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Robert Mueller Could Be Testifying Before Congress; Accident In Upstate New York Has Claimed The Life Of A West Point Cadet And Injured 21 Others; Trump Escalates Threat Against Mexico As Deadline Looms. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired June 6, 2019 - 14:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Brooke Baldwin. You are watching CNN. We begin with Breaking News. We may soon hear from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as he could be testifying before Congress. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler just told Democratic leadership that he would issue a subpoena for Mueller quote, "within weeks". So let's go straight to Capitol Hill to our senior congressional correspondent, Manu Raju, who just talked to a source about this. So, what do you know?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Nadler met with the House Speaker and Committee Chairman in a meeting earlier this week. They talked about their way forward and made it very clear that they're prepared to subpoena Bob Mueller for his testimony and that could happen within weeks.

It's very clear that Democrats are at the end of their patience here. There have been negotiations that have been going on for weeks and weeks to get Mueller's testimony. Mueller has wanted to go behind closed doors. Nadler has rejected that approach and now he's been saying publicly that he could issue the subpoena. Now, it's becoming very clear that that could happen in just a matter of days.

So expect that to come to ahead, if they don't reach an agreement for Mueller to come in voluntarily and that could explain why Nadler has been so confident that ultimately Mueller will appear but perhaps under subpoena -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Okay, so while that's going on over here, of course, you got to talk impeachment because we know tensions between Congressman Nadler and Leader Speaker Pelosi. They've been rising over whether to actually start these impeachment proceedings. And so POLITICO was reporting that Speaker Pelosi was speaking with this group of Democrats and she said, and I quote, "I don't want to see him impeached I want to see him in prison." How is that being received on the Hill?

RAJU: Well, she's been trying to make the case that there's no need for impeachment and she has been increasing her rhetoric against President Trump over recent weeks, trying to essentially align herself with a lot of her colleagues who believe the President has committed crimes while in office as documented by the Mueller report.

And her argument here is that, if the President were to be impeached, that would help him politically because the Senate ultimately would not vote to convict him and then the President would remain in office. Instead she's arguing that he should be essentially prosecuted for the crimes that he allegedly committed as outlined in the Mueller report and elsewhere. That's what she wants her focus of her colleagues -- her Democratic colleagues to be.

Now, at the moment, not all of her colleagues are there. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler tried to make the case to her in a private meeting about opening up an impeachment inquiry. That's something that she does not want to go down at the moment.

And yesterday when she was asked here on CNN by our colleague, Wolf Blitzer, whether or not Nadler and Pelosi are on the same page on an impeachment inquiry. Nadler did not say, answer that directly, instead saying, perhaps an impeachment inquiry may still come even though the Speaker is making it very clear where she stands -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: I'll come back to this point in a second with my next guest. But Manu, while I have you, you also have new reporting about what Democrats actually plan to do next week to try to stop all the stonewalling from the administration. What's their plan?

RAJU: Yes. Significant ratcheting up of powers, they plan to give to congressional committees To go directly to court to hold people in contempt if they are not complying with their subpoenas. The House will vote in a resolution next week that will hold Bill Barr in contempt as well as Don McGahn, the former White House Counsel.

That same resolution will also include a provision allowing these committees to essentially go directly to court to enforce their subpoenas. Essentially, avoid the full House from voting on this. This could essentially help some of those members who don't want to continue to vote on all these contempt citations and also increase these court fights that could happen in a much more rapid clip but also risk, perhaps giving some of these chairmen a lot of power.

Perhaps, too much power, some would say setting a President for future congresses but nevertheless escalation of sorts, as the Democrats say that all the subpoenas are not being not complied with and now the Committee Chairman will have the power to do something about it -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Manu, thank you very much. I want to come back to this reporting on Nancy Pelosi. Listen, this isn't the first time we've heard Speaker Pelosi accuse the President of criminal conduct. Remember this, just a couple of weeks ago?


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): We believe that no one is above the law including the President of the United States. And we believe that the President of United States is engaged in a cover-up.


BALDWIN: And remember, the President did like those comments very much because he canceled a meeting with Speaker Pelosi there at the White House and instead held that Rose Garden news conference dedicated to refuting the Mueller report. CNN political analyst, Josh Dawsey is a White House reporter for "The Washington Post."

So Josh, I want to read this tweet. This is from a former spokesperson for Hillary Clinton's from Brian Fallon. And he tweeted this -- he tweeted, "If you genuinely think Trump belongs in prison, opening an impeachment inquiry is the absolute least you should do. I loved Pelosi but this is a trick. She wants to sound tougher on Trump rhetorically to mask her continued belief and a go-lightly approach."

[00:05:01] BALDWIN: And it's on that latter piece, Josh. He's basically saying that she needs to seem tough but still get her way and being reluctant on impeachment. Do you agree with that?

JOSH DAWSEY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you have a rising crescendo of claims, Brooke, from Democrats who want the President to be impeached and you have Nancy Pelosi who's in a tough spot.

Even her allies would say that, where she doesn't want to impeach him but yet she wants to continue to say, he did things that she believes should lead to impeachment and is essentially making the argument just for political reasons, we can't. And it's unclear how that works from a long-term sustainable perspective.

See, if Nancy Pelosi who is really trying to keep some for more liberal members in check by all accounts, while also, talking tough on the President. But she's made it clear, even when she said she wants to see him in prison. She doesn't want to see him impeach over, and over, and over. And there's a chance that President Trump wins in 2020 -- wins reelection. And then where does that position stand.

So, for a lot of her colleagues, it's becoming increasingly frustrating, it seems with how exactly she's handling this.

BALDWIN: So we just went through, you know, what had happened a couple weeks ago, right? When she said what she did about being a cover-up, flash-forward to the Rose Garden news conference.

DAWSEY: Right.

BALDWIN: You know, sent the man into a tizzy for 24 hours. But in saying that he should be in prison, you know -- cover-up prison, like, how do you think he is going to respond to that?

DAWSEY: Well, you saw her comments on the cover-up. It certainly sparked a pretty frustrated reaction from the President. He saw those on television that morning and have that unusual press conference and made lots of chatter by the next day at another press conference, basically, to refute what Nancy Pelosi said.

He's overseas this week, so it's unclear exactly how much he's paying attention to the minutia back in Washington. But he has always has his eye back on domestic politics -- Brooke. So you can imagine that it will certainly provoke a reaction. We saw over in Europe, the President after 1:00 a.m. London time, and

attacked Chuck Schumer for some of his comments earlier this week. So, he's always watching what they're saying about him.

BALDWIN: Yes, stand by for tweeting. Josh Dawsey, thank you.

DAWSEY: Thanks for having me.

BALDWIN: You got it. Let's get you to this Breaking News -- a tragic Breaking News, this accident in upstate New York has claimed the life of a West Point cadet and injured 21 others. U.S. military academy officials say this tragedy happened near the camp Natural Bridge training site, which apparently isn't far from the military campus.

Officials say a military vehicle overturned early this morning. A soldier was behind the wheel. CNN's Polo Sandoval is live in Highland Falls, New York, where the training site is located. And Polo, we are talking as we've just learned from this news conference. These were senior cadets and it sounds like they were taking part in some kind of training exercise. Can you confirm that and tell me what happened?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was supposed to be a normal training exercise, Brooke. As we heard just now from West Point officials. These cadets were only a year away from their graduation when this training exercise essentially took a terrible turn. And one of them injured fatally in what was described by the superintendent from West Point as literally a vehicle roll over.

This was a tactical a vehicle, a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle, often described as an LMTV that left the barracks this morning just in the six o'clock hour, on their way to that training ground, so these cadets could participate in land navigational training. When at some point, that vehicle, basically rolled over here.

What I can't tell you here is that -- what I can tell you, Brooke, is that the terrain in the area there is described as hilly. So one of the main questions that is being asked at this point, did that terrain perhaps play a role in this accident here? Investigators coming in from out of town to essentially take a closer look at that, but again, we can't say.

There were basically 22 people this morning on that vehicle, 20 cadets, one of them injured fatally, the others suffering non-life- threatening injuries. And those two soldiers, as far as the identity of this cadet, we heard from officials a little while ago, they will have to wait 24 hours before they release the identity of that young cadet.

Obviously, they are still going through the notification process but, as we heard or as we've been hearing repeatedly are mourning here, Brooke, hearts are heavy. The air is certainly heavy here particularly for the West Point community that has now in mourning -- these individuals in the very early stages of their military careers. And for one, their life now cut short here at home.

BALDWIN: Just so tragic when you think of the -- I just immediately think of the parents. They send their son or daughter off to West Point. This elite military academy and ready for war, ready to serve the country, and this is what happens to their child. Polo Sandoval, please as soon as you hear anything more, let us know.

Right now, the U.S. and Mexico are meeting, just days before a deadline, when the President's threatened tariffs kick in. Hear why the President just escalated this.

[14:10:00] BALDWIN: And stunning images from inside ICE facilities on the border -- disturbing images, expired food, overflowing toilets, nooses -- see what a "Watchdog" found in this CNN exclusive.

And we are just getting word that a health inspection is underway at that resort where three Americans died in five days down in the Dominican Republic. This, as the autopsy results are coming in. You are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. We will be right back.


[14:15:20] BALDWIN: We're back, you're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Time is running out to stop President Trump from taxing goods from Mexico regarding illegal immigration. Right now, a Mexican delegation is scheduled to speak with officials from the White House, State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security. Keep in mind this is the second meeting today. The first one ended with the Mexican saying, advances were made but a White House adviser countering that, quote "What Mexico is offering is not enough."

The President said nearly a week ago that he will impose on Monday the first in a series of tariffs unless Mexico steps up its immigration enforcement. It's not quite clear what Mexico needs to do but the President said this today.


TRUMP: They are swamping up, they are coming up by the millions. Mexico can stop it -- they have to stop it, otherwise, we just won't be able to do business. It's a very simple thing and I think they will stop and I think they want to do something. I think they want to make a deal and they sent their top people to try and do it. We'll see what happens today. We should know something.


BALDWIN: Matt Egan is a CNN business senior writer. Richard Quest is a CNN business editor-at-large and host of his own show. So gentlemen -- Matt to you first, so if and when he starts at these five percent tariffs on Mexico, it would cost the U.S., according to the study, 400,000 jobs. Who gets hit the hardest?

MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS LEAD WRITER: That's right. If this global trade war expands to Mexico, Texas will get hit the hardest because that state's economy is just so closely linked to Mexico's, they could lose more than 117,000 jobs.

BALDWIN: What kinds of jobs? EGAN: It could be all kinds of jobs, but in particular, what we see

is retail jobs are most at risk. This study by the Perryman Group, which is an economic consulting group, they say that the five percent tariff from the United States on Mexico would cost more than 117,000 jobs -- I'm sorry more than 136,000 jobs on retail. So that includes everything from auto parts makers and restaurants to, you know, companies that make clothes.

And we could also see manufacturing lose more than 50,000 jobs. Now, that's obviously a sector that President Trump has really tried very hard to prop up.

BALDWIN: So, I want to just pause on Mexico. Richard Quest, to you, just as this is happening, then of course, you also have the President threatening to tax up to $300 billion in Chinese goods, while you have Xi saying that Putin is his BFF, which I don't know how the U.S. is feeling about that but --

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And whilst the U.S. is going hell-for-leather against Huawei ...


QUEST: ... in 5G, Russia has accepted China's Huawei to out-build their network over there. This is getting complicated. The point -- and don't forget also tariffs. The President well believes that he negotiates from a position of strength with tariffs.

So, the market is absolutely expecting this five percent to come on Monday. It would have to take a miracle almost for it not to, because the President wants that additional leverage and from the weakness of the other side.

BALDWIN: Do you want to join, Matt?

EGAN: But this is -- I mean, this is a gamble here, right? I mean, Richard is right. The President wants to put the leverage --

BALDWIN: Which part of it -- the tariffs on Mexico?

EGAN: Yes, but the problem is that this is a big gamble. We're talking about what was the biggest trading partner to the United States during the first quarter of this year. And because of all these concerns that we have about the tariffs already in place on China, about the retaliation, this is really going to deal a blow to the U.S. economy. And the risk is that it ends up turning into a severe slowdown or even a recession, which of course, could cost well more than 400,000 jobs.

QUEST: The President though doesn't see the U.S. consumer as paying the cost.


QUEST: He is looking at it --

BALDWIN: But they would be?

QUEST: Of course, who else is going to pay it?

BALDWIN: Who would --

QUEST: If the tariffs goes on the goods, eventually, the end user pays.

BALDWIN: So why is he saying they are not?

QUEST: Well, because the President is looking at this as a -- what I would describe as a small shopkeeper. Listen to what he said yesterday, we'll put five percent tariffs on it and we'll make good money. The President is seeing these tariffs like a small shopkeeper, sees a revenue-raising opportunity, and that's why he talks about the billions coming in from a trip from the China tariffs. He's excited at the prospect of more revenue coming in from the Mexican tariffs and, as yet, it doesn't seem like it is percolated that there is a serious economic downside.

BALDWIN: So, the U.S. consumer is not a shopkeeper. And my question also, when you talk about China, when you talk about Mexico, like, what message is this sending to other countries who do want to do or not business with the U.S.?

EGAN: Well, a lot of the investors and economists that I speak to say that they're really concerned about the tariffs on Mexico because this is not in direct response to an economic -- a trade issue. This is about an immigration ...

BALDWIN: Immigration.

[14:20:08] EGAN: ... homeland security issue. And so, the concern now is that, if tariffs can be put on because of a immigration issue, they can be put on and used as a weapon for anything. And so, that creates a little bit of a destabilizing factor there.

BALDWIN: Close this out, Quest.

QUEST: Tariffs are the President's diplomatic weapon of choice.

BALDWIN: I'm about to say he has weaponized tariffs, yes.

QUEST: And therefore, he sees it in a circular way -- tariffs, money, treasury, profits, tariffs money, treasury, profits.

BALDWIN: Richard and Matt, guys, thank you very much. To be continued on that.

Now to this -- a CNN exclusive, deplorable conditions speaking of immigration, immigrant detention facilities at the border, as I.C.E. warns about a situation in the middle of a breaking point. We learn about dangerous overcrowding and unsanitary conditions for families in crisis.

And a mystery in paradise -- three Americans die at the same resort at the Dominican Republic. Preliminary autopsy results are in and we have new details just ahead.


[14:25:33] BALDWIN: Just into CNN, the autopsy results are now in for those three American tourists who unexpectedly died while on vacation at the same Dominican Republic Resort -- the Bahia Principe. There have been discrepancies between the resort and local authorities about how each of them died. Local public health inspectors are now on-site at the resort and the FBI has been called in to help out with the toxicology reports.

CNN's Rosa Flores is live in the Dominican Republic there at the resort. And Rosa, what's the result from the autopsy?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, as you mentioned the autopsy results -- the preliminary autopsy results have been issued and this is according to the attorney general's office here in the Dominican Republic.

Let me start with Miranda Schaup-Werner, she is the woman from Pennsylvania. The preliminary result is a heart attack. Now, we don't have a lot of details, so that's the only thing that I can share with you at the moment. Now about the Maryland couple Nathaniel Edward Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day, there's a few details that were included in this report issued by the attorney general's office. For both of them, internal bleeding of the pancreas and fluid in the lungs. As for Ann Day, fluid in the brain as well.

Now, I should note that toxicology results are still pending. So the actual cause of death is still pending. These are just the preliminary results. Now one of the things that we've been following, like you said, Brooke, is just trying to connect the dots because we've gotten conflicting information from various agencies here.

One of the things that we learned from the attorney general's office is the medications, the names of the medications that were inside the hotel room of the couple from Maryland. We'll take a look at this. One of the members of our team was able to go to a pharmacy here in the Dominican Republic without a prescription and for a couple of dollars was able to purchase that particular medication. So that's one thing. What does it tell us?

It tells us that it's very easy to at some of these medications. We don't know exactly what the other two medications were. We're still trying to investigate that detail. Now, a lot of concerns of course, for the grieving families, Brooke. As you might imagine of those three Americans.

Here's something that that might provide some level of comfort. The FBI is involved, the local authorities asked for the FBI's assistance with the toxicology report. That is still pending and of course, Brooke, when we're talking about the FBI's involvement, you're talking about sophistication and knowledge that Americans trust --Brooke.

BALDWIN: Can I ask -- Rosa, I know that, you know, those folks are on-site. They're looking at these rooms, I'm sure very closely as well. Is there a health inspection underway because it is summer, people are in the DR on vacation and I'm sure they are worried as well?

FLORES: Yes, definitely so. From talking to the Ministry of Health here, they say that they do you know routine inspections at hotels in the country but this particular inspection, the one that has health inspectors in this resort complex is directly related to the death of these three Americans. And so there are health inspectors, they didn't tell us exactly what they're doing, Brooke, but from talking to the communications director, he tells me that the teams that are on- site look for -- and inspect food preparation, water, they look for bacteria, they look for any other hazards that might be in the environment that could cause someone to be ill, and of course, anything that would be fatal as well.

So, that's happening right now. According to the communications director, he tells me that the results of that inspection are expected either tomorrow or Monday -- Brooke

BALDWIN: All right, we'll look out for those. Rosa Flores, in the Dominican Republic, thank you. And just a heads up to all of you, I'll be talking to a forensics expert coming up about these preliminary autopsy results that Rosa just reported out. So stay tuned for that.

Now to this, just released "Watchdog Report" and new figures confirm what these images have indicated for weeks now that conditions are getting worse and worse at the southern border. The numbers of migrants arriving there have been seen in more than a decade. Customs and Border Protection count, more than 144,000 were encountered or arrested in May. That is a 32 percent increase over April and the highest monthly total in 13 years and it includes 11,000 children.

Plus, take a look at these just new released images from a new Inspector General ...