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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
President Trump Slams NATO Allies in Brussels; Top W.H. Official's Wife: Women in the Military Should Expect Sexual Harassment; Few Answers on When Children Will Be Reunited With Families; Trump Spiritual Adviser: Jesus Never Broke Immigration Law. Aired on 8-9p ET
Aired July 11, 2018 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:11] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: It's like the world gone crazy this morning. Trump's performance was beyond belief.
Good evening, everyone.
That quote is from a senior European diplomat talking to CNN about the NATO summit in Brussels and what the president said there today.
Now, this diplomat we should point out is not alone. The Western allies have been talking about it. The Russians have been be talking about it. The world is, and tonight, so will we.
Yet as shocking as it may be to our allies, as troubling as it is to some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, it should not be surprising whether voters at the time gave it much credence. What happened today in Brussels is what Donald Trump campaigned on. He said he was going to do this.
It's the distilled essence of what he has believed, in fact, for years. The problem is the beliefs he campaigned on and tweeted about and stirred up crowds with on the stump, they do not happen to be based in fact, and the concern is he either does not know or does not care to know, or worse, that he does know better but chooses instead to disregard the facts to make some larger point.
Now, just to be clear, you can believe a 70-year-old military alliance against Soviet and now Russian expansion is a good idea or not. You can agree or disagree with the central premise of it, that an attack on one NATO country is an attack on all. You can take issue with any number of aspects with NATO, and later in the program, we'll talk to someone who does just that.
However, the president's main grievance, which he expressed today at a summit breakfast simply is not factual.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Many countries are not paying what they should. And frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back where they're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The president's suggestion is that NATO is a dues paying organization that members chip in to some pot for collective defense, that they don't pay their fair share, they haven't been for years, and they owe the U.S. money.
Now, keeping them honest, as you'll see, that is simply not the case. It's not the way it works. It's not even close. It is, however, the way President Trump believes it works, and he said so for years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Number one, NATO is obsolete.
And number two, the people aren't paying their way.
It's obsolete and we pay too much money.
NATO, we're going to have the people that aren't paying, they're going to start paying.
They were getting ripped in NATO. They don't pay their bills.
They are delinquent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, as you see, he campaigned on the notion. He was elected on it. He tweeted about it through the presidency, including on the flight over saying many countries in NATO, which we are expected to defend, are not only short of their current commitment of 2 percent which is low, but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made. Will they reimburse the U.S.?
Now, keeping them honest, there is nothing to reimburse beyond a token amount to keep the lights on in Brussels, each member nation play pays nothing for collective defense, zero -- zero. Members have their own defense budgets and have agreed to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense by the year 2024.
Now, as you can see from estimated 2018 numbers, some have already hit the target. Some have not. And yes, the United States does spend far more than any other NATO country, and yes, past American presidents, including the most recent one, have criticized NATO numbers for not spending enough on defense. Past presidents have referred to burden sharing, even used words like contributing.
They have not, however, said or suggested that other NATO countries owe the United States money, let alone back payments, which again these countries do not. And other presidents have openly recognized that NATO member nations contribute to the forward bases that allow the U.S. to be a global military superpower, also, that many sent soldiers who died for us in Afghanistan after 9/11 because the NATO treaty, Article 5 calls for just that.
In any case, the president believes they're freeloading, and today, he demanded member nations not only meet the 2 percent goal immediately, he told them to double the target to 4 percent of GDP, an amount even the U.S. doesn't spend. He also singled out Germany for additional criticism. .
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: But Germany, as far as I'm concerned is captive to Russia because it's getting so much of its energy from Russia. We have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars that's being paid to the country that we're supposed to be protecting you against.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The president expanded on that in a tweet, explicitly connecting or conflating the idea of defending Europe with getting paid.
Quote, what good is NATO, he writes, if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy? Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment? The U.S. is paying for Europe's protection and then loses billions on trade. Must pay 2 percent of GDP immediately, not by 2025.
Again, this may be shocking to some, or even to many. It's not, however, a surprise. The president campaigned on much of this.
But now that he is acting on it, even some leading Republicans are speaking up, albeit in fairly gentle way. Yesterday, 97 Senate Republicans, Democrats and independents passed a nonbinding resolution in support of NATO which for seven decades hasn't been especially controversial.
[20:05:08] Today, the outgoing chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee weighed in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BOB CORKER (R-TN), CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: I believe that America's leadership around the world has made the world safer for Americans, and made the world a better place. And when I see that leadership diminishing and us trying to break apart alliances that we created, it troubles me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It troubles him. Unclear, though, if it also troubles President Trump. That, however, is unclear.
The president's next stop is the U.K. tomorrow morning. British Prime Minister Theresa May tonight saying and I'm quoting here: There is no stronger alliance than that of our special relationship with the U.S.
And just a short time ago the president tweeted again, summarizing the day: Billions of additional dollars are being spent by countries since my visit last year at my request. But it isn't nearly enough. U.S. spent too much. Europe's borders are bad. Pipeline dollars to Russia are not acceptable.
More now on the president's trip and his day today from CNN's Jim Acosta who joins us now from Brussels.
So, this refrain from the president about NATO, it isn't new, as we talked about. He's been saying it for years. Should anyone, especially NATO members, be surprised?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, I think they are surprised to some extent, and they've been concerned about this for some time. This has been the fear, that the president would come to NATO and bash long-standing U.S. allies right before a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. So, that is a surprise that he would come out this hard, this heavy at this summit right before meeting with Vladimir Putin, Anderson.
The other thing that was a surprise to some of the members of NATO here in Brussels was this call from the president to boost defense spending among the NATO partners to 4 percent of GDP. They said -- they have been saying, and you mentioned it just a few moments ago that they wanted to get to 2 percent of each member's GDP by 2024. Four percent is obviously a pretty big load for some of these countries. It's been a burden that has been shouldered by the U.S. for some time.
But, Anderson, beyond that, what is a concern to diplomats in the European community, and I talked to some of them. Some of our colleagues have been talking to them is that the president seems to have a pattern. And that is he goes to summits, he goes to events around the world, and he bashes his allies in Europe and around the world and seems to be cozying up to dictators and undemocratic leaders like Vladimir Putin. That is a big concern to European leaders and other NATO members here, and that is surprising.
COOPER: Also, his comments about Germany basically being under the thumb of Russia fascinating. It's so -- for a president who has been accused of being under the thumb of Russia, for him to lob that specific criticism at Germany is, you know, it's either brilliant or fascinating or disturbing, I guess, depending on how you look at it.
ACOSTA: Absolutely. It sounds like the president is engaging in what-aboutism instead of responding to criticism that he is too cozy with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is saying, well, what about Germany being dependent on Russian gas and fuel?
The fact is, Anderson, and you know this, a lot -- most people know this who have followed this, the Germans have been buying Russian fuel dating back to the early 2000s, predating Vladimir Putin's aggressive stance on the world stage. And so the president is bringing this up in sort of a misleading way.
What we do know is that while the president brought this accusation up in front of the NATO secretary general earlier today, saying that Germany was somehow being held captive by Russia, he did not say this publicly in front of the cameras when he was sitting alongside Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. He didn't say it alongside the French President Emmanuel Macron. This topic was brought up with both of those leaders when the president was sitting down with both of those leaders, and he declined to really engage with those leaders on that particular issue.
So, the president seems to want to throw his weight around on the world stage and engage in some pretty fiery rhetoric, but when he had a chance to do it in front of the two world leaders, he didn't choose to do so.
So, Anderson, I think the question that a lot of European leaders, a lot of U.S. allies are leaving the summit with is how serious the president is about the bluster, but it does make them concerned about the mind-set he is taking in to that meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin because there are so many very big and important issues on the line when he meets with Vladimir Putin coming up in Finland on Monday -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, it's fascinating to see a world leader be tough everywhere except when they're face-to-face with the actual person that they are being critical of. It's an interesting strategy.
Jim Acosta, I appreciate it. Thanks very much.
Obviously, the president goes to London -- will be in London tomorrow.
Joining now is author and retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters.
Lieutenant Colonel Peters, first of all, the president's claims about payments to NATO, what do you think it is?
[20:10:02] A willful mischaracterization, a gross misunderstanding of how it actually works? What is it?
LT. COL. RALPH PETERS (RET.), U.S. ARMY: I think in the beginning it was a misunderstanding that he jumped on, but now, it's a technique to throw red meat to his base. Trump thrives on disruption.
And the irony, Anderson, is although we pay over 3 percent of our GDP, about 3.2, to 3.3 percent to defense, if you broke it out given our commitments around the world, far less than 2 percent goes to NATO, is in support of NATO. We're in the Pacific. We're in the war against terror. We're in space.
So, on so many levels, the claim is false. But beyond the sound and fury, what matters is that NATO is a bargain for the United States. It's cheaper than war.
And it is the most successful peacetime alliance in history. It has made allies of European states that fought each other for centuries, right up to 1945. It's helped us. It gives us bases.
And so, Trump's attacks on NATO, I think partly he doesn't want to backtrack and admit he was wrong, but also, with Trump, virtually every trail for me leads to the Kremlin.
COOPER: And you're saying this leads to the Kremlin in what way?
PETERS: In the sense that Trump is, for whatever reason, and I have my own suspicions, certainly, Trump is both enamored and fearful of Vladimir Putin. If you look at his pattern, he is afraid to say anything critical of Vladimir Putin. It's another issue, but to me, I just think the Russians have the goods on this guy, and that's the only explanation I can come up with.
But in the meantime, we are faced with real damage, real immediate and perhaps some irreparable damage to this greatest of alliances, NATO. And it was fascinating to me today to watch Jens Stoltenberg, Angela Merkel and Macron dealing with Trump. It was like watching psychiatrists patiently deal with a disturbed child. Trump -- my god, he is not only shaming our nation, he is doing real damage to our security, to our interests and to our allies. And Vladimir Putin could not be happier.
COOPER: You know, one of the things that's often said about president Trump is that he attacks people on the very things that he's been attacked on or been criticized for, talking about Russia -- talking about Germany being captive to Russia. The irony of that is kind of extraordinary.
PETERS: Well, I'm glad you raised, that because one thing Trump is indisputably brilliant at is propaganda. He knows how to control the media. We're talking about him right now. We talk about him virtually every day on the air.
And his genius is using traditional propagandistic deck techniques where when you're backed into a corner over an issue, you lash out and accuse your enemy or foe of the same issues the way when he is backed into the corner in Russia, he accuses Hillary Clinton of making an uranium deal which was really peripheral.
Now, he is backed into the corner over this upcoming summit with Putin. And what does he do? He lashes out at Germany. Oh, the Germans, they're worse than us. They're controlled by Russia.
Well, first of all, he has a strategic concern that Angela Merkel inherited from Gerhard Schroeder, the previous chancellor, who was in fact Germany's Donald Trump and she is doing the best to deal with it. But Angela Merkel has been the greatest chancellor Germany has had since Konrad Adenauer in the early post-war years.
She is the last man standing in Europe. She has held the alliance together against Putin. She has held the sanctions together.
And, nationally, I mean, Trump dislikes her because she is a plain middle aged woman who talks back to her. And Putin hates her because she is plain middle aged woman who talks back to him and imposes sanctions on him. And she is an admiral leader.
God knows I wish we had a leader like that ourselves. For all the mistakes she's made, she has been a brilliant chancellor, and we have a fool for president, a malevolent fool.
COOPER: Colonel Peterson, appreciate your time.
As we mentioned at the top of the program, candidate Trump said he was going to do what he said today, calling NATO obsolete, even two views on that coming up, including Christiane Amanpour who is going to join us.
Also, another adviser to the president is making biblical comparisons when talking about the administration's policy of separating kids from parents at the border. Those comparisons are not going over so well. Details on that, ahead.
[20:19:03] COOPER: On his way to dinner in Brussels tonight, President Trump was asked how the summit was going. Very good is his response, very good, beautiful. Really well.
I'm not sure whether his dining companions agree with that. Breakfast after all was pretty rough. As we mentioned at the top of the broadcast, the president has been saying much of this for months and frankly, for years. Now, beyond that, there's his refrain that NATO is obsolete, which is a questioning of itself. As is the tone the president is setting, attacking allies openly while largely making news with Vladimir Putin, not saying anything negative about him.
Something to talk abut with CNN chief international anchor, Christiane Amanpour. Also with us is Michael Desch, director of Notre Dame's International Security Center.
Christiane, the president did promise during the campaign to take on NATO. He is now doing exactly that. I wonder what you make of what you've seen in Brussels so far.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, Anderson, I've been up since the crack of dawn, digesting all the happenings that have been going on there since the early morning breakfast until right now. And a lot of dust and debris has settled.
[20:20:00] But the bottom line is that yes, President Trump said this transactional sort of characterization of NATO, the fact that it was obsolete during the campaign. But, you know, a lot of people around the world hope that what's said on the campaign trail translates into more pragmatism in governance, particularly about something like NATO, which the United States created, underpinned with Harry Truman, that famous picture of him holding up the declaration, you know, back in 1949.
And in the absence of any other plan, as you just heard from Colonel Peters, this is an incredible insurance policy, not just for the United States' security, but for the rest of the world that the U.S. underpins and its allies.
So, look, I talked to the U.S. ambassador to NATO, I spoke to the German defense minister, I spoke to the former U.S. ambassador to NATO who served two presidents and bipartisan presidents. They all believe, and as you see in the Senate to the United States, all believe that NATO is in the United States' vital interests.
And this constant rhetoric while, yes, it may be what President Trump said during the campaign, is having a sort of cumulative grinding effect to the point that the leaders today said they're very concerned. They called Mr. Trump consistent in his attempt to sort of denigrate and degrade this alliance. And they're very concerned about that and what it means going into the next summit with Vladimir Putin.
COOPER: Professor Desch, I know you agree with the substance of what President Trump is trying to do. I'm wondering what you think of his approach in Brussels today?
MICHAEL DESCH, DIRECTOR, NOTRE DAME INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CENTER: Well, I mean, his approach has been ham-handed, as it has been with a lot of the diplomatic issues that he's taken on.
But I think there are two important things that we need to sort of clarify. The fact that NATO was a very successful alliance from 1949 to 1989 is both indisputable, but maybe also somewhat irrelevant because the world has changed a lot with the end of the Cold War, and there is a lot of discussion about NATO that sort of lights over the fact that there was some pretty big changes with the end of the Cold War, but the only changes with NATO is that it's actually gotten bigger.
Secondly, I think the burden sharing issue is an important one. Again, it's not a new issue. We've been complaining about the burden- sharing problems since the 1960s. But the big issue is that despite continually going back to the Europeans on this issue, it remains a problem.
And, you know, it seems to me if I were the president, I wouldn't focus on the equity issue. I would simply say if you guys can't meet the targets that we've agreed all along your defense spending should hit, maybe you really don't believe that the security situation you face is as perilous as you say.
COOPER: Christiane --
DESCH: So, I think there is the old saying -- there is the old saying about the broken clock being right twice a day. And I think on the defense spending issue, the president is right, although perhaps for the wrong reasons.
COOPER: Christiane, what than point, that if wealthy European countries really were so concerned about a threat from Russia, that they would up their defense spending?
AMANPOUR: Well, I mean, on that very issue, that is why they are upping their defense spending since 2014. And Professor Desch is correct that successive U.S. presidents have called for more equitable sharing of the burden. Obviously, the budgets are set according to the size of each nation's economy. The United States is the biggest economy in the world, hence, it
underpins most of the budget, like it does most of the U.N. budget and other such things.
But leave that as it may be, since 2014, when Russia under Vladimir Putin changed the rules of the game by invading another country, that is when the United States and its NATO allies got together and said actually, now, let's get serious, let's all up our budgets. Those who are not at the 2 percent, up the budget and get serious, which is what they have been doing.
A hundred percent of NATO countries since 2014 have been moving their budgets towards the 2 percent target. It's not all perfect yet, but they have an agreed goal to do that by 2024, not tomorrow morning as President Trump suggested today, and not by 4 percent as he suddenly threw out today, much to everybody's surprise and chagrin.
So, you know, there is a lot of goalpost shifting. But, Anderson, very crucially to the point, NATO is not obsolete. NATO is fighting terrorism.
NATO is doing that in Afghanistan right now where Germans are the biggest contributors after the United States, and it is actually incredibly relevant, and it is only ever come to the defense once of a member country, and that was of the United States after 9/11.
[20:25:06] What more can we say?
COOPER: Professor Desch, what about that?
DESCH: Well, let's talk a little bit about the goal shifting. You know, I'm sure Christiane did not mean to imply that history began in 2014, but a lot of the discussion --
AMANPOUR: No, but I say it, professor.
DESCH: No. But it's interesting that that's where you began the discussion of the current contretemps with Putin and NATO.
AMANPOUR: It's not, professor. You're wrong. It's not where I started.
I said for decades the U.S. presidents have said there needs to be a fairer burden sharing. But I said that in 2014, after the ends of the Cold War when Europe felt that the world was getting safer, that maybe they didn't need to spend so much on European defense.
And by the way, the United States has never wanted the E.U. to have its own separate military. Let's call a spade a spade. The world was changing after 1989. The collapse of the Soviet Union. It changed back again, thanks to the president of Russia, who the president of the United States seems to think is his ally.
DESCH: And that's the point. No, no, no.
(CROSSTALK) COOPER: Professor, finish your thought.
DESCH: Yes, if I might, you know, the cold war ended 1989-1990. For 10 years, the Russian Democrats did everything they could to convey the message to the West that if we were interested in the future of democracy in Russia, the last thing we should do is expand NATO. First wave of NATO expansion comes in 1999. Guess when Vladimir Putin first comes on to the political scene in Moscow.
Let's talk about 2008 and the Bucharest summit in which NATO membership is raised for Georgia and the Ukraine. The Georgian war comes soon after that. And in 2014, the big issue on the agenda with the Ukraine was whether it was going to move closer to Europe and the E.U.
COOPER: By the way, Professor Desch, right now, do you believe NATO plays an important role in the protection of Western Europe? Because certainly, Latvia, Estonia, front line states certainly believe it does. Do you believe it does?
DESCH: Well, I understand why they believe it does. I'm not sure that all Europeans --
COOPER: I'm asking do you believe it does.
DESCH: Do I believe that it does? I believe that the Europeans are fully capable of defending themselves with or without the United States. And I think that in some respects, NATO has been an irritant and made the situation with Russia worse.
It takes two to tangle in, you know, international relations and my point is not to defend the president or President Putin, but simply say that history didn't start with in 2014 with the Russian invasion of Crimea.
COOPER: I got it. Professor Desch, I appreciate it. Christiane Amanpour, as well.
We want to turn to another aspect of diplomacy that can't be overlooked, certainly is not this time. It's a contact sport conducted face-to-face, eye to eye. Chemistry matters. Facial expressions matter.
The president himself says so and spoke at length about it after his encounter with Kim Jong-un. With that in mind, the question is, how did it play out today?
CNN's Tom Foreman shows us.
TRUMP: Germany is totally controlled by Russia.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president's scathing critique of Germany made diplomats cringe, but no more so than his own team. Watch U.S. ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, look away from her NATO counterparts squirming. You can see chief of staff John Kelly look away from the president and pucker his mouth.
And the president renewed the attack using the word captive.
TRUMP: -- captive to Russia --
FOREMAN: Some turned their heads, some fidgeted. And like that scene in "The Devil Wears Prada".
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is the pursing of the lips.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which means?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Catastrophe.
FOREMAN: Catastrophe may be too much. After all, President Trump has famously given his European counterparts an eyeful of body language before. And when the press secretary was asked about the chief of staff's reaction, she told "The Washington Post", Kelly was displeased because he was expecting a full breakfast and there was only pastries and cheese.
Still, body language can be louder than words at these international gatherings. When Trump shoved the prime minister of Montenegro aside at a photo op, critics and comics erupted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who does that?
FOREMAN: But his fans --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love it. We're America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're rude?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. We weren't rude. We're dominant.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After eight years, he made America great again on the world stage.
FOREMAN: Clearly, tough body language works for some, but not all, especially considering the times the president has grabbed for the first lady's hand, only to have her push his away.
So, when the president says he is great at reading people, experts and body language say --
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- for the first lady's hand, only to have her push his away. So when the President says he is great at reading people, experts and body language say --
DR. JACK BROWN, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: He's not as skilled as he claims to be with that, with assessing someone else's body language. He is more like a bull in a China shop.
FOREMAN: Of course, it's more of an art than a science, figuring out what people mean by the way they hold their bodies. But certainly the body language of team Trump raised some eyebrows here in D.C. today, Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tom, I just want to go back to something there. What did you say was Sarah Sander's statement about Chief of Staff Kelly's reaction that it was about not getting a full breakfast?
FOREMAN: Yes, I have to think it's a real statement given to "The Washington Post." I have to think she was joking, because that doesn't seem to be the issue. Actually, it looks much more like he has had more than he can stomach, not that he's not getting enough breakfast, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Tom, thanks very much.
The wife of one of President Trump's newest aides hosted a radio talk show back in 2008-2009. Darla Shine, who's married to ex-Fox president Bill Shine, the new White House Deputy Chief of Staff of Communication, that's a very interesting things to say about sexual harassment in the military. Of course, the whole issue of sexual harassment is related to Shine after he left Fox News in the wake of sexual harassment scandal regarding Roger Ailes. We'll have the details ahead in a CNN exclusive.
COOPER: Tonight, a CNN Exclusive news about comments made by the wife of Bill Shine, a former Fox News Executive and now one of President Trump's top aides. Back in 2008-2009, Shine hosted a radio talk show where she proudly acknowledged she was sexist for one, saying she was against the idea of women in combat. This is obviously a sensitive topic because as you know, Bill Shine left his job as President of Fox News last year in part due to his handling of sexual harassment allegations against the head of Fox News Roger Ailes.
[20:35:18] CNN's Kate Riley uncovered this audio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DARLA SHINE, BILL SHINE'S WIFE & RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Why on earth would you fight to go on a submarine ship for months on end? You know, there was just a story with these girls -- these women who were upset that they were sexually harassed in the military. What do you think is going to happen when you go on a submarine for 12 months with 4,000 horny soldiers?
I mean, I hate to say it, but it's true. They should not even be allowed. The top military should say no way. You're not allowed. But, you know, the feminists have fought for these rights. It's so stupid. I don't know why anybody would want that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Kirsten Powers joining us who worked with Bill Shine when he was a political analyst at Fox, and former RNC chief of staff Mike Shields, also joins us as well.
So Kirsten, you hear Darla Shine's point that women serving with men in the military should expect to be sexually harassed. I'm wondering what you say about that?
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, obviously I disagree with that. I think she misunderstands sexual harassment to be about a man desiring another woman, and that's not really what it's about. It's about humiliating and dominating the woman and making advances against her that she doesn't want to receive.
I do think that what she says is unfortunately what a lot of people think. It's not something that I would consider be wildly outside the mainstream of views that people have. I wish that people would get a little more informed about it and understand that there are women who have been able to serve in the military alongside men, and there have been no problems. And there also have been problems, but those problems are not because the men are not inherently predisposed to do that. It's more about our culture, and we need to change that.
COOPER: Mike, I mean the White House didn't respond to CNN's request about whether Bill Shine endorses his wife's views. Should he as a top aide of this administration be asked, or, you know, asked about comments that his wife made, especially for something like this in your opinion, given the allegations at Fox News, his role in it, and his leaving Fox News because of that?
MIKE SHIELDS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I don't think he should. And I think it's -- I think this is a very slippery slope and it's something that we have to be very, very careful about. I have a very successful, intelligent wife who has a career of her own. And sometimes people will call me and ask me what she thinks about things, and that's offensive to me and that's offensive to her. My answer always is why don't you call her and ask her herself. It has no relevancy what I think about what she does and what she thinks is any relevancy on my job.
And so she was not hired by the White House. First of all, let me just say that I don't agree with what she said on that show, obviously. I think that the women in our military are wonderful and we have a great candidate in Arizona who is a first female fighter pilot who is amazing, Martha McSally.
So I actually don't think most of the country agrees with it. I think polling shows that we like the fact that our military has great women serving in it. But outside of that, no, I don't think -- I think it's one thing to disagree what she is saying. I think it's another thing to try and hold her husband accountable for her beliefs. I don't think it's appropriate. In fact, I think it's quite offensive for some people to say, well, what your wife thinks is somehow pertains to you. I mean, Mary Matalin and James Carville have a whole political career where they completely disagree with each other and actually work against each other, and that's OK. Your wife is allowed to have different opinions than you.
COOPER: Kirsten, I mean -- this probably would not be a story at all where it not for what happened to Bill Shine, what happened at Fox News.
COOPER: And the fact that he has now been hired for one of the top jobs in the White House?
POWERS: Right. Look, I actually agree with Mike on terms of what Darla Shine says is what she says. These are her beliefs. Whether -- you know, I don't think that you should have to answer for what your spouses are saying. I have many disagreements with my fiance. I think most people do have disagreements on different things, and we should be allowed to have our own thoughts and to share them publicly.
The question with Bill Shine is that he was obviously involved in everything that was going on at Fox News. He was Roger Ailes' number two. It's inconceivable that he didn't know what was going on. He has been named in various lawsuits.
That said, I do think we have to have a conversation about what's the way forward in these situations. He lost his job, you know. He resigned, but he really was pushed out. He lost his job over this. And that was the punishment. And so do we now say you are now never allowed to have another job? I actually wouldn't say that. I would say you can have another job, and this is your second chance, and hopefully you're going to do things differently this time.
But I don't know that it means you then can never have another job. When you consider this White House also, this is just not something that Donald Trump is concerned about. He doesn't believe women when they make accusations. He has made that very clear over and over. He defended Roger Ailes. And so there is nothing surprising about Bill Shine being there.
[20:40:10] COOPER: Mike, Kirsten makes an important point about people being allowed to have a life after, you know, paying a price for something they are alleged to have done, or in this case, he is certainly denied any wrongdoing and was never accused directly of any harassment himself. Is it -- was it a mistake for the President to hire him for this position?
SHIELDS: Well, I don't believe so. And, look, this is the White House communications director job. You and I have talked about this. The communications director of the White House is Donald Trump, and we've had a number of different people that have worked on this. But I will say this. I mean, one of the approaches the President has is that he goes towards people from New York, people from the business world, people from show business to come in and help communicate him because he doesn't believe political professionals in Washington, D.C. necessarily know how to do it.
Now part of me is offended by that because I'm a political professional in Washington, D.C., but then I look around and see how things are done here, and I go well, I can completely understand why he reaches that conclusion. And that's what the American people elected. They wanted someone who was going to do things differently and come from his background which wasn't political. Bill Shine is a completely nonpolitical guy. He is more from the world Donald Trump is from. Maybe he will fit better with this President in terms of how he communicates than some of the staffers that have been in this position before.
COOPER: Mike shields, Kirsten Powers, I appreciate it. Thank you very much.
POWERS: Thank you.
COOPER: Days since the government official in charge of the care of those immigrant kids boasted about the work his department was doing. Just ahead we'll take you to the southern border for an update on the pace of those judicially ordered reunifications. Are they actually happening? Find out ahead.
[20:45:30] COOPER: The President's adviser is using biblical scripture to put in context the administration's policy of separating families at the border. Now, we'll tell you about that in a second.
Meantime, information is hard to come by still, but as far as we know tonight, there has been precious little progress on the pace of those judicially ordered reunifications for immigrant children under 5 years old. As of last night, just 38 of the 102 kids identified under a judge's order had been reunified with their parents. Another 27 were determined to be ineligible as of yet.
Ed Lavandera joins us from Brownsville, Texas. So I understand you have seen some families reunited today. What's the latest you've learned?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this facility you see behind me just a short while ago, there was a 40-year-old mother who was reunited with her 17-year-old daughter. This mother was released on bond pending her asylum case on Monday.
And just to kind of give you a sense, Anderson, of how -- what kind of a process is involved here, this mother showed up here at this facility at 10:00 this morning, and it took almost eight hours for all of the paperwork, the verification. We're not exactly sure of exactly everything that went into this based on what they told us, but the mother told us she had been fingerprinted. But she was inside this building for eight hours while she awaited for her daughter to finally be released to her. She came out a short while ago and described the ordeal. She had been separated from her daughter almost 40 days, Anderson, and described the entire process as an injustice. And she left here tonight very worried about the psychological state of her teenaged daughter.
COOPER: What have you learned about the remaining children? I mean, have you been able to get any answers about when they will be reunified with their families?
LAVANDERA: Well, this is really the amazing part of what has gone on today. Remember, last night we were able to report that the U.S. government was saying that 38 of the 102 children under the age of 5 who were under a court ordered mandate to be reunited with their families by yesterday, 24 hours ago, U.S. government officials told us last night that more reunions would take place throughout the night. But we have heard nothing from U.S. government officials today as to how many more families have been reunited. So that number still stands at 38 as far as we know.
Both sides the government and the ACLU, which has been suing the government because of this expected back in court later this week for an update. But staggering that really no clear update today from the federal government as to how many more families have been reunited tonight.
COOPER: Yes, Ed Lavandera, I appreciate the update. Thank you. The Christian Broadcasting Network says a faith adviser to President Trump, Pastor Paula White is her name, went on a recent tour of one of the facilities where the immigrant children were being housed. Afterward she said she liked what she saw and then answered a question about refugees in the bible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since he did witness this firsthand, talk to me about what biblical scriptures come to mind when you saw this.
PAULA WHITE, FAITH ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, everyone -- I think so many people have taken biblical scriptures out of context on this. They say stuff well, Jesus was a refugee. And yes, he did live in Egypt for three and a half years, but it was not illegal. If he had broke the law, then he would have been sinful and he would not have been their messiah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I'm joined now by Father James Martin who has a great deal experience when it comes to scripture, as you might imagine. Father Marden, when you hear Pastor Paula White say that if Jesus had broken the law, he wouldn't be the messiah, I'm wondering what goes through your mind?
REVERENT JAMES MARTIN, S.J. CATHOLIC PRIEST: Well, I wonder what gospel she is reading. You know, Jesus sets aside a lot of traditions. He goes against Jewish laws. He heals on the Sabbath. He encourages his disciples of flock, grain, he touches people who are unclean ritually and pure. And really, Jesus' whole point over and over again is that God's laws supersede man's laws. He said he use the bible really to validate kids being taken away from their parents is really appalling, in my mind.
COOPER: Well, it's interesting because she is saying people are taking biblical scriptures out of context, and in this case she was saying -- by saying that Jesus was a refugee. Is she essentially taking biblical scriptures out of context?
MARTIN: Yes. She mentioned the story of the flight into Egypt where the holy family goes into Egypt. The U.N. definition of a refugee is someone who fears persecution legitimately and flees their homeland. And that's what the holy family did. So he was a refugee.
[20:50:01] And, you know, the whole thrust of the Old and the New Testaments is basically welcoming the stranger. And Jesus says at one point if you welcome the stranger you welcome me. So I don't know how anyone can read the bible and say Jesus is not all about not only being on the side of the marginalized but welcoming the stranger. I mean, he says it over and over again. So I'm sort of mystified what gospel she's reading.
COOPER: But -- I mean, Jeff Sessions as well as Sarah Sanders have talked about biblical scripture talking about the importance of obeying laws, the laws of man.
MARTIN: Yes, that's right. Those though -- as you're saying, Anderson, those are the laws of man. And Jesus over and over again sort of points us to higher laws. And one of the ironies is a lot of these conservative Christians have no trouble saying that there are higher laws when it comes to things like abortion and same-sex marriage, which are both legal, right? But in the case of refugees suddenly the law becomes an idol. So it's also very selective when they decide that laws are going to be the most important thing.
Basically, Jesus is saying God's law supersedes man's laws, and that comes across in almost every bible story.
COOPER: I'm wondering what you make of the Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, who argued yesterday that this administration is not only protecting these kids but they're actually saving these children's lives.
Now, in some cases he was talking about unaccompanied minors who'd been found crossing the border or people who he was saying were under the influence of traffickers or people who they weren't actually related to, who were using these children. But certainly a lot of these kids who have been separated are actually being separated from their parents?
MARTIN: Yes. I mean, I think that's likewise insane to say that separating a child who's already been traumatized from the long trip from his or her parents is somehow protecting them is bizarre. And, you know, you're seeing the pictures that your correspondent in Brownsville and those pictures of the little child at the airport, that anyone would say that isn't somehow -- that is in some way in the best interests of the child is -- I don't understand that at all. So I think it's again this kind of rationalization for political purposes, which I think is really reprehensible.
COOPER: Father Martin, I appreciate your time as always. Thank you.
MARTIN: My pleasure.
COOPER: I want to check in now with Chris to see what he's working on for "Cuomo Prime Time" starting in just a couple minutes. Chris, what have you got?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "COUMO PRIME TIME: Anderson, you and I talk about this all the time, how it always seems that people who believe in a faith or religion, they find what they want to find in it. And we see that playing out right now where people are selectively talking about Christianity in terms of what it would dictate should happen on the border. You don't have to believe in any higher power to know that we need to do better than what was done down there, and we're going to look at how what's happening on the border and continuing to happen is reflective of a trend of harshness across this country.
And we're going to debate who or what is to blame. We're also going to look at what happened with the NATO summit and who's to blame for that is very simple. It's our President, Donald Trump. And why he is doing this to NATO right before the meeting with Putin, the man who needs to fear NATO the most. So we'll take that on.
COOPER: All right. Important topics, Chris. Thanks. That's just in a couple minutes from now. As we know, everyone's been rescued from that underground cave in northern Thailand. Coming up, a new look at some truly amazing video. This is new video we've got in of a precedent-setting operation.
[20:57:35] COOPER: Well, it was a rescue operation for the ages, 12 kids and their coach from a soccer team are safe tonight in Thailand. The story behind the drama is truly amazing. Gary Tuchman tonight has more with new video.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time we're getting a look at what's being described by Navy SEALs in Thailand as the operation the world will never forget. This video just released showing the SEALs preparing to begin their diving mission into the cave system to rescue the 12 soccer players and their coach. Water up to their chests as they prepare to scuba into the murky cave waters. You can see the guide wires that have been set up, the divers holding on to them, starting their voyage in the dark. The new video illustrating the excruciatingly, the narrow tunnels that must be navigated. Tunnels that could become deadly at any time if portions of the waterlogged cave collapsed and boulders or rocks fall down.
Major Charles Hodges, the Mission Commander of the U.S. Air Force Unit involved in the rescue operation, says nothing like this had ever been done.
MAJOR CHARLES HODGES, MISSION COMMANDER, U.S. AIR FORCE UNIT: We understood that there was no other option. Working with the Thai, we've realized that they had gone through the decision matrix the right way and every other option was quickly leading to dead ends. And even though this was extremely risky, with a low probability of success, there were no other options. Especially once we found the kids. We knew that we had to follow through on this.
TUCHMAN: The new video also gives new appreciation to the near total darkness divers operated in, having to navigate the cave while carrying their bulky oxygen tanks. Surrounded by cliffs and at times having to climb steps. The journey taking hours, but the divers get to where the maroon boys and coach were waiting.
Dr. Richard Harris is an Australian diver Australian, who was the only doctor involved in the rescue and was the last diver out.
RICHARD HARRIS, AUSTRALIAN DOCTOR HELPING WITH THE RESCUE EFFORT: You are basically the entire dive from 2.5 km or so at the back of the cave there is a zero visibility on the way out from the mud and clay. So, you're following the line with your hand and basically might as well have your eyes closed for the whole trip.
TUCHMAN: The boys some of whom do not know how to swim had to use scuba equipment but each was strapped to two divers. It's grueling work for the divers securing the boys on the stretchers when they were on dry ground, covering them with silver thermal blankets and carrying them through that zero visibility through the cave system, swimming through the water, walking through the water, at all times being careful not to trip on jagged rocks in the cave which could lead to disaster in the dark waters with the tricky current. But the mission to rescue the boys and their coach is a success.
[21:00:07] HARRIS: The big heroes in this are the children and the four Thai Navy SEALS who were looking after them. They are the toughest blokes and kids I have ever had the privilege to meet.