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Now: Senate Voting On Bill To Address Migrant Crisis; Iran FM To Trump: U.S. "Not In A Position To Obliterate Iran"; Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) Is Interviewed About The Reaction Of President About The War With Iran; Trump: Hypothetical War With Iran Wouldn't Last Very Long; Trump Blames Dems For Migrant Dad, Daughter Drownings; First Female Joins Secret Service Motorcycle Unit. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired June 26, 2019 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] AUSTIN SAVAGE, TURNED AWAY FROM GIVING DONATIONS AT TEXAS DETENTION CENTER: No problems, thanks for having me.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: So, you went to this facility not once but twice. Tell me more.
SAVAGE: Yes, that's correct. We went -- initially, we went on Sunday afternoon. We picked up about a little over $300 worth of supplies from a local target. It's mostly just things like diapers and baby wipes and just kind of basic necessities, you know, for the kids. In particular, after we were informed of the conditions that they were being kept in.
So, we picked up these supplies that were paid for by an advocate and we went out to the facility. We arrived and the facility was pretty much on lockdown. There is a front lobby area but it was closed and locked. There was obviously no one in the front.
And when you try to ring the intercom or the buzzer, there was no answer. There was a help line number that was posted on the front of the building, so we immediately called that and received no response. So, essentially the entire facility was just shutdown. And the only activity was some vehicles that were moving in and out through an electronic gate.
And there were some -- some of the vehicles obviously saw us. We unloaded all our supplies. We stuck them up at the front.
BALDWIN: I was going to ask, were you able to hand them to someone or you just left them?
SAVAGE: No, we couldn't hand them to anybody. There was zero response at the front and then all the activity, you know, the vehicles that were moving in and out. There were some that stopped or slowed down and they saw us and then they either continued on their way out from the facility or they came in on the facility, saw us in the lot. And then once they made it into their, you know, gated area, into the parking area.
You know, I -- the group I was with, they stayed out front. We were there probably about 30, 40 minutes. I went to try to get some attention from the people on the other side of the gate. They had zero intent to talk to us --
BALDWIN: Yes, I --
SAVAGE: -- or respond to us in any way.
BALDWIN: The story you tell is similar to that of a gentleman who shared it with me, you know, just yesterday. I should point out that CNN did reach out to a former CBP adviser who told us the agency, Austin, can't actually accept donations because essentially it's viewed as spending and it hasn't been appropriated by Congress. It's all the technicalities.
But CBP did just tell reporters yesterday that they're looking into how they could accept donations. So hopefully, eventually, you know, you could hand the diapers and the toothbrushes in everyone to someone. So at least hopefully that makes you --
SAVAGE: Right. No, yes. And, you know, and then -- and that's the thing is that we were very aware that that would actually likely be the case. We were pretty aware that that was -- that this is a policy thing that's coming down from on high and unfortunately a lot of these people there at the facility are just kind of the foot soldiers, you know, following a policy.
You know, and the fact that they can't be delivered is kind of what's appalling and the fact that there's no communication about that. You know, we went back the next day. We packed up the supplies and went back the follows day thinking maybe --
BALDWIN: No kidding.
SAVAGE: -- because we went on Sunday. We thought -- yes.
BALDWIN: Nothing, nothing.
SAVAGE: We thought maybe because we went on a Sunday that it was a government facility, but same. The exact same scenario on Monday played out, the exact same scenario. The only difference was there was a brand new number posted on the door to call.
It said for assistance or information, call this number. So we called that new number and it went to an agent's voice mail. He didn't respond or call back. So we waited around again, same scenario played out and then eventually what we decided to do is we just packed up all the stuff we took.
We found the nearest shelter from a list of shelters that had been provided to us and we took it to this incredibly tiny and very overwhelmed shelter and (INAUDIBLE), you know, and probably one of the poorest communities in the entire state. But, you know, they're doing what they can and we provided some of it.
BALDWIN: At least you were able to give it. Exactly. Out of the goodness of your own heart, a lot of folks are frustrated and feeling powerless, you know. This is happening in their own backyards and you want to help and you can't even do that.
Austin Savage, thank you so much for coming on and good on you for trying and eventually finding someone you could give these items to. Appreciate you.
SAVAGE: Appreciate you. Thank you.
BALDWIN: Thank you. President Trump says Iran would be selfish and stupid, his words, if it doesn't make a deal with the United States. This after Iran's foreign minister had some harsh words for President Trump in an exclusive interview with CNN. We'll have that for you.
[15:35:04] And prosecutors reveal the possible cause for the fire that ravaged Notre Dame's Cathedral.
BALDWIN: President Trump has repeatedly said he does not want to go to war with Iran, but he is lashing out again at the country's leader for saying they don't want to negotiate with the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have all the time in the world. I'm sitting here. I have all the time in the world. In the meantime, there are very strong sanctions. They have to live with those sanctions. But Iran should do the right thing for their people.
[15:40:05] The problem is I don't believe their leader. I'm not sure that their leaders care for their people. If they do, they'll make a deal. If they don't, they're just thinking about themselves, and they're selfish, and they're stupid if that's what they're doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Just before those comments, CNN Senior International Correspondent Fred Pleitgen talked exclusively to Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and asked him about comments the President has made, any war with Iran "wouldn't last very long."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAVAD ZARIF, IRAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER: That statement indicates that the United States intentions are said to be illegal. The United States is not in a position to obliterate Iran. They do not have the capability other than using prohibited weapons. To do this, the Iranian people are prepared to resist any aggression, but we are not seeking more.
I think President Trump should remember that we don't live in the 18th century. There is a United Nations charter. And threat the force is illegal under the --
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATION CORRESPONDENT: How do you get out of this? How can the world -- how can U.N. walk from this?
ZARIF: We did not walk into anything to walk back from it. The United States trying to undermine the Iranian government, walked into it based on a wrong analysis. I think the B-team gave President Trump wrong information, wrong analysis. And now President Trump finds himself in a situation where he believes that he needs to get out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Michigan Congressman Andy Levin is with me now. He sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
So, Congressman Levin, a pleasure sir. Welcome.
REP. ANDY LEVIN (D-MI): Hey, Brooke, it's great to be with you.
BALDWIN: So just out of the gate, what's your reaction to what the President said about war with Iran?
LEVIN: You know, Brooke, I don't think name calling is a real great feature of diplomacy. I think our approach to Iran needs to be sober. We need to be focused on multilateralism and preparation. And I think -- we obviously, the United States, has all the power in the world that we need against any adversary, number one.
And also Iran has been a bad actor on so many fronts, number two. But, we would not accomplish anything by going to war with Iran and we are not going to let that happen that's why we've been taking repeated action in the House of Representatives to try to stop an unauthorized war with Iran.
And, you know, personally I began that early in May after Secretary Pompeo --
BALDWIN: With this amendment.
BALDWIN: This amendment. I mean, I wanted to get you -- I wanted to hear you about this amendment you're co-sponsoring, right, Congressman?
LEVIN: Right, and so, yes.
BALDWIN: It would prohibit funding for military action in Iran unless the President gets congressional approval beforehand. I just want to know from people who may not know and then I want to hear it from you. You know, this amendment is offered by Congressman Ro Khanna and Matt Gaetz, a Trump supporter. So, how did you and your colleagues come together in such a bipartisan way?
LEVIN: Well, so for me it started when -- you know, Secretary Pompeo was testifying before the Senate and he said that there are all these connections between Iran and al-Qaeda. So I fired off a letter to him and I said, "What? There are no connections like that. Please show us the evidence." He hasn't come forth with any.
Our Republican colleagues are concerned about these kinds of things, too. So then I introduced a piece of legislation with Republican co- sponsors, the Iran AUMF Clarification Act, to say you don't have authorization to go to war with Iran.
So, now that we're passing this -- about to pass this must pass appropriation for defense, we are putting in there language that says, A, you do not have authorization to go to war with Iran. If you want to do that, you have to follow the constitution. Come to the Congress of the United States. And, B, we're not going to give you any funds to do it either. So, that really is a bipartisan feeling.
Brooke, I think it's because it doesn't really matter whether you're a Democrat or a Republican. When you're here in the people's House, you want to uphold the constitution and uphold our prerogative as the part of the government that declares war. And we don't see a reason for war, and we don't want the President to go off doing it in a hotheaded kind of way.
BALDWIN: Sure. I would be remiss not to ask you, I'm sure you've seen the photo. President Trump was asked about this photo regarding the migrant crisis at the border, the photo of that migrant father and a 23-month-old.
LEVIN: It's so horrifying.
BALDWIN: It's so horrifying of this that the two of them -- her little arm around her father, you know, faced down and dead on the base of the Rio Grande.
[15:45:01] And so the President responded by saying, "That father, who probably was this wonderful guy with his daughter, things like this wouldn't happen," he said before going on to blame the Democrats for their asylum policy. So he's blaming your party for this. How would you respond to the President?
LEVIN: The President's policies on immigration have led to this humanitarian crisis. He's the one whose caged children. He's the one who separated families, ripped children out of their parents' arms. He's the one who had these horrifying detention camps for children where we had eight-year-olds taking care of 2-year-olds, toddlers running around without diapers, no toothbrushes, no soap. Kids who are wearing the same clothes unwashed that they were wearing when they, you know, came across the border.
He has no one to blame for this but himself. And he's making it worse by cutting off aid to the Central American countries where these folks are coming from. This father and daughter were Salvadoran. Why has Donald Trump stopped working with El Salvador to improve conditions there so that people don't flee to our country?
And, Brooke, let me make one other really fundamental point about our most deep beliefs in this country and about human rights. People under international law have the right to put forth an asylum claim and then we can judge whether it's legitimate or not.
This father and daughter were trying to claim asylum with his wife as well. They came -- they approached the border. And because of the President's policies, they were taken away from the border and put in a Mexican detention camp and they felt no hope that they'd ever be able to present themselves to our government to make their asylum claim. And so this father and his -- actually, his wife was there too watching them drown. I mean, it's just so horrifying as a parent to even think about this.
My point is simply this. Brooke, you can expect more of this to happen as long as we have these inhumane policies at the border. We've got to stop it. We're taking action here as you've seen to fund our -- the CBP and HHS to move these kids more quickly out --
LEVIN: -- of those detention camps into the places where people know how to take care of them. They should be reunited --
LEVIN: -- with their families. We've got to do a lot better. We know how to do better. We're going to do better.
BALDWIN: I appreciate you saying that. Left, right, center action needs to be taken and we all need to be doing better for people like this father and this child. Congressman Levin --
LEVIN: Yes, absolutely.
BALDWIN: -- thank you very much.
LEVIN: Thank you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: A war of words erupting between the President and the U.S. Women's soccer team. How another player has responded to his attacks after Megan Rapinoe says she's not going to the "F---ing White House."
[15:53:04] BALDWIN: The Secret Service has just added the first female to its elite team of motorcyclist. CNN's Jessica Schneider went to find out how she did it.
LAUREN GUNAWAN, U.S. SECRET SERVICE: It's the freedom, the freedom of riding.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lauren Gunawan has had an obsession with motorcycles since age 18.
GUNAWAN: My parents were definitely not too excited that I got a motorcycle, my dad especially. I'm Daddy's little girl. SCHNEIDER: Gunawan grew up in Neponset, Illinois, population 400. It may have been a small town, but her upbringing sparked some big dreams.
GUNAWAN: It always made me want to be a police officer.
SCHNEIDER: Gunawan's grandfather was an auxiliary police chief. Three years ago, she set her sights even higher and made the moved to D.C. to join the Secret Service. But the roar of the engines from the motorcade support unit kept calling her name.
GUNAWAN: Motors popped up and I said that's what I want to do and I set my heart to it.
SCHNEIDER (on camera): Landing a spot in this elite unit is no easy task. In fact, it's just about a 40 percent pass rate and the biggest hurdle is actually being able to lift one of these 1,100 pound motorcycles.
GUNAWAN: Yes. It's a lot of bike, 1,100 pounds worth.
SCHNEIDER: Wow. So you have to be able to actually lift this up from the ground?
GUNAWAN: Yes, ma'am.
SCHNEIDER: All 1,100 pounds?
GUNAWAN: Yes, ma'am.
SCHNEIDER: That's a tough feat?
SCHNEIDER: Could you do it the first time you tried?
GUNAWAN: Yes, ma'am.
SCHNEIDER: You could?
GUNAWAN: I put all the hard work and dedication into it.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Officer Technician Gunawan makes it look easy, but she is the first woman to ever join the elite motorcade support unit. It's the division that clears the way for presidential motorcades, maneuvering through Washington gridlock, plotting a path for the President and V.P.
The training and ultimate test become part of this just 14-member team aren't easy. Gunawan embarked on a two-week course riding her Harley eight hours a day, weaving in and out of tight spaces. The first time she tried, she failed.
[15:55:02] GUNAWAN: When I got my opportunity, the first time I was able to pick the bike up no problem. I just didn't get through the course the first time so I was thankful that they were able to give me a second opportunity.
BRIAN POPIEL, U.S. SECRET SERVICE: She was definitely determined to become a technician on this unit and to get mounted. She just -- every day she gave 120 percent.
SCHNEIDER: Officer Technician Popiel trained Gunawan and said her attitude made the difference.
POPIEL: There's no reason that a woman shouldn't be on this, you know, in this unit. She brings a lot to the table.
BALDWIN: That's great. Jessica, thank you for bringing her us the story, 1,100 pounds, that bike.
Coming up in moments, the President's personal lawyer will join CNN to react to Robert Mueller testifying.
BALDWIN: And that is it for me. Quick check of the Dow. I'm Brooke Baldwin.