Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Calls Mueller a "True Never Trumper"; Mueller Says His Russia Report Didn't Exonerate Trump; New CNN Poll: 54 Percent Oppose Impeaching and Removing Trump; Battle for California: 2020 Dems Visit Key Primary State. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired June 2, 2019 - 08:00   ET



[08:00:19] DANA BASH, CNN HOST (voice-over): The president --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Mueller is a true never Trumper, somebody that dislikes Donald Trump.

BASH: -- versus the special prosecutor.

ROBERT MUELLER, SPECIAL COUNSEL: If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.

BASH: Plus, a new front in President Trump's trade war, the U.S./Mexico border.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This president is going to continue to take such action necessary to have our neighbor to the South in Mexico do more to prevent this massive wave of people.

BASH: 2020 Democrats take their progressive pitches to deep blue California.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are a nation where too often the destiny of children is defined by the wealth of their families.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want an America that doesn't just work for a thin slice at the top.

BASH: And 12 dead in Virginia beach.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were all just terrified.

BASH: Another community shattered by gun violence.

INSIDE POLITICS, the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters, now.


BASH: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Dana Bash, in today for John King. For two long years, the American people heard a lot about Robert

Mueller without ever hearing from Robert Mueller. Well, that changed on Wednesday, his final day on the job when he stepped in front of cameras to deliver two messages, first that his investigation was no witch hunt.


MUELLER: There were multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.


BASH: And his report did not exonerate the president of the United States.


MUELLER: There was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy. If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.

Under longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he's in office. Charging the president with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider.


BASH: Most members of Congress heard only the parts they wanted to hear.


REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): What was clear from Mueller's remarks is the extraordinary misconduct this president has engaged in.

SEN. THOM TILLIS (R-NC): What the Department of Justice was tasked to do was to determine if a crime was committed. They found insufficient evidence.

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): He's asking the United States Congress to hold an impeachment inquiry.

REP. JIM JORDAN (D-OH): We learned that there was no collusion, no obstruction. It was the same darn conclusion. That to me was the takeaway.


BASH: As for the American people, well, we are unveiling a new CNN poll right now. It shows 43 percent approve of the job the president is doing, no movement at all from a month ago and virtually no change since his very first week in office. A majority still do not want Trump impeached and removed from office.

Forty-one percent say they do. That's up by four points since April but still within the poll's sampling error.

To talk about this and much, much more, with me now to share their reporting and insights, Eliana Johnson from "Politico", CNN's Jeff Zeleny, Shawna Thomas from "Vice News", and Julie Davis from "The New York Times." I think it's time for some more caffeine.

Good morning everybody, one and all.

First thoughts on our new poll?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: I think 43 percent approval rating for the president is actually pretty good and it has held steady. One of the reasons is he pushes back on every single thing that comes out.

Bob Mueller speaks and the president speaks louder and longer and says no collusion. So, things are entrenched and dug in. But I do believe that this poll is -- we're going to have to allow things to seep in and settle much more this summer about what Bob Mueller said and what Congress is going to do about it before we know anything.

But Nancy Pelosi is keeping her eye on the fact that a majority still does not believe the president should be impeached. Let's see if that number changes as this conversation continues. We're still in the early hours really. This poll was taken last week, from Tuesday through Friday, just as people were digesting the Mueller conversation.

JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think Jeff is right that it's very early days in terms of how much -- what we've used discovered and what we just heard from Mueller is in the bloodstream of this poll and in the bloodstream of the public thinking about these issues. I did think it was significant that the number of people who are supporting impeachment and removing the president really hasn't moved beyond the margin of error on this survey.

[08:05:07] And that is striking given that we've learned a lot in the last couple months about what was going on in the investigation and what they found.

The other thing I think, if you look at the results of this poll, that's interesting, it really illustrates the dilemma that Nancy Pelosi is facing, because of the small uptick you do see in people who support impeachment and removing Trump, it's all coming from this groundswell of Democrats. That number of Democrats has gone up a lot.

And so, that's -- and you can see those tensions playing out within the Democratic caucus on Capitol Hill. That's why you're seeing such a give and take about whether they should move more aggressively toward impeachment.

BASH: Absolutely. We're going to dive a lot more into the Democratic equation of this which is really key later in the show. But I want to get back to the Trump v. Mueller dynamic.

We heard at the beginning of the show, a reminder of what Mueller said, what he tried to get across with regard to what his investigation did and did not actually find, try to distill the 448 pages in that ten-minute speech.

The president, of course, came out and had his own take on things. Listen to that.


TRUMP: I think he is a total conflicted person. I think Mueller is a true Never Trumper. He's somebody that dislikes Donald Trump. And despite $40 million, 18 Trump haters including people that work for Hillary Clinton and some of the worst human beings on earth, they got nothing. It's pretty amazing.


BASH: And your paper, Julie, had an analysis that really struck us because it really condensed the dynamic here. Here is what it said. The headline: Mueller plays by the rules, Trump made new ones. He said nothing and the president said everything. He worked in secret allowing the president to still the void with reckless accusations of a witch hunt. His damning conclusions were encased in dense legal jargon that the president distorted into a vindication.

SHAWNA THOMAS, DC BUREAU CHIEF, VICE NEWS: Well, I will say, I think the Mueller report wasn't actually all that hard to read, but fine dense legal jargon. But, two, this is why, one, so many Democrats want Bob Mueller to testify, but this is also why Bob Mueller testifying may not have the desired effect that they want, is that he will play by the rules.

Basically, he got up there this past week and read from the report. If you read from the report, he said the things -- he did highlight the things that he wanted to make sure everybody heard and that's fine. He's not going to suddenly become more flowery with his language, not suddenly going to answer the questions he doesn't want to answer. I mean, I was talking with someone who worked with him before at the FBI. And they were like, he could very well just cite pages from the report as he's talking, if he were to ever actually testify in public.

BASH: Right, it doesn't change. Just because he's in public, it doesn't change the fundamentals of who Robert Mueller is versus the fundamentals of who Donald Trump is, and how they communicate. And Donald Trump communicates in a very stark way.

ELIANA JOHNSON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, you put them side by side, and Peggy Noonan got at this in her article in "The Wall Street Journal" this weekend. Mueller said, if we could have exonerated him, we would have. I think for those of us who follow politics every day, it's clear what he's saying. I think, you know, we listen to his press conference. For people who don't follow this every day, I don't think Mueller was

totally clear. You have to read between the lines of what he was saying. When you listen to Trump, he's pounding home the same thing over and over again. Mueller is a fraud, Mueller is conflicted, 18 angry Democrats, and people who don't follow this stuff every day understand what the president is saying, much easier to follow him than it was to --

BASH: OK, something that was pretty easy to follow was a very blunt comment from the attorney general which I want to play, because, of course, he has a really key role here. The questions have been whether or not he's acting more in the interest of the country as the attorney general for the United States or as the president's personal attorney and whether somebody who came back into government, what this says about his legacy.

Here is what he said about that on CBS this week.


WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think at my stage in life it really doesn't make any difference.

JAN CRAWFORD, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Are you at the end of your career?

BARR: I'm at the end of my career.

CRAWFORD: It's a reputation you've worked your whole life on though.

BARR: Yes, but everyone dies. I don't believe in the whole idea that immortality comes by having owed so much over the centuries.


ZELENY: That was Jan Crawford asking a very good question with an interesting answer. That's obviously how William Barr is approaching all of this. Sort of he's not -- which is surprising a lot of people on Capitol Hill and others who thought that he would be the adult in the room, he would sort of control things.

[08:10:00] But, look, I think for -- one thing has become clear now, as we essentially begin the summer, the Mueller conversation may have been sort of confusing, but it got under the president's skin. Look what he did in the days after that. We'll talk more in the show later about the policy implications with Mexico, tariffs and other things.

So Mueller is in his head. As this moves along, I think that's very important to keep in mind here.

BASH: OK, everybody, stand by.

Up next, the 2020 campaign trail runs through California. What makes the Golden State so important in this year's primaries, and politicians say and do the darndest things. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, famously a former bartender, got behind the bar in Queens to bring attention to tipped workers making below the minimum wage.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: We're just trying to make sure that everyone gets paid a minimum wage and any tips we get come on top of that, so everyone is guaranteed enough, that people are getting paid enough to live.

You like more water? Of course.



BASH: This early in the primary season, the focus is usually on early states like Iowa and New Hampshire. But this weekend, it was all eyes on California. More than a dozen 2020 hopefuls flew west to speak at the California Democratic convention, a breakfast for union workers and a progressive rally where each candidate was asked to present one big idea for the future.


[08:15:05] SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I got a lot of ideas. I'll share one of them with you. And it's about equal pay.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Stop endless wars. We have got to cut military spending.

BOOKER: One of the issues that is most threatening to our democracy which is wealth disparity.

WARREN: End lobbying as we know it. They've had enough power long enough.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's pay a national paid leave bill that actually works.

JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to hold police departments and police officers accountable in this country for excessive force.

BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ensure that every immigrant who has come to this country was truly treated with the dignity and respect that they deserved.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Register every kid to vote in this country when they turn 18.


BASH: In recent times California has been the blue state Democratic candidates go to raise money and leave. Not anymore. Now it's a crucial campaign stop. The reason is because in 2020, the Golden State primary is some three months earlier than it was four years ago. California's nearly 500 delegates will be up for grabs on Super Tuesday.

What did you guys think of all the performances yesterday?

ZELENY: Well, certainly interesting that those candidates are trying to break out and distinguish themselves.

BASH: Yes.

ZELENY: Those 500 delegates are key, but important to keep in mind how Democrats award their delegates, they're proportional. So, people only get a share of them. So, no one is going to walk away with this big trove.

So, California will be important. The question is which candidates make it to California.

THOMAS: Exactly.

ZELENY: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, still important before. All candidates will not have enough gas in the tank to be able to get there.

THOMAS: Yes. And I think Kamala Harris, all eyes are on her. She put out a long list of endorsements before this big weekend in California.

BASH: Her home state.

THOMAS: Her home state. Everyone thinks she should be do well. But there are some anticipation of can she actually corral a bunch of Democrats. Is it enough delegates, even though she's not doing well in Iowa and New Hampshire, she can make it to California and take that. If she can't show power in California, for her, that's the problem.

BASH: And then the person who was not there who was the elephant or donkey in the room, if you will, was Joe Biden. But a couple of candidates were trying to bring him into the fold not so subtly. Listen to that.


WARREN: Some Democrats in Washington believe the only changes we can get are tweaks and nudges. If they dream at all, they dream small. Some say if we all just calm down, the Republicans will come to their senses.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He wins if we look like more of the same. He wins if we look like Washington. So the riskiest thing we can do is try too hard to play it safe.


JOHNSON: I think what you just saw there is Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg articulating the tension, the key tension in the Democratic primary which is those candidates who think that Donald Trump is the problem in the American political system and if you beat Donald Trump, a reversion to, quote/unquote, normalcy is the fix we need. And those candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who want an entire overhaul of the political system, who have a more revolutionary view of things.

And I think when Biden is not present and unable to defend himself and articulate what he thinks is the problem, that's a disadvantage.

BASH: So, Biden was on the campaign trail, just in the Midwest, not on the West Coast, and he was trying to distinguish himself, going after Donald Trump while at the same time talking about his record in pushing rights for LGBTQ Americans. Listen to this.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This president, this White House has literally a bully pulpit, callously extending his power over the most vulnerable. Implementing discriminatory policies, the current vice president uses religious freedom as an excuse to license discrimination.

We need to send a clear message directly from the top of our government that prejudice is prejudice and humanity is humanity, period, no cultural reason or excuse.


BASH: Translation, I'm a progressive.

DAVIS: Absolutely. I mean, what you saw in knows two separate appearances was, you know, they asked the California convention, they wanted one big idea, right? You heard all these dramatic ideas coming from the sound you played from Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg. Joe Biden's big idea for his campaign is Donald Trump is bad for this country, right?

And that's what you heard him articulate in that comment there, and I think he's banking on -- I don't think it's so much that he feels he's being silenced, doesn't have the opportunity to offer those ideas, I think he's banking on the opposite, which is he doesn't need to prove his progressive bona fides if we can persuade people that what we really is returned to what you all used to, and what, you know, what you saw in the past.

[08:20:04] But you heard Pete Buttigieg say that's not enough. If we do that, we will lose.

BASH: That's such a key sort of tension point and debating point, whether or not voters I think are going to articulate it or it's something that's kind of in their bones. Do we want to go with somebody who we know keeps us calm or do we want to shake things up? I mean, I think Barack Obama wasn't exactly the safe choice.

THOMAS: No. I think Vice President Biden, part of the reason he wasn't in California is he doesn't think he needs to do what everyone else is doing. He has the name recognition. He didn't get into the race until late, which was everyone was like, when are you getting into the race? You have to raise money. Are you going to be able to raise money?

It turns out he was able to raise money. So, he did something totally different which then got us talking about the fact that he's not in California. So they are playing that in a different way. He thinks that -- he doesn't have to play by the same rules as the other 22 people in this race.

BASH: So, the whole question is whether or not the party -- especially the voting bloc have moved so far left, that there isn't a place for moderates. What you call Joe Biden we don't know.

But John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado, got the answer loud and clear.


JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big aggressive goals, socialism is not the answer.


I was re-elected -- I was re-elected in a purple state -- if we're not careful, we're going to help reelect the worst president in American history.


ZELENY: That's not the worst kind of boo if you're John Hickenlooper.

The reality is this. Look at the results of 2018 and other things. The Democratic Party is not -- the majority of the Democratic Party are not the activists in California and are not the people who live on Twitter.

BASH: That's right.

ZELENY: They are voters in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Ohio, a lot of big states. Some people agree that the party has moved too far to the left. So, as John Hickenlooper, I don't know if that was a choice or a plan of his, but it may have been. He's a very smart governor. He was from a purple state.

I think the reality to all of this is that's why Joe Biden is not at that convention. He might have gotten booed as well. He's marching to his own drummer here. And the first and last sentence of every possible proposal, I can beat Donald Trump.

THOMAS: To give John Hickenlooper a little credit, California Democrats elect a new chair yesterday. There was a progressive woman who had a lot of energy behind her, but they elected a labor leader, Rusty Hicks, as the Democratic chairman, which said there are still people who are in the party who kind of want to play it a little safer. BASH: OK. So, before we go to break, we have to talk about the new

debate rules that the DNC announced this past week. So, right now, the rules are that to get on the first set of debate stages, you have -- the criteria are 1 percent in three approved polls or 65,000 unique donors.

If we can put that on the screen, that has set up a very large field of people who are already qualifying. It could be even larger for the first set of debates.

Here is the change. The change is, the new criteria are 2 percent in four new polls after June 28th and at least 130,000 individual donors. Right now, as of today, the reason those candidates are in shadows is because, if you had those criteria today, they would not qualify for the debate.

ZELENY: It's significant in every way. It's a huge change. Some of these candidates, frankly, won't make the debate. They are saying, look, the DNC is trying to tip its finger on the scale. Again, there are accusations --

BASH: Try to winnow the field.

ZELENY: If you're Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders or others, you don't want the field to be winnowed either. You benefit from a large field here. There's a couple different things at play.

We'll see if that stays in shape or not. But if so, the September debate is going to be a much smaller table -- could probably fit around this table right now.

BASH: This is a fine place to have it.

All right. Julie, you mentioned this earlier. We're going to talk next about Pelosi's problem. Over 50 House Democrats say it's time for impeachment hearings. She says not yet.



[08:27:51] REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): It is our patriotic duty to push back on the Trump administration's undermining of America. We will go where the facts lead us. We will insist on the truth. We will build on an ironclad case to act because in the United States of America, no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States.


BASH: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressing the California state Democratic convention yesterday. She was frequently interrupted by chants of "impeach," but she actively avoided using that word herself.

Fresh CNN polling this hour suggests Pelosi may not be able to hold off much longer. Take a look at these numbers. More than three quarters of Democrats say they want the president impeach and removed from office. In the House, at least 51 of Nancy Pelosi's fellow Democratic lawmakers favor, at the very least launching impeachment hearings.

This important caveat though. Virtually, every one of them represents a deep blue district.

You were talking about how much that poll struck you this morning, Julie.

DAVIS: Right, because I mean, what it shows is it illustrates what she's facing in the ranks of her own -- the lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Fifty-one Democrats is still not the majority of the caucus, right? But they are -- you know, these are final who are vocal about the way they feel, increasingly vocal, after having heard from Bob Mueller, after hearing the back and forth that went on between the attorney general and Mueller and the details of the investigation.

And so, I think the drum beat will continue to build. They're certainly not at a tipping point yet. There are more Democrats now, even people not in deep blue districts who think there's a strategic advantage to potentially launching impeachment hearings.

The public may not make a distinction between that and going full bore toward impeachment, but there is a strategic advantage there which means it may be the only way to do what Nancy Pelosi was just talking about there, which is to build an ironclad case. She said that, right?

And it may be that the only way they can do that is by using some of the powers that the House has under an impeachment inquiry.

BASH: And part -- you alluded to this -- part of the issue is that you have such a vast majority in the house among Democrats. And you have the more liberals and then you have what, you know, what Nancy Pelosi and others called majority makers who tend to be more moderate and less inclined on impeachment.

Let's listen first to Benny Thompson of Mississippi who is in the former category.


REP. BENNY THOMPSON (D), MISSISSIPPI: I talked to a lot of people. And to the person, everybody said what are you all going to do about President Trump. Up until I came home this weekend, I had resisted moving forward. I represent this district and I listened to the people and I heard them.


BASH: And then you have Elissa Slotkin, who is a freshman from Michigan who says she's hearing very different things from her people. Here's what she told the "Wall Street Journal". Impeachment is not what people are coming up to me in the grocery story and talking to me about. They want to know when we're going to lower the price of their son's insulin. When we're going to get federal dollars in for infrastructure."

Pelosi has her eyes on 2020. And the people -- the house members elected in 2018 who helped Democrats win back the majority, were the more moderate members who did not win their seats making a case for impeachment.

ELIANA JOHNSON, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, "POLITICO": The thing that really jumped out at me in the CNN poll numbers were that now 41 percent want President Trump impeached and removed from office. In December that number was 48 percent, and that was during the government shutdown.

So these numbers really can move, but it suggests to me that Mueller is not what moves these numbers. It's other of President Trump's actions which was fascinating to me and suggests that, if Democrats are going to make a case for impeachment, it may not be around the things contained in the Mueller probe.

BASH: And then you have, literally as we speak, the President continuing to try to influence people in the districts -- these Democrats in the districts where he won. And as we speak, he's tweeting "no collusion", some of the same things he said before. Democrats are not getting any of their priorities done because they're so worried about investigating me.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Right. And he's trying to play a role in this as well. But the number that Speaker Pelosi is looking at is not just among Democrats. She has constantly maintained that there needs to be a sentiment among the public as a whole for impeachment.

And so 54 percent of Americans in our new poll says that they do not favor it. But we don't know how difficult her task is going to be yet. As of now she has done, I think, most people in her party would agree, a pretty masterful job balancing all of this. Will that become more complicated largely also with 2020 presidential candidates who are also beating the drum of impeachment?

BASH: Yes.

ZELENY: So let's see how this long, hot summer ends if people are marching in the streets, if other things are happening, if she's able to sort of keep this --


BASH: I'm glad you mentioned that about Pelosi and her leadership, frankly because that's another new data point that we have in CNN's new poll this morning.

Right now she's got 77 percent support among all Democrats. 82 among liberals. 73 among moderate and conservative Democrats, and that's up considerably from right before she got the Speaker's gavel back. She's got running room.

SHAWNA THOMAS, D.C. BUREAU CHIEF, VICE NEWS: She does. The problem for her right now is at what point does it just become so political that it feels that it's totally calculating and that the Democrats aren't actually doing what people in 2018, some of which put them in office, to go after the President of the United States.

I think it is a very difficult balance, but you had up that quote from Elissa Slotkin, right, about people want to talk about infrastructure, that kind of thing. Your poll says three-quarters of Americans say it's unlikely that Trump and Democrats in Congress will be able to work together on anything.

They're not going to do anything about infrastructure. As we get closer and closer to the election, they're not going to do anything about pretty much anything else. So what is the take away that they can take into the election? If it isn't impeachment inquiry, if it isn't going after a president that they say is not for fit for office, then what is it?

BASH: All right. Everybody stand by. We are going to turn now to Virginia Beach -- a horrific story down there. The latest on the mass shooting -- 12 dead in a workplace massacre. Stay with us.


BASH: Flags at the White House, federal government buildings, military posts and ships are flying at half staff through Tuesday. President Trump issued the proclamation after Friday's mass shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia which left 11 city workers and one contractor dead. The attacker, also a city worker, died in a fierce gun battle with police.

CNN's Brian Todd is in Virginia Beach. Brian -- what are we learning this morning about the gunman and the investigation?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dana -- a Virginia government source has told us that the gunman Dewayne Craddock was a disgruntled employee of the Virginia Beach city government. He worked in this building behind me. And that is the building that he clearly and methodically targeted on Friday afternoon.

Now, we've been pressing co-workers and officials here behind the scenes to give us a little bit more information. We're asking specific questions. Was there a threat made by him in recent weeks? Was there a particular conflict that he had with other employees?

Of course, were there people specifically targeted in that building when he went in there. We're getting some indication there might have been.

But again, this is information that we're piecing together and we hope to bring it to you later. What we can tell you is that this was by all accounts a very methodically planned attack. He brought two .45 caliber pistols with extended magazines into this building along with a silencer. And they found two additional weapons in his home -- Dana.

So again, weaponry used -- we're getting information on that. We're going to get a timeline later this morning of how long this gun battle with police took place.

But it is clear from every account we're getting, Dana, that this man came into this building methodically planning this attack and prepared to inflict carnage and prepared to do battle with police.

BASH: Absolutely horrific and frightening. Brian -- thank you for that. We'll look to your reports later as you get more information. Appreciate it, Brian.

TODD: Right.

[08:40:03] BASH: And coming up, President Trump is set to leave for the United Kingdom tonight. He's already ruffling feathers, though across the pond.


BASH: A presidential tweet opened a new front in President Trump's trade wars: the U.S./Mexico border. Here is what he said this week. "On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods coming into our country from Mexico until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico and into our country stop. The tariff will gradually increase until the illegal immigration problem is remedied."

What "remedied" means is anyone's guess. Probably whatever the President decides it means.

[08:44:52] The announcement though roiled the markets. The Dow fell 355 points on Friday, closing out the longest weekly losing streak since 2011. And economists said JPMorgan suggested MAGA might now stand for "making abysmal growth attainable".

In public White House officials united to praise the decision.

PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE TRADE ADVISOR: This is actually a brilliant move by the President to get Mexico's attention to get them to help us. This is a very modest approach. (INAUDIBLE) Please understand we're starting at 5 percent, it doesn't kick in until June 10th. The Mexican government has plenty of time to begin to work with us. Let's be patient, let's be calm. Let's watch this.


BASH: We didn't hear from the dissenters, not surprising. CNN reported an immediate aftermath of the announcement that behind the scenes the administration was very much divided and the "Washington Post" headline this weekend Trump defies post (ph) advisor in deciding to threaten Mexico with disruptive tariffs reporting that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and senior adviser and son-in law Jared Kushner all privately counseled against the move.

And I should tell you just to give you a sense of how sensitive the President is, even on this Sunday morning, between 7:09 and 7:53 a.m. Eastern he sent three tweets defending and explaining this new policy. DAVIS: Yes. Well, tariffs are the President's favorite negotiating

tactic, but I would put an emphasis on negotiating tactics. They have not yet gone into effect. The President has previously backed off of severe threats. So it will be interesting to see whether he manages to reach some sort of agreement with Mexico, even if it's not stopping all illegal immigration.

We've got about ten days before these are supposed to go into effect. He has put tariffs into effect on precious metals -- excuse me -- on steel and aluminum, not precious metals. He did that about a year ago, but it remains to be seen whether these will go into effect or whether they're a threat --


DAVIS: -- to close the border a coupe of months ago.

BASH: And that's the key as we talked about this, I just want to put up on the screen what we're talking about in real terms. That consumers could deal -- would have to deal with imports on vehicles, vegetables, fruit, wine and beer. And we're talking billions and billions of dollars.

JOHNSON: And I would note the President had based the situation on whether to put tariffs on auto imports from all over the world and he delayed that decision because of concerns about how it would impact the markets ahead of the administration's attempt to pass the U.S.- Mexico-Canada trade act.

And his advisers raised exactly the same concerns about the tariffs on Mexico.

ZELENY: I think the difference here is that he's merging it with immigration policy. We saw the finance chairman in the Senate, Chuck Grassley saying that he's exceeding his presidential authority here.

Now, the question is will Congress do anything about it? I mean Congress is the body that gave him the authority in the first place. Will they yank it back? Unlikely. But that's the different dynamic here. This is about immigration all the while he's supposed to be negotiating the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada. It complicates all of that.

BASH: Ok. So let's look at his trip coming up. He's going to leave tonight to the U.K. Just ahead of that, here is what the President said the "The Sun" about very, very intense British battle right now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've always liked him. I don't know if he's going to be chosen. But I think he's a very good guy, very talented person.


TRUMP: He's been very positive about me and our country. I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be -- I think he would be excellent.


BASH: So not an endorsement of Boris Johnson, but it seemed pretty darned close to it.

JOHNSON: Oh absolutely. I mean this is one of his favorite people. He's not been shy about expressing that. And you know, again, we saw the President abroad in Japan, you know, criticizing Joe Biden and having really rough words for him.

It's another example of how, you know, even American presidents usually try to stay out of the politics of other countries, particularly when they're about to go. And he clearly doesn't care about that.

Davis: He likes Boris Johnson. You heard him say there he likes him because he likes me, right. That's an important criteria for the President. And he doesn't seem to be shy about putting his fingers on the scale. The question I think in Britain is whether that will help Boris Johnson or not. Or whether it will hurt him more than it will help him in a very, you know, sensitive situation.

BASH: Definitely. Ok. Everybody stand by.

Up next, our reporters here are going to share from their notebooks including the President gearing up for re-election.

Will his 2020 message be any different from 2016?


BASH: Time now for our great reporters to share a page from their notebooks to help you get out in front of the week ahead.

Eliana -- I'll start with you.

JOHNSON: I'm looking at the marking of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. And even as President Trump has made China a central part of his economic and foreign policy, he has not focused on human rights, either when it comes to China or when it comes to North Korea where we saw reports this week that the regime may have executed somebody who was central to the negotiations with the U.S. So it will be interesting to see whether this becomes an increasing focus of the Trump administration's foreign policy or not given that it was such a central focus of American foreign policy for previous administrations.

ZELENY: I'm looking at Joe Biden again this week. I would say June is one of the most important months for Joe Biden. Why is that? Because he's still trying to maintain that front-runner's position. And it largely depends how others treat him.

Other candidates in the next ten days are trying to get attention to make sure that they make to it the debate stage. So Joe Biden is a good way for people to either take a punch or go after him. But he's going to New Hampshire on Tuesday to take questions of his own. He's facing some criticism for perhaps not campaigning hard enough or taking enough questions from voters. So watch for him Tuesday in New Hampshire. And then next week, he and President Trump in Iowa on the same day. We love that.

BUSH: That will be fun.

THOMAS: I've been covering a bunch of lot of abortion state law stories in the last couple of weeks. And I'm curious to see if we get an indication that we'll get to see how Justice Kavanaugh feels about abortion laws.

We could get an order list on Monday that the Supreme Court will take up the Louisiana case about doctors admitting privileges in the state. And if that is the case than that's the first time we'll really see one of these abortion cases get to the Supreme Court.

This wouldn't be one that would fully overturn Roe v. Wade, but it will give us a chance to see Kavanaugh in action. So I'll be watching the Supreme Court Web site.

BASH: You and Susan Collins.


[08:55:02] DAVIS: I'm watching for President Trump's official campaign launch as we now know will come -- re-election campaign launch which we now know will come later this month. Obviously we've known for quite some time since before he was sworn in and he was going to be running for reelection. He's actually been doing that and having rallies since before his inauguration.

But how he sort of shakes up the Democratic field and how he positions himself will be really interesting to see. My colleagues had been reporting last week that they were going back and forth within Trump's inner circle about how to do this launch, whether he should try replicate the coming down the escalator that he did when he announced in 2015.

And that I think really captures the central question for him. How does he run as an insurgent when he is the incumbent. Because we all know that he likes to be the underdog and the insurgent. And so it will be interesting to see what he does and how the Democrats respond to that.

BASH: It sure will. And on that note, talking about President Trump. While Democrats battle it out for the chance to run against Donald Trump, the President's campaign is quietly building bigly, as the President might say, the Trump campaign, at least according to his campaign manager Brad Parscale say that he just hired a firm to build a new act app which he says will be used to encourage people to sign up for Trump rallies, to work harder to build the Trump database.

So you want a better seat at the rally? Sign up ten friends. A picture with the President? Sign up a lot more. And the goal, the very clear at least stated goal is to take advantage of Trump supporters' desire to get close to him. And Brad Parscale tells me that they're trying to harness connections between friends in order to allow the campaign to better data mine for votes. And he hopes that it will be ready later this summer.

That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. Hope you catch CNN INSIDE POLITICS on the weekdays at Noon Eastern as well. Be sure to tune in tonight for three back to back to back Democratic town halls -- Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton at 6:00 p.m., Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan at 7:00 p.m. and California Congressman Eric Swalwell at 8:00 p.m.

Thanks again for sharing your Sunday morning.