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DHS Chief Defends Policy that Splits Undocumented Families; Supreme Court Lets Voter Redistricting Maps Stand; Trump Adviser Roger Stone Admits Meeting Russian in 2016; Peter Strzok Willing to Testify to Congress; Stock Markets Tumble Amid Trade War Fears; Spotlight on "Every Mother Counts". Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired June 18, 2018 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:00] RAUL REYES, BOARD OF CONTRIBUTORS MEMBER, USA TODAY & INVESTIGATIVE ANALYST: Now, what we are seeing right now is under Jeff Session's and the Trump administration zero tolerance policy, a byproduct of that, a direct result of that is that the families are being split up. When we see people in the administration referencing a law or something passed by the Democrats, they're generally speaking to two things. One is a court agreement from the 1990s, the Florida settlement, it says children cannot stay in detention indefinitely and they should be released without unnecessary delay. It says nothing about breaking apart families. And the other law they cited, and, in fact, Secretary Nielsen mentioned it this morning, is a 2008 law, an anti-trafficking law, passed unanimously by Congress. Again, while it provides some accommodations for migrant children, there's nothing in that law that says families need to be broken up or shall be broken up. This is a result of a policy that -- and if the Trump administration chose to, as one of the guests earlier said, you know, a phone call from Donald Trump to DHS could end it.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Is there gray area here?

REYES: There isn't really gray area. In fact, there's a strong argument to be made. And now this is legal, not on the political side.


REYES: What the Trump administration is doing is a violation of our family law system, which is based on the family unity principle. It's a violation of our immigration system, which allows legal rights to claim asylum and other forms of humanitarian relief. And also our participation in the United Nations Human Rights Commission, which has lodged a protest against the U.S. government over this policy. And right now, the ACLU has a court case that they have begun challenging the family separation policy, arguing -- they argue, they allege, by breaking up families, it is a violation of the due process of the mothers and children, because not being together, it makes it harder for them to corroborate their stories and thus harder to make a case for asylum or refugee status or some type of humanitarian relief. So that is being challenged in the courts. It will take a long time. In the meantime, this is the reality. This is where we are.

BOLDUAN: This is about as black and white as it seems, when it comes to the law side of it.

REYES: Right. Right.

BOLDUAN: Just a final question to you, Dr. Kraft. As the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, what do you want the president to hear right now from you?

DR. COLLEEN KRAFT, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: Families need to be together. Parents and children need to be together. These young children need their parents to help them buffer this experience they had that is traumatic. So let's start with the right thing and keep our parents and children together.

BOLDUAN: Dr. Kraft, thank you for coming in.

Raul Reyes, thank you.

REYES: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much. We really appreciate it. Thank you both.

We're going to go to the East Room very soon. Live pictures from the White House. President Trump will be speaking live. We will take you there. Let's see if he addresses this, because he surely already has been on Twitter all morning.

And speaking of Twitter, one more Republican now weighing in, Jeb Bush. "Children shouldn't be used as a negotiating tool. @DonaldTrump should end the heartless policy and Congress should get an immigration deal done that provides for asylum, reform, border security and a path to citizenship for DREAMers." Jeb Bush now weighing in as well.

We'll be right back.


[11:37:21] BOLDUAN: Breaking news, the Supreme Court issuing an important decision and it all has to do with the election map.

CNN justice correspondent, Jessica Schneider, is at the Supreme Court, following all this.

Jessica, what did the justices say?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, they didn't say much. Two decisions today where the Supreme Court has really dodged making a major ruling when it comes to partisan gerrymandering. The Supreme Court sending the decisions back down and saying for now the maps in two different states that challengers had alleged were too political, the Supreme Court saying today those maps can stand.

Now, these cases involve two different states, Wisconsin and Maryland. In Wisconsin, Democrats challenged the state legislative map, saying that Republicans drew it in a way that was just too favorable to Republicans. In Maryland, you had the flip side of the argument. You had Republicans challenging congressional lines that they said were just too controlled by Democrats. So the Supreme Court, it was much anticipated, would they make a ruling when it comes to partisan gerrymandering, would they say once and for all whether this political gerrymandering is unconstitutional? They did not do so.

And, of course, this could have major political implications. We're just five months away from the midterms and the big election in 2020 coming up. The Supreme Court not ruling, not making any definitive decision here.

And what is really interesting in this, this has become a major political flashpoint. In fact, when this case was being argued before the Supreme Court, the lawyers for the challengers said this, he said, if the Supreme Court refuses to rule here, he said, you're going to have a festival of copycat gerrymandering the likes of which this country has never seen.

And to be sure, former President Barack Obama, he has made the sort of partisan gerrymandering a major platform of his. He has spoken out about this, saying districts need to be more equally drawn after the 2020 census.

On the flip side, President Trump has also weighed in on this issue, most recently a few months ago over Twitter, where he talked about a Pennsylvania Supreme Court that drew its own map after there were claims of partisan gerrymandering as well. The -- President Trump in that instance saying, let's take it all the way to the Supreme Court. Well, today, the Supreme Court has really dodged this issue, saying that these maps may stand for now.

But, Kate, what's important to note, while these two cases involved Maryland and Wisconsin, there's still another case in the pipeline that is being heard at the appeals level now. That's out of North Carolina. So a lot of people holding out hope that potentially next term the Supreme Court could take up that North Carolina case and maybe then once and for all rule whether or not partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional.

But today, that decision not coming and the maps that were highly controversial and challenged for their political leanings, they will stand -- Kate?

[11:40:14] BOLDUAN: While gerrymandering may be not the sexiest topic for folks out there, it's one of the most important issues if you're looking at electoral maps, no matter what side of the aisle you sit on. That fight is now reserved for another day.

Jessica, great to see you. Thanks so much.

SCHNEIDER: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: We're also following this, "It is such a nothing burger that I didn't remember it, but looking back, I think it was an FBI trap" -- that's the word from two men close to the Trump campaign. Former Trump campaign advisor, Roger Stone, now telling CNN that, in 2016, he met with a Russian offering dirt on Hillary Clinton in exchange for $2 million. The offer not accepted, Stone says. The meeting was set up by Trump campaign aide, Michael Caputo. But if you ask them both today, they say the Russian in question was actually an FBI informant. What?

CNN crime and justice reporter, Shimon Prokupecz, is joining me now.

Shimon, what is going on?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Just more questions about potentially another Russian having meetings with someone that is associated with the campaign.

This meeting took place, as we say, during the campaign, in May 2016. This was over two years ago. We're just learning about it recently, really over the weekend. Michael Caputo is claiming that the Russian man was an FBI informant. But what is interesting is this meeting took place in May, which was two months before the FBI even opened its investigation into the Trump campaign. Now, both Stone and Caputo testified before congressional investigators, and somehow they forgot to reveal this meeting. But when Caputo was confronted by the special counsel about this Russian, about this potential meeting, he says he was surprised, Caputo was surprised by how much the special counsel team knew about the Russian. So now the lawyers for both Stone and Caputo have written to Congress saying that it wasn't until Caputo was questioned by the special counsel that he remembered information about this Russian. It was Stone as well. His lawyer sent a letter saying that it was after Caputo's meeting with the special counsel that he remembered this meeting, where a Russian offered dirt on Hillary Clinton in exchange for $2 million. Stone has called the meeting a waste of time.

And significant here, Kate, also is that this marks at least the third known meeting between a Russian offering dirt on Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign. You'll recall it was Don Jr who met with a Russian lawyer, of course, at Trump Tower. And then it was also the former Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, turned FBI informant, who also met with someone claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton.

BOLDUAN: And there's also more in terms of the Russia investigation. Peter Strzok, the FBI agent removed from the Russia investigation over the anti-Trump text messages and more text messages were learned from the I.G. report, he's saying, through an attorney, he's ready to testify before Congress? What are you hearing?

PROKUPECZ: That's right. He wants to tell his story. Between him and other people at the FBI, they have been tied up in this inspector general report, this investigation. Peter Strzok is now no longer part of the Russia investigation. He's not part of any investigation. He's been removed from all investigative duties.

But what is interesting here is that since the inspector general has now made their results public, these guys want to tell their story and he's one of them.

BOLDUAN: That will be a hearing to stand by for, if and when it happens.

Great to see you, Shimon. Thank you so much.

Also looking at growing trade tensions putting a drag on the market now. Let's take a look. The Dow dropped more than 200 points at the opening bell. And U.S. And China's tit for tat on tariffs are sparking fears of an all-out trade war.

Let's go to Alison Kosik. She's here with me right now.

Alison, what are you watching?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're seeing stocks are off their lows for the session. This escalation in trade tensions will continue. It will be that white noise in the background until something certain is done. In the meantime, we'll see it undermine the confidence not just in the stock market but for business confidence as well.

We're seeing the White House saying that China tariffs are actual punishment for China stealing U.S. technology and trade secrets. On July 6th, it plans to slap a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion in Chinese exports. It is going to be targeting tech industries that matter to Beijing, like aerospace, robotics, manufacturing, and cars. We see Beijing retaliating. It is targeting high-value American exports, like soybeans, pork, cars, and crude oil. So those tariffs interestingly enough are strategic. They're hitting the states that supported Trump. Chinese tariffs on soybeans can cost Iowa farmers $624 million. But it is not just Trump country. Some big U.S. companies, they're also caught in the middle of this. American computer chipmakers, they say they'll be hurt by U.S. tariffs. Some U.S. companies, they actually send their finished chips to China for testing. Well, now those chips face tariffs when they're shipped back to the U.S. These tariffs also hurt companies that do a lot of business in China, that you may recognize, Boeing and Caterpillar. Shares of both companies are down right now. Boeing does a lot of business in China. It could really be hurt by the tariffs.

[11:45:21] BOLDUAN: I can't imagine that. You make the chip here, send it over for testing and then you get slapped with it on the way back.

KOSIK: Oh, yes.

BOLDUAN: That is not fun.

Thank you. I'm sure there's many examples of that.


BOLDUAN: Alison, thank you so much.

Any minute, though, we're going to the White House live. President Trump will be speaking there from the East Room. Looking at live pictures. And we'll take you there live when the president speaks. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: The day your child is born should be the happiest day of a mother's life. But every day, 800 women die during pregnancy or childbirth. That's one woman every two minutes. All this week, many of here at CNN will be sharing stories of extraordinary people and organizations that are making a difference in a very special series called "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE." The inspiring champions that I get to highlight are working to ensure that every mother, every baby, has a fighting chance at life.



[11:50:11] UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Mommy.

BOLDUAN: There's our friends.


BOLDUAN: Have a good day.

Uh-oh. Are we going to make it? This way. This way. This way.

Every mother will tell you there's no such thing as work/life balance. It doesn't exist.

Where is Celia? Is she in the tree? No. Oh, there you are.

Is this your lunch?


BOLDUAN: You'll have ice cream for lunch?

Who is your mommy?

How about this?

How is your nap?

My pregnancies with both Celia and Delphine were easy.

But when it came to birth, that was when the complications started for me. Both babies were breached. If didn't have access to a great medical system, I don't even want to think about what that would mean for my babies.


BOLDUAN: The happiest moment of my life was bringing these two beautiful beings into the world. And to think that that same moment for another mother could mean death is just -- it's unimaginable.

I heard about Every Mother Counts from a very good friend and colleague of mine. Then I also met Christy Turlington. She is a force.


When my daughter, Grace, was born, I experienced a hemorrhage. Globally, more than half a million girls and women at that time were dying from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. And the complication that I had experienced was one of the leading causes of death. This is something that made me want to ask what I could do. So it EMC was really founded to be able to engage people on a deeper level.

BOLDUAN: Along with advocacy and policy work, Christy's non-profit Every Mother Counts helps raise funds for community led maternity health programs around the world.

How big is the problem still?

TURLINGTON BURNS: You look at the U.S. and we were ranked 41st in the world when I became a mom and today we're ranked 47th. We're actually falling behind. And black women are three to four times more likely to die from a pregnancy related complication than a Caucasian woman, and we're just really starting to ask the question why.

BOLDUAN: How would you think a woman like Jenny Joseph, a midwife, central Florida. How is she changing the game?

TURLINGTON BURNS: When we became a foundation and started grant giving --

JENNY JOSEPH, MIDWIFE: I need to get her hemoglobin.

TURLINGTON BURNS: -- she was like the first person I said, we have to help Jenny. She has spent her entire career focused on predominantly women of color who are really struggling with our system.

JOSEPH: Are you ready?

It's compassion. It's listening.

We measure the belly and listen to the baby and check the urine like any other O.B,, but the outcome is the big thing.

TURLINGTON BURNS: She makes sure no woman is denied care.

JOSEPH: Back in a week, please.

They turned a story such as, I was turned away because I was too far advanced in my pregnancy.

Doing great.

We don't turn mothers away.

TURLINGTON BURNS: I would say Jenny, to some extent, is a model for Chanel.

Chanel is also serving low-income women of color in New York.


BOLDUAN: Chanel is the founder of Ancient Song, a center that offers women of color and low-income families doula services, which are trained birth coaches, services many of these women would otherwise not be able to afford.

Sitting here, what more can we all do to step up and do more?

CHANEL PORCHIA-ALBERT, FOUNDER, ANCIENT SONG: Supporting women of color, black women of color-led organizations, addressing implicit advice and racial discrimination within health care. We have two moms here that go for health care, yet they're being judged based on their age.

BOLDUAN: Without a doula, where would we be?

NICHELLA BIHGIRAT (ph), EXPECTING MOTHER: It makes me feel not completely alone. For seven months, it was just me until I met her.

BOLDUAN: What has this met for you, Rochelle?

ROCHELLE JAMES, MOTHER: That's what led me to become a doula more. They need that support. I wanted to be that support that my mom didn't have.

BOLDUAN: The only thing I've ever wished for my daughters is that they grow up to have passion, to have happiness and to leave the earth, in a small way, a better place. That's what I see with Christy, with Chanel, and with Jenny. These are the role models I want for my daughters.


[11:55:06] BOLDUAN: Oh, they're so great. These women are a force and the ultimate example of paying it forward. You can learn more about Every Mother Counts. Their Web site,, and also go to CNN/champions. We're going to share more inspiration stories like this all week. And you can watch the "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE" one-hour special on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. That's Saturday.

Right now, we continue to follow this. At any moment, the president will be speaking live from the White House, speaking to the National Space Council. But will he address what he's been talking about on Twitter all morning? Stay with us.