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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Claims Intel Officials Were Misquoted, Despite Public Remarks; Jussie Smollett Speaks Out About an Alleged Attack; Cory Booker Joins A Diverse and Crowded Democratic Field for President; Baldwin Interviews Toni Harris, Football Player Featured in Super Bowl Ad; Officers In North Carolina Work Tirelessly to Find Missing Three- Year-Old Boy. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired February 1, 2019 - 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: And so Iran's foreign minister today said that this shows -- quote -- "Any deal with the U.S. government is not worth the ink, even treaties ratified by Congress."

Regardless of how you feel about the Iran deal, do you think that that's a fair point?

MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think it is a fair point. The Trump administration is in the position of the boy who cried wolf. They are so hostile to treaties and so unilateral and so isolationist, they abrogate treaties left and right. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, they abrogated the Iranian Nuclear Accord even though the intelligence said Iran is complying with the Iranian nuclear accord.

They have made so many bad and false arguments that people are not prepared to listen, when they have a good case to make on the INF treaty, they do have a good case to make.

BALDWIN: On those intel chiefs who testified on Capitol Hill earlier this week and the President apparently in his "New York Times" piece, you know, said they said that they were mischaracterized by the media. Look at the tape.

BOOT: It's a joke. Just read the report, which is at odds with Trump time and time again where Trump says the North Korean nuclear threat is over, the intelligence chiefs say, no. North Korea is not going to give up their nuclear weapons. That's not invented. That's an actual conflict.

BALDWIN: This is so tricky in this time and space with all these falsities, lies, you're not going to have Gina Haspel or Dan Coats hold out and hold a news conference and say what he said, that's not right.

BOOT: I'm sure they're happy to have Trump say what he says. The alternative is he has to pretend the intelligence chief that are misquoted or he has to clamp down on them and start firing people. I'm sure they much rather have this kind of dodge where he claims they were misquoted even though we know they were not misquoted.

BALDWIN: Thank you. BOOT: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Breaking news out of Washington, D.C. courtroom this afternoon, there he is, there he is, that Nixon victory salute, the judge warning him not to treat this trial like a book tour. We have more from this judge's warning coming up.

Also. the "Empire" star who says he was the victim of a hate crime on the streets of Chicago earlier this week speaks out for the very first time. What he wants to say to people who have doubted his story?

[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: "Empire" star Jussie Smollett is now speaking out after telling Chicago police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack so he released a statement writing in part, "let me start by saying that I'm OK. My body is strong, but my soul is stronger. I'm working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served. We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident but I need a moment to process. Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It's all I know. And that can't be kicked out of me."

Chicago police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. Here is what the chief had to say about it today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUPERINTENDENT EDDIE JOHNSON, CHICAGO POLICE: The crime that he reported is horrendous, it's horrible and cowardly. We don't have anything that we've actually been able to view, but I will say this, he's a victim right now and we'll treat him like a victim. He's been very cooperative and we have no reason at this point to think that he's not being genuine with us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Investigators are still looking for suspects from at least these images from a surveillance camera of two people they want to question.

Senator Cory Booker is no stranger to tough political campaigns when he first ran for mayor of Newark, New Jersey, back in 2002. He was trying to unseat a powerful political machine, longtime incumbent Sharpe James. He didn't win, but his trials and tribulations on the campaign trail were depicted in an Oscar nominated documentary called "Street Fight."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. COREY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: I'm running for mayor and the reason I'm running, three reasons, real quick, for the last 32 years of your life, you've had the same leadership. SHARPE JAMES, FORMER MAYOR OF NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: We ain't going

nowhere and we don't need no carpet baggers telling us how bad we are. Stay out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police is down at 505 Prospect ripping down our signs.

BOOKER: A new day is dawning in Newark. The sun is rising.

We're not going to win this campaign on TV or radio. We'll win this campaign in the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let go of my camera!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Obviously, he went on ultimately to win, to be become the mayor of Newark and the Senator for New Jersey, Marshall Curry, the writer and director of "Street Fight" is with me now. So, thank you so much for coming.

MARSHALL CURRY, WRITER AND DIRECTOR OF "STREET FIGHT": Thank you for having me.

BALDWIN: Let's just start with -- you've known this guy since 2002.

CURRY: That's right.

BALDWIN: It's been a while.

CURRY: Yes.

CURRY: And just listening to him, you know, announcing today, I was talking to guys earlier and he said it's impressive, no script, all just speaking from his heart, maybe a tad ideological but how long do you think this day has been in the making for him?

[15:40:00] It's funny, when I was making "Street Fight" people would say to me that guy who at this point was an unknown city councilman, he wasn't even a mayor yet, that guy's going to be the first black President of America and you never know, but here we are. He's not going to be the first, of course, but it is amazing that this morning he decided to throw his hat in the ring.

BALDWIN: A lot of people are already comparing the most recent Senator to throw her hat in the ring, Kamala Harris, this massive rally in Oakland, California, and here he is in his front yard in Newark, New Jersey, why do you think he chose that location and timing?

CURRY: He has a lifelong connection to Newark. His commitment to improving that city and improving the lives of people who live in Newark and other cities in rural communities around the country -- I imagine it was symbolic for that reason. It was going to be that individuals rather than big spectacle. BALDWIN: One of the first questions out of the gate was about his --

this is all about love and ideology and passion for people and country and that's all well and great and wonderful, but, you know, the push back on that would be, well Democrats need a fighter, they need someone with tough elbows, they need an enemy to go up against Donald Trump. Is Cory Booker someone that could be that Trump foe?

CURRY: I gave up trying to predict how elections were going to go --

BALDWIN: You've seen him.

CURRY: I do know him, though, and I know that he's -- two things that conflict with each other. He's very sweet, he's very idealistic and generous and gentle, but I saw him fight one of the roughest, dirtiest, slimiest candidates and campaigns ever in the streets of Newark, New Jersey. So, he's no stranger to a tough fight.

BALDWIN: And just lastly, since you've had so much time with him which is when the cameras are rolling, you've been with him when the cameras are off. What's he like?

CURRY: He's a little like he is in the movie. You feel like sometimes when he's doing things in the Senate that, you know, he can get a little professorial, but he's remarkable.

BALDWIN: Who is the real Cory Booker?

CURRY: I was just following him around today and it's amazing how similar he is to who he was as a 32-year-old city councilman running for mayor. He cares about the same things. He approaches issues sort of wonky but also very activist and idealistic at the same time.

BALDWIN: So, consistency all these many years later.

CURRY: It has been, Yes.

BALDWIN: Marshall Curry, thank you.

CURRY: Thank you.

President Trump weighing in on a number of issues including roger stone's arrest and those mysterious phone calls that his son don junior made before and after now after this infamous Trump Tower meeting.

I cannot wait to talk to this incredible young woman. She's Toni Harris, she's a college football player with dreams of becoming the first woman in the NFL and guess what? She's in the Super Bowl. Kind a, sort of. We'll be right back.

[15:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: She is making history and shattering expectations from high school homecoming queen to a college football defensive back. Toni Harris cannot be boxed in and her dreams do not stop there. Next on her agenda, becoming the NFL's first female football player and her inspiring story is now being featured in Toyota's new Super Bowl ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said she was too small. They said she was too slow. Too weak. They said she'd never get to the next level. Never inspire a new generation, never get a football scholarship. Yes, people have made a lot of assumptions about Toni.

TONI HARRIS, ASPIRING TO BECOME NFL'S FIRST FEMALE PLAYER: But I've never been a big fan of assumptions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Ooh, that look you give the camera, Toni Harris, its fierce. Congratulations on the ad and on you, welcome.

HARRIS: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Can I just ask -- listen as obviously a girl and growing up with a little brother and tossing around the football in my backyard, but I always thought, girls don't play football. So, what was it about you or your family, your environment, that led you to just be like, I can do this?

HARRIS: Yes. I only had one cousin that I really watched growing up playing football, but other than that my other brothers and sisters they don't play football. I'm the only one that plays football, so I grew up watching him and I wanted to play and that's how it all began.

BALDWIN: Huh. And now all this attention you're getting and obviously playing ball with a bunch of guys and you've got this big super bowl ad, how are your fellow college players handling it and how are you handling it?

[15:50:00] HARRIS: I'm handling it pretty well. It's very overwhelming, but it's very exciting also. The moment is still surreal, so I'm still trying to capture the thoughts and moments of it, but my teammates, they're pretty happy for me. They're all calling me and telling me how proud they are for me. It's pretty good for me.

BALDWIN: A gazillion eyeballs, Toni will be on TVs around the country. You will become a household name, so when you do, what is the message you want to pass along to other young women in this country who are taught early on you can't?

HARRIS: You want them to never stop pushing, don't give up on your dreams, you know. Keep pushing forward and I tell everyone, the sky is not the limit I always try to push myself every single day and keep my faith in god let me go as far as I want to go.

BALDWIN: Did you ever have a you can't moment with a coach, someone around you that really became this life defining moment for you?

HARRIS: Of course. I had a coach tell me before that I would never get to the next level because I was a lot smaller and not as fast as the other guys. That moment kind of taught me to never give up. From that moment then I told myself no one is ever going to decide what I will do with my life. That's my decision.

BALDWIN: Isn't that amazing when we have the you can't moments?

HARRIS: Of course.

BALDWIN: I wrote on my exam, you will never make it in journalism. Really? Watch this.

HARRIS: And you proved them wrong.

BALDWIN: Yes. Nearly 20 years in. So, you have been playing the college level for two years. I heard you applied for other schools. What's your next step?

HARRIS: The next step is to figure out what school is best for me athletically and academically. I will decide that once things die down from the super bowl.

BALDWIN: Spoiler alert. It may not die down. Good luck. Good luck.

HARRIS: Thank you so much.

BALDWIN: We'll look for you on Sunday.

HARRIS: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up, Democratic Presidential contender Elizabeth Warren apologizing about her controversial DNA test. We are back in a moment.

[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: A three-year-old boy in North Carolina was missing for three days in rain and freezing cold temperatures. CNN's Brynn Gingras Introduces us the officers who went beyond to call of duty to find him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Deep in this swath of pine trees amongst the thorns a lost little boy was found.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It took some force to get him out of it. I had to pull him out of the vegetation.

GINGRAS: Against all odds Casey Hathaway was rescued 55 hours after he went missing from his great grandmother's North Carolina home.

It was a tip that led EMS captain Shane Greer to this very spot at the edge of the woods.

SHANE GREER, EMS CAPTAIN WHO FOUND CASEY HATHAWAY: And that's when we heard him say momma.

GINGRAS: Clear as day.

GREER: Clear as day.

GINGRAS: Greer is one of hundreds of local and federal emergency responders who searched for Casey through rain and freezing temperatures. The massive operation was under the leadership of Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes.

SHERIFF CHIP HUGHES, CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA: We started look at the percentages of a three-year-old with the elements and the wildlife surviving this. Bears, coyotes. The odds were not in our favor.

GINGRAS: It is a search that captivated the nation and brought a community together.

HUGHES: People were -- when they showed up you could see the look of determination. You know, Casey, he belongs to all of us now.

GINGRAS: All the while he promised Casey's family, he would bring their boy home.

HUGHES: That was a tall promise I made to this lady. We were committed to stay until the end.

GINGRAS: you kept that in your mind it sounds like.

HUGHES; Exactly. When the rescue pulled up, the doors opened and I saw this 25-pound child, three-year-old there with his eyes open, big brown eyes, it was tear jerking. This is when we made good on our promise. I would have stayed out there an entire year just to make that happen.

GINGRAS: Casey's body temperature was low but he only had scratches. He told his parents he befriended a bear. His family emotionally thanked law enforcement.

CASEY HATHAWAY FAMILY MEMBER: We are thankful that you took the time out and searched for Casey and pray for him.

GINGRAS: As for Greer, he will never forget that gratitude. He keeps this picture in his office, a gift from Casey's family of Greer and the little boy he saved.

GREER: I think everybody at some point in time was expecting a bad ending for this. And for the ending to be so good.

[16:00:00] I mean a little boy his home because of the efforts that everybody did here.

GINGRAS: A reminder of what he calls a miracle.

Brynn Gingras, CNN, Craven County, North Carolina:

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: Thanks to the captain and his law enforcement he is OK. Thank you, Brynn so much for sharing that with us.

Before I let you go, one phone call from President Trump. A major Taiwanese electronics company has changed its mind about building a new factory in Wisconsin. We were reporting earlier this week that Foxconn was scaling back the promise to build an LCD manufacturing facility and create thousands of jobs.

The White House had tatted the project back in 2017. The President even went to the ground breaking and now according to President Trump he called the CEO this week when he heard about the change of plans. Foxconn just announce they will stick to the original promise and move ahead creating thousands of manufacturing jobs.

I am Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with us the last two hours.

Let's go to Washington now, "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.