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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Trump Fires Up His Base At NRA Convention; Giuliani Said Three Americans Would Be Freed Thursday; North Korea Synchronizes Clocks With South Korea; Lava Spews Onto Hawaiian Streets Forcing Evacuations; Pollen Is Costing Japan Almost $2 Billion A Year. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired May 4, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
They take a truck, and they run over 8 people and wound 16 (ph), like what happened in New York and what just happened. It's happening all over. So let's ban, immediately, all trucks, all vans, maybe all cars. How about cars? Let's ban them. Let's not sell any more cars.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love you.
TRUMP: I love you, too. Thank you.
I recently read a story that, in London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital-right in the middle-is like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds. Yes, that's right.
They don't have guns. They have knives. And, instead, there's blood all over the floors of this hospital. They say it's as bad as a military war-zone hospital. Knives, knives, knives-London hasn't been used to that. They're getting used to it. It's pretty tough.
We're here today because we recognize a simple fact: The one thing that has always stood between the American people and the elimination of our Second Amendment rights has been conservatives in Congress willing to fight for those rights. And we're fighting. We're fighting.
We're fighting to defend our freedom. We need the people in Washington to support our freedom, to support our candidates, to support Ted, to support the people that have to raise their hand.
You know, they say we have a majority. We have what? A majority of one person-that's not really a majority. We need Republicans to do it right. To get the kind of things we want, we've got to get Republicans elected. We've got to do great in '18.
Those midterms-we have to do (ph) them. We need judges who will enforce our laws, protect our sovereignty and uphold our American way of life. The Constitution can't be changed by judges, bureaucrats or the United Nations. That is why we are appointing federal judges who will interpret the law as written.
In my first year, I nominated, and the Senate confirmed, more circuit judges than any new administration, by far, in history. And we will have the all-time record very soon.
President Obama was very nice to us, because he left us a lot of judges. And I said, "That's a lot of judges"-like, almost 140. That's a lot of judges. I was very surprised. I was very happy.
And we put an incredible new justice on the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch.
Yet virtually every single Democrat in the Senate opposed Neil Gorsuch, just like they have consistently opposed judges who will protect your basic freedoms.
And, by the way, the way they're slow-walking people that are supposed to be working for us in government...
... if you look at what they're doing, in the history of this country there has never been anything like what the Democrats are doing, on great people who gave up their jobs and their lives to take a job as an ambassador, or people working for our government. And they can't get approved because every single one of them is being slow-walked by the Democrats, and it's never happened before.
And you know what? I hope we have long memories, but I hope we don't have to worry about it because we're going to be there a long time. So we won't have to worry about that.
But what they're doing is disgraceful.
What they are doing, Schumer and the group, what they are doing is disgraceful. What they're doing to the wall and immigration is disgraceful. And you just take a look at the border, OK? You take a look. Take a look at what's happening.
My administration and conservatives in Congress were elected to uphold your rights. To rebuild our military, which we are doing a great job of rebuilding.
To restore our prosperity, to secure our communities and defend our borders.
We have the worst immigration laws anywhere in the world. But I'll tell you what. It's not easy for people to come in. I will tell you, it's not-we have the worst laws.
After years of defending the borders of other countries-we go into wars with other countries. We shouldn't be there. We go into wars to defend their borders, we don't defend our own borders.
And we're going to start defending our country. We're going to start defending our borders.
You've all seen, on television, all over the papers. The illegal migrants, pouring up through Mexico, flooding the border. Many from Central America: Honduras, all over the place. Coming up by the thousands.
We're stopping them at different fronts. But we don't have laws. We have laws that were written by people that truly could not love our country.
Illegal immigration must end. Illegal immigration must end. We are going to have strong borders. I will tell you, we have maxed out every law. We are going to have truly strong-and we're going to take people into our country, but they're going to come in based on merit, not based on picking somebody out of a bin.
We are not going to let our country be overwhelmed, and we're going to demand Congress secure the border in the upcoming C.R. It's going to be very soon, going to be very soon.
In recent months, Democratic lawmakers have voted against legislation to close deadly immigration loopholes, like catch-and-release. How about that one? "We caught him." "Oh. Release him. Bye-bye."
Welcome to America. Welcome to America. That's what we have.
We're going to keep the violent criminals out. Sentae Democrats like John Tester-you saw what happened there. What he did to one of the finest people in our country. What he did to the admiral-what he did is a disgrace. John Tester.
Bill Nelson and Bob Casey voted against Kate's Law, legislation named for Kate Steinle, who was gunned down by a five-time deported illegal immigrant, and you saw what happened with that court case. Can you believe the result of that court case? Can you believe that?
The same senators, along with nearly every other Democrat, also voted to protect something that's actually becoming very unpopular, sanctuary cities. Can you believe, finally, people are starting to get it.
Democrats and liberals in Congress want to disarm law-abiding Americans at the same time they're releasing dangerous criminal aliens and savage gang members onto our streets. These countries send up their worst. Remember when my opening speech-I got criticized for it, remember? Well, guess what. They're not sending their finest, that I can tell you.
We're getting some real beauties in here. But we're taking MS-13, horrible killer gang members, we're getting them out, because our guys are much tougher than theirs. There is not even a little bit of a contest.
And that's the only language they understand. That's the only language they understand. These are savage killers. My administration believes our cities should be safe havens for Americans, not sanctuaries for criminals.
And we believe that violent gang members must be thrown out of our country immediately, not let to stay, to fester, and to get larger. We get 'em out, and we are kicking 'em out by thousands.
If (ph) we had the right laws-which we can have very quickly with cooperation-we wouldn't even have a problem. It would be so much better, so much easier.
We believe that politicians who put criminal aliens before American citizens should be voted out of office immediately.
As we secure our borders, we're also supporting the heroes who fight crime, serve our citizens, and secure our streets, our brave men and brave women in blue. We love them.
In my administration, we have a simple policy. We will protect those who protect us. You saw what I did with the military equipment, the excess equipment that was sitting all over the country in warehouses, never to be used again.
And other administrations, they just didn't want to give it to the police. They said it's too much protection, it looks too strong, it looks like military. Guess what? It's now being distributed all over to our police forces.
And it's better than they could ever buy. You can't buy stuff like that.
Today, our love and prayers go out to the family of slain Dallas police officer Rogelio Santander, who last week was murdered in the line of duty very, very close to this arena. We ask God to help the others who were wounded, and they will recover. They will be better. They will be back. Send our love. So important. Thank you.
And we mourn together with the entire Dallas Police Department. It's a great police department, a police force that has lost too many heroes, but has never lost its will to protect, and to serve you.
We're also taking very strong action to secure and protect our most valuable resource: our children.
All of us here today are deeply committed to school safety. Nothing is more important than protecting innocent lives. And I will tell you, Wayne and Chris, and all of the people at the NRA, we speak about it all the time. These are great people. These are great Americans. These people have great heart. They know what they're doing. Our entire nation was filled with shock and grief by the monstrous attack on a high school in Parkland, Florida. We mourn for the victims and their families. Gotten to know members of those families. These are incredible people, and our hearts break for every American who has suffered the horrors of these school shootings.
In the aftermath of the terrible attack, I met with the survivors, the parents of school shooting victims at the White House. I was inspired, like all of you were, by their incredible courage. We agreed that it's not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we're making a difference. We must ensure that we actually make a difference, and my administration has pursued an aggressive strategy on community safety. We're working to improve early warning systems so that when the police are called, when the community sees the red flags-which they saw in Parkland all over the place. There has never been a case where more red flags have been shown-swift action is taken by the authorities.
Law-abiding gun owners want to keep firearms out of the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves and to others. We all want that. We all want that.
I recently signed legislation that includes more than $2 billion to improve school safety, including the funding for training, and metal detectors, and security, and mental health. Mental health is a big one. They don't like to talk about mental health. Mental health-that was the number one example in Parkland. That legislation also made vital improvements to our background check system, which everybody wants.
Finally, all of us agree that we must harden certain schools. At the same time, the police have to be able to get into those schools if there's a problem. We want armed guards. We want to be able to get in.
I saw some of the craziest plans that I've ever seen. You can spend a fortune on each school. You will spend so much-nobody knows more about construction than I do. You will spend so much, you're going to make it so hard that you can't run a D8 -- you know what that is, right? -- through the doors. It means a tractor. There's only one problem: If one of these maniacs get in, and it's so hard, you can't get in. So you have to be careful. We strongly believe in allowing highly trained teachers to carry concealed weapons if they're highly trained. (APPLAUSE)And we want highly trained security guards. Ninety-eight percent of mass public shootings have occurred in places where guns are banned, just so you understand. Tragically, as we've seen, there's no sign more inviting to a mass killer than a sign that declares, "This school is a gun-free zone." Come in and take us. (APPLAUSE)Ninety-eight percent. You know, they're cowards. You saw that in the recent case, where he did all of his damage and then he sort of slinked out of the school. And the policeman outside caught him in a different community. That policeman did a good job. (APPLAUSE)That policeman did a good job. Caught him in a different community.
But they are cowards. When they know there's guns inside, they're not going in. We just don't understand that. We can't get that word out.
But highly trained people. At the same time, there is no stronger deterrent for a sick individual than the knowledge that their attack will end their life and will end in total failure. When they know that, they're not going in. You're not going to have school attacks. We support the Second Amendment. Not only because we believe in freedom, but also because we trust in everyday, talented, wonderful people.
They love our students.
And by the way, these teachers, they love their students. They love their students. They understand and (ph) they love their students, and they're not going to let anybody hurt their students. But you have to give them a chance. In America, we trust the people to be wise and to be good. We trust them to take responsibility for themselves, their families and their communities.
And that is why, in America, we have always trusted the people to keep and bear arms.
It is fitting that we gather today in the great state of Texas, a place that cherishes their right like no other.
You know, before I left today, a couple of people came up to me. Good political people. They said, "You know, going to the NRA convention and speaking today, that'll be very controversial. It might not be popular." You know what I said? "Bye-bye, got to get on the plane."
Because we have to do the right thing.
We have to do the right thing.
This proud state would not exist if not for a handful of determined and defiant Texans who refused to surrender their rights nearly two centuries ago. Right? You know who I'm talking about. You know who I'm talking about.
In 1835, soldiers from General Santa Ana's army marched into the little Texas town of Gonzales, and ordered those settlers to surrender their small canon they relied on to protect their lives, and protect their homes. The Texans refused. (inaudible)
That's right. They were not about to give up their only means of self defense.
In response, Santa Ana's army returned with a large group of additional people. They had men all over the place. The army was big. This time, they were met by dozens of Texans, settlers, soldiers and ordinary citizens who had rushed to Gonzales to defend their rights and their freedom.
As Santa Ana's men watched from a distance, those brave Texans raised a flag for all to see, and you know what it said. On the banner, they painted a canon, along with four words that echoed through the ages, and you know what it is. It said, "Come and take it." Come and take it.
CROWD: USA! USA! USA!
TRUMP: Like those early Texans, Americans will never surrender, ever, ever, ever. We will never, never surrender.
We will never give up our freedom. Americans are born free. We will live free, and we will die free.
So again, it is a great honor to be with you, very special people. We truly appreciate your support. I'm going the right thing. I'm doing it for you, but we're doing the right thing. We're doing the right thing together.
I want to thank again all of our friends and patriots from the NRA. We will never fail, and we will always protect your Second Amendment.
Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump addressing the annual meeting of the NRA in Dallas. We were listening to him for nearly 50 minutes, if my count
is right there. Touching on a number of different issues. He mentioned Kanye West. He mentioned the rhetoric of North Korea. Talked about jobs -
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And we are going to pick up here with our coverage there after that long speech, almost one hour, 50, 51 minutes
or so by the U.S. President Donald Trump at the National Rifle Association's annual gathering.
He touched on many, many topics before he even spoke about guns. He talked about job growth. He attacked the judge who criticized Mueller's
indictment of Paul Manafort. Mueller, of course, is the special counsel in charge of the investigation into whether or not there was collusion between
Russia and the Trump campaign.
He went way off script at one point. It appeared as though he left his notes to one side and started talking about Obamacare, about the Iran deal,
reminiscing about his campaign victory in 2016. This is one of the things that he said -- this is one of the most important things he brought up
during his address here in Texas. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Think about it. So, we have the best employment numbers we have virtually ever had and yet
all we hear about is this phony Russia witch hunt that's all we hear about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: This is one of the (inaudible), really one of the on-repeat message administration and the president himself want to get out there.
That what is going on, whether it is with the Russia investigation or other aspects, other scandals surrounding his administration, including the
payment of $130,000 in hush money to porn star, Stormy Daniels by Michael Cohen, the president's personal lawyer. That all of this is a witch hunt.
None of it is true.
Let's bring in White House reporter, Stephen Collinson. Are you with me? Yes? Hi, Stephen. All right. Well, it's difficult to know where to start
because he touched on some many things. Eventually, he got to gun control brought up, the Paris attacks as a reason why gun control doesn't work
after those massacres in November of 2015.
[15:25:12] Not bringing up things like the Orlando nightclub shooting where in a country where there's less gun control, certainly nightclub massacres
can happen as well.
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, he was of cours, addressing the National Rifle Association, which is a very powerful force
in Republican politics. It's a force that Donald Trump really needs to come out strongly in the midterm elections in November, if the Republicans
are going to head off what is threatening to be a bit of a disaster electorally.
It was very interesting. He also raised a spade of knife attacks in London, saying there was blood all over the floors of hospitals because
people in the U.K. don't have guns and can't defend themselves.
This is clearly a message right to the heart of Trump's political support. Remember, after the school shooting in Florida, in February, Donald Trump
said he was going to take on the National Rifle Association, saying there should be more gun control.
And he accused some Republicans of being scared of the power of the NRA. It's certainly a very different message that we saw today than we saw back
when he was under intense political pressure to move towards gun regulation after those attacks.
To be honest, he is not really changed an awful lot about the nation's gun laws. So, I think we're seeing really where the president stands
politically and emotionally on this issue.
GORANI: Well, certainly, after promising to take on the NRA as you were saying there, a full endorsement today of the lobby group. Jeremy Diamond
is in Dallas, Texas. He joins us now.
That was -- it sounded, Jeremy, as though a lot of that middle part of his address was a riff, a riff designed to whip up the crowd, Obamacare, the
election victory, and then, of course, the talking points that we hear a lot from Republican politicians that Democrats want to take away their
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, absolutely. You know, the president came here to throw red meat at the base. He galvanized them once
again, warning them not to be complacent as we head closer and closer to this 2018 midterms.
The president did not make any reference to some of the proposals that he proposed in the wake of that Parkland shooting. Back then you'll remember
that he argued that lawmakers were too afraid of the NRA.
That lawmakers should be willing to fight against this very gun lobby that the president addressed today. He made no mention of his proposal to raise
the age limit of firearm purchase from 18 to 21.
No mention of his calls for expanded background checks. Certainly, no calls as reference to his idea about no due process and taking away guns
from the mentally ill, without that due process.
Instead, the president focusing on the legislation that he did sign into law, legislation that included proposals that were all backed by the NRA,
including a modest improvement in the federal background check reporting system and some $2 million to go to school safety measures.
So, clearly, the president is back on the program with the NRA. They are very much in lockstep. Part of that reason is because the president knows
that he will need the NRA, he will need this base to support Republican candidates across the board in 2018 if he wants to hold on to the House of
GORANI: Jeremy Diamond, thanks very much for that report. Stephen Collinson, you mentioned what he said about London. Since we're in London
and since we're seen all around the world, he also brought up Paris. Let's listen to what he had to say about crime in London.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: A once very prestigious hospital right in the middle is like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds. Yes, that's right. They don't have
guns. They have knives and instead, there's blood all over the floors of this hospital. They say it's as bad as a military war zone hospital.
Knives, knives, knives. London hasn't been used to that. They're getting used to it. It's pretty tough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, obviously, there is not a war zone like hospital anywhere in London. You would know that if you ever visited a war zone, which the
president hasn't done.
COLLINSON: Right. It's not the first time that the president has painted an inaccurate picture of events or the situation in the U.K. I mean,
that's one of the reasons why his upcoming visit to London and potentially Scotland is so controversial.
It's been so difficult for the British government and Theresa May, the prime minister, to actually schedule that visit.
I'm pretty sure that these comments are, again, going to cause controversy about the president's visit to London. And, of course, that's the sort of
characterization of events is not something that people in the UK would recognize and it's not as if there's a massive outcry in the UK for people
to get guns because people are being knifed everywhere. But it's an indication of how the president seizes on an issue or report, twists it,
elevates it and turns it to his own political purposes.
GORANI: Stephen Collinson, thanks very much. And to Jeremy Diamond in Dallas as well.
Still to come tonight, Donald Trump speaks to the NRA amid a credibility crisis. I'll ask the leading conservative how much longer evangelical
voters will turn a blind eye to the Stormy Daniels scandal among others. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Well, if you've been watching the program, you've been watching the president of the United States, Donald Trump, at a National Rifle
Association annual gathering. After the Parkland shooting in Florida, of course, you'll remember that high school where that massacre took place,
the U.S. president had said that he would stand up to the NRA and that he would get common sense gun control legislation, at least back at the top of
the agenda. Well, the U.S. president spoke at the convention with a very different tone. He promised to stand firm against threats to gun rights,
not to the NRA. It's the same president who said after that school shooting in Florida that lawmakers were intimidated by the NRA in some
Now, Mr. Trump called his audience very special people. They cheered him on with chants of U.S.A., U.S.A. Mr. Trump touched on other hot button
issues and told their supporters not to become complacent with midterm congressional elections just six months away.
David French is a constitutional lawyer and a writer for the conservative National Review Magazine. He joins me from Nashville, Tennessee. Thanks,
David for being with us.
First of all, what did you make of the NRA address by the U.S. president after what we heard from him in February?
DAVID FRENCH, WRITER, NATIONAL REVIEW MAGAZINE: Well, you know, the comments in February reveal that Trump, and for the thousandth time, that
Trump doesn't actually have a set of core ideals and principles. But what he does have is a will to power and a driving ambition. And he knows that
he would not be in the oval office if it were not for gun owners. And so when he comes down to Texas and he delivers this speech for gun owners, he
is doing what he needs to do to maintain the kind of support that he has to have.
And what I would say is, it's interesting to me, I think one of the dynamics of this administration is the more he gets under fire from other
quarters, the more he will wrap his arms around the base.
[15:35:57] GORANI: All right. So, why are gun owners, conservative Americans supporting a president who -- based on your description is
essentially an opportunist, right? He just wants to cling to power. So whatever he feels will get him that base of support, he will say or he will
do. But he continues to benefit from the support of a certain wing of the conservative electorate in America.
FRENCH: Well, yes. It's opportunist meets opportunist. I mean, it's -- so you have people are saying, well, he may not have all those -- he may
not have core principles, he may not have really been one of us for the first 70 years of his life, but he's our guy for now. He's the horse we're
riding for now. And what ends up happening is they continue to double down on their support for him because they see him as really the only politician
fighting for them right now. The only bull worker, the only barrier between the left and their liberties. And so that intensifies this bond.
GORANI: One of the things you wrote in an open letter to Trump's evangelical defenders, you said that too many people essentially despise
us, not for our faith, but because all too many believers have torched their credibility and exposed immense hypocrisy you write through fear,
faithlessness, and ambition. Could you expand on that? What did you mean by that?
FRENCH: Yes. Well, I was around in 1998. I've molded after a member the impeachment battles where evangelicals were the population of Americans
most likely to say the character of a leader mattered. Now, if you look at polls, evangelicals are least likely to say that the character of a leader
matters. And so their relationship with Donald Trump has become entirely transactional. If you grant us this -- our wishes and religious liberty,
if you grant us there's wishes on the First Amendment, then we're with you no matter what you do.
But the purpose of the church is higher than politics. The purpose of the church is not even to preserve its own religious liberty, it's important is
that is. And so what ends up happening is when you wrap your arms around such a partisan, deceptive, and low character political figure as members
of the church, you're going to create a sense of rage and anger against you that's often justified by your fellow citizens, and it will obscure your
larger and more important eternal message. And that's a poor trade.
GORANI: I get that it is happening. But why is it happening? I remember a few months ago I was in rural Georgia. I asked Donald Trump supporters
who all said they were God-fearing Christians and went to church every Sunday and believed in the teachings of Jesus Christ. They said, it didn't
sound cynical to me, their support. It sounded like it was based in a real belief that Donald Trump was -- had a tone for his sins, whatever they were
in the past and that he loved America. And therefore, they were going to support him.
FRENCH: Well, you know, there is some of that. I mean, there are people who have been told that Donald Trump, for examples of baby Christian. And
then when they see negative news about Trump, they call it fake news. If it's about something that happened in the past, will say now he's a changed
man, even though he's been lying currently -- and right now about things that have happened in the past. And so there's a lot of this sort of
naive. But there's also a lot if particularly in the higher levels of the evangelical world that is very opportunistic and ambitious. And so they
may be personally troubled by Trump. But they also know if they vocalize this at all. They will be cut out from the seat of power. They will not
be in the room where it happens, so to speak. And so there's any powerful incentive to defend him only and to be silent when they disagree with him.
GORANI: But that's the same as the republican establishment, not necessarily just evangelicals, right? Because here, they see midterms
coming up -- yes. I mean, publically -- really, it's the politicians who have announced they will not run for reelection, generally speaking, you
know, with Senators Flake and Corker and others who come out and criticize the president.
FRENCH: Well, you're right. I mean, I would say as an evangelical Christian, the great tragedy is that the evangelical movement is behaving
just like any other group of politically opportunistic citizens when the reality is we are supposed to have a higher calling on our life. When you
can say, well, the church is behaving no differently from a political party, that's an indictment of the church. It's not a defense of the
church, in my mind. There is a higher purpose here.
GORANI: I mean, where is this leading us? Where is this leading America? I terms of the Republican Party and conservative, politically conservative
Christian Americans? Where are they headed now?
[15:40:50] FRENCH: Well, it's leading us in the same place that we've been headed for a while, which is to greater political polarization. So if you
begin to see the church, especially the white evangelical church, wrapping both of its arms around a political party, rather than pursuing with a
single-minded purpose, pursuing the purpose of the church, begins to wrap its arms to run a political party, then you have one party that is seen as
approach or you have another party that is seen as opposed to the interest of the evangelical church, for example. And those kinds of divisions are
very dangerous over the long term for a country. We should not be seeing our politics be driven by religious disputes and religious divisions.
Historically, that is -- historically, that's a bad road to ride down.
GORANI: David French of the National Review. Thanks so much for joining us. Really appreciate your perspective on this.
A lot more to come this evening. Adding to a credibility crisis in the White House, three Americans detained in North Korea, they are still not
out. We look at where things stand, next.
GORANI: We talked about the -- we talked about the Stormy Daniels payment. There's another issue testing the credibility of the White House. There's
still no word on the release of three Americans detained in North Korea, despite Mr. Trump's new legal representative, Rudy Giuliani saying they
would be freed yesterday.
Also strange why this information came from Giuliani at all and not the state department. Remember, it's Mike Pompeo's first week as the new
secretary of state.
Meantime, President Trump said a time and place for the summit with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un is already set.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're in constant contact with the leadership. We are in constant contact with North Korea. We've
actually worked out a time and a place which will be announced shortly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where?
TRUMP: Very soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's get over to CNN's military and diplomatic analyst, John Kirby, he's live in Washington and was the state department and Pentagon's
spokesperson. What did you make of the fact that Rudy Giuliani on Fox News said that the release of the three Americans in North Korea was imminent?
Of course, it didn't happen, we now know that.
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Yes, Hala, actually, he said it would happen today. That was yesterday. He actually said it's
going to happen today. I personally think that this was an effort to try to deflect from the headlines that he had created on Fox News the night
before, talking about the Stormy Daniels case. I think he was really just trying to create a new headline. And maybe even get ahead of Kim Jong-un
and any announcement that may be coming out of Pyongyang.
I'm given to understand that they are in fact working to see if they can get these three Americans released, which makes sense. This is something
that they've been wanting to do for a long time. I think you need to look at it, Hala, as what we call a CBM, a Confidence Building Measure. A way
for the north to prove that they're serious about the summit. But, Hala, it's important to realize that if it's a confidence building measure, it's
really just about the summit. It doesn't mean the summit is going to be successful. It doesn't mean that their commitment to denuclearize is going
to mean what we think it means. It's really just about the North proving they're serious about sitting down with Donald Trump. And they're getting
something in return, by the way. They're getting a sit down with the president of the United States, which hasn't happened before. And it gives
them great legitimacy on the world stage, which is what they seek.
GORANI: Sure. And the president said basically the time and location of the meeting has been set. What's your best guess as to where it will take
KIRBY: I don't know. We keep hearing Singapore as a third party country. I also heard that Mongolia had been in the running. Although I don't think
it is anymore. And it looks like just from the press reporting that Trump was quite taken with the Moon/Kim summit and right there in the DMZ. And
then he kind of like that the optics of that -- the scenery of it, the pomp and circumstance and that he's kind of drawn to that.
[15:45:13] So if I was going to bet, I'd bet as possibly there at the DMZ and Moon Jae-in. But my second guess would be -- would be Singapore. One
more point on Giuliani which I didn't make and that is highly inappropriate for the president's personal lawyer to be announcing something like -- it
didn't happen, but to announce the release of three Americans. We should not be getting that from the president's personal lawyer. The United
States of the America people should be getting that from our own government. So I think it was highly inappropriate for him to be able to
GORANI: And by the way, just for our viewers, on notification on this, Mike Pompeo, the new secretary of state, is giving a keynote address at the
state department's foreign affairs day. We're not necessarily expecting him to make any big announcement. Those are live images coming to us from
Washington. But certainly, we're monitoring that address. So just in case he says something about the prisoners or the summit, we will go to that.
But one of the things you said is also one of the important points, I think people might not be underlining as much as they should. These are just
still promises from North Korea. Nothing has been dismantled. Nothing has been halted. And promises have been made in the past. How will you asses
as the success of the summit if it's simply obviously promises made by Kim Jong-un and the North Korean leadership?
KIRBY: Yes. You know, I've spending the last couple of weeks talking to experts on North Korea so much smarter than I am. And almost to a person
they tell me, Hala, that what they would consider success coming out of the summit, is a framework for discussions moving forward. They don't expect
you're going to get denuclearization or anything tangible coming out of there. But you might get a set of agreements around which further
negotiations can be pursued. And it could take years before we actually get to a point where there's no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and
where maybe the two countries can begin to reunify. Certainly a peace treaty is something that they've wanted for a long time now. The South
Koreans would like that. That's something that's probably doable. Maybe formally ending the war. But beyond that, I think it's really going to be
about framework for future negotiations.
GORANI: Yes. But also if you look at what's happening with the Iran deal, right, where the Trump administration seems to be indicating in the
deadline is May 12 -- that they might walk away from it. Kim Jong-un, understandably could say, well, if I promise -- if I sign a deal with you,
the next administration could come along and decide to tear it up again. And we're back at square one. Why would I -- why would I get rid of my
nuclear capability based on what I've seen happened with the Iran deal?
KIRBY: I got to tell you, Hala, I'm not so worried about that. I don't think Kim Jong-un is paying too much attention to what's going to happen
with the Iran deal. I don't think he cares all that much. You have to remember, Trump has been getting credit and sort of taking credit for this,
but Kim Jong-un deserves a lot of credit for where we are right now. He goes into these negotiations much more credible because he's more capable
with a nuclear arsenal that we know exists. And he's not likely to just give that up or bartered it away, because it's his insurance policy. But
it will give him more if you will, more currency at the negotiating table and more emphasis going forward. He wants two things that we know of. He
wants regime survival and he wants normalization with the United States. He is fixated on the relationship with the United States.
GORANI: And the lifting of sanctions where they're really hurting him.
KIRBY: That would come as a result of normalization with the United States, because extensively, the U.S. would then pressure the international
community to ease that pressure off. Yes, the sanctions are starting to bite. But that's what he wants and he's not going to give away the big
bargaining chip that he has going into this -- going into this summit. And he's certainly not going to do it any time soon.
GORANI: John Kirby, as always, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it.
KIRBY: My pleasure.
GORANI: And on the Korean Peninsula itself, a gesture literally synchronizing the North and South Koreans, but the struck of midnight in
Seoul, North Koreans adjusted their clocks to be in the same time zone in South Korea. Maybe you didn't notice, but they're half an hour apart, even
though it's the same peninsula. According to the North State Media which said the change is quote, "to speed up the process for the North and the
South to become one."
Now, to some dramatic video out of Hawaii. A volcano is spilling lava and toxic gas into a suburban area on the Big Island. It forced almost 2,000
people to leave their homes. With that, Robyn Curnow.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Lava spewing up into the air and splashing into the street while residents flee to safety. Kilauea volcano in the U.S.
state of Hawaii has erupted. It's located in the southern part of the island. And the eruption has prompted mandatory evacuations of homes in a
neighborhood of about 1,700 people. Another community was also evacuated. The local fire department says the eruption is also causing extremely high
level of dangerous sulfur dioxide gas in the area. This comes after hundreds of earthquakes shook the eastern side of the Big Island for the
past several days. The most severe was a magnitude five which hit on Thursday morning.
[15:50:12] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a crack right there on the road. The road is cracking. There's helicopters. Smells like sulfur, all around
here, sulfur smell. We are one street over from the lava. You can feel the heat coming from the ground. Yes, there's heat coming up out of this.
CURNOW: Hawaii's governor has activated the Hawaii National Guard to help with evacuations and security. Kilauea is one of the world's most active
volcanos and the youngest of the five volcanos located on the island. The volcano has been erupting nearly continuously for more than three decades.
But this latest lava flow has come closer to homes and people than ever before.
Robyn Curnow, CNN.
GORANI: Some dramatic pictures and some scary, scary moments and hours here for residents. And in fact, we can speak to one resident who was
evacuated. Nicholas Akerman (ph) lives in Leilani Estates. He joins me now on the phone.
Nicholas, first of all, thanks for being with us. What is it like where you are right now?
NICHOLAS AKERMAN, LEILANI ESTATES, HAWAII RESIDENT (via telephone): Thanks for having me. Well, right now, we have helicopters coming over. And I'm
just east of the rift zone. So I'm out of the harm's way. But everyone has been scurrying and displaced. But it seems like everyone's got family
and friends to go to, so it's not so bad.
GORANI: So we're looking at video that you shot on your phone, it looks like of the volcano spewing lava and ash. What was it like filming this?
AKERMAN: It was intense. It's very exciting. You just can never underestimate nature. It was like almost like a celebration. Everything
is on fire. Rocks getting tossed high into the air.
GORANI: Well, it's not much about it -- to say Nicholas, it's not much of a celebration for those who have to spend the night in shelters though, I
mean, because you have a lot of displaced people on the island, right?
AKERMAN: Yes. But everybody that lives here knows the deal. Like it's lava flow zone. So this is pretty normal. Of course, having somebody's
house taken away isn't ever normalized, of course. But you take that chance when you live here. And there's no stopping the lava and the
volcano. It does what it wants.
GORANI: Yes, it sure does. We'll keep our eye on it, Nicholas Akerman, thanks very much. We're showing our viewers around the world that cell
phone footage that you shot with some pretty spectacular pictures. Thanks for being with us. Glad you're safe.
AKERMAN: My pleasure. Thank you.
GORANI: All righty. We have new details on the most anticipated union of the year. I'm talking about the royal wedding between Prince Harry and
Meghan Markle. Not the North Korea summit.
For the first time, we're learning that the bride's parents will play important roles on the big day, May 19th. Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland
split when Markel was young. Her mother will be by her side as she's driven to Windsor castle. Her father will then walk her down the aisle.
Both parents will arrive from the U.S. in the days ahead of the ceremony to meet Queen Elizabeth and key members of the royal family. We've also found
out that Prince Harry is keen to involve his mother's side of the family. I'm talking, of course, about the late Princess Diana. So her three
siblings will be there with her older sister, Lady Jane Fellowe is expected to give a reading.
Now, if you suffer from hay fever, you'll know just how much it can knock you down. But in Japan, businesses are also taken the hit as pollen
sidelines employees from work. And this year, the country is seeing a record amount. And I mean a record amount. Anna Stewart reports.
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Surgical masks are a common sight in Tokyo. Often worn to prevent spreading a cold. But at this time of year,
you see more than usual, as people battle against hay fever. This year is one of the worst. The pollen count has more than doubled from last year in
some parts of the country. And in Tokyo, half the population suffers from hay fever according to a local government survey.
After the Second World War, Japan started a major reforesting initiative. Unfortunately, the hay suffers many of the trees planted were cedar and
cypress. Over the years, they've matured and now many have hit their peak pollen producing years.
This year, hay fever is expected to cost the Japanese economy $1.8 billion. According to the Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute.
TOSHIHIRO NAGAHAMA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, DAI-ICHI LIFE RESEARCH INSTITUTE (through translator): Fewer people go out during a pollen outbreak, which
pushes down consumption. And then the productivity of those suffering from hay fever also goes down. So it hits both demand and supply.
[15:55:03] STEWART: Tokyo's local government has started cutting down and replacing trees with lower pollen varieties. It cost over $7 million U.S.
each year and it's going to take between 100 and 200 years to complete.
MAMORU ISHIGAKI TOKYO METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT (through translator): The trees don't just spread pollen. They also store water. They prevent
natural disasters like landslides and people enjoy them. So we want to act in the public interest as well as tackling hay fever.
STEWART: It's not all blaming game, drugstores and pharma businesses can cash in on anti-hay fever drugs. And of course, there's the sales of all
those surgical masks.
Anna Stewart, CNN Money, Tokyo.
GORANI: Finally tonight, if you are a Star Wars fan, today is pretty special for you. Here's the hint why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Star Wars. No legendary adventure of the past could be as exciting as this romance of the future.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here they come.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May the force be with you in Star Wars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: May the fourth be with you, it's a pun on one of the most iconic lines in the film, but it also marked a wildly recognized but unofficial
holiday. Star Wars day. The Force is strong with Heathrow Airport just outside of London. Here's a pic of a departure board at one of the
terminals there. Closer look reveals flights to all sorts of Star Wars destinations, including the death star. I don't know if nervous flyers
want to see the words death star on their departure board. But anyway, it's funny, I guess. Heathrow Airport has a sense of humor.
Thank you for watching. If it's your weekend, I hope you have a great weekend. I'm Hala Gorani. Do stay with CNN. There's a lot more ahead
with the very latest on Donald Trump's speech to the NRA. Another big business headlines as well. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is on the other side of
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