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Migrants Fleeing Violence, Poverty In Their Homelands; Caravan Of Asylum-Seeking Migrants Arrives At U.S. Border; Gowdy: Dem Lawmakers Don't Have Evidence Of Collusion; Comedian's Jokes Stun White House Correspondents' Crowd; Trump: Of Course I Stayed Overnight In Moscow In 2013; GOP Fears Ex-Con Coal Exec Could Be W. Virginia Senate Nominee; Some Arizona Teachers Work Four Jobs To Make Ends Meet. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired April 29, 2018 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: It's 5:00 eastern, 2:00 in the afternoon out west. You are in the CNN Newsroom. I'm Dana Bash in Washington, in today for Ana Cabrera.
CNN breaking news this Sunday, hundreds of people, including some entire families, right against the border, separating the United States and Mexico, and making a loud and powerful statement. They want to be let in, and they want their voices heard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: It's the arrival of that massive migrant caravan that started before Easter, people from all over Central America, and Mexico, places like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, and today, some of them, as you see there, even climbed the border wall near San Diego, and sat on top it.
But these people insist they have no intention of crossing illegally into the United Stated, instead, they're going to try to go through the formal process, asking for asylum. They want to stay in America, they say, where it's safer that their home countries, and out some of these crushing poverty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: CNN's Leyla Santiago is on the Mexico side of the border in Tijuana. And, Leyla, President Trump has been firmly against letting people in, he wanted the Mexican government to break up the caravan, and says that there's no way he's going allow migrants to come into the United States, but today, you're with them, and they're saying they are going to try to listen.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Dana. And actually, they're very well aware of President Trump's thoughts on this. But I want to show you, it hasn't actually stopped them. Right behind me over here, the organizers are actually having a press
conference right now, talking to folks about what the plan is in terms of the next step, and then also some of the migrants are actually coming out of this shelter.
So they are just, you know, within hours, possibly even minutes away from starting their march to the U.S.-Mexico border. As you mentioned, they planned to turn themselves in through the port of entry, many of them planning to seek asylum, a completely legal process under U.S. federal law.
Now, again, we know that they are talking right now to the press, giving statements from the organizers, but as far as the mood here, Dana, there's some excitement, right, because for them, this is a sense of accomplishment, making it this far.
I have seen pregnant mothers climbing on a train with their children, only to sit on a mound of scrap metal for hours in the cold, in the night, feeling lost because for them, this is about survival. This is about reaching the U.S. after fleeing violence and poverty.
And so for them this is an accomplishment because they have gotten so close to the U.S.-Mexico border. But there is still quite a bit of anxiety. Many of them wondering what will happen when they turn themselves in.
Many of the women, the mothers, and the grandmothers are concerned about being separated from their children. Now I have spoken to U.S. immigration officials about this.
They tell me that they will not separate women and children, families in general, unless there is a fear that the child is in danger, or the child is traveling without a legal guardian.
So I can tell you, I'm sort of overhearing what they're talking about right now, they are saying thank you, they're very grateful to Mexico.
I have spoken to the federal police -- you can actually see them right over here, Mexico's federal police here, and they are telling me that they will actually be escorting the caravan, to make sure that everyone arrives safely, something they have actually done throughout the process, as we have traveled with them on busses.
When we actually cow calculated the amount of time they have been on there, they are saying -- excuse me, it adds up to more than 50 hours of bus rides, again, dangerous train rides, walking for days.
Now, President Trump, as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions had said that they plan to send more immigration judges, more U.S. attorneys to adjudicate these cases.
But again, it is that uncertainty that is causing many of these migrants, many of these families, women and children, the anxiety of what is yet to come when they reach the United States of America. Dana.
BASH: Leyla Santiago, thank you so much for your continued amazing reporting, putting the critical human face on this story.
[17:05:00] And President Trump, as we have been saying has been tweeting about the migrant caravan. He's been doing it for weeks, and warning of its potential threat to U.S. security.
Now, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen warns the following in a statement, DHS is currently monitoring the so-called caravan, if you enter our country illegally, you have broken the law, and will be referred for prosecution.
Individuals of the caravan seeking asylum should seek protections in the first safe country they enter, including Mexico. I want to go straight to our White House Correspondent Boris Sanchez live on the north lawn of the White House.
And, Boris, the DHS secretary is warning obviously not to break any laws, but also, as Leyla pointed out, saying in a statement, that they are trying to send as many extra officials from DHS and DOJ down to the border to adjudicate these requests for asylum as quickly as possible. What are you hearing from people inside the White House about what they're watching down at the border?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far, Dana, we have no confirmation that the President is actively monitoring these dramatic scenes that we have watched played out this afternoon, the White House declining to respond to multiple request for comments, specifically on the breaking news that we have been watching all day.
Though, the President as you noted has long been tweeting about this caravan, he first brought it to national attention after watching a report on cable news, and tweeting about this caravan.
He actually used it last night during a speech in Washington Township in Michigan to rile up the crowd, at one point, threatening to shut down the federal government in September if he did not get enough funding for his long promised border wall.
He placed the blame squarely on Democrats for the broken immigration system. He said -- listen to more of what the President said last night in Michigan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Are you watching that mess that's going on right now with the caravan coming up? Are you watching this?
And our laws are so weak, they're so pathetic. And let me tell you, we have gotten Mexico to work with us on stopping a lot of what's pouring in, but we have the worst laws anywhere in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Now, Dana, the President has threatened to shut down the government before, you'll recall that the same day that he was set to sign that $1.3 trillion spending bill into law, he threatened that he would veto it because it didn't contain enough funding for border security.
So it's unclear how serious the President is about this move to try to shut down the government in September. However, it is something that he' has made a benchmark of his rhetoric, and something that he often uses at rallies like we saw last night to rile up the crowd.
We're still waiting to see if DHS going to put out a new statement about the news that we are seeing today, or if we're going to hear from customs, and border patrol. No sign yet, Dana, but we will keep you posted of we see anything come up.
BASH: Thank you so much, and of course this is a caravan that happens annually, in part to seek asylum, and in part by organizers to draw attention, and the President certainly helped their cause on the attention side of it by tweeting around Easter about it, and a lot of people focused because the President announced it to his 50 million Twitter followers.
Boris, thank you so much. I want to continue our discussion about what's happening on the border, and the President's threat, with the member of Congress, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell who represents California.
Congressman, thank you so much for being with me. The President is threatening to shut down the government as you just heard if lawmakers, like you, don't approve more border security funding.
Now, we have been watching this live video today, migrants climbing on to the border wall. They want to cross into your State of California. At one point, Mexican police were seen laughing at what they were seeing.
So with those -- with these images, with this event going on, you and your colleagues, do you think are going to have more trouble beating back the President's demands for funding an impenetrable border wall?
CONG. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: Good afternoon, Dana, we should do all we can to work collaboratively, to make sure that we have a humane immigration system, that we protect our border, and that we create a path way for citizenship for those who are already here.
But it is so sickening to hear the President of the United States call these families a part of a mess. These are mothers clutching on to their babies fleeing violence, they have nowhere else to go.
They're just seeking the hope of a better day in America. They weren't born with $10 million given to them from daddy, like the President was, they have nothing.
And so, they are counting on us as humans, not just as Americans, but as Mexicans, Americans, Ecuadorians, Hondurans, to all work together to solve this immigration crisis, to provide the economic aid needed to address what's going on to those countries, to fight the drug cartels, who are, you know, apprising their freedoms there.
[17:10:01] And also, for us to have a sensible immigration system, we need a leader at the office of the President. You are not somebody who's going to put people against each other.
BASH: Well, you know -- and obviously, you're a Democrat during a minority in Congress with limited sort of ability to change things, but you talk about the need to work today, many of these asylum seekers, as you mentioned, they're telling CNN that they're leaving their home countries because of violence, lack of work, poverty, as you mentioned, they're women and children.
The whole question I think in the immediate future is, what's going to happen when, and if they apply for asylum, because I was looking at an academic study that said that from 2011 to 2016, more than thee quarters of immigrants seeking asylum from the Central American countries, lost their cases.
SWALWELL: So, Dana, what we should do is address, you know, the root causes of why they're coming here, which is lack of economic opportunity in their countries, a lack of safety in their countries, a lack of food, and clean water, and working with those countries to make sure that those opportunities exist. We can't just build a wall here, and believe that those individuals aren't going to still seek to come to America. Also...
SWALWELL: ... I think President Trump does...
BASH: What happens now? I mean, we are talking about the humanitarian issue right this second with these families. What do you hope that you see happens with these families, again, some pregnant women coming to the border right now, seeking entry, legally into the U.S.
SWALWELL: Well, we help that weary traveler, who is whether they're on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, or from Central America to the United States. We have always been a country that helps the weary traveler.
And we should do it, as I have said, in a way where we come together, and put in place immigration laws that protect the border, but also, you know, uphold that responsibility of taking care of people, when they're in the most need, and not turning them back to a certain death, or certainly violence, or impoverished conditions.
BASH: I want to turn to the Russia investigation. You were on the House Intelligence Committee. Republicans on that committee have essentially cleared the President of the whole notion of colluding with Russia.
Earlier today, however, Republican Trey Gowdy, he is on that committee as well as, and your committee, admitted that your committee won't really never know if there was collusion, but he also said that Democrats, like you, never offered any evidence that there is in the first place, let's listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. TREY GOWDY (R), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: He doesn't have it, so he can't get me what he doesn't have. Adam, before we ever started said he had evidence of collusion, and this is exactly what he said, more than circumstantial, but not direct.
Let's lay aside the fact that there is no such thing as more than circumstantial, but not direct. There are only two kinds of evidence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you are talking there are no such things...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: So he's saying Adam, meaning Adam Schiff, the Ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. What is your reaction to that?
SWALWELL: Well, I have seen evidence of collusion, both direct and circumstantial, both classified and unclassified. But here's the limitation we had in that committee...
BASH: What's the unclassified example of collusion?
SWALWELL: Well, you have the Russians who hacked stolen materials, offered it to the Trump family, they took the meeting, they moved heaven and earth to make that meeting happen, they said they would love to receive that information, they said can you wait, and distribute it closer do the election, and then the President himself when on a public stage and said, Russia, if you're listening, can hack more. And then, turned it up, and the Russians were disseminating what had already been stolen.
And then of course, the efforts to conceal what they had done, once Michael Flynn came into the office, and tried to work through a back channel with the Russians, there's plenty of evidence, and there's a lot more out there, but they wouldn't even allow us to use the subpoena power to see what more existed.
For example, Dana, we have it on call, days before that Trump Tower meeting, Donald Trump Jr. called Russia to set up the meeting with the family who asked for it. He makes another call right after that, to a block number, and then calls back to Russia.
So we want to know who was that blocked number. We have evidence that Donald Trump, the father, used a blocked number, and there's a lot of questions around whether Donald Trump knew that his son had took this meeting.
They were unwilling even to subpoena the phone records for that. I don't know why, but the simplest explanation is usually the likely one, and that is that they were seeking to protect the President, and that would not have been helpful to know that answer.
BASH: Congressman, we are out of time, I just have to ask, do you have confidence that Robert Mueller is looking into things like the blocked call that you just mentioned? SWALWELL: Yes, and we should provide the transcripts though to the
public so that Robert Mueller who's limited in what he can see, and the whole country can see everything that we did unearth.
BASH: OK, Congressman Eric Swalwell, thank you so much for joining me today from...
SWALWELL: It's my pleasure.
BASH: ... your home state in California. Thank you. And ahead this hour...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE WOLF, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: There's also, of course, Ivanka. She's done nothing to satisfy women.
[17:15:01] So I guess, like father, like daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: A cringe worthy moment, several of them from the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Plus, ex-con candidate, meet the former coal executive who has some in the Republican Party shaking in their boots.
And then later, walking out for change, the men and women responsible for educating the future of our country, fed up. CNN's Bill Weir discovers the reality of being a teacher in America. You're live in the CNN Newsroom.
BASH: The President says he's glad he skipped the White House Correspondents ' Dinner last night to rally his base instead. He tweets, everyone's talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents' Dinner was a very big, boring bust. The so-called comedian really bombed.
This is something that the President usually said, many people are talking about it, in this case, many people are taking about the dinner, specifically, the woman you see there, comedian Michelle Wolf, and her performance.
[17:20:05] Some say she did her job, exactly what she was invited to do. Others including some journalists say that she crossed the line, taking personal shots that were vulgar and unnecessarily cruel. Here is some of the more controversial jokes. I'll let you decide.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF: Of course, Trump isn't here, if you haven't noticed. He's not here. And I know, I know, I would drag him here myself, but it turns out the President of the United States is the one (BLEEP) you're not allowed to grab.
We have Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and we are graced with on Sarah's presence tonight. I have to say, I am a little star struck, I love you as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale.
WOLF: Mike Pence if you haven't seen it, you would love it. There's also, of course, Ivanka. She was supposed to be an advocate for women, but it turns out she's about as helpful to women as an empty box of tampons. She's done nothing to satisfy women. So I guess, like father, like daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Let's discuss with CNN's Senior Political Analyst David Gergen, who conserved four U.S. Presidents, both Democrat and Republican. David Gergen, it's so good to see you this evening.
I have to tell you that I have gone back and forth, I was sitting in that room, and most of the time I had my head in my hand, and sort of feeling cringing, and I sort of felt that way, during and after, this is a little bit too much.
But then I have talked to people who have made very valid points, that this was what she was hired to do, to give a roast, she is a comedian, and it's 2018, and comedy in 2018 is not Johnny Carson, and that ilk.
And so my question for you is this, is it really this particular evening that people are all up in arms about. Or is this a symbol of the fact that the relationship between the media, and the President has frayed so much that we can't laugh at ourselves, we can't get to the point where even inviting a comedian is a good idea.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, listen, I don't -- I wouldn't blame the comedian, she was hired to give exactly what she does, in nightclubs, and as a comedian, the question was of the judgment of the White House Correspondents' Association hiring her, knowing that she gives this -- this is her stock and trade, she does talk about body parts and the like.
And I'm a traditionalist, I have gone back and forth a little bit, but not very much. The White House Correspondents Association, Dana, as you well know, has done wonderful things for journalism over the years, it has really kept the White House more accountable, it's kept the President more accessible.
It gives awards to top five journalists, it does things to help poor, disadvantaged kids to have opportunities to enter journalism, and prepare for it, so I think there are many good things it does.
But it has allow over the years, this annual dinner to turn into more and more of a skeptical that I think undermines confidence in the press.
GERGEN: And you know, my sense is he went way over the line again, last night, and on this dinner, either clean it up, or shut it down. BASH: Yes. I mean, you make a really good point. Remember when Ozzy
Osbourne came in the Bush years, it was the first time we had a celebrity there. And then during the Obama years, it was -- it was -- all of Hollywood descended on Washington, and that was a skeptical.
And now the skeptical is Trump going to go or not go, and it's a clash with the Trump administration, and the press, and you do lose sight, David, of what this was all about in the first place, which is, for these two constitutional adversarial institutions, to take a breath one night, to toast one another, to toast the role that the other has in this important democracy.
BASH: And is there a way to get back to that?
GERGEN: I certainly hope so, and I think this -- you know, The New York Times stopped going to this dinner some time ago. I think all the news organization are going to reassess, and I think the people who run the White House Correspondents' Association have to be responsive, and adapt to the distaste that this was.
If you're going to hire tasteless comedians, you're going to have a real problem getting the President of the United States to go. I mean, I can just tell you from the past -- I remember some years ago, somebody was at the dinner, and it went all the way back to Harry Truman's time.
And he said, never in a hundred years would Truman have come to a dinner like this, it demeans the office of the presidency. So, you know, it depends I guess on where, you know, how new-fashioned or old- fashioned you are. But I think there's -- the political effect last night was that the President set a trap for the press.
[17:25:01] He went out to Michigan, and he said these people -- or these people in the press are just out to get me. You know, they're kind of tasteless, and lo and behold, the White House Correspondents' Association puts on a speaker who proves he's right in some ways.
BASH: Yes, and yet...
GERGEN: It's like what are you doing?
BASH: Yes, perhaps, for sure. The press completely fell into the Trump trap. Yet, the President, while skipping it, as you said west out to Michigan, he hosted a rally during the White House Correspondents' Dinner, at one point he touted the unemployment rate among Hispanics, and said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Any Hispanics in the room? No, not so many, that's OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: So, David, is it -- is it a little bit sort of rich for people -- journalists, and people who are defending the President to be upset about the comedian, you know, really doing what she was hired to do in the room with journalists, and White House officials, while the President is off saying some pretty distasteful things at a rally of his own.
GERGEN: Of course it's hypocritical for the White House to be, you know, bombarding the press. But nevertheless, the press has it's own professional role to fill, and it has it's own need to rebuild trust in the recording, and the quality of the press, and whether it's nonpartisan or not.
And regardless of who's president. So putting on a show like this only increases the distrust, and only lends credence to the arguments coming from the right that this is -- the press in general is out to get Donald Trump, and has been from the beginning.
I don't think that's true. Of most press institutions, I don't think it's true of CNN for example, I don't think it's true for Maggie Haberman from the New York Times, I think people were trying to be doing on this job.
GERGEN: But when you have a night like this -- on the night when he just sets it up, it's just clear what's going to happen a train wreck.
BASH: Yes. Well, David, thank you. I also should say before I...
GERGEN: Thanks a lot.
BASH: ... let you go that Margaret Talev who is now head of the White House Correspondents' Association is a sensational journalist, and she, and the other members, as you said at the beginning, they do a very important job, especially in these times to protect us, and give us access.
GERGEN: You're absolutely right. They have been terrific on that front, and you know, thank goodness for them.
BASH: Yes. Thank you so much for that David. Appreciate it.
GERGEN: Thank you.
BASH: Always good to talk you, David Gergen. And we're going to be back in a moment, don't go anywhere.
[17:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BASH: President Trump is apparently changing his story about a crucial trip to Moscow. I'm talking about the trip he took to attend the 2013 Ms. Universe Pageant, an event Trump co-owned at the time. The President is now admitting he did stay overnight during the 2013 Moscow trip, even as former FBI director James Comey said Trump told him exactly the opposite, and that night could be a very important night. Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.
TRUMP: I went to Russia for a day or so -- a day or two, because I own the Ms. Universe Pageant.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The president is raging at his former FBI boss, insisting James Comey got it all wrong about Trump's 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant.
TRUMP: Russia really wanted it.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Sure, Trump says, I stayed in Russia overnight.
TRUMP: Of course I stayed. Well, his memo said I left immediately. I never said that. I never said I left immediately.
FOREMAN (voice-over): The problem, Comey says he met privately with Trump twice, immediately wrote notes about what was said in each time he, Trump, explained he hadn't stayed overnight in Russia during the Miss Universe trip. The very night the infamous dossier claims he was cavorting with prostitutes, a dossier CNN has not corroborated.
TRUMP: Look, Comey is a leaker, and he's a liar.
FOREMAN: So, between the conflicting accounts, is there any reason for Trump to have apparently changed his story? Yes. A flood of facts has now proved he was in Russia overnight at that time.
Bloomberg obtained flight logs showing the private plane Trump used landed in Russia on a Friday evening, and headed back home very early Sunday morning.
Social media posts show Trump around Moscow the day after his arrival. And congressional testimony by one of Trump's security guards, and comments by a pageant host also make it clear the New York billionaire spent at least one full night in Russia. All of that piqued Comey's interest.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: It's always significant when someone lies to you. Especially about something you're not asking about. It tends to reflect a consciousness of guilt as we would say in law enforcement.
FOREMAN: A potential consciousness of guilt that could be of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller.
SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: What it opens the door to is what the President does not want, which is further curiosity on the part of the Special Counsel. That's exactly what's going on in the Mueller team's mind right now, why would the President have been so eager to distance himself from, frankly, a hard to believe circumstance?
BASH: And up next, the Republican Party is keeping a very watchful eye on West Virginia, we'll explain why, live next in the Newsroom.
[17:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BASH: Senate Republican leaders clinging to their narrow majority are keeping a watchful on a GOP candidate in West Virginia who has some baggage. Don Blankenship served a year in prison for working conditions linked to the deadliest U.S. mine explosion in four decades.
He was the head of the mining company at the time. He reminds us it was just a misdemeanor, but it is just one of the reasons GOP leaders don't want him to win a May 8th primary in West Virginia, which will determine who takes on vulnerable, incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin. But according to the ex-coal executive, there's another reason for their reluctance.
[17:40:02] Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The reason Republican leaders do not want you as the nominee here is because they think that Joe Manchin will beat you easily.
DON BLANKENSHIP, REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE, WEST VIRGINIA: They don't really believe that. That's what they're telling you, so you'll tell the public that. What they believe is I'm going to win.
They don't want me to be there because they know I'm a extreme Trump supporter, and that we have to make a change, and that they don't want that change to be made because they're personally benefiting from it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Here with me to discuss is Politico reporter Alex Isenstadt, who was down in West Virginia when I was there. We will talk about what we observed, and also, GOP political strategist Kevin McLaughlin. They join me now.
And Kevin was working with the National Republican Party in West Virginia, the last time Republicans tried to beat Joe Manchin, which is why I wanted to bring you on here.
KEVIN MCLAUGHLIN, GOP POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Absolutely.
BASH: Alex, let me start with that idea that Republican leaders are concerned about, you know, he's -- I -- they're saying it's his baggage, that he has a lot of it.
It was of course the upper branch mine explosion back in 2010, 29 miners died, and he was in charge at the time. So he says, no, no, no, it's not that, it's that I have a lot of anti-establishment views, and they're the establishment.
ALEX ISENSTADT, REPORTER, POLITICO: Well, I may be a little bit of both, but I can tell you primarily, they're concern that Republican strategist here in Washington had (Inaudible), they're convinced he cannot win. And in fact, if he were to win this primary that's coming up in a
little over a week, they say that the race against Joe Manchin in November is just going to be off the table, and it's very unlikely that the national party would spend any money, and so what you -- in that general election.
So you do have the National Party in this primary working behind the scenes very much to defeat him. It's kind of like what we saw happening -- did last year against Roy Moore, when they really tried unsuccessfully to keep Roy Moore from winning the primary. He ultimately did win that primary, and then he end up losing the general election.
BASH: He did end up loosing the general election. But West Virginia just seems different, and you know this. And Blankenship has been -- we talked about his baggage.
But on the plus side for Republican voters there, his message is so much like the Trump 2016 message, and he's been espousing the ideals of, you know, closing in on trade deals, on issues with jobs, on issues with, you know, sort of being more isolationist, for years, and years, and years before he ran for office, when he was just using his deep pockets to help fund, and build a Republican Party there.
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I think you're (Inaudible) with this guy, right? I mean, he doesn't live in West Virginia, he's a convicted felon. You know, he says...
BASH: He's got a house in Nevada.
BASH: And his girlfriend lives there.
MCLAUGHLIN: You know -- but I think the biggest concern -- where I would have the biggest concern if I was sitting at the NRSC or involved in elections right now, is the fact that he's the number one choice of Democrats.
Democrats have spend $400,000 trying to make him their nominee, and that tells you something. And also tells me that Joe Manchin is a lot more vulnerable that I would actually got for Joe Manchin, despite the fact that, you know, Trump won the state by 42 points.
I still think Joe Manchin -- you know, I tried to get him twice as Dana had alluded to, so I have a little bit of like, you know, Stockholm syndrome, this whole thing, but at the same time, I mean, he's very durable. And apparently, he must be very, very vulnerable to Jenkins or Morrissey.
BASH: OK, so he certainly does seem to be vulnerable, probably one of the most, Donald Trump won by 42 percentage points in West Virginia, and he's still very popular, and Joe Manchin is the Democratic senator.
And yet, again the similarities between Don Blankenship, and this candidate we're talking about, and Donald Trump, he's unapologetic in his views, and in his disdain for the Republican leader, so much that he suggested in an interview, you and I were with him afterwards, that the majority leader Mitch McConnell is soft on China because his wife's father, both of them were born in China, has business ties there, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLANKENSHIP: I have an issue when the father-in-law is, you know, is a wealthy kind of person, and he's got a lot of connections to some of the brass, if you will, in China and we just need for it to be known, and there's nothing wrong with the senator recusing himself when he's conflicted like he is in the business world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: And McConnell, and certainly the people who have been with him for a long time were outraged about that, but do you think in West Virginia?
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I mean, you just never know. I mean, I don't know if it makes a huge difference, I don't know if West Virginia voters really are going to care about that per se.
It's incredibly offensive, obviously, and it's -- you know, if it's not out right racist, it's racially tinged at the very best. And so, you know, I think -- you know, his message on Trump is probably better.
But Jenkins and Morrissey are trying to get there too. And as you see, as they put a lot in the target here, elections aren't run in vacuums, and as people have gotten like expose more to him through paid advertising, he's plummeting. And so I think that this seems to me to be going in the wrong direction for Don Blankenship obviously.
BASH: And just big picture, Alex, you know, we talked to several of the candidates there.
[17:45:02] And got a sense of what was -- what was going on the ground, and tell me what you think. I mean, what struck me was we have this whole notion of Trump baggage across the country, and it's typical for a Republican, or any president to lose seats in Congress in their first term.
And yet you have a place like West Virginia, which could determine the balance of power in the U.S. Senate where Donald Trump is very popular, and the candidates on the Republican side are running to embrace him.
ISENSTADT: Right. There was that debate on Monday, I think you and I were both there, where they couldn't stop talking about Donald Trump. Everyone on stage, it was all about Trump, Trump, Trump.
And I think it just shows you how this midterm election in West Virginia, and elsewhere, it's going to be all about the President, he's going to be the defining, driving force, and that's going to be like West Virginia where Trump won by a lot. You see Blankenship eyeing the President, and you see -- you see other candidate doing the exact same thing.
MCLAUGHLIN: And it's true, there's 10 (Inaudible) that Trump won in 2016, there's 10 Senate races there, represented by Democrats, that you know, are the same story, and so, Trump is still popular, at least durable in those states, and not as much of a weigh down as people thinks he is.
BASH: And again, it matters because in November, we're going to have an election that will determine whether the Republican hold on Congress is still in place in the House, and maybe even the Senate. Thank you both for coming on, and giving me your expertise. And up next, the stunning reality of being a teacher in America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELISABETH MILICH, ARIZONA TEACHER: My oldest is a nanny, she literally makes more money than I do.
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BASH: No wonder the walkouts are spreading, you're live in the CNN Newsroom.
[17:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BASH: Teachers in Arizona are expected to return to the picket lines tomorrow. Last week, they've lined the streets for miles demanding lawmakers give them better pay, and more funding for schools.
Their walk out was spurred by a series of protests by fellow educators across the nation from West Virginia to Oklahoma. CNN's Bill Weir has more.
CINDI MORTON, ARIZONA TEACHER: We started talking about what your outline looks like for your research paper, so...
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: During the day Cindi Morton is an Arizona teacher. At then, she is a private tutor. On weekends, she's a care taker of emotional disabled kids, and four nights a week, she turns her car into a taxi. Do those kids have any idea they're driving a Lyft after school?
MORTON: Yes, they do, actually.
WEIR: Do they?
MORTON: Yes, some will say, oh, I want to go to Ms. Morton, and work on this. And they will be, no, no, no, she got to work today. And so, come on in.
WEIR: one teacher with four jobs is hardly unusual in this state.
MILICH: My oldest is a nanny, she literally makes more money than I do.
WEIR: Is that right?
MILICH: Yes, because she works for a great family who pays her very well.
WEIR: How old is she?
WEIR: Elisabeth Milich takes home $320 a week, and out of that, must outfit her entire classroom.
MILICH: And then, I just bought the carpets, and the chair, and the chair cover. These books are not from the district. Those are like 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 snapshot of vermin filled classrooms, and tattered textbooks, improvised air conditioners, and a globe with two Germanys.
But, of course Arizona is not alone. The season of revolt started in West Virginia where a nine day strike brought a fiver 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, ARIZONA TEACHER: And they sit like that, and they're ready to rock and roll. That's what I did with my money.
CROWD: Fund our schools! Fund our schools!
WEIR: In Kentucky a one day walkout brought stiff resistance from lawmakers, and the harshest of guilt trips from the Governor Matt Bevin.
GOV. MATT BEVIN (R), KENTUCKY: How many hundreds of thousands of children today were left home alone? I guarantee you some where in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them.
WEIR: The Kentucky of governor was forced to apologize for that implication, and since guilt doesn't seem to be stopping theis led 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. Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey says he wants to give some teachers 20 percent raise over three years, but the legislature can't agree how to pay for it.
MILICH: As a conservative Republican, I was actually 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: so you don't trust them, bottom line?
WEIR: But since her pay stub went viral, she's been getting gift cards and donated supplies from strangers around the world.
MILICH: Bless her heart. Dear Mrs. Milich, with the most important job in the world, you shouldn't have to use your own funds for school supplies. Hope this helps to fray those expenses, and then it's from the American school in London, a sixth grader.
WEIR: A sixth grader.
MILICH: Is that -- I mean, I'm like tearful, like my eyes just weld up with tears, and I was like, that is the most precious thing. Why would you not want to provide our kids with the best possible education?
[17:55:00] 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: Bill Weir, CNN, Phoenix.
BASH: Up next, more on our breaking news, a dramatic scene at the U.S.-Mexico border, migrants from Central America gathering along a fence between Tijuana and San Diego.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST: Six hundred miles away from the town of Manhattan is McDowell County, West Virginia, another America. In the mind of my fellow New Yorkers, the heart of God, guns, and Trump country, the existential enemy.
If you were describing this area, churchgoing, gun rights supporters, a lot of people in my home that's not going to resonate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think people understand just how genuine and wonderful the people are in these mountains.
BOURDAIN: Here in the heart of every belief system I've ever mocked or fought against, I was welcomed with open arms by everyone. I found a place both heart breaking, and beautiful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got your frog legs, turtle patties. Ever ate a snapping turtle?
BOURDAIN: Oh, I'm not missing that. Wow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for letting us make new friends.
BOURDAIN: Thank you for having me.
ANNOUNCER: The all new season of Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, starts Sunday at 9:00 on CNN.