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A Taxi Ran Through A Crowd In Central Moscow; White House Is Blaming Democrats For Separating Parents And Children Of Undocumented Immigrants; President Trump Has Repeatedly And Openly Expressed Admiration For Strongmen; President Trump Giving Kudos To Kim Kardashian In Helping The Release Of Alice Johnson; W. Kamau Bell Heads Down South To Debunk Some Myths And Retrace His Family Roots With His Father. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired June 16, 2018 - 16:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we need to make them feel wanted by all of us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: To see exactly how rob is doing, go to CNNheroes.com. And while you are there, nominate someone you think should be a CNN hero.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

[16:00:21] CABRERA: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Hello on this Saturday afternoon. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

We are covering breaking news in Moscow. And we want to warn the video you are about to see is very disturbing. A taxi plowing into a crowd of pedestrians in the middle of festivities for the 2018 world cup. Here is that video.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

CABRERA: You can see the car jump a curb on to a sidewalk. It hits a group of people before striking that traffic sign and then bystanders rush to the car to try to open the door. Watch this. The driver jumps out and runs away. He has since been detained and is being questioned by police.

Our Matthew Chance is on the scene live for us in Moscow.

Matthew, it appears that street has reopened. Do we know yet whether this was intentional?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We do. In terms that the authorities here are saying that it wasn't intentional. I'm just reading some word that's come from the Russian interior ministry, so police force here. They are saying that according to the person responsible for the road accident, it was unintended. The police have said that the primary cause for what they are calling the road accident is failure to control the vehicle. And so what the Moscow police are doing are downplaying this incident amid all the sort of speculation about whether this was intentional or not. They are saying they have opened a criminal investigation into a road traffic accident.

But take a look at that video. You can see, it's this pavement right here that I'm standing on. That vehicle, that taxi, moved out of the line of traffic and accelerated across this pavement here and knocked all those people over. Frankly, it was incredible that no one was killed. We now understand from the Russian authorities that eight people were injured, some of them football fans, some of them Mexican football fans. In fact, the Mexican embassy here has confirmed that at least two of its nationals have been injured, although they say not seriously.

So, absolutely horrific video that we can see there. And even though apparently, according to the authorities, this was not terrorism, this was a traffic accident, it's very reminiscent, isn't it, of the kind of attacks that we have seen elsewhere in Europe where vehicles have been turned into weapons.

Now, that's not the case on this occasion, according to the Russian authorities, but it does, again, draw into focus just how difficult it is when you are staging an event as big as the 2018 world cup, which is taking place, remember, not just in Moscow but in 11 cities across the country, how difficult it is to guarantee security when so many people are here and the eyes of international attention are on Russia.

CABRERA: Right. That is exactly why this incident also caught so much attention.

But Matthew, do you know, then, if they have some special security measures that they have taken to try to, I guess, secure the areas where the majority of people are gathering or are going to be at during the world cup events?

CHANCE: Absolutely. I mean, the Russian authorities have been pulling out all the stops to make sure that this is as secure as possible because Russia faces some very serious threats from terrorism. It's, of course, intervened in the past couple of years inside Syria, supporting Bashar al-Assad in the civil war there. There are militant groups inside Syria and sympathizers with them who have vowed to exact their revenge of Russia during this time. And so there's a lot of concern there could be some kind of terrorist action but the authorities say they've done everything they can to make the place as secure as possible.

CABRERA: All right. Matthew Chance in Moscow, thank you.

Now to our other breaking news. Today, something disgraceful, something that can be stopped going on right now at the U.S. border with Mexico. Families are being torn apart, thousands of them. U.S. immigration officials are taking kids of all ages away from their parents if they are caught undocumented crossing the border.

In just the past few weeks, since May, the number of kids now being kept in so-called detention centers has shot up to around 2,000. President Trump on one hand says he hates to see what's happening at the border, but on the other hand, he claims that ending it is out of his control.

That part is not true. The President today put this growing humanitarian situation in a political frame, tweeting this.

Democrats can fix their forced family break-up at the border by working with Republicans on new legislation for a change. This is why we need more Republicans elected in November. Democrats are good at only three things, high taxes, high crime, and obstruction. Sad.

A few minutes ago, I talked to a former head of homeland security who told me that forcing kids and mothers and fathers apart is not the law. It is not a long-term fix.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[16:05:17] JEH JOHNSON, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Policy changes like this may have a short-term impact on illegal migration, but it always reverts to the normal trend. So long as the underlying conditions in extra America and Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador persist, the poverty and the violence that has been noted so often now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: CNN's Ed Lavendera is with us near the U.S. border.

Ed, I know you have been talking to members of some of these families, parents who have watched their children taken from them. What are they being told will happen to their children?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, they are being told in some situations that they will be separated from their children. But this idea of this zero tolerance policy being a 100 percent situation where everyone is being -- every family coming across is being separated isn't playing out that way. And that raises real questions as to how are federal immigration authorities determining who gets kept together and who gets separated.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA (voice-over): It's hard to see people moving through the thick south Texas vegetation. The Rio Grande rolls by just beyond the tree line. And then just like that, they appear out of the brush. A small group of undocumented immigrants walking into a public park.

We just came across this group of undocumented immigrants here in the town of Mission, Texas. Two adults, four children, just finished crossing the Rio Grande here a little while ago. And now they are in the custody of border patrol.

This group is actually made up of three different groups. They say they met along the journey from Honduras and decided to enter the United States together. Border patrol agents give them water and they sit in the shade as they wait for a vehicle to take them to a border patrol station.

There's Jonathan Ariel, 11 years old. He says he left Honduras with cousins but they abandoned him along the way. He says his mother lives in Virginia and told him not to make this journey alone but now he is here.

JONATHAN ARIEL, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

LAVANDERA: I told her I wanted to come, he says. But she said it's very dangerous.

Are you scared?

ARIEL: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

LAVANDERA: A little, he says. It's a brief conversation that leaves you with many more questions about how a young boy can get to this point. As an unaccompanied minor, he will likely end up, for the time being, in a children's shelter like this one as federal authorities try to connect the boy with his mother.

The rest of this group is made up of two adult women with their children. Dalia Sayupa is 24 years old and she crossed the border with her little boy.

Why did you come?

DALIA SAYUPA, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

LAVANDERA: She says gang members left a note at her home threatening to kill her and that's when she decided to flee.

(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) or are you afraid they are going to sprayed you from your son?

SAYUPA: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

LAVANDERA: Yes, he is my son and I love him, she says. I have carried him throughout my journey. Dalia says she did not know that she might be separated from her son once she was taken into custody in the United States. But she says, I have nothing in Honduras. The families are loaded up and taken away, unsure of what happens next.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: And Ana, the question now is what happens to these particular children. I was able to speak with the mother of Jonathan that you saw there in the piece. She told me that she was able to get a phone call from him yesterday shortly after he was taken into custody, but she's still waiting to hear what the next steps are to reunite with him.

As far as for the other two adult women and their children, we just don't know what their situation is and whether or not they will be separated and prosecuted by federal prosecutors on that misdemeanor charge of illegal entry or if they will be given an immigration court date, a GPS ankle monitor, and allowed to be released here into the country -- Ana.

CABRERA: Wow. Ed, thank you for bringing us their stories, for helping us understand the reality on the ground. We appreciate it.

The Trump administration is defending separating these families, saying it's the law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Because it's the law and that's what the law states. It's a policy to follow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you imagine what they must be going through?

SANDERS: These laws are the same that have been on the books for over a decade and the President is simply enforcing them. Again, the laws are the ones that have been on the books for over a decade and the President is enforcing them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that a policy change to enforce the law?

SANDERS: Our administration has had the same position since we started on day one that we were going to enforce the law. We are a country of law and order and we are enforcing the law and protecting our borders.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: And here's the President.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Democrats forced that law upon our nation. I hate it. I hate to see separation of parents and children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Here's the thing, though. There is no law that says parents and children must be separated at the border. It's a practice that the President says he hates, but his administration is choosing to enforce.

Here's the proof. This is a notice from attorney general Jeff Sessions dated April 5th. And in it, Sessions announces the administration's new zero tolerance policy.

Part of it reads quote "Congress has failed to pass effective legislation that serves the national interest that closes dangerous loopholes and fully funds a wall along our southern border. As a result, a crisis has erupted. Our southwest border that necessitates an escalated effort prosecute those who choose to illegally cross our border."

Now that last line is important because U.S. policy does allow children to be separated from their parents if their parents are being criminally prosecuted. The new zero tolerance policy under the Trump administration means virtually everyone is being prosecuted, including a number of people who are applying for asylum, which is legal.

So how can this practice the President claims to hate be corrected? According to the White House, it's not up to them to stop enforcing their own policy. They say it's up to the Democrats.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[16:11:08] TRUMP: 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 are willing to change it today if they want to get in and negotiate, but they just don't want to negotiate. They are afraid of -- they are afraid of security for our country. They are afraid of a wall.

SANDERS: And the President has actually called on Democrats in Congress to fix those loopholes. The Democrats have failed to come to the table, failed to help this President close these loopholes and fix this problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: To clarify, the White House is blaming Democrats for not changing a policy that the White House is choosing to enforce. It says Democrats need to come to the table and negotiate, apparently using the families and children as bargaining chips.

However, Democrats and Republicans have approached the President with multiple bipartisan immigration bills over the last year, many of which included some funding for Trump's wall. He has rejected them all. In fact, there is a Republican immigration bill expected to be voted on this coming week. It's a compromise between conservative and moderate Republicans and sticks to the President's four pillars.

A few days ago, House speaker Paul Ryan said the President was excited about it but then Friday, the President said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I certainly wouldn't sign the more moderate one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does the bill have to have?

TRUMP: I need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. I have to have that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Well, the White House now says the President was confused by the question. He does plan to sign the bill if it makes it to his desk. We will see what happens next week.

One last time to trap this up, the President is enforcing a policy, even though he says he hates it, and even though it's his own administration's policy, and he has the power to stop it. And yet he says separating families is the Democrats' fault because Democrats won't come to the table and negotiate on immigration, even though they have.

Now that you have the facts, let's bring in our panel. Joining us, editor for "the Weekly Standard," Bill Kristol and former special assistant to President Bush, Scott Jennings.

Scott, let's start with you. First it was DACA, which the President rescinded, now this practice of separating children from their parents. How can the President keep blaming this on Democrats?

SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, the President is not wrong. I do think the Democrats have been obstinate to some degree in willingness to work with Republicans on a comprehensive strategy to secure the border, fix the outdated laws and actually get this right. This was a key issue in the 2016 election, and these laws do need to be fixed and we do need to get border security. However --.

CABRERA: But that's different. That's different.

JENNINGS: However, I think the President and the White House are going to regret using this family separation policy as leverage to drive the Democrats to the table. I mean, this is a little bit like trying to mow your yard with dynamite. Yes, you are going to cut the grass but you are probably not going to be happy with the results of it and the way it looks in the aftermath.

The best thing that can happen here is for the President and the White House to realize he can be the hero. He can end this child separation policy. He is the only person who can sell the Republican Party on whatever compromise comes forth on immigration. He could fix this all in a matter of days and be the singular person to get the credit for it. When they realize that, I think they're going to be happy with the results because with the Republicans in control of the whole Congress, something really could get done here.

CABRERA: You said he could be the hero but he is also the one who is responsible for this happening at the border to begin with, this separation of parents and their children, which we just -- as we just laid out. Wasn't happening before this policy was being enforced, this zero tolerance policy that this administration brought up.

And the other piece that you brought up, Scott, just to make sure all the facts are out there for our viewers, is that the Democrats have not been invited to the table in this latest round of negotiations with Republicans in the House that are coming up with a compromise bill which is a compromise bill only among some of the Republican caucus.

And as you also point out, the Republicans have a little bit more power here, because they control the House, the Senate, and the White House. So, I don't really understand, again, why this is the Democrats' fault, what's happening at the border right now. But let's put that aside for a minute because Bill, back in March of

last year, chief of staff John Kelly who was then the head of homeland security admitted that the Trump administration was considering this practice, what we are seeing today, as a deterrent. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[16:15:13] JOHN KELLY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: If you get some young kids who are coming in, who manage to sneak into the United States with their parents, our department of homeland security personnel can separate the children from their moms and dads.

Yes, I am considering in order to deter more movement along this terribly dangerous network, I am considering exactly that. They will be well cared for as we deal with their parents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Now the jury is still out on whether this is an effective deterrent strategy.

But Bill, do you think the end justifies the means here?

BILL KRISTOL, FOUNDER/EDITOR-AT-LARGE, WEEKLY STANDARD: Yes, I don't. And the Republican President for whom Scott worked, George W. Bush didn't think so and President Obama didn't think so. They tried other toughening of enforcement to deter and maybe some of that was reasonable and maybe some of that would be reasonable today. It's not clear there was a crisis that required this at all. This is something that some of President Trump's advisers have wanted to do for quite a while. Steven Miller, in particular. And now he is doing it.

But I would say it's very striking. President Trump doesn't like that. He doesn't like having to defend this because he tweets, he blames the Democrats for it, as you pointed out. It's a little ridiculous but it shows that he is not comfortable defending this. And it seems to me that if there is more and more pressure on President Trump to reverse, he will reverse.

Where can that pressure come from? It cannot come from Scott or from me. I mean, it can come a little but from all of us. But where can it come from? Well, the Republicans, last I looked, control the Congress. There's a Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Why don't they say, Mr. President, stop. We want to work on immigration. We want to get your wall. We are going to re-double our efforts. There are bills on the floor of the House this week. But stop the separation of parents from their children.

If they said it, if a majority of Senate Republicans, a majority of House Republicans, and even a significant number of elected Republican members of Congress, not people like me talking on CNN and other networks, but other elected members of Congress said it, I think there, the President might say, OK, let me stop this.

CABRERA: Scott, do you think that this is now just a negotiating tool?

JENNINGS: Yes, it's clearly a negotiating tool. The President is trying to create the leverage or the environment where Democrats can't stand it and force them to come to the table. They can pass a bill in the House and I suspect they will at some point. It's the Senate where they need Democrat votes and this is where we saw things fall apart when senator McConnell scheduled the big immigration vote arama (ph) months ago. They couldn't get to 60 votes on any of the immigration proposals that were on the table.

I think the White House also needs to understand two things. Number one, as far as or as long as the conditions in Central America stay as bad as they are, and as long as the economy in the United States stays as good as it is, there are going to be people coming to the U.S. We can't stop it. It is market forces. It's human nature. People are going to try to come here for most people coming to this country, for whatever reason, America is worth the risk of the things that could happen to them.

I don't think this thing's ultimately going to be an effective deterrent. I think it's going to be a black stain on the President's first term. But again, I would stress, he can fix all of this. He is the only one that can sell something to the Republican Party that they will accept and pass and if they get this solve, then, you know, we will regret this child separation policy but we will be happy that the President got something done.

CABRERA: The other way this administration is defending this policy, what's happening, is by quoting the bible. Here's Jeff Sessions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I would cite you to the apostle Paul in his clear and wise command in romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Bill, that same bible verse we just heard him read was used to justify slavery. Do you think Sessions was aware of that?

KRISTOL: I don't know a lot of bible verses that have been used to justify a lot of things and one can cite a heck of a lot of bible verses from the Hebrew bible and from the gospels, which is instructed to respect the poor -- to be kind of the poor, to be welcoming to strangers, and so forth.

I don't think it's a very useful practice, honestly, to try to do that. I mean, I assume attorney general Jeff Sessions was being sincere here. But again, let's have serious policy arguments. And as Scott said, I mean, this is not going to deter. It is cruel and inhumane. It needn't happen. We can have all kind of debates about immigration policy and the wall and what to do and some of these very difficult situations, the Bush White House had difficult debates, the Obama White House had difficult debates internally. Of course, there were debates in Congress, but they don't need to be separating these families.

And President Trump should take responsibility for it. And if he wants to defend it, let him defend it. But he won't defend it, which is why more pressure on President Trump, I think, could lead him to reverse this policy.

CABRERA: All right. Bill Kristol and Scott Jennings, thank you. I really appreciate the discussion, guys.

Coming up, the President used to call him little rocket man, but now a year later, Trump calls him a strong leader. So why is the leader of the free world heaping praise of a murderous dictator. We will discuss next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:24:29] CABRERA: President Trump says he wants Americans to treat him the way North Koreans treat their supreme leader, Kim Jong-un.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Hey, he is the head of a country, and I mean, he is the strong head. Don't let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Now the President later said he was kidding. But this isn't the first time Trump has suggested he is envious of Kim's control.

"The Washington Post" writes that after watching North Korea's state run TV, the President, quote "joked" that even the administration friendly FOX News was not as lavish in its praise as the state TV anchor, and that maybe she should get a job on U.S. television instead.

The White House hasn't clarified whether the President was kidding about that too. But you would be forgiven for wondering what is a joke and what isn't, considering the President's latest remarks follow a week of extreme praise for the brutal dictator.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[16:25:24] TRUMP: Really, he has got a great personality. He is a, you know, funny guy. He is a very smart guy. He is a great negotiator.

He is very talented. Anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough.

So he is a very smart guy. He is a great negotiator. But I think we understand each other. I think that he really wants to do a great job for North Korea. I think he trusts me and I trust him. I have a good relationship with Kim Jong-un. That's a very important thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: On top of all these compliments, the President also made this outrageous claim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: He loves his people. He loves his country. He wants a lot of good things and that's why he is doing this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Let's take a look at how Kim Jong-un treats his own people. And you decide if he loves them.

North Korea sentences people without trial. Prisoners are then often starved, tortured, and raped. The government also controls reproduction through forced abortions and killing babies. According to the United Nations and the international bar association, some of these abortions have been carried out by having men stand on a woman's stomach or by injecting motor oil into the mother's womb. In one case of (INAUDIBLE), a newborn baby was fed to dogs.

Kim keeps his control through deadly force. In his first six years as leader, he has executed more than 300 people. He killed one official by firing squad for having poor posture, another by anti-aircraft machine guns for falling asleep during a meeting, and yet another by anti-aircraft machine guns and a flamethrower.

There was also that time last year when Kim allegedly had his own half-brother assassinated at an airport in Malaysia. And yet according to President Trump, this is a guy who really loves his people.

When Kim's people do try to leave or rather escape, like this soldier did last year, the government tries to murder them. This soldier was shot five times before making it across the border and into South Korea. The doctors who saved his life say he was full of parasitic worms and suffering from a chronic liver infection.

And it's not just Kim's own people who are tortured. American student Otto Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for trying to steal a poster. He died just days after the North Koreans released him. And here's how his parents say they found him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We get to the top of the steps and we look across in the airplane, and Otto is laying on a stretcher. He was strapped to the stretcher and he's moving around and jerking violently, making these howling, inhuman sounds. He has a shaved head. His eyes are darting around in the -- it -- they are as big as saucers. He is blind. He is deaf. He has got a feeding tube. And we kneel down and we hug him and try connect with him, and he is a complete vegetable. And I -- and his bottom teeth look like they had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged them.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: Now, that was just last year. When confronted with these human rights atrocities, the President appeared to excuse them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, he is a killer. I mean, he is clearly executing people. And he still has done some really bad things.

TRUMP: Yes, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things. I mean, I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: That's a little similar to what President Trump said about another strongman, Vladimir Putin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you respect Putin?

TRUMP: I do respect him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you? Why?

TRUMP: Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn't mean I'm going to get along with them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Putin's a killer.

TRUMP: A lot of killers. We got a lot of killers. You think our country is so innocent?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: President Trump's admiration for totalitarians doesn't end there. The President has also gone so as to embrace a controversial change to China's constitution that would allow President Xi to rule for life, much like Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: China's great. And Xi is a great gentleman. He is now President for life. President for life. No, he is great. Look, he was able to do that. I think it's great. Maybe we will have to give that a shot someday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[16:30:00] CABRERA: He later said he was kidding about that too.

So to recap here. The President has repeatedly and openly expressed admiration for strongmen. And after meeting one of the most brutal dictators in the world, President Trump came away hailing his love of his people, their state, mandated and worship with him and the state control of how the press can cover everything, but why? More live in the CNN NEWSROOM after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:34:50] CABRERA: Welcome back. I'm Ana Cabrera. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And as we have been discussing the President has repeatedly and openly expressed admiration for strongmen, especially after meeting one of the most brutal dictators in the world, Kim Jong-un.

Let's talk about that with our next guest, "New York Times" op-ed columnist Nick Kistof. He spent a lot of time traveling the world, writing about human rights and global affairs. He is joining us now.

Nick, thanks for being with us. President Trump loves to tout his patriotism, his love for this country, and yet it seems like he took this incredible opportunity as a first sitting President to meet with a North Korean leader and he failed to celebrate American ideals. Instead coming back with effusive praise for North Korea's leader, his so-called love for his people. Would you consider this a missed opportunity?

[16:35:036] NICHOLAS KRISTOF, COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yes, I sure would. And I must say, I just -- I just flinched at it.

Look. I'm a great believer in engaging dictators. I mean, I do think that we should be talking to North Koreans, to Iranians, the Saudis, to Venezuelans, lots of other people who have -- the Chinese, people who have profoundly problematic human rights records, but engaging with them does not mean fawning all over the.

And you know, it was -- it was this kind of mind boggling to hear President Trump talk about how much Kim Jong-un loves his people. And maybe the single thing that I just, you know, just left me most horrified was when the voice of America asked President Trump what message he had to give to the North Korean people. And President Trump's message to them was, you know, boy, your leader loves you. He has a great feeling for you. We really like him.

And I was just imagining some poor North Korean listening to that, you know, illegally on a radio since they are not allowed to listen to foreign radio broadcasts, risking their whole family's freedom and then hearing that. And you know, boy, its one thing to engage, another thing to fawn over dictators.

CABRERA: But if North Korea does denuclearize, it's still a big if, is President Trump overlooking the human rights record worth it?

KRISTOF: Yes, I mean, frankly, you know, I do think that real denuclearization would be a huge gain for the -- for everybody in the region by reducing the risk of a nuclear war. And I do think we are in a better place now than we were six months ago when there was some real risk that President Trump and Kim Jong-un were going to create this collision that would create a nuclear conflagration. So I don't think that we should exactly have conditions on negotiations over a nuclear accord.

But I do think that we could speak up about it. And that President Trump in Singapore should have made the point that if Kim Jong-un wants to have a modern North Korea, then that's not just a question of having modern speedboats or a McDonald's franchise, but also about letting his people speak out, speak up.

CABRERA: You wrote a column this week titled "Trump was outfoxed in Singapore on the topic of denuclearization."

You write this. The most remarkable aspect of the joint statement was what it didn't contain. There was nothing about North Korea freezing plutonium and uranium programs, nothing about destroying intercontinental ballistic missiles, nothing about allowing inspectors to return to nuclear sites, nothing about North Korea making a full declaration of its nuclear program, nothing about a timetable, nothing about verification, not even any clear pledge to permanently halt testing of nuclear weapons or long-range missiles. Kim seems to have completely out-negotiated Trump. And it's scary that Trump doesn't seem to realize this. For now, Trump has much less to show than past negotiators.

So Nick, you argue the U.S. got very little. You just laid it out there. But Trump supporters argue he didn't give up anything. Maximum pressure continues. Sanctions haven't been lifted. North Korea has freed three American detainees.

KRISTOF: So, I think he did give something up in a few different ways. One was simply the meeting itself was a huge gain in stature and legitimacy for Kim Jong-un. And indeed, we see in the propaganda video that he made for his people, I mean, you know, his narrative that people are facing in North Korea is that because of Kim Jong-un's testing of nuclear weapons, his pursuit of missiles, the American President had to come to Asia to meet Kim Jong-un and then had to give up the military exercises, and so it's very different narrative.

And so, at the end of the day, the U.S. gave up -- gave that legitimacy. They gave security guarantees to North Korea. We don't know the exact content of those security guarantees. And we gave up military exercises.

And you know, these would be reasonable things to discuss giving up during a negotiation if we exchanged military -- reduction in military exercises for a freeze in plutonium and uranium production. That would be worth talking about.

But all we got was a promise to denuclearize, which is the same promise North Korea has been giving since back in 1992. And you know, as somebody who has been covering North Korea since the 1980s, what strikes me is that we got rather less this time than we got in just about every past negotiation that I can think of.

[16:40:36] CABRERA: As you point out as well, we are only here in this situation because they have broken past promises.

Nicholas Kristof, really appreciate your insight and your expertise on this issue. Thank you for joining us.

KRISTOF: Good to be with you, Ana.

CABRERA: Kim Kardashian helped a grandmother from life in prison. And now Kardashian wants to become a voice for other nonviolent offenders still behind bars.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIM KARDASHIAN, REALITY STAR: If I can be used as the vessel and they could all use me, they can use me. You know? The attorneys. There's over 3,000 people in the same exact situation as Alice and it's not just that it so happened to be that Alice was on my screen at that moment, at that time, when I was on, but it doesn't mean that we are going to stop here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Coming up next, CNN's Van Jones tells me what Kim Kardashian had to say about the release of Alice Johnson and the possibility of running for office one day.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

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[16:45:50] CABRERA: President Trump giving kudos to Kim Kardashian, saying the reality star inspired him to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother who had been serving a life sentence for a first-time nonviolent offense. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You know, I have this tremendous power of pardon, and Kim Kardashian came in and the woman 22 years in jail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People can't believe that you would be listening to Kim Kardashian.

TRUMP: Well, I did. I don't know her and I met her and she was really nice, I have to say, and very capable. But she came in and she said this is a very unfair situation. I looked at it. I agreed. She is in there for 22 years. She got another 20 years to serve. And you have drug dealers that are doing big stuff and they get a two-month sentence. OK, it was just unfair. She thanked me but you know, thank Kim, because I wouldn't have known about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: I want to bring in Van Jones, the host of the "VAN JONES SHOW." He not only interviewed Kim Kardashian about her fight to get Alice Johnson released, he also pushed for the reality star to get that oval office meeting with the President.

So Van, thanks for being with me. Let's start there. How did you get involved in this?

VAN JONES, CNN HOST, VAN JONES SHOW: Well, you know, I have been working on criminal justice issues for 25 years, believe it or not. It's my first passion when I got out of law school was working on these issues. So I had been working on Alice Johnson's case during the Obama administration. #Clemencynow was a campaign that the dream core, we are on the volunteer board president. We were running that campaign under the Obama administration. And Obama, to his great credit, got about 1,700 people, similar situations, out of prison, but she got left behind. And the clock ran out. And we said we are not going to give up fighting. And then Kim Kardashian heard about that situation. And she contacted a young attorney named Brittany Barnett, who I had a chance to work with until now, and became this entire movement around getting her home and it worked.

CABRERA: And so this obviously is something you are so passionate about, criminal justice reform. You have been working with this White House on this very issue. Does the outcome in Johnson's case give you optimism of actually getting where you see this going?

JONES: Look, I do have optimism. It's funny because, you know, I always say about the Trump White House and about Jared Kushner, we got 99 conflicts but prison isn't one, OK? Jared's dad went to prison for a white-collar crime. He understands that, you know, prisons are -- it's a disaster right now. We got too many people in prison for too long for dumb stuff. We can do something about that. Let's do something about that.

And I also think that President Trump, when he did pardon Alice Johnson, you know, some of his pardons are hard to understand, but that one, you have to admit, was a great one. He got positive feedback for it. I think he may do more. We need shorter sentences. We need better treatment when they are in there. And we need more opportunities when they come out. And I think both parties can agree that we -- America's government can do a better job when it comes to criminal justice.

CABRERA: We are going to see part two of your interview with Kim Kardashian tonight on "the VAN JONES SHOW." Let's give a quick preview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KARDASHIAN: There's things that I do care about and things that I want to know and things I would love to be more involved. Just seeing this success was, I think, gives the whole team hope.

JONES: Yes.

KARDASHIAN: And if we can -- if I can be used as the vessel and they could all use me, they can use me. You know, the attorneys. They can -- I think everyone on that side knows that, that I'm -- we are all in it together. And we just all have the same goal. And if I am the voice that goes in and tries to -- I mean, there's over 3,000 people in the same exact situation as Alice. And it's not that -- it just so happened to be that Alice was on my screen at that moment, at that time, when I was on, but it doesn't mean that we are going to stop here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: So this is now sort of Kim Kardashian's foray into politics of sorts. Do you think we are going to see a side of Kim Kardashian we haven't seen before?

JONES: Hey, listen. I encourage people to watch the full interview. She says stuff that I was stunned to hear her talk about. I mean, I asked her point-blank, I said, are you going to run for office? You got to see the interview to see what she says. I think she has found a passion.

[16:50:06] CABRERA: Make sure you watch Van's full interview with Kim Kardashian West tonight at 7:00 eastern here on CNN.

We will be right back.

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[16:54:39] CABRERA: On tomorrow's brand-new episode of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," W. Kamau Bell heads down south to debunk some myths. We are also retracing his family roots with his father.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Now my career is doing OK by most measures. But my dad's is way more impressive. He was the insurance commissioner for Alabama, which made him the highest ranking black person in Alabama. He was the first Alabaman to become the President of the national association of insurance commissioners. He has met with multiple Presidents, Clinton, Obama, no.

But before all that, he was a struggling artist in the bay area. So that's where I got that from. But his life really started in a shack in Alabama a hundred miles outside of mobile. It's got a population of 312, and the shack is on land that my family still owns. Right off of, don't get too impressed, Bell Road.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[16:55:34] CABRERA: Be sure to catch "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" tomorrow night at 10:00 eastern right here on CNN.

Coming up, with the world cup under way in Russia, a taxi ran through a crowd in central Moscow. We are live on the scene.

You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go away.

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