Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Being Manipulated by Russian Intelligence, GOP Representative Says; Who Will Take on Trump in 2020?; Infants Being Summoned to Immigration Courts; Television in Trump's America. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired July 20, 2018 - 10:30   ET

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


[10:30:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, how long is that going to fly when you have comments like this coming from, you know, Republicans the president needs in Congress?

AMY PARNES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's not going to fly for very long, Poppy, and you know I think what Congress can do is they can actually call Pompeo, they can call other people, Bolton, people who should know really about the meeting and ask for readouts. And I think that's what people are trying to get when they are trying to get the interpreter, for instance, to come to testify. But other people should really know or should have readouts on what actually happened. And I think that's what Congress is missing and what they can do.

I don't know how good this obviously looks for the White House in terms of optics. They really need to kind of turn this around. And inside the White House in the West Wing, the morale is so low. People are, you know, trying to figure out their exit strategy. They wanted to stay past the midterms. Now it's looking like they might leave before then. And so all in all, it doesn't look good for anyone over there.

HARLOW: Mark, Michael Cohen taking to Twitter, the president's, you know, self-proclaimed former fixer and personal attorney writing, quote, overnight, "Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy." Citing Walter Cronkite. And he writes, "As we continue with the crazed 24/7 news cycle, it's never been more important than it is now for everyone to distinguish between innuendo and fact.

And then Al Sharpton, the Reverend Al Sharpton just tweeted this morning, "Just spent an hour with Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney. I bet you're wondering what we could be talking about. Stay tuned." What's your read on both?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: My read on both is that I can't believe that this is happening to the greatest democracy ever, that we're having these discussions because they're just so insane. But when you look at what Michael Cohen is doing right there, he is fighting a war on both fronts. Right? He is sending a message to the White House and to Donald Trump, listen, I am now my own man, I have broken away. And he's certainly trying to cover some support or curry some support from others. But he's also taking a shot at the media and in some cases it's a

valid shot because he is saying that you shouldn't always look at innuendo and you should follow the facts first so let's see where the facts bring us certainly in this Russia investigation.

HARLOW: One fact this morning, Amy, is that President Trump is taking on the Fed and taking on the Fed chair and taking on monetary policy in the United States. He tweeted this morning attacking the Fed's decision to raise interest rates. It's stunning because it is so unprecedented and arguably dangerous, you know, for a president to get involved in monetary policy. What do you make of it?

PARNES: Yes, I mean, it's definitely something. And then, you know, he also tweeted about tariffs and what that could do. And that's sparking concern about a possible trade war and the economy and the stock market going down. And he's saying he doesn't overall care about politics and what this will do for the midterm elections. But this is making Republicans a little nervous with all this going on in the backdrop and Russia going on in the backdrop. So all together, I think that this is quite concerning for a lot of folks.

HARLOW: Mark Preston, why does it matter when the president for two days in a row attacks the Fed and inserts himself into monetary policy?

PRESTON: Because it's going to have global effects. It's probably going to affect the economy here in the United States. It's going to affect the global economy. But we shouldn't be surprised that he is doing this. He has done this all along the way. He describes himself as the best negotiator. We'll see where that goes.

But, you know, Poppy, as we talk about all the white noise and the swirling and certainly this Russia investigation and, of course, what's happening with our economy right now, I don't think we should understate what Will Hurd wrote today in the "New York Times."

HARLOW: Yes.

PRESTON: Will Hurd is a former CIA operative. He spent a lot of time overseas risking his life. He understands the whole stagecraft of what's going on.

HARLOW: He certainly does. I was very struck, I think we all were when we saw and read it this morning. I mean, it's one thing to say these things. We hear Jeff Flake, we hear Lindsay Graham. But then, you know, seeing it on the pages of the "New York Times."

PRESTON: That's right.

HARLOW: It's a very deliberate decision. Thank you both, Amy and Mark. Have a good weekend.

PARNES: Thanks. You too.

HARLOW: President Trump says running against Joe Biden in 2020 would be a dream. But how likely is that if they will run each other? Will rank the possible 2020 contenders next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:38:55] HARLOW: Guess how many days there are before the next presidential election. Only 837. Do you think that's too soon for us to be talking about who might run in the Democratic Party? I don't, and neither do our own political junkies.

CNN's own Harry Enten and Chris Cillizza, gentlemen, it's never too early, right?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Never.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST: No.

HARLOW: Never.

ENTEN: No, it's never. Never, ever, ever.

CILLIZZA: Two years, three months and 14 days.

HARLOW: I mean, there you go. That's all I can think about these days. Truly, all I can think about. You guys have a piece out that's getting a ton of buzz and a ton of attention, ranking the top 10 potential contenders for 2020. You've got Joe Biden at the top, Cillizza.

CILLIZZA: Yes.

HARLOW: Walk me through why that's an exciting pick for the party.

CILLIZZA: Well, I don't know that it's an exciting pick for the party.

HARLOW: Right.

CILLIZZA: But I don't know if Donald Trump is president, the question is, do Democrats want to pick their version of Trump or the anti- Trump?

HARLOW: And?

CILLIZZA: Biden always is the anti-Trump. And right now Harry and I wrote -- write about this in the piece. Typically, the guy or gal who is in first who is ahead in early polling tends to be there right at the end. That's Joe Biden right now, ahead in national polling, ahead in early state polling.

[10:40:03] And ahead, by the way -- it's kind of got missed, but ahead by double digits over Donald Trump in general election polling. So at this date, if you're betting, Joe Biden is your best bet. The question obviously is he is 75 years old. Does the party want that now?

HARLOW: Trump -- how old is Trump?

CILLIZZA: Seventy-two.

HARLOW: There you go. All right. Seventy is the new 40 apparently.

Harry, to you. What I noticed right away from this list, if we can pull it back up, guys, there's not a single business leader. Right? There's not a Howard Schultz on that list. There's not a Mark Cuban on that list, there's not some of these names that were floated out there as maybe being the anti-Trump but still coming from the business world and not from the world of politics. These are all politicians.

ENTEN: They are all politicians. And I will say, look, it's certainly possible that one of them could end up being the nominee. But at the end of the day, given where the Democratic Party is right now, right, it's very difficult for me to imagine that a business leader could potentially win, especially with the Bernie wing sort of in its ascendancy and being very anti-Wall Street. So, you know, Schultz, Mike Bloomberg and other name --

HARLOW: Yes.

ENTEN: -- that a lot of people have spoken about, they could certainly enter but I think they're going to find a lot of problems especially if they have connections to Wall Street.

HARLOW: What about, Cillizza, the more liberal sort of in the Bernie wing -- Bernie, obviously, right there in the middle.

CILLIZZA: Yes.

HARLOW: Also Senator Sanders I should call him. Also Kamala Harris. Elizabeth Warren. I mean, Kamala Harris is now writing this book. Right? It's pretty clear where her path is headed.

CILLIZZA: Yes.

HARLOW: Elizabeth Warren is taking more trips overseas, trying to beef up those foreign policy chops.

CILLIZZA: Yes, look, so I would say Biden is sort of the establishment wing of the party. And then the next four people Harry and I have ranked two through five are all liberals without question. And I would say liberals and trying to get left of each other as fast as they can so Warren, Harris, Gillibrand, Sanders. The thing -- the argument for Sanders is he's been there the longest.

HARLOW: Right.

CILLIZZA: The argument against him is, do Democrats really want to re-litigate 2016 in any way, shape or form?

HARLOW: Right.

CILLIZZA: And again Bernie Sanders is 76 years old. Is that the road they want to go. But --

HARLOW: Did you not hear me at the beginning of the segment, that 70 is the new 40?

CILLIZZA: Sorry. But so I would note, I do think Kamala Harris -- Harry and I have her third. I do think she has real potential. First Indian American and African-American elected to the Senate in America. You don't write a memoirs through a politician in 2019 unless you are thinking about running for national offices. There are not coincidences like that.

HARLOW: Well, two points. One issue, Harry, with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand that will follow her, that she'll have to answer for is her much more moderate views when she was representing upstate New York. Very different than calling to abolish ICE .

Now what about Elizabeth Warren and the Pocahontas attacks and the president? I mean, do things like that stick?

ENTEN: Maybe they stick in the general election but certainly I think she'd wear it as a badge of honor in a primary campaign. And so I think that's a big part of what's going on here. I think why we have Liz Warren, too, is she is someone I believe who could link both the left wing of the party as well as the more establishment wing of the party. And when you're trying to win a Democratic primary, remember, it's proportional.

So you can't just win with 25 percent of the vote. You need to be able to get a 40 percent, 45 percent, 50 percent in order to win a nomination. And in my opinion, Liz Warren may be able to do that.

HARLOW: Right. Some interesting --

CILLIZZA: And --

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: Go ahead, Chris.

CILLIZZA: I was just going to say, Poppy, one thing to remember, too, is that if Harry and I did this list at this time in -- for Republicans at this time of the 2016 cycle, we wouldn't have Donald Trump in the top 10.

HARLOW: Right.

CILLIZZA: Harry might have had him in the top 20 because as I've mentioned he's smarter than me. But I wouldn't have --

ENTEN: Oh, stop it.

CILLIZZA: I wouldn't have had him in the top 20. So look, things change. Right? We are analyzing what we know now based on history, based on where we are now, and based on Trump being in the White House. But, you know, I mean, if your favorite candidate isn't in that top 10, if it's, you know, Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, if it's Deval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts.

HARLOW: Yes. CILLIZZA: This does not mean that person has no chance.

HARLOW: I do think it's interesting, two names that struck me on this list, guys, Harry. Mitch Landrieu and Sherrod Brown as well. Why are they striking to you?

ENTEN: I think, you know, we're looking, number one, perhaps outside of the normal sort of choices. And a mayor, very, very difficult to imagine normally that a mayor would end up being a -- you know, a major party nominee. But we could in fact see that this time around, especially if the party is looking for someone with experience but still outside of Washington.

In terms of Sherrod Brown, look, he has a very populist record. If you're looking for a candidate who can beat Trump in the Midwest, and beat him on his populist ways, who better than a Midwestern senator who is a populist?

HARLOW: With that --

(CROSSTALK)

CILLIZZA: I think Sherrod Brown --

ENTER: I love that gravelly voice.

CILLIZZA: Sherrod Brown, I think, is a dark horse. Look, I would have pushed to have him higher if he wasn't up for re-election this November. I actually think his -- for everything that Harry just talked about as well as his personal style, his voice, we joke, but it's true.

HARLOW: Yes.

CILLIZZA: There's an authenticity there that I actually think he gets underrated, I think. Gets ignored more than he should.

[10:45:04] I think Harry and I are together on that one.

HARLOW: All right, gentlemen. You are both smart in my book.

ENTEN: Thank you.

CILLIZZA: I didn't say not smart. I just said he is smarter than me.

HARLOW: Yes. Yes. Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

ENTEN: Well, nobody is perfect.

HARLOW: Thanks, gents.

CILLIZZA: Thank you.

HARLOW: All right. Ahead for us, turning the corner in a major way, a very important headline to tell you about. 70 infants have been ordered to appear in immigration court. We're going to bring you details of that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: Welcome back. Dozens of infants, too young to talk, are being called into immigration courtrooms across the country.

[10:50:01] But that is not necessarily the result of the Trump administration's zero tolerance practice at the border. This is from a new report out of the Justice Department that notes 70 infants under the age of 1 have been ordered to appear in immigration courts since October 1st of last year. The report says in many cases the children were brought to the United States by an adult who was not their parent.

Meantime time is running out for the Trump administration to reunite undocumented migrant children who were separated from their parents at the southern border. The deadline for all children and parents to be reunited is six days from now.

Let's go to Ed Lavandera. He joins us now from San Antonio. Look, July 26th quickly approaching. What is the update on how this is going?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you look at the numbers that we've received here in the last day from the federal government, there are a little more than 2500 children under the age of 18 that still need to be reunited with their parents. And these are children who have been separated under the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy that went into full affect in early May. And of those -- of that 2500, we are told that about 1600 of those children are eligible for reunification.

So that leaves about 900 or so who are not eligible and the reasons for that can vary. A lot of them could be for, you know, criminal background checks on the parents and those sorts of things. So the question is whether or not of these eligible children, whether that 1600 can be reunited over the course of the next six days.

Of course this is the second deadline, Poppy. A couple of weeks ago as we reported here extensively on CNN, there was that deadline for children under the age of 5 that the Trump administration missed. So a lot of questions as to whether or not the federal government will be able to meet this deadline.

Critics of the way -- of the way the government has handled this and immigration advocates and attorneys are really questioning how all of this will work here in the coming days as this deadline looms -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Ed, thank you for the reporting. And thank you for being there. Keep us posted.

We do have more on our breaking news this morning. More than a dozen people killed after a tour boat capsizes in Missouri. What we're learning from the latest press conference about this tragic incident.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:56:49] HARLOW: There is no doubt the Trump presidency is changing scripted television. Some shows trying to make sense of what's happening in the White House. Others take direct jabs at the president, even animated series like "The Simpsons" weighing in on the latest headlines from Washington.

Our Brian Stelter has a preview of his special report, "THE TRUMP SHOW, TV'S NEW REALITY."

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Poppy, whenever I turn on the TV and I don't watch cable news, when I watch prime time dramas and sitcoms, I hear President Trump's name. It seems like he has infused prime time like no president before him. And that's the subject of our new CNN documentary all about how the president has changed prime time. Here is a little preview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: In the Trump era, last-minute script changes are the new reality for scripted TV.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will see what we will see.

ALEX GANSA, CO-CREATOR, "HOMELAND": There's this impulse to be relevant and to comment on what's going on.

STELTER: Alex Gansa is the co-creator of "Homeland."

(On camera): When a big story breaks, do you all talk about whether to incorporate that? How do make that a good part of the show?

GANSA: It's the first thing we discuss every morning in the story, especially now when the news cycle is just so crazy.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. Defending Putin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news tonight, a stunning a shakeup at the White House.

GANSA: Is this something germane to the story that we're telling?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: A porn star and a major staff departure. Just another day in the Trump White House.

ILENE CHAIKEN, VETERAN SHOWRUNNER: We were all utterly, utterly blown away. We are all trying to adapt to Trump's America.

STELTER (voice-over): Veteran showrunner Ilene Chaiken.

(On camera): Is it fair to say that Hollywood is a hub of the so- called resistance? CHAIKEN: It's no secret that Hollywood leans progressive. And

there's a certainly dangerous presumption that everybody who walks into the room is going to share your politics. And not everybody does.

SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: People feel insulted .

STELTER (VOICE-OVER): Journalist Salena Zito.

ZITO: People in the middle of the country believe that Hollywood only portrays things in a certain way. As though they are the butt of the joke. And that their views aren't respected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: So as you can see, we have spoken with some of TV's top producers, we've gone inside writers' rooms and talked with TV critics about how Trump has changed the prime time landscape from the "Handmaid's Tale" to "Homeland," from "Will and Grace" to "Roseanne."

You can watch our special tonight 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. We're calling it "THE TRUMP SHOW, TV'S NEW REALITY." Poppy.

HARLOW: All right. That's something I might stay up past my 8:00 p.m. bedtime to watch.

Brian, can't wait to see it. Thank you.

Also before we go, take a look at this video. Stunning, stunning footage, up close as these tornadoes, 27 of them, rip across the state of Iowa. That one destroying homes, a big factory. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There just went a house. Houses are going. Un- freaking-believable. Unbelievable.

Lauren, go get our son. Go get our son. Bring him down here now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Wow. Amazingly no fatalities reported. Several injuries, though, across the state. Cleanup efforts are under way after, as I said, 27 injuries. That storm also brought -- 27 tornadoes, I should say. The storm also brought heavy rain, damaging wind and destroyed homes, businesses. Rips the top off a factory in Pella, Iowa. Wow.

All right. Thanks for being with me. Have a good weekend. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. Kate Bolduan --