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President Trump Digs In On His Threat To Impose Tariffs On All Mexican Goods; President Trump Clearly Thinks He Has 2020 In The Bag; Trump Administration Canceling English Classes, Legal Aid, And Recreational Programs For Unaccompanied Minors. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired June 5, 2019 - 14:00   ET

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


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Brooke Baldwin. You are watching CNN. Thank you for joining me. Soon, in Washington D.C., Vice

President Mike Pence will take part in a high-stakes meeting that could have a major impact on American consumers.

The Vice President will be face to face with Mexico's Foreign Minister, as President Trump digs in on his threat to impose tariffs on all Mexican goods just five days from now. Moments ago, the President inaccurately claimed, again, that the tariffs will not impact Americans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: I think Mexico has to step up and if they don't, the tariffs will go on. And if they go high, then companies are going to move back into the United States. That's all, it's very simple. The people are going to have to worry about paying the tax because the companies are going to move back in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Back on Capitol Hill, some key Republican lawmakers -- they're not buying it and their voices are getting louder and louder as they try to stop the White House from going forward with this or face a vote disapproving of the move.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): We think tariffs, in this instance, are hurting the chances of getting USMCA. And for me, that's a very important goal.

SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): I think we would all be better off if we don't put a round of tariffs on Mexico and let's see what happens.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): I support getting Mexico doing more and I hope that conversations that are occurring today produce more cooperation by Mexico. They could have a big impact but I think the tariffs are unnecessary if we can get Congressional Democrats to just do their job.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I understand that the problem with tariffs, I get it. But nothing else seems to be working. We've tried everything.

BALDWIN: Kaitlan Collins is at the White House and Kaitlan, we know Republicans are speaking out, you know, privately and publicly. And now the President's top trade adviser tells CNN that the action Trump says, it is necessary to stop undocumented immigrants from crossing that southern border actually may not be so necessary after all. Can you explain what's going on?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that would be Peter Navarro, one of the President's trade advisers who was one of the chief officials pushing this idea on the President saying that it would get Mexico's attention.

Now, today just days before this deadline for these tariffs to go into effect on Monday, it's coming on. This is what Peter Navarro is saying now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE TRADE ADVISER: Right now, the Mexican government makes money off illegal immigration. After the tariffs are put in place, the Mexican government will bear cost of that. We believe that these tariffs may not have to go into effect precisely because we have the Mexican's attention, Vice President Pence will be meeting today with Secretary of State Pompeo, and Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. So I think ...

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Let's set aside the facts for a moment.

NAVARRO: ... let's stay calm and look at the chessboard here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: So Brooke, it's significant that Peter Navarro -- the guy who has been pushing this all along, is now saying they may not need to go into effect. But we should note, Peter Navarro is not going to be in that meeting today with the Vice President, with Robert Lighthizer, and with the Mexican Foreign Minister.

Now, they are already tamping down expectations of that meeting saying, they don't expect some big deal to come out of it, but instead they want the U.S. officials to relay just how serious the President is about imposing these tariffs. But, Brooke, at the same time is that -- you're seeing officials create some space for them to be able to back off this threat.

Which is namely that, they haven't been able to explain to lawmakers how they would even move forward with this and they've essentially not given any specific guidelines that they want Mexico to meet, so Mexico could do something and the White House could say, that's enough for them to do this.

But of course, this is all going to come down to President Trump and you saw him this morning on Twitter touting how the Republican support in the House, talking about whether or not Republican Senators would try to block this move from the President. So of course, sometimes in the face of backlash, the President doubles

down and gets defiant. So that's the question here, but ultimately it's all going to be up to the President who we should note is not going to be in Washington during that meeting today because he still oversees.

BALDWIN: Kaitlan, thank you. I want continue the conversation on precisely this. The Senate Republicans, specifically -- they are not finished pushing back. You just heard top Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham on tariffs. And so now, he is joining forces with Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and a group of bipartisan senators in unveiling resolutions to block an eight billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E.

One reason, the senators are speaking out. Last month, Trump declared an emergency to expedite the sale. It's a move that is allowed by law under the arms Export Control Act but it also enables the White House to skip a required congressional review.

Erin Banco is the national security reporter for "The Daily Beast." And so, Erin we have not seen Congressional Republicans stand up very much to this President. What do you think is behind this one-two punch on the Mexico tariffs and the arms deal?

ERIN BANCO, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER "THE DAILY BEAST": Yes. So, it's really interesting. This is, sort of, a shocking development here. Ever since, you know, the brutal murder of Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, we haven't seen Republicans, sort of, come out and condemn the arms flow from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia or for example, you know, these authorizations that have gone through for U.S. companies to work in Saudi Arabia on nuclear related work.

[14:05:08] BANCO: So, I think that the Republicans are making a stand here and making a huge statement by coming out on this and I think this is this is a development we have not seen since the Khashoggi situation. And I think, putting in the context of everything that has developed between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia since that time, this is quite striking.

BALDWIN: What about options because this all follows the March resolution to end U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen and so it passed both the House and the Senate in floor votes before quote of course President Trump vetoed it, right? So let's say, this resolution also passes and is also vetoed, what other options does Congress have?

BANCO: So I know that these -- there are conversations going on the Hill, you know, on Capitol Hill right now behind closed doors. You know, everyone is trying to figure out what the next step is.

BALDWIN: Yes.

BANCO I don't think that they've come to a determination yet, I think that these strategy conversations are still ongoing and I think that they'll be happening throughout the next couple of days here and into the beginning of next week. So I think, at a staff level, these conversations are happening and I think at a member level, they're happening.

But I don't think a decision, you know, going forward in terms of strategy of how to deal with the President on this, you know, issue has been has been understood yet.

BALDWIN: Yes. Erin Banco, keep your ear to the ground for us. Thank you very much.

Despite a huge field of challengers, President Trump clearly thinks he has 2020 in the bag. He said so in an interview with Piers Morgan for "Good Morning Britain," watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: No, there's nobody that I see that should be able to win. Look, I'm running on the best economy in our history, I've rebuilt our military. I knocked out ISIS.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: He is confident, he had another boost. Thanks to this new CNN poll, check this out 54 percent of respondents say, they think President Trump will win the 2020 election that is while 41 percent say he will lose. But there is a difference between predicting the Trump will win and wanting to see him win in 2020. So let's go straight to our CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger. And Gloria, 54 percent. What does the poll say to you?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, you're right about that. There is a big difference between thinking he's going to win and wanting him to win and that's what our poll shows.

Our poll shows that a larger number of people, who disapprove of Donald Trump, now still think he's likely to win the election. So, you have to ask the question of yourself why is that? And we're not quite sure what the answer is.

The answer might be, as Trump was talking about himself to Piers Morgan, the answer might be the economy, which seems to be humming along. It might also be that Democratic voters are taking a look at their huge field and saying how are we ever going to get someone out of this field after a bloody primary who's going to beat an incumbent. So that may be contributing to it.

BALDWIN: Let me talk -- let's move on and talk climate change. The President is speaking out again on climate change. So Gloria, standby for me. This came up again, you know, with Britain's Prince Charles in that interview with Piers, so here's that clip.

(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 -- that wasn't working. Then it was called climate change. Now it's actually called extreme weather because with extreme weather you can't miss. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Because once again, the President confuses weather and climate change. CNN meteorologist, Tom Sater is with me. And can you just fact-check, lay it out for me.

TOM SATER, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Well, I doubt he told Prince Charles it was a Chinese hoax, but at least he's talking. First, he said global warming used to be the term and then it wasn't working, that's false.

Global warming, climate change, and extreme weather are interchangeable. They do mean different things but global warming -- and that's long-term warming due to increase fossil fuel emissions.

I know there's a lot of skeptics out there. There are still some deniers. This goes back to 1880. All the blue are cooler than air of average areas, and then you're going to start to see, as we get into the 80s and 90s here, Brooke. Watch the deep red. I mean this is pure fact. We know that the warming of the climate has been taking place.

This is going to blow your mind with this statistic. Last month, the month of May, was the 516th consecutive month above the 20th century average. We haven't had a month that was at average or cooler since June in 1976. This rise correlates with the CO2 output -- our fossil fuel emissions, just last month, 415 parts per million.

To give you an idea just how long ago it's been, there hasn't been a time where it's been higher than this. This graph goes back 800,000 years, Brooke, and we know this from Earth core samples. It always fluctuates, volcanic activity, wildfires, decaying matter.

But then you get around 1850, in the Industrial Age, 300 parts per million, in 1910 there it is 400 just few years ago, and this is where we are now.

[14:10:01] SATER: That correlation with the temperature and the CO2 output is definitely part of the global warming. If we took every plane, train, and automobile off the planet, it only drops at 14 percent.

Now climate change -- because it's warming, there's a change in the climate. We know the sea level is rising. We're losing the polar icecaps -- the sea ice is lost right now. This currently, is the second lowest in history, just to a couple years ago, and the change in rainfall. How many times we talked about -- there's is a one in 500-year flood event, or one in 1,000-year event.

BALDWIN: Sure, sure.

SATER: They are happening every couple of years. So we could see the changes ...

BALDWIN: Yes, all the flooding in the Midwest, yes. SATER: ... snow cover -- and things like that. So, these are

extreme weather cases. So that's where they are unchangeable but obviously, flooding and heat waves plays a big, big role and we're going to start to see more of that. But at least he's talking about it, which is good news.

One fact I'm going to leave you with here -- the deforestation, we had a report last month that came out. One-third of the living landmass available on this planet has been plowed, or bulldozed, dammed, mined, or covered in concrete and steel.

Brazil hired a new President this year. January, deforestation increased 54 percent because he ran on more expansion. So, a lot of things have to be done but for those climate deniers, just dig into the facts and I guarantee you will start to fall in line.

BALDWIN: Appreciate the facts from you. Tom Sater, thank you very much.

Let's continue this conversation. All these bits and pieces coming out of this interview with the President. So Gloria, let me play one more clip. This is -- I want your reaction to another question, Piers Morgan posted the President, specifically about the war in Vietnam.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PIERS MORGAN, ENGLISH BROADCASTER: You were not able to serve in Vietnam because of a bone spur condition in your feet. Do you wish you'd been able to serve? Would you like to serve your country?

TRUMP: Well, I was never a fan of that war, I'll be honest with you. I thought it was a terrible war. I thought it was very far away and nobody ever, you know, you're talking about Vietnam, and at that time, nobody ever heard of the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Listen, I know a lot of people, a lot of Americans didn't approve of that war. But the way -- to not be a fan of it and to say, it was very far away, how did that sit with you?

BORGER: Right. Well, not how it sits with me, how does it sit with the people who are serving right now in Afghanistan. How does it feel to them? I mean, they may not be a fan of the war. That country is very far away. They may not have heard a lot about it before they went to serve but they are serving.

I mean, obviously now, it's a volunteer army. It's a it's a different thing but Piers Morgan, in his question was sort of saying, I know you had the bone spur as well. That is also a subject up for some discussion. Because if you'll recall during Michael Cohen's testimony, he made it very clear from his conversations with the President that that was a false issue. That in fact -- that there was a doctor's letter written and that Donald Trump had no such thing.

Now again, this is something Michael Cohen is saying, so it has yet to be proven 100 percent. But the President did not serve and that's okay. But to say that these are the reasons -- I didn't like the war, the country was far away, and the bone spur issue, I think if I were serving right now I'd have some issues with that.

BALDWIN: Yes, Gloria, thank you very much.

BORGER: Sure.

BALDWIN: We're getting some Breaking News now. More than 40,000 migrant children have been booked into U.S. custody since the 30th of April. And while they wait for their court dates, the Trump administration says, it will now cut access to English lessons, and legal aid, and some recreation. We're going to talk about that.

And a tragic mystery, in a popular vacation spot -- three American tourists killed at the same resort, days apart. What's going on? And they were two of the most famous faces of the 90s. What they then, real estate investor claimed about Princess Diana that Buckingham Palace actually had to step in on. You are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:18:56] BALDWIN: We're back you're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. New today, the Trump administration canceling English classes, legal aid, and recreational programs for unaccompanied child migrants detained in U.S. custody.

"The Washington Post" was first to report this move which includes programs like the all popular soccer. But the Trump administration may be in for a legal battle. An attorney representing minors in a long-running lawsuit over the standards of care in custody, telling the post quote, "We will see them in court if they go through with it."

What's next, drinking water, food, where are they going to stop? "Washington Post," reporter Maria Sacchetti broke this story and Maria, why? Why is the administration canceling these programs?

MARIA SACCHETTI, REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, the administration says it's legally obligated to divert money to life -- services that are essential to, you know, providing basic care to kids like food, and drink, and shelter. They say they've warned Congress for months that they're running out of money, as soon as this month, and that they absolutely need emergency funding to keep going. And so, they're saying that they're cutting out these non-essential services.

[14:20:03] BALDWIN: Yet, you call them essential, I mean, why is schooling, and learning English, and playing soccer, why does that matter so much these kids?

SACCHETTI: Well, advocates for immigrants say, those are just as essential and that they're mandated under a 1997 Federal Consent Decree. They say these kinds of things are essential to prevent -- first of all, we are housing children in shelters with nothing to do. But also, these children are traumatized. Many of them are fleeing unimaginable violence -- and recreation, and art, and learning English are outlets for them.

It can help draw out people who have been victims of rape or other kinds of violence and to, you know, actually talking about their cases.

BALDWIN: In the cancelling of the legal aid for unaccompanied minors -- we've seen stories of toddlers being brought before a judge. How is this helpful?

SACCHETTI: Well -- so, legal aid providers say they were just blindsided by this. They are also clamoring for information but they say, this encounter, you know, with legal aid services is really essential from young migrants. You know, they're facing deportation alone.

Some of them are fleeing very dangerous conditions. And if they do have to eventually go before a judge without a lawyer, they are definitely disadvantaged, they say, going up against the Federal Prosecutor.

BALDWIN: Maria Sacchetti, breaking the story for "The Washington Post." Thank you so much, Maria.

SACCHETTI: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Just ahead here on CNN, a teacher makes a private, or so she thought, Twitter plea to the President to remove the quote-unquote "illegals" from her classroom. But the problem was, those tweets went public. I will speak with a parent in that community.

And, panic in paradise -- three Americans died within days of one another at the same resort in the Dominican Republic.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:26:18] BALDWIN: A teacher in Texas is on the verge of losing her job for what she tried to say one on one to President Trump, urging him to help her quote-unquote about the "illegals" in her school, her word. The school board in Fort Worth just voted unanimously for a proposed termination of high school English teacher Georgia Clark.

The teacher sent more than a half dozen messages via Twitter to Trump thinking that they were private, but alas, they were public. Here's one tweet quote, "I do not know what to do. Anything you could do to remove the 'illegals' from Fort Worth would be greatly appreciated," in quote.

Fort Worth Education officials say, the Supreme Court directs that no student may be denied a public education based upon citizenship or quote "lack thereof." Reportedly, no one spoke on Clark's behalf at that meeting but more than a dozen spoke against her questioning why she is still on the payroll after multiple cases of offensive behavior.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MINDIA WHITTIER, PARENT, FORT WORTH ISD: The remarks created a threat that will directly result in children missing the education to which they are legally entitled because their parents will keep them home out of fear.

LIZZIE MALDANADO, PARENT OF ELEMENTARY STUDENT, FORT WORTH ISD: Clark students may not remember how to structure a sentence ten years from now, but they will remember that a teacher singled them out by their ethnicity, separated them by race, and violated their trust. In 21 years of teaching, Clark has several of these substantiated claims on her record.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: That parent there, that is Lizzie Maldonado. She joins me now. Lizzie, thank you for being here. When you first saw these tweets, what did you think?

MALDANADO: Well, I'm a digital native. So I have to say at first I -- I mean, aside from the content being very dangerous and harmful to the students. I did sort of have like a little bit of a laughter response only thinking that, how could this woman think that she's going to reach the President with these tweets. Obviously, that's not going to be the case.

But then, it was just a moment later that I started thinking critically about her next steps when she realized that she wasn't going to get a response from the President. When was it, you know, how long was it going to be before she called eyes on her students or before she sought other means to get students that were under her care out of her school.

So at first, I think it was just more of a reaction, like how could she possibly think that this is going to go anywhere but here we are and it is national news that she's in so.

BALDWIN: It is national news of the big "woops," you know, on her case. And I hear you on the laughter, and yes, the President is actually a prolific tweeter, but it ended up being very public. And what's also been public, it sounds like is that previous offenses, right?

I mean, you talked about how this wasn't a first for her. Can you give me another example of when she crossed the line and parents complained?

MALDANADO: Absolutely. She has multiple substantiated claims on her record. One time, eighteen students stood up from her class and said that they had been separated in their classroom for activities by ethnicity, with one side being "Little Mexico" quote-unquote. And one side being "White Bread" or America, and it also included white and black students.

That's obviously, hugely, traumatic and detrimental for students who are in that classroom. And then, on a separate occasion -- BALDWIN: And what were the kids -- can I ask you, let me follow-up on

that. I mean, how old are these kids? I mean, we send kids to school not to be in fear, right? Not to be discriminated against, what did the kids think? Do you know?

MALDANADO: She teaches high school, English --

BALDWIN: And the kids are separated -- go on, what are other examples?