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Trump Downplays North Korea Missile Tests During Japan Visit; Howard Stern Reveals His Last Call With Trump; Missing Hiker Found Alive After 17 Days; NFL to Consider Marijuana For Pain Management; Jeopardy! Champion Surpasses $2 Million With 27th Win. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 25, 2019 - 19:00   ET



ANA CABRERA, HOST, CNN NEWSROOM: You are live in the CNN Newsroom. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. President Trump may be half a world away on a state visit to Japan, but if Twitter is any indication, he can't quite shake Washington and his own penchant for stirring political drama. It started with re-tweeting a few administration friendly comments, but then came this, a tweet dismissing North Korea's recent short range missile test as no big deal.

Japan would furiously dispute that assessment and so would his own National Security Advisor, John Bolton. He also calls Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden Swampman, misspells Biden's last name, and he refers to a few days ago when the North Korean leader insulted Joe Biden as well.

CNN's Pamela Brown joins us from Tokyo with more now. Pamela, President Trump is there in Tokyo at the invitation of Prime Minister Abe. He downplays the missile testing and expresses confidence in Kim Jong-un who is not an ally. How significant is this?

PAMELA BROWN, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It is significant because the President is tweeting this about North Korea just before he goes golfing with Prime Minister Abe, and Abe has said that Japan is at odds with the United States on this.

President Trump has downplayed the short range missile test. But to Japan, this is unacceptable. And Abe has come out and said it's a violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions that was echoed by John Bolton, the President's National Security Advisor here in Tokyo just recently. And so, the timing really is surprising because President Trump is going to be meeting with Abe on a range of issues, including trade and defense.

So this is certainly a blow ahead of those meetings, downplaying North Korea's short range missile testing. Now we reached out to the White House to ask about the timing of this, why would the President tweet this just before meeting up with Abe?

As I mentioned, John Bolton had recently come out and agreed with the Japanese, saying that it was a violation of the U.N. Security resolutions, so it could be in response to that. And just the context for this, we know through our own reporting on it that the President has been growing increasingly irritated with John Bolton.

Sources tell us that there is a view in the administration that Bolton goes outside of his turf as National Security Advisor and sometimes tries to act like the Secretary of State. And certainly, what Bolton said here in Tokyo was further than anyone in the administration had said in terms of the North Korea missile testing.

But President Trump has made it clear what his big concern is, ICBM, those intercontinental ballistic missiles that could hit the United States. So he has made clear previously that these short range missile tests isn't a big concern of his because it wouldn't impact the U.S. directly. But it could impact Japan, and so that is what is so interesting about the timing of the tweet. Ana.

CABRERA: And on top of the North Korea concerns, we know the President had hoped to make progress on a trade deal with Japan. Could this derail any hopes of that?

BROWN: Well, it's too early to tell. And as I mentioned, the President has echoed the sentiment that he tweeted out before, right after the missile test. And Abe still welcomed here - welcomed the President here. He is going to be the first foreign leader to meet with the emperor.

And also, this could be one of the reasons that Abe has tried to cultivate this close relationship with President Trump from the very beginning, to try to convince him that these short range missile tests by North Korea, they are serious in terms of the Japanese perspective.

But Abe has also faced some criticism that he has embraced President Trump too much. But he has made this alliance between the U.S. and Japan a central piece of his agenda. And so we'll have to see how the rest of the trip plays out against this backdrop, this context of the President's tweet on North Korea just now, Ana.

CABRERA: Yes strange twist that we just experienced. Pamela Brown in Tokyo for us, thank you.

Joining us now is CNN Presidential Historian Douglas Brinkley and CNN Global Affairs Analyst Kimberly Dozier.

Kim, that tweet from the President, let's read it, "North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that's sending me a signal?" Kim, do you think Japan would agree this is not a big deal?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: The President has just undercut his National Security Advisor and risked seriously offending his Japanese host on their own territory.

[19:05:00] Those ballistic missile and other missile tests are a direct threat to Japanese territory and citizens' safety.

So the fact that he is chosen to do this sends this odd sort of - is this a good cop/bad cop situation, does he - did he have this conversation with Bolton, has Bolton been trying to convince him that North Korea can't be trusted and that these missile launches are serious? Or has he decided that this talk -- these talks are just too important to his Presidency that he thinks as long as he flatters Kim as Kim is trying to flatter him that maybe he can get the talks back on track.

CABRERA: And meantime, Japan has been flattering the President. They seem to have gone to extremes to give Trump the royal treatment. He will play golf, he will present a President's Cup at a Sumo match, he will be the first foreign head of state to meet the new emperor which Trump made clear was a huge selling point for him. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Let me ask you a question. How big is that event compared to the Super Bowl for the Japanese? And the Prime Minister said, it's about 100 times bigger. I said I'll be there.


CABRERA: Doug, what impact might all this flattery have on the President?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, it seems to be working. I mean, President Trump has already had over 40 telephone calls with Prime Minister Abe. They are very tight, very close, they are golf friends. And I think that Abe wants to roll out the red carpet here, show Donald Trump a perfect time, and he is doing a good job at it.

I mean, Sumo wrestling, golfing surrounded by Japanese gardens, Kobe steak at banquets, these are the things that are going to impress Donald Trump. But the key to all of this is, remember when the United States had pulled out of the 12-nation transpacific partnership, and Japan didn't like that, but they've realized that in the age of Trump, they have got to at all costs maintain a friendship with Washington D.C., that they have to play a bilateral relationship out.

And perhaps they get something out of all this flattery. Maybe the tariffs on things like aluminum and steel will be lifted. Donald Trump lifted tariffs on Mexico and Canada last week. Maybe when he departs, he gives a kind of trade gift to Japan. But this is really, from a Japanese point of view, an important way of making sure that Donald Trump doesn't go rogue on them by doing this flattery offense.

CABRERA: But do you think this tweet by the President, clearly kind of a proverbial maybe middle finger to Abe when he is on his home turf. When Abe is saying North Korea is a big deal to us, and here the President puts out a tweet saying, no big deal they got these missile tests, I have got Kim under control, kind of don't worry about it. Do you think that will impact the rest of the trip?

BRINKLEY: Well, Donald Trump is going to be golfing right now and he is going to try to talk why he did that. He has a reason for it. It might be that there was a fear that North Korea might launch a missile while Trump was in Japan just to make some international noise. It doesn't make any sense to me why President Trump would do that except to be contrarian and egoistical to stir up the Internet.

Otherwise, anybody who studies diplomacy knows that's not a move to make in this kind of way. But alas, we've been living with tweet diplomacy and kind of crazy zigzags of Donald Trump for a couple of years now, and one can't really be surprised.

The key is, with Donald Trump feels if North Korea betrays him and somehow that relationship between U.S. and North Korea just melts away and North Korea starts firing an intercontinental ballistic missile somewhere, then Trump will take a big hit in the polls.

He is trying to convince everybody, Donald Trump, that he - it's kind of a lone wolf foreign policy that he is running. He is the one that doing it and even Bolton or Pompeo don't really know what Donald Trump is up to.

CABRERA: Kim, I think it's important to note that unlike the UK where the President is going to be visiting on his first state visit there shortly, where they literally have a Trump baby balloon flying to mock him, in Japan Abe doesn't face the same backlash for cozying up to Trump. How does that factor into things?

DOZIER: Well, he doesn't face the same backlash at this point. There hasn't been a trade deal done yet. There is still the risk out there that the U.S. trade representative could do as President Trump has threatened and hit Japanese auto industries with massive tariffs. Then things could really change and this visit won't have such an upside in the aftermath.

[19:10:00] CABRERA: All right, Kim Dozier and Doug Brinkley, thank you both. And Kim by the way has a fascinating new piece in Time Magazine on ISIS child soldiers that I encourage everyone to read. Again appreciate you guys being with me. Meantime here in the Newsroom--

DOZIER: Thank you.

CABRERA: --the miracle in Maui, a missing hiker found alive after more than two weeks.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there she goes. And there she goes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now we can celebrate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now (BLEEP) we can celebrate.


CABRERA: Plus, a stunt usually seen in the movies, takes a real life tragic turn, when two men try to jump over an open draw bridge in their car. And after knowing him for years, legendary radio host Howard Stern reveals what happened during his last phone call with Donald Trump.


HOWARD STERN, HOST, THE HOWARD STERN SHOW: I was like, oh gosh, you know for about a split second I went, can you imagine if I was all in, I would be the head of the FCC, I could be the Supreme Court - I could on the Supreme Court. I think Donald would give me anything I'd asked.

ANDERSON COOPER, ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: You really believe that?

STERN: Oh, I believe it.



CABRERA: Now to an amazing story of survival out of Hawaii. Amanda Eller went on what was supposed to be a day hike in Maui and vanished. Friends scoured the forest for more than two weeks until finally, finally they looked down from a helicopter and saw the 35-year-old yoga instructor between two waterfalls walking barefoot in a mountain ravine and waving her arms. Turns out she had gotten lost in the woods.

Over the course of 17 days, Eller ate fruit from trees, she drank water from the river, but she also suffered severe sun burn. She lost her shoes during a flash flood, fractured her lower leg and got a skin infection. And this is the video showing the dramatic moment Eller was airlifted to safety, and the elation of the guys who saved her.


UNIDENTIFED MALE: Yes! And there she goes!


CABRERA: There she goes. A short time ago, Eller spoke from her hospital bed talking about that scary experience, listen.


AMANDA ELLER: The last 17 days of my life has been the toughest days in my life, and it's been really significant spiritual journey that I was guided on. And there were times of total fear and loss, and wanting to give up. And it did come down to life and death, and I had to choose, and I chose life. I wasn't going to take the easy way out, even though that meant more suffering and pain for myself. But this is just like a tiny little blip of my story and my life.


CABRERA: I'm joined now by two of the men who helped rescue Amanda Eller, Chris Berquist and Troy Helmer. Guys, first of all, congratulations on that fantastic rescue. Chris, I know you coordinated the search. Amanda was out there for 17 days; that's such a long time. At any point, did you lose hope that you would find her alive?


CABRERA: Talk to me about the challenges of the search.

BERQUIST: I'd say one of the bigger challenges is organizing so many volunteers who have no training, but have a lot of heart, so everyone was extremely driven to be there. But none of us knew exactly what we should be doing in the beginning and making all of that work was definitely a logistical challenge, but with so much support from everybody and such a good team behind me, it was very manageable.

CABRERA: Troy, what was it like when you first saw Amanda from the chopper?

TROY HELMER, HELPED RESCUE AMANDA ELLER: I have never actually seen her, but we were sitting there and I go, hey there is a hiker down there, and I said, there is no pretty women up here, it's too far in the woods, and we knew it was Amanda and we were all excited.

CABRERA: Wow, when you guys reached her, what did she tell you, what did you say?

HELMER: The first thing I said, if you went four more days, you could have been on Naked and Afraid.


CABRERA: She had already lost her shoe and socks.

HELMER: Yes, it was really exciting, it was super good. We couldn't have - Cloud Nine is way below what we were feeling. It was awesome and you definitely had - there was a divine power and holy spirit that definitely helped us find her. It was unbelievable.

BERQUIST: Very overwhelming.

CABRERA: Chris, what was going through your mind?

BERQUIST: We need to slow down, but we need to get there, move a little faster, move a little slower. Honestly, it was so overwhelming and such a large experience for all of us. There was tears and laughing and screaming. To say what was I thinking at that moment, I would say I couldn't even tell you. It was all such an amazing blur of relief and over joy and we were excited to tell the family that we found their daughter, and let the community know that they were doing was the right thing. It was very - again, large and overwhelming.

HELMER: It was kind of chaotic.

CABRERA: Oh I can only imagine, chaotic in all the good ways possible though when it's a happy ending like this. I want you to - what was that? HELMER: It was really positive. It was awesome. We were trying to get there, who ever could run over each other first, trying to get there was awesome.

BERQUIST: Xavier would lay down in the grass, I would run over Xavier, and the next person will lay down in the grass - because it was bush out there.

HELMER: It was fantastic.

[19:20:00] BERQUIST: Trying to run, trying not to cry, trying not to scream too much but get there, get there, get there. Slow down, we're going to make it. It's okay. It was amazing.

HELMER: Absolutely amazing.

CABRERA: Amanda's mom spoke just a few minutes ago. She talked about the moment she heard her daughter had been found. I want to you listen to this.


JULIA ELLER, AMANDA ELLER'S MOM: Oh, my goodness. We were screaming with joy and crying tears of joy. It was - it was just unbelievable. And fortunately, her best friend from middle school has been part of this search effort.

And I had my phone silenced because out there in the woods, you really need your GPS tracker to be able to be hogging the memory in your phone, and the other person had their phone on. And my youngest daughter was actually able to get a call in to her best friend to deliver the news that she has been found alive. And it was tears of joy and lots of whooping and hollering on the trail. I can tell you that.


CABRERA: Chris, how does that make you feel?

BERQUIST: Oh, I mean, to be able to give somebody back their daughter and their sister, it's like something I've never experienced before, it gives me goosebumps right now just thinking about it. It's - words don't even describe, to be honest with you.

CABRERA: Troy, Amanda's mom says it was supposed to be an easy three- mile walk. She didn't even have her cell phone with her when she went into the woods. How easy is it to get lost in that area?

HELMER: Super easy, it's super thick. We hunt wild pigs in there every single weekend. And it's very dangerous, it's very rough. There is some mean terrain, lots of fallen down trees, lots of obstacles. It should be a place for someone who is qualified to be in there. She did go on a nice little run on a nice road, but the problem is she left the road.

CABRERA: And so, are there any lessons learned? Any words of wisdom you can pass along?

BERQUIST: Everything you own at home will track you so just taking something with you. If you leave a note, maybe take a friend. But next time you are going to get lost, let us know first, that would help a lot, thank you.


HELMER: Yes. Please take your phone - take your phone, take water and make sure that you let somebody know where you are for sure.

CABRERA: Good call on that. Guys, you are both heroes. Thank you so much for joining us. It's such a wonderful story to be able to share with all our viewers. I loved talking with you both. Thank you for what you did.

BERQUIST: Thank you.

HELMER: We don't want to take all the praise, we want to give it to Jehovah God. He is the one who looked over everybody and we did good.

CABRERA: Amen, thank you guys.

HELMER: Thank you.

CABRERA: Coming up, one-on-one with Howard Stern, the legendary shock jock has known Donald Trump for decades and shares his thoughts on why Trump ran for President.


STERN: This was a publicity stunt. I happened to-

COOPER: You have no doubt about that?

STERN: I have no doubt, because I have inside information.


CABRERA: And be sure to tune in this Memorial Day for a CNN comedy special, Collin Quinn Red State Blue State, premiers Monday night at 9 p.m., right here on CNN.


CABRERA: Howard Stern helped make Donald Trump a national media figure. So many interviews on his radio show and it gives Stern unique and surprising insight into the President, including why he ran for office in the first place. According to Stern, it was a publicity stunt. Here is more of what he told CNN's Anderson Cooper.


COOPER: As an interviewer, I've noticed this just when I used to interview on him, he was very susceptible to flattery. And I noticed this in your interviews with him, you would throw out something like your poll numbers, I've never seen anything like this.

STERN: Well, it's a definite technique.

COOPER: It washes over him.

STERN: Notice I call him in every interview Mr. Trump, and this before he was President, Mr. Trump.

COOPER: That's intentional.

STERN: Oh absolutely. Someone had asked me, so why do you call him Mr. Trump? I said because it loosens him up. He feels respected. He feels good about himself. Now he is going to roll. He is going to open up to me.

COOPER: When you see him now in the White House as President, what do you see?

STERN: Well, first of all, it's unbelievable to me. And I've documented my thoughts about how this whole candidacy came about. This was a publicity stunt. I happen to have--

COOPER: You have no doubt about that?

STERN: I have no doubt because I have some inside information. And the thing is that it started out with the Art of the Deal, the book. And it was a - a PR guy's idea who said, Donald, what you need to do is, we'll make a sort of a rumor that you're running for President.

And Donald is like, oh! So, all of a sudden, he was being interviewed. The book goes right to number one. And then this time around, in the last election, The Apprentice ratings were not what they were. NBC was not going to give him a raise. And what's a better way than to get NBC's interest, I'll run for President and I'll get lots of press, and I think that's what happened.

COOPER: Do you think he likes being President?

STERN: I don't think he likes being President at all. I think he liked winning the Presidency. He likes to win. And again, I'm not Donald Trump's psychotherapist and I had many good laughs with Donald. And in some ways, I feel it's been wrong the way they used my transcripts in a way to frame him, and I'll give you an example. When he said the line about STDs being his Vietnam, that was a very jokey thing on my show.

If you went back and listened to the tape, you wouldn't take that seriously. He was in the spirit of the program.

[19:30:00] And then he was - they tried to use that against him, hey he is being - how dare he comparison himself to a veteran of the Vietnam War who served when he didn't serve. Alright, everybody take a deep breath and relax.

COOPER: He asked to you speak at the RNC. I think the - I had no idea about that. STERN: Yes, he used to call me from the campaign trail. And I think he was really desirous of my endorsement. So, when he secured the nomination and now he was thinking about the convention, I think he wanted some showbiz there. He picked up the phone and he called me personally.

And I was like oh gosh, for about a split second I went, can you imagine if I was all in? I would be the head of the FCC, I could be the Supreme Court - I could on the Supreme Court. I think Donald would give me anything I'd ask.

COOPER: You really believe that?

STERN: I believe it 100% that - if Ben Carson could get in there and I think Donald would have appointed me to something, regardless of whether I know what I'm doing or not.

COOPER: Do you think he wants to get re-elected?

STERN: I don't think - I think psychologically if he really got under the hood, I think he would say, what am I doing, I'm in 70s--

COOPER: You haven't spoken to him since you turned down the RNC?

STERN: No, well when I turned down the RNC, it was the last time he spoke and he said to me, what are you doing? And I explained to him in the nicest way that it would be difficult for me. I said I'm not really actually comfortable being a public speaker, which I'm not. I don't like going up, I never was a standup comic, I don't like getting up in front of audiences. This radio studio suits me just fine.

You know it struck me as even odd. I know he was a Hillary Clinton fan. He was a supporter of hers. So the whole thing was weird. And I have been a Hillary Clinton supporter way back before even when Obama - when she was trying to get the-


STERN: Yes, I think she is a terrific public servant. I thought her husband was the best President we ever had.

COOPER: You tried to get her repeatedly to come on your show.

STERN: The whole game plan was I wanted to humanize her to my audience. I wanted to humanize her in the same way, there is a couple of people in my book where I interviewed them and the audience's perception changed just from one interview, whoever becomes the Democratic nominee or even if you are fighting the nomination.

I applaud those people who go over to Fox News like Mayor Pete, who said, you know what, I want to win this thing and he got a standing ovation over at Fox News. Impressive and that was my point to Hillary.

COOPER: Who in the Democratic field would you want to interview now?

STERN: I don't know. I don't do a lot of political interviews. I'm kind of fatigued from it. I'm talking about for my radio show. I am curious about Mayor Pete, because number one, an openly gay candidate to me, I salute him. It's not going to be easy. There is still so much of our country that is homophobic. And we could sit here in New York and say hey, right on, but he is going to catch a lot of hell.

COOPER: So you'd like to interview him?

STERN: I'd be curious about his life. I really would be and the adversity. But, Biden would be just as sort of interesting to me in a way.


CABRERA: Our thanks to Anderson Cooper. Coming up, has Trump met his match? A Trump biographer weighs in on the epic showdown between the President and the House Speaker.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The White House is just crying out for impeachment.

TRUMP: I don't think anybody wants to be impeached.

PELOSI: It's time another temper tantrum.

TRUMP: I was extremely calm.

PELOSI: I wish his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.

TRUMP: Very sort of a nasty type statement.



CABRERA: Is the political feud where the insults are trivial but the consequences certainly are not. This week, we witnessed an epic showdown between the most powerful man in the world and the highest ranking woman in the history of American politics, where they openly question each other's sanity and fitness for office after a meeting on infrastructure went awry. First this, from the House Speaker.


PELOSI: Another temper tantrum. Again, I pray for the President of the United States. I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your comments almost suggest you are concerned about his wellbeing.

PELOSI: I am and wellbeing of the United States of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: And then the President erupted.


TRUMP: I walked out, I was so calm, I was extremely calm. Crazy Nancy, I tell you what, I've been watching her and I have been watching her for a long period of time. She is not the same person. She's lost it.

Pelosi does not understand the bill. She doesn't understand it. I don't think she is capable right now of understanding it. I think she's got a lot of problems and they sort of feel she is disintegrating before the - she is a mess. Look, let's face it, when I watch Nancy all moving, the movement and the hands and the craziness and I watch it, that's by the way a person has got some problems. I'm an extremely stable genius.


CABRERA: Joining us now, Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio, the author of the "Truth About Trump". Michael, President Trump, he has fielded all sorts of criticism in the past. But is there something in his past that can explain why Nancy Pelosi specifically elicits this level of reaction from him?

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, AUTHOR, TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP: Well, you have to remember that Donald Trump is really a man of the 1950s and early 1960s, and his idea of power is masculine. I think that his sense of himself is threatened when a very strong woman, who actually has power - we have to remember that Nancy Pelosi possesses her own strength as the Speaker of the House. She's got a very active caucus. But she's got real control over the House of Representatives. So for the President this is a new dynamic, and I think he struggles in many instances to figure out how to respond to Speaker Pelosi.

[19:40:00] CABRERA: So first, there was this war of words, but then the President used his twitter timeline to share an edited video of Pelosi with the caption "Pelosi Stammers Through News Conference".

This video was actually part of a segment on the Fox Business Network where panelists debated Pelosi's health and competence based on manipulated footage. How does this fit into Trump's playbook?

D'ANTONIO: Well it's right in the middle of his playbook, when you look at what he did with Secretary Clinton back in 2016. During that campaign, he went to great efforts to both demonize Mrs. Clinton, so he actually called her the devil at one point. He had a nickname for her. He is looking for a nickname for Speaker Pelosi. But this idea of suggesting that someone is unfit based on doctored video is a trick that was used back in 2016.

So there are not many new tricks in the President's bag of tricks. I think that he goes back time and again to the tried and true method. So, he will attempt to use whatever's at his disposal, and he is never loyal to facts or the truth. This is typical of Donald Trump. It's a handy video. The fact that it's a lie and that it's a fake video doesn't mean much to him because it's useful to him. CABRERA: There is another moment that is perhaps becoming a pattern

that I have to ask you about. When the President went around the room to ask his staff in front of reporters if he had lost his cool in a meeting with Democrats, here he is.


TRUMP: Kellyanne, what was my temperament yesterday in the room?

KELLYANNE: Very calm, no temper tantrum.

TRUMP: What was my attitude when I walked in, did I ever scream?


TRUMP: What was my attitude yesterday at the meeting?

LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Mercy is right. Kellyanne is right. You were very calm.


CABRERA: Michael, that looked an awful lot like this moment at a cabinet meeting.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, Mr. President, and this is the greatest privilege of my life to serve as Vice President to a President who is keeping his word to the American people.

ALEXANDER ACOSTA, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF LABOR: Mr. President, my privilege to be here.

TOM PRICE, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: I can't thank you enough for the privilege that you've given me and leadership that you've shown.

REX TILLERSON, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: Mr. President, I feel honored to serve the country. It's a great privilege you have given me.

REINCE PRIEBUS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: On behalf of the entire senior staff around you, Mr. President, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you have given us to serve your agenda.


CABRERA: He is the most powerful man in the world. Why does he need validation from anyone at this point?

D'ANTONIO: Well, his whole being is about the pursuit of validation. And you look at these scenes and you wonder, who is humiliated more by it? Is the President humiliated by the fact that he needs this and demands it, or are all the people who set aside their dignity and struggle to keep down their lunch I think while saying these things, are they humiliated more?

No matter the circumstance and the truth of it all, this is a dynamic that is incredibly emotional. It's about demanding people somehow set aside their agency, their dignity and praise him. And this is like the worst of the ancient monarchs in their courts demanding that everyone bowing and scrape. I think we've never seen anything like it in an American President.

CABRERA: I have to wonder how Tillerson feels now looking at that video, after we know how that relationship ended and his comments this week in fact. Okay, Michael D'Antonio, good to have you with us. Always appreciate your insights.

D'ANTONIO: Thank you.

CABRERA: The NFL taking a closer look at pain management. Is the league on the verge of allowing its players to use marijuana, and is that a good idea? A former player weighs in next.


CABRERA: Listen to this, two men are dead in Louisiana after they tried to jump an open drawbridge with their car. A witness told police the people in the car knew the bridge was open to let a boat pass. They backed up, they accelerated, hit the ramp and did not make it 165 feet to the other side. Just the driver and one passenger were in the car, they both died.

If you play football, you get hurt, that's just a fact. And if you play at the pro level, pain management is a critical topic. But there is a long list of pain-killing drugs that are banned by the NFL, including marijuana. For years, some players have advocated easing the rules on pot, they say it should qualify as an acceptable alternative therapy. And as more states legalize at least some use of marijuana, that argument gets louder.

As of now, 33 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws that broadly allow the use of medical marijuana; ten states have legalized it as a recreational drug. So now, the NFL has apparently agreed to take a closer look at the use of medicinal marijuana. And Walter Dunson is a retired NFL player. He played for the San Diego Chargers and the Arizona Cardinals. Good to have you with us, Walter, how big of a deal is this?

WALTER DUNSON, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Well, you know there are a lot of guys that just like you say, they are advocating for the use of marijuana for pain treatment reasons. A lot of guys are, when they finished their careers, there are some guys who have a lot of knee problems, back problems and a lot of different types of problems.

They think that marijuana is an answer to some of their problems, as opposed to the traditional painkillers such as Adderall and others that those guys become depended upon, and that creates more problems for them later on in life.

[19:50:00] CABRERA: I mean CNN has done a number of documentaries about the medicinal benefits of marijuana with our Dr. Sanjay Gupta. I used to be a correspondent in Denver, I jokingly called myself the Cannabis Correspondent for CNN, because that was ground zero of the legalization movement. So I've also done a lot of stories about marijuana's effects on somebody. I understand the NFL has had a pretty lax testing policy by most accounts. You only test once a year, is that right?

DUNSON: Yes, the NFL only tests players between April and August. If a guy knows that he's only going to be tested once between April and August, I mean he can stay off marijuana or any other substance for that length of time in order to have a clean test, so that they're not flagged for substance abuse, and be looking at a possible suspension after that.

CABRERA: This issue got a lot of attention this week in part because former Philadelphia Eagles player Chris Long, who just announced his retirement, revealed on a radio show that he smoked during his playing days and he says that, "I'm not going to put a percentage on how much the league smokes, but I certainly enjoyed my fair share on a regular basis throughout my career. Testing players once a year for street drugs, which is a terrible classification for marijuana, is kind of silly because players know when the test is, we can stop, and in that month or two that you stop, you're going to reach for the sleeping pills. You're going to reach for the painkillers, you're going to reach for the bottle a little bit more."

Walter, do you agree with this assessment?

DUNSON: I think Chris is really telling the truth for a lot of players. A lot of guys do know that they can beat that test again. All they have to do is lay off the usage of it for a couple of months and then, again, you're only going to be tested between April and August. Any time you test just one time a year, and if you know you're not going to be tested anytime after August, then they go right back to use it. So I think Chris is telling the truth.

CABRERA: Did you ever use marijuana while you were playing for medicinal purposes?

DUNSON: No, I have never used marijuana at all, never as an athlete or even like after that or even before that, I've never used any type of drug like that.

CABRERA: The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn't been supportive of smoking marijuana in the past, but he now seems open to considering its use medicinally. Let's listen.


ROGER GOODELL, COMMISIONER OF NFL: There are a lot of alternative pain medications and treatments, and those are the types of things that we want this committee to focus on with medical experts and with medical science behind that. Of course, they will look at one of those as what role medical marijuana can have in that. That's something that will be part of their studies.


CABRERA: Are there other things, opioids, alcohol, head injuries the NFL should worry about more than allowing players to use weed?

DUNSON: I think all of those that you just named are all reasons the NFL should be concerned about. The NFL has formed a joint committee with the NFL Players Association that is looking into these alternatives. Of course, marijuana is one of the alternatives that they're exploring.

CABRERA: Alright, Walter Dunson, good to have you with us, thanks.

DUNSON: Thanks for having me.

CABRERA: Coming up, the streak continues, a Jeopardy! contestant gets closer to an all-time record after almost losing in the final round.


CABRERA: You have to see the size of this boulder that's literally stopping traffic in Colorado. It's massive. And there are two of them. One is the size of a building. The giant rocks are blocking Colorado Highway 145 between Cortez and Telluride.

And according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, the enormous boulders destroyed the pavement across the full width of the highway, leaving a trench eight feet deep across both lanes. They're going to have to do some blasting before this highway will reopen again. No word on when that will happen.

James Holzhauer, the reigning Jeopardy! champion, just logged his 27th win in a row and another milestone, Friday night's win put him over the $2 million mark.


ALEX TREBEK, HOST, JEOPARDY!: 39,400 and his response was Sun Valley. You wrote down Las Vegas Strip and you crossed it off, why?



TREBEK: Okay, and you risked 35,000. That takes you up to $74,400 and $2,065,535. Enjoy the weekend. Come back on Monday. He'll be here to defend again.



CABRERA: Okay, the final clue, in case you were wondering, was this. Astronomy buffs visit Idaho for the USA's first Dark Sky Reserve. Oddly, part of it is this resort area with a bright name. And as you saw it first, Holzhauer wrote the response Las Vegas Strip, but then he crossed it out, to write the correct answer, Sun Valley. He's now the second person in Jeopardy! history to hit $2 million behind Jeopardy! great Ken Jennings.


You are live in the CNN Newsroom. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. And in the midst of a state visit to Japan, in an event that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pulled out all the stops to host, President Trump tweets confidence in North Korean leader Kim Jung-un and minimizes the importance of North Korea's recent short range missile tests.

Here is the tweet. North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me and also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual and worse. Perhaps that's sending me a signal?

CNN's Pamela Brown joins us from Tokyo with more now. Pamela, the list of people who were likely disturbed by these missile tests includes his host, Shinzo Abe, and his own National Security Adviser, John Bolton. You think Bolton is the real target here? He and the President have recently sparred over Iran policy.