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Trump: Mattis "Sort of a Democrat," Unsure if He's Leaving; Incidents with Racial Undertones Spiking, GOP Candidate Accused of Voter Suppression; Texas Desert Tent City for Migrant Kids Explodes in Size; Florida's Gulf Coast This Week And The Panhandle Is A Clean Up Zone; Donald Trump Said He Might Punish The Kingdom If There Was Any Kind Of Foul Play And Particularly A Murder With Regard To Jamal Khashoggi; Hundreds Of Motorbikes And ATVs Are Blocking Streets Of Philadelphia; President Trump Has Hits The Reality Show Presidency Into High Gear. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired October 14, 2018 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[18:00:14] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Glad to have you with us. Thank you for being with here.
Florida's gulf coast this week and the panhandle is a clean up zone. A rescue and recovery zone. A disaster zone. This is going to be a familiar sight for a long time to come in areas smashed apart by hurricane Michael. Heavy equipment scooping up piles of storm debris where homes and businesses stood just a few days ago. Still no power, no running water in Panama City and this area. But people who stayed through the storm or have come back are getting food rations and water at distribution centers like this one. Supplies are also being dropped by helicopter. And now reports that people are looting in some parts of Florida. Breaking into stores either out of desperation or just opportunity. Some residents in the hurricane hit towns are now arming themselves saying they will protect what is theirs.
Let's go to Panama City now where reporter Hannah McKenzie and her crew actually watched people take things from the store.
HANNAH MCKENZIE, WEAR REPORTER: Check out the door this this convenience store. It's completely smashed. In fact, when we got here we found three guys inside just grabbing stuff. With no running water or electricity here in Panama City, folks are getting desperate. They are turning to looting. It's extremely dangerous. And as we found out can be deadly.
Communication is limited at times nonexistent. Power lines still laying across roadways and there is no running water. Folks in Panama City are now getting desperate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This hit so hard and so fast that the different aspects of human nature will come out. And people are going to do anything to survive.
MCKENZIE: We have seen looting, broken doors and shattered glass at several businesses, even catching a few guys in the act. They tell us they are friends of the owner before taking off with backpack full of stuff. And a fatal shooting reported overnight here on Pinetree road and Azella Street.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where did he go down? About ten foot behind that DirecTV sign.
MCKENZIE: Across the street at the time, Landon Sweet (ph) telling us man tried to steal a law enforcement vehicle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He yelled at me a little bit. He said I'm looting and he opened the door to the police officer's SUV with the lights going. Got in it and shut the door.
MCKENZIE: That's when Swet (ph) says he grabbed his family and head for the house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As I'm crossing the doorway, I look back, I see the officer at the passenger side. I don't believe the door was open yet. I believe he had both hands like this. And I get about three more foot inside and I hear the shot.
MCKENZIE: We are told by Lieutenant Eddie Elmor with Florida highway patrol, Florida state fire marshals were the ones involved in the shooting. The Florida department of law enforcement confirming to us they are investigating.
In an effort to stop crime like this, the curfew for this area is still in effect from dusk until dawn. And no one is allowed out on the roadways. The police are taking this very seriously. If they catch anyone disobeying the order, they could be ticketed.
In Panama City, Hannah McKenzie.
CABRERA: In Mexico beach, Florida where so many homes and businesses were simply wiped away by the force of the hurricane, recovery crews are making fresh passes now for neighborhoods with search dogs looking for people who might still be trapped or unable to care for themselves.
That's where CNN's Martin Savidge is right now.
And Martin, every time we talk, it is just a shocking to see how completely torn apart that city was by this storm. How are people repairing to spend yet another night without power, without running water?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of people are trying to leave. I mean, they realized that there's no way this community and they can survive within it because as you say there's no running water. There's no sewage. There is no electricity. Of course, there were no air-conditioning. Communication, cell phone really spotty. And then it's just living amongst all of this. The community that's shattered, that's torn apart.
There has been reports, very limited reports of looting. Three people arrested last night at a liquor store. But to be honest, it just isn't much to take anymore in this community. Just about everything that been in someway damaged, destroyed or impacted. So the real question is, where are people that stayed. They know they had about 300 people that were registered just before the storm hit and staying behind. And the whole focus has been for days now trying to account for them.
It's been difficult. It has been slow. It has been complicated. In part because of all the devastation. Communication, that was part of it. People couldn't report that they were safe and sound. They were trying to talk to witnesses to say, do you know where your neighbor went. The other problem they found was that when they went to the residence that have been registered, the residence was totally gone.
They have searched most of the buildings, the structures that are still standing. That's the houses and the business. But what's left is all of this, you know. You look under what is clearly the roof of some house or shed or something like it. And there's just thousands of them scattered all over. Not to mentions just tons and tons of debris.
And they have got to look it all. They used dogs but it is dangerous, even for the dogs who try to crawl through. The nails, all the glass, everything that could potentially harm you. And then there is another danger that's starting to really be a concern for the fire chief. That's all this debris is now combustible material. And several days after the disaster, you have materials that can self self-combust, chemicals and other things.
So when you don't have phone service, when you have fires that could start at any moment and when you have just tons and tons and tons of fuel sitting on the ground, there's a great fear that you could have another disaster and that is fire. And it would spread like wildfire.
They have fire trucks scatter around the community with four man crews in all of them so that if anything is spotted they can try to put it out quickly. But there is that fear that is growing in the aftermath of what is already a huge disaster here, Ana.
[18:05:57] CABRERA: Yikes. Martin Savidge in Mexico beach, Florida, thank you.
Meanwhile, as the President gets ready to head to Florida tomorrow, he is also facing a major diplomatic crisis abroad, this one involving one of America's closest allies in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia. It's under enormous pressure right now to explain what happened to a U.S. based journalist who vanished and may have been murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
CNN's senior international correspondent Sam Kiley has more on the Saudi reaction as we await a phone call between President Trump and the Saudi king.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ans, it's been remarkable day in terms of the language and the shift in direction that the Saudis have made in the space of less than 24 hours.
At the beginning of the day there was a pretty angry response to Donald Trump's suggestion that he might punish the kingdom if there was any kind of foul play and particularly a murder with regard to Jamal Khashoggi.
When the President said he might punish this kingdom, there was an op- ed that was quickly published in the Arabia (ph), the news Web site that is owned by the Saudi government here suggesting that that could result in oil prices of $200 a barrel and to quote them, "America's stabbing its own economy."
That was followed up with an official statement coming from the government saying the kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempt to undermine it whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations. The kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action.
No more blunt diplomatic language could really be heard. But very quickly, the embassy in Washington, D.C. started putting out much more conciliatory tweets and then right at the end of the day about an hour before midnight, the king himself put out a statement through the press agency here saying he had reached out in a telephone call to the Turkish President, Mr. Erdogan, to thank him for the establishment of a joint investigative committee in Turkey and insist that nothing would break the brotherly love between the two nations as he put it.
Now, of course, the Turks have been complaining for some time that they have not been given full cooperation by the Saudis. That they are not getting access to the consulate in Istanbul where Mr. Khashoggi was last seen, at least last seen going in.
But I do think this perhaps represents an attempt by the king to get hold of the situation that was beginning to run out of control of the Saudi royal family -- Ana.
CABRERA: All right. Sam Kiley, thank you.
President Trump has vowed severe President Trump but he doesn't want to tear up a potential arms deal. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, there are many other things we could do. But when we take away $110 billion of purchases from our country, that hurts our workers. That hurts our factories. That hurts all of our companies. You know, you were you are talking about 500,000 jobs. So we do that, we are really hurting our country. A lot more than we are hurting Saudi Arabia.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: Let's talk more about this arm's deal and the other options the U.S. has for retaliation.
Retired rear admiral John Kirby with us now. He is a former state department spokesman and Pentagon press secretary.
Admiral, the President says this arms deal is worth of $100 billion, involved some 500,000 jobs. Is that the case?
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY & DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: No. The President is over stating it a little bit. What he secured was basically a shopping list by the Saudis for over ten years the expenditure of about that much money on defense arms, weapons systems, that kind of thing.
But it's important to remember, Ana, that President Obama also secured similar letters of intent from Saudi Arabia to the tune of about $115 billion. And all of those really only resulted in about half of them becoming contracts. Half of that much money become in contracts. All of the $100 billion in letter of intent that President Trump secure, something like only $4 billion has actually been executed into contracts since he announced it. So this is really just letters of intent and promissory notes. It's not $110 billion military deal.
[18:10:18] CABRERA: Now, the President says he wants to look at other options to punish Saudi Arabia. What would those options be?
KIRBY: Well, obviously, economic options like this. And I don't know why the President would want take this off the table when he could do sanctions both unilateral and U.N. sanctions. Also, the (INAUDIBLE) which Congress is proposing that we take a look at could sanctions actual high government officials.
He could do political options like changing the character of the diplomatic relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. If it came to it, we could expel some Saudi diplomats. We could close some Saudi facilities here. We can even affect our own diplomatic footprint there on the ground in Saudi Arabia though we don't have an ambassador right now.
There are military options that the President could employ such as changing the character of U.S. and Saudi military cooperation particularly with our support to them. You have many operations, maybe training exercises, that kind of thing and the arms sale could be factored into that.
And lastly, there could be intelligence sharing repercussions. The intelligence committee does share certain amount of intelligence with Saudi Arabia particularly when it comes to their operations in Yemen. That could also be affected as well.
CABRERA: Which do you think would be most effective with the least amount of blow back?
KIRBY: I think what they should be looking at depending on if these allegations are true and if they turn out to be true, a blend of those options. You don't have to go all the way hard right on one other or the other. But you could blend them in such a way you can send a very strong message to Saudi Arabia that this is unacceptable.
I don't think they should be overly concerned about blow back. The United States has leverage in this relationship. We are not as dependent on Saudi oil as we once were. The Saudis do rely on our arms and ammunition and weapons systems and intelligence support for their operations. We have that over them too. So we have a lot of leverage. I hope they are looking at a blend of this.
Lastly. Ana, I hope that they are also looking at how they can compel proper Saudi behavior now as the investigation is ongoing. We don't just have to hold these tools in reserve for if it turns tout be true. They can use the tools to compel the Saudis to be more transparent and more credible and more cooperative in this investigation.
CABRERA: Rear admiral John Kirby, thank you for being with us.
KIRBY: You bet. Thank you.
CABRERA: We have breaking news now from Philadelphia where hundreds of motorbikes and ATVs are blocking streets, bringing traffic in some cases to withstand still. And as we look at these pictures from moments ago which are playing on a delay because as you can see, I mean, there are pedestrians there. There's some near misses.
I want to bring in former Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey. He is joining s on the phone.
Commissioner Ramsey, do you have any understanding of what's happening here?
CHARLES RAMSEY, FORMER PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISSIONER (on the phone): Well, it is my understanding this is the fourth anniversary of the death of a dirt bike rider that was popular here in Philadelphia. And from what I gather, this is somehow paying tribute to him.
This is a huge issue in Philadelphia with the ATVs and the dirt bikes. They are illegal. They did perform a lot of a very dangerous stunt. They tie up traffic. This is the fourth anniversary. I don't recall this happening last year. This guy got killed back in 2014, I believe.
CABRERA: I mean, it seems so dangerous. We saw a pedestrian nearly get hit. There's a bicyclist just now come in the other direction, that car stopping at the middle of the intersection. Where are the police?
RAMSEY: Well, I mean, the police are there monitoring, I would imagine. Again, I'm looking at this myself but there's not a whole lot you can do with this many dirt bikes at one time. I mean, they will do the best they can to try to block traffic to keep people from getting hurt.
But this apparently was some kind of spontaneous event. Maybe it was something that was on social media if they knew they were going to do. It is not an annually walk. And again, four years have past. So it is not something that I believe you can have anticipated.
CABRERA: Charles Ramsey, thank you so much for being with us helping us walk us -- walk our views through what we are seeing there.
We will keep monitoring that situation. We will bring you more information as we get it.
Meantime from mornings with his favorite TV show to lunch with Kanye West. Why President Trump has hits the reality show presidency into high gear and the impact it could have on the Midterms next.
[18:18:35] CABRERA: Four rallies, two call-ins to FOX News, a sit down with "60 Minutes," a couple of magazine interviews. With just 23 days to go before the midterms, President Trump is going all in being him. Case in point, his very Trumpian praise last night at senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Tough cookie. I know tough people, he is tough. He is Kentucky tough, you know. He goes down as the greatest leader, in my opinion, in history. What we have done is incredible together. But he is better when I'm President than he ever was when anyone else was. Doing much better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Joining me now A.B. Stoddard, the associate editor and columnist for RealClearPolitics, also Patti Solis-Doyle, CNN political commentator and Hillary Clinton's former presidential campaign manager and Bill Kristol, editor-at-large for "the Weekly Standard."
So A.B., President Trump does seem to be going back to what he did in 2016 that led him to the White House. Now he is trying to help Republican candidates in the midterms. Are Democrats still waiting for their post-Obama star to help them out, do you think in?
A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR/COLUMNIST, REALCLEARPOLITICS: Well, I think they are excited about their good polling for the midterms which does not mean they are going to have a good midterm but they hope that their voters are going to turn out who don't usually turn out at midterms. And I think on November 7th, they will wake up the next morning and start realizing that they need to have this big debate in their party that they have been pushing off about whether or not they are more center-left or whether or not they are sort of free lunch socialists under the Bernie, you know, influence. And that is going to be a very tough debate to have without a leader. And we are going to see that playout in a very public way. Much as we have seen the factualization on the Republican side for years, particularly when during President Obama, they didn't have a leader. And we are going to see, you know, the likely some losses in the Congress that make the remaining Republicans left in Congress more Trumpian than ever. So it is going to be an interesting next two years.
[18:20:40] CABRERA: Patti, like him or not, the President doesn't know to fire up his supports than Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti tweeted this.
Establishment kinder, gentler Dems like Patti Solis-Doyle are the problem. They are why we continue to get this and why are we are presently in a fight for the survival of this republic. Their weak approaches are why we lost 2000, lost 2016. Never got garland a vote. Et cetera, et cetera.
What's your response to that?
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, FORMER HILLARY CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, Michael Avenatti was referring to an op-ed I wrote for CNN where I was basically talking about the richness and the hypocrisy of the Republicans calling the Democrats a mob when Donald Trump at his rallies, they are still chanting lock her up and he has encouraged his supporters to beat the, you know, blank out of protesters and then offered to pay for their legal fees if they did it.
And I went on to say that there's a difference between being tough and smart and then getting into the gutter. And I refer to Michael Avenatti's challenge of Donald Trump Jr. to a martial arts fight. I liken that to the gutter.
But I do think that Michael Avenatti does have a sound argument in that, how do you beat Trump? You know, you fight like Trump. But again, there's a difference between fighting and being strong and getting in the gutter. For Instance, you know, the Democrats have been angry, to say the least, at Trump's policies. But they have been energizing that anger in productive ways.
CABRERA: But you also don't see it at the ballot box, at least.
SOLIS-DOYLE: Of course, we have seen in the special elections already. Democrats are out performing by great numbers. In some instance, by 70 percent. They have won a great deal of special elections already. We are seeing it in the polling right now. We are seeing anecdotally huge numbers of new voters that are registering. So I think that they are channelling that anger in very positive ways. And this mob, you know, trying to brand the mob is just ridiculous on its face.
CABRERA: And Bill, a tweet of yours caught my eye this week. You reacted to an article that was entitled Kavanaugh killed, the never Trump movement by tweeting two words, not dead. Are never Trumpers ready to join the Democratic band wagon?
BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, WEEKLY STANDARD: No. We are ready to try to defeat Trump in the Republican primary in 2020 and save Republicans Party and Trump and Trumpism. CABRERA: I mean, how realistic is that so? I mean, Trump does have
big support behind him with the Republicans?
KRISTOL: So we did a poll and (INAUDIBLE) together to commission the poll, apple cart did it very reputable firm in Iowa and New Hampshire, 45 percent, 47 percent of Republican primary voters or caucus goers and the independents who vote Republican primaries who go to Republican caucuses in Iowa and New Hampshire would consider an alternative to Trump.
So he has got a solid base (INAUDIBLE). But that's before a possible bed showing on November 6th. It's before Mueller report. It's before any economic troubles. It's before any real foreign policy crisis have blown up.
I think Trump is probably at his peak now, honestly. He looks very strong. I saw a focus group a couple of weeks ago, a lot of people - you know, I kind of approve of Trump. I don't like the liberals, you know. I may stick to Republicans even in this senatorial election or whatever. He is getting a bum wrap. I don't like to tweet and all that. But he has got delivered from policies. So then the moderator of the (INAUDIBLE) so you are with Trump in 2020. I'm not so sure about that. He's disrupted some things, that's good. But we need a little more governance, a little more, you know, civility. We can't be this divisive. He is getting a little erratic. I mean, I think -- .
CABRERA: But we hear a lot of that from the Republicans who are in Congress or in the senate right now but they still keep voting.
KRISTOL: They are sort of pathetic. But we need to see if someone emerges as a candidate to challenge Trump.
But I was interesting with what Patti - I'm with Patti against Avenatti. I'm sure that will damage Patti's standing in the Democratic Party here. I mean, who the Democrats want? If you look at the CNN poll this morning, Biden is leading. Pretty impressive numbers, I got to say. And if you divide the candidates as kind of moderate establishment, good government versus we are going to fight just as tough as Trump. We are going to go low if Trump goes low.
It is interesting, the party is almost evenly split. You just do the math and sort of allocate somewhat obviously, you know, roughly. I mean, the votes for the different candidates. So there will, as A.B., a pretty interesting debate in the Democratic Party over the next year and a half and we will try to make sure it's an interesting debate in the Republican Party too.
[18:25:30] CABRERA: There's also this in the new CNN polling. It shows more and more Americans think President Trump will win a second term in office, 47 percent now say he is likely to lose. That's down from 54 percent back in March.
A.B., what do you think is behind that change?
STODDARD: Well, as we know it's starkly, it is easier for incumbents to win a second term than to win a first term. And you have all the powers of the office at your disposal which Trump will use. But it's also because of these economic numbers. It is because of a long - second longest expansions staring in 2009 in the post-war era that we are enjoying. And it has change the right track - we are on track numbers which have been so abysmal for so long, they are not perfect but they are marketed better. And that shows that people are just feeling much better than they thought that they even would under President Trump. And so they assume he is going to win a second term.
Bill is right. Even President Trump is worried about the economy at the end of 2019, a year from now. Let alone post-Mueller report. It doesn't mean that he is going to be in the same position he is today. But when you ask people in a poll, how do you feel. They say yes, you know, probably the way it's looking now, that he could.
CABRERA: Patti, I want to get your reaction to this new sound just in from Hillary Clinton who was doing an interview about sexism in politics. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What role, if any, did you play in criticizing the character of the women who have accused bill of sexual misconduct?
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: None.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No role?
CLINTON: No role. I take responsibility for my life and actions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In retro specs, do you think Bill should have resigned in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal?
CLINTON: Absolutely not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It wasn't an abuse of power?
CLINTON: No. No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Patty, your thoughts.
SOLIS-DOYLE: Well, I disagree with Hillary on that point. I do believe it was an abuse of power. He was the President of the United States, you know. The highest office in the land. She was an intern. It was a different time back then. I think that during this moment we're living in, this Me Too moment, of course he probably would needed to have resigned. But back then it was a different time. And I can only say that I disagree with her and I do believe it was an abuse of power then.
CABRERA: Patti, A.B., Bill, thank you all for being with us. Good to see you.
Up next, President Trump suggests his defense secretary could leave the administration. We'll have details right after this.
CABRERA: Speculation about Defense Secretary James Mattis being in or out with President Trump has been lingering for months. Now, President Trump in tonight's "60 Minutes" interview adds to that speculation. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LESLEY STAHL, CBS NEWS HOST: What about General Mattis? Is he going to leave?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I don't know. He hasn't told me that.
STAHL: Do you want him to --
TRUMP: I have a good relationship with him. I had lunch with him two days ago. I have a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is.
I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth, but General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well.
He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That's Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: CNN White House correspondent Boris Sanchez is joining us now.
So, Boris, what does the President mean by "he's sort of a Democrat" and what more can you tell us about Mattis' future as part of this administration?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Ana. It's not clear exactly what the President means.
I specifically asked Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in an e-mail if the President was perhaps making light of disagreements that he might have had with his Secretary of Defense over U.S. foreign policy.
As you know, the President, not really a big believer in multi- national organizations or the potential for allies to really reciprocate United States' military and economic power.
We should also out that, previously, it had been reported in Bob Woodward's book, "Fear," for example, that James Mattis had said things that weren't exactly casting a positive light on the President's intelligence, suggesting that he had the understanding of a fifth or sixth grader. Of course, Mattis has denied the claims in that book. And in other
reporting, he's actually come out and defended the President, saying that he is doing a great job for the country. The President, in turn, has said that Mattis is doing a great job.
Of course, there has long been speculation about potential departures from this administration. It's essentially a revolving door of officials, whether here at the White House or in cabinet posts, especially during the early part of Trump's presidency.
I want to point to a quick statement from the Pentagon that they put out about is. A spokesman writing, quote, Secretary Mattis is laser- focused on doing his job, ensuring the U.S. military remains the most lethal force on the planet.
The other notable thing about this is that James Mattis isn't exactly a partisan person, at least publicly. The General has spoken out against the Iran nuclear deal, something that the Obama administration installed.
And we understand, according to a source, he was offered a potential role in a Hillary Clinton administration if she had won and he turned it down, Ana.
[18:35:05] CABRERA: Boris Sanchez, thanks for that.
Coming up, a White woman calls police saying a 9-year-old Black child groped her, but surveillance video shows a different story. The details when we come back.
CABRERA: People are talking about a string of recent incidents with racial undertones.
In Brooklyn this week, a White woman apologized after calling the police and claiming an African-American child groped her. This incident happened outside a bodega in Flatbush.
[18:40:04] At first, the White woman claimed she had been sexually assaulted by the Black boy. Video from the store security cameras revealed it was the boy's book bag that touched the woman. Here's the woman's apology.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERESA KLEIN, FALSELY ACCUSED 9-YEAR-OLD BOY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT: I was wrong. Young man, I don't know your name but I'm sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Now, in Georgia, a woman spotted a Black man babysitting two White children, and here's what happened next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COREY LEWIS, BABYSITTER: So I'm babysitting, right? You all see I got two kids in the back seat with me. I'm babysitting.
There's this lady across the street -- we just came from Subway at Walmart. This lady over here, she's following me. This lady across the street.
She asked to see the little girl that I'm with so she can ask her if she knows who I am. All because I got two kids in the backseat that do not look like me.
The police is here. Now, I got to deal with this. It's crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, can you all step out.
LEWIS: Oh, they got to step out?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I just want to talk to them.
LEWIS: Please, explain to the officer who Mr. Lewis is. Please.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: He was babysitting. I want to bring in Marc Lamont Hill, CNN political commentator, BET News host, and Temple University professor.
Marc, and these two stories, they're among many. What's your take away?
MARC LAMONT HILL, PROFESSOR OF MEDIA STUDIES AND URBAN EDUCATION, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY: We live in a world that's still shot through with White supremacy. The idea that White lives are certainly worth more, the idea that White Americans have a heightened sense of citizenship, an irrational fear of Black bodies even when they're doing ordinary things like barbecuing or sitting in a Starbucks or babysitting.
I mean, you're calling the police on a Black guy because you see him with two kids? I mean, that's not even a stereotype of Black men. Like, there's no stereotype about Black men finding kids and taking care of them, right? It's not even consistent with history, so I don't understand what she's possibly thinking.
CABRERA: President Trump and his son, Don Junior, said, this week, White men have a lot to fear right now. Here is comedian Michael Che's take.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL CHE, ACTOR: I heard the President say on T.V. that, quote, it's a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of.
CHE: I have a joke for that. I just thought it was hilarious. (LAUGHTER)
CHE: Come on. Old, rich White dude telling us it's a scary time in America? That is pure comedy.
CHE: And I will be stealing that line.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Why do you think that is Trump's strategy?
HILL: Oh, that's always Trump's strategy, to close ranks around a certain kind of racial tribalism, to close ranks around Whiteness. When you say make America great again, that's a dog whistle to White folk. That's not to Black people. He's always doing that.
And so, you know, the whole "they're stealing our country" narrative plays into his immigration policy. And it stokes White fear, saying that it's a scary time to be a White man because you get accused of something that you didn't do.
For that to come out of Donald Trump's mouth, the man who falsely accused and wanted to kill, essentially, the Central Park Five and has never apologized for it, it's really rich to come from him. So at this moment, when Donald Trump says it, I'm not surprised, but it's still disturbing.
CABRERA: Now, when it comes to minorities, the voter suppression issue has come up time and time again.
In Georgia, just this week, we've been talking about the exact match law that put on hold more than 50,000 voter registration applications. Three-quarters of those are African-American voters.
Also, in North Dakota, it's the Native American population struggling because they don't always have a street address for registration purposes.
This has become a big political fight because, bottom line, Marc, a lot of the people affected tend to vote for Democrats, right?
HILL: Yes, what a coincidence. These voter suppression issues only happen where there's a lot of people who won't be voting Republican. And those people happen to be Black and Brown and indigenous folk, in particular, in North Dakota.
So, yes, we see these issues raise all the time because Republicans win by the margin of Black people and poor people and Brown people who don't vote or who cannot vote.
And by imposing more restrictions, by making -- essentially adding a poll tax, at times, by forcing people to get new ids and new matching documents, it's simply another way for Republicans to suppress the Black and Brown vote. CABRERA: But you have Brian Kemp in Georgia, who is the secretary of
state. He is the Republican candidate running for governor there. His communications director suggests that the controversy itself is actually suppressing the vote.
He says, quote, by telling people they can't vote, they actually think they can't vote, and that's a sad state of affairs. Is that a fair point?
HILL: Yes, the old "he who smelt it dealt it" approach to racism.
HILL: Essentially, he's saying that if you point out racism, then you're actually the problem, not us.
[18:45:01] The problem with Black people not being able to vote is not the narrative or the myth of not being able to vote.
The problem of Black people not being able to vote is the fact that, in many states, they are either unable to vote or they have been told that because of a felony conviction or because of some other issue, they're unable to vote even if it's not true.
But this narrative, even the false narrative, is not coming from Black people. It's not coming from defenders of the vulnerable. It's coming from the Republican Party.
And they're doing it because they win places where Black people don't vote. It's no coincidence that we're having this conversation in Georgia and that we might have this conversation in Mississippi or in Alabama.
And we're not going to have this conversation in New Hampshire or Vermont. Why? Because there isn't a whole lot of Black people there.
CABRERA: Marc Lamont Hill, always good to have your perspective. Thanks for being with us.
HILL: My pleasure.
CABRERA: Meantime, President Trump may be considering a new family separation policy at the U.S. border. How his own party is firing back. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:50:21] CABRERA: The Trump immigration policy of separating parents from their children at the border was a no-win situation. It hurt children. Families suffered. It wasn't politically popular.
The President eventually stopped it in June, but some in the Trump administration say, without evidence, the harshness of that policy helps to discourage illegal border crossings.
The President still seems to support that idea, signaling this weekend a possible return to the unpopular policy. Now, Republican Arizona Senator Jeff Flake says that would be a mistake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST: Is the President making a mistake here?
SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: Yes, he is. We shouldn't bring that policy back. That is simply un-American, and I think everybody recognized that.
The President seemed to. Certainly, the first lady and others spoke directly against it. So I hope that we don't return to that policy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: While the debate drags on, I want to take you to a tent city in the Texas desert. It is where the Trump administration has expanded its ability to hold and house migrant kids. CNN correspondent Leyla Santiago got a tour.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT TODD (voice-over): Arriving at a migrant shelter, a bus filled with Central American families released from ICE custody. A bus showing shadows of children whose little hands we would eventually see gripping their parents'.
We agreed not to show their faces as they explained why they came to the United States. This 27-year-old mother tells us gangs forced her to leave Honduras, a country plagued with violence.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SANTIAGO (on camera): So she says that the gangs wanted to recruit her son. And when she said no, they told her she had 15 days to leave the country or they would kill her boy.
RUBEN GARCIA, DIRECTOR, ANNUNCIATION HOUSE: We receive them so they don't get released to the street.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): Ruben Garcia runs Annunciation House, a migrant shelter about half an hour from Tornillo, an area where the Department of Health and Human Services houses about 1,500 teens who crossed the border without a parent. The facility has had to extend its deadline for closing and has had to expand.
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: We're out of space, unfortunately, given all of the increase in numbers.
SANTIAGO (on camera): So the immigrant advocates that we're talking about are telling us they're seeing more children, more families coming in, crossing the border. And the facilities aren't able to handle them. They don't have enough beds or places to care for them.
So we're in Tornillo at this sort of temporary tent shelter. We're going to go in and ask more questions, find out how many children are in custody and how is the administration now handling this.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): Our cameras were not allowed inside. The government provided this video.
SANTIAGO (on camera): So we spent two hours behind the gates into what is really like an entire city back there. They have their own firefighters. They have a place to worship, have a place to eat, and we actually even went into one of the tents where they live.
I could see Bibles placed on their beds, teddy bears there, every indication that these are children living here.
And when I went to the barbershop, I met a young man from El Salvador. He said he's been here for a month and 11 days. And when I asked him why he is here, why he crossed that border alone, he said he's looking for a better life.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): Another young man said he wanted to get to Houston, another to Colorado, all eager to be reunited with family.
MARK WEBER, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS FOR HUMAN SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: I would say, you know, there are multiple factors in terms why we have so many kids at this point in time. And, yes, we have added additional protections to ensure the homes that these children are going to safely and that is adding time.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): The average time for a child to stay in HHS custody, 59 days.
The reason? They say more Central American children are crossing the border, a 30 percent increase in just the last two months, the Trump administration zero tolerance policy -- it separated about 2,600 kids from their parents, though most have been reunited -- and a new requirement to fingerprint sponsors agreeing to care for the children waiting for a day in court.
The commander at Tornillo says sponsors for more than half of the children here have had fingerprints taken, but it's taking too long to get any sort of report from the FBI. For now, he says the facility is expected to keep taking care of these teens through December 31st.
GARCIA: They're risking their lives. And so you have to ask yourself, what would it take for you to risk your life and that of one of your children or several of them? What would it take? And I think that's what gets lost in all of this discussion.
[18:55:09] SANTIAGO (voice-over): In the meantime, children continue to wait to one day be released, to one day be reunited with family and try to find a better life.
Leyla Santiago, CNN, Tornillo, Texas.
CABRERA: Live pictures now from Mexico Beach, Florida, one of many cities and towns still without food, water, and power after Hurricane Michael. We'll have a live report just ahead.
Plus, just in to CNN, dozens hospitalized after a bus crashed in California. The details straight ahead.
[19:00:09] CABRERA: Hello on this Sunday. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Glad to have you with us!