Return to Transcripts main page


Interview with Representative Ted Lieu; Interview with Bill Richardson; O.J. Simpson Gives "Hypothetical" Confession in 2006 Interview; Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired March 12, 2018 - 10:30   ET


[10:30:00] REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: One difference is there was an actual agreement here to silence Stormy Daniels, and it's very clear that the payment was directly meant to make her not say anything negative during the course of the campaign.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: There is no ambiguity about that at this point. Even Michael Cohen admits that there was money that was paid and it was for a nondisclosure agreement for silence there. So there is that. We will have to see what the courts say about that ultimately.

Do you think there is any reason, again, as a prosecutor, former prosecutor that this "60 Minutes" interview should not air Sunday night?

LIEU: I don't know why Michael Cohen and Donald Trump are trying so hard to keep this "60 Minutes" interview from airing if they weren't scared of it. So there is clearly something that Stormy Daniels is going to say that they're very scared of. But our First Amendment is very vast and broad and the Supreme Court and other courts are very unlikely to prevent a news organization from airing information to the American public.

BERMAN: You asked the Justice Department, you asked the FBI to get involved. You haven't heard back from them, have you?

LIEU: Have not. Typically the FBI does not acknowledge whether an investigation is happening or not happening. But we write these letters to get them to try to do one.

BERMAN: All right. The president overnight released his plan to deal with school safety and to deal with the school shootings. This epidemic that has faced our country right now. He has put together what he considers to be a task force to deal with the issue and he wants to perhaps give some funding to arm some faculty members in schools. No mention of raising the age limit to purchase a weapon to 21.

Your reaction to the president's plan.

LIEU: It looks to me like the president is scared of the NRA. And I find it ironic that he was criticizing Senator Toomey for being scared of the NRA because he wasn't going to raise age limits to buy guns. And the president's tweet this morning is just factually wrong where he said there is no political support for this. A recent poll showed that over 80 percent of Americans would support raising the age to 21 to buy firearms.

BERMAN: Congressman, I don't know if you had a chance to watch the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos last night on "60 Minutes." And she's pertinent here because she's going to lead this task force that the president just set up to deal with school safety.

On "60 Minutes" last night she was asked about vouchers and school choice and whatnot, and she had -- she gave a performance that has not received stellar reviews, I'll try to be polite here. We're just getting some information from our White House team that the White House, White House officials watched in dismay as Betsy DeVos struggled to answer basic questions about the nation's schools.

What is your reaction to how she handled the interview?

LIEU: I did watch the video clip and I was shocked because it's not as if they were asking her a hard question, such as, you know, when did the Cleveland Browns last win a playoff game. It was a core question about her core competency on an issue she cares a lot about. And so it's very interesting she couldn't answer these very basic questions. And that leads me to think that there is something not well with the secretary of Education in terms of how much she knows actually about the subject of education.

BERMAN: Do you have faith that she is the right person to lead this task force on school safety?

LIEU: I do not. And partly -- I'm not even sure why we need yet another task force. It is not as if we don't know a lot about this gun issue. We know that many of the mass shootings that occurred did occur with AR-15 style weapons. In addition we know that background checks, raising the age limit, and banning bump stocks are good things to do, not clear why we need yet another commission.

BERMAN: Congressman Ted Lieu of California, I know you'll be welcoming the president with open arms as he visits your state later this week.

LIEU: Thank you, John.

BERMAN: Thanks, Congressman. I appreciate it.

A Japanese official says that maximum pressure worked to get North Korea to the negotiating table. Will it work to get them to agree to a deal?



BERMAN: New this morning, Japan's Foreign minister says that maximum pressure brought North Korea to the negotiating table. Now leaders in the region are working to lay the groundwork for a possible meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Joining us now to discuss, Bill Richardson, former U.S. ambassador to

the United Nations, former governor of New Mexico, someone who has had dealings inside North Korea in the past.

Governor, thanks so much for being with us. The North Korean government still hasn't officially responded to this whole idea of this presidential level meeting. Should that be of concern?

BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Well, it's typical of the North Koreans. They try to keep you in the dark and then they have a barrage of propaganda. I think they're committed because they have said they're not going to do any more missile tests. They've actually haven't done any for the last three months. No nuclear tests, they're going to be OK with the U.S.-South Korea military initiatives that take place. They've committed to the South Korean president for a summit, so the North Koreans would be ill advised to change right now.

I think it's in their interest to continue. They got a big concession and that is the president of the United States agreeing to a summit with Kim Jong-un. So I think the summit is on. The issue is when and where. It may be delayed a little bit. I hope maybe it's delayed so that -- a little bit so that we're prepared. I don't think we have a strategy yet.

BERMAN: You said they got a concession, the fact that the United States is going at all is a concession. This is something that the administration has been trying to address, I think, you know, since the word came out this meeting was happening. And the CIA director Mike Pompeo was on TV talking about it over the weekend. Listen to this.


MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: Make no mistake about it. While these negotiations are going on, there will be no concessions made. The activity of this administration to disrupt the North Korean economy, to put pressure on North Korea.

[10:40:03] To galvanize the world in a way that you have countries from the Middle East to Europe and Asia, placing sanctions on the North Korean regime, those will continue.

President trump isn't doing this for theater. He's going to solve a problem.


BERMAN: So do you think Kim Jong-un had to give anything up to get this meeting or were the only important concessions here from the U.S. side?

RICHARDSON: Well, I -- by concession I meant the fact that agreeing to the meeting kind of legitimizes Kim Jong-un, the North Koreans. I don't have a problem with that. I supported the president making this decision. I think what the CIA director is saying is that there are no U.S. concessions prior to the meeting other than agreeing to the meeting.

BERMAN: Right.

RICHARDSON: Now I do think the North Korean, they've made a concession and that is I think the biggest one was allowing the military exercises between South Korea and the United States to take place. The missile test, the nuclear test, they have been holding off for a while.

I think the point here is that the administration needs to be very careful. Get a team ready, but don't keep talking about now they're going to denuclearize. Well, the North Koreans have agreed to talk about denuclearization. And from my experience, they're not going to denuclearize, certainly not right away.

But I think there are a lot of other tangible issues that have not been discussed that could be good steps to take. Like the three American detainees. Like getting remains of our soldiers from the Korean War. Like missile and nuclear exports that the North Koreans do. Like chemical weapons that the North Koreans send to Syria. Like the artillery parked right at South Korea, concessions need to be made to take those off, so that 25 million South Koreans and 30,000 American troops are not necessarily in danger.

So -- and, John, I do think what the president said last night was OK. In other words, he was tempered on North Korea. He made a bunch of other statements that I've got some problems with, but, you know, he was tempered and I wish he would stop tweeting.


RICHARDSON: Just let the diplomats run the show.

BERMAN: So you said he needed a strategy, this White House, the president needs a strategy for this meeting. You laid out what could be some deliverables there. You know, should that be the strategy to get those things?

RICHARDSON: Yes, yes. Look, I can tell you, North Koreans, they're not going to denuclearize, certainly not before the meeting, as some administration and some senators I've heard saying.

BERMAN: Right.

RICHARDSON: But just I think let Secretary Tillerson find a way to set up a process, a negotiating process that results from the summit meeting. Trust being built between the two countries that is almost nonexistent. Point the negotiations in the right direction. You know, maybe it will be a big photo-op if it is a photo-op that leads to serious negotiations, less distress. It's going to be worth it in my view.

I've been dealing with this issue for years. I've been there eight times. Can't be any worse right now, so I applaud the president for agreeing to the summit. But for god sakes, be ready, be prepared, have a strategy. I don't think we have that. We have too many people talking about it. CIA director, Department of Defense, we haven't heard from the main person which I think should lead these negotiations. And that's the secretary of State. Diplomacy --


BERMAN: Governor Bill Richardson -- Governor, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate your time, sir.

RICHARDSON: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right. O.J. Simpson said it was a hypothetical account. Critics say it feels like a confession. Hear the interview about the night his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman were killed.



BERMAN: The pilot who was the sole survivor of a helicopter crash in New York City is talking to authorities. The pilot reportedly is telling investigators that a passenger's bag may have accidentally hit the emergency fuel shutoff button causing this crash. Dramatic pictures of it.

Last night the helicopter experienced engine failure before it dropped into the East River killing all five passengers. The pilot was able to free himself from the wreckage and was rescued.

So a two-hour special, O.J. Simpson explained, blamed and hypothesized about what might have possibly happened the night his ex-wife Nicole Brown and acquaintance Ron Goldman were killed. The never-before-seen 2006 interview with publisher Judith Regan, he talked -- she talked to Simpson about the events of June 12th, 1998. And they called accounts like this speculation.


OJ SIMPSON, FORMER NFL PLAYER: As things got heated, I just remember Nicole fell and hurt herself, and this guy kind of got into a karate thing, and I said, well, you think you can kick my ass, and I remember I grabbed the knife. I do remember that portion, taking the knife from Charlie, and to be honest, after that, I don't remember. Except I'm standing there and there's all kind of stuff around and --

JUDITH REGAN, PUBLISHER: What kind of stuff?

SIMPSON: Blood and stuff around. I hate to say this, this is --



BERMAN: Hypothetical or confession? Joining me now to talk about this, CNN's Jean Casarez.

Strange, keeps on using phrases like "I remember." JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was in and out of hypothetical

for the entire two hours. I mean, he talks about his whole life with Nicole.

[10:50:01] But at one point, when he's in the six minutes describing the murder, he doesn't say hypothetical and he says, I don't remember taking the glove off, I just don't remember that, but I saw the glove in court, so I must have. And that is not denoted by hypothetical at all.

Another thing in the two hours he has so much anger still for Nicole. I mean, he went on and on about how she wouldn't leave the house after they had their first child and her outfit that she was wearing on the day of the murders at their little girl's recital was so tight.

Listen to a little bit about the anger that you will see, and the jealousy, that Nicole -- that O.J. Simpson still had for his ex-wife.


SIMPSON: I just remember seeing her there, and I still had so many feelings of -- if you're angry with a person upon their death, when they die, it is not like that anger disappears, right? It is almost like I want to say I told you, didn't I tell you, didn't I say to you, you know, whatever the hell was going on, you know what I mean? Didn't I -- so you still got those kind of feelings in you, and you still are trying to deal with, I'm not going to be able to say this to this person, I'm never going to be able to change this person's mind. I'm never going to have an effect on this person again.


CASAREZ: And that wasn't hypothetical right there. Now also Judith Regan was on "NEW DAY" this morning and she talked about the hypothetical nature of this all. You have to determine for yourself. Watch.


REGAN: He framed it as a hypothetical, I believe, so that he could tell the story with deniability. But anyone watching the interview and listening to him, I can't imagine that they could think anything other than this is a real confession. And it is his way of confessing.


CASAREZ: And it was just months after that interview that he was arrested in Las Vegas for kidnapping and armed robbery. And we all know what happened after that.

BERMAN: You know, double jeopardy keeps him from being charged again for murder. But could this open him up to any new civil claims?

CASAREZ: You know, the civil case was already tried. He was found liable, and the Goldmans actually got the rights to that book that was never published. They published it so the Goldmans could get some of the money they were owed by the civil court.

BERMAN: All right. Jean Casarez. Jean, thanks very much.

All right. The brackets are set. Let the madness begin. "Bleacher Report" is next.


[10:57:10] BERMAN: March Madness, the NCAA Tournament field is set. Andy Scholes here to break down what frankly I, we all need to know -- Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John, you know, you can cue the loss of productivity in the workplace around the country. Right? According to Wallet Hub, companies are going to lose $6.3 billion with people spending their work time of course filling out their brackets and then watching the games all day Thursday and Friday. And the experts say this could be the craziest tournament yet with so much parody in college basketball right now.

It seems all over the country rejoicing while watching this election show on TBS last night, finding out if they were going dancing. And check out Arizona State, they were so happy after finding out, they went and jumped in Coach Bobby's pool.

And somehow despite going 2-8 in their final 10 games, Trey Young and Oklahoma made it into the tournament as you can see. They were quite pleased. Virginia getting the top overall seed. The other one seeds are Villanova, Kansas and Xavier. Las Vegas has Villanova as the favorite to win it all.

And if you've never filled out a bracket before, here is some basic tips to filling it out. Never pick a one or two seed to lose in the first round. A one seed has never lost to a 16. A 15 has only beaten a two eight times in the history of the tournament. Find a 12 seed you like. Pick them to win a couple of games. 12 seeds have won at least one game 26 of the last 29 years. But, you know, once you get to the Sweet 16, don't pick any seed 12 or higher to advance. Those teams historically have less than a 2 percent chance of making it that far.

When it comes to your final four, put one or two one seeds in there. But don't have two one-seeds playing for the championship because that's only happened eight times since 1979, one of them was actually last year when North Carolina played Gonzaga. So the chances of that happening in back-to-back years seem pretty slim.

Now of course, you can use all of that advice if you want and play with us here at CNN. Go to, just make sure to fill it out by Thursday morning.

And, John, you know, I don't see Harvard in the field this year. So you can't pick them to win it all. So what's your strategy going to be?

BERMAN: You know, they always try to keep those Harvard kids down. Never get any breaks out of the Ivies. My strategy this year, I have set aside the next 48 hours to read about these schools. The one and done thing makes it really hard. I mean, it makes it really hard to follow what's going on.


BERMAN: I don't know which way I'm going. I go big East, or at least my loyalty is to the old big East teams that use --

SCHOLES: The old East.

BERMAN: The old big East teams that used to exist. Ed Pinckney I think is going to lead Villanova to a new title. Oh, he's not on the team this year. Oh, no.

All right. Andy Scholes.

SCHOLES: Look, I think -- all right, John, good luck.

BERMAN: Thank you very much. Tell me, send me an e-mail, tell me who to pick because I need a lot of help.

All right. Thank you all for joining us today. I'm John Berman. Please tweet me your NCAA picks. I need your help this year. I finished next to last last year.

"AT THIS HOUR" begins right now.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield, in for Kate Bolduan today.