Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

A Harris Aide Says Fundraising Boomed After Debate Performance; Trump Jokes With Putin About Election Meddling; Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) South Bend, Indiana: South Bend Police Force Isn't Diverse Because I Couldn't Get It Done. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired June 28, 2019 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWSROOM: Facility in Homestead, Florida.

[10:00:01]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): Families belong together. And they just deserve to have their parents with them, okay? And we are going to fight for your family to be together, okay?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: All right. We're also going to hear today from the democratic frontrunner, Joe Biden, as he speaks at the Reverend Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition. What's he going to say about Kamala Harris' attacks on his past actions and stance? We'll get into all of it.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. Jim Sciutto is joining us live this morning from Osaka, Japan, at the G20 summit, where just hours ago, the President was face-to-face with Russia's Vladimir Putin for the first time since the release of the Mueller report. And, Jim, what did he do?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NEWSROOM: Well, I'll tell you, Poppy. It was also the first time in public for these two presidents since that infamous Helsinki moment. The President had another opportunity to confront the Russian President on continued Russian meddling in U.S. elections. And the president did not take that opportunity. In fact, he made a joke of it, a joke that both he and the Russian President smiled about despite the seriousness of this threat to U.S. elections.

Later, he took a shot at U.S. journalists, again, buddying up with the Russian President, who, of course, has a very violent history, his government does, with journalists, two disturbing moments here at the G20 as the U.S. President came face-to-face with Putin, Poppy.

HARLOW: It's going to be fascinating. I know you're reporting on it throughout the weekend. We'll get back to that in just a minute.

Meantime, Senator Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden, two candidates waking up rather this morning to two very different realities, one, with what one aide called a booming night of fund raising, that's Kamala Harris, the other, with questions about what happened. Jessica Dean joins us now for more. Walk us through those moments Jess.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you, Poppy. That's right. We're waking up after that two hour long debate where Kamala Harris really commanded the stage and went directly after Joe Biden about his -- talking about his working with segregationists and also his bussing history back in the '70s that he was against bussing. And that moment really playing pivotally moving forward.

This morning, they're waking up, as you mentioned, Kamala Harris is on the offense. They are reporting very strong fundraising numbers overnight. We've seen her all across media this morning and expect to hear more from them this afternoon. You saw she went to visit the detention center there in Florida earlier this morning and visited with people there.

On the Biden side, we're going to see him in Chicago this afternoon at the Reverend Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition. I know he's coming up on your show here in just a moment. And the question is, will Biden talk about this? Will he address it? Will he clean up anything? Does he feel like he needs to clean up anything? We heard from his aides in the spin room last night. They defended his record on civil rights, saying that it's unassailable. They also explained the bussing issue with his deputy campaign manager saying that, look, back in that time, they were talking with local leaders. They did not believe -- some local leaders there did not believe that bussing was the best way to integrate schools, trying to kind of give it some context and frame it.

But certainly, Poppy, there's no question, the Biden campaign now having to deal with talking about this when they really want to be talking about looking forward. They want to be talking about who Joe Biden is in 2019 and how he can be the best president. Will he talk about it today? We will see.

HARLOW: Yes, we'll see very soon, Jessica. Thank you so much for that recap.

Let's talk about this in depth with the Reverend, Jesse Jackson. He is meeting with former Vice President Joe Biden in just a few hours. Biden will speak before his Rainbow PUSH Coalition event. Sir, such an important voice to have. Thank you for being with me.

REV. JESSE JACKSON, PRESIDENT, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: Good morning.

HARLOW: What's your reaction when you watched that exchange and when you heard Senator Kamala Harris say about bussing, that little girl was me?

JACKSON: Well, the issue, it was about bussing for racial balance. It was not the bus, it was us. Most children are bussed every day then and now, rural terminal bus, suburban terminal bus, buses with racial balance became a hot political issue, Anna Louise Day Hicks in Boston and Bobby Field (ph) in L.A. And Ed Brooke was on one side and Joe was on the other side, Biden on the other side, and then my judgment was the wrong side of history.

HARLOW: Okay. You think it was the wrong side of history? Biden said that Kamala Harris mischaracterized his stance last night. But when you look back at what he wrote and did in the 1970s, you can't dispute what he did, right? I mean, he wrote in 1977, my bill strikes at the heart of the injustice of court ordered bussing. I believe there is a growing sentiment in Congress to curb unnecessary bussing.

He went on to write then to a fierce opponent of desegregation, former Senator James Eastland, quote, I want to know I very much appreciate your help during this week's committee meeting in an attempt to bring my anti-bussing legislation to a vote.

[10:05:09]

Do you have any question in your mind about where Vice President Joe Biden stood as a Senator then in the 70s on bussing?

JACKSON: Well, they were on the wrong side of history. You know, we had to have -- the Montgomery bus boycott regarded (ph) in a court order decision in 1956, the federal government had to intervene. The states were left with the power (INAUDIBLE) of labor and education and health and the right to vote. It's just we've had the federal government to intervene to stop states from violating basic civil human rights.

And so it is that here we are today still debating what happened then. The meeting at the Rainbow PUSH (INAUDIBLE), the impact of workers and low-wages and the like. And so, no doubt, he will address it. I mean, in some (INAUDIBLE) last night.

Kamala Harris, she was on point.

HARLOW: Reverend, can I ask you what you are going to say to Joe Biden one-on-one about this today?

JACKSON: You know, I want to ask him with his positions. He took the position about -- on states' rights and, really, the states' rights have not been in our interest. We've had states rights took the position that we couldn't get to University of Alabama or Georgia. And so we had to have (INAUDIBLE) federal intervention in Alabama and Georgia and South Carolina for eventually the right to vote.

So we've had to have the federal government intervene to stop oppressive states rights.

HARLOW: Just a little bit of history here for people who might not know, you've run for president twice. When you ran in 1998, you ran in the democratic primary against Vice President Joe Biden. This was after in the '84 race. He told voters to reject your candidacy. I know the two of you have become friends, if you will, since then. Is Joe Biden the person that America needs right now to help sew the wounds of racial inequality in this country? Is he the best person to do that?

JACKSON: We were competing. And the people did not reject candidacy. As a matter of fact, his was rejected. As a matter of fact, we got 12 delegates in 1998 and the campaign haven't been able to impact upon the founding proportion with the push on states' rights and all of that. So it was a campaign that had a lot of effect in this.

I would think that Joe Biden must now address this in a real sense. The role of the federal government to intervene to stop violation by the states, there's a scheme (ph) there, where the Supreme Court's ruled on the issue of gerrymandering. We've got the right to vote in '65 and then gerrymandering and then (INAUDIBLE) on the mind for the right to vote in that table, not just for blacks. Blacks had the right to vote. 18 years old had the right to vote, woman rights (INAUDIBLE) in the south, campuses and bilingual. The whole civil rights struggle has involved the federal government intervening to stop states oppressive rights and lynching, really.

HARLOW: Joe Biden had an opportunity last night on the stage to apologize and say I was wrong then, right? You believe he was wrong. He doesn't believe he was wrong. And he said, look, I just didn't think it was the role of the federal government or the Department of Ed to do this. It was up to the states. And that's when Senator Harris interjected and said, yes, but the states didn't protect us and we needed the federal government. Where was the federal government on this? Should Joe Biden apologize, in your mind?

JACKSON: I don't know how you will (INAUDIBLE) in 1940, 5,000 blacks were lynched without one conviction because of the states' right to lynch, and they oversaw (ph) it and did nothing. The Supreme Court decision kind of broke the backbone of legal segregation at that time. (INAUDIBLE) emerged in 1955 fighting states' rights, states' rights to deny fair education, the right to vote, the right to education, women's rights, all of them struggling, to protect ourselves from a reverse interstates' rights.

When Trump says, make America great again, he's talking about states' rights again. We reject that around there, really.

HARLOW: You know, but Joe Biden says, I became a senator, you know, in my 30s because of civil rights. That is what drove me to public service. That is what has guided my service throughout my career. Do you believe that Joe Biden, as a senator and as a vice president, has done more to help progress civil rights in this country or to hinder it? What's your view?

JACKSON: On balance, Joe has grown in the positions he has taken. Think about his role with President Obama. He is being the balance of that ticket was a factor, I think, to President Obama's victory in '08, for example.

[10:10:04]

I think he has grown in the new views of these positions. But, clearly, you cannot run in the shower and can't run in the rain without getting wet. And, Kamala Harris, I think Joe was prepared for an attack from Bernie Sanders on issue of (INAUDIBLE) versus socialism. And out of the clear blue sky came Kamala Harris. He was ready for her last night, really. HARLOW: I'll give you a final chance to answer that last question, sir. When you look at the '94 crime bill, you look at his letters about bussing and legislation back in the '70s, he called bussing, quote, a bankrupt concept. There's that and then that's all that he has done for civil rights. Has he, on balance, done more to progress civil rights or to hinder it?

HARLOW: He was hindering it at that point. Now, he has grown (INAUDIBLE) of President Obama and the like. But, clearly, the struggle, human civil rights, we gave states the right to control voting, education, healthcare and women's rights. And then they had a federal intervention with the courts intervening in '54, the courts intervening in '56. And so do not know why he took that side of history, but I think he's changed.

The oldest show of dismissing, of being insensitive the need to heal, exalting Claire Thomas (ph) was a big mistake. We hope he's outgrown those problems, but they are problems he'll have. But his competition, force them in the primary to deal with that between Kamala Harris and Booker and the role a little bit more. And he will be challenged to deal with those and I think on balance, he can survive it, but it will be tough landing (ph).

HARLOW: Reverend Jesse Jackson, I so appreciate your time this morning. I know it's a big day for you guys as you host the former Vice President, Joe Biden. We'll be watching with keen interest this afternoon. Thank so much, sir.

JACKSON: Thank you very much.

HARLOW: All right. Still to come, President Trump and Vladimir Putin face-to-face at the G20, and President Trump makes light of election interference in our democracy with Putin sitting next to him. It happened.

Also, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg with a display of humility on the debate stage following a deadly shooting in his hometown, a risky move but will it pay off?

Plus, voters in South Carolina not holding back on how they think those democratic candidates did last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just doesn't seem like he has any new answers. He doesn't have a lot of energy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Who is he talking about, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:15:00]

SCIUTTO: Hello again from Osaka, Japan, the site of the G20 Summit. This morning, President Trump and Vladimir Putin meeting for the first time since the end of Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, a probe that sought 34 individuals indicted by the Special Counsel, including 26 Russian Nationals, of course, their first meeting as well since the infamous Helsinki moment.

Here is President Trump on whether he would warn Putin not to interfere again.

(BEGIN VIDE CLIP)

REPORTER: Will you tell Russia not to meddle in the 2020 election?

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Yes, of course, I will. Don't meddle in the election please. Don't meddle in the election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: Let's discuss now with James Rubin. He's a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State. Good to have you on, Jamie. You've been involved in your share of international summits, conferences, the importance of these face-to-face meetings in public and private. What is the impact of the U.S. President, Donald Trump, refusing once again to confront the Russian President on interfering in U.S. elections? What's the impact?

JAMES RUBIN, FORMER U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, it's hard to know exactly what is said behind the scenes but it certainly doesn't appear that he is going to be read the Riot Act by President Trump based on the very clear evidence that Robert Mueller put forward that is agreed to by all the independent intelligence agencies about the extent to which. I mean, this wasn't a minor interference in the 2016 election. This was a campaign of using all of the cyber tools at the disposal of the Russian government to try to affect you our election. And the President obviously is not going to confront Putin directly.

But I think the good news is, at the working level, the individuals responsible for American foreign policy, at the working level, are taking steps, preemptive steps, including in the cyber realm to deter Russia from doing it again. And I think with all this attention brought upon it, it will be different than 2016. But I think we should expect another attempt by Russia to make Americans -- divide our country and have Americans turning on each other. That's just part of their foreign policy now, I guess.

SCIUTTO: For sure. And there's evidence it's already starting. But let me ask you this. You've dealt with your fair share of foreign despots. How does Vladimir Putin look at a moment like this, harkening back even the infamous Helsinki moment when the President took Putin's word over the word of U.S. intelligence agencies?

[10:20:05]

Would Putin view this as a propaganda victory to have a U.S. President seemingly undermine the importance of Russia's interference in our elections? RUBIN: I think everything about the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump is perceived by Putin as a plus. Let's face it. Vladimir Putin regards his mission internationally to return Russia to the status of a great power as requiring to the extent possible a reduction in America's influence and respect and activities.

So they've been undermining the United States in the Middle East, in Venezuela. Vladimir Putin met with the Chinese President, as a way of signaling to the United States that there could be a cooperative Chinese-Russian alliance against us.

So Vladimir Putin wants to be treated like a super power. He likes to have Donald Trump meeting with him and the pictures taken because that fulfills their sense that Russia still is a great power and still does have international influence.

And I suspect, as you said, that having Donald Trump not go through what you would expect as a series of talking points to lay out what we know and what we found out and why it would be a grave mistake for Russia to do it again, he regards that as a successful event.

SCIUTTO: Yes Well, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, she did it in no uncertain terms today during her meeting with the Russian President.

There was another moment today where Donald Trump had a sort of another kind of touchy feely moment with the Russian President regarding journalists. Have a listen. I want to get your reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Fake, fake news. You don't have the problem in Russia. We have -- you don't have it. We have it.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: Yes, yes, yes, we have the problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: As you know as well as me, Jamie, Russia is a country led, of course, by Vladimir Putin, kills, murders journalists, imprisons journalist, literally throws them out of windows. There have been stories like this. And there was an investigative journalist put in prison on fake charges just a couple of weeks ago because he was investigating uncomfortable things for the Kremlin. What is a U.S. President's responsibility speaking about press freedom when he's sitting next to the leader of a government that does that kind of thing?

RUBIN: Well, I think this operates on two levels. On the first level, the United States as the first democracy in the world and the leader of the ideas of freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, all the basic bill of rights freedoms that we have pursued and pushed and argued for, the democratic values that are the essence of our country, we expect as Americans normally to have an American President who pursues those objectives, who pushes around the world for greater and greater acceptance of those values. This president has not done that.

And in the exchange that you just showed, we see another example of Donald Trump making a sort of like a cohort of authoritarian leaders who have been together, giggle to each other about the difficulty of having the media cover their presidencies. And that's unfortunate because that makes other countries normally who look to the United States to deter that kind of attack on journalists. Now, they don't have that difficulty and more and more countries are saying exactly this, fake news every time they're criticized.

SCIUTTO: Yes. It sounds like they're given a free pass by the U.S. President. James Rubin, great to have you on the program.

RUBIN: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Democrats on the attack during last night's debate, but whose strategy paid off? We're going to have that right after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:25:00]

HARLOW: All right. Welcome back. Mayor Pete Buttigieg took on a risk last night on the debate stage. He just said, basically, I couldn't get it done, taking responsibility for the lack of minority police officers in his hometown of South Bend. This as the city deals with the fallout and the pain of a black man shot and killed by a police officer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: The police force in South Bend is now 6 percent black in a city that is 26 percent black. Why has that not improved over your two terms as mayor?

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN): Because I couldn't get it done. My community is in anguish right now because of an officer-involved shooting. It's a mess and we're hurting. And I could walk you through all of the things that we have done as a community, all of the steps that we took from bias training to de-escalation, but it didn't save the life of Eric Logan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Let's talk about this with two legends to my right and to my left. Bob Barnett has worked on preparing presidential candidates for debates from Mondale to Bill and Hillary Clinton, to President Obama, and David Gergen has advised Presidents Nixon, Ford, Regan and Clinton. Gentlemen, great to have you.

And, Bob, let me just begin with you on this. It's just not often that you hear any president or presidential candidate with such contrition and say, I couldn't get it done.

[10:30:03] How effective was that?

BOB BARNETT, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: When you prepare for these Debates, and as you say, I've been doing it since.