Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Justice Department Asks for More Time to Reunite Separated Families; North Korea Says U.S. Acting "Gangster Like" But Trump Says China Trying to Derail Talks; U.S. Threatens to Pull Military Aid from Ecuador over Breastfeeding; EPA Blocks Report on Cancer-Causing Substance; Video: Police Officer Pulls Gun on Kids in El Paso. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired July 9, 2018 - 14:30   ET

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


[14:31:47] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Time is up for the Trump administration to reunite the children taken from their parents at the border. A Trump administration official tells CNN they are, quote, "working tirelessly towards a shared goal of reuniting families." But a government official just stood up in front of a district court judge to plead their case for more time on tomorrow's deadline to reunite children under the age of 5 with their parents.

Let's go to Sara Sidner, who is live in San Diego. She was just in court.

What happened?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So the government had to give a very specific list with numbers as to how many children have been reunited under 5 years old and how many have not. They came up with 59 children who have been reunited. Their parents were in ICE custody or let out of ICE custody. Of those 102 children under 5 years old that the government identified, there are still several who have not been reunified. Some of those children they said were not reunified, a number of those children sick, they said, because their parent had a criminal history. There were nine of those children who were not reunited because their parents had already been deported.

So here is one of the problems with this deadline. That is tomorrow for all those children under 5 years old. It is pretty clear that the government will not be able to make all the reunifications happen by what the judge ordered was the deadline tomorrow.

Here's what the ACLU had to say about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED ACLU ATTORNEY: The principle concerns with everything that has gone on with the separation practices, the government didn't properly track these families. He can't get them reunited if the government can't. There's no way they are going to be reunited by Tuesday.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SIDNER: Now there are a number of children who were a bit in limbo. One of which the government can't seem to figure out who the parent is. We learned from the ACLU that that child is 3 years old, a little boy. They are not sure where that child is being Housed at this time. But there's one child of that 102 children that the government says are under 5 and that were separated from their parents at the border. They simply do not know how to reunite that child because they don't know who the parents are.

There's a new deadline in place. Tomorrow is obviously the deadline for those who are under 5 years old to be reunited. There's a July 26th deadline for the other 2,000 to 3,000 children who are over the age of 5 who are separated from their parents. That issue will be dealt with a bit later.

But the judge has asked the ACLU and DOJ to come together and figure out how to notify parents that this happened. And they are supposed to be reunited with their children. And also figure out just how many children are going to be not reunified with their family members tomorrow, which is the deadline. It's pretty clear -- you heard the ACLU there -- it's pretty clear there that the government does not think it can reunify all of the children they are supposed to unify by tomorrow -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: If that's the case, and a question for the lawyer, what are the consequences for the administration? We should dig into that as well.

SIDNER: Yes.

[14:34:59] BALDWIN: Sara Sidner, thank you, in San Diego outside that court.

Coming up, are U.S. talks with North Korea on denuclearization on the ropes? North Korea says the U.S. is acting gangster like. Why the president says China is trying to derail the talks.

Also, a police officer under fire for pulling and pointing his gun at this small group of children. The whole thing is caught on video. See what happened and where this officer is now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:39:43] BALDWIN: Here's new insight into how well denuclearization talks are going with North Korea. North Korea calling U.S. diplomacy, quote, "gangster like." We don't know why exactly, but we know the barb came after the meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Secretary Pompeo downplayed the comments saying talks were going well.

And the president even weighed in on Twitter. This is what he tweeted: "I have confidence that Kim Jong-Un will honor the contract we signed and even more importantly our handshake. We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea. China, on the other hand, made the pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese trade. I hope not." This is quite a departure from President Trump's chest beating.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I got along very well with Chairman Kim. I got along very well.

We signed a wonderful thing they're saying they are going to denuclearize their whole thing. It's going to all happen.

I met with -- great chemistry. He gave us a lot.

We're well on our way to get denuclearization. And the agreement says there will be total denuclearization. Nobody wants to report that.

I did a great job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Don't forget this tweet from this time last month declaring there's no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.

Duyeon Kim is with me today, visiting senior research fellow at the Korean Peninsula Future Forum in Seoul.

Duyeon, gangster-like mind set. On the North Korea reaction, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was a layover when North Korea blasted that statement out. What's your reaction to that and has Trump's North Korea diplomacy collapsed?

DUYEON KIM, VISITING SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, KOREAN PENINSULA FUTURE FORUM, SEOUL: Thanks for having me back. The North Korean state media has done a poor translation. In Korea, they say robber-like. So they are claiming that the U.S. demanding denuclearization, which the North is a unilateral, they are being robbed of their crowned jewels. They are saying they are being robbed of everything that the North just wants them to give up and nothing in return. So that's where they are coming from. At the same time, sure, the talks in Pyongyang clearly experienced some road blocks and it's going to see twists and turns and stumbling blocks along the way. A long negotiating process if negotiations are allowed to function properly. This is all normal. That's why you have negotiations. But my concern is that if President Trump will he lose patience?

BALDWIN: On that point, if I could just jump in.

DUYEON: Sure.

BALDWIN: That's what is different this time. Because it's fascinating your note about the Korean translation, it's robber like. So if they are calling the U.S. essentially we're the robber in this case, Trump can actually use his tough talk and bluster threatening to walk away because that would mean failure on behalf of the administration.

KIM: Right, and we don't want these talks to break down. So again, these challenges are normal. Especially dealing with negotiating with North Korea. It's going to be tricky. Even getting to an agreement, a real nuclear deal, the Singapore statement was not a nuclear deal. So the process to get to real agreement is going to be long and bumpy us and implementing that deal is going to be even harder and trickier. So I'm all for a quick or speedy denuclearization process, but the reality is it's not going to be a short process at all.

BALDWIN: We just heard from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that it's a process. A lot longer perhaps than anyone imagined.

Duyeon Kim, thank you so much for weighing in.

KIM: Thanks for having me.

BALDWIN: Did the Trump administration threaten nations to stop promoting breastfeeding? The new report has the president weighing in moments ago.

Also, on top of this, the EPA accused of delaying a report on cancer- causing chemicals. What do all of these moves say about the administration? Let's talk about that coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:48:36] BALDWIN: The Trump administration has turned breastfeeding into somewhat of an international incident. According to this report out of the "New York Times," the U.S. bullied other countries in an attempt to stop passage of this international resolution that essentially promotes the benefits of breastfeeding over baby formula. In the case of Ecuador, which planned to introduce the measure, "The Times" reports the U.S. threatened trade reprisals and yanking military support. "The Times" says dozens of other countries avoided the resolution in fear of retaliation.

Guess who did introduce the resolution, who the U.S. did not try to bully? Russia.

Let's bring in CNN political commentator, Amanda Carpenter.

Amanda, nice to have you on.

Let me get to the president. He weighed in on o all of this a little while ago on Twitter. He tweeted, "U.S. strongly supports breastfeeding but don't believe women should be denied access to formula."

So here's my question to you. If the president of the United States himself is saying both options work. Why is this U.S. delegation reportedly bullying Ecuador and scaring dozens of other countries?

[14:49:47] AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The question about bullying Ecuador is concerning, but the issue was here language perceived as hostile to the formula industry and the marketing of formula around the world. So there's a lot of hot takes in this story saying that Donald Trump and the administration oppose breastfeeding. That's not correct. At issue was the inclusion of the language that was hostile to form will. So that's an open question there. But how the U.S. delegation turned this up to a level 12 in threatening trade retaliation and military aid to Ecuador, that seems strange here. That's why this is a story.

[14:50:27] BALDWIN: How is that necessary? That's the thing. Going back to the article. "Punishing trade measures if Ecuador were to introduce this would draw crucial military aid to the government."

CARPENTER: And then to go ahead and drop opposition once Russia brings up the same resolution.

BALDWIN: Right.

CARPENTER: The delegation was successful in watering down some of the language about the promotion of formula abroad. But what was the question here? Why did we almost have an international scandal over language in a non-binding treaty? That makes no sense to the standard observer.

BALDWIN: You add to this, big-picture, Amanda, right. We were sitting here talking about a report out of "Politico" where EPA officials blocked a study from the public, a report on a cancer report. A report on the dangers of inhaling formaldehyde vapors. Why they would block that, what does that say about the administration, in your opinion?

CARPENTER: I think there's some inexperienced folks blocking this. People that don't want any bad story to come out.

In regard to the formula distribution, most of the companies that make it are based in the United States and Europe. It was an interest in getting the formula into hospitals. So if there's any kind of international language saying, we don't like this, it's not as good, maybe they are trying to protect their friends. But to --

(CROSSTALK)

CARPENTER: -- go ahead and hide and start threatening allies --

(CROSSTALK)

CARPENTER: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: I had a medical expert on Friday saying, why wouldn't you want to get it out because it causes cancer? The whole point is, get it out, let the public know.

CARPENTER: Yes. That would be good.

BALDWIN: Just saying.

Amanda Carpenter, thank you very much.

CARPENTER: Take care. BALDWIN: A police officer caught on video pointing his gun at teenagers during an argument. How this unfolded and what happened to the police officer.

And did Michael Cohen just draw battle lines against President Trump and his team? Sources say Cohen will no longer take that proverbial bullet for the president. A potentially explosive development, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:56:53] BALDWIN: An El Paso police officer has been placed on desk duty after being captured in video pulling a gun on young children. We have it. You can see it for yourself. It shows the moment the officer pulls his gun and points it at these young children before putting it back in the holster. This unnamed officer is a four-year veteran of the El Paso Police Department. He was responding to a criminal trespass call at a recreational center.

And a group of kids are heard yelling at the officer as he tried to arrest one of the little boys. The same officer is later seen in the video extending his night stick towards the crowd as he and another officer struggled to get the situation under control.

So let's go to Martin Savidge. He's been walking through the video and making calls on this for us today.

Give me some context on why this guy pulled his gun on the kids.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's still being investigated right now. That's the key here. The investigation is underway. El Paso police assigned this officer to desk duty. It doesn't mean he's on administrative leave. He's still getting paid but not out there on the streets.

It's Thursday night when he shows up to the call of trespassing and runs into a group of young people there. What we don't know is if this video picks up in the middle of something. Something has already happened. That's not quite clear what has happened. But that's why it appears these kids are all amped up and they are shouting at the officer. They are shouting and being disrespectful. But there's the officer pulling out his side arm and pointing it at these children, which almost anyone would say that seems totally inappropriate. And on top of that, is using the baton, not to strike anyone, no one has been injured, but obviously to gesture and try to bring control back up arrived on the scene. All of this is being investigated.

It's caught fire on social media. It's been shared close to five million times on Facebook. Interestingly enough, Brooke, the fact that people are split on their reaction to it. Many people think it's inappropriate. Others say the children were completely out of hand. At one point, you can hear one of the parents also cursing at the police officer. So this just was one of those moments that are being talked about.

The investigation has not made any determination. They are looking at whether the pointing of the weapon violated any kind of protocol on the part of the El Paso police -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: Let us know what they find and the fate of this officer.

SAVIDGE: I will.

BALDWIN: Martin Savidge, thank you.

SAVIDGE: You bet.

[14:59:26] BALDWIN: We continue on. Top of the hour. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

We're hours away from a decision by President Trump on naming at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time this evening his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. No matter who he chooses, conservatives will finally get the clear edge that has alluded them for decades, a 5-4 majority on the highest court in the land.

The finalists include three men and one woman. The newer contender, Thomas Hardiman, was the runner up to the president's first Supreme Court nominee, now Justice Neil Gorsuch. Also of note, according to our chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, he's been reporting in recent hours that Brett Kavanaugh is getting more attention for his 2009 piece in which he wrote that -