tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN July 3, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
9:00 p.m. on condition. news continues. let's turn is over to laura coats and "cnn tonight." >> this is "cnn tonight" i'm lawyer coats sitting in for don lemon. on this fourth of july eve as we all prepare to celebrate the birth of america, all of washington is scrambling to prepare for event the president promises to be the show of a lifetime. designed to satisfy an audience of one. military fly overs being readied. white house aids working on the president's speech delivered from the lincoln memorial. there are rumblings tonight things may not turn out the way the president wants. a source saying military chiefs fear the whole thing will amount to a campaign event. the armed forces front and
center. the "washington post" is reporting there are worries that the crowd may not meet the president's expectation. and we all know what happens when a crowd doesn't meet the president's expectations. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration period. >> well, more on that in a moment. that comes as the president is offering pretty much the harshest defense imaginable for his policy that puts migrants, many of them children, in detention in deplorable conditions. the president tweeting quote just tell them not to come. insisting many of those migrants are living far better now. there are new heartbreaking images of just how bad conditions are in those detention centers. drawings made by three children. ages ten and eleven. after they were released by cbp. drawings that show children locked awa. under guard, lying on the floor,
under the foil blankets we have seen in the photographs. though, they almost look ghostly now. another drawing for all the world like a prison cell. and this one. showing sad looking children behind bars not interanderson coopering -- interacting with armed guards outside. when a child draws this, that child felt like he or she was in jail. i said it before. can anybody really look at pictures like those and say this is the way we want to treat people in america? we have more to come on all of that. and another example of just how deep the dysfunction goes, the administration is being forced to do a 180. all because of a tweet from the president insisting he's
absolutely moving forward with the plan to put a citizen ship question on the 2020 census. even though the forms are already being printed without the question. and the stream court last week -- supreme court rejected the rational. for adding that question. joining me now to discuss. a perfect panel for this discussion. we already know how this conversation went with the judge. we have a transcript of it. if i'm clear about it, one attorney admitting today saying quote the tweet this morning was the first i had heard of the president's position on this tissu issue. just like the plaintiffs and your honor. what kind of position now are the doj lawyers in? >> we're both doj lawyers.
we have had that feeling. once in a while of being out on a limb. we have not have the sensation of the president of the united states sawing it off while we were on it. this is a series oof embarrassment for the administration and the department of justice. the most important things the department of justice has is credibility and independence. the reasons were contrived. lawyer talk for you lied. >> i call bs. >> the supreme court called bs on the administration and they have a 180. >> we know as doj lawyers we speak on behalf as well as the administration. a judge poinlts out all you have is your credibility. they said to the u.s. the judge said to the attorneys if you were facebook and an attorney for facebook told me one thing and then i read a press release from mark zuckerberg telling me
something else, i would be demanding mark zuckerberg appear with you next time. i don't think you speak for your client anymore. is this under mining the credibility of the doj in front of the court? >> it's a great point by the judge. it does under mine the credibility. doj has a credibility problem already. the supreme court said we don't believe your reasoning. but if you can come back administration and give us a legit reason we'll reconsider. it's hard to do that. once a child lies to you, and comes back the second time. why believe them the second time? if you had a good reason the first time you would be set. >> i want to bring you in here. in rejecting the argument. they called it contrived. justice roberts wrote genuine justifications, reasoning that
can be scrutinized. that's what he wanted to hear. if the court wasn't buying it before, what's it going to take to convince the justices that now they're actually being truthful? >> their credibility is just shot in the case. not just for the fact that the justice department and the president are not on the same page. what's the argument they made repeatedly about why this had to be settled so quickly is the census had to be published by the first of the month, right? they made that case as it went through the court. now they're saying okay, that deadline was not a real deadline. so you know this better than i do. the credibility is everything before a federal court. and it has been shot. i feel like all of us who are asked to comment and interpret president trump can relate to
department of justice attorney josh gardener tonight who said i just saw these tweets and i really don't know what's going on. i'm trying to figure it out. that's what he said to the judge. >> can you imagine, first of all i can't comprehend going into a courtroom and having just last week a couple days ago saying this is the final decision. we'll print it without it. we decided it. and saying to the judge actually there's a tweet this morning? my bad. let me change the actual justification. it was more than just about saying the printing had to go to a deadline. they were arguing that the reason they had to have it on there was because it was the only way to ensure you can pursue and prosecute vote rights infractions in the country. not the case. house over sight chairman tweeted out the supreme court ruled that the trump administration effort to add the
citizen ship question was based on a pretext that violated the law. the administration can't go back in time and sclam it had some other valid and genuine reason to add the citizen ship question. after secretary ross testified under oath that he added it solely to enforce the voting rights act. is this really about simply trying to under count communities of color? >> yes. by all account that's what their goal is. a goal really before the administration ever even was sworn into office. you had ross there trying to concoct a cover story that made this sound like something to do with the voting rights act and suggested it was the doj that wanted to do this. and come to find out this was something that was coming from ross and others outside of the administration with the goal of under counting folks in certain
areas. immigrants. illegal immigrants. as a way of advantaging republican districts. of course the census has to do with designation of representation and representatives in congress. that's what it was about. the memo was found after the case was argued. it revealed what the real goal of this was. you heard the justices there essentially say the cover story was not true. >> of course you wonder, it's about die luting voting strength of a particular party. it maybe about the idea of putting people back into the shadows. also, they have already initially conceded defeat on the question. and there was a reaction from right wing media that was swift. very severe. people called it one of the biggest legal defeats of the trump presidency. is is this the president's knee jerk reaction to save face to a
conservative critique? >> absolutely. that's the folks he listens to. whether it's rush limbaugh. you see him reacting to what was seen as a real defeat. it was. for ross and the doj to come out and say we're giving up and going forward with the census form with the the citizen ship question. i wonder that even if the question doesn't end up on there, all of this conversation around it could do what they want to do which is depress the counting among folks who might be afraid of answering the census question. and you heard that coming up in the back and forth between the lawyers the idea going forward there has to be clarity. saying this is not the citizen ship question is not part of the census. it might end up the president tweet. >> the idea of going forward is
important. what happens next. and of course the trump path to winning in the case seems narrow. is he risking a humiliating -- now what? >> i think we were also you can't eliminate the possibility that this was just a completely off the top of his head, random tweet. that will have absolutely no follow up. right? so the supreme court ruled one way. the justice department consulted with the white house counsel office. that's the way the process would normally work. they had to have gotten some kind of sign off from someone at the white house. unless the administration is more dysfunctional than we imagine. and the department of commerce was going forward with a somewhat coordinated response and trump either just wasn't aware of that. or had given his sign off and
decided i'm going to throw a tweet out contradicting that to cause chaos. >> mission accomplished. in that respect. >> there's no plan. which is what the justice department lawyer suggested when they went before the judge on the conference call. they didn't know what he was talking about. >> we'll stay tuned to the story. your expertise is always appreciated. the fourth of july is supposed to be a patriotic event to bring america together. is the president's plan to empbt going to turn into a display of partisan politics? nto these cri, and we do not leave until normalcy is restored. we'd been working for days on a site in a storm devastated area. a family pulled up. it was a mom and her kids. everything they had had been washed away. the only thing that brought any kind of solace was the ability to hand her a device so she could call her family and let them know that she was okay.
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at the lincoln summer invitation. right now, get 0% apr on all 2019 lincoln vehicles plus no payments for up to 90 days. only at your lincoln dealer. we're just hours away from america celebration of independence day. and washington is in high gear tonight. preparing for an empbt the president who made his name as a showman promises will be the show of the lifetime. cnn is learned that military chiefs are concerned the whole thing could turn into a partisan political event. we have more. >> reporter: armored vehicles rolling into washington tonight as the city prepares for president trump's independence day extravaganza. featuring tanks parked at the lincoln memorial. military fly overs and a vip section for his political allies. they are concerned about the
price tag. trump tweeting the cost of the great salute to america tomorrow will be very little compared to what it is worth. we own the planes. we have the pilots. the airport is right next door. all we need is the fuel. we own the tanks and all. that's not so. the "washington post" reports the national park service will divert $2 million from entrance and fees to cover a fraction of cost. money that is reserved for park improvement. and the administration is refusing to reveal how much this will cost taxpayers over all. trump's claim the equipment is right next door is also misleading. sources tell cnn the aircraft he wants must be brought in from california. kentucky and missouri, and florida. trump is also facing criticism from democrats who say he's turning the holiday into a partisan one. >> instead of addressing something like veteran
homelessness. he's spending it on boosting his ego-with a parade about him and getting tickets to the hands of wealthy donors for the republican party. what waste of money. >> cnn learned that leaders at the pentagon are reluctant to put tanks and vehicles on display. >> the truth is he's politicizing the armed forces when he does it this way. it's not a political event. it supposed to be bring the people of the country together. >> several top military chiefs won't attend the celebration thursday. and are sending deputies instead. >> the president is defending his show of fire power, we're told behind the scenes white house fishes are still scrambling to put the final touches on the event. including handing out tickets and some to the vip section. >> i want to bring in rear admiral and frank of the "new york times." you heard it all in the report, are we still saying happy fourth of july or something else? >> i sat down and said happy
fourth of trump. that's what he's turning this into to. you can go back in time to the administrations before. you can't find an this. it's unheard of. it's not a partisan holiday. not a political celebration in washington. he's turning it into a great parade for his own ego. and bringing out tanks and planes. saying let's show how great america is. our military isn't what makes this country great. our values when we standby them make the country great. our engagement with the world. entrepreneur ship. these things make america great. he's rolling out tanks and jets that's his macho idea. >> when the values are actually on display. we're seeing tanks displayed on the national mall. talking about the president who will have each branch of the military be referenced or you
wrote this wonderful piece on cnn.com. about this. does the president really understand the fourth of july is actually not a military holiday? what kind of position does this put the military in to have them standing at one might be a political event in front of an a political armed forces. >> great question. first of all he doesn't understand the fourth of july is not a military holiday. we have other ones like armed forces day. veterans day and memorial day. this is the day we won independence. and declared. the founding fathers were scrutinized about not having a standing army. they were jealous about not institutionalizing it. it's a misplaced application of the military fire power tomorrow. as for your second question, the chiefs are rightly concerned about the increasing plitization of the military.
they have been trying hard to hold the line in the stay non-partisan and out of the politics. the president keeps pulling them into difficult situations. every time he talks to a military audience he rails against the democrats and talks about taxes and brings up domestic political issues they have no business hearing and no business being a part of. and makes it difficult. he's putting them in a difficult spot tomorrow. what i understand each of the planes flies over he'll bring up the service chief responsible for that and have him with him. wrapping his arms around the military and making it about not just them. but him. that's totally inappropriate. >> break it down for me. why is this so problematic? because it doesn't feel right? or are their guidelines in place that say you can't be at a political rally. a campaign event. what's the crux ocht issue? >> there are strict regulations
and guidelines about partisan activity while you're in uniform. there are violations of the you can held accountable for. if you participate in partisan activity. the president will bill this as a unifying event and non-partisan flt we'll see what the speech is. even if his speech is completely on script. and he doesn't get into attacking democrats or the press. even then, he is still risking the further plitization of the military pulling them into this event. which is clearly really more about his ego and appropriating the popularity of the military for his benefit. >> speaking of ego and one things that's a lightning rod for the president. crowd size. this is the third event of the day in washington. it got the parade earlier in the day. the capitol fourth in the evening. that has a fire works show. 39 years has been there. the president is adding this.
moving the fire works. standing on the lincoln memorial steps. yet, there may not be ticket sales. they have a will the to give away. what's this going to mean? >> this is a prediction that is utterly safe. no matter how big the crowd is, he will say it's two or three times bigger. that's what he does. on the question of ego, he needs to believe the crowd is that big. or convince you. so you see him as large. remember in terps of all of the blurred lines, using moments and context that no other president has or would to prop up your ego. remember the day after his inauguration. he quibbled the crowd size and lied about it. the next day he went to the cia and stood in front of the wall of stars that symbolize people who died in service to the nation. and talked about how often he had been on the cover of time
magazine and whether anyone else had been on the cover that often. that's a moment to stack up next to this one. to understand how for this president there are no boundaries with self-congratulation ts. >> i forgot about that. there's been so many moments -- we thought about this. the president is celebrating the fourth of july there's a growing crisis that deserves attention. on the border. i'll make my case next. kraft. for the win win. dealing with psoriatic arthritis pain was so frustrating. ♪
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wants. american bas teal day. a grand stand in front of the lincoln memorial. delivering an independence day speech before an audience including vips and political donors. armored military vehicles on the street of the nation capitol. and fly overs by military jets and other aircraft. the president tweeting it will be the show of a lifetime. indeed it will be a spectacle. one that pails in comparison to the humanitarian crisis at the southern border. human beings treated like animals because they have the audacity to seek a dignified existence for thepss and their families. the nerve of it all. this is the spectacle i'm talking about. photographs of migrants inside detention centers. crammed into cages. a report calling the situation
urgent. conditions dangerous requiring immediate attention and action. one veteran border patrol agent describes it this way. >> the holding facility the cells, they are what i will say filthy. we have a maintenance cleaning crew. that clean the general area. the hall ways. but i have never seen them cleaning counters, or cleaning toilets in the cells. or cleaning sinks in the cell. sometimes you go in a cell and there's trash everywhere. >> trash everywhere. the spectacle of human beings being treated like garbage.
president trump ignoring the conditions that migrants are living in. tweeting without one empathy. if illegal immigrants are unhappy with the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detention centers, just tell them not to come. he goes onto say border patrol agents are not hospital workers and that many of illegal aliens are living far better now than where they came from and safer conditions. so in other words, how dare you complain. the apathy is a spectacle in and of itself. the way the president seems to view the migrants is nothing compared to how this treatment is making them view themselves. how do we know what they feel like? three children told us. not with words. but with drawings. and these pictures are worth a thousand words. today the american academy of pediatrics working with customs
and border protection released these images drawn by migrant children who were separated from their parents while in detention. the recently leased children were asked to draw experiences while they were in custody. ten and eleven year-old children drew themselves behind bars and in cages. one described what she witnessed touring the facilities last week. >> when i opened the door the first thing that we hit us was the smell. it was a smell of sweat. urine and waste. i heard crinkling to the left. there was a sea of silver. like dog cages. with people in each of them and the silence were just hard to watch. hard to see. >> the stench. hard to watch, hard to see. and all on the eve of the
president's show of a lifetime. we have seen another show and it's been in our life sometime and it was through the eyes of children. when the supreme court was deliberating brown vs. the board of education. they psychological impact of brown children unworthy of a desk beside white counter parts. unworthy americans. they were asked to describe their feelings about each. black and white children thought the black dolls were bad. ugly, unworthy. the white dolls were perfection. the supreme court took note of this. and the lasting impact of allowing the government to enact policy that subject children of color. and not only because it hurt the black children, it hurt all of america's children. so perhaps the spectacle is in not recognizing that how we
treat one child in america impacts a treatment of all of america's children. and perhaps fire works are a good distraction from the real bomb bursting in air. america's moral conviction. i'll talk to child psychiatrist about all of this next. (gasp) (singsong) budget meeting! sweet. if you compare last quarter to this quarter... various: mmm. it's no wonder everything seems a little better
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the american academy of pediatrics releasing disturbing images drawn by migrant children after they were released from customs and border protection kus di. the children ages ten and eleven were asked to depict their time in custody. as you can see, they drew people behind bars and in cages. joining me now, dr. cohen a child psychiatrist and trama expert who worked with children
in migrant centers at the border including the facility where the pictures were drawn. welcome, i'm glad you're here. this is so hard wrenching and heartbreaking to see. as a mother and human being i'm really just out raged by what you're seeing and what we're all seeing. tell me i want to walk through the pictures. a lot of people look at it as a background. a wall paper. walk us through what they mean. we're told they're conditions that they're smack nd the face by the smell of sweat and urine. this seems like torture to me. what is your take? >> many of the conditions and experiences that we are subjecting these children to and we have to remember these are children who come from terrible conditions often traumatized when they get here. they are already highly
vulnerable. and the conditions we are subjecting them to really do represent i think fairly represented by the word torture. starting with separation from the people who care for them and love them. and who really anchor them to a sense of safety. we know that in her study of children during world war ii. air lifted from germany. discovered separation from a trusted adult or guardian was experienced as a more severe trama to children than actually being out in the country where bombs were falling. that war was a less serious trama experienced as a less serious trama even than separation. >> when you look at the photographs and the idea of what the impact is on with a child in particular, these are drawn by
children ages ten and 11. children appear to be lying down with their eyes open. what is this saying to you? >> these are very disturbing drawings. what they say is how extraordinarily frightened and alone and helpless the children feel. this is a deeply disturbing drawing, you're seeing children lined up next to each other, lying under blankets in the same position. the blankets aren't even fully covering them. feet are sticking out and arms are sticking out. faces have no features. their hands and feet have no real detail. which is unusual for drawings of children this age. of ten and eleven. what we're seeing is these children basically disappear within this environment. and experience themselves as entirely dominated by fear. if you go back to the drawing
you showed me there's a tower which is described by some of the children with a guard at the top. that guard is the one who is clothed. and that guard appears to be really terrorizing the children into lying still. they're not sleeping. and staying where they are. you might notice they have no mattresses no pillows. no matts. >> i say to myself, the way it's drawn. i can't help think this is but one of the three we're seeing. there's a second drawing here. in the second one you see people inside of a cage and people on the outside. what are they trying to convey? of course it's important to know you normally have the child describe why they drew a picture a certain way. but what is this telling you? >> there's some really important things about this picture. in many respects this is the moats telling.
most telling. first of all, these are children who are in cages. and it's clear that whoever drew this is the person inside the cage. you have to ask yourself children who is inside a cage? well, generally animals who need to be controlled are inside cages. animals out of control. who are in jail. prison. people who do bad things are in jail and prison. these the people who are inside the cage who clearly represent the children have no hands. they have no feet. and they barely have any features. >> no age. no control. the last drawing we come across is shows no one. in this cage. and empty cage, jail cell. why is this so poignant? >> because it would appear the child who drew this couldn't bare to draw the people inside it. it's difficult to know exactly
without talking with the child. to have drawn only the cage and none of the people again speaks to the degree to which children themselves disappear. inside this environment. they have no agency or control. they are controlled and dominated by their environment. which is a frightening and disturbing environment. and by the people who are the adults who are there. not to nurture them or care for them. but to frighten them into doing what they're told. >> we see them if they haven't drawn themselves. we have to keep an eye on this. thank you for illuminating it. and it's difficult to maintain your composure when you see this is what the experience of children are. ten and eleven year-olds. we'll be right back. edient in this clif bar is brown rice syrup? which is just another name for sugar. this kind bar's first ingredient is almonds.
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now that you know the truth... are you in good hands? senator kamala harris on the campaign trail in iowa today. not holding back in her stark assessment of the president. >> i know predators. and we have a predator living in the white house. donald trump has predatory nature and predatory instincts. the thing about predators you should know they prey on the vulnerable. they prey on the those who they do not believe are strong. and the thing about predators you must most importantly know, predators are cowards. predators are cowards. >> joining me now to discuss. ana navarro and alice stewart. she did not mince words there. calling him a predator and a
coward. did she go too far? >> i don't think so. she represents a swath of america that has now heard well over 15 accusations of sexually predatory behavior. against donl trump. ranging from anywhere that as bad as rape. to assault. we have heard him in his own voice bragging about sexually predatory behavior. so, i don't think it's too far. it's also one of the great appeals of kamala harris. for me, the idea of kamala, a black woman prosecutor. confronting a racist lawbreaker makes her so appealing to so many people. and why people are showing a newfound interest in her. >> alice, about two weeks ago it's been two weeks it hasn't
really been the biggest main streep story. e. jean carroll accused the president of sexual assault. she is one of more than a dozen does that now put harris' attack in an even different light here? >> unfortunately, it puts it in a light of a bunch of white noise because there have been so many accusations of this nature. and, look, i will be the first one to say that this president has made many inappropriate comments and has made many inappropriate actions, and he certainly is an adulter -- look, i think a lot of his behavior, the "access hollywood" tape is a perfect example of his
disgusting behavior toward women, but at the end of the day, republicans like myself and many of those who have supported this president have done so because of his policies and certainly not of his character and personality. >> you got to wonder, alice -- >> but we did not vote for him to be our pastor or heaven forbid our president -- or our husband, we voted for him to be our president. we support his policies but certainly not his character. >> ana, are you comfortable with the idea -- hold on. are you comfortable with the idea of this being a cost benefit analysis presidency and calculus by the american people? essentially what you're saying, alice, is, look, i have to forgive everything because at the end of the day you're doing what i want. is that the right approach to have even in the republican party, ana? >> i don't think so. obviously i don't think so. i'm a lifelong republican who has voted for republican candidates until now and i made a decision not to support a man who i think is morally and financially and, frankly, even substantially bankrupt. i don't even agree with his
policies. i think caging children is immoral. i think coddling dictators is immoral. i think looking the other way as russia interferes and meddles in elections is immoral. i think palling around with a guy who beheaded a "washington post" journalist is immoral. no, so for me it's not a cost benefit. i find him morally unacceptable. i find him unfit, unqualified to be president. but one of the things why i think why this is different coming from kamala is because, look, in 2016 we heard all these accusations against donald trump, but democrats had nominated probably the only candidate who really couldn't take it to him on this issue. because fairly or unfairly, she was bearing the baggage of bill clinton. kamala harris has -- does not have that problem. and she comes at this as a prosecutor. and somebody who has prosecuted sexual assault and sexual predatory cases, and so it's an
entirely different picture and i don't think that in the hands of kamala harris in a debate it would end up being white noise, much lessig mored. >> well, alice, speaking of the idea of pictures, you've already seen the devastating photos from inside the migrant detention facilities that you've seen and the drawings as well a part of it. the president making that tweet, basically, look, all problems would be solved. just don't come. what is your reaction to that? ana is saying that that in conjunction with other things makes this president disqualified from continuing to be the president of the united states? >> look, i think those pictures are extremely disturbing, especially when we look at the very last image that we just showed on the screen there, that you highlighted a few moments ago, where we see a child's image of the cages with the very -- the black square as representative of where they are. these kids are looking out from what they see as a black hole and this cannot happen. this is not just the president,
but it's all of congress that needs to get together. and let me just highlight one really quick thing that a very wise woman just said. perhaps the fireworks we see tomorrow are a good distraction from the real bombs bursting in midair that is america's moral conviction. i think it's all of america's responsibility, republicans and democrats, to come together and solve this problem. >> well, alice, i love to be quoted back to myself. thank you for watching. before we leave you tonight, here's a look at the brand-new cnn original series the movies. from the first island to the current blockbusters of today, the history of american cinema is beautiful, occasionally controversial, but always inspiring. tune in this sunday and delve into the movies you love. >> there is something about being told a story. a movie is something that's been really handcrafted. it's a mosaic that has been
carefully pieced together. it just creates this opportunity to totally lose yourself. >> these images live in our consciousness. it stays in our mind. the way music is recalled in our heads, those images replay and we live our lives by them. >> it brings all the elements of all of our senses together. there is really nothing else like it. >> even though you're doing something incredibly personal, and in many ways incredibly selfish because you're doing something you love so much, then it gets out there in the world and it could change people's trajectories. >> when you can go somewhere that you can pretty much guarantee you're going to be able to set your worries aside for that period of time, it's like a drug. it's like a drug. >> it's just a direct conduit straight into your soul. >> i grew up wanting to be the movies. it was all about the movies. >> since the dawn of man, we like to get around a fireplace and commune in story together.
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