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Thirty-Nine ICE Detention Centers Have Cases Of Mumps Or Chicken Pox; Trump Speaks On Health Coverage For Small Businesses; Video Appears To Show Alleged Cuba Gooding Jr. Groping Incident; Trump Compares First Lady Melania T. to Jackie O. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired June 14, 2019 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] KERI WEBBER, FLINT, MICHIGAN RESIDENT: You know, I delivered water alone for years to the disabled and handicapped. And now, there's a group actually doing that. So you go and you sit and you burn eight, 12, 16 hours, days, weeks, and there is no outcome.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: If the meeting were happening right now, what would you say?

WEBBER: I'm done.

BROWN: You're done?

WEBBER: I'm done. We have fought, we have struggled. I have fought for people that I know now, I didn't know then. But at some point, you hear the lies. I mean, I'm sitting in D.C., promises made everywhere, and the minute you walk out the door, silence. Not another word.

BROWN: Well, Keri Webber, thank you for coming on and making your voice heard on the show. We wish you and your family the best. And we'll be right back.

WEBBER: Thank you. Thank you so much.


[15:35:47] BROWN: Well, just last week, we reported on deplorable conditions at immigrant detention facilities along the U.S. southern border -- expired foods, broken down bathrooms, not to mention dangerous overcrowding. Well, now, you can add infectious diseases to the list.

ICE officials have now quarantined more than 5,000 migrants, all of them adults, after cases of mumps and chicken pox have been reported in 39 detention centers.

CNN Justice Correspondent, Jessica Schneider joining me now. This is a dramatic jump in the number of people quarantined. What's going on, Jessica?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It is, Pamela. This is really an alarming spike because with those 5,200 people now reported quarantined, that is more than double the number that ICE reported were quarantined in March. At that point, 2,000 people in ICE custody were quarantined. That was amid an outbreak of mumps and other diseases.

Now, this is because of mumps and chicken pox. So the question is, what is ICE doing to combat what is really seeming to be an outbreak? Well, they've quarantined 100 detention pods. They've also -- these quarantines last about 25 days.

But it is important to note that just because these individuals are quarantined, 5,200 of them, it doesn't necessarily mean they have mumps. It's just that they've been exposed. So the numbers that ICE is giving us is that from September until just a few days ago, 297 people had confirmed cases of the mumps but, nevertheless, 5,200 are in that quarantine.

And really, this significant spike, it comes at the same time that the Acting DHS Secretary, Kevin McAleenan, has warned at hearings on the Hill that conditions at the border are really at a breaking point.

It was just this week, just a few days ago, that McAleenan talked on Capitol Hill about the dangerous, contagious diseases at detention facilities at the border, saying how it's not just dangerous to these migrants who are flowing across the border but also to the border patrol agents.

And, Pamela, the numbers are really staggering. Just last month, there were a record number of migrants that were encountered or arrested at the border, 144,000. And that's the highest total in one month in more than a decade. So now, we've got this issue of infectious diseases at these detention centers, all over the country. Now, 5,200 people quarantined in those centers --Pamela.

BROWN: Jessica Schneider, thank you so much. The situation clearly getting worse.

We want to get you right to the White House Rose Garden where the President is delivering remarks on expanding healthcare coverage for small businesses. Let's listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- in competition all across our nation. Since that time, my administration has worked tirelessly to expand options and drive down the cost of healthcare for the American people.

We took swift action to open short-term health plans and association health plans to millions and millions of Americans. Many of these options are already reducing the cost of health insurance premiums by up to 60 percent and really more than that.

We also have launched a new initiative to bring down the price of prescription drugs. We are holding big pharma accountable. And I must say, big pharma has also been working with us to try and get prices down. And if we had support with the Democrats, I must say, we could get it down even more. We've reduced prices now by a -- quite a bit. And this year is the

first year, Alex Acosta, right, in 54 years -- 53 years that drug prices have come down. And I want to congratulate you and all the people that have worked so hard with you. That's really an incredible thing. First year.


TRUMP: And we could get them down a lot more if we had a little support in Congress. And I think we'll get that support. I think that has to be -- that has to be a joint. If that's not -- if that's not going to be bilateral, we're going to get that done. And I think we're going to get it done quickly.

We're going to get a lot of support. I've spoken to Democrats, and they are in support of it. We have to see if we can actually get them to raise their hand. If they do that, we're going to see some tremendous cuts in drug prices. So thank you very much, Alex.

[15:39:56] We've asked Congress to support a new research initiative to find a breakthrough cure for childhood cancers. And we began a public health campaign to eradicate AIDS in America once and for all. And that's really taking place like nobody would believe.

We're looking at a 10-year plan. And at the end of 10 years, we're going to be in very good shape. Who would have thought that was possible even just a short time ago?

And we're making dramatic strides in combatting the opioid epidemic. We have it down by a period of almost -- to a number of almost 17 percent this year. And when I heard it, I thought they made a mistake. I said you are not real. That is not a real number. And it is very much a real number.

So, Kellyanne and all of the people that have worked in -- worked on that, that's a tremendous achievement. And we've worked with the medical profession and with doctors and with everybody. And to think that it's 17 percent in one year, that's a -- that's a tremendous achievement. Thank you very much.


TRUMP: And we're now working with Congress to pass legislation that ends surprise medical billing. And we're going to have another big announcement in two weeks, unrelated but something that's going to have a profound effect on the things that we're talking about and has been talking about over the last 2-1/2 years.

It's going to be something really incredible. That'll take place over the next two weeks. That'll be a very big announcement. Nobody knows what it is. It's going to a big surprise, but it's going to be a very pleasant one. No American should be blindsided by bills for medical services they never agreed to in advance.

We're promoting price transparency to force competition and drive down costs, and that's what's happening and that's one of the reasons we're getting the drug prices stopping from those tremendous increases that have taken effect for so many years. For so many decades, they've been going only in one direction, up. And now, we have them breaking even and going down.

We're defending Medicare and Social Security for our great seniors. We eliminated and we have eliminated ObamaCare's deeply unpopular individual mandate penalty. And you know how bad that was.


TRUMP: Think of it. You paid a tremendous amount of money for the privilege of paying so that you don't have to pay for bad insurance, O.K.? How bad does that get? That's got to be a first. Nobody's ever heard of that one. But we eliminated it --


BROWN: And you're listening to President Trump speaking in the Rose Garden on health coverage for small businesses.

Coming up right here in the NEWSROOM on this Friday, what got the President comparing his wife to one of the most famous and beloved first ladies?


TRUMP (via telephone): We have our own Jackie O. today. It's called Melania. Melania. We'll call it Melania T.



BROWN: Well, a security tape from a New York City bar may be the key to determining if Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. groped a woman. The video obtained by TMZ but not authenticated by New York Police reportedly shows the actor sitting with his girlfriend and the alleged victim.

And Gooding has been charged with forcible touching and sex abuse, and he has pleaded not guilty. And his attorney says the video will prove his client did nothing wrong.


MARK HELLER, PERSONAL ATTORNEY OF CUBA GOODING, JR.: I have never seen a case like this one because there is not a scintilla of criminal culpability that can be attributed to Mr. Cuba Gooding, Jr. after I have extensively, with my staff, reviewed the video. Look at the video and make your own choice rather than relying on the overzealous policing in this matter.


BROWN: Gooding returns to court on June 26th. Joey Jackson is a criminal defense attorney and CNN analyst. So let's talk about this video, Joey. The defense is going heavily on

this idea that, actually, it exonerates their client. Tell us what you see. And is it enough for the defense to put so much weight behind it?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, you know, Pamela, good to be with you. Ultimately, it's going to turn on the video, right? And it will be shown to a jury if it gets that far over and over and over and over again. People can make their own informed judgment as to what it shows, Pamela, as to what it does not show.

But keep in mind what he's charged with, right? When it's -- when we talk about forcible touching, what we're talking about is some groping or a pinching or a squeezing of an intimate body part. In this case, the allegation is the breast. And the intent would be to satisfy your sexual desires or to otherwise degrade. And so that's what a person evaluating the tape is going to have to see.

And in looking at it, you're going to have to see, you know, did he do that? That is, engage in an act like that. What was the response by the victim? Did she get up? Did she not? Was there furtive movements towards him? Were there not? Were her actions consistent with someone who was groped? Were they not?

So all these things are going to come out, and a jury, again, if it goes that direction, is going to have to evaluate whether or not her claims are credible or not credible, or whether he engaged in this conduct or did not do so.

[15:50:07] BROWN: So the attorney thinks, as we heard, that the charges are an overreach. How do you see it, and how or why do you think these prosecutors settled on these particular charges?

JACKSON: Well, remember this, Pamela, we are living in different times, right? We are living in times of Me Too, Time's Up, and it's just zero tolerance. And so I think what police are going to do, if someone makes an allegation, is they're going to err on the side of evaluating that allegation, taking it seriously, and if, in fact, it should be brought before the court, allowing a jury to decide. And that's how this will be handled.

BROWN: All right. Joey Jackson, as always, thanks so much.

JACKSON: Thank you, Pamela.

BROWN: Well, President Trump, today, singing the praises of his wife, First Lady Melania Trump. As he talked to "Fox and Friends" about his desire to redesign Air Force One, he came up with a new nickname.


TRUMP (via telephone): You know, the baby blue doesn't fit with us. And people get used to something, but -- and it was Jackie O. and that's good. But we have our own Jackie O. today. It's called Melania. Melania. We'll call it Melania T.


BROWN: So, presumably, Melania T. has other things on her mind than comparisons with former first ladies. And CNN's Kate Bennett met up with someone in a position to know in her new special, "WOMAN OF MYSTERY, MELANIA TRUMP."

Kate joins me now. So you talked to Melania's deputy chief of staff and communications director, Stephanie Grisham. Let's just get to the news today, first off. It's that Stephanie may be in the running to replace Sarah Sanders in the West Wing. What are you hearing about that?

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: I'm hearing just that. In fact, Stephanie Grisham is on the short list to, perhaps, be the next press secretary of the White -- of the West Wing, moving from the East Wing to the West Wing.

She's been with Donald Trump since the campaign. She's one of the originals that's left in the White House in the Trump administration. I would not be surprised if we saw her name come up as possible press secretary.

But, you know, it's interesting. She's been a very fiery defender of Melania Trump and very much the voice that we don't necessarily hear from the first lady herself. We were lucky enough to sit down with Stephanie Grisham in the East Wing and hear more about her take on Melania Trump.


STEPHANIE GRISHAM, PRESS SECRETARY AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR THE FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: This is the chief of staff's office and then events and operations. And back here is calligraphy. They're very, very busy, especially during state dinners.

BENNETT (voice-over): Grisham's in constant touch with the first lady.

GRISHAM: Working in the East Wing being so small, we are -- we are tight-knit. We have to be. We're very close.

BENNETT (voice-over): Melania's East Wing has 12 staff members, far fewer than her predecessors.


JEREMY BERNARD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SOCIAL SECRETARY: On a given day, we would have three or four events. It was a juggle.

BENNETT (voice-over): Jeremy Bernard was the social secretary in the Obama White House.

BERNARD: Mrs. Obama had initiatives that she launched throughout the administration, so we were really busy all the time.

KATE ANDERSEN BROWER, AUTHOR, "FIRST WOMEN: THE GRACE & POWER OF AMERICA'S MODERN FIRST LADIES": Michelle Obama had like 25 or 30. Laura Bush had upwards of 20. So to have less than half the number of people working for you, I think, puts you at a tremendous disadvantage. And it also sends a message about how much you're willing to do and how much you want to do.


BENNETT: Of course, Stephanie Grisham would disagree with that. She says the staff is small and tight-knit, and that's by design per Melania Trump. She'll talk more about that this evening in the special.

But, certainly, Melania Trump does things very differently behind the scenes and in front of the scenes than her most recent predecessor. She's a different kind of modern first lady. We'll talk about -- more about that tonight.

BROWN: All right, Kate Bennett, thank you so much.

And be sure to join Kate for a rare visit to the White House to meet those who know the first lady. The "CNN SPECIAL REPORT: WOMAN OF MYSTERY, MELANIA TRUMP" airs tonight at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN. We'll be right back.


BROWN: Well, we want to bring you an update now on an incredible CNN Hero. Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow feeds children in 18 countries through his non-profit, Mary's Meals. Well, he met actor Gerard Butler at the 2010 CNN Hero ceremony, and the two men became friends. And then they recently traveled to Haiti together to see how Mary's Meals feeds more than a million schoolchildren every day there.


MAGNUS MACFARLANE-BARROW, FOUNDER, MARY'S MEALS: The greatest privilege of doing this work is just meeting those children who are eating Mary's meals. The numbers become just mind-boggling after a while, but the real beauty of it is watching those children become the people they are meant to be.

GERARD BUTLER, ACTO R: I remember we went just before lunch, and they were tired. Then they had lunch. And, oh, my God, it was like different people. And then you realize the simple value of this program.


BROWN: So to find out more about Magnus' life-changing work and his friendship with Gerard Butler, all you have to do is go to And, of course, while you're there, be sure to nominate someone that you know to be a CNN hero. Very inspiring.

[15:59:57] Well, that does it for me on this Friday. I'm Pamela Brown. I hope you enjoy your Father's Day weekend. Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there. And "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.