Return to Transcripts main page
AT THIS HOUR
Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner Publicly Missing in Action Again after Trump Calls Jewish Democrats "Disloyal"; CBP Won't Reveal Contagious Disease Data from Migrant Centers, Doctors Sound Alarm; The CNN Film "Halston" Premieres Sunday Night, 9:00 Eastern and Pacific. Aired 11:30a-12p ET
Aired August 23, 2019 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:32:05] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump missing in action. The White House advisers who, of course, are also the president's daughter and son-in-law, and Jewish, noticeably absent this week after the president said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or a great disloyalty.
If you vote for a Democrat, you're very, very disloyal to Israel and to the Jewish people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Accusing Jews of being disloyal is a long-time long-used anti-Semitic trope used to accuse people of the Jewish faith of dual loyalty. This breaks the cycle that we've seen play out amid Trump's controversies before, which is the president says something that offends and creates blowback, Jared and Ivanka say nothing publicly.
But then reports would surface of sources close to them describing their efforts to correct the president behind the scenes. So what is different this time?
Joining me now, Aaron David Miller, CNN global affairs analyst, and former State Department official, who has advised presidents of both parties.
Aaron, let's start with the president's comments first. I don't want to lose the forest for the trees here. Putting aside whether they were or weren't intended to be anti-Semitic, what is the impact of the president saying that you are ignorant or disloyal if you are Jewish and you vote for a Democrat?
AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: First of all, Kate, you have a president, unprecedented, mobilizing an American ally, in this case Israel, in the service of his own political domestic agendas. Number two, you've got a president, unprecedented, that is straining
the basic fabric and cohesion that has driven the special nature of the U.S.-Israeli relationship, and that is that it is tied to American national interests, American values in both political parties.
And finally, I think, in a truly head-exploding set of comments, the president uses the word "disloyalty," dual loyalty, disloyalty, in proximity of the words Jews and American Jews, which, whatever his intentions, validates a historic canard that has been used through the centuries to marginalize, weaponize and, in fact, attack Jews.
So I think, in all three categories, the president is showing not only inappropriateness, but a rare level of offensiveness and prejudice that lacks any precedent, certainly, in my experience dealing with Republican and Democratic administrations.
BOLDUAN: And, Aaron, I've heard White House staff defend the president against accusations of anti-Semitism by mentioning his daughter and son-in-law. Donald Trump himself has cited them to defend himself. You think they're using that as a mask? Why?
[11:35:00] MILLER: It doesn't work for me. The Ivanka Jared problem is a complicated one. Your own reporting, Kate, CNN's own reporting yesterday suggests that, on critical issues where both Ivanka and Jared have been associated, health care, climate, they appear to be out of town or missing in action, to use CNN's words, publicly. I think that's a consistent pattern in their behavior.
Second, I think is the reality. If you've ever been a son or a daughter or a son-in-law of a very powerful father, it's not so easy to take that father on, and multiply that by the fact that this father happens to be the president of the United States.
And finally, I think, maybe in Jared's case, if you buy the president's perverse logic that the Democratic Party is preternaturally hostile to Israel, Jared Kushner may well agree that, in fact, the most pro-Israeli president in the history of the world, Donald Trump, self-styled, basically is not getting the kind of support from Democrats for all of his pro-Israeli actions. I think that figures very prominently in Jared Kushner's view of this.
After all, the peace process strategy is based on showering so many goodies on Benjamin Netanyahu that he will not be able to say no to whatever the president ultimately presents.
BOLDUAN: Well --
MILLER: So I think, for all these reasons, the moral of the story is, don't hire your relatives as presidential advisers. And if you do hire them, the rest of us should not expect them to communicate truth to power.
BOLDUAN: You raise another voice in this that has been silent, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. What should we take from that? Does that mean he agrees with the president? MILLER: I think a guy, who I've known and worked with for many years,
who takes eternal and historic anti-Semitism as one of the great crew says of his life, and the need to stand up to anti-Semitism or even the hint of it wherever it's found, has, in some respects, reduced his principles to his own narrow politics and the reality of being -- of the contentious election campaign that's coming up less than a month away.
He's trapped, Kate. And in a sense, both Netanyahu and Trump are enabling one another.
I think what the president has done, both in forcing Netanyahu to -- not to admit Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, even though I disagree, frankly, with their view of the Arab-Israeli conflict, basically embarrassed Netanyahu and made him look weak.
And this comment, to which you have obsequiousness or silence by the prime minister of the state of Israel, makes him look weak and not credible as well.
BOLDUAN: Aaron, always important to have your perspective. Thank you so much.
MILLER: Thank you, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, a new report that, once again, the Trump administration is not sharing information, not being transparent about conditions in their border facilities, their border detention facilities. Why doctors are sounding the alarm now.
[11:43:03] BOLDUAN: Welcome back.
There's a new report this morning about, yet again, a lack of transparency from the Trump administration, and what exactly is happening with migrants at the border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is refusing to report data they are collecting about how many migrants are suffering from contagious diseases in their care.
And at the same time, CBP has announced that it will not be providing flu vaccines for migrant children in their care, citing the complexities of operating a vaccination program.
This is after three migrant children have died in U.S. custody from the flu since December.
A lot of questions here.
CNN senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, has been looking into this.
Elizabeth, you've been hearing from doctors who are raising the alarm on both of these fronts, quite frankly. First, about not giving out publicly this data that they're taking in. Why? What are you hearing? What's the concern here? DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The concern is that people ought to know, because it could actually help the migrants and the rest of us.
COHEN: Germs don't care if it's a migrant or U.S. citizen. They will spread.
So what the doctors are concerned about is they say we don't know what's going on in these detention facilities. We know what's going on in refugee centers in Africa because the United Nations publishes that outbreak data. But no one is publishing data about what's going on in these detention facilities.
That means the doctors who are caring for people further inland, where they might catch diseases, they don't know what's going on. And researchers don't know what's going on.
And the value of sharing the data is you get the wisdom of crowds, right?
COHEN: Researchers can look at the data and say, I think you need to do this, I think you need to do that to help the problem.
Kate, we've all seen those pictures.
COHEN: They are congested in these little tiny areas. And it's a perfect storm for spreading diseases.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And that's exactly why I'm wondering about this decision on flu vaccinations. The way the government has said why they're not going to vaccinate migrant children is, "The complexities of operating a vaccination program."
Does that make sense to medical experts that you're talking to?
[11:44:58] COHEN: No. Not at all. They are completely confused by that. They say we are vaccinating migrants in Darfur, in South Sudan, far more dangerous circumstances, far larger numbers of refugees, people coming across the border. Why can't the U.S. government do it on our own southwest border? They said it makes no sense.
They said when someone crosses the border in Darfur or South Sudan, one of the very first things they do is give a vaccination. They are inexpensive. It takes minutes. And you don't have to be an M.D. to deliver it. You can have a medical assistant who doesn't even have a college degree give a vaccination. It is not hard to do.
BOLDUAN: And it happens with our kids at our pediatrician's office.
COHEN: Exactly. Exactly. You are not -- some medical things are complex and are expensive.
COHEN: This is not one of them.
BOLDUAN: Amazing and important to be pointing out.
Thank you so much, Elizabeth. Really appreciate it.
BOLDUAN: Moments ago, President Trump has announced that he's going to be responding this afternoon to the new round of tariffs coming from China, which China announced this morning. Wall Street not happy about it. A check of the markets coming up.
But first, studies show that too much screen time can be unhealthy for kids. This week's "CNN Hero" is teaming up with hospitals to actually try and make screen time healing time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZACH WIGAL, CNN HERO: Sometimes people believe that video games are corrupting the minds of America's youth.
But video games are an incredible tool more helping kids find a source of fun and relief during stressful and difficult times.
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: To people who think the games are just games, they're so much more than that.
WIGAL: It's fun. What can I tell you?
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: We don't have to talk about me being sick. We can play the game because that's way more cool than having to talk about me seeing sick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. To see Zach and his gaming team in action, go to CNNheros.com.
[11:51:22] BOLDUAN: During the height of his fame in the 1970s, the name Halston was synonymous with fashion, style and glamour. Now a new CNN film takes a fascinating look at the man behind so many iconic designs. The man who dressed stars like Bianca Jagger, Lauren Bacall, Liza Minelli. Here's a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was dealing with the creme day la creme of the women in the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you the person who put the pill box on Jackie Kennedy?
ROY "HALSTON" FROWICK, FASHION DESIGNER: Yes, I was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That hat was genius. If you look at the inauguration, most of those ladies wore a mink coat. Jackie was in a cloth coat and a cloth hat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll never forget the impact that hat had, even out in Montana where I was sitting at the time.
FROWICK: It was a rather funny story. Because it was a rather windy day, and she put her hand on the hat and it ended up having a dent in it. During the ceremonies, it had a dent in the hat. Everyone who copied it put a dent in it, which was so funny.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: And everybody started making hats with the dent. That's the most amazing part.
With me now, the director of "HALSTON," Frederic Tcheng, and Roland Ballester, the producer of "HALSTON."
It's great to have you guys here.
BOLDUAN: Thank you for being here.
Fred, Halston is an icon of the fashion industry. How did he get to be so influential? Where did it all begin?
FREDERIC TCHENG, DIRECTOR: Well, I think that's what's fascinating with Halston's story. He completely invented himself. He came from the Midwest. He grew up during the Depression era. He came out of nowhere really. And then moved to Chicago and then moved to nowhere, started at Bergdorf Goodman. He slowly climbed the ladder.
It's not like he came out overnight and was this big star.
TCHENG: But he cultivated the woman of New York City, the influential woman. And then when his time came in the late '60s, early '70s, he jumped from European couture to like starting something uniquely American.
And that's what made him completely blow up because it was simple, it was unstructured, it made a woman feel good. And all of the women, you know, sort of gravitated towards that scene.
BOLDUAN: I loved how Liza put it, "The clothes danced with you." When you see them, it looks that way, too. A lot of the idea -- some of the idea for this film, for this project
comes from your relationship with the Halston -- with Halston's family. Can you tell us about that? Why were they onboard? What did they want to come out in this film?
ROLAND BALLESTER, PRODUCER: I've known Halston's nephew and niece, who's in the film and plays a part of it, for many years now. And one of the things that's always been on their mind is the public perception of their uncle.
BALLESTER: People tend to know him, but it's always the image, and they tend to know the glossy part of it. No one has really given him his due when it comes to the technical, how good he was technically and creatively, much less his impact on business.
So they wanted to give a more complete portrait of their uncle and that's where I came along. I said, you're absolutely right, there's an amazing story here and now it's time to tell it.
BOLDUAN: And that public persona, that larger-than-life character was definitely what you saw outwardly.
BOLDUAN: I was really surprised to learn what a private person he was. What surprised you most in this project?
TCHENG: Well, he was -- you know, he was very smart in the way that he crafted his public image. He was very private, as you're saying, but he was on TV like every other week.
He was at Studio 54 with Liza Minnelli, Elizabeth Taylor, and he really became a household name. But it's hard to imagine, to remember actually, from 2019, how big he was in the '70s. There were like "New Yorker" cartoons about him and Liza. You know, he was really in the popular mainstream culture.
[11:55:13] At the same time, he protected his privacy very, very fiercely. And so, as a director, it was interesting to sort of pierce through the perfect image that he was projecting.
You know, I often say that he's like the first Instagram before Instagram was invented because he really did sort of have an idea of how he wanted to be portrayed in the media and he projected that really strongly.
BOLDUAN: I learned so much in this. And it is a fascinating and beautiful look at his life and legacy.
Thank you guys for bringing it to us. I really appreciate it.
It's something you don't want to miss. The film premieres this Sunday night, 9:00 Eastern and Pacific. "Halston." Coming up still, we are keeping an eye on the markets. The Dow
sinking after Donald Trump lashes out on the Federal Reserve chairman, once again, and the Fed, and threatens new tariffs on China. An update coming up.
Stay with us.