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Sen. Tester Fires Back at Trump over V.A. Pick Ronny Jackson; Schiff: Russians Followed Up on Trump Tower Meeting After Election; House Intel Republicans Clear Trump of Collusion; Trump Optimistic as North & South Korea Agree to End War; Pompeo: Trump Likely to Leave Iran Nuclear Agreement; Cuomo Issues Cease & Desist Letter on ICE Raids; 3 Marines Accused of Sexually Assaulting 2 College Students; Arizona Teachers Strike. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired April 28, 2018 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] RYAN NOBLES, CNN ANCHOR: "Tester should resign. The great people of Montana will not stand for this kind of slander when talking of a great human being. Admiral Jackson is the kind of man that those in Montana would most respect and admire. Now, for no reason whatsoever, his reputation has been shattered. Not fair, Tester."
What are some of those allegations? They include improperly dispensing prescription drugs, drinking on the job and crashing a government vehicle after a party, and overseeing a hostile work environment. The White House says it has documents that show some of those allegations are false.
CNN's Abby Phillip is tracking this story for us from the White House.
Obviously, Senator Tester not going anywhere. Probably not a big surprise. Abby, this might be a bigger problem for the 2018 midterm elections. You know, just give us some background on these documents that the president is referring to.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ryan. The president has been threatening electoral consequences for Jon Tester for a few days now. But clearly, Tester is unfazed by this. And in part because many of the allegations that are out there against Ronny Jackson are not totally answered by some of the documents being presented by the White House to refute them.
Now these allegations have come forward not just to Jon Tester's committee, the V.A. committee in the Senate, but also CNN has spoken to multiple sources, current and former colleagues of Ronny Jackson's who detail a series of behaviors they believe were inappropriate.
Going through these allegation, some of the most serious are ones that John Tester detailed in a document that he released this week about the allegations against Jackson, saying that at one point he was intoxicated and wrecked a government vehicle. Now the White House released a document yesterday saying that they looked at the use of government vehicles by Jackson since 2013 and they found three traffic related incidents but none of them appeared to involve alcohol. But there were other allegations, including that Jackson freely dispensed prescription drugs, including sleep medications and pain medications. And sources told CNN about those allegations that made some people in his unit uncomfortable. The White House released some records about that, showing there were audits over the last several years of the storage of prescription medications. But they didn't really address the issue of whether those prescriptions were appropriately dispensed.
Finally, there's this issue of a trip that Jackson was on under President Obama in which he was allegedly drunkenly banging on the door of a female employee, prompting the Secret Service to intervene. The Secret Service said they have looked into this and found no records that they intervened. But a source told CNN's Juana Summers they have now have direct knowledge that the Secret Service spoke to members of the White House medical unit about this incident and about Jackson's conduct. So there are still so many questions unanswered about these incidents. Other allegations include that Jackson's conduct within the unit created a hostile work environment.
The problem here for the White House is that so many of these allegations were not looked into before the president nominated Jackson for this job. Now they're doing some of this leg work only after he has withdrawn his nomination for the post. The president is hoping this can be a campaign issue for Jon Tester, but Jon Tester is not drawing the rebuke of Republicans, and also he doesn't seem to be fazed at all, as you just pointed out, by the president's threats -- Ryan?
NOBLES: All right. That's right.
Abby Phillip, live at the White House with that update. Abby, thankyou very much.
A top Democrat says the Russian oligarch and Russian lawyers were key players in a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Also reached out to the president's team after the election. Congressman Adam Schiff says they were trying to overturn a key piece of legislation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: What is the importance, in your view, of this admission by this Russian lawyer that she wasn't just a private attorney, but she was working in effect for the Russian government?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D), CALIFORNIA: It really corroborates what we have seen of Veselnitskaya. What we have seen of her contacts within the Russian government as well as her persistence, in terms of one of Putin's top priorities would indicate this is not a solo agent. This is someone working on behalf of the Kremlin.
SCHIFF: You say it has the impression of a quid pro quo?
SCHIFF: It certainly does. Certainly, the Russians thought they had reason to believe after the campaign they now may get the help they sought in that meeting in Trump Tower.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: Let's bring in our panel. Page Page is a CNN legal analyst and a criminal defense attorney. Shawn Turner is a CNN security analyst and a former adviser of National Intelligence. And Jeremy Herb is a CNN politics reporter.
Jeremy, let's start with you.
What exactly were the Russians looking for when they reached out after the election?
[13:05:00] JEREMY HERB, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: The Russians wanted to overturn the Magnitsky Act, which is was a 2012 law that the U.S. passed punishing Russian human rights abuse. This is what ended up being the subject of that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Donald Trump Jr and the others in that meeting expected to go in there getting dirt on Hillary Clinton. Instead, Veselnitskaya focused on the Magnitsky Act and these sanctions. What we learned yesterday was that there was follow up after the election where Veselnitskaya reached out, as we heard from Congressman Schiff yesterday. Also, Aras Agalarov, the oligarch who took part in that meeting, he also separately reached out after. So what that suggests is there was hope from the Russians once Trump was elected they could get movement on this. It's worth noting the sanctions didn't go away but it's still a suspicious action --
NOBLES: Page, I want you to respond to that. Two of these people in this meeting now attempted -- we're finding out attempted to contact the Trump team after the election. Do you view this as evidence of criminality as a part of those meetings?
PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANAYST: It's possible, Ryan. What's important is whether there was an understanding between the Russians who were at that meeting and the representatives of the Trump campaign. If there was some expectation of a follow-up, that could be evidence of an agreement. An agreement could be illegal if the purpose of that agreement was to allow the Russians to have some support of the Trump campaign during the election. So I'm certain that the special counsel's office will be trying to find out why the Russians had this expectation that they would be able to follow up and then perhaps provide some assistance to the campaign.
NOBLES: Shawn, how about you, from a national security perspective? What alarm bells does this raise for you?
SHAWN TURNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think, first of all, it's important to point out that Veselnitskaya is someone who's been on the radar of the intelligence community for quite some time. This is classic trade craft for the Russians. They operate one of two ways. Either they identify individuals who are working in other countries under the guise of a relatively mundane and innocuous jobs and those individuals are dual headed as other Russian agents or people who collect information for Russia. You also have cases like Veselnitskaya where it's unclear if she was operating independently and the Russians recognized that they had someone who could be helpful, or whether or not she was actually someone who, from the very beginning, was working on the behalf of the Russian government. But the fact she was able to get this meeting at the Trump Tower, the fact that they had the wherewithal to reach out afterwards, raises significant concerns for me as far as the intelligence community and national security is concerned.
NOBLES: If this is how business is done, though? If you're a member of the foreign government, you want to see legislation changed in the United States, it's not impossible you would attempt to set up a meeting like this, right?
TURNER: No, it's not. But these things happen, oftentimes happen out front, and in a way that is not covert in any way. What we've seen from Veselnitskaya is we've seen her getting the meeting by claiming that she was coming in to talk about one issue when she wanted to talk about a different issue. That's typical for the Russians and others as well. The Russians have really perfected the trade craft.
NOBLES: Page, the Trump campaign has repeatedly said there was no dirt provided to them about Hillary Clinton in this meeting, but it was clear they went into this meeting hoping they would get something along those lines. Could that be a problem for them, the intent of setting up this meeting, even if it wasn't fruitful in any way?
PATE: Ryan, there's always the possibility that someone could be prosecuted not just for the substantive crime of allowing the Russians to participate in the United States election but also either the conspiracy or the attempt to do so. What I find very interesting about the information that's now coming to light is it appears we have shifting stories, both from the Russian side, which we would expect, and from the Trump side. And any statement that may have been made to the special counsel during this investigation that later turns out to be false can, as we've seen, become a separate criminal offense of obstruction. I think there's some potentially dangerous territory here that the Trump campaign is in.
NOBLES: The other big revelation we got is that Veselnitskaya said she was a Russian informant. So she herself is saying she was at least working with the Russian government in some capacity.
TURNER: Yes. I think she's kind of splitting the baby here a little bit. She kind of admitted she did work with the Russian government in a limited capacity but she hasn't gone so far as to say she was an agent of the Russian government. What I think is key here, and Page alluded to this a little bit, is going to be what the officials with the Trump administration actually knew when they met with Veselnitskaya. Were there individuals aware of her relationship with the Russians and who may have had some understanding of what she was originally trying to accomplish. So that will all come out in the investigation.
NOBLES: And of course, Jeremy, there's the politics of all this. Republicans and Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee clearly not on the same page. Republican have said, from their perspective, the investigation is over. But the Democrats are not giving up on that, are they?
HERB: Yes, that's right. The Republican report that came out yesterday concluded this meeting that took place was ill-advised. But it wasn't evidence of collusion. Democrats, obviously, have a very different view of that. And they're continuing to own investigation. They're going to look into this and a lot of other things they say that Republicans failed to sufficiently investigate. The one catch is they don't have subpoena power to compel people to come forward and to get the documents they may need to get to the bottom of this.
[13:10:19] NOBLES: Of course, that could all change if the Democrats take back the House this November. So a lot more to come on this topic.
Shawn Turner, Jeremy Herb, Page Pate, thank you for joining me. We appreciate it.
PATE: Thank you.
NOBLES: Still ahead, a CNN exclusive. Sources say the NRA is setting aside documents on its interactions with a Kremlin-linked banker. It's coming amid allegations that he may have illegally funneled money through the organization to help the Trump campaign.
NOBLES: CNN has learned the NRA could be getting ready for a possible investigation over ties to a banker with links to the Russian government.
Sara Murray has this CNN exclusive report.
[13:15:05] SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The National Rifle Association is setting aside years of documents related to its interactions with Kremlin-linked banker, Alexander Torshin, and his protegee, Maria Butina, as it appears to be bracing for a possible investigation, sources say. The gun rights group is facing congressional scrutiny over its finances and ties to Torshin, a lifetime member of the NRA, and one of the prominent Russian government officials the U.S. recently slapped with sanctions. The NRA is also battling allegations that Torshin may have illegally funneled money through the NRA to bolster the Trump campaign.
SCHIFF: There have been allegations that the Russians were going to funnel money through the NRA. And we sought to investigate that. There were witnesses with direct knowledge regarding those allegations that we sought to bring in, the Republicans refused.
MURRAY: The NRA has publicly denied any contact from the FBI or accepting any illegal donations. But sources say they are anxiously preparing, collecting documents in due diligence and dealing with congressional scrutiny.
The renewed attention highlights the uneasy alliance between the top NRA officials and Torshin, a relationship that eventually ensnared members of Trump's campaign team, invited congressional scrutiny into advisers, including Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner and Jeff Sessions.
The NRA went all in for Trump in 2016.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've been a member for a long time. My boys are members. So to get the endorsement, believe me, is a fantastic honor.
MURRAY: It spent $30 million backing Trump's candidacy. More than it shelled out for 2008 and 2012 political races combined, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Behind the scenes, Torshin was using NRA ties to try to arrange a meeting with Trump at the NRA's annual meeting in Louisville. In an e-mail to the Trump campaign, a Torshin associate says he's cultivating a back channel to President Putin's Kremlin. Adding, "Putin is deadly serious about building a good relationship with Mr. Trump."
SCHIFF: Here you have in black and white evidence that there was an effort by the Russians to use the NRA as their channel, one of their channels to the Trump campaign.
MURRAY: Torshin didn't meet Trump at the NRA meeting but he had an impromptu encounter with Donald Trump Jr. And even some NRA officials wondered if it was a setup by the Russians. Trump Jr told investigators that he doesn't recall discussing the upcoming election with Torshin.
Torshin's relationship with the NRA began years ago through David Keane, now an NRA board member. In 2015, Keane took NRA backers to Moscow hosted by Maria Butina. She had attracted attention for starting a gun rights group in Russia, a country known for its strict firearms laws. The NRA group went sightseeing and toured a gun manufacturer. By 2016, sources say Torshin and Butina had become fixtures at the NRA's high-dollar donor events.
The NRA said Torshin hasn't made any donations aside from membership dues and said it hasn't found any foreign donations related to the U.S. election.
But Russian experts say Torshin's close ties to Putin and division around guns in America means his coziness with the NRA looks like a classic Russian influence operation.
STEVE HILL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Vladimir Putin is using these issues to divide us, to split and make weaker the United States. And that's something I believe all of Americans ought to be concerned about.
MURRAY (on camera): Now, the White House, the Trump campaign and the NRA did not comment for the story. When I spoke with David Keane, he said he did not want to talk about his 2015 trip to Moscow, but he did say he was not aware of any donations from Alexander Torshin.
Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.
NOBLES: All right, Sara, thank you.
Still ahead, President Trump seems to be optimistic about his upcoming sit down with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, tweeting today, quote "Just had a long, very good talk with President Moon of South Korea. Things are going very well. Times and locations of meetings with North Korea is being set. Also spoke to Prime Minister Abe of Japan to inform him of the ongoing negotiations."
[13:19:03] We'll talk about this big story, next.
NOBLES: Leaders of North and South Korea pledging a new era of peace. The historic summit between the longtime adversaries brought a day of smiles and hugs as South Korea's Kim Jong-Un and South Korea's Moon Jae-in agreed to denuclearization of the North Korean peninsula. They're now planning to move ahead with efforts to formally end the Korean War 68 years after it started.
President Trump is weighing in on plans for his own talks with the North Korea's leader, tweeting, quote, "Just had a long, very good talk with President Moon of South Korea. Things are going very well. Time and location of meeting with South Korea (sic) is being set. Also spoke to Prime Minister Abe of Japan to inform him of the ongoing negotiations."
Let's discuss these developments with my panel, CNN political analyst, Nathan Gonzales, and CNN political analyst and history professor at Princeton, Julian Zelizer.
Thank you, guys, for being here.
NATHAN GONZALES, CNN POLITICAL ANLAYST: Thank you.
NOBLES: Julian, let's start with you.
There's no specifics. We don't know how this will play out. This is a good first step, isn't it, in terms of seeing lasting peace on the Korean peninsula?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. It certainly is a diplomatic breakthrough. That shouldn't be taken lightly. Often these moments come without specifics. So all you're talking about is a framework for negotiation and a willingness to negotiate. But that doesn't mean the rest is easy. The next few stages of this are still going to be incredibly fragile.
So, Nathan, you know, from your perspective what do you think was the tipping point? Obviously, North Korea's been under economic sanctions for a long time. We have President Trump's very strong rhetoric on this issue. What do you think was the determining fact they're got Kim Jong-Un to kind of come to the table?
[13:25:07] NATHAN GONZALES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's tough to be inside of Kim Jong-Un's head.
That's probably a dangerous place to be. I'm not sure where the negotiations, where we end up, but I can guarantee that if there is some sort of deal, President Trump is going to take credit for it.
GONZALES: He's already saying, I hope I can do this for the world, you know, and he's going to take credit. If it falls apart, he'll have someone to blame, and blame Kim Jong-Un or someone else. But I think -- we know how the president's going to react. We just don't know what the deal is going to look like.
NOBLES: He probably deserves some credit, doesn't he, Julian?
ZELIZER: Yes. I think, if you're president, when something like this happens, you will take credit. But it's fair to say you're part of a mix that leads to this moment. We don't know the specifics. We don't know internally what is driving this. You can't extract the administration. Again, if it's successful. There's been diplomatic breakthroughs. They've fallen apart. People don't stick to the deal. So it's still a lot of work before he can claim, you know, mission accomplished.
NOBLES: But I imagine, Nathan, the optics are great for President Trump, particularly with his base. Because he's so good at sending out a concise message about a victory, as he calls it, and then has the pictures to prove it. It must play well with his base.
GONZALES: With his base, he can do no wrong. This certainly helps. As we see on Twitter, some of the president's supporters say, are they going to give Trump a Nobel, you know, a peace prize?
GONZALES: Look at what he's done, contrasting him with President Obama. They're going to eat it up. From an electoral perspective, is that enough to drive turnout in a midterm election to get those Trump supporters out? That's what I think is most fascinating when we look at it through our politics here.
NOBLES: Julian, it seems as though everybody's talking about denuclearization. As you mentioned, nobody's explained what the specifics of that are. Do you think maybe Kim Jong-Un's definition is different than the rest of the word's?
ZELIZER: Well, it has been. He doesn't agree, thus far, with what the world expects of him. So that's a difference that's going to have to be bridged. The United States, its allies want complete elimination of nuclear capacity and the potential to rebuild. That's a big ask. But once someone is at the table, all those possibilities come forward. When Gorbachev started in the negotiations with Reagan in 1985, what ultimately came out of that in 1987 was inconceivable.
ZELIZER: So we should remember that. So the initial posture isn't necessarily prohibiting some big breakthrough.
GONZALES: I think, at his core, the president is a deal maker. I think he's more of a deal maker than a Republican or a conservative. He's a deal maker. He wants to see deals get done, take credit for them, and move on. So I think that's what -- that's a wild card in this.
NOBLES: And skipping -- or I should say switching gears to the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Very similar to North Korea, right?
Julian, I want to just put up a little bit of what you wrote in "The Atlantic" about this. You said, quote, "The celebrations this weekend surrounding the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner and the president's counterprogramming in Michigan both serve as reminders of the origins of the association and of the chilling effect when presidents decide they want to build a wall between themselves and the reporters who try to keep the nation informed of what's happening inside the nation's capital."
I already know what the president's response to your piece would be. He'll say, I'm going to talk to people in Michigan who voted for me as opposed to elites in Washington that are going to be in black tie. Why do you think this is such a damaging posture for the president?
ZELIZER: It reflects something bigger. He's held one press conference on his own. He'd tried to close off all access to media that is not sympathetic to him. This is not good. It's not black-tie elites. These are the journalists who cover the White House, who help the public understand what's going on. And I think his adversarial stance is both predictable but there have to be limits. He needs to communicate. He needs to keep these lines open. His absence tonight in itself is not so damaging but I think it symbolizes some of the walls that this administration has built for the media.
NOBLES: We'll see it on full display tonight in Michigan for sure.
Nathan Gonzales, Julian Zelizer, thank you, guys, so much for the conversation.
GONZALES: Thank you.
NOBLES: Mike Pompeo on his first overseas trip as secretary of state. He arrived in Saudi Arabia a short time ago and met with the Saudi foreign minister. He'll also be meeting the crown prince and dining with the foreign minister later today. The Iran nuclear deal is expected to be a major topic of discussion this weekend. Pompeo saying that President Trump is unlikely to keep the United States in the agreement.
CNN's Elise Labott is following the details of the trip.
Elise, how significant is this that Mike Pompeo's already on the road?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Very significant, Ryan. He was confirmed on Thursday. Essentially was sworn in. Then made a quick trip to Andrews Air Force Base where he flew to Brussels. And that was NATO foreign ministers.
[13:30:00] Then flew to Saudi Arabia today. Tomorrow, he'll be flying to Israel and Jordan. I think he's really hitting the ground running, ready after a period where there's no secretary of state and a period before that where the predecessor, Secretary Tillerson, was a little bit out of step with this president. Ready to assert himself as the nation's top diplomat and close aide to the president, with whom he has a very good relationship. I think he'll be there and speaking for the president and really show that he's ready to represent U.S. foreign policy abroad.
NOBLES: It seems already his word is being taken perhaps a little bit more seriously than his predecessor.
Let's talk about what he said about the Iran deal. How serious is the global community taking these comments by Secretary Pompeo?
LABOTT: I think they're taking it very seriously. This comes on the heels of the state visit by French President Macron, the visit of Angela Merkel yesterday, German chancellor. And I don't think President Trump is making any bones about the fact he wants to pull out of this agreement. Instead of somebody like Secretary Tillerson, who was talking about trying to fix the deal, I think Mike Pompeo is trying to be more realistic about the fact this president is leaning towards pulling out of the deal. Maybe that's a negotiating tactic in trying to get the Europeans on board for something a little bit stiffer. But he's also representing what President Trump is thinking about doing, and something I think Mike Pompeo himself said would be a good idea. I think you'll see this secretary of state a lot more in lock-step with this president. And I do think that world leaders are going to take what he says a little bit more seriously. Sometimes when Secretary Tillerson would go out, they respected him, they liked him, they thought he was a nice guy. But they didn't necessarily know if he was speaking for the president. I think now there's no doubt he's speaking for President Trump.
NOBLES: Secretary Pompeo is right in the middle of these negotiations about a summit with North Korea. Of course, the highest-ranking U.S. official to meet with Kim Jong-Un when we went there secretly as CIA director. How big of a role is Pompeo playing in this whole process? Is the fact he's playing such a big role an indication of the president's trust?
LABOTT: First of all, he's the only official that's met with Kim Jong-Un. The only other American that met with Kim Jong-Un is Dennis Rodman.
NOBLES: Right. Great point, yes.
LABOTT: So Mike Pompeo going out there is so significant. It started off as this intelligence channel that's been in place for a long time. The fact that President Trump took Mike Pompeo, said, I want you to handle this, now he's the nation's top diplomat. I think it's a signal of the president's trust and a sign that Mike Pompeo will be really front and center as these talks move forward, maybe even going to North Korea to lay the groundwork. We don't know. But certainly, that's what a foreign minister will do in advance of such a summit.
NOBLES: All right, Elise Labott, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
Still ahead, three Marines now accused of sexually assaulting two college students in New Orleans. A live report coming up.
[13:37:42] NOBLES: Drawing a line in the sand. New York Governor Cuomo now issuing a cease and desist letter to U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement. Recent raids by ICE in and around New York City resulted in the arrest of 225 suspected undocumented immigrants. Governor Cuomo says, in many cases, ICE agents did not identify themselves or present a warrant, something he says is unconstitutional.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW CUOMO, (D), NEW YORK GOVERNOR: We believe ICE is violating the law and endangering public safety in all of those instances. And we're going to put them on notice today that if they continue, the state will sue them. Period. Because the state has a responsibility for upholding the constitutional rights of the people who live in New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: And joining me now to talk about this is the former lieutenant governor of New York and a senior fellow for the London Center of Policy Research, Betsy McCaughey.
Lieutenant Governor, thank you for joining me.
BETSY MCCAUGHEY, SENIOR FELLOW, LONDON CENTER OF POLICY RESEARCH & FORMER NEW YORK LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: You're welcome.
NOBLES: You heard Governor Cuomo say ICE Is endangering public safety. Does ICE have a responsibility under the constitution to show a warrant and identify themselves before arrest?
MCCAUGHEY: No, no. And in fact, it's the governor who doesn't have a constitutional leg to stand on. First, the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 4, gives the federal government the exclusive authority to make immigration law and to enforce it. What's happening here is Andrew Cuomo is choosing the criminals over the victims of crime. Eighty percent of the people who have been apprehended in these recent ICE raids in New York and New Jersey and elsewhere have serious criminal records. They have a long rap sheet. They've been deported, in many cases, numerous times. This particular occasion, up in Rome, New York, the man who was apprehended was wanted for aggravated assault and had been deported three times. And since January, many of these illegal immigrants have been involved in deadly crimes. For example, 17 children in Long Island, New York, have been brutally murdered by illegals from Central America who are part of the M.S.-13 gang. And it's -- when I describe to you what they do, first, they bash the children to death with baseball bats. Then they put a paper, a plastic bag over their heads and suffocate them. And then they cut off their lips and nose and ears with machetes. So unfortunately, Andrew Cuomo didn't have the victim's families there at the news conference, only advocates for illegal immigrants.
[13:40:24] NOBLES: Right. OK. Let me get the response from the deputy director of ICE, Thomas Homan. He released this statement following Cuomo's announcement. He said, quote, "The governor's comments were inaccurate and an insult to ICE's sworn law enforcement officers. ICE cannot and will not cease and desist from fulfilling the agency's congressional-mandated mission of enforcing federal law."
Now, Betsy, you have said that states say one thing, ICE says another. How does this play out in court? Obviously, this is going to be a court battle.
MCCAUGHEY: That's right. The taxpayers of New York State are going to be funding a totally frivolous lawsuit. I have the cease and desist letter here and it is factually incorrect. It is not true that ICE has to present a judicially issued warrant before making these arrests. It is untrue. ICE uses administrative warrants. If they have probable cause, they can get the warrant afterwards. So Cuomo needs to get his law facts straight.
But in addition, what he really has to do is pay attention to New Yorkers who want safety streets and communities, rather than pandering to the advocates to illegal immigration, including all these criminals being picked up. And 80 percent of those picked up have criminal records. We want them often the streets.
NOBLES: But according to ICE's statistics, 225 of the people arrested, there were 180 who had prior convictions --
MCCAUGHEY: That's right.
NOBLES: -- or criminal charges pending.
MCCAUGHEY: Brutal crimes in many instances. Brutal crimes.
NOBLES: Yes, but, you know, Lieutenant Governor, respectfully, there's not necessarily evidence that rounding up these individuals leads to fewer crimes committed by illegal immigrants or illegal immigrants in general. In fact, noncriminal immigrant arrests last year are up. More than 37,000 people without criminal records were arrested. There are a lot of people who are arrested in these sweeps and their only crime is coming to this country without the proper documentation, which I agree is illegal. But isn't there the chance that families and people that are connected and have roots here in the United States are going to be ripped out of their homes and taken away from their families?
MCCAUGHEY: Well, you could make the
MCCAUGHEY: You could make the same preposterous argument against law enforcement involving American citizens. Of course, on occasion, people who are innocent are arrested. Then they go through the process and they're released.
NOBLES: But --
MCCAUGHEY: But we can't stop attempting to enforce the law and apprehend people who are guilty or wanted of serious crimes because some people may be swept up in that. Once they're swept up in it and they're shown to be innocent, they are released.
NOBLES: I just wonder, in totality, when you look at this, certainly, a concern about, you know, reining in those who have committed serious crimes. You talk about American citizens that are under arrest, there's at least some suspicion of them committing a crime. In many cases, these people are being arrested simply because they're potentially brought into this country illegally. That doesn't concern you at all?
MCCAUGHEY: The statistics -- the statistics show that the vast majority, 80 percent, of the people rounded up in these ICE raids are already convicted of serious crimes or wanted for serious crimes. That statistic in itself proves that these raids are necessary.
In addition, let me point out that Andrew Cuomo is always siding with the serious criminals. He just paroled a convicted cop killer named Herman Bell (ph). Not one cop in New York State or a police family is going to vote for Andrew Cuomo in November because he's picking the criminals over the victims of crime.
NOBLES: OK. I believe he does have or, in the past, has gotten an endorsement of a police union. So --
MCCAUGHEY: Not this time.
NOBLES: So that's not 100 percent accurate that every single law enforcement will not vote for him.
MCCAUGHEY: That's my prediction, sir.
NOBLES: All right.
Lieutenant General, we appreciate your perspective on this important topic.
MCCAUGHEY: Thank you.
[13:44:23] NOBLES: Thank you for being here.
Still to come, details on three Marines charged with sexually assaulting two college women. A live report on that investigation is straight ahead.
NOBLES: Three U.S. Marines are accused of sexually assaulting a Tulane University student and her friend earlier this month in New Orleans. Eighteen year old Jared Anderson, 20 year old Alexander Davenport and 18 year old Antonio Landrum are all facing rape charges.
CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us now with the latest.
Polo, what can you tell us?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ryan, all of this originally started during an incident in mid-April that was quickly brought to the authorities by that Tulane University student and a friend who claim that they were sexually assaulted multiple times by those three men. As you mentioned, they're now identified as Alexander Davenport, Antonio Landrum, Jared Anderson. We've learned these three men are also Marines. Authorities investigating this. Some of the court documents we reviewed showed the initial sexual encounter was described as, quote, "consensual." But then things took a turn when one of these men allegedly forced himself on one of these two women just off Tulane University campus.
Meantime, the Marine Corps certainly investigating, saying they're looking into the matter saying, quote, "The Marine Corps is aware of the alleged incident that may have referred Marines stationed here." Referring to Louisiana. "And we cannot comment on specific details due to the ongoing investigation by the Marine Corps Police Department and the New Orleans Police Department. We take all allegations of this nature seriously, and we are fully cooperating with authorities."
So clearly here, we are seeing a response by the military branch that they worked for and, of course, by Tulane University. Even though this reportedly took place off campus, Ryan, they immediately sent out a message to their students as well about the incident.
[13:50:33] NOBLES: Polo Sandoval, thank you for that report.
We're going to take a quick break and be right back.
[13:55:32] NOBLES: Teacher strikes in Arizona, the latest in a series of protests that have taken place across the nation. The Arizona Governor tweeting just yesterday, "It's official, we have a deal." But the Arizona Education Association releasing a statement in response to the governor's tweet, saying, quote, "We have a press release and a tweet from the governor, we have no bill, we have no deal. The devil is in the details."
Teachers want better pay, better benefit, and more money for supplies."
CNN's Bill Weir has the story.
CINDI MORTON, TEACHER: Start talking about what your outline looks like for your research paper.
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): During the day, Cindi Morton is an Arizona teacher.
MORTON: And from yesterday?
WEIR: And then she is a private tutor. On weekends, she's a caretaker of emotionally disabled kids. And four nights a week she turns her car into a taxi.
(on camera): Do those kids have any idea you're driving a Lyft after school?
MORTON: Yes, they do, actually.
WEIR: Do they?
MORTON: Somebody will say, oh, I want to go to Ms. Morton's and work on this. They're like, no, no, no, she's got to go to work today.
So come on in.
WEIR (voice-over): One teacher with four jobs is hardly unusual in this state.
ELIZABETH MILDGE (ph), TEACHER: My oldest is a nanny. She literally makes more money than I do.
WEIR (on camera): Is that right?
MILDGE (ph): Yes, because she works for a great family who pays her very well.
WEIR: How old is she?
MILDGE (ph): Nineteen.
WEIR (voice-over): Elizabeth Mildge (ph) takes home $320 a week and, out of that, must outfit her entire classroom.
MILDGE (ph): I just bought the carpet and the chair and the chair cover.
These books are not from the district. Those are my personal books from my own kids, bought books. WEIR: Her tales of BYO books and a shot of her tiny pay stub went
viral on Facebook and have since been followed by hundreds of snapshots of vermin-filled classrooms and tattered textbooks, improvised air conditioners, and a globe with two Germanys.
WEIR: But of course, Arizona is not alone. The season of revolt started in West Virginia where a nine-day strike brought a 5 percent raise and then spread to Oklahoma, where teachers forced a rare tax hike to fund a $6,000 bump. But not enough to provide new chairs. So Donna Ross improvises with buckets from Lowe's.
DONNA ROSS, TEACHER: They sit like that and they're ready to rock and roll. That's what I did with my money.
WEIR: In Kentucky, a one-day walkout brought stiff resistance from lawmakers and the harshest of guilt trips from Governor Matt Bevin.
MATT BEVIN, (R), KENTUCKY GOVERNOR: How many hundreds of thousands of children today were left home alone? I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them.
WEIR (on camera): The Kentucky governor was forced to apologize for that implication. And since guilt doesn't seem to be stopping this rolling red-state revolt, some are trying threats. The Arizona superintendent said this week that teachers are breaking the law by walking out and could lose their certificates forever. But since Arizona has thousands of unfilled vacancies, most of these folks are ready to call that bluff.
WEIR (voice-over): Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey says he wants to give some teachers a 20 percent raise over three years, but the legislature can't agree how to pay for it.
MILDGE (ph): As a conservative Republican, I was kind of hopeful, but then you start kind of thinking, wait a second. So everything that has been said from the government actually isn't really true.
WEIR (on camera): So you don't trust them, bottom line?
MILDGE (ph) Correct.
WEIR (voice-over): But since her pay stub went viral, she's been getting gift cards and donated supplies from strangers around the world.
MILDGE (ph) Bless her heart. "Dear Ms. Mildge (ph), with the most important job in the world, you shouldn't have to use your own funds for school supplies. Hope this helps defray those expenses." Then it's from the American school in London, a sixth grader. WEIR (on camera): A sixth grader.
MILDGE (ph): Is that -- I mean, seriously, my eyes welled up with tears. That is the most precious thing.
MORTON: Why would you not want to provide our kids with the best possible education? We do our best here. I need my leaders, I need my government to do the same. I need them to bring it every day, every single day, because I do.
WEIR (voice-over): Bill Weir, CNN, Phoenix.
[13:59:58] NOBLES: Hello. Thank you for joining me. I'm Ryan Nobles, in Washington, in today for Fredricka Whitfield.
A Montana Senator says he's not going anywhere after the president calls for his resignation. Jon Tester, the top Democrat on the Veterans Affairs Committee, issued this statement, quote, "It's my duty to make sure Montana --