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STATE OF THE UNION
Republican Revolt; Interview With Jack Kennedy Schlossberg; Interview With Virginia Senator Mark Warner; Interview With Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick; 10 Dead After Shooting At Santa Fe High School In Texas; Trump Says "Animal" Remark Referred To MS-13 Gang; Moderate Republicans Close To Forcing DACA Fix Vote; Interview With President John F. Kennedy's Grandson Jack Kennedy Schlossberg. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired May 20, 2018 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Another gun tragedy, 10 people dead after a gunman opened fire inside a Texas high school.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was scared for my life. Nobody should feel that pain.
TAPPER: Has fear become the new normal for students in America?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everyone must work together at every level of government to keep our children safe.
TAPPER: The lieutenant governor of Texas joins us with all the latest next.
Plus: bigger than Watergate? As the special counsel's investigation enters its second year, President Trump accuses the FBI of spying on him during his 2016 campaign. Are his efforts to undermine the investigation working?
SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: This president's relentless attacks are not reflective of what our nation is.
TAPPER: The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warner, will be here in moments.
And Republican revolt. House Speaker Paul Ryan tries to rally his party after a deepening rupture over immigration policy tanks a major bill.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We are working in earnest with our members to try and address all of their concerns.
TAPPER: Is there a leadership vacuum on Capitol Hill?
TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is grieving for Santa Fe, Texas.
In what now feels like a tragic national routine, the country is remembering those lost on Friday after a student allegedly opened fire at a high school.
Late Saturday, authorities released the names of the 10 innocent people who were killed. And, as in so many of these tragedies, the victims were mostly students, teenagers looking forward to birthday parties and summer break.
Authorities say the alleged shooter was a student at the high school who used guns legally owned by his father.
Now the governor of Texas is calling for immediate action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: We need to do more than just pray for the victims and their families. It's time in Texas that we take action to step up and make sure this tragedy is never repeated ever again in the history of the state of Texas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Joining me now from Houston, Texas, is the lieutenant governor of Texas, Republican Dan Patrick.
Lieutenant Governor, thanks so much for joining us.
First of all, obviously, our thoughts and prayers have been with the town of Santa Fe over the last few days. You have been speaking there with family members, talking to survivors.
How is the community doing?
LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK (R), TEXAS: The community, like Texas, is very strong, but obviously hurting, Jake.
There was a prayer vigil the other night. I will be joining Governor Abbott later this morning at a church service. And this is a community that stands on the rock of faith.
You know, Jake, in the last 10 months, Texas has been through a lot, largest natural disaster with the hurricane, the largest church shooting, and now this. And we stand strong together on the rock of faith and the rock of our Constitution. We believe in our freedom and our liberties and our Second Amendment.
And we will stand strong, and we will stay together as a community, as we have done for almost the last year in many crisis situations.
TAPPER: We have also been following, of course, the latest developments about the shooting.
Is there any new information that you have learned about this tragedy, either having to do with whatever sick motive the shooter had or how he got the guns or anything else?
PATRICK: There is a parent of one of the deceased students who said that her daughter had told this particular student, the shooter, the alleged killer, time and time again rebuffed his -- his, I guess, asking for a date.
And she has talked about that. But in terms of any true motive, any more information, police are still investigating all -- the journals that he has written, looking through computers and telephones, I'm sure.
TAPPER: The governor said he wants to do something about this, that prayers are not enough.
TAPPER: He's announced roundtable conversations coming up early this week about potential solutions to mass shootings, school shootings.
Here is what you said about possible answers on Friday. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK: What can we do now? One, if you are a parent and you own guns, lock your guns safely away. Your children should not be able, or anyone else, to get your legally owned guns. It is a serious issue. It's one big step that we can take.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: If that is how you feel, sir, should that be law?
Well, in many cases, there are -- there are laws, depending on the states, and I'm sure there is some federal law regarding your culpability in a crime using a gun if it was your gun or if you own a gun.
Also, there have been civil suits filed against those who own guns when someone got their guns in the past.
But, without question, Jake, several things need to happen. One, we have to start at home. Gun ownership -- and I'm a proud gun owner -- that comes with responsibility of gun control in your home.
Be sure that your kids and grandkids or anyone who might have access to your home cannot get your guns. Number two, Jake, I'm a firm believer, as...
TAPPER: Can I just interrupt for one second?
PATRICK: Sure. (CROSSTALK)
TAPPER: I want to let you get to number two in a second, but just on number one for a second.
TAPPER: Should it be law that if you -- especially if you have children in the house or people under 18 -- I know, Texas, the age is 17.
PATRICK: Right. Right.
TAPPER: But should it be law that you have to lock up your guns?
PATRICK: Well, again, Jake, depending on the state -- I would have to look at all the federal code right now and code concerning the guns.
TAPPER: But what about Texas?
PATRICK: In Texas, again, we hold you very responsible if you are a gun owner.
For example, I'm a concealed carry, as are almost one million Texans. If I use my gun to stop a crime or to defend myself, and a stray bullet -- if I fire a bullet that goes astray and strikes someone else, I can be held not only civilly, but criminally liable.
So, even in a case of not only controlling your guns in your home and keeping them locked up, you also can be held criminally liable if -- if you use your gun and someone gets hurt who was not your intended target.
If someone is trying to attack you, and you miss them and hit someone else, yes, you can face charges. So, we have to look exactly...
TAPPER: Right. That's the law right now in Texas, but there isn't a -- there isn't a law requiring safe storage?
PATRICK: Yes. Jake, I'm not -- Jake, Jake, I didn't come on with you to go through the entire penal code of the federal government or the state.
PATRICK: I'm just saying that every parent out there needs to understand, every gun owner, if you are not a parent, you need to understand your guns must not be -- you must not -- you must control your guns at home and be sure they are locked up and kept away from others getting your guns.
TAPPER: But you had other points you wanted to make about things you think need to be done. And I want to let you continue, sir.
PATRICK: Yes. Sure, Jake. And thank you for that.
We need to -- we need our teachers to be armed. We -- you know, when you have -- when you are facing someone who is an active shooter, the best way to take that shooter down is with a gun.
But even better than that is four or five guns to one. And yesterday, or Friday, because of the heroic action of our two officers on the campus who were armed and a roving officer and a state trooper that showed up very quickly, they were able to stop the shooter from killing more.
This school, Jake, was one of 186 school districts given an award for their safety training in Texas out of 1,000 districts. And they reacted quickly and bravely.
But had teachers been armed -- there was a teacher next door, a Marine who saw what was going on, slammed the door, locked his door, protected his students. Some feel, had he been able to carry a gun, he may have been able to stop that shooter, had it been his choice.
So, in Texas, I can tell you this law, Jake. We already allow teachers to carry, but we leave it up to local control, up to the superintendent, up to the teachers and up to the parents to make that decision.
I was in a -- I was in the hospital visiting with a student who was wounded on Friday night. And a lot of his classmates were there. And when we asked him -- Governor Abbott and I were there and Senator Cruz -- they all said to a person our teachers should be armed. The parents said our teachers should be armed.
So, we need armed teachers, trained, of course, not just anyone who has a gun, but trained how to handle active shooters in the schools. We need to harden the target.
Number two, Jake, we need to get down to one or two entrances into our schools. You have the necessary exits for fire, of course. But we have to funnel our students into our schools, so we can put eyes on them.
This young man showed up with a trench coat, which he wore often, I have learned, and he had a gun under it. And he came through one of the entrances undetected.
You know, the Israelis have -- have -- have three focus on security. And that is to deter, detect and deny. And we have too many people who can get on to our school campuses with guns who are not deterred and are -- and are not detected.
So, I am proposing that our new school designs are built that way, and we retrofit our schools. The average age of schools in Texas -- in America, Jake, are 44 years old. Schools weren't designed and built 40, 50 years ago to deal with today's issues.
So, we can harden those targets and make it more difficult.
TAPPER: Well, whatever the solutions, I hope they come quick and I hope that they are successful.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, thank you so much. We are all thinking about Santa Fe, Texas, today.
PATRICK: Pray for us.
But Texas is strong, and we will stand together and -- with these families and get through this time.
Thank you, Jake.
TAPPER: Thank you, sir.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: And here with me is Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.
Let me just start with this issue of guns and this epidemic or mass -- a lot of incidents of shootings, mass shootings.
Is there any legislation you can think of, based on what we know about the Santa Fe, Texas, incident, that could have prevented the tragedy?
SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: Well, first, obviously, condolences to the folks in Santa Fe, although, as has been stated, I think tragedy after tragedy, people want to hear more than thoughts and prayers from politicians.
that could have prevented the tragedy?
WARNER: Well, first, obviously, condolences to the folks in Santa Fe, although, as has been stated, I think tragedy after tragedy, people want to hear more than thoughts and prayers from politicians.
I don't think there's a single piece of legislation, but there's a series of actions. Are there things we can do that would improve safety of our security -- of our schools? Should there be more mental health counseling for troubled teens? A number of the incidents that -- are caused by young men time and again. Absolutely. Making sure people are safer with their own firearms? Absolutely. But one of the things from the previous interview, the notion that you
can go through this list of items, and not talk about reasonable gun control, reasonable at least background checks -- might not have affected this tragedy, but potentially others -- the fact that we should -- and this was not a case where there was an assault-style weapon, but the fact that we are the only industrial weapon in the world that allows these military-style assault weapons to populate throughout our whole society.
I think anyone that says you can address this issue without also dealing with reasonable and logical restraints on gun ownership -- and I say that as somebody who was -- when I was governor, I was supported by the NRA.
But tragedy after tragedy after tragedy, I would hope elected officials would allow their thinking to evolve on this issue.
TAPPER: Well, let me ask you a question, because, obviously, the current Congress is a place where the kind of gun legislation you are talking about goes to die.
Even the ban on bump stocks couldn't get through Congress or isn't going through Congress or doing it in a regulatory way, the Trump administration.
But I am old enough to remember when Democrats controlled the House and the Senate and the White House, and this -- these shootings did not just start in the Trump administration. They have been going on for decades.
Why didn't Democrats do anything about gun violence then?
WARNER: I think this epidemic seems to have gotten much worse in the last 10 years.
There's plenty of things that we could have pointed back in the '80s and '90s, when the Democrats controlled, that perhaps, in retrospect, should have -- more should have been done.
But the fact is, Jake, it is now 2018. We have these tragedies, it feels like, once a quarter. There's a few days of mourning, with the exception of what happened after Parkland, where there seemed to be a moment.
And my hope and my appeal to everyone is, let's do an all of the above. But, please, for those folks that I work with in the Congress, take a moment and let your position evolve. I mean, there are ways that we can put reasonable restraints without dramatically interfering with people's Second Amendment rights.
TAPPER: All right, Senator, stay right there. We have a lot more to talk to you about.
We are going to take a quick break, but when we come back, we're going to talk about a lot having to do with the Russia investigation, including a new report detailing another meeting that Donald Trump Jr. held at Trump Tower before the 2016 election. Who was at that meeting?
TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.
One year into special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, there is new reporting suggesting that another country may have tried to influence the U.S. presidential election.
"The New York Times" is reporting that, three months before the election, Donald Trump Jr. met with an emissary for two Gulf nations offering to help his father's campaign. It included a proposal for a social media manipulation campaign.
And just a few minutes ago, President Trump seemed to respond to that story on Twitter, writing in part -- quote -- "The world's most expensive witch-hunt has found nothing on Russia and me, so now they are looking at the rest of the world."
I'm back with Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee.
Senator, I want to get your reaction to this report.
Were you aware of this other meeting Donald Trump Jr. had with some representatives of Gulf state nations? And is there any evidence that any of them actually followed through and did anything to help the Trump campaign?
WARNER: I'm not going to comment about where we stand in terms of certain witnesses in our investigation.
But if the "Times" story is true, we now have at least a second and maybe a third nation that was trying to lean in to this campaign. And I don't understand what the president doesn't get about the law that says, if you have a foreign nation interfere in an American election, that is illegal.
TAPPER: But did it take place, is the question?
WARNER: Well, again, I think the "Times" story, we will see what follows after that.
What we do know took place, though, is that Russia, a foreign adversarial nation, massively interfered in our elections, both in terms of leaking information to -- on a selective basis, scanning 21 of our states' electoral systems, using social media in ways that were basically unprecedented.
And they were doing it to not only sow disarray, but to help Trump and hurt Clinton.
TAPPER: But the...
WARNER: And that -- and that point was reconfirmed this week on a bipartisan basis by the...
TAPPER: By your committee.
WARNER: ... Senate Intelligence Committee.
TAPPER: So -- but the big question is, did they do so with the assistance or participation of any American, especially and including people who were in the Trump campaign's orbit?
And do you have an answer to that question? Because that's collusion. That's the collusion question.
WARNER: And that -- that is -- that is clearly the end point question that we're going to have to deal with.
TAPPER: But have you seen any evidence of that?
WARNER: But what we do know -- and we have seen evidence.
As a matter of fact, the leaked -- the leaking of the transcripts from Donald Trump Jr., putting out by the Judiciary Committee, shows clearly that the Trump campaign welcomed dirt on Hillary Clinton.
WARNER: Now, did the president know about that meeting or not? I don't know. I would like to get the answer to that.
WARNER: I would also like to find out if there was this other pattern -- if the "Times" story is accurate and there is this pattern that other countries were offering, and, clearly, the Trump campaign was receptive to these kinds of offers, how that is not the beginnings of evidence of stuff that needs to be investigated.
And remember where we are at, at this point. We are a year in, 14 indictments, including the indictment of the president's campaign manager, five guilty pleas, and, as we have seen on reports, a lot of questions that still need to be answered.
TAPPER: Many questions, but just to put a point on this -- and then I want to move on to another question about the same subject -- still, as far as the public knows, no evidence of anybody in the Trump team accepting the offers of help, no and, as we have seen on reports, a lot of questions that still need to
TAPPER: Many questions, but just to put a point on this -- and then I want to move on to another question about the same subject -- still, as far as the public knows, no evidence of anybody in the Trump team accepting the offers of help, no evidence of actual conspiracy that we know of yet, that we in the public know of yet?
And you are not willing to comment on whether or not you have seen evidence of that conspiracy?
WARNER: What we're going to do in our investigation, collusion will be the last issue. We have dealt with election security.
We've reconfirmed the findings of the intelligence community assessment. We are going to deal with the social media issues. And, yes, we have to get to the conclusion...
WARNER: ... just as well as, obviously, the Mueller investigation has to be able to continue.
And this is the point, Jake, that just amazes me, the president and his allies constantly trying to undermine these investigations.
TAPPER: Well, but let's...
WARNER: If the president has got nothing to hide, let these investigations finish.
TAPPER: Well, I want to talk about that, because one of the points that you have been trying to make is, they're trying to undermine it by revealing the identity of somebody who was a confidential informant for the FBI.
Reports in "The Times" suggest that this FBI informant met with two Trump aides during the campaign.
The president tweeted -- quote -- "Reports are there was indeed at least FBI representative implanted for political purposes into my campaign for president. It took place early on and long before the phony Russia hoax became a hot fake news story. If true, all-time biggest political scandal."
Do you -- was this individual, this informant, was he or she implanted into the Trump campaign?
WARNER: I do not -- I have not seen any evidence of that kind of truth of the claim the president has made.
As a matter of fact, his attorney Mr. Giuliani, I understand, backed off some of that. But let's go to the heart of what the president and his allies -- some
of his allies in the House are starting to do.
TAPPER: Devin Nunes and others, yes.
WARNER: What his allies are trying to do.
The first thing you learn when you get involved with the intelligence community is, you have to protect sources and methods. People's lives depend upon it.
As a matter of fact, Mr. Trump's own FBI director this week, Christopher Wray, said, when officials or elected officials go out and start exposing classified information, exposing informants that work with our government, America is less safe.
That is illegal if you reveal this kind of information.
TAPPER: You think, if Devin Nunes reveals the name of this informant, he will be breaking the law?
WARNER: I think that if any individual, elected official or otherwise, knowingly reveals a classified piece of information about an FBI source, you are breaking the law and should be fully prosecuted.
TAPPER: Have you seen any evidence that this individual was implanted into, because that's -- this is what the conservatives are saying, the Trump supporters are saying, including people like Devin Nunes.
The idea is that the FBI put somebody in there to trump up this whole investigation.
WARNER: I would find that extraordinarily hard to believe.
TAPPER: And you have seen no evidence of it?
WARNER: I would find that extraordinarily hard to believe.
What we do know is, there was constant outreach from the Russians, not just to Trump Jr., Papadopoulos, potentially others, and there was a lot of willingness.
Now, was there -- was there this willingness to actually connect the dots? That's where the investigation, Mueller investigation, our investigation will continue to look at.
But what we do know is...
TAPPER: What role did the informant play in launching the investigation?
Was the informant -- what we have been told is that Papadopoulos' meeting with the Australian diplomat in which he said that somebody with ties to the Kremlin told him about the Hillary e-mails, that that was the linchpin for the investigation. But I don't know what the timeline is in terms of this informant. And
I don't know what role he played in the launch of Operation Crossfire Hurricane.
WARNER: I believe there was a whole series of information that our government received, or at least law enforcement received, that made them start this investigation. And...
TAPPER: Including the informant?
WARNER: I'm not going to get into the particulars. That is not appropriate. That would be doing exactly what I said is inappropriate to do.
WARNER: But what we do know is that the conclusion that was reached by both the Obama intelligence officials and the Trump intelligence officials that said they are -- the Russians were trying to influence to help Trump and hurt Clinton, that has all been reconfirmed.
TAPPER: So, lastly, I know you have been very concerned about President Trump talking about wanting to help China with this telecom giant ZTE get access to the United States.
What exactly is your concern?
WARNER: Well, first of all, the president claims he is out for American jobs.
One area I thought I might agree with him on is taking a stronger stand against China, and particularly calling out a company like ZTE that his intelligence officials have said poses a national security threat.
Once he took an action positively, then he immediately backs off and says he is suddenly concerned about Chinese jobs instead?
To me, that is outrageous. And we owe a responsibility, not just with ZTE, but with other Chinese companies that are penetrating our systems, for the intelligence community to be more forthcoming to the American public to make sure that we -- that we, in effect, inform the public and inform businesses.
And the fact that the president stepped away from that claim, and is just using this as a bargaining chip, that is not in the best interests of our national security.
TAPPER: Are you going to try to stop it legislatively?
WARNER: I think that we need to take every tool we can to make sure that, whether it's ZTE or other firms that are, in effect, stealing our intellectual property, penetrating our systems, that we take appropriate action. TAPPER: Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, thank you so much,
WARNER: Thank you.
TAPPER: Good to see you, as always.
A Democratic lawmaker says inaction in Congress is a green light for shooters, while, in Texas, Republicans say it is all about school safety.
How do we get beyond the political debate?
My panel will be here next. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED GUTTENBERG, FATHER OF MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS SHOOTING VICTIM: The gun industry, they need to pay up. We ought to create a national victim's compensation fund for all victims of gun violence that is funded by gun manufacturers on every weapon sold and every weapon manufactured. If they have to pay they will change their behavior, you can count on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: His 14-year-old daughter Jamie was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida a few months ago. He was on my show "THE LEAD" on Friday talking about the horrific incident in Santa Fe, Texas.
My panel is here with me. Governor Granholm, let me start with you. You were governor of a state where gun rights are important, Michigan.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, yes.
TAPPER: It's a state President Trump won in 2016. Governor Abbott of Texas says thoughts and prayers are not enough. It's an interesting comment from a Republican governor because that has been something that Democrats have been using against Republicans, thoughts and prayers aren't enough.
What should he do?
GRANHOLM: Well, he certainly didn't say what he would do. There is -- you can do all of the above 97 percent of gun owners want to see background checks, 85 percent of gun owners want to see -- make sure that people with mental illness don't have access to firearms.
We can cite all the stats (ph) -- 35,000 people killed last year in gun violence that we are 25 times more likely to be killed in this country than other countries. We respect hunting. That is not what this is about.
I am -- feel like Fannie Lou Hamer. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm taking a whole new strategy on this.
Instead of yelling at this, instead of looking at Dan Patrick up there saying we ought to add -- you know, we ought to ban doors instead of looking at access to guns. I'm saying there is one solution.
GRANHOLM: The one solution is to -- is at the ballot box. Take them out by -- at the ballot box if they do not agree that we should have common sense gun solutions. That's it. We have got to elect people who will do what the voters want.
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So, Governor --
TAPPER: You're from another -- you're from (INAUDIBLE) defense (ph) where gun rights are important as well.
URBAN: So, Governor, you heard Jake just asked Senator Warner the question about -- during the '80s when Democrats ran the White House both Houses of Congress, you could have acted, you could have done all of this.
URBAN: You didn't do anything. You didn't do anything.
GRANHOLM: I'm saying I want --
URBAN: So changing the electorate is not going to change -- listen --
GRANHOLM: No, no. Changing the people who are in office --
URBAN: It's not going to change. It's not going to change.
GRANHOLM: Absolutely it will. Absolutely.
URBAN: We need -- what we need -- what we need and I think you'll agree is we need to really take a hard look at mental health in this country.
GRANHOLM: We need to do that, too. We need to do that, too. That's not it.
URBAN: I grew up -- listen, Governor, I grew up in a state in Western Pennsylvania guns were prevalent. They were laying around basements. They're in cars.
Kids didn't go to schools and shoot people. They didn't do it. It didn't happen.
Something has changed in this culture. There is a famous quote which I know --
GRANHOLM: OK --
URBAN: -- you're familiar with. Violence -- right -- violence is the language of the unheard, right? Martin Luther King -- right -- which I know you are familiar with that quote because I read it in one of your speeches. And something is going on here where these people feel that they are not being heard and they're acting out.
And so we need --
GRANHOLM: I agree. All right. So let's do something with mental health and let's restrict access to guns by those who need mental health --
TAPPER: Linda Chavez, I want to give -- I want to play some sound from a student on Friday that just absolutely broke my heart about the hopelessness that students today feel that I don't think they felt when any of us were in high school.
Let's throw that sound.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Was there a part of you that was like, this isn't real? This would not happen in my school?
PAIGE CURRY, SANTA FE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: No, there wasn't.
QUESTION: Why so?
CURRY: It has been happening everywhere. I felt -- I have always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here, too.
So I don't know. I wasn't surprised. I was just scared.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I mean that just absolutely breaks my heart that that's what kids are growing up with.
LINDA CHAVEZ, DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: Absolutely breaks my heart too. I have nine grand kids. And, you know, the thought that one of them could face this is terrifying.
I agree with both David and Jennifer on this issue. I do think we need some gun laws. I mean, this wasn't a case of an AR-15 but I still think we ought to ban AR-15s.
I think they are military weapons that don't belong with individual civilians. I think we ought to make people who do not lock up their guns and give access to their guns liable. I think that if they were more liable people would be more responsible.
But I also think there is a crisis in this culture right now. And teenagers in particular, I don't know what has happened. And we don't really seem to have a handle on it.
It is not just individual mental health. We are talking about a culture that breeds as violence and frankly the attention we are spending on this I think probably also encourages copycats.
TAPPER: And I want to ask you this, Congresswoman, because one of the things I've heard from women in the last couple of days especially after it came out
that one -- the mom of one of the students killed, the girl, said that this shooter -- alleged shooter had been asking her out a number of times.
She rebuffed him one time. Maybe she even embarrassed him last week and that she was one of the first people if not the first person killed.
We saw recently an incident in Maryland where a boy went and shot, I believe, his ex girlfriend. And there is -- talk about a crisis of culture, there's something that I have been -- I have been hearing from a lot of women about we are raising our boys wrong that they feel like they are entitled to things from girls and sometimes it goes way wrong.
What do you think?
REP. ROBIN KELLY (D), ILLINOIS: I think, that just started now if you look at the women killed through domestic violence --
KELLY: -- that's through guns most of the time. So this is not a new phenomenon.
I associate myself with many of the comments that have already been made. Yes, we do need to change who is in Congress. I disagree with you about that.
KELLY: We definitely need to take --
URBAN: That's right (ph).
KELLY: -- we actually have a background check. We have 208 co sponsors, bipartisan. We never had that many before.
Speaker Ryan won't call the bill to the floor. As simple as that. Some people won't be a sponsor but they will vote for the bill when it comes to the floor.
They won't entertain the bill. They won't even give a change to vote --
TAPPER: Democrats didn't do anything on gun control when they controlled House, Senate and the White House from 2009 to 2011. They did nothing.
KELLY: That may be true but I think -- you know, every day I think people are more conscious of what is going on and I feel like the voice I (INAUDIBLE) Congress was we always talk about the mass shootings in school but we don't talk about the everyday that goes on in some of the other areas --
URBAN: -- Chicago 1,400 kids, people, killed in the streets of Chicago in the past two years. That is an epidemic. That should be addressed.
GRANHOLM: Totally agree. Totally agree. But it's --
URBAN: The state legislature -- the state legislature could --
KELLY: No they are -- no, they have --
KELLY: The state is doing better than --
GRANHOLM: They're getting guns from Indiana. They're coming across the border.
KELLY: Indiana and Wisconsin.
GRANHOLM: Of the top 27 largest mass shootings in the history of the United States, the -- 10 of them have happened in the past 10 years. Ten of them have happened in the past 10 years.
There is an acceleration of this. There's no doubt.
URBAN: So what causes it? What causes it?
GRANHOLM: Well, access to guns.
CHAVEZ: It's more than that. Access to guns --
TAPPER: But you are saying it is more than that.
CHAVEZ: It is more than that. Look, I absolutely believe we have to have common sense gun control. But there is something really deeply --
CHAVEZ: -- sick about this culture. I mean, it's not just -- these are the most grotesque acts of violence. But the way in which people disrespect each other and, you know, that comes from the top on down -- we just --
URBAN: Sandy Hook -- the Sandy Hook organization has an incredible program. If you have a gun keep it safe and secure. No child eats alone. It's easier to build a child than repair an adult.
TAPPER: And they also have a great program --
TAPPER: -- about looking at kids in the school and giving them the attention.
GRANHOLM: All of that needs to happen.
TAPPER: We need to take a quick break and talk about some other subjects as well.
Coming up, the moderates versus the conservatives. Is Republican infighting a symptom of larger issues within the party's leadership?
The panel will weigh in on that next. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I was talking about the MS-13 and also -- if you look a little bit further on in the tape you'll see that. So when the MS-13 comes in, when the other gang members come into our country I refer to them as animals and, guess what, I always will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That was President Trump defending and attempting to clear up a comment in which he used the term animals to describe criminals in who are in this country illegally. He says he was referring specifically to gang members from MS-13.
The president came under fire from Democrats who took his comments to mean he was referring to all undocumented immigrants or even possibly legal immigrants to the United States.
My panel is back with me. Let me start with you, Linda Chavez. I took his comments to mean in the context of the question and everything to be referring to MS-13 but the president does speak vaguely and he does have a history of conflating violent criminals with regular undocumented immigrants who are violent.
CHAVEZ: Or even just immigrants, period. I mean, when he went down the escalator and announced for presidency he talked about Mexicans, not even Mexican immigrants but Mexicans as rapists. And so, you know, he wasn't talking about illegally immigrants there he was talking about all Mexicans.
So the president does have a history with this. I mean, OK, so MS-13, I think you use a lot of words to describe MS-13.
Interestingly their victims are overwhelmingly other immigrants. So this is not a gang that inflicts damage in our streets. It goes and targets other immigrants.
But this is -- this is part of a much bigger problem of the demonization of immigrants in the United States that this administration has been involved in, encourages and frankly it is frightening.
TAPPER: What do you think President Trump making a big deal out of the fact that in his view the "fake news" media -- I'm quoting him now -- the "fake news" media purposefully twisted his words?
URBAN: They did have to walk it back. So he is correct in that regard. And the president -- as Linda correctly points out -- look, MS-13, they are not nice people to say --
TAPPER: That is a violent gang.
URBAN: It's an incredibly violent gang. I think the president is speaking specifically about that. And it gets caught up in the bigger DACA debate and what we're going to do with folks who are here that we don't want to get rid of, the kids who came here and no fault of their own, they're stuck here and how do we deal with them?
And it is a really difficult issue. It should be solved pretty easily. President Obama couldn't get it done with a Democratic Congress so he tried to act and do something maybe a little bit outside of his power. And President Trump is left with it trying to clean it up. And that's why the farm bill failed really.
TAPPER: So, Governor, one of the issues -- and we'll get to that in a second -- about the farm bill but one issue that I've heard Trump supporters and even non Trump supporters who are conservatives talk about is, now Democrats are defending MS-13.
Now Democrats are saying, hey, they are not animals. We shouldn't talk about people that way.
And is that really where the Democratic Party wants to be? What do you think?
GRANHOLM: No. I mean, of course not. Nobody is defending MS-13. But what concerns me is that he is conflating all immigrants with MS- 13. He is using MS-13 which is a horrible organization, you can call them all sorts of names, he's using them to justify mass deportations or slowing people who are seeking asylum, ripping children from their parents at the border who are coming from Central American countries who may be victims of violent gangs instead -- of perpetrators of violent gangs.
Is that -- this is all being done in our name as America. Is this really who we are? And I worry that what he is doing is sort of shushing everything together so that everybody gets mad at all immigrants in order to justify the border wall.
TAPPER: And, Congresswoman, let's talk about the issue that David brought up which has to do with the fact that there are some moderate Republicans teaming up with Democrats --
TAPPER: -- to force a vote on an immigration bill that would provide a path to some sort of legal status for the dreamers under DACA. Here is one of the movements -- leaders -- Republican Congressman Jeff Denham.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP
REP. JEFF DENHAM (R), CALIFORNIA: I have asked the speaker every single week, give us a timeline when we can have a full debate in front of the American people. And we failed to get one, and so we're forcing one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Is this going to happen Republicans and Democrats -- the moderate Republicans were joining with Democrats only need five more Republicans to join with them to push this. Is it going to happen?
KELLY: I actually thought it was closer than that on Friday.
TAPPER: Is that right? OK.
KELLY: I don't know what the number quite is but I'm feeling positive that it is going to happen but -- then you never know, you know, because things change. I don't know when people get intimidated then they don't want to do anything. I don't know what the speaker is saying to his side of the aisle.
But I'm hoping it is going to happen.
TAPPER: Speaker Ryan does not want this to happen. The moderates need it because they feel like they're vulnerable, the moderate Republicans but base Republicans do not want an immigration bill --
CHAVEZ: They don't want to vote because they don't have the vote to pass the anti-legal immigration bill that the freedom caucus is supporting which would reduce legal immigration by 50 percent at a time when we have the lowest unemployment that we have had in years.
So this -- if it does get to the floor, if we are able to get a vote on it, it will pass. The question is then, what will the Senate do? I think there is actually a chance the Senate would pass it.
And I think President Trump would be forced to actually sign it if a bill came to him particularly if it also included money for the wall.
URBAN: Let's not forget how we got here. OK? Press the rewind button. This is -- 2012 President Obama couldn't get this done. He couldn't get it done.
TAPPER: So he did it by executive order.
URBAN: So he did it -- this is going to be a temporary action to get it done. He kicked the can down the road himself. And he left this because he couldn't get it done himself.
KELLY: He created the problem that we are dealing with now.
URBAN: Listen, to the parents who are struck down by the court. Five attorney generals were going to sue under it.
The president deferred action and said, I don't want to do this. Congress take action. The president said to do it.
We are here because President Obama couldn't get it done.
GRANHOLM: President Obama is not president any more. Right now it's Donald Trump.
URBAN: Why didn't he deal with it?
GRANHOLM: Donald Trump --
URBAN: Why didn't he deal with it?
GRANHOLM: Because he tried and he had a Republican House and Senate.
URBAN: And he failed. And he failed.
GRANHOLM: Hello? Come on --
CHAVEZ: He didn't (ph) try when he had both --
KELLY: He was working on the Affordable Care Act. He was working on the Affordable Care Act.
TAPPER: -- Governor Granholm --
URBAN: That's an important point that Linda said.
GRANHOLM: Right now Donald Trump is the president. He could fix this.
He blew it up. He could fix it. He is not doing that.
This is a midterm election. This is why you have got 20 plus Republicans --
TAPPER: What's your reaction? What is going to happen?
Is it going to pass the House? Is it going to pass the Senate? Is President Trump going to sign it or veto it?
GRANHOLM: I guess, does Steven Miller like it?
GRANHOLM: So if he doesn't like it I wonder. And that's why the answer to this question like the last one is November -- people --
URBAN: Listen Linda Chavez, no supporter of President Trump says Obama couldn't get it done with Democratic Congress.
TAPPER: OK. Great panel. Thank you so much one and all
Some might call him American political royalty. President John F. Kennedy's grandson is now carrying on his family's legacy. What might JFK have thought about today's political climate?
I'll talk to Jack Kennedy Schlossberg next. Stay with us.
TAPPER: Welcome back.
Courage can sometimes feel in short supply in today's politics. But this evening the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library will honor political courage. I spoke with President John F. Kennedy's grandson, Jack Kennedy Schlossberg, about how his grandfather might have viewed today's political climate, and asked him, why the library selected New Orleans' mayor, Mitch Landrieu, to receive this year's Profile in Courage award.
JACK KENNEDY SCHLOSSBERG, JFK'S GRANDSON: We're giving it to Mitch Landrieu this year. Not just for what he did removing four confederate statues from his city of New Orleans, but also for how he did it. He offered his city and his country a compassionate and eloquent explanation for why he thought that decision was the right one.
TAPPER: I recognize that it's going to Democrats and Republicans but I wonder has it ever gone to somebody who did something that was a tough decision and you actually think they were wrong?
SCHLOSSBERG: I know in the past one decision that was somewhat controversial is the decision to give the award to Gerald Ford for pardoning Richard Nixon, which I think was a very -- it was a great decision to give him that award for doing so and Gerald Ford helped the country in doing that. But I think that there were a lot of people who were upset.
At the time, I mean, I obviously wasn't alive, but I think that often times the picks are controversial but that speaks (ph) just how important courage is.
TAPPER: Is there anyone you think were your name sake alive today, were President John F. Kennedy is alive today, is there anyone in Washington, D.C. that he would look at and think that person is a Profile In Courage? Are you seeing many of those in Washington today?
SCHLOSSBERG: Well, I can't speak for my grandfather. He's obviously not around today. I think that he would be very proud of how the Democratic Party has acted since 1963 and until today.
I think that he would have been proud of President Obama's tenure in office and his decision to enter a nuclear agreement with Iran despite facing enormous political consequences for doing that, the same with the Paris agreement and a host of many other issues.
TAPPER: We have seen a number of people in the next generation of Kennedys running for office. Your cousin, Joe Kennedy, congressman from Massachusetts is a rising star.
You are currently studying law at Harvard and pursuing your MBA. Do you feel an obligation towards public service? Is it part of the family ethos that you need to run for office some day?
SCHLOSSBERG: I'm certainly proud of my family's legacy of public service. It's something that I'm inspired by and it's inspired a lot of choices I have made in life so far. I don't know what the future holds. I certainly don't feel any pressure from anyone in my family to do anything. But what I do know is that we can demand a lot more out of our politics.
TAPPER: And our thanks to Jack Kennedy Schlossberg for that interview.
Our congratulations to Mayor Mitch Landrieu for the award.
Coming up, two constitutional scholars on how a president might be impeached and if the Trump White House could be in trouble. That's next.