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CNN NEWSROOM

Report: Bill Clinton Says Norms Have Changed for What You Can Do to People Against Their Will; Biden Says Talking to Dictators Is One Thing and Embracing Them Is Another; Some Say Attacks by Hollywood Stars on Trump Help Trump; Corker Says GOP Afraid to Poke the Bear, Trump. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired June 12, 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] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: He just -- Symone, and he's right, this is a man who has a gift would words but he has stepped in it when it comes to me-too and he just doesn't get it.

SYMONE SANDERS, FORMER NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY, BERNIE SANDERS 2016: I want to agree with Ana here. Because this hits close to home, because the President had not truly sat down and analyzed and reckoned with his own situation with not just Monica Lewinsky but a number of other women, I think that's what's happening here. I would love to believe that the former President got his words mixed up. I think I hear what he was trying to say.

BALDWIN: Got his words mixed up? Symone. Symone.

SANDERS: When I read it and heard it, I was like OK, perhaps, we should stop talking about it period for him. What I believe he was trying to say was look, previously folks didn't necessarily report what was happening to them, report misconduct in the workplace or a myriad of other places because perhaps they did not feel they could report it. Now it is widely acceptable, maybe, for lack of a better term to report those things. Women are being believed. Their voices are being heard and that is in fact a good thing.

BALDWIN: But isn't it also, I'm listening to you, and Ana, I want to hear from you in responding to Symone, you're turning it on the women, but this is also about some of the men, isn't he basically saying, well, times have changed so I can't really -- like I used to.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think what he's saying is times have changed so the things that may have been OK for me and others to do 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago are not OK now. But here's the thing with Bill. You know, Bill Clinton is not Donald Trump. He doesn't need Symone or me to say what he meant to say. This guy doesn't need translation. He can do it himself, but it is incredibly awkward and incredibly painful and obviously something he doesn't want to do. Any time he is answering any of these questions, he gets much more scrutiny than any regular person answering them because of his history, which we know.

Look, I'm not one of these that thinks that Bill Clinton got off Scott free. He didn't. He had to face his daughter, he had to face his wife, he had to face the American people. His obituary is going to say what happened with Monica Lewinsky, it's part of his legacy, part of his history. 20 years later he's having to answer for it still. So, he didn't get off Scott free. That being said, he would have paid a much higher price if he did. We saw al franken pay a higher price for a much lesser offense had that occurred in current times. So, look, it's a very awkward situation for bill. There's no if, ands or buts about it.

BALDWIN: We were just handed a statement from former Vice President Joe Biden. He just weighed in on this whole historic meeting between Trump and Kim in Singapore. At the beginning of this statement, he applauds the efforts but then he blasts the President for his actions there. So, let me just quote Biden and I want to get you all to weigh in. He writes. "and while we should never refuse to speak with our adversaries, neither can we ignore the horrendous human rights abuses North Korea leaders have perpetrated against their people. He says, "talking to dictators is one thing, embracing them is another. So far this is not a deal advantages the United States or makes us safer. By his own admission the President did not prepare for the Singapore meeting, an inexcusable and irresponsible approach to a high-stakes negotiation. Going forward I hope the President and his team will focus on what's necessary for our safety and security, the complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of Korean Peninsula, that is the goal we share.

I wanted to get that in, Symone, want to weigh in?

SANDERS: No one would say it wasn't historic but, one, what did we get out of it. What Donald Trump was saying was troubling, especially when he was so tough with the G7 members earlier this week and so kind of embracing with Kim Jong-un. When you played the clip of Otto Warmbier's parents, that was recent.

BALDWIN: Ladies stay with me. I want to talk about the recent comments by liberal stars, vulgar attacks that are only playing in the President's hands.

[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Spoiler alert. Not a lot of people in Hollywood are big fans of President Trump. Lately celebrity, liberal, outrage aimed at the President has become louder and louder. At times more crude and controversial. And yet now some believe the backlash from the harsh criticism and tactics may help the President. Here are a couple of examples of celebrities criticizing President and his family.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAMANTHA BEE, HOST," FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE": You know, Ivanka, that's a beautiful photo of you and your child but let me just say one mother to another. Do something about your dad's immigration practices you feckless [bleep].

ROBERT DE NIRO: I'm going to say one thing. [bleep]Trump.

BILL MAHER, HOST, "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER": I feel like the bottom has to fall out at some point and, by the way, I'm hoping for it. I think one way you get rid of Trump is a crashing economy. So, please, bring on the recession. Sorry if that hurts people. It's either root for a recession or you lose your democracy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[15:40:00] BALDWIN: Symone and Ana are back with me. This is all coming from the left, this is your side politically speaking. Isn't this only helping the President?

SANDERS: I don't think so. Look, Samantha Bee, Robert De Niro or Bill Maher did not speak for the totality of the Democratic coalition or the totality of the resistance for that matter. So, I think what's happening here is Democrats who get scared of what the liberals in Hollywood have said are falling prey to the Republican playbook. They are allowing Republicans to frame the conversation, instead of going into McDowell County West Virginia or going into the suburbs of Chicago or downtown Chicago and saying I know you all heard Robert De Niro, but he doesn't speak for me, but this is what we as Democrats are talking about. That's what folks on the left should be doing.

BALDWIN: Ana, do you disagree?

NAVARRO: Brooke, I don't think it changes the equation much. There is a very large percent of America that doesn't like Donald Trump. A lot of Hollywood, most of Hollywood doesn't like Donald Trump. If you don't want to hear celebrities attack Donald Trump, I strongly suggest you don't tune in to any award show between now and the end of his term. But also, look, there's also the level of hypocrisy and inconsistency, right? People clutch their pearls because of what Samantha Bee said and yet that what's his name, the has been with the cowboy hat said the same thing about Hillary Clinton, Ted Nugent and got invited to the oval office and posed with the President of the United States. The words that Robert De Niro said Donald Trump has said in public time and time and time again. We've got to stop covering our virgin ears and pretending to be outraged and offended and just shocked by the very coarse language. If you support a President of the United States who uses the same language.

BALDWIN: I hear you and there are other words that people at certain Trump rallies have used that came out of Samantha Bee's mouth, but do you need to lower yourself to that?

NAVARRO: I don't think you need to lower yourself to that. The difference between a Samantha Bee, for example, and a Ted Nugent or a Donald Trump is that Samantha Bee actually realizes it, regrets it and apologized genuinely for it.

BALDWIN: She did.

NAVARRO: Something that we have not seen the White House ever do.

BALDWIN: Speaking of liberal stars who conservatives love to hate. Here is a clip from Alec Baldwin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: If I ran for President I would win. Hands down I would win. Because you would be the funniest, most exciting campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're the hope of the Democratic party.

BALDWIN: I'm not. I'm only saying that because people don't -- people don't really have a sense of who's going to -- somebody great's going to come up, I hope. The only reason I say that is because I'd love to run for that kind of position.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Symone. He says he'd win. Go ahead.

SANDERS: I'm tired of so many unexperienced white men throwing their name in the hat to be President of the United States. Can some Latinas, can some black women, can we have some of those folks say you know what, Donald Trump is President, I'm funny, I'd win if I threw my name in the hat. I'm just over it. I'm over it actually. I'm actually over it. The person that can stand up and credibly challenge Donald Trump is going to be someone that can speak to the heart of issues happening in America, given from McDowell County West Virginia, to Omaha, Nebraska all the way over to San Francisco, California. I believe that person could be a number of people, but it doesn't just have to be a funny, old white man.

BALDWIN: Ana Navarro, close us out.

NAVARRO: Give Alec a little bit of a break. At least he's married to one of us. I think the thing about Donald Trump is he broke the mold, he broke the box. You don't necessarily have to be an experienced politician now to think you can win the presidency. We're seeing the name like Howard Schultz, Mark Cuban, Oprah. It's opened up the box for people who are not typical politicians. Frankly at this point I would vote for a potted plant over Donald Trump if that potted plant was the nominee.

[15:45:00] BALDWIN: Ana Navarro, I got nothing. A potted plant she said.

NAVARRO: I may have voted for a potted plant before now that I think about it.

BALDWIN: Thank you, ladies, very much. I want to get to Puerto Rico. We have breaking news where CNN is suing the government to get access to the death records after Hurricane Maria. Moments ago, a judge sided with CNN. We are live in San Juan next.

[15:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Just in, new details about the death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. We talked about this Harvard study that came out that attributed more than 4600 deaths to last year's storm. Remember the government's official death toll sits at 64. And even before this whole Harvard study, CNN had sued to get access to the death records and the judge has just ruled in CNN's favor. So, let's go to Leyla Santiago live there in Puerto Rico. And tell me everything.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, our lawyers are in that building still negotiating with Puerto Rico's lawyers. So, we still don't have the information in hand. But Puerto Rico has said that it will release a data base to us with thousands of death certificates giving us a better idea of exactly what happened when it comes to deaths after Hurricane Maria.

The judge sided with CNN, despite the fact that Puerto Rico asked for an extension to delay the release of this record. Again, this is the first time that we get a good idea of who died, when, and how. And how is that different from the other reports you mentioned that Harvard report, well Harvard took a look and guest an estimate. They are estimating about 4600 deaths. Remember last year we did an investigation and we found at the time that the death toll could be nine times what the government was reporting at the time. But that was on the ground reporting. Talking to funeral directors and talking to families.

This will be concrete data that gives us an idea of what happened and, Brooke, quite possibly could help prevent some of these deaths in the future. Now as I mentioned, our attorneys -- just got out of the meeting and our attorneys are still negotiating. We still don't have those records in hand. But the important thing is that the government of Puerto Rico for the first time since our lawsuit is now saying they will hand over those records. And we'll get a better idea of what the death toll may be which so many have criticized the government for keeping it at 64.

BALDWIN: I know that you've talked to families and they want their loved ones counted in the death toll. What are they telling you?

SANTIAGO: I just got out and I haven't talked to them since then, but I did talk to them this week and many are wanting the recognition -- wanting people to acknowledge that people died. I've talked to Puerto Ricans in general who say, look, we don't -- we don't discount this was a tough time. There was a lack of power and a lack of access to medical care and people died way after Maria because of those conditions but we just want the truth. We want to know what happened. And again, this is important for the families for recognition to know loved ones matter and there is a person behind every single one of these numbers but in the grand scheme of things, this is the only way that the government could possibly prevent another similar death in the future.

BALDWIN: Stunning. They just want their loved ones counted. Layla, thank you very much.

Meantime, developing as well right now, confusion on Capitol Hill over what the President meant when he declared the U.S. would suspend drills with South Korea. This after that summit in Singapore with Kim Jong-Un. We have that for you. Also, moments from now, a judge announcing his decision on the merger between our parent company Time Warner and AT&T. A decision that will certainly have ripple effects on the entire media industry. And what the Trump administration may do involving other cases.

[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Moments from now a judge will hand down the ruling on whether an $85 billion merger between CNN's parent company Time Warner and telecom giant AT&T can move ahead. CNN's justice correspondent Jessica Schneider is at the courthouse for us. Jessica?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, we're just minutes away from a decision that could have broad implications for the future of media and future of business mergers in general. Now throughout the six-week trial, AT&T has argued that it needs to acquire time warner and vice versa in order to compete with newly emerging media entities like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google. The government on the other hand has urged the judge to block this merger, saying that any newly formed entity and new company might be too powerful, and it might then raise prices for consumers.

So, a big decision ahead and what exactly could the judge do? Of course, the judge could approve the deal, he could block this deal, or he could approve this deal with conditions. He could mandate that AT&T sell off part of time warner which is exactly what the government wants him to do. Or the judge could put on behavioral remedies, meaning that AT&T and the merged entity might have to act in a certain way. Perhaps have a specific arbitration agreement. So, a lot riding on this trial. An $85 billion deal that we'll have broad implications for a future of business as well as media.

BALDWIN: Jessica Schneider thank you so much. We'll stand by for that decision. And moments ago, on the senate floor, Republican Senator Bob Corker fired up, calling out his caucus saying his own party is so scared of upsetting the President that they can't get anything passed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BOB CORKER, (R) TENNESSEE: 95 percent of the people on this side of the aisle support intellectually this amendment. I would bet that. Would you bet higher than 95 percent? And a lot of them would vote for it if it came to vote. But no, no, no, gosh we might poke the bear is the language I'm hearing in the hallway. We might poke the bear. The President might get upset with us as United States Senators if we vote on the Corker amendment, so we'll do everything we can to block it. To block. If people don't like it, they can vote up or down. People can vote up or down. But no, the United States Senate right now on June 12th is becoming a body where, well, we'll do what we can do, but my gosh, if the President gets upset with us then we might not be in the majority. And so, let's don't do anything that might upset the President.