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Disturbing Photographs Detail The Sheer Number Of People And Children Crammed Inside These Migrant Detention Facilities In Texas; 2020 Democratic Front Runner, Joe Biden, Raised $21.5 Million Since Entering The Race In Late April; Military Tanks Arrive In D.C. Ahead Of Fourth Of July Event. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired July 3, 2019 - 14:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: You are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me on this Wednesday. Just as a new disturbing photographs detail the sheer number of people and children crammed inside these migrant detention facilities in Texas, look at these drawings by children.

They now reveal and even crueler side to the crisis at the border. These are pictures that are drawn by 10-year-old and 11-year-olds. A holding center in McAllen, Texas just released these pictures and they appear to show children in cages.

This is what the children from Guatemala made when asked about their time in U.S. custody. Now McAllen is part of the Rio Grande Valley, a region, the Inspector General of Homeland Security just examined in an ominous report that warns of quote unquote "dangerous overcrowding," where some male detainees haven't showered for a month.

Others, it is reported clogged toilets just to be let out of their confinement during the repair. The report also reveals more than 135,000 families tried to enter the U.S. through the Rio Grande region this year that is a whopping 269 percent jump from last year. But beyond all these numbers and statistics and images, there is the smell.

The smell, as described by the incoming head of the American Academy of Pediatrics who visited two facilities in this area last week.


DR. SARA GOZA, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS INCOMING PRESIDENT: When they opened the door, the first thing that hit us was a smell. It was the smell of sweat, urine and feces.

And I heard crinkling to my left and I looked over there and there was a sea of silver and they were young children -- boys -- and they unaccompanied boys in there and they had no expressions on their faces. There was no laughing, no joking, no talking.

I describe them almost like dog cages with people in each of them and the silence were just hard see.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: And as all of this is happening at the U.S.-Mexico border,

Border Patrol agents are under fire for an online chat group accused of callous and offensive posts by former and current agents and CNN's Nick Valencia spoke exclusively to one Border Patrol agent.

Nick, incredible reporting from you and your team. I know that the Secretary of Homeland Security says that there will be an investigation. This agent says something must be done about the culture inside CBP.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, this veteran agent decided to speak out on condition of anonymity and I asked him why and he basically said enough is enough. They're tired of the horrid conditions inside the facilities.

The agent going on to say, so long as Border Patrol continues to respond like this, migrants in U.S. custody will never be safe.


VALENCIA: What do you say to leaders who are saying migrants are getting basic human rights?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is basic human rights? Toilet paper, water from the sink, wearing the same clothing for days. I remember when there used to be a processing center. We used to have -- especially in the winter -- we used to have these blankets and 10 different aliens would use the same blanket. We would recycle them.

You know put them in a bag and they wouldn't get washed.

VALENCIA: What about the kids?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, they just want hope. They want to believe in something.


VALENCIA: Brooke, there were several times during this interview that the agent had this sort of long blank stare and I asked the agent, "What are you thinking about?" And he said it's just really hard not to take home the emotional baggage from what you see inside and what you hear as well.

In fact, the agent going on to tell me earlier this week, they overheard a supervisor talking about that image that everyone saw of the Central American father and his daughter, Valeria, the two-year- old girl drowning after they tried to cross the Rio Grande.

That agent saying the supervisor joked about dead migrants. But that's not all.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was making fun of them.

VALENCIA: Saying what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That -- what difference doesn't make? It's just another life. He made a comment also regarding running over illegals and I'm like, you can now run over people?


VALENCIA: The agent saying being derogatory is part of Border Patrol culture. Now, these are very serious claims, very serious allegations -- allegations that we took to Customs and Border Protection.

While they did not directly respond, they did say they take them very seriously and they turned them over to the Office of the Inspector General -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Thank you for getting us one agent's perspective of all of this. Nick Valencia in El Paso, thank you. How is this sitting with children? Short term damage, long term -- we bring in child mental health expert. Judy Ho is a clinical and forensic psychologist who has worked at inpatient and residential psychiatric programs for children and teens.

[14:05:15] BALDWIN: So Judy, thank you for being on with me. And guys, let's pull those pictures back up. These drawings from these 10 and 11-year-olds, because the government claims these aren't cages. Here you go, I mean, call them whatever you want. But these drawings, how children perceive their experience, it looks like cages to me.

JUDY HO, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: That's right, Brooke, and I share the concerns of Dr. Sara and this Border Patrol agent. These are huge, impactful things for these children, especially as they grow into adulthood.

Right now, they are in conditions that could be construed as a form of imprisonment and also a form of neglect, and we know from research and clinical experience that for children who have been exposed to imprisonments or neglect, that they have higher risk of depression and suicidal thoughts as they grow older.

They have a higher risk of having functional difficulties as adults, as well as worse physical outcomes. And notwithstanding the fact that they are sort of experiencing a form of trauma. So what about the possible PTSD symptoms that they will develop as they get older, that changes the way that their brain processes things, their memory, the way that they interact with other people feeling like there's no place that's safe for them in this world.

BALDWIN: So -- and the thing is, they're like floating in limbo, right? We don't know how long they'll be at any given place. And so it's hard to even think of well, then what do you do to help them, but eventually, you know, Judy, what can be done for kids who have been held in custody to help mitigate any of what you just described?

HO: Absolutely, Brooke and that is part of the problem is that these children were promised that they would only be there for a few days, and all of a sudden, a few days turns into a week or more. And this is been very troubling for children. Children need boundaries and structure.

And so to your point, be able to recover from all of this, these children will need boundaries and structure as they get out. They will need to be comforted knowing that they still have a safe place somewhere that when somebody says something to them, that they can be counted on to follow through in the appropriate manner.

And certainly many of these children will probably need professional intervention from mental health experts.

BALDWIN: The former head of the American Academy of Pediatrics leader said this, "This is truly a very dark spot in U.S. history. This will be remembered as a time when the U.S. was cruel to immigrant children. It makes me wonder what kind of country are we that we would treat children this way."

And it just got me thinking, final thought from you, you know, when was the last time this was done to kids? Was it Japanese internment camps? I mean, just think of the damage and the repercussions?

HO: Absolutely. Historically, there has been a repeat of these circumstances and when we look at the long term consequences of people who have survived that, it hasn't change them in many ways.

And in other times, they've actually been unable to actually recover. They'll have long term negative mental health consequences and sometimes, they're not able to hold down a job. They're unable to have loving relationships, because they don't trust people.

And so we certainly need to help these children as much as we can when they get out of these conditions.

BALDWIN: Judy Ho, thank you very much. We talk a lot about numbers and statistics, but just to think about the psychological ramifications for these people, these children -- all part of this conversation. Thank you very much.

I want to move to the race for 2020. Joe Biden's first batch of fundraising numbers is in. The 2020 Democratic front runner raised $21.5 million since entering the race in late April. That puts the former Vice President behind South Bend Mayor, Pete Buttigieg who raised almost $25 million in the second quarter.

Biden does come out ahead of Bernie Sanders who is at the $18 million mark and we're still waiting on fundraising numbers from Kamala Harris' campaign.

Let's go straight to CNN Political Reporter, Arlette Saenz in Waterloo, Iowa where Biden is campaigning today. And you know, I mean, obviously, these are huge, huge numbers, but to folks who say, "Well, he didn't raise as much as Pete Buttigieg." How does the campaign respond to that?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Brooke, $21.5 million is certainly an impressive figure, the second largest figure reported so far. But, it's worth noting that Joe Biden entered the 2020 race three

weeks into that second fundraising quarter, so he wasn't working with as much time as the other candidates did.

But Biden also entered this race as one of the most well-known names in the field. And over the course of his campaign, so far, he has devoted a lot of time into holding these high dollar in person fundraisers.

He attended more than a dozen -- more than two dozen fundraisers over the course of his campaign so far, but so far, even though Biden was able to and willing to put in that work with those -- holding those fundraisers, he was not able to best the number that was posted by a relatively unknown candidate just a few months ago, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

[14:10:07] BALDWIN: Lastly, you're in Iowa, we know a number of these presidential hopefuls on the Democratic side are out and about trying to woo voters all over the map there in Iowa. What are Joe Biden's plans? And why is this state so important?

SAENZ: Well, Biden will be here later today in Waterloo holding an event tomorrow. He is marching in an Independence Day parade in Independence, Iowa. And I think Biden is trying to reassure voters that he is the best pick to be the Democratic nominee and take on President Trump after that shaky debate performance last week.

But you're also going to see other top tier contenders like Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. Kamala Harris really trying to capitalize off of her big debate moments last week. And of course, the candidates are here in Iowa today, which is exactly seven months away from the caucuses in February -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Arlette, thank you. And this week, the former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden will be sitting down with Chris Cuomo for a CNN exclusive interview as the competition surges. How does the 2020 democratic front runner stay ahead?

The interview this Friday morning, it's 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Eastern here on CNN.

Still to come this afternoon, President Trump is promising his salute to America will be, as he says the show of a lifetime. But what do our men and women in the military have to say about this? Some of the backlash coming up next.

And a judge says that a teenager accused of rape deserves leniency because pressing charges would ruin this young man's life. Outrage growing over this story.

And Iran breaches the nuclear deal with the country's President planning to enrich uranium. Could Iran be closer to producing its own nuclear weapons? You're watching CNN, I'm Brooke Baldwin.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [14:16:40] BALDWIN: On most holidays, friends, family come together

eat, make memories, leave politics far behind. But tomorrow on the Fourth of July, politics will be pretty hard to ignore in Washington, D.C.

President Trump will be front and center for salutes to America, an event believed to be inspired by a Bastille Parade he attended two years ago in Paris. Trump's U.S. version will be complete with tanks like the ones you see here, a military flyover and a VIP section for his allies and friends. Capping it all off, a speech by the President himself tomorrow night from the Lincoln Memorial.

Only causing critics to say this elaborate event is less about celebrating America and more about celebrating Trump. CNN's Tom Foreman has more on the planning and the backlash -- Tom.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Preparations are underway all up and down the National Mall here with some big pieces of military hardware being brought in as the president wished. For the White House, this is a big display of American exceptionalism. For the President's critics, it is instead an awful lot of fuss about him.

FOREMAN (voice over): The iconic fireworks over the National Mall will be moved to a new spot. All flights will be grounded at Washington's Reagan National Airport for more than two hours and three times the usual no number of National Guard troops will be deployed for security. All so President Donald Trump can be the centerpiece for D.C.'s Fourth of July celebration, giving an unprecedented speech at the Lincoln Memorial.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to have a great Fourth of July in Washington, D.C. It'll be like no other.


FOREMAN (voice over): For all the costly changes. It's still not precisely what he wanted early on, a grand military parade as seen in some other countries, such as France, Russia and North Korea, but cost estimates for that plan quickly ran into tens of millions of dollars.

The D.C. City council mindful of expensive street damage howled, "No, tanks." The Park Service has remained quiet about how much it will cost to take on the additional requirements. And the Pentagon is not discussing the price tag for a flyover by the Blue Angels, a plane that serves as Air Force One, some other aircraft and a couple of tanks and troop carriers that will also be there, but simply parked near the mall.


TRUMP: We want to bring millions of people into the city. And we want people to come who love our country. Those are the people we want.


FOREMAN (voice over): The President tweeting, "The Pentagon and our great military leaders are thrilled," after asking the Chiefs of every branch to stand with him during the celebration. The Pentagon not saying, which, if any are going.

And adding to the frustration of those who claim the traditionally nonpartisan event is being hijacked by Team Trump, the White House and the Republican National Committee are reportedly giving VIP access to favored friends and colleagues.

Democrats say on this scorching week, they are largely being frozen out. The White House response.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: This is a public event. It's open to the public.


FOREMAN (on camera): One group the White House may not be so happy to see, protesters who have obtained a permit to fly that baby Trump balloon over everything. So that will also be up in the air over the festivities.


[14:20:00] BALDWIN: Tom Foreman, thank you. And while the President claims that the military is quote "thrilled," CNN has learned the military chiefs were concerned about displaying tanks and other armored vehicles in an event some feel has been politicized.

Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling was the Army Commanding General of Europe in the Seventh Army. He's also a CNN military analyst. General, a happy early, early Fourth of July to you.

Listen, some of -- so you know, some of the top military chiefs aren't going, right? Some are sending alternates, but those who will be, will be there. General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of Joint Chiefs, the Navy Secretary and then the Acting Secretaries of Defense and the Air Force. DoD guidelines restrict political activities for all personnel. But the White House says this is all about patriotism. This isn't about politics. I know that, you know, top brass can't speak out. So what are you hearing? How are they feeling about this?

MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I'm hearing something different, Brooke from friends in both the active service and the retired ranks. And it's putting the Chiefs in a very difficult position to play a part in this political event. And make no mistake about it, that's what it has become.

You know, when we talk about the inspiration for various holidays, whether it's Martin Luther King Day or, you know, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, there's a focus on something. And Fourth of July has always been focused on our liberties and the signing of that great Declaration of Independence that reflects our values and what we fought for.

It hasn't been a political event. It hasn't been something that shored up the power of the military, but it's becoming that and it will certainly, more than likely, knowing the President's approach to these kind of things will be something that he will tout as a direct reflection of how great his administration is.

And I know the military, the senior military ranks do not want to be standing behind him when he does that, because they have continued to maintain their professionalism and their bipartisanism. But they also have to obey the orders. When the President says he wants some displays. He has got to get him there.

BALDWIN: Well, speaking of obeying orders, I mean, speaking of acting secretaries, do you think, General that it is a coincidence that this has been approved by an acting Defense Secretary who is vying for the job?

HERTLING: Yes, I don't know, Brooke, that's -- I would -- I'd be hesitant to say it's just because he is an acting guy. Again, the President is the Commander-in-Chief, when he wants something to happen, it happens.

And make no mistake about it either, Brooke, there are new military bases around the world. The military, gives some vehicles to the local community and it's mostly for recruitment purposes, because recruiters like to get out there on a Fourth of July and, and try and bring young people in.

But in this case, when you're talking about shipping vehicles from Fort Stewart, Georgia, and by the way, a shout out to the folks in first of the 64th Armor and the Third Infantry Division that got those vehicles up to Washington, D.C. on a turn of a dime to get them ready for this kind of static display. That's a hard job when you don't have a whole lot of notice and getting that equipment there on a real head and then on some heads.

But you know, they'll do that. But again, is it -- should it be part of the demonstration? It is the Fourth of July, as I said I'd much rather see kids having their face painted and fireworks and eating hot dogs and ice cream sundaes and enjoying what our Declaration of Independence says in terms of celebrating people.

You know, John Adams gave us the best advice back on the day that the Declaration was signed when he said, "We should celebrate this day with pageantry and pomp and bells ringing in the churches and people relishing in their citizenship." They should not be focused on military power, in my view.

BALDWIN: Quickly, you know, let's go back to Desert Storm, you actually commanded the Bradley tank, right? One of the many tanks on display. Did you ever think when you were over there that fast forward so many years and you would see these tanks rolling down the streets of Washington, D.C.?

HERTLING: I would not -- Brooke, I have to correct you though the Bradley is not a tank, it's a fighting vehicle. And there's a distinct difference.

BALDWIN: Fighting vehicle. Forgive me, I don't want to --

HERTLING: I know, all my military guys would give me a hard time for that. But there are tanks there. The Abrams tanks and the Bradley fighting vehicles which I think the President confused and called it Sherman or Sheridan.

So yes, I never thought I would have experienced that. It is an awesome piece of weaponry for conventional warfighting, it should not be part of the celebration of our liberty, in my view.

BALDWIN: General Hertling, thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.

HERTLING: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, he is accused of raping a teenage girl at a party recording it with his cell phone and sharing the video with his friends and a New Jersey judge says that this young man deserves leniency because he's quote unquote, "from a good family." But what about the alleged victim here?


[14:29:29] BALDWIN: I want to turn now to a story we all should be paying attention to. A 16-year-old girl from New Jersey was sexually assaulted during a pajama-themed party. There was alcohol. She was visibly intoxicated. Her speech was slurred and a young man at this party identified in court documents only as GMC goes into a dark room with her, grabs his cell phone and films himself penetrating this limp 16-year-old girl from behind, displaying her bare torso and her head hanging down. This is all from these documents.