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Portland On Edge; People Are Gathering In El Paso And Other Cities Across The Country Demanding Changes to Gun Laws; NASCAR Driver Turned Broadcaster, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Miraculously Survives A Plane Crash; Tlaib Emotional After Standoff Over Travel To Israel, West Bank; Amid Recession Fears, Trump Defends Policies Rattling Investors; Union Workers Given Ultimatum On Trump's Speech: Attend The Event Or Lose Overtime Pay; Trump Trails Four Top Democrats In Latest Fox News Poll; Shocking Language Used By Top White House Official On Immigration; Greenland To Trump: "We're Not For Sale"; Saudi Judge Denies Mother Custody Of Daughter For Being Too Western. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired August 17, 2019 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:10] ANNOUNCER: this is CNN breaking news.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Thanks for being with us on this Saturday. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

Breaking news in Portland where the city is on edge that worries that an afternoon of demonstrations could turn violent. You are looking at live images right now where you see people gathered, groups that are extremist groups in many cases are expected to be there led by counter-protesters and that includes the far-left group Antifa.

Earlier, President Trump sent this warning on Twitter, major consideration is being given to name Antifa, an organization of terror. Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the mayor will be able to properly do his job.

For days, the city's mayor has been warning residents and visitors to stay home.

Let's go live to Portland in our Sara Sidner.

Sara, fill us in on the latest.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A very different scene. I'll walk along with you on the riverside because basically the crowd that I just got done speaking to, one of the chairman of the proud boys Enrique Tarrio said they are leaving. And indeed, they did.

We heard them rounding people up. There were maybe 200, up to 200 people from far-right or right-wing groups or supporters of the President here and their idea was to engage the left. Mostly, they are trying to get Antifa designated as a terrorist organization. That was why the proud boys in the first place called for this rally, which, by the way, the mayor said nobody had a permit for.

But there are a huge number of police here. A huge number of police. I do want to give you an idea of what's happening. We are on one side of the river. We just walked over the bridge that has just been closed here in Portland by authorities to try to keep these groups apart.

On the other side of the river is where folks who are from Portland who came out against this group proud boys and other right-wing groups who showed up for this rally. They were all over there. And for the most part, I mean, it has dispersed. There were hundred of people there.

There were a few people who call themselves Antifa or anti-fascists if you will who are there. But ultimately, what we are seeing now is for the city, good news, there has been no major clash between the two groups. The police very adamant not to let them come together.

There was a huge fear that this would be reminiscent of what happened in Charlottesville in 2017. And to be fair, there have been many of these protests that have happened in Portland. There is a reason for that.

This city is a target and we heard that from the chairman. He said that he was targeting it because he doesn't like the mayor, as well. There is a lot of liberal folks who live here. And he felt that the mayor did not handle well the last time there was a clash where a conservative blogger, conservative journalist was injured. And so at this point, things look good for the city because so far there has been no major violence here in Portland.

CABRERA: OK. And I'm really happy to hear that.

Sara Sidner in Portland, Oregon for us. Thank you.

This week marks two years since the violent demonstrations since Charlottesville, Virginia. During the protests there dozens of people were hurt and 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed by a whit supremacist.

Shortly afterwards, President Trump was criticized for not doing enough, not going far enough in condemning white supremacy. Instead, he uttered that now infamous line that there were, quote, fine people on both sides.

Now two years later the President is lashing out about today's protests in Portland calling out the far left group Antifa saying he is considering naming it an organization of terror, but remaining mute on far-right extremists since self-declared white supremacists also present in Portland. I do want to note the U.S. doesn't have a domestic terrorism law and no government agency designates domestic groups as being terrorist organizations.

Joining us now is Heather Heyer's mother, Susan Bro.

Thank you, Heather's mom, Susan Bro, thank you for being here. Right now, you know, we have these far-right groups including white supremacists holding a rally and counter-protesters we have seen are on site with signs that mention your daughter's name, trying to remember her on this day. How does that make you feel?

SUSAN BRO, HEATHER HEYER'S MOM: Well, that's good as long as we are focused on the issues that she stood for and not just on her. I also want to caution people in Portland don't let your guard down.

We have seen time and again at these violent rallies that they wait until everyone kind of relaxes at the end just like they did in Charlottesville and that's when some the most of the atrocious violence happens. Oftentimes, it seems to be from someone who wanted more violence to happen at the rally and it didn't happen and so they attack afterward.

[16:05:14] CABRERA: When you watch what's happening in Portland, again, thankfully everything right now is peaceful, but does it sort of give you that knee-jerk reaction where your hackles kind of go up just given everything that your family has been through?

BRO: My hackles never really don't go down anymore. I am constantly tracking these things around the country as they happen. Yes. I think after two years ago my hackles will never completely go down again. I'm not the same person I was.

CABRERA: What's your reaction to the President's statement this morning saying Antifa, a left-wing anti-fascist group should be an organization of terror without even a mention of the white supremacists organizations also gathering in Portland?.

BRO: Yes. The common right-wing tactic to do that, that the word Antifa strikes fear. They broke some windows. They kicked some things. I think they punched some people in the past in the name of Antifa, but Antifa is not an organized group. Different people respond differently.

And to say that they are going after people when call themselves Antifa, the way it's being interpreted is pretty much going to be used against anybody who dares protest if we continue down the path we have started. We need to back up and think about this.

CABRERA: When it comes to hate and after what happened to your daughter, do you worry things are actually getting worse and not better?

BRO: No, I don't worry. I know they are. People are talking more, particularly white people. I'm not sure we are doing more. We are spending a lot of time yelling, name calling, talking, talking, talking, but what are we doing to make a difference? That's the question.

And it starts in localities. It starts in local elections. It starts in state elections, county elections. You need to pay attention to those candidates. They have the bigger effect on your daily life and then you can also look forward to how you are going to vote in 2020.

I would say now everybody needs to be looking at the candidates for not only what they are saying, but what they are doing and how it relates to what they're saying. You get a good feel for who they're going to be if they are elected to the office.

CABRERA: Now on that note, there are also -- we are seeing more and more proposals from these 2020 candidates about how they would deal with hate groups and with the issue of domestic terrorism. This week, presidential candidate Senator Corey Booker, for example, proposed the creation of a White House office to combat white supremacy and hate crimes and would require the FBI and the justice department to devote the same level of attention and resources to supremacists inspired violence as they do to international terrorism. Do you think that would help?

BRO: I thought we had that department and that was defunded when it was decided that hate crimes were not really a problem. Didn't we already have a prevention wing of the department of homeland security? Now unfortunately, some of those have focused on what they call BIEs, black identity extremists. I'm not sure how it's extreme to say I'm black and I would like to be treated as well as you are treated. If you look at the statistics on who is doing the killing. It's not the BIE, definitely not Antifa. It's the white extremists that are doing the killings.

One thing that we hope to get with Khalid Jabara, the Heather Heyer No Hate Act, is an accurate accounting of what the hate crimes are and an accurate understanding of who is committing them so that we can establish better understanding of how to prevent, how to deal with hate crimes. If we don't even know how many hate crimes are happening we can't even begin to decide how to handle them.

CABRERA: Right. Because your daughter's crime wasn't initially listed as a hate crime, right?

BRO: Correct. None of those in Charlottesville. In fact that year, Charlottesville only listed one hate crime that took place I think in October of that year. And not to pick on Charlottesville at all, there are whole states that are well known for racial problems and hate crime problems yet they listed absolutely zero for the year 2017. Huge, huge gaps in hate crime reporting.

CABRERA: It definitely highlights the problems when it comes to even having the data. And if you don't have the information how do you really begin to figure out how best to combat that problem.

I want you to listen to, you know, some of what we have heard from our leadership right now in the White House. Just a few months ago in March, President Trump denied white nationalism was a growing threat. Listen.


[16:10:24] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you see today white nationalism as a rising threat around the world.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't really. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.


CABRERA: So again, he kind of shrugged that off. He did ALS, as you know, counter recently with the El Paso shooter and that situation what happened there saying he was a coward. We know the El Paso shooter was also a white supremacist. But how do you respond to those comments?

BRO: Well, as many of us who are white, we have never really dealt with it. We have never had to look at it. Honestly, had my daughter not been killed I would have shrugged them off as nut cases too. It was only as my eyes became open due to own my loss and tragedy that I started investigating and following the trends and seeing what's really happening.

And it would be easy to say that it doesn't exist because it's scary and it's definitely down a very dark path, but at this point it's rather disingenuous to say that it's not a problem or a hoax. It's pretty obvious, if that's happening you are either getting your information in the wrong sources or you are not paying attention.

Heather had adopted a motto when she was a child -- I mean, a teenager -- let's back that up again. Heather had adopted a motto when she was an adult on Facebook that said if you're not outraged you are not paying attention. And you can choose to not pay attention.

I'm sure there are plenty of other things to pay attention to, particular if you are one of the working people in our country working whose probably working two maybe three jobs to get food on the table for your children and give your children a decent education and the struggle is real for many families. But when a person of privilege says such things it's because they really have not been affected by it or they are not really paying attention.

CABRERA: Susan, what do you miss most about your daughter?

BRO: Her laugh. My God, that girl would make me laugh in a heartbeat. I have videotapes of her laughing about things even now that I will play back every so often just because I miss hearing that laugh.

CABRERA: That's got to be like medicine for the soul.

Susan Bro, so nice to talk with you. Your voice is so important. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us.

BRO: Thank you so much. You all have a good day. And Sara Sidner, be safe.

CABRERA: Yes, indeed. Thank you.

OK. We have some dramatic new video showing the moment when famed NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family walked away from a fiery plane crash.

And in all 50 states, communities are taking a stand against gun violence including activists in El Paso where 22 people were killed in a mass shooting. Their demands to Congress here in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go anywhere.


[16:17:11] CABRERA: The people of El Paso, Texas, showing tremendous heart and enormous support for a victim of that mass shooting earlier this month.


CABRERA: This is inside a church in El Paso yesterday packed to capacity in honor of Margie Record. She died August 3rd when a man opened fire in a crowded Walmart. Her husband was worried few or no people would attend her visitation. More than a thousand people showed up.

Also in El Paso and in cities across the country people are gathering and they are demanding changes to America's gun laws.

CNN's Natasha Chen is in El Paso right now at a so-called recess rally that was happening earlier.

What are people there telling you, Natasha.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, this rally was a little bit different in the sense that it was organized on the local level without any coordination with these other rallies around the country. When they found out that others were doing this and the organizers said they felt empowered.

But the people behind this one today were college students. They simply were in so much grief about their hometown going through this tragedy that they wanted to take some sort of action. They wanted to come out and register voters, to educate people, to really not take this massively. And moms demand action which is involved in some of these other rallies around country found out they were doing this and offered them assistance.

So this is a very organically organized event today where Veronica Escobar, a congresswoman here in the area spoke to the crowd about some of the things that she feels lawmakers can do in Washington to help this situation and not have another community go through a tragedy like this. She is specifically called for a ban on assault weapons. She called for red flag laws. She called for universal background checks. Here's what she told us after she got off the stage here.


REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR (D), TEXAS: It is absolutely unreal to me that common sense, bipartisan legislation won't even hear debate on the Senate side. It is un-American. What Senator McConnell has done is silenced millions of Americans. One, man, one man has the power has the power to silence millions. It's unjust, un-American, unfair and it's deadly. For people like those of us who live in El Paso, Texas, these laws are a matter of life and death.


CHEN: And I just spoke to a couple of those college student organizers and now that the rally has wrapped up and they told me that the thing really did today was they responded to Escobar in filling out these postcards that are now going to be sent to senator Mitch McConnell's office in hopes that this will convince him to bring this debate to the Senate floor, Ana.

[16:20:07] CABRERA: Natasha Chen in El Paso, Texas, thank you.

Up next, NASCAR driver turned broadcaster Dale Earnhardt Jr. miraculously survives a plane crash. And the moment he and his family escaped is all caught on video.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[16:24:00] CABRERA: Dramatic video showing the escape of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family from a fiery plane crash in Tennessee. The retired driver was on his way to this weekend's races in Bristol motor speedway when this crash happened.

CNN's Dianne Gallagher has more.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The National Transportation Safety Board on the ground investigating this fiery plane crash that retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. managed to escape holding their 15-month-old daughter, Isla, his wife Amy, their dog Gus and the plane's pilots also rushing to safety. Authorities say despite the flames and thick black spoke no one was injured beyond some cuts and bruises.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Removed the back involved in the plane crash, everything else went. They are all extremely lucky.

GALLAGHER: Investigators are climbing through what is left of the now charred Cessna Citation aircraft, pulling out luggage and a child seat. The NTSB has not determined the cause for what it is calling a quote "firm landing at Elizabethton municipal airport."

[16:25:08] RALPH HICKS, NTSB SENIOR INVESTIGATOR: The airplane basically bounced at least twice before coming down hard on the right main landing gear. The aircraft actually went into the ditch and came back up before it went to rest.

GALLAGHER: The skid marks in the grass still visible and a part of the airport fence wrapped around the fuselage.

CHIEF BARRY CARTER, ELIZABETHTON FIRE DEPARTMENT: If that would have been where the door was it would have been difficult to get the door open.

GALLAGHER: NTSB investigators say interviews with the pilot and the Earnhardt family are consistent with surveillance video they obtained at the crash and that there is some data including a cockpit recording they plan to analyze.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dale Earnhardt Jr., checkered flag at Talladega.

GALLAGHER: Voted NASCAR's most popular driver 15 times in a row, Junior followed in the footsteps of his legendary Dale Earnhardt Sr. father who died in a crash at the 2001 Daytona 500. Throughout the day, the fans drove 20 minutes from Bristol motor speedway where NASCAR was racing Saturday to take photos at the crash site. The Earnhardt family already back at their home in North Carolina. Dale Junior will not call the race on Saturday.


GALLAGHER: Now these two pilots regularly flew that plane. And the NTSB says that there were no calls of distress before that firm landing happened. Right now a team working with the NTSB is going to disassemble the plane and then they are going to put it back together at a facility in Georgia where they will continue the investigation. They say to expect a preliminary fact-finding report some time by the end of next week.

Dianne Gallagher, CNN, Elizabethton, Tennessee.


CABRERA: This afternoon, we are learning that union workers in Pennsylvania were give know an ultimatum about attending President Trump's rally outside Pittsburgh this week. That's next.

And don't forget, our new original series "The Movies" continues tomorrow night. It is the final episode of "The Movies" with the early years of cinema, airs at 9:00 eastern here on CNN.



[16:30:37] REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): I should be on a plane to see her. I'm a granddaughter. More than anything, I'm a granddaughter.


CABRERA: That is Michigan Democratic Congressman Rashida Tlaib visibly emotional over her now canceled trip to Israel. Her journey would have included visiting her 90-year-old grandmother in the West Bank after Tlaib decided not to go about Israel's condition on what she could do and say.

President Trump accused the Congresswoman of what he calls a complete setup, adding, "The only real winner here is Tlaib's grandmother. She doesn't have to see her now."

The president helped encourage this clash. It's just part of the political and financial drama he is seeing here at home as Kaitlan Collins explains.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is rejected Israel's offer to visit her family on the West Bank, an offer that came with conditions one day after the country denied her and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar entry at President Trump's urging.

"Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in," Tlaib explained on Twitter. Those conditions would have included a pledge not to promote boycotts against Israel while she was there.

The president has faced widespread criticism for getting involved.

JOE LIEBERMAN, (D), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: It's disrespect for the Congress and the American political system for our ally to keep two members of Congress out of Israel.

COLLINS: But sources tell CNN the president's advisors believe his fight with four freshmen Democrats, who call themselves the Squad, could benefit him in 2020, which is why the president keeps hammering them on the campaign trail.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It really is "Keep America Great" because we have these Socialists who want to take it away from us.

COLLINS: The one message that sources tell CNN advisers fear won't work out for him is the economy. Shaking markets and unpredictable trade talks are stoking fears of a recession inside the White House. At a campaign rally in New Hampshire, the president struck a dire tone.

TRUMP: You have no choice, but to vote for me because your 401Ks, down the tubes, everything will be down the tubes. So whether you love me or hate me, you've got to vote for me.


COLLINS: With re-election on his mind, Trump now finds himself defending the very policies that are rattling investors.

TRUMP: And we are imposing beautiful, well-placed tariffs.

COLLINS: Even admitting that his trade war with China may not end quickly.

TRUMP: I never said China was going to be easy.

COLLINS: Something he actually did say just last year when the president noted that trade wars are easy.

(on camera): Now, the president is insisting publicly, he thinks the U.S. economy is doing just fine. But our reporting behind the scenes shows the president had a little bit of apprehension because, in part, he's listening to people he hasn't listened to in the past, like his hardline trade adviser, Peter Navarro, who assures him that there will be an economic rebound to this trade war and it will be worth it in the end.

But the president is also turning to people outside the White House, including a phone call with three CEOs of banks. When the president had asked them what they thought about the state of the economy, they told the president there were negative side effects to this ongoing trade war and they want it to be resolved as soon as possible.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN, traveling with the president in New Jersey.


CABRERA: And in just the last few hour, new controversy over a trip by President Trump himself. This one to Pennsylvania on Tuesday. CNN has obtained a memo apparently sent to workers at the petrochemical plant where the president spoke. Those workers were told that if they didn't show up for this visit, they would have to use paid vacation time or receive no pay for the day.

It's not clear who sent the memo, but a spokesman for the plant's owner, Royal Dutch Shell, confirms employees were told they'd miss out on some overtime pay if they skipped the event. But Shell says the memo didn't come from them. And we are told it didn't come from the White House either.

A lot to get to on this Saturday. Let's bring in CNN Political Commentator and "New York Times" National Political Reporter, Lisa Lerer, also "Wall Journal" National Political Reporter, Eliza Collins.

Lisa, to be clear, we don't know who handed out the memo. But word of this comes after the president made what would may consider political comments at what was an official White House visit by the president, not a designated campaign rally.

Here was his message to those union workers just watch.


[16:35:12] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'll speak to some of you union leaders to say I hope you're going to support Trump, OK?


TRUMP: And if they don't, vote them the hell out of office because they're not doing their job. It's true.


TRUMP: Vote them out of office.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: So, Lisa, between the president's tone and that mysterious memo, what does it tell us about the pressure being put on labor to fall in line with the re-election campaign?

LISA LERER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, was there -- we know that there was a divide between labor leadership and labor members last time around in the 2016 election where some of the leadership -- labor traditionally is more Democratic -- we're going with Democrats and the rank-and-file. Some of them went more with Trump.

So certainly, there was a lot of pressure on labor from Republicans. And there was a lot of pressure from Democrats who were all fighting over the endorsement of the various labor groups. We definitely see that.

And we also know that this is a president who is deeply, deeply concerned about his crowd size at all events. It's something he likes to brag about, often incorrectly or exaggerating the numbers. And he's very touchy when people post pictures showing perhaps the arena or wherever he is, is not quite as full as he thinks it is. So this touches his personal peccadillos.

CABRERA: Eliza, let's talk about the economy and what we've seen this week. We all saw what happened on Wall Street and the volatility there. There are concerns about the recession.

And CNN has new reporting today that the president's aides got him to delay tariffs on China because it would effectively, "ruin Christmas" for retailers.

From what you're hearing, is the White House worried about what the coming week will bring for the markets?

ELIZA COLLINS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: This is a president they're hoping he can run for re-election on the strong economy. He talks about it a lot at these rallies.

And this is something that they are hoping can convince the more moderate Republicans or Independents who might not like the president's brash and brazen style but might like the how the economy is. If the economy goes down, that really worries White House aides because then they feel like they lost a chunk of the re-election.

This is something important to the president. We hear him talk about it a lot. And they are concerned, especially seeing the volatility this last week.

CABRERA: Lisa, we also had the president ripping into Fed Chairman Jerome Powell this week, again, this time, calling him clueless. Needless to say, this is an unprecedented tone by the nation's chief executive toward someone in one of the most important positions in the American financial system.

Is the White House concerned about spooking Wall Street with this growing feud? LERER: The White House is deeply concerned about the economy. They

know, they see the same polling data that we all see, which is that, in a lot of these suburban districts, the kinds of places in the country that really turned the House and helped Democrats win the House in the midterm elections.

You have a number of voters, certainly a large number of female voters, who, you know, maybe are happy perhaps with moderate Republicans, maybe happy with some of the things the president has accomplished, like getting various justices on the Supreme Court. They certainly have been happy with the economy, but they don't like the president's style. They don't like his untraditional tone. They wish he would just stop.

I hear again and again from voters they wish he would, you know, talk more like a president and speak a little less and in ways that are a little less inflammatory.

So if the economy starts -- if we do start to head into a recession, which seems to be what a lot of the economic experts are starting to talk about right now, the president loses a really strong argument for his re-election in these swing districts that could make the difference for him.

CABRERA: Looking ahead to 2020, let's take a look at the latest polling from FOX News. You see head-to-head against the presidents these Democratic candidates currently running. You can see the president is trailing the four Democratic leading contenders right now in head-to-head matchups. And the largest being his matchup with Joe Biden, 50 percent to Trump's 38 percent.

I wonder, is the Trump campaign in need of recalibrating, Eliza?

ELIZA COLLINS: They might be talking about recalibrating but, ultimately, this is a president that goes out with his own style.

And so they are certainly looking at internal polls and they're seeing the same polls we are. I think that is part of the concern on the economy because they do think that that is something that, right now, the president can claim that the Democrats cannot because they're not in office.

But we're starting to see the Democrats attack the president on the economy. Joe Biden, in particular, who has the strongest lead, is making a play for the working-class union voters. And we're seeing he is popular with them and that concerns the White House and the aides.

[16:40:04] So they're trying to figure out, looking at the polls and looking at the different Democrats as they rise and testing different strategies. But ultimately, the president goes out and he's his own messenger on all of this.

CABRERA: Eliza Collins, Lisa Lerer, really good to see, ladies. Thank you so much for being with us.

New details now about the White House's top official in charge of immigration services. CNN's "KFILE" dug up shocking language used to describe immigrants by Ken Cuccinelli.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


CABRERA: He's the top White House official who edited the State of Liberty poem to suggest that only immigrants who can stand on their own two feet are welcome in the United States.


KEN CUCCINELLI, ACTING DIRECTOR, U.S. CITIZENSHIP & IMMIGRATION SERVICES: Well, of course, that poem was referring back to people coming from Europe where they had class-based societies where people were considered wretched if they weren't in the right class. And it was introduced, it was written one year, one year after the first federal public charge rule was written.


CABRERA: Now we're learning through CNN's "KFILE" that Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, has a history of describing undocumented immigrants as "invaders."

[16:45:15] With us now, Andrew Kaczynski, CNN "KFILE" senior editor.

Andrew, Ken Cuccinelli was talking about undocumented immigrations as invaders as far back as a decade ago?

ANDREW KACZYNSKI, CNN SENIOR EDITOR, "KFILE": Yes. In 2007, he was a founding member of this group called State Legislatures for Legal Immigration. Cuccinelli was a state Senator in Virginia at the time.

And the context is basically that immigration reform was being debated in the Senate and the House. That ultimately failed. And some of the rhetoric that this group employed that he was in, they linked undocumented immigrants to serious infectious diseases, drug running, gang violence, even terrorism, which there's not really any evidence for at all.

And the goal of this group was basically -- I'll use their words -- "was to terminate America's illegal immigrant invasion."

CABRERA: And it wasn't just what he said then, but he's continued the same line and talk about immigrants and undocumented immigrants, in particular through his time, currently serving in the capacity as acting director.

I know, more recently, you found he even advocated using war powers under the Constitution to stop migrants coming across the border.

KACZYNSKI: Yes. He's actually used this rhetoric about migrants for several different crises at the border. There was the surge of unaccompanied minors in 2014. And speaking at an event then, he said basically, Rick Perry, who is now energy secretary, could -- that Texas could make treaties and wage war because they were being invaded.

And then, very recently, just back in October of last year, he said in an interview with "Breitbart," that we've been invaded for a long time, referencing the migrant crisis that happened in October. And he said again the war powers line. And he went as far as say that Texas could line up the National Guard along the border in riot gear and point them back across the river and let them swim for it.

CABRERA: Wow. Andrew Kaczynski, thank you for the work you do, in digging it up, keeping them honest, and holding them accountable. We appreciate it.

President Trump floats the idea of buying Greenland? But the Arctic nation says, we're not for sale.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[16:50:59] CABRERA: Before becoming president, Donald Trump made his fortune and his name in real estate. Now the realtor in chief is apparently dreaming big. Sources telling CNN Trump has floated the idea of buying Greenland -- yes, Greenland -- for the U.S. on multiple occasions. Greenland's response is a firm no.

And 2020 Democrat candidate, Senator Amy Klobuchar, mocking the notion, tweeting, "The difference between Donald Trump and Greenland, Greenland is not for sale."

CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Greenland where Trump's interest in buying the mostly ice-covered land mass is getting a cold shoulder.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It seems like a lot of folks in Greenland seem to be mocking President Trump's alleged idea to acquire this territory or possibly somehow purchase it.

The government of Greenland has come out and said, quote, "Greenland is not for sale."

Local folks in the southeast of the country that we've been speaking to says this is something that America has tried in the past. They talked about 1867 when there was a push and at the time shortly after World War II. And one resident said it simply isn't going to happen.

On the face of it, it might not be such a crazy idea for America to want to do this. Greenland has very vast natural resources that the Chinese have been trying to get their hands on through Chinese companies. And it's not something that America is very fond of.

And it's also a pretty strategic place for America, as well. There's a big air base that the U.S. has here in the northwest of Greenland.

However, if the Greenlanders do have all these natural resources, they can get to them, the first thing they'll want is their own independence from Denmark. Right now, they're semi-autonomous.

If President Trump wants to have Greenland, one thing he'll probably have to do is acknowledge that the global climate crisis is real. You can see behind me there are a lot of icebergs that you see here. This has been one of the warmest summers that Greenland has had on record.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, in southeastern Greenland.


CABRERA: Coming up, an American mother's heartbreaking fight, trapped in Saudi Arabia and fight for custody of her daughter because the court says she's too Western to raise her.


[16:56:59] CABRERA: An American woman is expected to appeal a Saudi court ruling this weekend after she divorced her allegedly abusive Saudi husband and was denied custody of her daughter. A Saudi judge ruling that she's unfit because she's a Westerner who is too new to Islam.

CNN's Nick Watt has this story.



NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet Bethany Vierra and her 4-year-old daughter, Zaina. They're in Saudi Arabia.


WATT: Cell phone videos, all of the contact grandma and granddad back home in Wenatchee, Washington, have right now, all of the contact they might ever have.

KATHY VIERRA, MOTHER OF BETHANY VIERRA: If Zaina can't leave, she won't leave.

MYRON VIERRA, FATHER OF BETHANY VIERRA: It makes perfect sense that she won't give up. We also realize that she may lose her life doing this or we may never see her again.

WATT: Bethany divorced her Saudi husband and claims he was an abusive drug user, which he denies. I left a message for comment but got no reply.

A Saudi judge just denied Vierra, an American citizen, custody of her own daughter, ruling, "The mother is new to Islam, is a foreigner in this country, and continues to definitely embrace the customs and traditions of her upbringing. We must avoid exposing Zaina to these customs and traditions especially at this early age."

MYRON VIERRA: We may have different language but we're really the same. We're human beings. We should be able to get along. WATT: Custody of Zaina officially given to her Saudi grandmother. Both Bethany and her ex were found unfit.

Her parents tell us there's a warrant out for Bethany's arrest after she allegedly missed a visitation that her parents say she wasn't even told about.

Bethany has been banned from leaving the country for 10 years and has been told not to talk to the press. That is why we're talking to mom and dad.

MYRON VIERRA: She doesn't even have the right to go and come. She used to have that right. Bethany won't give up and because that's her daughter.

WATT: Saudi Arabia has softened slightly. In the past few years, women for the first time have been allowed to compete at the Olympics, vote in local election, drive cars.

But this remains one of the most male-dominated societies on earth, the so-called guardianship system still in effect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which means that women must have a male guardian. The idea is that they are not capable. And men know better.

WATT: Under Saudi law, a woman's words is still worth half of a man's.



WATT: According to the judge who took Zaina away from her mother, she'd been speaking too much English, not assimilating into air agriculture.

MYRON VIERRA: Bethany was talking to lawyers and Zaina overheard the verdict and started counting in Arabic to prove that she could speak it.

WATT: A State Department official told CNN, "Due to privacy considerations, we will not have a specific comment at this time. Our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater responsibility than the protection of U.S. citizens oversea." But added that, "U.S. citizens abroad are subject to local laws."