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DHS's John Kelly Attends Paul Ryan Weekly Press Conference; Trump's Vicious Tweet about Female News Anchor. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired June 29, 2017 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:31:22] REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It gives the authority to withhold grants from city that fail to cooperate with law enforcement. By flagrantly disregarding the rule of law, sanctuary cities are putting lives at risk. We cannot tolerate that.
Every day, Secretary Kelly leads professionals around the country, and around the world, quite frankly, who are charged with keeping our homeland safe. They make incredible sacrifices. Our job here is to make sure those professionals have the tools they need and the resources that they need to carry out their work and protect our communities. That is what these measures are all about. And we look forward to their passage in the House today.
I know Secretary Kelly has a busy schedule today. So we appreciate him taking a few minutes to come out and visit with us.
I want to turn it over to Secretary Kelly.
JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
The word sanctuary calls to mind someplace safe. But too often, for families and victims of illegal immigrant crime, sanctuary cities are anything but safe. Instead, these cities are places that allow some criminals go free, undermine federal law enforcement. and make our communities less safe. When a sanctuary jurisdiction fails to honor an ICE detainer and, instead, releases a criminal back to the streets, it doesn't mean ICE stops looking for the bad guy. Instead, it means that ICE has to take its targeted operations out of the safe, secure, private confines of a jail and go into neighborhoods, businesses and other public places. It's more dangerous for the law-abiding public and for my ICE officers. And it creates unnecessary and avoidable anxiety many in the legal immigrant community. Arresting a criminal while they are still in custody is always, always the best option.
Additionally, failing to honor an ICE detainer means these criminals are out on the street that much longer. Whether that is days, weeks or months, a criminal is back on the street and, oftentimes, breaking our laws again. It is beyond my comprehension why federal, state and local officials sworn to enforce the laws of the nation, as I am, would actively discourage or outright prevent law enforcement agencies from upholding the laws of the United States. And why they would set public funds aside to pay for the legal representation of illegal aliens who are also lawbreakers. In doing so, they prioritize criminals over public and law enforcement officer safety.
The two bills up for vote, Kate's Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act will help Immigration and Customs Enforcement uphold our nation's immigration laws and help make our communities more safe.
President Trump has been clear that our borders are not open to illegal immigration, that we are a nation of laws, and we will no longer look the other way. Well, we will no longer look the other way in the interior, either.
Since president's executive order on immigration enforcement was signed, ICE has released nearly 66,000 individual who are either known or suspected of being in the country illegally. 48,000 of those individuals are, in fact, convicted criminals. Many of the rest were charged with crimes, often multiple ones, or have gang affiliations. So far, in FY 2017, ICE Homeland Security investigations has over 32,700 arrests, criminal arrests. The crimes include illegal gang activity, childhood exploitation, human trafficking, narcotics trafficking, financial crimes, and many, many others.
I appreciate Congress' effort to address the dangers of sanctuary cities and illegal immigrant offenders. As I have said many times before, DHS does not make the laws. Congress does. And we will enforce the laws passed by Congress. I am offended when members of this institution exert pressure and often threaten me and my officers to ignore the laws they make and I am sworn to uphold.
Mr. Speaker, Chairman Goodlatte, gentlemen, ladies, I appreciate your time and your effort working to protect the men and women of ICE and the citizens of these so-called sanctuary cities with public officials who have chosen politics, in my opinion, over public safety.
[11:35:53] Chairman Goodlatte, thank you very much. Thank you for coming, sir.
REP. BOB GOODLATTE, (R-VA), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Thank you.
Mr. Speaker, thank you very much.
I want to start by thanking you and Leader McCarthy as well as Secretary Kelly, and President Trump, of course, for taking a lead on moving these bills forward.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet at the White House with the president and, most importantly, with a dozen family members of victims, all of whom were killed by people not lawfully present in the United States.
And the important thing to note here is, when our immigration laws are properly enforced, all the types of crimes we are talking about here are entirely avoidable.
So, one of the most important aspects of immigration reform is bolstering enforcement. Secretary Kelly and his team at the Department of Homeland Security have done an outstanding job of living up to the president's committee to enforce our immigration laws. But as they have done that, they have discovered that there are a number of laws that need to be changed. And today's bills, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act and Kate's Law, are living up to that commitment that we have made in the Congress to provide that kind of support to the administration so that those laws can be better enforced.
I look forward to the passage of these bills. And then we'll turn to our friends in the United States Senate where these bills should be taken up promptly so we avoid the kind of tragic circumstances that have totally involved the lives of people at the White House yesterday, speaking up for their loved ones. They would much rather have preferred spending time with those loved ones than be at the White House. But they are completely dedicated to seeing these laws are changed to protect American citizens.
This is all about enforcing our laws and having respect for the rule of law and securing our borders and keeping Americans safe.
RYAN: Now, a membership of the leadership team, and a member of the Judiciary Committee, Doug Collins.
REP. DOUG COLLINS, (R), GEORGIA: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
It's good to have the secretary and the chairman and Raul here.
John Adams once said that we are a nation of laws, not men. Today is a good day for the rule of law.
Today is when we go back and state, these are the laws. And instead of politics in localities determining what they are going to follow and what they're not going to follow, it goes back to the basics being already in law that you are going to follow the procedures asked for. When the probable-cause detainer is issued, you are going to respond in a positive way instead of dividing us through politics and putting Americans lives in jeopardy.
One of the things yesterday, as I spent time on the floor debating rule for the bill, I was amazed at the issues that are simple common sense and trying to pit that this was the locals' choice. Let me remind you one time that this is not simply one locality making a choice that didn't affect others. If one locality chooses not to enforce the law, and that person leave and goes to another locality who does enforce the law, they are dealing with those consequences. This is not simply an isolated in-a-vacuum situation. This law is saying, if you choose to put politics before people's safety, then you are not going to get the public funds or grants that you are supposed to be using to enforce the law. And Kate's Law is simply an understanding. Something that is tragic and never should have happened. That's why we are increasing the penalties for those who illegally cross our borders.
So I simply say today, as you look at what's going on -- I'm the son of a Georgia state trooper. Yesterday, we said, if you didn't support this law, you are not supporting local law enforcement. I'm a 50-year veteran of supporting law enforcement. And I can tell you from talking to my dad and hundreds and hundreds of law enforcement across the country, what they want to be able to do is enforce the law and keep people safe and not have politics of other areas affect how they do their job.
RYAN: Chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee, Raul Labrador.
[11:39:49] REP. RAUL LABRADOR, (R-ID), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE IMMIGRATION SUBCOMMITTEE: Thank you Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chairman.
The bills we are voting on today are a vital first step in fixing the broken immigration system. I've long believed since I first came to Congress that fixing our immigration system starts, first and foremost, with enforcement of the law. Governments at all levels have a basic responsibility to protect our citizens from those who are in our country illegally and especially from those who commit criminal acts staying here illegally. For too long, the federal government has looked the other way while sanctuary cities violate the law and undermine public safety.
The bills we are voting on today bring common sense to an issue where common sense has been in short supply for far too long. I'm glad that we're showing the American people that the House, Republican majority is serious about keeping its promises. And I'm glad that the bills we are voting on are from the Davis-Oliver Act, which I introduced with Chairman Goodlatte.
As the new chairman of the Immigration and Border Subcommittee, I look forward to having the Davis-Oliver Act come to the floor sometime soon. I'm also looking forward to having a vote in the Judiciary Committee other immigration enforcement bills, including e-Verify and other issues that we have been working on for the last few months. I'm eager to work with Secretary Kelly, Chairman Goodlatte, and leadership to make that happen.
Of particular note is what Secretary Kelly said today. I think he understands the role of the federal government and the executive. He said that his job is to enforce the law. And it is our job to make the laws.
To me, the most ironic thing about this whole debate is most of the people that come to the United States illegally, they come here because they are fleeing countries where the law is not in force. Yet, some people on the other side want to turn this country into the countries they are fleeing from. What we need to do is we need to enforce the law and we need to make sure the American people feel safe and secure.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) -- take longer than expected. How long will it take to reach an agreed upon bill?
RYAN: We are still on schedule and on track with the agenda. Tax reform is later in the year, in the fall. We have the summer here to work on health care. We think we are perfectly on time with the schedule. I can't answer the question how long it will take. I don't know when the Senate is going to bring the bill to the floor. As soon as the Senate gets a bill passed and done, I believe we can move quickly here. We think we are on track.
Look, I'm familiar with this. This is exactly what we did here in the House. We brought it to the floor, pulled it back, and brought it and passed it. That's basically the process the Senate the Senate is going through. It's a sense of deja vu. I told Senator McConnell I know how he feels. I think we are going persevere through it. We have a promise to keep. The promise we made is we are going to repeal and replace the health care law. Not to mention the fact that the health care law is in the middle of a collapse. Insurers are pulling out left and right around America. Forty-one percent of counties in America are down to one health insurer left, just one left. Blue Cross/Blue Shield just pulled out of Wisconsin, Missouri, Ohio. Ninety-four out of 99 counties in Iowa, no health insurers left next year. Double-digit premium increases. This problem is getting much worse. Because of that, our friends in the Senate will step up and get this done.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: the White House is working hand and glove with you guys.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The president's tweeting and targeting vulnerable Republicans --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You have been critical of the president. He has made comments you felt were out of line. Are these comments out of line?
RYAN: Are you talking about the tweets? I just saw that. I don't see that as an appropriate comment. I think -- look, what we are trying to do here is improve the tone and civility of the debate. This doesn't help do that.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In the past, you said very strong things on the campaign trail --
RYAN: Like I said, we are doing our jobs. Look at what we are doing today. We are keeping promises. We're bringing case law to the floor and we're doing sanctuary cities today, just today. Yesterday, we did medical liability reform. We are going to walk and chew gum at the same time. That means, what our constituents care about, are we solving their problems? Are we doing what we said we would do when we campaigned and asked for the opportunity to serve? The answer is yes. We did medical liability reform yesterday. We are doing two important promises on immigration today. That's what we do. We go to bat and work on solving people's problems.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: With the CBO score, the Senate bill, there's a couple extra billions hanging around for Mitch McConnell to use to improve the bill's chances. There's talk from some Senators about rolling back some of the tax cuts in the bill. What would that do? What is your idea? What is your feeling on the idea of using that extra money?
RYAN: As tempting as it is to comment on what they should do with the bill, I'm going to resist doing that, only because the Senate leadership did not weigh in on our deliberations. I want to respect their process. I'm not going to intervene in their deliberations while they get through the bill.
11:45:11]UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Talk has been --
RYAN: Who are you with?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- with CNN. On the immigration bills, you are talking about rule of law, making the public safer, but actual law enforcement chiefs have complained that, you know, forcing these policies on them, they feel inhibits their ability to do their job and, further, cutting money that goes to fighting crime and terrorism in their community will only make their communities less safe. Do you think they are say that in bad faith? If not, how are you convincing them this is in their hands?
GOODLATTE: First of all, I will tell you, with certainty, the overwhelming numbers of law enforcement officers in this country want to have good cooperation, good working relationship between federal, state and local law enforcement. When you can take criminals off the streets and prevent things from happening, like what happened to Kate Steinle in San Francisco, when their policy caused them to release this individual on the street, even though he had been deported from the country several times, we are making the streets safer. And law enforcement knows it. If you talk to individual law enforcement officers, you are going to find overwhelmingly they support having better cooperation between the state, federal and local law enforcement agencies.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What about cutting their funds?
GOODLATTE: Well, it's a simple principle that if you are going to receive taxpayer dollars from the federal government to keep people safe, that you have to follow the law and keep them safe.
RYAN: Pretty simple.
GOODLATTE: That's the reason why we include that.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. Speaker, can we get an update on the Russia sanctions bill? Some Democrats are complaining your conference is watering down the bill at the behest --
RYAN: We are objecting on the Constitution. They wrote the bill incorrectly. We told the Senate, you have to write it correctly to follow the Constitution. I won't go through what a blue slip is, but all revenue measures must originate in the House. There's a constitutional issue here. We have the lent the technical assistance to the Senate that they need to write the bill correctly. And they're working on that.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You think they need to pass it again before it comes back?
RYAN: Yes. They did not pass it correctly. They violated constitutional protocols.
RYAN: Here we go.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can I follow up on my question --
RYAN: We have done CNN a couple times.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Chairman Goodlatte, didn't the city of San Francisco hold Mr. Lopez Sanchez for almost three weeks on a marijuana charge that ICE didn't bother to come and pick him up to deport.
GOODLATTE: First of all, both the federal government and the city of San Francisco messed up in that case. The Bureau of Prisons, where he had just been held for illegally entering the country, did not turn him back over to ICE, but instead, turned him over to the city of San Francisco. The city of San Francisco released him onto the streets. Whether ICE was quick enough contacting them, given the priorities of the last administration, or whether they were quick enough contacting ICE, clearly, they failed when they put him back on the streets.
&: How do you respond to the Democrats' criticism that this bill would not have prevented that murder?
GOODLATTE: What would have prevented that murder would have been for either the Bureau of Prisons or the city of San Francisco to have turned him back over to ICE.
Now, having said that, the case law bill is designed not to deal with that. That's the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. Kate's Law, the bill named for her, gives judges increased discretion to enhance the amount of time someone can be incarcerated. I argue, if that law was in effect and the judge had given this individual a longer sentence, that murder would not have taken place.
LABRADOR: It's also ironic that they opposed the policy we have suggested would prevent Kate's death, murder. They still oppose those policies as well. And they have opposed them in our committee again and again and again.
RYAN: Thank you.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. You have been watching there House Speaker Paul Ryan at his weekly press conference with other lawmakers, also joined by the Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. They want to talk about immigration and votes they're be taking latter today, or health. And they're also being forced to answer two questions about what the president is talking about today, a vicious attack against a female news anchor that happened this morning.
Let's bring in CNN political director, David Chalian, to discuss this.
David, where should we begin? Begin with substance in policy, which lawmakers on Capitol Hill want to focus on, or begin with what the president clearly is focused on? Morning television and his attack against a morning news anchor. Where would you like to begin, David?
11:50:00] DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I'll take the hot potato. No. Both are worth our attention, Kate.
BOLDUAN: That's right.
CHALIAN: We can talk about the immigration and health care and we can talk about the tweets. I'll start on the tweets this morning because Paul Ryan's posture has been, at times, to not want to respond to the presidents' tweets or deal with that.
CHALIAN: That was not the posture today. That's newsworthy --
BOLDUAN: That's not what I was expecting from him. I was expecting, I'm not going to answer to the president's tweets. I'm focused on our agenda. He went much further?
CHALIAN: He said, "I don't see that as an appropriate comment. We're trying to improve the tone and civility of debate around here, this doesn't do that."
He clearly came prepared with a desire to weigh in. In the past, he's chosen not to. That says to me, if you look at Paul Ryan and all the Republicans we've seen commenting on this, that the president clearly crossed the line even for his own party, even for folks that normally say, please, let's not get distracted by that. It's amazing, to the substance point, that these priorities on immigration laws, the Kate's Law, the sanctuary cities, the was the very --
BOLDUAN: They're his priorities.
CHALIAN: Yeah! The very life-force of his campaign. An animated feature for him. And this should be such a good moment that the House is taking these votes for Donald Trump and his agenda. And now he is choosing not to tout that, and instead consumed by this other thing that has nothing to do with the job the American people asked him to do.
BOLDUAN: I think it is -- as you noted. It's been like a flood of Republican response. Often -- especially of recent, Republicans have gotten tired of Capitol Hill answering to every tweet. And they say, I'm not going to answer to every tweet. I'm going to focus on what I'm focusing on now. Not today. Republicans took the initiative to come out and condemn the tweet from the president, which we had on the screen for viewers.
Lindsey Graham, "Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics and not the greatest of America."
Ben Sasse, "Please just stop. This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office."
Susan Collins saying, "This has to stop."
I'm reading just a couple that I have written down quickly.
I guess maybe the next question is, please, just stop, but this is not the first time that Republicans have taken -- he's crossed the line, and Republicans have gotten to the point they feel strongly they need to come out and condemn what the president says. But there's nothing after that.
CHALIAN: No. And of course, those are public opinions --
CHALIAN: -- making statements that they feel need to be made. Right? But then I think, Kate, that if we're expecting different behavior from Donald Trump going forward, I think the spokesperson for the first lady, the spokesperson for the president made clear this morning we should not expect different behavior going forward.
BOLDUAN: Stick with me, David.
We're going to add some folks to the conversation right now. CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist, Keith Boykin, is joining me. Pete Seat is here, former White House spokesman for George W. Bush, a great Hoosier from a great state; and also joining us, CNN White House reporter, Kate Bennett.
Kate, first to you.
We have had White House response and you've been tracking White House response, especially the first lady's response to what played out this morning.
KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Right, Kate. We asked the White House how the first lady felt about the tweets. She's standing by her husband. She reiterated something she said on the campaign trail. If you attack him, he hits back -- punches back 10 times harder. That came via her communications director, Stephanie Gresham (ph), on behalf of the first lady. Obviously, not too concerned. She's saying he was attacked and provoked. Therefore, this is what you get.
BOLDUAN: This is what you get.
Pete, is this what you get? You want to comment on this?
PETER SEAT, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN FOR GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, like the first lady spokesperson said, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier today, President Trump is a fighter. We knew this during the campaign. When he feels under attack, he comes out and fights back. This is partly what the American people wanted him to do. They knew this going in, that he is a fighter. And you see this all the time. People are questioning his mental fitness for the job on networks across the spectrum. People are saying he should be physically harmed. These so-called celebrities making comments like that all the time. The guy is under a lot of pressure and he's fighting back.
BOLDUAN: Yeah, but do you think it's OK? Do you think this is as -- I mean, I can list out the number of Republicans who said this is beneath the dignity of the office. Do you agree with Ben Sasse?
SEAT: They're not the words I would have chosen to use, but I understand where the president's coming from when the media is constantly, constantly, constantly attacking him. And quite frankly, we need to point out, you mentioned, I am here in the great state of Indiana. Most watching this in the heartland just don't care. They're not following the Twitter back and forth. Like Paul Ryan said, they're focused on the substance of what we need to do to get the country back on track.
KEITH BOYKIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Kate? Kate?
BOLDUAN: Go ahead, Keith.
[11:55:02] BOYKINS: This is ridiculous. This is absolutely absurd that you are not condemning this petty, vindictive, sexist attack from the president of the United States against a female journalist. You, of all people, know if this had been another person, a Democrat, a Barack Obama who said something like this, Republicans would be condemning this type of behavior. How much longer will Republicans allow Donald Trump's childish, petty vindictiveness to consume this country's politics? This has to end. The only way it ends, people like you, call yours respectable Republicans have the courage to stand up and say something about it.
Yes, I'm glad that finally Paul Ryan had the courage to say it's inappropriate, but that's not enough. And Ben Sass and Lindsey Graham, they keep condemning the comments he's making but stand behind Donald Trump as their leader.
Melania Trump said she was going to fight against cyberbullying. Well, Donald Trump is the chief cyberbully in our country. And she needs to stand up to her husband today and look him in the face and say, cut it out. This is shameful, disgraceful. He's making a mockery of our country and of the presidency and the White House.
BOLDUAN: Kate, I'm going to get you in.
But, Pete, I need you to respond.
SEAT: I would ask you, Keith, when are you going to have the courage to admit the policies your party supported are the reason Donald Trump is president of the United States? The fact that Obamacare failed --
BOYKIN: That is not answering the question.
BOLDUAN: Let me jump in. Let me jump in.
BOYKIN: That is not answering the question.
BOLDUAN: Guys -- guys -- guys --
BOLDUAN: I need to jump in. I ne3ed to jump in.
BOYKIN: That is not the question. The question is how do you --
BOLDUAN: I know you can hear me. Stop talking.
Listen to me, you guys. Here's the problem. As I said with David Chalian, the reason that policy isn't discussed now and key policy thing the president cares about is because of the president's tweeting. The president's not talking about policy.
That's why -
BOLDUAN: -- Pete, it seems a lot of Republicans felt compelled to come out, people in the heartland caring about it or not, members of Congress care about it. They wanted to come out and speak out against it. Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, Susan Collins. I mean, isn't this calling something right, right, something wrong, wrong? Isn't there some value to that?
SEAT: You're choosing what to focus on again.
SEAT: I don't hear Hoosiers focusing on this. I don't hear Americans -- (CROSSTALK)
BOYKIN: The president is tweeting about it! We're not supposed to focus on what the president is talking about? The president is tweeting about it. How can you say the media is focusing on it when the president of the United States is talking about this, this morning? Not talking about health care, sanctuary cities, health care, talking about immigration. He's talking about Mika Brzezinski, saying these bleeding from a facelift. That's unacceptable behavior from the president of the United States. And I'm sick of it. I'm sick of having to go on television and talk about the stupidity, because you, Pete, continue to defend this. It's unacceptable. It's un-American. Stand up and have some courage for a change.
BOLDUAN: Pete -- I know you well. You can walk and chew gum at the same time. You have many thoughts in your head at the same time. Can you not support a president's policies, like many Republicans do, and also condemn when a president goes over the line with a vicious personal attack that -- it's not like he's attacking someone that is the equal of his office. He's the president of the United States and decided to attack a news anchor. I wouldn't think that the president -- I wouldn't ever expect the president would ever want to waste his time to attack me. I mean, what does it get?
SEAT: Again, as I said earlier, they're not the words I would have chosen to use. But we all have a choice here in what we focus on. And the American people -- I'm going to keep repeating this.
BOLDUAN: I know, Pete. I'm focusing on all of that.
SEAT: The American people aren't' focusing on that.
BOLDUAN: I'm focusing on health care. And I also, because the president -- the statement from the president of the United States, we are forced to focus on what the president is discussing. My only thing.
Kate, let me bring you in.
On the cyberbullying thing. And I'm not being facetious. Is that still the first lady's platform, to combat cyberbullies?
BENNETT: Just a couple of things here. One is that the first lady has not outlined her platform yet.
BENNETT: Timing-wise, Laura Bush didn't until later July. And Michelle Obama did it in early fall. She said before the election that cyberbullying was an issue she would have a focus on. She said in a speech we need to communicate with each other respectfully, talk to one another in a way that's not hurtful. These are all things she's said. And she could very well continue on that path. But today's statement from her office is more, to me, felt like a, hey, we told you. You know? We told you this could happen. This is not behavior we haven't seen before. Certainly, it's to an nth degree. However, this is not, you know, a new tactic from the president. And I think the first lady's office is echoing, like, you know, this is what we told you.
BOLDUAN: We told you. You get what you pay for. Is that what she's saying?
Great to see you guys.
Keith, thank you.
Pete, always great to have you.
Kate, thank you for joining the conversation.
David Chalian with us, thank you as well.
Appreciate it all.
Clearly, a lot more to discuss.
We're going to hand it over. That's it for us at this hour.
"INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts now.
[12:00:10] JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Thank you, Kate.
Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King. Thanks for sharing your day with us.
This should --