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New CNN Poll Shows Support For Impeachment Increasing To 4%; Sanders Jabs Biden For Skipping California Democratic Convention; Delaney Booed After Saying Medicare For All Is Not Path Forward; Protester Grabs Microphone From Senator Kamala Harris During Forum; Suspect Turned In Resignation Letter On Day Of Rampage; Trump Calls Mexico An Abuser Of The United States; "Dangerous Overcrowding" at Border Facility; "Star Wars" Galaxy's Edge Opens At Disney; Disney Will Always Do Business With China. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired June 2, 2019 - 15:00   ET



[15:00:43] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. Thanks so much for being with me on this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

As President Trump gets ready to head to London tonight ahead of his highly anticipated royal visit, he can't escape what he called that "dirty, filthy, disgusting word, impeachment." A new CNN poll released today shows support for impeachment slowly increasing with 41 percent of those polled in support. That's up four points from the last CNN poll.

That increase is mostly due to Democratic support and keep in mind, this poll was mostly done after Special Counsel Robert Mueller broke his two-year silence and discussed the findings of his Russia probe this week. But some good news for the President, his approval rating is holding at 43 percent.

Let's check in with CNN Senior National Correspondent Kyung Lah, she's in San Francisco at the California Democratic Convention. So, Kyung, good to see you. What are the messages that you're hearing from people?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's very one loud message that we're hearing this morning, is if you are moderate you're not going to be popular at least in this crowd. This is an unabashed progressive crowd, left of center, in many cases more left than the way this state go.

And what we're hearing is, they are not pleased that Joe Biden did not come to this convention. Biden choosing instead to go to Ohio, some activists are viewing this as a dodge. This, in fact, this flyer was handed out to the press asking very simply where is Joe Biden? And then this sentiment was echoed by Bernie Sanders as he, though he didn't use his name, directly called out the former vice president.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As you all know, there is a debate among presidential candidates who have spoken to you here in this room and those who have chosen for whatever reason not to be in this room. About the best way forward.

So let me be as clear as I can be. In my view we will not defeat Donald Trump unless we bring excitement and energy into the came, and unless we give millions of working people and young people a reason to vote.


LAH: So that hit on Biden, Fredricka, a crowd pleaser here, Sanders, had a strong contingent of progressives who were cheering him on. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: So, Kyung, that's a very lively crowd there. People are quite outspoken and whether be in support of something and they're also booing too. In fact, some of the candidates have been booed there directly, haven't they?

LAH: Yes. This is rough and tumble San Francisco politics. If you're not on the same page as the progressives here, they are going to let you have it. And former Representative John Delaney, when he said that Medicare for All in his belief was not the way forward for the Democratic Party, they let him have it. Take a listen.


JOHN DELANEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Medicare for all may sound good, but it's actually not good policy nor is it good politics, I'm telling you. I'm telling you.

We should have universal healthcare.


LAH: Remember, Delaney is the one with the mic and he got completely, completely drowned out. That booing went on for a minute, and it almost continued all the way through the rest of his speech. For perspective, Fred, that was the worst booing we heard, but he wasn't the only one. John Hickenlooper when he talked about being a bit more moderate, he also got booed yesterday, just not quite so intensely.

WHITFIELD: Wow, all right. Well, the tone has been set there, hasn't it? All right, Kyung Lah, thank you so much. All right.

Meantime, a really frightening moment for Democratic presidential candidate, US Senator Kamala Harris.

[15:05:04] She was speaking at a Big Ideas Forum hosted by the group MoveOn in San Francisco yesterday, not far from that convention when a man kind of just walked, just sauntered on to stage and got right in her space grabbing the microphone out of her hands. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, hey, hey, hey, hey.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just a minute, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a minute ago, asking for your attention to a much bigger idea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much, sir. For your big idea, but we want to make sure that we are able to get through this.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need had a microphone.


HARRIS: I'm glad. It's all good.


WHITFIELD: Be you can hear Kamala Harris say I'm good, I'm good. But wow, what a moment, you can hear that -- now, we've learned a little bit more about the person who walked on stage, an animal rights group has claimed responsibility for that incident. So how does something like this happen?

Let's bring in former Washington, D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey. I mean, some would say that's a really close call, chief. I mean, this was serious. I mean, what's your worry about how an activist or anyone can walk on stage like this, gets so close as to grab a mic from a US senator, a presidential candidate, remain there long enough for her, you know, the senator, to be sitting there in the chair calm as can be, while the moderators tried to get in between the space before finally others come on stage and grab him?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's very disturbing. He never should have gotten on the stage.


RAMSEY: I don't know where the security was at that time, many of these candidates have their own security. Local police would be there to secure the venue itself, not necessarily provide protection for the individual who is in this case Senator Harris.

I don't believe she has secret service protection at this point in time, although she could request it by making a request to the director of homeland security. You know, since '68 when Bobby Kennedy was assassinate, that service is available to people in primaries should they ask for it, but they have to ask for it. But certainly that is something that should not have happened.

WHITFIELD: But she's a sitting senator.

RAMSEY: Well, yes.

WHITFIELD: But as a sitting senator, wouldn't she already have some sort of detail or security? Maybe not secret service but some sort of security.

RAMSEY: No, not necessarily.


RAMSEY: No, not necessarily. The US Capitol Police provide security for both the House and Senate leadership. Now, if there's a threat made towards a particular member, they will do a threat assessment and determine whether or not they should provide a protective detail.

A lot of candidates don't like that because they want to mingle with the public. They want to take selfies. They want to do all this kind of stuff.


RAMSEY: And when you have a protective detail it can be very restrictive.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Back when President Barack Obama was on the campaign trail, you know, as a senator, he did receive threats as, you know, what his office revealed publicly to us. And he did have secret service on the campaign trail. In this case, it was Harris' husband who was among those who came and, you know, kind of got in between and wrestled that activist.

So what do you believe this is an indicate of or is it an indicator of what other candidates have to be mindful of the potential, and so therefore they have to be anticipating or thinking about a higher level of security?

RAMSEY: Well, you know, it's unfortunate, but we're at a period of time when there's all these extreme positions that people are taking. Many people who are protesters and certainly they have the right to protest. It's not the majority but some feel that they don't -- that they can do practically anything they want. This guy is a perfect example of that.

I mean, he crossed the line, no question about it, but he should never have been allowed on the stage. So everyone needs to rethink their security and look at trying to find that balance to allow the candidate to be able to interact with the public. But at the time have a level of protection where you don't have someone just burst on to a stage.

If he had intent to harm her, he would have had every opportunity to do it simply because security was not close enough to intervene.

WHITFIELD: Yes. That was frightening to watch, all right. Chief Charles Ramsey, thank you so much. All right.

Let's bring in now former Democratic Congressman from Illinois, Luis Gutierrez, and former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, Scott Jennings. Good to see you both.

So what are your reactions quickly, you know, Scott, your thoughts quickly on what we've just seen.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, these events, people don't understand these presidential candidates before they have secret service are largely unprotected, you know, from events like this.

[15:10:03] This guy is obviously a nut who jumped up on the stage. I think he ought to spend a few nights in jail to be honest. You shouldn't be able to approach a candidate like this.

But when you think about US senators and congressmen, a lot of other elected officials, they're always out and more susceptible to these kinds of things and people really realize. And so, when I tell people, you know, you're going to a big event keep your eyes open because there's a lot of people out there who are willing to do things to candidates and most of them, vast majority of them do not have any protection of any kind. It's really scary.

WHITFIELD: And, congressman, I mean, it appears that the former prosecutor and senators, you know, tell her to stay put. I mean, you know, her instincts were to remain calm which is often the advice when anyone around you, you know, expresses or shows some kind of volatility. Thankfully nothing horrible happened. But what's your, you know, immediate response to what happened?

LUIS GUTIERREZ, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, unfortunately and in some situations we know in our history, tragically it comes as part of the public service. And I think that Senator Kamala Harris that with great dignity and with a lot of courage, lot of respect. My hat goes off to her and at the same time I applaud all of the candidates that go out there and campaign, and thrust themselves right into the public.

My congratulations because I think we need to understand there are many dangers. And we have seen that with congressmen being shot, Republican congressmen being shot playing a baseball game, Democratic congresswoman from Arizona being shot at an event, a congressional event. It happens every day. And God speed and let's protect them all.

And I think the Capitol police and our protective services should take maybe a broad view of protecting the members of Congress and the Senate when they do decide to run for things like president of the United States. It's very, very limited, very, very difficult to get the kind of protection that they need.

WHITFIELD: All right, security being top of mind. And now, let's shift gears a little bit because that word impeachment is top of mind, whether you're a Democrat or Republican, or whether the sitting president right now. And then, there are some new polling right now I want to share. And, you know, the chance of impeachment, it's growing over the last month and the third Ranking House Democrat, Congressman Jim Clyburn, says, "It's not a matter of if but when now." Listen.


REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC), MAJORITY WHIP: We think that we have to bring the public along. We're not particularly interested in the Senate. We do believe that if we sufficiently, effectively educate the public, then we will have done our job, so we can move on an impeachment vote. And it will stand and maybe it will be what needs to be done to incent (ph) the Senate to act.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: But it sounds like you think the president will be impeached or proceedings will begin in the House at some point but just not right now.

CLYBURN: Yes. Exactly what I feel.


WHITFIELD: All right. Congressman, is that an indicator that, you know, some Democrats might be growing impatient with the House Speaker's approach or of that simply, you know, they do belief that there will be a consensus towards impeachment?

GUTIERREZ: I certainly hope so. I think that I think Mr. Mueller should come and testify freely and openly and candidly before the committees of jurisdiction in both the House and the Senate.

Let's remember there are reports that less than 5 percent of the American public have read the Mueller report. I think he has a responsibility to come out and educate and defend his findings. And I think if he does that, we will better educate the American people.

If anything we learned this week from Mr. Mueller and his very limited appearance was that, he feels it's now incumbent upon the Congress of the United States to take the appropriate actions as the constitution dictates. And, number two, that he really feels that he has done his job. He has put forward the information. It's time for the House of Representatives to do what it needs to do in terms of the judiciary committee.

And at the same time, let's be clear, he and Attorney General Barr have been sparring. Mr. Mueller believes obstruction of justice something that the House of Representatives should take up.

WHITFIELD: So, Scott, you know, in the last month support for impeachment has gone up 4 percent according to this new CNN polling. How concerned are you about that?

JENNINGS: Well, I believe they were going to impeachment Donald Trump since he won the election.

[15:15:01] Representative Clyburn, you played a clip from him. Today he used a word that I think was spot on in describing how Democrats feel. He said emotionally they want us to do something.

Since they lost the election, Hillary Clinton, emotionally, they wanted to get Donald Trump out of office and wanted the Russia situation to be the impetus for that. Mueller comes along, issues a report and, bang, here we are, three-quarters of the Democrats in the CNN poll want to impeach the President right now.

I think if you put articles of impeachment on the floor of the House, there's not a Democratic congressman that would vote against it. So obviously -- oh, and look at the convention this weekend. You had a report with the convention. Two things you got to be for to get cheers from that audience, impeachment and socialism.

So obviously, the energy is behind impeachment in the Democratic Party. I think they're going to do it. I think there's not a chance in the world that the Senate would convict Donald Trump and nobody wants to be impeached. But I think this is a situation where the energy in the Democratic Party is not where public opinion is broadly, and this is why Nancy Pelosi is in such a pickle.

WHITFIELD: OK. Although it was described that that particular event was, you know, more left-leaning, not necessarily representative of the entire Democratic Party. We'll leave it there for now. Scott Jennings and Luis Gutierrez, thank you so much.

Meantime, impeachment is sure to be a hot topic during three back-to- back Democratic CNN presidential town halls tonight. Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton, Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and California Congressman Eric Swalwell take the stage live from the CNN Center right here in Atlanta, and it all starts at 6:00 tonight only on CNN.

Still ahead, disturbing new details about a deadly shooting inside that Virginia municipal building, 12 people killed. What police now say, the shooter did just hours before opening fire on his coworkers.


[15:20:24] WHITFIELD: We're also following new developments into the investigation into the mass shooting in Virginia Beach that killed 11 city employees and a contractor.

Officials now say the gunman resigned just hours before he opened fire on his coworkers. The longtime city employee sent his supervisors an e-mail early in the day saying he was leaving his job. The city also confirming that one of the victims was a supervisor in the gunman's chain of command. Today police also release dramatic new details about the shooting.

For more on these unfolding developments, let's bring in CNN's Miguel Marquez. So, Miguel, what more are we learning about the suspect, the possible motives and what's happening there now?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What may be absolutely disturbing about this, Fredricka, is that this is a person who everyone CNN has talked to, everyone that I've seen in other reports has said, he was a friendly guy, he was a quiet guy, he was an OK guy and then this.

You talked about the resignation earlier in the day. His immediate supervisor was one of the people that was killed. It is not clear if he targeted that individual. Police have spoken about how all of this played out.

I do want to show you exactly where we are right now. This is the police station on the other side basically of where all of this took place. This is the official memorial here that is being set up. Police pointing out that their officers moved from this area towards that building up into it and engaged him. The chief of police giving us a few more details about how that long gun battle took place.


JAMES CERVERA, POLICE CHIEF, VIRGINIA BEACH: Five to eight minutes after these officers began to enter the building and made contact and engaged with the suspect on the second floor of the building. I can't tell you how many minutes shots were being fired. I can tell that you in the police world, anything more than three to five shots is a long gun battle.

As the suspect was firing he was moving. They were returning fire and at one point, the suspect was firing through the door and through the wall at the officers, and then the firing stopped.

They eventually breached the door, and when they breached the door the suspect was then alive and was taken into custody and first aid was immediately rendered to him.


MARQUEZ: And it cannot be emphasized enough that these police officers who rushed in there, one of them had the presence of mind to slap on a protected vest that saved his life because he was ended up shot by the suspect. And now, this, people coming here to hold hands, lay flowers, say prayers, get on one knee and hope and pray that the people who are affected by this will start to feel some sense of relief and to know that others are with them.

Just absolutely shaking this community, like so many communities across the country. Virginia Beach, Virginia, now part of on a very grim list of cities across the United States that has suffered this sort of mass shooting. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: All right. So tragic and so senseless, all right. Miguel Marquez, thank you.

I want to bring back now Charles Ramsey, former Police Chief, Washington, D.C. and beyond, all right. So, chief, you know, city officials are saying they are still searching for a motive, you know, in the Virginia Beach shooting. They did admit that he sent a letter of resignation just hours before going on this deadly rampage. But do you feel like they, you know, they know more than they are letting on or is this an incredible mystery to all those involved?

RAMSEY: Well, they might know a bit more than they are letting on, but it's also very possible that they are still struggling trying to find a clue as to what made this guy decide to do what he did. I mean, he submitted a letter of resignation or e-mail of resignation just prior to beginning this rampage.

I mean, he's 40 years old. He's got 15 years I believe working there. Not old enough to retire or anything. Something must have happened to make him suddenly resign. It doesn't necessarily have to be just at the workplace, maybe in his personal life. I mean, who knows?

They've got to continue to go back, they'll sort through everything that they can possibly sort through to find -- try to find a motive, that quite frankly they'll never know.

WHITFIELD: What are those things you believe that they are sorting through? I mean, we know the obvious in terms of the crime scene, going to their place of residence. But, you know, what's the spans in which they look?

[15:25:02] RAMSEY: Well, social media, friend, relatives, anything that might give them a clue as to what it was that was going on. I mean, you know, this is an unusual case, to say the least, simply because it doesn't seem to be any real indicators that we know of, at least as of now. Of course, we're always looking at red flags and hindsight is always 20/20, so I don't know if any of his behavior would have been at a level where there should have been intervention by police or anyone else quite frankly that we won't know until more information is uncovered.

WHITFIELD: Yes. What do you assess about the planning? I mean, you know, clearly he had quite the arsenal, officials did reveal that, and the use of the silencer, then canvassing at least three floors of that workplace.

RAMSEY: Well, he had it planned, there's no question in my mind just from his actions. I mean, he had two semiautomatics with magazines. He had a suppressor. He covered all three floors of that building which in itself is a bit unusual. But, you know, he knew the place.

I mean, he work there forever, and we don't know if he was trying to hunt down certain people, was he just doing it randomly to kind of maximize the number of casualties? But that's not something that was spurred a moment, guaranteed.

WHITFIELD: Chief Charles Ramsey, thanks for your expertise, really appreciate it.

RAMSEY: It's quite all right. WHITFIELD: Coming up, the Trump administration threatens tough new tariffs on Mexico over the migrant situation at the border. The President's plans to stop what he calls an invasion, next.


[15:30:21] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. President Trump doubling down on his threat to impose escalating tariffs on Mexico over the migration crisis. Trump calling Mexico, I'm quoting now, "an abuser of the United States." He said that in a tweet. Earlier today, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney defended the use of tariffs as a political weapon.


MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: He's absolutely deadly serious. In fact, I fully expect these tariffs to go on at least the 5 percent level on June 10th. The President is deadly serious about fixing the situation at the southern border. That's the economic orthodoxy that when tariffs go up, consumer prices go up.

But the proof is in the pudding. There is no inflation. Prices have not gone up. We've put tariffs on China. We're putting tariffs on Mexico and inflation is still under control. That's because that old- fashioned economic orthodoxy doesn't work when it's relatively easy to substitute other goods.


WHITFIELD: We're also learning that US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will meet his Mexican counterpart tomorrow in Washington, and that comes ahead of high-level talks led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scheduled for Wednesday.

Sarah Westwood is at the White House for us. So, Sarah, the President is also tweeting on these upcoming meetings. What is he saying?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Fred, just moments ago President Trump tweeted that essentially he wants to see results from Mexico, not just talk, this ahead of those high level negotiations that you mentioned.

The President suggested that Mexico could somehow solve the migrant crisis on the southern border in just one day if they tried, making clear he is doubling down on these tariffs.

There are fears here in Washington that immigration-related tariffs could affect the US-Mexico-Canada agreement, that's President's renegotiated version of NAFTA that is about to be put up for debate for its approval on Capitol Hill, and there are fears that the President's tariffs here could make that already difficult path just more complicated.

But Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney argue this morning that this should be considered an immigration issue, not a trade issue, and the administration's expectation at this point is that one will not affect the other.

And acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told our colleague, Jake Tapper, that the area along the southern border where migrants are coming over is a "controllable area" that Mexico could do more to step up and help stem the flow of migrants. McAleenan called this necessary pressure on Mexico.

Both Mulvaney and McAleenan pointing to the major spike in undocumented migrants coming over the southern border, pointing to the fact that more than 4,000 a day according to them are being a apprehended by DHS, and that is the reason why the President has chosen to put even more pressure on Mexico at this point, Fred.

WHITFIELD: And, Sarah, is it coincidental that this announcement comes right after Robert Mueller made his public statement and consumed, you know, the new cycle?

WESTWOOD: Well, Fred, the timing is certainly interesting. That is something that the President was clearly frustrated with this week after Special Counsel Robert Mueller stood up and highlighted parts of his report that were most damaging to President Trump.

But Trump has also been calling on Mexico to do more to stop the flow of migrants into the US for months now. He has threatened tariffs in the past, more in the abstract he hasn't followed through, but at this point he's making clear that he's finally ready to take that action because he hasn't seen that necessary cooperation from Mexico, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Sarah Westwood at the White House, keep us posted. Thank you.

Up next, overcrowding at the border reaches a tipping point. The acting Homeland Security secretary says migrant children are staying in custody even longer because Congress won't act. More on the situation next.


[15:37:44] WHITFIELD: New warning signs today over the growing crisis at the border. The acting Homeland Security secretary tells CNN the average hours in custody is increasing for migrant children. Kevin McAleenan says additional funding from Congress is key to resolving the issue.

His comments follow reports of dangerous overcrowding and unsanitary conditions at a border patrol facility in El Paso, Texas. An unannounced inspection, rather, found approximately 900 detainees were housed at the facility which has a maximum capacity of 125 people.

That's where we find CNN Correspondent Paolo Sandoval. So, Paolo, what else did we hear from the secretary concerning the state of affairs for these migrant children?

PAOLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the secretary, and also just folks who live up and down that border, Fred, they tell me that they've had some days now to digest those stunning findings in that report that was published on Friday by the office of inspector general. Obviously they are gone over those findings.

And when you hear from the interim head of the Department of Homeland Security, interim Secretary Kevin McAleenan, he says that, you know, these kinds of photographs that we're seeing in this report, they should not surprise anybody. He has been not only flagging these conditions, but also even testifying about those before Congress.

So, as he told our colleague Jake Tapper during this morning's "State of the Union," these pictures support the argument that he is presenting that the situation on the border in his own words is at a breaking point.


KEVIN MCALEENAN, ACTING HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I could not agree more with the IG's findings that we need a solution to changes and we have solutions on the table with Congress. You mentioned the supplemental. We asked for $4.5 billion, 3.3 of that is to take better care of children in federal custody for HHS, not for DHS for Health and Human Services. So, we need help from Congress, we need it immediately.

We've also put solutions on the table that would prevent this flow from happening in the first place. So we need help from Congress to do this effectively, but we're not resting on our laurels.

I've just got back from Guatemala where we're trying to address these (INAUDIBLE) organizations at their point of origin. We're trying to get kids out of the cycle in the first place. So we've got a lot going on, but we need this funding from Congress so that we can provide better care for people in our facility.


SANDOVAL: The interim secretary also flogging another concern of his that he mentioned a while ago here, Fred, is that the average number of hours during which these migrant unaccompanied children are being held, it continues to growth.

[15:40:07] Obviously their counterparts with the Department of Health and Human Services in charge of handling that aspect of these crisis are also overwhelmed. A quick example here, only about three days ago the Department of Homeland Security apprehended its largest group of migrants here in the El Paso area, about 1,036 people. About 60 of them were unaccompanied children.

So that last week. There are potentially more today, potentially more tomorrow, so there are really several components here and regardless of who you talk to here at the southern border, Fred, there is a consensus that there's this obvious crisis here, but the debate, of course, starts when it comes to how do you fix it.

WHITFIELD: Polo Sandoval, thank you so much in El Paso. And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: All right, it's Disney's biggest renovation ever, and it's here. The "Star Wars" Galaxy's Edge Park opens this weekend in Anaheim, California inside Disneyland Park. Disney promised it will feel, sound, smell and even taste like "Star Wars."

[15:45:07] CNN's Christine Romans spoke to the man in charge of it all, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger. He opened up about the challenges of bringing "Star Wars" Galaxy's Edge to life, Disney's new streaming service and the trade war with China.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What was the pressure of getting it just right for "Star Wars" fans, because they're particular?

BOB IGER, CEO, WALT DISNEY CO.: They are particular and I think we started by wanting to please them the most, because we knew that if we pleased them then, you know, we'd please everyone.

And by pleasing them, what we meant by that is, one, it has to be big and bold because that's what "Star Wars" is and its what's "Star Wars" was. It has to be artistic in nature, meaning it has to be a lot about it that has elements of art in it.

ROMANS: Right.

IGER: And it also has to be technologically advanced. And, of course, lastly, it had to be from a detailed perspective as "Star Wars" as it gets. There's a plaque when you walk into Disneyland that says "Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy." It was Walt's way of saying --

ROMANS: Right.

IGER: -- leave everything behind, you're coming into a new place. Whether it's yesterday or tomorrow or fantasy, it's not where you're from. That's what this is in many respects, because you're leaving your reality and entering the reality of "Star Wars."

ROMANS: Look forward to me. I mean, are you going to keep imagining and creating and what could we expect in the years ahead?

IGER: As we look to the future, we're opening another "Star Wars" land in Florida this summer. We're building three new cruise ships. We're just about to open (inaudible) a "Beauty and the Beast" attraction in Japan. We're expanding Disneyland in Paris and Hong Kong. We're building a Zootopia land in Shanghai. There's a lot going on.

ROMANS: Yes. Attendance globally I think was up something like 5 percent last year. And if you look just through the prism of what people spend in the US theme parks at Disney or their tickets, how much they are buying, the American consumer looks really solid.

Are you concerned at all about a faltering there 10 years into the economic recovery because of trade war, maybe Chinese consumers coming less, travel from Chinese consumer is less, or even the trade war hurting the US economy?

IGER: We take a long-term view on almost everything that we do. As for instance, the decision about California adventure in cars land and to build two new cruise ships was made in it the '08-'09 period when we were looking at the worst economic downturn we'd seen in our lives, but we knew that we were building things and businesses to last a long time and that's how we look at it.

We have short-term concerns, sure. We don't see signs that the trade war is hurting us at this point. I was just in Shanghai and didn't detect any anti-Americanism or any slowdown in terms of the Chinese tourists.

Visitations to the United Stated from the Chinese, we hear it's down. It's small to our parks. We draw from much larger markets outside the United States in terms of visitations than China. So if there's an effect of a slowdown in Chinese tourism to the US, we haven't felt it yet. But, again, we're long-term players.

ROMANS: Right.

IGER: And we know there'll be cycles. We certainly hope that a trade agreement is reach because that will obviously be better for our business. And if it gets worse, more acrimonious, it's possible that it will be harmful to us. But, I think our countries eventually will figure out a way to coexist as the number one and number two economies in the world. I think there's a necessity to that happening.

ROMANS: A necessity. I know couple years ago you were on the President's business advisory council and clearly the people who are advising him then were saying, look, a trade war is not good long- term, but that appears to be the strategy that we're holding out on here.

IGER: Well, I don't want to speak to the administration. Obviously this is a very complex issue on how they're handling it. I think their issues to the United States is to grapple with in terms of doing business in China and with China that are important to the US economy.

That said, I think we have to recognize the importance to China and its economy and its people to the world. And I think you have to create a balance there and figure out how to balance what's good for the US but with the reality that, you know, China is not just a flash in the pan.

ROMANS: Right.

IGER: You know, this is a big country and doing business -- if you're a global company based in the United States and you're not doing business in China or your business in China is not successful, then you're eliminating yourself significantly. So that's just from a Disney perspective. That's an important market to us.

ROMANS: And we're talking about "Star Wars" here and the "Star Wars" franchise, and that's going to be really important for Disney Plus when you guys roll that out. Talk to me a little bit about what's that going to looks like.

I've heard you say it's going to be about choice. So you've got Hulu, you've got ESPN Plus, you've Disney Plus. Is this -- what is this going to look like for consumers who want choice from Disney content?

IGER: Well, we believe that all three will offer consumers in a different kinds of programming, sports obviously, ESPN, Disney, which is Disney Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic and "Star Wars" will be more geared to family and Hulu will stick to what it is doing, which is essentially an adult like fare.

[15:50:17] ROMANS: Yes. What inning are we in, in the streaming evolution? Because I'm not sure if this is the second inning or we're halfway through this ball game. I mean, there's Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Warner Media. I mean, there's so many different players. Is it going to continue to evolve?

IGER: Yes, I think we're in the early innings.


IGER: Because I think that you're going to see a lot of change in media due to technological disruption and that will create change in consumer behavior and I think it's likely that direct to consumer over the top platforms that are focused more on program consumption versus channel consumption are likely to grow significantly overtime.

ROMANS: Right.

IGER: And I think you're going to see consolidation on the linear channel front. So, I think you're in the -- when I say later innings, I don't want to suggest there's not going to be an extra inning game when it comes to the channel business, but I think that's a mature business.


IGER: And consolidation is ahead and necessary as the consumer migrates to a different form of television consumption.


WHITFIELD: Walt Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger talking with our Christine Romans.

All right, tune in tonight for a double dose of two CNN Original Series, first at 9:00, see what happens when victims and offenders of violent crimes meet face to face in "The Redemption Project with Van Jones." That's followed by another all new episode of "United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell." That's at 10:00 only on CNN.


[15:55:13] WHITFIELD: When it comes to President Trump, is it true that out of sight is out of mind? That's this week's "State of the Cartoonion." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before President Trump went to Japan last week, his staff asked the Navy to obscure the name of the USS John McCain to avoid angering the President.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which got us wondering, what else might the President staff do to keep him from blowing his top? Do maps in the White House only show the states that he won? Does his staff hide from him the existence of other long gone and revered politicians?

TRUMP: We made America great again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perhaps his intelligence community could come up with some high-tech glasses, ones that make him see everyone he meets as more supportive, even obsequious. We can call them Pence nest (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump's leadership inspires me every single day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our President is a man with broad shoulders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to thank you, Mr. President.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And of course, there's a less high-tech option, bubble wrap.

TRUMP: I feel very comfortable.


WHITFIELD: All right, coming up, impending impeachment, growing calls to start the process against President Trump. Top Democrats say they're not there yet, but that tie may be changing. More right after this.