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Harley-Davidson Taking Hit in Trump Trade Fight with E.U.; Trump's Relationship with Generals on Cabinet Frayed; Roseanne Barr Gives Emotional Interview on Racist Tweet; Fallon Talks Backlash for Having Trump on Show; Sen. McCaskill Gets Broken Rib from Heimlich Maneuver. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired June 25, 2018 - 14:30   ET

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


[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Do not miss "SMERCONISH," Saturday mornings, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, here on CNN.

Gentlemen, thank you very much.

Next, an iconic American brand, Harley-Davidson, now moving some of its production overseas. This is all connected to President Trump's tariff policies.

Also, he used to shower his generals with praise, but now it seems the president's relationship with some of them has frayed. Let's get into that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Harley-Davidson, the classic made-in-the-USA motorcycle, now announcing its moving some of its production out of the U.S. The reason? Tariffs imposed by the E.U. and what looks like a looming trade war with the Trump administration.

But I want to take you back to last year, when Harley-Davidson brought its made-in-America bikes right to the lawn in in the White House. And President Trump touted how his tax cuts would benefit the motorcycle maker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[14:35:16] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We want to make it easier for businesses to create more jobs and more factories in the United States. And you're a great example of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: I have with me now, Rick Barrett, the business reporter with the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel," and Melody Hahm, is a senior writer with Yahoo Finance.

Great to have both of you on.

Rick, you're there in Wisconsin, I'm starting with you.

With the production leaving Wisconsin, and I think you don't -- no one really has hard numbers on jobs. What do you know, how are people feeling about this?

RICK BARRETT, BUSINESS REPORTER, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: Well, what we know right now, is that about 16 percent of the new motorcycles that Harley-Davidson sells go to Europe. Primarily, those bikes are built in Kansas City and York, Pennsylvania. Harley- Davidson says that production will be moved overseas.

BALDWIN: Overseas to places like Thailand, Brazil, India, where Harley-Davidson doesn't have to deal with these tariffs.

This is what Harley is saying in a statement: "Harley-Davidson believes if the cost increase is passed on to its dealers and retail customers would have an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region." And according to Harley, "The cost of each bike would increase by $2200 to export."

Melody, for those who love their Harleys, does that mean the cost per bike to buy goes up?

MELODY HAHM, SENIOR WRITER, YAHOO FINANCE: That's the first thought. But they disclosed in the SEC statement that they will not be passing the cost along to consumers.

BALDWIN: OK.

HAHM: They are absorbing the cost, which is why you see the stock tanking today, down 7 percent, it's going to be affecting their bottom line.

BALDWIN: You were saying something interesting about how Harley- Davidson is one of those few companies who's been to the White House.

HAHM: Correct.

BALDWIN: Not once, but twice.

HAHM: Twice. Yes, exactly.

BALDWIN: Why is that significant?

HAHM: Because Trump has been parading Harley-Davidson executives, engineers, bikers themselves as a relic of, this is what American made looks like, and I think this is a huge testament to the fact that his policy has -- his tax policy is in direct contrast to these new tariffs that are being imposed and it has an unintended consequence of companies that want to manufacture in the U.S., they are being forced out of the country. And executives delineated that saying, this is not our desired outcome, and? It's not the path we wanted to pursue. We are a business, and we need to act according to our shareholders.

BALDWIN: I'm wondering, back in Wisconsin, Rick, we all know who's from Janesville, Wisconsin, the House speaker in the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul Ryan. The little bit I've seen from him, he's coming out against this.

BARRETT: That's right. He hasn't been in favor of the tariffs. But the European Union has stead specifically that Harley-Davidson was targeted for political reasons. It's a high-profile company for them, partly because of Speaker Ryan.

HAHM: And let's keep in mind, Kentucky bourbon, Mitch McConnell, orange juice, Marco Rubio in Florida. Politics are personal.

BALDWIN: Targeted.

HAHM: And at the end of the day, it's the same thing with the Chinese tariffs that were being implemented, they are targeting Trump's supporters, Trump's base. All the states that were in favor of Trump to begin with. There's no way to parcel this out and not see it clearly.

BALDWIN: Let's remember back to 2016. You know how much Trump won Wisconsin by? Less than 1 percentage point. We'll see how this factors in the next couple of months.

For now, Rick and Melody, thank you so much --

HAHM: Thank you.

BALDWIN: -- for coming in and talking Harleys with me.

Next, President Trump stacked his cabinet with generals. He's keeping his military advisers in the dark when it comes to massive decisions.

Also ahead, Senator Claire McCaskill says she cracked a rib after something Joe Manchin did. You have to hear this story. She's OK.

[14:39:07] We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: President Trump and the generals have been an everchanging story since Trump began assembling his administration. In the beginning, he surrounded himself with high-ranking military men. When he talked about them, he pulled out all the superlatives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I have generals that are great generals. These are great fighters. These are warriors.

General Kelly will go down, in terms of the position of chief of staff, one of the great ever.

He's great. I think he's doing a great job. I think General Kelly has done a really great job.

John Kelly is one of the best people I've ever worked with.

General H.R. McMaster, a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.

Secretary Mattis has devoted his life to serving his country. He's a man of honor, a man of devotion, and a man of total action.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Some of those generals lasted, Mattis, Kelly. Others didn't, Flynn, McMaster.

Let me bring in CNN military and diplomatic analyst, Rear Admiral John Kirby and CNN global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott.

General Kirby, on these generals, there are now these reports that the pentagon is being kept in the dark about major decisions like Iran and North Korea. How problematic is that?

REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY & DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Very problematic.

It's one thing for the president to make a snap decision, but when it regards national security it has major implications, you never want your defense secretary to be surprised about a major national security decision that you're going to make that affects the choices he has to make around the world. I've advised two secretaries of defense, they have to make tough choices and compromises, where they're going to put resources versus where they're going to take those resources from. When the president makes these decisions without consulting him and the military leaders, he absolutely can put national security at risk.

[14:45:06] BALDWIN: That's a huge issue, obviously.

His relationship with the secretary of defense, a, seems to be, so far, so good, Elise Labott. With the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, I know you have exclusive reporting indicating there's no time line on talks with North Korea. What do you know?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, that's a perfect example of what we're talking about here, the president has been relying on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on this North Korea thing, and in fact made an agreement with Kim Jong-Un to halt military exercises in Korea, to Defense Secretary Mattis knew it could be on the table. Not that that was going to be an outcome of the summit. I had an opportunity to speak to Secretary Pompeo last night. To mark him taking over from Secretary of State Tillerson. We talked a great deal about North Korea. You know that joint statement that came out between the president and Kim Jong-Un had broad principles about denuclearization from North Korea, I asked Secretary Pompeo, how long are you going to give this to put some meat on the bones about how this is going to happen how long it's going to take. The secretary told me he's not going to put a time line on it. He said as long as he sees some kind of progress, he thinks they should keep going. He said what he saw in his two trips to North Korea with Kim Jong-Un an unequivocal commitment to denuclearization. We'll have to see if Kim Jong-Un is ready to make good on those pledges, Brooke. But the secretary did tell me he will constantly be reassessing whether Kim Jong-Un was serious. U.S. actions, such as halting these major military exercises, would depends on whether the North Koreans are going to be taking steps.

BALDWIN: That's the question mark, what the North Koreans do. I'm so glad you are able to get some time with the secretary.

Elise Labott, thank you for that.

Admiral Kirby, good to see you.

Let's move on. Jimmy Fallon in the news today because of an interview he did. He has some regrets with a sketch he did with then-Candidate Donald Trump. And the president fights back.

Also, Roseanne gets emotional in this new interview involving her racist tweet and her firing. We'll play the whole thing for you. Stay with me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:50:00] BALDWIN: Actress Roseanne Barr offering up a tearful apology for her racist tweet a few months back about former White House Obama administration official, Valarie Jarrett. These comments came during a podcast recorded a day after ABC cancelled her show. She told a spiritual adviser she's turning herself into a "hate magnet."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROSEANNE BARR, ACTRESS (voice-over): It didn't mean what they thought it meant. That's what's so painful. I have to face that -- this hurt people. I horribly regret -- are you kidding, I lost everything. I said to god, I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings, because I know I'm wrong. I'm willing to accept the consequences. And I do, and I have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Chris Cillizza, CNN politics reporter and editor-at-large.

What did you make of her tears and her interview?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Well, Brooke, I think you make an important point that gets lost a little bit. This interview came the day after she was fired by ABC. We're just getting the audio now. But this was a raw moment for her, she had just lost a job and a very well-paying job. It seems like a heartfelt apology. The one note I will make on it, this was not the first time on Twitter that Roseanne Barr had made racist or xenophobic comments. This is not a one off. It doesn't make it OK if it's a one off, but there's a pattern of this behavior. I'm not here to judge anyone for making Twitter -- off color Twitter commentary. I've never gone that far. I understand it's a tough medium. But history suggests this wasn't a one off.

BALDWIN: So under the regret category.

And, of course, we all remember the bit on "The Tonight Show." You know, 2016, Jimmy Fallon brings the whole thing about his hair. The backlash Jimmy got hit him pretty hard. CILLIZZA: Yes. This is fascinating. Everybody remembers that video.

Fallon came under a lot of criticism. Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, doing a lot more political commentary, and a lot more aggressively anti-Trump territory. Fallon not. That December 2016. He talked about it on a podcast with the "Hollywood Reporter" recently.

Let's play a little bit of that, Brooke, and come back and talk about it many.

BALDWIN: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY FALLON, HOST, THE TONIGHT SHOW (voice-over): It was definitely a down time. It's tough for moral for people -- 300 people that work here, people talking that bad about -- ganging up on you, really gang mentality.

Oh, it was insane. It was people you wouldn't expect.

UNIDENTIFIED HOLLYWOOD REPORTER HOST: And you're a sensitive guy.

FALLON: You go, all right, we get. I heard you. You made me feel bad. Now what? Are you happy? I'm depressed. I did not do it to normalize him or say I believe in his political beliefs or any of that stuff. I don't do that with any guest. With anyone. He was already the candidate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[14:55:20] CILLIZZA: So he was already the candidate. Remember, it's September 16, 2016. Of course, Donald Trump wasn't really critiquing him. Jimmy Fallon responds to that, I think we have that, I'll be making a donation, this is a group that helps do education research around immigrant communities in his name. So all's well that ends well? A group that does good work is getting a donation from Jimmy Fallon.

But look, I do think both of these stories illustrate, Brooke, when you are in the center of that spotlight, now more than ever, it is absolutely crushing. And we see both personal sides of Roseanne Barr and Jimmy Fallon. They're real people who -- at least in Roseanne's case, made a real mistake here. You feel the blowback now more than ever.

BALDWIN: One more for you. I don't know what it says when I read this story, and I thought, this is something you would talk about. But the - she's OK. But Senator Claire McCaskill is having this lunch recently. I guess she starts choking, she's all right. But Senator Joe Manchin comes up behind her, Heimlich, breaks her rib. What happened?

CILLIZZA: This is my underrated crazy story that I can't believe we're not talking about until today.

BALDWIN: Totally. Totally. CILLIZZA: This is last Thursday. Senate Democrats have a weekly lunch. They get together, they talk about policy, where they're going politically. Claire McCaskill starts choking, Manchin comes over and gives her the Heimlich. Unknowingly at the time, breaks a rib. So Claire McCaskill is at an event later in the day, I'm not going to be hugging anyone, I just injured my rib. But we just heard about this today.

This is a crazy story. But, yes, this is actually in the "all's well that ends well category."

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Yes. On a positive note.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Here's a quote from Claire McCaskill. A tough cookie. "I'm really grateful to Joe. A little bit of a sore rib for a couple weeks is no big deal."

CILLIZZA: That's not how I would have reacted to a broken rib. Let's just leave it at that.

BALDWIN: Yes.

Chris Cillizza --

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: -- thank you so much.

Next here, where in the world is Barack Obama? A new piece explores the former president's disappearing act and why he stays so silent.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:00:02] BALDWIN: Top of the hour. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.

Despite reports that the president is having regrets about signing his executive order on immigration, President Trump says he is happy.