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Trump Leaves G-7 Summit Early Amid High Trade Tensions; Trump Heads to Singapore for North Korean Summit; Trump: My Relationship with Allies "Is a 10"; TV Chef Anthony Bourdain Dead at 61; CDC Report Reveals Rising Suicide Rates in Almost Every State; Trump Considers Thousands of Pardon Cases; Korean-Americans Place Hope in Trump to Find Family Members After Korean War. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired June 9, 2018 - 13:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:00:44] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right, hello, again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield, in Washington, D.C.

We start with this breaking news. President Trump officially on his way to Singapore for the historic sit-down with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-Un. Trump leaving the G-7 summit early as tensions are high with allies over trade.

This is the picture capturing the mood of the summit. Angela Merkel's press secretary sent out this photo of the leaders surrounding Trump during negotiations. Angela Merkel there leaning over the table, looking at Trump. You see arms crossed there. And here's another angle from the White House director of social media. Trump sitting down, armed folded, as other world leaders stand around him.

Now Trump is focused on his big meeting with Kim Jong-Un. Trump weighing in on the high-stakes moments before he departed for Singapore, saying he will know within the first minute if things will pan out positively with Kim Jong-Un.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTOF THE UNITED STATES: In just a few minutes, I'll be leaving for Singapore. I'll be on a mission of peace and we will carry in really -- in my heart, we're going to be carrying the hearts of millions of people, people from all over the world. We have to get denuclearization. We have to get something going. We really think North Korea will be in a tremendous place in a very short period of time. But I really feel confident. I feel that Kim Jong-Un wants to do something great for his people. And he has that opportunity. And he won't have that opportunity again. It's never going to be there again. So it's a one-time -- it's a one-time shot. And I think it's going to work out very well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: CNN senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson, is standing by in Singapore. First, let's start with CNN's White House correspondent, Boris

Sanchez, in Quebec City.

Boris, we saw some of the photographs that Angela Merkel's press secretary sent out. Is that indicative? Those images indicative of some of the sentiments being expressed upon his departure now?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think so, Fred, yes. They looked like renaissance paintings almost. They will be ripe for interpretation because of the body language in those photos. You see President Trump there, his armed crossed, almost staunch in his position as these world leaders are leaning into him. We heard just yesterday from French President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter that he would attempt to continue a dialogue with President Trump, to try to convince him, to try to persuade him, into a more globally inclusive world view, while President Trump, sources indicate, was aggressively defending his America First policies. The press has maintained that his relationships with some of America's oldest and closest allies are still at high levels, despite the fact that he did mention during that press availability earlier he believes the United States has essentially been a piggy bank that many have dipped their hands into.

Listen to the president's view on his time here at the G-7 and his relationships with his allies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The level of relationship is a 10. We have a great relationship. Angela and Emmanuel and Justin, I would say the relationship is a 10. And I don't blame them. I blame, as I said, I blame our past leaders. For allowing this to happen. There's no reason this should happen. There's no reason we should have big trade deficits with virtually every country in the world. I'm going long beyond the G-7. There's no reason for this. It's the fault of the people that proceeded me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: One other note, Fred, there were a few sorts of contentious moments during that impromptu press conference. When the president was asked about his comments related to Russia rejoining the G-7, therefore, recreating the G-8, he stood by those remarks, saying he believes a G-8 is more meaningful than a G-7. He was asked specifically, when he mentioned that Russia was booted from the G-8 when something happened, he was asked specifically about the invasion and annexation of Crimea. He said that reporters should ask President Obama about that, that that's something that happened during a previous administration, that he likely wouldn't have had the same attitude that Obama had, had that happened under his watch -- Fred?

[13:05:20] WHITFIELD: All right, Boris Sanchez, thank you so much.

Now, let's go to CNN's Ivan Watson who joins us live from Singapore.

So last-minute security preparations under way before the big summit. Tell us what, perhaps, President Trump might be seeing once he arrives.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, he'll see views like the one behind me here. It's less than 24 hours before he's due to arrive here for this potentially historic meeting, one that he has described as a mission of peace. But also laying out that this would be a one-time deal potentially for Kim Jong-Un. That this would be the one chance for the North Korean leader to make some kind of agreement with the U.S. Also, according to President Trump's own statements, he seemed to be kind of, you know, lowering expectations, yet again, on what could be accomplished at this meeting. Recall, in the past, the U.S. has made it clear that it wants complete verifiable irreversible denuclearization. But in his own words, President Trump hinted at something much less monumental in his potential first meeting with Kim Jong-Un. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I think the minimum would be relationship. You'd start at least a dialogue. As a deal person, I've done very well with deals. What you want to do is start that. Now, I'd like to accomplish more than that. But at a minimum, I do believe at least we'll have met each other. We will have seen each other. Hopefully, we will have liked each other. And we'll start that process.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATSON: So he's made it clear that he might be content simply with establishing a personal relationship with the North Korean dictator rather than walking away with complete removal of all of North Korea's nuclear arsenal -- Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: Ivan Watson, thank you so much.

Here to discuss this historic summit, Democratic Representative, from California, Judy Chu, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Congresswoman, welcome. Good to see you.

REP. JUDY CHU, (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: What are your expectations? What do you anticipate the U.S., President Trump, can accomplish in this meeting?

CHU: Well, I hope that he can accomplish world peace, and that he can get the process going for denuclearization of North Korea. But I am very, very concerned, because he has not prepared himself. He doesn't think he has to prepare. In fact, he said it's his attitude that will carry the whole thing. But there are many details that are important to have a successful summit in North Korea.

WHITFIELD: He said he's been preparing all of his life. He also just said this morning that he believes he can size up, he'll know within a minute, you know, how things will go. How wise is it for him to kind of telegraph that sentiment?

CHU: I wonder. He is a person who is impulsive, a person who is subject to anger. If he doesn't have the facts in hand, what is to say he won't just walk out when a critical moment occurs? We don't know that. To say he's been preparing all his life, when pretty much all his life he's been doing hotel deals and development deals, is disingenuous.

WHITFIELD: Ultimately, this summit is about denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. We've seen from Kim and people around him that made them a little nervous where there were parallels, to the Libya framework as a potential goal here. Then today, you had the president saying in comments North Korea will be a tremendous place and that he believes good things will ultimately happen there. What is the goal as far as you can tell?

CHU: It will be to begin the process of denuclearization. As in the Iran nuclear deal, it was step by step. You can't have a big denuclearization and, in fact, it's not realistic to have Kim Jong-Un denuclearize the entire program that he has overnight. It would take negotiation and it would take a measured approach in order for this to be successful. Because we also want to make sure that we have security in that peninsula, including our troops in South Korea.

[13:10:06] WHITFIELD: And, Congresswoman, this morning the president also said, I'm quoting now, "there's a good chance," unquote, the meeting would not work out. Saying he'd know, you know, almost immediately by reading Kim Jong-Un. How hopeful or potentially hurtful is it to say things potentially may not go well ahead of traveling to Singapore for the summit?

CHU: Well, I do believe that President Trump is lowering expectations. I would hope he would hopefully have a more optimistic attitude about doing the summit. There are so many people that really do want to have a successful summit in North Korea. Certainly, those in South Korea are waiting with baited breath. But all of us want peace in Asia.

WHITFIELD: Best-case scenario, who are your expectations?

CHU: I hope they will set the first few steps for denuclearization. And that would be showing what kind of inventory there is. There's an exchange of information. Outlying what kind of steps are necessary to begin this process. It certainly won't be overnight. If they're able to establish the parameters, that would be a great step forward.

WHITFIELD: What does it mean to you when you hear the president who says, you know, this is a one-time shot?

CHU: Well, I wonder what kind of outlook he has. It is important to continue on with this effort and to be able to establish those various steps. And, in fact, it would take very experienced people in the State Department to continue this effort so we know what kind of parameters are necessary to have a peaceful Korea, and a Korea, a North Korea, indeed, that does not have nuclear weapons.

WHITFIELD: In fact, Congresswoman, we have that sound from the president pulled. Let's listen to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: This has probably rarely been done. It's unknown territory in the truer sense. But I really feel confident. I feel that Kim Jong- Un wants to do something great for his people. He has that opportunity. And he won't have that opportunity again. It's never going to be there again. I really believe he's going to do something very positive for his people, for himself, his family. He's got an opportunity the likes of which I think almost, if you look into history, very few people have ever had. He can take that nation with those great people and truly make it great. So it's a one-time -- it's a one-time shot. And I think it's going to work out very well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Is this simply direct-messaging to Kim Jong-Un?

CHU: It's a veiled threat, I would say, in that he's saying it should only be a one-shot process. But at the same time, I do think that he's pointing out the fact that we need to have some kind of action. We need to have some kind of positive signal that these kinds of steps can go forward. Certainly, the people of South Korea are looking at this and saying that this could be their hope to reunite with North Korea and their relatives. This is our hope for Asia in terms of having peace. And for the world, we would be able to free ourselves from the worry of nuclear weapons in North Korea.

WHITFIELD: Congresswoman Judy Chu, we'll leave it there. Thank you so much.

CHU: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Still to come, the president says his relationship with America's allies is a 10. Ripping reports that his spats with world leaders are fake news. But how does the rest of the G-7 see it?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:18:17] WHITFIELD: President Trump wrapped up his short visit to the G-7 summit early with a free-wheeling opportunity to talk to reporters, let's call it. The president used the opportunity to blast reports of rifts with U.S. allies in the meeting before departing the summit with leaders of the major industrialized nations.

Trump dismissed talk that the U.S. is becoming increasingly isolated under his leadership. And claimed he had a great relationship with the other G-7 leaders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: This relationship is a 10. We have a great relationship. Angela and Emmanuel, Justin, I would say the relationship is a 10. And I don't blame them. I blame, as I said, I blame our past leaders for allowing this to happen. There was no reason this should happen. There's no reason we should have big trade deficits with virtually every country in the world. I'm going well beyond the G-7. There's no reason for this. It's the fault of the people that preceded me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right. With me now to discuss this is Jay Newton Small, a contributor for "Time" magazine. Also joining me Stephen Collinson, who is a CNN politics senior reporter. And Michelle Kosinski, who is a CNN senior diplomatic correspondent.

Good to see all of you.

Michelle, you first.

Blaming his predecessor, first-name basis when talking about the other leaders. Then we know Angela Merkel's office has sent photographs, still photographs, of maybe capturing the tension or the moments around some of these G-7 leaders and President Trump there. Does this look like that 10 of a relationship?

[13:19:57] MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: I really felt like this touched some kind of nerve. I mean, the question caused him to go off on the questioner, to trash the U.S. media and CNN in particular, for asking the question about the relationships. Then he goes all out to say these relationships are a 10, a 10, you know, kind of never been better. Every observer, including people taking part in this, would say otherwise. During some of the video of him arriving at the G-7, you saw him kind of hang back from the crowd a little bit to talk with Angela Merkel. And to see the pictures you thought, OK, they're having a nice chat between them. We know just weeks before this, she was at the White House and they had a meeting in which he was lecturing her on trade to a point that her entourage felt it was shocking. Or for him to be calling Emmanuel Macron, of France, a "special president" and, you know, highlighting the good points. But they just had this terrible phone call days earlier and a Twitter war, a Twitter war with Canada. So how is this a 10? I did just hear from one senior European diplomat, who said to that remark, that he must mean there are 10 things on which we totally disagree or like the title of the movie "10 Things I Hate about You."

WHITFIELD: Oh my goodness.

KOSINSKI: Joking to some extent but he, in the same sense, felt like Trump's remark was something of a joke.

WHITFIELD: All right, Stephen, and Michelle brings up, just prior to this G-7, we already know that many of these G-7 leaders were already -- their feathers ruffled about the Paris Climate Accord, about Iran, about trade. And then the president would say relationships, you know, are beautiful, and he would be late for the gender equality breakfast this morning, and then have to get out of the G-7 early, albeit, for, you know, Singapore and for this highly anticipated summit with North Korea. But what might this say about relations between the president and these very important industrialized nations?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: I think the point here is it's not about personal relationships as much as the president conducts diplomacy. It's about the sort of quality of the friendship he has, say, with the king of Saudi Arabia or China's President Xi Jinping. This is about deep and widening divisions between the United States and the rest of the industrialized democracies in the Western world. And that's what it's about. You mentioned the Iran deal, Paris trade. But it's even deeper than that. It's about a fundamental ideological and political disconnect between Donald Trump's populous nationalist policies, which many in Europe see as a threat and this sort of antithesis of Western democratic values, and what these leaders want to see. It's quite possible he can have a superficial friendship with Macron or Theresa May, the British prime minister, or the other leaders it's these deep divisions that are going to cause massive questions in the sort of structure of the Western world. And that's playing directly into the foreign policy goals of nations like China and Russia.

WHITFIELD: Jay?

JAY NEWTON SMALL, CONTRIBUTOR, TIME MAGAZINE: If I can just add, it may not, in factual reality, be about personal relationships. I do think in Trump's mind it is about personal relationships. It is this sort of, you know, Louis XIV, king, sort of like what's good for the state is good for me, and what's good for me is good for the state, and "I am the state" kind of mentality. In his head, he's saying, I have great relationship, I have a level-10 relationship with Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau, so therefore, everything is peachy keen. And it's nothing at all about the actual policies and the actual things and the actual disagreements that these world leaders have with the United States.

WHITFIELD: So he doesn't see a correlation between the personal contact and the policies that may come with these contacts?

NEWTON SMALL: Absolutely. I mean, it's all about personality for them.

WHITFIELD: And so I wonder if the president might be thinking this North Korea summit, this highly anticipated summit, just might be recovery for all of these, you know, I guess attributes that are less than savory in terms of the G-7 summit. But perhaps this is the forefront, this is what he's thinking about.

KOSINSKI: He has a real chance here. This could. This could be his monumental victory. But I think leading up to that, he takes a lot of that great potential away from it by saying these odd things like trying to use bluster, like I'm going to know in one minute, first of all, whether Kim Jong-Un is going to be serious and whether this is going to be successful. One minute, I'm going to know. I'm going to touch and feel.

You don't really need to say all of that but, OK, that's his style. He wants to go in pumping this up. I think what observers worry about is when he talks about not really needing to prepare very much, and I'm just going to know. You know, that's where the concern lies.

WHITFIELD: Do we believe that?

(CROSSTALK)

KOSINSKI: How prepared are you really?

[13:25:02] NEWTON SMALL: That's the personality here, right? It's like saying my chemistry with Kim Jong-Un is the only thing that matters. Whether or not we're going to be pals and buddies and potentially play golf together, that's sort of the way he imagines these things.

KOSINSKI: Yes, when he's questioned, OK, well, what if you're giving away too much? If you're so sure you're going to win the day, if it doesn't work out your way, are you giving Kim Jong-Un a win by having this sit-down and, you know, expressing all this great optimism. And he responds by attacking the press and calling it "fake news."

WHITFIELD: His measure of success is clearly --

(CROSSTALK)

COLLINSON: We shouldn't ignore the sort of domestic political implications of this. We're all sitting here saying this was a bit of a disaster summit. Donald Trump went to a meeting with a bunch of European elites and feuded with them about trade. He took shots at the press. He talked up the big political initiatives.

WHITFIELD: Right.

The measurements of success are different.

COLLINSON: Yes.

WHITFIELD: He sees this as, you know, viable. This is part of his strategy. Shaking things up.

COLLINSON: And while he says he's going to know whether the summit in Singapore is successful in the first minute, nobody thinks he's going to come out of there and say, this was a complete failure. He's going to say it was a success, even if it doesn't agree a great deal.

(CROSSTALK)

COLLINSON: And it's just the start of the long diplomatic process. So this, you know, this is also about domestic politics as well as foreign politics.

WHITFIELD: We'll leave there for now.

Thank so much, everyone. Appreciate it. Jay, Stephen and Michelle, appreciate it.

Next, the legacy of a CNN friend and colleague. We'll remember the life of renowned chef and TV host, Anthony Bourdain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:31:02] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: People around the world are sharing their memories of famed chef, Anthony Bourdain, a gifted storyteller and writer, who died at the age of 61 after taking his own life. He traveled the world for us in his CNN series "PARTS UNKNOWN," bridging cultural divides through food.

I had the opportunity to talk with him about his experiences back in 2010.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, FORMER CNN HOST, "PARTS UNKNOWN": I sort of overnight -- had an overnight success with an over-testosteroned, obnoxious memoir about a not-very-distinguished career in the restaurant business. One day, I was standing next to a deep fryer, and the next, I had this gig where I'm traveling around the world making television any way I want, anywhere I want, living the dream.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So that was before "PARTS UNKNOWN" and he became part of the CNN family. At the time, he was promoting his book, "Medium Raw," and was also on the Travel Channel. But since he's been in the family, we have all felt like we have lost a very deep, close friend.

CNN correspondent, Alex Marquardt, looks at how, in both life and death, Bourdain continues to bring us all closer together.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOUDAIN: For me, one of life's great joys is cheese.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Anthony Bourdain, the recipe for understanding people, understanding cultures around the world, and creating a hit TV show couldn't be more straight forward.

BOURDAIN: We ask very simple questions, what makes you happy, what do you eat, what do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions. We tend to get some really astonishing answers.

MARQUARDT: Bourdain was found dead Friday morning by a friend in a hotel room in France where he was filming for his award-winning CNN show, "PARTS UNKNOWN." The cause of his death was suicide.

Bourdain started working in kitchens at a young age and would become a celebrity chef and author as he made his way into television. The Smithsonian called him the "original rock star of the culinary world," the "Elvis of bad-boy chefs."

It was his way with words, "his irreverence, curiosity, ease and warmth" that fueled his massive following.

Bourdain didn't shy away from talking about past demons. Heavy drug use that included an addiction to heroin as well as cocaine use. So bad, he said, he should have die in the his 20s but instead lived what he called a charmed life.

BOURDAIN (voice-over): Massachusetts is quite small-town America.

MARQUARDT: He addressed his past head-on while highlighting the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts in an episode of his show.

BOURDAIN (on camera): But I thought I'd start the show by returning to Provincetown, all the way out on the tip of Cape Cod, which is where, at age 17, I started washing dishes and started working in the restaurant business as a summer job and began my sort of trajectory in the restaurant business and into drugs. Somebody who wakes up in the morning and their first order of business is, get heroin, I know what that's like.

MARQUARDT: Bourdain came to CNN in 2013, bringing his show to a global audience. Throughout his TV career, he won award after award.

BOURDAIN: First order of business, dinner.

MARQUARDT: It was the food that lured people in. But viewers knew it was about so much more.

BOURDAIN: Incredible.

MARQUARDT: Quickly finding themselves immersed in an experience that focused on people, exotic places. and faiths from around the world.

He insisted he wasn't a journalist. But over the years, forged a unique style of storytelling that was unmatched.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Alex, thank you so much.

Bourdain's passing comes just days after the suicide of famed fashion designer, Kate Spade. And now a new troubling CDC report reveals suicide rates are on the rise in almost every state. From 1999 to 2016, 25 states had increases of more than 30 percent. And in more than half of those deaths, the person did not have a diagnosed medical condition.

Joining us now, CNN senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen.

Elizabeth, what are the factors that seem to be contributing to this spike?

[13:35:13] DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, the spike, I think, was really shocking to so many people. And really we don't know exactly why it went up so much. However, there are a couple of theories. One of them is when you look at 1999 to 2016, that encompasses the economic downturn of 2008 and that certainly was so hard on so many people. It also encompasses, and we were just talking about this with Anthony Bourdain, the opioid epidemic. So that's when it really was on the rise. And so that might have something to do with it, too. But in general, we're not entirely clear on what all the factors might be.

WHITFIELD: Elizabeth, you know, what are the signs to look for. You know, if someone is concerned about someone very close to them or perhaps someone personally watching this, is, you know, a feeling, a very troubled. What are the signs? That should people do?

COHEN: Right. It's so important, Fredricka, to know the signs and to not be afraid to talk about it with that person. For example, increasing isolation, increasing feeling of despair, sleep patterns change, and a change in social media behavior. If you can look on their social media pages and see, wow, they used to be very connected and now they're not or any other abrupt change could be a sign that something's going on. Mental health experts will say, don't be afraid to say to that person, if you're really concerned, are you thinking about suicide? I think people are afraid they will put the idea in their head, which is not the case. If they're thinking about it, they're thinking about it.

Also, always when we're talking about this, Fred, I want to note that sometimes you don't see those signs. Sometimes people do things very unexpectedly. Even mental health experts, psychiatrists and psychologists, will miss these signs in their own patients and they will go on to take their own lives. So people, survivors should not feel guilty if they were not expecting a suicide.

WHITFIELD: Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much.

COHEN: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Really important information.

Here's the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It is 1-800-273-8255. That's 1-800-273-TALK. People are there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

And later, CNN will pay tribute to Anthony Bourdain with a special night of episodes of "PARTS UNKNOWN." It begins tonight, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, only on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:40:00] WHITFIELD: Hello. Welcome back.

All right, President Trump is making it clear he enjoys his pardoning powers. And he says he is considering thousands of cases right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The pardons are very positive things for a president. I think you see the way I'm using them. We are looking at literally thousands of names of people that have come to our attention that have been treated unfairly or where their sentence is far too long.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right, joining me now, civil rights attorney and law professor, Avery Friedman, and criminal defense attorney, Richard Herman. Good to see you both.

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: Hey, Fred.

RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: Good to see you, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: OK, so let's talk about why does the president want to focus on pardons now, Avery, in your view?

FRIEDMAN: Because he might be facing the question of whether or not he's going to pardon himself. He said this week, Fredricka, that he's, quote, "seriously thinking," end quote, of pardoning Muhammad Ali. Except for one problem, Muhammad Ali's conviction was overturned unanimously by the Supreme Court. So I'm not sure how serious or how much thinking is going on.

But on the question of self-pardoning, there's no Supreme Court decision. You're right there in front of the capital building. Right down the street, the Supreme Court may have to decide that question.

WHITFIELD: Yes, so the Ali family attorney, you know, said thanks, we appreciate that, but it really won't be necessary because, you know, the Supreme Court had overturned that back in the day. And perhaps the president just wasn't up on all of his research on that item, Richard, but he did elude to thousands of considerations being made. Is it your view he'll make these considers on his own or will he be using the Justice Department's pardon advisory program?

HERMAN: Does it surprise you he wasn't up to speed on the law, the rules and regulations? Not me, Fred. It's unbelievable.

You know, the pardoning power that the president has in Article II of the Constitution.

FRIEDMAN: Yes.

HERMAN: There it is. It gives him broad discretionary power to pardon and/or to commute sentences. You saw recently he commuted a prison sentence. That means you take the person and let them out of prison. They can get out early. That's a commutation. The pardon is a full exoneration.

FRIEDMAN: Right.

HERMAN: And he's claiming he's going to pardon thousands of people. But he stands -

WHITFIELD: Isn't there usually a process though?

HERMAN: There's mumbo jumbo, Fred. Fred, this is mumbo jumbo. I could pardon myself, but why I would I do that, because I didn't do anything. It's preposterous. Or Rudy Giuliani, who has lost his mind, saying that the president could shoot someone, Comey, in the Oval Office, and not be prosecuted or could not be pardoned. I mean, this is absurdity that's taking place right now in the country. We're a democracy. We're not an autocracy. We know he loves Un, in North Korea, and he loves Putin. But he is not the king. The foundation for our republic was to do away with the king. He's not the king. There are --

[13:45:04] FRIEDMAN: Well, he may be.

(CROSSTALK)

HERMAN: There's the Constitution. And he's not doing that on a daily basis. And these nine or 10 lies a day he's telling is an abomination for this country and the office --

FRIEDMAN: There it is.

HERMAN: -- an embarrassment for this country, Fred.

(CROSSTALK)

HERMAN: The Supreme Court will extend the pardoning power.

WHITFIELD: Avery, do you see this as smoke signals that the president is sending to people that he's particularly try doing appeal to since in some of the names we've been hearing, except for the most recent commutation, you know, there's celebrity status associated with people he has expressed an interest in pardoning thus far.

FRIEDMAN: I think he can do it. I think every president has. Jimmy Carter pardoned thousands of people who, you know, refused to be drafted. So there's plenty of precedent.

The more complicated issue, I think, is whether or not if he finds himself in trouble. And believe it or not, there's some research. When Richard Nixon, 44 years ago, was getting ready to resign, wanted to find out if he could pardon himself, the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel wrote an opinion and said, number one, no one's above the law, and, number two, a man can't be a judge in his own case. That's the existing authority. Let's see if it winds up having to be eventually tested because we don't know what's going to happen right now.

HERMAN: Fred --

WHITFIELD: Yes?

HERMAN: -- the pardoning power is for crimes against the United States. It's not for state crimes. It's for federal crimes.

FRIEDMAN: That's right, that's right.

(CROSSTALK)

HERMAN: And Article II of the Constitution, Fred, it's the opinion of many constitutional scholars the president has his broad pardoning power, but he cannot pardon himself for impeachment or removal of office. If he tried to do that, that, in and of itself, could provide grounds for impeachment and/or add to the mental intent necessary for an obstruction of justice charge. This is --

FRIEDMAN: We'll see.

HERMAN: This is a democracy, Fred, and there are rules and regulations. And ultimately, I say, again, it's probably -- because he's not going to honor a subpoena by Mueller. He's not going to go to any grand jury. He's going to ignore everything. Because he thinks he's invincible.

(CROSSTALK)

FRIEDMAN: The question is the pardon.

HERMAN: Ultimately, the Supreme Court is going to determine the extent of his pardoning power.

WHITFIELD: We'll leave it there, gentlemen. Always good to see you.

(CROSSTALK)

HERMAN: Always good to see you, too.

WHITFIELD: Appreciate it.

All right, still to come, Korean-Americans placing their hopes in President Trump as he holds that historic planned summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-Un in Singapore. Could the summit be the first step to finding out what happened to their family members after the Korean War?

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[13:52:26] WHITFIELD: All right, right now, President Trump is on his way to Singapore for a historic meeting with North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un. And at a press conference wrapping up the G-7 conference this morning, Trump said that he is optimistic about the summit, calling it "North Korea's one-time shot to make things right for its people."

Meantime, back at home, some Korean-Americans are anticipating what may come of all of this. Keong Ju-Lee (ph) escaped North Korea as a teenager, leaving his four siblings behind. Now 70-plus years later, Lee hopes the meeting will help start a conversation possibly allowing him and others to find out what happened to their families.

CNN's Natasha Chen has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Keong Ju Lee (ph) is in his 90s, living in a senior home in Annandale, Virginia. His quiet life now is 6,700 miles from the violence where he began.

KEONG JU LEE (ph), KOREAN-AMERICAN LOOKING FOR FAMILY IN KOREA: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

CHEN: Lee is a poet. This poem is one of his favorites about his hometown in North Korea.

With talks signaling a change in the dynamics between the U.S. and North Korean leaders, Lee is talking about the life and siblings he left there.

LEE (through translation): I pray every morning, to this day. Every morning, I pray for their protection, if they are alive.

CHEN: Through a translator, Lee told me he had to escape North Korea, because, as a teenager, he joined a student movement protesting the Communists. During one protest, he remembers being shot at.

LEE: We kept on marching, carrying the bloody, dead bodies of fellow students in carts, as we kept demonstrating.

CHEN: He went into hiding and got help from an unlikely place. A Communist official happened to be friends with Lee's brother, and despite being political opposites, helped Lee with an escape route.

Lee showed me later pictures of when he fought with the South Korean army against the North. He even has a picture with his mother, who eventually escaped to join him in the South. But neither he nor his mother ever heard from his older brothers or older sister again.

LEE: They are probably passed away by now. That's what I think.

CHEN: In recent years, North and South Korea have facilitated family reunions, bringing together relatives who have been caught on opposite sides of the 38th parallel after the war.

But there's no channel for Korean-Americans like Lee to reunite with family. And as this older generation passes away, this summit is perhaps a last chance for resolution, a summit that leaves Lee skeptical.

[13:55:02] LEE: In the end, I don't think there could be any good results. Getting a good result would mean falling for Kim Jong-Un's trap.

CHEN: That doesn't stop him from thinking about what it would be like to see his siblings again.

LEE: There are no words. We would just hug each other and shed our tears and say, "Thank God." That's all there is. How could I even express how I feel?

CHEN: Natasha Chen, CNN, Annandale, Virginia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And we have so much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM. And it all starts right after a quick break.

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