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Tale of Two Platforms: Kamala Harris in Town Halls Vs Hearings; Warmbier's Mom Says North Korea is a "Cancer" and Will Kill All of Us; Lori Loughlin Shopping for Crisis Management Help; Man Who was Stretching His Neck Suffers a Stroke; Quarantined Scientology Cruise Ship Leaves St. Lucia. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired May 3, 2019 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: -- as a result of this week. You know, she's getting this jolt of new attention because of her tuff questions to Bill Barr. Take a look.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In reaching your conclusion, did you personally review all of the underlying evidence?


HARRIS: Did --

BARR: We accepted --

HARRIS: Did Mr. Rosenstein?

BARR: No. We accepted the statements in the report as the factual record. We did not go underneath it.

HARRIS: You did not question or look at the underlying evidence that supports the conclusions in the report?



BALDWIN: All right, so tough questioning from her there. Let me get to another clip because you juxtapose this with the version of Senator Harris, we've certainly seen our own CNN "TOWN HALLs" where some of her answers are well, maybe like a little less than to be desired. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So do you believe that Americans should have the right to vote at age 16?

HARRIS: I'm really interested in having that conversation.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Senator, yes or no, do you support financial reparations. HARRIS: I support that we should study that. We should study it and


LEMON: Elizabeth Warren was here, as you know. She said that she supports student loan forgiveness for 42 million Americans.


LEMON: Would you go that far?

HARRIS: Well I support anything that is about reducing the debt of student loans and I think that is an important conversation to have.

LEMON: But people who are convicted, in prison, like the Boston Marathon bomber on death row, people who are convicted of sexual assault, they should be able to vote?

HARRIS: I think we should have that conversation.


BALDWIN: Do you see the point I'm making? Right. So I mean, Maeve, you've been covering her for so long there in California. Which version of Senator Harris is true to her?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well these is both sides of the personality that you're seeing right there. In those hearings with Barr this week, she was Kamala Harris the prosecutor. She was fierce, prepared. She covered ground that no one else had covered. She elicited that omission from him with very skilled questioning that he hadn't looked at the underlying evidence in the Mueller report.

But on the other side, I mean, this is what she struggled with for years, is this perception that these too careful, too cautious. That she's looking for what the right answer is. And what her team would tell you is that she wants to research something before she gives a full answer.

But really, she comes off in those moments with that graceful dodge as, you know, too cautious and that's not what voters want. They want someone that's going to, you know, really connect with them by giving an answer from the gut about what they think about that issue. And she struggled with those two polar opposites of her personality.

BALDWIN: But to your point about her fierce questioning and her familiarity about being that, you know, tough prosecutor and we'll show the video. I couldn't help as I was watching this whole hearing and watching Senator Harris, my eye was toward the guy on her right. Right. Senator Booker, who was, by the way, also running for the same job and he too would like to be President of the United States. Bat at points he's looking at her and he's like, all right, I'll vote for you. Go girl.

RESTON: Yes, exactly. I was having the same -- the same thought, Brooke, as I was watching that because I love watching her expressions as well. She does so much just kind of squinting and the arching of the eyebrows. But clearly, in this case Cory Booker was kind of cheering her on as so many other Democrats were.

You know, you saw on Twitter people saying that the rest of the Senators should just cede their time to Kamala Harris in future hearings. Because she did come to that particular hearing well- prepared to just give it to him and get a lot out of the moment that will help her as she tries to climb out of the middle here.

BALDWIN: She came to play --

RESTON: She did.

Indeed, Maeve Reston, thank you. Good to see you.

RESTON: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Such emotion today from the mother of an American college student who died after being held captive in North Korea. This is the first time we have heard from the family members of Otto Warmbier since learning the U.S. agreed to pay $2 million for his return. Otto was 22 when he finally was sent home to the U.S. in a coma. He died just a short few days later after more than a year in custody. The President insists no payments were made. But at this event today Cindy Warmbier said if she knew about the offer, the $2 million, she would have paid it. She lashed out at North Korea, calling it a cancer on earth and their attempt at diplomacy a charade.


CINDY WARMBIER, OTTO WARMBIER'S MOTHER: North Korea to me is a cancer on the earth. And if we ignore this cancer it's not going to go away. It's going to kill all of us. We don't even know we have this cancer, so that's why I talk.

[15:35:00] There is a cancer. I know when they took Otto that he thought he'd be released because he knew he didn't do anything. He thought if I played by their rules, they're going to let me go. And I know he was sorry he ever went into that God forsaken place.

Had I known that North Korea wanted money for Otto, I would have gladly given them money from day one. That isn't what they wanted from Otto in the beginning. They -- first of all they want everything they could get from anyone they take. Thank you for that picture. They want everything they can get from them. They have no respect for human beings. It's obvious to the world that we're on to them.

But unless we keep the pressure on North Korea, they are not going to change. And I am very afraid that we're going to let up on this pressure. So I need everyone here to keep the pressure on. Everybody you can.

There is still a lot of families here that deserve to see their family members. I'm going to tell you what it was like when I saw Otto. When he got off the plane. Well, no, I went on the plane. My gorgeous boy, who every girl had an immediate crush on, looked like a monster. I swear, the look in his eyes, which I didn't know he was blind at the time, was absolute horror. Horror. Like he'd seen the devil. And he had. He was with the devil.

There is a charade going on right now. It's called diplomacy. How can you have diplomacy with someone that never tells the truth? That's what I want to know. I'm all for it. But I'm very skeptical. He lies. He lies. He lies all for himself and his regime. Oh, my gosh. If you could call it a regime. They only care about themselves. They don't -- do not care about all of the people in the concentration camps. They aren't gulags to me, they're concentration camps. The only difference between Hitler and him is he's doing it to all of his people. And to other people, too.

I will be strong because Otto always was proud of me for being strong. He was the strongest kid I knew. Thank you.


BALDWIN: Thank you. Powerful words from a mother.

The mother of a Chinese student who was accepted into Stanford is now admitting she paid $6.5 million to the man at the center of the college admission scandal. Why she said she and her doctor are actually the victims in this case.


BALDWIN: A Chinese mother admits to giving $6.5 million to the mastermind behind the college admission scandal. But she says it was to help others with scholarships and not to get her own daughter into Stanford. The woman identified as Mrs. Zhao. She sought college prep services from Rick Singer after her daughter did indeed get into Stanford. She said Singer asked her to make a donation to the University through his foundation. The student and her parent have not been charged.

Meanwhile, one of the most recognizable faces of this entire thing is reportedly looking to shall we say fix her image. Lori Loughlin and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, are shopping for crisis management help. That is according to two executives who've been approached by the couple. They even referenced Martha Stewart's comeback during those discussions. Loughlin pleaded not guilty to charges after being accused of paying half a million dollars to get her two daughters into USC.

Peter Shankman is a branding and social media consultant and he is fired up on this. So, OK, so imagine, ring, it's Lori Loughlin to you and she's like, crisis, PR management, help me resuscitate my reputation. What do you say?

PETER SHANKMAN, BRANDING AND SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANT: Yes, my first response, so Lori, let's talk about this thing called timing. First you should probably focus on the fact or that you will be charged. I know you have been charged and you're probably going to jail. When you get out of jail, that's when we really rock and roll with your crisis management. Not only is she way jumping the gun here, because you can't really

rehab your image that much from prison. OK, there's not that much you can do. And they are going after these people with a vengeance that I haven't seen the rich get hit with ever.

Paris Hilton spent 24 minutes in jail. Right. You have celebrities, Martha Stewart spent 62 days or something like that and a small fine. These are multimillion-dollar fines. These are years and years in jail. You don't worry about fixing your image right now, you worry about staying out of the big house for the next eight years. Especially when you have an entire second segment of these people who are supposedly were working with this guy. About 25 additional counts are going to be coming out and 25 additional people.

[15:45:00] Who right now are running around like scared hedge hogs all around Los Angeles and around the rest of the country because they are about to be charged in a second wave.

BALDWIN: So what I'm hearing from you --

SHANKMAN: In a calm way.

BALDWIN: -- what I'm hearing is that she needs to be focusing on her legal --

SHANKMAN: Oh, my God, yes.

BALDWIN: -- the legal piece of this and don't start to think about --

SHANKMAN: Here's the thing, you can embrace image and try to fix your image as much as you want. But at the end of the day a judge and jury of your peers is really going to be in control of your image. Once they tell you that your image is OK and you're not found guilty, sure, go ahead and repair. Do some volunteer work. It'll be lovely. Right now though, not the time.

BALDWIN: I feel like this country though loves a good redemption story.

SHANKMAN: But you got to be brought down first to get redeemed.

BALDWIN: Be brought down, like serving time.

SHANKMAN: That's the thing. She hasn't been brought down yet. She's screaming she's not guilty and done nothing wrong. She's screaming no collusion.

BALDWIN: Peter. When you look though at someone like a Felicity Huffman who did the whole mea culpa. And eventually -- let's just play the what-if game if Lori Loughlin and her husband eventually do that as part of this whole crisis PR. Step number one, say you're sorry and whatever that entails. Do you think that that will be perceived as inauthentic and too late?

SHANKMAN: What is it -- fool me once, shame on you. Full me twice, shame on me. Saying you're sorry immediately, getting in front of it, being transparent. I skewed up. I don't know what I was thinking.

I call it the Anthony Wiener. Had he come out initially saying, no, I'm trying to have sex life with my wife and I don't know how to do Twitter. We would've mocked him for 12 hours, required by law and he probably be Mayor. Right. Instead he carried that thing for six months denying, denying, denying. Saying he was hacked by the Chinese. Right. All he had to do was get in front of it and own it. The second you start saying it wasn't me. I'm being set up. This is ridiculous. Is the second that people start having less and less empathy for you. Right.

If you own it immediately, there is nothing we love more. You're right, a good redemption story but you have to be redeemed for that to happen.

BALDWIN: Peter Shankman, you're the best, thank you very much.

SHANKMAN: My pleasure, Brooke.

BALDWIN: A cruise ship owned by the church of Scientology is now head back to its home port after been quarantined because of a case of measles on board. So what's next for the hundreds of passengers on that ship?


BALDWIN: Admit it. How many times have you done this? You stretch out a stiff or sore neck, maybe you popped it. Well one man in Oklahoma did exactly that and by accident, it landed him in the hospital with a stroke. Elizabeth Cohen is our CNN senior medical correspondent to explain. Like I love going to the chiropractor. I love getting a good neck pop. But this really freaked me out.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this poor guy. I mean, you have to feel for him. It sounds like he really cracked his neck, he did more than just a stretch. And his doctor says he tore arteries where like your neck meets your skull.


COHEN: And that he couldn't walk. He was numb on the left side. It's a month and a half later. He's still not 100 percent. And as you say, chiropractors do this kind of neck manipulation and they say this is extremely rare. But other doctors who study it say, we're not so sure, they're kind of concerned about it. So not everyone's onboard with this neck manipulation.

BALDWIN: Let's talk about this cruise ship. There's a quarantined ship owned by the Church of Scientology headed back to its home port in Curacao, that a case of the measles was confirmed with a crew members. Hundreds of people though are on this ship.

COHEN: 300 people on this ship. A female crew members comes down with measles. Not shocking. Measles is now, you know, it's spreading. And so they were in St. Lucia and the St. Lucia government said, you're not disembarking, you're not getting off. So they went back to Curacao, to their home base. Curacao apparently is letting them and they say, we're going to evaluate who is allowed on and who is allowed off. And that's not going to be easy let me tell you. Because who carries around their immunization records. Right.

BALDWIN: No one.

COHEN: Exactly. And so, you have to figure out who's immune symptoms and who's not. I mean, that's a question that you can ask. Who has symptoms, who doesn't? But you can be contagious for four days before having symptoms. So someone might look perfectly fine, but they could actually get off the boat and spread measles. So this is not going to be easy to sort of cull through 300 people.

BALDWIN: But that's what they're going to have to do.

COHEN: Yes, or just keep everyone on for a certain period of time. But it sounds like they are going to let some people off, but they haven't said the exact algorithm they're going to use.

BALDWIN: OK, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you.

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking by phone for the first time today, since the release of the Mueller report. What they discussed and perhaps equally important, what they did not.

And the call coming after a strong jobs report today. The U.S. posting the lowest employment numbers since 1969. So how does that complicate things for the Democrats looking to unseat the President.


BALDWIN: Menstruation is an essential part of life, but in many parts of the world, it is considered taboo. And that not only makes monthly periods extremely stressful for girls but it also limits what they can achieve. And for Freweini Mebrahtu struggled with this growing up in Ethiopia and is now designing a solution for her country's culture. That is why she is this week's CNN hero.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP[16:00:00] )

FREWEINI MEBRAHTU, DIGNITY PERIOD PROJECT: In Ethiopia, most women and girls do not have access to sanitary pads. Many girls stay at home during their period. They're scared and ashamed. Half of the population is dealing with this issue, but no one is willing to talk about it. I knew that I had to make a product that helped these women and girls to get on with their lives. All I want is all girls to have dignity, period.


BALDWIN: To see how her factories are empowering women or to nominate a CNN hero, go to right now.

A truck driver accused of causing a deadly and horrific and deadly rush hour crash in Colorado faces 40 felony charges. At today's hearing, prosecutor say Rogel Aguilera-Mederos was playing recklessly when he plowed his semi-automatic truck into traffic on I-70 near Denver last week. This fiery crash involved 28 other vehicles and killed four people. His attorney calls the charges a massive unprecedented overreach by the prosecution.

I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks for being with me. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts now.