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CNN TONIGHT

DOJ Releases Audio Of Voicemail From President's Attorney To Michael Flynn's Attorney; Trump Attacks Mueller And Pelosi On D-Day; President Trump's Tariffs On Mexico; Mess On The Southern Border. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired June 6, 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: But you go to make a decision. People will punish you doing nothing or going in different direction at once and rightly so. Mr. Mueller seemed to suggest that he found things in his report that required your oversight. Get him up there. Let it be clear for the American people and then you make a decision about what your duty is here and you do it. Thank you for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with D. Lemon starts right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You sound like a man who knows a little bit about politics. I mean, if I didn't know better, I would think you came from a family of politicians. I mean --

CUOMO: I come from a family of politicians. One of them was referred to as Hamlet because of his vacillating about whether or not to run for president, which wasn't a fair characterization about pap, but it is fair about this situation.

LEMON: Yeah. Listen, it was in this particular environment, you know, I think it's great that you're saying do your job, but there's so much more. That is the bottom line. But there's so much more that comes in with all of this.

CUOMO: Only if you let it. Do the job --

LEMON: Explain that.

CUOMO: Let the chips fall where they may. If you want to get the answers to the questions that the American people have and they didn't read the report, don't rely on them to read the report. It's too much. That's not their job. They've got their own lines. This is for Congress to do. This is why they were put there. Lay it out. But you got to get the answers. If they want to drag their feet in the White House, that's fine. But that's going to have repercussions.

LEMON: But they're worried about re-election. They are worried about having a job. That is the real thing. How do I do this, how do I -- I'm going to have a job if I --

CUOMO: Politicians act out of fear of consequence more often than they act out of good conscience, and that's bad politics and its part of the corruption of our politics. Do what you think is right, do it to the best of your abilities, and then let the people judge, but enough with the bickering and dillydallying and going through different ways and the secret subterfuge to get this done and how we -- enough. Make a decision and take it. That's what you have to do in life. Let alone in politics. They've dillydallied enough with this.

LEMON: Yeah. Are you ready for Sunday? Sunday night?

CUOMO: Yeah, I'm getting there. I picked my pictures.

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: Don and I are going to be at the 92nd street "Y" on Sunday night.

LEMON: Yeah.

CUOMO: He's like producing this whole thing.

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: It's going to be very interesting. Do you know what you're wearing?

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: Are you having someone dress you?

LEMON: I was going to ask you that, but I said it is not serious enough. I was just going say, what are you going to wear? Is it going to be a muscle shirt or the one -- you know, I don't know.

CUOMO: Now I'm worried. I'm worried like it is just 92nd Street "Y" thing.

LEMON: I'm going to wear the red shirt with the black leather jacket and --

CUOMO: The John Travolta thing?

LEMON: The John Travolta thing.

CUOMO: And those too tight pants?

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: If I had thrown a match at your legs when you were walking, would it come out on fire on the other side?

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: So, and then -- and now I'm worried like, you know, is this our swan song, this 92nd Street "Y" thing?

LEMON: What are you talking about?

CUOMO: Word on the street is, you know, word on the street is that -- that D. Lemon, you know, maybe he's got plans. Maybe he's got plans.

LEMON: Oh, no, no, no.

CUOMO: That's the word on the street.

LEMON: Oh, you're talking about the headline. Is Don Lemon staying at CNN?

CUOMO: D. Lemon got plans.

LEMON: Look, I -- oh, my God.

CUOMO: He doesn't know who put him in the good position. Maybe he thinks it is just about him.

LEMON: Oh, you think -- No. Listen, no, no, no, that's just the headlines. You can't worry about that. I got the best job in television. I mean, you know.

CUOMO: What am I going to do if there's no D. Lemon?

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: I'm not going anywhere. Someone asked me a question about what it is like to work in this environment. I was honest about how toxic it is and how it does get to you sometimes, you know, I'm not sure, when someone catches you in a moment. But, look, I'm up to the challenge. I love being here every single night. I love being with you. I love the platform that I have. I love that I actually have a voice. So, don't believe the headlines. Those headlines aren't exactly right.

CUOMO: You're saying it is fake news?

LEMON: I'm not saying it is fake news. I'm just saying the headlines are hyperbolic and they don't really reflect the tone and the conversation that I had. Someone asked me a question about how tough it's been the last couple years with all of this, you know, alternative reality and the president attacking you and all that. I gave a very honest answer, but I'm not going anywhere. Knock on wood.

CUOMO: It's the best place to start. And also, just so people know that we don't fake the funk. Obviously, Don and I know where each other's heads and hearts are with the job. We were joking about this in the makeup room.

LEMON: Yeah.

CUOMO: It's important people know. They care about you, D. Lemon.

LEMON: Yeah.

CUOMO: You're a big part of what this place means to everybody, not just me.

LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate that. It's a blessing and a curse because some people, they may -- if I said what I said, they may not care. People do care. So, that's the curse, they do care. I'm so glad that people asked me about it. I'm not glad about the headlines. But I'm glad people write about it. They are interested. I love being here with you and Anderson, and Erin, and all of my colleagues every single evening.

CUOMO: But mostly me.

LEMON: You're all right. Sometimes you get a little -- you know, I -- my secret -- I have another secret code name for you.

CUOMO: Big dog?

LEMON: No, I call you Christopher Columbus because --

CUOMO: How is that a code name?

LEMON: Because you think you discovered primetime.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Dude, I've been here fighting this fight for five years before you got here. I'm just saying.

CUOMO: You've got to wear the same thing every night.

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: Totally changes everything.

LEMON: See you C.C., Christopher Columbus.

[22:05:00] CUOMO: That's really creative.

LEMON: Stop it. I'll see you soon.

CUOMO: See you on Sunday.

LEMON: I'll see you.

CUOMO: See you tomorrow.

LEMON: I'll see you tomorrow and I'll see you on Sunday as well. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. And we've got news tonight on the president's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. The Justice Department for the first time is releasing the actual audio of a voicemail from the president's attorney, John Dowd, to Flynn's attorney. It is a call that Robert Mueller investigated as potential obstruction of justice by the president and it includes this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN DOWD, FORMER LAWYER FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP (voice-over): Remember what we've always said about the president and his feelings toward Flynn and, that still remains, but in any event, let me know. I appreciate your listening and taking the time. Thanks, pal.

(END VIDEOTAPE) LEMON: Well, definitely more on that coming up. And we're also learning tonight about Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler arguing behind closed doors, trying to convince Speaker Nancy Pelosi to open an impeachment inquiry. Lots more to come on that as well. It's a big news night here.

But we've got to talk about the president's trip, and how you've seen every single -- we've all seen every single side of him on this trip, all of his contradictions, his good speeches, especially his well- received speech today on the 75th anniversary of D-Day in front of an audience of 12,000, including 65 American veterans, who are part of the largest land and water invasion in history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You are among the very greatest Americans who will ever live. You are the pride of our nation. You are the glory of our republic. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: His bad tweets as well, calling Chuck Schumer, his word, a creep, for saying he was bluffing on Mexico tariffs, calling the mayor of London a "stone cold loser." But there's also the president's charming side, to be honest, clearly thrilled to stand by the side of the queen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It's a great honor to be with you. Great woman. Great, great woman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And to be gracious to Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of the Brexit defeat that's forcing her out of office.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Perhaps you won't be given the credit that you deserve if they do something. But I think you deserve a lot of credit. I really do. I think you deserve a lot of credit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: But also bombastic and boastful, claiming London streets were full of people cheering him, when the fact is protesters were out in force.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: There were thousands of people on the streets cheering. And even coming over today, there were thousands of people cheering. And then I heard that there were protests. I said where are the protests? I don't see any protests. There was tremendous spirit and love. There was great love.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The president's feuds, slamming Nancy Pelosi in his interview with Fox's Laura Ingraham just minutes before his D-Day speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Nancy Pelosi, I call her "Nervous Nancy." Nancy Pelosi is a disaster. She is a disaster. And let her do what she wants. You know what? I think they're in big trouble.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: But you know what? Pelosi is refusing to take the bait and sticking to the tradition that you don't criticize your political opponents when you're outside of the country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I don't talk about the president while I'm out of the country. That's my principle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And then there are the president's fascinations, basking in the glow of the royal family, even sitting down for a 90-minute conversation with Prince Charles, who still couldn't convince him of the fact of climate change.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRUMP: I'll tell you what moved me is his passion for future generations. He's really not doing this for him. He's doing this for future generations. And this is real. He believes that. He wants to have a world that's good for future generations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Do you want --

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: The president got good headlines. He really did, especially for his D-Day speech. Then stepped on his own good headlines, sitting just yards away from the graves of Americans who gave their lives on D-Day, sitting there and slamming Robert Mueller, a marine infantry platoon commander, who received a bronze star and navy commendation medal and who served his country as FBI director and as special counsel. The president is calling him a fool.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[22:10:05] LEMON: I just have to say, none of what he just said happened, none of that happened. Actually it was the attorney general who got it wrong. Remember, Mueller's letter, complaining that Barr's summary "did not fully capture the context, nature and substance of this office's work and conclusions," and Mueller hasn't testified.

The entire debate right now is about whether and when he will. The judiciary chairman, Jerry Nadler, says he is confident that that will happen soon, and he'll subpoena Mueller if necessary. The American people deserve to hear from him, out loud, in his own words, answering questions from Congress about exactly what he found in his nearly two- year investigation.

Otherwise, the president and his allies will continue to misrepresent, to twist, and to lie about Mueller and his findings, just like the president did today. But no discussion of the many sides of President Trump would be complete without mentioning his pride and joy, and that's his properties, especially his golf courses, like the one he is staying at tonight in Ireland, which he says he chose because it's convenient.

I guess convenience is in the eye of the beholder here, OK, because here it is, because the president flew from London to Shannon Airport yesterday where he met with the Irish prime minister. Then he flew to Doonbeg about 40 miles away. Today, he flew from there to France for the D-Day anniversary in Normandy. Then he flew back to Doonbeg for the night. And then he will fly back home tomorrow.

Like I said, we have seen every side of the president on this trip: charming, bombastic, his feuds, his fascinations, his good headlines, and stepping on his good headlines as well. The question is what side will we see when he gets home tomorrow and has to face new developments in his many investigations in the raging battle over tariffs on Mexico?

I told you about one of those new developments, the newly released audio of a voicemail from the president's attorney, John Dowd, to Michael Flynn's attorney. It is a call that Robert Mueller investigated as potential obstruction of justice by the president. And we'll play the whole thing so you can hear it for yourself. That's next.

[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Tonight, a key piece of evidence from Robert Mueller's Russia investigation is being made public. It is a voicemail from John Dowd, a former lawyer for President Trump, to a lawyer for Michael Flynn. So, what does it tell us?

Let's bring in Evan Perez and Elie Honig to help us figure out what is going on here.

Good evening, gentlemen. So Evan, we now have the voicemail that President Trump's attorney left for Flynn's attorney. Can you lay this out for us, please?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Don. Let me set the table just a little bit. This is from November 2017, Mike Flynn has just agreed to start cooperating with the prosecutors from the special counsel's office, and John Dowd is worried. Take a listen to him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DOWD (voice-over): Hey, Rob, this is John again. Maybe, I'm sympathetic. I understand your situation, but let me see if I can't state it in starker terms. If you have -- and it wouldn't surprise me if you've gone on to make a deal with and work with the government. I understand that you can't join the joint defense. That's one thing.

If, on the other hand, we have -- there's information that implicates the president, then we've got a national security issue or maybe a national security issue, I don't know. Some issue, we got to -- we got to deal with, not only for the president, but for the country.

So, you know, then, you know, we need some kind of heads up just for the sake of protecting all our interests, if we can, without you having to give up any confidential information. So, and it it's the former, then, you know, remember what we've always said about the president and his feelings toward Flynn and, that still remains. But in any event, let me know. I appreciate your listening and taking the time. Thanks, pal.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PEREZ: And Don, you know, we often heard from the president's lawyers that they never were worried about what Mike Flynn could provide to the special counsel about the president. So, that really conflicts with the tone that you hear from John Dowd. It's a bit of a rambling message.

Another thing that stands out in that voicemail is this discussion about the president's feelings about Mike Flynn. Is that an offer for a pardon? Perhaps as to where you could listen to that and interpret that. And lastly, the special counsel in the special counsel report makes reference to this voicemail and interprets it to be an effort to interfere and perhaps obstruct, perhaps, with what Mike Flynn is trying to do to cooperate with the government.

They interpret it to be something that is one of the obstructive things that were being done behind the scenes. The only question was: Was Dowd acting at the behest of the president? We don't know.

LEMON: Yeah. Let's ask our legal expert here. Elie, you say this voicemail is right out of a mob textbook. Break down what you hear on this voicemail.

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I came up as a prosecutor doing mafia cases here in New York City and hearing this voicemail brings me right back to those days. Incidentally, John Dowd early in his career was an organized crime prosecutor, so he's familiar with the tactics as well. This is the kind of thing that I used to hear in actual mob cases, real Mafioso here in New York City. What they're doing is making threats, thinly veiled, but I think fairly obvious to any common sense listener what they're saying there, I need a heads up if he's going to hurt the president.

[22:20:00] And then also on the other hand is sort of dangling the enticement, the carrot, right? The president still has feelings for Flynn and I think the implication there is exactly what Evan said, promising the potential of a pardon.

LEMON: OK. So when you hear him saying the thing was about Mike -- the feeling Trump has towards Flynn, you think that that -- he's dangling a pardon?

HONIG: Yeah.

LEMON: Is that evidence of obstruction?

HONIG: I think it is. I thought about this. I think I would charge that if I was still a prosecutor. Granted I came up in the southern district, we were raised to be aggressive, careful but aggressive. And I think it's interesting that Muller chose not to. Mueller was very conservative in his charging decisions.

I think the only cases he charged were ones that he had totally locked down. Is this a close call for an obstruction charge? Yes. Is it a defensible case? Yes. But I would absolutely charge. I feel very comfortable going in front of a jury playing that tape and seeing what they make of it.

LEMON: You remember Michael Cohen --

HONIG: Sure.

LEMON: -- when he gave his testimony and he got a lot of criticism from Trump supporters and from the lawyers saying, well, you know, the president never said it. He said that President Trump speaks in code. Do you get that sense from this voicemail that this was a sort of in code?

HONIG: This is Trump's lawyer, but yes, it's very much in code. It would take a really reckless lawyer to come straight out and say he better not cooperate or else we will hurt him and by the way if he does not we will pardon him.

But again, our jury system relies on the common sense of regular people, and I think if you play that recording for a jury of 12 ordinary citizens here in New York, I think the implications are quite clear. And I do think he's being careful. But that's what code is all about. Not quite saying it but making your intent clear.

LEMON: Evan, the president sat down with Fox News today on the anniversary of D-Day and he attacked Mueller and his attack really makes no sense. Let's see if you can make heads or tails of it. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Does this attack add up to you?

PEREZ: No, it doesn't. I mean, Mueller has not testified. As a matter of fact, that's one of the disagreements that had been sort of been in a stalemate here in Washington, the Democrats want him to testify. He says he doesn't want to.

So the president, I'm not sure what he's referring to. Perhaps he's talking about a letter that Mueller wrote to Barr to sort of get him to clarify what had been some misleading comments from the attorney general. Maybe that's what the president is talking about. But I had to scratch my head a little bit when I saw that interview.

LEMON: Let's talk about that letter because Mueller wrote a letter to A.G. Barr raising concerns about Barr's four-page summary. This is a key line from it that I want to get you to respond to, Evan. He said, "The summary letter the department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon on March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature and substance of this office's work and conclusions."

The context, nature and substance. That's really everything. I mean, if anything, the president should be upset with Barr for mischaracterizing Mueller's report.

PEREZ: Yeah, I think that the president heard what Barr said and took that to the bank, and then it turns out that the check bounced, right? So what Mueller was trying to clarify and asking Barr to clarify by releasing his own summaries was exactly the more nuanced version of what the Mueller report found. So I think that's why Mueller and Barr sort of are at a little bit of odds over exactly what those findings were.

LEMON: Yeah. Final word, Elie, on this explanation.

HONIG: I think the president got turned out. Maybe he was jet lagged, but he was making the point that Mueller called out Barr for being inaccurate.

LEMON: Interesting. Thank you. Thank you all.

HONIG: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Thank you both, I should say. Democrats arguing behind closed doors about opening an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. But according to Politico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants a lot more. She reportedly wants to see the president -- this is her quote, in prison.

[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: President Trump at France today to honor American heroes on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, but at the same time attacking Robert Mueller and Nancy Pelosi.

Let's discuss now. Frank Bruni and Douglas Brinkley are both here. It is good to have both of you in studio. Thank you so much for coming in.

Douglas, I'm going to start with you because you're a presidential historian. When you saw President Trump sitting in the front of the American Cemetery in Normandy, right, and he's attacking Mueller, who by the way a decorated Vietnam veteran, insulting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, what went through your mind?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I was utterly appalled, and I thought how low can a president get? That is not a partisan statement. I mean, Ronald Reagan in 1984 gave those incredible speeches at Omaha Beach at Pointe du Hoc about the U.S. Army second rangers about liberation of Europe.

Donald Trump's teleprompter speech was fine today, but to sit with a backdrop of the graves of our fallen heroes and to act like a used car salesman doing your tweet games with Nancy Pelosi's new nickname and calling Bob Mueller a fool, the fool was the president who disappointed all of our armed forces and veterans by acting that way.

LEMON: Listen, I wanted to -- I don't want to give the president short trip (ph) on his speech, because the speech he did rise to the occasion, right?

BRINKLEY: He did.

LEMON: But then that is, as you said, scripted Trump, correct?

BRINKLEY: Exactly.

LEMON: And that's happened before where he says something scripted and you say, well, that was, you know.

BRINKLEY: That's the 75th anniversary. I mean, the people that climbed the cliffs of Pointe du Huc 75 years ago, our great soldiers, we didn't ask whether they're Democrats, Republicans, whether they are bleeding liberal or -- these are Americans that fought in the second world war, so he needed to represent our country in France, and instead he played a kind of a snarky partisan game politics game trying to play to his base crowd.

FRANK BRUNI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: He can't get past himself. He can't get past his grievances.

LEMON: Hi, Frank Bruni. How are you?

BRUNI: Hey, how are you?

LEMON: I just want to play this. This is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, what she had to say about the president. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: I don't talk about the president when I'm out of the country. That's my principle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Not only a savvy move but also the right thing to do, correct?

BRUNI: Yeah. She won this round. She won so many others. And she's responded to the fact that he has used, that he came up with a whole new nickname for her. She has gone from "Crazy Nancy" to "Nervous Nancy." So "Daffy Donald" is dabbling alliteration (ph) now. And he was doing that, as you guys were just talking about, against the backdrop where it should never be done. He was, as you said earlier in the show, stepping on his own headlines.

He could have had a lovely moment. And he had a lovely moment for a moment. But then Donald Trump, the needy narcissist -- now, I'm doing alliteration (ph) -- Donald Trump, the needy narcissist came roaring back because he just can't keep a lid on that.

LEMON: Frank, I am sure you saw the Politico reporting, the House Speaker privately told her colleagues on Tuesday this. I don't want to see him impeached. I want to see him in prison. I mean, you have to wonder first who leaked it. But also, is this trying to, I wonder, thread the needle, which she is echoing, you know, the anger in her party. But then at the same time realizing -- she realizes that impeachment is -- maybe won't work.

(CROSSTALK)

BRUNI: That's precisely the case. I mean when you say who leaked it. She knew this would get out or she hoped it would get out or she made sure it got out. Because what she's trying to say to Democrats who are frustrated, arrested, and are crying out for impeachment. I am not saying we shouldn't impeach Donald Trump for lack of toughness.

I am as disgusted with him as you are. You know, I want bad things to befall him. I want justice to be served. She's trying to say that so that when...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You're quoting her.

BRUNI: Well, yes. So that when she puts the brakes on impeachment, people don't say, oh, she just doesn't take this serious enough. She's sending the message I take it very seriously. I just don't think impeachment is the remedy. We know why she doesn't think that. She thinks that will politically, potentially help him and maybe facilitate his reelection in 2020. And in that context, putting the brakes on impeachment seems to me the right decision.

LEMON: I just wanted to -- because you know how people will take things out of context and say Frank Bruni said. Frank Bruni was quoting.

(CROSSTALK)

BRUNI: I was thinking her internal dialogue.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: -- for Nancy Pelosi -- this wasn't Frank Bruni's own thoughts about the president.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: It's important in this day and age because people, you know, misinterpret things. So listen. He's now calling her -- meaning the president, "Nervous Nancy." I am wondering if this is a sign that the gloves are off, because remember when she said to him -- when she used the words cover-up, he lost it.

BRINKLEY: Yeah. I think they had a moment where he gave her a tick tack and they were friendly for about two seconds. Those days are over now. I mean Nancy Pelosi is saying (Inaudible) he needs to be in prison. Talk about the president of the United States. And meanwhile, he's going to try to play a game that she -- goading her, like, you're nervous about impeachment.

Go ahead and impeach me. The truth is, Don, if you impeach, and no president likes it. Donald Trump might pretend that he likes being impeached. But, you know, Bill Clinton used to say my impeachment is a badge of honor. No, it isn't. And your obituary, if you're impeached, is going to be the lead -- one of the lead paragraphs, you were joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton in such a, you know, disgraceful moment.

LEMON: And there's an asterisk on your -- in the presidency, on your bio, a president impeached, among the presidents who were impeached is this president. You know, we keep saying it is Pelosi versus Trump, but it's really -- don't you think it is Nancy Pelosi versus many people in her party, and now it's Jerry Nadler who saying he wants to move toward impeachment. That is a strange dynamic.

BRUNI: Well, yeah. I mean you could say it's not Pelosi versus Trump, because she's the one putting the brakes on impeachment, right? And also what you just said about her and her party, they share something right now. Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump are both people who are often at odds with their party and are living with (Inaudible) incredible tension with their own party members.

LEMON: Yeah. Thank you, gentlemen, appreciate your time. Some of the country's biggest industries are going to be hurt by the president's Mexico tariff if they go through. We're going to talk to some real people working in these industries who are really worried. That's next.

[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So please pay attention to this. These are the folks who are going to face the consequences or repercussions, whatever you want to call whatever happens with tariffs, the president on and on with looming tariffs from the Trump administration and Mexico. And billions of dollars of tariffs already in place on products from China, two major industries feeling the heat here, and it could end up affecting all of us.

And I am talking about the cars we drive, the food we eat from farms. Tonight, I am joined by two people who know all about that, OK? Brad Sowers is an auto dealer for -- from St. Louis, and then there's Larry Jacobs. He is a farmer who owns farms in both the U.S. and in Mexico.

Gentlemen, I am so happy to have you on. So let's let you have the floor here and talk.

Brad, I am going to start with you, OK? You have a Chevy dealership. You sell about 350 cars a month, average price $35,000. Can you walk me through what happens to the prices of these cars if tariffs go into effect?

BRAD SOWERS, PRESIDENT, JIM BUTLER AUTO GROUP: Certainly. So in this particular case on the Chevrolet models, 17 percent of the models are actually manufactured in the Mexico environment or country, as well as components. About 35 percent get passed between the borders. So that would in turn make a $35,000 car anywhere from $1,500, depending on the tariffs, up to $3,500 more expensive.

And, of course, we're worried about increase in price. I don't think I've met anyone that wants to pay more money for their car.

LEMON: You have to pass those on to the consumer, right, in order for you to be able to offset the costs, the tariffs, correct?

SOWERS: Absolutely. The manufacturer would pass them on to the dealer and the dealer would, of course, have to pass them onto the end user.

LEMON: So you say it has taken -- this is a quote from you, it has taken 30 years for the auto industry to be a global player. And you cannot turn into a domestic player. Tell me what you mean by that, Brad.

SOWERS: Well, I think, as you know, 25 percent of the vehicles sold in America are manufactured abroad. That's at a baseline. And 70 percent of the components are made on a global basis. The industry obviously had quite the shakeup in 08, 09. But even before then as the quality was desired by the American consumer, all of those products are now globalized.

[22:40:08] So the global supply chain drives that business. And in fact, you just can't turn it off. I don't think in my lifetime will we have a completely domestic organizations that build every component for a vehicle. And I think that's where the difficulty lies, really, from a time. If you look at what it takes FCA just to look to invest $1.3 billion up in Detroit.

It will take them five to eight years to get to that point. GM just set an investment in Fort Wayne, Indiana. That's going to take another two to three years for that to happen. It's a long process for that to happen.

LEMON: Brad, you know, you have the floor now. What do you want the president to know tonight?

SOWERS: Well, I want him to know that the American consumer will be paying those tariffs. And I think it's a misnomer to say that they are not, as we've seen the increases from aluminum and metal from China. Those have caused price increases out there in the marketplace. And I think no matter what brand or product that you have, that's the impact for the American consumer.

It's a great marketplace. The American consumer is strong. Jobs are great. Let's not disrupt that. Let's keep this going and let's not interrupt the flow of the American economy. These types of decisions can do that. If you increase the price of too many pieces of the product, then in turn people are not going to buy.

And the impact of that is a trickle down effect throughout every piece, from jobs, to advertising dollars, to whatever impact it has in every environment, from a vendor, to a dealer, and to a manufacturer.

LEMON: All right. Brad, I want you to stand by, because I want to bring Larry in now. Larry, hello to you, you know, you have farms in both the U.S. and Mexico. So I want you to please tell me and the audience about the impact these tariffs would have on your business as well as your customers.

LARRY JACOBS, JACOBS FARM OWNER: Well, so -- it -- the first line of tariffs that are being discussed, five percent. That five percent is more than our net. So there's -- you know, the first discussion we had, can we soak those up. Can we eat those ourselves? And the answer is no. So that five percent is going to get added right to the invoice to each customer and will get passed onto the consumer.

The ultimate impact will be higher prices on the crops that we grow, and over the long run will it depress the demand, big impact will be on those who have the least amount of buying power. They'll have less access to fresh fruits and vegetables. And 40 percent to 50 percent of fresh fruits and vegetables in the United States are grown south of the border where there's -- where it's warmer, good soils and especially during the wintertime.

LEMON: Let's talk specifics. You're talking about avocados, tomatoes, berries, meat, beer. Countless other products would soon become more expensive if these tariffs come to pass. What does that do to a family's food budget, Larry?

JACOBS: You know, I can't answer. I don't know how -- what the impact is as it goes up the supply chain. So but our -- when we bring in a box of cherry tomatoes, and we grow lots of cherry tomatoes, when we bring in a box of cherry tomatoes and we add five percent to the price, that five percent price will go on to the distributor or the wholesaler where there's a large supermarket chain. They'll add that price on to their retail price. So this price just

gets added on. That will increase the price of the food on the shelf. If you're -- the big impact is going to be on the people with limited amount of resources. So those who have less -- least amount of money in our society will have to make a choice. Do I buy that fresh produce? Do I buy the avocado or tomato, or do I buy something that costs less money?

LEMON: Yeah. The president says, Larry, that it's not a tax. But you said it goes -- this eventually goes to the folks who can least afford it or with the limited -- more limited amount of resources. Does this really become a tax for them?

JACOBS: It sure feels like it's a tax. It's going to increase the cost of food. Everything that's grown in Mexico will have a five percent increase in the costs to the wholesaler distributor, and that will get passed on to the consumer.

LEMON: Yeah. Larry, I am going to thank you. Brad, I want to thank you as well. We appreciate both of you coming on and we got a -- just behind the scenes, we have a little look at Larry's ranch there in Pescadero, California, and it looked absolutely beautiful. Your office has a better view and it's a lot nicer than I think most of ours. Both of you gentlemen thank you so much for coming on CNN. We appreciate you.

JACOBS: Thank you.

SOWERS: Thank you.

[22:45:06] LEMON: Thank you. Arrests on the border are surging, but the spike isn't coming out of nowhere. So what is causing it? We'll talk about that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So, it is clear we have mess on our southern border. New numbers from custom and border protection showing a 32 percent increase in migrants encountered or arrested in May, but what's behind this surge? Let's discuss now. John Sandweg is here. He was the acting director of ICE under President Obama.

And we're so happy to have you here. Thank you, sir, really appreciate you joining us.

[22:49:57] So let's get right into this discussion. It's a crisis. And we want to drill down on some of the numbers from this from this humanitarian crisis from the CBD, OK? They say that -- you can see on your screen now, total apprehensions went up from a low point in April of 2017 to over 144,000 in May 2019. That's an almost 10-fold increase in two years. Why are we seeing this incredible surge, Mr. Sandweg?

JOHN SANDWEG, DHS FORMER ACTING GENERAL COUNSEL: You know, Don, it is a couple things going on here. First of all, we have conditions that are ripe for mass migration in Central America, so economic instability and the failure of the government to be able to protect their people, high -- incredible rates of violence. So these dire conditions are pushing people north.

They're encouraged along the way by smuggling organizations who have lost a lot of business as Mexican migration fell off. So they started turning their attention to Central America. And then when they get to the United States, what you do have is an asylum system that is just overwhelmed. We've never resourced it appropriately. And then as these numbers begin picking up, we failed to surge resources into it.

So there is an opportunity when you get here to claim asylum that's going to result in a three, four, or five-year period of time where you're able to either wait in this country for your hearing. So some of these factors, you know, it's funny, the solutions we've tried to attempt to stop this have actually, you know, been the ones that don't address the actual factors that are driving the people here in the first place.

LEMON: OK. So from what I hear you saying, more people are coming in and it's being handled differently?

(CROSSTALK)

SANDWEG: Sure. We had a shift along the border beginning in about 2013. You saw Mexican migration begin to drop dramatically. Central America migration began to pick up. Along the way, a large number of those people started claiming asylum. The problem is ultimately if you make an asylum claim in the United States, an immigration judge has to make a decision.

Well, we only have 400 immigration judges processing over 1 million cases. The one thing this administration has not done is surge resources to those immigration courts to begin to tackle that backlog, which would at least, you know, I would expect, would actually dissipate some of the pull factor.

LEMON: I want to talk more about that asylum process -- the role asylum plays in all this, because I spoke to Congressman Will Hurd. This was just last night about this. This is what we told me, and then I want to get your response. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. WILL HURD (R), TEXAS: 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. That is what is driving -- that is the pull that is pulling people here.

LEMON: So 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 got to claim credible fear and then you get processed differently. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. So two things there -- two things there, so he's saying that people are gaming the system. What he's also saying, and I am not sure if you got it from the way that sound bite was edited, he's saying that also part of the problem here are the changes in the way that ICE is interpreting the asylum laws, and that it's coming from the administration, that it was different under Obama. And that it has changed since then. Can you speak to that, please?

SANDWEG: You know, it has changed, Don. And actually, the administration has narrowed the ability of people to get asylum in the United States. So with Jeff Sessions, when he was attorney general, issued an opinion that actually reduced eligibility for a large number of this population. Look, I have no doubt that some people are gaming the system.

A lot of people aren't gaming the system. Either we have a legal framework that's been in place for a little over 50 years now.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Hold on one second. And I don't mean to cut you off, so with all due respect. So just -- I want to buckle down on that. This idea that, well, everybody's coming over and gaming the system, you said, no. Some people are. But go on, your words, sorry.

(CROSSTALK)

SANDWEG: Don, look. These are people fleeing incredible violence under very difficult circumstances. A lot of these cases, certainly under the old definition of the Obama era, a lot of the people who are being targeted by gangs in Central America were eligible for asylum. Under the new rules, a lot -- you know, more of them are not. Nevertheless, I mean, regardless of what their motivation is, you're looking at families.

Over 65 percent of these people are parents with their minor children are just trying to flee to get a better life. Look, I understand the frustration of the congressman, though. And the fact that people can wait here five years after they cross the border unlawfully and make an asylum claim. But that's something we can do about it.

The budget for the immigration courts is far lower than building a massive wall. It's far lower than, you know, increasing this detention, things that have no impact on this crisis. If we just surged two years ago, resources into the adjudicators for asylum and immigration courts, we would not see those big numbers.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: OK. Listen, I am running out of time. Again, I don't mean to cut you off. We'll have you back. So I want to talk more about this. But again, the interpretation of the rules, because in part, what he was saying is that it is a crisis in part of the administration's own making because of the way they're interpreting these immigration and asylum laws or rules, or however it is.

[22:55:05] SANDWEG: I don't disagree it's a crisis of their own making. I slightly disagree that's the way they're interpreting it. I think it's because of the actions they've taken that don't actually address this problem. That's the crisis. And I agree that the administration's inaction is responsible in large part for the escalating numbers.

LEMON: John Sandweg, we appreciate having you on. Please come back. Thank you, sir.

SANDWEG: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Thank you. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: This is CNN TONIGHT. I am Don Lemon. Thank you so much for joining us.