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CNN Live Event/Special
Anger As Trump Says Immigrants Poison Blood Of U.S.; Biden Makes False Claims About Debt, Deficit, Economy; Clinton Says, Trump Cult Members Need Deprogramming; Abby Phillip Discusses Allegation Of Trump Sharing Government Secrets While In Office With Australian Billionaire Anthony Pratt; Donald Trump Endorses Jim Jordan For House Speaker Job; Chicago City Officials Propose To Convert A Local Field House Into A Shelter For About 200 Migrants; ITV Presenter Holly Willoughby Taken Off The Air After Being Informed Of A Kidnap And Murder Plot. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired October 06, 2023 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR: In Adolf Hitler's manifesto, he wrote, all the great civilizations of the past became decadent because the originally creative race died out as a result of contamination of the blood. He also links the poison which has invaded the national blood to, quote, an influx of foreign blood.
The blood reference is also reminiscent of the chants by white supremacists in Charlottesville in 2017. And tonight, Donald Trump is now under fire for similar language about immigrants.
Good evening. I'm Abby Phillip. And here is what the former president and current Republican frontrunner just said about immigrants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: We know they're terrorists. Nobody has ever seen anything like we're witnessing right now. It is a very sad thing for our country. It's poisoning the blood of our country. It's so bad. And people are coming in with disease, people are coming in with every possible thing that you could have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: Now, we don't know what really inspired Trump to use that language or what was even in his head, but this episode comes as Trump's rhetoric, just generally, has become noticeably and objectively more violent in recent weeks.
After one of his indictments, he warned, quote, if you go after me, I'm coming after you. Trump accused the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, of treason and he suggested he deserved to be executed. In his retirement speech, Milley indirectly responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEN. MARK MILLEY, FORMER CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: We don't take an oath to a wannabe dictator. We don't take an oath to an individual. We take an oath to the Constitution, and we take an oath to the idea that is America, and we're willing to die to protect it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: Now, as crime has surged in many American cities, Trump recently endorsed extrajudicial killings of shoplifters in front of a crowd of fawning supporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Very simply, if you rob a store, you can fully expect to be shot as you are leaving that store, shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: Also during a recent rally, he mocked former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband after he was violently attacked with a hammer inside of their home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I will stand up to crazy Nancy Pelosi, who ruined San Francisco. How's her husband doing, by the way, anybody know? And she's against building a wall at our border even though she has a wall around her house, which obviously didn't do a very good job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: And this week, as he turned to the courthouse into a campaign stop during a civil fraud trial, he earned a limited gag order for this rhetoric, for attacking a court employee on social media. And then he turned and escalated the rhetoric against the judge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is a judge that should be disbarred. This is a judge that should be out of office. This is a judge that some people say could be charged criminally for what he's doing. He's interfering with an election, and it's a disgrace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: And there's more. He then attacked the attorney general, prosecuting him in New York, Letitia James, who also responded to him this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have a racist attorney general who's a horror show.
This is a disgrace, and you ought to go after this attorney general because she's turning off everybody from coming in. LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: Trump's comments were offensive, they were baseless, they were void of any facts nor any evidence. What they were, were comments that unfortunately fomented violence, comments that I would describe as race-baiting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: Now, it's worth noting many of these officials have increased security because of this kind of rhetoric. And during a perilous time for public servants, just this week, in a separate incident, a man showed up in the Wisconsin capitol looking for the governor. He was armed with a loaded handgun.
He was arrested, but then later, he left on bail. Hours after that, he showed up at the Capitol again. This time, he was armed with a baton and a loaded assault-style rifle.
There's a lot to discuss about all of this with journalist and former Fox Anchor Geraldo Rivera. Geraldo, thanks for being with us.
GERALDO RIVERA, FORMER FOX NEWS HOST: Hi, Abby, thank you.
PHILLIP: You've known Trump, obviously, for a really long time. What is your reaction to his use of this phrase, that, as we laid out, has a really dark, disturbing history?
RIVERA: I think it's vile. I think it's disgusting. It's very disappointing. To sink to that level, it's, for me, a personal embarrassment that we were friends for so long. This language is racist. It is really disgusting.
And, you know, some things cannot abide -- we cannot abide certain things. He has crossed the line. I beseech his followers to listen to what he said about poisoned blood. Who else used that kind of language, that kind of poisonous rhetoric? It was the Nazis. And I hate to use Nazi or Hitler references, but it is impossible to miss the obvious parallels.
Poisoned blood, it was a direct reference -- he made a direct reference that the migrants, the immigrants, mostly Latinos now, may I say, are poisoning, polluting the blood of real Americans. It is intolerable. I mean, it is absolutely beyond the pale.
PHILLIP: Look, I mean, it is amazing that after how he started his campaign, really, with attacks on immigrants, it continues to go this far.
A Trump spokesperson said this in a statement that this is normal, a normal phrase that is used in everyday life, in books, television, movies and in news articles. For anyone who thinks that it's racist or xenophobic is living in an alternate reality consumed with nonsensical outrage.
I just -- I mean, I don't know what you make of that response and whether you think people will buy it, but the idea that poisoning the blood is a phrase that is normal, that most people say, it just doesn't pass a commonsense test.
RIVERA: Excuse me, I apologize to you and your audience, but I have to say that the spokesman's excuse was absolutely bullshit. Really, it was -- it is lowdown and dirty. Give me a break, you know, normal, everyday discourse? Who talks about poisoned blood? Who talks about that? Who says that an immigrant is poisoning -- it is beyond. It really is beyond the beyond. It's not -- this is not appropriate discourse. This is not fair play. This is awful, just awful.
PHILLIP: I want to play for you what Republican Presidential Candidate Chris Christie had to say about this earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All that type of rhetoric, Jake, is beneath the office that he held and that he wishes to hold again. We need a president who shares our values. We need a president who is not going to speak that way. This projects our image all around the world. And it's an awful image to project.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: Christie is really the exception here.
RIVERA: He's absolutely right.
PHILLIP: Yes. My question to you is, what is going to change the pattern that we really see among Republicans, which is that they just remain silent when these things happen?
RIVERA: There's two things at play here. One is the -- you know, the gutter mentality of the overwhelmingly leading candidate for the Republican nomination. There're three things. The other thing is how many Republicans are making themselves blind to the events leading up to January 6th. And then, thirdly, you have a person who is saying things that is so divisive, violently divisive, something that really cannot abide. Where are we going with this? Where are we headed?
PHILLIP: It is a good question.
RIVERA: The problem is this.
RIVERA: The New York Times an hour ago reported that there were 2 million arrests on the southern border this year so far. That would make that crew, these migrants -- and I don't fault them for trying to come. They're seeking the American dream.
It would make them the fifth largest city in America after New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston. Then the fifth would be the 2 million undocumented illegal immigrants that have been arrested, not to mention how many are getaways.
This is not a situation that we can sustain. This is -- the fact that President Biden has reversed himself on building the border wall is stark evidence of the fact that compassion is not policy, that President Biden has failed to protect the southern border and Americans can no longer deny it. The drone footage is unambiguous, the statistics undeniable. It is out of control.
I am totally pro-immigrant. I've written two books about pro-Hispanic immigration. I am confident that the American economy is vibrant enough to eventually absorb migrants. But it can't be the entire population of Latin America. Everybody in the world wants to live in America, Abby. We know that.
PHILLIP: I understand. Yes, I understand certainly that this is, as we've covered on this show, a huge problem. But I want to ask you just really quickly before you go. This rhetoric from Trump, the concern among people who actually worked for him previously is that if he gets a second term, not only will the rhetoric be more extreme, but the policies will be more extreme. Do they have good reason to believe that?
RIVERA: Yes. Words matter. I get flamboyant rhetoric. You know, I am accused of using it myself from time to time. But when you are -- your very message is infected with the most -- the worst ghosts of American history. You know, what you're saying -- words count.
At some point you have to believe that President Trump means what he says when he says he's going to shoot shoplifters, shoot to kill shoplifters. You have to, at some point, believe. And then you also have to wonder, what is it about that rhetoric that is so attractive, appealing, to Trump supporters. It is something about --
PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, I think that is the underlying question. The rhetoric is being spoken because he thinks it has an audience. And if you listen to that room among the California GOP and some of the clips that we played, they were absolutely into all of it, all of it. And I think, fundamentally, that's what we're talking about here.
Geraldo, good to see you. Thanks for joining us tonight.
RIVERA: You do too, Abby, thank you. Thanks very much.
PHILLIP: And up next, speaking of backlash, Hillary Clinton facing some of her own after the comments she made to comments that she made to CNN about MAGA conservatives needing to be deprogrammed.
Plus, Daniel Dale is here. He has a fact check on several false claims by President Biden about the economy today.
And a Fox debate between House speaker candidates suddenly blows up. We'll tell you why.
[22:15:00] PHILLIP: A fact check tonight on President Biden as he took a victory lap after the economy added a huge number, 336,000 jobs, in September.
But during his speech, Biden also bragged about cutting the federal debt, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: I was able to cut the federal debt by $1.7 trillion over the first two years. Remember when we were talking about. It was 50 corporations that made $40 billion, weren't paying a penny in taxes. Well, guess what, we made them pay 30 percent -- 15 percent in taxes, 15 percent, nowhere near what they should pay. And guess what? We're able to pay for everything, and we end up with an actual surplus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: That's a lot of numbers. But how much of it is actually true?
I want to bring in CNN Senior Reporter Daniel Dale. Daniel, what he just said there, how much of it actually lines up with the facts here?
DANIEL DALE, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: That was some rapid-fire wrongness from the president. I counted -- in those brief comments, I counted two false claims and --
PHILLIP: It went very quickly.
DALE: It did, two false claims and one, I think we can generously call misleading. So, let's run for it.
Firstly, I cut the federal debt by $1.7 trillion. President Biden has not cut the debt. It has increased by more than $5 trillion since he took office. So, what actually declined? Well, that is the annual budget deficit. Not the debt, did decline by $1.7 trillion.
People might say, well, okay, debt deficit, he mixed it up. He has done this over and over and over again to the point the White House has started correcting, Abby, the official transcript, crossing out debt and putting in deficit. That's number one.
Number two, he credited for this decline in the deficit in 2021 and 2022. He credited a new corporate 15 percent minimum tax on certain large profitable corporations. That did not take effect until 2023. So, that could not possibly have been responsible for the deficit declining.
Why did the deficit decline? Well, experts say it's overwhelmingly not because of anything President Biden did but because of scheduled expiration of emergency pandemic spending from 2020. So, that's two.
And the third I'll generously misleading is this claim that we ended up with a surplus. President Biden has not run a budget surplus. We've not had a budget surplus since the year 2001. A White House official told me what he's talking about the law, the Inflation Reduction Act that contains this new corporate minimum tax, is supposed to contribute by about $200 billion to reducing deficits over the next decades, but that's not really how people use the word surplus.
PHILLIP: No, that is quite the explanation.
DALE: So- yes. So, two false and one, okay, maybe he meant something else, we'll call it misleading, but, nonetheless, a lot of wrongness.
PHILLIP: Yes. He also talked about record unemployment. What did he say?
DALE: So, basically, what he did was boast about setting record lows for unemployment for various demographic groups but he did not explain that those groups have no -- no longer have records. First, let's listen to what he actually said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: We've achieved a 70-year low in unemployment rate for women, record lows in unemployment for African-American and Hispanic workers and people with disabilities, folks who have been left behind in previous recoveries and left behind for too long.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DALE: So, he certainly left open the impression, Abby, that black, Hispanic people, people with disabilities all currently are at record lows for unemployment rate. That is not the case. I have the numbers in front of me. So, the September 2023 African-American unemployment rate, 5.7 percent, pretty low by historical standards.
The record low was 4.7 percent, in April, earlier in this term, but it was lower than it is now. It got down to 5.3 percent, so lower than 5.7, during the Trump administration. So, that 5.7, it is not a record, same for Hispanic people. The current rate, September 2023, is 4.6 percent. Record low under Joe Biden 3.9 percent. But it got lower than the current 4.6. It go to 4 under President Trump.
So, yes, there were records set earlier in the Biden administration. The rates have currently gone up. So, at the least, I think the president could be more precise that he's boasting about things that are no longer currently true.
PHILLIP: Yes. And as you pointed out, sometimes the adlibs, on the paper it's accurate, but the president is saying things that are not true.
DALE: Yes. So, I think this one, this creative use of old records, I think that was in his script. The first comments we heard where he boasted about reducing the debt and so on, I'm pretty sure he adlibbed that, and, again, that was wronger than this one.
PHILLIP: That's important to know. Daniel, what would we do without you? Thank you.
DALE: Thanks, Abby.
PHILLIP: And last night on this show, you first saw the clip of Christiane Amanpour's interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in which Clinton says that MAGA extremists are going to need formal deprogramming. And since then, it's been a whirlwind of reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Sadly, so many of those extremists, those MAGA extremists, take their marching orders from Donald Trump, who has no credibility left by any measure. He's only in it for himself. He's now defending himself in civil actions and criminal actions. And when do they break with him? You know, because at some point, you know, maybe there needs to be a formal deprogramming of the cult members.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: I want to bring in Brian Fallon, former press secretary for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, along with CNN Political Commentator Alice Stewart, Republican strategist as well.
Alice, let me start with you. What was your reaction initially to hearing that? ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first off, I agree
with a lot of what she said about Donald Trump. Look, he's in this for himself, he appeals to the lower psyche of some people, he has skirted with breaking the law on many occasions, and he has very little credibility. She's right about much of that.
And I get she's frustrated that she lost so him in 2016. But for her to go after his supporters, more than 70 million Americans in this country, who are patriotic Americans who look to Donald Trump as someone who is going to fight for them and secure the border and work to limit government and help the economy, to call them members of a cult who need to be deprogrammed, that's really petty. It's a petty thing to say and to go after his supporters is not right.
And this is just 2.0 of what she said in 2016, saying that his supporters were part of a basket of deplorables. It's just -- it's not a smart move on her part and it's inaccurate to say people that are looking to him for all the right reasons, to call them such names and say they need to be deprogrammed. Where is this Democrat version of when they go low, we go high?
PHILLIP: I mean, where is it, Brian?
BRIAN FALLON, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY FOR HILLARY CLINTON'S 2016 CAMPAIGN: Well, the deplorables comment in 2016 was a hit for the Trump campaign. And so I think they're trying to play the hits again by trying to --
PHILLIP: You vividly recall that. FALLON: Oh, yes, I remember exactly where I was when I got the call. I was actually at a concert with John Palmeri. It was an awful night that I can tell you about after.
But I don't actually think she was talking about supporters or voters, in this case. If you look at the full clip, Christiane asked her, is there a possibility that Hakeem Jeffries and the Democrats could maybe forge a coalition-style government with moderate Republicans in the Republican caucus and find a consensus choice for speaker? And she said, well, there are some sane members of the Republican conference on Capitol Hill, but I think that they're spooked and they're afraid of some of the lawmakers that are in league with Donald Trump.
And we can't deny that that element does exist in the Republican conference. They're the ones that brought us to brink of near default on the debt, almost brought to us to the brink of shutdown. They're the ones that drove Kevin McCarthy out of office. And they're the ones that, up until two days ago before Donald Trump endorsed Jim Jordan, were calling for Donald Trump to be the speaker.
So, this element she's calling out exists on Capitol Hill, and I don't think her rhetoric in talking about those lawmakers is any different than what you might hear from a Chris Christie, a Mitt Romney or an Adam Kinzinger.
PHILLIP: When somebody like a Ron DeSantis says that Democrats suffer from a woke mind virus, I mean, is that language at this level? I mean, I guess I'm trying to just say, not to excuse anything, but people seem to really are losing it over these comments from Hillary Clinton but it's everywhere in our rhetoric.
STEWART: Yes. The tone and tenor of politics has really taken a dramatic turn. And I'll acknowledge, Donald Trump is a big part of it. But the reality is, when you're saying that millions of Americans are members of a cult and need to have their brains rewired because they support someone for -- again, for all the right reasons, that's just not right.
And it's certainly inappropriate.
And, look, if she wants to attack Donald Trump because she looks at him, and as she said in this interview, she does believe he will be the nominee for the Republican Party, go after him. Don't go after people in Middle America.
Look, I lived in Arkansas for many years, in Middle America. She knows what Middle America and flyover country is like. She could not have gotten out of there fast enough to move to New York and run for Senate and to live the life she lives. If she saw what people in flyover country, what their lives are like and why they support Donald Trump, she certainly wouldn't say that.
PHILLIP: What was the takeaway from deplorables for Secretary Clinton? FALLON: Well, I think that the issue was people cast those comments as talking about a swath of the electorate, when I think she was trying to talk about a movement that is standing by Donald Trump despite everything he did. And, remember, Trump himself in 2016 that said, I can shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and my supporters will still be with me.
PHILLIP: Does she feel justified? Does she feel vindicated in her description back then? I mean, is that kind what was we're seeing?
FALLON: Oh, I think it was a poor choice of words obviously in 2016. And that was a gift to the Republicans that she would take back, if she could. But I think the larger phenomenon that she was making an observation about is undeniable.
You just led the show with a whole segment about the violent rhetoric from Donald Trump, about language that is borrowed from Mein Kampf. And your guest, Geraldo Rivera, pled with his supporters to please abandon him in the wake of this. Like we should just be honest about the fact that there is a 40 percent plurality of the Republican Party that seems to support him no matter what, and that's what's powering him in this Republican primary.
PHILLIP: And, Alice, we do have to go, but just to point out, when you see people like Cassidy Hutchinson emerge from Trump world and she's almost like a different person, you have to ask the question, what's going on there? When people leave the Trump orbit, they suddenly see the whole world in different eyes. And I think maybe that is also part of what she's referring to there.
You probably want to respond, but we have to get going. But, Alice and Brian, thank you both very much, interesting conversation.
Up next for us, one of the rear admirals who commanded the U.S. submarine fleet responds to the accusation that Donald Trump shared those secrets with a foreign billionaire. He joins me live.
Plus, one part of Chicago is now livid as a youth football team's practice facility will apparently be used to house migrants. I'll speak to a member of that team, next.
PHILLIP: Tonight, there's more fallout over the report that former President Trump shared nuclear secrets about American submarines with someone he admired, Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt. CNN has now confirmed that the Mar-a-Lago member has been questioned by the special counsel in connection with the classified documents probe. Trump spoke publicly about his admiration for Pratt while still in office in 2019.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: A lot of people don't tell you about Anthony, but I'll tell you about Anthony. He is the most successful man in Australia. He's a great man, and he's my friend, and I appreciate it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: But in a statement on Truth Social, Trump calls the report "False and ridiculous, other than the facts that I will often state that we make the best submarines and military equipment anywhere in the world. With that being said, I will always promote the greatness of America and its military equipment. The alternative would be for allies and others to buy from Russia, China, or elsewhere."
And joining me now is retired Navy Rear Admiral Ken Perry. He served as the Captain of a nuclear missile submarine and Commander of the Navy's largest submarine group. Admiral, just first off, I mean, sharing with an Australian billionaire who joins his social club and gets promoted when the President is in office about -- allegedly the number of warheads on these submarines, details about where they're positioned, what was your reaction to that?
KEN PERRY, RETIRED REAR ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY: Well, my reaction was U.S. submarine force is a strategic advantage for the country. We've got submarines that are deployed and on patrol tonight around the world. It's a strategic advantage for the country.
We rely on the supremely well-built ships, the fantastic crews to get where they need to go, to operate and do what they need to do, and do that with the confidence that they're going to have the best equipment, the best ships, the best trained crews. And they need to do that by relying on the stealth, the mobility, the power and firepower of the subs.
Anything that compromises that kind of puts those submarines at risk. So, I don't have any comments about any particular conversations that were had. I just want to say that we rely on the submarine force.
PHILLIP: Do you think that disclosure of that information could put American soldiers and sailors at risk?
PERRY: Yeah, it could. That's why we very carefully guard the operational details of what we do in submarines. The submarine force is very meticulous about that. The crews are supremely well-trained. They guard the operational details, where we go, what we do when we're there. So, yeah, we want to keep those details in very strict confidence.
PHILLIP: So, according to ABC News, this Australian billionaire, Mr. Pratt, shared this information then after hearing from Trump with about 45 people, just a huge number. Just putting yourself in that situation, if you had done that, what would have been the consequences?
PERRY: I didn't do that. And our force doesn't do that. So again, I'm not able to comment on any particular conversations or who might have divulged anything. What I could say is that those details and classified material in general, but submarine operations in particular, are very carefully protected. And there's a good reason for that.
PHILLIP: How valuable is information about our submarine fleet to our adversaries?
PERRY: Yeah, I expect it's very valuable. It's -- we have a strategic advantage with our submarine force. It remains the one area where we have a real advantage against the strategic competition.
We say China and Russia, our ability to get where we need to go with our submarines, whether those are independent attack submarines on deployment, forward deployment, or our ballistic missile submarines, which are the primary deterrent force in our nuclear arsenal. We rely on their capabilities and the terrific capabilities of the crews to get those missions done.
PHILLIP: Absolutely. Admiral Ken Perry, thank you so much for joining us.
PERRY: Thank you, Abby.
PHILLIP: And up next for us, new reporting on CNN, former President Trump's role in the House Speaker's race and how he wants the gavel holder to be sufficiently loyal to him. Plus, anger from a youth football team in Chicago over the city's plans to turn a practice facility into a migrant shelter.
PHILLIP: As the U.S. House remains without a Speaker of the House, new reporting tonight about Donald Trump's decision to endorse Jim Jordan for the job. We're told that he never seriously considered himself for the speakership and that what he really wanted was a loyalist in that spot.
It comes ahead of next week's election as top candidates Jordan and Steve Scalise make the rounds with their colleagues, but today they decided to cancel a Fox News forum that was scheduled for Monday after widespread Republican outcry.
I want to bring in former South Carolina Republican, Congressman Mark Sanford. He's also a former governor of the state of South Carolina. Governor Sanford, look, Trump wanting a loyalist in the role is probably not a surprise to you. But given that he's had, I think, a historically pretty good relationship with Steve Scalise, does it surprise you that he chose Jim Jordan over Scalise in this case?
MARK SANFORD (R), FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: Not really, because you know with Trump, it's all about loyalty and there are different forms of loyalty. You can have, you know, pleasant affiliation, which I think is what he had with Scalise. But you know, Jim Jordan was his firebrand.
I mean, Jim Jordan was head of the Freedom Caucus and was on direct phone line when Trump was president wherein, I mean, I was there on a speaker phone. They would begin to, you know, talk about, oh, we just had a conversation with President Trump and he and Mark Meadows would be absolutely giddy about that. So, I think that you know, Jordan is viewed as a supreme loyalist and believe me if there's anything that Trump wants, he wants supreme loyalty.
PHILLIP: The other interesting thing that happened today is that Jordan and Scalise -- they were supposed to show up at this forum on Fox on Monday night until there was a lot of backlash. First of all, the idea of a forum is incredibly unusual for the speaker race. Why do you think that they ultimately backed out of it?
SANFORD: Because it was a dumb idea. I mean, a really, really dumb one. I mean, at the end of the day, you know, I don't know the best analogy, you know, corporate board meeting, a family meeting with your kids.
They're probably things that you're going to air out in the family meeting around the kitchen table that you know, you don't really want to discuss with the neighbors because you know, you got this teenage son who's acting up a bit and this teenage daughter who's a little bit out of line over here.
But you know, at the end of the day, you're a cohesive family. And when you walk out of the house together, you're the Jones family and there's no backing down. So, I just think that the nature of the Speaker's race is an entirely internal event. It is about the Republican caucus, about the Republican family, as it relates to members of Congress.
And it's best to be ironing out those differences inside as opposed to, you know, talking about, well, I had to trade off these votes in to Ukraine. I had to trade off these votes about killing off, you know, this particular measure or dealing with funding or no shutdown later on this fall. Those are things that happen, but they're probably not going to be aired in the public realm until you've decided what are we doing and how are we doing it.
PHILLIP: Yeah, it's a lot of dirty laundry to put out there. Just turning to Jim Jordan for a second here, you know, when you were in Congress, House Speaker, then House Speaker John Boehner, he had to battle the right wing of his party, too.
And at that time, Boehner called Jordan a legislative terrorist. So, the idea now that Jim Jordan is in the running, a competitive running at that for the speakership, that's an interesting turn of events.
SANFORD: Well, not really. You know, I mean, think about this. Boehner, who became the ultimate figure of establishment, ultimately it was a firebrand early on in his career and that seems to be the way that people ascend in D.C.
They start as a firebrand and Mr. Smith goes to Washington. Next thing you know, they're cutting legislative deals left and right as they climb through the ranks. So, I don't know that it's all that unusual. I would say that Jim Jordan's probably mellowed a bit, you know, from when he came into where he is now. But what's interesting to say is --
PHILLIP: Do you -- you raise an interesting point. You raise an interesting point.
SANFORD: I think the Trump endorsement hurt him. Because at the end of the day, he already had the Firebrand Caucus. Now, all of a sudden you're making, you know, Republican moderates in New York, the 11 of them, nervous about oh my goodness, I've got to defend this in my district, that we have a speaker who's been endorsed by Trump who's not popular in my district.
So, I think it complicates things actually for Jordan, although that's probably not the prevailing view, but I interrupted you. I'm sorry.
PHILLIP: Yeah, no, I interrupted you. I mean, you made me wonder, as you said that. Do you think that Jim Jordan has the capacity to become a deal maker who could work with the other side, somebody who's not viewed as polarizing as he has been in the past?
SANFORD: Well, perception is reality in politics. So, how you're viewed is how you are in Washington, all too many cases, and certainly as it relates to a vote as close as the speakership vote is. So, you know, maybe, maybe not, I don't know. I do know that he's much more of a firebrand than Scalise.
I do know that Scalise is much more conciliatory in terms of personal style. And that's probably going to be a consideration in this race, given what we just went through with the Gaetz fiasco and the gang of eight and how they sort of burned up the House on the Republican side.
PHILLIP: Yeah. All right, well, we will find out in a few days. Actually, hopefully, if this doesn't take any longer than that. Governor Mark Sanford, thank you so much.
SANFORD: Yes, Ma'am.
PHILLIP: And up next, Chicago is struggling to handle a migrant surge. And now a youth football team is speaking out against city plans to convert a local fieldhouse into a shelter. Plus, the foiled murder plot against one of Britain's most well-known TV personalities.
PHILLIP: The crisis along the border is well-documented and it's getting worse. But in many of the nation's largest cities, this influx of migrants is playing out in the streets and it's hitting an inflection point for many residents. In one example, in Chicago, city officials are proposing to convert a local field house into a shelter for about 200 migrants. But some people in the community are pushing back on this move.
One alderman saying, quote, "This proposal disregards the issues of public safety that are of great neighborhood concern and that our police department has been working tirelessly to turn around. And it takes away valuable neighborhood resources from a community that in part had been disinvested in for decades."
Residents are also protesting the move this week with some claiming that it threatens to leave the community's youth football league, the Windy City Dolphins, displaced and in the dark. CNN has reached out to the Chicago Mayor's Office for comment but has yet to receive a response.
I do want to bring in now Gerald Harris, the founder and president of the Windy City Dolphins Youth Football League. Gerald, thank you for being here. What is your reaction to this plan to use the park facility to house migrants, and how would it affect your team?
GERALD HARRIS, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, WINDY CITY DOLPHINS YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE: I'd have to say anger, feel disrespected. No one came to us at all and said they were going to take our community park away from us by dispersing a lot of foreign people who -- we really don't have a problem with because we've shared some of those experiences ourselves, but it takes away from my children who we started a program 29 years ago and been able to get them to many high schools, some of the most prominent high schools here in Chicago.
And after that, we have a mission of teaching accountability, discipline, responsibility, teamwork. We want to reveal or teach character. That helps you to be a prominent adult. And they can't get it away from us.
PHILLIP: There are, I think you believe, some alternatives here. Why is it that you think officials have not used those alternatives rather than doing what they seem to be determined to do right now with the field facility?
HARRIS: I'm really confused. We don't know why the mayor, the alderman, has not decided to. We have many vacant buildings, and that haven't been vacant that long. That means the heating, the plumbing, and all of that is available for them. And I think it's just real dangerous when you put some outsiders who come from out of the country with a community that doesn't speak the same language. I create some concern where it can be problems.
They've taken away from our resources. My children are going to prominent schools, as I say it. And then 60 percent of them go to college, division one, two, and three, without even paying or only paying 30 percent.
Now they're afraid, my parents are afraid that they don't know these people. And for myself, I understand what poverty comes, some crime. I mean, as a black American and American, and having been somewhat oppressive over the years, we ourselves create crime. So, we understand what they're coming from. We would love for them to
have a place, but not in a community where seniors, 65 percent are seniors. We're a household community. Ninety percent of the buildings are houses.
So, we are 65 percent. So, they're afraid now. They can't walk across and around the track on the field. They're not going to be coming out their porch. The park district has for us right now seven different programs for seniors. Those who didn't come out in the past, who felt lonely, who felt despair, not many have friends for six different streets.
PHILLIP: Right. Well, Gerald Harris, we appreciate you sharing that with us and wish you the best of luck as this goes forward. Thank you.
HARRIS: Thank you very much. Have a wonderful evening.
PHILLIP: And up next, one of Britain's top TV personalities is now the target of an alleged kidnap and murder plot and an arrest has now been made.
PHILLIP: Tonight, a frightening headline out of London. Reports say that one of Britain's most popular morning television personalities was the target of a kidnap and murder plot. Holly Willoughby has been absent from her anchor chair since yesterday morning and she was reportedly taken off the air after being informed of the plot. Now, British police say that a man is under arrest and he's facing a series of charges now.
And that's it for me in CNN PRIMETIME. "CNN TONIGHT" with Laura Coates is starting right now. Hey, Laura.
LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, good -- oh good to see you. It's Friday --
COATES: -- and let me tell you, we're about to talk about what a week it's been, Abby Phillip, let me tell you.
COATES: Get your rest, come back.
PHILLIP: Have a great show.
COATES: Buckle up, thank you so much.