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Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Is Interviewed About President Trump, North Korea, Iran; New CNN Polling Shows Harris Surge, Biden Slump; Federal Officials Investigating Reports Of Cruel, Lewd Customs And Border Protection Agent Facebook Group; Ivanka Trump Makes Presence Known On Father's Asia Trip; Ivanka Trump Speaks With World Leaders, Joins Meeting With Kim Jong-un On Father's Trip; Remembering 9/11 First Responder Luis Alvarez. Aired on 8-9p ET

Aired July 1, 2019 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:19] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.

New poll in tonight and it confirms what many debate watchers suspected. The Democratic presidential race is shifting to Kamala Harris' benefit and at Joe Biden's expense. We'll have more on that shortly.

But we begin with the incumbent president and yet more evidence from his G20 trip that he's happier talking to tyrants than democratic heads of state like himself. Now, before going further, we should note that what his defenders say that hard-headed diplomacy often requires dealing with less than savory characters, even outright thugs. And if that what the president was doing, it would be controversial but it also be for good purpose or even a definable purpose.

Instead, though, his critics and they span the political spectrum, worry that this president turned what used to be a diplomatic necessity for advancing the interest of the United States and democracies into something else, such as failing to rebut Vladimir Putin's claim that Western style liberalism is, in his words, obsolete.

The president did not do what Ronald Reagan never failed to do with Michael Gorbachev. He didn't do what John F. Kennedy did when he confronted Nikita Khrushchev. He didn't verbally defend what NATO was to form to defend militarily. Instead, he confused Western style liberalism, meaning the century's old tradition of freedom and democracy with a political opposition in California.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know what they are thinking but when you look at Los Angeles, when you look at San Francisco, when you look at some of the other cities, and not a lot, not a lot but you don't want it to spread.


COOPER: Again, that's President Trump's answer to a dictator claiming that everything the West stands for is dying, which would be news to every American that fought in Korea or the Second World War or on the front lines now. The president also commiserated with Putin about a free press and when asked about ongoing Russian attacks on American democracy, he made light of it.


REPORTER: Will you tell Russia not to meddle in the 2020 election?

TRUMP: Yes, of course I will.

Don't meddle in the election please. Don't -- don't meddle in the election.


COOPER: There is just something about meeting with Putin that does it to him that makes him guilty and giddy dictator curious. The same for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, MBS, whom CIA believes authorized the murder and dismemberment of the Washington-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The president met with him as well, saying, quote, nobody has directly pointed a finger, unquote, at him for Khashoggi's killing. Again, the CIA has and a U.N. investigation just did.

But the president just got started before leaving Osaka, he tweeted, I'll be leaving Japan for South Korea with President Moon. While there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet with him at the border at DMZ. Just so shake his hand and say hello, question mark, exclamation. Call me, maybe.

And Kim did. The president became the first to set foot in North Korea while in office and boy, did it play up as a big moment for himself. Take a look.


TRUMP: I actually stepped in with Chairman Kim. I stepped into North Korea and they say --


And they say that's a very historic moment and I think it is a historic moment and a very good moment. And he asked me would you like to do that? I said it would be my honor and we did and we went over the line, and turned around and everybody was so happy, and many people I noticed from Korea were literally in tears crying, crying because this is a big thing. It's a big thing.


COOPER: Not only a big thing but even bigger because it achieves he says what his predecessor couldn't, which, by the way, is factually untrue which as is this statement you're going to hear from the president.


TRUMP: They couldn't have meetings. Nobody was going to meet. President Obama wanted to meet, and Chairman Kim would not meet him. The Obama administration was begging for a meeting. They were begging for meetings constantly, and Chairman Kim would not meet with him, and for some reason, we have a certain chemistry or whatever.


COOPER: Call it chemistry, call it love, the president certainly has it. It's unclear what if any concession the president got in exchange for the visit. "The New York Times" is reporting administration may be willing to settle for a freeze on nuclear development, meaning Kim gets to keep the arsenal that goes without saying is great for the dictator, not so great for American allies, South Korean and Japan, which certainly that puts this statement from the president in a certain unflattering light.


TRUMP: I get along with everybody except you people, actually. I get along with a lot of people. I get along with President Putin. I get along with Mohammed.


COOPER: He gets along with Mohammed just fine, and Kim and Vlad. As for Theresa May, Angela Merkel, Shinzo Abe, well, they aren't accused killers, and it seems from the president's eyes, that means they don't have the right stuff.

[20:05:03] Joining us now, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Why do you think it is that he treats dictators one way and our oldest allies another?

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Well, he admires these strong men. He doesn't have principles about what rule of law is, what a democracy is. You know, Anderson, this was one of the worst few days in American foreign policy, in American diplomatic history.


SCHUMER: In a long time. Praising dictators, messing up foreign policy left and right, what he did in North Korea, giving Kim Jong-un just what he wanted, calling him a friend, patting him on the back, and getting nothing, absolutely nothing in return.

North Korea is still nuclear. The president used to criticize Obama and Bush. You couldn't get rid of their weapons, I will. He said about a year ago, we don't have to worry about things.

They have ICBMs. They have more nuclear bombs than they've had in the past. They are a danger to the United States and he pats the guy on the back and gets nothing in return.

His foreign policy is erratic. It's done for the moment so he can get his little ego hit and it hurts us, hurts us in the long run.

COOPER: It seems every -- the two summits he's had with Kim Jong-un got really nothing in return for them. That was always a big carrot, oh, the U.S. will actually meet face-to-face with you. Now, it's -- I've actually gone into northern -- an American president visited North Korea and got nothing in return.

SCHUMER: It's reality show foreign policy. He wants that photo-op. He wants that little hit. He has no strategic long-range sense of where to go, what to do.

And if anyone thinks this doesn't hurt America in the short term, in the long run, they are sadly mistaken. And what you showed before telling, joking about Putin interfering with our election, it's basically saying to Putin go ahead and do it, this is our democracy. The Founding Fathers, wisest of all were worried about foreign governments entangling themselves and the first president that's come close to encouraging it. It's disgraceful.

COOPER: He did most recently say in an interview when asked what do you look at information again? He said I would look at it and came around to saying maybe I'd call the FBI.

SCHUMER: There is no principle in what he does for foreign policy except feeding his ego and not even for the long term but momentarily. He's going to look like a fool about North Korea when they do nothing or maybe worse, he changes his policy from denuclearization to saying status quo, which means let North Korea be more dangerous than its ever been. We're going to do nothing about it.

COOPER: Let me argue what supporters will say. Plenty of administrations tried all different sorts of approaches. None of it worked. They still moved forward.

Maybe this, having a personal relationship with the murderous dictator may be --

SCHUMER: That hasn't produced anything in two and a half years. And the odds of producing four more years, hopefully there won't be is very, very tiny.

COOPER: Is settling for North Korea acceptable?

SCHUMER: Well, he always said it wasn't. The American people don't want it. This is new. This is worst than ever.

He says, you know, he's doing things other people could have done. He's right. He now is presiding over North Korea not only with more nuclear weapons than they had but ICBMs, the capability of delivering to the west coast of the United States.

COOPER: I found it odd that his national security advisor isn't there. He's off in Mongolia.

SCHUMER: Well, the two hawks, in this case, we needed hawks, we don't usually don't in Iran. But in this case, they are not even there. This is, I think, these folks around the president have sort of thrown

up their hands and they say he's going to do what he's going to do no matter how much in damages the United States and North Korea are dangerous dictators with a threat over us and Iran even worse. He could bumble into war and they sort of throw up their hands and say well, that's Donald Trump.

They shouldn't be working for him if they are throwing up their hands.

COOPER: The situation on the boarder I want to talk to you about. Some members toured Customs and Border Protection facility today. They described terrible conditions, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, one woman told her she had been told to drink out of a toilet.

I saw a border agent on television saying that's not something we would say to anybody.

Is the border funding bill that was passed this week actually going to provide enough funding to --

SCHUMER: Well, it's certainly on the Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS, provides much-needed money because everyone agrees we were running out of money. These kids don't have toothbrushes. The little babies don't have diapers. There's not enough room and there's not enough facilities. That part is good.

There are some safeguards in the bill, no more ICE beds. The money can't be used for other things. There should have been more safeguards. Leader McConnell refused to put those in. The House did their best.

But, you know, there are real answers to this policy, and we Democrats have proposed something that could really work.

[20:10:05] Namely, let these people who are not drug dealers or MS-13 or criminals as Trump seems to characterize all of them, let them -- they are fleeing for their lives. If your daughter was threatened with rape, your son threatened with murder, they said, the gang said, we'll burn down your house unless you do what we want, of course, you would try to get away and even risk an 800-mile trek through the hot desert and pay these coyotes and subject yourself to all kinds of problems. We saw that horrible, horrible, it wrenched my heart picture of the father with his little daughter clinging to his neck.

So, the answer, one of the best answers is to say let people who are going to flee for their lives apply for asylum in the three countries, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala. Let's provide more judges so they can get adjudicated quickly, and if they make the standards for asylum, they come, if not, not. And that is an answer that everyone thinks is a good answer.

COOPER: Although, administration has made it tougher --

SCHUMER: They took away the money.

COOPER: Also the qualifications for asylum are tough for you're fleeing domestic violence.

SCHUMER: They stretched those -- they stretched those incorrectly or narrowed them actually incorrectly, but they have also, there was money that was provided towards the end of the Obama administration to go after in these countries, it's not very much money in this grand scheme of things to go after the drug dealers, to go over the gang, so these people wouldn't be fleeing and Trump cut it off. He doesn't have a policy other than using these poor children as sort of pawns in the game.

Some say, I hope it's not true, that they are deliberately making the conditions miserable for the kids so more people don't flee. If you're fleeing for your life, you're going to flee period.

COOPER: That was certainly the idea behind separating children from their parents. I was -- I mean, by their own admission, it was a deterrent.

SCHUMER: Isn't that a despicable policy this use these little innocent children as pawns? Isn't that despicable?

COOPER: It does not seem to have worked given that the numbers increased.

SCHUMER: Almost nothing -- the biggest problem this administration is going to face aside from what the president's dishonesty and the president not caring about rule of law, the president being a bully and often a narcissist is they are not producing results. They are talking about solving the problem in North Korea, it's worse. They are talking about dealing with China, they are backing off, you know, with Huawei and things like that.

And they -- the border situation is worse than ever before in large part because they don't have a policy. The president each week we're going to pose tariffs on Mexico. We're going to build a wall. We're going to not do any trade with Mexico.

Each week or month he has a different policy. They don't implement it because they're so -- there was no home at the administration. But I'd say this, Anderson, even on the economy, which is their great claim to fame, the lower 60 percent part of America doesn't think they are benefitting from this economy. Go tell an auto worker there are millions, that their future is great. Go tell a steel worker their future is great.

So this administration -- one of the things that's going to become more and more apparent is aside from the mendacity and prevarication, they don't deliver on anything, whether its' foreign policy or domestic policy.

COOPER: Just very briefly because I got to go, do you believe Mitch McConnell is going to deliver for 9/11 responders? He had a meeting with them last week. He said by August, this will be brought up for a vote.

SCHUMER: You know, tonight is the wake, tomorrow night, as well, of Detective Alvarez, who I spoke to --

COOPER: Lou Alvarez.

SCHUMER: Lou Alvarez -- who I spoke to a few days before he died. What a wonderful man. He said to me, this is probably the last time I'll talk to you but please fight hard to get this money.

John Feel (ph), Alvarez and some of the others did a great job, McConnell has now said and this is a big step forward that he'll deal with it in August. Now, how should he deal with it? Fully.

When the House passes the bill, don't cut back. Don't put it on something that might not past. Just put it on the floor it has 60 co- sponsors, Democrats and Republicans it will pass and be signed into law and that's the only right thing to do.

COOPER: Do you think he can do it?

SCHUMER: I think the odds are pretty high. I wish he could do it. He would have done it a long time ago but there is so much heat on him that I think he may do it. I hope he doesn't play a little trick and only do part of it.

COOPER: Senator Schumer, appreciate your time.

SCHUMER: Anderson, great to see you. Thanks.

COOPER: Coming up next, breaking news on some of the senator's Democratic members not to mention the former colleague Joe Biden. What polling since the debate shows about how the Democratic primary race is shifting?

And later, we've been discussing these new allegations about conditions at migrant detention facilities and really shocking report on how some border officers are expressing their views online. Wait until you hear what they are saying.


[20:14:06] COOPER: New CNN polling underscores what people saw in last week's first Democratic primary debates. Bear in mind that it's a national poll and it's early in the campaign.

Now, that said, it shows Vice President Joe Biden still out front, but with the margin of error, he's, in fact, nearly tied now with California Senator Kamala Harris. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, meantime, is a close third, though, she and Senator Harris were widely perceived to have done well on the debate stage. Joe Biden was not, and drilling deeper into the polling could say more where things go from here.

Joining us now to break it all down, CNN Political Director, David Chalian.

So, how badly did Biden's debate performance hurt him? And again, these are -- this is a national poll which really what matters, of course, is Iowa, and New Hampshire in the early states.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Of course. There is no doubt about that. But this is a snapshot of where Democrats across the country remember some 18 million people tuned in to watch those debates. So, this is the snapshot now.

[20:20:01] Take a look at where they came from in May. Joe Biden to answer your question dropped ten points in this poll from where he was in May from 32 percent to now 22 percent. And you see both Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren doubling their support since May. Harris up nine. Warren up eight. We see Sanders down four and Buttigieg holding about even just ticks down one percentage point.

You said is that all debate related? We don't know. We also saw Biden, remember, on a downward trajectory from April to May. So, was he continuing downward and the debate exacerbated it? Clearly the debate didn't help.

COOPER: I mean, it wasn't all bad news for Biden, though. He's still the person that most Democratic voters think could beat President Trump.

CHALIAN: Yes, he's still leading. He's narrowing and you're right, that is his Trump card, if you will. Forty-three percent, nobody else comes close for these Democrats in who they think has the best chance of beating President Trump and look at how important it is for Democrats, Anderson. This is why this is such an important number for him. Nearly 6 in 10, just more than 6 in 10 Democrats say they want somebody that's a candidate with a strong chance of beating Trump versus only 30 percent of Democrats that say somebody who shares my position on the issues.

So, if somebody can pierce this notion that Biden is the best position to beat Trump, they would go a long way to really perhaps severely damage Joe Biden.

COOPER: All right. David, stay with us.

I want to bring in the rest of our team tonight, CNN Political Analyst and "USA Today" Columnist, Kirsten Powers. Also CNN Political Commentator and Democratic Strategist, Paul Begala.

Paul, what do you make of the vice president's slide here and how concerned would you be on his team? Or should he be?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He should be very concerned and his team should be. You know, he's sort of the legacy brand but both he and Bernie Sanders, the two legacy brands that ran for president in the past. They are sliding and the insurgent candidacies, particularly Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, are gaining.

I think it's a tremendous concern. And he does have bulwark with African American voters. I mean, he has got to earn that. He's got to fight hard for those voters and I think his hold on them could be tenuous. Democrats don't like a front runner. Ask my friend Hillary Clinton.

They like to take out the front runner and they've got a lot of options this time.

I think this is a snapshot as Chalian says. He's right. The snapshot is one guy going down and two women going up. And I think it's going to continue.

COOPER: Kirsten, Paul references, you know, Hillary Clinton. Any time there is an air of inevitability, particularly at this stage in the race, that can be dangerous thing if the candidate himself or herself, you know, believes that.

BEGALA: Yes, that's exactly -- the worst thing is if there is a sense of entitlement if you feel that it should be yours and you shouldn't have to respond to attacks and I think that Biden should have been able to predict, frankly, what was going to happen. I mean, it's all been churning in the news already. This wasn't a surprise that there was going to be criticisms certainly around the race, particularly around the busing issues. So, I think it would be concerned if I was on his team that he just didn't seem ready to respond to that.

I find it hard to believe that his team didn't prepare him for it and I think that he can't be caught flat footed that way in the future.

COOPER: David, I mean, Paul was referencing Biden's traditional support among black voters, 36 percent I think to Kamala Harris' 24 percent should -- I mean, that's not something that he can take for granted.

CHALIAN: Oh, no, not at all. And that -- listen, what we saw remember back in 2007, 2008, a lot of black voters early on parked with Hillary Clinton didn't move over to Barack Obama until they saw white America in Iowa say vote for the guy and so I think Joe Biden is going to have to fight for every inch of this.

Yes, he was Barack Obama's vice president. Yes, has a reservoir of goodwill with the African-American community inside the Democratic Party, Anderson, but if this notion that he's the one that could beat Trump starts getting chipped away and if Kamala Harris specifically continues to rise here and she can show African American voters she's winning overall kinds of support, that could be very, very dangerous situation for Biden's candidacy.

COOPER: Paul, for you, the ability to beat President Trump, is that your number one issue? Most Democrats think Biden is the person to do that, still.

BEGALA: That's number one, number two, number three and 11. That's the only issue I care about is, can you deliver me from Donald Trump? I'll compromise anything -- I'm a JFK Democrat, right? I will pay any price, bear any burden, support any friend, oppose any foe, and show the defeat of Donald J. Trump.

What's cool is I am right in the middle of my party. Look at our poll. David pointed out a moment ago, by 2-1 Democrats would rather have someone that can beat Trump than someone that agrees with them on every issue.

The voters in my party are screaming at their candidates -- be practical, be pragmatic, be successful.

[20:25:04] And yet, so many of them, I watched that debate, I have to tell you, I don't like a lot of what I saw. So many of them are chasing some ideological purity, some extreme position that they don't need to do. The voters, Democrats are telling them, pay attention to us and show us how to beat Trump with a more, I think, moderate incremental change oriented progressive message.

And they seem all to be chasing over-educated, over-caffeinated, over- opinionated white liberals on Twitter, like I'm one of them. But they are a pain in the neck. And the real Democrats are saying, be more practical.

COOPER: Kirsten, do you agree with Paul? Is that what you saw on that stage.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I don't know, I mean, I think that there are some really important debates going on in the country and they're happening on the Democratic stage.

And so, there's -- you know, I don't have any problem with them discussing these issues and I guess I'm probably more aligned to the left side in terms of the policy issues, maybe not as in touch with America as Paul is, I guess. But I think that the interesting thing about this to me in terms of looking at this poll is that the Democrats are sort of struggling with the idea of what makes somebody the best person to beat Trump, and I think that the conventional wisdom kind of was, it's a white guy. It's a Joe Biden kind of white guy who can connect with people in Pennsylvania, and I think they are starting to rethink that.

COOPER: Interesting. David, Kirsten, Paul, thank you, good discussion.

Still to come, as Democrats visit detainees near the border, there is a new report about a Facebook group, kind of invite only Facebook group that border patrol agents current and former and others had that contains vulgar comments about migrant deaths and sometimes racist bigoted language. We'll have details about it ahead.


[20:30:56] COOPER: A loud, sometimes ruckus (ph) seen today as a congressional delegation visited migrant children detained in a now notorious facility in Clint, Texas over the shouts of the President's Democratic members of Congress detailed what detainees say they endured daily.


REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): When we went into the cell, it was clear that the water was not running. There was a toilet, but there was no running water for people to drink. In fact, one of the women said that she was told by an agent to drink water out of the toilet.


COOPER: New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was part of the delegation. After visiting another facility earlier in the day she tweeted this, "It's not just the kids, it's everyone. People drinking out of toilets, officers laughing in front of members of Congress. I brought up to their superiors. They said officers are under stress and act out sometimes. No accountability."

Protesters on both sides of the issue were also there. Most of the Democrats ignored the pro-Trump contingent that you heard people yelling, not so for Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib who basically told them bring it on.


REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): Right here. Right here. I ain't going nowhere. Right here. That's right.


COOPER: Well, also today, ProPublica published a shocking story about a secret invitation to only Facebook group, which has about 9,500 members, including an unknown number of current and former boarder patrol agents.

Users have numerous races from misogynous like anti-gay bigoted comments and jokes, including vulgar comments about migrant deaths, including the deaths of children and discussed throwing burritos at Latino members of Congress who come to visit border facilities.

They also shared a vulgar post about today's visit and an extremely graphic one involving Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez being sexually assaulted by President Trump. Short time ago -- earlier or short time earlier today, I spoke to A.C. Thompson, the ProPublica reporter and PBS frontline correspondent who wrote that story.


COOPER: A.C., there are thousands of people I understand on this Facebook list. Do you have any sense how many of them are current border patrol agents or former border patrol agents and how many are actually participating in the really disgusting stuff that you've written about?

A.C. THOMPSON, REPORTER, PROPUBLICA: Yes, that's a great question. We honestly cannot say how many of these people are current border patrol, how many are former. We think there may be some members of the public in there, as well. But what we know is that it's a closed secret group that you had to be invited into by somebody who is in the border patrol or another Customs and Border Protection unit and that the people are all discussing the work of Customs and Border Protection.

COOPER: It also seemed like people put an awful lot of time into creating, you know, mocked up photo shopped pictures that were obscene. You know, there was the post in the article that you mentioned about the father and daughter whose bodies -- who drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande and the post attached that picture and it reads, "OK, I'm going to go ahead and ask, have you all ever seen floaters this clean? I'm not trying to be an ass, but I've never seen floaters like this. Could this be another edited photo? We've all seen the Dems and liberal parties do some pretty sick things."

What was the response within this group to someone posting, you know, this about a dead father and his dead child calling them floaters suggesting that this is some sort of plot by Democrats?

THOMPSON: You know, what we saw in the messages that we've obtained is repeatedly members of this group dehumanizing migrants and dehumanizing migrants who have died in different cases.

So, we've seen different comments where people are saying, you know, basically very disparaging things about migrants who've died or migrants for example were about to publish a story where there is a man trying to ferry his son across the river in a plastic bag.

[20:35:08] This is a photo that's in one of the posts, and one of the people who comments on it says, "Oh, well, at least he's already in a trash bag," suggesting that the child is trash. So that's the kind of stuff that we see in those posts.

COOPER: In addition to the post that we mentioned earlier about the visit to the detention center by members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, I understand there were other posts about that visit. What did they say?

THOMPSON: Yes, there's posts about the visit that are saying, you know, really disparaging things about Representative Ocasio-Cortez. There are things in there saying, "Hey, we should start a GoFundMe campaign for somebody to throw a burrito at these women using an expletive." There is someone using more vulgar terms to describe women who we believe is a border patrol supervisor. So there's all that kind of discussion.

You know, interestingly, also there's a threat where people are saying, "Hey, I wonder if they're going to clean up this facility and basically spit shine it like they did at some of these other facilities before cameras come in and give a fake view of what's going on." So that was also articulated in the posts.

COOPER: Wow. I mean, the border patrol has a big problem with recruiting people, retaining people. It's incredible to me that whoever -- you know, there's 9,500 people in this invite only Facebook list. The idea that they thought this ultimately would not become public is kind of stunning to me.

THOMPSON: Yes, exactly, right? Like, look, we all know that there's lots of totally up standing members of the border patrol and all other law enforcement agencies, but it is concerning that you have a group that big and there is that kind of vulgar stuff being passed around on it and that nobody says to management as far as we can tell, hey, this is outrageous. This is total misconduct, even if it's happening off of work time, and something should be done about it.

COOPER: And you've reached out obviously to Customs and Border Patrol for comment. What have they said?

THOMPSON: Yes. So what we heard from them today is that they are opening an investigation into this matter. What they have told us is that this type of behavior online breaches their code of conduct, that they have referred this matter to the Homeland Security inspector general.

But, Anderson, I should also say after we contacted them, we got more images from this group and these were particularly homophobic images and actually some of them involved people disparaging you.

COOPER: Wow. Well, it's -- I guess it's not that an elite club if I'm part of that, as well. A.C. Thompson, incredible reporting. Thank you so much.

THOMPSON: Thank you.


COOPER: Well, more to come on that. A lot more ahead, including the ripple effects from Ivanka Trump's participation in her dad's trip to Japan, South Korea and his meeting with the leader of North Korea. The question is, why was she there and did she go way beyond her per view as a White House official? Details ahead.


[20:42:01] COOPER: The first daughter is taking hits by critics tonight for her involvement, some would say over involvement in her father's Asia trip. Officially, Ivanka Trump is listed as an advisor of the President, but she appeared to take on the role of unofficial diplomat in Japan and North Korea, inserting herself into meetings, photo ops and conversations.

She visited the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea along with President Trump and stepped across the border. Earlier, she gave reporters an on camera briefing after her father met with both the Indian and Japanese leaders, something usually handled by an official from the National Security Counsel.

The French government even posted this Instagram video of Ms. Trump trying to engage in a talk with several attendees at the G20 summit in Japan, including British Prime Minister Theresa May and Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, as well as France's president. They all seem confused as to what exactly she's doing there.



THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: As soon as you charge them with that economic aspect of it though -- TRUMP: Yes.

MAY: -- a lot of people start listening who wouldn't otherwise listen.

TRUMP: They start listening. And the same with the defense side of it --

MAY: Yes.

TRUMP: -- in terms of the whole sort of business that's been very male-dominated. So--


COOPER: So what to make of this? Joining us is CNN Senior Political Analyst, David Gergen. David, I wonder what went through your mind when you watched that video? I mean, was she actually part of that conversation?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: She seemed to be and Christine Lagarde did not seem to be terribly happy about it, nor did the others. But, nonetheless, Anderson, listen, way -- I need to back up for a minute.

This country very much needs more women in high-level diplomacy jobs and we've had four so far, the two, Condoleezza Rice and Susan Rice, and Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright. They all earned their way to the top. They all earned their way to the table. Three of them have PhDs, one Yale Law. They all work for years in foreign policy and they're like -- they're all professionals by the time they began to run high level diplomacy.

Ivanka Trump simply hasn't paid her dues. If she's there, it's a result of nepotism that bar under the President. It would be fine if she went -- if her -- if Melania is not going -- the First Lady is not going, Ivanka went in her place, that would be fine.

But to go and be treated like a high-level professional really insults our foreign service. It tells what they do in life and it sends a message to the other heads of state that this White House is playing it by different rules that nobody seems to understand. But our -- so, you know, not treated -- not respected by others. They are keeping silent about it, but they don't respect it.

COOPER: I mean, if this was Clinton administration and it was Chelsea Clinton doing this, I think the criticism would be the same, although probably louder from the Republican side.


COOPER: I want to play another video from this weekend taken to the Blue House in South Korea. It's Ivanka Trump and in the back trying to find somewhere to stand is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It was just -- I don't know, it's the kind of thing that happens when the President's daughter is stepping in to these kinds of roles on the world stage, I guess.

[20:45:05] GERGEN: Yes.

COOPER: It's not just Ivanka Trump, the former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly told Congress last month that Jared Kushner had dinner with Mexico's foreign secretary entirely without Tillerson's knowledge, essentially going around him in matters of diplomacy.

GERGEN: Yes. And you can imagine that it only hastened Tillerson's move out the door. And Jared Kushner is also entrusted with the Middle East. He's come up with this economic development plan, that so far has been shrugged off by people in the Middle East leaders and Middle East. You know, the Palestinians won't even meet with him.

Once before in our history, Anderson, Franklin Roosevelt appointed Eleanor Roosevelt early in the Roosevelt's first term to a position in the government, to a civil service position. It was a disaster. And they rapidly -- she rapidly stepped away from it and realized she had a different role to play as a member of the first family as First Lady. Ivanka has a role to play but not this one.

COOPER: Yes. It's also not clear what she is qualified to really be discussing on the world stage. I mean, what is -- what is it she brings to the table other than being, you know, having I guess a shoe or clothing company and being the President's daughter.

GERGEN: That's absolutely true. And when Jared has a back channel to the Mexican foreign minister and Ivanka has channels going down to one place or another, it under cuts the top people.

And one of the things that happens to other countries, if you're in a country that sends, you know, a friend of the United States and you send your top level ambassador, that ambassador's job is to be able to speak to the government, the U.S. government, and they know who to speak to.

And now, we're sending out signals to other countries, we don't know who do you want to speak. So you can speak to Jared, you might speak to Ivanka, you know, you might want to speak to John Bolton, but does he really know what's going on? Who speaks for Trump?

And that causes -- we're already in a volatile administration, it just causes a massive confusion when the children through a form of nepotism are being put in the positions where they seem to speak for the President but nobody is quite sure.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, John Bolton is in Mongolia, which -- I mean, I would love to go to Mongolia, but it's not exactly where the action is. David Gergen --

GERGEN: It's not. Do you think it's for a reason? You know, you have to believe that he just sort of wanted to take a power and get the heck out of there --

COOPER: Yes. David Gergen --

GERGEN: -- out of that and not go to the Korean trip.

COOPER: Yes. Thank you very much. Just ahead, we remember a champion of the 9/11 first responders, retired NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez who died just days after delivering a powerful plead to Congress to replenish the fund for other victims who worked at ground zero.


[20:51:54] COOPER: We mentioned this at the top in the context of legislation to help 9/11 first responders, a key advocate of that legislation, a hero died over the weekend, Luis Alvarez, a retired NYPD detective was just 53 years old. The cause of death was complications of colon cancer linked to his time spent in ground zero.

Three weeks ago, he joined other first responders and comedian Jon Stewart in a very public plea for Congress to fully fund the victim compensation fund, which was in danger of running out of money.

The NYPD commissioner tweeted, "His strength, physical, mental, and emotional led us all and we vow to never forget him or his legacy which was simply to have others do what's right."

Chris Cuomo joins us now. Chris, it's just -- the fact that he's, you know, spent some of his last time testifying in front of the Congress is just -- it's a testimony to the kind of guy he was.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: His medal. Listen, obviously, our hearts have to go out to the family. He's got three sons. You know, Alvarez was the American dream, Coop. You know, he was born in Cuba, came here, grew up in Queens, wanted to serve, his family believed that he should serve and give back.

He didn't want to be anywhere after 9/11 except down at ground zero. And we all know the reporting back then. We knew it couldn't be right that air. They were misled. They've been tossed around all this time.

Now, the House has passed this bill, hopefully it happens in the Senate, but what a shame that we treat our best to the worst of us.

COOPER: Yes. What are you working on tonight?

CUOMO: So, we're going to bring on a surrogate from Kamala Harris and talk about this switch in the polls. And I see a couple of things in there that I haven't heard discussed that much yet. There seems to be a big challenge for all of the Democrats on healthcare. I think they have to figure out what their way forward is. We'll take that on tonight. And we'll also take on what happened on the border tonight, today and what didn't happen.

COOPER: All right. Chris, we'll see you in a few minutes, about six minutes from now.

Coming up, President Trump again boasting about his charitable giving. Why is he getting mad for the disgrace Trump Foundation? "The Ridiculist," explains.


[20:57:31] COOPER: Time now for "The Ridiculist." And apparently President Trump had a little bit of jetlag after half scotching in and out of North Korea because he came in hot today with some dusty old rage tweets defending his so-called charitable foundation or as it's known to the New York Attorney General's Office, an operation of " persistently illegal conduct." Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar, the Trump Foundation is to charity what Trump vodka is to fine wines and spirits.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We launched the vodka called Trump Vodka and we're considering it and I think it will be the finest vodka anywhere in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is it made?

TRUMP: It's made actually in various parts of Europe.


COOPER: Various parts of Europe. The more I hear it, the more I just want it to be my ring tone. Parts of Europe, it's so various, he can't even name them. Finish muffler (ph) shop perhaps, a laboratory in Krakow. So many potential various sources for a vodka whose bottle caps may or may not have also contained degrees from Trump University.

Anyway, the President tweeted today and I'm quoting, "That's right. The Trump Foundation gave away a 100 percent plus, with zero rent or expenses charged, and has been being sued by Cuomo and New York State for years, another part of the political witch hunt. Just in case anyone is interested, Clinton Foundation never even looked at."

OK, let's -- I'm not sure where to begin. The Trump Foundation was shutdown after the attorney general of New York announced just how shady it was. And when I say shady, I mean "The Washington Post" reporter literally won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing it.

Seriously, the reporting is so bonkers. You have to look it up yourself online. It's by a tremendous journalist named David Fahrenthold and I know you can almost hear the President disparaging the Pulitzer Prize as neither big nor beautiful, unlike his valentines from Kim Jong-un or the Emmy he never won for "The Apprentice." I have 16 of them, but really whose counting?

"The Post" describes among numerous other shams then citizen Trump crashing charity events to get photo ops and then stiffing the actual charity with little to no money. Yes, that was his move. It was all bounce and no check.

The Trump Foundation also paid off hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal settlements then citizen Trump incurred involving his for-profit businesses. Again, this was supposed to be a charity not an endowment to the, you know, burning made offs school of grifting.

Additionally, the foundation bought not one but two portraits of Mr. Trump, one of which was six feet tall for a combined total of $20,000. And, no, those paintings should not be confused with the Renoir painting Mr. Trump has long displayed in his Trump Tower apartment and claims is an original.

I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that it's not an original and that the real, original, is in the Art Institute of Chicago. So philanthropist and chief, that's a hard no. Sketchy art painting and charity photo bomber, now that's a true original now and ever more on "The Ridiculist."

And the news continues. I want to hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris?