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Trump Says He'll Deport Millions of People Starting Next Week; U.S. to Deploy Additional 1,000 Troops to Middle East; Trump to Kick Off Reelection Campaign in Florida Tonight. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired June 18, 2019 - 07:00   ET


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: I'm my daughters would be, as well, as soon as I called them and find out.

[07:00:04] Meanwhile, thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, "CNN TALK" is next. For our U.S. viewers, the president says millions of undocumented immigrants will be rounded up next week. Is that true?

NEW DAY continues right now.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump set to formally kick off his reelection campaign at a rally in Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can expect President Trump to really hammer home this idea that the Democratic Party is being overrun by radicals. But will he attack Biden by name?

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's start a real physical revolution. We have to be able to change what we're doing within our system.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Pentagon authorized 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East. Shanahan says the United States does not seek conflict with Iran.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're heading towards a confrontation, which is very serious for everybody in the region.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anybody there is risk to military personnel, you have to put the right force in play. It's the right move.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They do have credibility issues. There doesn't seem to be a strategy here.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

BERMAN: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY.

The breaking news this morning, the president just announced a major anti-immigration operation, but no one at the White House can tell us if he meant to do that or if it's even real.

Overnight, the president announced that next week -- he says next week -- immigration officers will launch a massive round-up of undocumented immigrants in the nation's interior. This is again not just at the border, and it includes families with children.

Now, it's hard to see how staffing and budget levels would allow this, and this could just be all political. The president announces his 2020 reelection bid tonight.

CAMEROTA: All right. The president's kickoff rally will be in Orlando, Florida. Of course, that's a critical battleground state. Democrats hold their first debates there next week.

All of this comes amid rapidly rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran, the president ordering an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East after Iran backed off of nuclear commitments.

So joining us now to talk about all of this news, we have David Gregory, CNN political analyst; Phil Mudd, former CIA counterterrorism official, now CNN counterterrorism analyst; and Jackie Kucinich, Washington bureau chief for "The Daily Beast" and CNN political analyst.

OK, David Gregory, let's just start with what the president first tweeted overnight, that millions of immigrant families here undocumented will be rounded up in the interior. We're not talking about the border now. We're talking about people already living and working here. Will be rounded up next week and deported.

This, I guess, is his latest effort to punish immigrants and hope that trickles back to Guatemala and Honduras, and stops people from coming to the border.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, again, there's so much bluster in this. And we've seen it so often from the president, whether most recently, a threat of tariffs against Mexico to get them to try to crack down on their side of the border, and the flow of refugees.

It's hard to believe that it's accurate, especially as John says, with his unveiling of the reelection campaign tonight. It's something you can imagine he would love to talk about, about how tough he'll be.

And as a practical matter how they would enforce it when adjudicating some of these issues after apprehensions are so difficult. So, you know, this is just another page in the long chapter of the president lashing out and trying to do something different to change the situation at the border. Hard to know at this point whether there's more specifics, other than just the bluster to it.

BERMAN: Phil, I just want your quick take as a veteran of law enforcement and government experience here. If you're about to launch an operation that requires some level of secrecy, would you say?

CAMEROTA: Usually, you have an element of surprise if you're going to arrest someone at their job or home.

BERMAN: Do you want to announce it a week before on Twitter?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Sure, you do if you want -- if it's a political event and not a security event. I mean, you're telling people that we're going to arrest millions of people. Forget about just the logistics of picking them up.

Where are you going to House them? How are you going to feed them? You've got to provide medical care for them. You have to provide treatment for women who, for example, might be giving birth when they're in some sort of federal holding facility.

I think this is about the president saying, "We're going to conduct an operation." Maybe they'd pick up a few thousand people, minor air gap between a few thousand and a few million. This is about messaging. It's not actually about a security operation. There's no way you can pick up that number of people. No way.

CAMEROTA: Jackie, today the president is re -- formally announcing his reelection campaign, and his promise to have solved the issue at the border has not worked. In fact, on his watch, the numbers have spiked.

Clearly, this is very vexing to him. And so he's trying this new blunt instrument to see if that works, I guess, with his campaign, and if it works as a deterrent.

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, he's also gone through a couple of officials who didn't want to implement this sort of procedure.

So, yes, he's basically throwing everything at the wall. He can't get Congress to cooperate. He couldn't get Congress to cooperate on immigration when he had Republicans in both Houses.

[07:05:03] So as someone who's trying to, you know, button up all of his campaign promises, this is one that is still yawning out there.

That said, you know, he's also threatening or is in the process of cutting off aid to Guatemala, Honduras, where these country -- where these people are coming from, where they're fleeing these terrible circumstances. By cutting off aid, that's also going to exacerbate the problem.

So it's really unclear how the president gets out of this and what comes of this, because as David and Phil said, this isn't what he promised on Twitter, or what he declared on Twitter isn't logistically possible.

BERMAN: Look, Kirstjen Nielsen, you know, opposed this operation.


BERMAN: She's gone. I mean, they've already gone through officials who were worried about the optics of all of this. CAMEROTA: But the acting ICE director now does like this, has talked

about this.


CAMEROTA: Before last night.

BERMAN: About interior arrests.

CAMEROTA: Interior arrests.

BERMAN: The idea of beginning the process of going after millions of people. I think that's just language the president is --

KUCINICH: But this is an applause line. At a -- at the Trump rally this evening, this -- as everyone's alluded to, this seems to be much more politics and much more rally fodder, as we've come to expect, than it is actual serious policy.

BERMAN: David, I'm sorry. I cut you off.

GREGORY: No, no, no. I just think that, in the political point, as well, this is a president who, you know, if he were more restrained, which he's not going to be, could really explain the problem more fully and where he feels he's been stymied by Congress, where he's not getting the support.

I think there's a lot of supporters of his out there who would say, "Look, he's tried to be tough. He hasn't gotten everything, and he's being really held back by Congress from solving this problem. I think he's not afraid to position himself as the outsider who's kind of a victim of Washington. Not doing enough to secure the border.

I have a feeling we're going to hear a lot more about that today and in the weeks and in the months to come, especially as he paints the Democrats as people who just want open borders.

BERMAN: Again, I mean, you think about if every minute spent talking about the wall, building a wall and having Mexico pay for it, which wouldn't do anything to stop asylum seekers, think about what would happen if that was spent on discussing, streamlining the asylum process, or dealing with family migration up through Mexico. Might be in a different place today.

Phil, there's other really important news breaking overnight, and that's the United States announced that it is sending 1,000 new troops to the Middle East. This is to deal with what the Pentagon considers the rising Iranian threat.

This is as Iran has said they're going to increase their stockpiles of low-enriched uranium. This is as Iran has hinted they may actually have higher enriched uranium production soon.

It seems that the situation is getting more precarious, and I wonder if you can tell what the U.S. strategy is here. MUDD: I can't. I mean, if you want to isolate the Iranians, you have

to have some people on board, including people who both trade with the Iranians and buy their oil. That includes people who aren't necessarily on our side: the Russians, the Chinese. That also includes people who are: the Europeans and the Japanese.

We've given these people who we need to isolate Iran no reason to join us. We have a nuclear deal we stepped away from, and the Europeans are saying, "Why did you do that? The Iranians are complying."

We have, obviously, oil going through the Arabian -- through the Arabian Sea, and you have people like the Japanese, the Chinese who buy a ton of Iranian oil, saying, "Can you please ensure that you don't ratchet up tension so we can buy oil?"

If we're trying to get the globe with us, I think the globe is looking at us saying, "We don't want to go with you, because you're threatening stability in the reason -- in the region for a country that is Iran, who is on the path to doing nothing on nukes." I think a lot of people are saying what the heck is this -- is up with this?

CAMEROTA: I mean, and Jackie, the photos that we've seen of what Iran is doing to some of these tankers, I mean, in the, you know, Gulf of Oman, what -- what -- we don't know yet what the U.S. response will be, other than it sounds like they are serious in terms of finding some way to retaliate.

KUCINICH: Not only do we not know, Congress doesn't know. You've had members of Congress complaining constantly that the administration isn't keeping them in the loop on foreign policy, particularly Iran but across the board.

And usually, I feel like you'd have something that's happening, and you'd have a lot of congressional support, because Iran has been such a bad actor on the world stage.

But because this administration has sown such distrust or mistrust among members of Congress and, you know, the country, frankly, people who aren't absolutely supportive, there is a lot of outcry right now. There's already conversations about a new authorization of military force and not being able to use the one from 2001 to go after Iran. And that's a bipartisan bill. It's Ro Khanna and Matt Gaetz from Florida, one of the president's biggest supporters.

So Pelosi has called for briefings. We'll see if they happen, because she's not going to be alone in that outcry.

BERMAN: This gets to the trust issue. And there's distrust domestically and, David Gregory, also internationally. Because this is when you need those allies that you need to be cultivating when times are good so that when times go bad, they're there. And they're not jumping up and down in support of the United States this morning.

[07:10:18] GREGORY: Right. Because the United States really is isolated in a way, too. Not quite as isolated as the Iranians but by pulling out of the deal, it has given Iran some moves to enrich uranium without being out of step with the agreement, unless it gets past a certain level. So right, Europeans are not on board.

The Iranians have to be accountable for attacking international shipping lanes and the kind of attacks that they appear to have been up to here. They feel quite isolated. They're isolated economically because of sanctions resuming by the United States, even if the Europeans have not kicked in. And they're the ones we should be looking at as being in danger of making a mistake to provoke a confrontation.

On the other side, it is a big question, is what is the strategy here? You have a more robust line taken by the administration or the Trump administration. And to what effect?

You know, they didn't like the Iranian nuclear deal, but it did keep Iran in its box and kept the region a little quieter. And this position of "We're not going to allow Iran to become a nuclear power." We've now heard that for going on 20 years, and it's -- it has not been achieved through military means. And there have not been great military options.

And so that's where we find ourselves now, with the potential for a more hawkish administration to do something differently.

CAMEROTA: All right. Phil, David, Jackie, thank you all very much.

Overnight, there was this dramatic back and forth between comedian Jon Stewart and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell. McConnell told FOX News that he does not understand why Stewart was, quote, "bent out of shape" over funding for the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. This is money that goes to first responders from September 11, now dealing with all kinds of medical conditions.

So Stewart has a special message for McConnell and a special place from which to deliver it.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Many things that Congress have at the last minute. We have never failed to address this issue, and we will address it again. I don't know why he's all bent out of shape, but we will take care of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.

JON STEWART, FORMER TALK SHOW HOST: Honestly, Mitch McConnell, you really want to go with the "we'll get to it when we get to it" argument for the heroes of 9/11?

Listen, Senator, I know that your species isn't known for moving quickly. If you want to know why the 9/11 community is bent out of shape over these past, let's call it 18 years, meet with them tomorrow, as soon as possible. And don't make them beg for it.


BERMAN: Jon Stewart is just not going to give up this fight, and good on him. Last week, the House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to extend

the 9/11 fund after Stewart's appearance before that committee. His fate in the Senate remains unclear, though. You heard McConnell say they will get to it when?


BERMAN: When? So we had a chance to speak to a couple responders last week who are directly affected by the current inaction in Washington.


JOHN FEAL, FOUNDER, FEALGOOD FOUNDATION: After 278 trips to D.C., I have zero tolerance for any member of Congress or the Senate, and I hope they don't like me. Mitch McConnell, we're on our way. Lindsey Graham, we're on our way. You know who we are. We met with you before. We're just not going to take your crap this time.


CAMEROTA: I wish they were on their way here, just for breakfast, because I love those guys.

BERMAN: They're great guys, and they have a cause; and they're not going to give up.

CAMEROTA: Obviously.

BERMAN: They're not going to give up. But if Mitch McConnell and the Senate doesn't move fast enough, you will see them soon.

President Trump kicks off his campaign, his reelection campaign very shortly. This as he announces a major immigration operation, one that we have yet to get any confirmation on. We can't get it from the White House. Maybe we can get it from his campaign. We'll talk to a top campaign official next.


[07:17:57] BERMAN: Tonight, President Trump formally launches his reelection campaign at a rally in Orlando, Florida. On the eve of the speech, overnight, the president threatened to deport millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States. He announced what would be a huge round-up operation.

Joining me now to discuss is Marc Lotter. He is the director of strategic communications for President Trump's 2020 campaign.

Marc, great to have you with us. Listen, the president announced this huge operation overnight.


BERMAN: We're trying to get confirmation from the White House or ICE or someone in the government. We haven't been able to get it yet. Can you confirm there's this huge raid scheduled for next week to go after undocumented immigrants?

LOTTER: No, and since I work for the campaign, I need to leave the official actions of the government to those in the official government in the White House and others. We're here today, obviously, to get ready for the president's rally tonight, and it's going to be a great scene.

BERMAN: Sure. We had to ask, because so far this morning, we've been asking the White House if they have any idea what the president meant; and they haven't been able to give us an answer.

The rally tonight, the official campaign kickoff, he's held about 60 political rallies over the last two years. What will be different tonight?

LOTTER: Well, I think this one, just the sheer magnitude of it. You have the Amway Center, which seats about 20,000 people. We had over 100,000 ticket requests.

I was over at the arena last night. There were people already lined up two blocks away, camping out. They'd come over 40 hours in advance of this speech with their tents, their chairs. They're ready to go, and it's going to be a great scene out there.

There's also going to be an outside festival area for those who can't get in, where they can watch the speech on Jumbotrons. There will be live bands and even a few guest appearances with some interviews today later this afternoon that will be shown on the president's Facebook page.

BERMAN: What's the message? What is the president's reelection message?

LOTTER: I think, first and foremost, it's going to be promises made, promises kept. You know, the difference between 2016 and 2020 is that the president in 2016 was asking people to take a leap of faith that he would take certain actions to create jobs, to have their paychecks growing again. Now he can talk about the actions he has taken.

[07:20:10] We see those jobs coming back. We see the paychecks going up, and the president will talk about not only what he's done but what he hopes to do.

BERMAN: And let's break that down. There's the promises made, promises kept and then the economic argument there. Certainly, the economy has been humming. Growth has been solid. Unemployment is at an historic low.

What happens if that changes? And the reason I ask that, Marc, is that "The Washington Post" this morning mentioned JPMorgan Chase on Monday put out a prediction that there's a 45 percent chance the U.S. economy would enter a recession in the next year. And that's up, way up from the beginning of 2018. So what will the president's message be if we enter a recession? LOTTER: Well, I think he's going to talk about the strength that we

have and that all the economic indicators are still very strong.

And many of these economists and these experts were predicting doom and gloom if the president was elected. We've seen the exact opposite. We also see the administration taking strong steps to keep this growth going, whether it's cutting more regulations. Obviously, there's been a lot of discussions about whether there will be another Fed interest rate cut coming in the future.

But more importantly, you still have the president negotiating not only to get the USMCA passed but also dealing with China, getting China to the table. And the long-term impacts of both of those deals are very good for the American economy.

BERMAN: As I said, I was just reading what some of these economists are predicting for next year.

In terms of promises made, promises kept, one of the promises the president made was to get rid of the national debt within eight years. Since the president has taken office, the national debt has risen from 19.9 trillion to $22 trillion. The deficit is up nearly 40 percent this year. Is that a promise kept?

LOTTER: Well, it's something that continues to need to be worked on, and what the president will say is that not only do we need a president who's focused on these actions, but we also need Congress. And whether it's Democrats who currently control the House of Representatives, or even in the first two terms, our first two years, when you still had Democrats needing votes in the Senate to get anything passed, what we need are more conservatives with a fiscal responsibility --

BERMAN: Understood.

LOTTER: -- outlook that will cut spending. We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

BERMAN: Understood, but he is the president. We're talking about the buck stops there. And let's remember for two years, he had both a Republican and a Democratic [SIC] House. The president -- Republican and Democratic [SIC] -- a Republican Senate and a Republican House, sorry.

The president also said he would repeal and replace Obamacare. Is that a promise made and a promise kept?

LOTTER: It's something that they came very close to doing, and it's something they continue to work to do. I mean, eliminating the individual mandate was very important. But also some of the other actions we've seen the president take. For the first time in 46 years last year, the average price of prescription drugs fell in our country.

So the president and his team have a lot of other steps they would like to take, and what we've -- and you've seen the president talk about --

BERMAN: But it's not done. You're saying promises kept.

LOTTER: -- the fact that he might come out with a healthcare plan --

BERMAN: All I'm getting at here is you're saying promises kept, and I was talking about the debt, eight years erased. That hasn't been kept. Repeal and replace Obamacare, that was a promise made. Not kept yet. Correct?

LOTTER: And in a way, that makes a great -- that makes a great platform for the president's 2020 campaign, to make sure that we can continue to work on those things that he has done. It's been a great 2 1/2 years, and we're looking forward to another great four more years on top of this -- of this term.

BERMAN: Does he have a new -- does he have a new health care plan? Does he have a new health care plan he intends to propose?

LOTTER: Well, as the president said the other day in that interview with ABC, that he does talk about health care. He hopes to have something out in the next couple of months or so.

And he understands that it's important that we deal with the issue of health care. In fact, while you have Democrats out there openly campaigning on taking people's private health insurance away, eliminating Medicare Advantage plans for American seniors, the president wants to bring more competition, more opportunities in for Americans. And that will lower prices, lower drug prices.

And we've already shown that it could work on a limited case with what they could do. Now, if we can get the president back for four more years, get a Republican House, increase the majorities in the Senate, we can take even stronger action to lower health care costs.

BERMAN: But just to give the other side, people could argue we had two years of the Republican House and a Republican Senate, and he couldn't do it then. Why would he be able to do it next time?

Now, there's been a lot of talk about various polls. And I'm not going to argue about the polls the president called fake, which were not. The campaign confirmed their existence from March.

But FOX News just did a poll, and it talked about moral and ethical standards. Do you think a politician can have low moral and ethical standards and still be a good leader?

I want you to look at the numbers here: only 35 percent said yes; 65 percent said no. Independents, the numbers are 32 percent and 65 percent.

[07:25:02] That's daunting for this president when "The Washington Post" notes there's been more than 10,000 untruths or lies or misleading statements since he's taken office. Does he plan to address that going forward? LOTTER: Well, I think the president's going -- he's going to continue

to talk about doing the things that the American people have been asking to be done.

I think one of the key takeaways from the 2016 election was that presidents of both parties and candidates for president of both parties would often tell the American people one thing on the stump, but when they got into office, they didn't follow through. Things like renegotiating NAFTA; things like dealing with China; or even something as simple as moving the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The presidents of both parties talked about doing it, but they never actually got around to doing it.

This is a president who believes in doing those types of things.

And so I think the American people made the choice in 2016 of electing someone who was not cut from the traditional political mold but would actually get something done in Washington, D.C. And I think when he goes back to them in 2020 and says there's still more work to be done, that they're going to look for someone who's not just another politician but someone who's actually going to go out and fight on behalf of them, their jobs and our country.

BERMAN: Do you agree with the statement that was in "The Washington Post" overnight, this election -- this is from a Trump campaign adviser, according to "The Post" -- "The election has to be about something other than the president's behavior or we lose"?

LOTTER: I think any type -- any kind of presidential campaign, regardless of year or party, is about what a -- what someone who wants to have the highest job in the land will do for the American people, where do they want to take us, and how will it affect you around your dining room table. And so that's a message the president ran on. It's something that he'll continue to deliver on, and I know it's something he'll talk about coming up tonight and then going into 2020.

BERMAN: Marc Lotter, already down in Orlando. I can see it behind you right now. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

LOTTER: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: All right. A potential massacre averted outside a federal courthouse in Dallas. We'll tell you the investigative threads the FBI is following.

BERMAN: And O.J. Simpson is on Twitter. What is he talking about 25 years after the murder of his ex-wife and her friend? Ron Goldman's sister is here to talk about her family's response.