?
RICHARDSON: Well, I do think that they came to the table because of the sanctions. China was very active in pushing these sanctions. But now, it seems that with all these summits between the Chinese and the North Koreans, the Chinese are lessening the sanctions, they're giving a little space to the North Koreans, and I think it doesn't help that we're in a trade war, a tariff war with the Chinese. I mean, you want the Chinese on our side. So I don't understand the logic sometimes of the president's moves.
Look, there is less tension on the peninsula. At least we're talking diplomacy. There are no missile tests. There are no nuclear tests.
But the reality is, an agreement was signed by the United States and North Korea, full denuclearization, and the North Koreans have not made a move.
Now, the good news is that the secretary of state is heading to North Korea. The two trips that the secretary of state has taken before, have produced some results. One was, not to cancel the summit, the second was to prepare for the summit.
Now, this time he's got to get, one, a full accounting of all the nuclear missile materials that North Koreans have, and then a schedule for denuclearization. But I think national security adviser Bolton is going a little too far saying that the North Koreans are going to do it in one year. That's not going to happen.
CUOMO: What do you think the chance --
RICHARDSON: -- Bolton is --
CUOMO: What do you think the chance of success here is, as the success I think has to be defined as they don't have nuclear capabilities any more? I think you have to use the Iran agreement model. What's the chance?
RICHARDSON: Well, there is no chance of that. But there is a chance of a positive outcome, if you move towards a North Korea freezing their production, finding ways to halt any nuclear and any biological activity, stopping them from aiming their conventional weapons at South Korea, the missiles not coming to Guam and continental United States. So, you know, it does make sense to keep pushing. But full denuclearization -- I mean, that's the way that North Korea
is going to survive. They're going to survive with some nuclear weapons. Otherwise, they have no leverage. But at the same time, I do think it makes sense to continue pushing very hard.
But, you know, I know these guys, they're moving. They're bobbing and weaving. They're delaying. They're saying, well, no, no, no, we didn't mean that, and then they made us do the first move.
I think that was a mistake, to stop some of those military exercises with South Korea.
CUOMO: Well --
RICHARDSON: But we'll see. Pompeo, I'm going to give them credit for fixing things before. Hopefully, he can do it now.
CUOMO: Well, we'll see, because the administration said, well, we'll just put the exercises right back, we can undo it, we can do it, with the whim. So, we'll see if that's what happens, and where that leads.
But, Bill Richardson, appreciate the perspective. Thank you.
RICHARDSON: Thank you.
CUOMO: All right. This next story, I don't know if you've heard about this, you're going to now, but you're going to be grateful you did. What a story of survival. A dozen kids and their coach found alive after being trapped in a cave for nine, really 10 days.
But they've been found. You see them, but they can't get them out. What is the deal? Next.
CUOMO: Twelve boys and their soccer coach all found alive in a cave in Thailand after being gone for almost 10 days. Dramatic video shows the moment rescuers located the team after hiking. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RESCUER: How many of you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Brilliant, indeed. Now, rescue workers are trying to get a four month food supply for the kids. Four months, why? Because they're not sure how to get them out. And they want to teach the group how to dive so they can make it out of the cave.
Let's bring in someone who knows everything about survival skills, former CIA operative Robert Baer.
Bob, it's good to have you for this.
ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Thanks.
CUOMO: Now, I want to be happy because we thought they were gone and they are not, they're alive. But four month food supply? Learning how to dive? What is the predicament that although we can see the kids, we can't get them?
BAER: Well, they can't put diving suits on them and take them out this way because the chances they'd panic. There probably be some casualties. You couldn't assure it.
There's probably a problem getting a decompression chamber into that cave. That water is very treacherous. And, by the way, those divers that went in, it's amazing how dangerous that is, and the fact that they found them, they were 400 feet away where they were supposed to be.
So, they are going -- they have to teach them to dive, that could take four months, and the food and medicine and hyperthermia. You know, there's a possibility, could you pump out the water from the cave, apparently not.
CUOMO: So, they really are not out of the woods here. When you say "teach them to dive," what happened? They were in this cave. It's monsoon season, and there was like a collapse and a flood.
So, what do they have to do to get out? How far do they swim and in what kind of conditions?
BAER: Well, it's a question of teaching them how to dive, how to go down and come up, which I don't dive myself. But, you know, it takes weeks and weeks to be a proficient diver and especially in water where you can't see. They're going to have to go deep.
I don't think it's going to take four months, but if they are planning for that, that's a pretty serious situation.
CUOMO: What happens if that's plan A and it does not work?
BAER: You know, I think -- Chris, it's going to work. I think we should be optimistic. It's like bringing people out of a sunken submarine. The
U.S. Navy has done this for years. They are good at it. They're going to be bringing in experts.
Like I said, decompression chambers, dive suits issue and the rest of it. They're going to have to get to know their way into the cave before they are prepared to do it. But I think at the end of the day, this is going to be a happy story. CUOMO: Oh, God willing. But I have to tell you something, what a
harrowing thing. You're right, it's going to be the most important thing is going to be able to get these kids, you know, young kids, and their coach to figure out how to stay calm, get prepared, and really take on the challenge of their lives. They are the kids before they went in.
You know, one of the rangers there saw their bikes still chained up after the rain started to come and realized these kids were missing. So, they found them. That's the good news. But how to get them out is going to be a continuing adventure.
Brother Baer, thank you for the perspective. Appreciate it.
BAER: Thanks. Thanks, Chris.
CUOMO: All right. Now, coming up, a story not getting a lot of attention, but it needs to get it. It was a racist, anti-Semitic, bigoted cartoon posted on the Twitter account of a former Republican presidential candidate. Let that sink in for a second.
So, why don't we just ignore it? Because what you ignore, you empower. We have a closing argument, next.
CUOMO: All right, closing argument. What we ignore, we empower. That's the context for this.
Did you see what former congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul sent out? This. Take a look at this. I want you to see it.
It's ugly. It's bigoted B.S. It was deleted and blamed on a staffer. No word on any consequence for that staffer yet, but the message remained and it deserves attention.
This is not who we are at our best. Effigies of Jews and blacks, and Asians, and Hispanics, the irony of calling out Russia as a poisonous, pernicious influence, but for spreading diversity as this ugly concept, not for election meddling, something that's so many on the right still hide from.
All right. But forget the political hypocrisy. That's really the least of the transgression here. The case is this: demonizing who is different is a cancer, and look who sent it. Republican Ron Paul from Texas, he matters somewhat. His son is Rand Paul, the Kentucky senator, nothing from him about this, by the way.
And we need to expose it because the ugliness is contagious. The B.S. from Paul resonates. It encourages more us versus them ugliness. Like what? Well, here's the proof.
Calling the cops on 12-year-old Reggie from mowing somebody else's lawn by mistake while working for a neighbor. Like this lady calling the cops on 8-year-old Jordan for selling water in front of her own house. Are you kidding me? Are we this estranged? This disconnected? This
anti that we're going after kids that we can't just go out and talk to, one, somebody who is your neighbor?
Of course, this is true. This is where we are. How do we know? Look at the border.
Now, I know some people will say, don't show it. It's ugly. Don't encourage this kind of thing. Don't give it the attention. If I do that, then I'm spreading it.
No. I believe what you ignore, you empower. Hate lives in shadows. It withers in the sunlight of truth and decency. That's why we shine the light.
That's all for us tonight. Thank you for watching. We're going to get after it again tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN. Have a great night.