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Trump: "North Korea's Human Rights One of Primary Topics" with Kim; Trump Praises Kim Jong-Un While Slamming Canadian P.M.; Trump/South Korean Leader Speak by Phone after Summit; Clinton Under Fire for Comments on Al Franken Case. Aired 11:30a-12n ET

Aired June 12, 2018 - 11:30   ET



[11:30:00] SEN. JOHN NEELY KENNEDY, (R), LOUISIANA: And trying to reason with someone like that is like trying to hand feed a shark. Doesn't mean you can't do it. But you got to do it very, very carefully.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Joining me live from Washington, former CIA deputy division chief for Korea, Bruce Klingner. Also CNN national security analyst, Kelly Magsamen.

Bruce, President Trump says he brought up human rights, but certainly seems to downplay Kim's record, essentially says, I have to go with what I saw today, what I've seen in the last couple of weeks. Is that good enough?

BRUCE KLINGNER, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW FOR NORTHEAST ASIA, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION & FORMER CIA DEPUTY DIVISION CHIEF FOR KOREA: Well, in 2014, the U.N. Commission of Inquiry concluded a very extensive study in which they concluded that North Korean human rights violations were so widespread and systemic that they constituted crimes against humanity. And the president, I thought, gave a very moving speech about human rights violations during his visit to South Korea last year, as well as during the State of the Union address this year. And who can forget the really heart-rending vision of Otto Warmbier's parents that he called out during his speech. It is a situation that still continuing. And indeed, Kim Jong-Un is on the U.S. sanctions list for human rights violations.

COOPER: Kelly, I mean, you know, other presidents in the past -- FDR met with Stalin, Nixon, you know, met in China. Is it appropriate the comments that the president made? It's one thing to meet with Kim Jong-Un to negotiate. And the president did seem to praise him and go out of his way to praise him. Do you think that was part of the negotiation or do you think it was inappropriate?

KELLY MAGSAMEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I mean, sometimes you have to get down in the mud with your adversaries to advance your interests. But I was struck by the affinity and the flattery that President Trump displayed with Kim Jong-Un. I mean, we have to remember that, you know, this is one of the worst human rights offenders in the world, if not the worst. You know, over 100,000 political prisoners, you know, in detention and labor camps. We're talking about forced rape, torture, et cetera. Not to mention, you know, forced abortions and things like that. It is a pretty despicable situation. I have to admit, you know, there are some images from the summit that really turned my stomach. But, you know, yes, you have to deal with these things. You have to address the nuclear issue. But certainly, you know, the North Korean people have a lot at stake as well. And if diplomacy starts to fail and go badly, I actually think the human rights impact could be even worse for the Korean people down the line.

COOPER: Bruce, during the summit, President Trump showed Kim Jong-Un a video, showing the potential for a more prosperous North Korea. I'll show our viewers some of that video as well. I know you've negotiated with North Koreans in the past. Do you think the financial incentive is something that appeals to Kim Jong-Un or is it more about security and him maintaining his own power?

KLINGNER: Well, Kim certainly wants to relax the international pressure which has been ramped up, particularly in the last two years. But North Korean officials have told me that, you know, they have nuclear weapons in violation of U.N. resolutions as well as their previous commitments because of what they say is the U.S. hostile policy, their fear of being attacked like a rock in Yugoslavia. They said no amount of economic benefits can compensate for that fear of security. So -- and also they are -- the regime is very fearful of opening up the country to what they depict as the contagion of outside influence. And Kim Jong-Un, as if possible, further tightened restrictions of his predecessors against even the inflow of information from the outside world. They fear it could lead to dangerous ideas and lead to a collapse, such as we saw in eastern Europe.

COOPER: It is interesting, Kelly, the president brought up, you know, real estate, beautiful beaches in North Korea, the potential economic opportunities. How much do you think the Kim regime is interested in opening up to foreign businesses, to the world, essentially, how much would they -- would he see that as a threat to his stranglehold on power?

MAGSAMEN: I think that's a good question, Anderson. I agree with Bruce. I think security is a much more paramount issue for Kim Jong- Un than economic opening. It could potentially destabilize the regime. It is also not clear how much of that economic development would actually get to the people of North Korea and how much would really be going to the elites in Pyongyang, sort of folks who are loyal to Kim Jong-Un and the Kim Jong-Un family. So I'm very skeptical on the economic opening aspect and the argument there. I think Kim Jong-Un is far more interested in long-term security assurances.

COOPER: Bruce Klingner, Kelly Magsamen, appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

I want to go back to Kate Bolduan, in New York -- Kate?

[11:34:57] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, thanks so much.

Coming up for us, praise for the dictator and a new warning for the prime minister of Canada. President Trump's new jab and threat against an American ally. That's next.


BOLDUAN: Right now, President Trump is on his way back to the U.S. after the historic meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-Un. What happened behind closed doors? We have to take the president's word for it since there was no official record made, no papers to tear up and tape back together again. But President Trump says no need to worry.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Are there any recordings of it? I wish there were. One of the great memories of all time. I don't have to.


BOLDUAN: So while that is unclear, one thing seems quite clear, President Trump today has a better relationship with North Korea's dictator than he does with Canada's prime minister. Just watch.


[11:40:00] TRUMP: We have developed a very special bond.

He is very talented.


TRUMP: I do trust him, yes.

He's got a great personality. He's, you know, a funny guy. He's a very smart guy. He's a great negotiator. He loves his people, not that I'm surprised by that.


BOLDUAN: All of that President Trump is not saying about U.S. the ally. Instead, that's the praise he reserved for Kim Jong-Un.

So what then is President Trump now saying about Canada's Justin Trudeau?


TRUMP: He gave out a little bit of an obnoxious thing. I actually like Justin. I think he's good. I like him. But he shouldn't have done that. That was a mistake. That's going to cost him a lot of money.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BOLDUAN: So where are we now? Is the world just completely flip- flopped, turned upside down?

Joining me to discuss, CNN political commentator, Republican strategist, Alice Stewart, and CNN national security analyst and former senior advisor to President Obama's National Security Council, Samantha Vinograd.

Thank you for being here, guys.

Sam, the marker going into the meeting with Kim Jong-Un was complete verifiable, irreversible denuclearization. That's not what the president got coming out. That's part of the process they're saying, this is not a one-time deal. He got something, kind of, like joint statements that they have put out in past negotiations. Do you see this as progress?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think it could be progress. I think we're going to have to wait for history to write whether this was another fool's errand or whether it will result in long-term stability. I'm worried about the systemic precedent set yesterday, and we can call this a North Korea model, if you will. Kim Jong-Un just sent a rallying cry to proliferators and sociopaths around the world that if you push the envelope up to the brink of war, if you're that close, then what do you get? You get a summit, you get selfies, and you get concessions from the United States, like postponing or canceling military exercises. So I'm really worried about the long-term signal that was sent yesterday to what it takes to get the United States to give you what you want.

BOLDUAN: To pay attention to you.

Alice, the reaction from Republicans, Lindsey Graham, said he thinks that we are coming out of this stronger, but also listen to Marco Rubio.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R), FLORIDA: He, obviously, I would imagine, doesn't truly believe the guy is that talented. He inherited the family business from his father and grandfather. The family business is dictatorship. He didn't earn it. He inherited it. I think the president is trying to butter the guy up to make it easier to get a deal with him.


BOLDUAN: Conservative voice, Erick Erickson, offered this, Alice, "If Obama had had the last 24 hours that Trump has had, the GOP would be demanding his impeachment."

You say, what?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure. I think we all wish that there were more concessions on the table before going into it. More things that were agreed to before they sat down. But, look, this is the president's style of doing business. He was elected to do things in an unprecedented fashion. Let's say the last three or four days have been extremely unprecedented with regard to how he's treating our allies and our adversaries. Look, when you're go negotiating into a deal, you're not going to be critical of them. You're going to say things flattering to him. But I do believe --


BOLDUAN: You can go into a deal and hold people accountable and say this is what you need to get anything from us.

STEWART: Sure. I think Secretary Pompeo laid the ground work for something that will be historic. And he's been very clear, as you said, this needs to be any type of nuclear deal needs to be complete, verifiable and irreversible. I think those are three concessions that we're not going to give up. And in order for us to say this is a done deal, those things have to be met and we have to have measurable, tangible concrete evidence that that is being done in order for us to say that this is a good deal. Look, the president is taking the first step. This has not been done in the past, we cannot continue to just say we're not going to talk to people who are adversaries to us and expect to get things done. This is an important step. I'm optimistically cautious, but the key is on optimism, because I think this was a very, very good step. But we are a long, long way from complete denuclearization in the peninsula.

BOLDUAN: We sure are.

Sam, let me play a quick clip from this movie trailer thing that the president had created, and showed to Kim Jong-Un during this meeting. Listen.


NARRATOR: Their story is well known. But what will be the result. Destiny Pictures presents a story of opportunity. A new story, a new beginning. One of peace, two men, two leaders, one destiny.


BOLDUAN: Two men, two leaders, one destiny. This is -- he showed Kim this on an iPad he said during a meeting. Do you think this works?

VINOGRAD: I think both men really like propaganda. I think he was playing to something he knows that Kim Jong-Un likes, which is this whole notion of being a major player on the world stage.

But I want to come back to something that Alice said, because we actually have been here before. What is going to differentiate this potential diplomatic breakthrough from other instances in the past where we have had negotiations start, we talked about denuclearization, is whether there's an expiration date on this process and whether we're going to say we're going to negotiate but if something doesn't happen by, name your date, we're going to go to other options.

[11:45:25] BOLDUAN: Those other options do not look good from anyone's vantage point.

Alice, Samantha, thanks so much, guys. Really appreciate it.

Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, another "Me Too" question for Bill Clinton and another answer that is raising eyebrows again. Details on that ahead.


[11:50:05] COOPER: We're getting new details about a call between President Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in that took place soon after the historic summit.

I want to go to CNN's international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, in Seoul, South Korea.

What are you hearing about that, Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: What we're hearing from the president's office here is that this is unprecedented that President Moon had two phone calls now in two consecutive days with President Trump. They're commenting on that. What we know President Moon said to President Trump was that he believes the summit has been a good foundation for peace, not just on the Korean peninsula, but for the whole world. President Trump, according President Moon's spokesman, said that he bonded well with Kim Jong-Un, the North Korean leader, so he was giving feedback on how President Trump thought the whole thing had gone.

What we're hearing from the South Korean side is they want the United States to move swiftly to try to implement this agreement. Also saying they want to sort of have closer, more ongoing coordination with the United States over how this develops.

We're hearing also from the Chinese as well, who clearly are trying to sort of perhaps wind themselves back from the position of helping President Trump put tough sanctions on North Korea. They're hinting that perhaps, as North Korea goes down into the path, some of those sanctions can be eased off. And on the issue that we heard President Trump talk about, about stopping these joint military exercises with South Korea, that is somewhat music to China's ears because they don't like those military exercises. President Trump alluding to a drawn down on troops potentially at some point in Korea as well. That is also something the Chinese would like to hear more of -- Anderson?

COOPER: No doubt about that.

Nic Robertson, thank you very much.

I want to get back to Kate Baldwin, in New York -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Anderson.

Coming up, Bill Clinton does it again. He gets another question about the "Me Too" movement and gives another answer that's making news.


[11:56:14] BOLDUAN: Former President Bill Clinton still out promoting his new book and still having trouble answering questions about the "Me Too" movement. In an interview with PBS, Clinton was asked about Democratic Senator Al Franken, who you remember was forced out of office earlier this year facing allegations of groping multiple women. Here's Clinton now.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the norms have really changed in terms of what you can do to somebody against their will, how much you can crowd their space, make them miserable at work. You don't have to physically assault somebody to make them, you know, uncomfortable at work or at home or in their -- other -- just walking around. That, I think, is good.


BOLDUAN: Joining me right now, CNN politics reporter and editor-at- large, Chris Cillizza.

Chris, how is that book tour going?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yes, I tweeted this yesterday, but I keep thinking, every time I see that clip, Kate, maybe the former president should just sit a few plays out. It's clear the "Me Too" movement, the changes in the culture, which he seems to be trying to acknowledge, are either lost on him or he doesn't get it, or he doesn't know how to verbalize it. We saw this in him talking to Monica Lewinsky early in this book tour, and now this. Again, the norms of what you can force someone to do haven't changed. You can't force someone to do anything. That was the case 25 years ago. It is the case today. I guess he might be referring to sort of conduct that falls into a gray area that's not forcing people on what to do. But again, he just feels like -- it feels, watching him, Kate, like he just doesn't get it. It's that simple.

BOLDUAN: It's not like this is his first time on the national stage.


BOLDUAN: He's a gifted public speaker. It just -- he's not when it comes to this. You can even see him trying to struggle and figure his way out of it.

I want to make sure we have it in here. A Clinton spokesman said this to CNN about what he said, Judi Woodrow. "It's clear from the context, he was not suggesting that there was ever a time that was acceptable to do something against someone's will. He's saying that norms have changed in a variety of ways in how we interact with one another, and that's all for the good."

So is this a --


BOLDUAN: -- word choice or --

CILLIZZA: You don't release a statement clarifying your comments if your comments don't need to be clarified, right? Just point of fact there.

I just think he is a figure that is out of time in some way. I would say the same thing about Rudy Giuliani. In the year 2000 -- and I remember this very well -- Rudy Giuliani for a brief period was running against Hillary Clinton for an open Senate seat. Bill Clinton was coming off his second term as president of the United States. They were two politicians at the top of their game, two people who were leaders within their party. Fast-forward 18 years -- it's two decades. Fast-forward 18 years, they both feel like they are in a black-and-white movie and we're all in technicolor. I think that's a reason why, even before this book tour, you didn't see Democrats clamoring, Kate, to have Bill Clinton on the campaign trail with them, despite the fact he was the unquestioned best Democratic politician of his generation.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Well, and I think -- honestly, Democrats, are they looking for leadership from President Clinton on this issue? I think not.


CILLIZZA: He's got a lot of other -- he's got a lot of other -- I mean, look, his past is his past.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Yes.

CILLIZZA: And I think that's part of the reason why he is --


BOLDUAN: -- so uncomfortable talking about all this stuff.

BOLDUAN: Great to see you, Chris.

CILLIZZA: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: My guess is it's not going to stop, though.

Thanks so much for joining us.

"INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right now.