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Presidents Trump and Macron Honor 170 D-Day Veterans; Five Percent Mexico Tariff Could Result in 400,000 Jobs Lost; Parkland School Officer Charged with Child Neglect. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired June 6, 2019 - 10:30   ET



[10:32:45] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Welcome back. I'm Poppy Harlow, in this morning. Of course, we are honoring all of those who served on D-Day. The president, leaving after his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The two took part in a stirring ceremony this morning in Normandy, France. More than 12,000 people on hand to honor those who risked it all, and so many who gave it all and stormed the beaches on D-Day, 75 years ago.


TRUMP: Today, we remember those who fell. And we honor all who fought, right here in Normandy. They won back this ground for civilization.

To more than 170 (ph) veterans of the Second World War who join us today, 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.



HARLOW: We certainly do. What a moment.

The president, honoring specific veterans by name. Look at them. Look at them there, including Private Russell Pickett, the last known survivor of the U.S. Army's 29th Infantry Division. French President Emmanuel Macron walked over to help Pickett out of his seat when he was honored there by President Trump.

Joining me now is CNN's senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann.

Jim, what a day. I mean, what a beautiful sight to see, and what poignant words from the president. The president, President Macron both stressing the importance of this alliance, both in the past and right now. JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Both, Poppy,

kept the focus directly on the veterans. And I think that's something that both men are getting high marks for, that they didn't let any of the other issues between the United States and France get into the conversations or into their speeches.

And yes, beautiful day. I mean, we've had great weather out here, Poppy. Kind of unexpected. In any case, the veterans, I think, we're quite impressed.

President Macron, at one point, turned around and said to them in English, you know, "Thank you very much." And he said repeatedly in his speech, about how grateful the French people were for what the veterans and all the rest of the Americans, as well as the other Allies, brought to France.

[10:35:13] Because it was, after all, France that was under the heel of the Nazi boot for many years in the '40s. And then 1944 came around, and liberation began. And I think that was something that people here really do appreciate, particularly up here in Normandy.

Because they were waiting for this to come. They were waiting for D- Day to come. People -- everybody, including the Germans, knew something was going to happen --

HARLOW: Right.

BITTERMANN: -- they just didn't know when. And so in those first hours of D-Day, 75 years ago, it was really a dramatic moment for everybody -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Of course, of course. A dramatic moment when all of those American and Allied troops stormed the beaches, not knowing, every single one of them, if they would live to see the end of the day. And of course, we lost 2,501 Americans on that day; 4,414 Allied troops killed in total.

I'm just interested in -- Jim, in what the veterans there are telling you about what today's ceremony means to them.

BITTERMANN: Well, you have to think, Poppy, about this. That many of these veterans have not been back here since that day. And --


BITTERMANN: -- they returned home from the war, they went home. And I talked to a veteran yesterday, for example, who said, "Look, we didn't -- when we went back to the United States, we didn't talk about the war because everybody had been in the war. We'd all been through it. That was the last thing we wanted. It was the '50s, we wanted to talk about other things and change the subject."

And so years and -- decades, they didn't basically talk about it. And now, for some of those people who haven't come back, to come back and to be honored and praised, it really is a wonderful feeling, I think, for these people, some of whom are at the end of their lives -- Poppy. HARLOW: Yes. Of course. It's always amazing to see, Jim Bittermann.

I am so glad you're there. Thank you very much.

And we'll be right back.


[10:41:51] HARLOW: All right. So the president may be taking a big gamble with the economy. There was a new report that flat-out says that this trade war, if it happens with Mexico, could cost more than 400,000 American jobs. Our CNN Business lead writer Matt Egan is with me.

You broke the story yesterday. I saw the headline. I was stunned when I saw it. So what is this economist arguing?

MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS LEAD WRITER: So he's arguing that the stakes are massive for the American economy. More than 400,000 jobs in the United States --

HARLOW: Right.

EGAN: -- could go away if these five percent tariffs on Mexico go in effect, and if they're sustained. Now, that's according to The Perryman Group, which is an economic consulting firm.

Now, Texas alone, would lose more than 117,000 jobs by itself. That state, of course, has a really closely linked economy to Mexico's.

TEXT: Possible Consequences of Trump's Trade War with Mexico: If five percent tariff goes in effect, 400,000-plus U.S. jobs could be lost; Texas alone 117,000 jobs. U.S. Sectors impacted: Retail trade, 136,516 jobs lost; Manufacturing, 50,000-plus jobs lost. If Mexico retaliates, U.S. exports could decline

HARLOW: When -- I mean, in a year? Like --

EGAN: It depends on how long this happens. But yes, they would eventually lose that many jobs.

HARLOW: Wow. And the question then becomes, OK, well, what if those tariffs get ratcheted up to 25 percent, which the president has said could happen by October. And if that could lead to an all-out recession?

EGAN: Right. So it's important to remember that these initial losses of 400,000, that is only for the five percent tariff. If the tariffs go all the way up to 25 percent, which is something that President Trump has mentioned could happen --

HARLOW: Right.

EGAN: -- the losses would be even larger.

Now, I think all this just shows that President Trump is taking a gamble with the economy, which is one of the points that he is certainly selling on when he's trying to get re-elected. Now, the concern is that this could lead to some sort of a severe economic slowdown or even a recession --


EGAN: -- and the economists I speak to say that that is a possibility, that this is a bad idea. And maybe just because of the economic pain involved here, maybe that means it doesn't get to that point. Maybe both sides will step back and not let it get to that point.

HARLOW: But if it does, then guess what the Fed does, right? Then the Fed cuts rates and then the president gets the rate cut he wanted, so --

EGAN: Exactly.

HARLOW: -- we'll watch. Matt, thank you. Good reporting. Appreciate it.

So you just heard about the impact here, that it could have on Texas, right? Bearing the brunt of the president's tariffs if they happen. Our business reporter and politics reporter Vanessa Yurkevich is in Laredo, Texas.

So are folks freaked out there?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS REPORTER: Hi, Poppy. They definitely are. And that is because this port right behind me is the busiest trading port in the entire country. About $20 billions' worth of Mexican imports flow through here every single month.

TEXT: Laredo, Texas: Population, 260,000; Busiest trading port in U.S.; $20 billion in imports each month

YURKEVICH: And this port is critical to the economy here in Laredo. A lot of people depend on this port because of the trade. It's so dependent on them -- excuse me -- it is dependent for them on their livelihoods.

And we just spoke to the president of one of the major trucking companies in Laredo, who says he moves about 150 trucks back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico, every single day. And he says he is scared about what these tariffs mean for his business.


RAFAEL TAWIL, PRESIDENT, TUM LOGISTICS: I think for the importer and the exporter, as -- and for us as well. Because if they take another measure to ship products, in another mode, it'll affect the trucking industry as well. But it's huge, it's huge. You're talking millions of dollars.

It will certainly create damage and destroy trade, of course. And this is -- Laredo is just -- that's what we live, we live by trade. Everyone that you see here, lives by trade. They're customs brokers, trucking companies, everyone lives by something that has to do with trade.


[10:45:15] YURKEVICH: And, Poppy, it's not just this port here in Laredo. There are trading ports all along the southern border in Texas. And those ports are so critical and so vital to the local economies there.

TEXT: U.S. Goods Imported from Mexico: Agricultural products: $26 billion in 2018. Leading categories include fresh vegetables, $5.9 billion; wine and beer, $3.6 billion; snack foods, $2.2 billion

YURKEVICH: And in that report that you were discussing with Matt, I mean, 117,000 jobs lost in the state of Texas alone if these five percent tariffs go into effect on Monday. And then when you broaden that out nationwide, you're looking at about 400,000 jobs lost in the country because of these tariffs -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Yes. And it's also stomping (ph) all over USMCA, the new trade deal that the president -- with Canada and Mexico, that the president wants, you know, Congress to approve.

I don't know where this goes. But it matters a lot for a lot of Americans and we'll stay on it. Vanessa, thank you for being there.

So minutes from now, another court appearance is expected for a former Parkland School resource officer. Why his lawyers say he shouldn't be held responsible in any way for the deadly shooting, next.


[10:51:10] HARLOW: So minutes from now, former Parkland School resource officer Scot Peterson will again appear before a judge via video link. He, of course, has faced intense criticism for his response to the Parkland massacre.

He was arrested and charged earlier this week on 11 counts of child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury. His defense team is arguing that the former sheriff's deputy was not considered a caregiver, and therefore cannot be convicted of child neglect under Florida law.

This is significant. Our legal analyst and former New York City prosecutor Paul Callan joins me now.

Look, I do not know which way this one is going to go here. But what I do know is that they'd be sort of setting a precedent here, if he's found guilty.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, absolutely. These charges against the police officer are extraordinarily unusual -- I think maybe this is the first time it's ever been done in the United States -- where a police officer in the line of duty is being charged with child neglect.

And it will set a precedent that's going to send shivers down the spines of police officers everywhere when they confront a dangerous situation, when they have to think, "If I don't act immediately, am I going to get arrested?"

HARLOW: Right. Because of course, all of the criticism and now these charges are about him staying outside of Parkland as the gunman was inside murdering students, and not running in immediately, et cetera.

I immediately thought, when these charges came, of the 2005 Supreme Court decision, the majority opinion written by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, that ruled that police in the United States do not have a constitutional duty to protect. And the argument was over what is the definition of the word "shall."

CALLAN: Well --

HARLOW: So how does that play in here?

CALLAN: I know. People would be shocked by this decision. But Scalia was writing about, really, a concept that's existed in law for a long time. And actually, for a good reason.

If the police were subject to lawsuits for not protecting individual citizens from, say, robberies or rapes or burglaries, you would have -- they'd be out of business because every -- you know, half the police officers would be fighting lawsuits about the fact that they didn't adequately protect somebody.

The law makes one exception to this rule that Scalia outlined. And that is if a police officer is hired to protect you -- you hire a police officer to guard a dance at a school. Or in this case, you have an officer hired to be the resource safety officer, and I think he was in that position for almost eight years at this particular school.

Well, now, he's been hired for a specific purpose. And there is an argument that if he fails in that duty, he can be sued even under the Scalia rule.

HARLOW: Let's listen to him. This is one year ago. Scot Peterson sat down with NBC's "Today Show." Here's what he said then.


SCOT PETERSON, FORMER PARKLAND SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER: I never would have sat there and let my kids get slaughtered. Never.

There was no time. Things went so fast.



GUTHRIE: That's what they called you, "The coward of Broward County."

PETERSON: I know. I never had a chance. I never thought, even for a moment, of being scared or a coward because I was just doing things the whole time.


HARLOW: But surveillance video shows him standing idly by, outside one of the buildings. That's obviously going to be used in this trial. That's some of the video.

CALLAN: And I have to say, Poppy, that not only that, but prosecutors, in their warrant of arrest in this case, outlined some really shocking facts. One of the things they said was, they describe him as seeking cover rather than aggressively trying to stop the shooter.

But they also say that 75 shots were fired during the time period that he sought cover. Now, could he have, if he engaged the shooter, could he have stopped some killings? You would have to say yes, if 75 shots were fired.

The second thing they say is, that he actually was trained on a very important principle. And that is, if there's an active shooter in a school firing shots, when you hear a shot, you have to assume he's killing somebody, not that we're going to wait. So it's going to be an interesting case.

[10:55:13] HARLOW: It's going to be a tough defense.


HARLOW: We'll watch. Thank you very much, Paul Callan.

CALLAN: Thank you.

HARLOW: Good to have you.

Be sure, also, to watch CNN's new original series. It is fantastic. Van Jones, "THE REDEMPTION PROJECT." He travels to Sacramento to meet with Joshua Gunner Johnson, who has spent the last two decades struggling with PTSD and a spinal injury, after being shot multiple times in 1994. This all starts Sunday night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, only right here on CNN.

But next up for us, more on the breaking news. At least one person has died following an accident near a training site for West Point Military Academy. We are live on the scene with an update.