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AT THIS HOUR
Trump On Biden, Border, Jobs, Census Controversy; Democratic Candidates Talk Education At Union Forum; Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Democratic Candidate, Interviewed. Aired 11:30a-12p ET
Aired July 5, 2019 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: That's not what they've trained to be. They trained to be Border Patrol and that's what they're doing and they're doing a phenomenal job.
Because of the country, because we're doing so well as a country -- we've never done this.
Well, two days ago, we hit the highest stock market number we've ever had in the history of our country. Our country is doing great. Unemployment is very low. We just came out with 224,000 new jobs. The numbers are unbelievable. And that's bringing people up like they've never come up. Border Patrol and ICE have done a great job.
Now, people are being removed from the country. We're removing them. We starting with the MS-13. We've taken out thousands of the MS-13 gang. But we've never had an onslaught, and the reason they came up is because -- and they come up, is because the country is doing well and they want jobs.
REPORTER: We have a report that says that the facilities are overcrowded, they're dirty and it's a widespread problem. So what do you mean they're running --
TRUMP: I think they do a great job with those facilities. But you know how it could be taken care of? Number one, tell them not to come because it's illegal. It's very unfair to people that have been waiting in line for seven or eight years and they're about to be admitted and they've studied and they know the country and the history, and then a person comes in, walks in, and all of a sudden they become a citizen or they're allowed to stay.
So thousands and thousands of people will be legally removed from the country and that process has started, and we've actually been doing that for a long time.
TRUMP: Well, that I don't know, because I don't run it. But I would say this. Probably every club in the United States has that, because it seems to be, from what I understand, a way that people did business. But we've ended whatever they did. We have a very strict rule and those rules are very strict. But it seems that every club practically in the United States, that's the way they did business.
TRUMP: Well, I haven't seen it. I will say this. I think that the Border Patrol has been treated very, very badly by certain members of Congress, very, very badly. For the most part, they're very respected by Congress. But certain members of Congress say very bad things and lie and exaggerate, and Border Patrol people are tough people. They're not happy about it.
REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) today?
TRUMP: I just spoke with the Attorney General. We have a number of different avenues. We can use all of them or one. We're doing very well on that issue. We're spending $15 to $20 billion on a census. We're doing everything. We're finding out everything about everybody. Think of it, $15 to $20 billion and you're not allowed to ask them are you a citizen.
And by the way, if you look at the history of our country, it's almost always been asked. So we're fighting very hard against the system that's a very difficult system. But we'll make a decision. The Attorney General is working on that right now.
REPORTER: What's the reason, Mr. President, for trying to get a citizenship question?
TRUMP: Well, you need it for many reasons. Number one, you need it for Congress for districting, you need it for appropriations, where are the funds going, how many people are there, are they citizens, are they not citizens? You need it for many reasons.
REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) Ivanka Trump after the G20?
REPORTER: What (INAUDIBLE) Ivanka Trump after the G20?
TRUMP: I thought Ivanka was amazing at the G20. And I'll tell you the foreign leaders loved her. And they just think she's great. She's very smart and she's done a great job. She's sacrificed a lot. Ivanka and Jared work very hard and they've sacrificed a lot to be doing this. But they want to do it.
Ivanka has worked on almost 10 million jobs, training and going to companies and getting them to hire people. But the people, the foreign leaders, really like her a lot.
REPORTER: Are you grooming her for office?
TRUMP: I'm not grooming her for office.
REPORTER: As a parent, doesn't that make you want to do something?
TRUMP: Well, as you know, President Obama had separation. President Obama, in 2014, built the cells that you always show on television. They were built by President Obama. But he had separation. The one thing he didn't have is a good economy.
So he didn't have the kind of onslaught that we're having. We have a tremendous onslaught of people. Who can blame them? They want to get in. They want to take advantage of the economy. But they have to come in legally into America.
I think the Border Patrol has done an incredible job and Mexico has been doing an incredible job.
TRUMP: Yes, he is. Wilbur is a good man. Look, a lot of people thought his answer was fine. I didn't see the answer yet. They thought it was fine. It can be expanded, very simply. There are many reasons that you do it. But we were surprised by that decision.
Citizenship has been on that thing most of the time for many, many years. So it's very shocking that after spending $15 billion, it's not on.
REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) to pull out in NATO?
TRUMP: No, no. Tell Biden that NATO has taken total advantage of him and President Obama. We were paying for almost all of NATO. We're protecting countries. Those countries have to protect themselves with us. They have to make a contribution.
In my first year I raised over $100 billion from those countries. Biden didn't know what the hell he was doing and neither did President Obama. NATO was taking advantage of them. Now, they are paying.
They still owe us a lot of money. Biden doesn't know about that. He just thinks stupidly, we do. NATO is fine but they have to pay their way. The United States is not going to get killed on trade with Europe. Europe kills us on trade, which we're changing. And Europe then kills us because we defend Europe and we lose a tremendous amount of money. So we lose on trade and the military.
President Obama and Vice President Biden, they didn't have a clue. They got taken advantage of by China, by NATO, by every country they did business with.
REPORTER: Are you watching the World Cup Final on Sunday?
TRUMP: I don't know that I'll be able to.
REPORTER: Do you have a message for Team USA?
TRUMP: I just -- I hope they do well. I hope they win.
REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) meet with Kim Jong-un? Why did you say that? How can you say they're (INAUDIBLE)?
TRUMP: Because Kim Jong-un, on numerous occasions, said to me President Obama wanted to meet with Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-un said no. Numerous occasions, he called. And right now we have a very, nice relationship. We've done a lot and we've gotten our hostages back. We're getting the remains back. A lot of things are happening and there's been no nuclear testing.
During President Obama, there were nuclear testing, they were sending missiles. Right now, everything is nice and quiet.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN AT THIS HOUR: All right. President Trump there in the South Lawn speaking to reporters for quite some time. Just not the very end, a quick fact-check and we move on.
He continues to say that President Obama wanted to -- had asked and requested to meet with Kim Jong-un numerous times. There's no evidence that we've seen that that is actually the case. Regardless, the President continues to say that.
Joining me right now though, CNN White House Correspondent, Kaitlan Collins, Times National Correspondent and CNN Political Analyst, Molly Ball, and CNN Supreme Court Reporter, Ariane de Vogue.
Kaitlan, your voice I heard a couple of times in that scrum of reporters over the hum of Marine One. One thing we heard over and over again from the President is the President defending Customs and Border Protection and you pressed him on that in light of, well, all the information that's come out from the Facebook pages to the Inspector General's report.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That report from the President's own government, which went to several of these facilities and detailed essentially how dirty they are, how overcrowded they are and how this is a widespread problem.
The President said that's not so. He defended these facilities. He said, they're beautifully run. He said they're clean. He also defended, of course, the agents who work there, saying that they are not doctors or janitors or nurses and they cannot be essentially defending the way that these migrants at the border facilities have been treated.
Now, of course, the government report does not show that these facilities are beautifully run and clean and that was exactly the issue. But the President disputed that several times during that gaggle with reporters saying that they are run well. Even when he was asked, how do you feel as a parent about this? The President said that he was going to defend the agents and he stood by them.
Of course, Kate, the other big headline coming out of that was what the President said about this citizenship question on the census. He says they're exploring a number of options and that he had just spoken with Attorney General Bill Barr, and that are considering adding a supplement to the -- because, of course, we know that these questionnaires are being printed, as we speak. They started that on Monday when they initially dropped their effort to add that question and then reversed course abruptly the next day. But the President says they're considering an executive order potentially to add the question as a supplement to the census because he made very clear he still wants that citizenship question on there.
And he also defended Wilbur Ross's job. He said his job is safe because, of course, our reporting shows that the President has actually been really frustrated with his Commerce Secretary and how he has handled the census.
BOLDUAN: Yes. Ariane, let me get on the census because we have a lot of questions on that.
But just to button up the whole thing going on at the border, I did notice, and I think everyone who was watching as well that the President fell back on something that he often does when he doesn't want to acknowledge reality, which is when asked about another fact point that is negative to his point, which is about the Facebook pages, the President says, I haven't seen them. Though the President has no problem commenting on things he hasn't seen when he feels they work in his favor.
Ariane, though, let's get to the census. He said that there are four to five options that they're considering. As Kaitlan points out, an executive order is one of them. You have a lot of reporting about this. Is that what -- are there four to five options here?
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: There are options. And I do think that's really interesting because those comments are coming a couple of hours before the Justice Department has to go into this court and say whether or not officially this question will be on the census.
Keep in mind, they said that they're going to print it. The status quo has been that they want to keep looking at these options. The fact that the President just said that suggests that they're going to go into court and say, look, we're still considering our options. It's not on it right now, but we're considering our options. And this comes after that wild week when, first, the department said that it wasn't going to be on there, and then Trump Tweeted, then they reversed course.
So here are some of the options. He talked there about the executive order, and that's something that conservative legal scholars have been talking about a lot in the last few days. They think that he can go in and say he has the authority. Others say that the constitution gives the authority to Congress there. So that would be immediately challenged and could be enjoined very quickly.
He could do other things. He could somehow try to supplement it down the road. But the problem with that, Kate, is that runs into this deadline. This thing has to be printed. And the Census Bureau officials have warned that you can't wait too long. They're looking at October.
And finally, another thing that he could do is just go back to the Supreme Court maybe as some sort of motion to reconsider.
But this is a very fraught, legal path, and that's because despite everything I've just told you, there are also two pending legal cases, one in Maryland and one in New York. Those now, if the government does what Trump suggested it was going to do, those will continue into the summer.
It brings the question though that the President won't have looked like he caved on this issue. It will look like he fought it. But challengers fear that it's going to so sow a little bit of fear or confusion to people out there who are trying to keep up with this, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Well -- and, Ariane, real quick, he also mentions Chief Justice John Roberts and he talks about him. You all saw the reporting that he's not only talking about him publicly, he's been talking about Chief Justice Roberts privately as well.
DE VOGUE: Well, keep in mind, Chief Justice John Roberts, he sided with the liberals there and said basically that the justification that the Department of Justice put forward was contrived. Roberts said, you've got to go back and do it again. So he blocked the question for now.
I have a source behind the scenes who said that that has frustrated Trump, despite what he just said there. And, in fact, President Trump feels like he wants to keep fighting. If this makes it back to the Supreme Court, then maybe Roberts will have to look at it again. But we've got a lot of questions pending right now.
BOLDUAN: Yes, only questions. There are no answers. There are only questions with regard to the census. And, again, everybody, just as a reminder, this is why it matters. It comes down to millions and millions of dollars that will be handed out to states and it comes down to how congressional districts are drawn in the crazy way that they are drawn these days and that comes down to the balance of power.
And this comes in light of new evidence that came forward in light of this whole Supreme Court case that suggested that there was a republican strategist who had talked to Donald Trump and his team about how it would be to the advantage of republicans to have this question on there, because it could suppress migrant communities and immigrant communities responding to the survey. I just wanted to make sure we gave that back ground.
Molly Ball, round this out for me, because the other big thing that the President talked about is Joe Biden, and talking about, which is coming out in the CNN interview with Chris Cuomo that Joe Biden just did. And it seems that Trump is sharpening his attack on the frontrunner.
MOLLY BALL, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Well, it was interesting that he went immediately to foreign policy and taking the question of are you a bully and saying, well, no, I'm stopping the United States from being taken advantage of in all these ways and that Biden and the Obama administration didn't do this right, they're the ones who got us into this mess. It was interesting, because, you know, in that interview, we also heard Joe Biden focus a lot on his foreign policy expertise.
And although the conventional wisdom is that voters aren't that interested in foreign policy arguments, I do think this is going to be a very important theme of the election, no matter who the democratic nominee is, because of Trump's unconventional approach to foreign policy, because of America's standing in the world.
I think you're going to have, whoever the democratic nominee is, making a similar argument to the one that Biden is may being, international institutions like NATO are popular. But some of the trade policies and other policies, internationalist policies that Biden has backed in the past may not be.
And so that's going to be an important debate in next year's general election. I don't know how it plays in the democratic primary.
But to the extent that any time Trump has attacked Biden, it has raised Biden's stature with democratic primary voters. He just did that again.
BOLDUAN: And, Kaitlan, one mystery, and it remains a mystery, but the President did comment on the mysterious sudden cancellation Mike Pence had to make. He was going to New Hampshire. He canceled the trip as they were at the airport, ready to leave. And we've no word exactly why. And the President seemed to give something on that.
COLLINS: Yes. As Air Force Two was sitting at Joint Base Andrews, the Vice President was even on the plane, and they called off that trip so last minute, which sparked a lot of confusion back here at the White House. We asked the President why was that trip canceled so abruptly, something that is incredibly rare.
And the President said we'll find out in two weeks. He said it was some kind of issue that's something to do with New Hampshire. Remember, this was an event that the Vice President was was going to on opioids, but he wouldn't detail what it was. He said he couldn't go into the detail and he said we'll find out in two weeks why that cancellation was. So still going to be a lot of questions about that, no detail there.
One other interesting thing the President did say, he was talking about that July 4th speech he gave last night on the National Mall, where at one point, there was a lot of confusion because he talked about airports during the revolutionary war, which, of course, did not exist.
The President told reporters that was because teleprompter cut out. He thinks it was because of the rain and he could not see what he said. There were no words on the screen, the President said. And he said it was not a good feeling to have that happen while you're speaking in front of so many people.
BOLDUAN: And anyone who has talked on live T.V. can definitely sympathize with that sentiment when the teleprompter does go blank.
I will say, I do though question though, Kaitlan, and we will be the judge in two weeks' time if this is a real two weeks when you're going find something out from the President when he gives that deadline or if this is just the proverbial you'll know in two weeks, which he has given a million times when he actually has no clue or no desire to put a deadline on anything.
Great to see you, guys. Thank you so very much.
Coming up for us still, much of the 2020 democratic field is heading to Houston today to talk about education in America. Governor Jay Inslee, he just released his plan. Where does he stand on one of the big topics that has been in the democratic primary so far? Forgiving student loan debt, free college for all. The governor joins me next.
BOLDUAN: Today in Houston, Texas, a large chunk of the democratic primary field will converge to take on education at an event hosted by the nation's largest Teachers Union.
And joining me now from Houston, current 2020 presidential candidate, the Governor of Washington, Governor Jay Inslee. Governor, thank you for being here.
GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA): Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Today's event is all about education. You've just unveiled your plan for education, your campaign for it. A big topic on the trail has been free college for all, free college tuition. Your plan does not go as far on this topic as some of the other candidates, like Elizabeth Warren. Where are you on this?
INSLEE: Well, where we are is we want to make sure that every student that wants a college education can afford it, and my plan does that. Because it's not just a plan, it's actually built on accomplishments.
And it is one, actually, advantage of being a governor because we can actually show that we have succeeded in my state of making sure that if you want to go to college, you will have a way to do it. We've now provided free college education, or will, for about 110,000 students because it focuses on the actual needs of the students.
Look, students have different needs. Children of millionaires have less needs than children who live in poverty. And we've focused on giving those who really have a need get what they need.
But we have succeeded in making sure that if you want to go to college, you can do that, and my plan will accomplish that in the United States. That's the advantage of being a governor. We've actually had real accomplishments.
BOLDUAN: You know, when you talk about education, that gets you directly to jobs, and the jobs report out this morning, it was a big report. The U.S. economy added 224,000 jobs in June, really blowing past all expectations that had been set. How do you make the argument when you see continued jobs reports, when you see a trend like we are seeing, how do you argue that this economy isn't working?
INSLEE: Well, three things. Number one, it's not working as well as our economy in Washington State. I'm proud to say that what I working with many people in Washington have been able to do is build a better economy than Donald Trump's economy. We have higher GDP than his national rate. We have a higher wage growth. We have been named the best place to do business in the United States and the best place to work in the United States. So we have a proven track record of a middle-out economy as well and this is the difference.
Donald Trump has a trickle-down theory of economic development. We understand that half the workers in America have not had a raise in about 20 years. We have been focusing on everyone moving up the economic ladder. That's why we have the highest minimum wage in the United States. We have the best paid family leave in the United States. I'm here just proud that we just had the biggest compensation increase for educators in the United States.
And we're paying for these things that we're doing for our community by taxing those who ought to be, which are the big banks. So when we paid for this scholarship program for 110,000 college students, we put the tax in the big banks where they belong. So this is an economic development theory that works for everyone and that's what America needs.
BOLDUAN: You know, you talk about your track record. You have a track record. You have been governor. You have evidence of making it work or having to make it work because that's what governors have to do. I wonder how that is or isn't translating when it's connecting with voters going forward? Because post-debate you've seen a drop in support.
CNN's poll asked in our polling which candidate can best handle the climate crisis. Biden, Sanders, Warren -- Biden, Sanders and Warren all score higher than you, tied with Harris there. And this climate crisis is your singular important issue. You say everything comes from that if we focus on that. Are you to a place where you think you need to change strategy now?
INSLEE: No. We just need to introduce ourselves to Americans. Look, this is early in the process. I'm starting at the ground floor. I'm the new kid on the block, if
you will. And people don't know. They can't pick me out of a lineup. We need to introduce ourselves to Americans.
We are seeing a surge of support actually since the debate around the climate change issue because towns are burning down in California, the fields are flooded in the Midwest, Miami is inundated and my plan has been called the gold standard of the climate change plans by Ocasio- Cortez, by numerous people who have looked at it.
It's also based on my experience, which is actually accomplishments, not just plans.
I've actually passed a 100 percent clean electrical grid bill. We've built a $6 billion wind industry in our state.
So we are in a building project. That's what campaigns are about. And I feel good about the direction we're heading actually.
BOLDUAN: Governor, when you're talking about accomplishments again, it does remind me there was a real moment during the debate that I wanted to ask you about because we haven't had a chance to talk since.
You were talking about your fight for reproductive rights. And you were saying that there's one candidate that's actually advanced the ball when it comes to protecting reproductive rights, that candidate being you.
Amy Klobuchar jumped in, the Senator, and she just said, I just want to say there are three women -- she tried to -- she checked you. She said, I want to make sure -- I want to say there's three women up here that have fought pretty hard for a woman's right to choose. And she got a big round of applause in the theater when she said that. Do you regret how that moment went?
INSLEE: Well, no. Look, we're both right. Everyone on that stage, to some degree, has tried to stand up in some respect for a woman's right of choice. The point I was making is also accurate, which is I have actually been able to pass one of the few Reproductive Parity Acts that actually guarantee a woman's right to insurance coverage. And that is an important thing and I would want to make that a national policy.
I think it is very important to think women should be protected in any state, in any zip code, and both genders ought to be standing up for the women of this country, not just the women candidates, not just the men candidates, both genders need to make this a constitutionally protected right by a civil rights law federally. And I'm committed to that. I'm proud of my achievement in that regard.
Now, I'm happy to contrast my record to Senator Klobuchar. I think you'll find out mine is superior in a number of ways but that's not the debate here. We ought to be joined in this effort on behalf of women in America.
BOLDUAN: Much more time to have that conversation. Governor, thank you for being here. I appreciate it.
INSLEE: You bet.
BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.
INSLEE: Thank you.
DANA BASH, CNN INSIDE POLITICS: Hello, I'm Dana Bash. Welcome to a special holiday edition of Inside Politics.
In an exclusive CNN interview, former Vice President Joe Biden defends his --