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Trump Walks Back Giuliani's Hush Money Comments; NYT: Trump Knew Of Hush Money Long Before He Denied It; Giuliani Causes More Confusion Over Stormy Hush Money; Hawaii Volcano Sparks 350 Earthquakes In 24 Hours; Trump Slams Immigration Laws At NRA Rally; Judge Wants Prosecutor About Unfettered Power; President Trump to Meet South Korean President at the White House; U.S. Job Growth Picks Up, Unemployment Rate Falls. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired May 5, 2018 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump knew about the hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels. Months before he told the American people --

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: He didn't know the details of this until we knew the details of it, which was a couple weeks ago.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, took out lines of credit, giving him access to up to $774,000.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Judge in Manafort case says Mueller's aim is to hurt Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remember Mueller (inaudible) he's a Republican. Comey was a Republican. Rosenstein is a Republican. Is this a Republican conspiracy to remove the president?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More than 1,700 people and 700 structures are under threat of volcanic eruptions here on the big island of Hawaii.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. An avalanche of new questions this morning about who knew what and when they knew it.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Here's one of the main reasons why this morning -- the "New York Times" reporting despite his strong denials, President Trump did know about a hush-money deal that his lawyer made with a porn star several months before he said he did not.

BLACKWELL: And now we've learned investigators are looking into how that lawyer, Michael Cohen, built up a $700,000 war chest during the campaign as he worked to fix problems for the Trump team.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond is live at the White House. Jeremy, between Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani, is it possible now for the White House to I guess agree upon one story about this? There are questions about credibility.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: You know, and it doesn't appear that way as of now, Victor. As we begin this third day since Rudy Giuliani gave that interview on Fox News confirming for the first time that the president reimbursed Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, we appear to be still tangled in a web of confusion.

It was Wednesday night when Rudy Giuliani claimed that the president had repaid Michael Cohen for that $130,000. He said later that it was through a retainer and he even said after that interview that he had spoken with the president directly about the matter before going on air to claim it.

And yet, yesterday, the president appearing to deny some of what Rudy Giuliani was saying, saying he needed to get his facts straight.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me. No, but you have to -- excuse me, you take a look at what I said. You go back and take a look. You'll see what I said.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said no when I asked you --

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me. You look at what we said.


DIAMOND: Well, we did look at what he said, and you can, too. Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, no. What else?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know where he got the money for the payment?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, I don't know.


DIAMOND: Well, according to "The New York Times," the president did, in fact, know about these payment months before he made that denial aboard Air Force One just last month. Rudy Giuliani, the president's attorney, sought to clarify some of his language yesterday in a statement saying that he was describing his understanding of the president's knowledge, but not necessarily the president's own knowledge.

Again, this is the president's own attorney, his newly hired attorney, speaking about this matter. Yet, there seems to be still some confusion and disconnect between the president and his attorney.

The "Wall Street Journal" also coming out yesterday with a report outlining how Michael Cohen may have gained access to some of these funds. The "Wall Street Journal" reporting that through two financial transactions, Michael Cohen was able to gain access to as much as $774,000.

Rudy Giuliani had previously suggested that the president's repayments to Michael Cohen totaled more than $400,000. Back to you guys.

PAUL: All righty. Jeremy Diamond, appreciate it. Thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Jeremy.

Joining me now, CNN political commentator, Errol Louis, and CNN presidential historian, Tim Naftali. Gentlemen, good morning to you.

Errol, let me start with you. The polls show that there is no measurable consequence for the alleged affair with Stormy Daniels for the president. Are there any indications that there will be consequences with the American people, there are consequences for just flat-out lying to them about knowing about the payments?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm not even sure there will be consequences politically speaking. The people who support the president have already kind of factored in the strange and untruthful statements that frequently come from the oval office.

[06:05:08] I think though that this might be the tip of the iceberg. And that's the -- suggests to me that some of the actions we're seeing from the White House about an affair that allegedly happened in 2006, a onetime encounter, it's really kind of out of proportion.

But if you start to piece together some of the other things that have been reported about possibly there are others who are out there, that there was enough of these kinds of NDAs, nondisclosure agreements, floating around.

There's enough of these kinds of payments floating around, that Michael Cohen had a sort of sideline business, perhaps even a full- time business clearing up and covering things up for the president, it starts to look a little bit different.

A Stormy Daniels case, the one case and even the sort of questionable statements about it, that's one thing. You start to multiply that by two, three, four, many women, it starts to look a little bit different.

BLACKWELL: Tim, let's talk about that because Rudy Giuliani in his interviews on Fox said that Cohen was paid $35,000 a month for a year, that comes up to $420,000. Daniels' deal was just $130,000. Giuliani also says that the money was to handle this matter and others. Are we to believe that the extra 290 was for profit or for other deals? I mean, there has to be some clarity, transparency here, right?

TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, one of the most important sort of mottos of investigators in the Watergate scandal was follow the money. What makes this significant and threatening to the Trump White House is that we are now asking questions about how the president's lawyer used money, for what purpose, and from whom did he get it.

The president has lied to us, clearly, about his knowledge of one, one transaction, a big one, but one. How is money used in other causes, to whom did it go? Were these illegal campaign contributions, violations of our electoral laws?

The public has absorbed the fact that the president is not trustworthy on the matter of his interactions with women. But is the public immune from any outrage if it turns out that there was some kind of illegal activity involving money during the campaign? We don't yet know.

BLACKWELL: Tim, let me stay with you. You talk about the damage to the White House because of this, because if the president, if the reporting from "The New York Times" is accurate that the president knew months before he denied that he knew the source of the money, he also lied to his press secretary, Sarah Sanders. She back on March 7th said this about the president and those payments --


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I've had conversations with the president about this. And as I outlined earlier, that this case had already been won in arbitration, and that there was no knowledge of any payments from the president, and he's denied all of these allegations.


BLACKWELL: So, if the president knew and she then at some point knew not only of payments to Cohen for legal work, right, but for this transaction specifically, how can she effectively still do that job?

NAFTALI: Well, she can't, I mean, again, if we were in a normal presidency, Republican or Democratic. She would resign or would have been fired by now. Again, in the Watergate period, when Ron Ziegler, the then-press secretary, when he lost the trust of the room, the White House correspondents, he was out.

The White House -- even though the White House was continuing a cover- up, it understood that there are certain rules. This administration doesn't seem to care. They're blowing through these -- rejecting these norms. Normally it would matter.

I think the question is the president's challenge is that if you look at his poll numbers, they've improved a little, but we're talking about a small improvement in the 40s. This president has not been able to move above the lower 40s in approval, I'm talking about on the average. BLACKWELL: Yes.

NAFTALI: For -- since the 100th day of his presidency. So, yes, his supporters, his base don't mind apparently that he lies, but the rest of the country minds a lot. If he wants to build a winning coalition for this November and two years from now, he's got to do something because the lying isn't working.

BLACKWELL: Errol, let me come back to you. And Rudy Giuliani, after the president and back and forth with reporters at Andrews, he said that Rudy Giuliani was going to release a statement. He did. Let me read first as he writes, "There is no campaign violation, the payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the president's family.

[06:10:07] It would have been done in any event whether he was a candidate or not." Does that -- it would have been done whether he was a candidate or not, really absolve anyone of potential campaign violations here?

LOUIS: Well, no. I mean, certainly, if it's a violation, it's a violation, and why and when or whether you commit the violation is really not all that important. The other thing to keep in mind is that Rudy Giuliani himself had a day prior in an interview with Sean Hannity that can you imagine in all of us came out before the election -- he connected it.

He sorts of made clear that, again, an event that allegedly happened in 2006 had been publicly disclosed in 2011, suddenly gets resolved in the closing weeks of the campaign. The president's lawyer says it was precisely because of the impending election that had to get resolved.

To say this was routine business, this would have been taken care of at some point, clearly a contradictory story. I think he, Rudy Giuliani, is falling into the same problem that Sarah Sanders, that you illustrated has, which is that the president will tell you one fact, one strategy, one set of facts, one set of spin to put forward to the public.

And then he'll -- it will change on a dime as circumstances change. And the president can skate through that with his poll numbers intact, low as Tim points out but intact. It's not so easy for everybody else to do that.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll continue to talk about the specifics of the reporting from "The New York Times." Also, from the "Wall Street Journal" about this -- these lines of credit from Michael Cohen. Errol Louis, Tim Naftali, thank you both, and of course, we'll get to the broader question of the president's credibility.

There will be a time when this president has to reach out to the American people and go to that reserve of goodwill and credibility he's built up. Is he squandering that now? -- Christi.

PAUL: Well, former President George H.W. Bush has been discharged from a Houston hospital. He's been there for nearly two weeks now. An infection spread to his blood after the -- this all happened, of course, after the funeral for his wife, former first lady, Barbara Bus. A spokesman for the 93-year-old former president said, quote, "his doctors report he's doing well and is happy to return home."

BLACKWELL: Consider this -- 350 earthquakes in 24 hours and a neighborhood surrounded by lava. What is next for the people on Hawaii's big island?



PAUL: That cameraman might be a little too close for comfort.

BLACKWELL: I think so.

PAUL: Fountains of hot lava, toxic gas, and now these nonstop earthquakes we've been seeing. People on Hawaii's big island have dealt with more than 350 small earthquakes just in the last 24 hours as they try to get out of this area where this active volcano is spewing lava from the Kilauea Volcano, specifically. It's already destroyed at least two homes.

BLACKWELL: And as you might imagine, the earthquakes are only making things worse, opening up more cracks in the road for the lava to fill. Friday's 6.9-magnitude earthquake could be felt on another island more than 200 miles away. One woman says she feels like she's living in a movie.

It really is a scary scene in Hawaii right now, but what's even scarier, experts can't predict where this destruction will head next. Here's CNN Stephanie Elam.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Volcanic eruption spewing molten rock, ash, and toxic gases on the Hawaii's big island. The eruption stemming from a series of cracks and Puu Oo rift zone, miles from the Kilauea Volcano. Video from earlier this week shows walls of smoke billowing as the vent of Puu Oo collapses leaving behind a red, rocky surface, similar to that of Mars, with gaping holes giving us a glimpse of the orange liquid magma smoldering below.

And this time lapse shot last week shows gushing rivers of lava flowing as night turns to day. Residents are fleeing from their homes as forests burn and roads break open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could feel the heat coming from the ground. Yes, there's heat coming up out of this.

ELAM: Officials warn that the sulfur dioxide levels are extremely dangerous. More than 700 structures and 1,700 people are within the mandatory evacuation area.

RANSON YONEDA, SUPERVISOR, PAHOA COMMUNITY CENTER (via telephone): Now we have about 100 people up here at the facility at the shelters. We just got another wave of them that were evacuated because the volcano and (inaudible) more off on the street.

CHELSIE SETTLEMIER, RESIDENT: Lava is coming out in Leilani. So, this is real.

ELAM: At the center of the activity lies the community of Leilani Estates. A resident there captured this lava fountain shooting over 100 feet into the air.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Down the road, all we heard was a boom. What is that? And all of a sudden you smelled the sulfur, sulfur dioxide. We knew something was happen. Within minutes, smoke, and now we see the lava coming across the street. This fissure is opening up. This is our next eruption.

ELAM: The eruptions are part of a massive geological event set off by the collapse of the Puu Oo crater floor. That collapse led to hundreds of earthquakes this week which continued to jolt the big island.

DAVID IGE, HAWAII GOVERNOR: The tough part about this eruption is that it's unpredictable. We don't know which way the lava is going to flow, and we are planning actively for every contingency that we can think of.


PAUL: Now, the Leilani subdivision is most at risk here. These large cracks that have opened up are in this one neighborhood, and they're releasing more of that lava.

BLACKWELL: Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the CNN Weather Center with more. Allison, the pictures alone are unbelievable, but there's a bigger threat right now than the lava. What is it?

[06:20:13] ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You think lava, what could possibly be worse of a threat than that, but actually it's the one that you can't see, and that's that sulfur dioxide gas that they talk about. Now it does have a very atrocious, strong smell. You will at least be able to smell it.

But you can't see it and that's the problem. Even in low doses, it can cause breathing problems. But in those high doses which, yes, they are measuring, it can be fatal and so that's one of the big concerns.

The other concern, these earthquakes are expected to continue. Those toxic fumes will continue as more of the fissures or cracks begin to open up. So, the ultimate question is, why is this happening?

Let's explain Geology 101, if you will. You basically have the volcano here. Magma begins to build up underneath this, but it doesn't have to be directly under the volcano. It can actually spread for tens of miles out away.

That Leilani Estates community is over 25 miles away from the center point of the volcano. But as that magma builds up underneath, it builds pressure. That pressure has to be released somehow.

So, you get the cracks that form or the fissures. The lava can then come up through that, as well as the toxic gas and steam, and that's where the problems are. It's also a problem because you just don't know where more of these fissures will pop up, hence, the evacuations.

But another concern is also the earthquakes that we've had. So, let's take a look at some of those numbers because they're quite impressive. We had a 6.9 magnitude yesterday. It was only five kilometers deep but 3.1 miles. That's incredibly shallow.

We actually had a minor tsunami with this. We saw the sea surface levels rise about 40 centimeters, give or take, about 15 inches. So, nothing huge, but it goes to show you the intensity that that earthquake was.

Most of the other earthquakes have been really small but coming in clusters. Take between Monday and Thursday of this week, we had about 100 of them. Then you had about 100 just on Friday alone. In the last 24 hours, we've had over 350.

So, you can tell the pattern is that they're increasing, especially not only in frequency but also as well as in size. Here's the thing, we had a 5.0 Thursday, a 5.4 and a 6.9 on Friday. And, Victor and Christi, we're starting to notice more of those fissures beginning to open, we're up to six now.

Not all of them having active stuff come out, but the point is, they're open. So, you could have them at any point in time releasing some of those toxic gases.

PAUL: OK, so, Allison, here's my question -- when we say an earthquake that already sounds urgent, puts you on alert. When you're talking about these many earthquakes and the threat, how significant is the threat from the earthquakes themselves? The damage they might do and how they may grow?

CHINCHAR: Right. So, the 6.9 actually did cause some minor damage. Not to mention the lava can cause damage. That's why these evacuations are in place because unlike, you know, hurricanes or flooding where we can kind of pinpoints where this stuff goes -- pinpoint where this stuff goes, this acts more like wildfires.

It is almost impossible to know where they will pop up. The lava, when it does come out, we don't know where it's going to go. So, because of those multiple concerns, that's why they're just telling people if you're there, get out.

PAUL: All right. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: All right. More turmoil in the White House Medical Unit. This time the vice president's doctor has suddenly resigned. Next, you're going to hear about this strained relationship that might have led to her departure.

PAUL: Also, the Trump administration asking nearly 90,000 Hondurans to go home, ending their temporary protective status. We'll have details of what happens now.




PRESIDENT TRUMP: 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 of them 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.


BLACKWELL: That's president Trump railing against people trying to come into the U.S. He made the comments as his administration announced it was ending temporary protective status for almost 90,000 Hondurans, giving them 18 months to leave the country or risk being deported.

PAUL: Hondurans were granted this status after Hurricane Mitch devastated the country in 1998. Last year in a similar move, the administration scrapped the protective status offered to thousands of Haitian immigrants after the 2010 earthquake.

CNN White House reporter, Jeremy Diamond with us now. So, Jeremy, what did the president say specifically about immigration?

DIAMOND: Yes. Well, the president yesterday during his speech at the National Rifle Association throwing out red meat to the crowd, and of course, that always includes the topic of immigration when it comes to President Donald Trump.

He promised that his current administration is maxing out the current U.S. laws.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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.


DIAMOND: And the president's comments there came as the Department of Homeland Security announced this end to the temporary protected status for nearly 90,000 Honduran immigrants. That law dating back or those protections, rather, dating back to the late 1990s as you mentioned. They will have 18 months now to either leave the country or find some other arrangement to stay in the United States, perhaps another visa, if they are able to obtain that. The previous administrations before this one have typically extended

this temporary protective status when they come up for renewal. But this administration has ended multiple series of temporary protective statuses, bringing to a total of nearly 430,000 immigrants living in the United States under this temporary protected status who now will have to leave in the coming months and years given the administration ending those programs.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Jeremy Diamond, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Some sharp criticism hitting Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, and this from a federal judge in Virginia related to the bank fraud case of Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Now that case was brought to him by Mueller's team. But the judge here seemed skeptical at a court hearing.

Here's CNN's justice correspondent Jessica Schneider.

Jessica, good morning.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: A federal judge in Virginia seemed to reprimand the special counsel's team in their case against President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. So federal judge T.S. Ellis, he even lost his temper at times on Friday morning while he expressed his doubt that the special counsel is acting within its scope or even properly following its mandate.

Now remember, Paul Manafort is facing 18 counts, including bank fraud, in federal court in Virginia. That is on top of the counts that he faces in Washington. So the criticism from his lawyers is that these charges, they don't relate to the campaign and therefore they just go too far for the special counsel.

So Judge Ellis, who is a Reagan appointee, he echoed some of those concerns and he said this in court. He said, "You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud," the judge told Michael Dreeben on the special counsel's team. Instead, the judge said that the special counsel was only interested in Manafort because of what he could provide that would lead to the president's, quote, "prosecution or impeachment."

The judge continued to say, "That is what you are really interested in." The judge also continued to say, "We don't want anyone in this country with unfettered power. It is unlikely you're going to persuade me the special prosecutor has the power to do anything he or she wants. The American people feel pretty strongly that no one has unfettered power."

So, of course, it was Friday morning, it was a hearing on Paul Manafort's motion to dismiss the Virginia case because he does contend that the special counsel went too far in charging him with crimes that don't directly related to the campaign. The judge will rule on that at a later date. And in the meantime, the judge will be getting access to an unredacted

August 2017 memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and it spells out the special counsel's authority. So the memo will remain sealed and only the judge will be able to see it but that will no doubt cast some more light for the judge on how broadly the special counsel's powers are, as to what they can investigate.

And remember that this is the memo that explicitly said the special counsel could examine Paul Manafort's lobbying work in Ukraine and notably whether Manafort himself colluded with Russian government officials during the 2016 campaign.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


PAUL: Joining us live now Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News.

Errol, so good to have you on. Thank you for sticking around with us here. I want to throw something at you here. Michael Flynn, he was convicted on one count of lying to the FBI. He's had a delayed sentence up to this point. He was expected to flip.

Is there a point do you think from Judge Ellis that this was the whole shebang for Mueller, that Manafort, they're waiting on this, they're doing this to try to get him to flip?

LOUIS: Well, that may well be. The judge in some ways is speculating about the prosecutor's strategy. One area, though, where I think the judge had it exactly wrong is I went back and looked at the letter authorizing the appointment of the Mueller investigation, and it says pretty clearly there's a -- there's supposed to look at possible Russian involvement, but there's also a sub-line that says any matters that may arise as a result of the investigation.

[06:35:08] The idea being that this is the Justice Department. They're trying to get to the truth. They're not going to overlook crimes that they discovered along the way, even if those crimes seem to be somewhat far afield.

No it's very easy for all of us on the outside, thinking of Hollywood movies, thinking of frankly political and legal strategies that we've seen play out in the past to imagine that. The thing that Mueller wants to do is to get Manafort, trap him on some level, find some uncharged conduct and then charge him and then get him to talk about other stuff. Because strategically that is what we would expect him to do, that's what we've seen in the past.

The judge was saying well, that there ought to be some limits to that. And that both sides can be, I think, perfectly accurate and correct in this case. It may be that there's a crime that they came across and they charged him with it, including some mortgage issues here in New York that have nothing to do with anything political. And yes, that may lead to some other findings. You know, I think the judge goes a little too far when he speculates

about impeachment and all the rest because there's no indication that any of that is motivating the investigation at this point.

PAUL: OK. I have to ask you about something else. Vice President Mike Pence lost his doctor. She left, Dr. Jennifer Pena. She accused Ronny Jackson, the president's former doctor at the White House there, of overstepping his authority in the case, particularly of the second lady, of Karen Pence there, potentially violating privacy rights, disclosing information to White House staff. She said she felt intimidated by Jackson. He treated her unprofessionally, she was uncomfortable.

Do you get the sense that she left because Jackson is still there? And Jackson is due to possibly be promoted by the Senate Armed Services Committee to a two-star general? Is this the right time to do that with all of this happening and no investigation into it?

LOUIS: Yes, I would think that Dr. Jackson has had a turn in the barrel, as you might say. And there seems to be so much fallout that that is probably what is driving all of this. That White House office, something that most of us probably never thought about or knew very much about, its operations as far as dispensing medication, now there are some privacy issues.

The way in which that office operates is crying out for some outside attention. And this, I think, is one more piece of evidence that what we might have assumed was something that could just be taken care of and that there were no problems, actually has quite a lot of problems. And they date back to more than one administration.

PAUL: Yes. Because Ronny Jackson has been there for 12 years. No doubt about it.

Errol Louis, always appreciate your voice. Thank you.

LOUIS: Thank you.

PAUL: Absolutely.

BLACKWELL: President Trump will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House later this month to discuss the historic summit that's coming with Kim Jong-un. We'll have details in a moment.



[06:42:25] TRUMP: We're doing very well with the hostages. We're in constant contact with the leadership. We are in constant contact with North Korea. We've actually worked out a time and place which will be announced shortly.


TRUMP: And very soon.


PAUL: All right. President Trump there obviously keeping the suspense going as to where and when this meeting will be with Kim Jong-un. However, ahead of that historic summit with the North Korean leader, we do know he'll be meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House on May 22nd.

BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, the status of those three Americans detained in North Korea is still unclear. President Trump hinted they may be released very soon. You'll remember Giuliani said midweek that they were going to be released on Thursday.

CNN international correspondent Alexandra Field is live from Seoul.

First, what more are we learning about this summit?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor and Christi, you heard the president say there that a date and a time has been set. It isn't clear when he'll reveal what the location is. But certainly the administration has suggested that they would look at the DMZ. They threw some weight behind the idea of doing it there, that would certainly be an optimal place from the optics perspective.

There's also been talk about hosting this summit in Singapore, a more neutral location. But again, the announcement have not yet been made. And still the plans for the summit are continuing forward. The Korean National Security chief traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet to discuss that summit with the U.S. National Security adviser, John Bolton.

Bolton at the same time has been loudly knocking down reports that President Trump has asked the Pentagon to craft plans for how to potentially draw down the number of U.S. troops permanently stationed on the Korean peninsula.

The administration and the president himself are loudly saying that troops will not be a negotiating chip. The number of troops will not be on the table when the president sits down with Kim Jong-un to discuss denuclearization. That conversation could happen in just a matter of weeks. That's the timeline that the White House had initially set out.

In the interim, we are seeing South Korean officials doing everything they can to protect the atmosphere of calm and relatively low tension on the peninsula until that point. Just today police confronted demonstrators who had gathered near the DMZ hoping to release balloons filled with anti-Pyongyang propaganda into North Korea. That would be a violation of the agreements that were struck at the North Korean and South Korean summit that happened just about a week ago. During that summit both sides agreed to cease with any hostile action.

Certainly that's a big step forward as we prepare for this historic sit-down between Trump and Kim Jong-un. At the same time, the question remains, will North Korea make another good-faith effort, a goodwill gesture, by releasing those detainees.

[06:45:02] It certainly seemed like it was imminent earlier this week when the president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, announced a release would happen on Thursday. The president hasn't set a date for that.

But certainly, Victor, Christi, you did hear him expressing some confidence that it would happen and that we would be getting good news on that front. Again, not clear when it could happen -- Christi, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the president tweeted out, stay tuned, and everyone will be.

Alexandra Field there for us in Seoul, thank you so much.

PAUL: So there were steep losses early in the week certainly. But oh, stock market bounced back yesterday. Job growth picked up. We're at the New York Stock Exchange. Stay close.


BLACKWELL: U.S. markets pulled back from some pretty deep dives on Friday, thanks to job growth picking up and unemployment falling below 4 percent.

PAUL: Yes. Paula Newton has actually been taking a closer look at the health of the U.S. economy.

[06:50:04] PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there. The U.S. economy is breaking records and stocks are surging. Now the new jobs report shows that unemployment fell below 4 percent in April. Get this, that's the best level since 2000. But there is one caveat to all this, both job growth and wage growth were lackluster. And I know a lot of Americans will be feeling that in their paychecks.

Meantime, investors didn't quite know what to make of all of it as trading began. The Dow opened down more than 100 points at the close, but the major markets all ended firmly higher. Meantime, though, in Washington, President Trump took that victory lap.


TRUMP: I thought the jobs report was very good. The big thing to me was cracking 4. That hasn't been done in a long time. You tell me how long, but it hasn't been done in a long time. We're full employment. We're doing great. The stock market is doing -- I guess it's up 35 percent since the election. And now I think really they're waiting to see what's going to happen on trade because we're going to have incredible trade deals announced.


NEWTON: Now, let's be clear, a trade deal with China at least hasn't materialized yet. The American negotiators who traveled to Beijing to try and put an end to this ongoing trade dispute are now back in Washington. China says the two sides have made progress, but of course there are big differences that remain. You will want to continue to watch that trade story in the weeks to come.

PAUL: And thank you to our Paula Newton there in New York.

BLACKWELL: All right. Kristina Fitzpatrick is here to tell us why you made me those big hats for more than just looks at the Kentucky Derby.


KRISTINA FITZPATRICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Victor. Maybe these hats might come in handy because there's rain in the forecast. Plus, we'll show you what horse has the best odds of winning. It may not be the favorite. Stay tuned for your "Bleacher Report."



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Bill (inaudible).

BELL: Bill -- wait a minute, did I meet your dad?



BELL: What grade are you in?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm in fifth grade.

BELL: Now do you go to a school where it's all Sikhs or do you go to school with lots of different kids and different religions?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's only one other Sikh.

BELL: Really? OK. So do kids ever make fun of you because of your religion? Because you cover your hair or anything like that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had some issues like that last year because I moved to a new school. A kid would make fun of me for having long hair.

BELL: So when the kids were bothering you, you never thought I should not -- I should go home and take this off and get a haircut and try to blend in?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I actually think that I'm lucky to be a Sikh, and I'm happy.

BELL: Nice, nice. That is well said. That is definitely going to be on TV. Just so you know. That's definitely going to be on TV. He is definitely be going to be on TV. He just made the cut.



BLACKWELL: All right. So only 31 people in Major League Baseball has ever reached this milestone before, but last night another member was added to this exclusive club.

PAUL: Kristina Fitzpatrick has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Good morning, ma'am.

FITZPATRICK: Good morning, so 31 out of almost 19,000 players ever to play Major League Baseball dating back to 1876. So Albert Pujols joining an elite group in history on Friday night with the 3,000th hit of his career. The veteran is now just the 32nd player ever to reach the mark after playing 18 seasons in big leagues. For a little perspective, his first hit was all the way back in 2001. Pujols reached the milestone with the single in the fifth inning against the Mariners. He's only the second player ever from the Dominican Republic to reach the mark joining Adrian Beltre. And in true pro- fashion he remains focused on the game and staying healthy and refused the traditional Gatorade bath.


ALBERT PUJOLS, MLB PLAYER: Too cool. You got to let me think. Go ahead. My gosh.


FITZPATRICK: He had to get prepared for that one. His teammates not letting him off that easy. Pujols is just the fourth player in history to get 3,000 knocks while also hitting at least 600 homeruns. The other three players in that group, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Alex Rodriguez. An elite group that is.

Game three of the western conference person conference semifinals Friday. Steph Curry in his second game back after returning from a sprained knee injury. He could just never find a rhythm, missing 13 of his 19 shots. But you know who did find their rhythm, Rajon Rondo and Anthony Davis. Rondo had 21 assists on the night. In the past decade, Rondo has had two 20-plus-assist games in the playoffs. Every other NBA player combined has zero.

Anthony Davis added 33 points including this monster slam as the Pelicans win 119-100 and cut the series lead to 2-1.

The most exciting two minutes in sports will take place today at the 144th Kentucky Derby. All eyes will be on Justify, the favorite to win for the Run for the Roses today. He is trained by four-time derby winner Bob Baffert. But keep your eye on the horse in the number five post because 10 Kentucky Derby champions have come out of that gate. Audible is the horse that drew the lucky spot this year. As far as the worst post, gate number 17. No horse has ever won out of that post.

And those big hats may come in handy today. 65 percent chance of rain in the forecast. Post time is at 6:50. And my favorite to win, Lone Sailor, she is owned -- the horse owned by the same owner that owns the Pelicans. So her name is Gale Benson, she'll be busy flying back and forth to NBA games and the derby.

PAUL: My gosh.

BLACKWELL: My grandfather always said on a sloppy track, dead on the long shot.


PAUL: And nobody's going to be putting hats in the rain.

BLACKWELL: No. Not at all.

PAUL: I'm picking it up right now. It costs way too much money. Very good, Kristina.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Kristina.