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Jury Deliberates for Second Day; Judge Stops Deportation; Women Warned Not to Run. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired August 17, 2018 - 09:30   ET

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


[09:30:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: When a person is required to file a foreign bank disclosure, and that's because there's this 51 percent threshold and we know Manafort and his wife each held like 50 percent, right?

MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: Right.

HARLOW: And then there's also this question about the definition of shelf companies. What's your read on those two?

MOORE: Well, I mean, I think that these cases are tough and they're difficult cases, especially for lay people who serve on a jury.

HARLOW: Sure.

MOORE: I mean these aren't all accountants. These aren't all tax folks who have some idea about the companies and how to set up the structure.

And so, again, they're in a room. They're finally able to table about the case really for the first time and what the evidence shows. And now they're starting to say, OK, the judge told us this, the evidence was this, this was -- this is the crime and the indictment. We can read it here and it says, you know, this is what -- what he did wrong. So have -- what evidence matches that particular count to see if the government met its burden of proof. And so, again, these are sort of definitional questions. They're just looking for a little clarification.

HARLOW: Yes.

MOORE: It could be one person in the room saying, I don't really understand if it's 50 percent or 51 percent.

HARLOW: Right.

MOORE: I don't remember them saying that.

HARLOW: Right.

MOORE: So it could just as simple as one person who just needs a little affirmation.

HARLOW: I think a lot of us don't know what shelf companies are when it comes to the Cypriot, you know, bank systems as well.

MOORE: Right.

HARLOW: So good for them for trying to get some clarification.

Big picture here. OK, this is not the only trial for Paul Manafort.

MOORE: Right.

HARLOW: In three weeks he is set to -- in a few more weeks he's set to have a case in Washington, D.C., about foreign lobbying and money laundering charges in which we have just learned that the special counsel, Mueller's team, has three times the amount of evidence to present.

MOORE: That's right. I mean, in this case, the judge has been hard on the prosecution, wanting to keep the evidence at a minimum. It's wanting to move the case quickly through.

HARLOW: Right.

MOORE: I think Bob Mueller has laid out in his mind that this is just the first chapter of the book and he's starting to explain to people who the characters are, he's starting to sort of lay out the fact that this is going to be a money case at the end of the day and this is -- he's talked about the money. I don't know that this is necessarily a bellwether case for the government or for Manafort. This is just the first step.

I mean, and really the evidence is quite overwhelming. When you think about it, Manafort would have had to know nothing while he sat around wearing his ostrich coat and looking at the gardens in the shape of an "m" and that type of thing while he claims that he was broke. And that's just not -- that's not a rational or a reasonable position.

But there are other cases going to go -- that are going to go forward. And here he's -- we've got one case. I'm sure that Bob Mueller and his team have already thought about the evidence in the next case and the next case and the next case and the next case. So this is really just the beginning of a long tale.

HARLOW: All right. It is. Michael Moore, thanks for the expertise.

MOORE: Good to be with you.

HARLOW: Ahead for us, to immigration, a federal judge temporarily stopping reunited families from being deported from this country while also considering if parents who have already been deported can come back to the United States to be reunited with their children as they fight for asylum. One of the lead attorneys from the ACLU fighting this will be with me next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:37:00] HARLOW: Today, a federal judge will decide whether parents who were deported under the president's zero tolerance policy can come back to the United States so that they can be reunited with their children. Children who are still being detained. Right now there are 519 children who were separated from their families. They are still in government custody. And, of those, 366 of them have parents who are outside of the U.S. Many of them who were deported.

So all of this comes as a judge has temporarily halted deportation of families that have already been reunite so that the kids can have their parents with them during the asylum process.

Let me talk to Lee Gelemt about this. He is the deputy director of the ACLU Immigrant Rights Project.

So, just to be really clear, I mean, your teams are fighting in court today. You're fighting the government, the DOJ, in court today about whether or not they need to bring these parents who have been deported back to the U.S. to be with their kids. What's your team going to argue here?

LEE GELEMT, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, ACLU IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS PROJECT: That's right. Well, we are going to argue, as well as other lawyers for -- in other cases, that parents need to be brought back. That they were unlawfully deported with their kids remaining here and that they need to be brought back to have proper asylum hearings and to also assist their children in the children's asylum hearings.

I don't know that the judge will decide anything today, but that issue will be raised today in court and it's a critically important issue because --

HARLOW: So just --

GELEMT: Sorry, go on.

HARLOW: Yes. No, it is a very important issue. But here's what -- as you know, and your team is praying for, here's what the government's going to argue, right? They're going to point to the June 26th order by the U.S. district judge, Dana Savara (ph). And in that order it says, quote, the government would refrain -- would remain -- the government would remain free to enforce its criminal and immigration laws and to exercise its discretion in matters of release and detention consistent with the law.

So the Department of Justice is going to say, look, in this agreement from earlier this summer, you know, the court said that we, as the government, have the discretion to continue to enforce our immigration law.

Legally, how do you fight that?

GELEMT: That's absolutely right. But what he also said, and he said it in very, very strong language is, no parent needs to give up their rights to fight their case or their child's case without a knowing waiver. And what we think is that many of these parents were sent abroad believing that that was the only way to see their child. That's not a knowing waiver. So he could not have been clearer, do not remove these people unless they understand that they're being removed without their children and that's their choice. And we don't believe that's what happened.

HARLOW: That's interesting, whether or not, you know, those key words, a knowing waiver. Whether or not they knew if they left they wouldn't be able to come back to fight -- to fight for their children.

GELEMT: That's right.

HARLOW: Give me a timeline. You were on with me last week. Give me a timeline on where we are right now on these families being reunited, aside from this issue, because, you know --

GELEMT: Right.

[09:40:05] HARLOW: The government has really put a lot on the ACLU to help the government come up with a list and find these folks.

GELEMT: That's absolutely right. And the judge has said, look, none of that -- it's the government's responsibility ultimately. But -- so give the information to the ACLU to have them help you. So we are now frantically calling parents abroad to try and locate them, explain their rights. It's a very difficult process. But we will get through it. And we hopefully will reunite every one of these children. It's hard to put a timeframe on it, but we hope within the next month we will reunite all these families.

HARLOW: What evidence do you have that the government -- or do you have evidence that the government is making this a priority right now? Or is there more that you would like to see them do more expeditiously?

GELEMT: We would like additional information from the government, but I think now that the judge has told them you cannot shift responsibility to the ACLU, they will help you, but you need to give them information. The information has been more forthcoming. I hope that it continues.

HARLOW: OK.

GELEMT: But I think the judge has made clear that he doesn't want to hear from the government that they are washing their hands of this. So, you know, we've gotten phone numbers --

HARLOW: But that's an important point. It's been more forth -- the government's been more forthcoming.

GELEMT: They've had to because the judge has said he won't stand for them being more forthcoming.

HARLOW: OK.

GELEMT: So now we've gotten phone numbers for lots of the parents. We still need additional information, but at least we're on the right track now.

HARLOW: OK. I appreciate the update, Lee, thanks for being with me.

GELEMT: Thanks for having me.

HARLOW: All right, so, ahead, the year of the woman or the year of the Democratic woman? In the era of Trump, female Republican candidates facing an uphill battle in the midterms. We're going to dive into that with two female Republican strategists.

Also, the president set to depart from the White House in a few minutes. Will he talk to the media about all of the headlines this week, including revoking the security clearance of former CIA chief John Brennan, or the controversy surrounding his former White House aide, Omarosa? We'll see.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:46:40] HARLOW: So, 81 days to go until the midterms. And is what has been in -- in what has been dubbed the year of the woman, overall a record-breaking number of women are running for office. You know that. But that nickname appears to be one sided, because so far this primary season, 229 women have qualified for the November ballot in the House or the Senate. Of those women, 73 percent are Democrats. Just 22 percent are Republicans.

In a fascinating "New York Times" piece this week, some of those Republican female candidates say they have been encouraged by members of their own party not to run.

With me now to talk about this, two very smart, well-connected Republican women, Tara Setmayer, CNN political -- oh, I hear Tara can't hear me, so they're going to make Tara hear me in a moment. Tara Setmayer is with us, who worked on The Hill, and Alice Stewart is here, our CNN political commentator and Republican strategist.

So, ladies, thank you very, very much. I was -- I was fascinated by this piece in "The Times."

And, Alice, it begins with Diane Harkey, who, as you know, is running in California, which can be tough for a Republican. She's running in California's 49th district. And this is what she told "The Times," quote, the energy is on the other side. She said, President Trump, quote, doesn't make it -- doesn't make women really comfortable. And then she said, I want all -- I want all voters, I like men, too. I don't think it helps much to talk about gender.

What's your read?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that's a smart play. She is a strong candidate. She's well-funded. She's doing very well so far in a tough district. And -- and it is important to focus on the issues.

Look, it's not a secret that President Trump is not popular in California. He had the lowest GOP number since 1936 in the presidential race.

HARLOW: Yes.

STEWART: But this district right here is one where Harkey can do well. The president does have support in that area. Maybe not along the coast, but throughout the district. And she is wise to stick to the policies, stick to issues that that district is concerned with. And many of the congressional candidates this year, all politics is local. And while they are looking at the issues that are imperative to their voters, if Trump is popular there, they will hug up to Trump. And, if not, they will focus on the issues and that good grass-roots campaigning. And that's exactly what Harkey's doing.

HARLOW: That Tip O'Neill reference, right, all politics is local, I suppose until it isn't, right?

STEWART: Right.

HARLOW: But I hear your point.

Tara, Meghan Milloy, who's the co-founder of Republican Women for Progress, says about this year and the midterms for Republican women this year that the group -- that group has told a number of female candidates, quote, don't run this year. You're a great candidate. If it were any other year, you would win.

What do you make of that?

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That was a fascinating aspect of this article because I've been involved in Republican politics for over 20 years and there -- I can't remember ever a time during an election cycle where anyone would have discouraged women from running. That has been part of the Republican candidate recruitment strategy for as long as I've been around --

HARLOW: Right.

SETMAYER: To get good quality women to run in -- anywhere. So it was -- that was a fascinating aspect of it because it just goes to show you how the dynamics have changed considerably in the era of Trump. I mean if you just look at women like Cathy McMorris Rogers in Washington state --

HARLOW: Sure. She didn't get 50 percent.

SETMAYER: She certainly did not. And she's in leadership in the Republican House.

STEWART: Yes.

[09:50:03] SETMAYER: She's, I believe, number four in leadership. She's a conference chair.

Or Martha Roby down in Alabama.

HARLOW: Yes.

SETMAYER: She didn't -- she underperformed in her primary because she criticized, God forbid --

HARLOW: Criticized Trump.

SETMAYER: Trump during -- after the "Access Hollywood" tape.

HARLOW: Yes.

SETMAYER: Which you would expect any woman -- anyone should have, but even for a woman to come out about that --

HARLOW: Although -- yes.

SETMAYER: That still carried her over, even though she supported Donald Trump in --

HARLOW: Right.

SETMAYER: You know, 90 percent plus of the policies in the House.

HARLOW: Right.

SETMAYER: he fact that these dynamics have changed this way and that any Republican woman who is not 100 percent sycophantically in the side -- on the side of Donald Trump, any criticism whatsoever, is something that is potentially a negative.

HARLOW: Right.

SETMAYER: But Alice is right, that all politics is local. And in election -- congressional elections, a lot of times they are not nationalized as much as we in the media like to make them.

HARLOW: That's a --

SETMAYER: It does come down to what's going on in those specific districts.

HARLOW: I would say, though, Alice --

STEWART: And, Poppy, I think --

HARLOW: Just the one -- you know one point that we saw in Wisconsin this week with Leah Vukmir, a different story, she was very anti-Trump during the campaign, you know, and she still pulled it off in Wisconsin.

I want to get your thought and this, right, the fact that you look at, for example, Minnesota and you look at southern Minnesota, you have Carla Nelson running there for an open House seat and she told "The Times," all the good old boys begged me not to run.

STEWART: That's a mistake, because one of the things that Harkey pointed out in that piece was that men are warriors. They tend to go to war when it comes to politics and women are more consensus builders. Women are naturally, in my view, better at building consensus, which is key here in Washington, and they are able to connect. If they get out there and do the hard work of retail politics, they are able to connect better.

And I can say for a fact that the NRCC, the National Republican Congressional Committee, they have specifically recruitment efforts to recruit solid candidates like we're seeing in Minnesota and across the country. They have one-third more women running for office than they did back in 2016 because they do see this can be a critical year.

Unfortunately, the president's approval ratings amongst women in the CNN poll this week, women view approval about 35 percent and disapprove by two-thirds of that.

HARLOW: Right.

STEWART: So that's the challenge. The challenge is to stand by the policies. And if you have to, if the president is not popular in those districts, then you have to separate yourself.

HARLOW: All right, two more -- two --

SETMAYER: And that challenge -- just really quickly.

HARLOW: Yes.

SETMAYER: The challenge also with women, college-educated women and women in suburbs, is going to be turnout and who's going to go where. What we saw in Ohio 12, in that district, which was solidly Republican, that the president won, you saw -- it became a lot closer than it should have been. And that -- is that potentially because more Democratic women are inspired to come out and vote against Trump or what they see as the incivility in politics, voting against -- you know, voting against what Trump is doing?

HARLOW: Right.

SETMAYER: Or is that something -- or, you know, is it something different? That is a key demographic to watch because --

HARLOW: Sure.

SETMAYER: There are 68 other districts that are less Republican than that one was --

HARLOW: Yes.

SETMAYER: That are up for grabs in the House. So that demographic of suburban women is really going to be key in the midterms.

HARLOW: Totally. And that key 14 percent of, you know, white suburban educated women that voted for the president is now the key sort of part on the line that is so important for the midterms --

SETMAYER: That's right, swing vote.

HARLOW: Yes, and for 2020.

OK, Alice, as a Republican strategist, I have to get you on this, right? You know, as a Republican, you might not like Alexandra Ocasio- Cortez, right? You may think this 28-year-old Latino who stunned everyone winning New York 14 in the primary against this, you know -- you know, Joe Crowley had been there for so long. You might not like her policies or think they're realistic, but here's what the RNC did in an e-mail overnight. They said that she is a mini-Maduro. Saying that she is akin to Nicolas Maduro, the dictator in Venezuela, someone who is accused of human rights abuses, money laundering, allegations of false imprisonment and torture.

A bridge too far?

STEWART: I do. I'm not a big fan of comparing folks to dictators and the like. But, look, you cannot deny that she is someone that is electrifying her constituency and people across the country. She won tremendously in her district, which overcoming the odds against someone who had a lot of experience. Her problem, though, is she's got a tremendous learning curve.

These races are hard. There's a lot you have to learn. And she has made some mistakes out there on the campaign trail and in a lot of the interviews.

HARLOW: Right.

STEWART: And it does open her up to these types of attacks. So she would be much better served going out there, doing retail politicking in her district and trying to avoid some of these bigger issues because --

SETMAYER: That's interesting.

STEWART: It's a tremendous, tremendous learning curve.

HARLOW: Right.

SETMAYER: When you have Republicans going after --

HARLOW: All right.

SETMAYER: Like, I disagree wholeheartedly with Democratic socialism and I think her -- her ideas are against American values. But when you start comparing women candidates to dictators and when the president goes out and calls former staffers dogs and does the things that he does, that does not help the Republican side of things. It only energizes Democrats.

[09:55:18] HARLOW: All right, ladies, thanks for being here. Interesting discussion. Have a great weekend.

STEWART: Thanks, Poppy, you too.

SETMAYER: You too.

HARLOW: A quick break. I'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARLOW: Top of the hour. Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.

[09:59:57] Minutes from now we will see the president. He is heading to a fundraiser in the Hamptons. The big question, will he address the growing criticism over his decision to strip former CIA John Brennan's security clearance?