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NEW DAY SUNDAY

Trump Concerned About Don Jr.'s Exposure In Mueller Probe; Trump Campaigns In Ohio; Trial For Ex-Trump Campaign Chairman Resumes Monday; Portland Protests; New Mexico Rescue; Manhunt In Texas For Father Who Stabbed His Two Children; Hurricane Hector Churning Toward Hawaii. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired August 5, 2018 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[06:00:13]

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now we got to stop it. We got to stop meddling. We got to stop everybody from attacking us.

Russia is there. China is there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to sources close to the White House, the president is scared for his son.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lying about whether the president knew about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians, that would be perjury.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they have taken this very seriously and their denials' what do we have on the other side? It's just the word of Michael Cohen.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Do you think he uses black athletes as a scapegoat?

LEBRON JAMES, NBA PLAYER: At times. At times.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the first lady is trying to underscoring that kindness is an option.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no greater mystery in the world than a relationship between husband and wife, but it is astonishing and it once again gets to the wondering about the marriage.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning to you. It's Sunday. And we are happy to have you here. I'm Christi Paul.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. And it is wonderful to be here.

All right. Let's start off with the news. This morning a glimpse into why President Trump has been so anxious about the Russia investigations and why he has increased his attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller.

PAUL: Yes. Sources telling CNN now that the president is worried about his son Don Jr. and how he may be caught up in their probe. The president's son of course under scrutiny for helping set up that 2016 meeting with Russians who had promised to dirt on Hillary Clinton.

CNN Sarah Westwood is in live in New Jersey that's near where President Trump is on his working vacation. This isn't a new investigation, by any means, nor a new meeting, but why is President Trump concerned about his son now?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Christi, we have known about this meeting for a very long time, but what is only recently come to light is the fact that Trump may have had advanced knowledge of this meeting or at the very least, may have been told about it shortly after the fact which is something the president has denied.

Now Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, is preferred to testify to special counselor Robert Mueller that Trump did have an advance knowledge of that Trump Tower meeting which of course would contradict what the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., has already told congressional investigators. Now, Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, is denying that Trump Jr. is in any legal jeopardy telling CNN in a statement, "It's just not so. After over a year or more of investigating there is no evidence of any wrongdoing on his part or for that matter POTUS" -- that's the president of the United States -- "Nothing has changed. We are not worried about Michael Cohen because he has no knowledge of wrongdoing and has recorded it in one version or another so often that he can't be believed or relied on."

Now sources tell CNN that Trump's concern for his son is part of the reason why Trump has been more aggressive towards the special counsel in recent weeks, especially on Twitter. And even though lawyers for both the president and Donald Trump Jr. are denying that Trump Jr. is in any legal danger Trump has been complaining to confidants recently that he is concerned about the investigation's potential effect on his family -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, we appreciate the new information. Thank you.

SAVIDGE: President Trump did mention the Russia investigation as he rallied the base in Ohio last night. The president campaigning ahead of the special election that will be there on Tuesday where Republicans are now potentially at risk of losing a seat in a district that they have controlled for three decades.

Here is CNN's Boris Sanchez.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: President Trump making his way to just outside Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday to the 12th Congressional District to campaign for a special election candidate that is in a dead heat with a Democrat. Troy Balderson running against Danny O'Connor in a race that should not be this close. Frankly we wouldn't be talking about 12th Congressional District for it not for President Trump as it's ruby red for decades.

President Trump won it by 11 points but a recent Monmouth University poll shows that the two candidates are in a virtual tie, a one percentage difference point between the two so President Trump came here on Saturday to try to prevent a blue wave that many have speculated is headed to Congress in the November midterm elections.

Now President Trump has spent the majority of speech touting his agenda, success in the economy and bashing his enemies including Democrats and, of course, the media. The president did mention the Russia investigation yet again calling it a hoax and pushing the idea that the United States has to be prepared from cyber attacks, from a lot of different actors. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Now we got to stop it. We got to stop meddling. We got to stop everybody from attacking us but there are a lot.

Russia is there. China is there. Hey, we are doing well with North Korea but they are probably there.

We got to stop everybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: There is also an unexpected guest here for President Trump's speech, former communications director Hope Hicks who of course resigned from the administration in February.

[06:05:08]

White House officials say that her presence here should not signal a return, essentially telling CNN that it doesn't mean much more than just a friendly visit.

Boris Sanchez, CNN, traveling with the president, outside of Columbus, Ohio.

PAUL: Boris, thank you so much.

CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer is with us as well as CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson. Gentlemen, thank you both for being here.

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning.

PAUL: Good morning. Julian, I want to start with you. Based on what we just saw there, President Trump helping the GOP brand itself in any way here?

ZELIZER: Well, the GOP has been rebranded and now president Trump is on the campaign trail really trying to stop what we are calling a blue wave or the potential for a Democratic takeover of the House. And this is a prime example of a district that should not be in play for the Republicans but it is in the age of Trump. PAUL: Joey, I wanted to ask you about this latest reporting that the president is concerned about Don Jr. How vulnerable, based on everything we know, is his son in being incriminated in the Mueller investigation?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, good morning, Christi.

His son certainly could be very vulnerable to prosecution in light of the fact there is contradictory information in terms of whether or not the president knew about the meeting, there are the blocked phone calls that the president, of course, you know, giving some indication that he had good stuff coming out about Hillary and he would give a speech, and now the corroboration for Michael Cohen. I, however, though from a practical matter -- I'm unconcerned about.

I think, number one, he is the president's son and in light of that I think prosecutors are going to hold a pretty high bar before you move forward. Of course, no one is above the law but if you're prosecuting the president's son you better have some pretty significant evidence.

Number two, generally for such a prosecution to move forward if it's for lying to Congress, there is a referral to the Department of Justice from Congress and based upon the politics involved in the Senate, where the Senate is in control, I doubt there would be that referral. Of course, you know, the problem here for him is this is a special counsel prosecution, you know, which may cause a wrinkle in that.

But the third reason really is that, you know, look. If anyone is going to be pardoned, it would be his son. And so I think any prosecution of his son would be largely an academic exercise in light of the fact that the president would just say you're pardoned. And so though vulnerable in response to your question I think the practicality of a prosecution is very limited.

PAUL: All right. I want to move on to what we are going to see this week in the Manafort trial. This case have actually been moving quite quickly, if you really look at it. And I wanted to ask, real quickly, about Laporta because she was granted immunity. We know that Rick Gates will be granted -- granted immunity if he does take the stand.

Because of that, Joey, does that make them more or less believable? I mean, is there a sense that they have to say something incriminatory to get that immunity?

JACKSON: Well, you know, it's not that it makes them less believable it's that it exposes them to a vicious attack from defense attorneys like myself when you have a person on the stand who has an immunity deal, obviously, you attack them, right? So, meaning if they have an immunity deal to begin with, they have some liability themselves, which is forgiven because you're on team USA.

And in the case of -- in the case of Rick Gates himself, I mean, look, let's be clear, you, sir, have already pled guilty is that not a fact and that means that you lied. You admitted that, did you not, sir? And so the intensity of the cross-examination will go along those lines of 10, 15 other questions I could ask, you know, in that chain of events that would get the jury to say, oh, OK, he has something here, wherein, he lied before, why isn't he lying now? Why should we believe him now?

I think the answer for prosecutors will be it's not just his word. There is documentary evidence which would substantiate the things he is saying. When you have a white collar prosecution, Christi, you have a paper trail as prosecutors have presented which corroborate exactly what occurred. And in the case of the accountant, of course, that paper trail remains consistent, but then the question becomes you could have said something, right? You didn't. Is there a reason for that? Is there a basis for you having immunity?

So that exposes them to the jury, but in the final analysis, while it may be good theater, I just think the substance of the documents that the government has, just so much to overcome for the defense in the case.

PAUL: All right. So, Julian, Carl Bernstein said this is worse than Watergate. I think that made a lot of people say, what are you talking about? Explain. Would you please?

ZELIZER: Well, Carl Bernstein was someone right at the center of the Watergate who saw the corruption of the White House and in his mind what he has seen from the Manafort story and from all of the evidence that has accumulated over other parts of this scandal, he sees a person in power who, ultimately, is more corrupted than Richard Nixon.

[06:10:10]

I think it's too early to tell. We are in the middle of investigations, rather than at the end of an investigation, and we have to remember, in the middle of Watergate, it wasn't always clear where this was all going. But he is trying to send a powerful warning sign that there is more evidence now, this early in the presidency, than there was about Richard Nixon when he resigns really two years after the investigation is launched.

PAUL: Well, but we do need to point out that what Manafort is on trial for are alleged crimes prior to his dealings with President Trump. President Trump -- Donald Trump citizen is not involved in anything Manafort is talking about in court right now.

ZELIZER: Right.

PAUL: But with that said -- go ahead, Julian.

ZELIZER: Well -- yes, but of course we always have to keep remembering Manafort was the head of Trump's campaign during a critical period in the campaign. And so this story about who he is and what money problems he had and what he was doing all give shape to the person who was at the very top in the summer of 2016.

So that is how the money Manafort and the campaign are probably connected in the minds of Robert Mueller. Again, this is an investigation that is in process so we shouldn't jump to conclusions yet.

PAUL: Exactly. Julian Zelizer, Joey Jackson, I'm sorry, but we have run out of time. Thank you, gentlemen.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you, Christi.

PAUL: Absolutely.

And today on "STATE OF THE UNION" Republican representative Ed Royce is on the show as well as former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick. That's "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER" today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern only here on CNN.

SAVIDGE: A remarkable story as the search for a missing Georgia toddler led to a rescue on the other side of the country. Coming up, what we are learning about 11 children taken from a make-shift compound in the New Mexico desert.

PAUL: And a category three hurricane headed toward Hawaii. People there told to get ready. We are going to have the latest storm track coming up.

SAVIDGE: Plus, first lady Melania Trump is praising LeBron James for his charity work after her husband insulted the NBA star on Twitter. We will have details on that just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:16:25]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the Portland Police Bureau. Stay out of street.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: Four people were arrested in a pretty tense day of demonstrations in downtown Portland. For hours member of a right wing group -- group that is, faced off with counter protesters. At some point the competing demonstrations escalated with demonstrators throwing rocks and bottles that's when police responded by launching flash bang grenades to disperse the crowds.

Meanwhile the search for a missing Georgia child led to the rescue of nearly a dozen children in New Mexico.

PAUL: Taos County sheriff's deputy raided a make-shift compound looking for a three-year-old who is reported missing in May. They didn't find the toddler but did find -- remember this, 11 children from ages 1 to 15 years old and look at what they were living in here. They say it looked like a third world country refugees living in filthy conditions, no food, no running water, dirty rags for clothing.

Two men and three women were taking into custody. Authorities believe the women are the children's mothers.

SAVIDGE: Now with another story and with warning. It's disturbing. A manhunt in Texas for a father who is accused of killing his two young children.

Houston police say the children's mother found them stabbed to death in their own beds Saturday afternoon. The woman told police after dropping off the 8-year-old boy and 1-year-old girl at their father's apartment he called saying he was going to kill them. Police say the couple had been married but recently separated.

PAUL: Dozens of buildings and homes are damaged after a tornado touchdown down in Webster, Massachusetts, about an hour south of Boston. The tornado took down trees and power lines. At least one person we know sustained minor injuries.

SAVIDGE: Well, it is hurricane season. And Hurricane Hector is now a category 3 storm and it's taking aim at Hawaii. Emergency management officials telling people there to prepare.

PAUL: Meteorologist Allison Chinchar has the latest on Hector's path. I mean, if we say Hawaii I think what more can this area take?

SAVIDGE: Yes.

PAUL: These people take, Allison?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. I mean, we've -- we have spent the last few months talking about the volcano that is there but keep in mind hurricanes are not a rare occurrence. In fact, if it makes it to Hawaii would be the third one to impact the islands in just the last four years.

They had one in 2014 and another one in 2016. But we are talking about Hurricane Hector. Right now winds about 125 miles per hour, still gusting to 155 miles per hour.

Its movement is west about at 12 miles per hour. Now it's still basically in the middle of the ocean. Still well away from Hawaii but it's making its way in that direction.

It is a category 3 storm right now, but it was just a category 4 just a few hours ago. But we are starting to see where that storm is moving.

So let's take a look at where it is now. Again, here you can see surrounded by water, it's pretty much just in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But just south to the west there you can see Hawaii off in the distance.

It is expected to remain a major hurricane for at least the next several days. That would be a category 3 or higher. It's a very small storm in scale but typically with those it's very hard to gauge intensity.

They can go through what is called eye wall replacement cycles, try to restrengthen themselves but for the most part we expect it to remain a major hurricane at least until Tuesday. At that point it will start to weaken a little bit as it gets closer to Hawaii.

This is the good news. If it does hit Hawaii you want it to be a weaker storm. As of now the closest track takes it on the extreme southern end of the Big Island.

[06:20:00]

Kilauea, the volcano we've been talking about is on the north and eastern side. This east reef zone here this is where a lot of those evacuations had taken place from a lot of the fissures that had erupted with the volcano. Now, one good news is the majority of the tracks that we follow actually keep it a little bit south of the main island.

And that would be very good news because at that point, guys, basically all they would end up getting is just maybe some heavy showers at times. But the main portion of the storm would remain down to the south.

PAUL: All right. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much. Thinking about those people. Hope --

(CROSSTALK)

SAVIDGE: We are. Yes, we are. Hopefully, it goes south. All right.

PAUL: Yes.

SAVIDGE: According to sources, President Trump is concerned that the Mueller probe may reach his family. We will ask our experts why the president thinks Don Jr. might be headed for some legal trouble and that will be coming up next.

PAUL: Also, military troops are taking on a different role at the U.S./Mexico border. It's not in a way that you may think. We are going to hear directly from some of those troops stationed there just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:25:45]

PAUL: So glad to have you here. Twenty-five minutes past the hour on this Sunday. You're up early but we are glad that you are. I'm Christi Paul.

SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell.

New this morning sources tell CNN President Trump is worried about the Mueller investigation reaching his family specifically his son Don Jr. And it's making him lash out at Mueller publicly.

Trump Jr. has always insisted that his father didn't know anything about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with the Russians. The long time Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is now apparently ready to testify the president was aware of it.

Joining me now to talk about this is Brent Budowsky. He is the opinion columnist for "The Hill," and former Democratic aide, and Jack Kingston, CNN political a former senior adviser for the Trump campaign. Good morning to you both, gentlemen.

BRENT BUDOWSKY, OPINION COLUMNIST, THE HILL: Good morning.

SAVIDGE: OK. Obviously, any time a man sees his family threatened, we would get defensive, so the president is human in many ways. Unlike most folks, he does have the power to pardon, and I would think Don Jr. would be the first one in light to get one, if it came to that. And so I'm wondering, basically, Jack, do you agree or what?

JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think that is way down the road, Martin. I think for right now, what Rudy Giuliani said is a better indication of what is going to happen and he is saying he is 100 percent confident that Michael Cohen has nothing to say. Michael Cohen has said on other occasions that the president did not know about this meeting, but Giuliani went on to say there was nothing to this meeting.

That was a meeting about adoption and did not morph into any action. So whether information came out about Hillary or not, there was no action item that followed up on it. So, you know, based on what Giuliani is saying, he is feeling pretty confident that there is nothing there.

SAVIDGE: Yes. I'm sure he is. I mean, Michael Cohen made those kinds of statements though when he seemed to be on the president's team and that does not necessarily seem to be the case, Brent.

BUDOWSKY: It's amazing. The whole thing is just incredible.

Yes, there was a collusion meeting at Trump Tower. It was billed as a collusion meeting, which is more fairly described as a conspiracy meeting. Where the Trump people, including three very close to the president, basically came to a meeting to get illegally obtained Russian information to attack Hillary Clinton.

Now where I come from there is high odds that is going to be called a crime. And I think it was a crime. And I think the president has reason to worry about everybody in that meeting from the American side and if it turns out there is evidence that he knew about it in advance, I think he has even more reason to worry and that is a lot of reasons.

SAVIDGE: Brent, do you think that he could bring these charges, obstruction of justice, if that what it will be, before the midterms?

BUDOWSKY: I wrote a piece on Friday, a column in "The Hill" where I said, I think it will happen before the midterms, how it happens it remains to be seen. But I think it's clear that there was obstruction. I think what America is witnessing in real-time and Rudy Giuliani is actually almost an accessory to this, is a walking, talking, televised obstruction of justice every day. Let me tell you. The midterm elections are going to be one day after the 50th anniversary of Richard Nixon being elected president. Think about that.

And next week is an anniversary of Richard Nixon resigning from the presidency and he gave the best speech he had ever given as he was about to leave the White House, one of the best speeches by any president where he said, some may hate you, but they don't win unless you hate them. In which case you destroy yourself.

And Trump is running around the country every day, most recently LeBron James, telling us who --

(CROSSTALK)

SAVIDGE: Right. OK. OK. Hold on -- hold on, Brent. Let's try to bring -- make this a conversation.

Jack, the Manafort case, before we run out of time, I would like to get your thoughts because I'm wondering how impactful do you believe, especially if there is a guilty verdict, that that would be as far as blow-back against the president and this administration and going forward, the other investigation Mueller is focused on?

KINGSTON: Well, I think, based on what Brent has outlined they are looking at this whole thing not as a matter of justice but a matter of politics.

HERE

[06:30:03]

KINGSTON: And I think that the case against Manafort has been, largely, politically -- political. Just think about this. For tax evasion only one percent of the people are ever tried now when they go to jail it's like a three to four-year sentence and -- including, by the way, the maker of beanie babies went to jail and got in Ty Warner never went to jail. Actually it was -- he had tax evasion hit over --

(CROSSTALK)

SAVIDGE: I got it. What is your -- what is your point, Jack?

KINGSTON: -- $6 million. He never went to jail but Mueller wants 305 years out of Manafort.

I think the timing of it is suspicious. The fact that he has nine prosecutors who donated to Hillary Clinton. I think all of this is really a smear on the justice system.

SAVIDGE: What about the evidence, Jack? There is a significant amount of bookkeeping evidence. This is documents here. It's not just political rhetoric that is very, very suspicious.

KINGSTON: I'm not saying he's innocent at all but I'm saying this is a really high profile case which has nothing to do with President Trump and that is one thing that the Democrats don't want to admit but this was all for a potential crimes that had nothing to do with his short-term relationship with the Trump campaign.

SAVIDGE: OK. I got it. Let's talk about this special election that comes up this week, because many people look at this as just a precursor of course to the midterms and I'm wondering, Jack, first and foremost how is it that the president who won the 12th district there in central Ohio, won it by 11 points but now the latest polling shows that the Democrat and Republican are almost neck and neck. How does that happen and what do you think has happened?

KINGSTON: Well, I think the intensity is just there for the Democrat Party. It always is against the party in power of the White House and history is blowing in the face of -- the wind is blowing in the face of the Republicans right now.

We had that same situation in Georgia with the Karen Handel election as you know. Both sides on a national basis poured in millions and millions of dollars. Republicans eked out a win in which should have been easy, but when you're in an election year like this with the country very divided, you're going to have these tough races.

SAVIDGE: And, Brent, do you think that this -- the outcome of this race, in the 12th district, is the outcome of this fall?

BUDOWSKY: Well, I think what you're seeing, across the country is not only a surge of enthusiasm among people, Democrats but also many Republicans who are really appalled by what Trump is doing and they want to have change.

I think what happened -- what is going to happen in the election in Ohio shows how much better Democrats are doing even in a district that Republicans should win by 20 points. I don't think it was a very shrewd strategy for the president to insult and attack and demean LeBron James who is highly popular in Ohio --

SAVIDGE: Correct.

BUDOWSKY: -- right before the Ohio election. I think it's absolute insanity.

Right now, his wife is disagreeing with him to her great credit about LeBron James and his daughter Ivanka is disagreeing with --

(CROSSTALK)

SAVIDGE: And we are going to talk about that -- we're going to talk about that later in the program. But right now I just wanted to get who do you think is going to win come Tuesday in Ohio?

KINGSTON: We will keep the seat and we will keep it because the economy is strong, opportunities are great, consumer optimism is high. And unemployment is at an all-time low and people don't want to change that. They like jobs.

SAVIDGE: OK. Brent, real quick.

BUDOWSKY: I think it's a 50/50 race. I think Democrats win the House in the midterm elections, possibly by more than people think because voters are fed up and want change from what we are getting from Trump, period.

SAVIDGE: Brent Budowsky and Jack Kingston, good to see you both this morning.

KINGSTON: Thanks, Martin.

SAVIDGE: Thank you.

BUDOWSKY: See you.

PAUL: Thanks, gentlemen.

All right. Venezuela says there was an assassination attempt on its president. We are going to show you what happened.

(VIDEO PLAYING)

SAVIDGE: Plus, what are the National Guard troops doing at the U.S./Mexico border? Well, their roles might not be what you think they are. We will hear directly from the men and women stationed there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. ADRIAN BORUNDA, NATIONAL GUARD, PUBLIC AFFAIRS, ARIZONA: It's a support role. And they may have ideas about prior missions. It's not that any more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:38:30]

PAUL: We are getting this just in to CNN. Three NATO service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Officials say a suicide bomber attacked the service members while they were patrolling in eastern Afghanistan this morning.

One American, two Afghan soldiers all injured in that attack. The service members were part of Resolute Support, that's a NATO train, advise and assist mission there.

And Colombia is denying that it was involved in an alleged assassination attempt against Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. Maduro was in Caracas making a speech -- look at this. And do you see the shaking there?

The speech was marking the 81st anniversary of the National Guard. Drones carrying explosive charges blew up near the president. You saw it happened there. And that's Maduro's wife reacting there to the first blast.

Another view shows soldiers scattering after the second explosion. Look at this. A few hours later Maduro said some involved in the alleged attack have already been captured and charged. Maduro blamed far right elements, Venezuelans living in the U.S., and Colombia's outgoing president. A Colombian presidential source tells CNN Maduro's accusations are baseless.

SAVIDGE: President Trump has long promised to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to secure that border, but in the interim he has sent more military personnel for protection.

Recently I did a ride along with the Border Patrol and the National Guard just to find out what the guard is up to down there and it may not be what you think. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[06:40:01]

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Maybe you were expecting to see military trucks and troops on the border. They are not here.

Instead of hunting human traffickers or drug smugglers Sergeant Francisco Robles is tracking down a pickup truck's electrical problem. He's a mechanic in the border patrol motor pool in Nogales.

Specialist Gerardo Duran, is at the border. But instead of a rifle, he's got a welding torch.

Some National Guard troops have even served by cleaning the stalls at border patrol stables.

Operation guardian support is a long way for the President's tough talk of military might.

TRUMP: Until we can have a wall and proper security, we're going to be guarding our border with the military.

SAVIDGE (on camera): You're not armed, correct?

BORUNDA: Correct. None of our soldiers or our men currently on operation guardian support are armed.

SAVIDGE: And they're not out there walking right beside the border patrol agents?

BORUNDA: Correct. These are positions that are backed off the border.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Despite President Trump's claim, we haven't really used troops in the border before, we have. In 2006, the Bush administration sends six thousand soldiers to the border. In 2010, President Obama sent 1,200, but they were in full gear and armed.

When Specialist Duran's welding at the border, he needs two border agents to protect him, since he's not allowed to carry his gun.

(on camera): Is it possible that public has the wrong impression what this mission was about?

BORUNDA: It's a support role. And they may have ideas about prior missions. It's not that anymore.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): And yet --

SGT. FRANCISCO ROBLES, BORDER PATROL MOTOR POOL MECHANIC: Clear.

SAVIDGE: Despite their diminished role, National Guard troops are making a difference.

ROBLES: Good to go.

SAVIDGE: Thanks to Sergeant Robles, the U.S. border patrol has more vehicles, on patrol.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right (INAUDIBLE) is going to be right there.

SAVIDGE: And thanks to Senior Airman Adrianna McIver, border patrol agents on horses, closing in on three suspects, have an extra pair of eyes, watching their back, as she and other guard members monitor dozens of remote cameras.

For many guard members, this is their first time to really get a sense of what's going on at the border, the good and the bad.

(on camera): And do you see it?

SGT. ADRIANNA MCIVER, ARIZONA AIR NATIONAL GUARD: Yes, sir.

SAVIDGE: You do?

MCIVER: Yes.

SAVIDGE: Is it busy?

MCIVER: Yes, extremely.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): So far, according to the U.S. border patrol, the National Guard has facilitated more than 1,200 arrests and a seizure of more than 1,300 pounds of marijuana, along the Arizona border, alone.

STEPHANIE DIXON, U.S. BORDER PATROL AGENT: You're looking at Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora.

SAVIDGE: Sitting beside border agents, Deputy Dixon, looking out from her lonely perch at the border. There is not a single soldier in site.

SAVIDGE (on camera): People might have thought they'd be patrolling right along this fence line, here, they have their rifle slung over their shoulder and they would be riding along with you. That's not happening. That's not the way it was meant to happen.

DIXON: No. That's not all. They're helping out the overall mission and they're putting more of us out here on the border, to secure the border.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Border agent, Dixon, may not see the soldiers but she's glad they're here, somewhere.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE: The use of the National Guard is actually funded by the federal government, but it's the states that provide the troops and the funding for all of this is right now scheduled to run only through the end of September. After that, no one knows if the mission is going to be extended -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Thank you, Martin.

So, first lady Melania Trump kind of breaks with her husband when it comes to LeBron James. She distanced herself from his criticism praising James' charity work. We will have more on that in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:47:52]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you all. Please be seated.

I am here because we are taking action to bring many thousands of Americans closer to owning a home.

ZELIZER: Home ownership had been expanding during the early and mid 2000s. Part of this comes from President Bush's administration really making this a priority.

BUSH: One of the biggest hurdles to home ownership is getting money for a down payment. And so today I'm honored to be here to sign a law that would help many low income buyers to overcome that hurdle and to achieve an important part of the American dream.

BETHANY MCLEAN, AUTHOR, "ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE": This was everything Americans were supposed to want, the security and stability of owning their home. And so you were supposed to borrow money. Maybe you were even supposed to stretch a little bit because after all since the great depression, on average nationwide home prices had only gone up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there is one area of the economy that has stood its ground, it's the housing market. Still a hot market, fueled by low interest rates at hopes that real estate will offer not only a safe haven but will continue to gain valve.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John and Camille Carter are joining the growing number of first-time home buyers convinced the time is right, thanks to dropping interest rates.

JOHN CARTER, FIRST TIME HOME BUYER: We prequalified a week ago and they have gone down since then so it's kind of amazing so we better buy something this week.

STEPHEN WITT, JOURNALIST: Everyone was talking about property. They all saw buying a house as the kind of -- the main way to get wealth. House prices kept going up so this seemed like a no risk-no-brainer thing to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: You know where that went. A new episode of "THE 2000s." That will be tonight at 9:00 p.m. It's a fascinating series and you'll find it only here on CNN.

PAUL: So first lady Melania Trump seems to be aiming to distance herself from her husband's criticism of NBA player LeBron James. Less than a day after the president attacked James on Twitter, her spokeswoman put out a statement saying, LeBron James was working to do good things on our -- on behalf of our next generation and that the first lady would actually be open to visiting his new school. I Promise, that is a school for at-risk children.

[06:50:00]

Here is the thing. The statement also mentioned the importance of responsible online behavior with her Be Best initiative. CNN's senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter here.

A couple of things stand out to me, Brian. How about you?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This all started on a quiet Friday night when President Trump was apparently watching CNN. He was watching Don Lemon's interview with LeBron James.

A lot of our viewers saw it back on Monday but it was re-airing on Friday. And the president was up late at night, apparently, it angered the president. LeBron James did have some criticism for Trump in the interview.

Kind of mild criticism, to be honest, but LeBron said he would not sit down with the president if invited. So that might have poked the president in some way. So you have President Trump on Twitter insulting both Don Lemon and LeBron James and what happened in the 24 hours after is so interesting.

You know? You saw Michael Jordan, Hillary Clinton, and even Melania Trump all standing up for LeBron James. An interesting combination of figures.

Here is part of the statement from Melania Trump. Remember, this is all about LeBron's school and his foundation in Akron, Ohio, that is helping the community. So Melania Trump came out and said, it sounds like he is doing great work for the community -- quote -- "It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the first lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today."

And here is the key part at the end from Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's spokeswoman. She says, "Melania Trump's platform centers around visiting organizations, hospitals and schools, and she would be open to visiting the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio."

You kind of imagine that moment, right? If President Trump is criticizing LeBron James' intelligence and then the first lady goes and visits the school? Well, we will see if that happens.

But this is another example of the first lady really publicly distancing herself from her husband. She didn't have to comment. She didn't have to weigh in. But she decided to do that and, as a result, here we are.

PAUL: Doesn't it take you into that moment? I just would love to know what happens after this happens and the first time the president sees Melania and what does he says.

I just have an imagine of her looking at him going, I'm going to do what I want to do. I mean, she is a brave, bold woman.

STELTER: Totally. Yes. Look, there's no greater mystery than the marriage between a husband and a wife and that's true for all marriages. And I'm not going to sit here and try to psycho analyze the Trump marriage.

PAUL: Right.

STELTER: It's certainly a unique relationship. But I think any husband, any wife would look at this and say, wow, you know, they do seem to have something going on.

Maybe it's just that Melania Trump does want to be very clear that she is her own woman and she wants to promote her Be Best campaign. Certainly this fits into the Be Best campaign about respect and kindness.

Meanwhile, the president is being questioned for that tweet and for his criticism of high profile African-Americans. You know, I saw a journalist like Dan Rather and sports writers like Bill Simmons coming out and saying, this is racist to see the president going after the intelligence of African-American leaders. That is something that continues to be debated on social media all weekend long.

PAUL: All right. But then didn't he say, "I like Mike"?

STELTER: Michael Jordan.

PAUL: To Michael Jordan. Right.

STELTER: And then Michael Jordan came out and supported LeBron James so it might have back-fired in that case.

PAUL: Right. All right. Got you. Brian Stelter, thank you so much.

STELTER: Thank you.

PAUL: And you are going to see more him, he's going to be of course on Brian Stelter, "RELIABLE SOURCES" today at 11:00 a.m. Eastern only here on CNN. Don't miss it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN DAWKINS, PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAMER: So for those who are going through right now, there is hope. You do have hope. There is something on the other side of this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: An incredible message of hope from new hall of famer Brian Dawkins. Our Coy Wire is here. Good morning, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martin.

Dawkins opening up about his struggles with depression and the time he nearly took his own life. A moving speech coming up right here on NEW DAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:58:07]

SAVIDGE: It was an absolutely star-studded class with the pro football hall of fame.

WIRE: Yes.

PAUL: All right. So what was your take?

WIRE: Well, my take is this. There were eight new inductees into the football hall of fame. I played against five of them.

PAUL: You did?

WIRE: Yes. It was surreal seeing some of these men up there. Some great men including Brian Dawkins. He is one of the most beloved players in Eagles' history. He poured his heart out for the city, for his teammates.

And yesterday it was a record attendance there, in Canton, Ohio. More than 22, 000 people and they saw the standout defender open up his heart, sharing about his battles with depression and how he almost took his own life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAWKINS: I was actually planning the way that I would kill myself so my wife would get the money. Not yet. Not yet.

I have grown leaps and bounds because of the things that I've gone through and that is one of those things that I went through. And when I say went through, that mean I came on the other side of it. So for those who are going through right now, there is hope. You do have hope. There is something on the other side of this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: You can hear that crowd. It is Sunday.

PAUL: Yes.

WIRE: Taking us to church.

PAUL: Yes.

WIRE: Brian Dawkins thanked his wife and high school sweetheart Connie for saving his life, telling him to go to counseling. Dawkins was overcome with emotion afterwards, walking off the stage.

His message reminds us to keep fighting, keep pushing, never give up. And you never know what someone else is going through. Incredible inspiration there.

We seeing, you know, these men that we see battling and looked like super heroes --

PAUL: Yes.

WIRE: -- sometimes on the inside it doesn't matter how big or strong you are. We all deal with problems and Brian Dawkins speech had to be shared today to remind us that we can lift other up when they would be in need.

SAVIDGE: Where was that?

WIRE: Canton, Ohio.

[07:00:00]

SAVIDGE: Yes. Right next door to Akron home of (INAUDIBLE). It all goes back to the buckeye state.

PAUL: Thank you, Coy.

WIRE: You're welcome.