VIDEO - Coons: “the Democratic Party views immigration as a strength of our country, not as a challenge to be dealt with or minimized."

Sen. Coons: Report that Trump tried to fire Mueller “reinforces the urgency of our passing legislation in the Senate that would protect the special counsel from an unwarranted or abrupt firing”

On Nunes memo: “I’m concerned about a steady drumbeat of efforts by Republicans particularly in the House to undermine the credibility of federal law enforcement, the FBI, and in particular Special Counsel Robert Mueller.”

Sen. Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined CNN’s New Day to discuss the latest developments in the Russia investigation and the upcoming sanctions deadline.

“I think there is a shared compassion by the American people for the Dreamers who were brought here through no fault of their own by their parents. But, our broader view as a Democratic Party is, it’s part of the strength of America,” said Coons.

“It brings the energy and the talent and the skills of people from around the world from different cultures to help strengthen America going forward. There are clearly folks on the other side of this debate from us who have an exact opposite view.

"And I think this should be looked at not as a zero-sum game where we make concessions to our core values but I think where we should be proceeding is to start with the smallest narrowest possible deal on border security and Dreamers and see if we can build out from there in a way that doesn’t compromise our core values as Democrats. That may be very difficult to do, but we will get to it this week.”

On Russia sanctions:

It is really striking that on an action that was taken so broadly by the Senate like that 98-2 vote last summer, that the President, the White House, the administration hasn’t taken up the new sanction authorities and used them aggressively. It raises the question what possible reason the administration has for not imposing real costs on the Russians for their interference in our last election.

So far, they have used sanctioning authorities against other countries that were also part of that same bill, against North Korea, against Iran. Although they were slow to act in both of those cases. There hasn’t been in my mind any satisfactory explanation. It continues to be puzzling.

All the way back to the campaign, candidate Trump made repeated unprecedented statements that were positive, glowing about Vladimir Putin, Russia and were negative or even attacking our Western European allies. As President Trump, he has continued the puzzling practice of not taking decisive action against Russia. So, this would be an important moment for the national security leadership and the Trump administration to press the President to take stronger action against Russia.

On Nunes memo:

I don’t know anything about the contents, I haven’t seen it. It has been shared apparently with members of the House beyond the House Intelligence Committee.

The Senate Intelligence Committee members I believe they still haven’t seen it. And President Trump’s own Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Justice, has been strenuously objecting to a public release of it. I trust Congressman Adam Schiff, the Ranking Democrat on House Intelligence, who says it is a thinly veiled attack piece designed to undermine the credibility of the FBI and the investigation of Robert Mueller. And I think before releasing something like this, it should be carefully and thoroughly reviewed and the DOJ given an opportunity to respond in a classified setting.

More on the memo:

Salacious and powerful and distracting and intentionally so. But, I’m concerned about a steady drumbeat of efforts by Republicans particularly in the House to undermine the credibility of federal law enforcement, the FBI, and in particular Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The bombshell revelation by the New York Times on Thursday night that President Trump attempted to fire Special Counsel Mueller last June reinforces the urgency of our passing legislation in the Senate that would protect the special counsel from an unwarranted or abrupt firing. I think the consequences of that happening would be significant.

More on Mueller:

Because, we see now a President who has no clear sense of his boundaries and of the law.

On occasion, he consults his lawyers and follows their advice, and the outcome has been positive. On occasion, he doesn’t consult his lawyers, he has done things that have really threatened the rule of law.

From firing Comey to a number of other abrupt actions he’s taken. Let me just get to the point. This is a small legislative matter that would take current regulations and make them law that say that if the special counsel were abruptly removed without cause, counsel could find his way to be reinstated through a three-judge panel. When I ask my colleagues, Republican and Democrat alike, would it be a big deal if the President abruptly fired Robert Mueller?

They all say absolutely. It would be a constitutional crisis. When I say to them what would you do, they don’t have a clear answer. We don’t know what the next steps would be as a body. If we could put a speed bump in place that would just prevent the President from taking a rash and unwarranted act, it would strengthen our constitutional order and protect our country from an unnecessary moment should the President go off the rails on this issue again.

On immigration:

There are vigorous debates in the Democratic caucus on exactly those grounds. There is very strong opposition to ending the diversity lottery. Because, the Democratic Party views immigration as a strength of our country, not as a challenge to be dealt with or minimized. We also view immigration to reunify families as one of our great positives not as a challenge or weakness.

We would like to find an appropriate balance between skill-based or merit-based immigration and family-based immigration. Some of the proposals put out by the White House are really extreme in terms of attacking both family-based migration and diversity as one of the goals of migration. There is an overall difference in our views. I think there is a shared compassion by the American people for the Dreamers who were brought here through no fault of their own by their parents.

But, our broader view as a Democratic Party is, it’s part of the strength of America. It brings the energy and the talent and the skills of people from around the world from different cultures to help strengthen America going forward. There are clearly folks on the other side of this debate from us who have an exact opposite view.

And I think this should be looked at not as a zero-sum game where we make concessions to our core values but I think where we should be proceeding is to start with the smallest narrowest possible deal on border security and Dreamers and see if we can build out from there in a way that doesn’t compromise our core values as Democrats. That may be very difficult to do, but we will get to it this week.