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Kushner Prepares to Submit Immigration Plan to Trump; Interview with 2020 Hopeful Julian Castro; Kamala Harris: Hiring Women of Color a "Focus" of Campaign. Aired on 7-8p ET

Aired April 24, 2019 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Kylie Atwood, good reporting. Thank you very much. Let's get those Americans home. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, President Trump insisting he's the most transparent president in history. So then why is he going to war with Democrats vowing to fight every subpoena? Plus, breaking news, Hillary Clinton speaking out tonight about the Mueller report and warning of what she calls an urgent threat. Plus, why is President Trump's embattled pick for the Federal Reserve now comparing himself to Brett Kavanaugh. Let's go out front.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan in for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, it's war. President Trump taking his fight with congressional Democrats to new heights vowing to fight every subpoena sent his way.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're fighting all of the subpoenas. Look, these aren't like impartial people. The Democrats are trying to win 2020. The only way they can look out is by constantly going after me on nonsense.


BOLDUAN: Well, what the President calls nonsense the Democrats call oversight. And tonight they're gearing up to make their case in court, basically, as the administration stonewalls them at every turn. Today, the Justice Department announced it won't let the House question an official about why a citizenship question was added to the census. The White House also is fighting subpoenas related to Trump's financial records, White House security clearances and the Mueller report.

The Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Elijah Cummings, he's accusing the administration of, quote, massive unprecedented obstruction now. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office is responding this way, "This level of secrecy should alarm all Americans." And yet at the same time the President adds this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I have been the most transparent president and administration

in the history of our country by far.


BOLDUAN: By far, the most transparent in history. This is a president who hides his tax returns, doesn't release them, at least. White House visitor logs. His phone calls with world leaders and he refused to sit down with Bob Mueller. And let's not forget the fact that today is the 44th day without a press briefing from the White House, that is a record and the President's Defense Department and State Department are also dialing back briefings.

In fact, next month will be one year since a pentagon spokesperson briefed the press on camera. That is not transparency. Something the President if he doesn't care about sure talks about a lot.


TRUMP: President Obama is the least transparent president in the history of this country. There's never been anything like it.


BOLDUAN: Never. Well, there's definitely been a lot of history made with this current president, being the most transparent he is so clearly not. Kaitlan Collins is out front live at the White House for us tonight. Kaitlan, the President is digging in though against Democrats tonight.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He is, Kate. This is essentially what they meant when they said power struggle. You're now seeing the White House pushback on congressional Democrats and their request at essentially every turn and that is leading us to see where the President is essentially digging in on this fight with Democrats and they say they see little downside to any of this happening.

Now, sources we spoke with say that the President essentially had been waiting for so long for the Robert Mueller's investigation to end that he did not fully realize just how much Democrats were going to pick up right where he left off. And now White House official said they don't see a problem with what the president is doing saying today what we've been reporting behind the scenes for the last several days and they are going to fight back with these subpoenas.

But, Kate, Democrats tonight are not so sure. They say that what the President's latest efforts are regarding their request could actually lead more members in their party toward supporting potential into impeachment proceedings. Something the President said today that if the Democrats do try to impeach him, he's going to take it to the Supreme Court though those proceedings start and end with Congress. Now, one Democratic Member, Gerry Connolly, said that he believes seeing that the White House is blocking their request at every single turn could change the landscape as far as it relates to impeachment.

BOLDUAN: And we're going to see some movement on this very quickly. It's good to see you, Kaitlan. Thank you so much. Out front tonight, Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell. He's a Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, the tax writing committee in the House of Representatives. Congressman, it's good to see you. Thanks for coming in. The President said today that he is going to fight ...

REP. BILL PASCRELL (D-NJ): Thank you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: ... every subpoena coming from the House. You can assume that would also include anything regarding his taxes. So if they've blown through two deadlines already when it comes to your committee and his tax returns, any chance that you are going to be able to avoid going to court over this?

[19:04:51] PASCRELL: Well, we choose not to go to court but if the President is going to insist on defying us and the administration is going to do the same, we might have to consider that, obviously. We've had two letters sent directly to the commissioner of the IRS, providing oversight over that. The IRS is under the Ways and Means just as much as it's a part of the Treasury Department and we're going to follow through.

What is so ironic, Kate, is that on April 19th 2014 when the Republicans had the majority, they were in control of the Ways and Means Committee. Therefore, they had the Chairman name you will remember. That name was Paul Ryan. And he said interestingly on the day when they were looking into 50 different individual tax returns, he said on the day of April the 19th that the separation of powers is a deeply held tradition that makes our government work in a way that gives confidence to the citizens of this country that they are treated fairly and that's what this is all about.

Here's what I want to know, Kate, I pay my fair share. I'm sure you do too. I want to know if the President does it. Every one of the presidents for the five decades before us have submitted their tax returns for the American people to review. They don't put it on public television, they don't put it on the radio. There is a process. We're going through that process.


PASCRELL: Confidentiality will be respected under 6103 of the tax code.

BOLDUAN: But let me ask you this --

PASCRELL: The President ...

BOLDUAN: Let me ask about the process.

PASCRELL: ... does not have the law on his side.

BOLDUAN: Let me ask you about this process because --

PASCRELL: I'm sorry.

BOLDUAN: Let me ask you about the process. PASCRELL: Sure.

BOLDUAN: So two deadlines, those have gone past. The Treasury Secretary has now said that he's going to respond in some way shape or form by May 6th. Why wait? I mean are you going to wait until then to make your next move as a committee?

PASCRELL: I believe that we've had a methodical approach to this. Our Chairman Richard Neal has done a great job making sure that we've dotted the Is and cross the Ts. We have good legal counsel right now which we didn't have when we took over the House. It's taken us a month and a half to gear up to get the people in the right places to ask the right questions.

So when you ask me why is it going to take so long, well, this is the third letter. Look, that's a cumbersome task if you want and you believe in the checks and balance system, you got to go through that cumbersome task and it would be well worth it. We need to have checks and balances and that's what we're going to have. We're going to follow the law. The law is on our side.

BOLDUAN: Even if the law is on your side ...

PASCRELL: And as President said --

BOLDUAN: ... even if the law is on your side.


BOLDUAN: Do you think that what the President is doing right now is trying to run out the clock? I mean either slow walking it so it gets to the point where the President is either not in office or after the election?

PASCRELL: He wants to extend this as long as possible, Kate, so he doesn't have to answer questions. But the day is going to come. As I said in 2017 when we started this, February 1st, I've started a review. I've asked for a review. I've asked - I went on the floor of the House. I went into Ways and Means Committee.

Someday this is going to come out. Wouldn't we be better off working together to do this? The Republicans chose not to do this. They chose not to go in a bipartisan way and I'm sorry.

BOLDUAN: The President said something today, Congressman. He said that he assumes that the Special Counsel during their investigation obtained his tax returns already, during the course of the investigation. Let me play for our viewers what the President said today.


TRUMP: They checked my financials and they checked my taxes, I assume. It was the most thorough investigation probably in the history of our country.


BOLDUAN: There's no mention --

PASCRELL: The Mueller report has absolutely ...

BOLDUAN: That's what I was going to say.

PASCRELL: ... nothing to do with this.

BOLDUAN: In 448 pages, there is no mention of this in the Mueller report that the public had seen at least of it.

PASCRELL: Unlike the President --

BOLDUAN: Do you have any indication that actually happened?

PASCRELL: I agree. No. Unlike the President, I read the report. All pages. It was brought to my home the evening when it was made public. I read those pages. You can put on one finger maybe how much is written about the finances. We have not had a thorough review of the President's finances and as early as 2011 long before he announced that he was going to run for President, he said that he would make them available.

He said it in 2016 as well during the campaign, chapter and verse, he's chosen not to do it. What is he hiding? I want to know what the President of the United States is hiding from the American people.

BOLDUAN: And if nothing --

PASCRELL: I pay my share ...

BOLDUAN: And if nothing ...

PASCRELL: You pay your share.

BOLDUAN: ... if you see it and nothing ...

PASCRELL: Let's see if he does.

BOLDUAN: ... if you see the tax returns and he's not hiding anything, you're ready to move on.

[19:09:54] PASCRELL: Absolutely. No one accuse the President. I haven't. I've been to the well 18 times. Let's put the facts on the table. That's how we decide it. And we don't do it for public viewing until there is an actual vote within the committee to make part of it or none of it public. So he is barking up the wrong tree. We're not going to go away.

BOLDUAN: Sure doesn't seem like it. Congressman, thank you so much for coming in. I appreciate it.

PASCRELL: My honor.

BOLDUAN: Out front for us next, one official telling CNN it's like pulling teeth to get the White House to pay attention to Russia's attempts to meddle in 2020. Why? Plus, the President's embattled Federal Reserve pick, Stephen Moore, slamming the media for digging up his controversial comments about women in the past.


STEPHEN MOORE, TRUMP'S FEDERAL RESERVE PICK: You know, they're pulling a Kavanaugh against me and so I've got --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course they are.


BOLDUAN: Is that really the case? And Jared Kushner is now just days away from releasing the administration's latest immigration plan. But what exactly is preparing to unveil?


[19:14:39] BOLDUAN: The breaking news, Hillary Clinton speaking out tonight on the Mueller report and also issuing a warning about the 2020 election. Writing in The Washington Post, this in part, "The Mueller report isn't just a reckoning about our recent history; it's a warning about the future. Unless checked, the Russians will interfere again in 2020, and possibly other adversaries, such as China or North Korea, will as well. This is an urgent threat."

This is as we are learning, then Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen grew frustrated with the White House's lack of engagement on election security and The New York Times is reporting that when Nielsen tried to talk to the President about Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 election, she was told by the Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney not to bring it up.

Mulvaney even saying according to an official that it wasn't a great subject and should be kept below his level. Out front now, one of the New York Times correspondents who broke this story, David Sanger, and former Assistant Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama, Juliette Kayyem, and White House Correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, April Ryan. Guys, thanks for being here.

David, so Hillary Clinton is now warning about the threat of Russia to the 2020 election, why do you think that President Trump and his aides are obviously appear so reluctant to address this head-on?

DAVID SANGER, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: OK, I think the reluctance is actually the President himself and I think it's been pretty clear since the first moments after he was elected that he is concerned that any admission of Russian interference in the election what he has periodically called the Russia hoax calls into question the legitimacy of his election. I'm not sure that's necessarily true. We didn't see any evidence either in the Mueller report or anything else that we've seen that had the Russians stayed out that the results would have been any different, although there are many people who believe you can't have that many impressions on Facebook.

I think the Mueller report said 126 million Americans saw at least one of the fake ads without having some effects, but it's hard to measure it. But the key to this is that Secretary Nielsen recognizing that a good deal of what DHS does is work on civilian cyber defense who's trying to get everybody ready for 2020 to which we're already a little bit late if we're only making our preparations now and we never, of course, had a 9/11 style commission to figure out what lessons should be learned from 2016 and how they apply to the next presidential election.

And what she was essentially told was go do what you need to do but just don't bring this up in front of the president because it will result in the usual reaction.

BOLDUAN: And that is the thing that I just don't get, Juliette. One U.S. government official told CNN that it was like pulling teeth to get the White House to pay attention to the issue. How concerning is it if the White House does not think that a hostile foreign power interfering in the U.S. election does not reach the level of presidential attention?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: And the question is whose level does it reach because as noted in David's excellent article, there were structural changes made at the National Security Council which also had an impact on the extent to which we would focus on Russia hacking. For one, the homeland security adviser which used to be equal to the National Security adviser was demoted a couple of ranks down. Most of us can't even name him now.

And the second is that John Bolton got rid of the cybersecurity official or the cybersecurity post. So you had a structural change as well to cater to Trump's concern. I've worked in two agencies. I worked at the Department of Justice in the 1990s and then more recently at the Department of Homeland Security. To get something done requires White House focus and to get it done effectively when it's a hostile foreign power not only requires but demands a White House centralized all the efforts.

And well we know that the President has this sort of psychological response to mentioning anything having to do with Russia impact, I'm going to say the quiet parts out loud now because that's where I am now after the Mueller report. The president at the very least is acquiescing to Russia influence in 2020 and at worst welcomes it, because everything I've seen since the Mueller report has come out whether it's Giuliani statements saying it's OK, whether it's Jared Kushner statements saying is only a couple of Facebook ads or Trump's insistence that it actually did not happen makes me believe that we are in for a welcome party for the Russians in 2020.

BOLDUAN: Juliette mentioned Jared Kushner, April, let me play for our viewers what Jared Kushner did say about really downplaying this whole thing. Listen to this.


Russia did, buying some Facebook ads and trying to sow dissent and do it. And it's a terrible thing, but I think the investigations and all of the speculation that's happened for the last two years has had a much harsher impact on our democracy than a couple of Facebook ads. Now, if you look at the magnitude of what they did and what they accomplished, I think the ensuing investigations have been way more harmful to our country.


[19:19:48] BOLDUAN: In a couple of Facebook ads. I mean honestly the estimates are on Facebook there are 80,000 posts between 2015 and 2017. And as David mentioned reaching 126 million users. I mean is there - I do wonder if you think there is - you know the White House, is there any way that those comments coming from Jared Kushner or him shooting from the hip or do we assume that that is a prevailing view now?

APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: That's a prevailing view within the White House, Kate. What's happening is that this administration doesn't want to give the Russians any life as it relates to their interference in the 2016 elections as well as the midterms, which we know and this White House knows that they were trying to sway. So the bottom line is that Jared Kushner is sounding like his father-in-law, a party of one he's playing too but at the same time you never know he really may feel this.

This is what they're trying to bring over, push over the top for everyone to see. They don't want to give the Russia investigation any more life than what it had, so that's one of the reasons why they're going to downplay it, particularly Jared Kushner. The first son-in- law. But he is singing the tune of his father-in-law.

BOLDUAN: David, President Trump in the past has said that President Obama is to blame basically for this because it happened during the election. The Russia interfering in 2016 happened under his watch. For our viewers, here's a reminder.


TRUMP: Barack Obama when he was president found out about this in terms of if it were Russia, found out about it in August. Now, the election was in November, that's a lot of time. He did nothing about it.


BOLDUAN: Mulvaney echoed that, David, in this statement that he put out today. The reality of it is it's more complicated than what they're trying to paint.

SANGER: It sure is, Kate, as we were discussing earlier today. It's certainly not that President Obama did nothing. He specifically met with and warned Vladimir Putin at a meeting in China in September of 2016. There were other warnings sent through including at one point the nuclear alert system which was just to get their attention and then, of course, after the election the White House - Obama White House imposed sanctions throughout 35 diplomats who were actually spies close to Russian facilities.

Now, I would argue to you and I think some members of the Obama team would argue that that was not a sufficient response that they should have stepped in earlier when the Russians had gone into the State Department, White House and joint chiefs of staff email system, some of them are unclassified email systems, name the Russians and push back so the Vladimir Putin would realize that there was a price to be paid.

You could have argued that they could have acted and certainly some of the President's aides argued that he could have done more in that summer in 2016. He could have exposed the connections to the oligarchs. He could have frozen Russia's ability to operate ...


BOLDUAN: And regardless, no matter in all of that, David, it doesn't stop President Trump from, let's just say, doing better if you would like to. But going forward, I mean, April, David ...

SANGER: Absolutely right.

BOLDUAN: ... got to this, and I just can't get over this one fact. Why can't the President at this point except two truths that can exist at the same time, that Russia did interfere in the election, it is reality and also that he is the legitimately elected President of the United States. What is it?

RYAN: It boggles the mind because the President at one time if you remember this president was saying that he won even the popular vote which was not the case. So he's very concerned about the optics of how he won and it plays into his brand ever since we've known of the name Donald Trump and even before we knew of the name Donald Trump, he was working on his brand. He wants to make sure that he stands and he stands clear, unchallenged, that he is the total winner.

He doesn't like the fact that he did not receive the popular vote. He doesn't like the fact that he feels that he won by default because of Russia interference. Those are the things that go through his mind and you hate to say this, but it's about his brand more than anything.

BOLDUAN: Guys, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

KAYYEM: Can I just say one thing on that?

BOLDUAN: Go ahead, Juliette.

KAYYEM: Just very quickly, it's also that Trump's hands aren't clean. I mean if you actually look at volume one about the Russia interference ...

RYAN: That's true. KAYYEM: ... it is about these contacts and the Trump campaign

whatever Obama was doing was notified that the Russians were trying to do this and never told the FBI.

BOLDUAN: And still said Russia if you could find their emails, I mean, we don't need to go back there for that.

KAYYEM: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: Guys, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Out front for us next, the President's Federal Reserve pick, Stephen Moore, offering up this excuse for controversial comments that he made about women in the past.


MOORE: I wrote some politically incorrect columns and some of them go back to, like, the turn of the century.


[19:24:56] BOLDUAN: Fair? Plus, Jared Kushner about to present a new immigration plan to the President. Could this plan bridge the divide between Republicans and Democrats.


[19:28:32] BOLDUAN: Tonight, the White House says it is standing by President's embattled pick to serve on the Federal Reserve Board. President Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow telling reporters, "Our support is still there for Stephen Moore." This as Moore claims he is facing unfair scrutiny much like he says Trump Supreme Court pick most recent one Brett Kavanaugh faced during his vetting period.


MOORE: I was so honored when I got the call from Donald Trump and, you know it's been - you know, all it's been since then has been one personal assault after another, and a kind of character assassination having nothing to do with economics. It's probably two or three months, and I have to go through the Senate Banking Committee and then it goes to the full Senate, but you know, they're pulling a Kavanaugh against me and so I've got --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course they are.


[19:29:20] BOLDUAN: So there is that and there is more. A series of controversial writings by Moore about women have turned up. CNN's KFILE found that Moore was making sexist remarks about women in sports like this from 2002 in some of his writing.

"Here's the rule change," he wrote, "I propose: No more women refs, no women announcers, no women beer vendors, no women anything." Moore says that back then he was joking. That is was satire. And The New York Times though found a 2000 column that he wrote this about life on college campuses.

"If college women were so oppressed and offended by drunken, lustful frat boys, why is it that on Friday nights they showed up in droves in tight skirts to the keg parties?" Out front now, CNN Political Commentators Catherine Rampell, Washington Post Columnist and Rick Santorum, the former Republican Presidential Candidate and former Senator from Pennsylvania. Thank you both for being here.

Catherine, you have been outspoken about how you do not think Stephen Moore is qualified to sit on the Federal Reserve board. But do you think people are pulling a Kavanaugh on him regardless?

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, look nobody made Moore say those things. This is not he said she said. This is he said it again and again and again and again, in print, on live TV, all over the place.

That said, my main concern about putting Stephen Moore on the Fed is not the sexist remarks. It's the fact that for one he can't tell whether prices are going up or down. And that he is a long time partisan operative whose main priority placed on the Fed would be not to do what's good for the economy but to do what's good for the Republican Party.

We have seen this in the views he expressed about monetary policy under Trump versus under Obama. We have seen in why he flip flopped about the gold standard, about immigration, about trade, about pretty much any major economic policy.

So I think for him to claim that nobody has been talking about his economic views is just poppycock. There's been plenty written about the damage he would do to the long-term credibility of the fed as a result of the economic views.

BOLDUAN: Well, Senator, in the most recent what we are talking about here, Moore did acknowledge that some of his -- acknowledged some of the past writings yesterday. Listen to this.


STEPHEN MOORE, TRUMP FED PICK: Look, I mean, I wrote some politically incorrect, you know, columns. Some of them go back to the turn of the century. You know, they were a long time ago. You know, I kind of wish I hadn't written now that certainly don't reflect my views. But what it is, is a diversion though.


BOLDUAN: Do you think that's a valid excuse, Senator?

RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I don't think you should hold someone up to a standard that you never said anything or did anything stupid. None of us would have a job if that were the case.

He admits that they don't reflect his views now. He admits that were not just politically incorrect but wishes he hadn't said them. I mean, a lot of us go through this. And a lot of appointees have to riff down things 20 years ago. Maybe repeatedly wrote it.

But the reality is that shouldn't be the focal point of his nomination. It should be his economic views.

And the reality is we're talking about a Federal Reserve -- I can't recall ever a controversial Federal Reserve nomination. I mean, they're usually very boring. But here we have someone just because I think in part because he is a bit of a public figure, but because he is tied in some way to Donald Trump. And Trump is really the issue here. It's not Stephen Moore.

RAMPELL: No, no, Trump put four of the five sitting fed board governors in spots now. They're all Republicans. They're all as far as I know lifelong Republicans. Any all sailed through a Senate confirmation process without controversy. They all got about two- thirds of the vote within the Senate meaning they got a healthy number of Democratic votes.

In fact, Jerome Powell got 84 votes total within the Senate. And you know why, because they were all confident professionals, because they knew what they were doing. Yes, they were Republicans, but they knew to put the good of the country, the good of the economy above the interest of the party that they happened to vote for. And people felt confident that they would be competent. And you cannot say the same thing about Stephen Moore.

I also want to point out that we're not only talking about comments that he made 20 years ago if we really want to focus on the sexism stuff. Was it 20 years ago or was it a year and a half ago on this very network?

BOLDUAN: I actually -- it was it wasn't all just 20 years ago. It's also happened here he weighed in on this issue recently. Listen.


MOORE: I and most Americans love a woman who stands by her man. That's what a wife should do. And stand by her husband.

I remember about six months ago, I was on CNN and we were talking about Elizabeth Warren. And I described her as Hillary Clinton without the charm. And I was accused of being sexist for making that comment. But, no, I don't think it's sexist.


BOLDUAN: I mean, do you think this is becoming -- this become as problem for him?

RAMPELL: And I would say -- I wasn't even thinking about knows remarks. I was thinking about a remark that he made in which he said that powerful men should never take a one-on-one meeting with a woman without a witness in the room because they'd be accused of sexual harassment, which, you know, he said again on this network like a year and a half ago.

So, do I think this is a problem for him? Yes, it is certainly not a good look. If I remember a woman at the fed I wouldn't want to answer to him. I would not want to be colleagues with him given what he is on the record as saying.

[19:35:02] But, again, my greater concern is the fact that he wants to politicize the Fed. He said that President Trump should fire not just Powell but everyone at the fed when they didn't do his bidding. This can cause really serious long-term damage to the U.S. economy. And to the global economy if in fact the Fed is no longer viewed as independent.

BOLDUAN: Senator, final word to you on this.

SANTORUM: Yes, it would be nice to get a word in.

The reality is that Stephen Moore is a very well-known and well- respected economist. He is a conservative. He is someone who worked for the Club for Growth who, by the way, was not a Donald Trump supporter and someone who was very critical on this network and a lot of other places of Trump and his policies.

He is someone who has always been pro-growth. He is someone very much in the mainstream of the Republican Party on economic issues. He is not -- I would never consider Stephen Moore a partisan. I consider Stephen Moore a pro-growth economist who supports pro-growth candidates. And that's what why the president nominated him.

BOLDUAN: We will see. We will see soon enough.

RAMPELL: He did just write a book called "Trumponomics". So, to say he is critical of Trump is --

SANTORUM: But he was critical of Trump throughout the course of the campaign.

BOLDUAN: And then became an adviser of his.

Guys, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

OUTFRONT next, the acting homeland security says the president's failing separation policy is off the table. But that is not what one senior White House official is telling CNN. Who is telling the truth? Do they have the same story?

And presidential hopeful Kamala Harris tapping women of color to run her campaign and people are taking notice.


UIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You shocked me. I didn't know there were that many black people in Iowa.




[19:40:02] BOLDUAN: New tonight, Jared Kushner preparing to submit his sweeping plan for immigration reform to President Trump within a matter of days. And a senior administration official telling CNN that Kushner's plan as of now would keep the level of legal immigration into the United States at the same level but work towards a more merit-based system.

OUTFRONT now, Democratic candidate for president and former HUD secretary, Julian Castro.

Thank you so much for coming in.


BOLDUAN: So, CNN's reporting is that they would keep legal immigration if the proposal becomes reality, if you will. They keep legal immigration numbers, essentially the same levels, transitioning, though, to a more merit-based system over a family migration system.

Do you think you could support that?

CASTRO: You know, I think it's fair to say that when it comes to immigration policy that this administration and I have very different views. This administration's policy has basically been marked by cruelty. And I released an immigration plan on April 2nd. I call a People First immigration plan that asks people to choose compassion instead of cruelty.

And one of the things that they have proposed in the past and they may well do now is to not allow family members to be able to immigrate in the same way they used to be able to, or they have been able to. They call that chain migration.

What I call that is pro family and I believe that it strengthens communities here in the United States. So, under my plan, we would keep that.

BOLDUAN: You have been very critical and out front on the Trump administration's separation policy at the border of families. The acting secretary of homeland security, he is saying that's no longer of an option on the table for this administration. But a senior White House official told Jim Acosta basically the exact opposite, that it's being discussed.

I wonder, do you think the acting secretary is being kept in the dark or not telling the truth? Or what?

CASTRO: Well, it's clear that so many times in this administration the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing. And so, it's completely possible that they're still trying to pursue family separation, maybe even still doing it in some cases. I mean, think about the news a few weeks ago that family separations

were happening before we knew they were happening and that there are still dozens of children in this country who are separated right now from their parents. Some of those parents are in Salvador or Guatemala or Honduras, and they have no idea where their child is. This administration has been lackadaisical in trying to reunite these families.

So, I have confidence. I have absolutely zero confidence, in what this administration tells us or what they have done when it comes to immigration policy. And I don't think the American people should either.

BOLDUAN: And there is still fighting against efforts to get these families even identified and united in court at this very moment.

On the general state of the race at this moment, looking at recent polls and some of the key early primary states, have you polling at 2 percent or less, and I was looking at Iowa on New Hampshire. It is early and I always want to stress that.

Why do you think you're not registering though, right yet?

CASTRO: Well, Kate, you know, I look at this optimistically. I used to be at 1 percent. And I'm at 2. I've doubled my support just a short time.

BOLDUAN: There you go.


CASTRO: The truth is we have 42 weeks until February 3rd, 2020 when the Iowa caucus happens, right? But who is counting except those of us running?

But what I'm trying to do is not necessarily to be a flash in the pan candidate. I'm trying to build a strong campaign and build up support and momentum steadily. And I see that happening. I can tell when I'm getting out there, whether in Iowa or New Hampshire or other states that I'm gaining traction in front of crowds. We have seen our fund raising accelerate. We're on the threshold of getting for the 65,000 contributor level that you need to to get to get into the debates.

So, the campaign is moving in a strong, positive direction. And I believe that once the debates happen and I get on stage that I'm going to do well. And we're going to keep building in this campaign.

I'm not a front runner right now. But I wasn't born a front runner and didn't grow up a front runner. There are a lot of people in the country who don't feel like front runners right now.

And I'm talking to them about how we can make sure that their family can get good health care when they need it.

[19:45:04] That their kids can get a great education in this country and they can have good job opportunities. And I'm convinced that by February 3rd of 2020, that I will be a front runner.

BOLDUAN: You spoke today at the She the People presidential forum. And something funny happened. I feel like something funny happened on the way to the forum, let me play this moment when you got on stage.


CASTRO: The picture that y'all have in your program is of my brother Joaquin. Yes, yes, you have my brother's picture. He would say that's a good thing because he is better looking than I am.


BOLDUAN: Now, we're going to show for the viewers a photo of the program. The program had your brother's pictures next to your name and said you were a member of Congress. We are adding another title to your resume.

You, of course, are twins. You talk about in all the time how you guys get mixed up. People get you mixed up.

But are you taking this as a bad omen if people aren't getting the picture right?

CASTRO: Oh, no, no. I mean, like, people that have parents of twins if you are a twin yourself, people will know that if you're a twin, like you are used to getting confused ten times a day. So, it's sort of second nature for me.

I thought it was funny they got the program wrong. This is not the first time by the way that somebody has gotten the program wrong like that and put my brother's picture instead of mine.

But I said, golly, that picture he looks terrible. What's wrong today? He looks so bad.

BOLDUAN: I did love -- what I loved is you called it out straight from the stage. Keeping it them honest.

CASTRO: I did. People didn't believe -- did I think half the people didn't believe. I think they thought I was making a joke because sometimes I joke that I'm a minute uglier than he is. They thought I was joking and I was like, no you got it wrong. Fix that picture. Yes.

BOLDUAN: Thanks for coming on. I appreciate it.

CASTRO: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT for us next, Senator Kamala Harris and her secret weapon to win over a critical voting bloc.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I wanted to ask you about your personal passion and trying to hire not just women but women of color throughout your campaign.

HARRIS: You have to be conscious of these things.


BOLDUAN: Plus, Jeanne Moos on the sprint to spruce up Kim Jong-un's ride.


[19:50:17] BOLDUAN: Tonight, 2020 Democratic candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, making her case to a critical demographic.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why should women of color choose you as a nominee for president?

HARRIS: Because of my track record my entire life of focusing on women of color.


BOLDUAN: And Harris is assembling what she hopes is a secret weapon to secure that support.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You wouldn't mind, the man in the blue jacket will direct you further.

HARRIS: What's up, Johnson County? How's everybody?

LAH (voice-over): The Iowa crowd packed the hall for Senator Kamala Harris. But the woman backstage warming up her hometown crowd --


LAH: -- is Deidre DeJear.

DEJEAR: I am super, super excited to be here.

LAH: She's Harris' Iowa state director, one of 19 senior staffers on the campaign. More than half of those staffers are women of color.

DEJEAR: Man, I'm too loud for this mic.

So often, we see people in politics in a certain front range would remember. Maybe it's a white male. Maybe it's a white woman or -- but politics isn't limited to those demographics.

LAH: A fact that's hard to ignore at a Harris rally. Not just in who makes up the crowd, but the women with her. From DeJear in Iowa to staffers in South Carolina, to her national

senior advisor guiding the senator through this crowd, intentional moves from a biracial woman running for president.

(on camera): I wanted to ask you about your personal passion in trying to hire not just women, but women of color throughout your campaign.

HARRIS: You have to be conscious of these things. I mean, we don't have enough women who are making the decisions about what public policy will be on these issues, so we need greater representation. All of America benefits from that and certainly my campaign does, which is why I've made it a focus.

LAH (voice-over): On why she chose DeJear to run Iowa?

HARRIS: She is one of the strongest state directors anybody will have ever had in Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You shocked me. I didn't know there were that many black people in Iowa.

HARRIS: There aren't.

LAH: Not a laughing matter in a Democratic Party more diverse and more female than ever, say Harris staffers.

Other campaigns have taken notice. Campaign managers for Julian Castro, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren are all people of color. But Harris' national senior advisors say she's going a step further, purposefully leaning in on women of color for key decision-making roles.

(on camera): One thing I noticed about Nevada, the signs in Spanish. Translation in

EMMY RUIZ, HARRIS CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: The collective experiences of all of our staff really ensures that everyone is fought for, everyone is represented, that we are doing everything we can to ensure that those voices are heard.

LAH: What do you say to those voices who say if you have an intentional, diverse path, you're going to leave some people out?

LAPHONZA BUTLER: Justice for all is not a zero sum game. That, you know, one person doesn't have to lose in order for whole communities to win. And I think that's the leadership in my opinion that America is demanding.


LAH: Now, earlier today in Houston, Harris and seven other presidential candidates did speak at that women of color forum. Now, tomorrow, former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to make it official jumping into the race, but two sources at the forum tell me that he actually considered -- his campaign, that is, considered jumping in today, potentially overshadowing that forum. The optics, they were warned, would be, quote, a bad idea.

BOLDUAN: Fascinating.

Good stuff, Kyung. Thank you so much.

OUTFRONT for us next, Kim Jong-un's running bodyguards, yes, they're back. This time, they brought props.


[19:58:07] BOLDUAN: Tonight, Kim Jong-un's attendants take the idea of running for the train to a whole new level.

Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His last date --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's a warmth that we have.

MOOS: -- with President Trump in Hanoi was a dud. So Kim Jong-un is playing the field, meeting with Vladimir Putin. But first he had to get to Russia in his famous armored train, and that necessitated a last-minute cleaning spree. A couple of guys desperately polished the door Kim would exit, even as the train pulled in. Nobody does train arrivals like Kim Jong-un.

(on camera): Actually nobody does train arrivals, period, except Kim Jong-un.

(voice-over): But still the best-laid plans, not to mention the best- laid carpets can go awry. For instance, when the door Kim would exit didn't line up properly with the red carpet and the men with the ramps were left holding them until the guy in charge with the white gloves directed the engineer to back up the train.

The ramps were placed and repeatedly tested. No one wants to risk a collapse when Kim starts to throw his weight around.

It was all a bit reminiscent of Chaplin's "The Great Dictator."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey! What's all this a mix-uppa?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, they've gone too far.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me, a-Napaloni, I never get out without a carpet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going back again.


MOOS: But when Kim finally stepped out --



MOOS: -- there was no unsynchronized saluting. There was synchronicity in Kim's running bodyguards, several of whom in a new twist carried briefcases as they jogged.

As Kim strolled around, he struck a positively Napoleonic pose.

And then there was that hat. It came off. It went back on. It came off, then on.

Reminds me of Oddjob, someone tweeted. But at least Kim Jong-un didn't decapitate any statues.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BOLDUAN: Thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.