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NEW DAY SUNDAY
Trump Meets with Japanese PM Amid North Korea Tensions; White House Official: Trump, Putin to Meet on North Korea; Security Tight Ahead of New York Marathon Today; WaPo: Brazile Considered Replacing Clinton as Nominee. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired November 5, 2017 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right. And I think Trump fans, his most loyal supporters, are probably not watching "SNL" in the first place.
[07:00:04] And if they are, they probably aren't watching when they see, you know, Alec Baldwin in the shower.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Or they're a good sports, and they just take it as it is.
All right. Brian Stelter, we appreciate it as always. Thank you for waking up early for us here.
Be sure to watch Brian a little bit later today, of course, here on CNN.
PAUL: And want to wish you a good morning. If you are just joining us, 7:00 on a Sunday. We are grateful for your company as always. I'm Christi Paul.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Martin Savidge, in for Victor Blackwell.
North Korea, trade, national security -- they're all on the table as President Trump wraps up the first day of his high stakes Asian trip by dining with one of his most important allies in the region.
PAUL: We actually heard from the president as he arrived for dinner with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and he emphasized some of the major discussions that they are having.
SAVIDGE: Let's get straight now to CNN correspondent Sara Murray. She is, of course, traveling with the president.
And, Sara, we know that North Korea is at the top of the agenda for this trip. So, what is the president saying about progress so far?
SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin, it's been interesting to see the president kick off this five-nation foreign trip on more informal footing. He started with a ground of golf with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and then the two went out to dinner and it was on their way to that dinner that the president gave sort of a preview of the big issues that are going to mark this trip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are in the midst of having very major discussions on many subjects, including North Korea and trade, and other things. And we're doing very well. I think we're doing very well.
The relationship is really extraordinary. We like each other. And our countries like each other. And I don't think we've ever been closer to Japan than we are right now.
So, it's a great honor. Believe me. It's a great honor. We're going to have dinner tonight where I think we will insult everybody by continuing to talk about trade. But the time is a little bit limited. And then tomorrow is a very busy day.
So thank you all for being here. We appreciate it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: And we will see these two world leaders in a more formal setting tomorrow to hold a bilateral meeting, as well as a press conference. And you can bet that, of course, North Korea and rising tensions in that region are going to be a topic of discussion, not just with Abe but also with other world leaders the president is going to meet with on this trip. He confirmed that he is planning on meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea certainly tops the issues of that meeting as well. Back to you, guys.
SAVIDGE: Hey, Sara, real quick, that announcement that he intends to meet with President Putin, did that surprise everyone? Or was that sort of on the agenda we just hadn't heard that much?
MURRAY: Well, the White House wasn't confirming that it was on the agenda, although we had been hearing that they were trying to set something up, they were going back and forth whether it be a pull aside, whether it will be a formal bilateral meeting and we still don't have a lot of details of exactly how this is going to work.
But the two men were both expected to be at a summit together later this week. Obviously, the president is meeting with a number of other foreign leaders. He has met with Putin before, so in that sense, it's not a surprise but it certainly has the potential to be awkward at a time when the president is still being dogged by allegations of potential collusion between his campaign and Russian officials in 2016. So, that hangs over this relationship even now.
SAVIDGE: Yes, it certainly does. Sara Murray, thank you very much.
PAUL: A new warning from President Trump as well as he prepares to head to the Korean Peninsula. The United States is preparing to defend itself with every resource necessary, he says.
CNN international correspondent Alexandra Field joining us now as well as, we have Terry with us as well. Sue Mi Terry is going to be talking to us in a moment.
But, Alex, I wanted to get to you first because the president, this morning, he didn't mention North Korea by name but it was clear who he was talking about, right?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, that's right.
FIELD: Exactly, Christi. He has tough talk for North Korea in the past. We have seen this administration push some of the widest ranging sanctions again North Korea that have ever taken against that rogue regime in the past and now, you can have an administration that is again considering putting North Korea on its list of state sponsors of terror. We know that the most pressing issue for this president during his longest overseas trip which will include five countries is how to deal with North Korea and how to rally support from his key partners and allies in the region when it comes to countering that mounting threat from North Korea.
So, he didn't need to say those two words. It was exactly clear who he was talking to when he addressed the troops from Japan and the United States at a base earlier today.
Listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Together with our allies, America's warriors are prepared to defend our nation using the full range of our unmatched capabilities.
[07:05:04] No one, no dictator, no regime, and no nation should underestimate ever American resolve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FIELD: The warning is clear there. The rhetoric is fiery what we have seen from President Trump particularly on Twitter when it comes to talking to and about North Korea.
Look, White House officials on this trip are continuing to say that the administration's goal is the total denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and that they intend to achieve that objective by applying diplomatic pressure. But this is a president who continues to remind Pyongyang, the world at large that he has a military option available to him if it is necessary.
So, again, he is out here to work with other key players in the region to try to get them to continue to support what he sees as his policy when it comes to dealing with North Korea. This is perhaps the easiest stop of the trip for him because he's got his closest ally in the region, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe here. These two men have been in lock-step when it comes to dealing with North Korea, both of them support the idea of broadening the military capacity here in Japan when it comes to defense and protection of this country in order to counter the North Korean threat. But he's got a couple of other stops we know North Korea will be the
top topic of conversation. He heads to South Korea next. From there, it is Beijing and we know China is really central to President Trump's policy here.
He believes that they are the ones who have the leverage when it comes to dealing with North Korea. He has at times disparaged them for not doing enough and at times the administration has praised President Xi Jinping's efforts to enact some of the sanctions that have lately been leveled against the regime -- Christi.
PAUL: Yes, Alexandra, very good points to make there.
Let's bring in Sue Mi Terry here. She's a former North Korean analyst for the CIA, by the way, and now the managing director of the Bower Group in Asia.
Sue Mi, we have a senior administration official who told reporters that the president is looking very closely right now as to whether he will designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terror and that he actually said on Air Force One to reporters we will make that decision very soon.
Do you think the president will make a decision like that when he is there in the region? And if he does, how will North Korea respond?
SUE MI TERRY, FORMER CIA NORTH KOREA ANALYST: I do think is there a possibility that he will do that, particularly maybe when he is meeting with Japanese families of the abducted families. I think that might be an opportune time.
And North Korea may be upset about it but I think it's a right step because North Korea did think about the treatment of Otto Warmbier. He could have been potentially tortured and I think he has been. Think about, you know, Kim Jong-un killed his half-brother using WMD in a public airport.
So, I think we have enough justification to put North Korea on the state of sponsor terror list, and North Koreans will see it as another, you know, provocative act coming from the United States. But it's all part of us trying to put maximum pressure on the Kim regime.
PAUL: And we know the Kim regime watches the president very closely. He watches his tweets and his speeches and he is going to hear a lot from him, and about North Korea just in the next 12, 11, 10 days now. So, with that said what is the plausibility that Kim Jong-un may practice or employee some provocative move while the president is there firing a missile of some sort?
TERRY: There is certainly that possibility but Kim Jong-un could also wait until Trump leaves the region. We can't be sure of the timing. But what I am pretty sure is that Kim Jong-un will continue with the nuclear missile program. He is not going to stop.
So, certainly I do expect some sort of test coming, another intercontinental missile or even potentially a nuclear test, although I'm not sure if he actually will test while Trump is in the region.
PAUL: Alexandra, you talked about the president moving on to China here in the next couple of days. Do we have any idea how closely North Korea is going to be watching China and really how willing China is to talk about stepping up to the plate when it comes to North Korea?
FIELD: Yes, this is going to be really the key moment of this nearly two-week long trip. So, of course, we know that Pyongyang will be closely watching what happens there, as will the rest of the world, as well the allies right here in the region like Japan and South Korea. They are the ones who certainly want to see a diplomatic resolution to this crisis with North Korea. They are the ones who have the most to lose here, South Korea because of its incredible proximity to North Korea and also, there has been this incredible threat to Japan.
[07:10:06] You talk about the fact that we have seen North Korea test launching its ballistic missiles sending two of those ballistic missiles right over the northern Japanese territory or northern Japanese island rather of Hokkaido. So they feel the very realness of this threat from North Korea and want this diplomatic resolution and they understand that it is President Trump's policy to work closely with China in order to get that resolution.
The Trump administration has made it very clear that they believe that China has the leverage, given the economic relationship, given the fact that China is responsible for 90 percent of trade with North Korea. They believe that the full enforcement of the current sanctions by China and additional steps would force the regime to curb its programs.
The question is whether the administration is successful in getting full cooperation with China and then whether or not that entire cooperation, that full cooperation would really lead to the state of objective which is denuclearization, because we know a regime said it will not bargain with its nuclear program. It will not bargain with its ballistic missiles. They believe that is central to their survival and they're willing to funnel all their funds into fueling that program -- Christi.
PAUL: Yes, independent on what happens there, then, where does the relationship with U.S. and China come into play after that?
Thank you so much, Alexandra Field. Sue Mi Terry, we appreciate your insights as always.
SAVIDGE: We want to bring in other voices to talk about the president's trip here and the importance of it. Kelly Jane Torrance is deputy editor of "The Weekly Standard" and Julian Zelizer is CNN political analyst and professor at Princeton University.
The president spoke on trade in Japan. In fact, he was talking about trade right before dinner.
Let's just take a listen to what was said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Over the next 10 days we travel to South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. We will seek new opportunities for cooperation and commerce, and we will partner with friends and allies to pursue a free and open Indo-Pacific Region. We will seek free, fair, and reciprocal trade. But this future is only within our grasp because of you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And, of course, we know that North Korea is the top of the list, but also trade is hugely important as the president just referred to. And, yet, this is the same president that, of course, the first act he did was pull the U.S. out of Trans Pacific Partnership.
So, Kelly, I'm wondering, do you expect some sort of trade deal out of this or at least a framework?
KELLY JANE TORRANCE, DEPUTY EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: It's interesting to hear Donald Trump uses the words free trade, isn't it? It's not something he says very often. Actually the last time I can remember was when he first met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He started speaking a little bit about having a good free trade agreement with Canada.
It does seem that this is one issue that Donald Trump might actually be able to be talked into a good policy by the United States' allies. And this is interesting, though, because he campaigned really against free trade and talked about, you know, China especially. We're going to go after them. They are stealing American jobs and perhaps now he is meeting with these leaders and seeing exactly what it means to have a free trade agreement and what it does for the American economy, he is kind of softening on that.
So, there could be a trade deal coming out of this. I think it's all going to depend on what happens behind the scenes. I don't think Trump, himself, is the man to make those kind of deals.
SAVIDGE: Yes, it always does. Although he has by self-proclamation he is the deal maker.
SAVIDGE: But, anyway, President Trump is not visiting the DMZ during his trip to South Korea, which is unlike most other presidents that have gone to South Korea in the past. What's up with that, Julian?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think in some ways it reflects how poorly relationships have deteriorated in this region. Some of this goes beyond President Trump, certainly with North Korea, but even tensions with South Korea. But a lot of it is about President Trump, from the tweets, to the threats, to the words he's had -- again, both for North Korea but also words about South Korea that have left us in this place. And I also think it's just concerns about what the president will say
and they are efforts just to remove him from situations on this trip where his words might cause trouble and tension.
SAVIDGE: That's an interesting point.
President Trump says that he is going to likely meet, this came out apparently conversations with reporters on his flight, going to likely meet with Vladimir Putin. Now, we thought part of the reason of going on this Asia trip gave him the opportunity to leave the whole Russia investigation behind. This would seem to bring it all up and it's certainly going to make people go, what is he going to talk about?
[07:15:04] And, of course, meeting with another president of another nation is part of the job. But at this particular time, Kelly?
TORRANCE: Yes, it seems odd, doesn't it? I almost think, you know, he enjoys meeting authoritarian leaders. It's really a little strange. You know, when Erdogan of Turkey was here in D.C., he seemed to really enjoy meeting him.
And on this trip, he is going to be meeting with the president of China who he recently on Twitter congratulated him on his elevation he called it. I mean, this is a dictator who was consolidated his power even further and Donald Trump is congratulating him. He's meeting with the president of the Philippines with President Duterte who is really -- it's kind of scary what's going on in that country with extrajudicial killings of people involved in the drug trade.
You know, I feel meeting with Vladimir Putin, it's -- you know, why not? You're meeting with all of these other dictators that Donald Trump has nice words for, why not throw in one more?
SAVIDGE: Julian, can I ask you something that struck me? You know, of course, at the beginning of this trip, the president stops in Hawaii to meet with U.S. troops but he made a specific point visiting the USS Arizona. He does a tour of Pearl Harbor and gets on a plane and meets immediately with the prime minister of Japan.
I cannot think that that's just mere coincidence.
ZELIZER: No, again, I always try to hesitate, though, to speculate behind the scheduling, the logic and timing of the president.
SAVIDGE: But that is a big deal to the Japanese people.
ZELIZER: Absolutely. This was, in some ways, an opening theme for the president and the administration on this trip. So, you know, this might be a message about the United States, about his priorities of America's role in the world. And a message to the leaders, including the Japanese leaders he is about to meet.
SAVIDGE: Yes. I think it's also an indication there too of the man who claims to be the dealmaker coming in and trying to throw your appoint a bit off balance or in this case, the Japanese prime minister who we also look upon as an ally. TORRANCE: Exactly.
SAVIDGE: Kelly Jane Torrance and Julian Zelizer, I wish we have more time but we don't. We'll talk to you again. Thank you.
TORRANCE: Thanks, Martin.
PAUL: Well, Paul Manafort wants a little more freedom. What he is saying, what he is doing to try to convince a judge that he is not a flight risk?
Also, security is at high alert. Millions of people attending the New York City marathon and New York has vowed to keep them safe. We have a live report for you, straight ahead.
PAUL: Twenty-one minutes past the hour right now.
And as former members of his team prepare for a court hearing tomorrow, President Trump is distancing himself from former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
SAVIDGE: Here is why Trump says Manafort was not with the campaign very long. Quote: I think we found out something about how may be involved all -- with certain nations, and I don't even know exactly what it was in particular, but there was a point at which we just felt Paul would be better off -- because we don't have too many potential conflicts -- I should say we don't to have to many -- yes. Sorry. Potential conflicts. I'm trying to get it exactly right.
That was from an interview which is why I'm reading this quote. It from Sharyl Attkisson. She's a journalist and it's going to air later today.
PAUL: Yes, Manafort joins fellow former Trump campaign official Rick Gates pleading not guilty to a number of charges this week and Manafort is putting up his Trump Tower apartment and several other properties now in an effort to coerce or to influence the judge to allow him some freedom here to travel, to modify the conditions of his release, because he is on house arrest right now. A judge may consider the request at a hearing tomorrow.
And the Russia investigation, of course, continues to make headlines, President Trump says he is going to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week and his main goal is discussing North Korea.
SAVIDGE: All right. So to talk about things that are happening here at home while the president is traveling abroad, we bring back Kelly Jane Torrance. She's deputy managing editor of "The Weekly Standard", and Julian Zelizer, CNN political analyst and professor at Princeton University, and Jack Kingston, CNN political commentator and former adviser to the Trump campaign.
Jack, good morning to you. The others, we've been talking to already.
Let me start, Jack, by asking you -- why would the president make an announcement on board Air Force One as he is flying to Asia that he is going to meet with the Russian president, given all that we know about this investigation?
JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think it underscores the importance of Russia's potential role in North Korea. As you know, we have tried to work with Russia and Syria in terms of, you know, getting a temporary peace there. And so -- and that actually was started by John Kerry as secretary of state. So, we need to work with big strategic partners when it comes to global affairs, and I think if we can get Russia to back our efforts on North Korea, it's in the interest of the world. So, I'm glad that he is doing it.
SAVIDGE: And it is part of the job, I acknowledge that, but it's the timing, and, of course, we thought he might be leaving this investigation behind him. He is going to bring it all up again because people are going to say what in the world is he talking beyond North Korea with the president of Russia about, Jack? So, how does he defend that?
KINGSTON: Well, I don't think he can run away from the Russian investigation or anything related to Russia and I don't think he is trying to either. I think he is focusing on his agenda, but, at the same time, knows this is going to happen.
You know, it's interesting. Somebody said, I was reading an article about somebody who said why would he tweet about such things? And there was an argument to say, you know, he knows that is what people are going to be focused on, so he's not -- he wants to be there. He wants to talk about some of the potential opportunities of working with Russia.
And I think in this debate and the fervency of many people who are just after Trump, they're forgetting how important it is to work with Russia.
[07:25:02] Not just in terms of potentially world peace and partnership and that regard, but nuclear deterrents is very important and certainly food security, disasters and hopefully some trade opportunities. We have many, many businesses that are American businesses that have been in Moscow not just for ten years, but for 30 and 40 years.
SAVIDGE: Right. I got that, jack. It's just this was an Asia trip.
Kelly Jane, let me ask you this -- were you surprised to hear the president saying, yes, I think I'm having a side meeting with President Putin?
TORRANCE: A little bit. You know, I do think that part of the reason for this trip and its length he did want to sort of avoid his low approval ratings at home and, you know, look at, you know, when a president goes abroad, he tends to look more presidential. And I think that meeting with all of these world leaders, Trump is hoping to have that effect on himself.
So, it was a little surprising. You know, remember the last time he met with Putin, we found out, you know, weeks later that there was this extra meeting over dinner. You know, he got up from his table, went and chatted with him for a while which was really quite extraordinary. And we still don't know exactly what they talked about.
So, it is a little bit odd to meet with him now. And you sort of wonder, what are they going to talk about? Is Russia going to do anything on North Korea? They have no interest on being on our side with North Korea.
And, you know, world peace? Jack, I think is being generous. I don't think Vladimir Putin is interest inside world peace. Unstable world works to Russia's advantage.
SAVIDGE: Julian, I'm going to bring you in to this conversation. The president has been also hitting hard on the issue of trade. We know that North Korea looms very large in this, but trade is what he has been talking about and he didn't even mention North Korea by name in the first speech he made in Japan. So, are we perhaps getting the agenda a little mixed up?
ZELIZER: Well, I think the two actually are connected and they have been now for over a decade, meaning the stronger our relations are in terms of trade with the entire region, the more leverage we might have to, you know, contain North Korea.
This was the premise of much of what President Obama had been doing with the trade agreement. This was the effort to get us in a better position in Asia. The problem is President Trump blew that apart. And so, now, in many ways, he is going back to where President Obama's thinking was.
It contradicts what he said in the campaign. It contradicts his actions on trade so far. But in some ways, I think that's the place he is now moved to. We'll see if he can make any progress, though.
SAVIDGE: Jack, this has been pointed out. It's a very grueling trip. It's very important trip.
Does the president like these kinds of trips?
KINGSTON: I think he does. I think he likes to show off his leadership to the world. He did it in the Middle East on his very first trip. As you know, he went to a Christian and a Muslim and a Jewish audience there and spoke to 50 Muslim countries on his first trip and then he had a very successful trip to Brussels and he's pushed the NATO allies to pony up in terms of their military contribution and as a percentage of their GNP.
So, I think he is somebody who likes to go out in the world. He likes to engage. He is proud of what he is doing. And he thinks that, you know, I feel the same way that President Obama, too many times, was apologizing for America. So, for him to go out and talk about America' place in the world and
talk about capitalism and talk about our ability to have a world economy, I think it's very important. I think it's also good in the -- with the backdrop of the tax cuts --
SAVIDGE: But, Jack, the question is does like the trip? Not a list of praise of what did on the trip! Does he like making these trips?
KINGSTON: I think he does. I think he is somebody who does like his comforts. When he is at home he actually prefers, as we have known, to be out of Washington at one of his resorts, Mar-a-Lago, some place like that. But I do think that he does like these trips.
But I -- but it's been pointed out that presidents do go up in polls when they are overseas. Americans coalesce behind their leader. So I think it is a good time in terms of the political advantage of it as well.
SAVIDGE: It's a great time for him to show that he is president.
Kelly Jane Torrance, Julian Zelizer, and Jack Kingston, thank you all.
TORRANCE: Thank you.
ZELIZER: Thank you.
KINGSTON: Thank you.
PAUL: There is serious security in New York this morning. Hundreds of thousands of people are attending the New York City marathon, including CNN's Brynn Gingras. She's in the middle of all of it.
Good morning, Brynn. How is it there so far?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, good morning. Police are literally in the air, on the ground and on the rivers here in New York City, the largest security response ever for an event in this city. We are going to have much more about that coming up for you guys.
[07:34:07] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All of you rushing around like we often do in the mornings, even on weekend, 7:34 is the time. Just want to make sure you know. I'm Christi. We're glad to have you here.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: That's right, because you had to fall back.
PAUL: That's right.
SAVIDGE: I'm Martin Savidge, in for Victor Blackwell. It's great to be with you.
Right now, President Trump wrapping up the first day of his very important Asia tour. He's dining with one of his biggest allies in the region, that's Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
At the top of the agenda, how to deal with the growing nuclear threat from North Korea?
PAUL: Now, President Trump says he also plans to talk about trade and one issue where he does not see eye-to-eye with the prime minister we should point out. After meetings between the two allies tomorrow, President Trump then heads to South Korea.
At the moment, though, a lot of eyes on New York. They are getting ready for the city's big marathon this morning. Ramping up security to make sure everybody stays safe.
[07:35:00] SAVIDGE: Fifty thousand runners and 2.5 million spectators are expected and CNN's national correspondent Brynn Gingras is live from Staten Island, New York, where that marathon begins.
And, Brynn, tell us more about the security plan today because that's got to be on people's minds.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, completely, Martin. I mean, I'm looking right now at two NYPD helicopters in the air just over this area where the runners are going to start running, at least the first wave in about an hour and a half. That's just one layer.
There are multi -- multiple layers here in New York, all across five boroughs because that's where the race heads and that's where 2.5 million people are going to being watching this race.
Just to give you a quick perspective. They say, according to officials, this is the largest most intense security detail they have ever had for an event in New York City. Think about that. The pope has been here. Diplomats have been here for the U.N.
I mean, this is a serious, serious security matter that they have taken on, in the wake of that terror attack here on Tuesday. But the runners, you know what, they're not fazed. One person told me they went through seven layers of security but it didn't matter. They got here. They're ready to run.
Listen to one man said about even thinking about not running today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, like there was no doubt. I train all summer for this. I mean, there's no way I was missing this race at all. And I'm pretty confident in our security and have confident in the NYPD. They always do a good job with securing the people of the city. And -- but no. There's not an ounce of me, like, not running this race that went through my mind. The plan was always to run the race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRAS: And that was echoed time and time again from runners that we talked to. Not only people who were from here in New York City but also all around the world. So, certainly, everyone just at this point focusing on 26.2 miles run that they have ahead of them today. I'm going to sit in the truck after this and not do anything.
SAVIDGE: We appreciate the sincerity there.
GINGRAS: Feeling really bad about myself.
PAUL: No, don't feel bad yourself. It's cold! They will warm up. It's all good. It's all good.
SAVIDGE: Brynn, thanks very much.
PAUL: Thank you.
So, still to come, former Clinton campaign staffers are slamming former DNC chief Donna Brazile over revelations that Brazile considered replacing Hillary Clinton as a Democratic nominee.
[07:41:54] PAUL: Forty-one minutes past the hour.
And former DNC chief Donna Brazile's book about the inner workings of the Democratic Party unloads. That's according to "The Washington Post." Brazile considered taking Hillary Clinton off the 2016 ticket and replacing her with then Vice President Joe Biden. The move came after Clinton fainted at the 9/11 memorial in New York City during the campaign.
And we are also learning Brazile thought Clinton's campaign headquarters lacked passion and energy, and she thought it felt, quote, like someone died.
Well, CNN political commentator and former president secretary for Bernie Sanders' campaign, Symone Sanders is with us now, as well as CNN political commentator, Maria Cardona.
Thank you both ladies for being with us. I appreciate it. Good morning.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.
SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.
PAUL: So, Clinton's campaign was, not just what I said there in this book, but Brazile calls it anemic and it had taken an odor of failure. In the meantime, a group of Clinton campaign staffers including Huma Abedin and John Podesta who are responding to these accounts in her memoir.
And here's what they say: It is particularly troubling and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into false Russian-fueled propaganda, spread by both the Russians and our opponent, and our candidate's health. We do not recognize the campaign she portrays in the book. We are pretty tired of people who were not part of the campaign telling the world what it was like to be on the inside of our campaign and how we felt about it.
First and foremost, Maria, is there, though, any truth to Brazile's accounts despite what the campaign said? Because at the end of the day, she did faint. There were questions. There were lots of conversations going on.
CARDONA: None of those conversations as I understood it at the time had anything to do with ever considering removing Hillary and Tim Kaine from the ticket. I just think that is ridiculous.
And secondly, Donna Brazile would not have been able to do it on her own. She would have had to confer with the Democratic members of Congress and it's a huge process and she would have to confer with the Democrat Governors Association and ultimately, she would have had to come to the DNC members to make that change.
And, importantly, there was no vacancy there. She couldn't have started those procedures because according to the rules, there has to be a vacancy due to death, due to disability --
CARDONA: -- or due to resignation and there were none of those things.
PAUL: Were there conversations that lacked passion? Were there conversations that had questions about Hillary Clinton's ability or health or anything that she is alleging?
CARDONA: Not in any of the conversations that I had with campaign people and I was up at the headquarters quite often and had conversations with them on a daily basis. Everything that that campaign did and that every campaign staffer did in that building was full of passion to try to get Hillary Clinton elected because they felt that -- frankly, like the majority of America felt -- that she would be the best president for this country.
PAUL: So, Symone, she is saying she thought about replacing Hillary Clinton with Joe Biden, which we know that Joe Biden struggled very hard as to whether he was going to run.
[07:45:09] Do you get any sort of a feeling that had it been Joe Biden, we would be sitting in a different position here today?
SANDERS: I mean, we do not know. So, I think we can all speculate in retrospect --
SANDERS: -- about what could have happened if somebody else maybe, should have, could have did this, that, or the other. I think what's important to note here is, look -- one, Donna Brazile's book is not out yet, so we don't know what else is in there. And Donna Brazile, though, is entitled to tell her story.
We may not all agree with the account of it. People may not agree with the account of her story. Folks may feel differently about what she is particularly saying. But she is absolutely entitled to tell her story from her vantage point.
PAUL: So, let me ask you this, because there are a lot of people saying, A, why would you do this now? Is this just about making money on a book? Or is there any intention -- is there another intention she has?
SANDERS: You know, I know Donna Brazile personally and I don't think this is about making money, one. I'll be frank. If I was a publicist for anybody that was writing a book about last year's election, I would put the book out the one year anniversary of last year's election --
SANDERS: -- and that is coming up on Tuesday. There's also a Virginia election, a New Jersey election on Tuesday, so I encourage people to vote.
But I also --
PAUL: Had to get that in there.
SANDERS: Get that in there. But I also think that Donna Brazile really feels like we cannot move forward unless we have a frank conversation about what's happening. And I think that's what this book is her contribution of that. And one could also a different conversation probably isn't the best litigated in the public for the Democratic Party.
But, you know what? Again, she is entitled to tell her story from her vantage point. I think folks should -- this should is not deter Democrats. There is so much at stake. There's a lot happening right now. We just talked about elections that are happening on Tuesday.
I'm sure Maria would agree that we all hate this tax reform bill and we need to make sure we beat that thing back.
PAUL: So, Maria, you know, Scott Bolden was on the show yesterday and he said there is a fight for the soul of the DNC. Who is leading the Democrats right now? And is there a residual effect on Democrats from this book and anything might come out of it?
CARDONA: Well, we sure are going to focus on moving forward. And, right now, as you know, the head of the DNC is Chairman Tom Perez. And he actually put out sort of new rules and regulations and things that he is implementing moving forward to make sure that everything that the DNC does has both the reality, as well as the perception of neutrality, because I do think that one of the things that Donna brings up is -- you know, I don't agree with her that it was rigged and even she, herself, says that the processes themselves, the votes, the primaries, the caucuses, you know, nothing was messed with. Every single vote in there was fair and square and Hillary Clinton won by 4 million.
But that the perception, even the perception of the fact that people feel perhaps that it was not fair, that they were not treated fairly, that their voices were not heard, does hurt Democrats moving forward. And I think that's the kind of thing that Democrats need to focus on. We need to focus on new -- implementing new rules and guidelines to make sure that the DNC is going to be a place that people trust. Everybody's voices are heard, where the processes are fair and equal and neutral for every single candidate. And that is exactly what Chairman Perez is focused on doing with the rest of the DNC members moving forward.
PAUL: OK. Symone Sanders, Maria Cardona, sorry, we have run out of time. But thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us.
CARDONA: Thank you.
PAUL: As always.
SANDERS: Thank you.
PAUL: We'll be right back.
PAUL: In today's "Tech-ing Care of Your Health", CNN's Jacqueline Howard shows us how robots may soon help thousands of kids with cerebral palsy live a better life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This team of scientists is making big strides for children with cerebral palsy.
THOMAS BULEA, SCIENTIST, NATIONAL INSTITUTESOF HEALTH CLINICAL CENTER: Now you're free to go ahead and take a step.
There's really no wearable robotic exclusion on the market now for children with cerebral palsy. Our exoskeleton is really a more advanced step. So, by providing assistance to straighten your legs and improve knee extension, it makes it a little bit easier for kids to walk.
HOWARD: Kids like 14-year-old Alexander Theodurakis (ph).
BULEA: The exoskeleton works by tracking the way the person walks. So, the sensors that are embedded into the exoskeleton gives us information on how the legs are moving, and then we use that information to activate the motors at the right time within the walking cycle to provide assistance to the knee joint, to help extend the knee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It changes the way I walk. It physically does more, because there's the motor there.
BULEA: When I see the children in our study put on the exoskeleton and walk, it's an invigorating and rewarding experience.
SAVIDGE: Anthony Bourdain visited Puerto Rico before Hurricane Maria hit. This week on parts unknown, he delves into Puerto Rico's complex patchwork, its weak economy, its very diverse cultures, and, of course, it's great food.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST, PARTS UNKNOWN: Puerto Rico, you think you know it. Maybe you grew up around Puerto Rican culture like I did in New York City.
It's incredible music. Incredible food. Lovely people.
I've been drinking a fair amount of this lately.
But Puerto Rico itself, it's sort of a dilemma.
[07:55:03] Is it a state? Is it a country? Is it a commonwealth? Is it a colony? What is Puerto Rico? It's not a state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an unincorporated territory.
BOURDAIN: Unincorporated territory.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. So, you know, what's that?
BOURDAIN: What is that?
Nobody can really give you a straight answer on where they're going. Where are they going? What will happen to this beautiful place?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Watch "PARTS UNKNOWN" at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, right here on CNN.
PAUL: We hope you make good memories today. Thanks for being with us.
SAVIDGE: "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts -- coming right after this short break.