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Trump Defends His Racist Attacks Against U.S. Congresswomen; Trump Calls ICE Operations Successful Despite No Proof of Raids; Protesters in Puerto Rico Call for Governor's Resignation. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired July 15, 2019 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Latino brothers and sisters. Here's the issue, Pam, the President is telling people they should go home. One, you know, if indeed we are this country we say we are, we are a country that people came here when the Native Americans were the first people here. OK.
And then two, if we are the country, we say we are with democracy -- democracy, this is a nation that is founded upon the principles of speaking out, civil protests and demonstrations. You have a right to say these things. I mean, the last time I saw, we the people who are still forming a more perfect union in the midst of growing pains. And some of that forming a more perfect union means speaking out. You have a right to speak out, you have a right to say this isn't right, I want to change it. You have a right to be who you want to be civilly and legally.
And what this President is saying is ugly. It's racist. It's bass for the President of the United States to tweet this. And that's in the official record, whether he deletes it or not, it's an official record.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: What do you say, though, to his supporters that say he has a right to speak out too.
RYAN: This President has a right to speak out, all Presidents have a right to speak out. At the end of the day, he's not just commander- in-chief. He is not just the President of the United States. But he is considered and has been this President and others, the moral leader of this nation. There has been a turn and a shift. And Pam, it's so interesting you say that. He has a right to say what he wants.
Next week, the NAACP is having their convention, in Detroit, Michigan. And they're inviting all of the presidential candidates to come. And all of the top tier candidates on the Democratic side are coming, as well as I understand, the independent candidate is coming. And the President of the United States who is saying this at this moment is still engaging with the NAACP about the possibility of appearing.
Now the way I understand it, this President wants to give a speech instead of taking questions. All of the candidates are going to be fielding questions from me. I'm going to be the moderator. And this President -- the NAACP is giving all sides a chance to speak. And he has a chance, and I will ask him, if he does come to Detroit, why did he say this? And what -- what constitutes his reasoning for this? And why does he think this is not a racist statement? I want to find out, and so thousands, millions of people want to find out. What is in his head when it comes to issues of race? It's not just about a great economy. It's not just about housing. It's not just about health care. It's about people. It's about humanity. At the end of the day, when laws are in place and you still have craziness going on, it's about the heart. Where is his heart? Where is his humanity? We see his politics. Where is his humanity? And let's see if indeed the President comes.
BROWN: We will see. It's interesting that you point out that as these negotiations continue with the NAACP, he tweeted this. And, you know, the question is, he says these tweets aren't racist. What is his definition of racism? I know that if he shows up, he -- you will be asking him lots of questions, April Ryan. Thank you.
RYAN: You know it. My first interview with this President, I will.
BROWN: Thanks so much for coming on.
RYAN: Thanks, Pam.
BROWN: And by the way, we are still waiting for an update on those I.C.E. raids that were supposed to take place over the weekend. What happened to all those people President Trump wanted to round up and deport?
[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BROWN: Just in, the latest fundraising numbers for one of the nearly two dozen Democrats running for President. A spokesman says Julian Castro has raised $2.8 million in the second quarter, which puts him well behind the front runners, as you see. Nearly half of Castro's haul, $1.1 million, came after the debate in late June. In which he went after Beto O'Rourke regarding decriminalizing illegal border crossings. A Castro spokesman also says so far, he has raised more than $4 million since he announced his bid in January with an average donation of $22.
And just a short time ago, the President insisted that those big immigration sweeps that he said would start Sunday really did take place. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The I.C.E. raids were very successful. People came into our country illegally, illegally. Many were felons. Many were convicted of crimes. Many, many were taken out on Sunday. You just didn't know about it. In fact, I went to -- I spoke to the head of I.C.E. I spoke to a couple of people. We had many people. It was a very successful day. But you didn't see a lot of it, because it was done -- a lot. You'll speak to them. I'm not even sure they should be telling you. But it was a lot.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BROWN: And this is the same raid, by the way, the President tweeted a while back there will be millions rounded up. That clearly wasn't the case. We're told around 2,000 were supposed to. But immigration rights advocates, however, are telling CNN that they saw little sign of the raids that had been expected to happen in nine major cities across the country. Many of those cities, zero visible sign of any sweep to round up and deport some 2,000 undocumented immigrants who have gotten those court orders to leave.
Former Illinois Congressman, Luis Gutierrez joins me now to talk about this. So here's the question. I mean, was this all just a political stunt? The President insists the raids were a success. Now we do know they were supposed to take place over several days.
[15:40:02] But those advocates say they really didn't see much sign of anything.
LUIS GUTIERREZ, (D) FORMER ILLINOIS CONGRESSMAN: Yes. A word of caution. People were picked up. People are being picked up, Pam, every day, and deported. And so these things do continue to happen. They may not have happened in the massive way Trump announced they were to happen this past Sunday. But there was time carved.
And if I could just take a second, because I think the public should understand that regardless of the numbers, what happened in the community? For example, my grandson has aunts and uncles that are undocumented. Right? So the grandson of a member of Congress has aunts and uncles that are undocumented. That means this affects him, it affects me, it affects all of our family. Right? Because we're blended families. Where people are citizens, people are permanent residents and some people don't have documentation.
And I will tell you, Pam, the streets in Little Village of the city of Chicago and back of the yards and immigrant community were bare this weekend. People were not shopping. People were living in fear. And I think that is the ultimate goal, right, of this President. To feed his base and at the same time cause that kind of fear and panic.
What a shame. Because you would think of a leader of the United States of America as one that would bring tranquility and peace and reassurance. Instead he brings fear and terror into the community. And you saw that on the streets of immigrant communities throughout the country. Secondly, look, there's still what's going on at the border. There're still hundreds of children that are being separated --
BROWN: Hold on, before we get to that. I want to talk about --
GUTIERREZ: -- and there's still a mess going on, Pam.
BROWN: We need to go back to what we were just talking about, these I.C.E. raids. Because I did ask the Vice President about that on Friday, and asked him, what would happen if migrant families are separated? In fact, I asked him four different times. And here's what he told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Are you concerned families will be separated? Will families be separated?
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People will be separated from this country who our courts have ordered to be deported.
BROWN: So what happens if a child is at daycare or at summer camp, the parent is arrested. Is that child going home to an empty house? What's going to happen?
PENCE: Pamela, I am very confident that the American people recognize that the way forward to deal with this crisis of illegal immigration is to enforce our laws.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So as you saw there, he didn't answer the question. He was vague about it. But he made the point that these are people we're going after or prioritizing, criminals, people who have been convicted of crimes besides crossing the border illegally and that we're enforcing the law. Your response to that.
GUTIERREZ: Here's my response, Pam. You see his reluctance and hesitancy to answer your question. Why? Because he knows he's morally bankrupt. This is a man who likes to tout the fact that he's the ultimate Christian. And yet look at his response to children being separated from their moms and dads. Yes, they are separated from their moms and dads. Pam, the fact is, there are 5 million Americans --
BROWN: To be clear, he wouldn't say it. He did not say they would be -- he did not say that they would be separated. He just dodged the question.
GUTIERREZ: Sure. But they are. I mean, the practical consideration is that when you take a dad and he vanishes in an I.C.E. raid, his children are left. Look, maybe because I spent 26 years in Congress, most of them defending immigrant families and seeing literally parents board on to airplanes, taken away by I.C.E. agents and children left behind in terror, crying for their moms and their dads. I've seen it also too many times. It's the pain that goes with a broken immigration system. Instead of fixing it, what do we do? We use it for political purposes.
And you heard the President of the United States, Pam. What did he say? Fake news. It really did happen. It was huge. It was successful. The numbers were astonishing. It's just you guys didn't report it. So it really doesn't matter, because to his constituency, anything that he says is the truth. And anything that we report is just false.
BROWN: I want to also talk about the detention facilities. Because I spoke with the Vice President after he visited two detention facilities on Friday. And this one right here is the facility, one of the facilities with children, called the Donna facility. They were watching a movie there in Spanish, an animated film. It was very clean, orderly. And then there was the second facility that we visited right here. This facility housed hundreds of adult males. They were packed in, nearly 400 of them, I was told.
[15:45:00] Do you see the image of him standing with his arms folded next to a chain link fence where the men were being kept. That has gone viral. What do you make of the body language there?
GUTIERREZ: What I make of the body language is the following. Is that there is extreme suffering going on as part of what you're just reporting on, 45 days without being able to shower. To bathe, 45 days. This is inhumane.
BROWN: I want to just really quickly jump in, that the CBP -- because some of them did say they were there that long, they hadn't showered, the CBP says the longest is 32 days. I just want to make sure I put that out there. Go ahead.
GUTIERREZ: Wow, OK. I stand corrected. The government of the United States of America is letting people stand without being able to shower -- people fleeing violence, people trying to come to this country in many cases because they're fleeing violence, trying to be -- assert their right to asylum and to refugee status. Let's not give them any water to bathe for 32 days. Really? That's the United States? That's what we're debating.
BROWN: And the trailers --
GUTIERREZ: -- 32 and 45 days. It really doesn't matter.
BROWN: The trailer showed up the day before the Vice President visited. The trailers with the showers.
GUTIERREZ: I'm sorry?
BROWN: The trailers with the showers --
BROWN: -- I was told because many of them were telling me, I haven't showered, I haven't showered and the smell was horrific. And then I asked the CBP after, I said, is that true, they haven't showered? And the person in charge there said, well, the trailers with eight showers just showed up yesterday. So it is feasible that a majority hadn't showered.
GUTIERREZ: Yes. I have to -- we -- there will be an examination. It doesn't usually happen in the present tense, right? There will be an examination of all of the terror, all of the abuses, all of the inhumanity that has been hurled upon these immigrants, trying to flee, to come to the United States. We shouldn't persecute them because they're desperate, because they just -- they just want to live.
BROWN: But to be fair.
GUTIERREZ: Trying to survive and this is the way we treat them.
BROWN: I want to make sure, because there has been some conflation of these adult migrant facilities where we saw them packed in. And the facility I saw -- now given, it was just one, it's a brand-new facility, but this was the one with the families. They were given, you know they're given snacks whenever they want it, it was clean, it was air conditioned. You saw they were watching movies. Did you think they were being well-cared for, the families?
GUTIERREZ: Here's what I think. I think this is the richest, most powerful country in the world. And that we are also blessed. And look how we treat those that are coming seeking refuge to our country. You can show me and put on a show if you want about one facility. We know all of the stories that have been reported during the past month. And we know that still there are hundreds of children separated from their parents, and we have no way in sight of reunifying them. This is just a terrible, horrendous, inhumanity that we are treating these immigrants with.
BROWN: Former Congressman Gutierrez, thank you very much for coming on and sharing your perspective.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you, Pam.
BROWN: Well, right now, there are calls for the resignation of Puerto Rico's Governor growing stronger. Protesters want to kick him out over profane and homophobic comments leaked to the public.
[15:50:00] BROWN: Well, protesters in Puerto Rico have gathered outside of the Governor's mansion demanding his resignation. This uproar comes after leaked communications between the Governor and his staff showing them making sexist jokes, mocking journalists and threatening to turn political opponents over to police. This anger follows a wave of recent corruption arrests and the resignation of top administration officials following a fraud investigation by the FBI.
For the very latest, let's bring in CNN's Leyla Santiago. Leyla, what is the governor saying about the calls for his resignation.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's saying, no way. He says he's not going anywhere, will not step down, will not resign. But here's the thing, you see it in the video you just showed. There is a lot of anger on the streets right now, talking to Puerto Ricans, the words that are constantly used, disrespect, shame. Just resign. That is what you are hearing from the people of Puerto Rico right now filling the streets in front of the Governor's mansion after these chats were leaked.
So let's talk about this. These are 900 pages published by the Center for Investigative Journalism in which it really reveals a government that kind of operated in a really vengeful fashion. They would as you said talk about turning over political opponents to police. At one point they talk about the Mayor of San Juan. Expressing their frustration saying that they want to shoot her and the governor says, you would be doing me a favor. They used derogatory terms I will not repeat in describing women.
They go after celebrities and pretty well-known Puerto Ricans. So this is something that is coming as calls for resignation are out on the streets. But the Governor is holding his ground saying, no, I could continue to operate as a Governor of this country -- of this island rather.
[15:55:00] And the timing of this is critical because this is a time that just days after the FBI made arrests for a corruption scandal that involved former public officials from his administration.
Granted they had already resigned. But Puerto Ricans are sort of fed up, taking to the streets at a time when all of this is brewing, right. The FBI in there investigating, you've got the scandal, you've got arrests, and you've got these chats. So many are saying his days may be numbered. He's saying he's going nowhere.
BROWN: We'll see if he can hold that ground, Leyla Santiago, thank you so much.
And up next, how singer, Pink, is responding to criticism of a picture of her children running through a Holocaust museum.