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Obama Secretly Meeting with Potential 2020 Contenders; Will Trump Bring Up Otto Warmbier in Meeting with Kim Jong-un; Trump Versus America's Allies, Is the Old-World Order Over; Judge Temporarily Blocks Deportation of Pizza Delivery Man. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired June 11, 2018 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: -- the current mayor actually, in Los Angeles, talking about a potential run or just really the future of the Democratic Party, that happened in L.A. And what I was told was that obviously, by definition, given the who's who of these individuals meeting with the President that it is about the future of their political life, but it's also about the party. I'm told that he has also met with people who probably aren't looking to run for President like Chris Coons of Delaware, or Senator Bennet of Colorado, even Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader.
Because the thing to keep in mind -- and I was actually talking about this with this Democratic source I was talking to -- is it's been a wrong time since we've had a President who has left office after a couple terms, left in good standing with the party particularly, and also with the American people who could be a sounding board for people thinking about that, or even thinking about how to deal with people like President Trump. Because the last time we saw a two-term president leave, it was George W. Bush, and there weren't a lot of Republicans seeking his advice on how to be a better sort of politician or be a better leader. Because he left with such poor approval ratings.
BALDWIN: Sure, now with Bill Clinton's recent comments as we've been discussing, not a lot of Democrats are wanting him on the trail. So, you have the most recent Democratic president as the go to guy. Dana Bash with that scoop confirmed. Dana, thank you so much.
Back to the current President here. President Trump stunning allies with a series of insults and a reversal on his support of a joint statement with G-7 leaders. We'll talk live to a top White House adviser on that. Also, I had, will the President bring up Otto Warmbier in his face-to-face meeting with Kim Jong-un. We will ask that too.
[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: When President Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, meet for the first time, denuclearization will be obviously, a massive topic for conversation. But what about human rights abuses, the rogue regime is accused of carrying out? Not only against its own citizens, but Americans as well. 22-year-old Otto Warmbier was detained for 17 months in a North Korean prison only to be returned to his family in a coma. Otto died shortly after coming home in June of last year. And in April his parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against North Korean government. This is what his mother and father told me back in September about just the heartbreaking condition they found their son in when he finally came home from North Korea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED WARMBIER, SON OTTO DIED DAYS AFTER RELEASE FROM NORTH KOREAN DETENTION: The horribleness of what North Korea did to him was so devastating to our family that we experienced a shock that I have never experienced in my life. As a family, we needed to come together and process this as best we could. And over the past three months, we've started the grief process, my kids, Austin and Greta, are amazing. And now we see North Korea with the tensions, claiming to be a victim. And they're claiming that the world is picking on them. And we're here to tell you, as witnesses to the terror of their regime, North Korea is not a victim. So, we felt it was time to tell the truth about the condition that Otto was in. Otto had severe brain damage. Otto was systematically tortured and intentionally injured by Kim and his regime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Can't help but think about those parents that we spoke with last year as all of this is swirling ahead of the summer. I can tell you that Vice President, Mike Pence, says he did speak with Warmbier's parents over the weekend and assured them the President was going into this summit, quote, with the family of Otto Warmbier in his heart. And so, of course, that summit happening soon in Singapore. And that is where my colleague John Berman is, and you know, one of the questions obviously, denuclearization of the entire peninsula on the agenda. But human rights, you know, we saw Shinzo Abe at the White House last week bring up the issue of abductees. Right? The Japanese people abducted who are abducted by North Korea, will that come up?
JOHN BERMAN, CNN CO-ANCHOR OF "NEW DAY": Yes, you know, I have no doubt that Otto Warmbier and his family will be in the heart of the President when he meets with the North Korean leader. But the big question as you say is will they be on his lips? Will he actually raise the issue of human rights? And we simply don't know at this point.
Joining me now to discuss that and many more things is Marc Short, assistant to the President and White House director of legislative affairs. Mark, thanks so much for joining us from very, very far away this afternoon. I'm not sure whether or not you've had a chance to see the pictures of Kim Jong-un walking around the city behind me, being cheered and celebrated as he walks. This is a man who is a brutal dictator. You know, accused of many human rights abuses. Do human rights need to be part of this meeting in just a few hours?
MARC SHORT, WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: I think they do, John. I appreciate CNN showing the Warmbier family's plight. I think that the President was honored to have him as his guests at the state of the union. As you mentioned, the Vice President has been in regular contact with the family. And certainly, they'll be on the hearts and minds of not just the President but Ambassador Bolton, Secretary Pompeo in the entire delegation.
[15:40:01] And you can be assured that been a driving force in negotiations to this point. You're correct. He has been a brutal dictator --
BERMAN: But Marc -- and I'm sorry for the delay. It'll be in the hearts and minds, and again, I don't doubt that for a second. But will the President raise it with Kim?
SHORT: I think that the delegation has been continually raising our human rights concerns, if the president raises it I assume will be there John, but I can't say that for sure from this far away ahead of their meeting, it will be up to the President to decide.
BERMAN: it's Don't know for sure at this point. The President is departing Singapore we understand, several hours after the meeting a little earlier than perhaps we thought he would. The question is, why? Is it because Kim Jong-un announced that he's going to be leaving very shortly after the working lunch as well?
SHORT: I don't think it's that. I think that honestly, Secretary Pompeo, you heard him make his comments today in his press conference that the discussions have been moving rapidly, and I think that hopefully there's progress to announce. I think that's the reason for an earlier departure.
BERMAN: When you say moving rapidly, you just use the word progress. Does moving rapidly mean moving better?
SHORT: John, I think that there is progress that they'll be announcing later that's not for me to announce. But certainly, I think that secretary Pompeo has laid a strong foundation. I think the reason we're at this point is because of the sanctions that this administration has brought. United in more countries in opposition to where North Korea is, particularly in partnership with China, that I think has made a huge difference thus far.
BERMAN: All right, and thanks so much for talking about North Korea. The delegation here is asleep so I'm excited to get a chance to talk to someone at the White House about that. But let me ask you --
SHORT: Appreciate you being awake at three in the morning.
BERMAN: -- about trade, which is something -- thank you, not easy.
Let's talk about trade a little bit. Is it the official position of the White House now that there is a special place in hell for Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau?
SHORT: I think that those are words that I would not have chosen. I think that the reality is that the President felt that they'd had a productive meeting, that you heard the President even make announcements there that our ultimate goal is to have no tariffs and no barriers. But I think that there was offense taken that once airborne on your way to an incredibly important international summit that the Prime Minister of Canada chose to take to the podium to condemn the actions of the United States. So, that's clearly what was the frustration.
But no, I think that the judgment day that separates us from heaven and hell is not dependent upon whether you agree with the President or not. So, I don't think it's the official position. Having said that, John, I think that we are still concerned about the tariffs and barriers that Canada has put on American goods and services. And the President stood up for that. It's one of the reasons he was elected President. Because he made clear to the American voters that he was going to fight for American workers and provide even and fair-trade deals.
BERMAN: If he did feel all of that, why did he agree to sign on to the joint statement to begin with? Was it just because of the words that Justin Trudeau used?
SHORT: I think that the President, as you heard him say, felt that he had a good meeting, as you heard him say a few minutes ago. I saw CNN re-air the report of him, saying he felt like his relationship with the G-7 leaders was a 10. So, I think it was disturbing that once it opposed you raising concerns there in front of the President. Wait until airborne and on the way to Singapore to hold press conferences to do as Trudeau did.
But again, there is far more that binds us together with Canada. There is a lot that we appreciate in that relationship and the friendship. But there are also trade negotiations that have to happen and concerns that we have about not having access to their markets. When you see tariffs on cheese and butter and milk that are between 250 and 300 percent, it's not looking to try and level the playing field. We want to have a playing field level for farmers and producers here in America.
BERMAN: But the field with Canada is pretty level. I mean, there is a trade surplus, a U.S. trade surplus with Canada, correct?
SHORT: Right, I've heard you all have this announcement of goods and services, and showing what that surplus is, and I think the President is focused on goods. So, let's break that down. You're talking about goods and products, agricultural products, manufacturing products, there is a significant deficit. When you add services, you're right, it levels out. But what that means is Canada could be paying a lobbyist lawyer in DC to help with something, that counts as a service. We're focused on making sure that the workers in America are created in the same balance.
BERMAN: I understand. Well, workers of America -- by the way, people who provide services could be drycleaners, they could be consultants, they could be financial advisors. Yes, they could be lawyers as well. That's the nature of the American economy. They're workers also, and I use goods and services because that's what the trade representative office uses too when it measures trade surpluses and deficits with other countries.
[15:45:00] SHORT: That's right, John, I think the President's made clear, he wants to focus more on the good side of that equation. And I do use the lawyers because that is actually a larger percentage of the services. That is one of the bigger services that's provided. So that's why I'm using that as opposed to a drycleaner as you may use. I don't think that many people coming across the border to get their shirts dry cleaned. I think that's very different, this is talking about lawyers.
BERMAN: Well, it's not just lawyers. Again, is not just lawyers and if you're going to talk about the tariffs, the dairy tariffs are very high that Canada places on U.S. products. But what about American tariffs that they put on tobacco, for instance. American tariffs placed on shelled peanuts, American tariffs on paperclips. The U.S. does it too. In fact, you know, Canada on average actually has a lower tariff rate overall than the United States does.
SHORT: I think what the President said the other day, is he wants us to fight and to make sure that tariffs are reduced and eliminated, and trade barriers are eliminated. In many cases it's not just a matter of the tariff, John, it's actually a provision that prevents you from actually bringing products into various countries, including Canada.
So, there are in many cases barriers that just even prevent us from selling. So, there's a lot there we need to work on. There's a lot the President is going to keep fighting for.
BERMAN: Marc Short, it's great to have you with us, today, I do appreciate it from very, very far away. I know you'll be watching there just like we will, the results of this historic meeting here.
SHORT: John, thanks for having me on.
BERMAN: Right -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: 3:45 in the morning where you are, John Berman. My goodness, hours from this mega Summit.
But I want to take you to this story, a small legal victory for a pizza delivery man back here in the States. He's under the threat of deportation after trying to drop off in order at a military base he'd been to several times before. We'll talk to an attorney represents him, next.
[15:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: There is a legal victory of sorts for a New York pizza worker who was days away from being deported. He gets to stay in the U.S. for now. Attorneys for Ecuadorian native, Pablo Villavicencio, won a last-minute emergency stay. They now have until July 20th to explain to the court why this married father of two should get to stay in the U.S. Pablo Villavicencio is currently being detained by ICE. He was arrest earlier this month while trying to just deliver this pizza to this Brooklyn army base. Something he had apparently done time and time again before using a New York I.D. card. But this time it wasn't accepted, and a background check revealed he was wanted for immigration law violations. So, with me now, Jennifer Williams, an attorney for the legal aid society who represents Mr. Pablo Villavicencio. Nice to have you here at CNN. I want you to just first start with those first 24 hours. How did you and your team fight this?
JENNIFER WILLIAMS, REPRESENTS NEW YORK PIZZA DELIVERY WORKER DETAINED BY ICE: It was really intense, and it's been quite an emotional roller coaster really for the past 72 hours. A call had come out to our office saying that, you know, someone needed some help that was post-order. And I'm thinking, oh, it is just another typical case that we, you know, calls that we get from the New York immigration coalition to assist somebody. And then we quickly learned it was, you know, Pablo the pizza guy. And we realized that we had to work really, really fast on the information that we learned. They were going to deport him as soon as Monday. So, we quickly filed a stay of removal application before U.S. immigration -- sorry, ICE.
BALDWIN: It's OK. For ICE. It's OK, there is a lot of acronyms.
This is gone through and so now you wait until the end of July to learn I guess the next step of his fate. In the meantime, as we said, he's married. He's got these two kids. I read about his itty-bitty who has some sort of congenital heart disease. He's the primary breadwinner. Yet, you know, he came to this country illegally from Ecuador in 2008 and he'd been working on his citizenship and he ten years to do that.
WILLIAMS: Well, I just want to make it very that he applied for asylum when the entered the U.S. back in 2008 and he -- he ended up taking voluntary departure and I'll explain that many people who have pending asylum applications in fact often take voluntary departure. Because you hear that in immigration court it is basically death penalty cases in a traffic court-like setting. So, when you are applying for asylum there's a high standard for you to prove your claim. And if prior attorney is informing you that it doesn't look like you're going to be successful on the merits. And say, well listen, you could take a voluntary departure order. Many, many people will do so because they're just so afraid to have a final order of removal.
BALDWIN: We'd love to talk to his wife. I'm sure a lot of people have reached out to her. But just what she's going through in this fight to have her husband back. Jennifer Williams, thank you so much for coming by. We'll continue that conversation on how your fight is going.
Also, just into CNN, Jeff Sessions has just overturned asylum protections for domestic violence victims. The move reversed a 2014 court decision that indicated that many domestic violence victims from central America are entitle to asylum protection in this country. Attorney General's decision now sets a very high bar for those types of claims. They now must prove their country's government is unable or unwilling to help them and that it condoned the criminal action.
Let's take you to Singapore. Live pictures here as President Trump and Kim Jong-un getting ready to meet face-to-face. We will show you around Kim's luxurious hotel coming up.
[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: The heartbreaking deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade have brought suicide back into the national conversation and just in the past week the National Suicide Prevention Hotline has seen a 25 percent increase in the number of calls it's been receiving. The director of the hotline tells us it could be an opportunity to lower the suicide rate if more people would come forward and speak publicly about how they're coping with these suicidal thoughts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN DRAPER, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: What we have seen is actually studies that have shown that when people talk about their positive coping through suicidal moments and they share them with the media or in a public forum. It's been associated with a reduction in suicide rates. It's basically a contagion of hope that we can spread.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of self-harm, place call the number on your screen. That is 1-800-273- talk. That's 1-800-273-8255. The Suicide Prevention Hotline.
And that does it for me. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Keep it right here, "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Thanks, Brooke. The President couldn't strike a milk deal. Can he strike a nuke deal? "THE LEAD" starts right now.
Countdown to history, President Trump moments away from sitting down with Kim Jong-un. Kim looking loose even posing --