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President Donald Trump Call The Asylum Program A Scam; One-On- One Interview With Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ); Biden Jokes about Physical Contact in first Speech Since Allegations He Made Women Uncomfortable; Julian Castro Speaks at Campaign Rally in L.A.; Freshmen Congresswomen Call Out Blatant Sexism on Capitol Hill; Saudis Arrest 2 U.S. Citizens, Deepening Divide Between Trump & GOP. Aired 4- 5p ET

Aired April 6, 2019 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: To that, to experience judge Mitchel's transformative community and to nominate someone you think should be a CNN hero, go to right now.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for being here.

President Trump in Las Vegas right now. He just got off the stage after speaking to the Republican Jewish coalition hammering U.S. immigration policy. A policy he calls damn. And repeating again that the door to the United States is closed to families who need asylum.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They have a visa lottery, Democrats, a visa lottery - a lottery. Countries, a lottery, you picked out a name. Do you think they are putting their finest? Do you think they are putting their great people there? No. And then people come in and you see what happens with the crimes and murders, 4,000 murders last year, 4,000. How stupid can we be to put up with this? How stupid can we be?


TRUMP: And the asylum program is a scam. Some of the roughest people you have ever seen. People that look like they should be fighting for the UFC. They read a page given by lawyers that are all over the. (INAUDIBLE). They tell them what to say. You look at the sky, you say, wow. That is a tough cookie. I am very fearful for my life. I am very worried that I will be accosted if I ever sent back home. No, no, he will do the accosting.


TRUMP: Asylum. Give him asylum, he is afraid. He is afraid. We don't love the fact that he has got tattoos on his face. That is not a good sign. We don't love the fact that he is carrying the flag of Honduras or Guatemala or El Salvador only to say he is petrified to be in this country to confront this border crises I declared a national emergency. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: Our White House correspondent Boris Sanchez joins us now from Las Vegas.

Boy, it clears out fast there, Boris. The President there, we just heard, underscoring his main policy points, especially about immigration. He seemed to get a positive reception in that room. I'm curious, you know, what was that like? What was the mood? Did he win over any additional Jewish supporters?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana. The President spoke for just about an hour here in Las Vegas, speaking to the Republican Jewish coalition, their forum here. The President mostly spoke to a friendly audience. That was the larger portion that he spent really talking about, immigration, and you heard him mention UFC fighters there. That's notable considering that what we are hearing from customs and border protection and from other admission officials and agencies, is that part of the reason this national emergency is happening is because largely those coming from Central America nations are not adult males. They are actually women and children, families. That's a drastic change from what we have seen in past years. That's part of the reason that we are facing so many issues currently on the border. Still the President continued those attacks on those seeking asylum, saying that asylum-seekers are essentially pulling a con on the American immigration system.

The President specifically spoke about Israel extensively as you imagined he would, here. The President touted hits record talking about recognizing Israel sovereignty over the Golan Heights, also talking about moving the American embassy to Jerusalem and talking tough on Iran.

The President simultaneously used the opportunity to bash Democrats. At one point he asked the crowd, why in the hell would you support someone like Barack Obama, who of course famously passed the Iran nuclear deal.

The President here also going after Representative Ilhan Omar for previous comments that she made about political action committees that were pro-Israel comments that were deemed anti-Semitic in the past.

The President also went after Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, talking about the green new deal. So a lot of targets for President Trump as he tries to sway a group of voters that could be beneficial for him going into 2020. This was very clearly an early campaign rally for President Trump. And we will likely see more of this rhetoric moving forward as we get to the campaign season, Ana.

CABRERA: Boris Sanchez in Las Vegas, thank you for the report.

New today, the government mow admitting it could take up to two years to identify potentially thousands of additional immigrant families who were separated at the border as part of the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy. Now, the admission made in court documents details how the government is now planning to sit through thousands of records to try and find out where all these people are but there are some hurdles for one. The government says all the children from these group that separated families have already been released from custody.

And then there is the fact that the U.S. Customs and border protection didn't even start tracking separated families in their records before April 19th, 2018. And there is just a sheer amount of documents, 50,000 case files, making a man who will review practically impossible.

Joining us now Democratic congressman Raul Grijalva. He represents the largest stretch of the U.S. Mexico border in Arizona.

Congressman, this is where we find ourselves as the one year anniversary of the Trump administration's zero policy - zero tolerance policy as upon us (ph). Are you surprise to learn that there could be thousands of additional separated families we didn't even know about? And it could take another two years to reunite them.

[16:06:03] REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA: Unfortunately, not surprised at all. The incompetence of trying to put into practice a policy without any previous work with homeland security and their personnel, not prepared for it. It was a response to a political point the President was making.

Unfortunately, I think that the issue on the border, the issue with migrants, the issues of asylum and refugee seekers, the issue of our relationship with Mexico in that southern border is just going to worsen because as we all know, this is central, this is the engine behind the President's reelection campaign to make those issues as bad as possible and more importantly to keep them in the focus as he goes through his reelection effort.

I don't think Congress should allow that. I think Congress needs to look at real solutions and they are available to us, solutions that the administration has ignored and made the situation worse. They want this crisis to get worse.

CABRERA: I do want to hear what your solutions are. Because as we know, there has been a big increase in families and unaccompanied minors as well trying to come to the U.S. And I want you to listen to health and human services secretary Alex Azar addressing the challenges that this creates.


ALEX AZAR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: We are in a tremendous crisis at the border right now. We are getting 300 to 350 unaccompanied alien children crossing the border and referred to HHS every single day right now. These are 10, 12, 13, 15-year old kids. They are not coming with parents. They are coming across the border by themselves. And these are historic levels for us. That's a 97 percent increase in February from the previous year February. It's just not sustainable at this rate.


CABRERA: A lot of children that are involved here. He admits. We need help.

GRIJALVA: Absolutely.

CABRERA: We can't handle this. So what does Congress need to do?

GRIJALVA: And I think the pleas should be listened to. I don't disagree at all with that. But I disagree with that there's no solution by the administration including the secretary who was speaking. It's about making the situation worse and using it as campaign fodder as it go forward with the reelection effort.

I think the issue is regional processing center in the countries affected, Honduras, Salvador, Guatemala. Something Barack Obama wanted to start but was cancelled under the Trump administration. And more importantly, investing on the ports of entry and not taking staff out of their customs' staff and putting them to be doing the work of border patrol and ICE. Those have to be reinforced with personnel and with medical treatment and more immigration judges and the list goes on.

Those solutions are available. There is no solutions coming from the administration other than the calculated decision, for political reasons, to make this situation worse. I think Congress needs to step in and began to dictate what the solution should be. I think the American people want a solution. They want to see the same thing.

CABRERA: But what are they waiting for? Why isn't Congress that already?

GRIJALVA: I agree with you. I think there is an urgency here. And the American people got to see that we are looking for solutions and my party in particular and in the House of Representatives. And I think that's the business we should be concentrating on.

CABRERA: The President once again today offering a blunt message to migrants coming to the U.S. Take a listen.


TRUMP: So Congress must catch and release so that illegal border crossings can be quickly and safely returned to their home. Get out. Sorry, get out. Sorry, can't handle it. And I told my people yesterday, our country is full. We are full. Our system is full, our country is full. You can't come in. Our country is full. What can you do? We can't handle anymore. Our country is full. You can't come in, I'm sorry.


[16:10:00] CABRERA: I mean, he said it over and over again, our country is full. You represent a border district in Arizona. To your knowledge, are we out of room?

GRIJALVA: We are not out of room. The issue is the rhetoric the President used at this particular conference has been consistent for 18 months is to dehumanize the situation at the border. And to make - and by dehumanizing that you make the people less that. I think that's the fundamental problem. We should be talking about trying to fix a system that is broken and find solutions. So I think that is the step ahead. Because this President is not going to find a solution. He wants to make the situation worse so that it will help him with him reelection campaign. We shouldn't allow that to happen.

CABRERA: The President says Ron Vitiello is not the guy to lead ICE. He has been in an acting capacity. He was the President's nominee, but then the President unexpectedly pulled his nomination just yesterday. And here was his explanation for doing that.


TRUMP: We are going in a little different direction. Ron is a good man but we are going in a tougher direction. We want to go in a tougher direction.


CABRERA: A tougher direction. What do you think he means by that?

GRIJALVA: As stated earlier when we first began, talking that the situation is going to get worst. And he wants someone that is going to follow his direction without any question. And obviously, the border patrol union leadership was not happy with the interim. And I'm sure the next person will have their blessing.

CABRERA: Now Vitiello is controversial to begin with, in part because of his tough stances, in part he wouldn't rule out future family separations at the border. Do you think your Republican colleagues would confirm someone who is considered tougher than that?

GRIJALVA: I would hope not. And I think the Senate has to understand that part of finding solutions is beginning to turn down some of these recommendations that only going to make the crisis. And it is a crisis that has been manufactured at the border by Trump, that crisis even worse, and the jeopardy that it gives to our country in terms of security, human rights, and economic -- is something that's going to affect every American in this country, not just the border.

CABRERA: Congress Raul Grijalva, it was great talking to you this afternoon. Thank you.

GRIJALVA: Thank you very much.

CABRERA: A New York man is now facing charges today, accused of threatening to assault and kill Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Court records reveal that threats were made during a phone call to the freshman representative's office in Washington last month. The caller allegedly threatened to murder Omar because she is Muslim.

CNN correspondent Polo Sandoval is joining us now.

Polo, what more do we know about these threats?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, this has been an investigation that's been ongoing for quite some time here, Ana. Obviously, we should remember that Minnesota congresswoman Omar, she has drawn controversy for several of her comments since coming to Congress and certainly would ever justifies him like this.

She is sort of one of two Muslim women who are first to serve in Congress. And according to prosecutors who are managing this case, following this case, it was staff in her Washington D.C. office who initially receive this threatening phone call back on March 21st. It was a man on the other line who identified himself as Patrick Carlineo Jr. He reportedly asked staff, do you work for the Muslim brotherhood? Why are you working for her? And then according to court documents, he then proceeded to call representative Omar a terrorist and threatened her life.

What is interesting here, Ana, is charging documents also states that not only did he literally spell out his name during the call, but he also even provided contact information, would certainly would have been extremely helpful for federal authorities who were investigating this. Eventually, they tracked him down at his home in western New York. And it was during a March 29th interview and that Carlineo claimed to be a quote "patriot" and someone who, according to its court records, loves the President and hated who he believes to be radical Muslims working in the government.

Carlineo is scheduled for a detention hearing, Ana, Wednesday. CNN has reached out to both his lawyer and a friend of his, but we are still waiting to hear back. But we are also hearing from members of the Muslim community particularly civil rights groups in the Muslim community, CAIR, here in New York which is a Council on American- Islamic Relations.

And the executive director there releasing a statement just a few moments ago writing that the rising threat of Islamophobia and white supremacy must be taken seriously. He goes on to write that we are thankful that law enforcement tracked this individual down before he could act on his hatred for Muslims. CAIR is saying that it truly the political environment, according to them, normalization hate speech. And also it has emboldened certain individuals to express themselves in this way, in a dangerous way. But again this investigation still ongoing, still trying to contact both his attorneys and also will be monitoring this hearing scheduled for him on Wednesday.

[16:15:00] CABRERA: All right. Thank you, Polo.

SANDOVAL: Thanks, Ana.

More on our top story this hour, the President doubling down on his claim that the United States is full and can't take any more migrants in. We will discuss that.

Plus former vice president Joe Biden cracking jokes about the claims he inappropriately touched women, but not apologizing causing some to ask, is he taking the allegation seriously?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:19:28] CABRERA: President Trump doubling down this afternoon on his new even harder-line tone towards immigrants at our southern border. The President, speaking in Las Vegas, called the asylum program a scam.


TRUMP: So Congress must stand catch and release so that illegal border crossers can be quickly and safely returned to their home. Get out. Sorry, get out. Sorry, can't handle it. And I told my people yesterday our country is full. We are full. Our system is full. Our country is full. You can't come in. Our country is full. What can you do? We can't handle any more. Our country is full. Can't come in. I'm sorry.


[16:20:10] CABRERA: Let's bring in Scott Jennings, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush and former Michigan governor, Jennifer Granholm.

Good to have both of you with us.

Scott, the President call the asylum program a scam. He says the country is full, in front of the Republican Jewish coalition. Did he take a moment to read the room he was walking into? After all, mega donor Sheldon Adelson's wife's family, they died in the holocaust.

SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Yes. And I think the President needs to make clear that we are full when it comes to people who are coming to the United States for the wrong reasons. If you are MS-13, if you are coming here to break laws, if you are coming here for really illegitimate purposes, yes, we are full. We are beyond full. But I like to think about what the President said at the state of the union when she was talking about an increase in legal immigration. People who want to come here to work. People who want to come here for the right reasons. So I think --.

CABRERA: But that was way, way, way long time ago. I mean, we are talking months ago, Scott, and he has been doubling, tripling, quadrupling down on America is full. No more immigrants. He didn't - he didn't specify who or which groups he is talking about.

JENNINGS: Well, he is certainly specified that he doesn't want people coming here who are in gangs, who are bringing drugs.


JENNINGS: -- who are doing human trafficking. And --. CABRERA: But that's not what he is saying here. He is talking about

asylum seekers today, in fact.

JENNINGS: And there were news reports this week that Jared Kushner was in fact working on the President's legal immigration plan. I hope that's true because I think that we can do both. We can keep out the people we don't want. And we can bring in the people who legitimately want to be in the United States for good purposes.

CABRERA: Governor, what are your thoughts?

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I mean, first of all, as Scott knows, seeking asylum is legal. It's legal to seek asylum. That is a mechanism we have in this country that is consistent with all international order, but also the values that are embodied on the statue of liberty. Sending me your teaming tired mass as yearning to breathe free. The (INAUDIBLE) of your teaming shore. That is who we have been as a country.

To say we are full, so are we going to shut the border to Canada? Are we going to stop flights in from other countries that are carrying immigrant? I know Scott is not saying that, but the President seems to be saying that.

Scott worked for President Bush who was much more thoughtful about immigration than this President has been. And let's just say one very quickly, the reason why there is right now a humanitarian crisis at the border is because of the conditions, of course in Guatemala, El Salvador and in Honduras.

That northern triangle, we should be doing for them what we did in Colombia which is to help get rid of the Medellin (ph) cartel, which was to help in vast in law enforcement. And there's a Senate bill right now that has been sponsored by Senator Menendez and Senator Carper, which I think Republicans should agree to, too, which would allow people to seek asylum in their home country, which would build up our embassies in those countries, which would increase law enforcement to be able to get rid of human traffickers, drug traffickers, et cetera.

We have done this. We have seen the playbook before. We can replicate it. But cutting off aid is cutting off the ability of us to address in problem and exacerbates the humanitarian crisis at the border.

CABRERA: And now we have learned it could take two years for the U.S. to identify potentially thousands of families who are separated at the southern border.

Scott, what is your reaction to that?

JENNINGS: Well, my heart is broken for the families. I didn't like the separation policy when it was implemented. I said at the time, I think with you, Ana, that I thought they would rue the day since they implemented this policy. I think it has haunted them ever since. I hope we get these families back together as soon as we can. And I hope we send them home as soon as we can or permit the people into the country if they are here for legal and lawful purposes.

I agree with the governor, by the way. I think people coming here for legitimate asylum purposes, we should take them in. We should do what we have always done as the United States. And that's take people in who are here for legitimate purposes. What a lot of Republicans are worried about is that there are people

who take advantage of us and there are people who come here for illegitimate purposes, for criminal purposes. And a lot of Republicans on Capitol Hill, the rank-and-file voters out in the middle of the country are worried that we are not able to separate these two groups. And so, I think the President's response to this is not as nuanced as it ought to be, but I do think the politician in Washington should understand that voters have real concerns that people are taking advantage of us when they are not coming here for good purpose.

CABRERA: Let's talk about --. Go ahead.

GRANHOLM: And Ana, can I just jump in on this?

Just a quick response to that. Democrats don't want criminals coming in or MS-13 coming in either. But we do want to see a legitimate process. So if the President would increase the number of judges at the border so we can determine who the wheat from the chaff, who is here legitimately and who is not, these are -- the majority of these are women and families who are coming and seeking to be safe because they are being terrorized back home, but let's have a process. The President isn't investing in that process.

[16:25:28] CABRERA: Let's switch topics for a minute guys. I want to talk about the fight over the President's taxes. Trump has lawyered up. He says he is ready to take the fight to the Supreme Court. An administration official telling CNN this is a hill they are willing to die on.

Scott, is that smart?

JENNINGS: Well, I think the President should resist. It is not part of our law that he has to turn over his taxes. So if that's how he feels, he should use all the leverage that would be available to any private citizen or any person to protect their personal information. However, I have thought for some time, there's a high likelihood that he is going to lose this fight in one avenue or another, and so they should be prepared for that day.

I think if you are running for president in 2020, and I think this applies to Bernie Sanders as much as Donald Trump, you should be prepared to show your taxes to the American people.

I would say the Democrats trying to use IRS here to get at Donald Trump's taxes thought, the smock of using a government agency to try to go after your political enemies. I think a lot of Americans are going to be nervous about that, but I guess we will see what the courts have to say about it when it gets litigated.

CABRERA: Right. And that could take some time, I'm told, when we just spoke with the legal expert last hour.

Governor, is a hill Democrats are willing to die on?

GRANHOLM: Absolutely. You know, in addition to what was stated in the letter from Chairman Neil to the IRS, demanding or asking for him to release these taxes. And by the way, as yew legal experience super pointed out code 6103-f says that the secretary shall turn it over. It does not make any qualifications about that.

The only qualification is if he turns it over, then Congress, because it specifically mentions a particular taxpayer, i.e. the president, should take it into account in a closed setting. So that's perfectly fine. But there is no other out. So there is - every candidate.

I agree with Scoot. Every candidate should release their taxes. The President is the one who has been saying that he has been under audit for years. It's a perfectly appropriate authority for the ways and means committee to evaluate whether in fact the President has been under audit for years. And by the way, that particular provision which was adopted in the '20s was adopted in the wake of the teapot- dome scandal, specifically because Congress has oversight authority over the President and the executive branch. They are just exercising their authority.

CABRERA: Scott Jennings and Jennifer Granholm, thank you both. Good to see you.

JENNINGS: Thank you.

GRANHOLM: You bet.

CABRERA: Former vice President Joe Biden making jokes about allegations of inappropriate touching. He is not apologizing either? So how will that fly with voters as he molds the potential 2020 bet?


[16:32:44] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: The 2020 election battle lines are being drawn this afternoon on the campaign trail. But the big story is about the man who is not officially running yet. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the would-be 2020 front runner, getting plenty of criticism for joking about his past conduct that made women feel uncomfortable. Several women say Biden touched them in a way they felt was inappropriate, on their hair or on their shoulders during public appearances in the past few years.

I want to point out, earlier this week, both President Trump and Biden were freely treating questions about Biden's conduct around women as a joking matter. Trump openly mocking Biden's Twitter video response that tackled the thorny topic.

Ad here is how Biden responded in his first public speech after the allegations emerged.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want you to know I had permission to hug Lonnie.


BIDEN: I don't want you to have to stand all alone.


BIDEN: By the way, he gave me permission to touch him.


CABRERA: Biden has not officially apologized for his conduct. He said he's sorry for how it was perceived but not apologizing for his intentions were, he says.

Let's get to CNN national political reporter, Maeve Reston.

Maeve, you've talked to voters there about Biden's handling of these women's allegations. How are people reacting?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: It's so interesting, Ana. Obviously, they're here at a Julian Castro rally. There's a lot of interest in Biden as candidate. He is a very potential strong contender in California. And all of the women I've spoken to say both the allegations and the joke were not a disqualifier, as far as they were concerned. They were glad that he's actually talking about it. Several of them said they thought the joke yesterday was in poor taste, but they pointed out the point of the #metoo movement was to get men talking about the behaviors. And a lot of them said they saw a distinction between Joe Biden's invasions of personal space versus assault, battery, the kinds of things we were talking about during the #metoo movement. So a lot of them still strongly interested in his. And saying that maybe jokes are not a good idea, because it shows some insensitivity to that. Really interesting response.

[16:35:15] CABRERA: We see Julian Castro speaking behind you. You've reported on the growing influence of Hispanic voters in 2020. And the Pew Research Center projecting, in 2020, Hispanics will be the strongest minority group among eligible voters for the first time, edging out African-Americans. Maeve, how is Castro and other 2020 candidates trying win over younger Hispanic voters and to distinguish themselves from others on immigration issues?

RESTON: Ana, Castro is here in east L.A.., the heart of the Latino community in Los Angeles. He's talking about his own personal journey. How his ancestors came across the border. You hear him speaking in Spanish behind me now. And he's here to talk about his immigration plan, what he would do about the family separations at the border, what he would do about Trump's policies. And he's really looking to connect with his own personal story and the fact he's the only Latino running in this race so far. So making a strong play here in California is his second or third visit here already, because California will have their primary much earlier next year on March 3rd. So that's clearly part of his strategy -- Ana?

CABRERA: Maeve Reston in Los Angeles for us. Thank you, Maeve

Many things have changed in the halls of Congress, but there's one thing that has stayed the same. It has some freshmen women on Capitol Hill saying enough is enough. CNN's Sunlen Serfaty has the story.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, (D), NEW YORK: It's systemic and it has an impact.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New freshmen members of Congress are pulling back the curtain on what many see as a pervasive culture of sexism on Capitol Hill.

REP. KATIE HILL, (D), CALIFORNIA: I would say it's archaic. You say high, and they say hey, beautiful, hey, darling, and that is just like every day.

SERFATY: California Democrat Katie Hill revealing a conversation she had with a male member of Congress about one-minute speeches on the House floor. He joked to her he can be a Mr. Five-minute man or whatever Mr. Man you want.

HILL: I'm like, oh. People need to know you can't say that kind of thing.

SERFATY: These freshmen coming in with record-breaking numbers say they are confronting what needs to be change by calling out the old ways directly.

HILL: he only way to be broken down is by seeing women as your peers, and having those behaviors not be accepted.

SERFATY: Georgia Democrat Lucy McBath facing comments from outside the capital, sexist attacks from this conservative radio show.

UNIDENTIFIED RADIO SHOW HOST: You're there to knock Lucy McBath back into --


UNIDENTIFIED RADIO SHOW HOST: Yes, go back to sewing stuff and needlepoint, that would be great.

REP. LUCY MCBATH, (D), GEORGIA; I laughed. I thought this is so archaic, these kinds of sentiments about women.

SERFATY: McBath firing back and raising money off of it online.

MCBATH: It just fuels the fire for me and all the numbers of women and grass-roots organizers that are women that have been standing up.

SERFATY: New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been no stranger of hitting back when criticism of her work attire spread online like wildfire within her first few days on Capitol Hill. She was quick label pictures being taken of her clothes and back side as misogyny.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Those little things add up to a larger culture but I do think things are different now, because we feel empowered to call it out and say, hey, that's not cool.

SERFATY: A huge part of that empowerment, their very powerful social media platforms these women are weaponizing as they call out bias.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Highlighting a lot of the stuff that we've been dealing with that hasn't been OK, but we've just been told to grin and bear it.


CABRERA: Sunlen Serfaty reporting for us.

[16:39:11] Just six months after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia detains two American. And it's not the only country to target U.S. citizens overseas lately. We'll take a look, next.


CABRERA: Saudi Arabia has arrested two American citizens, a move many are seeing as a direct snub to the U.S. Congress. Their detention now shoved the president's relationship with the Saudi kingdom back into the spotlight, a relationship that has historically driven a wedge between President Trump and his own party.

CNN diplomatic correspondent, Michelle Kosinski, has more -- Michelle?


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. The State Department at this point can't say much about the Americans arrested in Saudi Arabia. They confirm there are two Americans but, for privately reasons, we don't know a lot of details about what exactly the State Department is doing to try to get them released.

The Saudis are making clear they are willing to start rounding up dissidents and activists again. One of them is a woman in the late stages of pregnancy.

(voice-over): If you thought the brutal murder of "Washington Post" columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, by Saudi officials would keep the crown prince on his best behavior for a while, it didn't last long. Now the kingdom has rounded up a group of activists, including two American citizens, journalists, and a physician. Seven in total according to CNN's sources under arrest. All writers and bloggers interested in social reforms and women's rights in the latest Saudi crackdown.

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: Don't give up, don't despair. We will not.

KOSINSKI: Just this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to family members of hostages.

POMPEO: I want you all to know I'm not here to instill any false hope. Sometimes our best is simply not enough.

[16:45:08] KOSINSKI: The Trump administration has made some energetic efforts to get some home, more than a dozen in the last two years. And some tough cases. Finally freed from North Korea, Venezuela, Egypt, the Coleman family from Pakistan, Pastor Brunson from Turkey.

The president clearly revels in these successes, but still many nations remain undeterred to arrest more Americans, both friends and foes, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia, China, Iran.

Not long after Trump publicly said the arrest of a Chinese telecom executive on U.S. charges might help in trade talks in China, as if this was politically motivated, CNN learned there are now multiple American residents believed held in China's vast internment camps.

REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY & DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Because Trump is showing disdain for the respect for the rule of law, there won't be any repercussions if they do the same.

KOSINSKI: Some analysts say the administration has been inconsistent.

KIRBY: The administration, while doing well in some areas, has not done well in others. Therefore, has a mixed reputation.

KOSINSKI: For example, not yet opening a hostage-only communications channel with Iran. A former administration official says the U.S. has been assisting with the release of five Americans held there need to be released before discussion of anything else, a stance some experts feel won't worked.

Trump's refusals to hold North Korean's Kim Jong-Un responsible for Otto Warmbier's death -

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He tells me he didn't know about it, and I take him at his word.

KOSINSKI: -- or the Saudi crown prince for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, sends a message that some things, no matter how brutal, can be explained away for those at the top.

(on camera): Just this week, the State Department indicated they may start trying to talk to Iran again about hostages specifically.

As far Americans detained around the world, it's tough to know how many there are. Some aren't made public. Some are just detained for a short amount of time. But top experts on this subject tell us the best estimates they go by are currently about 3,000 Americans are held globally, and about 100 of those are considered hostages -- Ana?


CABRERA: Michelle, thank you.

A new warning for new parents. The Consumer Products Safety Commission and Fisher-Price says stop using in this Rock and Play immediately if your baby can roll over. Since 2015, 10 infants have died after rolling from their backs to their stomach or side while unrestrained in one of these seats. The warning does not elaborate on what caused the baby's death. The commission and Fisher-Price are recommending parents stop using the sleeper once their child is 3 months old or exhibits rollover capabilities. The spokeswoman says, if it turns out it needs to be recalled, we will move forward with that.

As we go to break, a quick programming note. Check out the CNN original series "TRICKY DICK," exploring Richard Nixon's rise, fall, incredible comeback and political disruption featuring never-before- seen footage. The series continues tomorrow night at 9:00.


[16:52:43] CABRERA: He'll never stop. "Rolling Stones" front man, Mick Jagger, says he's feeling much better now. Thanking fans on Twitter. Jagger also thanked hospital staff after undergoing what was treatment for a heart valve replacement. The band postponed their latest North American tour as Jagger recovers. No word just yet on any new dates.

The latest book about President Trump isn't about chaos in the White House. It's about his golf game and how cheating is apparently par for the course.

CNN's Jeanne Moos reports.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's enough to make an avid golfer feel like he's landed in a sand trap, trapped just hearing the title.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Command-in-Cheat."

MOOS: The author giving all those interviews.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He cheats like a mafia accountant. You like to say Donald Trump cheats at golf, it's like you saying Michael Phelps swims. He cheats at the highest level.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Golf is like bicycle shorts. It reveals a lot about a guy.

MOOS: Bicycle shorts are one presidential revelation we can live without.

(on camera): This will tee off the president. Over 250 pages accusing him of cheating at his beloved sport.

(voice-over): Others, like Samuel L. Jackson, have said they've seen President Trump cheat.

SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR: We saw him hit a ball, hook a ball into a lake.

MOOS: But somehow, his caddy found it.

JACKSON: He took off running, I got it, Mr. Trump.

MOOS: But this is a book filled with examples.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He actually did cheat Tiger Woods. You know, he kicks the ball out of rough so many times, the caddies call him Pele.

MOOS: The soccer great.

But forget the president's feet.

TRUMP: These hands hit a golf bought 285 yards. Look at these hands.


TRUMP: I actually said I was the best golfer of all the rich people.

I know how to win. I've won. These people will tell you. Have I won many club championships?

MOOS: Eighteen championships by his own count.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm like, you liar! Because you told me how you did it when I played with you.

MOOS: Author, Rick Riley, demolishes Trump's 2.8 handicap. The lower the better, but experts say he's probably a nine.

Online, the president was compared to Goldfinger, hitting the ball into the rough, then having Odd Job drop a new ball down his pants for better positioning.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: If that's his original ball, I'm Arnold Palmer.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I'm standing on it.

[16:55:00] MOOS: And 007's solution was to counter cheat.

Cheating at golf doesn't rise to the level of accusations about Russia, but it tees up this tweet, "There was no collusion with my caddy."

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CABRERA: President Trump on the attack after just wrapping up a speech in Las Vegas. On his list of tarts, asylum seekers and two Democratic freshmen lawmakers. How was his message received? You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go anywhere.


CABRERA: Thanks for being here. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York.

We begin this hour with the president's latest attack line in his fight for a border wall, mocking asylum seekers, vilifying citizens from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and declaring the United States as, quote, "full."


[17:00:06] TRUMP: So Congress must end Catch-and-Release so that illegal border crossers can be quickly and safely returned to their home.