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Trump Jokes about Election Interference; House Passes Senate Border Bill; Second Democratic Debate; Harris Confronts Biden on Race; Rapinoe Stands By Comments. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired June 28, 2019 - 06:30   ET



[06:32:25] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We have breaking news for you.

President Trump joking with Russian President Vladimir Putin about Russia's election interference during the 2016 election.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins is live for us in Japan at the G-20 Summit with this moment.

What happened?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, it was really something. It was the first time that President Trump and President Putin have come face-to-face since Robert Mueller published his report detailing that there was a systemic effort on behalf of the Russians to interfere in the American election. But President Trump himself didn't bring up election interference. It was a reporter in the room who asked the president if he was going to warn Putin not to meddle in American elections again. And this is how the president responded to that question.


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

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


COLLINS: Now, of course you see the president almost sarcastically saying there that, yes, he is going to bring it up with him. And that comes after, in the days leading up to this summit, the president told reporters it was none of their business what he was going to discuss with Vladimir Putin. And, of course, they have a history of keeping what is said during those meeting just between the two of them or between very few officials.

And we should also note that Putin brought up the fact that this was the first time he had seen President Trump since they sat down face to face in Helsinki, where they had a very lengthy meeting. And then, of course, during that press conference, that moment when the president equated Vladimir Putin's denial of interference in the election with what the intelligence community has concluded, which is that, yes, they did interfere in the election.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Kaitlan Collins for us in Osaka. Think of the ways President Trump could have answered that question and instead he jokes. He jokes about the attacks on the U.S. election system. An extraordinary moment. Thank you, Kaitlan.

Big news overnight and we're getting new reaction from the fact that the House passed the Senate's $4.6 billion border bill. Why is this important? Well, it was a failure for Nancy Pelosi to really harness her caucus and get them all on the same page. She had to bow to Republican pressure.

CNN's Lauren Fox live on Capitol Hill with the latest here.


LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: John, you know, we've seen this show before, Republican speakers have had to get their caucuses together in the past. This time it was Nancy Pelosi who could not get progressives and moderate members of her caucus on the same page. Moderates vowed that they would block a procedural vote if they did not get the Senate passed border supplemental bill on the floor. But that caused progressives to really call out their moderate colleagues.

I just want to read you a tweet from Mark Pocan, who is the leader of the progressive caucus. He said essentially that these members -- he said, quote, since when did the Problem Solves Caucus become the child abuse caucus. Wouldn't they want to at least fight contractors who run deplorable facilities? Kids are not the -- kids are the only ones who could lose today.

[06:35:16] And then I asked Congresswoman Jayapal later, you know, what was she thinking when it came to the Senate Democrats who voted for this bill? She said, quote, I am looking for a new pharmaceutical drug that builds spines. So that gives you a sense of how frustrated progressives were, especially with their Democrats in the Senate who voted overwhelmingly to support the Senate border supplemental package. The argument from the House Democrats, at least from the progressives, was that there were not enough protections to stop the Trump administration from spending money on border enforcement. They argue that they wanted to see more of the money going to the humanitarian crisis. Senate Democrats argued the money was going to the humanitarian crisis.

But this is really the first division we've seen as Nancy Pelosi struggled to bring her caucus together.


CAMEROTA: Yes, it was very interesting to watch all of that play out.

Lauren, thank you.

So, which candidate will get a bump in the polls after the debates? That's next.


[06:40:09] CAMEROTA: The first 2020 Democratic primary debates are in the books. Will they move the needle now and will it help to beat President Trump?

Joining us is Michael Smerconish, CNN political commentator and host of CNN's "SMERCONISH."

Michael, your 30,000-foot-level view -- that might have been redundant. What did you think of last night?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I know that about two weeks ago I said to both you and John that the only thing we know for sure is that there's uncertainty ahead. That there are events about to unfold that we could never anticipate.

Alisyn, who thought that the morning after the first debate involving Vice President Biden we would be sitting her debating his report vis- a-vis busing -- he, the man, who served as vice president for eight years with the nation's first African-American president -- and yet that's where we are. And I went to bed last night reading his memoir because in "Promises to Keep," which he wrote in 2007, he spends five pages on the subject. And may I suggest that he does a far better job in those five pages that he did in 60 seconds last night differentiating between de facto and de jure segregation.

Him saying that with regard to unintentional segregation, he was opposed to busing. That it was a liberal train wreck. But that with regard to government intended segregation, he'd, quote, use helicopters if that was what was necessary to remedy the situation. He's going to have to come back and offer the explanation from the memoir and not from the stage of last night.

BERMAN: Did the way he answered that question out loud on stage last night -- it is interesting, he's got a book where he goes into this -- should he have not been better prepared to answer that question?

SMERCONISH: I think that he should have. I think he was -- look, I think he was caught off guard. I think -- I think, frankly, we were all caught off guard that Kamala Harris was ready in the first debate to go there. And, you know, the social media action plan that she then implemented showed that this was all with malice of forethought. But I think she did catch him a bit flat footed. He has a better answer than the one that he offered from the debate stage.

CAMEROTA: Because you have your finger on the pulse of Pennsylvania voters, and others, I want to talk about this moment that is getting a lot of attention in conservative circles at least, and that is when everyone, all the candidates on stage were asked if they would provide health care to undocumented immigrants. And every single person raised their hands. President Trump then tweeted afterwards, all Democrats just raced their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited health care. How about taking care of American citizens first? That's the end of the race!

And "The New York Post," a Murdoch property, of course, agreed that basically that's how Democrats lose.

SMERCONISH: I don't -- I don't agree. I think that there's this tension, and we've discussed this, between pragmatism and progressivism that's really heightened and how Democrats cannot go too far to the left and then jeopardize themselves in the general election.

But, Alisyn, two, three days removed from that photograph of the father and daughter lying face down in the Rio Grande, I don't think this is the issue that's going to blow it for the Democrats. I disagree that that particular answer last night was lethal.

BERMAN: All right, I want to ask you about a moment that just happened, Michael, a few minutes ago in Osaka, Japan. President Donald Trump was sitting right next to the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, and was asked a direct question about the Russian attack on the U.S. election and whether it would come up in his meeting with Vladimir Putin. Watch this.


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

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


BERMAN: He laughed it off, Michael. The president laughed it off side- by-side with Vladimir Putin.

SMERCONISH: The best line, perhaps the only memorable line from Andrew Yang last night at the debate is the line in which he said that the Russians are laughing their asses off after having hacked our election. Well, Andrew Yang was half right because it's both Putin and Trump who are laughing their asses off at what happened in 2016, and that's an outrage.

CAMEROTA: Michael, but the way he phrased it, the way the president said it, he leaned over, he smiled, don't meddle in our election, please. There's a deferential quality. I call it a thank you, sir, may I have another quality.

Do you think that that bothers Americans? Does that bother voters on either side? Well, obviously, it bothers Democrats. Do you think that Republicans hear that and bristle a little bit?

SMERCONISH: If they do bristle, they keep it to themselves.

But, look, this is the same trip, this G-20 trip that has already seen the president embrace MBS with whom I think he's having breakfast later tonight our time. You know, he's got this inexplicable desire to be close to these strong men, whether it's Kim, whether it's MBS, whether it's Putin, and he's overly differential to them despite the way in which he projects himself at home as being a strong man himself.

[06:45:13] BERMAN: As you were speaking, we just saw a picture of President Trump at the G-20. They're getting ready for their sort of family photo, all the world leaders. And you saw President Trump a step in front of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman.

And just to reiterate, Michael, we heard from Robert Mueller and the one thing he wanted us to take from the Mueller report was how serious the Russian attack was on the U.S. election. And it doesn't seem like the president got that message.

SMERCONISH: Well, it makes you concerned about whether we've taken the necessary precautions for 2020. What comfort level are any of us to have if the response is as tepid as that video footage between the president and Putin suggests.

BERMAN: Tepid is even generous, I think.

Michael Smerconish, great to have you with us. I think we need a whole segment on Michael Smerconish's bedtime reading.

CAMEROTA: Yes. He does a lot of reading.

BERMAN: What kind of stuff -- what's on his nightstand?

CAMEROTA: You know what, Michael Smerconish needs a book club, but I do feel like he's launching a book club on our program.


CAMEROTA: Michael, great to see you.

Watch "SMERCONISH" tomorrow and every Saturday at 9:00 a.m. right here on CNN.

All right, Senator Kamala Harris confronting former Vice President Joe Biden over his record on race. So we're going to take a closer look at his past record on mandatory school busing and integration. What is the truth? That's next.


[06:50:19] BERMAN: All right, the most talked about moment this morning from the debate, the most intense moment of the debate was Senator Kamala Harris talking to the former vice president, Joe Biden, about his record on race and his history on the issue of forced busing.

So what is that history exactly? Our Jeff Zeleny takes a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do not believe you are a racist. And I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): With those words, Senator Kamala Harris confronting former Vice President Joe Biden and his long record on race in the most dramatic exchange in the first Democratic debate Thursday night in Miami.

HARRIS: 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 every day. And that little girl was me.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The fact is that 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.

HARRIS: 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.

ZELENY: That moment shining new light on a long ago chapter of Biden's life. From his earliest years in the Senate, when he strongly opposed mandatory school busing that was designed to achieve integration and a more equitable education.

It was the mid-1970s. Biden favored desegregation, but not through busing. What's less known is how he followed the lead of some of the Senate's most fervent segregationists. In a series of never before published letters reviewed by CNN, the strength of Biden's opposition to busing comes into sharper focus.

On March 25, 1977, Biden wrote, my bill strikes at the heart of the injustice of court-ordered busing. It prohibits the federal courts from disrupting our educational system.

Biden sought and received support from Mississippi Senator James Eastland, the Democratic chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a leading symbol of southern resistance to desegregation. He frequently spoke of blacks as, quote, an inferior race.

Biden reflected on that era earlier this year.

BIDEN: They're a bunch of racists. In other words, you know, James O. Eastland of Mississippi, Strom Thurmond and so on. There were nine guys and -- who were in the caucus that were, you know, I ran against them in the civil rights movement.

ZELENY: But he did not say that Eastland and others were partners on several of Biden's anti-busing bills.

On June 30, 1977, Biden wrote, Dear Mr. Chairman, I want you to know that I very much appreciate your help during this week's committee meeting in attempting to bring my anti-busing legislation to a vote.

Then in 1978 Biden again asked Eastland to put his anti-busing bill before the full Senate, writing, your participation in floor debate will be welcomed.

Four decades later, after building a strong civil rights record, Biden stands by his opposition to busing, arguing it did not address institutional racism. Most busing programs in America were later abandoned after bringing more hardship than equal opportunity to all students.

BIDEN: 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.

ZELENY: Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Miami.


BERMAN: Our thanks to Jeff for that.

So Team USA soccer star Megan Rapinoe not backing down on her comments about visiting the White House if they win the World Cup. Big game just hours away. That's next.


[06:58:19] BERMAN: We've got a huge game for the U.S. soccer team later today. And star Megan Rapinoe not backing down from her war of words with President Trump.

Andy Scholes with the very latest in the "Bleacher Report."


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, John and Alisyn.

You know, Rapinoe said she would not visit the bleeping White House, which sparked a response from President Trump. He then invited her and the team to the White House, win or lost, but said Rapinoe should win first before she talks. And yesterday Rapinoe, she didn't take any questions about her spat with President Trump, but she did explain her reasoning for what she said.


MEGAN RAPINOE, TEAM USA CO-CAPTAIN: I stand by the comments that I made about not wanting to go to the White House. I don't think that I would want to go and I would encourage my teammates to think hard about lending that platform or having that coopted by an administration that doesn't feel the same way and doesn't fight for the same things that -- that we fight for.


SCHOLES: Now, Rapinoe is a vocal critic of President Trump and policies that discriminate against LGBTQ people. She's kneeled during the national anthem in the past, but U.S. Soccer now requires players to stand.

Team USA plays France in the quarter finals this afternoon, 3:00 Eastern. It's a matchup many consider worthy of a final. The U.S. has never played a host country in the Women's World Cup. And the only loss the team has had since 2017, guys, is to France back in January. And they lost that game 3-1. It's going to be a good one. If you only watch one game in the Women's World Cup, today is the day to tune in.

BERMAN: No, it's a hugest test. A huge test.

CAMEROTA: It's a nail-biter. My daughters, who are soccer players, are so excited about it. Everybody in my house can't wait to be there.

Andy, thank you.

SCHOLES: All right.

CAMEROTA: OK, and thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you CNN "TALK" is next. For our U.S. viewers, a big breakout moment for Kamala Harris. NEW DAY continues right now.

[07:00:03] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We rescind every damn thing on this issue that Trump has done.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's personal and hurtful to hear you talk.