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President Trump Just Announced New Sanctions Against Iran; Two Days Away From Seeing Democratic Field Hit The Debate Stage For The Very First Time; President Trump Delaying A Plan To Deport Migrant Families. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired June 24, 2019 - 14:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, there, you are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being here. President Trump just announced new sanctions against Iran, days after he called off an attack on the Islamic Republic with just 10 minutes to spare.

Today's sanctions specifically target Iran's Supreme Leader and other high ranking officials and are in part retaliation for last week's downing of that massive military drone.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: The assets of Ayatollah Khomeini and his office will not be spared from the sanctions. These measures represent a strong and proportionate response to Iran's increasingly provocative actions. A lot of restraint has been shown by us -- a lot of restraint and that doesn't mean we're going to show it in the future, but I felt that we want to give this a chance -- give it a good chance because I think Iran potentially has a phenomenal future.


BALDWIN: Retired Rear Admiral John Kirby is the former spokesman for the State Department and the Pentagon. He's also a CNN military and diplomacy analyst, so Admiral Kirby, a pleasure as always.

You know, we heard a lot of praise last week for the President showing restraint, calling off the military strike. But Iran's Foreign Minister said that he was proud the drone was struck down. Do you think these sanctions will stop Iran from being provocative?

JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMACY ANALYST: No, we haven't seen sanctions have that effect ever since Trump put them back into play. So, I think this is only going to actually -- by itself, could just provoke even more Iranian aggression.

They are going to continue to look for leverage, Brooke. They are going to look for ways that they can prove they still have an influence on the outcome. And so --

BALDWIN: Like what?

KIRBY: Well, they could conduct more military strikes. They could continue to harass shipping in the Gulf. They can even harass navy ships in the Gulf more aggressively than they already are. They are going to continue to look for leverage.

That said, I'm not surprised that he did these sanctions. And I think if you consider it inside the family of options that the President might be able to employ, it could have an effect in terms of trying to dissuade or deter some of those more provocative actions.

Like for instance, escorting tankers or escorting a reconnaissance aircraft with fighter aircraft. I mean, there are military options he can apply that are not offensive and not necessarily provocative but might actually have a deterrent effect in keeping with the sanctions. But sanctions alone are not going to get the Iranians back to table.

BALDWIN: But we know that previous sanctions have really devastated Iran's economy and I know this round of sanctions -- it targets Ayatollah, it targets Air Force chiefs. Will the people of Iran suffer any sort of economic trickle down.

KIRBY: I don't know enough about the implementation measures for these sanctions to be able to answer that specifically. That said, you're right. The Iranian people continue to suffer grievously. I mean, the IMF reported this year that Iranians are going to experience something like 40 percent inflation.

Their economy is going to be sunked at another six percent this year, over the 3.6 percent that it was decreased last year. So these are going to have an effect -- I'm sure, probably a trickle-down effect. I just don't know enough.

But again, sanctions alone aren't enough to get them to the table. Brooke, when you remember -- when we did the Iran nuclear deal under the Obama administration. The sanctions relief was a big motivator to get the Iranians to want to -- to participate in negotiations but they're motivating --

BALDWIN: So, what is motivating?

KIRBY: They weren't enough.


KIRBY: We had to offer concessions about uranium enrichment for civil nuclear purposes. We had to give them some other incentives. The sanctions alone, as hard as they were on the Iranians were not enough to get that deal done.

BALDWIN: Got you, Admiral Kirby, thank you very much.

KIRBY: You bet.

BALDWIN: Now, onto the race for the White House, we are just now, two days away from seeing Democratic field hit the debate stage for the very first time. The candidates will head to Miami this week, where they will not only face voters. They will face one another. On Wednesday, headliners include, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke,

Julian Castro, and Cory Booker. While front runner, Joe Biden will face off against Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg on Thursday. And those debates come as candidates face a Sunday deadline for second quarter fund raising.

But it isn't just debate prep that is on the minds of so many of these Democratic candidates this week. There is of course also policy. Today Bernie Sanders is unveiling his plan to tackle student debt while Beto O'Rourke wants Americans to pitch in to help with healthcare for Veterans. CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans has more -- Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, Senator Bernie Sanders wants to fix the student loan crisis by forgiving the debt, no strings attached for 45 million student debtors, wiping out $1.6 trillion in debt. He would pay for it with a tax or a fee on stock bond and derivatives trading.

[14:04:56] ROMANS: Now, he moves to the left of Senator Elizabeth Warren. He has no eligibility requirements. Now, Warren would pay for her plan to relieve the debt of about 95 percent of debtors with a tax on the ultra-rich.

It's a populist play to young voters who have more student loan debt than mortgage debt; new for this generation. The typical graduate of a four-year public college has $26,900.00 in debt. Private college, it's higher -- $32,600.00.

Also on the policy radar, candidate Beto O'Rourke proposes a war tax. Here's how that works, households without a member of the military would pay to help cover the cost of healthcare for veterans. O'Rourke says it serves as a reminder of their incredible sacrifice. It's part of a suite of proposals to improve care for veterans including a focus on female and LGBT veterans. O'Rourke also proposing that military service be a pathway, Brooke, to citizenship for immigrants.

BALDWIN: Christine, thank you. And for 2020 hopeful, Pete Buttigieg -- his quest to move to a new job has been overshadowed by his current one as Mayor of South Bend, Indiana and the recent killing of a black man by one of the city's white police officers.

The police claimed that Eric Logan was breaking into cars and holding a knife when shot. That incident is just the latest in a series that have sparked tensions and mistrust between the Department and the African-American community in South Bend. And it was against that backdrop that Mayor Buttigieg held this Town Hall Sunday afternoon.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get the racists off the streets. It's disrespectful that I wake up every day scared. It's disrespectful that I have three boys that I have to teach today what to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Millions of tax dollars went to those police cameras right. Well, they failed and we don't get our refund. I am raising a seven-year-old grandson that when he sees the police he is afraid. That is not what's supposed to happen in America and Indiana in 2019.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people who are in the audience when you have these public forums are the same black people but they're not invited to the table. And I think that it's time for you to rethink who you think the leaders are in this black community.


BALDWIN: Afterwards, the Mayor spoke out about why he felt the Town Hall was necessary.


PETE BUTTIGIEG, (D-IN), MAYOR, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just think it's my job. I don't know if it's smart enough. I don't know if it's strategic enough but it's my city. I feel like it's my job to face it. I'm sick of these things being talked about in political terms, in theoretical terms, like it's a show sometimes. It's people's lives.


BALDWIN: Blu Casey is a community activist in South Bend.


BALDWIN: Blu, thank you so much for being with me. Thank you, sir.

CASEY: Thank you for having me. Thank you for having me, I'm honored.

BALDWIN: You were there at the Town Hall yesterday.

CASEY: Yes, ma'am.

BALDWIN: You listened to the Mayor.

CASEY: Yes, ma'am.

BALDWIN: In your opinion -- in that moment what did Buttigieg get right and as important, Blu, what did he get wrong?

CASEY: To be honest, it's the same thing that we've been hearing all these years. You know, Dr. King said it the best, "A riot is the language of the unheard." And you've seen yesterday was the unheard. You know, a riot doesn't have to be burning down buildings. A riot as an uproar and that was an uproar that you've seen -- the sight of people who are tired of hearing the same things and tired of hearing things that that doesn't change.

You tell us to go to the review board and go to public access and things like that and nothing ever changes. So, what we heard was the same old story. BALDWIN: So what about Mayor Pete, specifically, as he was sitting

there and he was listening to everyone speak up the unheard, as you as mentioned. What did he do right and what did he do wrong?

CASEEY: What he did right was putting together a Town Hall meeting for everybody to put everything on the table. You know, when you're dealing through a trauma, when you're dealing with poverty, when you're dealing with all these different things like -- it has a domino effect, you know, you have to put everything on the table so that people can heal.

You know, this was the right step towards process and progress but you have to do more. You have to do way much more to actually be felt within the people right now. Because right now, it's unbearable.

BALDWIN: So on your point about progress, I know Regina Williams Preston, she is a common council member. She's running for mayor. She said Buttigieg needs to rethink who he considers leaders in the black community. The key voices do not have a seat at the proverbial table.


BALDWIN: So, I know that you've worked with mayor on a program to stop youth violence. Blu, do you feel that you or enough people like you have a seat at that table.

CASEY: We have had seats at the table.

BALDWIN: You have.

CASEY: We also went through that process that he claimed to -- want everybody to go through. The thing is, once we go through the process and we go to all these public safety boards, we occupy public safety board meetings. We still get the same results, which is nothing.

BALDWIN: Let me run through some things. This is going to take me a minute, but just for folks who don't know what you all are dealing with in South Bend, you know.

[14:10:04] BALDWIN: I know that you say, Pete Buttigieg is losing the black community right now. He was first elected in 2011 and there have been multiple concerns about his handling the Police Department, for one, right, dating back to his first term. He has touted this thousand houses economic initiative, which demolished abandoned homes in low-income black and Hispanic neighborhoods. But it led to health concerns, right? The lead, the asbestos, and then just a lot of vacant lots.

Currently, a reported 40 percent of the city's black community lives below the poverty line. Crime has increased in some areas --

CASEY: Indeed and we have 44 percent of poverty and representing a quarter of the city's population and we have such a big lack of economic resources and opportunity. There's no black Chamber of Commerce, none of that. BALDWIN: You were shot last month?

CASEY: I wasn't shot. I walked out. I walked out and then came back.

BALDWIN: But you were hit?

CASEY: Yes, ma'am.

BALDWIN: That to me is --

CASEY: Yes, ma'am.

BALDWIN: You were shot? I mean, there are there also all these tensions, over development, and in downtown South Bend while other neighborhoods don't see that investment.


BALDWIN: My point is, the anger that we're seeing right now, Blu, is this all about the Police Department or is this a collective anger over all of these issues?

CASEY: It's just collective anger, it's anger that's been building up generation, upon generation, upon generation in the city and we don't get to shine for that. You know, all you ever see is the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Walker, downtown South Bend. Pete Buttigieg, if it wasn't for Pete running from Mayor right now, none of this would be talking about on a national news.

None of this would be talked about on the national news and we don't get to shine -- or not even a shine -- the clarification that what's going on in the City of Sound Bend as much as we deserve. It's a beautiful culture here. It's beautiful people and so much talent in this city that nobody ever gets to see us and the only reason why you're seeing it now.

And I'm a rapper myself, the only reason why you're seeing it now is because the Mayor is running for President. You know, I mean, nobody would be talking about Eric Logan if the Mayor wasn't present for President right now -- and that's the sad part about all this.

BALDWIN: I was talking to Pastor Michael Patton, the President of the South Bend NAACP just a couple days ago who moderated the Town Hall. I talked to him and this was his assessment of how he thinks, Mayor Pete has handled all of this.


MICHAEL PATTON, PRESIDENT SOUTH BEND NAACP CHAPTER: I think he's handling it very well. He has taken steps to draw our community together starting on Sunday after the incident. He has brought community leaders together, our Chief of Police, and as well others to the table to begin to bring some calm to the storm. And so, in my opinion, he's done a phenomenal job up to this point.


BALDWIN: He says he's done a phenomenal job, Blu. What would you say to Pastor Patton?

CASEY: He's not out here. He's not seeing clearly. You know what I mean -- what was going on in the streets and what's going on with the people. Pastor Patton need to come to -- get some stories, you know who I am. So you need to go get some stories from the people and from the streets on what's going on, if that's what he truly believes.

Because, you know, the mayor is there for a reason. You have to bring these jobs. You can make everything sound good for downtown, but South Bend is more than downtown South Bend. There's the west side of South Bend, there's the north side, the lake side, the east side, south east side. You know what I mean, hello, Mr. Mayor, there's people that's hurting and starving in the City of South Bend. We are closing down schools, you know, and it's things that's not talked about in our city that the only reason why it is being talked about now is because Eric Logan died and Mayor Pete running for President.

BALDWIN: I hear you, at least we are talking about it. At least you said yes to me, to come on my show. I want to read you a quote.

CASEY: Yes, ma'am.

BALDWIN: This is from Oliver Davis, the longest-serving black member of the South Bend Common Council said this when he was asked if the Mayor showed empathy during the Town Hall.

Let me read it for you, "If he cries and sheds tears, then people say he's weak." He said, "If he doesn't shed a tear, people say he's cold. If he gets angry..." this is all about Mayor Pete, "If he gets angry, people say he's out of control. If he has a flat face and doesn't say anything, people say he doesn't feel our pain."

And Blu, isn't that the situation that -- for the Mayor, that is frankly hard to win.

CASEY: Politics is a dirty game, you know what I mean, sometimes you can't -- you want to move on things and sometimes you can't move on things but when you're a man of the people and I'm a man of the people, I'm a revolutionary. So when you're a man of the people, you have to stand on things through the pressure, do all and do everything that you don't want to stand on, you have to stand on that because you are a man of the people, that's your duty to other people.

BALDWIN: Do you trust him, last question, do you trust Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Blu? Yes or no?

CASEY: I can -- that's a hard question.

BALDWIN: Yes or no?

CASEY: I want to trust the spirit. So right now, no. But I will give him the chance to do the right thing and he knows that.

BALDWIN: Blu Casey, thank you.

CASEY: Thank you, yes ma'am, you have a good one, yes, ma'am.

BALDWIN: Thank you. President Trump, puts the countdown clock on those I.C.E. raids. He promised after Speaker Nancy Pelosi says, he is scaring the children of America.

Plus, new details about the timing of Fox News host, Jeanine Pirro and her attacks on Jeff Sessions. Was it all because Sessions stopped Trump from hiring her?

[14:15:10] BALDWIN: And despite the facts in the science, the Vice- President refuses to acknowledge the threat of a climate crisis and its fact check, live on air. You are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.


[14:20:11] BALDWIN: President Trump delaying a plan to deport migrant families but the clock is ticking. The President says he is giving Congress two weeks -- two weeks -- to work out a solution to the crisis at the border or his plan to round up thousands of undocumented migrants is back on.

I.C.E. raids were said to begin in ten major U.S. cities yesterday. The President tweeting that he wants to give the Democrats every last chance to make a deal and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says, she made an emotional plea for the President to back off the raids.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): When I spoke to the President, I said look I'm a mom, I have five kids, nine grandchildren, and your children are scared. You're scaring the children of America, not just in those families, but their neighbors and their communities. You're scaring the children.


BALDWIN: This coming amid shocking reports of unhealthy, and unsanitary conditions in those border detention facilities. The White House on defense after a Trump administration attorney also argued in court that it shouldn't have to give soap or toothbrushes or showers to kids detained at the border.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: This is the wealthiest nation in the world. We have money to give toothpaste and soap and blankets to these kids in this facility in El Paso County right now, we do.


TAPPER: So why aren't we?

PENCE: My point is, it's all a part of the appropriations process. Congress needs to provide additional support to deal with the crisis at our southern border but we have got to get to the root causes. We have to close the loopholes.


BALDWIN: Gina Ortiz Jones, is a Democrat from Texas. She's running for a congressional seat in a district along the border. Gina, thanks for joining me.


BALDWIN: You are there in Texas and you tell me, how scared your community is and specifically the families whose members are undocumented?

JONES: This is absolutely having a chilling effect in my community. And it's unfortunate because it's needless. I want to put this in context though, Brooke. You know, I live right down the street from the University of Texas at San Antonio, which has one of the largest student DREAMer populations in the entire country.

So the uncertainty around that program has already instilled a certain level of fear in my community. I also live not too far from the Toyota plant, which is a significant economic driver here in San Antonio, about 3,000 jobs.

And so, a couple of weeks ago when we were talking about potential tariffs on imports from our largest trading partner that also created a certain level and introduced certain level of economic uncertainty and fear in my community.

So, my community is not only dealing with this recent announcement but it's really compounded by a number of short-sighted policies that are affecting the economic strength and the security of my community.

I was just in Del Rio, Texas a couple of weeks ago, which is three miles from the border and they were celebrating their very first Pride, Brooke. And I took the time to also, though stop by a makeshift shelter.

This is a shelter that is run by volunteers and for families that are there for a night, before they come up to San Antonio and then you know go where they -- go on their way. But it's completely volunteer- run and I had to, you know, think -- as I was talking to the community leaders there, this is a financial burden that is that is borne -- bore rather by our city there, as well as the county and there's no plan in sight.

So, you know, thankfully they are being very gracious and compassionate, at the same time though they are, you know, not receiving revenues due to long lines at the border.

So when we talk about what's happening here in Texas 23, in our community, it's not just one or the other but really the compounded effects of these short-sighted immigration and trade policies. BALDWIN: I hear you on short-sighted but this President continues to

pin this crisis on the Obama administration, right? I know you after serving our country in Iraq, you later worked at the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, under Obama and then under Trump before leaving in 2017.

And so let me just play this clip, this is how President Trump has characterized all of this just over this past weekend.


TRUMP: But I ended separation. I inherited separation from President Obama. President Obama built -- they call them jail cells. They were built by the Obama --

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Let's talk about what's happening now. You're administration --

TRUMP: I'm just telling you --

TODD: Your administration, you're not doing the recreation, not even schooling these kids anymore, you've gotten rid of all that stuff.

TRUMP: We we're doing a fantastic job under the circumstances. The Democrats aren't even approving giving us money. Where is the money? You know what, the Democrats are holding up the humanitarian aid.

I'm the one that changed the plan. I inherited separation and I changed the plan and I brought people together. Now, when I did that, I said watch what happens more people are going to come up because when you put the parents together with the children, when you don't separate and that's exactly what happened. But I hated to have the separation policy.


[14:25:00] BALDWIN: What's your response to the President, Gina?

JONES: I think, you know, a doctor recently described the conditions in some of these facilities as -- and likened them to torture. I think it's extremely disappointing that our President would say things are going well when you hear reports of children that are malnourished, that are sick, that are being detained in filthy conditions and there's no plan in sight to make this better.

I think we absolutely need to invest in the right things. We need to make sure that we've got more immigration judges, more case workers to handle the load. We need to be investing in alternatives to detention so that we are approaching this in a humane way.

But this, you know, kind of gun-to-your-head approach to negotiating is clearly failing and unfortunately kids are suffering.

BALDWIN: He has put a deadline on it -- two weeks. Gina Ortiz Jones, thank you very much for your voice, nice to see you.

JONES: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: A new report says that a Fox News host, started to blast then Attorney Jeff Sessions on television after he blocked her from getting a job in the administration, we've got that for you.

And, the quote-unquote, "Unbelievable answer" that Vice-President Mike Pence gave on the on the climate crisis when he refused to call it a threat.