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Trump Holds Press Availability With Pakistan's P.M.; Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) Discusses Trump's Racist Remarks About 4 Democratic Congresswomen; Immigration, Migrant Detention, Bill on Migrant Medical Care, Bill Curtailing Family Separation. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired July 22, 2019 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:30:00] IMRAN KHAN, PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER: But I'm hoping that President Trump would push this also.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was with -- I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago, and we talked about this subject. And he actually said, "Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?" I said, "Where?" He said, "Kashmir." Because this has been going on for many, many years. I was surprised at how long. It's been going on a long -- and...
KHAN: Seventy years.
TRUMP: I think they'd like to see it resolved, and I think you'd like to see it resolved, and if I can help, I would love to be a mediator.
It shouldn't be -- I mean, it's impossible to believe two incredible countries that are very, very smart with very smart leadership can't solve a problem like that. But if you would want me to mediate or arbitrate, I would be willing to do the...
KHAN: President, I can tell you that right now it would -- you will have the prayers of over a billion people if you can mediate and resolve this issue.
TRUMP: It should be resolved.
So -- but he asked me the same thing, so I think there's something. So maybe we'll speak to him, or I'll speak to him and we'll see if we can do something.
TRUMP: Because I've heard so much about Kashmir; such a beautiful name. It's supposed to be such a beautiful part of the world, but right now there's just bombs all over the place. They say everywhere you go you have bombs and it's a -- it's a terrible situation. Been going on for many years. If I can do anything to help that, let me know.
Let me give you one thing on Afghanistan, as an example. So, a lot of you don't know this, but we dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever built in history. We dropped it in Afghanistan. We were getting ready to make many of those bombs. This left a hole that was -- it took out a lot of the -- a lot of the tunnels and everything else. But it left a hole in the earth that looked like the Moon. It looked like a crater from the Moon; still there.
It was -- nobody's ever seen anything like it. People heard it 15 miles away. They said, "What was that?" It shook the earth. Non- nuclear, the largest ever made, by far. And they were going to make many of them. And I said, "No, we don't have to. I don't want to drop that. I don't want to do that."
So many easy solutions. That's actually the easy solution, and they'd come in and they'd say, "Let's have peace." But you don't have to do that.
I think we're going to be very successful without having to go that route, and I have tremendous confidence in the prime minister.
All right, one or two more. Go ahead.
TRUMP: Go ahead, please.
QUESTION: (inaudible) I'm going to raise the issue of (inaudible) that in the freedom of the press in Pakistan (inaudible) freedom of press, on the media, on the journalists. (inaudible)
TRUMP: Go ahead.
KHAN: Pakistan press -- to scold Pakistan press as if there's the curbs (ph) or that -- Pakistan has one of the freest presses of the world. All you have to do is, since I've been the prime minister in the last 10 months -- I mean, the criticism I have received from my own press -- unprecedented. I -- so to say that there are curbs (ph) on Pakistan press is a -- is a joke.
TRUMP: When you say "unprecedented," you can't -- wait a minute. Wait, wait.
TRUMP: There's no way you're treated worse than I am.
TRUMP: You're going to have to speak because I -- I didn't hear your words.
First of all, are you going to raise the issue of (inaudible) or release of (inaudible)?
TRUMP: Freedom of the press?
QUESTION: Freedom of Dr. (inaudible)
TRUMP: Oh, yes.
QUESTION: The doctor who had...
TRUMP: We will do that. We will talk -- we're -- we're talking about hostages. We're talking about hostages being held in various places. I've had very good luck with hostages with North Korea, with many places. They've treated us with respect, and I appreciate it. Made a big difference.
We have two or three hostages that we're talking about. That's one of the gentlemen that we -- we have heard about. And we'll be -- we will be discussing that with many other subjects. Yes, we will...
KHAN: And, President Trump, and just on a -- President Trump, we will be giving you good news about the two hostages (inaudible).
TRUMP: Thank you.
TRUMP: I'll tell -- I'll -- I'll tell the news that.
Go ahead. Ask it again?
QUESTION: On your tweets, why are you escalating your feud with the four congresswomen and racial tensions (inaudible)?
TRUMP: Well, I think they're very bad for our country. I -- I really think they must hate our country.
I think the -- the four congressmen we're talking about -- the congresswomen -- what they've said about Israel, what they've said about our country, when they talk about disgusting people, when they talk the way they talk, when the one mentioned that brown people should speak for brown people and Muslim people should speak for Muslim people, and you hear all this, it's not what our country's all about.
TRUMP: No, I think they're very bad for our country. I think they're very bad for the Democrat Party. I think you see that. And they're pulling the Democrats way left. Nobody knows how to handle them. I feel they're easy to handle. To me, they're easy to handle, because they're just out there. They're very bad for our country, absolutely.
TRUMP: No, I don't think -- no, no. No racial tension.
TRUMP: No, no, there's no racial tension. Look, I had my best numbers recently. And it's because of the economy and what I have done for the African-American. When you look at -- the African-Americans are doing better than they've ever done in our country, did -- we're creating numbers. Look at the poverty numbers. Look at so many different -- look at the unemployment numbers, the best they've ever had.
You know, we have fantastic relationships with the African-American community. I think you'll see that. Certainly, you're going to see that in 2020, I believe.
QUESTION: ... say that you're going to win the 2020 election. And you are always very confident about that.
Same thing (inaudible). Sir, you are also having a big war against corruption in Pakistan. So can you just give us a little bit about that?
TRUMP: Well, I think he's going to win. And I think what's going to happen -- of course, he's got a little ways to wait.
But I'll go over -- I'm going to campaign for you.
I'm going to help him win this...
QUESTION: (Inaudible). And (inaudible) has said that Pakistan is looking forward (inaudible) an (inaudible) and investment in Pakistan. Are you willing to do that...
TRUMP: I am.
QUESTION: Because many (inaudible) says that economic prosperity is the best antidote to extremism and (inaudible)?
TRUMP: I agree. And I think that's very true. And that's actually a very good question. The answer is yes. I see great trade with Pakistan. And I'm not talking about a little bit more. I'm talking about, we could go 10 and even 20 times what we're doing right now.
You know, Pakistan's a big country. It's actually a very big country. And they have tremendous product. They make great product. They make tremendous -- I bought from Pakistan over the years, when I was in the private sector. They make incredible product.
They're brilliant people. They're hardworking people. I think we're going to have a fantastic trade relationship. I don't mean we'll increase it by 20 percent. I mean, I think we can quadruple it. I think you could go -- I mean, literally, it sounds crazy. You could go 10 times more, you could go 20 times more.
Because what we do right now is not much. And we should do a lot. So I think that's going to be -- and I also do agree that that has so much to do with great peace, having a great trading relationship has so much to do with peace and extremism, in this case. I think we can have a -- so I expect that we will, within a very short period of time, start having very significant trade with Pakistan.
QUESTION: Sir, are there any (inaudible) working-level talks with North Korea scheduled at this point, since you met with Kim Jong-un at the...
TRUMP: No, we just have a very good relationship, and probably they would like to meet. And we'll see what happens. There was a little correspondence recently, very positive correspondence with North Korea.
QUESTION: Between you, or...
[13:35:00] TRUMP: Again, there's no nuclear testing, there's no missile testing; there's no nothing.
I think we will -- yeah, at a certain point...
QUESTION: ... there are working level talks?
TRUMP: When they're ready -- when they're ready, we'll be ready.
QUESTION: They're not ready yet, sir?
QUESTION: One question, please.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
QUESTION: One question, please. (Inaudible). Is the U.S. (ph) the voice for (inaudible)?
KHAN: Well, things discussed. You know, so that would be for afterwards. We'll discuss this.
TRUMP: We'll be -- we'll be discussing it.
QUESTION: Mr. President, one (ph) of the provinces (ph) of Pakistan, Balochistan, (inaudible) actors (ph), destabilize them. And the people from there are going to Europe and other places, and they're (ph) (inaudible) huge. (Inaudible) asylum in India, which is actually an indication, that India is (inaudible) those non-state actors to infiltrate in Pakistan and create that -- (inaudible), Pakistan is holding, which was, you know, leading (ph) the record.
So do you think that as (ph) U.S. will be playing a role in stopping India to, you know, destabilize the (ph) region (ph)?
TRUMP: I think I can very well. I have a very good relationship with Prime Minister Modi, and I think we're going to have a phenomenal relationship with the prime minister of Pakistan.
I do think that it's a two-way street. You know, you say India is coming in and destabilizing Pakistan, but India's saying that Pakistan's coming in and destabilizing. So there's a lot of room right there where we could meet. I think we could meet.
TRUMP: You had a question on Puerto Rico?
QUESTION: ... Puerto Rico step down right now.
TRUMP: Did he step down? Oh.
QUESTION: Should he? Since he's...
TRUMP: Look, he's a terrible governor.
I think you have an even worse mayor of San Juan. She's horrible. I think she's horrible. I watched her, my people did nothing but complain about her when we helped them with their hurricane problem. The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico is a horror show. She's incompetent, grossly incompetent.
TRUMP: At the same time, the governor's not good.
So the United States Congress -- you won't believe this. Please close your ears because this would be -- gave Puerto Rico $92 billion last year for hurricane relief. Now, they haven't gotten the money, all of it, but they've got a lot of it, but they're scheduled to get -- the Congress of the United States handed them $92 billion, and that $92 billion is in the hands of incompetent people, and very corrupt people. But the governor's done a terrible job and the mayor of San Juan has -- she's horrible, I think she's just terrible. She's so bad for her people. And I think the government of the United States, they have to be careful. I'm the best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico, because we did a great job in Puerto Rico. They don't like to give me the credit for it but we did a great job. I have many Puerto Rican friends. I have a real understanding of Puerto Rico. I've -- I've had jobs in Puerto Rico. I had I think the most successful -- I owned the Miss Universe contest, the pageants, and we had them in Puerto Rico twice, and I'll tell you, we had tremendous successes.
In fact, they said literally 100 percent -- this never happens -- almost -- I think it was close to 100, but 100 percent of the island itself was watching. They like those pageants. So I've had a great relationship with Puerto Rico. I'm the best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico.
But Congress has given them $92 billion -- Pakistan would like some of that, right? Ninety-two, not $1.3, because Pakistan was getting $1.3 -- $92 billion and the money is squandered and wasted and stolen and I'll tell you what, the senators are not happy about it, and Congress is not happy about it, because you really do -- you have incompetent -- totally, grossly incompetent leadership at the top of Puerto Rico.
The people of Puerto Rico are great, and the people of Puerto Rico like me, and they should cause nobody's given them what I give them. But the leadership is corrupt and incompetent. Thank you very much, everybody.
TRUMP: Well, that was OK, but the one before it.
TRUMP: Thank you, everybody.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: President Trump there holding a press availability in the Oval Office next to the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan. This went almost for 40 minutes.
I want to bring in my panel to discuss this. We have Susan Glasser with us, legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Laura Coates, A.B. Stoddard is with us, and Abby Phillip is here.
Quick little fact-check on a few things. On Puerto Rico, he attacked the government. Of course, the governor is embattled. He attacked the mayor of San Juan, who has been critical of him in particular. He got the number wrong on the aid. The aid is round $90 billion. He said $90 billion has been given. It hasn't been, 42 allocated, 14 given.
On Robert Mueller, he recycled his criticisms that Robert Mueller is conflicted. No, he's not. And he said, again, the Squad, these four congresswomen, hate the
country, which is the line he's been using against them.
Let's talk about Afghanistan and Pakistan because he's next to the prime minister of Pakistan.
Susan, you first.
He raised the specter of nuking or demolishing or bombing to a considerable degree Afghanistan. Wiping it off the face of the earth he said, but he said he didn't want to do that because it would kill millions of people.
SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: That's right. Over and over again. It was kind of unnerving, I thought, to watch this performance where the president suggests essentially that the choice is either between cutting a deal with the Taliban after 19 years of war in Afghanistan or nuking the country off the face of the earth. I've never heard him repeat this over and over again. It was very odd.
He said, specifically, 10 million people, we have bombs that can just leave a crater the size of the moon. We've chosen not to do that.
Now, of course, Pakistan, that's one of the reasons that they're having the meeting today in the Oval Office, is that the United States has essentially shifted course.
President Trump made very clear today that he wants to get out of Afghanistan, no matter what. And in many ways, that has significantly reduced the U.S. ability to get anything out of Pakistan.
We cut off aid to Pakistan last year. That was in a very different moment for President Trump. He was talking tough last year. I didn't hear any tough talking in the Oval Office today, quite the opposite, I thought, in his dealings with the prime minister, Imran Khan.
KEILAR: Abby, the mutual flattery was on -- it was on, you know, going 100 miles per hour here. You heard that really from both sides.
To be clear, the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan is very complicated. You didn't really take that away from what the president was saying. What's he trying to achieve?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: This is supposed to be an effort to reset that relationship. Pakistan wants that aid back. And the president is getting what he wants typically out of world leaders. He's getting the flattery. He's getting this kind of sort of conciliatory sit-down where Pakistan has been trying to do some things in recent weeks on terrorism that would make President Trump and the administration happy. So they're attempting to reset this relationship.
[13:45:18] But in some ways, this performance today seemed to reveal the simplicity or maybe the oversimplicity in the way that President Trump looks at that region and looks at what the U.S. responsibilities are there.
The fact that he's talking so much about dropping bombs. That's -- there are ways that he would prefer to solve problems, but he can't do that. I didn't hear in what he said today any sort of real alternative. He just seemed to be musing that he can't do what he thinks would be the simplest way out.
And I think that is -- that's the problem with President Trump in moments like this, that he wants out but doesn't want to grapple with the complicated issues on the ground that have made these conflicts, that conflict in Afghanistan, one of the most intractable that we've had in decades.
KEILAR: Let's talk about Robert Mueller as we await this testimony, historic, at the House Judiciary and House Intelligence Committees on Wednesday.
A.B., he's bracing sort of with his old lines about Robert Mueller as he tries to undercut and certainly tell his supporters, don't listen to anything that you hear, even though we think that Mueller will stick to testimony specifically about the report.
A.B. STODDARD, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Well, the Republicans on the committees, on both of them, will be attacking the special counsel on the origins and the beginning and really the credibility and legitimacy of the investigation. Investigate the investigators.
So they intend to spend a lot of time talking about peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who we all know had a lot of animosity towards the president. We saw that in their text chains. And they're going to spend their time talking about that.
At the same time, defending the report's findings, which are that there was not enough activity that led to the threshold that meets the legal definition of conspiracy nor was there a finding on obstruction.
So they're going to attack the messenger but be OK with the findings and that's their position.
The president is going to continue to say no collusion and no obstruction. But at the same, time bash Mueller in these two ways that he mentioned. Which is, one, in the Mueller report, the special counsel addresses the fact that he was once a member of a Trump golf club and that even his own staff told him that was a non-conflict --
KEILAR: Steve Bannon said it was ridiculous.
STODDARD: And it doesn't stand up as a real conflict.
The second thing is that he did not beg for a job as the FBI director. And I think the Democrats might actually ask him that in their questioning.
KEILAR: Which would be very interesting. Laura, the president it did seem he just sort of put out his normal
lines quickly about Robert Mueller. It makes me wonder if he thinks, and certainly this may be the case, that people already have their opinions about what is going to happen. So he's just sort of repeated his line and then moved on to the next thing about Robert Mueller.
Is it going to make a difference? Should the president be worried that this hearing is going to do anything to damage him further?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the president knows full well the power of television and how magical it can transform otherwise boring 400-page documents into something that's life-like and has a life of its own.
He's saying he's not going to watch it. I'm not buying that for a second. He'll be watching with popcorn, and we will, maybe not popcorn, but we'll watching, and the president will be, too.
But more importantly, he was attempting to have his way, have his cake and eat it, too. It cannot be that Robert Mueller is discredited and still have his findings still be appropriate. It cannot be that Robert Mueller has it out for the president of the United States and also has this objective viewpoint with respect to obstruction and collusion.
So his attempt to have his cake and eat it, too, is on full display and shows that he actually is worried about the ability of Robert Mueller to bring to life the notion of that one question, of but for that OLC opinion, would you have been able or sought the indictment of the president of the United States. Did you hand off to Congress the role of the process you spoke of about impeachment?
And he can deflate what you're talking about, A.B., and this question of this whole genesis. What role did the Steele dossier play in this entire thing?
And all the thing that Trump has been focused on about Mueller and why it discredits him, he will be able to talk about that and still be in line of the statement of, I'm not going outside of the report that I said. That would still be game.
KEILAR: Laura Coates, thank you so much.
Susan Glasser, A.B. Stoddard, Abby Phillip, really appreciate your insights.
Don't forget, CNN's special coverage of the Mueller hearings will begin Wednesday morning at 8:00 eastern.
[13:49:42] And we'll be right back.
KEILAR: Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib firing back at the president while at the NAACP convention in Detroit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): I'm not going nowhere!
TLAIB: Not until I impeach this president!
It's beyond just the four of us. The Squad is all of you. And I can tell you, you are all the Squad. Trust me. If you support equity, you support justice, you are one of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[13:55:02] KEILAR: Illinois Congresswoman Lauren Underwood is in Chicago joining us. She is a Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee.
Thank you, Congresswoman, for joining us.
REP. LAUREN UNDERWOOD (D-IL): Thank you, Brianna.
KEILAR: So it's been now a full week since the president first made these racist comments. And just about an hour or so ago, tweeted another insult of your fellow members of Congress, including Congresswoman Tlaib. How do you react to that, now that it's been going on for so long?
UNDERWOOD: It's incredibly disappointing that the president continues to lob these horrible insults to my colleagues, who are smart, who are prepared, who are doing their work in service to our great country.
But guess what, Mr. President, we're not going anywhere and we're not scared of you.
And so, you know, we're going to continue to serve the people, improve health care, deal with this humanitarian situation at our border, and make sure we are serving the American people in the way they have instructed us.
KEILAR: You are on the Homeland Security Committee. You have visited the border. Actually, a couple of times, most recently on Friday, and also back in April. Did you notice a difference between these visits?
UNDERWOOD: Yes. I did see some improvements. Most specifically, the mats you see the young children are now sleeping on, on the floor, have now been extended throughout all the facilities that we have seen, at least the facilities with children. And so that is a small improvement.
I was also very pleased to see more medical providers onsite, either nurse practitioners or physical assistants or EMTs.
However, the medical screening that each individual should be receiving is inconsistent at best.
And so there's a lot more work that we need to do in order to ensure that the migrants who are entering into federal custody are getting appropriate medical attention for the diseases that they might present with.
KEILAR: You are a nurse by training. You have a public health background. And you're planning to introduce legislation this week to address this issue that you just brought up. It would require medical checks within 12 hours of interdiction.
Explain to us how that would be carried out, and what the personnel commitment would be needed to accomplish this.
UNDERWOOD: Yes. So actually, we've already introduced the bill. It has passed out of the House Homeland Security Committee. It's the U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening Act.
And as you mentioned, it would require screening within 12 hours of interdiction, meaning a person presenting in between the ports of entry.
It requires robust research requirements and reporting and then charting, documentation using an electronic medical record so that as a migrant travels through our immigration system from that immediate point of entry, either at a port or most importantly, at a Border Patrol station, through their interactions with ICE and immigration judge, we know what medications they might have, illnesses they might have. And whether or not they have received medical treatment during the course of their time in federal custody.
The goal is to make sure that each facility, no matter how remote, has the tools that they need to offer this screening to the migrants.
What we have seen are preventable deaths. Toddlers dying in U.S. custody over the course of this last year, from illnesses that we could treat, if they were identified timely.
I'm thinking about Willmar Vasquez, a 2 1/2-year-old young boy who had parasites that could have been treated, but instead Willmar died while in federal custody because he didn't get access to the medical treatment he needed. This shouldn't happen.
And as a nurse, I know we could offer this care to individuals while they're in custody, consistent with our American values.
KEILAR: You're also co-sponsoring separate bipartisan legislation, and it calls for an end to child separation if a family member is also detained. This also calls for the providing of appropriate temporary shelter with access to bathroom and shower facilities and other things, as well.
UNDERWOOD: That's right.
KEILAR: This is something that you are calling for the Homeland Security secretary to establish the standards of. You feel confident this is something -- you trust the secretary to do this?
UNDERWOOD: Well, here's the deal. What is going on at the U.S./Mexico border is unacceptable. We have heard Secretary McAleenan over the course of the last several weeks, since we have authorized this funding, to say he too is committed to solving this problem. And he pointed to the money, the need for appropriations, as the only barrier.
So we have given him those funds. But we also know, as House Democrats and United States Congress, there need to be robust standards in place to make sure that all migrants are being treated fairly and are being given the opportunity to stand before an immigration judge.
And I think that some of these protections coming out of Congresswoman Escobar's bill that you spoke of today will do just that. I'm really encouraged that Congresswoman Escobar's bill, my bill, Congressman Ruiz's Medical Screening and Standards Bill will be on the floor this week. So before we head off into our august district work period, we'll have an opportunity to address the humanitarian crisis at our border.
KEILAR: Congresswoman Underwood, thank you so much for joining us from Chicago.
That is it for me.
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