Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Defends Controversial Family Separations; Cohen Could Flip on Trump; Father Reunited with Son at Border; China Promises to Strike Back at U.S. Tariffs; U.N. Criticizes Border Separations. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 20, 2018 - 01:00   ET

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


[01:00:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, Donald Trump says he's 1,000 percent behind immigration reform which would end the policy separating children from their parents.

But at his pep rally meeting, some lawmakers have been left confused about what to do next.

Meantime, the president's latest threats to slap more tariffs on China are spooking the markets and angering officials in Beijing.

And the U.S. is pulling out from the U.N. Human Rights Council, calling it a "cesspool of political bias."

Thanks for staying with us everybody. I'm John Vause. This is NEWSROOM L.A.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

VAUSE: Donald Trump met with GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill Tuesday. But now they seem no closer to finding a solution to the president's most pressing problem: children separated from their parents as they try to cross the border from Mexico into the U.S.

The images of crying toddlers and kids tied in chain link cage have been condemned by so many, including some within the Republican Party. CNN's Kaitlan Collins begins our covering.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: While President Trump's meeting on Capitol Hill with those Republican lawmakers was supposed to garner support for one of those two immigration bills that they are hoping to get passed. But instead members said they walked away not knowing which bill it was that the president preferred, just instead noting that he remarked he wanted them to fix an immigration system that he believes is broken and he only touched briefly on the issue that has been dominating headlines in recent days and that is the separation of those families at the U.S.-Mexico border, something that even conservatives, members of the president's own party, have called on him to stop that practice, to end it.

But instead during this meeting that could have been confrontational between the lawmakers and the president, the president took no questions; instead, spoke at length for about an hour to these members, telling them they needed to get something fixed because the public was watching them but not expressing a preference for either bill.

He said he spoke with his daughter, Ivanka Trump, about the family separation issue. She hasn't said anything publicly but the president said she showed him the images of the children being separated from their parents and urged him to do something to fix this issue.

Still, at the end of that meeting, the president made clear that he believes that the solution to that problem is going to be a legislative one, not one coming out of the West Wing.

The bottom line is, the president was supposed to garner some kind of momentum for one of these bills in hope that they could get passed but it doesn't seemed to have changed any minds of any of these lawmakers about what it exactly that the White House is willing to get behind -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Joining me here in Los Angeles political strategist Mac Zilber and Peter Van Voorhis. Mac is a Democratic strategist and Peter is of the Republican type.

OK, so here is Texas congressman Andy Weber and what was said during that meeting with the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) Ivanka that that (INAUDIBLE) that she had raised it. He was not --

REP. ANDY WEBER, TEXAS: He did say that she said it was looking bad, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did he say his reaction (INAUDIBLE) that?

WEBER: Well, it was clear that, I mean, he thinks we need to do something about it and doing something about. We are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So he was referring to Ivanka Trump, the White House adviser and presidential daughter. Apparently the president said crying babies looked bad politically. So the president has left it to the Republican lawmakers essentially to come up with a fix.

So Peter, what happened to this guy that we all knew, this guy here?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'm the only one that knows how to fix it.

I'm the only one that can fix it.

I will pick up the phone and fix it myself if I have to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Now you can go.

PETER VAN VOORHIS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Absolutely. So I really think that Donald Trump -- obviously he didn't come in with a whole lot of experience in politics, actually none. And I think he's certainly learning as he's going with this.

And he realizes that Congress needs to be the one to act on this. We can't just put a Band-aid on it. Sure, the president could go and say, oh, we're just going to go back to the Obama era of policies. But I don't think that's actually solving the problem.

We have currently an immigration policy that encourages families to come across a very dangerous journey and they don't actually end up getting the asylum here. Let's change the immigration system fundamentally in Congress and actually make it safe for these people to come here. I think that's the humanitarian thing to do.

VAUSE: Mac, I guess the big picture, the immigration system needs to be fixed but in the short term this crisis on the border, this is one time when the president is actually spot-on accurate. He can fix it. He can pick up the phone and he can solve this crisis.

MAC ZILBER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Right. And he alone can fix it right away. Senator Orrin Hatch said it would take five minutes for the administration to reverse this policy, which they implemented. And half the administration acknowledges that they are the ones who enacted this policy. Jeff Sessions, Stephen Miller --

[01:05:00]

ZILBER: -- and the chief of staff John Kelly all say that they're doing this because it's a deterrent. It's only Donald Trump and his Homeland Security secretary who are trying to pretend this is out of our control, this is simply the law that we have to enforce.

VAUSE: There's been a lot of anti (INAUDIBLE) to a lot of this, who's to blame, what can be done, a lot of angry words have been exchanged but it seems a new low was reached on Tuesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I read today about a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was taken from her mother and put in a cage. I read about a -- did you say wah-wah to a 10-year-old with Down syndrome?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I said is you can -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How dare you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: That was Corey Lewandowski, Peter, once Trump's campaign manager. (INAUDIBLE) close to the president. The president likes him. If this was any other administration right now, there would be outrage and calls for Donald Trump to publicly condemn Lewandowski.

VOORHIS: Sure. And personally I don't support what Lewandowski said there. I really think the rhetoric that the Republicans have put out hasn't been perfect. It's been all over the place. I think that's a problem. I think people need to realize Republicans don't support separating families. They don't support separating them for political gain.

I think there are a few people in the administration that do. But I don't think the president does. He's a family man and ultimately we need to bring Congress to the table to fix this.

We could reverse the administration's decision. That's not going to fix the problem. Catch and release didn't work and it encouraged smugglers to bring these kids in and to do it in a dangerous way. Let's keep families together and have Congress actually take on the role they're supposed to.

VAUSE: We heard from Lewandowski there, mocking a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome. The president was mocking asylum seekers, saying it's all a great big scam, they get coached by immigration lawyers.

There does seem to be an attitude, which is coming from at least several of his administration about immigration and about doubting those people who come to this country seeking asylum, whether or not they're genuine.

ZILBER: It's really disheartening to see, because these are people who are fleeing some of the most terrible and dangerous conditions in the world, seeking asylum, asking for the nation that is supposed to be a beacon to the world, that -- almost all of us are descendants of immigrants.

And we're not just turning them away, we are saying we're going to tear your child, crying, from your arms as a deterrent from you trying to seek asylum.

VAUSE: The president is using tougher language as the outrage grows. This president does not take a backward step. His natural instinct is to raise the temperature, to fight back.

He tweeted this on Tuesday, "Democrats are the problem, they don't care about crime, they want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our country, like MS-13. They come (INAUDIBLE) policy so they view them as potential voters."

That line is straight out of conservative talk radio. Peter, we have the former Trump campaign manager mocking a 10-year-old

girl with Down syndrome. The president claims immigrants are vermin. And, again, there does seem to be this pattern --

VOORHIS: I really think in that case he was referring to MS-13 as vermin. I don't think that pretty much anyone would ever go publicly and refer to immigrants as vermin. I think that's offensive and wrong and I certainly would not support something like that.

At the same time, I think he's correct. I think that the Obama era catch and release policy that we had, it encourages smugglers and the cartels to bring people in, allowing drugs to pour across the border and contribute to the opioid crisis we have.

I think there's a smarter way to do this but it has to start with Congress. Congress can change the law, the executive branch can change how they enforce it. I don't think a lack or basically a stronger enforcement or less enforcement is the solution here. Congress has to act and I think we have reached a critical point to where the public is outraged enough to where hopefully Democrats and Republican can come together.

VAUSE: Mac, I guess the question is, does the president want to solve this immediate crisis or does he just want to get a bigger picture reform on immigration and it doesn't matter how many kids go to detention centers?

ZILBER: Congress can and should act. But in the meantime the president has created an artificial crisis. He's taken these kids hostage. Whether or not it's to get legislation out of Congress or whether it's because he just decided he wanted to start this new strict enforcement policy, whether it's deliberate or whether they had to not talk to a single policy expert and think through, the reality is that the policy of this administration is to separate children from their parents and it could be reversed with the stroke of a pen.

VAUSE: Peter, why can't he do both?

Why does this crisis have to continue to fester?

VOORHIS: Because I think if you go back to the Obama catch and release policy we had, that unfortunately encourages families, women and children, to come in and seek asylum. Before, during the Bush era and the during early Obama eras, it was mostly single men that came through.

Now it's a lot of women and children, accompanied by some hum traffickers. So I think doing that would say that we're lax on enforcing the law. Instead of being lax on enforcing the law, let's go out and change the law. And do it quickly. Do it quickly.

ZILBER: Yes but the reality is, that Barack Obama deported dramatically more people than George W. Bush. This was --

[01:10:00] ZILBER: -- not a lax enforcement administration. There's just a difference between being strong on enforcement and attempting to hit this 100 percent threshold that results in children being separated from their parents. And there's a humane way to do it and a smart way to do it.

VAUSE: Also in that tweet, you talked about the increasing crime brought on by illegal immigration, those numbers are wrong and it seems the president may have gotten those figures from the same place where he got the numbers about increasing crime in Germany, up 10 percent, he said. It's actually down to the lowest it's been since the 1990s. Listen to Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And Germany, they allowed millions of people in and, by the way, their crime from the time they started is up more than 10 percent and that's one of the reasons it's at that level because they don't like reporting that kind of crime, so they put it down as different kind of crime. But their crime is up more than 10 percent since they started taking them in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Peter, how does he know that?

It sounds totally made up. (INAUDIBLE) talk radio.

Isn't there a basic requirement for the President of the United States to fact check his information before he calls out another country?

VOORHIS: I think there's certainly a requirement to fact check it. But as I was saying previously, I think that the president is very frustrated with essentially just immigrants going into the country illegally. And he's trying to use the example of Germany.

I don't agree with using not correct facts. But he's trying to make the point that we have to do things legally. Over there, they allow immigrants to come and they're much more open to asylum. But I think over there it has created some problems with crime. I think they're a little bit different situations but he's just out here trying to make a point.

VAUSE: Even if that point is not backed up by any evidence, I guess. OK.

Finally, we'll finish on the situation with Michael Cohen, the president's former personal attorney. Apparently he's willing to give up information in the Russian investigation in the right situation. Here's some of the reporting.

"The shift in legal strategy signals of a change of cooperation with investigators come as Cohen feels increasingly isolated from the president, whom he has been famously loyal to for more than a decade. Last week CNN reported Cohen has indicated a willingness to cooperate to alleviate pressure on himself and his family. He feels let down by him and isolated by him," another friend of Cohen's told CNN about the president.

So Mac, it didn't take long from, I'll take a bullet for the president to I'll take a plea deal.

(LAUGHTER)

ZILBER: It's true. It shows when you are a defense lawyer, the burden of proof to raid your office for federal agents is incredibly high. It means there is very likely stuff to be found.

Now is the stuff they found related to the over $1 million that was reported to be paid to an LLC he controlled by a Russian aluminum magnate?

Maybe.

Was it related to the hundreds of thousands of dollars paid for meeting with Ukrainian leadership?

Maybe, who knows.

VAUSE: You know, Peter, the other reporting, which seems to be very relevant to all this, it comes from "The Wall Street Journal", here's the headline.

"Michael Cohen Wants Trump to pay His Legal Fees."

(LAUGHTER)

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) money. It seems that's a pretty big hit as to what the right circumstances might be.

VOORHIS: Sure. And I think, certainly amid all this investigation, the president probably should pay his lawyer.

(CROSSTALK)

VOORHIS: Yes, he definitely should do that. But at the end of the day, just like with Paul Manafort, I think a lot of these lawyers and these Trump associates have been involved in various nefarious activities. Whether or not that means the president is involved in it remains to be found. I've not seen any evidence for that yet. But if I do, I would certainly welcome it.

VAUSE: Mac, out of all the people who are under investigation, out of the scores of people who had to hire very costly attorneys, the only people who are receiving any kind of compensation for their legal fees, their last name is Trump. Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr., no one apparently is getting any assistance from the RNC or from the president or the president's committee.

ZILBER: It brings up an e-mail that was just leaked from Roger Stone, in which he said, quote, Donald Trump won't pay for anything. I think that's what Michael Cohen is finding out.

VAUSE: Yes, there's no money there. He didn't become a billionaire by paying people's legal fees, I guess.

Peter and Mac, good to see you both. Thank you.

VAUSE: For the parents who are separated from their children, there is just fear and uncertainty of not knowing when they'll ever see one another again. One man from El Salvador who was caught illegally crossing the southern border with his son now shares his story of what he calls the most agonizing 36 hours of his life, the time he spent separated from his 7-year old. CNN's Paula Sandoval reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We met Emer Alexander Gonzales (ph) here in McAllen after he was released by the Department of Homeland Security, promising to come back for a court date. We accompanied him to a bus station here in downtown McAllen as he heads for Florida.

He was not subjected to this zero tolerance policy, which is raising many questions, exactly who is and why was he among the lucky ones?

He seems to believe that it was because he didn't have a criminal record, this was the first time he entered the U.S. illegally. In the meantime, though, Mr. Gonzalez telling us about the situation back in his native El Salvador, saying that there are --

[01:15:00]

SANDOVAL: -- many people there, many parents there, preparing to make the journey to the United States, who have no idea about this policy.

EMER ALEXANDER GONZALES (PH), EL SALVADORAN MIGRANT (through translator): In my country, I wasn't notified of this policy. Had I known, I would not have risked my son's life. I would have stayed in my country.

SANDOVAL: And Gonzalez separated from his 7-year-old son, who you saw there by his side, for a day and a half. It was certainly extremely painful. However, he's certainly grateful that he at least has that child with him today.

He also told us a little bit about the situation there inside these shelters, these are places that we have seen through handout video and pictures released by the government and also we've heard from some of our lawmakers who have toured these facilities, as well.

These two individuals who we spoke to here on the streets, describing some of the conditions there as inhumane before they were finally released and now headed to Florida. But just goes to show you, after living and working on this border for many years, I can tell you that there are very different dynamics here at play.

There are some of those who are subjected to short-term separation and those who are criminally charged who are then subjected to long-term separation. But those children certainly don't know the difference.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VAUSE: Polo Sandoval there.

Now of all the heartbreaking images of children being taken away from their parents, perhaps none has come to symbolize the crisis more than this picture of a 2-year-old toddler from Honduras. She was taken from her mother after they (INAUDIBLE) Mexico. Getty photographer John Moore took that picture and now we're hearing more from the little girl's dad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My heart broke. My heart broke because it's my little girl. I mean, the first time I said, that's my little girl, right when I saw the report, I said that's my little girl, my heart broke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you cry?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Of course, it's really hard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It still moves you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Oh, yes, of course.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does it give you a lot of pain to remember the way she was crying?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I don't think so, no. She didn't deserve that situation. My little girl doesn't deserve that situation. It breaks my heart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, more than 2,000 minors have been separated from their guardians while traveling to the United States.

A short break. When we come back, the trade fight between the U.S. and China is ramping up, Donald Trump threatening China with tariffs on billions of dollars of exports. We'll have Beijing's response in a moment.

Also, the U.N. Human Rights Council now minus one. Ahead, we'll hear Washington's reasons for pulling out.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:20:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

VAUSE: Beijing is warning of consequences if the U.S. follows through on a threat to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese exports. This is all part of an escalating tit-for-tat war between the two countries. These tensions have been rattling U.S. markets after sinking more than 400 points in Tuesday's early trade. The Dow managed to crawl back but was still down almost 300 by the close.

CNN's Nic Robertson joins us live from Beijing.

Nic, we have this sort of back and forth going on, of promises and warnings and threats and we know this is all starting to take place.

But when will the actual full-on, all-out shooting trade war begin and under what conditions will it start?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the conditions the ground seems to be being prepared at the moment. China says it thinks the step the United States is potentially going to take, the step that President Trump has talked about, an additional $200 billion worth of trade tariffs, are going to be put on.

It's not a fight they want to get into but it's a fight they're ready to have. They say that they'll respond qualitatively and quantitatively. A strong strike back is the way that they're framing it at the moment. Potentially, if that step is taken by the United States, then it could still be months before that would come into effect.

But as you just described the rattle and impact on businesses is already there. Boeing lost 3.8 percent of its value yesterday. Caterpillar, another big major corporation that does business here in China, lost 3.6 percent. So the nerves in the business community are already rattled.

Part of it is that unpredictable nature of what China could impose. It's buying in $130 billion worth of goods from the United States but it might choose to target services in its response, in education and tourism.

It might try to change the perception of Chinese citizens about buying U.S. products. That could have another knock-on effect as well. And it might impose restrictions on U.S. businesses, like more safety checks, for example, that may not be strictly necessary but will crimp their ability to do business.

So if you're a Boeing or Caterpillar or Apple or many of these other companies, Cisco, just to name but a couple that do a lot of business here in China, you would be looking at this at the moment and realizing that the view is becoming less predictable.

So I think the best answer to your question is, the real solid effects may not come in for some time, maybe a few months. But it's already having this unnerving effect -- John.

VAUSE: And you touched on this. China seems to be at a disadvantage here when you look at the cold, hard numbers. They import $130 billion worth of U.S. exports. Obviously, the U.S. takes a lot more than that from China. So that seems to give Washington a lot more firepower here, in terms of what they can hit with tariffs. And what we've seen in the past, when China has gone into this kind of

trade dispute with other countries, they do go after other things like services.

I think we -- do we have Nic still?

I think we have just lost Nic unfortunately.

OK, Nic, I'm sorry, we had a bit of a technical problem there. But it's back. Nic's back.

Basically my question is, how creative at the end of the day can Beijing get here?

ROBERTSON: It can be. But look at the example of South Korea last year, when there was a dispute with South Korea. Chinese government influenced that very large market here, dissuaded people from taking vacations to South Korea. So the hotel business in South Korea, because so many Chinese tourists do go there, was impacted.

So that small tweak of people's perception of what the government says it wants to tolerate from its own people in their business with these countries can have a significant effect. But the population is large.

Therefore, its effect when mobilized and working together, which, let's face it, China is very capable of doing with its sort of top- down directive, political directives that it can manage here, it can be very effective.

And it was effective against South Korea in a relatively short space of time. So it could give that sizable and noticeable impact quite quickly. So that's in their arsenal of things to do.

And we talk about the concern on the United States' side is, these intellectual property rights, cyber espionage, all these sorts of things. Certainly experts will tell you that those criticisms coming from the United States are very valid. But whether or not this mechanism that President Trump is talking about applying here is going to be effective --

[01:25:00]

ROBERTSON: -- if China strikes back in this sort of way we're discussing here, it is really at the moment, the question is, it's very much up in the air whether or not this -- whether or not it would have the desired effect to affect the way that China is, you know, is involved in cyber espionage, if you will, is involved in intellectual property rights and in pushing companies to transfer technology in order to do business.

So it's quite capable of sort of arm wrestling this in their own direction as well -- John.

VAUSE: Yes, absolutely. We've seen Beijing in full flight before and they get creative at times. Nic, thank you. Appreciate you being with us and enduring the technical problems. Calling it a cesspool of political bias, the U.S. is withdrawing from the U.N.'s Human Rights Council. The U.S. made the announcement a day after the U.N. slammed Washington for separating children from their parents at the southern border. Richard Roth has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the U.N. Human Rights Council is not even worthy of its name. And she had a lot more to say in criticizing the Geneva- based agency.

Haley said having the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cuba and Venezuela as human rights violators sitting on the council is preposterous. But she focused her criticism and the reason for the U.S. withdrawal is the chronic focus on Israel by the Human Rights Council.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Last year the United States made it clear we could not accept the continued existence of agenda item 7, which singles out Israel in a way that no other country is singled out.

Earlier this year, as it has in previous years, the Human Rights Council passed five resolutions against Israel, more than the number passed against North Korea, Iran and Syria combined.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROTH: The U.N. secretary-general's office said he was disappointed that the United States withdrew. Human rights and aid organizations blasted the decision, Oxfam saying how can the U.S. lecture the Human Rights Council while taking children away from their parents at the border?

The U.N. Human Rights Council used to be called the U.N. Human Rights Commission and was allegedly reformed but not enough for the United States to stay in the group -- Richard Roth, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Well, still to come here, we'll take a closer look at how it got to the point of having these immigration changes on the southern border. We'll look at what past administrations did when it came to dealing with illegal immigration.

And World Cup host, Russia, lands a huge win and virtually seals their place in the last 16. Highlights later this hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:30:18] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. We'll check the headlines this hour. In Indonesia, the number of people missing from a ferry which capsized in Lake Toba on Monday has risen to 186. Authorities have initially put the number of missing at 39. So far three bodies have been recovered. The ferry sank during poor weather conditions.

Beijing had promised to hit back if the U.S. slaps new tariffs on $200 billion on Chinese goods. President Trump threatened the additional measure after Beijing said it would match the first round of U.S. tariffs. The escalating tensions drove down U.S. stocks on Tuesday as neither side appears ready to back down.

Republicans are pressing President Trump to end the administration's practice of separating migrant children from their parents at the southern border with Mexico.

Donald Trump met with House leaders on Tuesday but some say it's not entirely clear exactly what legislation the President would actually support.

And this immigration crisis, it's not new to the Trump administration. American presidents have been struggling to find the right balance for decades and they've had little success.

We get more now from Michael Holmes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: U.S. Immigration law is very complex. However, there is no law that mandates the separation of parents and children.

So how did we get here?

Well, first, there is a law against illegal entry into the United States. But what if an entire family crosses illegally? A 1997 court ruling called the Flores Settlement limited the amount of time that migrant children be held in detention to 20 days. After which they are required to be released to a parent or guardian or licensed facility.

Then in 2008, a Bush administration anti-trafficking law required unaccompanied minors to be transferred out of immigration detention within 72 hours. This law has come under scrutiny because of what's been called catch and release. This is when undocumented immigrants are released while they wait to appear before an immigration judge. Catch and release was also followed under the Obama administration.

The Trump administration saw catch and release as a loophole for illegal immigrants to enter the U.S. and stay. But under President Trump, a new zero tolerance policy means that all adults found to have illegally crossed the border will be prosecuted. They are detained and separated from their children as they await their day in court. The children, temporarily sent to other detention centers.

Michael Holmes, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Holly Cooper is the co-director of the immigration law clinic at U.C. Davis. She joins us now from Woodland in California. So Holly, the main defense we're hearing from the President and other White House officials, they're just enforcing the law. The reality is there is no specific law requiring immigration officials to take kids away from their parents.

Let's assume for a moment that he's right. The big picture here is that the law is meant to be a shield, not a sword. It's there to protect them, not to punish. And that's a concept which doesn't seem to register with anyone within this administration.

HOLLY COOPER, IMMIGRATION LAW CLINIC, U.C.-DAVIS: That's correct. I mean there is no law that mandates the separation of children from their parents. In fact, all the laws that exist are to the contrary.

But even if we were to assume that that is true, immigration as a federal entity always has the power to release individuals from detention, especially where humanitarian issues are at stake, like a very tender age child traveling together with their mother.

VAUSE: Yes. And then we had this argument about just enforcing the laws which, you know, the President has repeatedly said. He then undermined it, this entire argument, during a speech to a business group. He was mocking this plan put forward by Texas Senator Ted Cruz to hire almost 400 immigration judges to speed up the court process so they can keep families together.

This is what the President said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ultimately, we have to have a real border, not judges. Thousands and thousands of judges they want to hire. Who are these people? When we vet a single federal judge it goes through a big process.

Seriously, what country does it? They said we would like to hire about 5,000 or 6,000 more judges -- 5,000 or 6,000? Now, can you imagine the graft that must take place?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: I mean, so listening to the President there, it seems a fairly safe assumption that he doesn't have a lot of regard for, you know, due process.

COOPER: Well, he doesn't. And unfortunately for him, there's a long standing Supreme Court precedent to the contrary providing due process and constitutional protections to immigrants or people regardless of their immigration status.

[01:34:58] Moreover, it's not just that we need more immigration judges to clear the backlog. Immigration courts are lacking infrastructure. They have fax machines from the 1980s that are barely functioning. They still use cassette tapes to record hearings. Immigration judges have no secretaries, they have no clerks.

So there's just a real basic misunderstanding of how due process works. And it's not just the judges. It's building space; it's much more than he's accounting for.

VAUSE: Yes. So it's clear, you know, the families who are separated at the border, they have legal rights, they have options. But do they have access right now to legal counsel and resources?

COOPER: They should. However, what's very difficult -- having represented children for 20 years of my career -- what's very difficult is when you're dealing with a child of such a tender age like between the ages of 2 and say 14, it's almost impossible to represent that child's wishes before a court without speaking with the parents.

So even if you have access as a lawyer to a 2 or 4-year-old, determining what is in that child's, you know, best legal recourse or determining what the facts are, some children we're hearing don't even know their parent's names, they're so young.

So how do you represent that individual in immigration courts? You can't.

VAUSE: Yes. You know, if this policy continues thought, some expert says as many as 20,000 children could end up in some kind of detention facility by August. If conditions are this bad now with 2,000 children -- how bad will they be with 20,000 kids under lock and key?

COOPER: Well, we know that there's already egregious conditions. There's children who are enduring, you know, complete trauma from the migration up, as well as the parental separation. You're seeing kids at increased suicide risk because of the levels of despair.

You know, some of the detention facilities use pepper spray. Some of them use solitary confinement as punishment for the children. So you can imagine when you're compounding that with more and more numbers. As it exists, we're not even meeting the minimal conditions that the law requires for these children.

VAUSE: Ok. Holly -- thank you so much. Appreciate you being with us.

COOPER: Yes. Thank you.

VAUSE: As the outrage over the Trump/Sessions practice of family separation on the southern border continues to grow, reporters and news organizations are increasingly calling out the administration for the harsh treatment of young children and challenging brazenly untrue statements made by the President and White House officials.

But of course, there's always one exception.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Since more legal immigrants are rushing the border, more kids are being separated from their parents and temporarily housed in what are essentially summer camps.

ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: These child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks 24-7 right now. Do not fall for it -- Mr. President.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: This is one of those moments that tell you everything about a ruling class. They care far more about foreigners than about their own people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: But now, that unquestioning loyalty from Fox News may end up hurting the channels' parent company -- 21st Century Fox. Seth McFarland, creator of hit shows on Fox including "Family Guy", tweeted his anger over the weekend after a Fox News anchor told viewers to believe the opposite of what they see on other news organizations. "This is fringe and it's business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company."

On Tuesday, Steve Levitan, co-creator of the sitcom "Modern Family" announced he was leaving Fox Studios tweeting this. "Let me officially join Seth McFarland in saying I'm disgusted to work at a company that has anything whatsoever to do with Fox News. This bull's hockey (ph) is the opposite of what "Modern Family" stands for.

Director Paul Feig had publicly criticized Fox News for its coverage while producer Judd Apatow has called on high-profile talent on the entertainment side of Fox to protest as well.

Joining me now from Seal Beach in California, "Los Angeles Times" columnist Michael Hiltzik. It's been a while -- Michael. Good to see you.

MICHAEL HILTZIK, COLUMNIST, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": Good to be back.

VAUSE: Ok. Michael -- we've asked this question before, it's worth asking again. Is this the moment when Fox News has gone too far?

HILTZIK: Well, I think this is a very interesting moment for Fox News and its viewers, because this is a case where the distance between what Fox News is reporting and the way it's presenting reality, and the reality is really I think hitting its viewers in the face.

The images, the sounds, the facts of what's going on, on the border -- these are all inescapable. And for Fox News personalities to continue with this (INAUDIBLE) parroting of the administration line I think is making them look stupid and dishonest. And in a way that -- I think their viewers can't escape.

VAUSE: For all news organizations out there not called Fox, the President ramped up the attacks on Tuesday. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The fake news media back there doesn't talk about that. They're fake. [01:40:03] They are helping -- they are helping these smugglers and these traffickers like nobody would believe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: It would seem the President has every intention to continue not with just the untruthful statements, but statements which are beyond bizarre.

HILTZIK: Well, they are beyond bizarre. And I think, yes, I think what we may be seeing here -- and you know, we predicted that this has been happening or would happen many times before -- is that President Trump is addressing an ever-shrinking base, and an ever-shrinking audience that believes what he says.

And this is a case now, this could be -- you know, we've said this before, so I don't want to make too much of it -- but this could be the inflection point that many people have been expecting when the distance between the reality that's out there and the Trump reality really becomes clear to a much, much greater audience.

That's very dangerous for Trump. But it may finally be good for democracy.

VAUSE: You know, finally here, at Fox, some anchors have gone to incredible lengths to carry water for the President like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS HOST: These are from border patrol. This is of a former warehouse, and it has been converted to a facility. And you know, while some have likened it to them to concentration camps or cages, you do see that they have those thermal blankets. You do see some fencing.

But keep in mind, some have referred to them as cages -- but keep in mind, this is a great big warehouse facility where they built walls out of chain-link fences.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: You know, Stephen Colbert later tweeted that basically no one on the right side of history has ever had to nitpick the definition of a cage. So when the history of this particular chapter of America is actually written, what place will Fox News have?

HILTZIK: I wouldn't want to be the footnote in history that Fox is heading for. Look, I have an editor who, when he hears something like this, his reaction is let the jackasses bray because they are going to bray themselves out of existence.

When Steve Doocy says these sorts of things and talks about how it isn't so bad, that they have thermal blankets, and we have these children lying on these blankets, isolated, screaming for their mothers and fathers -- I think we begin to see how false this report really is, and that can't be good for Fox, it can't be good for Trump. Let's hope that it's not bad for the country.

VAUSE: Yes. Michael -- thanks so much. Good to see you.

Well, next up here on NEWSROOM L.A., choosing between deafness and dead. The medical treatment for TB endorsed by the World Health Organization but now one country has said "enough".

[01:43:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Tuberculosis is one of the world's deadliest diseases killing almost two million people each year. But a treatment which is endorsed by the World Health Organization includes an injection which is so toxic it causes deafness of up to 60 percent of patients.

CNN's David McKenzie reports South Africa has announced it's taking the lead to break with the guidelines to try and limit the damage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An injection meant to save his life robbed Kumbalani (ph) of his hearing and was beginning to turn him blind.

The medicine prescribed to fight his drug-resistant tuberculosis was toxic, shutting Kumbalani off from the world until this very moment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what I'm going to do is very carefully lift the levels of the sound.

Kumbalani. Kumbalani. Kumbalani.

MCKENZIE: His family could never afford the cochlear implant. But an anonymous donor stepped in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And now --

KUMBALANI, PATIENT WITH RESISTANT TUBERCULOSIS (through translator): Yes, I can hear now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Monday.

KUMBALANI: Monday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tuesday.

KUMBALANI: Tuesday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Friday.

KUMBALANI: Friday.

DR. CARDONA: For us, I think that's an agreeable outcome.

MCKENZIE: But others aren't so lucky. When forced to make a choice between potential deafness and death.

CARDONA: Three of that tablet. It will include two of this pink tablet.

MCKENZIE: The same toxic medicine prescribed to Kumbalani has been the treatment advised by the World Health Organization for the past 50 years.

CARDONA: Deep breath.

MCKENZIE: Despite studies showing horrific side effects including deafness in up to 60 percent of patients.

Is this a crisis?

DR. ANJA REUTER (ph), DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: Of course it's a crisis. There's more than half a million with drug resistant tuberculosis who are diagnosed every single day.

MCKENZIE: A crisis and a choice Dr. Anja Reuter of MSF says that no one needs to make. Her organization has been campaigning to roll out newer, less toxic drugs first developed 15 years ago.

REUTER: They are effective and safe and they might increase the chance of cure. And so I think we need to respond to the crisis now.

MCKENZIE: But the WHO says drug companies haven't prioritized clinical trials for the new TB drugs, and without those trials, the WHO says it won't change its own guidelines.

REUTER: Often, tuberculosis hasn't had enough research and development in it.

MCKENZIE: Why?

REUTER: It's not a disease that affects the developed world. It's a lot of people who have tuberculosis maybe don't have a lot of money to spend on drugs.

MCKENZIE: The coordinator for the WHO's TB program said that they can only base their decisions on data. And that they need to walk a fine line when approving new drugs.

But the South African government says it's done waiting.

DR. NORBERT NJOKA, SOUTH AFRICA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: Globally, the spear (ph) of uptick is ridiculously unacceptable. I think we can do better.

MCKENZIE: Starting this month, the new drugs will be given to all drug resistant TB patients in South Africa, even before WHO-mandated clinical trials are complete.

Better for those like Kumbalani.

"The first thing I will do is go to school, then finish school," he says. "Then look for a job and even support my family, who supported me when was sick."

But in other countries battling TB, the toxic burden of treatment continues.

David McKenzie, CNN -- KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[01:49:31] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Well, now to the World Cup where host team Russia defeated Egypt 3-1, virtually sealing its place in the last 16. World Sports' Patrick Snell is following all of the action from Atlanta. What have you got -- Patrick? Good to see you.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORTS ANCHOR: Hi, mate. Yes, good to see you -- John. Thank you so much.

Yes, incredible scenes for the Russian national team. Just to remind our viewers, this is a team that was written off by even many of its own fans ahead of the tournament. They've had no wins in seven games going into it.

Then all of a sudden, what do they go and do? They win their opener against Saudi Arabia 5-0 and then they follow it up with a really impressive 3-1 victory over the Egyptians which leaves them on the brink of making it through to the knockout stages for the first time in the tournament as a Russian nation. And really when you want to hear from fans who are ecstatic, John -- just take a listen to these guys.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's unbelievable -- unbelievable for Russia. The best (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Celebration all night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Celebration of all Russian people. Celebration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We go and -- celebration all night, ok?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNELL: So what were they celebrating? They were celebrating s a really impressive victory over Mo Salah's Egypt. This was a really fine job.

Love is in the air clearly. Haven't you been dreaming of the World Cup already? Well, they needed a kind of a lucky break because the Egyptians score an own goal through Ahmed Fathy that puts the Russians ahead. And they go on to take full advantage of that.

Denis Cheryshev with his third goal of the tournament. Would you believe he got two in the first one against Saudi Arabia. And then the icing on the cake, it's the St. Petersburg man Artem Dzyuba making it 3-0. The Russian fans could not believe what they were seeing.

Egypt with a consolation penalty at that man Mo Salah who finds the back of the net but too little, too late for him. Egypt are beaten.

History in the making then for Russia -- they have now made the best start, would you believe, of any host nation in the World Cup -- two wins and eight goals that actually ties Italy from way back in 1934. But, you know, on that occasion, the Italians conceded twice to Russia's one. Russia have also now scored more goals than Spain did in all of 2010. Quite incredible.

Another key story line from this day at the World Cup would be the achievement of Senegal who'd become the first African nation to win at this tournament. They got a good start in that one courtesy of an own goal against Poland.

But the second goal of the game -- real controversy here. M'Baye Niang had been off the field of play for treatment but after the ref waved him back on, he capitalizes in a big way, taking advantage of the chaos in the Polish defense there. And wow, that put his team 2-0 up. They go on to win 2-1.

Just want to talk a little bit about the Senegalese head coach, Aliou Cisse who really is becoming a great story line in this tournament, making a big name for himself with those animated antics of his we've been seeing on the touch line.

And he has a really special connection with the national team. He's actually the youngest coach at the tournament. He's been in charge of the national team since 2015.

Some of our viewers may well recall him playing an important role, captaining the team to the quarter finals of their historic debut in the tournament. That was back in 2002 when he really did inspire them to go to the quarterfinals the last day -- quite incredible.

And they have only ever played six times now in the World Cup. They've won three games, would you believe, and all three opponents are from the continent of Europe.

[01:55:01] Just very quickly, want to look ahead to what's on tap at the World Cup on Wednesday. It's very quickly one match catching my eye there, of course, it's Portugal against Morocco. Cristiano Ronaldo, the hat trick hero from Spain -- against Spain, I should say from last Friday.

And then you've got Uruguay against Saudi Arabia. Why is that significant? Because let's just say if Uruguay get the win, they'll be confirmed as advancing and also Russia as well. So really significant story lines.

John -- we're following every step of the way. Back to you.

VAUSE: The excitement just keeps coming. Thanks -- Patrick.

Well, President Trump went public on Tuesday with his not so secret love affair. Here's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With President Trump, the American flag is like a magnet. And while it attracted the President, some were repelled.

"You salute it, not fondle it" tweeted one critic. "If he keeps that up, he will owe that flag $130,000" wrote another. "Breaking, flag joins #metoo movement in protest."

But to supporters, this is what a commander in chief looks like. "Make that flag-hugger in chief."

STEPHEN COLBERT, TV HOST: Donald Trump just groped the American flag.

MOOS: Those arms have opened wide around Old Glory.

At least five times before, ranging from a quickie hug to some minor snuggling up and even a two-flag embrace. Not to mention the time the crowd chanted lock her up as the President locked his arms around The Stars and Stripes. His hug at a Tampa rally was even re-enacted by the Trump puppet.

JIMMY KIMMEL, TV HOST: When he sees the flag, he just has to reach out and grab it by the stripes, I guess.

COLBERT: This might be the only time in history a flag burns itself.

MOOS: The hug in front of an appreciative business group Tuesday provoked dueling tweets. "Bet that flag wants a long, hot shower," said. Countered another, "Gee, I'm really sorry if a president that loves our flag and our country creeps you out."

President Trump is taking the rap for wrapping himself around the flag -- looks like Linus from Charlie Brown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need my blanket.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are any of you secure?

MOOS: -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

The news continues with Rosemary Church in Atlanta after a short break.

[01:57:43] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)