Return to Transcripts main page
Erin Burnett Outfront
W.H. Touts "Progress" With N.K. As Evidence Shows The Opposite; U.S. Intel Agency Believes Kim Jong-un Won't Fully Denuclearize; White House Refuses To Comment As Michael Cohen Breaks His Silence; Trump Reveals He Met With Four Supreme Court Candidates As The W.H. Was Trying To Keep A Tight Lid On Interviews. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 02, 2018 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:08] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: "OutFront" next, was Trump duped? New evidence that Kim Jong-un is not holding up his end of the deal. Team Trump reportedly considering a second face-to-face with Kim in the New York as this news breaks.
Plus, Michael Cohen giving the clearest signal yet he's ready to flip on the President. What happened to taking a bullet for Trump?
An American stopped, questioned at the border, but this is not the border you think and it could be illegal, an "OutFront" investigation. Let's go "OutFront."
Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. "OutFront" tonight, was President Trump duped by Kim Jong-un? Tonight we have new images of new nuclear build-up by the North Korean leader, images that come as U.S. intelligence officials now say Kim Jong-un has no intention of giving up his nuclear weapons, which is the exact opposite of what President Trump has said. And the White House responds to the new evidence, the images today, is this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We aren't going to confirm or deny any intelligence reports. What I can tell you is that we're continuing to make progress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And so is North Korea. They're making progress on their weapons program and we just have some of the new evidence that we know about to show you. Take a look at these satellite images. They appear to show the expansion of a key ballistic missile manufacturing site. This expansion was taking place actually at the time that President Trump was meeting with Kim for that storied summit in Singapore.
So let's just show you here. This was the image on April 1st. OK? Then you have the summit and everything else and this is three days ago. So you can see the big shift there. The summit, of course, was June 12th. And then there are some other satellite images showing infrastructure improvements around some of Pyongyang's nuclear facilities. When you zoom in, you can see them a little bit better. The President's national security adviser says, though, don't worry about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVIDER: There is not any starry eyed feeling among the group doing this that we're well, well aware of what the North Koreans have done in the past.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: John Bolton may be and many others around the President may be, but the President sure is not acting like he is aware and he is sending starry eyed and factually incorrect tweets and messages.
Remember this tweet, "There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea." That was, of course, just a couple of weeks ago. And this one, "No more nuclear testing or rockets flying all over the place, blew up launch sites."
And then to top it all off surrounded by his cabinet, the President said something that was untrue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATE: They've already blown up one of their big test sites, in fact it was actually four of that big test sites.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The defense secretary eventually had state it was not four. And the evidence, of course, is showing when you look at the nuclear program the opposite may be happening.
You don't have to go back very far to know that the norm is for North Korea to say one thing, to get aid or help or whatever it may be and do another thing. Back in 2005, Kim Jong-un's father promising he was, "committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons." Sound familiar? Well, 13 months later, we saw North Korea's first nuclear test.
And then in 2012, just months after Kim Jong-un himself took over, he agreed to freeze his nuclear program and let inspectors in. Within a month, he was threatening to launch a satellite ending the deal. And then, of course, he's done multiple nuclear tests since then.
So if none of that is enough to convince President Trump that there are some issues here, maybe this will do it. Maybe he can remember North Korea's own propaganda video showing the destruction of both New York City and Washington, D.C. Jim Sciutto is "OutFront."
And Jim, you know, obviously U.S. intelligence coming out. We've got new images and they are -- well, coming out is the wrong word, which you're going to talk about in a moment. But we now know that the U.S. intelligence has come to a very different conclusion than the President on North Korea.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's one, one that sharply contrasts with the President's characterization of the situation, characterization of the progress. This defense intelligence agency report finds, and this is an agency that uses satellite data, human intelligence, electronic intercepts, it finds that North Korea has no intention of completely giving up its nuclear program and might, in fact, be making plans to attempt to deceive the United States. In other words, not reveal the true extent of the number of warheads it has or the number of nuclear facilities that it has.
The satellite photos we have up on the screen right now, these are an additional piece of evidence. This comes from a private sector company showing building at a missile facility. In fact, this building taking place around the very time of that summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim quite an affront to the U.S. president from the North Korean leader.
And then two days ago, you had a report in "The Washington Post" that there is intelligence that North Korea might have a third undisclosed facility for making the material that is the basis for nuclear bombs. So not just showing that North Korea has not made progress in terms of denuclearizing, but in fact, the opposite that there might be some backsliding here.
[19:05:06] BURNETT: And when I said this report, it was leaked, and that's hugely significant.
SCIUTTO: It is, because keep in mind, you know, the President has dismissed the view of the U.S. intelligence committee -- community, rather, on several key national security threats. I mean just last week he continued to question the intelligence community's assessment that Russia interfered in the election. Of course, that goes back a couple of years.
He dismissed the intelligence community's assessment that Iran was complying with the nuclear deal. And now you have a situation here where the intelligence contradicts what the President says, what the president wants from North Korea.
Typically, I've been covering this -- the Intel community, national security community for some time. When a report like this comes out like this, it's because there is concern among officials who seen that report that the President might be going a different way, one that contradicts the facts on the ground.
BURNETT: And so they choose to leak it because he's not listening. I mean, it's a pretty stunning thing. Thank you very much, Jim Sciutto.
SCIUTTO: It is.
BURNETT: And I want to go now to Gordon Chang, author of "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World," and Dave Schmerler, he analyzed all the satellite images that we've been showing you from North Korea for the Center for Nonproliferation Studies. So, thanks very much to both of you.
Gordon, you're here with me so let me start with you. You know, look, we've heard the President and all the things that he said and tweeted. And we see the images where North Korea, at least in some places, appears to be bolstering or building up sites that have nuclear capability. Even as the President of the United States says they're not a threat. Are you surprised?
GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN: NORTH KOREA TAKES ON THE WORLD": Not really surprised. You know, clearly this undercuts the President's fundamental assumption that North Korea has made a strategic decision. You know, a lot of people say, and they're probably right, that Kim just played President Trump.
The other thing, of course, is that maybe Kim doesn't control his military. There is some evidence of that. You know, we've seen all the high-level reshuffling in the North Korean military. The defense minister out in the top two posts in the Korean people's army, those were changed.
Also last week we learned of the execution of a lieutenant general. This shows that Kim may not be in full command. But whatever the story is, Erin, you know, it's very bad news for us because it says that President's policy isn't going to work because his assumptions are 100% wrong.
BURNETT: Which is a pretty terrifying if true. Dave, you know, you've been looking at these images and you know what you're seeing there more than anyone really watching, right, any laypeople like us. How significant is what you see happening in these images?
DAVE SCHMERLER, ANALYZED NK SATELLITE IMAGES SHOWING MISSILE PLANT CONSTRUCTION: Well, you know, mid last year Kim Jong-un inspected the Chemical Material Institute and they showed Kim what they were producing at that site and they told them that they were going to expand it. And the imagery shows that they have expanded the site to the significant proportion that they did.
BURNETT: And when you say significant proportion, that's what you're saying -- it's not a minor thing. It is a serious improvement?
SCHMERLER: Right. This is a large increase in the capacity to develop composite materials for their ballistic missile program.
BURNETT: I mean, that's pretty incredible, Gordon, when you're saying a large increase in their ability to develop this composite material required. "The Washington Post" and Jim is reporting, right, that they're also looking at ways to conceal, not just to build up but conceal, not just the weapons they have but also the production facilities. You remember when Trump said, "I do trust him," to Kim?
CHANG: The President was very clear and so was Secretary of State Pompeo a week ago saying, "Look, you know, Kim has made this decision to just give up his arsenal." You know, and if that's indeed the case, then policy decisions that the administration has made in the last two weeks sort of makes sense. But if, you know, Kim hasn't made that decision and it's clear that he hasn't given all of this --
CHANG: -- then our policies are deeply misguided and injurious to American national security.
BURNETT: So, Dave, there is also the question of what do we know and what do we, you know, not know, right? The National Security Adviser John Bolton, who has been a huge hawk on North Korea, obviously now trying to temper his words a bit given his boss' point of view said yesterday that North Korea could disarm within a year if they chose to do so. Here is how he put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOLTON: We have developed the program. I'm sure that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be discussing this with the North Koreans in the near future about, really, how to dismantle all of their WMD and ballistic missile programs in a year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Dave, the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said 2.5 years but, you know, what's your sense? I mean, how big is this program that we're talking about right now?
SCHMERLER: The programs are fairly large and there are a lot of sites that we don't know about and there are many sites that are deep underground in underground facilities that are hardened to protect them from strikes. So I think a year is a bit optimistic, probably looking at over two years.
It's a fairly large program and the North Koreans aren't probably willing to, you know, give up everything in an accelerated time period. So it's going to involve a lot of trust building on both sides and if we were to reach some sort of agreement, which I don't think we ever really did, it would probably be more than a year.
BURNETT: And Dave, you know, which sounds like what you're also saying is when the whole premise of an agreement would be somehow on some level trusting them that when they tell us this is a list of what they have, it's actually true.
[19:10:14] Sounds like what you're saying is they could give us a list and we would not know if it were true and that there are a lot of ways that they could hide or conceal.
SCHMERLER: That's absolutely right. Like any negotiation of this nature, there is a little bit of trust that is going to be involved in it and there is definitely going to be a lot of vetting by the intelligence community to make sure that we haven't missed anything.
BURNETT: Gordon, what do you make of the significance of what Jim was saying, that the intelligence community leaked this, that they have to the opposite conclusion as the President? CHANG: Clearly, you know, they do not trust what the President has been saying and what they think the President is going to be doing, you know. And right now, Trump is -- I think an obligation to talk to the American people because he hasn't been bashful about talking about the benefits of the summit. So he needs to say to the American people, "Look, we've got this information. This is what we're going to have to do." And I think the administration is going to have to go back to their maximum pressure campaign.
BURNETT: Which sanctions and everything else. And by the way, now we're hearing maybe another summit here in New York around the U.N.
CHANG: This is completely stunning. You know, it is really wrong to talk about a second meeting between Trump and Kim. And especially one of the world stage where you have U.N. general assembly, that gives even more legitimatization to Kim, certainly bolsters his regime even more than the June 12th summit. And he has yet to make a commitment to give up his weapons? This is really, really wrong.
And clearly, you know, the big problem in the June 12 summit was that, look, they were going to have that meeting, give Kim all the benefits and Trump came away with very little and we're going to do the same thing in September? I mean, I just don't understand it.
BURNETT: And now, of course, we have images and the U.S. intelligence community's assessment itself showing that what the President said, at least at this moment, is not what is actually happening. Thank you both very much.
And next, Michael Cohen, sounds like a man who is ready to turn. Why send the message, though, on national T.V.?
Plus, the President today meeting with four Supreme Court candidates, reportedly intrigued by the idea of a woman. We're going to talk to the man who is advising the President on this most crucial decision.
And they're alive, 12 kids and their coach who've been trapped in a cave found after nine days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're coming., it's OK. It's OK. Many people are coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:15:58] BURNETT: Tonight, the White House refusing to comment on news from Michael Cohen. Cohen breaking his silence, making it clear that flipping is, well, it appears in the offering.
Cohen telling ABC's George Stephanopoulos, "To be crystal clear, my wife, my daughter and my son, and this country have my first loyalty." That's a sharp U-turn coming from the man who once said this. "I'm the guy who protects the President and the family. I'm the guy who would take a bullet for the President."
"OutFront" now, Jeffrey Toobin, our Chief Legal Analyst, April Ryan, American Urban Radio Network's White House Correspondent, and Harry Sandick, a former Assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District here in New York.
All right, so, Jeff, Cohen, sounds like we're getting a message.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: It does. You know what focuses your mind, when the FBI searches every single document, every single phone call, every single e-mail that you'd ever sent. The FBI really gets your attention.
Another thing they gets your attention, Harry knows this as a defense lawyer, is when your lawyer says to you, "OK, if you're prosecuted and you go to trial you're sentencing guidelines are 64 months to 70 months in prison." And the guy is like, "What? I don't want to go to prison for 60 months." So that's when the loyalty talks stops, you know, becoming dominant and the self-preservation gene kicks in and that appears to be what's happening here.
BURNETT: I mean, April, you know, the White House is not responding publicly. Is there any chance the President, though --
APRIL RYAN, W.H. CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Right.
BURNETT: -- did not hear Cohen's message loudly and clearly?
RYAN: Oh, he heard it. Most definitely he heard it. And Jeffrey Toobin is right, this is about self-preservation. This is beyond political and I guess legal ease. This is a street game. President Trump came out and basically said a few weeks ago, you know, "He did very little work for me and, you know, he's not my attorney anymore," basically throwing him under the bus. So Michael Cohen understanding who this President is said, "OK, I've got to protect myself. I have got to survive."
And according to one of my Republican sources who's very close to this administration, they said Michael Cohen has sex lives and videotape. And this administration really needs to be very concerned about this. And I think about Michael Cohen's relationship with this President. He goes way back with the President.
Michael Cohen even introduced Pastor Darrell Scott to Donald Trump who is now in the White House and everyone loves him, to include Jared Kushner. So, I mean, they go way back. He tried -- the President is trying to diminish Michael Cohen's role. Michael Cohen had a role and the White House needs to be very concerned.
BURNETT: I mean, Harry, so today we learned that prosecutors who investigating Cohen have gotten a 1 million documents. These are documents that were reviewed, right? These are the ones you're allowed to have.
So, now, ABC when George literally (ph) saying Cohen's got this new attorney, right, and once this person takes over, this joint agreement that Cohen had with the President basically where they get to share all the information is over.
HARRY SANDICK, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Right.
BURNETT: When that happened with Michael Flynn, Michael Flynn flipped, Michael Flynn turned.
BURNETT: Is that what's going to happen here?
SANDICK: It's a pretty good indication that it's at least being strongly considered and that we could now assume that the new defense team for Cohen is going to begin those discussions about cooperating, just for the reasons that Jeffrey said a moments ago, for self- preservation. And, you know, he's already publicly distancing himself from the President on a number of different fronts, even some policy front it appears.
BURNETT: Right. And -- but in terms of timing here then, it would seem like we're pretty close, right? I mean, imminent.
BURNETT: I don't know how you would define that word, but --
SANDICK: I think so. I mean, you have -- the government had enough information to get a search warrant of a lawyer's office, that's very hard to do. Now in addition to all of that evidence, they have this new harvest from the search warrant so the case is only getting stronger that creates (INAUDIBLE).
TOOBIN: Although I think we need to be careful about -- talking about, you know, the case. I don't know what Michael Cohen did that's unlawful. I mean, that what's weird about this. I mean, yes, there is the possibility of an election law violation --
BURNETT: The Stormy Daniels payment.
TOOBIN: Yes, but I mean that's not the kind of -- I mean, those cases are very rare. I mean, I don't know what the underlying crime is, much less any --
[19:20:13] BURNETT: But, you know, it could be something with the taxi medallion business, for example.
BURNETT: And then they're saying, "OK, well, we'll be soft on you there if you give us this on your boss."
TOOBIN: Correct. That's possible. But I don't know what it could be with taxi medallions either. I mean, I just think we need to be fair to Michael Cohen and also to the President because I don't know what evidence he had -- you know, Cohen has on the President. So, you know -- I mean, one step at a time here. BURNETT: I mean -- yes, although as you point out, to get that warrant itself is a huge statement in and of itself.
TOOBIN: It is. It is.
BURNETT: And April, obviously the shift we see, Harry referred to it, things that now Cohen is turning on his boss policy wise. Let's just remember the way Cohen used to talk about the President.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP PERSONAL ATTORNEY: I will use my legal skills within which to protect Mr. Trump to the best of my ability.
I'll do anything to protect Mr. Trump. I'm obviously very loyal and very dedicated to Mr. Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: For the Russia investigation to a whole lot of other things, right, he doesn't agree with witch hunt as a word to describe the special counsel investigation, April, obviously that goes against the President. He's condemned the President's policy of separating families at the border. And he told ABC, "I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone's defense strategy. I am not a villain of this story." He's seizing every chance here to directly or indirectly take the opposite point of view of his boss.
RYAN: You know, that loyalty was yesterday. Today is the fact, again, going back to what Jeffrey said, self-preservation. I mean, he's making it clear who he is standing for, himself basically, and then his family and then this country. But he's got information. He's probably already starting to talk to the Mueller team about it.
This is a big deal. And for him to be the President's personal attorney and very close to the President for a number of years and to turn, this is -- you don't know what will come out. And Jeffrey's right, we can't speculate. But when you seize tapes, when you find out about payments to a porn star and to other people --
RYAN: -- you know, there could be a lot of wire fraud. You know, it could be a lot of different things. But there is something there. There is a lot of smoke there and we're trying to find out when it clears what it actually on the table. Something could actually be on the table and he wants to make sure that he is telling it and not loyal to the President to save his own skin.
BURNETT: I mean, Jeffrey, here's the thing, you know, when George asked him about a couple of topics, did he know about the meeting in Trump Tower? Did the President know about it, right?
BURNETT: And about Stormy Daniels which, you know, Michael Cohen I believe has spoken to many of us off the record about that but he didn't want to answer specific questions. He told George, "I want to answer. One day I will answer." That's what he's saying on the record. What does it tell you that these two things are off limit?
TOOBIN: Well, he wouldn't tell George anything about the underlying facts. And remember how different the story has been about Stormy Daniels. At first the story was Michael Cohen out of the goodness of his own heart became the first lawyer in American history to pay a damage judgment for his client, which was palpably absurd.
BURNETT: Without telling him about it or expecting reimbursement.
TOOBIN: Without telling him. And then the story change --
TOOBIN: -- that that, well --
RYAN: And it could have been reason for disbarment by that just alone? That could not be reason for disbarment for that alone.
TOOBIN: I mean, it certainly merits the investigation under the disciplinary, but apparently it didn't happen.
TOOBIN: I mean that's the thing that is so weird is that he was -- I mean, what happened was Trump paid him back, at least according to Rudolph Giuliani. So who the heck knows what really happened here. The story has, shall we say, evolved.
RYAN: And there's a trail of money that needs to be followed. It is about a trail of money, period.
SANDICK: There are a lot of unanswered questions, but it does seem like he's pivoted towards cooperation. Perhaps he's also hoping that the President is listening and considering a possible pardon one day. We know that president gets excited by using his pardon power, but it definitely seems as if he wants to go in and talk to the government. Now he has to not only tell the reporters that he has to tell the prosecutors that, too.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all.
And next, President Trump speeding towards a prime time Supreme Court announcement, of course. But why won't the White House answer a very simple question about Roe v. Wade?
And Democrats demanding an end to ICE, are they playing completely into Trump's hands on this one?
[19:28:19] BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump revealing he met with four contenders for Anthony Kennedy's seat on the Supreme Court and that he plans to meet with up to three more before making a decision imminently.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: During the morning, I interviewed and met with four potential justices of our great Supreme Court. They are outstanding people. I'll be meeting with two or three more and we'll make a decision on the United States Supreme Court, the new justice that will be made over the next few days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Kaitlan Collins is "OutFront" at the White House. Kaitlan, what is the latest that you have learned about who were these people are? Who met with the President today?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the White House, Erin, is keeping a tight lid exactly who it is that the President is meeting with. They don't want there to be a lot of media speculations about who the President has met with from that list of 25 people that he said he's going to choose from a list that they used for the Neil Gorsuch nomination but updated last fall. But the President there saying he did meet with four people.
The Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, declining to say if any of those were women, but we do have sources telling CNN that the President is increasingly interested in picking a woman to feel -- to fill Anthony Kennedy's seat, that's because of several reasons, but two of those are at that the President believes that could appeal to women voters ahead of the midterm so they make him believe to stave off a blue wave that some have predicted is coming.
But also because the President thinks it could appeal to those two crucial Republican votes, Senator Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins. So there are two people who have been the height of much speculation in recent days because they either razor thin margin here of who is going to be voting on this with Senator McCain who has not been in Capitol Hill for most of the year.
So certainly that's something that President has been thinking of looking back at his nomination for the CIA Director, Gina Haspel, the president is thinking, can you imagine having a woman on the Supreme Court that he has nominated? A conservative woman, of course, Erin.
But the president said today, he's interviewed four. He's likely to interview two or three more. He's going to make his announcement next Monday.
And, clearly, Erin, what we take away from this process is that is it moving very, very quickly. It was just last Wednesday that Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement -- Erin.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Certainly, speed is of the essence for the president.
OUTFRONT now, Leonard Leo. He's an influential adviser to the president on judicial nominations, spoke to him on the day Justice Kennedy retired. So, obviously very important through the selection process.
And, Leonard, thank you so much for your time tonight.
You know, I want to get straight to this. You know, we understand these meetings have been 45 minutes or so. He's met with four candidates for this vacancy and might meet with two or three more.
Is there anything you can tell us about who he's met with? Obviously, there was an original list of 25 and this is obviously significantly smaller than that for this finalist group?
LEONARD LEO, OUTSIDE ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT FOR JUDICIAL SELECTION: Well, I think many of the names that are floating around already, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Barrett, Ray Kethledge, Tom Hardiman, Amul Thapar, those are people who I think are pretty reliably out there on the short list and are folks that the White House counsel Don McGahn would want to screen and interview and then the president possibly interview as well.
BURNETT: So, let me just cut to the heart of this, right? There is the whole question, obviously he wants someone who is conservative. That's the definition of what he's looking for and the defense of his list, but when it comes to Roe versus Wade, there's a big a question. And a today in a press briefing, the Press Secretary Sarah Sanders refused to answer if Roe versus Wade is settled law.
Does the president of the United States consider it to be settled law?
LEO: I've never talked to him about it. He's never asked me about abortion or Roe v. Wade. When the list was being put together, no candidate was talked to, no question was ever asked of them. And he's never asked the question of any Supreme Court candidate during the interviews.
I don't know whether he thinks Roe v. Wade is settled law. I think that what any very good candidate for the Supreme Court would believe and say is that it's a major precedent of the court and one has to struggle with precedents and figure out whether or not you keep them or whether or not you adjust them.
BURNETT: Now, during the campaign, you say you haven't talked to him specifically about abortion, which I think is interesting that at least -- you know, he didn't bring it up to you. He didn't ask you about it. But, of course, as you know, Leonard, and I know, he has promised during the election -- it was a campaign promise that his judges would be pro-life. He said that this would be a getting (ph) factor.
Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: I know you're opposed to abortion. How important is that issue to you now when President Trump picks Supreme Court justices? Would that be a litmus test?
DONALD TRUMP, THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is, it is.
MODERATOR: Do you want to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade?
TRUMP: Well, if we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that's really what's going to be happen -- that will happen and that will happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro- life justices on the court.
I'm pro-life. The judges will be pro-life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, Leonard, has he changed his mind? He's very, very clear there, right? They're going to be pro-life and it's going to be overturned.
LEO: You know, I can't speak to what he said during the campaign. I can tell you what I said before, which is that, you know, he's never asked this question of a nominee. We've never discussed it.
The other thing I would say is that it's very dangerous territory to be trying to game out where a nominee is going to end up. People have been trying to do that for 36 years, beginning with the nomination of Sandra O'Connor. And every single time, they've been wrong. And right now, there is only one justice on the court, Clarence Thomas, who has said explicitly he wants to overturn Roe.
So, there is a lot of speculation going on here and I'm just very skeptical about, you know, what people are suggesting might happen.
BURNETT: Yes, yes. I mean, you know, it's interesting. Of course, it's obviously comes down to he was very explicit. Sometimes when you get the job, you realize that you need to be more careful with what you say or what you wish for and maybe this is a case of that.
People familiar with the search, Leonard, have told us that the president is intrigued, that's the word, intrigued that they have used, about picking a woman and increasingly so. What do you think? Is that something he's brought up to you? Has he talked specifically about gender?
LEO: He hasn't talked to me about it. But, look, I think it's very important that we have women models in the law who stand firmly for the idea that judges should interpret the law as it's written. I don't think it's a major factor in this selection process, but there are a couple of extremely qualified women.
Amy Barrett, for example, who's under consideration, is probably one of the most talented and distinguished female law professors in the country. She's certainly one of the best originalists in terms of interpreting the Constitution as it's written and understood by the Framers.
[19:35:05] And so, I think it's perfectly appropriate that someone of that distinction be considered.
BURNETT: All right. Leonard, thank you so much. I appreciate your time tonight.
LEO: Thank you very much.
BURNETT: And next, calls growing tonight to just get rid of ICE completely. Is that really the answer to the immigration problem, to just get rid of ICE?
And alarm on the U.S. border with Canada. Why are more Americans being stopped and interrogated on the U.S. side for no apparent reason?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's kind of an intimidation tactic, I think.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tonight, a growing calling among Democrats to end ICE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We need to rebuild our immigration system from top to bottom, starting by replacing ICE.
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: I believe you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: We've got to critically re- examine ICE and we need to probably think about starting from scratch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And the president is relishing this one, tweeting this weekend, quote: To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit, you are doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe by eradicating the worst criminal elements. So brave the radical left Dems want you out. Next, it will be all police. Zero chance. It will never to happen.
[19:40:00] Continued to say, that, quote, crime would be rampant and all controllable if Democrats got what they wanted.
The big question is, though, is this a fight that Democrats can't win?
OUTFRONT now, Rob Astorino, friend of the president's for 15 years, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York. And Joan Walsh, CNN political commentator and "The Nation" national affairs correspondent.
Joan, Trump is very happy to take on this fight. There's a pollster, Democratic pollster, Celinda Lake, she told "Axios", I worry abolishing ICE tips the issues from humane treatment to security.
And you've got Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, they're not jumping on this train.
JOAN WALSH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right.
BURNETT: Are Democrats making a mistake politically?
WALSH: Well, as you just said, it's not Democrats generally, it is a portion of the party. I happen to be in that portion of the party, Erin. I think that ICE was kind of the product -- it was a shotgun marriage right after 9/11, in a panic over the 26 men who -- terrorists who got into our country and murdered 3,000 Americans. It put together two agencies that didn't necessarily belong together.
And now, it has made what has happened using these people to take lawful, law-abiding, undocumented immigrants out of country has frightened whole communities, but it's also made it hard -- you know who the most influential people wanting to break up ICE right now are? Nineteen ICE agents who asked Kirstjen Nielsen to consider pulling the agency apart because they are the ones -- they investigate drug trafficking, they investigate terrorism. They say that this internal deportation enforcement that ICE is doing is actually hurting their ability to keep the country safe.
BURNETT: What do you say, Rob? I mean, the president took this exactly where you think he would take it, next it will be all police, right, turning this into a broader fear story.
WALSH: Well, what's wrong. That's a lie. That's a lie.
ROB ASTORINO, FRIEND OF PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR OVER 15 YEARS: Please let the Democrats run on this in November because the Senate will have about three or four pick ups, the House, they'll hold easily. I mean, if it comes down to the average person in America saying, wait a minute, you really want to abolish ICE? Now, let's go what ICE stands for, I-C-E, right?
I think there is a strong part of the Democratic Party --
WALSH: Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
ASTORINO: All they want is a "C" now, customs. They want to be passport stampers.
WALSH: No, that's absolutely not true.
ASTORINO: Have you -- if you abolish ICE, you're talking about immigration and enforcement. Enforcement is not what you want. I'm not saying you. I'm saying -- WALSH: Customs and Border Protection would still enforce the border,
would still patrol the border.
ASTORINO: With what?
WALSH: With their border control agents.
BURNETT: -- still don't have enough agents.
WALSH: You're proving that people do not understand what ICE does.
ASTORINO: I know very much what ICE does.
WALSH: No, CBP controls the border.
ASTORINO: They sit on Joint Terrorism Task Force.
WALSH: They go 100 miles in from the border. ICE is the force that goes into Chicago, they go into Albuquerque.
BURNETT: They got into the cities.
WALSH: They go into New York City and they rip law-abiding citizens -- undocumented immigrants out of their homes. They're terrorizing communities and they're making it hard for police to do their job.
ASTORINO: Terrorizing communities?
WALSH: Yes, they are.
ASTORINO: First of all, they sit on the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
WALSH: Somebody else could sit on it. Customs and Border Patrol --
ASTORINO: If you're abolishing immigration and enforcement, let's start with the "I" and the "E", well, what are you going to replace it with?
BURNETT: Joan, do you think there should be any enforcement when people get into a city?
WALSH: Of course, I do. Of course I do, Erin. But, you know, I think what Obama was doing -- first of all, Obama expanded ICE.
BURNETT: He did.
WALSH: Obama was trying to get Republicans to support bipartisan immigration reform and the carrot that he was giving, which a lot of Democrats resented, was that he beefed up ICE and he beefed up deportation. Now, it didn't work. The 2013 bipartisan group, it had 14 Republican
senators supported it, couldn't get anywhere in the House. So, then Obama went back to what ICE should have been doing, which is look for criminals, look for people who have overstayed their visas or who snuck in and didn't get caught and they're committing crimes.
ASTORINO: So, open borders other than those who actually commit a crime?
WALSH: What are you talking about?
ASTORINO: Because there's no enforcement. You're not talking about enforcement at the border or within the 100 miles or within the entire United States.
WALSH: Rob, you are -- very are very friendly. You are very smart. You're showing you don't know what ICE does --
ASTORINO: I know exactly what ICE does. I sat on a Joint Terrorism Task Force with ICE members.
WALSH: There will be tens of thousands patrolling the border, going 100 miles --
ASTORINO: Who would enforce it?
BURNETT: In the cities?
WALSH: In the cities, there could be a different kind of agency, the agencies that existed before.
ASTORINO: But you would be angry -- people on the left would be angry they're enforcing it.
WALSH: No, that's absolutely not true.
ASTORINO: Of course, it is.
WALSH: It is the way that ICE is going about it. It is the prioritization of breaking up families. They took a little girl with cerebral palsy who was seeking treatment and tried to deport her. They failed. They took a mother trying to get surgery her newborn and they did take her out of the country. That's what they're doing. They're going into hospitals and they're taking people --
ASTORINO: These are very emotional issues. We also have now sanctuary counties and that's inviting --
WALSH: That's a different --
ASTORINO: It started with sanctuary and now it's going to abolish ICE.
When Bernie Sanders is becoming the moderate or conservative of the Democratic Party, we got a problem.
[19:45:00] WALSH: Bernie represents a very white state and he always disappointed the immigration community with his stance on immigration.
ASTORINO: OK, but here's the issue, the adults have to stand up in the Democratic Party on something like this. It cannot be a party of Chuck E. Cheese every day.
WALSH: We're all adults. We're all adults.
ASTORINO: No, it's not.
WALSH: We're all adults. We've never talked about this before. It's terrific what they've done. They've forced us to pay attention to this issue and debate it.
ASTORINO: Policies can change, but abolishing an agency that stops gang members and trafficking of drugs --
WALSH: There are still people to stop it.
ASTORINO: Where? What about people in the cities?
So, basically you're saying that unless they commit a real serious crime, we should never enforce it, because they're going to be breaking up families.
WALSH: No, I didn't say a real serious crime.
BURNETT: I'm going to have to hit pause there.
BURNETT: But I --
ASTORINO: It's a serious issue.
BURNETT: Hopefully, a lot of people learned a lot from this because you both had some very important points. Thank you.
And next, what is going on at the other U.S. border, you know, the one that is longest land border in the world, where more and more Americans are being stopped and interrogated? Is it legal?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to continue down the road, yes, ma'am, we need to know what country you're a citizen of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And found alive in a cave at nine days. How long until the 12-member soccer team, these are 11-year-old boys, can get out? We are at the scene tonight.
BURNETT: New tonight, drivers stopped on major highways, interrogated. The reason? Border security. It's happening right now on the U.S. border with Canada.
Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Driving down I-93 in New Hampshire, about 80 miles from the Canadian border, Justin Summers runs into a checkpoint operated by the U.S. Border Patrol.
[19:50:00] He starts recording.
The Border Patrol agent tells him if he wants to keep driving south, he has to answer a question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you a United States citizen?
SAVIDGE: Summers tells me he resented being stop and interrogated.
JUSTIN SUMMERS, NEW HAMPSHIRE RESIDENT: I indicated hey, I don't want to answer these questions. I'd like to be on my way.
SAVIDGE: That didn't happen.
(on camera): This is the area of the checkpoint. Justin Summers says when he refused to answer the agent's questions, they detained him and said they would hold him until he told them what they wanted to hear, in other words, indefinitely.
The message to you is if you don't answer this question, we're going to hold you on the side of the road here until who knows when?
SUMMERS: Exactly. It's kind of an intimidation tactic, I think.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I need you to pull over there.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): A tactic critics say is happening more frequently and far away from the U.S./Mexico border, which has been at the center of attention when it comes to immigration.
This is another checkpoint in New Hampshire Memorial Day weekend, and this was Maine just this month.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to continue down the road, yes, ma'am, we need to know what country you're a citizen of.
GILLES BISSONNETTE, LEGAL DIRECTOR, ACLU OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: Hundreds, if not thousands of individuals are being stopped, detained, seized, and interrogated without any reasonable suspicion, without any probable cause that a crime has been committed. And that's really not how our Constitution works.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have anybody in the trunk?
SAVIDGE: The American Civil Liberties Union calls the checkpoint illegal and blames the Trump zero tolerance policy. And you don't have to live near a border to run into a checkpoint. By
law, border agents can work up to 100 miles from the entire perimeter of the country.
BISSONNETTE: Two-thirds of individuals living in the United States actually fall within this 100-mile region.
DENNIS HARMON, HOULTON SECTOR DIVISION CHIEF, U.S. BORDER PATROL: It gives a chance to see what's going on in our case, what's going on in our area.
SAVIDGE: Sector Chief Dennis Harmon says the checkpoints aren't random, but based on intelligence. He sees the questioning and detention of Americans as a minor inconvenience.
HARMON: It's no more of a stop or inconvenience than you have at a traffic light.
SAVIDGE (on camera): A traffic light doesn't query me, though, as to what I'm doing or why.
HARMON: True. But we're not asking what you're doing or why. We're asking a simple question, are you a citizen of the United States, or what country are you a citizen or national?
SAVIDGE: But you were delaying my moving forward until I give you some response?
HARMON: Which the courts have affirmed that we're allowed to do.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): The checkpoint in Maine did apprehend an undocumented immigrant, but Harmon couldn't say how many Americans had to be stopped and questioned to make that happen.
Meanwhile, in neighboring New Hampshire, Justin Summers was eventually released and says he'd do it all again. After all, he lives in a state whose motto is "live free or die".
SUMMERS: And I don't want to be a nation of checkpoints. I don't want to be a nation where you have to prove that you have the right to be where you are doing your daily activities.
SAVIDGE: The U.S. Border Patrol up here says, for now, the checkpoints are going to continue. The ACLU has some advice if you run across one. As an American, you don't have to give an answer, but if you don't answer, be aware you'll likely be detained. And even though the law says you can only be detained briefly -- well, your idea of briefly and the border patrol's idea of briefly could be very different -- Erin.
BURNETT: Interesting point, Marty, as you say that is subjective.
And next, 13 people trapped in a flooded cave nine days have been found alive. These are 11-year-old boys that you're looking at. What will it take, though, to get them out safely?
[19:57:46] BURNETT: New tonight, alive -- 12 boys found alive in a cave. They were hiking with their soccer coach there, and they were missing for nine days. This is the moment rescuers found the 11-year- old boy, some of them up to 16, most of them 11.
It was pitch-black cave. They'd been trapped there amidst filthy rising waters, hope against hope. And right now, they have been found. Now dive teams, U.S. Navy SEALs and Thai SEALs are all there, are working around the clock to get them out of the cave safely.
Mark Phillips is there on the scene.
And, Mark, you know, so many people were hoping against hope here, but had started to lose hope, and now, this miraculous finding. How were the boys found?
MARK PHILLIPS, CNN PHOTOJOURNALIST: It's an amazing story. Basically at 9:38 local time last night, British divers with four Thai navy SEALs entered the cave and found the boys at far, far end of this cave chain called Pattaya Beach cave.
When they found the boy, the boys, you saw the video. The boys were talking back. They were coherent. They're in good spirits.
Now, the question is, how do you bring the boys out? The water is still rising up. It hasn't moved. They've been desperately trying to drain these caves for the last four days. At one stage, they're pumping out 1.6 million liters of water an hour, and it still has made little difference.
We are in the monsoon season at the moment, and there is expected heavy rain and forecast. So, if the rain doesn't -- if the water doesn't recede, then they have to teach the boys to scuba dive which could take a bit while to get them out of the cave -- Erin.
BURNETT: Oh my gosh! Are they able to get food in a meantime? I mean, obviously, teaching them to scuba dive, you're talking day, weeks to get them out.
PHILLIPS: Yes. Well, they'd actually had a contingency plan of storing about four months of food in there. They gave them a thing called power gels when they saw them and water, just to get the boys going again.
Last night, after the British guys pulled out, more -- four more Navy SEALs went in with a doctor and a nurse to check out the boys and see how good they are. So, they'll are to ascertain whether they have the strength to do the journey out. That's why they want the water to actually go down so they can physically carry the boys out -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Mark, thank you very much.
And thanks to all of you for joining us. Anderson is next.