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Sen. Kamala Harris Takes Stand In Democratic Debate Round Two; President Trump Appears To Make Light Of Russian Election Interference At G20 Summit; El Salvadoran Father And Young Daughter Who Drowned Crossing The Border Will Be Laid To Rest Today. Aired 3-3:30a ET

Aired June 28, 2019 - 03:00   ET


[03:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school everyday, and that little girl was me.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Kamala Harris takes command of the second debate, including a must-see challenge to Joe Biden on his history with civil rights.



FEMALE: A joke, is this Helsinki all over again. The president appears to mock election interference to the face of the Russian president.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning everyone and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Good morning to you. Good evening to many of you on the left coast, midnight there Pacific time, 3:00 a.m. Eastern time. I'm Dave Briggs. It is Friday June 28th.

The democratic debate round two belonged to Kamala Harris.



HARRIS: Hey guys, you know what? America does not want to witness a food fight, they want to know how we're going to put food on their table.



BRIGGS: That played well in the room. California senator taking command of the debate stage more than once. Most memorable was confronting Former Vice-President Joe Biden about working with segregationists and his record opposing some aspects of school busing in the 1970s which had a dramatic impact on her life.

ROMANS: Before the debate the Biden camp said he was ready to defend his record when faced with the reality. This is what happened.


HARRIS: In this campaign we've also heard, and I'm going to now direct this at Vice-President Biden, I do not believe you are a racist and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground but I also believe - and it's personal and - I was actually very - it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that but you also worked with them to oppose busing.

And you know there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school everyday and that little girl was me. So I will tell you that on this subject it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats. We have to take it seriously. We have to act swiftly. As attorney general of California I was very proud to put in place a requirement that all my special agents would wear body cameras and keep those cameras on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Harris thank you. Vice-President Biden you have been invoked. We are going to give you a chance to respond. Vice-President Biden.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE-PRESIDENT, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a mischaracterization of my position across the board. I did not phrase racist, that is not true, number one. Number two if we want to have this campaign litigated on who supports civil rights and whether I did or not, I'm happy to do that.

I was the public defender. I didn't become a prosecutor. I came out and I left a good law firm to become a public defender. And in terms of busing, the busing I never - you would have been able to go to school the same exact way because it was a local decision made by your city council. That's fine. That's one of the things I argued for. That we should not be - we should be breaking down these lines.

But so the bottom line here is look everything I have done in my career, I ran because of civil rights, I continue to think we have to make fundamental changes in civil rights and those civil rights by the way include not just only African Americans but the LGBT community --

HARRIS: But Vice-President Biden do you agree today - do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America then? BIDEN: No.

HARRIS: Do you agree?

BIDEN: I did not oppose busing in America. What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education, that's what I opposed. I did not oppose --

HARRIS: Well there was a failure of states to integrate public --

BIDEN: No but --

[03:05:00] HARRIS: -- schools in America. I was part of the second class to integrate Berkeley California public schools almost two decades after Brown V. Board of Education --

BIDEN: Because your city council made that decision. It was a local decision --

HARRIS: So that's where the Federal Government must step-in. That's --

BIDEN: No, the Federal Government --


HARRIS: -- and the Civil Rights Act --



ROMANS: A fact check, Biden was a vocal opponent of federally mandated busing. He argued at the time busing programs were bad for local communities. He did he would allow busing under certain circumstances like when a school system has been racially segregated by gerrymandered district lines.

We should note Biden speaks today at the Jesse Jackson Rainbow PUSH conference in Chicago.

BRIGGS: All right. Batting lead-off for team no-sleep CNN's senior political analyst Mark Preston who has been here all evening. Good to see you sir.

ROMANS: Hey Mark.


BRIGGS: All right, did the fundamental dynamic of this race change tonight?

PRESTON: In the near-term yes. It remains to be seen what's going to happen over the next seven or eight days, that's when we'll see if what happened resonates and the American public actually grasps onto what happened. And as Kamala Harris basically landing a left-hook and putting Joe Biden, not back on his heels, but like literally on, you know, down (ph). Like he got knocked out.

But what's interesting though is that Joe Biden does so well with African American voters right now, he has a long history with them now, is that will he lose support there? That's really going to be the big sign I think. Because if he - because if he's able to still maintain support with African Americans then it didn't work.

ROMANS: Bernie Sanders?

PRESTON: Bernie's Bernie. Burned down the house, start the revolution, everyone's at fault, join me. I mean in - you know, that was his message and he did OK.

ROMANS: Pete Buttigieg?

PRESTON: I think he had one thing that he really had to show tonight and that he was a leader and that he was able to accept responsibility. I think he did that. I mean did he go and knock the doors off? Of course not. But I think - I thought he was pretty good tonight actually. By the way, he talked policy in a way that people could understand, which a lot of these folks can't because they're senators or congressmen.

BRIGGS: He clearly though has an issue with African American voters where Kamala Harris does not. She was the star of this debate stage. If she rises, who does she take away from?

PRESTON: Cory Booker, right? Because I mean you go back - if you go back to just less than a week, it was Cory Booker going after Joe Biden on same racial insensitivities, right? We were like wow Cory Booker landed quiet a punch there. Yes, yes, yes. He landed a punch but he did not land what Kamala Harris did.

Another person that it's going to hurt of course is going to be Joe Biden. I mean that's where it's going to come from. But for someone like Kamala Harris to win, and she really did well, she did really well during this debate, she's going to have to eat-in to that African American vote.

ROMANS: I mean just some of the - just the chatter or people talking about the debate last night, I mean you keep hearing people talk about how presidential she looked. I mean that Kamala Harris looked presidential --

PRESTON: She's a star.

ROMANS: Look, Symone Sanders who is a spokesman for Senator Biden - or Former Vice-President Joe Biden, here's what she said about the personal story here. I mean Kamala Harris really told this personal story that resonated, I think, really - you know tore away the policy parts of desegregation and busing and got very personal. Here's what Symone Sanders said.


SYMONE SANDERS, STRATEGIST: Senator Harris has a personal story and a very personal perspective which she came in (ph) the conversation, absolutely. And so the Vice-President engaged her in that conversation and I think overall tonight was a debate of ideas and we're proud of the Vice-President and what he did tonight.


ROMANS: Is Joe Biden wounded after last night?

[03:10:00] PRESTON: Oh my gosh he is. The question is, is it a fatal wound, is it something that can be patched up and he'll come around? It wasn't just that moment tonight, by the way. I mean, that was the moment that really galvanized the fact that Joe Biden might not be as focused as those supporters thought he would be in this race.

He should have been prepared for that. But there was also other moments during the debate where he just seemed to be a little bit slower or he kind of held back a little bit. And I just think that those are signs that people are looking for, whether that's right or wrong - we saw Bernie Sanders say today - or say after the debate that when people are saying stop with the generational stuff, well you should support somebody who you believe in, there is some - there is some truth to that but there's also some truth to someone's health. So that's going to be a question.


PRESTON: I'm not saying anything's wrong with Joe Biden, I'm saying people will be saying it.

BRIGGS: Was it the first cut in wounds that are going to open up in this boxing match? I want to ask you about the fundamental issues in this race, health care and immigration.

If you are the Republicans, if you are Donald Trump, are you thrilled to see this question about would you decriminalize illegal immigration. Here was the response of the 10 candidates.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raise your hand if you think it should be a civil offense rather than a crime to cross the border without documentation. Can we keep the hands up so we can see them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's remember that's not just a theoretical exercise --


BRIGGS: Julian Castro got this conversation started on night number one. Now you've got essentially the whole field decriminalizing illegal immigration. Is this a great night for Donald Trump?

PRESTON: Let me answer it two ways. One the image with certain verbiage looks terrible, right? Because it looks like Democrats are saying -- (CROSSTALK)

PRESTON: -- let them all in, come on, porous (ph) borders, right?

ROMANS: Right.

PRESTON: However, what the Republicans I think have - certainly Donald Trump has failed (ph) and maybe he just doesn't care is that we are a changing nation. We are a changing (Inaudible). And you have Democrats now embracing a minority group that at some point is going to become the majority minority of the United States. And they're embracing it (ph). I mean the Republicans are not.

So in the short-term, perhaps it could hurt them a little bit. In the long-term Republicans have problems.

ROMANS: I'm old enough to remember when the Republicans thought that this was a really important demographic for them.


PRESTON: Right. Ted Kennedy, John McCain --

ROMANS: Yes, that's right.

BRIGGS: This isn't about the long-run. This is right now and on health care and immigration they have moved a long way from Barack Obama. It's amazing.

PRESTON: Bernie Sanders --


BRIGGS: Moving on from Obama Care, moving on from his immigration stance.

PRESTON: Yes, but - and I would say that overall Bernie Sanders - I mean look we've said who was the big winner of 2016, how many times have we had this conversation, Bernie Sanders was the big winner. Why? Because he was able to push his message through and a lot of these things that he was pushing are now being adopted by Democrats.

ROMANS: All right.


BRIGGS: Get some sleep.

ROMANS: Nice to see you.

PRESTON: Appreciate it.

BRIGGS: All right, breaking over night, President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan. The president appearing to make light here of Russia's election interference. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don't meddle in the election please. Don't - don't meddle in the election.

[03:15:00] (CROSSTALK)


BRIGGS: Wow. Let's bring in CNN's Nick Robertson live from Osaka, Japan. Good morning Nick. What did we just witness?

NICK ROBERTSON, CNN, INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Dave that was a wow moment, wasn't it? I mean the (ph) Trump - President's been under pressure on the way over here, I know, the past many months and in fact every time he meets with President Putin tell President Putin not to meddle in the U.S. elections, are you going to do that? Are you going to do that? On his way here when he stopped off in Alaska his answer was essentially mind your own business. This is - I'm not going to tell you what I'm going to say in the meeting.

So here he is, the president, being asked that question again by a journalist in the room there, a big scrabble of reporters trying to get answers to their questions, and he turns in this sort of half- joking way to the Russian president sitting right next to him and says, don't meddle in the elections. Don't meddle in the elections please. To which Putin really just doesn't seem to take it seriously. And that seems to be pretty much the tone that President Trump was offering it. It had a very light-hearted, jokey sort of way.

I mean the other big development here this morning - I mean that was a sort of a wow moment. And the other kind of key moment was President Trump meeting just now with the Brazilian president and President Trump again asked a question about his key meeting with the Chinese President Xi tomorrow which is going to be all about tariffs, all about trade. When the president was asked have you compromised on holding back on tariffs to get into this meeting, and his answer was no.

There's obviously a lot of speculation that - and pressure from the Chinese side that President Trump should hold off on getting - on what is threatened, 25 percent tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. President saying no that's not the case. He's having that meeting, hopes it will be productive. Dave.

BRIGGS: Massively consequential couple of days. Nick Robertson live for us in Osaka. Thank you.

What is coming between Trump and Xi? We'll get into the Putin stuff later but --

ROMANS: I think that we've moved the goal post to being just avoiding $300 billion of tariff - new tariff products. And not fixing or getting back to the old deal that fell apart but just not making new --


ROMANS: -- on tariffs. That's going to be a success.

All right. Two pivotal rulings from the Supreme Court both could affect how the public's voice is counted.


ROMANS: El Salvadoran father and young daughter who drowned crossing the Rio Grande will be laid to rest today in the same grave in their native country. This image of Oscar Alberto Martinez and 23-year-old Angie Valeria face-down in murky water is a reminder of the harsh realities of the migration crisis. The life-and-death risks to reach the southern U.S. border. Their bodies were handed over Wednesday to Tanya Avalos, Martinez's wife and the child's mother, in Mexico.

This video is just terrible to watch. Their deaths weighing on member's of Congress. Listen to Congresswoman Veronica Escobar who represents Texas 16th District right along the border.


REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR, (D-TX): The photograph that all of us saw this week should tear all of us up. For those of us who are parents to see a toddler with her little arms wrapped around the neck of her father there is nothing that we wouldn't do for our children, nothing to give them a better life.


BRIGGS: Her remarks came shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would reluctantly pass the Senate's version of a border funding bill, that decision happening after major pressure from moderates in the Democratic caucus.


NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The children come first. At the end of the day we have to make sure that he resources needed to protect the children are available.


BRIGGS: The House passed the bill last night with 95 Democrats against. Progressive wanted more guarantees the $4.6 billion would be used to raise standards of care for migrant kids. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus issued a blistering statement after the bill was passed that said in part we will not forget this betrayal.

ROMANS: All right, to the Supreme Court now. Splitting the difference with two major decisions on the final day of it's term, the high court ruled on the conservative side of partisan gerrymandering. The decision will give new urgency to Democrats fighting to hold onto the House. One of the states involved in the case was North Carolina. The GOP won barely half the vote there yet holds 10 of 13 districts. The court also ruling the Trump administration cannot add a citizen question to the 2020 census, at least not yet.

CNN's Jessica Schneider has more from Washington.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN, JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine two major Supreme Court decisions dropping on the last day of the term and they are sure to impact who's representing all of us in Congress.

First partisan gerrymandering. The conservative justices led by Chief Justice John Roberts ruling that courts cannot decide when politicians have drawn congressional or state legislative district lines to gain political advantage.

Roberts in the opinion (ph) put it this way, saying partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts. Now that decision will leave all of the contested maps across the country intact. And this is important because opponents have argued that these districts are drawn carefully and even in odd shapes to clearly favor one party over another.

But Roberts is saying this is an issue that states and maybe commission should decide, not judges. And this ruling really currently benefits Republicans who control more of the state legislatures and therefore can draw more of the lines.

But while the chief justice did side with conservatives in that case, he did line up partly with liberals on the question of whether a citizenship questions can be added to the 2020 census. The court ruling that it cannot be added right now, but they sent the case back down to a New York federal court for more fact-finding.

[03:20:00] In particular, the Commerce Department needs to better explain why they want to add the question since challenges have contended that the Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is adding it purely out of politics since a citizenship question could undercount minorities or immigrants and really give Republicans an advantage.

Dave and Christine.

BRIGGS: Major day on the Supreme Court. Jessica thanks.

President Trump not happy with the Court census decision. He says he's now seeking to delay the constitutionally mandated census to give administration officials time to come up with a better explanation of why it should include a citizenship question. This actually goes against what the Justice Department argued in court. The Trump administration is insisting the printing deadline is Monday.

Meantime a judge in Maryland ruling in a separate case that the Justice Department must say whether the census is being printed without the citizenship question by Monday.

ROMANS: Wow there are few things to argue but the census and the Constitution very clear --

BRIGGS: Very clear.

ROMANS: -- that you count --

BRIGGS: No ambiguity there.

ROMANS: You count the people in this country every 10 years.

BRIGGS: No grey area.

ROMANS: Friends of author E. Jean Carroll are speaking out, helping to discredit a theory that her sexual assault allegation against Donald Trump was ripped from an episode of Law & Order: SVU. Donald Trump Jr. is among those promoting that.

The president's son re-Tweeting an episode which briefly mentions an alleged assault in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman similar to the attack that Carroll says happened in the 1990s. But now two of Carroll's friends are sharing their stories publicly and on the record.

Lisa Birnbach and Carol Martin both prominent media figures gave Carroll different opinions on how to proceed.


LISA BIRNBACH, FRIEND OF E. JEAN CARROLL: I said let's go to the police. No. Come to my house. No, I want to go home. I'll take you to the police. No. It was 15 minutes of my life, it's over. Don't ever tell anybody, I just had to tell you.

CAROL MARTIN, FRIEND OF E. JEAN CARROLL: I said don't tell anybody. I wouldn't tell anybody this.


ROMANS: Martin says she advised Carroll to keep quiet about her allegation because she believed Trump was powerful and had a lot of lawyers.

[03:25:00] BRIGGS: Wow. Ahead, a pregnant woman shot in the stomach. She lost the baby and now she is the one facing charges.


BRIGGS: All right. So new Twitter rules could impact President Trump's pension for late night and early morning Tweet-storms. The company plans to place a disclaimer on future Tweets from world leaders that break its rules against bullying and abusive behavior, which Twitter decides are still in the quote public interest. The new rules targets verified users with more than 100,000 followers who are influential government officials or running for public office. The president has repeatedly tested Twitter's community standards with his very regular tirades. ROMANS: New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio is apologizing for quoting Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara at a rally in Miami Thursday.


BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hasta la Victoria siempre. Brothers and sisters we will be with you every step of the way --


ROMANS: De Blasio was addressing striking workers at Miami International Airport when he shouted that phrase in Spanish, which translates to until victory always. The rallying cries deeply associated with Fidel Castro's communist revolution.

The backlash was swift before de Blasio issued an apology saying, I did not know the phrase I used in Miami today was associated with Che Guevara and I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way. I certainly apologize for not understanding that history.

Still critics point out that de Blasio studied Latin American politics, supported the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and honeymooned in.