Return to Transcripts main page

ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Presidential Candidate, Campaigns In Iowa; New Iowa Poll: Joe Biden Holds Lead, Elizabeth Warren A Strong Second; Dick Durbin: Hate Is Not A Mental Illness; Merkley: Trump's Immigration Policy Traumatizes Children; Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot On Ivanka Trump's Tweet After Mass Shootings. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired August 8, 2019 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[09:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Chris Cuomo is off tonight. Welcome to the special edition of 360. We begin this hour with Democratic Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris in Iowa as our many other candidates. She has spoken to CNN's Kyung Lah about the shootings in Ohio and Texas and the President's reaction to them.

They started the conversation about tonight's national security breaking news President Trump naming a new Acting Director of National Intelligence. He is Joseph Maguire who currently runs the National Counter Terrorism Center. This came shortly after the President tweeted that Sue Gordon, the country's number two Intelligence Official and a long-time professional would resign.

Again Senator Harris spoke with Kyung Lah earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the very first day of your bus tour. But I want to get to the breaking news about Sue Gordon leaving second in command at the NI. What do you think about this resignation?

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I mean I'm not surprised. I'm on the Senate Intelligence Committee. I meet on a consistent basis with leaders of our intelligence community. They are hard working. They are patriots to their core. And I don't know why she's leaving. I think that this President has been less than supportive of our intelligence community and that the importance of their work and the kind of sacrifice that they put into it.

So you know, when we have a President who carries the role of Commander in Chief, but coddles and cuddles up to strong men around the world when the intelligence community has told us, Russia interfered in the election of the President of the United States. But our President prefers to take the word of the Russian President over the word of the intelligence community on the issue of, the student who was killed an American student who was killed.

The President prefers to take word of the North Korean dictator over the word of the American Intelligence Community. On the subject of a journalist who was assassinated and a journalist who had American credentials. He prefers to take the word of a Saudi Prince over the word of the American Intelligence Community. I think that the people who do that work do it with great purpose and with a sense of real commitment to our nation's security. If you have ever gone to the buildings where they work, you'll know you will see stars on a wall with no names because so much of the work they do is work that they can't take credit for. So they do this work not for any selfish purpose.

LAH: Let's talk about the President. He recently visited El Paso and today there's video surfacing of him talking about the size of his crowds. You heard about what he said after the news conference with Brown and the Mayor of Dayton. Should he have even gone to Dayton and El Paso?

HARRIS: I mean, he's just so - his pre occupation with size. I'll leave that for someone else to analyze. But I will say that this President has used the platform that is given to the Office of the President of the United States in a way that has been about trying to divide our country.

He has used language that has been born out of hate. And he generally shows no evidence of any natural ability to have empathy. Of course the President of the United States should visit and be in a place has experienced such tragedy. I think that this President doesn't really have the capacity to have empathy and I just, you know, my heart goes out to not only the families but also the leaders of those communities who are trying to pull it together and stand strong.

LAH: Do you believe as a - said that he is a white supremacist?

HARRIS: I think you should ask him that question.

LAH: Are you willing to say that?

HARRIS: I think you should ask him that question. I would be interested to see what his answer is.

LAH: Joe Biden has said that the President, what he has done, "Encourages white supremacy". That he doesn't feel there's much of a distinction and what he is doing may be worse. Do you concur?

HARRIS: Yes, I think that's absolutely right. This is a President who has, we don't even need to, the sad thing about this is it is no longer a debatable point. There is just a long list of statements and tweets and behaviors from this President that make it very clear. He possesses hate and that he is divisive and he is a racist.

LAH: Is it important to call him a white supremacist for some of that your competitors have said?

HARRIS: I think it is important to call it what it is, which is that we have a President of the United States who does not reflect the values of who we are as a people.

[09:05:00] HARRIS: He is someone who gives, who empowers white supremacists and who condones their behavior and that's not the kind of President that I think most Americans can be proud of. Much less support.

LAH: Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled that he will at least talk about background checks. The red flag laws as a member of the Senate body. What do you think about his shift?

HARRIS: I think he needs to put the bill on the floor for a vote and call all of us back to Washington, D.C. to vote on it right away.

LAH: He doesn't want to call people that. He said he will make it front and center.

HARRIS: Well, I think that on this we have to judge everyone by their conduct. Not just their words.

LAH: And we can't let this go without talking about where we are?

HARRIS: We're on the bus.

LAH: Tell me with what this is? We are on the bus.

HARRIS: We're right now in Sioux City, Iowa. And we are for the next five days going to be on this bus traveling throughout Iowa from river to river talking about our 3:00 a.m. agenda which is about the issues that wake people up in the middle of the night and about how we're going to solve those problems because I do believe strongly that the American people want a problem solving President. That's the kind of President I intend to be.

LAH: Do you feel that the problem solving that you're focusing on, not looking at, I think you've said, you don't want to talk about the structural change or be too ideological. You want to solve these kitchen table issues?

HARRIS: I want to solve the things that wake people up in the middle of the night which is about health care it's about can they keep a job or get a job? Can they pay the bills by the end of the month? Those bread and butter issues that literally wake people up in the middle of the night because they're worried about whether they will see a week through, much less a month through. Those are my priorities.

LAH: Some of the people who have won previously, Trump make America great again, Barack Obama with hope and change. They have been a bit more sweeping had a larger vision. You've taken a different route. Do you sense voters are looking for this versus what we saw before?

HARRIS: I think that Americans want in a leader somebody who actually sees their life and is interested in solving the problems people face every day. I think that people don't, you know, they don't want in their leader somebody who can just give a beautiful speech and grand gestures. They want actions. Action about that is about solving the problems they face every day. Those are my priorities. Because look. When it comes down to it, if people can't get through end of the month, if we can't solve the issues that they deal with every day, what else matters?

LAH: Did you happen to see the video of the children crying when their parents were taken away by ICE?

HARRIS: I have not seen the video. I know about it. And I know about the work of ICE under this administration. And it is immoral. It is human rights abuses being committed by the United States government.

I serve on the Senate Homeland Security Committee. From the first day I arrived there, about two years ago, I've been taking DHS to task and ICE to task. I think I was the first person in the United States Senate to ask about this Child Separation Policy.

And it is clear to me that this administration has been not only irresponsible but has literally committed human rights abuses. These most recent raids hundreds of people who are now separated from their families for at least 24 hours and causing people in our country to be in fear and particularly the Latino community. People are in fear all over the country.

When you combine those raids with what just happened in El Paso, and again do you think that this administration and this President might step back and say, wait a minute? After what just happened in El Paso, when it was motivated by hate against immigrants, and Latino immigrants, do you think that a responsible leader would have said, don't do those raids? It shows a level of insensitivity and callousness that should not be traits of the President of the United States.

LAH: You brought up El Paso. CNN has some reporting out today about the last 24 hours that shows the White House rebuffed DHS efforts to focus on domestic terrorism.

HARRIS: I gave a speech about that many months ago. I've been talking about this for months.

[09:10:00] HARRIS: They've shut down the enforcement and the enforcement and the investigations of domestic terrorism. Meanwhile we have a President of the United States who is constantly creating terror in the people of our country.

Again, Donald Trump is ill equipped to be President of the United States on so many levels including the fact that he creates fear in the people of his own country.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: That's Kamala Harris. More now on the competitive picture in Iowa and some new polling just out today. CNN's Political Director David Chalian joins us now. So you heard Senator Harris there weighing in on the shootings. How if at all do you think those tragedies have changed the race? Do you think they have?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, something is pretty clear Anderson. A week ago you and I were leaving Detroit after a series of debates that was making the Democratic Party a little uncomfortable. It was sort of Democrats going against Democrats on some issues and there were concerns for many in the party that there wasn't a focus on Donald Trump enough. Well, problem solved here this week. Through this tragedy and through Donald Trump's response to it, he has unified the Democratic Party. You heard it from Kamala Harris, I heard it from Joe Biden the Former Vice President at the state fair here in Iowa today.

This is re-centering the conversation in the democratic nomination race on President Trump as the main their focus and critical mission, to oust him from the Oval Office rather than intraparty squabbles which no doubt will return between now and the caucuses here in February.

COOPER: So there is new polling in Iowa and obviously we often quote these national polls. But at this point in the race, an Iowa poll, the early states are critical. Can you walk us through what the new Iowa poll shows?

CHALIAN: Yes. Monmouth University has this new poll out here in Iowa and it shows Joe Biden holding his lead. He's at 28 percent. And it shows Elizabeth Warren really surging up into a strong second position in this race at 19 percent. You then have Kamala Harris the only other person in double digits in this poll at 11 percent.

And really interesting, you see Bernie Sanders who gave Hillary Clinton such a run for her money in this state four years ago, you see him now in single digits there at 9 percent. This is obviously still a snap shot in time. You are right; this is now an all out organizing game for the next several months in Iowa that is somewhat apart from that national narrative we talk about all the time. But what you see here is a surging Elizabeth Warren, a strong position for Kamala Harris and Joe Biden still holding on to a pretty significant lead.

COOPER: And basically every single candidate, they're all going to pass through that state fair in Iowa over the next couple of days.

CHALIAN: Yes. It's one of the great traditions in presidential politics going through these fair grounds interacting with voters, eating a pork chop on a stick and giving a sort of short stump speech a pitch to voters here. It is a testing ground for candidates, to interact with voters to take the questions on the fly and see how they can handle a not very controlled atmosphere for the candidates.

COOPER: I didn't hear anything you said after pork chop on a stick. I didn't have lunch today. That's all I can think about right now. Yum!

CHALIAN: I'll bring one back for you.

COOPER: All right, David Chalian thanks very much. Coming up, the White House strategy against domestic terror and one of the top ranking Senate Democrats say is an administration that's downplayed the treat of white supremacist violence.

Also, later I'll speak with the Democratic Senator about the Justice Department's defense over the way it's handled massive immigration raids in Mississippi. Children pleading for their parents to come home after nearly 700 adults were apprehended.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:15:00] COOPER: Two Democratic Senators called out the Trump administration today for its failure to address white supremacist terrorism. Senator Dick Durbin and Cory Booker say the administration, "downplays the significance of the white supremacist attacks". They also question why Attorney General William Barr has not "Uttered a single word in public about these grave threats".

The protest comes after CNN's Jake Tapper reported that the Department of Homeland Security tried for more than a year to make combating domestic terror a greater priority for the administration. Ultimately, all the administration did was include a single paragraph in its National Counter Terrorism strategy. A senior source involved in the discussions tells Tapper it was a "Throwaway line". I spoke about all this earlier with Senator Dick Durbin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Senator Durbin, the White House essentially blocking the Department of Homeland Security for making the fight against domestic terror of white supremacy bigger priority. You've actually been sounding the alarm on that for a while now?

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): I have got the only bill in the Senate on this subject. There will probably be more in the future. It came to our attention. When you look at domestic crimes and homicides, when it comes to domestic terrorism, it is white nationalism and white supremacy.

When I asked the FBI Director Wray several just weeks ago this question, he admitted, it's a problem. It continues to be the biggest threat in domestic terrorism. And then they turn around and the Department of Justice and change the definition so they're not focusing on white nationalism and white supremacy.

It makes no sense. Wrote a letter to Attorney General Barr and said explain why you're doing this? This is a danger we should be very aware of.

COOPER: Have they given you any explanation about why the White House would be resistant to that?

DURBIN: Three months, no reply to the letter. That may change with the tragedies that occurred in El Paso and Dayton. I think Congress is going to return in September and focus on this as we should. I think we ought to do what my bill calls for.

We need to call on the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, make sure that at the end of the day, we have a response every single year the progress being made to stop these groups. They're growing in size and intensity and danger we certainly realize that after El Paso. It is time this administration takes it seriously.

COOPER: One of the things that some of the democratic candidates who are running for President has called for is basically making domestic terrorism a crime in the way that international terrorism is. Currently there isn't that, in and of itself is not a crime.

It is usually weapons charge or a hate crimes charge. Is that something you support? Others have pointed out, Philip Mudd Former -- who was with the FBI and CIA.

[09:20:00] I had a conversation with him the other day he said that can be a slippery slope when you start labeling ideas of American citizens a domestic terror threat as a crime. That people may not understand where that could go?

DURBIN: I agree with you. There is a real constitutional challenge to wording this properly so that those who want to dissent from popular views and express themselves are not impeded. But when you cross that line into inciting violence or violent conduct, we definitely want to make sure that we can prosecute those crimes.

They tell me now, there are existing laws to do it. They're not explicit as in domestic terrorism. I want to look at this carefully. After what we've seen and this resurgence of white nationalism in this country, we have to make sure that we give the tools to prosecutors to protect us.

COOPER: How much of a difference would it make if the White House was fully on board with this and behind this idea? Making white nationalism, white supremacy something the President spoke out against. Not just saying I'm against that, all forms of supremacy or racism but actually, you know, from an institutional standpoint, making it a priority rather than just the FBI on their own doing what they can do. How much of a difference would that make?

DURBIN: Well, I know there is a big national debate on the cable channels about this. When the President sends out these ambiguous signals after Charlottesville as to who are the bad guys and who the good guys, is it any wonder the bad guys think they have a permission slip to be even bolder in their conduct some and believe that somehow the President might recognize what we say is true.

That's what happens when you're not clear in your statements to stop this kind of hatred this kind of violent extremism that we're seeing coming out of the white nationalist groups. Yes it would help a lot if there was clarity from the White House from the beginning on this issue.

COOPER: I want to ask about comments from Elizabeth Warren, also Beto O'Rourke over the last 24 hours. They have both said that the President is a white supremacist. I'm wondering if you agree with them. Is the President a white supremacist a white nationalist?

DURBIN: I'm not going to that conclusion. But I will tell you, I think some of the things that you said, and failed to say, has aided and abetted those who are looking for any excuse in the world to sow their visions of hatred across America and ultimately to resort to violent conduct.

It is a country where we have free speech. But we try to draw a reasonable line in this open culture and say that if you are inciting people to violence and you're hurting innocent people, you've crossed the line. No questions asked. The notion that we would somehow condone white racism or white supremacy as part of America is anti ethical to who we are as a nation.

COOPER: Senator Durbin, as I said you've been out front on this issue. I appreciate your time. Thank you.

DURBIN: Thanks, Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Coming up next, we have more breaking news. Another incident at a Walmart this is a strange one involving an armed man thankfully nothing worse. We'll have the latest on what happened and how it ended. Also a conversation about mental illness and gun violence, especially in light of the President's remarks on the subject we'll talk an expert in the field about the facts and the myths surrounding the issue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:25:00] COOPER: There's more breaking news and it has a horribly familiar ring. Word of an armed individual at a Walmart, this time in Springfield, Missouri CNN's Omar Jimenez is following development. He joins us now with the very latest. So explain what really happened here?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes Anderson, there was a scary call really that came out. Police responded within three minutes of reports of potentially another active shooter at a Walmart. This one in Springfield, Missouri happening a little bit in the afternoon, around 4:00.

I want to show you his picture. This is part of why people there were so concerned. He walked into this Walmart. He was donning a weapon. You see the type of clothes he was wearing at the time. Tactical gear is how police described it. As he was going through, police said he was talking into his cell phone.

The store manager pulled the fire alarm there to try and get people out of that building. Just unsure of what this person would do next. He then left through emergency exit of this Walmart where he was forcefully detained as we understand by an off duty firefighter who held him until police were able to arrive.

This is just five days after those horrible attacks we saw unfold in the El Paso Walmart. And then here we are, some of these people really reliving some of the horrors that the people in Texas felt.

COOPER: Two questions. Is Missouri an open carry state? Can he just wander into Walmart with a long rifle and tactical gear? And also the guy who apprehended him, I think you said he was an off duty firefighter. I read that he had a concealed carry permit. Is that correct? That's one of the ways he was able to stop this guy?

JIMENEZ: That's correct. So first for starters, Missouri s an open carry state. Now, excuse me. What makes the difference there on that front is when it is being wielded in the presence and potentially a dangerous man or in front of multiple people and so that is something I would certainly apply to this.

You walk into the middle of a crowded Walmart in this case. And also the type of weapon makes a difference. A handgun or in this case what we can see as a long gun as well. For the firefighter, as we understand, he did hold this gunman up, this potential gunman at gunpoint as he exited that emergency exit until police arrived as well.

So quick thinking, right place, right time for that fire fighter. Almost like what we saw in Times Square when people ran from the back fire motorcycle. I think what happened this past weekend is still very fresh in the minds of many people here in.

COOPER: It was great that the fire fighter was there with the gun. Omar Jimenez, I appreciate it, thank you.

Now prevention what President Trump apparently believes should focus extensively on mental health, at least as he defines it. You'll recall in the wake of Dayton and El Paso. He said "Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger not the gun". He also said "We must reform mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment but when necessary, involuntary confinement".

[09:30:00] COOPER: It sounds like to a lot of people, simple common sense. However, there are a lot of issues involved. It is based on assumptions about mental illness and mass killings that may not be justified. Joining us now is Pete Earley who recently wrote op-ed on the "The Washington Post" titled "No, Mr. President, hate is not a mental illness".

He is apparent designate on Coordinating Committee on Serious Mental Illness set up by Congress to study the issue. In addition he is the author of "Crazy" a father's search through America's mental health madness. Pete, you take specific issue with something President Trump said when talking about the shootings that "Mental illness and hatred pulled the trigger. Not the gun." You said he only has it half right?

PETE EARLEY, AUTHOR, "CRAZY": Yes, that's exactly right. What happens is when we have one of these shooting everybody wants to demonize people with mental illness because it is behavior. But we have to look at the motivation. Research shows that only one out of five people have a diagnosed mental illness.

So you have to look at the other four. Why would you look at 20 percent versus 80 percent? What you discover is that 54 percent of those shooters are white males who are filled with hatred, prejudice, they feel like their entitlement is being taken away and they're lashing out.

Now you can argue that all of those might have some kind of mental illness component to it. But what we do is we focus on the mentally ill. We say we got to lock them up. We got to make sure they don't get guns. And we're demonizing 46 million Americans who have a mental illness.

And to make a point if mental illness was always the cause of these shootings we know that mental illness has schizophrenia, 3 percent worldwide 6 percent for bipolar, 13 percent all mental illnesses. Why is our country the one that has over 200 mass shootings a year? Why are not these happening in every country? So it is more than mental illness. It is hatred and obviously easy access to weapons.

COOPER: So the notions of these red flag legislation, I understand you're concerned that, a, it is demonizing people unfairly who have some kind of mental illness but the vast majority as you are not violent individuals.

EARLEY: Right.

COOPER: But it is also interesting with these red flag blogs, which I don't think people take into account. It is exactly, if you're talking about stopping future crime and you're focusing on people who have mental illness, and I think it was you maybe who wrote about this, police officers or firefighters who have PTSD from 9/11 or something else, should they then be branded and never be allowed to carry a firearm later in life?

I think I'm not sure people have thought through the implications of all of it. If you go to a therapist, are you on a list as a suspected danger?

EARLEY: Thank you for bringing that up. Look, voices in people's heads aren't causing these mass shootings. When you construct a red flag law, you're kind of ignoring a basic fact about mental illness which is that most people have mental illness and also get better.

My son, it took six years, five hospitalizations. Today he's going to graduate school. He works in the mental health field. He lives independently. He pays taxes and complains about it. When you put a tag on someone like that, that further prejudices them and builds into the myth that if you have a mental illness, you're dangerous and you'll never get better.

And that in itself is a false flag that is being used to ignore the real issues which is hate, prejudice, and access to weapons.

COOPER: Just quickly, to that stigma in mental illness it prevents people who are in need from actually reaching out for help because out of fear? We have got to leave it here. Pete, I really appreciate your writings. We'll talk again. Thank you.

EARLEY: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up next, a major immigration crackdown leads to a different family separation. We'll hear from a Senator who has been on the front lines to the border fight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:35:00] COOPER: Tonight ICE officials are trying to down play a series of raids in Mississippi that the local U.S. Attorney boasted as historic because federal authorities are now facing fierce criticism about it. They say immigration enforcement was not their main goal but they picked up nearly 700 undocumented immigrants working at food plants.

For some that meant kids came home from their first day of school without their parents waiting for them Wednesday. That is leading to some raw emotions. What you're about to see is really not easy to watch but we think it is important for you to know the impact on the children. Here's a girl waiting for her mom.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Government, please have a heart. Everybody else, please don't leave the child with crying and everything. I need my dad. My dad is not a criminal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please can I just see my mother. Please!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: The girl you saw has since reunited with her mother. I spoke earlier with Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley. He made headlines last year after being denied entry to an immigrant detention center in Texas, where kids have been separated from their parents.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

I wonder what goes through your minds when you see the images of these families today, dealing with the repercussions of this raid. Particularly I mean these children waiting for parents who are not showing up?

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): It just raises for me all the memories of child separation. The administration is conducting its immigration policy and strategy that traumatizes children without careful planning and perhaps with a lot of callousness perhaps incompetence and possibly both.

COOPER: I don't know if they chose to do raids on the first day of school. An ICE official told CNN they did give school administrators a heads up the same day. That didn't seem to do much good for the children whose parents never showed up to pick them up.

MERKLEY: Can you imagine the terror you have as a child? Your parents are suddenly gone and you don't have a place to go home to? What does it mean for your life?

[09:40:00] MERKLEY: It just re-evokes the factors that we saw in spades with the administration down on the border, ripping children out of their parents' arms. It is a different style of doing it. But the same impact on children. The same sense of kind of evilness at the heart of this policy that is if we inflict trauma on children, we'll discourage immigration.

Why doesn't if the President wants to take on immigration, why not turn to the bipartisan 2013 bill? Why not turn to the bipartisan work on dreamers? And bring the nation together to fix the broken system?

COOPER: Also, on the timing that is so close to the mass shootings over the weekend. You know, I guess this operation must have been in the works for months. But I'm not sure perhaps they could have taken the timing into consideration?

MERKLEY: Such a juxtaposition of the President going to Dayton, going to El Paso, trying to at least say a few words about bringing the nation together but at the same very moment, launching these raids on immigrants, accentuating their fear and trauma.

I think it just goes to the fact that the President, what he talks about bringing the nation together. That's not the real President Trump. The real President Trump is the one who is, has this underlying strategy of inflicting trauma on refugees, on children to discourage immigration. And that is just a dark and evil policy that we need to change.

COOPER: But you know there are plenty of people who will see these images and say of course it is sad that a child is upset and crying. But that these parents are undocumented immigrants. Those raids are needed in order to successfully apprehend people. However you do it, there is going to be unintended consequences. What do you say to that?

MERKLEY: Well, what I say is that for many years, we really said to immigrants, we want you here working in our farms. We want you here working in our nurseries. We want you here working in our meat packing plants. And then we changed our approach to that. And instead of working out a comprehensive immigration bill to address it, we've - we're putting families through a terror.

Democrats and Republicans worked together in 2013 to pass by a super majority a strategy to address the fact that we had essentially welcomed workers for years and then said we don't want you. Meanwhile, our businesses were saying, well, we still do need you. We still do want you. Let's have a process for some legalization so we do right by these families and right by the economy at the same time.

That was the foundation for the bipartisan work on immigration. So if we want to fix a broken system, let's fix it. But the President is not trying to fix it he is trying to aggravate it for political purposes. He is using children as political pawns and that's wrong.

COOPER: Senator Jeff Merkley, I appreciate your time. Thanks.

MERKLEY: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, there have just been more abrupt Trump administration resignations and lot of controversy to go along with them. We'll tell you who, why, and the fallout for the President next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:45:00] COOPER: As we reported earlier, there is a new Acting DNI to replace Daniel Coates the President chose Joseph Maguire the leader of the National Counter Terrorism Senator. There is also three more resignation. Coates is number two. Sue Gordon is out along with the top U.S. diplomat who resigned after a reported clash with the White House.

Plus another State Department official who let loose on the President in a no holds barred op ed. CNN's National Security Reporter Kyliey Atwood joins with us all the details. So the Assistant Secretary of State Kimberly Breier she left over clashes with the President's immigration policies. Is that right?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: That's right. That's the premise here and Anderson this is a story we've heard time and time again during this administration another administration official leaving this one being a key, key post for the western hemisphere that central, South America and Mexico.

And Kim Breier was a key person when it came to dealing with Mexico for this administration when President Trump threatened new tariffs on Mexico because they weren't doing enough to control those coming into the U.S. across the border.

She was the one who met with Mexican officials here in Washington and encouraged them to do more. She really was the one leading those diplomatic efforts. But now that diplomacy is a question mark. Who is going to lead that at the state department?

Now, Pompeo thanked her for her work at the State Department and said she was leaving to spend time with her family. But as you said, there were clashes between her and the White House especially when it came to policy.

COOPER: And a large part of it had to do with disagreements specifically with Steven Miller?

ATWOOD: That's right. So "The Washington Post" is reporting that they had gone back and forth over the asylum case with Guatemala. So that is where there was a key sticking point. And she decides that had she no longer could fight that fight and is now leaving the State Department.

COOPER: And the Foreign Service Officer, who resigned Chuck Park, he actually wrote an op-ed laying out why he left?

ATWOOD: It is a blistering op-ed Anderson. It cites his frustration with the State Department calling it the complacent state. He says that folks there are no longer standing up at all to the Trump administration, and their policies. And it is a pretty moving piece because he says that he made this decision after the mass shooting in El Paso, which is a city where his son was born.

He also recounts some of his experiences, serving as a diplomat for the U.S. worldwide and standing up for U.S. diplomacy, even when times were rough here in the United States, going to black history month celebrations, even as there were calls for those who were shot here in the U.S. African-Americans to receive justice folks like Martin, but he kept fighting the fight.

[09:50:00] ATWOOD: He no longer could do that anymore. And he put it this way. He described the complacent state this way "The complacent state sighs when the President blocks travel by Muslim immigrants, shakes its head when he defends Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Averts its gaze from images of children in detention camps. Then it complies with orders every day we refuse visas based on administration priorities. We recite administration talking points on border security, immigration and trade. We plan travel itineraries, book meetings and literally hold doors open for the appointees who push Trump's toxic agenda around the world."

Now, CNN has reached out to Chuck after he wrote this op-ed. He doesn't know what he's going to do next, but he hopes to work for an organization that promotes immigration rights.

COOPER: Kylie Atwood, appreciate it. Thank you.

We have more ahead. Why Chicago's Mayor isn't at all happy with the President's daughter, Ivanka Trump.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:55:00] COOPER: As the ripple effects from mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton played out, President Trump's daughter Ivanka took time to post her own thoughts on gun violence, especially in the city of Chicago. She wrote on twitter "With seven dead and 52 wounded near a playground in the windy city, little national or media outrage we must have become norm to the violence faced by intercity communities every day"

Well, say the least, those remarks did not set very well with the Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot. She called the tweets misleading at a press conference and said it wasn't a playground and it wasn't one single incident as the tweet implied. I spoke with Mayor Lightfoot earlier.

COOPER: Mayor, when you saw Ivanka Trump's tweet from a family which is constantly attacking the news media as factually incorrect or fake, the amount of inaccuracies in her one tweet, it was kind of - it was certainly surprising how inaccurate it was. I'm wondering what exactly it was that you took issue with?

LORI LIGHTFOOT, MAYOR OF CHICAGO: Well, first and foremost, I think if you really want to be helpful, and particularly given the platform you're in, you actually pick up the phone and you call and you talk to us about what actually happened so we could have given her a full rundown of what the facts were, and then we have a communication about what is the best path forward.

I understand that she thought she was being helpful, but her failure - or anybody on her team to just pick up the phone and communicate with us was really disappointing.

COOPER: It made it sound as if all of this occurred in one incident, in one area in a playground. LIGHTFOOT: And, look, don't get me wrong, we had a tough weekend, but

conflating all of that and getting the facts wrong and getting - saying the playground, which it wasn't near a playground, and suggesting that children were at risk was dangerous and unhelpful.

COOPER: It does seem like she is in some way making a comparison between the mass shootings that happened last weekend and gun violence that takes place in Chicago. I'm wondering do you see any equivalence between them.

LIGHTFOOT: Look, the circumstances of each of these are tragic. That is absolutely a common theme that runs through them. And I don't want people to lose sight about the fact that we are experiencing shootings at a pace that no one finds acceptable, but conflating the hateful rhetoric that I think motivated - sounds like motivated the shooter in El Paso, and we still don't really know what the motivation of the shooter was in Dayton, to what we're experiencing I think really does a disservice to victims, the cities that are reeling, the families that are suffering from gun violence. They're not apples to apples comparison.

COOPER: I know you met with Ivanka Trump for your inauguration to talk about some of the challenges facing Chicago and some of the short term and long term things that might be done. Has she reached out to you at all since then?

LIGHTFOOT: We have had some contact at the staff level, but she and I haven't spoken since that meeting in Washington. But it doesn't matter. If you want to talk about a city, particularly one as high profile as Chicago, and let's face it, we have been the punching bag for the President.

The best thing to do, the best thing to do is reach out, have honest dialogue and then try to form a partnership about how we can address these challenges together. You don't govern by tweet.

COOPER: As you said, you've said the President is using - has used Chicago as a punching bag. Certainly he's also taken aim at, you know, New York City, most recently obviously Baltimore. Do you think the President understands kind of the long-term structural things which might help a city like Chicago or Baltimore?

LIGHTFOOT: Look, I think that this is - the President's rhetoric is all part of a perpetual re-election strategy where he demonizes and dismisses cities where he's not going to get a substantial vote. Let's face it. The cities that he's picked are Democratic strongholds. He's not going to get votes here of any magnitude.

So it's easy for him given his, you know, diminishing base to demonize us and the challenges that we face in cities and reduce us to a punch line rather than looking at the greatness that's actually happening in each of these cities. Yes, we have our challenges, but we are a great city and I'm never going to let anybody, including a President, diminish the greatness of Chicago.

COOPER: Mayor Lightfoot, I appreciate your time. Thank you. LIGHTFOOT: Thank you.

COOPER: Well, that's it for us. The news continues. I want to turn things over to Don Lemon for "CNN TONIGHT."