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Protests Across the U.S. Against Trump's Immigration Policies; John Legend Sings, Speaks at Los Angeles Protest; Protesters Clash with Federal Officers Outside ICE Field Office in Portland; Sen. Kamala Harris Speaks at Los Angeles Protest; Trump Administration Plans to Keep Families Together but in Detention; Trump: Will Discuss Ukraine, Syria, U.S. Elections at Putin Meeting; Protests Across the U.S. Against Trump's Immigration Policies; Immigration Lawyers Struggle to Reunite Families; Rep. Maxine Waters Speaks at Los Angeles Protest; Trump to Meet with Supreme Court Nominees this Weekend; Trump Wont' Ask Supreme Court Nominees Their Stance on Abortion, LGBT Issues; Trump: Rumors of John Kelly Leaving Are Fake. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired June 30, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:00] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, on this Saturday afternoon. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York.
This is our breaking news right now. Thousands of people in cities big and small across the country demanding the American government provide the most basic of human rights for the people seeking asylum in the United States or detained at the U.S. border. They want President Trump's zero-tolerance policy stopped immediately. They want the practice of detaining families stopped immediately. And louder than anything else, they want families torn apart in these past few weeks of border crackdown to be reunited immediately. The words they are shouting, "Families belong together."
These marches started in the morning and they are spreading across the country as the day goes on. Now getting well under way on the west coast.
But first, a moment I want to listen in on right now. John Legend speaking in Los Angeles.
JOHN LEGEND, SINGER: We see them as human beings who deserve the chance to flourish and be the best versions of themselves that they can be.
LEGEND: And it means we treat asylum seekers with compassion.
LEGEND: We don't seek to punish them for trying to do what's right for their families.
If you're committed to this kind of love, it means you believe in justice.
LEGEND: But it's not easy. It's not a passive activity. It requires you opening your eyes to injustice, to see the world through the eyes of another. You've got to read, you've got to travel to other neighborhoods, other parts of the world. You may have to get your hands dirty. You can't just talk about it or tweet about it. You've got to do something.
LEGEND: We wrote this song, "It Feels Right for this Moment." It's a brand-new song. I haven't even put it out yet.
LEGEND: I know that opening up Twitter right now feels like it can be a horror show, so much of the news is shocking and maddening and depressing. I think some of us have a strong temptation to just disengage. But we can't. We can't do that. I can't do that. I have to do something.
Here is a song I wrote called "Preach."
[15:06:37] LEGEND: Thank you. God bless you.
CABRERA: Again, John Legend performing a new song, he says, in L.A. among the protests that are happening now across the country.
Let's head back to the east coast where one of the largest gatherings and marches is taking place today at the nation's capital.
I want to share with you another poignant moment when young children read letters to kids being held in detention centers rights now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Do not think of America as a cruel place where people hate you and put you in jail. There are people, good people, who are going to help you find your families again.
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: I wish I could give you a big hug. I know that kids should be with families. My family will keep fighting to make sure that happens.
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: You are not alone. And if you ever feel alone, just think of me and all the other people in the world that want to help you and your family get back together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Our Rene Marsh is on the ground.
Rene, we can see a lot of people have now since disbursed, but what did you hear from the people who marched there today?
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION & GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, on one of probably the hottest days here in Washington, D.C., so far this year, I mean, we saw thousands of people marching through the streets. And Pennsylvania Avenue was shut down as people marched. They have all kind of settled in this park here on the National Mall now that the march is over. And you can see, they've all kind of -- as one lady said to me, we are physically spent but mentally energized. Because they are all out here with a very clear message, and that message is they just do not stand behind the immigration policies of this administration.
But their voices echoed a lot of what we heard from the guests who were at the rally earlier today before the marching started. And we have highlights from the rally from earlier this morning. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, SINGER & ACTOR: We're here because there's parents right now who can't sing lullabies to their kids. And this is for those parents. And we are not going to stop until they can sing them to their kids again. Don't stop, don't give up until these families are united.
ALICIA KEYS, SINGER: This is all of our fight because, if it can happen to any child, it can happen to my child and your child and all of our children.
AMERICA FERRERA, ACTRESS: If it was my family being torn apart, if it was my brother being arbitrarily criminalized, if it was my sister being banned, then someone would stand up for me and my family.
FERRERA: This fight does not belong to one group of people, one color of people, one race of people, one gender. It belongs to all of us.
DIANE GUERRERO, ACTRESS: It's a denial of children's humanity to say that because they were born in difficult or a dangerous place at the wrong time that they don't deserve a second chance.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MARSH: All right. Ana, we spoke to several people in the crowds here. We saw young children in the crowd, we saw older people, people from, you know, other states who came here. I spoke to a woman from Arkansas, a woman from Nashville. She drove overnight to make it here.
We started out in the park outside of the White House. Of course, the president is not here this weekend. He is in New Jersey. But we traveled from the White House to Department of Justice, then to Trump Hotel, and then now we are here -- Ana?
[15:10:08] CABRERA: All right. Rene Marsh, in Washington.
We had a picture up there in Minnesota as well.
Now let's head to the west coast, Portland, Oregon, where protesters and federal officers in riot gear have been clashing this week. Protesters setting up a tent-city camp outside Portland's ICE field office, forcing authorities to shut down operations inside.
Let's get right to CNN's Dan Simon, in Portland for us.
Dan, the latest tensions there, what are you seeing?
DAN SIMON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, hey, Ana. First of all, this rally here near downtown Portland is beginning to break up. You can see a pretty sizable crowd here. Now we're starting to see some of these protesters march on the streets.
But it has been quite a situation here in Portland. Portland taking a central role in this immigration fight. We saw, beginning on June 17th, a tent city form around the ICE headquarters in Portland. At times, it got tense. We did see, on Thursday, some federal police officers forcibly arrest some people in front of the ICE headquarters. But adjacent to the building, you have something of a tent city. And they are in it for the long haul. Ana, we have seen a first-aid tent there. There's a food pantry, even a mental health tent. So the people who have set up shop there, about 100 or so people, say they are not leaving until they see the abolition of ICE.
I want to introduce you to somebody who came to this protest at this park. This is Cassie, who is here with her family, her daughter and her husband.
What compelled you to come to this rally today, Cassie?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The inhumanity of the practice of what's going on with the children being held and separated from their families.
SIMON: How do you talk about this with your daughter here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, we had a good discussion about it when we were going to come. I talked to her about what was happening. We looked at some pictures online together. And it actually really upset here, so it was really sad to see that, you know, even my eight-year- old knows that this isn't OK. Something that the adults in this country seem to not understand.
SIMON: Cassie, thank you very much.
Ana, that just gives you, you know, one point of view here at this rally. And really we're hearing the same kinds of things from people who are attended this rally.
In the meantime, again, just a couple miles away, we have this 24/7 encampment surrounding ICE headquarters and those people not leaving anytime soon -- Ana?
CABRERA: Dan Simon, we will be checking back in with you as a protest and rally continues.
Let's head south from where Dan is back to Los Angeles now.
And CNN law enforcement analyst, Josh Campbell, is there amid the crowd.
Josh, we just heard from John Legend at the top of the show. What else is happening there? Give us a sense.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: The crowd is in full force in Los Angeles. We've been here for several hours now. And we have seen this influx of people. We heard from John Legend. There are a number of speakers that are getting this crowd going. A number of people out here showing their support for some of the families that have been impacted by the immigration policies. A lot of people speaking out. A lot of very cordial debates between some of the people that are in attendance with what some of the solutions may be.
We talked earlier with an officer from Los Angeles Police Department who really described this as not just a rally, but a family event. That's how they treat it. You see families coming out here. We have families of all different ages.
I want to talk to her.
Tell me your name.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Lake.
CAMPBELL: Lake. What brought you out here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm here because I believe what they're doing separating families is wrong and they should be kept together.
CAMPBELL: This is your mom?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
CAMPBELL: Where are you guys from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We live right here in Los Angeles.
CAMPBELL: You wanted to come and be part of the crowd. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. It was important to us to get here. We
took the train with lots of other protesters and people with great signs. And it's really great to be here with my daughter and show her how you can get your voice out there and get your -- you know, help. Help fight the good fight.
CAMPBELL: That's fantastic.
Speaking of families, we have families surrounding us here.
Tell us your name.
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Kenya.
What's your name?
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Alex.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jackie.
Why are you here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're here to support families and them not being separated. And families should stick together and be together and nothing should stop that.
CAMPBELL: That's incredible.
That seems to be the theme here, Ana, as we've been talking to people. You have very passionate people, but a lot of families coming out, too, to show their support.
CABRERA: Kamala Harris, let's listen in.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D), CALIFORNIA: We are better than this.
HARRIS: We are better than this.
HARRIS: We are better than having these detention facilities that are prisons where we house mothers who have been ripped from their breast- feeding children behind barbed wires. We are better than this.
HARRIS: When we have children being housed in cages crying for their mommies and daddies, we know we are better than this. (CHEERING)
[15:15:09] HARRIS: When we have women fleeing domestic violence and gang crime and we do not give them a safe place to go, we know we are better than this.
HARRIS: When we have over 2,000 children that right now are not with their parents because we separated them, because we took them from their parents, we know we are better than this.
HARRIS: When we know that we have those 2,000 children crying for their parents and there's no plan for reunification, we know we are better than this.
HARRIS: When we know those children will suffer lifelong trauma and that this is not reflective of a civil society because a society will be judged based on how it treats its children and the least among us, we know we are better than this.
HARRIS: And when we have failed to keep our promise to over 700,000 young people who dream, and we call them DREAMers, we know we are better than this.
HARRIS: So we are at an inflection moment. And years from now, years from now, our children, our grandchildren, folks are going to look at us and they are going to ask us years from now a question, and that question is going to be, where were you at that inflection moment?
HARRIS: And what I know, Los Angeles, what I know is our answer is not simply going to be how we felt. Our answer is going to be what we did.
HARRIS: What action we took.
HARRIS: The streets we marched. The e-mailing, the phone calls, the text messaging, the voting. We will speak truth to power. We will act on our words. We will vote. We will act. And we will not relent. We will not tire. We will keep fighting, because we are better than this.
CABRERA: That was Senator Kamala Harris, of California, saying we are better than this at the rally in Los Angeles, a rally to try to reunite families who have been separated at the border.
You can see also live images from Minneapolis, Minnesota, where rallies and protests continue across the country.
We will continue our special live coverage right after a quick break.
[15:22:10] CABRERA: Our breaking news, from coast to coast, rallying happening around the country. People protesting the president's zero- tolerance policy, dividing families at the border. You can see live images from Los Angeles where one of the bigger rallies is now heating up. In the later afternoon hours on the east coast. Really just getting going there on the west coast.
Keep in mind, all this is happening after a federal judge's order in which the Trump administration now has less than a month to reunite all families who were separated, less than two weeks for children under 5.
But in a court filing overnight, the Trump administration says, while it will comply, they believe the order also means they can keep these reunited families in detention until their immigration cases are complete.
Joining us now is Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu, of California.
Congressman, as we are continuing to see these pictures of people marching, protesting, crying out for action, how can Congress justify leaving for Fourth of July recess without getting anything done on immigration?
REP. TED LIEU, (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you, Ana, for your question. We cannot. I am the co-author of legislation along with Congressman Jerry Nadler, supported by 190 Democrats, that would stop family separations and reunite families. Unfortunately, House Republicans refuse to schedule that for a vote. Instead, they held an emergency hearing on Hillary Clinton's e-mails and then they skipped town for the July 4th vacation. That is wrong. And that is why you're seeing so much anger across America today.
CABRERA: Look, the facts are more than 2,000 children who were separated from their parents at the border are waiting to be reunited with them. And this court filing you mentioned, it shows that the government never even had a specific plan to make those reunions happen. How do you explain that?
LIEU: That is unexplainable. Not only do we have evil intent on the part of the Trump administration, we have gross incompetence, and that has now led to this horrific situation where there are babies and young kids who cannot identify their parents, they may never get reunited. That is the functional equivalent of kidnapping done in our name, the American government. That is evil and we need to take these things in our own hands. And that's why you see all these marches across America. People want to rise up and say, this is wrong, do not ever do this again and reunite their families.
CABRERA: Of course, the acting director of ICE is recently -- he announced his retirement. And just before that, he pointed the finger directly at Congress when it comes to these family separations. I want you to listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM HOMAN, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR, ICE: If the American public wants to know who to blame for family separations, the first people they need to blame is Congress. We went up to the Hill several months ago and told them what the loopholes were about the Florida settlement agreement. We said, you can fix this. If we can fix the Florida settlement agreement, we can keep the families together in a family facility until they see a judge. But they failed to fix it. They don't want to fix it. So we're doing operation on the border what Congress failed to do. So if members of Congress are upset about family separations, they need to look in the mirror.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[15:25:18] CABRERA: Congressman, is he not right that more clarity from Congress, through a comprehensive immigration policy, new law, new legislation, would solve all of this?
LIEU: Well, he is lying about Congress causing family separation. Under both the Obama and Bush administrations, people who came in and had legal asylum claims, we would let them proceed with those asylum claims. And then, if that didn't work, then we would prosecute them. The Trump administration flipped that on its head. That's why you are seeing all these family separations. That is not the cause of Congress. However, I do agree that we need a comprehensive immigration bill. If Democrats have control of Congress in November, we would pass a comprehensive immigration bill and put it on the president's desk.
CABRERA: A growing number of your Democratic colleagues are saying ICE should be abolished. Today, the president tweeted, "To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit. You are doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe by eradicating the worst criminal elements. So brave. The radical-left Dems wants you out. Next it will be all police. Zero chance. It will never happen."
Congressman, do you believe ICE should be abolished?
LIEU: Parts of ICE have strayed far away from their original mission, so that's why I've called on Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen to resign. The new ICE director should be someone who would not implement cruel and inhumane policies. We need to change the policies of ICE so that they don't terrorize communities. If none of that happens, then I do agree we need to abolish ICE and replace it with an agency that is more consistent with America's values. CABRERA: Is there risk in calling for the abolition of ICE? Could
these calls to abolish ICE make the Democratic party look weak on security?
LIEU: Well, no one is saying abolish ICE and do nothing. What people are saying is abolish ICE and replace it with people and an agency that is more consistent with America's values, where we are not ripping babies and kids away from their parents, where we are implementing laws and executing them in a humane, and not a cruel way.
CABRERA: But the policy comes from the top. Would abolishing ICE without changing immigration policy actually resolve anything?
LIEU: So that's why we need a comprehensive immigration bill. The U.S. Senate passed such a bill a few years ago. If that version were to appear in the House, it would pass with bipartisan support. There's a way to do this. Unfortunately, House Republicans have refused to let Democratic bills that would resolve this situation come on the floor for a vote. Last week, they put up two bills that were Republican bills, they both failed miserably. It's time to give Democrats a chance.
CABRERA: Real quick, since you sit on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I want to ask you about the president's upcoming visit with Vladimir Putin as it pertains to our upcoming election here in the U.S. He says he is going to address election meddling when he meets with the Russian president. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER (voice-over): What do you hope to achieve with President Putin?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (voice-over): We're going to talk about Ukraine. We are going to be talking about Syria. We'll be talking about elections.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Which elections?
TRUMP: And we don't want anybody tampering with elections.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Congressman, do you believe him, that he is going to hit Putin with this when he meets him?
LIEU: Well, here are the facts. As recent as two days ago, the president tweeted in support of Russia's view that they did not meddle in our elections. It's really disturbing that the president of the United States has taken a different view than American intelligence professionals, who have told us Russia hacked our elections in 2016. They're going to attack our elections again. So I'm glad the president is going to raise this issue with Vladimir Putin, but what he really needs is to get a commitment from Putin to not attack America's elections ever again.
CABRERA: Congressman Ted Lieu, of California, thank you so much for your time.
LIEU: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: Again, let's stay in California, Los Angeles. These are live pictures right now from the protests. And speakers that are there preaching today are trying to draw attention to what is happening at the border, the separations of family members who are coming across the border, what officials are saying are illegal border crossings.
We will continue to monitor these rallies nationwide and bring you special coverage as we continue.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[15:34:08] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. Live pictures from Indianapolis one of the cities where demonstrators have gathered today to protest the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy toward undocumented immigrants. Their message, families belong together. Their demand, families separated by this policy be reunited immediately.
To give you a better idea of the despair and pain felt by these separated families and how difficult it is to reunite them, I want to take you to Houston now, where an immigration attorney is searching for this five-year-old girl. Her name is Diana, and she was separated from her Honduran mother a month ago. Diana's grandmother has lived in Houston for 13 years and is desperately trying to reunite her granddaughter and daughter. But she doesn't know where either of them ended up after immigration officials took them into custody.
Helping her now is immigration attorney, Naimeh Salem.
Let's start there, Naimeh.
Thank you for being with us.
Five-year-old Diana, have you been able to locate her or her mother?
[15:35:09] NAIMEH SALEM, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Yes, her mother is in New Mexico in a detention center and Diana is in San Antonio.
CABRERA: What is their story?
CABRERA: What is the plan?
SALEM: OK. They were separated in May 29th. They have not seen each other, they haven't spoke to each other. The family was trying to find some information to get her to call them. And last week, they were able to contact me and, finally, I was able to locate Diana. I was able to talk to Maleesa, who is obviously desperate. She cannot believe after fleeing from her country, from abuse, she comes here and this happens to her. She was convicted for a misdemeanor of coming illegally to the country. She was sentenced to 25 days in jail and she was prevented from seeking asylum. So I had to step in, request the credible-fear interview, which she is going to have on Monday. After that, hopefully, she gets a credible-fear finding and we can get her released.
CABRERA: So a couple questions to follow up on that. When they were separated, mother and daughter, which I know they still are, but initially, were they able to have contact with each other over the past month or so?
SALEM: Not at all.
CABRERA: Not at all.
SALEM: Not at all. They have not.
CABRERA: You said that she was prevented from requesting asylum. Why was that?
SALEM: When you come to the United States and you ask for asylum, that's not a crime. She is not coming in illegally. She's seeking asylum. So she was supposed to be given a credible-fear interview. Instead of that, she was prosecuted for illegal entry into the country and sentenced to 25 days. She was appointed a lawyer. And instead of giving her the opportunity to do a credible-fear interview with an asylum officer, which is the standard process.
CABRERA: How many separated families do you represent? And have there been any reunifications?
SALEM: I have approximately 10 clients right now that have been separated. No reunifications yet. In fact, with this case with Diana, we had another from yesterday, when the family called me, that the officers inside the detention center were telling Maleesa not to sign the authorization for her family to get Diana back because that was equivalent to an adoption. And if she didn't have a kid here in the U.S., she was not going to be able to apply for asylum, which is a lie. I'm not sure why the government is saying this to her. But I already explained to the family I'm going to call Maleesa as soon as I can to explain to her that she needs to give consent to her daughter can be released. And what she's hearing from these officers is not true.
CABRERA: So you just said you represent almost a dozen families, who have not been reunited yet, who were separated at the border. And now we understand there's this court order with a deadline for the government to reunite these families. What are you being told? What is the plan?
SALEM: There's no plan. That's the biggest problem at this time because there's no plan. The lack of information, the lack of organization, I doubt that they are going to be able to reunite -- all kids 5 and under have to be reunited with their parents within 14 days, and I don't see that happening.
CABRERA: You talked about that family and their request for asylum, and you're trying to work through that still. Well, now the DOJ says they want to prevent people from claiming asylum if they are convicted of illegally entering the United States, of crossing the border at a place that was not at the port of entry, essentially. What kind of impact could this have?
SALEM: That could have -- that would be detrimental. And that would be not following what our law says. If someone is seeking asylum, is persecuted in their home country, they are eligible to apply for asylum. So I don't -- I don't see how this is going to happen.
CABRERA: Naimeh Salem, thank you for joining us. Please do keep us posted.
SALEM: Thank you for having me.
CABRERA: And bring us an update to the story involving 5-year-old Diana.
Let's listen back into Los Angeles right now. The rally happening there. This is Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
REP. MAXINE WATERS, (D), CALIFORNIA: -- we are not afraid of you. You should be ashamed. We want our children connected back to their parents.
WATERS: How dare you. How dare you take the babies from mothers' arms. How dare you take the children and send them all across the country into so-called detention centers. You are putting them in cages. You are putting them in jails. And you think we're going to stand by and allow you to do that? I don't think so.
[15:40:10] WATERS: Donald Trump, you think you can get away with everything, but you have gone too far when you are trying to break up families in the way that you do. I don't care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. I don't care what nationality you are. I don't care what ethnic group you are. We all love the children and we are going to stand by them.
WATERS: Some of us know the history of those who have separated children from their parents. As an African-American woman, I was raised on the stories about what happened on the auction block when they auctioned off Africans. They took the fathers and they sent them one place. They took the mothers and they sent them another place. They took the children, the boys, to work in the farms and to work in the fields, and the girls to work on domestic matters in the big house. Well, we overcame that. We fought against that. We marched. We fought. And we won. And we are going to win again.
WATERS: Donald Trump, we are sick and tired of you. We have no fear. You will not intimidate us. We are coming right at you. And we're saying to you --
WATERS: We're saying to you that the Constitution of the United States of America gives us the right to protest. And protest we will.
WATERS: We're saying to you, Donald Trump, you may not understand the Constitution of the United States, you may not have respect for the Constitution of the United States, but we're going to teach you a lesson. And the lesson that we are going to teach you is this, we understand the Constitution because we fought for it.
WATERS: We respect the Constitution because it is what has held us in good stead, despite the people who act like you.
So because we know the Constitution, we understand the Constitution, we understand First Amendment rights, we're going to be in these streets until the children are reconnected with these parents.
WATERS: Now, we have some members of Congress who are intimidated. I have no fear. I'm in this fight.
WATERS: And I know that there are those who are talking about censuring me, talking about kicking me out of Congress, talking about shooting me, talking about hanging me.
WATERS: All I have to say is this, if you shoot me, you better shoot straight. There's nothing like a wounded animal.
WATERS: I am prepared to make whatever sacrifices are needed to be made. I am not about to let this country go by the way of Donald Trump. (CHEERING)
WATERS: We are sick and tired of him. He has been there too long. They dare me to say impeach him. Today, I say impeach 45.
(CHEERING) WATERS: Today, I say, Donald Trump, this is not your country to do with whatever you want to do. This country belongs to all of us.
WATERS: And because we know that and we understand that and we respect our families, we believe in keeping families together, we have great respect for the fact that people get up every day, going to work, doing everything that they can to provide a decent living and safety for their children and their parents, and I want you to know that we are not going to allow you to not understand that, to disrespect that. We are up and we are strong.
WATERS: We are fighting and we know that we are right.
WATERS: We are going to keep up this fight. We are going to keep up this challenge. We are going to be in the faces of all of those who don't get it, who don't understand it. We're going to make them come to the moment when they will say, my goodness, I guess those people really meant it. I guess they really fought for what they really believed in, and we are going to have to get out of the way because, if we don't, they're going to push right straight through, and they are going to make sure, they're going to make sure that this country lives up to its promise. We will work, work, work, until we bring the children back and connect them with their parents.
[15:45:23] WATERS: And so I thank all of you for being out here today. I thank you for being so motivated. I thank you for being so energized. I thank you for caring so much about the children and the parents. But in all of this, I thank you for knowing that you have a right to protect, not only these children and their families, but also to send a message across the world that we are America.
WATERS: We are America. We are America.
WATERS: We don't separate children. We don't tear up families. We are America. And we are going to fight for what we believe in.
Thank you so very much.
CABRERA: Congresswoman Maxine Waters, in California, addressing the crowd there at the "Families Belong Together" event in Los Angeles.
A quick break. We will be right back and continuing our special coverage.
CABRERA: Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. The president says he plans to meet with potential Supreme Court nominees as early as this weekend with a planned announcement on July 9th, a week from Monday. That is when he will reveal his pick to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
The president did offer some clues as to how the vetting process is going. Here he is speaking on Air Force One yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[15:49:59] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (voice-over): I'll be announcing on the 9th.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Where are you leaning?
TRUMP: We have great people. You know, we have 25 very outstanding people. Hey, look, I like them all.
TRUMP: I think I've got it down to about five.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is there a woman on the short list?
TRUMP: Yes, I do have a woman.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is that Amy?
TRUMP: I have two women on the short list.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Two women? Two women on the short list? Two women out of the five?
TRUMP: We have three women on the court now. I have two women --
TRUMP: -- out of the five.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: CNN's Boris Sanchez is joining us from Berkeley Heights, New Jersey near the president's Bedminster Golf Club.
Boris, what do we know about the president's short list? Who is getting a lot of buzz?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. President Trump saying he has whittled down the initial list of 25 down to five. He says he will interview six or seven people in total. As you noted, possibly two of them here this weekend in Bedminster. Sources inside the White House indicate there are some frontrunners, including Brett Kavanaugh, someone who was a clerk for Justice Kennedy, who announced that he was retiring earlier this week. Another candidate is Amy Coney Barrett. She was a former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia.
There's another dark-horse candidate that President Trump has talked about, and that is Utah Senator Mike Lee. President Trump made clear yesterday that he had heard that Lee made public that he was intrigued by the position. A spokesperson for Mike Lee told CNN that he and the president have not privately discussed the matter.
Back on the subject of possible interviews this weekend, something that will not be on the table for discussion, Roe v. Wade. The president yesterday making clear to reporters that he would not be discussing with these potential nominees their personal stance on abortion.
Listen to more from President Trump on Air Force One yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you looking for somebody who would overturn Roe v. Wade?
TRUMP (voice-over): Well, you know, it's a -- it's a great group of intellectual talent, but we really -- you know, they are generally conservative. I'm not going to ask them that question, by the way. That's not a question I'll be asking. But it is a group of very highly talented, very brilliant, mostly conservative judges.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And LGBT rights?
TRUMP: Again, I won't be discussing that because I think it is inappropriate to discuss. So I won't be discussing that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: The president also saying that he will not discuss with these possible candidates their position on LGBT issues. Plenty though for them to discuss otherwise -- Ana?
CABRERA: The president also discussing his chief staff. He was asked about the reports that John Kelly was on his way out. What did he say?
SANCHEZ: That's right. He addressed those rumors yesterday, telling reporters that those reports were fake, that he has a great relationship with John Kelly. He did note that it has been a challenge to be chief of staff, to switch roles from being the head of Homeland Security to becoming the president's key person in the White House. The president kind of spoke openly about that yesterday. Here is more of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP (voice-over): He's a wonderful man. John Kelly, four-star, wonderful man.
TRUMP: And don't forget, this is a big change for him. This isn't that easy of a change for him. We have a very, very good relationship.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How long do you think he'll stick around?
TRUMP: That, I don't know. I mean, I can't tell you that. But I can say that we've had a very good relationship. And we've achieved a lot together. I like John a lot. I like him and I respect him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: And we should point out that sources have told CNN that now, for months, President Trump has been talking to advisers and allies, polling them on possible replacements for John Kelly. So we know that this actually has been something that has been on his radar -- Ana?
CABRERA: Boris, thank you very much.
Now when this week's "CNN Hero" learned kids in his close-knit community were sleeping on the floor, he went from businessman to bed maker. And what started as a single good deed helping one family in Idaho, soon spread to helping 3,000 children across America. Meet Luke Mickelson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUKE MICKELSON, CNN HERO: Mattresses, sheets.
I'm just a farm kid from Idaho. I grew up here. What I didn't know was there's kids next door who are struggling. They have kids sleeping on the floor.
I was making a six-figure salary, but I fell into this need that I discovered wasn't being fulfilled by anybody.
I quit my job because I wanted to do this full-time.
The need I have isn't financial. The need I have is seeing the joy on kids' faces, knowing that I can make a difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[15:54:48] CABRERA: To learn more about his story, or to nominate someone you think should be a "CNN Hero," logon to CNNheroes.com.
Don't go away. We're back in a moment.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
CABRERA: Hello, on this Saturday. You are live in the CNN newsroom. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. Take a look at what is happening across the country. This is our
breaking news right now. Live pictures from Minneapolis, one of the hundreds of marches happening. Thousands of people showing their faces, raising their voices, demanding immigrant people, families and children be treated better, more humanely on the U.S. southern border. Protesters marched in New York and Washington, D.C., earlier today. Now they have picked up in the Midwest and the west coast. All of those voices with one common refrain, families belong together.
This moment I want to share with you, from a short time ago in Washington, some school girls as young as 7 years old reading personal letters they wrote to other children being held in detention centers in this country without their parents.