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Trump speaks on meeting with Kim Jong-un, IG report, immigration; Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired June 15, 2018 - 09:00   ET

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


[09:00:00]

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York and it has been an extraordinary past half hour.

Hearing from the president directly on so many things. President Trump unloading on that no holds barred DOJ report on the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe and then on ex-FBI Director James Comey.

You're going to hear all of the significant things the president just said this morning. We're going to go through them really line by line.

Just minutes ago, he stepped out on to the North Lawn. He gave an extensive interview to his favorite news network, Fox News. Here's a bit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The IG report came out yesterday. The FBI looked bad.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Very bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your FBI.

TRUMP: Well, no, it was Comey. I mean, they were talking about Comey, not my FBI. It was Comey. The people in the FBI are incredible.

I would bet, if you took a poll in the FBI, I would win that poll by more than anybody has ever won a poll. But the top people were horrible. You look at what happened, they were plotting against my election, probably has never happened like that in terms of intelligence, in terms of anything else. But they were actually plotting against my election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The headline right now -

TRUMP: But I'm actually proud because I beat Clinton dynasty, I beat Bush dynasty, and now, I guess, hopefully, I'm in the process of beating very dishonest intelligence because what they did was incredible and a real insult to millions of people that voted in that election on both sides. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: OK. There's the president on that topic. He was also asked whether he was going to sit down with the Special Counsel Bob Mueller.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rudy says that you should not talk to Mueller.

TRUMP: A lot of people say that. Look -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Given the IG report and stuff that's coming out.

TRUMP: They're getting people who say something a little bit off. Is it a nice day? Well, no, it's not a great day. Oops, he lied. He goes - got problems. People are afraid of that. And I would like to talk, but it seems to be very biased.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: OK. And then, I also, before we get to our analysis, want to play you this part of the interview, the president reacting - let's listen to the president live.

TRUMP: By far, I think there's nobody close - and I think I did the country a tremendous favor by firing him.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, actually, if you take a look, when he totally exonerated her, because I call it Comey 3, Comey 3 - you had 1, 2 and then you had Comey 3. He totally exonerated her. If anything you're saying is correct, what she did is they tried to pretend it didn't happen. I would have gone out there and I would have had the greatest news conference in history. They tried to pretend the exoneration didn't happen.

Now, the exoneration wasn't correct because there's no way they could have checked that number of emails in just a few days.

But if you remember, just before the election, he went out and he exonerated her and they didn't even talk about it. That was the greatest political mistake.

Now, with all of that being said, I won Wisconsin, I won Michigan, I won states that a Republican hasn't won in many, many decades, years.

She didn't do a good job and you never gave me credit for doing a great job. But the fact is I did a great job.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, there was a Fox News report this week that the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is pushing back and threatening to investigate the congressional investigators who just want documents. Do you think that that is appropriate?

TRUMP: Well, I hope that's not so. And I know they're getting documents. And I purposely - look, if you see what I've done with North Korea and with the State Department and Mike Pompeo, it's running so well. I have this running so well.

I have purposely - because of this ridiculous witch hunt, I have said I'm going to stay away from the Justice Department until it's completed. So, I wanted to stay away.

Now, that doesn't mean I have to because I don't have to. I can get involved, but I don't want you people say that I'm interfering, that I'm doing anything. I think that the report yesterday may be more importantly than anything, it totally exonerates me.

There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. And if you read the report, you'll see that.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Excuse me. Wait, wait, wait. What you'll really see is you'll see bias against me and millions and tens of millions of my followers. That is really a disgrace.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: And yet, if you will -

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: And yet, if you look at the FBI and you went in and you polled the FBI, the real FBI, those guys love me and I love them.

[09:05:08] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to suspend Mueller?

TRUMP: No. But I think that whole investigation now is - look, the problem with the Mueller investigation is everybody has got massive conflicts. You have Andrew Weissman who was at Hillary Clinton's funeral, meaning her party that turned into a funeral. And they were screaming and crying. They were going crazy. How can you have people like this?

So, you have - I call them the 13 angry Democrats. You have tremendous animosity. Now, here's the good news. I did nothing wrong. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. The IG report yesterday went a long way to show that.

And I think that the Mueller investigation has been totally discredited.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've spoken so passionately about the circumstances that led to Otto Warmbier's death. In the same breath, you're defending now Kim Jong-un's human rights record. How can you do that? TRUMP: You know why? Because I don't want to see a nuclear weapon destroy you and your family.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Excuse me, because I don't want to see a nuclear weapon destroy you and your family. I want to have a good relationship with North Korea. I want to have a good relationship with many other countries.

And what I've done, if you remember, if you're fair, which most of you aren't, but if you're fair, when I came in, people thought we were probably going to war with North Korea.

If we did - quiet, quiet, quiet. If we did, millions of people would have been killed. I don't mean like - people are saying 100,000. Seoul has 28 million people 30 miles off the border. You would have had 30, 40, 50 million people killed. Who knows what would have happened.

I came in, that was what I inherited. I should have never inherited. That should have been solved long before I got there. I did a great job this weekend.

The fake news said, oh, you met. It's the only thing they show that I gave up. One broadcast said, he gave up so much. You know what I gave up? I met. I met. We had great chemistry. He gave us a lot.

You haven't had a missile test in seven months. You haven't had a firing. You haven't had a nuclear test in eight-and-a-half months. You haven't had missiles flying over Japan.

He gave us the remains of our great heroes. I have had so many people begging me, parents and fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, wherever I went, could you please get the remains of my boy back.

They're giving them back. Nobody thought that was possible. Wait, wait, wait. Excuse me, wait. They're doing so much for us. And now, we're well on our way to get denuclearization.

And the agreement says there will be total denuclearization. Nobody wants to report that. So, the only thing I did was I met. I got along with him great. We have a great chemistry together. That's a good thing, not a bad thing.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can Kim love his people if he's killing them?

TRUMP: I can't speak to that. I can only speak to the fact that we signed an incredible agreement. It's great. And it's going to be great for them too because now North Korea can develop and North Korea can become a great country economically.

It can become whatever they want. But there won't be nuclear weapons and they won't be aimed at you and your family.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you offer to halt the military exercises with South Korea?

TRUMP: That was my offer. Just so you understand. Do you want to hear it? OK. I call them war games. I hated them from the day I came in. I said why aren't we being reimbursed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).

TRUMP: War games. That's my term. They use it too. They might use it. We pay for it. We pay millions and millions of dollars for planes and all of this. It's my term. I said I'd like to halt it because it's bad to be negotiating and doing it. It costs us a lot of money. I saved a lot of money. That's a good thing for us.

OK. Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you mean just now when you said you wished Americans would sit up at attention -

TRUMP: I'm kidding. You don't understand sarcasm. Wait, wait, who are you with? Who are you with? You're with CNN? You're the worst.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a few different court cases going on -

TRUMP: Wait, wait, wait. We have time.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's some high-profile court cases going on. You've got a former campaign manager, your former lawyer, they're all dealing with legal troubles. Are you paying close attention -

TRUMP: I feel badly about a lot of it because I think a lot of it is very unfair. I mean, I look at some of them where they go back 12 years. Like, Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign. But I feel - I'll tell you, I feel a little badly about it. They went back 12 years to get things that he did 12 years ago?

Paul Manafort worked for me for a very short period of time. He worked for Ronald Reagan. He worked for Bob Dole. He worked for John McCain or his firm did. He worked for many other republicans. He worked for me, what, for 49 days or something? A very short period of time.

[09:10:01] I feel badly for some people because they've gone back 12 years to find things about somebody. And I don't think it's right.

I don't think it's right that they burst into a lawyer's office on a weekend and early in the morning. I never heard of that before. I mean, could you imagine if they burst into Barack Obama's lawyer's office? It would not be acceptable. It would not be acceptable. I mean, that's really a terrible thing.

Now, I feel badly for a lot of those people. I feel badly for General Flynn. He's lost his house; he's lost his life. And some people say he lied and some people say he didn't lie.

I mean, really, it turned out maybe he didn't lie. But how can you do that -- how can you do that because who's lied more than Comey. I mean, Comey lied a tremendous amount.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you feel badly, is there any consideration at any point of a pardon for any of the people?

TRUMP: I don't want to talk about that. No, I don't want to talk about that. But, look, I do want to see people treated fairly. That's what it's all about.

I mentioned - I mentioned the other day, you saw what I did with the woman, she's in jail for 23 years on charges where other people are out after three months. I thought it was very unfair. She had another 20 years left, OK? She was 63 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about all those folks who don't have Kim Kardashian speaking for them?

TRUMP: I'm looking at them too, if you don't mind.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) Mike Flynn.

TRUMP: Look, I did nothing wrong. You have understand. This stuff would have come out a long time ago. I did nothing wrong. It's really nice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he still your friend?

TRUMP: I always liked Michael. I haven't spoken to Mike in a long time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he still your lawyer.

TRUMP: No, he's not my lawyer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your personal lawyer?

TRUMP: But I always liked Michael. And he's a good person. And I think he's been -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you worried if he's cooperating?

TRUMP: Excuse me, do you mind if I talk? You're asking me a question I'm trying to answer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to know if you're worried that he's going to cooperate with federal (INAUDIBLE).

TRUMP: No, I did nothing wrong, nothing wrong.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you dictate the statement about Donald Trump, Jr.?

TRUMP: Let's not talk about it. You know what that is? It's irrelevant. It's a statement to "The New York Times", the phony, failing, "New York Times." Wait a minute -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just to clear it up -

TRUMP: That's not a statement to a high tribunal of judges. That's a statement to the phony "New York Times." In fact -- In fact, frankly, he shouldn't even speak to "The New York Times" because they only write phony stories anyway, although yesterday they wrote a nice story.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the IG report, you said twice now that it exonerated you and it proved there's no collusion.

TRUMP: If you read the IG report, I've been totally exonerated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It had nothing to do -

TRUMP: Take a look at it. No, take a look at the investigation. Take a look at how it started. Take a look at the horrible statements that Peter Strzok, the chief investigator, said and take a look what he did with Hillary Clinton.

Take a look at -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should he be fired?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it has nothing to do with collusion

TRUMP: I'll tell you what. You're asking me about Peter Strzok being fired.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should he be fired?

TRUMP: I am amazed that Peter Strzok is still at the FBI. And so is everybody else that read that report. And I'm not even talking about the report. I'm talking about long before the report.

Peter Strzok should have been fired a long time ago and others should have been fired.

(CROSSTALK) TRUMP: I'm looking at Scott. And Scott has done a fantastic job at

EPA.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't see any problems with his ethical -

TRUMP: I'm not happy about certain things, I'll be honest.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Excuse me, I'm not happy about certain things, but he's done a fantastic job running the EPA, which is very overriding. But I am not happy about certain things.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I hope not.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, do you agree with children being taken away -

TRUMP: No, I hate it. I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That's their law.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Quiet, quiet. That's the Democrats' law. We can change it tonight. We can change it right now. I will leave here - no, no. You need their votes. You need their votes.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: The Democrats, all they have to do -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You control both chambers of Congress. The Republicans do.

TRUMP: Excuse me, by one vote? We don't need it. You need 60 votes. We have a one vote - excuse me, we need a - we have a one-vote edge. We need 60. So, we need ten votes. We can't get them from the Democrats.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Wait, wait. We can't do it through an executive order.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Can we do one question at a time? Wait, one question at a time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, then why did Jeff Sessions announce -

TRUMP: The children can be taken care of quickly, beautifully and immediately. The Democrats forced that law upon our nation. I hate it. I hate to see separation of parents and children.

The Democrats can come to us as they actually are, in all fairness, we are talking to them, and they can change the whole border security. We need a wall. We need border security. We've got to get rid of catch and release.

[09:15:08] You catch a criminal, you take his name, you release him and he never shows up again. He goes into our society. And then, we end up getting him in a different way, oftentimes after he's killed somebody.

We've got to change our laws. The Democrats have control because we don't have the votes. The Republicans need - we need more Republicans frankly, and that's why I think we're going to do so well in the midterms.

That and because - wait, that and because we have the strongest economy in the history of our nation. We have the best jobs numbers in the last 44 years, top of drudge. The best job numbers in 44 years.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, then why did Jeff Sessions announce a zero tolerance policy at the border on May 7th?

TRUMP: Because he's following the law. No, he's following laws - he's following the law that was -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was a direct order -

TRUMP: Can I answer your question, please?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

TRUMP: You're just asking me the same question over and over. He's following laws very simply that were given to us and forced upon us by the Democrat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But there's no law that says families have to be separated at the border.

TRUMP: The Democrats gave us the laws. Now, I want the laws to be beautiful, humane, but strong. I don't want bad people coming in. I don't want drugs coming in. And we can solve that problem in one meeting. Tell the Democrats, your friends, to call me, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, at the end of the "Fox & Friends" interview, you said that you were going to spend Father's Day weekend doing work and you said that you were going to have a call with North Korea. Who are you going to talk to in North Korea?

TRUMP: Well, I'm going to speak to people in North Korea and I'm going to speak to my people who are over in North Korea. A lot of things are happening. And I will tell you this, we now have a very good relationship with North Korea. When I came into this job, it looked like war. Not because of me.

If you remember the sit-down with Barack Obama, I think he will admit this, he said the biggest problem that the United States has, and by far the most dangerous problem that he said to me that we've ever had because of nuclear, is North Korea.

Now, that was shortly before I entered office. I have solved that problem. Now, we're getting it memorialized and all. But that problem is largely solved. And part of the reason is we signed a very good document.

But you know what, more importantly than the document, more importantly than the document, I have a good relationship with Kim Jong-un. That's a very important thing.

I can now - wait. I can now call him. I can now say, well, we have a problem. I told him, I gave him a very direct number. He can now call me if he has any difficulty. I can call him.

We have communication. It's a very good thing. People are shocked that this is the kind of - they thought Trump was going to get in, he was going to start throwing bombs all over the place. It's actually the opposite.

But we're building a military so strong - $716 billion. Next year, 700. This year - we're building a military so strong, nobody is going to mess with us. But you know what, I never want to have to use it.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's the verification process going to look like?

TRUMP: We're going to have a very strong verification process. Now, if you read the agreement, which most of you didn't, point after point after point, he gave including getting back the remains of our great heroes, of our great, great heroes, which made - some people are crying in the streets, they're so happy. Nobody thought we were going to get that. Point after point.

All they said about me is you met, he met, it's terrible. You met. Of course, I met. Meeting is a good thing, not a bad thing.

By the way, it was good for the United States. It was good for them. I spoke with China. They're very happy. Actually, they were much happy.

Now, they may not be as happy today because of what I'm doing with trade. You probably heard that. I assume it's been announced by now. But we're putting tariffs on $50 billion worth of technology and other things because we have to because we've been treated very unfairly.

But China has been terrific. President Xi has been terrific. President Moon. Everybody. We're all working together because of me.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long will you give Kim Jong-un to follow through on denuclearization?

TRUMP: Well, we're working it as fast as possible.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: We're working it as fast as possible.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: We're working that - we're working denuclearization as fast as possible.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you planning to meet with Putin this summer?

TRUMP: It's possible that we'll meet, yes. I thought - this all started because somebody - one of you asked, should Putin be in the G7. I said, no, he should be in the G8. A few years ago, Putin was in, what was called, the G8. I think it's better to have Russia in than to have Russia out because just like North Korea, just like somebody else, it's much better if we get along with them than if we don't.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: So it's possible. Just so you understand - no, no, President Obama lost Crimea, just so you understand. This was long before I got there. I want to make it, so the fake news prints it properly.

[09:20:05] President Obama lost Crimea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, it's his fault?

TRUMP: Yes, it's his fault. Yes, yes.

The president, just so you - because Putin didn't respect President Obama. President Obama lost Crimea because President Putin didn't respect President Obama. Didn't respect our country and didn't respect Ukraine.

But President Obama. Not Trump. When it's my fault, I'll tell you. But President Obama gave away that - President Obama by not going across the red line in the sand that he drew - I went across it with the 59 missile hits.

But President Obama, when he didn't go across the red line, what he gave away, nobody even knows.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: But just to put it one more time, President Obama gave away Crimea. That should have never happened.

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. You're watching CNN and you've just seen something pretty extraordinary unfold.

The president giving about 45 Minutes' worth of an interview to Fox News and then the press pool on so many different critical topics.

On North Korea, the president claiming, "I have solved this problem," regarding North Korea's nuclear threat. He went on to blame President Obama for the escalation of tension between the United States and North Korea.

He then blamed Democrats for his own administration's policy separating undocumented children at the border from their parents.

He then said that Manafort, Paul Manafort, the former chairman of his campaign, had nothing to do with his campaign. He then blamed President Obama for "losing Crimea," not Russia - Russia and Putin that annexed Crimea.

At the end, he said, when it is my fault, I will tell you.

With me now, Chris Cillizza, reporter and editor-at-large for "CNN Politics"; David Chalian, our political director, is here; at the Pentagon, Barbara Starr; and at the Justice Department, Laura Jarrett.

David Chalian, let me begin with you. I just outlined where the president puts blame on all of these things, but let's start with the extraordinary claim on North Korea that he has solved the nuclear problem with North Korea.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I heard him say that he has solved the problem of North Korea, so peace on Earth. It's the best economy that has ever existed in all of history, he said. And he's been completely exonerated in the Mueller probe by the IG report.

I'm not sure what he has to stick around for tomorrow. It seems like he's accomplished it all. I mean, if he thinks that North Korea is a solved issue, that like he went there, he had a meeting - I just think he's going to be in for a surprise because this is going to be a really long process.

Now, he did say that they have a strong verification process in the works. He didn't detail that. So, presumably, he understands that there is a lot more work to do.

But that is counter to what you're saying, Poppy, which is that he sees it as a problem solved.

HARLOW: He also importantly, Chris Cillizza, said - and a reporter asked him following up on it - that he's going to have a phone call with North Korea over the weekend. That matters a lot. He didn't say who that phone call would be with. What's your takeaway on North Korea? CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: What he said today is in keeping with what he has said repeatedly, which is - on Twitter, which is problem solved, folks, sleep well at night. Those are literally his words.

Some of this is a sort of a proven Trumpism, which is fake it until you make it, for lack of a better phrase. Act as though the thing you want to happen has happened and that will set in motion things to make it happen.

He used that a lot in his private life, in business. He used it a lot in his personal life, saying Donald Trump is the coolest guy in the world and trying to make that happen.

I'm not sure it will work with North Korea. International diplomacy is a different animal.

One other thing. Just take one step back. You mentioned this at the top, Poppy. I think it's so important. The president of the United States walked out from the White House on the North Lawn where reporters do their stand-ups. You see our reporters.

Did a stand-up with Fox News for 20, 30 minutes. Then spent another 25 or 30 minutes just answering questions in a free-for-all. You just don't - forget what he said, which is very newsworthy. It's just not something you ever see from - you wouldn't see a US senator do that. You probably wouldn't even see a House member do that.

HARLOW: You don't, but it is important that we're hearing from him, directly from him on all of these issues. It is completely out of the norm, but at least we're getting answers.

I should note, though, when one of our reporters, a CNN reporter asked him a question, the president brushed that reporter off, dismissed that reporter, and did not address her question.

CILLIZZA: Right. And that's what's frustrating. Yes, he is more accessible than a lot of other presidents, but he's accessible on his own terms.

HARLOW: Whom he wants to be accessible.

CILLIZZA: And that's what's tough, is that he gets to decide - he said, oh, I'm not going to answer that. He chooses the questions, which is not exactly sort of how we would hope that a president would respond to questions.

[09:25:07] Barbara Starr, let me get to you on one thing on North Korea before we move on. And that is, look, a reporter asked him how can you be friends with Otto Warmbier's parents, of course, who died at the hands of the Kim regime, that college student, and then not address human rights more sternly with Kim Jong-un there.

And he said, and I'm paraphrasing, because I don't want to see nukes destroy you and your family. This after he said he has "good chemistry" with Kim Jong-un. What's your takeaway?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think he also indicated that he just simply didn't want to answer that question and he doesn't want to talk about Kim Jong-un's human rights record. It doesn't fit the narrative.

But the military reality at this moment, as we all stand here, is the North Korean problem militarily is not solved absolutely. Nothing has changed right now.

The key issue on North Korea is going to be, if they tell the world, including the United States, where all of their facilities, all of their weapons are, and that includes the secret facilities that the US suspects they have, but isn't positive where everything is.

This is all going to be about how much can you trust what Kim Jong-un is going to declare, what he is going to tell the world he has.

And how lucky do you feel that this is someone, this North Korean leader, who is going to tell the world the truth. Right now, verification may be in the works, but Kim has to declare what he has.

What really struck me is the president said that he hated the US, so- called, war games since he came into office. Those war games are about US military personnel being trained and ready to defend South Korea, to defend Japan, to defend Asian allies if there is any type of threat.

And US war games, if you want to call them that, happen all around the world that they conduct these training exercises in Europe as a hedge against Russian adventurism. These war games have been going on for decades for good reason, so that US military personnel are trained and ready when the US calls upon them to go into combat.

To say that you hate them is a very confusing message to the troops.

HARLOW: It is.

STARR: Why would you hate having your troops ready and trained?

HARLOW: Let us know also, Barbara, what you hear from the folks and your sources at the Pentagon on that. You wonder what Mattis thinks about that as all.

Let's talk about the president's response, Laura Jarrett, to the Investigator General Horowitz's report.

Let's just play part of what the president just said this morning on it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The headline right now from "The Wall Street Journal", "DOJ Clinton Report Blasts Comey and Agents, But Finds No Bias in Conclusion." TRUMP: Well, the end result was wrong. I mean, there was total bias. I mean, when you look at Peter Strzok and what he said about me, when you look at Comey, all his moves. So, I guess, it's interesting. It was a pretty good report and then I say that the IG blew it at the very end with that statement because when you read the report - it was almost like Comey. He goes point after point about how guilty Hillary is, and then he said but we're not going to do anything about it.

The report, the IG report was a horror show. I thought that one sentence of conclusion was ridiculous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Laura Jarrett at the Justice Department, fact-check that for us, please.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Poppy, it's not at all clear to me that he has actually read this report. He says that the IG blew it, but then he also seems to think that it cleared him in some sort of fashion. And he goes on at length about that.

But at no part, in any part of the 500 pages of this lengthy, exhaustive report does it touch on anything related to the president's exposure in the Russia investigation.

Now, we know that he was briefed on this report by the deputy attorney general yesterday on it, but he appears to think that it was fashioned for his use in some sort of way. And very confused about its ultimate findings.

Laura Jarrett, stay with us. Abby Phillip at the White House. Abby, you're at the White House. You were in that. Were you the reporter that was trying to ask the question, by the way, to the president that he dismissed?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It was actually the reporter standing right next to me.

HARLOW: OK.

PHILLIP: But there was a massive and really loud scrum. And at multiple points, the president tried to shush various reporters who were repeatedly asking him, particularly about this issue of human rights in North Korea.

And I asked him about that as well. And his answer was very similar to what he's repeated all this morning, which is that he believes that whatever he has said and done with regard to Kim was worth it because he believes it has stopped nuclear weapons from coming to destroy Americans.

He pointed at me and another reporter to say - just coming toward you.