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CUOMO PRIME TIME
Poll: Biden Leads Trump in Head-To-Head Texas Matchup; Biden under Fire for Supporting Law That Restricts Federal Funding For Abortions; Biden on the Defensive over Supporting Hyde Amendment; Reality at the Border amid Trump's Tariff Threat; Trump Threatens Tariffs after Spike in Border Crossings; Trump's Tariff Showdown with Mexico; Trump's Mexico Tariff Threat Looms as Border Arrests Surge. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired June 5, 2019 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ETHEL PARHAM, WIFE OF D-DAY VETERAN: -- now that he is alive to witness it.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Henry Parham knows he was fortunate to survive D-Day.
(on-camera): Were you afraid you were going to drown?
HENRY PARHAM, D-DAY VETERAN: No, because I prayed to the good Lord to save me.
TUCHAMN (on-camera): Did you know how to swim?
H. PARHAM: No.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Despite the hardships before, during and after the war, private first-class Parham is very grateful to have served.
H. PARHAM: I did my duty. I did what I was supposed to do as an American.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): An American hero.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Pittsburgh.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Henry Parham.
The news continues. We'll hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Hey, Chris.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: They are our best, they are the greatest and we will remember them tonight. JB, thank you for that story. I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.
It is starting to get real for Joe Biden. His rivals are coming after him over his previous support for a law that restricts access to abortion funding. And here's the thing, he says he still backs it. Can he win the nomination with a stance like that? A new member of team Biden is here to be tested.
Staggering new numbers at the border. We have not seen anything like this in seven years. Do you care yet? There are still no solutions from the President, his party, which is finally second-guessing his harshness, nor from the Democrats, who seem too content to sit back and watch. How many have to die before something gets done?
Plus, heartache and outrage aside, what is the legal case for putting that sheriff's deputy in prison for life after he allegedly failed to stop the Parkland shooter? Busy night. What do you say? Let's get after it.
Look, there is no arguing where Joe Biden is in the polls. He's trouncing the Democratic field right now. And in fact, in the red state of Texas, he leads President Trump by four points in a new poll. He's the only Democrat beating the President there. But tonight the former VP is facing backlash from abortion rights groups and many of his 2020 rivals for his support of what is called the Hyde Amendment. What does it do? It bans federal funds for abortion except in cases of rape, incest or if the mother's life is in danger.
We have with us tonight Congressman Cedric Richmond, who was named national co-chair for the Biden campaign last week. Congressman, it's good to have you. Congratulations on the appointment. Good luck with the campaign going forward.
As I said to the campaign, I don't want to talk about you guys, I want to talk to you guys, so thank you for coming on tonight.
REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D-LA): Thanks for having me, Chris.
CUOMO: All right. Help me make sense of this Hyde situation. So he's on a rope line. He gets asked by somebody who says that they are a lawyer for the ACLU about the Hyde Amendment and the former VP says this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm an ACLU rights for all voter, and I have one quick question for you, and that is will you commit to abolishing the Hyde Amendment which hurts poor women and --
JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And women of color.
BIDEN: Yes. And by the way, ACLU, I've got a near perfect voting record my entire career.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm glad you did, but I'm glad you said you would commit to abolishing the Hyde Amendment.
BIDEN: Right now, is has to be -- it can't stay.
CUOMO: All right. But then, by the way for the Democrats, that's the right answer, right, Cedric? It's probably your answer. But then the campaign puts this out. Do we have the statement ready? All right here it is. "He has not at this point changed his position on the Hyde Amendment, amendment," meaning he stands by it. "the Hyde Amendment does not prevent organizations in the U.S. that provide lifesaving health care services for women from receiving the federal funding they need."
Now, this is the thing, Cedric, it's not about the health care cost, it's about money for reproductive services that you can't get, so it winds up being basically a tax and a restriction on people of lesser means. I do not need to tell you what the Hyde Amendment is or how it works. I know you know. Explain these inconsistent positions to me.
RICHMOND: Well, let me say this, and I don't think it's an inconsistent position. I think the Vice President has been very consistent over his career in the Senate since '76 when the Hyde Amendment became law. That he is a deeply religious man. I think everyone knows that. And he's guided by his faith. And his position on the Hyde Amendment has been consistent and I haven't talked to him today, but I have not heard that it's changed. But what has been consistent over all the years is that he's a -- he's dogged and determined to make sure that Roe v. Wade stays the law of the land and women have access to make that decision. It's between a woman and her doctor. And he's been consistent on that.
[21:04:55] So I think that as we look around, so if we look at Missouri, we look at Ohio, we look at Louisiana, we look at Georgia, we look at all these states now that are challenging the sheer right of a woman to make her own reproductive choice, the right to an abortion, and you look at the Supreme Court and the fact that Donald Trump during the campaign said that women should be punished for having an abortion.
RICHMOND: Right now the biggest threat is to access and the right to have an abortion, and the Vice President --
CUOMO: That's the point of the Hyde Amendment.
RICHMOND: -- has always been clear on that.
CUOMO: Here's what I don't get. Let's go through this step by step. And I appreciate you doing this, Cedric, because, you know, the airwaves are filled with people with opinions about the Vice President tonight. It's important for his campaign to get out there. Thank you for doing it. And he's invited on the show whenever he wants to come on to answer these questions. It's an open invitation for everyone in the field. I hope you all know that.
If he is guided by his faith and he has a problem, because he's a Catholic and that would mean he would have to be anti-choice on this. But if he's for Roe v. Wade, as you say, then he understands his role in a secular society, even though he is a man of faith. What I don't get is, how can he be for the Hyde Amendment if he's against restrictions to access? Because that's exactly what it is.
RICHMOND: Well, Chris, I'll remind you that the Hyde Amendment has been there since 1976, but I will also go back to your first point about him being a man of faith and that he's Catholic and how does he reconciles it? He does not believe that he should impart his Catholic faith on people of other religions that are just as faithful, and he believes that Roe vs. Wade is the law of the land and it's constitutional and it should always be protected.
But at the same time, his record is very clear. He's always funded -- fought for funding for Planned Parenthood, reproductive services, sex education, all of those things, and I think that this is just one area where I think he would explain it best in terms of how his faith guides him on --
CUOMO: I don't get it.
RICHMOND: -- on the funding, government funding of abortion.
CUOMO: I don't get it. If he funds reproductive rights, that means he funds it with federal dollars. The Hyde Amendment restricts the federal dollars so you can't fund reproductive rights. I don't get it. I don't get the conflict with his faith. I don't get the difference between the Hyde Amendment and Roe v. Wade if it's a matter of faith and I don't get the funding argument if it's about access.
RICHMOND: Well that's why I think you have to look at his record in totality, Chris. He has always been for a woman's right to choose. He's always supported Planned Parenthood. He's always supported sex education. He's always supported those things. And look, just for the record and to be very clear, no one's going around and pushing people to have an abortion. I think if you look at his record in total you will see that he is a man that is committed to making sure -- his education plan just had pre-k.
RICHMOND: If you look at his equal pay for women, his paid family leave, all of those things that support women. And so that they don't have to make that gut-wrenching choice.
RICHMOND: But he wants to make sure that the constitution protects women when they do make that choice. And the funding to it is an aspect of it, Chris, and I think you're right, it is an aspect of it. But right now what we're fighting for is whether it's legal or illegal, and I think that that fight is so important right now that we have to concentrate on who the Supreme Court justices are going to be and what a presidential action will look like when it concerns protecting the very right to make that decision.
CUOMO: I get it. It's just him saying that to that woman -- I said she was a lawyer for the ACLU. I shouldn't have said that. She's a member of the ACLU. He gave that answer, it can't stand, it's got to go away and then the campaign came up with a different one. I don't understand it. I think it's something you guys have to flesh out. I'm not judging, I'm not criticizing, I'm testing and I appreciate you doing it.
RICHMOND: Chris, let me just say this about that. And I've been on very small rope lines. There are not that many people that want to come up and shake my hands and ask me questions when I do events. But I've seen President Obama, I've seen Vice President Biden do rope lines.
A lot of times, you can't hear the question exactly how it's framed, but his record on this has never wavered and I think that you will hear him address it more. So that's why I believe the campaign had to come out and make clear because what we don't want to do is mislead anybody. And I think that that's been Joe's track record, to always be a man to stand up and own what he believes, and so we want to make sure that we did that.
CUOMO: Well, look, and, again, that's why this show is always available to clear the record. They're coming after him on this. They're coming after him on what seemed to be that certain citations weren't made in the environmental plan. The campaign jumped on that grenade and said we did that, we fixed it.
Obviously Biden is going to be vulnerable to plagiarism charges because of his past. So let's now go to what is haunting him to what is helping him. Why do you people believe that this margin that you have right now in the polls is going to stand?
[21:10:01] RICHMOND: Well, hopefully it won't stand. Hopefully it will grow. And that's our hope. I think that more people --
CUOMO: Good. Good. A lot of people are saying it will shrink. You're saying it will grow. Good. Why will it grow?
RICHMOND: Well, because I think the more he's out there and the more he reveals his platform and the more he actually talks and people compare him to the other candidates, especially when people compare him to the current President, I think people will see a very clear choice.
And so he has a body of work. And so with a body of work you're going to get some criticism, but the one thing he does have is a body of accomplishments and a body of action. So whether it was the bold climate revolution that he called for or his very progressive and bold education policy. I think that when people go back and look at his entire record and what he was able to do, especially during the eight years as vice president to President Obama, I think that people will remember who he is, what he is, what he stands for and I think people will gravitate towards him.
CUOMO: Cedric, I appreciate you coming on. Congressman, thank you for taking the opportunity. I meant what I said. You're always welcome here to discuss what matters to the American people as this campaign goes on. I promise you that. The show is going to be focused on policy and people all the way through. Appreciate you doing this.
RICHMOND: Thank you, Chris, and keep up the good work.
CUOMO: Appreciate it, sir.
All right. So, look, that's what elections are about, all right? You know, you're going to be tested on things. How do you deal with the inconsistencies? We'll do that here on this show and we'll do it together, but another issues. We just can't let it go, trust me it's more important that it seems right now. This border situation. Everybody is talking about the politics, tariffs, no tariffs, who likes them. Forget about the tariffs.
Look at the terror on the front lines. The plight of the people down there is unlike anything we have seen for decades. No one is doing anything about the actual emergency. Not our President, not his party and not the Democrats. They all know what I'm about to tell you when we come back after the break. The newest information. I want you to be the judge of who is doing what and why. Next.
[21:15:56] CUOMO: All right. These are the facts. CBP saw another record surge in people seeking entry to this country. 144,000 migrants trying to cross in May. That's up 32% just in one month, May to April. Mostly children and families. Mostly children and families. Not the marauding brown menace that sold the wall from the President. But this is a crisis just the same and no one is doing anything. The President is attacking Mexico.
DONALD TRUMP (R) PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Mexico can stop it. But they have to stop it. Otherwise we just won't be able to do business. It's a very simple thing.
CUOMO: It's not simple. It's a huge task. Mexico is relatively poor. It's understaffed. There is a trade deal in the balance right now. That means a lot of American consumers and jobs that could be affected by any tariffs. And here's the bigger question. How will they show progress? The White House upset Republicans by only offering three vague areas that they want addressed and the reality is Mexico has ratcheted up its own deportations, it's cracked down on caravans and Mexico has their hands full with thousands living in border cities as they wait to hear about their U.S. asylum claims.
There's no question Mexico can do more, but the question is -- they should do more but can they? I've shown you the conditions. Kids and families are living, I mean, just look at this. Come on. Those conditions have only gotten worse. Tariffs don't address that. Now on top of the tariffs that the President is planning, there's more harshness. He's cutting legal aid, resource classes for these same kids, citing budget issues, but there's plenty of money found for the wall, including painting it, while these kids are living in squalor watching it be painted, figuratively. Here at home Democrats say all of this, puffery from POTUS.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I don't think it rises to the level of policy. It's a distraction from the Mueller report.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): I would urge him to consider a real solution to the border problem, not some fake solution that he and the Mexicans announce and then it does nothing.
CUOMO: OK. Let's assume everything they just said is true, but what are they doing? The kids are in crisis. They need a specific fix, not comprehensive reform, they need caregivers, they need case agents, they need accommodations or the men and women in charge on the border say horrible things are going to happen.
So now there's a new wrinkle. The lack of Republican fealty to the President. They feel in line for the wall and that fugazi national emergency, but they're balking at tariffs.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): This is the wrong solution.
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): Tariffs are a form of a tax. There's no doubt about that.
SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): I'm afraid it might endanger some American jobs.
CUOMO: Well, if you're worried about endangering, jobs is a legitimate concern. What about lives? Why don't you work to find a way to help the kids? Stem the crisis then move on to the rules. Why don't they do something instead of just standing against anything getting done? This is the reality. People are dying on our watch. These people are here.
Look at them. We can talk about stopping them from coming. We can talk about the rules. We can talk about everything. But not in a moment of crisis. What are you doing for caring for the kids in your care? The acting CBP commissioner said today the system is broken. Tariffs don't do jack to deal with the immediate problem. Both sides of Congress -- this isn't some false equivalency, it's both sides. They prefer impasse to action here. And I can't get enough of you to feel the outrage that should come with knowing we will all be responsible for what may happen on our watch.
So, let's debate this. Is tariffs the best that we can do as a fix? Why isn't either party doing what I am accusing them of not doing?
[21:19:59] Maybe nobody will agree but it is the making, certainly, of a great debate with these two great debaters, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CUOMO: The latest numbers at the border show it is a flood, and it's a good start for a great debate. We got Cenk Uygur back on the show from "The Young Turks" and Kayleigh McEnany. It's great to have you both who represents the Trump campaign of course.
So let me start with you, Kayleigh. I don't want to have the tariffs or no tariffs. You and Cenk can talk about it on whatever playing field you want. Here's what I don't get. The analogy is this. The dam is breaking. The water is flooding through and the President is saying I'm going after that other country for not maintaining their side of the dam. Not when the water is flooding through. Help the kids. Give DHS what they need. Do big policy later. Why no emergency action?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY, TRUMP 2020: Well, when the water is coming through, presumably you want to plug the leak, which means stopping the illegal immigrant flow across our southern border, but in terms of helping the kids, I spoke to you three weeks ago and pointed out that the President asked for $4.5 billion in humanitarian aid. One of the holdups of Democrats who have yet to pass that is their concern about funding additional beds.
[21:25:01] So those images you showed of those children sleeping on ground -- on the ground, which is tragic, none of us want to see that. Go talk to the Democrats about why they don't want to fund more beds.
CUOMO: And you talk to the Republicans who wouldn't put in their relief bill. There was a deal given to the Republicans in the Senate to add it to the relief bill. I'm not a big fan of attach on, but sometimes in an emergency you got to accept things.
The GOP may have problems with the tariffs, but they are not quick to act to help these kids. DHS has come up, CBP has come up and begged them for money. They're not giving them any emergency measures either. The President could do it with an emergency declaration. He hasn't. Why?
MCENANY: We are the ones who put the money on the table. Democrats are not coming to the table. And Chris, if you are so concerned about these children, I do believe that you are, you want to stop them from making a journey were 70% are the victim of violence, 1/3 are the victim of assault. And just last week we learned about --
CUOMO: But once they're here, it's your duty of care and we are breaching it.
CUOMO: But hold on a second. I got you on that. Let me get to Cenk. And now you, no, I'm kidding. So look, we have this impasse here on the tariffs. And I get why people are pushing back on it in party and out of party. But what I don't get, Cenk, is why Democrats aren't taking the step into the void. If the President won't help the kids, we'll help the kids. Here is money, DHS, for what you say you need to care for them.
CENK UYGUR, CEO & HOST, "THE YOUNG TURKS": So, first of all, the Democrats increased spending by $2.2 billion. Trump says it's not enough. He wants another 1.9. But remember, Trump is also famous for diverting funds to his projects. So there is also that to be concerned about. But they did a comprehensive bill, they increased the funding for DHS. And then on top of that they said, hey, let's get the Dreamers and people that are refugees some protections.
Now that a lot of Republicans pretended they were for the Dreamers, they're not. They pretended they were for legal immigration, they're not. Now they say family immigration is chain migration. So they were never honest about it, any of it, no matter what the Democrats. Give them the Republicans always saying, no.
The Dreamers should have been dealt with a decade ago but the Republicans say no, no, no, we don't believe in those kids.
CUOMO: I'll give you the Dreamers. I'll go back to Kayleigh on that. But on the money, they spent it. The $500 million that they got, 450 they spent it. Now you can have DHS account for it, CBP, they should all have to account, but in an emergency situation, I would expect emergency action. The Democrats can point to the emergency declaration of the President and say why aren't you using it? Why are you using money for them to paint the fence while these kids are in squalor, but they're not loosening any purse strings themselves. Right move?
UYGUR: Yes, listen, if you're going to say we're definitely going to make sure that the money, it's definitely going to go to the kids, then I'm in favor of it. But Trump never does that. He puts them in cages and so -- and he diverts money into the wall, et cetera. But Chris, why do we have this problem in the first place? As Trump said he was going to stop the flow of migration and instead what did he do, it's gone up 32% in the last month and its most we've had, both legal and illegal in 13 years
So Kayleigh, I put it to you, isn't Donald Trump a giant failure on his signature issue? It's on fact, it's almost inarguable.
MCENANY: No, he's not a giant failure. And first, I want to correct your fallacy that he puts kids in cages. A lot of those pictures were from the Obama administration. So nice try. Doesn't work. We have a crisis on our hands. Do you acknowledge that at least, Cenk that we have a crisis when you have one million people --
MCENANRY: -- said to comment (ph). This is so year more than the population of Miami and Atlanta.
UYGUR: You answer my question.
MCENANY: Do you at least acknowledge that that's a crisis?
UYGUR: So, Kayleigh, who is in charge? Do you know who the President is?
MCENANY: Sure. President Trump.
UYGUR: Hold on, Kayleigh, Kayleigh, Kayleigh --
CUOMO: Hold on. One at a time. One at a time. Let Cenk answer.
UYGUR: OK, look, under Obama we had less undocumented immigrants than we do under Trump. Trump said, oh, I'm going to get tough and I'm such a tough guy and I'm going to separate the families, I'm going to put the kids in this place and the parents and the moms in the other place. I'm so tough. And what do we have? We have more undocumented immigrants, not less. It's a 13-year record. He's a miserable failure on this issue.
MCENANY: This has been --
UYGUR: So if they voted for him thinking he was going to stop undocumented immigrants, he didn't even do that.
UYGUR: And now we have an absolute disaster on our hands.
MCENANY: Cenk --
UYGUR: Because he doesn't know how to address the core issue.
MCENANY: This --
UYGUR: Why are they coming in the first place? You just think if you punch them in the face --
MCENANY: You got to let me respond.
UYGUR: -- that they're going to go away.
CUOMO: All right, Kayleigh, go ahead. Respond.
MCENANY: Cenk, we have seen a steady incline in illegal immigration, starting under the Obama administration and continuing to now. The only person who has taken any interest in stopping this in the last four decades is President Trump. Who secured money for 450 billion -- million miles of the wall.
UYGUR: Did it work?
MCENANY: Excuse me -- excuse me? Did it work? It's going to work. It's going to be built. The 450 miles by the --
URGUR: I didn't know.
MCENANY: -- end of next year. We've just got the funding for this. What have you done? CUOMO: Zero chance it's built by next year. Don't give yourself a deadline you're not going to meet. But yes put the money there, we haven't had that kind of money put there before. Your problem Kayleigh, is it wasn't the right fix for the problem. I'm not against physical barriers. I certainly don't think they're immoral. I think it's about a priority. And wasn't the brown menace. This people flooding through our gates right now, they are majority kids and families, it's not a fence is a fix away. It's not a fix away, but it's a fence.
[21:30:07] MCENANY: Yes, but it's dangerous for the kids. Just last week we had a 6-month-old child who was taken across the Rio Grande River by a 55-year-old man who is not her father. Why? Because we have the TVPRA which incentivizes crossing with a child because you are allowed to stay in this country -
CUOMO: That is a rule change that should be addressed.
MCENANY: Of course, it should.
CENK UYGUR, CEO AND HOST, "THE YOUNG TURKS": No, Kayleigh --
MCENANY: Do you care about the 70,000 Americans who die of drug overdose, much of which crosses our southern border. Where is your sympathy for them?
CUOMO: But it comes through the ports of entry.
UYGUR: No, no, no.
MCENANY: Outside the ports of entry.
UYGUR: Let me address those things.
CUOMO: Go ahead.
UYGUR: OK, so, first of all, on the drug overdoses, it's largely OxyContin and heroin that is causing it. Those are the giant drug companies giving Donald Trump tons of money to pretend that it's Mexicans that are the problem when it's people in suits who pay off Republican Party one day after another after another and they make billions -
MCENANY: And national criminal gangs.
UYGUR: -- of dollars off of OxyContin and you know that.
MCENANY: Don't play dumb and act like you don't know drugs come across our southern border.
UYGUR: And Trump said he was going to stop it and that was another lie. He didn't do that either, OK?
And in terms of the kids coming from Guatemala, et cetera, think about those parents, how desperate they have to be to put those kids on that perilous track and they do it anyway because the conditions are such deplorable situations.
MCENANY: Guess who else does it? Smugglers.
UYGUR: And part of the reason for that is our stupid drug war -
UYGUR: -- that created total chaos in those Latin American countries -
CUOMO: All right.
UYGUR: -- and that's a complete and utter failure. That's also on you.
CUOMO: All right. So, let's end it there right now. Here's all we know, OK? There are good fights to be had here but there is one obvious problem that still isn't being addressed. And you know who knows this better than anyone? The people running CBP and DHS and if people in Congress listen to them, they're going to do more than they're doing right now. Kayleigh, Cenk, well-argued and thank you.
MCENANY: Thank you, Chris.
UYGUR: Thank you.
CUOMO: So, rot in hell, all right? That's the message. You'll never hear it from me, but you're hearing it from the father of a Parkland shooting victim and with good reason. He's not talking about the gunman. He's so angry at the sheriff's deputy who is now facing felony charges, because as prosecutors believe this parent believes he did nothing to try to stop the killer and that was his job.
So here are the issues. Does the law give prosecutors the right to put a first responder behind bars for negligence of duty? And if so, if they have the right, is it the right thing to do? Cuomo's court is in session, tough debate, next.
[21:36:05] CUOMO: We saw those who lost family in the Parkland school shooting reacting with raw emotion to the word that the school's resource officer will be charged with me neglect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORI ALHADEFF, MOTHER OF PARKLAND SHOOTING VICTIM: He needs to go to jail and he needs to serve a lifetime in prison.
FRED GUTTENBERG, FATHER OF PARKLAND SHOOTING VICTIM: He deserves to rot. He is -- he is responsible in large part for why my daughter is gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Now, nobody has the right to judge how they feel. Period. However, we must take a look at the right to prosecute and whether it is the right thing to do. So let's talk about that. Two great perspectives. Joey Jackson with the law. Jimmy Gagliano with law enforcement. Gentlemen, thank you. The law. What is the case?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the law is this. First of all, you have to be sympathetic to these families. The fact is, is that as a parent I can't say that I would feel, you know, not like they do. The fact is, is that there are 17 kids who died here. There are 17 who were injured. And so it's a visceral reaction. You see it.
At the same time, in looking from a legal perspective, I think the one viable charge is the perjury charge. In the event that you write a report, in the event that you are asked the question, you're honest about what happened. You don't say you heard two shots when there are multiple shots and it can be established that you knew there were multiple shots. And so, therefore, I think there is accountability there.
On the issue relating to the child endangerment charges or rather the child abuse charges, here is the problem. The fact is, is that you under the law have to be a caregiver. The caregiver statute does not speak to the issue of law enforcement -- in fact, it does and it exempts them.
And therefore, I don't think from a legal perspective you can charge them on that crime, purely on the law. And so, while you might want to charge and say, look, he did a terrible thing by being inactive, by staying there, I don't think you can do it. Last point, Chris, and that's this.
It's something called the Constitution. 30 years ago the Supreme Court answered a very important question, and that is do police officers have a constitutional duty to protect us? You might think the answer is, yes, of course they do. They're police officers. The answer is no. That was reaffirmed in 2005, Justice Scalia deciding.
And so, therefore from a legal perspective where the Constitution says, you know what, constitutionally no duty to protect. That's a problem. And the last point is, is it sets a dangerous precedent and as much as you are going to look for officers throughout the country and charge them with inactivity.
CUOMO: But, Jimmy, somebody who was in law enforcement and understands this, that's the guy's job.
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes.
CUOMO: Is to go in and protect the kids. This is why we heroize first responders. I mean, you are one, but you guys do things that people like me and Joey probably wouldn't do.
CUOMO: And you are paid for it in this man's case. So what's your policy argument?
GAGLIANO: Joey makes a good argument and Joey argues stare decisis, right? This has been settled in the courts and it is settled law. And I'd argue but let me give you a couple of points here.
First of all, if you want to quote the Supreme Court, 1989, Graham V. Conner, which was the objective reasonable standard for police in excessive use of force case which says if you take someone to custody and you rough them up, what should a reasonable officer in that instance do? That applies here, as well. A reasonable officer would not have waited outside for 45 minutes, three quarters of an hour, while young children were being gunned down.
CUOMO: But there is no reverse precedent.
JACKSON: Inaction can be punished.
GAGLIANO: Chris, I'm with two lawyers and you are absolutely correct. It needs to be looked at. Number two, cops aren't different than anybody else in the sense of courage. We do the same things. Mark Twain once said what, the famous line is "Courage is not the absence of fear. It's the mastery of it." 1.2, 1.3 million of us in a country of 335 million are cops. I was scared every single time that I banged in a door. I was scared every single time I went after an armed fugitive and every single time in a barricaded hostage situation.
Last point is this. We look at policing just like we do the military. The military protects us from enemies from without. Law enforcement protects us from enemies within.
[21:40:01] It's a profession. We swear an oath to protect and defend, to serve. In this instance, if a soldier deserts his post under enemy fire in combat, he can face a death penalty.
Now, I'm not advocating for that here. What I'm arguing is deserting your post, not fulfilling your duties, abdicating your responsibilities. How do we know in 45 minutes that if he had just gone in, one life could have been saved?
CUOMO: So you fire him, but do you prosecute him?
GAGLIANO: I think absolutely.
CUOMO: And the idea of if they don't have a constitutional duty to protect, what does that mean?
JACKSON: It means that you can't charge someone criminally. I think that everything that James said from his perspective, he's a guy who served. He's a guy who has protected his country, who has protected his community. I get it.
I think a normal reaction would be you should burn, as we saw the parents say, but looking at it dispassionately, looking at it just objectively speaking what the law provides, what it provides for is to respect an officer's discretion. Now, here I don't think there can be any respect for what the officer did. His inactivity, inexcusable. You're standing some place. You've been on the job for 30 years. You have all the training, all the experience. If you jumped into action, then arguably you could have saved. You could have protect -
CUOMO: Fire him but you can't take his pension unless he pleads to a felony or --
JACKSON: Well, maybe not. The fact is, is that that will be examined. That will be looked at. If you're talking about firing someone and taking their pension, another venue. If you're talking about criminally prosecuting something, I think ultimately a jury will burn him. He will not in the event these moves forward win a jury trial. I think this is a legal question for the courts and I think once they analyzed the law, no constitutional duty, analyzed the law, he's not a caretaker, analyze the law, the precedent it says for everyone else, I think a judge ultimately a judge in an appellate court will overturn this.
CUOMO: Here's what I don't like about this. This is feeding a frustration that nothing happened after Parkland.
CUOMO: And it's that my problem is look, Joey's right on the law. We all did our homework before this segment. But it's not about what they're doing, it's what hasn't been done.
GAGLIANO: You think he's the fall guy?
CUOMO: This is the one action that we can come up with after this when you know the guy who did these murders was a known quantity. He was deranged. He could have been identified. We're not going to focus on that. We're not going to focus on how those kinds of people get access to weapons. But we are going to create a legal standard for punishing a guy because he didn't do something. I think that frustrates people and I don't blame the families for being angry at everybody involved.
GAGLIANO: Chris, we talked about it the other night in the wake of the Virginia Beach shooting. It's a complex issue. It's HIPAA and FERPA. It's culture. It's all the things that we talked about, the fact that people immediately resort to violence. And yes, Nikolas Cruz is the person here that's responsible for the death of those 17 people, but I'll put it to you like this, a school bus driver is not a caretaker either of children, and yet if a school bus driver takes a fifth of vodka while they're taking the kids along the route, crash it is and kills children, are we going to hold them accountable for negligible homicide?
JACKSON: You better believe we will.
GAGLIANO: This was a school resource officer. His job was to be the front line defense protecting those children and he didn't. He failed us and he failed those children.
JACKSON: He did indeed and I don't argue that at all. And perhaps in light of this the law will be re-examined. But as it stands now, the law is what it is. To your logic point, Chris, I think that the bigger issue, I mean no one likes to talk about gun control. It's too early. We can't address it. No, let's not touch it. I think we got to do something.
CUOMO: We talk about it early and often on this show because that's the only time people give a damn.
CUOMO: And then it fades and you're going to be confused by which one was that? Which was it, Parkland?
JACKSON: And that's a shame.
CUOMO: And look -
JACKSON: You can't even keep track of which one it was, that's a shame.
CUOMO: And all I'm saying is when I say only in America, only in America do we come into situations like this. The only corrective action after a shooting with 17 kids losing their lives and adults also is, do we going after the cop or not? There is nothing else we can think about. The policy arguments are strong. The law is instructive in this.
Gentlemen, thank you. I wish we had a better conversation to have about this, but thank you for having this one.
All right. Another one. Did you hear about this? Teacher under fire. She's tweeting, asking President Trump round up the undocumented students at our school. That's not what she was calling them. Should she lose her job for it? This is about the law but this is also about doing the right thing. There are facts she may not know. Let's bring them in with D. Lemon, next.
[21:47:58] CUOMO: All right. So here's the story. A Texas teacher lost her job for asking President Trump to quote, "remove the illegals from her school." She says she thought she was sending private messages to POTUS on Twitter. She wasn't. They were public. Her name is Georgia Clark and she is contesting her firing. Her supporters call it overreach and make first amendment claims. D. Lemon, your take?
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: My take is, is that she's a teacher and she shouldn't be doing such activity on Twitter or on any social media because that's a public account. She should conduct herself accordingly. I do say innocent until proven guilty because she's saying that she's going to fight the charges. At least her attorney says that. But she has a history as well. CNN, in order to get information, we had to file an open records request and in that open records request we found that there was a history of her doing similar things in similar classrooms where she had to be suspended without pay and reassigned. That was in 2013, so there you go.
CUOMO: The better question is why was she still teaching? She had to be moved for this kind of behavior. Like what? After this came out, she's accused by of making racist statements in the class the same day. Unnamed students said that after a lesson that she said Mexicans shouldn't enter the United States illegally. Obviously, nobody should enter the United States illegally but she said that. When a student asked to go to the bathroom afterwards, Clark allegedly said, show me your papers that say you are legal. She was suspended without pay and reassigned in 2013. She called a group of students working together and speaking Spanish little Mexico, referred to another student as white bread. Clark also allegedly made her students do an activity in which she separated her students by their race and told the Mexicans to cross the border to the other side of the classroom. It is not a one-off. Yes, she thought it was a direct message, but why was she still allowed to teach?
LEMON: Well, one, it is America. And I think people --
CUOMO: So what?
LEMON: So what? Do you know the history of this country you know where we live in now?
CUOMO: I know the history but not everything goes back to --
LEMON: Do you know what our president says? Do you know what his supporters say?
CUOMO: What I'm saying is why fight for their teachers? Why fight for this?
[21:50:02] LEMON: Because -- because this -- here's the thing, because the issue of race has not been taken seriously in this country ever. People say when you and I come in usually you're saying to me, why is she still being allowed? Because when you bring up those subjects people say that you're race baiting, people say I have nothing to do with what happened with slavery. I have nothing to do with what happens with Mexico. People shouldn't enter this country is because people don't want to deal with the subject of race in this country, especially if it does not affect them. They're sick of it. They don't want to deal with it. They want to deal with their everyday things. And OK, fine, everyone wants to focus on their families and being able to take care. But there are -- this is an issue. It is the third rail in our society. And until people like this woman we start to take her actions seriously, and not just us, the people who -- the people who agree with her.
CUOMO: That's right. That's what I'm saying.
LEMON: The people who are confronted with racism every single day. Until they start to take it seriously nothing is ever going to change.
CUOMO: That's the right point because what I'm saying, the people who support her and say it's her First Amendment right. Yes, sure, you just don't get to teach.
LEMON: You don't get to teach --
CUOMO: Because we don't want to teach that to our kids. And she already got cited for it and was suspended for it without pay once. One should have been done.
LEMON: I think if you're in the public, it should not be your First Amendment right to spread hate, to spread lies and spread propaganda. By the way, on this subject, you know representative will herd largest section of border among any representatives -
CUOMO: Sure. New asylum rules proposal.
LEMON: He's going to join us. He wants to hear what he has to say about these tariffs and also about what's happening on our border.
CUOMO: Great, great guest. D. Lemon, talk to you in a second.
All right, do you remember, well, we must, 75 years ago American troops were prepping to cross the English Channel, almost to the hour where we are right now, D-Day invasion. They did it out of a sense of duty. This was one of the moments that defined them as the greatest generation and that will stand for all time. Let's talk about them and the rest of us in a closing argument, next.
[21:56:25] CUOMO: You know, all this talk about the Parkland resource officer focused on the nature of duty. What was his duty? It's forcing a lot of tough questions. But it also brings something positive into focus, the nature of duty in a time of danger. We see it in first responders all the time, which is one of the reasons the Parkland guy bothers people so much. But the ultimate example is evidenced in our fighting men and women and when it comes to warriors, that defining generation was called the greatest for a reason. 75 years ago, almost to the hour, the D-Day invasion began.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the day for which three people long have waited. This is D-Day.
CUOMO: Talk about facing your fears. We've all seen the movies and documentaries overnight in Armada. More than 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel. June 6th, 6:30 a.m. local time, troops began coming ashore, a 50 mile front. They had to cross naked beach, everything coming down on them, 10,000 lost at least. The American count 6,603. D-Day could stand for duty. It doesn't refer to any word in the "D," but it could. Let's use it for that for this argument. They did it because that was their purpose. Many were drafted at 18 years of age, babies or barely older sent off with these words from Eisenhower, then the supreme commander of the allied forces.
GENERAL DWIGHT EISENHOWER, SUPREME COMMANDER, ALLIED FORCES: You are about to embark upon the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you.
CUOMO: 16 million Americans served and helped save the world in World War II. There's still a lot of them left. We saw a handful of them sharing the stage today with POTUS, the queen and other world leaders. What will be lost when the greatest generation goes?
My argument is it won't just be the memory of a war but a profound sense of duty. Then and when they return because, remember, these same men and women who supported them they are in here built this country, literally and culturally. They made America great. We owe them everything. And it is worth remembering why we look to them as an example of what this country is all about.
They were from everywhere. And they were about everything. Many struggled with the language. They weren't born here or recently arrived. They were sons and daughters of the lesser. They were sent, like in my family, because of the profound sense of appreciation for the opportunity to be in America. They gave everything because they felt they owed everything.
Now, I can't imagine facing down the danger that our troops absorbed and conquered and lived with ever after but I can appreciate their example. And I can honor that sense of duty and see it as a standard to apply to whatever challenge life brings and to a profound sense of pride in being in America.
So on this day, today, when a story about one former sheriff's deputy, the Parkland resource officer is all over the news as the subject of the only action taken in response to a shooting that took 17 lives, remember when talking about duty what we already know about it in the face of danger, what duty looks like writ large.