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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Administration Considering Rule to Make It More Difficult for Central American Migrants to Claim Asylum; Private Border Wall Project Resumes After Cease and Desist Order; World's Smallest Baby Released from the Hospital; Director of O'Rourke Doc Talks About His Chances for 2020; Foul Ball Hits Young Fan, Leaves Cubs Player Distraught. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired May 30, 2019 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00] ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: -- where it is, is new evidence, Brooke.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Ariane, thank you very much.

Let me get to this breaking news to us here at CNN regarding the border. President Trump is considering a new rule that it would make more difficult for specifically Central American migrants to claim asylum if they enter through the southern border. This is according to a senior administration official and source close to the White House. The regulation would prohibit migrants who have resided in a third country from seeking asylum. Meaning it would stop any migrants who have made the trek through Mexico, from their home country, being able to claim asylum. And this is the latest attempt by the White House, the Trump administration here to tougher the asylum process.

Former ICE acting director John Torres is with me now. And John, a pleasure to have you on. And we have this news that just dropped in our laps. You're the perfect person to ask about it. I mean, this was drastically limit who is eligible for asylum. What's your reaction to this.

JOHN TORRES, FORMER ICE ACTING DIRECTOR: In doesn't surprise me. I know that there have been people in the government over the years y that have talked about submitting a proposal or a rule change for something just like this. They called it in the past safe third country passage. Basically meaning that if you're coming through Mexico or another country to get to the United States, then you claim asylum, you really should go back to the country you just most recently passed and claim asylum there. And so that has been talked about for a while now.

BALDWIN: Not surprised then with that. Let me ask you also meantime at the border, construction is resumed in New Mexico on part of the border wall that was privately funded by this GoFundMe account. It was temporarily on hold over the weekend after the city filed a cease and desist order and now this one-mile fence section it could be complete we're told sometime today. The founder of this fundraiser that has raised more than $23 million said that this is all President Trump approved.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN KOLFAGE, FOUNDER, "WE BUILD A WALL": That the government should be doing it but it is not getting done. And we're not trying to build entire southern border wall. This is protest wall. The President supports it. DHS supports it. So we've had the blessing of our government to move forward with this project.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: And we're just learning Florida just launched an investigation into the group behind this. John, you tell me, what are the risks of a private company taking matters into their own hands and building a wall like this?

TORRES: Well, you run the risk of having a patch work of different sections of walls that may not actually measure up to the specifications and the requirements set forth in the solicitation and the proposals that the government put out. And so on the one hand, I kind of admire it from a business perspective, I admire their ingenuity and resolve. But the reality is as a former government employee, this would give me -- it would cause me pause to look at this and say, hey, hold on a second, we need to be in coordination here.

BALDWIN: Yes, patch work wall, no go. We know that Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon and others are part of this effort. And Bannon says, quote, border patrol told us it is the number one most important mile to close. But because of the tough terrain it's left off the list.

This is part of the wall that's nearby El Paso. Do you think this is really the most important mile? Is Bannon, right?

TORRES: Well, I've talked to several people on the border patrol and they say, hey, look, there are different sections of the wall, depending on the time of -- and the season of when you're actual looking at what is the priority.

For example I was in McAllen, Texas, a few weeks ago and briefed by the border patrol down there and they talked about the numbers of how many people were flowing through south Texas. And then early this morning I talked to another board patrol agent down in New Mexico and El Paso area and they say they're seeing about a thousand people a day they are not only arresting but actually they're turning themselves in to the border patrol because they know they're not going to be detained. So it may have been that particular day the most important morrow. But quite frankly that is a shifting line on the ground.

BALDWIN: The main contractor working on this private project is Fisher Industries. And I bring this up because recent reporting shows that President Trump is aggressively pushing for Fisher Industry to officially build his big beautiful wall. And the top executive of that company happens to be a GOP donor and frequent guest on Fox News. But the Army Corp who oversees the selection has already determined that Fisher does not meet requirements and is not as high quality as some other companies. So, John, how unusual is it for the President to be so involved and so insistent in this process?

TORRES: Yes, it doesn't surprise me that high levels people will express their desires, like the President, and then turn around and say, for example, I would really like this wall to be built as quickly as possible.

[15:35:06] Knowing that he comes from the private sector and this is what he's done on the outside with skyscrapers for example, but in the government, there is a long process and even when I was in the government I'd get frustrated with the red tape. But just to do a solicitation for this, you're looking at a minimum of six months and that does not include litigation, protests and then finally the construction process itself. So this is not going to happen any time fast.

BALDWIN: John Torres, thank you so much.

TORRES: My pleasure.

BALDWIN: Coming up, so small. So small. She could fit in the palm of your hand. The incredible story of how a baby born weighing less than nine ounces survived to become a healthy infant.

And frightening moments at the ballpark when this foul ball hits a little girl in the stands and leaves the player who hit the ball in tears. You have to see this.

[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: This is just incredible. A remarkable story of survival from the world's tiniest baby. This is little Saybie. She finally was able to go home after a tough five months in the hospital. And she is the world's smallest surviving baby. Born at just 8 pounds, six ounces. So see this Apple. This is basically how much she weighed. CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here with the extraordinary story of little Saybie. Tell me everything.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Brooke, it is amazing. She was born at just a little bit over eight ounces and when her mother got sick and was told if you're going to have this baby four months early. She thought my baby's not going to survive but her baby proved her wrong.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAYBIE'S MOTHER: It was the scariest day of my life.

COHEN (voice-over): That is the voice of mother of the world's smallest known preemie. Born almost four months early, this little girl weighed just over half a pound. 7 grams less than the previous record holder.

SAYBIE'S MOTHER: They told me I had preeclampsia. My blood pressure was very, very high, over 200 and we had to deliver her really quick.

COHEN: The mother heard here speaking to the hospital wants to remain anonymous. The baby's doctors and nurses at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital in San Diego called their tiny patient Saybie.

SAYBIE'S MOTHER: I kept telling her she's not going to survive more than two or three weeks.

COHEN: Babies like Saybie born at 23 weeks typically have about a one in four chance of survival, but Saybie beat the odds. That's particularly remarkable since not only was Saybie born early, she was tiny for her age. Most babies born at 23 weeks weigh roughly twice what she weighed. After five months in the neonatal intensive care unit, Saybie was discharged this month at nearly 5 1/2 pounds. Her doctors say she's a healthy baby.

DR. PAUL WOZNIAK, NEONATOLOGIST: She didn't have any major complications. Like a lot have bleeding on the brain being born so prematurely and she didn't have any.

SAYBIE'S MOTHER: She is the smallest baby. But she's mine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COHEN: Now micro preemies like Saybie, they can have problems later in life. Cognitive issues or hearing issues or vision issues but so far Saybie is looking terrific -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: God bless all NICU doctors and nurses and staff. That is a phenomenal group of humans. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you very much.

COHEN: Thanks.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, the director who made a document about Beto O'Rourke's run for Senate. He will join me live. We'll ask him why he thinks the former Congressman hasn't broke out yet in the 2020 crop of candidates and how his unique style will translate to a Presidential election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is by far the largest crowd he's ever spoken to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he prepared?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. We're not using a teleprompter. We haven't written a speech. He's just going for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[15:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Beto O'Rourke boasts that he is the only Presidential candidate from a border town. And now the former Congressman who once represented El Paso has released his immigration policy which he said is a work in progress. Among his multiple goals, reunite families, end travel bans and make the nationalization process easier so DREAMers no longer fear deportation. He also wants to create a system to track deaths at the border. O'Rourke has been trying to reinvigorate his campaign after a drop in

the polls and now this new HBO documentary shows O'Rourke has struggled before on the trail. The film is called "Running with Beto". It chronicles his campaign in Texas for U.S. Senate. A race he lost to Ted Cruz last year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BETO O'ROURKE, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm traveling to all 254 counties to meet everybody that I can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going to be live on Facebook. For 24 hours straight. This is my best idea ever. Or my last idea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I went up to Beto and I told him, I said, here's the deal man. You better bring brain back and balls to the table or go home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because of the negative attacks on Beto because we're not punching back hard enough, everyone is telling you you're doing it wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: HBO is owned by Warner Media, the same parent company at CNN. So with me now David Modigliani is director of "Running with Beto". And so, David, a pleasure. We'll get into the film in just a second. But can you see why O'Rourke made one of his first major policy announcements about immigration, because it is so near and dear to him?

[15:50:03] DAVID MODIGLIANI, DIRECTOR, "RUNNING WITH BETO": Absolutely. I mean, I think Beto growing up in El Paso, Texas, on the border is able to talk about immigration really through lived experience. And I know it's an issue that's important to him. Obviously, Trump is going to make the upcoming election about fearing the other, fearing the immigrant and I think Beto is able to talk about immigration with a positive vision in a way that is different probably from anyone else in the Democratic field.

BALDWIN: OK. Your film, it is crystal clear watching it just how much running for office takes a toll on his family life. Here's a clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long did that take?

AMY O'ROURKE, WIFE OF DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BETO O'ROURKE: When Beto had told me he wanted to run for Congress the first time, I was pregnant with Henry. And I can remember we were sitting in a car together, and I was just crying and crying because I couldn't understand why he would almost like sacrifice our family to run for that level of office. Because everything that I knew about life on The Hill was just kind of dirty and slimy and people changed once they got there. Two years later, we talked about it again and we decided that he

should run. We figured how to maintain a strong family life and then when Trump won, like what can we do as a couple to try to change this dialogue at a national level? And when you have an opponent like Cruz, that just seems like a very easy answer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So, obviously, that's a wife. You see the kids. You see the son who is just over it. Can you just tell me more about the family dynamic?

MODIGLIANI: Absolutely. I mean, I think we were making a film, we wanted to show the intimate human personal experience of what it's really like to run for office, warts and all. And although it's different from the military in the sense it's not life and death, I think there really is the case that politicians and public servants spend a lot of time away from their family. Beto is home about two days a month for almost two years through this campaign and you see Amy and his three kids and Beto really work hard to try to maintain their family relationship through a really difficult and trying time.

BALDWIN: So here's one of the critiques from your film. This is from the "National Review" conservative site. So maybe no surprise to you. One of the quotes is, too bad the money shot isn't in the movie. Modigliani doesn't offer any footage of O'Rourke at the moment he learns he has lost. Why wasn't that in there?

MODIGLIANI: Yes, I think one of the most special things for us in this film was the trust and access that we had really to tell the behind the scenes story of this guy going from a virtual unknown to a national political sensation. And for them to allow us into their kitchen after losing the race in this most vulnerable moment when everything they worked for two years hadn't gone in their direction. To really sit and process the loss for the first time in front of our cameras, I think, has been a moment that people who are seeing the film on HBO as it's streaming now are really responding to. So it was really special to have that intimate reaction to the loss in this film.

BALDWIN: Here's my last question because you see towards the end of the film, you see his supporters' reaction to his loss. I mean, David, they are in tears. And you flash forward to now. He is one of, what is it, 23 Democrats who would like to be the next President. So where do you think all the momentum, all the enthusiasm has gone?

MODIGLIANI: I think this campaign is almost unfathomably long. This primary ahead of us, like a baseball season. And I think that everyone sort of is going to have their moment and you hope it happens at the right time. The grassroots activist you mention, the 17-year- old gun safety activist, the formerly Republican gay Latina on the border, the gun enthusiast from rural Texas that are all in this film, I think are sort of the Greek chorus through this Texas Senate race. And you see that it was really not the end of something but the beginning of something. And I think Beto has shown this biological ability to inspire people,

to get people involved in politics for the first time. And he's got those things that you can't teach a politician. And I think he probably now has folks in places you look to scale something nationally. Texas is bigger than France. But now he's looking at this nationwide campaign and I think hopefully there's some time ahead where he'll be able to develop a truly national campaign.

BALDWIN: Your film is out as you mentioned streaming now on HBO. It is "Running with Beto." David Modigliani, congratulations. Thank you very much.

And let me also mention the candidate himself, Beto O'Rourke, will be on "CUOMO PRIME TIME" tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern here on CNN.

Coming up next, Attorney General Bill Barr explaining in a new interview why he felt he had to make a decision on obstruction after Special Counsel Robert Mueller decided not to. You will hear from him ahead.

[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: You just really never see something like this. This frightening night at the ballpark after this little girl was hit by this foul ball. Chicago Cubs outfielder, Albert Almora Jr., stared in disbelief -- look at him -- and would later become overcome with such emotion after a trip to the area where the girl was sitting. She was taken to a hospital. We don't know anything else about her condition. A fan seated nearby tells CNN she appeared to be conscious. After the game Almora talked to reporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALBERT ALMORA JR., OUTFIELDER, CHICAGO CUBS: With God willing, I'll be able to have a relationship with this little girl for the rest of my life. But just prayers right now. That's all I really can control.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: MLB said it would work with teams to expand netting over seats.

I'm Brooke Baldwin, thanks for being with me. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts right now.

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