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Robert Mueller To Face A Long Day Testimony Before Congress On July 17; House To Pass A Bill To Help Crisis At The Border; Father And Daughter Found Dead At Rio Grande; Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) Is Interviewed About Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Upcoming Appearance Before Congress; Congress Passed the $4.5 Billion Dollars in Aid. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 25, 2019 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Look, take a look at the pictures. Look back at your own lineage. Too many of you will have ancestors who will dismiss the same way. I wish it were as easy as we've been able to fix it.
This is not about letting everyone in. It's not even letting about most in. I think the rules need to change. And if you research them you would agree. But it's about how we treat those who try to get in.
And for those who want to be president and are debating tomorrow. You want to be different? You want to be better than who's there now? Make your stand on this issue. Tell us what you would do.
And as for what is right here, you want to believe in something bigger than yourself. The good book Matthew 25:45. He will answer, when you refuse to help the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.
Thank you for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with D. Lemon starts right now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: I can't -- sorry. That picture. I can't. I can't even look at it.
CUOMO: You must.
LEMON: I can't even look at it, Chris. Every time it comes up I just, I have to look away. I can't. I'm not being dramatic. It's just --
CUOMO: Traumatic. Of course, it kills --
LEMON: Can you --
CUOMO: Of course, it kills you. It kills every part of you, every part of us that makes us human. This issue not since what I saw during the war that was being ignored here at home. Has something ripped at me and then I feel like I'm not doing the job right.
LEMON: I can't. When I saw it, I said this can't -- please, tell me this is not real. This is not real. And then the alert came up from CNN. It's real. I cannot believe -- you asked the same question that I asked, that I've been asking people all night. Who are we? Who are we as a people to sit and judge people who are trying to come
across for a better life and better conditions? And to cast most of them are all of them in light that they're trying to get something free that they are breaking the law.
Sure, there are people who come over illegally. Sure, there are people who come over with who have untoward intentions. But for the most part, people are coming over and risking their lives because they want to have a better life. They want to have what America offers. What America offered you. And what it has offered at least in the recent past to people like me.
And so, I don't understand who we are. I don't know. And I don't know how anybody can twist this. This into they shouldn't be bringing kids anyway. If you're saying that to yourself, what a terrible sentiment to have? Get on your knees tonight. And ask for guidance on how to feel about this issue. And ask God to soften your heart. Or at least speak to you about who you have become as a human being. If you -- if you can't --
CUOMO: And look, they don't even have to let them all.
LEMON: -- you cannot look at that picture and not -- and not -- and stop saying that people are coming over who are seeking asylum that it's illegal. No, that's what our Constitution says.
CUOMO: You're allowed to come and ask.
LEMON: You're allowed to come.
CUOMO: A lot of them aren't going to make the grade. But all I'm saying is this. You know, look, I get the politics of this. This is not a complicated situation.
LEMON: I don't get the politics of it. I don't get it.
CUOMO: And I get the big stick. I get the big stick. Well, look, I get the xenophobia. I get the fear of someone saying I'll tell you why things are harder for you. I'll tell you why it's harder to make ends meet and for sending your kids and give them the life you want because we're taking care of people like this.
LEMON: That's bullshit.
CUOMO: But what I'm saying is you don't even have to let them in.
LEMON: That's bullshit.
CUOMO: It's how you treat people you won't let in. That's what I'm saying.
LEMON: Because you know that's not right. You know that's not right. You can't say my -- you know, it's harder for you because somebody else is coming in. No, it doesn't. That's not how it works. It's not how it works. That is a lie. That is people who are trading on fear for political purpose. And --
CUOMO: Yes, because it works. That's what being a demagogue is all about, brother. You know, you're not going to t have people who come running around because you give them messages of hope and love all the time. When you hit somebody where they're scared, when you hit somebody where they're angry, that's powerful medicine in politics.
I keep tell you this president is no fool. He picked this issue for a reason. It works to motivate his base. In fact, I think it works better than any other issue. My problem is that he's perverted it for that convenience. And that's why he doesn't talk about the fact that you say all the time on your show that if you're so worried about people being here the wrong way why aren't we at the airports lined up right now because their overstaying visas as much as they walk across.
LEMON: Because they're not brown. They are not the brown menace as he cast them scary.
CUOMO: Here they come. There they come. They are coming for your jobs and your women.
LEMON: Because people who come over from airplanes look like him.
CUOMO: But I'll tell you, when we get to a point, man, when we get to a point where you look at a dead kid and a daddy. And you say that's on them. That's a cold place.
LEMON: Yes, I know.
CUOMO: I don't want to be. I don't get it. When Stephen Miller said, you know, the words on the Statue of Liberty that's not American policy. Man, that -- I have never heard anything like that before.
[22:04:57] Lady Liberty stands on the pedestal. The bases of her existence are those words. I just think that if I were, you know, if I were advising any of these men and women tomorrow night, you want to show that you're better that.
CUOMO: You want to show that you're more than.
LEMON: Tell them that you're going to do like that.
CUOMO: Own this.
LEMON: Listen, I got to run. I can't even look up because the picture affected me so much. I know I have to talk about it. So, I'm going to go.
CUOMO: Do it.
LEMON: I love your closing statement.
CUOMO: Tap into yourself, brother. People need to feel. They need to feel, not just think.
LEMON: I want everyone to sit down and listen to this because we have so much breaking news. I'll see you, Chris and sit down. I'm going to talk about that photograph. Again, my gosh. And then I have the breaking news for you.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. I'm live for you in Washington tonight.
We have some breaking news. This is huge. Because Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before both the House judiciary and the intel committees on July 17 publicly, hang on to that, right?
Chairman Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff announcing tonight that they have subpoenaed Mueller, and saying in a statement, quote, "Americans have demanded to hear directly from the special counsel so they can understand what he and his team examined, what they uncovered and determined about Russia's attack on our democracy, the Trump campaign's acceptance and use of that help, and President Trump and his associates' obstruction of the investigation into that attack. We look forward to hearing his testimony, as do all Americans."
But let us remember what Robert Mueller has already told us. The only time so far that he has spoken publicly about his investigation. Let's remember what he said about Russia's attempts to interfere in our election and his conclusion. There wasn't enough evidence. This is what it says, "there wasn't enough evidence to charge anyone with a broader conspiracy."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT MUELLER, SPECIAL COUNSEL, RUSSIA PROBE: The first volume of the reports details numerous efforts emanating from Russia to influence the election. This volume includes a discussion of the Trump campaigns response to this activity, as well as our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Insufficient evidence. He didn't say there was no evidence, insufficient evidence. So, let's remember this explosive moment as well, the special counsel calmly saying this about whether the president committed a crime.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUELLER: If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And let's remember what he said about why he investigated even though DOJ policy prevented him from charging the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUELLER: First, the opinion explicitly permits the investigation of a sitting president. Because it is important to preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documents available. Among other things, that evidence could be used if there were co-conspirators who could be charged now.
And second, the opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrong doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: A process other than the criminal justice system. And now, Robert Mueller will present his evidence to Congress in a matter of just weeks. A lot more on that to come in just a moment.
But we have some breaking news. And that is on the House. The House has voted 230 to 195 to pass the border supplemental bill to provide $4.5 billion in aid to address the crisis at the border.
And for anybody who doesn't think immigration is a crisis, a deadly serious crisis, a humanitarian crisis. I got to show you this picture. It's a shocking devastating picture. It's a father and his nearly two- year-old daughter. They drowned at the U.S.-Mexico border. They came from El Salvador.
The government is identifying them as Oscar Alberto Martinez and his daughter Angie Valeria. Father and daughter drowned on Sunday as they attempted to cross the Rio Grande.
That is what the immigration crisis looks like. We are learning more tonight about those 249 migrant children who were moved out of a facility in Texas where conditions were described as worse than prison.
Well tonight, more than 100 children are back there. At least some of them had just been sent to a tent city, but were brought back now that there's more room there.
[22:10:01] Officials say there may be other unaccompanied children in the group. They admitted that Customs and Border Protection shouldn't have custody of children in the first place. Their facilities were designed for single adults.
So, you might ask yourself, you may be asking, why is all of this happening? Well, the president himself gave you a pretty big clue today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: What's
happened is just so sad because of the Democrats approve the loopholes where they knock out the loopholes and we changed asylum. The whole border would be fixed. Just remember we are treating them and doing a much better job than the Obama administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, really, is this all about getting Democrats to knuckle under on the president signature issue? You've seen that picture. Come on. Is this about firing up his base with 2020 looming? I've said this before, that the cruelty is the point. The cruelty is the feature. It's not the bug.
More on that plus our breaking news tonight. Robert Mueller testifying publicly before Congress on July 17. I'm going to talk to John Dean about what we may learn from the special counsel's testimony. And since he's going to do it publicly, will that change public opinion? Next.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The big breaking news tonight, the special counsel Robert Mueller agreeing to testify publicly before Congress on July 17.
I want to get right to CNN's Manu Raju, he's on Capitol Hill. He's following this breaking news story for us. Manu, again, this is huge news. Robert Mueller is going to testify publicly under subpoena. Again, July 17. Give us the details on this.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Two different committees plan to do the questioning, Don, both the House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.
Just moments ago, Adam Schiff, the chairman of the committee talked with me about exactly what he expected. He said the judiciary committee will go first, likely followed by the House Intelligence Committee both in public settings. Then they'll go behind closed-doors to talk to the staff of the Mueller team to drill down even deeper.
But interestingly, Don, when I talked to Adam Schiff, he made very clear that while Robert Mueller may only want to talk about what was in the Mueller report Democrats want to ask much more.
RAJU: Was this a friendly subpoena as they call it. Something in which the special counsel asked to be subpoenaed to come before your committee?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): I don't think the special counsel's office considers it a friendly subpoena. He was and is deeply reluctant to come testify. But nonetheless, he has agreed to respect the subpoena. So, we expect all of the members of our committee will have an opportunity to ask him questions.
RAJU: Did you agree back to back hearings with your committee first and the judiciary after or has it --
SCHIFF: It's going to be back to back hearings between the two committees, there's also staff. A lot of -- there's time also a lot for executive session after Mueller testifies. That will be with his staff. And in terms of the order of the hearings it's my presumption that the judiciary committee will question him first. But we'll still be working on the logistics.
RAJU: What is it, for you, what is the most important critical thing that you need to hear the special counsel say? He said he's not going to go beyond the four corners of the report. Can he actually reveal anything new that you don't already know?
SCHIFF: Of course, there's no limitation on confining his testimony to the four corners of the report. That may be his desire. But Congress has questions that go beyond the report. And we have seen what the attorney general he is more than willing to make statements that go well beyond anything in the Mueller report.
Indeed, in his case misrepresent the Mueller report. So we have any number of questions about the counterintelligence investigation and the role of the counterintelligence agents within his team. To questions about some of the prosecutorial decisions that were made. We have fact questions about some of the statements that are made in the report. So, there are any number of issues that we wish to cover with him.
RAJU: So, the question ultimately would be how will he answer when they go beyond the four corners of the report. Will he be able to reveal any new information and how much will that impact the debate about what to do on Capitol Hill among Democrats. Will it launch an impeachment inquiry? That's one thing that I've been talking to Democrats who have been supportive of an impeachment inquiry, Don.
They're saying look, if we -- if this reveals something new it changes the public opinion, perhaps that could provide more pressure to open up a formal impeachment inquiry which is what the speaker has resisted. Speaker Pelosi said no to.
But also, Don, expect Republicans to ask some very sharp questions themselves. I just talked to Matt Gaetz, a member of the House judiciary committee. He told me he's going to ask some questions about how Mueller's team was assembled. He's very critical of the Mueller team itself.
So how does Mueller answer those questions? So, this is going to be riveting television on July 17.
RAJU: A public session, how will he answer the questions --
LEMON: So basically --
RAJU: -- and how will that change the dynamic in Washington.
LEMON: It's an attempt to sidetrack by Matt Gaetz. It's basically what he's telling you. So, he wants to side track and outshine the objects.
But I got to ask you, let's get back to the real part of this. So, for people who are inquiring about what's in the actual report rather than how it was assembled, right, instead of investigating the investigators.
People are going to be asking Robert Mueller about that. He is going to speak in front of two committees on the same cay. That's a lot. That's a very long day. Have they figured out who is going to get what? What's going to happen in the morning what's going to happen in the afternoon?
RAJU: It's an exceptionally long day. Sometimes a single committee in the House could take all day. Now two committees there are a lot of members who want to ask questions. What Adam Schiff told me off camera I asked him about how this will be break down. He expects it'd still be five-minute rounds per member asking questions.
So, you do the math. You look at the number of committees. There are a lot of members who are going to ask questions. It's going to take hours and hours and hours of public hearings.
RAJU: Public testimony. And we've seen in so many of these public hearings that members on both sides kind of struggle to pin down the witness, they give a lot of speeches. They don't ask a lot of pointed questions.
[22:19:58] So will they be able to ask pointed questions, will they be able to stay on task, will they will be able to pin the special counsel down and how will he respond and will he go beyond reveal anything new, all big questions. So, it's just really --
LEMON: He has said that he is not going to reveal anything new. But here's the point. Even if he just repeats what he said in the press conference or he reads the actual report, people will actually be hearing that from the special counsel for the first time ever. It's bound to have some impact. No?
RAJU: Yes. That's exactly what Democrats are arguing. They say that he will be able to provide something new to change and reshape the debate. But perhaps, you know, the question is, will he slip in any way? This is not easy.
LEMON: Right. RAJU: He is going to face very difficult questions and the Republicans undoubtedly will try to poke holes in what they view are unfair conclusions or allegations raised by the Mueller report. How he will respond to those questions. Will his credibility in any way be tarnished? That's a question that Democrats have to grapple with as well.
They know this is a risk bringing him before two committees. But still, this is a man who is an experienced prosecutor, someone who has come before Congress in the past. But certainly not in a situation like this, Don.
LEMON: Yes. Manu Raju with our breaking news. Manu, nice job. Thank you very much.
I want to bring in John Dean.
John, thank you for joining us. You've gone through this all too -- all before, so you know all too well. I appreciate it. Listen, he's going to testify publicly under subpoena on the 17th. Give me your immediate response and I have more questions for you. What do you think?
JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think it's big. I think it's a real breakthrough for the Congress for the house. I think it could really define the remainder of the Trump presidency.
LEMON: You think so?
DEAN: I do.
LEMON: Is it because of the public factor the public testimony factor. Because listen, he put out the Mueller report. The attorney general came in and you know, he gave his version of it, right. And so, it glossed over things and made excuses for what was actually in there. Right. So, it misled the American public according to most folks.
So, then Robert Mueller is going to come out. What if he says exactly what he said at the press conference or just reads from his report? Still as big an impact?
DEAN: It would have a big impact but not he won't stay there. The Congress won't let him stay there. They can't define the terms of the questions in advance. They'll go with the flow. I must say that the -- having appeared just recently in front of that committee myself, the Democrats are very able lawyers.
I'm afraid to say that the Republicans are kind of little league. And so, they'll do a lot of speechifying and try to throw dust around and confuse things. But there are enough Democrats there. There are only 17 Republicans on the committee. So many more Democrats, many Democrats. I think they'll get thorough questioning. I think he'll be responsive too.
LEMON: Yes. You heard what Manu said. He said he spoke with Matt Gaetz and he wants to know about the origin of the investigation and on and on and on. But really, what this is about is about what he found in his report. And about Russia's influence in the election. And what the report found on that.
This isn't about how the investigation came together. That's not what this about. Or what it should be about.
DEAN: Yes. He will, I think two things will happen, Don. One is, he will establish the process that he followed and the importance of where it started, which was the Russian interference and how that really has to be addressed. It's the Congress's obligation. They're already trying to duck and dodge dealing with it. I think this will put new pressure on protecting the coming 2020 elections.
The second thing I think he's going to do, in explaining his process is explain why indeed there is no prosecution as a result of this. How unusual it is. Because of a memo that's been there since 1973 in the Department of Justice about prosecuting a president.
He's going to walk through that and explain why he couldn't just say well, there's nothing here. There is a lot of evidence that there was an effort by the president to obstruct this investigation. And the importance of what obstruction of justice really means. And he's seasoned, he's very able witness.
LEMON: You mention 1973. You just said it. You testified against Nixon in 1973. You were subpoenaed. They're calling this, you know, tonight, a friendly subpoena. If so, was it a friendly subpoena or not?
DEAN: I don't think it is a friendly subpoena. I actually had a friendly subpoena when I testified before the Senate. In this situation I know from my own testimony in working with the staff, this has been an ongoing long discussion with the special counsel's office of how to work it out.
[22:25:05] And I don't think they could come to a really friendly resolution of it which would mean Mueller didn't testify and the House didn't get what they wanted. So, they decide to exercise their subpoena power. And this man respects the law sufficiently that he is not going to mess with the subpoena.
He knows that Congress has a right to the information and he's not going to deny it. I think he'll be a powerful witness and as I say, I think this is the beginning of the redefinition of the Trump presidency.
LEMON: I've got to ask you this, John, because we've been talking about what's happening in Washington. And you also talk to us about what's going on at the border. Have you seen this picture of this father and daughter?
DEAN: Awful. Awful. Just tragic.
LEMON: What do our lawmakers need to do here? DEAN: You know, it's sickening. They -- the immigrants are being used
as political pawns by this president to get reelected, to please his base, who I'm sure could care less when somebody drowns rather than makes it into the United States.
These people are mean. They're nasty. And he's playing to them. But the other side of America I think is going to see this for what it is. And I think it's going to really hit people at home. This president can't play this game much longer.
LEMON: John Dean, thank you, sir.
DEAN: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: We'll have more on that story of what happened over the father and daughter drowning, and plus more on our breaking news tonight. Robert Mueller will testify publicly. And next, I'm going to speak to one congressman who will be questioning him in just moments.
[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So we're back now with our breaking news. Special Counsel Robert Mueller agreeing to testify publicly before Congress on July 17, it's not that far off, just a couple weeks, after he was subpoenaed. So again, he was subpoenaed. He's going to testify in front of Congress July 17. He's going to speak to two committees.
Joining me now is Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, a member of the Intelligence Committee. It's one of the committees that will be allowed to question him. Thank you, Congressman. I appreciate you joining us.
LEMON: What do you want to know from the Special Counsel?
REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D-IL): God, there's so much that we want to know. I think that one of the things that we'd like to know is he said that there was insufficient evidence of a conspiracy. But what was the most compelling evidence? What was the evidence that we need to know from a counter intelligence standpoint?
We don't have enough information to know, like, what were the relationships that might compromise current Trump administration officials? And then finally how do we prevent this type of interference from happening again in 2020. I think that's probably one of the biggest questions that are out there as well.
LEMON: But how do you get -- how do you substantive answers from your questions when he's going to have to go in front of two committees in one day. It's going to be a long day. I'm sure time will be limited. And you're going to have -- I mean surgically you have to do it.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Correct. I think you have to ask factual questions. I think that you can't speechify. I think you have to ask questions that are rooted in the report. You know, I happen to read the report. And now, we get to see the movie, so to speak. And, you know, I think that having him answer questions that are based on what's in the report will be very illuminating.
LEMON: What about those who may try to attack on the committee who may try to attack his credibility. Also want to know issues (Inaudible) some of the Republicans members may want to at least want to tonight know about how his team was assembled and investigating the investigator.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Sure. You know, I think that he's going to be allowed to ask those questions. I think Robert Mueller has a certain stature and credibility that he'll be able to answer those questions quickly and perhaps even dismissively, if they seem out of bounds. But he's different than any other witness that we have seen or any other character in this whole saga, so to speak.
In the sense that he commands so much credibility in a town where sometimes it feels like the truth doesn't matter anymore.
LEMON: So you don't think the circus atmosphere or the circus approach that won't work with him.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: They may attempt it. But I don't it's going to work with this witness.
LEMON: I just want to play what we last heard from Robert Mueller and then get your reaction to it. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: There's been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully. And the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So you heard what he said there, right? He didn't want to testify. But he said he's going to do it because of the subpoena. What does that mean to you? He said I'm not going to go beyond what's in that report. What does that mean for July 17 for you?
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, as you know, he can't control what the members ask him. It will be up to him to decide, you know, how he answers those questions. He may decide he needs to clarify certain sentences that he wrote within the report that might remain vague. I don't think that he should necessarily, you know, stick to just reciting what are the words in the report, especially if there are legitimate questions about what they mean.
Another thing is, you know, subject manner that might have arisen because of what's in the report. I think if he just addresses some of those topics, I think he will still remain within the confines of what is raised by the report without necessarily going outside the report. So I think that is an important distinction. In any case, this is Mueller unplugged. I think if there's going to be a Super Bowl sized audience for it.
LEMON: Will you be -- you think and other members -- will you get some advice or guidance for questions from experts, expert questioners or legal folks to get answers.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Oh, we get a lot of advice every day about this topic, especially from my constituents and the good people of Chicago and Illinois have a lot of things on their mind that they want to ask Mr. Mueller.
[22:34:55] LEMON: But there are people who are expert questioners who can probably offer you some help.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Absolutely. Please feel free to give me any advice you have.
LEMON: Thank you, Congressman, always a pleasure. I appreciate you coming on. The House tonight passing a bill to provide $4.5 billion in aids for the crisis at the border despite the threat of a White House veto, more on that next.
LEMON: We have breaking news tonight on the immigration crisis. Just minutes ago, the House voted 230 to 195 to approve $4.5 billion dollars in aid to address the crisis, the vote following Democratic in-fighting and a veto threat from the White House that "strongly opposes the legislation." But it's not all clear that the House and the Senate can agree on a bill that the president would sign off on.
[22:39:53] The House bill includes provisions to set a limit, a time limit of 90 days for unaccompanied children to stay in temporary shelters. Let's discuss this now. It's a lot to discuss. And this is big news as well. Frank Bruni is here, Ryan Lizza as well.
Gentlemen, good evening. Thank you so much for joining us. Frank, give me your reaction to the House approving this $4.5 billion bill.
FRANK BRUNI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think they did the right thing. But as you noted, it's very much in doubt that this will actually become legislation. And Democrats, you know, needs to be said were very divided on this initially. A lot of them didn't want to kind of prop up Donald Trump to sort of fix the humanitarian crisis that they feel is largely of his making.
At the end of the day, I think they said rightly listen. You know, there are people at the border, in these detention centers in desperate conditions. They're children in desperate conditions. And we have got to provide help for that first and foremost before we game out the politics of it. But what happens now is anyone's guess.
I mean I don't we shouldn't assume that this has fixed the problem or that this amount of money is going to go where Democrats with that vote intended to go.
LEMON: Yeah. So listen, speaking of Democrats, Ryan, Frank mentioned the Democrats there. These are the Democrats who voted against it, OK. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, and Omar, Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Representative Omar said that they don't want to fund the agencies that are carrying out the president's policies. What's your reaction to that?
RYAN LIZZA, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, look. I mean if the news this morning about this legislation was all about how there was a big dramatic divide among Democrats and suggested a lot more of them were going to rebel against this legislation vote against it. The fact that four, you know, in 2019 very prominent younger progressives were the only four that voted against it shows that Nancy Pelosi is one of the most powerful leaders of her caucus.
She spent the day adjusting the legislation a bit and convincing just about everyone to get on board. And, you know, the fact that AOC couldn't marshal a number of other liberals. You know, this was a bit of a test between this sort of the new, new left in the Democratic Party. And the old left represented by Pelosi, and Pelosi (Inaudible).
LEMON: OK. Frank, do you think the new, new left, as he's saying, do you think the new, new left gets undue attention? They get the most attention but they're necessarily the majority of the party. And they don't speak for the party. Is this evidence of that?
BRUNI: I think 1,000 percent. I think they get too much attention. Listen, I mean, their viewpoints are not isolated only to them. But we keep confusing, we in the media, keep confusing celebrity with power. AOC has celebrity. Nancy Pelosi has power. There's a difference.
LIZZA: Well put.
LEMON: So the -- how do you see this division between progressives and more moderate Democrats, Frank?
BRUNI: Well, I mean, I think we're seeing it across any number of frontiers. This is just one of them. I think, you know, tomorrow night and the night after, we're going to see Democratic presidential candidates get out on stage and debate. And one of the fault lines that we're going to see is, you know, ultra-progressive versus closer to center.
Thus far, in the presidential contest, in the nominating contest, it seems like the progressives are getting more attention, and with the exception of Biden, having more traction. But Biden's a hell of an exception. You know, right now, he's the one who moderate voters are gravitating toward. Right now, he's the one with the greater poll numbers, which suggests the moderates still perhaps own and run the party.
But that's becoming less and less certain as time goes by. And it's one of the things that's going to be, if not resolved, kind of hashed out during this nominating contest.
LEMON: Frank, I just want to change subjects really quickly here. It's also breaking news. I want to ask about Robert Mueller testifying in public for the world to hear. He has said his report is his testimony. Do you really think he's going to elaborate on what was in those 448 pages?
BRUNI: I don't think he'll elaborate, but I also think it doesn't matter, because so many Americans, unlike those of us in the media, didn't read many words from the report. And when he stands up, even if he just summarizes what was in it and says it, they will see and hear that in a fresh way. And you saw that when he kind of made his brief statement.
There were Americans who said, huh, I didn't realize that's really what the report said. I didn't realize that was the rest of the report. So even if he doesn't go an inch beyond what's written in that report, I think his physical presence, his face, his voice, great impact.
LEMON: Hey, Ryan, not to give you a short trip. I'll give you the last word. But I just have really a short time.
LIZZA: Well, look. I think for one, you know, he had a duty to testify. And I found it so puzzling that he was so resistant to this. I mean when he calls people in to testify, whether it's in a grand jury or elsewhere. He certainly doesn't let them get off the hook and not testify. So I'm glad he's doing it even under a bit of duress.
And I would point out there's stuff that Republicans can grasp in the report, especially in the first half of the report that tells a story. So this is not just going to be the Democrats.
[22:44:59] LIZZA: They Democrats will focus on the obstruction of justice. Republicans will focus on the lack of a crime found with respect to a conspiracy.
LEMON: OK. Thank you, gentlemen, appreciate your time.
LIZZA: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: A lot more to come tonight on Robert Mueller testifying to Congress on July 17. Plus, much more on the human cost of the crisis at the border, that's next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: One of our breaking news stories tonight, the House voting tonight to approve $4.5 billion in aid for the growing crisis at the border despite a veto threat from the White House that "strongly opposes the legislation." Joining me now to discuss is Scott Jennings and Ana Navarro.
Good evening. Thank you both for joining us. Ana, I got to start with you.
[22:59:57] The bill in the House tonight passed by a vote 230 to 195. But we're, you know, we're seeing photographic evidence of human costs at the border. So there you go. This is a horrific picture, the El Salvadorian father and this two-year-old child drowning at the border there. It is devastating there. Tell me about it. What are your thoughts on this?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, it makes me -- I live in Miami. I come from a community that's been built by immigrants. And I have seen this happen with Cuban immigrants, people like the mother of (Inaudible) Gonzales who lost her life on a raft, trying to get her child to freedom and to better opportunities. I've seen it happen with the Haitians coming to Miami.
And I lived it, Don. I lived it. I fled a war-torn country, Nicaragua in 1980. I came by plane. I came by plane because my parents had money. But had they not, they would've done everything in their power to try to give me a chance at growing up with opportunity and with freedom. And that's what these parents are doing. And I think we've got to stop using them as political pawns.
We've got to stop using this is as a political wedge issue, demonizing them and thinking that cutting off funds is going to solve the problem. We got to be responsible. Because at this point, it is about human rights, it is about human suffering. It is about death. It is about death of children. And the way they are being treated in the United States. And we have to figure out what the hell we are going to do about this.
LEMON: Well, that picture just kind of -- I mean it sums it up. And Scott, you know, we're talking in the break here. You know the power of photographs like this. We were just talking about the pictures coming out of Syria. This will no doubt be shown. It'll become the iconic photo referencing immigration. What are your thoughts? What's your reaction?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, there is no way to look at this photo and not have your heartbroken. I am sure every parent looks at this photo and thinks about, you know, what they would do to protect their, to save their own children from a life of poverty or for living at a place that is very violent, which is why all these people are fleeing here.
It's a reminder that people will literally risk it all to come to the United States. We are the greatest country in the world. We're safe. There's economic opportunity here. And I think that is the thing about our policies that we have to remember. All the politics aside, people want to be here. There is opportunity here. It is a safe place to be.
And most of these folks that are coming here want to come here for a better life. This legislation that passed tonight, I don't think has a chance to become law. I do think the Senate that came out of the Appropriations Committee, 30-1, fully bipartisan. Tonight's House bill is a partisan bill has a chance to become law.
At the of the day, though, I think people are going to look at this photograph and say we've got to deal with these folks who are coming here in a humane way. The House bill has some humanitarian funding but no immigration enforcement. The Senate bill I think deals with both. Politicians have to look at this photo and go home and talk with their constituents about what they're going to do about it, because I have no doubt.
As you pointed out, it is going to be the dominant image of this debate as we head towards July and in the August recess.
LEMON: So the -- they're saying that the bodies were found on the Mexican side of their (Inaudible). The El Salvadorian government released a statement from an earlier press conference where they say that the father and daughter drowned on Sunday, the 23rd. And as they attempted to cross the river, their bodies were found on Monday. They add that they're in touch with the Mexican authorities to make arrangements to repatriate the victims.
They're trying to figure out who's going to pay for it and economically-help the family out. El Salvador's newly elected president said that they would pay for the cost of the repatriation. But again, you can't look at this and -- this photo is just tough to look at. I am wondering, though, is it going to move the needle here? Do you think it is going to move the needle at all, Ana?
NAVARRO: I hope so. I hope so, because...
LEMON: I know you hope so, but what are you really thinking, Ana?
NAVARRO: What do I think? Look, I think that as we head into 17 months of very politicized and polarized election season, immigration is going to be used as a wedge issue in the same way that Donald Trump used it in 2016. We saw it already. We already know that that's what he's going to do. But I'll tell you what I wish we would be doing.
I wish we would be calling a summit with these northern triangle countries of Honduras, of El Salvador, of Guatemala, with Mexico, which is the transit country. The United States, U.N. Human Rights Commission, the U.N. Council on Refugees, and figuring out some sort of comprehensive strategy to address their root causes, because unless and until the level of violence and the murder rate in those countries is lowered, people are going to continue making these perilous treks...
(CROSSTALK) [22:55:01] LEMON: I've got to go because I'm running out of time.
And I want to get to Scott, a chance to have a word here. I'm going to ask you the same question. Do you think it will move the needle? And give me -- you both are Republicans. Give me advice. Give the folks in Washington, the people who you side with some advice on this.
JENNINGS: Yeah. Well, yes, I do think the needle is moved. I think it was already moving, because it is not just this photo. I mean we have kids living in deplorable conditions. We have people coming here everyday. The Mexican government is trying to live up to their end of the bargain with the president. But it is not enough. So I think hope springs eternal that the needle is moved and something is going to happen.
And my advice for the Republicans and specifically to the president is this. You can lead this party and you can fix this whole issue. I've thought this from the beginning. This is you telling the Republicans, I'm -- it is going to be fixed on my watch. It was left to me and left to us and we're going to fix it. And I think the party would follow him wherever he wants to take us, and it should be done in a comprehensive humanitarian fashion.
LEMON: So I got a question for everyone out there. Thank you, Ana, and thank you, Scott. Danny, if you can put that picture back up for me. I just want you to think about what Scott said here, what you would do for a loved one or what a father would do for their daughter or their son. Imagine what kind of conditions that you would have to be escaping to put your life and your loved ones life or lives in danger in order to find a better place.
Imagine what you have to be escaping. Not all immigrants are bad people. We should not be demonizing immigrants. We need to be humane and have a heart. And yes, we are a country of laws. But we're also a country of human beings. And if you believe in religious freedom, whatever you are Christian or whatever. Is this what your religion teaches you? Is this how it teaches you to treat people? Think about that.