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CNN NEWSROOM

Arpaio, Trump's First Pardon, Freed Felon in Racist Ad; Photos Reveal Harsh, Dangerous Conditions of Caravan's Journey; Alec Baldwin Arrested for Assault; Obama and Trump Face Off on the Campaign Trail; Trump Backpedals on Rock Throwing Remarks. Aired 2:30-3a ET

Aired November 2, 2018 - 14:30   ET

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


[14:30:00]

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Then it happened again in 2001 when George W. Bush, a Republican, was in office. "The Sacramento Bee" newspaper also found records indicating Bracamontes was in the U.S. again under President George Bush in the early 2000s.

Furthermore, he appears to have been arrested at least three times in Maricopa County, Arizona. And as you know, Brooke, that was the territory of then Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a very outspoken supporter of President Trump.

"The Bee" and other sources found Bracamontes was deported twice in those cases and once he was released. The details remain sketchy but, back in 2014, Arpaio spoke to National Public Radio and expressed regrets that Bracamontes had, quote, "slipped through the cracks" -- Brooke.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: So is it clear that Democrats are any more to blame for any of this than Republicans are?

FOREMAN: No, not at all. If you look at this thing carefully, what you can see is that not only is that not clear but it also -- if you think this is a problem, if you see this as a failing of the immigration system, both parties would bear some of the blame for that.

Beyond that, it strays further in the back side of this video into another shaky area. It implies strongly that people who are marching toward the U.S. border in this caravan we're hearing so much about represent just as much threat to the safety of Americans as Bracamontes; indeed all immigrants do. And there is no evidence such an accusation would apply to most of them.

Homeland Security says a good many have criminal histories in that caravan but it has not yet provided any proof or details -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Tom, thank you for that.

And that ad, not only the way in which President Trump is ratcheting up his anti-immigrant rhetoric, as he talks about sending as many as 15,000 troops to that U.S.-Mexico border, the president is now suggesting that those troops could shoot any migrant who throws rocks at them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. We're going to consider it. I told them to consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Never mind that the president is recommending the use of deadly force in the chaos of these large crowds of people but there are children in this caravan. And, no, they are not Americans but they are children, like 4-year-old Kamila (ph), exhausted and refusing to walk any further.

Or Maylynn (ph), who is just 18 months old.

My next guest is the photojournalist behind these powerful images, she is Carolyn Van Houten, she works for "The Washington Post." And she joins me now on the phone.

Carolyn, these are photos -- you have just taken -- you have been down there, documenting this. You have learned some of these people's stories.

You tell me who they are.

And what do you make of the way the president has characterized them?

CAROLYN VAN HOUTEN, PHOTOJOURNALIST: I feel like -- there are young men, I know a lot of what Trump has been referring to are the single young men who are traveling in the caravan. And they certainly do exist.

But the majority of the people that I've interacted with and been documenting have been families, especially families with young children, trying to either flee violence, poverty; some reference hunger, others extortion and sort of issues with gangs and then many just want a better life for their children.

BALDWIN: I want to revisit this one particular photo of that 4-year- old little girl.

Will you tell me what was happening when you took this photo of her?

VAN HOUTEN: So that morning, the caravan gathered at about 3:00 in the morning to begin walking. They had gotten two big trucks to get some of the members of the caravan, especially the women and children, further along on the journey because most days they travel about 30 miles, give or take.

And so -- but her mother, Kayla (ph), was concerned because there were hundreds of people getting shoved into these two trucks. And she didn't want her kids to be crushed or lost or hurt in any way. She decided to walk with them. And so we walked with them for several miles. And a couple of miles

in, she had been rotating because she has two kids, Samantha and Kamila (ph). And she had been trying to carry them or had friends carrying them. But Kamila did have to walk for parts of it. And just about at a point where I was really impressed that Kamila had been so good and been walking for so far, she just stopped and collapsed and started crying and refused to walk any further.

[14:35:00]

VAN HOUTEN: When her mom tried to pass Samantha over to a friend, Samantha cried because she wanted to be carried by her mom.

So Kayla actually picked them both up and carried them until they got a ride in a car, probably a mile or two down. And she's a single, 21- year-old mom. So --

BALDWIN: It's a powerful -- It's a powerful, powerful picture. Carolyn Van Houten, thank you for the images and I know you're heading back that way to cover the caravan, Thank you so much for bringing the story to light through photos. We appreciate it, from "The Washington Post" there.

Now to this boiling point, Republican congressman Steve King already under fire for racially charged comments.

What sparked this heated exchange during an Iowa town hall?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: I know you're an ambusher when you walked in the room. But there's no basis for that and you get no question and you get no answer. No, you're done.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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BALDWIN: We have some breaking news now on actor --

[14:40:00]

BALDWIN: -- Alec Baldwin. According to the New York Police Department, Baldwin has been arrested for assault just within this past hour. Of course, Baldwin is well known for his impersonation of President Trump on "Saturday Night Live."

Few details are known about the arrest, other than that the alleged assault took place downtown New York around 10th Street and police officials say Baldwin is currently being held in the 6th Precinct.

We are also just getting word that President Trump is speaking to reporters as he faces off on the trail with former President Obama. Hear what he's been saying. And all hands on deck ahead of the midterms, right?

Except for one.

Why has the first lady been a no-show on the campaign trail?

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[14:45:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Got really good Cuban sandwiches. You've got very nice looking people. So there are a lot of good reasons to come to Miami.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

OBAMA: You know, it's OK. You know, (INAUDIBLE).

Don't curse in front of the kids, come on. Don't do that in front of her. Come on.

So it's -- we're OK, we're OK, we're OK.

You know what, this is what I looked forward to, is having a few hecklers to get me back in the mood, you know. It's like I enjoy that. You always got to have a few in order to know that you're on the campaign trail. So these are all the reasons I've come down to Miami.

But the real reason I came down to Miami, because this Tuesday might be the most important election of our lifetimes. Politicians will always say that. But this time it's actually true. The stakes really are that high. The consequences of any of us staying home really are more dangerous because America's at a crossroads.

The health care of millions --

Hold on a second. Hold on a second. Sir, sir.

Hold on a second. Hold on a second. Hold on a second. Listen, here's the deal. Here's the deal. If you support the other candidates, then you should go support the other candidates. Don't be here.

I never -- one of the things I never understood was why, if you're supporting the other guy, you come to my rally?

Go to their rally. Go talk about what you're for. Don't come hollering here.

Where was I? So America's at a crossroads. The health care of millions is on the ballot, making sure working families get a fair shake is on the ballot. But maybe most of all, the character of our country is on the ballot.

In the closing weeks of this election, we have seen repeated attempts to divide us, with rhetoric designed to make us angry and make us fearful, that's designed to exploit our history of racial and ethnic and religious division, that pits us against one another, to make us believe that order will somehow be restored if it just weren't for those folks who don't look like we look or don't love like we love or pray like we do. So --

[14:50:00]

OBAMA: You know what, it's an old playbook. It's one that the powerful and the privileged turn to whenever control starts slipping away. They'll get folks riled up just to protect their power and their privilege, even when it hurts the country, even when it puts people at risk. It's as cynical as politics gets.

But in four days, in four days, Florida, you can reject that kind of politics. In four days, you can be a check on that kind of behavior. In four days, you can choose a bigger, more prosperous, more generous vision of America, an America where love and hope conquer hate, an America where we, the people --

BALDWIN: All right, so talk about what a day, dueling rallies, dueling presidents from President Obama in Florida to President Trump just speaking to reporters at the White House. Let's listen to him.

TRUMP: Thank you very much and it will be a very exciting five days. We're doing numerous trips to numerous great places, great states. And I hear we're doing very well, but we'll -- we'll let you know on Tuesday night. You'll know before I will, I suspect.

I will say that we had tremendous job numbers today. It was just released -- 250,000 new jobs created in the month of October. That was shocking for a lot of people and that was a tremendous number by any standard. And that's despite the hurricanes.

The hurricanes normally have a big impact and I'm sure these hurricanes -- they were massive -- they had a big impact. But -- so the 250,000 new jobs in October was an incredible number.

We also had a wage increase of 3.1 percent. It's like a perfect increase. It's an incredible number, but it's a perfect increase.

So the country is doing, I think, maybe you could say, better than it's ever done. We have a lot of new companies moving into the United States. And that's where we're letting people in. We're letting them in based on merit.

We need workers. We need people to come in -- at 3.7 percent, which was also announced this morning -- 250,000 jobs; 3.7 percent; and a 3.1 percent or so wage increase. It's like, really unbelievable numbers. So that just came out. I'm sure you people know about it.

QUESTION: If you lose the House, will you work with -- compromise with Nancy Pelosi and the other Democrats?

TRUMP: Sure. I would. Sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, are you really okay with the U.S. military firing on the caravan people?

TRUMP: No, they won't have to fire. What I don't want is, I don't want these people throwing rocks. It's turned out -- in fact, it was just announced by Homeland Security -- you have, in just certain areas, over 300 people that they know are trouble.

What they did to the Mexican military is a disgrace. They hit them with rocks -- some were very seriously injured. And they were throwing rocks in their face.

They do that with us, they're going to be arrested. There is going to be problems. I didn't say "shoot." I didn't say "shoot." But they do that with us, they're going to be arrested for a long time.

QUESTION: But the military can't arrest them. What's the military going to do?

TRUMP: We'll arrest them. But ICE and Border Patrol is there with the military.

QUESTION: Sir, who said you could change a constitutional amendment through an executive order?

Did Don McGahn tell you that?

TRUMP: Which are you talking about?

Who?

QUESTION: You said that you were told that you can change birthright citizenship as outlined in the Constitution.

TRUMP: You know who's going to determine that?

The Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court will -- the Supreme Court will determine that.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE).

TRUMP: The Supreme Court is going to determine that. Many, many people feel that.

Yes, go ahead.

QUESTION: Are you prepared to make a deal with China and announce it at the G20?

Or do you think that deal is not going to come together? TRUMP: We've had very good discussions with China. We're getting much closer to doing something. They very much want to make a deal. As you know, their economy went way down since we've been doing this skirmish.

I spoke with President Xi yesterday. They very much want to make a deal. I think we'll make a deal with China. And I think it'll be a very fair deal for everybody, but it will a --

[14:55:00]

TRUMP: -- good deal for the United States.

QUESTION: When will you make the deal, sir?

TRUMP: Say it?

QUESTION: Will you make it by the G20, sir?

Or when will you have the deal ready, sir?

TRUMP: Well, we're going to meet at the G20. We're going to have dinner. President Xi and I have agreed to meet at the G20. We'll be having dinner. We'll be discussing it. But I think a very good deal will be made with China. They want to make it very badly. We want to make a deal if we can. And a lot of progress has been made. A lot of progress.

And they understand that if a deal isn't made, we're doing very well the way we're doing it right now, you understand that. Two hundred and fifty billion dollars at 25 percent. And it could be elevated by another $267 billion at 25 percent or more.

So, we're doing very well, but I believe -- I know they want to make a deal. They've been hit very hard. Their economy has been very, very bad.

I will say this: If we can make the right deal for this country -- and also, they're going to make the right deal for them. If we can open up China and make it fair for the first time ever -- this should have been done years ago by other Presidents but it wasn't. I am very willing to do it. But China very much wants to make a deal.

QUESTION: Mr. President, Alec Baldwin was just arrested for punching somebody out during a parking dispute.

Any reaction to his arrest?

TRUMP: Who was arrested?

QUESTION: Alec Baldwin. He punched somebody out during a parking dispute.

TRUMP: I wish him luck.

QUESTION: Mr. President, can you clarify the statement when you said that you're going to arrest people. You're not advocating actually shooting people who are having -- throwing rocks?

Can you clear that up?

TRUMP: No, no, no, no. No. No. But if our soldiers -- or Border Patrol or ICE -- are going to be hit in the face with rocks, we're going to arrest those people. That doesn't mean shoot them. But we're going to arrest those people quickly and for a long period of time.

QUESTION: Mr. President, your executive on asylum -- how is it legal to make these kinds of changes to asylum through executive order?

TRUMP: Everything we're doing is totally legal. It's all going through the courts. But we have one of the few systems, where instead of telling people, "You can't come in," we take them in and we have to bring them through a court system. It is the most ridiculous system in the world. It's obsolete, but that's not the problem. The problem is it's a stupid system. And it doesn't work and the Democrats and the Republicans should change it immediately.

We can do it one day; we could have it fixed. But the Democrats don't want to do it because they're playing politics. And actually, I think it's very bad politics because the people of this country know what's going on better than they do.

And you know what?

We could fix our immigration system in one day if we could sit down with them. But they don't want to do it because they want open border and open borders mean crime. They want -- they want those people coming up by the thousands. And you know, honestly, they always have come up. They want them to pour into our country.

And in the group -- and you just saw the report that came out -- you have a lot of bad people. You have people that are criminals. You have people with records. You have people with criminal records.

We could fix this system so quickly, so easily. But we need some Democrat votes. Or vote all Republican. If we had more Republicans, it would be fixed immediately.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) sanctions will start on Monday. Do you think they will be -- they will come soon to the table for negotiation?

TRUMP: Say it?

QUESTION: The Iranian sanction -- oil sanction -- will start on Monday?

TRUMP: That's right, sanctions start on Iran. They're very serious sanctions. They're very big. They'll be elevated from there. But, as you know, sanctions are starting on Iran and, you know, Iran is taking a very big hit. The country is not the same country as when I started almost two years ago. Iran is a much different country since I terminated that deal. That was one of the most ridiculous deals ever made by any country, at any time: the Iran nuclear deal. But sanctions very much are elevated as of -- you know when: next week.

QUESTION: The Democrats said they had a bipartisan agreement on immigration but you won't back it.

TRUMP: The Democrats never had a bipartisan agreement. They're trying to say that. They never had a bipartisan -- then tell them to come around and see me. They had an agreement that was a one-sided agreement that I would never approve. You've got to get rid of catch- and-release. You've got to get rid of chain migration. You've got to get rid of the visa lottery. They never agreed to any of that. Ask them if they agreed. They never agreed to it.

QUESTION: So can you promise that the military is not going to fire on foreign civilians?

TRUMP: Well, I hope they won't. We're going to see. I hope they won't.

QUESTION: But you can't promise?

TRUMP: You know what?

We're not going to stand for people doing what they did to the Mexican military and to the Mexican police, what they did to those people. They were very badly hurt, very badly injured -- the military and the police. What they did with rocks being thrown in their faces -- not going to happen to our soldiers.