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Trump Announces Tariffs On Mexico To Fight Immigration Flow; O'Rourke: Wanting To Impeach Trump Is Not A Rushed Decision; Ocasio- Cortez & Cruz To Team Up For Anti-Lobbying Bill. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 30, 2019 - 21:00   ET


[21:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, CUOMO PRIME TIME: I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.

Breaking news. The President is ramping up his Border war with Mexico, now threatening tariffs on all Mexican goods, if it does not step up enforcement of illegal immigration. Does this hurt Mexico or us?

We have a new Senior Adviser to the reelection campaign for the President here tonight. Kimberly Guilfoyle joins us, happy to have her.

And we also have a man, who wants to unseat the President, with us tonight. He blames this President for the Border crisis, had just rolled out his new anti-Trump immigration plan. That man is Beto O'Rourke, and he's here for an exclusive ahead.

And Washington's newest Odd Couple, Ted Cruz and AOC teaming up, I think this is the best news for you and me in a long time.

Details ahead, it's time to test, let's get after it.




CUOMO: All right, this is the news.

The President is warning Mexico tonight. "You will have a 5 percent tariff per month on all goods entering the United States unless you start getting after illegal immigration to the White House's satisfaction," OK? And remember, he vows a number hike equal to the initial 5 percent each month.

This is heavy stuff, a dramatic escalation. Question is what's the sell? Why is this good for us, and not bad for us, as consumers?

We have his new 2020 Senior Campaign Adviser here tonight, Kimberly Guilfoyle. Good to have you.


CUOMO: Congratulations on the new gig.

GUILFOYLE: Thank you.

CUOMO: No pressure, no pressure.


CUOMO: All right, so help me understand this because what's the concern with tariffs? We - we - we know this that they get passed on, the importer to the consumer, so you wind up hitting us to punish them.


CUOMO: What's the sell?

GUILFOYLE: Well so when you think about it, the President campaigned very heavily on this in terms of the immigration crisis, and people have generally agreed, this is an intractable problem, but it really has reached a crisis point.

You even have New York Times saying that we have a crisis at the Southern border. And why wouldn't - Mexico is one of our economic partners, bear some of the responsibility, have some skin in the game.

Why is it always that the United States is disproportionately affected with other people not doing their fair share?

This is in sound keeping with the President's policy of being tough on immigration, Border security, really securing it, so we don't have these porous borders where people are coming over. There's human trafficking. There's drugs coming in, leading to a drug epidemic, crime.

And having worked as a prosecutor for many years in San Francisco, which is a sanctuary city, and in Los Angeles, I saw all too well the real problem of people coming in, criminal recidivists with records, multiple times deported and coming back in, and committing crimes, like we saw with Kate Steinle in San Francisco.

CUOMO: There's no question it's real. We both know that if you're worried about criminality, the place to start isn't with illegal entrants. But there's no question, there are criminals among them, and recidivists.

I don't think it's the heart of the problem. But that takes us to what the solution is, same way, we still wind up in the same place.

I get going after Mexico. We both know they're the weaker partner, right? They don't have the capabilities that the United States do. But lot of people come through their way. Yesterday was one of the biggest round-ups of people they've had.


CUOMO: Over a 1,000. No good. GUILFOYLE: Over a 1,000 people taken in.

CUOMO: Has to change. Kids are going to be in bad trouble. We've had six pass. Who knows what's going to happen? But I feel like--

GUILFOYLE: Well absolutely. You have young children like young girls--

CUOMO: It's no good.

GUILFOYLE: --10 to 13 years of age.

CUOMO: No good.

GUILFOYLE: They're automatically checked for rape or pregnancy--

CUOMO: It's true.

GUILFOYLE: --because of what's happening. And it's not OK--

CUOMO: If they can be--

GUILFOYLE: --to allow people to come over--

CUOMO: Right.

GUILFOYLE: --and not--

CUOMO: If they can be. But they're understaffed.

GUILFOYLE: --do something about it.

CUOMO: They're begging Congress. They're begging the White House for help down there, DHS, CBP. They're not getting the help that they want, big problem. I don't get this solution because what happens now? You put the tariffs.

GUILFOYLE: I'll tell you why.

CUOMO: Mexico says fine. But I pay them, right, because I'm the consumer. And now, you've got the trade deal with Mexico. What if they push back? What if it, you know--


CUOMO: --what if it threatens the trade deal?

GUILFOYLE: Well - well--

CUOMO: Why is this the solution?

GUILFOYLE: Well great point because why are the Democrats stonewalling and not allowing this to come to a vote? This is the problem what we're seeing. The President repeatedly over and over again, he says "Partner with me. Let's work on this problem, this crisis of immigration at the Southern border." We can all agree that there's situation that needs to be addressed. The President has tried and tried again. But now he needs to do something different. And this is very consistent with what he said he was going to do.

"Mexico, you're going to have to do your fair share. We're no longer going to have the American taxpayer who works very hard for their paycheck every day shoulder the burden of your gross irresponsibility at the Border allowing these people to come over."

CUOMO: Why not go to the Triangle?

GUILFOYLE: It's got to put a stop to it.

CUOMO: Why not go to the Triangle and say, "Let me help you people. Let me help you with the conditions that are making your people come to us because I don't believe they're legit asylum claims. I think they're economic claims. Let me help you."

He said he wanted to pull aid. Wouldn't that only make it worse?

GUILFOYLE: No. I don't think so because it's a problem. You have the United States over and over again doing the same thing, which is a definition of insanity, if you expect a different result.

We keep rewarding people who aren't working honestly as our partners in the United States saying "OK, this country has a problem. They're coming over."

They're not doing anything, Chris. It's only getting worse. To secure the Border, to prevent people coming in from South American countries--

CUOMO: We don't give them that much either though.

GUILFOYLE: Well I'll tell you what. But nevertheless, they're still getting help from us. And I don't think it's unreasonable. And the American people want the President to honor his promises about Border security, which relates directly to national security.

[21:05:00] He would not be doing his job if he didn't get tough with it. And let's see if they understand because this is not a man who says he's going to do something and not do it.

He will full - fulfill this promise. It's going to be 5 percent. It's going to have an escalator, if they don't take it seriously. I think he's going to get their attention, just like he has with China. Tariffs work if you have patience at the plate.

CUOMO: Well we'll see because they get passed off on to the consumer. That's the problem. You see what's happening with the farmers. But look, time will tell.

GUILFOYLE: There'll be - there'll be an adjustment in the system.

CUOMO: He will - he will be measured in the election. Did he keep it-- GUILFOYLE: There'll be an adjustment in the system. It's a little bit of tough love. There may be some growing pains with this. But it really has reached a crisis point where he has to act.

CUOMO: Well but it's a--

GUILFOYLE: And that's what he's doing.

CUOMO: But it is a crisis he's imposing with the tariffs. But again, as you said, time will tell, and he'll be measured in the election.

GUILFOYLE: No. The crisis is because of illegal immigration coming over Mexico--

CUOMO: That's with the Border.

GUILFOYLE: --not helping to secure the borders.

CUOMO: I'm talking about with China.

GUILFOYLE: Right. And with--

CUOMO: You - you put two things together.

GUILFOYLE: Because guess what? Tariffs work, and he's employing a similar idea and proposal that he has with China.

CUOMO: We haven't seen if they work.

GUILFOYLE: And he says this is what he's going to do.

CUOMO: We haven't seen the deal--

GUILFOYLE: As a businessman.

CUOMO: --happen in China. But again, third time, time will tell. He'll be tested in the election. The impeachment situation, let me ask something for the position of the campaign.


CUOMO: Does the campaign accept the proposition that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and we must stop them from doing it in 2020?

GUILFOYLE: Well there was some indication that there was Facebook attempts etcetera to interfere with the election, right?

But again, what did we find? Specifically that there was so much money spent, millions and millions of dollars, two years on an investigation that yielded no results, despite the bias that was inherent in it.

CUOMO: Well there was a result.

GUILFOYLE: You had 19--

CUOMO: There was - Russian interference happened. It was pernicious as it was widespread. It has continued.

GUILFOYLE: When you say it was pernicious and widespread there--


GUILFOYLE: --there's been no finding of determination that it had an impact whatsoever on the United States election. Should that type of thing to be taken seriously if it's happening and investigate? Sure.

CUOMO: What do you mean if it's happening? Do you think it happened or you don't think it happened?

GUILFOYLE: Well I'm reading the reports on it that they say there was attempts with Facebook etcetera, etcetera.


GUILFOYLE: Do I think it was like widespread or pernicious? No, I do not. Do I think that it had an impact on the 2016 election? No. Do I think that the Democrats wish that it did, so they can have another excuse to say why President Trump is in the Oval Office?

CUOMO: I see I think that's--

GUILFOYLE: So there's no obstruction, no collusion. And now they're saying there's - there's going to be--

CUOMO: Well but you know--

GUILFOYLE: --there's a cover-up that occurred.

CUOMO: I get the talking point. But you know none of that is true.

GUILFOYLE: No, I do know that.

CUOMO: There was collusion. There was no criminal conspiracy, thank God. The President is not a traitor. He wasn't a foreign agent. There's no proof of any of that. Thank God.

GUILFOYLE: But they wasted the taxpayers' money.

CUOMO: Well no, but there was collusion.

GUILFOYLE: So the owe the taxpayers--

CUOMO: People on that campaign did dumb things--

GUILFOYLE: --an apology for wasting their money.

CUOMO: --that they knew they shouldn't have done, and they lied about it.

GUILFOYLE: Where was there any finding that there was any kind of - insufficient evidence, no evidence whatsoever--

CUOMO: Manafort giving the polling data-- GUILFOYLE: --of obstruction or collusion?

CUOMO: --to a guy with connection to Russian Intel, stupid move, taking that meeting in Trump Tower, stupid move.

GUILFOYLE: OK. Where is the evidence of--

CUOMO: Lying about the message to it--

GUILFOYLE: --any kind of obstruction or collusion whatsoever.

CUOMO: Oh, no. Well that--

GUILFOYLE: And, by the way--

CUOMO: --that is collusion.

GUILFOYLE: --if - if--

CUOMO: It's not a crime.

GUILFOYLE: If Robert Mueller--

CUOMO: But it is collusion.

GUILFOYLE: --by the way, who overstepped his bounds by being - going forward and making that statement, had found any evidence, and the prosecutor's job, as you know I'm a former prosecutor, is to determine if there is sufficient evidence that a crime has been committed, and that that individual is guilty of that crime.

CUOMO: Prosecute or not, that's his job.

GUILFOYLE: And he found no evidence to support that. And, in fact, William Barr--

CUOMO: He found a lot of evidence to support it. But he said--

GUILFOYLE: --William Barr--

CUOMO: --he couldn't prosecute.

GUILFOYLE: --went a step further and released the whole report, even when Mueller was saying just release certain portions of it. So there has been transparency. They have put up with all kinds of witch-hunts and investigation here. They didn't like the outcome of the 2016 election.

CUOMO: Why witch-hunt when the interference was real?

GUILFOYLE: They know that the strong economy incumbents - as a result, as you know, you had come from a family of politics, strong economy incumbents get reelected.

CUOMO: Very strong.

GUILFOYLE: They don't want to see the President remain in the Oval Office and--

CUOMO: Who's they?

GUILFOYLE: The Democrats and many people in the mainstream media.

CUOMO: Mueller is not a Democrat.

GUILFOYLE: Well I don't know what he registered as.

CUOMO: Rosenstein wasn't a Democrat.

GUILFOYLE: But I do know what he did in over--

CUOMO: Sessions wasn't a Democrat.

GUILFOYLE: I do know what he did in overstepping his bounds. And let me tell you something. Remember in the Kenneth Starr report, and he did the investigation on Bill Clinton, a 11 times he used the word "Guilty," right?

Did you hear Robert Mueller ever use those words whatsoever as--

CUOMO: No. He never got - he never got the President in the chair. How is he going to get him on obstruction when--

GUILFOYLE: The President--

CUOMO: --one, he's got guidance not to indict a sitting President, and two, the one guy--

GUILFOYLE: 2,300 subpoenas.

CUOMO: --at the center of it wouldn't give him any answers.

GUILFOYLE: No. 2,300 subpoenas.

CUOMO: President didn't give him a single answer--

GUILFOYLE: 40 FBI agents.

CUOMO: --on obstruction.

GUILFOYLE: This was an investigation that went on and on. They wanted a pre-determined outcome.

CUOMO: But the President never gave them anything on obstruction.

GUILFOYLE: They didn't get it. He didn't give them anything on obstruction--

CUOMO: Mueller is a lifelong Republican.

GUILFOYLE: --because he didn't commit obstruction.

CUOMO: He can't be part of an anti-Trump situation.


CUOMO: He's a lifelong Republican.

GUILFOYLE: I don't know if he's part of an anti-Trump situation or not. But I do know as a prosecutor that he overstepped his bounds with what he said yesterday--

CUOMO: You're trying to find out something happened with obstruction.

GUILFOYLE: --to try to appease the Democrats who were upset because they were hoping that he was going to be, you know, Santa Claus for them to put the--

CUOMO: Why would he want to appease the Democrats?

GUILFOYLE: --put the President out of Office.

CUOMO: Come on! He's an independent broker. He always has been. Everybody respected him as a choice.

GUILFOYLE: How's he really because in fact he overstepped his bounds when he made those statements.

CUOMO: I think he did it though in your favor because he's supposed to say prosecutor declined. But he can't because his hands are tied. So, he wants to explain what he does.


[21:10:00] CUOMO: And he says, "I can't do this. I'm not even going to say if I found criminal activity because I don't want to be unfair to the President because he won't have his day in court. But I can't say he didn't do anything wrong. I can't exonerate him."

GUILFOYLE: OK. Let's - and I'll tell you something.

CUOMO: I thought he bent over backwards--

GUILFOYLE: That's - that's not--

CUOMO: --to be fair.

GUILFOYLE: William Barr, OK, said specifically that Mueller could have reached a conclusion--

CUOMO: Right.

GUILFOYLE: --and not violated DOJ policy to that, quote, make charges--

CUOMO: But he saw Mueller's reason.

GUILFOYLE: --or indict a sitting President. If he had the evidence to support it, you would have read it in the report. It wasn't there.

CUOMO: He does. He has five different counts of obstruction that have significant proof with them (ph).

GUILFOYLE: Nothing against the President. There was no finer conclusion that the President obstructed justice--

CUOMO: There is no conclusion because he said he couldn't draw one--

GUILFOYLE: --or colluded in the election.

CUOMO: --and he left it to Congress. And now we're going to see--

GUILFOYLE: Well guess what?

CUOMO: --what they do with that.

GUILFOYLE: And additionally as William Barr said that the DOJ and the investigations that they do, do not serve as an adjunct to Congress.

CUOMO: True, true.

GUILFOYLE: They just want a different outcome. So now they're saying--

CUOMO: But who's the "They?"

GUILFOYLE: --they're going to continue to do this.

CUOMO: Because Mueller can't be part of that.

GUILFOYLE: The Democrats and the cast of characters running, trying to unseat President Trump. This is what they're raising money on, impeachment, impeachment, impeachment.

CUOMO: So are you.

GUILFOYLE: I'm not raising money on impeachment.

CUOMO: The campaign put out - put out this thing saying "They want to impeach your President. Give us money."

GUILFOYLE: Well guess what? The - the people that support the President of the United States believe in him. And they've seen that, in fact, despite this President being completely cooperative--

CUOMO: He didn't sit for an interview.

GUILFOYLE: --putting everything out there, Bob--

CUOMO: He didn't answer a single question on obstruction.

GUILFOYLE: The President was totally transparent and cooperative with this investigation, and so--

CUOMO: Except he didn't sit for an interview--

GUILFOYLE: --and the Department of Justice--

CUOMO: --and didn't answer a single question about obstruction. GUILFOYLE: There is no evidence of it.

CUOMO: I know. But he didn't give them any because--

GUILFOYLE: There is no evidence of it.

CUOMO: --he didn't talk to them.

GUILFOYLE: There is no evidence of the obstruction.

CUOMO: There are five--

GUILFOYLE: There is no evidence of the--

CUOMO: There's a lot of evidence of it.


CUOMO: They didn't get any directly from him.

GUILFOYLE: Where for the President? But now they say that he's - on, engaged in a cover-up of what, of innocence? I mean, come on, it's absolutely ridiculous.

CUOMO: His efforts to control during that proceeding was what they were looking at. But now it'll come to Congress. And I make you this promise.

GUILFOYLE: Go ahead.

CUOMO: This must end. It has to. It has to find its end.

GUILFOYLE: Well it should be ended already. We've already got the report and the conclusion.

CUOMO: Well Mr. Mueller says he's done. We'll figure out what Congress is going to do. Other issues are going to come up now--


CUOMO: --that are going to matter.

GUILFOYLE: I'll tell you what's coming up now.

CUOMO: It's going to be the Border. It's going to be the economy.


CUOMO: It's going to be trade. The campaign has a place on this show. You are welcome to come on and argue the positions--

GUILFOYLE: Well I appreciate that.

CUOMO: --of the campaign whenever you want.

GUILFOYLE: Well it's our position that in fact that they don't want to focus on the results and the economic boom, record low unemployment across the board.

CUOMO: You will have a place here.

GUILFOYLE: So they want to talk about crimes that never happened and - and now they want to pet - you know, pivot to cover-up.

CUOMO: I don't see that situation as you do, and that's OK, because we will always disagree on this show decently, and you always have a place to make your case.

GUILFOYLE: You've been so nice really.

CUOMO: No, no, just, just fair. We have known each other a long time. That's true. But--

GUILFOYLE: We certainly have. We certainly have.

CUOMO: --always tough but fair. And you always have an opportunity.

GUILFOYLE: All right, thank you.

CUOMO: Be well. Good to have you here. Thank you, Kimberly Guilfoyle.

Right now, it is super important to police the truth. We have to because it's the only thing we have to go on, especially on matters related to the Mueller probe. There was a raft of attacks by this President today.

What does the truth do to them? Does it help them swim or sink? We'll see next.








CUOMO: Fact-check, got to do it. The President of the United States said a lot of things today about issues that matter. And here we call out balls and strikes. Take a listen.


DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think he is a total conflicted person. I think Mueller is a true never-Trumper. He's somebody that dislikes Donald Trump. He's somebody that didn't get a job that he requested that he wanted very badly.


CUOMO: All right, now here are the facts. The DOJ found no conflict. Congress never raised it. The White House didn't raise it. In fact, Steve Bannon, remember him, he said the idea of Mueller having a conflict was "Ridiculous."

Mueller did not ask to be this President's FBI Director. It was the other way around. He was asked to come in for an interview, material distinction there.

When POTUS claims unprecedented cooperation, you heard it in the interview, but let's iterate it now. What Mr. Mueller wanted most and needed most, he never got from this President.

The President never answered a single question in person, and his lawyered written responses never even touched the issue of obstruction. That's why the written answers were found to be inadequate by the Mueller team.

Some campaign folks deleted relevant communications. Not helpful. Others were convicted of lying to investigators. Not helpful.

Even when this President then stumbled today in a tweet into what appeared to be an admission of the basic threat that Russia attacked our election, and did so to help him, he then had to backpedal to this.


TRUMP: Russia didn't help me at all. Russia, if anything, I think, helped the other side.


CUOMO: We know Russia not only tried to help the Trump campaign and only the Trump campaign, but the Trump campaign expected to benefit from its interference. Even the Republican-led Senate Intel Committee found "There was no pro-Clinton content on Facebook or Instagram," as part of the Russian influence campaign.

And when POTUS claims "Mueller didn't find obstruction either," look, let's call it what it is. That's a lie. Mueller repeatedly pointed to substantial evidence that this President tried to obstruct justice. This is why Mr. Mueller said this.


ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, SPECIAL COUNSEL: If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.


CUOMO: And they didn't say so. So, now, Congress has to figure out what to say about it all, and you must decide what matters to you, and how much. But let's start with the facts. All right, I want to get back to the President's new tariff threat for

Mexico for the purpose of halting illegal immigration. It feels muscular, right? It sounds strong. But who's it going to hurt more? Them or us?

That is the making of a Great Debate with these two lookers here, next.








CUOMO: Breaking news. 5 percent tariff on all goods from Mexico unless it stops the flow of illegal immigrants to the United States. The President says it'll start a week from Monday, and it increases 5 percent every month up to 25 percent by Oct - October.

It sounds muy fuerte, very strong, but whom will it squeeze, us or Mexico? Sounds like the making of a Great Debate.




CUOMO: Karen Finney, Rick Santorum, let's get after it. Rick, make the case.

RICK SANTORUM, FORMER U.S. SENATE MEMBER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, the - the Mexicans are responsible for the surge at the Border. I mean that - most of the people coming across the Border, as you know, are folks coming from - from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and - and they're traveling through Mexico.

And Mexico is giving them, you know, the ability to cross that Border, the Southern border of Mexico, allowing them to go through their country, and then piling up on our Border.

That - I mean it's clearly their fault. And - and they - they can do something about it. Give President credit. He's tried. He's negotiated a deal recently with Guatemala, and he's working to - with those countries to try to stem the tide.

But I think the frustration the President has shown is - is - is reasonable, and - and the Mexicans need to respond. And I think the President's put the - put the - put the hammer down.

CUOMO: OK. So, Karen, fair point about Mexico's fix on the problem. I would push back on the idea that the President has worked with Guatemala.


[21:25:00] CUOMO: He threatened to pull funds from them. But he has had the DHS Acting Secretary go down there, and he did have the DHS Secretary before go, Pompeo's tried. So, they were trying to do some help whether or not the President was aiding those efforts or not.

But what is your problem with the tariffs?

FINNEY: Well, for starter, I mean there's two things.

Number one, so essentially what you're saying to Mexico is that if - if someone is coming from Latin America, and they're try - and they say to you at the Border in Mexico, "I'm coming to apply for refugee status in the United States of America," are we really asking Mexico to engage in our foreign policy to make determinations about who should or shouldn't be here, should have the ability to apply for refugee status?

I - I don't think just blaming Mexico, I think, that's overly simplistic.

Secondly, I think the tariffs, I mean, you know, the President has been in trying to tout this economy, right? He's trying to tout this trade deal that he's gotten with Mexico and Canada, and I think these tariffs will absolutely damage his ability to claim a success in that area.

And then third, the thing I would say is that as with the tariffs we're already seeing that are in place, it is going to hurt American businesses. There are always these unintended consequences. And so, I think we need to be concerned about all three of those.

CUOMO: All right, I'm not crazy about the first one because Mexico is a sovereign nation, and when people come to their Border and say they want to go somewhere, it doesn't matter where they want to go.


CUOMO: International law says they should be claiming asylum there, so they have the ability to speak.

On the second and third points, Rick, I don't want to pay any more for stuff. I got two teenagers. I got, you know, I got a family that buys stuff. Tariffs hit you and me. They don't hurt that country.

And Mexico sells us a lot of stuff that we want and need. You're worried about this messing with the economy?

SANTORUM: Well first - on the first part, I would agree. If someone show - from Mexico shows up at the Border, and says, "I want to go to Canada," we don't say, "Oh, come on in."

CUOMO: Right.

SANTORUM: And - and that's just - that's just not what a country does. So that - that's an illegitimate one.

And on the point of - look, there's a legitimate argument for people to say that we shouldn't be using tariffs as a - as a tool to try to get our way in trade or, in this case, with respect to immigration.

But I will tell you this that we have for the first time seen the Chinese come really seriously to the table, and we've seen the President be very tough on them, and - and, you know, and on an issue that is vitally important, which is them stealing our technology--

CUOMO: True.

SANTORUM: --and the world's technology to and - and the President, yes--

CUOMO: But he's not banging them on that yet, Rick.

SANTORUM: --and is there - is - is there--

CUOMO: I'm - I'm with you about China. But he's not banging them on the IT stuff yet. And the tariffs, we're putting billions into our farmers--

SANTORUM: But that's the principal reason--

CUOMO: --to backfill the cost.

SANTORUM: It's the principal reason that - that - the - the administration has not gone forward with the deal is because the Chinese have backed away from - from doing what the world, not just the United States--

CUOMO: Right. That's the point.

SANTORUM: --the world wants China to do. And - and so--

CUOMO: They're not doing what we want them to do.

SANTORUM: And the tariff well--

CUOMO: And now we have tariffs that are hurting the farmers.

SANTORUM: They are hurting some of our people who are - that's true. But - but it is hurting China far, far worse than it's hurting the United States. And - and China is not in as good an economic shape as the United States is, so the penalties are much harsher on the Chinese.

And the long-term benefit to farmers and everybody else by keeping our technological advantage and - and keeping China, making China live by the laws that the rest of the world has to with respect to intellectual property, I can tell you it's well worth the short-term pain and I think--

CUOMO: Well but it depends who's - but it depends who's feeling.

SANTORUM: --even a lot of farmers who are hurting understand that.

CUOMO: So, let's end on this. Karen, better solution, what would make a better fix at the Border?

FINNEY: How about instead of - well I think actually we need to go back to a policy that we had that was actually starting to work, which is a program of aid to those countries. I heard you talking about it earlier in this hour.

SANTORUM: Not opposed to that.

FINNEY: And that would in some way--

CUOMO: President is. Go ahead.

FINNEY: --as a way to try to help the conditions in those countries, so that people aren't actually coming here.

CUOMO: Yes. Listen - look, Rick, what's the - what's the plus/minus? The plus/minus is it feels strong. I'm going to punish you if you don't do what I want.

But what have we all learned as parents - parents, in my case, a constantly failing parent, which is when you catch them doing something right, when you reward the good behavior, behavior changes faster than when you take punitive measures.

And aren't you concerned we're going to see that with Mexico?


CUOMO: They're going to muscle up. They're going to knuckle up. They got a new administration there that are not predisposed to being friendly to this President. Is he giving them entree to get into a fight that we don't need to have?

SANTORUM: Look, I think the - the President, this isn't the first time the President has talked to Mexico about dealing with this problem.

And - and well as we see, as the - as the crisis at the Border continues to escalate, they're not doing anything about it. And at - at some point, you've got us - you've got to bring the hammer down, and I think that's what the President's decided to do.

CUOMO: All right, I'm going to leave it there. I appreciate it very much from both of you. Look, this is going to evolve. If they actually go into effect, we'll start to see the effect that they have, and then we got to talk about this more.

And because, look, none of this is helping those kids. They're still not getting the resources that they need on the Border. The kids still don't have the right kinds of places to stay. They still don't have the medical staff they need. The problem continues.

Karen, Rick, thank you for quick work on breaking news.

[21:30:00] So when it comes to impeachment, Mr. Beto O'Rourke tells me his former colleagues, they have no choice. They must. Why must? Why now? Why the urgency? He's going to explain to you. And he says this President is the problem on the Border. He has a plan to turn it around.

Let's see how he makes the case. Let's get after it.








CUOMO: Big night, new development, tariffs on Mexico until it stops the flow of people at the Southern border. That's what this President wants to do.

Beto O'Rourke says this President is the real problem with our immigration system, and he has his own plan to offer you. Question is will it help Beto O'Rourke gain the traction he sorely needs in the crowded Democratic race?

He joins us for an exclusive interview on PRIME TIME. And let's start with the polls.



CUOMO: Beto O'Rourke, thank you for joining us on PRIME TIME.


CUOMO: All right, so let's look at the polls from your perspective. When you look at the men and women who are above you, what do you think they have or what are they doing that you're not?

O'ROURKE: I don't know. You know, our fortunes will rise and fall in the months to come before the first caucus in Iowa, and the first primary in New Hampshire.

[21:35:00] You all had a - a poll a couple of weeks ago that had me beating Trump by a greater margin than any other Democratic contender. Who knows what that means this far out? But what I have been doing, showing up in these different states, in

the different communities within them, and not writing anybody off based on how big or small their town is, not taking anyone for granted based on their party affiliation, but just listening and learning from them, and incorporating what I hear into this campaign. That feels right to me.

CUOMO: Politics and then policy, in terms of what we saw--

O'ROURKE: Great.

CUOMO: --as an impact from Mr. Mueller yesterday, there's more energy around certain Democrats saying, "Now is the time. We know what we need to know. It's time to start impeachment inquiry or proceedings," whatever your - your choice is. You're one of those people.

My question to you, why the rush down impeachment when it comes with political risk?

O'ROURKE: There's no rush. This has been a very sober, deliberate process.

More than 300 pages in the Mueller report. And then the only public comments from the Principal Investigator, the Special Counsel Robert Mueller yesterday, he talked about the fact that he could not clear the President from any implication that he had committed a crime, says that the criminal justice system is not the - the appropriate venue in which to try this. But that there are - there are alternatives under the Constitution.

CUOMO: Nancy Pelosi says this, in terms of these calls for what you're saying impeach right now. Here's her response.


NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: We won't be swayed by a few people who think one way or another who are running for president, as much as I respect all of them, and they have the freedom to be for impeachment.


PELOSI: We have the responsibility to get a result for the American people.


CUOMO: A result for the American people, see that's what I'm talking about in terms of political risk. I think that two-thirds of your party, 67-or-so percent who say "We want impeachment," they mean removal, and I don't think they're going to be able to give that to those people.

So "Result," what does result mean to you?

O'ROURKE: Yes. Results means that we have the facts, and the truth, and real accountability, and justice for what happened to our country.

We were attacked by a foreign power in 2016, an attack that was invited by the - the candidate who is now our President, an investigation into the attack - attack was obstructed by this President.

Unfortunately the House of Representatives today has stalled in their pursuit of these facts and the truth. Only impeachment gives them the leverage and the mechanism necessary for us to know exactly what has happened and who is responsible for that.

And I understand it is politically difficult and challenging. And I have all the respect in the world for Speaker Pelosi, and I know that she will get to the right decision on this.

But our - our country is depending on it. And that's why I bring this urgency to this issue.

CUOMO: All right, speaking of urgent issues, let's talk about immigration.

Looking at your plan, the Beto O'Rourke Immigration Plan, pathway to citizenship, reuniting separated families, rescinding travel bans, stopping work on the Border wall, boosting staffing to expand inspections, investing $5 billion in the Northern Triangle, let me ask you, why do you need to stop work on the Border wall?

You know that the Acting Head of the DHS who ran CBP has been in it for a long time, Mr. McAleenan. He and others on the Border say "We need it. We need the physical border. It's not immoral. And it helps us funnel people to the right places of entry. It keeps people safer."

Why stop the work?

O'ROURKE: Because what Kevin McAleenan is doing, what President Trump is doing, this administration, they are creating chaos on the Border. Kevin McAleenan has presided over an agency that has seen the deaths of - of six children just in the last year that were within their custody.

The more than 600 miles of walls that we already have, have produced the deaths of thousands of migrants who are just attempting to join their families or find work or flee persecution in some of the deadliest countries on the face of the planet today.

CUOMO: I don't know. You may have information. I don't. I don't have any information that the men and women who were watching these kids are responsible for their deaths.

What I've seen come out in the reporting and the action reports is that they are overwhelmed with need.

McAleenan, Nielsen, before him, they were begging people in Congress, when you were there, begging for help, they didn't get it. They got half the money they asked for. Yes, it was $480 million. Yes, they spent it. Yes, they have to be accountable. But they're overwhelmed. And one of the things that comes up is capacity. And I see boosting staffing, expand inspections. They don't have the capacity, Beto. They need help. The Democrats aren't giving it. The Republicans aren't giving it. The President isn't giving it.

In fact, I remember, when you stood outside that facility, Tornillo facility, and said, "Hey, you got to close this," but now they don't have the beds. They don't have anywhere to put the kids. What do you do about that?

[21:40:00] O'ROURKE: Yes. So, first of all, I'm grateful to you for reporting from the Border, and - and seeing this with your own eyes. And - and one of the things that we know from living on the Border is that these families do not belong in detention.

They - they pose no risk to this country. And, in fact, if we implement something that we call for in our plan, the Family Case Management Program for a fraction of the cost, and at no risk to our communities, we can guarantee that these families show up to their court dates, meet their appointments with ICE officials, and follow our laws.

CUOMO: Here's my question to you. Maybe you have some better insight on this. I see such opportunity for everybody in what's happening on the Border right now.

The President's got his emergency declaration. You and I could spend an hour arguing whether or not it was a righteous use of that statute. But he has it. He's not dipping into those pockets--

O'ROURKE: Right.

CUOMO: --to help with this emergency need. He says the Democrats won't give me the rule changes. This is about emergency help for this capacity and flow, Beto. They need help now to process.

You can't just let people into the country. You have to process them. You have to deal with their medical needs. You have to have a place to keep them while you do that. They're begging for it. The Democrats aren't giving it either. Why not? Why don't they step into the void?

O'ROURKE: I don't know if I agree with the premise of your question. I think Democrats are there to meet legitimate concerns and needs, whether it's taking care of those asylum seekers, or ensuring that we're following our own asylum laws. McAleenan and Trump--

CUOMO: But they're not giving DHS the help they need for the emergency situation. That's what I'm saying.

O'ROURKE: Well DHS is using a program of metering where they're actually rejecting these asylum seekers at the ports of entry, forcing them to try to cross in between the ports of entry, where they then arrest them, put them in cages, in some case.

Chris, detention costs 300 bucks a night. Family Case Management is $36 a day, and it's got a 100 percent show rate in the immigration courts to make sure that these asylum seekers are following our laws.

CUOMO: I still think that this debate about what to do with the big issues, asylum, family reunification, the family separations, the Flores settlement, they're all legit, Beto. They all have to be argued out, negotiated, no question. But this emergency crisis--

O'ROURKE: That's right.

CUOMO: --these six kids, I can't believe it's not 60. This month and next month are going to be the worst flow that they have to deal with. And I don't get why nobody's speeding them money to help get them accommodations and medical care, if just medical care, why isn't that being rushed to them?

O'ROURKE: I - I agree with you.

And - and maybe this is something that Republicans and Democrats alike can agree upon that - that we need to be there to make sure that we don't lose the lives of any more children who are within our custody and our care that - that we meet this challenge for those families, and do so while we follow our own asylum laws.

That's - that's all that I'm asking us to do.

CUOMO: Beto O'Rourke, I appreciate you getting deep into these issues, exchanging your ideas for the audience. You're always welcome here to do exactly that.

O'ROURKE: Thank you very much. I'm grateful.


CUOMO: Now, in fairness to Beto O'Rourke, he's not in Congress right now. But just to be very clear, they all say they want to do the right thing by the kids and protect the kids, but they're not doing it.

Do you understand? There is no measure being offered up by anybody right now that is specifically tailored to fix this need. They're all adding other things. That's fine. But it's not how you deal with an emergency. And we must stay on it together.

All right, speaking of together, they are lightning rods, these two, in Congress. They're about as far apart on the political spectrum, I think, as you can get.

What is bringing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ted Cruz together? D. Lemon on the rare and surprising thing we're seeing in Congress, next.








CUOMO: So, we have a new Odd Couple on Capitol Hill. It all started with this. Liberal Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reaching out to Conservative Senator Ted Cruz on Twitter with a deal. "Let's work together on a bill banning former Members of Congress from becoming lobbyists." Great idea!

She says "Just a clean bill. No snuck-in clauses. No poison pills." He responds within minutes, "You're on."

Now, she could have picked up the phone, but this is how they do it, the kids these days, on Twitter. It's a rare show of bipartisanship. And other lawmakers from the Left and Right are jumping on.

And D. Lemon?


CUOMO: I love it. I love reaching across because you know they got nothing to do with each other, ideologically, right?

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: Forget about Senate and House. And I love the concept.

LEMON: They're like you - me and you.

CUOMO: Yes. If you've been in Congress, never, ever be a lobbyist. You should be barred. They are an Odd Couple too. You would be Oscar. I would be Felix.

LEMON: I was going to say Felix - so, Felix Unger - was it Oscar Madison? Was it Oscar Madison?

CUOMO: Madison.


CUOMO: Felix Unger.


CUOMO: I would be Felix. You would be Oscar. You are messy. I am neat. You eat poorly. I eat well.

LEMON: Chris?

CUOMO: Yes, Sir.

LEMON: You are - you are a mess. Come on now, don't even try it.

CUOMO: Emotionally, I am a mess. LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Psychologically, I am flawed.

LEMON: Yes. I - I think it's a great idea. I think it--

CUOMO: I love it.

LEMON: I think it--

CUOMO: I love everything about it.

LEMON: Finally - finally. And I - do you know the same thing when I was reading up on this because I knew you and I would be talking about it, I said "Doesn't anybody pick up the phone and call or can't they email or can't they have like their assistant or somebody like say, hey, why don't we actually talk on the phone and establish some sort of real relationship?"


LEMON: But you know what? I'll take it.

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: That they can do it.

CUOMO: Right. No, no, I'm--

LEMON: I will take it.

CUOMO: --100 percent. And I think, look, I think this is her MO. You know, she likes to create event politics, and she does that. Interestingly, she's not a big interview-seeker. But she does try to create--


CUOMO: --these organic events. I'm not going to mess with the MO on this. To bar these people, if you don't get money out of the game, you're never going to change the game.


CUOMO: There's only one other thing that would matter more to me. It's just much less likely. This, they can get done.


CUOMO: Term limits. If you could get term limits done, it would change our political culture for the better.

LEMON: Term limits.

CUOMO: But this is nice. [21:50:00] LEMON: Term limits, barring people from becoming lobbyists, and fixing the whole gerrymandering thing, you would - you would comp--

CUOMO: Oh, I will - that's a given. But that's at the state level.

LEMON: But you would still even if - if you could just do it, you would still fix, you would - well I shouldn't say you would fix the entire process, but you would change the process for the better for everyone - for the betterment of the country.

CUOMO: A 100 percent.

LEMON: Let's put it that way. Speaking of Odd Couples, you know he's - I mean he's going to take - he's stealing your shine.


LEMON: He's trying to take our cool relationship, you know, this whole bromance thing that we supposedly have--

CUOMO: Call it what you want.

LEMON: --it's all me, but that's all right.

CUOMO: I call it - I call it professional relationship.

LEMON: John Kasich. John Kasich is on. John Kasich is my new bud. We talk all the time. I talked to him this weekend.

CUOMO: I talked to him about you. He's not a big fan.

LEMON: Well he - that's not what he says.

CUOMO: Well maybe to you.

LEMON: That's no - that's not what he says. No, but seriously, John Kasich - listen, John Kasich and I are - are like you. We come from different parts of the world. We come from different backgrounds.

But I love talking to him because, as you say, your phrase, we test each other, right? And at the end of the conversation, we're going to remain friends even if we disagree. And what I like is that it's not always an agree-fest.

So, he's going to be on. We're going to talk about all the issues that are happening in Washington, and the President's temper tantrum, how he feels about the Mueller speaking out.

And also, Kamau Bell is going to come on to talk about Steve King now, his latest issue when it comes to race, and about different cultures contributing that they don't contribute equally to American society.

We'll discuss--

CUOMO: Uh (ph). LEMON: Yes, I know. That is an eye-roll. I'm with you on that.

CUOMO: I don't know where he had to go after he said you can't keep going with other people's babies--

LEMON: And the--

CUOMO: -in America.

LEMON: --size of cantaloupes, you know, the calf thing.

CUOMO: Cantaloupe calves.


CUOMO: All right, I'll see you in a little bit, my friend.

LEMON: No, you--

CUOMO: You got a good show coming.

LEMON: Actually we'll be on after the Town Hall. Remember that.

CUOMO: A 100 percent.

LEMON: See you, buddy.

CUOMO: All right, buddy.

All right, it's a hoax. Now, you know who says that right? It's one of the President's favorite phrases. It's so ironic though because he peddles hoaxes constantly. It is as if our President is almost allergic to the truth.

And I hate that. I want him to do better. This isn't about criticism. And I see a moment, I see an opportunity, and I see an argument, next.








CUOMO: We are entering a new phase. We're waiting to see what Democrats will do. Summer is starting, and the election season is about to begin in earnest. So here's something the President can change today that will make everything better for him going forward, literally everything. Here it is. Stop doing everything that drove the writing of this tweet. First, the facts. The only thing that is fake is this President's outrage. The Navy story is true, and he knows it. His office asked for them to do this.

His attacks on the truth impress the few but turn off the many. See, this President doesn't see what is happening around him.

Exhibit A.


TRUMP: John McCain, I wasn't a fan. But I would never do a thing like that. Now, somebody did it because they thought I didn't like him, OK? And they were well-meaning, I will say.


CUOMO: Well-meaning? None of that is. You don't say you weren't a fan of a dead war hero, of all times, to be honest. And the fact that, someone in the White House meant well by hiding a ship's name from the President, is a symptom of a sickness.

They won't mention preparing for election interference, or the problems with kids at the Border, or giving troubled information about Foreign Affairs, none of this is well-meaning. It has meaning.

There is a culture of fear, and catering to a POTUS who routinely chooses to lie like this.


TRUMP: There's no obstruction. There's no collusion. There's no nothing. It's nothing but a witch-hunt. This is a witch-hunt by the media and the Democrats. They're partners. And it keeps going.


CUOMO: Interference was real. He did try to obstruct. His people did collude. There was no criminal conspiracy with Russia. Thank God for that. But never a witch-hunt.

Trump's folks did stupid things to gain advance - get advantage, and they lied about it, and so did the President. But there is a chance to change, and the President stands much to gain. Attacking the truth is killing him politically.

Here's the argument. Well, first of all, easily, it's an abuse of power, and people know it. The biggest consensus about this President in this country is that he can't tell the truth, 65 percent. Find a number - another number that's that high about him, and they happen to be a 100 percent right.

The President wants to avoid impeachment. Here's the other part of the argument. Stop lying about what we know to be true. Here's why. The House needs people to buy in that this President should go because

of what happened. I suggest it's an iffy proposition. But the more the President exhibits the same behaviors that are being examined, the more people are going to catch on.

Push ideas for changing immigration. Don't lie about immigrants. Don't blame Democrats for a problem that you lied about creating, you fomented, and claimed could be fixed by a fence.

Push policies for more jobs and better trade. But don't lie about our growth and the risk of tariffs. Don't lie to farmers.

I don't accept that this President can't do things differently. I've seen him do things differently before. I watched him fall on his face and ask for money in ways and work into businesses in a way that he never had.

I remember when this President wouldn't shake your hands. He was a germaphobe. Today, he shook a 1,000 cadets' hands in the air force graduation.

So, this isn't just about doing what is right. That should be enough. But I can't see how this President wins with his numbers and support levels where they are. And the key to doing better for himself is doing better for the rest of us.

That's what I have for you tonight. Thank you for watching. CNN Presidential Town Hall, Senator Michael Bennet, begins right now.