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President Trump Joins The Queen And Other Heads Of State To Commemorate 75th Anniversary Of D-Day; Thirty-Two Percent Increase In Migrants In Southern Border Last Month; GOP Senators Want Trump To Hold Off On Mexico Tariffs Until They Can Meet With Him To Discuss; Rep. Will Hurd (D-TX) Is Interviewed About The Situation At The Border; YouTube Removing Hundreds Of Thousands Of Videos Containing Hate And Racism. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 5, 2019 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: What duty looks like wit large? D- Day doesn't get the attention of the drama of the moment, but it deserves the ultimate respect. Thank you to the brave souls who served. Thank you for the gift that you give those of us who reap the benefits of what you wrought with your hearts and heads and hands.
Thank you, you and your families. The more we look to you and what you were about 75 years ago the better off we will be today. Thanks for watching. Let me get you quickly to "CNN TONIGHT" with D. Lemon.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Yes, makes you proud to be an American.
CUOMO: They are the best of us and then there are the rest of us and we need to look to them especially now.
LEMON: Yes. And you're right, they don't get the fanfare. We talk about the greatest generation and I'm so glad you pointed out the type of people who were fighting in World War I and World War II. These were immigrants, these are people who came over, as you said, some didn't speak English, many of them were vilified by people who, you know, thought they were the so-called -- the elites back then.
There's a similar narrative as to what's going on right now and we should learn from our history, because now those people who may have been vilified or may have been looked upon as other were the rocks and the foundations of American society and democracy.
CUOMO: That is how it's always been here, our diversity has always been our strength.
CUOMO: We were never the best, we were the rest. And we came together and we made this country what it was. I remember my grandmother saying to me about why my Uncle Frankie and why on my other side, my Uncle Frankie and Uncle Sam, why they went off. Because my stories that I had heard was about them being prejudiced against here.
You know, pop used to tell the joke, Christopher's a white guy. We finally made it. You know, because he didn't feel like that, he was excluded as an ethnics.
LEMON: Italians, yes. They were ethnics, right.
CUOMO: And I remember my grandmother looking at me and even more stranger than usual and she was like what do you mean, we got everything here, America gave us everything, of course we sent them to fight. This is our country too. The profound sense. We can't lose that. We can't lose that sense of belonging no matter what you come from.
LEMON: I look at my ancestors and the folks who were not allowed to vote, the folks who were not allowed to get an education, just like many people who come to this country, they don't have educations, you know, higher education and look what we became, because we moved -- we came to America even though we were brought here, right, I was, on my ancestors were.
Here in America we were finally allowed to get an education, to move up the ranks when it comes to work and hopefully in the future, wealth as well. So imagine that with the folks who are coming over now who are seeking a better life. They're not perfect people. Neither of our ancestors were perfect people.
CUOMO: No, they were highly imperfect.
LEMON: At all.
CUOMO: Worked like crazy.
LEMON: Right. And some of them still don't speak the King's English, let's be honest.
CUOMO: They weren't going to make the cut today. Not by the president's standards. I don't know if he'd make it by his own standards. What he says he's looking for.
LEMON: Certainly not with the King's English part.
CUOMO: Once he figures out where his family comes from. But look, who would have thought, Don, two, or three generations back where your family was that someday you would get to live the dream of being an Italian guy from Brooklyn in a made for TV commercial.
LEMON: By the way, I don't know if you noticed in that commercial --
CUOMO: What was the chance that I didn't see that commercial?
LEMON: I was wearing an Italian horn on my --
CUOMO: Oh, I saw it. I saw it. El Corno (ph), we call that. That can have very different connotations.
LEMON: We're talking about a promo for our original series, it's called the movies, we're doing a documentary here on CNN and several of the anchors dressed up as characters from very famous movies. I was John Travolta doing the opening scene from "Saturday Night Fever" when he is walking next to that --
CUOMO: They asked me to do that, but they thought it was too on the nose.
LEMON: You guys do kind of look alike. You definitely do sound alike.
CUOMO: my mother used to tell me that I would look like him which is she is complimenting me. But you looked good and you pulled it off very well.
LEMON: Thank you.
CUOMO: Eating the pizza was natural for you.
LEMON: Of course.
CUOMO: They say you went through 16 slices in that shoot.
LEMON: I got it from you. You showed me how to do all of that.
CUOMO: I do love pizza. You did a great job. You can have a great show. Will Hurd is the right guest.
LEMON: I can't wait. Will Hurd, we got a lot and we've got John Kasich as well. He is standing by. So got to get to him. Thank you, Chris. I will see you soon.
CUOMO: All right, Don.
LEMON: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. So President Trump in Ireland tonight after wrapping up his state visit to the U.K., but not before joining the queen and other heads of state to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-day and once again showing us a side that we're not always used to seeing with this president, a president honored to stand at the queen's side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a great honor to be with you, great woman, great, great woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: But there is also -- there's also what he said in Ireland just a few hours later, defending his plan to slap tariffs on all Mexican goods sold in this country and denying the fact that those tariffs will inflict pain on Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[22:05:10] TRUMP: I think I have to step up and if they don't, tariffs will go on and if they go high then companies are going to move back into the United States. That is all. It's very simple.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: It's not at all simple. Here at home a Republican rebellion
may be brewing, Senators urging the president to hold off and meet with them next week. It is not clear whether enough Republicans would actually break with him or whether they're just delaying in hope that this whole thing will just go away, but make no mistake about this.
This is a humanitarian crisis at the border. What's at issue in this country is why that is. And what to do about it. The fact is there was a 32 percent increase in migrants encountered or arrested at the Southern Border last month, more than 144,000 people. And of those nearly 133,000 crossed the border illegally. Including over 11,000 unaccompanied children, imagine that.
Since the first of this year there has been a steady increase in migrants apprehended at the border. So you can call it whatever you want. It is a huge, huge problem. Is the answer slapping tariffs on goods imported from Mexico, if they don't stop the flow of migrants with no clear idea of what it will take to satisfy the president? Is the answer raising prices for Americans on goods from cars, tomatoes to air conditioners to beer while complaining we have nothing to worry about?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The people are going to have to worry about paying the tax, because the companies are going to move back into the United States and there won't be any tariff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That is just not true. Tariffs could do real damage to our economy. That's a fact here. And it's not just higher prices. According to an analysis by an economic consulting firm more than 400,000 Americans, more than 400,000 American jobs could be lost. The good news is, though, the White House and Mexican officials are talking tonight. With more talks scheduled tomorrow. As the clock ticks towards Monday's deadline.
But we're in this mess, because this is a president who refuses to accept the facts when they don't suit him. Surrounding himself with just some yes men and women who will tell him exactly what he wants to hear, but as we say around here, facts first. And whether this president likes it or not he can't just ignore the facts. I want you to listen to what he said about climate change. OK, listen very closely, this is an interview he did with Piers Morgan on "Good morning Britain".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I believe that there's a change in weather and I think it changes both ways. Don't forget, it used to be called global warming and that wasn't working then it was called climate change and now it's actually called extreme weather.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: OK. So I want -- again, the facts. The president is
implying, he is implying that climate change or global warming is nothing more than weather. That is not true. According to NASA, quote, "Global warming refers to the long-term warming of the planet since the early 20th century that is a result of fossil fuel emission accumulating in the atmosphere." That is science.
The past five years have all been the warmest on record for our planet. And 18 of the hottest 19 years have occurred since 2001. Those are the facts. Weather? Climate change? Two different things. The facts. Prince Charles spent 90 minutes talking one on one with the president trying to convince him of the reality of climate change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'll tell you what moved me is his passion for future generations, he is really not doing this for him. He is doing this for future generations. He really feels -- and this is real. He believes that. He wants to have a world that is good for future generations, and I do too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Ok. I just have to say there, a very, very simple thing would have said Mr. President, do you understand that the difference between climate change and weather patterns that they are two separate things? But I digress. Platitudes with no action behind them. It's really kind of sad.
Even Prince Charles, a future king of England, a member of a royal family, President Trump admires so much. Even he couldn't get the president to admit that climate change is real and that it threatens future generations all over the world. He couldn't get him to admit the truth. Listen to what the president said today in Ireland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[22:10:03] TRUMP: We have the cleanest air in the world in the United States and it gotten better since I'm president. We have the cleanest water, crystal clean and I always say I want crystal clean water and air.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: This from the president who torches the Paris Climate Agreement, which may have been our best hope of actually doing something to stop climate change. And there's more. I want you to listen to this claim about the reasons for his ban on transgender troops in the military.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They take massive amounts of drugs. They have to. And also, and you're not allowed to take drugs. You are in the military, you're not allowed to take any drugs, you take an aspirin and they have to after the operation. They have to. They have no choice. They have to. And you would actually have to break rules and regulations in order to have that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. Well, that is not true, because the fact is U.S. military personnel can and do take prescription drugs with approval for medical conditions. It's just not true that prescription drug use in the military is not allowed. That is an excuse for a ban that plainly discriminates against transgender people who are willing to risk their lives to serve their country.
And then there is this. The president claiming in that interview that he has a 94 percent approval rating with Republicans, which he says is an all-time record. "The Washington Post" is pointing out that he has made some version of this claim 14 times, but here's the thing. Again, it's just not true. Gallup had the president at a 90 percent -- a 90 percent approval among Republicans in February. He is pretty much stayed there, you know, though, through the most recent Gallup poll in May.
So -- and Trump is actually in sixth place among Republican presidents since World War II. George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower all had higher approval ratings at some point in their presidencies. So again, these are the facts, facts first. So why is the president lying about that?
Why claim you're the most popular president in the history of the party when it is so easily proven false? Like I said before, if you lie about anything, you'll lie about everything.
So will the president stick to his plan to slap tariffs on Mexico on Monday and just how much pain will all of that cost you, the American people? That is the question for former Ohio Governor John Kasich. He is here and he is next.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Republican Senators want President Trump to hold off on his tariffs in Mexico until they can meet with him when he returns from Europe, but so far -- well, anyway the president's standing firm insisting that tariffs will kick in Monday, if Mexico doesn't agree to somehow stop the flow of migrants to the border.
I want to talk about this now with John Kasich, the former Republican governor of Ohio. Good evening, sir. I love our conversation. So, let's get started right away. Give me your take on this issue. Tariffs on Mexico and whether this ends up going into effect on Monday. Go.
JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, first of all, the idea is not to have people coming in the country so the president slaps a tariff on Mexico which makes Mexico poorer so then all the sudden Mexicans say, I better cross the border to go get a job in the United States. OK, that is number one.
Number two, it's going to raise prices for everybody. It is just ridiculous. And the president is using this as a weapon. And do I think it's going to go in on Monday? Who knows? I don't know what's going to happen on Monday. The Senators, yes, they are all saying, you know they are all upset, they're worked up.
Where are they going to be when he comes home, are they going to be tough enough to say this to him when he comes home? Or are they going to cave? Because I haven't been too impressed with their ability to stand up and speak out. And we'll have to see.
But you know what, all politics are local, Don, you know, Tip O'Neill said that. It's true. So when all the sudden the farmers and the ranchers and all of these folks and the auto dealers start telling you that you're killing they're business, guess what, all the senators go, well, I'm very concerned about this. As all politics are local.
KASICH: So, you know, they may get a little more spine, because their constituents are yelling at them and so, you know, they've got to walk the streets. Donald Trump's not with them when they're out there on their own.
LEMON: When they're doing those town halls.
KASICH: You know, I think they're mad about it. But Don, you go to a town hall, you know, I think people are going to yell at them. They're yelling at them about the environment, I know that is true and they don't like these tariffs.
One other thing, Don, we better stop the war on children that come into this country. You know, there was an article, CBS did extensive reporting on a facility for children in Homestead. I could not read it the first time I saw it, because it made me sick to my stomach. I read it the second time, and the stories in there are horrific.
The idea that we're going to solve this problem by punishing children that come into this country that is not America. That is not the spirit of what we did on D-day. It's wrong. And if you want to fix this problem how about some comprehensive immigration reform, how about a guest worker program and how about helping all those countries where people are in trouble physically being threatened, help them out there to stop this so they don't have to leave their country.
LEMON: I take your point. I take your point in that. Let's -- I want to talk about tariffs. Because I don't know if you saw this. One of President Trump's trade advisers is Peter Navarro. He was on CNN this morning with Jim Sciutto. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Does the president know who pays the tariffs?
PETER NAVARRO, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF TRADE AND MANUFACTURING TARIFFS: When you say you and I know I don't know that at all. Here's what I know. We have the same discussion --
SCIUTTO: The Coke brothers say it's a tax on American businesses.
NAVARRO: The Coke brothers, come on now. Let's talk about this discussion on who bears the burden of these tariffs. We had the same discussion with the China tariffs. Everybody's trying to claim that somehow American consumers bear that burden. That is exactly wrong. China --
SCIUTTO: How is that wrong? American companies have to pay the tariffs on the goods they import and they pass those costs on to consumers. It's not a discussion.
NAVARRO: You want to let me explain this?
SCIUTTO: Absolutely, but the facts are facts.
NAVARRO: can you give me a minute here without interrupting me, Jim. OK? Here's the way this works. China bears most of the burden of the tariffs. What happens when we put the tariffs on is China is forced to lower their price, they have fewer exports, lower profits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[22:20:05] LEMON: So I just want to get your reaction to that, governor. Because the truth is --
KASICH: I don't -- I mean, I don't know where he gets his economics from. Here's what I do know. Because of the tariffs, right, because of all the disruption with China, we now have a welfare program for farmers to give them money, because they can't get their products out of here.
When we say that these tariffs and this trade wars don't hurt us, why is the head of the Federal Reserve beginning to talk now about cutting interest rates because he is worried the economy is going to slow. I don't agree with him. Look, I don't want to go and, you know, personally attack somebody or -- but I will tell you this, I could not more profoundly disagree.
So when a car comes in -- when an auto part comes in from Mexico with a high tariff on it and gets put in a car when I go to buy the car I pay a higher price. I mean this is not complicated. I have no clue what --
LEMON: OK. Let's talk about the election. I want to move on and talk about the election with you. All right. Because this is a new poll. I found that a majority of Americans, 54 percent think that President Trump will win reelection, 41 percent think that he'll lose.
And that is a reversal from December when a narrow majority thought that Trump would lose reelection. Where do you fall on this? Do you think that he has a good shot of winning reelection?
KASICH: I don't personally think he is going to win. I'll tell you why. I don't know, it depends who they pick. If the Democrats pick Biden or somebody like Biden that is sort of center left, if they pick Biden, I can tell you, Pennsylvania's gone. You know, the Democrats will win Pennsylvania, probably win Michigan
as well. Wisconsin, you know, they probably will win that. I was told tonight that Trump is trailing in North Carolina by 12 points.
Now, I mean, he is likely to win that narrowly, but you've got to look at the math. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, critical. And now the Trump people are beginning to say that they want to go to New Mexico, maybe, or go to New Hampshire.
I don't think that is going to work. Now if the Democrats are crazy, which they have the full capability of being, then anything can happen, but all things being said a moderate candidate can carry himself well, I think wins the election and not just on the basis of issues, but on the basis of the disruption, the character issues, the criticisms.
That's -- we saw it in the midterm elections where suburban people said no thank you to the Republicans. There was a poll out the other day that shows young people leaving the Republican Party in droves particularly because of issues like the environment. So -- and immigration. So this is not a good thing. I happen to be a Republican and it's falling apart.
LEMON: So, listen, Governor Kasich, at the start of the week, you shot off a tweet. And let me read it, you said, we mark our anniversaries this week of two great events, that had inspired freedom loving people around the world by reminding us how fragile our freedoms remain in the face of modern day tyranny. I mean, you point out -- you point to D-day in Tiananmen Square. How do you view the importance of those two events through the prism of Trump's presidency?
KASICH: Well, I'm just very concerned about the attack on basic institutions in this country and look I talk about those two things because we have to be very wary of autocrats and we just had Urban, who is the leader over in Europe, Central Europe, he came to the White House, he was given a great come on in kind of thing, that was ridiculous. This guy is -- he is harassing the press, he harasses the courts. We shouldn't be honoring people who are autocrats. I just simply don't agree with that.
And so, you know, when it comes to the world we are dividing ourselves, including using tariffs, trade wars, dividing ourselves from the very people who their people fought with us on D-day, the very people who helped us to defeat the Nazis all across the world. And think about this, we better get a reality check, by the way, when it comes to China.
You know, we tried to coddle them, and I don't disagree with the president going after China on trade, but he should not have done it alone. He should have done it with our friends around the world who are as frustrated with China as we are. We've coddled them.
Gerald Baker at the Wall Street Journal wrote a piece, in fact, I want to call him and he said we've tried to coddle them economically forever. Have they changed? No. In fact, they're getting worse. Look at the facial recognition cameras, Don, you know about that over there?
You get on a bus, they're watching everything you do. If you happen to be a member of an ethnic group they're watching you. They're watching everything you do. And I worry, ultimately, about what's happening in Hong Kong and the fact that Hong Kong's going to lose their freedom.
KASICH: This is very serious matter.
LEMON: Well, let's hope something is done about it and it doesn't spread here. We don't need an autocrat here, thank you, sir.
KASICH: No, and we've got to stop this business of attacking our institutions and attacking the press. You can ask the press to be fair, you can ask them to be more objective, but the press is the watch guard on all these powerful figures, all these politicians and all the stuff that happens. Thank god for the press. They've got a responsibility and you understand that.
[22:25:10] LEMON: You're speaking my language. Thank you. I'll see you soon. We will have a conversation soon. Thank you, governor. I really appreciate it.
KASICH: All right, sir, thank you.
LEMON: Border apprehensions are soaring right now. What is behind the spike in arrest? I'm going to talk to Texas Congressman Will Hurd, who represents the longest stretch of the Southern Border next.
LEMON: There was a 32 percent increase in migrants arrested or encountered at our Southern Border in May, Customs and Border Patrol announcing today that there were over 144,000 in May, the highest monthly total in 13 years, but -- so why is this happening?
That is the question. Why is this happening? Let's talk now to Congressman Will Hurd, he is a Republican from Texas and a member of the Homeland Security Committee. It's so good to have you on. And you're the right person to explain this, because I mean, this is -- you have the longest stretch of border.
REP. WILL HURD (R), TEXAS: I do, 820 miles of border.
LEMON: Of any representative here in the United States. So the numbers are staggering now, 144,000 people in the month of May alone. The longest stretch of border in the country.
[22:30:00] You and your constituents are witnessing this crisis firsthand. So what's happening? What's driving this?
REP. WILL HURD (D), TEXAS: So the ultimate root causes is, is people are leaving the northern triangle, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras because of violence and lack of economic opportunities in those countries. But why are we seeing these staggering numbers now at our border? And you showed the stat of comparing May of 2019 to May of 2018. But all of last year, 400,000 people came in the country illegally, right?
And so this is how staggering this current crisis really is. What is happening is every person that's coming into our country illegally, and the best way to think of it is many of these folks are surrendering to border patrol, right? And then you have one border patrol agent that has to corral sometimes dozens, sometimes hundreds of people in El Paso.
Recently, about a thousand people were arrested all at one time. And they're all being treated as an asylum seeker.
LEMON: Did that not used to happen?
HURD: It did not used to happen. I think over a little bit over thousand at the most it happened. I think all of last year, there was about a dozen groups that were apprehended.
LEMON: Why did that change?
HURD: It changed because everybody is being treated as an asylum seeker when they're coming here, even though when they're originally arrested, they're not actually -- not all of them are claiming asylum.
LEMON: Why is everyone being -- what changed it to make everyone be treated as an asylum seeker?
HURD: This is a Department of Homeland Security policy on how they're interpreting the laws.
LEMON: From the executive branch?
HURD: From the executive branch.
LEMON: OK. All right, so then the policy is different. More people are coming over, but also, the policy is different, and more people have realized or the interpretation of the policy.
HURD: Yeah. So yeah, so the policy is the interpretation of the law.
LEMON: Got it.
HURD: And the law on asylum is very simple. If you have to be part of a protected class, there are five protected classes. You have to be persecuted by your government. Or if you're persecuted by a group, let's say MS-13, you have to be able to prove that the government can't or won't protect you, all right? And so those are the foundations for asylum.
Our asylum laws have basically been the same since the 80s. Most of our immigration laws haven't -- the last changes were in 2011, 2008.
LEMON: OK. This is what I am getting, and maybe I am wrong. It sounds like the interpretation of the law with this change, treat everyone as an asylum seeker, is somehow incentivizing more people to come over because they realize I can be treated as an asylum seeker because the other way they may have been...
LEMON: Of which was under the former administration.
HURD: Sure, yes.
LEMON: So it sounds like under this administration they have somehow incentivized people to come over more.
HURD: By treating everybody as an asylum seeker, which then means they basically stay in the United States for almost five years before they go through their complete immigration court case, they're able to be released into a chaperon or a sponsor somewhere else in the country, and that is what is driving -- that is the pull that is pulling people here.
LEMON: They get here and say what?
HURD: Credible fear, right? I have credible fear. And usually what's happening, though, they're not doing it when they're arrested. They get arrested. They get put in a holding tank. They're in a room with dozens of other people. And those people say, hey, you've got to claim credible fear. And then you get processed differently instead of doing what's called expedited removal, which is deportation.
LEMON: And the folks at home, they call them or they hear about it?
HURD: Yeah. They hear about it and you start seeing more people coming.
LEMON: All right.
HURD: That's the other reason why you're also -- so probably two months ago, 90 percent -- so my -- the border is broken up into sectors, and so the sectors that I represented, the 90 percent of the people who are coming from the northern triangle, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras.
What you're starting to see now is you're seeing people coming from the Congo. You're starting to see people come from Cuba, because they're all hearing what's happening. And that's why we've got to fix some of these asylum laws.
LEMON: I think that has helped to explain this -- all the sudden this number of people is coming over. It is the way the law that is being interpreted now, the policy. It is incentivizing people to come over in large numbers. OK, so then the question is, as someone who represents the largest stretch, what is the fix? How would you fix it?
[22:34:48] HURD: Well, there's multiple fixes. A quick fix is we are working on some fixes to the asylum laws. If you -- usually, when you apply for asylum, you should apply in the country next to the country you're leaving, right? That's generally what's accepted around the world. And then if you come through Mexico, where there is a U.N. facility to have people claim asylum in Oaxaca, Mexico.
And then you don't do that, and then you come in between our ports of entry. You're trying to sneak into the country. That shows that your motivations are not pure. So you've got to make sure that you're following the rules that way. That's one fix. Don't treat everybody that comes here as an asylum seeker. The way the law is written now, the individual that is adjudicating the asylum claim can take into account that individual's credibility.
Does it make sense? And so a lot of times what happens, border patrol is hearing the exact same story, same words from 50 different people, from different places, because that's the story that's been told. The other thing I would do is I would make sure the intelligence community is collecting intelligence on the human smugglers.
The other reason you're seeing more people coming here as well is it's hard to get from Tegucigalpa to El Paso. And it used to take, lie, two weeks. Now, you see drug cartels invest in bussing companies, and you've seen them now getting here within four or five days.
LEMON: Collect intelligence on that.
HURD: And work with our people.
LEMON: Are tariffs the answer?
HURD: Absolutely not. Tariffs are a tax on the American consumer, period. End of story.
LEMON: Yeah. Good to see you. Thank you.
HURD: Of course.
LEMON: Appreciate that, Congressman Will Hurd. YouTube is removing hundreds of thousands of videos because of extremist views and hateful speech. But is it too little, too late?
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Hate is big online. And now, some tech companies are working to stop it. Just today, YouTube said it will ban accounts that post hateful videos on its site, which is a good start, especially because hate speech online and hate crimes are on the rise. YouTube says that it will ban videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation, or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
On top of that, they are going to remove videos that deny well documented atrocities like the holocaust or the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. YouTube says hundreds of thousands of videos will be removed. That's a lot of videos. But in the case of some videos, the damage has already been done, like the videos that claim that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.
In reaction to today's announcement, a lawyer representing families of Sandy Hook victims put it this way, saying it's too late to undo the harm that has been caused by conspiracy theories that have been circulating on the site. The lawyer added, at the same time better late than never. How will these sites navigate the line between free speech and hate speech?
It was only yesterday when YouTube said videos mocking a news video producer for his sexual orientation did not violate the websites policies. I want you to listen to what Carlos Maza. Carlos Maza is a video producer for the Web site VOX. What he says he's been attacked over his sexual orientation by a YouTube user for years. He says the videos mocking him have made him the target of harassment.
And to bring attention to it, Maza put together a compilation of homophobic insults being hurled at him in right wing commentator, Steven Crowder's YouTube videos. We're going to play you a little of bit, but not a lot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN CROWDER, RIGHT WING COMMENTATOR: You're being given a free pass as a crappy writer because you're gay. Set a line on the queer graph there. Now the graph is queer.
Is this violence, fear?
CROWDER: The little queer can eat his chips all nonchalantly. (Inaudible) chip, chip, bet you can't eat just one, like dicks. Let's be queer from VOX. What were you holding, gay Latino from VOX?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Disgusting. In a tweet to Carlos Maza, YouTube says that they conducted an in depth review of the videos that were flagged to them. They say that what they saw was clearly hurtful, but the videos do not violate their policies. This issue is not limited to one person targeted or even one social media site. Hate online is everywhere.
According to the ADL, 37 percent of Americans experience severe hate and harassment in 2018 across the internet. And when it comes to white supremacy online, U.S. white nationalists have thrived. For example, on Twitter, American white nationalist movements have seen their followers grow by more than 600 percent since 2012. In fact, growth in white nationalists and Nazi accounts on Twitter
outpaced ISIS by almost every metric, in part because they faced less pressure from suspensions. That's all according to a 2016 study from George Washington University. And like YouTube, other big tech is starting to take hate seriously. It was only just a few months ago that Facebook said that it was banning white nationalist content from its platform.
That ban came two weeks after the suspect in that terror attack at two New Zealand mosques streamed part of the massacre live on Facebook. Remember that? A manifesto allegedly written by suspect reveals white nationalist views. But how seriously is the U.S. government taking the hate online? That's a really big question.
Well, Congress held a hearing just yesterday on white supremacy. And they talked about how people can become radicalized online. And at the hearing, an official from the Trump administration admitted that they are not doing enough to combat hate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[22:45:01] ELIZABETH NEUMANN, HOMELAND SECURITY ASSISTANT SECRETARY: We know we're not doing enough. Part of the reason we haven't done enough is because things have not -- it's bureaucratic, it's boring. Things haven't been institutionalized. In order for government to work, you have to institutionalize it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, the Trump administration could be doing more to combat hate online. In fact, there was a huge missed opportunity just a few weeks ago. The White House recently announced that the U.S. will not be joining the Christ's Church Call for Action, a global effort to encourage tech companies in countries to work together to end the use of social media in acts of terrorism in the wake of the New Zealand terror attack.
This all begs the question. Who is responsible for curbing hate online? The internet is a big place, and there's a lot of hate to get rid of. We've got a lot more to break down here so make sure you stay with us.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: YouTube is taking down hundreds of thousands of video in an attempt to curb hate online. The site says that it will ban supremacist content and remove videos that deny well documented atrocities like the holocaust. So let's discuss. Wes Lowery is here as well Adam Serwer, good evening, gentlemen, so good to have you on.
Adam, we're going to start with you. What do you think? Is YouTube taking a step in the right direction? Is this something that they should have done a long time ago?
ADAM SERWER, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: Well, look. YouTube's rules work a lot like the American criminal justice system. If you're small and unimportant, they apply to you. And you're influential, they don't really. And that's just the way it works. You know, obviously they're under the First Amendment. You have the right to be as extreme and nasty and racist or bigoted as you want.
But YouTube, as a private company, is not obligated to provide you with a platform for that kind of message. But unfortunately, as a private company, their profit motive is making money. And so if their -- if your content is extreme and it brings eye balls, they're not going to police that content unless they feel like it's not going to cost them not to. And that's what's happening here.
LEMON: Yeah. Wesley, listen, I want to talk to you about this, because, you know, we played a little bit of that hate video. Again, it's Carlos Maza. We don't usually like to play that stuff. But I think it's important for people to see it, because then they don't have an idea. And they may not believe it or something that they go, OK, well, why don't you turn off your thing.
But it's more serious than that. This is according to a source that's familiar with YouTube's actions. One of the accounts removed belonged to a Norwegian man, Wes, who is associated with neo-Nazism. And based on the data reviewed by CNN, this account had more than 250,000 subscribers. Online extremist had huge followings. And they do disgusting things like we saw in that video against Carlos.
WESLEY LOWERY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Of course. We were talking about this (Inaudible). It can be hard for folks who themselves don't have comment platforms -- haven't gone through this type of harassment when suddenly your phone gets 300 txt messages. Or you're getting death threats which I know many folks here at CNN have dealt with.
It's a type of harassment that really is horrifying. It's incumbent upon these platforms to do something about it. Now, I don't mean to point (Inaudible) important, that very often the rules of these platforms -- and it's not just YouTube, but Twitter, Facebook or others getting forced -- the lowest level people but not the highest level people.
In reality it should be the opposite, right? They want to have a broad policy. This thing you get removed or if you post this thing, you get removed. But we have to remember power and platform relate each other. It's not one person making one racist remark who has no followers is very different that someone who has millions of followers making that of remark or homophobic remark or harassment remark.
And so in some ways, platforms -- people have larger platforms need to be policed more tightly.
LEMON: But there's also this sneaky think that they claim they sort of couch it, Adam, in -- well, this is about free speech. Well, you don't have the right to go to a platform, especially if it's a private platform to spread hate. But they say this is free speech and you're trying to ban, and they wrap it in conservatism. And not because -- but not all conservatives believe that. But they try to do that because they want to wrap it in free speech and they want an excuse to be able to continue spreading hate online. SEWER: Well, that's part of the reason why you saw these platforms be
very successful at removing ISIS-related extremist content, because conservatives didn't feel targeted by that. But when platforms say they're going to start policing bigotry, a lot of conservatives start feeling you're going to start policing my speech because liberals think everything that conservatives say is racist.
So I think unlike with the ISIS content, when YouTube starts actually trying to enforce rules against things like racial slurs or homophobic slurs, they're worried about a larger political backlash that simply isn't going to happen when you're policing ISIS videos or ISIS extremists messages.
LEMON: So Wes, the -- here's what the ADL found. White supremacists accounted for 78 percent of the extremist related fatalities in 2018, 39 deaths. That was up 59 percent in 2017, up from 59 percent -- excuse me in 2017. How big of a role does social media play in that, you think?
LOWERY: It's a massive role. Now, again, a lot of online conversation is different from the real world. There are a lot of people who go on the internet and just talk and talk and talk and aren't going to do anything. But what we see in all of typed (Inaudible) international as well domestic terror groups is that there's a radicalization process that happens online as well as a communal process (Inaudible).
So your buddy in Pittsburgh is talking to a person in LA. And they're sharing memes and they're sharing conspiracy theories. And then one of those people goes, you know, what people talk about with extremists' rhetoric, both in online spaces, but also we have to add from the president of the United States and others, people who kind of flirt with some of this language and these discussions.
[22:55:06] It deputizes people, right? If there's a really crisis at the border, if people are invading, and they're going to come and take your jobs, well then don't you have to go do something about that. If the black people are stealing all of your -- or the gay agenda is taking over the -- well then if that was really true, wouldn't you have to go do something about that.
And that's the logic that leads very often to these actual acts of terrorism is the extremist rhetoric, the extreme rhetoric deputizes people to take extreme physical, and that imperils all of our safety.
LEMON: Wes and Adam, important conversation. I appreciate you joining us and we'll continue the discussion. Thank you so much. We'll be right back.
SEWER: Thank you for having me.
LEMON: Absolutely. Well be right back.