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Benjamin Netanyahu Claims Iran Has Secret Nuclear Weapons Program; Kim Jong-Un Agrees to Meet President Trump at DMZ; Dozens of Uber Drivers Convicted of Sexual Abuse and Rape; Senator John McCain Takes on Trump in New Book; Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired May 1, 2018 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:30:00] OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- very much had one target in mind, and that was President Donald Trump. This was delivered first in English for a reason, because it's Trump, it is the West who he was speaking to. He's certainly of the opinion that had they known, had Netanyahu put forward this information at a different date, they never would have signed this deal to begin with.
Here he is in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: If this was known in 2015, the nuclear deal as was done would not be done. And in fact, a key condition for its implementation was that Iran come clean and it gave them a clean bill of health, that they have no secret nuclear weapons program. That's not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: And yet if that's the case, he's trying to prove, it seems like he hasn't gotten there yet with anyone perhaps except the Americans. That's because after speaking with the French, the British, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Germans, most of those leaders have stuck by the Iran deal, saying it's the best mechanism for monitoring Iran's nuclear program and monitoring Iran's nuclear ambitions as well as the best option for imposing sanctions should they violate the terms of the Iran deal.
But as it stands right now, from the IAEA and the other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal, the JCPOA, no one has come out and said, yes, Netanyahu put forward information that Iran clearly violated the deal. That he hasn't proven yet.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, Oren, the United States, the White House came out with a statement of support of Benjamin Netanyahu overnight and then had to correct one letter in that statement. But it was a really, really important one.
LIEBERMANN: Absolutely. They attributed this to a clerical error. Take a listen to this. Here is the original statement. "These facts are consistent with what the United States has long known, Iran has a robust clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people." Has. That they still have this program going on. But they had to correct that. "These facts are consistent with what the United States has long known, Iran had a robust, clandestine nuclear program."
So a very big difference there in terms of the first statement. They had to issue a correction there, and basically say, look, we just accused Iran of violating the JCPOA statement, that's not what we meant to say, there's a clerical error, here is the updated statement, everyone knew all along that they had at one point were trying to develop a nuclear weapons program.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: An important consonant indeed.
Oren Liebermann, thank you.
BERMAN: It's the most --
HARLOW: The most important --
BERMAN: The most important consonant in that entire statement.
BERMAN: All right.
HARLOW: All right. New this morning, North Korean state media is issuing a new warning to U.S. officials, this time, though, it's a bit different than what we've seen in the past.
BERMAN: Yes. This time they say U.S. officials should knock out North Korea's commitment to dismantle their nuclear weapons saying do not miss the opportunity.
Live now from Seoul, Alexandra Field. Alexandra, give us the latest.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, John and Poppy. Well, certainly North Korea in past few days has been saying some of the right stuff, but they've also said some of the right stuff before. So you've heard some skepticism of course from the highest levels of the U.S. administration. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo himself saying we have our eyes wide open when it comes to dealing with North Korea.
That said, plans continue to rapidly develop for this historic summit that could take place as soon as the end of this month between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un himself. One possibility that certainly being eyed by all sides right now is to have that summit at the DMZ. It would look a lot like the one that you saw just a few days ago between the South Korean and the North Korean leader.
It's been said that President Trump along with millions of other people was watching that moment carefully, that he was impressed by the imagery that he saw, that handshake that happened between the two leaders. He saw the leaders walking across that line of demarcation and that he believes that holding the summit at the DMZ would give him the same opportunity to project those kinds of symbolic and historic images to the world. It would also allow for the cameras to be rolling if he decided he
needed to get up and walk away from the proverbial table in any conversation with Kim Jong-un. This is not, however, a done deal yet. The Blue House here in South Korea says there would be no place that would be more symbolic from a logistical perspective, it would work for North Korea. They've got concerns about how they would secure the North Korean leader as he travels to the summit.
Also it's unclear how far he can travel given his aging fleet of aircraft and whether he would have to stop to fuel up on the way. So the DMZ could make sense from all sides. But you do certainly have skeptics within the administration, in D.C. who are urging a more neutral location, a place like Singapore. There are those who simply say it just appears too conciliatory at this point for the president to head to the DMZ to have this kind of sit-down with Kim Jong-un -- Poppy, John.
BERMAN: All right. Alexandra Field, thank you so much.
HARLOW: Thank you.
BERMAN: So it is supposed to be a safe way to get a ride home. But now a CNN investigation reveals at least 100 cases of Uber drivers accused of sexual assault or abuse. Stay with us.
[10:38:52] BERMAN: So a new CNN investigation that could raise serious questions for the millions of people who count on Uber. CNN has found that more than 100 Uber drivers in the U.S. have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers during the last four years.
HARLOW: Dozens of criminal now civil cases pending, more than 30 drivers have been convicted on charges ranging from battery to rape.
Our CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin joins us live and, Drew, you've been digging into this for a very long time. This affects millions of Americans, I think 40 million Americans used Uber last year.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Right. John and Poppy, we went to Uber and tried to get data from them on how many of its drivers have been accused of sexual assault. The company would not or could not provide that data. So we scrambled through every public record we could find. And the stories we came up with were frightening.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anxiety and depression.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like many victims she feels shame, hasn't told her children, is trying to protect her own privacy --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
GRIFFIN: -- but still wants every woman to know what she says happened to her when she began feeling intoxicated at a Miami area bar, sought a safe ride home and used the convenient Uber app to summon a ride.
[10:40:03] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I don't remember anything until the next morning.
GRIFFIN (on camera): And the next morning?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The next morning I woke up and both my pants and my underwear were on the floor.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Evidence pointed to assault. Her Uber driver, Nemar Abdullah (PH) is charged with felony sexual battery, has pled not guilty and is awaiting trial. She is suing the company that promises a safe ride home.
A CNN investigation has uncovered dozens of cases like hers, none of the information comes from Uber, which did not provide CNN numbers on how many of its drivers have been accused of sexual assaults. The company saying they are working through their data. Instead CNN scoured public records, police reports, civil and criminal court cases and talked with a dozen attorneys representing victims.
The results, CNN has documented at least 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. who've been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the past four years. At least 31 of those drivers had been convicted on charges ranging from battery to rape. Dozens of criminal and civil cases are pending.
Uber is by far the largest ride-share company with 15 million rides per day worldwide. And while hard to compare directly, the smaller ride share company Lyft with one million rides per day in the U.S. and Canada is also dealing with sexual assaults by its drivers. A similar CNN review found 18 cases of Lyft drivers accused. Four drivers had been convicted. A dozen criminal and civil cases are pending.
Lyft told CNN, "The safety of the Lyft community is our top priority." And their company says it has worked hard to design policies and features that protect our community. Many of the cases fit a pattern like this one when this woman was escorted out of a bar in Long Beach, California, and got into the back seat of an Uber.
The individual reports from across the country are horrific. In San Diego an Uber driver pled guilty to raping one passenger and sexually assaulting at least nine other women in a serial rape case that sent him for prison for 80 years. In northern Ohio, an Uber driver pled guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, forcing a young passenger to perform a sex act on him.
In Ft. Worth, Texas, an Uber driver allegedly kidnapped an elderly passenger, driving her to a wooded area where, according to the police report, he raped and beat her. He has not entered a plea. Victims kidnapped, raped, trapped in cars with electronic locks, one
victim told police she was forced to drink her driver's urine. And multiple experts from police to lawyers to prosecutors tell CNN the actual number of Uber drivers accused is much higher than the 103 we found. Either the crimes aren't reported, there isn't enough evidence to prosecute, or Uber quietly settles the matter before a civil case can even be filed.
Uber first agreed to and then canceled an interview with CNN about this story and instead gave us a statement about safety updates the company has made since CNN first started asking about the pattern of sexual assaults months ago, including an emergency button, driver screening improvements, and the addition of the former secretary of Homeland Security to head up Uber's safety advisory board. The company insists it's "putting safety at the core of everything we do."
JEANNE CHRISTIANSEN, ATTORNEY: Uber has done a miraculous job of keeping the stories quiet.
GRIFFIN: Attorney Jeanne Christiansen has been suing Uber on behalf of victims since 2015. Uber, she says, settles cases and demands silence from all parties, nondisclosure agreements in exchange for a settlement.
(On camera): How many cases have you and your firm handled?
CHRISTIANSEN: I can't go on record and say that because of confidentiality, sorry.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): In addition to money, Christiansen's class action lawsuit against Uber seeks more thorough screening of drivers.
GRIFFIN: John and Poppy, you can become an Uber driver almost -- well, you can, completely online. The company does its own background checks, but it doesn't involve fingerprints in those background checks. Critics including government regulators say that's just not enough. They want this company to do much, much more to make sure its riders are safe.
HARLOW: And just to be very clear, Drew, you guys asked and asked and asked for anyone from Uber to go on camera to talk to you, right?
GRIFFIN: We had an interview set up last week in San Francisco with their top counsel and at the last minute he canceled on us.
HARLOW: Important reporting. Thank you, Drew.
All right, Senator John McCain continues to battle cancer at home in Arizona. But he is in no way turning away from the fight in Washington.
[10:45:00] He takes on his fellow Republican President Trump in a new book, also lays out his hopes for Washington.
HARLOW: Senator John McCain is reflecting on his time in Washington in a new memoir that's due out later this month. He's also dishing out some pretty tough criticism on the politics and the president.
BERMAN: Yes. His co-author Mark Salter he writes about President Trump in this book "Restless Way," this is what he writes, "He has declined to distinguish the actions of our government from the crimes of despotic ones. The appearances of toughness or reality show facsimile of toughness seems to matter more than any of our values."
[10:50:03] Here now to discuss, CNN political commentator Ana Navarro who worked on Senator John McCain's presidential campaign.
Ana, great to have you here. Great to have you with us right now. That criticism from John McCain of President Trump getting a lot of attention today, suggesting there is no distinction between the Trump government and despotic ones. What do you make of that?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, reading those excerpts yesterday made me emotional. You know my throat got caught. It is a gift from John McCain as he faces mortality, as he faces down a, you know, very tough diagnosis. Providing moral clarity, providing courage, showing us what putting country over party looks like, showing us what having a spine and having convictions and having principles looks like.
And I think it's an example for other Republicans to follow at this point. You know, I think it's him -- this last gift trying to get us back to a place of civility in the discourse of bipartisanship, of being pragmatic and being proactive and solution-based. I can almost hear his voice when I was reading some of those excerpts, a voice that I miss hearing so much.
I thought of what it must have meant to him to do this last project with Mark Salter who is practically a son to him. He's been his chief of staff, his alter ego, has collaborated with John McCain on many other books. They know each other's voices in a way that I think few people do. And so it is a remarkable gift from my friend John McCain in these very difficult days that he's facing.
HARLOW: Ana, let me read one of the excerpts that certainly stood out to us. "Before I leave, I'd like to see our politics begin to return to the purposes and the practices that distinguished our history from the history of other nations. I would like to see us recover our sense that we are more alike than different. We are citizens of a republic made of shared ideals forged in a new world to replace our tribal enmities that tormented the old ones. Even in times of political turmoil such as these we share that awesome heritage and the responsibility to embrace it."
Reading that, I was reminded of that moment when he was running when someone in the audience, you know, in one of his rallies, called out and called then candidate Obama, President Obama a Muslim, right? And tried to disparage the president and John McCain stopped and corrected him, and these two were in a fierce race. And I thought, could that happen today?
NAVARRO: It could. It could. You know, I think John McCain would be capable of it, frankly it's hard for me to hear anything past the words before I leave. And I wish other people, I wish other elected officials, I wish other people in Congress and the Senate would act with that level of freedom and conviction as if this was their last term, as if they too were facing their last days and they were facing their own mortality. With that level of service to others and that service to country and humility that John McCain is showing us in this book.
It's a lesson for all of us. Damn it, go live life like it's your last day, like if it's your last month. And go make a difference. John McCain is trying to make a difference until, you know, with every day he may have left.
BERMAN: From the very beginning of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump really went after John McCain.
BERMAN: From the beginning of the campaign really to, you know, John McCain is one of the last acts in the Senate before he went back to Arizona, which was his no vote on health care. Let's just, you know, review some of those moments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's a war hero --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five and a half years as a POW.
TRUMP: He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured, OK. I hate to tell you.
And except for one senator who came into a room at 3:00 in the morning and went like that, we would have had health care, too. We would have had health care, too. Think of that.
And except for one vote, remember the one vote, 3:00 in the morning, thumbs down. What a vote that was. What a vote that was. That was some vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: And we get about 30 seconds left there. There is clearly a divide between, you know, supporters of Donald Trump and the people -- the types of people like you who supported John McCain. How do you heal that divide?
NAVARRO: You know, at least for me, you don't -- look, I know John McCain and John is not a guy who carries rancor, he just doesn't. But I can tell you that for a lot of us it is a bridge that will never be rebuilt.
Thanks for reminding me one of the 100 reasons why I will never normalize, I will never support, I will never accept Donald Trump as a normal human being. He absolutely lacks empathy to be doing that kind of thing to a man, first of all, who is a national hero, who has served his country since the age of 17, and who is now facing a stage 4 cancer, you know, that's basically incurable, it's just a level of cruelty that is hard for most of us to understand.
[10:55:15] BERMAN: All right. Ana Navarro, thanks you for being with us, appreciate it. We all look forward to reading John McCain's book.
BERMAN: We're learning more this morning about the types of questions the special counsel wants to ask the president. A list of those has now been released. The president hitting them, claiming to be very angry at what he calls this disgraceful leak. Stay with us.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. Anyone up for a game of 20 questions or how about 49?