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Team USA Capturing Its Fourth Women's World Cup Trophy, Defeating The Netherlands; Former Vice President Joe Biden Did Something Many Had Been Calling For Him To Do For Weeks, Apologizing For His Comments On Segregationists; 2020 Census Is A Primary Focus For The President; Jeffrey Epstein Was Arrested Yesterday; Congress Will Address The Conditions At The Border In A Hearing Titled 'Kids In Cages: Inhumane Treatment At The Border.' Aired 2-3p ET
Aired July 7, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Of course, we wish him all the best as he about to endure that kidney transplant surgery.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
WHITFIELD: Hello again, everyone. And thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
We begin with that historic moment in sports history. Team USA capturing its fourth women's world cup trophy, defeating the Netherlands 2-0. Messages of support are pouring in right now. Just moments ago former president Barack Obama tweeting his congratulations to the women's national team. And sitting first lady Melania Trump also tweeting her congratulations to the 2019 women's world cup champions.
One person we have yet to hear from, President Trump, who has been criticized by members of team USA. At least one of those members saying not interested in going to the White House. This is before they won the world cup. Something tells me that point of view is still not going to change.
CNN Sports Anchor, Amanda Davies joining me right now. She was inside the stadium and she joins me now from Leon, France.
All right, what an incredible, electrifying moment. There have been so many moments along the way but today's win was really something else. You saw it all.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Indeed, Fredricka. You are talking about electrifying moments. We have just had a pretty spectacular thunderstorm here in Leon. And I have to tell you it hasn't dampened the spirit of the fans who I can still hear.
I can see just to the side of me leaving the stadium, flags waving, chanting, celebrating the success, because that is the way to make history. And of course this is a U.S. side that becomes just the second team to successfully defend the women's world cup crown. They have now won four out of eight editions of this tournament. I have to tell you they didn't have it all their own way inside the
stadium. There had been overwhelming favorites, but the Dutch did give them a real run for their money, particularly in the opening stages. And there were a few nervous faces around me as we got past that 12-minute mark because all the matches up to today's final, the U.S. had scored at least one goal in the opening 12 minutes.
But the Dutch really were giving it their all and it took until just on the hour mark, the 67th -- the 62nd minute for who else, but captain fantastic, Megan Rapinoe to step up and finally break the deadlock from the penalty spot to score her sixth goal in five matches this tournament. That goal actually confirming her as the tournament's top scorer. She not only goes home with a second world cup crown individually but also the golden boot award.
It was one of the young stars from this US team, Rose Lavell, who scored the second goal, Jill Ellis' side. But what a way to dominate the women's game.
Over the course of the last few weeks this team has scored 24 goals. That is more than any other side in the course of a women's world cup tournament. And they conceded just three. In fact they have only lost one game in 45 matches dating all the way back to 2017. They have without doubt confirmed their status as the top ranked side in the world.
And Fredricka, we know for some long it's been the team of 99, the 99ers who have been heralded as the benchmark, the side that really took women's soccer to the next level. This team collected their trophies today on the pitch already wearing t-shirts with the number 19 emblazoned on the back and you strongly suspect that this is the side that will now be used as the next benchmark for years to come.
WHITFIELD: Amanda, I wonder have we heard from any number of the players, whether it's Megan Rapinoe or anyone else who was saying really what this win means? Because, you know, everyone else is trying to kind of, you know, calculate what it means to the game of sport, men's and women's, what it means for young, aspiring athletes. But what does it mean for them as individuals or even collectively as a team?
DAVIES: Well, we have heard from the coach, Jill Ellis. She said she was struggling to put it into words. The only thing she could say to her team immediately afterwards was enjoy this moment. This is your moment of history. And it really is.
This is a side that all the way through the tournament have been talking about they were winners. That they are not just footballers, they are not just here to win trophies, they are also here to make a bigger impact until terms of social change. We have heard from Megan Rapinoe talking about not wanting to go to the White House.
We have talked about -- we have heard from Alex Morgan talking about how she just wants to inspire the next generation to leave the game in a better state than when she entered it, to really spread the path, to start the journey for more and more girls to get into this game, which is growing all the time. That the targets for this tournament that had been set were immense, they were insane in terms of record television audiences, in terms of record ticket sales.
They have hit all of those targets. There are more eyeballs on this game, on these players, on this team than ever before, and now it's about taking this moment, this momentum and moving it forward.
[14:05:51] WHITFIELD: All right. Amanda Davies, thank you so much.
That really positions us perfectly to talk about, you know, meaning and the measurement of meaning particularly for this team USA because we know these women have been lobbying for equal pay, leveling the playing field on so many ways.
So Patrick Snell is with me now because this catapults that effort, that lawsuit, so that there is equal pay.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Right.
WHITFIELD: To this effort, to this celebrity, to how it has galvanized the sport overall.
SNELL: Absolutely right, Fred. And what we are seeing is the U.S. women's national team looking to strike while the iron is hot. Never has that position been more powerful than just winning a fourth women's world cup title as they did earlier today.
And this is a story that's been in the pipeline for the last three or four years now. And what we did get with these reports of a session of mediation on slate in the dye, if you like, for after the world cup is over.
WHITFIELD: And that's what has been agreed upon now.
SNELL: This is the time. We do have a statement actually from a spokeswoman representing the players. I'm going to put it out now and read it out.
At this moment of tremendous pride for America, the sad equation remains all too clear and Americans won't stand for it anymore. These athletes generate more revenue and garner higher TV ratings but get paid less simply because they are women. It is time for the federation to correct this disparity once and for all.
And this is the beef here. Earlier we see we had 28 members of the USA squad named as plaintiffs in this case. And it's quite simply the gripe that they are consistently paid more than their male counterparts. And their point, we are four-time champions of the world. Our male counterparts haven't won that tournament once. That is something that is a gripe to them.
And also (INAUDIBLE), when you look at the women's game in general, Fred, we had an announcement from the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, looking at the overall prize part for the women's world cup. You look at it. He is going to double it, he says, moving forward from $30 million to $60 million. WHITFIELD: Not now, but later.
SNELL: Right. But you compare, even when it does get to $60 million, you look at the men's world cup, which is slated for around the $400 million mark. That kind of speaks volumes, I think.
WHITFIELD: I wonder if there is anything to a potential argument of making that the case. If there's that push, then why not retroactively. Because I mean, this already is astounding. I mean, half of the tournaments played and half they have won as champions, you know, times four. So I think there will be another argument of why wait. What more does there need to be proven.
SNELL: It is a really, really strong bargaining point. But that's what I said earlier, striking while the iron is hot. Four times champions of the world. The most dominant force in U.S. women's world cup history. And I will tell you what, they have a squad that could have won a couple of times over. They are really in a strong position. No question about that. Congratulations again to team USA, what a performance.
WHITFIELD: Big time and they have won so many hearts. If you were a soccer or football fan before, you were in their camp. But if you weren't before, now suddenly you have piqued interest in this sport, in these women and in these amazing champions.
SNELL: And as I said last time, it is a shame that we have to wait another four years for next women's world cup. It's been that entertaining.
And I want to just pick up from something earlier in the week. We had the semifinal between the United States and my home nation, England. That one actually garnering seven million viewers for the semi-final. Back in the UK, they had record viewing figures for a world cup game in that country as well. Around the 11 million mark the argument is very powerful for what this U.S. women's national team is pushing for.
WHITFIELD: Indeed. All right, Patrick Snell, thank you so much for bringing it to us. Appreciate it.
Still ahead, former Vice President Joe Biden did something many had been calling for him to do for weeks, apologizing for his comments on segregationists. So how are his 2020 competitors reacting to that today?
[14:13:28] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.
An apology, something Joe Biden's rivals have been calling on him to do for weeks now. At issue, his recent comments about working with segregationists in the past, in the Senate in the 1970s. And now the Democratic front-runner is addressing the controversial remarks saying he regrets making them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Was I wrong a few weeks ago to somehow give the impression to people that I was praising those men who I successfully opposed time and again? Yes, I was. I regret it. And I'm sorry for any of the pain or misconception it may have caused anybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Fellow democratic candidates are responding, including senator Cory Booker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm frustrated that it took so long, but I'm grateful for him doing this, and we should all -- I mean we can't have a culture where -- we can't have a leader that can't stand up and say I'm imperfect, I have made mistakes and I apologize. So I'm sorry that we had to go through this. So I'm sorry that at one point he tried to shift blame to me, but I'm grateful. I just to say thank you. We need to extend Grace to each other and I'm never going to not accept somebody that I respect and admire that finally has come to terms with this and has apologized.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN Political Reporter, Arlette Saenz and CNN National Correspondent, Kyung Lah are following the development.
So Arlette, let's begin with you. So we heard how Biden addressed it and what's the reception like beyond Cory Booker?
[14:15:08] ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Fred, this is really a rare apology that you are hearing from Joe Biden. These are comments that he made about working with segregationist senators decades ago. He made them a little less than three weeks ago. But he had been in this defensive posture and really hadn't expressed remorse for those comments until yesterday, despite facing criticism from his opponents like Cory Booker and senator Kamala Harris for his remarks about working with segregationists.
And a short while ago here in Charleston, South Carolina, I asked Biden why it took him so long, why it took nearly three weeks for him to apologize after he had faced all this criticism. Take a listen to what he had to tell me a few minutes ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: But the fact of the matter is that's why I chose here in South Carolina and chose an audience that in fact would be the most likely to have been offended by anything that was said.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAENZ: So Biden had said that he felt like this was the opportunity to explain himself in a more full some way and that he wanted to do it in front of an audience here in South Carolina which was primarily made up of African-American voters.
Biden is here in the state for two days trying to court that key constituency when he has a significant amount of support with. Now Biden was also, as he was speaking to reporters, was asked about senator Kamala Harris pointing out that they still have some differences despite this apology he gave yesterday. What Biden tried to do, he said, yes, we do have differences and pointed out they have differences on health care.
So it's very clear that Biden is ready to turn the page away from this controversy that he has been facing about criticism of his approach to race-related issues recently -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. And Kyung, you know, we heard from senator Booker there. You have been following, you know, Kamala Harris across the country, but is there a sense now that he has apologized for the way in which he characterized and the way in which he talked about, you know, reflecting on his work back in the '70s that this issue is now over and everyone else is moving on or what?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in her comments to reporters, and she spoke with us just before she held the event here at this rural church. She's in Darlington county, South Carolina. She is also in this state. She is focusing on these communities And the key region of South Carolina where these talking about sort of bread and butter issues, like increasing access to broadband, and trying to raise wages and cracking down on payday lenders.
But she did respond to a number of questions. A lot of reporters had questions about what she thought of Joe Biden's apology. You may recall that she was the one who had that breakout moment about talking about how hurtful she felt those words were that Biden said about working with segregationist senators. Here's what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, he said he is sorry. I'm going to take him at his word. But again that doesn't address the issue of busing in America. We have to -- we cannot rewrite history about what segregationists were doing at that time on a number of issues, including opposing busing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: And when I followed up asking her, well, it did take him three weeks. What do you think about how long it took for him to apologize? She said she was accepting the apology. She heard it, but she returned to that comment that you can't rewrite history -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, Kyung Lah, Arlette Saenz, we will leave it there for now.
And let's talk it over with a few more people. Let me bring them in. CNN Political Contributor, Julian Zelizer and "Time" magazine Contributor, Jay Newton-Small.
Good to see you both.
All right, Jay, you first. Will this apology suffice? Will has been put to rest?
JAY NEWTON-SMALL, CONTRIBUTOR, TIME MAGAZINE: Well, Fred, I think it had actually been put to rest before the apology and it sort of a bit like Biden to kind of bring it back and gave it legs. I hadn't seen a lot of people on these days still craving for him to apologize. And in fact in turned out that he and Kamala Harris actually had the same position on busing, that they both were opposed on busing but that they supported voluntary busing.
And so, the Biden people had actually said we thought the fact that they really held the same position did turn the page and then he seemed to bring it up again and gave it extra legs by apologizing this time around.
WHITFIELD: And so, Julian, how do you see it?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think with Biden, he has a long record. And I think people are going to keep going back for that record. So on busing, on reproductive rights, on financial issues, you are going to hear the candidates keep coming after him both asking is he the most electable but also what does his record say about what he would do as president? So it did die down. I think these issues are going to come back. His record on busing I think was more significant probably than the actual comments.
WHITFIELD: Let me ask you about this gauge of electability. A new "Washington Post" poll, you know, asked voters who they would vote for if election were today. And Biden, leading the pact with the others neck in neck with Trump.
And so, Jay, even though the President's approval rating is the highest it's been, you know, during his presidency, that same poll is showing that, you know, it's Biden over Trump.
[14:20:27] NEWTON-SMALL: And that's really been the sort of case for Kamala and for the others in the field to make as to why they should vote for other candidates besides Biden when so many people look to Biden as electable. That he is the person that can beat Donald Trump and appeal to those blue collar areas where they lost a lot of votes in the rust belt, like Pennsylvania, for example, Wisconsin, Michigan, and bring back those states in order to actually win the presidency.
And so they have to convince not just sort the voters overall but particularly African-American voters that Biden isn't the person to do this. And that they are electable that can also beat Donald Trump. And these polls don't really help that case.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And Julian, that same poll says, you know, there is room for President Trump, you know, to win that second term.
ZELIZER: Oh, absolutely. We always have to remember this is an incumbent president with a strong economy and a united Republican party. And incumbents have generally won reelection since Herbert hoover. So that record is there. And with Biden I think it's true, but we are still far away from Iowa. So early polls are early polls. But now the question will change as he debates, as he campaigns. That's where there will be moments of vulnerability for Harris or Buttigieg or any other candidates to challenge that perception.
WHITFIELD: Jay, does it appear as though while many of the candidates came out saying, you know, their target is Trump. Instead, you know, among many the targets have been, you know. each other. And so is that kind of taking the eye off the ball? Is that potentially damaging as they try to, you know, sort the order among 23 Democratic candidates?
NEWTON-SMALL: I think, look, you have got to somehow narrow this field and you have got to really begin to focus on I think a handful of candidates so that we can really get to know those candidates. We have had four hours of debates. But with 23 candidates we've hardly had more than 10 or 15 minutes of hearing each individual candidate overall.
And so getting to know these candidates is going to be a challenge with a large field. And I think what some of the candidates are trying to do is narrow that field by knocking out the weaker candidates or weakening the front-runner in order to bolster their own case. The question is that I think what the Democratic Party worries about is are you weakening the front-runner potentially, a front- runner for a general election contest against Donald Trump. And I think that remains to be seen.
WHITFIELD: All right. We will leave it there for now.
Jay Newton-Small and Julian Zelizer, always good to see you both.
ZELIZER: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: And don't forget CNN is hosting the next Democratic debate July 30th and 31st live from Detroit.
Coming up, what does Congress think about all of this? I will talk with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell about that and more, next.
[14:27:02] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. People close to President Trump say he is determined to get a citizenship question added to next year's census forms even though the issue was pretty firmly shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court. And as it stands now, the census forms will be printed without a citizenship question. But the President says he still has ways to get one added, like with a possible executive order.
I want to bring in now Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. She's a Democrat from Michigan.
Congresswoman, good to see you.
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D), MICHIGAN: Good to see you. WHITFIELD: So you feel very strongly about this census question
issue. In fact you tweeted, you know, this just a few days ago saying efforts to add a citizenship question were misguided, untested and would seriously question participation and skew the results of the census. We must always stand in the face of efforts to undermine our democracy.
So now the President says it could be executive order. He is still looking for ways, his team of attorneys looking for ways to fashion it in there. What's your response?
DINGELL: You know, this is what I'm going to say. First, if he does do an executive order, I think you will see it challenged again in the court. People need to understand what the census is. This is a -- we take count of who the people are in this country. And it's used for very important things, like determining how much money is going to go to all of the states, redistricting, et cetera. And it's got a long history, decades -- worth --
WHITFIELD: Well, you heard the President who says, yes, those are among the many reasons why it's important and that's why he believes the citizenship questions should be asked.
DINGELL: One of the things that happened is you want maximum participation. You know, the decades long of steps is about being anonymous in participation because you are doing the count. The census is not allowed to share this data with any other agency. It is there to hide the data in a collated number so we know what's happening.
He is undermining people's -- they are afraid to participate. Scientists have for a long time developed these questions so people will not be afraid, they will answer the question, and it's data that can be used effectively in a number of areas. He is undermining people's confidence. It's already hard in certain areas to get a real count and this is undermining getting what this country needs, a real count.
WHITFIELD: So the 2020 census is a primary focus for the President, as is immigration. And perhaps you saw that "New York Times" report today, scathing report, about the conditions at the Clint, Texas, detention center as saying there are, I'm just quoting from the newspaper, "outbreaks of scabies, shingles and chickenpox." And I'm quoting now from the paper, "the stench of the children's dirty clothing were so strong that it spread to the agents' own clothing. People in town with scrunch their noses when they left work."
And so, those excerpts were presented to the acting homeland security secretary and he was asked about the condition on ABC and this was his response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:30:06] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "The New York Times" report is talking specifically about the Clint facility. Why did you call those allegations unsubstantiated? KEVIN MCALEENAN, HOMELAND SECURITY ACTING SECRETARY: Because there's
adequate food and water. Because the facility is cleaned every day. Because I know what our standards are and I know they are being followed because we have tremendous levels of oversight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you still think they are unsubstantiated giving The New York Times and El Paso times report, these specific allegations?
MCALEENAN: So I don't know which specific allegations you are referencing. I'm not denying that are challenging situations at the border. I have been talking about it the most. What I can tell you right now there's adequate food, water, and the reason those children were at Clint station in the first place, so they could have medical consolidated, they had shower facilities for over a year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So what does this tell you through McAleenan's response what will be addressed, what's believed is important or even happening?
DINGELL: Well, Congress has been gone a week, probably a time that everybody needed to take a deep breath. We did get some money to go to the border that the administration had asked for. We didn't go as far as I think we needed to go, nor did a number of other people in terms of setting exact standards.
But in the week that we have been gone, we have seen this report but we have seen inspector generals' reports telling us how bad many of these facilities are. We are getting more and more reports by agents themselves --
WHITFIELD: The President said things are running beautifully.
DINGELL: Yes. They are not running beautifully and we have objective data telling us that. And we need to appeal to the compassionate and human side of all of us. These are unacceptable standards. I mean, some people are calling them similar to concentration camps. Who are we as America? You know, the report that you just referred to in "The New York Times" today talked about beds being taken out so they could cram more children into rooms.
This is not a humane society. And we need to think about who we are as Americans and what we are going to do to protect our children and it's unacceptable what's happening at the border and it's documented.
WHITFIELD: So what can be done in the short term? Who is -- who does it fall on congress, because the president says it does. Does it fall on the president because he's already giving directives to homeland security. I mean, who can fix this?
DINGELL: We have got to stop pointing fingers and we all have a responsibility. The President needs to own up to it. If he's not going to own up to it, the Congress needs to act further to said absolute standards that must be abided by at these borders. The House passed a bill that would have done that and I think you are
going to see a number of us continue to push for that when we return. And we need to do it quickly because these are children living in these conditions now. We can't keep kicking the can down the road. We have to do something about it now. And I hope that my Republican colleagues will join the Democrats in continuing to visit regularly these facilities so we altogether work to get them fixed.
WHITFIELD: Yes. I believe we reported the number was 15. There have been 15 deaths involving these detention facilities in a matter months.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
DINGELL: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Still to come, new charges in an old case. Jeff Epstein will be back in court on sex trafficking charges. Why authorities in New York are now going after the Florida billionaire.
[14:36:59] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. Sources tell CNN that a Florida billionaire and convicted sex offender will be in court tomorrow to face new charges of sex crimes involving underage girls.
Jeffrey Epstein was arrested yesterday. In 2008 he evaded similar charges when prosecutors brokered an extraordinary plea agreement that allowed Epstein to plead guilty to state charges and avoid serious federal charges.
CNN's Sonia Moghe, sorry.. First time meeting you, Sonia. I misspoke your last name. I apologize for that. Talk to me about what's happening here.
SONIA MOGHE, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Fred, you know, there could be many reasons why we could be seeing new charges, these new charges coming forward. And we will learn more details once this indictment is unsealed, which we expect to be unsealed tomorrow. But what we do know is for several years there have been public allegations against Jeffrey Epstein, allegations that he was sexually abusing girls, some of whom were underage. And some of those allegations were coming out in the form of lawsuits.
One woman who sued him about a decade ago alleged when she was about 14, 15 years old she met him through an associate. An associate lured her to Epstein's Florida mansion under the guise that she would learn about massage therapy. And when she went to that mansion, she was instead pressured into having sex for him and then given money. And she said she was lured into a life for several years where she was flown around the world and pressured into having sex with him and his associates.
Now, an attorney for that woman spoke to me last night about these new charges. Here's what he had to say. He said we are very appreciative of efforts of prosecutors to begin to bring Mr. Epstein to justice. This has been a long time coming, but it is an important step toward getting justice for the many victims of Epstein's sex trafficking ring. We hope that the prosecutors will not stop with Mr. Epstein but will also turn their attention to the several people who were part of Mr. Epstein's enterprise.
Now that attorney credits really these victims with, you know, just keeping on going on, keeping on telling their stories, continuing to talk to prosecutors about why their case should be reopened. But we also know that a federal judge ruled earlier this year that the justice department violated those victims rules when it didn't confer with them around the time that plea deal was reached with Epstein in 2008. So lots of factors there, and we will find more out tomorrow.
WHITFIELD: All right, let us know. Sonia Moghe, thank you so much, appreciate it.
MOGHE: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Coming up, customs and border patrol agents under fire after a secret Facebook group is exposed. What officials are now doing in response to the racist and offensive posts.
But first, Nashville is the beating heart of country music. Whether it is music, food or even fashion. This booming city authors an authentic taste of the south in this week's "Wonder Must."
ANNE POWERS, NPR MUSIC CRITIC: Nashville is known as music city USA for a reason. There are more musicians and song writers who live here than maybe any other city in the world. If you want to party Nashville style, go to lower Broadway and find a honky-tonk like toot see's lounge or try some line dancing at the wild horse saloon. If you want to look like a classic country star visit Taylor to the stars.
[14:40:22] MANUEL CUEVAS, STYLIST TO THE STARS: Every piece has a piece of my heart. What we put into our pieces is unique. There's no time limit. There's no money limit. There's no price limit. When you say country style, it's like who represents America in the picture of the world, a cowboy, a cowgirl. They have the uniqueness of dressing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a taste of Nashville, come on down to Arnold's country kitchen, grab you a tray and get your meat in three. A meat in three is something a tradition you found in the south. You have your poultry, you have your meat or your fish, then your southern sides like okra, green beans, turnip greens, mac and cheese, succotash, anything you would have found at grandma's table. Come on down for delicious food and wonderful music.
[14:45:16] WHITFIELD: We are learning several border agents have been disciplined in connection to vulgar social media posts about migrants in detention facilities. CNN first reported a second secret Facebook page with sexually explicit posts linked to customs and border protection agents as well as an image mocking the separation of families and demeaning memes of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez.
This morning we heard from acting department of homeland security secretary about what the agency is doing about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCALEENAN: What I can tell you about this set of posts, as soon as it came to light, I directed an immediate investigation. It had already been reported to our inspector general. They were already looking into it. We have already put several agents on administrative duties. We have issued cease and desist letters to more and this investigation is continuing. And the agents will be held accountable. If they are CBP employees who did inappropriate things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And this week Congress will address the conditions at the border in a hearing titled kids in cages, inhumane treatment at the border.
CNN's Natasha Chen is in El Paso for us with how this is unfolding at the border -- Natasha.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, you can imagine how this is adding tension to an already difficult situation. As you mentioned, our colleague, Nick Valencia, obtained images from that second Facebook group called the real CBP earlier this week with memes being very derogatory, sexually explicit toward members of Congress like representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, making light of family separations among the migrants, also demeaning comments and posts against Asians and African-Americans.
So you heard McAleenan talking about putting certain agents on administrative duties while others have been given cease and desist letters. He also mentioned that the agency did know about a secret Facebook group with problematic posts as early as 2016 and that an investigation did happen at that time into what was going on there. But we have not learned the result of that earlier investigation due to employee privacy concerns.
Yesterday I spoke with state representative Mary Gonzalez who represents the Clint, Texas, area. She said she has been talking to agents who are feeling extremely demoralized and depressed not just because of what they are observing day to day with these migrants, but if you can imagine, those agents who are not part of these Facebook groups, they are seeing all of these headlines and seeing this backlash about these groups and that just adds to the problem and the picture that's being painted about border patrol culture.
We also learned earlier this week that there was one border patrol agent in early March who flagged a problematic incident when coworkers handed a handwritten note to a Honduran migrant that read "I like men" in Spanish, while that migrant was made to walk through the facility holding that sign. And that witnessing agent tried to bring this to the attention of a senior agent in charge but nothing was done, according to emails obtained by our colleague Nick Valencia. So you can tell that there is a lot of tension and frustration even among the border patrol ranks, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right. Natasha Chen, thank you so much in El Paso, Texas.
CHEN: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Well, in so many corners of the world, particularly in New York right now, they are rolling out the red carpet. The new CNN original series "The Movies" is premiering tonight and CNN is celebrating. We will take you to all the fun. It's right there, next.
[14:52:28] WHITFIELD: The all-new CNN original series "The Movies" premieres tonight starting with a look back at some of the iconic films from the '80s. Here's a preview.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was so much reality in the script to "fast times." The way that Cameron wrote "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" is that he went back to high school.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never graduated traditionally, so the idea was I could go back and have the senior year that I didn't have and write about what it is to be a high school student. I learned so much. The pop culture establishment, they don't know what's happening with kids right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stacy, what are you waiting for? You're 15 years old.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did it when I was 13. It's no huge thing, it's just sex.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These kids are having a super sort adolescence. They are having sex years before you know they are having sex. And they are all working. It's fast food, it's fast adolescence, it's all disposable. What are we doing to a generation that has to be adult at a younger and younger age.
WHITFIELD: So to celebrate tonight's big premiere, we are taking you down kind of memory lane, almost like going to a video store. Remember doing that, when you would see the shelves, movies, pictures on display? Well, we kind of recreated that for you in New York. And CNN's Brooke Baldwin is there. She's going to take us all through it.
And you have got all of your closest friends with you to take us back to all of those great movies. What have you got?
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. You remember a VHS tape anyone? VHS? We have an entire booth full of VHS tapes. My favorite was blockbuster video store. I don't know about you, Fred. But I'm going to take you in just a second.
But for people who are in New York city, come hang out with me. I'm going to be here for eight hours hanging out and talking about the movies. So we are at Hudson yards. This is the beautiful vessel. Just to give you a bit of lay of the land. Neil, walk with me.
Voila, this is the CNN video store. And inside, you know how I mentioned VHS tapes? This is the coolest thing. Walk this way. Hi, guys. So VHS tapes, we have actually now have all of these tapes. Do you even remember the feeling of like pulling out a VHS of Jerry Maguire, you complete me?
WHITFIELD: Jerry Maguire, hello, the best.
BALDWIN: The best. "Pretty Woman."
[14:55:01] WHITFIELD: Oh, that's one of my favorites too. It was hard for me, Brooke, to whittle it down to five favorite movies. That was one that I loved but didn't put on my list.
BALDWIN: So they asked us and we are asking all of you all as you are watching, you can tweet, what are the five movies that you could watch the rest of your life, then #CNNthemovies. And as we're here and eating way too much buttery popcorn, I have Akeem (ph) with me.
WHITFIELD: "Coming to America," of course. I should have put that on my list too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello.
BALDWIN: The remake is coming. Here we go. You can have a piece of my popcorn. So you are looking for your queen. You are in the wrong borough. This is actually Manhattan. Queens is over the wrong way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is that? "The Movies" is a six-part original CNN series, executive produced by Gary Herzog, Gary Goldman and Tom Hanks.
BALDWIN: Well done. We will talk later because this is nice.
So just to remind everyone, we are going to be here all day. We are at Hudson yards here in New York city in the CNN video store. Please come by and hang out. Tonight the CNN original series premiere of "the Movies" is at 9:00. So we are going to be talking movies all afternoon.
WHITFIELD: That's great. So when people come down to visit you, Brooke, I mean, they are going, you know, to see on the screen that there are some movies that are, you know, playing and folks are just really there to share camaraderie with their favorite movie moments, right? BALDWIN: Hi, yes. I mean, we are hanging out talking to a bunch of
different people. Can I stop you really quickly? Do you want to talk movies with me? No. No. I understand. I can be a little intimidating. I'm very scary. But I hope people come down and talk with me because there's a whole tent full of movies. We will talk next hour, Fred. I'm going to be friends with him in the meantime.
WHITFIELD: OK. I know you're going to work it and he'll be very chatty in moments.
Brooke Baldwin, thank you. We are going to check back with you.
And don't miss the all new CNN series "the Movies" tonight at 9:00 eastern and pacific only on CNN.