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THE SITUATION ROOM
Progressive Dems Furious After House Passes Controversial Border Spending Bill; Trump: "Totally Ridiculous" for Supreme Court to Block Citizenship Question from Census; "Person of Interest" in Student's Disappearance; Speaker Pelosi Says House Will Pass Senate Bill, Progressives Fear Trump Will Divert Funds; Trump Avoids Criticism of Putin ahead of G20; Biden and Sanders Take Center Stage Tonight; Interview with Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Presidential Candidate on Border Aid Legislation. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired June 27, 2019 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): They have been told that they're on the air with a picture, but they are off the air --
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JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: It should be noted that at no point did Governor Carter or President Ford they take to Twitter to attack the media to attack the technical problems.
Our coverage on CNN continues right now.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Happening now, breaking news, border revolt: The House is set to pass the Senate's version of an emergency border funding bill, despite a revolt by progressives, who fear the Trump administration will divert humanitarian aid funds to immigration enforcement.
Threatening a delay: President Trump says he's asking lawyers to try to delay the 2020 census, after the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the administration from adding a citizenship question to the nationwide count, a move seen as an attempt to discourage Latinos from participating.
Ready to rumble: Democratic front-runners take to the stage tonight with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at the center of a 10-candidate free-for-all. Tonight's second round comes after the first group of Democratic candidates leaned sharply left on issues like health care and immigration.
And missing woman mystery: new leads in the case of a missing Utah student, who vanished after getting into a car with someone she appeared to know. Police have now searched her home and served a warrant to someone described as a person of interest.
I'm Wolf Blitzer, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: Breaking news: House Democrats are about to pass a bill they don't like, the Senate's version of emergency funding for the humanitarian emergency on the southern border. Progressives say they fear the Trump administration will shift some of the funds to immigration enforcement.
Also breaking, President Trump is strongly objecting to one of today's two landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings. The justices for now blocked the citizenship question from being added to the 2020 census. That question could result in minorities being undercounted.
But the president says it's totally ridiculous that the government can't ask the question. He wants to delay the census.
That comes as Democratic presidential candidates clash in their first set of debates. The party's leftward tilt was in full display in the initial round. Candidates focusing in on health care and immigration.
Tonight front-runner Joe Biden will square off with Bernie Sanders and eight other Democrats. I'll speak to congressman and presidential candidate Seth Moulton. And our correspondents and analysts will have full coverage of the day's top stories.
Let's begin with the battle at the House of Representatives over emergency funding for the border crisis. There were competing bills and one of the things is about to win. Let's go straight to senior congressional correspondent, Manu Raju.
What is the latest?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: After a bitter and emotional debate, one in which Democrats revolted, pushed against by plans by the Speaker of the House and in just a matter of moments it will pass a bill that was initially approved by the Senate to provide $4.6 billion in funding to deal with the crisis at the border.
This comes after days of internal debate about exactly the strategy to pursue. Initially Democrats in the House pushed back against the Senate's plans, offered instead a plan that had many more restrictions on how that money would be spent and minimum conditions at some of these detention facilities that they had to follow in order to deal with these migrant children.
But they faced resistance from the White House, as well as the Senate, that approved a separate bill supported by the president on a bipartisan basis with more than 80 votes.
That left Speaker Pelosi in a difficult spot. She wanted to placate folks on the Left who wanted to push for more restrictions. Initially today she wanted to move forward with this amended version of the Senate bill. But she faced a revolt among moderate members of her caucus, who said they would not support this new plan and urged her instead to move forward with the Senate bill.
As a result the House is planning to approve that Senate plan and send it to the president's desk for his signature. The caucus is bitterly divided between centrists and liberals who are debating the fallout of this and liberals who say they are disappointed not just in their moderate colleagues but senators as well.
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REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR (D-TX): I am deeply saddened that our Republican counterparts and that the president and that the Senate could not accept such moderate improvements.
REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D- FL): The House needs to take something (INAUDIBLE) the border the fastest way for us to get necessary money to the border is to take up the Senate bill.
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RAJU: And the reactions have been even sharper; in recent moments, one Democrat congresswoman Democrat, Pramila Jayapal, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus --
RAJU: -- said that Democrats and Republicans should, quote, "find a new pharmaceutical drug that builds spines."
I asked the Democratic -- top Democrat in the Senate Appropriations Committee who cut these deals, about that remark. He pushed back strongly, saying their bill was approved on a overwhelmingly bipartisan basis. He said Democrats got things that the administration didn't want in the Senate bill and they should be happy.
In the words of Patrick Leahy, he said, "We got kids down there who are suffering and we're going to sit up here and say we only got 90 percent of what we want so those kids can get 0 percent?"
He said, "I don't believe in that."
But Wolf, this ends in an acrimonious debate. In just a matter of minutes, Democrats will adjourn. But make no mistake about it. They had to concede in the House to what the Senate was pushing and Democrats are leaving town, a lot of them not happy about what just happened.
BLITZER: Let us know when the final roll call is announced. I'm anxious to know what it is. Manu Raju up on Capitol Hill, thank you.
Also breaking tonight, President Trump is sounding off on a major U.S. Supreme Court ruling even though he's far away from Washington. Let's go to our chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, is over at the G20 summit in Japan.
What's the president saying, Jim?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: After arriving at the G20 summit in Japan, President Trump is facing a major political defeat back home as the Supreme Court has blocked his administration's attempt to place a citizenship question in the upcoming census. The president is responding by questioning whether he can delay the census, setting up potentially another constitutional shutdown.
But I just learned in the last few minutes that Democratic committees in the House are now holding a conference call, discussing whether or not the president can delay the census.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Tonight President Trump has more to worry about than just the G20, it's more like 2020, as the Supreme Court just rejected his administration's move to insert a citizenship question into the upcoming census, a decision that could have a huge impact on next year's election.
The president now wants to know if he can indefinitely delay the census, something the Constitution won't allow, tweeting in the middle of the night, "Seems totally ridiculous that our government and indeed country cannot ask a basic question of citizenship. I've asked the lawyers if they can delay the census, no matter how long, until the United States of Supreme Court is given additional information."
In his decision, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wasn't buying it, saying, "The sole stated reason seems to have been contrived."
Critics expect the administration's move was at least partially aimed at discouraging Democratic leaning Latinos from voting in the 2020 election.
Former vice president Joe Biden tweeted, "Make no mistake, the Trump administration added a citizenship question to the census to deliberately cut out the voices of immigrants and communities of color. It's wrong and it goes against our core values as a nation."
The idea's been a fixation of the president's for weeks.
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TRUMP: I think when you have a census and you're not allowed to talk about whether or not somebody is a citizen or not, that doesn't sound so good to me.
Can you imagine you send out a census and you're not allowed to say whether or not a person's an American citizen?
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ACOSTA (voice-over): In another ruling with major 2020 implications, the Supreme Court did hand the Republicans a narrow victory on gerrymandering, giving the green light to the controversial practice of drawing congressional districts for partisan gain. Democrats are crying foul over that one.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The consensus people have on health care chaos, student loans, gun violence outside of Congress will not be reached inside, because the lines are rigged. And you get people who are -- their candidacies are reinforced by the politicians who keep protecting them.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The president was making waves at the G20 summit with other world leaders even before his arrival, making critical comments about Japan, China and India. But once again Mr. Trump has steered clear of any criticism of Russia's Vladimir Putin while touting his own relationships with U.S. allies.
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TRUMP: I think I can say very easily that we've been very good to our allies, we work with our allies, we take care of our allies.
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ACOSTA (voice-over): The president is closing in on his first major meeting with Putin since their summit in Helsinki last year, when he sided with the Russians over his own international community on the question of election interference.
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TRUMP: My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others, they said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin, he just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be.
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ACOSTA (voice-over): And the president is already getting testy with reporters over what he might say this time around.
TRUMP: I'll have a very good conversation with him. What I say to him is none of your business.
ACOSTA: One question for this G20 summit is whether Trump will make it clear to Putin that the Russians should stay out of the 2020 election. This is no longer a question that can wait as Democrats are already engaged in their own debates and heading into a critical period of the upcoming campaign.
Wolf, the president's meeting with Vladimir Putin is just hours away here in Osaka.
BLITZER: Jim Acosta reporting for us, thank you.
Let's go in depth now on those very big U.S. Supreme Court rulings, our chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is with us.
Jeff, the president tonight suggested he wants to delay the release, the start even, of the 2020 census, is the administration going to keep fighting to add this citizenship question?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, absolutely, they're going to keep fighting. But the census will go forward in 2020. It has to under the Constitution. It's one of the few very specific commands in the Constitution, that there be a national census every 10 years.
The question remains, will the question about citizenship be in there?
The Supreme Court today, Chief Justice Roberts said the justification that the administration offered was bogus, it was not believable. But he said go back to the district court, Judge Jesse Furman, in Manhattan, and see if you can come up with a more credible explanation for why the citizenship question is in there.
That process will go forward and presumably appeals will go forward before the issue is resolved once and for all.
BLITZER: So the high court is leaving the door open here, right?
TOOBIN: Right. I think it's important to emphasize that, that this was a defeat for the administration on the citizenship question but it may be only a temporary defeat. The question of whether the citizenship question is on the census form itself, that's not resolved for all time.
That's now returning to the trial court for new evidence to see if the administration can come up with a more plausible, a more legitimate justification than it's done before.
BLITZER: The other major decision today by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court saying federal courts should not get involved in fights over extreme political gerrymandering. That represents potentially a huge win for Republicans.
TOOBIN: You know, this is really an epic question in American politics, because, you know, what's become the routine, since computer technology has made the drawing of district lines a very precise science, is that politicians in state legislatures know how to draw lines so that they can protect their districts and punish the other party.
This has been going on for both political parties but since the Republican Party controls more state legislatures, they stand to benefit a great deal more from this decision. So in states like Ohio, Florida, these states are going to be able to draw district lines that protect the Republican majorities there in a similar way they did after the 2010 census.
BLITZER: A big decision on that front. Jeffrey Toobin, thanks very much.
Democratic front-runners take the stage tonight, the second round of what's a very crowded debate. Let's go to Miami right now. Our senior national correspondent Kyung Lah is on the scene for us.
Kyung, set the scene for us.
What can we expect?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: This is the main event, this is the main card, if you will, Wolf. This they've been able to see. These 10 contenders have been able to see what happened last night and in some cases adjust. And in just hours, these top contenders will have a chance to introduce themselves to voters but also potentially take aim at one other.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is no middle ground.
LAH (voice-over): Tonight the face-off between the front-runners, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, set to meeting center stage for round 2 of the Democratic debate double header.
Biden appearing relaxed in his walk-through for his first debate in seven years. Biden and Bernie Sanders will be flanked by Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris with six other hopefuls joining them on stage. Biden advisers say he's been preparing for weeks.
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What do you think of the technique, of course (ph).
I'm only tech leaning (ph).
What do you think?
LAH (voice-over): Expect a night of contrasts between Sanders, the progressive, and Biden, more centrist. Harris, a former prosecutor, has jabbed at Biden for the 1994 crime bill, which critics say led to an era of mass incarceration. Buttigieg, nearly four decades younger than Biden, comes bearing the mantle of the Millennial.
Lower-tier candidate Eric Swalwell called for generational change.
SWALWELL: We can't have a candidate who has ideas that are staler than Donald Trump's.
SANDERS: We have some 3,000 children who are being imprisoned here.
LAH (voice-over): Sanders spent his debate morning an hour south of Miami in Homestead, a shelter for unaccompanied migrant children. Sanders says he's ready for the punches.
SANDERS: Like Muhammad Ali noticed the weakness of his opponent.
LAH (voice-over): Julian Castro took a victory lap...
JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Clearly I had a great night.
LAH (voice-over): -- after a strong showing at debate night 1.
LAH (voice-over): He battled Beto O'Rourke on repealing a section of the law that criminalizes illegal immigration.
PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), MAYOR OF SOUTH BEND, IND., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it's a mistake.
CASTRO: If you did your home work on this issue --
LAH (voice-over): The highest polling candidate on stage Wednesday night, Elizabeth Warren, played pacesetter and avoided any withering attacks.
LESTER HOLT, NBC ANCHOR: Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan, just a show of hands to start out with?
LAH (voice-over): Warren was among two of the 10 Democrats on stage signaling full support for a new single-payer system. From health care to immigration, the progressive pull within the party on full display, as were the cultural shifts.
Three women on stage for round 1 and three more tonight, a historic number. And Spanish interjected throughout.
BUTTIGIEG: (Speaking Spanish).
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: (Speaking Spanish).
LAH (voice-over): Prompting this tweet from tonight's candidate and debater Marianne Williamson, "I need to learn Spanish by tomorrow night at 9."
LAH: That's something she probably won't be able to make. The Harris campaign, an aide tells me they've had to make an adjustment. Some Congressional Black Caucus members were expected to be here, supporting Senator Harris as invited guests. Representative Barbara Lee was also scheduled to be here in the Spin Room, supporting and speak to reporters.
But because of the votes you just saw Manu talking about, they are stuck in Washington.
BLITZER: Kyung Lah in Miami for us, Kyung, thank you.
Joining us now, Democratic congressman and presidential candidate Seth Moulton of Massachusetts.
Congressman, thanks so much for joining us.
REP. SETH MOULTON (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: I want to talk about your presidential campaign in a moment. First, let me get your thoughts on this border funding legislation that's clearly dividing Democrats here in Washington. You're out of town so you won't be able to vote. You're voting right now.
But Speaker Pelosi has just agreed to take up that Senate version of the bill which has s angered so many of your progressive friends out there who are upset about the terrible conditions at migrant detention centers.
You call yourself a progressive.
How would you have voted on this bill?
MOULTON: I have those same concerns and they're very legitimate concerns among my progressive friends. I am progressive on this issue. But, look, this is one of the realities of Washington. You do not always get what you want.
We have a crisis at the border. I'm a Democrat who's not afraid to say that. And this is the best way to deal with it immediately. That's why I think in this case Speaker Pelosi is right and we should advance this legislation to help with the crisis at the border, even though there are some risks.
BLITZER: Why did you decide to leave Washington and not be able to vote on this final day of the session, on this specific legislation, for example?
MOULTON: You know, I didn't know it would be such an contentious vote. This was a piece of legislation that was expected to pass easily. So I decided to be down in Miami, to advance my presidential campaign, where obviously there's a lot of attention being paid to these debates. It's a vote I hate to miss but it's a trade-off I had to make.
BLITZER: Let's talk about your campaign. You didn't qualify for the first round of Democratic presidential debates because you didn't meet the polling or the donor threshold established by the Democratic National Committee.
Are you going to stand out on a crowded field if you're missing out on these marquee events like these debates?
MOULTON: I was one of the last people to get into this race but who the Washington establishment at the Democratic National Committee decides to include in debates that are 7.5 months before voters go to the polls is not going to decide this election. Voters on the ground are going to decide this election.
And that's where my message has been resonating where I've been talking about my leadership experience as a four-tour combat veteran in the Marines and how I had to bring a lot of Americans together in order to serve our country.
That is fundamentally the leadership experience I think we need for the next commander in chief. If we're going to beat Donald Trump, we have to assemble a broad coalition of everybody in the Democratic Party plus independents, those Obama-Trump voters and even disaffected Republicans.
I'm the only person in this race who brings the experience of bringing together Americans in the most divisive, difficult circumstances imaginable. In the middle of an Iraq War, a war that many of us disagreed with.
I think that perspective is valuable. I think people are noticing the only combat veteran and the only governor from a state that Trump won are two of the people the decision has excluded from this debate. I'm not sure that's how we pick the best person to take on Donald Trump.
BLITZER: Well, Tulsi Gabbard served in Iraq as well, right?
MOULTON: I'm the only person who's led. My experience being a platoon commander in the infantry on the ground, in the fight on the front lines, is just very different but I think that this is experience that matters in a race like this.
I think it's a good thing that unlike any other candidate in this entire, huge field, the first time I have to make a decision involving the lives of young Americans and live with the consequences of that decision, Wolf, won't be when I'm sitting in the Situation Room at the White House.
BLITZER: Based on what we saw at the Democratic debate last night, your rivals were there, 10 of them, you party has clearly become more significantly progressive on issues from health care for immigration to free college.
Is the Democratic Party moving too far to the Left?
MOULTON: They're definitely moving to the Left. That's a problem for our party if we stand to win this election. I think it's just going to make it a lot more difficult to defeat Donald Trump.
I don't think Trump is going to be as easy to beat as many Democrats think. If we choose policies out of touch with the mainstream, out of touch with middle America, out of touch with the districts that we need to win, the swing districts, in order to assemble this coalition to beat Trump, then that's going to be a problem for us in the general election.
I'm not sure why people on the debate stage last night were so afraid to take on Senator Warren. Senator Warren is a friend of mine from Massachusetts. There are places where we agree but there are also policies where I disagree. I've criticized Bernie Sanders on some of these same policies, where I think the party is going too far to the Left.
If we put forward a nominee who essential aligns with socialism, we're going to have a tough time winning this general election.
BLITZER: Seth Moulton, thank for you joining us.
MOULTON: Thank you.
BLITZER: Good luck out there.
Manu Raju is up on Capitol Hill.
Is the roll call completed?
RAJU: It has. And the House has just passed the Senate-approved bill to provide $4.6 billion in humanitarian aid to deal with this crisis at the border. The vote was 305-102. There were 95 Democrats who voted against it, 129 Democrats voted for it. Seven Republicans voted against it but 176 Republicans voted for it.
But the 95 Democrats voting against it is significant. It shows there was a faction in the caucus that was furious at the deal that was cut on the Senate side. The House ultimately reluctantly approved. Democrats and particularly progressive members wanted more restrictions on how that money was going to be spent, wanted more safeguards in dealing with the migrant children.
The Senate cut a deal with Republicans and passed a bill overwhelmingly but nevertheless Speaker Pelosi trying to negotiate and manueuver all day was forced to accept the Senate plan. Liberals not happy, 95 registering their opposition, opposing this bill that passed by a wide bipartisan majority, 305 to 102, ending this days' long acrimonious debate here as the Congress grapples with this unfolding crisis, $4.6 billion now will be spent.
We'll see ultimately how this resolves or if it helps what's going on down at the border, Wolf.
BLITZER: How angry -- I know you and our producers, our reporters have been speaking on to some of these progressive. You say 95 Democrats voted against it.
How angry are the progressives who voted against this legislation?
RAJU: They are very angry. If you look at the bill that passed earlier this week, the House bill that included more of what they asked for in that proposal, dealing with particularly conditions on how migrant children are dealt with in some of these facilities. That bill had only four Democrats voting against it. Now 95.
A number came out with very strong statements. I just spoke with Pramila Jayapal, who is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She said the Senate Democrats lacked spines, they don't have spines to fighting for what the Democrats believe in. She said they gave up all their leverage in cutting their deal.
But the Democrats who have supported the bill are pushing back, saying look, the Democrats only control half of Congress, there's a Republican in the White House, they had to cut the best deal they could.
Ultimately they did. You see this debate unfolding not just between liberals and moderates but liberals and liberals about the right strategies to move forward and House Democrats not happy with Senate Democratic leaders and the tack they took.
And now members are all leaving. You can see members walking out of the Capitol as they head to catch their flights back home. They'll go home and talk to their constituents and it'll be interesting to see the reaction they get from their own constituents, who may be frustrated that the Democrats are in power in the House majority but aren't --
RAJU: -- able to do more with their power.
BLITZER: Stand by, Manu. Our political director, David Chalian, is watching as well.
What do you think, David, the political fallout from this vote?
Let me just remind our viewers, 305 in favor of this legislation, 102 against. Of those 102, 95 Democrats and 7 Republicans voted against the legislation.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Those 95 Democrats, that's 40 percent of Speaker Pelosi's caucus. This is a big moment in the Pelosi speakership. As you know, you've seen her wrangle all factions of her party. When the Democrats won the midterm elections last November, they did so with a lot of Democrats winning over Republican seats, 40 of them.
The majority makers, Nancy Pelosi is keenly aware of those folks in her caucus, because they're the ones who gave her the gavel basically. Yet the energy, the fuel, the fire that comes from inside the party come from that progressive, liberal wing, so she's obviously been meeting with them, making sure to keep them on the reservation.
But what she's experiencing now is not terribly dissimilar from what we saw John Boehner or Paul Ryan deal with the House Freedom Caucus when the right-wing, more conservative faction of that party would bolt from a vote and Boehner or Ryan would have to try to get some Democrats on board to pass something.
Nancy Pelosi understood passing something was much better than passing nothing before going out on the July 4th recess. So she cut this deal but losing 40 percent of her caucus in doing so is not the position she wants to be in all the time. BLITZER: Once again, 95 Democrats opposed; 129 Democrats stood with Nancy Pelosi and supported this legislation.
I want you to stand by as well. We have a lot more on all the breaking news, right after this.
[17:31:41] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: This hour's breaking news, the House of Representatives just approved billions of dollars in emergency spending for the humanitarian crisis along the border with Mexico, but progressive Democrats are furious because the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, compromised and allowed the Senate version of the bill to pass. Listen to Ilhan -- Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
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REP. ILHAN OMAR (D), MINNESOTA: Nothing we did today accounts for that, and making sure that something like that does not happen again. Nothing we did today makes sure that any of the money we send would be used to make sure that kids have a proper place to sleep, that they are no longer going to be in cages, that they're going to have proper care.
We had that opportunity. We had an opportunity to put forth a humanitarian policy, and we wasted that opportunity. And it's quite sad. And I hope that Americans are as appalled as I am. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you plan to Speaker at all -- speak to the Speaker?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Ilhan Omar. Chris Cillizza, the final vote in the House, it passed overwhelmingly, 305 to 102. But of the 102 in opposition, 95 were Democrats. One hundred twenty-nine Democrats supported it.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yes, and Nancy Pelosi had to know that that was likely. I mean, I don't know if she knew it was going to 95 but she had to know it was going to be a bunch.
Nancy Pelosi is very different, a very different kind of liberal than Ilhan Omar or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Nancy Pelosi is a liberal by belief but a political pragmatist by practice. And what she understood -- now, I heard David Chalian say this a little earlier, he's exactly right.
Nancy Pelosi understood that if you go to the July Fourth recess with that picture of the dad and daughter facedown and you have done nothing -- now, you can debate whether this bill does everything it should, but you have done nothing -- that is politically hugely problematic.
And Nancy Pelosi is still looking out for the people who made her majority, the people who are in Trump districts or marginal Democratic districts. They are the ones who are pressuring her. That's why she did it.
BLITZER: Let me ask Nia what she thinks. What's your analysis, Nia?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: No, I think that's right. And what a striking image there, Omar there asked the question about Nancy Pelosi, whether or not she thought it was her fault, did not answer the question, just let the window roll up there.
She's got 94 other Democrats who'd probably let that same window roll up and essentially blaming Pelosi. There's been so much tension in this caucus, but you saw from Pelosi somebody who was able to really stitch together a caucus. Fragilely, but really, you know, working her way through this.
And now you've got her really siding and having to side with those 40 or so moderate Democrats in places like Texas, in places like Virginia, places like Pennsylvania, in Florida, who didn't want to go home to their districts and be seen, a, doing nothing, and also cutting funding from ICE.
So you have this very, I think, pragmatic -- Chris is right here -- pragmatic approach to a very urgent problem and really upset progressives here. I think we're going to hear from a lot of those. And it really, I think, casts Pelosi in a very different and difficult position going forward because she's certainly weakened by this.
BLITZER: You know, David Chalian --
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Wolf --
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes.
BLITZER: -- the legislation passed overwhelmingly in the Senate. It was seen as a significant compromise of sorts. But the Democrats in the Senate, they voted for it. They wanted to get that money to help the kids along the border.
[17:35:06] CHALIAN: Yes, it's a total different political makeup in the Senate -- in the Democratic caucus in the Senate than it is in the House that Nancy Pelosi is dealing with. But I do think it's worth noting, while Nancy Pelosi clearly had a challenge on her hand, she wasn't rolled by these progressive liberals, right?
She still got a majority of the majority to be with her on this bill and played her politics in a way that she thinks protects that majority going forward. But -- so I do think it is worth noting. She is still clearly a speaker in command here.
But I think what this vote shows -- Wolf, remember that moment on "60 Minutes"? Nancy Pelosi was interviewed and asked about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and she said, oh, what, there are three of them or four of them? And she kind of just was dismissive of the notion that there was substantial clout there that had to be dealt with.
Well, there were 95 of them as it came to this issue today, a lot more than three and four. And so I do think Nancy Pelosi got a bit of a preview of some battles, perhaps, to come inside her caucus.
BLITZER: Yes, go ahead.
SUSAN HENNESSEY, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY AND LEGAL ANALYST: I also think it shows that Pelosi is in -- is in a no-win situation, right? In this situation, she's being accused by members of the left of being -- of not being sufficiently tough on sort of infighting with -- fighting it out with the Republicans.
That said, if she actually did try and push for a legislation she ultimately didn't believe could be passed, people would be turning around and accusing her of using these children, this terrible situation, this emergency -- this sort of humanitarian emergency as, essentially, leverage and sort of a political point. And so it really is an illustration of the extent to which she is caught between very, very difficult positions.
BLITZER: Well, they tried to --
CILLIZZA: Welcome to the majority. I mean, it's --
BLITZER: They tried, Jeffrey Toobin, to pass the House version in the Senate. It didn't pass. It didn't get the required 60 votes.
TOOBIN: I mean, you know, Pelosi dealt -- you know, she played the hand she was dealt. And she had to get -- she had to get a bill passed and she got a bill passed. I mean, you know, it's -- when you're Speaker of the House, it's very different from when you're a junior member of the House from Michigan where you can say you want to do anything you want. She's got very different responsibilities, and she acted accordingly.
CILLIZZA: I mean, I think people misunderstand Pelosi. I feel like Pelosi is misunderstood, largely because of a long-standing Republican campaign to make her a boogeyman, as a scary San Francisco liberal.
You do not become Speaker of the House unless you are willing to cut deals, to say, you know what, two is better than zero. I wanted 10; we're going to take two and we're going to live to fight another day.
That's who she is. It's just a different calculus. That's who she's really, in truth, been for much of her career.
CILLIZZA: She's a little bit misunderstand.
BLITZER: Because she wants to make sure that she remains the Speaker of the House --
BLITZER: -- after the next election. Everybody stick around. There's a lot more news. We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [17:42:33] BLITZER: We're back with our political and legal experts.
Susan Hennessey, these two U.S. Supreme Court decisions today, they could have pretty significant political ramifications going into 2020.
HENNESSEY: Certainly an incredibly significant day at the Supreme Court. You know, the census really is about sort of the long-term.
It wasn't going to have an impact on the 2020 election, in part because it was about the consensus that was going to be conducted, you know, this coming year. That's about the number of representatives that we have over time. I think we count all persons, not all U.S. citizens, and so that's certainly -- this is a significant case.
That said, the gerrymandering decision is probably going to have more of an immediate impact. Essentially, what the court upheld today was the proposition that members of Congress can choose their voters rather than the -- that voters choose their members of Congress.
Now, both parties engage in gerrymandering. However, in terms of sort of raw number and political power, this is a decision that substantially favors Republicans.
BLITZER: A significant development. David Chalian, as we prepare for the second night of Democratic presidential -- the second presidential debate tonight, who were the breakout stars in the first debate?
CHALIAN: Oh, well, I think Elizabeth Warren clearly had a very good night last night. First of all, a huge benefit of the draw. She was alone among the top five candidates. Her four other closest competitors are all going to be on the stage tonight, Wolf, so she had a real chance to sort of own the space and get her economic message out there and the entire sort of rationale for her run.
I think that Julian Castro, clearly, had a very good night. He had not gotten a ton of attention. We see in the Google search trends, it's just astronomical for him. The campaign reports good online fund-raising, all because, I think, of that immigration exchange he had with Beto O'Rourke getting the better of him.
And I would say Cory Booker had quite a good night as well. I think he went in to inform people more about his biography, his differentiator being that he lives in a low-income housing or low- income neighborhood with lots of Black and Brown people. He said that over and over and over again no matter what the topic was because that's a differentiator for him. So he got his biography out there a bit.
BLITZER: Nia --
TOOBIN: Can I mention --
BLITZER: Go ahead, Jeffrey.
TOOBIN: Can I mention how all 10 were completely pathetic on one issue? How about the Supreme Court of the United States? They couldn't even answer a 30-second question about the Supreme Court without going to a different subject.
[17:44:53] Democrats have neglected this issue for decades. Mitch McConnell didn't neglect this issue. Donald Trump didn't neglect this issue. They both recognized that they can advance their agenda through Supreme Court appointments, and Democrats have been asleep on this issue forever.
TOOBIN: And that was just another night last night where they concentrate on the trivial issue of the day instead of something that really matters.
BLITZER: That's an important point because a president can serve for four or eight years, a Supreme Court justice can serve for 30 or maybe 40 years depending on that person's health. Nia, what are you looking at tonight? Because Biden is going to be debating tonight.
HENDERSON: Yes, there could be fireworks. So you got Biden up there -- the big four, really, Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, and Harris.
Look for those ideological splits to be very apparent, with Sanders likely hammering Biden in the way that we've already seen him do and making Biden's kind of the portrait of the establishment. We saw, of course, Sanders do that in 2016. I expect that he'll do that tonight.
One other thing that'll also be interesting, too, is Buttigieg. He's had a bit of a rough go at it with this police-involved shooting in his town in South Bend, Indiana. Can he course correct tonight, and does anyone try to attack him? He is in that top five. Do you see sort of the one percent, the folks who are below him, attack somebody like Buttigieg?
Harris, I think she's got a real big challenge too, tonight, and a big opportunity. She is, I think, a candidate that's steady in terms of the polls, steadily in the top five, but you also don't get a sense of what a Harris presidency would look like.
She hasn't been as good at sort of branding what an administration run by a Harris president would look like, so I think that's going to be a challenge. And an opportunity, if she can flesh that out tonight.
CILLIZZA: Can --
BLITZER: Hold on.
HENDERSON: And we'll see what Biden does as well.
CHALIAN: And, Wolf, I think that we're going to see an ideological test again tonight, right? And it will -- yesterday, we saw a party -- where we saw evidence of a party that sort of is animated by the left, has moved to the left on a lot of these issues. There was a lot of rhetoric yesterday on that stage that would never have been in a Barack Obama Democratic Party or a Bill Clinton Democratic Party.
But tonight, with Joe Biden, front and center, you're going to get a heavyweight that has a different viewpoint on these issues, that represents a different wing on that ideological spectrum, which is going to give a more robust, I think, overall sense of options to Democratic voters out there where they want to land on that spectrum.
CILLIZZA: Biden is the key, I think, to David's point. Structural change versus a return to normal. Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg to some extent, Harris, these are all people saying the structures of our democracy need to be fundamentally changed. Biden is saying this is an aberration within the country and within the Republican Party. I'm skeptical that that message sells.
Now, Biden's ahead because he's Biden -- name I.D. He's got, you know, strong, among African-American voters at the moment, you know, connections to Obama. But that message has tried to be carried by John Delaney last night or even Amy Klobuchar to an extent. It didn't really sell.
Now, it's a different deal when it's Biden selling it, but, to David's point, this is the case. This is the test case. Can someone with that message win a Democratic nomination against Donald Trump in 2020? This is the start of that test.
BLITZER: And just a little while ago here on CNN, David Chalian, Congressman Eric Swalwell, who's a Democratic presidential candidate, he said Biden's idea -- and I'm paraphrasing -- were staler than Trump's.
CHALIAN: Yes, it was astonishing to hear that.
CHALIAN: You know, he made clear who he was talking about. I don't know if he actually said his name, but saying the ideas from the top tier candidates out there cannot be staler than Donald Trump's? Them be fighting words in a Democratic nomination race.
CHALIAN: And I don't think he is befriending the front-runner there very much.
CILLIZZA: And remember, Joe Biden --
TOOBIN: Well --
CILLIZZA: Joe Biden has shown, whether it's on the allegations with him and how he acts around women, including the Nevada Lieutenant Governor's candidate, and this stuff about James Eastland, not the thickest-skinned guy for someone who's been in this for 40-plus years. He is -- the whole Cory Booker should apologize. Let's see how he responds when attacked tonight.
BLITZER: Everybody, stand by. There's a lot more news we're following. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.
[17:49:16] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: There's breaking news in the search for a University of Utah
student who vanished more than a week ago. Let's bring in CNN's Brian Todd.
Brian, police have identified a person of interest?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They have, Wolf. Sources inside the Salt Lake City Police Department telling CNN tonight, the person of interest is the owner of an Airbnb where police have found several pieces of evidence. But still, there is no trace tonight of 23-year- old MacKenzie Lueck, and police are not saying whether they believe she went missing voluntarily or not.
TODD (voice-over): Police in Salt Lake City are furiously chasing down more leads tonight as the mystery deepens in the case of missing college student, MacKenzie Lueck. The police have just searched a home in Salt Lake City, scouring the property, including the detached garage, for clues, finding multiple items of evidence. Police say the residence is an Airbnb.
MIKE BROWN, CHIEF OF POLICE, SALT LAKE CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: No arrests have been made. However, the owner of the residence where we served the warrant last night is a person of interest.
TODD (voice-over): Salt Lake City police tell CNN the owner of the residence is a man. They say he has spoken to police, but they're not releasing his name. And they are not saying if he is the same person whose car MacKenzie Lueck got into when she was dropped off by a Lyft driver in a park in North Salt Lake at about 3:00 in the morning on June 17th.
Police did tow away a car from the residence but are not saying if it's the same car. And there is other specific evidence from the house police are trying to track down.
BROWN: There was a mattress and a box spring that were given away last week.
TODD (voice-over): And police tell CNN they are looking into reports that the person of interest was burning items in the backyard of the house recently.
ANTHONY FERRANTE, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION CYBER DIVISION: That's extremely concerning. You typically don't burn anything unless you're trying to destroy it, right?
TODD (voice-over): The 23-year-old University of Utah student was last seen publicly in this time-lapse surveillance footage at Salt Lake City International Airport shortly after she landed on a flight from California on June 17th.
Police say she texted her mother that she had arrived then got into a Lyft at about 2:40 in the morning. Police say the Lyft driver said she did not appear to be in distress when she got out of the Lyft at the park and got into another car. Police tell CNN Lueck's cell phone has been turned off since that moment.
Former FBI agent Anthony Ferrante says one lead police are likely focusing on, the cell phone towers near the park. Those towers, he says, collect all the cell numbers in that area all the time and could help police zero in on the person who Lueck met up with.
FERRANTE: Take the data from the night the woman disappeared and overlay it with potentially the night before or the night after and see who was in the area that isn't typically in the area.
[17:54:58] TODD (voice-over): Police say they're looking at MacKenzie Lueck's use of public and private Instagram accounts and other parts of her digital footprint as well as her dating history. If she's alive, even if she disappeared purposely, Lueck's friends are making an appeal to her.
JULIANA CAULEY, FRIEND OF MISSING UNIVERSITY OF UTAH STUDENT: The family and I really do not care. We just want her home safe. We don't care about the past. We don't care what she's gotten into or what has happened.
TODD: Salt Lake City police are still being pretty cagey tonight. They're not releasing a lot of information on who they have interviewed in this case or on the leads from the park that night or other information.
Law enforcement analysts say there's a reason that police are holding back on all of that. They say police don't really want to tip-off anyone who MacKenzie Lueck has been with since the night she went missing or tip-off MacKenzie herself if she is still alive because all those people could still be watching all of this news coverage -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Brian, thank you.
Coming up, breaking news. After bitter fighting among Democrats, the House passes the Senate's version of a funding bill to address the crisis on the southern border. But angry progressives fear the Trump administration will divert humanitarian funds to immigration enforcement.
BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news. Under the bus. A new source of division for Democrats tonight after the House of Representatives approved the Senate's controversial border aid bill. We're going to tell you why many progressives are livid and feel they've been run over by members of their own party.
[18:00:03] Delaying the census. President Trump wants to up-end the mandated count of the U.S. population, threatening constitutional.