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Trump To Make First Public Remarks Since Aborted NK Summit; President's CPAC Speech Will Follow Rough Week Of Headlines; House Oversight Committee Issues Ultimatum To White House Over Kushner Security Clearance; Paul Manafort Appeals For Leniency In Final Days Before Sentencing; U.S. Set To Scale Back Military Exercises With South Korea; Trump: Otto Warmbier Comments Were "Misinterpreted"; San Francisco Giants CEO Apologies After Altercation With Wife; Lawmakers Use Personal Stories to Defend Stance on Guns; Trump Returns to the States After Meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un; House Oversight Committee Issues Ultimatum to White House Over Kushner Security Clearance; The Bush Years Premieres Sunday on CNN at 9 PM Eastern and Pacific Times; SpaceX Crew Dragon Built to Carry Humans Launches Demo Flight; A CNN Crew Captures a Dinner Plate-Sized Tarantula Devouring a Mouse Opossum on Camera. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired March 2, 2019 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did some of the President's closest advisors like Kushner get access to top-secret information without clearance?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a matter of our national security.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think I have the authority to do that. I'm not sure I do, but I wouldn't -- I wouldn't do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why does he keep lying about this stuff?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The parents of an American student who died after being imprisoned in North Korea have lashed out at the President.

TRUMP: He tells me that he didn't know about it and I will take him at his word.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is not normal for a President of the United States to praise one of the worst dictators on the planet. The President of the United States insists he likes Kim Jong-un.

TRUMP: He's very smart. He's sharp as you can be and he's a real leader.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President really is a master negotiator and he was able to walk away from a deal to tell you, no, listen, chairman, I really appreciate this, thanks, but no thanks, got to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY WEEKEND: Well, good morning. welcome to Saturday early. I'm Christi Paul and look who we got in here today.


PAUL: So good to have you in, Phil.

MATTINGLY: Warmer weather. I appreciate it. I'm Phil Mattingly in today for Victor Blackwill.

PAUL: Yes. So his vice president praised him for standing firm. His acting chief of staff called it a masterful performance. In a few hours, we're going to hear from the President himself now for the first time since he returned from the second North Korean summit without a deal.

MATTINGLY: Now, President Trump will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference this morning and it comes at a tail-end of what could charitably be called a rough week for the White House. The political world watched as his lawyer called him a racist liar. The White House was given until Monday to turn over documents on his son- in-law's questionable security clearance and Congress announced the man who suggested building a Trump Tower in Moscow will be testifying publicly.

PAUL: With the latest on what to expect today, CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood. Sarah, good morning to you. What are you hearing about what we'll hear from the President?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN REPORTER: Well, good morning, Christi and Phil. And it was a rough week indeed for President Trump, both in terms of his foreign policy and his domestic agenda. So we can expect to see President Trump try to put a positive spin on all of this on the fact that he was forced to walk away in Vietnam without the denuclearization that he had sought from North Korea, the fact that all eyes were, during that summit, on Michael Cohen's testimony before the House Oversight Committee.

We got a bit of a preview of the message that President Trump might be trying to send at CPAC from Vice President Mike Pence who spoke yesterday at this conservative gathering. Pence tried to frame the President's departure from the talks without any kind of breakthrough as itself a victory, repeating Trump's line that sometimes you just have to walk, that President Trump isn't going to make a bad deal. He is willing to walk away. So he tried to spin that as a victory. We can potentially expect President Trump to build on that message.

Trump has not missed a CPAC since he's become President. In fact, a lot of people credit Trump's political career with a speech that he gave at CPAC in 2012. So perhaps we will see the President return to his roots here at CPAC. It's a red meat kind of speech, a red meat audience, an audience that will be extremely friendly to President Trump. So we're likely to see him return to some of his greatest hits when he appears at CPAC in a few hours, Christi and Phil. MATTINGLY: Yes. Sarah, I know you're a veteran of multiple CPAC conferences, including some with the President. He tends to discard the prepared remarks. So everybody's going to keep an eye on that. Thank you very much, Sarah Westwood from the White House.

Well, the Congressional reaction, it was immediate. After a "New York Times" report that Jared Kushner got a security clearance over the objections of the White House staffers because the President ordered it. The Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, says he wants to see the White House documents on the decision by Monday.

Another senior Democrat on the committee says he wants former Chief of Staff John Kelly to testify before the panel. The White House argued the committee doesn't have the oversight authority to review the documents they want. The next step? Well, here's a spoiler alert -- congressional subpoena.

PAUL: So Walter Shaub, former Director at the Office of Government Ethics during the Obama administration, is joining us now. Walter, thank you so much for being with us as always. How likely do you see a congressional subpoena?

WALTER SHAUB, FORMER DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS: Oh, I think this is on a collision course for escalation. I think that the White House is going to try to stick to its guns and not release these documents and I don't think Congress is going to give up on trying to get them because this is such a dangerous and serious departure from governmental norms.

PAUL: So you tweeted earlier about Michael Cohen and you said in attacking the credibility of Michael Cohen's testimony yesterday, the President's allies in Congress are making the strongest possible case for the need to call in everyone mentioned during the hearing to ascertain what is true and what is not. A great bipartisan deal. We're talking about possibly Ivanka, Eric, Don Jr., Weisselberg.

[06:05:04] How likely is it that all of those people will come and testify?

SHAUB: You know, I think we've already seen this new House of Representatives leadership moving quite aggressively to try to get to the bottom of some of the mysteries that have been vexing the American public for two years as Congress was not doing any meaningful oversight of the executive branch. So I think it's very likely that a large number of them will come in. This is what happens when a White House stonewalls Congress on information it seeks, things escalate quickly and I think we're actually going to see some real fireworks in the coming months.

PAUL: We know that the Oversight Committee tweeted this. They said, "Breaking," last night, "Representative Cummings staff just asked White House staff if the Kelly and McGahn memos on Kushner security clearance exist. White House staff refused to confirm or deny three times." As we said, there are a lot of questions about how is it that the son-in-law, the President's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, got these security clearances, got through that. What is your biggest question in regards to that and what do you think needs to be clarified?

SHAUB: You know, I think one thing which we may not find out, but is really at the heart of it and perhaps Congress will find out is what were the concerns that led to the denial of the security clearance that the President overrode? Security clearances are serious business and I, you know, worked on nominees for two different presidents for years and was surprised at the kinds of people who would get security clearances despite adverse information in their history that was uncovered during the background investigation.

So it has to be something pretty serious if, at that level of government, career officials are taking a risk in sounding the alarm. That really gives us real pause to wonder what worried the intelligence community so badly about Jared Kushner getting a clearance and have those concerns come to fruition? Is there any danger that he's vulnerable to, either carelessly or as a result of pressure, revealing government secrets that could put people in danger?

PAUL: So you're saying there could be a real national security issue with him having that clearance. Representative Cummings has given the White House Counsel, as we heard there, the office, until Monday to comply, of course, with this request for documents. If that -- if Monday comes and goes and the White House hasn't complied, what is the recourse there?

SHAUB: You know, I think the White House would make a mistake to underestimate Elijah Cummings. He's extremely smart, very strategic and has been in government a long time. I think it will ultimately result in a subpoena and I think the House leadership will pursue that quite aggressively.

One thing that's interesting that Cummings noted in his letter is the White House has not explicitly declared an executive privilege and this is something that they've done for the past two years, hint at it, but not actually declare it and I think Cummings is going to push them into a position where they either have to try to declare it or comply with his request.

PAUL: I want to ask you about Paul Manafort because Representative Gerry Connolly with the Oversight Committee has said he believes Paul Manafort is fishing for a pardon. Do you see any elements of that?

SHAUB: Yes, I think there's some reason to suspect that. In his memorandum filed by his attorneys in support of a more lenient sentence than he may otherwise be facing, they mentioned the lack of any collusion with Russia and affirmatively pressed that point.

But that's not what's at issue in this particular sentencing hearing and so it almost seems like a message they're trying to send to the White House that, you know, they can -- that Manafort has been loyal and not testifying on any issues related to that and should get a pardon. And, you know, it just seemed gratuitous to throw that in there.

PAUL: Well, you know, Michael Cohen is going to be in front of the House intel committee again on Wednesday and I want to touch on something that you just said. Is the importance of Cohen at this point about the business dealings of President Trump or is it about Russian collusion? Because that's when it -- that's what it started about.

SHAUB: Yes, you know, it may be both. I think he's got more information about business dealings, but remember, the House investigation is distinct from any investigation by Robert Mueller and the House has a broader oversight responsibility and rightly should be the ones pursuing this even more broadly than Robert Mueller. So, you know -- and, of course, Michael Cohen is not a good person and he's not necessarily trustworthy in all respects and I think that's why ...

PAUL: I was going to say, there's credibility issues there.

SHAUB: Yes. I mean, the man's a proven liar and I think as a result, you've got to bring in as many witnesses as possible because the search should be for the truth and that's something both sides should get behind.

[06:10:03] I don't know that they will, but they should.

PAUL: All right. Walter Shaub, always good to have your insight with us here, sir. Thank you.

SHAUB: Thanks.

MATTINGLY: President Trump is trying to clarify his comments on Otto Warmbier's death after originally saying he didn't hold the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un responsible for his death.

PAUL: Also, San Francisco Giants CEO, Larry Baer and his wife, responding after what was a heated altercation in a very public park. We have details for you ahead.


PAUL: So good to have you back with us here. The U.S. and South Korea expected to announce the annual military exercises between the two countries are going to be scaled back. U.S. defense officials say they'll have exercises at a small unit level that could involve virtual training.

MATTINGLY: Now, what you're looking at right here is a video from a previous large-scale military exercise between the two countries. This year's exercises, known as Full Eagle and Key Resolve, had been scheduled for the spring.

[06:15:03] Now, this all comes as President Trump, who likes to be known for his art of the deal, walked away from just that in North Korea, but his acting Chief of Staff says President Trump did exactly what he should have done.


MICK MULVANEY, ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF: The President really is a master negotiator and he was able to walk away from a deal, to tell you, no, listen, chairman, I really appreciate this, thanks, but no thanks, got to go, OK? And did so in such a fashion to keep all of the connections, all the relationships still intact so that you can pick up a discussion whenever you want to in the future. There's no wounds to be healed.


PAUL: Now, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren has other thoughts on that. She said the President's making the U.S. look bad on the world stage.


ELIZABETH WARREN, UNITED STATES SENATOR: President Trump proved once again that he is a terrible negotiator. He showed up without having done his homework. He then thought he could come in and sort of roll through it without any real preparation and he walked away empty handed. He doesn't make America stronger. He makes us a laughing stock.


MATTINGLY: Now, officials familiar with the U.S.-North Korea talks tell CNN that the North Korean delegation came into the summit expecting they would leave with a deal. North Korean leader Kim Jong- un did not have a back-up plan


MATTINGLY: Now, CNN's Will Ripley is live from Hanoi and, Will, you just had some great reporting that popped on Right now, Kim Jong-un is on his way back to North Korea from Hanoi. What was your sense of his mood when he left just a few hours ago?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, if you look at -- if you listen to North Korean propaganda, it was a wonderful summit that made great progress on and on, but the real story was conveyed by North Korea's foreign ministry officials who hastily put together a press conference after midnight here in Hanoi because they felt that they needed to defend themselves and counter- attack what President Trump was saying at the podium.

That, you know, North Korea had demanded all sanctions be lifted for an important, but, you know, small step in terms of the overall size of the nuclear program, which would have been offering up a plan to permanently dismantle their only known reactor at Yongbyon. Although, we know that they have a lot of other secret sites suspected of operating across the country.

The North Koreans said they only wanted partial lifting of sanctions and they thought the negotiation was going along until all of a sudden they were shocked and bewildered when President Trump and his team declined the offer and walked away. Kim Jong-un was so taken aback that he sent out his Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials to speak to the foreign press and convey that, A, he thought he might have lost his will to negotiate, thought the U.S. had squandered an opportunity that comes along, in their words, once in 1,000 years and he said he didn't really understand the U.S. system of measurement.

So this is a North Korean leader who, for the first time ever really in North Korea, talked about an event with the United States before it happened in glowing terms in their state media and so they had to spin it in a way that it looked like a win for Kim because otherwise, he loses face in front of his own people. He already lost face in front of the rest of the world and in front of President Trump. And the fact that the President snubbed the working lunch that was planned, that is considered one of the highest forms of disrespect in North Korea and it's a slight that my sources say will never be forgotten in North Korea.

PAUL: So with that said, when the President says there is -- there are -- there is still room for talks here in the future, how do you read that. Is there? How reliable? How much of reality is pegged in that?

RIPLEY: Well, there is room for talks because the North Koreans are desperate for a deal. That's the only way that they're going to get their economic goals achieved, but this is a major setback and now the ball goes back into the court of the South Korean President Moon Jae- in to try to do what he's always done as the intermediary and figure out a way to get Kim Jong-un back in the fold and get President Trump back in the fold and keep them engaged and keep them talking.

This was a difficult moment. You don't want to sugarcoat the fact that you don't fly two world leaders thousands of miles to a place like Hanoi that, you know, rolls out the red carpet to host a summit only to walk away with nothing. It just doesn't happen and it shows that there was a clear lack of preparation. There was no agreement between the U.S. and North Korea on the key issues of meaningful steps toward denuclearization and sanctions relief. They should have sorted that out long before Kim and Trump ended up in the same room.

Now, in terms of what Kim loses aside from, you know, the embarrassment and humiliation of this, I mean he gets all the propaganda images of him smiling next to President Trump, he continues his suspension of missile testing and nuclear testing, but that does just free up money for him to continue investing in other areas of his nuclear program, which is what U.S. intelligence thinks is happening.

Now, meanwhile on President Trump's side, he's scaling back dramatically those military exercises in South Korea as you mentioned, which some are concerned that that does, over time, diminish the U.S. and South Korean forces state of readiness if things were to go downhill with North Korea.

PAUL: Yes.

MATTINGLY: Yes. The military exercise thing is something that you hear repeatedly, particularly on Capitol Hill is something that concerns a lot of people, but maybe leaves the door open to something. Will, I also want to get into something domestically that was a fallout.

[06:20:00] President Trump now clarifying his comments on Otto Warmbier's death. He tweeted, quote, "Of course I hold North Korea responsible for Otto's mistreatment and death." When earlier, he had this to say.


TRUMP: He felt badly about it. I did speak to him. He felt very badly, but he tells me -- he tells me that he didn't know about it and I will take him at his word.


MATTINGLY: And, Will, it's really only when the Warmbier family sent out this scathing statement did he actually change his position. Tell us what he actually means here.

RIPLEY: Well, I guess he didn't want people to think that he was siding with Kim Jong-un and somehow defending him for the death of Otto Warmbier, but what he kind of sugar-coated was that Kim Jong-un obviously knew what condition Otto Warmbier was in for a very long time and he authorized the horrible decision to keep that information secret from the Swedish Embassy, which had repeatedly requested consular access to Otto during the more than a year that he was hooked up to a machine in a vegetative state. Access denied.

We asked about Otto every time we went into North Korea during that more than year-long period. We never got a response. So Kim Jong-un might not have known immediately, you know, what caused Otto to have irreparable brain damage, but he certainly was complicit in the more than year-long deception that followed.

PAUL: All right. Will Ripley, thank you so much, Will.

MATTINGLY: All right. San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer and his wife are apologizing after a very public and very loud altercation in a San Francisco Park. We have the video the police are investigating right after the break.




PAUL: So good to have you here with us. I'm Christi Paul.

MATTINGLY: And I'm Phil Mattingly. They let me break out of Washington D.C. for a couple days, in for Victor Blackwell. All right. San Francisco police are looking into video that shows San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer and his wife having an altercation in a public park.

PAUL: Yes. At one point, this altercation becomes physical. CNN's Kaylee Hartung has the video.


PAM BAER: Oh, my God. Help. KAYLEE HARTUNG: "Oh, my God. Help," Pam Baer screams as her husband, San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer, tries to grab what appears to be a cell phone out of her hand. Caught in a struggle, she falls to the ground in the chair she's sitting in. This video, captured by a bystander and first released by "TMZ", shows just a few seconds of the scuffle. After a cut in the video, you can see Larry there, cell phone and cup of coffee in hand saying, "Stop, Pam. Stop," and walking away. Bystanders are heard yelling for her to stay away from him.

The couple, married for nearly 30 years, says they're embarrassed by the heated argument over a family matter. In a joint statement, they say they've resolved the issue, but this video is now an issue for authorities. The San Francisco Police Department is investigating the incident and so is Major League Baseball.

A statement from the league says, "Just like any other situation like this, they will immediately begin to gather the facts." Major League Baseball's strict domestic violence policy applies to executives as well as players. Baer is part owner of the Giants and is seen as a major part of the success enjoyed by the organization which won the World Series three times in the last 10 years.


PAUL: Now, we want to point out that Pam Baer did send CNN an e-mail response about what happened. Here's what she said. "An unfortunate public marital argument. I grabbed his phone and I fell back. I love Larry more than anything," unquote.

MATTINGLY: Yes. Still to come this morning, one lawmaker lost her son to gun violence and another lawmaker says his life was saved because of guns, both of their personal stories at the center of the gun debate in Congress. More on that ahead.


[06:30:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CO-HOST, NEW DAY SATURDAY: So, everybody has their own thoughts on gun control, and they're usually very passionate, they're very strong between guns and the Second Amendment. There's big talk and plenty of proposals, of course, on the books in Congress to change gun laws. There are, however, no actual plans for Congress to pass them.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CO-HOST, NEW DAY SATURDAY: Yes, at least to actually get them through. I spoke with two lawmakers who fall on very different sides of the debate, both of whom were directly affected by gun violence.


MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two lawmakers with visceral, personal experiences with gun violence on complete opposite sides of the gun debate.

REP. LUCY MCBATH (D), GEORGIA: I urge my colleagues to vote yes on HR8; the bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. It is time. REP. STEVE SCALISE, (R-LA), MINORITY WHIP, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF

REPRESENTATIVES: This is a bad gun control bill, we ought to reject it.

MATTINGLY: Congresswoman Lucy McBath's son Jordan Davis was murdered in 2012. That and the fight for more restrictive gun laws is the reason she's in Congress today.

MCBATH: The fact that I am here, and I ran on a platform of gun violence prevention, when people kept telling me don't do it, that's suicide, you can't win, the numbers aren't there. I wasn't the only one that ran on this platform, but this was my number one platform because it's the right thing to do.

MATTINGLY: McBath, a Democrat notched an upset victory in November after six years of gun advocacy, and a campaign that didn't shy away from the issue.

MCBATH: And in the end, I will always just be a mother on a mission.

MATTINGLY: Steve Scalise, moments from death in 2017, after he and Republican colleagues were targeted by a gunman at a congressional baseball practice, now both at the center of the debate.

[06:35:00] As the Democrat-controlled House took the most substantive legislative steps on the issue in more than two years. Capitol Hill reality, one driven less by outside money and political influence, and more by personal belief systems.

And when it comes to guns in the Second Amendment, there's no clear bipartisan path forward to significant changes.

SCALISE: You know, what happened to me with the shooting in 2017, it didn't change the way I view issues, especially the Second Amendment in gun rights. But it really strengthened my beliefs, because people were expecting for some reason that I might change my views.

MATTINGLY: For McBath, it was the exact opposite, her experience is why she's a key player in the legislative debate now.

MCBATH: Well, no one ever wants to be in my shoes. And so, to be able to, I guess, bear that burden, carry that mantle, and bring that mantle here to Washington and really be able to affect change is extremely important. People are depending on me.

MATTINGLY: It's something that has turned her into a natural leader on the issue for Democrats.

NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: That turning her grief and her tragedy into action and courage to run for Congress, to stand on this floor and share her personal story with us, that takes real courage.

MATTINGLY: And Scalise into a key voice for Republicans opposed to those efforts. SCALISE: For those who want to limit the rights of law abiding

citizens to own or possess a gun, I think it's important to show the other side of how guns are used to help save lives. And in my case, it was people with guns who confronted the shooter and are the reason that I'm here today.

MATTINGLY: Both are keenly aware that those roles will likely only grow in the months ahead. McBath pledging a step-by-step process for more restrictions. Scalise countering that the current laws on the books are enough.

SCALISE: One of the things I think we ought to put real focus on is holding people accountable that fail all of us. If an area of government breaks down and doesn't do its job, there are lot of laws on the books by the way that don't get enforced properly, that aren't used, and crimes are committed because somebody didn't do their job right.

And yet, government never goes to hold those people accountable, they say let's pass another law that's not going to work, that's actually going to make it harder for law abiding citizens. So that's where the focus ought to be.

MATTINGLY: As the search continues, for some way, the bridge is such a significant divide.

MCBATH: I don't think there's anyone, Republican or Democrat wants a child to have access to a gun and inadvertently hurt or maim themselves as an accident. I don't think any of us want that. We want to make sure our children are cared for and protected.

So that is definitely a measure that I think that we can really find some common ground on.


MATTINGLY: And that was my conversation with Congressman Steve Scalise, Congresswoman Lucy McBath, and it's worth noting the House passed bills were bipartisan, eight Republicans on one of the bills, two Republicans on the other.

But the Senate-controlled -- Senate Republican-controlled Senate has made very clear they're not going to take up these gun bills anytime soon. And it just kind of underscores this divide. You've seen the wave of activism, you've seen the students particularly from Parkland, and then you look on the House floor during this debate, and this was what I was struck by.

And you see Steve Scalise on one side, Lucy McBath on the other side, and realize that, in terms of final solution, at least on a federal legislative level, Christi, it seems like we're still kind of ways away from that.

PAUL: My goodness, yes, you're right, very nice piece, thank you --

MATTINGLY: Nice -- PAUL: Thank you very much. So, listen, we're talking about Cohen's

testimony on Capitol Hill this week. A failed summit with North Korea, this controversy of Jared Kushner's security clearance. It's been a rough week at the White House, yes?

MATTINGLY: I think, yes, I think you could say that, you should be a candidate.

PAUL: All right, well, CNN's political commentator Errol Louis, he has a few things to say about that, we get to talk to him next. Also, a reminder for you, presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren is joining CNN's David Axelrod for the "AXE FILES", that's tonight at 7:00 Eastern only here on CNN.


PAUL: So, this week, things have been particularly turbulent for the White House.

MATTINGLY: There's been a few things, a few things we're both paying attention to, like, for perhaps one reason, Michael Cohen, the president's former fixer testified before Congress calling Trump "a racist, a con-man and a cheat". Then the president walked away empty- handed from a much hyped second summit with North Korean and leader Kim Jong-un.

And just last night, the House Oversight Committee delivered an ultimatum to the White House, turn over material on how the White House handles security clearances or expect a subpoena.

PAUL: All right, and so we've got CNN's political commentator and political anchor for "Spectrum News" Errol Louis. Errol, I know you have no shortage of thoughts on any of these things. But I want to ask you, straight out of the gate, what was the biggest moment this week for you?

ERROL LOUIS, POLITICAL ANCHOR, SPECTRUM NEWS: For me, it was the collapse of the diplomacy, the fact that the president left Hanoi without any kind of an agreement or even an agreement to agree later.

I thought it was an important kind of reputation or answer to the Trump administration's diplomatic strategy of starting with a big flashy summit, that both perceived it in some ways replaces the normal hard work of diplomacy that's done at the staff level in order to build trust.

Maybe some personal connections and really try to sort of probe towards what's a really important and it's still volatile question of whether or not this dictator is going to continue to not only hold on to, but build additional nuclear weapons.

PAUL: So let me ask you this, we've got -- I want to listen to Mick Mulvaney here, I think chief of staff what he said at C-PAC about this.


really is a master negotiator, and he was able to walk away from a deal to tell you, no, listen, chairman, I really appreciate this, thanks, but no thanks, got to go, OK?

And did so in such a fashion to keep all of the connections, all the relations still intact so that you can pick up a discussion whenever you want to in the future. There's no wounds to be healed.


PAUL: So look there, even Democrats who are saying no deal is better than a bad deal. To that, you say what, Errol?

LOUIS: Well, no -- yes, in the abstract, that might be true. If you're going to -- you know, the market place on the weekend, trying to get the best price on turnips or something. But in this case, we're talking about a really important question.

And what concerns me actually is that the president keeps making these comments about how North Korea could be a great commercial power, it could be more like South Korea. It's a -- you know, great potential, great location, all of this kind of thing. Well, it seems to disregard what I think everybody knows, and that intelligence officials have re-emphasized which is that holding nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction is existential for the dictatorship in North Korea.

That without them, he risks invasion, he risks insurrection. He risks dying in a jail cell or at the end of a rope and being executed. And so it's a really tough problem that has bedeviled the last three American administrations. But simply flattering him, going there and acting as if you can sort of jolly him out of these nuclear weapons doesn't seem to be working.

MATTINGLY: So, that was the international piece of the news avalanche. I'll take you back home and in particular what happened late with Jared Kushner, and security clearances, the House Oversight Committee. And I would actually broaden it out a little bit, Errol.

I know you've got some expertise and thoughts in these areas. The idea that House Democrats have held subpoena powers has been what everybody has been talking about since November 8th, we're now seeing that turn into a very real issue for the White House.

What's your sense of kind of how much the White House grasps what's headed its way, based on just what we've seen over the last four or five days?

LOUIS: Well, I think they realize that they're in for it. On the other hand, the problems that have led the Oversight Committee to start talking about and threatening subpoenas have not gone away. You know, think about how extraordinary it is, Phil, that you've got the White House Chief of Staff, the White House counsel and others who feel compelled to sort of rush and create contemporaneous written explanations of what just happened in a meeting. That they want to make sure that the record is clear about what

happened and what they did and why? Now, we don't know exactly what that might be. We don't really even know if all of the "New York Times" account is true. But if true, it's really troubling and it invites more and more subpoenas, investigations, ultimately probably litigation.

This is probably going to end up in court, whether or not these records have to be turned over. I don't think it's going to slow down the administration tremendously. And if they didn't realize it before, I think they're starting to get a sense. I mean, you know, it's only March, they haven't even been there 60 days yet.

PAUL: There are so many things people are talking about in terms of Cohen's testimony. And the fact that he's going back again on Wednesday to talk to the Senate Intel Committee. What does that tell you, at the end of the day, Errol, about how believable he is to them? I mean, what is left to clarify after three meetings that now you have to go into a fourth?

LOUIS: Well, I mean, I'm not sure exactly what the Intel Committee is looking for, as opposed to what we've all seen from the Oversight Committee. But that alone is enough, I think to sort of indicate that we've got a real series of questions that the White House is going to have to answer.

Think about how extraordinary it is, Christi, that in open testimony, the president's long-time attorney produced physical evidence of a possible crime that was committed while the president was in office. I mean, that picture of that check, and the accompanying testimony that went with it, and this was given under oath.

This was not a small thing, you know, and it kind of comes and goes, and we wonder about everything else that's going on. But the public, I think, is now getting a taste, and that's the real importance of this, even from the Intel Committee, even though it's a closed testimony.

The public and in turn the Congress are getting a real sense of what the stakes are, what the scope of questions that Congress can no longer avoid are going to be. And with Democratic control of Congress, they have an absolute obligation, as did the last Congress, but the Democrats are more likely to take it seriously, to investigate and find out exactly what the heck is going on.

PAUL: Yes --

LOUIS: Credible evidence of a crime committed by a sitting president is not something Congress can just walk away from.

PAUL: All right, good point, Errol Louis, always good to have your perspectives, sir, thank you.

LOUIS: Thank you --

MATTINGLY: Surreal was the world Errol was looking for there -- PAUL: Yes --

MATTINGLY: All right, it's a new era of space explorations, SpaceX launching a new rocket into orbit this morning, how this could change the future of American space travel coming up next.


PAUL: So, the new CNN original series "THE BUSH YEARS: FAMILY, DUTY, POWER", that premieres this Sunday. The episode explores the start of George H.W.'s family and political career. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All eyes are on New Hampshire for the next phase of the race of the Republican nomination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The polls show George Bush far ahead of the other five candidates including Ronald Reagan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bush is on the up, he thinks he's winning. He can taste victory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the Reagan camp comes to George Bush's campaign with a very intriguing offer. What if they have a one-on-one debate between the two front-runners, Ronald Reagan and George Bush. It's a huge opportunity for Bush.

[06:55:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He'll come out looking good and it will make sure that just the two of them are going head-to-head for the Republican nomination.


PAUL: Yes, watch "THE BUSH YEARS: FAMILY, DUTY, POWER" premiering this Sunday, 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

MATTINGLY: And now, through a new beginning for American space exploration.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three, two, one, zero, ignition, lifts off.


MATTINGLY: Quite a view, that's the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule blasting off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, before dawn this morning.

PAUL: If the company's first spacecraft designed to carry astronauts into orbit, the rocket could end the United States' decade's long- reliance on Russia for human space flights. The former NASA astronaut, and I'll beg give a friend here, Leroy Chiao is with us to talk about it. So I'm sure that you were up, Lee Roy, watching this, how significant is this launch? LEROY CHIAO, RETIRED NASA ASTRONAUT: Well, this is a huge deal, as you were saying, this is the first American launch since 2011 of a spacecraft that could one day take astronauts to the International Space Station. So, this is a big deal, SpaceX has been developing this spacecraft for a number of years.

They've gotten the rocket to be very reliable, and so, this is an important demonstration, DM1, demonstration mission 1 going to go through basically a dress rehearsal, going to fly to the International Space Station dock later on in just a few hours, and then come back to earth, and demonstrating that it is capable of carrying United States astronauts back to the Space Station.

MATTINGLY: Leroy, there's been a lot of ink-spill about the idea of privatizing space flight to some degree. Is this -- is this a sense that it's working, it's actually coming to fruition and it's doing what people thought it was going to do when they introduced it?

CHIAO: Well, absolutely, and I was part of the White House appointed committee back in 2008, 2009 to look at U.S. human space flight plans, and this was one of the ideas we put forward, is to have NASA help these commercial enterprises to develop the capability to launch astronauts to and from the ISS in order to, you know, pretty much hand this part over to the commercial sector.

So, it's exciting to see it finally starting to take form, and this is an important first step, this demonstration mission.

PAUL: Leroy, we want to point out that the Crew Dragon capsule is carrying a dummy to simulate a human, and nearly 400 pounds of supplies. I'm sure no connection to, you know, the dummy and the human connection there. But do you get the sense that NASA and SpaceX are looking for something specific when they're monitoring this dummy for lack of a better word?

CHIAO: Well, I mean, it's kind of a targeted opportunity, if you will. I mean, we're going to -- you know, you put an instrumented dummy into the spacecraft. You can measure the accelerations, measure the radiation in the environment, measure other parameters.

And it's pretty much just to kind of verify what you already think you know about the environment. So, I don't think it's a critical point having that instrumented dummy in the capsule. But it's -- but it's -- you know, it's a way to get some more data.

MATTINGLY: Obviously, this breathes a lot of optimism. But what are the potential pitfalls that still exist right now?

CHIAO: Well, potential pitfall if something goes wrong with the mission. Something that wasn't anticipated. We have some kind of unexpected failure, hopefully, that doesn't happen, and this is just a demonstration of what we hope will be a phenomenal mission, and I hope it all goes well.

MATTINGLY: Leroy Chiao, exciting times.

PAUL: Yes --

MATTINGLY: Thank you very much --

CHIAO: Yes, absolutely, thank you --

PAUL: Thank you, Leroy.

MATTINGLY: You were space tourist there, right? You were out there this morning, camped out?

PAUL: Yes, that's what I was doing this morning --

MATTINGLY: Yes, that was what you were doing, OK, yes, I just want to make sure, OK --

PAUL: Don't let anybody know, I was out there by my lonesome --


PAUL: Enjoying --

MATTINGLY: Just hanging out --

PAUL: Enjoying space, right. All right, listen, this next story may very well give you nightmares.


PAUL: I personally have not looked at the video because I don't want to --


PAUL: But I'm going to be forced to do so now because scientists captured this video of a huge -- no, please don't make me look at it.

MATTINGLY: Yes, see, I'm opposed to this story, the spider, all of it.

PAUL: That is a tarantula, a huge tarantula eating an opossum. The team was in the Amazon rain forest, they heard a scratching noise in the leaves and found this dinner-plate-size spider, dinner-plate-size spider dragging an opossum along the ground.

MATTINGLY: Right, so there was a five-minute struggle as the rodent desperately tried to escape the spider's grip. You can probably guess who won. Scientists say this is likely the first time a tarantula of this kind was ever recorded preying on an opossum. I'm calling for a complete and total shutdown of spiders of this size until we figure out --

PAUL: Oh, my gosh --

MATTINGLY: What the hell is going on.

PAUL: I would -- you know, when they told me this happened, the first thing I said, where was this?

MATTINGLY: Yes, is this anywhere in this region --

PAUL: Just making sure this isn't anywhere in our vicinity, yes --

MATTINGLY: Yes, I'm glad it's not.

PAUL: It's not.

MATTINGLY: I'm not going to Peru.

PAUL: We're good for that.

MATTINGLY: Nothing against Peru, just --

PAUL: Nothing against Peru, yes --

MATTINGLY: Very opposed to spiders of that size.