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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
White House Briefing Conclusion; Russian Journalist Back From The "Dead"; Browder Released After Police Realized Arrest Warrant Invalid; Roseanne Barr Blames Sleeping Pills For Racist Tweets; President Trump Responds To Roseanne Barr's Firing; Two North Korean Official Arrives In U.S.; U.S. North Korea Diplomats Continue DMZ Talks; Inside El Salvador's Controversial Gang Crackdown; U.N. Security Council Meeting On Gaza Rocket Attacks; Hawaiians Not To Ignore Evacuation Orders. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired May 30, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
QUESTION: -- massive drop in their prices. Is there any more you can tell us on exactly when this is going to happen and how widespread this massive
drop in prices will be?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No, I can't give any other details at this point, but we do expect some specific policy pieces
to come out on that soon. Kelly (ph)?
QUESTION: Has the president spoken to Roseanne Barr, who we know has been a longtime friend of his? And why did he choose to address the ABC apology
instead of the underlying issue of concerns about a racist comment that she tweeted out?
SANDERS: I'm not aware of any conversations that have taken place. The president's simply calling out the media bias. No one's defending what she
said. The president is the president of all Americans, and he's focused on doing what is best for our country, and you can see that in the actions
that he's taken.
You can see where he's focused on unemployment being at the lowest since 2000, opportunity investment zones to encourage investment in underserved
communities, an opioid initiative to combat a crisis that impacts all Americans. And, today, the president signed legislation to give patients
the right to try medication that could actually save their lives.
And I'd point out that, while the president signed that legislation and actually addressed America, two networks chose not to cover it, and instead
covered something totally different in palace (ph) intrigue -- a massive piece of legislation that had bipartisan support, that was life-changing,
literally life-changing for millions of Americans -- two networks chose not to cover the president's remarks on that.
He's simply pointing out the bias. The president's pointing to the hypocrisy in the media saying the -- the most horrible things about this
president, and nobody addresses it.
Where was Bob Iger's apology to the White House staff for Jemele Hill calling the president and anyone associated with him a white supremacist?
To Christians around the world for Joy Behar calling Christianity a mental illness? Where was the apology for Kathy Griffin going on a profane rant
against the president on The View after a photo showed her holding President Trump's decapitated head?
And where was the apology from Bob Iger for ESPN hiring Keith Olbermann after his numerous expletive-laced tweets attacking the president as a Nazi
and even expanding Olbermann's role after that attack against the president's family?
This is a double standard that the president is speaking about. No one is defending her comments. They're inappropriate, but that's what -- the point
that he was making.
SANDERS: Matthew (ph).
QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah. Does the White House have any evaluation of its own of the recently released study estimating that more than 4,600 people
died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria? And, if that number is accurate, does this indicate the administration's response to the storm was
SANDERS: Look, the president takes the situation in Puerto Rico extremely seriously, and the administration has been monitoring that from the
beginning. We've been supportive of Governor Rossello's efforts to ensure full accounting and transparency, and those who have suffered from this
tragedy deserve nothing less than that.
The two Category 4 hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico were historic, and we've responded with the largest FEMA operation in history, and we're going to
continue to work with the people of Puerto Rico and do everything we can to be helpful.
SANDERS: April? Sorry, one question today.
QUESTION: ... any concerns or fear any risk in pushing China on -- continuing to push China on these tariffs in trade, considering their
relationship with North Korea ahead of talks and what the president has said about that second meeting between President Xi and Kim Jong-un?
SANDERS: The president continues to have a good relationship with President Xi. But what the president's concerned about is making sure he stops the
unfair trade practices that China's engaged in for decades, stopping the intellectual property theft that China has been engaged in and making sure
that we no longer allow China to play on a different playing field than the rest of us.
He's not going to allow American workers to be taken advantage of. He's going to call that out and he's going to step up and make those changes. At
the same time, we're continuing to work with China and continuing to have conversations when it comes to North Korea. And we hope that those will
QUESTION: Thank you, Sarah.
Given the turbulent political situation in Italy right now, is the administration monitoring it, as well the devastating effect it appears to
be having on the markets in southern Europe? And will the president consider strong intervention in that situation through the IMF, very much
as the previous administration did with Greece two years ago?
SANDERS: Italy is one of our closest allies, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the new government after it's formed. We
recognize that Europe is composed of free nations, that, in the great tradition of Western democracy, are able to choose their own paths forward.
I don't have anything about the United States' specific involvement, but certainly, we're continuing to monitor that and stay in very close touch
with our allies.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) the extension ends again soon. When do you think you'll have an announcement on what will happen next? And is there any
chance that there will be another extension?
SANDERS: We'll certainly keep you posted as we get closer to that date.
QUESTION: Yeah, can you just clarify the comments about Trey Gowdy? You said there's still cause for concern, meaning about the --
-- what the president says was a spy who infiltrated his campaign, or cause for concern in general about the FBI?
SANDERS: I think both. The president still has concerns about whether or not the FBI acted inappropriately, having people in his campaign.
SANDERS: And, certainly, the president has concerns about the overall conduct of the FBI when it comes to this process.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) explain who was in the campaign? What is he referring to when he said they were in the campaign? What does that mean?
SANDERS: Again, I'm not going to get into those details. But the president certainly has expressed very publicly his concern, as has his outside
QUESTION: Thank you.
Something appeared to have happened on trade, because, last weekend, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the trade war was on hold. Fast
forward, a few days after that, there was the threat of tariffs, now, on auto imports. Fast forward, a few days after that, there's now going to be
this $50 billion in tariffs.
So what exactly happened from the trade war being on hold, to a week later, now, it appears the trade war...
SANDERS: He didn't say it was on hold indefinitely. And, look, the president ultimately makes the decisions on trade. And, when we does, we
announce them. And that's exactly what's taken place in this process.
QUESTION: Sarah, two things. First off, my young colleague here -- he has a very interesting question.
QUESTION: Second, I just wanted to know, how confident does the president feel that he's going to have an agreement on NAFTA before the summer?
SANDERS: Look, we're continuing to have those negotiations, and we'll keep you posted if the -- they get a deal finalized. And the young colleague in
QUESTION: Well, thanks for the complement.
SANDERS: Hopefully -- hopefully these aren't as tough as Bring Your Kids to Work Day questions.
QUESTION: At my school, we -- we recently had a lockdown drill. One thing that -- that affects my and other students' mental health is the worry
about the fact that we or our friends could get shot at school. Specifically, can you tell me what the administration has done and will do
to prevent these senseless tragedies?
SANDERS: I think that, as a kid and certainly as a parent, there is nothing that could be more terrifying -- for a kid to go to school and not feel
safe. So I'm sorry that you feel that way.
This administration takes it seriously, and the School Safety Commission that the president convened is meeting this week, again, an (ph) official
meeting, to discuss the best ways forward and how we can do every single thing within our power to protect kids in our schools and to make them feel
safe and make their parents feel good about dropping them off.
QUESTION: Sarah, you mentioned Bob Iger a moment ago, and asked where is his apology to the White House for criticism of the president in some of
the instance (ph) that you cite. Has anyone at the White House been in touch with Bob Iger or anyone at ABC on those incidents in specific and the
cancellation of the Roseanne program, specifically, as well?
SANDERS: I'm not aware of any specific or direct conversations.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) George McGuire (ph) (OFF-MIKE) organization. The pre- infinite shore team (ph) is subject to discussion -- the main subject of discussion in Singapore. Does that include the positioning of U.S. nuclear
bombers and submarines that aren't (ph) necessarily on the peninsula, but cover the peninsula, as it were?
SANDERS: I'm not going to get into the details or negotiate that here. Certainly, our focus is going to be on total denuclearization of the
peninsula and verifiable confirmation of that. Beyond that, I can't get into any details.
QUESTION: ... when you talk about that, you're talking about North Korea, though, not U.S. weapons systems.
SANDERS: Correct. Yeah.
SANDERS: And, last question, Sayer (ph).
QUESTION: Sarah, has the president received any classified briefing on the details that -- of the intelligence that were presented to Trey Gowdy? And,
if he still believes that there's cause for concern, why doesn't he just declassify the documents?
SANDERS: The president receives a number of classified briefings, but I'm not going to get into those -- certainly not here, and not today.
QUESTION: Sarah, (OFF-MIKE).
SANDERS: Thanks so much, guys. And we look forward to seeing you guys here in a few minutes at the sports fitness day.
QUESTION: Sarah, where are the president's apologies for things that he's said over the years?
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The Press Secretary Sarah Sanders there today. She answered a few questions on North Korea. We will
continue to shoot for June 12th in Singapore. She is essentially saying that the U.S. is ready if this summit can go ahead, but it will also be
ready if it is delayed further.
She was also asked about the Roseann Barr controversy after the actress tweeted some racist content on the social media platform after her show was
canceled. She called out the media bias. She deflected to Trump administration achievements in her words that had not been covered.
And then attacks again the media for not covering what they would like -- what they would like us to cover and listed people who she says had
insulted the president without consequence, though, factually incorrect, mentioning Kathy Griffin, who, of course, was fired from her position and
then now did not work in the United States in a sort of comedy show capacity since that picture of her holding that bloodied mask that looked
like Donald Trump.
[15:10:10] So, there you have it. This is coming from the Press Secretary Sarah Sanders today and we'll continue to follow the very least on North
Korea a little bit later in the program as well as the latest fallout from the Roseanne Barr show cancellation.
But now to this in Ukraine, who needs spy novels when you have a real-life thriller like this? We begin with an absolutely stunning development that
has shock the world. Today, we learned that a high-profile murder of a journalist was faked in order to prevent a real one, authorities in the
Just yesterday, Ukraine's prime minister accused Russia of assassinating a fierce Kremlin critic, journalist, Arkady Babchenko. You can see images
there, mourners even laid flowers and (inaudible) as chilling details emerged about the murder.
Authorities said he was shot three times in the back, found by his wife in a pool of blood. They said he died on the way to the hospital and even
released a sketch of the suspected killer. So, you could imagine the utter shock today when Babchenko turned up on television very much well alive.
He appeared at a news conference as Ukraine's Security Services admitted faking his death in order to foil what they called a Russian plot to kill
him. Babchenko apologized for the rouse, but said he had no choice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARKADY BABCHENKO, RUSSIAN JOURNALIST (through translator): Firstly, I would like to apologize to what you've all had to go through because I've
buried friends and colleagues many times, and I know it is a sickening vomiting feeling when you have to bury your colleagues, your story that
they've forced you to experience all of this.
But in another way, it was impossible. Also, I would like to apologize to my wife for the hell she has been through in these last few days.
(Inaudible), I'm sorry, but there were no other options.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Ukraine officials say they've now arrested the suspect in connection with the attempted assassination plot. Moscow calls the whole
thing Russophobic lies.
Let's get more now from Frederick Pleitgen live in Moscow. How did they explain the fact that in their view there was no other way to do this than
to pull this type of stunt?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they really haven't said very much as to why exactly (inaudible) the success of
what they call this operation depended on them doing it the way that they did, and they said that they have the suspect in custody thanks to that.
Apparently, arrested only a couple hours before then Arkady Babchenko went in front of the press and revealed that he was in fact still alive. And
one other interesting things about this, Hala, is that it wasn't only the Ukrainian Security Services, but it seems pretty much all levels of the
Ukrainian government in some way, shape, or form were involved in this.
Even the prime minister came out and blamed the Russians initially with a very angry tweet on his Facebook page saying that he believed that they
were behind it. That is also one of the reasons why the Russians are so angry.
So, a lot of twists and turns in this plot. Here is what happened.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Outrage last night in Kiev, Ukraine. Officials saying prominent anti-Kremlin journalist, Arkady Babchenko, had been gunned
down in front of his house. Ukraine's prime minister writing in a Facebook post, quote, "I am sure that Russian totalitarian machine did not forgive
him his honesty and his fidelity to principal."
Hours later, the twist, it was all staged, Babchenko alive. It was a special operation, he said as a result of which the man was detained today.
He is in custody right now.
Ukrainian Security Services safely discovered a plot ordered by Russia to kill Babchenko. To save him and catch the alleged assassin, they faked
BABCHENKO (through translator): People told me that it was already ordered on me and the money had already been transferred $40,000. Well, that's not
a bad price for me.
PLEITGEN: Ukraine says a suspect in custody. The country's president calls it a brilliant operation by the Security Services.
BABCHENKO (through translator): I would like to apologize to my wife for the hell she has been through in these last two days. (inaudible), I'm
sorry, but there were no other options.
PLEITGEN: This was the reaction from Arkady Babchenko's colleagues after he turned up alive on TV. Babchenko was critical of Russian actions in
Ukraine and Syria, and left Russia in 2017 because of threats to his life.
He wrote about his experience suffering what he called political harassment in Putin's Russia in an essay published by Britain's "Guardian" newspaper
in 2017. Russian officials fuming after the Ukrainians revealed the staged assassination.
"Kiev in the situation with the alleged attempts to kill Babchenko committed a stupid provocation against Russia and is now disgraced in the
eyes of the world," a Russian lawmaker said.
[15:15:13] While Moscow was angry, Kiev is celebrating what they believe was a successful intelligence operation and that journalist, Arkady
Babchenko is still alive.
PLEITGEN: And Hala, certainly, there is some criticism coming internationally as well. The committee to protect journalists has come out
with a statement saying that the Ukrainian government now needs to explain why they believed there was no other option than faking the death of Arkady
Babchenko to try and mitigate the situation -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Fred Pleitgen, thanks very much. Let's talk more about this story. I'm joined by a high-profile critic of Vladimir Putin,
who's had plenty of issues of his own with Russia, Bill Browder is the CEO of Hermitage Capital and author of "Red Notice: A True Story of High
Finance, Murder, And One Man's Fight for Justice.
Thanks, Bill Browder for being with us. Reaction first to this stunt because frankly everybody's jaw dropped when we saw him walking to that
news conference in Kiev.
BILL BROWDER, CEO, HERMITAGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Well, I mean, when I heard the news last, no, not another one, not another person, anti-Putin
person being killed. He and I were both at the same time anti-Putin conference in March. And so, when I heard that he was still alive, it was
just like you a gift, a gift of life.
GORANI: So, you know him?
BROWDER: I don't know him well, but I know my reputation, and he is sitting on the same side of the barricade as I am when it comes to opposing
GORANI: The question now is, of course, will this in fact harm the cause of Putin and Kremlin critics who, if anything happens to them, or if they
get in any kind of trouble, then the Kremlin and Putin supporters will say this is fake news.
BROWDER: Well, they are going to say that anyways, but the most important thing is that some people were trying to kill him genuinely. That the
Ukrainian security services came up with this idea and they arrested some people that we going to kill him who didn't kill him. And so --
GORANI: But we don't have any details. We don't know how that -- I am not exactly sure I understand how that all unfolded or how that make sense?
BROWDER: I don't either, but the fact of the matter is that Arkady Babchenko is still alive, and that's the most important thing.
GORANI: So, you -- well, I mean, the Committee to Protect Journalists were saying, "If there was any other way, it would have been nice for us not to
now be accused of staging fake news story.
BROWDER: The Committee for the Protection of Journalists should try to protect journalists, protected him, good for him.
GORANI: Yes. Now, let us talk about whether or not you believe he can be protected in the future because if Ukrainian authorities are saying they
had to pull a stunt like this off in order to keep him safe, how can they keep him safe? They can't do this all the time.
BROWDER: Well, I would say that other than Russia being the most dangerous place for an anti-Putin critic, Ukraine is probably the second most
dangerous place because the Russians are freely moving in and out of Ukraine.
They are doing all sorts of stuff. Lots of people have been killed, who have been anti-Russian in Ukraine. It's probably not the smartest place
for any anti-Putin person to be living life.
GORANI: So, it is possible for him to go somewhere else again from your perspective, perhaps he should consider it.
BROWDER: Yes, personally would not set foot in Ukraine because they'd grab me in a second.
GORANI: You had -- you are arrested today (inaudible). So, what I heard - - by the time I heard and checked, you'd already been released. But you were live tweeting the whole process from the back of a car, and then you
photograph the arrest warrant. There you are in the back of a Spanish police vehicle. What happened?
BROWDER: Well, so every time -- my -- one of my main goals is to get the Magnitsky Acts, Russian sanctions against Russian human rights violators
pass for different countries. Every time that I do that, Russia goes to Interpol and issues an arrest warrant for me.
When Canada passed Magnitsky Act, the Russians did it last October, and when the U.K. passed the Magnitsky Act last week, guess what? The Russians
go to Interpol again. I was in Madrid --
GORANI: But on what charges? I don't understand what they --
BROWDER: They've charge me with fraud, tax evasion, murder, whatever, whatever suits their fancy at that moment in time. And so today I was in
Madrid. I was giving information to the Spanish prosecutor about money from the Magnitsky case that went to Spain.
And this morning at 9:40 a.m., there was a knock on my door, in my hotel room and two policemen from the Spanish National Police showed up at the
door and said are you Bill Browder? Let me see your identification. I handed him my I.D., and they said you are under arrest, come with us, sir.
And they took me in the back of a police car.
GORANI: Did they tell you why?
BROWDER: They said an Interpol arrest warrant from Russia and then they put on their sirens, and I was the back of their car and him. And we ended
up at the police station. I sat in the police station. I was finally allowed to call my lawyer. I was live tweeting until they took my phone
away and then they got a message from Interpol saying, this was an illegitimate arrest warrant, release him.
GORANI: It is confusing because then Interpol tweeted there is no red notice and there has never been a red notice. There it is for Bill
Browder. Mr. Browder is not wanted by Interpol channels.
BROWDER: So, this is total word game. So, there is no red notice. There is an Interpol diffusion notice.
[15:20:07] GORANI: OK.
BROWDER: It's the same thing. So, I don't know what game -- this is like fake news and what game is Interpol trying to play. I was arrested this
morning on an Interpol diffusion notice.
GORANI: Well, you are released thankfully, but you are saying this happens routinely.
BROWDER: This is the sixth time it's happened. Russia has abused Interpol six times and Interpol cannot get their act together and stop Russia.
GORANI: Bill Browder, thanks very much for joining us live on the program. They are reacting to this breaking -- to today's breaking news and also
what happened to you in Spain. We appreciate it.
Still to come tonight, after swift cancellation, now the fallout and the posturing from Roseanne Barr's racist tweet. President is among those
weighing in. We'll tell you what he had to say. We'll be right back.
GORANI: To the U.S. now, a dramatic and fast-moving fallout. It continues following the cancellation of Roseanne Barr's TV show. You'll remember
Tuesday that ABC pulled the show after a racist tweet she sent out. Now she's blaming that on the sleeping aid, Ambien, saying she is not racist,
just an idiot.
She deleted that tweet, by the way. The comment was part of a long tweet storm from the TV star. The makers of that sleeping aid weighed in, by the
way, saying, quote, "Racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication."
President Trump then finally responded criticizing the Disney CEO Bob Iger. He didn't mention anything critical of Barr's tweets. Trump and Barr have
been prominent supporters of each other.
Let's get more on this fallout. I'm joined from Dallas by CNN political commentator, Ben Ferguson, and Jamilah Lemieux is the vice president of
News and Men's Programming at interactive One, and a former senior editor at "Ebony." She joins me from New York.
Jamilah, first of all what you make of the tweet by the president of the United States on -- essentially saying, I never got an apology from Bob
Iger, you know, when I was insulted, what did you make of that?
JAMILAH LEMIEUX, FORMER SENIOR EDITOR, "EBONY:" I'm surprised it took him this long to react. Maybe he slept in today because it's about 3:30
Eastern Time and he issued the tweet about an hour ago. So, I don't know what he might have been busy doing that he did not say something.
But I can't say that I am surprised by his reaction. He is known to compare apples and oranges, and to fit -- to defend people who have been
good to him, and unfortunately, Roseanne Barr has sacrificed her career to be good to him.
GORANI: Yes. Ben Ferguson, should ABC have canceled the show?
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think Roseanne Barr said something that was wrong, and she apologized for it. She deleted the tweet
and said that she was the only person to blame. She even said don't, you know, go after ABC for doing this.
But there are a lot of people that believe that they did go too far and the perfect example of that is, they just hired at ABC, Keith Olbermann, who
was referred to the president as Nazi multiple times, wrote a book describing the president is the "F" word, has said two other journalists in
this country that they should have been aborted.
[15:25:10] This is the guy they just hired so there is a double standard here at ABC that I think a lot of people are upset with is the fact that,
you know, she apologized. Olbermann has never apologized for calling people Nazis or saying because he disagrees with conservatives should be
aborted and he still has a job and still been hired.
GORANI: I want to Jamilah's answer to that point that you're making that there's a double standard.
You know, there are certainly a lot of double standards. I recall the president and his surrogates attacking ESPN's Jamal Hill for things that
she said about the president and (inaudible) -- which is tragic because she called out -- she called the thing a thing.
He talked about his white supremacist behavior and that document and that is real. You know, I can't say that I recall Keith Olbermann's comments
about people being aborted. So, I won't respond to that --
FERGUSON: He works at CNN. He said --
LEMIEUX: I'm not saying he didn't do it, but what I'm saying -- hey, I'm saying that I'm not commenting on it because I don't know the facts and I
like the president of the United States. I do not like to pretend that I do.
But as far as him referring to the president as being Nazi like, I think that is a very fair comment to make and I think that there is a very clear
double standard that often times people that are liberal or liberal leaning fall on the unfortunate side of and are harshly punished the way that
conservatives are not. But what I think what's really interesting about -- Jamil Hill having to apologize --
FERGUSON: ABC got -- had apologized. I mean, you had Jimmy Kimmel who mocked the emigration -- being an immigrant of the first lady. He did not
have to apologize for that, which many people thought was racist and --
LEMIEUX: (Inaudible) her immigration status, and if she was allowed --
GORANI: If do not mind, I need to jump in. We are talking here about Roseanne Barr situation and you know there is a lot of what aboutism that
goes on and it comes up every time. Roseann said that but what about this, but what about that.
Let's get back to Roseann Barr. Ben Ferguson, she compared a black woman to an ape. She also said extremely offensive things about Susan Rice, who
is the national security advisor under Obama.
Also mentioning I can't remember exactly what primate. This isn't the first time. Do you believe that ABC still based on all of this went too
far by canceling her show? It is a line. This is not an insult.
FERGUSON: Again, if you are going to say that this is the line, then you have to be consistent and you would have to fire Keith Olbermann, which you
just -- and I think --
FERGUSON: Let me finish. Go look at him calling people's Nazis who are have nothing do with Nazis because --
LEMIEUX: How can you compare calling someone a Nazi to calling two black women primates? Where is the comparison --
LEMIEUX: But it is an insult to describe somebody who has been in a position of power to be abusive, somebody who is harmful --
GORANI: But if you're talking over each other, we are hearing neither of you, that's the issue. So, Jamilah, go ahead and make your point then
we'll get Ben to respond. Go ahead, Jamilah.
LEMIEUX: You know, I think that like you said there is a lot of what (inaudible) and Keith Olbermann of all people, I think, he was not given a
sitcom. He was not given the platform that Roseanne had.
Roseanne on this show was talking about controversial difficult issues in this country such as transgender children and emigration was an episode
about Muslim neighbors and the Roseann character being afraid that they were terrorists. These are real things that we are dealing with in this
And the best analogy that I come up with is show "All in the Family," which ran here in the states for many years and there was this racist, old-
school, bigoted white male, lead character, Archie Bunker, but in real life, the person who played Archie Bunker, was not a racist.
So, we can have these meaningful conversations about race or gender, class or sexuality and put somebody who is expressing the worst attitudes
available about those things in real life in front of the world and say, hey, let's discuss this with some sort of new ones --
LEMIEUX: -- Roseanne herself.
FERGUSON: Let's talk about Roseanne's very first episode --
GORANI: Ben, if I can ask you the question, that's a good point. You can have a program about working-class Americans dealing with very
controversial issues or even, you know, points of view that are not your own point of view on an American sitcom without the lead actress or actor,
whoever it may be.
Then continuing to repeat those -- and also there's these mad conspiracy theories that she has been retweeting on her page. So, why -- but Ben, why
have so much trouble condemning Roseann Barr without always having to bring up examples of other instance of people you --
[15:30:09] FERGUSON: Here's what I can say, you can have a conversation about both at the same time. I think what Roseanne Barr's tweet was
horrific. I think she should have been reprimanded for it which clearly she should have them. My point is the hypocrisy here. If we want to get
rid and say that you should lose your job, when you do something like this, then you have to be consistent so it doesn't look like you're solely
targeting someone because they're a supporter of the president of the United States of America. And that is why -- let me finish. You may
disagree with what I'm saying. It doesn't mean it's intellectually dishonest. The fact to the matter is ABC has a huge problem now that they
just hired someone that the horrific rhetoric that this individual puts out on Twitter every single day, dropping F bombs (INAUDIBLE)
GORANI: Can we get away from -- this is not about --
LEMIEUX: It's not the same. They're simply different --
GORANI: We got to wrap it up anyway. Jamila, basically, your thoughts. You obviously agree with ABC for having -- taken the decision to cancel the
show. Where do we go from here? In the American media landscape, where do we go from here now? What do we replace Roseanne with essentially?
LEMIEUX: I'll politely go toward honesty. We look at a show like one -- the reboot of One Day at a Time, that's on one of the streaming services.
There are other shows that have working class, white families that unpacked complicated issues and working class families of other races. I think it's
important to know. People want to give ABC either a lot of credit or a lot of flak for canceling the show. The show canceled itself. People are
going to call their advertisers. People -- talent was walking away, one of the head writers walked away, one of the lead actresses on the show
condemned what Roseanne had to say. I don't think they had any choice but to cancel the show. This is not about liberal outrage. This is about
simply a problem that was -- that had to take care of itself. This was not about liberal bias. The liberal bias that you seem to think exist in
Hollywood, hasn't really served us so well. It elected a reality star to the highest office in the land without any single credentials at all.
GORANI: All right. We've got to leave it there. Jamilah Lemieux, Ben Ferguson, thanks so much to both of you for spirits of discussion.
Appreciate having you on the program and on CNN.
We'll be right back. Stay with us.
GORANI: This just in. A source tells CNN a top North Korean official has now arrived in New York to talk about reviving plans for that North Korea
summit. Kim Yong-chol is scheduled to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a week after President Trump canceled the summit scheduled for
June 12th accusing Pyongyang of open hostility.
[15:35:07] Well, there's still no confirmation that the summit is back on, diplomats meeting in the Korean Demilitarized Zone have extended their
talks for at least one more day.
John Kirby is a CNN military and diplomatic analyst. He joins us live from Washington. So we heard from Sarah sanders, the press secretary just
minutes ago we'll continue to shoot for June 12th. So I guess let's not cancel our plane tickets just yet.
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Right. That's right. I mean, they're still aiming for June 12th. I think it remains to be seen,
Hala, whether they can get there. There's an awful lot to be done between now and then, not just on the logistic side but on the substance side and
that's why Kim Yong-chol is in New York City to talk to Mike Pompeo about substance here. Apparently, from our reporting at CNN, there's still quite
a bit of a gap between the two sides in terms of what denuclearization really means. So we'll have to just wait and see. I am optimistic though
as I was before that there'll be a summit and I certainly hope that it can be sooner than later.
GORANI: And Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister is headed to North Korea. We know Kim Yong-chol stopped in Beijing. Lots of activity there.
KIRBY: Yes. So, I read Lavrov's comments, I thought they were very interesting. First, he said, well, he was invited by Pyongyang. I suspect
that he probably invited themselves forgot that invitation delivered to him. It's very clear that Russia's nervous here and they want to make sure
that whatever comes out of the summit, their interests are preserved. And they have, as you know, subsidized North Korea for many, many years and
have deliberately violated the sanctions to their own material benefits. So they want to make sure that whatever comes out of the summit that their
interest in Northeast Asia gets preserved.
It was very interesting, Hala, listen into Lavrov talk about the six-party talk process. He bragged about the fact and rightfully so that Russia was
in -- in the beginning of the six-party talk process and then he said, whatever comes out of the summit should be a lengthy process towards
denuclearization that should end with the six-party process in place. In other words, and with Russia at the table.
GORANI: Well, yes, of course. I remember that you had predicted that the summit would happen then it was cancelled by the president and maybe
ultimately you will be right.
KIRBY: I am still planning on being right, Hala.
GORANI: OK. We'll see what's achieved even if it does happen on June 12th in Singapore. John Kirby, thanks so much for joining us.
A lot more to come this evening, a graphic portrait of gang warfare today. We've entered exclusively on the streets of El Salvador to join a police
squad battling an infamous group. That's coming up next on CNN.
GORANI: For many Americans, the idea of gang violence in El Salvador might feel like a world away. But CNN has discovered the issue is a little
closer to home than you might think. With Washington, giving its support to ab police squad fighting the infamous MS-13 gang. But there's something
about that squad that should make U.S. taxpayers sit up and listen. Nick Paton Walsh has this exclusive report.
[15:40:23] NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's an undeclared war here in El Salvador that lead police against MS-13, a gang menace that
beheads, rapes, and terrorizes. It's America's war too, because President Trump has declared MS-13 animals that must be eliminated and these men are
fighting with U.S. money and help.
A lot of this equipment, American government supplied, part of an effort to try and tackle gang violence back in El Salvador. These men, the Jaguar
Unit say their targets are gang leaders to cripple the gang hierarchy.
COMMANDER CESAR ORTEGA, JAGUAR POLICE UNIT (through translator): The U.S. participate in training, as well as providing equipment. The only thing
that the U.S. does not supply is lethal equipment, the weapons and the ammunition. But it does supply us with protective equipment, helmets,
bulletproof vests and knee pads.
WALSH: Well, there's something U.S. taxpayers should know about how America is fighting this proxy war. This unit has a dark history. Many
once in an elite unit called the Special Reaction Forces. The FES or FES, it was disbanded after troubling allegations. FES had a very lethal track
record on the street. Killing a staggering 43 people they say were gang members in just six months last year. Some, and it's repeatedly been
alleged illegal executions. That's a problem for the U.S., who are not supposed to fund units guilty of human rights abuses. Critics say, some
FES police evaded this dark past by being folded into the new Jaguar Unit, so the U.S. had no issues funding them.
In fact the number of gang members killed each year by police have risen five times in two years. A higher body count that hasn't say polls made
people feel safer. It's a culture of an alleged impunity exposed in WhatsApp's messages CNN obtained where FES police discuss executions and
ask informants help identifying gang members.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Can you send us a picture of shadow? The message says, we're going now, we've located him, send me his
photo right now, we're going to crush that (BEEP). A local police officer rails at the sloppy cleanup of an execution of a gang member by fellow
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Witnesses who saw that they were beating that son of a (BEEP) before killing him. But our comrades
portrayed it as a shootout. Here, you have bad procedures and practice, if you're going to do some (BEEP) like that, you better be sure there are no
Brutal tactics can drive people away from the police towards gangs like MS- 13 into those world here, we get rare permission to enter.
We're headed now to one of the scenes of the more prominent killings here, deep inside gang territory carried out by what locals here say was
effectively a police death squad.
Nobody disputes that Eclipse (ph), as he was known was a local gang figure, but they do dispute that Eclipse was armed when police shot him dead.
Neighbors say, it was simply an execution.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They came inside in a little time passed they're screaming hand in your weapons and they replied, there they
are, mister, they're surrendering. And all of a sudden, we heard the first shot and after hearing the first, there was some silence. And after,
another four shots were fired.
WALSH: His distraught mother shows us the scene, his bedroom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Here he was lying down. His hands like this, as if he had been sleeping. They killed my son.
WALSH: She claims they shot him in the back. They say, the police never come around here now.
This case was investigated, but charges weren't filed, police rarely if ever prosecute their own, in fact, one of the officers accused in the
shooting likely now serves in the new Jaguar Unit. Using his photograph, a facial recognition expert who used to work for British police identified
him in our footage of a new Jaguar Unit.
KENNY LONG, FORMER POLICE IDENTITY EXPERT: These images are very, very clear, very good images. I'm felt concern at least that this is one and
the same person I'm looking at.
WALSH: An officer accused of killing in the old unit, but first is likely in the new one. The Jaguars. The forthcoming U.N. report will declare a
pattern of behavior by security personnel amounting to extrajudicial executions.
[15:45:02] Salvadoran police reply they're fighting quote "terrorists" and often arrest them without the use of arms while keeping human rights
paramount. More than 200 officers faced court for improper armed aggression last year, they said.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There's a general belief about this unit having a green light to kill these gang members, but that's a
lie. It does not happen here, not in any other country. We stick to the legal norms of your country. We can only respond against aggression and we
use the force level that applies to our police core. And as last resort, we fire our weapons.
WALSH: In a statement, the U.S. embassy said the U.S. government takes allegations of extrajudicial killings extremely seriously and it
consistently express concerns regarding allegations of security force abuses. It provides assistance to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate
all types of violent crimes, including those involving suspected human rights violations. They added, the U.S. recently provide 500 body cams and
tracks alleged abuses so no corrupt officer get their help.
The U.S. has tried brute force here, and elsewhere before and failed or gotten caught in a longer conflict. As the threat of MS-13 rises, they
will have to hope the gangs crumble rather than escalate the fight.
GORANI: Nick Paton Walsh is here with more. So these are -- I mean, even though there's not as much transparency as we'd like, obviously brutal
tactics being employed here. So the question is, if you set aside, I guess, the ethics of it, is this effective against MS-13 in El Salvador?
WALSH: If you are against the Trump foreign policy where you can call people animals and therefore they all sort of fair game. You still run
into a major problem in terms of the experience of counterinsurgency globally that the U.S. has had brutal police tactics tend to force people
away from the police, because of the people you've killed or you confront. You're going to make mistake. You're going to get the wrong person.
You're going to be too brutal or too heavy-handed and you're going to end up bringing on the people into the fray. You're otherwise not being
involved in that particular gang fights.
And what we already saw there was parts of society and for themselves authorized from the government as a whole, generally speaking, and
distrusting the police. That builds on one major problem which is quelling the support for gangs generally in society, even though they do terrorize
many of the communities they live in. And apart from that too, the U.S. has laws designed to prevent groups that are verifiably involved in
assassinations from receiving U.S. supports on two different levels as a major problem here into winning that war.
GORANI: But what else could work against these gangs?
WALSH: Fortunately, that isn't actually my job.
GORANI: Not mine either.
WALSH: We've observed this for a long time. When you have chronic problems like this in poor countries, the solution is rarely heavy-handed
police or military -- and it's always long term. It's always --
WALSH: It's always economic. It always comes down to people feeling not part of the society and better than them and therefore rebelling against
it. This is classically met. MS-13 are terrifying, the things they do to women, to people. One person dies every two hours in that country, mostly
related to some kind of primal gang violence. OS this is a huge scourge on Salvadorian society. The question is, if you are employing tactics that is
suddenly caused gang deaths to rise by five times in just two years and at the same time, polls are showing people think crime is in fact getting
worse rather than better, is that really working at all? And is that the best way to address an issue in a country which is so destabilized it's
causing mass immigration to the United States and a key pulpit issue for Donald Trump.
GORANI: And your next story which will air tomorrow on this program is about the trump administration removing temporary protection status for
Salvadorians and others like Haitians and other immigrant communities in America.
WALSH: I mean, well, 20,000 people roughly for the last two years have been deported from the United States back to Salvador. That's before
Donald trump said he wanted to see the temporary protective status for those who in the 80s got -- sorry, in the 90s got a chance to live in the
U.S. because they're waiting for disaster relief, the impacts of the earthquake to pass in Salvador. That's gone, 200,000 now have to go home
and we saw people remarkably who just left their jobs, their lives for decades, sometimes hours earlier being deported back to El Salvador for the
first time in many, many years. They start their life all over again.
GORANI: And these are not illegal immigrants. These are people who benefited from the temporary protective --
WALSH: But some also do have immigration question hanging over them, but still they're human beings, you had lives, you had decades with families in
Florida, Texas, for example, operated, deported, starting all over again in the country which many consider to be having real trouble right now.
GORANI: Thanks, Nick Paton Walsh. And I want our viewers to see a little snippet of that report which will air tomorrow when President Donald Trump
ended protection for immigrants from 10 countries nearly 200,000 El Salvadorians were at risk of being deported. Nick, and you're exclusive,
you speak to some people who actually lived in the U.S. for more than a decade upon their return. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[15:50:10] WALSH: Christian Lara (ph) lived in the USA for 20 years, and was deported coming out to these Florida construction job. He had only
committed immigration offenses. The best choice now, is a $5 a day farm job. Oscar is more complicated. He's 20. He went to America age 10 and
served four months for assault and bodily harm in Houston. Get back here, he trembles.
WALSH: Are you scared of the gangs here now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
WALSH: Are you scared you might end up involved and caught up in that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, when I was in the USA, I see news like 16 people were killed every day. It's scaring me, man.
WALSH: Forty-eight hours passed since we meet Christian and Oscar, in which there are two beheadings, over 20 murders and a policeman is killed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, you could see the rest of Nick's report on Thursday from what is considered one of the most dangerous cities on earth. That will
start at 5:00 a.m. in London on CNN.
Still to come tonight, Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel has delivered the harshest blow in years to Gaza militants. We'll update you on a sharp
escalation at the border. We'll be right back.
GORANI: The U.N. Security Council is meeting right now to discuss the recent barrage of rockets and mortars fired at Israel by Gaza militants.
The United States called the emergency session to demand that the council condemn the attacks as terrorism. Israeli-Gaza border has been quieter
today, but earlier Israel responded fiercely to those attacks from Gaza launching dozens of airstrikes against Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets.
But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel has dealt the harshest blow in years to the militants. Let's get an update now from the ground.
Ian Lee is inside Gaza. What's the latest there on what's going on in Gaza itself as discussions that the U.N. continue, Ian?
IAN LEE, CNN FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Right now, it is quite, Hala. Yesterday at this time though rockets would be filling the sky. Israeli
airstrikes lighting it up. Just behind me, a few hundred yards was one of those Israeli airstrikes. Israeli military says over a hundred rockets and
mortars were fired and they responded with 60 airstrikes. Now, these rockets, mortars, dozens of them were intercepted by Israel's iron dome
system but we do know that some of them hit residential areas including a kindergarten, although no children were in the area when that rocket hits.
Three Israelis were injured. Israeli soldiers, two of them lightly. One of them moderate. But there was a very tensed situation here as this was
the largest number of rockets fired since the 2014 war.
Again, it is quiet now, except for the buzz of Israeli drones overhead and we heard from a member of Hamas, its political bureau, Khalil al-Hayya, he
said that there is a ceasefire after considerable mediation efforts. We're hearing the Egyptians played an important role bringing calm back to the
Gaza strip. We also have heard from Israeli officials they say, they haven't heard of any ceasefire, but they did had that quite will be
responded with quiet. And that's what we're hearing tonight. And we're all going to be watching that U.N. Security Council meeting. That's coming
in the few hours. They're going to be discussing Hamas and the United States wants hard -- harsh condemnation. We're also hearing that Israel
wants the U.N. Security Council call Hamas a terrorist organization. We'll have to see what comes out of that, Hala.
[15:55:00] GORANI: All right. Ian Lee in Gaza. Thanks very much for that update and we'll keep an eye on Gaza and hope it stays quiet. Thanks very
Now, let's pivot to something entirely different, because there's a new warning for those living near Hawaii's Kilauea volcano. If you ignore
evacuation orders, you're on your own. Authorities say that after mandatory evacuation are announced, they will no longer go door to door
checking on people who stay in their houses. This comes as lava from several volcanic fissures continue to advance toward the Kapoho area.
Authorities are warning people living there that the lava could cut off their access to roads, so be careful. If you're told to evacuate, go ahead
and do so or you might not find a way out.
Well, some people have different thoughts in mind when faced with this fiery power of nature, maybe not that website. Like this Twitter user
wants to know. Let's get to that. This Twitter user who wants to know, is it safe to roast marshmallows over volcanic vents? Or would the result in
marshmallows be poisonous?
Well, the U.S. geological survey responded saying no, that's not safe. And please don't try it. Adding, you had sulfuric acid to sugar, you get a
pretty spectacular reaction. And we looked it up, it turns out the sugar transforms into a growing charred mess. But even if you like your
marshmallows burnt, don't roast them over a volcano. Just don't do it. There's good advice from us.
Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.