tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN April 5, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
he's been removed and comes as a surprise. >> it was a surprise that he was put on that group because he's a political strategist. many people said, myself included, there's no place for a political strategist at the principal's table. now we see that he's gone from the principals' table and the white house is saying maybe he was there to be a check on flynn which the former national security adviser needed a check, why was he appointed national security adviser in the first place? i think the more likely explanation is that jen mcmaster, dina powell who serves under him, are probably saying he shouldn't have been there and i was told by another source that maybe this is also evidence of this power triumbrat which was reince priebus and bannon
crumbling a little bit. >> is this the beginning of a diminished role for steve bannon? is this a slap in his face that all of a sudden he's no longer on this national security council key group? >> my sense is that it's a combination of everything that you just said, that it is the fact that he was put on there to baby sit michael flynn and, yes, it does beg the question why was he the national security adviser and the answer is that you get from a lot of sources, i'm sure you're hearing this, too, michael flynn was loyal to the president and wanted to be national security adviser. so the president said, okay, i'll make you a national security adviser. is that the way decisions should get made? no. but that's what happened. the people around donald trump had to work around that and part of that was putting steve bannon at the national security council which then ended up with a whole host of other problems that they didn't actually realize which they should have. in addition to that, yes, it's
separating him from the national security which should happen because his focus right now as we speak is trying to get health care back on track, which he was involved in really intensely right before it failed. he has close connections with the freedom caucus. many of whom he helped when he was at breitbart. it's a combination of all of these and some of the new blood, the dina powell, who was a bush official who came in as somebody who had worked with ivanka and now is at the national security office. it's a shift and a quick maturing of the aides there. >> we just got a statement from adam schiff, the ranking democrat of the house intelligence committee on the removal of steve bannon from the national security council. steve bannon's departure from the national security council principals' committee is a positive step to gain control
over a body being politicized as bannon's involvement continues to drift. we can only hope this shake-up vision to the body.f a strategic schiff says this, with a long history of pedalling racist and inflammatory conspiracy theories, bannon should have never been placed on the principals committee to begin with. >> a lot would say that and even republicans were sort of looking at that negatively, bannon's placement on the committee. this is a white house that is getting its sea legs. there is all of this drama, all sorts of turf battles between the new york folks like ivanka trump and kushner and what is framed as the moderating influence on donald trump and then the kind of red hot section of the white house, the bannon
folks, the breitbart folks of the white house and in the meantime, as they settle all of that, those internal battles, there is north korea, there is syria, there is health care. and there is a white house that is struggle with few accomplishments in the first 100 days at this point but a lot of leaking in terms of what is going on in the white house and unsettled feuds. >> maybe what they are trying to do, which would be positive, is establish silos into which people can fit and have their lines of authority and there can be -- whether steve bannon is going to be devoted to health care and mcmaster -- i think that when you're that top heavy. >> as if all of this is not
enough, the president comes to the very strong defense of bill o'reilly of fox news who is now settled several sexual harassment lawsuits for many millions of dollars. let me read a sentence from what the president said. i think he's a person i know well. he's a good person. i he shouldn't have settled. personally i think he shouldn't have settled. because you should have taken it all the way. i don't think bill did anything wrong. and that's going to cause a bit of an uproar as well. >> you know, talk about the education of donald trump becoming president. don't talk about bill o'reilly and sexual harassment suit or suits when you know nothing about the context and the content of what those suits are. okay, it's nice that he's a loyal friend. it's nice that they've known each other for years and years and he's coming to his defense. but he's the president of the united states and to say that,
no matter how nice he's been, is completely inappropriate. >> for a president of the united states, gloria, to say, i don't think bill did anything wrong -- >> based on nothing. based on nothing. and this is after the white house made a big showing of women's history month and economic empowering women and for him to come out and say there's no their there, he should have -- he himself, donald trump -- we all remember the "access hollywood" tape and the things that he was saying on that tape and -- >> he was also loyal to roger ailes. >> the former leader of fox news who was removed. >> i am sure that the aides who were in that room were not happy when he weighed in on this. >> probably physically nauseous. >> right. they were not happy.
and they might not have been happy either when he said that he believes that susan rice ought to be prosecuted because that's something his justice -- if there's any their there, let your justice department do it. don't speak publicly on it. >> that's continuing to say don't look at this ball. >> he's still president of the united states and you can't tell your justice department not to prosecute. >> exactly. >> this interview was in the oval office and maggie habermann, he was surrounded at his desk by highest ranking aides, including gary cohen, chief of staff, reince priebus, the vice president of the united states, mike pence. >> don't they have jobs to do? >> they were all in the oval office. >> this is insane. >> they are probably there to make sure donald trump stayed on his talking points and i guess he didn't. >> and the talking points were,
bill o'reilly, he did nothing wrong, susan rice may have committed a crime. this is insane. >> you know what would be great, if we stopped this -- unless he wants to come on cnn and instead focus on what the policy in syria. >> well, just a thought. >> you mean the interview? >> yes. >> i'm just saying, instead of commenting onnen bill o'reilly and this is the question we had with donald trump, we had it during the campaign, do you take them literally when he said today i have changed or seriously, just okay, he said arrive changed and there may not be anything behind it. >> i think presidents need to be taken literally. >> these are strong words from the president of the united states. a lot of news to follow. that's it for me. i'll be back at 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." our special coverage will
continue right after a quick break. wrol olf, thank you so much. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. the u.s. response to a toxic massacre in syria. the commander in chief reacting to one of the worst chemical bombings in history. and for the first time, the president of the united states has placed the blame on syrian president bashar al assad. as we tell you this story of the atrocities in syria, the pictures are graphic. barrel bombs with saran gas, a nerve agent dropped from the skies killing dozens, including young children.
children who were gassed as they slept. here was president trump from the white house. >> she's heinous actions by the assad regime cannot be tolerated. the united states stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this horrific attack. >> you've condemned the chemical attacks in syria but appeared in your statement yesterday to pin some of the blame on the obama administration. you are the president now. do you feel like you bear responsibility for ponding to the chemical attacks and does it cross a red line for you? >> i think the obama administration had a great opportunity to solve this crisis a long time ago when he set the red line in the sand and when he didn't cross that line after making the threat, i think that set us back a long ways, not only in syria but in many other parts of the world because it was a blank threat.
i think it was something that was not one of our better days as a country. so i do feel that, julia, i feel it very strongly. >> do you feel you now have the responsibility to respond to the chemical attack? >> i have the responsibility and i will have that responsibility and carry it very proudly. >> before i move on to the king, can i ask you if the chemical attack crosses a red line for you? >> it crossed a lot of lines for me. when you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies with a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line, many, many lines. >> let's begin with hour with ben wedeman, our international correspondent there live in turkey just near the syrian border. hearing the president trump today then baulking about how he
now -- major turnaround, turned his mind on assad, says this has crossed many lines for him, you've been meeting these people who have been coming in to turkey fearing for their own lives. how do you think these words will sit with them? >> i think it will go down, brooke, as words, words that we heard from president obama, words that we're hearing now from president trump. but the problem is, it's not words that's going to solve this problem but nobody really has a solution. keep in mind, the syrian president is backed to the hilt by russia, backed by iran, backed by hezbollah. what do you do in syria? that is a question that has kept many people up at night. and no one really has a solution except for where you have world war iii, the united states and russia fighting in syria.
and therefore, the people here on the ground, they have these horrific stories of this chemical attack that took place yesterday morning at 6:30 where you have -- well over 100 possibly people dead as a result but the solution is just as difficult as it was for president trump as it was for president obama. if you want to fight the syrian regime, you're fighting hezbollah and russia and iran and who are you supporting on the rebel side as you have groups which has changed its name but not its stripes. it is an al qaeda affiliate. you have isis, which controls large parts of the country. in terms of a credible, moderate opposition force in syria, it just doesn't exist. so president trump can say more words, but in terms of deeds,
he's going to have to do some serious homework to come up with some sort of solution for syria because nobody has till now, brooke. >> we'll talk words with my panel. ben weedy man, thank ydeman, th. i have with my david chalion, christopher hill, retired army lieutenant general mark hertling. thank you all so being with me. dav david, first to you, the chemical attack in syria, total turnaround on assad, how did he do? >> well, he gave voice to the outrage that i think so many americans feel looking at those horrific images. so i think there's little doubt
about that. but giving voice to outrage is something that many people have done who have tried to deal with this problem that seems completely intractable. the question now, of course, is, well, what policy change are we going to see? what comes next from the trump administration? we didn't really get answers to that. so whereas if you thought that perhaps he was cozying up to russia and felt that maybe he was going to be hands-off on assad, here are some of the previous signals, he definitely turned that around and sort of worked up the moral outrage. now comes the next step, which is what is his administration going to do from a policy perspective to try to start solving this problem. >> he said toward the end, i inherited a mess, the world is a mess but in the end he said, you will see. michael, the "you will see," your thoughts? >> i don't know what that means and i would encourage donald trump not to think of this in something that requires an
immediate symbolic military response. we need to start with what is the political goal that we're after in syria at a time when mr. trump is right, president assad is not going anywhere. we thought that somehow we could talk him out of power through the geneva process. at least mr. trump realizes assad is not going anywhere in the near term. i think we're going to have to find ways to help protect the sunni muslims and kurds with a political model that didvolves power, and i think that kind of a model can recognize the reality that assad is not going anywhere but also offer some vision for the sunnis and kurds, they don't have to live directly under the control and rule of assad. this is a hard thing to make work and i would acknowledge that right off the bat. but that kind of a vision, i think, is much more realistic
than either saying assad must go because that's not going to happen or assad can stay because the sunnis and kurds will never happily tolerate that. >> he talked, general hertling, to you -- the line in the sand that they crossed when there was that chemical attack and nothing was done, we saw the protest and criticism towards the obama administration so mr. trump was asked about that and his response was that this attack crossed a lot of lines. he talked about young children being killed and said it crosses many lines beyond a red line. what parameters and options in terms of action would he have, general? >> well, first i'd like to point out it has crossed a line with our president. he's beginning to see the reality of the middle east. chemical weapons have been used in many other places in the middle east including kurdistan.
where has mr. trump been? there have been hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians killed. is that the same as using chemical weapons on children? i believe it is. there's been several years of these kind of atrocities and that's the challenge. mr. trump did not say a word about russia. >> he didn't, did he? and depending on what he wants to do as you well know, the u.s. military, if that's the weapon of choice, is involved in several places up to their neck and will soon have additional actions in north korea. so we are seeing literally, without a strategy or a national
security policy which i know h.r. mcmaster is working on, we can't go which ever direction mr. trump wants to go on any given day because of an emotional response to chemical weapons. >> mr. ambassador, your knowledge with iraq, how do you see this? >> well, i think there are a number of dimensions here. first of all, you can use military power as a punitive effort or to support some kind of political process. i don't think there's a political process that's been identified and frankly i think our country needs to do a lot better job of explaining what it is we want to see in syria. do we really want the creation of syria? and beyond that, i think the president looks like he's going the route of using military power punitively. just whack the people who did this and make it clear when people do things like that, they
are going to be hit and hit hard. i don't think it's very useful, obviously. and i think it's rather disingenuous for the president to talk about what barack obama did or did not do some 3 1/2 years ago. i seem to recall president obama's first instinct was to do something militarily and i don't seem to recall too many supporters for that and i certainly didn't see donald trump in those -- >> even at the time, mr. trump at the time in 2013, i'm paraphrasing a tweet i read, he said, mr. president, don't waste your powder. don't do anything, is what he was saying. >> you've got it and there are a lot of senators and i don't remember the senate stepping up when president obama turned it up to the congress. one, there ought to be some type of punitive, whack them, make it clear where we stand on this. but that's not policy. what has to happen is a serious policy where we say this is how
we'd like to work together and we are going to reach out to other countries and one of the problems of president obama's policy in syria is they didn't anticipate that anyone else had an interest in syria. so i'd like to see some serious diplomacy. in the meantime, i'd just like to see some of those units that committed this crime to be whacked in the fullness of time, in the fullness of time i think assad needs to stand up against the war crimes. >> we've heard many voices from within the administration and rex tillerson last week essentially saying we're going to let the people of syria decide that the fate of assad and we see the president has changed his mind and going hard after assad and then there is this moment today with the ambassador to the u.n., nikki
haley with this powerful moment on the floor. here she was. >> we awoke to pictures, to children foaming at the mouth, suffering convulsions, being carried in the arms of desperate parents. we saw rows of lifeless bodies, some still in diapers, some with visible scars of a chemical weapons attack. look at those pictures. if russia has the influence in syria that it claims to have, we need to see them use it. we need to see them put an end to these horrific acts. how many more children have to die before russia cares? >> final question to you, david chalian, who is advising the president? >> well, i mean, we know that
he's getting a lot of advice and i'm not sure, though, that it matters all that much because what somebody was just saying about not being reliant on the winds of donald trump's emotional reaction to a headline on a given day. but that is how donald trump operates. when we say donald trump changed today, i think we have to be a little careful about that. yes, he took a different tone today but to say that there is some now a complete 180 and reversal and donald trump is on a new path, that remains to be seen. i don't know that we foe that. the one consistent -- and it's no hallmark of the trump administration, but the one consistent thing over time in the campaign and recently that donald trump has sort of put out there about his world view is that he repeatedly says i don't want to be president of the world. i want to be president of america and he sees these kinds of problems as other country's problems. and that does not to me mean you
erase that philosophy and that's what we have to be on the lookout for. >> thank you all, gentlemen, so much for that. we have more breaking news here because we've learned this afternoon that steve bannon, president trump's chief strategist, former breitbart executive, has been removed from the national security council. we'll talk about the significance of the shake-up, what's behind this. also ahead, how is this a rare moment after their husbands' joint press conference, ivanka and what they are doing there and how they feel about the importance of education. that's coming up next on cnn.
welcome back. a shake-up at the white house a. stunning reversal. cnn has confirmed president trump's chief strategist steve ba bannon has been removed from his seat at the national security council. the decision ultimately came from the president himself. dan, what happened? >> hey, brooke, this signal as power shift in the white house
on a crucial day. the national security council is getting a bit of a makeover. steve bannon was announced to the national security council in february in a move that many questioned. people questioned by a political mind, a political strategist would be a key person on the national security council. now today president trump, as you noted, made the decision to take him off of that council. it is a win for h.r. mcmaster, the newest member of the national security council was named after michael flynn left in february. now why does this matter? because mcmaster's power is growing in the white house and bannon's could be diminishing to more of a domestic policy role, one which he was thought to operate in initially in the white house. it's also true that white house officials are saying that this is happening because steve bannon was initially put on the council to monitor mike flynn. this is contradicted by the fact that not only was flynn a top
adviser but also someone who donald trump spoke very highly of, even after he was asked to resign because of his contact with russian operatives that wasn't disclosed to the vice president and others in the white house. so what i think you have today is h.r. mcmaster rising in the white house and steve bannon being i am diminished a little bit. >> david chalian, all kinds of reasons as to why this has happened. if there was -- i remember the point where it was such huge news and there was permanent nen see at the table. why didn't the white house say that at the time if it was a temporary thing. >> because it wasn't a temporary thing. what bannon allies are spinning out of the white house doesn't hold water very much. to say that he's there to baby sit michael flynn because there were concerns, what do you mean
there were concerns? you made him national security adviser. none of that adds up. what is clear here is that steve bannon has taken a hit here and that henry mcmaster, the national security adviser now in place, is starting to get his sea legs inside the organization and flex his muscles a little bit and make sure the team is the team that he wants there. remember a couple things here. one, you point out it was a huge controversy at the time. >> huge. >> right. and there was reporting at the time, by the way, that president trump wasn't properly briefed by his aides that this would be controversial, that the blow back on this was a surprise to the president. so if that reporting is true, then -- which was reported at the time, one has to think that perhaps president trump himself was never fully comfortable with this, all the way along. secondly, this administration almost never publicly retreats. a clear acknowledgeable that something they had put into place, that got a lot of blow
back, was wrong. >> sure. >> and finally, when henry mcmaster came on board -- and i remember this, sean spicer was asked, is he going to be able to dictate what is going on in the national security council and trump said, no, no, no, he's got full authority to put this together. >> for all of the bannon critics out there, he's still very much close to the president? >> of course. and he's not going to take some huge national security policy position without running it by, i am sure, the entire country in the west wing. steve bannon would be part of that but that is different than having a political strategist sit on the national security council. that clearly is not atenable.
>> got it. thank you so much. coming up next, quote, all options on the table. strong words from the trump white house after another defiant move by north korea. how will this change the tone of president trump's meeting with his chinese counterpart? that meeting begins tomorrow. my lineage was the vecchios and zuccolis. through ancestry, through dna i found out that i was only 16% italian. he was 34% eastern european. so i went onto ancestry, soon learned that one of our ancestors we thought was italian was eastern european. this is my ancestor who i didn't know about. he looks a little bit like me, yes. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story. get started for free at ancestry.com it's my decision ito make beauty last. roc® retinol, started visibly reducing my fine lines and wrinkles in one week. and the longer i use it, the better it works. retinol correxion® from roc. methods, not miracles.™
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into the sea. in the meantime, america's top diplomat issued a response that raises more questions than answers. secretary of state rex tillerson said, quote, north korea launched yet another intermedia intermedia intermediary ballistic missile. we have no further comments. ivan watson is in seoul. >> we know that the missile was launched from the east coast of north korea around dawn this morning local time. there's been contradictory statements coming out from the military as a medium range ballistic missile with solid fuel that would have traveled about nine minutes before hitting the sea. in the last couple of hours, we've got a couple of defense department officials who have said that there appear to have been a major malfunction.
they've also suggested it was a scud extended range missile and one white house official telling jim acosta that it only flew for about 55 seconds before bursting into flames and failing miserably. we'll try to figure that out in the hours to come from the experts. the important thing is the timing here, brooke. it's that a missile was launched in violation of many united nation security council resolutions. the last missile launch took place in february when president trump was meeting with the japanese prime minister in mar-a-lago. this launch is on the eve of the first ever meeting between president trump and the chinese lead leader xi jinping and a lot of people are saying it's a provocation against both of those leaders, brooke. >> how can it not be. ivan watson, thank you so much from seoul. let me bring in general hertling.
first to you on ivan's final point, the last ballistic missile set out, that was around prime minister abe meeting with the president. this is the eve of xi jinping meeting with president trump again down in florida. is this not provocative with a capital p? >> it is. i would go with vegas odds that you'll see one when president xi is here. i would bet on another missile launched or perhaps a nuclear test which would be much more significant. north koreans have tested over 20 missile launches last year. that's the most they've ever done and they just keep on trying to be provocative. so for secretary tillerson to say we've talked enough, that's never the case, as far as i'm concerned as a military guy. i want those diplomats talking a lot more because fighting would be exceedingly hard in that terrain and devastating in terms of civilian casualties. >> if we take your vegas odds
and that were to happen while president xi is here, michael, we though that the president said if china isn't willing to help out, and then you have general heading the strategic command saying yesterday, any solution to the korean problem has to involve china. are we on the same page? >> well, i agree with the general of strategic command and here is why. the military options that you could think of and it's been reported that they are still quote/unquote on the table, they are not very good because of the reason that general hertling underscored. you don't know where this is going to end. north korea is armed with chemical and nuclear weapons and there could be millions of casualties in a future korean war, even worse than the last
korean war. we're not going to start that war ourselves. what we could consider is more specific strategic attacks, for example, against a long-range icbm with liquid fuel if we can see it being fueled before launch. that's a big "if" because north korea is working on a wide range of solid fuel missiles. we have to int intercept this in the sea of japan. that may or may not work. the north koreans may or may not see it as a challenge that they have to circumvent by launching in a different direction, for example, but it's got its own perils. the real option is to convince china to help us. two ways. one is through persuasion and the other is through threats to chinese banks and companies that may be doing business with north korea that we've been letting
them get away it, turning the blind eye up until now. those are the most ree little sti realistic options. >> last requequestion, general. >> agreement on the economics and agreement on the diplomacy. and if they come out both speaking the same voice, as the president did with the king of jordan today, that would be a very positive thing. i'm not sure you're going to get the same response out of the president of china that you got out of the king of jordan. there's going to be less -- well, let's just say less flattery, more than likely. i think you're going to see some potential for future actions and this has to be the case, brook, as michael so ably pointed out, using all of the forms of national power are critical with north korea. you just can't use military power because it's too dangerous
to get a reaction from them if there's some type of pre-emptive strike. they have too much artillery aimed at seoul and can't take out all of the tubes that would involve that amount of civilian casualties. >> day number one of the meeting with president xi starts tomorrow. gentlemen, thank you so much. appreciate your time. straight ahead here, first lady melania trump is in washington today. she's visiting washington, d.c., area schools as she hosts the queen of jordan. this is the second appearance in a week of her. might we see more of the first lady? what are their messages for the young girls there at this charter school in washington? we'll take it live. stay here.
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first lady melania trump is back in washington. she's making another rare public appearance today. she's hosting queen rania of jordan. earlier both couples posed together in the oval office and moments ago the ladies visited xl academy, a local public charter school in washington. it's actually washington's first public school for girls and the queen of jordan is very well known for her advocacy work for education and children and women's rights. it was one week ago today that the first lady gave her own keynote address about women empowerment. so let's talk to kate bennett. she's following this visit there in d.c. she's a cnn white house reporter and michelle kosinski is our medical correspondent. great to have you on.
and nothing has been said publicly yet. tell me more about the visit. >> well, it's sort of -- i hate to put it a label of typical. it's somewhat typical for a first lady visit. it's often common to go visit a school, to have a little roundtable, talk about how the school functions. this is not queen rania's first rodeo. this is her fourth. she's been with laura bush and michele obama and hillary clinton. ivan melania is just learning. they went to the joint press conference and now they just returned from the school visit. >> i know queen rania was over at the trump tower in early january meeting with ivanka trump. they were talking about women issues. michelle, i don't know if you
were at the state department or where that event was with melania last week. how did that go? how comfortable is she with this kind of thing and what more can you talk about with this visit with the queen? >> the last appearance, i think that there wasn't a person in the room after ward -- because there was a laununcheon that ma thought she would attend and mingle with the award winners, these extraordinary winners from around the world but she didn't appear as that. and so the entire conversation in that room was about melania trump's appearance and, you know, how uncomfortable she seemed. it was very stiff. she was obviously reading, with some dif tficulty, which is not her fault, from the teleprompter. it was a hugely emotional ceremony but she was still kind of stiff throughout. so that's not a criticism.
she's obviously uncomfortable in these situations and you could not find a more different first lady and so savvy, she's everywhere, on social media, pages of magazines, she's doing interviews, she's on american morning shows, a background in marketing. she's worked for american companies. she knows how to get out there and get her point across. that said, though, she took some criticism a couple of years ago for having a too glossy appearance, for being very luxurious and being too social in not necessarily most of the socially minded situations. the royal family wanted her to start toning it down a little and appear at more substantive events. education is a big one. if melania trump could find an ally in this very small world that she's found herself in to help her out and give her friendly advice, queen rania
would be the one to do that. >> i don't envy either of them. i can't imagine the spotlight that they feel but, you know, the world is watching. the world is watching. so michelle kosinski and kate bennett, thank you so much. coming up, president trump speaking today from the rose garden talking about syria saying lines have been crossed as he directly now is blaming the president of syria from the chemical attack killing dozens of syrians, including young children. this is a dramatic shift from the white house. but was it a signal for a policy shift? we'll discuss that. also, president trump weighing in on this controversy surrounding fox news host bill o'reilly as now 21, count them, 21 companies pulling their ads from the bill o'reilly show. what the president has now said, straight ahead.
trump's great big border wall. right now, contractor bids to build that wall are pouring in, including some from latino business owners who are now facing a major backlash. cnn's boris sanchez tells the story. >> i would build a great wall and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me. >> since day one of his campaign, then candidate donald trump's promise of building a wall along the border with mexico has been a lightning rod drawing chance from his supporters and scorn from his opponents and now that the federal government is accepting design bids for the wall, that ire is now focused on those who want to construct it. >> every country in the world has borders if you don't have borders, you don't have a country. >> reporter: one of many contractors who submitted bids, they did not vote for donald trump and rejects the
president's rhetoric about mexicans and other minorities. >> it's absolutely mean-spirited. >> reporter: but thousands of miles away from the divisive campaign trail, here in the desert of mexico, on the border with juarez, reality trumps rhetoric. >> >> we have created these jobs and have 120 employees now working for us. our employees have families that they need to feed just like we have families that we need to feed. >> reporter: the idea of hispanics playing a role in the wall's construction has not been without controversy. this week, the archdiocese of mexico city launched an attack on mexican companies willing to work on the border wall, calling them immoral and traitors. >> traitor of what? i am an american. it goes back to, every country in the world has borders.
>> reporter: online trolls are already targeting his business. >> just calling me a bunch of names because i'm going to build a wall. >> but he insists if a wall is going up in his backyard, he wants any economic windfall to stay in his backyard. >> mention skoeit's a border st. i'd like to see companies as a general contractor or subcontractors, the people who manufacture concrete, the folks who live and work here, they should be able to participate in building the wall. the truth is, if you can't beat them, build them. >> reporter: he's not alone. of the more than 600 contractors that have registered with the federal government to build the border wall, about 10% are hispanic-owned. bor boris sanchez, cnn. you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with
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