Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Wants Press to See Detention Centers; Biden Apologizes for Comments; U.S. Women's Soccer Team Fights for Equal Pay; Leaked Diplomatic Cables of the British Ambassador. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired July 8, 2019 - 09:30   ET


[09:30:00] ZOLAN KANNO-YOUNGS, HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Secretary of Homeland Security. We have Border Patrol agents that are describing children crying. We have the administration submitting documents that says that children would go to inspectors and say that they were hungry. That we have Border Patrol agents saying that, yes, children are coming in, you know, in soiled clothing, that they are coming in and that it -- that the surge of children coming in are so great that one border patrol agent told me that he can't guarantee and that he would not be surprised if children did not get things like soap, things like toothpaste --


KANNO-YOUNGS: If they didn't go days without a shower.

I think you look at those conditions and you line that up with the president's statement right there, and, you know, people can make their own determinations.

HARLOW: Yes, without soap, without toothpaste. I mean these are children.

It's really important reporting. I do hope that your team and our team and all the journalists, now that the president says we should have access to this, can actually get into these facilities with cameras, with phones, and also unannounced, right, so that they can't change things for the press to come in.

Thank you so much, Zolan, I appreciate it.

KANNO-YOUNGS: Thanks for having me.

HARLOW: So, ahead, Joe Biden now saying he is sorry for controversial comments that he made talking about his work with segregationist senators. But just a few weeks ago he said he had nothing to apologize for. Why the reversal and why now?


HARLOW: All right, presidential candidate, Democratic frontrunner in the polls right now, Joe Biden is set to unveil his criminal justice reform plan really soon in the next few weeks. This as the former vice president is trying to move past those controversial comments he made about working with segregationist senators. Here is what Biden said over the weekend.


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? Well, yes, I was. I regret it. And I'm sorry for any of the pain or misconception they may have caused anybody.


HARLOW: He garnered applause for that.

Let's talk about this.

Seung Min Kim is with us, White House reporter at "The Post," and Astead Herndon, national political reporter for "The New York Times."

Good morning to you both.

And, Seung, let me just begin with you.

So why did he say it there? Our reporting from our Arlette Saenz is that he wanted to say it in front of the audience that it would mean the most to. But I have to note that two weeks ago, when Biden was in a gaggle of reporters, they asked him would he apologize after Cory Booker's, you know, comments that he should apologize, and he said, quote, apologize for what?

So what's your read?

SEUNG MIN KIM, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it really was puzzling why it took more than two and a half weeks for the vice president to issue that apology if he felt the situation merited an apology. But it -- Arlette is certainly right, that there did seem to be a strategic element to where he rolled out this apology. I mean you just saw the applause that greeted the former vice president when he did say he was sorry if those words had caused pain. This is a place where the African-American vote is still very critical. The former vice president has a deep reservoir of support among these voters. The former president, Obama, still is a beloved figure. And Biden still does lead in polling in South Carolina.


KIM: So it did seem to be a very deliberate reason to roll out that apology in a place where -- where the voters would appreciate it. And also if you read some of the comments from the voters who attended that event, they align a lot with the former vice president on the defense of his own record. They say, look at his record, not what he said.

HARLOW: That's true. And it is interesting, Astead, when you look at the polling. I mean you've got CNN's new polling among black voters, Biden still polling at 36 percent versus 24 percent for Kamala Harris. "The Washington Post"/ABC has new polling out that shows Biden beats Donald Trump in a hypothetical matchup by 10 points, Harris beats him by two.

So, you know, Harris said over the weekend she's glad to hear Biden issue that apology, but also said, quote, there's still a point of disagreement between he and I, and that remains the issue of busing.

So it sounds like she's going to keep pressing on this?

ASTEAD HERNDON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: She's 100 percent going to keep pressing. I mean Senator Harris sees her path to the nomination as going through those black voters that Vice President Biden has enjoyed a reservoir of support, but we don't know how long and how deep that support is. When you look at those numbers that you cited, it's not as if -- you know, those numbers were better for him a month ago. We've seen a debate kind of eroded that. We have seen these kind of repeated comments erode at that. He continues to characterize his record on criminal justice and busing in ways that invite scrutiny because it sometimes does not square with his statements from the past. And so not only Senator Harris but Senator Booker, Senator Warren and others will continue to hit this point because they see that current goodwill that he enjoys with black voters as something that may be wide but not deep.

HARLOW: So -- well, he is going to try to widen that gap and make it -- make it deeper, Seung, with rolling out this criminal justice reform plan, going further than what we saw pass Congress last year.

One of Biden's advisers said, expect this to be among the most aggressive plans of the 2020 candidates. That it will work on curtailing over criminalization, reducing recidivism, sentencing alternatives. This is him trying to walk further away from the '94 crime bill that not only he supported but spearheaded as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

KIM: Certainly. And it follows the lead of some of the other presidential candidates in the race, such as Cory Booker, who had rolled out his own version of a more sweeping criminal justice reform bill that what had passed Congress and signed into law by President Trump. But certainly whatever the vice president rolls out will be heavily scrutinized and heavily watched because of his role in the '94 crime bill.

[09:40:06] And, actually, President Trump has zeroed in on Vice President Biden on many issues certainly. But in his role in the '94 crime bill because something -- the first -- it's the First Step Act, which Trump signed into law in December, is something that he has touted several times. He thinks it's a good campaign issue for him. The White House held a very elaborate prison summit a couple of months ago highlighting the support for that bill from the African-American community and they think -- they clearly think it's something that benefits them. So we'll be watching and so will President Trump.

HARLOW: We've got twenty seconds, Astead. How big is this rollout for Biden?

HERNDON: It's big. But let's remember, it didn't just -- it wasn't just the '94 crime bill. Senator Biden, from the '70s, all the way through '94, was the leading figure in shifting the Democratic Party a little to the right on criminal justice reform -- or on criminal justice, adding prisons and cops. And so this is a full circle moment for the vice president that comes at a critical presidential time.

HARLOW: Right. He had said recently that he didn't support more, you know, funding for prisons, et cetera, but at the time he did. Not as much as Republicans, but he did support more of that funding.


HARLOW: Thank you both very much, Seung Min Kim and Astead Herndon. We appreciate it.

HERNDON: Thank you.

HARLOW: All right, so guess -- guess what's coming up. A big, big debate right here on this network. The next Democratic presidential debates will take place in just three weeks, July 30th and 31st. They will be in Detroit, airing right here on CNN, the United States and around the world. The debates will be hosted by Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Don Lemon. Twenty candidates vying for the White House will participate with 10 taking the stage each night to face off against each other and answer questions from the moderators.

Before that, CNN will conduct a draw to determine which night each candidate will appear on stage. The draw to determine the participants for each debate night will air live on July 18th in the 8:00 p.m. Eastern hour. You'll see it right here on CNN. CNN is doing the draw live on the air for full transparency. And everyone, all of you, can see it for yourself.

All right, ahead, the U.S. women's soccer team claiming their fourth World Cup title. Now the focus on their next, huge fight for equal pay.


[09:46:38] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROWD: Equal pay. Equal pay. Equal pay. Equal pay. Equal pay.


HARLOW: Chants of "equal pay" after the U.S. women's soccer team claims their second straight World Cup title, four in total. All 28 players on the team suing the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender discrimination and demanding equal pay to their male counterparts. This morning, team captain, Megan Rapinoe, says she heard those chants.


MEGAN RAPINOE, U.S. WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM PLAYER: Yes, definitely heard that as we were kind of lining up on the side. I mean it's -- I think it's just -- everybody's -- everybody's ready for it. Everybody wants it. Everybody's ready for the conversation to be moved to the next piece. And to have something like that and, you know, obviously in the biggest match, that went so far beyond anything in the sport was pretty incredible.


HARLOW: Joining me now is Julie Stewart-Binks, host of "CBS Sports HQ."

Good morning. I'm so glad we get to talk about this great news about the win.

JULIE STEWART-BINKS, HOST, "CBS SPORTS HQ": I know. It's always great to talk about a win when it pertains to the U.S. and the women.

HARLOW: Right.

STEWART-BINKS: They are just so powerful and strong.

HARLOW: Now a potentially bigger win may be ahead for them on this issue of equal pay.

But before we get to that, how big was and is this win for -- beyond soccer, beyond the game, beyond soccer fans? What does it actually mean?

STEWART-BINKS: Well, I think that's the biggest thing. Like we hear the equal pay chants and you get shivers because you think like this team just transcends what happens on the pitch and just into a wider realm of sports for women, for athletes, just having that equality. And you saw that they've had to deal with this issue for years, but also in this World Cup in particular, the women have had to break societal constructs of how you should act when you celebrate goals, you know?

HARLOW: Right.

STEWART-BINKS: How you should act in a -- if you are allowed to be a little bullish as it pertains to social media and quotes and standing up for yourself. And so when I look at this team, I get inspired. I mean they are -- they're so powerful. They're so strong on the pitch. But they are role models for everyone in this world.

HARLOW: Let's play a little clip of this Nike ad. If you haven't seen it, here's a clip of the Nike ad that ran yesterday. And it just says so much more now, I think, even after the win. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe that will be four-time champions and keep winning until we not only become the best female soccer team but the best soccer team in the world and that a whole generation of girls and boys will go out and play and say things like, I want to be like Megan Rapinoe when I grow up.


HARLOW: Little girls and boys saying I want to play like Megan Rapinoe when I grow up.


HARLOW: How much closer did we get to that reality because of yesterday?

STEWART-BINKS: I think we got so much closer. I think the fact that the women won, and the fact that they have generated more revenue than the men, they have higher TV ratings than the men, these were all points that -- that were sort of in defense of U.S. soccer not paying them equally.

HARLOW: Right. Right. And on that issue, when Megan Rapinoe was asked about the lawsuit that they have filed, they're fighting for actual equal pay, given all those stats you just laid out, she said, with a little bit of a chuckle, quote, it's not good for them.

I mean where do you think this goes now with this lawsuit?

STEWART-BINKS: Well, it's just sort of awkward. You have your national team just win the World Cup, and now you've -- you have to fight them for equal pay. I think that they have proved that this is a conversation, as Megan Rapinoe said, it's over in knowing that we are -- we deserve equal pay. Now it's the next step. OK, we -- we deserve not only to be treated equal. But, hey, you know what, we're -- we're a lot better than the U.S. men right now.

[09:50:07] HARLOW: Yes. She said, oh, maybe they should overpay us for a change.


HARLOW: Finally, when it comes to -- we have to -- can not talk about tennis.

STEWART-BINKS: Right. Of course. Wimbledon.

HARLOW: And American phenom.

STEWART-BINKS: It's a manic Monday.

HARLOW: Coco Gauff. Fifteen years old. John McEnroe says of her, if she is not number one in the world by 20, I will be absolutely shocked. Is he right?

STEWART-BINKS: I think that he is right. The thing is like she's on this path. Like, we are all just getting to know her right now. But people in the tennis world have seen her. When she was 13, she was playing in juniors. She's a former junior world number one. She's shown that mental toughness is the biggest thing. When she faced Polona Hercog, just being down, being on the brink of elimination, match point, coming back, beating Venus Williams, who are --

HARLOW: I mean --

STEWART-BINKS: Her idol. And then her parents, both former NCAA division one athletes, they're training her.


STEWART-BINKS: They're putting her on this path. They said that they're on a seven year of a ten-year plan to get her to be really a world number one.


STEWART-BINKS: That's a lot of pressure. But the fact that she comes from such a good upbringing, you know that they have balance in trying to make her an athlete but also a good person.

HARLOW: You know what I loved, to the good person point, she was asked, what are you going to do with your $200,000 in Wimbledon winnings so far. She's like, well, I'm not old enough to buy a car, but talked about maybe getting some hoodies.


HARLOW: This girl is down to earth.

STEWART-BINKS: See, it's like she's still just a kid.

HARLOW: I love it. Thank you so much.

STEWART-BINKS: Thank you so much.

HARLOW: Good to have you, Julie.

All right, ahead for us, leaked cables show the British ambassador to the United States actually called President Trump incompetent and he didn't stop there.


[09:56:16] HARLOW: All right, take a look at these pictures out of Washington, D.C. This is happening right now. Look at that car being pulled out. That's from our affiliate WJLA. This is flash flooding. And a warning for flash flooding has been issued this morning across D.C. Extremely heavy rain continues to fall over the nation's capital, with some spots just west of D.C. getting over three inches of rain in just the past hour. So far more than a dozen high water rescues have been reported. We will, of course, keep an eye on this and we'll update you.

Meantime, this morning, the British government is defending Kim Darroch, the ambassador to the U.S., after leaked diplomatic cables show that he called President Trump, quote, inept, insecure and incompetent. Trump's responses so far, the ambassador to the U.S. has, quote, not served the U.K. well.

Our global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier is with me.

Good to have you, Kim. Always enjoy having you on. Let's just start with the impact of this. I mean what does this mean

that this sort of really pivotal point for U.S./U.K. relations on a number of fronts?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, it is a sensitive time, especially with the showdown that's happening with Iran. This is when other European allies would be relying on Britain to put pressure on Washington to sort of step away from the brink. And right at this pivotal time, you've got Sir Kim Darroch with these leaked cables. The worst of them from 2017, right after President Trump took office. But, still, it's an awkward moment. He is only a few months from leaving, but this is being seen by some in London, including the former British ambassador who served here, Peter Westmacott, as an attempt by Brexit- ers to leak something embarrassing to possibly get one of their people put in Darroch's place.

HARLOW: Look, and on the issue of Iran, I mean you've noted in your reporting that Britain has felt sort of uncharacteristically left out of the loop on a lot of this when it comes to the U.S. moves on Iran.

Given that, we saw a major move this weekend. It was expected, but it's very significant. And that is that Iran stepped up its level of uranium enrichment above that 3.67 percent mark to an unspecified number, right? They didn't say we're going to enrich 5 percent, et cetera. So it leaves a number of hugely critical, outstanding questions.

DOZIER: Yes, this is their second move to purposefully and intentionally violate the Iran nuclear deal and they've said they're going to keep doing this every 60 days until Europe pressures the United States to give them some sort of sanctions relief.

Now, it's unclear what the Europeans are going to be able to do with this. There is a European foreign minister meeting coming up this month where they're discussing this. The Europeans have tried to put in place a new mechanism by which other companies and countries can do business with Iran and circumvent the sanctions. Iran is saying that's too little, too late. You've got to get us more. But the fact of the matter is, Europe, Britain, they don't have much leverage over Washington, D.C. right now.

HARLOW: How significant is it that Iran came out over the weekend, Kimberly, and said, we're going to give Europe essentially a 60 day extension here? We're going to give them a little bit more time.

DOZIER: Well, they are trying to run out or at least make it look like they're doing everything possible to give the Europeans time to find some sort of solution. But what the Europeans say, what I understand they've been saying to Iran is, look, you know we can't move this administration. Would talks be possible? So is this brinksmanship that could lead to talks between the White House and Iran? The one thing Iranians know is that this president doesn't want an armed confrontation, so they're ratcheting up the pressure to see if that means they can maneuver into some sort of talks that would be the best position for them.

[10:00:06] HARLOW: OK. Kimberly Dozier, thank you for the expertise. Appreciate it.

DOZIER: Thank you.