Trump: Ready to close border as early as next week

The president threatens to close the U.S.-Mexico border, while 2020 Democratic candidates campaign in Iowa.
26:43 | 03/29/19

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Transcript for Trump: Ready to close border as early as next week
Are there are welcome to the briefing room on this Friday afternoon on ABC news political director Rick Klein joined here by Katherine folders from our White House reporting unit. A lot of news serve to get to two days some breaking news out of Venezuela some big threats from the president regarding the US Mexico border but first on this week. That has been dominated by questions about when we're gonna learn more about Robert Mueller we finally got some answers about the time line from here a letter. From attorney general Bob Barr to the top Democrats and Republicans on on Capitol Hill its source the lay out the timeline he is saying mid April if not sooner. Are these 400 pages or so will get to the public what are the other takeaways Katherine in warmer. Here's mark ES loses the first time we're hearing from bar since we heard from him on Sunday when he released at four page summary of the principal conclusions of Muller's report. And this is the first time he says on the record in a letter to congress that it's almost 400 pages but he says there are well along. In the process of we're dancing the of the report what what can be made public at classified information he says we should have a by mid April if not sooner. Two big takeaways a from his letter is he said there are no plans to submit this report to the White House for an executive privilege review so it'll get a look at him for it to look at first I'm. A you know there could be privileged information in that there may need to be discussions about. Certain portions of it but he he's very clear there are no plans to deliver the full report. And the other take away from us there's been a lot of talk about are going up to the hilly testifying now my want some of their Lindsey Graham wants month there. He says quote I believe it would be appropriate for me to testify on behalf of the department shortly after the report is public so we will seem out there on. And 1 other entry evening in the letter he says he did not intend for his. Four page synopsis of the main talking points to be a summary of everything he has that was just the bottom line that I was trying to inform congress about it was not a summary. Exactly and and sources Ayman talkative and emphasizing that same thing this. It bars saying that this that he murder is not a summary of the full smaller report he says this was just the principal conclusions he says that there's some media reporting in even is some noise from Democrats on the hill who weren't taking about contacts ornaments or clarify about. And some clear lines of the attorney general that we will know more rather less and maybe sooner rather than later about what's in the Muller reformer. A moving on the president issuing a very stark threat and meanwhile his Homeland Security is a secretary is warning of a system wide meltdown. A system wide meltdown and appeal to congress but let's take a look at what the president is saying about the US Mexico border a little earlier in Florida. So Mexico's top they can stop them if they chose not do now that didn't stop them and they don't stuffed them with closing the border. They'll closet and what we'll keep a close for a long time I'm not playing games Border Patrol so it credible. But there's a point at which you can't stop him anymore we have no defense should face no nothing. See here there the president saying he could be shutting down the border as soon as next week also saying it could last awhile we want to get right now to senator Ron Johnson is the chairman of the senate homeland security committee. Joining us by phone senator thanks for being here and in you're view. Does the crisis at the border as outlined any administration does that warrant closing the border with Mexico. I'm not sure exactly what it means you're probably would do it. No we're absolutely crisis more records. Former DHS secretary Jake Jackson under Obama on TV or those morning saying. A bad day for him was when we yet thousand people. Condit country legally it would be apprehended. Last couple weeks we've seen days civil war back. Think this humanitarian crisis and because of the loop pole because of this structure several laws. We in effect have virtually open borders for our copy children and people cutting his family units and you know all their own our border security at where this is a mere speed bump. Toward these open borders and I'm half of these individuals long term occupancy in this country to see full blown crisis. And let me give you just some other numbers in 2014. President about it claimed it was a humanitarian crisis. When 140000. People in this country illegally you got a copy children or Carter family unit. Last year that there's a 169000. In the first six months of this year were already were 200000. Primarily people coming and spam the units from Central America and what they expect for America to claim asylum and they get. Apprehended they get trapped that they give dispersed. Through all of America and that day indicate long term this is a great fit. And it is overwhelming system EB peace simply don't have the facilities or the personnel. They have so many Tammy it is certainly children. So the president as you know has declared a national emergency has been some high I don't controversy but it is in place because they've been veto. I was not overridden by by you and your colleagues on Capitol Hill but get back to the mechanics of this the president says seal the border you're a business guy. You know how important Mexico is as a trading partner in the Mexican government is saying they're not going to close down the border. So should the United States government do it are you worried about what that means for the broader economy leaving aside the situation at the war. Again what I recommend you we change our laws leased out and spent advising in rewarding part Powell is should be sure reduces lol. Of unaccompanied children ST apparently his country's grammys is out of control is growing almost exponentially. This article I think what you're hearing out the president is just the frustration. Of trying to dispute is proper a couple of years being left. Democrats say the manufactured crisis it's not I would certainly Democrat ever to go on the border and put them in in charge you make can be respect. Apple for trying to grapple with. 4000 people it be come across the border illegally we talk hear him. Two to 34000 people care grandma we're getting it here grand prize that the people the elite coming across the border their country crock sick. We need to protect that we're providing. Medical care we're hadn't surgery shortly personnel from other areas which is taking who called. Trigger potentially drug interdiction this people holding crisis. And as a nation we need to respond to it. And senator Scott from farmers here in though in a letter that secretary Nielsen cents a congress yesterday she called. In this and quote dire situation at the border and she wants in new authority to immediately deport undocumented minors back to their home countries. She says we face a system wide meltdown it do you that's a little bit of a boy asked from congress since. Many people are unsure if this humanitarian crisis constitutes a national emergency. Not exactly what we have Dugard has the consequence because what does unit right now is a real leave it at that are currently trial. Or part of Stanley group what can America you get through state. What Greg Keller other people who want to leave Central America could help him to come. Michael Chertoff. Speak similar situation not even call the magnitude but we're resilient in 2005 Guinea and Mexico visa free. Big cut in this country legally while 31000. Do you realize there's a problem he's got a big profits have expedited removal any return him immediately to Brazil the following year only 14100 people showed up. Even President Obama in 2014. They began dictating family units enter drop the flow is reduced to dramatically but then he was taken to court and it Florence agreement was. It interpreted to apply to accompany children as well and that is what is really spark this. Beckman nets feel. The questioner who groping to invite the problem this is completely out of control and people are hurt anybody who says it's not a crisis. Bower of the border you trying to care for people a day. And senator finally that is true president clearly res and viewing he said today if they don't stop the Mexicans on south that we are closing that border I am not playing games yes or no should the border with Mexico be close. Next door past corporate. Began I don't know how people wore big bear their part in order you can you put. Cookies Border Patrol and tribal lands. Obviously school court victory the Caribbean and certainly don't think it's wound Americana music world we have. Repeat this problem Mexico Central America. There right now primarily Democrats. And Gekko played recognize the problem admit they have been working group assault. All right senator Ron Johnson the chairman of the senate homeland security committee Republican of Wisconsin we appreciate valiant thank you so there. It I do think that was an important distinction to send a Dotson. Is making here he said quote I don't know how you close the border the president is making this threat as explicit as is you can and you have the chairman of the homeland security committee say wait a second. Maybe that's not exactly what you do. Exactly that was interesting and the president of that he wants to do this as soon as next week I have a full board and former or portions of the border and a senior. DHS official said today that they're going to be submitting have planned at bat path forward to do this to the president. That's the question what what exactly do they do what ports of entry do they close and will not really make any difference. That's right in the look at than the numbers are the numbers and we put an aspirin earlier this or there's definitely a growing number of migrants that are crossing this questions about who's responsible for that when the president's policy. Is is part of the problem there and I have struck by this letter from the DHS secretary is well she calls it an urgent. Request a dire situation and a system wide meltdown and this appeal toward congress it seems like. There's a public facing part of this appeal they know the congress is an and a suddenly settle its differences and to provide these resources but the question. TU Jon is a former DHS official. The president is talking about shutting down the border of Mexico is that something he can order is that something that the United States government. Through the DHS or other agencies is purpose prepared over. Are able to enforce. Well. The president or DHS can't shut down ports of entry. But history tells us that. Shutting down closing the borders a terrible idea he does nothing to stop fluently and write. This country has nothing to stop upload illegal immigrants in this country. But what it does there was cause severe economic harm. He caught goods. Can't come. United States from Mexico goods. Being shipped into Mexico cannot close the ports of entry. I am people who were on both sides of the border cross the border city and their jobs senator makes no sense of security perspective. I'm content doesn't address the problem. And really caught on severe economic harm. An Indy we saw its that we saw a kind of a double barrel to this the president's threat but also this pretty unusual letter from secretary Nielsen secretary of Homeland Security. Talking about her urgent request this system wide meltdown. On the need for more resource is I what strikes you about this letter a lot of things a she's talking about here. I for one thought that's why the national emergency was declared that what DHS had already been doing in terms of surging resource is to the border. Yeah I. Hammer action. Yeah departed homeland security and operational entity it's intended to understand brass and other Homeland Security problems facing the US. It is. It was designed and it's intended to be able to deal wit extraordinarily this extraordinary circumstances we've known for months that there was an increasing number. Women and children and Nancy coming to this country seeking. Well we haven't seen is at eight. Operational response. Right. To address the issue. The longer you go without addressing the issue operational and the worst conditions aren't his again and I just say based on what to respond with a senators earlier. The driving force behind this third. In part our conditions here in the United States particularly and who's in our economy with a primer drop reason why people are clean simple matter country. Arctic conditions in those countries that thrives. People leave their. Condit used US seek protection under Idaho law until we get him help those countries address there. I'm their internal conditions earnings continue to see people and the US seeking protection. And Jon Cohen how much responsibility does this administration bear in your mind with four for the surge in the fact that the policy has the exact like it has. He's the public policy of separating minors from their families. Of course that was rescinded if it seems advertise to a lot of folks in Central America were. Thinking about coming that there was a way to get into United States is that is that a factor all on the uptick in your mind. I answer your question that's where I'm conditions have worsened at the southern border over the last two and a half. Here conditions today are much worse than they were. When. The Obama administration. Left office. So one can only look at the policies that are being faced. Being put into place today operational decisions that are being made on southern border I think when I finally answer why conditions anymore. And we didn't we don't as the archives a little bit this is cut interest think video from the mid 1980s when President Reagan shut down the border with Mexico John. Etan Cohen you mentioned out what that means and we see these this car just piled up at at ports of entry. So you seal off the border what does that actually mean for people who work on one side or the other of the border goods and services the travel pretty freely through this enormous border with an enormous trading partner. And during that time heard networking. And narcotics officer in Southern California. And we're dealing with a transnational drug trafficking. Coming across the border what happened when we shut down ports of entry when the administration the Reagan administration shut down ports of entry in response to the killing. I DEA agent he literally had to act passed my law. Producers rush. Trust material that went in order to construct. You know me Matt Ryan couldn't get across the border workers. Couldn't get a crop ordered it to their job. Cost severe economic problems and very quickly the administration learned that no matter how well intended. The decision to close the border livestock farms the United States significant that he had a reverse a decision. All right Jon Cohen our ABC news contributor and a former DHS undersecretary appreciate your perspective here in the briefing room thank you sir are currently there. Catherine and another big headline today out of Venezuela potentially some some pretty encouraging news that the Red Cross is saying that it's going to be able to get its aid into Venezuela to help people directly. They're circumventing government distribution channels we understand. I'll want to talk it up to our our expert on all things Venezuela cured Roddy our foreign editor has spent some time in Venezuela. Not so long ago it cure what's the importance of this development does it suggested. There's any end in sight for the political stalemate the two governments that are still. Vying for recognition and in full control of the country where is this more about the people of Venezuela. Well as he said and there is a lot of need in Venezuela I don't know if this has anything about the political resolution but certainly it's encouraging. That the Red Cross says that they have permission from both sides. To bring that aid. Into the country both from the Missouri government. And from the opposition now while we haven't heard anything from the Madieu government says they've agreed to this this will be the first in that they've actually agreed to allow aid into the country. If you may remember he was only about a month or so ago. That the opposition tried to organize bringing all of that aid. Provided by the United States across the border from Columbia and it was stopped by the Venezuelan military that blocked the borders and there were all those classes so this would be. Very good news for all the people in Venice will who need urgent medical care and this is a place you mention I was just there few weeks ago. Where hospitals you know lack electricity lack basic medicine and supplies even things like antiseptic sand and the things that we would take for granted any doctor's office here you just can't get them. In Venezuela so there there's a ton of needs as you mentioned they're gonna try to go around. The official government distribution channels and that. Has you know that's for two reasons one is that they can. Avoid taking sides between the government and the opposition but it also. It avoids. The possibility of some of that eight being stolen and diverted to the black market which is a big problem in Venezuela. In interior it but when is the earliest we'll see you medical supplies medals plaza writing in Venice now houses the north. Well it remains to be seen exactly how it's going to work and in the Red Cross hasn't released a lot of details yet but they have so that is going to the next couple days. Or within a week edition say the opposition suggests is that it would be by this time next week. But we don't exactly know how that's gonna happen yet. And cure it there's another headline out of Venezuela today that the majority regime is welcoming. Russian troops and now they're saying this is only to provide some maintenance on things but it's got a some people on the United States I concerned. Did did national security advisor John Bolton among those who were warning that they'll be watching very closely is that. Is that a sign that there could be more tensions now with additional Russian forces on the ground. Yeah this is something that's copy of the US I there was. A plane full of Russian military advisors and and some some troops that were spotted at the airports. A few days ago there is lot of questions about. What sort of support the Russians are willing to provide two the venezuelans have been some strong warnings from the Americans about. Not getting more involved in Venezuela. It now that the Russians have said as he said that they that they are there to do some maintenance work and help but there's have big strong warning from a Elliott Abrams as the US. Special envoy of Venezuela. Again to the Russians not to get more involved militarily in Venezuela. Which would obviously escalate that situation tremendously. All right our ABC news foreign editor cured Roddy a thank you for keeping us up to date on this that developments out of them as well we appreciate it Karen thanks as. The 20/20 candidates are out there about the Salinas there's some there's a motion this is a movement and doubt we've got a guy with an Adam Kelsey is on the ground for us. In Iowa today's and Marshall town Iowa over Elizabeth Warren is just wrapped up a campaign event it's a a busy a couple of days Adam and I understand you've got a chance that. To ask senator Warren about this this latest development including the president's. Asking for the border to be close. Yet that's right Rick Elizabeth Warren is someone who giving some speeches she really sticks to the script she wants to talk about economic inequality she wants to talk about health care in those types of issues. But as this news was breaking earlier today she comes over and goggles with the press and I had a chance to ask her. About what was happening in the threats the president trump was making at the southern border and for Elizabeth Warren she tries to put a human face on at the comments that she made. Refer to the mothers who are trying to bring their children to the United States to pursue a better future. And it was somewhat struck by the way that it it somewhat reflected the story that she tells during her stump speech he talks a lot about her own mother who ought went out and got a minimum wage job in her youth after her father got sick in order to support her family so she's clearly trying to draw some parallels between what's happening at the border the humans whole rather than the numbers of people working their way across the border and what happened in her own life. I think we've got that cliff if we can now we can play we'll get your response was there the other side. Sprint is not news I. Our county. Win. Our. Senator Warren Korea calling it a cheap political game and Adam I know you're going to be in. Iowa for the next a couple of days a B candidate forum. Tomorrow we're a whole bunch of Democrats are there and they dusting feel like they're suddenly have a lot of issues they wanna talk about Mueller is on very much old news from the democratic script and there's a lot of things. That are on the democrats' agenda and on the minds is this. Yet if it was up to the Democrats they would talk about nothing but health care we saw that last year during its when he admits it between eighteen mid terms that was obviously news of dates earlier in the week when president trump said that the Republicans were going to be the party of health care so I would expect to hear a lot about that at the heartland forum up in storm lake affirmative be tomorrow not only is Elizabeth Warren going to be there John Delaney Tim Ryan who's not yet a presidential candidate but it seems to be working his way towards there. Amy Klobuchar as well and I'm I'm certain that we'll see more responses. As lake Elizabeth Warren's to what the president said. About the southern border again trying to put a human face on from the democratic side of things talking about the values that they have as Americans rather than as we saw from Ron Johnson earlier in the show just the sheer numbers of people working their way over the border so definitely interesting to hear some of these democratic responses here in Ireland and the rest that we can't. And that's our work kicking off his campaign in Texas and a big way this weekend as well a lot of Kelsey and Marshall town Iowa thank you Adam for checking in here on the briefing room. And Catherine not let's talk of the 20/20 on the other side as the president was out a campaign rally last night and we understand is the next couple minutes he's going to be announcing a pretty big personnel shifts. The to resign they came a little bit out of left field but but what I'm told is that she's going to. Mark on the fund raising effort. Form for the president's campaign and does that put that in perspective and she donated a total of six million 201 of the super pacs rebuilding America now. And in open many millions of dollars other way Republican. A organizations the RNC between at 20152016. So I think. Look he's he's saying is going to make avenues conference about his it's going to be more of a statement which is a little odd. But I think the the president in the use her somebody who's going to be helpful to him into 1 each morning. You know this and Linda McMahon someone ran for senate before they are also a part of the McMahon family WW ES where Donald Trump was very famous California got into the political world and welfare of a lot that happened. A little while and finally tonight want to mark we want to mark some history. The marine core of the US Marine Corps just today is celebrating something it's never done before its history and is graduating. A group of agents both male and female together integrated for the last time they are the last. Of these service branches to do so. To have a boot camp that is integrated like that our Elizabeth McLaughlin. Is joining us now in Elizabeth my first question is what took so long what took so long from the Marines they get to this that this for this place. That's a great crashed in wreck while basically. This is the first time the Marines have put men and women together into one company but it's important to note that this is not total integration this is really. Partial limited and it's not going to happen in median home next year's so what happened here with the winter recruiting classes are a lot smaller. If you are these recruits coming in to parents filing which is where this graduation took place in South Carolina. So they affect how we can't have a full group. Of just aggregated when and why don't we throw some of them in a platoon sized group of about fifty women and in integrate them into an all male company. And so they lived in the barracks with the men on they had their own floor. But they were living and that same building went through the exact same training which is. Both integrated and separate it between men and landing and then they graduated today it's about a thirteen week boot camp. And the Marines that it Clinton went well actually spoke to their company commander yesterday who is that the class was very competitive. He couldn't say whether they were really shatter or worse than any other company. And so now the Marines are going twist that's how this training model worked. They said they will consider using an in the future there won't be an opportunity 2019 but this could be something they do again and like you said the air and army and air force than eighty. They all have integrated boot camps in the Marines are the last to do this. They have the fewest percentage of women in their ranks just about 9% so this is a big deal for that it's really a media small staff in terms of total integration. The to have. Winning graduating in what was normally an all male battalion at the big deal today here at the Pentagon. And does it have broader implications I'm curious in terms of how. The Marines operate how the Marine Corps operates from here and that that. Obviously they're there if there heaven female Marines for a long time now but does it matter operationally to have this integrated company that train together like this. I don't think it will make a difference in the long run when went and actually spoke yesterday. After the company commander spoke to a male and female recruit now marine private first class. About what they thought about training side by side. They've really doesn't faze them they say hey I look at my brother my sister. It still gets content see how to do the training batter it's you it's and maybe have a different technique when they're doing somebody's physical training opportunities. They they respect each other. But that the training really hasn't changed there's some parts it is where it is. Men and women working together side by side doing these obstacle course this means it media physical fitness test. There are other parts that are still totally. The red are totally separate and so that the training o'clock hasn't change I don't think we'll see that play out on the battle field. But you could see meeting in the future the Marines will decide that this went pretty well we can see he went in I am seeing in these all mail companies. And meaning that will lead to more and more and more immigration. All right good notes and this Friday on Elizabeth McLaughlin over the Pentagon thanks for human eye on this frustration at. And and Catherine kind of Fuller's all a lot happened this week when you think about it everything from here them all the reports only a week of it we can go right about now that it cannot came out it does remind me at least how many different issues are likely to come up before the next presidential election to see the quick turn to health care that the Special Olympics with talked about Earl earlier in the region now this crisis that's growing again on the southern border. EA you have to think in the room when Marley and Armisen reporting on our effort for two and a half years now it's it's. The dominated the news coverage but look what Buffy obamacare decision from from the administration I came on in the middle of the week it was questions about the strategy and why not just revel in this Moeller win but. Look Democrats at least Democrats I was talking Norman held view that as a wind the obamacare is economic and what they say is start talking about policies. All right and we move on can we move on capitalist thanks so much thank you for watching here in the briefing room on ABC news little rhetoric finally got Monday. Right here in the region.

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