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AT THIS HOUR
1 Dead, 22 Hurt in West Point Army Training Site Accident; Pelosi on Trump: "I Don't Want to See Him Impeached, I Want to See Him in Prison"; Trump: Robert Mueller Made a "Fool Out of Himself"; Trump Adamant on Mexico Tariffs Despite GOP Opposition; New Report: Tariffs on Mexico Could Cost 400,000-Plus U.S. Jobs. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired June 6, 2019 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:19] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. Thank you for joining me.
We're following breaking news this morning from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. At least one cadet is dead this morning, 22 other people, cadets and other military officers, injured after an accident near an Army training site. Some of the latest information, and of course, it's early and much more is coming in, but some of the latest information is that the accident involved an armored personnel carrier.
CNN's Polo Sandoval just arrived on the scene. He's joining me now.
Polo, what's the latest you're seeing and hearing from there?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, as you point out, that information is still coming in, but the latest details that have been released from West Point academy indicate at least one cadet was killed in what is believed to have been this training exercise accident.
I can't take you much closer than where we are right now. Off in the distance, you'll see first responders essentially guarding the entrance to this particular facility, the Camp Natural Bridge Training Facility. Only about an hour' drive from New York City.
West Point Academy tweeting just a short while ago the confirmation of at least that one cadet that was killed in this incident as well as at least 20 others who were injured, and two additional -- two soldiers.
Now we cannot say specifically what the condition of those injured is at this time. We understand that we expect to hear in the next few moments from some of the officials who are there at the scene.
But just to give you a quick lay of the land here, again, about an hour's drive from New York City. A training facility that is commonly used, especially around the summertime, for what one analyst described as vigorous training for these cadets.
Just yesterday, there was air assault training happening not too far from here, so that certainly gives you an idea of what has been happening the last several days. The training exercises meant to give these cadets basically some perspective and some first-hand account of various aspects of combat.
So that's what we have here at this time. Again, some of the latest numbers that were tweeted by West Point academy. Sadly, one cadet killed in this training exercise, 20 injures, two soldiers.
This will mark the beginning of what will be a lengthy, very detailed investigation into what exactly happened here. About four hours ago, 6:45 a.m., is when West Point Academy says that this incident happened involving this tactical vehicle -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: Yes. All happening early this morning. Reports started dripping in, and then the tragic news of one cadet killed and so many others injured. A possibility we could be hearing from officials coming up later, and we'll make sure to bring that to you when and if that happens.
Joining me on the phone is a former NATO supreme allied commander, retired General Wesley Clark, a graduate of West Point.
General, can you hear me?
GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER (via telephone): Yes, I can.
BOLDUAN: Thank you so much for jumping on the phone. I really appreciate it.
What was your reaction when you heard this news this morning?
CLARK: Well, of course, obviously, it's a tragedy to have an accident and especially to lose a cadet.
But also, it's a little mysterious the number of people injured. How that could have happened in a rollover, what the circumstances are.
We put the cadets through rigorous training. We have a training ground at West Point. We typically bring in units from the active Army to help facilitate the training so that would explain the active duty soldiers there.
We do air assault training. We do armored vehicle training. We do firing of weapons. So forth. All part of getting them ready to become officers in the Army.
But one of the big things we emphasize throughout the Army, especially at West Point, is safety, discipline, know your equipment, know the mission. Think it through, make your proper preparations before you go. So there will be a lot of lessons learned coming out of this, I'm sure.
CLARK: And hopefully, the injured cadets are going to all recover. We're so sorry to hear that someone's been killed in this.
When you're dealing with heavy equipment, when you're dealing with people learning how to use it, accidents happen. Even with the best leadership and the best attention. And in my Army career, I have seen far too many of them.
BOLDUAN: Yes, I mean, we were told that the accident, the way it was described, one person described it as an armored personnel carrier. I'm seeing in a tweet from West Point it involved a light medium tactical vehicle is what was involved in the accident that happened in the vicinity of the Camp Natural Bridge Training Site near West Point.
From your knowledge and history with West Point, does that tell you anything, General?
[11:05:08] CLARK: Not really. I mean, it's difficult -- I wouldn't want to speculate. It sounds like both vehicles were moving. I heard there was something about a rollover. Maybe the tactical vehicle was carrying troops and the armored vehicle somehow rolled and rolled into it or crushed it in some way.
It's really hard to imagine how that happened. I think we just have to wait for the reports to come in.
BOLDUAN: Yes, that's for sure.
West Point just held its graduation just about a week ago. And now you have cadets in their summer training. Is there a certain class of cadets that would be training at this point, this summer?
CLARK: Well, it could be -- it varies over time. It's most likely these are second-classmen rather than third-classmen. Normally, the third-classmen go on leave right away, and the second-classmen do the training. But West Point's change and update.
We always joke, I was there about how it had years and years of tradition, and ever since the academy was founded, the summer camps have been one of the strongest traditions. Typically, there's training that occurs in June and July and August up there.
So the new cadets are not there. These are cadets, the new cadets will report in some time at the end of June, early July. And these are the cadets who have finished one or two years there.
BOLDUAN: General Wesley Clark, thank you so much for jumping on the phone. It's always horrible when we have to speak about something like this tragic news but I really appreciate your perspective.
Again, as I was mentioning earlier, we're hoping there will be more information coming in, possibly an update on what really happened here, throughout the hour. When we do, we promise we'll bring that to you.
We are also watching another big story right now. It has to do with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She is still a no on impeachment, but she is offering up a new and, quite honestly, a brutal idea of what she would like to see happen to President Trump.
Behind closed doors, according to "Politico," the speaker of the House told other Democratic leaders, quote, "I don't want to see him impeached. I want to see him in prison."
"Politico" cited multiple Democratic sources familiar with that meeting.
So, are Pelosi and her top committee chairs on the same page here?
Here's how Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler put it last night to CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Are you on the same page with the speaker, Nancy Pelosi, when it comes to impeachment?
REP.JERRY NADLER (D-NY): As I said, we are launching an inquiry now, and whether we launch an impeachment inquiry, it may come to that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Joining me now, CNN senior congressional correspondent, Manu Raju, and CNN political director, David Chalian.
Manu, a lot of folks are noting that very pregnant pause from Chairman Nadler right there when Wolf asked him that question. What are you hearing there today about Pelosi's call for prison time?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, didn't say that he was on the same page as Nancy Pelosi. Also, when Wolf asked him directly, would you break with the speaker and move forward with an impeachment inquiry even if she weren't to support that, he didn't say that he would not break with her and said instead said this will be a caucus decision. She'll have the largest singing voice.
The reality is on the House Judiciary Committee, there are a growing number of Democrats who want to launch an impeachment inquiry. Nadler himself has been sympathetic to those concerns and has, in fact, made the case to Pelosi directly on at least two occasions to say that this would strengthen their case in court, they should move forward in this regard. Pelosi has said no.
You're seeing that division start to play out a little more in public, even as they try to make the case they're continuing their investigations, they want to continue to look into these matters one by one.
Pelosi has been very firm, saying she is not going to be pressured by her caucus, by her chairman, to move off this idea. She believes her strategy is working, which is fighting these issues one by one in court, continuing these investigations one by one in the committees, and holding off on impeachment, which would ultimately in her view, be fruitless because Senate Republicans would not vote to convict the president or remove him from office.
But you're seeing the tension play out within the House Democratic caucus. The question is, how long can she hold that off -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: And that is a great question right now.
David, she said, Nancy Pelosi has said publicly she believes the president is engaging in a cover-up. This comment from behind closed doors is a new step. The speaker of the House says the president should be in jail.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICS DIRECTOR: Right. Let's not lose sight of just -- I know it's like sometimes we are so accustomed to just how different this moment in time is.
[11:10:07] CHALIAN: But the speaker of the House is calling for the imprisonment of the president of the United States. That obviously is going to shock anyone's ears, even in these shocking times.
But what I think is important to see is that Nancy Pelosi is employing here a tactic. Right?
What is happening is because she wants to hold the line on impeachment. She's amping up her rhetoric, sort of week by week, to give the liberal, more progressive folks, some of the folks Manu was talking about on the Judiciary Committee, something to hang on to, that they have a leader who feels really impassioned about taking on this president in really aggressive ways, just not with impeachment.
So we have seen her, you know, say the cover-up language or talk about how she thinks he has broken laws or now saying she thinks he should be in prison. And this is her way of sort of joining their march without leading them where they want to go because she thinks it's a political mistake to do so.
BOLDUAN: That's a great point.
We also have this just in. I don't know if you guys have had a chance to see this.
President Trump, he did an interview with FOX News just before he went to the D-Day ceremonies in Normandy, France. The network just released some of the interview. And the president at one point takes on Special Counsel Bob Mueller. Let's listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Do you mind if he testifies still? Before you said you didn't care.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me tell you, he made such a fool out of himself the last time -- because what people don't report is the letter he had to do to straighten out his testimony, because his testimony was wrong.
But Nancy Pelosi, I call her Nervous Nancy. Nancy Pelosi doesn't talk about it. Nancy Pelosi is a disaster. OK? She's a disaster. And let her do what she wants. You know what? I think they're in big trouble.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: So, David, it sounds to me like his hardest hit is against Mueller, calling him a fool. But do you know -- and also Manu, clue me in as well. Do you know what he's talking about when he said Mueller had to correct his testimony?
CHALIAN: I don't think we are totally clear. And I would like to see the whole conversation. But I think it refers to maybe that joint statement that was put out between the special counsel and the attorney general to try to get them on the same page, if you recall the day that Mueller gave his press conference last week.
But I really think that is beside the point. That's what Donald Trump would like to focus on.
What he doesn't want to focus on is I think Donald Trump may be the only person who thinks Mueller made a fool of himself.
Mueller went out there to state exactly what he had written in his report after an exhaustive two-year investigation, which is that if he could have clearly said that the president was exonerated of obstruction of justice, he would have done so, but he wasn't able to do that.
BOLDUAN: Yes, and I'm sure that does a lot to change the opinion of Democrats in the House who think he's obstructing and covering up and that they are going to continue investigating. I hope you sense my sarcasm.
Great to see you guys.
Manu, really appreciate it.
David, I appreciate it.
Thank you guys very much.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, four days and counting until President Trump's tariffs on Mexico could kick in. Could kick in. Could, I guess, is the big question. Will they? A new report on the devastating impact, though, that those tariffs would have on the U.S. economy.
Plus, first on CNN, overflowing toilets, moldy showers, spoiled food. Disturbing and truly dangerous conditions inside multiple ICE detention facilities are being reported. How some migrants are being treated on American soil and what's happening in the face of that.
[11:18:24] BOLDUAN: Right now, the Trump administration and Mexico are back at the negotiating table. With Trump promising and threatening to slap tariffs on Mexico at the beginning of the week, President Trump is showing no signs of backing down despite clear opposition from his own party on this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think a lot of progress was made yesterday, but we have to make a lot of progress. Something pretty dramatic could happen. We have told Mexico, the tariffs go on. I mean it, too. I'm very happy with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Michelle Kosinski is tracking all of this from the State Department where today's talks are taking place.
Michelle, President Trump mentions progress. The Mexican president said he's optimistic is one thing I saw. Is there any indication of that this morning?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Not really a lot of information coming out of these meetings. After hours of them yesterday, yes, both sides are saying they were positive meetings, that there was some progress.
But then this morning, we heard from the vice president saying what Mexico is proposing is not nearly enough.
Here's some of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The meeting yesterday was positive. We welcome the efforts of the Mexican officials to offer solutions to the crisis at our southern border. But we need Mexico to do more. And our hope is as these discussions continue that Mexico will step up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: So we know a couple of things that the White House wants Mexico to do. More resources at their border is one of them, obviously.
But the big question surrounding this whole ordeal is, of course, how much of this is theater and how willing would the president realistically be to just anger his own party and American farmers and businesspeople even more by putting on these tariffs that really nobody but him seems to think is a good idea.
[11:20:21] Possibly, the tip-off was yesterday when a White House aide said, well, it's likely that these tariffs won't really going into effect because now we've got Mexico's attention. Maybe that was sort of the hint that we weren't supposed to hear, but that was said.
And today, a source tells me that, don't expect any real agreement to come out of talks today, that everybody is on a path to figuring this out. And that the proof will be in the pudding. Do the numbers at the border come down or not?
That seems to indicate that the administration might be willing to wait and see what happens with what Mexico plans on doing before those tariffs do go into effect. But we're just days away now. We really don't have a solid answer to that question -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: So is the deadline really a deadline? Are these threats really threats? Let's stand by to find out.
Great to see you, Michelle. Great to see you. Really appreciate your perspective.
So if these tariffs do set in, then what? And what realistically can Mexico do to stop illegal immigration as the president is demanding?
Joining me right now, some very important perspective. Ray Perryman is CEO of the Perryman Group, an economic consulting firm that just put out a new study on the impact of the tariffs and what it could mean for the economy. And Ambassador Tony Wayne, who served as U.S. ambassador to Mexico under President Obama.
Thank you both for being here.
Ray, first, I want to get to your study and what you all have found in your analysis.
What we're talking about with these tariffs is an escalating scale of tariffs and it would start at a 5 percent tariff on all goods coming from Mexico. You studied this. What is the impact of just that entry level, the 5 percent tariff on the U.S. economy?
RAY PERRYMAN, CEO, PERRYMAN GROUP: Well, Kate, even just at a 5 percent level, what you find is a massive impact on the U.S. economy. We lose about $28 billion in direct costs to the economy spread all over the United States, which translates into about $41 billion in gross product and about 406,000 jobs.
To put that in perspective, our country for the last seven or eight years has averaged gaining about 200,000 jobs a month. We would be flushing two months of economic growth.
BOLDUAN: Ray, that's an important point I need to hit on. You estimate 400,000-plus jobs could be lost from the entry level 5 percent tariff put on Mexican goods. Through your study, you found 117,000 of those jobs, almost 30 percent, would be in the state of Texas alone. How devastating would that be? Your company is based there.
PERRYMAN: Well, that's correct. That would be a very, very difficult situation for Texas.
At this point in time, we're gaining on an average, maybe 250,000, 300,000 jobs a year for the last several years. You're talking about taking away 40 percent of our economic growth for a year. It would be a devastating effect on Texas if this were to happen and stay in effect for an extended period of time. BOLDUAN: How long you're in it, that's a huge question and X-factor.
Ambassador, President Trump, as we have laid out, President Trump wants Mexico to, quote/unquote, "do something to stop illegal immigration." That's how he laid it out.
What we really have not seen and what he has not done is lay out what the measure is that would make him happy here, that would help hold off these tariffs.
What realistically, from your experience, can Mexico do and how long do you think it would take to see changes at the border?
TONY WAYNE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO MEXICO: Well, it certainly wouldn't be a change from one week to the next. It would take time. Mexico has already been increasing significantly the number of people they have been turning around at their southern border. They have about 20,000 people waiting near the border to get answers or to have interviews with U.S. authorities. They are trying hard to increase their capacity.
But the problem is, one, they had weak capacity to begin with, to handle such flows. And, two, that capacity is just overwhelmed, like the U.S.Is at the border, with the numbers that are coming. So it's going to take some time.
But that doesn't mean you can't agree on a calendar for working at these issues.
What the Mexicans are saying, if I understand before they went into these talks, is yes, let's work on that near and medium-term calendar, but let's also look at the longer-term problems that are really going to stop this flow, which is coming out of Central America because of problems there. We have to do it on all three levels, immediate, medium term, and long term.
So we'll see what they put on the table. But you really can't use just enforcement to get out of this problem.
[11:25:06] BOLDUAN: That returns to what the United States has done previously, which is economic aid and assistance to those countries in order to help them through what you're talking about is the difficulties they're facing.
But, Ambassador, since it's not clear what the president is looking for from Mexico specifically, Michelle Kosinski was kind of laying it out here. If you look, it could be something similar to his threat to shut down the border that he's made. Trump threatened to shut down the border. He didn't shut it down, and then he basically declared victory and moved on.
If that happened here, the threat, no follow-through, and we claim victory, is it no harm no foul?
WAYNE: Well, I think already, as Ray's figures suggest, you're seeing a panic among businesses that operate on both sides of the border. They operate in a real-time basis. And a number of them have told me they're looking at, gee, should we move to another region with this uncertainty? Uncertainty is really costful for them.
And so you're already having a short-term impact on the way the business community on both sides of the border and the economists on both sides of the border are looking at the effects of this.
You have seen today a couple of the rating agencies give a more negative look at Mexico, factoring in these possible tensions with the United States, not only because of that, but factoring those in.
And similarly, you just really have worry spread throughout the business community and the farming community, as you mentioned. And this was right when people were getting hopeful that the new trade agreement might be able to move forward, bridging the gaps between the House of Representatives and the administration. And that's now put aside because of this activity.
And there was already a very short window for action given the congressional calendar for treating what's called the USMCA in a positive way in trying to move forward.
BOLDUAN: Yes, yes. Yes, and yes.
Ambassador, thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate your perspective.
Ray, thank you for your analysis. We'll see what happens.
BOLDUAN: I wanted to ask you about that.
Coming up for us still, first on CNN, an internal government report finds what it calls "egregious conditions" inside immigrant detention facilities. What are they doing about it? Well, the details are ahead.