Return to Transcripts main page


Hawaii Volcano Impacting Tourism Amid New Warnings; Trump Breaks Silence on "Roseanne" Cancellation; Judge Issues Deadline for Review of Seized Cohen Documents; Dow Rebounds after U.S., China Tappers, Italy Political Fears. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired May 30, 2018 - 11:30   ET



[11:33:17] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: "Get out now or you're on your own" -- that's the new warning from the Hawaii county mayor to residents who refuse to listen to evacuation orders near the Kilauea Volcano. The mayor saying, from now on, first responders will no longer go door to door to rescue people who refuse to leave certain areas.

It has been 27 days since the massive eruptions on Hawaii's big island starting spewing ash, toxic air and lava into the skies. The volcanic haze now reaching as far as Guam, some 4000 miles away. The lava that continues to flow has destroyed at least 70 homes and is still threatening a major power plant. Hundreds have forced to emergency shelters, and 4,000 acres scorched by lava is relatively small, it is having an impact on tourism. Officials with the Hawaii Visitors Bureau say hotel bookings are down 50 percent from May to July.

Joining me now to discuss all of this is the George Szigeti, the president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Thank you for coming in. I appreciate it.

GEORGE SZIGETI, PRESIDENT & CEO, HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY: Good morning. Thank you very much for having me.

BOLDUAN: Good morning.

What do you want people to know about Hawaii right now?

SZIGETI: What I want to do is clear up some of the misconceptions going on right now. The volcanic activity is happening in a small area of Puna (ph) on the island of Hawaii. I think when people see the island of Hawaii they think the state of Hawaii. That area is 10 square miles with a lot of activity right now. And the island there's 4,028 square miles. And Hilo is 20 miles from that activity. And Conan Kauai (ph) coast, the resort areas of that island, are 100 miles away. And then you take Maui, Oahu, and Lanai and they're hundreds of miles from the activity. So I'm trying to clear up some of the misconceptions and tell people that Hawaii is open for business.

[11:35:15] BOLDUAN: While it is open for business, because what you're saying is misconception's out there, how hard of a hit is Hawaii taking so far in terms of tourism?

SZIGETI: I'm hearing on the big island that arrivals are up 26 percent as of May 20th, so that's been very, visit positive. But I'm hearing the booking pace for the future months has slowed down and that is a concern for us and we will address that. The booking pace is the one hearing reviews from the hotel and activities people that's of a concern on the big island.

BOLDUAN: How do you convince people to come visit when -- especially the when you're talking about the big island, when you don't know when this crisis going to end?

SZIGETI: Well, you know, the volcanic activity has been going for 35 years on the island of Hawaii. And right now, Kilauea is having her way over there and everybody respects that, and it's something that can end tomorrow or go on for a few more months maybe. So, but we do want to tell people that is in that small area, 10 square miles of an island that's 4,028 square miles, confined to that. So if you stay out of the evacuated area, you're safe. You're safe.

BOLDUAN: You're safe.

Real quick. Hawaii is in a position that many other states have been in, right? Facing natural disasters and the hit on tourism after the fact. You take Puerto Rico as an example and the Florida Keys. How do you balance the fact that you need attention on the crisis because you need attention on it, but you're trying to not scare away tourism dollars?

SZIGETI: You know, I think the safety and the welfare of our residents and visitors are always a top priority and we have our share. And it's finding that balance. But it always is a top, top priority for us is making sure that our residents and visitors are always safe.

BOLDUAN: George Szigeti, thank you very much for coming in. I appreciate it.

SZIGETI: Thank you very much for having me. Aloha.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

Coming up, he touted her ratings and called her with congratulations about those very ratings, and now President Trump is speaking out about fired comedian, Roseanne Barr. His attack on the network that canceled her show. The tweet that just came in. That's next.


[11:41:57] BOLDUAN: President Trump now breaking his silence on the cancellation of Roseanne Barr's show after she went on an -- on what she says is an Ambien-infused racist tweet storm. Trump tweeted moments ago this: "Bob Iger, of ABC, called Valerie Jarrett to tell her know, quote, 'ABC does not tolerate comments like those made by Roseanne Barr.' Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the horrible statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn't get the call?"


Joining me right now, Chris Cillizza CNN politics reporter and editor- at-large, and Nischelle Turner, CNN contributor and host of "Entertainment Tonight" on CBS.

Chris, what should we make of Donald Trump's first initial response after so many people have said where is the president on this? This is where he is.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Me, me, me, me, me, me, me. That's where he is. I mean, it's not different than most things. Let's remember this is a president in a Memorial Day tweet made it about his ability to lower the unemployment rate. We shouldn't be terribly surprised. I would have predicted that Donald Trump would go after the so-called fake news media in a tweet, but he went in what is a sort of traditional direction for him to make it about himself. I'm not totally sure, Kate, what he is referring to in terms of his being attacked on ABC. Always hold open the possibility with Donald Trump that the attacks don't exist. They might, but they also might not. But this is Donald Trump making about him. Remember, he has a persecution complex. He has a victim complex. He views himself always as on the outside looking in while elites laugh at him not being allowed in. This is more of the same.

BOLDUAN: But, Nischelle, why on earth here would the president want to make this about him?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Lord, if I had the answer to that, Kate, I could retire right now.

BOLDUAN: That's the $64 million question.

TURNER: I think like Chris said, a lot of things come back to him when he's talking about them, and I think that he does feel like he's been maligned in several instances on ABC. I mean, listen, if we're being honest, there are some shows the ladies of "the view," they go in on a daily basis on him and lately people have been bringing up Keith Olbermann, who is on ESPN, which is Disney owned, and he is not a fan of the president. That's probably what he's --


TURNER: Right. That's probably what he's talking about. But I also think, you know, one of Roseanne's last tweets on her tweet tirade today was, "I feel bad for the president because he has to go through this every day." So who knows? He could be drawing from that and saying, well, you know, Roseanne said that she feels bad for me. I'm treated badly. So there you go.

BOLDUAN: Nischelle, is this going to be in any way satisfying an initial response from the president of the United States? And I hope folks are able to see, what Charles Lowe (ph) laid out in a way that only he can. That this was way more than a tweet. [11:45:14] TURNER: Oh, my gosh. Absolutely. It's emblematic of

what we're dealing with in this country right now. The problem of race in America is more pervasive than I think it's been in a very long time and you were talking about the fact I wasn't in the room with you and Charles, but you were talking about how you could see the pain on his face. I could hear it when I was listening to that. I know it. I feel it. I felt it. I live it. I am a person of color in this country and just because I'm on television does not mean that I am, you know, away from what happens every day in life. I've had the instances myself and I get it. It is a problem and it is something that we do have to address, the normalization of racism and issues of race in this country. It's a problem and we've seen it play out just with people, when I've been looking at Twitter, coming to Roseanne's defense. I was surprised at how many people were coming to her defense saying we stand with you. We support you. You were just joking. That was not a joke. Not a joke in any way, shape or form, and she knows it.

BOLDUAN: Chris, in a raw, political sense, was this Donald Trump somehow threading some strange needle of not saying -- saying a lot of words, but not passing judgment on Roseanne Barr?

CILLIZZA: Yes. It's an interesting thing. There's roughly a zero percent chance Donald Trump will condemn Roseanne Barr. We had that off the table. It's not what he does. That's not what he does. So given our options there, which is to fully defend who would do something else, this is in the something else category. This is sort of using that situation in which her show was canceled by Bob Iger, the head of ABC, to talk about himself. Is it the sort of moral leadership that past presidents have at least sought to exhibit not only successfully, but sought to exhibit? No. But after Charlottesville and after Roy Moore and after Rob Porter, I don't think that we should be surprised that the president is somebody who would use that office to exhibit moral leadership and do things for the we rather than the me.

BOLDUAN: Let me read you the tweet again. Let's make sure everyone gets the tweet because a lot of folks have been waiting to see what the president would say about this in this moment. And here's what the president said: "Bob Iger, of ABC, called Valerie Jarrett to tell her 'ABC does not tolerate comments like those made by Roseanne Barr.' Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the horrible statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn't get the call?"


BOLDUAN: And Sarah Sanders said last night that he was too busy to talk about this or think about this, that he was focused on North Korea. Not so busy this morning.

TURNER: He just referred to himself in the third person.

BOLDUAN: That is the least surprising thing.

(CROSSTALK) BOLDUAN: Nischelle Turner, let Kate Bolduan tell you right now --


BOLDUAN: Thanks, guys.

CILLIZZA: Chris Cillizza approves.

BOLDUAN: Chris Cillizza stamp of approval.

Thank you.

Coming up for us, a crucial day in court for Trump attorney -- Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen. A judge issued a new deadline for the documents seized from Cohen's office and home. We'll take you live to the courthouse.


[11:52:48] BOLDUAN: Hearing from President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, just wrapped up in New York regarding the review of over one million documents seized from three of Cohen's phones in the raid on his home last month.

CNN's Brynn Gingras is outside the courthouse.

Brynn, what happened?

BYRNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, those are just the items received from three phones, Kate. There's a trove of other items that the special master is also looking at, as well as Cohen's lawyers.

So here we go. This is how it breaks down. So the special master has already sent over to the government more than a million pieces of documents from those phones. In addition, other items have been turned over to the government. More than 200 have been considered attorney-client privilege and the government will not get their eyes on that. And that has been determined.

On Cohen's side, they said they've gone through about a third of the amount of documents that they consider attorney-client privilege. So they still have a long way to go. Today, the judge said you have until June 15th to make those determinations, or else all those documents will be handed over to the government and the government's own team will filter through and decide what's attorney-client privilege.

Basically, as you said, this has to do with all those documents seized in the FBI raid of Michael Cohen's home and office, and his hotel room. And it's just the next step in this process. But, yes, that's a staggering number, a million just from the phones, and the special master says she still has more to look through.

BOLDUAN: The judge is moving this right along.

What can you tell us about Stormy Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, and he was in court, and his request for guarding the documents?

GINGRAS: Yes. He's wanted a seat at the table and we knew he would be in court to plead his case known and plead his case on why he should have a seat at the table. And the judge said, listen, I'm not going to make a decision on that. We'll leave that for later. But then she also made some strong remarks to him that basically said, if you want a seat at the table in the future, you need to stop with the publicity tour. We've seen Michael Avenatti on the newspapers, on the news, talking about Michael Cohen and his attorneys and the president. And the judge ordered, hey, stop that for now if you want a seat at this table.

Back to you.

BOLDUAN: All right. We'll see what happens.

Great to see you, Brynn. Thank you so much.

We'll take a live look right now at the markets. A quick check. The Dow rebounding after yesterday's big drop due to the political drama playing out in Europe. Of course, also President Trump's announcement on tariffs being slapped on China.

Let's get over there. Maggie Lake is joining me now.

Maggie, what are you seeing, are the markets just shrugging this off?

[11:55:16] MAGGIE LAKE, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: More like hitting the pause button, I think, Kate. This is a market driven by headlines. Today, the headlines are about Roseanne Barr. So that's letting investors focus on fundamentals.

We had a couple of good earnings, Dick's Sporting Goods, so that's helping the tone. But this is still a very volatile market. Next hour, we'll catch up with Rick Rieder, chief investment officer for fixed incomes at BlackRock. He's going to help us figure out how to protect our money. We have to get those kids through college -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: You absolutely do. What else do you have on the show today?

LAKE: We're going to get around to some of those movers. I talked about Disney's woes. More on the earnings. We have jobs coming up. We'll talk to Paul Dimonica (ph) about that. And get all the very latest, get everybody up to date.

BOLDUAN: What is the expectation on jobs, the next report? The things that have been trending --


BOLDUAN: -- that's the big thing the Republicans and the president have been touting.

LAKE: It is. It's the one thing they can tout. The jobs picture is good. We'll see if the wages catch up. That will be really important. So good news for economy, we think. But watch out, in this environment, good news can be bad news if it means the feds will raise interest rates. So we could see a counterintuitive reaction. Something in the middle that's not too hot will be best for everyone around. But the jobs picture is good, making the U.S. look really attractive, especially when you look at the international concerns -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right, we'll look for that.

Thanks, Maggie. Really appreciate it.

Coming up, President Trump launches a new attack on his attorney general, as new reports say the special counsel is looking into Trump's efforts to get Sessions to un-recuse himself -- I guess that's a real word now - from the Russia probe. Details ahead.