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Supreme Court Upholds Trump's Travel Ban; Trump Calls Travel Ban Ruling a "Tremendous Victory"; Trump Accuses Harley-Davidson of Surrendering Too Soon; Trump Threatens to Put Tariffs on German Cars; Rep. Tom Reed Talks Travel Ban Ruling, Immigration. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired June 26, 2018 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: They can try to change the conversation to say, look, the Supreme Court has said that the Trump administration is protecting the borders in a way that is constitutionally permissible, that we are following the law and doing it to protect the American public. That is an argument that you will hear, if you haven't started hearing it already. Whether that can successfully change the conversation away from the incarceration of unaccompanied children, you know, that's above my pay grade. I mean, how it plays out politically, I don't know, but I do know that the Trump administration will certainly try to tie the two events together.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Evan, Jeff, if you can hold on for a second, I think we're finally getting a statement from the White House.
Let's jump back over to the White House. Jeff Zeleny is there.
Something beyond the tweet from the president, Jeff, I assume. What are we hearing?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, Kate. We are getting a statement from the White House, from the president on this ruling. We mentioned the word "vindication" before. That was the immediate response from a senior administration official here. That word is indeed in this longer statement.
Let's take a look at this statement. It was just released a few moments ago. A statement from the president himself. He says, "Today's Supreme Court ruling is a tremendous victory for the American people and the Constitution. The Supreme Court has upheld the clear authority of the president to defend national security of the United States."
It goes on to stay, "In this era of worldwide terrorism and extremist movements bent on harming innocent civilians, we must promptly vet those coming into our country."
It says, "This ruling is a moment of profound vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country." He goes on to say this, "As long as I am president, I will defend the
sovereignty, safety and security of the American people and fight for an immigration system that serves the national interests of the United States and its citizens. Our country will always be safe, secure and protected on my watch."
Very interesting that he is seizing on this ruling, which is a narrow ruling upholding the revised travel ban, revised three times.
ZELENY: He is using it to make a broader point about immigration in the context of today's decision. And he, of course, is attacking the media in this statement, attacking Democratic politicians.
We should point out, Kate, that many Republican politicians as well, and people throughout the government were alarmed by the early version of the travel ban.
ZELENY: It had to be revised several times. But this statement makes clear the president seizing victory, seizing vindication. There's no room for nuance here in the statement at all, seizing a win and using it for the argument going forward that we know he want to make in this midterm election campaign, that Republicans are for stronger borders, Democrats are not. That's how he is framing it, quite simply. He's going to use that Supreme Court decision to amplify his argument.
BOLDUAN: Also, just a final thought -- thank you so much, Jeff.
Jeffrey Toobin, also, I am struck as we're listening to the reactions here, looking at the president's tweet from this morning, the statement from the White House, just how the administration and the White House had tied itself up in knots for weeks and months to try to say this was not a travel ban, this is not a Muslim ban, this was not a ban. This is not what this was. The president is saying, in his initial tweet, that's exactly what it is.
TOOBIN: The argument they made was it's not a Muslim bank. I don't think they denied it was a travel ban. But they kept insisting it's not directed at a religion, it's directed at people with -- countries that have major national security problems. One of the major changes they made was they added North Korea to the list of countries that -- where immigration was banned from. North Korea, of course, is not a Muslim country. All was part of the effort not to tie this restriction so directly to religion the way the earlier version was. Obviously, the four dissenting justices thought that was all a pretext, that this really is a Muslim ban, that you had to look beneath the surface and the motivation here, but the Trump administration certainly persuaded five justices that this was a legitimate exercise of presidential power, not a discriminatory act towards a religious group.
BOLDUAN: I do distinctly remember them saying, it's not a Muslim ban and it's not a travel ban. Regardless -- (CROSSTALK)
BOLDUAN: I don't remember the travel ban part but I'll take your word for it.
[11:34:44] BOLDUAN: Always do that. Let me put it that way, Jeff. All ways take my word for it.
A lot to learn from this.
Jeffrey, thank you so much.
Evan, thanks so much. I really appreciate it.
Jeff Zeleny, at the White House, getting more reaction from there.
Coming up for us, President Trump has a new target in the growing trade war. It's not a foreign adversary. It's, a quintessential American brand, Harley-Davidson. Why the president is accusing the motorcycle maker of waving the white flag. That's coming up.
BOLDUAN: You know that old saying, presidents shouldn't pick winners and loser? Once again, with President Trump, you can take the paper that that was written on, tear it to shreds and light it on fire. The president on a tear on Twitter, taking on Harley-Davidson for daring to move some of the its production out of the country as a result of the tariffs that the president slapped on U.S. allies. Trump accusing them of surrendering, of using the tariffs as an excuse, and even predicting the company's ultimate demise.
"Their employees and customers are already very angry at them," he tweets. "If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end. They surrendered. They quit."
Add Harley to the list of people, places and things that have seen both sides of President Trump. Harley executives were invited to the White House last year, where he thanked them for building things in America and predicted they would expand. Now, they're on the wrong side of a Trump flip-flop after executives announced they're moving some production overseas in order to avoid retaliatory E.U. tariffs.
Joining me now, CNN senior economic analyst, Stephen Moore, and CNN economic analyst and associate editor for "The Financial Times," Rana Foroohar.
Thanks for being here.
Stephen, the president hits Harley for surrendering too soon. Be patient, he says. Did Harley have another option here?
[11:40:39] STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST: Look, I was never in favor of some of these steel and aluminum tariffs in the first place. I think they were misguided. One of my points was you might be protecting some of your steel and aluminum jobs, but the millions of Americans who use aluminum and steel may be put at a disadvantage. And we're seeing that now. Now that -- I was against the policy. But I have to say this. I think will decision by Harley- Davidson will go down as one of the worst corporate decisions. This is like New Coke. It will be a disaster for Harley-Davidson.
I used to go to the Trump rallies, you know, when I was working on the campaign. There would be hundreds of Harley-Davidsons motorcycles parked on the side of those venues. Trump dominated the biker vote. These aren't going to be happy customers. They may gain some customers in Europe, but I think they really put at risk their customer base in the United States by moving their facilities outside the United States.
BOLDUAN: What do they do? Just eat a $100 million lose?
MOORE: Look, Trump's point is these countries I think will have to back down. Are we going to simply blink first? Trump has a valid case that, I don't know, since they have higher tariffs than we do. Trump wants a level playing field and, ultimately, he wants the tariffs of all these countries reduced, not increased.
BOLDUAN: Rana, what the president is saying, is, short from saying long-term gain, do you see that working here?
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: It's a really interesting question. There's been a big debate about whether these tariffs are negotiates postures on the part of the president. I think they're more than that. If you think about the hawks in the White House, Peter Navarro, the trade representative, I think they want to see a fundamentally new trade regime. They want to see more regionalized supply chains. They want to see things rejiggered in the global system.
What's interesting is the Harley case underscores a problem that a lot of American companies will have to face. They're not going to have to face an existential crisis in terms of, we did business one way for 40 years, we were able to outsource supply chains wherever it was cheapest. If things are fundamentally changing, then companies will have to rethink that. And they can continue to do business the old way. There's certainly a lot of people that would support that. But they may bump up against trade wars in very unexpected ways.
Steve and I agree on the fact that I think the real issues are between the U.S. and China, not between the U.S. and Europe. I think it's been a strategic mistake for the White House to be involved in fighting everybody at the same time on trade issues. But it is underscoring the issue that trade is changing. I think we're in a fundamentally new era and I think we'll see more cases like this.
BOLDUAN: Let me play -- kind of tangential here, but a very important trade issue -- what the president said last night, speaking in South Carolina, in Columbia, South Carolina, threatening to take on German cars. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I said, look, if you want to do that, we're going to put a little tariff on your cars coming in. Cars are the biggie. Cars are the biggie. European Union, we lost $151 billion last year with the European Union. They send the Mercedes, they send BMWs, they send everything. We tax them practically nothing. We can't send our cars. If we do, they charge many, many times the tax that we stupidly don't charge. So I don't them, here's what we're going to do, we're going to charge a tariff on steel until such time as you straighten out your act and you let us have fair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: BMW's largest plant in the world is in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Stephen, an hour and a half drive from where the president was speaking last night. There was some applause when he was talking about this. Will they be applauding if they make good on this threat?
MOORE: You're right that there's so many BMWs and Mercedes and Saturn plants that are now built in the United States. A lot of Americans don't understand that. I always say we're not losing our auto industry. It's just moving to places like Texas, South Carolina, Florida, states like that.
I think Rana's point is correct, even to describe a product as an American product or Chinese product or a Japanese product these days is really difficult to do because of global supply chains.
But I go back to what I said before. Trump is -- it's not as if you have a level playing field and Trump is proposing all of these new tariffs that will put us way above the world. These European countries do impose higher tariffs on American products. And the question is, what will we do about it? When Trump campaigned on this, he said, it's not fair, it's not reciprocal, and we're going to demand that these countries make some concessions. Whether he can pull it off, I don't know. I hope he does, for the good of America. But I think that's where he's at.
[11:45:39] BOLDUAN: Is it worth it?
BOLDUAN: It's very tweetable, but is it worth it?
FOROOHAR: Is it worth it is it and is the business community going to get behind him now? I think it's very interesting because this is where the rubber meets the road, no pun intended.
FOROOHAR: Business loved tax cuts and Trump deregulation. Businesses do not love tariffs. Businesses will have really hard choice toss make in terms of how they play all of this and whether or not they'll shift from 40 years of globalization and neo-liberalism to a different way of doing business.
BOLDUAN: All started with Harley.
Great to see you both.
MOORE: The question is whether he can bring -- I mean --
MOORE: -- his ultimate end game is to have more free trade and not less. I just want to -- I mean, he --
BOLDUAN: But how long it takes to that the end game --
MOORE: We don't know.
BOLDUAN: You don't know. That's a scary proposition.
Rana and Stephen, thank you above so much.
MOORE: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Coming up next, much more on the breaking news coming out. The Supreme Court upholding President Trump's travel ban. He's calling it a tremendous victory. More reaction coming in from Capitol Hill and beyond. Stay with us.
[11:51:01] BOLDUAN: Back to our breaking news this morning. The Supreme Court has upheld President Trump's travel ban against seven countries, five majority Muslim countries. Minutes ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said it's, quote, "a great victory for the safety and security of Americans."
Let's get more reaction to it. Joining me now, Republican Congressman Tom Reed, a New York congressman.
Thanks for coming in.
REP. TOM REED, (R), NEW YORK: Thanks for having me on, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision?
REED: I believe the court issued the right conclusion in its opinion. It's about using presidential authority to keep us safe from threats that are around the world, and that's exactly what the court concluded.
BOLDUAN: Congressman, the court also said that, in the majority opinion, that when it came to it, it's within the president's power, and so his words before, during and after the travel ban was put in place, they don't matter. Do you think the president's words don't matter? REED: I think his actions is exactly what the court focused on, and
rightfully so. And the actions of the order were exactly clear, keep American citizens safe. We need a system in place that's going to vet people coming to America that want to do us harm and keep us on a path of security.
BOLDUAN: Do you think the travel ban 3.0, which is what the court considered, do you think it's a watered-down version of the initial ban?
REED: Well, you know, obviously, there's multiple versions of the ban. But the ban that was reviewed by the court did exactly what I think it need to do, is implement extreme vetting to make sure the threats of terrorism, folks that want to do us harm here on American soil, are recognized and that we have a system that protects Americans on this Mission First, Mission One-type of priority.
BOLDUAN: Congressman Keith Ellison, I spoke with him a while ago, and he said this travel ban is putting lipstick on a pig. It is not within the president's authority to discriminate based on religion, and simply isn't. And that's what he sees in this travel ban. What do you say?
REED: Obviously, I appreciate my colleague's opinion on it, but I believe he's wrong on this issue. What we're focusing on are terrorists and people who want to do harm to American citizens on American soil with this order. I think that's a reasonable position to take. We want to protect American citizens and --
BOLDUAN: It's always been a reasonable position, right, Congressman? But when you look at where terrorists have come -- people who have come to this country, where they come from, where terrorists have originated, it's not in these countries they've listed out.
REED: Some come from these countries, some come from other areas, and that's why the ban is fundamentally on the foundation of keeping us safe, and that's the right conclusion that the court looked at and took action upon.
BOLDUAN: Do you think this decision would have been different had it been a Justice Merrick Garland on the court instead of Neil Gorsuch?
REED: No, I think the court wrestled through the different issues that were before it and they came up to a conclusion that would have been upheld up by a different court because it's the right decision.
BOLDUAN: The thing is, we will never know. That is one thing we will never know.
Congressman, I also want to talk to you about, since we're in the midst of another -- a crisis on immigration in a very different way, in another way, if you will, at the border with regard to the 2300 children who are still separated from their parents. Do you know what the administration's plan is? Do you have a clear idea of how they will be reuniting these children with their families?
REED: Yes, my understanding of the process is they are doing exactly that. They are reuniting these families and getting that accomplished. The executive order took that temporary step in order to make that happen. But that doesn't fix the problem, Kate. We need in Congress a solution to this, because it's the law of the land that is fundamentally causing this issue to occur. It's not just an issue just with President Trump. It was an issue with President Obama, President Bush, wrestled with this issue. It's time Congress acted on it, and that's why I'm proud to be part of the efforts to force an immigration outcome that we'll see in the House this week and into next.
BOLDUAN: I would like to know where your confidence is though that the administration is working, is doing just that, reuniting the children with their parents, because another Republican, Will Hurd, he was on this morning, speaking with John Berman, and he says that he's concerned about HHS's ability to reunite families because they were supposed to have a conference call yesterday, just a conference call to get an update on the process, and the phone number didn't even work. He said, if they can't do that with us, I'm concerned with the ability of connecting kids. Don't you think?
[11:55:22] REED: I haven't had that experience. I'll let Will's experience speak for itself. But my understanding, in communication with the folks at the White House, the administration, they are following through on that executive order. But let's be very clear here, Kate. This doesn't fix the problem under the executive order. That's why the law needs to be changed. That's why in Congress we should set aside our political differences and get this done for the people that are affected.
BOLDUAN: But the political reality is you guys can't get it done. It's not Republican versus Democrat, this is Republican versus Republican yet again with regard to immigration at this moment. Do you have any confidence, even on a narrow measure, not even adding any of the other stuff that always trips everybody up, on a narrow measure, can you get it done by the end of the week before you guys go on break?
REED: I believe a narrow measure is a backup plan. Still working forward on this immigration bill on the floor. Still have an opportunity to get to 218. But if that fails, I'm very confident we'll get this narrow measure done. Because we shouldn't have any disagreement on keeping families together as we go through this process. There's broad Democratic and Republican support for that.
BOLDUAN: Do you think more judges, more immigration judges would help in this effort? Would you like to see that?
REED: Yes, I think not only judges and resources, but you need to fix the border, you need to fix this process, and you need to do it by changing the law of the land. That is --
(CROSSTALK) BOLDUAN: Why do you think the president is so anti putting more judges on the border? He keeps talking about 5,000 judges, they're asking him to send 5,000 more judges to the border. I haven't seen that number yet in what people have been requesting. But why do you think he doesn't want it?
REED: I don't think that's the thing. I think what he's saying is that we need to fix the root cause of the problem, and that is a broken immigration system, a broken processing system, and then have the resources to go with it. Fix the problem and then we'll make sure the resources are there. That, to me, is a reasonable approach to this.
BOLDUAN: But at what point are you to the backup? It feels like when Paul Ryan says, we'll cross that bridge when we reach it, how are you guys not already on the bridge of needing to go to the backup of the backup of the backup if you really do want to get something done?
REED: That's why I was part of the effort to sign the discharge petition with Democrats and Republicans to force this issue. It should have been done months ago. But obviously, people went a different path. Now all I can deal with is the reality of the day. I'm going to continue to be a voice in our office to say, let's take action on this, and I'm glad we're taking action this week. And that narrow fix is my backup plan that I think will easily pass and get to the Senate.
BOLDUAN: Let's see what happens in the next couple of days.
Thank you, Congressman, for coming on. I appreciate it.
REED: Always a pleasure. Thank you, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Thank you.
We'll have much more of our breaking news. The Supreme Court upholding the president's travel ban. The president expected to speak at the White House very soon.
Be right back.
[12:00:04] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King. Thank you for sharing this big breaking-news day with us.
Big breaking news being President Trump's travel ban upheld --