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Samantha Bee Apologizes to Ivanka Trump: "I Crossed A Line"; Kim Jong Un's Former Top Spy to Deliver Letter to Trump; Coors Warns New Tariffs Could Increase The Price Of Beers; Bannon: Trump May Need To Fire Dep A.G. Rosenstein. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired May 31, 2018 - 16:30   ET


[16:30:46] JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Breaking news in our politics lead, Samantha Bee this afternoon said she deeply regrets making an offensive remark about First Daughter Ivanka Trump. This was in the context of a segment she did about children being taken away from their parents of undocumented immigrants on her TV show, "Full Frontal", last night.


SAMANTHA BEE, COMEDIAN: Let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad's immigration practices you feckless (EXPLETIVE DELETED). He listens to you.


TAPPER: Bee using the "C" word there. She described the comment late this afternoon on Twitter as, quote, inappropriate and inexcusable, adding that she crossed the line and apologized to Ivanka Trump. The White House blasted this attack on Ivanka, calling it vile and vicious, adding, quote, executives at Time Warner and TBS must demonstrate that such explicit profanity about female members of this administration will not be condoned on its network.

TBS, which is, of course, a subsidiary of Time Warner, which is CNN's parent company, said in a statement, quote: Samantha Bee has taken the right action and apologizing for the vile and inappropriate language she used about Ivanka Trump last night. Those words should not have been aired. It was our mistake to. And we regret it.

CNN politics senior writer Juana Summers joins our political panel.

And, Juana, what's your reaction to all this?

JUANA SUMMERS, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER: You know, I agree, frankly, the comments were shocking and offensive and inappropriate. And they shouldn't have been said, Jake.

What I think is really interesting is this comes at this a moment where we're also having these comments about, frankly, the racist comments that Roseanne Barr made about regarding Valerie Jarrett, who's a former Obama adviser. And I think we have to be careful not to put the two together. I think our friend Brian Stelter said it well earlier today. You

know, what Roseanne Barr said about Valerie Jarrett was racist. What was said about Ivanka Trump by Samantha Bee on her show was hateful.

And I think that there's some space between the two. We are talking two different things here. The fact of the matter of is, neither one of them should have ever been said, they are both inappropriate.

TAPPER: Kirsten?

POWERS: Yes, I agree with that. I think there has been this conflating. So, I'll say, first of all, I tweeted this, I don't think Samantha Bee should have said this. I think it's actually misogynist, when you use this kind of gendered language against women. And I have been critical of plenty of people all over the spectrum when they do it. I'm glad she apologized.

I do think there's a difference between what that and what was said about Valerie Jarrett to, what -- by saying one of Valerie Jarrett's parents was an ape is playing on this idea that goes back to slavery, frankly, that black people weren't human, right, and it was used to justify oppressing black people.

And so, I think to put them in the same category isn't right. That doesn't mean that Samantha Bee is off the hook. She's not off the hook. It's wrong. But I also would note that the White House still hasn't condemned what Roseanne Barr said, but the president took time to talk about all the horrible things that people said about him, without being offended about this really atrocious slur against Valerie Jarrett, who, by the way, what did Valerie Jarrett do, you know? How did she get pulled into this attack?

TAPPER: Right.

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So, listen, they are both horrific, right? I think w can walk and chew gum and have conversation about both. I think, you know, I -- the Roseanne piece is inexcusable, as noted by many people. She's been offending people for a long time. And so, it's inexcusable.

In this case, the Samantha Bee, this is a scripted piece. This was written. This isn't her -- this isn't a rift by Samantha Bee. This went through standards and practices.

Somebody typed it into this computer. Somebody wrote this. Somebody reviewed this before this is put in a teleprompter and that she read it. That is pretty horrific.

It is different than being up at 2:00 -- I'm not defending anybody. Michelle Wolf got up and gave her speech at the White House correspondent -- another horrific speech, right? And what Samantha Bee did was horrific.

And I just wonder, I saw the network approved, but did the president of TBS call Ivanka? Bob Iger called. He called Valerie Jarrett. Did TBS president pick up the phone and call Ivanka say, hey, that was awful, we are sorry?

TAPPER: I have no idea. I have heard other people say that's fine that the White House is offended about what was said about Ivanka Trump, but President Trump is not just the president of Ivanka Trump.

POWERS: Right.

TAPPER: He's the president of 13 million African-Americans and how come there is no condemning language about what Roseanne said?

POWERS: Right, and I think you might be able to make an argument if he just never tweeted about it. If he had just been like, I'm doing North Korea. I'm busy, I'm the president. I'm not -- you know, yes, I had a phone conversation with Roseanne Barr, but I'm not her keeper.

[16:35:02] But he did tweet about it. So, to take the time to tweet about it, turned himself into the victim --


POWERS: Yes, and to never actually condemn it I think is very problematic.

TAPPER: Yes. Juana?

SUMMER: But I don't think we expect hear him condemn it, right? I think we can say pretty factually that this is a president who multiple times has not come out and condemned racist statements of people around him. This is a president, if you recall, he came to prominence by talking about whether or not Barack Obama was born in the United States.

He came three years ago when he launched his presidential campaign, he came down that escalator and called Mexicans racist. This is a pattern --

TAPPER: Rapists.

SUMMER: I'm sorry, rapists. We have not seen him come out and condemn racism. It isn't something that this president talks about. So, I don't think it's a -- it doesn't surprise me to not hear him come out and forcefully talk about this.

URBAN: Listen, I just think to say -- again, I said this to Van yesterday. The president didn't tweet in defense or take on the folks at Starbucks. So, the president hasn't (INAUDIBLE). I'd say, let's look at his actions on prison reform, on the Jack Johnson pardon. I know people think that's not a big deal, but President Obama didn't pardon Jack Johnson. That's a step I think the president -- this president, look at his actions, and not his words in this case. I agree, he should have forcefully come out in Charlottesville --

TAPPER: Wait a second. You are condemning Samantha Bee's words. You're saying we shouldn't take President Trump's word.

URBAN: No, I think that Keith Olbermann, I mean, some of the stuff he said is ridiculous.

POWERS: David!

URBAN: No, it's true, Kirsten. Go look -- you couldn't show it on the screen.

POWERS: I have written columns condemning the things that Keith Olbermann has said about conservative women. So, but -- why are you talking about Keith Olbermann instead of talking about the president. I'm sorry, maybe he could do something for black people that are alive. How about that?

URBAN: How about prison reform? Talk to our colleague Van Jones who was at the White House. Talk about prison reform. There is going to be something done in this administration about prison reform.

POWERS: You are not saying he should condemn --

URBAN: No, I do. I absolutely think the president should condemn it. In this case perhaps, not in the case of Charlottesville, he should have spoke out forcefully and loudly. I think absolutely.

TAPPER: The only point I'm making here is that it seems as though you seem to be saying, this is something I hear from a lot of supporters of the president, is judge his actions, not his words. But then when he hear words from other people, we're supposed to judge their words. But I take your point.

We have to take a quick break.

A top North Korean official will visit the White House tomorrow to hand-deliver a letter from Kim Jong-un to President Trump. Will those two men meet in person fewer than two weeks from today?

Stay with us.


[16:41:27] TAPPER: Welcome back.

Breaking news in our world lead: North Korea's former top spy Kim Yong-chol will meet with President Trump in Washington, D.C. tomorrow and will hand-deliver a letter directly from dictator Kim Jong-un. This comes after two days of intense talks between the regime's ex- intel chief and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and ahead of what would be a historic summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un just 12 days from today.

CNN senior diplomatic correspondent Michelle Kosinski joins us now live.

And, Michelle, the president and Secretary Pompeo, they sound somewhat optimistic. Could this summit actually happen on June 12th, a week from this Tuesday?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, they have been talking it up, talking about how well these meetings have been going, that they have been making progress, but defining the progress was another thing for the secretary of state today, at least before a group of reporters. And he was asked a couple of times, what exactly is the progress?

And, finally, he went as far as to say, they made some progress in setting the conditions so that a potential Trump/Kim meeting could happen. The U.S. is looking for a big move toward denuclearization before that summit can happen.

Did they get any kind of commitment? We don't know. But, it doesn't really sound like that. Pompeo said, at best today, that North Korea was contemplating a shift in strategy.


KOSINSKI (voice-over): Today, a tall order for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, meeting with Kim Jong-un's right hand man Kim Yong-chol, try to seal a deal for a summit between President Trump and Kim Jong- un and convince North Korea that it's more secure without nuclear weapons, all in a meet thing that ended two hour hours before it was scheduled to.

The State Department says that's because it went so well.

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: The conditions are, putting President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un in a place where we think there could be real progress made by the two meeting. It does no good if we're in a place where we don't think there's real opportunity to place them together. We made real progress towards that in the last 72 hours.

KOSINSKI: But Pompeo gave no detail on whether the Trump/Kim summit will happen or when we will know it, or how much the North Koreans are willing to give up, insisting that the U.S. demands complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization.

POMPEO: I believe they are contemplating a path forward where they can make a strategic shift, one their country has not been prepared to make before. This is going to be a process that will take days and weeks to work our way through.

KOSINSKI: Kim Yong-chol arrived last night to New York, his first ever trip to the United States. And photos released by the State Department, Secretary Pompeo showed him the skyline and exchanged pleasantries over a dinner of American steak, filet mignon.

But the other stakes, as in all that could be gained or lost were also sky high, the goals broad. The U.S. wants to see the North Koreans do something historic, something they have never done before to show they are serious about denuclearization and commit to it before meeting with Trump. That could mean giving up some of their nuclear arsenal or ballistic missile program.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think Kim Yong-chol is going to dangle just enough in front of Secretary Pompeo so that Pompeo can return to Trump and say that everything is fine and that the summit can go ahead.

KOSINSKI: Also in Pyongyang today, meeting with Kim Jong-un, the Russian foreign minister, who said denuclearization should be phased in with sanctions starting to be lifted for North Korea, the opposite of the plan the U.S. wants. It's not clear how much Kim will budge on that as he praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for standing up to, quote, U.S. domination.

But, both Trump and Pompeo say meetings have been going well, things progressing, the President still hedging.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, the process, we'll see. And hopefully we'll have a meeting on the 12th that's going along very well but I want it to be meaningful. It doesn't mean it gets all done at one meeting. Maybe you have to have a second or a third and maybe we'll have none but it's in good hands. That I can tell you.


KOSINSKI: These meetings in New York was supposed to determine whether that summit could take place. We still don't know if it will happen and we might not know tomorrow. Jake?

TAPPER: All right, Michelle Kosinski, thanks so much. How one of the President's new policies might end up hitting people where it hurts this summer at the bottom of that ice cold can of Bud. Stay with us.


[16:50:00] TAPPER: And our "MONEY LEAD," the Dow dropping triple digits today as President Trump slapped Canada, Mexico and the European Union with new tariffs on steel and aluminum. The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Republican Kevin Brady who is a trump supporter slammed the President for the move today saying, "these tariffs are hitting the wrong target. When it comes to unfairly traded steel and aluminum, Mexico, Canada and Europe are not the problem, China is. This action puts American workers and families at risk." And if this crazy news week makes you want to crack open a beer, well CNN's Ryan Nobles has more bad news for you.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, it's one of the President's supporters here in the purple state of Colorado that's arguing that the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could actually hurt those middle-class working Americans the President is hoping to help.


NOBLES: Just as summer is set to kick off, one of America's biggest beer makers is warning their prices could be on the rise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The tariff is going to add cost in America.

NOBLES: The cost of a can of beer is directly tied to the price of aluminum. And one of the biggest consumers of aluminum in the world is right here in Golden Colorado, the MillerCoors Corporation. The producer of some of the most iconic beer brands in America.


NOBLES: Pete Coors' uncle pioneered the use of the aluminum can more than 60 years ago.

COORS: Which was new technology. Obviously, the first time had ever been done in the industry.

NOBLES: Today, more than 65 percent of their product is sold in these cans. Many of them produced in the largest can plant in the world which generates 13 million cans a day. While the overall cost of aluminum has only bumped up a small amount in American industry surcharge called the Midwest Premium and added cost to the price to account for shipping and storing aluminum to Midwest cities spiked close to 140 percent. That spike is directly tied to the tariff announcement, a frustration for Coors a Republican who held a fundraiser for President Trump.

COORS: And I love what the President has done in most cases but the tariff is a -- is a basically a tax on people who use aluminum.

NOBLES: But Philip Luck, an Economist at the University of Colorado, Denver believes it is the tariffs themselves that will inevitably lead to higher beer prices.

BUT PHILIP LUCK, ECONOMICS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER: The main problem here again is the uncertainty generated by these tariffs.

NOBLES: Coors says half of their customers make $50,000 or less. According to Luck, when it comes to beer, this policy could hurt working-class Americans the most.

LUCK: You could definitely make the argument that imposing these types of tariffs is going to hurt exactly the types of people you claimed you wanted to help.

NOBLES: Jim Philips is a union carpenter who prefers beer in a can in part because it's cheap.

JIM PHILIPS, BEER DRINKER: Well I'm not happy. I'm not going to be happy about it.

NOBLES: Philips believes if beer drinkers recognize the price hike and connect it to President Trump, it could lead some to re-evaluate their vote.

PHILIPS: By midterm election, we'll see how it goes, what he does. You know, does he stick with his plan of the tariff?

NOBLES: But Chris Johnson, the manager at the Candlelight Tavern in Denver believes those in search of refreshment may not even notice the price going up.

CHRIS JOHNSON, BARTENDER AND MANAGER, CANDLELIGHT TAVERN: Obviously, the economy is good so people don't complain about it as much.

NOBLES: Pete Coors is hoping it doesn't come to that. He says he's spoken to both Vice President Mike Pence and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross about his concerns regarding the Midwest Premium. At this point, there are no plans for the administration to intervene.


NOBLES: Economists argue that if these tariffs remain in place, it's not a question of if beer prices will go up but when. The political question then becomes do beer drinkers blame President Trump for the price hike? Jake?

TAPPER: All right, Ryan Nobles, thank you so much. Next up is CNN exclusive. Steve Bannon has some advice for his former boss President Trump. Hints, it involves the President doing some more firing. Who does Bannon want out? Stay with us.

[16:55:00] TAPPER: Breaking news now. This just into CNN. CNN has learned that President Trump has pressured Attorney General Jeff Sessions on multiple occasions over the last 14 months to overturn his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation according to a source familiar with the President's demands. Reclaiming control of the Russia investigation is why President Trump is being urged by his former top strategist Steve Bannon to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a new exclusive interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. Bannon says that Rosenstein who oversees the Russia investigation because of the Sessions recusal should be dismissed if he refuses to turn over all documents related to a confidential FBI source as demanded by some Republican lawmakers. President Trump as you know has claimed without any evidence at the FBI planted a spy inside his campaign to dig up dirt on him politically.


STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: They refuse to give these documents to Nunez. I think now that Rosenstein ought to be -- I think he ought to be given a direct order, very simple. You turn every document associated with this spy over in Cambridge and whatever foreign institution was involved, whether it's MI5, MI6 or anybody else. You give whatever the FBI did, you give whatever the CIA did. You see Clapper and these guys on T.V. every night and Brennan, they're just bitter old men. You turn over every document and if he doesn't turn it over, you give him 24 hours. If he doesn't turn it over, I would fire him and that's not obstruction of justice. That's giving a law-enforcement officer a direct order to turn over documents to Capitol Hill.