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Trump Claims Tariff Threat Sped up Deal with Mexico; House Dems Hearings on Mueller Report; Supreme Court Rejects Challenges to Gun Silencer Laws. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired June 10, 2019 - 09:30   ET

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


[09:30:00] JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Repealed. That doesn't mean that folks are taking out a necessarily far left position on abortion. I think Biden is playing a dangerous game with the Hyde Amendment because he ends up pleasing nobody while attempting to protect his left flanks. So it's fascinating politics in this. But I don't think there's a lot of evidence to suggest that someone from the far left is the strongest suit who would reflect Iowa voters.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: That's a good point, Avlon, that question on abortion wasn't about, you know, the Hyde Amendment and where federal funding should go or not go for abortions. This is about the big issue of, you know, Roe v. Wade.

AVLON: That's right.

HARLOW: Thank you. Ayesha Roscoe, John Avlon, nice to have you both.

AVLON: Thank you, guys.

AYESHA ROSCOE, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, NPR: Thank you.

HARLOW: So, the opening bell ringing right now on Wall Street. Stocks looking to start the week on a positive note. You've got the Dow up 133 points. Obviously the market happy that we have some resolution for now on the tariff threat to Mexico. Of course, ongoing talks between the U.S. and China top of mind now for investors ahead of the G-20.

We'll be right back.

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[09:35:48] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, President Trump taking a victory lap of sorts on TV and Twitter as skeptics criticize his deal with Mexico on immigration. Just moments ago telling CNBC that his tariff threat sped up the deal. But did it really? "The New York Times" is reporting that parts of the Mexico deal were actually hammered out months ago.

The president adamantly denies that reporting, now hinting on Twitter that another, quote, very important part of the deal will be revealed in the not-too-distant future.

HARLOW: Our next guest is a Republican mayor of the biggest U.S. city on the Mexican border, El Paso, Texas.

Mayor Dee Margo, welcome to you. Thank you for being here.

You know, when you look at just how important trade with Mexico is, just to your city alone, last year's numbers show $108 billion of imports and exports going over those six bridges from Mexico to the U.S. Is relieved an understatement for how you're feeling this morning, sir?

MAYOR DEE MARGO (R), EL PASO, TEXAS: Oh, to a great extent, yes. I mean we have -- it's been stated that every four jobs in Juarez, Mexico, is one job in El Paso, and that exceeds over 50,000 of our employees.

HARLOW: So what exactly would a 5 percent tariff going up to possibly 25 percent by October on all goods imported from Mexico, what exactly would that have meant for your city?

MARGO: Well, Poppy, I don't know the exact economic downside to it, but it certainly would have been very, very arduous for us. As I say, we've got 94 Fortune 500 companies in Juarez, Mexico, manufacturing. We have over 50,000 El Pasoans that work that way. And it's -- it's -- it would have been very devastating.

HARLOW: What do you make of the deal that the president did strike with Mexico? More Mexican troops on the Guatemalan border, more U.S.- bound asylum seekers to stay in Mexico. I should note what the -- what the U.S. did not get in this agreement is Mexico agreeing to be the asylum spot for those seeking asylum in this country. But -- but they did get other concessions. Is it a good deal?

MARGO: Well, you know, Poppy, we've had over 100,000 migrants come through here since January of this year. We're number two after McAllen, Texas. But all of these -- this issue related to tariffs, and I've said on numerous occasions, I was a CEO for 35 years and I hate surprises. They're rarely positive. And you need to plan accordingly. But the -- the -- this whole -- this whole tariff issue and related to migration would never have occurred if Congress had gotten their act together over the last 30 years and developed a little intestinal fortitude to do what is right on reforming immigration to begin with. But, you know, this -- my concern is that it looks like that this worked in the president's eyes. And I'm just fearful that this may come up again until they deal with immigration reform once and for all, border security, immigration reform, all of the above in Washington.

HARLOW: The president tweeted as much this morning, basically saying that there is still a risk that tariffs could be, in his words, reinstated if, you know, this deal doesn't pan out to be what they've agreed to here.

Look, DHS reported last week that a group of a thousand migrants were apprehended trying to cross over into El Paso. That was the biggest group total that was apprehended at once coming over the border.

Did the president have any choice here? I know you don't like the tariffs being used to get them to the table, but are you glad he used the threat?

MARGO: Well, what I would rather see is Congress get their act together on both sides of the aisle, in both Houses, and do something about immigration reform to begin with. It's not just the migrants from Central America because of that William Wilberforce Anti- trafficking Victims Restoration Act of 2008 or whatever the full phraseology is of it, but it's -- it's a combination to, you know, the DACAs, the -- those that are already over here that have been here for 10 -- 10 to 12 million people, the Bracero Program that went away that we need to bring back for agricultural workers. It's a combination of all of the above.

[09:40:06] HARLOW: Final question, we have 30 seconds left, can numbers like these, what I just stated, that group of 1,000 or 144,000 undocumented migrants encountered at the border in May alone, a 13- year high, .

1,000 or 144,000 encountered at the border in may alone, a 13-year high. Can that issue be reduced by containment alone?

MARGO: Well, I think -- I mean there's an industry that's been created in Mexico with the coyotes bringing those migrants from Central America. I mean they're charging $6,000 to $8,000 per family. It's just almost likes extortion. So they've got to stop it at their end as much as we've got to deal with it at our end.

But Texas -- Mexico is Texas's largest trading partner and it is the United States' largest trading partner and it would have a devastating effect -- tariffs would have a devastating effect on El Paso.

HARLOW: OK. Well, I know you are relieved certainly this morning, sir, and we really appreciate you being here. El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, thanks.

MARGO: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Great interview at an important time.

Other news we're following this morning, the Mueller report front and center today on Capitol Hill. And House Democrats hoping a figure from the Watergate era will give them a clearer picture on presidential obstruction.

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[09:45:41] HARLOW: Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee getting ready to dig into the Mueller report today with the help of a well- known figure from Watergate.

SCIUTTO: Former White House counsel during and current CNN contributor John Dean will testify. President Trump went after him on Twitter.

CNN congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly is on Capitol Hill.

This will be something of a reprise of one of the most memorable moments from the Watergate hearings when Dean, then a White House counsel in effect, testified against the president. What are Democrats expecting to accomplish with this?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think it's really a dual-pronged approach, right? It's the idea of trying to elevate for the public the Mueller report which a lot of Democrats we talk to feel has kind of receded into the background in the wake of its presentation or in the wake of its release, in part because the White House has refused to comply with any subpoena requests -- any requests for testimony or any requests for documents. So that's one purpose of that hearing today and there's also a House Intelligence Committee hearing later in the week and there's also a House floor vote on Tuesday to hold in contempt the attorney general, the former White House counsel, Don McGahn.

And what you're seeing here is really a dual-pronged approach from Democratic leadership. You're seeing, one, trying to elevate it for the public and, two, trying to kind of calm or assuage the concerns of their own very restive (ph) Democratic caucus, basically say, look, we're doing things, this is what we said we were going to do, these -- holding these votes in contempt should help us in court. That's part of Speaker Pelosi's strategy.

But there's no question about it, Democrats right now are very uneasy about the pathway. We've got about 59 Democrats who want to launch impeachment inquiry proceedings, which the speaker has so far side no to. And so what they're going to try and do this week is address some of those concerns. Will it work? Well, we're going to have to wait and see.

HARLOW: And we also know important meeting tomorrow with the White House team, the president's negotiating team. This one with Senate Republicans. What are they talking about?

MATTINGLY: You know, one of the big things as we focus on Mueller, we focus on kind of whatever the crisis, self-imposed or otherwise of the day, is that lurking behind the scenes is a very real potential crisis, and that is there's a fiscal cliff coming at the end of September. There's a debt ceiling that needs to be raised at some point in the fall. What this meeting is tomorrow, is it's top Senate Republicans and the top negotiators from the White house, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who's running point on these negotiations, trying to figure out if there's a pathway to a bipartisan compromise here. The clock, even though it seems like September is a long way away, the clock is really running. They need to figure out a way to force all $120 billion in automatic cuts, plus raise the debt ceiling. These meetings, even though it feels early, are extremely important to see, based on the dysfunction we've seen on just about everything this year, whether or not there is a real pathway to prevent what would be a very real fiscal crisis guys.

HARLOW: Yes, but they -- you know it's just interesting to hear Republicans at this point talking about controlling the debt and the deficit. Mulvaney, who is a total deficit hawk in Congress, and when you've just got, you know, it going through the roof under this president.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

HARLOW: So we'll see -- we will see what actually happens.

MATTINGLY: Right.

HARLOW: But, again, that is a real crisis that they are facing.

Thanks, Phil.

MATTINGLY: UP next, the Supreme Court deciding not to take up a key case. This one about the Second Amendment and guns. We're live in Washington next.

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[09:53:04] HARLOW: All right, we are getting some significant news out of the Supreme Court this morning, specifically on gun rights and silencer laws.

SCIUTTO: That's right. A silencer was used in that horrible Virginia Beach shooting. So very much in the news.

Let's go right to Jessica Schneider in Washington.

Supreme Court allows the law to stand, is that right?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, specifically, Jim and Poppy, the Supreme Court is deciding not to take up two challenges to this National Firearms Act. Now this is legislation that actually regulates the registration of some firearms that include silencers. So the Supreme Court saying we are not going to be taking up these two challengers. These were from people who were -- who had been prosecuted under the National Firearms Act, one in particular for not registering his gun that contained a silencer.

And, of course, as you said, you know, silencers have come back up in the news after that Virginia Beach shooting. The shooter in that case killed 12 people and the handgun that he had contained a silencer. I mean some of the accounts from the people inside the municipal building, where the shooting happened, they talked about the fact that you could barely hear anything. They said it sounded sort of like a nail gun and they talked about the fact that if they had actually heard these gunshots, if the silencer hadn't been on this handgun, maybe they would have been able to react differently.

But the Supreme Court, in this case, deciding not to take up this issue just yet. These were two challengers. They were challenging the constitutionality of the National Firearms Act, which does regulate how these handguns with these silencers are registered. And if you don't properly register them, they can -- you can be prosecuted under this act. But the Supreme Court not going into this, not wading into this debate just yet.

Jim and Poppy.

HARLOW: OK. It's important and there is much more coming out that we're on standby for.

Jessica, thank you very much.

SCHNEIDER: Thanks.

SCIUTTO: We'll keep watching the court today.

[09:54:52] Other news, former Boston Red Sox slugger David "Big Papi" Ortiz now recovering after being shot in his home, the Dominican Republic. We are following all the new details and we're going to stay on that story.

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HARLOW: All right, top of the hour. Good morning, everyone, I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.

SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto in Chicago today.

This morning, President Trump claiming victory and touting his role as negotiator in chief. This as a trade deal with Mexico over immigration faces real skepticism.

[10:00:05] HARLOW: Yes, the president now declaring the art of this deal.

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