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Antigovernment Protestors Set Fires in Streets of Paris; Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren Calls for Impeachment Proceeding against President Trump; Couple Accused of Torturing Their Children Sentenced to Prison; Researcher Examines Legacy of Columbine School Shooting 20 Years Later; Militia Detains Illegal Immigrants without Legal Authority; North Korean Officials Call for Mike Pompeo to be Removed from Denuclearization Negotiations. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired April 20, 2019 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:21] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. It's Saturday, April 20th. We're so glad you're hear. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. You are in the CNN Newsroom.
Breaking news right now out of Paris. Antigovernment protesters have been setting fires in the streets. You see it on the left of your screen. And police have been using tear gas to try to separate the protesters, disburse the crowds. According to the Paris prosecutors' office, there are 110 people in custody right now, more than 130 people have either been or are now being questioned.
PAUL: The government has been warning the so-called Yellow Vest protesters here that police will use, quote, all means necessary to stop demonstrations from getting out of control, but you can see what they're dealing with this morning. More than 60,000 police have been deployed across France. CNN's Melissa Bell is there. We're going to check in with her in just a little bit.
The Mueller report is still on the president's mind as he spends the Easter weekend in Mar-a-Lago. He tweeted this morning that the Mueller report was written "as nastily as possible." He also called Mueller conflicted. But the president did not -- did not always feel that way. Take a look at what he said about Robert Mueller in 2017.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Robert Mueller's an honorable man, and hopefully he'll come up with an honorable solution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Democrats are demanding the release of the full Mueller report without any redactions. A Democratic aide tells CNN they feel they're, quote, only at the beginning of this thing, which makes you wonder so where is this going to go? Impeachment is being talked about. Senator Elizabeth Warren says that's what the House needs to do next. Other House leaders, not so sure.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk more about what could be next for Democrats with CNN reporter Kara Scannell. So far it seems that Senator Elizabeth Warren at least on some of the top tier, second tier candidates, she's alone out there talking about impeachment being next. What else are we hearing from Democrats on the Hill who have to make the decision?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: That's right, Victor, Elizabeth Warren is the only one who's really gone there calling for impeachment. Otherwise there's a more of a cautious tone on the Hill with Democrats trying to make this more about the fact-finding mission, saying that they need to see the full unredacted report as well as all the underlying documents in order for them to carry out their responsibilities as a coequal branch of government.
And this all goes to the question of did the president obstruct justice, Congress saying that it's their role to look at that. The Democrats from the House Judiciary Committee voted to subpoena the Justice Department for that information, the underlying materials as well as the unredacted report. They sent that subpoena on Friday.
The Department of Justice is saying that subpoena is premature. They are offering to allow the Democrats to come in, certain Democrats to come in to see the report. That's not sitting well with the Democrats on Capitol Hill. Their objective here is to carry out their own mission, they're wanting to look at this to say whether they believe the facts are there that the president obstructed justice, and then only will they start considering the issue of impeachment. That is also a very politically fraught issue because it could impact the election if it's still carrying on at that point, because the public opinion on this issue -- people might be tired of this, and it could be alienating to some voters. But the Democrats here trying to take a cautious note, saying impeachment is not currently on the table but it's certainly not off the table. Victor, Christi?
PAUL: Kara Scannell, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: President Trump has spent the better part of the past three days and this morning tweeting about the Mueller report, calling it everything from crazy to a witch-hunt, now nasty. But he's been notably silent when it comes to addressing the media and the nation on camera. It's a stark difference from other presidents in the face of crisis. Plus, after admitting she lied to the White House press pool, does Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, have any credibility left? Let's talk about this with CNN Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter. Stelter, good morning to you.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: So the president has made no formal statement here. Instead he's resorted to these graphic tweets, sexually graphic retweets, you'll have to find that one for yourself. But after investigations of recent administrations, presidents have come to the camera, to the American people, to be contrite. Let's first start with President Reagan. This is after the release of the Tower Commission report into Iran contra.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:05:08] RONALD REAGAN, (R) FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: First let me say, I take full responsibility for my own actions and for those of my administration. As angry as I may be about activities undertaken without my knowledge, I am still accountable for those activities. As disappointed as I may be in some who serve me, I am still the one who must answer to the American people for this behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: White House failures, president's failures are not unprecedented, but the way that this president is responding, his messaging afterward, is pretty unique.
STELTER: Yes, because he's trying to only speak to the people that he views as his base, the most loyal supporters of his presidency. It has been disappointing for the past two plus years that this president doesn't seem to try to reach out to the 100 percent of the American people that we see in polls, either do or do not support him. He really only ever focuses on that 35 to 43 percent that say they support him and approve of his presidency.
This is a continuation of that strategy. And it may be political strategy that may or may not benefit him, but it's disappointing from a civic perspective that the president doesn't try to communicate to the entirety of the American people.
It is more of the same, however. He did mention before the report came out that that he might hold a press conference, might take questions. That has not happened in the 48 hours since the report came out. Maybe that's because he doesn't know what to say or because he wouldn't be able to hold back his feelings. Our colleagues Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins are reporting the president is newly furious at the staffers, the ex-staffers who spoke with Mueller, who described him as deceitful and paranoid. Maybe he's got too much anger to share and that's why he's taking it out on Twitter instead.
BLACKWELL: I get your point about the president not reaching out beyond his base. But there still is a place, at least we say, let's say 1998 after President Clinton testified before the grand jury. He spoke to the nation, admitted his lies, admitted the inappropriate relationship, as he called it. Let's watch president Clinton. This is 1998.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, (D) FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Our country has been distracted by this matter for too long, and I take my responsibility for my part in all of this. That is all I can do. Now it is time, in fact, it is past time to move on. We have important work to do, real opportunities to seize, real problems to solve, real security matters to face, and so tonight, I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of the past seven months, to repair the fabric of our national discourse, and to return our attention to all the challenges and all the promise of the next American century.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: And using what we know about this president focused on his base, even a Clinton style address to the country would still be in line with that, why are we not hearing the president even say we've gotten the report, there's no evidence -- even if he spins it, that there's no criminal conspiracy, it's time to move on?
STELTER: It may be because he thinks his prebuttal was effective. Think about the last two years of him saying no collusion over and over again, and the past four weeks of him saying no obstruction over and over and over again. That prebuttal, that spinning ahead of time has sunk in with his target audience. Maybe that's why he feels he doesn't need to say anything more.
But I think this also has to do what he hears inside his echo chamber, from his friends on FOX and from his allies on the phone, people calling and talking with him. He's being told he's the victim here. He's being told he was framed. He's being told that he has nothing to apologize for, nothing to express any regret for. I think that's not true. I think the no obstruction thing is a big lie that's repeated over and over again. There's lots of evidence of attempted obstruction.
But maybe it's because he's in that echo chamber hearing over and over again that he has nothing to say sorry for. After all, that's what his longtime ally Roger Stone taught him, one of his top political aides for many years, of course Stone now in legal trouble. Stone taught him, never apologize. Always attack. And that's what the president is doing on Twitter, being on the attack, going after Mueller, attacking the Democrats, more of that.
BLACKWELL: Brian, quickly, 15 seconds, because I'm over time already, how does White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders keep her job?
STELTER: She does not have any credibility left. The Mueller report makes that clear. However, she speaks for an audience of one, the president. As long as she keeps defending the president, I think he keeps her in the job.
BLACKWELL: All right, Brian Stelter, thanks so much.
PAUL: The California couple who routinely tortured their children for years learns their fate in court. And this was a moment, emotional testimony from two of the couple's 13 children there.
BLACKWELL: Plus border vigilantes, Nick Valencia is gathering details on how a militia group is detaining migrants. Nick?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Victor, good morning. An armed militia group detaining migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border, but do they have the authority to do so? [10:10:03] I'm Nick Valencia here at CNN Center. We'll have that
story for you right after the break. You're watching the CNN Newsroom.
BLACKWELL: For the first time we are hearing from two of the children rescued from an abusive home in California.
PAUL: David and Louise Turpin are each serving 25 years to live in prison now after they pled guilty to holding captive and torturing their children. During the sentencing, two of the couple's children talked about how their lives have changed now as to what they were -- compared to what they were like before when they were being essentially held captive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:15:00] JOHN DOE NUMBER TWO, DEFENDANTS' SON: Sometimes I still have nightmares of things that had happened, such as my siblings getting chained up or getting beaten. But that is the past and this is now. I love my parents.
JANE DOE NUMBER FOUR, DEFENDANTS' DAUGHTER: My parents took my whole life from me, but now I'm taking my life back. I believe everything happens for a reason. Life may have been bad but it made me strong. I fought to become the person I am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: That couple was arrested early last year. You might remember after one of their 13 children -- those children, by the way, range in age from two to 29, but one of them, 17-years-old was able to escape what is described as a filthy home, and was able to call police.
BLACKWELL: Let's turn now to a tense moment at the southern border. Defense officials tell CNN that two U.S. soldiers who were conducting surveillance operations on the U.S. side of the border last week near Clint, Texas, were stopped and questioned by a group of armed Mexican troops.
PAUL: Officials say during this incident, the Mexican soldiers pointed their assault style weapons at U.S. troops and removed a U.S. soldier's side arm. We're told the U.S. soldier allowed the weapon to be taken, quote, "in an attempt to de-escalate a potential volatile situation."
BLACKWELL: Official in New Mexico said that members of a self- described group, the United Constitutional Patriots, are stopping migrants crossing into the U.S. illegally and holding them for Border Patrol agents.
PAUL: In one incident this week, the group is seen on video holding nearly 300 people. CNN's Nick Valencia is with us now. I know you've seen some of this video as well. NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's pretty shocking video,
and it purports to show migrants being held or detained by this group called the United Constitution Patriots, and they're described as a militia group that is helping, they say, to keep America safe. And in some of these clips you see them wearing full military tactical gear, armed, in some clips they have balaclava, wearing masks. They say they're working to fill the gaps, plug the holes where Border Patrol agents can't be. And in one of the clips you actually hear one of these men identify himself as a Border Patrol agent even though he is not, and they're seemingly detaining these migrants, although they have no authority to do so.
We've attempted to reach out to the United Constitutional Patriots for comment. They did not rely. But they did issue a statement to the "New York Times" saying what they are doing is legal, and they're comparing and equating to what they're doing as a citizens' arrest. This has drawn swift condemnation not just from locals there, the ACLU, the governor's office also looking into this as is Customs and Border Protection, Christi.
Border patrol can't be happy about this, though. What are other authorities really saying about this group? And do you happen to know, as we look at this video, you can see how many people they were holding. How many of these militia men or women were holding 300 people?
VALENCIA: It's unclear from the video. We know it was specifically posted to a certain individual's Facebook page, but we don't know if that individual is actually the one that is filming. We're working on trying to clear that up. But we do have some full-screen statements I want to share with you, one coming from the New Mexico governor's office, and they are appalled by this. If we can bring up that full- screen statement, guys. They say "They have not been authorized by our office or any other. We are actually working with the attorney general's office, state police, and local police to determine what has gone on and what can be done." Border security operations they say are complex and require highly trained professionals with adequate resources to protect our country. That's what Border Patrol is saying about these, what are being called border vigilantes.
You know how much of a hot issue this is right now on the U.S.-Mexico border. Some people see this as a humanitarian crisis, others see it as a national security threat. This group of militia men are saying that they see this as their opportunity to help Border Patrol agents along the border stretched thin because of the influx of migrants along the southwest border. Now the way they're doing it and how they are carrying about their business is drawing some swift condemnation from the ACLU and others.
PAUL: If you're misidentifying yourself as a Border Patrol agent and you are not that --
VALENCIA: That's one of the big issues. Yes, that's one of the big issues.
PAUL: Nick Valencia, thank you so much. VALENCIA: Thanks, guys.
PAUL: Take a look at what's been happening in Paris this morning. Police have been using tear gas to separate antigovernment protesters there after they set fire in the streets. Officials say they've detained more than 100 people. We have a live report from you from Paris next.
[10:24:06] PAUL: It is chaos. There are fires. There are tear gas being disbursed. This is the scene in Paris this morning. So-called Yellow Vest antigovernment protesters, they have been setting fire in the streets a good chunk of the morning here. Police have been using the tear gas to separate those protesters as well.
BLACKWELL: So here's the latest numbers, 110 people now in police custody, according to Paris prosecutors office. More than 60,000 police have been deployed across France. CNN's Melissa Bell is in Paris. This is from a few moments ago. What are you seeing now?
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, there's an awful lot of tear gas in the air. I'm going to try and show you a little bit of what's happening around us. Just now more tear gas has been thrown in, but you can see here, the huge crowds here, the Yellow Vests just a few days after that fire at Notre Dame Cathedral.
[10:25:00] We had wondered whether this 23rd day of protest, which they had threatened to make extremely big, would be as violent or as well-attended as they were hoping given what had happened on Monday Night, given all that emotion here in Paris. But what's happened is that in the wake of that we've had this huge amount of donations that have been pouring in, nearly $1 million already that have been donated by some of France's richest names, not just some of its big corporate names, Victor, but some of its richest families. And in fact that has fueled the enthusiasm of these Yellow Vest protesters because it speaks precisely to what their gripe has always been.
I'm just going to show you over here, you can see, we can show you occasionally the riot police charge the crowds, the crowds push back. It's a game of cat and mouse between the two. This has been going on all day. The smell and pain of the tear gas hangs pretty heavy in the air, and a lot of anger, a lot of tension. And what these yellow vests are trying to show is that in fact although this is their 23rd Saturday, they're here to stay. And so far the government has failed to answer their demands.
This is here in France, Victor, a society that is profoundly divided, and along those lines about the haves and the have-nots. And that's why in the wake of that controversy about all those people donating all that money to the Cathedral, the Yellow Vests, we've seen this on their signs, they've told it to us personally, what they say is how can those people -- it's not so much about the controversy about the people being able to give donations and get tax rebates. It's about those people being able to give such vast quantities of money at all. These are people, they say, who have very little to live on. They're
struggling to get through every month. And what we've seen these last few days are some donations going up to $230 million. They're saying, look, this is what we've been saying all along. Some of us are barely able to survive, others have millions of euros to give out when there is a need for it.
So far from calming things down, in fact what we've seen is that this 23rd Saturday of protests here in Paris is turning into one of the more violent and well-attended that we've seen. We've seen the numbers drop off these last few weeks. They're back out on the streets today and they're pretty determined.
PAUL: They are. Melissa Bell, you and your crew stay safe there and take care of yourself. I know that it's hard. That tear gas is really thick in the air. We want you to be OK. She was actually wearing a gas mask a little bit earlier because it was so necessary. So thank you to Melissa Bell there.
BLACKWELL: April 20th, 1999, 20 years ago today, a day that changed so many lives across the country. Two students stormed Columbine High School in Colorado, killed 12 classmates, one teacher. They remembered those lost in Colorado last night. You see the crowds here in Littleton.
PAUL: After this happened, investigators worked as families were grieving and they all joined the rest of the country just to try to understand what happened. And then certain myths set in, many of them still repeated to this day. Dave Cullen wrote "Columbine." And he's with us now. Dave, so good to have you with us. The definitive account of what happened that day, the warning signs, what we're still struggling to understand, we know that it was really at that time it was the worst attack that had been seen, but few people know Columbine could have been far worse. There were car bombs, there were cafeteria bombs that were built with propane tanks. What happened?
DAVE CULLEN, AUTHOR, COLUMBINE: Exactly. They were planning -- it would mainly be a bombing with shootings as sort of the second act, and then bombings again in their cars to explode about 40 minutes later. They were bad at wiring, and they used "The Anarchist Cookbook" and they had some mistakes. We don't want to talk too much about it exactly what went wrong because we don't want to train other shooters. But yes, they would have killed about 500 people instantly, and then the school would have burned down, and it would have been much more horrific.
The idea was they had -- they were centered outside the building to triangulate two of the major exits and then mow people down as they fled the building.
PAUL: Oh, my gosh.
BLACKWELL: You warned against thinking these killers fit a specific profile, the loners who snap. But you write about their psychological profile, saying of one of them, I'm going to read here, "The key was repetition leading to obsession. The Bureau described a boy who had worked guns and violence into every assignment. At home-ec class he'd baked a cake in the shape of guns." And there were warning signs. A creative writing teacher read a horrific story by one shooter and showed the school counselor and the shooter's parents. Tell us what happened next, and the lessons that people should take from that.
CULLEN: Sure. And on the baking of the gun, that was a different killer. That was an example from the report of the type of person to look for. But, yes, they give off major warning signs. In most cases, the killers will say multiple times to different people that they're planning to do this. So we learned after Columbine to take those threats seriously.
The whole idea of this loner outcast as the profile is wrong. In most cases that is not true. It was definitely not true in Columbine. So they're very difficult to find, to identify in advance. But we've got much better at doing it.
[10:30:07] PAUL: So I know you wrote a book on the Parkland shooting. There's a "Washington Post" writer that characterized that book as uplifting. Talk to me about the difference in these two books.
CULLEN: Sure. They're completely different. I went about it completely differently. With Columbine, sadly, Columbine is sort of the origin story of this whole school shooter and mass shooting era that we've been living through 20 years. Columbine wasn't the first one, but it really set it off. And almost all these other perpetrators model themselves after that template.
So Columbine started this, and hopefully Parkland is the way out. And so with Columbine I told two stories, the killers and why they did it, and then the second story is the community surviving to get through it. With Parkland I told a completely different story. The March for our Lives kids, what they're doing to get gun safety legislation enacted and to change the legislators to do that, and really the start of this uprising in this movement. It's called Birth of a Movement. It's year one in this massive undertaken which they expect to take a generation.
BLACKWELL: Dave Cullen, author of "Parkland" but also "Columbine," 20 years ago today that tragedy happened in Littleton, Colorado, and it started a trend we are seeing to present day. Dave, thank you so much.
CULLEN: Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you, Dave.
PAUL: Still to come, voters are essentially, it seems, unphased after the release of the Mueller report. Would the release of the full redacted version change anything? We're going to tell you the numbers we've discovered, and we'll discuss.
BLACKWELL: Plus, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he's not going anywhere after North Korea demanded his removal from nuclear talks. So where do negotiations stand now?
[10:35:55] PAUL: A showdown is brewing between House Democrats and the Justice Department. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler subpoenaed Attorney General William Barr for a full, unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report.
BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, some Democrats are already calling for impeachment proceedings against the president. It's an issue that the Democratic Party is divided over. Let's go now to CNN Senior National Correspondent Kyung Lah. She's in South Carolina traveling with Senator Kamala Harris, who is campaigning there this weekend. Kyung, good morning to you. Where do Democratic candidates come down on this issue, and have we heard from Senator Harris on it?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We have heard from Senator Harris. She's taking a multi-pronged approach. I'm going to get to that in a moment. But first, I want to get to the news that Elizabeth Warren made yesterday, because she's really the very first 2020 candidate to call for impeachment proceedings to begin. Let's take a live picture. It's an empty stage there. This is a town hall in New Hampshire where Warren will be speaking. She did yesterday say that after reading Robert Mueller's report on a plane that she felt the need to speak out, to say that impeachment is the right path to take.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: This is one of those moments when I get it, that there are people who think politically no, it's going to be too hard to do this. This isn't about politics. This isn't even specifically about Donald Trump himself. It is about what a president of the United States should be able to do and what the role of Congress is in saying, no, a president does not get to come in and stop an investigation about a foreign power that attacked this country, or an investigation about his own wrongdoing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: Another 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, Julian Castro, also said it was perfectly reasonable for impeachment proceedings to begin. But they're really the only two at this point who are going that far. Pete Buttigieg, he is also in New Hampshire today. He is making his big swing after the Mueller report drop. He is taking the path that it's the ballot box where Trump should be defeated, but he says that impeachment, that conversation, is perfectly reasonable to have.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETE BUTTIGIEG, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, we saw a lot of evidence of corrupt and perhaps criminal behavior. This shows just how deep that corrupt and criminal behavior reaches into the inner workings of the White House. Congress needs to stay on the job with oversight. I think they are well within their rights to be considering impeachment, and I'll leave it to Congress to decide what to do next. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: But he's not in Congress, so he's basically off the hook for the people who are in Congress. Like Senator Kamala Harris, the rest of the 2020 field, many of them senators, they are taking a different approach. What we heard from the senator so far, from Senator Harris, is that she prefers a multi-step approach, meaning, to make that decision as more information comes out. She wants to bring in Attorney General Bill Barr for a hearing. She wants to hear directly from Bob Mueller. And she's saying after those conversations are had, then perhaps impeachment should be considered. She's not ruling out that conversation.
And perhaps, Victor, the reason why you're hearing this from Kamala Harris and some of the other 2020 Democrats is because at her town hall last night in South Carolina, she notably did not mention the Mueller report in her prepared remarks, but more poignantly, no one in the audience when it was opened up for questions, and multiple people got to ask questions, no one asked about the Mueller report. Victor, Christi?
BLACKWELL: Kyung Lah there for us in South Carolina, thank you.
PAUL: So I spoke earlier to Democratic Congresswoman Madeleine Dean about Congress's constitutional duty to bring impeachment against the president as was said by Senator Warren. Let's listen to what the congresswoman said here.
PAUL: Are you saying that you are not yet ready to push for impeachment?
[10:40:00] REP. MADELEINE DEAN, (D) HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I think we're not at that spot yet. I think the judiciary actually has the awesome responsibility to do the investigation, and that's what we're going to do. Impeachment is not yet on the table, but it is certainly not off the table. We'll talk about our plan to methodically do the oversight that we have to do, but at the same time, and I don't think this should be lost on the American people, as grave as this situation is, we also have other responsibilities of substantive legislation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: The question is, too, is the Mueller report really having any effect on voters? There's a new CNN poll that found 56 percent of people believed, quote, the president and his campaign have not been exonerated, but collusion could not be proven.
Congressional reporter for "The Washington Post" and CNN political analyst Karoun Demirjian is with us now. Karoun, good to see you. I want to also pull up FOX News poll this week, President Trump's approval rating among likely voters, 45 percent approval, 51 percent disapproval. This, of course, after Bill Barr's summary had come out. And then let's look at last month. The president's approval rating then, 46 percent, his disapproval rating 51 percent.
And here is what Harry Enten wrote for CNN. "What's the point?" he asks. "Mueller's nearly two-year long investigation has given the news industry more than a few headlines. People were arrested, charged with crimes, sentenced to jail. Through it all, the president's approval rating has almost always stayed somewhere between 40 and 45 percent among voters." How will these numbers, Karoun, shape the strategy that Democrats are trying to craft knowing that on Monday they have a phone call to try to decipher what strategy they're going to take?
KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think the numbers just indicate what we've kind of known for a long time, which is that many voters are very entrenched in their views and in their stances of how they're going to view anything that came out of this investigation. There are people who are going to support Trump, always have, always will be no matter what comes out. There are people who are always opposed to Trump.
And so the numbers as you have shown either don't change at all or change very little when it comes to whether people think the president is doing a good job or a bad job, whether he should be punished, whether he shouldn't be punished. And this is the why the House Democrats are in such a sticky situation when they discussed the subject of impeachment, because without some crack in the ranks and the Republicans, especially in the Senate which eventually has to -- you can impeach in the House with a simple majority, but it doesn't really mean anything in terms of Trump's tenure if there aren't at least a few Senate Republicans willing to go along with all of the Democrats and kick him out of office.
And at this point we haven't seen anybody really indicate that they are willing to go that far. We saw Mitt Romney say there's a lot here that's shocking and appalling and we need to see everything, but he's not voicing the same sorts of anger and animus against the president as you've heard from the Democrats who are now, those who want to pursue impeachment who are emboldened by the very detailed summary of -- it's actually not a summary. The very painstaking detail that Mueller went into in the report to show exactly where he thinks the president was acting in ways that could be considered wrongdoing, and maybe if the president hadn't been a president, might have resulted in some charges.
PAUL: So House and Senate leaders, we know, do want to see an unredacted version. There's also talk of a look at the president's finances and an investigation there. Is there such a thing as investigation fatigue? What kind of risk is this for Democrats?
DEMIRJIAN: I think this is something that they have to keep in mind for the voters. Look, as you heard from Kyung Lah and as many of the candidates have been saying, they are not getting asked about this. People who are out on the campaign trail, potential voters for the Democratic candidates who are coming out this early to meet them are concerned about other issues, are not talking just about the investigation, the investigation, the investigation as we often are in D.C. Now, there's certainly not going to be any stop to the investigations
that are happening on Capitol Hill, but they do have to be judicious about what they do. They have to make sure it doesn't seem frenzied, that it seems like it's actually focused on substantive matters and has a point.
The problem for the party, though, is that they don't know what their end game is right now, which is why you're hearing many of the members talk about we're fulfilling our oversight functions. We're going to be doing this methodically. It's not very buzzy, it's not very good sloganing for a campaign season. But they don't actually know where they're going to go, because if it's not impeachment, what is it? It's 2020, but what is it exactly? Mueller covered a lot of turf. He didn't focus that much on the potential for financial leverage, which is why investigators in the House, especially in the Intelligence Committee, are focused on that being an angle for them, and Judiciary Committee Democrats are focused on the question of obstruction since there's so much in volume two of the report that Mueller said didn't exonerate the president. So those are the two lanes that they see as open. But again, what they finally do with them, that's still an open question.
[10:45:00] PAUL: Karoun Demirjian, always appreciate your perspective here. Thank you for being here.
DEMIRJIAN: Thank you, Christi.
BLACKWELL: A former U.S. Marine is in custody in connection with a daylight raid of the North Korean embassy in Spain. We'll tell you what he's accused of stealing.
BLACKWELL: New this morning, a former U.S. Marine is in custody, accused of raiding North Korea's embassy in Spain. Federal authorities say Christopher Ahn is one of the masked assailants who tied up embassy staff, stole computers, and then flew to the United States.
PAUL: The attack happened just five days before President Trump met with Kim Jong-un, this was back in February.
[10:50:00] Yesterday a federal judge in Los Angeles granted his attorney's request to seal the case. Now Ahn is reportedly a member of the group dedicated to overthrowing the Kim dynasty.
In the meantime, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo isn't backing down despite a blistering rebuke from North Korea. The secretary tells North Korean officials he's, quote, still in charge regarding running negotiations. But this is after the regime called for his removal from denuclearization talks.
BLACKWELL: So with us, Samantha Vinograd, CNN national security analyst and former senior adviser to national security adviser under President Obama. Samantha, welcome back.
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: So this week's satellite images showed new signs of possible nuclear activity in North Korea. Kim Jong-un also directed new air force drills, tested components for what the U.S. officials have assessed as an antitank weapon. With that setting the environment, the atmosphere, what do you make of this exchange between Pompeo and North Korea?
VINOGRAD: Well, Victor, the context that you point out is really important to consider. Kim Jong-un is catering to a domestic audience. He's been unable to get full sanctions relief, and so he's doing things like showing off his assets, whether it's this antitank missile or these air force drills, he's showing that his military assets are continuing to increase in sophistication and in scope.
This name-calling between the North Koreans and Secretary Pompeo is frankly, nothing new. They've called him gangster-like in the past. It was wise of Secretary Pompeo not to engage in a public tit-for-tat with the North Koreans while he is trying to advance diplomacy. What needs to happen at this point is for negotiations on actual substance to occur behind the scenes and for Secretary Pompeo not to get drawn in to this public attempt by the North Koreans to isolate President Trump from key members of his team.
PAUL: So it's not just Secretary Pompeo, because North Korea is also lashing out at U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton who said this week that before the U.S. would consider a third summit, they'd need to see, a quote, a real indication from North Korea that they've made the strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons. Then you've got a North Korean official calling those comments asinine. So the fact that they're going after Secretary Pompeo, now John Bolton, noticeably absent is any mention of President Trump. Is that intentional?
VINOGRAD: It certainly is. It's obvious that President Trump listens to the last person that he spoke to, and so if Kim Jong-un can get the president alone at another summit, it is very likely that he can try to manipulate him into agreeing to things that his own team would not recommend. We know that President Trump has already undercut his own intelligence community who has said that North Korea is not going to denuclearize. President Trump has undercut his own Treasury Department by saying that he will not proceed with new sanctions against North Korea, and he's undercut his own department of defense by saying that he won't proceed with joint military exercises.
It is worth noting that Ambassador John Bolton has been called worse than asinine by the North Koreans in the past. He was called human scum during a previous round of negotiations in 2003. What Ambassador Bolton said, and you know that I'm no fan of John Bolton on this program, but is music to a lot of our ears. John Bolton has said in this interview that he wants to see actual steps towards denuclearization before a third summit. And the real question, Christi, is whether he's speaking on behalf of the president when he makes that statement or, in fact, whether the president is just willing to meet again without any actual results on the table. BLACKWELL: We heard similar comments before the second summit. But
let me ask you, is it time to start scoping out live shot locations in Mongolia for this third summit? What do you think, Samantha?
VINOGRAD: I think that it's very likely, and I think that it's very likely because President Trump views this as a political tool. He has campaigned on his record on North Korea, despite the fact that there have been no steps towards actual denuclearization. And as we look forward to 2020 and that campaign cycle, it's very likely that President Trump is going to want to shout from the rooftops that he has made progress with North Korea so that he scores political points rather than actual U.S. national security progress.
BLACKWELL: Samantha Vinograd, always good to have you.
VINOGRAD: Happy holiday.
PAUL: You too, Sam. Thank you.
Every day people are changing the world, and CNN just wants to make sure that that work gets the attention it deserves. So Anderson Cooper explains how you can nominate a CNN hero.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Since 2007, CNN Heroes has been featured hundreds of everyday people whose extraordinary acts are changing lives and making the world a better place. We need you to tell us about that amazing person in your life, and you can do it right now at CNNheroes.com.
[10:55:00] Here's the inside scoop on successfully nominating your hero. Think about what makes that person truly special, then write it down in a paragraph or two. We also want to know the impact that they're having. Tell us what sets that person apart. Who knows? You might see your everyday hero named the CNN Hero of the Year.
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PAUL: Again, go to CNNHeroes.com if you know someone that should be nominated. We would love to meet them.
Happy Easter to you a day early, but happy Easter to you, and I hope you make some good memories today.
BLACKWELL: There is much more ahead in the next hour of CNN Newsroom. Fredricka Whitfield is up after a quick break.
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FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone.