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Don Lemon Tonight
Monster Hurricane Approaching U.S.; Trump Gives Congress Time for DACA Solution. Aired 10-10:30p ET
Aired September 05, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN: That's it for us. Thanks for watching. Time to hand things over to Don Lemon. CNN Tonight starts now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is our breaking news. Look at that. A monster storm taking aim at the U.S. as another political storm rocks the White House.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
Florida bracing for what could be the second catastrophic storm to smash into the U.S. mainland in less than two weeks. This one even bigger than the last one, hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Irma is its name, a category 5, with winds at 85 miles an hour, one of the strongest -- 185 miles an hour, one of the strongest storms recorded in the Atlantic.
I'll say that again. It is 185 miles an hour, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic bearing down on the Caribbean right now. Florida in the storm's sights by this weekend.
That, as a political storm blasts the Trump White House. The president tweeting he'll revisit the issue if Congress doesn't legalized DACA after he ended the Obama era program that protected nearly 800,000 DREAMers and protests spread across this country.
Now from the DREAMers to Joe Arpaio to Charlottesville, think about that. What is this message, what is this message sending to all Americans of color? What does it say? We'll discuss.
Let's get right though to our big story tonight. CNN's Tom Sater is in the weather center. Tom, just look at the eye of that thing. It is huge, and it is barreling, it's in the Caribbean right now bracing for potentially a catastrophic category 5 hurricane.
TOM SATER, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: Yes.
LEMON: It may also threaten Florida. What do you know?
SATER: There have only been three categories 5, Don, do ever make landfall in the U.S. So, we know the damage. Remember the pictures from Rockport, Texas when Harvey was a category 4 storm. The maximum winds at landfall that devastated that area that we continue to keep in our thoughts and prayers was a 130 miles per hour and we're at 185? That is a huge difference.
And this is going to make landfall. This is going to really devastate thousands and thousands of homes and businesses, and millions as it continues along the chain here. We've got the warnings in effect for the northern islands, Lesser Antilles, British U.S. Virgin islands, Puerto Rico, and now added the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.
This storm system is going to most likely stay over water so it's got a fuel source. We don't have any winds to sheer it and break it down, and it continues to make its movement toward the Bahamas, mainly to the south of there, but they could see a storm surge down at 20 to 25 feet even in the Turks and Caicos. And then we'll be watching the U.S. coastline.
This is Jose. Now Jose is a tropical storm, most likely will be a hurricane soon. Do not worry about this one. We believe it will be pulled to the north into the open waters. Thank goodness. But the national hurricane center's track continues to keep this as a category 4 or 5. That's called a catastrophic hurricane.
Now I believe that we'll probably see some variations in the next couple of days where it has to go through some reorganization. May drop to a category 3, then back to a 4, may go down maybe to a 2 if it interacts with some land and then back up to a 4 or maybe 5.
When you look at the computer models, Don, it will take a turn to the north, but not until Saturday afternoon. Until that happens, we will not have a good idea exactly where landfall will be. We're hoping it stays a little bit off to the east. We have a small window where it slides away from the U.S., yes, but that window is shutting quickly and probably will tonight or tomorrow morning, but possibly even into the Gulf of Mexico.
So that's what we're watching. I mean, everything really depends on this turn northward Saturday.
LEMON: Tom, I can't stress this enough when you talk about the size of this hurricane. Let's put up the eye wall again. I mean, when you see something, look at this thing stirring in the Caribbean.
LEMON: Florida is bracing but, you know, I know some folks in St. Martin. They're concerned they couldn't -- they didn't get out in time for the, with the airport closed. I mean, can we stress how potentially dangerous this is?
SATER: Well, right now the eye is about 23 miles in diameter. And as you can -- here's the radar picture, too. I think this is going to swallow the island of Barbuda around one or two in the morning and then Anguilla probably tomorrow morning. And what that means is if we continue to see that strengthen or at
least the convected thunder storms around the center, if they continue to circulate, we could easily see this get up to 190 miles per hour. That would tie the all-time strongest hurricane in recorded history, which was Allen back in 1980.
But again, there is no way to evacuate, Don. I mean, you can't get to the highest ground in the mountain because the winds get stronger with height. And you can't get down in the valleys because of the heavy rainfall and the threat for landslides.
So keep them in your thoughts and prayers. This is the first two areas, I think, that will get hit by the front end of the eye wall and the end as it exits through the region. They're going to get hit hard.
[22:05:02] LEMON: So what about so this is going towards at least what the maps show, it's going towards, I believe towards Florida. So what does it mean for the folks that are still suffering from hurricane Harvey down in Texas and Louisiana?
SATER: Right. Well, there is some hope that we got a little trop it's kind of what we called a short wave in weather coming into around Oklahoma and Arkansas, and that could steer it away from making any kind of an entrance into the western areas of the Gulf. So that could save Louisiana and Texas.
This is the European model, Don, in blue, and this is the U.S. model. We use these and rely on these a lot. Let's put it into motion for you from Saturday. The European model has a landfall interaction with Cuba, so that could maybe downgrade it to a 2 or 3, but then we have a lot of warm water before it hits Florida.
but the European model it brings it to the southwestern coast of Florida then central Florida, while the U.S model keeps it off the coast of Florida. Much like Matthew last year plowing into the Carolinas, and of course, we had the historic flooding with that last year.
LEMON: All right.
SATER: So there are several models we're watching. We're trying to put them all into motion, but again, I cannot stress enough, Don, we really need each and every day this week, because any fluctuation in that path north or south is going to change the end point and the end game come this weekend.
LEMON: Category 5 hurricane Irma.
SATER: Possible. Yes.
LEMON: Tom Sater, thank you so much. We appreciate that. So we'll continue to follow that developing story here throughout the next couple hours in CNN.
I have to turn now to the political storms that are raging tonight. Here to discuss, CNN's Dana Bash, Manu Raju, and senior political analyst David Gergen. Good evening to all of you. Here we have the storm that's happening out in the Caribbean and then the one that's happening in Washington and throughout the country now.
So, Dana, we're seeing protests all over this country to the president's decision to end DACA. The president left the announcement to his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, but later defended the decision when asked about it. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody!
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have a love for these people and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly.
And I can tell you in speaking to members of Congress, they want to be able to do something and do it right. And, really, we have no choice. We have to be able to do something, and I think it's going to work out very well. And long term, it's going to be the right solution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And so Dana, he just tweeted tonight, "Congress now has six months to legalize DACA, something the Obama administration was unable to do. If they can't, I will revisit the issue."
He'll revisit the issue? What is he talking about? Is he wavering? Why doesn't he make a decision as a commander in chief instead of leaving it up to someone else or another body?
DANA BASH, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, I think the key word you just used there is wavering. Is he wavering? Yes. I mean, that's the honest answer. It's pretty clear from the place where he tends to give his most unvarnished thoughts about policy, if Congress doesn't act, I will.
And we know from our reporting, we have seen it in some of the president's statements, many of the president's statements, including the one you just played from today after this policy was announced by his attorney general.
It's clear that he is not -- his heart isn't in this. And I'm not just saying this also from observing, I'm saying it from talking to sources who are familiar with his thinking. When I say his heart isn't in this, look, it's a tough one. We know it's a tough one because President Obama, remember, he initially didn't want to act with executive action.
He was urged to do it over and over again by a lot of people who said Congress isn't going to act, and he said no, it's not legal, it wouldn't stand up to constitutional muster, and yet he was convinced to do it.
Because this is just about the hardest thing for a commander in chief or for lawmakers to try to figure out, particularly when you are Donald Trump and you were elected by a base that is apoplectic about the notion of letting even these DREAMers stay in this country because they consider it amnesty, and he has that said that in his heart he thinks it should be OK for them to stay.
LEMON: David Gergen, I know you feel a certain type of way about this because -- I'm going to put out what you tweeted but let's -- I want you to listen to the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders today, explaining the president's decision, and then we'll talk. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE-SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's not the president's job to create law. It's not -- it's Congress' job to create legislation. I think that's something we all learned in eighth grade civics. I know I certainly did and I think that every member of Congress should know that's their duty and we're asking them to fulfill it.
It's not cold-hearted for the president to uphold the law. We're a nation of law and order. And the day that we start to ignore the fact that we are that, then we throw away everything that gives these people a reason to want to come to our country. If we stop becoming the country that we were envisioned to be, then we throw away what makes us special, what makes America unique. This president is not willing to do that. The previous administration was. This one isn't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[22:09:59] LEMON: That was Sarah Sanders today, but he still hasn't really made a decision himself. He's leaving it up to someone else, blaming the democrats, punting this to Congress, making the attorney general make the announcement.
I'm wondering if that's presidential leadership. And I say that because you said, sorry, this is your tweet. "You don't get mulligans in the White House." David?
DAVID GERGEN, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: This fellow plays a lot of golf. You don't get mulligans as president. To lead is to decide. He had one decision this morning, now he's got another decision tonight. It's not just the wavering. It's the uncertainty and the chaos that's creating the lives of tens of thousands of young people in this country who are reporting to college campuses this week and have no idea whether they are going to finish the semester, much less the year.
They may be deported. They may be sent out. He gave them nothing that they could count on. It's entirely unreliable, it's wavering, and this is a guy who ran as decisive, I know what to do, I'll show them, this will be all win, win, win. I don't think there are a lot of excuses for wavering at the expense of people's lives.
LEMON: You keep saying wavering, but is it cowardly that he's not being more decisive in saying, this is how I feel. If he wants this to be law, David, why can't he just say, I want this to be law. I don't care what Congress says.
LEMON: Isn't that cowardly?
GERGEN: Well, certainly a lot of people think so. I'm not quite want to go that far yet, but I will just say this. Look, he came out with a policy to rescind today, and then he's increasingly leaving it up to the Congress.
When presidents leave something to the Congress ever since the days of Franklin Roosevelt, they have proposed sent a proposal to Congress to say, here's the principles, here's what I want to do. Have we heard one word from this guy in the last 24 hours about what he wants Congress to pass? How could any dreamer rely on, you know, such weak -- you know, I don't want to say coward, but such weak leadership.
LEMON: Weak. OK. That's fair enough. Manu, you've been standing by or sitting by very patiently. I want to bring you in. Senators Lindsey Graham, Dick Durbin proposing a bipartisan fix and they want to get it done by the end of September. Watch this and then we'll talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: My challenge to the president is you've talked very glowingly about these kids. Help us, help us in the House, help us in the Senate. I think you're a good man. Get involved personally. Work the phones. Try to find a consensus here.
DICK DURBIN, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Who knows what's the next month's topic the juror is going to be. Is it going to be Kim Jong-un, is it going to be Irma, Harvey, what's going to be? Let's move and do it now.
DURBIN: That's why we think it's important to make the DREAM Act the law of the land now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: They're talking, they're saying be decisive. Don't be weak. Senator Durbin went on to say, Manu, this is now a countdown to deportation. Congress has a lot on their plate. Can they get it done?
MANU RAJU, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It's an open question. Republicans in particular are divided on this topic, and of course they control both the House and the Senate. You have some, like Lindsey Graham, who support the DREAM Act, who support giving legal status to these undocumented youth, and people who are working and came to the country illegally at young age.
But then you have others who want to add on things like the border wall, or that want to add on restrictions on legal immigration. It came to a bill that Senators Tom Cotton and David Purdue introduced. And that is something that Senate democrats say they will not support. They do not want to support anything to a bill on DACA that would also build a wall along the southern border.
And then you have some immigration hardliners like Steve King of Iowa in the House who said we shouldn't do anything at all in terms of legalizing these individuals. And on top of that, Don, what really complicated things today was Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying that not, they wouldn't necessarily accept a targeted bill on DACA but a big reform bill on immigration.
This is something that most republicans outwardly reject. They don't want to do a comprehensive immigration bill. They want to do it piece by piece. And they overwhelmingly rejected it the last time they tried to do this in 2013.
The number two Senate republican importantly here, Don, John Cornyn of Texas, did tell me earlier today that going this route, a big immigration bill, would, quote, "pretty much guarantee failure."
So the party is divided on the strategy here, and if the president does not come out very clearly on what he wants to do, it's unclear what Congress can do.
LEMON: I want to read this. This is from the former President Barack Obama slamming -- I mean, David, you've been couching your words. You said you didn't want to go as far as what I asked you about. Buy you did say weak, but here's what he said.
He's talking about the decision. He called it cruel. But basically what he's insinuating. He said, "To target these -- to target these young people is wrong because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military and otherwise contribute to the country we love."
[22:15:09] And, very specifically, he says, "It is cruel. Let's be clear. The action taken today isn't required legally. It's a political decision and a moral question. Whatever complaints or concerns Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn't threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us."
Very clear statement there. He doesn't call out President Trump by name, but certainly it's his most forceful post-presidency statement to date. I want to get your reactions first, Dana.
BASH: No question. I mean, and this is very strong feelings that President Obama obviously has because, as I said, he acted without Congress even though for years, he was saying publicly and privately he didn't think that that was constitutional, and yet he decided that actually it was. He found a way, he thought, to make it pass legal muster.
We don't know and I don't think we'll ever know now because it was making its way through the courts and it probably would have ended up at the Supreme Court to decide whether it was legal for him to make this executive action.
But more importantly, what he gave voice to was and is the sentiment of republicans and democrats alike, both in Congress and citizens around the country who were watching the protest that you talked about, Don, and feel in their hearts going out to these people who are, many of them, in college or young adults in addition to younger people who didn't have any choice when they came here.
And that's why this is a class of undocumented immigrants that has been different when it comes to public opinion than every other in history. And yet, Congress still wasn't able to act.
We'll see if it's different now that -- and much more danger because of President Obama's executive action, because they came out and they registered and they gave all of their information. Because they're very easy to find now and they are bigger targets.
BASH: So if people want to protect them in Congress, now is the time.
LEMON: David Gergen, what do you think of this rare review from the former president?
GERGEN: I thought he was eloquent and he was right. This is one of the most cruel acts we've seen in the presidency in a long time. President Obama and President Trump not only disagree on policies, they disagree on values.
It goes to very basic things, whether you have a respect for minorities, whether you have a belief in diversity, whether you think this country should welcome and continue to hold up the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of what we believe in.
To go back to what you started with, Don, I'm afraid since Charlottesville and sort of the talk about the white supremacists and putting him on the same level as protesters, we've seen now a series of -- and then Arpaio and now this.
I don't know what it's like to be a minority person in this country, and I just often wonder about it, but I must say if I were in your shoes, and you can speak to this, I would feel increasingly there is a sign out there that's been hung up in the White House or outside the White House saying, if you're not white, you're not especially welcome. And that is so sad. It's just not who we are.
I don't believe the American -- I mean, the vast majority of American people do not believe that. They are much closer to President Obama's values.
LEMON: The vast majority of American people and the people I speak to are appalled by the actions that have happened recently, and yes, you're right. And I asked the question at the beginning of the show, what does this say to Americans of color? it says, again , what you said, you're not wanted. And I can speak to that and I spoke to it during the election. A lot
of people were upset about when I came out and talked about the president after the David Duke comment, after the speech he gave in Minnesota that he said one it wasn't -- that one of his advisers sat here on the program and said it wasn't a speech about race when it was touted a speech about race.
This whole gas lighting that's come to so many issues, especially racial issues in this country, it's so obvious it's not even a dog whistle anymore. It's just flat out bias, flat out discrimination that they're touting coming from this White House.
All you have to do if you don't want to look at the words or listen to the words, just look at the policies. Look at the policies that have been put into place mostly by executive action that they have said now was illegal when President Obama did it, but when this president does an executive action, it's all of a sudden not legal and should be law. It's hypocritical.
Listen, I need to move on, though, because Manu, I need to get this in before we get to the break. I need to talk about Russia. And I understand you have some new reporting tonight on Russia. The probes at the Trump Tower meeting, recent subpoenas from White House republicans. What can you tell us about that?
[22:19:59] RAJU: Yes. There's several developments here. One, House republicans did, on the House intelligence committee, move forward with subpoenas to try to get information on the now infamous dossier, the British dossier to try to figure out if there were any links between the Russians and the Trump campaign.
Democrats on that committee are not happy with that effort, but the republican chairman of that committee, Devin Nunes, really led this effort because he's trying to figure out if there are any links between that dossier and the FBI and the Justice Department which is why he sent that dossier that subpoena.
Now on the Senate side, there have been several key developments. One in which there's an effort by the Senate intelligence committee and special counsel Bob Mueller to ensure that their committees don't overlap in certain ways because there has been some tension, particularly late last month, in late July, I should say, after Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, met behind closed doors with senate intelligence committee staff to talk about that now infamous Trump Tower meeting where Don Junior was -- Donald Trump Jr. was promised dirt from the Russians.
After that interview with the senate intelligence committee staff, Robert Mueller tried to get a copy of the transcribed interview with the Senate intelligence committee staff, but he was not allowed to get that because of a deal that was cut between Manafort and the intelligence committee.
Now, this all is because there are a number of investigations that are happening right now, they are overlapping in certain ways, and I had a chance to talk to Richard Burr, the chairman of this committee, Don, who told me that that the question about what happened in that Trump Tower meeting is still a big question.
They're still trying to learn a lot more about it as well as what the Russians were actually intending to do in meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Manafort, and Jared Kushner.
LEMON: And when you said Trump Tower you reminded me of it, and we'll talk about this a little bit later in the show. But remember, this president ordered an investigation when he claimed that the former president wiretapped him in Trump Tower. His own Justice Department is now saying there is absolutely no shred of evidence -- his own investigation, by the way -- nothing, zero. Just one big lie coming from this president.
Thank you, we appreciate it. When we come right back, two people who couldn't disagree more about DACA. We're going to hear their pros and cons for the program and let you decide what you think.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The president calling his decision to end the DACA program the right solution, saying he feels for the DREAMers and wants Congress to find a solution to help him.
But a White House talking points memo that CNN got a hold of tonight, bluntly warns DACA recipients to prepare to depart the U.S.
So let's bring in now Jan Brewer, the republican former governor of Arizona. Governor, thank you so much for joining us tonight . The president is rescinding DACA, telling Congress to do your job, right legislation. But he knows Congress has been fighting about immigration reform forever. Is he trying to pass the buck and then blame Congress if they can't pull it together?
JAN BREWER, FORMER ARIZONA GOVERNOR: No, I think that he understands, like the majority of us understand, that it's Congress' responsibility to pass laws. And what President Obama did enacting DACA was illegal. I mean, he couldn't do that. That right belongs to the federal government.
And now because of the lawsuit, he rescinded it, but he gave it a six- month leeway, and hopefully the Congress will come together and tackle this animal. It's a horrible situation. It's been around for years and years, and the American public, they're aggravated, they're agitated and they want a solution.
So let's see if Congress can finally do their job. And Don, it's going to be a compromise. They are going to have to come together from both sides. It can't be, you know, this side against that side. it's everybody's problem, it everybody's issues and it takes everybody to resolve it.
LEMON: And I think you...
BREWER: And not only is it constitutional, it's a moral issue also. LEMON: I think you're absolutely right about that. It is a moral
BREWER: It's a moral.
LEMON: But most Americans want some sort of path to citizenship for DACA recipients. They don't want to see the program end. And if this president -- as he says, if he wants it to be law or if he feels for these people, as he puts it, then why not just say, I want Congress to make this legal rather than rescinding what is there?
BREWER: Well, I believe that he is probably going to work with Congress. And if he has already he certainly is going to have his input given to them or take it to them personally. Everybody understands this issue. Everybody as we've been debating it for 30 year years, you know.
Look at President Obama. I mean, in 2009, he had both houses and he was the president. If he wanted to do this, they could have done it then. He chose not to. So he left this big mess with us.
And from the beginning, I've always said, we need to get our borders secured. Because we knew that this problem was getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And as soon as he enacted DACA and we saw more people coming because they wanted to get on the train. He created a huge issue that was bigger than what it was by not doing anything.
LEMON: But governor, immigration has been going down -- immigration across the border has not, this stuff has been going down.
BREWER: It has.
LEMON: It's been going down since the Obama administration.
BREWER: Well, since President Trump said...
LEMON: DACA did not -- this is not just President Trump.
LEMON: It has gone down more since President Trump...
BREWER: No, we had an influx now, Don.
LEMON: ... but it's been going down since the Obama administration as well. Because and it went down especially because the economy wasn't so good here in the United States, so people did not feel compelled to cross the border as they once did. This is not just President Trump.
BREWER: Well, you know, and that could be, but we also know is that we had more boots on the ground, we had people doing their job, what they're supposed to be doing to protect our borders. You know, we have borders for a reason, and it is illegal immigration that's taken place here.
BREWER: I mean, we are the greatest country on earth. We invite people by the tons every year to come in, but they have to come in the legal way. Unfortunately, for the DREAMers, they were brought here by their parents. It's a dilemma and we've all known it, particularly those of us who live on the border.
LEMON: Governor, I just have -- I don't have much time I got to ask you.
BREWER: It's the right thing to do is to let the Congress...
LEMON: And I don't want to -- and this is going to your answer, I think, and I don't mean to cut you off. I just have to get to someone else on the show. But if Congress can't agree on legislation, do you support rounding up the undocumented and deporting them?
BREWER: You know, I hope it doesn't come to that. I don't think that it's possible, to begin with. That's why a solution is so important. I don't want these people living in fear and in the shadows.
You know, but the bottom line is that there is 800,000 of them, and if we don't get something resolved, we're going to have a million, and then 2 million, and then 3 million. And these are only the DREAMers that we know that have identified themselves.
BREWER: There's more DREAMers out there that haven't.
[22:29:59] LEMON: Governor, thank you so much. I appreciate you coming on. We'll see you next time.
Now I want to bring in Congressman Luis Gutierrez in Illinois, a democrat. And Congressman, I want to get you on in the same block that's why. I didn't mean to rush the governor along, but I'll do the same with you as well.
Here is a statement from the White House about DACA. And it says, "As president, my highest duty is to defend the American people and the Constitution of the United States of America. At the same time, I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults for the actions of their parents, but we must also recognize that we are a nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws."
So, representative, is the president forgetting that we are a country of immigrants, a melting pot, so to speak, or as we say in Louisiana, a gumbo?
LUIS GUTIERREZ, (D) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: Look, only in a cruel nation do you take 800,000 documented people and make them undocumented. Let's remember something. DACA has never found to be unconstitutional. As a matter of fact, DACA has never been challenged. Another program was taken to the Supreme Court, and even there, DACA was tied 4 to 4.
Let's remember, these youngsters, as we like to refer to them, have been here for at least 10 years. Some of them, most of them -- let's use the correct -- most of them have already submitted their fingerprints and gone through background checks three times. That means they're working.
Just listen to the business leaders of the world. I mean, I was so proud to read Microsoft's statement, right? They said, you got to come through us if you want to come after the DREAMers.
GUTIERREZ: And all I suggest is, there is a solution to it, but to put Jeff Sessions out there as the man who was the chief architect against any further immigration to the United States of America if not other than Senator Jeff Sessions when he was in the Senate.
GUTIERREZ: And Don, the DREAM Act was passed in the House in November 2010. And the Senate 55 votes for closure.
GUTIERREZ: Of course, Senator Sessions said no. So, look, there is a way, but what Paul Ryan has to do, the Speaker, is stop talking about the values that he has and the principles that he has and...
LEMON: And start -- and start -- and start actually doing -- putting his money where his mouth is, right?
LEMON: But listen, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO or Sheryl Sandberg released a statement. Tim Cook released a statement, so you're talking about a business guy. Goldman Sachs, Disney, Bloomberg, Google, J.P. Morgan, on and on...
LEMON: ... saying that DREAMers are our neighbors, and they are our friends, and they are our co-workers and this is their home. Very similar statements. But I've got to ask you this. You called this the president's most dangerous and damaging act yet. Explain why you say ending DACA is another step toward this administration openly endorsing. And this is you, white supremacy.
GUTIERREZ: Here's why it is. He started his campaign, Don, by walking, by coming down those escalators saying Mexicans are murderers, rapists, drug dealers and we have to get rid of them. That's how we start. And let me just be clear. In American political vernacular, Mexican equates with Latino. Equates with being Mexican, Puerto Rican, you name it. That's what he was really referring to. And so he has demonizing a complete community.
Look at your conversation that you just had with the former governor of Arizona, the border that we have to protect. Don, 40 percent of the undocumented never crossed that border into the United States. It didn't even come from Latin America. They come from Ireland, they come from Poland, they come from other parts of the world. Why is always the focus on Latinos and where we come from as if we were some damage to the country.
LEMON: I sat next to someone...
LEMON: I sat next to a business leader at dinner this evening who said the exact same thing to me, that it's the focus has been on the southern border but it's never from European countries, and they have workers who have visas and who come over and who are part of DACA and on and on.
Representative, for the sake of time I'm sorry, I have to go. We'll have you back.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: We appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
When we come back, the president focused on DACA tonight, but international power players are meeting to discuss world issues. Is it a problem that the U.S. doesn't have a seat at the table? Fareed Zakaria joins me to break it all down. That's next.
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: President Trump tweeting tonight ramping up the pressure on Congress over DACA. Let's discuss now. This and a lot more with Fareed Zakaria, host of Fareed Zakaria GPS right here on CNN.
I want to get your reaction to the day's news. President Trump rescinding DACA giving Congress six months to come up with some kind of a solution. What do you think?
FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, CNN: It does seem like political signaling. In other words, there's no policy issue here. You're talking about a small group of people. You're talking about people who, as your guests have pointed out, by no fault of their own are in this situation.
I mean, the book of Ezekiel in the bible talks about not punishing children for the sins of their fathers. This is well established in western morality and western law. So, why this? It's a political signal. It's a signal to a base, it's a signal to a group of people. And I think unfortunately, what is happening, is Trump is no longer governing. You know, you might -- people don't seem to have noticed, the wall has not been built, NAFTA has not been rescinded. None of the things, the trade wall with China never happened.
ZAKARIA: Obamacare is still in place. So, what we have instead of policy are political signals. And it's a pretty cynical one, I think, because as I say, it has almost no real world consequence other than to play with the emotions and fears and hopes of people on both sides of the aisle.
LEMON: I'm so glad you mentioned that because I was trying to get to that with David Gergen earlier. I'm sure you heard me when I said was, I asked him if the decision was cowardly or not making a decision. He said, I'll say it's weak.
But basically saying the same thing that you said that he's not governing. And I often wonder how to put myself in the shoes of a Trump supporter and wonder how will, what do you look at and say, well, a wall. There is no wall. Obamacare, there is no -- I still have Obamacare.
I thought I was going to get a little bit more money from taxes. There is no taxes. He talks about creating jobs. We all know jobs have been created and it's starting with the Obama administration.
ZAKARIA: And that's the positive side. Let's look at the negative side which is...
LEMON: So then what do you say?
ZAKARIA: ... where was this against China? What was the punitive act? Nothing.
ZAKARIA: Right. And fundamentally, where is the issue of your wages have not risen in 40 years.
[22:40:01] LEMON: Right.
ZAKARIA: What is this guy doing to make that happen?
LEMON: But he's blaming DREAMers which has nothing to do with...
ZAKARIA: Right. It's a handful, it's such a small number that if some economist tells you that this is what is causing the depression of the wages of American workers, they're just flat outlying.
LEMON: Yes. ZAKARIA: No. This is a signal. And it's a signal to say I can do something that a lot of people think is cruel because I'm, you know, I can be tough on immigration. It's cheering people on his side of the aisle, but fundamentally, the problem with it is we have a president who is no longer interested in governing. He's interested in sending political signals and with seven months into the presidency.
LEMON: But don't you think those political signals, and we're going to have a bigger conversation about this, so if you're a person of color in this country, what does all of this decisions, what does this say to you? And we're not just talking about rhetoric, what you say on the campaign trail or what you say these are actual policies that you're trying to put into place.
You know, this is not an executive order by him, but he's pawning it off on someone else. What does this say to you if you're not a white, specifically a white male American or just a white American?
ZAKARIA: I would hope that what it says, even if you're a white male American, is the presidency has always been, you know, really, since Abraham Lincoln, the hope and the greatest presidents have been those who have brought the country together, who have found a way to find some theme, some idea, some policy that somehow brings people together, somehow unites them, somehow transcends issues of race, ethnicity, gender.
And here you have, you know, it's really extraordinarily in a country that has becoming more mixed and multicultural and has, you know, all these diversities within it, you have somebody who is really trying to drive those differences forward, really trying to sharpen them. That's why Steve Bannon...
LEMON: That's where he wins.
ZAKARIA: Well, Steve Bannon says, you know, what the left keeps talking about identity, I say bring it on. You know, in other words, they want to sharpen those divides. And I kind of get it at a political, cynical level, but I don't get it as president. When you're president, really you would hope there would be some effort to transcend.
And by the way, it would also be better politics. I mean, you and I have talked about this from the start had Donald Trump said, I'm going to be a different kind of president, neither left nor right, neither republican because I can do that. I'm going to talk about infrastructure, I'm going to talk about raising wages, I'm going to go after China.
I'm going to -- that was a whole new agenda where he could have said, my focus is just on working people and I'm going to raise them. And instead what you have is sort of third rate Nixonian tactics of, you know, trying to work this southern strategy in a kind of new found guise. LEMON: Yes. You know, you have the Friday news dump, and then you
have the holiday news dump. Well, remember, you know, when the president said I'm going to start an investigation because President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. Which we all knew was a bunch of baloney, right?
And now his own Justice Department has investigated and as found absolutely zero evidence -- it got buried in the holiday. No evidence at all. It was just a complete flat-out lie. Why is -- why are people not more outraged and upset by it?
ZAKARIA: You know what's the saddest thing to watch...
LEMON: Why is it happening?
ZAKARIA: The saddest thing to watch with this president around the world is the way in which his words have lost any credibility. So the other day when this recent North Korean crisis happens, the President of the United States, the President of the United States tweets, we're thinking about stopping all trade with countries that do business with North Korea.
Now, the literal -- not the literal, the plain meaning of that would be we are going to shut down trade with China.
ZAKARIA: Shutting down trade with China just to be clear would cost America about 5 percent of GDP. The Great Recession of 2007 cost us about 1 percent of GDP. So, this would be a five-fold effect. What was fascinating to me, nobody took it seriously. The Chinese didn't even bother to respond to the President of the United States threatening to shut down all trade. Because the feeling that the world has now, it's Donald Trump.
LEMON: Yes, right.
ZAKARIA: You know, he says these things, they mean nothing. He says he's going to attack North Korea, he doesn't do it. He says he's going to recognize Taiwan, he doesn't do it. He says he's going to abandon NAFTA, he doesn't do it. He says he's going to build a wall.
And you know, I can't remember a time in my life where the President of the United States' words have managed to evoke absolutely no reaction, neither the fear nor incredulity, no hope, nothing.
ZAKARIA: The feeling is, you know, he's just -- I mean, as I've said many times before, he's just bullshitting.
LEMON: But, yes. What they're saying is, consider the source.
ZAKARIA: Yes. LEMON: That's what they're saying. By the way, he's meeting with the Chinese president tomorrow. He'll be speaking with him.
ZAKARIA: Speaking with him. Yes.
LEMON: Thank you, Fareed Zakarai. Always a pleasure. Don't miss Fareed Zakaria GPS Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern.
[22:45:00] And when we come back, is President Trump sending a message to voters of color by ending DACA? And is it becoming a pattern? Yes, it is.
LEMON: Welcome back, everyone. Today's DACA decision comes on the heels of the pardon of controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio and those shocking comments about Charlottesville. So what kind of message is President Trump sending to voters of color?
Let's discuss with CNN political contributor Van Jones is here, political commentator Patti Solis Doyle, talk radio host John Fredericks, and Javier Palomarez, the president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce who announced today that he is resigning from President Trump's diversity coalition.
Mr. Palomarez, can I just say...
JAVIER PALOMAREZ, PRESIDENT AND CEO, U.S. HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Hi, Don.
LEMON: ... in this day and time where not a lot of people are showing courage, you showed courage of your convictions whether people agreed with you or not and you should be commended for it. So thank you for that.
PALOMAREZ: Thank you, don. I appreciate it.
LEMON: So you wrote this most powerful column in the New York Times, calling it cruel, new policy, a direct contradiction of the promise that President Trump made to the Hispanic community only months ago. Explain.
PALOMAREZ: You know, it was just a few months ago when he literally said to these 800,000 DREAMers, don't worry. We've got your back. We're going to focus on deporting criminals. They trusted him, we trusted him. And I have been working and my association has been working diligently, literally up until the wee hours of the night last night trying to convince this administration, this president, that this was the wrong thing to do from any perspective and certainly from an economic perspective.
You're looking at individuals that have been rigorously vetted. They've never committed a crime. They pay over $2 million -- $2 billion in state and local taxes. (CROSSTALK)
[22:49:55] LEMON: And they're not taking jobs from Americans.
PALOMAREZ: Not at all.
LEMON: They're not taking jobs from Americans which is -- which is that political rhetoric, which is not the truth. We fight about it on this program all the time, the facts do not bear that out. But I have to say before I move on to the rest of the panel.
LEMON: If you can quickly tell me, did you just say enough is enough because not a lot of people are doing that with this administration.
PALOMAREZ: You know, enough is enough and this was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I had committed to living up to the commitment that we made at the beginning of this whole thing when won, you know, the election, we had asked him to honor the results of the election and we have to be big enough to do.
PALOMAREZ: But enough is enough. This is not a president that wants to listen to reason, he doesn't want to bring people together and at this juncture it was time for us to move on to do something else where we knew we could add some value. We we simply weren't being heard.
LEMON: So Patti, let's talk about this and my initial question throughout this broadcast. You say today's decision on DACA sends a clear message to non-white voters that they don't count as Americans. Why?
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: I think it says worse. We're coming after you. You are not welcome here in this country. You know, he started his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists and drug dealers. He said that Judge Curiel was not capable of doing his job by virtue of his Mexican ethnicity.
When he pardoned judge Arpaio, I mean, Sheriff Arpaio - Sheriff Arpaio is the personification of hate to the Latino community, and he basically said, you know what? Profiling brown people is OK. He was only doing his job and then today rescinding DACA. You know, he's thrown this 800,000 people's lives in turmoil.
And frankly, Don, we're scared. Like, we're scared. Hispanics are scared. I'm the daughter of Mexican immigrant. I was born in this country. But my sister was brought here when she was 4 years old. And you know what? People are asking do we have to walk around with our papers. It's getting a little scary.
DOYLE: And you know, he tells us that he's not racist. He tells us he has love in his heart for the DREAMers but I say that his actions speak much louder than his words. And frankly, Mr. President, if you walk like a bigoted duck and you quack like a bigoted duck, then frankly, you a bigoted duck.
LEMON: But Van, then why should people be surprised because it's what he said during the campaign. I mean, you look at the past month and you have the decision on DACA the equating of the white supremacists demonstrators on Charlottesville, the protesters on the other side, the pardoning of Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was convicted of criminal contempt in a racial profiling case. I mean, and then you got, you know, David Clarke. What message -- I mean, do you think people of color here, what does that say to you?
VAN JONES, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Well, I think it sends a very, very disturbing message but I think the DACA decision is especially heartbreaking and troubling because he himself seemed all over the place on it. There were some reasons I think some people thought if they put pressure on that he might do something different.
The problem that you now have is you have 800,000 young people who trusted America's government. That's a big problem. If you have a 800,000 young people who trust America's government. They give you their finger prints, their home address, their phone number, everything about themselves. They basically are saying listen, we are good kids, we want to be here and then you get that information and then America's government says, you know what? Never mind, we may use that information to come against you.
You don't just shock 800,000 young DREAMers, you shock their cousins, their friends. Everybody in that generation start to look at America's government maybe American government is not our friend. I don't think this president is thinking clearly about the signal that he's sending to young people, period, about what it means to be here.
And I think he's trading in, listen, he says he wants to put America first. I want to put America first. He said he wants to put Americans first. You darn, too. But that doesn't mean you put everybody else dead last in the garbage can and crap on them. You can, listen, I put my own kids first. But I love my neighbor's kids and I'm not going to let anything bad happen to my neighbor's kids.
You can treat -- you can put American kids first but you do not have to terrify and traumatize and lie to 800,000 other kids. It's wrong.
LEMON: John Fredericks, so the former GOP communications director Brian Walsh tweeted this. "Republican should be thinking long and hard about the message that's been sent to Hispanics with Arpaio pardoned and now DACA. Big problem." Does he have a point?
JOHN FREDERICKS, SYNDICATED TALK RADIO HOST: Wow. You know it's amazing that everything on the show always has to be about race. This decision...
LEMON: Does he have a point? My question with John...
FREDERICKS: No. He has no point.
FREDERICKS: No, zero. And I'll tell you why. Everything is not about race. The president made decisive decision today on a program...
LEMON: John, he did not make a decisive...
FREDERICKS: Don, that was...
LEMON: A decisive decision would have been I don't like DACA, or I do like DACA. I want Congress to pass DACA or I don't want Congress. We're going to get rid of this.
[22:55:05] He says I'm going to pawn it off to you and let you make a decision about something that I did not have the courage to make a decision about myself. Go on.
FREDERICKS: Don, actions are louder than words. This is not about race. This is simply about the rule of law. This was simply an illegal program. Once it got to Supreme Court...
LEMON: It was not illegal. It's not illegal. It's not been tested in court.
FREDERICKS: It would have been overturned the -- there was enough.
LEMON: It's not illegal.
FREDERICKS: OK. We can debate that but I'm telling you this is not about...
LEMON: It's not debate. If it has not been tested in court, it's not illegal unless the court finds it illegal.
FREDERICKS: Well, there are -- there are some people, minds, legal minds saying that it didn't have legal standing and let me tell you something else. That was the opinion of the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, that's the opinion he gave to the president.
But the president in his actions today you got to look at the actions for a second. Let me explain what happened. The president ended the DACA program today, as we know it. It's gone. I don't care what the tweets say. I don't care what...
LEMON: He said six months. He said six months, John.
FREDERICKS: There is no six months, Don. Here is what happened today. LEMON: Then why is he saying six months?
FREDERICKS: There is no six months. Let me explain what happened. As of today there are no new applications by the federal government being accepted for DACA applicants. It's closed off. It's done. There's 33,000 applications in process. Those are going to be adjudicated.
FREDERICKS: There's 79,000 people that are expiring. Those will be processed people that are already in the DACA program.
LEMON: So my question is why did he say six months?
FREDERICKS: Let me finish explain.
LEMON: John, I will let you finish but I got to -- there are things that I have to do as well. I have to get to the break. We're going to continue this conversation on the other side of this very quick break. Don't go anywhere.
FREDERICKS: It's not...
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)