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Official Says he Warned Against Separating Families; Nationals Beat Mets; Trump Embraces NRA Position; Trump's Claim Regarding Photo IDs; Judge Blocks Blueprint Release. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired August 1, 2018 - 07:30   ET



[07:31:06] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: A top Health and Human Services official testified that for a year he tried to warn the Trump administration about the dangers of family separation at the U.S. border.


JONATHAN D. WHITE, COMMANDER, U.S. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE COMMISSIONED CORPS: During the deliberative process over the previous year, we raised a number of concerns in the ORR (ph) program about any policy which would result in family separation due to concerns we had about the best interest of the child, as well as about whether that would be operationally supporter with the bed capacity we have. There's no question that separation of children from parents entails significant potential for traumatic psychological injury to the child.


CAMEROTA: Commander White said he was told that family separation was not an official policy. But, of course, that's what happened for many months at the border.

So, let's discuss all of this with senior -- CNN's senior political commentator and former Republican Senator Rick Santorum.

Good morning, Rick.


CAMEROTA: So, Rick, listen, this border crisis of children being separated has not gone away. And as of this morning, as you and I speak, the latest numbers are that 510 kids are still separated from their parents and their parents are no longer here in the country. Their parents have been deported. Those kids may never be reunited with their parents. They may never see their parents again.

Are you satisfied with this outcome?

SANTORUM: Well, I mean, I think, number one, we're down to, as you mentioned, 500 kids who are separated from their parents. The vast majority of those are these parents who have been deported. And that -- that sort of lead to the greater question. I mean, you know, we have a difficult situation where parents come here illegally and bring children and we treat them -- under the law we treat them differently, which leads to separation at some point. Even -- even under the previous administration that led to separation at some point. So --

CAMEROTA: But they were reunited. Under the previous administration, those kids were reunited.

SANTORUM: Because we -- because we didn't deport. That's really the issue is whether we're going to deport parents and their children at some point if people coming across the border illegally, we're going to treat children and parents differently. And if we do, that's going to end up with a separation.

So, I mean, this -- this is -- this is sort of the whole -- the whole question is, you know, if you bring a child here in the United States, you can't get deported. And so you're -- there are bigger policy issues here.

And I understand that you don't want to create a system, well, you know, of, quote, deterrence, by separating them, but if you don't have some policy that deals more holistically with this problem, you end up with a system that encourages people to in -- as you see, there are actually 700 and some kids who are -- who are actually still in detentions -- in residential settings --


SANTORUM: But about 200 of them, either the parents have voluntarily given up the -- their parental rights, or the government found that they weren't -- you know, they weren't proper to reunite. So there's just -- there's a lot of issues at play here.

CAMEROTA: Let me stop you. Hold on. Hold on, Rick, I just have to fact check that. I have to fact check that because --

SANTORUM: That's -- I mean that's in -- it's out there. It's not -- it's right there. It was in several articles yesterday.

CAMEROTA: Let me tell you our reporting. Our reporting is that those parents, some of whom, English is obviously not their native language, didn't know the paperwork that they were being rushed to sign. Didn't understand it. It wasn't thoroughly explained to them. Didn't know that this would mean they never saw their children again. Nobody spelled that out to them.

SANTORUM: Well, again, it -- never saw your children again means that the parents would subsequent be deported and their children would be able to stay here. I mean there is a remedy to this --


SANTORUM: Which is to reunite the parents and their children back in the country in which they came from.

CAMEROTA: No, Rick, it's not that easy.

SANTORUM: I mean --

CAMEROTA: It's not that easy. The parents have no money for any legal team or they would have done that. They have no money for a lawyer. They don't know where their kids are. They don't have a phone number to call. The kids don't speak English. They're young. They don't -- I mean, sorry, yes, they don't speak English. They don't know how to contact their parents. It's a mess.

SANTORUM: I don't -- I don't argue that. I mean this entire situation, even before the policy that created this particular problem, was always problematic.

Look, this is -- this is a very difficult situation when people break the law, enter this country with children, and you had even in the previous administrations problems in how you deal with this in a way that maintains the integrity of your border and at the same time treats children in a humane and decent way.

[07:35:19] This is not an easy problem.


SANTORUM: And so you don't -- you don't want to do things that encourage that problem to be even worse.

CAMEROTA: But, Rick, are you saying that -- I mean you know that there's an asylum process, that some of these parents were coming here to apply for asylum.

SANTORUM: It's a whole different deal.

CAMEROTA: It's not.

SANTORUM: It's a whole different deal.


SANTORUM: If someone comes to the border and seeks asylum, that's -- that's a different situation than someone crossing the border illegally, right?

CAMEROTA: No, some of these people were asylum seekers. Nope. Some of them were asylum seekers. And what happened was there was zero tolerance. Zero tolerance at the border. So people who -- even who were coming to seek asylum were separated from their children.

SANTORUM: And that was wrong. I've -- I don't think anybody disagrees with the fact that if you came and legitimately were seeking asylum and you show up at the border and come -- and present yourself at a border crossing to a border and say, you know, we want -- we're seeing asylum, that's a -- that's a different situation than people who, you know, use a coyote to -- remember, most of these people are not from Mexico. Most of these people have -- have actually come -- you know, traversed through the entire length of the -- of the country of Mexico to come to this country.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And what does that tell you?

SANTORUM: What it tells you is that these children have been in danger long before they came to this country. And we talk about the endangering of children by what we're done to them. Look -- think of the endangering of children that their parents put them through and bringing -- bringing them, you know, through rather nefarious means in most cases through the entire country of Mexico.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Rick -- Rick, does -- Rick, does that make you able to sleep better at night to blame the parents?

SANTORUM: Well, what we -- what we don't want is we don't want a situation at our border where we -- we create a -- an incentive for people to say, well, if you -- if you can make that trip, we can get you into the United States and we can keep you here safe.

CAMEROTA: I get it. This is the deterrent. But do you want a situation at the border were we traumatize 510 kids for life?

SANTORUM: No, I'm -- I'm not suggesting that. But there is a policy discussion that we have to take -- that has to take place to make sure that we're not, in fact, encouraging the endangerment of more children. And that's a serious policy discussion that's being glossed over right now.

CAMEROTA: Of course. But once they get to our border, we shouldn't be -- talk about endangering them. Once they get to our border, we're the United States. We separated these kids from their parents. We now are the ones traumatizing these kids.

SANTORUM: I think everyone agrees that that -- that that was not the right policy, but you have to have a policy that doesn't treat parents and children who come over here differently and gives them, in a sense, a free pass into this country. And so that's the -- that's the debate that we have not had.

CAMEROTA: I understand that we need a fix. I get it. But for these 510 kids, it's too late.

SANTORUM: Well, if the answer is, it's too late, and we simply accept everybody that comes to the border, they're along to --

CAMEROTA: For these kids. I'm just talking about these kids, Rick. For these kids who may never see their parents again, are you comfortable living with that?

SANTORUM: I think we have -- we have an obligation to do our best to try to find who these parents are and seek some sort of reunification. And, you know, obviously, from my perspective, it should be back in the country in which they came from. And that -- unless there is some legitimate reason for asylum.

CAMEROTA: Right. I mean there had to be some reason that they made the trek for 1,500 miles walking. I mean this wasn't for a vacation that they were bringing their kids.

SANTORUM: I understand that. But, again, we are a country that has to have a border that's --

CAMEROTA: Understood.

Rick Santorum, thank you very much.

SANTORUM: Thank you.


DAVID GREGORY, CNN ANCHOR: A judge blocks the release of blueprints to make guns with 3-D -- blueprints to make plastic guns 3-D -- using a 3-D printer. Will the Trump administration embrace the NRA's points of view on this. John Avlon with a NEW DAY "Reality Check" coming up next.


[07:43:08] GREGORY: So the Washington Nationals made history scoring 25 runs, handing the Mets an historic loss. If only that were enough to catapult them up in the standings.

Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report" this morning.



Yes, if you see any Mets fans walking around the office this morning, you might want to give them a nice pat on the shoulder and a smile because they probably definitely need it.

This "Bleacher Report" brought to you by Ford, going further so you can.

The forgettable season for the Mets just reaching its low point last night. The Nationals just put an absolute beat down on the Mets. They were up 19-0 after the first five innings. They went on to win 25-4. It's the worst loss in Mets history. It got so bad at one point the Mets broadcasters just started reading out of the media guide to try to pass the time.

Mets shortstop Jose Reyes even came in to pitch in this one in the 9th inning and he faired just like the other pitchers on the mound for the Mets in this one, David. It was ugly. And, I'll tell you what, the Mets fans, they can't wait for this season to be over.

GREGORY: I'm sure.

Andy, thanks.

SCHOLES: All right.

CAMEROTA: All right, time for our "Reality Check," John Avalon. JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Alisyn, it seems we got the

president's attention. Immediately after we "Reality Checked" the dangers of 3-D printed guns on Tuesday, President Trump tweeted this, quote, I'm looking into 3-D plastic guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to the NRA. Doesn't seem to make much sense.

So, great, the president was going to do something and several hours later we found out what he actually did, echoed the NRA by invoking a 30-year-old law. Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters, quote, in the United States it's currently illegal to own or make a wholly plastic gun of any kind. We will continue to look at all the options available to us to do what is necessary to protect Americans while also supporting the First and Second Amendments.

Now, make no mistake, let's cut through the spin, That is an example of the art of the dodge. And it misses the point. The problem isn't that plastic guns are legal. It's that thanks to a Trump administration settlement, plans for the 3-D printing of guns were being put up on the web after the administration -- Obama administration had stopped it.

[07:45:14] Now, in the settlement, the Trump administration specifically said that 3-D printing instructions for guns were now available, quote, for public release, i.e. unlimited distribution in any form. Which caused the (INAUDIBLE) group that posted the plans, Defense Distributed, to proclaim the age of the downloadable gun formally begins.

This is the celebration of a new era, not the sound of the status quo. And it should come as no surprise that the president's stance now echoes the NRA, who also pointed to and praised the Reagan era Undetectable Firearms Act.

Now, here's the tell. A few years ago, when a group of bipartisan lawmakers wanted to modernize the law to account for new technologies like 3-D printing, the NRA said, quote, it strongly opposes any effort to expand that law. And the NRA is already on the record calling 3-D printed guns exemplars of freedom and innovation.

So, don't believe the hype that there's been unified opposition to 3-D printed plastic guns in the past. While the president deserves credit for recognizing that his own administration settlement was about to lead to a policy that doesn't make much sense, to put it mildly, under measure the administration ran right back to the NRA for approval of its position. If it weren't for the late night actions of a judge, this policy would have gone forward despite the president's tweet.

But here's the good news, public pressure, brought by the press and a handful of states, stopped this nonsensical policy from simply slipping through the cracks, at least for now. It's a remind that we all need to keep shining a light when special interests attempt to advance their agenda in the dark. And that's your "Reality Check."

CAMEROTA: Oh, you're not done, John Avlon.

AVLON: Oh, no. CAMEROTA: Do you have a two-fer. A double "Reality Check" for us right now?

AVLON: There's a deep need for reality checks right now, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Yes, there is.

AVLON: And one popped up that we couldn't ignore in the president's Tampa rally last night, in which he was talking about the virtues of voter ID. Something he wants to put. And said, hey, look, don't you need voter -- show your ID for everything, including things like buying groceries. Now, as anyone who has actually bought groceries in the last several decades might know, you don't need to show ID to get milk and eggs and bread.

CAMEROTA: The president may not have ever bought -- or not bought groceries in a long time.

AVLON: Possibly.

CAMEROTA: It sounds like.

GREGORY: I mean this is the -- this is the fodder at a lot of these rallies. They get so out of control. And we should also -- I mean it's interesting, he doesn't bring up at the rallies these claims about widespread voter fraud that have never been proven despite his special task force.

AVLON: There's that too.

GREGORY: There's that reality check.

AVLON: You know, if you're going to be a populist, you probably want people voting more, not less.

CAMEROTA: And you should -- if you're a populist, you should also know how -- the process of buying groceries.

AVLON: You know one other -- just quick reality check, too --

CAMEROTA: Oh, go ahead.

AVLON: While we're at it, in, you know, the migrant camps that are being put together, not like summer camps. I think that fails the reality check.

CAMEROTA: I didn't even get to that with Rick Santorum, but we will. We will.

Thank you for all of that, John. Great to have you.

All right, so, back to this, homemade, untraceable guns. Are those a good idea? We bring you both sides of the debate, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:52:14] CAMEROTA: It was an 11th hour decision, but a federal judge has blocked the online posting of blueprints that allow people to make these 3-D guns. But this legal fight is not over.

And joining me now is Brian Claypool. He's a survivor of the Las Vegas massacre, and Jan Morgan, a Second Amendment advocate and a certified firearms instructor.

Thanks to both of you for being here.

Brian, look, the Las Vegas massacre was very recent, obviously. There are still so many physical and emotional wounds from that. What did you think when you heard that it was possible to use your 3-D printer and create an untraceable, unregistered gun?

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, LAS VEGAS "ROUTE 91" MASSACRE SURVIVOR: Utter shock. I was in despair. I was grieving again. I was re-victimized and re- traumatized. I spoke to your colleague, Chris Cuomo, shortly after the shooting in Vegas and I told him, I said, during that shooting, the first round of shots, pop, pop, pop, I thought I was dead. The second round of shots, I said, if I survive, I'm going to fight and make sure this never happens again.

Now, instead of just fighting to eliminate assault weapons, now I have to fight on behalf of people across the country, victims of gun violence, people who care about public safety. I now have to fight to stop a company from providing a blueprint to any lunatic on this planet to go out and kill people. It's a license to kill and it's a recipe for mass carnage.

CAMEROTA: Jan, explain, from your perspective, how this makes sense. How does it makes sense to allow people a homemade gun they can make in the privacy of their own home that is untraceable and that you can bring in -- that passes through a metal detector into stadiums, on to planes, et cetera?

JAN MORGAN, SECOND AMENDMENT ADVOCATE: OK. Well, first of all, whether it makes sense or not and how we feel about it -- and, Brian, I'm sorry about what you had to go through, truly I am. But feelings and whether or not it's fair is not the same thing as a right.

Rights are different from government-issued privileges. And this is more than just a Second Amendment -- this is a First Amendment right issue. This guy was going to publish the blueprints. And if we're going to start censoring any kind of information out there on the Internet that might do irreparable harm, then we're going to have to take off all the websites that are out there that teach you how to make explosive devices and bombs, websites that are doing irreparable harm such as pornography, websites that teach people how to poison other people. I mean there's a -- there's a wealth of information out there that is very dangerous on the Internet. So this is a First Amendment issue.

On the issue of the firearms, we already -- Alisyn and Brian, it is already against federal law to manufacture a firearm that is undetectable. CAMEROTA: Sure. But -- but --

MORGAN: But where the confusion lies is whether or not it's traceable.

CAMEROTA: Yes. But, listen -- but, here's --

MORGAN: There are -- but you can -- you can make them --

CAMEROTA: You can I just want to stop you because you made a lot of points, Jan, hold on one second. I mean the -- making it easier. OK, so making it easier to have one of these guns. You say it's illegal. But the blueprints were online. A thousand people downloaded them. So, there you go.

[07:55:06] MORGAN: Actually, it's not easier, Alisyn. It's not easier.

CAMEROTA: A thousand more people -- making it easier to get access to the blueprints.

MORGAN: It's not easier. And the fact, making -- no.

CAMEROTA: A thousand people downloaded it. That's more than had it --

MORGAN: Look, no. I could go -- I could go to the hardware store and get the pieces, the parts that I need to make a shotgun. I could do that. You don't have to have -- in fact, the printable -- 3-D printable firearms are much more complicated to make than just building your own and it is not illegal in America to manufacture your own firearm out of metals in your home and not have it registered, OK.

CAMEROTA: OK. Let me get Brian in.

So, Brian --

MORGAN: There's -- it's illegal to make one that's undetectable by metal detectors.

CAMEROTA: OK, so hold on, Jan. Made you point. Got it. Got it.

Brian, when you hear her talk about that, that this is a right, that this is a First Amendment right, what's your response?

CLAYPOOL: That's the problem with our society. First of all, the First Amendment doesn't give you the right to break the law. The federal law currently says that you can't make plastic guns without serial numbers. So you're not protected by the First Amendment. That's the first thing.

The second thing is, instead of President Trump calling the NRA, guess that, give me a call and give victims across this country a phone call who have dodged bullets from assault weapons and find out how they feel about it before you propagate this recipe for mass disaster.

Do you know that on their website they have what's called a BZ-58, Alisyn. Do you know what that is? It's a 17-inch-long gun, seven pounds. It's going to carry out mass killings. CAMEROTA: That's what they're giving the blueprint to?

CLAYPOOL: That's just one of the blueprints. And do you know, on top of that, that these bullets that are in these weapons are made to destroy your body. When they enter your body, they destroy you. So this is not acceptable in a civilized society. And it's not funny. It's not funny.


CLAYPOOL: You go -- you go -- no, you go -- you go sit in a mass shooting. You go dodge bullets. You go dodge bullets --

MORGAN: No. No, what is -- what is funny -- what is funny, Brian -- no, let me -- can I answer you.

CLAYPOOL: No, no, what's funny is you sit behind your -- your cushy chair --

MORGAN: No, what is funny is your -- let me tell you who sits behind bullets, thousands and thousands of United States veterans have -- have gone into the line of fire to defend liberty, to defend the Bill of Rights. It is --

CLAYPOOL: It isn't about liberty. It's about public safety.

MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE) feelings. It is the Bill of Rights, Brian, and our feelings do not -- your feelings are not relevant when it comes to rights, OK?

CAMEROTA: But, Jan, listen, OK, so let's -- so I hear -- I hear what you're saying.

MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE) information --

CAMEROTA: You're saying that you don't want to deal with feelings for policy. OK.

How about the fact that we do have a mass shooting problem in this country?

MORGAN: Not policy, rights.

CAMEROTA: How will this help mass shootings?

MORGAN: Here's -- here's the answer, Alisyn. If you really want -- and if Brian and the Democrats really want to address the issue of mass shootings --

CLAYPOOL: It's not a Democratic issue.

MORGAN: They need to talk about the one thing that no one -- that no one wants to talk about, which is the number of mass shootings that involve psychotropic drugs. Stephen Paddock, the very guy who's responsible for the shooting that you tried to say --

CAMEROTA: Yes, I know that that's where you guys always go. But I want to stay focused on the homemade guns.

MORGAN: Because it's the truth. Why -- it's not just us guys. It's not just the NRA. It's not just Republicans. It is -- it is the psychiatric --

CAMEROTA: I know that you want to talk about the drugs, but -- but let's -- OK, Jan, hold on. Let me pose my question to you because it is connected to mental health.

MORGAN: Big pharma does not want to discuss it. Big pharma doesn't want to discuss it (INAUDIBLE) --

CAMEROTA: Jan -- Jan, how does it help to have somebody mentally ill be able to print their own gun, make their own gun off a 3-D printer at home?

MORGAN: Stephen Paddock obtained his firearm legally. This wasn't a 3- D printing (INAUDIBLE) --

CAMEROTA: I'm just curious. This is my question. Just answer the question.

MORGAN: Criminals -- no, criminals --

CAMEROTA: How does it help to be able to have a mentally ill person create their own gun at home?

MORGAN: Mentally ill people can create their own guns regardless of the law. Criminals and thugs and terrorists don't abide by the law --

CAMEROTA: But how is it (INAUDIBLE) to make it easier.

MORGAN: So no laws -- Alisyn, I'm sorry that you can't get this, but no law is going to stop a criminal or a terrorist or a crazy person from -- from killing mass numbers of people.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I guess that we just don't believe that laws are completely ineffective. I think that people just don't believe that laws never stop anything. I think that we do think that laws stop crime.

MORGAN: Laws have not been affected in (INAUDIBLE). Look at Chicago. Chicago has more gun control laws. And we already have over 20,000 gun control laws in America, Alisyn, and they don't address the problem.

CAMEROTA: And they --

MORGAN: But how about this? How about this?

CAMEROTA: OK, fair enough. So you think that laws don't matter. Gotcha.

MORGAN: Paris, France. Paris, France.

CAMEROTA: Fair enough. MORGAN: Can I please speak? Paris, France, is a gun-free utopia. How many people died in that mass shooting because terrorists and bad guys and crazy people will always have access to guns.

CAMEROTA: And maybe they can print them now in their own den.

MORGAN: The best way to stop mass shootings is to -- the best way to stop --

CAMEROTA: Hold on, Jan.

MORGAN: The best way to stop mass shootings is to legally arm law abiding citizens.


Your point. Your last point, Brian.

CLAYPOOL: My last point is, you are bypassing background check. You are bypassing mental health background checks. You are bypassing serial numbers on the guns.


CLAYPOOL: And this is going to allow any lunatic on the planet to go in his or her own home and make a gun and carry out another mass shooting. And if that happens again, Jan, you know what, you're going to have blood on your hands and this government's going to have blood on its hands.

CAMEROTA: All right, guys, on that note, I know it's very heated. I know that there's a lot of feelings understandably on both sides.

Jan, Brian, thank you very much for the debate. We'll see where this goes.

CLAYPOOL: Thank you.

MORGAN: You're welcome.

CAMEROTA: We're following a lot of news. Let's get right to it.

[07:59:59] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the first trial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a very important step.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The defense team saying that Rick Gates was all to blame.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: This trial centers on matters that have nothing to do with the campaign.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: He's going to go all in for a pardon. He's going to be the last man defending Donald Trump.