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Flight From Guantanamo Bay Skids off Florida Runway; North Korea Launches Multiple Projectiles; Bolton and Pompeo Talk Military Action; Trump Urges Caution. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired May 4, 2019 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST, NEW DAY WEEKEND: Breaking overnight, NTSB says a team will leave for Jacksonville, Florida next hour to start the investigation into why a Miami air flight skidded off the runway and into the St. Johns river.

Now, here's the good news. Let's start here with everyone on board is safe. The more than 100 passengers and crew had to be rescued from the wing of that plane after it came to a stop in that shallow water.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST, NEW DAY WEEKEND: Also this morning on the Korean peninsula, South Korea urging North Korea to stop raising tensions after they detected several projectiles fired from North Korea's eastern coast. Were they missiles? Were they rockets? Were they something else?

Well, Japan and the U.S. are now working with South Korea to make that determination.

BLACKWELL: Let's start with Jacksonville and get more for you where that military chartered jet skidded off the runway. We have with us there, CNN National correspondent Natasa Chen. Natasha Chen I should say live from Jacksonville. Natasha, what are you learning first about this NTSB team and about - about this crash.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, well, I just spoke with an NTSB public affairs officer who says there is a team of 16 people coming to investigate what exactly happened with this crash landing.

Now as far as we know, this flight was taking off from Naval Air Station Guantanamo Bay yesterday and came to Naval Air Station Jacksonville where we are. Right behind the gates over there is the tarmac where it apparently skidded at around about 9:40 last night, Eastern Time.

Now this NTSB team is taking off from DC at 9 AM so they'll get here in Jacksonville before noon and their job is to really document everything that they see with the plane staying in the water as it was when it landed last night. They want to take a look at three factors potentially what what's happening with the human-effect on board, that people operating the airplane, their track record, their history, their last 72 hours.

They're also going to be looked at aircraft itself, the machine, was it well-maintained? Was there something wrong with the plane itself? And then third, they are looking at environment, potential weather problems and we know from one passenger who told CNN that they flew through thunderstorms, lightening strikes.

Here is Sherrell Borman describing how that landing happened.

VOICE OF CHERYL BORMANN, PASSENGER: As we went down, we had a really hard landing and then the plane bounced and screeched and bounced some more and then it lifted to the right and then it lifted the left and then it sort of swerved, and then it came to a complete like - like a crash stop.

CHEN: And they realized soon after that they were sitting in water there, not completely submerged. She said they were able to all climb out over the wing, get on life vests and there was eventually a life raft that was inflated to help them get off of that wing.

Officials here say that first responders about 50 personnel where they're rescuing them within 15 minutes of this crash landing. Luckily everyone on board made it out. Passengers and crew, we're talking about a mix of military personnel and civilians.

21 people were taken to the hospital for injuries but luckily it sounds like everyone's going to be okay. So right now we're just waiting on NTSB to make their trip over here and figure out what exactly happened. Victor, Christi, back to you.

PAUL: All right Natasha Chen, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, joining us now the commanding officer at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Captain Michael Connor. Captain, good morning to you and thank you for spending some time with us. First, what do you know about this crash and the conditions at the time?

We've heard that there was severe weather in the area, what do you know?

CAPTAIN MICHAEL CONNOR, COMMANDING OFFICER, NAS JACKSONVILLE: Yes Victor, good morning and thank you for having me on. In terms of the conditions last night you know, when I was notified there had been some thunderstorms going through the area with lightning and heavy rain.

And by the time I arrived on scene as the passengers were being help out of the water you know, the rain had stopped and the skies had cleared but there was some significant thunderstorms in the area you know, prior to the aircraft incident happened at the base.

PAUL: There were some questions at one point Captain, about which - which area that this landed on that it landed on a runway that was 6000, I mean, 6000 feet or 9000, was there sufficient space for this plane to land?

CONNOR: Yes, so the aircraft was making an attempted landing on runway 10, that's an east- that's an easterly heading runaway which the - at the end of that runway is the St. John's river. So it was runaway 10, it is a 9000 foot runway with the 8000 feet I believe, landing distance and under normal conditions that you know, is plenty of runway for an aircraft of this type to be able to safely land.

BLACKWELL: Could you tell us more about who was on board?

[08:05:00] This is a military charter from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, we understand. Give us an idea of who was on board this flight?

CONNOR: There was a - there was a mixture of civilian personnel you know, government civilian employees, active duty. There were also dependents on board and they were on a schedule charter flight from Guantanamo Bay to NAS Jacksonville with you know, follow on travel throughout the states.

In terms of you know, their movement but from Guantanamo naval base you know, back to the state.

PAUL: So we know that the NTSB is scheduled to be there before noon or officials from the NTSB. How will you and your cruise there and your people assist them when they get there?

CONNOR: We are expecting them here around between 9 and 10, it was the update we had at 4:00 AM so as soon as they're on board installation, we will meet them, we will take them to the site and then we will - you know they will begin their investigation and we will help them, assist them and you know, gather the information and any help and resources, that they need, that we can provide.

BLACKWELL: Captain Michael Connor, it has been a long night. I know it will be a long day, thank you for taking a few minutes to speak with us.

CONNOR: Thank you and I would just like to you know, say that you know, all the employees at NAS Jacksonville you know, our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers as they go through this difficult time and we really want to thank all the first responders, especially First Coast Fire from the base and all the community from the city at Jacksonville and JFRD that you know, all of our training with them and the co-ordination that we've done in the past really paid off last night and this morning.

And we're very happy that all you know, people are accounted for and safe.

BLACKWELL: Absolutely.

PAUL: Yes, and we know that a lot of passengers were singing your praises as well as the praises of the people and the crew that were on board, thank you so much captain.

BLACKWELL: Thank you Captain.

CONNOR: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: We're also following breaking news from overnight out of Illinois, where four people have been taken to the hospital after an explosion at a silicone plant. Three workers are still unaccounted for. These are new pictures of the damage.

PAUL: Just because the sun is coming up now, we can finally get a good look there. This is in Waukegan. The fire marshal there says the building has had a fire before but it was nearly a decade ago, that the company's been very compliant since then. Officials say the fire is out as you can see but take a look at what they were dealing with overnight.

A search and rescue effort is still on going for those people who are missing. The fire damaged five other buildings and the fire marshal says the damage is going to cost about $1 million to remedy.

No word on the cause of course yet of that explosion.

South Korea says North Korea launched multiple projectiles this morning and the U.S. and South Korea now, trying to determine exactly what the North Koreans launched.

BLACKWELL: Plus the White House is counting on the economy to lock in President's Trump's re-election but the President, he's not helping those efforts, at least rhetorically. Coming up, how yesterday his talk with Vladimir Putin is overshadowing this really good economic news.


[08:10:00] Breaking overnight the South Korean defense ministry says North Korea has launched several short range projectiles, that's how they characterized and we know right now officials are working to determine if those projectiles included missiles.

BLACKWELL: South Korean officials say the launches came from North Korea's east coast, north of the city of Wonsan. Now they flew anywhere between 43 to 125 miles before crashing into the sea. White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders said in her statement, "We are aware of North Korea's actions tonight and we will continue to monitor as necessary."

CNN Correspondent Paula Hancocks to following the latest from Seoul, South Korea. Paula, we're hearing from the South Koreans, anything yet from the North Koreans?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, we've had nothing at this point from the North Koreans, not even an acknowledgement that this is being carried, that's not unusual though.

It does often take North Korean media a little time to it to catch up, we've had the last bulletin that potentially for this evening at Saturday night local time here. We have heard from the South Koreans though as you say. The Presidential Blue House said, the Presidential officer said that they're concerned that what North Korea did today actually goes against a ministry agreement that North and South Korea agreed to in Pyongyang in September of last year.

Where both sides agreed not to carry out any actions which would increase tensions on the Korean peninsula so the Blue House also said what North Korea has done has gone against that and they've called on Pyongyang to come back to the negotiating table as soon as possible.

But it's important to note that we don't know exactly what was launched at this point. We just know it is multiple short range projectiles. Now of course what that actually means is going to be important when it comes to what a potential reaction from the Trump administration could be.

We know that Kim Jong-un himself has said that he wasn't going to launch ICBMs into continental ballistic missiles or do any nuclear testing. He hasn't though said that he wouldn't carry out any smaller launches. Potentially, this is a weapon system if it is not a missile and of course, it might just be below the radar for Kim Jong-un that he makes his points to the United States which is what most experts think he is doing with this, that he is frustrated, that he is annoyed there was no deal from the Hanoi summit.

But without going so far that it pushes Washington to a corner or makes them feel that they have to have some kind of strong verbal response. So at this time, we know that South Korean and U. S. authorities are working to sift through the data they can get their hands on, to figure out exactly what was launched.

PAUL: All right Paula Hancocks, appreciate it so much thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, joining me now to discuss is Gordon Chang. He's the author of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea takes on the world. Also with this Guy Smith, former Clinton White House adviser. Guy's taking messages to the Kim family from the Kim Jong-Il days to the correct Kim Jong-un regime. Guy and Gordon, thank you both for being with us.

Gordon, let me start with you and first, how do you read the short range projectiles as they're called? Is this a nudge to the U.S. or is this something more provocative?

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN: NORTH KOREA TAKES ON THE WORLD: Well, this certainly is and knowledge to the U.S. but also it's a nudge to South Korea.

[08:15:00] Because Moon Jae-in, the South Korean President has been trying to broker this peace and what Kim Jong-un is doing is saying to Moon, look you know, you shouldn't be working with the Americans. So their message is all over the place and we got to remember, when North Korea starts to send messages, it can start a cycle of escalation.

Kim family has used violence to upset status quos, it finds to be unacceptable. This could get pretty ugly and it could get ugly fast.

BLACKWELL: And Guy, how do you see this. Is this an attempt to as Paula mentioned potentially, push the U.S. beyond their current strategy of all or nothing, full denuclearization before any partial sanction relief, maybe another summit?

GUY SMITH, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: I think that what's happening here is that this is right out of the North Korean playbook. It is an escalation but not a giant escalation. The North Koreans watch what's happening in the U.S. government. They know President Trump wants to have more meetings and they know

that John Bolton is doing everything he can to undo the whole reproach mal with the DPRK and so what is happening here is something that we need is the United States to continue the dialogue behind the scenes and what happened in Hanoi, it fell apart because they tried to do and President Trump tried to do too much, too fast.

And it needs to be incremental and have serious behind the scenes discussions. I think Secretary Pompeo and the State Department is trying to do that and I think that John Bolton is trying to undo that.

BLACKWELL: So Gordon, to you, we don't know if there's any correlation but this comes soon after Kim's meeting in Russia with Vladimir Putin and we know that there was on this call yesterday with President Trump and President Putin, this discussion of North Korea.

Do you see any correlation potentially between now these projectiles being fired and this meeting between the Russian leader and the North Korean leader?

CHANG: Well, if there is a correlation, it's just to show that Kim Jong-un is going to intensify what he considers to be diplomacy which of course is the two launches of projectiles two weeks ago and now. Also he's going to be reaching out to all sorts of people including Putin because he believes that probably that sanctions are starting to hurt.

But you got to remember though that President Trump has sort of relaxed vigorous sanctions enforcement. He started to do that a year ago just before the historic June Summit in Singapore and you know, President Trump can go back to much more coercive diplomacy and I think he needs to do that.

Largely because Kim Jong-un has not reciprocated the gestures that we have seen from the U.S. and from the international community starting with that Singapore Summit.

BLACKWELL: Yes, so this Gordon, does not violate this self-imposed moratorium. I think it started in November of 2017 of no long range missiles, the ICBMs because this is short range up to 125 miles the furthest this projectile went but do we know yet from your perspective if this deserves a response from the U.S., a response from Japan, from South Korea?

CHANG: Yes and by the way although this doesn't violate Kim Jong-un's self-imposed moratorium, it could very well violate U.N. security council sanctions on the launch of ballistic missiles, if indeed it were a ballistic missile, we need to respond and the reason is if we don't, Kim Jong-un is going to see a green light to further provocations.

This is a cycle that comes out of as what Guy says a Kim family playbook. This is very ugly and so I think we need to make sure that Kim Jong-un understands that belligerence is not going to work this time. BLACKWELL: You know over the decades Guy, there has been this pattern with the North Koreans where there would be all of this bluster towards South Korea and the U.S. and then there would be some payments, some humanitarian assistance and things would calm down and the cycle would start again.

We just got this news recently of this really poor harvest in North Korea and the quarter of the population there, they could be food insecure. I mean, could this be an opportunity for the U.S.? Is this a play by Kim to get some help for the North Korean people? Is there an overlap here?

SMITH: There is some overlap but generally the Kim family and the leadership don't really care about the food shortages. They do care about the sanctions broadly and I don't agree with Gordon, I don't think we need to have as U.S., a strong response. Frankly, I think we need to just ignore it and continue the dialogue and continue the discussions behind the scenes with the North Koreans about the denuclearization.

And it needs to be incremental. It isn't going to happen instantly, that's just not how it works generally, it's sure not how it works on the Korean peninsula and the dialogue needs to continue.

[08:20:00] And I disagree with President Trump on almost everything but his instinct to engage in constructive dialogue is the right thing to do and we need to not be distracted by these kind of things like these short range - they're - they're short range, they didn't violate the thing that they agreed to and it wasn't really an agreement anyway so that's where I think we are.

BLACKWELL: All right, we'll see if we hear from the White House. We've heard from the Blue House there in South Korea, calling them to tamp down anything that would cause a military response. We'll see if we get any more from any of the parties involved. Gordon Chang, Guy Smith, thank you both.

CHANG: Thank you.

SMITH: Thanks for having us.


PAUL: So it's a booming economy, usually helps to boost the President's prospects for re-election. This President is having trouble it seems staying on message. How is talk with the Russian President maybe complicating matters and taking away from the good news for him that's out there?


BLACKWELL: Well, President Trump says he'll run on the economy in 2020 but the President maybe complicating that strategy.

PAUL: There are these new job numbers that really are fantastic. The U.S. economy is booming with unemployment at the lowest level since 1969 in 50 years. Rather than focusing on that, the President, it seems is talking about this call between himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin and CNN's Sarah Westwood with us now.

[08:25:00] PAUL: So the President's call with Putin I know they had a range of issues. What are the conversations being had this morning about this, Sarah?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Victor and Christi, this was a call that according to the White House lasted more than an hour between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Trump and they got to a lot of different topics that range from Venezuela to North Korea to a potential nuclear deal with China and Russia and the situation in Ukraine.

But on Venezuela, the President seemingly contradicted his own Secretary of State who earlier this week told our colleague Wolf Blitzer that embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was prepared to flee the country amid uprisings but the Russians convinced Maduro to stay in the country.

But Trump told reporters that during that talk with Putin, the Russian President said that Moscow was not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela so bit of a disconnect there. I asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders about it, yesterday.

And she said that Trump was simply relaying what he'd been told by Putin but by far the part of that phone call that is getting the most attention is President Trump's discussion with Putin of Special counsel Robert Mueller's report. The two talked about according to Trump, the end of the investigation.

But Trump said he did not confront Putin about Russian interference in the 2016 election, nor did he asked the Russian President not to interfere in the next election, take a listen.


DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We discussed - we actually sort of smiled when he said something to the effect that it started off as a mountain and it ended up being a mouse but he knew that because he knew there was no collusion whatsoever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you ask him not to meddle in the next election?

TRUMP: We didn't discuss that.


WESTWOOD: So that was the President taking questions about this yesterday in the Oval Office but all of this focus on the President's conversation with Putin is as you mentioned, overshadowing the good economic news that came to the White House yesterday in the form of that April jobs report, that last month the economy added 263,000 new jobs, bringing unemployment to that 50-year low. That's something the President could have been focused on but instead of Victor and Christi, was busy talking about this phone call with the Russian President.

BLACKWELL: And he isn't focused on it this morning on social media either. Sarah Westwood, thank you so much.

PAUL: Now the U.S. and Russia have clashed over the ongoing crisis in Venezuela as Sarah was just talking about. President Trump saying, Russian President Vladimir Putin isn't looking to get involved in the South American nation. Two of Trump's aides say, that is not so.

Democratic representative Gregory Meeks with us now. Senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Thank you so much Congressman, for being with us, we appreciate it.

REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D-NY): Good being with you.

PAUL: Absolutely. I want to get to that first and foremost in terms of Venezuela because we now know as we said, the President said and I'm quoting that "President Putin is not looking to get involved in Venezuela." We now know this morning that one, there are Russian troops there in Venezuela and two, that the foreign minister of Russia Sergei Lavrov is getting ready to meet with his Venezuelan counterpart tomorrow.

That Venezuelan counterpart Foreign Minister is going to Russia to meet with Sergei Lavrov. Do you - so one of two things it seems happened here Congressman, either President Trump didn't tell the whole truth or President Putin put one over on President Trump, your thoughts on that.

MEEKS: Well both. President Trump never tells the whole truth. I mean, that's clear from Mueller to anything he said to dealing with any of our allies. You know, so he never tells the whole truth and secondly, you know, it seems as though Mr. Putin always gets one over on Mr. Trump.

You never know who to believe with reference to Mr. Trump so you hear his administration, his Secretary of State say one thing and he comes back and says something else, that is part of the problem with this President. He doesn't tell the truth.

PAUL: Secretary Pompeo and John Bolton have both indicated that military intervention is a consideration. Let's listen to what Secretary Pompeo had said earlier this week, that military action is possible if that's what's required.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: President has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent. Military action is possible if that's what's required, that's what the United States will do. We'd prefer a peaceful transition of government there where Maduro leaves and a new election is held. But the President has made clear. In the event that there comes a

moment and we'll all have to make decisions about when that moment is and the President will ultimately have to make that decision.

[08:30:00] He's prepared to do that if that's what's required.


PAUL: That's coming from him. John Bolton said the same thing. Of course then yesterday the President came out and urged caution on this very situation. Do you believe that his conversation, the President's conversation with President Putin may have influenced the shift?

MEEKS: Well, possibly, but you know, just as I said, you never know with this President, his administration says one thing, he says another thing. It's confusing. I would hope that there is not any military intervention, it would be devastating to our allies you know in the LIMA countries that border Venezuela.

But with this President and this administration, when I talk to world leaders, they don't know because of the lies and the going back and forth, they never know what to believe and who to trust and it seems as though this President just likes to be with Mr. Putin or Kim Jong- un who's not you know, we see that he's back to launching things again.

So if that's the problem of the inconsistency with this administration and why folks are not looking at America as leaders again.

PAUL: You just brought up Kim Jong-un again, just to make sure our viewers are aware there were several - several launches this morning of projectiles, still that determination between you know the U.S. , Japan, South Korea, to try to determine what those projectiles were.

But he is back to doing so. South Korea's President's office statement just released a little while ago said, "In particular the government pays attention to the fact that North Korea did this act when the dialogue related to denuclearization is in a lull and hopes that North Korea actively participates in the efforts to resume talks as soon as possible."

We just had Gordon Chang and Guy Smith, I don't know if you heard that conversation talking about it. They had different views on whether or not the U.S. needs to react to this in some way. Do you think the United States has to take some sort of action in light of these projectiles?

MEEKS: I think what the United States has to do which they should have been doing all along. We should not have been meeting with Kim Jong-un and the North Koreans in the manner that we did, that just brings them to the world stage. We do need to be talking with our allies in South Korea and Japan and working collective together, still ratcheting up sanctions and doing those kinds of things against North Korea in a multilateral way.

But what our President has been doing to me, he's been acting just like Nicolas Maduro you know, he's running to the Russians to talk to them and now if Kim Jong-un went where, to Russia to talk to them and then he goes to talk to Kim Jong-un. You know, we should talk to allies and I think that's what we should be doing more.

We should talk to our LIMA partners in the Venezuela issue and with Japan and South Korea and make sure that we're working in a multilateral way in South Korea.

PAUL: All right, Representative Meeks, we appreciate you taking time for us, this morning. Thank you Sir.

MEEKS: My pleasure.

BLACKWELL: Well, he is one of the 21 major candidates running for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020. Former Congressman John Delaney is back to talk with us about his path to the White House.

PAUL: And in tonight's episode of Chasing Life, Dr. Sanjay Gupta explores the dark, desolate, chilly regions of northern Norway to find out how Norwegians have unlocked the secret to happiness.


[08:35:00] BLACKWELL: 37 minutes after the hour now and the 2020 democratic Presidential field is filling up.


REP. JOHN DELANEY (D-MD) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's one of the reasons I'm running for President.

ANDREW YANG, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So now I'm running for President.

JULIAN CASTRO (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am a candidate for President of the United States of America.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To announce my candidacy for President of the United States.

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It goes without saying that's why I'm running for President.

SEN. COREY BOOKER (D-NJ) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running for President because I want to address these issues.

REP. TULSI GABBARD (D-HI) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am a candidate for President of the United States of America.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I stand before you to announce my candidacy for President of the United states.



JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running for President of the United states.

SEN. BETO O'ROURKE (D-TX) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running to serve you as President of the United States of America.


MAYOR, WAYNE MESSAM, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So excited to lunch my candidacy to be the President of the United States.

REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to run for President of the United States.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm ready to solve these problems. I'm running for President of United States.

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running for President of the United States.

REP. SETH MOULTON (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running because we have to beat Donald Trump.

JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.




BLACKWELL: 21, that's a lot of people. 21 people running for the nomination and there may be more from what we're reading, maybe more coming in next week. Joining me now, one of the 21, right at the top there John Delaney, former Congressman from Maryland. Congressman, good morning to you.

DELANEY: Good morning Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, so we're going to talk about the 2020 race in a moment but first, I want to talk with you about some policy. Breaking news of the morning, North Korea. You have said that you support this President's engagement with Kim, the summit, the discussions but do you support the President's policies here that there will be no relief of sanctions until there is full denuclearization, all or nothing approach that really has not been that effective thus far, what do you think?

[08:40:00] DELANEY: Yes, look and I think it's a long negotiation obviously with North Korea and I do support the view that we should be you know, uncompromising in terms of denuclearizing North Korea. I think they're a threat to the region and therefore indirectly a threat to us and we have to be firm with this regime.

And I want there to be a North Korea in the future that doesn't have access to nuclear weapons, that's in the best interest of the United States of America so I support that approach.

BLACKWELL: But what's the strategy though because it has not been effective thus far? There are no experts in this field who say that this has moved toward denuclearization. In fact, there are many who say that there is increased activity in the recent months and we saw the launches of these projectiles just overnight.

So more than just talking to what end, what's the fruit that you've seen that suggests that this is the right way to go?

DELANEY: Well Victor, you also have to look at our alternatives, right? I do not favor military action in North Korea, right? So that's an alternative right now that's off the table. So the only really remaining alternative is continue to ratchet up the pressure on the sanctions and try to get North Korea to actually start taking affirmative steps.

You're right, they haven't done that. Now for a while we didn't have a lot of testing, we had some things last night there we're still trying to get to the bottom of in terms of exactly what those were but I think our approach which is very strong sanctions and continuing to ratchet up the pressure on those sanctions, working with our key allies in the region, South Korea Japan, et cetera.

Meeting with North Korea if the appropriate kind of bench marks or goals are met if you will. And engaging in that very long diplomatic process when you're combining economic pressure to get North Korea in a position where they will actually start doing what I believe is ultimately in their best interest which is to freeze and then start reducing their nuclear stockpile.

That will be the strategy of the Delaney administration.

BLACKWELL: For the purpose of the negotiations and these benchmark, they first have to define what denuclearization is. They've not done that yet but let's move on to Venezuela.

DELANEY: And we also have to have inspections. I mean we have to have if you think about -

BLACKWELL: There's a long list.

DELANEY: There's a long list.

BLACKWELL: There's a long list that has to be fulfilled to in order to confirm that there's denuclearization. I want to talk Venezuela.

DELANEY: And we're a long way away from that.

BLACKWELL: I get it. Venezuela. Why is this the U.S.'s fight? DELANEY: Well, I don't actually believe it's the U.S. fight per se and I don't support what the administration is saying about how military options are still on the table. Military options are always on the table if there is a threat to a U.S. citizen or obviously to our homeland, right?

So that if we had to do something as it relates to U.S. citizens et cetera then military options are on the table. But right now this is up to the people of Venezuela to make the right decision. And you know, the military, I'm hopeful starts going along with that decision so that we could start returning Venezuela to a normal place.

But is not in the U.S. interest to engage militarily with Venezuela unless of course U.S. citizens are at risk then of course it is our interest.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about 2020 now. 263,000 jobs created in April. Unemployment at its lowest level in 49 years. GDP 3.2% growth over last quarter. If this continues, how are you going to beat that?

DELANEY: Well, those are good numbers and to beat the President, you have to be able to go toe to toe with him on economics which I am the only candidate in the 2020 race who can actually do that, right? Before I ran for Congress, I was an entrepreneur, I started two businesses, created thousands of jobs.

I was the youngest CEO in the history of the New York Stock Exchange. I will put my business record against the President's all day long. I have better economic policies and you know, in many ways I'll be a much better President because I'm descent and moral, I tell the truth, I bring people together, I want to solve problems.

But I can beat him in an economic argument and I think that's going to be key because these are good economic numbers and I'm happy about that.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you - I think most people and I've got to wrap this but let me ask you this because before you can beat the President, you've got to beat the other 20 people in the race. You've been in this primary race longer than the other 20 major Democrats. The latest CNN poll has you with 0% nationally, where you were in March, where you were at the polls at the last the end of last year.

Monmouth has you at 1% in Iowa, you raised $404,000 in the first quarter, not counting the $12 million plus you loaned to the campaign, the least of any candidate raised except for Mayor Messam who announced four days before the deadline. You qualified for the debate.

[08:45:00] How are you going to get to beat Donald Trump if you're so far behind in the polls and in fund raising in the primary race?

DELANEY: Well, first of all Victor, we're not far behind in the polls, right? We qualified to the debates through the polls. You've selected a few polls there. We've done very well in other polls. Second, I think we have -

BLACKWELL: What's your top percentage?

DELANEY: - cash on hand.

BLACKWELL: Which poll puts you above 5%?

DELANEY: Well, none of the polls gave me above 5% right now, not many of the candidates are above 5%, right? We had an Iowa poll above 3%. We have the third most cash on hand, right?

BLACKWELL: How much of that is your money?

DELANEY: We have a good position in all 99 counties. I've been endorsed by four of the Iowa county chairs, no other candidates been endorsed by any county chairs in Iowa.

BLACKWELL: You said the second most - we got to go - you have second most cash on hand, how much of that is your money?

DELANEY: A decent amount of it.

BLACKWELL: More than $10 million?

DELANEY: I'm going in and I'm investing in my campaign. I don't know the exact percentage, 80% or something.

BLACKWELL: All right, well John Delaney, always good to have you on New Day.

DELANEY: And by the way Victor, by the way if we want to be Donald Trump which should be our number one priority, we're going to need to do it with a moderate, someone who can bring the country together and win the center.

BLACKWELL: All right, John Delaney.

DELANEY: That's me.

BLACKWELL: Thank you very much.

DELANEY: Thanks Victor.

BLACKWELL: We'll be right back.

[08:50:00] ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You are taking a look at video from La Grange, Texas where a reported tornado touched down there yesterday. This wasn't the only area with damage. We actually had 70 severe storm reports in the last 24 hours but now the focus becomes where does that system go.

That system is going to continue to head further off to the east so for today, the area for severe storms will include cities like Atlanta, Charlotte, Montgomery, Birmingham, even New Orleans. The main threats themselves will be the same. We're talking damaging winds, the potential for large hail and even some isolated tornadoes.

But we also have a second system that's going to start to develop further out to the west. This will also bring us a threat for severe storms. This mainly going to be for West Texas, eastern New Mexico as well as eastern Colorado. We already have some storms beginning to fire up now for states like Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

As we go through the rest of the day, those will progress. We also do have the threat for flooding so it's not just severe storms but continued heavy rain for a lot of these places. Unfortunately, it's going to increase that flood threat not only for the mid-Atlantic but also for the southeast. We'll be right back.


BLACKWELL: In Sunday's episode of 'The Redemption Project,' Van Jones travels to Metairie, Louisiana to meet the Stokes family. The daughter Ashley was seriously injured when a drunk driver hit her, here's a look.

[08:55:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAN JONES, CNN HOST, THE REDMPTION PROJECT: You got a dad, you got a mom, you got a baby sister, you got - you're on a wheelchair. Why do you want to sit across from all that pain?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, ACCUSED: There was - I've always wanted to meet Ashley and I know, I'm unworthy of forgiveness. I knew that I was an alcoholic and I really didn't care. I actually thought that I drove better when I was drunk.

ASHLEY, VICTIM: I have heard her story of why this happened. The drugs and alcohol taking over but I mean, is that an excuse? Is that what you're going to tell me? Is that is that why this happened? I guess we'll see.


BLACKWELL: Watch The Redemption Project, Sunday at 9:00 PM eastern only on CNN.

PAUL: And thank you so much for waking up and spending some time with us here. We're going to see again at 10:00 AM eastern for CNN newsroom.

BLACKWELL: Smerconish is up after a quick break.