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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  July 6, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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surface about some conditions children are enduring. tonight they are defending the system despite delays. it has a $6 million connection between bank fraud charges against paul manafort and the trump campaign. stand by for details. endorsing putin. president trump offers new details of the kremlin strong man while it offers new details on fellow americans. how far will he go to express concerns as the summit nears? and losing oxygen. the boys trapped underground are losing their air supply. the evacuation mission turning deadly as time is running out. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm jim acosta and you're in "the situation room." and we are following breaking news on the trump
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administration in court acknowledging problems with its efforts to reunite immigrant families. justice department lawyers telling a judge it may not meet a deadline on tuesday to return the youngest children to their parents. this as the president and vice president try to deflect harsh criticism of their policy by lashing out at democrats. i'll get reaction from two members of congress, republican lou baretta and republican ted liu. first a white house correspondent kaitlan collins. the trump administration can't solve this problem of reuniting families that the president created in the first place. >> reporter: well, jim, they certainly are struggling to get this crisis under control. that much is clear by what the white house is and isn't saying about these thousands of kids who are still separated from their parents even tonight. the president and the vice president, mike pence, are trying to put the focus back on democrats here.
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>> under president donald trump, we will never abolish ice. >> vice president mike pence defending the administration's immigration policies. and going after democrats who have called for abolishing the immigration and customs enforcement agency. >> we will always stand proudly with the brave heroes of ice and our border patrol. >> reporter: president trump seizing on nethe new language during his rally in montana last night. >> the new platform of the democratic party is to abolish ice, in other words, they want to abolish immigration enforcement entirely. that's what they want to do. they want everybody coming in. >> reporter: the administration racing to meet a deadline to reunite separated families, telling a judge today it may need more time. officials are now relying on dna tests to reunite children with their parents.
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the president making no mention of separated children thursday night but daring senator elizabeth warren to take a dna test of her own to prove her native american heritage. >> i'm going to get one of those little kits. and in the middle of the debate, when she proclaims that she's of indian heritage because her mother said she has high cheekbones -- >> reporter: trump publicly mocking the me too movement for vet first time. >> we're in the me too generation, so we have to be very careful. we will very gently take that kit and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn't hit her and injure her arm. >> survivors united! >> reporter: sources tell cnn he has privately doubted the me too movement, complaining that mere allegations can ruin the lives of the accused. earlier in the day, trump defending congressman jim jordan who faces accusations that he knew about the sexual abuse of
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athletes by the team doctor of the ohio state wrestling team two decades ago. jordan, at the time the assistant coach, maintains that he had no knowledge. trump telling reporters, i believe jim jordan 100%. he's an outstanding man. the president traveling with his newest white house employee, bill shine, the former co-president of fox news who stepped down last year after he was accused of covering up for roger ailes, the network's long-time chairman accused of sexual harrassment. shine has denied all wrongdoing. all this as trump is nearing another deadline, zeroing in on his pick for the supreme court. >> if you turn in monday at 9:00, i think you'll be extremely happy with the selection. romp president trump and first lady melania trump are going to have dinner tonight at the president's golf club in new jersey with vice president mike
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pence and second lady karen pence. sources say they will likely discuss that pivotal supreme court decision, but whether or not they discuss that deadline to reunite children with their parents on the southern border is still up for debate. jim? >> sounds like they better get on that topic as well. kaitlan collins, thank you very much. now let's get more on the first court order deadline for immigrant children to be reunited with their parents. cnn's nick watt was at the hearing in san diego. nick, what's the latest there? >> reporter: well, jim, it is now very clear that the federal government is going to miss a key deadline. and that deadline was set for tuesday by a judge here in san diego. he said that by tuesday the government had to reunite all children under five with their parents. that is now not going to happen. because -- what we've heard is there are now 101 children in custody under the age of five. the math saul a little bit fuzzy
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but that is the latest figure. we are told that of those 101, 46 children have been matched to parents currently in ice detention. that is no problem. we can reunite them. but 19 parents have been deported and 19 parents have been released to this country, so that is going to be hard to do. what the judge has said is by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, 5:00 p.m. saturday pacific time, he wants a list of those 101 kids. he wants a status report. are they going to be reunited with their parents? if not, why not? then they'll take it from there and have another hearing on monday morning. there was another deadline today, which was for all kids and parents to speak to each other on the phone. apparently those adults, parents in custody have all spoken to their kids. there is another deadline which is july 26 when all kids over five have to be reunited with their parents. today in court they barely even discussed that. they're trying to deal with what
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they call these tender age kids, these kids under five. that, jim, is what they're trying to deal with first. >> and nick, why is this taking so long? >> well, because the government is taking dna samples from every single child before they will reunite them with a parent. there is a very rigorous process the government has to go through before it reunites a kid with a parent. but that is really designed for kids who have come across the border unaccompanied. so what the aclu, that's the organization that brought this case in the first place, forget the test if you've got a child clinging to a woman saying, mama, mama. also forget the test if there is a birth certificate in hand. also maybe relax some of those other conditions so these things can kbget to their parents quicker. this judge, when he gave his preliminary infunction junction 26th, he said this is a crisis
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of the government's own making. they began the separations without a plan to do so, and that according to the judge is one of the key reasons as to why, jim, this is taking so long. >> it certainly is. nick watt, thank you very much. joining me now, lou baretta. he's running against incumbent bob casey in pennsylvania for the senate. last week alex said he could use a government portal to find a child separated from their parents within seconds. so why can't the administration meet these court-ordered deadlines to reunite families, and doesn't it say to you that they just don't have a plan to begin with to reunite these families? >> thanks, jim. i think it's more important that we make sure, that the government makes sure that these kids are safe and they're put in the right hands of their real parents if they are.
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since january and the first five months of 2018, there's been a 315%, 315% increase in fake families that have come to the border, and we know in the obama administration, there have been cases where children have been released to parents or guardians, and actually, they were either traffickers or drug cartel. so i think it's more important to make sure these kids are put in safe hands and that the parents are who they say they are. >> we don't want to overstate this issue of fake families. as you said, the "washington post" data found that less than 1% of family units apprehended at the border turned out to be fraudulently posing as families. you don't want to overstate that, right? it's a tiny fraction of 1% that are showing up that aren't perhaps authentic. a aren't you overstating thing a little bit there? >> well, according to the white house there's been a 315%
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increase in the fake families that have come to the border. jim, i don't think we want to see one child get into the hands of a drug cartel or a traff trafficker, so i think you want to err on the side of safety. if we really care about these children, we want to make sure -- >> 99% of the cases are actual families. the "washington post" looked at the department of homeland security data. 99% of the families are real. i just to want ask you, should the administration should be separating kids from their parents if they don't have a process in place to put them back together where they have to use dna and so on. does that make sense to you? >> i think it makes sense to make sure that we have 100% of the children, especially under the ages of five, are actually returned to their parents or true guardian. i don't want to see 1%. maybe it's okay for some people,
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but i don't want to see 1% go to the wrong people. let's stop illegal immigration. we wouldn't even be talking about this if we had secured the border and had enforcement on the interior and we wouldn't be dealing with this. jim, do you know how many children and minors come to the border that are dehydrated, they're starving, they've been sexually abused? there is nothing good about illegal immigration and it creates the problem that we have. >> what about these families that are showing up at the border all in one piece, parents with their children? you supported that when these families were being torn apart. you supported that policy. do you have any regrets for supporting that policy of pulling children away from their parents when they showed up at the border? any regrets on that? >> i think that was the law, and the president was following the law. and that's why --
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>> that was the way the trump administration was interpreting the law. they were saying, okay, instead of catch and release and instead of keeping these families together and taking the children away from the parents as a deterrent. do you regret supporting that policy when it was first implemented by the trump administration? >> here's what i would say to you, jim, is that i regret that the obama administration was using catch and release, basically encouraging the problem that we have today, because all you needed to do was have a child and use that child as a visa to get into the united states, so it actually created the problem so we can't ignore the catch and release makes the problem worse, not better. >> so rather than release these families in whole, you would rather separate the children from the parents is what you're saying? >> no, no, no, i'm not saying that. you're saying that. i'm saying let's not even have this problem at all. i don't want to see any child separated from their parent, but i don't want to see any child also given to the drug cartel or
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trafficker that was -- and that is what was happening in cases under the obama administration. that's not right, either. >> is this policy designed to inflict suffering on people to deter people from showing up with their parents? >> no, i think when you have an open border policy, you're creating a problem at the united states -- >> if you don't mind me asking, congressman, it's strange because we don't have an open border on the border with mexico. we have enforcement, we have people who are picked up. there are fencing, there are portions that look like you have a wall on the border. what does that mean when you have an open border policy? we don't have that. >> it means if we had a secure border, we wouldn't have an illegal immigration problem. if we have an illegal immigration problem, obviously we have some open borders or we wouldn't have the problem that we have that's getting worse. jim, it's not good, it's not fair to these kids.
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many of these girls are sexually abused along the way. how can we be okay with that and children who are starving and the cartel? we know for a fact that the cartel -- >> so if you have some children showing up in that condition, why would you compound the problem when you have families showing up, they're trying to appeal for asylum, and you have children coming with a child and so on, how would you compound the problem? >> how do you know they're one family? how can you say that without knowing for sure? how can you say that? because there is a woman, a man and a child. >> do you have any evidence that these families are showing up and the parents and the kids are not a part of the same family? again, the department of homeland security data that came in and was analyzed by the "washington post" said only
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a .01% were fraudulently posing as a family. we have video from boston yesterday showing a woman and a daughter. they were reunited after 55 days. i'm sure you saw this video, congressman, this mother and child sobbing as they're reunited. these are some of the families that are being ripped apart. that is not a fraudulent family, that is a real family. >> and how can you ignore when a child is given to a trafficker and abused in the united states? why aren't we showing those pictures? >> well, congressman, i'm asking you about this video right here that we're showing right now. what about these families that are being ripped apart? what do you say to these families? what do you say to them. you supported this policy, congressman. what do you say to families like this who have been ripped apart? >> i want to see families kept together. the best way to do that is to come into the country legally and not have a problem that we're having here. what i don't want to be part of
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is having a child given to somebody who claims they're their parent and then will abuse that child because they're not. i don't want to see one child harmed. i think we should make sure all the kids are safe, unite the children with their parents. i don't want to see them separated. i have four daughters and eight grandchildren. i wouldn't want to be separated from them. but i also don't want to see children given to somebody who is not really their parent. >> but i'm trying to figure out, congressman, when we have data and facts matter, and data obviously matter, and the "washington post" says they look at the department of homeland security data, and it says that .01% in 2017, that those were fraudulent families, families posing as people who were all part of one family when they weren't. that is a tiny, tiny fraction of the overall influx of people coming in. >> the "washington post" is saying that, and i'm telling you the white house is saying in the first five months, there's been a 115% increase 315% increase o
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families. >> but .01%, that's still a tiny fraction, isn't it? >> pretty sad for that tiny fraction if it's your child. >> so you're going to punish all these families, you're going to use all these families as a deterrent to try to crack down on a tiny fraction of people coming across the border. the other question i want to ask you, congressman, is you were saying earlier that the administration was following the law. so when the president signed that executive order to reverse this policy of family separation and zero tolerance, how could he do that through executive order? you can't reverse a law through executive order. >> well, the president also, as you said, reunited the children as well, and it's just that -- >> they were reunited, just to be clear. >> they're not doing it to punish them, they're doing it to
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make sure they're taking dna to make sure the person who is using that child or claims that child is theirs really is. i don't think the president should be condemned for wanting to make sure when we know there are people who are using children just to get into the united states. we know that's happening. and maybe the "washington post" says it's a small amount. i disagree with that. but i'm not going to argue about the numbers. >> how do you disagree with facts? sthae that's dhs data. >> i don't believe everything i read in the newspaper, i'm sorry. >> it's from the department of homeland security, so the data is from the department of homeland security run by the trump administration by people in the administration, by the way, who are very hard line on the issue of immigration like yourself. >> well, i guess it comes down to the fact whether or not we are okay. i am not, whether we're okay with releasing someone to a
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parent just because they say they are. >> there is also the issue of having to detain these families altogether. are you in favor of that, putting them on army bases, acting as armed guards in detention camps and so on? is that what you want to see in this country? >> what's the option, jim? what's your option? >> the option obviously is to release them and perhaps supply them with ankle bracelets so they show up. you would rather put them in detention than keep these families whole and in a situation where they're not being detained? >> so do you believe that they can't take the ankle bracelets off and that woulden encourage more peop -- would not encourage more people to come to the united states? this is why we have these laws, because we haven't enforced these laws, and we want people to come into the country and be safe and have families here, but coming over the border is not the way to do it.
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it's not good for the children, it's not good for the parents and it's not good for the american people. >> lou baretta, thank you for coming on. the trump administration weighs in on recent failures of reuniting families. ted liu is standing by. and paul manafort and how he may tie into the trump campaign. stay with us. a simple call to the number below for your free hearing evaluation... and our generous 30 day risk free trial can help you eliminate background noise, and transform your favorite busy restaurant into a clear conversation. with more than 1,400 locations, you can always find a local miracle-ear center. and professional, highly-trained hearing care specialists are there for you to determine the results of your hearing test. and, whether you need a hearing aid or not, they'll take the time to really get to know you so that all of your questions are answered. if it turns out you do need a personalized hearing aid,
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a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! we have breaking news in the criminal case against trump campaign chairman paul manafort,
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explaining how it plans to protect the dots between manafort and the trump campaign. let's bring in evan perez. evan, what are you learning? >> this is the first time we've heard from special counsel robert mueller that at least in the trial that paul manafort has coming up later this month in virginia, that it plans to show evidence to connect some of the bank fraud charges he's facing to some of the work paul manafort was doing on the trump campaign. specifically they're talking about more than $6 million in loans that manafort was able to get from a bank called the federal savings bank. according to prosecutors, they intend to present evidence that they say specifically showing that a bank executive, if we can show a little bit of the filing here, it says the bank executive expressed interest in working on the trump campaign and told manafort about his interest and eventually secured a position advising the trump campaign. now, it appears this executive of this bank ended up not
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getting a full-time position in the administration, but at least what the prosecutors are saying that in court they're going to present evidence, they're thinking of presenting evidence that shows there is a connection to some of the work that paul manafort was doing during the trump campaign. >> and paul manafort is asking to have his trial moved? could that happen? >> they have now officially filed papers this afternoon saying they would like this trial to be moved to roanoke, virginia. one of the reasons they cite is that hillary clinton won the alexandria, virginia area. roanoke is trump country. they say alexandria, virginia is inside the beltway. there is a tremendous amount of media interest. one of the things that's happening now is manafort is saying he doesn't want to come to court because it's a two-hour drive for him to come from the jail that he's being held where he's, by wathe way, held in solitary confinement for 23 hours because that's the only
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way they can guarantee his safety. >> you can't hold trials in jurisdictions based on what the voting breakdown of an individual area is. >> they do cite that in court, in the court filings. >> thank you very much. joining me now, representative ted liu, a democrat who serves on the foreign affairs and judicial committees. congressman, thanks for joining us. kt president claim that manafort's potential crimes have nothing to do with this campaign? what do you make of this new information? >> this new information shows it's a lot about the special counsel investigation that we don't know. it's pretty clear to me the special counsel didn't invest all this time and resources in going after paul manafort if there was not a link to other people who were higher up or the trump campaign. what this is telling us is that there is, in fact, such a link. >> and with immigration, what do you make of what lou baretta was saying in the situation room. he was saying you have to be
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careful reuniting these families, saying there are fraudulent families coming across the border when in fact a very tiny fraction of those families are not what they make themselves out to be. any response to what the congressman was just saying a few moments ago? >> he is misleading the american people. their own statistics from the department of homeland security say it's about .01% that could be fraudulent families. everybody else is families that got ripped up by the trump administration and this is a problem created by the trump administration. they did not have to do this. as we sit here today, there is still over 2,000 babies and kids who were ripped away from their parent who have not been reunited. >> and what do you make of the government saying today that they need more time? it doesn't sound as though they had a process in place to eventually reunite these families. what do you make of what the administration was saying in court in california?
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>> it's not surprising cnn is reporting that the government had no real plan in the beginning when they were ripping away babies and kids from their parents. not only do we have an evil policy, we also had gross incompetence, and now we're seeing not only kids and babies that have not been reunited, but the ones that have been are in bad shape. prior reporting talked about a 14-month-old infant recently reunited that was covered in ly lice and the infant had not been bathed. that is cruel. >> and vice president pence said cries to abolish ice are unacceptable. there are a few of your colleagues who want to see ice abolished. how do you respond to the vice president today? >> democrats who have said this are not sega baying abolish ice do nothing. they're saying we should have a new agency that has principles and values of what the american
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people believe. that means not ripping kids and babies away from their parents. and ice was a new agency created after 9/11, essentially to help go after terrorists. they've gone far away from that mission, and we need to make sure the new ice director curbs ice's sort of culture so they're more in line with the original mission and what americans expect ice to do. >> let's turn to foreign policy. secretary of state mike pompeo is in north korea. if he doesn't get some concrete commitments from pyongyang on denuclearization, what's the next step? >> i serve as active duty on the u.s.s. pacific command, and it's clear the military has no good options against north korea, so i support diplomacy. but for that to work, the other side has to take you seriously, and it's clear north korea did not take donald trump seriously at that summit.
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they continued to have increased nuclear output, they have increased ballistic missiles. they have done nothing to eliminate a single weapon or a single missile. if we're faced with this, i think we need congress to step in and say, look, wait a minute, we need to have u.s. military exercises back. we can't be giving up all these concessions if north korea isn't going to cooperate. >> congressman ted liu, thank you very much for coming on. have a good weekend. >> thank you. you, too. the president adds insult to injury and his rally will break out in more eye-popping lines. and oxygen is getting thin for a dozen boys. can they survive the rising water and falling oxygen levels?
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that's a good thing that i got along well. but we signed a wonderful paper saying they're going to denuclearize their whole thing. it's going to all happen. now they're saying it with putin. well, putin is highly prepared, and trump, will he prepared for the meeting? trust me, we'll do just fine. >> will president trump do this or that? we're fine, people. i've been preparing for this stuff my whole life. they don't say that. they don't say that. fake news media. a source within the trump organization said. a source? they don't have a source. 15 people in the white house. i don't know 15 people.
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if i should lose or if i don't run, they're out of business. are they going to cover bernie? are they going to cover, like, sleepy joe biden? are they going to cover pocahontas. let's say i'm debating pocahontas, right? . learn your her staj. we're in the me too generation, so we have. and we will very gently slowly toss it and hope it doesn't injure her arm, even though it weighs probably 2 ounces. our allies in many cases were once that has, because i don't
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know how much protection you get by protecting you, and we're the schmucks on the whole thing. >> phil mudd, your take on that. >> i would love to be a fly on the wall with teresa may. you can talk to your supporters about that. this is going to be like a lighted match on an x.com here. teresa may says in 2006, a man you're praising a. i know. fast forward, murder in the u.k. vladimir putin attempts. the u.k. does not make much sense. let's go back to the russians certifying that they'll help
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eliminate weapons in syria. the u.k., meanwhile. so cut to the chase. what the heck is teresa may supposed to say? you, can go home and talk to friends and campaign rallies. i think it's the latter, jim. >> not only was there a foreign policy meeting to be had on those comments, but just on me too -- people don't take the exit seriously. >> he endorsed roy moore.
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those are just off the top of my head. he does not -- of course he wouldn't take this movement seriously. it's something i'm sure his advisers were cringing he mentioned because he's part of the me too movement and not the good side. >> and joe jackson, he eventually went after maxine waters and talked about her i.q. i'm sure you saw those comments. he again referred to elizabeth warren as pocahontas, and i go to these rallies a lot. much of what he says at these rallies is steep ed in this racial animosity, racially-tinged rhetoric. what's your take on what you heard from the president? >> my take, jim, is quite simple. it's abhorrent. where have we gone? respect matters, civility matters. maybe you're right.
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there is no proeflgs, you fessi heard the chant a maxine waters, no i.q. what is is wiwith that? you hear them attacking mccain on the same team. it's just demoralizing. also, jim, there has to be a consequence, and when there is no consequence and you're at 90% with your base and everything seems to be going fine, when the crowd is cheering, why not just do it? we are in a new era or lack of civility. >> it's always a shock when you go these places and hear the president attack john mccain. he's gone after the bush family so much over the years, but to mock the thousand points of
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light comments of george h.w. bush, the points of light foundation still in existence to this day that supports volunteers, it's sort of baffling, isn't it, to hear him go after the republican party like this? >> it's baffling on the one hand, but it's not because we know president trump and how he thinks and operates. for him this is all about me. it's all about how do people view me relative to other presidents? how do people view president trump and his accomplishments. this goes back also to his rivalry with the bush family, his rivalry with jeb bush. this is all politics to him. it's a game. he doesn't think of it in terms of pushing, so it's all about president trump. it's all about thim.
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>> he merges like he did with the bush family, and elizabeth warren, has she gotten under his skin, do you think. he sees it as a potential contender against him. toll the children separated. they still can't get their act together to reunite. she brought them back to an issue that a i think she want to see those families get back together. >> isn't it amazing president trump is always campaigning for reelection. elizabeth warren. and we're till. he's saying his goodbyes to
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establishment andrew wheeler does share pruitt mr. griffin, you've been dealing the epitome of an outsider. his last job representing a coal company in the u.s. now he's at the head of the agency regulating his former clients. if the environmental agency thipgs getting rid of paul manafort at the epa, they said he should think again. >> president trump came in trying to put a wrecking ball to them, but. >> andrew wheeler, who up until
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today was the world number 2. it is a prime example of ma. he started his career in the epa in the early '90s and then went to capitol hill and lobbied for the types of companies that often fight epa pollution laws. now he's back in government in a position to regulate the very businesses that up until last year paid him. >> the fundamental conflict of interest that's at stake here is that andrew wheeler could use his position at the epa to benefit a former client. >> one of wheeler's former clients, energy fuels incorporated, is trying to get contracts from the epa right now, lobbying, according to its website, to lobby the lines. >> we're lobbying very heavily
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with the facility, be boewe don know. a meeting is outlined in this internal mail. the ceo says, our understanding is mr. wheeler will not be involved in any decision on this proposal. wheeler declined an interview with cnn on this report but sent a statement. under my ethics agreement with the agency, he tells cnn, i will have no involvement with energy fuels incorporated for two years. supporters say that despite his industry ties, wheeler was already confirmed by the senate for his role as deputy administrator. and many conservatives, including senator jim i am homh wheeler's former boss, said they
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would support him getting the position. his most logical successor could be his worst opponent. . it will be harder when the union spolts turn away and that will be an advantage for wheeler. and jim, according to his tweets, it doesn't appear donald trump's policy is going to change, either. in taking over, trump says, i have no doubt that andy will continue with, more than 100 holes in the cave where the boys are trapped. oxygen levels inside the cave are dropping. matt rivers is inside thailand covering the rescue mission. matt, it seems like time may be
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running out. . and also and so the recipe operation is ongoing today. they're looking at all options to try to get these boys out of the cave. >> nervous rescue efforts through murky waters as experts say the oxygen inside this cave is running out. near where 10 boys and their coach are trapped, a rescuer was asked to leave to preserve it. one rescuer died after delivering more oxygen to the boys on thursday. kunan drowned after he ran out of his own air supply on the way back. >> he was told to put it away and avoid it ever happening
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again. >> some of these boys may have to dive in the same narrow pass sapas passageways possibly flooding the cave exits the caves have been draining for days. still, sources tell cnn they are unlikely to move the group for at least 24 hours. evacuating now is too treacherous and they don't have the right size weapons to keep their small bodies warm on the journey out. local children are rallying around the trapped soccer team posting notes of love and encouragement, don't give up, one poster reads. likewise, the local community is throwing all its resources, support and prayers behind the hundreds of responders gathered here. they're recentlyilying on them g out their children alive and
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soon. >> and jim, one of the things that has been a priority from the beginning is trying to get a communication line into that cave so the boys and the coaches can talk to loved ones outside, not just for morale but to get realtime units pdates in terms what's going on. but take letters they wrote to the children. not sure if they read them but hopefully keep the boys spirits up, while here aboveground, trying to get them out as soon as possible. jim? >> matt rivers, we're pulling for them. thank you very much. more breaking news coming up ahead.
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as we follow the twist and turns of the trump presidency, looking back at the era that turned the future commander of chief into a reality tv star. the television shows and trends of the decade including "the apprentice." cnn media analyst bill carter. bill, let's talk a little bit about "the apprentice." this is an area that is rich with material, i guess, to mine for this sort of documentary. the success of that first season. we all remember that show, the money theme playing at the beginning of the show and so on. donald trump in the board room saying you're fired put him on
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the map. >> it did, nationally, i think those of us in new york knew this guy as a figure in the news for a long time. and then you put him on this television show and all of the sudden, he has this national image and it's a creation in a lot of ways because that was not a real thing that was going on for the most part, but he was elevated as a star in some sense. the success of the show at the time, nbc was really falling apart. a lot of their shows were failing badly and then this show comes along. he was really the biggest star on nbc at the time which is kind of remarkable to think about that, and it gave him this national profile that obviously was crucial in launching a political career. >> to some extent, we see the trends now. the president runs his white house almost like a reality tv show. scott pruitt voted off the island yesterday and so on.
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we are sort of watching a reality tv presidency in a way that prepared the public, i guess, for what we're seeing now. >> i think it's absolutely genuinely legitimate to make that comparison. one thing you saw with trump was a transformeperformer. he was able to perform on that show. it's interesting to me. i interviewed him before the show went on and he was sort of careful about it. he didn't know it was going to work and came on and he said, i'm a very busy businessman and this took all my time. i don't know if i'll do this again. once it was a success, he was off and running. he loved the attention and adulation it gave him and i think it gave him confidence to go further with this and his skill at being a performer and a self-promoter. they were honed during those years in "the apprentice". >> who thought omarosa would end
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up at the white house? it goes to the nature of what we're watching right now. >> for trump, the idea of doing things dramatically and timing them, giving people a build-up like the supreme court thing, he's going to set a time. he has a sense of what works on television. >> and we'll see how that cliff hanger unfolds on money. original series, the 2000s, begins sunday night at 9:00 eastern. can't wait to watch that. thank you very much for watching. erin burnett outfront starts right now. up front next, breaking news, the trump administration will miss the deadline to reunite families. do they even have a plan? plus, the president takes on a new target, a former republican president and the backlash tonight is building. trump crossed a line. breaking news, a high stakes meeting about to begin with secretary of state mike pompeo and kim jong-un. will

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