Transcript for Trump doubling down on comments that asylum program is a scam
Back here at home, president trump doubling down on his comments that the asylum program is a scam. While also thanking Mexico's president. ABC's white house correspondent Tara Palmeri is at the white house with the latest. Good morning, Tara. Reporter: Good morning, Eva. President trump has turned up the heat on his rhetoric, as he struggles to contain the flow of migrants at the border. This weekend at an event attended by holocaust survivors, he blasted asylum seekers from Central America accusing them of scamming the system. Overnight, president trump accusing migrants of abusing the asylum system. The asylum program is a scam. Some of the roughest people you have ever seen, people that look like they should be fighting for the ufc. Reporter: After sending this harsh warning to migrants -- Our country is full. Can't come in. Reporter: At a Republican jewish coalition event in las Vegas, mocking refugees for appearing too tough to be persecuted. I am very worried that I will be accosted. If I am sent back home. No, no, he'll do the accosting. Asylum, oh, give him asylum. He's afraid. We should be talking about trying to fix a system that is broken and find solutions. Reporter: Just last week, president trump threatened to seal off the border completely. The flow of goods already impacted by massive traffic delays. According to the A.P., some truck drivers complaining of 12-hour wait times for a crossing that used to take 45 minutes. I said I was going to close the border. It's gotten so bad. I said, we're closing the border. And as soon as I said that. And I really thank the president of Mexico. Because they stepped up. Reporter: President trump has said that Mexico stepped up the policy at the border. But Mexico's immigration agency said that the policy hasn't changed. Dan? Tara Palmeri at the white house this morning. Thank you. Let's bring in chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos. Good to see you. We know there's been a surge of migrants at the border. The president is right about that. But what the president is suggesting, that we're closed for business, nobody else is coming in, or that the asylum process is a scam, is that likely to fix anything? No, not the rhetoric alone. The president is struggling to come up with answers on this. Last week, he said the border was going to be closed. He said, oh, no, Mexico has improved their policies. We know they didn't make any real changes. The reason he didn't close the border was because of pressure here in the United States over what the economic impact would be. The president also wants to build that wall. And there has been replacement fencing put in. But congress is not going to fund the wall to the degree that the president wants. He wants to keep this issue alive, going into 2020. But, I think he's been struggling to come up with actual solutions to the surge. He calls the asylum program a scam. Can he shut it down? Do you think he wants to shut that down? Or is it just rhetoric? It would be difficult to shut down the entire asylum program. Can you deal with people that are not legitimately coming for asylum? Perhaps. Most of the people coming from Central America are facing issues of crime, gangs, poverty at home. Let's talk about another big issue. On your show this morning, a pair of Democrats from congress on the vanguard of two efforts. One is to get the full Mueller the other is to get president trump's tax returns. Let me take them one at a time. On the tax returns, are they likely to be able to get those tax returns? This is pursuant to a 1924 law that came out of the teapot dome scandal, Warren Harding. It says congress, the chairman of the house weighing and means committee, the tax committee, has the power to request the tax returns of any American and the irs shall provide it. The word shall as clear as you can get. You're seeing the white house and the president fight back very, very hard on this. They're saying there has to be an underlying legitimate legislative purpose. Congress is saying because they have to oversee how the audits are done. Of the president's tax returns. One thing you know for sure. I think the law is pretty clear on this. You know this fight could take in the courts. Could go all the way to the supreme court. Let's talk about the Mueller report. So much attention around this. We have seen what the attorney general has had to say. We haven't seen the underlying report. Will we? And how much of it will we see? That's the big question coming up. We know that attorney general Barr has said by April 15th, he'll release the redacted versions of the Mueller report. Taking out grand jury information. Taking out information that would harm other people's privacy rights. Taking out intelligence information. I think once that is released, congress will have a decision. Do we want to go further? Request the entire unredacted report? The underlying grand jury information? So far, the Democrats signaling they're going to want that information. We won't know for sure until we see what Barr releases. This is another fight that could take time. Mm-hmm. George Stephanopoulos. Thank you very much. You're reminding me to read up on teapot dome and Warren Harding. George has a big show this morning. He'll speak with two key Democrats in the house engaged in the push for both the Mueller report and the president's tax returns. Plus a member of the president's legal team, Jay sekulow, will be on to respond. All on "This week." Coming up.
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