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Image Underscores Migrants' Peril; First Democratic Primary Debate; Midwest Braces for Storms and Flooding; Allegations against Rep. Duncan Hunter; Rapinoe Not Going to White House; Virginia Doctor Killed in Belize. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired June 26, 2019 - 06:30   ET


[06:30:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: It's that their mother, the mother of the -- of Oscar who died, said that they were not fleeing violence. She said that they were fleeing poverty. They were poor and they wanted the American dream. They wanted something better for their daughter.

As we can all understand, we are all hard wired to want something good for our children, of course. I think we lost Joe. So, John, that -- OK, we all get that. That's why your relatives came from Greece.


CAMEROTA: That's why mine came from Italy. But that's different. We have a legal immigration system. What the -- what the administration would say is, this isn't their fault. They -- we have a legal immigration system. How is it President Trump's fault that people who want a -- want the American dream are swimming across the dangerous Rio Grande?

AVLON: When the asylum process is being intentionally gummed up.

CAMEROTA: Asylum isn't made for wanting economic -- better -- the American dream.

AVLON: When people -- look --

CAMEROTA: It's made for fleeing violence.

AVLON: Central America is being afflicted by both poverty and violence. And there is a refusal by the administration to try to alleviate the root cause that is causing people --


AVLON: Not to come up -- to come up from Central America in waves we have not seen. And when families are waiting -- being made for -- wait for months and the asylum process is being slow rolled in 113 degree heat, it increases the desperation.

There is a way to handle this in an expedited manner. It is not being done in intentionally for purposes of politics by this administration.

CARDONA: Alisyn --


CARDONA: And I actually have an answer for -- for that question, and that's exactly what John was alluding to, which is, when you have an administration and a president who is cutting off aid to the northern triangle countries, to these very same countries who are being afflicted by poverty and by violence, when we know that kind of aid actually works because it has been working and it has worked in the past.

CAMEROTA: Yes, but it didn't change Oscar and Valeria's (ph) lives. Their -- they were alive during when the aid existed and they were poor.

CARDONA: Well, it --

CAMEROTA: And so that system wasn't working to keep them in there -- in their country.

CARDONA: Well -- and -- and God bless their souls. And, again, this is a moment of reckoning for all of us. That means, Alisyn, not to double down on taking away the aid. It means that we have to work harder to work with those countries, to work with our allies in the region to understand what the root causes of this is. We've done it before. We did it with Mexico. We've done it with other countries. We can do it again.

This is what this country is all about, to focus on the issues that are tough, to focus on the issues that are afflicting not just this country but this region. We live in this region. We're not talking about countries that we can't imagine because they are half a world away. This is at our footsteps literally. And this is something that is our obligation to understand what the root causes are and to focus on solutions, not take this issue and use it as political crack for your base, which is what the Trump administration is doing. And this has got to be a moment where we all say, this is unacceptable.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And then there's the question of, what happens when they get all the way to the border. At a certain point, the policies of the last year, two years don't matter. That father and daughter are at the border trying to get in. There's got to be a way to process it, one way or the other, so that they're not swimming across the river with that strong current because that, again --

CAMEROTA: Agreed. I mean and that's obviously what we're seeing in the detention centers.

BERMAN: Is a -- is a picture, again, that this -- this can't happen. This simply cannot happen.

All right, the first Democratic primary debate is just hours away. We're getting new details about how the candidates are preparing, what tricks they might pull. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [06:37:41] BERMAN: Tonight, a defining moment for the Democrats. Ten of the presidential candidates will take the stage in Miami for the first primary debate. Ten more tomorrow night. We're getting new details about what the major candidates will try to do on that stage.

Athena Jones live in Miami.

Athena, you've been working your sources. What have you learned?


Well, this is the big night for about half of the Democratic field. Their first and best opportunity to introduce themselves to the voters on a national stage and to make the case that they should be the one to take on President Trump next year.

So, who's on stage tonight? It's going to be Bill de Blasio, Tim Ryan, Julian Castro, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee and John Delaney. All of them will be trying to make an impression that can either help them sustain their momentum in the case of a candidate like Elizabeth Warren, who has the highest poll numbers in this first group, or that can give them a boost in polls and in fundraising.

Now, the format of the debate tonight, 60 seconds to answer questions, 30 seconds to respond to follow-ups, could present a real challenge to these candidates. Also the number of people on stage. This is where practice and preparation come in.

We know that Elizabeth Warren has been working to boil down her policy proposals, of which she has many, into bite-sized pieces given the time constraints. And she will, of course, be ready to defend those policy proposals.

We know that Beto O'Rourke has also talked about the need to give short answers. He says the town halls he's been doing are his preparation. And we know that Amy Klobuchar has been watching 2016 GOP primary debates to try to get some clues about how to stand out on a stage with a lot of people on it.

Now, when it comes to the issues that are likely to be discussed tonight, we can almost certainly expect immigration to come up given that heartbreaking photograph we saw of the father with his young daughter who drown crossing the Rio Grande.

We can also say that from a new Suffolk University poll showing that the voters -- that the issues that voters want talked about, health care and immigration top that list at 20 percent and 12 percent. Those will be certainly among the issues that are discussed tonight.


CAMEROTA: Athena Jones, thank you very much for the preview. It will be fascinating.

[06:39:47] All right, now to this, a sordid scandal involving a well- known congressman. Prosecutors say he used his campaign funds to pay for extramarital affairs. The salacious details against Duncan Hunter, next.

BERMAN: I think you said salacious (INAUDIBLE).


BERMAN: New surveillance video we're just seeing shows the moment a tornado ripped apart a marina in Kentucky. Look at this. People were getting off that boat onto the dock when the twister hit the pier. Large debris flying, oh, my goodness, right past the passengers. Clearly they're struggling to hang on. That's some crazy images.

The Midwest bracing for even more severe weather this week.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers with the forecast.


CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: John, not quite as bad as last week. Last week we had just like 1,600 wind reports. Yesterday we had somewhere in the ballpark of 60 and just that one tornado. But we will see more weather this week.

This weather is brought to you by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, packed with goodness.

So let's get right to it. Where are the fronts today? Through the Midwest, even a couple of showers in upstate New York moving to New England later on this afternoon. This is the weather we're watching right now, not that far from Sioux City and just the south of Sioux Falls in South Dakota. But there'll be more weather to the south of St. Louis. Also moving into Chicago late tonight after dark.

See, though, this is not lit up like it was last week. There aren't showers and storms everywhere. There's heat. The heat is on right now. Ninety-one today in Raleigh. The average should be around 89. And New York City going to be somewhere in that almost 90 degree range, especially with the heat index all week long.


[06:45:03] CAMEROTA: OK, Chad, thank you very much for the forecast.

New bombshell allegations facing Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter. Prosecutors laying out evidence of extramarital affairs that they say he paid for using campaign funds.

CNN's Tom Foreman is live in Washington with more.

What do we know about this, Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, these prosecutor papers read more like a screen play than court documents. It is really remarkable what they've alleged here. Basically they've said that the congressman used money from his

campaign to fund five different affairs with five different women other than his wife over a period of time. And the details are really quite salacious.

For example, in one of the instances here with a lobbyist, they say he drove to a place called Heavenly Mountain Resort and spent the weekend skiing, ordering room service, and enjoying the amenities, paid the $1,000 hotel tab using campaign funds, spent another $180 in campaign funds on airfare back to Washington, some more money for a rental car. And this was just one of the examples out there.

According to these documents, there were other instances that involve other lobbyists that involved a staff member. If you sort of look down the list here, one member of his own staff he allegedly spent nights together at his office with. He met up with another individual, another lobbyist, according to this. Another lobbyist had professional and social ties to Hunter. And he spent money on golf outings and on double dates with another member of Congress and on nachos and all sorts of things that they've documented in these papers.

And basically prosecutors said, look, we didn't want to roll all of this out, but he keeps steadily fighting everything and saying, no, these were legitimate, political expenses of some sort. And they wanted to say, look at the details here. We do not believe anything about this was legitimate. And if you look to his claim, he says basically, you have a criminally political prosecutor in this case on a personal smear campaign. This is the most political case in the world. That's what Duncan Hunter says. We'll see what the court says this fall if it actually goes to trial.


BERMAN: All right, Tom Foreman, wow.


BERMAN: A lot of details in there. Thank you very much.

I have not seen you so interested in a story in some time.

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, I agree, nachos are legitimate, but the other expenditures I'm not sure about.

BERMAN: It's the campaign -- look, you can pass moral judgment --

CAMEROTA: Oh, can I?

BERMAN: All day long. You can't use campaign funds for any of that stuff is the problem.

CAMEROTA: Oh, that's -- that's the problem that you have with it.

BERMAN: There's the rub.

CAMEROTA: OK. Got it. BERMAN: Among many others apparently.


BERMAN: This could be the most amazing video of the morning. The moment police save a newborn's life.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my God.

BERMAN: A baby tied up in a plastic bag.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my God.

BERMAN: We will tell you the remarkable story, next.


[06:51:50] BERMAN: The U.S. women's national team star Megan Rapinoe says there is no way she would go to the White House if invited by President Trump.

Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report."

Andy, I think she added another word also.


Good morning, John.

You know, Megan Rapinoe, she's been very outspoken against President Trump. She described herself to Yahoo! Sports as a walking protest to the president's policies, calling him sexist, racist, and just not a good person. And Rapinoe had a very strong response when she was asked yesterday if she would accept an invitation to the White House.


MEGAN RAPINOE, TEAM USA MIDFIELDER: I'm not going to the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) White House. No, I'm not going to the White House. That's -- we're not going to be invited.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not going to be invited?

RAPINOE: I doubt it.


SCHOLES: Now, Rapinoe has kneeled during the national anthem in the past, but U.S. Soccer now requires players to stand. Rapinoe, though, says she will probably never sing the anthem again.

President Trump, meanwhile, says he doesn't think it's appropriate for Rapinoe to protest during the anthem. He has also said he loves watching the women's team play.

All right, will the New York Yankees ever go a game without homering again? They've now homered in a Major League record 28 straight games.

And check this out. A hawk came to take in the action last night, sitting on the right field foul pole. And Edwin Encarnacion's home run ball in the eighth inning came within feet of hitting the hawk, but the hawk didn't even flinch. What a baller.

And in case you were wondering, guys, Yankees fans have named that hawk Homer the foul pole hawk.

BERMAN: You know what, it's because a Hawk's not scared of the Yankees, Andy. No one is.

SCHOLES: Oh, really? I kind of am as an Astros fan. I'm scared of the Yankees.

BERMAN: No one is. Oh, please.

SCHOLES: All right.

BERMAN: Thank you, Andy.

CAMEROTA: Thanks, Andy.

All right, there was this jaw-dropping moment caught on video. Why police want you to see this newborn they found abandoned in the plastic bag.


[06:57:36] BERMAN: We're getting new details this morning about a well-known Virginia doctor gunned down with his tour guide while on vacation in Belize. Police are calling the doctor a victim of circumstance.

CNN's Brynn Gingras joins us now.

Brynn, what went on here?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, this is just a horrible tragedy it sounds in that country.

Gary Swank, a respected doctor from Roanoke, Virginia, went on a fishing boat with a local man from Belize he hired while on vacation with his family. He and the guide, named Mario Graniel according to officials, were gunned down while on that boat. Again, that's all according to local authorities there in Belize who say Graniel had been in a fight with a local gang kingpin. His house had reportedly been shot at last week but he never filed a formal complaint. And police called Swank, as John said, a victim of circumstance.

It's a devastating loss, though, for Swank's community where he was a director of a medical lab and taught at Virginia Tech's medical school. U.S. senators from Virginia, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, offer condolences to Swank's family in statements to CNN. Both also said they are in touch with the State Department to make sure that the government is staying on top of this investigation in Belize. John and Alisyn, hopefully we get more information, but really that's

all we have. Horrible.

CAMEROTA: OK, please bring us more when you have it.

GINGRAS: Absolutely.

CAMEROTA: Thanks so much, Brynn.

Now to incredible video showing the moment the Georgia deputies rescued an abandoned newborn found inside a plastic bag.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.


CAMEROTA: This emotional rescue happened earlier this month. Neighbors say they could hear the baby girl's cries from their house. They spotted the bag in a wooded area near the side of the road and they called 911. Deputies believe the baby was just an hour old when they found her. Her umbilical cord was still attached. Deputies rushed to wrap the child in their jackets. The newborn, who nurses call baby India, is now said to be thriving in the care of Georgia's Department of Children and Families. Police hope that when you see this video, you will help lead them to whoever abandoned this baby. They need your help this morning.

BERMAN: Just stunning.

CAMEROTA: I mean the people -- her parents could have put her on somebody's doorstep. I mean the plastic bag makes it so much more criminal and unforgivable.

BERMAN: We're glad she's OK this morning.

CAMEROTA: Thank God. Thank God.

[06:59:59] BERMAN: All right, thank you to our international viewers for watching. For you, CNN "TALK" is next. For everyone else, NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The House Judiciary Committee announced.